That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 9
This show makes lying look AWFUL, not to mention fruitless and just plain difficult, as our hero jumps through an endless procession of hoops made to test his story, when all he really wants to do is save our heroine from herself. Everything every other drama has taught you about lying in perpetuity pales in comparison to what the last nine episodes have taught us and what future episodes are bound to teach Soo. Ugh, Life Lessons. Can’t you leave these two alone, just this once?
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Soo finds Young trembling in pain as she clutches the suicide pill to her chest, desperate enough to take it if it will mean an end to her suffering. Soo tries talking her down the way you’d talk someone off a ledge, and uses the first opportunity he can to swipe the pill off the countertop and out of her reach.
Unfortunately for him she hears it drop, so he makes up an excuse while he opens up the capsule to dump its contents in an attempt to fool her into thinking she’s still taking the poison if she swallows the empty casing.
The look of betrayal and hurt on her face when she realizes what he’s doing (I’m sure she hears it) is almost frightening, and she crushes the empty pill to prove her suspicion. She totally knows, but doesn’t let him know that she knows by taking the not-a-pill in front of him.
So-ra comes knocking (how did she find their house?), so Young uses the time Soo is away to gather up the spilled contents from the capsule for later use. Really, Young? Really?
Soo calls Mi-ra to keep an eye on Young while he deals with his psychotic ex, even though Young’s simmering rage almost comes to a boiling point when she asks him about the pill (whether it really causes everything awful in life to just disappear) only for him to deny that such a medicine exists in a futile effort to get her to forget about it.
She starts thinking back to their whole push-and-pull saga about her always wanting to die and it makes her absolutely FURIOUS, though I’m really not sure why. Does she feel betrayed that he’d dare try to keep her alive? What? I’m confused, but darn if she doesn’t look like she wants to punch Soo in the face right now.
He calls Secretary Wang to take care of Young, leaving her and Mi-ra to suss out their issues. Mi-ra plays the apology card but her excuses don’t hold water with Young’s keen memory, because when all is said and done Mi-ra did lie to Young about her condition for money. That’s cold.
Young uses Mi-ra’s guilty conscience against her as she barks out orders for her non-friend to help clean her up so that she’ll look perfectly well when Secretary Wang arrives. She wants to avoid the hospital at all costs: “If I go to the hospital this time, I won’t be able to come home.” I believe the word for ‘hospital phobia’ is nosocomephobia.
So-ra teases Secretary Wang with some valuable intel on Soo and promises to keep in touch, though it seems like she’s giving them some evidence ahead of time.
We don’t see what that is as Soo arrives to give her yet another cold rejection, basically telling her that he’d rather deal with his debt and Moo-chul if it means he doesn’t have to be with her. Ouch.
Her response? Threatening him that he has three days before she reveals the truth to Secretary Wang, explaining that this is just her method of loving him. “You may not like my method, but this is the only way I know how,” she says. O-kay, Crazypants McGee.
Lawyer Jang takes a photo of Soo to a detective contact of his for some clarification, but interestingly enough, the detective corroborates Soo’s story while putting the gambling in context as something Soo just used to do. So he’s clearly been bought off by someone on Soo’s side, maybe Moo-chul, and Lawyer Jang is at least alerted to the detective’s shaky credibility.
Secretary Wang rushes home because of Soo’s call, and at Young’s behest, Mi-ra lies to the woman about her health. Young pops out of the room as prickly as a porcupine when Soo shows up, and she firmly claims that she’s not sick in front of everyone. She even turns it all around in order to make Soo feel guilty for calling her mortal enemy.
It’s a convincing enough act for Secretary Wang to buy. Myung-ho doesn’t miss the opportunity to quip that Soo should watch his back for scandals, since shareholders spotted him leaving the gala with So-ra. Oh, you mean your ONE minion that Soo totally clotheslined?
Young is especially cold to Soo when he expresses concern over her state, since she’s back to being suspicious of his intentions. Whenever he worries about her she thinks of her will, so under her logic, he wants her to get sick. Whaaat? This is confusing. I must’ve really missed the step between “Darn that caring oppa for trying to keep me alive!” and “Oppa wants me to get sick and die.”
He even offers to do her most favorite thing by sleeping in the room with her, only to be coldly rejected. She must really be mad. (Except I’m not following the logic.)
Secretary Wang places a frantic call to Young’s doctor once she finds out that Mi-ra was lying, worried that her brain tumor could be relapsing. “I can’t live without Young,” she stresses, but it’s not like she’s putting on a show for anyone. Weirdly enough, it sounds like she actually MEANS it.
Soo brings it all around when he sneaks into Young’s room that night to write her a letter which he painstakingly converts to Braille. Awww.
He attaches a string from her wrist to the wind chime and leaves the letter with her. So cute.
