Missing 9: Episode 4
There isn’t enough room on the island for two alpha dogs, and things grow strained when the survivors begin to choose sides. Their biggest challenge will be finding a way to work together and let go of the resentments of the past. But just as things start to look up for them, a new threat looms, and one castaway will be faced with a decision that could determine who lives and who dies.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Bong-hee is hypnotized in an attempt to recover her memories, and she opens her eyes to find herself on a beach. All of the castaways are nearby having a picnic, dressed all in white, even Bong-hee’s mother and Investigator Oh. Joon-oh steps up beside her and takes her hand.
In the therapist’s office, Investigator Oh leaves the room to take a call. The therapist directs Bong-hee to picture herself in a forest with the people she loves, all of them happy and smiling. She sees a door, and everyone encourages her to enter.
Back in reality, four months prior, Yeol wakes to find himself in a sort of underground bunker. He yells through the hole in the ceiling that he fell through, and not far away, Joon-oh (who’s still standing on the landmine) thinks he hears a voice.
After spending all day on that mine, Joon-oh is growing a bit unhinged, and he freaks himself out thinking that he’s hearing a ghost. So when a hand grips his shoulder, he screams and jumps, completely forgetting about the landmine.
Thank goodness it’s just Bong-hee, and Joon-oh marvels that the landmine didn’t go off. Bong-hee silently starts to cry, and Joon-oh sweetly apologizes for scaring her. Bong-hee shakes her head and sobs that she’s sorry for leaving him all alone, and Joon-oh gives her the most awkward (though sincere) hug ever.
They hear Yeol’s voice again and go running to follow the sound. They use a vine to pull Yeol from the hole, and wonder what kind of structure he was trapped in.
Back on the beach, Ji-ah finally wakes to find Tae-ho sitting by her side. She’s happy to see him alive, and when she asks, he lets her think he’s the one who saved her. We see though that it was Ki-joon who sat by Ji-ah for hours after administering her medicine.
Ki-joon returns to tell Tae-ho that CEO Hwang wants to talk to them. He stops to fuss at Ji-ah for getting hurt, then thanks her for being alive before surreptitiously leaving her a cookie. Awww.
Finally all together, the survivors sit around the campfire, and CEO Hwang says they need a survival plan. Tae-ho thinks they should sit still and wait to be rescued, but Joon-oh says they need to find better shelter. He thinks they should move into the woods, and tells them that he found evidence today that there used to be people, maybe soldiers, on this island.
So it follows that those people had to have lived somewhere, and Joon-oh wants to find that place. Tae-ho argues that they can just build a shelter here on the beach, since rescuers won’t be able to see them as well in the woods. Joon-oh counters that they need to find a structure that’s safe and warm, and they can always send out signals to anyone who may be looking for them.
Frustrated, Tae-ho lashes out when Bong-hee tries to speak up, and Yeol tells him not to take his anger out on her. Joon-oh repeats Yeol’s words, and Tae-ho feels ganged-up on and gets even nastier, saying that Joon-oh should treat the rest of them better than he treats a newcomer.
Yeol asks why Tae-ho is being so rude about Joon-oh, and Tae-ho yells that it’s because he killed their songwriter, Jae-hyun, and destroyed Dreamers. He’s angry that the person responsible for their breakup is now trying to be in charge, and everyone grows silent.
Tae-ho turns on Joon-oh again and tells him that he had a hard time building himself back up after that incident. He says he swore never to trust Joon-oh again and snarls at him to go into the woods by himself.
Bong-hee jumps to her feet and says that Tae-ho is being too harsh, but Tae-ho isn’t finished. He gets in Joon-oh’s face and says that the last time he took charge, he destroyed both Jae-hyun and Dreamers. CEO Hwang has had enough, and he yells at them to stop bringing up Jae-hyun.
Joon-oh admits that Tae-ho is right but asks them to please take his advice this time, because he wants them all to come out of this alive. He says they need to work together as a team, or they may not all survive.
CEO Hwang proposes a vote, and he, Ki-joon, and So-hee decide they want to stay on the beach. Yeol says he’ll follow Joon-oh as the leader of Dreamers (which makes Joon-oh smile a little), Ho-hang thinks the beach is too open to the elements, and Bong-hee says they need to look for other signs of people. That splits the votes evenly down the middle, which means they need Ji-ah to break the tie.
