Here we recap and discuss episodes 10 of The King 2 Hearts. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
When Mom and Jae Shin hear about what idiot Jae Ha has ordered Hang Ah sent back to North Korea, they try to see her but for some reason stop because they hear useless Secretary Eun has already gone. We see Hang Ah tell him that she was willing to ignore North Korea’s order for her to return, but there’s no point now if Jae Ha doesn’t want her here anymore. In another confusing turn, Secretary Eun actually admits to his manipulation of their feelings and says that Jae Ha was against her testifying in the first place. He also offers to help her become queen if that’s what she really wants. Hang Ah says however that she’s just a normal girl who wants to be loved. The position of queen still scares her and if Jae Ha doesn’t even love her what’s the point of going through all this? Meanwhile, Jae Ha is touring the memorial that has been built in his brother’s honor and stops in front of a picture of Hang Ah in her engagement clothing. The Prime Minister suggests they announce that Hang Ah’s being deported to save face, but Jae Ha silences him with a glare.
Back at the palace, Hang Ah is preparing to leave but is met by Jae Shin. She tells Jae Shin that she once told her brother that there’s nothing people can’t do if they put their heart in it, but that’s apparently not true. Ouch. Jae Shin pleads with her to stay or to at least come back when relations are better between their countries, but Hang Ah apologizes and has no intention of coming back. As she rides away, we see Mom watching sadly from a window.
When Jae Ha returns to the palace, he goes to check in with Mom and starts to ask if Hang Ah left safely but is interrupted by her throwing the rag she was using to wipe her plants at him. She then rips into him like only a mom can, demanding to know what happened that he would send Hang Ah back to North Korea like that and mocking him for being so petty about Hang Ah hurting his feelings. Couples fight all the time, even she fought with his dad, but the line you never ever cross is to say “let’s break up”. When she reads her son and realizes he’s the one who crossed the line, she rolls her eyes at him. When she figures out that the word “trash” is what set off Jae Ha, she’s livid at this point and wonders what he must’ve put Hang Ah through for her to say that to him, especially after the testimony yesterday. Jae Ha just blinks at her in confusion, and Mom basically demands that he go watch it himself. Oh this is going to be good.
Jae Ha goes to his office and sits down for, I’m sure, something that will make him massively regret what he’s just done. Hang Ah has reached the checkpoint between North and South and is asked to return everything she received at the palace. She goes into an empty room and slowly takes off her jewelry. We then cut back to Jae Ha watching Hang Ah being asked how she identifies herself right now. She instead ops to answer with her relationship with Jae Ha. They fight a lot, and it’s made her realize that she likes “bad boys”. But even though they fight, it’s only made them like each other more to the point where she sometimes looks forward to whatever petty tantrum he’s going to throw next. Admittedly, it’s pretty amusing for the rest of us to watch that as well. She sometimes feels like she likes him so much that it hurts, but she doesn’t care because he makes her happy. Jae Ha is fighting back tears at this point and sighs in regret. We then cut back to Hang Ah crossing the border in the hanbok she came in and crying on her dad’s shoulder once she’s out of sight of everyone else. As we see her bawling her eyes out, we hear her final answer in a voiceover: her identity is simply a woman who placed one man deeply in her heart. I dunno about Jae Ha, but that last line hit especially deep for me.
After he’s done watching her speech, Jae Ha goes back to trying to crack Jae Kang’s password. Jae Shin cruises up in her wheelchair with her new parrot friend who called him Comrade Lee Ja Ha. LOL, so very random and yet so very funny. Jae Ha should thank his lucky stars that Jae Shin is paralyzed or I swear she would’ve gone up and physically beaten him in addition to the verbal beat down she gives him about breaking up with Hang Ah. Jae Ha knows he was in the wrong in this regard and he secretly hoped someone would stop him, but both countries wanted her out so quickly that he couldn’t stop it. He laments the lack of power that he as king has and says that if he ever wants to bring back Hang Ah, he needs to figure out who caused this divide in the first place.
