Is it possible for two guys to fight over two girls at the same time? Truthfully, then it really becomes more about THEM, and not at all about the girls, right? There’s fanfic just itching to be written out there somewhere. I’m having so much fun in this Rhombus of Jealousy and the early stages of Seol’s not-a-relationship with Hae-young that I’m loathe to leave it behind. I hope that we don’t speed through the courtship in this drama, because there’s something very winning about this couple…when they’re not a couple.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Seol gets stopped from boarding the plane, so she and Hae-young try to suss out some reasons why she might be blocked from leaving the country: has she committed any crimes of late?
It turns out as suspected, and Grandpa is the culprit behind the sneaky move. Hae-young decides that it’s time to go to war, while Seol scoffs that he’s trying to go up against his grandfather when he couldn’t even get a couple of news stories pulled down the other day.
She thinks they have bigger worries, since Mom’s about to open that letter she left, and Seol’s faux boyfriend is the first person she’s going to hunt down with the proverbial rolling pin. He agrees that Mom is no joke and they head to the pension to intercept the letter.
They arrive to find Mom gone, along with the Bible where Seol stuck the letter…but they realize it’s Sunday, and she’s at church. So they rush off to the chapel where they sneak in behind her, and Seol convinces Hae-young to reach for the envelope in her Bible while she prays…
…but Mom catches him mid-swipe, so he freezes and bows his head to pray. HA. They tell Mom that they’re just here to pick her up, and Hae-young goes to start the car, asking suavely for Mom’s purse so she doesn’t have to carry it.
But when he digs around for the letter in Mom’s Bible, all he can find are envelopes with money…
Meanwhile, the pastor starts to read people’s prayer requests, and both Mom and daughter look up when he begins to read Seol’s letter out loud. Mortified, both she and Mom realize what’s happened, and as Mom gets singled out in the congregation, Seol and Hae-young make a dash for the door.
They’re followed by the entire congregation, as Mom chases Seol in circles around Hae-young for trying to run away from home. He gets involved to try and stop her, but Mom is too irate, and warns him not to get involved unless he wants to get hit in her place.
At that, he comes out with an apology, saying that it’s all his fault, so she can go ahead and hit him. Of course, Mom takes that the wrong way entirely, as she gasps, “Were you two going to run away together? Are you…pregnant?”
Pffft. Their reactions to the accusation are priceless, and it goes about as well as any denial that you are having an illegitimate child, you swear, can go. To top it off, the pastor recognizes Hae-young as the Daehan Group heir, and publicly outs him. Mom beams quietly, while the pastor shushes everyone to secrecy in the Lord’s name. Heh.
Back at the pension, Mom watches the footage of Hae-young and Seol online over and over, and Hae-young nudges Seol to say that she must be impressed, quite pleased with himself. Oh, Ego. You do find the silliest times to be pleased with yourself.
Mom takes a deep breath, and they close their eyes in anticipation of the barrage that’s about to come their way…only it doesn’t, and Mom swoons that it’s all very romantic. Ha. Seol tries to insist that it’s really not what she thinks, but Hae-young jumps in to confirm that they’re in love.
Seol’s like, we’re what in the what, now? as he tells her that “oppa” will take care of it (LOL) and tells Mom that while it’s true that they’re in love, his family opposes the union.
Then he gets down on his knees to ask Mom for permission for them to run away to Egypt together, and to Seol’s utter surprise, Mom gives her blessings wholeheartedly. Excepting of course that they abide by one condition…
…they ARE going to register their marriage before they go, right? Buh…
Are we getting a marriage contract ON TOP of the princess-meets-a-chaebol thing? Because that’s just awesome. Listen, I know that piling on the kdrama clichés has led us astray once or twice or twenty times before, but I’m nothing if not stupidly, morbidly, hopeful that each new time will not be like the last. It’s not called an addiction for nothing, yeah?
