Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 9
Do-hyun’s growing feelings for Ri-jin have him all shook up—and when Do-hyun is emotionally stirred up, you know it won’t be long before everyone else is, too. Ri-jin has to earn her pay as a secret physician several times over, working overtime and even going undercover. But there are too many secrets to keep them all for long, and more and more people start to gain glimpses of the bigger picture. Who will win the free-for-all at Do-hyun’s company, and who will win the free-for-all inside his head? At this point it’s anybody’s guess; but then, not knowing is half the fun!
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Remember that kiss?! So does Ri-jin, who wakes up in her room in Do-hyun’s apartment and immediately dives back under the covers, trying not to think about it. She wonders if it was really Do-hyun who kissed her, and if it was, whether he might not remember.
As Do-hyun starts his morning exercise routine, thoughts of Ri-jin keep popping unbidden into his mind. He even tries meditation, listening to a soothing voice that tells him to get rid of his lust. But that only renews his memories of the kiss, so Do-hyun breaks meditation to slap himself in the face.
Do-hyun spits out a mouthful of orange juice when he meets Ri-jin in the hallway. He makes it clear he remembers everything, and in embarrassment Ri-jin runs for the exit. He catches at her scarf, causing her to tumble to the floor. She gets up and makes her escape, and Do-hyun runs after her, face alight.
Power-walking away from him, Ri-jin wonders why he’s following her. She says she’s tired of vegetarian meals, so she’s going in search of some meat. He can follow if he wants, she says… and then runs away. Ha!
Ri-jin runs in and out of the bushes lining the street, while Do-hyun chases after her playfully. A big, carefree smile stretches across his face.
Over breakfast, Do-hyun has a hard time looking away from Ri-jin’s lips. She doesn’t seem quite as entranced though, even letting out an impressive belch.
In voiceover, Do-hyun begs Se-gi not to appear and destroy what he’s begun to build. Do-hyun is opening himself up to love for the first time since discovering his illness, and the only obstacle is Se-gi. If Se-gi lets him have this, Do-hyun thinks, “I will become your false image in the next life.”
Chae-yeon meets Ki-joon’s mom, who takes her out to lunch. Mom tells Chae-yeon not to mind the rumors about her, and that everyone knows her son is more capable than Do-hyun. Chae-yeon sips her coffee, keeping her thoughts to herself.
In Do-hyun’s apartment, Ri-jin has prepared her office for a consultation. Do-hyun asks if the scented candles aren’t a bit much, but Ri-jin wants to set the mood for an important discussion: appropriate doctor-patient relations (we’re a little late for that, aren’t we?). She warns him about the danger of positive transference, which is when a patient grows overly attached to his doctor.
Do-hyun notes with quiet amusement that Ri-jin is actually the one who seems uncomfortable. She spaces out for a second, entranced by Do-hyun’s smile and puppy-dog eyes. Nonplussed, Ri-jin escapes to the kitchen, claiming that she needs some coffee.
Ri-jin gulps down some water. “Positive transference, my ass!” she snorts. She knows that she is the one developing unprofessional feelings, and tells herself to get a grip.
When Ri-jin returns to the office, Do-hyun is nowhere to be found. But there is a message scrawled on a notebook that says, “I am Nana.” Ri-jin goes around the house in search of Do-hyun’s youngest alter.
A hunch brings Ri-jin upstairs to her own room. Inside, she sees a figure in pink hunched behind the enormous stuffed bear that Se-gi bought her on their short-lived first date. Ri-jin calls out softly to Na-na…
This is not Na-na but Yo-na. Ri-jin recognizes the bunny pajamas as her own, which sparks a hilarious girl fight (“You’re so strong!” Yo-na complains).
Ri-jin stops fighting to ask about the stuffed bear, and Yo-na explains that Na-na was playing with it. Yo-na turns away to rummage through Ri-jin’s dresser, complaining that she doesn’t have any pretty clothes or makeup.
