Live Up to Your Name: Episode 4
Time travel, tigers, and treasure, oh my! This is the hour of reversals as Yeon-kyung has her own fish-out-of-water experience, and Im suddenly finds himself acting as her guide. If he thought navigating modern-day Seoul was hard, he’ll have to up his game, because in Joseon, a sassy female doctor from the future is the least of his problems.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Back in Joseon after yet another time-slip, Im discovers that this time, he’s not alone. Next to him, Yeon-kyung lies unconscious, and just as he tries to wake her, he spots a tiger looming nearby. Panicked, Im shakes Yeon-kyung frantically and drags her out of the forest at a run, despite her protests.
Once in the clear, Im catches his breath while Yeon-kyung tries to gather her bearings. She remembers being in the hospital emergency room and having another vision when Im suddenly grabbed her from behind.
Assuming that Im kidnapped her, Yeon-kyung is also dismayed to find that her watch and phone are no longer working. Im tries his best to explain that they’re actually in Joseon and near the capital of Hanyang, but Yeon-kyung just stalks off, warning him not to follow her.
She stops a passerby to ask for directions, and Im darts behind a bush (he is a fugitive here, after all). Unfortunately for Yeon-kyung, the man can’t understand half of the words coming out of her mouth (as he’s never heard of Seoul or cellphones) and instead just thinks she’s crazy.
When Im can’t take it anymore, he steps out from his hiding place to diffuse the situation and send the man along. “‘A crazy woman?’” Yeon-kyung repeats, offended. “Did you only hear ‘crazy woman’ and not ‘Hanyang?’” Im retorts dryly. Despite all the mounting evidence, Yeon-kyung still refuses to believe Im’s assertions that she’s in Joseon, and finally fed up, he marches off in a huff.
In town, Im sneaks around and steals a disguise for himself, only to pause when he spots a sseugae chima (an article of clothing women wore during the Joseon period as a veil to hide both body and face) hanging on a nearby line.
Meanwhile, Yeon-kyung finds herself in the middle of a bustling market as the villagers look at her strangely. She runs from stall to stall in disbelief until realization totally overwhelms her, enough for her to fall to the ground in numb shock when someone bumps up against her.
Suddenly, a horse comes barrelling down the street, sending villagers scurrying out of its path. Only Yeon-kyung remains where she is, even as the galloping horse and rider draw near.
Luckily, someone scoops her up just in time for her to avoid being trampled. It’s Im, and he jokes that she was almost in a “traffic accident,” though he adds that there are no ambulances here. He stands her up and asks if she’s hurt, but Yeon-kyung can only stare as she flashes back to all the times she’d dismissed his words and behavior as madness.
Her eyes gloss over with tears and she slowly reaches a hand out to touch his face. Im clears his throat to break the moment and throws the sseugae chima over her before guiding her away.
On a quiet side street, Yeon-kyung remains lost in thought as Im claims to understand how she feels, because he felt the same way when he was in Seoul. Suddenly, Yeon-kyung lets out a long scream, thoroughly freaking Im out. He fumbles, unsure of what to do, until she finally stops on her own.
When she does, she just mutters to herself that this is impossible before turning to Im and accusing him of doing this to her.
Im balks and defends himself, pointing out that he didn’t just hug her, he almost died doing it. But his words die in his mouth as realization strikes, and he remembers being impaled with a metal rod in the hospital.
Quickly checking his body for injuries, he realizes that not only is there no wound on his back, but the wounds he sustained from his days in Seoul have also miraculously healed. He thinks back to getting shot with arrows and waking up in Seoul without injury as well and wonders aloud, “Am I immortal?” Ha!
Yeon-kyung brings him back to the conversation as she asks how to go back to her own time. She scoffs when Im avoids looking at her, wondering how he doesn’t know the answer when he’s already time-traveled twice. Im says that he hadn’t known what was happening then, and Yeon-kyung wonders in disbelief how he can be so irresponsible.
Im starts to argue but stands abruptly, a thought suddenly occurring to him. Yeon-kyung excitedly grabs her bag, thinking that he’s figured out how to get her back to her own time, but Im just tells her that he has business to take care of before walking away.
Panicked, Yeon-kyung chases him down, but Im tosses back the words she’d said to him before (about him being suspicious and untrustworthy), causing Yeon-kyung to quickly backpedal. Coyly tucking her hair behind her ear, she lays it on thick as she pleads with him to take responsibility for her like she did for him when he was injured.
