Another Wednesday, another crappy episode of Hyde, Jekyll, Me. What else is new? The narrative breakthroughs in this episode would actually have worked episodes ago, before Tae Joo went on his kidnapping spree and the unprecedented incompetence of the cops turned this story line into a near farce. Now I just yawn in between staring at Hyun Bin’s perfect cheekbones and wondering if Ha Na will ever say a line of dialogue with a sliver of emotion beyond monotone. Which actually did happen in this episode, hallelujah for miracles as Ha Na yelled at Seo Jin, though her outburst made me wonder yet again why she couldn’t be like that all the time.
The criminal mastermind Tae Joo gets around to executing his final hurrah, holding Seo Jin and Ha Na hostage to get to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Even at the expense of his own future, since the cops are clearly going to swarm his escape afterwards, but who says Tae Joo is smart enough to weigh “free and successful doctor career” versus “go to jail for the truth of something that happened 21 years ago” and somehow decide to pick the latter. This drama has hinged on so many ridiculous elements, might as well have Tae Joo go out with a giant whatever epiphany moment.
Episode 15 recap:
Tae Joo might have a kidnapping addiction as he infiltrates Seo Jin’s home to hold him and Ha Na hostage while demanding they get to the bottom of things. Young Chan wakes up in his car and remembers being chloroformed by Tae Joo earlier. He calls Seo Jin’s phone and Tae Joo answers, not cowed in the least, telling Young Chan to go ahead and call the cops on him. With those cops around, no wonder Tae Joo isn’t scared at all.
The cops rush to Seo Jin’s house while Tae Joo gets down to business. I wish his business involved more than just talking, talking, and more talking. Tae Joo rubs his betrayal over Ha Na first, explaining that she’s finally experiencing what it feels like to be betrayed by someone close she trusts. He doesn’t think it’s all bad since she can reflect on her life after experiencing the letdown. Maybe she’ll wonder if she did anything wrong to deserve this? Ha Na wants to know if Tae Joo believes she was wrong to trust him? Tae Joo wants her to use the trust she once had for him to try and understand him now. To use some of her understanding for Seo Jin on Tae Joo now. Ha Na wonders why she needs to do that? Tae Joo believes she needs to do that to accept the betrayal.
Seo Jin interjects finally to ask Tae Joo to release Ha Na since it’s enough to have one hostage in Seo Jin. Tae Joo refuses, wanting to keep Ha Na as a safety blanket of sorts for Seo Jin, who counters that he doesn’t need her around. Seo Jin is ready for a one-on-one discussion with Tae Joo so he needs to let Ha Na go otherwise Seo Jin won’t cooperate. Tae Joo scoffs that he wasn’t expecting Seo Jin to cooperate but will have a way to make Seo Jin do as he wants.
Young Chan informs Chairman Goo that Tae Joo is holding Seo Jin hostage and will likely be placing a demand on Chairman Goo soon. Tae Joo checks the surveillance feed and confirms the cops have surrounded the mansion. He closes all the windows and pulls the blinds. Once alone, Seo Jin worries about Ha Na but she orders him to hold himself together and not fall apart because of his guilt towards Ha Na in bringing her into the mess. Tae Joo continues to explore the mansion.
The cops ask Young Chan for a copy of the mansion layout and to cut off the ancillary security systems to start planning a rescue mission. The bodyguard explains that the security system can’t be turned off externally and is wired to videotape the entire house. The cops wonder why Seo Jin’s house is as wired as a TV network.
Tae Joo sets up his equipment on the kitchen counter while a tied up Seo Jin and Ha Na look on. Tae Joo doesn’t want to be rushed and orders Seo Jin to be deal with it! Seo Jin reveals he’s already being patient with Tae Joo, who agrees since Robin or even another personality ought to have popped up by now unless Seo Jin was in control. Seo Jin gets a call from Professor Kang but declines Tae Joo’s offer to take the call. Seo Jin agrees that he’s surrounded his life with protection and security blankets so he doesn’t face his own weaknesses, but now he’s ready to set all that aside and be forthright with Tae Joo. That’s why Seo Jin doesn’t want to have Ha Na around.
Tae Joo doesn’t bite on Seo Jin’s attempt to have him let Ha Na go, figuring that Seo Jin is deathly afraid of losing Ha Na. He believes Seo Jin is afraid of how scary his life will become without Ha Na, but Seo Jin counters that he’s afraid of how Ha Na’s life will become after this. She’s lived a happy life without trauma until now so Tae Joo cannot do this to her. Tae Joo refuses because Ha Na got involved herself. Ha Na speaks up for herself, saying that she’ll stay because Tae Joo is right, she did make all the choices that led to her being involved with Seo Jin’s situation. She believes this is the right choice to make. Tae Joo concurs, each of them made choices in the past and now they are all dealing with the consequences of those choices.
