When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 5
Our grumpy musician thinks he’s found his ticket for saving his soul, but he’s realizing that locating a grade one soul was the easy part. Now he has to convince her to sign away her own soul, and unfortunately the only thing he has to tempt her with is something she’s decided to give up. Meanwhile, the demon sets out to prove that grade one souls no longer exist, but he’s not having any more luck tempting a soul that seems to want nothing out of life.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Two days before the Idol Festival…
After Ha Rib has Tae-kang do his “standby” test on Yi-kyung and she says a mild curse word, Tae-kang decides she can’t possibly be a grade one soul. Ha Rib bursts into Tae-kang’s office to argue that the word she said isn’t bad enough to disqualify her. Tae-kang tells him that grade one souls used to exist, but one hasn’t been seen in a very long time because nobody can be that pure in the modern world.
Ha Rib accuses Tae-kang of insisting on a grade one soul just so he can enjoy watching Ha Rib make himself nuts trying to find one, then take his soul anyway. He tells Tae-kang that it’s on him to prove Yi-kyung isn’t a grade one soul, and if he can’t, he’s got to honor their new contract. Tae-kang agrees, maybe a little too easily.
The next day, Ha Rib paces Seo-young’s office talking about how bad it must feel to be a top star that loses their fame. He says they might even be willing to sell their soul to get it back, and oooohhhhh… he’s planning to make Yi-kyung famous and cause her to lose it, then get her to sign a contract. He asks Seo-young to add someone to the roster for tomorrow’s show, but she’s busy and orders him out of her office.
The day of the show, Ha Rib approaches Tae-kang to somehow get Ra-in to hurt herself and miss the show. Tae-kang doesn’t want to, until Ha Rib lets slip that Ra-in never lets go once she gets her claws in a guy she likes. Tae-kang meets up with Ra-in, then flashes his demon eyes and scares her into falling and hurting her leg, hoping that she’ll also lose interest in him.
Ra-in’s absence leaves a hole in the set list, so Ha Rib summons Yi-kyung to the venue. He introduces her to the audience as his new muse, Kelly, and tells her that all she has to do is follow him and he’ll take her as far as she can go. Yi-kyung argues weakly that she’s given up music, but when Ha Rib says this is a one-time offer, she follows him onto the stage.
Her one request is that the audience doesn’t see her face, so she stands backlit as she sings her song. She starts out soft and tentative, but by the end her voice is strong and confident, and even Ha Rib looks impressed.
Afterward, he’s wired with excitement over how much the audience loved Yi-kyung, and he starts planning new songs, an album, and even a tour. Yi-kyung is quiet and just excuses herself, and on the bus, she wonders if she’s lost her mind.
Awww, Kang Ha saw Yi-kyung on television and somehow manages to procure a huge congratulations feast and cake. But Ha Rib returns home alone, so Kang Ha makes the best of it, backhugging Ha Rib and cooing that it was a beautiful night. He assumes that Ha Rib finally acknowledged Yi-kyung’s talent, but Ha Rib just threatens to kill him if he ever backhugs him again.
Yi-kyung’s mother hits her for going against her advice to live a quiet life. She wails that people still talk about Yi-kyung’s past, and by going on TV it’ll all get brought up again. She snaps that Yi-kyung doesn’t care about her family, but Yi-kyung tears up, saying that she’s her daughter.
Her stepfather groans and Yi-kyung’s mother retreats to the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. Yi-kyung says through the door that she promises she won’t become a singer and will live quietly until the day she dies. Her mother comes out of the bedroom, but Yi-kyung is already gone, leaving another envelope of money behind.
Tae-kang watches Yi-kyung from his car, and he tells Manager Kang that all he has to do is bring out the vanity, lies, deception, and hypocrisy in in humans as proof that’s they’re not a grade one soul. Yi-kyung is standing on the corner with no cars or people in sight, yet she’s still waiting for the light to turn green before she crosses. Tae-kang asks if Manager Kang would do that, and Manager Kang says he has a point.
At the sauna where they’re staying, Luka asks Yi-kyung what it feeling like to be a celebrity now. She says that she’s determined not to get back into music because it leads to things like fame, love and support, and that those things make a person greedy. Luka asks why she performed, and she admits that she “wanted to be the sun” for once.
Ha Rib is scared of giving Yi-kyung time to change her mind, but when he takes out his phone to contact her, he’s got a ton of texts and calls. He grows nostalgic when he finds an old notebook that he used to write music in, and he thinks to himself, “Seo Dong-chun. A failed life. Failed music.”
Manager Kang’s stomach growls as he’s driving, which reminds Tae-kang of Seo-young, and he sighs heavily, wondering why he can’t stop thinking about her. Even while he’s talking to a roomful of people who have sold their souls to him, he keeps getting startled by the sound of a stomach growling, hee.
