When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 6
Apparently all I had to do was complain, because When the Devil Calls Your Name has started picking up speed again and the plot is finally making some progress. Ha Rib is still desperate to save his own soul and willing to sell someone else’s in exchange, but when his plan begins to work, he starts to suffer some misgivings. And our demonic friend is also stepping up his game in his quest to prove that pure souls no longer exist, which has devastating consequences for an innocent young woman who only wants room to dream.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Yi-kyung and Ha Rib receive packages from the growing army of anti-fans who don’t care for Ha Rib’s new muse because of her dark past. Yi-kyung’s contains a dead rat, while Ha Rib’s is a picture of himself with bloody holes punched into his head.
The stories about Yi-kyung are blown all out of proportion, especially the ones about her being a school bully, when she only defended Dong-hee by throwing water on some bullies once. Luka says that people only believe what they want to believe and asks Dong-hee not to be so angry, and his bright smile calms her down.
More frightening hate-gifts pour into the Soul Entertainment building, most of them for Yi-kyung. But Seo-young still agrees to offer her a contract, since the company will look bad if they don’t after Ha Rib announced her as his muse.
Yi-kyung goes to the Soul Entertainment building to help with her hate mail, and Ra-in makes her clean up the employees’ empty coffee cups and dirty ashtrays. While Yi-kyung is holding the ashtray, Ra-in pretends to be worried she’ll hit her with it like she did her stepfather, but Yi-kyung ignores her.
In the hallway, Shi-ho tells Yi-kyung that Ra-in isn’t a bad person and not to let her behavior get to her. He asks if Yi-kyung is really Ha Rib’s housekeeper, sneering that she’s good at cleaning and hitting on her employer.
Meanwhile, Ha Rib yanks Tae-kang into the stairwell, aware that he instigated the hate campaign against Yi-kyung. Tae-kang admits to some of it, but only enough to make a point, ha. Tae-kang protests that they didn’t send Ha Rib anything (Tae-kang: “I’d just visit you in person and gouge out your eyeballs!” Ha Rib: “I never said it was a doll with gouged-out eyeballs.” Tae-kang: “It was a joke…?”).
He says that he got the ball rolling but that humans did the rest, proving just how evil they can be. Ha Rib concludes that since Yi-kyung hasn’t cracked, she’s definitely a grade one soul, and vows to have her sign a contract. Tae-kang hesitates, but when Ha Rib asks what the problem is now, he says it’s no fun to tell him in advance.
There’s an investor’s meeting to discuss why someone with Yi-kyung’s criminal past was allowed to perform at the idol festival. Chung-ryul defends that Seo-young wouldn’t have allowed it if she knew, but Seo-young says that she knew, and that Yi-kyung is a talented artist so she let her sing thinking she could smooth things over later.
She says that if they don’t sign Yi-kyung, it will confirm her bad reputation and make the company look worse. She clarifies that Yi-kyung is not an attempted murderer, but was convicted of grievous bodily harm after a decade of abuse. She says that they’re not simple-minded enough to believe every rumor, and she asks the investors to trust Ha Rib’s judgment as much as she does.
Yi-kyung can’t help but let people’s nasty comments and assumptions get to her, and she sits at the sauna that night crying to herself. The next day, Tae-kang decides to let up on her, since the humans are doing his job much better than he ever could.
He’s walking in the park when he spots Seo-young coming towards him with a happy smile. He holds out his arms as if to hug her, but she goes right past him… it’s just a woman with her same haircut meeting her boyfriend. It reminds him of the night she came to Mo Tae-kang’s performance — the night he took over Tae-kang’s body.
The real Tae-kang had finished his show (that’s why he could sing so well!) and when he returned to his dressing room, he’d found an old man waiting for him. Evidently the real Tae-kang had sold his soul, and the demon had come to collect. Tae-kang had asked for one hour to have a last meal with his girlfriend, and when the man had kept advancing, Tae-kang tried to stab him.
The man had morphed into the demon and grabbed Tae-kang by the throat, saying that he’d planned on taking his soul painlessly until he did that. He’d growled (in Latin?), “Abandon all hope, your body is mine now,” and had taken over Tae-kang’s body.
Tae-kang and Manager Kang are at the park to bargain for another soul, this time from the cat-killer, who has a painful growth on his shoulder after his encounter with the demon transferred the pain of resurrecting Ha Rib to him. For his other two wishes, the cat-killer wants to be rich, and for his family to stop looking down on him.
When Tae-kang offers to just kill them, the cat-killer says gleefully to kill his parents and frame his siblings for the murder. Manager Kang says that his soul is already worse than that of a demon’s, so his low-worth soul will be collected immediately, and the cat-killer screams to just take it.
