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The King 2 Hearts: Episode 8

Marathon Part II. Bleary-eyed? Check. Emotionally gutted? Check. I also probably lost a few marbles back there, but sanity’s overrated. Or so I hear.

I think it’s to this episode’s advantage that we barrel straight through from Episode 7. Maintaining that emotional current is actually the most useful between these two particular episodes, so thanks, election preemptions. I’ll be sure to send a fruitbasket. Now on with the tears.

 
EPISODE 8 RECAP

Jae-ha arrives at the palace, to the sound of funeral criers on the roof, marking the passing of the king and wailing for his majesty to return. He pauses to look up at them before marching ahead.

He walks into his empty, darkened room, and finds his funeral suit hanging there, in wait. As he starts to change his clothes, thoughts of Jae-kang come flooding back – his sweet smiles, his last words.

He finally lets himself cry a little, but he forces the tears back again.

Hang-ah gets a panicked call from her father, who’s worried for her safety. Moreover, Jae-kang is the one he trusted to keep an eye on his daughter, but now what? She can’t even hear what he’s saying, because she’s terrified, but not for herself, and hangs up on him.

She walks through the memorial hall where she runs into Jae-ha. She bows her head, “Your highness.” He stops to look at her, his eyes red from just crying. Secretary Eun ushers him away, but he turns back to tell her, “Don’t you call me that too.”

Ermmph, that breaks my heart. I love that he can’t bear for her to call him that. Not after Mom and everyone else.

He pays his respects to the king and queen in royal uniform, and makes his way down the hall. He enters the king’s office, a portrait of Jae-kang hanging now where their father’s used to. Gah, I don’t think I’m emotionally ready for all this change!

Hang-ah asks an aide if she can be of any help, and asks where she can be of most use, desperate to do something, anything.

Jae-ha returns to the office in his suit, and sits down gingerly in the king’s chair. Secretary Eun tells him to start with the king’s daily log, the passwords for which need to be reset. Left alone, Jae-ha turns around to the little screen that prompts him for a set of keywords, one to start recording and one to stop (I foresee this coming in handy later).

Only he ends up staring at Jae-kang’s portrait, and all he can do is look up at hyung as tears pool in his eyes. He asks angrily, “You happy?”

“Keyword recorded.” Pffft. Damnit, you’re making me laugh! It prompts him for the ending keyword. Still just talking at hyung, he says aloud, “What’re you looking at?” Machine: “Your passwords have been recorded.” Ha.

What an awesome pair of lines—delivered full of anger at being left behind, in that petulant way he always spoke to hyung, and then hilariously undercut. I love the disconnect between what he’s going through and what the password lady is demanding of him.

Jae-ha finds Secretary Eun in the library and asks what next, only to be met with a mountain of files backed up from the day. He instinctively starts complaining, but has to remember to hold it together. He mutters, “Stress~.”

He’s told about his meetings and speeches and cultural issues, one in particular about “Arirang,” the universal Korean folk song (and one that’s often used to unite North and South, culturally). He pitches a fit, and Secretary Eun puts him in his place by saying it’s a ten-month old issue, so where’s he been? Oh snap.

He asks for the files on “Arirang” too then, on top of all the rest. Secretary Eun starts to say that it’s too much to read all at once, but Jae-ha snaps back, “Do you know what my IQ is? 187. If you don’t believe me you can test me in the morning.”

And then he rolls up his sleeves for an all-nighter. I suppose this is when it pays off to have your hero start off the series as a lazy bum, ’cause now I’m all verklempt at the sight of him studying. Eun Kyu-tae is too, which is sweet and uncle-like, but right now I’m still too mad at you to read it as such.

He gets the report on the investigation of the king’s death—it was carbon monoxide poisoning, from charcoal found in the fireplace.

Suddenly he flashes back to the Beatles album, and the conversation where he gave up the king’s location (made as a suggestion for a good place to vacation), only now his eyes widen in shock.

WAITAMINUTE. Are you seriously trying to make me believe that the friggin’ Royal Secretary didn’t KNOW that giving up the king’s secret location would end in badness? So he’s not evil, but just a moron? Buh… who hired this guy? I was gonna roll with it if you were evil, but if you’re just dumb, I can’t even… Augh, logic fail. Somebody save me before my motherboard fries.

He opens the message he had previously ignored, from M Society. It’s a photograph of the villa and a note, “Thanks for your help!” Such polite assassins. He hangs his head to realize it’s true. Seriously, this is where we’re going with this? Oops I inadvertently helped kill the king? Okay writer, I knew thriller spy stuff wasn’t your forte, but this is just embarrassing for you. Brilliant strategist you are not.

The queen mother bathes Jae-shin in her hospital bed, talking all the while to her secretary to clear Jae-shin’s schedule of public appearances and fit them into her own agenda.

She talks a mile a minute, stopping to ask the nurse why she hasn’t woken up yet, and then decides it’s probably for the better, “Here is hell.” But Jae-shin finally stirs awake and asks Mom what she’s doing.

Jae-ha’s still at his desk by morning, correcting his staff on things he only a few hours ago knew nothing about. He asks after Secretary Eun, who’s taking a sick day from the shock of the king’s death. Jae-ha quips that if he’s fine, everyone else should be too.

Shi-kyung bursts in with news—the princess is awake. It kind of kills me how much his voice is shaking. They run to her side, as she struggles to remember the events of the day. She can remember calling Little Oppa with the plan to visit Big Oppa, calling Shi-kyung after buying groceries…

But the rest is murky. She goes to reach for her phone and then falls over, unable to support her own weight. She looks down at her legs in horror and then up at Mom, “Why are they like this?” Oh no.

Jae-ha pores over the report of his brother’s death, and has Secretary Eun called in. He sits down, head hanging, unable to make eye contact. Jae-ha asks if it was really an accident—isn’t it all too much coincidence, with hyung and then Jae-shin, who can’t remember why she ended up at the bottom of a cliff?

And then Eun Kyu-tae sighs, “It’s my fault.” But just when you think he’s about to confess outright, he means that it’s his fault for not checking everything properly—the fireplace, the windows—he didn’t check those things.

Jae-ha’s eyes fill with angry tears, and he kicks the table over as Secretary Eun says he’s to blame and he’ll take the punishment. Trembling, Jae-ha asks, “Is this because you really feel that you’re to blame, or because you don’t like me, because no matter how hard you work, your effort will be wasted on me?”

Secretary Eun looks up with surprise and then answers, “Both.” Damn. Jae-ha counters that he has to accept his punishment then, and offers it both as an order and a challenge: “Stay. Stay by my side and turn a king that’s trash into a human being.” He tries to protest, but Jae-ha shuts down the argument: “I’m too busy to kick you out right now, ajusshi.” He steps out of the room.

And then right on cue, Bong-gu calls, guessing exactly what Eun Kyu-tae has done up to this point—from knowing exactly what he was doing when he traded that secret for a bribe, pointedly calling it a bribe which he must have known, not admitting it to himself, and then probably choosing to confess his wrongdoing to the new king minus the real confession, just when he’s too needy and busy to actually let him leave.

Oh damn, am I siding with the villain here? Because it’s kind of satisfying to have someone lay out his crimes like that. It irked me to no end that he seemed SURPRISED that his secret-location-leaking somehow coincidentally ended up in the king’s murder, but I like Bong-gu’s theory that he’s living in a big fat tub of denial. I went the other way and chose to give him credit for being an evil mastermind before wanting to believe he’d be that dumb.

Anyway, Bong-gu’s upshot is that he’s now got Eun Kyu-tae on speed dial, because moles with exposable secrets are handy that way. He says for now that all he needs is to have the Trash King go about his business, since we wouldn’t want to have him running around on a vengeance spree rather than doing his job, would we? Well I’m glad someone evil isn’t an idiot, for the sake of the plot.

Meanwhile Hang-ah busies herself in the royal greenhouse, as aides gather around her with pleas for her to do nothing, as requested by the queen mother. She points out that she’s within the 500-meter limit from her room—she measured. Ha.

She says that she can’t do anything else to help, and the aide reminds her that she’s not actually a royal yet. Hang-ah sighs, “I’m just pulling weeds. Just because a North Korean is pulling them isn’t going to make all the plants turn red all of a sudden, so don’t worry.” Hahaha. I love her spunk.

