This episode was a bit rough, because anytime you have an extended portion of scenes involving the foreigners (Bon Bon, Team USA, etc.), the laughably clunky English dialogue coupled with atrocious acting is given too much screen time. It’s a necessarily evil since this plot requires it, but goodness gracious it’s silly as all heck. I can handle it in small doses, but I’ll definitely be FFing these scenes when I rewatch this episode.
Episode 14 of The King 2 Hearts was part war games and part Eun Shi Kyung, royal detective. I personally love the WOC competition mostly for the bonding between the team members and seeing how they achieve their underdog victory, but definitely have no expectations in terms of realism or even pathos. It works because we are given the pay off set up in the beginning of the drama when disparate people on opposite political divides try to co-exist, and finally we see them face a common opponent as one unified team.
Episode 14 recap:
Jae Ha reaches into the glass bowl and pulls out a ball that reveals so dramatically that Team Korea’s opponent in the first round will be Team USA. Team Korea collectively looks stunned, like someone just egged them each in the face.
Bong Joo’s right hand man is sitting at the table in the Jeju Peace Summit and he’s playing with the WOC ball Bong Goo magically produced in the car. He pulls off the tag to reveal that this ball says USA. He smirks and meets Bong Goo’s eyes, confirming that Bong Goo has swapped the original Team USA ball and replaced it with a jury-rigged one.
In a rewind to Secretary Eun’s conversation with Bong Goo earlier, the mad man threatens Shi Kyung next if Secretary Eun doesn’t play ball with him. How would a son who thinks his father is the entire universe feel if he discovered the truth about his father? Secretary Eun warns that if Bong Goo says a word to Shi Kyung, if Secretary Eun needs to use all his blood to write a notice to the world about Bong Goo’s misdeeds, he will do it. Bong Goo says he’s too busy leading the world to do any of this.
Jae Shin nervously makes her first public appearance since her accident and she wheels herself on stage. Suddenly the music comes on from the orchestra playing and it’s the song Bong Goo plays and the one which triggers Jae Shin’s fearful memories. Even Queen Mother wonders why the entrance music has changed. Turns out Bong Goo asked Secretary Eun to change the music to one he liked, saying its such a small favor to ask.
That, coupled with skanky assassin Bon Bon slipping into the conference room and standing in the back to play the boogeyman and scare Jae Shin, causes Jae Shin to try and wheel herself offstage.
Jae Shin’s jerky movement causes her to fall out of her wheelchair and land on the ground. The media, and Bong Goo, snaps away at this embarrassing moment while serving ladies try to help Jae Shin.
Shi Kyung leads to the royal guards out to the lobby and he’s able to detain Bon Bon. He introduces himself as the captain of the royal guards and asks that she come with them for an investigation. Bon Bon declines and tries to leave but Shi Kyung stops her and forcefully brings her in.
The Prime Minister places a call to Jae Ha telling him to leave the WOC and come to Jeju now, Jae Shin is not fit to be Queen in his absence. The Prime Minister says there is no way the Korean Team can beat the US Team, plus the US is their ally. Even if Korea wins, it’s bad for their political alliance with the US. Jae Ha refuses.
After Jae Ha hangs up the phone with the Prime Minister, Hang Ah walks over with Dong Ha and she brings up the draw. She smartly points out that Jae Ha is wearing his royal insignia ring and it could have affected the draw if the USA ball had been rigged with a magnetized strip. She yells at Jae Ha for wearing the ring, while he protests that she was the one who told him to hurry up. The ring is a family heirloom and the King wears it at all public events.
Kang Seok is taking a dump in the toilet when some members of Team USA come in with another guy from a different team (French?). The non-US guy talks about North Korea as a terrorist nation that supplies weapons to Iran, part of the Axis of Evil, insane, etc., while the US team member says this is just a friendly game with officers and politics shouldn’t be a part of it. The non-US guy continues that Team US should feel lucky to draw such a weak team, since the two Korean have been separated for 60 years and there is no way they could work as a team now.
After the non-US guy leaves, Kang Seok is pissed and comes out if his stall and goes to wash his hand. The remaining 2 Team US members tell him that they weren’t the ones bad mouthing North Korea and one guy playfully pats Kang Seok on the back of the head saying they need to all get along. Kang Seok takes that gesture poorly and gets into a fight with the two US members.
Afterwards, Hang Ah yells at Kang Seok for behaving this way when so much is at stake. No matter how angry he is, he cannot lose his temper and just hit people. Hang Ah kicks him and punches him. Kang Seok refuses to apologize, saying they insulted their great leader and also Korea. She tears off his team badge and tells him to get out, kicking him out of the team.
