Prime Minister and I: Episode 13
If I couldn’t love this couple more than I already do, this episode made me fall in love with them all over again. These two bicker like an old married couple and are just as sweet to each other as newlyweds. It’s as if these two are trapped in their own world whenever they speak to each other and only have eyes for each other. I know that might sound lovey-dovey and mushy to you, but I’ve got a whole hour of evidence to prove my point.
It’s like we learn more about the past with each passing hour, but now it’s time for our characters to come to terms with their feelings, face the truth, or turn over a new, unexpected leaf.
SONG OF THE DAY
Acoustic Collabo – “My Dear” [ Download ]
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Da-jung tells Yul that she won’t leave him because she loves him. He’s taken aback by the words, and we hear Da-jung’s edited narration once more of how she doesn’t want to part from him and have this story end.
In the morning the kids pick up on the unusually quiet mood at the breakfast table, and little Man-se asks if the adults have been fighting. When they both deny it, Man-se takes them to school with the kindergarten lesson of getting along with others. Hee.
Still feeling awkward, Yul rises from his seat first. Da-jung follows him outside and tries to speak to him about last night, but Yul hurries off to work.
Joon-ki is informed that obtaining more information regarding Na-young’s car accident apart from police reports will be difficult given how much time has passed, and only now hears of Hye-joo’s resignation.
Yul has been hesitating on processing the paperwork for that, and In-ho chooses his words of sympathy carefully, saying that it must be tough for Yul to let a longtime employee go. Yul says their history goes further back than when his wife was still alive.
That prompts In-ho to ask if Yul submitted a declaration of death of a missing person for his previous wife, which is typically processed about five years after the missing person’s disappearance.
Yul answers that he hadn’t because he couldn’t acknowledge his wife’s death in his heart despite knowing that she was dead, so he put it off. Then he takes a long pause before deciding it’s time he comes to terms with her death and submit one now.
I admit that I can’t help but harbor some suspicion that Yul might know more than he’s been letting on; he’s been awfully careful with how he’s spoken of his first wife all series long. But for now I’m inclined to run with the belief that Yul also presumes Na-young dead (as does everyone else in this dramaverse) until we’re told otherwise and/or proven wrong.
Hye-joo raises an eyebrow when Da-jung shows up at her gym and hilariously tenses when Da-jung cheerily clings onto her in greeting. Hee, I really hope a reluctant friendship blossoms between these two.
They relocate to a restaurant where Da-jung puts in Hye-joo’s usual post-workout order of three large dishes, which piques Hye-joo’s suspicions. To that, Da-jung sheepishly admits that she knew thanks to her previous research on Hye-joo back in her tabloid reporter days.
But Da-jung notes that Hye-joo also has a deep sense of loyalty, seeing how she’s been going to the same gym, hair salon, and restaurant for years. Hye-joo agrees that she’s the type to stick with the things she likes, and Da-jung asks why she quit her job then.
Hye-joo acknowledges that her liking for things never changes and the same goes for people, which is why she’s liked the same person for twenty years now. She admits that she likes Yul, but she quit her job to end her longtime one-sided love on her own terms, so she won’t be persuaded otherwise.
With that, Hye-joo rises from her seat, but before she leaves, she informs Da-jung that she would never eat all this food before them—she only ordered this much because she was embarrassed to eat alone.
Meanwhile, In-ho questions whether he actually saw Na-young in the previous episode. So when he submits Na-young’s legal death report, he also asks the lawyer to investigate her credit card statements and travels in and out of Korea on the off-chance that she may still be alive. The lawyer finds it ridiculous that a living person would purposely hide away for so long, but agrees to look into it.
Su-ho is transferred back to his hospital room, now in stable condition. In-ho asks if there were any other visitors—a woman, perhaps—but the nurse tells him no.
Da-jung finds Na-ra hitting the books, fully determined to place first in her school just like her dreamy crush. That’s so cute. Da-jung smiles at that, knowing that Yul will be proud of how his kids are studying so hard.
She gets called over to meet Yul at his alma mater and walks through the library until she finds him. Excuse me while I take a moment to savor this shot of Yul completely engrossed in a book.
He takes her to the cafeteria for a bite to eat, and when Da-jung remarks that Yul must have been smart, he confidently confirms that he always placed first in school. To that, Da-jung retorts that although she wasn’t book-smart, she never skipped mealtimes. Hehe.
Yul asks when her first love was, and the sudden question nearly makes her choke on her food. But Da-jung humors his curiosity to learn about her past and names all the boys who used to like her when she was young.
Yul points out that those were all one-sided crushes, not a first love; he’s under the understanding that a first love is when two people are mutually in love for the first time.
