Drama Recaps
The King 2 Hearts: Episode 3
by | March 28, 2012 | 160 Comments

Princey gets mad and Hang-ah gets even. Serves ya right. There’s a little Love Connection, a dash of Speed, some man-on-man, an international incident over underwear, and someone ends up in a body bag. Not necessarily in that order.


Hang-ah cries at Jae-ha’s horrible taunting (post blackmail), and storms into the bathroom. The tears actually take him aback, and he stands there muttering why’d she have to go and cry, like you’re not the schoolboy who just pulled her pigtails.

Meanwhile, Bong-gu sits through a presentation on weapons that tested well in various war-torn countries, and stops to cry at the music playing in the background, noting that his father liked this song. He bursts into tears as if it’s perfectly normal to grieve the father you killed. And then he adds, “Hitler also liked this song.” Okay, Crazy.

Jae-ha tries to make nice with Hang-ah in the gym, and says he heard that she sprained her ankle. So…when she was crying, it was because of the pain, right? Are you actually trying to get out of feeling guilty right now? You don’t get to do that!

He sidles up and tries to tend to her foot back in friend-mode, but she ices him and walks away. He tries again in their room, offering her some of his girlier skincare products, and hooking up a humidifier, to no avail. (How much do I love that Princey travels with his own humidifier to keep his skin soft? Pfft.)

In the war (training) room, the team gathers to talk strategy, and Hang-ah interrupts to confess that she joined this team for the wrong reasons, so she should quit. I cringe for her as she says it out loud—that she joined the team on the promise of her general that he’d find her a man.

This isn’t what he expected, but Jae-ha is quick to help her tell the story and confirm it, and suggests that they all support her decision and help her pack so she can hurry along with the husband-hunting.

But then one by one, the rest of the team pipes up to say that if that’s the case, they have to quit too, since none of them joined for the lofty ideals of reunification and all that—they did it to selfishly advance their military careers.

Kang-seok says he actually DID join for reunification, but then takes Hang-ah’s hand and asks her to stay and lead them anyway. Young-bae adorably takes the other hand, and the three of them sit there holding hands, and Hang-ah smiles, genuinely moved.

Even Dong-ha and Shi-kyung tell her to stay, as Jae-ha deflates. HA. And that’s what being beat at your own game looks like. It required the outing of an embarrassing secret, but now she’s got the respect of the team and Jae-ha’s got nuthin’ on her.

Back in their room, Jae-ha tries pushing his luck anyway and tells her that he’s still not going to do any special training. Surprisingly, she agrees right away, and then even turns to ask him what kind of women men like. Oh, this is gonna be good.

He happily gets back into the gabby advice groove and tells her that north, south, east or west, all men are the same: Number 1 is looks. Doesn’t even matter what numbers 2 through 95 are—she just has to be pretty. Number 2: “Oppa.” Oy. I love how predictable he is.

He demonstrates, “Oppa, you’re so handsome! Oppa, you’re the best!” She nods, taking it all in. Number 3: she has to be understanding… to the point that she accepts anything, no matter if he makes no money or cheats. *facepalm*

Number 4: aegyo, which he demonstrates with balled up fists to his cheeks, just short of puing-puing-ing at her. Number 5: she has to be innocent by day and sexy by night. Why does it always come back to sexy librarian?

She finally asks, “So… those women… do they like YOU?” He guffaws that she ought to know since she studied his file – he’s a PRINCE. Duh. She suddenly switches to banmal, talking down to him: “So without that title, what’ve you got?” Touché.

She mimics him, saying that all women are the same—they want caring, dependable, understanding men—so what could he possibly have to offer a real woman? Ha. She mocks his aegyo right back at him, asking if women follow him around pouting, “Princey, Princey,” but what they’re really doing is laughing behind his back.

She gets under his skin, and it’s awesome watching him squirm when he takes a hit to his pride. Hang-ah: “Tell the truth. You’re scared too, aren’t you… that you’ll never find someone to love you?” He gulps as she names his fears one after the other, and then lands the kicker—that she feels sorry for him. Ouuuuch.

She even cuts off his angry retort: “Are you mad?” like she’s talking to a five-year old. It’s awesome. She says if he’s angry they can duke it out, and taunts him even more, saying that he’s probably scared and looking for a way out like he always does.

She tells him that he has no spirit, no temper, not even any pride. That’s enough to finally make him crack, and he stands up to challenge her. She smiles.

The bet? A treadmill race, and the winner gets a wish. Jae-ha names his right off the bat—that Hang-ah starts packing. They run.

The rest of the team meets for class, and they wonder what’s keeping them. Shi-kyung gets a text from Hang-ah, asking him to cover for them because of the race. Suddenly an explosion rings out, and the team runs to find a soldier with his legs blown to bits after running on a treadmill.

Shi-kyung takes off running. An alarm sounds and everyone is ordered outside, but Hang-ah and Jae-ha ignore it, not wanting to be the first to throw the race. Shi-kyung bursts inside to tell them to stay on… because the treadmills are rigged to blow when they stop.

Hahahaha. Is it Speed for treadmills? HEE.

Startled, Jae-ha nearly trips, but Shi-kyung holds him up to regain his footing. And then suddenly the gym is crawling with the bomb squad, as they run, literally for their lives.

They find pressure sensors inside, so there’s no way to swap out runners, and they can’t even put bulletproof vests on them because of the weight. They just have to run until the bombs can be disarmed, no matter how long it takes.

They start to wear down and tell each other that they didn’t mean all those things before, and give each other encouragement, like “You have pride!” and “You’re sexy!” which is just hysterically ill-fitting for the situation.

Hang-ah’s ankle starts to hurt, so Jae-ha thinks of things to distract them, and asks her to sing a song. So she starts to sing and they all chime in, to keep the runners focused on something else.

Nightfall, and they’re still running. Jae-ha starts murmuring that he can see his father, and Hang-ah tells him to focus on his breathing, and lock his gaze on something in the distance.

As the background fades and they run in slow motion, we hear Hang-ah’s instructions to him in voiceover—to tell himself he’s only going a short distance, to lock down his heart, to be light on his feet, and to ride the rhythm.

