This was the most emotional packed episode of Hyde, Jekyll, Me thus far, and luckily doesn’t involve a stupendously fake gorilla escape. The drama works better pared of all the excess trimmings, most of which fall flat or never take off, and instead focus all on the internal struggle between Seo Jin and his guilty conscience. This episode shines because there is so much Seo Jin as well as his dark twisted former BFF Tae Joo. In the sad tale of two boys who went from playing at a wonderland to falling into the depths of kidnapping hell, both came out psychologically scarred and now it’s time to correctly fix the wounds. I can’t be mad at Tae Joo for being so bitter, especially seeing how he tried to move on but seeing Seo Jin just triggered all his rage.
If the drama can’t write an interesting leading lady, at least it is making up for it with an interesting antagonist. I like Tae Joo’s outburst coupled with his own attempt to psycho-analyze himself. Here is a psychiatrist who is also a patient, showing that even with the medical tools he can’t work through his own hang ups. Ha Na didn’t annoy me much in this episode as she continued to serve as the mother of all plot devices, and because all her worry and concern was for Seo Jin and that’s the emotional thread that works more than her playful banter with Robin. I thought the cliffhanger at the end of the episode should have happened earlier, but I’m totally invested to see which personality has emerged from the walk down painful memory lane. Is it Seo Jin, or Robin, or both?
Episode 10 recap:
Tae Joo sets his revenge plot into motion by calling Seo Jin and ordering him to do as he says otherwise Professor Kang is dead. Unbeknownst to Tae Joo currently it’s Robin pretending to be Seo Jin and Robin goes along with Tae Joo’s demands. Tae Joo orders Robin into the Ghost House and Robin complies since he doesn’t have a fear of the place like Seo Jin does. Ha Na notices Robin, who she thinks is Seo Jin, enter the Ghost House.
Chairman Goo is grousing that he can’t have Robin around masquerading as Seo Jin. He barely skated by today but going forward there are too many situations to deal with where he can be discovered. He wants Young Chan to book a ticket immediately to send Robin away despite Young Chan asking him to wait because Seo Jin will be back. Chairman Goo prepares to strip Seo Jin of his position and wants Young Chan to also go with him.
Young Chan blurts out “Are you giving up again?” He’s certain Seo Jin will come back and what will happen then when he finds himself far away and all alone? He will think his dad abandoned him again. No shit, but what can Seo Jin do since he has a piece of crap for a dad. Young Chan reminds Chairman Goo that Seo Jin is his son! Chairman Goo tells Young Chan to say what else is on his mind and Young Chan brings up his own parenting worries for his child and asks Chairman Goo to keep Seo Jin beside him.
Robin cautiously walks through the haunted house attraction while Tae Joo tells Robin that he ought to know where he’s headed. Robin is told to stop and wonders if he’s standing at the spot where Seo Jin was kidnapped? Robin manages to dial his own phone to Young Chan and then speaks with Tae Joo asking if he’s Lee Soo Hyun? Young Chan hears the other conversation and is alerted that something is happening.
Ha Na stands outside the Ghost House and flashes back to learning that Seo Jin was kidnapped from the Ghost House at Wonder Land and since then he’s never gone near there. Ha Na tries to call Seo Jin but goes straight to voicemail.
Young Chan summons the bodyguards to alert them that something might’ve happened to Robin. He then gets a call from Ha Na about seeing Robin go inside the Ghost House. Young Chan tells Ha Na that Lee Soo Hyun may have summoned Seo Jin out and tells her to wait outside the Ghost House. Ha Na immediately goes the opposite and goes inside.
Ha Na can’t find Robin inside so runs back out which is when she sees Robin walking away. Robin goes outside and gets into a car waiting for him. Ha Na runs out but just misses Robin as he drives away. She summons a taxi to follow Robin while the bodyguard calls the cops to report the situation. Chairman Goo is also told that Lee Soo Hyun has summoned Seo Jin out and wonders why such situations keep happening to Seo Jin.
Tae Joo pulls up to an abandoned warehouse and checks on his phone to make sure Robin is headed that way. Robin wants to know why Tae Joo is doing this and hears that Tae Joo is pissed off with Seo Jin’s lies. He wants the truth to come out from that day and expose Seo Jin’s lies. Ha Na calls Young Chan to give him directions on where Robin is driving and she’s headed following behind in a taxi.
