KDrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch (Episode 5 - First & Second Rewatch Insights)

May 09, 2020

First-Watch Review:
The world turns around for Jung Tae-eul as she becomes the alien, this time, in the king's world. She discovers that the name of the king is Gon Lee but no one in his world is allowed to say that name. As they enter the palace and Gon Lee shows her to selected palace staff, everything slowly sinks in for Jung Tae-eul that indeed, this is a parallel world and this man is really the king of Corea.

Finally, I solved one puzzle piece in the drama -- that girl that manages the milk tea place near Jung Tae-eul's place is indeed the doppelganger of one of the palace staff (what was her position again?). Jung Tae-eul's reactions were so relatable -- I would have done all the same things that she attempted to do if I was placed in the same situation. I would ask for access to the internet and just google stuff that I needed to know. Also, I think I would request some alcohol too to calm my nerves to take everything that's happening around me.

Here comes the kilig scene in Jung Tae-eul's assigned bedroom in the palace. The two get cozy as they sat on the floor of the room. And then Gon Lee goes in for a kiss. It looked and felt awkward (oo na-feel ko din talaga haha). It was so unromantic! Jung Tae-eul didn't even close her eyes because she was too taken aback (but I admit, that angle highlighted Lee Minho's jaw line 😍). I found Lee Minho's smile and overall mood in this episode very heartwarming and cute. I melted with his look with his bangs down when he showed up to Jung Tae-eul the next morning.

Curious about the parallel world and the idea that the same people she knows exist also in this world, Jung Tae-eul goes strolling around Busan, and even decides to go to Seoul. There, she locates this world's version of the police station she works with (surprisingly her two superiors also works there), and Gang Shin Jae whom of course doesn't recognize Jung Tae-eul when they met while crossing the street. It must have felt very weird, seeing the people you know are your friends, but they completely ignore you or doesn't recognize you. I guess the closest experience people have of this is with relatives that have dementia. I just couldn't imagine how hard that could be... 💔

Jo Young, one of the royal guards (who is actually Jo Eun-Sup in the other world) was secretly tailing Jung Tae-eul per the king's orders. Jo Young then encounters people who recognized Jung Tae-eul. This really bothered him. It seems like Jung Tae-eul is connected to that girl with the bunny ear jacket that Gon Lee runs after in the first episode. In the Corea world, her name is Luna and is part of a gangster group.

It's also been revealed that Lee Lim, that evil uncle, is indeed plotting something evil behind the scenes. He goes to recruiting this woman who is a doppelganger of an influential woman in his original world. And so this was his plan all along. (Light-bulb moment 💡!) This is going to be so interesting if indeed the conflict goes this way -- what if Lee Lim uses Luna as bait for the king? This really puts Jung Tae-eul in bad position! 😨 Again, I am 98% confident of this theory.

Episode Rating: ★★★☆☆
Although it was interesting to watch Jung Tae-eul explore Corea, I found Jung Tae-eul and Gong Lee's situation a cliche again of this rich-guy-poor-girl setup, especially the ending where the prime minister steps in... Like whaaat, is this how the love triangle gets highlighted in the series? Plus, the prime minister Koo Seo-Ryeong doesn't seem to have pure romantic interest with the king. It's all just politics. 

Second-Watch Review:
  • As soon as LG returns to the palace in KoC, JY phones Lady Noh to tell this news. Lady Noh is shown talking to the phone and looking intently at the four tiger sword. Is this some kind of foreshadowing on what role this sword will have in the series (especially in relation to crossing worlds)?
  • What if only one person possesses both the flute pieces and then crosses the portal, will time still stop for both worlds? I know this already happened in Episode 15, but I didn't notice if time still stopped. Eh, I think I need to rewatch that episode.
  • LG said: one minute here inside the portal is an hour outside. So this is why LL was adjusting his clock to one hour forward whenever he lands to RoK. So it only takes a minute for LL to cross the portal, and to think that he's only travelling on foot. Meanwhile LG has Maximus, and one time upon arrival to KoC, LG requests his staff to take care of Maximus because the travel has been too long for her. Which makes me hypothesize that LL has a short path, and LG has a long path inside the portal? But thinking about it, maybe LG is just exploring the road in the portal, because he also mentioned that he seems to not reach the edge of that world.
  •  When JTE was talking to the Nari in KoC (I cannot remember the name of her counterpart LOL), her police detective instincts kicked in and she started to ask questions to her. I really liked this consistency of her character in every situation.
  • Lady Noh tells JTE: "An existence that cannot explained will only bring chaos to the world."
  • Why should the doppelganger himself kill his counterpart? Is it part of the rules of the parallel universes?
  • Another little detail that I noticed during the scene where KSJ and JTE were crossing the street: when I first watched this episode (and you can read this comment on the first-watch review), I thought they were both in KoC, and KSJ just did not recognize her. But if you look carefully in this scene, both characters cross the street, but the shadow that they casted were projected in different directions. Also, another detail is the signs of the streets. The streets signs were different between KoC and RoK.
  • I wondered -- does KSJ's psychiatrist have a crush on him? LOL.
  • I'm really loving PM Koo's power dressing outfits.
  • I find the editing of the Gwanghwamun Square so realistic., epecially that part wherein the statue was supposed to be in Busan, and not in Seoul. Great job to the special effects team!
  • On second rewatch, I still didn't like that last scene involving the encounter between JTE and PM Koo. It's so unnecessary to establish a competition-like vibe between the two, because well there's really no competition! What's the point. 😒

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