Tae-ho goes to her, and Bong-hee worries that she’ll be on Tae-ho’s side. But Joon-oh tells her that she signed her contract with Legend at only fourteen, and that she’s very confident. Sure enough, Ji-ah tells Tae-ho that although she likes him, she wants to follow Joon-oh’s plan.
Joon-oh goes off alone to think, and Bong-hee joins him and asks if he’s worried everyone will blame him if they don’t find anything. She offers to take some of the heat if that happens, and Joon-oh looks at her gratefully. He jokes that she should, since she’s his stylist, adding that she should punch Tae-ho first if it looks like Tae-ho’s going to punch him.
Joon-oh sighs that he’s still worried and starts to head back to the beach. Bong-hee stops him and asks what exactly happened between him and Jae-hyun. Joon-oh remembers back to when Jae-hyun was alive, and they’d thrown a party to celebrate Dreamers winning Artist of the Year.
Everyone had been friends then, but it wasn’t long after that Jae-hyun had said he was going to stop writing songs, and Joon-oh had angrily told him to go die. Jae-hyun had killed himself, and at his funeral, everyone had looked at Joon-oh with accusing eyes. To Bong-hee, Joon-oh just says, “I killed Jae-hyun.”
In the present, Bong-hee’s hypnotism session continues, and her therapist directs her to open more doors, each leading to new settings. He says that the last door leads her to a present that will help her find the truth, and in her mind, Bong-hee finds the infinity necklace.
The therapist asks what it means, but Bong-hee doesn’t know. He asks whose necklace it is, and this time she knows the answer. She sees So-hee covered in blood, and she snatches the necklace from Bong-hee’s hand, coating it in gore. Bong-hee jerks back to consciousness, and Investigator Oh interrupts the session to say that they’ve found the island.
Bong-hee’s mother checks on her while she’s packing to go to the island, worried about her daughter’s upcoming trip. Bong-hee smiles and reassures her that she’ll be fine, though when her mom leaves, her smile falters.
Chairwoman Jo is curt with Bong-hee as usual, and she warns her to get her entire memory back when she visits the island. Investigator Oh travels with Bong-hee, and he gives her something to help her with her flight anxiety.
When they arrive at the island, they find the plane shrapnel cordoned off and soldiers on the beach. Bong-hee goes to a rock near their cave entrance where she’d scratched the names of the survivors just before they all left to look for a different shelter.
We rejoin the castaways as they strike out into the woods, determined to find the place where the island’s other inhabitants must have lived. They go in circles while Joon-oh tries to act like he totally knows where they are, and everyone starts to lose faith that Joon-oh is leading them anywhere at all.
But luck is on his side, and eventually he happens on a very old, broken-down house. There’s even evidence of prior human habitation, and the group stands in awe as they realize that they’ve found a safe place to live.
In the present, Bong-hee leads Investigator Oh to the house, and she imagines seeing herself inside as she’d hung sheets and cleaned as best she could. She sees Joon-oh as well, helping her get the place ready to be inhabited. The others slowly arrive, and though the house is falling to pieces, somehow it starts to feel like a home.
Bong-hee remembers following So-hee as she’d left the house and struck out alone, and she follows her memories to a cliff overlooking the ocean. As she stands on the edge of the cliff in the present, Bong-hee hears her own voice yelling at someone to wake up, and sees herself wrestling with someone.
The other person tumbles over the cliff and hangs there, reaching a hand up to Bong-hee as if for help. Bong-hee doesn’t reach out to her, and when her grip fails, Bong-hee clearly sees So-hee’s face as she falls to the waves below.
Bong-hee realizes with horror that she’s the one who killed So-hee — or at least, she didn’t try to save her. Investigator Oh finds her shivering on the edge of the cliff, but when he asks if she remembers anything, she stammers that she doesn’t.
Chairwoman Jo meets with Bong-hee’s therapist, who brings her the recording of Bong-hee’s hypnotherapy session.
Investigator Oh and Bong-hee go back to Korea, and the trip is deemed a failure since she didn’t recover any memories. She ignores a call from Tae-young, So-hee’s brother, and heads for home. Investigator Oh goes to see Chairwoman Jo, who asks if he ever left Bong-hee alone with the therapist.
He had left her to take the call that they’d found the island, and it turns out he missed something critical. Chairwoman Jo plays the tape of Bong-hee’s session, and we hear her voice saying that the necklace belonged to So-hee. The therapist had asked Bong-hee why she has So-hee’s necklace, and she’d said in a tortured voice, “I killed So-hee.”
