Official Synopsis: A prince from the Chosun era, Yi Gak (JYJ‘s Yoochun), along with his entourage, which includes Song Man Bo (Lee Min Ho), Do Chi San (Choi Woo Shik) and Woo Young Sul (Jung Seok Won), are catapulted 300 years into the future. As he attempts to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the princess he loved, he unexpectedly finds himself in the city of Seoul in the year 2012, where he comes across a woman who looks exactly like his beloved crown princess…
Ratings: The player positions in the ratings game became mixed up with the crown being given to the new king drama, KBS‘s ‘Equator Man‘. With the tension heightening in the drama, it was able to leap from last to first place in a week as it achieved its highest rating of 12%. Meanwhile, SBS‘s ‘Rooftop Prince‘ was still able to sit comfortably in second place with a close 11.4%. And meanwhile, the drama that arrived as the king during the first week of the game, MBC’s ‘King 2 Hearts’, dropped to last place with a 10.8%. As all the ratings are within a close range, the winner of the weeks to follow is still up in the air.
Recap of Ep. 8: Park Ha (Han Ji Min) and her entourage of the courtiers with Yi Gak enjoy the luxuries of their new “rooftop room”. To celebrate the occasion, Tae Young’s grandmother and the family, including Se Na (Jung Yumi) hold a housewarming event to celebrate the new rooftop room. After Tae Mu (Lee Tae Sung) and Yi Gak return from their squash tournament (from the previous episode), in which Tae Mu threatens Yi Gak, Yi Gak is forced to eat crabs in soy sauce to fully impersonate Tae Young, although he knows that he is deathly allergic to it.
Park Ha knows of Yi Gak’s allergy and finds him out of the apartment, struggling to breathe. Park Ha does mouth-to-mouth to help him regain his breathing, which Se Na catches and mistakes as kissing. After Park Ha takes Yi Gak to the hospital for an allergy shot, she argues angrily with him and tells him that she can’t trust him anymore with his changing stories on his identity, from a Joseon prince to a rich heir. To prove his trustworthiness, Yi Gak walks into the opposite direction, disrupting traffic and worrying Park Ha.
Meanwhile, Se Na, always needing to mold into the bitchy character, prowls around Park Ha’s room and notices the portrait the actual Tae Young had drawn of her in New York. Tae Mu enters the room and tries to console Se Na, only being faced with her coldness to him. Yi Gak and Park Ha begin talking about his true story and he tells her only a portion of the truth, that he is here to meet with someone. Later he asks her to recount what had happened when he struggled to breathe, and Park Ha tells him that she had to do mouth-to-mouth. Wide-eyed, Yi Gak playfully suffocates, wanting another kiss (and don’t we all). To confirm Yi Gak’s story, Se Na finds something in a history book of Joseon kings.
Park Ha’s stepmother visits Park Ha and announces that she set up a blind date with a nice elementary school teacher, much to the surprise of Yi Gak and his courtiers. A dismayed Young Sul sits despondently on the floor, refusing to exercise, while Yi Gak jealously drinks his yogurt, asking Park Ha if she’s excited for the date. The next day, Yi Gak takes Park Ha on a shopping trip, beautifying her for the blind date. Park Ha and her date (cameo by Song Jae Hee) instantly hit it off nicely, as Yi Gak’s servants glare at the two. Chi San sends updates on the date, irking Yi Gak even more. After receiving a text that the two are going to the movies, Yi Gak can’t stand it anymore and sends a text to Park Ha, demanding to see her.
Infuriating Park Ha, Yi Gak demands that she teaches him to drive. His slow pace and attempts to back into the parking lot frustrates her, angering Yi Gak with how quickly he is expected to learn driving. Yi Gak angrily asks if Park Ha could grasp learning to ride a horse that easily, and she confidently tells him she could. Cut to Park Ha trembling with fear. The two ride the horse together, on which Yi Gak interrogates her on her ideal man, making her uncomfortable with his close proximity.
Grandmother meets up with Park Ha in the company, essentially telling her that Park Ha is not allowed to date ‘Tae Young’. Grandmother orders Se Na to bring Tae Young’s paintings to Yi Gak, to help prompt his memory. Perusing the sketches, she notices the same initials on Park Ha’s portrait that Tae Young had drawn of her in New York. Confronting Park Ha about it in front of Grandmother, Se Na accuses Park Ha of pursuing ‘Tae Young’ and acting like his guardian, all the while knowing that he was a chaebol heir. Grandmother slaps Park Ha’s face, as I shake my head knowing that she slapped the wrong girl.
[Note : This post reflects the opinions of the author, and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
The parallel development of the romantic lines and the main conflict of time-traveling mystery truly makes the one hour episode too short for our appetite, as it is exciting and tense at every second. I love how the truth to the time-traveling and murder mystery is dropping little hints quietly, rather than revealing a significant portion of the truth this early in the game and making the solution predictable. In addition, a lot of times dramas have made viewers impatient by wasting time with having each character discovering the truth as its plot development. But what the drama succeeds in doing here is having each character discover the truth, while moving the game piece to the truth, like when Park Ha discovers a ‘secret’ in the history book. (Any speculation what Park Ha found in the history book? I’m leaning towards her discovering Yi Gak’s name, but isn’t it too simple?)
And yay, a much happy viewer with much growth on the Yi Gak-Park Ha loveline. Yi Gak was so adorable with his jealousy with Park Ha’s blind date (anybody disappointed to not see fists flying between the two), and I always love a guy’s stunned and awestruck expression after a girl’s makeover. And I cannot wait for Young Sol to come out of his shell and confront his romantic feelings for Park Ha. Man, can’t wait to see the relationship dynamics change between the lovely family. While I still worry about that bothersome itch of Se Na, I think I can trust the writers to execute it with well, maybe showing a contrast between his relationship with Park Ha and with Se Na, the chemistry and sparks and the lack of.
While I do not appreciate Se Na as a shipper of the Yi Gak-Park Ha loveline, I actually find it interesting how the Se Na-Tae Mu romantic relationship is emulating the style of the ‘cliched’ Korean dramas. The rich guy, with his disapproving parents, dating an ‘inferior’ girl. And I actually like how Se Na in those moments become a respectable woman, defying the usual ‘damsel in distress’ character of Korean dramas. While most female protagonists in dramas have to endure the insults and the shame from the man’s parents, having to work hard to persuade them, Se Na had angrily told Tae Mu why there was even a need to persuade his father, why does she need to be someone who is so inferior that the couple needed to work hard to persuade parents. It’s not only nice to see Se Na vulnerable in these Tae Mu-Se Na moments, a counterbalance to her conniving moments, but also it packs criticism of the usual chaebol guy-poor girl romantic relationship.