Jae-min Baek’s father’s death in Queenmaker explained

In Queenmaker, Jae-min Baek does not regret his past actions, even though they caused I-seul’s death. He only shows regret and remorse when he finds out the truth about his father’s death. 

Jae-min’s father, Baek Joong-do, was a successful politician. However, Joong-do killed himself, and Jae-min’s life turned upside down. His family lost everything and had to suffer every single day after his father’s death.

The kind of man that Jae-min grows up to be has a lot to do with his past. The painful memory of witnessing his father’s body hanging from a tree still haunts him; his past is the only thing that makes him look like a human being and not a complete monster.

How did Joong-do’s death change Jae-min?

Jae-min never displays genuine emotion in the show; it is almost like he is incapable of feeling remorse or regret. However, that changes when the topic of his father comes up.

At a radio show, a woman gifts him a basket of fresh persimmons, and it shakes Jae-min. He recounts the story of his father’s death. When he was young, he had a persimmon tree in his house. He used to pick persimmons with his father and grandfather.

Jae-min claims that it was the most perfect time of his life. That happy memory turned into a nightmare when he discovered his father hanging from the same tree the day they were supposed to pick persimmons together.

Queenmaker Jae-min
Jae-min discovers his father’s body

After that day, his family fell apart. They were kicked out of their house, his grandfather passed away due to shock, and his mother developed a mental illness; she still suffers from it. Now, he cannot stomach the fruit.

The day he recounts this story, Chae-ryoung finds him drinking alone. He never told her the real reason for disliking persimmons. This is the first time she comforts him, and he bursts out crying. This is also the first time he genuinely cries about something.

Jae-min learned what power could do at a very young age; it was powerful people who killed his father. Jae-min had wanted that power since then. He did everything to acquire it, including marrying Chae-ryoung and putting up with her temper as well as abuse.

He is ready to do anything that he can in order to become the mayor. He silences I-seul before she could tell the world that he sexually assaulted her and does not show any regret when Do-hee confronts him.

He then decides to kill Ms. Guk, who is pregnant with his child, to save his image. Carl Yoon, Jae-min’s campaign handler, warns him that there are lines that should never be crossed in order to not lose one’s humanity.

Jae-min tells him that he crossed that line and lost his humanity the day his father died. He now does whatever is necessary to succeed because he wishes to bring down the people who betrayed his father.

How did Jae-min’s father die?

Joong-do was a politician who had served for three terms. He was on track to become the next president. However, he was removed from office in the midst of party struggles because he was framed by someone.

The person who framed him was none other than Carl Yoon, the man Ms. Son hired to handle Jae-min’s campaign. Ms. Son even threatens Carl once; she makes it clear that if he does not make Jae-min the next mayor, she will tell Jae-min that Carl was responsible for his father’s death.

Carl Yoon, whose real name is Yoon Dae-cheol, was the campaign master who betrayed and framed Joong-do and made him look corrupt, ruining his life and career.

He never apologized to Joong-do. In fact, he justified his actions by telling him that he was just keeping up with the changing times to survive the cutthroat world of politics.

Carl further told Joong-do that he has two choices — either he could die or he could live to pass on this hell to his children. Joong-do chose to kill himself.  

Queenmaker Jae-min
Carl tells Joong-do about his two choices

It is much later, when Jae-min’s crimes get exposed, that Do-hee tells Jae-min about Carl’s involvement in his father’s death. Ms. Son hired him despite knowing his past. Carl only stood by Jae-min’s side, even when things got rough, because he wanted to ease his own guilt.

Jae-min remembers Carl talking about Joong-do; he told Jae-min that Joong-do would have been proud of him if he saw him achieving all this. When Jae-min asked him if he knew Joong-do, Carl replied that they could have been friends if he had not passed away so soon.

Nothing hurts Jae-min as much as his painful past; his father’s death still haunts him to this day. He never shows regret, but the knowledge that he has been working with his father’s killer breaks Jae-min completely and brings him to his knees.

Also Read: Ji-yeon Guk: Queenmaker character explained

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