Oh My Princess, you are absolutely a barrel of batty monkeys. First you do the cute so perfectly I got a tooth ache and still I couldn’t stop consuming you. Then you veered into mopey plot machinations so insane even the folks at Lost wonder how you had the chutzpah to unleash it on unsuspecting viewers. Finally, you’ve gone back to the cute at such a fast pace and in such depth, I feel like I’m frolicking in a glen filled with kittens sleeping next to snoring puppies.
We’ve arrived at the penultimate episode of MP, and thankfully the writer took my advice to heart and didn’t even dare to suggest a hint of manufactured conflict or angst. The writer also conveniently dropped tons of open plot points, but heck, continuity has never been her strong suit, that’s for sure. For instance, I’m lulzing here because Dan once again didn’t even show up in this episode. So for two episodes, and two months in drama time, she’s been staying put as Hae Young ordered in that house? Mwahahaha, good one, writer-nim. You might need to remember her in the final episode or else she might turn into the Unabomber out in that countryside.
I’m glad the story finally got back to the royal restoration vote, which was the entire point of this drama to begin with, in case anyone forgot while we dealt with the Yoon Joo-Dan freakshow for the middle episodes. Will Seol become a citizen certified princess or go back to being a normal college girl? Will she get her happily ever after with Hae Young? Or will she get ALL of the above? This episode lighthearted tone drops some significant hints that it’ll be a fairy tale ending tomorrow, as this perfect onscreen couple deserves.
Episode 15 Recap:
Seol hops around the fountain in glee when she sees a text with a period in it. She flounders and almost falls face down when she is saved by her returning Hae Young. She looks stunned, and then pleased, but first she must be stern with him. She asks that he push her back up.
Seol smiles at Hae Young because she can’t help herself, but her smile disappears when he gently says that he missed her. She tells him to take his hands off her (waist), and she takes her hands off his shoulder and crosses them.
She orders him to take her shoes and follow her. Oooh, zee little princess is mad, except she smiles to herself as she walks off, gesturing triumphantly with unbridled happiness that her honey is finally back.
Hae Young runs ahead of her and stops her, telling her that he has a lot to tell her. She starts to get upset, asking what kind of person disappears for two months and doesn’t even respond to all the cute messages she sent him. Hae Young reminds Seol that she told him that she would be fine during this time. She tells him that in a time like this, he should be pulling her into his arms.
Hae Young grabs her face and gives her a quick kiss, which shuts her up. He then gives her a kiss on the forehead, but she protests that people will see. He follows up with a kiss on her cheek, before grabbing her face for a nice big peck. He tells her that he misses her, and finally she smiles. He reaches in to hug her, and Seol just jumps right into his arms, and the two of them hug and twirl around the foyer. And I just happily died of the billion tons of cute that just dropped on my head.
Hae Young and Seol are sitting down, with the now flowered plant in front of them. He holds her hand in his, and she asks why he went to New York? He tells her that he had someone to meet and settle things with, and she throws a bunch of girl names at him (Katherine, Mary, Jane, Britteny), asking if all the girlfriends have been disposed of? He laughs at her attempt to play cool, and tells her that she did well growing the plant.
She tells him that the name of the plant is “Tomorrow Will be Happy”, and Hae Young tells her that she is a silly goose for worrying about him, and that he will stick to her side from now on. Seol beams and tells him they have a lot of dates to make up for. He is not allowed to be further than 50 cm from her from now on.
Hae Young meets with the lawyer, and gives him the paperwork his father signed giving up his right to the fortune. Hae Young is now the sole heir of the Daehan Group. But when Hae Young is asked to sign, he tells the lawyer that he is not prepared to sign at this time. He doesn’t explain further to the lawyer, which is when Seol calls hilariously demanding in her best Mishil voice that he come back to the palace. He tells Seol that he’s off to see Yoon Joo. He promises to be back soon.
Yoon Joo is working at a housing development company, and Hae Young meets with her. She tells him to stop pretending that he cares about her. They discuss that Hae Young went to see his father. Hae Young confesses that his father was genuinely happy to see him, but he asked about Yoon Joo. She confesses that she simply wanted to help Hae Young’s father.
Hae Young tells Yoon Joo that his father has no intention to come back to Korea. He is willing to take the lifetime punishment set forth by Grandpa. Hae Young tells her that he won’t meet with her anymore, so that her heart won’t ache anymore. She calls him cruel, and leaves to meet with her father. I think these two have made peace with each other, not that they really had that many issues between them. It always felt rather perfunctory, their friendship with each other.
