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Under the Queen’s Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Endgame approaches as our heroine fights to reveal the truth of her son’s murder. All the evidence is in place, but the Dowager Queen will stop at nothing to conceal it. The battle for the King’s soul — and, in turn, the nation — is underway, and no scheme will be left unturned in the process!

 

EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final) Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Hwa-ryeong faces her son’s murderer, with only one question on her lips. Why? Was it for revenge? Not at first, no. Initially, it was an opportunity: Ik-hyeon sabotaged the Crown Prince’s treatment in order to deduce what killed his brother, Taein. Now, Hwa-ryeong’s grief only reminds him of his mother’s pain. His apology is a flat, perfunctory thing: he cannot regret avenging his brothers. Hwa-ryeong recoils in disgust. He will pay for this. But, not yet. Before her guards can do anything, Ik-hyeon flees.

The same cannot be said for Master Toji, who is speedily arrested along with his co-conspirators. Swallowing her grief, Hwa-ryeong pleads with the King, who is bullishly insistent that Physician Kwon cannot be the missing Prince Ik-hyeon. He demands to see Physician Kwon dead before the day is out. It’s clear he’s concerned with saving his own skin. When he visits a defiant Master Toji in prison, he reveals as much. Taein’s murder — and his own complicity — has cast a decades-long shadow over his reign. How, asks Master Toji, does he think history will remember him? As hero — or usurper?

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final) Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Hwa-ryeong’s options are narrowing; without Ik-hyeon’s testimony, the former Crown Princess and Grand Heir will forever remain in exile. Still, she has one last card to play — albeit through gritted teeth. She spills all to the Dowager Queen. Physician Kwon is Prince Ik-hyeon, she informs her nonplussed mother-in-law, and he’s out for revenge. Hwa-ryeong has Taein’s autopsy report, which she will use to reveal the truth of his murder. However, she’s willing to trade that report for Physician Kwon — alive. For once, the Dowager Queen finds herself hopelessly outplayed.

Meanwhile, Cheong-ha is suffering from a mysterious ailment. Close examination from a physician reveals that ailment to be… pregnancy. It comes with a nasty side order of fatigue, courtesy of her heart condition. Seongnam, by now as besotted with his new wife as he rightfully ought to be, recites poetry to her as she sleeps. Here, he discovers Cheong-ha’s super secret to-do list. Take a stroll with him. Wish upon a shooting star with him. Have seven children with him. Add a few more doodled love-hearts and glitter, and you’d have my old notebooks from junior high!

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

By the time Cheong-ha wakes, the Dowager Queen’s latest scheme has reached a boil. Turns out, the palace is roiling with dodgy physicians: it doesn’t take much to get to Cheong-ha’s. False alarm, he announces! It was all a cruel misdiagnosis — Cheong-ha’s pulse confused him, owing to her childhood heart disease. Despite Hwa-ryeong’s fierce defense of her daughter-in-law, the Dowager Queen now has leverage: if she goes public with the Crown Princess’ condition, it could lead to her deposition. The question is, what’s Cheong-ha’s safety worth to Hwa-ryeong? The Dowager Queen has an idea. It starts with ‘a’, ends with ‘-utopsy report.’ Trapped, Hwa-ryeong is forced to relinquish the document.

Elsewhere, Ik-hyeon finds refuge with Uiseong — and it only takes a little blackmail to convince him to help. That’s practically affection! Lying low, father and secret son have a heart to heart. Ignorant of his own parentage, Uiseong asks Ik-hyeon if he has a family. It’s with wistful resignation that he answers yes. He has a mother. A son. A woman who might have been his wife, under different circumstances. With uncharacteristic thoughtfulness, Uiseong promises that when he is king, he will grant Ik-hyeon one wish. Ik-hyeon meets his eyes gently. There’s a house where he and his family used to live. He would like to reclaim it for his mother — and son.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final) Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

It’s not long before Ik-hyeon’s on the move again, ushered through the palace alleyways by the Chief State Councilor. After being threatened by the Dowager Queen, his reluctant ally is plotting a double-cross. Blithely, the Chief State Councilor tells Ik-hyeon to continue without him. Alas, he’s talking to the man who stone cold fed his friend poison, swearing it’d save him. When armed guards surround Ik-hyeon, he’s prepared: seizing the Chief State Councilor by the throat, he drags him into the darkness. Merciless, he drives a knife into the heart of the man who killed his brothers. Adieu, you conniving little man, and a thousand failed schemes sing thee to thy rest.