Jae-ha spots her in the greenhouse, and I love the way he smiles at the sight of her. He stops for a visit, and asks the aides to give them the room.

Hang-ah lights up, that is until he notes that she’s keeping busy in a fitting activity (using her brute strength), making her frown. She whines that they haven’t seen each other in ages but that’s what he chooses to say?

He teases in his best kingly voice, “What impudence!” She bows at the waist and declares in her best drama imitation, “I beg your pardon!” made even funnier by the fact that she’s saying it with her Northern lilt.

He leans in close to whisper, “Are you shooting a sageuk?” Heehee. She asks if he’s okay, and he worries more about Mom, that she’s probably about to collapse from exhaustion.

She starts to say, “Maybe I…” And then he cuts in with, “Will you go? If you could just take care of Jae-shin…” She smiles. Aw, look at them being on the same page. I’m so happy he let her feel helpful, though it’s even better that he’s actually asking for the help, not just to make her feel better.

At the hospital, Mom tends to Jae-shin, not noticing that she sneaks a comb from the nightstand. While Mom’s not looking, she starts to stab her own leg with the pointy end, over and over again. Ack.

But it’s the vacant look in her eyes that’s scarier than anything, as Mom screams in horror and she just says, “It’s so strange. I can’t feel a thing. They’re like rubber.”

A while later Mom heads out for a speaking engagement, and when she overhears Mom giving orders, Jae-shin screams that no one’s allowed near her except Shi-kyung. Mom tells him that he’s in charge and turns to go, only to run into Hang-ah on her way in.

Mom tries to turn her away, but she’s got the king’s orders on her side, plus all that gumption, and she manages to stick around by faking a cold. Ha. She gets face time with the doctor, who tells her that Jae-shin needs to start physical therapy, even if she’ll never regain the use of her legs.

In the room, Jae-shin suddenly starts to panic. She begins to frantically look around for a box of tissues, only to have it turn into a full-blown panic attack when she looks under the covers. Oh no.

She uses all of her strength to crawl on her hands to reach the box of tissues, crying in fury that she can’t reach. She falls to the floor with a thud. The staff outside scramble at the noise, but she screams bloody murder that she will kill herself if even one person enters the room.

It’s panic and mayhem and the doctor gets called, and Hang-ah hears enough to storm over there, in team leader mode. Shi-kyung blocks her path, but Hang-ah says, “No one who’s going to kill herself talks that way.”

She walks right in and closes the door behind her. She sees Jae-shin on the floor and reads the situation in about two seconds flat, and locks the door. She strips the bed and throws the linens in the bathroom and runs a bath.

She picks up Jae-shin off the floor, still screaming, and tosses her in the tub. That’s when we see it—that she soiled herself in bed. Oof. Now I get the screaming. Jae-shin wails and fights, but Hang-ah just confronts her baldly, “You pooped. Do you want to bathe in poop water?” It stuns her enough to calm her down for a moment.

The doctor runs over and knocks, and by now Hang-ah is bathing her, and she suggests a calm reply, otherwise she’ll have a somewhat embarrassing nickname on her hands. She mouths: Poopy Princess. Hahahaha.

Jae-shin calls out that everything is fine, but balks at Hang-ah’s help, saying that she’ll do it herself or wait till Mom gets back. But Hang-ah slaps her on the back like she’s scolding a child, and tells her that the queen mother is doing everything on her own without rest and is about to collapse at any moment.

She yells at her for being so selfish, and then tears into the best speech I have ever heard: “Poop? Everybody poops! The king poops. Jang Dong-gun poops. I pooped before I left!”

HA. She’s like, what’s the big whoop about poop? The willful Jae-shin finally relents. A tear falls as she lets herself be bathed like a baby, but rather than let her feel sorry for herself, Hang-ah says her skin is so fair—does she use something special? Jae-shin sticks her nose in the air, “I was just born that way.” Aw, so cute. I love seeing Hang-ah be the hero, in both her tough and soft ways.

Mom returns just as the locksmith gets the door open. She steps inside to find Hang-ah putting lotion on Jae-shin’s legs, the two of them gabbing like a couple of girlfriends, as the princess teaches Hang-ah about the difference between body lotion and foot cream.

Hang-ah gapes: “What’s with all the separate creams—eyes, neck, feet, all separate. You South Koreans slather all your money on your bodies, don’t you?” Well when you say it like that, it does sound a bit ridiculous.

She gasps to find Mom standing in the doorway. She bows nervously. And this time Jae-shin is the one who lays it bare: “Mom, I pooped.” She says that unni washed the sheets three times but they couldn’t get the smell out, and asks if they should use perfume, but Hang-ah whispers that she already went ahead and spilled coffee on them. Ha.

Mom just gapes silently, as Hang-ah fidgets. And then we cut to Mom leading her down to a dank basement and into the kitchen. She orders everyone else out, and then tells her that everyone in her family loves ark shells, and begins to teach her the secret family recipe, handed down from her mother-in-law. Awwwwww.

She can’t help but snipe at her dialect, and Hang-ah swears to try and fix it, quickly correcting herself with an awkward attempt to sound like a Seoulite. That’s enough to put a smile on Mom’s face, and they laugh together.

The family eats together in Jae-shin’s hospital room, and Mom proudly puts Hang-ah’s ark shell dish in front of Jae-ha. He asks if Hang-ah really made it, and quickly deadpans that he won’t eat it then, and passes them over to Jae-shin. Ha.

She’s a good sport and tries it, but coughs at the saltiness. Mom still praises her for cooking them to the right temperature, which is the hardest part, and puts them back in front of Jae-ha.

He looks up, “I h-have to eat it?” Omg, I love Mom’s silent death glare. He takes a mouthful without another word, but can’t fake it to save his life, and sighs at the badness. He whines for meat, but Mom reminds him that they’re still in mourning (must be a holdover from the Joseon era where butchering livestock was forbidden during the sometimes very long months spent mourning a king).

She reminds him that a lot has changed even from the time when his father passed away, and Jae-ha remembers that he had to fast for four days as a child. He laughs that hyung was at least kind enough to die after changing those customs, so they can eat.

The room grows uncomfortable with silence, and Jae-ha just sighs that he should’ve gone ahead and let them eat meat while he was at it, but no. And then Jae-shin joins in, “Big Oppa was a little frustrating.”

They exchange a sweet look, and then Mom finally says it’s because he took after her: “I’m sorry I’m so frustrating.” The kids burst into laughter. Jae-ha tells her not to be mad, and turns to Hang-ah to say that Mom is a little sensitive. “She’s even a little… petty,” using Hang-ah’s word foul just to include her. Aw. They all laugh at Mom’s expense. It’s really adorable.

Jae-shin waves down at the family as they drive off, and in Mom’s first free moment since it all happened, she finally breaks down in tears. Shi-kyung just keeps watch silently in the car as she rocks back and forth, barely able to breathe, crying, “Jae-kang-ah…”

Jae-shin looks at pictures of Big Oppa as she listens to music, crying as she clutches his face to her heart.

And then it’s time for the royal funeral procession, as Jae-ha marches out to meet the king and queen as they’re carried out.

The palace is swathed in white, as Jae-ha and his mother pay respects to Jae-kang for the last time.

Hang-ah cries in her room, as she remembers her Shield.

Once alone, Jae-ha lets himself cry a little in his office, looking up at hyung’s portrait, but again he squeezes the tears back and tamps down his ache. Hang-ah comes in and finds him with bloodshot eyes, and this time she says, “Just let it burst.”

He pretends he doesn’t know what she’s talking about and turns to go, but she grabs his arm, “You’ll make yourself sick that way. There’s nothing in the world that’s more important than looking after your own heart.”

She looks up at him earnestly, but he blinks back any remaining tears, not ready to face it. He tells her coldly that she’s overstepped her bounds, and walks away.

She goes into Secretary Eun’s office to ask if she can’t have just three hours of Jae-ha’s time. Jae-ha finishes a phone call and crouches, weary, barely holding it together. Shi-kyung arrives to escort him to his next appointment, which he says has been cancelled…

Hang-ah pours wine in her room, as we hear Secretary Eun tell her in voiceover about Jae-ha’s favorite foods, which she’s prepared. She watches an episode of High Kick to learn some aegyo, but when she tries it, she nearly vomits in her own mouth from the over-cute. Ha.

