I really want to hug Prime Minister and I like it were the cutest little puppy in the world and I it’s lucky owner. Undeterred by low ratings this drama has continued to chart a true course towards honest falling in love between two people who are both brave and deserving of those syrupy happily ever after dreams in life. The events that string together the narrative in PM smells of the improbable and rings of the absurd if we were to pluck it out of context, but within the world of this drama all those things coalesce into a platform for Da Jung and Yul to naturally and sincerely fall in love. We’ve chuckled with them and cried for them, and in episode 12 they take our hearts out on a stroll into the moonlit night and returns it intact with a bow on top. My OTP finally says everything that is on their minds and bravely chooses each other without any artifice or caveats. I knew they would be the type of people who would be all in when they make up their hearts and minds and neither disappointed me in the least. This episode was so amazingly good with the OTP conversations it might stand the test of time on how to let two people struggling with love discuss things openly with each other without misunderstanding and a boatload of patience. I love Yul and Da Jung so much, together and individually, and through their eyes and interactions I also have grown to care for the people around them.
Joon Ki with his inferiority complex and misapplied anger towards Yul, Hye Joo with her devotion and fierce spirit, In Ho with his torn loyalties and misguided revenge, and Yoon Hee with her lack of love and support from her husband. Yul and Da Jung have treated everyone around them with such understanding and acceptance that it helps me see the supporting characters as less narrative plot device and more interesting folks in their own right. The same can’t be said for the late to the party first wife Na Young who is indeed not dead but I could care less why. Unless she had amnesia for the last 7 years then nothing can excuse her faking her own death and leaving a grieving husband and kids behind. I worried that her return would stymie the final relationship push between Yul and Da Jung but thank the drama lords those two crossed the final hurdle at the end of episode 13. I let out a major sigh of relief in between my whooping and hollering in joy. Now I can look forward to Yul and Da Jung working through the Na Young is alive bombshell together, and there is nothing that a nice legal divorce with the first wife can’t do to resolve this unexpected barrier in the road. In addition to resolving all the remaining big problems, please let it be filled with lots of kisses between the OTP and a couple of bed scenes. Da Jung and Yul have so much pent up chemistry I’m thisclose to reaching into the screen and locking them in a room together and throwing away the key.
Episode 13 recap:
Da Jung tells Yul that she will never leave his side because she loves him. He tells her to stop joking but she’s not joking in the least. She thinks to herself that she is like Sherherazade not wanting to leave the sultan after her stories are done. They stand there staring at each other.
Breakfast the next morning is simmering in awkwardness that the kids pick up. Man Se asks directly whether Dad and Da Jung fought but the parents assure the kids that is not the case. Man Se is annoyed they tell him not to fight with his friends and here they are fighting with each other. Woo Ri tells them its okay to fight but let them know beforehand since it’s causing them to lose their appetite to watch.
Yul heads out first and Da Jung runs after him. Yul clearly intends to take what she said as a joke and Da Jung doesn’t push him further. She merely asks him not to feel awkward around her especially in front of the kids otherwise it’ll add to their worries.
In Ho is outside the mansion waiting for Yul and keeps thinking back to seeing Na Young outside the hospital. He tries to convince himself that he was mistaken in who he saw.
Joon Ki gets an update from his secretary who did his own research into the accident 7 years ago. He has nothing new to add what with the police reports and surveillance video all being tossed since it’s so long ago. Joon Ki then receives the shocking news that Hye Joo quit her post with Yul.
In Ho heads to Yul’s office and asks him how to handle Hye Joo’s resignation? Shall they process it? Does he think she will come back? Yul wants to wait a bit but doesn’t think she will come back. Nevertheless he doesn’t want her to leave like this. In Ho thinks Hye Joo’s fate with Yul started even before he married Na Young but Yul reveals it was way earlier than that. In Ho changes the subject and asks about Na Young’s accident 7 years ago? Did Yul file a missing persons report? If he had filed a report, then after 5 years she would be declared legally dead. Yul never filed because he knows she’s gone but doesn’t want to acknowledge it legally. In Ho asks about now and will Yul want to file? Yul sighs and agrees it’s time to file. In Ho heads out to prepare the paperwork for Yul.
