I’m crying tears of happiness right now. The King 2 Hearts keeps getting better and better with each episode, leaving me laughing, gasping, and awwwing my way through scene after perfect scene. It’s so clear that Hang Ah and Jae Ha like each other, but what makes it so much fun is seeing how they make each other jump though all these hoops. Each time I think Jae Ha is being an ass, Hang Ah surprises me with her reaction to his douchy ways. She’s sincere but guarded, leaving Jae Ha always scrambling to play catch up because she turns the tables on him in the blink of an eye. If Jae Ha thought a heart-shaped pink donut would win Hang Ah’s heart, he’s forgotten about his earlier shot to her heart. Boy’s got a lot of groveling to do to win himself a Princess. Ah, TK2H, you complete me.
Episode 5 recap:
The North-South commanders jointly raise a toast to the success of this unprecedented cooperation and to dreams about winning the upcoming WOC. At the banquet to celebrate, South team member Dong Ha pulls North team member Kang Seok aside and whips out…..a poster of SNSD. Heh.
Kang Seok is about to get upset but Dong Ha says he wanted to leave his address but couldn’t find a piece of paper. Smooth. Kang Seok furtively checks around and accepts it. When Dong Ha goes to write on the poster, Kang Seok tells him to write it in the lower right hand corner in tiny letters, so as to not mar his SNSD girls. Cute.
At the other present exchange, Shi Kyung hands North team member Young Bae an electric shaver and some after shave. Young Bae grabs a bundle from under the table of steamed cakes from the North. Young Bae starts to tear up at the thought of being separated, but Shi Kyung comforts him by saying the WOC competition is right around the corner and they’ll see each other soon.
Young Bae drags Shi Kyung off to take a picture, and Dong Ha and Kang Seok join then. Young Bae adorably asks to swap caps with Shi Kyung first, and the guys happily pose.
Hang Ah walks through the banquet and hits a guy on the back, thinking its Jae Ha. Shi Kyung turns around and Hang Ah makes the excuse that she needs Jae Ha’s room key back. Shi Kyung tells her that Jae Ha and the King have returned to South Korea already.
Hang Ah can barely hide her disappointment, that is until Shi Kyung hands her a bottle of perfume that Jae Ha wanted to give her. Hang Ah happily accepts it and then tries to spritz some on herself, only to have nothing come out. When she opens the jar, she finds that it’s a empty bottle. She screams at Jae Ha for being a bastard!
Jae Ha is driving in Seoul, happy to be back and to be resuming his carefree lifestyle. He drives up next to the car carrying Jae Kang and teases about seeing Hang Ah on a billboard, telling his brother to have it taken down right away. A few moments later, Jae Ha’s teasing side disappears and he looks somewhat contemplative.
Hang Ah is clearing out of her room when she looks over at the desk Jae Ha used and sees him there. She walks over and sits down at his seat, putting her feet up on the desk the way he used to. Her eyes are a bit damp but she smiles. Hang Ah packs up and leaves.
The brothers Lee are facing the wrath of their Queen Mother, as mom wonders what the heck Jae Ha did in North Korea that made the usually courteous Jae Kang blow up at her. Jae Ha yells at Jae Kang for being a bastard and yelling at their mom. Jae Kang apologizes, but says Jae Ha corrected his behavior later on. Jae Ha grumbles about his injured leg and tries to gain some sympathy. Jae Ha continues to ask his brother if he did well, and he wants something from Jae Kang to reward him. He wants to bring someone into the Palace.
Turns out Jae Ha wants Shi Kyung promoted to serve as his personal guard. Jae Ha starts by asking Shi Kyung to guard the inside of his room. Normally they only guard the outside, but he worries about people hiding inside. He only trusts Shi Kyung.
Jae Ha has Shi Kyung massaging his legs while he’s sipping red wine. Of course Jae Ha is getting Shi Kyung back for what he deems mistreatment of the poor princey. He wonders if Shi Kyung likes Hang Ah? Jae Ha is fine with Shi Kyung liking Hang Ah, but do they have to shoot looks at each other in front of him? Shi Kyung can’t even explain because Jae Ha is just in his own little fantasy world.
Hang Ah is told by her daddy that she is one of the candidates being considered by the King as a potential bride for Prince Jae Ha. After dinner, Hang Ah goes to her room and takes out the empty bottle Jae Ha gave her, which she has hidden in her clothing drawer. She sits down in front of her vanity table with that bottle in hand, smiling.
