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When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 3

With a new contract on the table, our musical hero has a chance to get out of his original contract and save his soul. The problem is that it comes with a cost, one that won’t be so easy for him to pay when he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for. He doesn’t realize that it’s right under his nose, and once he does, things are going to get a lot more complicated.

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

Yi-kyung decides not to go to the Soul Entertainment auditions in favor of her part-time job, singing for a child’s first birthday party. Some of the mother’s friends recognize her from high school, calling her “Ashtray Girl,” a reference to her attacking her stepfather with an ashtray and rendering him a paraplegic.

Manager Kang hears them gossiping and tells Tae-kang, who calls Ha Rib and says this is his chance to defend himself and celebrate their new deal because he feels guilty. Ha Rib tries to convince himself it’s none of his business, but he ditches the auditions and shows up at the hotel just as Yi-kyung is being attacked by the mother of the child.

He helps her up and leads her away, and as he and Manager Kang drive away a bit later, Tae-kang wonders if this will make the guilt go away. Manager Kang says it will if he was sincere, and Tae-kang sighs that that’s comforting. Is he talking about Ha Rib, or himself?

Ha Rib goes home, but Yi-kyung declines a ride to her place then passes out in his arms. Ha Rib calls a doctor who says that Yi-kyung is just sleeping (cue loud snore, lol), and Kang Ha is so overcome with affection for Ha Rib that he backhugs him.

When Yi-kyung’s phone rings with a call from her part-time chauffeur job, Kang Ha freaks out that she’ll get in trouble if she doesn’t answer. He makes Ha Rib drive drunk people home all night since he doesn’t have a license, until Ha Rib has dark circles under his eyes and begs Kang Ha to stop answering calls and let him just give Yi-kyung money.

In the morning, Ha Rib feeds Yi-kyung breakfast, saying that it’s just leftovers about to expire, and as she eats Yi-kyung asks why he doesn’t have a housekeeper. He says that doing his own laundry and ordering food is easier than bossing someone around, though he can’t exactly argue when Yi-kyung says he’s good at bossing people around.

He asks why she applied to the audition if she wasn’t going to show up, so Yi-kyung explains that Dong-hee applied for her. Yi-kyung asks how he knew where she was, and he lies that he just happened to be there and thought he’d offer her a ride home.

Yi-kyung thanks Ha Rib brightly, confessing that she was praying for someone to show up and save her, and he appeared like a saint. She promises to repay him, and when he asks if she has no pride, she replies that having pride is exhausting when others trample on it, so she prefers to have self-esteem.

Tae-kang walks into Ha Rib’s house like he owns the place, adorably eager to start his singing lessons. Ha Rib leads Tae-kang to his music room, but he says he’s decided not to sign their new deal — instead he’ll just teach Tae-kang to sing so he can have his fan meeting, then disappear. Tae-kang asks why he should give Ha Rib three months if he’s not going to get the substitute soul he was promised, but Ha Rib claims he never agreed to that.

Black smoke starts to billow from Tae-kang and his eyes glow red as he says Ha Rib will pay the consequences for trying to fool the devil. He turns Ha Rib into a tiny green frog for a few seconds to make a point, then reminds Ha Rib that the deal was three months in exchange for singing lessons and a substitute soul. He laughs when Ha Rib stammers that it goes against his conscience.

He explains that demons live off of a certain kind of soul — people in despair, who usually see the demons’ deals as a spark of hope. He tells Ha Rib that there’s no guilt in giving someone hope, and the threat of his contract being burned up has Ha Rib offering to start the singing lesson. Tae-kang’s singing voice is terrible, but Ha Rib tells him he sings like a god, hee.

Having been momentarily forgotten, Yi-kyung marvels at Ha Rib’s fancy house. When he finally gets rid of Tae-kang, Ha Rib realizes that his home is cleaner than it’s never been before. Yi-kyung even left some food behind, with Ha Rib relishes as he grumbles that this is why you shouldn’t let strangers in your house, ha.

Yi-kyung goes to her part-time job working at a coffee house with Dong-hee, who assumes the worst when Yi-kyung says she slept at Ha Rib’s house. Yi-kyung tells her that she’s decided to quit music entirely and start over with a new dream.

Unfortunately, she hits a new string of bad luck when she learns that her apartment’s been sold, the old owner stole her deposit, her lease is illegal because her rooftop apartment technically doesn’t exist, and she has to move out immediately.