Hye Joo is at the gym when she notices Da Jung walking in looking around. Da Jung is so happy to see Hye Joo and grabs her arm and drags her off to have noodles. Hye Joo is curious how Da Jung knew she was working out here and then always came to the same place to eat afterwards. Da Jung confesses that she followed Hye Joo when she was still working at Scandal News. One thing Da Jung discovered was that Hye Joo is a very loyal person and sticks with the same routine for years on end and frequents the same establishments.
Hye Joo agrees she is that type of person so Da Jung asks why the sudden change and leaving Yul. Hye Joo tells Da Jung its not worth trying to persuade to go back. She’s liked Yul for the last 20 years, just like Da Jung likes him now. She wants to put an end to her first love now. Hye Joo gets up to leave and tells Da Jung that she always ordered so much while eating here not because she ate it all but because it was embarrassing to be eating alone so she ordered so much.
Yul broods and thinks back to his marriage with Na Young and ends with seeing the pictures of her with In Ho’s brother and putting his wedding ring away in the desk.
In Ho meets with a lawyer who has prepared all the paperwork for filing a legally dead person’s report. In Ho asks for the lawyer to investigate whether Park Na Young’s credit cards have been used or she’s left the country? The lawyer wonders why the need and In Ho thinks she might just be missing. The lawyers laughs that she would have to be purposely hiding herself away all this time if she’s actually still alive but he agrees to look into it.
In Ho visits his brother and is told his situation has stabilized. He sits down and wonders aloud whether he saw wrong but he really thinks he saw Na Young.
Da Jung brings a snack to the hard studying Na Ra who is determined to improve her grades to make herself worthy of the cute oppa who isn’t just musically talented but also super smart.
Da Jung gets called out to meet Yul and she walks through a library and pauses when she sees him reading in the stacks. Yes, your hubby is gorgeous girl so go right on ahead and keep staring. She quietly walks towards him until he notices her. Da Jung asks why he called her here and Yul asks if she’s hungry? They head to the university cafeteria and Da Jung asks if he was a good student here? Yul says of course, he was always first place in school. Da Jung never got first place before and pouts.
Yul suddenly asks who Da Jung’s first love was and causes her to choke on her food. She wonders why this question but Yul is just curious. Da Jung’s first love was a kid in kindergarten who then moved and then later in 4th grade it was a very popular kid in class. Yul laughs and asks if that counts as a first love? It’s just a one-sided love and a first love needs to be mutual. Da Jung is about to say that her first love is……and then stops to ask why she has to tell Yul. This feels just like an interview. Yul says he’ll make it an interview then and asks why Da Jung likes him? She said that she likes him, so why does she? Da Jung asks if that is the reason he brought her here?
Hye Joo goes drinking with Joon Ki and he wonders why she came since she’s so angry at him. Hye Joo knows he had nothing to do with Yul getting stabbed and she could tell by his expression that afternoon when she chewed him out. But she was so angry that day and wants to clear up the misunderstanding now. She is planning to go on a trip because she’s ending the pathetic first love that Joon Ki urged her to end.
Yul and Da Jung sit in the campus auditorium staring at a piano on stage. Yul explains that his first wife was his first love. A woman who was passionate and sensitive, a woman who needed Yul no matter what. She was completely different than Da Jung. Today all those places Yul took Da Jung were places he has a memory with his first wife. This auditorium is where he proposed to his first wife after her performance. He doesn’t think Da Jung’s feelings for him are love, it’s more pity and sympathy, like a teacher would feel for a student. Da Jung wants to rebut it but then says she is fine if Yul calls it that but can’t she be allowed to have that?
Yul points out that he’s much older than her and married before. He’s experienced love already and has no more expectation towards romance. He doesn’t want to fall in love again. Da Jung asks if he still loves his first wife? Is that the reason? Yul replies by asking “what if it’s the opposite?”
Joon Ki asks Hye Joo what she thinks if Na Young had another man in her life other than Yul. Hye Joo thinks that is impossible and she’s always loved Yul. Joon Ki doesn’t know since he wasn’t that close to Na Young during that time. Hye Joo doesn’t think so, other than going to see a psychiatrist nothing else was going on in her life. Joon Ki asks if Yul would forgive Na Young if she did have another man in her life?
Yul confesses that he can never forgive Na Young. She fell in love with another man, and though he was in anguish he could forgive her. Even if she wanted to leave him and the kids and go to the US, he could forgive her. But he can never forgive her for leaving them forever. The last words she left him were that she was very lonely. So she died lonely and without asking for his forgiveness. He cannot forgive her for leaving like that and making him feel so angry at himself for making his wife that way.
