It is the last episode! Finally! Y’all, this show has been going strong since Thanksgiving (November!) and it is the end of February now, seriously! And the intensity has not let up from the opening scene of the first episode. Plus, we will have all sorts of ridiculousness today because it looks like Wang-sik is still alive and will wrap himself in bandages like a mummy and might walk around like that (yes, Lawd). Y’all, this show has been so much fun to recap with everyone. Here’s hoping for a great last episode!
This is our first makjang drama where we knew it would be a makjang coming in because this writer is famous in the genre. I have to say, we are thinking seriously about doing more. Soundtracks are below!
And if you cant get enough of The Last Empress and want to hear three ladies talk about the craziness, then follow The KThree on YouTube! They area riot!
Caution: Be wary of typos
Shorthand Chart: The Last Empress Character Chart
How we do this: We update the 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, there might be lovely updates at the bottom, so check back in!
Recap Countdown: Starts at 11am CST! Check for updates on twitter.
KOREAN DRAMA THE LAST EMPRESS RECAP EPISODES 51 and 52
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We open with Suni in a hospital bed, she has cuts all over her face. She wakes up and sees a man’s back as he looks out the window. It is Hyuk, he turns around and asks if she is okay. She asks him what happened. She remembers a big post fell from the roof but does not remember anything after that.
He tells her that he was not conscious for a week, it is good that she woke up like this. There were a lot of injuries, but no deaths. And Na Wang-sik is the prime suspect, but he ran away.
Suni thinks this is nonsense. Hyuk wonders why? Did you not share that bombing plan? Also, I am sorry that I am too late to thank you. Thank you for your gift. When you are healthy then you will have to have a police investigation, but you should not be normal yet.
Suni thinks this is by Kang, she is sure of it. But, does kang not care if Lee Hyuk dies?
There is a news conference, a week after the terrorist act, they do not know who did it. Kang says that na Wang sik is the one who did it. She tells this at a press conference and says that Wang-sik looked like a good person by giving away money, but he actually snuck all that money out from the empire. She will make sure he pays for this.
One reporter asks if what Suni said is all true? Why isn’t the Emperor saying anything? Kang says that she is so shocked and did not know that her son was like this (or for raising him wrong). They asks if the drugs and everything were all done by Hyuk? Kang says that she does not know everything about her son, so she does not know.
Cut to Kang talking to evil Pyo about Wangsik. How can I guy run away that was tied up?
Ten Hyuk walks up and tells Kang that he enjoyed the press conference, she blamed him for everything. She tells him that he has to sacrifice everything for the Empire since he is the Emperor. He says that she used her own son for the opiod thing. Kang says that Sni did it. You just need to be in jail for a few years and come out. People will forget about everything. i heard jail was good now so take this as a little picnic.
He asks, a little picnic? She tells him to decide quickly. you need to protect the empire, I will try and bail you out. he says that the calm empire, when did it become so noisy? She says he is the cause of it. he wants to play a chess game with her and asks if she can shave him? When he goes to jail, he will miss her touch.
She starts to apply the shaving cream to his face in that way that she used to do. Then she starts to shave him. Hyuk has a flashback to a man that was found dead embracing a bomb. It looks like this is Wangsik? They say that they were able to prevent a huge bomb from going off because of him. Hyuk asks if it is really Na Wangsik? The man says yes. (Oh No!)
hyuk thinks about this as he watches his mother in the mirror.
VO – Who did you want to kill, mother?
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Meanwhile, Ari runs into Suni’s room to see if she is okay. Suni says that she is okay. Ari asks if she knew something was dangerous, that is why she sent her to the palace? Suni says that it is something that Ari does nto have to worry about, dont’ listen to what is on the TV. Ari asks if she saw appa? He took care of you all week. he did n ot eat or sleep, he was next to you the entire time.
This is news to Suni, really? Ari says that she woke up healthy with fathers care. She smiles. Suni hops out of bed and looks for grandmothers letter. Where is it?
Hyuk has it. He is reading it right now at his desk and tearing up. he starts crying and says, Grandmtoher. Then he remembers the bomb going off. Suni yelled at him to wake up, there is another bomb that will go off, we don’t have time! But then the other bomb went off which knocked her out.
