Missing 9: Episode 5
The longer the missing are stuck on the island, the harder it gets to maintain their optimism, and it’s only a matter of time before someone begins to crack. Resources are getting low and emotions are running high, and it’s becoming a struggle to make decisions rationally. What will the castaways do when it starts to look like they may not all make it off the island alive?
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Tae-ho returns to camp after having learned from the plane’s surviving copilot that he has a lifeboat capable of carrying only four people off the island. Tae-ho assesses his fellow castaways with a shrewd eye, wondering which two of them would be most advantageous to invite onto the lifeboat.
He watches the others the following day, thinking that he can’t choose someone who thinks everyone should survive — that rules out Bong-hee. It can’t be someone weak, which eliminates Yeol and So-hee.
Ji-ah brings Tae-ho a snack, and he notes that she still looks pale. She says she’s fine, especially with him and Ki-joon to look after her. She sits back down, tired, and Tae-ho decides that he can’t choose someone physically weak for the lifeboat, either.
As Tae-ho watches Joon-oh and Ki-joon engaging in a cutthroat game of hopscotch, he thinks that he won’t choose someone annoying or arrogant, either. He needs someone selfish, someone who puts themselves first — CEO Hwang.
He approaches CEO Hwang and tells him about the copilot and his lifeboat. He says that CEO Hwang can choose the fourth person, but So-hee interrupts and says that she’s going with them. Tae-ho tries to talk her out of it, saying that it’s dangerous, but she doesn’t believe that he can send help when he doesn’t even know where they are.
So-hee says that she can’t trust Tae-ho, because she saw what he did. He plays innocent, but when So-hee offers to tell CEO Hwang what she saw, Tae-ho relents and says she can come. CEO Hwang seems to feel guilty about leaving the others without a word, but Tae-ho reiterates that they’ll send a rescue team.
That night, Tae-ho tells the others that he wants to search for the person who’s been stealing their food. Joon-oh is suspicious of his motives, but Tae-ho repeats that he just wants to save everyone who survived the crash.
As they all head off to bed, So-hee does something strange — she pats Bong-hee on the shoulder and thanks her for all her hard work. Bong-hee looks confused, and wonders why So-hee would say that.
The following morning, Tae-ho splits everyone into three groups to look for the copilot. Not surprisingly, he puts himself in a group with CEO Hwang and So-hee, and Bong-hee sees So-hee make a “whatever” face when Tae-ho says he’ll see them all later. CEO Hwang seems unhappy to be leaving Ho-hang, his assistant, but he follows Tae-ho to the beach.
Once Bong-hee, Joon-oh, and Yeol are alone, Bong-hee tells the guys about what So-hee said to her last night. She says that it felt like So-hee was saying goodbye.
As they walk, Tae-ho asks So-hee what she thinks she saw. She says they both already know, but promises that if they get home, she won’t tell anyone.
We flash forward to the present time, as Tae-young tells the therapist (the same one Bong-hee talked to) that his sister died. He says that his pain only grows worse over time, and that he fantasizes about killing the person responsible for his sister’s death.
He asks if he’s the only one who feels bad about her death, and reveals himself as Yoon So-hee’s brother, and a prosecutor at the Seoul Supreme Prosecutor’s Office. He says that he knows the therapist and Chairwoman Jo are hiding something from him, and tells the therapist to step out for a meal.
Scared of being prosecuted, the therapist goes. Tae-young goes to his computer and finds the recording of Bong-hee’s hypnotherapy session, in which she’d said she was the one who killed So-hee.
Before they arrive at the lifeboat, CEO Hwang finds his conscience and says that he’s not going. He heads back to camp, and the others make a run for it, knowing that he’ll tell the castaways about the lifeboat.
Bong-hee finds So-hee’s infinity necklace on the ground, and she decides not to wait, but to take it back to her now. She says that she thinks it will cheer So-hee up, so they head off to find her.
At about the same time as the three escapees make it to the lifeboat, CEO Hwang runs into Joon-oh, Yeol, and Bong-hee. He confesses that he wronged them and tells them about the lifeboat. Joon-oh asks which way they went, and after running into the rest of the castaways, they all head for the beach at full speed.
The lifeboat is about a hundred yards out to sea by the time the others make the beach. They all scream to those on the lifeboat that it’s dangerous to go out to sea like this, but Tae-ho is too busy yelling at So-hee for not paddling hard enough to hear them.
Ho-hang panics and tries to swim out to the lifeboat, and Joon-oh has to chop him in the neck with the side of his hand to make him stop struggling. Ki-joon wrangles the furious Ji-ah out of the water, and CEO Hwang tries to calm everyone down.
