I wanted the return of Not Dead Na Young in episode 14 of Prime Minister and I to be akin to ripping a band aid off a wound. Fast and furious with a momentarily twinge of a pain. Sadly that did not come to pass, we didn’t get to see her return and then get shipped off in one episode much as that was all she deserved. It’s annoying that a story that has taken its time to develop interesting lead characters has to spend precious time now on a character no one cares about just because she’s like a critical tree in the road blocking what was a smooth ride to the finish line. If I strip away all the Na Young-related scenes in this episode, everything else remains just that perfect PM flavor. Yul and Da Jung are openly affectionate towards each other and their mutual understanding and respect continues to drive everything they do for each other. In Ho wallows in guilt and self-pity and I still have a “do not give a damn” face on whenever he shows up onscreen. Hye Joo stays true to her awesome self in trying to suss out Joon Ki’s nefarious plans for Yul and she gets a proper response from Yul with respect to her confession. It’s refreshing to have a drama where the second female lead is way cooler and more interesting than the second male lead since it’s such a rare occurrence.
Usually people see a hot guy and immediately get second lead shipping syndrome regardless of what kind of character he plays (*cough* Marry Him If You Dare *cough*) but no amount of Yoon Si Yoon can make me like In Ho other than pity him for being such a clueless kid who is now in way over his head. I’m thankful that none of the antagonists in this drama are full blown evil and the resolution of all conflicts have thus far been a mixture of forgiveness and understanding. That likely means the return of Na Young may be addressed in a way where she can reclaim her role as a mother but not as a wife. She can have a future with her own kids but her marriage to Yul is over and may he and Da Jung have the strength to forge ahead in their unorthodox romance without being tied down to societal norms. So what if she’s not dead? Yul can still divorce her and marry Da Jung, scandal be damned. I loved episode 14 for every perfect scene between the OTP and their certainty that they love each other being openly acknowledged is a sign the story won’t veer into some sort of attempted reconciliation between Yul and Na Young. All we need is for Na Young to own up to all her failures, accept the consequences of her own actions, and then the OTP can put it all behind them and move on together. At most the kids will have a mom and a step-mom, an occurrence that is not only common but the more love for kids the merrier. As long as Yul and Da Jung fight for each other then this drama is still taking me for a swell ride.
Episode 14 recap:
Yul confesses that he likes Da Jung and asks if she’s fine with a guy like him? Da Jung smiles through her tears which leads to Yul teasing if she was always such a crybaby? Da Jung was never prone to crying but now she feels like an idiot crying at a time like this. Yul apologizes for making her cry all the time and not keeping his promise to not make her cry. But this promise he will keep, he will never let her hand go.
Man Se storms into the room and glares at his dad and Da Jung. He asks why Da Jung didn’t sleep with him last night and then glances at the bed before stomping his foot about being deserted by ahjumma for his dad.
Da Jung takes Man Se out to get him ready for school but she’s all scatterbrained from the confession still and tells him to eat breakfast before he washes his face.
Not Dead Na Young walks up to the front of the Prime Minister’s mansion and the lady bodyguard runs up to her. How the hell does this woman just walk up to the PM’s mansion? Where are the checkpoints? The bodyguard asks who she is and tells her that she is not supposed to be here.
Joon Ki looks at his picture of sister Na Young and asks if Yul was the cause of her death? If so he won’t let Yul get away with it. Yoon Hee comes by to tell him that Hye Joo is here and asks if he really has to work with her. Joon Ki finally has a candid conversation with his wife and says he knows why she dislikes Hye Joo. He used to like Hye Joo but not anymore, he’s goal is to take everything away from Kwon Yul and it starts with Hye Joo.
Yul is heading to work and hears the bodyguards talking about a woman who was by earlier. The chubby guard thinks it’s a citizen here to lodge a complaint and they get those quite often.
Da Jung comes out to send off her hubby and fixes his necktie for him. So sweet! They smile at each other even as Yul gets into the car and is driven off. Yul’s car passes by Na Young on the road leading out of the mansion. She sees him but he doesn’t notice her despite the fact that she’s dressed in a bright orange coat like a pumpkin and is the only person walking on the entire road.
Da Jung gets to work in her wifely duties and cleans up Yul’s study. She pauses to smile when remembering Yul’s confession earlier. When she cleans up his desk she comes across the black shiny hair pin he bought for her and immediately makes the connection with Yul’s awkward attempt to ask if she wore a pin. She realizes it’s a gift for her.
