I love this drama and I love even more how happy it makes me. A drama needn’t be perfect to love it as long as it conveys the feeling of love perfectly. While the OTP of Da Jung and Yul in Prime Minister and I are nowhere near tumbling into blissful romance, their are edging closer toward jumping onto a contract marriage. Will it be an unholy alliance or the unexpected perfect Christmas surprise? I know what little Man Se will say. He’s such an adorable matchmaker for his appa, and even better is that he has good taste in picking girls for his dad because Da Jung is just what Yul needs. She’s so unpredictable that it rocks his orderly existence but in a good way. Who doesn’t think its better for Yul to doubt his own preconceived judgment, to be proven wrong time and again when it comes to Da Jung. Clearly his way is not always the right way, but for him to discover it makes the transformation more satisfying and meaningful. The drama deftly balances the machinations needed to get Da Jung and Yul married, but it does so in a way that makes that a learning moment for them. Each time they interact, they are always walking away with a bit more understanding about the other person.
Misunderstandings continue to be quickly resolved and problems are addressed head on. I don’t necessarily think Yul is being rational when he agrees to marry Da Jung, even in light of all the facts he knows, but I think he really wants to take a chance for once and it might be due to her. This is one leap of faith where I feel like both sides are in it fairly, and if either side wants to make the marriage of reality it’s not only a legitimate request but a predictable development. Da Jung clearly sees Yul as a man, and an attractive and successful one at that. I always laugh at the makeover scenes since Da Jung is as pretty to me in her torn jeans and baggy jacket as she is in a va-va-va-voom little black dress, but it is nice to see wuri Prime Minister is not unaffected when a beautiful girl walks towards him with a mega-watt smile. What ties them together is family, she is doing everything for her dad as he is trying to make the effort to be a good one. Even if Yul doesn’t show it, it’s clear he’s lonely and his family lacks the warmth of a maternal figure and his kids are all suffering. If Da Jung thinks this contract marriage is pretty much her being a glorified nanny, that might be on her to-do list, but it’ll be wonderful to see her also find love in the most surprising of ways with a man that has his life turned upside town because of her as her life has become because of him.
Episode 3 recap:
Da Jung wakes up in a strange room completely hung over and with no clear recollection of what happened last night. She has flashbacks to drunkenly begging Yul to marry her but she snorts with derision that even her dreams are so ridiculous. She then jumps out of bed and looks around her surroundings, opening the curtains to see guards in another room.
The voice of the Prime Minister is booming as he barks out geomdo commands as his three kids dutifully practice their swords early in the morning. Yul tells his kids that he is now the Prime Minister and they have to be the role models for all kids in South Korea. They are the face of the Prime Minister. He tells Woo Ri to stop using cell phones, Na Ra to keep practicing her English, and Man Se can’t ditch kindergarten anymore. Yul is a harsh taskmaster indeed. He even makes Man Se cry but he just walks away leaving them to continue practicing.
Yul runs into Hye Joo as he heads back inside to get ready work. She’s here to pick him up on the first day and he tells her to wait because there is “trash” he needs to dispose of personally first. She notices the driver cleaning the car and muttering about the smell not coming out.
Da Jung can’t remember how she ended up here and tries to sneak out of the Prime Minister’s residence undetected. Yul the omnipresent comes by and grabs her as she’s tiptoeing out.
They talk and Yul asks if she’s awake now? Da Jung asks how she ended up here and Yul is really surprised she remembers none of it. He asks if she remembers asking him to marry her? Da Jung thought that was a dream and says Yul can’t bring her here just because of that.
Yul illuminates for Da Jung what happened last night. He tried to take her home but she was so drunk she couldn’t tell him where she lived now since she moved. He mentions home and she starts crying that she lived in that home with her dad and asks again if he can marry her. Yul wants his bodyguards to come grab her but both balk, with one hilariously saying she’s the PM’s girlfriend and he doesn’t dare touch her. Yul gives them permission but before they can grab her Da Jung ends up barfing all over Yul. Ewwww. That’s how he ended up taking her back and putting her in the guest room.
