Drama Recaps
Prime Minister and I: Episode 16
by | February 4, 2014 | 72 Comments

We’re closing in to the end in the finale week for Prime Minister and I, though the show’s wheels seem to be turning slower in this last spurt to extend time for its last hour. Honestly it’s a jumbled kind of episode with lies and excuses from our heroine, whose actions betray the words coming out of her mouth.

So it’s refreshing to see a hero who both sees that and acknowledges it, then counters those words with truth and justification. Because while you could call being noble a virtue, somebody’s got to call you out when it crosses that line and becomes silly.


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Despite Yul coming to collect her, Da-jung declares that she won’t be going back home with him, and adds for good measure: “Let’s break up.” But Yul refuses to hear it and takes her suitcase before ushering Da-jung into the car by the hand.

It’s a mostly silent ride until Yul pulls over to the side of the road and gets out to finally get some air. When Da-jung follows him, he demands to know her train of thought by having him meet his not-so-dead first wife and leaving them—was it for his sake? Or the children?

“It was for me,” Da-jung answers. The idea of becoming the children’s stepmother had scared her despite her feelings for Yul, and felt it appropriate to step aside now that their mother had reappeared.

She says she had approached the whole contract marriage like a fun game and played her part as wife and mother with gusto. However, she was overwhelmed with fear in the face of that fantasy life becoming a reality.

This was a chance to live her own life as she sees fit, Da-jung finishes. Why does all of that sound like a lie? And why do I get the feeling that Yul thinks so, too? She turns away at that, and Yul lets out a deep sigh.

Back at the estate, the news that Joon-ki has put a stop to the upcoming press conference has Yul wondering why his brother-in-law is suddenly so eager to help. He’s told that Joon-ki knows the truth, which is when it occurs to him that everyone knew about Na-young except him.

In-ho can only hang his head apologetically, taking in Yul’s pent-up rage of how he was made a complete fool of by being the only one kept in the dark.

Having heard that the shocking reunion was Da-jung’s doing, Hye-joo confronts her about it at the hospital. Da-jung truthfully answers that she didn’t want to deceive Yul and keep the truth from him, politics be damned.

Hye-joo tells Da-jung to stop pretending that her actions were for Yul’s sake and scoffs at her moral barometer. She asks to whom Da-jung plans on telling next—Woo-ri, perhaps? Then she adds scathingly that lying to the children might tug at Da-jung’s guilt strings before storming out.

It appears that Da-jung did take the ring with her, as we see her hold it, near tears, while sitting vigil by Dad’s bedside. And like another reflection, Yul looks at his own in his study.

Dad is both surprised and suspicious to see his daughter beside his bed in the morning. His condition seems to be getting worse too, seeing as he needs post-its to recall items and oversleeps frequently lately.

He narrows his eyes suspiciously, wondering if the married couple is fighting again, which is when Yul arrives with a cheery smile. He quickly smooths over the situation, making sure to add that they’re definitely not fighting and he’s definitely not having an affair. Lol.

Yul and Da-jun sit down to talk afterward, and he tells her that he doesn’t believe what she said last night, so there’s no need to beat herself up over it. He’ll give her time to think because he also has to attend to his own affairs that could affect them all. Therefore he hopes that Da-jung won’t leave him and endure those trials while staying here with Dad.

He gets up to leave at that, and Da-jung says she plans on staying with Dad but won’t ever go back to Yul. Those words affect him, but he leaves anyway.

At the news of the prime minister’s possible dismissal, Reporter Byun relays to the Scandal News Team via exposition that that’s unlikely since Joon-ki is running around to prevent that from happening. It strikes him as odd, but his audience is interested in getting more dirt on Hye-joo, and the reporter muses admiringly, “She’s… a goddess.” Ha, is that a crush a-brewin’?

Yul receives the upsetting news that the international harbor project is back on the table, and that the police investigation on Chairman Na has also stalled. He sighs dejectedly at the little difference he’s made in this position, recalling his initial promise to be a representative to the people.

In-ho says it’s courageous enough that Yul has always stuck to his principles. Yul appreciates the comforting words, but now he has a great assignment ahead of him—and there’s someone he must meet before taking it on: Na-young.

As Na-young waits nervously at restaurant, she thinks back to her brother’s pleading to return to her children to be her mother. She’s on pins and needles when Yul joins her, and I honestly wouldn’t blame Yul at all if he thought that seeing his supposedly dead wife living and breathing in front of him is still a jarring experience.

Na-young speaks first, keeping her voice as light as she can until she can’t ignore Yul’s steady and silent stare. She guesses that Yul must resent her for showing up alive. “You hate me, don’t you?”

He admits he does, and still in shock, he asks softly how Na-young could let the entire world take her for dead all these years—if she were alive, she should have said so.

“How could I?” Na-young returns. She had debated whether to return to Yul and the children, but she was afraid that she’d ruin his career if word broke about her affair. She was already presumed dead and responsible for turning Su-ho into a vegetable after all.

“Do you consider that a reason? Did you not think of the children while you were hiding? Didn’t you miss them?” Yul counters. Thank You, good sir.

Na-young cries that of course she did and even now, she misses them terribly. She knows that Yul wouldn’t allow it and she’ll accept his anger, but she still wants to see their children.

Surprisingly, Yul allows it: “Be their mother. I’ll let you meet them.” Although Na-young can’t return to him as his wife, she can come back to be the children’s mother.

On their way out, In-ho asks why Yul hasn’t said anything about his own involvement in regards to the past. But Yul has already let bygones be bygones and sticks to his word to trust In-ho.

When In-ho asks if he can stay by the prime minister’s side, Yul says he needs people on his side—he’ll be too lonely if In-ho follows Hye-joo’s footsteps and quits too.

Da-jung hears from the doctor that Dad will only get worse, but keeping a journal may help his memory in the meantime. So Da-jung gifts her father with a journal that looks like hers and encourages him to write in it, and Dad asks about the news that Yul might be out of a job soon.

Her phone rings before she can answer, and Da-jung is called out to dinner with Yul at a fancy restaurant. It makes me nervous to see Yul take Da-jung’s questions about his possible dismissal with a smile, and he asks, “Does that mean you’ll do as I say today?”

