Tuesday, August 7, 2012

K-Drama Review: Princess Hours/Goong Episodes 21-22

Read Episode reviews for:

Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 1-2
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 3-4
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 5-6
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 7-8
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 9-10
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 11-12
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 13-14
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 15-16
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 17-18
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 19-20
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 21-22
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 23-24

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 21-22

Chaekyung and Shin are being interviewed on national television, and Shin is waxing eloquent about how their arranged marriage of convenience has blossomed into a love match.

If That's True, Why is Your Bride Cringing?

I could just kick Shin right now. Because it's true--Shin and Chaekyung both love each other, but Shin has never said he loves her until now, which makes him sounds like a grade-A fake who's putting on a charming show for the media circus. He doesn't even hold her hand when they're not in interviews, so she can't honestly feel like any of this is being done for her benefit.

Chaekyung does briefly mention that she considered divorce at one point in the past, but Shin glosses right over her words. At home, the royal family is having conniption fits because she mentioned divorce. The king is acting like such a jerk. He yells at Shin for "letting" Chaekyung say such a scandalous thing. Chaekyung may have pulled a dumb move, bringing up their marital troubles just then in the interview, but neither she nor Shin deserves the dressing down they get from the elders.

Just Made An Honest Mistake.

Shin jumps aboard the blame-Chaekyung train and tells his parents that they made a mistake in marrying him off to a girl who can't manage the basic courtesies. It's another cruel move from Shin, but...his words also make me wonder why it is that Chaekyung can't master the palace courtesies and public behaviors. Surely some of that manners training should be sinking in?

In private, however, Shin gets emotional and tells Chaekyung that his love confession was real. For the first time in his life, his heart belongs to another person--her. Ack, his timing is so terrible.

There's a nice change in the Queen's heart when she tells the King that she was deeply touched by Shin confession of love for Chaekyung. She says that a wife can overcome anything if she has a loving husband by her side. She asks the King if he loves her, but he says nothing at all.

She Becomes More of a Sympathetic, Tragic Figure.

Chaekyung seeks the King's forgiveness through an extremely formal type of penance, seokgo daejo or kneeling in supplication, until he decides to pardon her.

She Kneels For a Loooong Time.

Yul is so upset over Chaekyung's self-assigned punishment, he goes to Shin to ask his cousin to stop her. Shin is indifferent to Yul's pleas, less because he's mad at Chaekyung and more because he's mad at Yul, who the King seems to be favoring lately.

After Chaekyung's been kneeling without food, water, or rest for about 36 hours, the Queen Mother takes matters into her own hands, gathering the family together and telling them to forgive that poor child. The King flounces about how Chaekyung lied to them and won't tell them what guy she met with that night, and Yul confesses that he was with Chaekyung as a friend, but in his heart he loves her deeply.

Has a Knack For Dramatic Statements.

I kind of like how although Yul's love can no longer cause much friction between Shin and Chaekyung, it can still wreck havoc on the rest of the family. His feelings work better as a family complication than a romantic obstacle for the leads, who have plenty of their own obstacles. Yul's confession also has the desired affect of getting Chaekyung forgiven. Yul goes to retrieve Chaekyung from her penance, then they run into Shin in the hallway.

Which Begs the Question: Why Didn't Shin Help Her First?

When Chaekyung later asks Shin why he didn't come for her, he says that the way she plotted with Yul made him sick to his stomach, and he still can't forgive her. JERK. Someone's forgetting his own human frailty and the mistakes he once made which hurt Chaekyung. It's like he thinks he's the only person capable of being hurt. He follows his lovely little speech up with, "I'm going to make you live here with me forever. That's the price you pay for betraying me." Wow.

Shin sits alone at night, wearing the shoes Chaekyung made him for his birthday and thinking about how he never finds the right words to say.

The adults decide that sending Yul far away is the best remedy for this problem. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes.

Unsurprisingly, Chaekyung Also Wants to Leave.

There's talk of deposing Chaekyung as Crown Princess, but it's part of Yul's Mom's plot to keep Yul around. She tells her son that he's going to be king whether he likes it or not.

Chaekyung decides to resign rather than being deposed from her position. Yul is excited at first, but then Chaekyung tells him that she'll never see him again once she leaves the palace. He was a good friend, but he's not for her. Yul's heart cracks into a thousand pieces.

Episode 22 ends with a palace fire, and Chaekyung apparently being trapped inside a blaze as Shin looks for her. What?

Watch Goong HERE on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations: These are really sad episodes if you're emotionally invested in the show, but fortunately I'm closer to "impartial observer" territory. Chaekyung's sadness bothers me but I don't really feel sorrowful as I watch it, and while I disapprove of Shin's cold behavior, I can't stay mad at him for very long either. I'm just documenting Goong at this point, without feeling either connected to it or let down by it.

I'm glad that the royal secrets are all out in the air, now. Everybody knows everything important, and the conflicts are coming to a head. With fire!


  1. This is something different, I wonder if Yul snapped and has gone "IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU THEN NOBODY CAN!" maybe not who knows. There is a manga series call Stepping on Roses where there is a love triangle and one of the guys starts off all nice and sweet and I like him but he's not the MCs pick, she prefers the cold guy who paid her to marry him blah, anyway the nice guy after a while of rejection starts to turn all psycho and actually ties up the MC in his house I think and tries to burn them both up.Safe to say I wasn't too fond of him after that.


    1. I have seen that exact trope in many other places! What an awful lesson for a female audience to take away from their stories--the unfeeling, distant guy has the heart of gold, while the calm nice guy is an ax-crazy psycho. Don't believe it, ladies!

  2. I keep thinking she would have fuck whith him from the scratch (let's say their first night together) there would have been no problem at all... As you say, I was quite involved the first 15 episodes and then I got irritated by the characters (all of them) but i can't stop watching.

  3. @Tiger Holland : You're right but it's part of the female malediction. Allways been attracted by the bad guy...

  4. I liked the drama, but it was drawn out too long. She is way too childish to be a senior in high school. As direct as she is with Yul, she should be the same with Shin.