Petulant, Im reminds her that she also beat him up, but he can barely hold it together as Yeon-kyung toys with the tie on his outer garment and points out that she also bought him food. He feebly tells her that he’s in no position to take care of her…
Cut to: Im waiting while Yeon-kyung changes into a proper hanbok. Heh. She steps out and the music swells as Im stares at her, starstruck. Realizing that she’s tied her hanbok wrong, he flusteredly tries to direct her on how to fix it, but his directions aren’t very helpful and eventually, he’s forced to tie it himself. When he’s finished, Im notes, “This is Joseon. Depending on the material and color of your clothes, you can become a human, or an animal.”
Yeon-kyung follows Im through the streets and unconsciously clutches the back of his shirt, much to his surprise. While sneaking about, a child accidentally bumps into Yeon-kyung, and the child’s grandfather rushes over to kneel and beg her forgiveness (since they’re peasants, and she’s dressed like a noblewoman).
The boy begins to sob as he joins his grandfather on the ground, and Yeon-kyung glances at Im, but his expression is impassive. She squats down and offers the boy a handful of her favorite candy and pardons the two, who quickly thank her and scurry away. His expression still unreadable, Im comments that she acts her part well, and they continue on.
In the middle of town, a group of villagers discuss the Japanese invasion in front of a row of “wanted” posters. Im’s eyes bug out as he notices his face among the wanted criminals and hurriedly ducks out of sight, muttering that a poster wasn’t necessary. Yeon-kyung marvels at the posters, and although she does think one of the faces looks familiar, Im comes back and drags her away before she can make a connection. However, someone else does recognize Im.
Im and Yeon-kyung reach their destination: Hyeminseo. Yeon-kyung remembers that this is where Im works and asks why they needed to sneak in. She wonders if he did something wrong, but he quickly denies it (“I am not that kind of person!”), and they slip inside.
In a secluded section of Hyeminseo, Im sits Yeon-kyung down and tells her to wait for him. She anxiously asks if she can come along, but Im just assures her he isn’t going to abandon her, seeming amused at her concern.
Yeon-kyung denies being worried, but her brow furrows once he’s gone. Im glances back at her once more before bounding away, while she sits and laments that she should be performing Ha-ra’s surgery right now.
We’re briefly transported back to present day, where Ha-ra’s mother is infuriated that Yeon-kyung is missing. Professor Hwang assures her that this won’t affect Ha-ra’s surgery since he’ll perform it himself, and Dr. Kang gleefully chimes in that he’ll assist. Ha-ra doesn’t say anything, but she thinks back to Yeon-kyung and her promise to save her.
Elsewhere, Grandpa tries to get ahold of Yeon-kyung, but his calls aren’t going through. He notices that Im is missing as well and (rightly) assumes that he’d been kicked out.
Jae-ha, Yeon-kyung’s recently returned hoobae, notes that she hasn’t called him since they last met. In a flashback, we see that he didn’t actually give the flowers to Yeon-kyung like Im had thought, but instead had asked if some other girl would like them. Yeon-kyung had teasingly asked if they weren’t for her, and although Jae-ha denied it, it was clear that Yeon-kyung was actually the girl he liked.
Oblivious, Yeon-kyung had asked who he was chasing after this time, and he joked that girls fall for him without him having to do anything. Yeon-kyung had laughed then, and when Jae-ha muttered that she’s pretty when she smiles, Yeon-kyung threatened to put him in a headlock.
Back in the present, Jae-ha smiles and says that this is only the beginning.
Meanwhile, Jae-ha’s grandfather sits in his office at the oriental hospital while someone reports on Im. Apart from his name (which was incorrectly listed as Heo “Ga” Im), there is no other information on him. All they know is that Yeon-kyung was the one to take him out of the police station.
Back in Joseon, Im slinks around Hyeminseo and spots Mak-gae. He calls out to her, but she doesn’t hear him, and he’s forced to follow her. She stops outside of his room to ask if he’s awake, and for a moment, Im is touched… until she suddenly shouts for him to get up, calling him “Superintendent Heo,” which she knows he hates, heh.
Mak-gae cleans his room and grumbles that Im should’ve at least let her know he was okay. When she threatens to break his leg if she sees him again, Im dangles said leg in front of her and asks if this the leg she means. She starts to snap that she means someone else, but stops when she realizes she’s talking to Im. She jumps up excitedly, but Im shushes her, only to get a smack in return. Hee, they’re so cute.
