After a terrific and scary first season, ‘Kingdom’ returned with a more powerful second one. The stakes get higher as the Crown Prince has to fight not just the undead but also the Haewan Cho Clan, that has stolen his throne and labelled him a traitor. In six-episodes, the season adds to the mythology of the Resurrection Plant and ends with another terrifying battle on the horizon. If you haven’t yet caught up with the season, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
Trapped in Sangju, the Crown Prince prepares for the attack just when he thought the danger was over. Shockingly, the infected can come out even in daylight now, and they attack just when the guard was let down. After fighting for a while, they are forced to flee and find themselves back inside the fortress. The problem, now, is that even if they want to wait out the winter, they don’t have enough food to last for more than a few days.
With the mystery of a traitor still troubling him, the Crown Prince decides to curb the problem where it began. He plans to kill Cho Hak-ju, take back his throne, and deal with the plague with all the resources at hand. In the meantime, the Queen has been scheming on her own and a lot of dead bodies turn up outside her palace.
After killing all the infected, the Crown Prince is presented with a tough choice. Mu-yeong’s son, whom the Queen wanted to pass off as hers, has survived. He was bitten by the infected, but Seo-bi saved him and before the worms could turn him into a monster too, she dipped the baby in water till the worms came out. Chang is advised to kill the baby because not everyone knows the truth about his parentage. There are still some powerful families that are loyal to the Haewan Cho Clan, and they might rebel if they knew that the Queen’s son, i.e., the legitimate heir to the throne is alive. This would throw the country in another state of war.
The Crown Prince sacrifices his position. He tells the ministers to record his death in the official documents and declare the boy as the new King. Beom-pal and others are entrusted to take care of him and prevent any further political upheaval from destroying the country. Meanwhile, he, along with Seo-bi and Yeong-sin, travels further to find out all the places where the resurrection plant grows. Seo-bi is convinced that there is more to the disease than they understand, and what they discover in their travels leads them deeper into what looks like a conspiracy to destroy the country.
Who sold the Resurrection Plant?
Tracking down the origins of the plant leads Chang and his team to a place where they find a man who had planted them. He tells them that his son brought it back from China, where a merchant had sold it to him. The person told him exactly how to use the plant and bring back the dead. The man thought he could make a lot of money out of it, but because no one believed him, it didn’t profit him as much as he had imagined. They let the plant be.
This revelation raises several questions for the Prince. Who was the seller, and if he/she knew exactly what effect the plant would have, why did they sell it in the first place? What did they want to achieve by doing it? Was it for some political gain? Lord Cho had used the plant to serve his ambitions in the court, and in the end, even his daughter used it to destroy everything. Did the seller aim to do something similar? The only way to find out was to find the person themselves.
The search leads them further north to Hamgyong province. They come upon a deserted village, and Seo-bi finds the Resurrection Plant there. An infected person runs towards them and they notice that it has small bells tied to its feet. In the last scene, we find a room where the infected are trapped in wooden boxes and a woman is standing in the middle of them. In between this, we also see a worm inside the young King, which means Seo-bi did not get all the worms out after all.
The ending definitely opens further enquiry into the plant, the worms and their origin, and while we will have to wait for the next season to know more about them, there are some things we can deduce from all of this. Is the young King infected? Definitely, though, perhaps, not in a conventional manner. Maybe Seo-bi didn’t submerge the baby in water long enough. Maybe only some of the worms died and one survived, and it was not potent enough to kill the baby or turn him into a monster. Another possibility is that there is a traitor in the court, most probably the one who attends to the King, who has now infected him.
Moving on to the mysterious woman. Whether the person who sold the plant was a man or a woman is not mentioned, so maybe this is the woman who brought this plague in the country intentionally. The presence of infected people in boxes around her is just another proof that her intentions regarding them are not good. She doesn’t give off the impression of someone who is studying the plague, and if she was fighting them off, like Chang and his team, then the infected would be dead, not held captive in the boxes. What is doing then? Can she control them? Does this make her the next villain of ‘Kingdom’?
Read More: When Will Kingdom Return to Netflix?