As a whole, episode 5 of My Princess was rather a letdown from the bubbling high of episode 4. Not to say it wasn’t a solid episode, but it felt more like another set-up episode leading to the transformation of Seol and Hae Young into pupil and tutor relationship going forward. I feel like this drama almost comes to a standstill whenever Seol + Hae Young are not onscreen together. Even individually, neither Kim Tae Hee nor Song Seung Heon bring the same crackling chemistry or charming aura to a scene.
Thankfully, the writer appears to understand that, and the drama plot continues to create more reasons for Hae Young to hang around Seol. What’s funny is that Hae Young is turning out to be so very different than I envisioned this character before the drama premiered (whereas Seol is as I pictured her, only more likeable because Kim Tae Hee’s performance is so winning). Hae Young is quite irritable, and tempers his tendency to posture with a down-to-earth nature. I like him so very much. What a fun male lead.
Episode 5 Recap:
Seol stares at the magnificent palace in awe, processing her newfounded station in life. Grandpa takes her inside, and shows her the digs. Grade A+++++ off the charts insane. Makes the palace in Goong look like a backpacker’s hostel. Seol is even more stunned when Grandpa tells her that the palace was built especially for her.
Grandpa had the palace secretly built, and was only waiting for the princess to return. He wants Seol to rewrite the history of Korea by resurrecting the monarchy. As much as Grandpa may be misguided, at least his intent is purely altruistic, getting nothing in return except for a fulfillment of his wishes, and giving penny he owns to make that dream come true.
A little blue butterfly lands on Seol’s shoulder, and then flies into the palace through the open doors. Everyone watches, and Grandpa says that it’s a good omen. On such a wintry day, for there to be a butterfly, clearly Seol’s ancestors have been waiting for her to arrive. Seol takes a turn through the palace, remarking that it’s just so big. Grandpa replies that once Seol marries, it’ll feel more suitable for a family to live in.
Seol’s a tiny bit taken aback at the mention of marriage (i.e. royal weddings), and Grandpa says it’s too early to discuss this subject. He tells Seol to rest, and next week there will be a press conference to announce that the princess has moved into the royal palace. Seol confesses that she’s still confused about the whole princess, royal family thing, and only came here because she was so upset about her dad getting publicly maligned that she wanted to stand up for him.
Seol asks Grandpa to help her clear her father’s name. He appears to agree, and then tells Seol that her mom is waiting for her in the palace. Seol has a tearful reunion with her mom. Grandpa asks his secretary what Hae Young is up to, and it turns out Hae Young is getting news that the media has dubbed him the third generation chaebol in love with the princess and is clamoring to interview him. The tenacious reporter shows up to take pictures of Hae Young, much to his displeasure.
Yoon Joo goes to meet with Seol’s sister Lee Dan. Yoon Joo tells Dan that the public will descend once Seol’s residence becomes known, but security has been installed to keep the family protected. Dan smirks and says that a few security guards isn’t enough, especially if they will be gone sometime down the road. Dan says that offering protection isn’t worth anything if it’s not done until the very end. I really can’t stand Dan because she’s such a one-dimensional bitch with zero backstory, serving only as a plot device. Plus she’s so pinchy-faced that I just get the urge to deck her whenever I see her onscreen.
Yoon Joo tells Dan to call her if she need anything. Dan goes to put the business card away in the drawer, and comes across a satchel. She takes it and her eyes widen with a glint. Shit, I hope she gets mowed down by a two-by-four the second she takes a step out of her house.
Seol and her mom sit down to chat with Grandpa, both of them hilariously blowing their nose the same way showing their mom-daughter habits are the same. Mom says she always wondered about Seol’s real family. Seol was always unique as a child, and mom compliments her on having a spirit that fights against wrongdoing.
Mom leaves, and Seol is reluctant to see her go. She asks Grandpa if she can go home to get some of her belongings. Grandpa asks her if she has the confidence to come back here. Doesn’t she want to clear her father’s name? Seol stays with a heavy heart.