He requests that they talk about more lighthearted topics, and then asks teasingly if Da-jung has a plan for after she plans on breaking up with him. Heyyy, that doesn’t fall under “lighthearted”. When she points out as much, Yul asks that she humor him today.

That prompts Da-jung to ask if something else is bothering him, and Yul masks his worries with a denial, saying that he simply wanted to see her instead.

Yul insists on giving Da-jung a ride back after dinner, and it pains me to see him trying so hard to keep up a cheery mood. And ooh, I’m so happy to see the love song dj/driver again, who tells Da-jung that the kids miss her, especially little Man-se.

Da-jung grows silent at that and she and Yul sneaks sidelong glances at each other during their ride. Then at one point, Yul dozes off and rests his head on Da-jung’s shoulder. Aww.

Yul is still fast asleep when they arrive at the hospital, and the driver notes that it’s the first time his employer has fallen asleep in the car. Da-jung says they should let him sleep for a little while longer. Awwwww, so why would you push him away if you care so much?

In-ho runs outside the hospital looking for Da-jung and he softly smiles to see them in the car together. Sometime later, Yul wakes to find Da-jung already gone and she stands by the window to see his car drive off.

Da-jung runs into In-ho on her way in and is disheartened to learn that Yul was likely troubled because he met up with Na-young earlier today.

Joon-ki visits the estate to see the kids and Man-se is still depressed over Da-jung’s absence. He notes that the children still call Da-jung “ajumma,” and when they say prefer that, he answers a little too understandingly that they wouldn’t call her their mother, not when they have their own, something that Woo-ri doesn’t miss.

Yul sits with Joon-ki when he returns home and wonders if the reason why his vengeful brother-in-law has now taken such an interest in his affairs is because of Na-young. Joon-ki doesn’t deny it and asks that Yul take his sister back.

He points out that Yul’s marriage to Da-jung becomes invalid the moment Na-young’s existence is made known—isn’t that why she left Yul? That last question crosses the line with Yul, but Joon-ki still speaks for his sister’s defense, arguing that the children should live with their living birth mother.

At that moment, the study doors open and Woo-ri walks in, baffled at what he’s just heard. “What do you mean my mom’s alive?”

Upon hearing that Da-jung plans to separate from Yul, In-ho asks what she’ll tell her father. She won’t, because the news that her marriage was a sham would shock him. Yul doesn’t agree with the idea of breaking up, to which In-ho proposes, “Then date me instead.” Is… that your genius solution to all this?

But that provokes a reaction out of Da-jung, which In-ho uses to point out that she doesn’t want to actually break up with Yul. He asks why Da-jung keeps deceiving her own feelings, “You can just like Yul and worry about what comes next when it comes.” Gasp, are you being a voice of reason?

The Da-jung he knew wasn’t such a coward, but the tough love approach doesn’t work on her. She tells In-ho to stand by Yul’s side now, just like he had once promised her.

Da-jung returns to Dad’s room and is alarmed when he doesn’t stir. Thankfully he wakes from his deep slumber a long minute later. Phew.

Yul sees Joon-ki out, and the latter apologizes that he didn’t intend for Woo-ri to find out this way. Yul says he planned on letting his son meet Na-young anyway, and adds that although she is the children’s birth mother, she cannot live with them.

Then Yul seeks out Woo-ri in his room, and in a calm voice, says that he should meet his mother. Hurt and angry, Woo-ri cries, “I don’t have a mom! She died in a car accident!” Oof, poor kid.

He’s completely torn up over the fact that their mother didn’t come back to them when she’s in fact been alive all these years. Thus he refuses to meet his mother, who tells Su-ho excitedly that she might see her son.

It’s really like Joon-ki got a new personality chip ever since he learned that his sister is alive, as he accepts Hye-joo’s apology for snooping around last time. He feels that Hye-joo is too smart and capable to simply work for him and sincerely hopes that she aims higher in life… but doesn’t go through his desk anymore.

Da-jung is on edge to see Yul pay another visit to Dad and walks him out. He notes that Dad’s memory seems to be getting worse, and then asks her for advice on an important decision he needs to make today.

He then posits his question as a metaphor: What would Da-jung do if there’s a road that appears before her that isn’t shown on the GPS navigation system? Would she take it?

She asks if there’s a definite destination, a place she really wants to go to. When he says there is, she answers that she must go because even if it takes her off-course, she’ll eventually arrive at her destination. “And somebody has to take it for there to be a road.”

He’s pleased with that answer and tosses out a second question: “Do you really want to break up with me?” Da-jung: “Yes, I do.” And this time, Yul takes that as his answer and sends her back inside.

Yul heads to the elevator and we see Da-jung come running just as the doors close. She takes the stairs and catches up to him within a distance of twenty feet… but just watches Yul walk out the door. GAHHHH, you have a mouth—use it!

As for Yul, he thinks upon Da-jung’s words that somebody needs to take the undriven path for it to become a road. Next thing we know, Yul hands in his resignation letter to the president, citing that he initially took this job because he felt that they shared similar goals, but they’re clearly walking different paths. Good for you.

In-ho asks if Yul isn’t giving up on his goals by leaving his job, but Yul says this is just the beginning of seeing his plans through. And In-ho sincerely congratulates the soon-to-be former prime minister on his resignation.

Da-jung sits down with Na-young at the hospital and is understanding towards Na-young’s desires to meet the children, hug them, and be called “Mom.” In an encouraging voice, Da-jung says she’s certain that day will come for Na-young.

Na-young returns a smile at her, saying that she now understands why Yul likes Da-jung so much. He had told her that she could be a mother to their children, but not his wife, and Na-young agrees with that sentiment.

Da-jung receives a panicked call from Hye-joo informing her about Yul’s resignation. She rushes out at the news, missing Woo-ri and the other kids coming in (to see her, aw) by mere seconds.

Dad frowns to hear that the kids are here to see Da-jung, but they chirp that they missed him too. They even have a gift for him (double aw), and when Woo-ri steps out to pick up drinks, he passes by his mother, but neither of them are aware of the almost encounter.