Im learns that the arrows that shot him hadn’t been from the government army and wonders who his assailant was. Mak-gae doesn’t know either, but she does tell him that things have gotten very messy in his absence. She says that the Japanese have invaded, and to top it off, Jin-oh is looking for him. Turns out that after Im disappeared, Jin-oh was given his position at Hyeminseo, much to the latter’s chagrin.
Since then, Mak-gae says that Jin-oh only shows up to his post in the mornings and spends the rest of the day drinking. He desperately wants to find Im so he can leave Hyeminseo and go back to the royal infirmary where he belongs. Mak-gae notes that it’s about time for him to show up.
And speak of the devil, as Yeon-kyung waits anxiously for Im to return, she’s startled by a strangely familiar face. Jin-oh asks what she’s doing there, and once she’s over the surprise of seeing a Jae-ha doppelganger, she turns and awkwardly says (trying her best to sound like a lady of Joseon, ha) that she has an illness. Jin-oh isn’t fooled and says that a noble lady wouldn’t come to be treated here, guessing that she must be a gisaeng.
Yeon-kyung scoffs and rounds on him, demanding that he apologize. Jin-oh goes silent, but when she tells him to apologize a second time, he does. Resuming with the polite speech, she takes her leave, and Jin-oh smiles after her. But her facade breaks when she trips, though he seems amused… at least until he sees her sneakers when she lifts her skirt to run off.
Im gets up to leave, and Mak-gae asks if he’s running away again. Since the alternative is to be captured and sent off to war, Im thinks it’s his best option. Mak-gae pouts when Im shuts down her offer to tag along, but seems mollified when he promises to write when he’s safe.
She grabs his arm then, and without looking at him, says that she’ll be waiting. Im smiles and gently removes her hand. Just before he leaves, he remembers to ask about Yeon-yi, the sick girl he promised to treat when he got back from the palace.
Before he can get an answer, Mak-gae’s superior shouts at her from outside, and Im scrambles to get out. Mak-gae helps boost him through a window, and halfway through, he farts right in her face. Ew.
She slams the window shut just in time, but her superior makes a beeline for it and throws it open again. For a brief moment, they fear Im’s been caught, but the man just takes a huge breath of fresh air and closes it again before turning back to Mak-gae and asking what she ate. Im’s farts must be potent.
Unsure where to go after fleeing from Jin-oh, Yeon-kyung hears a commotion outside the main gate. She peeks outside and sees that someone has collapsed, and since no one inside seems inclined to do anything about it, Yeon-kyung slips out. The villagers are confused by her presence, but make way for her anyway.
Im, who had seen Yeon-kyung’s skirt disappear through the gate, peeks outside himself. He watches as she unties the shirt of the man who fainted, much to the shock of the surrounding crowd. He’s about to step out, but pauses and thinks to himself that she’s the one that broke the promise to wait for him before vanishing out of sight.
Yeon-kyung pulls out a scalpel from her bag to perform emergency treatment, only to freeze when she hears the horrified response of the crowd. She steels her resolve and is about to make an incision when a hand grabs her wrist — it’s Im, and much like she did when she stopped him in Seoul, he asks her if she’s out of her mind.
He gently pushes her aside, and Yeon-kyung watches as he sets to work on the patient himself, expertly wielding his needles until the man breathes freely again as the crowd cheers in relief.
Mak-gae looks on, having heard the commotion, and silently asks what he’s doing. He merely shakes his head and directs her to take the patient inside to rest. The crowd asks if he’s back for good, and he asks for time to unpack his things while twitching his mouth at Yeon-kyung to follow when he moves to go inside.
Once inside and alone, Im chides Yeon-kyung for her reckless behavior, pointing out that it’s not even appropriate for a woman to touch a man in this time period. She doesn’t deny it, but when he asks her why she did it, she looks up and says he did it too. When he tried to help the boy outside the club and when he saved Ha-ra in the hospital, he also took the same risk, she points out. That gives him pause, but then he tells her that that’s why people thought he was crazy in her time.
In prison, Heo Jun receives a report from a guard member on Im’s reappearance, learning that he came with a woman. At the same time, another guard member gives a similar report to Jin-oh, who excitedly orders him to fetch Im back immediately.
At an inn somewhere in town, Im and Yeon-kyung sit facing away from each other. The proprietress comes out and greets Im warmly, but she then falls victim to Im and Yeon-kyung’s standoff, since they refuse to speak to one another directly and instead filter their peevish messages through a conversation with the innkeeper.
Im leaves to take care of more business, leaving Yeon-kyung to remain in her room until he returns. Now thinking about how she reacted to Im in Seoul, she thinks to herself, “He must have thought it was unfair.”