She remembers his speech about how guys love to be called oppa, and practices her best version. He arrives and tells her he has to work, but she urges him to rest for just a little while, insisting that she got permission for him to eat sausages and everything.

And then she tries out her cutesy voice, ending her sentence way up in the squeaky range, and closing with, “O…ppa?” Pffft, she totally cops out right in the middle of her “oppa,” which just makes it even more embarrassing.

He stares dumbfounded. *blink blink* “Did you just say o…ppa?” She stands there wishing she could take it back, and he bursts into laughter, saying it’s gross between dong-gaps (they’re the same age).

He laughs, “Did you practice that?” She tries to deny it but it reeks of rehearsals. She tries another line on him, that he’s like two famous people he doesn’t recognize, because she’s trying to imitate the you’re-my-Jeon-Do-yeon-Kim-Tae-hee bit, and he dies laughing all over again.

Her effort is really endearing though, and he’s taken with her, though of course he points out that it’s not because she’s pretty or sexy, but because she’s hilarious. She pouts. He begs her for another one, lying through his pursed lips and scout’s honor that he won’t laugh.

And then she actually puts on paws to dance “Bo-Beep” at him, and he nearly pulls something trying not to laugh. It’s a losing battle, really, and he busts a gut. She hides in embarrassment, but he sweetly tells her it was very cute and gets a paw to the face for his teasing.

He burrows into her bed and declares he’s sleeping here tonight. She tells him she only has him for thirty more minutes, and then he has to go back to work. He whines at her to push it all back, using her atomic needles for the threatening. Ha.

She suggests a nap then, and she’ll wake him. But he just yanks her onto the bed into his arms. Mrwar. She stammers a what-is-this, only he answers more the who-are-you version: “I’m your fiancé-to-be, the king.” Did he just turn I-am-your-king into a come-on?

She gets up awkwardly, saying they have to observe the rules, and he counters that he’ll just move her into the inner palace then. She tells him to quit playing King Uija (of Baekje, who notoriously had a gazillion concubines).

He frowns at that and then tries a different tactic, pretending to worry about her complexion, wooing her over to the bed and touching her face. You sneaky.

She takes out a mirror and says she’s been taking care of her skin everyday, and even the king told her she was pretty. He smiles, “When did I say that?” But she looks away. He realizes she meant the other king. “Hyung?”

It makes his heart sink for a moment, and then he laughs at her for believing it, saying that hyung was actually quite the sweet-talker, and that’s how he seduced his wife. But she says no, he was earnest, and he even sent a picture and everything.

He asks what picture, and she says it was from the day he died. He told her he sent the same thing to Jae-ha—did he not receive it? He admits that he deleted it (that “Kekeke” text he never opened and just deleted).

She says they can just look at hers together, and shows him the adorable couple picture of Jae-kang and his wife, laughing. The note tells her to be strong, calling her jae-soo-sshi, what he’d call her if she were married to Jae-ha.

He makes fun of hyung for doing such silly stuff that didn’t suit him, posing with a V like a goof, and the tears start to well up. Hang-ah gets up, but he reaches out for her hand. Without looking up, he says, “I hung up on him.”

He starts to cry, “Our last phone call… and I hung up on him…” He finally breaks down in tears, and she sits next to him with a hand on his shoulder. He cries, “I’m sorry, hyung. I didn’t know it’d end up this way.”

She pulls him close, and holds him as he finally lets himself cry in her arms.

Fade to black. Hang-ah wakes up and watches Jae-ha sleeping by her side. Aw, it’s really sweet (and actually realistic) that the emotional connection at a time like this would lead very naturally to sleeping together.

Early in the morning, Secretary Eun gets word that the king never came back from Hang-ah’s quarters, and he marches over. She’s already waiting, knowing the consequences and the rules (not just the marriage ones but he’s in mourning for the king, which bears a strict set of rules). He chastises her for not sending Jae-ha back like she should have, but she takes the blame—that she’s the one who asked him not to go.

Bong-gu calls Secretary Eun for his first blackmail-favor, to gain entry into the country. He also asks to meet with the king. Eun Kyu-tae introduces him to Jae-ha by his other name, John Meyer, and Bong-gu greets the king with a respectful bow and a handshake. He says it’s an honor to meet him again, Jae-ha looks confused.

Bong-gu looks up eerily, “Do you not remember?”

 
COMMENTS

There were some fantastic moments in this episode, and some glaring missteps, but thankfully the bad is contained to one character. The Eun Kyu-tae character is interesting because I honestly refused to believe anyone could be so stupid, let alone the king’s right-hand man, but I guess he proved me wrong. I would rather he be an evil mole, but it turns out he’s actually just a spineless weasel, which seems worse to me, plotwise, because it saps tension from the palace.

I suppose some tension can be salvaged if he continually puts Jae-ha in danger in order to preserve his own guilty conscience, but that’s just going to anger me, whereas Evil Eun Kyu-tae would’ve at least been a worthy adversary. Le sigh. I guess I’ll have to hope that if we’re not going the evil route, then there will be a significant character arc for him to redeem himself in some way.

But the throughline of this whole episode—in mourning Jae-kang through ritual, in separate ways for each member of the family—it was beautifully done, and I felt like we were able to mourn alongside them. The thing that really grounded the loss for me was the way that Jae-ha dealt with it—he has this way of talking to and about hyung very casually like he’s still around, and without that distancing formality of death that’s both funny and heartbreaking. That password scene killed me—it felt strangely realistic to me, just the way everyday life interjects itself into tragedy like that. And the family dinner, where laughter happens, even when you’re sad.

The episode-long beat of Jae-ha forcing back his tears again and again and again felt so true to life, and a very simple but telling way to carry him through the mourning process. He holds back his tears more than anyone, because he has the most to carry on his shoulders.

And of course it’s Hang-ah, the only one who doesn’t need him to carry her, who’s there for him to lean on. I love that their connection, despite the largeness of the fictional world, seems very organic and simple. Their conflicts come in the form of international crises, but really that’s just a metaphor for two people from different worlds making a relationship work. The way she’s there for him when he loses his brother is just so normal and real.

That emotional connection really drove home the idea that they are equals, which I find to be a lovely theme that’s been constant with these characters (the evenly matched banter, the emphasis on being dong-gap, the pride wars). Before it was one-upping each other at their petty games, but now they’re standing side by side, and I just love the idea that he can carry the world on his shoulders, if she carries him on hers.

 
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Thank you so much! Crying part 2 will commence again as I read...

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Hmm...where do I begin?
- I cried more in this episode than the last -- especially when Jae Ha was faced with memories of his brother, and then seeing the picture in Hang Ah's cell phone. Broke my heart for him.
- Hang Ah was great in this episode. I enjoyed all her interactions with the different characters, not just with Jae Ha, although I absolutely loved that scene with him in her room where she's dancing, then it leads to laughing, then crying, then you know...
- I totally agree what you said, GF, about Eun Kyu Tae. Is he really that stupid? I would hope they would give that actor a better storyline. They shouldn't have made his character like that. I would have preferred him to be evil through and through.
- I don't know, but for some reason continue not to be interested in Bong Gu's part of the story. He was on the crazy train even in childhood, so I don't know how much crazier he can get.

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I could be way off base ( like that would be the first time) but I didn't see the secretary as being evil or stupid. I saw him more as a guy who has probably spent years accepting little "gifts". Nothing too flashy, a little something here, a little Beatles album there. In my country they're called campaign contributions. Basically it's about access.

I thought he was truly suprised that something happened. Since he didn't have the backbone to own up to what he'd done, he's left himself open to being blackmailed. It's always the cover up that gets you. Poor Earnest Puppy is gonna get his heart broken when he finds out about Daddy.

So either Karma bit him hard over his petty corruption, or he's just stupid/evil. We'll see. :)

Thanks GF!

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Yeah, I got the feeling that over time he'd just gotten a little...complacent? That's why they chose him.

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Also on the same wavelength. But I do think he expected something to happen. Not an assassination though.

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Which would be extremely naive of him

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Even if he didn't mean anything by giving the location away what exactly did he think was going to happen? Nothing.

I don't know about you but the way the guy slipped that question in about the king's vaca spot, his mannerism on a whole was super creepy, and then the way he got overly defensive about the rejection of his gift, would have set some kind of alarm off that this joker was up to no good, He should have just suggested a different spot than where the king and wifey was at because that his job. A Secretary . I mean come it almost spells secrecy.