They turn to look at each other sweetly. Finally, after hours and hours, they disarm the bombs. Hang-ah is the first to get an okay, and her legs immediately give out while the treadmill is still going. She’s thrown to the ground.

Jae-ha wakes up in the infirmary, and breathes a sigh of relief at waking up alive. He looks over to find Hang-ah sleeping in the bed next to his, her ankle wrapped in bandages.

He hobbles over to her bed and raises his hand slowly. He smoothes the hair out of her face, waking her up with a start. She knocks his hand away brusquely and asks what he’s doing.

He stammers that he was just brushing away her hair, and asks gently if she’s okay. I love it—he thinks they’re friends now, while she’s like, why are you acting nice? Basically he feels closer to her after the trauma, while she retorts, “When’d you have the bombs installed?” HA.

Cut to: debriefing with their generals, where they go back and forth blaming each other for the attack—she suggested the bet, he went to the gym, she said they should train there, he was the one who whined about it being too cold outside, on and on.

They don’t even realize they’re like an old married couple already, ignoring the generals as they continue. He says it has to be the north, while she counters that she wouldn’t bother with such a silly little contraption—she’d just go BOOM! Jae-ha: “Look at that. Look at the way she speaks. She IS a bomb!” Oh, you two.

Meanwhile, Jae-kang hears about the attack on Jae-ha and that he’s okay. He’s asked to meet with M Society, and though Secretary Eun advises against it, Jae-kang says they have to be dealt with at some point.

Bong-gu greets the king excitedly, wanting to start with a magic trick, while Jae-kang remains stone-faced. Bong-gu plays with his cards as he asks about the attack on the WOC. Jae-kang takes that as confirmation that he’s behind it, but Bong-gu laughs that no, he just sells the bombs; he doesn’t use them.

And then he adds the vague question why the bombs were used—a warning? No, then at least thirty would be dead. Boredom? Getting rid of surplus product? Jae-kang asks if that’s why his father died—boredom or getting rid of surplus.

Bong-gu ends his card trick by revealing one card on the table. He turns it over and it’s a tarot card for Justification. “Nowadays, the stronger the country, the more highly they regard justification. But the second they find one, they go all the way. No one can stop them.”

Just then, Jae-kang receives a phone call—it’s Secretary Eun, alerting him to the fact that the U.S. and China have made a political issue over the bombs. They’ve ordered an inspection of all military training facilities. Jae-kang looks up at Bong-gu, who beams.

And then in no time, the North Korean base is crawling with UN officials from China and the States, and I swear, I’d rather hear real actors mangle the language than to have the parade of wooden acting march through and shoot me right out of the narrative. Sigh.

They toss the base upside-down, basically treating everyone like a criminal. Jae-ha sits by, enduring it because he’s told that South Korea signed off on it.

As they search the rooms, they find Hang-ah’s locked case, the one she keeps her underwear in, and order her to open it. She hesitates, saying they can x-ray it to make sure it doesn’t have anything dangerous, but they refuse.

She and the case get hauled up to the officials, sitting in a room with Jae-ha. And then when she protests, the official from the U.S. accuses her of being a spy because she cried, according to security footage. (What, did you get a matrix-download of all the CCTVs in the time it took her to walk down the hall?)

His argument: that tears are a woman’s weapon (BARF) and that makes her a spy. WUT? Anyone got a harpoon handy? What’s with the rampant sexism, assface? C’mere, I’ll show you a weapon.

They order her to open the case. She looks up at Jae-ha, who turns away. Aw, say it ain’t so, Jae-ha. She resigns herself and starts to undo the combination lock…

Suddenly Jae-ha asks, casual as you please, “Hey, when’s the cafeteria close? Is it Ramyun Day? Let’s go eat.” He takes the case, grabs her wrist, and marches her right out of the room.

It’s a sweet gesture, because she might have the upper hand in everything else, but in matters of diplomacy, Princey’s got a little more weight. It’s not like she needs rescuing in that kind of situation, but it’s his choice to help her preserve her dignity, which is sweet.

The officials chase after them, threatening to pull their team from the WOC. But Jae-ha turns back unfazed, countering that it’s a worldwide competition—do they own the world? He guesses that they didn’t even go through the proper UN channels.

“So what are the rest of the countries? Your bridesmaids?” He says this is a case where they should be asking nicely if they can conduct an inspection, not bulldozing them, “You sons of bitches!”

Heeeee. It’s so satisfying to hear him swear at them. Hang-ah grins. Even Shi-kyung looks proud and amazed, if a little taken aback.

After being sworn at by their translators (Haha, why is being sworn at second-hand inherently funnier?) they change their tactic and ask if they can be allowed to inspect. Jae-ha gets right up in his face to say, “No. Get out.” He turns back and takes Hang-ah by the hand as they walk away. Nice.

Jae-kang poses for a royal portrait as he’s told about Jae-ha’s outburst. “Son… of a… bitch?” At first you think he’s going to blow, but then he bursts into laughter, over and over again. Heh. He’s so randomly cute sometimes.

Bong-gu sits around playing with his magic tricks and fumes that North and South Koreas are on a crash course with each other, but the king keeps getting in the way. A lizard is his royal metaphor of choice today, and he picks it up, “But you still think you’re a dragon.”

Back at the base, Jae-ha’s ego has ballooned proportionately of course, as he chatters on through battle simulation that his outburst was really a carefully-laid plan, not just a temper flare. Uh-huh.

Kang-seok makes a move to shield him from something, getting up close and personal as a result. Are you guys gonna kiss? Jae-ha: “And what position is this?” Um, I’d call it man-on-man? Ship-to-barnacle? They take an awkward pause before detaching.

Still fixated on his own awesomeness, he asks Shi-kyung what he thought of the UN outburst. He just gets a silent thumbs-up, and Jae-ha gripes that he’s always too cool for school. Hidden out of view, Shi-kyung smiles to himself. Aw, you are so gonna be besties someday.

He asks Dong-ha, who heard about it from Young-bae, who heard about it from Hang-ah. Jae-ha grins ear to ear at that, and calls out her name… just in time for her to answer him with a simulation bullet to the heart. Bam. He does not look happy about being dead. She sticks out her tongue, just to rub it in.