Yoon Joo sits down with her dad and Grandpa, who asks Yoon Joo what she wants. He knows that both father-daughter have sacrificed so much for Daehan Group, and before he gives up his entire fortune, he wants to do something for them. Well, I guess this means Yoon Joo can stop her whiny and woe-is-me moaning about getting nothing from her dad’s years of sacrifice for Grandpa.
Yoon Joo asks for the rights to run the Royal Family Restoration Project. She will do everything according to Grandpa’s directive, and she can keep Hae Young in line. Seriously drama? Back-to-back scenes of the two devious bitches in this drama plotting for their own personal gain is a little more than I can take. Let me throw up a little. BRB.
I’m back. Grandpa stupidly thanks Yoon Joo for her desire to help him fulfill his wish. All the while Secretary dad looks at his daughter with horror and dismay. Afterwards, he confronts Yoon Joo, asking what she means by doing this? He warns her that she cannot (should not) get what she wants to achieve. Yoon Joo warns her father not to butt in, she doesn’t want to have to end their father-daughter relationship over this. Okay, Yoon Joo is a seriously distasteful character. As amazingly adorable as Hae Young is, is how utterly revolting Yoon Joo is (Dan is just a throwaway poop of a character).
Seol is shown to her chambers, and she walks through it in a daze and awe. She asks her two ladies-in-waiting to leave, as she is tired and wants to rest. Seol is initially just looking around, when suddenly her eyes light up and she literally flies over the bed (so cute!) and runs into the massive closet. Which isn’t even considered a walk-in, it’s a freaking room in itself. Hundreds of multi-color shoes are displayed like candy in a case, and Seol can’t help herself, she has to try on some of her new outfits.
Seol puts on a red dress and sequined high heels, and turns around to preen in front of the mirror. The slippery surface and her exceedingly high heels makes her almost trip, and she has to grab onto the nearest ledge to save herself from face planting. She rubs her foot, and picks up the shoe and says “I guess it doesn’t fit”, which might have a lot more hidden meaning to come.
She looks around the entire room again in silence. She sends a text to her friends at the professor’s office, telling them that she spent her first night alone, her heart and her body at 39.5 degrees Celsius. Her friend reads it, and says that Seol must be burning up with fever! Jung Woo walks into the office, and is told that Seol moved into the palace. He asks if there is any other news, and is told that she appears to be sick. He looks concerned.
Yoon Joo goes to meet with the university president, offering him a painting as a gift, and telling him that the Royal Group wants to appointment Professor Nam Jung Woo on its board. Jung Woo tells Yoon Joo that he likes his current position in life – a man with no money or background, yet he has earned the respect of the world, that’s already a miracle. Yoon Joo says that with her around, how can Jung Woo say that he has no background.
Jung Woo says that Yoon Joo can help by telling him where the princess is currently located. He wants to do a teacher-family visit. Heh. Hae Young is enjoying a coffee and a paper in his apartment when Grandpa’s lackeys show up. They inform him that Grandpa owns this place, and they are here to take it back. Hae Young tells them to leave, but they come right in and start red-tagging everything.
Hae Young yells at them to stop this instant, but is blithely ignored. He asks head lackey what is going on? Lackey informs Hae Young that he’s being forced to move, and then red-tags Hae Young’s coffee cup in his hand and his shoes. The lackey feels sorry for Hae Young, and hands him a suitcase to pack some clothes since it’s so cold outside. Hae Young agrees to move, and then screams in frustration.
Hae Young drags his suitcase to meet with Yoon Joo at a coffee shop, where she hands him a detailed catalogue of the his assets that he asked her to compile. He wants to go to another house, but sees that it has been transferred from his name. The Jeju Island resort that was his eight year old birthday present – yeah, also no longer in his name. Oh poor little not-so-mega-rich-boy.