Meanwhile Da-jung takes to the streets in search of Yul, whom we see wandering the streets alone. It’s nightfall now as he thinks back to how he had once told Da-jung that he would walk towards her one step at her time.

He eventually ends up on that same road when he stops again… to see Da-jung standing there.

Back at the hospital, the kids decide to finally head home after waiting for Da-jung to return. They tuck Da-jung’s present in her bag and bid Dad farewell, who lies sleeping(?) in bed with a smile.

The trio laughs together on their way out, but suddenly stop when Woo-ri sees their mother and utters, “M…om.” Ohhh crap.

Da-jung nags at Yul about ignoring his phone after handing in his resignation, and he asks if she came all the way here to say that. She turns to leave, but Yul calls her back to ask her one more question: “Can you live without me?”


Oy, what an episode. Overall, this hour rather feels like an extended trailer to set the stage for the finale, and we see the strained narrative seams of that one-episode extension taking its toll more than ever. I could see the argument that the story lost some steam when Na-young’s storyline was thrown back into the mix, and I agree with that to an extent, though I would also say that the show had enough time to work in another hour of material and that Prime Minister is one of the better cases in dramaland in terms of extensions.

That being said, I’m still frustrated with our heroine Da-jung at this point, who does that annoying drama heroine Thing in the penultimate episode of retreating even further from love when those around her are telling her how silly it is. Which is why I loved that In-ho hung a lantern on how Da-jung wasn’t the same spunky girl he used to know, and that there really isn’t much barring her from pursuing a relationship with Yul, especially when being with him is what Da-jung wants deep inside. Listen to the man who used to like you! (Or still does, but he’s put his feelings aside now.)

This is where Yul steps in and I can’t give him enough credit for doing the opposite drama hero Thing and instead sees past her lies and continues to pursue Da-jung. He’s even considerate enough to give her personal space while he’s busy settling his own affairs to ready a place for her. He’s handling the whole “my supposedly dead wife is actually alive” shocker remarkably well, as well as the pressure to accept Na-young back to the family. I love that he drew the boundary with Na-young in their conversation, because while nothing will change the fact that she is the children’s mother, there isn’t a way for her to be his wife again. And well, I think it’s safe to say that that’s not what Na-young wants (or hoped for) either.

Speaking of the whole marriage issue, I realize that we’re swimming in murky waters in terms of whom Yul is legally married to. While Yul and Da-jung held a wedding, their marriage wasn’t officially registered and therefore aren’t a married couple in the eyes of the state and/or law. Then there’s the fact that Na-young wasn’t declared legally dead until recently, which begs the question of whether Yul was still legally married to Na-young to the present. I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that Yul was preparing to have Na-young declared legally dead (and perhaps already did by now) and then proceeded to attempt to officially register a marriage to Da-jung. And because Yul is a principled man, I don’t think he would have done these things out of order.

That brings us to Joon-ki’s assumption that Yul’s marriage to Da-jung would be nullified if Na-young was to assume her original place in the family. I presume that becomes a non-issue if we argue the point that Na-young has assumed a different identity now (though to what extent we don’t know) and if the name Park Na-young is legally dead. I can’t blame him for clinging onto the past, when it’s what he’s mostly been doing all series long. And yet at the same time, it feels like our villain’s one-track motivation was pulled out from under him (and us) once he learned that Na-young is alive. To his credit, he does seem remorseful for harboring such vindictive intentions, though the personality makeover now makes him a declawed villain.

At this point, Yul really seem to be carrying the narrative weight of the drama on his shoulders (and wonderfully portrayed by Lee Beom-soo, whose timbre melts my heart). I’m excited to see what his post-prime minister era will look like since somebody needs to take that rogue path to make it into a road. And that road better lead to Destination: Happy Ending.


72 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. tebz10

    Yes! Driver/Cupid Shim is back! The PM should just lock him and Da-jung inside that car and I’m sure all’s gonna be well.

  2. angel101

    I do NOT think Nam Da Jung is frustrating this episode, or that her character has a personality transplant. What Nam Da Jung is going through is very realistic for someone in her situation.

    People forget that when Kwon Yul and Nam Da Jung first met, they were practically strangers. Then they got married soon after (within two months), but it is a contract marriage – meaning it is temporary, and it is not real.

    Now there are expectations that because they are in like (Kwon Yul) or in love (Nam Da Jung), then they should just get married for real. Marriage is a serious commitment, and it is realistic to seriously think about it – more so because this is a different situation (Nam Da Jung is not just marrying Kwon Yul, she is marrying his children also) and difficult too (with the first wife and biological mother Park Na Young being alive). Kwon Yul and Park Na Young were supposedly in love when they married, but obviously that did not end well.

    Nam Da Jung might be thinking that Kwon Yul is only feeling responsible for putting her in this situation. Or worrying that Kwon Yul is feeling guilty because Nam Da Jung fell in love with him. Or perhaps Nam Da Jung herself is feeling guilty because she thinks her presence is an obstacle preventing the Kwon Family to reunite. Or possibly Nam Da Jung did feel scared of the prospect of having a real marriage suddenly – of really being Kwon Yul’s wife and his children’s mother. Or probably Nam Da Jung truly needed time and space alone to think about her life. Nam Da Jung’s situation is truly a complicated one.

    Also, I don’t see it as Nam Da Jung is not pushing Park Na Young back on Kwon Yul and his children when she left. But that Nam Da Jung only chose to remove herself in a complicated situation because she thinks of herself as the problem or a source of conflict. Nam Da Jung is not deciding anything for them; Kwon Yul and his children can definitely make a decision for themselves with or without Nam Da Jung in the picture – if the Kwon family will reject Park Na Young, then they should do that because they do not want Park Na Young back in their family and NOT because they found a replacement in Nam Da Jung.

