Episode 14 of My Princess was a near perfect pre-finale episode of a rom-com. I’d be hard-pressed to find a single flaw in this episode, whether it was narrative progression, acting, or emotional connection. Qualitatively, it might just be the best episode of MP yet, and I’ll explain why in a bit. Just know that you’ll likely laugh, sniffle some tears, grumble some grumbles, and finally awww yourself into blissful stupor. I don’t think I’ve been this primed for a final two episodes of a drama in quite some time.
I’m scratching my head wondering just what the hell happened during the middle stretches of this drama to have the beginning, and now the end, feel so completely different in pace, tone, and logic than the morose plodding craziness of the middle episodes. In today’s episode, so much happened yet every moment was perfectly delivered and paced so that the hilarious and the serious remained in balance and the show took a giant step forward.
Episode 14 Recap:
There is kissing. More kissing. And even more kissing.
Finally Seol and Hae Young emerge to get some air. Hae Young tells her that it doesn’t matter how hard it is right now, they can’t keep running away from each other. He wants to be by her side, and he grabs her for a tight embrace. Hae Young sniffles, and asks teasingly if his room is still available?
Seol’s confused, until he asks about the Royal Executive Grand Presidential Suite. Heh. He drags her into the guest house and they go up to the room. Seol’s unsure of whether to let him stay, and Hae Young claims that it’s late and he has nowhere else to go. Plus he’s coming down with a fever because Seol was so hard-hearted as to keep a guy standing outside all day in the middle of Winter.
He puts her hand on his forehead and like he’s all burning up. Seol struggles and tells him to stop being such a baby and pretending to be sick. He tells her to turn on the heater, or better yet, with a silly grin Hae Young says that an unheated room is fine if Seol will be staying with him all night. Ooooh la la, now we’re talking. Minors and prudes, the door is over there.
Seol walks out of the room, only to come back in suddenly and thwack Hae Young on the shoulder with the door. He holds his head and pretends to be all hurt. Seol reminds him that he gave her the right to come into his room without needing to knock. He retorts that his permission was granted only for within the palace. She wrinkles her nose, turns up the heat, and leaves the room again. Hae Young smiles and looks around.
Yoon Joo walks into a meeting of 10 guys in suits, lead by Jung Woo sitting at the head of the table. Jung Woo tells her to sit, and calls her to task for the fake satchel incident before the entire board of the Royal Foundation. He reveals that the entire mess was orchestrated by Yoon Joo, and the board requests that she step down.
When they are alone, Yoon Joo rails at Jung Woo – asking how he could do this to her? Even if the world turned against her, she thought he never would. Is he doing this for Lee Seol, for the restoration, for his love of history and artifacts?
Jung Woo calmly answers no, he is doing this for a woman he once loved with his entire being. He wants to get rid of everything that is binding her, so that she can start over again. Oh Jung Woo, you are breaking my heart with your awesomeness. Yoon Joo can only look at him with tears in her eyes.
Back at the guest house, Seol and Hae Young are sitting down to a meal, except Hae Young doesn’t eat, instead he’s staring at Seol quietly. She wonders why he isn’t eating, and Hae Young tells Seol that he doesn’t want to eat because he wants to get sick. If he gets really sick, Seol will have to take care of him. She will be worried sick about him, and she will be able to forget all the other things going on around them.
If he’s sick, even if she doesn’t want to see him, she will still want to make sure he is okay. Seol tells him to eat because her mom is coming home soon. He smiles and tells her that he called her mom, and she said that she has other matters to take care of and won’t be coming back tonight. Furthermore, mom likes Park son-in-law, and she will take his side in the end.
Seol tells Hae Young that she likes Park son-in-law a lot, too. But she needs some time right now. While its neither of their faults, Seol is having a hard time working through the truth and how she feels. She needs to hate someone right now, when she thinks of how much her father suffered when he was running away all the time.
It hurts so much for her to imagine how her father suffered, so all she can do right now is hate Park Hae Young. Hae Young listens, and tells her to go ahead and hate him, but not to push him away. He wants her to hate him, and allow that to make herself happy. Perhaps in that perverse way, he can still be something to Seol at this time. Their conversation is interrupted when Seol’s new tutor comes to pick her up.
Hae Young is all like “who the hell is this”? He’s told that this guy is the replacement tutor for Hae Young. The guy tries to take her back to the palace, but Seol says she cannot go right now. Hae Yong tells her to go inside, and he essentially tells the new tutor to bug off. Hae Young knows that the tutor is here on orders of the President. Hae Young tells the tutor to inform the President that if he messes with the princess, he will reveal that the President aligned with Grandpa.
