Watch With Me – The King : Eternal Monarch – Ep 1 recap

Yess the first episode is here! I can’t wait to see what this has! I also hope this doesn’t disappoint us with the immensely high expectations it has especially since it’s Lee Min Ho’s first project since his return from his compulsory military enlistment duties!

I have mane many speculations on how the story could be but nothing will be better than watching it and deciding how it goes! If you want to read about the other episode recaps or interim reviews as we crucial timelines on the plot just click here! Now onto the recap!

The episode starts with a blood spattered Lee Rim who recounts the legend of the Man Pa Shik Tuk which is an ancient bamboo flute received as a gift for the king in the Shilla dynasty in South Korea. The flute when used can be used to clear illnesses , droughts and storms will end . It’s a solution for any problem.

As Lee Rim says this we see his in a police station being investigated in a room by Jang Tae Ul ; our heroine and Kang Shin Jae. The two see that as per his birth records he should be over 70, but he looks like he is just 40. He says he hasn’t aged a day after 1994. And he eventually reveals that he killed his brother in order to get the flute.

We then see the setting in the winter of 1994 in the Korean Empire. Lee Rim grabs a sword and his right hand man informs him the whereabouts of the king. He goes in and kills the King to get the flute. I wonder how this guy found out the legend surrounding the flute is real, I mean to kill the king and possess it. As the king dies his son walks in and starts crying at his dead father. He then picks up the sword, struggling at it’s weight and swings it. The wooden flute breaks in half. Well that was fast. Now what? At that moment Lee Rim’s blood splatters one end of the flute. The camera is zooming in on this blood splattering a lot guys I think it’s part of the magic of this flute? He then proceeds to strangle the child and we see his blood splattering on the flute too. Suddenly a stranger comes in, sounds off the alarm and saves the boy. As Lee Rim and gang flee, the mystery man checks for the pulse of the boy and leaves only for the boy to get an ID card and hide the other half of the flute. The ID card says Jung Tae Ul. Ohhhh did she like come from the past? Or is it really her? The outer appearance looks much bigger?

As the kingdom starts mourning for their king, preparations ensue for the coronation of his young son. Meanwhile they are in search of Lee Rim who is now running through a bamboo forest holding one half of the flute. As he walks a clap of thunder and lightning reveals two stone pillars on which a glass like surface cracks.

The next setting is in the Republic of Korea (note, not Kingdom) in the year 1994.

As Lee Rim starts registering he is another world, he bumps into a guy – it’s the king, his brother but now he’s just normal street guy. Parallel dimensions guys! Not time travel! He starts asking Lee Rim how he is able to walk again and Lee Rim asks for the address. He sees the Lee Rim of this dimension crippled and in a wheelchair and kills him. As the son comes in and understands what happened he tries attacking Lee Rim but is killed too.

Back in the Kingdom of Korea,the coronation is over and the boy mourns for his father for 26 days as another man and his son watch him. I’m guessing these two are important characters.

In the Republic of Korea a woman is made to recognise the dead body of her husband, looks like Lee Rim killed his brother in this world. She doesn’t claim the body and comes back and laughs about how easily she got to get rid of him when Lee Rim steps in from the shadows and she falls in shock.

Meanwhile at the palace Lee Gon and Jo Young become friends as they bond and a body that has Lee Rim’s ring washes up on shore.

We then see Lee Rim’s right hand man working on a salt farm and we see time ticking away and now he is visibly older. Lee Rim however comes in looking not a day old shocking his now old, right hand man. Lee Rim then offers to show him another world.

It’s now present day in the Kingdom and Lee Gon gets ready for a meeting with the Prime Minister. Meanwhile Koo Seo Ryung arrives at the palace for her meeting. Lee Gon first goes for horse riding and sees the Prime Minister has come there. They have an edgy conversation about truth and lies and lean in to take some PR pictures. What is the relationship between these two anyway? Nothing good I guess. Also we see that Jo Young is now his right hand man and head of security as well.

At a book reading event Lee Gon mentions about how he loves Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. The next day at a Charity event, after his team wins the boating competition he sees a girl dressed in a black rabbit hoodie who was running away from some thugs and he runs after her, barefoot only to miss her. Looks like he is on the hunt for the owner of the ID card.

Back in modern day Republic of Korea, Jung Tae Ul is part of the Serious crimes unit at the police station and ends up with a gambling case that turns out to be murder and starts the investigation.

Back in the Kingdom he sees a flash of the girl in the rabbit hoodie and goes after her on his horse. He then comes across the same stone pillars which cracks. At that exact moment a paint bowl that falls from Lee Rim’s hand freezes and then falls again. Has he understood that Lee Gon has activated the magic as well?

As a tired Jung Tae Ul goes home she sees a black bunny hoodies version of her in the car and gets startled for the image to only disappear.

As she waits in the traffic jam, she sees Lee Gon on white horse in the middle of the road. You got to admit this looks hilarious. She goes to ask him to stop interrupting the traffic when he realizes it’s the woman on the ID card. He walks to her silently, shocked and pulls her, classic K-Drama style into a hug!

Takeaways from the episode

Guess my question on the supernatural element in this story has been answered! It’s parallel time dimensions! Guess it’s not repetitive from his old dramas either. Now at this point I understood it’s a parallel dimensions thing but throughout the episode I was getting a little confused with the switchovers between the Kingdom and The Republic. What about you? Looks like our lady lead has a very strong persona on screen and that’s something I always love to see out of the leads! I’m not too sure on that note about Lee Gon though. There’s a good potential for the other characters but I am interested to know how the story is going to unfold! Let’s keep watching to find out!

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