Seol and her retainers are out shopping at a department store (my god, what else does she need with a closet like hers already?). She is recognized by the shoppers and gamely smiles for pictures as she strolls through the store. Her lady-in-waiting asks why she only bought a ribbon, and everything else was for others. Seol smiles and says it’s all for her mom and sister, since they must be lonely without her around.
Hae Young is at the department store….to buy underwear. ROFLMHO, this is insane! He picks up a pair of red tight boxer briefs, and a pair of tighty-whities and models them against himself. Oppa, everything looks good on you! I’ll assume he’s never had to buy his own underclothes before, hence the confusion and not sure about the sizes and whatnot. Still, very silly stuff.
He hears a commotion and sees Seol and her retinue walk by. He hides behind a mannequin displaying a bra set. He wonders what she is doing here, and looks up to see a saleslady looking at him like the pervert he’s resembling right now. He asks the saleslady to resume her business, only to duck again when Seol comes up next to him to ask what he’s doing here?
He asks her in his sternest voice what she is doing here, and before Seol can answer, her eyes widen as she stares at him. Hae Young looks down and realizes that he is inadvertently groping the breast of the mannequin. He rights himself and puts on his best serious diplomat face, except Seol grimaces once again. He looks down and realizes that he’s put the red underwear in front of his private parts and it looks like he’s modeling his own underwear now. I swear, Hae Young finding himself as the fall guy never gets old to watch.
Seol informs him that she’s here on official princess business, and then turns to walk away with a smirk. Hae Young goes to check out and finds that all his credit cards have been declined. Oops, Grandpa cut off your credit line, Hae Young? He runs after Seol, dragging his suitcase, and stops the elevator from closing. This entire sequence was so much a inverted reflection of their interaction at the department from the first episode. Really nice to watch in reverse now, with Seol in the powerful dominant position in their relationship.
Hae Young nudges Seol aside and makes room in the elevator, and the two of them take turns glaring at each other during the ride down. When the door opens, Seol saunters out, leaving Hae Young fuming. He gets a call, and goes to meet with the President, who explains that he did not authorize Hae Young’s current predicament.
Hae Young asks why the President agreed to back the royal restoration. The President says that it can be a reflection of a society’s history and culture to have a royal family. Hae Young rightly says that is what a naïve college girl would say. Hae Young says that if the President met the princess, he will change his mind. Grandpa is wrong to want a girl like that to be a princess.
Hae Young says that even if the monarchy restored, in the long run, it cannot be maintained. The President agrees with that view, but says that the views of the citizens cannot be ignored now, and Grandpa is so insistent on it. The President asks whether Hae Young knows how to handle this situation at hand.
The President and the opposition leader are jointly giving blood, with the press documenting it. Once the press leaves, the opposition leader asks the nurse to take the needle out. The President informs him that the princess has moved in the palace already. The President says that the citizens should decide in the end, and to stop making life difficult for the princess.
Seol is having tea when she’s informed that Jung Woo is asking to see her. She rushes outside to greet him (but first asking if she looks pretty), and both are happy to see each other. You know, I adore Jung Woo, love Ryu Soo Young in this role, but I can’t ever ship Seol-Jung Woo because they are missing one critical shippy element – tension (which Seol and Hae Young have in spades). Jung Woo knows Seol likes him, and he’s okay with that. Seol knows that he knows she likes him, but doesn’t do anything except be like a puppy around him. They are never going to be more than friends.
Jung Woo asks if Seol is feeling better, and she says that she’s doing great, considering she’s living in Heaven. Jung Woo says she hasn’t changed one bit, and smiles. She asks why he came to visit her, and he says “I was thinking of/missing you.” Seol’s face freezes, and she asks if he’s serious. Before he can answer, she stops him and asks for a moment.
She holds her chest, and says that Jung Woo’s sudden statement is hard for her to digest immediately. Jung Woo tells her that living as a monarch is a lonely existence, and that she can come to him if she needs to vent her frustrations with her situation. Seol is touched by his gesture, but suddenly the phone rings and she answers to find Hae Young calling her. I love how Hae Young inadvertently interrupts a nice moment between Seol and Jung Woo.
