There might be a new sheriff in town, and other than having a snazzier name than bland sounding Robin, he might actually be the missing link in this whole story. Hyde, Jekyll, Me has been underwhelming from the first moment on but those still watching (like me!) have bene holding out for an eventual reward however small. I see a glimmer of it even if wading through the continued narrative plod is a bit soul crushing. I didn’t care to read too much into the drama title after it started airing since I wanted the writer to get her pacing and intrigue up to par, not expecting a twist may have been built in from the start. I teasingly nicknamed the drama Hyde, Jekyll, Tree for Ha Na’s lumbering presence but now that’s totally not appropriate because the three identities in the title clear refer to Seo Jin and his TWO alter egos. Welcome to the party, Terry!
At first blush I hated episode 12, and even after recapping it the disappointments outweigh the pluses. Except recapping it gave me time to really delve into the elements that are slowly coming together, namely Seo Jin’s no-holds-barred confrontation into his own scarred (and scared) memories and his in control way of dealing with the current predicament. He steps down from running Wonder Land on his own terms, making Young Chan proud and showing the audience that he’s ten times the man that Robin is. I know Robin is the savior personality and find no fault with that, but Robin is so stunted in his outlook and world view, living only to help and to love. It makes him seem like a child living in his own little bubble world, which is dangerous when the cold reality intrudes. It’s in that zone where that only Seo Jin is equipped to deal with it, and I sure hope he keeps on impressing me with his capable thoughtfulness.
Episode 12 recap:
Seo Jin tells Ha Na to come back, and that he’ll be waiting for her. He says it like he wants her to go back to Seoul, but it sounds like he wants her to go back to caring about him the way she did when they were teens.
Tae Joo has stalked Ha Na to the pension but can’t approach her with Seo Jin there. He then gets a video from Seo Jin mentioning another memory from that kidnapping that Tae Joo doesn’t know about. Seo Jin wants to talk about it with him but doesn’t know how to contact him so figured that Tae Joo was keeping tabs on Seo Jin online. Seo Jin want Tae Joo to contact him so they can reach the real truth of what happened that day. Tae Joo mutters to himself that Seo Jin is lying about something else that happened that day even Tae Joo doesn’t know about.
Seo Jin gets a call from Young Chan about the video Seo Jin posted, he thinks Seo Jin is super cool doing that but wonders if Tae Joo will take the bait? Young Chan has an even bigger worry which is another person out there who searches for Seo Jin online every day. We see Seung Yun googling Seo Jin’s name and watching the video, as does Chairman Goo who is not happy about it.
Everyone is watching the video and Ha Na gets a call from Jin Joo and Eun Chang about the Seo Jin’s video addressed to Lee Soo Hyun. She watches the video and remembers Seo Jin telling her that he wants to face what happened 22 years ago head on and overcome it.
Seo Jin finds Ha Na in her room and asks her to go back to Seoul with him. If she needs space to think she can do that in Seoul, plus staying here alone in dangerous. I wish Ha Na would have thought of that herself before gallivanting here in the first place. Ultimately Seo Jin needs Ha Na to go back with him because he can’t drive. Jinja? LOL!
Seo Jin rests in the passenger seat as Ha Na drives them back to Seoul. Ha Na turns to look at him which leads Seo Jin to wonder if she’s hoping he’ll fall asleep so that she can see Robin. She doesn’t want to continue this conversation so Seo Jin changes the subject and suggests they grab a bite to eat.
Seo Jin is in a good mood, chowing down and enjoying the nice weather outside while Ha Na remains quiet and non-interactive.
After lunch they head out for a walk, Ha Na in front with Seo Jin following behind. It’s just like the night they hung out at the retreat and Seo Jin flashes back to those memories. Ha Na gets annoyed with his walking behind her but Seo Jin points out they already did that. He brings up the animal noises game and Ha Na realizes finally that it was Seo Jin at the retreat.
Seo Jin reminds her that they were in an accident and Robin fainted, so Seo Jin woke up and had to pretend to be Robin at the retreat. Seo Jin then addresses the pink elephant in the room, telling Ha Na that she’s liked him since the retreat. She liked Robin then which means she likes Seo Jin. Ha Na disagrees, her feelings for the two guys are totally different!
