Here we recap and discuss episodes 14 of The King 2 Hearts. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
Back at the peace conference, Secretary Eun is still uneasy about his last conversation with Bong Gu about the possibility of him touching Shi Kyung. He thinks back and remembers Bong Gu telling him that peace is not so easily obtained. We then see Jae Shin wheel herself in to the tune of “Ride of the Valkyries”. Wait, what? Mom’s questioning why the entrance song has changed as well and we see Jae Shin immediately freeze on stage. Of course, the man responsible for this is none other than Secretary Eun who thinks about Bong Gu’s request to him to change the music. Seriously? I thought I couldn’t hate you more…guess I was wrong.
Jae Shin eventually recovers from her fright, but when she looks up, she sees Club M’s female assassin standing in the back and is overcome with fear again. Shi Kyung follows her gaze to a mysterious woman who’s standing in front of him and moves forward to see who she is. However, Jae Shin, who decided that she couldn’t do this anymore and tried to wheel herself offstage, hits something on her way out and tumbles out of her wheelchair. He rushes forward to check on her and the press inside the room go wild to try to get pictures of it. Shi Kyung, after seeing that Jae Shin is being taken care of, then goes after the woman. He stops her as she reaches the lobby and insists that she come with him. At least there’s one worthwhile Eun running around the palace.
Jae Ha finds out about Jae Shin’s incident when he gets a call from the prime minister. He’s then asked to lose on purpose to the US since they’re an ally. Jae Ha points out that they’re the one at a disadvantage in this matchup, though. After he hangs up, Hang Ah and Dong Ha tell them they’ve discovered magnets in the US ball and the competition was ringed like what happened in a previous World Cup. Hang Ah gets mad at him for wearing the ring, but Jae Ha points out that as King he’s supposed to wear this at all public functions and that she’s the one who told him to grab the first ball that he could. She pettily shoots back at him that he should’ve known better than to pick that one. They gather up to start to strategize, but Kang Seok is nowhere to be found.
He’s apparently in the restroom psyching himself up for the match. While he’s doing his business, he overhears one of the Israeli members, who is talking to the American team members, launch into an incredibly offensive speech about how Korea will just bomb them, they’re the Axis of Evil, and even go so far as to bring up the Japanese occupation of Korea. I’m not even Korean and I was pretty offended. At any rate, after the Israeli leaves, without washing his hands I might add, Kang Seok comes out of the stall and is understandably pissed. He thinks that the remaining American officers were the ones bad mouthing Korea and starts a fight after one of them pats him on the back of the head. Why one grown man would pat another’s head, I have no idea.
Hang Ah has found out about this little altercation and we see her verbally disciplining Kang Seok in front of the other team members. She even gets in a few hits on him. Since she’s higher ranked than him, Kang Seok can’t hit back and can only try to explain his side of the story but Hang Ah is too angry at him to listen. Jae Ha walks in to hear her kick him off the team and intervenes, saying he’ll talk to Kang Seok. Meanwhile, American general is arguing in front of one of the judges that the Korean team be disqualified for their actions. The North Korean general points out that the Israelis should be punished since they’re the ones who started it, while the South Korean general is doing his best to keep the peace.
We now see Jae Ha telling Kang Seok to try to forgive Hang Ah since they both know she was just frustrated. Kang Seok, however, isn’t saying very much. Jae Ha decides to switch up tactics and asks Kang Seok if it made him feel bad that he couldn’t hit her back since she’s a woman and without being able tell his side of the story. When Kang Seok admits that he did, Jae Ha points out that if he feels bad, just imagine how the Americans feel. Jae Ha? Voice of reason? What kind of crazy world has this become? However, Kang Seok isn’t feeling in an apologetic mood and so Jae Ha says he’ll do it for him. Kang Seok tells him not to, but Jae Ha lists out the stakes and says he doesn’t have a choice in the matter given the circumstances.
We now cut to the US and Korean teams lined up and facing each other in front of the WOC judge and each country’s respective generals. As punishment for their actions, the Korean team is deducted 10 points in the upcoming match. The US general then starts being a prick again and is demanding an apology from Jae Ha not just as team captain, but as King. The South Korean general tries to stop Jae Ha, but he’s determined. Fortunately, before Jae Ha can actually do so, Kang Seok bursts in, bows at the waist, and apologizes for his actions. The American team members aren’t douchebags like their general and not only accept Kang Seok’s apology, but apologize also for patting him on the head. The American team captain then steps forward to shake Jae Ha’s hand. He also tells Jae Ha not to even think about taking it easy on them during the competition or else the US will be the ones humiliated.
