This was a rather oddball episode of Prime Minister and I, and I’m not even factoring in the eyebrow raising hints in the preview for the next episode. Episode 11 felt like filler yet it was decidedly meaty stuff. I’ve been angling for Da Jung to spend more time with her dad especially since he hasn’t much time left, and this episode allowed that to happen with the short separation between the OTP. We learn a whole lot more about In Ho’s brother, both his relationship with Na Young and what In Ho believes caused the car accident. I’m not sure In Ho has the whole story but it’s nice to see his character being fleshed out as conflicted rather than some devious mole. Joon Ki’s grudge match against Yul is also one where he’s not a mastermind insofar as he keeps generating one attack after another based on whatever means he has available. I enjoy not having to completely hate all the antagonists in this drama because we also see sides of them which are rather pitiable. Joon Ki’s missed chance with Hye Joo in college and his closing himself off to the yearning for affection Yoon Hee is all very sad. In Ho’s genuine affection for Da Jung becomes something that is both a crutch to his revenge plans for Yul as well as turns him into walking the same path his brother did when it comes to wanting a married woman.
Hye Joo remains increasingly courageous when it comes to her feelings for Yul and her pushing him to acknowledge his feelings for Da Jung does make some headway. This episode mostly kept the OTP at arms-length though clearly they have reached a self-awareness of their feelings for each other. The story gives them some time apart so other things can happen aside from their relationship evolution. It’s going to be a hard road to get Yul to fully embrace a future with Da Jung. He’s entrenched in the mind set that he’s never going to put her in harms way or tie her to a life with a widower who has three kids and a boatload of political enemies. Da Jung remains ever so stalwart in being true to herself and she doesn’t always buy Yul’s lies so readily. It’s clear both of them acknowledge it’s not so easy as saying “I love you” for them to have a genuine chance to make it work. What I continue to love about PM is its sincerity in presenting characters and their own motivations and thought processes without resorting to easy answers. The drama has admittedly allowed both the rom and the com to take a back seat to some quiet reflection time for everyone involved but I find myself welcoming a moment for the story to gather its bearings before speeding right back up at the end of episode 11 with a big woah-momma moment.
Episode 11 recap:
The well meaning Driver Shin arranges for Kwon Choong Ri (aka Kwon Prime Minister) to serenade his wife on their 100th day anniversary dinner. Yul reluctantly goes up but then delivers a sincere speech apologizing for making his wife cry and then singing a song to her that rather sweetly captures how she’s affected him during their marriage. Da Jung sits in the audience and smiles at this sweet gesture.
After dinner Da Jung and Yul are walking in the courtyard of the mansion and Da Jung compliments him on his great singing voice. She’s very happy today as he sang to her and took her out to eat. Yul tells her to ask for anything and he’ll give it to her though he tells her to hurry up before he changes his mind. Da Jung wants to stop writing the diary and he agrees immediately. She asks him to keep this hairstyle because it’s so good looking and he also agrees. He urges her to keep going and Da Jung asks him to allow Woo Ri to keep singing. Yul sighs but agrees to consider it.
Yul confirms she’s all done with her asks and then it’s his turn to tell her something. What Yul wants to say is to ask her to move out of the mansion. HEART. BREAK. Da Jung’s face falls and she asks what he just said? Yul stays mean and says its clear what he said, he wants her to leave him and the kids. Da Jung wants a reason and thank god she didn’t take it laying down. Yul thinks back to Joon Ki threatening Da Jung. Yul lies that she’s getting to close to him and the kids and he can’t allow that to happen. He wants her to go live with her dad and the reporters won’t be suspicious of that. He makes the excuse that he took her out to eat tonight to thank her for all she did in the past. Yul walks away leaving Da Jung crying there.
In Ho runs through the hospital and finds Joon Ki wheeling his hyung Kang Soo Ho on a walk. Joon Ki wants to know why In Ho kept this from Joon Ki? In Ho blames Yul for what happened to his hyung and that is news to Joon Ki. In Ho thought Joon Ki knew already but Joon Ki doesn’t and keeps wanting to know why Yul is to blame. In Ho says Joon Ki would be shocked if he knew the whole truth but doesn’t tell him.
