King The Land – K-drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

Co-Workers

Episode 2 of King The Land begins with Gu Won leaving his suite when he hears Sa-rang marvelling over the bathroom. He enters and makes eye contact with Sa-rang who screams. He immediately turns and waits outside the bathroom till she is decent again. The poor hotelier is embarrassed and hopes he can leave but he doesn’t budge as he needs his phone. She closes the door but he forces it open.

Since she was holding on to the door, she falls into his arms while an unimpressed Gu Won waits for her to step back. She tries to run out but he recognises her as the gym attendant who messed with him and asks for an apology.

She, of course, remembers it as him making an advance on her and she is disgusted. He is confused but she refuses to elaborate. He’s annoyed by her fake smile while she finds him audacious for a guest. They hope they never see each other again and part ways.

Meanwhile, Su-mi runs into Sang-sik outside. She flexes that she was asked to speak at Won’s inaugural ceremony and he asks her out for dinner afterwards. She shouts out her agreement and runs off while Sang-sik is impressed with his charms. However, at the event when Su-mi asks for Head Manager Gu Won to give a speech she is confused to see Sang-sik standing aside while the real Gu Won arrives.

As for poor Sa-rang, she is supposed to give the head manager a bouquet and is shocked to see him. Gu Won, on the other hand, feels dizzy as he suddenly remembers his childhood, being surrounded by the smiling staff as he hopes they won’t smile. He introduces himself and cuts the ceremony short. Sa-rang is called to hand the bouquet and she tries to hide behind it. He is puzzled till he sees who is hiding behind the bouquet. 

Back in his office, he warns her to stay away and she wholeheartedly agrees while smiling. Annoyed with her upbeat personality but disgust with him, he finally asks her to explain her attitude towards him. As she recounts the gym incident, he reveals that the man in the tiger shirt was not him. On top of that, he would never hit on her as she is not his type. Appalled, she apologises and he tells her not to put on her fake smile.

Trouble follows all of the roommates as Pyeong-hwa too has a rough day. She has to put up a heavy suitcase of a rude passenger but her co-worker Ro-woon helps her out. She then takes responsibility as a rookie accidentally throws a passenger’s jacket in the trash. She gets it cleaned but is unable to reach the passenger on time before Ro-woon steps in and helps her. 

At the hotel, Sang-sik arrives to accompany Su-mi to dinner. However, she turns him down for pretending to be Gu Won. He says he never pretended and that since she is a snob, he should stay away in case it rubs off on him. As they bicker, he spots Sa-rang and declares that she should be the one to go to the inaugural ceremony dinner to represent the staff.

An angry Su-mi watches helplessly as Sa-rang is one of the few staff members to ever enter King the Land – the lounge on the VIP floor. The Gus are sitting on the stage as they flaunt their wealth by serving 700 million won tuna to a Chairman Han who wonders if Won might steal the hotel from Hwa-ran. Chairman Gu diffuses the situation by giving a toast.

Cue Sa-rang making a fool of herself as she stands up and loudly toasts Gu Won as she expected everyone else to do. They prove her wrong and she is suddenly pushed into the spotlight. With Hwa-ran vouching for her, Sa-rang is called to give a toast. She puts on a bright smile and gives a sweet speech which just grates Gu Won for how fake it is.

With Hwa-ran goading him, he tries to clarify that he doesn’t care about stealing the hotel from her but she is not convinced. Meanwhile, Sa-rang is sent home with a box of tuna with the VIP staff claiming that no one cares about her presence. But Gu Won spots her as the lone pitiful figure walks out before the dinner has ended.

On the bus home, Sa-rang calls her grandmother to share the tuna with. She then calls her boyfriend, Yu-nam only to learn he is in Busan to watch a match. She reminds him that they had planned a romantic date to Namsan Bridge where couples leave locks to symbolize their eternal love and he tells her to postpone it.

To make things worse, the bus breaks and the tuna head falls out of the box. A squeamish Sa-rang takes it home to an equally squeamish Pyeong-hwa. Da-eul comes to their rescue and the girls are shocked when they learn the price of the tuna.