    Park Na Young is the first and still legal wife of Kwon Yul, and the biological mother of the children. In a social and legal context, Nam Da Jung is essentially the ‘other woman.’ Why do everyone thinks and expects that Nam Da Jung should be holding hands with Kwon Yul and his children while the Kwon family are rejecting Park Na Young?! That is totally unacceptable in any conservative culture. And that would essentially make Nam Da Jung an interloper precisely because she is the ‘outsider’ (Park Na Young’s circumstances do not matter here). So if there is going to be any rejection that will occur, that has to take place without Nam Da Jung’s involvement – like what Kwon Yul did here in episode 16, and what Kwon Woo Ri might do in episode 17.

    And in this situation, Nam Da Jung’s relationship is not just with Kwon Yul but with his three children too. This is another one of Nam Da Jung’s conflicts… Because it is not enough that Kwon Yul loves her, his three children should also accept her (as a possible wife to their father and mother to them) even if not love her – and she has to know this.

    Anyways, it makes sense for Nam Da Jung to choose to spend time alone after her father’s death. Most of her adult life, she took responsibility for her father. And during her…

    • 2.1 angel101

      [continuation] contract marriage with Kwon Yul, she took responsibility for Kwon Yul and his children. So it is okay for her to be selfish at this point right now and to choose herself for once – she truly needs time and space alone to think about her life.

      Because of the contract marriage, Kwon Yul and Nam Da Jung and the children will be great together as a family – this is already a known fact and is already shown. So this series started with the ‘epilogue’ first before the actual story (the expected doubts and insecurities in a relationship) – but this pattern works because of the set up of a widowed/divorced man with 3 children and a single woman plus the age gap.

    • 2.2 angel101

      *Also, the way I see it Nam Da Jung is NOT pushing Park Na Young back on Kwon Yul and his children when she left.

    • 2.3 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

      I agree with your assessment.

      DJ is right that the relationship between Yul and DJ started off wrong.

      For everything to be made right, the divorce needs to take place.

      Yul is steadfast in his affections for DJ … my soul is singing over the fact that he wasn’t once tempted by returning wife. I’m glad Yul told her he resented PNY. She deserves his anger for all the pain she caused everyone.

      In many ways, DJ is already the mother to those children, and it must have been so heart breaking for her to realize there is another woman out there who has more “rights” to be their mom. I can forgive DJ for trying to do the best thing for the children by stepping aside. Thankfully, Yul won’t let her go, and that will be the triumphant conclusion tomorrow.

      Isn’t that the sign of a great relationship? That is takes both people to hold it together? DJ to love first and give openly so that the family could learn to be happy again and Yul to love steadfast to hold them together thru this storm. Either alone couldn’t have solved this problem. It took both of them with their special characteristics to form a lasting bond.

    • 2.4 alua

      <Park Na Young is the first and still legal wife of Kwon Yul, and the biological mother of the children. In a social and legal context, Nam Da Jung is essentially the ‘other woman.’ Why do everyone thinks and expects that Nam Da Jung should be holding hands with Kwon Yul and his children while the Kwon family are rejecting Park Na Young?!

      Because Na Young didn't just cheat and run out on the family, but she pretended she was dead for 7 years. That's no one's fault but NY's and it is context that does matter. I don't NY reappearing makes Da Jung simply 'the other woman' (the 'other woman' normally being the one that is cheating), it just makes NY still legally married and the bio-mom.

      In fact, I would say let's pretend Da Jung didn't exist – if I were Yul, I wouldn't take Na Young back. You can't just dismiss 7 years of major betrayal. It's not just her cheating (bad enough and unforgivable), but pretending to be dead, not only to her once-husband but her KIDS! There is just no excuse for that. While Yul is right to allow NY access to the kids again, that should be access with a guardian present, because NY is not someone you should ever trust again. (Next time she might grab a child and vanish for another 7 years because what this woman did was NOT normal.)

      I agree to an extent with your points about Da Jung. Given the length of her relationship with Yul, it would be understandable if she just pulled out of it entirely and cut her losses because the whole situation is just a bit too extreme. However, that's not how she's being portrayed, rather she's being the usual noble idiot ('I love you but I'll pretend otherwise'), which is rather lame.

      • 2.4.1 FGB4877

        … And that’s why I loved in Master’s Sun when the female lead told her beloved that she was leaving not because a Candy issue, but because she had to come to terms with her situation.

      • 2.4.2 angel101

        I don’t think Kwon Yul would even announce that Park Na Young was cheating and was running away, he did not tell anyone for years… not even Park Joon Ki.

        So in a social context, Park Na Young being the still legal wife and biological mother will matter.

        • megumi

          i also think that yul will not disclose the cheating part to the public but how do you think he will address the 7 year disappearance part to the press if they happened to find it? and for it to be a social context like you said PNY should be alive, if she is considered dead by the public for the past 7 years then there is no problem for kwon yul marrying dajung and accepting her as wife, now if she was alive like in this drama and came back to their life then that legal stuff will matter, but if she comes back alive to make it matter kwon yul and his dead wife have to address the public, you know what happens after that, the press and public especially knetz will start investigating the truth and will find dirt on the dead wife, they will surely not accept yul’s explanation for the 7 years disappearance part, the press will surely find about his wife’s affair with in ho’s brother and she will be immensely hated by the public, trust me they wll be more supportive of da jung than na young and will definitely forget about this other wfe trope.

          • angel101

            LOL even evil villains get redemption in Kdramas. And Park Na Young isn’t portrayed as someone evil but someone who is flawed and made awful choices.

            And the point here isn’t exactly Park Na Young.

            Nam Da Jung being the lead female is expected to uphold cultural expectations/demands from someone in her situation.

    • 2.5 Gidget

      I agree with how you see the character motivations. But I also think that the show would have been better off if it had been delivered that way.

      For me, the disconnect in this episode wasn’t that she was desiring to create space, but that she lies to do it. Thus far the drama has portrayed her as an emotionally honest and courageous person. It would’ve been nice to see DJ lay her cards on the table, and insist on time apart as the family takes time to find a new equilibrium.

      I wonder if they may have been trying to portray her as the type of person who lies to herself, in order to leave before being left. But this doesn’t seem consistent with the type of character they’re made DJ out to be.

      BTW Angel101, wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed reading your posts for this series. You have a nice writing style.

