K-Drama Review: “Kingdom Season 2” Relentlessly Rippled A Prince Persistence To Protect His Nation
Offering a fast-paced chilling story, Kingdom Season 2 made sure that its followers get what they signed up and waited for
For viewers infected by the addicting story of Kingdom Season 2, the mind-blowing pursuit to quell the plague is undoubtedly gratifying. Ultimately, locking your heart to stock up more patience while waiting for its next season.
Title: Kingdom 2
Theme: Thriller, Drama
Length: 6 episodes
Broadcast Date: 13 March 2020
Main Leads: Ju Ji Hoon | Bae Doona | Ryu Seung Ryeong | Kim Sung Kyu
Highlights: Thrilling and Fast-Paced Narrative | Engrossing Good vs Evil theme
Related Dramas: Kingdom
Prince Chang’s Heroic Journey
Leading the pact of heroes to root for in Kingdom Season 2 is Prince Chang, portrayed by Ju Ji Hoon. Providing a convincing texture to the main hero’s life, his character valiantly believes in the idea that any deplorable situation can be remedied.
Fortunately for the lead protagonist, he has a team of intelligent and competent people who perfectly executes his attack and counter-attacks. Conclusively leading them to a hardly-fought victory.
Showing mercy does not appear to be the series’ dominant quality. Therefore, witnessing the heroes frequently cornered by the evil ploys of the villains established connection to the viewers to cheer that their virtual world would get better.
Efficient Depiction of Villains
Having a healthy dose of plans to make everything hopeless for the protagonists, the vile father-daughter tandem maneuvered their roles to textbook villains devoid of any kind emotion. There was no conscience to cavil for them, only a disheartening goal to satiate their seemingly ravenous greed.
Obsessed to keep the seat of power, Cho Hak-ju carefully worked on a premeditated plan of ousting the legitimate royal family. Cruel to the hilt, his foresight does not include what will not be beneficial to him. In the end, he got a serving of his own medicine as his daughter used the same conviction on him.
Notably, the strikingly annoying performance of the Queen fortified the energy of the series. It heightened the expectation to accomplish a redemption that befits all those arduous and painful moments for the emotionally and physically battered prince.
High-octane zombie-vanquishing scenes
Smartly framed, the story seethes with overwhelming intensity. The kind that would make the viewer at the edge of his seat. Feeling compelled to virtually enter Netflix screen and help the heroes subdue the infected monsters is also inevitable.
The thrill blending to its narration is a formula that Kingdom Season 2 has perfectly brewed. Just like its fictional conflict premise, the moment you invest in the story, there will be no turning back as you will be consumed to join the heroes all the way.
Every sword slashed, every drop of blood spilled – reverberate the whole picture and the agonizing journey Prince Chang had to bear. Because a moment of indecisiveness can endanger the little manpower aiding him on his conquest.
From the frantic Unpo wetfield fight scene to the climactic palace battle scene, a pandemonium of riveting moments were captured in the fluid movement of the story.
Gripping outwitting games
An equally matched contention between the heroes and villains drive the efficient storytelling of Kingdom Season 2. Marked by formidable antagonists with quenchless greed and quick-witted heroes who pursue what’s right; the pendulum swings in the series were in a constant high.
In the villains’ camp, the Haewon-Cho clan stakes their all by mindlessly unleashing a virus to set their sinister plans in motion. Even at the expense of increasing the death toll caused by the infected citizens. At the other side, Prince Chang exhausted his smarts with a culminating move that ultimately subjugated a scary army of monsters that almost killed him and his allies.
It was an exhausting watch in a satisfying way. At the end of it all, the main hero managed to suceed. After all the sacrifices, the lives lost and the harrowing choices; the outbreak dissipated for the kingdom to recover. And that’s all that matters.
Watching Kingdom Season 2 interestingly makes you physically drained. It feels like all the chasing and running between the heroes and zombies transcended from the fictional Joseon world of Prince Chang straight to my body.
Considering a bingewatch is highly-recommended, but if you are faint-hearted you might want to watch at your own tempo.
What I love about Kingdom Season 2 is how its ingenious plot densified the smartly portrayed characters. That epic lure-the-zombies scene was definitely a crowning moment in a narrative which ceaselessly kept its momentum on a riveting high.
Intelligently-written, I appreciate how the thrill-providing-zombies are evolving and appeared to have kept a little IQ left to terrorize the heroes. That made them on equal footing with the nimble-minded heroes. Thus, creating a balanced flow in the fierce feud which has been the moving power of the series.
Given its antiquated setting, you can’t help but admire the characters in utilizing the resources available to outsmart each other. At the same time, it made use of simple story-telling. Even with a relatively dialogue-heavy plot, it was easy to immerse in the series.
Prince Chang’s decision to let go of the throne to continue the quest of finding the cryptic truth about the resurrection plant speaks about his pure patriotic love. Experiencing the excruciating hell brought by the scourge, and the fact that it is not completely eliminated pushed him to be non-complacent that it could happen again.