Tae-kang instructs his followers to launch an online hate campaign against Ha Rib and Yi-kyung’s performance. When Seo-young sees the nasty comments, she calls in Ha Rib, but he just says that this means people are interested in his mysterious muse. Seo-young is mainly angry because Yi-kyung sang the song everyone knows as Shi-ho’s, but Ha Rib says firmly that he wrote the song and Yi-kyung only sang a cover she arranged.
He starts talking about signing Yi-kyung as “Kelly,” which makes Seo-young reach for her anxiety meds, ha. She tries to argue, but Ha Rib is relentless, making Seo-young wonder if Yi-kyung has some dirt on him. He says his soul depends on this, so she tells him to make it a standard contract, and he has to deal with Shi-ho and Ra-in first, who are both upset about Yi-kyung’s performance.
Yi-kyung, Dong-hee, and Luka all talk about Yi-kyung’s performance, and Dong-hee asks if Yi-kyung is upset about the negative comments. Yi-kyung says that’s what they want, and she’s not planning to sing again anyway, so this just gives her another reason.
Manager Kang reports to Yi-kyung’s response to the hate campaign to Tae-kang, which is nowhere near the hysterical response they expected. Tae-kang tells Manager Kang to think up something even more powerful, determined to make Yi-kyung break and prove she’s not a grade one soul.
Ha Rib tries to smooth things over with Shi-ho, saying that if the cover of his song is a hit, the original will get more attention. Shi-ho whines that people are saying Yi-kyung’s version was better, and he threatens to leave the company if Yi-kyung ever sings it again.
Ha Rib gives Shi-ho his sports car, and at first Shi-ho acts all offended but soon he’s hugging his new baby, hee. After Ha Rib leaves, a furious Ra-in shows up and when she sees Ha Rib’s car, she goes after it with her crutch. Shi-ho throws himself in front of the car to protect it and takes a crutch to the sternum.
Ra-in doesn’t stop swinging until Tae-kang grabs the crutch, and she immediately swoons onto him. He holds her up until Seo-young walks around the corner, then he shoves her onto the ground with Shi-ho, LOL. Seo-young ignores him and helps Ra-in up, yanking her back when Ra-in tries to fall on Tae-kang again, and Tae-kang gives Shi-ho Ra-in’s crutch, which he kinda needs by now. OMG I’m dying, this whole scene is hilarious.
A while later, Tae-kang teleports into Ha Rib’s music studio to remind Ha Rib that Yi-kyung has a criminal record. Ha Rib retorts that she was a victim of domestic violence, but Tae-kang says that Ha Rib just wants to believe she’s a grade one soul. Ha Rib insists that she is, so Tae-kang say sarcastically that he respects Ha Rib’s faith.
Meanwhile, Seo-young takes Ra-in to task for getting hurt and missing the show, creating this whole problem. She warns Ra-in not to do anything to mess up the drama she’s about to star in, then her voice goes all sweet as she asks Ra-in what kind of relationship she has with Tae-kang. Ra-in whispers with relish, “I saw the beast inside him. He’s like a beast from Hades! Unni, I think I’m in love…”
The way she describes Tae-kang sounds very sexual, and naturally Seo-young assumes the worst. She asks if Tae-kang likes Ra-in back and she says he does, which sets off Seo-young’s temper. She tells Ra-in to forget Tae-kang, or her world tour is canceled.
Tae-kang’s confidence gives Ha Rib doubts about the quality of Yi-kyung’s soul, and he worries about what could happen if she doesn’t turn out to have a grade one soul. Seo-young finds him agonizing in the elevator and invites him out, where she pounds her drink and cries.
She thinks about the last performance she went to of Tae-kang’s, when he’d snubbed her after the show. Ha Rib assumes she’s still angry at him when she smacks him and asks how a person can change like that. She growls that she’s talking about that bastard Tae-kang, and Ha Rib selflessly offers up his face to be manhandled.
In the taxi later, Ha Rib asks Seo-young why she isn’t over Tae-kang if she hates him so much. He says that Tae-kang isn’t the guy she used to know, meaning it literally, but she’s asleep and doesn’t answer.
Ha Rib thinks about his own past, in 1998 when he was Seo Dong-chun. He’d been living with a woman and had asked her to leave, saying that it was mostly convenience anyway, and she’d called him garbage before leaving. He tells himself to focus on the contract, because he doesn’t have much time.
He takes Yi-kyung to buy a new sports car, and when he hands her the keys, he’s taken aback when she assumes it’s his new car and she’s just his driver. They go home for a very fancy lunch, Ha Rib thinking that if he gets Yi-kyung used to the finer things in life, she won’t want to give them up.