Jae Kang looks at Hang Ah’s file when his wife comes over. She shakes her head at Hang Ah and Jae Kang crosses her name off.
Jae Kang goes to tell the bathing Jae Ha about the next steps for the selection of Jae Ha’s bride. Jae Ha refuses any match making, until Jae Kang promises that the candidate is pretty, fashionable, and studied abroad. Jae Ha thinks his brother is tricking him, and then Hang Ah will suddenly show up. Jae Kang tells him that Hang Ah has been eliminated already.
Jae Kang points out that it’s not possible for a special forces agent to join the South Korean royal family. Jae Ha looks slightly upset until Jae Kang points it out, asking if Jae Ha is disappointed? Jae Ha quickly says no, and asks if all he needs to do is meet the girl. He keeps mentioning about how Hang Ah will be sad she’s been eliminated.
Secretary Eun calls Hang Ah’s dad to tell him that Hang Ah has been eliminated. The excuse is that it’s for her own good, since she is also competing in the WOC and they don’t want her to feel too much pressure. Hang Ah’s dad says that’s bullshit, and his daughter got eliminated because she’s a soldier and not as womanly as those girls from the South. He hangs up on Secretary Eun.
Hang An is putting cucumbers on her face when her dad comes home. He looks reluctant to tell her the news and putters around. Hang Ah plays mine sweeper as she thinks back to what her dad says. Her dad is so sweet, telling her that there are no girls in South Korea as pretty, dutiful, and filial as she is. He doesn’t want her to marry Jae Ha because he doesn’t deem Jae Ha a good enough son-in-law.
Hang Ah tosses the bottle Jae Ha gave her in the trash, calling him a bad guy. She starts crying, asking herself why, why she’s likes this? Awwww, he’s totally wormed his way into her heart.
Jae Ha is in Shanghai and meets with his matchmaking date, who is a North Korean woman who was raised in France. She insists on speaking French with him, and tells him that she is a bag designer. Jae Ha asks if she designs bags that can be locked. Jae Ha talks about how he met a North Korean girl used a bag that could be locked to store her underwear.
All Jae Ha can talk about is Hang Ah, saying that the girl stored needles in a ugly looking bag. Wouldn’t it be better if she put it in a pretty bag? Awwwww, he can’t stop thinking about her.
Hang Ah goes to her post at the surveillance station, watching South Korean television shows and reporting on what is going on. She is told that the South Korean Prince was recently in the news having been photographed on a date with a pretty girl. Hang Ah tries to ignore it. Suddenly there is a news flash about the South Korean prince getting married to a North Korean military officer.
This same news flashes during Jae Ha’s date and he reads that he is supposedly privately engaged to Kim Hang Ah. The same news also flashes before Hang Ah. In South Korea, Jae Kang watches in shock, while his mother collapses when she hears the news.
There is mass pandemonium, especially when the South Korean news unearths Hang Ah’s background, namely that she taught assassination and covert intelligence as a military officer. Hang Ah calls in this report, stuttering that the person reportedly marrying the South Korean prince is herself.
Bong Goo is watching a video and gets a report from his subordinate that the South Korean prince is marrying a North Korean intelligence officer. Bong Goo is surprised and laughs. He says to let them get married. It’ll be fun watching the prince marry a woman who is trained to kill him. In stories like this, the end result is always a tragedy. The man will leave, the woman will die.
Secretary Eun informs his staff to get rid of the reporters. Jae Kang demands to know who leaked this news? Secretary Eun places a ring box on the table and informs the King that Club M has sent a present congratulating the Prince on getting engaged.
Jae Ha goes jogging and demands to know from Shi Kyung whether this is true? A reporter walks up to Jae Ha to ask about this news. Jae Ha smiles at her, and then cuts her down by asking if she knows him and why she thinks he will answer her questions. He walks away from her while his security details blocks her.
Hang Ah’s father is fielding calls about this and he explains that it’s all just a rumor. As he’s rushing out to explain to his superior, Hang Ah finds him and asks what is going on? Her dad tells her to stay calm, but this is all coming from South Korea. He will get it all sorted out.
In South Korea, the citizens are upset while the royal family remains silent on addressing the veracity of this shocking news. Citizens are protesting and wondering if their Prince is really marrying a North Korean spy? Secretary Eun tells the King to remain calm and silent, that is how the royal family has dealt with situations in the past.
