Everyone who matters continues to suffer for an old man’s greed as the truth remains just out of reach, even though the stakes keep ratcheting higher and higher. Our hero will need extra help facing off against the World’s Worst Grandpa, but it’s surprisingly hard to figure out whether his dubiously benevolent benefactor is actually a good guy or just another fraud. Lord knows we’ve got enough of those already.
If there’s only one redeeming quality from the doom and gloom one of the show’s biggest reveals causes, it’s that there’s extra cuteness to go around between my favorite couple of the show. Our hero may not be the best oppa ever, but he can be pretty adorable sometimes.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
While Clicky calls Yi-soo’s bluff over his wife’s life, Hae-woo confronts her grandfather to demand Yi-hyun’s safe return.
But Grandpa is a master of deception and uses a few different tactics against Hae-woo’s lack of evidence—first he puts her in her place for daring to school him, then he pulls the pity card: “I don’t know about other people, but I thought you would have trusted me.”
Hae-woo doesn’t deny that she still wants to believe in him, but in order to do so, he has to promise Yi-hyun’s safety. He won’t even acknowledge that he had a hand in her kidnapping. Hae-woo: “It’s only a sand castle. The thing you want to protect will someday collapse like a sand castle. No matter how huge it may seem, a castle built on a lie will collapse someday.”
Then I think we get the first teensy moment of sincerity from her grandfather as he insists that it was a castle built for her sake, though she counters that it’s only a prison to lock away the truth. But the time for sincerity has passed as Grandpa proclaims his innocence till the end, and gives her his blessing to prove that what she says is true.
Little does he know that this tactic won’t work on his granddaughter as she declares in a shaking voice, “I know your devotion to me is genuine. I love you too, Grandfather. But I have to do what I have to do.” She calls him on his bluff and vows to get the proof she needs. This means war.
Hae-woo gets a GPS lock on Yi-soo’s location and bolts out, though Joon-young arrives home at the same time to ask her where she’s going. She says the usual—something urgent came up, she’ll tell him about it later, yadda yadda. Sometimes I wish she cared for Joon-young even a little.
While Detective Byun also hones in on Yi-soo, Clicky continues to urge him into the car to drive to his death. Okay, this is starting to feel a little old school James Bond villain-ish, where the villain could just shoot the hero, but he’d rather be theatrical instead.
Yi-soo walks to his car and exchanges a knowing look with Soo-hyun, who immediately fires his gun out of the car. This draws Clicky’s attention toward the sound, sending Yi-hyun running toward her brother as Clicky gains his bearings and fires at them…
…But the bullet narrowly misses Yi-hyun, and lands in Yi-soo’s shoulder instead. He takes it like a champion and pulls his sister to safety behind the car as Soo-hyun uses his car as a shield to prevent Clicky from firing another shot.
Clicky retreats around his truck, and Soo-hyun gets out of the car to pursue him. No no no. Don’t save Yi-soo just to kill Soo-hyun. I won’t forgive you, show.
Yi-hyun worries over the blood pouring down her brother’s sleeve as he unties her, even though he assures her that she’ll be safe if she stays behind him. They share a tender moment as she tries to keep him with her and he cups her face as if to tell her, Don’t worry. Oppa’s here now.
Clicky has time to somehow relate the happenings to a grim Grandpa Jo as Soo-hyun edges around the truck to find him. Clicky pistol-whips Soo-hyun in order to escape in Soo-hyun’s car with his wife.
Yi-hyun and Yi-soo share a tender embrace now that the danger has (mostly) passed, but his bullet wound doesn’t go unnoticed. They hear sirens in the distance and leave the scene, with Yi-soo once again turning his phone off to avoid GPS tracking.
While Soo-hyun drives, Yi-hyun falls asleep with her head on her brother’s shoulder. In a touching moment, Yi-soo wraps an arm around her to pull her closer.
In contrast (or in solidarity?), Clicky holds his sleeping wife’s hand as he drives home. The wife he was willing to sacrifice, but whatever. We can say that he knew Yi-soo wouldn’t have hurt her because it’s true.
Yi-soo and his sister have a heart-to-heart as she explains that she’s not even angry—she’s only sorry that she couldn’t recognize him, even though his changed appearance makes no difference to her.
When she asks about his double life he promises to tell her later (except that never happens), because there’s something he must do. Yi-hyun starts to cry when she pleads with him to just live with her like he promised, if only because she’s afraid something will happen to him.
But Yi-soo reassures her that everything will be all right, and that he’ll keep his promise in the end. She’s contented when he pinky swears that he won’t suddenly disappear, and they walk back to the car holding hands. D’aww.
