Pre-Recap Thoughts: The two men–Jae Ha and Shi Kyung–continue to impress as they divide and conquer. Jae Ha at the WOC and Shi Kyung holding down the fort, or in this case, the palace. The only difference? Jae Ha needs Hang Ah to prod him to greatness while Shi Kyung is just already noble in his perfect dedication to the crown, particularly to a king he believes in and supports with his very life…and now to Jae Shin, who makes him want to be that Knight in Shining Armor all the more.
Recap: The episode opens with Jae Ha selecting the rigged USA ball, and both he and Hang Ah looked at each other in stunned horror. They discover that Club M probably used a magnetized ball that would automatically adhere itself to Jae Ha’s ring, a royal ring that he wears at all public functions. Realizing the futility of crying over spilled milk, they look for Kang Seok to start strategizing, only he’s nowhere to be found.
Where is he?
In the bathroom, using all his strength to see to his business while at the same time, mentally girding himself for the upcoming battle with the USA. Heh…great visual metaphor there, show. LOL. Unfortunately, he overhears an Israeli participant belittle the Korean team with two USA officers, but by the time he exits the bathroom stall, only the USA soldiers remain. In an attempt to defuse the tense situation, the USA soldier pats Kang Seok on the back of the head in camaraderie. Um…when has that ever been acceptable in the US as a sign of friendship rather than one of condescension? Offended, Kang Seok quickly beats up the USA soldiers, thereby creating a tricky international incident.
Hang Ah is furious and has no compunction about showing Kang Seok her ire. Jae Ha tells her and the rest of the team to give him a minute with Kang Seok. Asking him how Kang Seok felt when Hang Ah just smacked him, Jae Ha draws a parallel point that that is how the USA team members felt over the bathroom incident. He asks Kang Seok to imagine how stunned they must have felt to be attacked in such a private place. Jae Ha tells Kang Seok that above all else, Korea must win the WOC…for the sake of the two Koreas and also for himself and Hang Ah; otherwise, they will never be able to see each other for the rest of their lives.
Willing to bear the humiliation for the sake of his country’s participation in the WOC, Jae Ha prepares to make an unofficial apology as not only team captain of the team but also as South Korea’s monarch, something that the USA delegate stipulates or he will demand Korea’s withdrawal from the WOC. As Jae Ha begins to apologize, Kang Seok suddenly marches into the room, eliciting a comment from Jae Ha to Hang Ah about whether Kang Seok might beat the USA members again LOL, and makes a formal apology, 90-degree bow and all, to the USA team. The two USA members also apologize for their cultural insensitivity, and the team captain overrides the US delegate’s objection by declaring that Kang Seok’s apology is enough for them and that they look forward to a fair-and-square combat with the Korean team; he’ll be personally insulted if the Korean team decides to lose in order to preserve good USA-Korea diplomatic relationships, something that Jae Ha’s prime minister had recommended.
With an all-clear, the two teams travel 3 hours by boat to a remote island. Their mission? To acquire the other team’s key to a boat by the shore, a boat that requires both keys to operate. In the event that neither team is successful in leaving by boat, the WOC will determine the winner by viewing tapes from the cameras positioned strategically around the island and by assessing points to the teams. The Korean general reminds the Korean team that due to their 10 point penalty over the Kang Seok incident, they will most likely lose if this happens. The team must win by gaining access to that boat at all cost.
The Korean team decamps and strategizes, only Jae Ha starts to suggest various “cowardly” ways to win: 1) find a way to duplicate their key so that they have two keys without even messing with the Americans 2) reset the digital monitors on their chests when they get hit so that none of them will be counted as “dead.” At these suggestions, Hang Ah reminds Jae Ha that he is king. Yes, Jae Ha counters, it is exactly because he is king that they need to win, especially if he is to marry her. At this, Hang Ah’s gaze flickers a bit. She turns to him and says that if he wins in such a cowardly way, then there is no way she will marry him. She wants a man whom she can respect and admire. Duly chastised, Jae Ha sulks a bit but eventually gets back into the spirit of the competition.
Unaware of the USA team’s hidden camera looking into their base camp, the Korean team decide by rock, paper, scissors that Young Bae should carry the key. As Young Bae freaks out at this responsibility, Jae Ha reassures him that he will be the last officer the USA team will suspect. Aw….
Leaving Dong Ha and Young Bae to guard the base camp, the other four prepare to scope out the island and the US team. When Hang Ah tells Jae Ha to step aside so that she can drive the ATV, Jae Ha resignedly reminds her that he’s still a man. Aw…
She climbs behind him, ignoring his hand of assistance, and breezily declares that he can drive like the wind then. LOL. These two are so adorable together.
Unfortunately, they don’t get very far before they hear blank gunshots. The US team infiltrates the Korean base camp while Dong Ha is in the bathroom and Young Bae is the only one on watch. Knowing they are severely outnumbered, Young Bae communicates to Dong Ha to escape while he can, and then Young Bae swallows the key, grimacing in pain as the large metal key makes its difficult journey down into his stomach. Ouch.
Young Bae, ever brave, screams to the US team that they won’t get the key from him that easily. Why? Because he’s constipated! LOL. The US team then forces an enema down Young Bae’s throat and eventually gets the key out of his system.