      • 2.5.1 angel101

        Nam Da Jung is telling half-truths to Kwon Yul to protect both of them. Nam Da Jung knows Kwon Yul will stay with her if she is willing, and that is something that can not happen until stuff are sorted out. If there are even implications of Nam Da Jung having influenced Kwon Yul and the children about their decision on Park Na Young’s return, then that is basically game over for her.

        So she can not tell Kwon Yul the truth that “We have to be apart until you sort things out.” Because that is essentially the same as saying, “Leave your wife first, I will wait for you.” And that is unacceptable.

        Nam Da Jung has been shown as a character that has moral integrity, and selfless (asking I’ve been good to you? how?).
        In that sense, her choices in the last two episodes still makes sense. Add in the fact of Korean culture and it’s expectations/demands from someone in her situation, then everything even makes more sense.

        This is probably why people don’t ‘get’ her character in the last two episodes… Because I think the culture that dictates such actions does not make sense in the point of view of an outsider. Or something that everyone forgets to consider at the very least.

      • 2.5.2 angel101

        To put things in perspective, Korean netizens were enjoying the drama plus Kwon Yul and Nam Da Jung together. Expectations for the possible ending were adjusted based on the flow of the story. When Park Na Young came back alive, the comments were now saying “It is bittersweet/sad,” or that “It can not be helped because Park Na Young is the children’s mother.”

        People are seriously considering the possibility that Kwon Yul and Nam Da Jung might not end up together in the end, despite the fact that this is a drama about them.

    • 2.6 Nick Beacham Watts

      You are missing the most important points about the first wife. She completely and deliberately ignored her moral, parental responsibilities to her children, to say nothing of her marital obligations to her husband, for purely selfish reasons. Even given there were problems in later years in the marriage, due to lack of contact between the spouses. We do not know if the wife’s depression was causal or symptomatic. It is not explained why at the very last moment the ‘runaway couple’ broke up acrimoniously rather than went to America. Nam Da Jung’s relationship with the children was genuine and viable. The children came to her not accepting her as their real mother, but as someone more dependable and giving: the perfect step-mother. Having a step-mother myself I can say children never have real difficulty with a substitute parent, so long as that person does not seek to ‘replace’ the real parent. I have not yet watched the final episode, this one has been very painful for me – I hope this is a build up to a happy conclusion. YoonA has really shone in this series but why oh why do producers always want her to play the character who blames herself for every other character’s faults and act pitifully? I have found this series fun, inspiring and uplifting until now. Should it end badly for Kwon Yul and Du Jung I shall be very hurt!

  3. sweetyoon

    And the show started out so strong with so much potential 🙁 Focused on the family rather than all these messy lies and love triangles.

    • 3.1 KDaddict

      Ya, where’s all the cute and cuddly fuzzies from earlier eps?

      • 3.1.1 Taylor

        It seems like someone else is writing this show.

      • 3.1.2 tebz10

        I’m not faulting the drama for going melo. Rom-coms usually dabble in melo towards the latter end of their run. We were just spoiled that this one ran the rom and com longer than most.

    • 3.2 Korazy Lady

      I agree. So much potential gone to waste, and not only with the lack of cute and family stuff. YSY’s character didn’t do much but look forlorn 90% of the time. And I wonder if Joon-ki’s crazy wife will make another appearance – we did get a few good laughs due to her antics.

      For the most part it’s been a great ride, but hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be another “write my own ending” type of drama!

  4. JD

    This whole situation with Nayoung is putting everyone in a really awkward position. As much as she is their birth mother, she did abandon her children. The moment she decided to leave her kids, and run off with Suho to America, she has nullified that role of being a mother. So, Dajung came to the family, and brought joy to each of their lives. I think her existence in the family brought what was falling a part into one. The family grew closer together because of Dajung. I mean, anyone can be a mother by birth, but not everyone can be ‘mommy’. I am actually quite glad that Woori is feeling a tad reluctant about meeting Nayoung because I think she can’t get away with all this. She made a mistake, and she has to live with it. She made a choice to ditch her family, and there are consequences for that. Forgiveness is a given, but not everything can fall back into its original place. Time has gone by. People have moved on. Yul found love. The children has finally found a mother’s warmth in Dajung.

  5. angel101

    *Also, the way I see it Nam Da Jung is NOT pushing Park Na Young back on Kwon Yul and his children when she left.

    • 5.1 angel101

      Oops. This was supposed to be a correction in the comment above.

  6. snow

    Thanks for the recap…

    Yay that the new and pretty mobile vesion is back! 🙂

  7. Marthe Sung

    Thanks much for the recap!~ There are lots of cupids pushing them back together…so Dajung better move fast. Love that scene when the PM dozed off and rest his head on DJ’s shoulder with her looking at him lovingly….awww so sweet.~ I wonder how the younger kids would react to seeing their mom alive…but I’m sure they’ll still be on our heroine’s side. On the PM’s question..”Can you live without me?”, well she’d better tell the truth now! I’m so excited for the finale episode. Then I can start watching it all over again from the start. *_*)

    • 7.1 Appelsin

      Yeah, I’m rewatching it too!! 😀
      I miss a lot the breezy tone and warmness that first episodes had…though I’m not complaining, guess we need a bit of angst before our couple gets their happy ending, and they are playing very well all characters conflicts and feelings. To me, it’s quite a complete drama, and the love story is different to what we are used in dramaland: a love that grows while two people care for each other….ahhhhh, I will miss it!!