After Jae Shin leaves, Jae Ha continues his quest to break the Jae Kang Code. He stays up all night trying and we see him lying on the floor with the laptop beeping beside him as he rattles off everything and anything that comes to mind. He’s interrupted by an appointment he has where they’re recording reactions for a soccer game. Jae Ha is barely paying attention, but something gets triggered in his mind and he remembers an instance where he’s watching soccer with Jae Kang in the palace. He’s given up, thinking the game is over, but Jae Kang is still cheering at the top of his lungs. Jae Ha immediately leaves the recording and tries the cheer as the password. The computer beeps incorrect at him and he tries again, but this time with the clapping. Finally, the files are unlocked and while he’s happy he finally cracked it, but can’t help but scoff at his brother for including the clapping.
We then go through Jae Kang’s files, several of which he seems drunk in. LOL. He frowns at the entry about him starting a fight over SNSD, and smiles at how proud Jae Kang was of him for completing the 60 km run. The smile fades a bit as he sees Jae Kang talk about the bride candidates and how he’s pushing for Hang Ah. In that same entry, Jae Kang finally mentions Club M and this leads Jae Ha to find more files on them. Jae Ha then remembers what Hang Ah’s dad said during their conversation and also his own conversation with Bong Gu. He sees the fear in his older brother’s eyes when he talks about Club M and finally realizes that they need to be taken seriously.
The next day, we see Secretary Eun finding Jae Ha doing research into Club M in the Hall of Records. He’s found out all about the deals that they’ve made and asks Secretary Eun about whether Bong Gu was responsible for Jae Kang’s death. Being the rat bastard that he is, Secretary Eun says possibly, but it could also be someone else. Jae Ha then starts reading descriptions of Bong Gu’s personality from the press and concludes that he’s an exhibitionist. Suddenly, he remembers getting stabbed in school all those years ago and realizes that it must be the same person. He smiles to himself and asks Secretary Eun to arrange a meeting, which does not please the senile old guy.
Bong Gu is overjoyed that Jae Ha remembers the stabbing incident and wants to meet him, even saying that he must be in love with him. Yeah…someone give him a refill of the anti-crazy pills please. He arrives via helicopter the next day and goes to meet with Jae Ha, stopping quickly to give Jae Shin a creepy smile and wave. As soon as Bong Gu sits down, Jae Ha mentions all the reasons why Club M could be behind Jae Kang’s death, but then dismisses them as Bong Gu just runs a “tiny resort”. This is not exactly what Bong Gu was expecting and he stammers out that “it’s not tiny”. Jae Ha continues his little act of belittling Club M to the point where Bong Gu can’t take it anymore and straight out says that he killed Jae Kang. Jae Ha is frozen as Bong Gu admits to everything and says he killed Jae Kang because he dared to deny him entrance into the country. Secretary Eun, who is watching this from his office, has had enough and runs as quickly as his tiny arthritic legs can carry him. Uh, you just left your king alone with a madman who has stabbed him in the past…maybe call some guards?
Jae Ha then does the one thing that Bong Gu doesn’t expect: he laughs. Rather than the fear Bong Gu expected to see, Jae Ha tells him that he shouldn’t joke like that and says that Bong Gu must be mad at him for not remembering. He continues to cut Bong Gu down to size, including calling him by his Korean name instead of his American name of John Meyer since Bong Gu especially hates this. Bong Gu is completely furious at this point, but is interrupted by one of his minions coming in along with Secretary Eun. Worst. Security. Ever. After Bong Gu storms our in a rage, Jae Ha grabs his phone to call Shi Kyung to yell at him to catch the crazy bastard that’s going out to the lobby and to cut his throat and rip him to pieces. Damn, didn’t know you had this in you Lee Jae Ha, but kudos. Shi Kyung and Dong Ha immediately go to comply with Jae Ha’s order, but they’re too late and Bong Gu is already almost at his helicopter, screaming that they’re all dead. If I were Jae Ha I probably would’ve had a ground to air missile ready too…not to hit the helicopter, but more of a warning shot.
