Korean historical zombie drama KINGDOM (Netflix) recently aired its second season, which ends with the prince finding a mysterious figure in an abandoned village. A standalone episode, KINGDOM: ASHIN OF THE NORTH answers who this is and tells her backstory, thereby providing answers as to how the zombie-producing plant was discovered and found its way into the royal family.
Ashin is a child living in a village populated by Jucheons, people who migrated from Manchuria to live in Korea. They’re peaceful and loyal, but the Koreans never accepted them, and the Jurcheons no longer consider them the same tribe. As tensions mount on the border, an incident results in a massacre and Ashin wanting revenge. Soon, she discovers her hatred’s real target, resulting in a horrific plan of vengeance.
Fans of KINGDOM will love it, though they should understand this is a prequel set many years before the events in the series. While a standalone episode, at 92 minutes, it’s really a movie. On the plus side, it has the history, simple political machinations, and zombie violence of the series, though with less heart. You root for Ashin, though she’s not as likeable as the series cast, and the episode’s villains aren’t as hateable, so when everything comes together, which it does nicely, it nonetheless wasn’t as satisfying for me.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of the show, definitely check it out.