Tae-kang clamps a hand on his forehead, and the cat-killer suddenly sees the world as a fiery hellscape and the people (and himself) as mangled zombies. Tae-kang says this is what the world looks like when you have no soul. The cat-killer gets on his knees and pleads, saying this wasn’t what he wanted, but the demon just tells him to go home and his wishes will be fulfilled.
Now soulless, the cat-killer stumbles away and bumps into a jogger, and in his soulless world he sees her as attacking him. He smashes her earphones then wanders off, and Tae-kang mutters that even a bad soul is still a soul.
Despite her previous refusals, Yi-kyung is still thinking about Ha Rib’s offer of a music contract. She visits her boss, Manager Gong, at his food truck, and she asks about what he said before about good things coming after a lot of bad things happen.
She tells him that she’s thinking of becoming a singer now that she’s hit rock bottom and has nothing to lose. Manager Gong warns her gently not to fly too high or it will hurt when she falls, but Yi-kyung says she’s not good enough to rise that high. She leaves to take a call from Ha Rib, and Manager Gong says to himself, “Once you go to the top, there are places you can’t come down from.”
Ha Rib tries not to look too eager that Yi-kyung agrees to talk to him. He starts to convince her to sign the contract again, but Yi-kyung interrupts and says she’ll do it. She signs after making sure the line about selling her soul has been removed, though Ha Rib thinks, “We’ve only gotten started.”
After Yi-kyung heads home, Ha Rib does the Happy Dance of Joy all the way to his car. He regains his chill when he finds Tae-kang waiting for him, and he tells Tae-kang smugly that everything is going well. Tae-kang is still certain that Yi-kyung will show her ugly side eventually, but Ha Rib gloats that all he has to do now is get her to sign a soul contract.
He outlines his plan to make her a top star then cause her downfall, which should make her desperate enough to sell her soul. Tae-kang admits it’s a great plan, but he says that getting Yi-kyung to follow it is the tricky part, because humans have free will.
Chung-ryul wants to sue everyone making malicious comments online about Yi-kyung, but Seo-young says they can’t erase Yi-kyung’s past so they need to make people forget. Chung-ryul suggests having Yi-kyung go on variety shows (like Law of the Jungle, HA), but Ha Rib bursts in to argue with him. It devolves into a ridiculous fight over which of them is more willing to eat snake, until Seo-young breaks it up and asks Ha Rib what he’s got planned.
He snaps that he’ll figure it out and leaves, and Chung-ryul fumes that the way Ha Rib acts, you’d think they used to be enemies. He asks Seo-young about Ha Rib, but she says he doesn’t talk about himself often. She explains that Ha Rib brought her a demo ten years ago, and that all he said was that Seo Dong-chun mentioned her name.
The first part of Ha Rib’s plan for Yi-kyung is to isolate her and become her main source of shelter. He goes looking for her in Hongdae, and he stops dead in his tracks when a voice calls to him, “Seo Dong-chun-sshi?”
It’s Manager Gong, who invites him to have a fish cake. Ha Rib asks why he called him by that name, and Manager Gong says it’s because Yi-kyung says the name a lot so he thought it was Ha Rib’s. He adds that a lot of people have offered Yi-kyung the spotlight, and that Seo Dong-chun was one of them.
He tells Ha Rib to give up whatever he’s after and not to take Yi-kyung’s life twice, but Ha Rib protests that all he wants is to make Yi-kyung a top star. Manager Gong chuckles that things don’t always work out, then makes him pay for his fishcake, hee.
Ha Rib heads to the apartment he fixed up for Yi-kyung, and he accidentally catches her coming out of the shower. He claims that he let himself in because she refused to move back in, not because he’s in the habit of entering the homes of single women.
Luka shows up, having moved into a third-floor unit. He serves Ha Rib some tea and massages his shoulders, saying that he seems stressed. Luka runs off, and Yi-kyung joins Ha Rib and asks if she can stay until she finds another place. Ha Rib says that it belongs to her now.
She apologizes for mistrusting Ha Rib and for being rude to him about the apartment. He says it’s fine, and gives her the bare bones of a song that he says she can finish and write lyrics for. Yi-kyung gratefully starts calling him “PD-nim,” and Ha Rib thinks that all she has to do is stay safe in her birdcage.
Luka returns with a package that was left in the office for Ha Rib. Ha Rib tells him to open it carefully, but LOL, it’s just some underwear that Kang Ha ordered. He also has the letter addressed to Seo Dong-chun, which Ha Rib snatches away.
After he leaves, he opens it to find his pension application and realizes that in reality, he’s 66 years old. But it’s impossible for it to have been delivered to the office, making him wonder where Luka got it.
Luka follows him and asks for the mail back, determined to find its rightful owner. He tells Ha Rib that he got it at Seo Dong-chun’s home, explaining that his mom is a fan so he wanted a picture, but found that Seo Dong-chun hasn’t been there in years.
