“The King: Eternal Monarch” 2nd Episode Is A Lot Less Interesting And A Lot More Cringy – Episode 2 Review And Recap

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“The King: Eternal Monarch” second episode is here and I am back to talk about it.

Last night, “The King: Eternal Monarch” made history for SBS in terms of ratings, it debuted in the double digits which is a huge accomplishment and became the highest-rated debut for an SBS weekend drama (Friday-Saturday).




I thought the premiere was okay, it wasn’t groundbreaking to me in any shape or form. It didn’t exceed expectations and was exactly what you’d expect from a Kim Eun Sook drama.

The premise of “The King: Eternal Monarch” is very interesting if done right but so far, I’ve seen nothing but the cliché you’d expect to accompany such types of dramas. The grandeur introduction and the cringy moments that come along with a king who is introduced to an unfamiliar environment so suddenly.

“The King: Eternal Monarch” episode two is a lot less interesting but still important in the grand scheme of things, let’s talk about it in more details.

Note: the reason I am being this critical is because I expect well-written scripts from Kim Eun Sook.

“The King: Eternal Monarch” is currently competing with “The World of the Married” which is absurdly entertaining and overly dramatic. While the two timeslot doesn’t clash as much as I had hoped for, there is still a 20 minute period in which they compete towards the end of “The King: Eternal Monarch.”

I honestly wish the two were competing in the same time slot because I’d like to see a drama give it a run for its money. A drama that is well written, gripping and engaging. I know they already have an established following but I wanted to see if the writer’s following and the actors’ fanbases could compete.

This is not to say that I wish for “The King: Eternal Monarch” to fail, but I want it to compete with a drama that is equally hyped and see if it can generate the same buzz and steal viewers from it.

On Naver website, the top trending article at number one (as of this writing) belongs to “The World of the Married.” I am curious to see how the drama handles competition and how well it can rally people on their side.

“The King: Eternal Monarch” second episode was okay, a lot less interesting than the first, that’s for sure. But it’s an important pause for later on. The plot progresses quite slowly and our heroine spends time trying to ‘adjust’ to his surroundings by having everything almost handed to him on a plate of gold but it’s still important.

In the second episode, Lee Gon tries to convince Tae Eul that he’s from a parallel world while trying to study the republic of Korea. The second episode had many lines delivered by Lee Gon that felt extremely cringy and forced as if he didn’t believe what he was saying.

There were a lot of moments that I could’ve dealt without, the drama portrays him as this smart dude but he’s trying to convince a detective that he’s from another universe and somehow has met her by fate and she had something to do with his childhood.

If you’re smart in any way, you’d know it’s useless to try and convince her that way without showing evidence. Almost half of this episode including the cringy parts could’ve been written way better.

But this is how Kim Eun Sook writes her scripts, usually…




Lee Gon realizes almost immediately that he’s in another universe and instead of navigating it better; he goes on this journey that’s similar to a spoiled teenager who finally got to leave the palace. I assume he’s well educated and in touch with reality considering his position as the king, I expect a lot more maturity in his line delivery and his choice of words.

Kim Eun Sook lead male characters always felt the same for me and Lee Gon in this case is no different. He’s really similar to “The Heirs” Kim Tan, the only difference is the setting and stakes at this point.

Woo Do hwan and Kim Go Eun’s performances were the most fun part of this episode easily. I loved Woo Do hwan’s dialect and how sweet he was. He just steals the spotlight whenever he’s on screen.

Kim Go Eun’s character behaves the same way any rational human being would if someone like Lee Gon showed up at their door step.

My biggest question and you could call it nitpicking is this: She’s a detective in the homicide division, why on fucking earth is she dealing with Lee Gon? The ‘offenses’ he committed shouldn’t be dealt by this division, don’t they have another one for it. If he’s an immigrant or a missing person or an undocumented individual, I am sure he won’t be needed in this division.

I expected better writing from Kim Eun Sook for this episode and it seems to me that it’ll follow “Goblin’s” path not “Mr. Sunshine’s” path.




She could’ve surprised me a bit more by playing around with the characters a bit better in this episode; I know she could’ve easily done better. I can already visualize how “The King: Eternal Monarch” will progress to a certain degree and that’s an issue. It could be because I am too familiar with all of her previous works but god knows she had the time to give less cringy lines to Lee Gon.

Let’s say Lee Gon had no idea how different both worlds are, but by the end of the 2nd episode he developed an understanding of how fundamentally different they are, saying he’ll behead people is kinda cringy and a bit childish at this point, but my least favorite part has to the fact that he just asked Tae Eul to be his queen when he has only known her for about a day or two….

It just seems so out of his character and very weird, and I know it’ll be used as a plot device to drive the rest of the story forward until Tae Eul falls for him and starts believing him. I am just disappointed he said it that way; he could’ve told her he likes her or anything that is a bit more realistic and less cliché.

