Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 3
This show keeps getting better and better! We get a healthy dose of action and humor this time around, with help from another of Do-hyun’s alter egos. More of the general picture is revealed, but the secrets of the past are still hidden from us, as they are from Do-hyun. Hints of Do-hyun’s true strength of character shine through, however, proving that some people do grow stronger in proportion to the burdens they carry.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Cha Do-hyun’s ajusshi alter ego Perry Park has arrived, which is bad news for Do-hyun, Chief Ahn, and especially Ri-jin, who’s still tied up in a warehouse somewhere. Perry finds his old clothes in storage, while Chief Ahn tries to convince him to make an appearance at the company meeting. Perry only wants to enjoy his freedom while it lasts, but when Chief Ahn offers to buy him a boat his face lights up.
Unfortunately for Chief Ahn, that’s when Ri-jin’s kidnapper calls back. He repeats his demand for the leather jacket, while Ri-jin tries to shout through the duct tape over her mouth that she has the damn jacket, not him.
Perry doesn’t like that someone is threatening a woman to get to him, and demands to know where the kidnapper is. Chief Ahn reminds Perry of his promise to go to the meeting, but apparently not even a boat can convince him to turn his back on a damsel in distress.
The board meeting is about to begin, with no sign of Do-hyun. His grandmother, the chairwoman, waits at the head of the table. Ki-joon’s father smirks maliciously when he sees that Do-hyun has yet to arrive.
Meanwhile Ri-jin’s kidnapper prepares for the arrival of Shin Se-gi. He directs his men to attack him for practice, simulating how they will attack Se-gi. “Slowly!” he chides them. “Why so fast? Do you have an appointment or something?” The mock brawl comes to an abrupt halt when they realize they have an intruder in their midst. Perry Park has arrived, and he’s carrying what look like a pair of bombs.
Chief Ahn informs Grandma Seo that Do-hyun may not be able to attend the meeting. She lies to the company executives that her grandson was in a car accident, so his introduction will have to wait.
Since Perry Park brought bombs to a fist fight, the thugs hesitate to attack him. He tells them how he was famous for making bombs back on Jeju Island, and they should have let him enjoy his freedom instead of provoking him.
While most of the thugs are cowering, however, one bad guy creeps up from behind. Ri-jin’s muffled screams alert Perry to his danger. He dodges the first blow, but one of the bombs goes flying from his hand.
Bad guys scatter, the boss dives headfirst into a laundry basket, and the timer reaches zero… ding! A cheerful recorded voice informs those gathered in the warehouse that their rice is fully cooked. With the threat of explosion removed, the thugs begin beating the living daylights out of poor Perry Park.
A tracking device slips out of Perry’s jacket, and we see that Chief Ahn has been on the trail the whole time. He and Do-hyun arranged this beforehand, as a way to keep tabs on Do-hyun even after his other personalities took control. The kidnapper guesses that “Shin Se-gi” faked a saturi accent and brought dud bombs to buy time for the police to arrive.
Secure in a new location, an underling complains to the boss about having to go to all this trouble for the stupid jacket. Why can’t they just pay back the cost of the drugs inside? But it turns out to be the jacket that matters, since it was made by a master leather craftsman in Italy, who is no longer alive to make another one. HA! Who does that remind us of?
A text arrives on Ri-jin’s phone—it’s a picture of Ri-on wearing the elusive leather jacket! The boss screams at Ri-jin to identify the guy in the picture, forgetting the duct tape over her mouth. Once the underling takes off the tape, Ri-jin tears into the bumbling bad guys for going to all this unnecessary trouble when she could have brought them the jacket ages ago.
The thugs put Ri-jin on speakerphone, so they can hear what she says. Ri-on is at the family restaurant, partying with some friends who helped him with his latest mystery novel.
That seems to spark an idea, and Ri-jin says oh-so-casually that since they’re talking about his novel, Chapter Three really struck a chord with her. Since Ri-jin so rarely compliments him, Ri-on is taken aback and wonders what’s wrong. There’s a long pause, after which Ri-on accuses her of trying to get out of repaying the money she borrowed from him. So close, and yet so far…
Once Ri-jin finds out that Ri-on will be staying with his friends all night, the kidnapper cuts the call short. He takes most of his boys to retrieve the jacket, leaving one man to keep an eye on Ri-jin and Perry Park.
Ri-jin and Perry are now on their own, tied up in the storage room. She remembers all of their encounters, each time with a different tone, personality, and look in his eyes. Perry starts convulsing in the way that signals his transformations.
Outside the locked storage room, the thug on guard duty sees the bombs left by Perry Park. He hefts one, chuckling at the failed ruse, and tosses it carelessly on the ground. The timer begins counting down from thirty minutes—and this one probably didn’t come from a rice cooker.
