Black: Episode 15
Now that they’ve both admitted they like each other, Ha-ram and Black are free to enjoy adorable dates together. Except someone knows the truth about Black being a Reaper, which threatens to ruin his relationship with Ha-ram. Black also tries to figure out who is really behind all the deaths, and Soo-wan reaches her breaking point.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Ha-ram confesses to Black that the one she likes is him (or, to her eyes, Moo-gang). Then she kisses him, much to Black’s astonishment, which causes his Reaper tattoo to glow. Ha-ram’s mother, just arriving at Ha-ram’s place, sees Black’s tattoo. Mom recognizes the tattoo and wonders in fear why “that person” is now after Ha-ram.
Seon-young’s interview tape is leaked to the press. Man-soo is stunned to hear that his father, who he’s idolized, could have had sex with teenagers. Man-ho is also accused of murdering Jin-sook to cover it up, and his crimes further include the shady business dealings that meant buying the Mujin mall land from himself. Senator Nam is also implicated, his chances for presidency now squashed.
Man-soo meets with Man-ho, desperate to be told that the interview video is fake. Man-ho points out it would be silly to put a fake tape in a safety deposit box and keep it for twenty years. Man-ho blames Man-soo for the leak, since Man-soo was the one who opened the safe and gave the tape to the police.
Man-ho also blames Man-soo for his arrest, since Man-ho didn’t know the butterfly watch his father gave him was related to something so seedy. Man-ho was the one who originally ordered the investigation into Scarface’s arson case, flagging the insurance request as fraud. But Chairman Oh made him sign the payout, anyway, much to Man-ho’s bewilderment.
Man-ho’s furious that all the work he did to keep Royal Group from being destroyed by Chairman Oh’s perverse actions was ignored, since the chairman planned to leave everything to Man-soo. Man-ho insists he didn’t kill Jin-sook — the only hit he ordered was the attack on Tiffany.
Man-soo retorts that Man-ho tried to kill him, too, but Man-ho says that wasn’t him. Even if Man-ho hated Man-soo, he couldn’t kill his own brother. He doesn’t know who attacked Man-soo. Man-ho then wonders if Man-soo purposefully accused Man-ho of murder and corruption, so that Man-soo would be arrested and Man-ho would inherit everything.
Man-soo dazedly walks through the police station and sees the evidence board with all the photos of the people related to the case that have been killed. Man-soo stares at it in disbelief, shocked to think that his father was responsible for their deaths — including the deaths of Ha-ram’s father and Joon.
Chief Bong is thrilled that today is his squad’s first day as Violent Crimes team, but he gets a call about Kwang-kyun, and his face suddenly becomes serious.
Leo thinks about the lie he told Kwang-kyun — that he grew up in America, even though he really lived in Mujin. Leo opens up his closet to pull out a book that says it belongs to Kim Woo-shik from Mujin Elementary School.
An old flip phone (with a bunny charm dangling from it) starts to buzz and Leo answers it. It’s his father.
Ha-ram finds Man-soo at a coffee shop, looking completely shaken by his encounter with Man-ho. She thanks him for helping her reunite with Black, then wonders if Man-ho killed his father. Man-soo is just relieved that she hasn’t found out the connection between Chairman Oh and the deaths of her father and Joon.
Black arrives at Ha-ram’s apartment just as she’s returning home. He reminds her that they’re supposed to go on a date today, and while he waits for her to freshen up, he practices his kissing skills on a mailbox until Ha-ram suddenly shows up, surprising him. Pffft.
They go to an amusement park, which Black inwardly sighs over since amusement parks are the gateway for Reapers to enter the human world, so it’s old news to him. But Ha-ram has always wanted to go to an amusement park ever since she and her father got lost one night and she discovered an amusement park hidden in the woods.
Her father, undoubtedly recognizing this mysterious amusement park as the Reaper gateway, convinced Ha-ram that they should go somewhere else to the rescue team could find them, promising to take her to an amusement park later. But he wasn’t able to fulfill that promise, because the next day her mother left them, and her father was too focused on raising Ha-ram himself.