He tells her grandly that she’s his muse now, and when she reminds him that he said her music makes him feel rotten, Kang Ha stage-whispers that Ha Rib is bipolar, HAHA. She’s grateful for the attention, but Yi-kyung is anxious to get back to work cleaning. Ha Rib says that they somehow wrote the same song, which means their souls may be connected, and that’s why he chose her as his muse.
He gets frustrated that Yi-kyung isn’t interested, and he snaps at her to go live like a loser claiming he plagiarized her song if she wants. Yi-kyung says she has no intention of doing that, but she also won’t be his muse. She starts to leave, and in desperation Ha Rib yells, “I’m bipolar!” PFFT.
He starts acting all nice, telling her that she can do whatever she wants musically as his muse. He and Kang Ha show Yi-kyung to a room they’ve fixed up for her, but she politely declines, and Ha Rib blames Kang Ha for choosing a pink bedspread.
Kang Ha follows Yi-kyung outside to ask her personally to accept Ha Rib’s offer. She says she wants to make music, but that Ha Rib will eventually be glad she turned him down. She thanks Kang Ha for genuinely caring about her and he says he’s supposed to give her the car, but she thinks he’s joking, hee.
As Kang Ha watches Yi-kyung walking away, his vision blurs and he sees a different woman, also walking away with a smile. He blinks hard and things look normal again, but he wonders what that was about.
As she walks, a fifty thousand won bill (about $40 USD) lands on the pavement at Yi-kyung’s feet. It’s another of Tae-kang’s tests to see what she’ll do if there’s no obvious owner nearby and nobody to see her keep the money. He tells Manager Kang smugly that even the purest soul will justify keeping the money, but Manager Kang finds the bill fastened to the wall in a plastic baggie with a note hoping that the real owner finds it.
Tae-kang meets with Ha Rib for another voice lesson, and this time they go to a spot overlooking the Han River. Tae-kang is as awful as always, which he blames on the wind, hee. He asks Ha Rib about the guilt he felt towards Yi-kyung, then guesses that Ha Rib cares more about himself than his guilt.
He’s still hearing sounds like Seo-young’s stomach growling, and he asks Ha Rib what food is to humans. Ha Rib says they need it to survive, too much can kill them, and they have to eat every day. Tae-kang mutters that it sounds annoying, but Ha Rib says he loves being a human being and not a putrid devil. Tae-kang grins that he likes that phrase.
They go to the Soul Entertainment building, where Tae-kang invites Seo-young to dinner. Her first reaction is anger, but then she remembers Ra-in talking about the “beast” inside him, and she imagines him ripping open his shirt to reveal thick, beastly chest hair.
Seo-young shakes it off and stomps away, but she hears him ask Manager Kang why inviting her to a meal makes him a beast. She goes back and snaps that she’ll eat with him, and when he proudly says he always travels with his manager like she said (to avoid a scandal), she decides they’ll take her car, alone. She takes him to her home and invites him in for ramyun, rawr.
Yi-kyung sits outside her favorite window and talks to someone she just calls Ajusshi. She says that she performed on stage, and that it felt like a dream at the time but now she feels empty. She says she just felt like telling Ajusshi about it, and that she misses hearing him tell her to go home.
She’s surprised to see Luka approaching, and he asks why she’s sitting outside Seo Dong-chun’s old home. He tells her that he came to Korea to look for traces of Seo Dong-chun, and that a neighbor told him the landlord only comes by to collect the mail. Today Luka managed to get a piece of mail addressed to Seo Dong-chun, so he’s had a good day.
Yi-kyung tells him that a friend of hers used to live here, an old man who played the guitar. She remembers a day ten years ago when her stepfather had chased her into the alley, and she’d crashed into Dong-chun, sending them both sprawling. Dong-chun had been angry that she broke his guitar and had kept her from leaving, which allowed her stepfather to catch up.
When Dong-chun saw her stepfather raise his fist, he’d broken his hold on Yi-kyung. He’d claimed to be Yi-kyung’s father, which had made a huge impression on Yi-kyung, whose own family had abandoned her. They’d sat together under his window as it rained, and he’d played a song for her.
Yi-kyung tells Luka that even though Ajusshi was dirty and smelled of alcohol, she didn’t mind, and she credits him for enabling her to dream for the first time. Luka says he’s glad to know that Seo Dong-chun was a good person, but Yi-kyung smiles and says he was bad because he disappeared without saying goodbye.
Luka tells her in his native language that she’s pretty when she smiles. He shows her a scrapbook he’s put together about Seo Dong-chun, and he tells her that Soul’s new CEO, Chung-ryul, hasn’t seen Dong-chun in ten years, either.
Chung-ryul is curious about Ha Rib, so he has a background check done on him. The investigator says that Ha Rib’s national ID number is valid, but that he can’t find anything about Ha Rib’s past, which means he’s probably using a false identity.