Back at the palace, Shi Kyung is busy interrogating Bon Bon. I still can’t believe they named the assassin Bon Bon just because she likes sweets. At any rate, Shi Kyung asks her to explain the chocolates that they found on her, saying that they’re drugs. Bon Bon just smiles at him and says they should check, and so eats one herself, which causes her to orgasm or something? Color me confused. She then basically admits to Shi Kyung that she killed Jae Kang and is trying out this new idea she has of death by fear. Shi Kyung thinks of Jae Shin’s reactions in the ambulance and during the banquet and immediately has her handcuffed and arrested. Finally, damn.
He then goes to Jae Shin to try to get her to ID Bon Bon. Of course, he first has to get past Mom. She tries to turn her away, saying that Jae Shin has been through so much right now and is sleeping. Shi Kyung is insistent though because he can only hold Bon Bon for so long since she’s a VIP. Jae Shin apparently woke up at some point and had her maids put her in her chair because she wheels in to interrupt their conversation. She tells her mom that it’s okay and asks Shi Kyung to come into her room.
Once they’re alone, Shi Kyung sedu…I mean tells Jae Shin that the only times that Bon Bon entered the country prior to today were right before the incident with Jae Kang and right before her panic attack in the ambulance. Jae Shin reminds him that she can’t remember what happened the night Jae Kang died, but she’ll be able to identify her from the two other incidents. When Shi Kyung lifts up the picture, Jae Shin starts trembling in fear and nods her head. Shi Kyung stands up to go deal with the situation, but Jae Shin stops him on his way out and says she’s not ready to testify in front of the public yet. He tells her not to worry and he’ll be sure to make sure she isn’t bothered.
Shi Kyung returns to his office and sees his dad sitting waiting for him in the dark. Secretary Eun demands to know what his son is doing, and Shi Kyung rattles off the specific rule which allows him to detain VIP guests for a period of 19 hours. Secretary Eun tells Shi Kyung that him arresting her is exactly what Club M wants since it’ll cause an international incident, but all our loyal soldier knows is that this woman is a threat to the royal family. He then asks his dad why he seems to intent on blocking this investigation. Rather than answer him, Secretary Eun stands up and immediately calls the Commander of the Royal Guard to have Shi Kyung dismissed and reassigned away from the royal family. Really? Because this won’t raise any suspicion? However, Shi Kyung has an ace up his sleeve. He pulls out a super-secret get-out-of-jail-free card that Jae Ha gave him. For the duration of his investigation, Shi Kyung can pretty much do whatever he wants and nobody short of the royal family can supersede his authority. That’s right, suck it you senile old fool.
Meanwhile, Bong Gu is taking a bubble bath and talking with his minion. They confirm that Jae Ha drew the US in the WOC tournament and jokes that if they don’t lose, they’ll be seen as anti-American communists. His minion tells him he’s been trying to contact the WOC committee, but Bong Gu tells him not to bother. It’s too much trouble and besides this is the US military we’re talking about: home of the Navy Seals, Delta Force, and the Green Berets among others.
We now see Jae Ha and Hang Ah standing on the prow of a boat telling themselves that they can win this. Jae Ha, however, eventually breaks down and starts panicking. They’re then called inside and explained the rules of the competition. They will be dropped off on a deserted island where the only means of escape is a boat that requires not only the key that they have, but an additional key from the other team. If a winner hasn’t been decided after 8 hours, it’ll come down to points that are awarded based on their performance as observed by the WOC judges via CCTV setup all over the island. They can use whatever technology they want so long as it’s under the 40 kg individual weight limit. The only weapons they are allowed are specially designed sub-machine guns and…land mines? Uh, how are you not supposed to harm someone with land mines? As they pack, Jae Ha and Hang Ah slap on their respective arm patches, while the single guys are left to place it on themselves.
They land on the beach and both the North and South teams have different chants. Jae Ha looks at both teams and suggests that maybe they should just come up with one motto since they’re on the same team now. They spot the American team up on a ridge as they’re passing by and scoff at the Americans’ arrogance by showing off which soldier has the key.
We now cut back to the palace where Shi Kyung is being briefed on Bon Bon’s background. Her real name is Mia Taylor and that used to be part of the British SAS. Shi Kyung looks at the list of incidents in her file and promptly concludes that she’s crazy. He is then told that even though her chocolate was drugged, it’s still fairly new and not considered illegal yet. We then cut to Bong Gu telling his minion to start their plan.