As she’s lugging her things through the subway, a young man with the same suitcase comments on their identical luggage. They’re both headed to Hongdae, but the young man cheerfully admits that it’s his first day in Korea and he got robbed, so Yi-kyung ends up paying his fare.

When they get to Hongdae, the young man asks to borrow Yi-kyung’s guitar — he’s using his guitar case as luggage. Yi-kyung watches as he joins some buskers, and she mutters to herself that the guitar suits him. When he’s done playing, Yi-kyung is gone, and his only clue to her identity is a “K” painted on her guitar.

After a grouchy day in the studio, Ha Rib calls Yi-kyung and sings a few bars of a song. He asks if the melody is his or hers, then hangs up as soon as she says she’s never heard it.

Yi-kyung stops to eat at a fishcake stand run by Manager Gong, her boss from the coffee shop. She fibs that her boiler is being repaired and asks to stay with him for a few days. He agrees, adding that when you hit rock bottom in life, the only way to go is up, then charges her for the fishcakes she ate, ha.

Seo-young ends up in an uncomfortably full elevator with Tae-kang, and they try not to look awkward while they’re pressed tightly together. Once they’re out, Seo-young says she wants to keep things professional between them, but she yanks him into a stairwell to vent: “You tossed me aside and didn’t look back, so why are you suddenly in my life again?”

Tae-kang says honestly that he doesn’t know, and Seo-young accuses him of being inhuman, which he doesn’t dispute. She takes the blame for being very busy last year and canceling dates, but she can’t understand why he planned a performance without telling her then totally snubbed her when she showed up to surprise him.

Tae-kang looks so confused as Seo-young asks if he’s back to rub it in her face now that he’s famous. She’s sobbing now, and a tear lands on Tae-kang’s shoe, which he peers at as if he’s never seen a tear before. Seo-young asks why he can’t even say sorry, so he gives it a shot, sounding like the word has never left his mouth before.

He cheers up when Seo-young says she can’t stand him, an emotion he knows how to deal with. Seo-young says again that they’ll be professional from now on, but when she turns to leave, Tae-kang pulls her back around and says he can’t do that. He uses his handkerchief to dry her tears, and she’s still confused but a little giddy later in her office.

Ha Rib wanders through the halls of Soul Entertainment, sizing up the staff and idol trainees, looking for one desperate soul he can substitute for his own. He takes his search to the street, but while many people seem full of despair, none of them seem like the one.

Ha Rib ends up in an area where a bunch of homeless men are bedding down for the night, and one sleeping man catches his eye. He pats the man’s shoulder, and when he looks up, it’s his older incarnation, Seo Dong-chun. Ha Rib yelps and falls, but when he looks again, the man is just another random homeless person.

When Dong-hee learns of Yi-kyung’s misfortune, she thinks Yi-kyung should blackmail Seo-young for payoff money. Yi-kyung says she’s been in lockup before and doesn’t want to go back, that even this life is better. Dong-hee argues that she should at least take the money that was offered, but Yi-kyung says optimistically that things can only get better.

While Yi-kyung is unpacking, she realizes to her dismay that she somehow switched suitcases with the guy from the subway. There are pictures of him and what looks like his mother inside. He’s opening her suitcase at the same time and boggling at the girly lingerie, HA.

Ha Rib has dark circles under his eyes when the auditions resume the next day. Everyone sighs heavily when a failed former top star named Joon-geon shows up, which seems to be a regular occurance. Ha Rib rolls his eyes… but then he asks if Joon-geon wants this badly enough to sell his soul.

Joon-geon wails that he does, and Ha Rib yanks him out of the room and straight to Tae-kang. He tells Tae-kang that Joon-geon is willing to sell his soul, but Tae-kang takes a good hard look and says he’s too pathetic to replace Ha Rib’s soul. Ha Rib is startled to learn that there’s a soul grading system, and Tae-kang wants a grade one soul in exchange for Ha Rib’s.

Ha Rib can’t resist asking what grade his soul is, and he’s satisfied to learn that he’s a solid four (out of nine). But he whines that he has no way of knowing what grade anyone’s soul is, and Tae-kang says that grade one souls are just different. He can’t tell Ha Rib where to find one (“If I knew, I’d go there myself!”), but he insists on the most desperate grade one soul as a trade.