Yo-na finds Ri-jin’s family portrait and demands Ri-jin’s oppa’s number (it seems like there’s at least one person who thinks Ri-on has Won Bin-level looks). Both of them eye Ri-jin’s unguarded cell phone, and Yo-na breaks for it first. Ri-jin grabs for Yo-na’s hood to stop her, causing her to tumble down the stairs and lose consciousness.
Do-hyun wakes up hours later, with no memory of what happened. He finds Ri-jin in the living room patching Se-gi’s gift, with empty beer cans and soju bottles lying all around. Ri-jin hides behind the bear until Do-hyun identifies himself, then tells him what happened.
After dragging Yo-na into bed, Ri-jin eventually fell asleep. But she woke up to the sound of a rice cooker being dismantled—definitely not a good sign. Sure enough, Perry Park is in the kitchen making bombs and downing soju. He’s happy to see her, since the last time they met she was a hostage. Now that she’s safe, however, he reprimands her for talking to an “elder” in banmal and returns to his bomb-making.
Ri-jin distracts Perry by holding an impromptu dance party. They listen to trot music, and Ri-jin rediscovers moves that have lain dormant since the Clapping Monkey Dance. After three hours of dancing, drinking and merriment, Ri-jin finally gets Perry to fall asleep.
Before Ri-jin can get some decent shut-eye, however, she is rudely awakened once more—this time by the rousing and emphatic opening of Beethoven’s Fifth. She follows the music to Do-hyun’s office, where Yo-sub is reading through an art history book.
Ri-jin sits down next to Yo-sub, who comments that Do-hyun brought a nuisance into the house—but he doesn’t sound all that annoyed. Ri-jin asks if he regrets not dying that day. If he had, she says, he wouldn’t be able to listen to this music, or see the pictures he’s reading about, or even experience this fate of meeting her again.
“It seems the others are happy to still be alive,” Yo-sub says. “So I’m thinking about not dying for now.” He tells her that he’s going to sleep, and that she doesn’t have to worry about him. Before he gets to the door, he turns back and says sincerely: “Thank you.”
Back in the present, Do-hyun asks whether Se-gi appeared. Ri-jin says he didn’t, and Do-hyun reminds her that her contract includes faithfully sharing every encounter she has with her alters. Ri-jin begins to scold him for not trusting her, only for Do-hyun to sink into a chair and sigh heavily.
“I’m glad that you weren’t hurt,” he says at last, making Ri-jin smile. “That’s better than saying ‘I’m sorry,’” she muses.
Alone in his surveillance room, Do-hyun reviews the tapes from that night. They corroborate Ri-jin’s words, since there’s no sign of Se-gi. “Am I getting stronger,” Do-hyun wonders, “or is this just the calm before the storm?”
In the ID Entertainment elevator, Ki-joon asks Chae-yeon if she has come to her senses yet. She remarks on his uncharacteristic lack of caution, talking about their relationship where employees could hear. Just as the door is about to close, Do-hyun comes rushing in. Ooh, this ought to be awkward!
Ki-joon apologizes high-handedly for the way Chae-yeon acted during Do-hyun’s blind date. Do-hyun replies coolly that old friends can act that way, and that he wasn’t offended.
Ki-joon attempts to move the discussion to the girl Do-hyun supposedly sent away before meeting with his rich blind date. Ki-joon knows that the girl used to work at Kanghan Hospital, but went abroad—he thinks Do-hyun hid her away in his house in America. Do-hyun is calm and collected as he replies: “I hid her in a very safe place.”
The door opens to show… Secretary Ri-jin! Oh, my. She greets all three by their titles and bows politely, while Chae-yeon and Ki-joon fail to hide their shock.
Do-hyun leans in assertively, drawing on some serious alpha-male body language as he tells Ki-joon that there’s nowhere safer than the company. Where better to keep an eye on Ri-jin than in the lion’s den itself? “This way,” he adds with a fiendish grin, “I can see her whenever I want.”
Do-hyun exits the elevator with style, gesturing for “Secretary Oh” to lead the way. As they strut down the hallway, the two conspirators trade high fives. I’m loving this so much right now—looks like Do-hyun has a new secretary who will go to any lengths to protect the boss!
