There’s lots of feel-good satisfaction in this episode, which makes it an especially fun watch. Ladies taking charge of their destinies, men acting like children, reunions and some good old-fashioned smooching? Yeah, it’s allll good.
Episode 11 gives us just enough conflict to make the stakes worth it, but not so much that we’re dying in our seats, wanting the unhappy to end. ‘Cause we’re zooming along soon enough anyway, thank goodness.
SONG OF THE DAY
Flower – “She” [ Download ]
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Hee-jin arrives at the awards ceremony and spots Boong-do standing in the crowd. THANK GOD. They stand there for long moments, taking in the sight of each other with relief, while the crowd blurs around them like they’re the only two who matter. Which is true enough.
The reverie breaks when Dong-min reclaims Hee-jin’s hand to lead her inside. In the brief moment that she looks away, Boong-do disappears from her sightline, and she walks the red carpet scanning the crowd for his face.
In fact, the glimpse was so brief that she’s back to doubting herself. When Soo-kyung asks about her distraction, Hee-jin admits that she thought she saw Boong-do, although she adds, “I know I was mistaken.”
Soo-kyung’s on edge when she slips out to meet Boong-do, although she wonders how she’ll even recognize the guy she’s never met. Boong-do, on the other hand, recognizes her and greets her warmly, which makes her suspicious—who is he, and what’s his deal? Boong-do sees that she doesn’t remember him: “I am disappointed. And I thought we had grown quite friendly.”
I enjoy the dash of droll humor in the editing of their conversation: We don’t need to hear the whole explanation, so we just get a drily funny long shot, no sound, with Soo-kyung gesticulating wildly. I love how she talks so emphatically with her hands.
We jump into the conversation as Boong-do asks about Hee-jin’s car. She doesn’t understand why Boong-do claims she taught him how to drive, and says in frustration, “You strangely say the same thing Hee-jin does.”
Soo-kyung says that even if she were to believe that Boong-do is from 300 years ago, it makes no sense that he’d be sitting here. He concedes that it makes sense for her to find the situation absurd, and she takes that as an admission of its fakeness, assuming he’s Hee-jin’s fan.
Boong-do silently sorts through everything as she talks. Once Soo-kyung steps aside, he thinks to himself, “It isn’t memories that have disappeared, but time.”
He thinks of the talisman that got cut, right under the character for time; essentially, time has reset in this new reality. While he and Hee-jin remember what they lived through, it didn’t actually happen in this world.
Having decided he’s a stalker-fan, Soo-kyung clucks to herself that it’s a shame for such a nice man to end up in his state. In fact, she feels sorry for Boong-do’s obsession, and starts telling him how Hee-jin really isn’t that great in person, hahaha. “It’s all makeup and lights!”
He still looks dispirited, though, so she says that a nice-looking guy like himself shouldn’t be hung up on celebrities when he’d have no problem finding women. That actually makes him choke on his tea, and he laughs, “Is that so? That is somewhat comforting.”
Her next words make him smile even more, because he’s already sat through the third degree with Soo-kyung, and her line of thinking is exactly the same as the Other Reality Soo-kyung’s: What school does he go to? Where is he from? How does he get by financially? Her reactions to his answers are likewise identical, and he laughs at her consistency of character.
Boong-do just has one question for Soo-kyung: Does Hee-jin think it was all a dream? Soo-kyung answers of course—a dream should be thought of as a dream. Why wouldn’t she, when she’s got a boyfriend and a good life?
Eep! The mention of “boyfriend” wipes the amusement from his face. Soo-kyung identifies him as Han Dong-min, the man at the awards with Hee-jin.
Speaking of which and whom, Hee-jin sits backstage awaiting her turn, her thoughts fixated on Soo-kyung’s strange response to that caller. Then she recalls Boong-do in the crowd… Was he real after all?
But Boong-do won’t be calling from that number anytime soon. He promises Soo-kyung not to contact Hee-jin again, “Because I can’t ruin the life of the woman I care for.”
Soo-kyung looks uncomfortable at his response and for crushing his hopes—not enough to stop meddling, but enough that she doesn’t feel good about it. That’s enough for me. I don’t love what she’s doing, but I can understand where she’s coming from.
Hee-jin deduces enough to be suspicious, and when Soo-kyung returns to the awards hall, she demands her phone back. She guesses that the call wasn’t a simple nude model request: “It was Kim Boong-do, wasn’t it?” Soo-kyung’s guilty look is enough to confirm it, and Hee-jin blows up: She did see him earlier! She wasn’t imagining things!
