Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 12
I like the emotional depth that we get when Robin gets backed into a corner. A journey towards healthy acceptance for Seo-jin becomes a life-and-death fight for Robin, and now everyone else is caught between them whether they want to be or not. And after being convinced that Robin is the good one and Seo-jin is the bad one, there might be yet another twist around the bend…
SONG OF THE DAY
Epitone Project – “어쩌면‚ 어쩐지” (Maybe, Somehow) for the Hyde, Jekyll, Me OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 12 RECAP
The video message that Seo-jin put online does the trick, and Tae-joo is watching it the very next day. In it, Seo-jin very calmly tells him that this seemed like the best way to get a message out to him, and that he’s begun to remember their past.
He admits to his cowardice back then and apologizes, and says that there’s an unfortunate side effect of remembering the events of that day: Other memories have surfaced too, things that only Seo-jin knows. He asks for a chance to sit down and talk about the truth that he now remembers.
Tae-joo watches skeptically, gnarling through his teeth that it’s all lies. He doesn’t seem very convinced though, and I have a feeling that curiosity will get the better of him.
Secretary Kwon is rather proud of Seo-jin when he hears about it over the phone, and it’s so adorable how Seo-jin cringes like a teenager when Secretary Kwon gushes that it was a bold move.
He even stands by like a proud father while Chairman Dad watches the video and kicks up a fuss. And just as Secretary Kwon predicted, cousin Seung-yeon finds the video on his own, Seo-jin stalker that he is.
Hana’s friends tell her to watch the video as well, and she realizes now what Seo-jin meant about trusting himself and facing his past. Seo-jin comes back to ask if she doesn’t want to return to Seoul with him now, figuring that she can do her thinking anywhere. After a pause he adds, “Also, I can’t drive. Do you know how?” Chaebols.
On the drive, Hana steals a few glances at Seo-jin while he shuts his eyes, and he accuses her of hoping that Robin will show. She’s uncomfortable with this kind of talk, so he suggests food instead and they stop to eat.
They go for a walk on a tree-lined street, and Seo-jin keeps just a few paces behind her, remembering their night on the farm when she thought he was Robin. Hana stops mid-way and whirls around to ask why he keeps walking behind her, and he says he likes it this way and that’s how they walked before.
He reminds her of the animal noises she kept making him call out because he was afraid of the dark woods, and she asks how he would know things that she shared with Robin. He fesses up that it was him the whole night, and sort of barrels right over her mortified realization that she confessed to liking him.
He declares matter-of-factly that she’s liked him since that night: “Liking Robin is liking me. I’ve decided to think of it that way.” She argues right away that it drives her crazy when he talks like that, because to her they feel like two totally different people. So how can he insist that they’re the same?
Seo-jin has apparently thought this through, because he counters, “Then what am I supposed to do? This is me. Robin is inside of me. I’ve spent my whole life running away from myself. But how is it love if I don’t show all of myself? If I don’t acknowledge that this is me, how can I ask to be loved?”
Well that was unexpectedly mature. He says that he’s doing the best he can to show her everything, and asking if she can love him. He leaves the choice to her and adds as an afterthought that he won’t let what happened five years ago happen again. Hm, whatever went down five years ago must’ve involved a girl?
Secretary Kwon is still beaming with pride as he arrives at the police station to deliver the good news: Chairman Dad has agreed to let the investigation go public, including the kidnapping that began it all.
Detective Na wastes no time holding a press conference, where he outline the case and flashes the only picture they have of Lee Soo-hyun, taken when he was a child around the time of the kidnapping. Tae-joo watches his childhood picture being flashed on jumbo screens in the street, and his jaw tightens in fury.
He storms home and shows Dr. Kang the video message from Seo-jin, which she watches proudly. Tae-joo still thinks that Seo-jin is putting on an act—that he’s known the truth this whole time, and is pretending to remember now. He refuses to believe that Seo-jin knows something about their kidnapping that he doesn’t, but Dr. Kang offers gently that he was young and could have blocked out some of the events too.
Tae-joo reels at that, insisting that he’s the strong one and didn’t compartmentalize his memories like Seo-jin did. He decides that Seo-jin must’ve invented another lie to hide behind, because he remembers it all.
The doorbell interrupts them, and Tae-joo is shocked to find the building’s security guard at his door to look into a noise complaint from a neighbor. Tae-joo slaps on a smile and says that he was installing some exercise equipment, which seems to convince the guard. Dammit.
Tae-joo tears back into the room to search for whatever it is that Dr. Kang might’ve used to make noise (though I find it comical how much furniture is in the room for her to throw around if she wanted). He finds the spoon tucked into her chair and asks if she was planning her escape, almost as if it were a betrayal.