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Actually, I suspected Chief Secretary Eun might be a villain early on. When he was giving Robosoldier son grief for his career choice. It showed his hand - arrogance and a belief that they were better than they are. And his way of dealing with his work showed that he was high-handed with delusions of grandeur.

I know this because I actually worked with morons like him before. Nope .. not bitter or projecting ... LOL.

I think K2H's biggest weakness is the inability to write good villains and harnessing the talents to off-set this. I fast-forward every time that Dr Evil wannabe is on and read GF's recaps so I know what's going on. I just cannot bear to watch the painfully awkward, cheesy and embarrassing scenes. Chief Secretary Eun is not so much a villain as a coward (who may surprise us later and upgrade himself to true villainy but I doubt it).

The idiot gave away state secrets after succumbing to flattery. He did it because he thought he was too smart for such simple subterfuge. Then when he realised he was an arrogant moron, he was too cowardly to man up. I think he let John Mayo (I know his name, I just refuse to say it) blackmail him for now because he still thinks he can salvage the situation and outwit the latter. Again, arrogance meets incompetent halfwit = Eun.

You cannot imagine how many foul words fell out of my mouth watching the preview for ep 9. Letting Hang Ah take the heat for the assassination when he was responsible ... I felt like Yeow Chi and if words could kill, Eun be one short dead guy.

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I did the same thing - fast forwarding the villian's act because it's either too unrealistic or make me feel like puking, whichever - can't decide.

Suspect Sec Eun would rather die than to admit his mistake, a combination of pride, arrogance and maybe some twisted justifications.

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i feel you about that "Dr. Evil wannabe". I just can't stand watching him (so annoying). Keep fast-forwarding every time he comes onscreen. And that lady (hitman), I can't wait to see Hang Ah kick her butt in the future....

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dam -- how often is it that we get this emotionally affected so early in a drama series of 20 eps
T_T

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so damn often dear... so damn often.. TT__TT

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I cried while reading too..and during the whole episode....korean tearjerker at it's best

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Same!! I cried so much! It was natural to relate, given how the king's character has been portrayed so far in the drama TT_TT Yoonji performed so well! That scene with the tissues, got me bawling!
The only thing that's a little annoying is that I was hoping they wouldn't go down the " Blame it on Hang-Ah" road but from the preview, seems that it's exactly what they are going to do >.<

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Okay i watch both King 2hearts and RTP, but i heard some cheap shot was made against Yoochun in this epi..is that true? if yes then that not cool at all writers!!

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Personally, I have not come across said reference in either recaps (dramabeans and koalasplayground) and soompi thread. I wonder if it's just a misunderstanding because all the jokes/cuts have come at the expense of the characters themselves.

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Yup, from what I've seen so far...mostly the references I saw and heard is about "Kim Tae Hee and Jang Dong Gun."

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Seriously? Wow, but fans ranting off on this is only going to make JYJ more awkward, and prolonging the media/public attention on JYJ's scandal.

Regardless, we're watching dramas for the emotions it evokes, the entertainment. Who cares about this stuff? I know which drama I'm rooting for and that's all that matters.

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Girl K2H's writter did the plot for the next 14 before airing it. This episode script was done way before Yoochun scadal so you fans are only making a fuss.

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call me ignorant but what Yoochun scandal?

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It's because he beated some saesangs fans (one that are actually stalkers and do some crazy things) and it was recorded (they beating, swearing to them) but fans defend him saying it's saesangs and he was just protecting himself, plus the girl hit him first (err okay)

So, in this episode. HA dance T-ara dance, and Jae Ha asked why she was using the cat's paws and he said ''Are you going to beat your stalkers with that?'' and yoochun fans think it was a joke about his scandal...

People really. Does Yoochun is the only star that have stalkers? Plus, she was using that huge paws and he was just joking about her personality....

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so, THIS is why they think TK2H made a dig at Micky!! really?!! o.O

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I really don't think that remark is anything other than his continued teasing about her being a rock'em sock'em soldier, assassin, member of the WOC.

She threatened him more than once that she would kill him, hit him, etc. It is completely in context with their relationship.

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I have to contribute my O.o face too. People are reading waaay too much into things.

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I think it was intentional since this drama is so self-aware and makes a lot of references to both pop culture and contemporary real-life events. This drama does its best to be realistic and it achieves that through its attention to North Korean dialects, the North Korean filming locations/set, and REFERENCES. The SNSD joke is a reference to the popularity of Hallyu in North Korea. Hang Ah talks about celebrity soldiers she might meet, such as Rain, Hyun Bin, and Kang Dong Wan, all of whom are currently enlisted in real life. There was also a reference to Ha Ji Won's past co-star Jo In sung, as well as her drama Secret Garden. There were also references to High Kick, T-ara, etc.

I don't think the sasaeng fan comment was a cheap shot at Yoochun because he's the lead actor in their rival drama. After all, it was Jaejoong that allegedly hit their sasaeng fans. But I definitely think this was a reference to JYJ's sasaeng fan scandal since that scandal was a HUGE deal in Korea and pretty much everyone knows about it. JYJ is the only idol group to recently have a big scandal about hitting their sasaeng fans, so the connection is unavoidable. Also, Jae Ha specifically said "sasaeng fan."

And this is random, but I can't help thinking that the appearance of ark shells is a reference to 1N2D!!!!

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geez. I love JYJ, I love Yoochun. but sometimes the fangirls are killing me. like this incident, LIKE.. REALLY?! even some of them are hating on LSG for saying the line that is clearly not made by himself. fangirls, I know you're mad.. but I believe the writers didn't mean to diss your oppa just because they're rivals at the moment.

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LOL, very definition of making something out of absolutely nothing.

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Who started that stupidity again? Some people have nothing else to do in their life, i swear...

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seriously -_- I can't believe they're making a story out of this..

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Please stop that unreasonable thought, I heard it everywhere yesterday.

First, I don't think that is an offense act towards Yoochun, It's simply a line. And as Jaeha's born with foot-in-mouth-disease, I'm sure many people realize that both Jaeha's or HangAh's line is a sarcasm over the truth of facts in South Korea. (Probably also the reason why this drama was left by it's viewers, because it irks when you realize it) About the 'supposed attacking Yoochun' line, I don't think it's a big deal compared to Jaeha's line about using celebrity gossip to
make people turn away from political issue. I swear my eyes popped out when I heard that, because I realize that's indeed true.

Second, there is no benefit for attacking Yoochun. And I don't think the writer will be that low nor I think they'll waste their energy just to make some fun for mocking him

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Sigh, the show is already raising the ire of the public for having an alternate universe of a peaceful North amid the political tension over firing of rockets and possible new nuclear test.

And now we get fangirls of mass destruction reading nothing from everything.

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*sic everything from nothing. But whatever. Sigh.

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Yoochun fans were busy watching RTP and there know nothing about line until the press came with all this and them K2H fans reacted, Yoochun fans heard about and ashh everything became crazy.

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So I guess the press did a John Mayer then.

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LOL at the pun! well said :-)

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Sorry for my eng. :(

here again.

Yoochun fans were busy watching RTP and THEY know nothing about THAT line until the press came with all this and them K2H fans reacted, Yoochun fans heard about and ashh everything became crazy.

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Please correct me if I'm wrong,
But in the article I've read (only one), the fans of RP seem enraged at the night, because it's only epi8 and RP don't show epi. 8 at alla. Tere is heated argument in RP forum (or Daum cafe? I don't remember) message board,

But yes, media involvement is the one which make this issue worse. They bluffed it like it a big deal.

Let's be dignified, not attacking any of the show, that's all I can say

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Pwahh. People are just trying to create more problems.

Can't these people watch the drama peacefully and not pick at every little word, wink and tear and connect it to something scandalous to create a scene?

>___>

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I just loveeeeeeee Kim hang ah in this episode! Especially the part where she hits the princess. Its true, people DO need some sense to come to reality! :) It is truly depressing because I really liked the King. I can't wait for episode 9!

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it's called "Secret The King" hihi... YAY Hyun Bin!! how I wis this is real..

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LOL.. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

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WOW! That was mind blowing! I'm now wishing it was a full drama.
the only downside was that I could only understand about half of it since there weren't any eng subs. :(

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haha it's about Kim Hang Ah losing her memory and Kim Joo Won being her ex or something. He laters on finds out that she's marrying the prince and gets her to remember their past together. When she does remember, it was too late or something which made her wanting to kill him? idk but it looked good.

