Missing 9: Episode 7
The mystery of the events on the island continues to shift and change, as a new voice declares a truth that directly contradicts Bong-hee’s memories. She can’t trust anyone when even the authorities seem more interested in avoiding scandal than delivering justice. It’s beginning to look as though her fight to survive didn’t end when she escaped the island…
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Bong-hee tells Investigator Oh that Tae-ho killed So-hee, and he asks how they knew. She says that Ho-hang witnessed the murder, and that Tae-ho threatened him not to tell anyone. Chairwoman Jo gets a call that another survivor has been found, and she ends the session immediately.
The three of them go to the airport to see the survivor, but security refuses to allow them to come close. Investigator Oh asks Bong-hee if she’s hoping it’s Joon-oh, and she smiles hopefully when she sees Joon-oh’s manager, the one she met the same day she met Joon-oh, standing nearby.
But her face falls when the survivor steps outside, and she sees that it’s Tae-ho, whom she’s just accused of being a murderer. Chairwoman Jo approaches him and introduces herself, and tells him that his timing in showing up now is incredible. She hugs him and whispers in his ear, “I heard you killed So-hee.”
Tae-ho doesn’t respond and just moves to get in the waiting van. Before he steps inside he turns and looks at Bong-hee with an expression that says he’s not at all surprised to see her.
Back on the island, Bong-hee and Joon-oh go for a walk, idly discussing how shocked everyone is after Yeol’s and So-hee’s deaths. Joon-oh says they’re realizing that they could all die here, and then drops into a pit so quietly that Bong-hee doesn’t even notice.
She does turn and sees that he’s fallen, but luckily, he’s not injured. She asks what he’s doing down there, and he’s all It’s not like I fell on purpose! He has a tiny freakout when he finds half a rib cage in the hole with him, thinking it’s fish bones. HA, he is such a city mouse.
The pit is full of bones, and soon the two have reconstructed them into some kind of large animal. Joon-oh finds two flat, teardrop-shaped bones and puts them on the animal’s head, thinking he’s discovered some sort of mutant rabbit. HAHA. Bong-hee corrects him that it’s a pig, based on the shape of the feet.
They figure that the pig must have fallen in the hole like Joon-oh did, and get the bright idea to wait for another pig to come by and catch some food. Aww, they’re so excited, it’s adorable.
Things are still awkward between Ji-ah and Ki-joon after they kissed in front of everyone. Ki-joon tries to play it cool and tells Ji-ah not to do things like that again, though he saves face by saying that he knows it was a joke. Ji-ah looks too shy for that to be true.
Ji-ah tries to say something, but Ki-joon keeps interrupting her, and he threatens to really date her if she jokes that way again. Hee, she doesn’t look like she minds that “threat” one bit. After her wanders off, she mutters, “Fine, then we can date.”
Joon-oh and Bong-hee cover their faces in mud and leaves and hide in a bush to wait for a pig to fall in the pit. Joon-oh says he did something like this when he was in the military, and he hid so well that one of the other soldiers peed on him, not knowing he was there. Then something pokes him and he squeals and jumps like a giant baby, hee. Bong-hee asks if all men lie about their military service, and Joon-oh admits that they do.
He tries to send Bong-hee back to camp, but she declines since he told her to stay close to him. Joon-oh looks touched, as if that means a lot to him, even when Bong-hee teasingly promises not to cling to him. She says they should stay where they can always see each other and protect each other.
Joon-oh gives her his jacket and says that she can ask him to do anything, and he’ll take care of it. He says that she was the first thing he saw after the crash, and it would be hard for him if anything happened to her. He tells her not to try to protect him, but to let him protect her until they’re home and safe.
The semi-romantic moment is cut short by a loud THWUMP, as something heavy falls into the pit. But it’s not a pig — it’s a man, someone they’ve never seen before.
In the present, Tae-ho asks CEO Jang how CEO Hwang is doing after his “accident.” CEO Jang tells him not to worry, that it’s unlikely he’ll wake up, but Tae-ho says he’s worried anyway. He blames CEO Jang for “letting” Bong-hee come back, saying that he’s lucky she suffered from memory loss.
