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The King: Eternal Monarch: Episode 8

Hidden truths begin to surface, leading our long-suffering cop to question his reality. His partner’s secret investigations and associations collide with strange memories of his past and offer him an explanation he may not be ready to accept. But with our evil uncle closing in, there’s no time to lose.

 
EPISODE 8

As Tae-eul thinks about her missing ID, Rim receives a note about a guest at the palace as well as said ID. Kyung-moo recognizes that the ID is from the other world. Here, the woman’s name is Luna, and she’s famous in the criminal underworld for doing anything for money. Rim instructs him to bring her to him.

We focus on yo-yo boy again, still slinging that yo-yo. Tae-eul narrates that they should’ve noticed fate’s hand intervening to restore balance before this all went down.

Seo-ryung meets with Luna, thinking she’s Tae-eul. She finds her brazen, especially when Luna denies having met her. Luna gets up in her space and menacingly claims anyone who approaches her either stole from her or she stole from them. Seo-ryung grabs her arm, asking if she truly doesn’t know her. Does “that person” know she’s an ex-con?

Luna threatens to punch her if she touches her again or spouts nonsense. It dawns on Seo-ryung that this isn’t the same woman who was with Gon. Does she have a twin? Now Luna is curious about this mystery woman and tells Seo-ryung to let her know when she finds out who she is. As she walks away, Seo-ryung realizes she snatched the bracelet right off her wrist without her noticing.

In an ice cream shop, Luna advises a little boy nearby to tell his mom he wants to leave. She’s waiting for him to go so she can kill the man over there who betrayed her. Sure enough, the second the child leaves, she smashes a chair over the man’s head without a care for the other customers.

She dumps the bleeding man in an alley and shares that the good thing about having nothing is she has no weaknesses. He, on the other hand, has a wife and kid. He promises to pay the money back and begs her not to hurt his kid. Luna tells him to get her the money or his kid dies.

In the republic, Tae-eul visits the Yangsun Care Center to get info on Rim’s alternate, but their records only go back 10 years. The employee seems practiced in pleasantly rebuffing questions and won’t divulge anything without a warrant. A female patient listening to recorded news reports from Corea on a phone passes by Tae-eul.

The report is on Seo-ryung’s rise to prominence from her early career as a news anchor and her scandals, like how she married a chaebol and divorced him in the same year. It was then that she entered politics and became prime minister within seven years.

Oh, it’s the pregnant woman Rim convinced to replace her alternate. It looks like she’s prepping for her role. She tells her baby she’ll have an aunt now as she stares at Seo-ryung’s picture.

In the kingdom, Seo-ryung is mulling over the stark contrast between Tae-eul and Luna in her car when her mom calls. She had a weird dream and cautions Seo-ryung to drive carefully and not lose anything. Uh-oh. Seo-ryung asks about the strange newspaper she sent, but her mom didn’t send anything. Her mom hangs up when Rim comes back for his umbrella.

Outside the shady bookshop, yo-yo boy reads for a change. Luna approaches and he hands her a key he’s wearing around his neck. She tosses her hoodie at the boy, saying it’s getting cold. He wonders why she lives in a van. Shouldn’t she have money if she steals so much? Luna claims she does, but she also has enemies. It’s not a world he should concern himself with. She walks away.

In the republic, Shin-jae goes to forensics to pick up the report on the stabbing victim. The blood test shows she was drugged, making Shin-jae suspicious of the roommate. Oh, the forensics lady is Moon-shik’s wife. She questions if Shin-jae is the one calling her husband out late, and he nervously bluffs he is.

Tae-eul joins Shin-jae at the crime scene and concurs with his theory that the drugging makes the roommate the more likely suspect; the boyfriend wouldn’t have had time to feed her, drug her, stab her and get out. Shin-jae tasks Tae-eul with finding evidence and clearing the boyfriend.

He takes off and goes to a police station to pick up his mother. As he signs her out, the cop notes she’s a repeat offender. He warns Shin-jae they won’t be so lenient with her next time.

Meanwhile, Gon is showing Yeong around, taking him to one of his beloved neighborhood restaurants. The gang boss he beat up happens to come out right as they arrive and starts talking big. Gon nonchalantly cautions Yeong not to kill them.

“Yeong” starts chuckling, and Gon whips around to face Eun-seob who deceived him on Yeong’s orders. Gon sighs and goes from protectee to protector. Before Gon can even finish telling him to stay out of the way, Eun-seob takes off running. Ha.

Gon is confident Yeong will show and begins whipping the gangsters into shape. Eun-seob hides around the corner and is about to call Tae-eul when Yeong swipes the hat off his head. He jumps into the fray and efficiently takes all eight men down as Eun-seob watches in awe.

Moon-shik and Detective Shim happen by and see the fight during which of the men rips off Yeong’s mask. The cops are shocked that the “cool” guy is actually little ol’ Eun-seob. Yeong tries to hand the boss over without showing his face, but it’s too late.

Right as Gon goes to step in, Yeong busts out his Eun-seob impression, satoori and all. He pulls it off, but then Moon-shik notices Gon and asks who he is. Gon starts to introduce himself, but Yeong’s still in character and cuts him off. “Be quiet, dude, the elders are talking! Don’t butt in!” HA!

Gon stares at him aghast as Yeong excuses his ignorant friend from Busan who can’t even eat without his help. Oh my gosh, this is great. Yeong has to physically drag an angry Gon away while admonishing, “Your legs are long but useless!” Heh.

Yeong stands at attention in the hotel room as Gon reprimands him for his audacity. Yeong apologizes and barely dares to look up. In lieu of beheading, Gon punishes him by drawing a “mole” on his face and forbidding him from removing it.

Tae-eul calls Gon and is frustrated he didn’t tell her he moved to a hotel. She heads to meet him, and Gon gloats to himself that he knew she’d come to see him if he irritated her. He orders Yeong not to follow him.

It’s time for Gon’s slo-mo walk of the day. He approaches Tae-eul who randomly asks if he would’ve liked her had she not helped him. He would’ve. And if she had been really rude? She was, he reminds her. Tae-eul narrates that there aren’t coincidences when it comes to fate. Sometimes your choices determine fate, but others fate chooses for you.

She only stopped by to check on him before going on a stakeout. He lies that it’s been a perfectly peaceful day. When Gon starts getting cringey, she’s too hangry for it and makes a rule whereby he’s forbidden from being cringey when she’s hungry. Heh.

Tae-eul pauses and turns back to Gon. She narrates that she had “a sad premonition that this will be short-lived.” But she decided to love her fate. “I love you,” she confesses. Gon blinks in amazement. Tae-eul continues like nothing, asking if Yeong is inside.

Gon is still reeling and takes a second to respond. When he says Yeong went out, she reminds him Yeong isn’t supposed to go out during the day. Tae-eul orders him to find him and bring him back. Gon stops her as she leaves. “Me too,” he confesses.

Yeong is out exploring when a voice yells out, “Jo Eun-seob!” He panics but tries to stay cool. Na-ri pulls up beside him in her fancy car, and he recognizes her as Seung-ah’s alternate. Isn’t he supposed to be at the station? What’s with his clothes and hair?

Seung-ah scoffs that he’s lost his mind when he crooks his finger at her and stomps over to him. Unsure of the situation, Yeong makes a gamble and asks whether he has a crush on her or her on him. Na-ri hits him in response and concludes this is why he doesn’t have a girlfriend. She wipes off the “mole” Gon drew off a startled Yeong’s face and leaves after telling him to pick up some japchae she made.

Yeong finds Eun-seob and reports the situation with Na-ri. Eun-seob admits to having a crush on her and is giddy about her giving him japchae. Yeong shakes his head at Eun-seob’s lack of cool.