Hyuk – Why did you save me? Why diddn’t you just run away. WHy did you do this for this coward guy?
Hyuk looks in the mirror and then puts Wang-sik’s badge in his skin on his chest. Blood trickles out.
Hyuk – Na Wang-sik, I will live as you from today. How do you like it? I look good with this captain guard badge. What you couldnt’ do, I will finish it up.
Later on, Hyuk meets with his butler who tells him that he put a spy on Pyo. Pyo was at Chunggom island at the rehab center. hyuk asks, rehab center? The butler says that the security is a lot higher in the last few days, that is suspicious.
Elsewhere, kang sees a bloody photo of herself that is stabbed in the face. it is on her bed. She screams so her secretary comes in. Kang thinks, who did this? Na Wang-sik?
In his room, Hyuk wraps his face and skin all in bandages and puts a dark hat on as well as a hoodie. Then he heads out through his secret passage.
he goes to the secret hospital that is surrounded by guards. he is able to sneak in. The hospital looks like it is being filled with opiod flowers possible?
Hyuk draws the attention of some gaurds and fights them off. Then he sees that there is some kind of opiod thing going on in one of the rooms. But there is also a patient there who is getting surgery. Plus, someone is screaming in the basement? No, actually there are a lot of people screaming in the basement. Pyo is there and starts to beat on the gate that has all the people locked in.
Pyo tells the guards to take care of all the people here, but the bad ones first. The water depth at the island is deep so that is good for us. Dont’ forget how we make money. But then he sees Hyuk and tells the guards to catch him.
Hyuk runs away and starts to fight them all off. His fighting skills are amazing. But he is no match for guns, so he stops when one is drawn. This alows Pyo to catch up and asks who he is. Hyuk does not anser and jumps the fence. he is able to run away through the woods. Pyo thinks he is Na Wang-sik.
He tells this to Kang. He thinks it is Na Wang-sik because of the bandages all around. Kang says that she will go to the island and catch him herself.
Pyo leaves. One of the maids tells him that the EMpress is going to Kangs planetarium. Pyo wonders how the Empress knows about this. he says he will go there first. But it looks like this maid is a mole.
Suni goes to the planetarium and Pyo meets her there. he asks why she is there. Don’t you have fear. Suni tells him that Kang did not give up yet? What are you going to do following me here? Are you going to do the same thing you did to Min Yura? Then Min Yura sticks a needle in his neck. he tells him that it is her, Min Yura.
he pulls it out and says that he does not know who Min Yura is. She tells him that she is the victim and her life was all ruined.
He tries to hit her, but the drug is working now. Suni tells him that the poison will pread throughout his body in 10 minutes. if you want to live, then say everything that Kang did and I will give you the antidote. he says that he does not know anything. So Yura tells him to die, you dno’t deserve to live.
Pyo says he will tell them, I will tell you! Suni starts to record him and asks what Kang asked him to do. Pyo starts to tell her that they did human tests. When the humans are all drugged, we would kill them in the sea. Na Wangsik will be like that soon. Now, give me the antidote.
Yura breaks the antidote on the floor.
YR – You did this and you still want to live! Trash like you should die!
They start to leave. But Pyo grabs a brock and hits her in the head, then she falls. Suni holds her. Yura says that she did this revenge for herself, you don’t need to thank me or me sorry to me. She then passes out (or dies?).
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Suni goes back to the main Palace area and tells someone that they need to go to the island. kang put a trap up to catch Wangsik, he might want to do it all himself so that is why he did not call us. But Byun thinks something is strange. A few days ago, someone came to Baaek Dohees tomb and put Na Wangsik here also.
SN – What are you talking about? I heard he ran away and didn’t die.
Flashback to Hyuk telling her this. But not she questions it.
Suni tells the butler that seh wants to see the King. The butler says that he went to bed and does not want to see anyone. She tells him that is why she wants to check it out. he lets her in. So he goes inside and into the bathroom, there is a lot of blood on bandages all around. She wonders what he is doing.
