SO MUCH CUTENESS in this episode. It’s like the good ol’ days, which I wasn’t expecting so late in the game with all the monarchy stuff nearing resolution, but which I found refreshingly welcome. True, it’s a little low on story movement, but when you pit story movement against some majorly adorable Kim Tae-hee/Song Seung-heon couple antics, it’s no contest.

SONG OF THE DAY

Humming Urban Stereo – “넌그날” (You on that day) with actress Yoo Inna
[ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

After their temporary separation, Hae-young shows up at the palace, catching Seol just as she’s engaged in her victory dance over his text message.

He tells her he missed her, but she’s miffed over his two-month silence. He’s been in New York, and she asks if he’s left behind his perception — in moments like these, he’s supposed to take some kind of action. He replies that in New York, they react like this — this being a kiss on the lips, which he follows up with a few more.

Well, that’s a pretty effective way to get her back on your side. Seol is adequately appeased and jumps into his arms, and he twirls her around.

He explains that he was in New York to “take care of something,” and while that term can apply to anything, both business affairs and personal, it’s also used to refer to ending a romantic relationship (as in, tying up loose ends). Seol assumes the latter and asks how many women he had that he took so long to break up with them all, and tells him to put them in the past now.

The plant he gave her has sprouted, and the meaning behind their flowers is “Be happy.” She pouts a little that his flower message was unromantic, but he corrects her: “How can you be happy without me? It means that I’ll stick by your side every day.” She holds him to it, and wants him to make up for lost time by sticking within 50 centimeters of her, starting tomorrow. And what’s wrong with today?

Hae-young has brought back his father’s written statement that he won’t claim his legal portion of the inheritance, making Hae-young the primary heir to his grandfather’s fortune, of which he is entitled to half. The next step is to give up his portion to the monarchy…only he doesn’t intend to do that anymore. Say wut?

Hae-young meets with Yoon-ju, who is still bitter over her fate, not that she earned it or anything, of course, according to the story in her mind. She’d been given a job after being fired from the museum, but quit on her first day.

He tells her that his father was happy to see him, but also that he’d asked after Yoon-ju — a reference to the fact that she’d contacted him trying to thwart the monarchy. Even here she has been outmaneuvered, because his father has decided not to return to Korea. He’d rather accept his father’s punishment than to circumvent it (as Yoon-ju offered).

Hae-young adds that he’s not going to see her anymore, either. She calls him “extremely cruel, sometimes,” which is like the pot calling the kettle a little bit dirty.

Yoon-ju meets her father for lunch, only to find herself ambushed by a blind date. She sits uncomfortably while the man chats with her about her work, though that gets cut short by the appearance of Jung-woo (arrrgh), here to rescue her from this embarrassing date. He pulls her out of the restaurant, and says he missed her (double arrrrgh). She tells him stiffly that she’s the woman who dumped him, then got dumped by her fiancé, but he still wants to start over with her. (ARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH.)

She tells him he’s crazy (for once, no disagreement here), but he just smiles and says she’s at her coolest when she’s with him.

Seol meets with Secretary Oh to offer him the job Yoon-ju just vacated, to his great shock. He protests that his daughter’s misconduct got her fired, but Seol says that he served the chairman his whole life and will be of great help to her.

The news breaks that Hae-young’s father has given up his claim to the chairman’s inheritance, and now all eyes turn to Hae-young, speculating over whether he will keep it for himself or turn it over. Seol overhears the court ladies gossiping, and is alarmed by the story.

This means Hae-young is now courted by the opposition assemblyman, who is thrilled at the development. Considering Hae-young’s past comments about blocking the princess’ progress, he assumes Hae-young will be on his side now and urges him to trust in him.

Jung-woo makes the opposing assumption, that Hae-young will naturally turn over the wealth, and asks what he’s going to do to quell the speculation. Hae-young replies that he’s human, that the decision isn’t an easy one, and that he’s currently thinking it over. He adds, “Why are people more interested in other people’s inheritances than their own?” Touché.

But then he assures Jung-woo that he has no intention of keeping the money — this is his strategy to get the citizenry worked up. The knowledge that they’re taking money away from a chaebol will stir them to vote — much more than, say, if he eagerly handed it over without a fight. “All things need villains.” Ooh, crafty. Jung-woo is rather impressed and laughs to himself.

