Beneath the Queen’s Umbrella: Episodes 7-eight
With the threat of assassination looming about just about every corner, our heroine have to resort to desperate measures in search of answers. Having said that, with the Crown Prince’s lead to of death established as poisoning, somebody has to take the fall. Will it be enemy or ally?
EPISODES 7-eight WEECAP
In a move that is becoming habitual, Hwa-ryeong corners her grandson’s maid and brandishes a needle prior to her face in the name of answers. Why did she poison the Grand Heir? All she gets is a warning that there are these far extra highly effective than Hwa-ryeong herself out there. Then, her prisoner goes the way of all Joseon conspirators bent on taking their secrets to the grave: biting her tongue, she bleeds out in an immediate.
It is the starting of a series of desperate moves. The Crown Princess brandishes a knife to her personal neck. If Hwa-ryeong will not let her leave the palace with her young children, then she’ll die ideal right here. Hwa-ryeong, on the other hand, rises to the occasion magnificently, with the only persuasive tools at her disposal: she urges her daughter-in-law to keep alive — to take that bravery and use it for her son’s sake.
Elsewhere, the scales are starting to fall from the King’s eyes. Bitterly, he tells the Dowager Queen that he fears what she’s capable of — right after all, supplanting monarchs is her specialty. She provides him some frank, motherly tips: do not act so innocent. Positive, she killed Prince Taein. But she’d in no way have gone that far if her son hadn’t wanted a crown.
Speaking of fratricide… there’s additional household tension to come. Seongnam, fearing for his mother’s life, confesses to the King that he was the a single who gave the Crown Prince medicine from the outdoors. He’s determined to prove that the herbs had been harmless — that his hands are not stained with his brother’s blood. The King is aghast. As a father, he begs his son to hide his involvement. However, as the head of state, he have to give the Grand Prince permission to investigate the death of his heir.
The Dowager Queen has gone to bite off the head of the subordinate who failed to inform her that Hwa-ryeong was meeting with Queen Yoon… Court Lady Shin. Turns out, she’s been in the Dowager Queen’s clutches because the age of seven. But even decades of manipulation will not wash away her loyalty to Hwa-ryeong Court Lady Shin flat-out refuses to be applied as a weapon against her queen.
It is not extended prior to the King holds a public hearing relating to the Crown Prince’s murder, with the bloodied Doctor Kwon sitting front and center. Ultimately — right after a fortifying tete-a-tete involving tender face-touching and whispered words with his perhaps-lover Consort Hwang — he’s prepared to speak. And in undertaking so, causes complications for everybody: he names Hwa-ryeong as the a single who commanded him to give the Crown Prince medicine from the outdoors. Hwa-ryeong hesitates. Of Seongnam, there is no sign. Master Toji has vanished like smoke, and with him, any proof of her innocence. And so, swallowing her hesitance, she as well provides a name. The medicine came from — the Crown Princess.
Turmoil. Outrage. Guards are dispatched, getting herbal medicine in the Princess’s chambers — undocumented and mysterious. Her arrest follows swiftly… though Hwa-ryeong’s enemies rapidly reassess their estimation of the queen’s ruthlessness.
Nevertheless, it is an absolute doozy of an chance to torpedo the balance of energy. The Chief State Councilor gleefully whips up the ministers into a homicidal frenzy: quickly, all are baying for the Crown Princess’s blood — and her son’s. The King stalks out of the throne area to hack at bamboo stalks in disgust. Having said that, he’s not the only a single raging at the actions of a remorseless authority figure: he’s quickly stopped brief by Seongnam. Seongnam’s sorely disappointed in his father — how could he let a lie stand? But he has a lot to understand about realpolitik. You had your likelihood, says the King. You squandered it. Truth or lies notwithstanding, it is as well late to shift the narrative.
Hwa-ryeong, meanwhile, hasn’t run out of audacious gambits: in truth, she’s just acquiring began. Initially, she drops in on the Dowager Queen — and informs her that she’d much better watch her step. Hwa-ryeong now knows that the Dowager Queen was the a single who killed Prince Taein. So, if she tries to shine a light on Hwa-ryeong’s secret meetings with Queen Yoon, she’d much better be ready for what else is revealed in the harsh glare of day. As for what occurs next… why do not she, the Dowager Queen, and the Chief State Councilor have a chat?
