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Mr. Queen: Episodes 17-18 Open Thread

In the tumultuous world of the Joseon court, one day you’re on top, and the next you’re at the mercy of your enemies, pushed to the edge of a cliff. Sometimes quite literally. As our court conflicts reach an all-new high, we’re looking at quite a lot of drama, heartbreak, and some sacrifices for the greater good.

 
EPISODES 17-18 WEECAP

Jang So-yong is in quite a funk over her pregnancy. Though the entire court is rejoicing (well, except for the antis), she’s understandably confused, overwhelmed, and experiencing her identity crisis all the more.

In contrast, Cheoljong is on top of the world with an heir on the way, a queen he loves and trusts, and the power in his hands to take back Joseon. Alas, the power-hungry evil doers in the court are not okay with this, and never seem to stop.

A rumor is quickly released in the palace, and it spreads like wildfire: So-yong’s baby is not Cheoljong’s – it’s Byung-in’s. We all know that’s bunk, but how do our king and queen try to prove it? Like a bunch of teenagers, carrying on with fake PDAs in public, trying to change the court’s collective perception.

It’s mostly for hijinks and comedy at this point, but actually the show makes a pretty sharp statement about rumor versus truth when the grand queen dowager declares that, “What everyone believes will become the truth.” However, this rumor turns out to be the least of our couple’s troubles, because deeper and darker games are afoot. Undermining the royal heir was only the beginning.

The queen dowager is scrambling for power with her clan, but it’s really the grand queen dowager that comes back like a boomerang. She negotiates with Byung-in, and quickly claws her way back into power. With the snap of her fingers, all the corrupt officials are back, and everything Cheoljong was working for is inverted. Talk about frustrating!

Why can’t Cheoljong fight back against this? Because he is in their crosshairs, in a serious way. Byung-in has linked him to the rebel uprising, imprisoned his loyal men, and forced Cheoljong to go on the run (under the ruse of quelling the uprising). For Cheoljong, it’s the only way to save So-yong and protect his child, so it’s an easy — though heavy — choice for him to make.

What was most interesting to me this week was this new side of Byung-in we are seeing. Every week this man gets worse. But what’s interesting about Byung-in is that he stills seems to be driven by his “love” for So-yong. He wants to protect her and her baby’s life with the same fervor Cheoljong does (or claims he does) — but because of where they stand on the political spectrum, this protection looks very different for each of them.

This dynamic changes a bit this week, though, when So-yong confronts Byung-in even more strongly than she did when spurning his affection. She boldly tells him she’s not the So-yong he loved in the past, and even questions why he didn’t pick up on how different she is now. This is interesting, because it seems to connect some dots that Byung-in was unable to on his own. If his beloved So-yong isn’t So-yong and there’s an imposter in her place… that imposter is an enemy.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Mr. Queen is so, so good at cliffhangers! And this week they were especially good, as the drama circled back to the same high-stakes moment for both of our leads, making for some nice, tight storytelling. And an exciting watch.

The first cliffhanger, at the end of Episode 17, is with Byung-in and Cheoljong facing off (again). They’re out of the palace, so the gloves are off, and they fight pretty fiercely. Cheoljong is soon over-powered, though, and facing death at Byung-in’s hands, he dives off the cliff into the sea instead.

Word of the king’s “death” quickly reaches the court, and again we see the swift power of information (or perhaps, misinformation) as it circulates and has some serious consequences. The grand queen dowager and her cronies are quick to declare the king dead and take over — but this is where So-yong reaches an interesting place in her trajectory.

She’s now not only fully embracing her pregnancy, but she’s fully committed to Cheoljong as well — i.e., quite in love. This shift was pretty inevitable, but also interesting because it’s mostly the reality of her new circumstances that help her accept her emotions. The news of Cheoljong’s death is enough to break her, but when she sneakily realizes it’s all a hoax, it’s her turn for some adventure.

And so, So-yong, Lady Choi, and Hong Yeon sneak out of the palace on a mission to find Cheoljong, save him, and restore the balance. This just might be my favorite plot direction of the entire drama — it’s a breath of fresh air to get out of the palace, and the rules of engagement are different and a welcomed change.

However, the women are not exactly a match for Byung-in and his men, and they’re pretty quickly located. Lady Choi bravely sacrifices herself for So-yong’s safety, and Hong Yeon soon does the same (I blindly refuse to believe they actually came to harm — don’t you dare, Show!). But even with their brave sacrifices, So-yong doesn’t get very far.

In a spine-chilling (and awesome!) moment, So-yong looks up from her hiding place only to see a truly evil-looking Byung-in staring down at her. Ahh! She tries to run away, but pretty soon finds herself in the exact same position Cheoljong was in at the end of the previous episode. Death by Byung-in’s sword, or a dive off the cliff into the sea?

It’s a great moment, and I’m excited to see where they take it. The confrontation between these two is exciting in and of itself, but even more so with Byung-in screaming about what she did to the “real” So-yong.

Also, let’s not forget the huge Episode 1 callback here: So-yong/Bong-hwan is about to dive into a huge body of water to escape oncoming demise. This can’t be a mere coincidence. Will it change something, trigger something, or reveal something? Will So-yong even jump, or will Byung-in have mercy? I don’t know! And please, no spoilers — not even a whisper — till we reach next week’s finale.

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Anti-fans! I haven’t had the best reception towards this show so far (looking at my posts and comments will be telling) but I’ve been seeing praises across the web for this drama and am very perplexed at the outpouring of love.

I am looking to hear perspectives of others who are also watching the show and would appreciate if you could objectively comment on the following aspects:

1) Story:
- What differentiates this saguek from other sagueks?
- Do you think that the comedy is supporting the politics or vice versa?
- Have there been any plot holes or moments where you had to suspend your disbelief?

2) Characterisation:
- Would you say that the characters are easily defined as good or evil?
- Are character motivations generally simple or complex?
- How are the supporting characters developed as compared to the main cast?

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1) Story:
- Not sure about differentiation. It could be similar to some other sagueks in some aspects but unique in a sense that the king is historically known as a fool, which in this case he's not. Along with the fact that a modern man entered the body of a female of the past.
- Comedy isn't meant to support politics vice versa. It's to provide and carry the lighthearted mood and vibe of the show. Nothing in relation to one another.
- The whole show is based on something unbelievable. Suspend your belief from the start. That's the point.

2) Characterisation:
- There is a pretty clear definition, but everyone does everything for their own reasons and agendas.
- Motivations are simple to understand. It's not meant to be complex- as you can tell from the whole vibe of the show.
- Supporting characters have nowhere as near as much development as the main characters. Again, it's not meant to be a complex show.

From the questions you have put out, I think the main issue is it isn't your type of show at all. Why look for complexity and depth in a show that openly displayed itself as a relatively lighthearted comedy? For others, enjoy it for what it is. Drop it if it isn't your type of show.