The innkeeper brings her food, and when Yeon-kyung says she didn’t order any, the innkeeper tells her that Im asked that she be fed and relays the message that they’re “even.” (He uses the same word Yeon-kyung did when she fed him lunch in the cafeteria and called them “even,” ha.) She asks if Yeon-kyung and Im are in love, but before Yeon-kyung can answer, someone calls the innkeeper outside.
Two of the customers are the minister’s servants. One of them had recognized Im in town and had immediately run off to tell the other, Doo-chil (the servant who had asked Im to treat his mother). Doo-chil grumbles that the other man should’ve just followed Im instead of coming to him, since there’s nothing they can do if they don’t know where he is. But Doo-chil vows to take his revenge on Im no matter what.
Meanwhile, Im spots Yeon-yi’s father drinking alone and looking absolutely miserable. He flashes back to his conversation with Mak-gae, and now we hear that she told him that no one had seen Yeon-yi. She had collapsed right after he’d left to go to the palace, and her father had taken her away, so they all assumed that she died. Now, Im moves toward Yeon-yi’s father but runs away when he sees two guards walking around with his “wanted” poster.
In her room, Yeon-kyung fights a bad case of indigestion. She rushes out to ask the innkeeper where the bathroom is and is directed to go around back if she doesn’t want to use the chamberpot provided in the room. As she scurries away, the servant that had seen Im recognizes her as his companion, and when she returns, the men surround her.
Doo-chil demands to know where Im went, but Yeon-kyung won’t say. He calls Im two-faced and tells her that Im is only after money, relating a story about a servant that he refused to treat who died the next day. Yeon-kyung honestly replies that she doesn’t know where he is and that she was told to wait, but Doo-chil orders his men to grab her.
Yeon-kyung isn’t to be messed with though, and she jumps up on a table, brandishing what looks to be disinfectant spray. She tells the innkeeper to close her eyes, and when one of them men grabs her from behind, Yeon-kyung sprays him full in the face, then whirls around to spray the rest as heroic music plays, ha.
She runs away and accidentally crashes into a little girl. She lifts the girl to her feet and asks if she’s hurt — it’s Yeon-yi! She’s alive! Yeon-yi says she’s fine, and Yeon-kyung watches her walk away before the racing off again in the direction the innkeeper had indicated.
Yeon-kyung finds a shack on the edge of town and bangs on the door until a bewildered Im answers. He asks why she didn’t wait, and she tells him that she’s being chased. Close behind, Doo-chil and his gang spot them, so she shoves Im inside the building, slamming the door behind her.
Im struggles to hold the door shut as Doo-chil yanks on it from the other side. Yeon-kyung glances around the room and asks why Im is here and not at Hyeminseo with his patients. He cries that his patients don’t matter when he’s about to die right before Doo-chil wrenches the door open and steps inside.
Yeon-kyung and Im back away as Doo-chil advances, and Yeon-kyung once again grips the back of Im’s shirt. This seems to give him some courage, and he attempts small talk with Doo-chil, but the latter looks behind him to his pile of riches and tuts that he must’ve been busy since his position at Hyeminseo pays very little. Yeon-kyung stares at the treasure, trying to comprehend its meaning, and Doo-chil continues that Im must’ve abandoned her to run off with his amassed wealth.
Her hand drops from Im’s shirt, and though he quickly tries to deny the accusations, Yeon-kyung doesn’t look like she believes him anymore. Doo-chil says it doesn’t matter anyway, since they won’t be leaving. He reminds Im of the promise he made to kill him if his mother died, and Yeon-kyung realizes that the servant from Doo-chil’s story was his mom.
Doo-chil takes a torch from one of his companions and throws it on the ground in front of Im, then his group steps outside and bars the door. Im and Yeon-kyung bang on the door and plead to be let out just as a group of guards arrive to fetch Im. A tussle ensues between the guards and the servant gang outside while Yeon-kyung tries to find a way out of the burning building.
She shouts at Im to do something, but he’s at a loss. “Then do we just die here?” Yeon-kyung demands. She says she can’t do that as she unties her skirt and uses it to beat at the flames. Im holds up his knapsack to join her, but rethinks it and cradles the bag to his chest, standing uselessly beside her as she fights to save their lives while the fight continues outside.
In the midst of all the smoke, Im catches sight of his burning treasure, and the loss of his hard-earned fortune sends him into a craze. He bats at the flames with his bare hands, drawing Yeon-kyung’s attention, and she watches as he loses himself in the madness of his greed.