It freaks Ha Rib out that in the thirty years since the name Seo Dong-chun became famous, not one fan ever came to his house, yet now it’s happened. Luka asks if he knows who Seo Dong-chun is, and Ha Rib says he doesn’t, but Luka’s ever-present smile fades after Ha Rib leaves.
Seo-young introduces Yi-kyung to her employees, who give her a barely lukewarm welcome. Chung-ryul comes to say hello, and as soon as Yi-kyung sees his face, she ducks her head and seems almost scared.
Chung-ryul speaks to Luka privately, expressing concern that he was staying at a sauna and telling him to consider him as a father. Luka asks if Dong-chun was dating anyone when he was in Liver and Gallbladder, but Chung-ryul doesn’t seem to remember.
Yi-kyung shows the song that Ha Rib gave her to Luka, along with the lyrics she’s written. He plays piano while Yi-kyung sings as Ha Rib secretly listens in. Later Ha Rib suggests they hold a showcase for Yi-kyung, sure that the reporters write positively about her when they hear her sing. Yi-kyung says she’d rather busk on the street where people can stop and listen if they want.
They realize that the employees around them are all gossiping about Yi-kyung, but when she ducks her head, Ha Rib tells her to smile and get used to people staring because of her music. Yi-kyung can hear them gossiping that she murdered someone, but she bravely looks them in the eye and greets them politely.
Ha Rib takes Yi-kyung to buy a guitar, insisting when she says she already has one. He tells her that once her music earns her some fans, those fans will step up and protect her when she gets slandered.
Luka watches, impressed, as Kang Ha whips up a fancy pasta meal. Kang Ha tells Yi-kyung that he thinks he may have been a chef, and Ha Rib notes that after three years staying home, Kang Ha is leaving the house often these days. Kang Ha says he only made enough for three, so Ha Rib claims it’s too rich for him, but he frowns when Dong-hee shows up and Kang Ha has enough for her, ha.
Ha Rib, Yi-kyung, and Luka practice Yi-kyung’s new song in Ha Rib’s music room, and Luka comments that the chords sound a lot like a track from Liver and Gallbladder’s first album. Ha Rib is a little stunned to be in a room with two people who actually know that song, and he thinks that if he’d known them before, he might not have sold his soul. He leaves the room, and as soon as he’s out, he breaks into a grin and celebrates… and gets caught by Kang Ha, lol.
Seo-young calls, and she sounds exhausted as she complains that she had to learn about Yi-kyung’s showcase on the news, but Ha Rib says they’ve decided to busk instead. Seo-young whines that she’s going to smack some sense into him, but she relents as usual.
She sees Tae-kang in the hallway, which reminds her of taking him to her place for ramyun. Seo-young had wanted to talk, but Tae-kang had plowed into the food as usual, finishing his ramyun in seconds then rushing out (and whacking his head on the lights, lol).
Yi-kyung’s cop acquaintance, Kyung-soo, is called to the scene when the cat-killer’s parents are murdered (and as Tae-kang promised, it looks as if his siblings did it). Kyung-soo notices anti-“Kelly” graffiti all over Ha Rib’s home, so the next morning he gives Yi-kyung a taser gun for protection. She takes the taser but twists Kyung-soo’s arm behind his back in the process, reminding him that she’s “Ashtray” and doesn’t really need it. HA.
On the day of the show, Yi-kyung submits to professional hair and makeup as Ha Rib handles the last-minute details. He goes slack-jawed for a moment when he sees her, but he quickly recovers, only to get flustered again when Yi-kyung trips in her unfamiliar heels and grabs his hand for balance. His sudden awareness makes him snappish at Yi-kyung, and she grumbles that he’s acting like an old man, hee.
They find a spot and set up their equipment, with Luka on keyboard drawing a small crowd of moony-eyed women. He asks one smitten girl to borrow her phone and calls his mother, who fusses at him for running away to Korea. Luka explains that he came to learn music, but his mother asks nervously if that’s all he came for.
Yi-kyung is supposed to show up at the location alone, so while she waits, she calls her mother to tell her she’s decided to sing. This time her mom doesn’t get angry, but we see that the same hateful graffiti has been scrawled all over her restaurant.
On her way to the busking location, Yi-kyung is stopped by a group of bullies who smash her guitar and shove her to the ground. They yank her around by the hair and throw food at her, until she looks up at them and asks, “I’m sorry, but don’t people like me get to dream?”
They tell her no and continue their attacks, but finally Ha Rib shows up and the bullies run off. Yi-kyung says she’s okay, and Ha Rib snarls under his breath at Tae-kang, assuming he’s responsible for this. Yi-kyung asks if she can still perform, so they go to Manager Gong’s cafe so Yi-kyung can clean up.
