King the Land (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2: ‘King the Land’ is a new romantic K-Drama starring Lee Jun-ho and Im Yoon-ah. It premiered on JTBC, and two weekly episodes are now available for viewing on Netflix. The first two episodes just dropped on the streaming giant that introduced us to the show’s swoon-worthy romance.

We meet Cheon Sa-rang, who starts a traineeship at the King Hotel with the hope of working as a concierge. On the other hand, Gu Won, the heir of this lofty hotel, tries to recount the memories of his mother. Their two worlds collide by a chance encounter and they reunite after a few years.

Let us find out what happens in its two-episode premiere.

*Spoilers Ahead*

King the Land (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2 Recap:

Episode 1

The story begins in 2015 with the interviews for a traineeship in the prestigious King Hotel. Cheon Sa-rang (Im Yoon-ah) gets an offer even though she does not fit the requirement of having a bachelor’s degree. She walks in with a broken heel and plays a faux piano but still manages to impress Hwa-ran from the panel. While Sa Rang gave that interview, her friend, Da-eul (Kim Ga-eun) started her job at a duty-free shop, whereas Pyeog-haw (Won-Hee Go) started working as a flight attendant.

The morning after her interview, Sa-rang learns that she has been selected for the hotel’s traineeship. While she starts her day working at the King’s Hotel, Gu-won (Jun-Ho Lee) reaches his new internship with a parachute. He does not care about being obedient, unlike his co-worker, Sang-sik (Se-ha Ahn), who wants his internship to turn into a full-time job. Later, when he goes to take out some prints, an ink cartridge suddenly explodes.

While the superiors blame Sang-sik, Gu-won finds that unjust and speaks against it. One thing leads to another, and the staff learns that Gu-won is Gu Il-hoon’s son, who is their company’s chairman. Since he gets fired, he takes Sang-sik with him with a full-time job offer. Back at home, Gu-won, his father, gets angry since he could not even keep up with an internship. His sister slyly manages to get him out of the house and stay at King Hotel. She offers financial help for him to get the education he needs.

Unlike Gu-won, Sa-rang shows traits of subservience during her traineeship. She is tasked to wipe off the sweat of their customers from the hotel’s gym. Despite this nauseating work, she is expected to smile throughout her day. Her manager wonders how she has never managed to get out of this gym duty. But Sa-rang is still hopeful that she will get to work in the lounge. Sa-rang, Pyeog-haw, and Da-eul are also treated harshly by their seniors.

During her duty at the gym, Sa-rang is asked to wipe off the sweat of a customer. The man notices Sa-rang doing so and develops a crush on her. He sends her a creepy letter and shares his room’s key along with it. Sa-rang goes out to confront this man. Instead, she confronts Gu-won since he was wearing a copy of the same t-shirt. Gu-won gets angry at that false accusation and raises his voice. His sister – Hwa-ran, also the hotel director, questions him for doing so.

After that argument, Hwa-ran meets Sa-rang and gets impressed by her knowledge and quick responses. So, she directly promotes her to a one-year internship in the lounge. While Sa-rang’s new manager, Ms. Kim, gruels her out of jealousy, Gu-won travels to the UK for his further education. Hwa-ran, who perhaps wants to be the sole heir of this hotel, wishes to settle down abroad.

Years pass by, and Sa-rang gets promoted to a full-time job at the hotel. While Da-eul gets married, Gu-won lives lavishly at his place in London. One day, he receives a letter from Han Mi-so. As a result, he suddenly decides to move back to Korea with Sang-sik.

The year is 2021, and Sa-rang continues to win the hearts of the hotel’s customers. On the other hand, Gu-won decides to start working at King Hotel. His father makes him the head manager at the hotel.

On his first day back at the hotel, Gu-won enters with Sang-sik. Ms. Kim asks Sa-rang to get a phone from Gu-won’s suite and deliver it to the director’s office. Despite her bellyaches, Ms. Kim asks her to do this task urgently. So, Sa-rang enters the suite and gets a hold of the phone. But she notices the bathroom and cannot resist entering. That is when Gu-won walks into the suite and ends up noticing her there. The episode ends with them awkwardly staring at each other.