On the lifeboat, things aren’t going much better. So-hee drops her oar, and she falls into the water while reaching for it. Tae-ho leans too far after her, they overbalance the lifeboat, and all three passengers are dumped into the ocean.
Bong-hee and Joon-oh take off swimming, worried about their friends. Tae-ho is fine, and he swims back towards the lifeboat, determined to make his getaway no matter what. Joon-oh sees the copilot struggling in the water and he goes to help him, while Bong-hee does the same for So-hee.
Suddenly a rogue wave comes out of nowhere, and sweeps them all under the surface of the water.
In the present, after hearing Bong-hee confess to killing So-hee, Tae-young stumbles out of the therapist’s office in a daze. Trembling, he calls Bong-hee, and this time she gathers her courage and answers. Tae-young asks, “Did you kill her? Did you kill my sister, Yoon So-hee?” He says that if she did, he will do everything in his power to send her to prison.
Back to the island. Bong-hee wakes on a beach and sees So-hee standing nearby, screaming and waving at the ocean. She looks in the direction So-hee is waving, and realizes with horror that they’re no longer on the island. They’re on a smaller rock outcropping, several hundred yards from the main island.
The other survivors are back on the beach, including Tae-ho and the salvaged lifeboat. They can just barely see each other across the water, and each group realizes that Joon-oh isn’t on the other side. Ki-joon starts to pace with worry, and Ji-ah stalks over to Tae-oh.
She tells him that they need the lifeboat to go rescue So-hee and Bong-hee… and by the way, she’s breaking up with him. She gets the others to help her pull the boat to the water while Tae-ho loudly objects. He thinks they should abandon Bong-hee and So-hee, because the boat is more important.
Over on their side, Bong-hee asks So-hee what happened to Joon-oh, but So-hee just says they both know already. And on another beach we see a man’s body covered in blood, his face covered with Joon-oh’s red jacket.
Everyone stares at Tae-ho, shocked that he would suggest saving the boat before the girls. Tae-ho tells them they can worry about ethics after they’re rescued and orders everyone off the boat. Yeol speaks up to say that they have to save the girls, but Tae-ho thinks they should save themselves while they still can.
So-hee tells Bong-hee coldly that she should stop worrying about someone who’s already dead. Bong-hee yells that this all happened because of her, but So-hee thinks they should do whatever they can to live. (Says the girl who keeps trying to kill herself.)
Bong-hee looks at So-hee as if she’s speaking an alien language and says that it’s pointless to survive alone. She says that it’s wrong to abandon others to save yourself.
Things are getting heated on the other beach, as Tae-ho refuses to let go of the lifeboat so they can rescue the girls. Finally, Ji-ah just hauls off and punches him dead in the face, and when she almost does it again, Tae-ho grabs her and shoves her to the ground.
Ki-joon also hits Tae-ho, but Tae-ho hits him back and he falls into the water. It’s Yeol’s turn to punch Tae-ho, but he doesn’t stop. He yells at the others to go while he hits Tae-ho over and over again.
Yeol gets the best of Tae-ho for a few minutes, but eventually Tae-ho flips him over, knocks him out, and grabs a sharp rock. He wades out and grabs a rope that’s trailing from the lifeboat, using it to drag the boat back to the beach.
Bong-hee snarls that she won’t forgive So-hee and Tae-ho if anything happened to Joon-oh, but So-hee asks haughtily what she could possibly do to her. Bong-hee tells her to just watch and see.
Tae-ho slams the rock into the lifeboat, slicing into it and rendering it useless. He says that when the weather is better they’ll repair the boat and escape. He makes it clear that if they want to survive, they’re to do as he says, and everyone stares at him in shock.
In the present, Tae-young goes to see Chairwoman Jo, who has her friendly public face on since she doesn’t know who he is. He introduces himself as So-hee’s brother, and she expresses her condolences on So-hee’s death in a perfunctory way.
Tae-young gets right to the point and says that he knows that Bong-hee confessed to killing So-hee. He plays the recording of Bong-hee’s hypnosis session, and she asks how he got it. He ignores the question and only says that she can’t hide the truth forever.
Chairwoman Jo reminds Tae-young that you can’t use a confession under hypnosis as evidence, adding that it’s the government’s duty to protect Bong-hee. Tae-young brings up the fact that Chairwoman Jo’s son was admitted to school illegally and that she launders government funds under her husband’s name, and suddenly Chairwoman Jo doesn’t look so confident anymore.
She asks what he wants, and Tae-young says that he just wants her to tell the truth. She asks if he means he wants her to arrest Bong-hee for murder, but he says they each just have to do their jobs — she will announce the results of her investigation, and he will handle the legal details.