Seol answers the phone curtly, asking why Hae Young is calling her? She tells him he should be calling her, and he says that he will call her if he feels like it. I swear, the second these two have any interaction, suddenly all my giggling nerves are activated. Seol informs him that when she entered the palace, she planned to forget him forever. Yeah, good luck with that, lady.
Hae Young is taken aback with her attitude, and asks where she is right now. She wonders why he needs to know, it’s not like he’s planning to come see her. He says he needs to know or else they are going to get into trouble. Seol yells “what kind of trouble can we get into some more now!”, and Jung Woo and her ladies all stare at her.
Hae Young informs Seol that matters between a man and woman can get complicated, and now he’s planning to MARRY her. Bwahahaha, oh Hae Young, you are like a steamroller with your wooing techniques and subtlety. Seol hangs up the phone in shock. She excuses herself to call Hae Young back (who is currently in a convenience store buying magazines).
This time he’s the one asking what she wants. She wants to know where he is, and he says that he is currently at a press conference, announcing that he wants to marry her. Okay, you two need to get a room, and jump leapfrog over the courtship part of your relationship. I’m okay with that. Seol wants to know why he wants to marry her, and Hae Young declares that the more scandal with her, the more it benefits him.
Hae Young tells her that if she doesn’t want him to announce it, then she needs to get her butt out of the palace and come see him. He then hangs up. This round goes to Hae Young. Seol comes running back and drags Jung Woo with her and runs into her room (with a cute “go, go”). She informs her ladies that she wants some alone time with her professor, and if they hear any noise, or no noise, to NOT come and bother them.
Once the door closes, Seol asks Jung Woo to please help her! Park Hae Young is about to announce that he is planning to marry her. Jung Woo helps Seol sneak out of the palace. As they are driving away, the cute server boy from the previous episode, who is now an assistant chef at the palace, sees Seol leaving. He thinks it’s a kidnapping attempt and rides his scooter to chase after Jung Woo’s car.
Seol is trying to shush him away when Jung Woo accidentally runs into some road barriers. Seol ends up in the hospital with some minor aches and a nose bleed. Hae Young hurries to the hospital, running in to check on Seol. The doctor informs them that Seol can stay the night if she wishes, but doesn’t need to since she appears to be fine.
Seol tells Hae Young excitedly that she came right away per his request. She’s like a puppy around him sometimes as well. Hae Young asks how this happened, and berates Jung Woo for causing her to get hurt in his car. Hae Young reminds Seol that he’s told her many times not to ride in Jung Woo’s car. Oh lord, love petty jealous Hae Young!
Seol tells Hae Young not to blame her professor, who was only helping her do as Hae Young ordered. Hae Young tells Seol to get up and leave the hospital with him, since she’s not really hurt. He pulls her up, and she yelps in pain. Jung Woo jerks Hae Young’s arm off of Seol’s, as she says that she thinks her arm is out of its socket. Hae Young tentatively asks Seol whether she really is injured?
Jung Woo asks Seol whether she’s okay, while Hae Young says he barely pulled her and she must be faking it. Both men leave the room, and I clap in glee for more Hae Young-Jung Woo showdown to come. The nurse hands Hae Young a form to complete, but the pen is out of ink and he asks for another. Jung Woo pulls out his own pen and grabs the form to fill it out. Hae Young grabs Jung Woo’s pen out of his hands, and pulls the form back, saying that he can do it since she got in a car accident coming to see him.
Jung Woo grabs the pen, and says that it’s logical for him, as a professor, to cover the medical fees of one of his favorite students. What is Hae Young’s justification? Hae Young says “her fiancée”? He asks Jung Woo to let him resolve a matter with Seol today. Once it’s resolved, then Hae Young needn’t hang around as her fiancée anymore.
