Here we recap and discuss episodes 9 of The King 2 Hearts. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
Photo credit to Dramabeans
This episode leads off with Bong Gu meeting with Jae Ha. He’s disappointed that Jae Ha doesn’t remember his little stabbing incident twenty three years earlier and mentions how Jae Kang used to like his magic. As they sit down to eat, Jae Ha brags about how Hang Ah made the dish the his mom taught her, which prompts Bong Gu to ask rather informally if he likes her. Suddenly, happy-go-lucky Jae Ha is replaced by a king who very much does not like the how Bong Gu is addressing his future queen. Bong Gu isn’t intimated at all, though, says mentions an old saying about how you have to suspect someone if you’re ever going to fully trust them.
We now cut to Shi Kyung carefully walking into Jae Shin’s room with a present. He announces himself, but Jae Shin can’t hear him because of the headphones. As Shi Kyung inches forward to drop off his present, he notices that Jae Shin’s leg is hanging off the bed and slowly moves to cover them with the blanket. Jae Shin finally notices and is embarrassed about what happened and so yells at him to get out. Shi Kyung is so flustered and confused that the only thing he can do is reveal his gift: a talking parrot that he claims fixed its leg by exercising. LOL. Jae Shin doesn’t believe what she’s hearing from him either and thinks he’s mocking her. He continues to dig himself deeper in trouble by trying to show her it can sing. The bird isn’t very cooperative and instead starts saying “cripple” repeatedly. Fortunately for Shi Kyung, this finally gets Jae Shin to crack a smile and she tells him to bring the parrot to her, telling it that it’s much better than Shi Kyung. I love this couple.
Back at the palace, Bong Gu is now done meeting with Jae Ha and gives him a pen as a parting gift. He admits to be rather stab-happy towards Jae Ha in the past and offers it as a way of apologizing. Jae Ha just laughs at him and says there’s no way he would’ve let anyone stab him as a kid and flips the pen back at him before walking out. Bong Gu is pissed about Jae Ha’s reaction and we see him return to where he stabbed Jae Ha in the past. To make Jae Ha remember him, he tells one of his minions to donate $50 million to the royal family. His reasoning is that Jae Ha’s too much of an idiot to grasp what kind of threat he actually poses, especially since Bong Gu thinks he should be the king. Oookay…yeah I’m not quite sure what to make of this development so we’ll just keep on moving.
When Secretary Eun tells Jae Ha about Club M’s donation, he’s surprised that Jae Ha’s accepts it with open arms. Well if you told him what they did, I bet he wouldn’t. Secretary Eun then gives Club M a call and says that even though they’re accepting the money, it’s not a bribe because they get nothing out of it. Bong Gu’s minion tells him of course not, it’s not like they’re asking where the king is vacation. Ha…it’s funny cuz it’s true…
So we’re now back on Anmyundo Island and bulldozers are tearing up the area underneath the villa where Jae Kang was killed. As they’re digging, they find a mysterious box, which is immediately brought to Shi Kyung who is overseeing security. He immediately heads back to the Hang Ah’s room and shows her what’s inside: coal dust and a North Korean cell phone. Of course it is. On his way back to the palace, Jae Ha hears from Dong Ha that Shi Kyung went to see Hang Ah and immediately heads there as well, telling Dong Ha that in the future, if anyone has to go to Hang Ah’s room, it should be him and not Shi Kyung. LOL, the girl already slept with you and you still think she’s cheating around with the bodyguard huh. Actually, if this was a different drama or I didn’t know the characters, I might believe it.
When Jae Ha bursts into Hang Ah’s room, the two inside look at him awkwardly. Shi Kyung quickly decides this is a retreat situation and leaves. Hang Ah tries to hide the evidence, but Jae Ha notices what she’s doing and jokes if they’ve been eating choco-pies without him. She tells him everything that Shi Kyung told her, and suddenly Jae Ha’s realizes that now’s not the time for jokes. The two look at each other and realize exactly what this means for them. Jae Ha seems to know that she’s not behind it, but tells her that they still have to go through an investigation anyway.
