Prime Minister and I: Episode 6

Prime Minister and I: Episode 6

onto Prime Minister and I

It’s the holiday season for Prime Minister and I, a time where even the biggest Scrooge can pray for a Christmas miracle. We learn some unexpected truths in this hour, and our heroine continues to be her optimistic and caring self, as always. Moreover, we get to dig into the reasons behind the children’s bitterness towards their stern and disciplined father, who realizes that it takes more than a daily log to get to know his children. ‘Tis the season for Yul to learn that perhaps being the best father he can be is the best Christmas gift of all.
SONG OF THE DAY
Lee Jong-hyun & Juniel – “사랑이 내려 (Love Falls)” [ Download ]
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EPISODE 6 RECAP

So our married couple spends their first night together with Yul staying up to work while Da-jung sleeps. The following morning, Da-jung encourages a reluctant Man-se to attend kindergarten. She promises him a playdate, but a stern word from his father gets him to grudgingly head off to school.
Calling her a worry (geok-jung), Yul sighs in exasperation and removes a note attached to Da-jung’s back (another one of Na-ra’s pranks). He tells her to stay out of trouble since worrying about national affairs gives him enough of a headache and to stop wearing the hanbok.
He also assigns her to keep a daily log on his children—their thoughts, concerns, behaviors, and so on. Pfft, how fitting for him to take the systematic approach to get to know his children. Da-jung gapes, “Five pages each?!”

Madam Na is elated at her son’s top grades and even more happy to hear that he beat Cousin Woo-ri. The same can’t be said of Joon-ki, who gives his son a lukewarm congratulations for placing first in the school, and the boy noticeably deflates.
At the office, the mention of In-ho’s name prompts Yul to ask if Hye-joo knows anything about In-ho’s personal life—his hobbies, family background, or you know, if he’s dating. She doesn’t and he sets the matter aside.
He is, however, alarmed to hear that Da-jung has been called out to a meeting with the other politician wives’. And rightly so, as the gathering is just an opportunity for Da-jung to be publicly humiliated by Madam Na, who sneers at their new president’s frugality and her tabloid reporter background.

At least Da-jung attempts to use her new authority for good and opposes the idea of holding a luxury bazaar when all of their husbands are government officials. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t go over very well, and she’s left to foot the exorbitant bill.
Madam Na confronts Da-jung once they’re alone, fully ready to receive an apology for yesterday. She isn’t happy with Da-jung’s simple apology and flashes the scandalous photo, then chucks a glass of water at her face.
Just then, Hye-joo bursts into the room and demands that Madam Na apologize to Da-jung immediately. Though she’s here on Yul’s orders, her mere presence riles up Madam Na’s temper, and she scoffs at the assumption of her romantic involvement with Joon-ki.

That only spurs Madam Na’s rage, but when she raises a hand to strike, Hye-joo twists her arm and throws her to the ground. Then she throws down the check for Madam Na to pay, and storms out like a boss.
Hye-joo lectures Da-jung for meeting with those chaebol vultures on her own on their way out. She’s upset to hear that Da-jung has stirred trouble yet again and begs her not to be a nuisance to the prime minister.
She then walks off and sees In-ho moments later… talking with Joon-ki’s secretary. Hmm.

Being referred to as a nuisance leaves Da-jung in a dejected mood, but she slaps on a smile in front of Yul, who orders her to follow him outside.
Little does she know that Yul has already heard about today’s events, and he engages her in kendo practice. He scolds her whenever she instinctively retreats from his attacks, but what angers Yul most is how Da-jung allowed herself to be made a fool of in front of those women.
He tells her to fight back if hearing that makes her angry, so Da-jung charges at him and fails. “Victory isn’t what’s most important in a battle,” Yul tells her. “Rather it’s to defend yourself even if you lose.”

He asks if what happened today doesn’t anger her, to which Da-jung counters that he should help her out then. He delivers another blow that causes the wooden sword to fly out her hands while telling her that she needs to find the answer herself, in her own way.
In-ho joins Hye-joo in the video surveillance room; the latter is still suspicious about his activities today, but he comes right out with it and says he coincidentally ran into Joon-ki’s secretary, Secretary Bae, whom he used to work with.
In-ho meets with Da-jung later, who remarks that Dad told her about how he ran into In-ho at the hospital. To that, In-ho admits that his hyung is there due to a car accident that occurred seven years ago. Oof, was it the same one with Yul’s first wife?