Cut to Kang and her secretary showing up at the island. Hyuk is there in all his bandages. He puts on his hood while hiding in his car.
Kang walks thorugh the hospital inspecting the drug operation. The secretary runs in and tells her that she cannot contact Pyo. They wonder if Wang-sik did this. Kang tells her to wrap up everything and move all the opioids. The secretary asks about the patient. Kang tells her that she is not an amateur, just remove everything without a trace.
Someone else says that Na Wang-sik is on CCTV. kang thinks that is good, they can bury them together.
The guards go to the basement and start to burn everything, including the people helpd prisoner. Hyuk goes in and rescues everyone. The sercurity comes in so Hyuk fights them off.
Outside, Suni and Byun show up. Byun forces his way in with old man strength karate chops on the security guards then he takes off running inside. Suni follows.
Inside, Hyuk is finally caught by the guards. Kang comes in happily and says that they finally caught their mouse. How dare you come to my sacred place Na Wang-sik. Just kill him! But then she says no, I will do it myself!
She holds out a gun to shoot it, but then Suni runs in and tells her to stop! kang asks, what? Why not, I can. She shoots Hyuk right in the chest several times. He looks at his mother and then falls to the gorund.
Kang gives the gun to the guard and asks if Suni came all the way there to see Na Wangsik die? How do you like it? Suni calls her a devil. Then she says that she wants to see Na Wang-siks face.
She goes up to Hyuk who is on his knees and takes off the bandages to reveal her son. He spits up a lot of blood and she starts to scream.
Hyuk – Mother….
kang – Why! Why did you…did you pretend to be Na Wang-sik? Why!
Hyuk – Finally, I don’t have to go back to the palace after today and I dont’ have to be your puppet anymore.
Kang – Who told you to do this stupid thing! Why did you do it!
Hyuk – Back then you tried to kill me, now I am answering your wish, why are you so suprised?
kang stands up
Kang – No, I killed Na Wang-sik, you are not my son, Hyuk. It is not my fault, it is your fault, I am not guilty!
Suni – YOU ARE NOT A MOTHER! Look at him, your son, you made him like that!
Hyuk falls over.
Kang – I should have killed you first!
Suni – You are done!
She holds up the gun to Suni but the secretary tells her that she needs to run away. They start to pull her away. Kang takes one last screaming look at her son on the ground.
Suni runs over to him and rolls him over to tell him that the ambulance will come soon! He says that he was sad, he thought he would not see her again before dying. I know that I did an unforgivable crime. I was not like a King or like a husband. I am sorry. I told you that I would not live like Mother, but I am like this.
Suni – If you are sorry then don’t die like this! Live and beg for forgiveness for everything you did!
he holds his hand out.
Hyuk – If we met differently, then that woul dbe nice. If we met each other as normal people then we should not have hurt each other like this. thank you for marrying someone like me. For letting me love you. I love you, Suni.
he closes his eyes and his hand falls to the floor. Suni starts to cry.
SN – Wake up!
She keeps crying as we hear the ambulance and police coming outside. They open the doors and we see Byun at the front of them. he holds his face as he sees the scene in front of him.
END PART ONE
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Kanghee sits in the palace jail. her food is brought in but Kanghee attacks the maid and tells the guards to open the doors.
kang gets to the palace and tells her seretary to close the Palace, no one cane come in. Then she tells Sojin to go to Singapore and gives her a suitcase. She tells her to hide, no one should know what is inside this suitcase, okay? Sojin is so caught off guard. Kang tells her to leave leave, stupid! She ushers her out and then locks up the room.
Kanghee comes in and grabs her cell phone. Kang is so startled, her eyes go wide. But then she turns on her normal kang self and takes it back. Kanghee snatches it again and asks if this was Lee Yoon’s phone? You had it!
kang says that she did not know if or when Kanghee would betray her. Should I reveal that you are the real murderer of Sohyun? Do you want to see what will happen to you? You killed your best friend! Kang hee says, how dare you say those things in front of me. you asked one son to kill another son.