Soo-hyun offers to take Yi-hyun home while Yi-soo promises to go get treated. Before she goes, Yi-hyun turns around with a bright smile: “Next time we meet, buy me spaghetti.”
Detective Byun gets a text from Yi-soo that Yi-hyun is unharmed and going home, and he couldn’t possibly rush home any faster. He passes on the news to Hae-woo, though he tells her to wait before coming to his house. Is he worried for Yi-hyun’s safety?
Hae-woo begins to call Yi-soo only to hang up after one ring. Yi-soo pays a visit to Secretary Jang all, So this is kind of awkward, but I got shot and I need your help.
Soo-hyun escorts Yi-hyun straight to her door, and they both take turns thanking each other before he asks her out on a movie date. She deliberately avoids answering and escapes into her house.
Her mom is there to greet her, and sobs frantically as she hugs her daughter.
Secretary Jang cleans and bandages Yi-soo’s wound, even though he was (luckily) only grazed by the bullet.
Joon-young looks up the old files he had collected on Kim Jun when he entered the hotel scene, and starts to put the pieces together about his true identity after staring at his picture.
Everything that seemed strange to him at first, like how Hae-woo could always be seen with him, starts to make sense if Kim Jun was Yi-soo this whole time.
Yi-hyun calls Hae-woo hesitatingly, and Hae-woo guesses what she’s after: “Did you meet Yi-soo?” So the secret is officially out, but again, Yi-hyun isn’t even angry that Hae-woo knew and didn’t tell her. She’s just worried about Yi-soo, and is hoping that Hae-woo will tell her what kind of dangerous work he’s involved in.
Hae-woo won’t tell her, but she grows concerned when Yi-hyun admits that Yi-soo was injured during the ordeal and that he didn’t even go to a hospital. Hae-woo’s first inclination is to rush to Yi-soo’s side… only this time, Joon-young sees her leaving. Ack.
Detective Byun finally makes it home and grabs his daughter as if his life depended on it. I love these two.
Soo-hyun calls Yi-soo with the news that Clicky dropped his wife off back at the nursing home and disappeared. Yi-soo wonders if Grandpa Jo would even get rid of Clicky if his loyal assassin became a liability, so he decides that they have to find Clicky first if they want to bring Grandpa down. (Are characters in this show allergic to light? Why is Soo-hyun sitting in complete darkness?)
Yi-hyun tells her story to her father, carefully leaving out any details pertaining to Yi-soo. I’m sure that he knows who she’s trying to protect so he doesn’t press her, and the only information he gets is that her kidnapper wanted a document and that he warned whoever he was calling not to use Hae-woo.
Detective Byun heads out after, and warns his wife to lock all the doors. You’d think he’d put a police detail around the house just to be safe, considering that Clicky still roams free.
Yi-soo doesn’t pick up when he tries to call, while Hae-woo stops on her way to see Yi-soo. If I had a nickel for every scene she spends worrying in her car… let’s just say I’d have a lot of nickels.
Yi-soo meets with Detective Byun, who instantly calls him (as Yi-soo, since the secret’s out) a rotten bastard for the pain he’s putting Yi-hyun through. “If only for Yi-hyun, who’s waited these twelve years for you, you should change your mind. It’s not your role to judge the perpetrator.”
But Yi-soo’s heard these words from him before, and argues back that the police didn’t do their job either, since the truth was still buried in the end. Even though Detective Byun offers to take Yi-soo’s burden off of his shoulders if Yi-soo would only trust him, Yi-soo replies, “I don’t believe in people. And I won’t make the same mistake twice.”
Detective Byun is almost pleading with him now, since he doesn’t want to have to arrest Yi-soo himself. Yi-soo assures him that he won’t have to, since he’ll come to the police on his own when everything has come to an end. Because that totally works for every other criminal ever. (Not.)
In exchange, he tells Detective Byun Clicky’s real name plus some extra information to help him hopefully catch Yi-hyun’s kidnapper. But when Detective Byun asks if Yi-soo killed Detective Jung, Yi-soo merely replies that in order for the detective to find out, he’ll have to use the proper legal channels for questioning. That’s cool, but you just told him that he couldn’t arrest you, so…
As Yi-soo walks away, Detective Byun calls after him, “I’m sorry, Yi-soo-ya. If I’d only found the truth twelve years ago, if I had only arrived at the car accident scene earlier… you wouldn’t have ended up this way. I’m really sorry.” But then he also adds his gratitude, because he knows Yi-soo is the one responsible for Yi-hyun making it home unscathed.
Yi-soo’s eyes fill with tears as he turns around to thank Detective Byun for raising his baby sister so well. Then he bows.
