Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 8
Okay, things just got way more interesting. The plot gets a fresh twist, the suspense actually heats up, and everyone starts pushing past our hero’s boundaries whether he likes it or not. Not, as the case may be, but luckily there are people in his life who care more about helping him than being liked.
SONG OF THE DAY
Sosimboys – “혼자가 익숙해” (I’m Used To Being Alone) [ Download ]
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Seo-jin spends approximately thirty seconds letting Hana hug him, his guard down for that brief moment as the panic attack seizes him. But when the moment passes, he turns away from her so she won’t see him crying and stalks off.
In the bathroom, Seo-jin stares at his reflection and shakes as the truth sinks in: His childhood friend Soo-hyun, the one he left behind when he escaped from the kidnappers… is alive. Oh, well if you thought you left him for dead, then I’m pretty sure his growing up with a vendetta against you isn’t entirely bad news. Okay, so it’s not good news…
Secretary Kwon is sniffling as he makes a call to Chairman Dad and tells him about Soo-hyun being Glasses Strangler. He was the chauffeur’s son, apparently, and the news makes Mom and Dad reel, and Secretary Kwon is especially emotional. Interestingly, he tamps down his tears and puts on a forced cheery demeanor the second he sees Seo-jin, which breaks my heart a little.
Seo-jin is back to his cold hard shell, and betrays none of his earlier nerves as he refuses to go back in and see Soo-hyun. He might’ve been a friend in childhood, but Seo-jin says that he’s nothing more than a suspect now.
Hana is checking in with Dr. Tae-joo when Seo-jin joins them, back to his old self. He apologizes if he startled her earlier, and that he was just in shock. That’s all he offers, and he barrels ahead to go give a witness statement to Detective Na.
He lets them stand there and listen in, as he tells Detective Na everything he knows: Soo-hyun was the family chauffeur’s son, and they were friends. When they were kidnapped, Chairman Dad refused to pay up, and Seo-jin escaped on his own. He never knew until now what had happened to Soo-hyun.
Detective Na is still shocked about the part where Chairman Dad doesn’t pay the ransom to get his son back, but Seo-jin actually defends his father, as if he’s been saying this to himself for years just to cope. He says that the police advised Dad not to deal with the kidnappers directly, and nobody has the heart to argue with Seo-jin over this.
Detective Na fills in a few details from Soo-hyun’s statement, and asks if it’s true that Soo-hyun’s dad broke into Chairman Dad’s safe to get the money for the ransom. According to Soo-hyun, his father died while trying to deliver the ransom money, though Seo-jin can’t confirm any of this—the theft is news to him, and the version he knows is that the chauffeur refused to listen to the cops, went rogue to recover his son, and got killed in an accident.
Tae-joo interrupts to ask Seo-jin about the specific way in which he escaped, because it might shed some light on the suspect’s psyche. But Seo-jin admits that he can’t remember.
The only thing Detective Na can’t make sense of is why Soo-hyun went after Dr. Kang, if his vendetta is against Seo-jin. But Seo-jin knows exactly why, and answers vaguely that Dr. Kang has what he wants most, and if Soo-hyun knew that, he had every reason to take her.
As Hana walks through Wonderland later that day, her mind wanders to Seo-jin’s declaration that this place held no happy childhood memories for him. She now realizes what he meant and why he was so cold about it.
Seo-jin goes to see Chairman Dad, who’s worried that Soo-hyun’s attack on Dr. Kang means that he knows all about Seo-jin’s condition. You would be worried about that. Dad thinks Dr. Kang is a lost cause, but Seo-jin adamantly tells him to stop thinking that he can just get rid of people to sweep up messes. He swears that he’ll find Dr. Kang because he needs to, otherwise it’s a lifetime of guilt all over again. Yikes, I didn’t even think about that part. Please be alive, Dr. Kang!
Seo-jin spends the rest of the day with a packed schedule as if nothing’s the matter, and Hana’s the one who can’t seem to concentrate on her work all day. She wonders why she can’t focus, when Seo-jin insisted that he was fine. She takes out her phone to start a text to Robin asking about his brother, but decides against it.
