This is part 2 of our recap for The King the Eternal Monarch!
Caution: Be wary of typos
How to Watch: Netflix
Shorthand Character Chart: coming up
How we do this: This live recap will be in two parts and we segment each post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, if there is a preview then we will try and translate it. Look for that at the bottom or on a separate post!
KOREAN DRAMA THE KING: ETERNAL MONARCH EPISODE 4 – PART 2
KANG SHIN JAE’S HOUSE
Shin-jae vacuums his home. We see the very stylized and wealthy looking portrait photo of him and his family. Then his mother comes in. She has definitely fallen from grace. He asks where she has been, she says hanging out with her friends. But he takes her bag and pours everything out. Tons of bills fall out. There has to be thousands of dollars here. She says that she was lucky today!
But he yells that this is not the kind of money you can win! he calls someone and tells them that he will send them the location. Then he shows up wot he illegal gambling house with his mother and rookie Jang-mi (Rose). He tells Jang-mi to arrest everyone there.
So the rookie hops on the long table and starts to take everyones photo. The mother looks embarrassed. The owners of this place come over and says that their feeling was right, so this is your mom. The rookie comes back and pushes the thug away from Shin-jae.
The thug tells Jang-mi that from his looks it looks like he should be on their side. Jang-mi dumps his mothers purse in front of the thugs, all the money falls out. He tells her that if she takes this money then it embarrassed him and he will have to quit being a police officer.
A couple other cops shows up and says that they got the report. Shin-jae says he is the one that called them. Arrest everyone. Jang-mi says he will stay there and make sure it is all finished up. But he leaves his mother there to be arrested.
In the alley he hears his mother tell them that he is her son, my son is a police officer! More cops run in and he sighs and rests agains the wall.
Elsewhere, Tae-eul looks at her ID on the street when a boy runs into her. her ID falls into the gutter. The boy apologizes and says he didn’t mean to. She tells him to leave, its okay, no problem. She also makes a metaphor about how this is like her promotion going into the gutter.
She gets a call from the forensics person. So she meets with her. The forensics person tells her that this money is real. It feels like this is fake, but the water mark and all the technology are real. it is real money made from a national bank.
Tae-eul can’t believe it, but she actually looks like she is starting to believe it.
Lee Rim starts to think about time freezing in the world. he wonders if that means someone left and came back. Does that mean that my nephew is finally on the front lines?
KINGDOM OF KOREA
Gon goes to the palace room where his father was murdered and he got his scar from Lee Rim. he has left it exactly the same and has not improved it. So the broken items are still there and vines are starting to grow on some of them. He takes out the sword and reads the inscription.
VO – The sky gives the spirit and the earth helps the soul. The sun and moon gets its shape and the mountain and river are created. Lighting and river are everywhere. Using wise men, we remove all evil….
He remembers his father telling him this inscription. They are both sitting on an elegant couch and are in their palace attire.
VO – ….from the mountains and the river and use wisdom to make everything righteous.
She sheeths the sword and tells Gon that the King is the only owner of this sword. Do you think you can honor your duty.
Little Gon – Yes father.
King – To do that, you must eat beans and spinach.
little Gon – um…okay, I will do it later
King – *laughs* Not now?
In the present, Gon looks at the sword sadly.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tae-eul is on the case of trying to find Gon. She looks at the last CCTV images of him. But the young officer says that he just disappeared. There is only the bamboo forest this way. She says, that is what I was telling you.
She goes to the bamboo forest by herself. It is bright out and quiet. She wonders, did he really come here? Why?
KINGDOM OF KOREA
It is raining in the palace. Gon holds Tae-euls ID and looks at the rain. But he puts it away when Young comes and tells him that head maid Nam is super angry -.
But he stops and everything freezes again. He is the only one that is not stopped again. This means that the Uncle crossed the gate again. Lee Gon looks around. he starts to recite numbers.
