The King’s Affection season 1, episode 16 recap – the price of identity

November 30, 2021
Christina Geani 0
K-Drama, Netflix, Streaming Service, Weekly TV


Nothing stays hidden under the sun. Prince Wonsan gathers facts that lead to Lee Hwi’s identity reveal while Commander Yoon passes away after finding the evidence of Lord Sangheon’s private army.

View all


Nothing stays hidden under the sun. Prince Wonsan gathers facts that lead to Lee Hwi’s identity reveal while Commander Yoon passes away after finding the evidence of Lord Sangheon’s private army.

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The King’s Affection season 1, episode 16 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

We’re getting down to the last four episodes! The King’s Affection is definitely not your typical romance drama. As we get deeper into the stories, the love that it portrays fills with more complexity. It’s a drama about embracing one identity and pushing boundaries in how one perceives the idea of love. Anyway, things are getting more tense and complicated as Lee Hwi’s identity starts to reveal to the surface. The episode starts with a heartfelt moment where Lee Hwi and Ji-Woon share a kiss underneath the golden sunset. Lee Hwi is ready to endure everything and face the consequences of her feeling. Probably, that is what love is. No matter the choices they choose, there will be consequences anyway. 

At night, Ji-Woon comes to the Royal Library and finds a diary of royal secretariats from months 7 and 8. He finds suspicious facts about the King’s death due to the Busohwa’s poisoning. Ji-Woon goes to the Royal Infalamary to check about Busohwa’s effects. It is written that Busohwa causes swelling in the stomach and blackens the gums which appear immediately. But what’s odd is the King’s body does not react immediately to the effects. I almost forget that Ji-Woon once runs clinics himself so he is familiar with herbs which makes it obvious. 

The King’s Affection season 1, episode 16 recap

Meanwhile, Commander Yoon secretly barks into the office of the guild to find ledgers on weapon transactions but he finds no evidence. Later, he reports back to Lee Hwi and plans to go to their base in Yeoyeon. He promises to comes back alive and report to her. If there are any urgent matters, he asks Lee Hwi to send Ga-On as the messenger.

On the other side, we’re getting deeper into Seok-Jo’s dilemma. During his night walk, Seok-Jo witnesses Lee Hwi who is leaving after the secret encounter with Commander Yoon. He recalls Lord Sangheon’s words, “After making one mistake it is easy to make another one,” and intrigues to follow her. In his mind, to avoid another mistake, he takes his swords and is ready to slash her until Ji-Woon snaps him back to reality and asks what is he doing at Lee Hwi’s quarters. Yup, the scene where he is about to kill Lee Hwi is just Seok-Jo’s imagination. Thankfully Ji-Woon arrives at the right time.

The next day, Lord Sangheon informs Seok-Jo about the intruder who breaks into the office that handling weapon transactions right after Minister Park’s impeachment. Lord Sangheon orders him to go to the Yeoyeon and brings back all the ledgers that might prove the existence of the private army.

“You’ll always be my King,”

During the morning assembly, Lee Hwi is busy taking and receiving reports after the impeachment of the Minister of Taxation. When it is Ji-Woon’s turn to report, he dozes off and keeps on thinking about the night where he finds his father following Lee Hwi while clenching his swords. 

Later, the couple encounters the Queen and So-eun who just comes back with General Inspector to visit the Queen. She later invites Ji-Woon to her quarters to have tea alongside So-Eun. Lee Hwi who is aware of So-eun feelings becomes weary. Of course, Lee Hwi’s jealousy is not your typical jealousy. She is jealous of the idea of not having the same opportunity as these women when it comes to love. I mean, technically if she wants to openly love Ji-Woon, then that’s also the end of their story.

Eunuch Hong offers to go to the Queen’s quarters to observe after noticing Lee Hwi’s anxiety over what could have happened there. He also confesses that he sees everything; the fact that Lee Hwi and Ji-Woon share a kiss and will not tell Court Lady Kim about it. At the Queen quarters, the three of them Eunnuch Hong awkwardly interrupt their meeting and try to signal Ji-Woon to stay on his guard. Although the love is one-sided, you can’t deny the genuine adoration between So-Eun and Ji-Woon. Both of them put closure on each other feelings. 

Seriously all of these complicated love lines are starting to give me a headache. If Ji-Woon wishes So-Eun to move on, Lee Hwi on the other hand confronts Hyun and asks him to stay by her side as a brother and close cousins like they used to. He gladly accepts her favor. You know, although his face is smiling, we can clearly see the pain in his eyes. “You’ll always be my king,” says Hyun. In the end, he is still unable to give the present he prepares for her: the ring. He recalls every moment they spend together and the price that might come if he does not suppress his feeling. My heart aches for Hyun and I know yours too.

