KDrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch (Episode 8-12 First & Second Rewatch Insights)

June 12, 2020

The final episode of TK:EM is just around the corner, and so I am cramming to have this post go live before episode 16 airs (did I make it guys?). I still have a few episodes in the backlog and since the drama is ending soon, I decided to pack up all the remaining episodes into just one post. So here we are covering five episodes of the drama. Let's go! 갈 까요?

Episode 8

First-Watch Review:
The wheels of fate have started to turn -- Lee Lim gets hold of Jung Tae Eul's ID. The question is... how? At this point, we are slowly seeing destiny unfold around that ID. The kid with the yoyo is shown again, standing outside the library. Who is this kid really, and what does he play in the story?

I'm really getting impressed with Kim Go Eun's acting, seeing now how she's portraying Luna, her doppelganger. With just looking at the eyes, you'll know who is Tae Eul and who is Luna. 

Why is Jo Yeong walking in broad daylight around RoK when he fully knows he doesn't belong in that world? What if he meets someone that knows Jo Eunsup? I found this so careless of him.

That kimchi product placement is so effective, I craved and ate ramyeon with kimchi after watching this episode. 🍜 Also, can I just say that I am really entertained with Jangmi's character? He's so innocent and pure. It was so funny when he tried Tae Eul's make up on himself. 😆

So, Shin Jae is indeed familiar with the KoC emblem. Why? Also, there's this other woman, that looks like her mom (I bet she's her doppleganger in KoC) crying while looking at a photo of him. Uh, I didn't really make sense of that scene. I guess that is something that will be revealed in the latter episodes. Also, who's that man taking photos of Shin Jae? Hmm things are really getting more and more suspicious.

Here we go again with more cheesy scenes. We see Tae Eul and Lee Gon hanging out at The Alley. They even slurp on their milk tea at the same time. 😬

Aaaand a huge plot twist gets revealed in the end -- Shin Jae actually knows Lee Gon as a kid and has actually seen and heard his wailing (as part of the formal process of mourning for his father)? And then the piece gets fitted into the picture -- Shin Jae is originally from KoC! 🤯How? Why? I have so many questions!

I liked this quote from PM Koo -- if you are encountering a repeating pattern, it means the Universe is giving you a sign. I also liked that there's a huge BTS ad shown on the newspaper. I bet the group's fans are happily clamoring with this reference.

Episode Rating: ★★★★★
There's no point of mentioning my rating for this and the episodes to follow, because I guess I'll always rate it 5/5 from now on. 😂

Second-Watch Review:
  • When JTE was talking about the transcendental power that is trying to restore the balance, the kid with the yoyo is being shown on screen (but JTE is actually thinking about the kid who made her lose her ID) *wink wink another easter egg*
  • Luna was able to steal PM Koo's bracelet and she was already wearing it in the ice cream shop.
  • That head of the hospital looks really suspicious (and by episode 14-15, we'll know why).
  • While talking to PM Koo who is driving her car, her mom tells her to be careful while driving. Also she tells her to be careful not to lose anything. LOL. That's mom instincts there, because she already lost her bracelet (Luna took it).
  • The kid with the yoyo is always reading The King Arthur book. We know LG was referenced as King Arthur in the earlier episodes. Hmm is the story of King Arthur has some relation to LG's fate?
  • "You got out early. Your style has changed", says the yoyo kid to Luna. I wonder what he meant with "your style has changed." Was it because of the black bunny jacket?
  • Who is inviting the chief of the police out every night? Who is he meeting? "Loneliness" is a code I am sure. I just hope it's not LL or any of his followers.
  • JTE quotes while looking lovingly at LG: "When it's fate, there are no coincidences. Your fate is determined by the choices you make, but there are times when your fate chooses you. Things that are bound to happen are taking place even at this moment. I have a sad premonition that this will be short-lived but I decided to love my fate that chose me." 💔 Is this a hint that this story will not have a happy ending? 😭
  • Why does Nari have long hair here? I thought she already cut her hair short earlier. I think the timelines are not matching.
Episode 9