Scarcely has the Chief State Councilor choked out his last when Ik-hyeon confronts his final nemesis: the Dowager Queen. She sits silent behind a screen. It doesn’t matter — Ik-hyeon’s got years worth of vitriol to vent. How does it feel, he crows, to know that he impregnated her son’s concubine? Slicing at the screen, he comes face to face with… Court Lady Nam. Then, as he recoils — Consort Hwang. Peering out the window, he realizes the room is surrounded. Face crumpling into tears, Consort Hwang clutches at the remnants her dignity. Tightly, she asks if he’s really Ik-hyeon. Did he ever care for her — even a little? Ik-hyeon’s response is nasty as all hell: Consort Hwang was a means to plant his eggs in another bird’s nest. Now, her father is dead by his hand.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final) Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

There’s a struggle. Out of the shadows comes Uiseong. Consort Hwang breathes out a single word — no — as Uiseong rushes forward, running Ik-hyeon through with a sword. Ik-hyeon sinks to the ground. He has just enough strength to reach for Uiseong, telling him that he is his father. All he asks is that Uiseong survive.

Across the palace, Hwa-ryeong comes running, in time to witness the Dowager Queen throw the autopsy report onto a fire. It’s over, the Dowager Queen tells her. She sent Uiseong after Ik-hyeon — and by now, he’ll have killed his own father.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Actually, it’s far from over. With multiple voices in his ear, the King must decide which version of the truth to tell. The Dowager Queen can’t understand why he won’t execute Uiseong: sure, he thought the boy was his firstborn and all, but has he considered that she doesn’t care? As for Taein’s death… if he opens up that can of worms, it’ll threaten his own legitimacy. Gyeong-woo has similar qualms. The King has been a sage ruler. Revealing his sketchy rise to power will put this legacy at risk. Only Seongnam is determined not to give the King an easy out. He knows his father has the historical notes passed down to him by Gyeong-woo. Only he can see justice done.

In this final round, it’s all to play for — and the Dowager Queen’s moves are getting desperate. She orders Cheong-ha’s physician to tamper with her medicine, scuppering her chances of conceiving a child. Then, warming to her theme, she holds an audience with the King, notifying him of Muan’s indiscretion — the secret baby he had with a commoner. However, Muan surprises everyone — not the least, Cho-wol herself — by announcing his intention to marry her. As Hwa-ryeong points out, it isn’t forbidden. Just unprecedented.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final) Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Then, the masterstroke. Hwa-ryeong ushers in Cheong-ha’s physician. Turns out, unlike practically every other doctor in the palace, he actually cares about medical ethics. The brave guy confesses that the Dowager Queen ordered him to poison Cheong-ha. On the advice of Hwa-ryeong, he lied about the Crown Princess’ condition. Cheong-ha is pregnant — and her heart disease shouldn’t trouble her, as long as she’s careful.

Spitting mad, the Dowager Queen turns on Hwa-ryeong: does she think she can change the world by revealing the truth? Perhaps not, says Hwa-ryeong. Still, she intends to help the King reach the right decision. And indeed, she does. Master Toji, she tells the King, has agreed to testify. Hwa-ryeong knows how hard this is — how every day since Taein’s death has been a battle for survival. However, now, it’s time to relinquish that burden. He has all the proof — and the power — he needs to right multiple wrongs.

The balance tips. Later, the King informs the Dowager Queen that he intends to reveal the truth… even if it means punishing his own mother. As he turns to leave, the Dowager Queen calls after him. He doesn’t stop. For the first time, we see her resolve tremble. It turns out, the tough-as-nails schemer we’ve come to know and loath is indeed capable of tears. Proof positive that Kim Hae-sook is a powerhouse: when the Dowager Queen gives a fragile smile, reminiscing about the meals she used to share with her son, I feel half inclined to squeeze out a tear myself.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

The King’s announcement produces the expected kerfuffle from his ministers: literally nobody wants this. Equally, nobody can stop him. And so, the truth of Prince Taein’s murder is finally spoken aloud. Queen Yoon, Lady Min and the former Grand Heir are to be reinstated. As for the King’s own legacy — that, he will leave to history.