Chairwoman Jo asks Investigator Oh if he plans to make Bong-hee a survivor, or a murderer. He tries to say there’s no evidence, but Chairwoman Jo says that evidence doesn’t matter — it’s all about what’s more advantageous for them from a political standpoint.
As the castaways fix up their new home, Bong-hee finds CEO Hwang’s suitcase washed up on the beach, and the group are thrilled to see clean clothes and toiletries. Bong-hee decides to go look for more washed-up luggage, and everyone stares at Joon-oh until he agrees to help.
They sit on the beach, staring at a bright pink suitcase stuck in some rocks across a bay. They gird their loins and go for a swim, and Bong-hee retrieves the suitcase and is halfway back while Joon-oh is still dog-paddling in place, hee. They celebrate when they find ramyun in the suitcase, and head out for more.
Bong-hee makes several more trips out to rescue suitcases, while Joon-oh sneaks snacks on the beach. He does wrap her in a sweater when she gets chilled, and goes out to bring one back himself. They end up with six suitcases total and head back to the house.
Joon-oh complains about Bong-hee recklessly swimming in the strong currents, and she tells him that she’s the daughter of a diver. She says that she’ll go in the water from now on since it’s too dangerous for the others, and Joon-oh seems to have a newfound respect for her.
The castaways go nuts at all the new clothes and food, and they divvy up the spoils. Joon-oh finds Bong-hee hanging up curtains to keep out the wind (they were for decorating the concert stage), and she says unconvincingly that she’s not that cold.
Joon-oh goes inside and snatches a pink coat from Ji-ah, claiming that it’s his even though it’s clearly a woman’s jacket. He takes it to Bong-hee, oh-so-casually saying that it shrunk, hee.
Bong-hee feels bad, and that night, she tiptoes to where Ji-ah is sleeping and covers her with the jacket. She goes back to bed, only for Joon-oh to toss the jacket back at her and tell her to put it on. She takes it back to Ji-ah, and Joon-oh just brings it right back, over and over again.
The fourth time Bong-hee takes the jacket to Ji-ah, Ji-ah sits up and tells her to just keep the thing and stop waking her up. She shoves Bong-hee out of her space, and Bong-hee finally puts the jacket on and goes to bed. Joon-oh goes to sleep as well, leaving nobody to hear the furtive footsteps creeping past the house.
In the morning, the group find that their food stash has been ransacked. Joon-oh is sure it wasn’t one of them, but it can’t be another crash survivor either, or they’d have spoken to them. Tae-ho reports that some of their clothes are gone too, and they can only conclude that there’s someone else on the island.
In the present, Tae-young is still trying to call Bong-hee, but she continues to avoid his calls. Prosecutor Jo reports that things seem tense at the special investigation commission — they’re avoiding contact with people outside the organization and using off-the-record channels to report in.
He says that all this has happened since Chairwoman Jo met with Bong-hee’s therapist, which leads him to think they found something during her hypnosis session. Tae-young instructs Prosecutor Jo to find out where the therapist works.
The castaways decide to set up guard rotations for the food in teams of two. Tae-ho volunteers to go first, and when nobody offers to team with him, he asks Bong-hee to do it. Joon-oh tries to warn her not to, but she agrees. So-hee looks nervous, remembering how she saw Tae-ho smothering the life out of the pilot.
As they sit near the food stash, Bong-hee asks Tae-ho why he picked her. Tae-ho gives her a long stare, and she asks if she’s done something to upset him. He finally says that he doesn’t like seeing her and Joon-oh hanging around each other. Bong-hee asks if Tae-ho hates Joon-oh that much.
She says that no matter what happened with Jae-hyun, they used to be in Dreamers together and were as close as brothers. Tae-ho just asks if she knows Joon-oh killed someone, but she argues that he didn’t actually kill him. Tae-ho scoffs that she doesn’t know Joon-oh very well, and tells her that she’ll see if she sticks around.
Behind them, someone sets off their makeshift alarm, and Tae-ho gives chase. Joon-oh and Bong-hee follow, but it’s Tae-ho who catches the thief and knocks him to the ground. He punches the thief a few times, until the man gasps out that he’s the plane’s first officer.
Tae-ho asks incredulously why he’s stealing from them, and when the others call out, the first officer tells Tae-ho to stay quiet and listen if he wants to live. He says that he can’t save everyone, but he can save Tae-ho.
They hide from the others, and the first officer tells Tae-ho that he has a lifeboat that was on the plane when it crashed. The problem is that there’s only room on the boat for four people, so the first mate has been watching them, deciding who to take with him. He says they can take two more people besides themselves and leave the island.