In China, the current CEO of Legend Entertainment, CEO Jang, visits the survivor he’s kept a secret… CEO Hwang. He tells his boss that he’s happy he survived and asks what happened on that island. He tells CEO Hwang that Bong-hee made it back alive but lost her memory, so they still don’t know much about what happened.
CEO Hwang mutters that with all the bloodshed that happened on that island, Bong-hee should remember it. He asks about the company, and CEO Jang tells him about the crowds of fans that sit outside the building constantly, then asks again what happened on the island. CEO Hwang gives him an eerie smile and asks if he can handle it.
Back on the island, So-hee grows angry when nobody comes to rescue them by nightfall. She correctly guesses that Tae-ho is stopping the others, then accuses quiet Bong-hee of giving up. Bong-hee says that So-hee is awfully worried about dying when she doesn’t care if others die, and calls her selfish.
So-hee flies at Bong-hee and slaps her, then stares at her defiantly. Bong-hee rounds off and punches So-hee in return before growling that her life isn’t the only one that’s precious. She starts to say that Joon-oh died while trying to save her, but she chokes on his name.
So-hee collapses to the sand and yells that Tae-ho won’t let the others rescue them. Bong-hee tells her to be patient and they’ll come, but So-hee interrupts her: “He killed someone.”
We see what truly happened the night So-hee saw Tae-ho smother the pilot. The pilot had been badly injured, and Tae-ho was urging him to hang in there and survive — that is, until he opened the pilot’s luggage looking for something that might help, and saw that it was full of food.
As the pilot had moaned that he wanted to live, Tae-ho had straddled him and blocked his nose and mouth with his hand. He’d told himself that the pilot was going to die anyway, as he kneeled on the pilot’s hands and coldly ended his life.
On the beach on the main island, Ji-ah again orders Tae-ho to give them the boat. He says it’s useless now anyway, but she argues that they can fix it and save Bong-hee and So-hee. She tries to just take it and he shoves her down, and Ki-joon jumps up to tell Tae-ho to knock it off.
While Tae-ho is busy yelling at the others, Ki-joon notices something half-buried in the sand. He gets an idea and reburies the item, then gets up and stands between Tae-ho and the others. He suddenly argues that Tae-ho is right, they should leave the girls.
But as he’s talking, he winks at Ji-ah and the others while turned away from Tae-ho. He says they should go back to the camp and come back to repair the lifeboat later, then apologizes to Tae-ho and hugs him.
Later, in private, Ki-joon tells Ji-ah and Yeol about the thing he found in the sand — the lifeboat’s air pump. They hatch a plan to look for ways to patch the boat’s hole one at a time, though Tae-ho is on alert and questions anyone who leaves camp. When they can, they sneak off to look for anything that could help, like plastic they can melt down.
Ki-joon says it’s the least they can do for Bong-hee and Joon-oh, who have sacrificed themselves for the others so many times. Yeol asks if Ki-joon thinks Joon-oh is alive, and Ji-ah says that she once asked Joon-oh if he thought there were other survivors. His answer had been that they should believe so.
They don’t have much luck finding anything that can patch the hole, but then Ji-ah finds an old rubber flip-flop. Ki-joon gets so excited that he shouts and nearly gives them away, and he instructs Yeol to take the flip-flop that night and repair the lifeboat. They plan to take the lifeboat and save Bong-hee and So-hee before Tae-ho wakes the next morning.
In the present, Chairwoman Jo thinks about her conversation with Tae-young and makes a phone call. She orders that the press be assembled for an announcement regarding the crash of Legend Entertainment’s plane.
CEO Hwang is in a car, being transported to the airport in China. They drive past some construction work, and suddenly a crane drops a load of beams directly onto the car, crushing it flat. The crane operator makes a call, and calmly says that he “took care of him.” On the other end of the phone is CEO Jang, looking pleased that his old boss has been eliminated.
As Yeol leaves to go repair the lifeboat, he’s stopped by Tae-ho, who wants to know where he’s going. Yeol fibs that he’s going to refill their water bottles, and Tae-ho seems to accept his explanation.
On the smaller island, So-hee is losing hope that they will be rescued. She whines that she can’t take this anymore, but Bong-hee ignores her, evidently fed up with her complaints by now. She finds So-hee’s necklace in her pocket, having forgotten about it, but when she sits up, So-hee is gone.
Yeol makes his way to the lifeboat, and fashions a workable patch by melting the bottom of the flip-flop to the tear in the boat. He takes the air pump from its hiding place to inflate the boat, but he freezes when he hears a voice behind him: “I knew it.”
He turns to see Tae-ho looming over him, and Tae-ho kicks Yeol to the ground and starts pummeling him. He screams in Yeol’s face that they can’t use the boat now or they’ll die, and we see that he’s got Ji-ah and Ki-joon gagged and tied up not far away.
