Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 13
Now get ready to say goodbye to our light and fluffy romcom, as we’re given a hefty dose of anguish, pyrotechnics, and some good old-fashioned violence. It’s time to see if Bong-soon will save the day… but who will save her if she can’t?
Also, on top of an already crazy moving week, we’re switching the order a bit: I’ll be recapping Episode 13, and murasakimi has graciously agreed to cover Episode 14 for me. (Curse you real world for messing up our schedule – we have dramas to watch, darn it!)
EPISODE 13 RECAP: “Nevertheless”
Bong-soon runs straight to Min-hyuk, sobbing that Kyung-shim has been kidnapped as she asks him to help find her. He tries to ask for more details, but Bong-soon nearly begs him not to ask questions and to just help her find her friend. Min-hyuk asks, “If I find him, what are you going to do by yourself?”
Bong-soon can barely speak past her tears as she rattles off information about Kim Jang-hyun and how she just went to his junkyard, but he wasn’t there. She pleads again for Min-hyuk to help her find Kyung-shim, and he reaches out to gently wipe away her tears, “Okay, I’ll look for her. But let’s go together. Don’t go alone, okay?”
Min-hyuk pulls her into his arms and tells her that everything will be all right as she sobs against his chest.
At the station, Gook-doo discusses with his team captain how Jang-hyun’s tastes have evolved from taking small and slender women to targeting women randomly once the police learned his preference, leading to his attack on Kyung-shim. His plans changed again when Kyung-shim “escaped,” and now he’s hunting out of revenge.
At the same time, Min-hyuk deduces that Jang-hyun used Hee-ji as bait to distract the police so he could grab Kyung-shim. He’s worried that the culprit won’t be content with just taking Kyung-shim, as she and Bong-soon are friends. Ahh, she hasn’t told him about the video, so he doesn’t know that Jang-hyun told Bong-soon to come find him.
Min-hyuk crouches in front of Bong-soon and implores her not to try and do everything by herself. She just quietly hiccups Kyung-shim’s name as she cries. Scared, Min-hyuk takes out his tracking necklace and fastens it around Bong-soon’s neck. He thinks, “I hope you’ll understand my heart that wants to protect you, even if it’s just like this.”
Out loud, Min-hyuk tells her that the necklace will protect her and asks her to wear it from now on. He once again brushes away her tears and offers to take her home.
Gook-doo’s team gathers together their evidence on Jang-hyun, and we finally learn some of his backstory. Jang-hyun lives with his elderly mother and has no criminal record — however, he was rejected from his mandatory military service due to “psychological” issues. (I’ll say.) On top of that, he killed someone “with fire” when he was fifteen and spent time in juvie for it.
Gook-doo has looked into his immigration records which show that Jang-hyun hasn’t left the country recently, meaning that Jang-hyun’s junkie minion lied for his boss. Gook-doo guesses that the two are in on it together and figures that there’s something at the junkyard they can’t see, so he wants to go back and investigate further.
Both Bong-soon and Min-hyuk have a restless night with Bong-soon sleeping on the floor by her phone, and Min-hyuk working on some kind of computer program. As she gets ready, Bong-soon reaches out a shaky hand and watches the video of Kyung-shim again, this time listening to the sounds in the background and comparing them to the noises she heard at the junkyard. She recognizes the sound of Minion’s blowtorch and rushes out.
At the office, Min-hyuk is busy working on the same computer program. Secretary Gong checks in and wonders where Bong-soon is, asking if she’s out getting ready for her video game presentation that day. Hardly.
At the hospital, Jaws and his buddy check themselves out against Bong-ki’s recommendation. Bong-ki tries to persuade Jaws that his treatment isn’t finished, and we finally learn Jaws’ real name: Ah Ga-ri, meaning Trap (as in “Shut your trap”), heh. While Jaws defends his name, Kwang-do thrashes around, unintelligibly moaning that his butt itches.
