While You Were Sleeping: Episodes 11-12
These two sure do a lot of romancing while they sleep. There are some nice perks to getting to see the person you like while you catch some ZZZZs (think of all the time you save!), but we find out today that there are also some downsides attached. Say goodbye to your private life now, Jae-chan, while you still have one.
EPISODE 11: “City of the Blind”
As if we needed more reason to think that Chicken Oppa is shady, he empties out a bank account and throws wads of cash into a duffle bag at the train station. He ignores a call from his little sister, the Cupid Barista, who is being asked to call her brother by a team of detectives. They set out to arrest him, and she asks what he did wrong.
Yoo-bum comes to work that morning and turns right back around when he finds Chicken Oppa sitting in his office. He asks his assistant if this is a pro bono case, unhappy with the look of the shabbily dressed man, but he’s assured that there must be a reason he was assigned the case.
Inside, Chicken Oppa Kang Dae-hee says he asked for a prosecutor-turned-lawyer and was directed here. Yoo-bum says he’ll listen and judge whether the case is worth his time, and Dae-hee quickly opens up the sack of money to show him that he can pay. Yoo-bum points out that he doesn’t enter a betting game based on the size of the pot, but on the probability of winning.
Dae-hee explains that he caused a car accident that killed his brother, but the cops think he did it on purpose for the insurance payout. Yoo-bum scoffs when Dae-hee admits that he doesn’t know what the warrant is for, but just fled first.
It’s an obvious slip-up, and Yoo-bum says that as his lawyer, he needs to know the truth in order to figure out how to proceed: “Did you kill your brother?” Dae-hee looks distraught like he might burst into tears… and then his expression suddenly turns placid and he says blandly, “Yes.”
Even Yoo-bum looks a little shaken at that. Dae-hee then has the gall to say that he wants his lawyer to make sure he’s declared innocent in court.
Jae-chan has another dream. He and Hong-joo are watching TV at his house (are those couple shirts?) when her news report comes on, covering Dae-hee’s murder trial. On TV, she says he was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing both of his siblings.
Jae-chan complains that she didn’t name him as the prosecutor in the case, and she asks cutely if he’s upset about it, offering to make him feel better. He pulls her close and leans on her shoulder, saying that he’s very, very upset. Cuute.
In reality though, Jae-chan is snuggling in his little brother’s arms, muttering in his sleep as Seung-won asks what’s so unfair. Jae-chan’s eyes dart open and he screams, asking what Seung-won is doing in his bed.
Seung-won complains that Jae-chan yanked him in when he came by to wake him, and Jae-chan complains that he’s too easy. Lol, what are you talking about?
Seung-won asks if he wants cereal or ramyun for breakfast, and Jae-chan says that they’re going to eat breakfast at Hong-joo’s house from now on. Seung-won fist-pumps at that, since he’s experienced Mom’s epic breakfast table for himself.
Jae-chan can’t believe he was left out of that breakfast and wasn’t even told about it, and retaliates by pulling out his fingers like Wolverine claws and poking at Seung-won. Ugh, they’re so adorable I can’t stand it.
Hong-joo starts off her day with a “Fantastic Baby” dance party in her bathroom, which is so awesome I have to watch it twice. She comes out asking Mom where the razors are, gasping at how quickly her leg hair grows back every day, not to mention her armpits—
…Which is when she looks up to find Jae-chan and Seung-won gaping at her as they set the table. Mom awkwardly tells her that the boys will be eating breakfast here from now on. Thanks, Mom.
Hong-joo somehow contains her mortification and calmly flips her hair and welcomes them before gliding back to the bathroom like she’s in a ball gown and not a fuzzy pink bathrobe.
She freaks out in the privacy of the bathroom and wails that she only has half-eyebrows, and doesn’t come back out to the dining room until she’s in full makeup and dressed for work.
Mom tries to make her feel better by saying that everyone looks that way at home, but Jae-chan hilariously responds that he’s not that bad. Seung-won calls him a liar and says he doesn’t resemble a human at home, earning him a sharp kick in the foot beneath the table.
Hong-joo backs Seung-won up though, saying that she’s seen exactly what Jae-chan looks like at home through her dreams. She says he doesn’t wash his hair for days, leaves dirty clothes everywhere, and doesn’t close the bathroom door while on the toilet.
Jae-chan looks increasingly horrified as she speaks, and then in unison, Hong-joo and Seung-won blurt, “And then he doesn’t flush!”
