Kingdom recap: season 1 episode 2

On the second episode of The Kingdom, The Crown Prince and Muyeong arrive in Jiyulheon only to find a gruesome scene and the physician Lee Seung-hui missing. They go in search of Seobi, who is looking for a cure to the terrible zombie disease.

The Crown Prince and Muyeong camp along their way to Jiyulheon. Muyeung chastises the Prince for wasting food and committing treason so recklessly. The Prince is a little bit of a spoiled brat and very unused to hardship.

The two of them, an odd couple if ever there was one, banter irritably until the Prince warns Muyeong that if he says one more word that he will annihilate his entire family. Muyeung is shocked and afraid, apparently thinking the Prince totally capable of such casual brutality.

Then the Prince tells him he was only joking. He finds it totally amusing, which annoys Muyeong.

Along the road the next day, the Prince continues his joke, still finding it very amusing to threaten Muyeong. Meanwhile, Muyeong thinks only of food, asking the Prince to grant him a special seaweed and some beef for his pregnant wife in return for enjoying his cruel amusement.

This banter is interrupted by the eerie silence of the forest as they approach Jiyulheon. The house has been barricaded from the outside and reinforced with bamboo spears facing the inside as if to keep the occupants inside rather than invaders out.

Muyeong climbs the walls to investigate and then lets the Prince inside. They find a mass of black and bloodied bodies bunched under the porch and a ring of bloodied bamboo spears. No one inside is alive, but Seung-hui’s body is not among the dead.

They call the local authorities, who pull out the bodies and take them to the Magistrate’s office in Dongnae to be investigated. Their arrival interrupts the newly appointed Magistrate Beom-Pal’s drunken celebration. Time to get to work.

Their only suspect for the deaths is Yeong-sin, who has been seen around the area collecting bamboo to make the spears designed to keep the zombies inside the building. Beom-Pal and his cabinet are hilariously incompetent, but tell the guards to track down Yeong-sin and arrest him.

The Prince and Muyeong go searching for the Physician while unbeknownst to them the Royal Army is hunting for the Prince. The scholars with whom he conspired consider turning themselves in with a covenant to prove the Prince’s treason in order to beg mercy.

But they receive intel about a body that was found at the Royal Palace, revealing that Lord Cho Hak-ju and the Haewon Cho Clan may be hiding a conspiracy of their own. If they can reveal the truth, they may be able to destroy the Haewon Cho Clan and save themselves and the Prince.

As the Prince searches across the country for the Physician, he witnesses the terrible poverty and hunger of the villagers, but still, he has not learned to treat them with compassion. They find a villager who tells them the nurse Seobi had been asking about the resurrection plant that grows in the Frozen Valley. The plant is fabled to raise the dead.

The Prince and Muyeong ride there and find Seobi, who tell them the story of what took place at Jiyulheon, that it is connected to what happened at Hanyang and that the plant is responsible. The bodies reanimate after sunset, so they must rush back to town to save everyone.

The Prince suspects that his father is one of these zombie monsters and asks for proof. Seobi says that Physician Lee’s journals are kept back at Jiyulheon. Muyeong and Seobi go to warn the Magistrate in Dongnae while the Prince goes to retrieve the journals.

Yeong-sin arrives back to Jiyulheon to discover that the bodies have been moved. He rushes to the Magistrate at Dongnae to warn everyone that the dead will rise at sunset and become savage monsters. Everyone thinks he’s insane, so he tries to burn the bodies, but the arrest him before any damage is done.

The Prince is confronted by the Royal Army at Jiyulheon. The commander makes a good point that the Prince was merely born into luck as the King’s son and has done nothing else to distinguish himself, and yet looks upon others as if they are below him.

They fight, and in the process uncover the body of Physician Lee just as the sun is setting. Lee attacks the royal guards, turning them into zombies. The Prince discovers that they can be stopped by cutting off their heads. He escapes and runs back to town.

Seobi arrives to confirm Yeong-sin’s story, but she is believed to be insane as well and taken away. Not long after, the bodies begin to move and then start to attack the assembled crowd. Chaos ensues.

A flashback confirms the conspiracy between the Queen and Lord Cho Hak-ju to keep the King alive until the birth of the new prince. The King is now a terrible monster. The Prince arrives back in Dongnae, but the city is already burning by then.

Stream Kingdom right now on Netflix.