He shocks Ha Rib by shoving Joon-geon out the window, but while Ha Rib is screaming that Tae-kang didn’t have to kill him, Joon-geon calmly gets up and walks away, his memory wiped. Tae-kang muses that the humans he’s met are hypocritical beings who pretend to be virtuous, otherwise they’d have all killed each other by now.

He says he’ll give Ha Rib a tip and does his “standby” trick on Manager Kang, who drops his deferential demeanor and starts cursing up a storm. He insults both Tae-kang and Ha Rib, saying that neither of them has any emotions and laughing that Tae-kang is too helpless to even go to the bathroom without him.

He comes back to his (now terrified) senses at Tae-kang’s snap, and Tae-kang tells Ha Rib that those were Manager Kang’s true thoughts. He says that most humans are suppressing similar feelings, but that grade one souls have no evil thoughts in their hearts. He dismisses Ha Rib, allowing him to take the elevator and saving the window exit for Manager Kang.

Ha Rib goes looking for a pure soul with no evil thoughts, but he gets no help at a monastery or a church. He even studies the grade A steak at a company dinner for clues, but none of his coworkers come close to measuring up (and Chung-ryul, his old bandmate, barely rates an eight, hee).

They relocate to a noraebang, where the employees urge Chung-ryul to sing his most famous Liver and Gallbladder song. A female coworker squeals to Ha Rib that Chung-ryul wrote this song to propose to his wife, but Ha Rib snarls that Chung-ryul didn’t write the song — it was his partner Seo Dong-chun.

Ha Rib flashes back to their Liver and Gallbladder days, when he and Chung-ryul had fought over the song. Ha Rib had accused Chung-ryul of getting famous for someone else’s song, but Chung-ryul had argued that he just finished a song someone else threw out. In the present, Ha Rib thinks that if not for Chung-ryul, he may not have even sold his soul.

He leaves the room, disgusted and sighing that it’s a shame Chung-ryul’s soul isn’t pure enough to sell. He doesn’t see that Chung-ryul followed him into the hall, or that he calls someone to ask a favor.

Ha Rib calls for a ride home, but because he’s a bit drunk and has Yi-kyung saved in his phone as “chauffeur service,” he accidentally calls her. She surprisingly agrees to drive him, and when Ha Rib snaps at her for eating a loud candy bar while she drives, she says she’s been too busy to eat all day.

Curious, Ha Rib offers to listen to a song of hers if she answers a question. He asks Yi-kyung what she thinks makes a grade one soul, she says it must be a soul that leaves a huge void in your heart once it’s gone — a soul that’s precious to its owner. Ha Rib tells her she’s wrong, but she says it doesn’t matter since she’s given up music.

She assures Ha Rib that it’s not because of him — she just realized that her life is this way because of music. Ha Rib says haughtily that it’s best to stop now before it’s too late, and that there are a lot of different paths to happiness. He sincerely wishes Yi-kyung the best and asks her to forget the bad memories between them, then ruins it by suggesting they start by erasing her recordings.

Yi-kyung refuses, and when Ha Rib makes a lunge for her phone, she twists his arm until he begs for mercy. He accuses her of planning to use the recordings to blackmail him, but she reminds him that he said she shouldn’t think of herself as having talent. She tells him that the phone she’s carrying isn’t even the one with the recordings, then leaves.

Tae-kang absently tells Manager Kang about the tardigrade, a many-legged micro-animal that can survive in extreme conditions, even a vacuum, making them nearly immortal. He says that Ha Rib’s struggle to survive reminds him of a tardigrade, so if he does bring him a grade one soul, he should release him from his contract, though it won’t be easy.

He asks Manager Kang for a report on something he asked him to do, and Manager Kang says that he’s delayed because whoever he’s looking for isn’t human. Tae-kang says that “he” must be here, referring to CEO Song’s suicide. Tae-kang still has the mark of Seo-young’s tear on his shoe, and he holds the handkerchief he used to wipe her eyes, wondering why her tears bother him so much.

It’s storming that night as Yi-kyung beds down in the back of the cafe. She’s woken by a knock at the door, but the knock changes to what sounds like someone trying to break in. She calls Manager Gong, who tells her to lock herself in and hide until the police arrive.

She grabs some kind of pipe and locks herself into a storeroom as the knocking and pounding get louder. She suffers a flashback to when she was a teenager and her stepfather pounded on her door, threatening to break down the door and kill her.

