Pre-Recap Thoughts: The players are lined up and the plot is taking off. We see more of what motivates each character and discover the “motiveless maliciousness” of the arch nemesis, John, the psycho “I am King” youth from episode 1’s beginning sequence.
Episode 2 continues episode 1’s tight writing and acting as the WOC team trains in South Korea and then relocates to North Korea for its second half of the training. With the North Koreans back on their home territory, the antics are…well, you’ll see. I give you the recap to ep. 2….
Episode 2 resumes from the tense-ridden ending of Episode 1 in which Hang Ah has Jae Ha pinned down on the floor of the women’s bathroom and the tacit warning of “Prince Jae Ha: Kill on sight” hanging in the air. Before the tension lasts too long, however, Hang Ah diffuses the situation by turning the threat into a joke, reminding Jae Ha that this is now the era of harmony and unification. She was merely joking with him to bond with him faster. Properly now aware of Hang Ah’s military prowess, Jae Ha stiffly walks out of the bathroom as Hang Ah smiles, satisfied at having made her point. LOL. Point 1 for Hang Ah!
Meanwhile, John, the “I am King” teenager from Ep. 1, attends to his ailing father by the father’s bedside. The father, a president/director of an organization opposing the unification of the two Koreas, apologizes to his son and then reveals to him the secret ledger of everything pertaining to their organization, “M Society.” With the coveted ledger now in his hands, John makes a phone call to have his now sleeping father euthanized. Ummm, yeah…this is one twisted man. As his father gasped for his final breath, the “dutiful” son clutches the ledger and clicks his pen, the very same one that was used to stab Jae Ha as a child. With his father now officially dead, his true intentions emerge to the surface as he slides down a ramp and skips jauntily through the hallway, shouting in victory all alone in the empty, spacious hallway.
Barely recovering from his first “encounter” with Hang Ah, Jae Ha teleconferences with his brother, King Jae Kang, apprising him of the situation: Hang Ah just threatened his life in the women’s bathroom and the king’s personal secretary’s son aimed a gun at him! At the ludicrousness of the accusations and assuming that his little brother is up to his usual antics, Jae Kang reassures his secretary to pay Jae Ha no thought and to not connect Jae Ha’s phone calls to him for the time being. LOL…But king, theses are all true! LOL.
Having failed to convince his brother to pull him out of the WOC team, Jae Ha reluctantly enters his dormitory room, one that he now shares with none other than Hang Ah. OMG! LOL…the anticipation of their spats/antics in that room. And as expected, the first “antic” occurs almost as soon as Jae Ha enters the room. Seeing Hang Ah securely lock her underwear in a small suitcase with the comment that she’s heard there are lots of perverts in the South (LOL…suggesting Jae Ha as a pervert…LOL), Jae Ha lays out his arsenal of skin care and then offers Hang Ah a sample when she asks to try one. With a mischievous glint in his eyes, he generously offers her a whopping handful of “precious” product…shaving cream! LOL. Of course, Hang Ah is not as amused as we. 🙂
Later in the day, the joint Korean WOC team gathers for its first training/meeting. As the team is debriefed on the international competition and Hang Ah demonstrates her knowledge of the U.S. as the top winning team for the past two years–but only because they did not participate in the competition–the room is “attacked” by disguised assassins who pelt the room with bullets. Reflecting their superior training, Hang Ah and Shi Kyung assess the situation accurately and react appropriately while Jae Ha scurries towards the door, trying to escape. LOL. Within minutes, the attack is acknowledged as a training exercise, and the team members are asked to report the events as they unfolded. Of all the members, only Hang Ah and Shi Kyung are able to accurately report the sequence of events, both of them confessing that they suspected the possibility of the attack being a training exercise. In the midst of this serious debriefing, Jae Ha solemnly tells them that they are forgetting one very important thing. Dramatically walking to the dry erase board and drawing a diagram, he tells them to block the enemy “without me.”
As Hang Ah walks by Shi Kyung in the hallway, she asks him what he plans to do about Jae Ha, who refuses to participate in their training sessions. Shi Kyung stiffly replies that Jae Ha’s training, he’ll take care of it.
