Episode 3 of Kingdom starts off intense and dark. As night fell and the dead running about in the magistrate’s office, the zombie infection quickly spread from person to person. Many villagers have fallen when they were crowding around the magistrate’s office when this happened. As they got bitten, they too in turn add to the growing number of zombies running amock.
Finding himself hidden below a building, the magistrate Cho and two of his associates hid from the chaos in hopes of avoiding the zombies. As luck would have it, a bitten villager fell next to them and quickly turned on them, turning their hiding place into death trap. The magistrate alone made it out while his two unlucky associates were too slow to escape and were bitten while trying to crawl out.
The town seems overwhelmed with zombies – that run very fast I might add. There isn’t a safe place to hide. With zombies hot on their heels, the magistrate and a group of constables find themselves scrambling to find a safe place to hide. Zombies appeared around the corners and caught a few unlucky guards while the others ran for their lives.
The magistrate and the two surviving guards found themselves in their jail and they scrambling to get in. In a panic, the guard with the prison keys could not find the keys to open the door to the cell. As he fumbled around with the keys, the zombies caught up and were about to catch up to them.
The guard eventually managed to unlock the door but it was too late, as the zombies pilled over the poor soul and the mindless beasts rushed to take a bite of the fallen soldier. The magistrate and the other guard, ever so anxious to get away from the impending zombies, grabbed the prison keys that were dropped on the floor and tried to open the adjacent cell.
Probably seconds away from becoming zombie food, the guard managed to open the prison door that Seo-Bi happened to be in. While closing the door and locking the padlock, the unlucky chap got his hand bit. Like the others, he looked on with horror at his own hand and very shortly after the bite convulsed and collapsed on the floor.
The adjacent cell housed two inmates that were held together in a wooden plank that bound the two by the neck. A comical prelude, they both fell backwards in shock of what happened in Seo-Bi’s cell, and that put one of the two in range of the zombies’ bites and a bite he did get.
Finding themselves stuck in a small cell with a dead body that was quickly turning into one of the zombies, the quick witted Seo-Bi quickly grabbed the soldier’s sword. Lifting up the sword toward the now-zombie guard, it ran forward and got itself impaled by the neck, rendering the zombie truly dead.
Meanwhile, the one of the two prisoners bound by the wooden plank also began to turn after he was bitten. In what is probably a much needed comedic moment in a very intense episode (I couldn’t stop laughing. Yes, in a horror suspense show.), the prisoner still alive is left to contend with a rabid zombie that wants to eat his brains, in one of the most up-close and ridiculous setting. Imagine that.
The poor soul also had to content with the neighboring zombies as his fellow zombie inmate pushed him this close to the adjacent cell. In all that, he amazingly managed to avoid getting bitten or scratched.
Seo-Bi and the magistrate though, are more aware of their current predicament – that is, getting stuck in a jail cell surrounded by zombies. Well at least they are safe for now.
Yeong-Sin rescued a child from a zombie just in the nick of time, and was seen carrying the boy to the second level of a building. A mother carrying a child came running, escaping the zombies after her. Unable to open the hatch to the ground floor, Yeong-sin reached his hand out in an attempt to grab the young mother’s hand. He did, but at that moment she was grabbed from below and was bit.
As they lifted her up, the villagers rescued the baby from the mother but Yeong-sin was eventually forced to let her hand go as she has already been bitten.
In the chaos, the magistrate’s advisor was seen escaping on horse back with a few soldiers. A horde of zombies can be seen chasing the escapees and more zombies joined in the chase. As more fell to the zombies, the number of zombies grew.
The town is overrun.
The zombies were seen in the outskirts of town, as well as ravaging the areas of rich and poor alike. A mother hid her daughter in a chest, and told her to stay quiet while she looks for her other younger daughter. It seems she has already been bitten and did not want to turn on her own daughter. Unfortunately, the younger daughter was exposed and got caught.
The zombies were truly indiscriminate of young or old, rich or poor. They go after anyone.
On the other side of the river bank, Prince Lee found himself being chased by zombies escaping from the town. He kept running, ever so often glancing behind him to check how far the zombies were from him. They were probably no more than 15 yards behind him. As he approached a bridge, the leading zombie took an arrow and tumbled, sending the zombies behind tumbling as well.
It was Moo-Young on a horse across the bridge. That gave some time for the Prince to run towards Moo-Young. They managed to get on, but so did a zombie and caused the horse to fall to the ground. The two of them struggled and Moo-Young was almost caught by when when Prince Lee lobbed the head off the zombie and told Moo-Young to go for the head.
The pair decided to head to the barracks for refuge.
Reaching the barracks, Prince Lee and Moo-Young found the gates locked, with many villagers locked out and begging to be let in. More people came running and behind them, more zombies. Moo-Young suggested that they climb the walls to get in. As Prince Lee started to scale the wall, the others did too.
The walls shook and inside, the magistrate’s aide and a few soldiers found to be hiding. The shaking prompted them to chase away the villagers and one of the archers took a warning shot at the Prince who was climbing. He fell.
Enraged, Moo-Young declared that the Crown Prince is here and demanded they opened the gate. Unable to believe his words, the magistrate’s aide ordered the archers to shoot the arrows at the villagers and they backed off. At this moment, the sound of the running zombies have caught up to them.