He didn’t know how lonely his wife was and how many tears she cried, he never once looked back at her. So could a man like him have the right to love another person again? Da Jung likes Yul? In truth he’s wavered towards her and his heart has beat faster because of her. When he sees her smile he thinks she’s beautiful. But he doesn’t have the courage anymore to love another person. He worries about her being lonely and scared because of him. Da Jung cries listening to all of this. Yul sighs and leaves the auditorium while Da Jung processes everything.
Joon Ki asks where Hye Joo is planning to go and she laughs that as long as she can get the ticket fast and go somewhere far then she doesn’t care where. He tells her to call after she gets back since she’s unemployed and she points out that he’s also unemployed. He asks her to promise that she will come back but Hye Joo can’t make that promise. If a hottie overseas finds her she might stay there. Hye Joo gets a call from In Ho and makes plans to see him. Joon Ki asks if In Ho is coming from the hospital and Hye Joo says yes. After Joon Ki leaves Hye Joo suddenly realizes that Joon Ki knew about In Ho being at the hospital.
In Ho asks the nurse to take special care of his brother and the nurse promises to also tell the volunteer workers to be careful around his brother. In Ho asks about those volunteers and is told they are from a nearby Catholic church. In Ho asks if there is a volunteer named Park Na Young?
Da Jung comes home and peeks into the piano room and thinks about Yul saying that he cannot forgive himself after his wife left him with only the words that she was so lonely. Da Jung is so sad thinking of how much pain Yul has been carrying around all this time.
Da Jung takes the kids to the Discovery outdoor gear store to buy new Winter coats. She picks out coats for the kids like Yul asked and wants to buy one for Yul. Woo Ri tells her to pick one out for herself and then selects a pretty red one which makes Da Jung happy. Yul calls Woo Ri to explain that he is out for work and not coming home today. Na Ra pokes her head in and asks if Da Jung fought with their dad again? Da Jung claims she didn’t but Na Ra pooh-poohs her excuses and says she can tell from Da Jung’s face that something is wrong.
Yul and In Ho pull up at a hotel and when they walk into the lobby there is Yul’s entire family playing rock-paper-scissors there. The family walks over and Da Jung smiles at Yul and asks if he’s surprised? After the kids are taken up to the hotel room, Da Jung confesses that the kids are on break right now so she thought it be nice to take them to the beach while Yul is also here for work. She takes out a blue coat she bought for Yul and tells him to go to work and she’ll take care of the kids. Da Jung calls the kids over and takes them down to the beach.
Da Jung stands on the beach as the kids play in the sand. She wonders if she did the right thing but tells herself not to over think it and just have fun. In Ho walks by and Da Jung is happy to be here to check out the beach and also see In Ho. He adds that she also gets to see Yul and asks if it’s a buy one get one free deal for her. He pretends to be upset and Da Jung tries to bribe him with coffee. In Ho laughs and assures her that he is just joking. The kids call and everyone goes to play in the water and take pictures.
Yul puts on his new coat and heads down to the beach to join the family. Man Se explains all the fun they’ve been having and Da Jung has been taking pictures for them. Na Ra wants to take another family picture but Man Se points out that Da Jung is part of the family as well and needs to be in the picture. He makes Da Jung hand the camera to In Ho and then she walks over to join them. Man Se chides Da Jung for standing to far apart and pulls her close right next to Yul. In Ho snaps a picture of the happy Kwon family.
It’s dinnertime and the kids are eating in the hotel room. Yul wanted to head out to eat but Da Jung doesn’t want the kids eating out too much. She puts a pan of dokbokggi before the guys and assures them this is super delicious though the batch she made for the kids is spicier. The guys take a bite and almost choke on how much chili she put in it. Da Jung pouts and takes a bite before complimenting herself on how delicious it is. Yul claims he can make a better dish than her but Da Jung points out that he can’t even cook a bag of ramyun. The two of them banter back and forth and In Ho looks on awkwardly.
In Ho gets a call from the hospital informing him that the church volunteers are coming tomorrow morning. In Ho says that won’t work since he’s away for work tomorrow. Yul and Da Jung both ask him what’s going on since he looks concerned. In Ho says that someone he thinks is dead may be alive. Yul gives him tomorrow off so he can hurry off to find out.
