As the main story progresses, it gets a little bit draggy and bland. There’s a lack of exploration of details behind the characters’ motives. But the good news is, we’re getting a new character.
This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The King’s Affection season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers.
Honestly, The King’s Affection starts with a unique, charming, and strong pivot. But as the main story progresses, I feel like it gets draggy and kind of juggling here and there. Especially in today’s episode. It seems there’s a lack of exploration of details behind the characters’ motives. But the good news is, we’re also getting a new character today! So I hope it will add more flavor to the story. Anyway, I’m sensing that we’re not only getting a love triangle but a freaking love square. Honestly, I am not into the idea since having three people in love at the same time already makes me frustrated somehow. More importantly, is the chemistry there? But let’s see how everything unfolds in the future.
The King’s Affection season 1, episode 4 starts with Ji-Woon helplessly begging to release his people beaten down at the Royal Palace. The guardian forcefully drags him to his father, Seok-Jo. Ji-Woon asks him to release his people because they do nothing wrong. Seok-Jo uses his weakness and asks him to fulfill his wish to become the Crown Prince’s royal tutor and assist her until the Royal Family of Ming’s visit. As long as he does what Seok-Jo wants then his people will be safe. Of course, Ji-Woon has no option but to agree. At least the good thing is, Ji-Woon is reuniting with a person he claims is his soulmate, Yi-Hyun.
But Ji-Woon is not the only one who doesn’t like the idea. Our icy Prince is also against it. Lee Hwi plans a lot of things to make Ji-Woon resign to become her royal tutor. From ordering him to transcribe piles of literature, trying to make him drunk so she can find his wrong-doing, and catch a fish with bare hands at the river. She even fills in an investigation and report of his incompetence and unqualified past, but neither of her attempts succeeds in the end.
The King’s Affection season 1, episode 4 recap
Lee Hwi refuses to attend Ji-Woon’s lectures after failing to convince His Royal Highness and even Ji-Woon to resign from being her royal tutor. On the other hand, Ji-Woon determines to fulfill his father’s wish and come up with a bet with Lee Hwi to save his dearest people. Our Five-Step Prince only agrees to take the bet if Ji-Woon dares to put his life on the line. Due to the guilt he carries after seeing his people suffering at the royal prison, Ji-Woon dares Lee Hwi by putting his life on the line. At the same time, Lee Hwi is driven with her angst towards him being the son of the man who kill both of her dearest people. She pulls the trigger and aims her arrow towards Ji-Woon.
The scene is causing a fuss all over the Palace, from Hyun to her maternal grandfather, Lord Sangheon, who happens to witness everything. Of course, Lee Hwi intentionally misses her shot. We have seen many times that as rough as she tries to present herself as a Prince, she’s still Dam-i who is fragile at heart. Ji-Woon is both relieved and terrified. She admires his courage and finally agrees to bet on her examination. Hyun notices there’s something off with his soulmate. That’s when Ji-Woon opens up about the circumstances that make him put his feet at the Royal Palace. Hyun also shares the reason behind Lee Hwi’s complicated relationship with her maternal grandfather, her father, and the King which also puts her in a tight position. Ji-Woon begins to understand her rash attitude towards her since his father is her maternal grandfather’s trusted pupils. Well, except for the part that she’s doing it to suppress her affections towards him over the angst.
After the fuss, Lee Hwi is having a word with her maternal grandfather where he reminds her that the palace can be as dirty as the mud and insist her to have people on her side because it’s no use to stay virtuous when they’re playing a dirty game. He also reminds her that his people are her people even if it’s for a bad cause. Lee Hwi has no choice but to agree while Ji-Woon secretly overheard their conversation. The next day, he gives her lotus seed and commands her to plant it by herself to find the answer to his question in the examination. “Lotus” is also the meaning of the name that Ji-Woon gives as a present for Dam-i when they’re young.
“My name is Kim Ga-On”
Remember the assassin that try to kill Lee Hwi yesterday? He finally shows up at the Palace under the name of Ga-On. He is assigned to become Lee Hwi’s new bodyguard. His sudden arrival is causing both confusion and a fuss at the Crown Prince’s Area due to his mysterious identity and handsome face.
