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The King 2 Hearts, Ep 16: Jaeha meets Hangah in his dream

Screencap recap – TK2H ep 16.  Jaeha-Hangah survive the WOC and engagement ceremony takes place, but sadly, the long waited happiness seems momentary…

Beautiful engagement ceremony and a very happy Jaeha and Hangah celebrate…

Secretary Eun decides to confess the truth in a resignation letter to Jaeha.  In the meantime, Jaeha-Hangah get some post-engagement couple massage pampering.

Love Jaeha in white bathrobe!!!  (But why are these two kept so far apart??!!)

Jaeha gets a private email message from Club M.  Hangah doesn’t want him to check but Jaeha says they can’t just ignore the Bongku situation.  He promises to fill her in on everything afterward.

The email includes audio of Bongku and Secretary Eun’s conversation and the bribe, list of all phonecalls, Mia’s photo.  Jaeha is in disbelief, and says to Sec. Eun, there’s no way ajusshi could have done all this… lied about Jaeha to Hangah, changed Jaeshin’s music, revealed Jaekang’s vacation spot…??!!

Jaeha is pissed off, but also incredibly hurt, having trusted Sec Eun.  He calls him a traitor and Sec Eun says he’ll take whatever punishment, but pleads that this not be revealed to the upright Shikyung because he won’t be able to take it.

Jaeha’s still in shock over the massive breach of trust.  Jaeha can’t tell his family the truth of Sec. Eun and when Shikyung demands to know why his father was fired, Jaeha says Sec. Eun was old, not with the times.  He directs Shikyung to take some time off but he refuses and says he will wait to hear the truth behind the firing.

I love that Hangah is the only one Jaeha can tell everything to.  He shows her Sec. Eun’s confession resignation letter.  She comforts him and is just there for him.  She asks if he is scared, and Jaeha says that he’s scared of everyone/everything but her and that he can’t trust anyone.  I love them!  They so trust each other so much.

Ackkk~~~!!!!  One of my fave scenes!  So sweet and so hot!  Love Jaeha-Hangah!

Queen Mom and Hangah fly abroad do do charity work.  But they are later ambushed by Bongku’s girl Mia and her crew, and get kidnapped.

In the middle of the night, Jaeha’s told that Mom and Hangah are missing.  He tries to call Hangah but it’s no use since Mia’s taken her phone.  (love how they’ve saved their names in their phones!)

Jaeha and his guys and Hangha’s dad too, strategize about what to do.  They think Bongku is behind this.  Jaeha tries to keep a brave strong face to plan next steps.

Jaeha says he will do whatever Bongku wants, that he’ll get on his knees and beg, anything to get the two ladies back safely.  Shikyung advises to wait a little longer, but Jaeha lashes out that one whole day has passed and he’s about to lose it.  Shikyung says that’s exactly what Bongku wants, for Jaeha to lose control and go crazy.  Jaeha tells Shikyung he has 10 more minutes to reach Bongku…

Sec. Eun finally picks up his phone when Jaeha calls.  A remorseful Sec Eun advises Jaeha to rely on the diplomats, and work together with them to negotiate with Bongku.  He gives good advice and reminds him to stay cool and level-headed no matter what.  Jaeha heeds the advice and rounds up all the foreign diplomats on a conference call.

This plan works.  Bongku returns their call and agrees to meet Jaeha.

Jaeha does his best to keep his cool.  He says he won’t marry Hangah, that while N. Korea would be upset, Hangah will understand.  But Bongku says that’s not what he really wants.  He wants Jaeha to step down as king, and put in place some old family member who Bongku can control. He says Jaeha should just go away and live quietly with Hangah, because saving S. Korea would be meaningless to Jaeha if his loved ones were not around.  He tells Jaeha to think about it…

Jaeha is torn.  He knows stepping down as king and letting Bongku have free reign and power would bring destruction to Korea, but the thought of harm coming Hangah and his mom’s way is unbearable.  Shikyung asks about the conversation with Bongku but Jaeha is silent, heartbroken.

Back at home, Jaeha washes up, trying to clear his head…

And the heartbreaking dream sequence.  So sad.  He comes out and ‘sees’ Hangah.

She’s silent, cradles his face.  He hugs her tightly as tears fall down his face and he’s so relieved to see her.  But he asks why she has such a solemn expression.

Hangah tells Jaeha to eat well, take care of himself, and to not be sad…

Queen Mom appears and calls out to Hangah.  Jaeha yells out~ Hangah! Mom!

