I think the relationship between Jae Kang and Jae Ha has got to be one of the most memorable things that I’ve seen in all of Kdramaland. Anyone else agree with me? 🙂
Today is our fifth installment of our birthday celebration’s “Walk down Memory Lane.” You can check out the original post and the comments here, published back in April 4, 2012. The recap below is republished verbatim from its original publication…enjoy!
Pre-Recap Thoughts: Fearing that I’ll totally go into major fangirl mode over our rascally prince, I shall wisely elect to skip my usual pre-recap thoughts and simply give you the recap…
Recap: Episode 5 resumes with the North and South celebrating the successful completion of the joint military training at a formal event. The teammates individually give each other parting gifts (love the SNSD poster that’s used to “write” down Dong Ah’s address for Kang Seok). To commemorate the event, the soldiers take a group photo.
What a beautiful picture of the North and South together! And I simply love how Kang Seok looks at the SNSD poster like it’s a prized possession. 🙂
Hang Ah sneaks up on who she thinks is Jae Ha and hits him on the butt…only to discover that it’s Shi Kyung that she has hit. She learns that Jae Ha has already left the country but asked Shi Kyung to relay to her a gift: a skin care product. Touched, Hang Ah opens the product to find…nothing. Nothing! The cad gave her the gift of an empty skin care product! LOL. Incense, she screams out her frustration to the entire room, uncaring of who hears her scream. LOL
Driving with the music pounding through his open car windows, Jae Ha celebrates his return to the South his way, driving victoriously through the streets and commenting to his brother in the next car that this is the life; he’s longed for the Seoul air for so long. He then happens to “see” a billboard that reminds him of Hang Ah, prompting him to become a bit thoughtful about what he’s left behind.
Meanwhile, back in the North, Hang Ah packs up her belongings and takes a last look around the dormitory, remembering Jae Ha lounging against the desk chair as he flipped through his magazine. With tears glistening ever so slightly in her eyes, she sits down at that very same chair–lounging against the chair just like Jae Ha–and says her farewell to her memory of him.
The next morning, Jae Ha tries to greet his mother, who’s vigorously gardening but to no avail. As he asks his brother why she’s acting like this, she abruptly turns on him, demanding to know just what he did in North Korea to cause his mild-mannered brother to shout at her in anger. At this bit of news, Jae Ha looks at his brother in digust and demands to know how Jae Kang can still call himself a human being. Heh. Abashed, Jae Kang apologizes again to his mother. He continues that Jae Ha is now slightly better…and at this, Jae Ha demands to know if his condition is slightly better?! Exaggerating the details to elicit sympathy from his mother, he hobbles away, only to quickly walk back when he hears that his younger sister, Jae Shin, is coming home for a while for her break. (Ooooh, they have a sister! I can’t wait to see how she’s going to add to the dynamics of the show. I hope she likes Hang Ah and takes her side. LOL) As he plans for her arrival, Jae Kang smacks him on the backside of the head, and the two brothers bicker a bit about Jae Ha’s past exploits. Love, love, love their sibling relationship!
Eventually, Jae Ha gets his brother to concede that he finished the training well, so won’t Jae Kang grant him a boon? Jae Ha tells Jae Kang that he would like to insert a new member into the palace, someone just like his brother–frustrating in his philosophy on life.
Eun Shi Kyung reports for duty. LOL. Jae Ha selects Shi Kyung to watch guard over him…as a way of payback. He tells Shi Kyung that he could overlook everything Shi Kyung did except abandoning him on that 60-km run. Shi Kyung should have known just from Jae Ha’s expression, tone of voice, etc. Moreover, he asks why Shi Kyung was so attentive to Hang Ah, pointing out all of his “tender” moments with Hang Ah. LOL…Jae Ha holds grudges!?! LOL. He then tells Shi Kyung that he plans on “training” him to recognize Jae Ha’s every expression, tone, etc. Oh, no…poor Shi Kyung!
Back at Hang Ah’s place as she eats with her father, she learns from her father that talk of her potential match with Jae Ha was brought up first by the South. He tells her to have confidence; she’s sought after by even the South Korea palace. Aw…what a great dad, bolstering his daughter’s ego. 🙂
Later that night, Hang Ah retires to her bedroom and pulls out Jae Ha’s prank gift to her, a gift that she’s hidden deep inside one of her dresser drawers. Cradling the empty bottle, she loses herself in thought.
