Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 11
Everything gets turned upside-down in this episode, as confessions begin to unfurl left and right. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned lying through your teeth? The peaceful coexistence between Robin and Seo-jin is threatened, though nothing is quite as confusing as Seo-jin’s sudden… niceness, leaving Hana completely spun around. And they say a leopard can’t change his spots.
SONG OF THE DAY
Miffung – “변해가네” (You’re Changing) [ Download ]
EPISODE 11 RECAP
When Seo-jin wakes up, memories of the kidnapping the night before flood back. He’s as shocked as anyone, as he remembers running to Hana’s rescue with the gas mask. He murmurs aloud, “I… saved her.”
Hana comes in to check on him and asks how it’s possible that Seo-jin was there in the warehouse with her, and then suddenly Robin appeared. She looks down at Seo-jin’s bandaged arm and her eyes widen: “Who… are you?”
Instead of answering, Seo-jin just keeps staring and staring, then asks if she’s okay and not sleepy. He says that he’s tired and thinks he could fall asleep right now. He ignores her interruptions and asks, “Can you stay by my side until I wake up?” Omo. You mean… wake up as Robin?
He says that this is the answer to her question, and that if she remains here until he wakes up, she’ll find out who he is. Really? We’re doing this? Are we sure?
Seo-jin lies back down and closes his eyes, and then we fade to sometime later, as Robin wakes up with a start. He sees Hana sitting next to him and immediately reaches out to touch her cheek, checking to make sure she’s okay. He asks why she was there in the warehouse, and she just gapes: “Are you… Robin?”
It’s then that he realizes where they are, and he starts to lower his hand. But she catches it with her own and touches his cheek the same way, almost to check to make sure he’s real. She’s quite sure that he’s Robin, but still doesn’t know how.
Robin asks cautiously how she came to be here, and Hana tells him that Seo-jin asked her to stay here until he woke up. Ha, now that I think about it, he basically shirked the difficult conversation and left it to Robin.
True to form, Robin is straightforward and gently explains that he and Seo-jin have dissociative identity disorder. She asks if that means they’re the same person, but he’s quick to say no—Seo-jin and Robin are two different people, with two different personalities, emotions, memories, jobs. “The person who likes you is me. And the person you like is me.” He squeezes her hand for emphasis.
Tae-joo shows Dr. Kang the footage of Seo-jin during the warehouse stunt, and her eyes fill with happy tears to see him acting differently—healing, changing. That just angers Tae-joo more, and he growls jealously that she needn’t be so happy about it.
He’s dead set on forcing Seo-jin to remember their traumatic childhood kidnapping, but Dr. Kang argues that Seo-jin isn’t lying about it—he really doesn’t remember. She doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing for people to reconstruct painful memories in order to cope, and that forcing them to remember isn’t always the way to cure them.
Tae-joo just barrels along and says there’s only one way to force Seo-jin’s hand. He has to remove every single one of his protective shields. Dr. Kang points out that he’s been all alone from the moment she was taken, but Tae-joo chides her for leaving out Seo-jin’s biggest shield: Robin.
He scoffs that Seo-jin’s “Hyde” is a guy that saves people, when Hyde is supposed to be the evil nature that people keep hidden. He says that Seo-jin is lying to himself that he’s a nice guy by creating a nice persona, and has even made a third shield in Hana. Tae-joo decides that he’ll make all those shields turn on Seo-jin, because once he’s without them, his true face will show.
Some hours later, Seo-jin wakes up in bed and Hana comes down to see him. She’s still unsure as she asks if it’s Seo-jin, and he explains that after experiencing his trauma as a child, he wanted to die and created Robin in order to live. But he looks her in the eye as he says that he’s changed now: “I saved you. You came for me, to protect me.” And he really does seem to be looking at her differently.
Hana looks hesitant, but Seo-jin declares, “Robin is me. I’m Robin. We’re one person.” WELL THAT’S NOT CONFUSING. Poor girl. One guy says that they’re two people and the other one swears that they’re the same. She retreats to her room in a daze, remembering all the times Seo-jin was there when Robin saved her.
In the batcave, Seo-jin sits down to watch Robin’s latest video message, and we see them as if they’re sitting across from each other again. Robin asks why he’s doing this now, when Seo-jin was always the reluctant one. This time it’s Robin who isn’t ready to put the truth out there, and argues that these are his feelings and about him revealing who he is to the person he likes.
Robin knows that Seo-jin asked for his help, and says that he’s grateful for that—to be acknowledged for the first time. But he counters that revealing the truth to Hana was blatantly disregarding his feelings.
His face fades into the video, and Seo-jin begins his own recording to answer. He thanks Robin for the first time ever, and then starts to say something else, though we don’t get to hear it. Seo-jin comes out and feels an ache in his temple, and something about it makes him wide-eyed as he wonders what it is.