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I agree. I've had to stop thinking about why the body swap happened, and what happened to So Yong in Bong Hwan's body. I don't even want to think about how SoBong possibly changes the course of history.

Show just offers a joy ride with an outstanding cast, laugh-out-loud jokes, marvelous costumes, etc. Just enjoy it.

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1) Why look for complexity and depth in a show that openly displayed itself as a relatively lighthearted comedy?

The show did that for like the first two weeks ... after the cliffhanger in Episode 4 where Bong Hwan hilariously tries to one-up the King over protecting a woman, the comedy just went downhill as the fish-out-of-water hijinks ceased and the love pentagon (as well as politics later) started to dominate the show. I wouldn't say it even pretended it was still about comedy even before the first half ended.

2) Drop it if it isn't your type of show.

I mean I picked up the show thanks to Shin Hye Sun and I'm still staying with it because of her acting. And I don't think I'll drop it when I've watched the penultimate week. If I dropped every show I didn't like objectively, there wouldn't be a lot of shows to watch. Anyway, this is besides the point, I'm trying to find other objective reviews of the show.

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I actually think the show gets even funnier and finds its groove after episode 4, but honestly- it's just more ridiculous comedy hijinks and politics and if that isn't your thing I wouldn't bother- or wait until all the episodes are done.

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The comedy did not go downhill, I guess it didn't suit your taste anymore, which is fine..

I remember thinking, when watching the episode dealing with the aftermath of CJ blowing himself up, that even at a time when serious things were happening they still couldn't do without comedy..I mean, it was a tense part of the episode, yet we had SY's father "threatening" to hang himself in front of Kim Jwa-geun in a way that just made me laugh out loud xD

Or recently the "fake death"..it lasted for like 10 minutes max, then we had SB finding out the truth and putting on that show in front of the the dowagers xD

I loved such scenes, but I understand not everyone will..

Why are you looking for objectivity here? Sometimes we just like a drama without thinking too deeply about it! ^^

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1) We had SY's father "threatening" to hang himself in front of Kim Jwa-geun
2) We had SB finding out the truth and putting on that show in front of the the dowagers

Yes these were funny scenes but they are definitely standalone moments of comedic relief. Which is fine and all that but that just means the show is still mainly focused on the serious politics. Anyway what I was saying was a reply to the previous commenter about how the show was at the forefront a comedy, which it certainly wasn't after the initial setup. I'm not saying it's not funny anymore (if it wasn't I would have dropped it).

3) Why are you looking for objectivity here? Sometimes we just like a drama without thinking too deeply about it!

It's fine to just like a drama without being critical but it's also fine to want a drama to be well-written, especially when your fav is starring in it. YMMV.

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@radily of course we all want a drama to be well written!! Who doesn't!

What I mean is that there doesn't have to be only one, objective perspective of what is well/badly written?

I find this drama well written for the most part..of course it has its flaws, some bigger than other..but on average it's a good show, in my opinion.

Does this mean I am not being objective?

Also, yes, this drama is indeed a (romantic) comedy, but the more serious, political plot has been there from the start..it's definitely not the strongest part of the show, no doubt, but I feel like there has been a good comedy/drama balance till now, so I am still satisfied ;)

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"What I mean is that there doesn't have to be only one, objective perspective of what is well/badly written?"

That's exactly the reason why I wanted to find out what other people thought of the story and characterisation! There isn't one way of viewing it objectively, yes.

"I find this drama well written for the most part..of course it has its flaws, some bigger than other..but on average it's a good show, in my opinion.

Does this mean I am not being objective?"

If you think so, could you elaborate more on why you think objectively it was a good show? And of course if you can defend your own viewpoint, I don't see why it isn't objective.

"I feel like there has been a good comedy/drama balance till now"

Though this isn't subjective :P

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@radily
I'm sorry, but I usually don't have such a "scientific" approach when I watch dramas! I like what I like, and dislike what I dislike xD

I can say that in this specific case I like the story, I like how it's told and I like the actors (majority of them) and the way they're portraying their characters..but if you want to know why exactly, well, I don't know, I just do, it suits my taste! xD

Also, I think we disagree on the use of "objective/subjective", which is kind of a pointless discussion..it seems like you want to know detailed reason why people enjoy the drama (which is fair), whether those reasons are really objective or not is beyond the point, tbh.
I don't think I can help you with this, but I hope you got some interesting answers, though! ;)

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Your comment about comedy is subjective. I found that they did well in integrating comedy even in heavier episodes, maintaining it well as one of their main themes.

Finding answers to questions that can't be answered is hopeless. Example: why is this light-hearted show lacking deep characterisation or plot? It is what it is. I suggested dropping it as it just isn't your kind of show. If you're powering through it for the actress, then why continue to question the drama when you're not watching the drama for the drama?

Good luck with finding other objective reviews. Though personally, I would say the only part I enjoyed about the drama was Shin Hye Sun's character and comedy. You won't see me trying to pick at plot- I watched it till the end so might as well affirm the drama for the wicked entertainment.

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Hello, @Radily!
I love having objective dissection and discussion over shows I like, even though characterization and plot have little to do with it. For ex, I'll be very honest, I'm watching it for the gender-bender antics in a historical setting (outrageous), the leads, their acting & chemistry. The wardrobe is nice, colour-grading is nice (the night-scenes have the yellowish candle-glow), and comedy + historic costume dramas is a genre I really like (c-dramas have more of this). I have watched only 2 saeguks before this, so please don't hold my inexperience against my opinions on the questions you put up. Moving on:

1. Story:
-Historic costume dramas in Korea which are a comedy throughout..... I think that's a very minute fraction of all the Saeguks produced? That way this is different. I thought this style resembled a lot of c-dramas like Romance of Tiger & Rose, Sleepless Princess, Killing of 1000 crows, etc. Upon researching I found its a GPG korean remake (no wonder!). Hence, the style of the story is vastly different from Saeguks (like empress ki, queen seonduk, jewel in the palace, hwang jin yi, which are all serious period dramas)

-The comedy and politics are two independent rivulets that come and join the main story, which is like a stream/ river. The rivulets occasionally do intersect when the writers can make them, and that produces even crazier comedy imo. for ex. BH wanting the pond to be filled and supplying face masks & serums & french-cooking to GQD is outrageously funny. But the comedy isn't being used to make the politics interesting, or the politics isn't being used to fill the gaps when there is no comedy, because the politics (talks and plotting) usually plays out a few episodes later (and drives the plot)

-Well, since it's a fantasy story, the fact that there is a soul swap in a swimming pool has already caused me to suspend my belief from ep1. I have yet to come across a drama (c or k) that is devoid of plot holes. My common logic says, 'no way this character is getting out of this alive'.. but boom, 'plot armour', 'deus ex machina' and we brush it aside and move on. The character makes a miraculous excape and goes unscathed. It hasn't hampered my enjoyment of the story so far. A few ex. Dam-Hyang's fake-out, HwaJin scoring the ledger in her poofy Hanbok out of the well in an enemy's manor w/o being noticed, the entire vigilante-by night & idiot-by day persona of the King, heck, even BI publicly being a jerk to the King, etc. Dramas require a suspension of belief anyway, and Mr. Queen doesn't require too much or too less.