Da Jung comes by Yul’s office with lunch and it’s packed in a yellow cat lunch box and the food she made is adorable though more suited for Man Se. Yul takes a bite and says its delicious and different than the spicy dokbokggi she made before. Da Jung claims that was a failed attempt and explains that her real forte is kimbap because she made it often when she had school events since she didn’t have a mom around. Yul often forgets Da Jung didn’t have a mom growing up and asks if that is the reason why she is so good to his kids. Because of her the kids have changed a lot and so has he. Da Jung asks where In Ho is and finds out he’s sick and also took his annual vacation.
In Ho lays in bed and remembers his conversation with Na Young. She tries to explain that he’s mistaken in blaming Yul but In Ho remembers his brother telling him that he was scared of Yul and wanted to leave for the US with Na Young. She finally tells him straight up that she is the cause of the accident and Yul did nothing wrong.
Da Jung calls In Ho but he doesn’t answer. She thinks he must really be sick and Yul concurs since In Ho isn’t someone to take a vacation just like that. Da Jung pins the hair clip on her hair when Yul leans down to eat and almost causes him to choke when he turns around and notices it. She asks if it was meant for her and looks good? Yul says he didn’t give it to her since he was worried she would look like a country girl if she wore it. That gets Da Jung upset and she turns to leave but Yul stops her and takes the pin off before pinning it back on for her. He smooths her hair and says this looks good. Da Jung smiles and tells him fighting before leaving. Da Jung gets a call back from In Ho which makes her even more worried.
Joon Ki is at work when Hye Joo delivers his schedule for the day. He is impressed at her professionalism and its no wonder that in 20 years Yul never realized she had a crush on him. He asks why she came to work for him and Hye Joo explains she doesn’t want to waste her career anymore and thinks working for Joon Ki is a way to get to the Blue House. She asks why he allowed her to work for him? Is it to get revenge on Yul? Joon Ki has his reason but reminds Hye Joo that working for him means she is loyal to him and she’s not looking out for Yul anymore. Hye Joo gets that and agrees.
Da Jung goes to In Ho’s apartment to check on him and the poor guy does look near death when he opens the door for her. He apologizes for bothering her but she’s the only one he could think of in his time of need. She isn’t burdened and is happy to help out. She goes to cook some food for him and her jacket brushes the packet of pictures with Na Young and In Ho’s brother and it falls on the ground.
Joon Ki and Hye Joo run into Yul who knows that as long as Joon Ki works for the President he’s not going to make it easy for Yul to get anything done. Joon Ki asks if that is all Yul is worried about and laughs that he has more to show him.
Yul asks to speak privately with Hye Joo and asks if all is well working at the Blue House? She asks if he’s angry at her but he doesn’t have a right. He just wants to thank her for all she did for him and apologize for not seeing how hard it was for her. He thinks the Blue House is the right place for someone with her talent. Hye Joo is near tears and says she won’t forget the times she worked with him. Before she leaves she warns him to beware of In Ho.
Da Jung brings food for In Ho and finds him asleep. He calls out to his hyung in his sleep and begs him not to….. In Ho wakes up to find Da Jung sitting beside his bed. He claims to be better and asks why she hasn’t left yet. She wants to bring him food but he’s not hungry despite being grateful to her. She asks what is bothering him and In Ho reveals that the person who is alive is the woman his brother loved. He thought she was died but turns out she’s alive.
Da Jung asks if this is a good thing? In Ho says it ought to be a good thing but turns out that woman is the reason his hyung is in this situation. For the last 7 years he’s been sustained on getting revenge for his brother but to find out that he was wrong makes him feel totally adrift. Da Jung doesn’t think In Ho’s brother would have been happy to know that In Ho was getting revenge for him. He would not want In Ho to live in pain and instead find happiness.
Yul is pacing in the mansion waiting for Da Jung to come home. He remembers Hye Joo warning him to be wary of In Ho. Da Jung is heading back home when she sees a picture of Na Young on the ground. In Ho quickly grabs the picture and keeps Da Jung from seeing it properly. She asks if that woman is Yul’s ex-wife since she recognized her from when she reported on Yul for Scandal news. In Ho lies that he’s doing some research for Yul.
Da Jung comes home to find her hubby waiting for him. She is ecstatic but he’s grumpy and heads inside because it’s cold and she made him wait. Da Jung digs into some bibimbap and confesses she didn’t dare eat in front of a patient. Yul asks if In Ho is feeling better and Da Jung says his condition is worsened by being stressed.