They get interrupted by a team of Grandpa’s henchmen, sent to retrieve Hae-young. He says his goodbyes and promises to return soon. Seol responds with a pointed “how soon is soon,” eliciting an oh-you-lovebirds sigh from Mom.
Hae-young pinches her cheeks, calling her his little Thumbelina, and busts out his best “Do you miss oppa already?” as Seol gags to the side. Will you look at that pout below? I could watch this for hours.
Exasperated, Seol repeats, “Oppa? Oppa? Really, with the oppa?!” But it gets interpreted more like: “OPPaaaaaaaaaaaa” HA. If there ever was a word that had so MANY meanings…
Yoon-ju aligns herself with the leader of the opposition (to the restoration of the monarchy, that is), and they discuss the best time to leak Seol’s humble, thoroughly un-princess-like background to the press.
Hae-young comes home only to get yelled at by Grandpa for trying to send Seol away right under his nose, and Hae-young fights back, saying it’d be crazy for him NOT to make a fuss, when Grandpa’s about to throw away his entire fortune.
Grandpa makes it clear that it doesn’t belong to them, since it was a fortune that was built with the last emperor’s treasury, but that isn’t enough to appease Hae-young who thinks it should be sufficient to return the original amount, plus interest.
In his frustration, Grandpa lets it slip that he’s being just like his father. Hae-young’s face darkens at that, as he asks angrily if this is the reason that Grandpa basically disowned Dad. He yells that he’s thought a million terrible things about his own father, trying to understand what he could have done to make Grandpa exile him like that, but to find out that it was over THIS?
He blurts out hurtfully that there’s no way he’ll abide by Grandpa’s wishes now, knowing that this is the thing that made him grow up without a father. Well, damn, can’t argue there, Pops.
Yoon-ju catches up to Hae-young as he leaves, and tries to get him to calm down a little before driving off. But he turns to her and says that if the monarchy is restored, and he’s left penniless, he won’t marry her. Ouch. She knows it’s out of a protective and caring love, but it’s still gotta hurt, because real love wouldn’t be held back by that.
Hae-young goes home to shower-brood (rawr) and decides to suit up and meet with the opposition leader to ask for a favor—to lift the no-fly ban on Seol. He answers that there’s a better way to take care of the princess, since he’s heard that she’s grown up without much ado: they splash the headlines with her identity, and let public opinion do the rest. Hae-young may have been willing to cross some lines, but I don’t think he’s going to cross this one. I hope.
At home, Seol wakes up to find Mom cooking a year’s worth of side dishes for them to take to Egypt (oh, mothers). She reminds Seol to say a proper goodbye to her professor (meaning in a professional sense) but it makes Seol realize that she had also written him a letter, covered in hearts and sprayed with perfume no less.
She calls him in a panic, and Jung-woo confirms that he got the letter, but hasn’t opened it yet. He smiles sweetly at the hearts and looks rather pleased, but Seol insists that he not read it, and rushes over to campus to stop him.
When she arrives he ends up rescuing her from a couple of reporters, and she gushes at how cool he is…until he kills it with heaps of praise on himself. Seol notes rather dryly that he’s quite the ego-maniac. (I don’t know what I love more—that both the guys are this type, or that Seol is the type to call this behavior out each time.)
She tries to get the letter back, but Jung-woo is all too happy to taunt her with it, saying that he’s SO popular that he gets letters from his students. She lies that it’s a chain letter, but he just laughs at that, and she lets it slip that it’s a really embarrassing love letter and she can’t bear to look at his face anymore if he reads it.
He just smiles knowingly, asking how she planned on going to Egypt then, if she was so worried about what he thought of her. Mortified that he read it already, she hangs her head, as he tells her that he was especially moved by the part where she tells him not to get a girlfriend while she’s gone, and to spend his nights alone, eating ramen, thinking of her. Ha. He’s adorable. Too bad there’s no alterna-verse where the cute nerdy professor gets the girl.