Black realizes that the hidden amusement park in the woods must be the Reaper gateway, especially when Ha-ram says she tried looking for it later but could never find it. Ha-ram happily rides everything in the amusement park, and even though Black is bored out of his mind, he enjoys watching her excitement.
Black tries his first-ever ice cream, amazed by how delicious it is. Ha-ram leans in to kiss off some ice cream that’s dribbled on his lips. As she heads to the next ride, Black dazedly rubs more ice cream all over his lips in order to get another kiss. Ha!
Despite Ha-ram’s joy about being on a date with Black, she wonders if Joon is okay with her being so happy. She spots a young boy with a Shadow following him and suddenly turns around, averting her gaze. The joy of the day is suddenly gone.
Black, noticing the Reapers following the boy, realizes what Ha-ram has seen. He sighs, wipes the ice cream from his face, and goes to comfort Ha-ram.
Ha-ram broods over the fact that, because she saved Scarface, other people died. She vows to never save anyone again. Black reminds her that she saved Tiffany and Hyo-jin, her stepbrother and stepfather, and the children trapped in the fire, which is praiseworthy enough. That seems to perk her up and they continue to enjoy their date.
After he drops Ha-ram off at home, Black gets a frantic call from Chief Bong. Black’s phone has been left in the car all day, so he’s missed the dozens of previous calls letting him know that Kwang-kyun was killed in a car accident.
Black attends Kwang-kyun’s funeral. Considering Kwang-kyun’s “Crazy Dog” ways, Black speculates that Kwang-kyun probably gave his Reapers a good fight as they tried to escort him to the afterlife. Black tries to convince himself that it’s none of his business to care so much about a human, but he still can’t seem get over the shock of Kwang-kyun’s death.
As the mourners eat and drink, the dirty detective points out that Chief Bong’s team continues to get into trouble, since everyone believes Kwang-kyun’s accident was due to him driving drunk.
Chief Bong throws himself at the dirty detective, attempting to wrestle him. The other detectives try to separate them, but it’s only when Black intervenes by throwing detectives across the room that everyone stops. Repeating what Chief Bong once said, Black vows that if anyone messes with his team, he’ll make them regret it, even it means fighting the Blue House itself.
Ha-ram’s surprised to find Black sitting outside her apartment, and he tells her that Kwang-kyun died. I suppose it’s hard to know that Black’s wearing mourning clothes when he’s always dressed in black. Black’s confused about what he’s feeling, realizing that it must be sadness. He doesn’t like feeling that way.
As Black heads to his car, Ha-ram’s mother suddenly appears and orders him to stay away from her daughter. She calls Black a Grim Reaper, which causes his tattoo to glow. Mom says she knows what he is and will tell Ha-ram, but Black grabs her and drags her to a secluded alley so they can talk in private.
Mom says she won’t allow her daughter to be fooled like she was. A flashback reveals that when the search party was looking for Ha-ram and her father lost in the woods, Mom heard Ha-ram calling out for help and hurried to the sound of her daughter’s voice.
She saw her husband pulling up Ha-ram from where she nearly fell from a cliff. As he did so, his tattoo glowed. Mom, staring at him horror, demanded to know what that thing was on his neck.
Mom tells Black that she recognized the same tattoo on Black, and orders him to stay away from Ha-ram. Black refuses. Mom tells Black that she loved her husband, too, but Ha-ram will leave him just like Mom left Ha-ram’s father the moment she found out what he was.
She orders Black to go with her to tell Ha-ram the truth about what he is, so he can see Ha-ram’s reaction for himself. But Black threatens Mom to keep it a secret or else he’ll kill Ha-ram. He has no intention of getting involved with a human, and tells Mom to stay out of it until Black leaves on his own volition. Mom weeps over the fact Ha-ram is sharing her mother’s fate.
Hip-hop is stunned to hear that Ha-ram’s father was a Reaper, but Black demands that Joseon tell him the truth about Ha-ram’s father. Joseon explains that Ha-ram’s father was the 444 of the previous generation of Reapers. That 444 was even more coldhearted than Black, and considered the best 444 of any generation.