The cute assistant chef comes by and asks whether it’s true that Hae Young-ahjussi is really Seol-noona’s fiancée? She sits up and says that she’s definitely going to put an end to this farce today. She asks him for a favor, and the cute boy ends up pretending to be Seol back at the palace and hiding under her covers.
The sun has set, and Hae Young is by Seol’s bedside as she moans in pain….from her stomach being so hungry. She asks for some water, and then rubs her face with her hands, which Hae Young notices as odd since she’s supposedly has injured hands. He asks whether she is pretending to be sick, and she rolls over and tells him to think what he wants. Seol turns back around, and lets out a fart. She then looks at Hae Young plaintively, and he ends up accompanying her to the bathroom.
As they are returning to her bed, they see a mom with a crying child, who is being turned away because the hospital is out of beds tonight. Seol decides to check out and let that sick child have her bed. Hae Young and Seol walk to the car, and before she can get in, Seol collapses. Hae Young has no choice but to take her back to his apartment. (Ergh, wasn’t he kicked out and is homeless now?).
Hae Young carries Seol into his bedroom and sets her down on the bed, touching her forehead gently to feel that she’s burning up. He takes off her shows, brings her a cold compress, and changes her clothes with a cover on top so he doesn’t sneak a peek. What a gentleman, just my type of guy. I adore you, oppa!
After he changes her, he sees her arm that he grabbed in the hospital and notices that Seol did get bruises there from the car accident, and wasn’t just faking it. Hae Young sits by her bedside all night, nodding off, and waking up to check on her. He’s relieved to find that her fever appears to have broken.
Seol wakes up and walks outside to see Hae Young making breakfast in the kitchen. He puts the porridge in front of her, and sees that she’s grimacing while using her injured arm to hold the spoon.
He pulls the bowl in front of himself, and takes the spoon to feed her. She tries to take the spoon back, but Hae Young insists, since Seol is sick and whatnot. You big ole softy, you just want to feed her the love food you made for her.
He asks how she hurt her arm, and she notices that she’s wearing a bathrobe. She asks if she changed herself last night, and Hae Young says of course not, since she can’t even remember what happened last night. She asks if he saw, and he said that he didn’t look (not that there was anything worth looking at). Seol is upset, insisting that he must have peeked. He smirks, and keeps feeding her during this entire exchange.
She looks at him warily, asking what big thing he’s planning. He must want something big from her, otherwise the great Park Hae Young would not be here feeding her breakfast. He wants to apologize to her, even if she doesn’t accept the apology, he wants her to believe that he really means it. The situation with her father, it shouldn’t have been that way. He says that he is sorry, and they look at each other in silence.
After breakfast, Seol walks into the living room to find the entire place red-tagged. She asks what is going on, and Hae Young says that the entire place is hers. He tells her to shower, and then they can talk. As Seol is dressing, she sees stacks of newspapers discussing the royal restoration. She flips through the stack and comes across an envelope.
She opens it to discover that it contains a background check on her father. She reads through the salacious report, realizing that it’s verbatim what the news media has been reporting on her father. She goes outside to confront Hae Young. She tosses the pages at him, telling him that he’s the only one who would use such tactics to prevent the royal restoration.
Hae Young honestly tells her that there are others out there with the same desire. He tells her that he is not the type of person to do such dirty deeds to prevent her from being a princess, but others are. He tells her to just stop now. Hae Young sighs, and tells Seol – he was genuinely worried about her when she was sick, he is genuinely sorry about her father’s background getting revealed, but what he genuinely wants above all else remains the one thing, that Seol will not agree to be the princess.
Seol’s eyes fill with tears, and she walks out. Hae Young chases after her, but they find Grandpa has arrived to pick her up. Seol goes to meet with the President, who reminds her that she must be a responsible person with direction in order for the royal restoration ballot measure to pass. Seol goes back to the palace and is welcomed by her staff.
