Check the Synopsis and trailer of “The Last Empress” here.
Why I Started watching “The Last Empress”?
There are three reasons why I started watching “The Last Empress”.
Choi Jin Hyuk! The first reason I got attracted to the drama was Choi Jin Hyuk. I was watching his current drama “Devilish Joy” when the news of his next project came in. I liked him in Devilish joy so I was curious for his next project.
The Plot! When I read the plot I found it to be a unique one and I really wanted to see how they will portray the imperial family in the modern world of today.
The Trailer! The trailers of the drama were so compelling, I could not resist myself from watching this drama. From the trailer the drama seemingly had a lot going on. It had scheming, crime, power, politics, suspense, revenge, romance that I said to myself ‘I must see this’.
How I felt when I first watched “The Last Empress”? (First Impression + Episode 1 Recap)
I’m a little late to write this. I actually watched the first episode right after it got released, still I remember it very well! (You See I was very much excited about this drama 🙂 )
The drama started with a timescape which showed the development of Korea from old to the modern-day Korea and then the camera took us to the Ehwa palace. (Followed by a fast and mysterious tune, enough to raise my excitement! 😉 )
There a little girl (princess) surrounded by some female bodyguard is playing in the palace. Suddenly the cop and CSI comes barging in the palace. They dig a hole in the palace garden where they found a corpse wearing a precious sapphire necklace which turns out to be the necklace given by Emperor Lee Hyuk to the Empress. This becomes the news of the nation. (So the imperial family has a big secret already, I knew this drama would not disappoint me 😉 )
Then the drama goes one year back in 2018, the Korean Empire year 121 (Wait what! they won’t show us the mystery behind that corpse and the necklace, I guess I would need a lot of patience to watch this drama. 😀 )
The Emperor and Empress Dowager is coming back from Africa. He enters a press conference where he declares with pride that he made Africa to promise to release the captain and 23 shipments of Korea. Everybody including the reporters applauded but one of the reporter asks suspiciously that why the prime minister was not included in such an important trip and tells it as Empress Dowager’s regency. This gets on nerve of both Emperor and his mother and they dismissed the meeting immediately. Then the emperor tells his mother that he asked Min Yu-ra (Emperor’s assistant) to redecorate his room. This makes the Empress Dowager a little nervous.
There Miss Min Yu-ra finds a hidden camera inside a painting in the emperor’s room. She makes an evil smile and ultimately suspects Empress Dowager behind this. She then goes to Empress Dowager room and checks everything. She finds a hidden CCTV surveillance of the Emperor’s room and other palace rooms hidden inside a mirror. She takes a picture of it in her cell phone. (So we have two villain in the drama already. The way Min Yu ra smiled after finding Empress Dowager’s plan, made it clear she is that evil and clever woman we usually find in mystery dramas. And Empress Dowager! she is definitely not with her son and have some hidden motives.)
(Ahh! after all those heavy characters and mystery we finally get to see cute and bright Oh Sunny! She is a musical actress and is the lead of her recent musical ‘Finding Mr. Fate’ and yeah! she is a huge of fan of Emperor Lee Hyuk.)
She is invited to have lunch with the Emperor for the yearly luncheon. (In between we get to see there is a cold war going on between Min Yu-ra and Empress Dowager.)
Then the scene changes, a heavy guy (Na Wang Shik) is trying to enter the palace to meet someone (Min Yu-ra) from the palace he knows. The bodyguards are trying to stop him but he is way more powerful than them. Disappointed, he turns back and accidentally hits Oh Sunny who was running with all excitement to see the Emperor at the luncheon.
Oh Sunny creates a mess as soon as she enters the luncheon room. She falls down and the cake falls on her face. The Emperor comes and cleans the cake out of Oh Sunny’s face. Oh Suny sits right beside the Emperor and shows him some newspaper cuttings of the Emperor and her. (Oh Sunny accidentally fell in the Emperor’s arm while she was performing a musical and this became news of the nation. Or I should say the Emperor caught her to make his good image in front of the cameras.)
There Min Yu-ra gets a call from someone (It was Na Wang Shik’s). She then goes out of the palace and warns Na Wang Shik to not come here looking for her. Then they goes to some place private. (It turned out Na Wang Shik is Min Yu Ra’s boyfriend) Na Wang Shik complains Min Yu ra about always being busy with her job. Min yu ra responds that seeing him is worse than her job. Na Wang Shik doubts Min Yu-Ra is cheating her and tells her that he would kill that man and that he has a very loud temper. Min yu-ra gets scared and calms him down by saying that he should go and she would call him later.