Hwa-ryeong lays it all on the line. She’s had it with this game they’re playing. So, if they play good, and spare the Crown Princess, she’ll persuade the King to hold the taekhyeon. As punishment for their crimes, the Crown Princess and her son will be demoted to commoners. Ultimately, to sweeten the pot — if none of Hwa-ryeong’s young children are selected to turn into heir to the throne, she’ll step down as queen.
It is settled. The Crown Princess, Son, and her newborn infant are trussed up in rope and paraded prior to the gates. Seongnam, no doubt stung by memories of his personal banishment, approaches Son, the nephew he’d sworn to guard. It is all he can do to loosen the bindings that rub at the child’s wrists. Otherwise, he is helpless to watch his household be carted away in the wooden litter of exile. Aside, the Chief State Councilor assures Consort Hwang that their finish will be swift and bloody exile tends to make assassination so a great deal extra expedient!
Joke’s on him: as curtains are drawn across the litter, the Crown Princess has currently vanished. Led by a guard into an isolated street, she and her young children come face to face with — Hwa-ryeong. As if our heroine would have sacrificed a single member of her household! The accusation, the exile, the escape — it was all planned from the starting. And while Seongnam does not relish his mother’s approaches, he’s prepared to do his aspect to bring them back to the palace. Hwa-ryeong just wants him to carry out a single task… turn into Crown Prince.
And so, the extended-awaited taekhyeon commences! But not prior to Hwa-ryeong reminds her king of his duty. The process was initial invented to choose a Crown Prince primarily based on merit — not noble patronage. Her husband ought to honor this tradition.
And so, taking her words to heart, the King guarantees the taekhyeon begins with a bang — or rather, a mass abduction. With bags plopped more than their heads, the princes are yanked from their everyday routines, and dropped into the competitors without the need of warning. The initial round is a straight-up race: yelling and shoving, the young children sprint to their location — an archery field. Right here, amid aim-befuddling winds, they are created to shoot targets. In a flash of brilliance, Seongnam remembers the Crown Prince’s tips: shoot with the wind, not against it. All of a sudden, it becomes clear that he received extra education anybody realized. In him, his brother’s experience lives on.
The third process is rather extra contentious: armed with an inspector’s seal, the princes have to bring back two ex-statesmen who had been banished at the start out of the King’s regime. They are now becoming presented political workplace. Anticipating a riot amongst his conservative ministers, the King hides out amongst the trees. Hwa-ryeong smiles. This move reminds her of his radical days as Crown Prince. These guys, the King confesses, had been fantastic pals to him — regardless of their variations, he wants their talents. But it is Hwa-ryeong whose friendship and talents he values the most.
The princes have 4 days to do the not possible — which, as the consorts know, is lots of time for some fantastic, old-fashioned scheming. And what plentiful schemes! Consort Tae’s son, Bogum, has revealed a ruthless streak: by brazenly requesting the Dowager Queen’s patronage, he’s gained a highly effective ally. As such, Consort Tae is gifted the place of Bogum’s quarry. All that remains is to smuggle the information. Meanwhile, Consort Ko has carried out her personal investigation she’s ensured her hapless son, SHIMSO (Moon Sung-hyun) — a timid teen who can no extra command a horse to trot than he could a kingdom — is armed with a map. Ultimately, Consort Hwang has dreamed up a thing in particular complex, involving outdoors reinforcements.
All of these stratagems are brought to a rattling halt by Hwa-ryeong’s most recent ploy. Sweetly, she assures the consorts she’s identified a way to occupy their troubled thoughts: embroidery! They’ll all be decorating a panel for the new crown prince… and no one wants to leave till it is completed! Is not it great? Consort Tae squirms. Consort Hwang stares sullenly at her needles. Hwa-ryeong beams.
Even while cooped up at needlepoint, a single consort has engineered a deadly sabotage. Seongnam is met with a hail of blows as he’s ambushed by outlaws. Even though he’s no slouch at swordplay, it is only with the assistance of the royal guard that he escapes alive. Shimso is met with a gentler reception — a education wheels sort of robbery. His personal band of brigands are type adequate to reduce only his purse, leaving him blinking gormlessly at the side of a mountain. Poor guy. Some are born excellent, some accomplish greatness, and some can not even make rampant nepotism function for them.