The waning scene forebodes that Prince Chang’s perturbation might come true. Whether he will pay for the choice he made to keep the baby alive is the question we hope to see in the next season of Kingdom.
Quick Plot Roundup
Fortunately escaping the rage of infected people, Prince Chang (Ju Ji Hoon) and his aides seek shelter in Sangju. But, the lack of food provision pushes him to head to Mungyeong Saejae where Cho Hak-ju (Ryu Seung Ryeong) marked a base camp with the monster King.
Aware that there is a mole in his troop, Prince Chang gambles and enter the enemies’ camp with Lord Ahn Hyeon. But, a trap has been set for them. Parting ways with Cho Hak-ju, Lord Ahn Hyeon makes a final attempt to save Prince Chang who was trapped inside a room with his monster father on the loose.
Saving his life, Prince Chang draws his sword and painfully beheads his father. Taking advantage of the situation, Cho Hak-ju branded Prince Chang’s self-defense as treason.
After suppressing Prince Chang and his men, Cho Hak-ju orders their return to the capital city. Meanwhile, Yeong-shin (Kim Sung Kyu) plans a quick revolt with the remaining men in their camp while being held in the prison.
The next morning, Young-shin marks his target. However, the bullet meant to kill Cho Hak-ju was taken by one of his men. Hence, the last attempt to escape became futile.
Just then, Lord Ahn Hyeon who earlier died under the minstration of Cho Hak-ju returns back to life as a monster and rushes to ravage his old friend. Prince Chang secretly orders Seo-bi to bring Lord Ahn Hyeon back to life. The latter instructed the prince in his dying words to do it as the only way for the Crown Prince to be saved.
After devouring Cho Hak-ju’s cheek, chaos ensues as Prince Chang exposes the truth about the pandemic that the wicked Cho Hak-ju has planted. Taking back the rein of military power, Prince Chang moves to send food in Sangju.
However, when he returns, his right hand man Moo Young has betrayed him because Haewon-Cho clan has held his family captive. Seo-bi (Bae Doona) who is yet to find the cure to the plague treats Cho Hak Ju. The evil Lord survives the bite given by Lord Ahn Hyeon, but is in an unstable condition.
Prince Chang and his strongest team chase Moo-young, Beom-pal and Seo-bi to Hanyang. With Cho Hak-ju still recovering from the poison, they stop over at a dwelling for Seo-bi to administer treatment.
It was then that Seo-bi realizes that the monsters evade cold water. After submerging Cho Hak-ju in a tub of cold water, worms carrying the virus from the resurrection plant floated and died.
Unaware that he will be double-crossed by Lord Cho, Moo-young meets his death and Prince Chang was too late to rescue his most trusted man. They proceed to follow Lord Cho, Beom-pal and Seo-bi who were heading to the capital city.
In Hanyang, the news of the King’s passing caused grief to the already battered country. As a successor is needed to rule the kingdom, the evil Queen was announced ready to give birth to a child.
Prior to that, the commander of Royal army under the instruction of a high-ranking government official investigated the killings of pregnant women and their offsprings of female gender. However, the evil Queen evades the probe successfully. In retaliation, she commands the people who conducted the investigation to be killed with their families.
After meeting the right officials to furtively enter the palace, Prince Chang and his team rescues the Royal army officers in the brink of punishment. They march to the main hall where the Queen comfortably sits while carrying the baby she claimed to be hers, but is in fact Moo-young’s.
Refusing to give up the throne, the queen mocks Prince Chang’s taunt. Because of that, the government officials decide to get the Royal Seal in the Queen’s palace.
Unbeknownst to them, the queen ordered her trusted aide earlier to unleash an infected monster for the plague to spread in the palace. Fighting for their lives, Prince Chang commands to close all the doors for the infected to be contained inside the palace walls.
Seo-bi bravely puts up a battle while protecting the Queen’s proclaimed son. Finding a safe spot, she realizes that the infant was badly bitten.
Outnumbered by the raging monsters, Prince Chang strikes an idea to lure them to Huwon, the rear garden inside the palace where a frozen lake stands. Reaching Huwon, they use their remaining bullets to break the frozen lake amidst the approaching multitude of monsters.
Overpowered by the infected people, Prince Chang and his remaining team were eventually bitten. In his desperate attempt to break the ice, he uses one of the rampaging zombie as a blunt force to break the ice.
Prince Chang and his team who were bitten and in the cusp of being overwhelmed by the virus survived the ordeal. After cleaning up the mess caused by the monster turbulence, Prince Chang visits the sacred hall of the Kings who ruled the country.
There he finds Seo-bi protecting the Queen’s son and learns that the baby was bitten. Assuring him that the baby was not infected, Prince Chang decides to let the baby lives albeit knowing that he is not the Queen and his father’s son.
Seven years later, Prince Chang and Seo-bi continue their search to unearth the mystery of the resurrection plant. They stumble on a quiet town where traces of the same plague they obliterated years ago have apparently haunted the neighborhood.
Kingdom Season 2 is streamed on Netflix.
All photos courtesy of Netflix.