Do-hyun, now back in control of his mind and body, looks up and sees Ri-jin. A weary, wonderful smile lights up his face when he realizes she is unharmed. He lies that he sometimes passes out if he gets angry or drinks too much, and Ri-jin doesn’t bother to voice her suspicions. She calmly assures him that she’s fine, and that the thugs went to collect the leather jacket.
Do-hyun wonders why Ri-jin seems so unconcerned about the bruisers about to beat up her brother, but Ri-jin says everything will be fine. Do-hyun stops pestering her when he remembers that Ri-jin is supposedly a psychiatric patient.
With surprising ease, Do-hyun frees himself from his ropes and goes to untie Ri-jin. He explains that he’s found himself in some tight spots over the years, so he’s had to learn things like this. Ri-jin repeats Se-gi’s words from the night at the club, confirming that Do-hyun indeed doesn’t remember what he said.
“What is your name?” she asks. Instead of answering, Do-hyun responds with a question of his own: Does Ri-jin want to escape?
The sole remaining guard hears Ri-jin scream and rushes into the storage room. Distracted by Ri-jin feigning unconsciousness on the floor, the guard notices Do-hyun too late and is easily subdued. When Do-hyun goes to search for the exit, however, the guard takes Ri-jin hostage and holds a knife to her throat.
“She’s a megalomaniac!” Do-hyun warns the guard, prompting a hilarious Who, me?! from Ri-jin. “Don’t get her worked up!” Ri-jin is more worried about Do-hyun, and tells him to stay calm and breathe.
That’s when the bomb on the floor announces that the countdown has begun—there’s only a minute left. Do-hyun says that he didn’t disable the safety mode last time, asking whether the guard wants to wager his life on the chance that he’s lying. The guard shoves Ri-jin away and runs for the exit, while Do-hyun rushes Ri-jin into the hallway mere seconds before the bomb explodes. Looks like Perry Park knew what he was doing after all!
The kidnapper arrives at the restaurant with his thugs and demands to know where Ri-on is. The assembled men don’t even bother to respond, ignoring the show of force. Then Ri-on appears with the jacket and spills the hidden drugs all over the floor. His guests identify themselves as police officers—because who else would be better able to consult on a murder mystery, right?—and put the thugs in cuffs. All traces of his buffoon personality gone, Ri-on demands to know where they are keeping his sister.
Still injured from his previous beating, Do-hyun nevertheless manages to carry Ri-jin away from the source of the explosion. As fire rages all around them, Ri-jin nears the edge of consciousness. Looking around, Do-hyun spies a motorcycle a short distance away. He ties Ri-jin securely to the back seat and tears away, while the warehouse goes up in flames behind him.
Fading in and out of consciousness in a hospital bed, Ri-jin sees Do-hyun standing over her. He apologizes sincerely for putting her in danger, and for not being able to tell her why she was in danger. “I hope you never again have the misfortune of meeting me.”
Ri-on finds his sister recovering in the hospital. Ri-jin is glad he understood her coded message after all—the chapter she mentioned featured a kidnapping and drugs hidden inside clothing, which was enough for Ri-on to figure out the rest. Brother and sister break out an adorable secret handshake to celebrate their victory.
Meanwhile Do-hyun, bloodied and exhausted, asks Chief Ahn to take him to the company meeting. In the boardroom, Ki-joon’s father muses that Do-hyun must be gravely injured to miss such an important introduction, and urges the chairwoman not to keep people waiting any longer. Just then the doors fly open and Do-hyun enters, looking pretty darn snazzy in his suit.
Do-hyun addresses the assembled executives, apologizing for his tardiness. He says that his accident was an uncontrollable variable, much like his own promotion or the unpredictable vagaries of the future.
“But I will face the ever-changing world with something unchangeable inside of me,” he promises. “With determination, spirit, effort… and identity.” Ki-joon, watching Do-hyun like a hawk, sees blood dripping from Do-hyun’s sleeve.
After the meeting, Grandma Seo brings Do-hyun to her office to chew him out for being late in front of so many people who wish to see him fail. She says that if he knows what his father did for him, how he sacrificed himself so Do-hyun could be part of the Seungjin Group family, he shouldn’t be so careless. “Until my son can sit in that chair,” Grandma screams, “you must do everything you can to protect this company.” Damn… Grandma Seo is scary.
In a medical facility somewhere, Do-hyun’s mother stops outside of a door with CHA JOON-PYO on the nameplate. She thanks her hired tracker for finding her husband, then goes inside to sit beside his bed.
Ri-jin calls her mother to reassure her. Her parents have whipped up enough food to feed an army, and want to send it with Ri-on so Ri-jin can regain her strength.
Ri-jin’s father asks for the leather jacket Ri-on took from him. He wants to lose weight so he can wear it, since he still thinks it was a gift from Ri-jin. Ri-on snaps at his father to move on, then has to react quickly to keep from getting hit by the ladle his mother throws at him for being rude. I love this family.
