This recap of Netflix K-Drama Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 11 contains spoilers. It also reveals details of the ending of Queenmaker Season 1.
Queenmaker on Netflix has been a riveting K-drama throughout its entire run, even though, at eleven episodes, each over an hour, it had some saggy portions here and there.
With the mayoral campaign having had many twists and turns, and a body count potentially mounting even higher as we head into the finale, there is still everything to play for and some essential questions that need to be answered.
So, here’s our obligatory breakdown of the final episode. Who becomes mayor? Who dies? We have all the answers.
Queenmaker Season 1 Ending Explained
Does Ji-yeon survive?
In Episode 10, it became clear that Jae-min intended to have Ji-yeon, his mistress, killed. She was pregnant with his child, which was a PR disaster, and she was also his accomplice in covering up the apparent suicide of I-seul, which has been a major catalyzing event for the entire season.
Now that Do-hee has seen CCTV footage from a building near Eunsung – the footage from inside the building itself was deleted – she knows that Jae-min was responsible for I-seul’s death. She also figures out that he intends to dispose of Ji-yeon, so she sends Dong-joo to follow her car.
When Dong-joo eventually finds the vehicle, he discovers Ji-yeon inside. He’s able to fight off Jae-min’s goons and rescue her, though he does get stabbed for his trouble. Fortunately, though, he survives.
Who wins the election?
With all the other candidates either ruined or having been convinced to step down and form a coalition with Jae-min, the Seoul mayoral race comes down, as we always knew it would, to Jae-min versus Kyung-sook.
Throughout the campaign, Jae-min has tried to turn the public against Kyung-sook by damaging her public image, and this is the approach he continues to take in the finale.
However, with Ji-yeon having been saved, she proves to be the difference-maker, showing up on Kyung-sook’s live stream and confessing the truth about their affair and Jae-min’s attempt on her life.
Ji-yeon also kept hold of I-seul’s phone, and on that is a recording of her final conversation with Jae-min on the rooftop of Eunsung which proves he pushed her to her death. His public credibility completely ruined, Jae-min gets demolished in the election, and Kyung-sook is elected the new mayor of Seoul.
What happens to Jae-min?
Earlier in the season we came to learn that Jae-min has been heavily shaped by the suicide of his father, a successful politician who was exposed as being corrupt.
When Do-hee meets with Jae-min, she reveals that it was Carl Yoon, Jae-min’s campaign advisor gifted to him by Chairperson Son, who framed his father, which led to his suicide. This is the final nail in the coffin for Jae-min, who is completely destroyed.
However, Chairperson Son provides the real coffin. She has Jae-min killed, fakes his suicide, and tries to protect Eunsung Group by pinning everything on him.
Why does Do-hee go to prison?
In the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, Do-hee is sent to prison for accepting illegal campaign funding from Seo-jin, the daughter of Chairperson Son, taken from an Eunsung Group slush fund.
She did this to ensure that Kyung-sook won the mayoral race, but she knew she would be caught. In doing so, she also proved how many other people Son had bribed in the creation of her duty-free store, a development which was a lynchpin of Jae-min’s mayoral bid.
With everything Do-hee taught her and the evidence she was able to accumulate before her sentencing, Kyung-sook is able to push Chairperson Son into giving up 90% of the shares in the development to a company established by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for the betterment of Seoul’s citizens.
Kyung-sook kept her promise not just of becoming mayor and destroying Jae-min and Eunsung Group, but also of legitimately improving the lives of the people in Seoul.
The Eunsung group remains deeply dysfunctional. With Jae-min dead and Chairperson Son ruined, Seo-jin steps into the CEO position of the logistics company while an already deeply damaged Chae-ryoung struggles to deal with Jae-min’s death at her own mother’s hands.
From prison, Do-hee revels in her victory. The season ends with her receiving a visitor who would like her assistance.
You can stream Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 11 exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on the ending of Queenmaker Season 1? Let us know in the comments.
1 thought on “Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 11 Recap and Ending Explained”
Best political thriller I have seen for years