Back at the Korean base camp, Jae Ha answers the phone, a call that tells them that their key is now in the US team’s possession…except when the US team walks down to the beach to ride their way off the island, the boat is nowhere to be seen. Ha!
Hang Ah and Shi Kyung’s substitute walk out from the ocean in a different part of the island in water gear and hold what looks like the boat’s motor. Heh. They are definitely thinking outside of the box. Hurray for Team Korea!
Meanwhile, Jae Ha and his group break into the US team’s base camp and prepare a surprise of their own. As the now-separated Korean team go about their respective roles in Plan B, Jae Ha’s voice can be heard telling Hang Ah that the success of their mission rests on teamwork and their ability to trust each other implicitly, an echo of their training days and how their fragile trust was fractured so easily back then. Now, after so many events, that trust is once again put to the test; only this time, the outcome should be a different one.
While Jae Ha and Hang Ah take care of things on the WOC front, Shi Kyung watches over palace affairs, swooping in to arrest John Meyer’s crazy assassin as she makes an entrance at Jae Shin’s first public appearance since the accident, effectively rattling Jae Shin with enough fear that Jae Shin falls from her wheelchair and suffers a very public embarrassment, physically as well as psychologically. The assassin’s ploy? Experiment with another way of torture/killing by driving the subject to death by fear. *Shudder*
Shi Kyung astutely recognizes her from the ambulance incident and from today’s event and interrogates her. But this detainment causes some ripples, most notably with his father, who under pressure from John Meyers that he will reveal Secretary Eun’s involvement to Shi Kyung, demands that Shi Kyung release the woman immediately. He even calls the royal guards and requests a transfer for Shi Kyung to anywhere else just as long as it is away from the palace. Asking his father what he’s afraid of exactly, Shi Kyung pulls out a security pass that overrides any authority his father may have and declares that he will continue this investigation as requested by his king.
After receiving confirmation from Jae Shin that the woman in detainment is the same woman who frightened her that day in the ambulance and at the event today, Shi Kyung is forced to release the woman back to M Club after the organization holds a conference demanding her release. Secretary Eun demands to know if Shi Kyung knows exactly what he’s done and cautions him to be on his best behavior when he meets Club M. If they demand that he lick their boots, that’s what he’ll do! Dang, Secretary Eun…I’m not liking you very much right now. What happened to your integrity?
True to form, Shi Kyung maintains dignity and decorum, even when the crazy assassin taunts him with questions of whether he slept with Jae Shin and whether he didn’t because he was repulsed by the idea of sleeping with a cripple. Hearing the assassin claim that Jae Shin trembled with fear and cowardice the night of the accident, Shi Kyung barely holds in his anger and suggests to John Meyers that he choose better associates/bodyguards next time, one who isn’t labeled a psychotic killer by her country and one who didn’t kill her mother.
As the assassin is hauled away screaming at Shi Kyung, Meyers examines him closely, impressed by Shi Kyung’s control and intelligence. Making the connection that he is Secretary Eun’s son, he takes Shi Kyung aside and offers him many “cookies” if Shi Kyung will leave Jae Ha to work for him. Jae Ha doesn’t have many cookies and will probably only give Shi Kyung crumbs.
With deliberate look and words, Shi Kyung clearly tells Meyers that “I don’t eat rotten cookies.” Yes!!!
Without another word, Meyers leaves Shi Kyung and utters to himself later that day that he’s lost. Jae Ha has people while he has no one. Yup, it’s hard to find caliber equal to Shi Kyung’s quality. 🙂
Post-Recap Thoughts: I know a recap of The King 2 Hearts has been long in coming. In fact, episode 8-13 are still in my “recap” docket, needing to be watched and recapped. However, I figured that with so many episodes already unseen, I should simply jump right into the most recent one so that the post will be the most relevant for you. 🙂
Although I’ve missed Jae Ha’s transformation from prince to king in the past 6 episodes, I clearly like what I’m seeing. He seems to be stepping into the shoes of the king with the seriousness that the position requires without sacrificing any of his rascally ways. Heh…I totally loved his attempt to get his team to cheat. Not that I condone cheating in any form but the fact that he was so earnest in his desire to win…Heh heh…He still has a long way to go, but I love that he’s taking that journey with Hang Ah, who sees beyond his title and challenges him to always live up to his potential. She won’t accept anything less from the man she loves.
There’s a saying that behind every great man is an even greater woman, and I think that in Jae Ha’s case, it is so true. Hang Ah brings out the best in him. Granted, he’s incredibly smart and has panache, but she keeps him on the straight and narrow, reminding him that he is better than the “trash” he once claimed himself to be. Perhaps Jae Kang, in his infinite wisdom, saw this quality about Hang Ah–that she would be able to bring out all the best qualities in his little brother that he knew was there.
As for Shi Kyung, I’m looking forward to the day that Jae Shin regains her spunk and can match him point for point again. Right now, he’s the solid fortress for her, one that keeps all the bad guys out…at least until she’s strong enough to keep them out herself. Her spunk is still there, albeit severely muted by the trauma she’s had to endure, but endure she shall.