But when he was out collecting souls on his own because his partner had to be elsewhere, 444 looked into the eyes of the bride crying for her dying husband, and ended up falling for her — thus possessing Ha-ram’s father’s body and living with her mother until she learned the truth.
That means Ha-ram is half-Reaper, half-human, and explains why she can see the Reapers, but only as Shadows. It also explains her amazing healing abilities. Joseon surmises that her ability to see how people will die must be some mutation due to her being half-human, since it’s not something Reapers can do.
Black assumes the Death Squad must have taken him and locked him up after Ha-ram’s father’s body was killed the second time. But Joseon sadly says 444 perished.
That shocks the other Reapers, since the only way for a Reaper to perish is by harming another human — surely Reapers can’t perish just by falling in love? Joseon says that 444 killed someone, and a flashback reveals that Ha-ram’s father killed a man who was holding his wife hostage, saving her life — and the life of their yet-unborn daughter.
Joseon warns Black to be careful. Ha-ram’s mother and 444 were both in love just like Black and Ha-ram are, but Black should keep in mind the fate of the original 444. Black scoffs, since he’s not foolish enough to perish for a mere human. He still plans to leave as soon as he finds Loser.
Black gives himself a pep-talk in the mirror, reminding himself that he’s 444 (at least, the new generation) and just temporarily borrowing Moo-gang’s body. He sternly tells his reflection that he’s only here to find Loser, realizing realizes he needs to get his gun back (which was confiscated when he was suspended after punching the dirty detective).
Black arrives at the police station and basically insists he’s reinstated just because he says so. The dirty detective protests, and Black holds up his phone, revealing he “accidentally” recorded the detective saying that Ha-ram should have died to make life easier for them — a statement he’s sure the press will be eager to hear. Thanks to these threats, Black is officially reinstated and given his gun back.
Black waits outside of Ha-ram’s apartment, reminding himself that he’s the coldhearted 444 who will leave as soon as he finds Loser. But as soon as he sees Ha-ram, his bravado turns into more of a wistful, “At least I hope I’ll be able to leave.”
He and Ha-ram head to the hospital, where Leo is filming a scene. She’s annoyed when Black asks her if she sees anyone with a Shadow, since she told him that she was no longer going to save anyone. Black’s not asking her to save anyone, though — just to see if they have a Shadow.
Annoyed, Ha-ram tells him that no one has a Shadow and she storms off. Black tries to follow, but Leo steps out during his break, mentioning he heard about Kwang-kyun’s death. Black asks if there’s been anyone strange around Leo lately, and Leo says there hasn’t. Black wonders to himself if he’s following the wrong guy and if Loser is hiding elsewhere.
Black asks Leo what his relationship is with Man-ho or Chairman Oh, but Leo’s just Man-soo’s friend, who only saw Man-ho in passing and never met Chairman Oh in person.
Black wonders if the man who ordered Scarface to get the tapes wasn’t Man-ho or Chairman Oh after all, since Leo genuinely doesn’t seem to have a connection with either. Black’s still annoyed that he can’t figure out where Loser is hiding, since all the obvious places Black has thought to look haven’t panned out.
Black finds Ha-ram at a music store, listening to An Chi-hwan’s “If I Were,” which she tells Black was Joon’s favorite song. Black cautiously asks if she’s still mad at him, but she just puts the headphones on him so he can listen.
I would like to be anything
In the world for you
Just like today
When we’re together
You don’t know how much happiness it brings me
He takes off the headphones, saying it’s too sad. But Ha-ram buys a copy of the CD and takes it to the columbarium to leave it with Joon. She also tells Joon that she’s now dating his younger brother, Moo-gang.
Ha-ram admits to Black that she saw Joon the day he died, and wishes that his Shadow had appeared then so she could have saved him. She sighs as she wishes she had stayed with Joon that day.
Young Ha-ram tracked him down to where he was waiting for Seon-young. When young Ha-ram went to tell her father that Joon was in town, she saw her father’s Shadow, which made her forget all about Joon.