In a cold sweat, Jaeha finally wakes up from his terrible dream-nightmare.

I cried during this sequence.  Jaeha-Hangah’es crying eyes…  so heart breaking!

Jaeha tells Shikyung that he’s going to step down as king.  But Shikyung says it’s all a trap, that’s what Bongku wants.  He wouldn’t harm members of the royal family; it’s all a ploy.  Jaeha finally breaks down in front of Shikyung and starts crying…

Jaeha says he can’t bear the thought of Hangah and his mom being harmed.  He says he’s not as tough as Shikyung thinks.  He’s been pretending to be okay out of pride, but he can no longer take it anymore.  Jaeha says he never wanted to be king, so why should he hold on to the throne when his mom and Hangah could die.  He apologizes to Shikyung and says he just wants to live an easy life.

Held hostage with Bongku, Hangah agrees to talk with Jaeha to give up the throne.

I really wished the writer didn’t have Jaeha’s character regress so much after having come this far.  He seemed like such a weak king at this point.  I really hope the writer allow the Jaeha character to develop into a rightful and deserving king with some merit and integrity of his own, and not solely based on the sometimes too good to be true earnest Shikyung saving the day or badass Hangah ultimately saving him.

I get the ‘people’ concept.  Jaeha has this and Bongku doesn’t.  But I’d like to see my South Korean KING LEE JAEHA as a dignified and honorable king at this point in the drama, especially with all the immaturity and annoyances his character had to exhibit for much of the earlier part.  So, hope the writer comes through in the end.

Watch Jaeha scenes + full episode at Tryp96 – 12.05.10 TK2H Ep 16 Cuts

Images: As labeled, Naver blogs

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7 Responses

  1. I was actually glad that Lee Jae Ha broke down during that scene at the end- I think it made him more human. If he flat out refused to consider abdicating when his mother and his fiancé’s lives were at stake, I think it would have made him seem too unsympathetic as a character, too much like a man willing to play with the lives of the people he loves for the sake of pride. It’s like when you watch a movie where children have been kidnapped and the ransom is a million dollars, you want to the parent to unequivocally be willing to pay the money, even though you know it’s probably tactically the wrong thing to do (in the film). It’s the willingness that is important. I think the writer’s made the right choice that Jae Ha be willing to give in, but then having the person in danger, Hang Ah, insist that he hold out. It was the best possible way for that scenario to play out.

    • I totally agree that it makes sense for him to break down. like who wouldn’t when your fiancee and mom are taken hostage by a crazy man and as king, you also have your country and its people to worry about too.

      But there’s a way to write those script lines for Lee Jaeha in which that mixed feeling and tugging has some degree of equivalency. it’s the choice of the writer as to which direction you want to paint the character… emphasize his weakness (immature, scared, not strong) or a transforming arc of growth (scared yet understanding that he has to be strong in the face of extraordinary circumstances). The writer has chosen to go with the former, and made it even more noticeably emphatic by stressing the growing nobility and strength of other characters, while Lee Jaeha character’s growth takes a step back.

      And that to me is too bad when all the great cast members make amazing strides in character growth (although many fans have commented on confusion of the way Hangah has been written too), yet the main king (whom we may easily forget is really king at this point), remains stagnant or regresses. The writer has yet to give me a compelling character arc and script lines to help me understand why he should be worthy or deserving as king.

  2. What is the king in The King 2 Hearts? I think from the very beginning, and with numerous supporting evidence since, we are shown he is nothing but a symbol. He is not even a symbol of kings as kings are associated with external, tangible power; he is a symbol of Korean traditions, Korean blue blood at its noblest, the best of Korean Man the people can hope for. In the face of this terrible threat, Jae Ha wanted to save his most beloved. But did he yield as the symbolic Man? I don’t think so. Just the opposite. While trying to hold onto the seat and the empty position despite all else is weak, doing what you can to save your dearest and fight for another day is strong. (You don’t really believe Jae Ha planed to quietly go into the sunset in some S. Pacific island, do you? Neither did BG.)

    • I think we all understand that, that the role of king is symbolic. But you can either decide, as king, to be simply symbolic for symbolic sakes, or move towards rising beyond the symbolic nature of that position… and that decision, is up to the writer. the way the writer has portrayed the situation, the other people around the king are simply noble and good and so they support him despite him being just a ‘symbol.’ Really?!

      A leader, despite being flawed and green, and having more experienced handlers around him still has certain traits and characteristics, other than a simple birthright, that empower him to be a leader. At least in dramas, movies, novels… that’s what makes for compelling characters and heros. Real life, may be another thing. (This drama is definitely not real life). I want to root for my king and get that he’s flawed, but that he’s also transformed.

