Episode 14 is complex and has many layers, but it does provide many answers that audiences were desperate to have.
This recap of Netflix Korean series The King: Eternal Monarch season 1, episode 14 contains spoilers.
How does The King: Eternal Monarch episode 14 open?
Okay, this was a super-complex episode but I’ll try and break it down the best I can. The King: Eternal Monarch episode 14 gives us many answers that we’ve been seeking but it took a level of concentration to understand what happened. Please comment below if there’s more that I may have missed. Episode 14 begins with Sin-jae getting a call from Tae-eul — she’s found Koon Eun-a in the freezer. But he’s found an alarming discovery — he’s found his alternate self on a breathing machine. Meanwhile, Luna is handling Lee Gon on the floor but he’s still alive and tells her he doesn’t have the whip. Jo Yeong walks in and sees Lee Gon on the floor so rushes to him. The king tells Jo Yeong to get the whip first; Jo Yeong rings Tae-eul and tells her Lee Gon has been poisoned.
Jo Yeong rushes him to the hospital as an unregistered patient. Tae-eul arrives at the hospital and they learn that Lee Gon can be saved. Jo Yeong tells Tae-eul that the person who poisoned Lee Gon looks exactly like her.
Lee Gon wakes up
Lee Gon wakes up and his first concern is Tae-eul. Jo Yeong insists that he must go back to the palace as he can’t protect him in this world. Lee Gon tells Jo Yeong that it was him that saved himself on the night of treason. He tells Jo Yeong that he would have preferred to have that drink. Lee Gon heads to the portal and walks through it at the same time as Lee Lim. They both stand in the halfway place. They can both sense each other and begin running.
The little boy gives us a back story
The little boy explains that when the Manpasikjeok becomes one inside the gate, both the axes for time and space simultaneously form inside the gate. When the Manpasiljeok becomes whole, it takes you to the moment when you wish to save yourself. Both the king and the traitor were taken to the same point in time — “The night of the treason”. The king wished to save both worlds from the traitor, and the traitor wished to save himself from failing the coup. The King: Eternal Monarch episode 14 provides many layers to a complex narrative.
Lee Lim betrays Lee Lim
In the next scene, Lee Lim tells his younger self that his coup will fail and reveals “I’m you” from 2020. Younger Lee Lim realizes that the other world must exist. Older Lee Lim tells himself to kill the crown prince; if his past perishes, his future will be no more — “Get the Manpasiljeok”. Younger Lee Lim realizes that his older self failed and kills him — “I will stage the coup, not you”. Younger Lee Lim picks up half of the Manpasiljeok and it disintegrates in his hand.
The little boy then reveals that the Manpasikjeok is powerless when halved. We see the coup again and Lee Gon kills the attackers. Lee Gon’s younger self is saved — as Lee Gon walks away, Tae-eul’s ID drops. Lee Gon sees Lady Noh and says he is deeply indebted to her and followed her advice to follow his destiny. Lee Gon asks Lady Noh if he can leave; he runs off and he tells the guards where the traitors have gone. On his way out, Lee Gon puts his gun to the head of Lee Seung-heon — a traitor who let Lee Lim escape.
Lee Gon left a message
Jo Yeong leaves Tae-eul a message from Lee Gon apologizing for leaving without saying goodbye. She’s distraught and drops to the floor; the stress of the situation has got to her and she knows that the chances of seeing him again decrease the more time he leaves.
Sin-jae visits his father
Sin-jae visits his father in prison and asks if he turned Kang Hyeon-min into Kang Sin-jae because Lee Lim needed a care center and a freezer. His father explains they were told that Sin-jae wouldn’t wake up and his wife was devastated — Lee Lim showed them a photo of Kang Hyeon-min and stated he would give Sin-jae’s alternate self if they sold the care center to him.
Lee Gon realizes the time issue
The King: Eternal Monarch episode 14 then throws the audience into intertwined timelines. Lee Gon heads back through the portal; time has frozen and it is December 20, 1994. He realizes that the time axis can only be formed when the Manpasikjeok is whole — with only half of it, he can only move laterally. He will have to travel through 26 years to get to 2020, which would be four months inside the inter-dimensional gate. Lee Gon remembers that a version of himself lives in this world; he rings the police and lists Lee Seong-jae, Lee Eun-ho, Lee Ji-hun, Song Jeong-hye; he asks them to find that family and reveals that all of them will die except for Song Jeong-hye; he learns they are already dead — “It’s already happened”.
Meeting 5-year old Tae-eul
Lee Gon meets five-year-old Tae-eul and tells her he is from a different time — “I’ll be there soon”. The young Tae-eul accuses Lee Gon of being a kidnapper and Lee Gon laughs, realizing her personality hasn’t changed.
Back to the present timeline
In the present day, the forensics team finds an old crime report recording — it’s Lee Gon from 1994 and they play it to Tae-eul: “This guy is the suspect in the death of that family”. Suddenly Tae-eul remembers Lee Gon visiting her when she was five — the year the coup took place. It suddenly dawns on Tae-eul, that Lee Gon is in the past now. She breaks down, not knowing where to wait for him.
Finding Song Jeong-hye
Sin-jae escorts his alternate self in an ambulance. He’s desperate to get to the bottom of it all. He then meets up with Tae-eul to look into Yoo Jo-yeol who regularly gave money to the care center director. The squad heads to Song Jeong-hye’s apartment and they smell gas and the squad urgently run outside the building as the apartment blows up.
This is where The King: Eternal Monarch episode 14 gets complicated; Tae-eul heads to the bamboo forest and remembers a time Lee Gon rode his horse towards her.
Meanwhile, in another timeline, while eating with her colleagues, Tae-eul sees Lee Gon outside and tells him that she recognizes him from when she was 5 — she wants to check his ID. Lee Gon puts a hair tie on her wrists and says he doesn’t have an ID. He expresses it makes him sad that she doesn’t recognize him and that they are passing at different times — he promises her that they will meet again in 2020 in Gwanghwamun. Lee Gon says his goodbye to her and walks off. Lee Gon is battling with two worlds, two timelines, desperately trying to get back to 2020.
The phone box
In the other timeline, Tae-eul knows Lee Gon met her in 2016 as he leaves a date in the phone box. Lee Gon asks Tae-eul to wait for her a little longer. The longing for each other is emotional — it evidently feels like an eternity.
Remember the race track at the start of the story?
We then revert to the race track from the first two episodes and Lee Gon tells Jo Yeong that he will end up in the Republic of Korea and that he must locate Song Heong-hye — “I think that’s what you wanted to talk about over a drink”. Everything is starting to piece together and make sense.
How does The King: Eternal Monarch episode 14 end?
In 2020, Eun-sup tracks Luna. Tae-eul is angry that she’s taken her place. They meet in the street and Luna stabs her instantly with no mercy. Luna whispers how she has been losing something every single day. Tae-eul struggles on the floor and she rings the police and asks for back-up. As she loses blood, in the other timeline, Lee Gon gets off his horse and meets Tae-eul in Gwanghwamun as he promised in 2016. In the present timeline, Tae-eul cries as she fears for her life, telling the other Tae-eul to hold on to Lee Gon, tears rushing down her face. In the other timeline, Lee Gon is confused as to why Tae-eul knows him — Tae-eul narrates saying fate is not a coincidence and hugs him.
The King: Eternal Monarch season 1, Episode 14 is complex and has many layers, but it does provide many answers that audiences were desperate to have.
- The little boy reveals he saves people from danger.
- Prime Minister Koo asks her mother to say she had mackerel for tea. She then ponders to why only Lee Lim and Lee Gon can open the gate with the Manpasikjeok.
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