The pair decided that it is time to abandon the idea of getting into the barracks and run off the trial. The zombies were hot on their heels and many villagers started to fall one by one as the zombies leaped and pounced at the slowest of the escapees. Moo-Young and the Crown Prince ran as fast as they could through the woods and eventually ended up by a cliffside and they all leaped, the chasing zombies included, into the waters.
As luck would have it, the zombies cannot swim. The reanimated dead struggled and sank to the bottom of the lake. The two of them watched on for a moment, and then quickly continued the escape, not wanting to let up. They eventually swam and came up on the opposite end of the cliff, a safe distance from the ravaging horde.
As the night progresses, the survivors are seen in hiding in their respective places, out of reach of the zombies. Yeong-sin in the second level of a house, Seo-Bi and the magistrate holed up in a cell.
Soon, dawn was breaking and as the sun began to shine, so did the zombies. It seems they are afraid of the sun. As quickly as they were in the sunlight, so did they scramble to hide in the dark. Some jumped into a well, others were seen hiding under houses. That explains why all the bodies were found under the house in the second episode.
The survivors left their hiding places and all around them the devastation and chaos that happened the night before. The zombie bodies can still be seen hiding under some houses. Needless to say, the survivors are still cautious about the whole incident.
As the people gathered back at the magistrate’s courtyard where it all began, the magistrate’s aid can be seen running after spotting the magistrate (with Seo-Bi). He was obviously berated for leaving the magistrate alone.
Yeong-sin was then singled out and blamed for what happened and for failing to tell the magistrate. He did of course, but they refused to listen. Seeking further explanation, Seo-Bi stepped forward and explained what happened at Jiyulheon and how the sick became zombies after eating a corpse. She said the zombies hunt at night, and during the day the zombies will hide in darkness and sleep.
When the magistrate’s aide demanded punishment on Yeong-Sin, he first insisted that the bodies must be dealt with. Burying does not help, only by burning or cutting of their head would it stop the zombies.
An elder that was identified as the ex-commander’s mother, firmly rejected the notion of burning the body. It seems that is a desecration to the noble families, as the other noblemen also chimed in. The aide explained that noblemen can only be punished by the Royal Court. Fearing a backlash from the nobles, the aide suggested to burn the peasants’ bodies and bury the nobles’ bodies.
Moo-Young and the Crown Prince steps into the scene and went straight to punching the aide on the face. Revealing himself as the Crown Prince, Prince Lee said that the act of shooting the arrow at him at the barracks is treason and liable to be executed. However, every single man is required to deal with the zombie bodies while it is yet day – Prince Lee decides to hold it off.
The Crown Prince asks for soldiers to burn all the bodies, request for backup and also to evacuate the townsfolk via boats before dark. He intends to quarantine Dongnae to prevent the spread to other regions.
Back in Hanyang, the Chief Scholar met up with one of Prime Minister’s Cho’s man to explain to him that dead bodies were discovered in the Palace and that something suspicious is happening. He suggests that they personally investigate and meet with the Majesty. The Chief Scholar seems to imply that Lord Ahn Hyeon will assist in their movement as well.
This Lord Ahn Hyeon’s character is yet to be revealed but is seen to be a very important person politically and the people’s hero, so he may yet be key to the political struggle between the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Cho.
The magistrate’s aide came and reported that all the ships were destroyed, save for one cargo ship. The search for the dead bodies are not going well either as there simply isn’t enough soldiers left.
Seo-Bi, Moo-Young and the Crown Prince returned to Jihulyeon. Seo-Bi has a flash back to the night the outbreak occurred, and an encounter with Physician Lee revealed that the disease evolved to one that spread through bites. Physician Lee insists that he could cure the disease, but also died (and later returned as a zombie) from a bite in the back.
Back to the present, the Crown Prince learns from Physician Lee’s medical journal that the disease could potentially be cured. He reads about the resurrection plant in detail. He also learnt from the journal that the King has indeed died and Physician Lee used the resurrection plant on him and the dead King came to live – as a zombie.
Moo-Young came and reported that the commander Beom-il’s head is missing, and that if the Prime Minister Cho were to learn about it, they would get in trouble. Furthermore, the Crown Prince is on the run for suspicions of treason.
However, the Crown Prince said that he is now justified and told Moo-Young that he learnt that the King has passed away in the medical journal. That Queen and Prime Minister Cho conspired to use the resurrection plant to keep up their appearance that the King is still alive. (Otherwise, the Crown Prince will be immediately crowned as King, instead of the Queen’s unborn child.)
Prince Lee decided to gather support and to look for Lord Ahn Hyeon.
The magistrate, his aides and noblemen were seen trying to board the ship discreetly. It seems that instead of performing the tasks the Prince set them out to do, they instead decided to escape on the only boat left, since there is not enough space to go about.
The ship is leaving! Hurry!
Someone declared. Yeong-Sin, in prison, heard it. Calling out the guards who were running away, one of them paused and tossed the jail keys over to him. He unlocked himself and headed to the pier.
Yeong-sin ran to the pier only to find the cargo ship leaving and the poorer villagers left behind, while the noblemen looked on. A dialogue ensued between the magistrate’s aide and the magistrate about whether it is the right thing to do. The aide said they had no choice and explained it away, callously. He also lied about the Crown Prince leaving Dongnae safely.
As the scene pans towards the hold of the ship where they stored all the cargo, the elderly noblewoman who was refusing to allow her son to be burned, was seen walking towards a strange, sealed box at the end of the alleyway.
Could it be…?