Yul says he didn’t want to bring her here but he had no choice. Da Jung says she never drinks soju which leads Yul to ask why she drank so much and why she asked him to marry her. Da Jung apologizes and makes up an excuse that she wanted to get married too badly and drank too much because of that. She tries to leave and Yul tells her not so fast.
Hye Joo hears from the driver about what happened. The staff thinks Da Jung drank too much because she was worried Yul wouldn’t marry her, and she ended up spending the night here. Hye Joo asks the driver again if that woman asked Yul to marry her? In Ho comes out and tells Hye Joo that today is the first day of the PM’s term of office. He wonders about Nam Da Jung, the girl who helped get Yul here. Hye Joo warns In Ho that Da Jung is not the kind of woman he thinks she is. In Ho says Hye Joo should be grateful to Da Jung even if she doesn’t like her. In Ho thinks Da Jung is a good person. Yul comes out and off they go.
Da Jung is sitting at Yul’s desk waiting to leave after the kids have left. She hears someone coming so quickly hides behind the desk. Man Se comes running in and hides next to her. They avoid detection from his nanny who knows he’s avoiding going to kindergarten again.
Man Se asks what she is doing here and she claims to be cleaning. Da Jung wants to leave but Man Se uses fake tears that he can be all alone because that is how it always is. He gets Da Jung to stay and spend time with him.
Yul is being driven to the day’s official activities and he wonders if Da Jung really wants to get married that bad. Yul is warned that his PM activities will be non-stop and will require every ounce of his energy. We see a fantasy montage of Yul going through one activity after another until he’s literally delirious.
The car pulls up and Yul gets out to greet his meeting with all the congressman and ministers. He cancels all the meetings and wants to see all budget for the PM. He also wants the budget for all the official events being held this year. The staffers are all dismayed.
Da Jung is showing Man Se how to make origami frogs and talk turns to the bedroom they are in being his dad’s bedroom. Man Se says this place is safest because his dad is OCD and no one is allowed in.
Da Jung gets up to investigate and she opens his underwear drawer to confirm that he wears briefs. Omo she is really curious about that. Her reporter instinct comes out and he imagines him working at the desk looking all sexy, and then reading in the bed looking even sexier. Da Jung sees him putting on a suit and then she opens the door to the bathroom and imagines Yul in a bathroom fixing his wet hair and turning to give her a sexy smirk. She fairly swoons and has to quickly snap out of her reverie.
Da Jung is folding another thing for Man Se and sees him biting his thumb which he says is because he’s hungry. He ate two bowls of rice in the morning but is still hungry and asks her for bread. Da Jung thinks he’s not really hungry but Man Se insists he is. Da Jung pulls him into her embrace and asks if he always gets hungry when he’s bored? She was like that too when she was small, but when her dad pulled him tightly into his arms she wouldn’t be hungry anymore. She asks if he’s not hungry now but he pouts that he’s still hungry. She tickles him and makes him laugh. The nanny comes and asks why Da Jung is still here. Da Jung leaves and Man Se cries as he runs after her. The nanny complains that Da Jung looks like a sly fox and that is how she lured the innocent Prime Minister. Da Jung can hear Man Se crying as she leaves.
Da Jung realizes she forgot her purse in Yul’s office and heads to grab it. She encounters a handyman changing a light bulb and gets a good look at his face.
Yul comes home that night and gets a report on Man Se meeting Da Jung today. Man Se grabs Yul’s cell phone and texts on it without his dad noticing. The nanny says she used her wiles on Man Se, folding frogs for him and spending the morning in Yul’s room.