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Hello, @Radily!
Continued from the prev. half of the comment...

2. Characterization:
-Let's talk about the key-players of the story. Each of these major players (in politics) swing on a spectrum of good to evil. They are only good, as long as their purpose is being served. Each character apart from our leads, and pehaps cute poet Kim and girl-squad, is shown to have a potential to backstab, intentionally or otherwise. The concubine, the creepy cousin, the simp-brother, both the dowager queens, Minister Kim (he is a 'doting father' as long as BI does his clan's bidding).... In short everybody is playing 'the game of thrones' including SoBong. The 'outrightly good' leads with everybody bad/evil, is a very Mary-Sue kind of a setup that plagues all 'big-female lead' historic costume dramas. [Making others evil only to glorify the fault-less heroine even more]. That imo is lazy writing, and atleast Mr. Queen isn't like that.

-One thing the show does nicely, is the fact while there are two camps (Team Jo and Team Kim), two people on the same team can have *very different* motivations. They may be working together for the time being, but their allegiance is ever-shifting. for ex. GQD and Creepy Cousin joined hands (both on Team Kim) but they have very different goals. Similarly, Concubine and QD (on Team Jo) again have different motivations, and when this pair-up doesnt work, Concubine teams up with Minister Kim while QD gets GQD brainwashed and do her bidding instead. [Still waiting for Creepy Cousin to ditch granny GQD.] Also, both teams have joined up to commonly take down the King. As a result, GQD & QD are working together without even being hyper-aware of it. Character motivations are simple, but the way the politics & allegiances play out, isn't TOO simple. But then again, on a scale of ONE to Nirvana in Fire, it's all pretty tame.

-Considering the fact that KJH is portraying 2 personas, and SHS is portraying 5 personas, the characters on the side are quite.... un-layered? There is no angst or conflict on their part, which means they are quite focussed (as a character trait) but that itself is 'simple writing'. Then again, I assume Mr. Queen wasn't written to be a paragon of complex characters.

So, Mr. Queen definitely scores on some areas, and misses on some other (out of the ones you mentioned). I hope I was objective enough in my response. However, this is a scoring guideline/ evaluation rubric I'll use for an entirely different category of dramas, even though Mr Queen and those dramas both bear the tag 'Saeguk'. The outpour of love for this, isn't majorly because any of these 6 responses. We are all loving it (trust me when I speak on behalf of everyone, as I am active on the Soompi thread, MDL, DB, twitter AND one discord server)... the consensus is we are all loving it for the chemistry, the leads, the gender-bender shenanigans, etc. Besides, the original novel/ c-drama was written as a fluff. The writers...

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......The writers have already managed to inject a lot of depth from a superficial piece of work. I won't tell you to change your method or criteria of enjoying a show because everybody watches a drama for different reasons. But, it would certainly cause you less disappointment, if you use different yardsticks to evaluate different kinds of content. If I use similar criteria to evaluate Philippa Gregory with Shakespeare's series of 'Henry the VI' plays, I am definitely up for being underwhelmed and wonder why my hormonal friend gushed SO much about a completely romanticized & fictional account of Tudor-period royalty, despite both being 'historical costume period works' belonging to the same era, in the same country.

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Story: the main difference for me is definitely the fantasy element, which personally is why I watch since I can never finish serious sageuks... Hence am happy to have comedy in the forefront and politics in the background.

Characterization: love the main characters and the side characters, but kinda feels show drops the ball for the second leads, like they are trying hard to make them complex so we got them pivoting from righteous to bad (or even super evil) to good again in a short time ._.

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@radily, Are you a student doing a 'drama' report or something? Seems like what I did when I had to write a book report in high school about a book that was 3-inches thick. I watch dramas to relax, not to obsess about objectivity too much.

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'I watch dramas to relax, not to obsess about objectivity too much.'

And that's fine! I didn't say it wasn't! But why are you coming after me for the way I watch dramas?

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Don't blame @radily, everyone. I guess jokes are something that is very cultural, if you are not immerse in that culture, you sometimes hardly understand it, let alone laugh at it.

On the other hand, I do feel the show is full of fun, and I did laugh several occasions pretty uncontrollably, and almost cry in at least one scene (when So-yung was guessing everything as Cheoljong). It may not be the best show I watched through the years, but definitely one of the most enjoyable.

I don't answer you through your questions, but in another way. I do find some very serious discussion in this drama, and comedy and serious stuff do intertwined.

First of all, Mr. Queen is definitely not the first drama going through time travel which is also a Chinese adaption, as Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo in 2016 was doing the same. Certainly Mr. Queen has a lot of reference from other dramas, but I did think about Moon Lovers in quite a lot of occasions, to name a few examples:
(1) Bong-hwan falls into the water to go back to the past (Ep.1);
(2) They ride through a forest (Ep.17—Yes, Wang So did ride a horse with Hae Soo in a scene) ;
(3) So-yong teaches Cheoljong about South Korea (Ep.16).

The last one is especially significant, because when So-yong brings in raman and McDonald's (Mak-du-na-du) into Chosun court, we just laugh at the modern reference; but when she starts talking about modern Korea to Cheoljong, it hits me--Hae Su doesn't learn her history well, and she keep on guessing who will become the dictator and kill off all his siblings; Bong-hwan, however, does know, and he knows according to history, Cheoljong was a fool, which is exactly the opposite of what he learned.

They both love the man they destined to be with, Hae Su to Wang So, So-yong to Cheoljong, but Bong-hwan go one step further. Hae Su simply don’t want her love to become that dictator, and everyone to have good ending. Through So-yong, however, Bong-hwan is actually more selfish, yet more down to earth, he just want to change history so that his life in modern time go more easier, but So-yong do love Cheoljong, this make Bong-hwan/So-yong a more complicate character. Bong-hwan keeps on bringing modern cuisine/cosmetics back in time is a constant theme that eventually turned comedy into serious discussion, to become Cheoljong’s content of a possibly unsuccessful reform.

By doing this, the drama is questioning the historic record they made themselves (remember when the drama first aired, they get complaint about not respecting history?) and how the past historians dealing with their own history. “Cheoljong being a fool” according to history is being written by historians at the time (and other than being a fool and a sex-pervert, there’s not much talk about him in the history book), but what have those historians omitted? What if they don’t know this side of Cheoljong (or being hided by those powerful ministers at the time)?...

