Do-hee finds her position increasingly untenable as Eunsung Group double down on their efforts to preserve their public image — whoever gets hurt in the process.
This recap of Netflix K-Drama Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 2 contains spoilers.
Before I-seul jumped to her death in Episode 1, she sent Do-hee a suicide email.
In the email, I-seul doubles down on her accusation that Jae-min assaulted her. Since she would have likely never been able to move on from it anyway, her life was essentially over before she jumped. Now, only Do-hee knows the truth, and we see her recalling the conversation about the cufflink in the car, and imagining how I-seul might have grabbed it while she was being raped.
She puts the pieces together just like we have, and realizes she’s on the wrong side of this.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
How does Do-hee find out Jae-min is guilty?
Do-hee immediately goes to see Jae-min and shows him the cufflink. Predictably, he plays dumb about why I-seul might have had it. Playing along, she asks to see the text message blackmail thread another time. When she calls the number saved as “I-seul”, a phone rings in Jae-min’s pocket.
So, Jae-min was blackmailing himself. Knowing what he did to I-seul and suspecting she might report him, he created a way to ruin her and had Do-hee do his dirty work. He isn’t remotely sympathetic about this, even after he’s discovered. Instead, he smugly reminds Do-hee that she’ll be forced to cover up his mess anyway since that’s what she does.
How does Kyung-sook fall off the roof?
Already in a fragile state, Do-hee remembers that in the last episode, she instructed Kyung-sook to be removed from the roof using “the chairperson’s method”, which we’re to assume is a potentially fatal approach.
Do-hee can’t cope with anyone else dying because of her, so she tries to call off Kyung-sook’s removal, but she’s overruled.
When a bunch of Eunsung Group goons arrives, Dong-joo tries to fight them off. Some get up to the roof, though, and corner Kyung-sook, who threatens to jump. Do-hee eventually arrives and gets between them, but the goons don’t do as they’re told. When one of them goes to strike Kyung-sook with a baton, Do-hee gets in the way, but the collision sends Kyung-sook careering off the roof.
Luckily, she’s caught by a crash pad and survives. Her fall, though, is interpreted by the media as a willingness to jump in protest, and she becomes an activist hero overnight, causing another massive issue for the Eunsung Group.
How do the Eunsung Group respond?
To try and take control of the narrative, Jae-min begins to engage in very public theatrics with the intention of protecting the reputation of the Eunsung Group.
Despite Chairperson Son slapping him when he proposes cutting Do-hee out of his campaign, Jae-min takes the reins of his public image. He turns up at I-seul’s memorial to offer his “sincere” condolences and offer to pay for the funeral. Do-hee, who is in attendance, is absolutely fuming.
Then, Guk Ji-yeon, who has taken over from Do-hee in matters of corporate strategy, tries to pressure Kyung-sook into not pushing the matter by offering to rehire the workers. We later see Jae-min publicly shaking Kyung-sook’s hand when those workers are re-hired.
Of course, the group is collapsing on the inside, with Chae-ryoung’s sister trying to persuade Do-hee to help ruin Jae-min’s public image by sullying I-seul’s legacy even further, implying she met Jae-min at the hostess bar and was pregnant with his child. Do-hee refuses and says she’ll remain loyal to the chairperson. But will she?
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 2 Ending Explained
Queenmaker Episode 2 ends with Do-hee visiting Chairperson Son while she’s out shooting game to warn her about Jae-min. When she doesn’t care and instructs Do-hee to apologize to him and manage his mayoral campaign anyway, all that talk about loyalty goes out of the window. Do-hee resigns and walks away.
You can stream Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 2 exclusively on Netflix.