Meanwhile, in the gloom of the palace cells, Seongnam speaks to Master Toji. Was he truly in league with Ik-hyeon when he wrote a prescription for the Crown Prince? No, says Master Toji, as he is escorted out, presumably to his death. His treatment was harmless. He only ever sought to do good.

You did well by your brother, Hwa-ryeong tells Seongnam. Now, it is time for them both to let him go. All at once, the princely mask Seongnam has cultivated — cracks. He smiles at his mother through tears. Later, he will embrace his nephew, welcoming him back from exile. Hwa-ryeong watches, remembering her eldest son’s last words. She too smiles.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

As for the Dowager Queen — the King intends to keep her confined to her quarters. However, his mother has no intention of letting anyone else write her ending. When Court Lady Nam comes to check on her mistress, she falls to her knees in anguish. There, in her usual seat, is the Dowager Queen: clad in her wedding clothes, eyes closed in death.

Three months later, the palace is peaceful. Seongnam is making up for lost time by being outrageously in love with Cheong-ha — almost as outrageously as she’s in love with him. He’s working down her to-do list. The two take romantic strolls, canoodle by moonlight, and merrily argue over whether their first child will be a girl or a boy. The ever-irrepressible Cheong-ha has plenty of work on her hands; she’s agreed to help Hwa-ryeong with her women’s shelter. Meanwhile, Seongnam plans for the day that he will restore the throne to his nephew.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

It’s not all sunshine and kisses by moonlight. Uiseong and Consort Hwang are whiling away the hours in exile — under the ever-watchful eye of Hwa-ryeong. Still, for all that he’s a slimy little schemer, Uiseong loves his mother dearly. They take solace in each other. There’s less solace for the grieving Queen Yoon: only the thought of Uiseong, her grandson, sustains her.

Consort Tae sees Bogum regularly, even now that he’s left the palace. Consort Ko is delighted to learn that Shimso’s wife is pregnant. And all the consorts love visits from Muan, who has nominally also left to care for his daughter, but stays so frequently he might as well still live there.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final) Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Meanwhile, Gyeseong has made an important discovery: being closeted in the royal palace… really sucks. Tenderly clutching Hwa-ryeong’s hands, Gyeseong tells her that there’s a world outside the palace, where they can be who they really are. For all that Hwa-reong longs to hold on, she realizes that Gyeseong cannot hide behind her forever. And so, knowing they intend to leave for good, Gyeseong embraces their brothers at the palace gate. In possibly the most moving two seconds of the entire drama, Hwa-ryeong holds Gyeseong’s portrait and cradles it close.

Of course, Hwa-ryeong’s children still being — well, themselves — every day brings chaos. We end with our Queen furiously sprinting through the palace in order to prevent Ilyeong jumping off the roof in a homemade hang glider. Except — there’s one last shot. Hwa-ryeong treads slowly through the rain across the courtyard. Silently, Seongnam catches up to her. He shelters her under his umbrella.

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

Folks, these last two episodes had moments of thrilling intensity; in particular, the confrontation between Ik-hyeon, Consort Hwang, and Uiseong put me through the emotional wringer. Often, this show goes light on the traditional Joseon drama elements, but the coup plotline really relished in it. Meanwhile, watching Hwa-ryeong and the Dowager Queen face off in that biting, no-holds-barred way of theirs is always a treat, especially with those hints of much-awaited nuance to the Dowager Queen. Hwa-ryeong isn’t a character I’ll forget in a hurry: her gentle yet relentless compassion, her determination to be a shield to her loved ones, and that indomitable way she strides through the palace halls will stick with me for a while.

One thing that really characterized this show was its ambition, especially in juggling an outrageously broad cast of characters. Sometimes, this backfired, such as the underwritten nature of Gyeseong’s plotline, or the lack of complexity we got in our villains. However, mostly it led to a series of beautiful mini-narratives within the greater whole: the detailed vignettes about mothers and sons; the deep intrigue of Ik-hyeon’s revenge tragedy; the charmingly understated romance between Cheong-ha and Seongnam; and the nuanced portrayal of the King as a well-intentioned yet eminently corruptible politician. This drama contained so much! Inevitably, that means there are threads I wish had been picked up further, and relationships I wish had been expanded, but I am largely delighted with what we got. Here’s to you, Hwa-ryeong!

Under the Queen's Umbrella: Episodes 15-16 (Final)

 
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Great drama, great acting. An all-time fave!

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It's a pity it's over. For me it was the best drama I have seen this year.