Da Jung says in the phone to her dad that she’s not really dating the Prime Minister. Turns out she’s not on the phone and is just practicing. Da Jung receives a text from Yul’s phone asking her come to the Prime Minister’s residence in the morning or else she’s dead. Da Jung imagines her usual overwrought scenario about what Yul wants to see her for. He’s so upset she came to her room and sat on his bed. He accuses her of using this to force him to marry her. Da Jung tries to explain she got drunk and doesn’t really want him to marry her. Yul has his guards drag her out and placed under arrest. Da Jung snaps out of this reverie and says Yul can just have her arrested so why call her to his house?
Da Jung goes to see Yul the next morning and he asks why she came. She shows him the text and he realizes Man Se sent her a text from his phone. Adorable Man Se is outside waiting for Da Jung to arrive like a guy waiting for his girlfriend. He has to be hauled inside by the nanny since his dad is so upset right now.
Da Jung’s Scandal News team is trying to get inside the Prime Minister’s residence for an interview but are barred. Reporter Byun comes up and derides them for being a low class publication. He tries to flash his card to go in but is also barred because today’s event is not open to the public. The Scandal News team insult him right back.
Yul admits to Da Jung that Man Se sent the text. She’s relieved and wants to leave quickly. Yul says there is a luncheon today and Da Jung understands and will quickly sneak out. As Da Jung is leaving, the nanny brings in a handyman to fix the office and Da Jung brings up seeing another handyman here yesterday to fix the bulb. The nanny says the handyman was off yesterday.
We see the fake handyman is now a waiter at the luncheon. Joon Ki arrives at the luncheon with his wife Yoon Hee and their son. Yoon Hee looks around for the girlfriend but Hye Joo walks up to them and the greetings are curt and abrupt. Yoon Hee derides Hye Joo as staying so young through getting lots of treatments.
Turns out the guy wasn’t able to bug Yul’s office yesterday because Da Jung interrupted him. Yul asks her for a favor – if that guy failed yesterday he’ll try again today and only the wait staff is allowed in today for the luncheon. He wants Da Jung to attend the inaugural luncheon to find the spy since she saw his face. Da Jung points out that she’s not exactly dressed for a public event. Yul will send Hye Joo to help her but specifically tells her to fix her hair. Da Jung doesn’t know what exactly he means by fixing her hair.
Yul puts his hand on Da Jung’s hair to fix it and his cuff link gets stuck on her curls. She starts howling and outside Yul’s two guards are fairly overcome with what sounds like shrieks of pleasure from inside the office.
Hye Joo arrives and hears the girl screams but the guards want to keep her from going in to interrupt. She barges in just as Yul disengages his cuff link from Da Jung’s hair. Yul tells Hye Joo to dress Na Jung up and leaves the office. He notices his two bodyguards looking rather weirded out. Hye Joo is fuming about Da Jung is always hanging around. If she does then it’ll be hard to release news of their break up.
Yul goes to the party and talks with Joon Ki who fake congratulates him on becoming Prime Minister. Yul tells Joon Ki to stop finding out information about him through others. If he’s interested then he can ask him directly, hinting that Joon Ki is the one who ordered the spy to plant a wire.
Da Jung arrives all decked out in a sequined little black dress with a plunging back. All eyes are on her as she walks in with a beaming smile and heads straight for Yul. I love that Yul totally stares at her, and so does In Ho.
Joon Ki goes to talk with Hye Joo, asking if she’s celebrating alone. He can’t believe she participated in cooking up the fake dating news. Too bad the girl isn’t very believable, he would believe it if the girl was Hye Joo. She asks him to stop battling with Yul because its gone on long enough. Joon Ki says Hye Joo being like a sunflower around Yul for the last 20 years is what has gone on long enough. As a rebellious 15 year old girl and the college oppa who helped set her straight, isn’t her gratitude towards him too much? Hye Joo ends the conversation to leave but Joon Ki says her nickname in college was Kwon Yul’s Protector but that nickname doesn’t fit now. Hye Joo says Yul needs a protector now more than ever because of people like Joon Ki around.