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... What if the perspective of those historians could not accept how Cheoljong ahead of his time?

Therefore, I think Mr. Queen is talking about something way deeper then its comedy. Certainly being a comedy may need some caricature characters for us to easily understand and quick to laugh at, but I do appreciate the screenwriter dare to write something about this to challenge their own history, which is a good thing.

(And by the way, Moon Lovers not only followed the original text of the drama they were planning to adapt, but also followed the history context they were planning to base on—except when they are in conflict, the history goes supreme. Mr. Queen not only doesn’t follow the original, but also does not follow the history to make this excellent point; this is why I think Mr. Queen is the better drama between the two, let along a great piece of drama by itself)

(Yes, this is part 2 of 2. Sorry the comment section can't let me write more)

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Thanks for the insight! I don't know if I agree with your comment about the screenwriter challenging their own history, as they have (due to netizen complaints) placed disclaimer tags on the start of each and every episode, indicating that this piece is a work of fiction. Of course, they may still do subtle critiques here and there, but as a non-Korean, most of these would be lost on me as I do not have in-depth knowledge on Korean history. As per their disclaimer though (and by virtue of the fact that this isn't a documentary and has origins from a Chinese novel), I have chosen to view this as a story in its own right.

As for the comparisons to Moon Lovers, I didn't watch that show (I only know its synopsis and the ending which I believe was very divisive, which makes me think it was a good thing I didn't watch it lol) so I won't be able to comment on that.

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This week's episodes had ended with so many cliffs of doom.... hmmm. Mr. Queen was now back of being gone into the darkest storylines again after So-yong's pregnancy as they finally reached its epic climatic battles before Bong-hwan's returning souls the following next (final) week.

Also, during Episode 18, I loved the sleeping blanket/bag of female trio and it's so amazing when there's should having a cold winds or cool winds.

I hope So-yong will die quickly as if she will lose the battle to Byung-in and/or So-yong will jump into the cliff and quickly put back to Bong-hwan so that he will wake up at his hospital.

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Even Mr. Queen can't escape the formulaic angst of the episodes the weekend before the finale. The queen missing the king was sweet... and it's the first time I actually cried in this drama, watching her read the letter the King left for their baby.

I laughed at how So Bong knew that wasn't the king's corpse; haha she felt THAT?! or is it just my dirty mind?? LOL. She going out to find him kinda left me worried about her delicate condition, let alone riding a horse to the royal vacation house. The first trimester is the very delicate part of pregnancy isn't it?

Byeong In felt like the big baddie but I have a feeling he will still save her. I initially thought he and Cheoljeongi had a plan, but then I didn't. But what if they did?! (0.0)

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Oh she definitely felt THAT!

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See I thought about that and doesn’t THAT go through shrinkage in death? LOL. 🙈🙈🙈 I just thought maybe Cheoljeongi had a particular wart someplace else.

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I cried with her too.
That “Eureka” moment😂

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Aahh.. you went there. LOL. In my case, I thought that the baddies may have been stupid enough to use a body of a dead eunuch. It was a genuine laugh out loud moment though..

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If it’s a dead body of a eunuch, it made absolute sense that she can tell 🤣🤣

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In Mama’s hands we trust! 🤣 😆 🤣

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Am also super worried about the pregnancy! Even tho Cheoljong was very sweet about the "summer villa timeout", I was like, riding a horse? Is that wise..? Plus all the jumping over wall, omo...
About THAT, I think that's what Court Lady Choi is thinking about too ><

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The horse ride at gallop had me 0_o. I don't get my medical info from the 1700s, so I'm not going to get heart palpatations over a walk or trot, but I'm definitely nervous about how much of a miscarriage risk the bumping and jostling she'd get at a gallop would pose. // The Great Grand Dowager telling So-young it would be totally on her if she lost the baby made me want to commit violence. Many pregnancies end in the first trimester for reasons that are beyond anyone's control and could not have been prevented (the percentage that end before a woman is even aware she's pregnant would surprise people).

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Actually, physical activity is not a major cause of miscarriages. Most are are caused by age, chemical substances (ie smoking,alcohol, drugs (legal & illegal, OTC) & chromosomal or fetal abnormalities. Therefore, Soyoung's baby is fairly safe.

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That's good to know.

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If so,we must have a group of dirty mind folks as i also right away thought THAT when she said Eureka and even more when she told Lady Choi not to ask anymore! Curious if Cheoljeong will ask how she knew he wasn't dead jajaj
Also kinda hoped Byeong In would make a secret plan with Cheoljeong but lost hope when i saw our King jump off the cliff...Based on the preview [REDACTED] In all cases he is headed for a tragic fate,they more than sure use that letter of treason against him if he comes out alive if So Bong will not use the favour Cheoljeong owns her to save him and set him free...Still at the moment he might be truly the only one who knows she isin't So Yong and believe it so will the show truly let him live after knowing such an important info...At least now he will let go as the one he loved is gone...

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I think they used a eunuch (because there's a lot of them and they won't be missed) in place of the king's body, which is why the queen knew it wasn't him.

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This was my assumption as well.

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Actually, I thought Wow, the king is that well-endowed!!

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I thought I was the only one with the dirty mind! 😂

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Psh! The number Beanies with dirty minds would pack out Madison Square Garden! XD

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🤣 😂 🤣

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Thanks so much for your recap @missvictrix! Always great to hear your thoughts.

Two things (from hundreds) that I loved about eps 17-18:

1) The comradeship between So Bong and the king. They are such a team!! Although the king struggles desperately to keep up with her train of thought, he trusts her 100% and is right on board with what she’s trying to say. She cares that she doesn’t disappoint him and adapts her behaviour and reactions to better communicate appreciation for the act, even if she doesn’t like the result. They come across as such equals and partners when they’re making decisions (whether that involves the other or not), teaching each other, trying to figure out how to make the other smile. So satisfying to watch!

2) I have no idea where we’re going to end up! I genuinely think this could go several ways and all versions could tie it up satisfactorily. I’m sort of wondering if they’re going to end up killing off SB and CJ, allowing BH to return to his 21st century self (without coma, as Han adversaries have been terminated) where he lives a pretty regular life but with a much changed perspective on many things, and keeps bumping into the reincarnated versions of CJ, Lady Choi, the head chef, HY and so on. Wait and seeeeeeeeee!