Ha-ram asks Black to never leave her, like Joon and her father did. Black pulls her into a hug, saying he’ll see her later. But he broods over the fact that Ha-ram’s mother left her husband once she found out he was a Reaper.
Black quietly portals into Ha-ram’s room while she’s sleeping. He gently lies down next to her, watching her sleep. He can’t believe that he’s actually jealous of humans, and admits to himself that for once the coldhearted 444 is afraid.
When he gets home, Black opens up Joon’s guitar case. Despite this being the first time he’s ever seen a guitar, he manages to play and sing “If I Were.” Black’s impressed with his newfound skills, assuming that Joon must have taught Moo-gang how to play. He also finds a note in the case, which he starts to read before Joseon arrives to check on him.
Black asks if he knows why Black can’t leave Moo-gang’s body, but Joseon says he hasn’t figured it out yet. Black can’t stay in Moo-gang’s body forever, especially if it will hurt Ha-ram to find out the truth like it did for her mother, so Black tells Joseon to call the Death Squad tomorrow. Joseon wonders if Black can leave Ha-ram with no regrets. Black doesn’t answer.
Man-soo’s been mulling over the murders that happened twenty years ago, and doesn’t think his brother could be responsible. Man-soo’s birth mother finds him at the hospital, but Man-soo wants nothing to do with her.
Ha-ram rounds the corner and sees them talking, noticing the woman’s Shadow again. Hip-hop is thrilled that Ha-ram’s there and that she can see them (or at least the Shadow), and he purposefully bumps into Ha-ram so that she’s is forced to see how the woman dies. Hip-hop’s convinced Ha-ram will call Black and they’ll figure out a way to save the woman’s life.
Ha-ram’s at the hospital to check on Man-soo and bring him porridge, but he tries to brush her off. He also ignores her questions about the woman he was talking to. But when Ha-ram says she thinks the woman will commit suicide, Man-soo sits up in concern.
Black prepares his goodbye speech to Ha-ram, where he plans to tell Ha-ram that he (as Moo-gang) will be moving back to America. But a shiny light catches his eye and he portals to the room across the street to figure out where the reflection is coming from. He sees the telescope set up, focused on Moo-gang’s house, and wonders if someone is spying on him.
The photos of Moo-gang plastered on the wall seem to confirm it, and Black also finds a tape recorder of Moo-gang’s phone calls. Black wonders who would be spying on Moo-gang, but he doesn’t have to wonder for long because Missing-finger arrives, talking on the phone to someone about Man-ho, Kwang-kyun, and Moo-gang’s informant.
Black wrestles with Missing-finger, who escapes. Black chases him through the neighborhood, but soon he has to stop. Black collapses on the ground, once again clutching his heart as he tries to catch his breath.
Soo-wan finds out that Lee Byung-tae, Moo-gang’s informant and the son of the insurance investigator who was killed, is actually the restaurant owner she visited — the one who said he didn’t remember seeing Moo-gang.
Black returns to Missing-finger’s room, but it’s been stripped bare. Black wonders if there’s someone else behind everything, someone who isn’t Man-ho. He sees a forgotten photo wedged into the floorboard and picks it up.
Lee Byung-tae is convinced that Moo-gang must have gotten his memory back since Black was so obsessed with finding Scarface. Byung-tae wonders why Moo-gang hasn’t called him yet, but when he sees Missing-finger pull up to the restaurant, Byung-tae hides.
Byung-tae recognizes him as the man who had gone into Moo-gang’s room to try and kill him, wanting Moo-gang’s eyes. Byung-tae was the one who’d called and warned Missing-finger to not touch Moo-gang, or else Byung-tae would release the video tape.
Realizing the culprit has to be someone other than Man-ho or Chairman Oh, Black decides to hold off on his plans of calling the Death Squad until he’s captured the person responsible for killing everyone. Black sets up a victim board in his basement where he puts all the photos of everyone who’s died, as well s a photo of Man-ho and the mysterious man with the butterfly watch.
As he makes connections between the photos with string, he realizes that, excluding everyone Scarface killed due to personal grudges, the man with the butterfly watch must have killed everyone else.