In Ho puts his hyung to bed and thinks back to his talk years ago when his hyung confessed that Na Young’s husband knows about their relationship. In Ho urges his hyung to end it with the woman but his hyung won’t and instead wants to go to the US. In Ho cries and remembers his brother saying he was scared because Na Young’s husband asked to meet with him. In Ho then gets a report from the police that Yul’s car was following behind his hyung and Na Young’s car before it crashed.
Da Jung goes to the hospital with her suitcase and runs into In Ho who learns she was asked to move out. Yul walks into his now empty bedroom and looks all sad and dude I would feel bad if you didn’t kick her out yourself.
Yul finds his kids goofing around in the living room and the place is a mess. Since today the nanny is off as well, Yul orders his kids to clean up but gets back cheeky replies instead. Na Ra mutters that Da Jung said they can play as much as they want. Before leaving the mansion, Da Jung lined the kids up and told them all to protect their own rights and not have Yul order them around while she is not here. She tells them all not to do what their dad tells them in terms of studying and playing is more important.
Yul goes with the flow and says they can play today and he won’t force them to study. The kids think his idea of play is kendo and they don’t like it either. Yul asks what they want then? Man Se wants Yul to read to him but he criticizes Yul’s reading style and longs for Da Jung. Man Se asks when Da Jung is coming home? Just one night away? He can’t sleep without her around. Yul rereads the story to Man Se who gets even more irritated at his dad.
Yul tries to tie Na Ra’s hair and is a total fail as the two sides don’t line up. He’s ironing and the kids mock him and he learns Da Jung does so much for them all.
Da Jung and In Ho sit with Da Jung’s dad who wonders why his Kwon son-in-law is not here. Dad thinks they fought but Da Jung claims its no such thing and she’s just here to spend more time with him. She gets In Ho to pipe up that there is no fight. Dad wants to go eat dinner and In Ho tries to explain that they just ate together. Da Jung goes along with it and takes dad to dinner.
Yul hears from the kids what they want to eat for dinner and rejects all the choices. Hye Joo comes by after being called by the nanny. She’s brought groceries and gets to work whipping up an amazing and nutritious dinner. The kids watch in awe as she slices and dices. Everyone sits down the dinner and Man Se is super grouchy that Hye Joo is sitting on Da Jung’s seat. Hye Joo asks to sit there just for today since Da Jung is not around.
Man Se wants to eat ramyun and Hye Joo notes that Da Jung has been giving the kids bad food. Na Ra says Da Jung allows them to eat it occasionally rather than never at all. Woo Ri complains that Hye Joo’s food is too salty and Man Se says Da Jung cooks better food. Yul tells his kids to appreciate food cooked by Hye Joo’s hard work and then he compliments her on the tasty meal.
Da Jung and In Ho go out to buy some food for her dad to eat. In Ho says they should pick up some soondae for her dad and that gets her to remember Yul doesn’t like soondae. Da Jung goes to order and the lady wants to give them more since they are a newlywed couple. In Ho goes along with it and whispers to Da Jung not to let people know she is the Prime Minister’s wife.
In Ho gets a call and rushes back to the hospital because his brother appears to be alert and trying to move. In Ho looks distressed and Da Jung comforts him with a hand on the shoulder.
After dinner, Hye Joo compliments Yul on the new hairstyle and asks why the sudden change. Yul thanks her for today and Hye Joo thinks his decision to send Da Jung to her dad is the right one. She offers to do more to help him around the house but Yul immediately turns her down. Hye Joo points out how hurtful it is that Yul accepts Da Jung’s help but won’t accept her help? She’s been by his side for much longer. Why does he still treat her like an outsider? She asks how he sees her? Yul sighs.
In Ho tells Da Jung that her brother occasionally has muscle spasms like that and it’s rather scary to see. Da Jung encourages him to be optimistic and his brother will get better soon. In Ho knows he has to be strong for his hyung and for the things he still needs to do. Da Jung asks what things and In Ho plays coy and won’t tell her. That gets Da Jung more curious and she asks if it’s going smoothly? In Ho sighs and says it’s not going smoothly at all because of a certain person. He’s wavering because of a person and he doesn’t know what he should do now. Da Jung gets the feeling that whatever In Ho wants to do is not a good thing. In Ho laughs at her reporter’s intuition. Before he leaves, he tells Da Jung to just worry about her dad for now and let think too much about other things.