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Please!! I want to see the reincarnated versions!! xD

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Okay, so binge-watching 2 weeks worth of episodes together was not such a good idea, the wait seems extra long... My reactions for this week's episodes! :D

-Did she kick out everybody including the King? AND ribbon-slapped him in the process? DED. xD
-The queen throws up in a pretty porcelain jar...of-course! ^^
-Lady Choi snipping that ramen should be a punishable offense.
-How TF is evil-minister Kim still hanging out at the palace with his stooges, AFTER he's been removed from office? -_-
-Ofcourse court Lady Choi finished the wine.... and the way SoYoung tossed the Royal Chef aside xD
-Omg Cheoljong looks SOOO dashing on that pony, with his bue robes! On that note, the royal couple is twinning and I'm living for it!!
-Lets get this clear, this couple is married, slept together, shared torrid kisses, spend nights together regularly and have a baby on the way, yet that two-finger brush, and the slow, nonchalant hand grab was SOOOOOO swoony .<
-As a woman, I'm having SO much fun at a womanizing man go through womanly troubles like periods, pregnancy and childbirth! Yay
-Chelojong's Auhhm is as cute as Joo-Kyung's from TB... :P
-I like how their codeword for sex is 'ramyeon' and 'auhm' xD
-KJH has bunny teeth & SHS has big manly hands, and I cannot unsee it xD
-KJH's bedroom eyes and bedroom voice should be illegal. *_*
-LMAO... is this why Cheoljong has ACTUAL reputation in history as a sex-maniac? hehe! (yay, Tango-scene made its way into the k-drama)
-Glad to see Hwa-Jin go through similar identity crisis as So-Young was, just before her suicidal episode. She got a taste of the same medicine, but kinda jealous she escaped the Palace unscathed. Lucky her, I guess?
-The arm-twisting from the bad-guys is some A-level mindgames.
-Picky Granny Kim stomping her foot to silence the ministers gives me flashbacks of Dolores Umbridge. Ugh.
-All these old uncles seem to have a problem with a WOMAN on the throne... hahaha, serves your right.
-SoBong grabbing the corpse's b***s, and figuring out it's not the King. oof xD
-The convo b/w Creepy Cousin and SoBong really hit me. 'You loved somebody who is no longer here, and you can't even tell that.' Amen, preach sis! <3
-NOOOH, writer-nim. Don't you dare take down my girl-squad T_T
-Hmm, even if Creepy cousin is going crazy with his strangling episode, I'm kinda glad atleast ONE person knows about the soul swap!!?

18 episodes in, finale week remaining, I still have NO idea how it would/ should end. The last time I was so pumped was placing my pre-order for Deathly Hallows ^^

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Am thinking it's some kind of bandage that the Royal Physician used as a celebration streamer >< But yeah about the slapping, the face Cheoljong makes because of his queen's reaction never fails to crack me up!

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That bandage slap is priceless even more with the King's face jajaj also yey to Tango Scene indeed...Their fake make out in open air is hilarious even more when Cheoljeong starts shouting jajja U gotta love how he enjoys it so much jajja , maybe ahead of myself but doubt he would have such a intresting "sex life" with Hwa Jin as i somehow see her more inactive than So Bong based on the timeline she was and just see it more as duty rather than showing she totally enjoys it...
Also lol-ed like u at So Bong remark about his history reputation because of her(so So Bong like to think that)

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Can’t believe this episode ended in a literal cliff hanger lol

These last two episodes leave me a bit dumbfounded because I don’t see how this show will wrap up in two episodes, hopefully it will be satisfying.

On the plus side they ramped up the sexiness this week and I didn’t know how to react to the devil’s tango scene. It was both embarrassing and hilarious to watch that I’m curious about how they filmed that with a straight face.

Here’s to hoping this show ends with a good send off of our favourite characters whilst giving justice to the evil bastards of this drama.

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That tango scene! OMG! Hahaha! The sound effects are more scandalous though---Cheoljong moaning??? You can see Choi Sang-gun and Head Eunuch's imagination running wild. Hahaha!

The Queen describing the King's bedroom moves to the concubines also had me in stitches. Again, it was not explicitly said but it's all up to your imagination based on their expressions and exclamations. And So Bong's demure face was priceless.

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This drama takes sexy comedy to a whole new level and yes the moaning/screaming is what sent me 😂

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Me too, I had to pause the video. His face while doing it too🤣🤣🤣

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OMG me too... I just cannot 🤣🤣🤣 it’s too much. This show will be the death of me (from laughing)

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They did amp the sexiness. I was cringing and laughing on that tango scene. Anything to debunk that nasty rumor. I did like that they are working together now.
Plus So Bong sharing how virile the King was. We can only imagine what she can be sharing to the concubines.

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The "devil's tango" scene? XD Love that name! I don't think they did film it with a straight face, at least not at first. I wonder how many takes it took to get it 'in the can'. Bet they had a *lot* of fun with it! XD Bet they had a lot of fun with the whole show.

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This week's episode were not as strong as the previous week. It was only okay for me mainly because the Royal couple was separated and I missed their fun dynamic. So Bong spent it trying to make sense of why she misses Cheol Jong. Also it appears like the little nuggets they sprinkled here and there will come to fruition this weekend. I hope it will be good. The director did mention a twist in a soompi article. So that can mean that Cheol Jong may have an ace up his sleeve. I think it has something to do with Byeong In and that written pact with the treasonous Kim and Jo Ministers.
There are still a lot to unpack in the story so not sure if the Show can pull it off successfully. I hope they do.

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Byung-in with his "I don't mind you hating me as long as you are safe" made me roll my eye so hard. All the signs are there for Byung-in to be fanatic villain, so am more like, okay, let's just have him do his worst and be off with him, the sooner the better *shoo*

Prince Youngpyeong, tho, geez, throwing a tantrum about his own broken little heart when he actively asked Cheoljong to broke his heart over and over again... How dare he makes it all about wrong and right when he basically just want to blame Cheoljong for his own stupidity. Hats off for Hwa-jin admitting about knowing the hyung's feeling and using it for her benefit, although it serves to highlight how lame he is even more.

Cliff of Non-Doom being the way it is, wondering whether Director Bong's words about Dam-hyang's father hiding somewhere is not just a throwaway remark..? An episode without our OTP together feels too long, can't wait to have them reunited again. And like @missvictrix said, don't you dare harm Court Lady Choi and Hong-yeon, show!

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Oh now that you mention Dam -hyang's father, there was a scene in episode 1 showing DamHyangs family, will need to check if he is the herb gatherer who found Cheoljong.

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Ooh, kinda forgot about them appearing in ep 1... it's mostly because am eager for our trio to meet Dam-hyang again ><

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Although most of the side characters are just there to provide comedic relief and tension I can't get over how much more depth Hwajin and even Hong Yeon/Special Director Hong/Kim Hwan have compared to Byeongin and Yeongpyeong. They're so obsessed with Sobong for different reasons, and yet I'm tired of it!

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For me, this week's episodes were the worst of the show so far. I shouldn't be surprised given the tendency for K-writers to trip and fall flat on their faces during the race to the finish line.