Black thought Man-ho was originally responsible, but now deduces that there must be three watches out there — Byung-shik’s, Chairman Oh’s (which was handed down to Man-ho), and the the third one belonging to the mysterious man behind all these deaths.
Retracing Kwang-kyun’s steps the day he died, Black discovers Kwang-kyun contacted a detective in Mujin, who sent a copy of an old case file Kwang-kyun requested.
The detective now shows Black the original file, which includes a bunny keychain as part of the evidence. Black gets the crime lab to look for any evidence on the keychain, and they actually manage to pull a decent fingerprint.
Soo-wan visits Joon’s ashes, apologizing for not being brave enough. She wonders if Moo-gang would be safe now if she had either spoken up or died with Joon back then. She cries as she says that she’s exhausted and wants to give up on everything. She asks if she can join Joon, and pulls out a syringe of something fatal.
Black arrives just then and says that she can’t die now, calling her “Seon-young.” Soo-wan, surprised, asks if Moo-gang’s memories have returned, and he shows her the guitar pick he found in Joon’s case. She’d bought it for him as a goodbye gift when he left for Seoul, hiding it in the case for him to find later.
Black says that he’s also found the man responsible for everything. He hands her a stack of photos of all the victims, and then the bunny keychain. She’s shocked to see it, and Black reveals that twenty years ago a police officer — Kwang-kyun — went to investigate a call about sexual assault, and discovered the bunny in the empty phone booth.
A flashback shows that Seon-young had called the police to report being raped, but before she could finish, Clara grabbed her and dragged her out of the phone booth. Clara had warned her that Seon-young would be arrested for prostitution if Seon-young reported it, so Seon-young didn’t try calling again.
Black asks if the owner of the bunny keychain is the man who raped her, and Soo-wan, tears in her eyes, silently nods.
Flashback to when Congressman Kim interviewed Seon-young. He told her that he needed to switch out the tapes. He stuck the tape with the completed interview in his bag and started a new tape, asking her where the sexual acts happened. Seon-young said she can’t quite remember — a mountain cabin somewhere.
Congressman Kim reached out to stop the recording on the new tape. He asked her one last question: how much did she get paid for having sex, adding that he could pay just as much. Terrified, Seon-young tried to resist as Congressman Kim grabbed her and threw her to the ground to rape her. Unbeknownst to Congressman Kim, the camera kept filming.
Seon-young ripped off the bunny keychain from the congressman’s bag in her effort to resist him, and afterwards, still held it in her hand as Congressman Kim warned her if she ever told anyone about this, he’d ruin her.
Black realizes that the tape of Seon-young’s rape is the one that everyone is searching for. Soo-wan doesn’t know where it is, but when Scarface was threatining Seon-young and Clara, Joon had appeared with the tape in his hand, leading Scarface away.
Seon-young had found Joon in the middle of the road, run over by a car. When she saw police cars headed their way, she ran away. Soo-wan was convinced that Congressman Kim was the one who hit Joon with his car and took the tape, until Jin-sook said she met with him to give him the tape for a million dollars.
It turns out that Congressman Kim came upon Joon’s body after he had already been run over. He searched the body, but didn’t find the tape.
Black wonders why Congressman Kim would kill so many people just for one tape, but Soo-wan points out that the tape can ruin the congressman’s life. She adds that Moo-gang knows where the tape is, and plays a voicemail Moo-gang left the day he died.
Moo-gang told Soo-wan that even though he knows she’ll be hurt by the truth being revealed, he can’t stay silent if it means proving that his brother was murdered. Moo-gang apologized, adding that his feelings for her were real, and they could talk later. Except later that day, Moo-gang was shot.
Soo-wan begs Black to remember where the tape is, but since he’s not Moo-gang, of course he doesn’t remember.
The sound of a commotion elsewhere in the columbarium attracts their attention. Black and Soo-wan watch as Congressman Kim declares that he’s running for president, and the primary focus of his platform is to reform corrupt ties between politics and businesses so that tragedies like Mujin’s mall collapse won’t happen again.