I love that they role-play to the point that she puts him in a body bag, while crows circle overhead. Heh, nice touch. As she starts zipping him up, he argues, “You can’t do this to me. If it weren’t for me, your panties would be exposed all over the place!”

She zips it all the way up over his blabbering head, and as he shouts to be let out, she stands up and says under her breath, “Thank you.” Aw. But he doesn’t hear it of course: “What? Kim Hang-ah! Are you swearing at me? I heard you!” Pffffft.

Kang-seok sits in front of the tv, mesmerized by something… which turns out to be a SNSD video (because Jae-ha had insisted on having a South Korean tv feed to make life bearable on the base).

He literally gets hypnotized by the dancing girls, and struggles not to fall in love, but it’s a losing battle. When Jae-ha walks in, he turns the tv off and starts doing weird chair-sit-ups like a crazy man. This whole sequence is killing me.

When he leaves, Jae-ha flips on the tv and just about dies when he realizes what’s going on. Kang-seok confesses his troubles to Hang-ah: “Ever since that day, those girls’ legs won’t leave my brain for a moment.”

He tells her he’s done all manner of things to try and excise them, to no avail. Hang-ah: “Ahhhh, SNSD.” The seriousness with which they speak of his affliction is So. Funny.

Hang-ah’s father gets an update on her progress from the North Korean general, who also happens to mention that her true concern is in finding a match, and tells him about the deal to get her to join the team.

It weighs on him, and he decides to throw her name into the mix of potential brides for Jae-ha after all. Jae-kang looks over the various profiles, and Secretary Eun says that these are the best candidates.

Jae-kang says what’s important is Jae-ha’s heart: “It’s not the Joseon era, after all.” Uh, says the king arranging a political marriage for his brother? Anyway, he calls Jae-ha, who greets him doughnut in his piehole, as usual.

He postures in front of his hyung like almost getting killed with a bomb was no biggie, and he’s only saying this now, but he actually lied about his height (by a centimeter, ha) and played around because he didn’t want to threaten his hyung’s throne. “Everyone knows I’m handsome, talented, and smart—I’m way more king material than you are.”

I have no idea how Jae-kang endured a lifetime of being this kid’s hyung. This whole video conference kills me—it’s the little things, like the fact that he’s saying all this with a ring of doughnut powder all over his mouth.

So Jae-kang finally broaches the subject—isn’t he going to get married? Jae-ha immediately deflects, asking if he’s having trouble conceiving. He goes on and on about how hyung is no spring chicken anymore, and he needs to secure a line of succession, otherwise Jae-ha’s next in line, and that’s a big no-no.

Jae-kang: “What about Kim Hang-ah?” Jae-ha still thinks they’re talking about hyung, and gapes, wondering what he’s going to do about his wife then. Hahaha. He sighs like an ajumma that he heard mid-life crises are scary, but two households? And with a North Korean woman at that?

Jae-kang laughs, “Not for me. For YOU. To marry.”


Cut to Hang-ah, who’s hearing the same proposal from Dad. She’s like, of all the men in the entire world, this is the one you find?! Dad tells her that there’s nothing to say that her husband need be from their own country. Hang-ah: “Fine, then what about Brad Pitt? Bring Obama then!”

Back to Jae-ha, who collects himself and deadpans that Hang-ah is AWESOME—she’s got a great personality, her skin is nice and rough, she’s super strong, she’s got a great personality…. Jae-kang reads loud and clear, “Is she really that bad?”

He keeps going, “No! No! She’s great! Would we live in the south? Uh-huh, uh-huh. Yeah we can live down there, and she can help Mom, and we can send our leftover rice to the north! Yeah!” Gack! I’m cringing and I’m laughing.

He goes on and on, finally ending with her poison needles and how she’ll kill them all in their sleep. “I’m sorry, hyung, but no matter how much I love her, I can’t watch you die.” He hangs up.

What? I’m sorry, did you just say, No matter how much I love her?

Dude, you are so busted.

Hang-ah walks out of her meeting with Dad reeling from the crazy, only she stops to think for a second about Jae-ha. She remembers the hand-grazing, and the underwear rescue, and the dream-kiss…

But then the thoughts are swiftly replaced by his taunting, and him saying that she’s not a woman. She shakes it off that she’d be crazy. Her thoughts are interrupted by a snowball attack—it’s Shi-kyung, who’s playing in the snow with the rest of the team.

He asks her to join them. It’s then that she flashes back to Dad asking that fine, if not the prince, then is there anyone around her who could be a prospect? She looks back out at Shi-kyung, and thinks back to his swoony song. She decides to join the game, and launches a snowball at the back of his head.

Jae-ha walks by and sees them playing and scoffs, but then stops when he remembers that hyung said Hang-ah’s father was giving her the same proposal. Suddenly he can’t help but be curious what she said in response.

He watches as she flirts with Shi-kyung, actually bearing his teeth when he sees Shi-kyung brush the snow off her leg. He’s like, that’s it, and gathers up all the snow he can. Hang-ah calls out to Shi-kyung, but Jae-ha comes up behind her… and dumps a bucket of snow on her head. HA.

You are such a child. She turns around with a big dollop of snow on her head like a hat, as he asks, “Is this your plan?” She has no idea what he’s talking about, but he says sure, it must seem nice—royal marriage and all, “But making me jealous? Isn’t that a little childish?”

Pfffft. Genius you are not.

Hang-ah: “Jealous?” He keeps blathering on, but she just blinks, “What do you mean, jealous?” It finally dawns on him that he’s showing his hand.

“Is this you, being jealous?” He just stares blankly, wishing he could take back the words. She puts a hand on his shoulder in sympathy, “Do you like me that much?”

It’s delightfully patronizing. He scoffs that she’s crazy, but it’s too late for that, and she just runs back to Shi-kyung with a skip in her step. Jae-ha watches them play, fuming with jealousy.


I was sure that they wouldn’t keep us waiting too long to turn the romantic tables, since letting Jae-ha’s mockery just lie there any longer would’ve made us start hating the hero, but even just one episode later, it’s so satisfying to see Hang-ah outwardly regaining the upper hand. Inwardly, their feelings seem to be pretty equal, though I think she’s aware and chooses not to like him, while he’s totally unaware but spazzing left and right—one minute he’s yelling at the bully who’s being mean to her and then the next he’s back to pulling her pigtails. I like that every time we think they’re headed one way, one of them takes a sharp left turn.