So Bong made some very foolish decisions in EP18. A newly pregnant woman (and those early weeks can be crucial) going off into the wild where she'll face harsh elements in a territory she's unfamiliar with? With no combat skills and a bow and arrow she can't even shoot? And she didn't even bother with a disguise? And she was going to do it alone if CLC and HY hadn't tagged along? When she visited Yeongpyeong and Hong in jail, I thought she had a plan to set them free so they'd go save the king. If she really really really had to go with them, those two would have made better backup than CLC and HY. Now CLC is injured. And HY, who knows? And I can't tell if it's all because of Bong Hwan's “be the cool hero“ complex or the desperation of a (wo)man in love? Either way, some stoopid decisions were made.

Oh, and that fiasco with BI? And the king only got a cameo in his own drama?

The only positive from this week's episodes for me was the redemption arc of Jo Hwa Jin. I never thought I'd come to like her.

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You seem to have missed some pretty significant things in this drama.

The "newly pregnant" woman isn't s simpering Joseon miss. She has the mind, experience, education and spirit of a 21st century, prime-of-life, healthy man, who completed (and apparently excelled in) his 2 years of active military duty. He also probably knows that the typical "newly pregnant" woman isn't a fragile vessel, who can't exercise, can't have sex, and can't take even the lightest bump to the belly without immediately having a miscarriage, because "drama." (It would actually be refreshing if, after some trips and minor falls and bumps and bruises, the queen DID NOT miscarry, since the average woman, who is not having a "problem pregnancy," can pretty much carry on with their usual exercise routine when they are in the early months of pregnancy, and the fetus is protected by the pelvic girdle. (My surprise was in her jumping on the horse with the king right after she found out she was pregnant. I don't think riding is advised during pregnancy, although again, it's probably less risky in the earlier months than in the later ones).

Anyway, I thought the queen going to find the king, plus get away from people trying to kill her, was understandable and reasonable, given who she is and what her life experience is. She has the mind of a man, although it is now joined by the emotions/memories of the queen whose body she inhabits.

Re the visit to Yeongpyeong and Hong in jail, even though we didn't see it, my impression was that she unlocked the door lock to their cell, so that later, when Hong is pulling at it, the linch pin - or whatever it's called - came out, and presumably they could have opened the door to their cell. But I'm not sure. Hong opened the lock, but they didn't escape, so right now I don't know the significance of the door being unlocked.

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I think that Bong-In is a pretty consistent character. He loves So Young and was the only one who really knows her. He was angry because the politics made her trying to kill herself and then the King tried to kill her too. All the "I'm saving you from yourself" is kinda stupid but he's the only who really think she changed and misses the real So Young. The King loves Bong-Hwan and his excentricity.

The last 2 episodes were kinda boring. The funny scenes were too long.

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In the spin-off episode description, it makes it clear that the king had feelings for SY before he knew she was a Kim and promptly froze her out afterwards. But IA. I still think Byeongin loves her as a possession though and not as a person.

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Has the spin-off episode released already? Will Netflix have it??

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They're being released this weekend after the initial episodes air. The Soyong/Cheoljong episode will be Saturday I think? It'll be about them meeting for the first time and him getting jealous of her male friends. I don't think it will be on Netflix because Viki has the streaming rights outside of Asia, so it'll be on there.

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Thanks!!

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What a great news!!! <3

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I don't think Byong-In loves her as a possession. He never showed any sign of that. But he thinks she's weak and she needs his help but she doesn't.

I don't like the fact we need a spin-off to understand the character's feelings. They needed to adress this subject during this drama, they had the time to do it, there were useless scenes.

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I agree about the spin-off's but I completely disagree about Byeongin. I get that he's doing these things thinking they're for Soyong's benefit but his love is possessive. Soyong never saw him anything other than a friend/older brother figure, and we know from flashbacks that him kissing her at her lowest moment made her feel worse about her situation and was one of the many things that pushed her to try and commit suicide. I get that up until that point he tried to "let go" of his feelings so Soyong could achieve her dream, but he's never fully realised that she's only ever had eyes for Cheoljong and that she's been seeking agency of her own. Everything he's done to protect her has also been selfish and for his own benefit. The kiss flashback scene illustrates this and so does the moment where he almost kisses her when she's passed out. He definitely loves Soyong for Soyong but he's never actually given much of a shit as to whether she wants his help or his feelings- it's a selfish love, just like Hwajin's was towards Cheoljong, but for different reasons.

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Seeing someone as a possession and loves somone in a possessive way are two different things for me.

He didn't get anything for what he did. He's doing all of that to stabilize her Queen situation and stop her clan to try to kill her, not to have her. He wants her to be alive (a difficult thing in the palace). He's clearly wrong in the means he used.
In the past, he had no issue with So-Young being in love with the King. He was angry when he understood that the King didn't love her the way she deserved.

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I think the show has proven that to be wrong. He definitely is obsessed with her and its his delusion that it is for her own good. The proof comes when he is spurned and sees her love the King and he goes and tells the queen dowager that he will kill them both. Then he tracks her down and chokes her holding her off a cliff. Please. His love is as toxic as it gets. I had originally thought he would be better than his father but her is as big of a disgusting murderous thug as any of the characters in the show that need killed off.

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It's why he's consistent. He's not killing So Young because she doesn't love him, he's trying to kill the person who took her place. He's the first character who seems to start to believe that So Young is not herself anymore.

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I'm guessing the spin-off stuff is not really a spin-off.
I heard 5? 6 episodes total and one episode is very short, like 5-10 minutes.
Instead of showing interviews and behind the scenes on the set, they are just doing like a fan service/service cut since the show was popular.
So I'm not expecting anything new or surprise...

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I really like this drama and the fun writing. They have a way to twist things that can be fun and I totally cant see it coming that way. It is a different style of writing that I am enjoying it.

But these 2 last episodes... it didnt work. The gossip was not necessary. Yes, they used as a plot device for the King to go away, but it was so meh. If I compare to all the great ideas they had so far, it was super meh. It super meh, that now I am bored. And I shouldnt be bored when there is 2 episodes left!

Anyway, justice for Lady Choi! A great CCTV from Joseon era cant die like that.

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Couldn't say it better, justice for our Joseon CCTV!

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Although these eps had some of the funniest scenes the show has had so far (the funeral scene, everything Kim Hwan does, the pregnancy diaries and the fake PDA) these were definitely the weakest of the bunch BUT I do think it's mainly to set up the final week. This show isn't particularly deep about its politics but it does a great job of not wasting dialogue- a lot of dialogue even in the comedy scenes come into play/are important later so I have faith that all the stuff CJ/YP/Special Director Hong were planning is pulled off. I have no idea whether Byeongin is in on it or not (the treason letter he makes everyone sign IS suspicious though) because I'm so tired of this dude and his obsession.

The show definitely suffers when there's not a lot of SHS or KJH. Like the episode where Sobong is out cold, I really missed CJ in this ep. Their performances are what makes the show work.

