Missing 9: Episode 3
When your very life is on the line, the lines between right and wrong can become very blurry, and things you would never consider doing under normal circumstances suddenly become your only hope for survival. What do you do when your life literally depends on the actions of others? Do you band together and do what’s needed for the good of the group? Or do you strike out and hope you can hold out alone?
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Bong-hee tells Investigator Oh (from the special investigation commission) that she, Joon-oh, and Yeol saw the light from a cell phone and found the person who owned it. Though we see that it was actress Ji-ah, Bong-hee can’t remember who that person was.
All hell breaks loose as Investigator Oh realizes that the press have found the location where they’ve been interviewing and filming Bong-hee, and they rush her out of the building with her coat over her head. Chairwoman Jo tells Bong-hee that they’re sending her into hiding, so she’s driven away, cringing from the reporters as they scream questions at her.
Prosecutor Tae-young reels after identifying the body of his sister So-hee, one of the actresses from the plane crash whose body recently washed up in China. He thinks back to the last time he saw So-hee, when he’d given her a beautiful necklace in the shape of an infinity symbol and had shown her his matching ring.
Tae-young was told that, though So-hee’s body was found on the beach, they suspect she was murdered. As he waits for his car, he sees a man in the hospital hallway, and recognizes him as the Now-CEO of Legend Entertainment. Tae-young thinks it strange that CEO Jang would be in a hospital in China, and follows him to a private room.
He sees CEO Jang talking to someone in a hospital bed, telling them that people will be shocked when they hear the person is alive. Tae-young asks Prosecutor Jo to find out the name of the patient in that room.
We go back to where we left our castaways, stranded on the deserted island. This time we see that Joon-oh’s manager Ki-joon also survived the crash, and is currently attempting to trap a rabbit in a salvaged suitcase. The first rabbit he lures gets away (and the chase is hysterical), but he manages to catch the second.
He sits with his prize, and notices that the fluffy little bunny is awfully cute. He tries to set it free, but the darn thing won’t leave, and just hangs out with Ki-joon as he weakly threatens to eat it.
Not too far away, former Legend CEO Hwang and his assistant Ho-hang bicker as they attempt to catch fish. Ki-joon brings them the results of his successful hunt — a suitcase full of coconuts. Awww, he couldn’t do it. The others are disappointed despite his talking up the coconuts (“They’re locally grown!”), and he promises to catch some actual meat tomorrow.
Ho-hang wonders if they’re really the only survivors, and CEO Hwang suddenly perks up as he catches a whiff of grilled meat. They follow their noses to a rock outcropping, and peek over it to see top star Tae-ho grilling up some fish.
Back in the present, Tae-young and Prosecutor Jo fly back home, and Prosecutor Jo asks if it’s true that one of the missing is former idol Seo Joon-oh of Dreamers. He mentions that Joon-oh was investigated after songwriter Jae-hyun committed suicide, and Tae-young remembers seeing him in the police station after it happened.
Tae-young tells him not to bother looking into it, but Prosecutor Jo muses that if someone killed his sister So-hee, it has to have have been another survivor. Tae-young sort of blows him off, but Prosecutor Jo looks troubled at the fact that he’s smiling.
Chairwoman Jo speaks to a man, apologizing sweetly for her team treating him roughly. The man says that he heard that Bong-hee lost her memory, and asks if they’re keeping her in hiding out of fear of criticism from the citizens. He threatens to reveal everything, and Chairwoman Jo drops her nice act.
She asks his name, and he says he’s Seo Dong-min. She says she’s head of this commission, whose aim is not to discover the truth of the mystery, but to make people forget about the celebrities’ deaths so they can go back to their lives.
Seo Dong-min looks nervous, and Chairwoman Jo says that she’s not here to entertain him. She asks if he has any idea who he’s dealing with, and if he thinks he can handle her.
Bong-hee undergoes medical tests to determine the severity of her memory loss. The doctor tells Investigator Oh that she’s improving and should have regained her memories by now. Investigator Oh wonders if she could be faking.