Chae-yeon changes her mind about delaying their engagement, and tells Ki-joon to name the date. She denies that her decision is because of Do-hyun, though she is somewhat less than convincing. If they’re going to marry, she says, they might as well get it over with.
Meanwhile, Do-hyun and Ri-jin arrive at the office to find Do-hyun’s mother waiting inside. Ri-jin introduces herself as the new secretary, and Do-hyun asks her to wait outside while he and his mother talk. Out in the hall, Ri-jin laughs that she feels like a wayward student, and muses that Do-hyun is completely different from his mother.
Mom asks Do-hyun if he purposefully ruined his blind date because of Chae-yeon. In the hallway, Ri-jin sees Grandma Seo approaching and remembers how Do-hyun warned her to be especially careful of her.
Grandma enters the office just as Do-hyun’s mother is delivering a tirade against the girl who dared to dump her precious boy. She asks Do-hyun pointedly why he called his mother out of the house, but Mom admits that she came on her own initiative. “Why don’t you understand that this is the worst thing you can do for your son?!” Grandma Seo demands.
Ri-jin overhears the entire argument from outside, while Do-hyun keeps his head bowed and merely apologizes. His hands tense as Grandma Seo continues her tirade.
Ri-jin rescues Do-hyun from the situation with a made-up appointment. Pulling him along by the hand, she explains that she was doing her job by keeping him away from Grandma Seo’s scrutiny.
Back in the office, Do-hyun’s mother grows earnest and begs Grandma Seo to give up on Do-hyun’s father. He probably won’t wake up from his coma, and their enemies are gathering strength while searching for the missing child of his first wife. Before that happens, Do-hyun’s mother urges Grandma Seo to help Do-hyun strengthen his own position. Grandma Seo storms out, livid with rage.
Ki-joon’s father receives information that someone else is looking into the hidden heir of Seungjin Group. He orders his man to keep him informed of any new developments.
At a coffeeshop, Do-hyun asks Ri-jin how much she overheard outside the office. She admits that she heard everything, and Do-hyun sighs that his family is very different from hers, with all of its intrigue and past circumstances. “If you get to know them,” Ri-jin replies, “my family has circumstances too.”
Chief Ahn arrives, telling Do-hyun that he has a meeting. Ri-jin wants to go, but Chief Ahn says that she has a different appointment. It turns out to be with Dr. Seok, who’s sitting alone on a park bench with a loaf of bread, looking like the Korean mirror image of Sad Keanu.
“I feel like I’m meeting my daughter who ran off with her boyfriend in the middle of the night,” Dr. Seok begins, and Ri-jin apologizes for lying to him. However, experiencing how hard it is to hide the truth from her friends and family has only made Ri-jin more determined to help Do-hyun, who has suffered through that exact same pain for eleven years. Dr. Seok, the big softie, can only sigh: “This is why they say there’s no point in raising children.”
Chief Ahn explains that the Omega writer has had a change of heart, agreeing to a meeting on the condition that he will only meet with Vice President Cha. Chief Ahn promises to remain nearby, though he wants to know if the mysterious writer is really as handsome as Won Bin. Do-hyun goes inside, where Ri-on waits to greet him.
Ri-jin brings Dr. Seok up to speed on the merry-go-round of personalities she’s had to deal with. Even though he treated Do-hyun for eleven years, Dr. Seok has never experienced so many personalities in such a short time. It reminds him of Do-hyun’s suspicion that Ri-jin may be associated with the trauma that caused Do-hyun to develop split personalities in the first place.
Back in the meeting room, Ri-on explains his deception to Do-hyun. Only his family and his editor know his real identity, and he approached Do-hyun already knowing that he was the heir to Seungjin Group. But Ri-on says that he thought Do-hyun was adopting different personas as a way of getting away from the stress of the chaebol life, and that he thought it only polite to play along with Do-hyun’s ruse.