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I stopped watching this drama at episode 4 because I liked it, but didn't love it. I especially didn't like the whole villain side of the drama. But I loved the love line.

Is the drama getting better as of late and should I watch it?

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it still consistently good! if you didn't like the first 4 epis that much then i don't think you would enjoy it as a whole..because the drama is going to get more darker and less funny in my opinion ^^

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I don't mind darker dramas, I just didn't get that John Mayer character. I thought his character was a bit... unclear? Like, what is he trying to do, to achieve and why is he like that? Does he hate the King? If so why? Too many questions! XD

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He hates the royal family, since he got shipped out of the country following the incident where he stabbed young JH with a pen.

I'm still unclear about his parentage; it may be that he's a bastard royal, or have some other link.

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to be honest the John Mayer character gives me the creeps :/
well he is the character who sells weapons etc to the countries so if North and South become buddies then i guess thats gonna affect the company..so he offed the king who wanted peace so badly..thats what i think..correct me if i am wrong! ^^

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I would have thought john meyer guy was the illegitimate kid jaekang's dad has? I was under the impression that the man he killed, his dad, was also jaeha n jaekang dad, the king that was supposed to be dead? Because in ep 1 when they were all kids there was this scary kid who wrote 'i am king', which i assumed to be him.
I guess i got confused.. Gotta rewatch my episodes!!

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Mwooo... Noo...please don't add birth secret in this drama, because that's frustrating! *begging*

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You make an EXCELLENT point. So far, no one knows why in the hell John Meyer hates the Royal family so much. John Meyer hated the Royal family ever since he was a kid, so there's some back story that hasn't been revealed yet. John Meyer wrote "I am King" in the first episode, so my guess is that his father was supposed to be king but was rejected in favor of Jae Ha/Jae Kang's father. You know, something like what happened in Goong.

And I don't think John Meyer is trying to prevent North and South Korea from reuniting solely because it would negatively effect his arms sales. In a previous episode, John Meyer's wing man asked John Meyer why he was so obsessed with Korea when Korea was pretty much irrelevant in the global scene and when its reunion would not affect their operations significantly. John Meyer never answered, so we can only assume that it has something to do with his father and his past~~

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Well, i think that you should give the story some more time to progress, as many of your questions will be answered. Just gotta give it some time.
Plus, if you liked the love line! well... let's just say it gets alot more heated after episode 4. haha.

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this drama is dark with funny moments that makes it seem bittersweet. One hand you have moments that are soo sweet and funny that pulls you in but there are moments that just make you cry our eyes out. I feel its like a slice of life with the good and the bad as well as the stuff that hoped never to encounter .like the moronicly dumb secretary who does not deserve to be my darling Shi-kyung's dad coz u knw the writers are just gonna use this to add to the drama!
But seriously, its not because i totally love this show ( even more so than my chocolates), but you should keep watching it!

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The last 2 episodes were great. It makes me sad that the humor is dissipating, but I have to admit that I got a little teary-eyed for quite a few scenes.

At the end of it all, we all know, albeit generally, how this story will end. Good triumphs over Evil, Boy gets Girl, etc. The real enjoyment in this series, at least for me, has been in the interaction between the two leads.

The trailer for next week breaks my heart. With everyone being turned against them with the DPRK being suspected of committing the assassination, it's going to be a real test for JH and HA. I just hope it blows over in an episode or two, instead of being dragged out for 4 or 5.

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but if that happens.. then Hang Ah will be deported back? right.. plus in the preview Jae Shin called her "Commie" i don't know but in korean it's red hatted communist I believe. And they were just getting along.. Not so great..

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The situation in the front half of the preview is a classic setup: Mayer offers the King a "gift" in the form of planted evidence near the assassination area. HA identifies the phone found with the evidence as appearing to be a DPRK phone. JS calls HA a commie, then accuses her of killing JK because she wanted to be the queen that badly.

The rest of the preview is pretty brutal, also.

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I love this show!

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Okay, I'm really gonna be mad at that old secretary if he somehow puts the blame on Hang-ah and manage to separate them. You'd deserve to die for that old man. The old-fashioned way (the way Jung Jong dies in TPM). Yeah, I want blood.

Anyway, except for the stupid old man and psycho-creepy-ugly-villain-man scenes, I loved the rest of this episode.

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I honestly don't get why everyone thinks Secretary Eun is a moron :/

I mean, how in the world was Secretary Eun supposed to know that revealing the location of the King's vacation was going to lead to his murder??!! Nothing happened to Obama when he went to Hawaii for his Christmas vacation. Nothing happened to Bush during his 490 vacation days at his Texas ranch. Etc, etc.

David Craig was supposedly an "old friend" of Secretary Eun. It's completely believable Secretary Eun didn't know David Craig worked for Club M.

It would have been MORE illogical if Secretary Eun sold out the King for a Beatles album. Secretary Eun was a loyal staff member for 6 episodes. It would be crazy if Secretary Eun suddenly turned evil. That angle could have worked IF the scriptwriters showed hints of Secretary Eun's resentment/greed in previous episodes. But they didn't. I think this dilemma makes Secretary Eun's character more complex and is an interesting psychological study into the effects of guilt/denial on someone as upright as Secretary Eun~~

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plus i think that david craig was donor ( or something like that ) to the royal family.. as in david craig had previous connection to the royal family, So I guess the secretary never thought that he would betray or cause the king to be killed.

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I totally agree with you. Secretary Eun made a mistake - an extremely costly one, yes, but a mistake nonetheless. I don't think its beyond the realms of understanding that someone as smart as Secretary Eun could have been duped into revealing the location for the king's vacation. Remember that it was done by someone who has been both a long time donor to the royal family and reportedly an old friend of the secretary. Someone he trusted and couldn't have imagined as having ties to Club M. In fact, their entire conversation about friendship and what not was meant as a "guilt trip" for the secretary, to manipulate him into telling the location, since its just between old friends.

This sets up interesting character developments for the secretary, who probably strives for perfection in his work (hence his lack of trust and respect for JH, since he knows him as a "ne'er do well") but turns out to be all too human nonetheless. And imagine the developments of the relationship between him and his son SK when he finds out what his father inavertently did. SK is a character who to all appearances respects his father, and values honesty and sincerity. Can you imagine how devastated he would be?

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Sec Eun crosssed the line from bumbling to plotting when he did NOT reveal the Club M took responsibility for the deaths.

Not only did he not mention ANYTHING at ALL about a possible Club M connection when he "confessed" to the king about not checking the house.
(It's not a confession when you don't actually tell on yourself.)
he, wait for it, INVITES THE KILLER TO THE PALACE!

This puts him squarely on the dark side.
He prolly had a contract to help build the Deathstar.
He may not be Voldemorte, but he is a Deatheater.
He is one of Saurons minions.
I ran out of examples.

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my two cents on this one is - why of all places in Korea did he suggests Anmyeongdo which is the kings vacation's spot? He could have suggests Jeju or Busan if he was just asking for a good vacation spot. He already refused to divulge that information from their earlier conversation saying that it's confidential even from the staffs. I think it would be logical to think that as the kings right-hand man, you shouldn't give any information or hint about the king just to anyone even from your own family member.

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I agree. The question asked of him was what vacation spot in Korea would he suggest. Did he have to go and say the very same place the king was vacationing at the moment? As you said, there are others...many others, I'm sure.

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David Craig might not even know he was the cause of the King's death. In this day of electronic evesdropping. The phone could have been linked at the celltower. A number of ways this could have happened where Club M never used David Craig at all.

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If you pay close attention to the conversation Secretary Eun has with psycho-boy after he speaks with Jae Ha about not thoroughly inspecting the vacation place, psycho-boy nails it on the head. If Secretary Eun had told him of Club M's involvement (and about psycho-boy in particular), Jae Ha has the personality where he would have hunted him down, hell bent on revenge. And that would have had repercussions for everyone involved and possibly leave the country in ruin. And I think Secretary Eun understood this. At least that's what I got out of it.

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I agree with you and I think that the most precise words for his character. If he is written like downright eveil that will be so common and lame and wouldn't turn into something different. But I can see what he is coming and how complex his character are. It is more towards perfection of his own outlook and many complex in denial between loyalty etc.