He asks why she doesn’t want to be a princess, and she says simply that she likes her life now the way it is. She doesn’t want all her secrets laid out, or to have antis. She adds that her sister Dan would be the president of her anti-fan club. The sad part is, that’s not a joke.
They get interrupted by a phone call from the office, where the phone is ringing off the hook in search of Seol. She runs out to find that the press is all over campus, having found out her identity. Damnit, Hae-young.
The story is all over the news, and Hae-young comes across a TV in the office, his face going white when he sees the story. Oh, whew. I was scared for a minute that you had betrayed her identity. He runs off to find her.
But when she answers her phone, she’s busy running like mad away from the reporters, and only manages to tell Hae-young that she’s at school. He hears her scream as she runs away, and then she hangs up.
He speeds over there and steels himself to walk past the wall of reporters in the hallway to get to Seol. Jung-woo opens the door and the guys have a stare-off because, well, it’s been twelve hours since their last face-off.
Hae-young stares dramatically, and pushes Jung-woo out of the way to get to Seol. There’s absolutely no reason for him to do so, which Seol goes ahead and points out (heh), but he just has an outburst and wrist-grabs her into the other room.
Yelling at the top of his lungs, he asks what the hell she’s doing there, when he told her to stay put at the pension. She doesn’t see why he’s so mad about it, until he adds, “Because I was worried!” Oh, swoon. Goddamnit, gets me every time.
Jung-woo decides he won’t be outdone this time and tries to stop them from leaving. Hae-young tells him that HE’ll deal with it since it concerns his fiancée, to which Jung-woo just says that he has no way of confirming whether Hae-young is her fiancé or her kidnapper, so unless they’ve got a flight to catch to Egypt, there’s no sense in trying to wade through all the reporters now.
Seol totally swoons at her professor, while Hae-young rolls his eyes in disbelief that she told yet another person about their super-secret Egypt plan. Whoops. Seol: “Um, the letter got here faster than I thought…” Hae-young can’t believe she wrote yet another letter. Heh. His exasperated looks at her expense crack me up.
He asks what on earth she wrote in this one, but Jung-woo steps in to defend her, not missing the opportunity to posture: “Don’t worry about the contents. It was just a cute love letter.” Oh, snap. One point for the professor.
But Hae-young gets to be the knight in shining armor after all, as his team of henchmen arrives, parting the sea of reporters for them to make an exit. Yoon-ju shows up with them as a Daehan representative, and tells them that Grandpa is expecting them.
Hae-young entrusts her to stay behind and do damage control here, adding for Jung-woo’s benefit that she knows him better than he knows himself (okay, it’s getting a little ridiculous for you two to be fighting over two girls AT THE SAME TIME, but whatever). Jung-woo reels at seeing her in this capacity, although I would think it shouldn’t surprise him.
Hae-young and Seol drive off, venting their frustrations out on each other. He thinks they just have to wait until the no-fly ban is lifted, but she tells him that the circumstances have changed—now the whole country knows that she’s the princess, so how’s she supposed to run away to Egypt now?
They stop at a gas station, and Seol covers her face in the least stealthy way possible, and Hae-young tells her that she’s just drawing more attention to herself. Seol: “Even if I hide my face, am I still pretty? [enough to recognize]” Pfft.
They get mobbed again, and are forced to really run away, so Hae-young drives them all the way to the ocean. Seol starts to fall asleep, so he stops the car to rest a while. She wakes up with his jacket on top of her, and Hae-young asleep.
She puts his jacket over him, and stares at his sleeping face, fascinated by his long lashes. She can’t help herself, so she touches them lightly, comparing them to her own, and then the other eye, playing with them and saying out loud how long they are.
She makes a move to get out of the car, when Hae-young grabs her hand, startling her. Seol: “How long have you been awake? Pervert!” He points out matter-of-factly that she’s the one touching him while he’s sleeping. She asks why her seat is reclined then, and he says it was to stop her from snoring. Ha.