That evening, Jangmi joins Tae-eul on his first stakeout. He’s bothered by the victim’s death, and knowing it was his first crime scene, Tae-eul gives him the practical advice that work is work. It’s impossible to stay in this job if they let their cases get to them.

They spot the boyfriend who runs when they approach. Jangmi catches him but accidently knocks him out. He panics while Tae-eul pays no mind and texts her team.

Elsewhere, Shin-jae takes his mom out to eat. The atmosphere is strained as she apologizes and promises not to gamble anymore. She explains gambling takes her mind off things. Shin-jae was ill for so long, and then his dad ended up like that. She heard Shin-jae has been sending money to his dad’s prison account. Oh.

Shin-jae says that he was happy when he woke up from his coma in his mom’s arms. “That was when I first realized that a person could smell so good.” We flash back to him as a child looking at family photos in an album. He stares at a photo of himself smiling and practices in the mirror. Hmm…

His mom begins to cry as Shin-jae apologizes for not always being a good son and calling the cops on her. He asks her not to do this to herself anymore. Shin-jae holds back tears as she apologizes for everything and calls him her miracle child.

In the kingdom, Shin-jae’s mom’s alternate (the palace spy) goes to the bookshop and retrieves an envelope. Tears fall as she looks through the pictures of Shin-jae inside, and she sinks to the ground.

Back in the republic, the cops interview the boyfriend who claims he found his girlfriend already dead. Shin-jae reveals to his team that the method of killing matches that used in a script the roommate was reading, which could be the evidence they need. It proves unnecessary since the roommate calls Tae-eul to turn herself in.

Gon and Yeong return to the restaurant they didn’t get to eat at earlier, but when the owner spots Gon, he utters a shocked “Your Highness” before he can cover it. Outside, Gon instructs Yeong to catch the owner when he flees.

In the kingdom, Prince Bu-yeong pulls out what I believe is Rim’s old ring. Elsewhere, Seo-ryung’s mom suspects something and looks up a picture of the royal family. Her eyes widen when she recognizes Rim as umbrella guy.

The roommate confesses to the murder, her motive being simple: she didn’t like her. She doesn’t resist as Shin-jae cuffs and arrests her. Tae-eul walks the boyfriend out. He complains that his girlfriend didn’t wait to die until after he’d broken up with her. Tae-eul decks him for being a douche.

He does reveal that the roommate has a burner phone (like Lee Sang-do), so Tae-eul searches her apartment but only finds the charger. Meanwhile, Kyung-ran gives Shin-jae the report on Rim’s alternate that Tae-eul asked for, assuming it’s for a case they’re working on.

That night, the restaurant owner sneaks out and is caught by Yeong who takes him to an empty building. While questioning him, they find his burner phone. Gon surmises he works for Rim and asks where he is, but the man just laughs.

“You greatly resemble your father,” he says with a mocking smile and wonders if his end will be the same. Gon deduces he must’ve gotten to come here as a reward of sorts for standing with Rim during the coup. The man calls it balance, but Gon believes only a deity can restore balance. They’re merely murders.

When Gon commands Yeong to take the man back to Corea, the man flips out and begs to be killed instead. Gon notes the absence of contacts in the burner phone and reasons it must only be for answering calls. He orders the man to commit suicide.

In prison, a guard escorts the roommate to an empty building at night where Rim’s right-hand man is waiting. He’s disappointed she made a mess of things by killing a random person, but she argues the girl had to go since she heard her conversation on the burner phone.

She threatens to hand the phone over to the cops if he doesn’t get her out. He smugly asks if she actually thinks the prison is having a power outage. After his show of might, he encourages her to call when she remembers where she hid the phone. She drops to the floor in fear.

Gon presents Na-ri with a solid gold turtle, asking to rent her building for a while. Tae-eul shows up, and Gon congratulates her on catching the criminal. He admits he had Yeong tail her briefly. She reproaches him for sending someone else instead of doing it himself, but he confesses he’s not stealthy. He lights up whatever room he’s in. Pfft.

After Na-ri brings them their drinks, Gon conspiratorially whispers she seems to have a crush on Eun-seob. Tae-eul sighs that it’s the other way around and jokes that she can’t work with someone so slow-witted.

She returns the death certificate and shares her findings on Rim’s alternate, including the deaths of the brother and nephew. But the sister-in-law is alive. Gon muses that she must have his mother’s face. Tae-eul plans to visit her the following day, and Gon agrees to go with her.

Shin-jae visits the grave of the boy from the file (Gon’s alternate) and flashes back to seeing little Gon on the news performing the mourning ritual for the king. Oho! Shaken, he leaves just as Jung-hye stops by with flowers.

Jung-hye follows Shin-jae to the police station and wonders if he’s a friend of her late son Ji-hoon’s. She tells her driver/jailer to go ahead and report it. They won’t let her die anyway. She touches the cut marks on her wrist as her humorless laughs turn to sobs.

Eun-seob happy dances his way out of work in Yeong’s coat and finds Yeong’s phone in his pocket. Yeong’s background is the photo of him and Gon in military uniform, and Eun-seob swoons over his own handsomeness while tsking over having your boss as your background. Ha.

Shin-jae pops up behind him and demands he turn over the phone. Eun-seob tries to lie that it’s him in the photo, but Shin-jae is in no mood. Eun-seob folds in the face of his anger and divulges that Gon is staying under his name at a hotel. Shin-jae comments that Eun-seob can get him a key to the room, then.

In the kingdom, Seo-ryung receives another envelope from her mother’s address containing the exact same newspaper. Seo-ryung calls her mother who again denies sending her anything. Unsettled, she begins flipping through the strange paper and gasps to see a photo of herself in a crowd shot.

Back in the republic, Shin-jae sneaks into Gon’s hotel room while he’s not there. He finds the death certificate marked with Corea’s symbol. Shin-jae tries to steady himself as he’s flooded with memories and recalls Gon’s remark that the symbol is from another world.

Suddenly, Yeong throws a punch at him from behind. As they fight, they move into the living room where light from the window reveals Yeong’s face. Staring into his eyes, Shin-jae realizes this isn’t Eun-seob. Gon walks in and Yeong hands him the death certificate Shin-jae was holding.

Gon patiently explains that this is his royal court’s symbol. Shin-jae is on the verge of a breakdown, and he can’t accept Gon’s words. He asks who they are, but Gon insists he told him already; he’s a king. Shin-jae asks where this supposed kingdom is. Gon replies it’s in another world.

Shin-jae just keeps asking who he is. “Are you Lee Gon?” Gon thinks Tae-eul told him, but Shin-jae had no idea she knew. Now it’s Gon’s turn to be surprised. Shin-jae: “That crying child was really you? Are you really Lee Gon?”

Gon realizes they’ve underestimated how many people have crossed into this world. Heedless of the gun Yeong has pointed at him, Shin-jae grabs Gon’s jacket in desperation. Gon responds he knows one thing for certain: “You are the reason I must return to my world. It seems like I am your king.”

 
COMMENTS

Shin-jae really did come from Corea! Or, at least, he spent some time there as a kid. But he doesn’t seem to know where he was at the time. Maybe he thinks it was something he dreamed up in his coma as a child? It’d be easy enough to dismiss or repress early childhood memories that don’t seem to fit his life. Shin-jae still remains the most compelling character for me, and I’m most interested to know his story. It makes me feel a bit better that Rim was having him followed to send pictures to his mother in the kingdom. Hopefully, that means he isn’t targeting him for anything now. Although, it looks like poor Shin-jae has been involved in this for most of his life. I wonder if he personally is of use to Rim or if sending him to another world was just a deal Rim made with Shin-jae’s mother.