Even though her new guitar is smashed, she says she can still play. Manager Gong finds her some tape and Ha Rib helps her patch up the guitar, making it look a lot like the one he still keeps in his basement room.
The crowd that had gathered to see Yi-kyung sing gets fed up and leaves, the reporters especially angry. Seo-young has her people to pack up their equipment and go, and as he watches her, Tae-kang recalls telling Manager Kang that he thought he would find a solution when he ate with her, but he’s still as confused as ever.
Manager Kang had asked if something of Mo Tae-kang might still be alive in him. Now Manager Kang approaches Seo-young and invites her to eat together again. She follows him and asks where he’s taking her, but he only tells her to be quiet and wait.
He leads Seo-young to a fancy restaurant, and if he’s still not very talkative, at least he doesn’t wolf down his food like he can’t wait for it to be over. Seo-young watches him closely, then asks, “You’re not Mo Tae-kang, are you?” He admits that he’s not.
Yi-kyung finally arrives at the busking location, but everyone is gone now. She starts to sing anyway, accompanying herself on the broken guitar. Ha Rib never takes his eyes off of Yi-kyung as she sings her song, and when she finishes, he’s surprised to realize that her singing has drawn a small crowd. Awww, even Manager Kang stayed to watch, and he does a little cheer as he turns to go.
When it’s all over, Ha Rib tells Yi-kyung sincerely that she was great. She asks him about the guitar she saw in his basement, and Ha Rib tenses up but he acts like he doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
When Yi-kyung remembers that guitar as belonging to Seo Dong-chun, Ha Rib stares at her in shocked awareness. She says that she wonders sometimes what would have happened if she’d released her song right after getting out of prison or, if she’d never gone to prison, whether she’d have been able to fulfill her dream.
Yi-kyung mentions the guitar again, explaining that she’s the one who broke it so she’d taped it back together. She asks where Ha Rib got it, but all he can think is that he somehow forgot all about that girl.
Is it weird for me to be excited that demon Tae-kang is back? I think we needed a reminder that although he can seem befuddled and bewildered by human behavior at times, in actuality he’s a terrifying entity that thinks nothing of destroying lives. His interference with Yi-kyung felt a lot more malicious in this episode as well — it was still played for laughs, but he’s actually sending dead rats and (possibly) siccing bullies on her now in his attempt to prove that her soul can’t be that pure. I like that he’s a demon who’s growing a conscience, it makes him a lot more interesting than if he was simply evil because demons are evil, but it’s still early and I want to see him do some terrible things he’ll regret later.
The way Ha Rib interacts with Yi-kyung now that she’s signed with him is very interesting to me. His primary concern is procuring her soul in order to avoid losing his own, but whenever someone insults or stares at Yi-kyung, the advice he gives her seems genuine and sincere. I think it won’t be long before he realizes that he actually does care about her, and that’s when things will get really complicated. Especially since she appears to have another admirer in Luka, who follows her around like a puppy and who’s starting to look at her with hearts in his eyes when she sings.
Ha Rib also seems to be having some personal doubts, specifically in regards to his decision to sell his soul. He’s so touched and bewildered when Yi-kyung or Luka show that they’re Seo Dong-chun fans, and more than once Ha Rib has thought that if he’d had fans like them sooner, he might not have sold his soul. I predict that he’s going to get tied up in knots when the three of them grow closer and Ha Rib starts genuinely caring for them, and he’ll try to find a way to save both his own soul and Yi-kyung’s. I just hope he doesn’t throw Luka under the bus, because if ever a grade one soul soul existed, he’s it.
I definitely believe that Luka knows something about Ha Rib being connected to Dong-chun, especially since he looks exactly like the photos from his Liver and Gallbladder days (and damn, that’s a terrible band name… maybe it sounds better in Korean?). I wouldn’t expect Yi-kyung to recognize him even though she actually knew him in person — who would ever think that a kind older man from ten years ago would be a young, arrogant musical genius now? — but I’m surprised that Yi-kyung hasn’t at least found him vaguely familiar. She’s definitely realizing, though, that Ha Rib is somehow connected to Seo Dong-chun.
This episode managed to fix nearly all of the issues with it feeling odd that I just complained about, and I hope it continues this way. I think my problem before was that for several episodes, there wasn’t enough contrast between the funny moments and the dramatic ones, making every scene feel very homogeneous. Episode 6 brought back the dramatic mood swings (I mean that in a good way!), so I feel a lot more invested again, because the high and low moments give me something to care about. The scene in the cafe towards the end, with Manager Gong giving Yi-kyung the tape and Ha Rib helping her fix her guitar, felt particularly poignant, with a lot being said about the characters and their feelings without much dialogue being needed at all. Scenes like that are what I’m here for — the story is strong enough to deliver those moments that are so informative of where the characters stand, and the acting talent is certainly more than equipped for the job.
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