He works this angle in the interview he gives to a reporter, who asks if he’s thinking to support or oppose the restoration vote. He gives noncommittal answers (“Perhaps” and “I suppose you could say so”) designed to make it look like he’s diminishing the importance of the vote, casually saying that he doesn’t suppose the vote will amount to much. At the key question of whether he’d hand over his inheritance were the restoration plans cancelled, he asks, “Would you hand it over easily?”

The reporter is even hesitant to publish the story, acknowledging that it may cause public scorn for Hae-young. But Hae-young encourages him to publish whatever he feels is right, as it doesn’t matter to him.

Seol, unaware of his master plan, reads the articles to great dismay. Jung-woo isn’t about to blab, so he takes in Seol’s reaction with amusement, particularly when she orders Hae-young’s bodyguard/aide to put him on the no-fly list, given his odd behavior of late. The aide mumbles that he’s not authorized to do that so she orders him to keep tabs on him, report back about his doings, and even tape him.

When she confronts Hae-young, he enjoys teasing her, saying that she’d better start sucking up to him now, since he’s vacillating on the inheritance issue.

She can’t believe his inexplicable change of heart, not amused at his suggestion that they take his riches and live abroad together. He tells her it’s in her best interest to keep him happy — and then tells her to start by wearing that scandalously short skirt she’d threatened him with in a previous text message. Hee.

Then he takes issue with the way she addresses him (“Park Hae-young-sshi”) and she retorts, “What should I call you, then, Hae-young-ah?” He angles for an oppa, which she refuses. So he feigns being annoyed and stalks out in a huff, so Seol chases after him and concedes, “Fine, I’ll do it. Oppa — happy?” He pretends he didn’t hear, so she yells it in his ear.

He grabs her phone to reprogram her Mr. P label to “our oppa,” which he erases for “our honey,” and then finally: “Warm and youthful Hae-young oppa.” (The “warm and youthful” part refers to her description of her other oppa — Joo Sang-wook’s cameo — in a prior episode.)

He looks so proud of himself, it’s hilarious. She grumbles that it’s so smarmy, and again he feigns feeling insulted, sending Seol after him apologizing. That settled, he instructs her that until he signs the papers, he wants her to wink at him every time they meet eyes. Puahaha. Seol obliges reluctantly, only she’s unable to wink with one eye, so she blinks at him instead. So cute.

She calls him stingy and childish for withholding his inheritance to order her around, and he agrees that it is, “But it’s so fun.”

She finally gets him back a little by telling him that she’s had numerous offers for marriage blind dates, and goes off to prepare for one. Two can play this game, Mister P.

Seol introduces Secretary Oh to the staff as the new boss, and announces her intention to remain in this position even if the vote doesn’t go through. She’s dedicated to her role, though the problem then becomes their lack of funding. So she asks her staff to look into ways of maintaining a foundation without money, and offers to ride her current popularity into landing CFs for princess-related wares.

Hae-young video-calls her, trying to contain his worry that she’s actually out on a date like she threatened. She hangs up on him, and he calls back to instruct her to meet him. The meeting place turns out to be a car dealership, where he grills her on her date and prods for details — what does the guy do for a living? Did she smile at him? Look into his eyes? Seol tells him that she’s thinking of going out on another date with the guy.

He’s here to buy a car, her and their promised driving lessons. Only, the lesson goes about as well as you might expect, which totally takes me back to those teenage years when I thought I’d never be able to drive without fear. She’s plastered to the wheel like an old lady, going all of 20 kmh (which she calls speedy), while Hae-young beats his chest in frustration at her inability to drive straight.

Finally he orders her out and calls her a dummy in frustration, which especially peeves her and makes her retort that maybe he didn’t consider that the car was the problem, or his awful teaching. He contritely takes back the “dummy” and offers to accept his punishment — and leans in for a kiss.

Seol hardly thinks that’s a suitable punishment, so he says he’ll “take that back” — and leans in to “rescind” his kiss (with another one). Ha! That’s pretty smooth, actually. *Files away for future use.*

Hae-young then goes to the president to ask for his help, and though the latter is surprised, he agrees to let the vote decide the monarchy’s fate. He comments on Hae-young’s “foolishness and courage” at putting up his enormous inheritance, which makes him wish he were on his side. In fact, the president makes the offer for Hae-young to come work for him in the Blue House.

The days go by and two days before the vote, Seol gives an interview with Reporter Yoon. Asked what she’d like to do first if the vote passes, she answers that she’d like “somebody’s” congratulations, skillfully evading his prodding for a name.