I really love the banter between them—it’s been a while since I’ve really liked a version of the classic hate-banter, which is a standby rom-com trope of course, but isn’t often done successfully. But when the wits are matched, and especially when there’s no fear of making the characters look ridiculous or absurd, then you can mine some really great moments, just in pure back-and-forth rapid-fire dialogue. I love that they’re equally witty and idiotic—sometimes when Jae-ha is doing the same bantering with his hyung it cracks me up even more, because he’s even less guarded with him. The fact that the drama doesn’t consider anyone too precious to be made into an absolute fool is what makes the tone work.

But the drama’s not without its faults, of course. There are extended stretches of time spent with the villain that I’m not sure are all that useful, besides which most of them being populated with cringeworthy dayplayers. He’s interesting as an absurd archvillain, but I think villains are always best in small doses; otherwise they lose their scary factor. Less is always more there, and I wish we’d focus on the interesting and legitimately creepy moments with Bong-gu and skip the rest of the crap.

I think Jae-kang is used judiciously as a character, because I feel the king’s presence, but never too much to detract from the main plot. I do love every brotherly interaction so I could do with more of that, but I’m sure we’ll get to that once he’s back from training. Shi-kyung is another character I want more of, and I’m glad that Hang-ah sees something in him by the end of the episode. Even if he’s just a stand-in to get Jae-ha’s jealousy motor revving (plotwise, not her intentions) I think they’re a cute pair.

At first I just assumed that Jae-ha and Hang-ah would hate each other and be forced to marry anyway, but I really like this new development—maybe there won’t be any forcing after all? Or maybe they’ll both pretend to give in like it’s the end of the world? Convenient, when arranged marriages let you preserve your pride that way.


160 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. missbess

    Lovin’ it!

  2. shbeckles

    Yay! Have been refreshing obsessively for this!

  3. Joo

    Thanks for the recap, GF!! Will start reading now 😀

    • 3.1 Joo

      Our Jaeha-Hangah couple is one cute couple!! The scene where both of them were bickering in front of the generals was really cute! Definitely one of my favourites! Though I have to say, my favourite LOL moment in this episode was the scene where Kang-seok swooned over SNSD and felt soooo troubled over it that he had to talk with Hang-ah about it with a face that looked like he’s been diagnosed with some terminal illness and will be dying within a month. Haha!

      I love that the scriptwriter and director manage to keep TK2H entertaining and heart-warming with comedic scenes, cute interaction between our leads and the bromance between the king and prince and within the WOC team, given that the context of this drama is actually quite serious and some issues brought up are quite sensitive. Hope the story continues to go strong. I don’t mind angst if it’s written well and I do look forward to more intense scenes but hope they add in a few funny scenes to balance off the angst. Can’t wait to watch the next episode!

      • 3.1.1 Linda165

        Poor Kang-seok, he never saw that coming. Kpop does that to you…

        • kewbie

          I like how Kang-seok thinks reading political theory and jumping in the river could cure him from (over)thinking about 9 girls with long legs in short shorts dancing and singing, “Tell me your wish.” What a guy. 😉

  4. tisha

    yahooo! thanks!

  5. Osi

    Oh, jae ha, can I wipe your lips which are full of donuts powder with my……..lips?!!!!!
    Thank you for the recaps GF.

  6. kbap

    Thank you, loving it so far! 😛

  7. Ivoire

    Thank you! It’s here!!!!!

  8. topper

    Nothing like bonding over bombs and underwear, LOL. I also found the moments with the villain on this episode to be too wasteful.

    Watching Kang-seok trying so hard to restrain kicking his feet in tandem with SNSD cracked me up so hard haha.

    This show is treading in political minefields not just on screen but potentially off screen too, given that the north-south situation is now still so volatile. Anticipating the next episode where there is more action and conflict.

  9. Quiet Thought

    Still excellent, nice pace, beautiful faces in close-up, still true that “No one sweats like Ha Ji Won.”

    A few bytes of dumb thrown in . . . a woman who speaks Korean and works for a Korean, but doesn’t know Korea has a monarchy . . . a North Korean woman who has been in the military all her adult life but is willing to risk an international incident to keep someone from searching her luggage and seeing her clean underwear . . . a Korean man in his thirties who has never had sexual thoughts before. And LSG still pushing the donut commercials.

    LSG really good at holding up his end of the drama and comedy. Not quite getting the Korean nationalist rah-rah thing, but, then, I’m an American.

    • 9.1 topper

      Actually if for sexual thoughts you mean Kang-Seok, it’s more of struggling against the capitalist popular culture. More of a societal difference referral rather than something overtly sexual in nature.

    • 9.2 jomo

      I had the same thought – she’s a soldier!
      Why does she care that it is her underwear?
      But I think at that point it was more of a F-U angry thing.
      How dare they tear the rooms apart?
      How dare they force her to open the luggage?
      How dare they not trust her?

      • 9.2.1 Dorotka

        Yeah, I also thought what is all the fuss about some underwear? But your explanation makes much more sense and I think you are right. Although I still find the UN scene over the top.

    • 9.3 MsGB

      I thought that was crazy too. You understand korean (even if you may or may not speak it), you kissed a korean, you’re drinking juice from a korean guy’s cup watching him do magic tricks in his home which, as it so happens, to be in korea but you don’t know korea has a king?

      So……….yeah this is gonna end up being my new drama crack………….mix with arsenic. Very addicitive aaaaand it just might end up killing me!!

  10. 10 Eva

    Thank you GF for the recap! Aside from loving this show, I really love reading your smart comments and how I wish I can write the way you are. You are blessed with such a great talent! Can’t wait for tonight ^_^

  11. 11 Ace

    Thank you! Lee Seung-gi, I heart you! Glad you’re doing another drama that I like…

  12. 12 Joy

    Thank you!

    Yay! I too loving the banter between the two of them. And our King of Jerk is showing his manly side and his unconcious jealous side is intereresting. 🙂

  13. 13 fangirl98

    K2H is an absolute gem! Let’s hope it stays this way!

