This was the best episode of Hyde, Jekyll, Me, and no, I didn’t get blinded by all that kissing. Can’t figure out if another screenwriter wrote it or the original one suddenly got a brain transplant because this episode was pretty darn entertaining and satisfying. Stuff happened, and it actually made sense within the context of this narrative world created! I thought I fell through a wormhole into an alternate universe but rewatching to do the recap proved that this was the real deal. Ha Na woke up and actually got a personality complete with actual facial expressions, Seo Jin continued to be supremely awesome, and best yet Robin didn’t annoy me in the least.
Finally the world that they inhabit is actually having forward momentum and the direction is towards a viable conclusion rather than lurching sideways like a drunkard sidestepping into the gutter. There was also one majorly sexy kiss that is most welcome, even if the kisser isn’t Seo Jin and is still Robin getting all the action. When the trajectory is Robin naturally merging into and with Seo Jin, not to mention Seo Jinnie’s body getting all the action, then a bit of final happy times for Robin is fine by me.
Episode 18 recap:
Seo Jin isn’t angry at Ha Na and instead thanks her for coming up with a plausible explanation for his coexistence with Robin. Seo Jin asks how Robin reacted and hears that he’s not thrilled, but Seo Jin thinks Robin will understand because Seo Jin understands why Ha Na said that. He invites Ha Na to breakfast with him as thanks for her quick thinking.
Chairman Goo doesn’t understand in the least and rails at Young Chan for letting this happen. He takes a meeting with the Wonder Group executives, thinking they would be upset at Seo Jin’s secret identity, but instead they are all thrilled with the good publicity for Wonder Land. Seo Jin being a great amusement park executive during the day and an amazing manhwa artist at night is astonishing to the public and everyone wants to know more about him.
The executives think Seo Jin can become an icon for Wonder Land and there can even be a crossover of his manhwa exhibit in the park. When the executives bring up the dream of using Seo Jin’s artistic talents to turn Wonder Land into the Korean Disneyland, Chairman Goo’s eyes light up. It’s all money money money for this guy, heh.
Seung Yun is eavesdropping outside the office and takes this development about as good as imagined, namely he goes back to his office to throw a hissy fit.
Woo Jung is ready to let go of her crush on Robin and approve of Ha Na unni’s role in oppa’s life as his manager and girlfriend, seeing as how Ha Na came up with a great way to reconcile Seo Jin and Robin to the public.
Seo Jin whips up a tasty breakfast for Ha Na as she watches. She notices his necklace is gone and hears that he used to wear it as a protective talisman but doesn’t need it anymore. Some people choose to believe in religion because they need something to believe in and have faith and the necklace was like that for Seo Jin even if he knows it has no powers. Seo Jin now believes in himself, that he can slowly heal and get better. Ha Na suggests that Seo Jin’s reliance on the necklace in the past isn’t superstitious as things have slowly come true now and Seo Jin is getting better.
Seo Jin takes a call from a college friend asking to meet and readily agrees. More texts come in from school chums asking to get together and catch up, everyone hearing about Seo Jin’s manhwa alter ego. Seo Jin shows Ha Na the texts and she suggests he answer them back and reconnect. Ha Na realizes she’s so close to Seo Jin and stares at him until he notices and looks right back at her, the tension crackling between them.
Ha Na is saved by a call interrupting their moment from yet another friend asking to see Seo Jin. He agrees but wonders how things are changing so fast for him. Ha Na suggests Seo Jin start getting used to the rapid changes in his world and brings up reconciling how the three of them are going to interact going forward. Turns out Young Chan and Ha Na already spoke to Robin about this issue yesterday.
In a scene cross-cutting Young Chan and Ha Na’s conversation with Robin from last night with their conversation with Seo Jin this morning, we visualize Seo Jin and Robin sitting in the living room together as if everyone is talking at the same time. Young Chan asks Robin and Seo Jin to keep a specific log of who they see and talk about every day so neither will be tripped up later. Young Chan and Ha Na will be in charge of teaching one the habits and preferences of the other.
Robin raises his hand and doesn’t want to handle any management related events or issues and wants to attend an event next month for his webtoon. Seo Jin brings up his meeting with school mates and everyone wanting his autograph. Robin tells Seo Jin to copy his signature but also to learn how to drive so they don’t have that missing ability. The boys start bickering about sharing the password to each other’s cell phones so they know who called and what was discussed.
Ha Na puts an end to the bickering and orders each to write down things for the other, Robin to tell Seo Jin 100 things and Seo Jin to tell Robin 200 things. Ha Na figures fastidious Seo Jin will have way more things to tell Robin. Both start writing down things for the other but Seo Jin gets annoyed soon and just flops over in bed.