They start arguing over how many people they killed or tried to kill. But then they walk out and sees that secretary Choi is all lied up and reproters are all around. Suni comes out and says that she is thankful that the two of them revealed all their crimes and said all that they did. it will be easier for the inspectors and the reporters will be busy.
kang asks why she is doing this to her/ What grudge do you have. Suni says that she told the investigators everything and why Hyuk died and by whom. She also gave them evidence about the island.
Kang is arrested for all the things that she did. Kanghee is arrested for all the things that seh did, including killing Sohyun.
Suni says that she hopes she pays for everything she did, she will make sure that she pays for it all. And the Empire that you worked so hard to save is all done. kang starts yelling that she should have killed Suni first.
Kanghee comes out and all the reporters talk in the background about how kanghee killed her best friend and they also talk about Kang.
Sojin comes out and asks if seh made Yoon and Hyuk like that. Kang is all like, you are still here???? Sojin rolls the suitcase to Kang and says that this is the evidence of her mothers secret hidden money. As well as all the jewels and objects she wanted to sneak uo. kang is all like, are you crazy! Do you want to kill your own mother!
Sojin asks Kang if she is crazy! Wake up! What are you doing!
The police drag her out. kang yells that she is not leaving! This is my palace!
Sojin looks at her mother being dragged out of the palace and wonders how her mother can become a monster like that. She sinks to the floor and starts crying. Suni comforts her.
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Suni then walks to Hyuk’s room alone and thinks about all the events that led her to the palace and all the moments she had with Hyuk, good and bad. He went from fake love, to real hate, and then to real love.
Suni sits as she thinks about all the memories.
VO – Thank you for marrying someone like me and letting me love you. I love you.
She tears up and quietly lets the tears fall down her cheeks.
Later on, we see Kang led out of the prosecution office. kang kicks a sign that goes flying and sticks her tongue out at the people throwing eggs at her while in the bus.
The news says that the people of Korea cannot believe that the Empire crubled like this. They talk about her secret money and secret illegal youth treatments to prevent getting old (the old Korean president did this). She had first milk bath and young persons blood injected and illegally had hormone therapy and cell therapy. She was like Marie Antionette. People are angry, but some people also think they should have one more chance due to the Empress that revealsed all these things. If the Empress takes care of the country then they will rethink the opinion of the palace. More than half the country are focused on this.
In a news conference, Suni tells everyone that she is apologizing as the Empress for everyones shock.
SN – First of all, i need to announce something to our people. I know that there are a lot of rumors around Great Grandmothers death. She killed herself. She tried to changet his rotten and corrupted empire and punish the corrupt Emperor and Daughter in law. This is her will. Our empire was corrupted from the root. I want to respect her wishes that this should not continue.
Reporter – So you want a new empire or want to close the empire.
Suni – Before Lee Hyuk died, he regretted what he did and gave me all the power. I want to use this power. From today, the empire and the remainder of the people will give up all of our power. I am going to make people who are responsible, responible. I will follow all the decisions until everyone becomes normal. i will do my best also. Also, the inheritance that I got from Grandmtoher, I will use that for the victims of the empire.
Cut to the court hearing. Kang yells that she does not accept anything! How dare you say that to me! She throws something at him.
Everyone in the audience is surprised. The Judge tells her that he will not tolerate her if she disgraces the court more.kang is all like, you are disgracing me!
Her secretary is sitting next to her and pulls Kang back to her seat.
The sentence is heard. The Judge says that what these three people did is very disrespectful and cruel. It does not look like you regret it at all. You need to be separated from the people. Secretary Choi gets a life sentence. Kang and the Nanny get death sentences.
kang says that she did nothing wrong! Prepare for the appeal! I will hire ten lawyers! How dare you! I am the great Empress!
Choi – Your highness, your highness!
kang – They said you have a life sentence, but I have a death sentence! What? You did the crime! I did nothing wrong!
Kang hee holds the banister in front of Suni and asks to see her Ari one more time! One more time! But then she is pulled away.
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Suni grants her wish and brings Ari to the jail to see Kanghee one more time. Ari is a little scared to see her behind the glass and asks who that ajumma is. Can I go back to the palace? This is a place for sinners, I am afraid.
