Queenmaker Season 1 Episodes 10 and 11 Recap – What is Jae-min’s Next Move?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 15, 2023 (Last updated: March 12, 2024)
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Queenmaker Season 1 Episodes 10 and 11 Recap
Queenmaker Season 1 (Credit - Netflix)

As it turns out, you can’t just run around sleeping with every woman you meet and expect your indiscretions not to see the light of day, especially when there are babies involved, and this is precisely what Jae-min discovers in the Season 1 Episode 10 of Queenmaker. So, yes, his affair with Ji-yeon and his illegitimate son have made the news, and his conservative family-oriented voter base doesn’t like it.

Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 10 Recap

What’s a guy like Yoon to do? It’s his job to ensure Jae-min stays squeaky clean, but covering up a scandal of this magnitude is near impossible. Jae-min wants to take his usual approach, which is simply to “get rid” of Ji-yeon, but he’s too scrutinized for that.

How does Jae-min respond to the scandal?

Jae-min decides to try and play up his relationship with Ji-yeon, implying that the two of them found solace and protection in one another. He wants to be seen doting on her, but he also wants to keep her out of the way, “rested” and “relaxed”, which is to say out of the way of the press.

As far as the press themselves are concerned, the idea is just to deny it. Fake news. There’s nothing to it. But Do-hee obviously senses the weakness and disseminates photos of the pair together which obviously undercut their claims that their relationship is entirely platonic.

The stress all gets too much for Ji-yeon, who passes out from stress, leading some on Kyung-sook’s side to question if they’re perhaps going too far.

What is Jae-min’s next move?

The only thing on Jae-min’s mind is votes. He comes up with a couple of ways to achieve this.

The first is to have Ji-yeon killed, making her a martyr. The angle will be that the stress of the allegations from Kyung-sook’s team drove her to suicide, and Jae-min will hoover up the sympathy votes.

His other move is to promise the people shares in the duty-free development through the government, which Chairperson Son is fuming about. However, in a smart mirror of that scene earlier in the season when Son slapped him, Jae-min takes the upper hand here, highlighting how important his success is to the entire Eunsung Group, and how calamitous his failure might be for everyone.

Jae-min’s power grab within the family doesn’t go unnoticed by Seo-jin, who reports to Do-hee that the dude is losing his mind. Ji-yeon needs to remain protected, and to that end, she is also working to protect herself by having a prenatal paternity test done that proves her child is Jae-min’s – she knows, inevitably, that he’ll deny it.

Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 10 Ending Explained

A lot of this episode is devoted to drawing very explicit parallels between Ji-yeon and I-seul, the implication being that any woman who gets entangled with Jae-min inevitably ends up dead or at the very least reputationally destroyed.

This actually all dovetails quite nicely toward the end of the episode. When Ji-yeon is taken away by Jae-min’s men, she figures out what is happening too late and is drugged and knocked out in the back of the car.

At around the same time, Do-hee finds security footage from the building across the street from Eunsung HQ that reveals Jae-min arriving and leaving with no sort of visible distress whatsoever. Of course, we know why, and so does Ji-yeon, who was privy to his actions in this regard in the first place.

Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 11 Recap

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.

Queenmaker Season 1 (Credit – Netflix)

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.

Queenmaker Season 1 Ending Explained

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.

What do you think of Queenmaker Season 1 Episodes 10 and 11, and the ending? Commenting below.

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