Da Jung goes to tuck her dad into bed and agrees with In Ho’s suggestion that she worry about her dad for right now. Yul sits at his desk working but can’t help but keep glancing at the empty bed and thinking about Da Jung. She’s sitting at the hospital and starts to write in her journal but then stops. She finds a folded frog inside the pages and thinks of Yul. He finishes working and takes another sleeping pill.
Yul and his team are out hiking and run into citizens who want to discuss their concerns with him. The bodyguards wonder when Da Jung is coming back and In Ho covers that she’s taking care of her dad. Yul sits and hears about the people’s problems and promises to work hard to address them.
Dad is chewing out Da Jung for being here for a good half month and still not going back. Da Jung claims she’s here taking care of dad but he starts thinking that Yul is cheating on Da Jung so she left her husband. Dad threatens to go talk with Yul personally. Da Jung goes to get water for her dad’s pills. She walks by the TV and hears on the news that the Prime Minister is opposing the port construction project and might be going up against the powerful behind-the-scenes chaebol groups. Da Jung is worried and thinks about calling him but doesn’t.
Da Jung gets back to the hospital room and finds it empty and her dad gone. Yul sits at his desk and looks at the hair clip he bought for Da Jung. She can’t find her dad anywhere and he’s not answering his cell. Da Jung rushes home and asks if her dad came by. She reveals her dad disappeared and Yul orders the bodyguards to look around the mansion and call the cops. Da Jung is crying and worried about her dad being outside in this freezing weather. Yul assures her that they will find her dad and she needs to not think the worst. Yul turns on his phone and sees a missed call from Da Jung’s dad. Dad chooses not to answer it to keep Yul worried.
Dad tries to go to the Blue House and instead ends up outside the legislative building trying to barge in to see his Kwon son-in-law. In Ho gets a call and goes there to retrieve him. In Ho brings Dad back to the mansion and Da Jung has been worried sick about him. Dad immediately drags Yul aside to talk. Da Jung thanks In Ho for finding her dad before rushing off. Hye Joo gets a call that Da Jung’s dad has been found. She wonders to herself if Da Jung will return this way? Hye Joo then sees an online posting about her calling her a homewrecker.
Joon Ki’s secretary asks him what’s going on with the port construction? Joon Ki is less worried about the re-assessment as he is about figuring out the connection between In Ho and Kwon Yul. He needs to deal with In Ho cautiously since he recorded all their conversations. Hye Joo barges in and throws the print outs at Joon Ki demanding to know what is going on? Joon Ki reads about how Yoon Hee is accusing Hye Joo of being a homewrecker.
Yoon Hee is having drinks with her cronies and cheering on about how they used the internet to get back at Hye Joo. We see the three of them incognito at a PC bang posting anonymously. Yoon Hee confirms they didn’t identify Joon Ki’s name in the posting. Yoon Hee then asks if they heard the rumors about Da Jung running away from home.
Yul and Da Jung try to assure dad that Yul didn’t cheat on her. Da Jung grabs Yul’s arm and acts all lovey dovey. Na Ra and Man Se peer in and then Na Ra speaks up about her dad and Da Jung kissing. Da Jung goes with it and assures her dad that she and Yul are fine. Dad then tells Yul to be more careful around the kids with their public kissing. He then tells them to go to sleep and Man Se runs in to say that he misses sleeping sleeping with Da Jung these past few days. Dad learns that the couple have been sleeping apart and gives them another talking to before watching them head into the bedroom together. Afterwards Dad pats himself on the head for coming here.
Yul and Da Jung awkwardly try to discuss what to do now. Yul apologizes for his miscalculation. He thought her dad would be happy spending more time with her but should have guessed it might worry him instead. Da Jung apologizes for coming back this way. He tells Da Jung to let her dad stay here and rest for now and the rest they can discuss at a later time. Da Jung candidly says she is happy to be back, happy to see him and the kids. This is what she wants to say to him.