  14. 14 manassuper

    love this drama .TK2H THE BEST DRAMA so far. ha ji won and lee sung gi are amazing.

  15. 15 L

    Thank you for the recap! Jae Ha and Hang Ah are sooooooooooo cute!!!!

  16. 16 Ivoire

    I have never seen Lee Seun Gi act, I have only seen him in 1N2D. I did read however some of the comments made about whether his playing against an actress 9 years older than him would work. I went into watching this drama with an open mind, not knowing what to expect.
    I have to say that I think Lee is doing a great job! I love most of all how his face is sooooo easy to read. He emotes really well and he can be funny (at his own expense) and dramatic. I feel that he is meeting the other actors (and actress) at their level of acting. I am enjoying seeing him in this, and I would have a hard time imagining the other actors who rejected his role in his place now. I am sure they could do a good job, I just like Lee in this role, so far (very much).
    I always love it when an actor/actress emotes really well, because it helps figure out what is going on, especially when like me, you don’t fully understand Korean (yet, I am slowly working on it). You can use the actor/actress body language and facial expressions to read the situations, to relate or try to understand the character and then come to a blog like this one to get the nuances about the speech, the interactions, the culture, the meta references, etc…(basically all the things you missed, didn’t catch or didn’t understand).

    Thank you again, so much for your hard work. We do appreciate it. I truly appreciate it when you point out the details such as when they switch from formal to informal speech, or explain why in a particular scene, something that happened was important based on the Korean way of living or interacting. (What I am trying to say is that some times we see a scene or an interaction and we don’t think much of it, until you guys let us know that in a Korean context, what just happened was important because….[filling in the blanks])

    • 16.1 Ivoire

      Also, I LOVE Shi-Kyung, the character and the actor who plays the role. I find him cute, adorable (and attractive) and I like his sense of service, his dedication (how he worked extra hard to cover for the prince in the last episode) and what seems to be his devotion to the team and to the Ha Ji Won character as the leader. I can’t wait to see the princess and to see if there will be some sparks between her and Shi-Kyung. Shi-kyung (the way he looks) keeps reminding me of the prosecutor in City Hunter. I know they don’t look exactly the same, but there is a resemblance (in my eyes).
      *Rave over*

      • 16.1.1 Kit

        That’s so true! I immediately thought of the prosecutor in City Hunter too! I think they have a similar type of look. :))

        • Ivoire

          Right? Hee, Hee, Hee…

      • 16.1.2 Cruelsummer

        He is adorable. I too can’t wait to see him interract with the princess. I hope I’m not disappointed.

        • JoAnne

          It’s funny how I didn’t think he was very attractive in What’s Up (but loved him anyway for personality and singing) – he was a bit funny looking to me, one of those comic faces. Now he looks quite handsome in this role. I am always so impressed by the actor who can alter my perception of his physicality – it’s another layer or level of skill entirely.

          • Cruelsummer

            This is exactly why I’m impressed with Lee Seungi. I don’t understand it, but I like it.

        • Ivoire

          Hi Cruelsummer :-). There is something about shi-Kyung that makes me want to go: awwww…. when I see him, especially in the way he looks at Ha Ji-won (just realized I mispelled her name in my comment below, sorry!). He is sooo adorable here!!!!

          • Ivoire

            I also like him because his facial expressions and body language are easy to read as well.

          • Ivoire

            I hope Shi-Kyung gets all flustered when he sees the princess and when he interacts with her. I also LOVE Ha Ji-won acting cute and being flirtatious. Brings a smile to my face 🙂

      • 16.1.3 katiamon

        I love Shi-kyung tooo! he’s so charming in his own way =)

        • Ivoire

          Right?… Exactly!!! I look at him, and (especially when he looks at the Ha Ji Woon character, can’t remember her name right now and I don’t want to mispel it), his face conveys that gentleness and tenderness I love seeing on a guy’s face. His character seems to be the kind of guy that would totally be committed to the woman he falls in love with.
          I don’t know why, but part of me wonders if he is going to have to go through heartbreaks? Such characters very often do in Kdramas, and I hate seeing 2nd (cute, adorable, I-will-do-almost-anything-for-you) leads suffer in kdramas and not get the girl. I think it is soooo sad when that happens. If they don’t get the female lead (and we know they don’t), at least give them an alternate happy ending with someone as good or better is all I am saying. They deserve some happiness too, more so than the male lead in my book.
          Oh… Sunbae Jihoo (BOF), I was rooting for you all the way to the end. (Luckily, you have Cynthia to console you :-). She seems crazy about you… Hopes that makes up for not getting Jandi 🙂 )

  17. 17 yingz

    3 drama recaps in a day! it must be tough to keep churning out the recaps right after the airing for two consecutive days (for the entire drama run).

    wanna do a vote to choose which drama recap to postpone?

  18. 18 jomo

    Thank you for the recap!
    I love your last screen cap. That was one of the times my little heart skipped a beat seeing the REAL attraction between them despite what they THINK is going on.

    I don’t know why but I was really touched by the finale of the treadmill/bomb scenario. I could feel how physically done she was, and how emotionally exhausted they both were, but still that Princey was concerned with her. It’s a great show that gets you in non-romantic moments like that.

    God, I LOVE him not wanting to LOVE her when really he LOVES her. Her getting him to see that he wasn’t that great a catch made me cheer, too. Upper hand, it is hers.

    And yes, he does ONE good thing, and cannot let it go. “Hey, everyone! Look at MEEEEE!” Till you wish he had just stood there and done nothing. Beautifully written fall-out for that character. Very believable.

