Here we recap and discuss episodes 16 of The King 2 Hearts. Caution, spoilers below. Don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.
Having received a call from Club M, Secretary Eun decides to go elsewhere to answer it. Once he’s alone, he calls them back and is told he has two options: Jae Ha willingly steps down or he gets removed by force. If he doesn’t comply, then they’ll tell Shi Kyung all about his dad’s transgressions. Yeah, cuz that’s a fair trade. Secretary Eun tells them to shove off and they can tell Shi Kyung for all he cares. The minion on the phone takes this to mean he’s taking option number two and says that there will be blood, albeit in a less than threatening tone of voice. At that instant, Hang Ah’s wine glass shatters and there’s red wine all over her white dress. She looks concerned, but Jae Ha just smiles at her and tells her that they’ll just laugh at this incident later.
Back outside, Jae Ha and Hang Ah are now walking through the crowd amidst chants for them to kiss. Hang Ah looks embarrassed, but Jae Ha has no such qualms and passionately gives her a kiss, to the slight embarrassment of Hang Ah’s dad. Later, Shi Kyung is called out by his dad and asked about the status of the royal couple. Shi Kyung says they’re doing well, and given the earlier incident, are staying in separate rooms. Hah. He then asks his son how the investigation into Jae Kang’s death is going. When Shi Kyung says that he’s going to start it up soon, Secretary Eun just sighs and tells him that it’ll be over soon. We then cut to him in his office typing up a confession for everything he’s done since receiving the bribe from them.
We now see Jae Ha and Hang Ah getting a couples’ spa treatment together. He asks her if she really has to go overseas to help his mom with her volunteer work, saying that there are a lot of hungry people here. Hang Ah says that they should help out the countries that helped them during the war, but if he really wants them to stay close by, they can always volunteer in North Korea. Jae Ha immediately changes his mind and wishes her safe travels. However, they’re interrupted by Jae Ha receiving an email from Club M on his personal account. Hang Ah doesn’t want him to look at it, but Jae Ha says that they should get as much information on them as they can if they’re going to fight them.
Of course, it’s detailed information of their dealings with Secretary Eun. From the picture that was texted to him after Jae Kang’s death to records of things that he’s done in his official capacity as Chief Secretary to help them, everything was sent. When Secretary Eun enters Jae Ha’s office, he’s only mildly surprised to hear Jae Ha listening to a recording of his call when he first accepted the bribe. You can see the betrayal on Jae Ha’s face as he asks Secretary Eun if he ever distorted his words to Hang Ah. When Secretary Eun says yes, Jae Ha asks about if he actually was behind changing the opening music to Jae Shin’s entrance. Another yes. Jae Ha says he can understand the incident with Jae Kang, since he probably didn’t know it was club M, but how could he comply with Club M on the other incidents? Secretary Eun then hands him his resignation letter and says that he’ll accept any punishment. As his last act of loyalty, he tries to warn Jae Ha to cancel all upcoming schedules for the royal family, but Jae Ha is in no mood to listen. He thinks that it’s just another plot by Club M and calls Secretary Eun a traitor at the top of his lungs. Although he knows he’s messed up pretty bad, Secretary Eun has one last request and gets down on his knees to beg Jae Ha not to tell Shi Kyung because he wants to do that himself.
News about Secretary Eun’s dismissal travels fast and Dong Ha solemnly breaks the news to Shi Kyung. At the same time, Jae Shin and Mom are asking Jae Ha why he’s doing this. Mom says that maybe Jae Ha heard that Secretary Eun was taking bribes, but it’s okay because he’d use the money for them, not for himself. Uh, even if that’s the case, that’s still pretty shady and valid grounds for dismissal. Jae Ha just tells them that he’ll tell them later and walks out of the room. Jae Shin wants to follow him to get answers, but she’s stopped by Hang Ah, who says that Jae Ha will tell them when he’s ready.
