This is the first recap I wrote completely on a cross-country flight. Woo hoo, three cheers for inflight WiFi (and I’m posting this recap while I am still in the air, this technology shiz is awesome)! My Princess Episode 4 – yeah, it’s also pretty awesome. Just sayin’.
I enjoyed this episode even more than the previous episode, which appears to be a trend with respect to me and MP. At this rate, I will want to marry this drama around episode 10 because I love it so darn much I can’t live without it. Just kidding, or at least I hope so. And it’s a shame I can’t screencap my Heon oppa’s shower scene yet. I didn’t want my seat mate to stare at me like I was a crazy pervert.
Episode 4 Recap:
Oblivious Seol is prevented from leaving the country by the gate agent. Hae Young waves his diplomat status, and presses for more information, but the agent doesn’t know anything other than Lee Seol cannot be allowed to leave the country. He waves Seol out of the line, and takes her passport. Seol and Hae Young walk aside to discuss the situation.
Rather than assume the most obvious reason, Hae Young asks Seol whether she has committed any crimes, or owes any outstanding debts. Seol has a lightbulb moment and asks whether an unpaid gas bill counts. Hae Young realizes the sheer inanity of his line of questions. A call reveals that the Minister of Justice issued the decree that Seol cannot leave the country. Hae Young correctly guesses that grandpa is behind this, since he paid for the tuition of the Minister of Justice back when he was in school, and also officiated at his wedding.
Seol scoffs at the dirty tactics of the rich, wondering if grandpa is getting back at her by turning her into a criminal. She pulls her eyes into slits to demonstrate how she glared her eyeballs out at grandpa back at the gravesite. Hae Young continues to stare at her antics like she’s a new breed of animal he’s never seen before. He tells her that this time grandpa’s target is Hae Young, not Seol, which means its time for Hae Young bust out the big guns.
Seol wonders what he can do, since he can’t even stop news reports from airing. To which Hae Young gets all offended and says that it wasn’t because he couldn’t do it, but because he didn’t want to misuse power and authority to do it. Hur, Seol’s complete inability to be wowed and awed by Hae Young never gets old, because it always gets his goat up and he feels the need to posture a little, which I love to see.
Seol says that she needs to head home to retrieve the letter she wrote to her mom announcing her move to Egypt for three years. Since its not clear when her travel clearance will be approved, they need to get the letter otherwise mom is going to assume she’s taken off with her boyfriend, i.e. Hae Young. They head back to the guest house, finding it empty, and Seol goes to retrieve the letter from where she left it, inside the bible in her mom’s desk drawer. Too bad Mom and the bible are both gone.
They head to the church, where Mom has her eyes closed during the hymns. Seol prods Hae Young to grab the bible, since he’s arm is longer and she can reach around her mom. Hae Young reaches over the pew to grab the bible, only to have Mom reach for it at the same time, leading Hae Young to adorably pretend that he was just leaning over to pray. Mom’s surprised to see them, and both pretend that they came to pick her up at the church. Song Seung Heon’s totally spot-on understated comedic timing in this scene was excellent, me so loving it!
Seol tries to borrow the bible, but is told the service has ended. Mom tells Hae Young to go start the car and warm it up, and he uses this opportunity to take her bag containing the bible with him to put in the car (and be searched for the letter). Hae Young searches through the bible, finding only an envelope with money and another containing Mom’s prayer to the God that Lee Dan pass her law exam.
The paster begins to read everyone’s prayers, and starts reading Seol’s letter, which begins with “Dear Mom, this is Seol.” The paster adorably assumes the letter writer is referring to God as mom, and continues with the recitation. Seol is adorably giving the X-nay gesture to the paster, but he’s oblivious to her attempts to stop this public embarrassment.