Seo Jin can’t help that Robin is part of him, they are one person. He spent his whole life running away from this reality and can’t love another because he could never show the other person his entire self. If he can’t be himself then he can’t ask Ha Na to love him, but he’s trying hard now to accept and be himself before her. Seo Jin asks if Ha Na can accept the him like this? He leaves the choice with Ha Na but vows never to let what happened 5 years ago happen again.
The cops watch Seo Jin’s video and wonder if Lee Soo Hyun will take the bait, and whether more facts about what happened in the past will be revealed. Young Chan arrives to give the cops good news, Chairman Goo has approved the nationwide manhunt for Lee Soo Hyun and to reveal the kidnapping of the two boys from 22 years ago. The cops hold a press conference and the media broadcasts the search for Lee Soo Hyun all over the airwaves.
Tae Joo watches himself become a wanted man as his childhood picture is released to the public. He rushes back to his apartment to show Professor Kang the video while raging about Seo Jin’s continued lies about what happened in the past. There can’t be more facts Tae Joo wasn’t aware of. Professor Kang disagrees, Tae Joo could have been suffering from dissociative amnesia from the kidnapping and actually forgot some details of what happened. Tae Joo insists he couldn’t have forgotten anything!
Tae Joo describes himself as different than the coward Seo Jin who forgets the past to run away from it. Tae Joo is strong which is how he survived until now, ergo he couldn’t have forgotten anything. He insists that Seo Jin is manufacturing the latest twist that there are details Tae Joo doesn’t know about. It could be yet another escape mechanism for Seo Jin.
The doorbell rings and Tae Joo opens the door to find the building super paying him a visit about his downstairs neighbor complaining about excess noise last night. Tae Joo apologizes for working out in the apartment and making too much noise. The super leaves and Tae Joo rushes back to the secret room and finds Professor Kang’s stashed spoon which she used to make noise.
Professor Kang tells Tae Joo that she’s not planning to escape anymore. She’s at fault for treating Tae Joo as the treatment trigger for Seo Jin rather than also needing treatment himself. She wants to become Tae Joo’s protector now and help him as Seo Jin starts to treat himself. He doesn’t need her anymore while Tae Joo needs her. Both suffer from an inability to trust because of what happened in the past. She urges Tae Joo to respond to Seo Jin and find out the truth so they can truly heal and move on.
Tae Joo gets a call from Ha Na asking to meet. He then tells Professor Kang about how much Ha Na trusts him in her desire to help Seo Jin. She’s so trustworthy that she is easy to hypnotize, and until now he’s hypnotized her 12 times. She’s not even aware of what Tae Joo implanted in her memory. Ha Na is back at the circus and mulling over being stuck between Seo Jin and Robin.
Seung Yun is told the name of the specialist that Chairman Goo is flying over to treat Seo Jin. He searches online for the guy and learns that he’s a psychiatric specialist in the field of dissociative identity disorder. That confirms Seung Yun’s suspicions about Seo Jin and he fake cries about poor Seo Jin. He asks the secretary to call an emergency board meeting.
Seung Yun marches to Chairman Goo’s office and boldly asks to take the reins of Wonder Land. Chairman Goo laughs at his demand until Seung Yun reveals he knows about Seo Jin’s illness and that his dad is flying in a specialist in the DID field. Chairman Goo denies it and tells Seung Yun not to try and blackmail him. He’s the type to throw away even his son for disobeying him. Seung Yun smirks and takes on the challenge.
Seo Jin walks to the board meeting with a worried Young Chan but doesn’t seem all that affected himself. Seung Yun starts the meeting asking for a vote for the new Chairman of Wonder Land as that position cannot remain empty. He knows Seo Jin has been running Wonder Land well as the Director and is about to get into Seo Jin’s health issues when Seo Jin walks in.