He tells CEO Jang that Chairwoman Jo said she knows he killed So-hee. CEO Jang says he’ll take care of it and turn the tables in their favor. With dead eyes, Tae-ho says calmly that nobody from the island can be allowed to live… particularly Bong-hee.
Chairwoman Jo suggests to Bong-hee that they hold a press conference to reveal that Tae-ho killed So-hee. Bong-hee agrees, though Investigator Oh says it’s too soon after Tae-ho has returned. Chairwoman Jo points out that So-hee was killed three months ago, and that what’s important is how long the victim has waited for justice.
In his eternally dark office, prosecutor Tae-young reads an article about Tae-ho’s return, then makes a call to Chairwoman Jo. He asks who Bong-hee says is his sister’s murderer, but she just says he’ll find out tomorrow and hangs up on him, annoyed that he keeps trying to push her around.
His colleague comes by and says that he’s discovered who CEO Jang visited in the Chinese hospital. Nervously, he reveals that it was Tae-ho, which would mean that Tae-ho purposely delayed his return to Korea.
Chairwoman Jo finds herself in an elevator with CEO Jang, who tells her that Tae-ho wants to meet with her in private. She’s intrigued, so she follows him to a restaurant where Tae-ho waits in front of a lavish meal. She asks if he wants to turn himself in, but he says that he didn’t kill So-hee. She asks him who did, but we don’t hear his answer.
On the island, Bong-hee and Joon-oh rescue the man in the pit, who takes them to his camp made of salvaged airplane parts. He and Bong-hee chatter easily, making Joon-oh feel awkward and a little jealous. (“I would have preferred running into a pig,” he says.)
The man introduces himself as Kin Ki-won, an entertainment reporter. Bong-hee gets excited when she finds a radio in Ki-won’s things, and they take it and Ki-won back to their shelter to meet the others. Ki-won says that he found the radio among some old military equipment, but it doesn’t work.
Luckily, Ho-hang studied mechanics, but he’s been lying in bed for days refusing to eat. Ki-won innocently asks if something bad happened, and everyone goes silent.
Ki-won recognizes Tae-ho when he walks through camp and follows him. His manner isn’t so friendly anymore as he approaches Tae-ho and says that he’s staying with them now. He refuses to tell Tae-ho who he is, and comes off cocky and aggressive.
Tae-ho pulls Joon-oh aside to ask who the new guy is. He thinks they shouldn’t bring in a stranger, but Joon-oh argues that they can’t just send him back out there to live alone.
Later, the girls attempt to coax Ho-hang out of bed, but the best they can do is get him to sit up and drink some water. They think he feels guilty over So-hee’s death (he lied that she was acting suicidal again), and he just lets them think that and lays back down.
Joon-oh fusses at Ji-ah for not being very nice, but she says that Ho-hang isn’t the only one upset by So-hee’s death. Ki-won asks about So-hee, and they tell him that she committed suicide a few days ago, adding that Ho-hang feels guilty because CEO Hwang yelled at him for not telling them that she seemed suicidal.
He watches as Tae-ho sits next to Ho-hang and feigns concern, telling him not to stay inside all the time, It sounds like a warning, as if Tae-ho is telling Ho-hang not to call any more attention to himself over this.
Ki-won says to Tae-ho that it seems as though he knows why So-hee died. Tae-ho says she was scared, and Ki-won is all, Of you? Okay, why is he so suspicious of Tae-ho — what does he know?
In the morning Ki-won asks Ji-ah why they think So-hee took her life, saying that it’s strange that there were no warning signs. That seems to bother Ji-ah, and after he leaves, she’s preoccupied and disturbed.
When everyone sits together to eat, Ji-ah asks if anyone felt that So-hee was acting strange the day she died. Nobody says a word, and Ji-ah asks Ho-hang if So-hee said anything when he spoke to her that day. Ho-hang looks cornered and just hiccups at her, and Ji-ah says that she and So-hee were planning a trip to Seoul together.