Either way, Rim has created quite the network of swappers over these past 25 years. It’s so hard keeping track of all these side characters! I’m trying to keep everyone and their alternates straight, but I’m sure I’ve missed some along the way. It’s exhausting trying to memorize every new face that pops up in case they resurface without warning. I’m glad our good guys are finally catching on to what Rim’s been up to since I’m more than ready for some answers. Now that they’ve got someone who’s apparently been swapped on their team, maybe they can make some headway.

So Luna is intense. I was taken off guard when she brutally attacked that guy at the ice cream shop in full view of everyone. She mentioned that she has no home or anything that can be used as a weakness, so I wonder what happened to her family in this world. She came across big sisterly with yo-yo boy, but maybe she just likes kids. Luna did wait for that kid to leave the shop before doing anything violent. I guess she has a semblance of a moral code. She seems like a dangerous tool to have, and I feel like she could tip the scales depending on which side she aligns with.

Gon and Tae-eul’s relationship is moving at breakneck speed, isn’t it? They’re already at the I-love-you stage, apparently. *Sigh* I kept waiting for them to develop the romance a little more, give it room to breathe, but I’m officially giving up now. I guess I just have to take the show’s word for it that they’re in love and move on. I’m finding the side relationships a lot more interesting. This episode gave us some more Yeong and Eun-seob goodness. Watching Yeong horrify Gon with his spot-on Eun-seob impersonation was so much fun. It’s nice to see Yeong doing something other than standing stoically. This pair of alternates is the bromance I didn’t know I needed here. Thanks to Eun-seob, Yeong gets to lighten up a bit, and thanks to Yeong, Eun-seob gets to revel in his own good looks.

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I kinda get it why people feel the love story is forced/speedy, but it's totally not to me. It's all in the context and subtext. They gave us 5 episodes to establish that. They're not always together but they've been a constant in each other's minds from the moment they set eyes on the other - in Lee Gon's case, it's been 25 years! Add to that the fact that they are thinking about the possibility of separation at any time with no assurance if they'll ever see each other again AND the fact that they're from different worlds... I'll really raise an eyebrow at them if they take their leisurely time in the let's get to know each other phase.

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The confession needed to be speedy for practical purposes. We're already at the halfway mark of a 16-episode drama.

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I don't know if this has been address or discussed, but shouldn't there be 2 flutes? I know there is the Corea flute that was cut in half, but what about the Korea flute?

Also, Hwannie is hot in case anyone forgot.

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There's one flute, but cut in 2 (See Ep. 1).

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I know the Corean flute was split and Rim and Gon each have half, but since these are parallel worlds shouldn't there also be a Korean flute?

The flute was made before the parallel worlds split, so when the worlds did split everything should have been replicated in each parallel universe, including the flute. So shouldn't it stand to reason that there is also a flute in Korea?

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Eps 1: In Corea, the flute was kept inside Cheonjongo at the end of the "Hall of royal portraits" where Lee Gon's father was killed.

Eps 2: In Korea, the "Hall of royal portraits" is in Seoul inside the exhibition.
When Lee Gon went there the flute wasn't shown but information on the Japanese invasion.

That invasion didn't happen in Corea, only in Korea.
That might have something to do with the missing flute or maybe it was there but wasn't shown.

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Interesting. I mean there are a lot of changes between the 2 worlds but I failed to pickup on that detail in ep 2.

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I mentioned it in earlier episodes.
My guess is, that we probably won't see the flute and the sword in the exhibition (Korea) until the end.

Corea is our fantasy world. In real life, the flute and the swords do exist as national treasures of Korea.

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You make a good point: if the flute exists in one world, it would make sense that it also exists in the other.

I suppose it could be the divergent point between the two world, that the existence of the flute in Gon’s world is what made it split off from our world. But we don’t know yet.

For sure it’s one of the first things I would’ve looked for, if I realized the flute was the key to all this and that Rim was flipping worlds with its aid.

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I would expect that Rim had already found out about the existence of a second Manpasikjeok and Four Tiger Sword as he would certainly want more parallel worlds to breach and conquer. I just hope this is NOT going to turn into an Infinity War/End Game sort of confrontation.

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Need more Do Hwan Moments!!!!

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Always.

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The flute was said that was given as a present by a Deity so doubt it exists in South Korea following the narative...Still,i'm curious if the little boy with the Yoyo that keeps appearing in both worlds is the Deity or the Flaute Deity that keeps watch on them and help at some point...

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That legend of the flute is written on Samguk yusa aka Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms like Rim said in eps 1.
If there is a record of it in Corea then there should be one in Korea.

The alternate history only omitted certain historical events and the timeline is very vague.
We are told that Crown Prince Sohyeon became king and the Manchu invasions didn't happen.
We are also told that the Japanese invasion didn't happen either and Corea became a constitutional monarchy in 1945 and that's about it.

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So the posibility is that the Flute was bever given in Tae Eul world,that is the difference...

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That is a possibility.

The place that housed the flute is in both worlds.
My guess is that only those in Lee Gon's world knew of it's power or believed in it's power.

From episode 1: Lee Rim is narrating the tale of the "Manpashikjeok" aka "The Flute to Calm Ten Thousand Waves."

"In the year 682, during the Silla period, the Dragon King of the East gifted King Sinmun a mystical bamboo flute. When played, it could repel enemies....."

In Corea there is no records of a Manchu or Japanese invasions.
I believe that they used the flute to repelled their enemies and defend their country.

When Lee Gon was at King Taejo's exhibition in Seoul, he was shown walking down the same Hall of the royal portraits and then he is seen reading about the Japanese invasion.

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Rim's narrative continues. I'm quoting this from the book (Samguk Yusa) and not the drama.

"...spreading plagues receded, sweet rains came after drought, the bright sun shone in the downpour, the wind was mild and the sea was calmed."

I also think that the flute is the caused of this opposite effect in both worlds.

Rim's body is completely healthy in Corea but his doppelganger in Korea was born with a disease.

I think those beautiful shots when time stopped of the waves, rain, sun is to show the power of the flute.

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The Dragon King of the East here is King Sinum's own father King Munmu (the first king of the Unification).
There is also a navy battleship named after him (ROKS Munmu the Great) based on his role in this tale.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munmu_of_Silla

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@pakalanapikake
I forgot to tag you earlier. IIRC you have the book right? The tale is on p/85.

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@kiara I somehow think in the majority Corea has it better than SK in terms of the characters destiny,only a very few have it better in SK rather than Corea...Curious if also it's because of the flaute being there ...

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I am impressed at the details and how she makes us really think about the base of her story.

We keep coming back to the pilot episode and each time discover new things about the flute.

I agree Corea has it better until Rim's coup.
Playing god and shedding blood will not go unpunished.
Maybe his hell will be eternal. The opposite of Lee Gon's eternal king.

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@kiara We kinda know that for the crack to be mended and the door to be shut between the worlds and somehow balance be set again the flute needs to be repaired and made into one again and yelded by his owner(as we know it's Gon as he heard it's cry when his Father was killed)...Curious if Lee Rim punishment would be to be locked forever in that world in between rather than simply killing him off

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That would be a satisfying punishment because beheading has been abolished and Naraka, the hell realm is not eternal.

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If Korea had a flute, Japanese occupation would never happened. Receiving the flute was a turning point in Joseon history.

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I think it should exist in both worlds and be true to this parallel universe but like this.
Korea is reality and Corea is fantasy.
No magic flute will stop any invasions in Korea so it should only exist in Corea.
The bamboo flute would be the one collecting dust at the museum in Korea because no one believes that it has any power.

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I think writer is at fault. Tae Eul dislike toward Gon was so very strong in first few ep hence I am not convinced that they are at “I love you” stage.