She reads the letter the second he’s gone, having been awake all along. The letter is short and sweet: “I… Even if I’m not around you, even if the wind isn’t blowing, now the wind chime will always ring. Good night, Young.”
She’s moved by the letter and shakes her wrist, causing the glass bell to ring as if it were being moved by the wind. This isn’t even fair to Young anymore – she’s going to inevitably lose sympathy points if she keeps up the cold act when he does all these thoughtful things.
Apparently eating a spoonful of rice means Young is well again, as the house maid notes that Secretary Wang couldn’t sleep all night out of worry for her, and that she was too afraid to check in on her because of her insomnia.
Young quips that at least someone thought about her condition, unlike someone who just went in and out of her room as they pleased. Jin-sung is oblivious to the tension and curiously blurts, “Who did that? It wasn’t me.” Hah. He really needs more dialogue, stat.
Soo’s finally had enough and leaves the table, causing Jin-sung to jump to his hyung’s defense in telling Young that she’s being too harsh. Young doesn’t seem to care one bit. I know this is just an act because his letter almost made her cry, but WHY. Seriously, why? Why is this happening.
It’s cute that Jin-sung is so fed up with Young on Soo’s behalf, but he doesn’t have any luck getting Soo to listen to his grievances when he’s too distracted by Young. He’s trying to tell his hyung important stuff, like how they’ve got ninety-nine problems and So-ra IS one.
Turns out that Moo-chul is the one paying off the detective to lie, because he won’t get his money if Soo is caught by the police. Apparently he’s not winning any points with Boss Man for letting Soo live this long.
Meanwhile, Young asks a doctor friend of hers to examine the Instant Death Pill’s contents to see what it’s really made of.
Soo meets with Moo-chul to ask if he can get his sister Sun-hee (aka Doctor Noona) to examine Young, since she’s the best brain surgeon in the country. Soo has to catch himself when he calls Young “my sister,” like the lie has become just that commonplace for him.
Moo-chul does not react well to this idea and wonders if Soo is really dating his fake sister, but Soo knows that Moo-chul is angry on Hee-joo’s behalf. Just like Hee-sun, he sees Soo falling in love with anyone else as a betrayal to her memory.
Soo: “I didn’t kill Hee-joo. It was an accident. It wasn’t my fault.” WHOA. I’m so proud of him, even though Moo-chul is quick to cut him down for hiding behind excuses. Obviously. We all know Soo totally planned that accident to happen, and this is all part of his maniacal scheme.
“If I couldn’t at least make excuses, I would’ve killed myself long ago,” Soo replies. “How do you think I could live on? You’ve also blamed me instead of yourself when you couldn’t protect Hee-joo. Isn’t that how you’re able to live now? I’m not being sarcastic. Both of us… we just made necessary excuses for ourselves. So that we can live on.” *Slow clap*
Moo-chul is impervious to Soo begging for his help, citing that Soo acted the same way back with Hee-joo. (Dude, let it go.) He just wants to wait and see if Soo cares as much about Young twenty-eight days from now, when his time will officially be up. “Or maybe you’ll make another excuse, just like you did with Hee-joo,” Moo-chul adds.
Lawyer Jang gets the skinny from one of his contacts about the two Oh Soo’s, and how the one in Young’s house is the gambler while the deceased one wanted to be an Italian chef. Eek.
He also finds out that Soo owes a lot of money to So-ra’s sponsor. Cafe Owner Joong-tae also tattles to him about Hee-sun tattling to Young that Soo came to her for money. Big trouble. (And Call Me Maybe.)
Moo-chul again tries luring Jin-sung over to the dark side, reminding him that he liked him better than Soo when they were younger. That might’ve been true, but Jin-sung makes it clear that he doesn’t hang out with murderers.
“If it weren’t for Oh Soo, I wouldn’t have lived like this,” Moo-chul says. Oh, NOW who’s making excuses?
We know that Moo-chul has been working to get Jin-sung’s sister indebted to him, and at least Hee-sun seems to take notice when she finds her strutting around in clothes she can’t afford. And hah, Jin-sung might as well grab some popcorn for all the fun he’s having watching the two of them fight.
Jin-sung and Soo’s mutual friend (an alternate title thrown around for this episode: Everyone Has Helpful Friends) does some snooping to track down Secretary Wang’s sister, only Soo is too busy worrying about Young to deal with it and admits as much to Jin-sung.
When Hee-sun suggests that they stop running Soo’s errands, Jin-sung quickly shuts her down: “Even if I’m mad at Hyung, work is work. I need to save his life.” Loyalty is adorable.
Secretary Wang’s sister tells her that she’s being followed, and Wang knows that Soo is behind it. She plans to meet with So-ra as revenge.