Hana spends all night sitting in the same spot just trying to collect her thoughts, and Seo-jin comes by in the morning to check in with her. He says that he’ll handle the police report alone, and she stops him to say that she’s still confused about everything, but that the person she likes is Robin.
She asks him not to tell her that this means her feelings apply to Seo-jin too, but then he asks her why she came for him at the warehouse then. He answers his own question by guessing that it was compassion, and declares rather robotically that compassion is the next closest thing to love anyway, and it’s a good place to start.
He tosses out like an afterthought: “I’ve already started.” He walks out like he’s angry, leaving her stunned. Pfft, you kinda suck at romantic proposals. Still, I like that it’s honest.
He seems pretty satisfied with himself though, and heads to the police station with a lightness in his demeanor. He tells Detective Na that they can take Dr. Kang off the suspect list, because the kidnapper clearly knows details that Seo-jin doesn’t even remember, leaving only one possible suspect: Lee Soo-hyun. Detective Na wants to go public with the manhunt, but knows it’s a long shot with Seo-jin and his family.
Seo-jin asks to see the fake Lee Soo-hyun to see if his implanted memories match his own, and uses the opportunity to whisper something in his ear. Seo-jin mentions a second kidnapper, and it’s unclear whether he’s making it up to bait him or not. Detective Na notes that Seo-jin seems different, and he agrees that his attitude towards this case has changed—it’s now about his survival, and he intends to live.
Hana walks along Angel Bridge, which overlooks Wonderland in the distance. She remembers what Robin told her last night as he held her hand, about being away for five years but coming back because of her. He says that whatever Seo-jin’s reasons are for hiding behind him, Robin’s start was and will always be Hana, and he intends to never let go of her hand.
Once Seo-jin returns to the office, Secretary Kwon tells him about his missing day, and how Robin had to attend the board meeting and ended up being lured to the warehouse. Seo-jin seems worried about the fact that he was hiding behind Robin for a whole day, and has no memory of doing so intentionally.
Chairman Dad calls him in and asks if Seo-jin remembers anything from “that day.” He’s got a specialist flying in next week, and orders Seo-jin to begin treatment right away.
At Tae-joo’s place, Dr. Kang says that the kidnapper took the first twelve years of Seo-jin and Tae-joo’s lives, and asks him who’s taking their lives now. Tae-joo doesn’t answer, and is surprised by someone at his front door. He opens it, and Seo-jin is standing there apologizing for coming by unannounced. Much to Tae-joo’s shock, Seo-jin says that he’s starting to remember things about his childhood kidnapping and that it’s affecting him.
Tae-joo hits a button under his desk so that Dr. Kang can listen in, and Seo-jin admits the truth about his dissociative identity disorder, seeking help. Aaack. Seo-jin just outlines the basics and says that everything has been routine, until the other day when his pattern broke for the first time and he didn’t wake up. He had no conscious intent to do so, and wonders what this means.
From Dr. Kang’s gasp, it certainly means something important, and Tae-joo says that it’s a sign of the two split personalities being destroyed. He must mean their coexistence, not both of them disappearing, right? He says that he’ll do some more research since this isn’t his area of expertise, and promises to call with some answers.
Seo-jin leaves more disturbed than when he arrived, while Tae-joo practically skips over to Dr. Kang like a kid on Christmas Day. He knows she overheard and says gleefully that Robin must have discovered an ambition for something—no matter how nice the alter ego, this is a matter of survival, and Robin will want to live. The scary part is that the stronger one will survive, which doesn’t put the odds in Seo-jin’s favor.
Seo-jin sits at his desk and repeats Hana’s advice that he needs to trust himself, like a little mantra. He makes a decision and tells Secretary Kwon to let the police go public in the search for the real Lee Soo-hyun.
Detective Na is all business until his colleagues tease that his face isn’t made for television, and he wonders if he should get a facial, heh. Seo-jin starts a new video recording to upload online, but we cut away before he begins.
At home, he looks up towards Hana’s room, and his bodyguard tells him that she took off. Seo-jin tells him to just keep an eye on her for her safety, and leaves a voicemail when she doesn’t answer her phone.
Robin wakes up later that night and runs to Hana’s room, where he finds a note addressed to him. She asks him for some time and doesn’t answer when he calls. He runs down to the batcave, and we get to hear the message that Seo-jin left.
Seo-jin thanks Robin and says that he was right—Robin saved him, and by doing all the things he wanted but couldn’t do himself. Seo-jin admits that all he’s ever wanted was to get rid of Robin, and had always considered him an enemy to destroy. “But now I know… you… you’re me.”