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KES fate/destiny sort of love did not work in this drama.

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From my point of view...there's no need for any emotions in her I love you declaration. She said it just because, in the spur of the moment. And that is inline with her character, Taeul is abrupt.

I was also not onboard the romance train from the beginning. But this confession made sense for me because it was supported by her monologue that time is fleeting, and this is temporary, she doesn't know what tomorrow will bring.

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It's a natural reaction though. What would anyone do if a stranger suddenly grabs and hugs them in the middle of somewhere? She gave him her time though despite outwardly acting annoyed, meaning she had been reconsidering from the start, while also trying to be reasonable. She's a detective, not some random person looking for a date. I think the problem may be expectations versus the characters. The characters are acting as themselves, but the viewers want to see another personality.

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I wouldn't say at least for me it's that way, it's not about wanting to see another personality, I just want a well written romance and love story, I'm sure there are some who like this love story but not me, they missed out really developing it in a meaningful way in line with their characters.

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It's a to-each-his-own thing, I know. I bought it at once because I completely understand Tae Eul. I have no idea how she's gonna be like before I pressed play on episode 1, but I get her and how she deals with stuff. She's a completely developed character to me. So I'm looking at their romance through her eyes.

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Your interpretation of like is totally wrong how can that be dislike she may find him strange and weird but their is nothing to dislike about him he is handsome smart intelligent

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You can be powerfully attracted to someone that is too risky to be in a relationship with. Mature people will pass on what could have been for the sake of stability and good sence. She is cool toward him because he looks like he is crazy and it is only normal to run away from crazy. However she doesn't because the is something sincere about his presence and he is so sweet and polite. It would be really strange and unbelievable not hesitate with a guy with a story like this I dont care what kind of buttons he has on his Jacket.

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Woo Dohwan and Kim Kyung-nam might be the reason I'll stick to this show. I have no interest in the romance for now, and all my attention is on the world building. Though I want to know more of Lee Rim's plan, for my own sake, because he's just a bad guy and nothing else.

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Same, im sticking for them and I like Lee Jung Jin, he has a strong presence in whatever brief scene they give him as Lee Rim, so I'm hoping to see more of him now.

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Lee Jung Jin indeed has strong presence but there’s not enough backstory or something to be more scared of him. But I am hoping since the plot is slowly moving, finally

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Yeah that's the unfortunate part they aren't giving him much to do, they could have deep dived into his character psychology especially with his brother and being illegitimate

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To be honest, I'm scared of Lee Rim/Lee Jung Jin whenever he appears, like in a horror/thriller show, watching between fingers, my heart cannot take it, he is too evil, he is too good at acting....

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He would definitely pull wings off of butterflys.

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If episode 7 belonged to Woo Do Hwan, then episode 8 was Kim Kyung Nam's. Shin Jae was devastated - you could tell from the look in his eyes. WDH's & KKN's acting is superb in this drama.

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Indeed,totally into Shin Jae's story arc...I even felt a little bit guilty thinking his story is actually more leading role material with all the conflicts and story not to mention his chemistry with Tae Eul...

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I actually said this too. This feels like a Shin Jae drama altogether, and I think this is what is saving this show as well.

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Quite sure the Evil Rim wants to replace all the people from important places and aparent minor roles to make a siege again,all the people from the goverment,rich people,army,till the last one in the Palace would be his men while Gon would be all alone and easily removed or even killed in his own Palace without seeing coming.
He already infiltrated the Palace and would continue doing it in the same manner,taking advantage of one's misery and like a devil taint them showing what the other has...

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Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times YES! I would watch anything with either of those actors...Woo Dohwan's portrayal of his dual characters is so spot-on that I didn't even recognize his counterpart at first. And KKN has remarkable vulnerability that just breaks your heart.

As for our handsome lead, I think the writer has committed a rookie mistake. He's far too perfect. So noble, so brave, so smart, so kind, and on a WHITE HORSE? Please spare us from such banal perfection.

I think the Naval battle scene really was it for me. WTH was that supposed to be? In his formal uniform, with all his fruit salad and scrambled eggs on full display, insisting he be treated like any other crew member and then, steely-jawed, standing on the bridge and ordering his grateful subjects around...and what kind of naval strategy was that, btw? Were all those ships just going to confront each other head-on in a huge game of chicken?

Yes, I know it's just a drama, but come on! I can like cheesy as much as the next person, but this thing takes it too far.

Luckily, as a wiser person noted upthread, that is what FF is for. I'm just getting tired of becoming invested in shows where the main characters or storyline is painfully boring, and I am instead fixated to the secondary people. It's like another version of SLS, perhaps?

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It's gonna be a whole SLS for a lot of us. Really. The whole ship/war thing did not work for me.

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It is all about the archetypes. You know, the chess board in Alice in Wonderland. Each one in these characters is a different piece on a chess board. The King is in command of his side of the board. Lee Rim is the otherside. It is a metaphor. Tae-eul is the Queen, Court lady Noh is the Rook. The unbreakable swords, Yeong is a Knight and so is Eun-seob. If you think about it this way suddenly these relationships make a lot more sense. Just like a chess board the pieces look the same on both sides left and right.

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OOOOOHHHHH so Shin-jae would be the Bishop???

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A very elegant explanation, but then it led me to this:

This is not an absolute monarchy, but rather a constitutional one. If Lee Rin succeeds, then what? Will parliament accept him? Will the army flock to his side? Not to mention world opinion.

This other Corea is a first world nation and the Monarch is not Idi Amin. I mean, if Prince Andrew decides to take Prince Charles out in a coup, what good would it do him? How can it be any different here?

Yes, I know, I am overthinking it. Sorry, my bad.

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Civil war?
I think the Corea Palace has more power than the one in the UK. Young says that the King is Justice and Law. so that would be a combined judicial branch and social welfare role. The British Crown has a legal tax-exempt status however they do pay tax on their personal wealth voluntarily. The King of Corea owns the mineral wealth of the northern region and voluntarily pays tax also. Things look well managed because of the lack of income inequality. So maybe more like Denmark? Lee Rim would make short work of Parliament with that kind of power. He said the sword makes justice not noble ideas.
As far as over thinking goes, it is much better than under thinking in my opinion. You make an interesting point, If Charles and Andrew went head to head I think Queen Elizabeth would have to name the successor to the crown. In my family it would have to be my sister. She has queen in her DNA.

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Eeek, I messed up on the bold font. Take 2.
............
Lots of random thoughts. This is about as coherent as I can get for this show:

1) THAT TWIST!! Shin-Jae!!! I did not expect that it would turn out Shin-jae is from the parallel world. This puts a new spin on the amnesia trope. My poor hurting boy!! I'm ready for him to team up with WDH2, Tae-Eul and Gon now. Please???

2) Woo Do Hwan got into double trouble. I died. 🤣

3) I'm ready for Episode 9, mainly for the Scooby Gang. I don't care at all about the romance, but I like that Gon and Tae-Eul work as a team.

4) Could they make it even more obvious that yo-yo boy is FATE? Is Luna an agent of Fate? But oho, he likes to read at least. About King Arthur.... hmmm suspicious.

5) King Arthur: That's a king from a mythical kingdom that was lost in time, and legend says he will return one day. He also had a round table. And was betrayed. Nice. I really did not like the way Tae-Eul was called "Princess Diana" either. Both spell doom to me. Thanks a lot FATE.

6) *Gasp* Does this make the Unbreakable Swords knights like Lancelot and Galahad? And does this mean Evil Uncle is Morgana Le Fay? 🤣🤣
Wait, it's not a good idea for WDH to be Lancelot. Scratch that.