Tae-ho goes back to the house, determined to choose the two most useful people to take with them. When he arrives, he tells everyone that he was just lost, and doesn’t mention a word about the lifeboat.
Bong-hee’s therapist sits down with a new patient, Tae-young. He tells the doctor that his sister was murdered recently, and that strangely, he’s been feeling very calm about it. He asks the doctor pointedly if he’s the only one who feels this way before telling him exactly who he is, and that his sister is Yoon So-hee.
Tae-ho has definitely been pinging on my creepy radar, but until now, I wasn’t sure if he was just extremely angry with Joon-oh or truly villainous. Now he’s definitely leaning towards the latter, since he’s considering letting most of the survivors die on that island just so he can save himself. It’s the height of selfishness and arrogance to think he has the right to decide who lives and who dies, which is what could very well happen if Tae-ho and the first officer decide who to take with them on the lifeboat. Tae-ho has never been the nicest or the most selfless person, but if he doesn’t tell everyone about the lifeboat and let them make a decision together, it marks him as a pure villain as far as I’m concerned.
On the flip side, it’s nice to see Joon-oh and Bong-hee growing even closer after finding the others, since they’ve shared things the others didn’t after being alone together on the island for nearly a week. It’s good to watch Joon-oh taking care of Bong-hee after everything she’s done to take care of him, even if all he can do is make sure she gets a warm coat. He started out cold and distant, even mean and petty, but we’ve seen in flashbacks that he actually cares deeply about people. So it feels more like his coldness was a wall to protect himself after everyone turned on him rather than his real personality. He’s already shown a lot of softening now that he’s near his old friends again, which makes sense, since we now know that this group used to be extremely close before Jae-hyun died. I like seeing Joon-oh extending that warmth towards Bong-hee, bringing her into the fold (at least as far as he’s concerned) and beginning to care for her as he cares for the others. It’s hard to tell at this early stage if their bond will develop into something romantic down the line, and while I wouldn’t mind that at all — I adore Jung Kyung-ho in romantic roles — I think I’d also be fine if they simply became great friends.
I’ve said this before, but I find myself thinking again how the show really does a great job juxtaposing the past and the present, and this was used to particular effect in the scene where Bong-hee goes back to the island. At the same time as we see the castaways finding shelter, one of their highest emotional moments on the island so far, we’re also shown present-time Bong-hee returning there and finding it empty. At first I couldn’t put my finger on why that moment was so bittersweet, until I realized — they’re all gone. There’s nobody left on the island to rescue. It was cruelly effective way to remind us that whatever happened, whoever is alive or dead, they’re no longer easily found. And it feels as if Bong-hee knew that, because there was no sense of urgency as she led the investigators to the place they all called home. Something happened to those other eight people, and we only really know the fate of two of them — that So-hee is dead, and that possibly there’s another survivor in a hospital in China.
At first I rejected the idea that Bong-hee might be hiding how much she remembers of events after the crash, mostly just because she seems so sweet and earnest, but I’m starting to wonder if she actually is hiding something. Little things make me suspicious that she may know more than she’s letting on, in no small part because she did remember that she was there when So-hee died and didn’t tell anyone. Of course, that could be entirely due to guilt and fear, but if she’s hiding that, what else does she know and isn’t saying? She seemed to know already that they wouldn’t find anyone in the abandoned house or she would have hurried the investigators to it a lot faster, and she didn’t seem surprised (sad, but not surprised) to find it empty.
The only thing I’m still unclear on (that’s not a deliberate withholding on the writer’s part) is why Chairwoman Jo is so determined to make Bong-hee the bad guy. She’s said that it’s more advantageous for the special investigations commission if the crash survivors are never found, and she seems hell-bent on discovering the truth only so that she can squash it. It makes me wonder if she’s somehow in cahoots with the new CEO of Legend Entertainment, who also appears to have a vested interest in the survivors being kept secret, based on the fact that he’s already keeping the survival of one of them under wraps. Their motives are very vague at this point, and although it may be intentional, all it’s doing now is making me much less interested in present-time events. If I don’t know why the villain is a bad person and what their goal is, I don’t really care as much about what they do. I hope the show clues us in soon, because right now it feels like I’m missing a crucial part of the puzzle.
- Missing 9: Episode 3
- Missing 9: Episode 2
- Missing 9: Episode 1
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- First teaser for Missing 9 crash-lands onto the scene
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