Episode 14 of Under the Queen’s Umbrella dives deeper into how Crown Prince Taein was killed and who was involved in it. The episode is now streaming on Netflix.
A flashback shows that Yoo Sang-uk’s son switched places with physician Kwon when they were younger so that the grand prince could have a chance of survival.
The Queen Dowager asks consort Hwang once again who Uiseong’s real father is and consort Hwang insists that he’s the king’s son before drinking the tea that she was accused of poisoning.
Seongnam searches the royal archives and finds crown prince Taein’s autopsy report missing. At this time, the queen asks the king to investigate Taein’s death because it could reveal who killed their own son but he says he’ll find out with his own methods.
The queen is sure that the truth must be in the secret drafts of the royal historian, who was Park Gyeong-u’s father. The king has the same idea and asks Gyeong-u if he left the palace all those years ago after reading the secret draft.
The Queen tells Physician Kwon, whose real name is Yi Ik-hyeon, that the autopsy is missing so he must find out what poison killed her son. Ik-hyeon tells Yoo Sang-uk about the missing autopsy report and they figure that the state councillor has which is why they must get his support.
Uiseong is still trying to convince councillor Hwang to join the rebellion but the elder is not buying it. He visits consort Hwang to find out why she is okay with her son siding with the rebels and she says they have no choice as Uiseong is not really the King’s son and the queen dowager knows that now.
Councillor Hwang meets with Sang-uk and Ik-hyeon to find out what they want from him. They say that if he has valuable information he will be spared and councillor Hwang agrees to testify that the king witnessed Taein’s murder if the rebels take control.
They also ask him about the missing autopsy report and he says he doesn’t have it, it must still be with the current royal physician, Cho Guk-yeong. Guk-yeong was Sang-uk’s assistant back then and he gave Taein the poison under the Queen dowager’s orders.
Gyeong-u tells the queen that he’ll show her the secret draft as long as she chooses not the share what she read with anyone. He also tells her that there may be someone involved whose name she will not be able to accept.
The draft says that Sang-uk informed the former King that Taein must have been poisoned, but since there wasn’t enough evidence the King himself decided to cover it up and told the royal historian not to cover it. He then visited prince Guemyeong, who is the current king.
This confirms that the king knew about Taein’s true cause of death, something the queen realises for the first time. The king is seen holding the missing autopsy report and he proceeds to burn it so there is no evidence of his one moment of weakness.
The queen dowager sits with the Cheong-ha to find out whether she and Seongnam have consummated their marriage yet. She says that there are hurtful rumours going around and it wouldn’t be wise to delay it further.
Cheong-ha rushes to meet the queen and tells her that she wishes to consummate the marriage as soon as possible to dispel the rumours. She also would like to get to know him better and asks for the queen’s help so the queen sends her to Seongnam’s brothers.
She learns what she can about Seongnam and leaves. She is seen leaving the grand prince’s quarters and the queen dowager is all too happy to start another rumour. The queen hears about the ridiculous rumours and decides to take action.
She summons Seongnam and Cheong-ha and assigns them a nursemaid who has good results when it comes to making sure a couple has a successful consummation. What follows is a whole lot of rituals and other practices that are followed to prepare them for a night together.
When the night comes, Seongnam and Cheong-ha enjoy a few drinks together. The next morning, Seongnam wakes up with Cheong-ha by his side but can’t remember much of what happened.
When Seongnam later asks Cheong-ha whether they actually did the deed, she tells him that he was too drunk so she didn’t want to go through with it. He doubts her statement as he leaves after getting a few rushes of memory coming back to him of the night.
The queen dowager finds out that Yi Ik-hyeon used to visit consort Hwang’s house when they were younger, making him the most likely father of Uiseong.
Ik-hyeon presents three different poisons for the queen to inspect and he includes the real one because he assumes that the queen would be too suspicious of him to believe that he brought the right one.
The queen sees through this and tells Lady Shin that one of the poisons is what killed her son. A palace guard arrives and tells the queen that there is something she needs to see urgently.
A woman in Hyewolgak killed herself and the queen was called because the woman’s symptoms looked similar to that of the late crown prince. She learns that the poison used was gansu, highly salinated water.
She rushes to the deposed Queen Yoon’s house and notices her son walking without a limp for a moment. She remembers that physician Kwon also has a similar limp and concludes that he is the real Yi Ik-hyeon.
Ik-hyeon serves Cho Guk-yeong gansu as well and tells him that he’ll provide the antidote if he tells him where the missing autopsy report is.
Guk-yeong tells him that he hid it on the floor of the archives. The queen asks queen Yoon if she knew that her son killed the former crown prince. She says she didn’t but has no regrets about it either.
Ik-hyeon doesn’t find the autopsy report but he does come face to face with the queen, who now knows that it was he who killed the former crown prince.
- The episode added a lot of context to how the king replaced the former crown prince to become the heir and the story feels a lot more rounded out as a result which is great for the narrative.
- There are some great character moments in this episode to observe. The King, who has ruled with honour and distinction and is generally a noble man is forced to be involved in a cover-up because of his ambition as a young prince.
- The other moment is when the queen learns about the rumours spreading about her son. Kim Hye-soo’s facial expressions have been so over the top and fabulous throughout the series and this particular moment is one of the best.
- This episode also shows the sillier side of the monarchy as they had a nursemaid put the prince and princess through all sorts of ordeals to ensure that their night together is optimal. It is funny to observe but scenarios like this occur even in today’s world showing how rituals transcend time.
Under the Queen's Umbrella season 1 episode 14
Director: Kim Hyung-sik
Date Created: 2022-11-27 12:00