Yul heads out of the hotel and runs into Da Jung outside after she’s sent In Ho off. He tells her to get some rest and she asks if he’s surprised that she showed up all of a sudden. He’s used to it so she doesn’t need to worry. Da Jung confesses seeing the beach was an excuse and she came because she had something to say to him. She doesn’t want to run away much like in the past he encouraged her to face her difficulties directly. She hopes that he can walk out of his pain soon. She understands that he can’t go into the piano room and can’t fall asleep because of his pain with his first wife.
She hopes he can smile and be happy again because his first wife dying is not his fault. It is no one’s fault so he shouldn’t be in pain from the past anymore. She repeats a few times “It is not your fault” and tells him that this is what she came to say to him. Da Jung heads inside and leaves Yul standing there with a wan smile on his face. Yul stand outside and looks out on the water.
It’s morning time and Da Jung wakes up to find Yul already gone. She heads out and sees him standing on the beach staring out into the ocean. He turns around and finds her smiling at him. Da Jung tells him to just stand there and she will walk towards him. She takes a step and says just like this. He doesn’t need to even look at her but just stand there and not move. That way she can walk towards him, one step at a time. Da Jung takes step after step towards Yul until she is standing right in front of him.
Da Jung asks Yul to promise her that he will always stand in one place and not move further from her. That is all she asks for and she will be content with that. Yul stares at her.
In Ho arrives at the hospital asking to meet the hospital volunteer but it turns out this particular volunteer is not Na Young. The volunteer explains that she’s not the one who has been taking care of In Ho’s brother and that volunteer happened to be sick today. In Ho asks where he can find that volunteer?
Hye Joo puts the pieces together with all the hints and innuendo dropped by either In Ho or Joon Ki and realizes that those two must have something going on. Smart girl!
In Ho heads to a Woman’s Shelter run by a church and finds the living Park Na Young there. Dayum, so she really isn’t dead.
Yul opens the locked piano room and walks inside to touch the piano. He remembers what Da Jung said to him about letting him and allowing himself to be happy. Later Da Jung comes back and hears a lot of noise in the living room. She walks in to find the kids all abuzz as workers move the piano into the living room.
Da Jung hears that Yul ordered it and rushes to him. Yul claims he didn’t do it because of her but she just smiles and tells him that he did well. They smile at each other and she walks him out. They both notice that In Ho hasn’t arrived yet which is odd since he’s never late. Yul gets a call from In Ho explaining a situation came up and he can’t come today. They both wonder what’s going on and if it involves the person he rushed off to see.
Yul heads to a meeting at the Blue House and is blindsided when Joon Ki arrives as a new member of the Presidential cabinet and introduces Hye Joo as his new secretary.
Da Jung watches the three kids happily plinking away on the piano. She gets a call from In Ho and heads outside to see that he’s standing there looking majorly distraught. She chides him for worrying them all today with the MIA routine and then In Ho suddenly pulls her in for a hug. She keeps asks him what’s going on? Da Jung asks if something happened with the person who he was seeing and if there was a problem? In Ho confesses that he was the problem and wipes away his tears. He releases Da Jung from the hug and tells her that he’s fine. He looks at her and worries about what’s going to happen to her. Da Jung doesn’t understand what he’s saying but In Ho says that in case she…. He doesn’t finish what he wants to say and just walks away.
Da Jung finds Yul reading on the sofa and goes to talk with him about In Ho being really odd recently and she’s worried about him. Yul sighs and confesses that today really is filled with tons of worrisome news. He saw Hye Joo today at the Blue House and she’s now Joon Ki’s secretary as he takes on a new job in the Presidential cabinet. Da Jung assures him that Hye Joo must have a reason for doing so. Yul agrees but it still hurts. To clear his mind he’s decided to read and once again it’s Arabian Nights. Da Jung wants to read to him but he says no need and instead asks why this story ends after 1000 days. What happens after the 1001st day? Da Jung wonders if maybe the sultan can sleep and he’s let go of his anger and sadness. Because he’s found peace then the storytelling is no longer necessary. Yul and Da Jung stare at each other warmly.
Yul and Da Jung wake up from a night sleeping on each other’s shoulders. Da Jung asks why Yul didn’t wake her up and he confesses that he also fell asleep. He adds that it was a restful sleep without any dreams. Da Jung is anxious and wants to take her leave thinking that he wants to end their relationship now after their talk last night about the sultan sleeping and then not needing anymore stories told afterwards.