Da Jung is holding Yul’s arm as they walk the floor and he complains about her dress being too short. Da Jung says all of Ruby’s dresses are like that. Yul thinks Ruby is the name of a dog and Da Jung points to an idol girl at the party named Ruby and she borrowed a dress from her. Yul sees that Na Ra’s favorite singer is this Ruby and wants to take away her TV privileges for liking such a skanky singer.
Man Se comes to find Da Jung and they happily head to the back where she keeps making origami frogs for him. Da Jung tells him not to use his dad’s phone to call her. Man Se is fine with it and he’ll use his house phone to call her. In Ho comes over and offers to fold origami for Man Se but he rolls his eyes at In Ho and walks away.
In Ho compliments Da Jung on looking very beautiful in the dress. He’s really happy to be able to see her again. She spots the fake handyman being a waiter now in the kitchen. She gives In Ho his description and In Ho relays it to the security guards but the guy is too quick and makes his getaway.
Da Jung goes back to the luncheon and she’s seated at the same table with Yoon Hee and the other political wives. Da Jung has heard of Yoon Hee before because she’s the daughter of a chaebol family and also 15 years earlier she was snapped dancing with a guy at a club and it caused quite a stir. Everyone’s jaws drop and Da Jung continues by saying that her family buried by news and got the newspaper editor fired, who happened be the editor of Scandal News.
Woo Ri and Na Ran run into their cousin who points out that their future step-mother is here. Na Ra and Woo Ri look over to see Da Jung seated at the wives table. Cousin thinks they ought to go help Da Jung since his mother will make mincemeat out of her. Woo Ri says his mother will only embarrass both sides if she tries.
The other wives ask Da Jung why she brought it up, was it to embarrass Yoon Hee. Da Jung apologizes sincerely because she doesn’t know how to make polite talk and she didn’t mean to upset Yoon Hee. Yoon Hee starts to insult Da Jung – she thought the Prime Minister would like someone elegant and refined. The other wives pipe up that the PM is just a man and likes them young. Da Jung refuses to be insulted and says the PM is attracted by her youth and vitality.
Yoon Hee says Da Jung is pursuing a widower who has been alone for 7 years so clearly he can’t hold back. Da Jung asks they not insult Yul but Yoon Hee says she might as well go be an actress rather than a reporter with how well she’s acting the part of the angry girlfriend right now. Da Jung insists she is really dating Yul and Yoon Hee asks if they are planning to get married soon. Da Jung can’t answer so Yoon Hee calls her a liar and creating this huge lie is hookwinking the entire nation. Da Jung speaks up and says they will get married soon.
Yul arrives and overhears this. Yul pulls her aside and yells at her. Da Jung tries to explain that the women were insulting him. Yul says she’s not his girlfriend so it has nothing to do with her. He asks how she will handle it when news breaks.
Later Yul gets a call from Hye Joo that they have caught the spy and its a small tabloid reporter who wanted to take pictures of the inside of the residence. Yul sends Da Jung home but she knows she caused another problem and asks how to solve it. Yul says last time she admitted to dating him, so what to do this time? Yul suggests they get married and asks if this sounds good? Da Jung asks if they can’t do that? Can’t they just get married?
Yul asks if she really wants this? Da Jung doesn’t answer and he pushes her again if she really wants this? Da Jung says yes, she wants it, but not a real marriage but a contract marriage for six-months. She then realizes that he has a public image and says the contract can be for the duration of his term. Yul asks again and she says yes again. Yul stands up and says yes, let’s get married.
Hye Joo and In Ho are walking back to the residence and In Ho says its all thanks to Da Jung that they caught the spy. Hye Joo spills the beans and says Da Jung only say the spy because she got drunk and stayed over at the residence. She has also been begging Yul to marry her. Does he still think Da Jung is a nice girl?
Yul says he’ll marry Da Jung and she thanks him profusely. He then walks around the table and gets close to Da Jung and says he won’t do a contract marriage. They are not kids and this isn’t playing house. It’s going to be for real, including sleep in the same bed. Yul presses Da Jung up against the wall, and says that once they are on the same bed, he doesn’t need to explain what happens afterwards. Da Jung asks why he is suddenly like this? Yul asks why she’s do desperate to marry him? After being the PM’s girlfriend for a few days she’s that desperate to be the PM’s wife. So desperate she’ll even take a man with three kids.