Hae Young tells Seol that she needs him around to get rid of guys like this. They are bickering again when Hae Young tells her that more people are coming. The doorbell rings and in comes Seol’s university friends. They tell her that P-Kun called and told them to come. In runs Gun and the lady-in-waiting, who also got a note to come to the guest house.
Head lackey comes running in as well, he wanted to warn them that the tutor was on the way. He’s crestfallen to hear that the tutor already came by and was summarily dispatched by Hae Young. Side bar: another thing (of the millions of thing) I love about Hae Young’s character is that he is a diplomat and actually behaves, thinks, and has the skills of one. He’s great with words, fast-thinking, and always cool and composed. Me lub lub lub him!
The doorbell rings again, and in comes Jung Woo. All the girls see him and squeal happily. Hae Young wonders how Jung Woo came to be here since Hae Young didn’t call him. Jung Woo just smirks and drops bags of alcohol into Hae Young’s arms. The entire gang toast and celebrate a chance to relax and have a little fun.
Hae Young and Jung Woo get up to ostensibly go to the kitchen to get more food, but really to have a guy talk. The remaining folks all have fun, chit-chatting, flirting, bantering, and toasting left and right. Everyone is getting toasted.
Seol looks over at the two guys in the kitchen (that is some good looking two guys!), and she takes a swig of her drink. Hae Young sees that Seol is drinking without a care again, and Jung Woo says that its fine since she’s with friends and drinking at home. Hae Young asks if Jung Woo has ever drank with “my Seol”, and Jung Woo asks “your Seol”?
Hae Young says that Seol is not just your garden-variety cute girl (oh boy, you are so in love with her you don’t even care if Jung Woo laughs at you over your swooning). Jung Woo gives him a look, and confesses that he’s just envious at how happy Hae Young looks right now. He continues by prefacing that he’s going to be a Debbie Downer now, and he tells Hae Young that he fired Yoon Joo today.
Jung Woo asks Hae Young to watch over Yoon Joo, like Hae Young once asked him to watch over Seol. Hae Young says that he can’t, because he will end up hurting her more. The gang call out “Seol’s P-Kun, bring us more beer.” Seol tries to demur that he is not her P-Kun. The gang turn on Hae Young’s cell phone, and find a video of Seol on it.
It’s the video of Seol practicing her princess introduction speech. Everyone restrains Hae Young and they plug the video into the television and play it. Both Hae Young and Seol are so embarrassed, especially Hae Young, who was caught with the video on his phone, especially since he titled the video “Ya Seol” which means racy. Hae Young just smiles and says that Seol looks pretty, doesn’t she? They all toast to Ya Seol!
The next morning, Seol wakes up to Gun making breakfast in the kitchen. He’s made an amazing soup for everyone. Jung Woo comes down, and tells Seol that Hae Young left for Seoul early this morning. The lady in waiting comes running down and turns on the TV. Hae Young is giving a press conference, where he proceeds to tell the entire country the truth: how his grandfather and father inadvertently caused Seol’s father’s death, and why his grandfather is giving away all their fortune out of guilt.
Hae Young apologizes to the people, because he is sorry and embarrassed for his family’s actions. Seol and Jung Woo run to his car and take off for Seoul. Grandpa watches the press conference from his hospital bed, wondering why Hae Young is doing this. Yoon Joo watched the press conference, upset at well. Hae Young ends the press conference asking the country to please take care of the princess. He bows, and the press corp explodes at all these revelations.
Seol watches the entire press conference in the car, and she is totally upset. Jung Woo tries to comfort her, telling Seol that this is the only thing Hae Young can do for her. Except Seol is crying, asking how she can take care of him now? Jung Woo takes Seol to the hospital, guessing that Hae Young is likely to go there after the press conference. Oh my poor Hae Young, you perfect amazing man! Wahhhh, I hate my Hae Young hurting. *weeps*
At the hospital, Hae Young is about to enter Grandpa’s room when Seol catches him. She wants to know why he did it? Hae Young confesses that he did it for her, because he didn’t know what else he could do. She asks him what she can do now? He smiles and says that he has to go see Grandpa now, because he caused all this trouble, and he’s about to get yelled at. He tells her to go home, and he will call her later.
Hae Young comes to see Grandpa, and Secretary Oh leaves to let them talk in private. Hae Young apologizes profusely to his grandfather, but his grandfather instead tells him that he did well. He could not tell the world about his misdeeds, but now that Hae Young has revealed it all, Grandpa can finally let this burden go from his heart.