A quick flash to the version of Jae-chan she’s seen in her dreams has him lying on the couch surrounded by trash like a lazy bum. Seung-won pelts him for not cleaning up after himself, but that just earns him a wrestling match.
Jae-chan spends the day reading comic books and eating chip crumbs off of his own chest, and needs Seung-won to bring him toilet paper while sitting on the toilet.
Hong-joo scoffs at Jae-chan acting all polished in front of them when she’s seen it all, and Jae-chan slams his chopsticks down and shouts, “I admit it!” Ha. He pleads with her to stop, and she proceeds to eat her breakfast in teeny bites like a bird.
Jae-chan is still pissy about it at the bus stop, and Hong-joo tells him to just be himself, warning that trying to act differently will just get him teased by his brother.
She lights up when Jae-chan lets his bus pass by and says that he’s dropping her off at work first. She can’t believe he meant what he said yesterday, but he says again, “I meant it.”
She looks over at his hand resting on the railing behind them and cautiously reaches out to touch it, but just as she’s about to make contact, he pulls away from her. Ack, don’t do that to a girl.
Her heart sinks, but he wonders why she’s not getting on the bus and comes back to grab her hand. Aw, yay. They run to catch the bus, and Hong-joo beams.
Their ride is spent stealing glances at each other, but we watch as their bus drives straight into a brewing storm in the heart of the city. Symbolism!
At the station, Hong-joo gets two new stacks of business cards and her sunbae Reporter Bong tells her she’ll need them all because the personnel has turned over at the police station and the prosecutor’s office in the year she was away.
Bong sunbae is a hardass and tells Hong-joo to know what’s happening at the police and fire departments and the prosecutor’s office at all times, but she seems used to this and sighs that it’s begun.
Officer Woo-tak and his partner come back to Mom’s restaurant in an effort to get back on her good side. They declare that they don’t need a cash receipt this time, but Mom nags that upright police officers shouldn’t be like that, heh. I love that they have such a hard time figuring her out. Woo-tak insists that he’s not here to see Hong-joo, but he cranes his neck when the door opens, and Mom watches him with a smile.
To his delight though, Hong-joo is waiting for Woo-tak at the police station, where she’s doing her rounds. She hands him her card and says she’s back at work, since she can’t have spent her life just being pretty, and adds a hair flip for good measure.
The female officer who has a crush on Woo-tak looks disappointed to see him so friendly with another woman, and even his partner wonders if Woo-tak and Hong-joo are something more. You mean you really just thought he loved samyupsal that much?
Hong-joo jumps nervously when Bong sunbae calls like clockwork to hear her latest report, and she begs Woo-tak to give her something, anything to say. He says there’s a string of serial cat killings in the area, with the death toll now over a hundred. Hong-joo’s eyes widen at that as she relays it to her sunbae, and Woo-tak grins when she seems satisfied with the tip.
At the prosecutor’s office, Jae-chan learns that Hee-min has been assigned Chicken Oppa Kang Dae-hee’s case, which Prosecutor Lee says is the traffic accident he processed the night he was on call for Jae-chan.
The insurance claim and murder charge ring a bell and Jae-chan thinks back to his dream, wondering if this is the same man who killed his brother and sister. But he’s told that the sister is still alive, which confuses him. Jae-chan asks if there’s a chance the culprit could go free, but Prosecutor Lee says he confessed after being arrested. The problem, though, is that his defense lawyer is Yoo-bum.
Yoo-bum and Hee-min meet at the vending machine before their trial, and he says it’s unusual that they’ll have two female justices on their trial, which he says concerns him a little, hoping that the trial is fair. One of the judges in question happens to walk up right behind him as he says this, and points out how odd it is that no one seems to question the sex of the judges when it’s three men, when three men to zero women is actually far more skewed. Right?
As they wait for the trial to begin, defendant Dae-hee asks Yoo-bum what their probability of winning is, and Yoo-bum says it’s 99-to-1. Dae-hee assumes he means that they’re 1, but he smiles and says they’re the 99.
At the same time, Prosecutor Lee assures Jae-chan that they have a 99 percent chance of winning, and that they really have to win, because he messed up the night of the car accident by signing off on the medical examiner not conducting an autopsy. Jae-chan isn’t as sure and keeps asking for confirmation that they can win.