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Whilst I have faith in them pulling off the political plotline I am getting more and more apprehensive about how they'll wrap up the SY/SB/BH storyline, because the team have stated that they won't be following the GPG endings. There are 3 ways on how it could turn out and only one of them would be satisfactorily and not really offensive so here they are:

1. The original GPG ending(s). Basically the queen is now Bongwhan and they die, and wake up in the present and CJ is the doctor. Soyong is gone forever. On the one hand we get a really good portrayal of BL that can get around mainstream Korean tv pickiness, on the other hand, unlike GPG, Mr. Queen has actually fleshed out the character of Soyong, and her experiences are a big motivation as to why Sobong/Bongwhan become less of a selfish dick. Some people on tumblr said that this show is a Korean feminist revenge fantasy, which, on some level, it is. The 21st century chauvinist gets stuck in the body in the most restrictive role a woman can have in the most restrictive period for women in Korea's history, and he has to learn first hand how to deal with it. The show is actually pretty explicit about the commentary on gender roles/sexism etc. Why do I hate it? Because they fleshed out Soyong unlike in the Chinese originals where the 21st century man just *is* the queen, and because the show talks a lot about gender politics, it would be supremely fucked up if they killed a woman, showed us all the reasons why she killed herself (bc of the patriarchy) and then had another person take over their body and fall in love with the person they were in love with, have a baby in their body... etc. All the while the people who loved Soyong (Hong Yeon, Court Lady Choi, their dad, Byeongin ugh, and even the king had feelings for her at one point before the accident) never get to mourn her. I personally don't want that to be the route they take to have explicit BL confirmation in the ending because BL and Soyong deserve better. It's gross.

2. I think this one is the most unlikely. Bongwhan never woke up in Joseon again, and it was Soyong, and they essentially absorbed each other and the "Sobong" personality is a defence mechanism whilst they regain their memories. I also hate this theory and it's a cop-out.

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3. Bongwhan is Soyong's 21st century reincarnation/they're the same person. This is the one I think that is the most likely with what they've given us so far (the person known as Sobong is more of a blend of the two) and it confirms that, yes, they fell in love with the king whilst also not using Soyong in a way that's gross. Soyong sought out her future self to save her soul after the suicide attempt and to change her course and that's why Sobong has the personality of Bongwhan but the memories, emotions, and attachments of Soyong. I also think if pulled off properly and they bring back CJ in a different reincarnation in the present they can make a cute point about soulmates not having a fixed gender presentation/biological sex. So basically Moon Lovers, but without a poorly written tragic ending.

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Thank you - I'm hoping for your no.3!

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Or similar to the movie version of the beauty inside. That would be lovely.

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In the episode where Bonghwan dove into the lake, came into contact with Soyong, and became privy to her memories, I got the impression that Soyong was dead. As in drowned, and not coming back. Her spirit clearly isn't in Bonghwan's 21st century body - in that earlier episode when we saw the guy unplug his ventilator, and see Bonghwan go into cardiac arrest in the hospital, he is still in a coma when he is revived, but no longer in a vegetative state. He can't move or speak or open his eyes, but he can hear the people around him, and his thoughts are his own, without any apparent sign of Soyong.

I guess I just got the idea that the underwater scene was a scene in which the spirit of Soyong was fully incorporated into her body, without fully displacing Bonghwan's spirit.

I don't think they will leave Bonghwan's story as it is, and I can't imagine he will die, but I'm really not sure how it will end. I think Bonghwan concluded that he wasn't going to go back to the 21st century, and that's part of why he started intentionally trying to change history, so that Cheoljong wasn't an incompetent puppet king. Wrapping up this drama satisfactorily is complicated.

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Even before I watching the finale I honestly disagree with this- because I always thought Soyong was in there all along. But I guess that's one of the few disappointments of how they wrapped it up is that they decided to "show" that Soyong was there and not "tell" us which left it way too open to interpretation hence the many divided reactions to the ending.

Personally, I'm glad they didn't get rid of her. It's not totally 100% adaptation of the source material, and in the Chinese novel the hero/heroine was always the princess- just in a different life because of a mistake by a minor god. It would have left an extremely bad taste in my mouth if they brought in Soyong and have her story become Bongwhan's motivation into being less of a selfish dick and then kill her off for Bongwhan to take over her body, when he even really didn't want that. Just because she tried to kill herself doesn't mean her body is up for grabs with no one to mourn her.

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After watching the finale, I think they made it CRYSTAL CLEAR that soyong was in her body all along, but that Bongwhan had 100% control of her body prior to Episode 6-7, where we see the Queen fall into a comatose - practically dead-not-breathing - state while Bongwhan's spirit goes back into his own body, after the guy tries to kill him by turning off his ventilator. From that point on, it looks like Bongwhan comes out of his vegetative, blank state, and is able to understand what he's hearing, and think for himself, but then he goes back into a deeper coma when his spirit returns to the queen's body. But at that point, the queen's spirit is stronger, and making her presence felt, so her memories start to surface, as does her sexual attraction to the king. As a sign of this appearance of - or awakening of - the queen's spirit/self, the viewers suddenly start hearing thoughts in the voice of Soyong rather than of Bongwhan. He no longer has total control of the body. (I predicted at that moment that the next time the queen fell into that state, she would awaken as fully Soyong, which is pretty much what happened).

The next time we see an integration of Soyong's being is when Bongwhan intentionally tries to contact Soyong, by jumping in the lake. He "sees" her when he's in the water, and at that point he/she fully regain all of her memories.

The second time the queen goes into that vegetative, not-breathing, comatose state is when Bongwhan fully regains consciousness, and leaves Soyong's body and mind, and Joseon, for good, in the last episode.

I think the queen was much more interesting when she and Bongwhan were sharing memories, and I also think that is the person that Cheoljong fell in love with. I think with her attitude towards Queen Sunwon, followed by her joy of using curse words she didn't even understand, we see that she remains aware of what she observed when Bongwhan was in her body. So I hope that, for the King's sake, she won't revert 100% to a prim and proper Joseon miss, which would disappoint everyone, especially the king.

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The bonding time she had with her girls was so lovely. I am sad it had to end. Also they better not kill Lady Choi.

My favorite scenes were the simulated sex scenes and the funeral scenes. I laughed a lot at that.

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I literally gasped out loud when the sword slashed Lady Choi and was in distress until it’s confirmed that she wasn’t dead. Writer better not kill her off or we shall have words, angry words!

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I'll echo some of the other comments here by saying that these two episodes (well, episode 18 really) were the least enjoyable ones for me so far. For me, the political machinations have always been the weakest point of this show - what made them enjoyable were the scenes of CJ, SB and their gang teaming up together. An entire episode without any interactions between CJ and SB was dull, to say the least, even with all the action going on.