We also check in with Boss Tak as he continues on his enlightenment trek. He seeks guidance from Nizamuddin (apologies for spelling the name incorrectly before) about what direction his life should take, but the monk would rather borrow the boss’ car keys so he can go to the market and get hair supplies.
Acting on her hunch, Bong-soon runs to the junkyard and ignores her phone notification for the video game presentation. At the office, everyone has assembled, but there is no Bong-soon. Min-hyuk grimaces worriedly when Secretary Gong can’t contact her, and so he reschedules the meeting.
Bong-soon races into the junkyard to find Minion with his blowtorch. The guy cheerfully asks if she’s looking for her friend but only giggles when Bong-soon demands to know where Jang-hyun is. Growing frantic, Bong-soon calls out Kyung-shim’s name and starts literally kicking cars left and right as she searches.
Her “search” catches Jang-hyun’s attention, and he watches her on the monitors in his lair. He actually looks worried for once, swearing as she gets closer and closer to his secret entrance. Bong-soon continues to fling cars until one of them hits the storage container, and the secret door swings open.
Min-hyuk gets back to his desk where his computer program has finished loading. It turns out to be a 3D scan of Jang-hyun’s junkyard, and we can clearly see the Dungeon of Doom below it. He immediately calls Bong-soon, but when the call goes straight to voicemail, he turns on the necklace tracker. He slams his phone down when he sees that she’s at that very junkyard by herself.
In the dungeon, Jang-hyun has donned his mask and unlocks Kyung-shim’s cell. He knocks her unconscious and carries her out the back entrance just as Bong-soon makes her way down to the cells.
The brides all cry out to Bong-soon, and she rushes forward to free them. They stare in amazement as the tiny girl starts ripping off their cell doors and snapping their chains.
Up above, Jang-hyun phones Minion and angrily yells at him to burn everything.
Bing-soon finishes freeing the brides as Minion douses the junkyard in what looks like kerosene. She runs around the cells looking for her Kyung-shim, but the ballet teacher bride tells her that the kidnapper just took her out.
Minion clumsily lights the fluid, grinning as the cars catch fire. Bong-soon starts to lead the way up the stairs when a huge explosion flings her back. As everything catches fire, Bong-soon throws herself over the huddling brides.
With fortuitous timing, Gook-doo is just making his way over to poke around the junkyard when he sees smoke from the fire.
Bong-soon manages to get the other women out by pushing flaming cars out of the way. As the women hobble away from their prison, Bong-soon runs over and yells at Minion to tell her where Jang-hyun took her friend. The guy is completely off his rocker (and most likely high from the drugs) and just stumbles off, sniggering.
Gook-doo arrives and tackles the man before he gapes to see Bong-soon and the other women. Soon the place is swarming with police and ambulances, and in all the confusion, Bong-soon slips away unnoticed.
As she walks out, Min-hyuk drives up and stops in front of her. It’s clear that he’s mad she left on her own, but he still opens the car door for her.
They go to a quieter spot, and Min-hyuk half-yells that he had said he would help her find Jang-hyun — together. Bong-soon apologizes, and Min-hyuk asks if she found Kyung-shim. Bong-soon can only shake her head, crying.
The police and forensics team go over the Dungeon of Doom, and Cap is infuriated to hear that the police chief told the special investigation team to work with them (essentially taking the credit when they did all the work).
Gook-doo yells down from above, having found Jang-hyun’s secret lair. They all stare at the sicko’s pictures and monitors, and Gook-doo slams his fist in anger to see Bong-soon’s pictures pinned in the bridal frames.
News breaks that the women have been found and that Jang-hyun has been officially named as the main suspect. The brides are taken to the hospital, and Cap visits the victims, sensitively asking how they got out during the explosion.
The next morning, Bong-soon listens to the news reports stating that Jang-hyun has escaped police custody and is still at large. It’s even worse when Mom comes in and tells Bong-soon to call Kyung-shim (who she believes is safe and sound in Busan) and tell her not to come up to Seoul while the criminal is running around.