Another thing I wanted to touch on was how Lee Lim, our antagonist suddenly became like the devil advocate character. He just shows up at people’s worst times and tells them how the future will render then offers a way out? What the hell is going on? I thought this was about parallel universes not some fairytale about creatures who know how the future will look like….

This particular point threw me off so badly and confused me above all; I couldn’t understand why it was shoved that way. His character was suddenly granted super powers to tell the future? I guess it’s the ‘magical’ object he used to gain eternity….

I hope episode 3 picks up because episode 2 was a lot less fun to watch, I found myself checking my clock more often and face-palming myself at certain lines. I know Lee Min Ho fans won’t like this but as someone who has been watching kdramas for a while and someone who had higher expectations from Kim Eun Sook, the second episode falls flat.

Related: “The King: Eternal Monarch” Premiere Is Fun But Doesn’t Exceed Expectations- Episode 1 Recap And Review

So these are my thoughts on “The King: Eternal Monarch” second episode. What did you guys think of it? Do you like the series so far?

9 COMMENTS

  1. So what do you expect from a fantasy drama
    Fantasy dramas are unrealistic from the scratch .Le gon lost his father at a young age so it make sense for him to be childish
    But i would agree he was a bit cringy but again hes a king who became orphan at a young age so his behaviour could be reflection of the trauma he faced

  2. The thing is Fans of LMH are gonna soon come for your head. Looool
    You are so apt in your narrations and writting. Now i feel like ive watched both episodes. I hope upcoming episodes get better
    Thanks for the honest review again and looking forward to more
    *********
    My friend and I also agree with you about LMH not wantng to leave his comfort zone and do more challenging projects.
    I guess most people including I love him because of his appealing features.

  3. I completely agree with you on this one. This drama was hyped up soooo much and with a resume that has Mr. sunshine, goblin and countless other top dramas, I expected a little more from Kim Eun Sook. The first and second episodes (in my opinion) don’t flow very well (it seemed like they were getting very artsy with visuals and time jumps) so it is very easy to get confused on what exactly is happening and why. Like you said, typically in Kim Eun Sook‘s dramas the first episode or two start off slowly, giving more background rather than story or character development, but these two episodes seemed even slower and more confusing.

    • Imho the problem is lack of viewpoint. Whose story is being told? We are watching strangers on the screen and not being given anything to invest interest in their stories. Lmh appears to be a monarch with no power (hence presence of a prime minister) and he spends his time doing maths riding horses etc etc. But he appears to have no WORK to do. So he’s idle. And frivolously threatening to behead people and demanding obedience weird and v v unattractive. So for the first time ever I can say I do not like LMHs character (and I’m a big Lmh fan and big he’s fan). His wise cracks don’t work with such an unlikeable character and actually make him appear a whole lot less attractive as a person. He’s a spoilt ignorant rude egomaniac with no sense of place. He is careless about others feelings and a bit narcissistic. Throw in his inability to budget and feckless overspending and this is a man I would be kicking to the curb. The proposal was just the icing on the cake to illustrate his lack of sense. Was that supposed to be romantic?? What is there to like about him other than his looks? Well his sidekick is better looking (despite being dressed up as the German gestapo).

      The story is cut and paste so far imo. I’ve seen it all before. But I’ve never seen it done so badly. What would motivate a competent clever policewoman to like such a narcissist? She has a good family, friends, is moderately well off and doesn’t need him. IMO she can do a whole lot better. I’m not sure I will bother with ep 3.
      IMO this is a case of the writer and Lmh resting on laurels. Kim Go Eun is brilliant as always and deserves better hair and makeup btw.

  4. This review is pretty accurate. I feel like we get so much backstory from LMH’s character but not as much from Kim Go-Eun’s and it makes everything connected to her, including the name tag he’s obsessed with so confusing. I wish both world’s of him survived because it would be the perfect opportunity for his character and his acting to have more depth.

    • There’s a lot of valid points being made here. Yes I agree the plot has not been anything new so far. I do not like the girl at all when I saw she was the one casted I was very upset and disappointed. No disrespect to her because it’s not personal but she’s the reason I could not finish goblin. She’s so annoying and her acting is so over the top and she doesn’t know how to be loving and have chemistry with the male leads. There was no chemistry between her and goblin it made the story unbelievable. Her clothes and makeup are bad she always looks so messily put together and I don’t know why because they have the budget for expensive clothes and better makeup. I feel like she’s unnecessarily mean towards the main character. There’s no chemistry even when he tries to connect and hugs her or calls her or says sweets things it’s like he’s talking to an iceberg. It’s cringy. LMH is good at building chemistry with his female counterparts and you can tell he’s trying. It makes me so sad because I had been excitedly waiting for LMHs new project And I don’t know if he alone can save it.

  5. To be honest, I feel the exact same way as you do. Episode 3 even is even less interesting than episode 2. I feel your line “this will follow Goblin’s path and not Mr.Sunshine’s path” is TOTALLY TRUE.
    I am so disappointed at this point, episode 3 and I kinda know this drama is a lot less than what I expected it to be.

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