“You keep saying I’m a player. Maybe I am quite a player? Let’s confirm.” Kim Boong Do jjang! Episode 11 of Queen In Hyun’s Man was so gratifying it couldn’t have come at a better time then right after the sucker punch that was The King 2 Hearts episode 19. QIHM always calms me down, always settles my heart into a warm soft special place, leaving me wistful and dreamy, romantic and swoony. There is no way I’m recapping QIHM’s such late in the game, especially since I’ve got another drama lined up already. The last time I recapped two dramas in a day (49 Days and The Greatest Love), I ended up blacking out and losing big chunks of time. I’ve learned to accept my limitations, but I’ll surely talk about this drama whenever I feel like it. And what do you know? Right now I’d love to gush about this perfect perfect episode I just watched.
What’s not to love? After a two-episode separation that was important to the narrative about the mystery of the time-traveling talisman and meaningful in assessing how important Boong Do and Hee Jin are to each other (answer: very important), our OTP finally earn their hard won reunion. He had to fight his lost memories to find her, she had to fight her not-lost memories to have faith in him. The way they stared at each other across the crowd at the end of episode 10 already made me purr in contentment. If I were a cat, this drama be my nip.
Episode 11 picks up right where Hee Jin scans the crowd and finds him. It’s like she has a Boong Do-dar (don’t we all wish), but when Dong Min pulls her forward a few steps, she turns back and he’s vanished. Boong Do finds manager Soo Kyung and greets her like a friend, while she stares at him like he’s a fire breathing mythological dragon. Her confusion confirms for him that she has no memory of him, leading Boong Do to quickly deduct that when the talisman was sliced in half by the assassin, it caused a rift in the space time continuum. Or something like what. What it means is that time got lost, and his previous journey to the modern world simply disappeared.
Even meeting Boong Do for the first time again, Soo Kyung can’t help but be taken with his credentials, looks, and pedigree. But this time she’s not helping him with Hee Jin, which makes sense considering Hee Jin had been happily dating Dong Min for the past two months in Soo Kyung’s (and everyone else’s) mind. Soo Kyung tells Boong Do to go home. Luckily Hee Jin is no idiot either, and she realizes Soo Kyung’s oddness earlier was an attempt to keep Boong Do from contacting her.
Hee Jin gets her phone back and sees calls from the park pay phone. She takes off running, without shoes (cue the Cinderella symbolism), to catch Boong Do before he teleports back to Joseon. Hee Jin arrives at the park all breathless and shoeless but finds the pay phone empty. As she stands there all dejected, Boong Do’s Hee Jin-dar pings him and he finds her. Cue tender and poignant huggy reunion. Awwwww. Why am I tearing up? I realize the separation clearly wasn’t going to last (this is a K-drama, after all), but I’m already so invested in their feelings for each other that it hurt even during their brief time apart. Less for Boong Do, who didn’t remember what he was missing, but almost all of it for Hee Jin, feeling like the man of her dreams was……just that, simply a dream man.
Hee Jin makes Boong Do memorize her address and promise to come find her later. She hurries back to attend the after party but then ducks out as early as she can. When she comes home, she starts shimmying out of her dress only to find Boong Do sitting there after she’s half exposed. Some screeching and accusations of “You didn’t make yourself known because you wanted to watch first” later, it’s clear they’re still the same with each other. Candid, sincere, playful, and attentive to each other’s every word and emotion. Boong Do is about to head out so that Hee Jin really can change, which is when Dong Min, the “official” boyfriend, arrives outside.
Boong Do hides while Hee Jin tries to get rid of Dong Min. When he gets fresh with her, Boong Do quirts him with water from a spray bottle while he hides upstairs. LOL, love his sneaky smart attacks at his not-so-worthy-rival. After sending Dong Min to clean up in the bathroom, Hee Jin tells Boong Do to go back to Joseon first and come back tomorrow. Boong Do teases that she sure is quite adept at juggling two men. Hee Jin pouts but says she will end things with Dong Min tonight.
Dong Min doesn’t take kindly to Hee Jin’s break up with him and starts to get angry, which is when Boong Do awesomely reveals himself, having not returned to Joseon since he knew a guy like Dong Min wouldn’t take kindly to being dumped. Dong Min is sputtering mad at seeing Kim Boong Do really does exist, and promptly tries to beat up Boong Do. Too bad his opponent is a skilled Joseon warrior, and Boong Do easily subdues Dong Min and ends up locking Dong Min in the shower stall. LOL, love the switched reference to episode 3 when Dong Min locked Boong Do in the shower at the hospital.
Boong Do concedes that he may be the interloper so to speak, but he pretty much tells Dong Min to deal with it. I’m haven’t been that annoyed with Dong Min up til now, because in his reality, Hee Jin was his affectionate and reciprocal girlfriend for months only to come out of a car accident a having completely different feelings for him. I like Dong Min trying his best to be patient in the last episode, but he really needed to accept Hee Jin calmly breaking up with him in this episode instead of getting all handsy with her. That is a major no no. Seeing Boong Do come to the rescue was beyond satisfying.
Hee Jin takes Boong Do away while Dong Min calls Soo Kyung and his manager, shrieking about being locked in Hee Jin’s shower stall by the not-so-imaginary Kim Boong Do. Soo Kyung’s face loses all color and she squeaks out a promise to go release Dong Min. Hee Jin takes Boong Do to rent a pension for a night, telling the manager its for one person since she’s leaving. She busies herself explaining how modern appliances work, while he just stands there staring at her. I would say devouring her with his eyes, because its thatclose to burning up the screen. He looks at her like she’s a cool drink of water and he’s dying of thirst.
He asks if she’s really leaving. She has to head back to clean up the mess they left behind. Boong Do calmly says that it might be difficult for him to spend the night in a foreign place, plus she’s taken his talisman and all. The boy wants you to STAY. Lady, you say YES. Hee Jin suggests he watch TV to pass the night. What? Have you lost your mind, Hee Jin! Boong Do decides enough with the subtle hints and just walks forward, jerks the TV remote of of her hands, and pulls her face in for a kiss. RAWR. Mega-RAWR.
She pulls away first, asking if they should be doing this right now when there are other more important things to take care of. Didn’t he mention she had a rash personality, so she wants to be sensible now. Boong Do replies that he finds her rash personality quite attractive. Which leads Hee Jin to breathlessly call him a player again. OH YES HE IS. Boong Do smiles and considers he really might be a player. He needs to confirm it, so he pulls her back for another kiss. This one goes on and on, and ends with Hee Jin climbing on his feet to gain more leverage. I swear my screen almost combusted. Damn, how do Joseon era scholars ever learn to kiss like that? *fans myself*
I loved how simple this episode was, with the majority of the action spent just with Hee Jin and Boong Do. From looking for each other to reuniting and then falling right back to their natural banter with each other, I didn’t need tons of plot movement to feel like the story really flowed naturally. QIHM’s is a time-travel love story, with the love story being the solid hook while the time-travel just the gimmicky device. I prefer not parsing the time-travel elements to see if it makes sense. Such as Boong Do’s supposition that there was a rip in time and memories were lost. It makes no sense, since Hee Jin’s memories should have gone as well.
What’s lovely is to take the story in stride as the means by which we get to spend time with the characters. Boong Do’s calm logical aura remains intact even when he’s flirting with Hee Jin, while Hee Jin is in many ways just a normal girl who is falling heads over heels for what is arguable a perfect man. Give and take 300 years or so. While its not easy, I love how she trust her gut with Boong Do every step of the way. And the boy has surely earned it all by defying lost memories to come find her again.