Thanks for the recap @quirkycase!

P.S.: I like Prime Minister's mom. She seems like a genuinely kind and hard-working lady. I'm terrified that Evil Uncle will hurt her to get to Prime Minister.

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Toki! You are still watching *high five*

1) I expected Shinjae to be important, so I wasn't surprised by the reveal. Ahaha

3) yes! I'm ready too! They make a good team. One is hot headed, another is super calm...and they have 2 very different JY and ES working for them, and a very broody Shinjae by their side, hopefully they will rope in Jangmi, I'm ready for some funny clashes!

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Yeah... there is one rule that governs this drama, and it's that the even-numbered episodes are better and end with a super cliffhanger.

So here I am. Hanging onto the cliff. :D

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Great point there about Yo-Yo Boy. I was wondering what the significance of Yo-Yo boy was... and your conjecture seems to make sense!

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It's not my conjecture though. Other beanies made that point before; I think @mei123db. I was actually hoping it's not the case, but the scene showing Yo-Yo Boy while Tae-eul talked about Fate was too much. He even has the red strings of fate on his yo-yo, which go back and forth in an eternal pendulum, searching for the "balance" we've been hearing about in eps. 7-8.

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I can’t take sole credit for it though. Some Beanies have figured that out earlier. In K dramas, I guess FATE trumps everything *sigh*

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@wishfultoki when they focused on the color of the string that the yo-yo was attached to I was wondering if there was a significance to the color. Thanks for answering this question :)

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I had to turn it off and wait to stop laughing after Tae Eul talked about fate. Thank you for the ab workout show.

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@wishfultoki hmmm interesting!!
1. For Shin-jae, I had my doubts since he remembered the symbol, but I will be really sad if he is hurt!!
2. The way Yeoung covered up with the act was totally hilarious. And I was excited to see the fight between Yeoung and Shin jae, it's like now you met your match hahah!!
3. Can't wait!!
4. That didn't cross my mind. Nice catch.
5. Don't know much about King Arther, thanks for the details
6. Won't like any of the unbreakable swords to get hurt 💔
7. For PM's mom, always such kind person are sacrificed for one's selfish motives. I know she already recognized uncle rim, but that can put her in some serious trouble!!

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Evil Uncle as Morgana Le Fay?! Now that’s an image I can’t get rid of! Lol

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Ravishing isn't he?

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Perfect!

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Here’s to being drama buddies once more, Toki!

The red string on that yo-yo killed me ~ as did the King Arthur and Princess Diana references ~ we really needed to have the fated ness of everything brought home more clearly, hm?

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Nice to see you Coco! I didn't know you were watching too, yay!

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My in-coherent version:

1. I'm thinking that team Pyeha are the 5 trusted people with the phone numbers that Tae-eul saved on his phone. That includes Shin-jae (please be on the good side).
2. I'm loving this rule breaker side of Unbreakable Sword. I want him punished for the disappearing mole. He is adorkable (pretending to be Eun-seob) when he gets reprimanded.
3. I came for the alternate history and staying for whatever else I'm in the mood for.
4. The cover of the book is of the Excalibur. That image of little Lee Gon picking up the heavy Tiger sword reminds me of young Arthur when he pulled the sword from the rock.
5. I'd prefer Guinevere over Princess Diana. Shin-jae can be Sir Lancelot.
6. I want Merlin. Prince Puyeong?

More parallel.
Seung-ah crushing on Yeong and Eun-seob is crushing on Nari.

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Merlin will be Luna 🎭. I was hoping Luna is a powerful witch who controls everything in the background. Hehe

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1. Thanks for reminding me about Team Pyeha. For some reason I don't fully trust Tae-eul's boss. He hasn't done anything suspicious except hide from his wife and disappear to "console" himself.

But I do think someone in the police force is on Evil Uncle's side. Otherwise how did the girl who murdered her flatmate end up in Uncle's hands instead of prison? I think she's being held at the care centre where the shady Admin lady who refused to give Tae-Eul any information about what happened 25 years ago is lending or renting Uncle a room to switch people, since he pays her electricity bills and we even saw the pregnant lady walking around the same place.

Sheesh, that sounds complicated even to me!

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They haven't said it, but it seems like Uncle is the care centre's Director.... It's the perfect place for switching people because they can easily forge death certificates. Clues: Admin lady seemed quite savy when she asked for a search warrant, pregnant woman hanging around there, and the comment that the Director is often away

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“It’s time for Gon’s slo-mo walk of the day.”
Sigh, it used to be such a powerful scene in Mr. Sunshine, now in The King it has become a laughing stock. But for me, the most frustrating is about Tae-eul’s decision “to love her fate.” That “I love you” is like paying the debt. No doubt that’s why Kim Go-eun’s acting of loving Gon is like flipping a switch.

I hate things about “fate”. I guess if a woman is having a “fate” to fall in love with me, then I don’t need to take effort to maintain the relationship, but just let her embrace me, just like Gon did to Tae-eul in the end of Ep.1 What a BS.

Her Luna, on the other hand, is refreshing, although there are just a limited of exposure, but I still think it is some kind of frash air. She is not as evil as we think, even kind in some occasion, like towards the Yo-yo Boy. The Yo-yo Boy, on the other hand, is he some kind of God who is observing the world? I am curious towards this boy.

We joke about the show has become The King: PPL Monarch in the last episode. This is one of the most annoying nature in this show. I said last time Crash Landing on You was annoying because they didn’t do enough research on what North Korean love on luxury cars (They have lots of Mercedes, not Jaguar and Land Rover), but @bluecouchpotato rightly pointed out, “at the very least the Jaguar in Crash Landing on You was integral to that scene and the plot, and you don't hear your lead character spouting off about the product.” I do drink quiet a lot of bubble tea from The Alley, and I don’t I need instruction to know how to drink one of those.

Honestly, I miss Kim Eun-soek in Mr. Sunshine. I should watch that again sometimes later to heal my mental imbalance result from this very show and my lost of faith toward Writer Kim. It hurt me even more then seeing Sun-woo struggling with her divorce.

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As an all-powerful force that moves everything, FATE didn't make an appearance in MR. SUNSHINE, because we knew from the beginning what the historical outcome would be. Even if there were things beyond their control, everything that happened was because of characters' choices. We saw time and time again how the characters weighed their options, and that if needed, they could walk to their deaths knowingly, not blindly as if dictated by Fate. I really respected that about MR. SUNSHINE.

However, in Kim Eun Sook's fantasy dramas, FATE has been all too often a deus ex machina that makes things happen just because. I know some things happen mysteriously in this life, and you could call it fate, but I don't like the way she downplays free will in her fantasy dramas. Maybe it's a cultural thing. I'm still thinking about the underlying issue here.

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Yeah I agree. It really seemed like she has resigned herself to fate. There have been fated love dramas where leads have fallen in love in a meaningful way, fate being separate. Theres also the placing of their scenes. They already have such less screen time together but theres never any context or follow up to what happens in their scenes, and then its shown much later.

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That fate thing really made my angry hair shoot through the roof in The King. As @wishfultoki rightly pointed out, in Mr. Sunshine even the most pessimistic like Eugene Choi, he still believe Jeseon's fall can be delay, and Ae-shin even killed Wan-ik, the pro-Japanese minister who based on a real life minister who signed the treaty to allow Korea being annexed by Japan. No doubt that's why last time Mr. Sunshine, which portrait lots of Japanese colonial atrocities, doesn't get as much complaint by the Japanese audience then this time in The King, which showcase a naval battle express nothing but simple patriotism.

This is also why Tae-eul's "I love you" is so cheap in this very drama (I called that paying the debt, because it is exactly that. Love is surely on sale here, for fate has done all the work you need to do, so just eat love when it is served.