Meanwhile, Jae Kang mulls over Hang Ah’s dossier. At his wife’s comment about Hang Ah, the North Korean Special Forces soldier, being unsuitable as a potential match, Jae Kang draws a red line across her name.
This doesn’t stop him from seeking out Jae Ha, who’s currently taking a bubble bath of all things(!), and telling him about his consideration of a North Korean match for Jae Ha. Shocked, Jae Ha stands up, giving his amused brother a full-length view of his birthday suit (Sorry, I’m foregoing the picture to prevent swooning Seung Gi noonas ;)), and shouts that Jae Kang was only considering the idea. Jae Kang calmly answers that after thought comes action. LOL. Jae Ha tells him that this is war! He’ll show Jae Kang clearly what a civil war between two brothers in the palace will look like!
Still calm, Jae Kang sits down and explains to Jae Ha that these women he’ll meet won’t have a hint of North Korea to them…other than their birth. They’re all foreign-educated and stylish and pretty. Jae Ha refuses to believe this and accuses his brother of setting him up on a date with Hang Ah. At the mention of her name, Jae Kang tells a surprised Jae Ha that she’s been eliminated from the list; they can’t possibly have a member of the royal family be from the North Korean Special Forces Unit. When he seems a bit disappointed, Jae Kang pointedly asks if Jae Ha’s disappointed. LOL. He hotly denies it and asks if all of the women are pretty. Reflecting their tight brotherhood, Jae Kang jokingly whispers that all of the women are pretty, pretty enough that he himself was tempted to toss his wife to the side. LOL…so adorable, these two!
Jae Ha clearly tells his brother that he’s going to examine them from head to toe, and if they’re not to his liking, he’s going walk. Jae Kang laughingly tells him to at least talk with them and show them good manners. Leaning back, Jae Ha declares that Lee Ja Ha is manners. O-M-G! LOL.
Hang Ah’s father receives a phone call from Secretary Eun that out of “respect” for Hang Ah, they have decided not to include her on the list of potential brides. She’ll be too preoccupied preparing for her WOC competition after all. The father returns home to find Hang Ah beautifying herself with a cucumber facial, not because she wants to impress Jae Ha but because she doesn’t want anyone to find fault with her. Learning that she’s been eliminated from the list, Hang Ah later throws away the empty bottle/gift that Jae Ha gave her, fighting back the hot tears, confused by why she’s so upset.
In a complete contrast to the dark mood, Jae Ha is on a brightly lit boat, floating down the Han River, and on the first of his many blind dates with potential North Korean women. The first one? A one Alicia Park who’s currently studying fashion design in France, particularly handbags. Jae Ha, conversing in fluent French, asks if she also designs bags with locks on them and then proceeds to tell her about Hang Ah and the incident with the panties. LOL…I knew the panties story wouldn’t die down quietly. LOL. Realizing that he’s talking about Hang Ah, he stops and redirects the conversation back to Alicia, but when she mentions that she’s interested in handbags, he brings up Hang Ah again and suggests that Alicia send some of her designs to North Korea. He comments that Hang Ah could have carried her acupuncture needles in a pretty bag; she is, after all, still a woman. Ha! I knew he couldn’t easily forget Hang Ah…she’s slowly creeping into his consciousness. LOL
Hang Ah reports to duty, overseeing South Korea’s news and television. The female soldier Hang Ah relieves from duty comments that it must have been nice to train with Prince Jae Ha, such a handsome man. Trying to ignore him, she watches the monitors, glancing from time to time at the pictures of Jae Ha with other women. Aw….
In the same way that Hang Ah is having a difficult time ignoring Jae Ha, the man in question is filling the ears of his blind date with stories of Hang Ah. LOL As he asks Alicia what he was supposed to do about Hang Ah’s unattractiveness with the opposite sex, they see a news report, announcing a promise of marriage between Prince Jae Ha and North Korean Kim Hang Ah. This shocking announcement stuns everyone concerned, especially the “groom” and “bride.”
John Meyer learns of the impending alliance between Hang Ah and Jae Ha. He laughs and hopes that their end is just like the opera he’s watching: the man leaves and the woman dies.