Robin lays in bed with Ha Na and reads Seo Jin’s list, noticing that Seo Jin has become somewhat of a movie expert lately. Ha Na noticed that as well, with Seo Jin telling her what movies to watch and which to skip. A look at Seo Jin’s recommended movies list shows that his preferences are all movies with kids in it.
Seo Jin sits with Ha Na in the atrium to read Robin’s list. Seo Jin grumbles that Robin’s stress relieving method is to go to sleep, which means he transfers the stress to Seo Jin who then wakes up with it. Robin’s favorite movies are all comic book movies and Ha Na finds it adorable when she reads his list out loud. Seo Jin can’t believe Ha Na thinks it’s cute that a grown man likes comic book movies and is even more upset that Robin’s dream challenge is to do a triathlon. He finally stops when Ha Na reads aloud Robin’s other dream occupations which is to join special agent task forces.
Seo Jin explains that he and Robin have kept in touch all these years through video messages and keeping an eye on each other, sharing the same body for 15 years. But it feels like they really don’t know each other that well. Seo Jin brings up tomorrow’s manhwa award’s ceremony, an award that Robin has received three times already but never got to accept it in person.
Ha Na dresses Robin in his new suit to attend the event and brings up how he might not win an award this year since he doesn’t have a new work out. Robin doesn’t care because he finally gets to hang out with the other artists in person rather than over the internet. Ha Na is a bit nervous showing up in public as Robin’s girlfriend.
The doorbell rings with a delivery for Robin from Woo Jung so he calls to thank her. Woo Jung wishes him luck at the awards and her dad can tell she’s disappointed not to attend with Robin. Ha Na also calls her circus troupe to tell them that she’s headed to the ceremony with Robin. Her friends are excited for her big public debut as Robin’s girlfriend.
Robin and Ha Na arrive at the ceremony and Robin is so excited he swings Ha Na’s hand back and forth as they are waiting for the elevator. When the door opens both are immobilized by the snapping cameras and screaming fans waiting outside. The elevator door closes on them again before they can move so they compose themselves before opening the door and walking down the red carpet together. Ha Na happily holds Robin’s hand while he awkwardly smiles for the fans and cameras.
Woo Jung and read the news articles about Robin attending the ceremony and winning an award. Woo Jung is happy for Robin but also a bit sad since she always dreamed she would be by Robin’s side for the big occasion. Eun Chang arrives to take Woo Jung out to cheer her up, while back at the circus Jin Joo and the other dude feel left out so end up flirting with each other. Eun Chang takes Woo Jung on the back of her motorcycle and tells her to scream out what she wants to say. Woo Jung screams out her congrats for Robin and tells him to go well. She asks Eun Chang to scream as well to lessen her embarrassment so he yells for her to become his woman.
Robin and Ha Na are cuddling on the sofa and admiring the award he won at the ceremony. Robin brings up how many of his fellow manhwa artists are also living double lives with jobs during the day. He got invited to a radio show and wants to go to have his voice and face recorded on a program. Ha Na is sure Seo Jin will agree to that and promises to accompany him every year to future awards ceremonies. Robin hands her a fan and calls her his number 1 fan and asks she accompany him every year.
Ha Na pulls Robin in for a quick peck but he’s got something else in mind. He traces her lips before leaning in for a kiss. And what a kiss, he’s basically nibbling on her lips before they pull apart and then dive back in again. They keep kissing and then coming up for breath and then back to more kissing. This is muy caliente.
Ha Na shares last night’s event with Seo Jin and claims Robin was super surprised to win an awards. Seo Jin grins and rebuts that, pointing out Robin wrote his acceptance speech because Seo Jin found crumbled up rough drafts in the trash can. Ha Na finds that super cute! She then tells Seo Jin that Robin was invited to a radio program as a guest for a love advice show. Seo Jin smiles thinking that his voice is finally going to be heard on air.
Robin goes on the show and shares his belief that everyone has a child living within that longs to be happy. Except people put on the façade of being adults to live in this world properly. Seung Yun listens to this radio program and is so upset he can’t even eat. His ladylove steps outside to call into the radio program about how her boyfriend is really fixated on something and she’s tired of it so wants to break up with him. Robin’s advice is that when love is gone then it’s the end just like the ending of a drama. Seung Yun hears Robin’s on air advice and can’t believe he’s supporting the break up.
Seo Jin wakes up the next morning with memories of Robin doing the radio show. He clutches his head and heads down to the kitchen where Young Chan pours him a drink of water. Young Chan reveals that Robin did really well on the radio show and the call ins poured in. Seo Jin remembers what Robin said on the show despite not having heard the playback yet.
Later that night, Robin hears this high pitched sound and clutches his head. He pays a visit to Professor Kang and explains he can’t remember anything that happened after he arrived at the radio station. Professor Kang reveals that Seo Jin came by earlier today and based on what Seo Jin said, it looks like Robin’s memories are flowing to Seo Jin. This time it’s different than before because Seo Jin is not missing any of his memories. Professor Kang asks if anything else is happening that is different?