In the hallway, Bong-hee is approached by a woman who says she’s actress Ji-ah’s mother. The woman asks if Ji-ah is alive or dead, and grows agitated when Bong-hee says she doesn’t remember. She grabs onto Bong-hee, frantic for answers, and she says something strange — that if Ji-ah doesn’t come back, their family will starve.
Investigator Oh asks the doctor not to tell Chairwoman Jo about the test results, then hears the noise in the hall. He frees Bong-hee from the woman’s clutches and pulls her away as Ji-ah’s mother screams that she’ll find her daughter herself.
Later, Bong-hee stands on an outcropping looking over the ocean. Two men in suits approach her and call her name, but we don’t hear what else they say.
We’re taken back in time to the island, where So-hee rests in Joon-oh and Bong-hee’s makeshift shelter. She remembers the night that songwriter Jae-hyun died — she’d gone to the roof to find him clinging to the railing, and he’d calmly told her not to trust anyone, because they’ll betray her like they did him. He’d given her the saddest smile, then let go.
So-hee had looked at Joon-oh as he’d registered that the man who just jumped to his death was Dreamers’ songwriter. She noticed that his expression changed just a little, to something that almost looked like a sinister smile. (Wait, how does she see his face that well from the roof?)
Back to the island, where Joon-oh brings Ji-ah some soup made over the fire. She asks if they’re the only survivors, worried about her boyfriend, Tae-ho. Joon-oh says sweetly that he’s sure Tae-ho is still alive, and she agrees, grumbling that she thought Joon-oh was dead, too.
Joon-oh smudges her cheek and teases her for her bad attitude, and she jokes that her fans ask her to swear because it’s sexy. Joon-oh tells her not to get hurt or Ki-joon will worry, and the mood drops with the mention of Ki-joon’s name. Ji-ah asks if Joon-oh thinks he’s alive, seeming more unsettled by the prospect that he may not be than she was about Tae-ho.
Joon-oh thinks he’s fine, and tells Ji-ah to take care of herself in any case, since she doesn’t have her medicine. They’re interrupted by So-hee, who’s angry that they’re smiling when they could all starve to death. She accuses Joon-oh of forgetting about Jae-hyun, and Ji-ah jumps up to defend him.
Joon-oh stops her and tells So-hee that he hasn’t forgotten. So-hee snaps that he shouldn’t since he’s the one who killed him, and says that he could even get away with killing someone again, considering that they’re on a deserted island. She tells them both that it’s easy to smile and joke now, but asks what happens when their food and supplies run out — people can kill when times are desperate.
So-hee says that she saw everything, and Joon-oh angrily asks what she saw. So-hee remembers running and tripping in the woods, and seeing what looked like one man crouched over another, smothering him. She’d heard him whispering to himself, “He’ll die anyway,” and she looks at Joon-oh and says that she knows he’s already killed once.
Joon-oh recalls another time when So-hee was this angry with him… he’d been bowing at Jae-hyun’s funeral, while So-hee had beaten him with a bouquet of flowers. Yeol and Ji-ah had removed her from the room, and Joon-oh had stayed on his knees until long after everyone else left.
Joon-oh asks Bong-hee if they can find something else to eat now that there are more people to feed, but she gives him the hairy eyeball, and he’s all, Fish is fine. Everyone watches as So-hee slowly walks down the beach and into the water, and after a minute they realize she’s not stopping. They rush to grab her just as her head slips under the surface, and she fights them as they drag her back to shore.
On the other side of the island, CEO Hwang cries in bliss at the taste of the fish Tae-ho cooked. He yells at Tae-ho for being good at everything — singing, acting, cooking — and Tae-ho grins at him. Ki-joon doesn’t eat much, and says that they should go look for more survivors.
So-hee struggles and screams that she wants to die, but Joon-oh refuses to let her go. So-hee wails that they’ll all be killed anyway, and Joon-oh asks who is going to kill her. Bong-hee chastises him for yelling, and promises So-hee that they’ll all be rescued.
Shaking and afraid, So-hee says that she saw it already, that they’ll kill each other to save themselves. Joon-oh asks what she saw, and she flashes back to seeing a man smothering another man (the pilot?).
