What a fun and funny series this show is shaping out to be. Despite the many misunderstandings that threaten to drive a wedge between our budding not-a-relationship, there’s also a warm, zippy tone that gives us adorable pairings formed with paper squares and frogs. Because how could you not fall in love with a mischievous kid who uses Daddy’s phone to call in a playdate?
Good news: Prime Minister and I saw a nice leap in ratings for Episode 3, pulling in a 7.3%, putting it ahead of A Warm Word (6.8%), but behind Empress Ki (18.8%). Things are looking up. Yay!
SONG OF THE DAY
Standing Egg – “항상 난 그래 (I’m Always Like This)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Da-jung wakes in the morning with a massive hangover, and laughs to herself at what she thinks is a ridiculous dream of asking the new prime minister to marry her. But that’s when she finally gets her bearings and gasps to find herself at the prime minister’s home. Eep.
Meanwhile Yul leads his three kids in morning kendo practice, which dude, super intense. He reminds them that they’re to be model children since they’re part of his image before getting ready for his first day.
There’s a matter that needs attending to first, and Yul catches Da-jung trying to sneak out unnoticed. He raises an eyebrow to hear that she doesn’t remember anything about last night’s events, let alone her marriage proposal. Da-jung exclaims: “That wasn’t a dream?!”
We then flashback to the previous night as Yul struggled to get Da-jung back home. She was a drunken crying mess, but his men were reluctant to help… and then she vomited on his face. Eww.
He’s offended that she would ask why he brought her here when he went through so much trouble because of her last night. But he does ask why she drank so much and asked him to marry her, and though Da-jung thinks back to Dad’s terminal prognosis, she casts it aside as drunken nonsense.
Hye-joo hears about the drunken proposal from one of the staff as she waits outside. When she insinuates to In-ho that Da-jung isn’t as innocent as he thinks she is, he replies that he’s still grateful to Da-jung and considers her a good person.
Da-jung is instructed to stay out of sight until the kids leave the house, and takes cover when the door suddenly opens. It’s youngest son Man-se who hides behind the desk with her and quickly shushes her when the housekeeper rushes in.
He’s skipping out on kindergarten again (news that earn him a stern stare from Da-jung), and he asks what ajumma is doing here. Da-jung quickly makes up an excuse before taking her leave… which is when the little boy sadly pouts over how lonely he is all the time.
That successfully tugs at her heartstrings and Man-se lets out a playful smirk. Ha, what a shrewd kid.
Yul contemplates over Da-jung’s words in the car, wondering if there’s some truth in her desire to get married. His thoughts are interrupted when he’s told to prepare himself for a busy day of getting dragged around to endless meetings and appearances.
We see his fantasized self slowly breaking down from the brutal schedule until he finally cracks out due to exhaustion. Ha, these scenarios crack me up.
But Yul wears a confident smile, and surprises the department heads by cancelling all of his meetings, choosing to do a thorough assessment of the budget instead. He warns them to do a good job, or else it’s their jobs.
Da-jung folds paper frogs with little Man-se in his father’s bedroom and does a little digging of her own. She giggles when she opens the underwear drawer and discovers that Yul does wear briefs. Ha. Then she imagines him spending his time working or reading or getting ready in the bedroom, and blushes at the thought.
It’s adorable how sweet Da-jung is with Man-se, who says that he’s still hungry even after having eaten a big breakfast. He swears he’s not lying when Da-jung gently tells him that what he’s experiencing isn’t physical hunger. Aw, are those emotional hunger pangs then? Poor kid.
She invites him to come close and wraps him in a hug, which aw. She says she felt hungry whenever she was bored too, but that’s when her father would hug her like this and those feelings would go away.
Man-se says he’s still hungry though, to which Da-jung jokes that that can’t be and then tickles him to the bed. That’s when the housekeeper walks in, astonished that Da-jung is still here.
So Da-jung takes her leave and Man-se has to be held back from running after her. She can still hear his cries outside, and when she heads back inside the study to collect her things, she briefly runs into a young man here to fix the light.
Yul is perturbed to hear that Da-jung spent time with Man-se. Though he’s slightly relieved that she didn’t run into his other children, he’s upset that Da-jung was in his bedroom.