Robin sits in his officetel brooding and thinks back to telling Professor Kang about how Seo Jin and him are learning more about each other. Professor Kang urges Robin not to think that the DID treatment will cause him to disappear. She believes in the end they will merge so Robin and Seo Jin will be one person. But for Robin, he sees that as him disappearing. What will happen to him then? Seo Jin’s body will remain but for Robin it means both his body and soul will be gone.
Ha Na is worried about Robin and pounds on the door to the officetel demanding to see him. He finally steps outside and Ha Na immediately hugs him, relieved that he’s fine. She offers to take him to the hospital so Robin reveals he’s not really feeling sick. He just wants one day of being alone, so much has happened recently he just wants some time to himself to process everything.
Ha Na calls Woo Jung who also noticed that Robin seemed upset earlier. But when she ends the call with Ha Na, she tells Eun Chang that Robin seems to be playing a trick on Ha Na, to act all sad so that he can surprise her with a birthday celebration in two days.
Professor Kang tells Seo Jin about how the treatment is working but Seo Jin doesn’t want that to happen. He also sees it as Robin disappearing and he’s not ready for that to happen, nor is Robin.
Seo Jin goes to see Ha Na in the circus office and hears that she was about to call him. Ha Na checks Seo Jin’s forehead temperature and asks if he’s feeling fine? She saw Robin acting weird yesterday, asking to be alone, so she’s worried if something is going on. Seo Jin tells her not to worry, it’s normal to have different moods. She should take Robin to the hospital if he keeps smiling like a loon and can’t stop. Seo Jin thinks Ha Na is overly sensitive when it comes to Robin and not using her common sense.
Ha Na asks Seo Jin to tell her if something happens to himself or to Robin and not to keep her in the dark. Seo Jin agrees and points out that in just one day she looks tired and wan from being worried about Robin, asking instead that she take good care of herself.
Robin continues to brood alone so all Ha Na can do is text him to open the door to her. She just wants to see him and they don’t need to talk if he doesn’t want to. She wonders if she did anything wrong? If so then she apologizes to him now. Robin talks to himself, apologizing to Ha Na as he cries that he hasn’t readied himself to leave yet, readied himself to say goodbye to Ha Na.
The next morning Seo Jin finds Ha Na sleeping on the sofa clutching her cellphone and covers her with a blanket. Ha Na wakes up later when she hears noise from the kitchen and sees Seo Jin making breakfast. She explains that she stayed up all night waiting for Robin and Seo Jin knows Robin didn’t come out to see her. Seo Jin sits her down and ladles a bowl of birthday seaweed soup for her since it’s her birthday. He knows she didn’t expect to spend her birthday morning with him but urges her to eat up.
Ha Na wants to know if Seo Jin is happy right now living like this? Seo Jin tells Ha Na to eat now and then ask Robin herself. He’ll make sure she sees Robin so she can ask Robin directly. Seo Jin can’t answer her questions that are really meant for Robin.
It’s 8 pm but the one to wake up is Seo Jin and not Robin. Seo Jin freaks out, worried that Robin has disappeared. Ha Na knocks on the door asking to speak with Robin so Seo Jin has to pretend to be Robin and asks for a few minutes and he’ll come outside. Seo Jin gets a text on Robin’s phone from Woo Jung that everything is ready for Ha Na at the radio station. Seo Jin grits his teeth and promises to be there soon.
Seo Jin texts Young Chan as Robin to come straightaways to his room. Young Chan doesn’t realize that it’s Seo Jin and jabbers on about getting ready to go to the radio station. Seo Jin reveals himself and Young Chan does a double take. Seo Jin gets dressed as Robin while Young Chan is sniffling about Robin disappearing. Seo Jin tells Young Chan not to jump to conclusions and stop crying, it’s not the end yet because neither Seo Jin nor Ha Na has prepared for Robin to leave yet.
Ha Na is relieved when she sees Seo Jin and believes that he’s Robin. Seo Jin does a great job of sounding just like Robin, telling Ha Na that he’s fine and just trying to bask in the happiness of late which feels like a dream. Then he got worried that it’s not going to last and apologizes for acting weird and worrying her. Ha Na takes Seo Jin’s hand and assures him that the happiness they share isn’t a dream and won’t disappear. She then chides him for going MIA on her which she hates so he agrees to never do it again.
Ha Na and Seo Jin walk out to head to the radio station for the program. Seo Jin pauses when he sees the car parked there and realizes that he’s going to have to drive to pull off the Robin ruse. Seo Jin gets in the car but can’t even start the ignition, but luckily Young Chan saves the day and offers to drive everyone to the station together.