Yi-kyung hears sirens and comes out, and she and Manager Gong nearly give each other heart attacks when he comes in the front door. Later they have some coffee and Manager Gong says that the police will check the CCTV cameras and find the guy, who ran off when he heard the sirens.

Manager Gong thinks that someone knew Yi-kyung was here alone, so he says she can’t sleep here anymore for her own safety. Yi-kyung asks how Manager Gong got there so fast, and he jokes that he can fly. Hmmm. He asks if she has somewhere she can go, and Yi-kyung hesitates when he suggests she go home.

She heads to her mother’s tiny restaurant, where she watches as her mother accepts an envelope from an ajumma and tells her it’s not enough. Yi-kyung leaves, complaining about the too-salty kimbap, but leaving some money behind when she goes.

Ha Rib is still up, thinking about his old life when he used to live in a tiny room with his cat and write music. He strums his guitar and sings his old song, while at the same time, Yi-kyung sits outside her former home singing that same song:

How far do I need to go
To find that dream
I keep calling for it
It doesn’t look back
It just tells me to get closer

With nowhere else to go, Yi-kyung ends up at a bus stop, and she calls someone to accept a part-time job.

Ha Rib can’t sleep so he decides to take a shower, but when he gets undressed and pulls back the shower curtain, there’s already someone in there. It’s Yi-kyung, crouched in the bathtub cleaning it, and Ha Rib puts his foot on her head to keep her from looking up and coming face to, um, face with his nakedness.

 
COMMENTS

HAHAHA, this show cracks me up. I was hoping for some cohabitation hijinks when Yi-kyung found herself homeless, and the setup is perfect — Ha Rib needs a housekeeper, and Yi-kyung needs a job and a place to stay. It’s a little strange that Kang Ha didn’t feel it necessary to tell Ha Rib that they have a new housekeeper and that she decided to start cleaning in the middle of the night, but hey, if it results in Ha Rib running around panicked and nekkid as a jaybird, I’m all for it. I’m always up for some shared-housing silliness, and while I think that Ha Rib is fascinated enough by Yi-kyung that he’d have found some other way to be around her some more, this just makes things a lot easier.

I’m curious why Tae-kang seems so fascinated with alleviating guilt lately. It’s difficult to tell whether he’s talking about Ha Rib’s guilt for “stealing” Yi-kyung’s song, or if he’s feeling some guilt for tricking Ha Rib into stealing others’ inspiration. I think it’s a bit of both — he called Ha Rib to rescue Yi-kyung at the party, saying that it’s his chance to make up for feeling guilty, but after the party Tae-kang asked Manager Kang if the guilt would go away, and seemed personally relieved when Manager Kang said it would if the action is sincere. It’s amusing how unfamiliar Tae-kang seems with any of the non-malicious human emotions… he knows a lot about greed and selfishness, but he seemed absolutely baffled in the face of Ha Rib’s guilt or Seo-young’s sadness. He’s clearly not new to this soul-trading business, so I wonder why he’s just now showing interest in his target and those around him. Surely Ha Rib isn’t the first human to try and bargain his way out of his contract? And Seo-young can’t be the first person to cry in front of him, so I’m as baffled as Tae-kang is — why is he so bothered?

Speaking of curious, I think that Yi-kyung’s boss, Manager Gong, has a secret. He seemed to know that Yi-kyung was lying about her boiler being repaired, and he was obviously sleeping when she called him in the middle of the night, yet he got to the cafe even before the police. I don’t think he was lying when he said he can fly… could he be some sort of angelic being? He might even be the person Tae-kang is looking for, which also seems to have something to do with CEO Song, the man that Ha Rib originally thought was the demon, and who let himself fall off the building. It was mentioned that CEO Song’s suicide was a surprise to Tae-kang because he shouldn’t have been capable of guilt without his soul, and now we learn that that may be due to some other non-human presence in the area. I won’t be at all surprised if that entity is Manager Gong.

I think it’s pretty clear that Yi-kyung is the grade one soul that Ha Rib is looking for, because she meets the criteria of having no evil thoughts in her heart. Despite everything that’s happened to her in her short life, she genuinely holds no anger or resentment towards anyone, only desiring to get by on her own and not be a bother to anyone. She’s a bit of a Candy, but what keeps her from being annoyingly unrealistic is the way she stands up for herself whenever she feels wronged — she’s a pure soul, but she’s nobody’s footstool. My guess is that Ha Rib is going to have a difficult time trading in a soul for his own when it’s someone he’s beginning to care about, even if only because he sees so much of himself in her right now.