Seo Jin takes over the meeting to nominates Seung Yun for the Chairman of Wonder Land, voting for his ability after seeing him run Wonder Hotel. Seo Jin then asks for a six month leave of absence from his position as Director of Wonder Land. After the meeting Seung Yun goes to the bathroom to celebrate his victory over Seo Jin.
Chairman Goo chews out Seo Jin for the running away stunt he pulled in the board meeting. He rails at Seo Jin for being a weakling who runs away. Seo Jin clarifies he’s not running away, he’s fighting for his life which is more important than the management of the company. He will get back everything that belongs to him and surpass his dad’s expectations in the end.
Young Chan secretly smiles behind Seo Jin and when they are alone he showers Seo Jin with compliments about his positive change. Seo Jin is facing his problems head on and changing, just like Professor Kang counseled him to do. Young Chan urges Seo Jin to hold onto Ha Na, he knows her feelings for Robin are real and compared to 5 years ago…..
Young Chan quickly stops himself but Seo Jin finishes the sentence and says this time won’t be like what happened 5 years ago. Back then Robin liked a girl, and then Seo Jin fell for the same girl. But things are different now because Seo Jin has changed. If what makes a person change is falling in love, then Seo Jin has fallen in love with Ha Na.
Seo Jin pays Tae Joo a visit to discuss the police searching for Lee Soo Hyun and whether Tae Joo is worried about the upcoming conflict. Tae Joo claims to be quite concerned about Seo Jin’s future and wants to see him heal. Seo Jin apologizes for coming to get treatment but not telling Tae Joo the whole truth. Seo Jin now remembers what really happened in the past all thanks to Lee Soo Hyun recreating the incident.
Seo Jin confesses that he remembers what happened and admits he did something unforgiveable to Lee Soo Hyun. If Soo Hyun carried a grudge for his entire life it would be understandable. Tae Joo suggests Seo Jin apologize first to Lee Soo Hyun. Seo Jin agrees to do that but now is not the time. Seo Jin remembered things that appears Lee Soo Hyun doesn’t remember so he needs to tell that to him in person first.
Tae Joo then changes the subject and brings up Robin coming to see him and anxiously looking for Ha Na. Seo Jin believes Ha Na deserves to know the truth and must be really upset right now. Tae Joo thinks Robin is the one who is really upset. Seo Jin is in the stronger position when it comes to loving another person while Robin has always felt inferior in his existence. Having Ha Na find out the truth is like revealing Robin doesn’t really exist in front of the person he loves. Tae Joo discusses how Robin may seem strong but his weakness is his insecurity over his existence. To have that shaken then Robin may shatter. Seo Jin hears that and connects it to what happened 5 years ago.
Ha Na is also probing into what happened 5 years ago and finds Young Chan to learn about the specifics. Young Chan tries to dissuade Ha Na from asking about it while asking Ha Na to be happy that Seo Jin is changing for the better because he’s fallen in love. Ha Na doesn’t think it can be love if Seo Jin can’t show all aspects of himself yet.
Tae Joo analyzes Robin as an alter that Seo Jin created but he is like his own person, with his own personality and memories. That means stress could impact Robin the same way. If Robin’s existence is denied by the person he loves, then he might mentally snap. He asks if that has happened before? Seo Jin claims he doesn’t know but asks what happens in that case?
Young Chan explains that 5 years ago Seo Jin and Robin liked the same girl and used the same lie that they were twins. When the truth came out, the girl ran away like she had seen a monster. Robin snapped like his existence was invalidated so he sought out Professor Kang to hypnotize and remove his existence. Young Chan describes it as Robin attempting suicide which could theoretically be done if Robin was open to it. But during the hypnosis is when Terry appeared.
Tae Joo tells Seo Jin that a third personality could emerge if Robin snaps. In fact, cases like Seo Jin/Robin where there are only two identities is rare in DID cases, the more common is to have multiple identities. Tae Joo asks if Seo Jin ever discovered another identity and Seo Jin adamantly denies it.