Jae Ha walks in and tells Hang Ah to calm down and let him deal with it. Hang Ah apologizes and walks away while Jae Ha tries to deal with Kang Seok alone.
The two team commanders are brought before the WOC committee to discuss what happened. Team USA’s commander asks for Korea to be disqualified or forfeit the competition for their misconduct before the event has even started. The North and South Korea commanders try to plead their case, saying it was a misunderstanding and also the US did something that was rude.
Jae Ha sits with Kang Seok and they have a man-to-man talk. This is so amazing considering how much they rubbed each other the wrong way in the beginning, plus when Kang Seok tried to strange Jae Ha for the SNSD gift incident. Jae Ha explains that Hang Ah just wants to be a good team leader, but he knows Kang Seok must also be feeling bad about it.
Jae Ha tells Kang Seok to just apologize to the US team since it was a misunderstanding, and if Kang Seok won’t do it, then he will. Jae Ha asks if it hurt when Hang Ah hit Kang Seok back there? So how must the US members feel when they were beat up by Kang Seok in the bathroom? Jae Ha reminds Kang Seok that they are backed against a corner, and if they don’t win the first round, he won’t be able to be with Hang Ah for the rest of their lives.
The two teams are dragged before the WOC committee and told that there will be a penalty levied on the Korean team for the incident by a deduction of ten points, and the Korean team will need to apologize. The US team asks for an apology from Jae Ha not just as the team captain, but as the King. Since the US considers this an international incident, they want an apology from the King himself.
Jae Ha agrees and everyone stares at him as he proceeds to give his official apology. As he gets mid-way into the apology, Kang Seok suddenly walks into the meeting and bows low and deep to apologize to the US team. He apologizes for lacking discipline and breeding and sincerely apologizes to the US members. He made a mistake and asks that they be the bigger person and forgive him this once.
After Kang Seok finishes his apology, the US team steps forward and apologizes for their part in this incident. The guy who patted Kang Seok’s head apologizes because he didn’t realize it was an insult. The US team leader shakes hands with Jae Ha and asks to get along. He jokes that there is a rumor that Team Korea is going to let the US win because of their close ties, and he tells Jae Ha that he hopes it isn’t true.
Shi Kyung is interrogating Bon Bon and all he finds on her are a box of chocolates. Bon Bon theatrically eats a chocolate to show that it’s really just candy. She asks Shi Kyung how old he is, and whether he’s ever killed anyone before? Bon Bon says there are many ways to kill people, and her recent work is researching sunsets and fireplaces and fear. Shi Kyung realizes that this woman is trying to make Jae Shin even more afraid. Bon Bon claims that she’s an artist. Shi Kyung shakes her hand off and stands up, telling the guards to keep her detained.
The Queen Mother is asked by Shi Kyung if he can ask Jae Shin to try and identify her assailant since he has someone in custody. The Queen Mother is nervous since Jae Shin is still so shaky. She chides Shi Kyung for also trying to push Jae Shin so hard, but Shi Kyung says they don’t have time on their side. Jae Shin comes in and tells her mother that she is fine.
Jae Shin goes back to her room and is playing with her parakeet listening to Shi Kyung explain about Bon Bon and Club M, how she entered South Korea on dates close to when things happened. Jae Shin might not remember the incident when Jae Kang died, but she remembers the woman’s face from the hospital visit. Shi Kyung shows Jae Shin the picture of Bon Bon. Jae Shin barely looks at it before turning her head away, she’s not ready yet. But she confirms that it is Bon Bon, and is even willing to testify since this person is technically a guest. Shi Kyung says he’ll make it so its less of a burden to Jae Shin.
Secretary Eun berates Shi Kyung for detaining a foreign guest. Shi Kyung explains that he’s got the law on his side in this investigation, plus the Princess’s identification of Bon Bon. Secretary Eun is upset Shi Kyung is personally handling the Club M investigation and wants him out, claiming he wants to keep Shi Kyung safe. He intends to bar Shi Kyung from continuing with the investigation, but Shi Kyung pulls out the trump card that he got the King’s authority to proceed, and then he shows his dad a royal card that gives him discretion to do whatever he wants to continue the investigation.