Do-hyun consults with Chief Ahn while stitching up his own wound. Apparently his experiences over the years have given him a basic knowledge of field-dressing injuries, along with his rope-escaping abilities and high tolerance for pain. Still under the impression that Ri-jin has a mental illness, Do-hyun asks Chief Ahn to pay for her treatment and look out for her until she is discharged.
A little while later, Ri-jin enters her hospital room to find balloons, gifts, and a note wishing her well. She flashes back to the storage room, when Do-hyun was so considerate of her. “Could it be… Gentleman?” she muses. I love that she’s started giving nicknames to his personalities.
Ri-on arrives to share the food from their parents, along with some contraband beer. They discuss the mysterious stranger who rescued her, and his multiple personalities. Ri-jin thinks that he might cultivate these personalities as defense mechanisms against a cruel world, just like how Ri-on is both himself and Omega-3, the mystery writer swathed in mystery.
“But what if it isn’t a defense mechanism, but a trap?” she asks, growing pensive. How difficult it would be, she thinks, if he couldn’t control the personalities within his mind. How terrifying, and how lonely… Ri-on asks if she likes this man, but Ri-jin closes that line of questioning by saying that they aren’t likely to meet again anyway.
Do-hyun sleeps poorly that night, troubled by dreams of his childhood trauma. His younger self pleads for forgiveness, huddling back against the wall of a dark basement. A shadowy figure advances upon him, which is when Do-hyun bolts awake, gasping.
The next day, Ki-joon directs an employee to search all the hospitals in Seoul for a record of Do-hyun checking in. He wants to follow up on Do-hyun’s car accident story, no doubt to gain leverage for his dastardly schemes.
Do-hyun takes a tour through the ID Entertainment division, where they make sets for use in dramas and films. Chae-yeon sees him and calls out a greeting, but Do-hyun pretends not to hear.
That won’t fly for Chae-yeon, however, who gets Do-hyun alone for a nice lunch. She reminds him of what he said to her—that she should ignore him if he acts unlike himself, calls her late at night, or otherwise crosses a line.
“Try it,” she tells him. “Cross that line that can’t be crossed. I’m curious to see whether I’ll beat you up… or cross over with you.” Do-hyun replies that she can’t handle someone like him, and leaves after promising to forget what she just said. Somehow, though, I don’t think challenging this girl is going to scare her away…
At the hospital, Chief Ahn talks with Dr. Seok about how the multiple personalities are getting more dangerous. Chief Ahn hopes that they can find someone to be Do-hyun’s secret physician, so he can receive treatment without betraying his weakness to his family.
Ri-jin enters, and Chief Ahn finally finds out that she is a doctor, not a patient. You can practically see the lightbulb turn on over his head. He leaves the two of them alone.
Ri-jin asks Dr. Seok if she can return to work, denying any lingering symptoms after the trauma of her kidnapping. She turns back a moment later, though, and asks about the patient in America with dissociative identity disorder that she remembers Dr. Seok talking about once. Hmm… sounds familiar.
Multiple misunderstandings are cleared up at once, as Chief Ahn reports to Do-hyun about Ri-jin being a doctor and Ri-jin learns that her savior and Dr. Seok’s D.I.D. patient are one and the same. Do-hyun leaves immediately to meet with Ri-jin face-to-face.
At the hospital, Dr. Seok relates how he met Do-hyun in America and came to believe his story. Seven years of treatment allowed the doctor to get to know all of Do-hyun’s personalities, but it wasn’t enough for him to help Do-hyun recover the traumatic childhood memories that he has suppressed.
Ri-jin understands that Do-hyun must have compartmentalized his psyche as a defensive measure, which has indeed become a trap. She and Dr. Seok both feel for Do-hyun, trapped in a never-ending war against himself, and unable to tell the very people he should be able to rely on for help and support.
While wandering aimlessly through the hospital, thinking about Do-hyun’s predicament, Ri-jin runs into our favorite club-rat Heo Suk-hee. She chases Suk-hee outside the hospital, just as a car pulls up in front. Ri-jin saves Suk-hee by tackling her out of the way.
Do-hyun hastily exits the car to check on them, and recognizes Suk-hee from Club Paradise. “It’s that doctor…” he says, just as orderlies rush out to frog-march Suk-hee back inside. She reminds him of what she said before, of the feeling of having many selves locked inside of you. “I think we’ll be good friends!” Suk-hee yells as she is dragged into the hospital. “Let’s meet again, Club Paradise’s Prince! Let’s meet again!”
Do-hyun muses that Ri-jin really is a doctor. He asks if she saw the moment when he changed, and when she replies that she did, he wonders why she isn’t scared of him.