His eyes well up with tears as he recounts how hyung used to always win against him at chess, and he hoped there would come a day when he would win. Da-jung gives him an encouraging smile and says she believes that miracles happen—so his brother will wake up one day, and her father will get better, too.
In-ho smiles at that, and then musters up the courage to ask if Da-jung likes the prime minister. She sputters in response.
But In-ho gets asked if he likes Da-jung later on, as Yul explains that he saw In-ho hugging her the other day. In-ho replies that he was merely trying to comfort her; moreover, he doesn’t have the time to harbor feelings for anyone when he has other matters to take care of.

Naturally that prompts Yul to ask what those are, and is told that he’ll be informed in due time. Yul lets the matter drop for now, but reminds In-ho to be wary of prying eyes around Da-jung, since he doesn’t want In-ho’s name to get caught up in this mess.
Hye-joo worries that Yul is working himself to the ground again with year-end deadlines. Yul dismisses her concern, and then gets a call from Woo-ri’s teacher.
Da-jung tries to shake the question of whether she likes Yul out of her mind. She gasps at Woo-ri’s messy room, but discovers a concert poster for his band, of which he’s the lead singer. Aw, cute.
She decides to leave that part out of her report for Yul and wonders what his bottle of meds are for. But before she can dwell on it, she’s called in to Man-se’s school.

Da-jung is told that he neither plays with the other kids nor practices for the holiday festival, where all the children’s parents will be in attendance. When her attempts to coax him with snacks don’t work, she offers to piggyback him.
She uses that opportunity to ask Man-se if he didn’t mention the upcoming festival because he was afraid his father wouldn’t come. She sweetly says that they’re all planning to attend as a family, but Man-se retorts that Daddy never came to see his siblings’ performances either.
He does brighten at the idea that his father will go if given an invitation, but of course Yul turns it down, citing that he’s too busy. Then Yul turns his attention to his eldest son Woo-ri, who trails behind his father with a black eye and busted lip.

Woo-ri merely scoffs at his father’s sudden interest in his life, but he admits that he hit his cousin for making a remark about his new young stepmother. But that’s not all—he was just angry and pissed off.
He finishes, “Should I be even more honest? I hit him because I was angry at you! It’s because of you!”
Near tears, Woo-ri tears into his father, saying that he’s never forgotten about his mother since her car accident seven years ago, whereas Dad must have since he got remarried. Da-jung overhears the conversation just outside the door.

Madam Na snaps at Joon-ki for supposedly taking his nephew’s side in the matter, asking if he would actually give a care if Hyun-seo was his birth son. What in the what now?
But Joon-ki turns to remind her that her father had asked him before they were married to regard Hyeon-seo as his own son and never bring up the matter. He’s kept that promise, but it was always her who used that fact like a weapon against him.
Yul returns to the bedroom where Da-jung is busy making Man-se’ Christmas present. She rises in alarm to see him look unwell. He claims that it’s just a headache, but she wonders if he’s suffering from indigestion.

So she brandishes a needle, ready to prick his finger as Yul hilariously cowers at her approach. She manages to get him to sit on the bed, and I love at how she comments on his toned body as she rubs his arm to get his blood circulation going.
He asks if he’s an awful of a father as she once said, to which Da-jung answers that he’s a busy father who doesn’t know what to do for his kids. She tells him that he should at least give little Man-se plenty of hugs because he’s still young.
As Da-jung pricks his thumb with the needle, she explains that even though it initially hurts to deal with a wound, it’s the fastest way to get better. She finds it strange that Yul’s blood looks too red, and then wonders: “Was it not indigestion?” Yul: “I told you it was a headache!” HA.
Yul checks in on each of his sleeping children in turn while reflecting upon Da-jung’s words, and picks up the invitation to Man-se’s school festival.

Da-jung pays a visit to her father on her own, and he asks if there’s more Christmas surprises in store like, say, future grandkids because he’s getting sympathy morning sickness. It’s both sad and funny since his nausea is actually a side effect of his medical treatment, but Da-jung shushes him in case someone overhears them.
That’s when Dad points out another patient and identifies him as In-ho’s hyung. Oh, is he awake now?
Then Da-jung is off to her political wives’ meeting (at a Subway!), where she declares that they’ll be assembling 50 dolls each for disabled children. I love the looks of astonishment on the women’s faces.

