Team Korea proves in this episode that team work and an unwavering faith in each other can cover a multitude of disadvantages. This was definitely one of my favorite episodes…hmmm…Actually, I can’t really pinpoint a favorite episode to save my life since I loved almost all of them. However, if pressed to explain why this particular episode was a favorite, I’d probably have to say because it not only gives us a celebration of Team Korea’s WOC win but also Jae Ha and Hang Ah’s win. 🙂
Shall we plunge into the recap…? You can take a look at the original post and comments here.
The following recap has been republished verbatim from its original publication back on May 9, 2012:
Pre-Recap Thoughts: And the Lee siblings are back! And I mean all THREE of them! 🙂
With the stakes higher, Jae Ha and Jae Shin decide that they will not cower before a psychopath, even if they personally quake with fear at the monster’s potential destruction. Why? Because the things they value and need to protect override any crippling fear that the crazy John Meyer can instill in them! This episode showcases the steel will power of the remaining Lee siblings as well as the lasting legacy of the departed Lee Jae Kang, sibling #1. Lee Jae Ha. Lee Jae Shin. You two are a credit to your brother!
Recap: The episode resumes with Jae Ha and Hang Ah preparing to go “all in” to win the first round of the WOC against the USA team. Jae Ha calls the South Korean general affiliated with the WOC and learns the various ways that a team can be declared a winner…without actually possessing both keys AND without being judged by that dratted points system. He wants to win and looks for ways to do so WITHOUT getting disqualified. Yeah, can we just say that Jae Ha is a master at thinking “outside the box”?
Utilizing this new knowledge, Jae Ha mobilizes his team to help him blow up the US base camp. His team adopts the “divide and conquer” philosophy and eliminates several of the US team members. Dong Ah infiltrates the US camp and frees Young Bae while Kang Seok drives his ATV and lures as many US soldiers away from the base camp. In total, by the end of the skirmish, only 2 Americans are still in the game while Team Korea has three.
In flashback, we learn Jae Ha’s plan. If the American team doesn’t willingly surrender, Hang Ah is to blow up the base camp, one building at a time, and claim victory. But she must trust him to get his part done–setting up the detonators and “bombs”–before 8PM, which is the deadline for the first round of competitions. Jae Ha uses his knowledge of electronics and ballistics to rig a make-shift bomb/detonator and asks Hang Ah to lure the two remaining soldiers out into the open…only the team captain leaves the keys with an officer inside the building while he goes out to face Hang Ah alone.
A tense conversation ensues, one in which the captain refuses to surrender and tells her to just blow everything as she planned, calling her bluff. Only she’s not bluffing. With just one building remaining, he tells her that if she makes that call to blow up the remaining building, Lee Jae Ha–her fiance and king–will die.
With tears welling up in her eyes, Hang Ah flashes back to Jae Ha and his stipulation that if she loves him, she will trust him and do exactly as they planned. Trust. Implicitly.
Declaring aloud her love for Lee Jae Ha, Hang Ah pushes the button, detonates the last building, and then runs to find Jae Ha in the burning wreckage, crying his name over and over again.
Why was she not able to communicate with Jae Ha in those last moments to check if he was safe? One of the blasts knocked Jae Ha’s communication down along with the American officer inside. With mere seconds to spare, Jae Ha completes his mission and drags the American officer to safety.
As Hang Ah shouts out his name, he drily tells her to stop annoying him. LOL
With the first round’s competition over, they embrace and await the judges’ decision.
Meanwhile, back at the palace, Secretary Eun reports to the queen mother that the situation with Club M has been resolves, and Jae Shin pointedly recorrects his statements to “gave into its demands.” The queen mother takes her to task for speaking disrespectfully to an elder and to one who endured the stress and humiliation so that she wouldn’t have to do so. Jae Shin, properly chastised, apologizes but is shocked to learn that Shi Kyung also accompanied the secretary to that meeting.
Outside, Shi Kyung runs as a way to vent his frustrations as his mind plays back all the previous events: the crazy assassin’s taunts, John Meyer’s offer, etc. With the ground slick with rain, Shi Kyung stumbles over an orange cone (road signs) and kneels on the ground in a ball of boiling anguish and frustration.
Looking upon this scene from one of the buildings, Jae Shin’s heart breaks as Shi Kyung slowly collects himself and wipes away the tears. *Wow~Shi Kyung looks muhshisuh in crying mode*
Jae Shin calls Shi Kyung and confesses her feelings for him. 🙂 At his stunned look and polite refusal of her heart, Jae Shin tells him to wait; she’s going to stop cowering and resume her treatment to regain her strength (body and mind) and memory. She promises him that she’ll become a woman worthy of his respect and love, so please, she asks that he not give up on her.
Then in a surprise appearance, Jae Shin makes a guest appearance at an event where John Meyers criticizes the royal family and its hopes of a unified Korea. He mocks that dream and emphatically declares that the two Koreas are not ready.
Calm and composed, in direct juxtaposition with her earlier appearance, Jae Shin greets the room and puts John Meyer’s pompous and rude comments in their rightful place. Making a snide, yet politically correct, comment about John Meyer’s character, Jae Shin urges the people to watch and support the two Koreas in their slow movement toward reunification.