After being told by Dong Ha, Shi Kyung immediately goes to Jae Ha to confirm what happened. Jae Ha actually decides that he’ll abide by Secretary Eun’s last request, and lies by saying that as a new leader, he should have a new advisor. He lists off several reasons as grounds for dismissal, such as age and length of service, but Shi Kyung refutes each of them. Feeling betrayed, Shi Kyung asks Jae Ha if he’s really the same king that he knew. Jae Ha then asks if Shi Kyung wants to hit him, to which he says yes without any hesitation. He tries to get rid of Shi Kyung by saying he should go on a vacation with his father, but Shi Kyung refuses and says he’s staying. Shi Kyung knows something’s up between the two of them and he’s determined to stay until he’s figured it out.
Later, when she’s alone with Jae Ha, Hang Ah reads Secretary Eun’s letter of resignation. She goes over to Jae Ha and says that it must’ve been hard for Secretary Eun as well. Also, since Club M wanted him to know about this, it might be a trap and dismissing him might be exactly what they want. Jae Ha doesn’t care though; all he knows is that his brother is dead and Jae Shin injured all because of him. Hang Ah sees that through all this, Jae Ha is still trying to work and forces him to take a break, despite his objections. She takes away the documents he’s looking at and offers her lap as a pillow. Jae Ha hesitates at first, but eventually lies down and holds her hand. Looking every bit like a child clinging to his mother, Jae Ha tells her that she’s the only person he can trust. He closes his eyes to get some rest and Hang Ah lays her own head down on his shoulder to comfort him.
Meanwhile, Bong Gu is hiding out in his villa, still watching the video message that Jae ha sent him. His minion comes in and tells him that Secretary Eun was fired, and Bong Gu talks back to the Jae Ha on the screen that he must not care very much about his people if he got rid of Secretary Eun so easily. He then tells his minion to continue with their plan.
On their way to Somalia for their volunteer work, Hang Ah receives a fancy handbag that apparently has been handed down from queen to queen in the royal family. Uh, interesting tradition, but okay. She questions why she should show this off when they’re going for volunteer work, but Mom says that even though it seems contradictory to wear something so expensive, there’s still an expectation for them to look dignified. But even though their outside appearance might seem superficial, as long as everything they do comes from their heart and is sincere, that’s all the matters.
Jae Shin is meeting with her therapist and wants to know how she can get her memories back. She tells her that she’s okay now and can handle having her memories back. She even was able to stand up on her own and give a speech. Her therapist, however, says she’s not ready and Jae Shin was only able to do it because she gained temporary courage for Shi Kyung. Hah, so she’s told her therapist about him too I see. Jae Shin won’t take no for an answer though, and forces herself to listen to “Ride of the Valkyries”. Images flash into her head, and she quickly has to take off her headphones before her emotions overwhelm her.
Just then, Shi Kyung comes in and she asks him about his father. Jae Shin tells him not to be too mad at Jae Ha because she knows he must have had a reason, but Shi Kyung cuts her off and says he knows already. To brighten the mood, Jae Shin tells him that she’s getting therapy again, and Shi Kyung asks her if she’s singing again yet. He says that while getting her memory back is important, it’s also important for her to return to being the person she used to be. Jae Shin smiles at him and jokes that her temper has really calmed down a lot if she’s listening to his request, even though he’s not her trainer. As she wheels herself over to an electronic keyboard, Shi Kyung starts to say that he doesn’t mean she should sing right now, but Jae Ha isn’t listening. She’s trying to remember the song that she sang for him when they went to see the shooting star. However, she doesn’t seem to remember at first, but faithful Shi Kyung is there to remind her. She then pretends to not remember the rest so that Shi Kyung will sing it for her.
Impressed with his ability, Jae Shin tells a confused Shi Kyung to follow her. She brings him to his brother’s room, saying that it has the best audio system. Jae Shin wants him to sing it properly so she can record it. If he’s good, she’ll help him debut. Shi Kyung objects, at first, and Jae Shin tells him she won’t make him sing live and proposes a duet. Yes, please. He declines again and starts to walk out, but is stopped by Jae Shin asking him if he really hates her that much. To treat her like this, even though she’s trying so hard in confessing her feelings, is a bit too much in her mind. Shi Kyung says that she’s doing this out of curiosity and he’s nothing but an amusing toy to her. She even admitted that he’s a boring guy and while he might be fun to her now, she’ll quickly grow bored of him.