She has another surprise for them as well, as their hard work for charity will be in the papers. Cue the Scandal News team and Reporter Byun, and the political wives are forced to smile for the cameras.
After Yul is informed about his day, he asks if they can rearrange his schedule to leave his evening free to attend Man-se’s festival. He tells Hye-joo that Da-jung will be taking care of the children’s Christmas gifts this year so that she doesn’t have to.
In fact, he wonders if he’s depending too much on Hye-joo to the point where it affects her decision-making abilities. Hye-joo readily defends that that isn’t the case, but can’t bring herself to say why. Yul apologizes and thanks her for her efforts, promising to make sure not to burden her in the future.

Little Man-se does the cutest little happy dance to hear that Daddy will come see him perform after all, and practices with gusto. Na-ra, however, sheds angry and bitter tears at the news.
Da-jung goes Christmas shopping on her own for the kids. She considers a guitar for Woori, but gasps at the expressive price tag, settling on a nice guitar belt instead. Yul later finds her passed on the bed with her half-made frog doll, so he stays up to finish sewing it.
She wakes the following morning to find the completed doll and admires Yul’s sewing skills.

Da-jung then joins Woo-ri and Na-ra, both of whom refuse to attend their brother’s school festival. She gets Na-ra’s attention with the hint of a totally, awesome present, and then dangles the fact that Woo-ri is in a band like a blackmailing carrot.
I love how Woo-ri’s like, “Is that a threat?” and Da-jung is all, You bet it is. Ha, points for knowing how to get through to these kids.
Yul calls just then to inform Da-jung that something urgent came up; he’ll do his best to make it in time, but can’t make any guarantees. Da-jung panics at that, and instructs the housekeeper to take the kids to the school first.
Interestingly, we see Woo-ri sneak away to call… his uncle Joon-ki? Wait, are you the spy?

Unfortunately Joon-ki is busy having dinner with his wife and father-in-law (why hello there Lee Deok-hwa), the latter of whom asks about the environmentalist project he’s backing. Joon-ki replies that he has it covered.
His father-in-law warns that he better because he’s groomed Joon-ki to protect his wealth like a guard dog. Joon-ki replies that dogs only know one master, but he isn’t someone who can do that. He adds the thinly veiled warning that his father-in-law should be on his guard because even trained dogs can bite their master.
Yul is invited to join the president for dinner after their meeting, and thankfully Yul declines on account to keep his promise to his son. The president sends him off in high spirits since it’s Christmas Eve, and Da-jung arrives moments later to collect him.

With less than 20 minutes until the performance, Yul and Da-jung are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. She gripes at his stubborn refusal to use his diplomatic advantage to clear the roads at a time like this. That’s not much of an option either since it’s rush hour, so In-ho suggests another way.
Next thing we know, Yul’s staff paves a way through the subway station and crowded car. Their fellow passengers snaps photos left and right, astonished to see the dignitary riding public transportation.
Unfortunately for them, they miss their designated stop when Da-jung tries to retrieve their heel. They start bickering per usual, and In-ho warns through gritted teeth that now’s not the time to place blame when they’re in the public eye.

Meanwhile the last musical number comes ’round, and Na-ra starts to worry that Daddy won’t be able to make it. It’s sweet that her voice sounds a bit hopeful despite her usual cynical attitude.
Yul and Da-jung’s seats are still empty when Man-se walks on stage. Head hanging, he calls them both liars and starts crying. Aw, kiddo.
But that’s when Yul and Da-jung finally arrive and (attempt to) quietly take their seats. Man-se wipes his tears and starts dancing, as Yul watches him with a proud smile.

And if this scene couldn’t be more adorable than it already is, it just did because after the show, Man-se runs to give his father a hug. I’m not crying; I’ve just been cutting onions.
Joon-ki drops by his alma mater to visit an old haunt, unaware that Hye-joo is also in the vicinity. He picks up a guitar and as he plays (is that the Autumn Story soundtrack?), he thinks back to when he first met Hye-joo.
She had called Joon-ki sunbae because she was determined to enroll in this same university. He had humored her and called her hoobae in return.