Hee-min lays out the case in her opening statement: Dae-hee failed at a few investments and had his brother sign up for seven different insurance policies, after which he caused a car accident and killed his brother on purpose in order to collect 2.7 billion won in insurance money. To her surprise, the defense pleads not guilty.
Over lunch, Hee-min tells her colleagues that she’s glad he pleaded not guilty instead of trying to lessen the sentence, but Jae-chan still feels like something’s off about this. He wonders if Yoo-bum could’ve had his client confess on purpose in an effort to keep the police investigation perfunctory, knowing that he’d overturn things in trial.
Prosecutor Sohn agrees with Jae-chan, and he sends her finger-hearts for taking his side, hee. They’re shocked when their boss prays silently by himself, but he tells them that they’ll pray separately to themselves from now on, and even tells Hee-min to consider Jae-chan’s warning. Wow, did Hong-joo do all that with her speech the other day? I’m retroactively more impressed with her.
Hee-min passive-aggressively praises Jae-chan for coming up with such a wise warning so far beyond his mere months of work experience, dousing her poor lunch with mounds of pepper for emphasis.
Jae-chan complains about it to Seung-won that night while vacuuming… looking like he’s made up for a photo shoot. Pwahahahaha. Did you literally get dressed up to star in Hong-joo’s dreams? This is priceless.
When Seung-won argues that he’s overthinking Hee-min’s comeback, Jae-chan ends up vacuuming Seung-won instead, only to remember halfway that Hong-joo might see. So he suddenly turns robotically polite, which just scares Seung-won more.
Seung-won belatedly notices Jae-chan’s hair and calls him out for wearing BB cream. He smiles smugly when he realizes that Jae-chan is doing this because of Hong-joo’s dreams, and teases him mercilessly.
Jae-chan raises the vacuum at him, and then suddenly recalls that Hong-joo warned him of this very scenario. It dawns on him that she already saw this in her dreams too, and he collapses on top of Seung-won in defeat, wailing, “She’s a human CCTV!”
Hong-joo’s day ends with a staff briefing, where Bong sunbae tells her to follow the serial cat killer story. He insists that there’s something worth digging into here, pointing out that a common precursor to serial murder is animal killings. Hong-joo sighs, wanting to cover human stories, not cats.
In someone’s dream, Hong-joo trembles nervously as Dae-hee climbs the stairs on a stormy night, his hand covered in blood. She’s huddled in a corner with someone in sneakers (maybe Dae-hee’s little sister?), and Hong-joo says out loud, “Jae-chan-sshi, if you happen to see this moment in your dreams…”
She screams, and they take off running with Dae-hee behind them.
Jae-chan wakes from the dream covered in sweat. Ruh-roh, it’s raining outside…
Later that morning, Jae-chan tells Hong-joo about the dream and asks what story she’s working on. She tells him that she’s chasing someone who killed alley cats with potassium cyanide, and he sighs in relief.
She’s more concerned with the state of her career, thinking that she’s getting put on animal watch for taking time off, and Jae-chan wonders why she’s not more worried when his dream could be the one about her dying on the job.
She asks if she’s in the mountains in the dream, or if he saw an umbrella—a flash to her death dream shows someone approaching her body under a green umbrella—but he says no.
She takes his hand and says that she threw away all her worries the moment he held her hand and led her across the street, because she can’t be a reporter if she’s afraid. He notes that she’s changed, and she quotes him: “Because of someone.”
He assures her that Kang Dae-hee won’t go free, and asks Hong-joo to promise him something.
Hee-min grouses when her case files spill all over the floor on the way to trial, thinking it a bad luck omen. She blames Jae-chan for it, but she softens when he comes over to sincerely ask that she win the case and put Kang Dae-hee away.
He offers his hand to help her up, and she seems a little smitten as she takes his hand. But he also happens to be stepping on her robe, which sends her crashing back down to the floor with a thud. Hee-min glares and accuses him of doing it on purpose, ha, and goes right back to hating him.
Yoo-bum arrives at the courthouse as well, under a green umbrella.
Both Jae-chan and Prosecutor Lee sit in to watch the trial, and Hee-min presents a log of the things that the defendant searched on his phone, like whether there were eyewitnesses for his accident, or how to avoid an autopsy and speed up a funeral.
But Yoo-bum argues that the same searches could simply mean that the defendant wanted to keep his brother’s body intact, and was too poor to spend too much expense on the funeral.
