Things slow down a little to bring our lead characters closer together, but once again a last-minute shocker livens things up.
This recap of Netflix K-Drama Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 3 contains spoilers.
After the cliffhanger-ish ending of Episode 2, Do-hee is ready to hand in her resignation from the Eunsung Group officially. However, the company gets there first. Her employment is terminated with immediate effect, without severance, and a very smug Ji-yeon takes great pleasure in revealing that she is in possession of an audio recording of Do-hee’s last meeting with I-seul.
The point is clear. If Do-hee tries to expose the truth of what happened to I-seul, she’ll be implicated in her suicide — and what’s more is that the recording implies I-seul’s story was fabricated in the first place, so it’ll not only ruin Do-hee but exonerate Jae-min.
It’s time for a change in tactic.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
Why does Do-hee promise to destroy Chairperson Son?
Perhaps being able to distance herself from the Eunsung Group would have been enough for Do-hee. She has done enough terrible things at their behest that she would have had to live with that guilt anyway, and the potential ramifications of fighting the group would have been off-putting.
But Chairperson Son takes things too far. Do-hee’s father, who has dementia and requires daily dialysis and is awaiting a kidney transplant, is suddenly removed from the hospital. His potential donor backs out. His VIP treatment has been rescinded, which means he has basically been sentenced to death.
When Do-hee confronts Chairperson Son about this, she’s not only unapologetic but claims she’ll feel somewhat refreshed by his demise. It’s the least she can do to get back at Do-hee after her betrayal. So, in a dynamite scene, Do-hee promises to obliterate — her word! — everything that she has helped Chairperson Son and the Eunsung Group build.
Why does Jae-min want Kyung-sook on his campaign?
Meanwhile, Jae-min’s mayoral push begins in earnest. And he wants Kyung-sook to be a part of his election campaign since she provides a pretty direct line to the heart of the working people after her campaigning on the department store roof and her fall.
Jae-min thinks he can manipulate Kyung-sook by threatening the workers she worked so hard to have re-hired. But he underestimates two things. The first is Kyung-sook’s principles and resolve. The second is Do-hee.
How does Do-hee convince Kyung-sook to run for mayor?
Of course, Do-hee has already approached Kyung-sook. And while there is no love lost between the two, she makes some very good points about the Eunsung Group’s plan to use development schemes to rip off the poor even further. She even brings receipts – proof of how the previous mayor was forced out of his position by scandals.
Since Do-hee can prove the lengths Eunsung Group will go to, and has legitimate guilt over her involvement in I-seul’s death, Kyung-sook begins to see the logic of her suggestion that she run for mayor. When, at a big rally, Jae-min exposes a flash of his true self in trying to blackmail her, Kyung-sook commits to the idea and publicly announces her intention to run in opposition to him.
This comes with consequences, though, as the workers she fought to protect believe she is turning against them; that her embroiling herself in politics is a betrayal of her values. The fact that Kyung-sook tries to hide away from this backlash beneath a blanket only shows how much she needs Do-hee.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 3 Ending Explained
With Eunsung Group rattled, Chairperson Son tells Jae-min to handle the problem, reminding him that he is very much expendable in the grand scheme of things.
Jae-min turns to Ji-yeon and insists she does something about Kyung-sook. Her question of “What?” is a pretty telling reminder that she’ll never be Do-hee, who she has been adamant about her ability to replace and exceed, which Jae-min points out.
But she seems to do something, as Queenmaker Episode 3 ends with Do-hee almost being killed in a hit-and-run, with the driver intentionally veering towards her.
You can stream Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 3 exclusively on Netflix.