Yoon Joo arrives at a restaurant to discover that her dad set her up on a blind date. Secretary Oh leaves, and immediately she can tell that the guy is a giant tool with the way he talks down to her. Jung Woo arrives to whisk her away. Jung Woo is so cool and gentle with her, gah, he’s so perfect! After they walk out, he asks her to go with him.
Yoon Joo tells him that he has no reason to go anywhere with her. He says that the only reason is because he wants to and that he misses her. Yoon Joo puts herself down as a woman who dumped the man who loved her and then got dumped by the man she intended to marry. He smiles and calls her name gently, and she cries, asking that he not call her that way, pretending that nothing happened between them.
Jung Woo acknowledges that a lot did happen, but he wants them to start over again. He hugs her tightly, and Yoon Joo cries because she knows that she does not deserve this second chance with such an amazing guy. Normally I’d be spitting back, but I’m in a good mood, so if they want to redeem Yoon Joo, fine by me. Frankly, it was Yoon Joo’s insanity that seemed at odds with her initial character.
Seol meets with Secretary Oh, telling him that she fired Yoon Joo, but then asking him to take over the Royal Foundation. He declines the honor, but she tells him candidly that she needs someone she can trust, who will see Grandpa’s dream to reality. He humbly accepts when she orders him to take the position and support her.
News spreads that Hae Young has not yet signed the papers donating the fortune to society. The court ladies are watching the news reports and talking amongst themselves. Seol comes and finds out, then asking where Hae Young is right now.
The smarmy opposition leader comes to find Hae Young, thinking that he intends to keep the fortune, and ruin the royal restoration. He asks Hae Young to support him in his run for President. Jung Woo arrives and gives Hae Young an out to walk away. Jung Woo wants to know what is going on in Hae Young’s head about the fortune.
Hae Young smirks at Jung Woo, asking him to stop worrying. Jung Woo concedes that Hae Young probably did this on purpose, and he did. He wanted the people to be more interested in the royal restoration and show up to vote. Plus, he wants people to keep thinking of him as a chaebol, and feel good about taking money away from a chaebol and restore the princess to power.
Hae Young heads off to an interview, during which he vaguely answers questions and makes himself seem like an entitled chaebol heir. Oh Hae Young, the lengths you’ll go to for your beloved Seol. Seol sees the interview, and wonders why Hae Young is behaving this way. She asks Jung Woo, who tries to pretend that maybe Hae Young feels the money is too important to give away at this time.
Seol tells the head lackey to ban Hae Young from flying, worried that he’s acting weird lately. He says that he can’t ban flying, so she orders him to follow his every move. When he tells her that he can’t do that either, she huffs that she’ll have to do it herself then! Hae Young is playing a game on his tablet computer, and Seol finds him asking what he is doing at such an important time. And why is he giving weird interviews!
Hae Young gets killed in his computer game, and yells out that he died, oh no. He tells her that he has a lot of money, perhaps she’ll run away with him? She says that she cannot go, she’s the princess and has to protect the palace. He tells her that she will be the princess only after the country votes and he donates the fortune.
He asks where the short and plunging dress she wore when he was in NY went? She should go put it on now. When she yells at him for being ridiculous, he wonders just how weird and plunging of a dress it is. Her refusal is making him reconsider donating the fortune. She tells him to stop being so difficult and teasing her.
She tells him “Stop it, Park Hae Young-shhi.” He stops and repeats what she just called him, which is so formal and distant. She wonders if she should call him “Hae Young-ahhh” (which would make them equals), and he asks if she wants to die. He tells her that she needs to call him “oppa” from now on. Mwahahaha, here comes another oppa usage lesson.
Hae Young shows her how to say “oppa” in just the right way, with some pouting involved. She tells him that he must be kidding. And Hae Young keeps saying “oppa, oppa” in the funniest way possible. When she still refuses, he gets up and leaves, telling her that he doesn’t want to donate the money now. She follows him into the gallery with the antique car, and agrees to call him oppa.
Except she says it softly, then says it again off to the side, both times Hae Young pretends that he can’t hear her. Finally she screams “OPPA” right into his hear, and asks if he’s satisfied now. He grabs her phone and changes the way his number is inputted in the phone, something like the world’s best Hae Young oppa. She says that it’s cheesy.