Bong-soon meets with Gook-doo at the AinSoft cafe and reveals that Kyung-shim was taken, showing him the video. Gook-doo rages that she should have brought this to him earlier and tells her to stay out of it, but Bong-soon insists that she needs to do this alone. She says that Kyung-shim will be in more danger if the police get involved and begs him to help her without telling his team.
Min-hyuk walks by and sees the two of them talking, staring as Gook-doo comforts the crying Bong-soon. Gook-doo agrees to keep the investigation quiet and promises not to reveal who really saved those women from the dungeon.
Bong-soon and Gook-doo run right into Min-hyuk as they leave, and Min-hyuk angrily grabs her arm, pulling her to the library. Alone, Min-hyuk asks Bong-soon what he is to her. He says he knows that he can’t do much for her, he knows that she’s special, and he knows that he can’t stop her and shouldn’t stop her from going into danger alone. Now he wonders how much more he needs to “know.”
Bong-soon answers that she warned him from the beginning that she was different, but he cuts her off to say that he already knows she’s different. “But it drives me crazy, and I’m worried to death. It drives me crazy thinking about you going alone to confront that punk,” he adds.
She asks why he bothered to train her so hard then — didn’t he know she’d use the skills to fight? Min-hyuk yells, “I didn’t know! …I didn’t know I would love you this much.” (Ooof. It hurts so good.)
The two stare hopelessly at one another for a moment, then Bong-soon tightens her fist. With tears in her eyes, she says, “We cannot be together.”
Hardening her voice, Bong-soon states that dating is a luxury for someone like her. She needs to live as a monster, so he should live comfortably on his own, since they’re not fit for one another. She turns to leave, but Min-hyuk grabs her arm and jerks her back, “What did you just say?”
Bong-soon deadpans that they should just stop as they are now. Min-hyuk can’t believe it and asks incredulously if she thinks he’s that easy just because he likes her so much. In response, Bong-soon throws his arm off and walks away.
Min-hyuk yells after her, but she keeps going. He turns away furiously and doesn’t see that she’s stopped walking, and that she’s standing on the other side of the library bookcases and looking back towards him. They both think to themselves:
Bong-soon: “I too want to live like a normal person, but I cannot do that.”
Min-hyuk: “The person that I love, I do not want to lose again.”
Bong-soon: “If you are beside me, you will be in danger.”
Min-hyuk: “Can’t you just stay by my side?”
Bong-soon sheds a tear and walks away.
Gook-doo confides in Cap and tells him about Bong-soon’s strength. The older detective doesn’t believe it at first, but Gook-doo’s sincerity and the victims’ stories of a tiny woman ripping off their cell doors seems to convince him.
He takes it in stride and doesn’t see why Bong-soon’s strength would be such a bad thing for others to find out, but Gook-doo reveals that Jang-hyun also knows the truth. He gives him the real story of when Bong-soon saved Kyung-shim the first time, and that Jang-hyun has kidnapped Kyung-shim out of revenge.
Mom and her ladies are out strolling when they witness Dad walking with Gook-doo’s mom, Mi-hwa. Mom’s eyes look like they might pop out as she glares at the two, and Dad cowers in fear. Mom has a conniption and immediately starts beating her husband with an umbrella, but suddenly, Mi-hwa jumps in front of Dad.
Mom is even more infuriated that another woman is trying to protect her husband, but Mi-hwa stands firm that Dad has done nothing to deserve such a beating. (Aww, it’s nice to see someone stand up for him). Mi-hwa does eventually scamper away when Mom threatens to beat her instead, leaving Dad to run from his wife as she chases after him, umbrella swinging.
The police chief barges into the station room with a horde of press behind him, gushing about his amazing and dedicated team, like he hadn’t just threatened to fire them all mere days ago. Cap quickly calls an end to the charade, yelling that they still haven’t even caught the criminal before shooing the press out.