      • 7.1.1 arin

        yes,, i truly agree with you. i do miss all the breezy funny things at previous episodes, yet you have to face a climax before the story really ends and finally we meet what so called happy ending. if there is no such heavy stormy problem that makes our leads separate with gloomy sad mode, then it will be very odd,,
        if you like only to see parts where they do some cute cat-fights so how the ending will be executed.,,you need some drama when you watch a drama,

        and for me what da jung did is understandable,,if what she thinks about is yul, she may not decide to leave the family. but she also care about the kids. if you really take things seriously and try to be in da jung’s shoes, would you still be with kwon family and ignore na young’s presence?

        if they plan to hide the fact that the mother is alive now, who can guarantee that it will not leak someday,,better open all the truth now and come clean,,and that is what our heroine’s genuine intention,,
        and for kids who are still very young, they may choose to have their own mothers and by the way there are three of them guys and for da jung to claim them over the real mom, it is too much and too selfish for someone as good as da jung,,

        if da jung takes care of them for years, it may be not right for her to leave, yet it is just for few months, and though they start accepting her, that is not the case,,

  8. angel101

    Park Na Young had legal Officially Missing paperwork when she disappeared after the accident. After 5 years, Kwon Yul could have filed for legal Officially Declared Dead paperwork but he did not. Until recently, which Kang In Ho talked to a lawyer and was told that it will take 6 months.

    Technically, Kwon Yul and Nam Da Jung are not married. Park Na Young is using a different identity, but if she claims her identity then she is technically still married to Kwon Yul. If the legal Officially Declared Dead paperwork is processed, Kwon Yul will be widowed. If Park Na Young claims her identity, Kwon Yul has to process divorce paper works.

    • 8.1 megumi

      Believe me if Park Na Young claims her identity back it will not turn out good for herself, especially if she and kwon yul go through divorce there will be news about it and the public will hear it, the newspapers as well as public will start speculating about her reappearance from the dead and they will not stop investigating until they will find some dirt on her, she will certainly be shamed and her reputation as a mother and wife will be shattered. Public will surely be on Da Jung’s side because of that.

  9. kanz

    I wish PNY never ever come back from her ‘death’. What kind of mother/wife that would leave her family like that?? Surely not a good one.
    As for Da Jung, please come to your sense and accept PM’s heart and intention.
    I prepare for happily ever after at finale episode so don’t let us down, writer!!

    • 9.1 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

      One episode left for Woo-Ri and the other two kids to come to terms with Mommie Meanest coming back to life? Not enough time.

  10. 10 tata

    One episode left :((((

  11. 11 Jennipoh

    Is it just me or did this drama lose flavor? I stopped watching a few episodes back…

    And that yellow coat omg… she looks like an overgrown banana.

    • 11.1 CutiieAngiie

      Frankly, I feel the same way. I really don’t know why but I stopped watching at episode 10-11. I planned to watch the other episodes later but somehow, I think it was just an excuse to drop it. I don’t feel the same feeling that in the earlier episodes. Y’know, excitement and all, just like how I feel for Man From Another Star.

    • 11.2 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

      For me, putting Da-Jung in skeleton and razor blades attire was more questionable.

      • 11.2.1 Scheherazade

        LOL – razor blade??

        • Julia the Berkshire Beanie

          Her scarf had razor blades, her shirt a skeleton.

          • tebz10

            Not to mention that the shirt says ‘Harlem Shake’.

    • 11.3 Taylor

      The last 2 ep I FF many scenes, the cute moments from preview ep are just gone 🙁

  12. 12 noanao

    When Yul said “Can you live without me” that 1 liner just broke the water work and I cried like a friggin’ Niagara Fall… My God! His face, his resigned voice but still hopeful that there will be future bright enough for both of them, I am totally sold. I want my own Yul now!!! Huhuhuhu!!

    • 12.1 docster6

      I am actually hoping for a second half of that sentence. After “Nam Da Jung-ssi, can you live without me?” I want the first part of Episode 17 to have the second half, “I certainly couldn’t live without you.” That would round up the challenge to her clearly.

      • 12.1.1 Scheherazade

        Yes! I’ll second that
        If they can’t kiss a least hug
        A solid lover hug
        *wishful thinking

  13. 13 mommai

    Ok, I’ll finally admit I’m disappointed. I hadn’t caught the fact that Na Young had been missing and not actually dead at the beginning, and that colored my whole view of the drama. When she came back, I figured I’d just roll with it, and could see in hindsight (when others pointed it out) that that had been planned for. But I am not a fan of the way Da Jung is right now. Thanks to an above poster, I do see more reasons for her to hold back right now, but the lying and dodging and stuff just doesn’t seem to fit with her. I get her exposing the wife, and wanting to step back initially, but I’m struggling with her holding out for so long and in such a…I dunno. I’d much rather her say other things, but I guess she is trying to break off hard enough to give them their space? It feels a little too forced, whereas other lines might make it feel a little more organic-ish. Too bad the writers couldn’t just keep the wife dead, and have gone with the story that way. We haven’t even seen Madame Na in ages!

  14. 14 zzyx

    There were moments where my heart skipped about a 100 beats per minute..

    – The moment when Da Jung’s dad wouldn’t wake up, I keept on mumbling “He’s dead right? He’s dead. Oh No! He’s dead” Then a sigh of relief when he stirred awake.

    – The moment when Da Jung ran after Yul in the elevator but missed him, then went down the stairs to catch up. I was like “They’ll miss each other, this is the classic drama trope I thought I saw on ep 15, yes they will miss each other, don’t let your hopes up” (now biting my nails and hoping for a positive outcome) AND she saw him but then she stopped and just stood there and i was like “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? call him!! grr”

    And for Yul’s question, “Can you live without me?” I’ll answer you in behalf of Da Jung, “NO! I can’t! I take back what I said about breaking up”..

    There were things that happened but the one thought that bothers me is this.. this is the second to the last episode, one more episode and the series is done. No more In Ho, no more Da Jung and Yul… No more… Yul… No…. more………… 🙁

    • 14.1 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

      I’ll be glad if PM&I can end without killing off dear old Dad. Oh the worries I’ve had for him the whole series once he was given the 6 months to live brain tumor.

      • 14.1.1 docster6

        This is going to be sad. I knew something bad will happen when Da Jung bought the same color of journal for her father. I think he will mistaken hers for his and read about her contracted marriage before he die. Aish!! I am okay with him dying during the drama series because that brings closure to Da Jung’s dutiful life. But I do want him to die thinking Da Jung is all set with a wonderful man. I do know all Ahbojees die in dramas because that is what my 15-year old daughter worries about the most, that her own ahbojee would get run over by a car in a parking lot.