At the end, the queen dowager actually managed to bring a few tears to my eyes and make me feel a little sorry for her.

Could it be that Consort Hwang has lost her mind? She seemed to be living in another world.

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I wondered that about Consort Hwang too. She genuinely seemed to think she was still in the palace, that she could change Uiseong's tutors at a whim. And when the Queen turned up to visit, there was no attempt to look at her or recognise that there was somebody there.

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I'll assume the Queen wasn't in Consort Hwang's line of sight or Consort Hwang was being full of herself. I felt a mix of pity and sympathy for her though.

Ok Ja-yeon did the perfect job of preserving Consort Hwang's dignity and regal composure down to the lowest end.

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I do think she was having a PTSD after that night event. Even in that state, Hwa-Ryeong still care for both Uiseong and Consort Hwang.

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This drama was great! Those episodes had so many good moments.

I'm sad for Prince Uiseong, he was lied and manipulated by his greedy mother and grand-father. He became a villain because of them. He killed his own father.

We could see how Queen Im Hwa-Ryeong's love and care helped so many people, her own sons, but the sons of the concubines too, the women in need, it was really a greatest qualities. I liked the fact the drama was focused on motherly love with very different ends for each of them.

I was disapointed by Seongnam and Cheong-Ha's story after the wedding... It was so confusing did they consummate or not? Is she pregnant or not? If their awkwardness was cute at the beginning, after it looked like it was more the actors than the characters who were feeling awkward.

The Prince's bond was really cute, their separation was touching. It's nice they got a conclusion too.

Kim Hye-Soo really embodied the Queen's spirit!
The scenes with the umbrella were beautiful.

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I agree about the princes' relationship, Kim Hye Soo, and the umbrella scenes.

I disagree with you about Prince Uiseong. Right from the beginning he was cruel, starting with his plan to kill all of the people in the quarantined village. Yes he was manipulated by his family but he was free to make his own choices. He didn't know he was descended from the former king but was greedy for the throne anyway, to take it from his brothers. He schemed and lied and attempted to murder his brother and succeeded in murdering a villager. He didn't care how he got what he wanted as long as he got it.

Contrast him with the King. Imagine his childhood being raised by the Dowager Queen!! Yet he was kind and tried very hard to be a wise, caring king to make up for his mother's terrible actions. In the end he chose honesty over his mom. Both men had scheming moms, one chose to be evil and the other good.

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A 2022 kdrama that stuck its landing 👏🏾👏🏾.

I loved it and it has definitely made it to my short list of 2022 favourites

Ps: I wouldn't mind a spin-off of our Crown prince, his wife, nephew, brothers and the grand princes 🤭

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Thank you, @alathe, for the weecap! No one loves you as a mother would - a famous mother's day quote that I really love. This drama goes to show how a mother will go to great lengths to protect her children - to keep them safe from the rain under her umbrella. It also showed the dowager queen doing the same thing for her son, the king, and the concubines for their sons, the princes.
Seeing a drawing of Gye-seong's back wearing a hanbok walking outside the palace makes me think he/she will have a better life outside. Love the show!

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Thanks for the recap @alathe. This was an all-around great show. It ended as well as it began and always kept things pacy and exciting. Really impressed with the writer - especially considering it's their first work.
What a lovely moment to see Seongnam provide shelter to the Queen under his umbrella now.

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A great kdrama that I got hooked to this year. It's light yet thrilling. I give the show a robust 8/10. What happened to the two missing points? Well...

I wish that they showed the Queen Dowager consuming the cuckoo pint in the finale. Remember how the Queen I'm Hwa-Ryeong gifted her with that plant? She said she can choose to use it as a either medicine or a poison. It would've been so satisfying to see her take it to end her life instead of just showing that she died. Even if they showed the box on her table indicating that she's taken the poison would've been a great ending for her. However, I did like the fact towards the end when the narrator said that the old king passed away the following day she was crowned queen. She stepped down a day after her crowing- a clear indication that she paved the way for the current king to take over.

Another thing is, where is the justice for Queen Yoon's family? Her family is the rightful royal family but they weren't given the chance at all to rectify the mistakes of the past. They reinstated her back probably as Queen Dowager but how about the true heir to the throne who happens to be Prince Uiseong? True, Physician Kwon/ Prince Yi-Ikyeon plotted rebellion/treason against the current king BUT isn't it fair to say that his actions were justifiable? They killed his older brother the Crown Prince along with their other siblings. Isn't or fair that he plotted a rebellion to get back what was rightfully his to start with? And poor Prince Uiseong, the rightful owner of the throne is spending the rest of his life as an exile. His life would've been better had justice been served.