Soo-kyung says defensively that she did it because she was afraid Hee-jin would react exactly this way. Hee-jin asks where he went, and all Soo-kyung knows is what he said: “Home.”
Fuming and anxious, Hee-jin immediately heads outside, ignoring Soo-kyung’s shouts for her to come back. I love the image of Hee-jin kicking off her heels, running back down the now-empty red carpet like a Cinderella who’s chasing down her dream instead of running from it.
She darts across town barefoot with her dress train flung over her arm, and arrives at the cafe. Boong-do’s and Soo-kyung’s beverage glasses are still on the table, but he’s nowhere to be seen.
She takes one moment to let the disappointment sink in, but whirls around and flags down a taxi. No time to wallow. Got a man to catch!
Hee-jin bites her nails all the way to the park, urging the driver to hurry. He recognizes her from TV and is content to chat with his celebrity customer, but her patience runs out and she squawks, “I asked you to hurry! Are you going to take responsibility if my life gets ruined?!” She beats the seat in front of her and shrieks, “HIT THE GAS, WILL YOU!” Hee. Probably not the most PR-worthy move, but I approve.
She doesn’t even pay him upon arrival, just shouting at him to wait. Which is one of those things I always find funny about other dramas, when people are in life-or-death circumstances but manage to pay the driver before resuming their chase/escape/grand gesture.
Hee-jin arrives at the red telephone booth, spirits nosediving to see it empty. She sinks down into a crouch right there, heavy-hearted.
Joseon. Han-dong opens the gate to find a monk there, sent by monk Young-myung (the one Boong-do has been meeting) to check on Boong-do’s safety, in the aftermath of the attack earlier. Yoon-wol comes running up, her Boong-do-dar pinging at the suggestion of danger.
But Han-dong finds Boong-do at his desk, calmly writing. He instructs Han-dong to take a letter to the Euigeumbu (royal investigators), which tips them off about Ja-soo so they can arrest him before he flees the city.
Yoon-wol asks Boong-do whether he found his talisman. He says yes, but it must remain a secret from everyone, even monk Young-myung—its very existence is a threat. Yoon-wol agrees, then asks anxiously whether he met that woman.
Boong-do replies evenly, “How do you think it turned out?”
At the awards ceremony, Dong-min wonders where Hee-jin went. Soo-kyung is on pins and needles trying to get a hold of her, so when Hee-jin finally calls, hurries to answer. (Though she lies to Dong-min, not wanting to alarm him.)
Hee-jin calls from the cab, saying she couldn’t meet Boong-do and is on her way back. She sighs heavily and slumps over… and smiles?
Flashback: Hee-jin hunches in front of the phone booth and flips through her phone, seeing a page of calls from that booth. All those times Boong-do called, and she didn’t answer.
Boong-do returns to his hiding in the park, where he prepares to swap his modernwear for Joseon garb. He takes one last look out at the view… and sees Hee-jin in the booth. She’s dialing a number, perhaps her own, in a re-enactment of what he would have done. But she’s interrupted by a knock at the door.
She turns, and there he is. They stand for a long moment just staring at each other, till he asks, “Why are you here? Did you… chase me here?” Hee-jin steps forward and wraps her arms around his waist, head to chest.
That’s the image Hee-jin harbors in her head on the taxi ride, smiling secretly to herself.
Flashback over, we return to Yoon-wol’s question—did he meet “her”? Boong-do answers vaguely, “It is quite a relief that I had not committed a capital offense. Just know that.” HAHA. He means, of course, that he sure is glad he wasn’t having an illicit affair with the sitting queen.
Ja-soo makes another visit to prison to alert Minister Min of his impending departure; it’s only a matter of time before the authorities track him down. He confirms his earlier theory about the talisman, having seen Boong-do disappear with his own eyes.
Ja-soo slips out of the prison just before Han-dong arrives with his letter, so for now he’s able to evade capture.
Later that night, a party is in full swing at a Seoul nightclub, its attendees including Dong-min and a bunch of actors from the award ceremony. A room of actresses flirt with him to join their party, but he’s fixated on finding Hee-jin.
She’s outside, having slipped away quietly. Dong-min’s manager is outside, though, which sends her ducking behind cars. (Hilariously, we can hear him flirting with an actress and saying cheesy lines in the background. Like star, like manager?)