Gook-doo meets with the first of Jang-hyun’s victims, gently asking if she heard her captor say anything about where he was taking the last victim (Kyung-shim). The poor woman is still traumatized and can’t remember anything from then, but she does recall that whenever Jang-hyun would come into the dungeon, she’d hear the sound of a music box playing from outside.
Bong-ki treats another of the victims – the ballet teacher — with a detective from Gook-doo’s team standing by. The teacher asks what happened to the woman who saved them, calling her a pretty angel who disappeared like mist. Bong-ki listens in nervously as the detective incredulously asks, “A woman?”
Min-hyuk takes out his dating life frustrations on poor Secretary Gong, yelling at him about press releases and telling him to get out. He gives parting instructions to find out where Bong-soon is, and the chastised secretary skedaddles.
Bong-soon is currently hiding in a room at the office looking at pictures of her and Kyung-shim. Secretary Gong finds her and reports her location back to Min-hyuk. When the CEO dashes off, Secretary Gong wonders if the two of them had a fight.
Min-hyuk stands outside the door, looking in at Bong-soon and sighing that she probably hasn’t eaten.
Min-hyuk enters and quietly tells Bong-soon to go eat something. She wearily answers that she can’t eat when Kyung-shim probably hasn’t either and tells Min-hyuk not to worry about her as she leaves. He grabs her arm, pointing out that she needs to eat for her strength, but she says she’s strong enough without it. Bong-soon starts to tell him again not to worry about her, but he snaps, “Just try saying that one more time.” Why is that hot?
Taking a breath, Min-hyuk apologizes and says that this is all his fault, but Bong-soon replies he’s done nothing to be sorry for. Unable to take anymore and at a loss as to how to get through to her, he strides out, angrily calling back at her to starve if she wants — he’s going to stop caring.
But those are just big words as Min-hyuk sits at lunch, his untouched food growing cold in front of him. Awww, he starts looking up places that deliver spicy chicken feet – Bong-soon’s favorite food.
Gook-doo’s team tries to interrogate Minion, but they get nowhere. The guy is itching for another fix and just says that the police will never be able to catch his boss. Even Cap loses his patience and yells at the twitching junkie as he laughs maniacally. Like master, like minion?
Jaws (aka Shut Your Trap) visits the temple again, witnessing Nizamuddin doing… yoga? They head over to where Boss Tak is
sleeping meditating, and he delivers his new life philosophy: “Life is a fist of poop.” He insists that life is short, and things like money and power mean nothing when they die.
At that moment, Jaws gets a phone call that their redevelopment project came through, and suddenly Boss Tak can’t run away from the temple fast enough, yelling excitedly about how much money they spent on that project. Pffft. Some enlightenment.
Jang-hyun does a disturbingly good job of laying low, even paying a stranger to purloin a cell phone for him so he can use that phone to call Bong-soon. He drawls that Bong-soon must be really strong to have gotten out of the dungeon, but Bong-soon just wants to know where Kyung-shim is. The creep sighs that because of her, he can’t get married now.
Bong-soon yells at him to stop harming others like a coward, but Jang-hyun just laughs. He asks if Bong-soon will marry him if he gives her friend back. She agrees, saying she’ll do whatever he wants as long as they meet. Jang-hyun nonchalantly sets the time for tonight and says he’ll text her the address. He gives her the parting comment, “Wear something pretty.”
After their failed interrogation, the police realize that Jang-hyun has been feeding Minion drugs for years to purposefully mess with the man’s psyche. Cap instructs his men to get a warrant prepared for Jang-hyun, since he has a feeling the bastard will come out tonight.
Min-hyuk once again wins best boyfriend (or is it ex-boyfriend?) of the year award as he quietly deposits a takeout bag of spicy chicken feet on Bong-soon’s playpen desk. He looks helplessly lost as he wonders where she’s gone.
After he leaves, Bong-soon comes in to leave a note on Min-hyuk’s desk. On her way out, she sees the bag of chicken feet.