“The sky is beautiful,”

But nothing gives me a headache more than Lee Hwi’s secret and the cost of it. Prince Wonsan, who is on duty after Lord Sangheon orders him to put the King’s placenta, finally finds out about the truth behind Lee Hwi’s identity. Meanwhile, Commander Yoon manages to sneak into the basecamp in Yeoyeon and find the ledgers which show the existence of Lord Sangheon’s private army. Later, Commander Yoon faces a critical moment after Seok-Jo and his people find him. Ga-On comes to the rescue as the two run towards the end of a cliff. 

Seok-Jo warns Commander Yoon to give the ledgers and he will spare his life. “Is that your last favor as a friend?” asks Commander Yoon. Standing between life and death, Commander Yoon takes out the ledgers and slowly reaches out, as if he is about to give in. Seok-Jo reaches out his hand to grab the ledgers. But before he can get a grasp of it, Commander Yoon quickly turns over and passes the ledger to Ga-On who is standing at the end of a cliff. He orders him to stay alive and bring the ledger to Lee Hwi.

The moment he passes the ledgers, the soldier begins to shoot their arrow towards him. Ga-On is shocked but Commander Yoon pushes him and he later jumps off the cliff to protect the evidence. Seok-Jo helplessly insists his people stop shooting the arrow towards Commander Yoon who is at the edge of dying. He heartbreakingly runs towards Commander Yoon who is dying. This scene is overflowing with emotions and unexpectedly exceeds the lack of emotions from the past episodes. We come to see Seok-Jo’s vulnerability and genuine intentions. It’s ironic how their friendship has turns into a tragedy due to the different path which leads them with no choice. 

“Seok-Jo, the sky is beautiful..” says Commander Yoon before his last breath in Seok-Jo’s arm. We travel back to the old days where nothing gets in the way of their friendship. Seok-Jo and Commander Yoon are seen having a sword duel and watching the beautiful sky together while mocking each other’s skill like a bestie would. In the end, it is the bond of a genuine friendship that matters and carries on. 

“Put your life on me,”

After asking Jil-Geum to find the truth about the plant that kills the late King, Ji-Woon comes up with facts that the entire diaries during the death of the late King are fabricated. He goes to inform Lee Hwi about his finding so they can quickly investigate the truth behind her father’s passing. In the middle of their discussion, Eunuch Hong comes in to pass the news about Commander Yoon’s death. Lee Hwi comes to meet Ga-On who is badly injured after jumping off the cliff to bring the ledgers to Lee Hwi. “He passes away,” says Ga-On with a grief painting all over his face as he hands over the ledger. Lee Hwi takes the ledger with most of the pages damaged due to the water as she begins to cry in grief. 

On the other side, after successfully outcasting Prince Juhyeon, Prince Wonsan and Chang-Woon are planning to get their way to the thrones by revealing Lee Hwi’s identity after discovering the truth about the King’s twin placenta. To reveal it, Prince Wonsan insists Chang-Woon join forces with him and asks him to put his life in his hand. Prince Wonsan twisted the truth and tells Chang-Woon that Lee Hwi is planning to remove and banish him from the Gyeongsang Provinces. Of course, Hyun is sensing something suspicious towards Prince Wonsan.

The ending

Lee Hwi once again loses one of her most trusted people. Her fatherly figure and the person who always comes to protect her. It’s the price she has to pay and the consequences in exchange for her identity. She stays at the burial place where Ji-Woon accompanies her. The tension arises after Lee Hwi’s uncle, Chang-Woon and his people come to attack Lee Hwi to reveal her identity. Ji-Woon and Lee Hwi go into fighting mode where Lee Hwi manages to reveal Chang-Woon’s face. She is bewildered knowing that her uncle is behind the sudden attack. Chang-Woon uses the opportunity to ripes her clothes. Ji-Woon quickly covers Lee Hwi as Chang-Woon is ready to slash him with his swords. 

But the biggest turnover is Seok-Jo coming to rescue Ji-Woon and Lee Hwi who is being cornered despite knowing the truth about Lee Hwi. Of course, Seok-Jo won’t let anyone lay a finger on his son. More ever after knowing the cost of staying by Lee Hwi’s side. Could it be the death of his dear friend and the cost of serving Lord Sangheon has finally gotten to him? We’ll find out next week!

You can stream The King’s Affection season 1, episode 16 exclusively on Netflix.

View all

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.