Yul stands back and tells Da Jung to listen carefully. He will never get married. And if he does, it will never be to a woman like Nam Da Jung. Yul goes back to his desk to work and Da Jung leaves.
Da Jung runs into In Ho outside and she cheers up a little to see him. In Ho asks if she’s leaving now and she’s happy the spy has been caught. He thanks her for her help. She notices he seems off and asks what happened? In Ho says he heard something scarier than a spy and it’s the story of a scary woman. There is a woman who wanted to get close to a powerful man using the excuse they were dating, and then haranguing him to get married. He heard she slept over here the other day, but it’s over now. It’s not all her fault since In Ho gave her the excuse to get close to Yul, but its his own fault for thinking she was innocent and kind. But in truth she’s a shallow and materialistic woman and he doesn’t want to see her again. Da Jung admits to being this kind of woman and she really did want to marry Yul. She apologizes to In Ho and walks away.
Yoon Hee tells her husband Joon Ki about what Da Jung said that she was getting married to Yul. Joon Ki gets a report from his staffer that the “package” didn’t arrive. Yoon Hee is desperate for the marriage not to happen because she can’t call that woman Mrs. Prime Minister. Joon Ki says she is in over her head, those two will be releasing break up news soon.
Da Jung is walking home and thinks back to her sick dad. She doesn’t mind being called all these names because she did ask Yul to get married. Yul is getting ready to leave for work and thinks back to Da Jung asking to get married and realizing she can’t be saying something like that so easily. He tells himself that it’s none of his business. He notices his phone is missing and we see little elf Man Se sitting next to the sofa calling on Yul’s phone. He calls Da Jung but Yul quickly hangs up.
Da Jung is visiting her dad at the hospital and stepped away when the call comes from Yul’s phone. It ends before dad can answer it. Da Jung tries to explain about her and the Prime Minister….but dad cuts her off and says he understands that she’s getting married soon and can’t visit him as much anymore. He’ll just be happy that he gets to hold her hand and walk her down the aisle. After that he can die at any moment and he’ll be content. Da Jung starts tearing up and has to step outside to compose herself.
Yul puts Man Se in a time out for continuing to contact Da Jung. Man Se cries and cries as Yul orders him never to contact Da Jung again.
Yul gets a call from Da Jung’s phone and he curtly tells her Man Se dialed her and she doesn’t need to worry when Da Jung’s dad speaks up and calls him “Kwon son-in-law”. Dad asks Yul to hurry up and get married, preferably within six-months. Yul sits in his office and thinks about six-months and wonders by both Da Jung and her dad have the same time frame?
Yul gets from Hye Joo a complete background report on Da Jung’s dad. Hye Joo tells Yul that she knows Da Jung asked Yul to marry her and Yul needs to not worry about Da Jung because she clearly approached Yul with ulterior motives. Hye Joo is relieved to hear he won’t marry Da Jung and goes off to prepare the break up press release.
Yul reads the file on Da Jung’s dad and keeps thinking back to Da Jung begging him to marry her. He realizes that her dad doesn’t have much time left. The nanny comes and asks Yul to go read Man Se’s journals. Turns out he’s not eaten all day and just keeps crying. Yul goes to Man Se’s room where he’s already sleeping. Yul looks at two origami frogs, a happy one reads “ahjumma” (Da Jung) and a mean one reads “appa”. Yul flips through his journal and reads about how Man Se likes the nice ahjumma who saved him from the bad reporter. That ahjumma held his hand and pushed him on the swing, she folded origami frogs with him, and when she held him in her arms it made him so happy. It ends with how he wishes she could be his real mom. As Yul is thinking, he gets a call from the Blue House but we don’t hear what the conversation is.