Later, Ki-won tells the group that they should find out what happened — if So-hee didn’t kill herself, then it means someone murdered her. Knowing that Tae-ho is probably listening (he is), Joon-oh says that nobody killed So-hee, and tells Ki-won to stop saying that.
Once he’s alone, Ki-won sneaks off to a private spot and pulls out his suitcase. Joon-oh follows him to ask why he’s going around saying that So-hee was killed, and Ki-won says cryptically that he knows a lot about So-hee. He scoots close and warns Joon-oh that Tae-ho is dangerous, adding that he thinks Tae-ho killed So-hee.
Later, Ki-won pulls a file from his suitcase, which contains several photographs. Tae-ho sneaks up behind him and grabs him and the photos, and his yelling brings Joon-oh running. Tae-ho shoves the photos at Joon-oh and tells him to take a look, screaming that Ki-won followed them here. Tae-ho demands he be kicked out of their camp.
Joon-oh looks at the pictures, which show So-hee and their former songwriter Jae-hyun looking as if they’re on a date. Joon-oh asks Ki-won about the pictures, and he says that his first big story was on Jae-hyun’s suicide. He learned about So-hee then, and how she and Jae-hyun were in a secret relationship.
In the present, Chairwoman Jo tells Investigator Oh that Tae-ho swears he didn’t kill So-hee. She asks what their job is, and when he says it’s to find the truth, she disagrees. She asks what will bring them the biggest advantage: trusting Bong-hee, or trusting Tae-ho?
Back on the island, Joon-oh does a lot of thinking that night about Ki-won’s suspicion that Tae-ho killed So-hee, and Joon-oh’s own knowledge that Tae-ho killed Yeol.
Tae-ho follows Ki-won when he leaves camp to relieve himself and tells him to stop playing around and confusing people. Ki-won retorts that if he doesn’t want people confused, then he should tell them. When Tae-ho asks what he means by that, Ki-won says he’s pretending nothing happened after killing a person, and sarcastically praises Tae-ho’s acting skill.
As Tae-ho sleeps that night, Joon-oh watches him and remembers how everyone thought they should make him leave their camp after he killed Yeol. He recalls that So-hee asked if they could let him leave if he wanted to go.
He heads to a lookout tower a short distance from camp, where Bong-hee finds him still thinking about Tae-ho. As we see Tae-ho ominously standing over the sleeping Ki-won, Joon-oh tells Bong-hee that he promised Tae-ho he would trust him. But now, he says things are complicated since he brought Tae-ho back.
In an attempt to distract Joon-oh, Bong-hee tells him that she saw a bunch of mushrooms in the woods. She suggests they all go to pick them tomorrow, which would hopefully keep Tae-ho out of trouble. Joon-oh laughs and says that Tae-ho hates exercise as much as he does, but he agrees to the plan.
In the morning, everyone goes mushroom hunting except for Ho-hang and Ki-won, who opt to stay in camp and rest. Joon-oh hands Tae-ho a suitcase to carry mushrooms in and invites him along, and though he doesn’t seem keen on the idea, he agrees in order to avoid suspicion.
It’s been snowing up where the mushrooms are located, but Bong-hee still finds them, and soon everyone is picking them by the handful and eating them raw. Tae-ho hangs back, keeping apart from everyone, though Joon-oh keeps a careful eye on him.
The mushroom hunt soon devolves into a silly snowball fight, and soon everyone is playing and laughing like they haven’t got a care in the world. Eventually, Joon-oh realizes that Tae-ho isn’t with them anymore and quietly heads off to look for him, trying not to cause alarm.
Ho-hang is away from camp when Tae-ho makes it back, and he wastes no time in beating Ki-won to a bloody pulp. He’s so brutal that Ki-won has no chance to defend himself, but luckily, Ho-hang returns and witnesses Tae-ho’s vicious attack.