Da-jung stutters that she was just getting to that, and starts to elaborate when she suddenly questions why she’s sharing this with Yul right now, wondering if he’s interviewing her. He agrees to call it an interview then, and gets to his real question: “Why do you like me?”
And Da-jung asks after the real reason why Yul brought her here.
As Yul and Da-jung sit in a large, empty auditorium that houses a lone piano on stage, he tells Da-jung that his first wife was the complete opposite of Da-jung—delicate, sensitive, and fragile—as if she wouldn’t be able to survive without him.
All of the places they went today from the library to the cafeteria to this very auditorium were places he once shared romantic memories with his wife—from the moment he first saw her to when he proposed to her.
So what he’s trying to tell Da-jung is that her feelings for him isn’t love, but falls more along the lines of admiration or sympathy, like how a student admires her teacher. She asks how he can pack her feelings so carelessly, and even if she were to call her feelings those things—is that still so wrong?
Yul points out that he’s much older than Da-jung and he’s been married before. He’s gone through all the stages of love; he doesn’t possess any romantic fantasies about love. “So I don’t want to love anyone anymore.”
Da-jung asks if it’s because of his first wife, if it’s because he still loves her. Yul: “And if it’s not that? If it’s the complete opposite?”
Joon-ki shares a drink with Hye-joo, surprised that she’d see him again after her vow to never forgive him. Hye-joo explains that she knew Joon-ki wasn’t behind the assassination attempt the moment she saw him, but lashed out in anger anyway.
A few drinks later, Joon-ki asks if Hye-joo was aware of the rumors that Na-young had an affair. That’s news to Hye-joo who firmly believes Na-young only had eyes for Yul, despite their rocky relationship in the latter part of the marriage.
All she knows is that Na-young was being treated for depression, and Joon-ki wonders in the event his sister was involved with another man–would Yul have forgiven her for it?
And Yul answers that very question: “I… I couldn’t forgive my wife.”
Da-jung is shocked by the confession as Yul further explains that he could forgive his wife for loving another man, for trying to run away to live with that man in the States and abandon her family. “But the one thing I couldn’t forgive her for… was to leave me like that forever.”
The last words his wife spoke to him was how she was so lonely that she couldn’t bear it any longer. She neither asked for forgiveness nor made excuses before she left, and he couldn’t forgive her—no, he couldn’t forgive himself.
Yul had realized that he was the one who drove her to that point; the one who never looked back at her with the excuse that he was always too tired from work. “How lonely she was, how much she cried… I really… didn’t know anything at all.”
He questioned whether someone like him had the right to love again. Then he admits that he wavered, his heart fluttered and beat faster with Da-jung; he found her pretty whenever she smiled back at him.
“But I don’t have the courage anymore. I’m afraid to love again. Because I’m afraid I’ll also make that person lonely.” With that Yul walks out of the auditorium, leaving Da-jung crying in his wake.
Joon-ki asks where Hye-joo plans to go for her trip, and she jokes anywhere before saying anywhere that will take her fastest to the farthest. He tells her to call when she gets back since she’s now unemployed, and she points out that he’s in the same boat.
Joon-ki says that he won’t be unemployed for long and holds Hye-joo to one promise: that she’ll come back. She jokes that she might not if all the handsome foreigners hold her back. Lol.
Hye-joo takes a call from In-ho just then, and Joon-ki figures that he’s on his way back from the hospital. The words seem like a deliberate choice on Joon-ki’s part, and Hye-joo catches on to that statement belatedly.
In-ho asks the kind nurse to pay special attention to his brother since he doesn’t seem to be improving. He’s told that the church volunteers sometimes take care of the patients too, and In-ho asks if there’s a Park Na-young (Yul’s first wife’s full name) among that group.
Da-jung lingers outside the locked piano room, recalling Yul’s words of how he couldn’t forgive himself for making his first wife so lonely. She laments how hard a time his first wife must have had it.
Da-jung takes the kids out shopping and picks out a coat for Yul. Woo-ri tells her not to bother, but when she persists, he tells Da-jung that she should buy one for herself, too. At that, Da-jung asks if he’s being considerate towards her and Woo-ri blusters that he isn’t. D’aww.
Then Woo-ri gets a call from his father that he won’t be coming home tonight because of a business trip. Da-jung notes that he didn’t mention anything to her, and the kids tsks over how they’ve been fighting again. Ha.
So Da-jung and the kids do something downright adorable: they surprise Yul by showing up at the hotel he’s staying at for his business trip. Hee.
Yull pulls Da-jung aside to ask what’s going on, and he scoffs with disbelief at her explanation that she brought the children to, y’know, see the ocean instead of keeping them cooped up at the estate during their school break.