Da Jung wonders why Yul said nothing about her being in a man’s apartment? Yul counters and asks what she is waiting for him to say? That he was jealous? Da Jung admits she wants to hear that he’s jealous. Yul asks if she thinks he’s that kind of guy, and then says of course he’s jealous! He’s a guy and he’ll let her get away with this just once. He asks if this is what Da Jung wants to hear? Da Jung is happy to know her guy is jealous. Yul thanks Da Jung for making him wait for her since its been years since he waited for a woman and he’s forgotten what it feels like. Yul wants to go visit Da Jung’s dad tomorrow with her. Before he heads inside she thanks him for waiting for her tonight and going to see her dad with her. Yul smiles and says there is nothing to thank.
Yul goes to his study and takes out the envelope containing paperwork to legally declare that Na Young has been missing for the past 7 years. In Ho sits in his room and stares at pictures of Na Young and his brother. He calls the shelter and asks to speak with Kim Min Jung which is the name Na Young is using now. In Ho thinks back to his talk with Na Young as he cries and asks her to not lie to him, it has to be Kwon Yul who wanted his brother dead!
Na Young assures him that he is mistaken and tells In Ho the truth about that day. She wanted to go to the US with Soo Ho and during the car drive he changed his mind and wanted to take her home rather than going to the US. He doesn’t think she will be happy even if she goes to the US with him. Na Young says she even left her kids so how can he tell her to go back now? She unbuckles her seatbelt and opens the door and says she might as well go die now! During the tussle when Soo Ho tries to stop her from jumping out of the car that is when the accident happened.
Na Young sits in her room and looks through the photo album with pictures of her kids. Clearly she’s been stalking them and taking pictures of them from afar as they’ve grown up. She takes out a recent picture of Man Se at the kindergarten and cries. Bitch, talk to my hand and cry me ten rivers and I would not care about your “grief”.
The Scandal news team takes Reporter Byun out to dinner and he wonders why those two re buttering up to him? Is it because Hye Joo has jumped ship to working for Joon Ki and they know he’s got an in with Joon Ki? The editor asks if Reporter Byun has any scoop about whether Hye Joo has something going on with Joon Ki? Reporter Byun says no comment and he doesn’t discuss the private lives of politicians. Hee Chul says Reporter Byun knows nothing and he doesn’t even have a close connection with Joon Ki. Reporter Byun’s opinion is that Hye Joo isn’t interested in Joon Ki but is instead working for him to spy on him.
We see Hye Joo rifling through Joon Ki’s desk and finds a confidential report from the Prime Minister’s office that landed on Joon Ki’s desk. She thinks Joon Ki got it from In Ho and then sees an investigation on Soo Ho inside the same folder. Joon Ki arrives and notices that Hye Joo is at work early. He clearly doesn’t trust her yet and shoots wary glances at her after she walks out. Hye Joo sits down at her desk and makes the name connection between Kang Soo Ho (who she remembers was Na Young’s psychiatrist) and Kang In Ho. She pulls up her files on In Ho and confirms they are brothers. She then remembers Joon Ki supposing that maybe Na Young had another man when she was married to Yul and Hye Joo wonders if that man was In Ho’s older brother.
Yul and Da Jung are having lunch with her dad at the hospital. Dad wants to drink with his son-in-law and Yul takes orange juice and says he’ll toast with dad using juice in lieu of soju. He pours dad a cup and they toast and afterwards dad is so happy because it’s delicious when his son-in-law gives him the drink. Yul offers to drink with dad every day and reveals that he wants to bring dad to live at the mansion from now on. That is why he came to visit him today and he apologizes for not doing it before.
Na Young sits with In Ho at the hospital cafe and explains what happened after the accident. She was rescued but lost her memory and didn’t even know how much time had passed. She regained her memory one day when she heard a baby crying. She remember her own baby, her own poor baby. How could she have left her Man Se and be living like this. She then learned that Soo Ho had become a vegetable and was in a hospice. If Soo Ha had died then she would have gone back to Yul despite everything. Even if Yul didn’t forgive her as a woman who left her husband and kids she would still have gone back to beg for forgiveness. But seeing Soo Ho in that state she couldn’t go back and be happy. She knows that she has no right to apologize but she still wants to apologize to In Ho. In Ho asks her to promise one thing.
Da Jung walks through the hospital and sees In Ho sitting in the cafe and wonders who he is talking to. She doesn’t see Na Young when she is called away.
In Ho asks Na Young not to ruin the happiness of Yul and his family. Everyone thinks she is dead and has grieved and finally found happiness again. She cannot show up now and ruin it. He asks that she doesn’t even hide and watch them, she cannot risk shattering their happiness now. Na Young asks if the woman Yul married, does Yul love her very much? In Ho says yes, he loves her very much. She wants to know what kind of person she is? In Ho says she is a warm good person. So if Na Young shows up then that person will cry. He knows what he is asking of her is cruel but she cannot return to being Park Na Young. Na Young cries and says she had no intention of returning. She is not a worthy mother to her kids and she will leave and not watch her kids from afar either. She asks In Ho to take good care of Soo Ho for her.