Then it unpauses. Young says that she is super angry. Gon starts to measure the time. He says that time stopped for a second time. Didn’t you feel it? Young asks, do you mean that your watch stopped? He says yes, of course the watch stops.
Young asks him, where did you go this time? Gon says a parallel universe. In that place, the capital is Seoul and General Lee’s statue is in Gwangha gate. Young is all like, um, okay so you went to a parallel world where the capitol is Seoul and the name of the country is the Republic of Korea.
Gon asks him, hey, is the Earth round or not! Yong says he is getting the doctor and then starts to call for the doctor. Gon tells him no, stop! He chases after him.
Elsewhere, Lee Rim is being driven by his right hand man. The right hand man asks which world is better and how it is over there. Lee Rim gives him a book. This guy might be in the Republic of Korea because he is not so polite. Lee Rim tells him that the he on the other side wanted this book because you run a bookstore over there.
Lee Rim goes to visit Jung-hae (the mother who is all grown up now). She does not stop washing her floor by hand. He says that he heard she goes there often. She says to reserve her spot. I never know when you will kill me. He tells her to eat dinner alone. He turns to leave.
She throws her rag at him and yells, WHY DON’T YOU GET OLD OR SOMETHING! Why do you stay like that?
He keeps walking off. She starts to cry. Outside, we see that Lee Rim has guards outside her room possible? Or he is at another house. He opens the door to another room which turns out to be a photo room. He is developing pictures from film. One of the photos is a picture of the elder Prince.
Cut to the elder Prince looking out his window. He looks worried. The autopsy report is still on his desk.
Lee Gon sits at his desk, Young stands on guard by the door. Gon asks him why he is not going home. Yong tells him that Nam wants him to stay with him. he also says that Ho-pil is outside the window in case you will be humiliated trying to sneak out.
Gon looks out the window and sees two officers salute him.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tae-eul takes another professional photo for her ID because she lost the last one. This photo looks like the one that Lee Gon has. She files paperwork saying the reason she lost it (fighting criminals) and asks when she can get another one.
VO – 2019 November 11 is the ID that I have.
The woman tells her at the end of October. In one week. So she thinks that is right. It won’t take until November 11th, right? The woman says no. So Tae-eul thanks her and heads out.
She eats on a carrot and walks home through a park holding a grocery bag. But that also makes her remember Gon when they were in the park at the same time and he said that time stopped. But he saw something beautiful when it did.
She looks around and wonders what he saw. But it starts to rain all of a sudden so she takes off running.
KINGDOM OF KOREA
It also rains in the Kingdom of Korea. Gon talks with the head secretary in his office. She tells him that their Prime Minister won her political battle with the politicians. They will not increase the salary. Gon says that the secretary looks happy.
The secretary says yes, she needs to be appointed again so she will come on to you less. He chuckles and asks if she worries that Prime Minister Koo will win? The secretary says that actually, so is pretty.
He says he knows a prettier person. She asks, do you? She looks at Young with a quest on her face.
But then lighting strikes and Gon grabs his shoulder in pain. The secretary is worried but he tells her not to call the head maid because I have young here (that makes it sound like they are dating). She nods and leaves. Yong walks up to inspect his shoulder.
He sees the glittering veins and tells him that he will call the doctor. He runs out quickly. Thunder strikes again.
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Tae-eul gets a cell phone recording from a forensics person and goes to listen to it. The recording says “Lee Jong-in is part of the project”. But then her ID gets dropped off on her desk by Shin-jae. It is her new ID.
he asks when she lost it and how she has been without it. Don’t you want to get promoted. She says not that long. it finished at the end of October and Ii forgot to pick it up. He says no, it came out today. She asks, today?
She looks at the ID and sees November 11th, 2019 on it. She asks, is today November 11th?
He says that they forgot to include her in the list and apologized about it. The rookie says that today is November 11th, dduk day. He gives them gifts. But Tae-eul is in shock. The other two keep talking about the weather and how it might snow today, Tae-eul looks like the world is closing in on her.