Once the pastor gets to the part where Seol bids farewell to her mom and is on a supposed plane to Egypt, Mom realizes the letter is from her daughter, and the entire congregation starts to murmur. The pastor notes that the letter is clearly a runaway from home letter, and calls out Seol as the daughter of Mom. Hae Young prods Seol, and the two of them make a getaway from the church. But Mom takes off after them, and runs around trying to beat Seol outside the church.
Hae Young tries to restrain her, and explains that it was all his doing, so if Mom wants to beat Seol, she should beat him instead. Mom mistakenly thinks that Hae Young is confessing to running away with Seol together, and takes a giant logic leap and asks if they are expecting a baby! The entire congregation starts to congratulate Mom on becoming a grandmother, while Hae Young and Seol are adorably denying this ridiculous misconception.
The paster recognizes Hae Young as the grandson of the Chairman of the Daehan Group, while Hae Young moves to cover his face with his hands in both embarrassment and to avoid recognition. Hae Young asks the paster to keep everything a secret, and the paster asks the congregation to swear to secrecy in the name of the Lord. Everyone adorably shushes, while Mom winks at Seol for landing such a plum guy.
Mom finally watches the news reports where Hae Young is shielding Seol. Mom appears to yell at them, but she’s really totally awed by how romantic it all seems. Mom tells them she’s wishes for such romantic things to happen to her when she was young. Seol is surprised that Mom’s not angry, but her Mom mistakenly thinks that Seol and Hae Young were headed to a honeymoon in Egypt.
Seol says that they are not married yet, how could they be headed for a honeymoon. Seol tries to explain her situation is like winning the lottery, but Hae Young continues with the “love” pretense so that Seol doesn’t reveal the princess truth. Mom says that landing a guy like Hae Young is definitely like winning the lottery. Hae Young adorably tells Seol that “oppa will handle everything” and Seol is like whut-the-oppa-what?
Hae Young pulls some serious theatrical acting with Mom – he tells her that his family doesn’t approve of Seol (grandpa even got on his knees the first time he met Seol!), which is why they need to get on that plane to Egypt. Hae Young gets on his knees before Mom and asks for her permission to allow Seol to go to Egypt with him. Mom gladly consents, but asks point blank whether they plan to register the marriage first before they leave. Hae Young and Seol are stunned, and Hae Young stammers that he didn’t really think about that yet….
They are interrupted when some men in black come to collect Hae Young, calling him doronim (young master). Seol and Mom walk Hae Young out, and Seol asks whether Hae Young is planning to ditch her here. He tells her that she’s free to come with him, which will surely make grandpa so happy. He tells Mom that he will be back soon after resolving things at home, and Seol brusquely asks when he will be back. She wants a definite time from him.
Hae Young keeps up this dating pretense by pinching her cheeks, and chiding her for doing the OPW on him. He tells her not to worry, her oppa (him) will be right back. She must be sad she won’t be seeing her oppa for the next few days, isn’t she? Seol is all affronted with his sudden and exceeding use of oppa, and her use of oppa gets Mom to remind her that she’s standing right there. Hae Young pinches her cheeks again, and reminds her to STAY PUT and wait for him, his little thumbelina princess. I am dying of how cute these two are in their every interaction.
Grandpa is asking about how the construction of the new palace is going, and is told it’s on schedule. The President arrives, and is shown the display miniature of the future royal palace. Grandpa intends for it to be open to the public as well, and is also planning to build the President his very own memorial after the monarchy is restored and the President ends his term. The President is totally eating up his future adulation with a spoon. The opposition leader is leading a hunger strike to protect the ballot measure to reinstate the monarchy, and Yoon Joo goes to meet on behalf of the Chairman.
The opposite leader is just a weenie who pretends to fast for a day (hunger strike) to drum up attention, but gobbles up a giant bento when he’s in the hospital. He tells Yoon Joo that once the public finds out the princess is a poor, inexperienced green girl, they won’t be so keen on supporting her. Yoon Joo reports to the Chairman that the opposition leader likely won’t change his position. Hae Young comes home, and grandpa yells at him for daring to abduct the princess.