First-Watch Review:
  • It's so nice of PM Koo's mom to bring some food for her. I think this is a cultural thing among Koreans - the moms always bring packed lunch boxes with side dishes to their children, especially when they already live in a different household.
  • That was a very intense phone call between LL and LG! Kudos to both of these actors. They're so good!
  • I liked that scene wherein it showed how PM Koo climbed up the ladder. From being one of the audience at the back row, to being the PM and is now standing opposite of the king. This just shows how PM Koo really worked her way up the ladder. But did she step on people along the way? 😓
  • This drama has so many eating scenes, it makes me hungry and crave for chicken. 🍗😧
  • This episode finally answered my question about the logic behind LL's unaging body. So he's bidding his time inside the portal, because time flows slowly there compared to the worlds outside.
  • Th LLxLG stand-off was as intense as that phonecall. I really like LL's actor. His charisma as a villain is just overflowing. That scene has such opposite energies because LG has intense emotions in his eyes while riding the horse, looking for LL amongst the crowd. Meanwhile the people were all happily waving and smiling to their king.
Second-Watch Review:
  • That opening scene looks like from another timeline, wherein they are trying to track down the woman who has the face of Lee Gon's mother. Why does LL want that woman alive? What will he use her for? JTE is worried on how LG will feel once he meets his mom doppelganger. "A face is just a symbol of a person.", he says. Ahhh this is another recurring metaphor throughout the series.
  • "You are the reason why I should return to my world." - LG tells SJ. So it seems like LL had to bring SJ to RoK because he needed his parents (either in RoK or in KoC).  I still can't see the connections though. In RoK, SJ's dad is in jail, and his mom is just a gambling addict. Meanwhile in KoC, his mom is a palace worker. What could LL get from them?
  • LL is always shown adjusting his clock an hour in advance every time he goes back to RoK.
  • "Keep shaking while you're being shaken. Make a crack to regain balance." I wasn't able to note who said this. This statement is a foreshadowing of things to happen.
  • So, the photos that PM Koo used, to expose the scandal of one of his cabinet members, came from his ex husband's company.
  • "Greed is the most sincere emotion." - PM Koo
  • How does Lady Noh know when to send the guards to the bamboo forest?  Lady Noh said "I already know where you are going. You are chasing your destiny, aren't you?" (Aaaah what a sly sly easter egg!).
  • "Even if I can have eternal life in there, I'll come to you. If I'm late, it's because I'm on my way." - Lee Gon
  • LG finds a CCTV footage dated 05/27/2022 of Haesong Bookstore in Jo Yeong's laptop. The yoyo kid is there, with Tae Eul  passing by. LG noticed that she wasn't wearing that same outfit when she went around KoC. He was troubled by it, but knew this is part of a puzzle that he needs to solve.
  • LL says that JTE is the move that he didn't make, while KSJ is the wrong move he made.
  • At the sea with Prince Buyeong, LG looks like he is earing the same scarf as JTE. Ahh I know I am just over-analyzing things at this point already, but I really wish LG, upon turning back time, could avoid the death of innocent people, most especially of Prince Buyeong because I found it just unnecessary. 
Episode 10