The car’s black box footage doesn’t show anything but the night sky, but both brothers’ voices can be heard, as the younger brother says he’s going to take a nap after working a long day. Yoo-bum argues that he would’ve gotten rid of the black box if he had something to hide, and says that they were close, caring brothers.
In a flashback to their first meeting, Yoo-bum had asked why Dae-hee avoided an autopsy if it was just a traffic accident. Dae-hee: “Because he didn’t die in the traffic accident.”
Yoo-bum uses this to his advantage in court, as he gets the paramedic to testify that the victim’s injuries didn’t match the force of the accident if he’d been alive at the time, and that his temperature at the scene was very low, which would indicate that he’d been dead for about an hour.
Yoo-bum argues that the brother died before the accident, and that he could have died of a natural heart attack during the car ride. There’s enough reasonable doubt in what’s he’s proposing, and he points out that the only way to know for sure would have been an autopsy, which the prosecution didn’t procure. Damn.
Back in their initial meeting, Dae-hee had confessed the whole truth to Yoo-bum—that he poisoned his brother with potassium cyanide, which he’d been using to kill the annoying neighborhood cats because he didn’t like their crying.
Yoo-bum had asked why he used poison when he could’ve just caused the accident, but Dae-hee said he wanted to be a hundred percent sure and leave nothing to chance. He says there’s no way the cops can find out, since he had his brother cremated without an autopsy. Man, it seems worth pausing here to marvel once again at Yoo-bum’s lack of scruples.
We see how the murder plot played out exactly as Dae-hee had planned, and despite the fact that our prosecutor team knows he’s guilty, they can’t prove anything without cause of death and have to sit back and watch as the judge declares him innocent.
Dae-hee goes free and shakes Yoo-bum’s hand before walking out of the courthouse, and Jae-chan watches this exchange from the floor above.
But in the bathroom, Yoo-bum scrubs at his hands so furiously that he draws blood. He looks up at his reflection bitterly and notes that he’s changed, “smiling and shaking hands with an insect like that.”
Jae-chan finds him and begs to know how Dae-hee killed his brother so that they can get another warrant to arrest him, worried that he’ll kill his sister next. Jae-chan argues that it’ll be Yoo-bum’s fault if Dae-hee goes out and kills someone else, but Yoo-bum doesn’t see how that’s on him. Yoo-bum says it’s their fault for not proving their case properly, seeming just as angry that the prosecution didn’t win. Whatever helps you sleep at night.
Jae-chan spends the rest of the day obsessing over the case, making his office manager Hyang-mi wonder if he has a crush on Hee-min. He’s busy going over the dream about Hong-joo and calls her to check in (he’s saved her number as “Dog Poop,” while she’s saved him as “Yeongdeok King Crab”), but she reports a boring day of nothing.
She’s with Woo-tak, who offers to drop her off and tells her that they still have no leads on the cat killer. The only witnesses were a couple of kids, who said they saw an ajusshi feeding chicken to the cats once, but were unable to identify him in any way. That rings a bell for Hong-joo though, and she remembers seeing Dae-hee feeding cats.
Jae-chan wonders what possible connection Dae-hee and Hong-joo could have, and thinks back to his first dream and Hong-joo’s news report in it, where there was an herbal medicine pouch and a syringe among the evidence pictured. He then remembers Hong-joo saying that the neighborhood cat killer used potassium cyanide, and asks Chief Choi if it’s possible that Dae-hee poisoned his brother.
Chief Choi doesn’t know, but then it hits him that at the morgue, the victim’s blood was abnormally bright scarlet in color, and Jae-chan guesses correctly that it’s a side effect of potassium cyanide poisoning. He goes running out of the office.
Dae-hee returns to the chicken shop to find his sister waiting for him. She backs away from his touch though, and says that she was on his side no matter what the prosecutors said. As she backs away, we see the pair of sneakers on her feet that Jae-chan saw in his dream.
She says tearfully that the voice on the black box footage wasn’t their brother though—it was Dae-hee both times, imitating their brother’s voice. When she asks if he really killed him, Dae-hee’s face gets creepy and expressionless.
Hong-joo and Woo-tak show up outside the chicken shop just then, and he tells her to wait outside and call the police if anything happens.
He heads inside, where the air is so tense that no one responds when Woo-tak addresses them. Dae-hee slowly turns around to face him like he’s about to answer, but then suddenly in one swift move, he stabs Woo-tak right in the gut. Aaaaaaaaah!
Blood comes trickling out and Woo-tak falls to the floor with one punch. Dae-hee approaches to stab him again, when Hong-joo comes running in and whacks him from behind with her bag.