At home, Secretary Kwon is still worried about Seo-jin and adorably suggests a sleepover (yes please!), which Seo-jin shoots down flatly. He orders him to go home, and Secretary Kwon runs into Hana on her way in and asks her to keep an eye on Seo-jin.
She knocks on his door a few times, but when there’s no answer, she peeks in and finds him shivering under the covers, looking ghostly sick. She panics and reaches for her phone to call Secretary Kwon, but Seo-jin grabs her arm and shakes his head, not wanting a fuss.
So she runs out for some aspirin instead, and calls an urgent care hotline to ask what she needs to do. We only hear her side of the conversation but it’s funnier that way: “Take the blanket off, okay. What, take off his clothes? Hug him? Uh… Are there other symptoms? I don’t know, he’s not talking. No… he’s just got a weird personality.” HA.
I love that he opens his eyes at the stripping and hugging lines, like he’s checking to see if she will. She doesn’t, which means she must be delirious too. It’s the only explanation.
He snaps at her the whole time like a petulant child, but Hana’s used to it by now and just heads to the kitchen to make tea and juice. She gapes that there isn’t a single grain of rice to eat in his kitchen, but then remembers that she’s never really seen him eat at home even once.
He grumbles at her to just leave the tea and go, but she snaps right back that he can’t pretend to be strong all the time. She knows this is stress-induced, and says that if he’s that tightly wound all the time, he’s bound to make himself sick.
She holds her hands out to pull him up out of bed, but that just reminds him of the hope he let himself feel just yesterday, when he thought that maybe he could make new memories at Wonderland and live like other people. He looks up at her holding her hands out and thinks to himself that it’s all meaningless now.
He tells her to get out, and climbs out of bed to make her leave this instant, saying cryptically that he never should’ve let it get this far, but it’s too late to go back now. She can’t make sense of what he’s saying, and Seo-jin just continues that all of it is because of her: “It’s because of you that Robin came back, and because of you, I let myself hope what I shouldn’t hope. But everything is in the same place. So don’t hold your hand out to me. Don’t give me hope.”
She’s still confused, but he barks that if she had never appeared, everything would be as it was: “Alone if I’m sick, alone if I die. So why did you appear? Why did you see?! Why did you come?!” She says that she was worried about him, which just makes him even more defensive.
He accuses her of pitying him and tells her that she’s nothing to him. That stings, and Hana spits back that he once told her to live like a ghost here, but he’s the ghost, not seeing or hearing anything. She tells him to just keep living that way and storms out, and he reaches for the door handle to follow her out.
But he can’t do it and just sinks down, leaning against the door. She’s on the other side doing the same, both of them reeling. When she goes to her room, her eyes pool with tears, and she gets angry with herself for letting Seo-jin make her cry.
Cousin Seung-yeon continues to buzz around Detective Na, plying him with lunch and friendly chitchat, always posing as Seo-jin’s caring relative with his best interest at heart. Seung-yeon wants to talk to Soo-hyun directly, suggesting that a friendly face could get him to talk more freely.
He’s let in to see him, but Soo-hyun doesn’t seem to recognize Seung-yeon at all, and even when he hears about how close they all were as children, he looks confused. Huh. Are you not the real Soo-hyun, or is cousin Seung-yeon full of shit? Either seems entirely possible.
Soo-hyun tells him to get out, but Seung-yeon insists that he was better friends with Soo-hyun than Seo-jin ever was, and tries to convince him that they’re on the same side. He takes a trip down memory lane and reminds him of the time they accidentally started a fire and got burned, and laughs as he jerks back Soo-hyun’s collar to look at the burn scar… but it isn’t there.
Seung-yeon runs out of there and rushes to tell Detective Na that the suspect they have isn’t the real Lee Soo-hyun. Cousin Seung-yeon, did you just make yourself useful?? Well I’ll be damned.
Detective Na takes a team back to the suspect’s apartment to look for clues into his identity, whatever it may be. It’s nothing conclusive, but they find an old album from an orphanage dated before the kidnapping, with all the pictures removed.
Woo-jung and all her fangirls are gathered for a Robin fan meeting that night, and Eun-chang has picked up a second job at her dad’s café just to be near her. The starry-eyed way that he looks at her is too cute.