That night, she goes to bed, and awakens finding Hae Young sitting next to her bedside. He gently puts his hand on her forehead, brushing a few strands of her aside. He tucks her bed covers over her securely, as Seol’s eyes close and she falls back asleep.
I’m about a billion percent certain this was a dream/fantasy sequence, but the moment was filmed as it was real, and the music was utterly divine in showing how Seol unwittingly invites Hae Young into her dream, her bedroom, her most intimate moment, when she is sleeping. I loved this scene, totally a fantasy scene that was done for a very emotionally driven purpose.
The next morning, Seol awakens to find the real Hae Young sitting in her room, waiting for the princess to awaken from her slumber (hee, I always wanted to use that phrase in a sentence). Hae Young introduces himself to her with a smirk “good morning, your highness, I am diplomatic officer Park Hae Young.” Seol wakes up real fast and jerks into a sitting position, the two of them staring at each other first thing in the morning.
Thoughts of Mine:
Overall an okay episode, but the last 15 minutes more than made up for the plodding first half. I think it’s way to early to talk about why Seol and Hae Young are made for each other, their compatibility, soulmates, or any such discussion about a central OTP. I’m nowhere near considering those issues, but squarely parked in the “awareness” phase of their relationship. Plus, these two get into the most hilarious of situations. My god – red boxer briefs! Really, Hae Young?
Normally I’d worry a couple was taking too long to get together, but here I never feel that way at all. I find the interaction between Seol and Hae Young like a pas de deux, where I enjoy the dance, not anxious about where it’s taking us in the end. Yes, it’s all good when they do get together, but right now Seol and Hae Young don’t give me stomach pains and gnawing anticipation the way Mae Ri and Mu Gyul from M3 did right around this time in their relationship. Seol and Hae Young are such a compelling couple that I know I’ll get there soon, but I’m just not there right now.
I find that the royal restoration as a plot device is already boring me, even though I know it’s needed to keep Hae Young and Seol in close proximity and create the requisite character development. It sucks that it’s just so….flimsy, completely devoid of any rational connection with real life politics and civic considerations. There is not a single country on the planet that would consider reviving a monarchy, especially after a hundred years has passed.
If Seol had been a missing princess in an existing fake Korean monarchy alternate universe, that might have worked better. Except it’s been done before, with Goong S, so it’s not exactly an option here. All the political machinations around the restoration drive me nuts with how superficial it is (especially considering I’m watching President deal with actual, real, modern day politics in a realistic way), so I hope we see less of that subplot and moar moar moar Seol and Hae Young.
Jung Woo is really becoming a nice but throwaway character. He doesn’t love or even like Seol that way, and as a friend it’s going to be a plot struggle to explain why he stays around her. Unlike Hae Young’s character, which has ever reason to be always dealing with Seol. And don’t even get me started about developing the static relationship between Jung Woo and Yoon Joo. I absolutely can’t stand her character – she’s status conscious, acquisition driven, and self-absorbed. Thank god Jung Woo is beginning to see her true colors, and I hope he dumps her ass, even as a friend.
I love how MP continues to balance the funny laugh-out-loud moments with the more introspective quiet ones, and does so in a fluid way. The PD has a nice hand in keeping transitions smooth while keeping the pace up tempo. I still find the entire script pretty pedestrian, but the writer is winning points by putting all her attention into crafting great scenes between Seol and Hae Young, with equally strong dialogue and unspoken gestures.
I’ve watched the last scene of this episode umpteenth times, made all the easier because I embedded it in the preview post on episode 6. Heh, I spoil myself so. I love how the real Hae Young is snarky with Seol (but always with an undercurrent of gentleness), but the Hae Young in Seol’s dream is gentle and tender with her. Too bad she was so sick she didn’t see that the Hae Young who took care of her during that night was just like her dream Hae Young. Or perhaps she did intuitively know that. Which is why even when she was so angry at Hae Young, he still comes to her in her dreams, in his most caring incarnation.