4 Things To Keep An Eye Out For In The Second Half Of “The Last Empress”
“The Last Empress” has officially kicked off the second half of its run with its first episode of 2019.
The drama has been achieving increasingly higher viewership ratings and has continued to top its time slot, despite stiff competition. Viewers have been loving its fast-paced plot full of conspiracy and lies that surround the fictional constitutional monarchy of modern Korea.
So far, Empress Oh Sunny (played by Jang Nara) has worked with imperial guard Chun Woo Bin (played by Choi Jin Hyuk) to topple Lee Hyuk (played by Shin Sung Rok) from his throne. Adding even more complications to their stories are the manipulative Empress Dowager Kang (played by Shin Eun Kyung), the conniving imperial secretary Min Yoo Ra (played by Lee Elijah), and the influential yet overlooked Seo Kang Hee (played by Yoon So Yi). With the second half of the drama officially beginning, here are four things to look forward to.
1, As Jang Nara and Choi Jin Hyuk work together, will they be able to end corruption and get revenge once and for all?
The two have recently begun to trust one another, and they will delve even deeper into the unpardonable atrocities and corruption that the imperial family has committed. However, it remains to be seen whether or not they will be successful in exposing the crown or even in getting their revenge.
Infuriated over Team Leader Hong’s (played by Kim Min Ok) suicide, as well as in Min Yoo Ra’s involvement in persuading Team Leader Hong’s grieving son to attack her, Oh Sunny exploded in rage. Cheon Woo Bin, on the other hand, was able to reveal Min Yoo Ra’s lies to the emperor, who cast her aside.
Oh Sunny and Cheon Woo Bin are now investigating the death of Grand Empress Dowager Jo (played by Park Won Sook). Though she died from supposedly eating poisoned kimbap given to her by Oh Sunny, they hear that a palace servant also ate the kimbap and supposedly survived and will be looking into the matter. Whether they will be able to expose whichever horrible person killed the former head of the imperial family, only time will tell.
2. With Shin Sung Rok’s slowly changing feelings, will there be a love triangle?
Previously, it was revealed in a flashback that Emperor Lee Hyuk had murdered the late Empress So Hyeon (played by Shin Go Eun) in a fit of anger after suspecting that she had had an affair with a guard. Lee Hyuk’s vengeance is seen once more in the present, when he cruelly burns his lover Min Yoo Ra alive for lying to him. He also planned for a way to kill his current wife, Empress Oh Sunny, whom he had no love for.
With his crooked and downright twisted perspectives on his relationships, he had gone so far as to order his guard Cheon Woo Bin to seduce Oh Sunny so that he could find grounds to divorce her. However, as he spends time with her along with his daughter Princess Ah Ri (played by Oh Ah Rin), a hidden smile creeps its way up as he gazes at the brightly laughing Oh Sunny. He also saw Oh Sunny in Cheon Woo Bin’s arms, which made him quite stunned.
With Lee Hyuk’s changing feelings towards Oh Sunny, and Oh Sunny and Cheon Woo Bin getting closer due to their shared mission, the three may find themselves in quite a complicated love triangle.
3. Shin Eun Kyung or Yoon So Yi, who killed the Grand Empress Dowager?
Between the two equally manipulative and cunning characters, either one of the Empress Dowager or nanny Seo Kang Hee could have killed the Grand Empress Dowager.
Throughout the drama, the Empress Dowager has committed unspeakable acts in order to protect the imperial family’s power. After the Grand Empress Dowager’s death, she easily and naturally commented, “This world is so great, I don’t know how I could die.” With her deceitful ways, she has always worked to have her son Emperor Lee Hyuk wrapped around her little finger. From the viewers’ perspective, she has remained one of the most likely suspects behind the beloved imperial family member’s death.
On the other hand, Princess Ah Ri’s nanny Seo Kang Hee appeared to be a relatively minor character. In a shocking twist, it was revealed that she had in fact betrayed her best friend the late Empress So Hyeon and given birth to Princess Ah Ri, the only living heir to Emperor Lee Hyuk. With her subtle ways of manipulation, she strives to put her daughter on the throne, even seducing the prime minister (played by Go Se Won) to change laws regarding the imperial succession. With her kidnapping of Team Leader Hong, she has risen to becoming one of the possible suspects behind the Grand Empress Dowager’s death.
4. Is Lee Elijah truly dead?
Jealous of Oh Sunny’s return to the palace as well as the unbreakable trust the emperor had for his guard Cheon Woo Bin, Min Yoo Ra worked endlessly to end the two. However, they were the ones who eventually took her down. By leading the emperor to the truth regarding Min Yoo Ra’s lies, Lee Hyuk got his vengeance by burning her alive in his car, which was a symbol of their co-conspiracy. Min Yoo Ra begged for his mercy as she screamed and pleaded to be let out, but Lee Hyuk coldly watched and walked away.
As Min Yoo Ra also betrayed Cheon Woo Bin, it remains to be seen if he will be able to exact his revenge on her, depending on whether she has really died.
A source from the production staff stated, “Jang Nara and Choi Jin Hyuk working together will officially begin their revenge in the second half. How far Shin Sung Rok and Shin Eun Kyung will go in their evil deeds, and how far Jang Nara and Choi Jin Hyuk will stand against them, will be revealed. Please look forward to the revenge, veiled enmity, greed, and truth that will unfold in the second half of the drama.”
“The Last Empress” airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 p.m. KST.
If you haven’t already, check out the latest episode here!