Meanwhile, news has broken out about the cellphone, which is run on a unique power system that only 2 countries can make: one of which is North Korea. Jae Shin is watching the news with Mom and angrily goes to pay Hang Ah a visit. For some reason, I’m getting a Professor X type vibe as I watch her roll around in her wheelchair. She glares at Hang Ah and demands to know if she wanted to be queen so badly that she actually killed her brother for it. Hang Ah, rather than try to deny her involvement, instead tells her that Jae Shin needs to remember what happened to her that night. If North Korea is behind this, then she’ll gladly take responsibility, but if it’s some unknown third-party, then they’re playing right in their hands. Jae Shin seems moved by her sincerity and even later tells Mom that even if the North was involved in this, there’s no way that Hang Ah was. She then hears “Ride of the Valkyries” playing on the radio nearby and suddenly her memory gets triggered and she sees flashes of what happened to her.
We now cut to Jae Ha appointing Secretary Eun to represent the palace on the official investigation into the matter. The committee, however, like the politicians they are, only seems intent in arguing with each other. The only thing they agree on is that Hang Ah should testify. This does not sit well with Jae Ha when he’s told of this and even less so when Secretary Eun suggests Hang Ah as a sacrificial lamb. How does this fool sleep at night? Jae Ha points out that there’s no way this can be the North Koreans, the evidence is way too obvious for it to be them. Secretary Eun, of course, is only out to save his own ass and says that Jae Ha only believes that because of his feelings for Hang Ah.
Late that night, Jae Shin pays Hang Ah a visit and they talk about the time when they got caught kissing. I’m loving their banter her as they trade barbs about that night. However, the conversation turns serious when Jae Ha asks Hang Ah why she tried to hide the evidence the day that he walks in on her and Shi Kyung. Hang Ah says that it’s because it looked like it’s from the North. Jae Ha is hurt that she felt she had to hide the evidence from him and asks if it’s just the outside that looks like it’s from the North and suddenly the atmosphere is completely chilled. It’s Hang Ah who brings them back though and says that she’ll go testify to go clear his doubts. Jae Ha tells her that he believes her to the point where he’d be willing to be the one to kill her if she is in fact behind it. Personally I would’ve gone with a less threatening example, but that’s just me. Hang Ah knows what he means though and asks to speak to him informally. For the first time since their training period, she calls him Comrade Lee Jae Ha and says that it’ll never happen, causing him to smile back at her.
The next day, before she’s set to testify, Hang Ah is paid a visit from Mom. She tells her future daughter-in-law that no matter happens, she won’t abandon her. She treats Hang Ah like she was her own daughter and pats down her hair as Hang Ah starts to cry, telling her that she has to be strong as a member of the royal family. This gives Hang Ah the strength she needs to confidently get through the questioning by the investigation committee. Meanwhile, Jae Ha receives a call from Hang Ah’s father telling him that the North has evidence that can clear them, but he can’t reveal it yet. However, he has managed to find out who planted the bombs that nearly crippled them while he and Hang Ah were training. Of course, it’s Club M, who Hang Ah’s dad says that caused Jae Kang more trouble than Jae Ha seems to know.
Hang Ah returns to her room and sees Jae Shin waiting for her. I half expected her to be stroking a white cat as she spun around in her chair, but instead jokingly asks if Hang Ah was able to insult their family a lot. Hang Ah smiles at her and says that she wanted to but they didn’t give her a chance to. She then asks Jae Shin where her brother is and is told that Jae Ha has locked himself in his room because he’s tired. Hang Ah is disappointed, but acknowledges that Jae Ha is a lazy bum. Of course, King Lazy Bum isn’t actually sleeping and is busy trying to crack his brother’s passcode. He remembers that Secretary Eun says that kings usually set their password to what they want most and tries several words, including a famous actress. He says Shim Eun Ha, but I would’ve loved to hear him try Ha Ji Won as a guess.