While staking out in front of Myung-ho’s house, Jin-sung tells Hee-sun that he loves her as a lighthearted (yet completely serious) means of keeping her warm. She wonders if they should date after this thing with Soo blows over, but Jin-sung’s plans to move to the countryside to help his father put a damper on a possible future together.
They spot Myung-ho’s girlfriend going in, and Hee-sun celebrates by planting one on Jin-sung.
Aaand another! He plays the part of the classic kdrama heroine when he just blinks in surprise, but he finally gets it and goes in for another kiss. As if to remind us that they’re comprising the cute interlude in this otherwise angsty hour, the rest of the smoochfest is hidden under a Wink Wink Nudge Nudge Fourth Wall Blanket. It’s… a little jarring. Not the kiss itself, but the bookend.
Young and Secretary Wang form a tense quasi-alliance when Not-Mommy Dearest comes clean about her suspicions regarding Soo. She tells Young about the strange sample that got submitted for the DNA test, as well as how she found Soo trying to break into Young’s safe.
Despite the test results, Young claims that Soo retaining memories from their childhood (all the lucky guesses he had) proves he’s her brother without a doubt.
Only, she is just a smidgen doubtful, which comforts Secretary Wang because it means Young won’t let her guard down. “I take it that you don’t trust him completely,” she adds, and Young doesn’t deny it. She wants to, but she can’t.
Young’s helpful friend calls her with the results from the Instant Death Pill test, surprising no one but Young when she reveals that it’s a poison used for euthanizing animals.
Young’s eyes fill with tears. Oh come on, she can’t honestly be surprised, can she? To the girl obsessed with death and dying, what did she think would happen if she took that pill? A cure-all coma? I don’t buy that she thought she was cradling a Xanax to sleep every night.
Soo tries to approach her about getting treatment, but Young is at a point where she’s not trusting a word he says. Her cold treatment hurts Soo’s feelings, and he looks so sad so fast that it’s like a punch to the gut. Someone give that puppy a hug.
He goes in for a kiss on the cheek and is rebuked again, but this time he makes sure to plant one anyway. He knows something’s strange but can’t figure out how to ask her about it, even though he admits that he would have already asked it if they were dating. (Not as in the two of them, but if he were dating a girl giving him the same cold shoulder.)
When he leaves, Young locks the door.
Jin-sung and Hee-sun could not possibly be any more obvious while staking out Myung-ho’s house (they’re practically parked in his front yard), but through the power of television he fails to notice them eagerly snapping pictures when he leaves with his girlfriend that morning. Now they have proof of his affair.
Now that the seed of doubt has been planted, Young can’t help but think of all the different clues pointing to the fact that Soo might not be her brother and confronts Secretary Wang for the truth. “If the man right now is not the real Soo, then what happened to my real brother?”
Secretary Wang admits to thinking that the other Oh Soo is Young’s real brother, but she doesn’t break the news that he’s dead to our emotionally-fragile heroine. Not that it helps her much, since Young now expects her to find the other Oh Soo.
Things are looking really bad for Soo, especially when Lawyer Jang decides to go ahead with fingerprint-testing Young’s painting to know if he tried to crack the safe.
Meanwhile, Young decides to find Moo-chul (via his business card) to find the other Oh Soo. When Soo tries to get a word with her, she whips around with her cane and almost hits him. Nothing beats her sarcastic apology afterward.
He’s finally had enough with the head games and demands that she tell him why she’s mad, causing her to coolly agree even as she shrugs his hand off. She agrees to talk later, but she’s got someone to meet first.
She enlists the taxi driver’s help in calling Moo-chul, hoping to ask about the Oh Soo from Cheongdamdong (which is our Soo). He’s maniacally gleeful that she finally called and sets the club as their meeting place.
The problem is, he has two business cards with two different addresses, and he’s not sure which address she has.
She shows up to the wrong one and uses a nice student’s help to call Moo-chul back, though she’s forced to find her way to the right address on her own.
In the meantime, Jin-sung proudly shows off the pictures he snapped of Myung-ho’s affair. It all proves meaningless when Mi-ra calls Soo to report that Young has been acting strange, and that she’s carrying poison on her. “Young isn’t trying to take that medicine, is she?”
Because it must pour when it rains, Soo gets a text from Moo-chul at the same time, happily announcing his plans to meet Young at the club. Soo rushes out to try and intervene before it’s too late.
Young makes it on her own to the club exterior, but some super shady guys use her blindness to their advantage as they pretend to help her to the club when they’re… not. Oh no. Oh no! Young, get the hell outta there!
Soo’s close, but he doesn’t see her being led away. NO.
The shady gangsters lead Young to a quiet area to rob her, and she is vastly outnumbered. She pleads with them to take everything but her phone (currently telling her that Soo is calling), but they start to get rough with her and cover her mouth when she tries to scream.