But i just have one complain, the phone calls between him and john mayer is getting a bit too much and it kilss the tension already. How come he always taking up his phone calls and follows his ways giving him satisfaction ( i mean during the phone calls) not later. Later is understandable because of the plot.

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This episode is awesome. Lee seungi has improved a lot on his acting.Anticipating the next kingday.

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/le big sigh with equally mingled laughter and tears

Thanks for the recap!

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Thanks for the recap! Can't wait to read.

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Love this drama, but felt the romance was really really rushed. JaeHa is a total ass when he's trying to seduce her before their engagement, she announces that she's going to get engaged, he's shocked because he's basically demonstrated he's a total asshole, then because they get drunk and their true emotions come out for a little they make out. And then voila, after that, they're just all cutesy and there's some unspoken understanding that all is forgiven and each of them knows the other side loves them...? i'm still so confused that there's no more DTR or something...

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ZOMG, my thoughts exactly!! Their sudden engagement was definitely one of the weaker plot points in the drama. The drama did a good job of showing that Jae Ha had stirrings of genuine attraction to Hang Ah, but there definitely wasn't enough time after their mutual confession for them to decide they want to marry each other. And like you said, their suddenly warm, understanding rapport/camaraderie seemed out of the blue. But yeah, I suppose it's to be explained by Jae Kang's death. After Jae Kang's death, Jae Ha matures, leans on Hang Ah for emotional support, etc, etc.

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I actually had no problems with their sudden engagement.
In my mind, i knew that they both didn't love each other yet, and yet, they were somewhat forced into a marriage.
I think anything can happen when it comes to royalty and the old customs. They both have a mutual attraction with each other, they did go through alot while at the WOC training camp.
In my head, for them, it's not like they're gonna deny the engagement. They both know they have feelings not to the extent of love. All they know is, that if they don't have them next to them, they'll be thinking about them like crazy. Which was evident when Hang Ah and Jae Ha first left the camp.
perhaps they know there's room for their love to grow -- and deep down, that's why they're not denying each other.
I think the fact that they didn't have time to see whether or not they wanted to get married was in my head better played out. Realistic, i think.

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I'm agree with you too, the part that they are need each other is the 'mature' part, not cutesy romantic like a pair of teenager, but the way of mature acts. Well, their character is 30 years old. So I think, yes, it's realistic

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DTR?

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what does that mean?

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I agree. I feel like they didn't really declare their feelings clearly and stuff. But I think all of the things they were going through tightened their bonds? I don't know. haha. I'm confused too :O

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I don't think there is ''LOVE'' yet. Sure they like each other and JH himself admited it when he talked with HA, but their marriage isn't because of love but more political stuff.

HA likes him, and she really wants to marry, and have no boyfriend or someone in her mind, why not accept the marriage? It's also a honor for her and her country.

Then, we have JH, is not like he accepted to marry HA because he loves her. He is doing it because he messed things up, kissed HA and her father saw it, and then things between N.K and S.K could get ugly because of his mistakes and since he loves his hyung PLUS he likes HA (not love but he likes her and feels atracted)

''they’re just all cutesy and there’s some unspoken understanding that all is forgiven and each of them knows the other side loves them…? ''

You wanted HA to what? To get angry at him and fight with him after his brother and sister in law died? Really? lol He is a ass but she likes him, and if she treats him well, why the heck he would treat her bad ? Why treat her badly after she did a dinner for him and all?

Also kissing, sleeping with someone doesn't necessary mean you love that person lol

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Agree with you on all points.

Also, we have to keep in mind that in JH's situation, he was headed for an arranged marriage with someone.
He wasn't fighting his hyung over that fact at all. He just wanted to be the one to choose the bride.

There have to be plenty of readers here at this site who are in or know someone in an arranged marriage, or at least one that followed an arranged introduction. Falling in love before the wedding? Not gonna happen when there's no time for courtin.'

We saw sparks of attraction jumping from JH to HA, but not love. Under normal circumstances, there is no time to fall in love before the marriage. Now in a crisis, this couple became partners in something a LOT bigger than they had originally signed up for. We hope love will happen, but it is not guaranteed.

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My thoughts exactly. We see that there is a mutual attraction between the two and they admitted it themselves. Their marriage is more for political reasons rather than because they love each other to death. We know that Jae Kang is setting his brother up for arranged marriage but it would be best if Jae Ha actually likes the girl. So their engagement is actually not awkward for me at all. Jae Ha would like to avoid it if possible because it's the easy way out. But they were caught making out, and so they went along with the flow (also pressure from Hang Ah's daddy) and got engaged. If no one caught them kissing, his hyung and her dad wouldn't even know both do actually like each other (her dad suspects something though).

At this point in the story, I feel that they're not totally in LOVE yet despite having slept together (I feel that scene is more Hang-Ah trying to comfort Jae Ha than anything else). Both are still unsure of each other's feelings. Especially Jae Ha, even though we as audiences can feel his feelings towards Hang Ah, but he doesn't clearly express it to her in the drama. Hence why we have that Hang ah+daddy phone scene in the episode 9 preview. Daddy basically says to Hang Ah "He doesn't have the power to protect you nor is he inclined to do so. You're the only one who likes him and you're the only one crying." We can see from her expression that she's wavering, and is deeply affected by her father's words. Meaning she doesn't have faith in Jae-Ha's feelings for her yet.

At least I hope I'm on the same page as the writer. If the writer doesn't expand on their loveline and show us how they really come to fall "in love" by the end, I'd be very disapointed with the love line in this drama. If the writer's original intention is to tell us that they're already in LOVE in episode 8, then I wouldn't be able to accept that. I have faith in the writer though, since at least so far her writing (especially in the character relationship/ interaction area) is superb and has really touched me. And at least so far, the writer has been building up their relationship slowly, so I don't think the writer would make that big of a leap just in these two episodes.

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I agree with you Lizzie.
Their relationship is so realistic to me, it's a breath of fresh air.
Perhaps we've gotten used to the dramas where the main guy and girl don't admit their true feelings until halfway or even later..
Jae Ha and Hang ah both have an attraction to each other, there's no denying that. That's why the kiss happening after playing around & being drunk was very natural -- for me. You don't have to love someone to kiss them. Also, they slept together after an emotional connection, something that is rather natural as well.
They're both 30, and i think that throughout the story, we'll have both of em fall even more in love with each other as she's there for him while he's workin' hard at being king.
About the cutesy part -- i was surprised. Where are they being cutesy-cheesy? I think she was just trying to cheer him up, knowing he's completely stressed out. I consider it cutesy if they were both acting all rainbows and unicorns, which doesn't seem like it to me.

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I think Ha ji won already loves the King. Her father knew that.

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I think Ha ji won already loves the King. Her father knew that.

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I had the exact same thoughts, but I think the discussion is pretty spot on: it's these kinds of crises that bond people. I also think that they did really become friends training for the WOC--we've seen previous bonding moments like the treadmill and hiking incident (though apparently everyone is forgetting that time he shot her...whatevs...). I think their friendship is strong, and that's slowly turning into something more romantic, because that sexual tension has always been there.

@jomo--for the record-DTR is define the relationship

I really loved this episode, despite all the angst, and I thought the recap was very well written :) Thanks for all your hard work, girlfriday!

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He regretted shooting her immediately, and told her he felt the shot burn through his heart, so... when the next 'is she the betrayer' situation comes up, he might not rush to judgment, remembering his earlier mistake. Just a thought. I love that their relationship is developing first as one of mutual respect and trust, both as partners and as adversaries. The sparks are there too, but if she couldn't kick his butt, he couldn't take refuge in her. I think only that kind of relationship can withstand the weight of royal responsibiliies. Hang Ah reminds me of Jae Ha's mum.

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I want to see that "betrayer" situation come up again. It'd make a great parallel to the earlier incident. Better yet, make it a "should I shoot?" situation again like last time

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people's brain do some unexplainable stuffs in times of crisis. you become especially (and abruptly) fond (or in love) with the closest people you are with (that is Hang Ah) at times like that. love in times of war or something to that effect. that is (psychologically) possible. :) so the "rush" romance or affection is quite ok and logical for me.

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Agreed! It's all a bit fast for me considering just how GIANT of an ass JaeHa was for 6 episodes.

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Thank you for the superb recap once again :) This show, it is eating my life.

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woah i think i might have to pick this drama up again.... heading off to watch.