And he does…by doing them himself! Talk about enabling irresponsible behavior! As Hang Ah and Kang Seok look on in disbelief at the dedication of the South’s leader as well as his inability to compel the errant prince to do his own duty, Jae Ha joins them. When asked if he realizes the import of the situation, Jae Ha admits that he does. Shi Kyung’s efforts give him a clear intention of the type of man Shi Kyung is. Then overturning our expectations–or perhaps playing true to our expectations of his irreverent manner–Jae Ha declares that Shi Kyung is crazy, completely crazy! When Kang Seok wants to follow after Jae Ha to beat some sense into him (LOL), Hang Ah restrains him, reminding him that the next few weeks will be spent in the north: their home territory. At this, Kang Seok waits in anticipation. Uh oh…poor Jae Ha!
The next scene shows this “poor Jae Ha” visibly quaking in his seat as the bus crosses the 38th parallel into North Korea. When Kang Seok asks how Jae Ha likes his surroundings, Jae Ha comes a hair-shy of insulting not only North Korea but its dictator. Um yeah, tread lightly, Jae Ha.
As Jae Ha grudgingly tries to get settled into his tiny dorm room–commenting derisively on the interior decor, too much red–he notices that the rest of the team is out on the lawn, enjoying a cozy yet simple dinner of food and singing. Noticing how charmed Hang Ah is by Shi Kyung’s impromptu singing by the outdoor bonfire, he spitefully interrupts the romantic and intimate scene with complaints of wanting food. His mood-breaking phone call elicits complaints from the rest of the teammates, especially when Shi Kyung refuses to continue singing playing the guitar. Instead, Shi Kyung asks the third South Korean teammate to finish his story. As Hang Ah listens to the story of how a commanding officer dealt with problematic soldiers, she conceives of a brilliant and effective scheme to not only get back at Jae Ha but to also convince him to take part in the training.
Now dressed in his army uniform–OMG, the man has ruffles sewn into his top!–Jae Ha steps out into the hallway, only to be immediately distracted by two pictures of beautiful women on the floor. Like a hapless prey following the crumbs to his trap, Jae Ha stops before a door and overhears Hang Ah trying to “restrain” her two other teammates from doing bodily harm to Jae Ha because they’ve had it with his attitude; he won’t take part in the training. LOL. Despite the trio’s stilted reading from a script, Jae Ha is none the wiser and is sufficiently scared. When Hang Ah leaves the room and “unexpectedly meets” him in the hallway, she reassures him that he has nothing to worry about…although, she adds dramatically taking out her first-aid kit of acupuncture needles, one can never tell…LOL. As Jae Ha gulps in fear, she walks away, satisfied that her point’s been made.
With Hang Ah by his side, Jae Ha tells Shi Kyung, who is once again training outside to make up for Jae Ha’s lack of training, that he will commence training and with Hang Ah no less. Overjoyed, Shi Kyung congratulates Jae Ha on his decision and totally misses Jae Ha’s panicked, silently mouthed words “NUCLEAR! FUEL! POISON! NEEDLE!” LOL. Completely clueless, Shi Kyung can only utter a “huh?” while Hang Ah takes the opportunity to enunciate quietly yet clearly “WHAT. DID. YOU. SAY?” LOL.
And hence, the special training of “comrade” Lee Jae Ha begins…with Shi Kyung occasionally coming to cheer him on. LOL
Meanwhile, back at the palace, Jae Ha’s mother reads an article of a pending marriage alliance between the North and the South, with Jae Ha as the groom. Jae Kang and his wife reassure the queen mother that it is simply rumors. However, this rumor now compels the mother to find a suitable match for Jae Ha so that another such rumor doesn’t surface.
As Jae Kang walks with the North Korean general, he comments that he doesn’t like to deceive his mother–uh oh, so the rumor is true–and wonders if the general has any suitable candidates. Like his daughter, perhaps? The general laughs and tells the king that his daughter is too young to marry, knowing full well that Jae Kang knows her age. LOL
The general calls Hang Ah to see how the training is progressing, and Hang Ah reports that all is well, even with Jae Ha, who at that precise moment is complaining like the petulant child that he can be for a medicated bandage to be stuck to his back. When Hang Ah fields another phone call without applying the bandage, this time from a Jae Hoon, Jae Ha looks at her girlish manner in what can only be termed as the beginning of jealousy. Or so I hope. LOL
As Hang Ah gets ready for her “date,” he looks on, surprised by her feminine mannerism. In a strangely reminiscent scene of a husband watching his wife prepare to meet another man, Jae Ha asks if she’s that happy to be meeting her “boyfriend.” Hang Ah merely tells him in a gruff military voice to continue with his training even though she’s not here, or else…She then shifts back to primping and humming. LOL
When she drops her compact on the way to the restaurant, she recalls a past memory with Jae Hoon in which he suggested to her that if she wasn’t married by a certain age, she should just marry him. Anticipating a proposal of some sort, she’s surprised when Jae Hoon flashes a bouquet of flowers and proposes marriage to her…in front of their friends! Only, Jae Hoon is practicing for the real proposal for someone else, snatching the bouquet of flowers before Hang Ah can accept them. Stunned, disappointed, and privately humiliated–although no one knows of her inner hopes–she walks out of the restaurant, dropping the celebratory confetti popper on the street, a symbol of her dropping her marriage prospects and self-esteem as a woman. 🙁
Back at the base, Jae Ha takes advantage of her absence and–swinging his hips ever so slightly (!)–settles down to take a big bite out of a jelly donut. Stopping in mid-bite, though, when Hang Ah unexpectedly returns, he can only stutter that he was merely resting a bit. As she wordlessly starts to jog on the treadmill, he joins her and then checks her ankle when she falls off the treadmill. Using the “injury” as an excuse, Hang Ah cries…and starts to tell Jae Ha about her evening and her disappointment. She only wants to find a husband who loves her.