Suddenly, one of her assailants is all but ripped off her by Soo, making a heroic (and undeniably very cool) entrance as he smashes a bottle over the guy’s skull. Ouch.
He glares daggers at the rest of them while he holds the one against the wall, and he makes for an imposing sight as he approaches them without relinquishing his grip. I’m struggling with a way to say this that’s not: HE GRATES THE GUY’S FACE AGAINST THE WALL AS HE WALKS. It’s like he’s grating cheese, only that cheese is a face.
Young has no idea that Soo is the one who came to her rescue until her hand closes around the Instant Death Pill Remnants. He covers her hand in his to let her know he’s there, and she reacts by trying to leave.
She slaps him across the face when he tries to stop her, all but shaking in rage. “It must have been really easy to fool a blind person like me. Really easy.”
Soo’s not even affected by the accusation as his gaze remains steady. It’s as if he knows the jig is up and has already made peace with it, though she’s understandably not as eager to do the same since she also pushes him away when he tries to hold her.
“A euthanizing pill?” she continues, fighting and failing to hold back tears. “Why couldn’t you kill me? Why couldn’t you kill me?! I’m so easy. I can’t do anything. Why didn’t you kill me? Why?!”
She screams the last question as she breaks down into sobs, and a tear escapes Soo’s eyes as he watches her, unable to do anything to comfort her.
That was a really intense ending, and one I didn’t expect we’d be seeing quite so soon. It’s a welcome upheaval this early in the game, and I’m happy as long as we keep the focus on Soo and Young. That’s where the money’s at (literally and figuratively), and I was definitely feeling a sense of loss when they were apart this episode. Apart they’re still fun, but together they just light up the screen.
I became keenly aware of just how much their presence was missed when neither of them were on screen during certain stretches of this episode, maybe because there exists a limit to how much fun can be had when everyone’s doing their fact-finding by phone or coffee shop. (The PPL is extremely well integrated here, but that doesn’t stop every other scene from including a phone.) It honestly has less to do with the products and more to do with seeing every little detail of everyone’s journey to Find The Truth, which is admittedly a huge component of the drama but one that’s just not as fun as it used to be. There’s only so much screen time that needs to be devoted to Joong-tae’s photo hunt before it’d be faster for one of us to fly over, find it, and make it back in time for the weekend. If we aren’t reminded of it for one episode we won’t forget, Winter. Trust us.
Young genuinely confused me this round when she decided to just shut down and keep her thought processes a secret, because my current understanding of her is based on how much she chooses to reveal. Unfortunately for us, she’s got a much better poker face than Soo, so when she decides to be a cipher it’s like having a previously wide-open door slam in your face. I can hazard a few guesses as to the why of her actions based on her brief Soo v. Suicide audio flashbacks, but I felt a little out of the loop being (1) not telepathic and (2) not also suicidally depressed. I know she wants the truth about her brother, but I’m not sure if her (possible) brain tumor trumps that want, or whether all those wants pale in comparison to her overarching want (need?) to die. I just want to know what she wants so I can get in her corner. Or not, if she’s intent on dying because she’s afraid of trying to live.
Either way, it was nice to see Jin-sung and Hee-sun get a little extra screen time even though their role in the story tends to waver somewhere between Necessary and Necessary Comic Relief. I love both characters even though their romance feels a little sudden (though there’ve been hints dropped), and I do like that Hee-sun might start settling down a little, especially when Soo has enough people ready to ruin his life.
It was a good episode for side characters overall, especially Secretary Wang, a character I’ve never been more pleased to not be familiar with. Trying to figure her out has become a fun weekly game, and it’s really neat to see a show keep a genuinely mysterious character so mysterious for so long. We can infer a lot about Secretary Wang from her actions, but all we have ARE her actions, so when she spends most of her time seemingly caring for Young’s welfare (albeit in a very warped way), my perception of her gets thrown off all over again. Right now I’m leaning more toward the she’s-possibly-insane-and-wants-Young-as-a-living-doll side of things, but as with all things in this show, it’s subject to change.
Likewise, if we just based our perception of Soo from his actions we’d think he got the better end of the character deal (true), but unlike Secretary Wang and Young we can always count on his facial expressions to show us what he’s thinking. Now that it’s clear he’s got an emotional stake in this not-a-relationship, we can spend less time worrying about whether he’s just doing nice things for the money. Hopefully. Things could go south when the stakes go higher like Moo-chul claims, but for the moment I’m glad he’s such a stand-up guy, because at this point I’d probably let him get away with fictional murder. I know, that’s so insensitive toward fictional people just because he carries his girl up mountains, translates letters into Braille, gets all teary-eyed when he’s shown the door, and [insert other endearing act of kindness Soo has performed.]
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 8
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 7
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 6
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 5
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 4
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 3
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 2
- That Winter, The Wind Blows: Episode 1