Tae-ho and Yeol fight viciously in a literal life-or-death battle. Tae-ho grabs the air pump and slams it into Yeol’s head and snarls that he’s making him look crazy. He gives Yeol one last kick in the stomach, and Yeol tumbles down a short embankment and hits his head on a rock.
Tae-ho tells him to get up, but Yeol isn’t moving. Tae-ho goes down and flips him over, seeing a lot of blood on the rock and Yeol’s pale, lifeless face.
Bong-hee goes looking for So-hee and finds her standing on the edge of a cliff over the ocean. She begs So-hee not to jump, promising that they’ll be rescued soon, but So-hee just shakes her head. Bong-hee apologizes over and over, saying anything she can to keep So-hee from jumping, and finally pulls out her necklace and shows it to her.
Tae-ho grows frightened, and begs Yeol over and over to wake up. He cries and screams Yeol’s name, but Yeol doesn’t move. Eventually, Tae-ho stops crying and drags Yeol’s body to the water’s edge. He pushes Yeol out into the waves, and his expression goes from sorrowful to resigned as he watches Yeol’s body float out to sea.
In the present, Chairwoman Jo holds a press conference. She tells the reporters about So-hee’s body being recovered, and that her death has been ruled a murder. But before she reveals Bong-hee’s confession, Investigator Oh interrupts her and whispers that they’ve found another survivor.
Tae-young watches from the back of the room, but he’s distracted by Bong-hee, who rushes up to him. She tells him that her entire memory has returned.
Missing 9 isn’t perfect, but I love the way it zips along quickly, giving us new information and creating new mysteries at the speed of light. Just as we see two more crash survivors die, another is found alive, and I’m certainly kept on my toes trying to predict what might happen next. Despite some glaring plot holes and the castaways’ miraculous ability to keep their hair perfectly styled, I’m still enjoying the ride and the fun way past and present are woven together to present a story that’s both chilling and compelling.
I’ve been giving Tae-ho the benefit of the doubt that he’s just a difficult personality in a stressful situation, but now that he’s gone full-on villain on us, I can’t say it’s not as delicious to watch as it is frightening for our castaways. Tae-ho has killed at least one person in cold blood, and was willing to let the others possibly die on the island just so that he could get on that lifeboat and save himself. I knew he was unhinged when he was willing to destroy the lifeboat rather than let the others save Bong-hee and So-hee, but I do believe that Yeol’s death was an accident, and that Tae-ho felt true remorse for a few minutes there. But the truth is that Tae-ho is just enough of a sociopath to convince himself that Yeol’s death was a necessary evil in order for him to save himself. That kind of thinking is so dangerous, because if Tae-ho can kill one man for food and the other for a lifeboat, it’s only a matter of time before he thinks of reasons to justify killing the others on the island. As their food supplies dwindle, it won’t take long for him to start looking at them as rivals for resources, instead of fellow survivors.
Speaking of deaths, I’m just floored by Yeol’s death in this episode. There’s a part of me that hopes that he’s not really dead and will pop back up somehow, though I admit that that’s mostly just the EXO fan in me wanting to see more of Chanyeol’s acting. I thought he was doing a great job with what he’d been given so far, and was looking forward to more emotional scenes from him, so I’ll be sad if he’s really gone.
But I do think that, purely story-wise, Yeol’s death at this point will make more of an impact, mostly in pushing Tae-ho that much further towards the dark side. Tae-ho was able to justify the pilot’s death by telling himself that he was going to die of his injuries anyway, but Yeol’s death came directly because of Tae-ho’s inability to control himself in a tense situation. He can’t deny that he went to that beach intending to do harm, since he stopped on the way to tie up Ki-joon and Ji-ah, and it’s obvious that Tae-ho meant to get Yeol out of the way one way or another. Yes, he was shocked by what happened, but he’ll surely do whatever he can to deny any culpability if Yeol’s body is found. Of course, I’m still hoping for a miracle for Yeol, but I’m coming to accept that that’s not likely to happen.
And where is Joon-oh? Not that I’m very worried about him yet, because he is the lead, but this show just killed off two more characters and I’m sure it’s not even close to finished. It’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s not just the island that presents a danger to the castaways’ lives, but that even making it home safely isn’t a guarantee of their survival. I think that the only thing keeping Bong-hee alive at this point is how much the citizens are waiting for her to answer their questions about what happened on the island. If she weren’t so well-known, I wouldn’t give her very good odds on survival, either.
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- Missing 9: Episode 3
- Missing 9: Episode 2
- Missing 9: Episode 1
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