First-Watch Review:
  • What is that book that Lady Noh is always reading?
  • I'm really hating those cabinet members of the PM. One even said that "This is all happening because we have a female PM. I wanted to slap that guy's face.🤬
  • Here we see JY asking all the right questions to JTE -- "Are you ready to leave it all to be the queen of KoC"?
  • Huhu that last scene wherein LG said "I'm walking through the frozen moments in time" is so dramatic. Although for sure those tears were just CGI, they were beautifully placed on each other cheeks. The way it flowed down their cheeks is just so dramatic.
Second-Watch Review:
  • I just realized that LG's stare is so scary and deadly.
  • That train running into the middle of LG and LL was a bit irritating. But I guess it was there to distract LG's group so LL's group had time to assemble and hold hostages some of the people from the crowd.
  • Also, they really aimed to "shoot to kill" the king. LL wanted LG to be dead. This is such a bold move from their group. But thank goodness... great save Eunsup! T.T
  • When PM Koo met with Prince Buyeong at the coffee shop, he was writing on his journal. I'm curious what on what he wrote about. It seems Prince Buyeong also knows some things. What was his reasons for visiting the book store? For sure it's not a coincidence.
  • Again, there's a mention of the police thief meeting someone. Who was it? Even his wife was getting suspicious now.
  • I have to say -- detectives really have sharp senses and they are great in observing their surroundings.
  • I liked how nonchalant the yoyo kid was talking to LL. He also said to him "Most things in your world are changing." This kid really knows something! And as if as an analogy of the The King Arthur story with LL's story, he asks, "What if a villain draws the sword?"
  • When JTE deleted the lookup history that LG left on his phone, she said "I will remember it. We shouldn't leave evidence. People in your world should not leave evidences in this world." Is this another foreshadowing of the ending? 😢💔
  • What if LL has turned back time multiple times? He has many copies of the flute in the umbrella stand at his home (see episode 12). Is this why he managed to leave that one copy at PM Koo's mother's house? Or are those just fake ones, made for security purposes?
  • It hurts even more the second time watching that last scene, and I have understood their exchanges even more now -- 
    JTE: "It took you a while this time."
    LG: "Because I had to come from far away."
    LG: "There will come a moment that you'd think I 'd disappeared. I don't want you to worry when that time comes. It just means I'm moving through the frozen moments in time."
Episode 11

First-Watch Review:
  • Lee Lim finally recruits Luna. I think this was an inevitable event.
  • There were many product placements in this episode!
  • When the yoyo kid gave the knife to JTE, I felt legit chills all over me! I knew it I knew it I knew it, there's something more to this kid. Is he this higher entity that maintains the balance of the worlds?
  • Kim Go Eun girl can kick! She's so badass in this episode!
  • When that truck crashed at the payphone (where JTE was a few minutes before), I got such Black Mirror-ish chills.
  • LG shouts "Protect her! She's the future queen", I felt it. Also, that hug scene shows how good Kim Go Eun is in acting. I really felt the fear and longing for LG in the way she looked at him and hugged him. 
  • I didn't realize LL had that so many followers.
Second-Watch Review:
  • JTE contemplates more on her meetup with LG at the end of episode 10. "I could tell that he was not from a different world, but from a diff time. I guess that was the day I made up my mind on a lot of things." 💔 And then she says after "Am I getting dumped like this?" Huhu so he felt that LG seems to be saying his final goodbye to her on that night.

Episode 12

First-Watch Review:
  • Did LL just recruit PM Koo to his side?
  • LG requests the CCTV staff(?) to locate JTE using his photo from the CCTV. He instructs them to use big data. Ohhh so this is how TwoSetViolin feels when they roast violin playing in movies. 😅 Because uhm, that's not how big data works.
  • I still don't know what the role of SJ's mom is in the story (hah we'll know in the next episodes!).
  • I was shocked when SJ bluntly asks JY if he and LG were dating. I was amused with how direct that question was. I think South Korea is slowly becoming more open to homosexual relationship. Hey, that's progress (and also Korean BL dramas have started to sprout so I guess they're just prepping the audience for this kind of genre).
  • When the palace staff took care of JTE, no one attended to the king the whole time. It was so unrealistic. LG still even had blood when he visited JTE on his bed. Of course, we have to mention that neck kiss. I was watching this episode at our living, which was a wrong move now that I realize it. I had to contain myself from squealing LOL and act nonchalant during that scene.
  • So, not all people, who crossed the portal, have the lightning scars. Why? What's the rule?
Second-Watch Review:
Nah, I didn't do a rewatch for ep12, but I did notice this scene, multiple flutes in the umbrella stand. Fakes or multiple copies?



Gaaah~ so I actually spent 27 hours in total in watching and rewatching episodes 1-15 of this series. Tonight is the finale, and I cannot wait to see how the story would conclude. I'm preparing my heart to be broken though.... so let's see what happens!

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