His Royal Highness comes to confront the Queen to clarify the whole new bodyguard situation he doesn’t know about. The Queen explains that the bodyguard is chosen through a recommendation from her maternal grandfather. I know there’s something fishy about the situation. Nevertheless, his appearance makes it interesting since we are yet to know his real motives. But from the way his character is portrayed so far, we can see he is hiding something or holding grudges towards the Palace by the way he always clenches his sword.
Ga-On does not follow the five-step rules and boldly walks behind Lee Hwi despite the warning from Eunnuch Hong. Feeling uncomfortable, Lee Hwi yells at him and demands Ga-On obey her rules. She also tempts him by asking the question of who is the person he is working for. Lee Hwi suspects that he works under her maternal grandfather but Ga-On quickly dodges all the names she spills and declares that he will only work for him while clenching his sword.
“The lotus seed will bloom to a flower soon”
On the day of the examination, Lee Hwi gives out a philosophical explanation over Lotus to satisfy Ji-Woon, but it is not the answer that he is seeking. Lee Hwi fails the examination over Ji-Woon’s bold statement. He uses the lotus metaphor as a piece of advice for Lee Hwi to become a strong King amidst the dirty surroundings. A Lotus can grow despite being planted in the mud and can bring cleansing to its surrounding. Ji-Woon also insists that no matter what the causes that the King has to make, the greatest causes of all lie within the life of his people. He intentionally brings the Lotus as the topic to the examination as a way to provoke his father and the words of Lee Hwi’s maternal grandfather. This also means Ji-Woon is winning the bet and will keep on being her royal tutor.
At night, Lee Hwi separates herself from the crowded noblemen that are enjoying the buffet. Ji-Woon finds her at the bridge, staring melancholically at the river. Once again, he is mesmerized by her presence and notices the burden she seems to hide. Ji-Woon apologizes for his bold statement over her maternal grandfather’s words. Lee Hwi praises his bravery but warns him to be careful since the Palace is a dangerous place. Ji-Woo understands the danger that his words might cause him. He knows that his father and her maternal grandfather, Lord Sangheon, might contribute to the adversity that the rot inside the Palace causes along with other people.
He opens up that he is talking about himself when answering her at the examination because he is scared that he might follow in their footsteps. Lee Hwi is stunned by what she hears because she’s been misunderstanding him all along due to his position as Seok-Jo’s son. Ji-Woon sincerely looks forward to working with Lee Hwi. “The lotus seed will bloom to a flower soon,” says Ji-Woon. He also asks her to wash all her worries away with delicious meals and drinks.
Lee Hwi goes to enjoy the festival with Hyun alongside Ga-On and Eunnuch Hong. Due to the crowded situation, Lee Hwi almost trips over but Ga-On and Hyun quickly save her from falling. Anyway, the squad goes into an accessories shop, Lee Hwi is drawn to a beautiful flower ring but quickly distracts herself afraid that Hyun will notice it but he does. Hyun secretly buys the flower ring for her. Suddenly it gets so crowded at the shop, Hyun playfully takes Lee Hwi on a runaway from Ga-On and Eunnuch Hong. Both of them successfully escape those poor guys who’re running here and there to find them. He gives her the flower ring as a gift. I have a feeling that Hyun is already aware of Lee Hwi’s real identity based on the way he treats her. Although Hyun says that the gift is for her future Crown Princess that she’ll marry as a Prince. More likely it is an excuse to keep her around.
Of course, we need some cliche moment to put a grin on our face. A lady unintentionally splashes water towards Lee Hwi out of nowhere. Hyun automatically becomes her shield. The two share an awkward yet fluttering moment looking at each other’s eyes. Due to the incident, Lee Hwi’s hat is a wreck. Hyun quickly asks her to wait for him to buy a new one. While waiting, Ji-Woon happens to be out as well in the area. He notices Lee Hwi is standing all alone with a weird-shaped hat. The passenger is laughing at her. Ji-Woon chuckles as he approaches her to lend his hat for a while. He helps her to tie the hat since she obviously can’t do it herself. The two got into a heart-fluttering staring contest… and voila! Let’s wait for another week to know what happens!
What did you think of The King’s Affection season 1, episode 4? Comment below.