An episode about bonding and personal compromise builds to perhaps the diciest suggestion the series has made thus far.
This recap of Netflix K-Drama Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 7 contains spoilers.
This seventh episode of Queenmaker is largely about solidifying the bond between Do-hee and Kyung-sook on the back of their personal losses in Episode 6. But it’s also about rising from the ashes in the face of great adversity, and, at least if the ending is anything to go by, perhaps succumbing to our worst impulses when we get a chance to do the wrong thing for what seems like the right reason.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 7 Recap
Why does Kyung-sook want to withdraw from the race?
A lot of Kyung-sook’s consternations understandably revolve around Hwa-soo, who misused the funds that Kyung-sook has been accused of blowing on beef and such. Hwa-soo and Kyung-sook have a personal connection, and the latter can’t help but feel that her friend has been caught in the firing line of shots aimed at her.
As ever, Kyung-sook’s compassion and empathy override everything else, even at the potential detriment of her campaign, which is hemorrhaging popularity. Kyung-sook feels tremendous guilt about having convinced her friend to fight injustice only for that fight to ultimately cost her almost everything.
As a result, Kyung-sook contemplates dropping out of the race. When news later breaks that Hwa-soo attempted suicide, she commits to this decision. However, this is until leaked audio exposes Min-jung conspiring to kill Hwa-soo. Kyung-sook’s resolve is immediately stiffened after having been manipulated so flagrantly.
Who leaked the audio of Min-jung?
It turns out to be Joong-seok who turned on Min-jung, exposing her for who she really is.
There’s a sense here of Kyung-sook’s authenticity and values being almost contagious, and her efforts in the mayoral race – and, perhaps especially, the tactics of those trying to take her down – really exposing the rot at the heart of politics to even the most cynical of career strategists and fixers.
Having done the damage, Joong-seok suggests Min-jung should resign. Either way, she’s out of the race at this point, and Kyung-sook only has one more legitimate opponent standing in her way – Jae-min.
Did Jae-min kill I-seul?
Speaking of Jae-min, this episode cracks a window into his particular brand of smiling psychopathy, as we learn how his father’s suicide has informed his adult life.
Jae-min is also a man who recognizes his own attributes – his charm and charisma – but not his faults, which Yoon is quick to point out to him. His love of the ladies, and his disinterest in whether or not they consent to that “love”, is always going to be a thorn in his side, and it makes managing a political campaign for him exceedingly difficult.
This episode strongly implies that Jae-min pushed I-seul from the roof and that Ji-yeon was a co-conspirator. Since, at the very least, he tried to ruin I-seul so that she couldn’t expose him assaulting her, it stands to reason that offing her would have been his ultimate endgame, and this is certainly the impression we get.
As for Ji-yeon, she’s pregnant. While she discovers this, Jae-min is crying into Chae-ryoung’s arms, proving that both his marriage and his mistress are a sham to him. All his decision-making revolves around whatever he wants at the time.
Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 7 Ending Explained
It’s through Chae-ryoung and her crazy outbursts that Jae-min’s popularity begins to take another hit, and he’s forced to beat the same drum to try and regain public favor.
Since people, especially Kyung-sook, are becoming wise to his tactics now, she’s able to counter with accusations of him being an old-school snake oil salesman, full of empty promises.
While he’s out campaigning, a young boy arrives at a rally and stabs him, with the final shot of the episode implying that perhaps Kyung-sook was responsible for the attack.
You can stream Queenmaker Season 1 Episode 7 exclusively on Netflix.