Another flashback shows us how Hee-jin had made plans with Boong-do to meet at home later, since they both had things to take care of. She’d stated her street address for him, frustrated at the lack of writing materials, but Boong-do had rattled it off right back at her: “Memorizing is a special skill of mine.” One of many.
Hee-jin scuttles her way to a taxi and makes it home safely. She immediately starts unzipping her dress, then stops and screams, her bra in full view: Boong-do sits in her apartment, staring. Gulp. He throws up a hand to shield his view, and says he didn’t mean to startle her or trespass.
Hee-jin zips herself back up and huffs that he sure did, and they banter back and forth about how he had no idea she’d just start stripping once she stepped inside her door, and she retorts that that’s totally normal behavior here, and he scoffs that it couldn’t possibly be. They’re so cute.
He wonders at her strange arm-twisted-behind-back pose, and she says the dress is tricky. He offers to help her, and she comments that he sure must feel confident in his ability to undress a woman.
Boong-do offers to step outside so she can change in peace, but she points out, “You’ve already seen everything—now you leave?” Never say he wasn’t fast on the uptake, because he sasses right back in his deadpan tone, “Because I have seen everything, I am now leaving.” Hee. She basically calls him the player-iest player that ever played.
Before he leaves, though, she asks for his talisman; she’s had enough of him disappearing on her. He asks if he won’t even be able to leave of his own will anymore, but she says that it’s worse for her: “I’m always left waiting for someone when I don’t even know when they’ll come.” Boong-do hands it over.
Hee-jin tucks it away in a drawer for safekeeping, which frankly makes me hugely nervous. Boong-do enjoys the night air on the terrace, but soon hears a voice around the corner. It’s Dong-min drunkenly telling his manager that he’s here at Hee-jin’s.
Boong-do ducks back inside, interrupting Hee-jin mid-dress. She yelps and calls him a player again, and he just goes with it: “You keep calling me a player, so let us just assume that is true.” There’s more pressing news, though: They have a guest. But for the first time, Boong-do’s looking scowly; he says pointedly, “It’s your boyfriend.” Omo, are you jealous? That’s adorable. Also, really satisfying.
Boong-do asks for his talisman, but she tells him not to leave. If she ignores the door, Dong-min ought to leave soon enough. Only to hear a beep-beep-beep! at the door as the password is punched in. Eek!
The door dings open and Dong-min comes in calling her name. Hee-jin jumps onto a couch feigning sleep, while Boong-do hides in the loft.
Dong-min pouts that she left the club and playfully grabs her in a headlock. Boong-do’s eyes narrow. Hee-jin tries to usher him to a cafe nearby—she has something “serious” to tell him—but Dong-min doesn’t want to hear anything serious. Instead, he changes his hold to grab her around the waist, then swoops in for a kiss.
I love the look on Hee-jin’s face as she cringes away, but not as much as what happens next: Boong-do squirts Dong-min with a water bottle, from upstairs, like he’s warding off an errant cat. Hee-jin plays it off as a leak, and when Dong-min grabs her again, Boong-do attacks again. Hee!
This squirting attack goes on forever, drenching Dong-min’s face, and that naturally makes Dong-min upset enough to want to find the damn source. Hee-jin points to an imaginary leak in the ceiling, then shoves him into the bathroom to wipe up before he looks up into the loft.
She leaves him there and hurries out to face Boong-do, telling him, “That was incredibly childish, do you know that?” He says innocently, “I merely saw the object containing water and pushed on it.”
He asks what she’s going to do about Dong-min, and she sighs that it’s not his fault, since he doesn’t know anything. Boong-do says, “Did I punish the wrong person? The one who gave her heart to two men is right here…” and he levels the spray bottle at her.
She takes exception—she did nothing wrong! By the way, HE was the one who was getting set up to marry the prime minister’s daughter. Haha. Oh, honey. It’s true, but it’s tantamount to admitting you Google-stalked him. He’s all, Hey how’d you know that? She retorts that everything’s right there in the Annals, and sniffs that he must be thrilled to have the path to success opened before him.
Boong-do teases, saying, “It is tempting.” But that provokes Hee-jin, who complains that she’d better do the punishing, and reaches for something to throw at him. But he stops her by saying, suddenly more serious, “If I take responsibility for you, will that take care of it?” Aieeee!