Jae Ha is back in South Korea sees the latest news reports. He brushes this off as just tabloid gossip. But then he hears from Shi Kyung that the King is planning to explain to the people. Jae Ha asks Jae Kang what he’s planning to explain? That North Korean military officer Kim Hang Ah is a love idiot? Jae Kang wants to tell the truth – that he was planning to arrange a marriage with the North and Kim Hang Ah was a candidate. But she has been eliminated. Jae Ha asks him to reconsider, what if things blow up even bigger? What if North Korea gets upset, or the South Korean citizens get upset and want to depose their King? Jae Kang smiles, he’s willing to take that chance.
Jae Ha is furious that his brother is willing to give up his throne to tell the truth. Shi Kyung backs up the King, saying he would do the same thing. Suddenly Jae Ha gets an idea and asks Shi Kyung when the King’s press conference is scheduled for?
The King’s press corps is busy setting up for the press conference. Jae Kang reviews his written statement as Secretary Eun informs him that he has twenty minutes. We see the North Korean officers are watching this upcoming press conference, as is Hang Ah in her video surveillance room. The Queen and Queen Mother are also watching the press conference, and the Queen Mother asks her to change the channel from the news to something else since it’s making her nervous.
The channel is changed to a soccer match, when suddenly the announcer says that Prince Jae Ha has arrived at the match to give his well wishes to the team. Jae Ha stands before the podium and wishes the team luck on winning the match. Everyone watches as Jae Ha tells everyone that Kim Hang Ah really is an intelligence officer from the North. And she did threaten to kill him the first time they met.
But the human heart is impossible to predict. He fell in love with Kim Hang Ah, and asked his brother to allow their marriage. The King agreed. He followed his heart and did not take into consideration the heart of the citizens of South Korea. He asks the people not to blame the King, who did nothing wrong.
He was wrong, his heart was wrong, for falling in love with a North Korean woman who threatened to kill him. He asks his people to curse him for daring to fall in love with the enemy. Jae Ha bows deeply in apology.
Bong Goo is on an airplane and reads in the paper about Prince Jae Ha willing to receive the blame of the people in order to pursue his love. He orders the plane diverted to South Korea.
Jae Ha tells Jae Kang that he didn’t do this to save his brother. He did this so he doesn’t have to be King. This lie is nothing, Jae Ha can tell even more preposterous lies, such as Jae Kang fell in love with Hang Ah and is having an affair with her. Jae Kang asks when Jae Ha wants to have the official meeting, which confuses Jae Ha. Jae Kang says that things are out in the open now, so the next step is to make it official.
Jae Ha tells Jae Kang to stop kidding around. Jae Kang is serious. If it works out, then they get married. If not, then they can tell the world they broke up. Jae Ha says that he’s already told the world he is in love with Kim Hang Ah. What if Hang Ah loves him back? Jae Kang doesn’t think that is possible, but Jae Ha is all like “she totally already likes me!” Hahaha.
Jae Kang rolls his eyes at his narcissistic younger brother. Jae Ha says Hang Ah’s eyes totally shine when she looks at him. Plus he’s smart, tall, good looking, how could she not like him? Jae Ha ends with the announcement that he’s cute, which Jae Kang says is the opposite of cute if a guy Jae Ha’s age calls himself cute. Jae Ha adds that he’s loaded and he’s a Prince and he’s already declared his love for her. He thinks she’s already packed her bags and is ready to move in with him.
Hang Ah tells the assembled North Korean officials that she is not willing to go. They try to convince her that it’s just a customary meeting. Hang Ah says that Jae Ha has fooled her many times before during the WOC training, such as saying he liked her. This time around, he’s doing it again, it’s clear just by looking at his eyes. But what if it’s true this time, would she just let Jae Ha wait for her? Hang Ah sees through his bullshit, calling Jae Ha the master at telling any lie to get out of trouble. She won’t fall for his tricks again. Hang Ah’s dad supports her.
Jae Ha is told Hang Ah won’t come see her. He thinks she’s playing hard to get. If she heard his voice on the phone, she’ll coming running right away. Secretary Eun informs Jae Ha that Hang An won’t take his calls or any other form of communication. She also informed the North Korean standing committee that she won’t meet Jae Ha. The Prince is shocked, asking if Hang Ah really dislikes him? Secretary Eun points out that Prince has a track record of liking a lot of girls.
So what is left for Jae Ha to do? Jae Kang suggests calling this Jae Ha’s unrequited love for a North Korean woman, and then Jae Ha can publicly get dumped by Hang Ah. Jae Ha can become South Korea’s most pathetic prince. Jae Ha puts his face in his hand. I’m laughing my head off here.