Hae Young says that it’s absurd for grandpa to give away his fortune for a stranger, and grandpa says that he is merely returning the money to its rightful owner since Daehan Group was founded on the royal family’s funds. Hae Young says grandpa should return the funds with interest, shouldn’t that be enough? Grandpa yells at Hae Young for claiming rights to an inheritance he hasn’t worked to earn a penny of (true dat), but Hae Young says that he will do everything in his power to make sure that “that girl” doesn’t become the princess. If he has to kidnap her or bury her alive, he will do it. I love how he’s all bluster with grandpa about his intentions with Seol, but putty in front of Seol.
Grandpa is incensed that his grandson is just like his son, refusing to cooperative with the royal restoration plan. Hae Young realises that the reason his own father was banished for twenty years by his grandfather was for this very reason, and is totally even more pissed off. He’s conjured up reasons for his father’s banishment, but to find out it was because his father refused to support this blasted royal restoration scheme is beyond anything Hae Young can accept. Especially since his father’s banishment made Hae Young an orphan with any parents. Yup, grandpa, you are a giant heartless tool. Hae Young vows to never let grandpa see the princess again.
Yoon Joo tries to restrain Hae Young from leaving in such an anger, but he tells her that he needs to be even more upset. If he lost his inheritance and became a poor guy, he won’t be marrying Yoon Joo. Uhm, fine with me. Hae Young goes home to brood in the dark, and I love broody woobies in three piece suits. Especially if its my Heon oppa.
He looks at his father’s picture, and then goes to take his shower of pain. I temporarily lost my mind for a minute here. So I apologize if the rest of this recap is gibberish, because I’m not quite recovered from THE SHOWER yet.
After the shower (why, why you need to get out of the shower, oppa?), Hae Young dresses in his perfectly tailored suit, and goes to meet with the opposition leader. Hae Young asks for help rescinding the travel restrictions placed on a person.
The opposition leader is quick on the uptake, and realizes that Hae Young is getting the princess out of the country, and that they are both wanting the same thing – the failure of the royal restoration. He tells Hae Young that he has an even easier method – release information to the media about the princess, and let the public make her life a living hell with the scrutiny. Hae Young doesn’t look pleased to hear about this strategy.
Seol comes down to find Mom making her a year’s worth of food to take on her study abroad. Mom reminds her to go thank her professor in person, not just leave a letter. That reminds Seol that she also wrote Jung Woo a letter (on pink polka dot stationary which she then spritzed with perfume – god I love this girl), and she hurries to go get it back. She calls Jung Woo, and asks if he received a weird letter recently in the mail.
Jung Woo smiles and pulls out Seol’s pink letter and sniffs it, telling her that he got her handwritten letter just today. He’s happy to read it since he hasn’t received hand written letters in a long time. Seol tells Jung Woo not to read the letter, and he wonders why since the letter was intended for him. She says that there has been a change to a point in the letter, and she’s coming right away to revise it. Seol hurriedly heads to the university, despite Mom’s reminder that Hae Young told her to stay put.
At school, Seol is stopped by some reporters asking to interview her about “that girl”, but Jung Woo arrives and puts on his angry professor face and tells Seol to come with him since she’s in trouble for missing her exams. Once they are seated at the coffee shop, Seol compliments Jung Woo’s slick acting, remarking that she didn’t know he had this side to him. Jung Woo smiles, saying that everyone thinks he’s the gentle type, but he has this dramatic side to him as well. Seol adorably asks him whether he is suffering from “prince syndrome”. LOL.
Jung Woo says he is indeed suffering from “prince syndrome”, especially since he keeps getting such things from his students, and he pulls out Seol’s pink letter. She tries to grab it back, and finally lies to Jung Woo that it’s a chain letter. He laughs at her, and then she says that the letter was written when she was feeling overwhelmed and so its too dramatic. She doesn’t want Jung Woo to read it since it would embarrass Seol so much that she can’t sit in his lectures anymore.