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"Suddenly he flashes back to the Beatles album, and the conversation where he gave up the king’s location (made as a suggestion for a good place to vacation), only now his eyes widen in shock."
I hate moron too, especially the moron who will continue to help the villain to protect his' moron'ness.
Anyway, what is 'aegyoak means?

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aegyo = "cute"

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Thank you, GF! :)

I love how despite of his worries as soon as he sees Hang Ah, it brings smile to his face. Just her presence alone gives him strength. The best part for me in this episode was Hang Ah comes to the rescue for Jae Shin. To me it is such a poignant scene, how she’s so tough, caring for her and being able to pull off her funny side. Jae Ha really did an outstanding job shouldering on and even maturing fast in order to keep the Palace together. He has a long ways to go; however, I do like his aggressiveness and straightforwardness. Ha’s future looks grim. I just hope that they won’t use her as a scape-goat. Well, in that case, she’ll probably put the pieces together how the King passed away. Then, we are going to see some Ass Kicking action from Hang Ah. WooHoo!

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Hang-ah and Jae-shin scene is the most touching scene for me too. This is about 2 women who cherish their pride more than anything in the world. Jae-shin the spoiled princess rediscovers the basic human condition while Hang-ah finds herself useful again as a "team leader", as GF says. If that doesn't seal a definite friendship, then nothing will do. I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the drama it was Jae-shin who would help Hang-ah for her childbirth.
"No one who's going to kill herself talks that way...": Is it some kind of personal experience for Hang-ah? I'm wondering...

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Yes, I felt the same way too, regarding Jae Shin scene. Lee Yon Ji conveyed her part exceptionally awesome. I'm sitting here really believing she was paralyzed. The way she was reaching for that tissue whilst crying is just so hard to really bear. Can you imagine us in her situation, not being able to do daily normal activities we used to do? Gosh. I really felt sorry for her. Then, Wham! My precious Hang Ah comes to the rescue. I love the tough love she gave Jae Shin. Am now really curious about that "experience?" Am now wondering if at one point it happened to her?

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I think she might experienced it while she is a 'team leader' in special force, no emotional connection (and no hint) of that too I guess.

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totally agree with you..

one more thing, I found HangAh's usual dialect (which is sometimes little bit annoying for me) was totally different when she "scolded" JaeShin, and in my opinion, I seriously like it~ lol~ I wish she would use it more often in future.

JH and HA.. both will be a charming royal couple who will indeed maintain their formality, but.. somehow I can imagine their 180 degree different personalities during private time inside their chamber - you know, couple quality time.. lol.. ha ha ha (please forgive my wild imagination)

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hahahaha.. we're all a bit pervy when it comes to that honey.. so.. don't worry about it.... :-))

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Uups wrong typing. I mean, what is the meaning of aegyo?

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Look at that video: You will understand :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQJ0b7lSoXU

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my voice is already high-pitched-- at least over the phone or when recorded. I think if I go any higher, it'll get screechy. XD Plus, I'm awkward when trying to "act" cute, it's better when it comes naturally in those small out-of-no-here bursts (I'm surprised I even have natural cuteness, I'm so hopelessly awkward and klutzy. I've been known to run into things right in front of me, like giant boxes, cabinets, closets, walls.) T.T

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You can't be klutzier than me.
But you know, sometime guys fall for naturally clumsy girls. :)
I hate the acted aegyo as a girl, and if i were a man i believe i would find it exasperating. I don't even know if i could do the "op-pa!" thing. I know, people don't die of shame, but still...

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Thanks for recapping.
I agree, there are many lame loopholes that I don't buy at all (Eun Kyu-tae, are you fucking kidding me?! I thought he was more of a stickler than making that mistake, and not confessing doesn't quite match his character until John Mayer psychically mind-read him through the phone. but then again maybe the atmosphere of how the mistake unfolded wasn't portrayed well enough. Because we as an audience were made to see the darkness in the events and what it foreshadowed, when really we should have been shown Eun Kyu-tae's experience of signing and talking to a million donors a day and being a great beatles fan. Whichever, I still don't buy that he would have been unprofessional enough to let that slip....I had thought he was a mole too, which I would have liked better, that he is another side villain with his own agenda).

Whooo. Rant almost over. Besides that, I thought the relationship building and mourning was superbly well done. It gave it all a very different feel. That this was more than just a romantic drama in kdrama world, but that these characters were really relateable in their struggle to hold it together. Ha Jiwon was just gorgeous in the bathing scene, great job on the camera, colors, and lighting. I hope this stronger character of hers gets to shine more later instead of the little innocent girly act that she overplays too often when she is with LeeSeungGi.

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One last thing.
King with NO security. Don't fuckin play with me. No country will let their current ruler go a few minutes without bloody securities present within a couple feet of him/her. No CCTV. How convenient. Too convenient. If they're going to play this super evil villain story, they better start getting their act together, because it is too weak when viewed against the backdrop of the main characters' relationships and possible cooperative character growth.

What the fuck is John Mayer's main reason for picking on the royal family anyways? It better be something psycho-lly legit or World War III...not some stupid birth secret.

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Arms dealer got to protect his interest. He is about to lose billions in arms sale to North Korea. John Mayer is actually just a John Doe, representing all those with financial and political interests in having the Koreas remain as status quo, just as in real life though they are not just 1 person.

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makes sense, but what about in the first episode? when he was already creepy/psycho and decided to drive a pen in Jae Ha? at that age, he didn't have political or financial agenda then, did he?

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I don't understand what's so unrealistic in the villain's character (apart from his theatrical portrayal à la Joker). He was a coward as a kid, obviously envious and just as obviously not very sane, who thought he was smarter than everyone else because he could stab a prince and not be caught. It's called megalomania.
As I see it, his father wasn't a good person either, as the president of a company which deals with weapons. Not wanting to wait for a natural death, our John Meyer decides to takes matter in his "capable" hands, kills his father and is now completely free to go on with his maniac plan, which involves getting rid of a kind who's trying to make peace with the North - unacceptable for someone who earn his millions with wars - and whom he's hated since they were at school together.

The scene in which he finally enters the palace and mimics the movements of the guards, as if he were a conductor, is another indicator of his greed for power. And the new king not remembering him is the last straw for his distorted ego.

I'm not overly concerned by why someone in a drama is as mad as a hatter. Any logical explanation would end up being totally insufficient to justify his craziness. Therefore, I simply ascribe it to a combination of factors: a madman who on top of it all derives his money from the death of others.

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sorry for the typos.
It's king and not kind, among others. :)

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Have no problems with megalomaniacs (related to a few myself :P) but it's the bad acting that kills it for me. It's like the writers and the actor are trying to imitate and do a send-up of all the infamous screen villains and failed. Instead it is disingenuous, awkward, cheesy, boring and just painful to watch. It is one of the two big liabilities in the otherwise stellar drama.

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I am sorry for asking that but with" spending the night together", you mean they had sex???I am confused

I really love this drama and the dark background.

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I think it was implied, but I'm actually not completely sure either :/
Usually in dramaland, when two leads are shown waking up in bed together in varying degrees of undress, it's implied that they had sex. But in this case, considering Jaeha's emotional state I'm not completely sure about it. Either way, totally cute. :3

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I got to agree. I think it was not sexual at all just at most cuddling. Letting him know there is another human being in that room who wants to be there with you.

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I think the deed is done.

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So do I. I read somewhere that sometimes, after a tragedy or a trauma, people use sex as proof that they are still alive. Because what better way to feel alive than being intimate with another human being? Add that to the already growing affections being HA and JH, that emotional connection they just shared when JH finally let himself grive openly in HA's arms, and that explosive chemistry as evidenced by last week's kissing scenes, and it makes perfect sense that they ended up sleeping with each other.

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Sorry not sure why it would be done without both of them cuddling. Jae Ha with all the crap piling up not holding Hang Ah close to him just hits me more as he fell asleep holding her and she seperated to give him a bit of distance.

Also the bed clothes? Really someone is going to have raw needing to feel alive and comforted sex and take the time to get out of bed and put on clothes?

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I hope so. Given that Hang-ah had never been kissed before, I doubt she'd ever been in bed with a man before. If they did end up having sex, it may not have been a pleasant experience for her, physically.

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I am hoping that it would be so, that's it just a comforting time for both of them. As much as I love for the two of them having their special time. A romantic moments filled with all the works would be very fitting since it’s supposedly HA’s first time.