Seongnam, on the other hand, has inherited his father’s penchant for out-of-the-box solutions… and his mother’s for wild improvisation. Uiseong poisons his horse? Tame a wild a single on the fly! Tide’s coming in? Gallop via the water! When he reaches the island on which his quarry, PARK GYEONG-WOO (Kim Seung-soo), resides, he finds that Bogum has beaten him to the punch. Fortunately, Gyeong-woo is stubborn adequate for a dozen dowager queens. He opposed the King’s appointment through taekhyeon — why would he come creeping back right after decades of stewing in exile to prove the point? Plus, he can not take up a ministerial post. He’s blind! He’s content undertaking the common exile factor of teaching arithmetic to ridiculously adorable village young children!
Seongnam sizes him up in seconds. He difficulties a challenge: if he can prove that Gyeong-woo possesses completely functioning eyes, Gyeong-woo have to give him 3 days to persuade him to return. Then, he requires a operating leap off the cliff. Gyeong-woo, in a move instantly belying his blindness, shouts and runs to him. Point established — dangling from the cliff by a branch — Seongnam calls up to Bogum. A tiny assistance right here? Bogum turns his back. It is not very Scar from The Lion King on a betrayal scale, but it is quite cold.
Later, right after Seongnam has presumably scrambled up a cliff, it is time for some enforced brotherly bonding. Bogum is a straight-laced nerd who’s in bed prior to nine. Seongnam is a Joseon jock with his mother’s taste for burning the midnight oil. It is like a buddy comedy, except a single of them wouldn’t thoughts if the other died.
There’s one more surprise waiting for Seongnam — this a single in the type of a really resourceful minister’s daughter smugly combing the beach for shellfish. Cheong-ha has been on a various-episodes-extended campaign to reel in the handsome man who stole (sort of) her beloved (sort of) household (sort of) knife (that part’s correct). She even left her father a note to the impact of, “Brb, gone to stalk my future husband whose name I do not know. Kisses!” Now, elated, she flings herself into Seongnam’s arms. It would all be deeply romantic if he had any recollection of who she is.
Back at the palace, the monarchs catch news of the bandit attacks. An autopsy of the outlaws’ ex-leader proves that he carried a portrait of Seongnam — paired with an order to kill. The King suspects the Chief State Councilor, whose tricks he knows of old. Having said that, as with the Dowager Queen, he’s as well enmeshed up in the tangled net of previous plots to threaten consequences. The Chief State Councilor remembers what occurred to Prince Taein all these years ago… and how the existing King stood by and watched him die.
Hwa-ryeong, correct to type, is ruthlessly proactive. It is not extended prior to she has the outlaws’ second-in-command strung upside down above some sharpened bamboo spikes (bloodied for added dramatic flair). The thug-for-employ rapidly blabs. They had been hired to rob the princes, not kill them. That order came later… from a lady who wore a frog hairpin and peony perfume.
Hwa-ryeong knows precisely who to blame. She pays the Dowager Queen one more check out. Like a filial daughter-in-law, she has come to apologize for her disrespect! She presents up a present. Like all fantastic gifts, it is a metaphor. It is a plant that can be applied either as poison or medicine. I will not take revenge, says Hwa-ryeong. Nonetheless, hurt my young children once again, and I’ll make you spend.
And therefore, with Hwa-ryeong lastly on the offensive, we finish this week’s episodes! Her fierce, improvisational schemes are a joy to watch. Our heroine is such a glorious wild card, and while you can normally rely on her cast-iron loyalty to household, every little thing else is up for grabs. I enjoy how Seongnam’s wild streak manifests in comparable chaos — that jump-off-a-cliff gambit was worth about a thousand turn-an-oval-into-two-half-moons lateral considering tests. This drama is at its very best when it showcases its protagonists’ audacity: Hwa-ryeong capitalizing on her rivals considering she’s hung her daughter-in-law out to dry Seongnam riding a half-broken steed across the waves and, of course, Cheong-ha in her entirety.
I hope we delve a tiny extra into the Dowager Queen’s motivations quickly, in particular what her vision for the nation basically is. A single factor this political drama is missing is actual policy disputes! Simply because of this, its morality sometimes feels a tiny black and white, while I enjoy that the King’s hands are not clean of Prince Taein’s murder. Also, Episode eight in specific was an absolute basket of delights. It had it all: scheming, betrayal, comedy, chaotic bluffs and disastrous bargains… just exceptional, exceptional writing. Here’s hoping subsequent week delivers extra of the very same!
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