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I'm not that familiar with Kim Eun-sook's writing style. I've only finished and love City Hall. I haven't finished watching Mr Sunshine yet but I will at some point.

Maybe comparing The King to Mr Sunshine is kind of unfair? One is based on a real historical events and the other is based on a myth.
Fate is a common trope in fiction fantasy but it has no place in a more traditional sageuk.

The King's political conflicts kind of mirror some of the current politics in Korea.
There is the trade war with Japan, the inter-Korean summit meeting, the North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit (Trump) etc.
"Shorten the gap" like Lee Gon said but in real life it's between some of these countries.
I think there is still hope for a unification of the Korean peninsula or some kind of cross border interaction.

In the drama, King Munmu was the first king of the unification of the 3 kingdom era and it happened because of China's help.

Yes there is flaws and I totally understand the complaints. It doesn't bother me at all because I had no expectations.

What I find interesting is the boring politics lol.

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I have a humble question to ask: What is a "Sageuk"?

Wikipedia definition: "Sageuk (사극/史劇) in Korean denotes historical dramas, including traditional drama plays, films or television series. In English language literature sageuk usually refers to historical films and television series (of South Korea) ... Popular themes of sageuk include elements from Korean folklore and mythology, famous or notorious princes, kings, national heroes and famous women."

Certainly Dae Jang Geum is a Sageuk, Queen for Seven Days should be a Sageuk. Moon Embracing The Sun and The Crowned Clown is called “Fusion Sageuk”. But how about The Hymn of Death, even When My Love Blooms (it features a period in 1995, mind you)?

I don’t think “Sageok” is a genre that clear cut now, especially after 2018. First of all, we surely don’t define the last 2 dramas in above examples as “Sageoks” simply because they have storylines happening in the pass, either as a whole or in part. My second argument is: both Mr. Sunshine and The King are not Sageoks, even they have elements of a Sageok; therefore they can surely be compare as equals.

Certainly Sageuk must follow historical fact in a general sense; therefore we can’t give Park Min-yeong’s character in Queen for Seven Days a happy ending, even in The Crowned Clown, Lee Hon must die in the end (I doubt if he is a bad guy in history though). Even Asthdal Chronicles is a Sageuk because it discusses the birth of a nation, probably Geoyeo, for some place in Korean myth is featured (It is another issue though, as we are talking about if it is an easy-to-understand story).
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On the other hand, I believe both Mr. Sunshine and The King are not Sageoks; they are modern K-dramas with some elements of a Sageok. In Mr. Sunshine, a national heroes (Righteous Army, as a whole) is featured, and in The King is the King himself (Lee Gon, in terms of a Fusion Sageok), but most of the time both stories feature a pretty modern love story (Mr. Sunshine having 3 man chasing a woman, who herself is very modern in every sense; and in The King has a woman who is not born in blue blood, although having “fate” involved is not very modern itself). Both dramas also feature quite a lot of PPL, which doesn’t exist in Sageok (In fact, the coffee shop in the hotel as well Paris Buegette in Mr. Sunshine is featured in a genius way, not as blatant as in The King).

Therefore, in my opinion, Mr. Sunshine and The King are comparable as equal. Afterall, Kim Eun-seok is not good to write Sageok, and she is not famous to do so.
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@imperialtitus
This is a question that would be better explained in details by Mr X (our history guru) but he is not around any more.

In short without getting all complicated, a sageuk is a historical drama, film, play etc.
Now there are different types of sageuks and it'll hurt my head if I try to explain because English is not my native language.
You can get the idea here from this site's point of view. http://koreanhistoricaldramas.com/introduction-to-sageuks/

"Mr Sunshine" would be under sageuk category. It's a fictional take on real "historical" events.

"The King" is a mixed genre with some historical fantasy elements.
I wouldn't call The King a sageuk because it's not.

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Hold on, guys! I was just comparing MR. SUNSHINE and THE KING based on the fact that both are Kim Eun Sook dramas, and to contrast the role of "fate". They are different genres, yes. MR. SUNSHINE is based on history, with fictional characters, while THE KING is fantasy fiction. In terms of genre, THE KING and GOBLIN are more comparable.

I was just pointing out that Fate was not a power that moved characters in MR. SUNSHINE, because they had agency even in the worst case scenarios. In contrast, in this drama Fate is explicitly being presented as a Force that seeks balance in this drama.

I have spoken. :D

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@wishfultoki

I do agree with fate not being a factor when it comes to the likes of "Mr Sunshine."
On the other hand I would expect it from a fiction fantasy genre like "The King."
That's my point but you already know that because I was stating the obvious haha.

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Fate is the ubiquitous deus ex machina engineered to repair plotholes, lack of chemistry, dragged-on storytelling, and cardboard characters. Fate a.k.a. Yoyo Boy will "walk the dog," go "around the world" and "rock the baby" and command all our brains to reset from Episode 1 and then jump to 7. There's no such thing as Episodes 2 to 6... except those that involve Yeong and Euon-seob...

May the FORCED be with you!

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Lol. I love the phrase "just because"... sums up this drama that easily.

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You've said right, @wishfultoki, "fate" is the cheap stake, a short cut, a lazy way for a screenwriter when she doesn't want do develop a simple love story in a complicate multi-world fantasy drama. The problem is, if she want to write a drama that touches people, she doesn't need to make the world so complicated, in which she is incapable of.

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The fact that Lee Gon is alive is not fate. Someone saved him and "left" Ta Eul's ID. Gon himself is a Mathematician and we see that he fully knows his cards on his world(the way he got Ta Eul out of the palace by manipulating the head court lady to this decision, and making Yeong thinks he convinced the King to go with him). People are still making decisions Lee Rim is positioning his minions but something bad is looming so let's just live. I understand what you are saying but fate in the case of such a woman who clearly like to take charge is accepting that she is not in control of everything. She iinvestigates murders for a living and Gon is surrounded by death... Why not just love such a fine man lol

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I am sorry to take this example, @imjustafan: Oh, if fate has it that I will kill you, will you sit there and let me kill you? You want to fall in love with a handsome man? fine; talk about fate in terms of a philosophical idea? Even better: When My Love Blooms somehow touch on this subject ("When they should be together, they will meet again somehow in the future"), and they are executing it in a way better manner. For The King? I don't think so. When writing this I have watched Ep.9, they have even more sweet moments, even a discussion about "fate"; but sorry, I don't even feel a thing but nauseating. Sorry to say another offending example: if you satisfy by simply these, I would suggest you to go see a porn movie: beautiful girl and handsome guy (sometimes more than a pair) just kiss and go to bed right at the moment without any build up, and don't waste my time.

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I have no idea what you are talking about and I hope you are ok. Take care^_^

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My message is not that hard to understand: the message about fate of this drama is sucks (that's why the example of killing), and the love relation has no build up (that's why I compare the drama as porn). No mean to offend to you (that's why I said sorry if you feel that), but I think two strong examples are much easier to understand. That's all.

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The PPL was kind of condescending towards the consumer. Wonder who's bright idea it was to write it into the dialogue like that. Hope this doesn't become a trend in Kdramas going forward.

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The PPL was AWFUL in this episode. At least make a small effort to integrate it! The lingering label shots and the awkward dialogue was horrible.

There are only so many times I can get yanked out of the story. Between the out-of-the-blue “I Love you” and the PPL, I spent more time thinking about the production elements than the story. Poor showing.

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Probably the FL from “this is my first life” 😂.

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This was a PPL episode. Both cop stakeout was all about PPL.
Jang Mi my princess, I'll buy that Kimchi.
He looked like a CF queen when he was holding it lol.

