This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Under the Queen’s Umbrella season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers.
The ambitious end of Under the queen’s umbrella episode 2 will probably be his main talking point. It’s hard to talk about it properly right now, as the context around the reveal has yet to be fully revealed, but hopefully the sensitive subject will be treated with due respect. Other than that, this installment of the historical drama sets the stakes much more fluidly, cleverly focusing more on the plot rather than the crowd of somewhat lumped together characters.
Under the queen’s umbrella summary of season 1, episode 2
To begin, Consort Hwang is visited by Queen Dowager Cho (played by Chaerin), which slips the idea of Prince Uiseong becoming crown prince amid talk of the Concubine Queen’s rotten roots and credentials. Elsewhere, Hwa-ryeong (played by Kim Hye-soo) is told by the fallen royal that she does not believe Crown Prince Taein died of hyeolheogwol, given that the royal doctor said he was cured of the disease. “It was as if they had foreseen the death of the crown prince,” adds Yoon, explaining the events that quickly unfolded and finally saw King Lee Ho ascend to the throne. Outside the house, a mysterious figure lingers.
After hearing that it is the other princes who are prepared for taekhyeon (meaning they are ready to be the “wisest and most worthy” eligible to be chosen as the next crown prince), Hwa-ryeong is informed that his sons may be deemed unworthy to succeed, paving the way for a concubine’s son to take the coveted place of heir to the throne. In a flashback, we see that this exact process was executed to expel Queen Yoon, in addition to the former grand princes, to make way for the unbroken ascension of King Lee Ho. Thus, Hwa-ryeong is told to prepare , or risk losing everything, including the lives of his sons, which happened to Yoon despite his quiet life. “The only reason I’m still alive is because I still have a son I have to protect,” says the fallen queen, before stating bluntly that she would have done anything to defend her dead children if time could have been reversed.
As Queen Dowager Cho expresses her desire to let the King know that the Queen has kept the Crown Prince’s condition a secret, the Concubines begin to deploy the advice given to them through the Book of Secrets of Royalty. , in the hope that their sons can develop further. Also, Consort Hwang asks Uiseong to help with cohort selection, wanting him to prove himself as Her Majesty’s first child. “Just enter the test and leave the rest to me,” the experienced concubine says, citing mulgwiwonju (returning an object to its rightful owner) as the inducement.
At the Crown Prince’s bedside, Hwa-ryeong asks Kwon to look into the archives of Naeuiwon (the Royal Clinic) to quietly find information about the late Crown Prince Taein’s medical treatment, as well as any other details about the hyeolheogwol in general. . At this time, the queen’s son wakes up surprisingly well enough to apologize to his mother for the worry caused. Reassuring the crown prince that he will get it back, Hwa-ryeong tries to ensure there is a minimum of panic here.
The next day, the Grand Princes all gather around their mother, who tries to convince them to participate in the selection of the cohort under the pretext of knowing their centers of interest. Nonetheless, such a tactic is easily sniffed out by the Queen’s sons, meaning the royal must quickly resort to trying to order her children to participate. This too is unsuccessful, until Prince Gyeseong offers a glimmer of hope, willingly forcing the request to apply even when the other three fail to be persuaded to reconsider their positions. Later, Hwa-ryeong laments the Grand Princes’ recklessness in not seeing that their lives could be in imminent danger, but refuses to inform them of the Crown Prince’s illness.
As Hwa-ryeong becomes determined by the suggestion to have Lord Min Seung-yun assess the grand princes for their ability, Prince Uiseong finds himself verbally reprimanded again for the way he talks about the queen. This time, Consort Hwang’s son is braver, actively trying to get hit by calling the court servants “fools” and “humble.” Then Uiseong goes even further, saying he should be the crown prince and that he wouldn’t keep people like Grand Prince Seongnam alive, “even as peasants,” if he were to ascend the throne. Naturally, this leads to a physical threat, with Consort Hwang’s son being warned that if he ever became king, Grand Prince Seongnam would see to it that his kingdom “lies in ruins”.
Afterwards, Hwa-ryeong is informed that the Grand Princes are “in danger of being classified as delinquents” and lack the determination to become a cohort. So much so that Seongnam and Gyeseong risk being expelled from Jonghak for their absenteeism, the latter’s status being of particular concern to the Queen, given that she relies on him the most outside of the Crown Prince. Here, Hwa-ryeong also discovers that his previously reliable son is pursuing something that, while kept secret from the public, is having a noticeable impact on the royal.