Back in his office, Jae Ha asks Secretary Eun if he heard Bong Gu admit to killing Jae Kang. He did, of course, but Secretary Eun points out all the reasons why it would be a bad idea to go after Bong Gu at this point. As a new king, Jae Ha has very little power right now whereas Club M has a massive shadow network pulling the strings of countries all over the world. He ends his little speech with how there’s no justice in the world, only money and power. Shi Kyung shows up outside of the door at this point and overhears his dad telling Jae Ha that the only measure of revenge that they can achieve at this point are going through with the join WOC team and the marriage with Hang Ah.
After Secretary Eun walks out of Jae Ha’s office, he runs into his son, who asks who Club M is and if they’re responsible for the former kings’ death. Secretary Eun ignores him and marches into his office to increase the security level on the Hall of Records to the security clearance level right about Shi Kyung’s. He then tells his son to not concern himself with these matters and to just follow orders. Shi Kyung retorts though that he’s the one who’s always told him that a good soldier does more than blindly follow orders. He then asks his dad if he’s dismissive of Jae Ha because he thinks he lacks the ability to be king. Shi Kyung tries his best to stick up for Jae Ha, but Secretary Eun completely dismisses his son’s opinion and that his problem is that Shi Kyung is too trusting and loyal. Guess that apple can fall far from the tree. However, Shi Kyung does get in one last shot and says his dad is the same way in that once dad makes a decision about something, he never changes his mind.
Shi Kyung leaves his dad’s office and sees Jae Ha in the hallway staring at Jae Kang’s portrait, wondering if he’s really has no ability and can’t pursue justice like he wants. Jae Ha notices Shi Kyung and asks if he’s there to scold him like his dad did. In fact it’s just the opposite; Shi Kyung launches into a rather impressive pep speech and actually gave me goose bumps:
You don’t need to be swayed by the words of others. Believe in yourself. Your Majesty is already strong enough. From my perspective, you are sensitive to a lot of things, and you hate sincerity. But you know the world all too well, and you have been hurt a lot. That’s why you cannot put your real self out there. That’s why you hide behind your happy carefree exterior. It is time to remove all that. You may have a lot of complexes and though many point fingers at you, your highness is, to me, the most powerful king in the world. Please have more confidence in yourself, your majesty.
Afterwards, he clicks his heels together and bows 90 degrees in front of Ja Ha. You can’t help but be moved by the complete and utter sincerity that Shi Kyung exudes as he says this and the boot click and bow just sealed the deal. Jae Ha is also moved by the speech, but can’t seem to accept it and turns back around to ask his brother’s portrait what to do since Shi Kyung seems to have lost his mind.
Meanwhile, Secretary Eun seems to remember what a conscience is and looks like he’s writing a confession as to his part in Jae Kang’s death. He then gets a call from Bong Gu who furiously yells that he needs to keep Jae Ha in line. He calls Secretary Eun out on his delusional sense of honor and that he’s actually more useful to him by thinking he does still have some honor and honesty left. While this is going on, Jae Ha is trying to get Shi Kyung to relax with shots of soju. He says they should be friends and enlists Shi Kyung’s help in finding out more about Club M, using the name “Bong Gu” as the code word for it between them. Shi Kyung tells Jae Ha to be understanding about his father, to which Jae Ha actually agrees since he’s loyally served the monarchy for the last 30 years. I think he’s one year past his expiration date now…time for him to go.
Now that he’s collected himself a bit, Jae Ha finally tries to call Hang Ah, but her dad refuses to answer. He gets out of his car and sees her walking back with some fool on crutches who apparently called her out because she was feeling sad. Man, talk about lowering your son-in-law standards. Hang Ah is in no mood for this and complains of cramps, and makes a point of saying the word as much as possible as her date and her dad both get embarrassed at the mention of it. The two of them continue talking in the car, but Hang Ah cuts off her dad saying her stomach hurts too much right now. Oh, I have a bad feeling about this… This better not be what I think it is.