The maid comes in and takes Ari out of the room. Suni stays.
KH – Why doesn’t Ari recognize me?
SN – She was shocked by watching the news and passed out. She had a high temperature. She lost her memory however it is surprising that she only does not recognize you.
KH – Nonsense, how can she not recognize me? I gave birth to her and held her first. She smiled to me and held my hand. Everything is so fresh to me. To me, Ari is the only one.
SN – I think it was too much for Ari, she is undergoing treatment.
KH – No, dont’ do anything. For Ari’s life, I was never a good person. Can you just let her not know about me at all? I hope she does not remember me forever. I will stop the appeal. Please take care of my Ari.
Kanghee cries and stands. She bows to Suni who bows back and then she is escorted out. While leaving, Kanghee bows to Suni one more time.
ONE YEAR LATER
Suni goes back to the chicken restaurant and works with her father. She is looking for Ari and asks where she is. She did not write any answers on the answer sheet. Geommo says that she should at least write her name. You used to do that when you did not know the answer and then you would write a letter to the teacher. But appa, why are you talking abotu this.
GM – You would write a letter or origami, she is just like you.
SN – Are you trying to make me mad appa?
Then we see that Ari is hiding under Geummo’s apron. She reveals herself and says that she did not know the answer, that is why she did nto write it. Besides, I will be a broadway star like you.
She starts to pretend to be a musical actress and starts to sing the Frozen song abotu playing in the snow. Geummo hugs her and says that she did a good job, so pretty.
Yura is still alive but is like a child. She yells that the food is for Dong-sik! Byun tells her to give him some food. She says no! you old man! Then she slaps him with her hair.
Kang Joosung happily tells Byun that he knows she only gives food to Dong-sik. They both start to laugh. Dong-sik comes out Yura gives him a super big hug and he gives her a super big hug as well.
Byun – She does not even know that Dong-sik is her own son but is so happy.
JS – I think she wants to be the mther that she never was.
Yura starts to feed Dong-sik and smiles happily as he eats.
In the prison, the other prison guards tell kang that she needs to just plant things, what can you do? Can’t you do it? kang looks different now becuase her grey hair has grown out and her teeth are yellowing. Secretary Choi is one of the main people that is telling Kang what to do now.
Kang walks away to clean and says that she is the Empress, how can Choi do this. CHoi tells her that the EMpire collapsed, we have a president now. So be sure to do this properly, old woman.
She walks away.
But Kang still thinks that she is the empress.
Kang – This empire is mine, I will go back soon, no one can touch it. It is mine…mine…mine…ha ha ha.
She has lost her mind.
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Cut to a happy moment between Yoon, Helro, and Ari. They play with Ari at the palace as everyone is looking around. Yoon wonders if Ari will be okay. Helro says that she can’t believe that this all became a museum.
They walk around to the area that used to be Kangs office. They see an image of Kang and then she dissapears. Then they walk to the Emperors office and see him, then he dissapears. Ari smiles.
Then they go to the Last Empress, Oh Suni’s room. They see ehr there and seh dissapears. helro smiles.
They go outside, Yoon ties helro’s shoes. Ari watches, but then she hears her mother, kanghee.
KH – Are you happy? That is what is good.
Kanghee bows to her and then dissapears.
Ari nods to her and kind of gets emotional, but then happy runs back to Yoon and Helro. Suni is there as well so she happily runs to Suni who asks her if she had a good time.
They all start to walk away.
Suni turns back and looks at the palace. She smiles and her face changes to the painted photo of her and Hyuk on their married day. This photo is still in the museum.
The camera pulls back through the entire palace.
Caption – The Last Empire of the Korea Dynasty 1897 – 2019
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OMG, y’all. What a crazy show! I was laughing though most of this ending at how amazingly ludicrous it was. But I did get chocked up at the ending a little when they took the tour through the Empire museum. All the memories!
We had fun recapping this show with everyone! If you want, let us know what you thought about it (especially the ending!). I loved it! It was the right way to go out for everyone, especially considering how corrupt that Empire was. Goodbye, The Last Empress, you were so much fun!