When the queen is found crying in secret by court Lady Shin, she is comforted, but the royal wants to know what to do now, to try and prevent the grand prince Gyeseong from meeting his end. As Hwa-ryeong panics, there doesn’t seem to be an immediate solution in sight. At the same time, applications are submitted for the evaluation of the selection of the cohort, in which Grand Prince Muan surprisingly decides to get involved.
Determined not to give up on Gyeseong, Hwa-ryeong refuses to linger, instead wanting her reliable son to apply for cohort selection, due to her worries about her other children wanting to leave the palace and get married. Meanwhile, the crown prince asks with emotion to Grand Prince Seongnam for being “like a father” to Won Son, obviously making plans for his potential death. This, and the heir to the throne asks his younger brother to keep him company as a cohort, warmly reminiscing about their time in Seochon together in youth, where their bond grew. As such, Grand Prince Seongnam requests the cohort assessment at the last minute, clearly affected by what his brother said.
To her surprise, the Queen finds that all of her children ended up applying for cohort selection, bringing both relief and happiness to the royal. Elsewhere, the King himself expresses his shock at the great interest in the vacant role, admitting to his men that he wants to find someone who can encourage the Crown Prince to “twist and twist and think outside the box of from time to time”. time.” Put simply, Her Majesty desires to find someone different from the heir to the throne.
That night, we watch Prince Uiseong being trained for his upcoming exams, with a new arithmetic tutor filling out how-to guides on what he should have memorized. Consort Hwang knows her son needs to make an impression in the first two tests, hoping that can convince him to be selected for the cohort role. Elsewhere, the queen begins to read a myriad of books used in Jonghak and Sigangwon so she can help the grand princes study.
After viewing the preparations of the other Princes, we return to the Queen. She tirelessly tries to condense material to teach her sons, realizing that she must battle the scribes and private tutors hired by the concubines. Here, Hwa-ryeong is also in a revealing mood, clarifying to the Lady Shin court that she was not chosen to become royalty to keep the late king’s maternal relatives “in check”, but rather due to of his exceptional abilities. Confident, the queen says she can’t sleep if she loses. Cynically, we discover at the end of this scene that Consort Go has been keeping tabs on Grand Prince Gyeseong, though this is actually due to her belief that a scribe has been hired to guide him.
The next day, Hwa-ryeong learns from the royal doctor that there are no more medical records for Crown Prince Taein, except for a line about his death caused by hyeolheogwol. Shocked, the queen becomes suspicious, especially when she learns that the vital information sought has been lost in a fire and the doctors who survived the fire have left the palace, except for Cho Guk-yeong, who is currently absent anyway. Sternly, Hwa-ryeong now wishes to be made aware of the person who treated Taein, who would be Yoo Sang-uk, directly ordering to find his whereabouts despite his missing status.
As the Queen shocks the Grand Princes with her sudden emotional investment in their education as they begin studying for their upcoming cohort selection exams, Hwa-ryeong recalls the fallen royal’s words to her. She tells her sons that one of them is to become the Crown Prince’s cohort, ignoring their previous school failures in favor of wanting them to change their fortunes. Grand Prince Seongnam notices that his mother has changed, so asks her about this change in attitude, but is only told that the royal does not wish to lose to the concubines who groomed their children for success. Using marriage as a tool of persuasion, Hwa-ryeong says her children should “feel free” to make her proud before they leave the palace, because they never know what’s going to happen. “Therefore, I wish I could pin my hopes on you,” the Queen adds, expressing her desire for the Grand Princes to behave on their best terms.
When his mother finishes speaking, Grand Prince Seongnam tells the Queen that he agrees with what was said, but wonders if she is giving his brothers false hope, wanting them to avoid be injured. “It can be more meaningful to accept things as they are and live to the best of your abilities,” he says, only to be rebuffed, with Hwa-ryeong replying that no “false hope” is given. and that she made this decision to protect the Grand Princes, for some reason she cannot yet share.
As the crown prince goes about his daily schedule without a hitch, a worried Hwa-ryeong goes to check on what’s going on with Gyeseong. Consort Go also followed the Grand Prince in question to investigate his activities, and Under the queen’s umbrella season 1, episode 2 ends with the revelation that Gyeseong is someone who dresses privately as a woman, hiding that side of himself from the palace.
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