Hae Young smarts at her reluctant attitude and walks off again, pretending that his feelings are all hurt. Seol chases after him into the courtyard, and finally calls him in the cutest voice Hae Young-oppa. Which stops Hae Young in his tracks with a smile, and he turns around tells her that he intends to sign away his fortune. But when he does, she needs to wink at him.
Hae Young says that he has so much money now, he can just spend it all before the vote, maybe buy a few planes for fun. She looks at him and then blinks her eyes, telling him that she can’t wink with one eye. He pinches her cheek, telling her that she is so cute. He tells her that his energy is being sapped lately, and he needs some restoring warm milk to drink.
She brings him a mug of warm milk, and he nitpicks that the chocolate syrup heart is not perfectly formed on top. She asks that he stop being so immature and talking about not donating the fortune at a time like this. He teases her that he wants to be immature because it’s so much fun (to tease her). Seol tells Hae Young that she gets offers for 10 blind dates every day, and she’s going to take up the offers now. He hollers at her that she better not go.
Seol introduces Secretary Oh as the head of the Royal Foundation, and tells everyone that she will continue with this project even if the vote doesn’t pass. Jung Woo wonders how she will have money to run the foundation if Hae Young doesn’t donate the money. She has ideas for money making schemes such as Princess-related products.
Hae Young keeps calling her during the meeting to interrupt, and she’s annoyed that he keeps interrupting her. He wonders if she is at a blind date? He wants her to show the other guy a picture of him, no, just a picture of his eyelashes. The other guy will get a clue and leave. He texts her an address and tells her to come right away.
They meet at a car dealership because Seol has asked Hae Young to teach her how to drive. He first asks if she did go on a blind date, and she continues the pretense that she did. She tells him she went, and smiled at him, and looked him in the eyes when she talked to him. He wonders how she could go on a blind date when she has Park Hae Young as her man. LOL, I love your arrogance, Hae Young.
Seol yells back that she is NOT the Lee Seol of old, and she turns to leave. He grabs her and tells her that he called her here to teach her how to drive. They are driving, and Hae Young has a look of annoyance and he thumps his chest really hard and yells that he is so frustrated with her. She can’t even drive straight! He wants her to go faster, and she refuses, then she freaks out when he touches her on the shoulder.
He finally tells her to pull over, and he gets out with a giant scream, yelling at her for being such an idiot when it comes to learning how to drive. They start arguing on the side of the road.
He takes back having called her an idiot, and tells her that he will take his punishment. She wonders how he will take his punishment, and he leans in to kiss her. She yells at him, saying that this is not punishment. He cancels the punishment, but then leans in and kisses her again.
He grabs her hand and holds on to it. He tells her that tomorrow he can’t spend with her because he’s busy. He has to meet with the President. The President isn’t mad at Hae Young anymore, and instead realizes that Hae Young is a genuine talent. He wants Hae Young to come work for him.
Seol’s mom dusts off pictures of news articles of Seol and her charity work. Seol is being interviewed by the reporter, and she reveals that if the royal restoration is approved tomorrow, she wants to be congratulated by someone. Hae Young finally signs over the fortune, and after he signs, he winks at Seol. Everyone claps except for Seol, who realizes what a life-changing decision Hae Young has made.
Jung Woo tells Hae Young that the donation is a monumental decision, and Hae Young asks Jung Woo to help the princess to use the money to do great work for Korea. He asks Jung Woo not to reveal that the money was donated until after the vote. Seol confronts Hae Young about why he waited until the last minute to donate the money. He tells her he did well, why didn’t she clap back there? She smiles and claps for him.
He tells her that he makes a great salary as a diplomat, and Grandpa already left him some property, so he is not in the poor house at all. It was Grandpa’s wish to use his fortune for the Korean people, and it was never Hae Young’s money to begin with. He tells her that he isn’t poor, so she shouldn’t use it as an excuse to run away him. Since he did so well, he wants a reward from her.
Seol and Hae Young are dressed casually, holding hands for a stroll in public. She wonders why he wanted such a simple reward, and he tells her that this is the last night of her life when she is just Lee Seol. He tells her that it doesn’t matter if the vote is yes or no, she will always be a princess. She wonders if she’ll get kicked out of the palace if the vote doesn’t go through, and will he stand by her side?
He says that he intends to pursue the princess of Monaco, who he hears is really pretty. Seol tries to say that she is pretty and has good skin. Hae Young says that he will date her if that is the case. They walks down Myongdong shopping district, eating a rice cracker which Seol uses to cover her face. They eat fried snacks from a cart, shop for cellphone accessories and play street games.