Back in Seoul, Shi Kyung is investigating Club M when he receives a call saying that reporters have found out about Jae Shin at the hospital. Jae Shin then comes on the phone herself and demands that he come over and personally get her out without anyone knowing. He immediately complies with her request and uses the royal cars as decoys while he and Dong Ha drive her out in an ambulance. However, someone has figured out their little plan and is tailing them. Dong Ha does his best to shake them and they finally think they’re free but the intersection in front of them is blocked off. Dong Ha goes out to investigate and Shi Kyung follows him after promising a nervous Jae Shin that he’ll be back. However, as soon as Jae Shin is alone, she looks behind her and sees the female assassin that caused her to jump off the cliff in the first place. You stupid drama, don’t you dare touch Jae Shin again.
Meanwhile, Hang Ah’s stomach cramps are getting worse. She can barely stand and spills a bottle of pills after tossing a handful into her mouth. With the last of her strength, she manages to call her dad and weakly cry out for help. She’s rushed to the hospital and when her dad comes later to check on her, the doctors tell him that she’s okay now but they couldn’t save the baby. Wait, what? Did you just say baby? I figured as much when she complained of cramps, but that still didn’t keep me from yelling at my screen when they confirmed it.
Back in the palace, Jae Ha is giving his mom a massage while they watch a drama and is told the man on the screen turned out like that because he deserted his wife who only thought of him. LOL, bonus points to Mom. Secretary Eun bursts into the room though and changes the channel, which is announcing breaking news of Hang Ah’s miscarriage and Jae Ha’s abandonment of her and the unborn child. Jae Ha just stares at the screen in shock and doesn’t even register that his mom asked him how this could be possible even though they had separate rooms.
Even though I suspected it would happen, I was still surprised that they pulled the miscarriage angle. It was a masterstroke though, since it’s a continuation of Hang Ah having to give up everything she was given by the royal family. Even if it was unintentional, which I doubt, it was still a knockout punch and well executed for maximum emotional impact. I still haven’t forgiven Jae Ha for sending Hang Ah away and then this news breaks? Talk about a PR fiasco. Even if he didn’t know, he’s going to get murdered by the press over this, not to mention the political implications of it. Ironically, I think Jae Ha is uniquely qualified to handle situations like this because his MO is to pull something crazy out of his bag of tricks and it somehow works in the end. Going through normal channels wouldn’t solve this.
I absolutely loved how they developed Jae Ha in this episode. From his Mom, to Jae Shin, to Shi Kyung, even Hang Ah has started to try to get him to strip away his insecurities and false bravado to turn him into the king that Jae Kang could never be. Jae Kang had the vision, but he was too uptight to really make it come to fruition. Jae Ha has the intellect and the charisma to get things done; he just needs find a way to temper the craziness of his plans, which is what Hang Ah and Shi Kyung are especially good at.
My favorite part of this episode, other than Jae Shin’s bird calling Jae Ha comrade as that scene had me bust out laughing, was definitely Shi Kyung’s speech. You see then that Shi Kyung doesn’t believe in the monarchy as an infallible entity, but actually believes in Jae Ha himself. Rather than just simply the loyal soldier we thought he was, we see that Shi Kyung has real conviction about what he feels is right and wrong and won’t blindly follow orders. It’s this conviction that makes him a perfect right-hand man for Jae Ha. I also felt it very appropriate that Jae Ha proves Shi Kyung’s point of hiding behind a mask of indifference by making a joke afterwards rather than just accept it.
More props to Mom too for calling Jae Ha out on his shit. The family dynamics in this drama are done so well. Mom is the only person in the world who Jae Ha would allow speak to him like that and actually listen to. Jae Shin also acts as an emotional release for him as you know he would never tell anyone else the things he tells her now that Jae Kang is gone. Even with Hang Ah’s dad, you see how much he cares for his daughter and is doing his best to try to make her happy, even if it’s usually not what Hang Ah actually wants. At least he’s trying to understand her and look after her in his own way.