  15. 15 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

    I wanted to see JK’s wife Madame Na’s reaction to the news that her sister-in-law is alive. I also want her to talk some sense into her husband when JK says he wants his sister reinstated to be the PM’s wife. Missed her in this episode.

    I also want to see a scene where Madame Na and the Lily Club come out on Da-Jung’s side … maybe if some public opinion gets ugly after first wife’s news hits the papers. I wanted those women to embrace DJ as their own.

    • 15.1 docster6

      I don’t miss the Lily Club that much…I do like that Park Hee Chul is still worried about his noona’s happiness. I am still waiting for Scandal News to break a huge story.

  16. 16 akhenaten

    Hello Gummimochi. I honestly appreciate the humorous but very insightful way you’ve recapped the episodes of this series and I always look forward to them.

    Anyway, I understand and share the sentiments of some viewers that it’s kind of hard to wrap your head around the fact that the story became a lot more serious in the latter third (not half coz I think it was still pretty light until episode 13). I really loved the rom-com goodness of the earlier episodes. But come to think of it, even Hollywood rom-coms take a serious turn somewhere in the middle going towards the climactic part of the story.

    I guess I just miss the riot that Nam Da Jeong used to be and how she drove Kwon Yul crazy with her antics. But then she’s grown up and fallen in love and she can’t be the same as she was before. Not with him. And he can’t be either.

    • 16.1 docster6

      Yup, our “funny and wacky woman” (according to Chief Kang) has lost her touch this past couple of episodes. But it is time for the others to step up and rescue her. Thus far, Kwon Yul has (many times), In Ho has (calling her out on her let’s break up claim), Na Young has (saying she should be the real wife). Woo-Ri was on his way to tell her as well with the younger ones. They missed Da Jung at the hospital but I hope they will be able to deliver their clear message. Secretary Seo has not deliver yet because she is so angry right now, but I have a feeling she will come through. The way things are going, I doubt I would see Da Jung giggle again the rest of the show…I miss that so much.

  17. 17 Kristy

    Just realised that this drama is plain boring when the pace gets slower….this was the worst episode…I am sorry to say as I enjoyed the drama very much….
    Uh Extensions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • 17.1 KDaddict

      1 ep extension —> 60 mins of unnece or unwanted film.

  18. 18 azabaz

    I am a bit disappointed. I wanted Da Jung to be the person she is during the early episodes after the typical self sacrifice that was expected of her since it involves the children that she genuinely loves. I expected her to break the mold of a typical heroine and be brave enough to accept that Yul is there for her and that they could work it out slowly and surely. Step by step…..together….

    But alas, she became just another angst filled character. Just like every other character. It would have been nice if before this episode ends, she had changed her mind and accepted the “hand” Yul is holding out to her. Most preferred during the desperate chase down the stairs. If only she had stopped him from leaving. But I would have settled if at the end, she had been truthful and said so to Yul that no, she thinks she can’t live without him. That she’s scared of what might be in the future but she’s more scared of a future without him. Again, what can I do, I am not the writer…..

    Normally, I can be patient and wait for the next episode of any drama I am watching, but for once, I was desperate enough to know the ending that I watched a live streaming with no subs, just so I can be assured of a happy ending. I just have to say,

    The OTP seems so distant…..maybe it’s because of the dialogue (that I did not understand at all but depended on their body language to guess) but shucks….I feel no love between them at all. Where has all the chemistry gone? 🙁

  19. 19 CHICKEN

    “can you live without me”
    Da-jung doesn’t give a reply
    yul walks towards her
    happy family
    the heartbreak should end like this. drama, don’t stretch this.
    why do I have this feeling that grandpa wouldn’t make it to the end of the next episode. bad signs people, bad.

  20. 20 sweetness

    I got hooked with PMAI. I patiently waited week after week. I am hoping for a happy ending. I hate to see comments bashing the ending and DJ. We fell in love with the drama. We fell in love with KY and DJ. So I/we wanted to feel the love till the end. 🙂

  21. 21 Scheherazade

    Let me summarize


    I rewatched without English subtitles
    Great actors – hands down
    No matter how bad the ending will be
    This drama will come after
    The Coffee Prince as my go to drama, on a beautiful day alone, with the phone off.

    • 21.1 docster6

      My favorites are Yoon Eun Hye and Hwang Jung Eum. Im Yoon Ah has just made that short list of mine. I adore her in this show. I am hoping for a great career ahead for her.

      • 21.1.1 Scheherazade

        Can I add Gong Hyo Jin to the list XD
        Btw this is my first watch with
        Im Yoon Ah
        To me she is excellent here
        OTP credits to casting management
        Lee Beom Soon my top favorite actor after GongYoo

        • docster6

          Gong Hyo Jin is a top, top, top actress. She should on everyone’s list. In fact, I read Im Yoon Ah got acting tips from her since they are really great friends. That short list of mine was just my own opinion, totally not a professional one. I just feel a personal connection with them, when they cried, I cried, when they are happy, I am happy.

  22. 22 zzyx

    After years of watching series and movies, I have learned that I should not expect too much and just enjoy the show. If we expect too much and get too little, we get disappointed and frustrated and we end up hating the show and blaming the writer. Maybe it was just supposed to be that way, that was how the writer wants the show to proceed, we just have a different opinion and a different hope. Yes, I do have small hope of what can happen, I get frustrated at some frustrating parts but I don’t let it ruin my whole perception because at the end of each episode, it still makes me want to see more. Our what “could have beens” is just different with the writer’s “what should be”. Let’s not think that Da Jung deviated from her “original” character, her jolly personality may just be the other side of her, the self sacrificing noble idiot is her other side. Yes, the supposedly dead wife is alive and it just ruins the whole happy Kwon family, but it wouldn’t be a drama without such “dramas” {and that premise only happens in dramaland}. Let’s just take it in as it is and enjoy it.

    Regardless of PM&I’s holes and whatnot, I’am still onboard its boat and enjoying the ride, wishing that this journey will not come to an end.

  23. 23 Emmy

    So frustrated with this episode. I can understand the turmoil that Da-jung must be going through and Yul is going through the same thing. However, it is so frustrating that she is lying about her feelings and basically not trusting that they will be able to get through this crisis together.

