Kim Tae-hee is kinda rockin’ it, which I really didn’t expect myself to say…ever. Her character’s kind of an airhead, but in an endearing and sweet way. She’s rather naïve, but the fact that she wants to trust Hae-young despite the fact that she knows better, is really cute. The comedy continues to be light and fun, and while the machinations to get everyone to the palace are less than airtight, the results are worth it.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Seol falls asleep to her apparition of Hae-young, petting her head. She wakes up with him at the foot of her bed, so she assumes, like any other girl would, Apparition the Morning After. As it turns out, fantasy and reality are quite blurry when you’re a princess.
Hae-young smirks at her non-reaction, and introduces himself as her new language tutor. Her eyes pop open as she realizes that he’s not as imaginary as she’d thought, and she sits up, hiding behind the covers.
He wonders if that’s all the reaction he’s going to get, and asks why she’s not screaming for dear life. He perches next to her on the bed and leans in—is she commonly greeted by strange men in the morning, or is she just taken with how handsome he is? Hahaha. The stuff this guy manages to say about himself with a straight face.
He lays it on thick, saying she looked at him like a sleeping beauty greeting her prince, and tells her she shouldn’t wonder how he got here, so much as why. Seol: “It’s a given why. Threats, kidnapping, terror…” Hae-young: “Then why aren’t you screaming?” Uh…because you’re pretty?
He gets on the phone and tells her court ladies that they’re done talking, and they can get her ready now. She freaks out—he’s not here in secret? Nope, no need for secrecy, since he’s now responsible for her.
It turns out that he’s here by the President’s order, as a diplomat, to be in charge of her education and such. If there’s anything I learned from Goong, it’s that there’s a whole lot of studying involved to be a good princess. He introduces himself formally to her in front of the President and Grandpa, and adds that he’s entered the palace as well. As a knee-jerk reaction, Seol shouts way too loudly, “NO!”
Aw, yeah! Palace roommate hijinks? Bring it.
She uses their scandal as an excuse that he can’t possibly live here, but he says that it’s the best way to clear up the scandal—to announce that he’s always been her advisor, and that his declaration that they were engaged was just to protect her from public scrutiny. She fumes at his clever answers for everything.
Clearly this is a maneuver by Hae-young and the President to sabotage the monarchy, but Grandpa can’t really argue with the President. Seol tries to interject, but gets tripped up because she can’t say what’s really got her worried: “He’s too dangerous… …ly handsome. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate while studying.” Heh. It’s not enough to dissuade them, so she’s assigned as his charge.
Later Grandpa asks Hae-young what he’s scheming, and the two butt heads again over this being the cause of Dad’s exile. Hae-young lies that he’s doing what Grandpa wants because he doesn’t want to end up like Dad, but Grandpa sees right through his façade.
She chases Hae-young around the palace asking what on earth he could possibly teach her, and he answers that he’s the only one who could really educate her on being royalty, since he was raised as such himself. She scoffs, but though it’s massively egomaniacal, it’s also not untrue. Korea is a society where chaebol families DO live as royalty of sorts.
He shows up bright and early the next morning to wake her up for her first day of lessons. He greets her with an alarm clock thrown under the covers and a healthy dose of get-your-ass-out-of-bed-princess, prompting her to nitpick that he’s using banmal with her. Though they’ve always mixed jondae and banmal since the beginning, she’s making a point of it now that she’s got the upper hand (higher station means he has to use jondae with her).
He realizes that she’s right, but breaks into a cheeky smile, “But…we’re alone.” Heh. What’s funny is that she doesn’t argue with him, because the only thing that could make him stick to jondae is outward formality (perceived by others); thus, when they’re alone, he wins.
She tries to worm her way out of the situation any way she can, but he basically bullies her into going along with it. She takes her first test and manages to fail every single question, and Hae-young marvels, “So it IS possible to fail this badly. I had only heard of such things.” Hahaha.
She asks for the test back, embarrassed by the zero score, but he holds onto it, with the threat that he has to report on her progress directly to the President. She chases him all over the palace to try and steal it back.
In front of her court ladies, Hae-young tells her to please leave him alone when they’re not studying, and she drags him into his room with her trademark warning: don’t come in for whatever reason, no matter what sounds you hear. Heh.
She jumps up and down trying to pry the test out of his hands, and he totally pulls that oppa move of holding it above her head and laughing his ass off as she wastes all her energy trying to reach it.
When he refuses to hand it over, she plops down on his bed, determined not to leave until he gives it back. He doesn’t think it’s a very good tactic…he warns her not to regret it, and plops down right next to her with a smile.
She screams at first, but then rolls right back over, facing him with determination. Not the reaction he was expecting. She tries to kick him away and hold her ground, only she’s much lighter, so it sends her veering off the bed.