Bong Goo is taking a bubble bath while his right hand man confirms Bon Bon has been detained. Having to type Bong Goo and bubble bath in the same sentence almost made my fingers go on strike. My eyes already went temporarily blind. The lackey asks if Bong Goo let her get caught on purpose? He then shows Bong Goo the news that Team Korea has selected Team US as its first round opponent. Bong Goo acts all surprised and is happy. He discusses that Korea loses either way, since winning over the US is a blow to Korean-US relations.
Team Korea is on a boat heading towards an island where their first round competition is going to take place. Hang Ah and Jae Ha are standing out on the bow of the ship looking all ready for battle. But then Jae Ha expresses his dawning fear that their opponent is the US Team. Hang Ah tells him to believe in their team. She assures him that they will win.
Everyone goes inside to be briefed on the rules of this competition. It’s pretty much a mock war game that ends like capture the flag, but instead of a flag, each team is protecting its national key. The team which captures the other team’s key will be able to return to the mainland and wins. The only way off the island is a motorized raft which can only be started using both keys, and each team has only one key and needs to get the other team’s key. They have 8 hours to get the two keys and get off the island. If neither team gets both keys and gets off the island within the 8 hours, there are also surveillance cameras all over the island and will allot points to each team for various tasks. The commanders remind the team that since they were docked points already, they need to get off the island to win.
The team changes from their uniforms into their fatigues. They pack their backpacks and then place their Korean team logo on their forearms. It’s so cute, it’s a picture of the entire Korean peninsula, signifying a united Korea. Jae Ha puts Hang Ah’s logo on, then she slaps his on. They smile at each other. Adorably earnest Young Bae kisses his logo before putting it on.
Team Korea lands on the beach and gets ready to deploy. Team South Korea gives a “fighting” cheer, while the North Korean trio do a hilarious weird version of it. Jae Ha teases that they ought to have a coordinated cheer. The US Team has landed already and they walk by, holding up their key and wishing Team Korea good luck.
Shi Kyung receives a report on Bon Bon’s background. She was born in the UK and is experienced in explosives and assassination. Pretty much she’s a psycho freak killer. They have confirmed that her chocolate does contain a drug (no wonder she’s always munching on it), but its a new drug that South Korea hasn’t seen before so is not illegal. Secretary Eun is talking to someone in German when he gets a call from the Prime Minister who screams about a press conference going on with Club M.
Bong Goo’s right hand man addresses the media, saying Club M is deeply sorry for the tragedy involving the assassination of the South Korean King and the injury to the Princess. But that does not justify the detention of a foreign guest by the royal family and they demand Bon Bon be released. Secretary Eun goes to yell at Shi Kyung to release Bon Bon immediately. He tells Shi Kyung to be patient, that is all they can do right now.
Bon Bon is released back to Bong Goo and Shi Kyung delivers her back. Bong Goo claims Bon Bon is not just his personal guard, she’s like a daughter to him. Bon Bon taunts Shi Kyung, asking if he slept with the Princess. He must not have, since she’s crippled and he won’t want to bed her. Shi Kyung clenches his hand. Bon Bon whispers to Shi Kyung that Jae Shin was trembling that night and kept asking someone to save her like a coward.
This is all being recorded by Bong Goo via a hidden camera, but Shi Kyung doesn’t fall for the trick and lose his temper. He calmly turns to address Bong Goo and brings up why Bong Goo wants someone around who has such a bad track record like Bon Bon – killing her own SAS squad members.
Bon Bon says the shooting was an accident, to which Shi Kyung replies “Really? Then what about your mother’s death?” Then Bon Bon loses it and starts screaming at Shi Kyung for daring to point out that she killed her own mother.
Bong Goo looks impressed and asks his name, only to be told its Eun Shi Kyung. Bong Goo looks at Secretary Eun and asks if this is his son? He then takes Shi Kyung aside to talk to him privately. Bong Goo asks why Shi Kyung is loyal to Jae Ha, tsn’t Jae Ha just a useless guy? He tries to get him to come work for him. Shi Kyung turns him down by saying he doesn’t eat rotten fruit. Oh booyah! This confirms for Bong Goo that Jae Ha does indeed have people loyal to him.
Team Korea is sitting in their bunker plotting their strategy. Jae Ha wants to resort to tricks and underhanded tactics to win. He suggest swimming back to land (ahahaha) or bribing the US team to lose. He reminds her that their engagement is on the line here.
Or they can shoot their own signals and pretend they are dead to mislead the US team, or hide in areas without any hidden cameras. He grabs her hand but she coldly tells him if they don’t win fairly, then she won’t get engaged. She wants a man who is honorable that she can respect. Jae Ha realizes that no one sides with him on this as he looks around the bunker and everyone avoids meeting his eyes.