    Don’t you love the tinkly romantic theme they play? Usually they recall those moments with a wordy love theme that has meaningful lyrics (that I never get). It’s different for it to be instrumental – it sounds like something from Pride and Prejudice. It comes it lightly, swirls around for a little, then just fades…

    Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  19. 19 ryuu99

    overall good episode.

    but i think they spent too much time on the “unity between north and south” themes and the loveline plot, kinda get draggy. i mean, not really draggy but you know what i mean.

    and i don’t like how they always end the episodes. like the first one Hang Ah’s threat then suddenly she was actually joking or on the second one Jae Ha being too mean and then voila he was actually concerned when she cried.

    i want one of those cliffhanger endings that actually impact the story a la Tree With Deep Roots, and please focus more on the overarching plot.

    overall, i would just like to get the plot/story going. in this episode in just reinforced the things that were already explored in the earlier episodes, like Jae Ha being a blunt guy who speaks his mind but is caring deep down, etc.

    it’s still the best drama currently airing, but i hope next episode would have more action and drama going on. wasn’t too excited about the treadmill scene ’cause i think we all saw the outcome from a mile away (i mean, they’re the two leads…of course it’s not going to set off on them).

    on a side note, i totally see this drama going the JSA (korean movie) route.

    • 19.1 jomo

      Please by “going the JSA route” I hope you don’t mean me feeling gutted and crying for an hour after it’s over!!!!!!!!!

      • 19.1.1 jomo

        By the way, I strongly recommend JSA!
        It is one of those films that everyone else references when talking about North/South relations. It is especially pertinent for this show.

        To say it affected me that much is a good thing.
        Director Park Chan-wook’s made a big splash into international cinema ocean and won about fifty awards.
        He’s the director that made all of the Korean films you have heard of, including Oldboy and Thirst.

        Despite the actors being at the start of their careers, you can see how awesome they are even then.

        Lee Byung Hun (Bittersweet Life), Song Kang-ho (every movie ever made and MINE), Shin Ha-kyun (Brain), Lee Young-ae (Jang Geum)

    • 19.2 Ivoire

      Sorry to ask, but is the “JSA” route? Thank you!

      • 19.2.1 ryuu99

        JSA is a movie i think from 2000, stars the guy from IRIS. it’s a story of 4 soldiers who stand guard at the border, 2 from South and 2 from North, all became friends while on their jobs and the unfolding of the mystery as to how 1 of the 2 North soldiers got killed by a gunshot.

        it was a really moving and touching movie. i like The King right now, and i don’t know why people think that “it’s getting angtsy therefore the ratings have dropped”, but all throughout drama history the ones with the conflict and melodrama tend to always top the charts. just look at The Moon Embracing. the love story and plot isn’t as surreal and comical like The King yet it got more than twice the viewer share on the same timeslot.

        i’d rather have the heavier plot and conflict from now on. i don’t want a drama with cutesy crap and cringe-worthy boy-meets-girl cliche for this drama. i just want it to be more realistic and less comical ’cause sometimes the “bickering” feels so out of place.

        like in JSA, there’s that heavy undertone all throughout the movie of the conflict between North and South. in this one the events just feel so superficial. i can pass up the South Korea monarchy thing because Korea has a rich history of monarchs. but the idea of a WOC (a competition that does not exist), and on top of that the talks of arranged marriage, it just make it so fake and superficial, borderline ridiculous. i want this drama to feel more grounded to reality. i can understand the over-the-top personalities of Jae ha and the villain, etc. since it’s a drama, but just the events surrounding the characters (so far) seems too mehhhh.

        • gka

          …don’t watch it then if you don’t like it.

          • ryuu99

            then next time try to learn how to read first. i said i like it. even said out of all the dramas airing right now it is the best. what i’m saying is that this drama needs to pick up its plot fast to get the viewers hooked.

  20. 20 Mena

    Thank you. I agree with you less of that magician guy, he is taking away our OTP screen time. Just DAEBAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 20.1 topper

      I feel that he is essential plot-wise, but should have been written better, cooler and deeper. Like a Heath Ledger Joker, rather than a Jack Nicholson Joker.

      • 20.1.1 jomo

        Good comparison.

        It’s fine if you are going to go with crazy face nasty villain, but don’t make him so outside the audience’s sympathy we just want him to DIE NOW.
        Unless he is funny. Oooh! Like Alan Rickman in Die Hard or any of his bad guy roles.

        • Mystisith

          Alan Rickman in Die Hard or even in Robin Hood “i want to tear off his heart with a teaspoon. Because it’s more painful!”. My kind of vilain.

          • Jomo

            No discussion about AR is complete without this clip from Family Guy.


          • topper

            Hi Mystisith and jomo, you two are awesome. LOL

  21. 21 Dewo

    Yeahhh….I love it, show.
    Thanks for the recap, it’s almost like I’m watching it with my own eyes.

  22. 22 jae

    thanks for recaps girlfriday, jae ha princey is so cute… ^^

  23. 23 Raine

    Thanks GF for the recap! Been waiting for this! Was watching it live yesterday and I’m already enjoying it without understanding what they’re saying hehe

    I’m totally in love with the OTP, they have great chemistry <3 Can't wait for today's episode, looks intense and action-packed!

    Off to read recap ^_^

  24. 24 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! When I was watching the treadmill bomb incident, I was totally thinking of Speed too! The treadmill bomb incident was really awesome. I got tears in my eyes watching everyone root Hang-ah and Jae-ha on and watching Hang-ah and Jae-ha root for each other as they run for hours. And it turns out that Jae-ha is made of sterner stuff. I also loved the scene where Hang-ah puts Jae-ha in his place. It was very well done. She was calm and gave a well-reasoned argument that cut to the core of how empty Jae-ha is. And the two have great chemistry! I would love for them to be comrades first and then a romantic couple.

    There were a few things that bugged me though. I agree that the villain scenes were long. He doesn’t really do much except be creepy. The Chinese/American/UN visit was also awkwardly done. And I disliked the fact that Hang-ah was willing to risk the Koreas losing its place in the WOC all for her frilly underwear. (She must do her laundry in the dark of night when no one else is doing laundry. ) And why are the Chinese and Americans and soldiers from the UN all men? What year is this? If there was at least one woman there, she could have taken that woman aside and shown her the secret luggage.

    • 24.1 sally_b

      @asianromance: re: *And why are the Chinese and Americans and soldiers from the UN all men? What year is this? If there was at least one woman there, she could have taken that woman aside and shown her the secret luggage.*

      amen sister. I had a dear friend from High School…. from a family with genrations of military service– Female…who chose to become MP (military police).