Back at the sauna, Luka points Yi-kyung to a photo of Seo Dong-chun from his Liver and Gallbladder days, and they agree that he looks remarkably like Ha Rib. Yi-kyung thinks about the patched guitar she found in Ha Rib’s basement room. She asks Luka how he learned about such an obscure musician, so he explains that his mother owned Liver and Gallbladder’s album, and also Dong-chun’s solo album.
He says that one day he was playing them, and his mother got angry and smashed his guitar. He’s seen Korean dramas, so it occurred to him that Seo Dong-chun might be his real father. LOL, that makes Yi-kyung choke on her food.
She gets a call from her old apartment manager, who tells her that her old apartment has a new owner and is available. Yi-kyung is enchanted when she sees that someone has turned the roof into a garden wonderland, but when the new landlord shows up, Yi-kyung freezes — it’s Ha Rib. He’s pleased with himself as he shows her the remodeled interior, but Yi-kyung says that just because she’s poor doesn’t mean she’s grateful for his meddling.
She’s upset because a newlywed couple wanted the place, but he pushed them out in favor of her. Ha Rib asks incredulously if she’s Mother Teresa, and he explains that the last two landlords are a divorced couple who sell buildings to each other in order to evict unwanted tenants. He claims it was considerate of him to buy the building, but Yi-kyung says he doesn’t know the meaning of the word.
Ha Rib says he’ll prove how considerate he is, and he gives her the music contract he’s brought for her to look at. The terms are very generous, but Yi-kyung quickly notices the clause that says “The singer will dedicate his or her soul to the agency.” Ha Rib acts like he’s never seen it and says they can take it out.
Yi-kyung thanks him for everything he’s tried to do for her, and asks him to stop now. Ha Rib just takes her to a small stadium and says they can start by having her perform there. He plays the audio from her performance over the sound system, complete with screaming audience, and though it’s tempting, Yi-kyung continues to refuse.
Tae-kang happens to be with the sketchy landlord couple, acting as though he’s looking for some land. He does his “standby” trick on both of them, and they turn from lovey-dovey to insulting each other and arguing over everything from the husband’s longtime mistress, to the fact that their son is actually the child of the husband’s friend.
Tae-kang and Ha Rib walk away calmly, both noting that neither of them is making much progress. Tae-kang explodes the landlords’ car behind them, and Ha Rib accuses him of being a tad dramatic, ha. Tae-kang grumbles that their power dynamic seems backwards, but Ha Rib says they’re just each doing their job.
Seeing that he’s getting on Tae-kang’s nerves, Ha Rib starts deliberately annoying him. Tae-kang practically jumps into his arms when a piece of the car lands a few feet away.
One of my favorite things about this drama is the side characters — they’re all interesting and add a lot of color to the story. I definitely think, after this episode, that Kang Ha will be pretty shocked about his own nature once he regains his memories, as it’s my guess that whatever he is, he’s not human. Luka is very intriguing also, the way he came out of nowhere seemingly on a pilgrimage to meet Ha Rib, and how he seems very simple-minded — not dumb, just very innocent — yet he can also be extremely insightful. Now we learn that he also knows a lot about Dong-chun, which makes me think he may be connected in a more personal way than it seems on the surface. It had occurred to me that he might be Dong-chun/Ha Rib’s son, and I kinda love the way they hung a lantern on the idea by saying that Luka thought of it because he watches dramas, but I hope it’s not that simple. Though, now that I think about it, watching Ha Rib try to be a father to a perpetually sunny-natured kid would be pretty funny.
Now that we’re well into the story, this show has gotten a little weird for me. I still like the dark humor and I love the characters, and I find the premise of Ha Rib trying to find a pure soul to save his own interesting and fun. But there’s something about When the Devil Calls Your Name that feels just a bit left of center, and I can’t really put my finger on it. Part of it, as I’ve said before, is that the plot hasn’t really moved forward much in the last few episodes, though it still manages to be funny and entertaining. I think it’s because the tension that should be there between a demon and his intended victim just sort of disappeared after their one big confrontation.
I adore Park Sung-woong and Jung Kyung-ho, and I think they’re both doing great with their roles, but I want to see them playing off each other more. They have very few scenes together and the ones they do have seem rushed. What I want is more moments like the one in Episode 2, when Tae-kang held Ha Rib over the fiery pit and threatened to drop him in — Tae-kang felt truly demonic and terrifying, and it was great. I want confrontation and butting heads, and even the humor that I know these actors can milk from these sorts of scenes. But while Tae-kang and Ha Rib have goals that are at odds with each other, they’re working almost entirely independently, which softens the stakes and neutralizes the anxiety the show set up in the beginning. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as we saw in that final scene, a funny bickering relationship between Ha Rib and Tae-kang would be amazing, too. I guess I just want to see more of them together, because that’s where the real magic is.
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