She tries to drag him away, but in the heat of the moment he shoves her, sending her crashing hard into the wall. She’s undeterred though, and just pulls at him harder. “Have you forgotten your job? Don’t you know a doctor must protect their hands? Your hands are more important than money!” she yells.
Her words finally seem to snap Im out of his trance and he stops fighting, which is good, since at that moment, the roof overhead collapses in on them. Im has just enough time to pull Yeon-kyung toward him and shield her with his body before it crushes them.
Outside, the head guard sees the cave-in and forces his way to the door, which he slams open. Peering inside, he demands to know where they’ve gone, and Doo-chil scrambles to his feet to confirm that Im and Yeon-kyung have indeed vanished.
They reappear, of course, in modern-day Seoul, this time squeezed between two buses at a rest stop. Somehow, the pair manages to maneuver their way out by crab walking, and Yeon-kyung hobbles down the street in one shoe, collapsing happily on the asphalt, still half-dressed in a hanbok top and shorts.
Her phone back in working order, she answers a call from hoobae Min-jae, who tells her to get down to the hospital ASAP since Ha-ra refuses to go into surgery without her. Yeon-kyung hails a taxi and is about to drive off when Im sees her leaving and runs out to catch her. She stares at him through the glass for a long moment, her expression uncertain.
Jae-ha has also been trying to get ahold of Yeon-kyung, and just as he tells someone over the phone that maybe he should track her cellphone, she pulls up to the hospital in a taxi. Yeon-kyung runs to the door but Im stops her with a hand on her shoulder as he tells her to save Ha-ra, no matter what.
However, Yeon-kyung’s expression grows hard as she thinks back to the possessed man that was more concerned with gold than their lives. With that, she throws his arm off before racing inside, still wearing only one shoe.
Back in Joseon, Jin-oh inspects Yeon-kyung’s missing sneaker and tells his lackey with a smile that they have one more person to find. At the same time, the other guard tells Heo Jun that Im and Yeon-kyung have vanished. Heo Jun looks through Yeon-kyung’s bag that was left behind and finds a photo in her wallet of her mother and her when she was a child, which gives him pause.
That evening in Seoul, Im thinks back on the events that transpired over his last journey in Joseon. Deciding there is nothing left for him there, he vows never to return. Staring up at the oriental medicine hospital across the way, he figures that the powers that be must have granted him this opportunity to make his fortune in the modern world.
Reaching out toward the building, he thinks to himself, “That place will be my palace from now on.”
Argh! Heo Im, why must you disappoint me so? The flaws are necessary (especially for that juicy character development), but it can be so hard to watch. I just keep hoping that he’ll come around in the end.
So I’m starting to develop a theory that Heo Jun might be Yeon-kyung’s dad. It’s pretty clear at this point that he’s had a trip on the time travel train, and with the absence of her father in all flashbacks and his surprised expression at the photo in her wallet, I can’t help but speculate. I could be wrong, of course. There’s still the mysterious motorcycle man from Yeon-kyung’s car accident visions, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I was pleasantly surprised when the second time-slip happened so soon — and that this time, our heroine got to tag along. It goes against the typical formula, and while I would have been perfectly happy to stay in one timeline for the bulk of the show, I’m thrilled that this show is changing it up, since it keeps me invested in both timelines. There’s a lot going on in the present and in the past, so I really appreciate the continuing development which balances the story out nicely.
Speaking of balance, I absolutely loved the mirroring-effect that served as the theme for this episode. Not only did it allow Yeon-kyung to see Im in his own element, she got to experience how he felt when he was thrown into her world, and that gave her a certain amount of pity for him.
But now that Yeon-kyung has seen the “dark” (or at least morally ambiguous) side of Im, he’s going to have a tough time winning back her trust and respect that had been so hard-earned. The moment when Im frantically pawed at his treasure while they were in the process of burning to death was particularly hard to watch, because you could see the crushing disappointment in Yeon-kyung’s eyes. She had finally been able to set her temper aside and see him in a positive, non-crazypants light where he was competent and compassionate and it all literally went up in flames.
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- Premiere Watch: Manhole, Live Up to Your Name
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- Jaw-dropping, club-hopping Kim Ah-joong in Live Up to Your Name
- Kim Nam-gil flaps his wings to travel back to the past in Live Up to Your Name
- The needle vs. the knife for Live Up to Your Name
- Time-slip drama Live Up to Your Name gets a time slot on tvN
- Kim Nam-gil, Kim Ah-joong offered new tvN time-slip drama