There are three conditions that Ri-on insists on before he will allow ID Entertainment to turn his novels into movies. The first is that he will write the film adaptations himself, and the second is that he will maintain his anonymity by pretending to be the Omega author’s assistant writer. Do-hyun asks what the third condition is, but Ri-on says that it can wait until after they have eaten.
Dr. Seok tells Ri-jin that if she really is connected with Do-hyun—if they were together in the past, during the period where his memories disappeared—then meeting her may be the best thing that could possibly have happened to Do-hyun. She could hold the key to his lost memories, which are in turn the first step to reintegrating his personalities.
As they eat lunch, Do-hyun asks Ri-on about the boy in his story: Does he ever figure out why he was afraid of basements? “It was love,” Ri-on replies.
The boy wanted to comfort the girl who was afraid of basements, and so he pretended to be afraid as well. But his pretense turned to truth, and the fear became real. It wasn’t until the boy had grown, Ri-on says, that he understood how his love had developed.
“Then does he ever discover why the girl was afraid of basements?” Do-hyun asks. Ri-on replies that he’s still searching. If he ever discovers the truth, he wonders, should he reveal it? Or should he bury it forever? As Ri-on tells his story, a sharp pain causes Do-hyun to put his hand to his head.
Outside the restaurant, Ri-on and Do-hyun shake hands to cement their business partnership. Ri-on warns Do-hyun that he is very picky as a writer, and Do-hyun observes that they seem to have a strange fate. “I hope it turns out to be a good fate,” Ri-on replies.
Do-hyun walks to his car, but Ri-on calls out to him: “Is Ri-jin doing well?” Do-hyun whirls around, shocked, and Ri-on reveals his third and final condition: Do-hyun has to arrange for him to meet with Ri-jin.
Ri-jin walks back to the apartment, thinking about her conversation with Dr. Seok. A call comes in from Do-hyun, who tells her to go to a café nearby.
Ri-jin enters the café, and when she sees Ri-on waiting for her, she gasps and bolts for the door. He chases her and brings her back in a headlock for a serious chat.
Meanwhile Do-hyun staggers into his apartment, looking much the worse for wear. Childhood memories of the basement flash up intermittently, and Se-gi’s voice echoes inside his head.
Ri-on yells at Ri-jin for hiding at Do-hyun’s apartment instead of telling their parents the truth. He complains about her staying in an apartment with a man, but Ri-jin reminds him of his promise to support her. It’s only for three months, she promises—once Do-hyun leaves for America, her job as his physician will be over. Ri-on leaves without answering, warning her not to turn off her phone.
As Ri-on drives away, he bitterly regrets all the choices he made that intertwined Ri-jin’s fate with Do-hyun’s. He engineered the “coincidental” meeting at the airport, then unknowingly encouraged Ri-jin to sympathize with Do-hyun’s loneliness… and finally, he sent her away without knowing where she would go.
Ri-jin returns to the apartment and hears whimpering coming from Do-hyun’s room. In the grip of a nightmare, he relives the horror of the basement from his memories. But someone else is there in his dream, and Do-hyun holds out his model train with a shy smile.
The shadowy figure starts to leave, but Child Do-hyun grabs for the person’s hand. In the present, Do-hyun clutches Ri-jin’s hand while sleeping. “Don’t go,” he whispers, echoing his younger self. “Play with me.”
At the Oh family restaurant, Ri-jin’s mother takes out a crinkled photo of herself and Min Seo-yeon, Do-hyun’s dad’s first wife. She asks her husband if she did wrong to raise Seo-yeon’s child, but he replies that the child is theirs now. In the next room, Ri-on hears their discussion. His mother says she believes in Ri-on, and trusts that he will be a good brother to Ri-jin.
Ri-jin has fallen asleep next to Do-hyun, still clutching his hand tightly. His eyes open, but the light shining from them does not belong to Do-hyun: “Shin Se-gi?” Ri-jin asks.
Se-gi traps her between himself and the bed, trying to make sense of the situation. “Why are you here in Cha Do-hyun’s bed?” he demands. “WHY?!”