Jung Woo asks her why she’s going to Egypt then, if she likes his lectures so much. Seol realizes he already read the letter, and Jung Woo quotes a wish of Seol’s from the letter, that Jung Woo not get a girlfriend while Seol is away, and spends all his holidays eating ramyun by himself. Jung Woo says he felt Seol’s sincere wishes in that sentence.
Jung Woo asks why she doesn’t want to be a princess, and Seol says that she likes things the way they are now. More importantly, she doesn’t want to be disliked. If she becomes the princess, she will be famous, and famous people will have anti-fans. Seol gets a call from her friend, and realizes that her identity has been revealed. She rushes outside to see the media has descended on the university, reporting on Lee Seol, the secret princess whose grandfather was the illegitimate son of the last Emperor.
Hae Young sees the news and calls Seol, rushing to take her away. He tells her to leave the guest house, but her screams (she is currently running away from the media with Jung Woo in tow) make Hae Young realize that she is not at home. Seol and Jung Woo run into the office and bar the media outside. Grandpa is furious that the princess’ identity has been revealed. Hae Young arrives on campus, and walks to the office surrounded by the media. He calls Seol and tells her to open the door.
Jung Woo opens the door and these two pretty pretty boys have a very long stare off in the doorway with the media snapping away. Seol is lurking behind the other two ladies in the office. Hae Young drags Seol into the inner office, and yells at her for leaving the guest house when he told her to stay put! Seol is no push over, and yells right back at him – how dare he yell at her when she’s in this predicament because of him! Hae Young yells back that he’s so upset because he was worried about her! And that shuts Seol right up.
When Seol called Hae Young, she was being chased by the media so she was screeching into the phone, and left Hae Young worried about her situation. Oh baby, you wuz worried about her well-being, I approve. Hae Young grabs Seol to take her out of here, but Jung Woo stops him, asking if leaving right now is the best idea since the media is parked outside. Hae Young says that more media will come, so what does Jung Woo think they should do?
Jung Woo says that as Seol’s professor, he can’t let her be placed in such harmful scrutiny. Hae Young says that Seol is his fiancee and he needn’t explain anything to Jung Woo. Jung Woo smirks, saying that he doesn’t care whether Seol is a kidnap victim or a fiancee, but there is no reason to leave right away unless they are trying to not miss a flight to Egypt. When Seol hears this, she’s pleased with Jung Woo’s response on her behalf, which only gets Hae Young mildly annoyed.
Hae Young looks at Seol and asks why Jung Woo knows anything about Egypt? Seol says that the letter arrived early, is all, which makes Hae Young realize that Seol wrote a letter to Jung Woo as well as her Mom. He yells at that damn letter, and asks Seol what the heck she wrote in it. She says that she can’t talk about it, which is when Jung Woo tells Hae Young not to get upset, it was just a cute letter declaring Seol’s crush on him. That is not what Hae Young wanted to hear. Boys, I cannot wait for you two to really go at it, if this sniping right now is any indication of how awesome this love triangle is gonna get.
The men in black show up again at the Chairman’s orders to get Hae Young and Seol out of there. Yoon Joo also tagged along, and we get our first four-way awesome staredown between all four leads. Jung Woo is shocked to see Yoon Joo, who doesn’t acknowledge him and instead addresses Hae Young. Hae Young grabs Seol to leave, and tells Jung Woo to speak to Yoon Joo if he has any other things he wants to discuss – Yoon Joo is someone who knows Hae Young better than he knows himself. Ooomph, low blow, dude, low blow.
Hae Young and Seol walk out, and all the men in black have restrained the media against the wall, opening up a lane for them to leave. Hae Young shields Seol’s face, but can’t restrain himself, and has to ask her whether she came to the school to see her professor. Seol says its for other reasons. Hae Young tells her to get ready to run again. Once they pass the gauntlet of reporters, Hae Young and Seol take off, and it’s clear that Hae Young wants to ditch his grandfather’s lackeys as well as the media.