As Joon-young makes his way to Yi-soo’s apartment, Yi-soo returns to find Hae-woo waiting outside his door. She asks about his injury, though Yi-soo pointedly ignores her.
Neither of them want to be separated, so Yi-soo makes the sudden decision to follow Hae-woo into the stairwell and stops her with a back hug. “Don’t go,” he says. “Don’t go, Hae-woo-ya.” Then his voice breaks, “Don’t go.”
She turns around to face him, and he says it again: “Don’t go.” Both of them cry as she pulls him in for an embrace, though it’s more a comforting gesture and an invitation for him to just let go, which he does as he desperately holds onto her and sobs into her shoulder.
Joon-young spots Hae-woo’s car in front of Yi-soo’s apartment and knows she’s inside. Eek. Junichiro’s henchman watches him from the shadows.
Yi-soo cried himself to sleep (apparently), and Hae-woo looks troubled before she decides to sneak out. Meanwhile, Joon-young arrives just in time to see Hae-woo leaving Yi-soo’s apartment…
Ouch. Ouch. He doesn’t stay to confront her, but the full shock of her infidelity hits him as he stays out of sight. It’s only during the drive home that his heartbreak overcomes him.
Ironically, Hae-woo runs into the anchorwoman her father had an affair with as she faces her own emotional infidelity. The woman calmly explains to Hae-woo how emotions aren’t easy to control, but that the biting words Hae-woo said to her all those years ago still stay with her.
Hae-woo can only bow her head now that she’s no longer in a place to throw stones, especially when she remembers telling the woman that love which hurts the other people who love that person is a sin. I’m sure Hae-woo doesn’t like them apples very much.
Junichiro’s henchman updates him on the happenings before his meeting with Daddy Jo, and though Daddy Jo wants to make a deal with Junichiro that his dad refused, he instead receives a USB drive. Junichiro explains that it contains an important document, and we all know what’s inside.
Detective Byun works on tracking down Clicky, but he doesn’t see that Clicky is the one watching him… with his poison pen. Oh no you don’t, you old fart. Your beef is with Yi-soo, remember? Go after him, not ajusshi! (Sorry, Yi-soo.)
At home, Grandpa Jo acts like everything’s normal with Hae-woo, even though she’s staring holes into his skull. She’s surprised to find Joon-young sitting in the dark, and when he asks her where she was, she lies that she was at the office. Wrong answer.
Joon-young doesn’t confront her on her lies and just says that he’ll sleep at the hospital with his father for the night, refusing any attempts on her part to go with him. She tries to stop him on his way out: “I have something to tell you…”
Only he doesn’t want to hear it, even when she insists that she has to tell him now. I know he’s got a lot on his plate and he’s probably worried that she’ll confess her love for Yi-soo and not him, but now we’ll never know. (I still feel really bad for him though.)
After kindly telling Hae-woo to show a little more attention to her husband, Mrs. Park gives her an address she dug up after their last conversation. It’s an address Hae-woo’s grandmother secretly sent money to, and Mrs. Park’s hunch is that it must have been to Daddy Jo’s birth mother who disappeared.
Daddy Jo reads the file Junichiro gave him: The Truth About Chun Young-bo, who we know as Grandpa Jo. The more he reads, the more horrified he looks.
Junichiro calls for Secretary Jang not just to ask about Yi-soo’s health, but because he wants her to send a picture she took of Yi-soo and Hae-woo together (way back when) to a newspaper. Jang isn’t comfortable with the idea because she knows it’ll make things hard for Yi-soo, but she also doesn’t see the point when Grandpa Jo will make sure it never goes to print.
But that’s what Junichiro is counting on—what Grandpa Jo will do given the situation. Also, he knows Yi-soo’s resolve is fading, so this act is also supposed to put him back on track. “This is all for Jun,” he reassures Secretary Jang. Is it?
Yi-hyun calls her brother later that night, explaining that she can’t sleep because she’s just so happy that he’s alive. Gah. These two are going to be the death of me.
It’s their first time just chatting as (almost normal) siblings, and Yi-soo tries to hide his emotion as he bids Yi-hyun good night. But Detective Byun hears Yi-hyun clearly talking to her brother through the door.
Luckily, he’s direct about it: “I know that Yi-soo saved you, so you don’t have to hide it from me.” She breaks down instantly to tell her father that Yi-soo did nothing wrong. “Dad, help my oppa,” she cries.
She melts Detective Byun’s heart in a way only daughters can with their fathers, and he assures her that he’ll do everything he can to help her brother. Hooray for ajusshi!