Team US sets off and heads towards the Team Korea bunker, surrounding the place. A team member shoots a surveillance camera onto the window of the bunker and now Team US can spy on Team Korea.
Team Korea is discussing who should hold their key. Jae Ha refuses to hold the key since he’s a despicable guy. Hang Ah and Jae Ha argue like kids while the other four finally decide to rock-paper-scissors for it. Poor Young Bae wins and gets to keep their key which worries him since its so important. Team US sees who has the key via their surveillance camera. Team Korea sets out on their ATVs to capture the US key, leaving Young Bae and Dong Ha behind. Jae Ha gets on an ATV but Hang Ah wants to drive. He tells her to get behind him and they take off. Is this their version of a date?
Dong Ha is in the toilet when Young Bae spies Team US members outside, They come in shooting and Young Bae hides. Team Korea hears shooting behind them coming from the direction of their bunker. Dong Ha buttons his pants as he hides in the toilet, trying to find his way out.
Young Bae grabs his eye and pulls it off his necklace. Team USA has his cornered and Young Bae swallows his key. OMG, this is hilarious! The poor guy literally has to force the key down and almost chokes, but manages to swallow it.
Team Korea returns to find their bunker ransacked and Young Bae captured, with Dong Ha left. The North Korea commander calls Hang Ah’s dad.
Young Bae is in the Team US bunker and he’s taunting them about the key being in his body and they can’t remove it. Team US is horribly racist and taint Young Bae about whether Asians can defecate the same. They decide to give him an enema.
Hang Ah discovers the surveillance camera that Team USA planted on their window. A call comes in and Jae Ha answers it. Its from the Team USA leader telling Jae Ha that they will get out the key in 3 hours so the Korean team has already lost. He warns them not to do anything else.
Team USA gets the key out of Young Bae and heads to the beach, thinking the first round is over. They get there and discover the boat is gone. We see the South Korean team has hidden it and maybe even sabotaged it.
Team USA sends two members to check out the Korean team bunker and they find it empty with a note that says “welcome”. The US team leader puts the Korean key round his neck along with the US key. We see Dong Ha and Jae Ha is outside the Team US bunker.
Dong Ha tosses something to lure the US team members outside which allows Jae Ha to sneak into their main bunker room. Jae Ha removes the light bulb in a lamp and looks at it. We see Hang Ah rushing back on the ATV. We hear Jae Ha’s voice telling Hang Ah to trust him, this competition requires teamwork to win. So he needs her to trust him like he is also trusting her. Jae Ha opens up his cell phone and we see him taking apart the inside guts and jury rigging it.
Thoughts of Mine:
This episode was a really plot-driven one so there isn’t much to discuss or analyze. It moved fast and took all the various story lines forward. Shi Kyung dives deep into the Club M investigation and finds himself now within the view of Bong Goo. That worries me, because Bong Goo likes to take out people close to Jae Ha, and I don’t want anyone laying a finger on Shi Kyung. But its important for Shi Kyung to actually see Bong Goo face-to-face and put a face on the enemy. Plus each step Shi Kyung takes into the investigation will only bring him closer to discover his father’s misconduct. I need the boy to right the wrong on that ship, and his dad isn’t going to do it himself.
I’m beginning to sense that Bong Goo doesn’t have a big plan, he’s sorta like a trickster just trying to screw with Jae Ha. Or like a bully picking on someone to make himself feel better. I supposed having a villain whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc makes him an unstable foe that is hard to fight, but it does take the teeth out of watching a greater conspiracy be thwarted. For example, what if Bong Goo was building up all his strength to somehow create this ground swell of popular support to topple the South Korean monarchy so that it can become a democratic state and he can use his vast resources to be elected president. That would be a doozy of a conspiracy, won’t it? I suppose his plan works for him, which is to target Jae Ha personally.
I love watching Jae Ha continue to mature as a person, showing a sense of responsibility as a team leader and King, but as the same time, display instances where he regresses back to being a guy who avoids difficult situations or looks for the easy way out. Hang Ah is his anchor, but she’s also got her weaknesses, such as her temper and straight laced ways. Being on the WOC team together brings them full circle to the training days which was marred by the moment when Jae Ha shot Hang Ah out of mistrust. Now is the time to truly get past that incident for them two, and I foresee that Team Korea will somehow etch out an underdog victory no thanks to Jae Ha’s think-outside-the-box ways coupled with Hang Ah placing her faith in him pulling it off.