Young Chan tells Ha Na that Terry is a violent dangerous identity and tried to harm Professor Kang. Thankfully Young Chan and the bodyguards were outside to stop him, but only managed to restrain him after he caused considerable damage. After Terry disappeared then Seo Jin woke up, after that Robin never showed up during the last 5 years since that incident. Young Chan doesn’t know from which identity sprung Terry, whether it was from Robin or Seo Jin. But after that incident Seo Jin completely cut himself off from the world and lived like a monk for the last 5 years, all because he never wanted another person to get hurt because of him again.
Ha Na walks down the street processing all the information she just learned while Seo Jin does the same after leaving Tae Joo’s apartment. She gets a call from Tae Joo who pulls up next to her and drives her to the park for their discussion.
Tae Joo shares his medical knowledge of DID with Ha Na, that everyone all sides in their personality but the difference with DID sufferers is on memory. Normal people remembers what each side did but DID sufferers don’t know what the other aspects of their personality did. Tae Joo doesn’t tell Ha Na what to do in her conundrum with liking Robin. He does explain that love is spending time together but she can’t do that in this case. Ha Na doesn’t know what to do, and what will happen if she chose to leave them. Will the same thing happen as in the past?
Tae Joo asks about what happened in the past but Ha Na brushes it off and gets ready to leave.Tae Joo suddenly plays music which is the music he’s been using to hypnotize Ha Na all this time. He hypnotizes her and makes her continue what she was going to say. After the session Ha Na is called out to meet with Woo Jung while a furious Tae Joo rushes back to his apartment to confront Professor Kang.
Tae Joo sits down in front of Professor Kang and blurts out “Terry!” He knew there couldn’t just be one personality in Seo Jin’s DID and that it would be a savior personality. Tae Joo is ready now for the real Robin to appear.
Robin wakes up with the memory of Seo Jin talking to Ha Na outside the pension. He runs down to his office to read the anonymous letter claiming that Seo Jin is looking for Professor Kang to undergo the treatment to fully remove Robin.
Ha Na arrives to meet with Woo Jung and hears she’s not home yet. She sits with Publisher Min to discuss what they both know about Robin/Seo Jin’s DID. Publisher Min reveals he counseled Robin to tell Ha Na the truth but Robin appeared very reluctant to do so. Ha Na explains that she learned the truth from Seo Jin. Woo Jung comes in time to hear this conversation and finds out about Robin being Seo Jin’s DID alter and the two are the same person. Woo Jung dramatically falls on the floor and has to be tucked into bed to deal with the shocking reveal. I can’t even.
Robin continues to search everywhere for Ha Na, even running back to the pension but finding her room empty. He calls Young Chan who assures him that Ha Na is fine. But Young Chan wants to talk about the reality that is Robin’s existence. As much as Young Chan loves Robin like a real younger brother, Robin is someone who doesn’t even have an ID card. How can he take responsibility for Ha Na?
Ha Na texts Robin to meet up and he rushes to the location given. Turns out Tae Joo took her phone and programmed it to text Robin at a specific time to lure him to the location. It’s an empty auditorium and Robin rushes inside to find Professor Kang sitting alone on stage.
Robin walks up to Professor Kang and when he’s on stage is when Tae Joo starts to hypnotize him using slides and music. Robin is brought back to the idea that everyone is trying to destroy him. Tae Joo thinks to himself “Come out now, Terry.”
Ha Na gets a video text feed from the auditorium and she watches as Robin walks up to Professor Kang. She remembers Young Chan describing Terry as violent and intending to harm Professor Kang. She tries calling Robin but he ignores his ringing cell phone. Ha Na calls the detective to ask that he place a trace on a cell phone as that will locate where Professor Kang is right now.
Professor Kang clues in on Robin being dangerous and starts to back away from him. Robin follows her as she backs all the way until she comes up against a wall. Robin lifts his hand and places it around her neck while she cries out “Robin!”
Robin suddenly remembers his own memories about being a personality that saves people. His hand falls away from Professor Kang’s neck and he finally picks up Ha Na’s call. Ha Na pleads with Robin to wait for her and asks that he answer her.
Robin finally speaks and says “I want to live.” Robin wants to live and he doesn’t want to disappear. Ha Na cries and answers him “Yes, let’s live on together” and asks Robin to wait for her as she’s on her way.