While Secretary Jang considers the incriminating photo of Yi-soo and Hae-woo’s kiss, Joon-young heads to a bar to do a healthy bit of drinking. He ends up stumbling around the city in a drunken stupor, ending up at the columbarium with his brother’s ashes.
It’s there that he breaks down: “Joon-ho, I… really miss you. I miss you, Joon-ho. Today, for some reason, I miss you.” Then he curls up on the floor like the saddest little panda ever, and it hurts my heart. Poor thing.
The kissing photos are sent to the media the next morning, and as if on cue, Grandpa Jo gets a call about them. He doesn’t want them printed, obviously.
Dong-soo is unusually downtrodden the next morning, and explains to Yi-soo that it’s because he was rejected the day before… while sending a kicked puppy look to Secretary Jang. Ha.
But he won’t give Yi-soo any further details, and the two have this funny little sight gag that relies on Yi-soo keeping his manner hands up long enough for Dong-soo to move him back into a relaxed pose like a mannequin. And Yi-soo really has no idea that he was rejected by Secretary Jang.
Yi-soo gets a picture message of the photo that made its way to the press, and Secretary Jang’s shoulders seem to slump when she realizes what he’s looking at.
Joon-young is at the hospital when he gets a call from Hae-woo, which he pointedly ignores. Eek, I don’t think she knows about the photo yet.
Detective Byun tells Hae-woo that he met Yi-soo last night in order to air that secret out, but explains his more pressing matter in that he’s trying to find Clicky, the suspect in Yi-hyun’s kidnapping. Hae-woo’s eyes go wide when she realizes that Clicky is the bookstore ajusshi she’s known almost her whole life. (But they don’t yet know that Clicky is the poison pen assassin.)
Grandpa Jo calls Yi-soo about The New Picture, and both take turns accusing the other of sending it. But Gramps makes sure to stress how damaging the photo will be for Hae-woo’s career and her life, even though he’s controlling whether it goes to print or not.
But then… he uses the opportunity to blackmail Yi-soo—if he doesn’t want to ruin Hae-woo’s life, he has to drop everything. Otherwise, Grandpa Jo will okay the picture and ruin his granddaughter’s life.
Yi-soo lies that the threat won’t work on him: “I’m the one who wants to see your granddaughter in despair more than anyone.”
Grandpa Jo just laughs, “You can fool yourself, but you can’t fool love.”
As this episode went on I kept thinking how much easier this whole ordeal would be for Yi-soo if he just didn’t care about anyone. I realize that this probably wouldn’t be great on a character empathy level, but the whole series has had him supposedly straddling the caring/not caring line, when really, he’s cared the whole time and has just been partially in denial about his own capabilities.
In that vein, Yi-soo hasn’t changed and that’s okay—it’s just that he’s making the same caring-related mistakes over and over again. He’s fighting a losing battle if he’s trying to win against Grandpa Jo on the same amoral level, even though he’s trying to subvert that level by using the law at a snail’s pace. He can’t outdo or fool an ex-spy responsible for countless massacres, so now that his tactic of being the dark and mysterious hotel heir has completely imploded, why hasn’t Yi-soo changed his method of attack? Or, yunno, attacked?
Up until the blackmail conversation with Grandpa, it really did feel like Yi-soo’s identity reveal was just business as usual. We saw the individual impacts of said reveal, and the lack of ‘oomph’ might owe itself to the very gradual process by which most of the characters found out, especially in Hae-woo or Detective Byun’s case. But I felt the impact of the reveal from everyone except Yi-soo for the most part, so it’ll be important to see how this photo situation pans out with Grandpa Jo. Here’s hoping Gramps caves, or that Yi-soo one-ups him somehow. Either way, Hae-woo loses.
While we’re on the topic of things that suck for Hae-woo, it’s good to see her feeling the effect that her lying has had on Joon-young, who’s so far been the most innocent of victims. It had to happen sometime, and she’s done a lot of lying for reasons we can mostly understand, but that he’ll be hard-pressed to. Likewise, it’s good that he got a clue this episode but bad that they didn’t air their dirty laundry, because if the kissing photo breaks into the news… well, how do you explain that when you’ve lied about everything else? Hae-woo’s level of cheating is debatable, but she knew the moment she met her dad’s old flame that she isn’t blameless anymore, and so did we.
It’s a tough spot for her, us, and especially her husband. Joon-young doesn’t get a lot of meaty scenes, though he uses the ones he has to great effect. He’s been nothing but devoted this whole time, and now that he’s so devastated by the truth, any outcome where he ends up without the love of his life just doesn’t seem fair. But if dramas teach us one thing, it’s that first loves are made of puppies, rainbows, and crack cocaine. You just can’t quit ’em.