Tae Joo sets his plan into motion and calls Chairman Goo who is waiting for his call and asks what Tae Joo wants? Tae Joo suggests Chairman Goo should have asked this question 21 years ago so now he can only ask why Tae Joo is doing this? He wants Chairman Goo to do what he says now. The cops wonder why Chairman Goo has been asked to do an online video chat and Professor Kang explains that Tae Joo is doing a three-way video chat with the kidnapper, Chairman Goo, and Seo Jin. Tae Joo wants to reveal to the world the truth of that day.
Tae Joo tells Chairman Goo that he should have been grateful that he could have solved the problem 21 years ago by paying money, except he let the chance fly away and ruined a child’s innocence and life at that moment. Tae Joo did nothing wrong so why did he have to pay the price? Tae Joo wants to discuss why his own father died trying to save Tae Joo in that kidnapping.
Chairman Goo has never seen Tae Joo (Lee Soo Hyun) as the victim in all those years, he was just the son of the man who took Chairman Goo’s money in that kidnapping. He never gave another thought to him yet Tae Joo’s been thinking of Seo Jin and Chairman Goo the entire time. Chairman Goo knows that it might appear to Tae Joo that he and Seo Jin didn’t suffer afterwards but that’s not true. He now wants to make it up to Tae Joo for his mistake in not paying the ransom. Tae Joo doesn’t want it because he doesn’t trust Chairman Goo.
Seo Jin asks Tae Joo to turn off his dad’s video feed and Tae Joo does so before telling Seo Jin that he’s the same as Chairman Goo. To save himself now, Seo Jin made up the lie that Tae Joo’s dad was a kidnapping accomplice. Seo Jin offers to give up everything he has if his memory turns out to be false and will do whatever Tae Joo wants. Seo Jin is willing to hear the truth but on his own terms.
Chairman Goo can’t stand waiting around anymore and wants to go to the mansion now but Seung Yun offers to go in his stead. Chairman Goo feels as helpless now as back then, being unable to do anything to help. Seo Jin wants the kidnapper rescued by the police before he is asked for the truth of what happened. If even then he says that Tae Joo’s dad is not involved then Seo Jin will believe him. Tae Joo thinks Seo Jin doesn’t trust him but it’s the opposite, Seo Jin says he doesn’t trust himself. Seo Jin asks Tae Joo to do as he says if the kidnapper’s version of what happened aligns with Seo Jin’s memory.
The cops are called to go rescue the kidnapper and bring him to the scene. Professor Kang explains that Seo Jin must’ve requested it to confirm that the truth is revealed. The cops arrive at the warehouse and rescue the kidnapper while the news covers the hostage standoff happening at Seo Jin’s mansion. The cops discuss what to do when the kidnapper is brought to the scene. The detective wants to sneak into the mansion with the kidnapper if there is a demand to bring him inside.
Seo Jin and Ha Na wait for the kidnapper to arrive and she worries about Seo Jin being able to handle the truth. Seo Jin is ready for it otherwise he’ll never be able to move forward. Ha Na makes the promise to be with Seo Jin through this no matter what the truth is, even if Seo Jin turns out to be in the wrong. That’s what she wants now.
The cops worry that if the kidnapper says Lee Soo Hyun’s dad was an accomplice, it might cause Tae Joo to snap inside and hurt Seo Jin and Ha Na. The safety of the hostages are the utmost important so the detective suggests that the kidnapper is coached to say the dad was not involved. After Tae Joo is arrested and in custody then the kidnapper can be interrogated about the truth. The detective promises the kidnapper that his safety will be guaranteed. Tae Joo refuses to let the detective accompany the kidnapper inside so sets up a video feed conversation. The detective wants the kidnapper to say the dad wasn’t involved but Young Chan is worried about Seo Jin so urges the kidnapper to tell the truth.
The video chat begins with Seo Jin asking the kidnapper to tell them what really happened 21 years ago. Seo Jin heard the kidnapper on the phone with a person? Who was the person he was talking to? Was it Driver Lee? The kidnapper pauses before confirming that he knows Driver Lee who worked for Chairman Goo. The kidnapper got the intel from Driver Lee and went ahead to plan and execute the kidnapping. The kidnapper insists that Driver Lee is not involved with the kidnapping, he did it alone.
Young Chan screams at the kidnapper, asking if he’s telling the truth! The detective also asks the kidnapper again if that’s true, Driver Lee was never involved with the kidnapping. The kidnapper grabs his head and confirms again that Driver Lee was not involved. Seo Jin looks pained while Tae Joo is crowing about how the truth exonerates his dad. He’s ready for Seo Jin to fulfill his end of the promise and give everything up now.