In chaos, the palace seeks to discover the source of the leak, and Club M sends a wedding gift of a diamond ring.
While Jae Ha jogs, he’s besieged by a Whitney Green from the Wall Street Journal. Annoyed by her familiar manner with him, he corrects her and coldly tells her with a smile that she must have mistaken him for a friend. As she rectifies her address to him, he leaves the scene and tells Shi Kyung to deal with the situation.
The chaos is likewise in the North with Hang Ah’s father rushing to deal with the situation. In the South, the chaos intensifies as the citizens weigh in on the announcement, engaging in protests and increasingly frustrated that there is no word from the palace.
Jae Ha learns that Jae Kang plans on explaining the palace’s position, providing all the details of their planned union with a North Korean bride.
Why? Because the situation is related to North Korea.
Jae Ha urges him to just let the matter rest; the media frenzy will die down soon. He cautions that his brother’s explanation may only aggravate the situation as news reporters dig deeper and harder for more information. He reminds him to tread wisely and cautiously…because it does relate to North Korea. What will his brother do if the country’s response is an explosion? They may demand his abdication. At this extreme consequence, Jae Kang calmly concludes, “Then I’ll abdicate.”
Frustrated, Jae Ha slams into his room and rhetorically asks Shi Kyung if Jae Kang’s response makes sense. When Shi Kyung tentatively offers his agreement with Jae Kang’s decision, Jae Ha orders him outside…but then recalls him back to ask him how long they have until his brother’s conference.
As the queen mother fields a phone call from her concerned daughter who has just arrived in Korea, she sees the unexpected telecast of her younger son at a soccer game, one in which he announces something shocking.
Appearing before the multitude in the stadium, Jae Ha solemnly takes responsibility for the announcement and spins the potential disaster for his brother into a love confession:
“Kim Hang Ah…yes, it’s true that she’s a North Korean Special Forces agent. When we first met, she threatened to kill me. But…a person’s heart seems to be the one thing that can’t be understood in this world. I loved Hang Ah and asked the king to accept her as my bride. The king has granted my request. Yes, I only thought of my feelings; I didn’t think about the feelings of my countrymen. I’m sorry. (He gives a deep, 90-degree bow.) However! The king is not to blame. (Love Jae Kang’s expression here as his younger brother exonerates him from all blame. Aw…) The blame rests with me/my heart…for having fallen in love with a North Korean woman, one who was trained to kill me. And so, everyone, curse me from now on. Curse me for loving an enemy. Spit on and throw stones at me.”
Everyone is touched by his confession, even though his actions and speech are obviously exaggerated but unnnoticed by the general public. John learns of this new development and turns his airplane towards Korea in anger.
Over a game of pool, Jae Ha takes credit for saving his brother, especially since it looked like Jae Ha was going to have to assume the throne. Smiling, Jae Kang then asks when Jae Ha wants to arrange for an officially meeting to acknowledge the engagement. Jae Ha huffs and puffs that Hang Ah is going to cling to him if they take any real action. He reveals that “She. Likes. Me.” He can see it in her twinkling eyes. Besides, how could anyone not like him. LOL.
Why does she like him so? Because He. Is. Cute. LOL
Exasperated, Jae Kang dryly tells Jae Ha that for a man to call himself cute at his age is makes the man looks ridiculous. Jae Ha insists that he’s cute! He suspects that Hang Ah is already packing her bags to cross the border.
Standing before North Korean officials, Kim Hang Ah clearly and emphatically refuses to meet Jae Ha. LOL…good girl! She reports that while training, she was fooled by him many times. This is all a ploy. She can tell by his eyes and tone of voice. Aw…she knows him so well.
Hearing of her decision, Jae Ha confidently assures his brother and Secretary Eun that she’s interested; this is simply her playing hard-to-get with him. Jae Ha still assures them that she’ll come running just as soon as she hears his voice. Unfortunately for Jae Ha, Secretary Eun reports that she refuses to accept any phone calls from him or to come to the pre-marriage meeting.
Why? Because She. Doesn’t. Like. Him. LOL…I love Jae Kang’s short “Yup” at Jae Ha’s “She doesn’t like me?” LOL
At his complete confusion, he asks him brother what happens to him then. With a sigh, Jae Kang replies with a deadpan expression, “What happens? After having loved a North Korea woman in a one-sided relationship, publicly declaring your love and even proposing to her only to have her publicly refuse you, you become the first ever royal member to be embarrassed in such a manner.