Robin puts his cell phone away and quickly unties Professor Kang while Tae Joo angrily watches from above. He pushes a button to release his trademark smoke gas into the auditorium. Robin manages to get Professor Kang out of there and runs into the arriving cops and Ha Na outside in the lobby.
Professor Kang is safely taken away and placed inside an ambulance while Robin and Ha Na have a tearful reunion. She takes the initiative and runs into his arms to hug him. Robin says “I want to live, I want to live as Robin, the personality who likes to save people and who likes Ha Na.”
Thoughts of Mine:
The writing in this drama really is pathetically and comically inept, much like the useless cops in this story investigating cases like they are random joes pulled off the street to wear a badge. Elements taken alone work but are never built up properly or unleashed to its full potential. The third personality Terry reveal was neither shocking nor impactful, not when it happens with Young Chan narrating it to Ha Na with her zero expression reaction. She’s basically zombie walked through the last two episodes since she heard about Seo Jin’s DID, waking up only in the last 5 minutes to call Robin and pledge to live on with him in order to talk him down the ledge. Whether she actually picked Robin or was just trying to save Professor Kang’s life, I can’t even tell because Ha Na has given me nothing to go with on how she feels for either Seo Jin or Robin. Her feelings for the latter actually seem more genuine since who risks a life to follow him to a dangerous warehouse trap, while she seems to have a crush on Robin while enjoying hanging out. All of a sudden she’s stuck between their “pick me!” entreaty and with that she shuts down and goes into thinking really really hard mode. Sigh. That makes her final choice of Robin devoid of any oomph for me, I’m just sitting there wondering when can I have Seo Jin back again.
Tae Joo’s evil has long ago veered into the absurd, like Dr. Evil level kindergarten Machiavellian. His set ups are insanely large scale (An entire auditorium? Really? He booked it?) with so many gaping holes it makes Bing Bing the gorilla look realistic. I get the need for leaps of fantasy in drama telling but it needs to be done in ways that don’t make the audience burst out laughing. I already accept Seo Jin’s DID and how Robin has super strength and what not, that’s flight of fancy. Tae Joo’s evil schemes are comic fodder and that takes me out of the scene flow and lowers the tension. I’m not worried for Professor Kang, other thank chuckling that she appears to have never laid down to sleep, gone to the bathroom, or ate a full meal other than coffee and cookies during her incarceration. At least Tae Joo is not homicidal, he’s crazy but in the toys with his Seo Jin prey way and not kill him with a thousand stabs way. That drags out his plan since killing Seo Jin ends his fun and doesn’t address what he wants from him, namely an abject apology. I’m pretty sure Tae Joo’s dad might actually be part of the kidnapping and that is what Tae Joo is blocking from his memory. That might also explain why Seo Jin ran away and left him there, if he knew that Lee Soo Hyun would be safe there since Seo Jin was the only one at risk. Seo Jin clearly remembered that which is why he needs to tell Tae Joo privately in person.
I still can’t shake off the long sighs of disappointment at how much this drama can’t get its act together, writing-wise. Seo Jin has the best lines and for that I’m thankful there is one character I can love without reservation and root for completely. But why is he surrounded by abject incompetence? Like the circus that does no performances, or even have a reason to be in this drama as characters. Or Ha Na being a circus expert and showing neither the reflexes or agility I expect other than random rope gliding that is actually so distracting. Chairman Goo is like a toothless lion, all roar with no bite, while Seung Yun is just lame goofy fodder of the half-baked variety. Don’t even get me started on Woo Jung (send her to the US, please!) or exposition fairy Publisher Min and Young Chan. So many elements just march in when needed to do a scene and then march back out. With that said, can I ask for Terry to unleash his brand of terror soon in this drama. I’m sure he’ll be restrained eventually but it would do this drama good to actually show us what makes Terry so dangerous and why Seo Jin has to cure his DID beyond wanting to live a normal life. Doesn’t hurt that Hyun Bin playing a super baddie is getting all my excitement nerves buzzing, kyaaa!
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