Yul stops her and says he can’t keep his promise to her now. Yul confesses to Da Jung that he can’t keep the promise to her to stand in one place because he likes her. Da Jung stares at him in shock.
We see not-dead first wife Park Na Young arrive outside the Prime Minister’s mansion. Away with you, wench! Shoo, shoo.
Yul continues his confession and asks if Da Jung is okay with a guy like him then can he like her back? Can he like Nam Da Jung-shhi? Yul takes Da Jung’s hand and vows to never let her hand go. Da Jung cries through this entire confession while Yul smiles. She smiles back at him through her tears as he holds her hand.
Thoughts of Mine:
Who here is annoyed that the PD chose to cut into Yul’s big time manly love confession to Da Jung with the scene of Not-Dead Na Young (hey, that has a ring to it) returning to the Prime Minister’s mansion? Da hell was that for? We know she not dead so please trot her out only when absolutely necessary. Seeing her not dead ass walk back to the mansion was not necessary at that moment. That awesome moment belonged to Yul and we were huddled behind Da Jung as she took in the confession she had been hoping but not daring to wait for. She deserved it not because Yul was meant to love her but because she worked for her love with every step of the way. She was understanding when Yul pushed her away, she had patience to wait for him, she dared to express her own feelings, she asked for little steps like standing in place so she can walk towards him, and she encouraged his every breakthrough however big and small.
We saw the transformation of Yul along with her, and it was the change of a man frozen in emotional time who slowly allowed his romantic heart to beat again. They bickered and made up, supported each other and chastised each other, and together they discovered that love isn’t something that has a reason but making that love work is something that takes understanding and acceptance. I wasn’t even annoyed that Yul didn’t accept Da Jung’s confession right off the bat because she was okay with it, and then he upped her confession by taking her through a walk down his own memory lane and shared the biggest scar in his life. It was exhilarating to see Yul expose his biggest failing and fear with Da Jung, and then leaving the ball in her court. “Do you really love me if you knew the real me?” Da Jung’s response was just as gutsy as she tearfully absorbed his pain and told him that he had a right to be happy again. She didn’t push her feelings on him, she told him that he could let go of his own guilt now and if he’s still too scared to take her hand then at least stand in place so she can continue to walk towards him.
Episode 13 wasn’t just a great breakthrough episode for the OTP it also delivered big time for the other three leads. Hye Joo keeps on being her awesome self and every scene with her is now a must savor moment for me. I love her mixture of confidence and vulnerability as well as her brainy sexy self all wrapped into a fantastic package. Too bad she and Joon Ki passed each other by because were he single I would hope that he could be redeemed enough to deserve her. She absorbs cues and then acts on it, but is not so wedded to her perceived truths that she cannot admit fault. I enjoyed how she told Joon Ki about her quitting, her desire to go abroad, her incorrectly blaming him for Yul’s stabbing. She is also super perceptive and once she gets a major clue she can piece together a hypothesis based on all the previous throwaway comments by Joon Ki and In Ho. Clearly she’s working for Joon Ki rather than going abroad because she can’t stop being Yul’s warrior protector even if she wanted to. The moment he’s in danger she leaps into action, and it’s equally as comforting that Yul doesn’t jump to conclusions and knows that Hye Joo has a good reason to go work for Joon Ki.
I think Na Young’s being alive has probably resolved In Ho’s anger at Yul for the accident but now he’s in a bind because her reappearance will surely devastate Da Jung. She’s now the interloper in the eyes of the public if Na Young were to play the wrong wife card and want to return to being Mrs. Kwon Yul. I think In Ho sincerely likes Da Jung so much he wants what makes her happiest and in the recent episodes he has been respectful and caring to her without imposing his feelings. I think Yul and Da Jung will need as many people on their side when the shit hits the fan soon and In Ho could totally redeem himself by being that person. He’s the one who started this contract marriage in the first place, I’m going to sit back to see how he steps up as a friend to Da Jung to help her win the man she loves. With Yul’s personality he might give up his happiness with Da Jung to play the martyr and forgive Na Young so the kids can have their mom back, but his words at the end of this episode when he promised to never ever let go of Da Jung’s hand gave me comfort that noble idiocy might not be in the cards for the OTP. This drama remains unbelievably sensible that it continues to deserve kudos for what’s its manage to deliver thus far and a calm attitude to wait for what’s to come.
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