Tae Joo directs Robin to the warehouse and tells him to park and get out, reminding him again that if he doesn’t follow the instructions then Professor Kang is dead. Tae Joo watches on hidden cameras as Robin heads towards the warehouse. He’s sitting inside the room and looks around distressed, clearly being in the same place where Tae Joo was also kidnapped wears on him.
Ha Na arrives at the warehouse and Tae Joo sees her on the camera feed and can’t believe she followed all the way here. He stares at a smoke mask in his hand and puts it inside a cabinet with a smile. He then gets some chloroform to ready for the attack.
Robin walks right up to the warehouse and flashes back to a therapy session with Professor Kang when she showed him a picture of the same warehouse and explained that Seo Jin was kept there when he was kidnapped. Seo Jin escaped but left his friend Lee Soo Hyun behind, racking Seo Jin with so much guilt that was why Robin was created.
Tae Joo orders Robin to head inside and he complies. Ha Na walks into the warehouse while on the phone with Young Chan and her description leads him to realize that it’s the same warehouse that kidnapped Seo Jin was held. Young Chan calls the cops to give them the exact location as everyone rushes to get there. Ha Na hesitates for a bit before slowly walking closer to the warehouse.
Robin goes inside the warehouse and is ambushed by Tae Joo from behind with a chloroform rag over his nose. Robin struggles with Tae Joo and Ha Na can hear the noise from outside. Robin may be strong but is no match for the chloroform and finally passes out. Ha Na gets even more worried once the noise stops but she steels herself to keep heading inside.
Tae Joo has Seo Jin trussed up to a chair inside the same room where the two kids were held. He locks the outside door and heads to his car where he can watch the action inside the room via a video feed. Seo Jin is the one who wakes up tied to the chair as Tae Joo’s voice talks to him from the cell phone speaker.
Seo Jin looks around and immediate recognizes the room as where he was held. He looks surprised to hear a voice from the cell phone and Tae Joo wonders why he’s surprised since he followed instructions all the way here. Tae Joo laughs at how easy it was to get Seo Jin here since he’s such a coward.
Tae Joo launches into a monologue about how hard it is for himself to go back to that room but he endured to get Seo Jin here. Tae Joo tried so hard to forget and move on, to just live his life. By chance he discovered Seo Jin was getting psychiatric treatment so he curiously went to find out more. It comforted Tae Joo to learn that Seo Jin was also in pain and suffering.
Seo Jin tells Tae Joo that he has been living a really hard life but Tae Joo doesn’t care and all he wants is for Seo Jin to tell the truth. Seo Jin cannot hide the truth forever, from the world or from himself. If Seo Jin convinced himself of the lie then he needs to dig up the truth now. Seo Jin tries to plead with Tae Joo to stop this and cannot understand why he is doing this.
Tae Joo screams at Seo Jin to open his eyes and look around, everything is set up exactly the same way as that day. We see the two kids tied up to chairs like Seo Jin is tied up. Tae Joo says today Seo Jin is all alone without another person beside him.
Ha Na suddenly walks into the room and rushes over to the tied up Seo Jin, assuring him that she’s here and help is coming. She moves to untie Seo Jin as Tae Joo watches and laughs bitterly at his plan being thwarted. Tae Joo gets out of the car and goes to lock the door to the room on both Ha Na and Seo Jin. He expects Seo Jin to do the same today as he did back then, save only himself and leave the other behind. Then he will be forced to admit the truth that he left Tae Joo behind to save his own hide that day.
Flashback to the little boys attempting their escape. Little Seo Jin climbs up to the window and tries to pull little Soo Hyun up but he doesn’t have the arm strength. Soo Hyun cries for Seo Jin not to let him go as the kidnapper comes back. Seo Jin ends up pulling his hand away from Soo Hyun who gets dragged back while Seo Jin escapes. Tae Joo bitterly relives this memory before pushing a trigger button that releases smoke into the warehouse room.
Ha Na sees the smoke and pulls Seo Jin to the windows to escape. Seo Jin sees the same windows and backs away. He goes to open a cabinet and finds out smoke mask inside which he grabs. He can hear Ha Na wheezing and gasping for breath and remembers little Soo Hyun begging him to hold on while little Seo Jin tells Soo Hyun to let go.
