The King's Woman: Episode 2 Recap

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap


The King's Woman 秦时丽人明月心 continues to be enjoyable as the storyline unfolds. I think that this episode helped us to understand our main characters better as we saw more of their backgrounds and their views on how they would like the world to be. The episode also continued to keep up the brisk pace that had been set in the first episode, which I think is due to the writers trying to get us to Ying Zheng and Gong Sun Li's love story as quickly as possible. I hope that the drama isn't progressing too quickly that it burns out, because I've seen it happen to other dramas where later episodes become stuffed with fillers and the storyline becomes messy to the point of being ridiculous.

It's great to see Dilraba Dilmurat and Vin Zhang together because they have a lot more to work with here than in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, where Dilraba spent practically all of the drama as a young girl chasing after the man she was in love with, and Vin also spent almost all of his scenes pining after Si Yin/Bai Qian. I like how this has them acting in very different roles so that we can see more of their acting.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

The episode opens on the same scene which ended the first episode, with Ying Zheng reminiscing back to his childhood meeting with Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke. As Ying Zheng walks through the palace to hold that day's court meeting, he carries all the stature and attitude of the King of Qin. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Through flashbacks, we see that Ying Zheng was born in the Kingdom of Zhao and that he was held hostage as a child, constantly bullied and humiliated by those around him and even pursued by soldiers on occasion. Ying Zheng ascended to the throne at 13 years old, but he was unable to act as a true ruler. All decisions were made by the Queen Dowager Huayang and Chancellor Lu, and it was only during his crowning ceremony that Ying Zheng finally took control.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

Duke Chang Xin's servants are brought before Ying Zheng to admit to their crimes. A minister tries to recommend that the servants be expelled from the palace, but we'd know from the first episode that there is no way that Ying Zheng would be so merciful. Sure enough, he orders death for everyone involved. He says that if he shows mercy, no one will remain loyal to him.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
He also has no patience for his ministers pleading mercy and threatens that anyone who speaks on behalf of these servants will be put to death as well. I hardly think that's necessary, Ying Zheng. At that, none of the ministers dare utter another word. Ying Zheng is then informed that Duke Chang Xin has escaped to Luoyang City, and he is determined to go and personally capture the Duke.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap




The King's Woman Episode 2 RecapThe King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
At an inn inside Luoyang City, Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke commiserate over the death of her grandfather. She is dressed in the disguise of a man so that it is easier for her to travel. Honestly, how anyone would be fooled by her appearance is beyond me. Her features are so delicate, and she's so pretty, even when dressed as a man that it is just silly. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap


Ying Zheng is seated at another table with his brother and aide. Are our two leads going to meet already, this early? Through Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke's conversation, we learn that Yewang City is nearby and that it happens to be the place where the King of Wei resides upon the orders of Ying Zheng. 

The Gong Sun family used to be close with the King of Wei, and Gong Sun Li wonders how he is currently doing. At the moment, Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke are on a mission to find a swordsman named Lu Goujian whom her grandfather mentioned before he died.

The King's Woman Episode 2 RecapThe King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Meanwhile, Ying Zheng and his companions have their own discussion about Luoyang City. Ying Zheng plans to encourage the rich and prosperous to move to Xianyang City as a strategy that will not only increase the strength of Qin, but if the people prosper, then it also follows that no one is going to care who the King is. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

Two drunk men begin harassing a young woman which does not escape the notice of everyone at the scene. Gong Sun Li makes a move to help the young woman, but Jing Ke stops her. Ying Zheng had enough and he delivers a couple of blows to the two men. Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke get a few hits in as well, and that's how our main characters come to meet and their futures intertwined. Ying Zheng praises Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke and invites them to have drinks

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
He makes up a story about being in Luoyang City for business, and introduces himself as Master Zhao. Not realizing the true identity of the person in front of them, Jing Ke and Gong Sun Li begin to discuss how overly ambitious and aggressive the Kingdom of Qin is to its neighbors and that the Six Kingdoms have to unite against it. Gong Sun Li mentions that she wishes that there could be peace, which was the same wish that she had made as a young girl. Ying Zheng cuts the conversation off, and they continue drinking late into the night. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap


Jing Ke, who has become extremely drunk, is helped to his room by Gong Sun Li. As she was getting him onto the bed, he grabs her by the wrist and says that he has he will never let her go now that he has finally caught her, not even for one day. I'm pretty sure that it's the alcohol talking and giving Jing Ke the courage to express his true feelings towards Gong Sun Li though her smile shows us that she has feelings for him as well. It is not a one-sided love on Jing Ke's part, which ought to make it tricky for her future romance with Ying Zheng. 