Hang Ah watches Jae Ha’s press conference over and over again, especially the part where he says he loves Kim Hang Ah and wants to marry her. Her dad is talking with Hang Ah’s superior, who notes that she’s been quite down lately. They walk inside the surveillance room and her dad sees Hang Ah watching Jae Ha’s declaration on the computer.
During dinner, Hang Ah’s dad tries to counsel his daughter, saying that men often say things they don’t mean. Hang Ah suddenly declares that her dad is right, and when she sees Jae Ha, she’ll ground him under her foot. Her dad is shocked that Hang Ah has agreed to meet Jae Ha. Hang Ah says that for Jae Ha to publicly declare that he loves her to the entire world, when she’s unmarried, they have to resolve things in person. She’s going to meet him, and destroy him!
Secretary Eun enlists Shi Kyung to video conference Hang Ah, since he’s closer to her, and can better persuade her to come meet Jae Ha. Shi Kyung gets online, and immediately Hang Ah announces that she will meet Jae Ha, asking when and where. Shi Kyung’s eyes adorably open wide in shock, as does his dad.
Jae Ha is laying in bed moping when he hears that Hang Ah agreed to meet him the moment she talked to Shi Kyung. You can see Jae Ha stewing under the assumption that Shi Kyung was able to convince Hang Ah to come meet him. Jae Ha asks Shi Kyung what he talked about with Hang Ah? Shi Kyung takes him literally and replies that he said “How are you, Kim Hang Ah?”
Jae Ha is peeved that his public declaration of love and the pressure from her North Korean comrades and the South Korean royal family wasn’t enough for her to agree to meet him, but one word from Shi Kyung did the trick. Shi Kyung looks uncomfortable but can’t explain anything. Jae Ha picks up the phone and announces that Eun Shi Kyung will not be able to attend this upcoming match making meet and greet. Because he’s so sexy and attractive he’s a danger to the world. Shi Kyung has no choice but to accept Jae Ha’s bad attitude. Oh Shi Kyung, forgive this boyish raging jealousy.
Hang Ah is dressed in a pretty modern hanbok dress as her father and other North Korean officials walk her to the DMZ line. The Queen and throngs of reporters are waiting for her on the other side. Hang Ah symbolically steps over the yellow demarcation line and the Queen shakes her hand to welcome her. Jae Kang and the Queen Mother watch this moment on TV. Jae Kang smiles, saying that Hang Ah sure is pretty. His mom says her head hurts and gets up to leave, but she stops to ask why Hang Ah isn’t smiling?
Jae Ha and Dong Ha are on a plane to Jeju for the meeting as they watch the same news report on TV (poor Shi Kyung, left behind because he’s too attractive to women). Dong Ha says that their team leader must be nervous which is why she’s not smiling for the news cameras. Jae Ha has Dong Ha sit down and tries to get some man advice from him. Jae Ha informs Dong Ha that he plans to get Hang Ah to fall in love with her, and then dump her. He’s obviously stewing about Hang Ah refusing to meet him and then agreeing only after she spoke with Shi Kyung. Oh Jae Ha, you petty man boy.
Hang Ah is driven to the hotel in Jeju where the meeting will take place. She is told by an attendant that she will be having a supervised four day three night meeting with the Prince. Hang Ah is given a cell phone and then told a royal family stylist is on hand to tend to her. Jae Ha is flipping through pictures in his tablet, grumbling that none of them look right. He sees Hang Ah arriving and he quickly stands up to greet her. Hang Ah has changed into a cute girly outfit, and she steels herself before walking in to meet Jae Ha.
When she walks into the room, she refuses to look directly at Jae Ha. He asks why she’s not looking at him since they haven’t seen each other in some time. She replies that she didn’t come here to see her colleague, she came to see orange trees since there are none in North Korea. Jae Ha sits down and Hang Ah follows suit, continuing to not look at him directly.
Kang Seok and Dong Ah happily shake hands, with Kang Seok asking why the Prince is behaving this way? Dong Ah says it’s because of “love.”
Plates of donuts are brought out and Hang Ah reaches for a round one. Jae Ha stands up and offers her a heart shaped one but she ignores him and bites into the round one. He sighs, asking if she’s going to engage in a food war with him? Hang Ah asks what he meant with his speech at the soccer stadium? He loves her? How could he play such a public joke on her?