I would've liked to see an ending like this:

The current king and his family keeps the throne while they train Prince Uiseong to become the future king through an intensive program. After 2 years, Prince Uiseong gets to ascend as the Crown Prince since he's really the one true heir. His mom gets exiled along with the Queen Dowager.

That's my preferred ending but really, it's all but a wishful thinking. The show's ending is more realistic though. No matter how sage the current king might have been all those 20 years before the rebellion plot, it still shows how greedy he is with power. He tried to be sage but he's not. A true king gives justice to those who were treated unfairly yet, he didn't. He, a concubines son, kept the throne. He's no different than his mom the QD. Their plan is to pass the CP position once the grand heir who happens to be his grandson, grows up. The same thing could've been done to Prince Uisyeong. His grandfather was the king, his dad was the last remaining Grand Prince, and he's the Grand Heir. But no... At the end of the day, it's all about power. No matter how much the current royal family is good, justice still has not been served. They're still thieves of the Crown. There's no difference
between a person stealing one dollar and a person who...

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....steals a million dollars. Both are still thieves no matter which angle you see it.

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Uiseong though is a murderer, he killed a civilian to get what he wanted. Just like his mother and father, they crossed the line. Not a worthy heir.

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You forget to add Uiseong giving explicit instructions to kill Prince Gyeseong, also during the Taekyeon process.

I know that by natural rights, Uiseong should be future King. However, someone like him should never seat on the throne. All of the Queen's descendants will be done away with. I do not trust the remorseful Uiseong at the end of ep 16. I will, just like the Queen, be forever wary of him. He crossed the line, not only with the people but with family. He's too unhinged and unstable.

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Yes. He is a tyrant in the making. I also forgot about the line in one ep during the Taekyon when the scholars learned that he was beating his servants. So no sympathy at all for this family.

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Yes, you do have a point. I forgot about that part of the story. The taekyeon was done in the insistence of the QD because she knew her son was capable but more so because she was hungry for power and probably felt side-stepped by the deposed Queen Yoon during the selection process.
Still, I would've wanted him to be acknowledged for his birth lineage if not his birth right. Even if the court will deem him unfit to be a king for whatever crimes he committed, I still think that he should've been acknowledged for his royal roots.
However, be it in real life or in fiction, politics is the same- it's dirty. The current king didn't reveal his real status for the fear of many repercussions- his concubine getting impregnated by another man, his involvement in the poisoning of the previous CP (he's an accessory as per our modern time), the threat of losing his status as a king and be deposed, etc... He might have been a sage king but he still took part in the crime against the former CP. He didn't report his mom to the king then. With that in mind, would he have been qualified to join the taekyeon? Of course not! He would've been put to death then.

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Personally, I prefer to think that Seongnam and his own children will inherit the throne. I hate this almost noble idiocy trope in sageuks of people giving up their places for the "rightful" owners so I'm happy the ending was left to our interpretation.

As for Uiseong, he has no right to inherit the throne.
Firstly, he is ILLEGITIMATE. He is literally the product of a married woman's affair. Even if the rebellion succeeded, they would've never revealed that he is not Yi Ho's son.
Secondly, none of the original Grand Princes was qualified to take their brother's place. Queen Yoon herself acknowledged that. The taekhyeon only took place because they weren't good enough. On the other hand, Yi Ho was outstanding. The throne might have been stolen from Crown Prince Taein, but not from them. So your point about Uiseong being the grandson of a King and son of the last Grand Prince is quite meaningless. If the taekhyeon happens, it's irrelevant if you are the son of the Queen or of a concubine. The winner is the rightful heir.

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Agree with you about Uiseong, he should never be placed in a leadership position! He would use and abuse. Aside from his illegitimacy.

I do like that Prince Seongnam will hold the throne for his little nephew. Seongnam had a wonderful relationship with his older brother, they loved each other, and he loves his brother's son, his nephew, just as much. I couldn't take a beloved nephew's place just because I could and neither could Seongnam. If his nephew can't become king for some reason, then I would be fine with Seongnam becoming king. Or his baby niece being queen!! But of course women didn't historically have this kind of place in society so she would be passed over.