She’s about to fall head-first, so he jumps up to catch her, landing right on top, of course. Heh. They linger in the sexual tension for just long enough for it to get awkward, and they both get off the bed in that oh-it’s-cool-I’m-totally-cool-not-at-all-thinking-about-you-nekkid-nope-not-me way.
He offers to return the test if she wakes up on time for tomorrow’s lesson. Determined to wake up on time, she sets multiple alarms…only she can’t fall asleep from her pounding heart. She ends up in the kitchen and Gunnie bounds up to her happily, scaring her and getting a face full of spit water for his trouble.
He makes her steamed milk with honey “with love” and tells her to come to the kitchen if she ever wants anything, or just wants to see him. Aw, I’m gonna adore this friendship to pieces, I can tell. Also, jealous! I could do without the palace and the ladies in waiting, and even the closet full of shoes and dresses, but a personal chef? I die of envy.
The next morning Hae-young is disappointed by Seol’s tardiness, and freaks out all the court ladies by barging into her room unattended. He hovers above her to wake her up, only she answers, “Professor?” in her sleepy daze. She puckers her lips at Dream-Jung-woo, raising Hae-young’s ire past the point of reason.
He picks her up and slings her over his shoulder, blanket and all, like a Seol burrito, and stomps out to the main courtyard. He dangles her above the fountain and Seol shrieks, announcing that she’s up now. He doesn’t care; he says smugly, “Oh, you should’ve said so sooner!” …as he plops her into the fountain and walks away. Keh.
What’s even funnier is the staff’s reaction, like the princess just got shot at or something. One of them yells, “CALL 119!”
She gets cleaned up and stomps into the library, asking Hae-young if he sent the test to the President already. He hands it to her and tells her to shape up and take their lessons seriously from now on, and adds a jogging regimen to her daily schedule. She eyes him warily, asking if he’s really given up his quest to overthrow the monarchy: is he really going to make her into a princess? He sort of lies, but can’t quite lie fully—he asks rhetorically if she really believes he’d give up.
They get called to a meeting with Secretary Oh, who gives her the profiles of the main press members who will be at her upcoming press conference. She looks it over eagerly, looking forward to the chance to speak up about her father and clear his name.
Secretary Oh tells her that her father won’t be discussed at this press conference, and she looks at him confused. Hae-young sighs that this is his grandfather’s way of doing things, and walks out.
Yoon-ju gets a send-off from the museum as she prepares to transition into working for the monarchy. One of Seol’s two main court ladies (the older one) shows up to meet with her, and Yoon-ju gets a status report on Seol. Sneaky. The woman seems to be one of Yoon-ju’s employees, who’s also doubly indebted to her for funding her daughter’s surgery.
Yoon-ju tells her not to come see her anymore, and to pretend not to know her at the palace. She does get news that surprises her: Hae-young has entered the palace, unbeknownst to her.
Hae-young meets with the opposition leader, and chastises him for leaking the rumors about Seol’s dad when he expressly told him to hold off. He gives a stern warning about acting on his own.
Yoon-ju texts Jung-woo that she’s getting ready to enter the palace, and that she’d really like it if he came with her. Wait, are they all going to live there too? Palace roommate FOUR-square? Hahaha. Drama, I like your style—if I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go ALL OUT.
Seol requests a trip, and shows up at Jung-woo’s office, where she’s met with smiles. I like that he likes her too, and is aware of her undying crush. It’s a much more compelling triangle that way, since these two, without interference from Hae-young, would probably end up together.
She consults him, her bamboo forest, on what to do about the press conference, and especially about Hae-young—where his loyalties lie and what he’s really around for. Jung-woo tells her that the answer is right in front of her, and to go ahead with lessons and such, to figure out what Hae-young’s true motives are. Besides, he’s the real expert in how to deal with the press, so he’ll have the answer to the press conference question too.
Back at the palace, Seol tells Hae-young that she went out to meet Jung-woo, and Hae-young stops her right there. “Don’t talk about that guy in front of me.” Oh, you.
Meanwhile, he heads back to his apartment to triumph over the reclaiming of all his stuff, in exchange for his entering the palace. Yoon-ju comes by with wine to tell him that she’s going to be entering the palace as well, and learns that Hae-young asked to be assigned there, wanting to keep Seol close.
While she’s there she gets a call from Jung-woo (which Hae-young answers) and runs off to meet him. He accepts her offer for the job, saying that it’s a rare opportunity for research, and that he would’ve said yes right away if it hadn’t been for her.
She wonders why he bothered to tell her that, if he’s going to take the job anyway, wondering how he’s going to face her tomorrow. He laughs bitterly that it’s nothing compared to the pain she’s caused him over ten years. He calls her utterly selfish, to the point that she’s probably never once considered his feelings in ten years. Well, I’d say that’s about right.