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Yup -- the deed has been done.
He seemed pretty undressed to me. Who has time to take off his cardigan, then dress shirt, then undershirt, if he really fell asleep.
The scene was done very low-key. They are both 30, and engaged. so .. no judgie there.
So i came to the conclusion that it was done to portray something rather realistic.
We were mourning throughout this whole episode so it'd be rather crass to include intimate details of their sleeping together.
I guess they were just showing what would naturally happen to a couple after an emotional connection.
But down the line i am expecting a very heated bed scene when the time calls for it.

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If the deed was done, then I'm disappointed at the writers for not showing in a more romantic way esp for Hangah since it would be her first time.

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same here. i think a lot of people expected there to be more to it. it's a bit...anti climatic?

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yes dear... she lost her 30 years old virginity to Jae Ha.

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I was going to ask the same question. I was totally in the 'no way would they' camp until the camera very clearly showed him sans shirt. They just needed some platonic skinship?

At the same time she is so, so innocent it just seems like she wouldn't do that. Did she martyr her viriginity to his grief?

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I know...it was all too confusing whether they slept together or not. He wasn't wearing a shirt but she was wearing something? And there was no build-up to the sex, like a kiss or laying down or anything. And that's a really good point you made, she wouldn't have given up her virginity to him just to relieve his grief a little.

I think they just fell asleep together on the bed. But I'm still not 100% sure about it hmmmm

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Oh god, these last two episodes just got me in the gut. Went through a pint of ice cream and a box of tissues... *sniff*
I loved the interaction between Hangah and the rest of the royal family. So sweet :)

Also I just wanted to point out:
"A while later Mom heads out for a speaking engagement, and when she overhears Mom giving orders, Jae-shin screams that no one’s allowed near her except Shi-kyung."
I believe in that scene, Jaeshin was screaming "If Eun Shikyung is out there, make him leave!" I think this makes more sense, considering her intense pride, she definitely wouldn't want him seeing her like that any more than necessary.

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You're right~~ Jae Shin yells to her mom, "Who's outside? If it's Eun Shi Kyung send him out!" I think GF isn't completely fluent in Korean based on small errors/occasional mistranslations in her recaps. Or maybe it's due to the lack sleep and/or the rush to post recaps as soon as possible~~ Meh, I know I'm just splitting hairs :)

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i haven't even watched this episode, still waiting for subs... BUT I can tell from just the screen caps that seunggi did some solid acting in this episode.

The boy does his duality of angst and humor very well.

*sigh* I KNEW I SHOULD have waited until the drama was over to marathon it! Damn now I have to wait...

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Thank you for the recap, Girlfriday!

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Thank you for the recaps GF.
This is such a beautiful episode for me. I feel like I was there and felt the pain. It just feels real.
*claps in tears

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First time replier but been reading your recaps since I found Secret Garden here in the states.I have not yet seen 7&8 due to DramaFever taking forever and a day to get them. I wanted to know what was comming.

I have seen too many Western Spy films and mini series. So I will give my POV and we see where theings fall into place.

The method used will be seen as one favored by North Korean agents. (To give the public the idea that the North Koreans did this so that Hang-Ah could be Queen. We know she did not but it can cause a great deal of heartache)

I think the secretary got bitten. The contact who called was a old time supporter of the Royal Family. With a million and one ways to get that info from phone taps to the guy on the other end being a agent of Club M. So I do not think he is a bad guy. He just thouhgt the phone was secure and the person he was talking to was on the up and up.

Back to the crystal ball. I see the old man having been screwed over starting to play the waiting game of trying to draw Club M into range where he can destroy it without endangering the King.

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Watch it on Viki - their subs are faster than DF.
:)

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just found out hulu also has till episode 6

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Eng Subs also available at epdrama.com
They are faster too.

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Ya ya! ~ Viki, Firefox with adblock plus!

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This week's episodes really flowed nicely with each other.

At your prediction that Secretary Eun will likely have a redeeming story arc, my first thought was of the many redemption story arcs that end with said character's death in the end. I can totally imagine Secretary Eun somehow using his life to save JaeHa then have Earnest Bot ShiKyung being promoted to replace papa Eun as JaeHa's confidant, loyal subject, secretary of sorts, and (hopefully/maybe) future-brother-in-law.

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Yeah that was how I see it. Unless the Princess gets married to Kyung and goes into singing with her.

The Crystal gazing I think also sees her at least some feelings below where the break is. Christophere Reeve was the public face for the advances made on experimental treatments. I do not see her walking again but recovering feeling in lower limbs.

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"A while later Mom heads out for a speaking engagement, and when she overhears Mom giving orders, Jae-shin screams that no one’s allowed near her except Shi-kyung. Mom tells him that he’s in charge and turns to go, only to run into Hang-ah on her way in."

I thought that Jae Shin asked her mom if it was Shi Kyung that was outside her room, because if it really was him outside, she wanted him to be sent away. Then her mom goes, "It's the doctor (whom I'm talking to)."

Or did I get it wrong?

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Ah, I didn't realise someone else has pointed that out.

Must. refresh. page. more. often. :D

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Yeah you're right -- she shouts it from the other room. It's "If it's Shi-kyung, send him away," which sounds about two syllables off from "If it's not Shi-kyung, send them away." My Shi-kyung-loving self must've filled in the gap. ;)

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Thanks for the reply, GF. I really didn't expect that you'd be the one to answer!

And I'm right there with you on the Shi Kyung boat. :D

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Shipping those two HARD. This is only the second thing I've seen the actor in - third (I think) for the actress. Have loved them both to bits in each series but am truly blown away by the soulfulness of Jo Jung Suk. He was such a dork in What's Up (with moments of manliness) and now he's such an intense, serious MAN...and we all know he can sing the PANTS off anyone else, plus he's looking kinda handsome - sounds to me like someone needs to be the lead in a drama! What do we think, ladies?

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"It's the nurse"~~

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I love how Hang-ah can be the reliable Unni to Jae-shin!
And I totally love the moment when Shi-kyung lost his composure while Jae-shin was threatening to kill herself but he's just outside unable to do anything.

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I loved that part too. Poor baby looked so helpless.

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So agree! I love how he said with a shaky voice "ottokke?"

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Thanks GF for the recap! I think this was my favorite episode yet.

I was so sad to lose the king in the last episode-he was so sweet and so stable:)

But this episode got me crying and laughing at the same time. So many good moments.

Can't wait to watch!

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Woaaah! TOTALLLY Loving Lee Seung Gi's acting!! OMG. I feel so connected to JH's pain!! It's heartbreaking!!
I love the feel of the episode.. How everything is so calm even after all that tragedy .. It's so tragic.
Can't waiiiiit til the next episode!!! I hope HA wont be separated from JH too long if they send her back in NK!!! Not even for sweet scenes but just to be there for him in this somber period.. I dont want them to suffer even more! :(

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I love the show!!! i love how ha ji won have to act to be acting to learn how to speak in south korean accent... but more importantly the secondary cast were really bril, everyone's acting was just awesome! i seriously think Ive lost my ability to cry after these 2 ep. Im all cried out! But I love u Lee seung gi! Go TK2H!!!!v thank u Girlfriday!!!!!

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Thanks for the recap! That was very good. It met all my expectations and then some. I can't wait for the next ep.

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Oh. That's what happens. I'm dying to know what happened in that hospital room, I was laughing as Hang-ah slaps Jae-shin's back. As I read, I still laugh with a little bit tear in my eyes.

I love all the cast. Such perfect cast with a good chemistry. Will miss hyung terribly but can't wait for Lee Seunggi to be in full king force.

I had a lil wish: wishing Jae Shin a bit younger or Jae-ha a lil bit older. Or do something with Jae Shin's hair so she looks younger. She looks her age but that's not a good thing considering her being Lee Seung Gi little sister. I kinda believe Lee Seung Gi is same age with Ha Ji Won, somehow Seung Gi short hair makes him looks older..

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I second that! her hair makes her seems older, she needs a different hairstyle.

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i think different color. but im not sure what color will work.

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She would look younger with her natural dark hair. She does pull off the redhead look pretty well, but anything other than your natural color is going to lead to a certain harshness that is not present with untreated hair. Don't get me wrong! She's lovely, and I don't think she looks 'old' - but I think she could play younger with a more natural look.

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