He runs to the others, finds Joon-oh, and tells him that Tae-ho is killing Ki-won. That certainly seems to be Tae-ho’s aim, as he approaches Ki-won with a heavy pot to bash him with. He speaks calmly as he beats the man, telling him that he should have died in the plane crash.
Ki-won pushes Tae-ho away and tries to crawl to safety, but he doesn’t get far. Tae-ho straddles him and punches him a few more times, then starts to strangle him the same way he strangled So-hee.
In the present, Bong-hee prepares for her press conference, and her mother even gives her a new jacket to wear. Mom tells her that everyone is on her side so she needn’t be scared and just tell the truth of what happened.
As she’s on the way to the venue, Investigator Oh calls to tell her that the plans have changed. He says she should go home before hanging up. Her driver turns the car around while the radio reports that the press conference is starting. Bong-hee listens to the reporters saying that the truth of So-hee’s death will be revealed soon. She realizes that something is terribly wrong and jumps out of the car at a red light.
We go back to the island, where Joon-oh is running full speed to save Ki-won’s life. Tae-ho throttles Ki-won until he stops struggling and passes out, and Tae-ho’s sick facial expression looks as if he’s actually enjoying killing the man.
Just as Ki-won stops fighting, Tae-ho is thrown off him by a flying kick from Joon-oh. He cradles Ki-won’s head and stares at Tae-ho in disbelief, demanding to know what he was doing.
The others arrive, and Ki-joon discovers that Ki-won is (thankfully) still breathing, and he tells everyone that Tae-ho was trying to kill the reporter. Joon-oh begs him to revive Ki-won because he has something he needs to ask him, remembering Ki-won’s words that Tae-ho is dangerous.
He goes to Tae-ho, yanks him up by his collar, and asks darkly why he did it. Tae-ho says that Ki-won kept provoking him, and Joon-oh punches Tae-ho as he asks if he kills everyone who annoys him. Tae-ho doesn’t see a problem since Ki-won didn’t die, but Joon-oh snarls that he knows Tae-ho meant to kill him.
Tae-ho denies it, but Ho-hang finally cracks and tells everyone that Tae-ho killed So-hee the same way he tried to kill Ki-won just now. He cries that he watched Tae-ho kill her then stage it as a suicide, and that Tae-ho threatened to kill him if he told.
After a long, stunned silence, Ji-ah asks Tae-ho if it’s true. Tae-ho asks if they believe that nonsense, but they’re looking at him as though they absolutely do believe it. Tae-ho grabs Ho-hang and tells him to tell the truth, but Ho-hang screams that he is telling the truth.
CEO Hwang slowly approaches Tae-ho and slaps him hard across the face. He slaps him again and asks if he’s gone crazy, sure now that he’s guilty of killing Yeol, too. Tae-ho yells that he didn’t kill anyone, and gets a third slap for his effort, hard enough to knock him to the dirt.
CEO Hwang grabs him and punches him over and over, screaming that they were his friends for more than ten years. He’s incoherent with rage and grief, and by now, everyone is crying.
Instead of Bong-hee, Chairwoman Jo brings Tae-ho to the press conference to tell his version of how So-hee died. Tae-ho takes the podium, perfectly acting the part of the tortured innocent, with just a shimmer of tears in his eyes and grief in his expression.
He says that everyone was frightened of “him,” and that So-hee even called him a murderer. One perfect tear falls as Tae-ho adds, “He tried to kill all of us.”
We see a scene where the survivors appear to be on a ship, Tae-ho’s face slashed to ribbons and Ki-joon bleeding out from a wound to the stomach. In the present, Investigator Oh asks Chairwoman Jo quietly if they’re doing the right thing, and she just gives him a cynical smile.
Bong-hee runs to the venue, but CEO Jang has his goons block her from entering. Tae-young and his entourage arrive and leads Bong-hee inside after making it clear that barring her is illegal.