She presents Yul with his parka and assures him that they’ll stay out of his way, and then gathers the kids to play outside. As she watches the kids play along the seashore, Da-jung tells herself that she made the right choice by coming here.
That’s how In-ho finds her and teases her for talking to herself out loud. They banter back and forth about who she’s really here to see (she says she’s here to see everyone, but In-ho knows better), and the kids call her over.
So Da-jung and the children all play on the beach with In-ho, and take photos together until Yul joins them later on. Awwwwwwww, way to melt my heart, Drama.
Na-ra suggests they take a family photo and asks Da-jung to take the picture. But Man-se says that Da-jung is family too and asks In-ho to photograph them instead. In-ho agrees to do so, and I love how the kids force Yul and Da-jung closer together. Tiny matchmakers, these kids.
Da-jung insists on cooking dinner that evening, saying that’s half the fun. It cracks me up that Yul is the uncertain grumpy one whereas In-ho smiles encouragingly, but neither of them can deny her failed cooking.
Da-jung waits expectantly for praise and while In-ho goes for the polite route, Yul truthfully tells her just how awful her ddukbokki is. HA. A friend will flatter you, but a true friend (or true love. Potayto, potahto) will dish out the truth, no matter what.
Yul claims that he can do better, but Da-jung counters that he doesn’t even know how to cook ramyun. Yul: “Why can’t I? All you need to do is follow the instructions!” That spurs a round of bickering between them and in the end, Yul laughs in amusement.
In the midst of their squabbling, In-ho receives a call informing him that the church volunteers will drop by tomorrow morning. When asked about the call, In-ho explains that he’s currently looking for someone whom he previously thought was dead, but might be alive.
Sensing the urgency of the situation, Yul sends In-ho on his way, adding that he hopes that the person In-ho is looking for is alive.
Yul waits outside for Da-jung to return, and when she mentions how he must have been rattled by the family’s sudden appearance today, Yul says it’s no big deal because it isn’t the first time she’s surprised him.
Then Da-jung reveals that the real reason why she came here is because there’s something she wants to say to him. Now it’s her turn to give back the advice he once gave her: “Being afraid doesn’t become a reason that you can use to run away.”
Da-jung says she hopes that he’ll overcome his painful past now, and understands that the locked piano room and his insomnia are because of his first wife. She tells Yul that she thinks it’s okay for him to laugh and be happy from now on.
“It isn’t your fault that she died,” she presses. “It’s neither your fault nor your wife nor anybody’s fault. So don’t beat yourself up for what happened in the past anymore. It isn’t your fault.”
Tears well up in Yul’s eyes at her words that echo in his head as he ponders over them.
Da-jung searches for Yul the next morning and finds him overlooking the ocean. She stops at a distance and tells him to stay right there because she’ll go to him. And then she takes a step. “Like this.”
He stares back at her as Da-jung says that he needn’t look at her and stay there just as he is because she’ll draw closer to him, one step at a time. Step by step, Da-jung walks towards Yul, and has him promise that he’ll stand where he is and not walk away.
In-ho arrives at the hospital to meet the volunteer who isn’t Na-young, but as it turns out, she’s just filling in for hyung’s regular caretaker today. In-ho asks where he can find her.
That takes him to a women’s shelter where the residents freeze at the sight of him. In-ho is told that no such person lives here, but then he turns his head at a crashing sound and sees Na-young, who runs.
He catches up to Na-young to ask if it’s really her. Gripped with fear, she doesn’t answer.
Elsewhere, Hye-joo pieces together the clues about the spy in Yul’s midst and concludes there’s something strange between Joon-ki and In-ho. Back at the estate, Yul unlocks the door to the piano room and examines the piano.
Da-jung hears noises in the estate and walks into the living room to find the kids excited at how the piano is being moved in per Yul’s orders. Da-jung goes to tell Yul that he made the right decision with a smile.
In-ho still hasn’t returned by the time Yul heads out, which makes Da-jung wonder if it involves the personal business he had to attend to.
Yul heads to a meeting at the Blue House, only to be blindsided when Joon-ki walks in as the new state minister for political affairs. And guess who’s his new secretary—Hye-joo.
Da-jung runs out to meet In-ho when he returns later that evening. His expression unreadable, In-ho grabs her tightly in a hug. Worried, she asks what happened and if something went wrong today. In-ho answers, “No. The thing that went wrong… is me.”
Wiping away tears, In-ho says that it’s okay if something happens to him, but the same can’t be said for Da-jung. “What will happen to you?” Dude, you are scaring me with that sort of talk!
Da-jung doesn’t understand a word he’s saying, and In-ho tells her to listen carefully. He starts, “If… if… ” but can’t get the rest of the words out.