Looks like Jang-hyun has been hiding out at an old brick house. While he sits on the nearby hillside, chuckling to himself, a terrified and tied up Kyung-shim huddles in a tiny closet.
Back at the office, Min-hyuk sees that the chicken feet are gone and finds the note on his desk from Bong-soon, saying that she’ll be absent for the day.
Bong-soon goes home and finds a note of her own in the chicken feet bag: It’s a pink heart note from Min-hyuk that reads, “No matter what you say or what you do, my heart does not change.”
Bong-soon paces in her room that night, ignoring a call from Gook-doo as she waits for Jang-hyun to send her the address of where to meet. The text from Jang-hyun eventually comes through, with a reminder to “look pretty.”
Bong-soon pulls up her hood and leaves. At the same time, Min-hyuk gets a notification from the necklace tracker that she’s on the move and runs out. He calls Gook-doo from his car and tells the detective that he thinks something happened to Bong-soon. He urges Gook-doo to come quickly, saying that he’s the only policeman he trusts.
Oh God, this is scary. Bong-soon arrives at empty construction site and calls out Kyung-shim’s name when suddenly, Jang-hyun’s voice rings out creepily over loudspeakers. He cackles that she did come looking pretty.
Bong-soon runs further into the site and finds Kyung-shim tied up on the ground, right below a construction elevator. Jang-hyun’s disembodied voice echoes out, “I’m coming down,” and the elevator starts to fall. As the madman’s laughter rings out, Bong-soon races forwards and catches the elevator right before it crushes Kyung-shim.
Bong-soon is stuck beneath the lift, Kyung-shim screaming and huddled next to her. She gives a mighty heave and tosses the elevator away. It lands in a heap and the door crashes open, with Jang-hyun’s unconscious, masked body rolling out of the cage. Wait, is he tied up? …Uh oh.
Bong-soon pries the gag out of Kyung-shims mouth, and as she helps her friend away, Kyung-shim frantically tells her that the person in the elevator isn’t the culprit. Bong-soon rushes over to the prone figure and pulls off the mask to reveal a duct taped and bleeding innocent bystander. Crap.
Kyung-shim cries out, and Bong-soon spins around to find Jang-hyun standing with an arm around her friend. She gets up, but suddenly she’s hit with a wave of dizziness. Bong-soon collapses to the ground and a cloud of black smoke leaves her body. At home, the secret cabinet and journals illuminate with bright light for a moment, until it’s snuffed out, black smoke rising from the Book of Strength as well. Noooo!
Bong-soon tries to stand and manages to take a trembling step forward, but it’s clear: Her strength is gone.
Jang-hyun sees this and punches a screaming Kyung-shim to the ground, then turns to the weakened Bong-soon, taunting her to save her friend. As Bong-soon shakily but determinedly approaches him, he raises a rifle and points it directly at her.
Bong-soon continues forwards and grabs the gun barrel. Jang-hyun looks nervous for a split second, that is, until Bong-soon can’t pull the gun away from him. He mocks her as she futilely tugs at the weapon, laughing that this is no fun.
Jang-hyun yanks her towards him, hauling her up by the front of her sweatshirt and jeering at her for being weak.
Ohthankgawd! Min-hyuk is here! He runs up, fire in his eyes as he yells at Jang-hyun to take his hands off Bong-soon. “If you lay one more finger on her, then you are really dead.”
Jang-hyun tosses Bong-soon away, and she falls to the ground, hard. I guess that counts as a finger, and Min-hyuk sprints forward. Jang-hyun raises the gun, but Min-hyuk knocks it away and then it becomes a full out brawl between the psycho kidnapper and badass CEO.
Both men are excellent fighters, and they trade kicks and punches while managing to glare at each other between hits. Min-hyuk gains the upper hand and injures Jang-hyun’ arm, but the kidnapper slides out of his grip and runs for a car.