Da Jung goes to find Ruby who is doing charity work making kimchee with kids. She hands Ruby back the dress and heard Ruby tossed her old clothes. Ruby wants to give Scandal News the exclusive in return which is why she called Da Jung here.
Da Jung runs and hides when she sees Yoon Hee and the rest of the political wives arriving for the charity event complaining about where all the reporters are. One wife asks if the PM marries that rude woman will she be a part of their group. Yoon Hee says that rude snotty girl will not marry the PM. After Yoon Hee walks away, the other two wives ask why Yoon Hee hates Da Jung that much and one wife says Yoon Hee hates any talk about her past.
Da Jung apologizes to Ruby and tries to leave but she’s stopped by a rubber glove tossed at her head. She stops to talk with Yoon Hee who asks why she is here? Da Jung explains she is just here for an interview but Yoon Hee wants to ask her to come clean and admit she’s not marrying the Prime Minister. Da Jung says nothing and the other wives tell her to confess. Da Jung finally says she’s not marrying the Prime Minister and she’s sorry for saying it before. Yoon Hee keeps on insulting Da Jung and includes insulting Da Jung’s parents for not raising her well. Da Jung asks how ladies like Yoon Hee can be so rude and insulting.
Yoon Hee doesn’t not take kindly to being talked back to and is about to slap Da Jung when Yul arrives and asks her to stop. Yul turns to Da Jung and says she is really disappointing. How can she get into a fight with someone when she’s about to become the Prime Minister’s wife? Is that the behavior of the future Prime Minister’s wife? Everyone turns to stare at Yul. He tells the ladies that they need to go do their charity work and he’ll send over another 1000 cabbages for them to pickle. LOL.
Yul drags Da Jung off and when they alone she asks why he told that lie back there. If he wanted to help her he didn’t need to do that. Yul says he didn’t do anything to help her, he just told the truth. Da Jung is still confused and Yul asks if she can’t figure it out? Yul is here to talk to her about getting married. Yul looks at Da Jung and he says with a twinkle in his eye “Ms. Nam Da Jung, you’re going to have to marry me now.”
Thoughts of Mine:
This episode worried me in thinking that the story would resort to superficial misunderstandings about Da Jung’s intentions in asking Yul to marry her. Thankfully it was once again cleared up quickly, and before that happened it was a relief to see Yul thinking about what Da Jung said and trying to make sense of it beyond she’s just a gold digger. His gut tells him something is off and she’s not someone to do anything without a good reason. I love that he sees that about her through their every conflict. Da Jung continues to impress me with her quick thinking and ability to accept the slings and arrows tossed at her without resorting to cheap shots. When insulted by Yul and In Ho, she takes their harsh words because she knows its easy to misunderstand. The thing she can’t handle is when others insult the people she cares about, and she doesn’t even realize it but she clearly cares about protecting Yul against those political wives who put down their relationship. She’s got such a big heart and a streak of toughness, which makes her all the more perfect to be with Yul as he navigates the treacherous waters of politics.
Now that the euphoria has died down a bit and the story ramps up, I’m a little worried that all the side characters are going to remain so superfluous. The Scandal News team had a blink and miss it appearance, In Ho is just rather blank not to mention his appreciation-turned-disillusionment with Da Jung feels rather abrupt, Joon Ki is wearing the token cackling villain hat even down to employing spies to plant bugs in the Prime Minister’s mansion, and Hye Joo just has a one-track mind and I would like her better if she confessed to Yul her feels rather than being so repressed all the time. I loved the arrival of the politico wives, those cackling harpies are going to be great comic fodder and fantastic for Da Jung to take down all the time. Man Se is already putty in Da Jung’s hands but I foresee Na Ra and Woo Ri being much harder to win over. I think the contract part of the marriage is the intimacy between husband and wife, but in all other aspects Da Jung and Yul are going to be a married couple to the world and within their own house to the kids. As such, this is one set up that is really going all the way and I’m loving it!
Click here to watch Prime Minister and I.