Seo Jin then remembers all his interactions with Ha Na and gets up to go back to her and puts the smoke mask on her instead of himself. Tae Joo stares in shock watching Seo Jin help Ha Na rather than save his own hide. Seo Jin cradles Ha Na in his arms and remembers his childhood self leaving Soo Hyun behind to escape.
Seo Jin can barely hang in there and remembers Robin asking to coexist together and for Seo Jin to ask him for help when he needs it. Seo Jin says “help me, Robin” before his head drops down. Ha Na hears Seo Jin say Robin’s name and worriedly takes her smoke mask off to put on him. That’s when Robin regains consciousness and he immediately looks around and springs into action, running to knock out a few windows to let air in.
Robin asks if Ha Na is okay and she realizes that he’s Robin and not Seo Jin. She also notices that he cut his hand on the window glass and is bleeding. Tae Joo notes that Ha Na called out Robin and he stops the smoke before driving away just before the convoy of incompetent cops arrive for a belated rescue attempt.
Tae Joo drives back to Seoul and cannot get over what happened tonight. He flashes back to the day of the hospital attack when Professor Kang confronted Tae Joo for being Lee Soo Hyun. She’s planning to call Seo Jin there for a therapy session together and wants Tae Joo to also confront the past. Tae Joo claims he’s not ready to deal with it but Professor Kang wants him not to run away anymore.
The words run away trigger Tae Joo’s rage and he asks if Seo Jin claimed he ran away back then? What Professor Kang heard from Seo Jin isn’t the truth of what happened that day. Professor Kang’s phone rings with a call from Seo Jin and Tae Joo moves to answer it. When Professor Kang tries to stop him, he pushes her off which is how she ended up falling into the table.
Tae Joo returns to his apartment and goes to the secret room to talk with Professor Kang. He assures Professor Kang that he has no intention of harming her before sharing his discovery about Robin. He can’t believe that Seo Jin would run and hide so much that he would create an alternate personality. But Tae Joo learned something valuable today – there was only one smoke mask and Seo Jin should have used it on himself and escaped except he used it to save Ha Na.
Why did Seo Jin do that to save Ha Na? Tae Joo told Professor Kang about Ha Na being such a kind person who keeps coming back for the difficult hypnosis session to help Seo Jin. Along the way Tae Joo started to anticipate Ha Na coming for a session even though it’s ridiculous. Professor Kang says the truth is in front of Tae Joo which is that Seo Jin did what he did because he didn’t have another choice. If Tae Joo accepts that back then both were too small and too weak and couldn’t do anything else, then they can heal together. She pushes Tae Joo to go see Seo Jin because it’s not too late yet.
Tae Joo agrees that it’s not too late and his plan can still go forward. Seo Jin was living unhappily which made Tae Joo feel comforted, but now Seo Jin’s life is changing. He seems to have something he wants to protect so he is going to move beyond self-loathing, anger, and disappointment, to try and live like a normal person.
Ha Na wakes up in bed with Jin Joo and Eun Chang worriedly standing watch over her. She hears that she got gas poisoning and immediately worries about Seo Jin. Tae Joo then walks in to pay her a visit.
The cops are going through the case file from Seo Jin’s kidnapping attempt which doesn’t seem to be for ransom or to harm him.
Woo Jung is worried when she can’t reach Robin and thinks he might have left again. She want her dad to let her know if Robin is planning to leave again. If she got to say goodbye properly 5 years ago then she wouldn’t have been so sad. Her dad agrees to tell her if that happens again.
Seung Yun goes to bother the detective about Seo Jin and hears of the recent repeat kidnapping incident.
Seo Jin’s parents hear that Seo Jin will be fine but Chairman Goo is more worried about which one will wake up, Seo Jin or Robin. Young Chan has no answer and later sits beside Seo Jin and wonders why he went to such a scary place. Young Chan talks to Seo Jin and begs him to come back.
Tae Joo asks why Ha Na went to the warehouse when she could have died. Initially Ha Na found Seo Jin’s actions odd, then she worried about him, and later she started to want to protect him. Yet in the end it was Seo Jin who protected her by putting the smoke mask on her. Ha Na suddenly sits up when she remembers it was Robin who knocked the windows out. Tae Joo leaves and looks rather unhappy.