His brother’s curt assessment of his sad situation prompts Jae Ha to assume Rodin’s The Thinker pose. LOL
Although she’s officially refused to meet Jae Ha, she can’t help but watch his public announcement over again…and again…and again, a scene that her father witnesses. Over dinner, he tries to tell her to forget what Jae Ha said. He knows from experience that men say things that they don’t mean. She should just forget him. However, Hang Ah surprises her father by telling him that she plans on meeting Jae Ha personally and giving him a piece of her mind. Uh-oh.
Unaware of her decision, Secretary Eun asks his son to place a call to Hang Ah and perhaps use his teammate relationship with her to convince her to attend the pre-marriage meeting. As Shi Kyung tentatively greets her, she agrees to come to the South, an announcement that causes both men to assume it was their phone call that convinced her. When Shi Kyung reports to Jae Ha that Hang Ah has agreed to meet him, Jae Ha’s jealousy surfaces, especially when he learns that all Shi Kyung said was a simple “It’s been a while” before she agreed to come to the South. Jae Ha suspects that if Shi Kyung had said that he missed Hang Ah, she would have already flown over. He then places a call to request another bodyguard because Shi Kyung will not be attending the meeting with him due to personal circumstances. LOL. Oh yeah, more like your personal circumstances that Hang Ah will like Shi Kyung more than you. LOL
Then in a momentous event, Hang Ah crosses the border, having promised her father that she will reject Jae Ha, kicking his sorry butt to the floor. She is greeted by Jae Kang’s wife, who warmly shakes her hand and welcomes her to the South. Aw…
On board a plane to meet Hang Ah, Jae Ha asks Dong Ah, Shi Kyung’s replacement, if he’s ever experienced a rejection before. He hypothesizes, “Say she keeps telling you that she likes you, and then when you finally open your heart to accept her and confess your love, BAM, she rejects you.” Dong Ah asks if she did that to him. Jae Ha says no, but that’s what he’s going to do to Hang Ah. He then invites Dong Ah to scheme with him.
Hang Ah arrives and meets Jae Ha, both of them intent on their mission to reject the other over coffee/milk and donuts. LOL Meanwhile, Dong Ah plays his part in telling Kang Seok that Jae Ha truly loves Hang Ah.
Gauging each other like two sparring competitors, Jae Ha lays the groundwork to try to convince her that he loves her, only to have her ask if that’s why he shot her…because he loved her so much. Owwww…He sighs and wonders how she can possibly understand his tumultuous emotions as he shot her. He asks her to at least have dinner with him…for appearance’s sake. He leaves the room, only to return for his cell phone, a cell phone that Hang Ah sees has her picture as its wallpaper.
Stunned, Hang Ah processes not only the picture but Kang Seok’s report of Dong Ah’s confession of Jae Ha “true” feelings. In the other room, Jae Ha regrets the cell phone tactic, declaring that it seemed too staged that he appeared to take the phone back just at the exact moment she sees her picture. He whines that no woman would fall for that old trick. But fall she does…until she receives a phone call from her father, reminding her of her original intent.
Dressed in formal attire, Jae Ha oversees every detail of the dinner and prepares to greet Hang Ah with a bouquet of flowers on bended knee. Unfortunately for him, Hang Ah has other plans and sends Kang Seok with her answer:
“I have absolutely no interest in Comrade Lee Jae Ha. This engagement, I will not go through with it. For the remainder of the trip, I would like to spend the time alone. Please know that these are my wishes.”
With his mission completed, Kang Seok exits in anger, leaving a confused and wounded Jae Ha standing in public humiliation.
Post-Recap Thoughts: Sigh…such a great episode. After watching and recapping for the pasts 3-4 hours, I’ve got nothing right now. Perhaps tomorrow, after I’ve had a chance to process the goodness of this episode will I be able to coherently jot down my thoughts.
So until tomorrow, I bid you good night!
So, my coherent thoughts…I love that the episode brings together a number of loving, functional families that support our main characters and provide us with oodles and oodles of fun? Hmm…seems so bland, huh? Well, I’m off to watch and recap ep. 6, so stay tuned…I figure you’ll want that recap rather than my “post-recap thoughts.” 😉