They see Yeol leading a stumbling Ji-ah towards them, and he shows them that she slashed her right thigh wide open on some sharp coral. The wound looks bad and is bleeding profusely, but Joon-oh startles all of them when he yells at Ji-ah.
He asks where her medicine is, and Bong-hee remembers seeing Ki-joon give her a bottle of pills on the plane. Ji-ah says that she lost her medicine in the crash, and Yeol notices that the wound won’t stop bleeding. Joon-oh grows pretty frantic and starts looking for something to bind the wound.
Over in their camp, Tae-ho thinks they should stay in one place and wait for rescue, especially since they don’t even know if anyone else is alive. Ki-joon argues that if the four of them survived then so could the others, and asks if Tae-ho isn’t worried about Ji-ah.
When Ki-joon asks if Tae-ho even loves Ji-ah, Tae-ho says that dating doesn’t equal love, and Ki-joon asks if Tae-ho knows she’s sick. Ki-joon suddenly realizes that Ji-ah doesn’t have her medicine and grows agitated. He says that she won’t survive without it, so he runs off to look for her.
Bong-hee bandages Ji-ah’s leg and fusses at her for hiding her illness. Yeol tells Joon-oh that his grandmother used to use a wild-growing plant to stop wounds from bleeding, and they decide to search the island in case it grows here.
Bong-hee wants to join them, so before they go, Joon-oh tells So-hee that she needs to take care of Ji-ah. So-hee refuses to acknowledge him other than glaring, and he yells that he’s a victim here, too. He says that Ji-ah got hurt trying to save So-hee, which makes So-hee responsible.
Bong-hee steps in and tells So-hee that they have to search for a way to help Ji-ah, and asks her to please take care of her. She agrees with So-hee that they could all die here, but urges her to try to survive in case they’re rescued. So-hee asks if Bong-hee trusts people, and Bong-hee says that she has to.
So-hee says for Bong-hee to go, but stops her to tell her that her brother gave her a necklace, but she lost it in the woods. She asks Bong-hee to bring it back if she finds it.
In the present, Bong-hee is driven to a secluded location, and she’s joined in the car by So-hee’s brother, Tae-young. He introduces himself, and tells Bong-hee that So-hee was murdered on that island.
He says that he gave So-hee the infinity necklace that Bong-hee is wearing now, and guesses they were close. He asks if Bong-hee knows who killed his sister, and adds that he’s sure it’s hard for Bong-hee to remember. But he asks her to trust him, and promises that he’ll help her.
Yeol describes the medicinal plant they’re looking for to Joon-oh and Bong-hee, at the same time as Ki-joon, CEO Hwang, and Ho-hang decide to search for more survivors. Back at camp, Ji-ah is growing worse as her wound continues to bleed, and So-hee worries as a storm begins to brew.
Yeol draws a picture of the medicinal plant in the dirt, and they split up to cover more ground. Ki-joon also splits from his companions, who decide to go back to their camp. The storm worsens, and So-hee panics — she takes an armful of fish and some water and runs off, leaving Ji-ah unconscious and alone.
Ki-joon just about dies of fright when he’s startled by a family of bunnies, HA. He yells at them and threatens to come back tomorrow to hunt them before going on his way.
Yeol finally finds some of the medicinal plant, which looks like aloe vera. He calls out to Joon-oh and Bong-hee, then excitedly runs towards the plant. But he suddenly drops through the ground, into some sort of pit trap.
Joon-oh also finds some aloe vera, and starts towards it. He hears a click and freezes, then leans down to see what he stepped on. He pushes mud away from his shoe, and finds a flat piece of metal with the word “mine” printed on it. You have got to be kidding me.
When Bong-hee runs up a moment later, a confused Joon-oh calmly tells her that he found the plant but stepped on a landmine. Bong-hee misunderstands and thinks he stepped on a centipede, and he screams, “I stepped on a landmine!” OMG, this is so funny — how is this so funny?