Her phone rings so she answers it.
Gon – It is me, are you still at work? that is good.
She hangs up right away. her partner asks what’s up? The phone rings again. She stared at it. then she picks it up.
Gon – You keep hanging up on me, will you be late today also? I am thinking of waiting on you.
She hangs up again and tells the others that she will go home now, she runs off and heads straight home. She hops out of her car at home and sees Lee Gon standing there with his horse. She is lost for words.
She slowly walks up to him and stands about 6 week away.
TE – Where did you go?
Gon – My world.
TE – You are lying.
Gon – It is true.
TE – you don’t even know your name. You went home?
Gon – I told you many times, I never said that I don’t know my name, I just told you not to say my name.
TE – Why are you back?
Gon – I need to pay you back and I need two more coupon stamps. I forgot about that because I am in a hurry. I just wondered if you were okay. I repaid you and I saw you. I have to go back now, because I snuck out.
TE – Do you really have a house.
Gon – I do, a big big house with an ocean view and a big yard.
TE – I have a question, my ID picture, the one that you saw of me. Was my hair tied or not tied?
Gon – it is today. Did you lose your ID while I wasn’t here?
Gon – That is why it is today. You get your ID today.
TE – Just answer the question. From the picture, was it tied or not?
Gon – It was tied.
he walks up to her and ties her hair behind her back for her.
Gon – Like this.
TE – What clothes was I wearing? A police uniform?
Gon – No, just a navy jacket.
TE – *whispers* This is nonsense
Gon – Would you believe it if you saw it in person? We can go now.
TE – Where would we go together?
it starts to snow.
Gon – Go with me to my world.
TE – If it is a lie again, then I will kill you.
Gon – Not with your car.
He pulls her to his horse and lifts her onto it. Then he hops on behind her.
Gon – Hold the leash tightly, I will keep you on.
They ride off together to the bamboo forest. She looks around.
TE – This is crazy, we came here before. Dn’t make me kill you.
Gon – You will regret what you say. Don’t be surprised, just trust me.
He starts to gallop the horse very quickly towards the empty space. The door show up and they ride right through it. Sh e closes her eyes. They land in the other world.
She opens her eyes. it is still the bamboo forest. Guards run up to them. She sees Eun-seob, but it is actually Young. he tells them to stand ten steps away. You too Young. She is super shocked. So Young backs up also.
TE – That person is….
Gon – Yes, Eun-seob in your world. See, what I told you is all true. I am the Emperor of Korea. My name that cannot be spoken, is Lee Gon.
So much better! Gah, I was a bit worried, but I definitely loved this episode way more than that last two. Thank you writers! It almost feels like two different writing teams are working on this show because this episode was so much tighter to me and stuck to the main storyline so well without a lot of scenes that were heavy on unimportant dialogue. But they still maintained fun flirty dialogue and funny scenes and linked the different scenes together nicely.
Tae-eul was also a lot better. It was like her character had a lobotomy or something. She was not super snarky and actually looked nice and approachable at times without looking soft and weak. She just looked like a strong heroine. I actually liked her????? I was so shocked but in a very good way.
I will be a very happy camper if things continue in this vein because this episode was definitely super watchable and kept my interest all the way through. Yay! I am so happy about that. See y’all next week.
EPISODE 5 PREVIEW
Gon – Welcome to my palace.
Gon – I don’t want to leave you alone and scared.
TE – That is my style
JY – What did you do to the emperor?
TE – Lee Gon, have you never dated anyone?
Gon – I have.
Nam – No pictures together!
Rim – Would you like to change your pitiful life?
Doctor – Do you still have that dream you keep having?
SR – Kang Shin-jae, the Kingdom of Korea
SR – Lets se if the medicine works or not.
TE – Don’t you know me?