      She was not manly/aggressive or brutish in any way…yet, she was a kick-ass soldier and police-person. This IS a new century and YES!! ma’am they would have had a female officer available to ‘check the luggage for panties’.

      Sigh…Korean dramas …you make me shake my head sometimes.

      • 24.1.1 jumbalaya

        haha if there was a female officer than the scene would not have been that interesting.

        but,yes, I see what you’re saying. You’ve spotted a plot hole.

  25. 25 dramaboy

    seunggi swearing and flipping out at the un inspectors was so funny and refreshing to watch, more so since that bullying attitude pretty much accurately reflects what the big countries use the international bodies like the un for…i never thought id see the day when the word “bitch” was used in kdrama…they should really cut down on the scenes with the bong-gu and the foreigners with the magic scenes, and focus more on the ha jiwon – seunggi storyline

    • 25.1 crizzyville

      LSG swearing is so out of his real, non-drama persona which makes watching it such a precious thing to watch (i’m havent even watched episode 3, reading this recap got me imagining already). his wild and outrageous behavior is so fun to watch i wanna pinch him in the cheeks and mess up his hair… lol

    • 25.2 jumbalaya

      I agree with you, they should cut down on the magic bong gu scenes…i feel as if they’re not really going anywhere with it and is just unecessarily creeping us out. there is some mystery element, like the group that killed the original club m boss, but they aren’t showed too much so I can’t understand how they will relate to the story at hand…

      • 25.2.1 Alice

        Guys, there is no drama without a villain, right? And the crazy villain here only got two or three scenes per episode so far, that’s why I am not complaining.

  26. 26 nuri

    This show is amazing. I already imagine another split daesang this year. Its MBC after all.

    Seunggi and Ha Ji Won’s chemistry is amazing. He’s hot, she’s sexy and they looked great together.

  27. 27 trixicopper

    I’m having such a good time watching this drama! There are so many laugh out loud moments. I’m loving it!

    Thanks GF 🙂

  28. 28 h311ybean

    Thanks for the recap! The royal marriage thing (and all the related romancey stuff) coming up relatively quickly in the story was a good twist.

    Also, is it just me, or does the pic up there of Bong-gu (with the lizard) look a lot like Na PD?

  29. 29 sita

    thaaaanks 😀

  30. 30 Salie

    thank you! 🙂

  31. 31 imoan.naomi

    These recaps awesome (thank you GirlFriday), but if you aren’t WATCHING this show, then you should definitely start. You’ll love this show even more.

  32. 32 Shafa

    yes!!!! ive been waiting for this recap like forever… totally obsess over this drama…

  33. 33 Rini

    From the start i have an inkling feeling of a plot twist im sure we are inching closer n closer to, i feel Jae-Kang is going to be killed, and jae ha wil be forced into being a “king”. A lot of things point to this: 1) jae-ha’s usual line “i dont want to be king”, 2) jae-kang teling jae-ha when he was little that if he dies jae-ha is king, 3) jae-kang not yet having a heir, 4) the posters that show jae-ha wearing a king suit! 🙁 i really feel this plot twister coming!

    • 33.1 Rini

      and 5) the crazy dude just talked about the king being in the way -_-” . As a plot i feel this will be the main catalyst that makes our hero Jae-Ha become responsible etc

  34. 34 clover

    The more I see Lee Seung-gi in dramas the more I like him. I actually like seeing him grow into being ‘manly’. I can’t wait until he gets to the ‘sexy ajusshi’ stage. *rowr*

  35. 35 mihinikki

    I HATE HATE HATE watching raw, even partially raw, but I just had to for K2H. Sooooo loving this show, but I agree the villain has too much screen time. The one scene with the king would have sufficed. One more though…Jae ha I KNEW you weren’t all evil! You were totally unprepared for how much you’d hurt Hang ah. All is forgiven, especially for being so awesomely angry, take-chargey, adorable, and childish for the rest of the episode. I’m pretty easy for Puppy 😉

  36. 36 crizzyville

    ” The fact that the drama doesn’t consider anyone too precious to be made into an absolute fool is what makes the tone work.”

    definitely will agree on this… i love both actors and watching their characters going from being tough to emotional, from straight-faced to being ridiculous, from looking scary to being really funny is a real delight; in my opinion, the characters are well-rounded and realistic… what can i say, both really deserved for their respective roles despite earlier prejudice on their chemistry (age-wise)… i cant imagine any other actors being casted as the leads… HJW and LSG really are working hard and it shows… btw, their intimate and touching moments really get to me… aww… the chemistry!

    GF, thanks for the recap… i really enjoyed it a lot.. well done dear!

    • 36.1 jumbalaya

      I agree, the fact that everyone’s embarrassed, that there is no prefect flawless (you know, the pure good and innocent) protagonist here. In this sense, the idea for this drama is pretty new. People hardly challenge the perfect/near prefect hero.
      What’s even more interesting is that if there is a hero who is yet to become one, this hero usually changes with the appearance of someone he loves. princey has his moments, but is still immature. (as usual) 🙂

  37. 37 Janet

    one thought – could the whole jelly donut thing be a reference to the JFK “ich bin ein berliner”? since the fall of the Wall did kick off the drama… or maybe i’m reading too much into this. haha 😀

    Gawd, I forgot how much I loved assy/cute Seung-gi. And Ha Jiwon is just plain awesome 😀

    • 37.1 ryuu99


    • 37.2 Ivoire

      I’m sorry I didn’t get it: what does the JFK reference has to do with the jelly donut? How are they related?

      • 37.2.1 jomo

        JFK visited Berlin with his wife when he was president, made a political response to Nikita Khrushchev and friends putting up the Berlin wall. One of the things in his speech was “Ich bin ein Berliner” which some have said meant “I am a jelly doughnut.”


        Now they are saying he didn’t make reference to being a jelly doughnut, that it was something the humor people took and ran.

      • 37.2.2 Linda165

        The funny thing is that he, supposedly, was trying to say “I am a citizen of Berlin”, but ended up saying “I’m a jelly donut”.

    • 37.3 Linda165

      No, I think they’re just selling donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts is a sponsor.

      • 37.3.1 Cruelsummer

        …and it’s working. I want a donut every time I watch this friggin’ show.