In the car, Seol wonders why they are not going to see grandpa. Hae Young tells her to lay low for the next few days until the travel restriction is lifted. Seol says she can’t go to Egypt now, since her identity has been revealed, and the media managed to get a picture of her. Hae Young gripes that it’s all because she didn’t listen to him. Before, when she was with him, the media never got a picture of her. Seol yells that its all his fault that she was restricted from traveling.
Hae Young starts to mumble a curse, and Seol thinks that he is pissed at her, and threatens to not help him anymore. Hae Young says that he wasn’t mad at her, he’s pissed because the car is out of gas. Grandpa calls when they are getting gas, and Hae Young tells grandpa that he will do anything when it concerns his life. He tells grandpa that he’s so pissed he wants to tie the princess’s hand and feet together. Seol hears this and asks Hae Young what he hopes the accomplish by tying her up (omo, my mind will not go in the gutter….), and Hae Young says he was just saying it for his grandpa’s benefit to piss him off.
A gas station attendant recognizes Seol, takes her picture on his cell phone, and calls everyone over. The car is surrounded by onlookers, which is when grandpa’s lackeys catch up to Hae Young. He tells them to get rid of the onlookers, and manages to drive off while the two group are tussling. Hae Young drives them alongside a beach, and its gorgeous with the ocean on one side and the snowy earth on the other. Seol falls asleep, and Hae Young looks at her with concern. He really is beginning to care about her as a person, and I really like their friendship/partnership.
Seol wakes up to find that Hae Young parked the car on a deserted beach, and that he’s fallen asleep himself. She tries to poke him awake, but realizes that he’s probably exhausted as well. If I was in a car with Song Seung Heon and he was asleep next to me, I cannot vouch that I won’t do anything that might be illegal in certain states. Or at least highly frowned upon. Anyways, Seol covers Hae Young with his suit jacket, and realizes with awe how long his eye lashes are.
She can’t help herself, and lightly brushes a finger across his lashes, and then touches her own, disappointed to find that his are much more lush than hers. She does it one more time, and then sinks back to her side of the car when she sees Hae Young stirring. When he awakens, she asks if he just woke up, and he asks her whether she’s asking if he heard stuff regarding eyelashes. Seol is embarrassed to be discovered, and calls him a pervert for pretending to be asleep. LOL, girl, that’s like the pot calling the kettle black.
She asks Hae Young why her car back was reclined since she didn’t recline it. Instead of telling her that he did it to make her comfortable, Hae Young says that she snored, so he reclined it to stop her snoring. What a softie pretending to be a meanie. Seol says she doesn’t snore, which is when her stomach growls. Hae Young smiles at her, and asks whether she’s hungry? She gives him a doe eyed look of a hungry girl wanting food from her oppa.
At the restaurant, the young server brings the food and wink for Seol. She says that it means she wasn’t recognized, and Hae Young hilariously says that the server must be suffering from some sort of eye ailment.
He moves to get some stew, and Seol grabs his bowl to serve him, saying that it’s a shame to spill on his expensive clothes. Hae Young is touched until he realizes that Seol gave him only vegetables and even very little soup, while she grabbed the chunks of fish and stew for herself. He shakes his head and says that her cheapskate ways will serve her well in Egypt.
Seol asks if she still needs to go to Egypt. Since the Daehan Group has such wide reach, she’ll surely be brought back quickly. Hae Young realizes this, and his face falls. The news report comes on at the restaurant, and the young server says that he just got a job working for the reinstated royal family. He asks the customers to vote for the ballot measure since his future livelihood depends on the royal family getting reinstated. The news continues and reveals that Seol father was an unemployed shyster who swindled and cheated people.