TE – Do you know me?
JY – I am enduring this because you are our emperors guest, but that is it.
Yes V, this episode was a whole lot better. I guess things move better Lee Gon is in his world. I know things will get much interesting now that Jeong Tae Eul has finally crossed over to his world, she has no reason not to believe him now😂. Hopefully, some mysteries will be unveiled next week.
And I feel it’s just me but I have a feeling Lee Gon might meet his uncle soon while travelling between the alternate universes. Thanks for the recap, V.
So, I think a lot of what seemed boring in the previous episodes was character building. When I would start to think Lee Min Ho was being too wooden in his portrayal I would imagine his character in a historical drama. In sageuks, the king/emperor always has a very formal unemotional character, and this is what Lee Gon’s entire life’s training has been so far as well. I imagine we will get some more back story on Tae Eul to explain how she learned to be brave because she was not born brave. So, some of her blustery character is probably due to her need to put on a brave front. Now, for the fun stuff. The boy on the bicycle who knocked the ID badge into the sewer is the boy who was outside of the bookstore with the yo-yo, right? So, he is not just a boy for sure. Is he a god? The mysterious gray-haired man became a little more noticeable in this episode as well. And the two scenes where characters almost seemed to be interacting between the worlds (in the library with Lee Gon and Tae Eul; and the incident where both Eun Sob and Young spill a beverage at the same time) are very intriguing. The suspense and fantasy is starting to build. Let’s hope it holds together for the entire series. I’m loving this!
Me too. Everything you said. 😅Didn’t care for previous episodes much, but this one made my heart flutter. Loved it!
I was waiting for this recap, thank you V. I really found the last 2 episodes so boring and decided to wait for your verdict before I continue with the drama. What a relief now I can go back to it. I don’t care that it’s LMH, I only like him when his female co-lead is funny and charismatic because somehow his acting is on a whole other level.
Thank you for recap! I wish I could say the same. Episode 4 improved, but maybe by one bunny leap.
I think the separation of the main leads until the end was what made me appreciate their characters a little more. It didn’t make me feel as adverse at them being together although I still don’t see a spark of chemistry. Maybe if they do this every episode, where the leads separate for a bit and reunite at the end, I’ll be able to tolerate their relationship more LOL They’re more interesting individually than as a duo. I hope they will invest more in world building and spend more time crafting all the supporting characters and even the villain because right now he’s a one note and same for the prime minster (she’s not as interesting as I thought she would be as a potential female villain/love interest).
I actually sorta like the Lady PM character. Initially she seems like “bitch/rival” but then she just wants to go home and sleep in her own kid-sized bed at the end of the day. Too cute! Also, she is one of the few characters who doesn’t take crap from the King and isn’t afraid of him, which shows good confidence. Should be fun to follow her character.
I am seriously intrigued by this show now! It reminds me a bit of the promise of the TV series “Lost”, so I’m hoping this writer has her act together and has actually created a cohesive alternate universe (unlike the mess “Lost” left us with)! In addition to the little boy with the yo-yo who also is responsible for the loss of Tae-eul’s ID badge possibly being a symbol of God or fate or ?, we have the constant references to the emperor/king Lee Gon’s interest in math. Also, the number that Lee Gon recites when time stops (2.71828182845904523536028747135) is known as Euler’s sequence, and the short description of this number is that it defines two points that will inevitably converge (https://www.meta-religion.com/Mathematics/Articles/eulers_sequence.htm). So – will the 2 worlds inevitably converge in this story? Finally, Lee Gon’s mother died in his universe, although we don’t have any backstory yet. But – the mother of the Lee Gon counterpart child in the other universe is playing a role in Lee Rim’s story. You’re right – I’m a science fiction/fantasy geek, and this story has really captured my interest. I’m intrigued and hoping to have a lot of conversations about this story with you all here as the story develops.
is the yoyo boy the same actor as shin jae’s child picture?