In-ho’s words trouble her and Da-jung seeks out Yul in the bedroom to consult him about her worries. Yul says today is full of bad news and relays the news that Hye-joo is now working for Joon-ki.
Da-jung counters that Hye-joo must have her reasons for doing so. Yul doesn’t know what those are, but admits that it still hurts. Yes, hurt feelings. That’s why he was reading up on One Thousand and One Nights to keep his mind off of things, and there’s an adorable moment where Da-jung tries to take the book from him and Yul pulls it back.
He posits the question of why this story ends after one thousand and one nights. Did the author run out of ideas? Or did the sultan’s anger and resentment disappear?
Da-jung wonders if it isn’t because the sultan was finally able to sleep at night; there wasn’t a need for the stories to go on when the sultan let go of his deeply-seeded anger and gained peace.
That theory appeals to Yul and Da-jung’s voice narrates the reason why: “The sultan already knew that the stories Scheherazade was telling him gave him great pleasure.”
Yul wakes the following morning with Da-jung lying next to him in bed, her head resting on his shoulder. She stirs a minute later and tells Yul that he should have woken her because he probably couldn’t sleep.
But Yul tells her that he fell asleep and had a restful, dreamless sleep. A moment of realization dawns between them and feeling awkward, Da-jung climbs out of bed.
Yul gets up after her and stops her in her tracks. He reminds her of how she asked him to stay where he was, but he thinks he won’t be able to keep that promise. “Because… I like you.” Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
And then we cut away to a shot of Na-young standing outside the estate. Boooo.
Inside, Yul asks if she’s okay with who he is. If she is, “Can I like you, Nam Da-jung?”
Tears fall from Da-jung’s eyes as Yul takes her hand in his, and promises, “I won’t ever let this hand go.”
We have to wait another whole week after that? Are you kidding me?! I waited seven weeks for Yul to say those words! *breathes deeply* It’s going to fine; we’re going to get through this, everyone. There are only six… more… days…!
If it wasn’t already evident, I’m soooo happy that Yul finally admitted to his feelings for Da-jung because, it was about damn time. And how much do I love that his confession is just as gentlemanly as he is? His realization falls in step with the traditional romantic comedy timeline (as in, just before le shit hits le fan), though, I enjoyed how this pair of episodes led us to that final sequence with the continuous Scheherazade and sultan metaphors. Like how Yul awoke from the first restful sleep he’s had in years to find the very reason why he did was lying right beside him. I love that it’s her voice and her presence that brings joy to his life and help him move away from the past, although that last part just got infinitely harder now that Na-young is back (more on that in a bit).
Then it was hard to sit through Yul’s monologue about his first love experience with Na-young, and blames himself for ultimately driving her away. Given Yul’s workaholic nature, it wasn’t hard to guess that Na-young felt incredibly lonely and dismissed, and while we don’t know the details to the sad trajectory of their deteriorating marriage, I can only assume that at a certain point, Na-young gave up on the already estranged relationship. Though I can’t say how persistent Na-young was in her efforts to keep the family together, I love that Da-jung acted upon a different mentality—that if Yul was going to be away from the family, then the solution was to bring the family to him. And that way, nobody’s lonely.
Still, I can understand Yul’s internal struggles in the face of his fondness towards Da-jung when his guilt and fear of driving someone away keeps him from loving again. Then there are the other realistic reasons like their age difference and his previous marriage status. I appreciate that the show sought to shed light on those factors, if only for a moment, though I think their electrifying chemistry trumps those deterrents a mile high.
Not only was I annoyed with Na-young’s reappearance at the estate (because, what a buzzkill), seeing her there also put me on edge. We still don’t know what kept her away for so long and whatever she told In-ho makes me seriously worry for Da-jung’s safety. Is he afraid that Da-jung would end up heartbroken or is Da-jung’s life in physical danger or emotional scorn? To not know at this point makes Na-young’s intentions that much scarier. While we’re on the topic of conflict, I didn’t feel a sting of betrayal I thought I’d get when we saw Hye-joo work for Joon-ki; perhaps that’s because I know that she’s there as a spy, but you could just see Yul’s face fall to see her standing there, which, oof.
In hindsight, the contract marriage setup and the time Yul and Da-jung have together feels like borrowed time from a storybook, and one point or another, they must wonder just when and how this tale might come to an end. And with the past just about to come a-knockin’ (literally), is it too much for me to ask for more of the cute? Or shall we take it one step at a time?
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 12
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 11
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 10
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 9
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 8
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 7
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 6
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 5
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 4
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 3
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 2
- Prime Minister and I: Episode 1