Grandpa tells Hae Young that he knows how hard it has been for Hae Young to carry their family legacy and burden. He tells Hae Young not to hate his father. It was always Grandpa’s fault that Seol’s dad died, because Grandpa couldn’t control his own son, and Grandpa couldn’t figure out why Seol’s dad kept running away.
Seol is still waiting outside, when Yoon Joo comes up to her and rages at her for being the cause of Hae Young ruining his entire life by revealing their family secrets. Yoon Joo asks how Seol can feel like she’s the only one who has been wronged? Even though it may seem like Hae Young grew up privileged, in truth he was a lonely and hurt child. Seol realizes that Yoon Joo is right in this regard.
Back in the hospital room, Grandpa asks Hae Young to please take care of the princess. Hae Young agrees, and tells Grandpa not to talk anymore and rest. Grandpa says that he is tired, and then he closes his eyes and dies. Right before Hae Young’s eyes! Yoon Joo keeps on yelling at Seol, asking why she didn’t reveal all the secrets, why she had Hae Young stand up before the country and say everything. Yoon Joo says that if Seol never showed up, none of this would have happened!
Suddenly everyone comes running into the hospital room, with Yoon Joo and Seol following them in. Hae Young is calling for his grandfather, and the doctor announces that he has passed. Yoon Joo looks stricken (like genuinely), and she rushes up calling out for the chairman. Hae Young starts sobbing, shaking his grandfather and asking him to please come back. Everyone is crying now, and it’s totally sad and OMG even I am crying. And Yoon Joo has a heart and is human again.
Hae Young just keeps crying and calling for his grandfather. The news reports on the death of the Chairman of the Dae Han Group. Hae Young takes his grandfather’s ashes to a cliff overlooking the sea, with Seol, Yoon Joo, Jung Woo, and Secretary Oh all in attendance. What a lovely farewell, as Hae Young scatters his ashes and says goodbye to his beloved grandfather.
Hae Young cries as he talks to his grandfather whilst scattering his ashes. This is some of the best emotional acting I have ever seen from my Heon oppa and truly shows me that he has taken big steps forward in his acting repertoire. He laments his grandfather leaving him before Hae Young had a chance to ask for his forgiveness. He apologizes and says that he was wrong, asking to be forgiven. Everyone leaves except for Seol and Hae Young.
Yoon Joo calls Hae Young’s dad and tells him that she will make sure he gets to come back to Korea. Yoon Joo goes to meet with the opposition leader and asks him to life the entrance restriction for Hae Young’s father. Hae Young comes into the meeting, and after the pleasantries, asks the opposition leader NOT to do anything Yoon Joo asked of him. Yoon Joo is shocked, especially when Hae Young warns her again not to do what she is contemplating, either for his sake or for her own sake.
Seol is lazing around the guest house, and even her mom can’t cheer her up. The doorbell rings and it’s Jung Woo. He tells her teasingly that he came to see her because he missed her. Her non-reaction makes him tease that she doesn’t respond the way she used to. He brings her the real satchel, and tells her that now she can go back to the palace.
Seol meets with Hae Young in a café. They smile upon seeing each other. He brings her a potted plant, and claims that he is giving her flowers. She needs to grow it, and then tell him what kind of flowers he bought her. He tells her that he needs to be away for a time to take care of matters, and watching the flowers grow will help her pass the time quicker. He asks her to go back to the palace as well, telling her that the palace is where she is supposed to be.
Hae Young meets with the lawyer in Grandpa’s old study, and he looks around at this room with a sad expression. The lawyer tells Hae Young that Grandpa’s wish to donate the Dae Han Group fortune can only go through if they get his father to sign away his rights. Seol tries to call Hae Young and can’t reach him. She wonders where he is, and what kind of flowers she is growing.
Seol goes to the cliff and brings a flower for Grandpa. She thanks him for finding her father and for finding her. She tells him that she was overwhelmed for some time, but now she knows what she needs to do. She apologizes to Grandpa, and thanks him again for all that he did. She promises not to run away again, and Seol returns to the palace.
Seol finds out that Yoon Joo had indeed been forced out of the palace during the time Seol was away. Seol goes to see Yoon Joo at the museum, and she fires Yoon Joo from her Museum Director post as well. Mwahahaha, serves you right, you insane-in-the-brain woman! Yoon Joo tries to explain that Grandpa left her the museum, but Seol tells her that the museum belongs to the palace from now on. The palace is in charge of the museum management, and Seol will choose the person to run it.