Thankfully, Gook-doo arrives on the scene and fires off a warning shot as Jang-hyun dives into the vehicle. Detective and criminal have a staredown, and Min-hyuk sprints over to the fallen Bong-soon, gathering her into his arms.
Jang-hyun revs the engine — his car conveniently aimed at Gook-doo — and guns the car towards him. The detective gets a shot off, and we see Jang-hyun flinch away, crying out. Please tell me it was a fatal wound and this nightmare is over.
Min-hyuk holds the barely conscious Bong-soon in his arms, desperately telling her that everything is okay. Bong-soon gives a small whimper before her hand falls limp in his lap.
Shaking and crying, Min-hyuk calls out her name, but there’s no response. He clutches her even tighter as he rocks back and forth, letting out an anguished yell.
Oh my heart! When he cried out like that! Like he’d just had his very soul ripped out of his chest. Guuh! And this was just after kicking some serious Jang-hyun butt. Normally I’m a fan of the damsel saving herself, but in this case, there was a legitimate reason for the girl to need a little backup. I won’t lie, I cheered out loud when Min-hyuk showed up to rescue his damsel, and it was great to finally see him use those fighting skills that he’s been boasting about on a normal (strength-wise) human. Up until now I’ve never really taken Min-hyuk’s character seriously in terms of physical strength or general badass-ness. He’s always been shown as either a cheeky goofball, a slightly effeminate sidekick to Bong-soon, or a heartthrob that can melt your soul with his eyes. It wasn’t until this episode when he constantly battled to stay on equal footing with the woman he loves, and then physically fought to save her, that I was reminded of how he’s actually a strong and formidable individual on his own.
Because of that, I was actually really happy with how the show brought about the conflict between Min-hyuk and Bong-soon. As much as I love the light and fluffy and their general adorableness, these are two strong-willed people, so it was only a matter of time until they butted heads. I was a bit frustrated with Bong-soon’s desire to do everything by herself, but I understand that she was terrified of Min-hyuk getting hurt. For someone who has always been strong, it’s easier for her to put everything on her own shoulders and push him away. Conversely, Min-hyuk’s reaction was to try and keep them closer together, doing things as a team instead. This was the first time that he refused to back down from Bong-soon, and I love that it was his fear for her safety that made him put his foot down. Unlike Bong-soon’s dad, Min-hyuk is an alpha in his own right, and he’s fighting so hard to keep them both on equal footing.
I was a little uncomfortable with the necklace tracker at first, since it seemed too possessive, but then I realized that it was Min-hyuk’s desperate attempt to keep Bong-soon safe. He knows that he couldn’t — and shouldn’t — hold her back, but at the same time, he sees how she was so determined to save Kyung-shim that she had blinders on to the rest of the world and couldn’t see the consequences of recklessly charging ahead. On top of that, Bong-soon is scared that someone else she loves could be hurt just for being around her, so she’s pushing Min-hyuk away. He could feel panicked that he wouldn’t be able to hold on to her, or protect her. I can really understand his frustration when he’s trying so hard to stay by her side and keep her safe even when she’s forcing distance. The tracker may have been a bit morally grey, but it was all he could think of.
As great as it was to see a strong Min-hyuk, I loved watching Bong-soon save those women. The fear that Jang-hyun showed when he saw her coming for him was just priceless. It was also beautiful how, even knowing that she was weak, Bong-soon didn’t shrink away and continued to try and save her friend. That moment gives me hope that even if her physical strength is gone, her strength of character is still there, and she can find a way to live on as Not-So-Strong-Woman, Do Bong-soon. I’m still crossing my fingers for a Hail Mary pass in the next three episodes that’ll bring her strength back. But until then, she has Min-hyuk there to remind her that she is special even without her gifts – to love her for who she is, not what she was and may never be again.
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 12
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 11
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 10
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 9
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 8
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 7
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 6
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 5
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 4
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 3
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 2
- Strong Woman Do Bong-soon: Episode 1