And the “comforting” continues well into their bedroom as Hang Ah lists all the qualities that she would like in her future husband. LOL. However, Hang Ah soon reveals that no one seems to want her as a wife; everyone compliments her on her military prowess, wanting a son just like her, but as a woman, they don’t want her. Jae Ha asks why then, did she join the WOC since that will truly make her chances of marriage non-existent. Pausing, Hang Ah decides to confide in Jae Ha: She joined because the military promised to help her secure a husband if she helped. At his disbelief, she tells him that she knows it’s only words, but she can’t help but hope. She asks him if there’s something wrong with her.
Sitting by her bed and motioning her closer, he asks if she wants to know the truth. At her silent nod, Jae Ha shifts into his “seduction” mode: “There’s something wrong with their eyes. In my eyes, you, Kim Hang Ah, are a woman. Attractive. Loveable.” Then gently touching her hands, he leans forward to kiss her, only to have Hang Ah abruptly thank him for his encouragement; they should hurry and clean up for bed…She falls silent at her suggestive choice of words and gasps in awareness when she sees Jae Ha still looking at her with intensity from the bathroom door. LOL
Meanwhile, in an elaborate formal dinner, John greets his international M Society guests and regales them with magic, ultimately taking revenge on a little boy’s father for the son’s careless comment about seeing John hide something in his sleeves. Wow, talk about a deranged and inflexible personality….
As Hang Ah tries to sleep, she sees the silhouette of Jae Ha showering, and very much like the innocent that she is, hides herself under her covers, only to peek from under her covers to see him drop his towel. Freaking out and demanding to know what he’s doing (and hence perhaps glimpse him in his birthday suit?), she’s nonplussed to see him merely wiping his feet dry…fully clothed. LOL. Then advising her as a friend, he tells her the reason why she’s not good with the men: she needs to let her soft/weak side show sometimes. He pats her shoulder and places a gentle kiss on her cheek, causing her to jerk upright in protest…
…to find that she was dreaming the whole thing. When she asks Jae Ha if anything happened last night, he tells her that she slept right away. As she goes about the day, people–one by one–come up to give her advice on how to get married. Incensed, she confronts Jae Ha, who openly admits that he told everyone and blackmails her about revealing the ultimate secret of her joining the WOC in order to find a husband. As she searches for something, he asks if she’s looking for her poisonous needles…and the flashback to the previous night shows Jae Ha lulling her to sleep and then quietly, ever so quietly, searching and finding her small metal case of NUCLEAR FUEL POISONOUS NEEDLES. LOL. To further infuriate her, Jae Ha asks if Hang Ah dreamt of his kissing her. Was their kiss a French kiss? Was it long and R-rated? He tells her that unfortunately, even though they are in the military and she is the only woman on the base, he doesn’t feel anything. The conclusion? She. Is. Not. A. Woman.
Post-Recap Thoughts: Ugh! Jae Ha, you cad! She’s going to make you eat your words to her, one word by one word. LOL
Our dear little prince does not know what’s in store for him. LOL. He forgets that Hang Ah can give just as well as she receives. Ha! I cannot wait for episode 3! 🙂
The relationships are solidifying nicely with Jae Ha and Hang Ah growing closer…yes, despite–or perhaps because–of their feuds and bickering. Hmm…we’ll call it the beginnings of courtship. 🙂
I’m going to try to watch and recap episode 3 tonight after work so that I’ll be caught up for tomorrow’s episode 5. Until then, I hope you enjoyed the recap. Have a blessed day!