Robin wakes up and sees all the sick supplies around him, but when he feels his forehead, he’s fine. He smiles thinking of his kiss with Hana, and invites her to the event at Woo-jung’s.
Robin gets there first and is immediately mobbed by screaming fangirls, and I totally find it weird that the girls are so young and he’s just sitting there as they perform a dance routine for him. But then Hana shows up and they leave together, much to Woo-jung’s ire.
After hearing about Hana’s failed attempts to nurse Seo-jin back to health, Robin chides her for letting Seo-jin get the last word, suggesting a comeback about his inability to receive comfort.
She agrees, and Robin says that Seo-jin is incapable of accepting comfort because he’s never given it, calling it a family trait. She asks if their parents are like that too, and Robin quips that even Chairman Dad’s eyebrows are incapable of anger management. Ha.
Robin tells her that Seo-jin was an outcast in school, so one day he showed up pretending to be Seo-jin, and wowed all the kids with cool skateboarding tricks. He brags that a Seo-jin fanclub sprang up the very next day, though the real Seo-jin quickly squashed that momentary glory.
He describes Seo-jin’s basic mode as always scratching, yelling, pushing away, so at some point Robin decided to let things be and he’d live his own life, and leave Seo-jin to his. Hana wonders why Seo-jin isn’t more upset with their father, and Robin explains that Seo-jin sees his father as a wall and nothing more—there isn’t any reason for him to lash out at a wall, and resenting Robin is the next best thing.
Robin notices that she’s pretty concerned about Seo-jin, and she admits that she is. She feels bad about the things he suffered as a child, and then jokes that kindness is a disease she suffers from. She asks if Robin can’t get along with him like he used to.
After their date, Robin sneaks into the house after Hana, tiptoeing into Seo-jin’s room right away. It’s a good thing he does, too, because she makes tea and knocks on the door a few minutes later. She leaves the thermos outside the door and Robin mumbles that he’ll drink it, pretending to be Seo-jin.
As they each head to bed that night, Robin says to himself that he’s sorry about not being able to tell her everything. “But if you find out everything and can handle it, if you won’t throw me away, then I won’t ever leave you first.”
Seo-jin wakes up in the morning and finds a note from Robin to watch the latest batcave video. He heads down there and finds a bottle of soju laid out for him, and in the message, Robin raises a glass of soju to ask that they share a drink.
We watch the rest of the scene as if Robin is sitting there on the other side of the table, and it’s pretty funny that Robin can predict that Seo-jin won’t drink, even though he points out that he heard about Seo-jin having higher tolerance than he does.
Robin gets serious as he talks about the reason he came to be, at first quoting Dr. Kang’s clinical diagnosis but in the end, reducing it to a simple answer: “Because you wanted to live.” Robin says that’s really all it boils down to: “So let’s live. Let’s try living. Why is it that you created me so that you could live, only to spend every day in hell? Why am I happy every day? Aren’t you a little resentful of that?”
Robin says that he’s never been as happy and wishful for his own life as he is lately, but no matter how much he hates to admit it, he exists because of Seo-jin. He adds, “And you might not want to admit it, but because I live, you live.”
He says that Seo-jin created him to be the person he wants to be, which doesn’t seem that far off, not that Seo-jin would ever acknowledge this. Robin says he’s here to help: “Help me—that’s all you need to say. I’ll be waiting.” Seo-jin walks away without a word, and on the monitor, Robin sighs, almost as if he can see what’s happening.
Detective Na tracks down Glasses Strangler’s adoption records, and finds that his real name is Ahn Sung-geun after all, and the timing makes it impossible for him to be Soo-hyun. Innnteresting. Detective Na confronts him back at the station, but Sung-geun sticks to his story, insisting that he is Lee Soo-hyun.
Hana wakes up to a text from Robin telling her that he’s going to try and make up with Seo-jin, because he doesn’t want her to worry anymore. She beams, and soon after, Seo-jin finds her setting the table with warm food. She tells him to eat breakfast and promises not to say another word, and he peers down at the table curiously.
But before he can decide whether or not to eat, Secretary Kwon runs in, babbling anxiously about Soo-hyun not being Soo-hyun. When they get to the police station, cousin Seung-yeon is there regaling everyone with his big Sherlock moment, and Seo-jin demands to see Soo-hyun this instant.