I am so in love with this drama! The Day of Many Personalities, as it shall be known in the history books, absolutely took my breath away. It was, in my opinion, the best sequence in the show so far, and that’s saying something. Yo-na’s rapacious crush on Ri-on fit her character beautifully, and Perry Park, as always, lights up the screen even when he’s only out for a few minutes.
The frantic personality-switching was hilarious, and then we get to Yo-sub and his quiet gratitude, his happiness that Ri-jin heard his cry for help and wants to be there for him. I don’t know if it’s the writer or Ji Sung who is more responsible for the effortless shifting between comedic and emotional registers, and I suspect that trying to figure that out would be an exercise in futility; both the writing and the acting in this show are superb, and with each episode I become more and more invested.
Just for fun, let’s take a moment to imagine Yo-na successfully texting Ri-on to meet her. Ri-on goes to a coffeeshop somewhere, expecting to meet the aloof chaebol who’s exploiting his sister, and… bam! Yo-na meets her oppa, and Ri-on never recovers from the trauma. There are a few weeks left—this has to happen sometime, right?
On a more serious note, having Ri-jin around seems to turn Do-hyun into a stronger, more confident version of himself. His confrontation with Ki-joon in the elevator was proof of this, and it was fascinating to watch Ki-joon actively reevaluate his impression of the cousin he’s always dismissed as feeble and powerless. If the corporate politics remain this grounded in the evolving relationship between the cousins, I will be one happy camper.
I also loved Secretary Ri-jin, and not just because of the Protect the Boss flashbacks. Ri-jin has joined Chief Ahn as one of the few people firmly on Do-hyun’s side, and now the team is assembling in the workplace/battlefield. Do-hyun has people he can rely on now, and that makes for an immensely satisfying change even as it foreshadows the danger of losing them.
I am so excited to see Ri-on preparing to take on a more active, assertive role. He has two goals: To discover what the Seungjin Group has kept hidden, and to protect Ri-jin. I expect that he won’t be able to keep those goals separate, and I fully anticipate some heartbreak when he has to choose between them—because I can’t see it ending any other way.
There’s a certain amount of unavoidable ickiness that arises whenever we encounter faux-incest elements in a drama, but I think it makes sense in Ri-on’s case. As he explained to Do-hyun (by describing the plot of his next novel), Ri-on grew up knowing that Ri-jin was not his real sister, and he also grew up knowing that he wanted to protect her. His feelings developed little by little over the years, subtly, morphing from brotherly protectiveness into something more, probably without him even recognizing the change until it was too late.
There are a few lines from the Gotye song that played in the café where Ri-on met with Ri-jin that seem particularly relevant here: “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness; like resignation to the end, always the end.” I feel like Ri-on is addicted to his own brand of sadness, which is the bitter pang he feels every time he sees Ri-jin and knows that he should not, cannot ever act on his feelings. He wants to be the supportive brother, while his rebellious heart can’t be satisfied with that. Is it creepy? Sure. Does he have any control over it? Not at all.
That’s what makes Ri-on, in my eyes, easily as intriguing as Do-hyun and all his personalities. Of course I want him to stay as Ri-jin’s brother, and I think it would be tragic if the easy rapport they have were to be damaged; but at the same time, that rapport is only possible so long as Ri-on suppresses his true feelings. Do-hyun isn’t the only person who has to wear a mask to keep the people around him from getting hurt.
The only thing that was missing from this episode was Se-gi, but that’s what Episode 10 is for. Having already seen it, I can only say—avoiding spoilers, which I ask all of you to do as well—that things are only going to heat up from here!
We’re almost halfway through, and Kill Me, Heal Me keeps surpassing the bar it sets for itself each week. If the show can keep up this momentum without faltering, it will rank up there with the best shows I’ve seen, let alone recapped. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, both for continued excellence and for the triumph of true love; by which, of course, I mean Yo-na’s love for Ri-on. Wouldn’t they be adorable?!