Dr. Kang says that she won’t try to escape anymore, and admits that she was wrong to approach him thinking only of Seo-jin’s recovery. She assures him that she won’t leave now even if he let her go, and he suddenly looks so hopeful and childlike as he asks quietly why. She says that Seo-jin is already on his way to being healed, and now it’s Tae-joo’s turn to face the past and learn how to trust again.
Hana calls to make an appointment for that night, and Tae-joo tells Dr. Kang that Hana is a perfect example of trust. He says that she trusts him completely, and asks ominously what he might’ve convinced her of in the course of twelve hypnotherapy sessions. Shiver.
Cousin Seung-yeon finally makes himself useful and discovers that the specialist Chairman Dad is flying into the country is an expert in dissociative identity disorder. That’s enough to confirm his suspicions, and he calls an emergency board meeting before confronting Chairman Dad about it.
Seung-yeon declares that it’s his turn to run Wonderland, otherwise he’ll share his hunch about Seo-jin’s illness with the board, and leave them to do their own digging. He’s a weasel but he’s pretty smart about it; I’ll give him that. Chairman Dad is pissed, but he also reminds Seung-yeon that he never answers to threats—he even gave up his son when he was kidnapped, after all. He admits to regretting that decision, but also owns up to the fact that he can’t change himself.
The board meeting begins and Seung-yeon says that it’s time to vote on Wonderland’s director, and that Seo-jin would be the natural choice if only his health wasn’t a problem. Chairman Dad cuts in to ask for proof, but Seo-jin arrives a few minutes late and takes over to make a few announcements of his own.
Much to everyone’s shock, Seo-jin suggests that Seung-yeon should have the director position, and that he himself will be taking a six-month leave. Seung-yeon doesn’t know what to think, and wonders suspiciously what Seo-jin is up to. I’ll laugh if he turns down the job just because he’s convinced that Seo-jin is pulling Jedi mind tricks.
Seung-yeon sloooowly checks to make sure that the bathroom is empty before erupting into a hilariously childish foot-stomping dance of joy, deciding that it doesn’t matter how he got it—the job is his. He points at his reflection in the mirror before giving himself a big cheesy thumbs-up. I am so embarrassed for you right now.
Chairman Dad lays into Seo-jin for running away and giving up, deciding that he was right all along for thinking that Seo-jin would never amount to anything. Seo-jin is calm as he replies that he’s not giving up—he’s preparing for a fight.
He says that this is a fight for his life, and he’s eventually going to return everything to the way it was before the kidnapping. He says he’s going to surpass even his father’s expectations, and I love how Secretary Kwon suddenly breaks into a suppressed grin behind him. It warms my heart, it does.
Secretary Kwon holds his tongue until they reach Seo-jin’s office, and then rambles on about how he did the right thing back there. Seo-jin just looks at him like he’s a freak, but doesn’t stop him.
Secretary Kwon says that it’s hard enough to change yourself, and thinks it more impressive when you can change someone else, referring to Hana. He urges Seo-jin not to lose her, despite the Robin complication. He muses that it’s a lot like five years ago, then catches himself mid-sentence.
Seo-jin doesn’t flinch and says that this time it’s different. He admits that it is a similar situation, in that he and Robin have feelings for one woman. But he adds, “One thing is different. Me. Even if everything else is the same, I’m different. I’ve changed. If changing is love, then I love her.” Secretary Kwon just gives him a silent oooooooooh.
Tae-joo smirks to find Seo-jin at his door, and takes the opportunity to chat about going public with the case. He calls it professional curiosity when he mentions Seo-jin’s transformation, and Seo-jin agrees openly that he’s changing now in a way that he never could have before, because back then, he was lying. I think he means to himself, but naturally Tae-joo assumes the worst.
Seo-jin says that he remembers everything thanks to the recent kidnapping, and Tae-joo asks if he’s remembered anything that he’s sorry for. Seo-jin says there is—something he needs to beg forgiveness for on his knees.
Tae-joo suggests that he start with an apology to Soo-hyun, and Seo-jin says he will, but not now. Tae-joo tenses up again at that, and stares icily as Seo-jin says he recalled other memories as well, and needs to share them with Soo-hyun first.
Seo-jin tells him about confessing his condition to Hana and says that her shock must’ve been severe. But Tae-joo counters that Robin’s shock is likely even greater, pointing out that Robin will see this as an attack on his very existence. Seo-jin hadn’t thought of it that way, but Tae-joo explains how fragile Robin’s identity is, and how easily he could break if threatened. That alarms Seo-jin, and he wonders to himself if what happened five years ago could happen again.
Hana is currently asking about that very incident, and Secretary Kwon squirms in his seat. He tries to gloss over it and asks if it isn’t enough that Seo-jin has changed, but Hana repeats what Seo-jin said to her earlier, about it not being love if he couldn’t show her all of himself. She says she needs to know, love or not.