We now cut to North Korea asking to meet in the Demilitarized zone. The evidence that Hang Ah’s dad knew about was that North Korea hasn’t actually developed the technology that was found in the phone yet. They just told the world that they did as a bluff and that it’s still a year or two away from completion. Well, I definitely didn’t see that coming. Neither did Bong Gu apparently as he’s furious about this since it derails his plan. He says it won’t matter too much though because he thinks the North Koreans will have too much pride to admit this.
He’s right in that regard as we cut to the investigation committee arguing about what to do since the North has threatened war if their secret is released. As they make their way back to the castle, Shi Kyung is all smiles since Hang Ah has been cleared, but Secretary Eun seems less excited. He makes his report to Jae Ha, but conveniently neglects to mention the whole bit about North Korea being cleared. Fortunately, his son still remembers what a conscience is, and Shi Kyung tells Jae Ha about the evidence. Jae Ha is so happy at the news, he barely questions the fact that Secretary Eun tried to hide this from him. Personally, I would’ve had Shi Kyung throw his dad’s ass out.
Secretary Eun then kicks his son out and suggests to Jae Ha that they have Hang Ah testify again, but this time in public for everyone to see. Wow, you’re just making it so easy for us to hate you aren’t you? Jae Ha is furious that he’d even suggest it and refuses to put her through that again. Meanwhile, Shi Kyung is waiting in his dad’s office and apologizes for speaking up earlier. Secretary Eun is pissed off, unjustifiably I might add, and tells his son that he wanted him to learn about the real world and that the real world and the truth aren’t the same thing. For once, I agree with the senile old coot.
Unfortunately, that’s about the only time that I do. Hang Ah receives a call from her dad and mentions about her having to appear in front of everyone. She’s shocked by the news and asks to see Jae Ha, but Secretary Eun shows up instead. Why why hasn’t he been dismissed and publically made an example of yet? He confirms what her dad told her, which prompts her to say that she barely got through the last time and she’s scared of what the public will say about her. She then asks what Jae Ha has to say about all this, and Secretary Eun lies through his teeth and says Jae Ha okayed this because he wants to see her true heart. You freakin senile bastard, how dare you mess with her feelings like that to save your own useless ass? Hang Ah is, of course, hurt that Jae Ha would make her do this and says she’ll do it if that’s what it takes to convince him. Secretary Eun compounds his own crime by later telling Jae Ha that Hang Ah insisted on testifying.
On the day of her testimony, the entire royal family is tuned in to watch Hang Ah. Mom wants to change the channel, but Jae Shin reminds her that they need to watch this for Hang Ah’s sake. Jae Ha, on the other hand, is watching by himself in his office. The first thing the politicians ask her if what she thinks of South Korea and the first thing that she mentions is how popular girl groups are, causing both Shi Kyung and Jae Ha to crack smiles. I’m also picturing Kang Seok watching this from their surveillance post and falling over in his chair. She then starts talking about how South Korea is warm and passionate, but hides its true feelings. Are we still talking about South Korea or a certain bratty king?
Speaking of Jae Ha, he’s providing his own commentary on the proceedings and calls someone on the phone to demand information on the politicians that are heartlessly grilling his bride-to-be. They ask her to list off the birthdates of all the previous kings, and he says that even he forgets his own dad’s birthday sometimes. One of the other politicians asks whether she’d fight on the North or South side if war breaks out and he yells at the TV that the politician didn’t even go the to army himself. Jae Ha can’t take it anymore and turns off the TV and tells the person on the other end of the phone to arrange a meeting with Prime Minister immediately. He tells the Prime Minister to prepare an announcement that it wasn’t the North, their threat be damned. They’ve bluffed before and they’re bluffing now. If he doesn’t, Jae Ha will take away the 8% raise that the Prime Minister has planned to give himself and congress. Gotta love Jae Ha and his dramatic blustery plans.
There is one small downside to Jae Ha’s plan. When Hang Ah returns to the palace, she’s told by Secretary Eun that Jae Ha is out, and is hurt that he didn’t even bother to watch her testimony. When Jae Ha does return, he’s off to see Hang Ah, but is stopped by Secretary Eun who says Hang Ah must be tired from today. Che, if were in Jae Ha’s shoes, I wouldn’t have gotten talked out of it so easily, but for the sake of the plot and this convoluted idea to make these two misunderstand each other I’ll let it slide.