Speaking of Ying Zheng, we see him stumbling his way through the hallway into his room, also very drunk. Okay, how exactly is it that of the three, she seems to be the least drunk? Because I'm pretty sure that when it comes to muscle mass, she has the least.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
The next morning, Ying Zheng throws off the bedcovers to discover Gong Sun Li lying on top of him fast asleep before he pushes her off. We find out that because Ying Zheng had been so drunk the previous night, he had mistaken Gong Sun Li's room for his own. Ying Zheng, not fully awake, refers to himself as "Gua Ren" (how kings refer to themselves at that time). Gong Sun Li questions this, but Ying Zheng plays it off by saying that he likes to refer to himself as a king when he is drunk. Pfft. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
She asks him to leave the room so she can change, and he tells her to go ahead since they are both men. At her hesitation, Ying Zheng moves to undress her himself. Gong Sun Li stops him, so he jokingly volunteers to take off his own clothes first. Gong Sun Li again stops him, which leads him to ask whether she is a female.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

Gong Sun Li says no, she's male (not very convincingly if you ask me)! Ying Zheng decides to stop teasing her and leaves the room. This was a cute scene, but is anyone else wondering where this playful and lighthearted persona came from? It's the complete opposite of the Ying Zheng that we have gotten to know so far.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

On his way out, he runs into Jing Ke who is shocked to see him there. Gong Sun Li explains that Ying Zheng was very drunk and mistook her room for his. Jing Ke admitted that he was also very drunk and that he doesn't remember how he got back to his room. It's an uncomfortable topic for Gong Sun Li, and she grips her hands at her sides. Meanwhile, Ying Zheng receives word that the rebels have been located, so he bids farewell to his new friends. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap


The next scene takes place at night where Duke Chang Xin is being held. It looks like he has been beaten up pretty badly. Chancellor Lu gives the Duke a choice between a quick death at his hands or a slow painful death at the hands of Ying Zheng. 

The Duke reveals that Chancellor Lu had arranged for him to pretend to be an eunuch in order to seduce and control the Queen Dowager on behalf of the Chancellor. This enrages the Chancellor, but just then, Ying Zheng arrives having heard everything that was just said. Fangirl moment - he looks amazing dressed all in white. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

Turns out that this was all a set up by Ying Zheng. We have a flashback to when Ying Zheng was a young kid, and the Chancellor had told him that as long as Ying Zheng behaved, he would take care of everything. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

Ying Zheng considers the political implications of eliminating two high standing officials at the same time and decides against it. Using the exact same words that the Chancellor had said all those years ago, Ying Zheng tells the Chancellor to behave and that he will take care of everything. He also says that he wants vengeance on all those who had mocked and offended him. Sheesh. I would not want to get on Ying Zheng's bad side. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap


We see a group of warriors discussing the fall of Puyang City. They are not surprised with the outcome, but find it a pity to lose the Huluo Sword Technique which has been kept within the Gong Sun family. It is said that the one who possesses this technique would be able to conquer armies as well as kingdoms, so they decide to locate Gong Sun Li in pursuit of this.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
The King of Wei is reading when Ying Zheng arrives for a visit. He doesn't know why Ying Zheng has come for a visit and is terrified, asking if Ying Zheng is there to kill him. Ying Zheng says that if he wanted the King of Wei to die, he wouldn't come himself because a royal order and a cup of poison would have been sufficient. Well, okay. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

As it happens, Ying Zheng is there to ask about the culture in the Kingdom of Wei - the songs, the social customs, how men and women behave, etc. When Ying Zheng met Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke in the past, they told him that they were citizens of the Kingdom of Wei

The King's Woman Episode 2 RecapThe King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
It is nighttime and two warriors from the group looking for the sword technique burst into Gong Sun Li's room. Jing Ke overhears the commotion from the next room and joins in on the fight. They recognize her sword technique as belonging to the Gong Sun family and realize that Gong Sun Li is a woman. Gong Sun Li tries to run after them, but Jing Ke holds her back, saying that they don't know who these men are, and what they want.

The King's Woman Episode 2 RecapThe King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
The next morning, Gong Sun Li realizes that the silver hairpin that her grandfather had given her is missing. Jing Ke heads back to the inn where they stayed the previous night and finds the hairpin but also runs into the same two warriors who have returned to look for them with more men. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 RecapThe King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Gong Sun Li enters another inn elsewhere and who should she run into but Ying Zheng and his brother. How cute is his smile at seeing her! He's so happy. She joins them and asks about the men dressed in black who were with them the previous day, and Ying Zheng lies that they are merely there for protection as he conducts business. Mmm…..okay. 

Gong Sun Li tells them that she and Jing Ke are leaving Luoyang City to find Swordsman Lu. Ying Zheng says that this is a pity as he had wanted to take care of them and that it was his fortune to have encountered them. 