At her prodding, Secretary Kwon eventually gives in and tells her that five years ago, Robin and Seo-jin liked the same woman. They kept up the twin cover story for a while, but eventually got caught in the lie. They had to tell her the truth, and the woman reacted like she’d seen a monster and left.
Back at Tae-joo’s place, Seo-jin asks what it means that Robin could break, and Tae-joo asks if Robin has ever experienced anything traumatic before, like the loss of a loved one. He explains that for Robin, whose greatest insecurity is his identity, anything to make him anxious about that would incite a harsher reaction than in a normal person.
Secretary Kwon continues his story and tells Hana that after the woman left, Robin was so traumatized about his lack of identity that he went to see Dr. Kang and asked her to destroy him. It was basically a suicide mission, and Dr. Kang hypnotized him and got close to getting rid of Robin completely… when Terry appeared. Oh no, there’s another personality in there?
Without knowing the backstory, Tae-joo tells Seo-jin that if something were to cause Robin enough stress that he fractured, a third identity could come about. Seo-jin immediately thinks in his head, “Terry…” Tae-joo says that it’s rarer for a patient with dissociative identity disorder to only have two personalities, and asks if Seo-jin has ever encountered a third. He lies that he hasn’t.
Secretary Kwon says that Terry is violent and erratic, and that he tried to kill Dr. Kang. It took the entire security team to subdue him, and he was gone when he lost consciousness. From that moment on, Robin disappeared for five years.
Hana can’t fathom Robin having a violent alter ego, and Secretary Kwon says that Terry is the reason why Seo-jin was so careful for the last five years, so as not to hurt anyone ever again.
Tae-joo intercepts Hana on her way up to see him later that day, and takes her to a scenic spot to chat. She wants to know more about Seo-jin’s condition, and Tae-joo obliges with a very gentle explanation that it’s not unlike every person having multiple facets to their personalities. He describes all people as having light and dark sides, though Hana struggles to see it as the same thing.
Tae-joo says that there’s really only one key difference: memory. He says that for normal people, no matter how many sides there are, they remember the same experiences, but people with dissociative identity disorder can’t share the same memories, and don’t know what the other facets of themselves do or feel. He confuses me with his insightfulness. Okay, also his face. That’s part of it, I’m sure.
Tae-joo says that’s coming from his doctor side, then says he’s going to offer his thoughts on Hana’s position in all this. He says that it doesn’t matter to him if her leaving them will cause pain, because her life is what matters. He asks if love isn’t sharing the same time and memories with someone, and asks how love is possible without those things.
Hana admits that she doesn’t know, and has no idea if she’s afraid of starting or afraid of leaving, and that she can’t ignore Seo-jin and Robin’s feelings. She lets a reference to the past slip out, and when she refrains from saying any more, Tae-joo hypnotizes her to make her tell him what she knows.
Tae-joo goes straight home to gloat in front of Dr. Kang, and only needs one word to explain himself: Terry. He says he knew that there’s no such thing as someone having a split personality that only saves people and does nice things, and says that it’s time to draw out the real Robin.
Hana heads over to meet Woo-jung, and sits down with Editor Min before Woo-jung arrives. Hana tells him that she knows the truth about Robin and Seo-jin, and knows that he knows too. He’s shocked and tells her that Robin mentioned wanting to tell her, but didn’t feel ready. He admits to still finding it hard to believe most of the time.
Woo-jung happens to arrive just in time to hear them say that Robin and Seo-jin aren’t twins, and Dad is forced to tell her the truth as well. She takes it hard, and Hana ends up comforting her as she cries herself to sleep.
Robin wakes up that evening and continues to have flashes of Seo-jin’s memories, and runs back to where he last saw Hana in hopes of finding her. He calls Secretary Kwon, desperate and at his wit’s end.
Secretary Kwon sighs that he talked to Hana, and prefaces his next statement by saying that he genuinely likes Robin as a little brother. But he points out that Robin’s reality is that he can’t even get a national identification number, so how is it that he expects to take responsibility for Hana? He slumps against the wall, the question lingering on his mind.
Hana texts him asking to meet, but when he rushes to the theater, Tae-joo is there waiting, watching from the projection booth. In flashback we see that while she was hypnotized, he programmed her phone to send Robin a text.
Robin runs into the darkened theater, and Tae-joo switches on the spotlight to reveal Dr. Kang tied up in a chair, sitting eerily motionless with her back to the audience. Robin approaches and finds her unconscious, and then Tae-joo projects a series of hypnotic images on the giant screen in front of him.
The images are designed to provoke all his fears, and Robin’s expression changes as he walks toward Dr. Kang, suddenly looking very predatory. Tae-joo: “Welcome, Terry.”