Dae-hee’s hands are now covered in Woo-tak’s blood, and he stalks over to Hong-joo as his next target. But Woo-tak sees him and crawls over to grab his leg from behind. He tells her to run away and hangs onto Dae-hee’s leg, and Hong-joo hesitates to leave him behind.
But he tells her again to run, so she grabs the little sister and goes running, as Woo-tak uses all of his strength to hang on while Dae-hee kicks him brutally where he’s been stabbed.
Hong-joo takes off one shoe and tosses it down the staircase and heads up, matching the single shoe she was wearing in Jae-chan’s dream. They get to a construction site on the roof but neither of them has a cell phone, and downstairs we see Hong-joo’s phone lying on the floor.
The police are on the other end, but Woo-tak is so badly injured that he can’t speak up, and then his eyes close. No!
Dae-hee takes the shoe bait in the stairwell and heads downstairs, and up on the roof, Hong-joo huddles with the little sister under a tarp and remembers what Jae-chan made her promise earlier—to always tell him when and where she is if she’s in danger, so that he knows how to find her if he sees her in a dream.
So she says out loud the building’s address and the date and time, and asks him to come find her and not be late. The tarp lifts up right on cue…
But it’s Dae-hee, who’s found their hiding spot. Yikes, that was creepy.
He pulls away the tarp and balls up his bloody fist like he’s preparing to attack, and Hong-joo screams Jae-chan’s name and shuts her eyes.
In response, the whole construction site lights up, and Jae-chan walks over to them in slow motion, perfectly backlit.
He pulls out an arrest warrant as sirens sound in the background. He declares that Dae-hee is under arrest for poisoning his brother, and Hong-joo smiles up at him in relief.
Guys, who’s checking on Batman?! He’d better be okay. This is not a negotiation. I didn’t even think I was that attached to him until he walked into that chicken shop and risked his life to save Hong-joo, and now all I can think about is how Woo-tak can’t possibly die because he’s too good and precious. Ugh, why does it feel like he’s destined to die? Not now, but… I can’t shake the feeling.
Today’s hour felt very much like an episode of I Hear Your Voice, in a good way—it was particularly funny and chilling, and the court case probably added to that feeling as well. It struck a nice balance between the couple’s home lives (always the highlight for me) and their professional lives intersecting with the case of the week. The downside of dramas like this is that I always bump up against Yoo-bum being the only lawyer and Hong-joo the only reporter and Jae-chan the only prosecutor in all of Korea. I know that’s not actually the case in the drama world, but it certainly feels that way when our leading characters always miraculously converge on the same case week after week. But whatchoo gonna do, there’s just no avoiding that problem in a procedural of this sort. I suppose the one upside is that the dreams actually help make that connection more believable, strangely enough, because you can wave away some of the obvious coincidences as Fate intervening to make sure they can save each other.
The ensemble of supporting players is becoming one of the best things about the show, because the characters are all colorful even if they only have a few lines and fill out our main characters’ office lives or deliver a bunch of exposition. And I’m even becoming interested in Yoo-bum, who was very one-dimensional at the start, but is starting to show some interesting cracks in his armor. Is he letting himself fall so low because he has some other goal to reach, or is he himself surprised at what he’s become, 999 compromises later? He’s still scum, but now I’m at least interested in why.
I loved that there was more time spent on the mundane aspects of Jae-chan and Hong-joo’s relationship today, like the oddity of having your girlfriend see you at your dirtiest, laziest, and least attractive, especially when you happen to be vain. Jae-chan is turning out to be just as hilarious as Hong-joo, and I’m particularly fond of how believably childish he is with his little brother. Really, all Shin Jae-ha has to do is show up and look at Lee Jong-seok like he’s crazy, and every scene they have together is instantly my new favorite. But I have to say, Suzy is the big winner today, because this was too glorious for words:
- Premiere Watch: While You Were Sleeping
- Brotherly love changes a hero’s fate in SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- Lee Jong-seok’s awkward social skills in While You Were Sleeping
- Lee Jong-seok moves in next door in While You Were Sleeping
- A kiss in the flower-filled night for While You Were Sleeping
- Dreamy first teaser for SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- First sleepy couple stills for SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- Star cameos continue for While You Were Sleeping with Yoon Kyun-sang and Lee Sung-kyung
- While You Were Sleeping gets a September premiere date on SBS