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Me too. I still see Jangmi as the King of Pegasus Market, so I'd buy anything from him.

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I thought he was one of Rim's men when he found the murder weapon. It seemed like he knew where it was and the whole thing was staged.
Now I'm not so sure.

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Jangmi will ALWAYS be the King of Pegasus Market!

(at least to me)

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it was overt in Touch Your Heart as well. I think its a trend carried over from C-drama. Ive seen a lot of chinese dramas that do heavy ppl.

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It is especially in Ep.16 of Touch Your Heart, to be more specific (I actually find the phone charging scenario funny). Yes, probably since C-movie Aftershock they are going all the way advertising explicitly, and it is horrible (and that is why I never watch C-movie or C-drama). I didn't see that much drama that bold yet, except BB.Q chicken in Crash Landing on You (but even that, most of the time they just sit there and eat, or having drama around the restaurant, not praising the product right from their mouth, or offering instruction). If K-drama going this way, it will not be a good sign.

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Didn't like 'I wil accept my fate and will love you' theme. Really. I'm terms of fairyland where the prince would save the princess would be more connecting than this. *sigh* let's give up on love story. I like both of them working like two detectives

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I am getting very interested in the plot and I like it when characters discuss plot and/or discover plot and/or interact with alternates.

I do chicken out whenever romantic song starts and then I ff till I feel I am at a moment where they seem to discuss plot. Then I stop and move on. It has been working for me as thankfully, they have cut down romantic scenes.

But, I do agree, I am confused with who is who with smaller characters. I am depending on recaps & comments for that!!

This random balance thing has me for a bit of a loop but I am kinda assuming it is the writer trying to tell us 'one of the character must die or they must close the gate'.

No matter how much of my brain I do not use, killing someone and calling it balance is a bit strange. I would totally understand if there is a serial murderer who goes around using 'balance' as justification for killing but the fact that a regular character also said the same thing in the same episode makes me think writer needs us to believe that is the theme here.

Whatever!

There is still fun left.

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Do u not see “balance” as being a propaganda tool being sold by the populist leader, LR? I don’t think the plot is about murder, it is about control and power. Violence is a tool wherein LR himself doesn’t indulge in it much as much as propagate it through his philosophy.
#justAnOpinion

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I'm not emotionally attached with any of the characters but writing wise, it’s hard for me not to root for a character like Shinjae. He has a confusing childhood (a mix of Corea and Korea), has a possible one-sided crush, and he’s a hard working cop with a gambler mum, who causes a lot of trouble for him.

As of ep 8, imo Shinjae’s character is better written and is much more compelling than Lee Gon. Hopefully as Shinjae’s character is peeled more, Lee Gon's character will be peeled more too.

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I am now in this 100% for Shin-Jae. His arc has been more natural than anyone else’s, his struggle to be a good person is admirable, and his anguish at reconciling his memories with Lee Gon is fascinating. I would watch an entire show about Shin-Jae realizing his mom isn’t his bio mom, that he’s in the wrong world, and that this random guy is actually his king.

I also like Young, and frankly would watch him untangling his emotions with the palace PR girl/cafe supercar owner. Even Lee Gon works for me on some level.

I am having a really, really hard time with the female lead, including the new Luna development. Something feels completely off. I’m just not engaged.

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I love a good fight sequence and you could see the skill level between Yeong and Shin Jae, one was definitely someone trained to protect a king and another good fighter who was holding on but not at that level like Yeong. So I think the choreography was really good there.

Whether Shin Jae is a bargaining tool or is more then that, I agree his character is the most nuanced and one that I want to follow. I like Do hwan as the two roles it gives the drama some levity. Both of them really are the highlights, they are pulling overtime for this drama lol. I wouldnt mind a bromance between them similar to Bucky and Sam from captain America

I much prefer whatever romance they are doing with Na Ri and Yeong they have a lot more chemistry and it's fun to watch. It's to bad about the main romance, there is something missing and I just connect to them at all. I think the romance is the weakest part of this show, narrative wise.

On another note, is it me or Lee Gon more or less coming off one dimensional, as for Tae Eul feels like her character is a bit lost in the narrative at the moment, I'm glad Luna came along for Kim go Eun at least.

I wonder if Lee Gon will meet Luna? Also I wonder if shin Jae would meet Luna, both would be interesting.

Looks like they are doing something more with the prime minister, honestly dislike how they keep on making her run after Lee Gon and getting jealous.they didnt set that up properly for us to feel like she is into Lee Gon and feel kinda bad that her feelings aren't being given back by him.

But finally, I'm happy they are catching up on Lee Rim now and things can get moving now. I did enjoy ep 8 the most and give me more fight scenes pls.

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On another note, is it me or Lee Gon more or less coming off one dimensional

I agree. He's played more nuanced characters before. As someone who has watched all of Lee Min Ho's dramas and liked them all (except Heirs), it pains me to say this, but Lee Gon is totally bland now. 😞 I thought he was a sort of detached nerd, but he should be at least raising his eyebrows to indicate some emotion. He has the same blank look all the time. Kim Gon Eun is trying to react to him but it's like watching someone trying to climb a smooth slope. I've seen him much better than this, so I don't know if this is an acting or directing problem, or both.

If he is going to say ridiculous lines he should just embrace the cheese right? Is he trying to look kingly all the time? Kings have feelings too! They're not just pretty statues. Woo Do-hwan looked like he was physically in pain during the "merciful punishment" scene. Gon's best scenes happen in the palace, interacting with Lady Noh, so I hope he gets back soon.

Re. Yeong and Na-ri: I don't really want Yeong to fall for her because that will make things even more complicated, but at the same time it's hilarious to see him try out cheesy lines and not get the expected swooning reaction. That's how you do cheesy rom-com moments!

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I feel that Gon is underwritten, compared to the others. He's the titular character but he's not given anything much to do in 8 eps. He looks kingly, he's smart and share math equations etc. Shinjae has a complex background, now it feels that the drama is shifting to him as the center. Shinjae connects Corea-Korea-Lee Rim-Gon-Taeul. Whenever Gon wants to show his fighting skills, his trusted bodyguard JY will leap into action, leaving Gon standing by the side with no action. Whenever JY-ES are in the same scene with Gon, Gon fades as the 2 doppelgangers bicker.

Acting is one thing. But Gon as a character as of ep 8, is severely undewritten for a titular character. We don't see his struggles, we don't get to see his pain. He grew up from a kid crying after his dad died to a prim and proper mathematician king. There are no layers to his character, the most emotion I saw adult Gon express was when he lost his breath remembering the moment Uncle tried to kill him. After that he's the same calm dude. Because of that, I think he comes across as boring on screen.

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That's a good way of putting it. A lot of the character fleshing-out in KES dramas happens through their witty conversations. For some reason I think that KES chooses big stars, gives them lots of cheesy lines, and leaves the interpretation up to them (and the director). In this case there is a breakdown somewhere between writer, director and actor.

Another factor is that the drama has way too many characters, so it's hard to focus on any of them. But I agree that as the titular character we should know more about Lee Gon. I was surprised for instance to know that he had discovered that "In-Between Place" a while ago. It would have been nice to step in there with him for the first time. But there's no time for that, because the show wants to show us more random people and their doppelgangers. Sigh.

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LMH has made blandness an art in the character of Lee Gon. The only time I have encountered fire in him was in the hug scene. But, that fire is a long- forgotten memory, buried in the ashes of a promise that never came to fruitation. Lee Gon has to be the most boring king to ever walk across the screen. So boring that they have to slow him down and make him float ethereally so that his prettiness can drown the fogginess that clouds my mind the moment he opens that beautiful mouth.