Episode 2

King the Land (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2 ending explained
A still from King the Land (Season 1)

After that embarrassing encounter, Sa-rang ends up making a clumsy exit. Gu-won recalls that she is the staff member who called him a ‘pervert’ in the gym years ago. While they do not end that argument, he ends up revealing that he does not like the fake smiles plastered on everyone’s faces.

Later that day, Ms. Kim is supposed to host the inaugural ceremony for Gu-won that day. She confuses Sang-sik as the heir, and has an awkward interaction with him. Sang-sik ends up believing she has feelings for him. However, during the ceremony, several confusions get resolved. We learn that Gu-won dislikes fake smiles because of a scary memory from his childhood. Ms. Kim realizes that Sang-Sik is not the head manager but Gu-won. Besides, Sa-rang realizes that the man she called ‘pervert’ is her boss.

The two meet again in Gu-won’s office. She reveals she called him a pervert because of a creepy letter she received. That is when she realizes she mistook him for someone else because of his t-shirt. He also makes it clear that he would never fall for her. She apologizes to him and ends it with her fake smile. Gu-won tells her not to smile like that thereafter.

While Sa-rang has these new experiences at her work, Da-eul breaks an older tradition at her retail shop job and asks the juniors to start afresh. Meanwhile, Pyeog-haw, who works as a flight attendant, takes the fall for her co-worker, who accidentally ended up throwing a coat in the bin. Pyeog-haw apologizes to the angry customer and takes responsibility for getting it cleaned. A male colleague helps her in resolving this issue.

Back at the king’s hotel, Gu Won, Gu Il-hoon, and Hwa-ran have a dinner to celebrate the occasion. Sa-rang is asked to make a speech. Impressed by her hospitality and conduct, the owner gives her the head of their expensive tuna fish. On her way back home, her careless boyfriend tells her he forgot about their plan for the next day.

While she starts thinking about this disappointment of a person for a moment, the tuna fish head falls down from her box onto the bus. Back in her apartment, Da-eul prepares a meal with that fish for her and Pyeong-haw. Later that night, she gets lost in the memories she had in cozy hotels with her mom. Since then, she had desired to be a concierge.

The next day, at the hotel, Mo Sang-ae, a known actress, starts throwing tantrums to get a better suite without any charge. Ms. Kim does not fulfill her duty as a manager and tells Sa-rang to take care of this issue. Gu-won notices it from a distance. He eventually learns that Sa-rang was sticking to the hotel policies and asking the actress to pay more for that better suite. Unlike Sa-rang’s politeness, Gu-won bluntly tells the actress to leave. He finds it absurd that the staff is expected to remain hospitable despite such rudeness.

Later that day, Gu-won is supposed to get interviewed for a promo video to maintain his public image. He tells Sa-rang that she will interview him. Sang-sik guides her through the questions. Later that night, she walks off a height with her heels on for the sake of her boyfriend. But he does not care about her injuries. Even after reaching there, he forces her to meet her friends and leaves her on her own. Out of anger, she walks out.

King the Land (Season 1) Episode 2 Ending, Explained:

The next day, Gu-won gets mesmerized when Sa-rang walks up to him at the airport. He still tries to maintain the status quo and leaves his suitcase, hoping she will pick it up. She does not hold it as he expected and makes it clear that she will not work any way he wants her to. Later, when they reach their destination, Gu-won leaves Sa-rang and Sang-sik to find a cab instead of giving them a ride in his car.

At the last minute, Hwa-ran changes the questions to get her brother confused during the shoot. Anyhow, Sa-rang prepares them and gets ready for the interview. The episode ends with Sa-rang and Gu-won standing across from each other. In this season premiere, ‘King the Land’ falls back on some stereotypes about class and gender. Some viewers expressed their concern on Twitter about the same. Let us hope that the writing shows the characters learning about their biases, growing, and evolving.

Read More: 25 Most Anticipated Korean Drama (KDrama) of 2023

King the Land (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
King the Land (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2 Cast: Im Yoon-ah, Jun-Ho Lee, Won-Hee Go
King the Land (Season 1) Episodes 1 & 2 Genres: Romance, Comedy

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