Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 7 recap – delivering plenty of excitement

By Nathan Sartain
Published: November 6, 2022 (Last updated: November 7, 2022)
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A tactical episode that delivers plenty of excitement.

We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 7, which contains spoilers.

With the taekhyeon now underway, it feels like Under the Queen’s Umbrella has truly begun to hit its stride. It thrives in its moments of tactical intrigue and weaves plenty of palace drama into each episode. This installment was one of the season’s high points and feels like it could kickstart the momentum the show needs to firmly up the ante.

Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 7 recap

We begin with the Queen (Kim Hye-soo) heading straight to the Grand Heir’s nursemaid. “Play that secret game with me instead,” Hwa-ryeong (Chaerin) says menacingly, wanting to also know who resulted in the youngster’s meals being poisoned. As it turns out, the royal worker’s family had been taken hostage, leaving her helpless enough to ask for death in the wake of her forced wrongdoing. The Queen is happy to oblige, though finds herself shaken by the implication that whoever is behind this scheme is “far more formidable” than her. Then, suddenly, the nursemaid drops dead anyway, causing Hwa-ryeong to request a search for poison around the grounds, noting to the workers that if any is found, “all your families will be annihilated.”

When she finds out about a contained small fire to the Grand Heir’s bedchamber, the Queen takes drastic measures, banning anyone from entering her quarters without permission. That, and she orders for the Queen Dowager’s movements to be tracked, not wanting to jeopardize the next day’s interrogation. Following that, a begging Crown Princess wishes to exit the palace to protect her children, believing His Grand Heir must leave to prevent any further murder attempts. However, this request is denied, and Hwa-ryeong orders the shaken Crown Princess to pull herself together using the bravery from her suicide threat so she can shield her family.

Next, Queen Dowager Cho angrily confronts the King over his halting the interrogation. The elder wants to convince His Majesty that the Queen killed the Crown Prince, and prophesies her ability to depose of Hwa-ryeong in a bid to intimidate him. Yet the King is unphased by pressure, even when admittedly afraid of “everything” going on in the kingdom. Though Cho chooses to focus on his description of the throne as “dirty,” enraged by the idea her son is ungrateful for all she put herself through to put him there. His Majesty stands firm, saying all this was for her sake anyway, only to be told he started it all. A flashback confirms this, with the current King’s youthfully determined proclamation of “I want to be the Crown Prince” the statement which began his ascent.

After the King is ordered to give “consent to the taekhyeon” or risk the Queen being brought down, we move forward. Grand Prince Seongnam sits alone, reflecting on the rumors regarding Hwa-ryeong’s involvement in the outside medicine alleged to have killed the Crown Prince, while his younger brothers clumsily enter their mother’s quarters to check on her. Gifting her chicken dumplings, and warm words of support, the Grand Princes help things, for a moment, appear peaceful. Nevertheless, there is some tension, with Ilyoung having to be comforted over fears the family will be murdered if the taekhyeon is approved. The Queen admits she too is scared, but those feelings dissipate when with her children.

Continuing, Grand Prince Seongnam comes clean to the King about bringing in the outside medicine, willing to accept responsibility. Yet he’s determined to prove it wasn’t the prescription that killed the Crown Prince too, claiming he will have the herbalist and physician testify that everything was done by the book. His Majesty is blunt now, uttering that Seongnam could die if he fails to prove the medicine didn’t result in death, so he should stay out of the interrogation. “I cannot be the person who killed his brother,” the Grand Prince replies, refusing to live in guilt. As we see, this shakes His Majesty, convincing him to allow his son to proceed.

As the Queen hears the deceased nursemaid was appointed to Queen Dowager Cho by recommendation of the Chief State Councillor and had helped raise Prince Simso, she realizes it’ll be tough to pin down who was behind her. No poison was found in the Royal Kitchen either, making things harder in the quest for evidence. Thus, Hwa-ryeong expresses her desire to find something concrete, knowing it’s the best way to protect His Grand Heir, and discover the enemy. Elsewhere, a smug Won-hyeong tells Consort Hwang he will stop Her Majesty from meeting with Physician Kwon.

Angry, Queen Dowager Cho scolds Court Lady Shin regarding Hwa-ryeong’s private meeting with the deposed Queen Yoon. But the servant stays loyal, ignoring insults to stay silent for the sake of Her Majesty. “Do not forget I am the one holding your leash,” the elder says, before letting Shin exit scot-free. Later, Queen Dowager Cho orders Mak-ryeo to be found before her adversaries get to her first and admits she will not bring up Yoon at the interrogation because of its risk, all while Lady Shin overhears the conversation.

After this information is fed back to the Queen, Hwa-ryeong shares that Cho was behind the death of Crown Prince Taein. Then, she heads out, greeting a smiling Won-hyeong with a warning that she only wanted to talk to Physician Kwon to ensure he isn’t tortured into a false confession. However, she is unable to defy royal orders and see the suspect. In private, Consort Hwang is busy requesting Physician Kwon stays strong “just a little longer.”

The next day, Grand Prince Seongnam tries in vain to find a fleeing Master Toji, who manages to successfully evade the royal at a busy dispensary. Elsewhere, the investigations into the Crown Prince’s death point towards it coming via outside medicine, leaving the King with no choice but to interrogate Physician Kwon. Here, the doctor cracks, pointing the finger of blame towards the Queen, alleging she handed him the prescription of unknown origin.