“Taking responsibility” is a common euphemism for marriage—as in, I’ll handle the consequences of everything so we can be together—and the weightiness of his proposal hangs in the air. It drains Hee-jin of all her pique, and she asks, “How will you do that?” Boong-do replies, “I will think it over, and return. Considering what I risked to come here and see Queen In-hyun’s face again [Hee-jin's], what couldn’t I do?”
Hee-jin takes a moment to take this in, then asks, “You practiced that, didn’t you?” He’s just too good. She returns the talisman to him (oh thank god, that brief separation made me way too nervous), then says, “I’ll be the one taking responsibility.” I love her.
Dong-min emerges and Boong-do ducks back, ready to make his time-jump. Dong-min complains about her shoddy apartment and insists that she move right away, not paying her much heed when she tries to start a serious conversation. She won’t be put off and says point-blank, “Let’s break up.”
This comes out of left field for him, so Hee-jin attempts to explain in the clearest possible way, which isn’t very clear. She says that a former boyfriend has returned, one she dated before she got back together with Dong-min. That sounds like a lame excuse; he accuses her of blaming things on that dream man and now this other boyfriend. She says they’re the same person, and since there’s no good way to make that make sense, she asks him to think of it as her having amnesia, then regaining her memory back. She makes a point to clarify that she was definitely not two-timing.
She’s winding down the explanation when Dong-min suddenly erupts, flinging his jacket in her face and yelling that there’s a limit to his patience. He’s trying to accept everything because of her accident, but she’s really working his last nerve. So she’s dating this dream man, is she? Where is he, huh?
Hee-jin can only say that he’s out of reach right now because he went somewhere far away, which sounds so absurd that Dong-min laughs. He tells her that only when she produces this guy will he consider that she’s not lying.
Hee-jin can’t do that, but she reminds Dong-min, “I let you go quietly last time.” When he cheated on her, she didn’t say a thing because he’d asked her to be cool about it, because he’d met someone and had to follow his heart. So why can’t he take his own words when the situation is reversed?
Dong-min accuses her of doing this as revenge and takes a step toward her… just as a pillow knocks him down from above.
There stands Boong-do, not having leapt after all. He wasn’t convinced she’d be able to “take responsibility” on her own, and sure enough, here she is struggling: “Do you know so little of men?”
I love how the happy couple just stands there grinning at each other while Dong-min fumes: “Is this bastard Kim Boong-do?” Not only does Boong-do cop to that, he holds up the water bottle and claims credit for that too. And sticks out his tongue. Omg.
Dong-min calls him a son of a bitch and charges up the stairs, fists swinging. Oh, pretty boy, this is not a battle you can win. Boong-do dodges and swings, sending Dong-min sprawling onto the bed, then rushes to Hee-jin’s side: “I feel this every time, but that passionate nature of yours is truly a problem. How can you just act on emotion like that, without thinking how to deal with it?”
Dong-min charges back downstairs and grabs a golf club, swinging wildly at Boong-do. Thankfully Boong-do knows a few tricks and sends well-placed punches into Dong-min’s chest, claiming the golf club. Boong-do warns, “I can hold back twice, but not three times. I am warning you, so steer clear.”
Dong-min attacks again, but Boong-do delivers more swift blows and sends him running for cover in the bathroom. He slides the club into the doorjamb and shoots the cowering Dong-min a smile. Then kicks the door in.
It’s hysterical that Dong-min now reverts to sageuk speech to match Boong-do, though it’s an involuntary reflex: “No! Lower your weapon. Why do you act so? Let us talk this out.” Then Dong-min scrambles for safety and shuts himself in the shower. Omg. I love you, drama.
So Boong-do says, “I have decided that is the safest place for you.” He slides the golf club through the door handles, tying them with a towel for good measure.
Dong-min declares that Hee-jin is HIS girlfriend, which the whole world knows—who is Boong-do to insert himself between them and interfere? Those words give Boong-do pause, and he concedes, “Insert between. That is not untrue. One moment.”
He heads outside and asks Hee-jin, “What do you call stealing away a woman who has a prior claim?” Then he heads back to face Dong-min to argue semantics: “Insert between. Well, those words are not wrong. But if we are to take a precise accounting, I was first. Also, just because a goalkeeper exists does not mean a goal cannot be scored.” HAHA. Where’d you pick up soccer terms?