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YY write a script for him. I think you of all people have the ability to write detailed character traits to make him more interesting.

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I agree with Katak you should. Your discriptions make the characters more interesting than they are. You can turn this around...

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@katakwasabi @amy1009

I feel so frustrated with the character. Like he could have been so much more. And they squandered it by writing in so many scenes that could have been done away with, and replaced with a deeper, darker fleshing out of the character.

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I don't know if I want to read The Return of Errand Boy Girl and Hot-Cold CEO From A Parallel World, but the public has spoken @yyishere.

I'll play the piano if you need me to. :D

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Noooooo...@wishfultoki! It won't be like hot cold ceo and errand boy girl. Pretty sure @13infamyss won't allow @yyishere to torture Gon like she tortured hot cold CEO 😱

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But by God it is a beautiful mouth. The lipstick that they put in him is thankfully not too obnoxious 😄

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Pretty sure @13infamyss won't allow @yyishere to torture Gon like she tortured hot cold CEO 😱

I volunteer as Editor in Chief! And I will review too the pictures she will use for her Lee Min Ho novel before she posts then......

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@katakwasabi Weren't we just discussing about Gon's lack of character layers? 😅 And now we have, finally, the emergence of a darker, more vindictive Gon.

Yeong still holds my attention in that scene, though. That cold brutality almost reminds me of Lee Rim, and it's frightening to imagine where his loyalty to Gon will take him.

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Wow wow if i am not mistaken we have a really huge lee min ho anti fans here because to me lee min ho need a standing ovation for never making this drama dull their are so many excellence characters here but still he make his acting noticeable to he is very convincing more than those side characters keep it up LEE MIN HO

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@nafson relax. We are discussing Gon the drama character, not the actor. The character is unfortunately less compeling (as of Ep 8) compared to the other detailed characters around him.

Hopefully writer-nim will give Gon's character more background as the drama continues, details and layers will make the character more interesting. I do think as the drama digs deeper into Shinjae's story, more stories about Gon will be revealed too. Let's see what happens in ep9 +.

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@nafson Relax! As I've already mentioned in previous posts, I don't need to be an anti-fan to point out flaws in a drama. If Lee Min Ho lights up the scene for you as Lee Gon is right now, that's perfectly fine. However, as @katakwasabi said, we're criticising the character, not the actor. And It's precisely because I know what Lee Min Ho is capable of as an actor that I can say that he can actually do so much more when given the opportunity.

Hopefully, we do get to see that potential in upcoming episodes.

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I had thought the show picked up at Episode 4 but Episode 8 was what what was really needed. We got answers finally! The ID card mystery is resolved and most people got their theory about Shin-jae right. Also the PM's backstory from the phone news.
Some of the reveals were really surprising- the PM's mother recognizing Lee Rim and Shin-Jae crying while Gon was crying!

I'm really enjoying this reversal with Eun-seob having a crush on Na-ri. We are definitely going to get two couples there! Did anyone notice that Na-ri's hair was long in this episode?
Lee Rim and Luna are not working together yet so that's good news.

These doppelgangers have so much information to keep in mind and have to kill their doppelganger. How will Lee Rim ensure their loyalty till the end? Now it's a race between Tae-eul and Lee Rim's sidekick to locate the phone.

That conversation with the restaurant was intense! Lee Gon's suicide order was really dark and menacing. What a change in demeanour! Then in the next scene hes having milk tea with Tae-eul!

Woo Do-hwan and Kim Go-eun are both owning their double roles! Total opposites both of them!
I think the cross-dimensional scooby gang is a major possibility!

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Agree!! Lots of things got clarified in this episode like the finger prints of Luna is also getting matched with Taeul so I'm ok directors didn't missed this. We are still left to imagination of what Uncle rim has been plotting since last 25 years. I think he would suddenly start the Rebel against Gon and this time he has all the support from big leaders. Boy that may not end well with adding up the Japanese invasion!
I like Luna, she is scary but with morals. But if she joins hands with uncle rim, that will be very difficult for team Gon.
Let's hope shin jae understands the situation and makes right decision, even for sake of Taeul.
I like do hwan a lot and that's the only fun part in the story!!!

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The suicide order was chilling! And it was fast, I didn't see that coming from Gon

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It was also a great juxtaposition of their approaches. LG could easily have ordered JY to kill the traitor in front of them. The next option was to send him back to Corea.

But to differentiate their kind, LG pointed it out - LR & goons were murderers. The Monarchy is not.

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Yes, but ordering the guy's immediate suicide, without further investigation, without a trial, it's a bit on the crazy autocrat side, no?
On the other hand, who cares? The trail of bodies is getting so crowded that when someone else gets killed I'm like meh, whatever

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1.at the start, The King gave him a chance to tell his story
2. The man did not deny his association with LR
3. He scoffed at The King! Even had the gall to say that The King may end up like his father
4. And LG remembered him being one of the traitors
5. Lastly he confirmed his crime by claiming "balance" as justification

And you still think there is a need for investigation or trial? And that LG is being a crazy autocrat?

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Gon wanted to bring him back to Corea, most likely to stand trial, but the man asked to just be killed instead, hence Gon's command. Still terrifying, though.

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Hey! I don’t think that LR needs to maintain their loyalty :)

As I wrote somewhere else I think it is about conversion and then just following a doctrine. I see LR as a populist leader. He provides an attractive deal and once people accept that deal then they are pawns. The vision of a better life keeps them on his side. His few interactions show that:
I can’t cure your son but you can see the ones who mistreated your son punished. (If is implied)
No one has refused my proposal but you could do that and then the pregnant lady’s conversion from being righteous to black was interesting.

He picks in people who are at the vulnerable worst... ready to give up and die.
Luna has money but when she learns she is going to die then what offer will this man who claims to be god make for her to go over to his side... or not?

My take @edgarpordwed :)

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Would it interest you to know that two of the mentioned rare minerals are used to cure cancer? Coincidence?

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Ohhh I didn’t know that! Now we are on to something @mychoiyoung

Thanks. I am ready for whatever this show will throw at me. Please keep sharing interesting stuff like this.

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PLUS, the flute has been said to cure diseases (epi 1), among other powers. Perhaps it just needs to be fused to harness its full force.

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I was thinking that Shin-jae might be Lee Rim's son and he and Lee Gon are related. I'm sure it's a stretch, but these are the reasons I was thinking that:
-I think he addressed him very informally (he called him 이곤이야). I'm not that great with Korean yet, but would an older relative address a younger relative as such?
-The Lee Jong-In's family was sent abroad, so wouldn't Lee Rim send away someone like a son to protect him after what he did?
Just what I was thinking but I may be totally off.

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But the picture of shin Jae's appa in his current world doesn't look like Lee Rim at all. Iirc, it was shown after the young shin-jae woke up from his long comma.

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Oh okay--I didn't notice that! I will definitely take a look (any excuse to rewatch episodes :) ) But is it the case with everyone that they have the same people as their relatives on both sides? The pregnant woman who's going to be going over and living as Prime Minister Koo's sister isn't related to her on the side she's currently on (as far as we know). Eun Seob has a sibling, but Jo Yeong doesn't. I don't remember what Eun Seob's parents looked like in the picture though, so I'm not sure if the father is the same on both sides. Whatever the case is, I can't wait to see it all revealed!

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ES and JY’s father is the same.

Episode one man holding baby JY in some uniform during the mourning.

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@mano and @courtcourtcourt

According to this review he is looking at photos and practicing in the mirror. We do not know the chronology of it.

I think SJ is definitely related to LG. Not sure if he is the doctor uncle’s son, being used as a chip by LR or is he really related to LR. He could also be some close supporter’s son which is why father figure is not shown in person but mom is still working for the palace.

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