They are having fun until they are recognized and immediately both of them bolt. They are catching their breath when they look up and see Seol’s interview on screen. Her wish that she get a congratulatory call from a certain person gets linked back to the original scandal with Hae Young. They go back to the palace and meet with Jung Woo, trying to see what they can do.
Hae Young wants to reveal that the princess is not in love with him. Seol says that she will solve this problem the way she wants to. She does another interview (the court ladies record her) where she flat out announces to the citizens of Korea that she is in love with Park Hae Young.
Yoon Joo is reading a book, and Secretary Oh comes inside and tells her that it’s time to go. Seol’s voice narrates – there are people who believe in me, and there are those who don’t. But the truth is – I love Park Hae Young. Everyone is voting now, including Hae Young, the opposition leader, and the President.
Jung Woo is at school, and a bunch of his female students come to show him that they all voted. The vote count is going on, and Seol’s mom anxiously watches the TV. The entire palace is glued to the TV, and finally Hae Young takes Seol to her room so that she doesn’t watch the vote count.
He puts her feet up and tells her to relax. He tells her to breath in and out, and tell herself to that her heart is calm and at ease. He succeeds in easing some of her tension. When she is relaxing, Hae Young checks the phone, and tells her that the vote count is over. Which is when Jung Woo and the entire palace staff come running into the room, telling her that it’s all over.
The next scene says “2 years later”, and Seol is dressed casually and riding her bike through the university. When she stops a bunch of people come up to her and take her picture, and she smiles broadly.
Thoughts of Mine:
What more can I say? This episode was classic MP perfection, but ultimately a stark reminder that the cute loving relationship between Hae Young and Seol is really all there is to this drama. The rom-com part is well done, but the drama part (telling an interesting and substantive story) is pretty much a dud.
As much as I smiled and grinned my way through an episode dense with Seol and Hae Young moments, sadly I’ve pretty much checked out, no longer emotionally invested beyond feeling a warm sweetness, like putting on a favorite cardigan. I am thrilled, however, that the drama is choosing to go out on such a mellow note, eschewing more plot diversions for an attempt to tackle the pressing elephants in the room, namely whether the vote goes through and how Seol and Hae Young can make a future together.
I have to be honest and say that all the remaining substantive plot points was glossed over in an attempt to keep the mood breezy, since it felt that Hae Young made peace with giving away his fortune off-screen and popped back all cheery and ready to let go out a huge part of his identity with just a jaunty wave. Also, daddy of Hae Young stays in NY and is fine with his lot in life. Hhhhmm, how convenient. The drama also never once had a discussion about why the citizens would vote for or against the royal restoration.
The drama appears to treat as a given that the royal restoration should be approved, since we’ve gotten to know Seol and accept that she’s a good person and worthy of being a princess. But the drama doesn’t even attempt to have a thoughtful discussion about it, however perfunctory or superficial it might come across.
Don’t even get me started on the MIA Dan and the split-second resurrection of the Jung Woo-Yoon Joo relationship. I’m not angry at either development, just weary that it felt like a validation of all my gripes about both characters being shoddily constructed to end up with such a simpering ending. Jung Woo deserves better than Yoon Joo, though I did like the fact that his heart remained honest and genuine about who he loves, even if it’s a two-headed former viper woman.
I don’t need to rehash every single wonderful Seol+Hae Young exchange in this episode, except to say that this writer really does capture their sparking chemistry and gives them funny dialogue and believable bickering back-and-forth. I think episode 16 will be a wonderful conclusion to this drama, and I look forward to ending the recap on a high note. With that said, tomorrow will determine if this is a drama I will end up recommending in the future.
I know I will definitely rewatch this drama since its hands-down my favorite drama my Heon oppa has ever done. His Park Hae Young wasn’t just a well-written character, Song Seung Heon added so much off-the-charts hilarity to the littlest of gestures I simply ate up his every scene. Furthermore, Kim Tae Hee wasn’t just serviceable or better than average in this performance, she was downright charming and winning in bringing Seol to life. Her wardrobe was also to-die-for, even though I’m hardly the princessy dressing type. I especially covet her shoes to the nth degree.
I’m probably more critical of MP than most of you, but in the end, it’s fine to take away your own love/like/dislike for this drama, and be satisfied in whatever conclusion you draw.