Boong-do says it’s a shame they couldn’t work this out civilly, and advises Dong-min to spend his time in the shower calming down. With a bow of the head, he exits. Heading back outside, he asks Hee-jin what a goalkeeper is. HAHA. Should’ve known it was a Hee-jin-ism.
Hee-jin figures that Soo-kyung will come home and release Dong-min (eventually), and suggests going out. Boong-do thinks she means time-warping away, but she snatches the talisman and says no, out.
Soo-kyung and Dong-min’s manager head home from the club in a happily tipsy state. Then Dong-min calls, practically spitting in fury, accusing some weird guy named Kim Boong-do of appearing out of nowhere and locking him in a shower. He gets even angrier when Soo-kyung seems to know who Boong-do is, accusing her of conspiring with Hee-jin while she was off two-timing him. Whoa there, buddy, you’re gonna give yourself a hernia.
Soo-kyung deals with this crisis in her trademark manner: She screams. Ha. She wails, “Am I going crazy? Look at me. Do I look like a crazy woman?” Manager: “Yes.”
Hee-jin takes Boong-do to an out-of-the-way hotel to use in the meantime and acquaints him with its features. She hops from explanation to explanation, and Boong-do breaks in to ask seriously, “Are you telling me to sleep here alone?”
She has to go back and handle the fallout, but promises to come back in the morning. He looks like a sad, lost puppy as he says, “But I don’t think I will be able to sleep. How am I supposed to spend this long, long night?” Okay, now you’re just being a player.
He pouts, “I am being left alone in a strange place, and my talisman has been taken away. Surely you aren’t really leaving?” Hee-jin hangs her head guiltily, then grabs for the remote—TV! He can amuse himself with that.
But Boong-do tosses the remote away and kisses her. Eee!
It’s Hee-jin who pulls away first, and she tells him in a practical tone that this is no time for this—not when there are so many things to do. “You said my passionate nature was a big problem,” she reminds him.
He replies, “Ah, but I didn’t tell you the other part—how appealing that is.”
Melt. She sighs, “Player.” He says, “I did not know it, but I think I am indeed a player. Agreed.”
So cute. It’s satisfying to see Boong-do exhibit jealousy, even if it seems half-joking, because he’s just so cool and composed that nothing ever ruffles his feathers. A handy trait when you’re on a five-year-long mission of avengerhood and justice, but potentially frustrating when you’re dealing with a love story and you can see why the heroine calls him a player. Hee-jin is such an open book about her emotions that we know exactly where she stands. I’ve never doubted that Boong-do is well on his way to genuinely loving her, but it was a refreshing change to see some of that on his face.
I agreed with Hee-jin regarding Dong-min, in that he was trying to be understanding and seemed like he was thrilled to be back with her. I never thought he’d turned over a new leaf, but a guy who appreciates his woman is always nice to see. And then he blew up and got ragey and my sympathy went poof. He didn’t actually hit her, but he did raise a hand to her and I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised if he’d escalated that confrontation before Boong-do stepped in. I won’t blame a guy for what I think he might’ve done, but what he did do raised enough red flags for me. So there he goes, back on the list of amusingly caddish.
His immaturity is hysterical—cowering on the toilet spouting sageuk-talk? Learned from playing a king, no less?—and how funny that Boong-do should act in kind to deal with him. He’s tried ignoring him (shower stall) and politely holding back (plane from Jeju), and in neither circumstance did Dong-min get it. You wanna get through to the manchild, you act like a manchild. (Which isn’t to say that Boong-do did it on purpose; in fact, it’s particularly hilarious because Boong-do’s reversion to childishness is so unexpected.)
Again this drama takes a middle-ground approach to the question of how much of the world is fated to turn out a certain way, and how much you can change through your choices. I’m liking the way we see the peripheral characters respond to these events in this new reality, as though for the first time, which I suppose it is for them.
What we get is not necessarily a preordained outcome (I have problems with the narrative rigidity of predestination), but a similar script unfolds anyway because people like Soo-kyung and Dong-min react similarly in similar circumstances despite a change in the details. How much do I love that the reason things repeat in this new reality isn’t because of some tyrannical arm of Fate but because of character consistency? Now there’s realism for ya, fantasy time-hopping historical fusion be damned.
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 10
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 9
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 8
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 7
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 6
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 5
- Thing vs. Thing: Time-traveling Heroes
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 4
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 3
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 2
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 1