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap


Suddenly, four assassins burst into the place. Gong Sun Li fights them, but gets stabbed with a knife and passes out, seriously hurt. Ying Zheng's warriors arrive and he to have all the assassins who are allies of Duke Chang Xin executed. He sounds angrier here than before, most likely caused by Gong Sun Li getting hurt. Their deaths will probably happen in the slowest, most painful way possible.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap

Ying Zheng refuses the advice of his aide to leave to go back to the palace where it's safer and instead takes Gong Sun Li to the residence of the King of Wei to be looked after. He threatens the King of Wei that if Gong Sun Li dies, the King of Wei will also die. He also says no one can know that he is there, or the King of Wei will die then too. This guy sure loves to threaten people. Not the friendliest of men, is he?

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Jing Ke runs through the woods to escape the warriors who are in hot pursuit. They catch up to him and just when he is about to be defeated, Lu Guojian, the warrior that Gong Sun Li and Jing Ke have been looking for, steps in to rescue him.
The King's Woman Episode 2 RecapThe King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Back inside the palace of the King of Wei, Ying Zheng wants to go and check on Gong Sun Li now that she's fine, but the physician informs him that he will have to wait until the chambermaid attends to her first because Gong Sun Li is a woman. 

Everyone is surprised. Yet I thought he might have suspected that Gong Sun Li was female, I guess not. Ying Zheng goes into the room and sees a necklace that Gong Sun Li is wearing and he seems to recognize it.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Comments: There seems to be so many Chinese and Korean dramas these days which use the "childhood love" or "first love" trope to explain the deep feelings between the female and male leads and how quickly these feelings seem to develop. It doesn't bother me enough that I would stop watching the drama, but I wish that writers didn't feel the need to go there. It just seems like an easy fix to explain why Ying Zheng would fall for Gong Sun Li so hard and so quickly.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
The flashbacks in this episode helped us to understand Ying Zheng a lot better. He was forced to live through a terrible childhood and is now determined to severely punish anyone who crosses him. He also wants to take full control of his court and kingdom. Now that Duke Chang Xin has been eliminated, it is only going to be a matter of time before Ying Zheng takes care of Chancellor Lu as well. I am pretty sure that not showing mercy to anyone is going to be his mantra for life - ruthless, merciless, and paranoid, just lovely. I don't think he's going to be an easy guy to root for, but I'm expecting that there should be offsetting scenes to show us his nice side in the drama.

The King's Woman Episode 2 Recap
Thank you everyone for reading! Please provide us your comments and feedback in the section below and keep an eye out for our recap of Episode 3.


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4 comments:

  1. Glad to see someone recapping this drama. :) I've been waiting to see what ZBB could do with a leading role and I am happy so far. Well, except for the fact that they decided to overdub him which is disappointing. His voice is so nice as it is and IIRC (and Baidu didn't lie) he did his own dubbing for 3310 and Pretty Li Huizhen.

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    1. I was disappointed he didn't do his own dubbing but I read that he damaged his vocal cords shooting "The King's Woman" because he had to shout so much as Ying Zheng during filming so rather ironically his voice hadn't recovered enough to do the actual dubbing for Ying Zheng!

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  2. Thank you. These recaps help so much with the details I miss or don't understand. Your little comments made me laugh especially your continued surprise anyone is fooled by Sun Li's disguise as a male. You and me both!

    I like that this drama doesn't shy away from Ying Zheng's ruthlessness or imperiousness as King. I was worried when I saw he was going to be main lead that they would totally woobify him to make hima a love interest but this drama shows the ruthlessness as a necessity of his position and his ambitions and as a consequence of his unhappy childhood. He equates fear with respect and power and I'm sure which is obviously going to bring he and Gong Sun Li into conflict when she's ordered into the harem. I recently watched the excellent Korean drama 'Seven Day Queen' and one aspect that I disliked was how the writer avoided or glossed over the cruel actions of the second lead Yeonsangun who was actually a notorious tyrant and despot in Korean history or assigned it to his daddy issues.

    Not a big fan of the childhood love trope unless it's done well (sorry to bring up Korean Dramas again but 'The Moon Embracing The Sun' and 'Seven Day Queen' (again) both have wonderful childhood romance.) but I guess it explains why someone like Ying Zheng would be so stuck on her for years.

    I was a bit confused by who Queen Dowager Huayang is. I thought the Queen Dowager is the name of the King's mother? Is the lady his grandmother? She appears to hold a lot of power in court.

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    1. Dowager Huayang is Ying Zheng's grandmother, but not at all related by blood. Huayang adopted Ying Zheng's father to inherit the throne because she didn't have a son of her own.

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