Jae Shin tries to say she’s not that impulsive, but Shi Kyung interrupts her again, saying that he doesn’t want to be toyed with. She then says that she has one question for him: does he dislike her because she’s handicapped? Shi Kyung’s face immediately softens and says it’s not like that, but Jae Shin starts crying, saying that there’s nothing she can do about that. She then asks him if he’s a genius to be able to remember her song after hearing it just once. Shi Kyung looks at her sincerely and says that he remembered it only because she’s the one who sang it. Yet another cheesy line that actually comes off as sincere, just because it’s Shi Kyung. Props to him.
Back in Somalia, one of the royal aids is telling Mom and Hang Ah that they will be staying at this hotel, because the one they booked before received a bomb threat. There are rumors about a civil war so unfortunately they’ll have to cancel their volunteer work to return to Korea tomorrow morning. Uh, correct me if I’m wrong, but seeing as how they have a private plane, can’t they just leave now? As the aid is talking to one of the hotel staff in the elevator, she’s told not to worry about security since they’ve evacuated the three floors surrounding the royal family. She also happens to run into Mia, posing as another staff member. I knew it…
Mom is sad that they’re having to cancel the volunteer work and is showing off some pictures of the children she’s worked with to Hang Ah. She tells a story about one child whose mom died from tuberculosis, and Hang Ah says that her mom died of the same disease because they couldn’t afford to buy her penicillin shots. She notices that Mom is looking at her with concern and thinks that she might be worried about her passing it along to Jae Ha or their future children, and assures her that she received her vaccines for it. That’s not exactly what Mom is worried about though and kindly asks her what her mom did. Hang Ah fondly says that she was a translator of foreign fairy tales and read to her stories like Anne of Green Gables and Gulliver’s Travels. Mom then says that Jae Kang’s wife called her “mother” and so Hang Ah should do the same instead of calling her by her official title. Hang Ah gives it a try and Mom kindly laughs as she tells her to try again without the accent.
Outside, the elevator doors to their floor open and there’s only a laundry basket there. That’s a red flag if I ever saw one. One of the guards goes to check it out and of course someone pops out and shoots him in the chest. Mia gets out of the elevator as well and immediately takes out the other guards with her silenced handgun. She knocks on Mom’s door and says that she’s room service. Mom goes to look outside and sees that there aren’t any guards with her. She immediately senses something is wrong and tries to get a call out, but is interrupted by Mia coming into the room.
One of the guards outside, with his last bit of strength before dying, manages to pull the fire alarm. Hang Ah, who just came out of the shower, immediately stops drying her hair and goes outside to investigate. She stops in her tracks when she sees Mia pointing a gun at Mom, and one of Mia’s partners points a gun at Hang Ah’s head as well. Mia tells them both to be quiet or else Mom is dead. Meanwhile, the head of staff that came along with them is frantically trying to assess the situation. She obviously can’t find Hang Ah or Mom and so has to return back to the palace. Jae Ha is shocked when Shi Kyung tells him and immediately gets out of bed. He’s asks if Bong Gu’s the one behind it, but Shi Kyung tells him that based on the CCTV footage, it’s just local rebels out for a ransom.
He tries to give Hang Ah a call, but her cell is in the hands of Mia. She declines the call and after paying off the two men who helped her, shoots both in the back to clean up any loose ends. Back in the palace, Jae Ha is meeting with the prime minister and other officials to figure out the situation. He’s convinced that there this isn’t a ransom thing, especially since they haven’t received a call asking for money. Shi Kyung then tells her that the chief of staff there mentioned a woman with a strange tattoo on her neck and Jae Ha remembers that Mia had a similar tattoo as well.
When they’re alone, Shi Kyung confirms to Jae Ha that the chief of staff picked out Mia’s picture when he showed it to her. Jae Ha then remembers back to his last meeting when Bong Gu threatened to destroy his “engine”, i.e. the people around him as he said in his video message. Speaking of Bong Gu, he’s calmly staring outside when his minion tells him that Jae Ha’s been trying to contact him. He tells him to let Jae Ha stew a little bit more and to continue to ignore his calls, but to make sure their “guests” are well treated.