CEO Hwang and Ho-hang stop to bicker over whether they’re going in the right direction. CEO Hwang freezes in horror as a snake slithers towards Ho-hang from above, then stammers, “S-s-snake!” Ho-hang’s eyes widen and he turns to look, just as the snake bites him on the chest.
Joon-oh points out the plant to Bong-hee and tells her to take it and help Ji-ah. He’s surprisingly heroic until it’s time for Bong-hee to leave him, since he repeatedly yells at her to go while yanking her back, ha. When she finally does go, Joon-oh rages at Fate for putting him in this position.
Ki-joon continues looking for survivors, walking right past the hole where Yeol lies, unconscious and injured.
Bong-hee runs back towards the beach, and she stops when she unexpectedly comes across CEO Hwang attempting to suck the venom from Ho-hang’s snake bite. She recognizes them from the plane, though they don’t recognize her. They get excited for a minute, thinking she lives on the island and can save them, until she introduces herself.
Joon-oh is distracted from his plight by the call of nature, and he wonders how to accomplish it while keeping his foot on the landmine. As he’s bent over digging a little pit, Ki-joon suddenly spots him.
Before Joon-oh can warn him, Ki-joon screams happily and leaps on him, while Joon-oh tries to warn him of the danger. He very nearly shoves Joon-oh off the mine several times, until Joon-oh finally tells him what’s going on, and Ki-joon grows instantly serious. HAHA, when Joon-oh mentions he needs a bathroom, Ki-joon is more worried there might be poop nearby than he is about the mine.
Bong-hee helps CEO Hwang and Ho-hang back to the camp, explaining that they can cut open the snakebite, drain it, and cauterize it with their fire. Ho-hang doesn’t seem too keen on the idea, and tells them to go on without him. CEO Hwang refuses, and realizes that Ho-hang seems pretty okay, considering the snake bit him near his heart.
After looking closely at the landmine, Ki-joon says it’s probably more than eighty years old. Since he was a medical officer in the military, he thinks it may not explode and tells Joon-oh to lift his foot, and they argue back and forth over whether it’s a good idea. As Ki-joon crouches by his feet, Joon-oh notices something in his backpack, and pulls out Ji-ah’s bottle of medicine.
Joon-oh drags Ki-joon to his feet and tells him that he shouldn’t be here. He barely even points towards the camp before Ki-joon understands what he’s saying and takes off running at top speed.
The storm is worsening, and the shelter breaks apart while Ji-ah lies helpless, with So-hee having taken off on her own. The wall shakes, then starts to fall… and suddenly So-hee is there, blocking it with her body. She buckles under the weight, but just as she’s about to collapse, Bong-hee arrives to help.
CEO Hwang dumps Ho-hang unceremoniously in the sand when he sees Ji-ah lying unconscious in what’s left of the shelter. He helps pull her further into the cave, then goes back for Ho-hang (who tries the whole “Go on without me” routine until CEO Hwang whaps him upside the head).
A bolt of lightning strikes a tree in Ki-joon’s path, and the flaming tree falls and traps his leg. The bottle of medicine is in danger from the fire, and Ki-joon struggles to reach it. Another tree falls, narrowly missing Ki-joon, but luckily the fire is put out by the rain and Ki-joon grabs the medicine. He’s still stuck under the tree, but Tae-ho shows up in the nick of time and helps pull him free.
Bong-hee works quickly to cut up the medicinal plant and pack Ji-ah’s wound. A flying branch hits So-hee and she falls unconscious, so she’s also pulled into the cave. Ki-joon and Tae-ho reach the shelter, and Ki-joon runs to Ji-ah’s side.
When So-hee sees Tae-ho, she stops and stares at him. We see the entirety of what she saw in the woods — a man, leaning over the pilot, who’d had a piece of shrapnel protruding from his stomach. The man had held his hand over the pilot’s nose and mouth until he stopped breathing, repeating over and over, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” When he’d leaned back, So-hee had clearly seen Tae-ho’s face.
Ki-joon pulls a syringe from his pack, and injects something into Ji-ah’s arm. He pulls out her pill bottle and gives her one of the pills inside.