        • Ivoire

          Ha, ha,ha…. Funny! Food can be hard to resist, huh?

          • Ivoire

            Reading all these comments about donuts (and reading the info on the wikipedia page mentioned by Jomo) made me want to eat some jelly donuts too 🙂

      • 37.3.2 momosa

        What an awesome co-incidence!

  38. 38 em

    Love the 3rd episode. I can’t stop laughing.Quite entertaining.

  39. 39 dea

    Girlfriday, thank you for the recap. Watched it raw so I barely understood, but from the facial expressions of the actors; I really enjoyed episode 3 (except the Bong Gu’s scenes)

    My most favorite scene is the treadmill scene. Here we have Jae Ha who didn’t realize that he hurt Hang Ah by throwing such hurtful words (and telling everyone her deepest secrets) and Hang Ah who didn’t want to forgive JH after what he did; battle it out in the treadmill. They started as rivals but ended up sticking together for the sake of the bombs which’re planted in the treadmills. The way JH supported HA by encouraging her to sing a song and cares for her by asking her if she’s okay is sweet. I believe HA is touched by his gesture, but obviously she still holds grudges against him.

    John Mayer / Bong Gu scenes are still over-the-top for me. The writer needs to cut it down as at the moment we don’t have any reason to hate his crazy weird character. They’ve introduced him last episode, so please no more “gecko” or weirdo scene.

    Instead of Boong Gu’s scenes, they should introduce Jae Shin’s character and more Shi Gyung’s scenes please. We need to know more about his characters.

  40. 40 Ranter

    Thanks for the recap. Crazily in love with the drama and the 2 main leads. Awesome !

  41. 41 Noelle

    NICE! I rejoice in the pawning of Princey! Yea, he did make up for it but still, awesome seeing him be all apologetic and losing big.

    I love Shi Kyung. It sucks his heart might very well be broken into small pieces. OH! The sister could be a love interest.

    I would have to disagree about the villain screen time. I don’t mind the amount he gets because Bong Gu is turning into such a scene stealer for me. His antics always crack me up. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him. But I do get what your saying. If we do see too much of him the scare factor could be taken out. But he is so nutty that I don’t think watching him would ever become bland or less scary. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

    • 41.1 Noelle

      Oh and also what was with the turning of foreigners into sexist assholes? Come on drama, really? Really? That was sucky.

      • 41.1.1 topper

        It didn’t spur the sexist rage in me, more the rage that the Koreans have always been political pawn for the 2 world powers.

        • jomo

          Well put.

      • 41.1.2 Quiet Thought

        The sexist chatter from the Americans seemed bizarre to me, as well, considering that the American armed services have been gender-integrated for decades and the American state department has had female leadership for most of that time. A lot of Korean TV writers don’t seem to know all that much about the United States.

        • jumbalaya

          It did seem bizarre and out of place, but I guess the producers are just exagerrating for a story line.

      • 41.1.3 mlsurban

        I guess it’s ok for the Prince to be sexist to Jae Ha, but if foreignors do so then it’s not ok. So I guess nationalism trumps sexism.

  42. 42 pinkpia

    Jae Ha just blurt out he loves her heheheeee, that was fast! I am loving this drama 🙂

  43. 43 zemegaze

    Thank you for the recap, girlfriday. I can see that all logic and strategies is fair when it comes to love and war.

    Jae-ha is lovable, the same like in 1N2D being a maknae and all.

    It is painstakingly long, the hours waiting for the subs..

    • 43.1 windmill


      this is the website for the sub. I am watching now online 😀

      • 43.1.1 ck1Oz

        It’s only available for the Americas.

        • Arishia

          That’s why ‘proxies and vpns’ are a d-addict’s best friends.

        • windmill

          No, I am in Indonesia and I always watch this drama in the website 😀

    • 43.2 hanna

      agreed with you. Seunggi is very lovable.

  44. 44 Dorotka

    I think the rom-com parts are excellent. I especially liked the “old couple bickering” after the bomb threat, JH’s doughnut video conference and snow jealousy. The dramatic parts though, and definitely the villain’s parts, could use some improvement.

  45. 45 jane

    I LOVE THIS DRAMA! too bad they drop 2% in the rating with this episode.
    but well I think I still prefer this over RTP, maybe because of my bias-ness to LSG lol but I really enjoy this drama :3 I can’t wait to see where Jae Ha and Hang Ah relationship’s going.

  46. 46 amtee

    Thanks Girlfriday! Love this drama and your recap.

    One thing about the US/China/UN inspection, I have to say its premise is quite believable. Read lots of memoirs of diplomats from my own country (another relatively small but strategically important – to the big guys – country who has her shares of outrageous treatments) so incidents like that are common occurrences in real life. I am just amazed the PD/writers team got the guts to show it on prime time TV!

    The two leads are just amazing! The back and fore, give and take banters are fabulous! I don’t understand Korean but enjoyed the raw just by their expressions and body language. Can’t wait for the subbed!

  47. 47 dany

    Cute couple! I love the drama, it’s so enjoyable.

    • 47.1 dora


  48. 48 Gwinna

    Am I the only one who suspects that Hang-ah is actually hiding something in her underwear bag? Granted I have only read the recap and not yet watched the episode, but I thought it was suspicious.

    • 48.1 jomo

      Not before – but I am now…what do you think it is?

    • 48.2 Cruelsummer

      There’s a small part of me that thinks she may be hiding something, but I think the writer is doing this intentionally. I think they are going to make it so that there is distrust between the two leads after the marriage and it’s going to create a distance. I mean they still have 17 eps. to go, so there has to be something to keep our lovers apart.

    • 48.3 houstontwin

      How perceptive that you noticed that!

  49. 49 Rong Er

    Super like:)

  50. 50 ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap, it made me laugh all over again.

    I am so shipping the Shi Gyung- Kang Ah couple but Puppy for kinda hot when he took her away from those stupid guys.

    However, that whole SNSD episode- I was in absolute fits.


    “my brother’s in army right now and he said the motto that is wrtten on the wall says, “TREAT YOUR COMRADE AS YOU TREAT SNSD”. I laughed so hard ” and this comment in the videos.

    • 50.1 Raine

      lol at the comment, thanks for sharing haha

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