Seo-jin reaches for the suspect’s collar and confirms what we’ve already seen—no burn scar, which means he isn’t Soo-hyun. He demands to know who he is, but Sung-geun keeps repeating the same thing, swearing that he’s Lee Soo-hyun.
The other guys watch from the observation room, and Detective Na says that this whack job passed the lie detector test, though he doesn’t see how. Seung-yeon starts throwing out wild theories about genius killers who convince themselves that lies are truth, and that sparks Dr. Tae-joo’s brain. He realizes that it’s possible if Sung-geun truly believes that he’s Lee Soo-hyun… if he were hypnotized to believe it.
Not-Soo-hyun tells Seo-jin that he knows the truth about what happened that day, and that they’re the only two people on earth who know it: “You didn’t just escape alone. You…” But Seo-jin doesn’t let him finish, and grabs him by the collar, demanding to know who he is.
Detective Na rushes in and drags Seo-jin away, and after a moment to collect himself, he tells the group that this guy has to know the real Soo-hyun—he knows details that only Soo-hyun would know.
Again, Tae-joo asks about the circumstances surrounding the escape, and whether anything else happened. (You sure seem fixated on this one thing, like a dog with a bone.) But Seo-jin reiterates the same version he told them before: He tried to save Soo-hyun but wasn’t strong enough to do so, and that’s all.
The others ask Tae-joo about this so-called mental hacking, and he says he’s only read about it and never seen an actual case, but that it’s considered possible to treat a patient with severe trauma by implanting new memories.
Detective Na wonders how many people would be capable of such specialized work, and then the room falls silent. They all look back and forth, no one wanting to be the first to suggest it—that Dr. Kang is the only one who knows all about Seo-jin’s past, and has the skills to hypnotize and plant new memories. Yes… but… so does Tae-joo, right? I mean, if we’re talking skills, he’s first-rate… *whimper*
Secretary Kwon tries to reassure Seo-jin that Dr. Kang would never do something like that, and has no reason to. Detective Na fills Hana in on the latest development, and asks if she’s positive that Ahn Sung-geun is the man she saw at the crime scene.
She’s positive that he attacked her at Wonderland, but isn’t sure that he was the same strangler on the roof of the hospital. That man’s face is still locked in her memory, though she’s sure it was a man and not a woman. Detective Na asks for her continued help because this case just got weird, and she agrees to see Dr. Tae-joo as soon as possible.
She calls Tae-joo and asks to come by later tonight with a friend, and he agrees to see her. He consults on a different case as we watch him come home, and the longer we linger on him, the more anxious I feel. He’s either about to get attacked or reveal something terrible…
He casually grabs a cup of coffee and heads to his bedroom, where he opens up a false door behind his bookcase. Ack no, Dr. Tae-joo! Say it ain’t so! But there’s no mistaking that evil glint in his eye.
He opens another door past the false wall, and enters a dark room where he says that they’re running out of time because Hana says she’s close to remembering. He speaks casually as he laughs, “But do you think that’s going to happen?” We cut to his point of view… and there’s Dr. Kang, tied up and gagged. Holy hell.
We rewind to the day of the attack, when Tae-joo arrived to see Dr. Kang, and she confronted him about his real name: Lee Soo-hyun. He panicked and attacked her, then Hana, and returned to hypnotize Dr. Kang and walk her right out of the building.
He then hypnotized Sung-geun into believing that he was Soo-hyun, and watched Seo-jin’s shocked reaction with the tiniest little smirk on his face. Damn, that’s scary.
Back in the present, Tae-joo tells Dr. Kang that her “foolproof treatment” idea has failed. Once she discovered his true identity, she had come up with the idea that treating Seo-jin and Tae-joo at once would cure them both (if Tae-joo could forgive Seo-jin, they’d both be free, so to speak). But obviously she underestimated Tae-joo’s lack of marbles.
He says her experiment failed, and that he gave Seo-jin a fair shot. He stood by and prodded Seo-jin to admit the truth about what happened that day, during the escape and the way his father died trying to save them. But he scoffs that Seo-jin lied right in front of him, and seemed cool as a cucumber to boot. Dude, OR he doesn’t remember the truth?
