KDrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch (Episode 7 - First & Second Rewatch Insights)

May 26, 2020

Things are going to be a bit different from here on. I have actually already finished episode 12 of the series (the latest one as of this writing) and I have to say I am blown away on how the story is progressing. The story is going so well now, and at this point I have realized that this whole drama is actually like a puzzle/riddle that the viewers have to solve. I need to rewatch the series from episode one to search for clues because I am 100% sure the writers have dropped some clues here and there within the previous episodes. But, I still wanted to write the original reviews that I have for the first 12 episodes. From episode 1 - 12,  there would be two parts of the review in the post: first is my original impression when I first watched it, and second is my insights on my rewatch. I am so hooked on this drama! I think I would be sleeping late tonight (by the way it's a Tuesday and I have work tomorrow huhu).

First-Watch Review:
I'm actually growing fond now with Prime Minister Koo because of how well she handles her sexist critics. She is very aware of this, and even points out to her stylists that they always choose masculine outfits (i.e. pants) for her because she's outnumbered by men at work. Meanwhile, the Seoul Jongo Police team becomes busy with a murder case wherein a roommate gets killed with her facemask on. The initial suspect is the boyfriend who visited the victim at her dormitory. I find it astounding that the police relied on the suspect's SNS details to further confirm his identity. Is that how it is in real life? 🤔 Also, police investigators get involved in murders and see dead bodies all the time, so I guess it's fact of life that they need to desensitize themselves from their emotions as they do their job. I liked how the topic of mental health of police officers were discussed here.

I find it amusing that Jung Tae-Eul always mentions eyelid surgery. It's like she is mocking herself. But I do think she's very beautiful. She has natural Korean beauty, not surgical beauty. 😅 And her skin looks so good, it's unreal. She doesn't need any makeup! What's your secret, girl? Meanwhile, we see Lee Gon getting obsessed with his girl's ponytail, like wtf!? I find this very silly, but okay also (a bit) cute at the same time.

I liked Nari's statement about doppelgangers. She said that if doppelgangers meet, one of them has to die, that is so the universe can maintain it's balance (I'm quoting her non-verbatim by the way). Is this a clue on how these parallel universes work? And then we see Jo Young and Jo Eun-Sup meet each other. When I saw this scene, I was like wow they really did that! With what I have learned with the Harry Potter universe, doppelgangers should never meet, or else chaos would ensue (but thinking about it again, that was more like about your past self seeing your future self LOL nevermind)! I am just so amazed how good an actor Woo Do-Hwan is. Please let him win an award for this drama, please! 🏆

Now we really see what Lee Lim's plans are. He is really out there to recruit innocent doppelgangers of the Republic of Korea to bring to the Kingdom of Corea (and some people the other way around). He is just so evil!

I have to say this is one of the cheesiest episodes in the series so far. Although very cliche (especially that phone call scene *cringes*), the couple's date is such nice escape from the other serious parts of the story. For a second I thought I was watching a typical light-hearted romcom Korean drama! But if you watch it again, the couple's roles are very interesting. They're not just the typical boyfriend-girlfriend -- the man is a king of a kingdom, and the woman is a police officer. What an interesting combination, right? 

And now we see them trying to solve a common case: why is there a recording of news from the kingdom of Corea in a 2G phone in the Republic of Korea? Is the balance of the two worlds becoming chaotic now? Who is sending the RoK newspaper to the Prime Minister? 

Episode Rating: ★★★★
I'm giving this episode the perfect score, all because of Jo Young and Jo Eun-Sup's introduction to each other! That was really epic.

Second-Watch Review:
  • One year after the treason, Lee Lim sent his doppelganger corpse to KoC.
  • Here's one favorite quote from this episode (I wasn't able to note who said it): "Sometimes life flows in unexpected directions."
  • I wonder why the drama is titled "Eternal Monarch"? Will the king become immortal? Will he be trapped in a time so in some way we could say he lives forever?
  • Poor Jangmi was puking at the roommate crime scene. So this was his first time to see a dead body killed. Ahh I really think you should have a strong mental health if you want to be a police for a long time.
  • It was mentioned that pink lotus flowers represent trust.
  • Nari gets a haircut. This aspect of the story really got me confused because in later episodes she is shown with long hair again. 
  • I liked Nari's statement about the balance of the worlds. "If there's more than one of something when there's supposed to be just one, it will cause chaos."
  • I'm starting to notice that there's a recurrent play of the effects of reflections. There were several scenes wherein the angle shows a character's reflection, or the mirror was just in the background. I think it's a subtle reference to the parallel worlds and of their doppelgangers, which is an effect I really liked.
  • All these events between the parallel worlds are like movements in a game of chess. LL and LG have the position of king at their respective sides, and the doppelgangers advance and kill their counterparts, like a checkmate move on the chessboard.
  • I found it really funny when Jo Eunsup fainted when Jo Yeong said it is not compulsory to do military service in his world. 
  • I found it cute that the phone JTE gave to LG has a sliver horse phone case.
  • Lee Lim said, "I always do everything in advance." Is this another hint? 👀
  • I find that hospital head so suspicious. It was just a few-second scene but I already hate her. LOL.

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