Ha-ram, watching the press conference on the news, believes that an upright man like Congressman Kim deserves to president. Of course, Black and Soo-wan, watching the press conference live from the columbarium, know how terrible the congressman truly is. Soo-wan tells Black that he must stop the congressman, no matter what.
Black wonders where the tape might be. A flashback shows Moo-gang finding out that a “child fortune-teller” took it. Hours before he died, Moo-gang arrived at Ha-ram’s apartment to look for the tape.
Not only is there a third butterfly watch (*tears out hair*), but also a third video tape! I feel like I ought to be surprised that Congressman Kim is the Big Bad, but Man-ho seemed like too obvious a choice. Not that Man-ho is an angel by any means — he definitely deserves to rot in jail (after all, he’s knowingly covered up his father’s crimes and, while the other deaths aren’t attributable to him, he did try to have Tiffany killed. Plus we can never forget Sip-gyeong, RIP!).
I am furious, though, that all these deaths have been so that a man in power could become more powerful, all the while hiding the fact he raped an underage girl. Mostly I’m furious because it seems all too real. Maybe not the contract killings, but definitely the part about a man using his authority and public image to hush up the fact he sexually assaulted someone. I can understand why Soo-wan was so determined to not let anyone see the tape — she knew people were willing to kill over it. If she wanted to live, she had to continue to hide the truth. But if there was ever a time for Soo-wan to have her #metoo moment, it’s now. She might be risking her life, but at least she has Black on her side, so she’s no longer alone. Together they can fight to take down this bastard and reveal what a truly horrible man he is.
Of course, that all depends on them finding the tape, which Moo-gang knows about and that Ha-ram apparently has. Or had. But I doubt Ha-ram knows about how important the tape is, because if she had watched it, then she wouldn’t be so willing to support Congressman Kim. I had a brief thought that she hid it (unwatched) in the time capsule, thinking it would be a fun memory from Joon to unearth later. But if Moo-gang found the tape, then that obviously doesn’t make sense. Then again, if Moo-gang found the tape that day, I feel like it would have found it by now. There wasn’t much time for him to ditch it between the time he stopped by Ha-ram’s place and the time he got shot. Unless he left it with Leo — we know he visited Leo at the hotel, which is how Moo-gang ended up at the mall and was taken hostage in the first place.
Which brings us to Leo. Since he’s not connected to Man-ho or Chairman Oh (which has been the puzzler for the past few episodes), that means he’s connected to Congressman Kim. The obvious answer is that Leo is the congressman’s son. It would explain why Leo has a bunny charm similar to the one that was on the congressman’s bag, the one that Soo-wan ripped off and then left in the phone booth. It would also explain why he’s so addicted to drugs, because I can’t imagine his childhood was that great, knowing what his father was like. I’d want to escape reality as much as I could, too.
At least I can be satisfied that we finally have proof that Ha-ram’s father was a Reaper, and that she’s half-human, half-Reaper. I feel like that should give her a better chance with Black, at least better than the doom-and-gloom her mother is predicting. Her mother wasn’t a half-Reaper who’d lived with seeing Shadows all her life, so for Ha-ram to discover that the man she loves is a Reaper shouldn’t be as terrifying, right? I hope not, because I need more cute amusement park dates! Then again, it would mean putting off finding out what really happened to Joon, since, despite what all the characters believe right now, I’m not convinced that it was Joon’s body on the road. I do believe that Black is Joon’s missing soul, and once Joon’s body is found, it will mean that Black can move on to the afterlife. But is sacrificing the chance to be with the woman you love worth going to heaven?
- Premiere Watch: 20th Century, Witch’s Court, This Life Is Our First, Mad Dog, Revenge Club, Go Back Spouses, Package, Black, Revolutionary Love
- Song Seung-heon goes from bad cop to badass grim reaper in Black
- The unlikely human-reaper duo saving lives in OCN’s Black
- Grim reaper Song Seung-heon and death psychic Go Ara in OCN’s Black
- Dying roses and burning skulls for OCN’s Black
- News bites: July 1, 2017
- Song Seung-heon and Go Ara for reaper-human romance in OCN thriller Black
- OCN completes weekend lineup for 2017 with new drama from God’s Gift writer