    Given that both parties have been so good at resolving earlier problems in a rational, adult manner, I am really surprised that she is not being honest with Yul about her feelings and instead lying that she wants to separate with him. I don’t see how her denial is going to help anyone? Why does she have so little confidence in their relationship that she would give it all up without a fight because Na-young is back?

    Thank goodness Yul is still being the voice of reason here! Yul is such a great character and I love how he isn’t even conflicted about Da-Jung’s role in his life. He realised immediately that Na-young was still the mother to his children, but Da-jung is the one who will stay by his side.

    Despite all my rants, I still think this is one of the cutest and most well written contract marriage dramas out there. I loved how both characters were able to approach a contract marriage in an optimistic and responsible manner and I loved watching them fall in love with one another.

    Minimal angst and lots of happy moments tomorrow please!

  24. 24 Nanny

    I actually feel like this was all meant to happen, like Park Na-Young was supposed to be alive because the fact that this family was still so deeply affected by what happened years ago, with Joon-Ki’s revenge plot, the locked room with the piano means a quite literal confrontation with the past was bound to happen. Even in this episode when Da-Jung is being so self sacrificing and stuff, I just don’t think she knows how to deal with her Dad’s worsening condition, the ex-wife coming back just as their relationship got serious and then Yul resigning all at once. If she thinks taking a few things out of the equation might help her deal with things then so be it.

  25. 25 Julia the Berkshire Beanie

    What dramas have you seen that you think have a good ending?

    Does the ending affect how you see the whole drama?

    I don’t see this will be a WTF Big style ending, but it might leave a sour taste if we don’t get laughter and kissses and cuteness to round out the drama. Still, I will love this because I love DJ and Yul and all three kids.

  26. 26 zzyx

    I don’t think Da Jung went out of character. We already saw her self sacrificing attitude in the first few episodes..

    1) when she stepped in the press con and told everyone that Yul and her are in love. We all know she did not do it for herself but for Yul, she did not want him to drop his chance to be a PM and she saw how good a person he is when she overheard Yul and Hye joo’s conversation. She did not think what effect it would have for her, she just thinks it’s right.

    2) she went into the contract marriage for her dad. She again sacrificed herself in order for his dad to be happy. Anyone would want to make their dad happy, a dying dad to be exact. She did not think of the effect on her in the future in which she will be a national divorcee, she just went in because that is the only way to make her dad happy.

    This time, the break up and leaving the kids, she just drove herself to the edge of the noble idiot angst but just like what she said, that’s what she thinks is right.

  27. 27 *rawr*ling

    This is were my assumptions kick in – if she had talked it through with him or said “let’s break up, we need time to to go through this situation” – she would have been a factor in whatever decision he made regarding Na Young & Da Jung.

    By breaking up thoroughly with PM she takes herself completely out of the picture, he won’t make a decision out of guilt, out of sense of duty towards her – only him & his family.

    Perhaps she believes that PM is not as in love with her as he was with Na Young. Secretary Seo did mention that he had loved Na Young deeply and nobody could replace her in his heart. He just confessed to Da Jung recently, can her few months with him replace the years with Na Young? You are hurt most by the ones you love the most. Can she really fill the hole left by Na Young?

    Perhaps Da Jung thinks that PM is only just slight infatuated with her and now Na Young is back he feels guilty leaving Da Jung.

    Plus, It would not matter the way in which Na Young had left as she is repentant and wants terribly to be with her children. And she probably won’t do it again – as her previous action left such disastrous effects.

    Her step-by-step plan to PM’s heart she believes has a barrier (Na Young), thus it is now up to PM to make her understand that she is the one he loves. It is now his time to show her how much he truly feels for her.

    Well that’s my 2cents anyway.

    • 27.1 zzyx

      I agree. I’ll give another cent for that 🙂

      • 27.1.1 Chandler

        I also agree with this. I’m still not a fan of her decisions, but I can understand her motivations.

  28. 28 Chandler

    I was disappointed with Da-Jung today, but I’m willing to forgive her given that she’s been so wonderful for most of the series. I always felt that part of her reason for leaving is because she knows what it’s like to lose a mother and would never want to stand in the way of the children getting their mother back. What’s ultimately upsetting is the fact that she’s been there for these kids too and they’re now so attached to her that she can’t simply leave them again like their mother did. Well Yul will bring her to her senses soon!

    Oh dear. Lee Beom-Soo’s portrayal of Yul is flawless. Like, I literally have so much love for his character. I mean it, he’s actually truly become one of my favorite male leads. Like waaay up there on the list too. He just cuts the crap and is so damn sexy, seriously those eyes, I just, I can’t. I’m pretty sure I’m about to start a Lee Beom-Soo marathon.

    I remember being so hesitant about this couple, but I adore them now!

  29. 29 damai

    Sorry for out of topic but I want to thank gummimochi for the song. ^^ can I be fangirl for moment..? hhaha.

    • 29.1 gummimochi

      Ooh, you’re so welcome! ^^ Go on and be a proud fangirl!

  30. 30 Scheherazade

    You deleted my honest opinion
    I wasn’t being a “spoiler alert” person
    The storyline is too predictable
    When KY & In Ho were discussing on PM’s future/next step after resigning, my honest gumtions was that KY will go for Presidency.
    I really wish for that to happened

    Sorry if I hurt your post.
    I admire all your recaps but I only
    follow PM&I as I don’t have the luxury of an internet to watch all

    Luckily it has come to an end
    I won’t be visiting anymore

    • 30.1 gummimochi

      I’m sorry that you feel that way. The lines in your comment didn’t get your intention as a prediction for the following episode to me at first glance, and I wanted to be mindful of any reader who would catch the comment threads belatedly. I do appreciate your readership because I know you comment often for the show, and for what it’s worth, I hope you still do offer your opinions in the future. 🙂

  31. 31 Riri

    I really dissapointed with this episode. I get nothing from this episode. But i really like when Ms Nam Da Jong reject chief Kang.
    Hope Man Se could ask her back to him and to his father.

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