Joon Ki goes home and confronts Yoon Hee on the postings about Hye Joo. She tries to explain that she never named him and she’ll delete it right now. Joon Ki asks her sincerely not to do things like this in the future to keep embarrassing him. Yoon Hee cries and apologizes but she just wanted to help him. Joon Ki warns her that if she does something like this again he’ll not forgive her. He has so much to worry him she needs to stop adding to it. After he storms out, Yoon Hee cries to realize that he just said her name and she hasn’t heard him call her name in such a long time.
Da Jung can’t sleep on the bed and Yul works at his desk but both of them keep sneaking looks at each other.
Joon Ki gets a report in the morning that prosecutors are looking into Yong Shim Group (Yoon Hee’s dad’s company) in connection with the port construction project. Yul is being briefed on this when Joon Ki comes storming in asking if this is Yul’s way to get back at him. Yul says this is not personal and has nothing to do with them. Joon Ki warns Yul that he’s going after Chairman Na and he’s not something to be trifled with. Before Joon Ki walks out, he gives In Ho a pointed look and tells Yul to look after his internal group first. Hye Joo asks what Joon Ki means and he leaves with a warning that he’s not the only one looking to take Yul down.
Hye Joo walks out with In Ho and doesn’t think Joon Ki is kidding about what he said back there. She wonders who it is that is also targeting Yul and In Ho claims it’s him before defusing the situation by claiming he was joking. Yul sits at his desk and thinks back to what Joon Ki told him. Da Jung sends him a text to come to the church with her and the kids.
Da Jung sits in church with the kids and her dad and Na Ra lights up when she sees the cute piano playing oppa. In Ho comes in lieu of Yul who sent him to take the family home from church. Na Ra is totally mooning over the cute piano oppa and almost burns herself on the candles. Na Ra catches his attention and claims she wants to learn music as well. She introduces herself as Kwon Na Ra and the oppa greets her happily as Woo Ri’s sister.
Da Jung tells In Ho that after she takes her dad back to the hospital she plans to move out of the mansion but somewhere else. In Ho doesn’t think this is a good idea and tells her that during the marriage she needs to be either in the mansion or with her dad. Yul leaves work and we see a dastardly man watching him.
Da Jung goes to talk with Yul and overhears him and Hye Joo discussing what to do with her. Yul has decided to keep her in the mansion. Hye Joo tells him to just make his marriage with Da Jung a reality. He sent her away the first time to protect her from Joon Ki. Hye Joo points out that there could be no other reason for how much he tries to protect her than Yul really loves Da Jung.
Yul refuses to admit he likes her and only says she is in this situation because of him and he has a duty to protect her. Da Jung walks away after hearing this. Yul states emphatically that he has no intention of making this marriage a reality……even if its true that he does love Da Jung. Hye Joo leaves Yul’s office and cries that Yul finally admitted that he did love Da Jung.
Da Jung stands in the courtyard and broods. Yul comes out to inform her that she should stay in the mansion from now on. Da Jung asks if he’s doing this because he pities her and wants to take care of her? Yul tries to explain but Da Jung accepts this decision since she can’t go to her dad now but she doesn’t want him to pity her. She has her own reason for staying and that is enough reason for her to stay. Yul keeps insisting that he doesn’t feel sorry for her but he can’t get out what he really feels for her. Da Jung smiles and says this is enough.
Da Jung’s dad plays hwatu with the Kwon kids who quickly scurry away when Yul comes by. Dad apologizes for playing with the kids but Yul laughs it off since he played with his grandfather when he was a kid. Yul wonders why Dad is going back to the hospital so soon and should stay a few more days. Dad is fine now that he knows his Da Jung is fine. Yul apologizes for not being able to take Dad back to the hospital but Dad knows how busy he is. Before Yul leaves, Dad grabs his hand and thanks him for being so good. He gives Yul advice that he needs to grab Da Jung’s hand when things get tough because its fate that led them to become a couple.