Seo Jin sits down in Robin’s place to do the radio show and does a great job on the show. He shares a story about Venice and how the city is slowly sinking into the water. The people who live there don’t know when the city will disappear one day, and that’s how Robin feels. He doesn’t know when he’ll disappear one day so he’s decided to embrace and live his life to the fullest. He may disappear one day but for every day he is still here then he wants to spend it with Ha Na.
Ha Na hears Seo Jin read Robin’s feelings for her and then the door to the control room opens as Woo Jung leads the circus in with a birthday surprise for Ha Na. She is ecstatic while Seo Jin smiles watching her being so happy. A button is accidentally pressed in the control room and a loud static noise goes off which causes Seo Jin to hold his head in pain.
Seo Jin switches with Robin who wakes up confused as to why he’s here. Robin steps out to the control room and Young Chan whispers to him that he did such a great job, with no one knowing the switch. Woo Jung then leads Robin outside to hand him the pictures she took of Ha Na being surprised by the birthday Robin planned for her. Woo Jung compliments Robin on thoroughly winning Ha Na’s heart and tells him that he did well.
Robin watches the video from the birthday celebration and realizes that Ha Na never noticed that it wasn’t Robin there at the radio station with her. The video pans to Seo Jin sitting inside smiling at Ha Na and Robin realizes it’s him. Seo Jin is smiling exactly like him, a realization that Robin can no longer deny which is that Seo Jin is really himself.
Thoughts of Mine:
It’s not even worth pondering why this drama went from zero to watchable with just one episode worth of material. It certainly doesn’t magically turn the drama good overall, but if the next two episodes are as solid then a final hurrah is better than nothing. Maybe I’m grasping at straws and episode 18 really wasn’t all that, but within the context that is how crappy this drama has been then this episode stood out as particularly well plotted. I actually care now about Robin’s feelings, his existential dilemma of having independent thought and emotions yet no valid identity in the real world. He has works that validate his existence, his webtoons and manhwas that bear his name and will live on long after him. Now he has Seo Jin who cares and appreciates his presence in alleviating Seo Jin’s emotional burden all these years, not to mention Ha Na who loves his personality (even if she’s also grown to love Seo Jin’s personality as well). That’s a lot of positive for Robin, who is a personality formed by Seo Jin but I can accept that Robin has lived fifteen years to grow his own footprint in the world. For that I can pity his plight now and am happy to give him the time and space to ready his farewells.
If Robin is an illness then Seo Jin is treating him as the central person who is ill. Like a terminal cancer patient who knows the inevitable is coming but is still accorded the effort and dignity of getting affairs in order and saying all the needed goodbyes. That’s what Seo Jin is doing for Robin, his patience and effort is astonishing but makes sense when we track it back to Seo Jin finally getting the breakthrough as to what Robin represents in his life. Robin is not Seo Jin’s enemy but his friend, except this friend will one day have to say goodbye is all. I love Seo Jin so much more because of his consideration for Robin and understanding that any forced treatment method is pulling the plug early when the patient is not ready to leave yet. I expect tears aplenty in the final two episodes if the ending of this episode is any indication, when Robin saw Seo Jin sitting there at ease as himself, my heart broke for him. He can’t deny that he’s simply part of Seo Jin, but when he sees it with his own eyes there is something visceral with the undeniable visual confirmation. Even worse is knowing that his own girlfriend Ha Na didn’t even know Seo Jin was pretending to be Robin. Robin probably knows Ha Na also likes Seo Jin, but it’s a different beast to see Ha Na unable to differentiate Seo Jin from Robin.
Clearly this drama’s handling of DID is so far removed from medical reality so it’s not even worth discussing whether the mutual sharing of memories and eventual merge solution is plausible. I’ll take what I can get and this solution delivers the ideal ending – Ha Na with the Seo Jin body that is half Seo Jin and half Robin, with the combined memories and personality of both. I keep wanting that to happen sooner just so the poor body can rest, it’s been bugging me so bad that Seo Jin’s body gets zero sleep with the back and forth swapping. I don’t even care that the Wonder Group issues are easily addressed with Seo Jin being loved more for secretly being a famous manhwa artist, or that Seung Yun will just give up his power plays eventually like a coyote run out of fuel never to catch that roadrunner. The circus never performing has turned into an epic inside joke type of production fail while Ha Na’s zero personality monotone performance for the first 17 episodes will likely be immortalized and hopefully laughed off Han Ji Min’s resume one day when she delivers a performance good enough to wash this stink away. As for Hyun Bin, he remains pitch perfect as Seo Jin, as Robin, as Seo Jin pretending to be Robin, and finally as Seo Jin that is becoming Robin to the degree that Robin can no longer deny. Good stuff, too bad it’s too little too late in the grand scheme of resurrecting broader audience interest in this drama.
Click here to watch Hyde, Jekyll, Me.