Tae Joo can sense that Seo Jin is in distress and beings up his medical condition which Tae Joo believes is not an illness but a bad habit that Seo Jin relies on to escape reality and his own weaknesses. Ha Na tells Seo Jin to hang in there and not run away now when she sees him struggling. Ha Na orders Seo Jin to mentally stay here, if he runs away again then Ha Na will leave his side as well. Ha Na screams her order “Open your eyes, Goo Seo Jin!”, which is when Seo Jin slowly regains control over his mind and opens her eyes.
Seo Jin tells Tae Joo that he really wants to get on his knees and apologize right now. Tae Joo walks over to untie Seo Jin when he sees the video feed is frozen on an image which shows the tattoo on the kidnapper’s right wrist. Tae Joo flashes back to his childhood memory of seeing that tattoo when the kidnapper was trying to hit him. That triggers Tae Joo’s full flashback to the kidnapping, from trying to stop Seo Jin being snapped to the kidnapper releasing him after getting the confirmation call from the dad that he has the money.
The kidnapper tells Tae Joo to go to a certain intersection where his dad will be waiting for him there, and if anyone asks he has to say he escaped on his own. Tae Joo arrives at the intersection and sees his dead dad being taken out of the smashed car. Tae Joo cries and cries and remembers the kidnapper yelling at him for ruining everything. All he had to do was lure Seo Jin to the spot, why did he have to ruin things later by helping Seo Jin escape? Is Tae Joo a servant for that family just like his dad is?
Tae Joo collapses after remembering the truth himself, that his dad was indeed involved with the kidnapping. Seo Jin and Ha Na silently watch Tae Joo break down into ugly sobbing. After Tae Joo calms down, he says “Seo Jin-ah, I remember. I remember now everything that happened that day.” Turns out Seo Jin wanted to ride the ferris wheel but Tae Joo was scared so suggested they go to the Ghost House instead. He was the one who set things into motion.
Tae Joo unties Seo Jin, telling him that he won and can leave now. Seo Jin wants Tae Joo to let Ha Na leave first because he wants to stay here with Tae Joo. He doesn’t know what Tae Joo wants to do next but he will stay with him. Tae Joo doesn’t want Seo Jin’s fake kindness but this isn’t fake for Seo Jin, only when Tae Joo is healed can Seo Jin be healed. Seo Jin asks Ha Na to leave first and assures her that things will be fine.
Ha Na walks out of the mansion and is escorted to safety. Everyone runs out to check on her and hears that Seo Jin is still fine inside. The detective wonders what the two are still doing inside and Ha Na asks the cops to stand down and give the two more time.
Seo Jin faces Tae Joo and knows that they could blame the kidnapper for their kidnapping, but it’s different trying to blame fathers or friends. As kids they suppressed those painful memories in order to survive and move forward and that’s normal. Seo Jin urges Tae Joo to keep on living now because they have finally moved past the painful memory.
Seo Jin accompanies Tae Joo out of the mansion and watches as he’s arrested. Ha Na walks over to wordlessly embrace Seo Jin, a gesture that Seung Yun takes note of. Professor Kang asks to go with the detectives as Tae Joo is taken into custody. Tae Joo watches the cops drive away with Tae Joo in the backseat and then walks off.
Ha Na walks a few steps behind Seo Jin as he takes a stroll until finally sitting down on a park bench by the river. Ha Na joins Seo Jin and points out that he’s really a nice guy at heart. That’s why he suffered over the years because he suppressed those memories in order to not blame his friend. It’s actually healthier to hate someone rather than what Seo Jin did. Seo Jin wonders if Ha Na is the same way? Ha Na would be angry and then let it go afterwards. Seo Jin admits he feels rather empty right now despite everything being completely over.
Seo Jin points out that Ha Na is the first person who tries to understand him, comfort him, and tell him that he did well. In the past when he was struggling, he was told to just deal with it as there are harder things in life. Ha Na figures Chairman Goo was like that and Seo Jin admits he tried very hard to become the kind of man like his dad. Ha Na believes Seo Jin has become an even better man than his dad. Seo Jin just stares at her so she quickly suggests they get something to eat.
Chairman Goo is informed that everything is over and Tae Joo has been taken into custody. Seung Yun and his lady love are discussing why he was up all night with the cops outside the hostage situation. Seung Yun got caught up in the danger of the moment and his lady love reminds him that Seo Jin may be coming back to work now that the situation is fully resolved.
The circus is apparently still around as the few members discuss Ha Na’s dangerous brush with a crazed kidnapper last night. Eun Chang calls Woo Jung to tell her that everything has been safely resolved. Woo Jung wonders why Eun Chang is at work after texting her all night last night. Eun Chang perks up after hearing Woo Jung’s voice plus he gets to look forward to seeing her tonight. Woo Jung tells him to wait as she’ll bring some coffee for him.