Seol hears this slander and is infuriated. Hae Young flashes back to his meeting with the opposition leader, who shared these salacious details of Seol’s father’s life. Hae Young looks pissed that this information has been revealed to the public. Seol gets up and yells at the restaurant customers to not speak ill of that man, who is nothing like what is being described. She’s got tears in her eyes, and Hae Young grabs her and they leave the restaurant.
Seol is standing by a bridge, and she flashes back to various beach outings with her father when she was just a child. He seems like a kind and gentle man, and very doting on Seol. Hae Young watches Seol cry. She turns to him and says that she wants to go meet with grandpa – he’s the most powerful man she knows, and she wants him to help her correct all the false lies the media is spreading about her father.
Hae Young tells her that since she’s leaving soon, she should just let it go. But Seol can’t, and then Hae Young asks what will happen if everything said about her dad turned out to be the truth? Seol says its not the truth, starting with the fact that her dad never abandoned her as a child. She is leaving when the young server comes running up to her, asking politely if she is the princess. He says that he brought people to find her, and grandpa pulls up with Secretary in tow.
Seol decides to go with grandpa, and she leaves with one last look at Hae Young, who realizes that Seol will not be on his side anymore. The next morning, the entourage pulls up at a lavish estate (that looks suspiciously like Gu Jun Pyo’s mansion or Kang Hye Na’s estate – can’t quite be certain).
Grandpa awakens Seol, and tells her that they have arrived. Seol exits the car to see that she is at an palatial estate that appears to span hundreds of acres. She is surrounded by an entire retinue of retainers who all bow and welcome her.
Thoughts of Mine:
I don’t know what it is about MP? It’s so very ordinary and unoriginal, yet the sum of its parts creates this wonderfully addicting drama to watch. The drama is so peppy, with a brisk plot and lots of engaging interludes between all the main characters. While I’m investing wholly in the OTP, I’m also grinning like a fool whenever Seol has a cute moment with Jung Woo. Sigh, if only I had such a hot professor in college.
I thought there were quite a few moments of emotional honesty in this episode. Not everyone handled it well – my oppa’s shower of angsty pain notwithstanding, his big emotional confrontation with his grandpa saw Song Seong Heon resort to his usual eye brows and clenched cheeks method of expressing pain and anger. But Kim Tae Hee did quite well with her big emotional scenes in this episode, for the first time convincing me that she can cry and rage without going all bug-eyed on us. Hurray for improved acting skills on her part!
I really loved Seol’s flashbacks to her father. Baby girl Seol was played by an adorable little actress, but it was how quietly poignant and sad her memories were that touched a chord in me. Her father seemed like such a decent man, unassuming and uninterested in the trappings of power and wealth. I like that the central catalyst for Seol to agree to be a princess is to clear her father’s name. It’s both meaningful and touching reason, and one that is of vital importance to her.
There were too many Seol-Hae Young awesomeness in this episode to count. Seriously, how the hell did each and every scene between them immediately become cute, funny, and/or touching? Their relationship is grounded in adult interactions, but tinged with playfulness and wonder. It’s like both confound the other, and yet they immediately have their innate understanding of the other person.
The church scene made me guffaw, and the subsequent scene where Hae Young pulls out the K-drama stops and pretends to get on his knees to ask Mom for permission to take Seol away had me rolling on the floor dying of the chuckles. But it was the quiet scenes between them that really solidified my love. When Hae Young watches Seol cry for her dad’s distorted legacy, when she shoots him a look that signifies that she will be parting ways with him on the princess issue, all of that is laying the groundwork for their relationship to deepen in ways both good and bad.
It’s a sign that I’m starting to get emotionally invested in this drama, because I’m not looking forward to certain alluded to plot developments that will have be gnashing my teeth in frustration. But I guess that means the writer is doing a good job – building a compelling story in concrete ways, even if it means my blood pressure rises. MP has turned out to be the surprise of the year so far, and one that is confident in its own charms and never tries to be something its not. I appreciate that, and look forward to this drama taking us on a magical journey.