“Because I still don’t know who you are,” Ri-jin replies. “Excuse me, but… who are you? By any chance, do you have a bomb?” Do-hyun shakes his head. “Then do you have a leather jacket?” Ri-jin asks. Smiling now, Do-hyun shakes his head once more. “Then… what is your name?”
Do-hyun meets her gaze steadily. “I—with this face and this look in my eyes—am Cha Do-hyun.”
I absolutely loved this episode! It had a little bit of everything, ranging from action to boardroom thriller to romance without missing a beat. Even better, the show manages all of these styles without losing sight of the humor that keeps some of the more dramatic elements from feeling overwrought.
As has been mentioned in the comments, Ri-jin sure does scream a lot. It doesn’t bother me yet—in fact, I love that her instinctive reaction to cheesy pick-up lines is to shriek—but it will get old fast if that’s her go-to reaction any time she’s startled or in a situation spinning out of control. I don’t think the show will make that mistake though, especially not after the hilarious moment with the duct tape in the opening scene, which I think showed an awareness of Ri-jin’s tendency to, uh, speak her mind. Those gangsters could have saved themselves so much trouble if they’d just let a girl talk once in a while.
The tension within the family is heating up nicely, and we’ve discovered something very important: Grandma Seo is nutso. After seeing her flip out at Do-hyun after the meeting, I’m starting to think severe personality swings might just be a hereditary thing in their family.
It’s good to get a little more background on this family, but I hope the secrets and the in-fighting don’t outshine the growing relationships between the characters of the younger generation.
Speaking of whom, I find myself really liking Chae-yeon so far, without actually wanting her to succeed. It seems she’s attracted to power, or at least to someone who’s willing to paint outside the lines, so Do-hyun’s uncharacteristic changes naturally intrigue her.
It’s interesting to see her playing with fire, not realizing that she ought to be careful what she wishes for. I would dearly love to see her arrange a date with Do-hyun, only for Perry Park to arrive with his Hawaiian shirt and a few homemade bombs. Chae-yeon might think she wants to “cross a few lines” with Do-hyun (and really, can you blame her?), but she still has no idea what that entails. Call me a sadist, but I can’t wait to see what happens when she finally figures it out.
I’ve read a few comments saying they prefer Shin Se-gi to Cha Do-hyun, and some people have even said that Do-hyun has no personality at all. Now, I understand the attraction to the bad guy with the leather jacket and the mean right hook, but I still find Do-hyun by far the most interesting of the personalities. For Do-hyun, self-control is the one thing he values most—not to mention the most dearly bought—even if self-control isn’t always the most expressive of emotions onscreen.
That’s not to say that Do-hyun is bland or uninteresting. His anguish is real, as we saw in an earlier episode when he looks in his car mirror and promises Se-gi that if he gets stronger, Do-hyun will as well. And one of the clear highlights of this episode (which I thought was exceptional all around) was when Do-hyun made his appearance at the meeting, mere hours after nearly being blown up.
Do-hyun isn’t a blank slate at all—he has an identity of his own, as he announces to the board members at the meeting. It’s just that he doesn’t know quite what it is yet, when he isn’t fighting to assert control over the other selves lurking inside him. He may have promised to stand strong in the face of the ever-changing world, but we know he was also talking about holding fast against his ever-changing self. To do that, he needs to discover and protect that unchanging core of his selfhood, the part of his identity separate from the unwanted house-guests in his psyche.
I thought the show addressed this issue in an interesting way at the end of the episode, when Ri-jin finally learns Do-hyun’s real name. “Do you have a bomb?” she asks. “Do you have a leather jacket?”
As viewers we often have to rely on clumsy visual aids to tell personalities apart, like Perry Park’s bombs and silly shirts, or Se-gi with his violet eyes (framed with guyliner, of course!) and leather jacket. Do-hyun is the only personality so far whom we don’t associate with some signifying feature, some essential symbol inextricably linked to who and what he is. But that lack is not absence so much as it is Do-hyun’s unexplored potential, his inability to be reduced to a few representative quirks. Ri-jin is about to begin discovering Do-hyun’s identity on a deeper level than bombs or leather jackets or even, dare I say it, smoldering eyes—and we’ll be along for the ride.
Without the exuberant excess of his multiple personalities, who is Cha Do-hyun? I can’t wait to find out!
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 2
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 1
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- Park Seo-joon and Hwang Jung-eum as Kill Me, Heal Me’s rowdy twins
- Kill Me Heal Me secures leads and supporting cast
- Ji Sung the latest leading man in contention for Kill Me, Heal Me
- Lee Seung-gi, Im Ji-yeon drop Kill Me, Heal Me
- Rookie actress Im Ji-yeon to romance Lee Seung-gi in Kill Me Heal Me
- Lee Seung-gi in talks to headline Kill Me, Heal Me
- Park Seo-joon courted for MBC drama Kill Me, Heal Me