Yul plays hwatu with dad and dad thanks Yul for offering to bring him to live at the mansion. He is very grateful but happy here. As long as he can see they are happy then that is all he wants. He doesn’t want to be a burden on them. Yul wants to do whatever makes Da Jung happiest and minimize her worry, no, he wants to make his wife happy. So he doesn’t want dad to decline and he’s going to have to listen to Yul on this one. Dad wonders where Da Jung is and Yul thinks she may have run into In Ho at the hospital.
Da Jung finishes her meeting with the doctor and happens to see Na Young leaving. She runs out after Na Young. In Ho hears from the nurse that Da Jung is at the hospital today. Da Jung loses Na Young after she walks outside but is certain she saw her. In Ho runs out of the hospital and asks why she is outside?
Da Jung reveals to In Ho that she saw a woman who looked just like Yul’s first wife. In Ho claims she is mistaken and asks why she is here today? Da Jung came with Yul today and In Ho’s face falls when he hears that Yul is here. Suddenly Yul walks out and asks In Ho if he’s feeling better? Da Jung asks Yul if he wants to visit In Ho’s brother since he’s today and Yul shoots In Ho a look before declining since he has to leave now.
In Ho goes to his brother’s room and is relieved that neither Yul nor Da Jung ran into Na Young today. He asks his sleeping brother whether he knew that Na Young was alive all this time? Is that how his hyung has clung to life this entire time?
Yul sits in his office that night and thinks back to earlier in the day and turns out he visited In Ho’s brother already. He sees Soo Ho laying on the hospital bed and his face looks familiar. He goes to read Soo Ho’s patient chart and sees his name Kang Soo Ho. He then makes the connection with all the things In Ho said to him before.
Da Jung calls Yul outside for tea and asks why he looks so worried? Yul doesn’t know how much people can be trusted and why sometimes people turn out not to be what they appear? Da Jung asks if he’s referring to Hye Joo? Yul says he’s just speaking in generalities and perhaps it’s brought on by his first wife and now he’s worried about trusting and getting betrayed again. Da Jung says he has to trust someone to give them a chance to be trustworthy. And if they betray him, it’s not his fault for trusting them in the first place it’s their fault for betraying. Yul thanks her for yet again clearing up his worries.
Da Jung thanks him again for bringing her dad to live here and Yul says it’s just the start because they are family now. He wants to make his marriage to Da Jung a reality and asks her to marry him for real. Be still my heart.
Yul goes to Na Young’s piano and thinks to himself that he’s saying goodbye to her finally. Can he be happy now? Can he forget her now?
Yul goes to work the next morning and sees In Ho waiting for him. He sits down with In Ho at the office and reveals that he picked In Ho to be his aide because of In Ho’s eyes. He had a look of passion and clarity and it’s a look that cannot conceal sadness. He could see in In Ho’s eyes profound sadness and even if he doesn’t know why In Ho is sad he hopes that In Ho can be happy from now on. He hopes In Ho can smile from now on and be happy. Someone said that to Yul recently and it opened his heart so he wants to pass the same words onto In Ho. He hopes In Ho can find happiness now. In Ho leaves that meeting with Yul looking totally devastated and cries out in the hallway.
Da Jung thinks about herself becoming the kids mom for real once their marriage becomes real but she’s worried whether she can do a good job. Woo Ri and Na Ra come home and Na Ra is crying her guts out. Turns out the cute church oppa is going to seminary school to become a priest and all the girls at church are all devastated. Woo Ri reveals a sixth sense that someone has been following them lately. That worries Da Jung since Yul was recently attacked and she heads to pick up Man Se personally.
Hye Joo calls In Ho out to meet and reveals that she knows his older brother is Kang Soo Ho. She also knows he came to work for Yul to get revenge and even acted as a spy for Joon Ki. How can he do this?
Man Se is at kindergarten playing and Na Young is standing off to the side staring at him. Hello stalker ahjumma! Stranger danger, what horrible security at the kindergarten. Man Se kicks the ball over towards Na Young and remembers her since she comes by from time to time and stares at them. He asks who’s mom she is? Na Young doesn’t answer and simply says that she knows he’s Kwon Man Se.
Yul goes to church and stares at the altar. He takes out a wedding ring and sits down at a pew to wait for Da Jung.
