Kingdom season 1 premiere recap


Kingdom is a bizarre and wonderful mix of period drama, political thriller, zombie horror, and buddy comedy. In the first episode, we learn of the King’s mysterious illness and isolation as the Crown Prince attempts to uncover the truth about his father.

The physician and his assistant are escorted into the palace where they attend to the King on Kingdom. The physician instructs his young assistant not to look into the King’s bedchamber, but he is drawn in nevertheless and attacked by the zombified ruler.

Meanwhile, notices have been put up around town spreading rumors about the King’s death. The King’s Guard orders the perpetrators to be rounded up and interrogated. They arrest and torture 89 scholars from around the region, asking them who their leader is, but none will say. Someone is fomenting rebellion. The King’s second wife belongs to the corrupt Haewon Cho Clan, who gorge themselves while the people go hungry. It is suspected that the people are turning to the Crown Prince to be their new leader and that he is conspiring against the King to steal the throne.

The Crown Prince (Ju Ji-Hoon) has not been allowed to enter the palace since his father’s illness. His step-mother claims it is to safeguard the royal lineage, but it is more likely that she is hiding the King’s death until her own child is born. The Prince is forced to turn away, but sneaks into the palace later that night and is forced to hide from some stinking, monstrous thing in the hallway. The palace guards arrive just in time to keep the Prince from seeing his zombified father – or at least what we assume to be his zombified father. The Prince is escorted back to his own chambers.

More from Netflix

Meanwhile, the Prince’s personal guard, Moo-Young (Kim Sang-Ho), is sent to steal the journal kept at the Royal Infirmary. There are entries about the beginning the of the King’s illness, noting high fever and that there might not be a cure. After that, the entries stop, which is suspicious considering daily logs are a required. They do find out that the physician Lee Seung-hui, the former royal physician now working in Jiyulheon, treated the King the day of the last journal entry. The Prince decides that he and Moo-Young will go out in disguise and find Seung-hui.

Back in Jiyulheon, Seung-hui’s patients are suffering due to general starvation. Everyone is excited when the physician returns, but he brings with him the corpse of his young apprentice who was mauled by the King. He will not tell his nurses what happened to him.

It seems like the Haewon Cho Clan are trying to frame the Prince for treason, but he admits to Moo-Young that he is guilty. He is the heir to the throne only so long as his step-mother does not give birth to a son. The Prince is the King’s illegitimate son, so if a legitimate heir is born it will only be so long before the Prince is killed. He wanted simply to live, not necessarily to rule. The Prince and Moo-Young go on to Jiyulheon, but the Royal Army is hot on their trail to arrest the Prince for treason.

Next. Netflix greenlights Shadow and Bone series from Bird Box writer. dark

At Jiyulheon, the nurses return home from their errands to find the patients all well fed with meat and broth. A fellow patient, Young-Shin (Kim Sung-Kyu), claims that he killed a deer to feed everyone, but we immediately suspect the meat may be from another source.

It is not long before Nurse Seobi (Bae Doo-Na) discovers a human finger in the broth and knows that the meat came from the corpse of the physician’s apprentice. As she confronts Young-Shin in private, the people begin falling sick and dying. As the sun sets, they reanimate and attack those still living. Seobi and Young-Shin barricade themselves inside as the zombies run through the courtyard.

What did you think of Kingdom? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!