Da-jung is at home practicing how to reveal the truth to Dad when she gets a text from Yul telling her to come by the house tomorrow. Panicked, she lets her imagination run wild and dismisses the dramatized scenario of being arrested for trespassing.
Back in reality, Yul denies any recollection of contacting her at all. He belatedly remembers that his youngest was playing with his phone last night, and then we see Man-se waiting outside for Da-jung to show up. Aw.
We get a comedic break in the form of Hee-chul and the editor boss as they get denied access to the grounds. Nosy Reporter Byun just tsks at the third-rate tabloid and flashes his name at the guard. But he’s told that it’s a private event today and gets denied, too. Ha.
Yul clears up the text misunderstanding with Da-jung, who takes the hint to slip out before today’s inauguration banquet. But when the housekeeper walks in with a repairman to fix the light, Da-jung notes that someone came by yesterday.
That same “repairman” from yesterday is a waiter for today’s event. But our attention shifts to Joon-ki, who’s here with his family. His wife, whom we’ll call Madam Na, is a bit of a gossip, wondering if Yul’s ladyfriend will show up today.
In-ho reports back that the premises is clean of bugs and cameras. Yul asks for Da-jung’s help again to find the spy among the wait staff by accompanying him to the banquet today.
She agrees, but worries about her currently casual appearance. Yul tells her to do something about her hair, and has to pull back her hair himself to show her. But his sleeve gets caught in her hair in the process and she yelps in pain.
What’s hilarious is that the pair of guards outside interprets the screams as cries of passion, and try to prevent Hye-joo from walking in, stuttering, “I-it’s… hot right now.” HA. But Hye-joo pushes past them to barge in just as they break apart, and Yul leaves Da-jung in his press secretary’s capable hands.
Once the ladies are alone, Hye-joo asks how they should go about her break-up with the prime minister if she’s continuing to create misunderstandings like this one or hanging around the house. She sighs at Da-jung’s wardrobe, but something catches Da-jung’s eye.
Meanwhile, Yul and Joon-ki exchange pleasantries with an undercurrent of bitterness (mostly on Joon-ki’s part), and Yul tells his brother-in-law that if he’s that curious about his personal life, he can come ask him about it directly. Ooh.
Just then, Da-jung walks in, all prettified in her sparkly black dress and heels. Yul is struck by her beauty and his heart beats a little quicker. So does In-ho’s.
Joon-ki moseys over to Hye-joo to say that he would been more convinced by the dating scandal if she was the woman in question. He laughs when she thinks he’s upset about losing the prime ministership, and says the battle has only just begun. But Hye-joo tells him to give up already—isn’t he tired of fighting anymore?
Joon-ki turns the question back on her, pointing out that she’s been pining at Yul for over twenty years now; she was a fifteen-year-old delinquent when Yul got her out of that mess. Well now.
He rubs salt to the wound, adding that she was known as Yul’s bodyguard in college; he doesn’t get why she still hasn’t worked up the courage to confess her feelings, and remain as Yul’s college hoobae and press secretary instead.
Hye-joo doesn’t blink an eye and counters that she doesn’t need to be understood by the likes of him, adding that as long as there are people like Joon-ki out there, Yul will need his bodyguard.
Yul mutters his complaints about the length of Da-jung’s dress, to which she tells him it was the most modest one in the idol star’s wardrobe. He recognizes the name as the singer his daughter loves the most and disapprovingly makes a note to keep a tighter rein on what his kids watch on TV.
Da-jung calls him petty for that, but Yul tells her to mind her own business and find the spy. Then he has her take her hands off his arms ’cause they’re getting sweaty. Ha.
There’s a tiny tap and Da-jung turns around to see little Man-se. Turns out he called her over to teach him how to fold ddakji (folded paper squares), and when she tells him not to use Daddy’s phone to call her again, he pipes that he’ll just use the house phone then. Cute.
They’re joined by In-ho, who offers to teach Man-se himself, but the boy turns his nose up at the offer. Pffft.
In-ho compliments Da-jung, saying that she looks pretty today. He means it, and she’s flattered. But that’s when Da-jung sees the waiter in the kitchen and points him out to In-ho.
In-ho enlists the men to search for a man with a piercing that fits Da-jung’s description, but we see that the mystery waiter is already one step ahead of them and removes his clip-on earring.