Ha Na learns from Eun Chang that Robin was never at the warehouse, it was Seo Jin who helped her out of the warehouse when the cops arrived. Ha Na wonders if it was a dream that Robin was there?
Seo Jin hears Tae Joo telling him that no one will come to help and he’s been abandoned again then he hears Ha Na calling his name and asking if he’s alright? Seo Jin wakes up and sees Young Chan hovering over him. Young Chan assumes he’s Seo Jin and asks if he’s okay? Seo Jin says “I’m fine” and Young Chan runs out to summon the doctor.
Ha Na goes Seo Jin’s room and finds him awake and sitting up. Seo Jin just stares silently at her the while time as she asks if he’s okay and tries to find out what happened yesterday. She’s certain Seo Jin put the mask on her but then Robin suddenly appeared and broke the windows. Except the cops claim Robin was never there.
Ha Na suddenly notices Seo Jin’s hand is bandaged, the same hand that was bleeding after Robin knocked out the windows. Ha Na stares at the hand and looks up at Seo Jin to ask “Who are you? Who are you really?”
Thoughts of Mine:
I keep watching Hyde, Jekyll, Me for moments of Seo Jin intensity and this episode delivered quite a good dose of that. The more I learn about Seo Jin’s backstory the more I like him. His personality flaws are not the typical chaebol asshole drill, instead he’s just a broken man trying to have some semblance of control in his life. To castigate him to a lifetime of being a coward who ran away and left his best friend behind is unfair. Professor Kang is right in saying that Tae Joo cannot blame Seo Jin without taking into account the situation which gave the two boys no choice beyond self-preservation. To expect a child to do more is unfair, and to hold adult Seo Jin to the unfortunate choice he made is beating a dead horse. Tae Joo needs to move on but he can’t do it with Seo Jin around acting as the trigger for his own unresolved trauma. Professor Kang is correct in her treatment method that the two men need to heal together, sadly that doesn’t seem to be happening in the near future what with Tae Joo’s sudden interest in Ha Na. I don’t think it’s farfetched but do find it funny that men like Ha Na when I find her as interesting as a book with blank pages.
Both Robin and Ha Na annoyed me with how easily both just walked right into danger. This drama has made incompetence the cornerstone of almost every character, from doofy cops to useless bodyguards, part of me wants to see Tae Joo’s smartly orchestrated revenge plan work. It helps that he’s not trying to kill Seo Jin and is just trying to hurt him psychologically. It also helps that Tae Joo didn’t try to hurt Professor Kang and the whole scuffle in her office was just an accidental outburst. Holding her hostage is a no-no but wouldn’t it be the height of irony that everything Tae Joo does is actually steering Seo Jin towards resolving his DID impasse? With Tae Joo around as the baddie I don’t need to worry that the story wants to do a twist whereby Robin goes to extremes in order to exist. Robin remains such a cipher and seeing that he just doesn’t know what Seo Jin goes through explains why I find him so bland. He is happy and charming and a protector identity because he doesn’t carry any negative emotions within him. He’s Seo Jin’s ideal id that protects others above all else, while Seo Jin lives with all the negative memories and consequences of not being able to do the selfless thing all the time.
The cliffhanger at the end of this episode was nicely done even if Ha Na came off even more dimwitted than usual with all the giant signs were flashing right in front of her already. I’m assuming Seo Jin is the one who woke up because of the way he stared at Ha Na. It wasn’t with Robin’s usual warm gaze and was instead really piercing and deadly sexy, this hidden joy at seeing her safe and sound. I thought Seo Jin’s breakthrough in the warehouse was a bit underdeveloped, one moment he was hiding away from his troubles and refusing to come out so that Robin had to take over daytime duty, yet so quickly in the heat of danger he’s able to overcome years of self-preservation tendencies just to save Ha Na? I like the development but with all things in this drama the buildup (or lack thereof) never seems to justify it. I do want Ha Na to not only know about the two personalities, but be forced to figure out which one she actually likes. Her worry for Seo Jin is wayyyyy beyond just simple caring and no boyfriend would be happy at the lengths she goes to help him. There’s another ten episodes to go and I hope the second half of this drama will do a better job of threading the interconnected narratives together.
Click here to watch Hyde, Jekyll, Me.