What I love is that when her stomach growls, he smiles at her sweetly, asking if she’s hungry, like a real oppa would. They go to a seaside restaurant out of the way and are happy to see that no one recognizes them out there.
The waiter (Gun, or Gunnie, played by Lee Ki-kwang) gives them a bottle of soda on the house because Seol is pretty, just giving her another tick in the See, I’m Pretty, Everyone Says So column. Hae-young doesn’t miss the chance to scoff.
The news comes on and the waiter announces to the neighborhood patrons that they should all vote pro-monarchy, since he’s got a job at the new palace, if it goes through. The day’s events are followed by a story on Seol’s father, who is reported to have spent his days jobless, penniless, and a petty criminal. Hae-young realizes that this is the mode of attack that was implied when he met with sour-faced opposition man.
The people in the restaurant badmouth Seol’s father as a thief, making her stand up and insist that they’ve got it wrong, angry tears brimming in her eyes. They look up in surprise, and Hae-young drags her out of there before she draws any more attention.
Outside, Seol cries as she remembers being at the ocean with her dad in the winter, making a snowman and falling asleep while he carried her piggyback. She turns around and declares to Hae-young that she’s going to Seoul to meet with his grandfather, since he’s the most powerful man she knows.
She plans to ask for Grandpa’s help in clearing her father’s name. Hae-young asks what she’s going to do if it turns out that everything they’re saying is true. Her father was on the run and abandoned his little girl—what wouldn’t he do?
Seol reminds him that her father never abandoned her. She turns to walk away, when Gun runs up, apologizing for not recognizing her earlier. He tells her brightly that he doesn’t believe all those rumors on tv, and tells her that they’re here to pick her up.
Grandpa and his army pull up, and he tells Seol that it’s time now for her to greet the nation as the princess. She wonders if she has the right, when all fingers are pointed at her. He reminds her that she already IS the princess; she just has to decide to come with him.
She pauses to glance at Hae-young, but her look says it all: I’m sorry. And she gets in the car with Grandpa, leaving him standing on the bridge.
When they arrive, Seol gets out of the car to discover that home is now a winter wonderland palace, complete with guards in feathered hats. Her jaw drops, as Grandpa asks like a proper fairy godfather, “Do you like it?”
Yeah, I think it’ll do. Jealous that the entire next episode will probably be spent in palace-discovering hijinks, complete with twirling in full princess garb.
What I like is that the couple gets along for the most part—their bickering is more flirty, less vitriolic—but the main conflict is their opposition over the monarchy. And not in some lofty idealistic way, but in a very practical sense, as there is only one position of power, prestige, and wealth, and the two of them will be fighting for one crown, so to speak.
But in general, I really hope that we don’t spend any more time than we already have in establishing all the pro-/anti-monarchy business, as it takes the comprehension of a kindergartener to know who’s on what side. What we need more of is Hae-young vs. Jung-woo, and Seol embracing her inner princess (which doesn’t seem so hard based on her high opinion of herself, which seems to be the general rule of thumb with EVERYONE in this drama, heh).
The misunderstandings with Mom, the various letter-chasing, the many different ways “oppa” can be read—these are the highlights, whereas the backstory is pretty one-dimensional, and the reporters-chasing-wreaking-havoc is gonna get old, really really fast. I certainly hope they can come up with a bigger baddie than the paparazzi as we go along.
So far I really like Kim Tae-hee and Song Seung-heon in their roles. They’re a little hammy, but it works with a comedy because it’s a convention of the genre to overact with glee. It’s a nice change of pace to see them so funny and sweet, and downright pleasant, even if there’s no subtlety to be had in the performances or the writing. They’re just charming, and so delightfully cute together.
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- My Princess: Episode 1
- Sign wins (but just barely) in Wednesday ratings
- Two more reasons to watch My Princess
- Eye candy galore: My Princess press conference
- JB and GF face off: Battle of Delusional Hopes