Watch With Me – The King : Eternal Monarch – Mid-run review and expectations

It’s been long since I started these Watch-With-Me series on my blog. There’s one series running for the very famous Chinese series – The Untamed and now there’s another one actively running on the blog for Lee Min Ho who is a very popular actor in Korean dramas domestically and internationally which is called “The King – Eternal Monarch”

The objective of this post is that – the episodes hace aired to the eighth episode which is mid-way now, because the series has been slated for 16 episodes. Now that we have reached the mid point of the series I felt it would be a good time to collect what has happened so far in brief, and possible guess at the outcomes on what we can expect towards the next half of the series. You can catch all the episode recaps for the series here!

The series starts with a blood bath. Lee Rim our villian wants a magical flute that can cure illnesses and bestow all sorts of wonders from the king in the Kingdom. He kills the King and acquires it but is interrupted by the Prince who is a child. The child intervenes and the flute is cut in half, and angered he tries to kill the child but is interrupted by a masked person who saves the prince. As the savior leaves an ID card falls onto the Prince Lee Gon’s lap which is from the Seoul Police Centre and belongs to Jung Tae Ul.

Now if you think the story is going to spin off around this premise, well no. The actual premise of the story is that the villian can travel between two parallel dimensions one between the Kingdom we spoke of before, and the other being the same world which is the Republic of Korea. The people who exist in the kingdom exist here too but exist in very different circumstances.

Our villian eventually kills his brother and is son in this world as well and keeps the mother under his control. Our villian is then into hiding and the scene snaps back to 25 years later.

Prince Lee Gon is now King Lee Gon and is an able and fitting king. He however has one mystery that always grapples him – the identity of his saviour. The ID card is not one that exists as such a police station does not exist in his country and he fathoms over the identity of the woman in the ID card. One day he goes into the same bamboo forest the villian went in abd finds the gateway to the dimensions as he has the other half of the flute with him. As he travels to the Republic, he is stopped by a police officer who is none other than the woman in the ID card.

Exciting premise right?

The last eight episodes were mostly an intro into everything that happened, along with an insight into the actual plot of the drama. The villian Lee Rim as it turns out has spent almost 25 years finding dopplegangers across the two world’s that are close to the king, to find one that he can trust by showing them the wonderful life the other is having in the other dimension. Once he has them on his side, he kills the other twin and replaces their position in order to have his people around the king and essentially take the Royal family down. A good plan, not foolproof of course as a slight character slip around the people that are familiar with them could give them away but I guess that’s what he has been doing for so many years. Also have I highlighted the fact that he doesn’t age? I guess it’s the effect of the flute but I’m not sure whether it affects Lee Gon that way too? That’s a question left to be answered.

Also this conclusion around the villian sounds easy and understandable from how I put it, but trust me it took quite a few episodes for the idea to actually sink in. And not just the idea. The entire character set and segregration between the parallel dimensions was immensely confusing as thei shifted from one to the next that I was totally confused for a long time until I started noticing more changes in the common characters and all! I don’t know if that was just me, let me know in the comments below.

Regarding the actor performances well the leads are doing well but somehow I am feeling that the supporting roles really have a more uniqueness around them. Especially Jo Young, Lee Gon’s bodyguard and beta friend and So Ryeong who is the Prime Minister of the Kingdom. They are characters that are so close fitted to the leads bit have a certain obscurity around their origins too. I really really hope they don’t get reduced to secondary romance sub-stories, especially the Prime Minister because even though she is after the king, she is one badass leader and is a powerful female character that I look forward to on that note..

The leads have been giving an expected performance in their output what with Kim Go Eun being a police officer in the Violent Crimes division, she is just as badass as So Ryeong. Lee Min Ho also maintains a steady performance as the confident but nice King. The two have a chemistry and a proclaimed relationship by episode 3 so I guess things went very fast in the romantic department as far as Korean dramas are concerned!

What I am excited to see in the coming episodes is definitely the fight between Lee Rim and Lee Gon and how Lee Rim is goind to use his impostor dopplegangers or twins to take over or rather lose the kingdom. I’m pretty sure Lee Rim is going to have an initial upper hand because it already looks like he has so many spies and stuff planted in the palace but I would love to see how Lee Gon will overcome that. I just hope this part, which is the crux of the story won’t eb sacrificed and shown all rushed just to make more room for the cutesy romance. It has happened before in dramas and although it works in favor of the entertainment factor sometimes it’s not a must!

Another interesting part of the story are the cases that Tae Ul and her team are investigating which are actually related to Lee Rim and the parallel dimensions. I am quite interested to know how that will turn out as well.

Two characters that are really reamining in the shades a lot but have slowly revealed more info in the last two episodes are Shin Jae and Lee Gon’s doppleganger mother in the Republic who is under the control of Lee Rim. It looks like Shin Jae is from the Kingdom and God knows why he was placed there, and I am intrigued to know why Lee Rim continues to keep his brothers wife alive despite killing everyone else. And from what the lady says about how she is also brought back to life I wonder if Lee Rim can bring people back from the dead with flute or am I seeing too much into it?

The series is right now not faring that good in domestic TV ratings as it seems to be having some tight competition with other series like “The World of the Married” which are running at record high ratings in South Koream cable TV history. But nevertheless I have seen articles mention it is well received on Netflix. Those things don’t bother me though, I can’t wait to see how the series does and you will know too since I will watch it till the end no matter what!

How was your expectations on the series? Now at the mid-way mark what do you feel? And what do you expect the next half of the series to be? Let me know in the comments below!

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