      I would’ve loved to see Lee Jaeha’s script lines in this scene tell a more complicated tug-of-war of feelings between country and family, then a simple breakdown of SCRIPT LINES of this is too hard, I never wanted this, I just want to live an easy life. All it would take is an added line which gives him pause/reflection about what he’s learned in his assumed role as king up to this point. Not to mention some of the other lines from Jaeha and the other actors that were in the same vein…

      The benefit of doubt that fans of Actor Lee Seunggi give to Lee Jaeha, is not necessarily automatically achieved by viewers who aren’t necessarily watching as his fans but as fans of overall dramas and storytelling, and this stems from good script-writing of lines (in addition to acting). One of the reasons why the noble and consistently developed characters of Shikyung and Princess have been so popular…

      It’s clear what their main problem was, how their characters evolved individually and as a couple, and their points of growth are relevant to the overall main storyline (Jaeshin gets palatalized, chooses to undergo difficult hypnosis to relive the terrible fate of that night, then choosing to press on especially with the support of ESK. Shikyung stays to support Jaeha as king no matter what, later finds out his dad was a traitor, despite it crashing his world view (something that was Sec Eun’s biggest worry), doesn’t let this stunt his view of what’s good and the noble things we should strive for).

      I’m not talking about overall good themes that the writer has put together, but the devil is in the details, which is why script lines matter foremost, in addition to themes, plot, acting, etc. And why Korean fans (unlike international fans) think the writer is nuts for not developing the characters and script lines properly for the two main Jaeha and Hangah lead characters, whose endorsements and attracted sponsorships pretty much foot the bill for a high-quality, film-like feel production. But fortunately was somewhat less noticeable, due to the good acting of Seunggi, Jiwon, and the entire cast.

  3. Dear Ann,

    I have yet to read a good review by Koreans of the writers’ flaws in developing Jae Ha’s character. All I hear are complaints from Korean fans about not enough time devoted to couple time, intimacy, kisses (and sorry, I want those too, but I don’t think that’s what this drama is about)…And the general reception as indicated by the TV ratings started dropping since ep. 3 – more like a turn-off reaction to the general theme of the drama rather than the detail as there’s no time for that to register yet. The core of TK2H’s fans (even we just count the TV viewers measured by the rating surveys) has stayed there for the whole ride. Can I say this is a highbrow drama?

    • To me, good compelling dialogue/script lines do not always equate to good ratings nor box office hits. if it does, great. There are tons of great movies, programs that don’t get the high ratings but appeal to a highbrow set (in the US- Parks and Recreation, Community, etc). but in the case of TK2H, I think the writer’s concept and overall themes in TK2H are sophisticated but script-detail wise, in terms of dialogue, nope, not very sophisticated, or actually, let me clarify… very sophisticated for certain characters, while more not-sophisticated than sophisticated for others.

      As for the drop in ratings and then stabilizing (core viewers) at a certain percent afterward – yep, I don’t think that had anything to do with script lines at that point. a lot of other things at play, among them, uncomfortable NK-SK heavy theme (my dad stopped watching bc of that after first few eps), and the power of a one prominent negative press (donut PPL). and yes, core viewers remain, because overall, the drama is well done with good acting. again, my beef is with proper character development, particularly of Jaeha and Hangah individually and as a couple — that’s different from wanting couple time/intimacy/kisses (which i wouldn’t mind more of either!)

  4. After Jae Ha heard what BG wanted of him, his first reaction was no way, he’s not going to step down. Then he’s started mulling over the situations (in the car ride, he did not bother to say anything to Shi Kyung). It’s not like he did not do anything he could to save Hang Ah and his mother. He’s tried everything. He also had Jae Kang to remind him that BG’s threat was absolutely not an empty one. What he said to Shi Kyung was in fact a plea to him, as the only close friend he had, to understand why he decided to let BG have his way. It’s also a persuasion to himself why he had to do this.

    I was just thinking about a similar situation in cinema (because, let’s face it, this is a highly fictional scenario). In “Air Force One” the US president, played by Harrison Ford, yielded to the villains when they threatened him with his daughter’s life. When he submitted, he looked at his wife with teary eyes, and his wife looked back at him, eyes full of admiration and understanding. He did not articulate his reasons on screen because there’s no time for that. But I would not be surprised if all he thought about was the image of his daughter running up to him for a hug. It might not be noble. It’s humanity.

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