The King’s Affection season 1, episode 18 recap – Ji-Woon finally discovers Lee Hwi’s secret

December 8, 2021
Christina Geani 0
K-Drama, Netflix, Streaming Service, Weekly TV


Lord Sangheon starts to connect the dots about Lee Hwi’s secret. Meanwhile, Ji-Woon discovers that Lee Hwi is indeed the girl he fell in love with at first sight. Will there be another feast?

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Lord Sangheon starts to connect the dots about Lee Hwi’s secret. Meanwhile, Ji-Woon discovers that Lee Hwi is indeed the girl he fell in love with at first sight. Will there be another feast?

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The King’s Affection season 1, episode 18, contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

We’re approaching the end. The King’s Affection season 1, episode 18 starts with Seok-Jo’s hiding the death of Lord Chang-Woo and the heartbreaking moment of our protagonist. Ji-Woon does not waver even though his heart is aching while walking away from Lee Hwi. He later encounters his father. “I’ll do as you say. But you must keep His Majesty’s secret no matter what,” says Ji-Woon on agreeing to the marriage proposal. Seok-Jo does not give any reply, just eyes full of enigma. 

The next day, Lee Hwi can’t keep her focus, and the two of them start to distant one another. Meanwhile, the news of Ji-Woon’s marriage finally reaches Hyun’s ears. He confronts Ji-Woon to clarify what’s happening because he knows something isn’t right. For someone who has been sacrificing his feeling, we know how lame Ji-Woon’s answer is in the first place. Agitated with what he hears, Hyun finally throws a fist at him. That’s when Ji-Woon finally confesses the real reason behind his decision which also gives him a wake-up call about what’s coming.

The King’s Affection season 1, episode 18 recap

Well, forget whispering. You can never hide anything behind Lord Sangheon. This greedy old man seems to install all the ears throughout the Palace. He always finds a way when it comes to getting what he wants. One of his pupils comes to report that rumors about the King’s happening to be a twin is spreading within the courtesan in the Capital because of a man who resembles Lord Chang-Woon (Fact, it’s indeed him). He later escort Ha-Kyung’s most trusted court lady to dig some information regarding their relationship. Ha-Kyung’s court lady spills the fact that they share two blankets of bed instead of one which grows suspicion more. 

On the other hand, I would like to give a lot of hugs to one of the most heartbreaking characters, Ha-Kyung. All the characters in The King’s Affection are indeed a victim, but Ha-Kyung is just another level of a victim (alongside Lee Hwi, of course, but at least she gets a kiss). Imagine having one-sided love and becoming the Queen of the Nation without knowing that she’s marrying a woman. Just like what happened in today’s episode. Ha-Kyung insists Lee Hwi share one blanket to shut down rumors that’s been lingering in the Palace. Of course, Lee Hwi refuse. That’s when Ha-Kyung stands up for herself. She demands Lee Hwi to let him produce the heir, the ones who will continue and carry the bloodlines of the Royal family, to fulfill her duty as a Queen. It’s ironic how an heir costs her self-worth. Because without it, she’s seeing herself as an unworthy Queen and woman.

She tries to open her clothes and Lee Hwi’s, yet Lee Hwi adamantly stops her. I honestly feel the same level of frustration with Ha-Kyung. She comes down with begging Lee Hwi to produce an heir with a royal if she doesn’t want to sleep with her. Lee Hwi embraces her and asks for more time to explain everything to her while Ha-Kyung is breaking apart. 

“I’ll get back what’s mine”

After finding out what’s happening through Ji-Woon, Hyun finds Lord Chang-Woon’s body in the forest. He later comes to confront his brother, Lord Wonsan, and asks him to stop whatever fuss he is orchestrating. Despite everything, Lord Wonsan surely has one amazing drive within him. “You know all along that His Majesty is a woman, right?” says Wonsan, asking Hyun’s loyalty towards Lee Hwi. “Your heart has been misplaced, Hyun,” adds him. In the meantime, Lord Sangheon’s guardians have come to escort Lord Wonsan faster than they think. Hyun tries to stop his brother who tempts him to surrender himself to reveal the truth behind the King’s identity. Hyun is asking him to come with him instead and apologizes to Lee Hwi, so he can figure out a way to save him. But Lord Wonsan refuses, “A woman can never be a king, Hyun-ah.”

After being escorted, Lord Wonsan confronts Lord Sangheon who busily looking at the placenta that Wonsan finds. Of course, Lord Wonsan doesn’t come to play. He straightly reveals how ten years ago, after the Seok-Jo (mistakenly) kills “Dam-i”, Lee Hwi is acting differently for a while, as if he is not himself. Everything becomes more suspicious after Lee Hwi refuses to sleep with the Queen and how the rumors regarding her sexuality rises. He also reveals the attack that Lord Chang-Woon conducts to affirm her identity but got interrupted by Seok-Jo, who is hiding it from Lord Sangheon.

Of course, Wonsan comes to take the throne so he is tempting Lord Sangheon to join forces with him so he can secure his place in the Palace. Instead of winning the pledge, Lord Sangheon orders his guardian to send Lord Wonsan to the prison regarding all the ridiculous stuff he says, which happens to be the truth. 