I have more questions than ever about how they will wrap up the SY/BH dilemma - really wish they had spent more time on this. Fingers crossed for a satisfactory ending!

Now that that's out of the way, some things I enjoyed this week:

1. Lady Choi and Hong Yeon being loyal, brave and overall amazing. Show, you better not let anything happen to them!
2. CJ being a sweet, supportive husband and dad-to-be. And oh the letter! That scene had me bawling!
3. SB not falling for CJ's "death" and sneaking out to find out the truth. We stan a smart protagonist! Bonus: the Daesang worthy mourning lol.
4. Hwajin's redemptive arc - unexpected, and maybe a bit hastily done, but very satisfying nonetheless! It takes real strength of character to confront your own toxicity, and take active steps to change yourself. It made me appreciate a bit more why CJ fell for her in the first place.

Speaking of toxic, Byung-In....*sigh*. I admit I was low-key rooting for him to change, but I'm pretty over him and his actions, no matter how well-intentioned he believes them to be. Even if he turns around and saves SB next episode, I don't know if I will be able to buy him as heroic or redemptive.

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Ah! We're so close to the end, I don't want!! :((

First thing, I really loved the recap, it express most of the things I feel too, but in a much more eloquent way!! xD
Thanks @missvictrix for the great write-up!! ^^

I can't wait to see how they'll wrap this all up, hopefully in a satisfying way!! Please!!! <3

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I just realized I said "first thing" and then didn't follow up with anything else! xD
I did write my thoughts on a doc, but I'm not sure what to share ahah!

I guess I'll add some random thoughts I can't stop thinking about! ^^

1. Byung-in is giving me Mystic Pup-up Bar flashbacks!! Now, will he be our main villain or is he hiding something?? The last scene where he was choking SB doesn't bode well, for me, but we'll see! (also, I saw hints to the preview but I'm keeping away from spoilers as much as I can)

2. Hwa-jin I'm proud of you girl! Keep it up, and please knock some sense into the Prince!!

3. Oh dear Prince, you're a mess! ahaha!! The only purpose of him threatening SB was making her suspicious, and it worked..maybe they could have done it another way, though!

4. The tango that wasn't a tango killed me!!! The cringe!!! But I couldn't stop laughing! xDD

5. CJ and SB are so cute together; the scene with the horse and at that royal villa was adorably funny! And caring CJ is love!
The way they had 0 screen time together in ep 18 is unacceptable :((((
But seeing SB come to terms with her feelings for CJ was still a nice watch. He's been in love with her for quite some time, while SB was in denial, so at least one good thing came out of that separation, I guess...But I missed KJH too much!!! :((

6. Dear CJ, you seriously did not have a backup plan??? Unless he did...???

7. I loved the girl squad embarking on that rescue mission together...even though they're extremely unequipped for it!
Them getting caught so fast was very realistic, after all! xD

8. Looking forward to Kim Hwan having a key role finally!! I can feel it's happening!! Please! ahaha!

9. Lastly, I have a feeling there are many things going on "behind the scenes" that will be revealed in the last 2 eps, because in this drama they like to surprise us...please, let it be in a positive way! *fingers crossed*

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I wish Cheoljong carried SoBong inside the royal villa when he pulled her close... I mean that could have been really *sexy*.. but no, Show wants to tuck it away somewhere else-in a parallel universe-in that royal villa. Maybe SoBong still want to protect his soul's dignity as a man. However, Cheoljong was really lonesome this past 3 episodes, and he has really fallen for the Queen. To me, this is a twisted unrequitted love affair... I can help but dream this in the spinoff..

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What was written on the paper that the King found at the end of episode 18?

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On Viki the subs said "coded message" in that part..when I tried to read myself I realized it was mostly some random Hangul letters and syllables, not really words, so I'm assuming we can't really read it?
I haven't seen anyone talk about it around either, yet.

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Oh thank you. It looked important considering the reaction of his savior but there was no translation. I will wait for the next episode :p

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I'm pretty sure it's very important and it will have some role in the upcoming episodes! ^^
We just don't know what yet! They like keeping us in the dark! xD

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I was really hoping she jump into the water and then the show brings back the characters in their respective times. It would have been eureka for me as I'd love to see the real SoYong play her own palace politics cause I believe she's good at the game if she was able to threatened Kim JwaGun when she was Destined Queen(I've forgotten the title).

One more thing, I dont understand Jo HwaJin's sacrifice this week at all. After the whole redemption arc, the next thing was to leave the palace? Seemed out of place for me knowing how far she has fought and how powerful she wields her position.

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She had to leave the palace because she requested to be fired as a royal concubine. She couldn't find herself/get over Cheoljong inside the palace, but once you're fired or dethroned your position in society is incredibly precarious. That's why Cheoljong was so upset, because by firing her as concubine he was essentially naming her as damaged goods that society dictates she can never recover from, hence the plain clothes. It's actually v good character development for her- she spent her entire life trying to be Soyong and having her love for Cheoljong become her entire identity, she has neither of those things to grasp for anymore so being away from the palace and her position within the Jo family is a way for her to find herself.

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I really like the comedy part of this drama but surely these were super unrealistic forest chasing scenes ^.^ I think episode 18 was the weakest one by far, maybe because the King and Queen aren't together bickering. Now that the King is gone I notice how much I miss his chemistry with the Queen....Hopefully they are reunited soon!

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Is Bong-hwan going back to the present day?
Is So-yong (I mean 100%) coming back to her body?

It looks like the wall of 15% ratings is hard to break.
Hopefully ratings will jump on the last two episodes, like 18%.

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I don't think I have ever despised a character the way I do Byung-In. I have very strong emotions toward his character. Now that we are approaching the finale, I am eager to know it'll all end. But, pls show make Lady Choi and Heong Yeon not dead!

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*how it'll end
(I will miss it dearly)

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I think he's just really such a typical enemy, that it's boring. It doesn't help that I don't like the actors stoic expressions. There are villains I enjoy watching and there are villains like him, he's just meh.

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The queen had planned something with the royal concubine so I was quite surprised that she did not meet her outside the palace walls. I have a feeling that she will save the queen at the cliff as was their plan. The queen also met the king's guards in disguise at the jail I think they will appear to fight against the soldiers too. One wild thought I have how this will end is the queen will drop into the river below with the royal concubine, where the queen goes back into modern world while the royal concubine goes into her body and live with the queen happily every after.

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The king ang queen already exchanged bodily fluids but are acting all shy just by holding hands. It's weird. Lol. Haven't watched ep 18 yet.

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But how adorkable!

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Mr Queen isn’t on Netflix here and I’ve no idea when it will be available in Australia. I know only the plot line - a 21st century man travels back in time and finds himself a woman in 16th or 17th century Joseon. Sounds like fun. I’m going to love this.

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