As Da-jung is introduced to the ladies, Madam Na is surprised that Da-jung recognizes her name. The mention of an old scandal involving her (and Kang Ho-dong, heh) some fifteen years ago leaves Madam Na fuming. HA, Da-jung’s a walking celebrity gossip encyclopedia.
Eldest son Woo-ri and middle child Na-ra join the party. They bristle to hear from their cousin that their “new mom” aka Da-jung is also in attendance.
Da-jung apologizes for her foot-in-mouth moment, but when Madam Na’s friends tsk that all men are the same when they see a pretty, young face, she offers to clear the air. She confirms that yes, the prime minister fell head over heels for her young, fresh charm.
They snigger that the prime minister must have been extremely lonely all those years, but Da-jung stands her ground with them: she gets that they must not like her, but she won’t stand for them to talk about Yul that way.
Madam Na sneers that Da-jung sure acts like an actual girlfriend, and scoffs that they should soon be hearing a wedding announcement if they really are an item. She takes Da-jung’s silence to mean that it’s untrue then.
To that, Da-jung exclaims, “We are getting married!” …which is the very moment Yul walks over and sighs at the declaration.
Once they’re outside, Yul asks if she’s out of her mind to drop marriage rumors to the gossipy trio. It doesn’t matter to him what they think of him—does Da-jung think that she’s his actual girlfriend to feel the need to stand up for him?
It’s only a matter of time until the news will spread, and he asks how she plans to handle it. Yul is informed later that evening that they’ve caught the mysterious electrician/waiter who was a reporter trying to get a scoop. Without any evidence, all they can do is let him go.
Da-jung still feels guilty about the day’s events and is asked if she has any solutions. Yul half-jokes that they got out of their first scandal with a dating announcement, so maybe they should announce their wedding.
Then Da-jung surprises him by asking, “Can we? Can we announce that we’re getting married for real?”
Yul asks if she’s being sincere, and she answers that she is. She clarifies that it won’t be a real marriage, but a contract marriage, just for six months. Yul mulls over the words, and asks if Da-jung really wants to marry him. She says yes, and he agrees to the deal.
In-ho says that they have Da-jung to thank for helping them again, to which Hye-joo asks if it ever occurred to him how Da-jung knew what their spy looked like in the first place.
She plainly tells him that Da-jung spent the night at the prime minister’s house and even pleaded with him to marry him. She asks if In-ho still considers Da-jung a good person, and suffice it to say, he’s floored by the news.
Da-jung is beyond grateful at Yul’s agreement to marry her, but she’s surprised when he tells her that he doesn’t do contract marriages, finding them childish. Ha, thanks for subverting that trope on its head, drama.
He says it’ll be a real marriage, which means they’ll be using one bed… and she knows what comes next, right? Hahaha. He’s backed her into the wall by this point, and at her flustered expression, he asks if she’s acting coy about it.
His voice turns serious as he wonders why she wants to marry him—does getting married to a man with kids not matter as long as she gets to be the prime minister’s wife? Then he spells it out for her: “I’m never going to get married. Even I’m crazy enough to do so, it won’t ever be to someone like you. Understand?”
Da-jung is left speechless, blinking back tears. She runs into In-ho outside and asks after his gloomy expression. His eyes with tears, he replies that he heard a scary story of an opportunistic woman who wooed the prime minister and drunkenly begged him to marry her.
He interrupts before she can explain herself, saying that it’s probably not all her fault. It was his mistake for thinking her kind, amusing, and cute, but this is as far as it will go, and he doesn’t want to see her ever again.
But before he leaves, Da-jung says that he’s free to his opinion of her, but her desire to marry the prime minister was sincere. She apologizes and takes her leave.
Joon-ki is given the bad news that his mysterious delivery wasn’t successful. Hm, were you behind the spy, too? Or is this something else you’re cooking up?
Da-jung walks along the streets thinking back to Yul and In-ho’s words and wonders what she’ll tell Dad now. But when she’s about to spill the truth to him at her next visit, he tells her not to worry about him after she gets married. He’s happy to live long enough to see grandkids, words that brings tears to her eyes.
Yul scolds his son for trying to call Da-jung again using his phone. He doesn’t relent even though little Man-se cries and cries, and it’s only when he walks out does he break a little, wondering what effect Da-jung has on his child.
He gets a call from Da-jung’s father (who’s using her phone) just then with a request to move up their wedding within the next six months.