Unable to forge a defense, the Queen admits to wrongdoing. Yet she does disagree that the outside prescription caused the death of her son. “Just because he was not poisoned does not mean he died because of the medicine,” Hwa-ryeong states, before adding she never would have given the Crown Prince something suspected to be dangerous. Continuing, Her Majesty says she received the prescription from someone “who cared about him more than anyone and whom I trusted fully,” kickstarting further questioning.

Shockingly, the Queen claims the Crown Princess gave her the outside prescription, causing widespread shock. “Search her quarters,” is the simple order from the King. In due time, this self-decocted medicine is found, but the Crown Princess defends herself, insisting this was for her husband’s chronic itching and was made inside the palace. Nevertheless, with no records found of the prescription at the royal pharmacy, the Crown Princess appears guilty amidst her pleas of innocence. Hwa-ryeong then claims she had no choice but to hand the Crown Princess in, with the blunt statement that her in-law killed her son ending the interrogation.

As the dust settles, Won-hyeong plans to use this unravelling situation to remove both the Queen and His Grand Heir, making formal requests to His Majesty the next day to depose the former and execute the latter. But the King refuses to entertain such appeals, turning to Won-hyeong to wonder if he really wants the late Crown Prince’s son dead “so badly.” Bitterly, His Majesty heads out alone, practicing sword-fighting in the woods. Then, Grand Prince Seongnam appears, vowing to find the physician and herbalist able to testify about the outside medicine, eager to continue his own investigations even though the official one is complete. Informing his son that he missed his chance, an angry King says everything is over now the Crown Princess has confessed, yet looks affected when questioned on what he could potentially still do.

Barging into the Queen Dowager’s quarters confidently, Her Majesty intimidates Cho with heavy implications over what she knows regarding Crown Prince Taein’s suspicious death. When the timing is right, Hwa-ryeong goes one step further, relaying what the deposed Queen Yoon told her, infuriating Queen Dowager Cho to the point of a physical response. “If you persuade the court officials, I will keep my mouth shut,” the Queen threatens, prior to offering another warning to an arriving Won-hyeong. Wanting the “games” to stop, Hwa-ryeong gives her permission for the taekhyeon. Additionally, she is willing to have the Crown Princess and His Grand Heir demoted to commoners, as well as step down as Queen should none of her children make it as the next Crown Prince. It’s a lofty offer, though one that looks to have swayed Her Majesty’s adversaries.

After Consort Hwang is brought up to speed (Won-hyeong adds here that he still plans to have His Grand Heir killed, and that he will bring down the Queen as promised), the King dismisses Physician Kwon, and demotes the Crown Princess to a commoner. His Grand Heir is treated slightly differently, with his reduction in status coming with Wirianchi (described as imprisoning exiled criminals with thorn fences around the house). Any interaction with him will be seen as an attempt to have the youngster placed on the throne, meaning it will be considered treason. Later, Grand Prince Seongnam assures the departing Grand Heir that he did nothing wrong, and says that he will come for him.

Fortunately, Won-hyeong’s attempt to have His Grand Heir murdered at the place of exile fails, as the Crown Princess brings her family to a secret location organized by the Queen. A flashback shows how the two matriarchs worked together to hatch this scheme, performed to freely protect the young mother’s growing family until she is re-summoned to the palace. Furthermore, Grand Prince Seongnam has joined hands with his mother too, aiding her by preparing to risk everything to become the Crown Prince, which will in turn restore balance to the kingdom. That night, Hwa-ryeong receives a note of apology from Physician Kwon, who has exited the palace out of shame (we see it’s to re-join Master Toji), where he admits he is certain the outside medicine did not kill Her Majesty’s son. Confused by the information she receives about the doctor’s lack of a mother, the Queen orders a deeper look into the shady physician.

Convincing the King to test the true meaning of taekhyeon, believing he has a chance to show that the worthiest man can be appointed as heir to the throne, not just the “court official’s favorite,” Hwa-ryeong is unphased by the idea of losing her position to a concubine. “I trust them,” the Queen says of her children, adamant she has prepared them enough as long as the candidates are judged fairly.

Next, the taekhyeon is ordered by the King, who adds in his own special measure that he will select the next Crown Prince himself, thus defying conventions. Elsewhere, the confident Queen insists to Court Lady Shin that she is not reckless, and has chosen to “ride the waves” of this ordeal, actually hoping the Grand Princes are considered underdogs. Additionally, Prince Bogeom returns the book of secrets to Queen Dowager Cho, wanting to become the worthiest Crown Prince with direct help from the elder instead.

Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 7 ending

The ending of Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 7 brings more excitement. During a meeting with the concubines to inform them that the next Crown Prince will be decided via a “contest,” we see the process has already begun, with all the candidates smuggled away into the forest. Meanwhile, Cheong-ha continues her currently fruitless quest to find Grand Prince Seongnam.

When assembled, the Crown Prince candidates change into clothes suitable for a race, and are tasked with reaching the finish line before the incense clock “burns out.” “Points will be given according to the order of arrival,” the King’s narration says, with an elaboration telling us that those eliminated (or those who give up) will retrieve their identification plaques themselves. “The person who keeps his nameplate in place to the end will be the next Crown Prince,” His Majesty states, bringing an end to the episode with everyone embroiled in a competitive dash.

What did you think of Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 7? Comment below.

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