Da Jung gets ready to take her dad back to the hospital and the kids come out to say goodbye. Dad gives them all money and tells them to be well until he can visit again. The kids send him off and sigh with worry. Protesters are gathered outside the Prime Minister’s office to tell him to resign for misusing his authority to investigate Yong Shim Group. Yul insists to continuing down the path.
Da Jung takes her dad back to the hospital and he reveals giving Yul a reminder not to let Da Jung’s hand go. Da Jung goes to grab a glass of water when the glass drops and shatters. She sees on the news about protesters asking the PM to resign. Dad tells Da Jung to go find Yul and she hurries off.
Yul is trying to leave work but the protesters are blocking the front. Yul goes out to address them rather than have the cops break them up or sneak out the back door. Da Jung arrives and so does the dastardly guy who has been following Yul.
Yul addresses the protesters and apologizes for them being out here in the cold to protest. He is doing this for the future of Korea and whether one agrees or disagrees he promises this process will be open and fair. The protesters quiet down and the dastardly guy sneaks to the front. Yul locks eyes with Da Jung and smiles at her, which is when the guy darts forward and shivs Yul in the side.
Yul goes down and everyone rushes forward to help him as the perp runs away. Da Jung runs to Yul’s side and pulls back a hand full of blood. Yul tries to get up but collapses.
Thoughts of Mine:
An assassination attempt is par for the course in a drama where the male lead is a political figure. Of course this being a rom-com it does feel a bit too deadly and serious but my guess is that the assassin never intended to kill Yul but mere use the knifing as a warning for him to back off on the investigation and blockage of the port construction. It’s a shame his bodyguards are useful for being wing men but totally MIA when it comes to stopping real bad guys. The drama isn’t using Yul’s brush with death as either a trolling moment for us to worry about his survival since the preview shows that he’s fine and hospitalized, but clearly it’ll be important in pushing people around him to take a good hard look at their own actions. Da Jung was rather passive in the last two episodes compared to her earlier take charge action, this time allowing Yul to dictate the terms of her residency in the marriage. I can see she’s not passive with her feelings but neither is she forcing the issue with Yul at this time. She steps forward when she needs to in expressing her own motivations for pressing forward with this marriage. I don’t need either or both of them to have a “give you up” moment for any longer than it lasted in this episode. I’m impressed with Hye Joo for really saying what’s on her mind to Yul, both asking why he keeps her away but allows Da Jung to help and then forcing him to confront the reality that he has feelings for Da Jung. In many ways she’s written with as much complexity as any female lead and it’s really just her two decades long silent crush on Yul that renders her rather pathetic because in other ways she’s spitfire brains and guts wrapped into one. No wonder Joon Ki fell for her when they were young.
I think this episode set the stage for resolving a lot of the major hang ups in the story. Joon Ki’s anger with Yul over Na Young’s death might be defused were he to learn that she was having an affair and running away with her lover when she died. In Ho’s anger with Yul might be cleared up if the accident were to be re-examined and the cause and effect is finally laid bare. I’m going with flashback when it comes to scenes showing Yul’s ex-wife in the previews for episode 12 because she’s good as a plot device but terrible as a potential obstacle. Her kids have moved on from her death, and really they would have moved on earlier had Yul been a warmer father figure around the house. If she turns out to be not dead then this drama will have jumped the shark. She’s probably dead and there is much more behind the story that she was having an affair with In Ho’s brother. She didn’t look all that happy with him in the pictures Yul saw, and I find it hard to believe a woman who just had her third baby is ready to throw it all to run away for the sake of love. So far I just need to thank my lucky stars this drama hasn’t fallen into the trap of having one antagonist pulling all the strings and being cray cray to the point of irrational insanity. I don’t feel like Yul is being obstinate with his refusal to accept Da Jung since he has so much to worry about when it concerns her happiness and security. I appreciate that Da Jung isn’t crumpled up in pain and continues to soldier on whether with respect to staying in Yul’s life or taking care of her dad the best way she can. Next week’s episodes will hopefully speed the narrative back up again and I’ll be ready with my pom-poms to cheer on the OTP if they finally make the break through in their romance that we’ve all been waiting for.
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