Robin shoots up to his feet at that, chilled to the bone. His eyes turn to saucers as Seo-jin says that Robin will disappear, or rather become a part of him that remains inside. Gauntlet, thrown.
Robin doesn’t look like he’s about to let that happen, though he suddenly clutches his head as a shooting pain brings back a memory. Omg, it’s one of Seo-jin’s memories, of letting go of Soo-hyun’s hand as he escaped from the kidnapper. Are they really melding after all?
Robin runs around looking for Hana, and Woo-jung comes by to help him look, mostly because she knows what it feels like to be on the other side when the person you like disappears on you.
Robin thanks her for remembering him for five years, suddenly very appreciative that she’s around make his life seem real and not just in his imagination. She’s worried that he might disappear again, but Robin says it’s just the opposite—he plans to stay a long, long time.
He heads to Tae-joo’s apartment next, and seems to pick up on Tae-joo’s sudden burst of worry when he learns that Hana is unaccounted for. Robin says that it’s none of his concern, but Tae-joo asks if Hana knows the truth, admitting that Seo-jin came by and told him everything.
Robin is taken aback, and Tae-joo figures that Hana might need some time to process, since their relationship seems to be pretty serious. Robin asks why Seo-jin came here, and again Tae-joo lets Dr. Kang listen in. He says the one thing Robin shouldn’t hear—that one of them is about to be destroyed—and lies that that’s why Seo-jin told Hana the truth.
Tae-joo admits that this is the one thing the split personality should never learn, and Robin asks why he’s sharing the information then. Tae-joo looks up at him carefully and says that in Seo-jin’s case, it was Robin who saved him and made it so that he could survive… Oh no. Don’t listen to the crazy doctor’s lies!
Robin tells him that he’s started to have memories that aren’t his, and says that they’re from Seo-jin’s childhood kidnapping. Tae-joo can barely contain his reaction, and stammers as he refuses to answer Robin’s questions about what it means.
Robin insists that he has just as much right to know, and his voice is coated in desperation as he asks, “Am I not human in your eyes? Am I a mirage, a fake, just Seo-jin’s accessory?” He says that even Seo-jin acknowledged that Robin saved him, but wonders now why it all sounds like a request for him to disappear.
He pleads with Tae-joo to tell him the truth: Is he going to vanish for good? Tae-joo shakes his head slowly and says it’s the opposite, that if Robin is starting to have Seo-jin’s memories, then it’s possible that Seo-jin will be the one to disappear. There it is—the seed’s been planted.
Tae-joo puts Robin under a trance, and he leaves wondering if it’s possible for him to remain by Hana’s side. Tae-joo returns to Dr. Kang, who yells at him for interfering with Seo-jin’s progress. But Tae-joo argues that Robin has a new ambition, now that he knows it’s a possibility that he’ll win.
Naturally Tae-joo plans to fan the flames, and has already sent a letter to Robin to do just that. Robin gets the anonymous letter at the café, asking why he thinks Seo-jin is so eager to find Dr. Kang, letting him know about Dr. Kang has found a way to cure Seo-jin. It ends with, “You’ll soon be destroyed, Robin.”
Robin tries to swallow his mounting fear and calls Hana again. He leaves another voicemail asking if she’s gone away for good, but can’t even finish the question as he starts to cry. He hangs up abruptly and wipes at his tears.
A call from Detective Na (to Seo-jin’s phone) jolts him out of the moment, and he runs down to the station to ask if Hana has come by. Detective Na just stares at him, wondering if he was out partying or something to explain the new look, and tells him that he’s the one who wanted to keep Hana out of the investigation this time.
Robin runs out and confronts Secretary Kwon next, guessing that he knew about Dr. Kang’s cure too. Feeling betrayed, Robin asks how he could keep this from him, and wonders if he wishes that Robin would disappear too.
Hana checks her string of voicemails, most of them from a panicked Robin pleading with her to let him know that she’s okay. But one from Seo-jin is much calmer, and he agrees with her statement that all of this feels like a dream. He admits that he’s changing and that he kind of likes it, and ends with: “Thank you for watching over me—when we were children, and now.” Aww.
When Tae-joo calls, Hana answers right away and tells him that he needn’t worry about her. He says that both Seo-jin and Robin came to see him, and that he knows they aren’t twins, playing up the empathy over her shock at learning the truth. She assures him that she’ll be fine after a few days to sort through things, and he gets her to reveal where she’s staying. He swings the car around to head in that direction.
While he’s gone, Dr. Kang wriggles out of her chair and uses the spoon she sneaked from her dinner tray to bang on the pipes. The downstairs neighbor hears the noise, though she doesn’t really know what to make of it.