Jae Ha says it’s not a joke. It wasn’t easy for a Prince to say something like that in public. Hang Ah asks if he shot her because he loved her that much? Jae Ha concedes the point, but tells her that she couldn’t possibly know how tormented he felt when he shot her. He gets up to leave, asking her to at least have dinner with him tonight.
Hang Ah sees that Jae Ha left his tablet on the table. When Kang Seok comes in, Hang Ah tells him to return the tablet to Jae Ha. Kang Seok presses a button and the background is a picture of Hang Ah. Jae Ha comes back to grab it. Later Jae Ha complains to Dong Ah about the bad timing, clearly having planted it there with those pictures for Hang Ah to see. Jae Ha thinks it’s such an old school tactic, no one would fall for it. Oh, he’s such an ass. I only feel comforted knowing that she’s totally in his heart regardless of how he wants to pretend she’s not.
Hang Ah sits and thinks about what Kang Seok found out from Dong Ah, that Jae Ha is really serious about liking her. He didn’t realize it until he left the training and came back to South Korea. Hang Ah gets a text from Jae Ha, apologizing for putting her pictures on his cell phone. He says that the Hang An in his heart looks like the pretty Hang Ah in this picture. Hang Ah preens a little when suddenly her dad calls to make sure she arrived safely.
Jae Ha has the hotel staff prepare a banquet room for his special dinner with Hang Ah, complete with a giant picture of Hang Ah hung on the wall, balloons, an orchestra, rose petals sprinkled on the floor, and enough donuts to feed a small army. Dong Ha wonders if this is overkill but Jae Ha says this is how the royal family rolls, baby!
When he’s told that Hang Ah is coming, Jae Ha grabs his rose bouquet and gets down on his knees to await Hang Ah. When he raises his head to smile at her, he sees a pair of male legs walking towards him. Poor Kang Seok is covered with confetti and rose petals in lieu of Hang Ah. He’s here to deliver a message from her.
Kang Seok takes out a letter and reads it. “I, Kim Hang Ah, am not in love with Lee Jae Ha. I do not plan on getting engaged. I am also not planning to attend the remainder of the activities planned.” Kang Seok talks out while Jae Ha looks stunned.
Thoughts of Mine:
So let me get this straight here. Jae Ha publicly tells the world he loves Hang Ah. But he claims to not love Hang Ah. Yet he seems totally hung up about her in the littlest of ways, as poor Shi Kyung experienced first hand. Hang Ah knows Jae Ha is probably a lying douchebag about falling in love with her, but she can’t help herself and be affected by him. So she goes to meet him, and then tells him she doesn’t love him and won’t go through with the engagement? Is she toying with him? Or does she know believe he loves her but doesn’t think she’s good enough for him so is pushing him away? And will her pushing him away get him to pursue her even harder? I don’t know, but if Jae Ha emotionally hurts Hang Ah again, I’ll kick him in the proverbial man parts so hard he’ll end up on another continent.
I just love how the drama really fleshes out the side characters, and with it adding much more depth into the story. Hang Ah’s dad is such a sweetheart, trying to protect his daughter and doing what he thinks she wants. When she got eliminated as a bride candidate, he explained it as him not wanting Jae Ha as a son-in-law. While Kang Seok is a gruff North Korean soldier, he also feels human with his interest in SNSD and his consideration for Hang Ah as a friend. I appreciate the writers not writing the North Korean characters as caricatures, and instead as interesting people with their own unique cultural background.
Same goes for the South Korean characters. Shi Kyung is such a winning second lead, and I see that he’ll be getting his love line with the Princess coming up soon. Sweet. While Jae Ha tries to torture him, I can already see a bromance brewing. Same goes with Dong Ha, who Jae Ha has confided his sneaky plan to woo and then dump Hang Ah. Too bad for him, Hang Ah isn’t biting at this point. I let out a whoop of happiness when Hang Ah confronted Jae Ha about how he shot her during the WOC exercise. Jae Ha’s response, while seemingly heartfelt, nevertheless isn’t enough for Hang Ah to yet trust him.
This episode was so funny and sweet despite the OTP spending most of the episode apart and having just one scene together. It goes to show that this drama doesn’t rest solely on the love story, but has so many interesting threads going on simultaneously. The North-South conflict isn’t glossed over, showing the citizens of the South getting upset at the prospect that their Prince wants to marry a North Korean intelligence officer. But the writers know this is a fictional fantasy what-if scenario, so it allows this to play out as a political farce. Too bad for Jae Ha, while he thinks he’s in charge, in truth he’s just falling more for Hang Ah even as he tries to ignore it.