Na Young starts crying as she talks to Man Se and he asks if she’s hungry? Na Young wipes her tears away and admits she is hungry. Man Se says his ahjumma told him that a hug will make the hunger go away. Na Young says the ahjumma must be nice and Man Se says she pretty and nice. Da Jung arrives and calls out to Man Se who runs into her arms. Da Jung locks eyes with Na Young who then bolts like the shady stalker she is.
Da Jung runs after Na Young who hides behind a pole and remains undetected. Grrrrr. This time Da Jung is certain the woman she saw is the supposedly dead first wife.
Hye Joo knows why In Ho wanted revenge but he can’t do it. In Ho asks for more time to resolve everything. He suddenly gets a call from Da Jung who reveals she saw Na Young and she’s alive. In Ho tries to assure Da Jung that she couldn’t have seen Park Na Young but Da Jung refuses to believe him this time. In Ho asks where Da Jung is and he’s going to see her right now. Hye Joo stops In Ho and asks what the heck he just said! How could Da Jung have seen Na Young unni! In Ho admits to Hye Joo that Park Na Young is still alive.
Yul sits in the church pew and looks at the wedding ring he’s prepared for Da Jung and wonders why she’s late. Suddenly the church door opens and Da Jung walks inside and down the aisle towards Yul. He smiles at her but she’s totally in a daze. When Da Jung approaches Yul she sadly calls out to him and then falls into his arms.
Yul drops the ring so that he can hold Da Jung and looks totally shocked at her despair. Da Jung cries in Yul arms.
Thoughts of Mine:
Don’t cry, Da Jung! Guh, poor girl looks like she got her heart ripped out and I don’t blame her. I really really detest Na Young. She tells In Ho that she’ll not go back to look at the kids and then next thing you know she’s crying in front of Man Se. She appears to be both weak and selfish and that is the worst combination in a woman who has responsibilities in life. No wonder she threw her family over to elope with her boyfriend, who turns out was the one who still had a brain and some notion of right and wrong. To think that it was Soo Ho who nixed the running away to the US idea made me laugh because the drama never showed us what was going on between him and Na Young. For all we know he was kidnapping Na Young to take her forcibly to the US and her attempt to escape cause the accident. To learn that she caused the accident and it was a a direct result of her threat to kill herself because her boyfriend didn’t want to help her run away from her responsibilities in life is just icing on the “Na Young is a loser” cake. If she wanted to leave her husband and kids, she ought to have the decency to do it properly. Divorce Yul and then move to the US after saying goodbye to the kids. But nooooo, her way is to run away like a thief in the night. I feel like Woo Ri, Na Ra, and Man Se are better off without such a weak-willed mother around to raise them. Poor Soo Ho is also a vegetable for loving the wrong woman who turns out to be a pathetic coward. In Ho may be excused for jumping to the wrong conclusion about Yul’s culpability in the accident and that I can understand but his decision to then embark on revenge against Yul is his own burden to bear. No one told him to run off and be his own person judge, jury and executioner. I’m glad to see In Ho emotionally suffer now and the only kudos I give for him is trying to keep Na Young away so she doesn’t ruin Da Jung and Yul’s hard won happiness.
I loved seeing Yul and Da Jung just blossom in each other’s presence now that they are openly in love. They still banter like before but it’s in a joking way rather than in denial. It’s amazing how fast Yul acts when he decides on something and he’s now readying to make his marriage to Da Jung a reality. In truth they needn’t do anything since they are legally married and for all the rest of society knows they are already husband and wife. He could quietly just start treating Da Jung like a wife in all respects but I was so moved that he went out of his way to present her with gestures that were meaningful between them. Moving his dad into the mansion like a real father-in-law and then giving her a ring in church as if to re-do their vows. I supposed the return of Not Dead Na Young is the only obstacle between them and happily ever after. Once Da Jung and Yul fell in love it that was it, especially since seconds leads In Ho and Hye Joo are so respectful in their crushes. I was so happy when Yul got to say thank you and apologize to Hye Joo for all she’s done for him. That was really moving and she really deserved his acknowledgment and not let her feelings be brushed aside like old newspapers. Joon Ki continues to seek to bring Yul down but I think he’s quest is nearing the end once he gets wind of Na Young being alive. At a certain point his envy and anger towards Yul will end once he realizes how much Yul has also suffered. I’m not looking forward to seeing Da Jung play the noble idiot and let Yul go back to Na Young, which we all know is in her character to do. The only silver lining is that Yul isn’t going to be manipulated by what others think is best because I believe him when he made that promise to never let her hand go. I think Yul and Na Young have a lot to discuss and work through but that’s just the process and doesn’t affect the outcome. The ending will still be the unexpected romance of a Prime Minister and a tabloid reporter finding warmth and laughter in each other.
Click here to watch Prime Minister and I.