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I think Kang Ha is some sort of angelic being trying to push Ha Rib toward redemption.
I enjoy the actors and certain scenes but still feel like this show hasn't found it's footing yet.

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He strums his guitar and sings his old song, while at the same time, Yi-kyung sits outside her former home singing that same song:

@lollypip I thought she was sitting outside Ha Rip's old home (Seo Dong-chun's home) and remembering listening to him sing that song. I think they used to live near each other. In fact I think that's how she became a fan and got into music to begin with.

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Oooh good theory

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Yeah, that's how I interpreted that too. It seems like he lived above her, and she would sit under the window and listen to him play.

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Oh, maybe! The editing can be vague and it's hard to tell sometimes what's happening, but I bet you're right.

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Ditto, I thought the same thing too! It doesn't surprise me if Yi Kyung used to listen to Ha-Rib when she was young.. When she sang one of the Liver & Gallbladder songs, Ha Rib was quite surprise because it's no way for a girl in her age knew that song very much.... (as the song was sang while Ha Rib was active in band... it means YK was still a teenager or maybe child). With her lived closed by, she got to use listening to Ha rib, and she went there when she's feeling down... :)

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I doubt it. We must remember that Harip is an old man of 50ish or so when he traded his soul a decade ago. The old was during his younger years of 20s-30s. Yi-kyung is current in her 20s, so there is a natural gap of some 20-30 years between them. Yi-kyung would not have been born yet or if so, only a toddler or little child.

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@kafiyah-bello @ash27 @lemoncello
Granted I don't know Korean and rely on subs this is my understanding of the ages and events:

10 years ago Ha Rip was 60, still composing music but unable to get recognized, to the point he was doubting his music is any good. Then he made the deal with the devil and went back to 30. If he didn't sell his soul and still lived he'd be 70 now.

10 years ago Yi Kyung was 17 or 18, still a minor before she went to detention. So she was old enough to listen to the 60 year old Ha Rip playing music.

The scene in question was edited in a confusing way like @lollypip said, it was even hard to tell whose flashback each scene was but it showed current Ha Rip playing his song in his new fancy house and current Yi Kyung sitting outside his old window remembering her school days 10 years ago, sitting in the same spot listening to Seo Dong-chun through the window as he played and composed that song. That's how I understood it when I watched it and still think so after my rewatch of the scene.

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I want to see more of what happens with the devil and Seo-young since it's clear that she's not over him yet. Their encounters are the funniest! HAHA

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I have never seen Lee El in such a comical role, I'm really enjoying it. She is always the cool power woman.

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She was very comical in Hwayugi but she really shines in this show HAHAHA

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Oops. I guess Hwayugi wasn't all that memorable for me. I only remember the zombie girl. :)

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Thanks for the recap! It shed a bit of light on my continuos confused state when watching the episode.

Despite my confusion, I still have time to speculate 🤣....I think Yi Kyung is a grade 1 soul and there are hidden guardians protecting her at all times. Kang Ha was her protector before he lost his memories..now it's the cafe boss. Kang Ha is very attached to Yi Kyung eventhough he supposedly just met her, I do think there's some history between them.

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Or she reminds him of something else. I am quite interested in that backstory

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I'm so glad that Yi-kyung is a spunky Candy who stands up for herself whenever she feels wronged. It makes for a more relatable character and helps keep my blood pressure down.
I'm also confused as to why the Devil is feeling guilty now? I was thinking that maybe his feelings are a side effect of inhabiting a human body for too long, but it seems like he just starts talking about feeling guilty when dealing with Ha Rib/Yi-kyung.

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Thank you @lollypip for the wonderful recap ! :)

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How long has this luck-and/or-ability-stealing been going on??

Was Ha Rib / Seo Dong-Cheon so unsuccessful before he sold his soul because his luck & talent were going to someone else????

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Is this a double talent stealing deal? His partner made a deal with the devil and stole his luck/talent/songs and he does the exact same thing after making a deal with Ryu. 😲

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Tae-kang is too hilarious as a demon. A part from he's being a demon and demands for Ha Rib's soul, he's still too kindhearted. Deep inside, I hope that Tae-kang can turn into "a kind demon".

I was wondering about the demon in the episode 2... Who is he??!! I don't believe that he only appeared to threaten Ha Rib's neighbor...

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