Robin/Terry peers down at Dr. Kang and shakes her awake, and at the same time, Tae-joo sends Hana a video of what’s going on in the theater. She calls Robin repeatedly but he doesn’t answer, so she asks Detective Na to trace the number that sent her the video.
Back in the theater, Robin/Terry edges closer and closer to Dr. Kang until she’s backed up against a wall, still with her hands tied behind her back. He doesn’t say a word, but just raises a hand up to her throat with an impassive face.
She cries out, “Robin!” before shutting her eyes in terror, and then his eyes flicker. All of Robin’s memories of saving people flood back in, and he starts to lower his hand. Maybe Terry isn’t all that separate an identity after all?
His phone rings again, and this time he answers it. Hana pleads with him to wait just a little longer because she’s coming to him, and Robin’s eyes fill with conflicted tears. She begs him to say something, to promise that he’ll wait.
After another pause, Robin finally opens his mouth and says quietly, “I want to live.” That seems to break the dam, and he’s says shakily, “I want to live. I don’t want to disappear.” Hana begins to cry and answers, “Live. We’ll live.”
Robin sheds a tear at that, and it snaps him back into the moment. He hurriedly unties Dr. Kang’s ropes and leads her toward the door.
Tae-joo goes from shock to anger as he watches Robin switch gears, and sets off gas in the theater to make his escape. Are you just going to let her go when she can tell everyone who you really are? Maybe he has no choice at this point.
Hana and the cops arrive just as Robin leads Dr. Kang out through the emergency exit, and the police escort Dr. Kang out as she coughs and falls limp. Detective Na arrives but lets her go ahead on the ambulance, and aargh, why do I get the feeling that he’s going to regret not asking her about her kidnapper right this second?
Inside, everyone else clears away and Hana’s breath catches at the sight of Robin. He smiles back at her, and she runs to him, wrapping her arms around his waist.
They hold each other and he’s hesitant as he speaks: “I… want to live. I want to live but… I want to live as Robin. As the Robin that saves people and that you like.” Closing caption: Another day to love and love—that day is why I’m here.
Poor Robin. I don’t really blame him for cracking, though it is unnerving to know that he’s got a dark side. Can a Hyde have his own Hyde? I’m sure there are million different ways that identities can fracture, but I’m fascinated by the idea that a secondary identity has his own secondary identity, like an infinite hall of mirrors. Robin seems to have a better handle on his Hyde though, almost as if they aren’t separate at all, and I can’t decide if that’s better or worse. In today’s case it’s a relief, since I don’t want Robin and Seo-jin to kill Dr. Kang and break forever. But it makes me wonder if Robin’s loss of self-control is a door to darker things, in which case his destruction isn’t just something that’s healthy for Seo-jin, but necessary to keep Terry and who knows what else out.
It’s interesting that the language used to speak of Robin’s end is destruction or disappearance, never death. It seems worse than death, the idea that you never lived in the first place, never having existed, never having left a mark. I find that I like Robin’s character so much more when he’s raw and desperate to live, than when he’s just in love or happy. I feel like he’s grasping for evidence that he’s really here, like he’s scared that he might really be a figment of imagination. And it kills me that the one thing he wants—a life as himself—is impossible. I suppose there is a chance that he’ll take over completely, but with Seo-jin no longer hiding from his problems, it doesn’t seem likely. I’m scared that he really will challenge Seo-jin for control now that he wants it badly enough, not that it would be such a bad thing for the conflict to ratchet up.
That final scene was the first time I’ve seen Hana’s emotions come through—it made me think for the first time that she might actually love Robin and risk everything to keep him here. Up until this point, I honestly didn’t feel it. Maybe there’s hope for this romance yet, now that they have something to lose. Ultimately Hana’s acceptance and interpretation of Seo-jin’s disorder will have a lot to do with how this relationship goes, because right now she could still swing either way—Seo-jin could become the enemy to her happily ever after with Robin, or she could warm up to the idea that they’re the same guy.
I still feel weird about the latter even though I know it’s perfectly logical, mostly because I agree with Tae-joo (when he’s not being evil). The fact that Seo-jin and Robin can’t share memories is definitely what keeps them separate, but then when he poses the question of love that way, it also makes me wonder if memory is as important to love as it seems. Because if amnesia in dramaland has taught me anything, it’s that absence of memory has no hold over love. The fact that Seo-jin and Robin fell in love with the same girl once before also supports the idea that they’re the same deep down, that maybe they can’t help always loving the same person. That said, it does sit better with me that Robin is beginning to share in Seo-jin’s memories, because that’s the best of both worlds—both sides of one person existing, but un-compartmentalized. It doesn’t lessen Robin’s existential fears or the weight of his conflict any, but it gives me hope that there’s a way out of this that doesn’t end in tears.
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 11
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 10
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 9
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 8
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 7
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 6
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 5
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 4
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 3
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 2
- Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 1