Bong-hee hears Tae-ho claim that “he” tried to kill everyone who was on a rescue boat with him. As we see Tae-ho’s version of events again, even Bong-hee is there, bleeding and looking terrified. Tae-ho says that to “him,” they were just bodies to be killed.
A reporter asks who he’s speaking about, and Tae-ho tells them, “The murderer is Seo Joon-oh.” On the boat, we see a hand holding a wicked knife as Joon-oh sizes up his fellow passengers with an insane gleam in his eye.
That’s not good. That’s very very not good. I don’t really believe it’s true that Joon-oh would really snap and go after everyone with a knife. But this drama has a way of making you doubt everything you think you know, so you just literally never know. And it could be that this exact scene happened, but with a twist that makes it all make sense. Or Joon-oh may actually snap and go after everyone with a knife — we won’t be sure until we get there. I just really, really hope there’s a logical explanation that doesn’t involve Joon-oh turning into a psychotic killer. Particularly since he’s finally beginning to be a decent person, and turning into a good leader and a caring guy. I’m mostly worried that Joon-oh will blame himself for bringing Tae-ho back to camp, where he then killed So-hee, and that the guilt could cause Joon-oh to become emotionally unstable.
I really appreciate how Bong-hee and Joon-oh’s relationship is growing, slowly and steadily. The changes between them feel natural and inevitable — from antagonistic when Joon-oh was being an entitled butt, to dependent on each other for survival and companionship, and now into true friends. Whether it goes any further remains to be seen… at this point I don’t feel that it’s necessarily romantic for either of them, though their feelings for each other are certainly very deep at this point. They’re just too focused on surviving and on everything else happening on the island to worry about lovey-dovey stuff right now. But I wouldn’t be surprised at all if their shared experience pulled them in that direction eventually, because their need to depend on each other makes a strong basis for a relationship. That is, if they both make it out alive and sane.
I knew that Tae-ho would turn out to be even more of a danger in the present, once we discovered that he survived and made it back to civilization. What I wasn’t expecting was that apparently, he and CEO Jang have somehow been working together, and that they obviously planned CEO Hwang’s accident in order to get rid of him. Tae-ho’s comment that CEO Jang “let” Bong-hee return has me worried, because it points to the possibility that he may have been been planning her death for some time now. Now he almost certainly knows that Bong-hee named him as So-hee’s killer (and probably Yeol’s as well), and I’m scared for Bong-hee’s safety. Ki-won clearly knows something about Tae-ho, as if the violence he exhibited on the island isn’t the first time he’s hurt or even killed someone. It makes me wonder what else he discovered at the time of Jae-hyun’s suicide, and what he knows about Tae-ho’s true nature.
It’s this sort of twisting of expectations that makes the show even more exciting and keeps me riveted. Just when we think we know what’s happening, we get another assumption turned on its ear and yet again, everything changes. One big twist is how fast Chairwoman Jo turned on Bong-hee, and not even because she doesn’t believe her, but because it’s more politically advantageous for the Committee to align with Tae-ho and Legend Entertainment.
I do wish the investigation committee’s role was explained a bit better, because it seems as though they would want to find out the truth, no matter how ugly. But Chairwoman Jo appears mostly interested in spinning a story that will mollify the public and cause the least amount of backlash, and obviously, making out one of the nations’s biggest Hallyu stars to be a serial murderer isn’t going to do that. I can understand not wanting to be the one to make that sort of claim, though they were willing to do it when it looked as though Tae-ho didn’t survive the island ordeal. But now he’s alive and back in the public eye, and his fans aren’t going to believe he murdered several people on that island.
But the scariest part is that Tae-ho has made several comments that lead me to believe that he truly doesn’t see his killing as wrong, such as when the reporter confronted him and once Tae-ho was alone, he wondered why everyone was so upset. He seemed honestly confused. Then later, when Joon-oh stopped him from killing Ki-won, Tae-ho appeared to actually believe his claims that he wasn’t trying to kill the man. The only thing that scares me more than Tae-ho is a Tae-ho who genuinely thinks that killing is a reasonable way to deal with anyone who gets in his way.