Suddenly there is a fire at the luncheon. The handicapped man, the chef and two more man who were at the luncheon with the Emperor takes out there weapon and kills the guard and the man who was disguised as handicapped puts the knife on emperor’s neck. Oh Sunny and everyone at the luncheon got scared. The chef locks the room. Then the assailant (handicapped man) tells everyone that the Emperor is fooling them. He then asks for his brother Kang Joon Sung who went missing from the palace. This creates a haphazard in the palace. Min Yu ra upon receiving the news runs in the palace. Na Wang Shik also runs after her.
The assailant kept asking the Emperor about his brother, but the emperor keep denying that he knows his brother. The assailant warns the Emperor that he will burn this entire place if he don’t tell about his brother. Then they force Oh Sunny to shoot the video of the emperor. Outside the room Min Yu-ra and the Empress Dowager comes running for the emperor and asks the guards to break the door. The guards come in and Oh Sunny and the Emperor takes the advantage of the situation and Oh Sunny puts the phone flash on the assailant’s eyes and the Emperor push him back and fights (This was Oh Sunny’s idea, even though she was scared to death, she still had the ability to think of such a great idea. She is not a weak character at all, I changed my mind).
As soon as the Emperor’s Dowager breaks into the room, there is a fire explosion and the assailant points the gun at the emperor. Oh Sunny grabs the emperor and jumps breaking out of the window with the emperor. (Oh! She is not only cute and smart but a brave lady as well after all she is going to be the empress in the future. Don’t make assumptions it is not because Oh Sunny saved the Emperor risking her life. The imperial family didn’t care. 😀 )
Luckily both the emperor and Sunny fell into the pond. The guards saved the emperor from sinking but no one came to save Oh Sunny! (Pathetic ). Thankfully Na Wang Shik (Min Yu-ra’s boyfriend) also fell into the pond somehow and he saved Oh Sunny. (She is such a good person, even though she was hardly breathing, she was happy about saving the emperor.)
There Min Yu-ra (Emperor’s assistance) gets scolded by the Emperor Dowager for her carelessness in inviting the people for the luncheon. Emperor Dowager’s assistant reports that the assailant was asking for his brother who went missing from the palace 7 years ago and also he was Emperor’s dowager’s guard. This makes her tense. (Definitely, she knows about it!)
The Emperor asks about the assailant and to meet him because according to emperor he has some solid proof. The Emperor Dowager stops him as it is too dangerous. But the Emperor tells that he can’t take it anymore and that Jung Soon(assailant’s brother) made him do something wrong in the past. She calms him down and asks the Emperor to trust her.
Then the Emperor’s sister and grandmother comes running for the Emperor. Emperor’s grandmother asks him to take care of his health and marry soon and have children. (Haha you know grandmas, emperor’s grandmother is not excluded. :D)
Then the scene changes and we are at a restaurant (Na Wang Shik’s mother is the owner). There the customers refuses to pay for the food because of the injuries Na Wang Shik has given them. They asks for the medical bills from Na Wang Shik’s mother. Suddenly Wang Shik comes and fights with them all. They all run off the restaurant. His mother complains about Wang Shik always running way her customers.
The scene changes and we are the hospital where the people who suffered at the luncheon were being treated. Oh Sunny is also there, by mistake she gets the Na Wang Shik’s locket in which his family picture was there.
The Emperor Dowager comes in offering money to the people as a form of consolation. This makes Oh Sunny happy, (haha cute! ) but everybody refuses to take it, so she has to refuse it as well. (Aww haha) Then the Emperor Dowager left the room and Oh Sunny comes running asking how they could not even ask for the second time. (I thought the same too.) And this makes her really sad. 😀
Would I recommend the Kdrama “The Last Empress” based on the 1st episode?
You must not miss this drama. If you miss it, you’ll miss the drama of the year 2018. I’m also saying this as I have watched the later episodes as well and the drama keeps getting interesting after each episode. You’ll beg for more!
The hidden secrets, politics in the imperial family and between all this a cute yet brave Empress Oh Sunny! who is the main lead of the drama is perfect for her role. Everything makes this drama a worth watch. A secret is revealed every minute in this drama, you would not even be able to blink your eyes. 😉
So are you also watching the Korean drama “The Last Empress”? If so, then tell me how much you liked it in comments! 🙂