The political machinations really get underway here, and Kyung-sook gets her big moment to authentically shine.
This recap of Netflix K-Drama Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 5 contains spoilers.
Episode 4 of Queenmaker promised a debate, and the fifth episode delivers it right out of the gate.
It didn’t seem to occur to anyone prior to this, but Kyung-sook having Do-hee in her corner is a double-edged sword. She’s an undeniably brilliant strategist, but she also has a chequered past which Seo Min-jung is quick to point out.
It doesn’t help that Kyung-sook is running as a representative of the working class and Do-hee’s career thus far has been pretty much the opposite of that. She’s the fruit of a poisoned tree.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 5 Recap
Who wins the debate?
But Min-jung isn’t exactly squeaky-clean either. Her personal ambition is beginning to outweigh the needs of her constituents, and she’s making promises she has no intention of keeping to those responsible for her funding. Queenmaker hasn’t been subtle about the cavernous disconnect between Min-jung’s public-facing reputation and what she’s like behind closed doors, and the two become a little entangled here.
A question from a planted man who Min-jung had an affair with sends the whole thing further into disarray. The cracks begin to show. Joong-seok, Do-hee’s ex-husband, gets a lot of the blame, which is understandable, since if anyone absolutely shouldn’t be underestimating Do-hee, it’s him.
This is all building to the episode’s big moment when Kyung-sook sheds her corset and other accouterments and presents her authentic self for the first time, leaning into the one thing that all politicians seem to lack as her USP – honesty. It’s a triumphant moment, and even Do-hee is forced to acknowledge that sometimes she might be better served allowing Kyung-sook to make her decisions.
How does Chae-ryoung support Jae-min?
On the Eunsung side of things, Yoon and Jae-min are sitting back and allowing all this to take place while building their own voter base thanks to Jae-min’s charisma and reputation.
As instructed by Chairperson Son, Chae-ryoung plays the doting wife role to a tee, giving a speech to the press about how she has suffered quietly from cancer and Jae-min has supported her all the while. His coming across as the doting husband can only help his campaign, and Yoon is happy with the improvisation.
The family even celebrates together, though the cattiness remains.
What is the Leah Company?
Even while Jae-min continues to amass public support, Do-hee knows where to probe for weaknesses, and a lot of them are to be found in the catfish redevelopment plans for Chairperson Son’s Heaven of Asia, a project being bankrolled by the mysterious Leah Company, a multinational outfit based in the Virgin Islands.
Do-hee gets reporter Cho-rong to look into why a company with no ties to Korea is funding the country’s most essential development. It’s the key to everything since the fake altruism surrounding it is the premium gas that Jae-min’s mayoral campaign is burning for fuel.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained
Do-hee deals an enormous blow to Eunsung Group by using kompromat to ensure that the Leah Company’s permits are held until the election of a new mayor, who will decide the future of the redevelopment.
This has enormous financial implications for the Eunsung Group and turns the election race completely on its head. It also had the additional benefit of incensing Chairperson Son, who confronts Do-hee just as the episode ends.
You can stream Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 1 exclusively on Netflix.