Mr. Queen: Episodes 15-16 Open Thread
Our hero starts sharing his knowledge of the future with the hopes of changing the king’s, the country’s, and his own fate. But will it work? Will it do more harm than good? As our king and queen join forces, some dangerous lines start to be crossed, and our hero is at risk of losing his former identity forever.
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP
Hooray, as was hinted last week, little Dam Hyang isn’t dead! Instead, it’s all a giant cover-up to save the girl and reunite her safely with her mother, outside of the court. Because the court, as we’ve seen, is getting more dangerous by the day.
The rescue of Dam Hyang serves to bring Cheoljong and So-yong together even more, and this week their partnership is in full swing. And thanks to this, and the progress Cheoljong made in the court last week, a lot of things are changing in the palace.
To start, the Andong Kims are all but cut off at the ankles, and seeing Cheoljong wipe out the corruption at the court was quite satisfying. The ledger might be in the wrong hands (and how it passed through those hands was finally revealed by Hwa-jin), but fear not, the information was memorized and shared thanks to So-yong’s father. That means evidence, and Cheoljong doesn’t waste his time cleaning house.
Among other important changes in the palace, Byung-in is now the Minister of War, battling head-to-head with Cheoljong. Interestingly, and despite knowing that the queen has “abandoned her clan” to support the king, he’s still completely devoted to her. He even tries to reconfirm that devotion — especially the romantic side of it — but he’s quite sharply spurned by So-yong.
And so, at this point in the story we have a Kim So-yong (or rather, Jang So-yong, as she declares herself) who has slowly but surely overturned everything about the previous So-yong. Our new So-yong makes decisions that she wants to, and that benefit her.
Old alliances don’t stand for much, but new alliances — they’re the things that matter. And that, of course, is what we see between the king and queen this week. Between So-yong not caring for her clan’s agenda, getting her revenge against the ladies in the court, and sharing some secrets of the future with Cheoljong and his crew — things are escalating quite quickly.
So-yong is a bit reckless with sharing future information (be it historical information, giving military and tactical advantage, etc.), but I think she’s realized just how dire the fight is. It’s still a bit of a game, full of strategies and side-choosing, but it’s also a serious one with serious outcomes.
Seeing Cheoljong and So-yong bond was a lot of fun, but beyond the actual bonding and late-night study sessions, I found the outcomes particularly satisfying. Cheoljong becoming a true and just ruler. So-yong becoming a major player in the court and delivering revenge (even to the likes of Kim Jwa-geun) (and OMG that tiny sword!). And in the best stroke yet: together, these two are becoming the Joseon power couple.
Although we still have our fair share of silly hijinks, side character sketches, and lots of fun scenes in the royal kitchen, this week really belonged to our power couple. Oh, and so did that bomb-drop of an ending.
We are not left wondering about So-yong’s sudden nausea for long: at the end of our episodes this week, the court physician confirms that So-yong is pregnant. Cheoljong is giddy, everyone else in the room is ecstatic, and So-yong looks like her world has just been turned inside out. Which is rather accurate.
Just when you think Mr. Queen went as far as they were going to — nope, there’s more! And So-yong being pregnant seems like a pretty irreversible move for the trajectory of this character. Last week I estimated So-yong was only 25% Bong-hwan at this point in the story, but after this huge reveal, it feels like we now have an official queen on our hands. Well, a queen with a really wacky, 21st century personality.
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