Secretary Eun is in the middle of apologizing to someone, in I’m assuming incredibly bad German, when he gets another call from the prime minister who’s in a panic about Club M calling a press conference. They’re demanding the release of Bon Bon, of course, saying that despite their sympathies for what’s happened to the royal family recently, it doesn’t justify her extended imprisonment. Secretary Eun immediately goes to Shi Kyung and tells him I-told-you-so and demands he release Bon Bon and give Club M an apology. Shi Kyung looks at him like a kid being told there is no Santa, but Secretary Eun says that the dignity of the Royal family is at stake. No matter what Club M throws at him, he has to endure it. You rat bastard. I didn’t think it was possible to hate you more than I already did, but I guess I was wrong.
We now cut to Secretary Eun apologizing to Bong Gu as Shi Kyung leads Bon Bon in. Bong Gu feigns concern for Bon Bon, asking how they could treat someone that he considers a daughter like then did. Bon Bon then starts taunting Shi Kyung, asking him if he’s slept with Jae Shin yet or if he can’t anymore since she’s crippled and he doesn’t want to be on top. Shi Kyung clenches his fist in rage, but Bon Bon’s not done yet. She leans in and whispers how much Jae Shin was trembling that night and calling for someone to save her like a coward and without dignity. Meanwhile, Bong Gu is watching them and hoping that Shi Kyung will lash out and do something so that the hidden camera that he’s place will catch them.
However, Shi Kyung doesn’t fall for the bait and manages to hold it in. He then turns to Bong Gu and tells him that next time he comes back to the palace, he should bring better company. Preferably someone who doesn’t have a history of manic depression and mental insanity and who massacres her own barracks. Bon Bon insists that the shootings were an accident, and Shi Kyung asks her if her mother’s death was an accident as well. In the end, it’s Bon Bon that snaps and screams at the top of her lungs that she’s going to kill him as she’s being dragged away. Bong Gu then gets interested in Shi Kyung and asks for his name. After he’s told, Bong Gu turns to Secretary Eun to ask if he’s his son and then leads Shi Kyung away. Secretary Eun moves to follow but is blocked.
Once they’re alone, Bong Gu asks him why someone as smart as him would serve a fool like Jae Ha. Shi Kyung reminds him that Jae Ha is the king and that Bong Gu should show him respect. Bong Gu then asks if he’s following him around because he might “get a few spilled cookie crumbs”. He offers Shi Kyung a job with him and says he’ll give him all the “snacks” he wants. Shi Kyung turns him and calmly says that he doesn’t eat “rotten crackers”. Daaamn, more props to Shi Kyung. This causes Bong Gu to think about Jae Ha’s video message about how he has people who have faith in him and mutters to himself that Jae Ha must be happy that he won this round.
Back on the island, they’ve reached their home base and are strategizing while Young Bae keeps watch from the window. Jae Ha then suggests that they make a copy of the key. LOL. As the others look at him like he’s lost his mind, Jae Ha starts listing off the things they’ll need to pull this off. They start listing off all the flaws in his plan and Jae Ha is forced to give up that idea. He then suggests that since all they need to do is get off the island, they can just swim away. Hang Ah points out that it took them 3 hours to get here by boat. Scratch that idea.
As the Korean team is strategizing, we see that the American team is sneaking up on them. We go back into the barracks and Jae Ha is telling them that if they hit a certain button within 2 seconds on their kill sensors, they can reset it and basically never die. Hang Ah says that if they get caught doing this by the cameras, the entire team will be disqualified. She insists on winning fairly, but Jae Ha says this is war and everything’s fair game. He then lists off various tactics used in Korean history that might be considered cowardly like the plans that he’s thinking of. No matter what, they have to get passed this round so that they can go back and get engaged. However, Hang Ah tells him that she won’t get engaged like that and wants a man that she can respect. She adds her own condition that if Jae Ha wants to marry her, they have to win fairly. Jae Ha asks her if she really thinks he’s being cowardly and looks around the room to see everyone siding with Hang Ah.
While they’ve been arguing inside, the Americans have been making their way closer. They shoot a putty round and manage to stick a camera on the window of the barracks just as the Korean team is deciding who should carry the key. Jae Ha refuses to take the key and asks for the easiest task since he’s a cowardly man who runs away. Well, when you think about it…it is kinda his MO. He just usually gets caught while running away and has to clean up his own mess. Jae Ha suggests deciding by rock-paper-scissors, which Hang Ah takes offense to, but Jae Ha says it’s just to make it random so that the Americans won’t know who actually has it. Young Bae ends up being the lucky winner and though he refuses to take it, Jae Ha tells him that he’s perfect since nobody would expect someone dumb like him would have it. Of course, the Americans have seen all this with their camera.