We then see Hang Ah eating the food that Club M has prepared for them, despite Mom telling her not to since they might have put poison in there. Hang Ah reasons that if they wanted them dead, they would have killed them already so they might as well eat and build up their strength in case they find a way to escape. Mom whispers that she can’t do it because they have guns, but their conversation is cut short as Bong Gu walks in with Mia and his minion. Hang Ah immediately recognizes him and confidently walks up and holds out her hand to shake his, purposely addressing him by his Korean name since Jae Ha’s filled her in about how much that bugs him. Bong Gu ignores her and asks if Mom wants to have tea with him, which Hang Ah objects to, but she’s dragged away at gunpoint by Mia.
Jae Ha has called in Hang Ah’s dad to help and he’s pretty sure that it’s Club M as well. Shi Kyung tries to say that it might be another third party still, but Jae Ha says that they can concentrate on looking into Club M while the official investigation looks into those other parties. He tells Shi Kyung to get him in contact with Bong Gu by any means necessary, even if it means that Jae Ha has to personally go and beg them on his hands and knees.
Back in his evil, albeit nicely furnished, lair, Bong Gu asks Mom if he can call her “mother”, like she asked Hang Ah to call her. Silence means consent to Bong Gu, apparently, and he says that she looks a lot like his mom. He tells her his sob story about his own unhappy childhood, but Mom’s not buying it. Bong Gu tells her to convince Jae Ha to step down from the throne, and that she looks so dignified, unlike his own mom who looked cheap. Mom breaks her silence now and scolds him for saying that about his own mother. She then turns his earlier line about coming from a broken home around on him, saying that she’s seen other children like him grown up to be kind and successful. Bong Gu’s surprised, saying that he was just looking for some sympathy, but Mom yells at him, saying how dare he not apologize to her for killing Jae Kang and for kidnapping her like this. She tells him to just go ahead and kill her and that she’ll get revenge on him for Jae Kang, his wife, Jae Shin, and even Hang Ah’s unborn baby. I know it’s supposed to be a serious scene, but I can’t help but laugh as Mom starts wailing on him with her fists.
While hiding out in his vacation home, Secretary Eun sees a text from Shi Kyung asking him to pick up the phone and informing him about Hang Ah and mom. Back in the palace, Jae Ha is at his wits end since they still can’t contact Bong Gu. He tells Shi Kyung they should just go to the villa, but Shi Kyung stops him, saying that protocol dictates otherwise and that this is exactly what Club M wants. Jae Ha reconsiders his decision and gives Shi Kyung another 10 minutes to try to contact them. No pressure or anything. He then remembers about Secretary Eun giving him a warning about Club M and decides to give him a call. This time, Secretary Eun does answer his cell, but Jae Ha stays silent. Secretary Eun says that he knows he’s in no position to give him advice, but tells him to make full use of their diplomats. Though Bong Gu does give them money, he’s sure that the US and China would agree that he crossed the line this time. Hey, I actually agree with him for once.
We now see Bong Gu’s minion informing him that the US and China do kind of take offense to what they’ve done. Gee, who would’ve known? Bong Gu says that Jae Ha is getting smarter and agrees to meet with him. When Jae Ha gets to the arranged place, Shi Kyung is worried about him going alone, but they really don’t have much choice in the matter. As soon as he’s face-to-face with him, Jae Ha demands that Bong Gu release Hang Ah and his mom, but Bong Gu feigns ignorance. He pretends to be concerned and asks if he should help them look, which does not amuse Jae Ha in the slightest. In exchange for their lives, Jae Ha offers to delay his wedding. Bong Gu pretends like he just realized what Jae Ha is accusing him of, and says that, hypothetically of course, he wouldn’t go through all this trouble just to break up an engagement. If he were to do something like this, it would be for a goal of Jae Ha’s abdication. Politics were never Jae ha’s field anyway, he should just take his family to the South Pacific island and live in comfort; Bong Gu will even support him financially. What’s the point of justice and country if it means losing his family and the one he loves?