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...She stepped down a day after her crowing- a clear indication that she paved the way for the current king to take over....

In the end, the Queen protected her husband, and the Queen Dowager protected her son.
I was surprised to see the Queen Dowager end her life in a just-crowned-Queen costume, but it surely was a powerful statement.

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A great drama that stuck the landing. I'm really impressed with the writer who created a well-paced drama that didn't fall into the trap of having the good guys underdogs until the very end: The Queen was smart and after her son's death, kept a couple steps ahead of the villains.

The Queen Dowager was diabolical, manipulating Uiseong to kill his father. Poor Queen Yoon never did get a win. Yes, the truth of Crown Prince Taein's death was revealed, but she lost her remaining son and only had her exiled grandson to stay alive for.

This drama was about the Queen, but I did like the glimpses of her relationship with the King.

I liked seeing the princes again and their relationships with their mothers.

The Queen's scene with Grand Prince Gyeseong was touching. I'm glad Gyeseong spread their wings and left the palace.

The umbrella scenes at the end were lovely.

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Why have i not been able to download this final episodes cos is not out to download at net9ja

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This drama was compelling and consistent from beginning to end. It really had everything - heart, humor, mystery, melodrama. Big on emotions! Great cast, great cinematography. The theme of a mother and her love & protection was very strong.

The casting was SO important! Honestly, if the actor who played Physician Kwon had been well-known, then it would have ruined the element of surprise. I would have been immediately wary of him. The actor's name is Kim Jae Bum btw. He was great. I suspected that he was shady, but not to the extent that he was one of the prominent players in the game.

The show did a wonderful job with Gyeseong's arc. It was a shock that they even included his kind of story in the first place. In the beginning and a few times after, I was worried that they used him as a simple plot device. But the fact that they finished his story in the best way made me so happy!

I'm glad we got more explanations to a few things like I was wrong about the gansu used on Crown Prince... (I thought it could have been used orally in small amounts, but dismissed that and went with topical use in the previous recap thread.)

So the Dowager Queen had been the queen for only a day. I briefly thought her motivation was an inferiority complex or greed or something. But either way, she was the worst and her actions were unforgivable. She remained consistent to the end. I knew she would commit suicide.

The subtle, touching moments between the Queen & King were sweet and uncommon. The cute and lightly funny romance between Seongnam & Cheong Ha were also a pleasure to watch. I love that he found her to-do list and was checking off each task, hehe.

One quibble would be maybe Hwa Ryeong did not have major setbacks. I guess I'm used to seeing struggling protagonists and/or frustrating, dumb obstacles. It was nice to see her acting and behaving like a good, decent person. I would want someone like her on my side. So fierce and clever. Kind and compassionate.

This drama ended on a feel-good note. The finale wrapped up things well, bringing back past details like Hwa Ryeong taking a moment to feel the wind, as if feeling the Crown Prince's presence. Seongnam asking Master Toji about the prescription. His guilt finally dissolving. Seongnam sheltering his mother with the umbrella this time. ♥♥♥

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Yes!! Well written. I also really liked Gyeseong's story, the king and queen's relationship as well as that of the queen and her sons, and between the princes (except for one!), and Seongnam checking off Cheongha's list.
Especially:
"...details like Hwa Ryeong taking a moment to feel the wind, as if feeling the Crown Prince's presence. Seongnam asking Master Toji about the prescription. His guilt finally dissolving. Seongnam sheltering his mother with the umbrella this time. ♥♥♥"

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I love this series....
Love, Love Love

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I really like this ending. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was pretty perfect for me. Apart from the Chief State Counsellor and Physician Kwon (who got their dramatic deaths) I liked the “understated-ness” of it all: each character ended up in a place that felt somewhat fair to what they done or experienced, but there weren’t huge fanfares.

I’m making the assumption that the DQ took her own life, but chose to die in full regalia. She was consistent to the last – it was all about her image and not at all about repentance. Her death managed to sit right on the line of dignified and pathetic and refused to give any hints as to which side we should come down on.

Prince Uiseong and Consort Hwang were involved in treason and arguably should have had a harsher punishment, but I felt their desserts were just. They having to live out their days in obscurity without prospects, and possibly Uiseong has a huge burden in caring for a mother who won’t let him, or the notion that she’s still a consort, go.