Joon-ki takes a stroll outside where he runs into Hye-joo. It starts to snow just then, and he calls it an unexpected present. Ack, the music seems to suggest some kind of Christmas miracle happening. Joon-ki, I know you’re in an unhappy marriage and all, but that does not negate the fact that you are married.
The music turns festive as we watch our characters open their Christmas gifts: Man-se hugs his frog doll, Na-ra is giddy at her CD, and even the housekeeper smiles at her new apron. Aw, Da-jung gifts In-ho with a chess set, and Woo-ri lets out a troubled sigh at his gift. Pangs of guilt, perhaps?
Yul asks why he hasn’t received his gift yet, and she points out that he didn’t prepare one for her either. But she does present him with… a book? I’m all for reading, but I definitely had a different idea in my head.

He points out that this copy of “One Thousand and One Nights” is from his library, to which Da-jung says yes, but her present is to read it aloud to him at night. That’s cute. Given how Yul stays up most nights working, she guesses that he suffers from insomnia and stresses the importance of a good night’s rest.
Yul teases that he doesn’t particularly like the gift, but Da-jung instructs him to come over beside her on the bed. She starts reading, and I’ll laugh if he actually falls asleep to the sound of her voice.
He does, or rather he’s resting his eyes and tells Da-jung to keep reading. He opens his eyes to see her dozing off and smiles. Gah, you’re so smitten and you don’t even know it yet!

He carefully takes the book out of her hands and reads a passage to himself:
“When I could not be rid of my resentment and unhappiness
and my rage could not be stopped with ruthlessness
She was the one who rescued me,
the one who came to find me when I couldn’t sleep… ”

At that moment Da-jung’s head falls on his shoulder. As he looks at her, he reads on, “…my Scheherazade.”

COMMENTS
What a wonderful Christmas surprise and a sweet allegory that ties into this series. In fact, I’m impressed with how Prime Minister handles its pacing, in both its setups and quick payoffs. It’s refreshing to watch characters confront each other with conflicts that were brought up in the previous episode, which keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. It’s a mark of clever writing as well, as we see the minute details incorporated into the narrative, acting as plot devices to highlight our character relationships. For instance, it cracked me up that the writers kept in the Kang Ho-dong scandal joke; through that, we were given a hint about Madam Na’s past, which we now know that Joon-ki isn’t their son’s birth father.
Speaking of Joon-ki, he runs a fine line between suspicion and sympathy with me every episode. There are times where his ambition and vengeance makes him an interesting character, especially when he tells his father-in-law that he’s no dog that serves one master. Then I see him with Hye-joo, whom I believe he does have lingering feelings for. There’s still a chance of redemption for him if he removes the grudge against Yul, but we know that at this point, that battle will continue.

Da-jung’s interactions with Yul’s three children were a particular highlight in this episode. I’m glad that we got to know more about Woo-ri this hour, along with his adolescent angst and grief. I was surprised to find how aware he was that his anger towards Dad is the source of his aggressive behavior, and his outburst was full of pain and resentment, which Oof. Now that Da-jung knows about his band (please, oh please Drama, can we hear him sing?) I can’t wait to watch how this relationship develops, and how Da-jung will continue to challenge Yul how important it is for him to be there for his son’s teenage years.
Man, I’m so relieved that Yul’s meds turned out to be sleeping aids, because if I had a nickel for every time dramaland has taught me that pills = fatal sickness, I’d have a whole jar of ‘em. Like before, I appreciated how the story used that minor detail to later highlight his insomnia, and that allowed Da-jung to take care of him for once, minus the indigestion misunderstanding, ’cause let’s face it—that was hilarious.
I can’t say this enough: I love the little things that Yul and Da-jung do for each other. Just like how Yul quietly finishes sewing Man-se’s Christmas gift or how Da-jung steps up to take care of everyone’s Christmas gifts at the estate. Or how she offers to read to him every night in order to help him sleep. These small, sweet gestures are what grab me at the end of the day, as they continue to be fantastic examples of what it means to love someone (and they don’t even know that they’re in love yet. That part just kills me.); to show that love is more than just a feeling, and it’s in the words we speak and actions we do for our loved ones. So she may end up telling him a story for one thousand and one nights… or for the rest of their lives.

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Tags: Chae Jung-ahn, featured, Lee Beom-soo, Prime Minister and I, Yoon Shi-yoon, Yoon-ah