But Tae-joo is practically triumphant to prove that Dr. Kang was wrong about Seo-jin. She said that Seo-jin would be relieved to know that he was still alive, and that Seo-jin had suffered as much pain as Tae-joo had, and would earnestly ask for forgiveness.
Tae-joo says that Seo-jin is incapable of that, “Because he’s never felt the pain I’ve felt.” He tells her that it’s time to do it his way, and make things “equal” so that Seo-jin feels the same amount of pain and fear that he did, which in his twisted mind raises the chances of them making up.
He says that Hana is coming by and he still hasn’t decided what to do with her. He isn’t worried about her remembering his face on the hospital roof, since he’s the hypnotist, after all, but something tells me he isn’t about to leave it to chance.
He heads out to answer the door when she arrives, and opens it to greet her with that warm inviting smile that now just creeps me out. But then the door swings open wider, and Robin shows up behind her, smiling obliviously. OH CRAP.
Tae-joo freezes at the sight of him, and Hana just pleasantly says this is the friend she mentioned over the phone. They both smile at him, and Tae-joo’s face twitches as he tries to contain his shock.
Closing caption: If misfortune never befalls just one person, then we need to not face that misfortune alone.
Well NOW I see why Sung Joon was cast in this role. But did we really need to take four weeks to get to the reveal? I feel like everything is so ass-backwards when it comes to this show’s plotting, because I get that there was an attempt to lull us into a false sense of security and wow us with a big twist, when really, had the best stuff been used upfront, there might be a bigger audience still watching. Last week was when the romance found its footing, and this week the mystery stepped up in a big way, and only now does it finally feel like there’s a lot going on, and all our threads have come together in an engaging way.
I’m actually relieved that Tae-joo is the real Soo-hyun, because he makes for a much better villain, not to mention the fact that Sung Joon won’t be wasted anymore. His brand of crazy is delightfully creepy, given that he’s just as stunted as Seo-jin is, but he’s turning this into a sick game where they have to be even, point for point, scar for scar. The best (worst?) part is that he’s in the perfect position to manipulate everyone, and has their complete trust. Once he discovers the truth about Robin, there’s no telling what kind of twisted revenge he’ll come up with, right? And frankly, a smart, unhinged psychiatrist with the ability to hypnotize people is just about as scary as it gets on the serial killer scale. On the upside, he has yet to kill anyone. On the downside, I’m pretty sure that’s just luck.
Timing aside, I liked the way his character was handled, because I found his hypnosis skills equal parts frightening and cool, and every time I thought he might be a bad guy, he did something to regain my trust and keep the investigation on track. Or so we thought, before realizing that he brainwashed a patsy to take the fall. And the constant turtlenecks were a nice touch, though I never thought anything of it. The creepiest part is that he’s keeping Dr. Kang in his own house, like he’s getting a thrill out of hiding her right under everyone’s noses. *shudder*
I found it fascinating when he insisted that he gave Seo-jin every opportunity to fess up to what he did, as if Seo-jin would break down in tears in front of everyone and beg for forgiveness. I’m not sure he’d do that even if he did recover his memories, but also, Tae-joo doesn’t seem interested in giving him a real chance in hell. It sounded like a justification, like he made every effort to do it Dr. Kang’s way, and now he has grounds to do things his way. He seems to cling to moral superiority fiercely, like it’s what gives him the right to do this. I can’t wait to dig into the real animosity and the truth in their backstory, now that I care about both sides and actually find the villain scary.
It’s also great to see Robin bridging the gap between him and Seo-jin, at Hana’s request. I wonder if his positive feelings will hold even if Hana’s concern for Seo-jin goes beyond platonic, but right now he and Hana are pushing Seo-jin in all the right ways. It’s true that Seo-jin created Robin to survive, but he’s the one living a shell of a life, denying himself attachments, happiness, and warmth. And the longer that Hana is around him, the more it’s evident how much he wants to let himself hope and reach out and have a normal life with real connections. Obviously he’s found it easier to live detached, alone, never failing anyone again and never being abandoned by anyone again. Because the pain he felt the first time broke him. But I’m with Robin on this one—what is the point of living then? Good thing Hana’s around to beat that into him, if need be.