Afterward, she’s ushered into the conference room, where Hae-young signs the papers giving up his inheritance to the monarchy. It’s not until afterward that Seol clues into his motivation, as he asks Jung-woo not to make this public until after the vote, because if it were to become news now, people would not be motivated to cast their ballots.

She thanks him, and he says there’s nothing to thank — the money was never his to begin with, and he’d just been greedy for it before. To assure her that he’ll be fine, he reminds her that his diplomat’s pay is pretty good, and he’s got property in his name, “So don’t go running away saying I’m poor now.”

He asks for a prize to reward his nice gesture, and they go out walking the streets together. Seol comments that it’s a pretty weak request — an ordinary streetside date — and he quips, “And what sweeter prize were you thinking to give me, Your Highness Ero-Seol?” HAHA. If only we could see inside her mind…

She asks if he’ll still stick with her if the vote fails, and he teases, “Nope. That princess of Monaco’s really pretty.” Put out, Seol suggests he sets his sights on Princess Fiona instead, green skin and all, who is at least pretty by day. He says he’d rather have Seol, then, since she’s pretty at night too.

Seol corrects him: She’s even prettier at night. He retorts that she’s prettiest when she’s not talking, and Seol tags along after him like a muppet, chirping, “Talk. Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk…” So cute.

They walk along, eating street food, browsing the stands, and playing games. They have to make a break for it when a few bystanders recognize Seol and chase them, clamoring for photos, and manage to escape safely.

However, news footage on a large outdoor screen catches their eye, with the caption indicating that one last scandal has broken out about Seol. This one was spurred by her evasive comments at her recent interview, and has dredged up old footage of Hae-young and Seol together, linking them romantically. The reporter has taken her rather innocent comments and twisted it into a Big Story, on the eve of the vote.

Hae-young’s plan is to use a televised denial of the rumors to do some damage control, but Jung-woo warns that that could have unforeseen detrimental effects. Seol says that she’ll take care of it herself, and films a video message.

Seol: “Hello, citizens, this is Lee Seol. You must have been surprised at the news. To start with the conclusion, I love Park Hae-young. Regarding the doubt about the monarchy, there will be people who believe me and those who do not. However, the truth that does not change is that I love Park Hae-young.”

The video is released, and voting day comes. Some mock it, like the assemblyman and the president, who pose for the cameras as they cast their votes and scoff at her love declaration. An indifferent Yoon-ju sits at home, while her father tells her that he trusts she will make it out to the polls.

At the palace, everyone gathers to watch the news report once the counting begins. Seol sits worriedly, so Hae-young pries her away from the TV and takes to her room, where he leads her in breathing exercises to relax. She catches him sneaking a look at the news on his phone, and eagerly asks for the restuls. With a grim face, he tells her, “It’s over.”

Before she can press him on what that means, Jung-woo enters with the staff on his heels, facing her with an equally solemn face, and tells her to confirm the truth for herself by watching the broadcast. It’s clearly not good news.

We fade out, and then we come back…

TWO YEARS LATER. (I know!)

At a school campus, Seol rides by on her bike, dressed like a normal girl, and mobbed by a group of excited students.

 
COMMENTS

Huh, so the vote didn’t go through? That’s actually a surprise to me, since I thought it was definitely going to pass. In that regard I welcome the surprise, just because it’s one of very few in the story that has been, on the whole, rather predictable.

That predictability is why the uber-cuteness of this episode totally makes this episode for me. We all know that we weren’t watching My Princess for the politics, and when we say “I could watch these two bicker and flirt for the whole series,” it’s not really such a hyperbole since those are the best parts of the drama. So to have an episode chock-full of their teasing, arguing, and making up is as close to perfect an episode of My Princess as you could hope for. The actual plot stuff could’ve fit into five minutes of airtime, but I’m not complaining that they didn’t highlight those more. The only thing to have made it even better would’ve been to give us more Hae-young/Jung-woo male posturing.

As for Yoon-ju and Jung-woo…. (ARGH!) I get the impulse to redeem the baddie, I do. You don’t want to end a rom-com on a downer. But Yoon-ju hasn’t even BEEN redeemed. She learned nothing. It’s not like she stepped down from her job because she realized she was being an evil bitch-bot, or backed off gracefully. She doesn’t deserve her happy ending. If she gets her second chance with Jung-woo, I’m going to be mighty unhappy, although I suppose I can’t feel sympathy for him since he went into it with his eyes wide open.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,