Hana goes for a walk, mulling over all the times that Robin came to her rescue and she in turn came to Seo-jin’s rescue. That pattern holds true for everything between them, including all the times that Robin comforted her, and she comforted Seo-jin. She doesn’t have a chance to come to any conclusions before a car races down a dirt road, and then she whips around at he sound of footsteps coming toward her…
It’s Robin, walking toward her with determination. He stops right in front of her for a beat, and then swoops in for a kiss, and her eyes flutter closed.
After building a campfire in the yard, Robin holds her hand and asks if she wasn’t afraid of being here alone, and then wonders if she was more afraid of him. She finally speaks for the first time since he got there and tells him not to think that way.
He tells her that while everyone else told him he wasn’t real, she understood him and made him feel alive. He pulls her hand to his heart and asks, “If I’m fake, then what are these feelings I feel? Then what is my racing heart?”
In the morning, Seo-jin wakes up in his car, and we see that Tae-joo has found Hana in the distance. He freezes when he sees Seo-jin approach her, and gets distracted by a message that he’s received a document regarding Seo-jin.
Hana gets up when she sees Seo-jin, and all he does is ask if Robin was here last night. He simply nods and turns around to go, but stops to ask about the advice she got from her father about trusting yourself. He wants to know if it worked to conquer her fear, and if she got right back on the wires after that.
She says no, she was too scared for a while, but she just kept chanting it over and over and practicing. Seo-jin says that must be the phase he’s in now—repeating it over and over like it’s a spell, while trying to recall memories buried deep 22 years ago.
Tae-joo finds the video message that Seo-jin recorded and uploaded the other day. It’s addressed to Soo-hyun, and Seo-jin asks him to meet so that they can discuss the truth about what happened that day: “The truth that I’ve forgotten, and the truth that you don’t know.” Tae-joo’s face hardens.
Seo-jin walks back over to Hana and says that he’s changed—that she changed him. All he says is, “Come back. I’ll be waiting,” but it feels like he’s saying a lot more. Closing caption: Don’t clumsily hide your scar. Hiding it won’t make new skin grow.
I know I’m probably weird for wishing that Hana didn’t know the truth, but I’m a little sad that she never had a chance to fall for Seo-jin before learning who Robin is. Granted, she’s plenty conflicted about them now and it’ll only get worse for her, so I don’t think we’re lacking for romantic angst. It’s perhaps just a different conflict altogether, to have Robin arguing for his own separate identity and to have Seo-jin insist that they’re the same person. The good (or terrible) thing about it is that they’re both right, which makes this impossible for Hana but an interesting conflict for the story.
There’s a much bigger dramatic momentum when Seo-jin is embracing his inner good guy and Robin is backed into a corner, fighting for survival. Up until now, Robin was necessary for Seo-jin to live, but Seo-jin is facing his fears (thanks to Hana) and growing stronger by the day, which means he’ll soon outgrow his need for Robin. It’s a much richer character arc to have Robin suddenly realize that his entire existence is at stake, and to fight for his own identity. Whether or not he actually succumbs to his baser instincts to win that fight will be a great inner struggle, especially since he’s been rather carefree up until now. He stands to lose the woman he loves and his very being, and I can’t blame him for doing whatever it takes to protect those things.
I still wish the show were executed with more tension, especially now that the stakes are more intriguing. I’m enjoying the Seo-jin/Tae-joo/Robin dynamic and the love triangle is certainly more meaningful at this stage, but overall there’s just very little to ramp up the tension onscreen. After the last episode where the villain finally stepped it up and put actions before words, today we’re back to lots of talking heads. At least the subject of the talk is significant, since it was a day of confessions, and I do give the show credit for the we’re-two-people-no-we’re-not pendulum, because that’s not what I expected Seo-jin to say.
And maybe I’m so partial to Seo-jin that I see more in his quiet confession that Hana has changed him, or that I’m more moved by his baby steps, than Robin’s big sweeping romantic gestures. That’s not to say that I don’t find Robin’s predicament heartbreaking, since he’s arguing that his feelings are his own (so true), and it’s highly likely that at the end of this, he might cease to exist. But I like that storywise he’s becoming an obstacle to Seo-jin’s growth and healing, which by extension makes Tae-joo and his privileged position all the more dangerous.
They’re already starting to break down the wall that separates Robin and Seo-jin, at least in the past, and I can’t help but wonder if that makes Seo-jin right, or more right, about them being one person. I’m still adamant that his feelings for Hana must be separate and his own though, so I hope that Seo-jin starts acting on them before too much time passes. If Robin’s affection for Hana grew out protectiveness and concern, then Seo-jin isn’t wrong to think that Hana’s affection for him could be the same; it’s just that someone has to break that chain. I guess I’m holding out hope that what she and Seo-jin feel for each other will be bigger than either of them expects.