I loved that Gyeseong got to leave the palace and experience the freedom that he craved. The tiny section when the four brothers said goodbye was beautifully bittersweet – the youngest wanting him to come back each year, the oldest knowing that that would never happen. They all played this scene so well. I loved the way the drama gave the princes individual personalities and passions and allowed us to cheer for them, even if Ilyeong’s came at the 11th hour.

Beautiful ending for the Seongnam and his princess. I loved the way that he, in his quiet understated way, took it upon himself to work his way through her wishes book and show her that he really cared. When he took her hand during their walk it was so satisfying, even more so than their kiss or the knowledge that both of them remembered their first sex. And Seongnam promising the Grand Heir that he would be king and Seongnam would protect his kingdom for him was a satisfying way of recognising Seongnam as warrior not ruler.

And the Queen! So perfect that she got to see her husband – and I believe real friend – choose to do the right thing and right the record. Superb moments when she got to “see off” the original Crown Prince in her heart and mind with the knowledge that she had kept her promise, that she got to keep Gyeseong’s portrait and receive his paintings regularly, and that, finally, she was under her son’s umbrella rather than holding it for them all.

I genuinely loved this drama, for its style, its intelligence, its cast, and its absolute belief that it had a great story to tell without having to resorts to histrionics. A compelling watch that will stay in my memory.

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When the QD took her own life, she wore her wedding dress? Or is it the dress where she was supposed to be appointed as Queen but then her husband die immediately after that? I got lost in that part.
Again, to die in dignity is always something I am expecting from her 😅.

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That type of robe is worn by Queens and Crown Princesses for big ceremonies such as weddings and coronations.

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This is one of the biggest surprises of the year for me because I did not expect to love this so much. Sageuk dramas are rarely my favorite kind of drama but this one, it has managed to capture both my interest and my heart. Kim Hyesoo is such a wonderful gem in the industry and will surely be nominated in the next year's Baeksang once again. Wonderful performances as well from Kim Haesook (as Queen Dowager) and Choi Wonyoung (as the King). The princes are not the best actors yet but surely have the potential though Moon Sangmin is charming as the crown prince, tbh. His chemistry with Oh Yeju (Yoon Cheongh) is such a delight to watch.

It's been a great ride, UTQU! Thank you for being amazing until the end.

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The drama will remain as one of my all-time favorite historical dramas ever. I loved almost all the characters Each was unique on their own, treating us to various mini storylines. I loved Seongnam from the beginning. He was portrayed as someone smart who masks all of that under being reckless. His love for his brothers and genuine care for others won me. It is no wonder that Cheong-ha fell in love with him at first sight despite his cold exterior.
Muan was the one who kept me laughing all along. His story was a breath of fresh air in the other heavier plotlines. Both Simso, Bogeom, and II-young found peace in their life and chose to do what they want best.
As for Gyeseong, I am sad that he left his family but it was inevitable as he can't live in hiding forever.
I was not too fond of Uiseong but fell for him slightly after the harsh truth he came to find out. He will live in guilt throughout his life for killing his father although he didn't know anything back then.
I really admire the queen. She pulls off the balance between being a compassionate person and a strong monarch who is in charge of the inner court. She shielded literally everyone under her umbrella.
I loathed the queen dowager and every time she was on screen, it made my blood boil but that is all thanks to Kim Hae-sook who really nailed her role as expected of such a highly experienced veteran.
I wish we got to see more of what happened in the past between the queen dowager and queen Yoon, Taein's murder, and how the late king handled the situation. However, it is okay as the show did great in other aspects.
Under the queen's umbrella will be one of the great shows that I will return to occasionally to rewatch some of my favorite scenes.

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Among the few kdramas of 2022 that completely stuck the landing for me. While it had its shortcomings from time to time, it was truly an impressive work of television overall. Queen Im Hwa-ryeong is yet another iconic character to remember from Kim Hye-soo’s incredible career and one of my favourite kdrama protagonists of the year. I will definitely be on the lookout for future works by the screenwriter, I am truly impressed that it’s their first endeavour.