Meanwhile, Hang Ah is speaking to her father, who’s upset not only at how she was treated but also by the fact that Jae Ha didn’t even try to protect her. This upsets Hang Ah to the point where she hangs up on dear old dad yet again. She then has a dream where she thinks back to all the times that Jae Ha was mean to her, culminating in a scene where Jae Ha takes her hand to go to dinner but when they open the door, a bright light shines on them like when they walked out of the North Korean base during their “escape”. Dream Jae Ha’s face turns hard and Hang Ah feels herself get shot all over again. She recoils in bed and immediately sits up holding her heart and checking her phone to see if Jae Ha even bothered to send her a text to see if she’s okay. Oh Jae Ha, you sir are in trouble.
The next morning, Jae Ha is all smiles as he brings Hang Ah some breakfast. She asks him where he went yesterday during her trial, but Jae Ha can’t read the mood to save his life, and jokingly says it was a secret. If this was a dating sim, you’d see Hang Ah’s affection bar go down. He reaches for her, but she knocks his hand away, and Jae Ha finally realizes that maybe jokes aren’t the best idea at this point. Hang Ah thinks that this means he didn’t watch her hearing at all and immediately launches into a verbal barrage in which she calls him trash and threatens to announce it to the people. Hang Ah then asks him to clarify once more whether or not he actually likes her. Jae Ha, being sensitive to being called trash, loses it at this point and launches his own verbal barrage and tells her to basically go back to the North. Hang Ah is devastated that he’d actually say that to her and calls him Comrade Lee Jae Ha to appeal to him again, but Jae Ha just walks out on her.
Omg, you stupid drama, how can you end it like that? I saw the fastball, but it somehow turned into a curve. In no way did I actually expect him to tell her to leave like that. These two, they fight, they argue, but then they kiss and makeup. That’s how their relationship works. I know he’s a petulant brat, but how can he just walk out on her like that? Granted, Hang Ah may have crossed the line by calling him trash, but given the circumstances, I’d say she was entitled to call him that. Though he doesn’t mean to be, he’s basically incommunicado during this whole process. How can he actually care about her as much as he does and not even bother to send her a damn text to encourage her? He’s a busy guy, I get it, but shit take 5 seconds as you’re walking to and from meetings to just ask “are you okay?”.
I’d also like to take this time to once again reiterate my fiery hatred for Secretary Eun. He’s in so much denial about his role in Jae Kang’s death that it’s not even funny. To save his own worthless ass, he’s destroying the one thing that Jae Ha truly lacks to be a good king. We know he has the brains to do it if he actually puts his mind to it, the thing that he lacks and Jae Kang had was heart. Hang Ah is the very definition of the word and is the perfect complement to the impetuous Jae Ha. Secretary Eun might think Jae Ha is a terrible king, but you’re not such a great chief secretary yourself buddy. Maybe you should just do everyone a favor and retire before Jae Ha finds out your duplicity and has you put in front of a firing squad. Also, your English is absolutely atrocious so stop it please. Thanks.
Anger aside, I applaud the writer for getting me so sucked into the story to have me yelling at my screen like Jae Ha was yelling at his during Hang Ah’s trial. I thought the scenes where Hang Ah and Jae Ha misunderstood each other were all very well done and built on top of each other naturally, even if I absolutely hated the end result. There none of that “oh you’re right next to me, but I’m just looking straight ahead and I can’t see you” type crap that makes you roll your eyes at how ludicrous it is. Each situation that caused their misunderstanding was completely real and believable.
I also loved how awkward they made Shi Kyung, especially around Jae Shin. If Jae Ha and Hang Ah are perfect compliments, these two are just as good. Jae Shin brings some much needed color to Shi Kyung’s black and white world where everything is right or wrong, there is no in between. At the same time, Shi Kyung has the resolve that can temper Jae Shin’s fire and passion when she goes overboard. On a side note, I’m still a little mad she had to get crippled for the story, even if it led to that amusing little exchange between them in the hospital.