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: While KBS‘s ‘Equator Man‘ might have suffered from being last place in the beginning of its broadcast, it’s enjoying much success as ratings have continuously increased for the show, achieving its highest rating of 15.2% with Thursday’s broadcast. Meanwhile, ratings for SBS‘s ‘Rooftop Prince‘ and MBC‘s ‘The King 2 Hearts‘ have deteriorated with the success of ‘Equator Man’. ‘Rooftop Prince’ achieved a 10.6% and 11.3% rating, while ‘The King 2 Hearts’ reined in 11.3% and 10.7% ratings, switching places throughout the week. It is speculated that ‘Equator Man’ will be able to retain its success as all dramas are already past the halfway mark for their storylines.
Recap of Ep. 11: Although Yi Gak corners Park Ha, he only complains about the dirt in his cellphone, leaving the conversation about her love confession until later. Meanwhile, Chi San suffers from appendicitis and is hospitalized for a surgery, heightening the boys’ desire to return home. Later at home, Yi Gak tells Park Ha that he read the text, but cannot accept her love because of his ‘marriage’ with Se Na/Hwa Young (Jung Yumi).
Yi Gak inches closer to the mystery regarding Tae Young’s death as he finally unlocks Tae Young’s cellphone, discovering all the photos Tae Young and Tae Mu (Lee Tae Sung) had taken together in New York. Realizing that Tae Mu lied about not meeting Tae Young in New York, Yi Gak corners him in a bar, scaring Tae Mu.
Although the relationship between Yi Gak and Park Ha is awkward, he reveals the whole truth to Park Ha: his need to marry Se Na, the reincarnation of his princess, to return to the Chosun era and unravel the princess’ murder mystery. Yi Gak hopes to marry Se Na as soon as possible, much to her and his grandmother’s delight.
While Man Bo and Park Ha begin examining a warehouse, an electrical output goes haywire, starting a fire and trapping Park Ha alone in the burning building. After Man Bo frantically calls Yi Gak, Yi Gak abandons Se Na to go after Park Ha.
Recap of Ep. 12: Yi Gak rescues Park Ha from the burning building, placing his handkerchief (with the embroidered butterfly) on her face. The image triggers his memory of his sister-in-law from the Chosun era, Bo Young. While Park Ha is recovering, Tae Young’s grandmother berates him for leaving the meeting about the contract abruptly, and orders him to kick Park Ha out.
While Grandmother is waiting at the rooftop room to have a talk with Park Ha, the boys, Yi Gak, and Park Ha go out for a dinner, ending with Park Ha and Yi Gak spending quality time together. While Yi Gak is busy with his preparations for the engagement, Park Ha starts to pack up to leave and search for a job elsewhere.
Lady Mimi offers Park Ha a job far from Seoul. Park Ha submits her resignation letter and packs up to go for the job interview, which leads Yi Gak to frantically search for her. Reading her farewell letter prematurely, he begins to cry and wait for her return. Park Ha comes home, surprising Yi Gak. He begins yelling at her for making him worry and go crazy, which Park Ha just brushes aside. However, (finally) Yi Gak whirls her around and goes in for a kiss (yay!).
[Note : This post reflects the opinions of the author, and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
Although I knew the mellow and the sentimental episodes would be coming our way, pushing aside the humor, I was a little disappointed by Park Ha’s sad journey in her bottomless pit. A more general criticism for Korean dramas, but I’ve always felt dreary and emotionless when watching the heroines pine for the guy. Although it’s needed to develop the ‘unrequited love’ or the ‘hardships of love’ aspect, as a viewer, I feel it should kept to a minimum or rather, embedded as an underlying message to the episode. Because the viewers all know that Park Ha’s heart broke when Yi Gak rejected her, and didn’t need to see her crying for five minutes straight to confirm that. Although the twelfth episode capitalized Yi Gak’s conflicting emotions, it could have hyped it up more during its previous episode or capitalized on Yi Gak’s growing emotional distance and acknowledgement of his neutral feelings for Se Na (or maybe that’s just me wishing for something more after the kiss and hoping he left Se Na in the gutter earlier).
What really worked perfectly during the two episodes was the unraveling of all the mysteries: Tae Young’s murder, Park Ha’s and Se Na’s birth secrets, and Se Na’s family. While a lot of other Korean dramas fail in integrating all the side plots into one cohesive picture, ‘Rooftop Prince’ uses it as an underlying plot, dropping little tidbits and development here and there, keeping the hype up throughout the episode. And it was exciting to see Yi Gak corner Tae Mu after being depressed with Park Ha.
Now, can’t wait for the romance between Yi Gak and Park Ha to bloom (and to say bye-bye to Se Na).