Back at the hotel, the Gus have their usual back-and-forth as the chairman tells Won to come home and Hwa-ran warns him to stay away. Sang-sik tries to make him go home but Won stays at the hotel.

As for Da-eul, she is promoted to manager. She abolishes the hazing ritual of juniors getting their lunch. She even convinces an insecure customer to make a purchase followed by Pyeong-hwa visiting her.

While catching up on work, Sa-rang reminisces about her time at King Hotel and playing by the beach with her mother as a child. But her bad luck continues as she has to check in an influencer, Mo Seong-ae who is dubbed as the ‘Nation’s Mom’. But there is nothing motherly about her as she keeps insisting on a free room upgrade to a suite.

Su-mi signals Sa-rang to keep her out of it and the latter is forced to handle it alone as Ms. Mo keeps asking for the manager. Won walks in on the chaos and is annoyed that Sa-rang keeps apologising to a rude guest. He scolds Su-mi for staying quiet and calls security much to Ms. Mo’s shock. He calls Sa-rang to his office to chastise her and she claps back that it is men like him who made the rule that the staff needs to be polite in all situations.

He then changes the topic as he tells her not to be annoying during their interview by asking silly questions like his favourite colour. She is shocked to learn that Sang-sik has chosen her for the PR move to have Gu Won interviewed on live TV. At one point, Sang-sik starts talking casually to her and she starts doing the same to him which amuses Gu Won.

As for the Namsan date, it is nothing like Sa-rang imagined as Yu-nam walks ahead of her while she struggles on the stairs. He doesn’t remember when they planned the date and within a few minutes of reaching, he says they need to leave for his reunion. He even ends up throwing the lock instead of hanging it. Instead, he hangs the key which falls as they leave.

At the reunion, she is uncomfortable as she sits alone while he drinks with the girls. While he promised they wouldn’t stay for long, that is not the case. The girls tease Sa-rang for talking formally and are shocked that a womaniser like Yu-nam could stay with her for a year. She walks out and he goes after her promising to say farewell before he walks her home. The girls convince him to stay for one drinking game and she leaves alone.

Back to the mystery that brought Won home, he looks up Director Han Mi-so but doesn’t find anything. Frustrated, he hangs out at a park where coincidentally Sa-rang is sulking. Both tear up for different reasons and leave without crossing paths.

The next day, they are supposed to fly to Jeju Island and seeing Sa-rang with her hair open and in a pretty outfit, Gu Won is stunned. With Sang-sik getting friendly with her, Won is annoyed and tells him to stop fooling around. He pushes his suitcase towards Sa-rang but she dodges it and it hits a sitting passenger in the head. Sa-rang and Sang-sik run off leaving Gu Won on his own.

He pays the man who starts hitting him for his impudence before he realises that the cheque is for a million won. He is suddenly super polite while a confused Gu Won walks off. On reaching Jeju, as revenge, Won drives off in his convertible while Sa-rang and Sang-sik make do with a cab full of suitcases.

Chairman Gu calls to wish Won good luck but also reminds him that the stocks will depend on his performance. Of course, this has Hwa-ran trying to sabotage the interview as she sends in Won’s approved interview questions last minute. Sa-rang struggles to remember it all but is left speechless as Won makes his entrance in a suit.


The Episode Review

Has Gu Won started to pity Sa-rang or are they falling for each other’s visuals? Hope there is a little more bickering in store before all that tension gives way to romance. King The Land has all the rom-com tropes such as miscommunication and the female lead suddenly tripping and falling into the arms of the male lead. But as usual, we get a twist with Gu Won being less than interested in Sa-rang’s clumsiness or fake smile. 

Some viewers were not happy with how cheesy or shallow King The Land is, calling it the typical rom-com of the 2000s. But that is exactly what this K-drama is and there is nothing wrong with that. So, if you tuned in for some deep psychological thriller with plot twists, you’ll be disappointed. With the novelty still there, misguided viewers and haters should clear the path for those of us who are still excited for this light-hearted show.

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You can read our season 1 review of King The Land here!

  • Episode Rating
    (3.5)
3.5

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