They then decide to go out on patrol in teams of two, with Dong Ha and Young Bae left in the barracks. At first Hang Ah tells Jae Ha to move so that she can drive the ATV, but he insists saying that he should do it as the man. Hah. Right as both teams get far enough away, Young Bae sees the Americans making their move. Dong Ha, unfortunately, is in the bathroom when they storm the barracks and can’t help at first. Both recon teams hear the gunfire on their radio and immediately turn back around. Young Bae is eventually discovered, but decides to swallow the key in desperation so that they can’t get it. Well damn. That’s quite the strategy I suppose.
By the time that the others get back, Young Bae is already gone. The North Korean general has been watching via the satellite feed and tells Hang Ah’s dad that they’ll set the record for shortest survival time. That’s one way to get into the records books. Back at the Americans’ barracks, Young Bae is daring them to try to get it out of his stomach considering that he has constipation. The female team member suggests they kill him to get the key, but the team captain reminds her that it’s a competition and even in war they shouldn’t do that. Uh, I’m also pretty sure that killing him would get you guys disqualified. Just saying. One of the other members points out that people usually empty their bowels when they die, but the American captain isn’t sure it “works the same way with Asians”. In the end they decide the best way is to give him an enema. So enemas are standard issue for the WOC, but less invasive laxatives aren’t? Okay…
The Korean team is still at their barracks when Hang Ah sees the camera that was planted. They then receive a call on the line that the team captains can use to communicate. The American team captain is just calling to say that they should just give up and that they’ll have the key in three hours. He then hangs up and Jae Ha is suddenly pissed. Uh oh, you won’t like him when he’s angry. Three hours later, the American teams are happily walking to the boat, but are surprised to see that it’s gone.
Jae Ha strikes again. The first step of his plan involves moving the boat elsewhere and we see Hang Ah and the member that replaced Shi Kyung walk out of the ocean in scuba gear and the boat’s engine in hand. The American commander orders two of his men to check out the Korean barracks, but there’s nobody there. Kang Seok, who is waiting outside on one of the ATVs, starts firing and draws them both away. They report back to their team, who have returned to their own barracks, that they’re going to pursue him. Two more leave on patrol and the remaining two stay to guard Young Bae.
Meanwhile, the Korean team is already there and putting their plan in motion. Dong Ha sees that they’re keeping Young Bae in the supply room and creates a diversion to allow Jae Ha to sneak into the main barracks where he’s planning something with a light bulb and a cellphone. Meanwhile, Hang Ah and their other team member are driving through the woods and we hear a voiceover of Jae Ha saying that his plan requires teamwork and can’t succeed if they don’t trust each other.
First of all, I would like to congratulate Shi Kyung for proving me wrong. I didn’t think I’d be able to like his character any more, but somehow he managed to do it. I was rather pissed when Secretary Eun tried to have him dismissed, but was cheering just seconds later when Shi Kyung busted out his card. Thank you, Jae Ha, for having that much foresight. And his line to Bong Gu about not eating “rotten crackers” was perfect delivery. I did think that Bon Bon flipped out a tad too easily for supposedly being a trained killer, but that’s fairly minor.
I realized that they were trying to setup the Americans to seem like bad guys, but I think they just came off as racist douchebags. Admittedly, it’s a bit of turnaround as Asians are stereotyped in American media all the time so I can’t get too mad about it. My bigger problem with all the scenes with the Americans is that half of them aren’t even Americans and just seem like random Europeans that they dragged off the streets to say the lines. If you’re going to make them speak English, find people who can actually sound the part. It pisses me off just as much as hearing American actors speak bad Chinese in movies. As much as I praise this writer for the job he’s done with the rest of the story, he definitely needs to work on proper development of bad guys because I think he’s done a pretty poor job with Bong Gu for the most part as well.
I enjoyed the back and forth in this episode between Jae Ha and Hang Ah. If I had to pick someone to lead a guerilla war, Jae Ha is definitely my choice. His crazy strategies remind me somewhat of Ender from Ender’s Game, which is a great book by the way and one I highly recommend if you’re into sci-fi. Both come up with unconventional strategies that completely confuse the military norm and always end up working in the end. At the same time, I do see Hang Ah’s point and really all she’s doing is to try to make him play by the rules and face responsibility rather than cut and run like he’s always trying to do. She’s doing exactly what she needs to do to help him become a better king: allowing Jae Ha to plan and scheme, but keeping him grounded when he crosses the line.