Just then, he gets a call from Da-jung’s father (using her phone) to ask that they move up the wedding within six months. Yul hangs on that specific request of six months, since it’s the same thing Da-jung asked for as well.
Hye-joo walks in with Da-jung’s father’s medical records per his request. She’s certain that Da-jung intentionally went after him, but Yul puts her worries to rest that he has no intention to marry Da-jung.
But after Yul reads about her father’s illness, he wonders if that’s the reason behind Da-jung’s proposal and request for a contract marriage. He’s interrupted by the housekeeper, who informs him in a worried voice that little Man-se hasn’t eaten anything all day and cried himself to sleep.
Yul sits in his son’s room and reads over his school journal entries about how he doesn’t understand why his father always scolds him, and how he thinks that reporter ajumma is a good person.
It felt nice when she hugged him, he wrote, and he’d really, really like her to become his new mom. Aw, kid.
Da-jung swings by the orphanage to return the borrowed dress, but she jumps when she sees Madam Na and her gossipy friends turn up, too. She gets caught trying to sneak away, and Madam Na cuts to the chase and demands to know once and for all if Da-jung will marry the prime minister or not.
She says no, admitting that she only said so in the heat of the moment. But Madam Na isn’t satisfied with her apology and asks if her parents know that she’s going around selling her body like this.
Da-jung finds their words harsh, especially for such supposedly elegant politicians’ wives. Telling Madam Na to worry about society at large, Da-jung will live her own life thankyouverymuch.
Enraged, Madam Na raises a hand, but that’s when Yul waltzes in and scolds Da-jung: “Is this how a future prime minister’s wife should behave?” Omo.
That shocks everyone, and Yul smiles that he’s heard the politicians’ wives are here to graciously volunteer their kimchi-making services, so he’s donated 1000 more cabbages to applaud their hard work. HA.
He drags Da-jung away and she asks why Yul called her his wife-to-be back there. She knows he was just trying to help, but she doesn’t need him to. Yul says that he was just telling the truth, which is when the pieces finally fall in place in Da-jung’s head.
And Yul tells her: “That’s right, I’m saying that I’m going to marry you. Nam Da-jung, you’ll have to marry me.”
It’s nice to be able and sit back to enjoy another pleasant episode pass by, thanks to the show’s fast pacing. Their mutual understanding between Yul and Da-jung and their noble intentions behind the contract marriage are easy to follow, rooted in one reason I can easily sympathize with: family. There’s something so refreshing about the execution of this familiar setup that doesn’t feel too hammy (aside from the actual imaginary scenarios, that is) and carries a heartwarming, feel-good aspect that I could really use right now.
I find myself being slowly pulled into the romance, which is nice considering the zippy storyline thus far. There are misunderstandings and distrust that exists between them in regards to the other’s intentions, but I like that they’re already seeing each other in a new light. Even though their mutual respect is masked by pride at this point, it’s still there, especially in the moments where Da-jung won’t stand to hear a principled man like Yul be insulted by others. Furthermore, I like that we got to witness the moment Yul is struck by Da-jung’s beauty, a moment that I feel often gets passed over these days or handled clunkily in dramaland. It’s a classic moment (since In-ho falls for her at that same moment as well), but it’s all in the execution.
As for the contract marriage itself, I laughed when Yul turned that into its own meta joke, calling it both ridiculous and childish. But that sentiment is also in line with his principled nature and tragic past, of which we have yet to learn more of. So it’s understandable that marriage is the furthest thing from his mind, but that Da-jung’s sincerity is what comes through for him to accept the deal at the end, his declaration giving us a nice bookend to the drunken proposal in the previous episode. Plus, think of the cohabitation hijinks!
We’ve been spending a lot of time with youngest son Man-se so far, which I really can’t complain about since he’s so darned cute. He’s the one who’s never really known Mom, so I can see where he’s starved for emotional need and attention. That’s what he means when he says, “I’m hungry” or “I’m still hungry,” because Daddy will scold him before anything else, and he’s still too little to understand that Daddy doesn’t know another parenting style besides discipline. What’s equally sad is that Yul knows that he’s not getting a World’s Greatest Dad mug anytime soon, but he knows something’s gotta give for that to change. And if that means bringing the nice reporter ajumma home, then so be it.