Chairman Goo is worried about Seo Jin being MIA now and not carrying his phone. He orders Young Chan to call Ha Na, believing that Seo Jin must be with her right now. Seo Jin sits down to ramyun and kimbap with Ha Na, not happy with the food selection but Ha Na points out that Seo Jin didn’t bring his wallet and she only has 10,000 won on her.
Ha Na answers a call from Chairman Goo and passes the phone to Seo Jin. Chairman Goo starts to bluster and Seo Jin is ready to hang up when his dad quiets down and apologizes. He says sorry again before admitting he’s worried about Seo Jin and telling him to go home and rest. Seo Jin ends the call and starts eating the food.
Seo Jin and Ha Na return home and tell each other to get some rest. Ha Na knows they will be busy answering police questions in the next few days so they need to rest up now. Seo Jin heads to his room while Ha Na looks around the kitchen sadly before going back to her room. Ha Na gets a call from a worried Jin Joo and assures her unni that everything is over now and she’ll be moving back in with her. Jin Joo orders Ha Na to take some cold medicine before going to bed otherwise she’ll wake up with a fever.
Ha Na heads down to the kitchen and finds Seo Jin carrying a tray with water and medicine for Ha Na. Seo Jin reveals that his dad said something today he’s never said to Seo Jin ever, he told Seo Jin that he was sorry. Seo Jin is also ready to say something he thought he would never say in this lifetime. He looks at Ha Na and asks “Can I love you?”
Thoughts of Mine:
Thank god for little victories in this episode – Ha Na waking up from her sleepwalking existence in this drama to yell at Seo Jin for a split second, no Robin showing up in the entire hour, and Tae Joo finally shutting up on his me-me-me victim rant once he regained his own repressed memory of the kidnapping. I wish Seo Jin’s moments with Ha Na move me but it feels too little, too late, not to mention Seo Jin appears to have a full personality transplant since about 5 episodes ago. Same goes with Chairman Goo, who suddenly started being a decent father for no real trigger since Seo Jin being in danger appears to be a regular occurrence in their lives. The drama has wasted too much time with Ha Na liking Robin, with those two getting all the date scenes and lovey dovey moments, making whatever Ha Na might be feeling for Seo Jin seem so ancillary to what she already feels for Robin. It’s not equal, is what I’m saying, so at this point it’s all Seo Jin reaching out to her while she’s there for him less in romance and more in solidarity and concern. Perhaps that’s all they will ever have, a nice companionship, making Seo Jin’s anemic “Can I love you” declaration rather fitting for the lack of sparks going on.
I supposed we did need an episode consisting almost entirely of Tae Joo to resolve his story and ship him off. Why couldn’t this drama have done this before the whole Professor Kang gets re-kidnapped repeat, shaving the redundant scenes to avoid dragging out the inevitable confrontation. We all know the truth will come out, it wasn’t like the drama benefitted from Tae Joo around as a villain since it was sucking all the energy into his own demented vortex. With 5 episodes to go, finally he gets his own memories back and with that forgives Seo Jin and lets his anger go in minutes. Nothing about his plight elicited any emotion at this point other than relief that it’s finally over. Seo Jin did shine in this episode with the way he faced down his own memory and fears to both face his past as support Tae Joo’s uncertain future. Once Seo Jin’s backstory was revealed, he has consistently shown himself to be more than just a cold cowardly man, and in that vein he acted with both brains and courage before Tae Joo. I kinda chuckle about Ha Na being there for this kidnapping since it seemed structured just so she could be in the same scene and get some screen time. Ultimately she did serve a nice purpose which was to remind Seo Jin of his own strength and humanity, and her trust in him.
I’m not sure what to make of Seo Jin’s confession at the end of the episode, aside from finding it about as romantic or stirring as a waiter reading me the daily special. I like him but he needs to up his approach, maybe take a page from the Kim Joo Won playbook of how to aggressively pursue a lady to the edge of harassment but pick one of the less odious gestures. He’s already told Ha Na that he plans to pursue her and like her, what’s the point of asking if he can love her? It’s funnier if she said no to his request and just moved out of there, at least then the drama would surprise me a bit. I think she cares for him more than as a friend, but her type seems to be Robin and that’s the kicker. If faced with two guys you care about and one is fun and easygoing and the other uptight and quiet, who’s going to the pick the latter even if he’s the main personality. The drama hasn’t given Ha Na a reason to like Seo Jin more than Robin, and dating both appears to be a no-go, so it’s no wonder the story has stalled and used Tae Joo’s angry revenge plan to stall the inevitable romantic showdown. With Tae Joo out of the way, can the drama actually get to the point of fixing Seo Jin’s DID and sending Robin to join Tae Joo in the “you’ve served your purpose” circus in the sky.
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