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Screenwriter Park Ba-ra's credits aren't long (a few movies beginning from 2006 and a drama: 'The Idle Mermaid') BUT the quality of her research and the ability to finely-layer the multiverse of her characters is exemplary. For example, she shows us the petty side of our naive Consort Tae, Bogum's mother, as she tries but fails to fight her inferiority complex around being an ex-palace maid to Queen Hwa Ryeyoung. Yet, even after succumbing to the the Queen Dowager's manipulation to come to the dark side, the writer invokes our empathy for her by drawing on the innocent heart she began with at the start . Same with the Consort who bullies her starving, weak-hearted son, refusing to let him back into the palace until the battle for Crown Prince is over . She too, soon becomes an ally of the Queen, but not for power or prestige in the court, but gratefulness. I loved how these small victories Hwa Ryeong has with the consorts underscores Hwa Ryeong's patience, empathy and wisdom. There's great writing happening when you don't have to 'tell' the audience how understanding a character is...you just show it in the relationship she forges around her. Same with her relationship/friendship with the King. She always gives him her understanding yet honest opinions with loyalty & respect. Their connection also hints at a deeper love than their formal exchange of words allowed. We saw Hwa-ryeong's intelligence and endurance in the way she tackled her 'boys' education, staying up nights to the books she wanted them to know. Above all, she had shrewdness and a great ability to reason out her problems, not jump to conclusions or accusations when she felt her son's death was suspicious. BUT what I love about our writer's mastery, is her ability to show us Hwa Ryeong's flaws as well. Our Queen was often contemptuous of bad behavior, leaning towards harshness in disciplining her 'boys' (yet thinking better of her outbursts after she had one and then showing them warmth after). She also seemed a touch narcissistic, as if she was the ONLY one who could solve the problem and often stormed into confront and accuse, even without the facts or someone beside her for support. Of course these are strengths when it goes in her favour, but I was thinking that if I had to choose a friend to hang out with today, likely she wouldn't be my first choice. Too high maintenance, manipulative and over-bearing even with a big heart. But when you need to stand under someone's umbrella, this is your girl! In the end, she's a very strong likeable lead because under all that gritty iron is a heart of gold. As for the Crown Prince and his brothers, they were the only ones who drew tears from me in this drama. Their easy friendship, loyalty and support for each other in that last good-bye hug for Gyesong opened the floodgates. The acting in this series was a feast for the heart, the writing a treasure box of jewelled characters and mystery, and this drama, for me,...

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....won the K-Drama crown for 2022!

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Undisputed.
The writing here is an exquisite delight to both read and watch.

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This is the second Saguek I'm watching this year whose central characters remained central from start to almost finish, and I trusted it'll be to finish and I wasn't disappointed.
Seeing less of the ministers politicking and the Queen and King moving on the chess board and never letting the light shine off her (the Queen) or the other women of the Internal Court is good writing.

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... and more of the Queen and King...

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Quick note to say I loved UNDER THE QUEEN’S UMBRELLA. A wonderful production: acting, directing, writing, and the look of the drama. It was a first rate total package.
Special note has to be made of the tour de force performance of Kim Hye-soo as Queen Im Hwa-ryeong. I will never forget the scenes of her sitting with her left leg propped up under he robes while trying to stay ahead of those plots to harm her boys. Thank you KHS!

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I thought they really wrapped up the story well. I'm glad the princes are well, and the king's power didn't seem to have been affected by his coming clean. The Queen Dowager was a heavyweight, but Kim Hye-soo managed to hold her own in their scenes together. These are characters I won't forget for a long time.

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I hope the wishes of the crown princess and crown prince will both come true so that they have twins lol

Regarding the reinstatement of the grand heir, I don't the crown prince wanted to be one. He was forced by the circumstances. Also, I think both he and his wife will thrive more outside the palace.

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Brilliant summation of an outstanding and complex plot. The characters, the costuming,?the intrigue and artistry of the series will make most other dramas pale in comparison. Amazing.

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There was a lot to love about this drama. The historical genre in Kdramas is not my favorite because I don't have a lot of knowledge about Korea's history, but this show did it right. I really enjoyed it!!

One aspect that I appreciated, among many!, was the strength and leadership of the women in this show. The women, from powerful to evil to innocent, they were all strong characters who were not reliant on men for their success. Super!!

Speaking of women though, the one thing I wondered about was where were all of the princesses? Did the king really sire 11 princes and no princesses? Seems odd. The only princess we met was Seongnam's baby niece. Just a minor quibble and if they had had princesses they would have needed actresses and storylines etc.

Overall a wonderful drama with some meaningful messages about strong women, mothers, family relationships, gender identity acceptance, leadership that can be kind and caring while also effective and strong, and facing your past to move on to your future.

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