Once things are a bit calmer, Bong-hee thinks back on how Joon-oh pulled her from the sinkhole and saved her life. She runs back out into the storm, determined to return the favor. Meanwhile, Joon-oh stands in the rain, resigning himself to his fate.
In the present, Bong-hee dreams of the castaways standing on the island and smiling at her. Almost everyone is there, even her mother, though So-hee is missing. Suddenly a bloody hand touches Bong-hee, and she turns to see So-hee standing before her, covered in blood.
Bong-hee jerks awake to find Investigator Oh beside her. He puts a hand on her shoulder and tells her, “They’ve found the island you were on.”
This show just moves so fast, my head is spinning. Just as I wasn’t expecting one of the dead to be revealed so soon last week, I certainly wasn’t expecting the island to be found this quickly. I always appreciate a fast-moving plot, because it usually means that there’s a lot of story to cover, rather than dragging out one issue for weeks on end. It makes me excited that we’ve just begun to learn everything that happened on that island.
I just can’t get over how funny this show is, which is absolutely not something I expected going into it. The current events are all pretty dark and serious, but the mood lightens noticeably when we join the castaways on the island, and I find myself laughing way more often than you’d think, considering that these people are in mortal danger. Humor is infused into the strangest moments, like in every scene with Joon-oh standing on that landmine — and the weirdest part is that it shouldn’t work, but it totally does. Somehow the funny moments don’t take away from the suspense and feeling of impending danger in any way whatsoever. I still found myself worrying for Yeol down in that hole, let out a little shriek when the wall nearly fell on Ji-ah, and begged So-hee not to go into the ocean. Maybe it’s the sheer surprise of the humor in scenes that would normally be presented with utter seriousness that makes the funny moments so good. Whatever it is, it works, and I’m loving it.
That said, I’m noticing some inconsistencies in the storytelling, and I’m unsure whether they’re intentional or whether they’re accidents. Mostly little things like timeline issues on the island, which I mostly chalk up to Bong-hee being an unreliable narrator. But there’s a glaring problem in this episode in regards to So-hee, and it’s such a huge disparity (when the show has otherwise been pretty tight, plot-wise) that I’m wondering if it’s not intentional. Previously we were shown that on the night songwriter Jae-hyun died, So-hee was in the parking lot with the others when he threw himself off the Legend building (in fact, she was only a few feet from the car he landed on). But in today’s episode, she was on the roof with him when he fell. Obviously both can’t be true, so is this an editing issue and someone just dropped the ball badly, or is there some other reason we’ve been shown two different scenarios? Because she also sees Joon-oh’s face change as he sees the body, and she couldn’t possibly have seen such a tiny shift in expression from the top of the building.
After learning more about So-hee, I’m even sadder to know that she never makes it off the island alive. She’s suicidal and out of hope, and it breaks my heart that all of Bong-hee’s promises that she’ll be rescued turn out to be untrue. Yet, even though I know So-hee dies, I still want her to find her optimism before that happens — it will be even more devastating if she dies having never felt that there was any point in fighting to live. It’s another sign of excellent character-building, when your audience knows a character is doomed yet still holds out hope for them, even if it’s only to hope that their soul is healed before they go. But I don’t blame her for being afraid for her life, especially after seeing Tae-ho kill a man with her bare hands. Of course, it looks to us as if the pilot was mortally injured and Tae-ho was putting him out of his misery, but that’s of little comfort when you’re a young girl, stranded on a deserted island with a man you know for a fact is capable of killing a person.
I like how the show weaves past and present together while telling Bong-hee’s story, though I do find the scenes on the island much more interesting. I want to know all the answers now, though I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface of the questions that will be raised as Bong-hee recovers her memory. The biggest mystery for me right now is the evidence that this island isn’t entirely deserted, or at least wasn’t at one time. Pit traps/underground bunkers, land mines, and at least one abandoned human being (whose shelter, I noticed, seemed to be made of old military equipment) raise a lot of concerns about the island and its history. What happened there in the past, and does it have any bearing on what will happen to the castaways in the next four months?
- Missing 9: Episode 2
- Missing 9: Episode 1
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