Yoon Joo goes tattling to her dad, and Secretary Oh tells her to stop the pity party. She didn’t get the museum through hard work. If it wasn’t for the royal restoration, Grandpa wouldn’t even have built the museum in the first place. Yoon Joo cries, and her dad tells her that he got her a new position elsewhere. Yoon Joo shows up to greet her new co-workers and looks like she just ate some shit for breakfast.
Seol is meeting with the board of the Royal Foundation, and she is suggesting ideas for the museum. Seol tries to call Hae Young and can’t reach him. She finds out from head lackey that Hae Young has left the country. Seol grumbles that she would have put a flight restriction on him had she known he was planning to leave the country.
Seol has lessons with her new tutor. She doesn’t like his lesson plans, writes her own, and gets up and leaves. She tells him to show her his credentials first before she will come back to take lessons from him. Seol sits in the car and thinks about her Hae Young and all the times they spent in that car. She wonders where he is.
Her flower plant is growing, and she is studying hard. Seol voiceovers lots of thoughts for Hae Young – such as she is wearing a short skirt today, and will wear a plunging black dress if he doesn’t come back soon, is a foreign princess prettier than she is, is he cheating on her, et. al.?
Seol is soaking her feet in the fountain, remembering the last time Hae Young picked her up out of the fountain. She gets texts for loans, and she grumbles that everyone wants to text or talk to her, so why is her P-Kun not calling or texting her? She says that all he needs to do is send her a text with a period to prove that he is alive.
She suddenly gets a text with only a period. She’s so excited that she starts dancing on the fountain steps, which is when she almost falls down. Who is there to catch her at that very moment? P-Kun, of course? Who just sent her a text with a period on it. So. Cute.
Thoughts of Mine:
If I dissect every scene in this episode, I would likely still think that everything flowed seamlessly and the story set itself up for the grand finale. I enjoyed the cute interlude in the beginning where P-Kun called all of Seol’s friends over to have an impromptu getogether. It’s a cool thing to do, and totally thoughtful and mindful of what Seol needs. The final scene where Hae Young reunited with Seol by the fountain was delightful, embracing everything about this couple that have so entranced me, namely their playfulness with each other. And in between the first and last scene, the story took big steps forward, never looking back.
Every conversation between Hae Young and Seol in this episode was startlingly perfect – honest, straightforward, teasing but serious, vulnerable yet sure. I love how they never blame each other for their woes, even as Seol needs to theoretically hate on Hae Young for the time being. Ultimately, she doesn’t hate him or his entire family, and everyone really has paid for their own sins in their own ways. All the pitfalls that plague the OTP thus far are all emotional hang-ups, and everyone finally accepted that forgiveness was the only way to move on.
Yoon Joo got her comeuppance, but I don’t think she’s resigned herself to her fate quite yet. I think she’s got one final salvo up her sleeve before she gets put down like the rabid dog she has become. Though today I did feel sorry for her, because I could see that in her own perverse way, she did care for Grandpa, she does care for Hae Young, and she does have human feelings. Too bad my brief glimmer of pity for her was just that, fleeting and transitory. I laughed when she got kicked out of the museum and ended up seething at wherever the heck she landed a job.
It was kind of random that the whole Dan storyline was MIA in today’s episode (what did I say about that entire plot being pointless and sucky), but I figure she’s still cowering in fear from the smackdown that Hae Young laid on her in the last episode. I thoroughly approve of everything Hae Young did, from barging back into Seol’s life, to holding the press conference, to leaving Seol to handle all the loose ends dangling around the royal restoration.
I loved how neither were maudlin about the separation, instead using the time apart to do what both needs to do in their own lives, all the while missing the other person. Hae Young’s potted flower present was charming and romantic, a gesture of love growing through time and nurturing, just like his relationship with Seol. How Seol missed her P-Kun was equally darling, with her charming spirit intact as she grumbled about her P-Kun’s whereabouts.
I hope the final two episodes allows the story to come to a logical and fitting conclusion, and celebrates whatever path Seol (and the fictional citizens of this Korea) chooses. I don’t want Hae Young’s dad to come back and be a last minute bad guy for two episodes. Nor do I want Yoon Joo to do a kamikaze mutual destruction final salvo. I’m really tired of all the machinations, and would love to see the story wind to a close with Seol and Hae Young practically handling all the final obstacles before them, and then finding a happily ever after, whether as royalty or just as Mr. and Mrs. P.