The price of sonangcho

While everything is tense at the Palace, Ji-Woon goes back to Saegembang. He and Jil-Geum are trying to find the mysterious herbs, sonangcho, that Lord Sangheon use to kill the late King. Jil-Geum reveals how he manages to find someone who sells the herb they’re looking for at the Infimary. Later, So-eun comes to the Saegembang for a visit. The two soon-to-be-married couple encounter an awkward situation together. So-Eun shows concern after noticing the scars on his face. She lends him his handcraft to treat his scar. So-Eun asks Ji-Woon if marriage is something he does not desire. So-Eun has always been sincere with her feelings from the start. That’s why, Ji-Woon reluctantly replies, “I am sorry but will try even if it takes some time,” 

Let’s go back to these mysterious herbs calls Sonagcho. Seok-Jo receives information that someone is looing for sonangcho. He later encounters his son, Ji-Woon who appears anxiously. Seok-Jo asks him about his involvement on finding sonangcho. He warns Ji-Woon that he will have to expose Seok-Jo too. Ji-Woon firmly says that if his father committed a crime then he has to accept the consequences. We can see a slight of heartbreak within Seok-Jo’s eyes. Amidst him becoming Lord Sangheon’s pupil, Seok-Jo does everything to protect Ji-Woon, even willing to hide the truth from Lord Sangheon which causes his life.

I admire how this drama brings up how political stances can divide a bond within the family. But we all know, Ji-Woon is not a good planner and often dwells in danger. Seok-Jo reveals that the infirmary is under the strict supervision of Lord Sangheon. Ji-Woon finally notices how it’s a trap and ought to save Jil-Geum who has been tricked. Seok-Jo stops him but he insists by saying, “When you make me want to end my life, my friend is the ones who want me to continue.” 

Meanwhile, Jil-Geum who has no idea the danger that awaits him. Suddenly, several swordmen suddenly appear threatening him with swords. Thankfully, Ji-Woon comes at the right time. He single-handedly fights back with all of Lord Sangheon’s swordsmen and injures himself. Just when Ji-Woon is being cornered, Seok-Jo appears and orders everyone to stop. Another commander refuses to stop because it’s Lord Sangheon’s order but Seok-Jo insists on him with a raging fire in his eyes. Finally, they let Ji-Woon and Jil-Geum go. But the sonangcho still remain unresolved and Lee Hwi needs to buy more time. 

There’s no turning back 

Lee Hwi is slowly running out of time. She needs to find the fastest way to dismiss Lord Sangheon before her identity reveals to the surface. Meanwhile, Lord Sangheon confront Seok-Jo who has been keeping a lot of secret from him. He asks about his intervention during the attack of Lee Hwi and Lord Chang-Woon’s death. After Seok-Jo dismisses himself, Lord Sangheon asks one of his pupils to keep an eye on him. Well, things don’t seem to progress nicely for him starting today.

Lord Sangheon begins to connect all the dots regarding Lee Hwi’s identity. From the moment he seems to bring the twin’s dead body to Lee Hwi’s behavior. He unexpectedly comes to Lee Hwi’s chambers claiming that he has many interesting to share with her. He starts with bring up Lord Chang-Woon’s attack on her to confirm a ridiculous rumor: That King was born as a twin and shared a womb with a twin sister. “But he claimed that the siblings secretly switched and that the girl is known as the King of Joseon,” says Lord Sangheon. Things are getting pretty tense and then suddenly Lord Sangheon burst into mocking peals of laughter which do not help at all. 

Lee Hwi counters back with how she’s been hearing rumors about a flesh-eating monster that lives deep inside the Palace which happens to be Lord Sangheon himself. She claims that the rumors within the Palace are sometimes exaggerated to the point of absurdity. But, Lord Sangheon got us hooks with his comeback and devilish smile. “But Your Majesty, the rumor is not entirely groundless. You are indeed born with a twin sister and I ordered Your Majesty’s twin sister to be killed,” says Lord Sangheon. He continues that he also orders to kill all the people who know the secret about the twin sister because the birth of the twin is an ominous sign within the Palace. Lee Hwi asking why is he revealing things like this now.v“If anyone finds out about this, I will kill them all.” declares Lord Sangheon. Before he excuses himself, he stares at both Court Lady Kim and Eunuch Hong with an intention. He adds that he will not regret being called a monster to keep the throne for her.

After all the hassle, Lee Hwi orders Court Lady Kim and Eunuch Hong to leave the Palace because Lord Sangheon will use them to pressure her one day. She is plotting to reveal Lord Sangheon’s act of treason from murdering the late King; the ledgers from Yeoyeon; and finding sonangcho through the Royal physician as proof. She reassures Court Lady Kim and Eunuch Hong that she will not die. “I want you to be there when I pass the throne to Gyeom,” says Lee Hwi with a mixed emotion in her eyes.

The ending 

Hyun is helping Court Lady Kim and Eunuch Hong to leave the Palace and lead their way. After biding their farewell, Court Lady Kim asked them to stop by at Ji-Woon’s place. Giving the bizarre and wavering moments, Court Lady Kim finally reveals Lee Hwi’s identity to Ji-Woon. “His Majesty is once a court maid in the Palace. She goes with the name Dam-i..” explain Court Lady Kim. She later begs him to protect her at all costs because we all know what kind of dangerous that awaits her. More ever, she is alone now. After hearing the name that he’s been longing for. Just when Ji-Woon tries to give in some thoughts of So-Eun.

Well, they said you can never run from your destiny. Ji-Woon runs back to the Palace with all of his might. He begins to reminisce about all the moments that they share. From the times they first encounter one another at the secret garden, to their last farewell. He runs to their secret garden, where surprisingly, Lee Hwi or should I say, Dam-i is seen burning all her precious memories with Ji-Woon. From the book that he transcribes for her to the given names, “Yeon-Seo”, which means lotus. But before she is done. Their eyes meet and suddenly the longness is felt through the screen. “Is it you, Your Majesty? Are you Dam-i?” asks Ji-Woon while the fire is burning just like their affection towards each other. 

You can stream The King’s Affection season 1, episode 18, exclusively on Netflix.

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