Jae Ha is completely floored by his encounter with Bong Gu and stays completely silent as he goes back to the palace. After washing his face, he steps back into his bedroom and sees Hang Ah waiting for him there at the foot of his bed. He asks her what she’s doing there and is convinced it’s a dream, but hugs her anyway. Hang Ah is just looking at him with a pained expression on her face, though, and just tells him not to skip any meals and to not forget to exercise. His sadness will just be temporary and will pass soon. He then hears his mom calling for Hang Ah and turns to see her standing at the door. Hang Ah lets go of his hand and goes towards her, and suddenly Jae Ha is all alone. Of course, this really was just a dream and Jae Ha wakes up in a cold sweat and calling out Hang Ah’s name.
Back at Bong Gu’s lair, Hang Ah is being held in a room, when his minion walks in. She asks him what they’ve done to Mom, but he responds, in Korean for some reason, that she’s fine. He turns on the TV in front of her and we see Mia preparing to give Mom a haircut. Minion then switches back to English and says that as his fiancé, Hang Ah should try to convince Jae Ha to step down as King. He also makes note that Mia isn’t a very skilled stylist and might accidentally hurt Mom.
We then cut back to Shi Kyung trying to convince Jae Ha not to step down. He’s convinced that Bong Gu won’t do anything to hurt Hang Ah or Mom, but Jae Ha isn’t so sure, given his past track record. He’s not strong enough to deal with the possible death of both of them, and breaks down into tears in front of Shi Kyung. He tells him that he can’t do this anymore and asks why he has to be king even though he didn’t even want the position in the first place. Unfortunately, this time Shi Kyung doesn’t have a rousing speech for him and can only listen in silence.
Meanwhile, Hang Ah is watching as Mia drops a bottle of “hair dye” which starts smoking upon impact with the ground. Guess the bleach in it is a tad strong. She then picks up something stabby and says that she should “do something about her eyes”. Hang Ah breaks and says that she’ll convince Jae Ha to step down. Minion wants to call him right now for her to do it, but Hang Ah says that it’ll be more effective if she does it in person.
After dealing with the WOC for the last few episodes, I’d actually forgotten to a certain extent just how crazy this drama can be. It’s far more compelling to deal with kidnappings and betrayals rather than prissy generals complaining that someone hurt his underlings’ wittle feewings. That being said, although it sucks for Jae Ha, I do like that his plan about dealing with Bong Gu backfired on him, just like most of his other plans usually do. It’s a reminder that, while Jae Ha has come a long way, he’s still got room to grow to become a responsible leader. If you tell your opponent your weak spot, of course he’s doing to hit it. I mean, family is a logical target to begin with, but if you give a speech about just how much your people mean to you, well you’re just daring them to do something about it.
This whole scenario is almost like a chess match between Jae Ha and Bong Gu. Jae Ha went with the unconventional tactic by sending his king(himself) and white queen(Jae Ha) out to attack. Meanwhile, Bong Gu sent his black queen(Mia) to attack the white bishop(Jae Shin), but got cornered by the white knight(Shi Kyung). Unfortunately, his white knight came under too much pressure and had to back off. Later, using two pawns, the black queen was able to take out the white queen after Jae Ha sent her out without proper protection. Bong Gu made his move, so now it’s Jae Ha’s.
I would also like to address the whole worst security ever thing again. You’re talking about the King’s mom and his fiancé…and they have all of 4 guards to protect them in a foreign country. They find out that there are rumors of a civil war when they get there, but did you guys seriously not do your ground work before going? I hope someone got fired over this.
Though I’m sure they’ll still get together in the end, I was a bit sad that Shi Kyung basically turned down Jae Shin, even though everyone knows that he does have feelings for her. He admits as much to her, which probably confuses her even more that he did reject her. I can see why he’d think that Jae Shin is just toying with him though, or confused because of her recent traumatic experience like he said. She’s a princess and he’s just a guard captain. In the real world, that’s not exactly a match made in heaven. Fortunately, this is drama world and I can’t wait to see if Shi Kyung goes to her for emotional support when he needs it. I’m also still hoping for that duet.