He tells her that he’ll be fine facing her at work, because she’s nothing to him now. He walks out, his words stinging as she sits alone. On their own they betray much more emotion, as Yoon-ju cries, and Jung-woo turns over a picture of them as he broods. Hae-young joins in on the broodfest, knowing that she left to go meet Jung-woo, and it IS kind of funny that he keeps getting left behind by women who are entangled with Jung-woo. It makes the rivalry deliciously layered.
Seol stays up all night trying to prepare for the press conference, but just ends up doodling in her notebook, trying to figure out Hae-young, drawing hearts all over Jung-woo’s name, and then writing a letter to Mom saying that she misses home and Mom’s cooking.
But Mom and even her sister Dan show up the next day, and she runs up to hug them. Mom sees Hae-young and takes him aside, still calling him “Park suh-bang,” meaning son-in-law. She catches herself, but he sweetly apologizes for all the lies before, and tells her that his nickname is Park suh-bang anyway, so she can just keep calling him that. Aw.
She asks him to look after Seol, and he hesitates out of guilt, so Mom grabs all the cash in her wallet—what looks like thirty or forty dollars’ worth—and puts it in his hand, asking him to look after her. Aw, Mom is so cute and quaint.
Yoon-ju The Destroyer walks in and introduces herself to Mom. It turns out that she’s called Seol’s family here, for her first order of business—to remove Seol from their family registry. Mom stares in shock, and Hae-young sighs.
Seol finds out from Dan, who just sneers at Seol’s whimpering, telling her to get it together and do a good job, otherwise people will point fingers at their family, saying that Seol was raised badly. She adds with disdain that she’s had to work so hard to earn what she has, while everything comes so easily to Seol. Ugh. There are always these people in the world. Wah, wah, wah. You are the only one who suffers, wah. Let me build you a cross, oh righteous martyr. Blech.
Yoon-ju presents Mom with the document that will put Seol in the royal family registry, and therefore out of theirs. Seol cries holding onto Mom’s arm, as Mom asks what happens to the insurance that she took out for her daughters to live on if something should happen to her. Aw. She begins to cry at the thought of leaving Seol here all alone, with the feeling that she’s sending her daughter out into the world with nothing.
Mom signs the registry and leaves, asking Hae-young once more to look after Seol. He tells her not to worry, but then as he watches her leave, he whispers an apology.
Seol weeps in her room like a little girl, crying, “Mom, Mom,” over and over. Hae-young listens from the hallway, unable to go in and comfort her.
He comes in the next morning, and she’s clearly been up all night crying. He tells her that he’s sorry for his part in duping her mother initially, and tells her it’s time to study. She looks utterly defeated and close to calling it quits, but she finally gets up for her lesson.
Study montage time! Are these two going to fall in love in the library too? They prepare for her press conference in front of a camera, and he has her practice her introduction about a hundred times, at one point critiquing, “You’re not trying to seduce the camera.” Ha.
In trying to find out more about her father, Hae-young comes across a new dilemma for Seol—there’s a record that her adopted father tried to sell a royal artifact, replacing it with a fake. Basically, it boils down to one of her fathers, either her biological father or her adoptive one, is a fraud, and it’s her choice which line of investigation to pursue.
They get called to a dress shop to get fitted for her press conference outfit, and Yoon-ju is there waiting. She takes the opportunity to escort Seol downstairs, and while they’re alone, the claws come out.
She tells Seol to enjoy it all (the good life) while she can. Seol innocently asks what she means. Yoon-ju, cutting down to banmal with a blood-curdling mean-girl tone, tells her that whether she walks out of her own accord, or they have to drag her out of there, she won’t be living in the palace much longer.
Well, I suppose no one’s meant to like Yoon-ju, so they’re going full-force with the Wicked Bitch of the West routine. I just sort of wish she had more spunk, if they were going to make her evil, more like Personal Taste‘s In-hee Bot, rather than the subdued and emotion-repressing version here. I mean, sure, she’s going to out-scheme Seol, but are we really supposed to believe that both men are going to wrestle with the decision: Yoon-ju vs. Seol? I think not.
Perhaps that warning to Seol was the first glimmer of personality, although I pretty much think she’s going to stay her boring self. They should have combined the sister with Yoon-ju; both are wet blankets, but Dan’s not burdened by silly things like conscience or love.
When it’s all fun and games, this drama is at its best. I sort of lose patience with the downturn in tone when people get all broody, but thankfully, there’s so much awesome in the comedy that it keeps me engaged. I can’t WAIT till Jung-woo and Hae-young are living under the same roof. I hope they have to share a bathroom.