Then surprising everyone–including Shi Kyung who races to the event once he learns of her appearance–Jae Shin stands on her own two feet with the aid of some crutches. She closes her speech by asking the guests to wait and support the Koreas as they, like her with her walking, slowly but diligently work towards a beautiful goal of peace.
With tears glistening from her eyes, the queen mother, viewing Jae Shin’s surprise appearance and speech from the palace, turns to Secretary Eun and proudly tells him that that’s her daughter. Aw…
Back at the WOC headquarters, the various countries weigh in on Team Korea’s maverick interpretation of the rule books, but after much debate, by a close voting margin of 1, Team Korea is declared the winner of the first round. David has felled the great Goliath!
In a show of camaraderie, the two teams demonstrate that even in “war,” the human spirit triumphs over any prejudices or hate that may arise. As they wait for the decision, the two teams slowly show each other generosity and tokens of friendship so that when the decision is made nad Team Korea prepares to leave by boat while Team USA waits on the shore for its ride, Jae Ha invites the opposing team to ride back with them. Rather than wait 30 minutes for the other boat to arrive, Team USA accepts the gesture of friendship and teammates from both teams exchange flag patches and shake hands.
Cheering, the two teams leave the island, unified in the common bond of human spirit.
A news reporter provides an update on Team Korea’s progress: They were able to beat Russia in round 2 but sadly and pathetically lost to Egypt in round 3 when they should have won. As Jae Shin celebrates and gives an interview of how Korea gave a pretty good show for its first entry into the WOC–they came in fourth place–the various WOC teams cheer.
Likewise, Hang Ah is interviewed and is taken aback momentarily when the reporter asks if the engagement can now proceed. As she stalls for time, Jae Ha hugs her and proudly declares that yes, she’s his fiance! Aw….After all, Hang Ah promised that she would marry him if Team Korea made it through to round 2. 🙂
John Meyer sees the celebration on TV and calls Shi Kyung, asking him how much he trusts his father. He taunts him, “Blind faith can be poisonous.”
On the way back to Korea, Jae Ha is notified of John Meyer’s request for a private meeting with Jae Ha. Despite Hang Ah’s concerns and request not to meet Meyer, Jae Ha explains that he must…just so that Meyer doesn’t do anything worse after being put down by Jae Shin at that banquet. Go, Jae Shin!
At the meeting, Jae Ha doesn’t cower, nor does he do damage control, especially when Meyer suggests that they call things even between them. Jae Ha will dismiss the fact that he killed his brother, and he’ll dismiss the fact that Jae Ha’s work at the WOC cost him quite a substantial bit of money. Um, yeah…brother’s life for some capital loss…I don’t think so, bucko!
Instead of taking the crazy psycho’s offer (I know…”crazy psycho” is totally redundant), Jae Ha adds fuel to the fire by disputing Meyer’s claim that Jae Ha and he are alike. Jae Ha agrees that they may be alike, but there’s a clear distinction between the two. In addition to the fact that Jae Ha has real people with him, he knows when to be ashamed of his disgraceful actions, unlike Meyer, whose behavior is like that of a boar, incapable of human reason or morals.
Meyer gets up to leave and tells Jae Ha that they’ll do things Jae Ha’s way then. He was hoping to forget their little skirmish, but he will play the game until the very end. He offers his hand, but Jae Ha blatantly ignores it and asks if Meyer is threatening him with terror at his engagement ceremony. Meyer chuckles sadistically and tells Jae Ha that he can enjoy his engagement. Uh-oh…the lingering, unspoken threat is that the terror will occur after the engagement.
At the engagement ceremony as Dong Ah and Shi Kyung check and recheck security detail, North and South Koreans arrive and present a picture of unity, hopefully a foreshadowing of the future. Even Kang Seok and Young Bae attend! 🙂
The only family not in attendance is Jae Shin, who works hard at regaining her strength. As she catches her breath, she silently promises Jae Ha and Hang Ah that at their wedding, she’ll be sure to be there. Aw…the implication is that at the wedding, Jae Shin will be there on her own two feet.
As Hang Ah and Jae Ha greet their guests, a surprise awaits them. Secretary Eun was able to discover a video clip of Jae Kang officiating the engagement ceremony and wishing the couple well on their future together. Hmmm…this makes me wonder if Jae Kang knew he might not be alive for the engagement.
Meanwhile, Meyer watches the proceedings from his room and plans his next attack: murder of the King and Queen of Swords–Jae Ha and Hang Ah.
Conducting the engagement vows, Jae Kang asks Jae Ha and Hang Ah for their consent to promise to marry each other. He adds one further stipulation: that they promise to stand united against anything that threatens the safety of their country.
Solemnly, Jae Ha and Hang Ah vow before everyone that they will promise to preserve the safety and unity of their country.
As if anticipating their unified response and hearts, Jae Kang smiles. *Happy sigh* I love that he is able to take part in such a momentous occasion, albeit posthumously.
Post-Recap Thoughts: I’ll keep this short so that I can post this quickly. LOVED the fact that this episode reminds us that Jae Kang isn’t gone; his legacy still lives as long as his siblings are there. The Lee siblings are now united in their fight against Meyers/evil and in their goal for reunification and peace. This is no longer only dad’s dream or big brother’s dream, but their dream.
The two Jaes are stepping up to the plate, fighting their private demons to be the monarchs they know they need to be. *Happy sigh* Totally loved!
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the recap! 😉