When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 7
Today’s episode is all about secrets — the harm they can do and the lives they can ruin. Even a demon can have painful secrets goading him into action, and the most innocent people can carry secrets that keep them from moving forward. But the most interesting thing about secrets is that they can grant freedom when held up to the light, if only one has the courage to let them go.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
It’s 2009, and Seo Dong-chun is walking home when a young girl, Yi-kyung, crashes into him. They both fall, breaking Dong-chun’s guitar. Yi-kyung’s stepfather catches up and starts to drag her away, but Dong-chun breaks her stepfather’s hold and gets hit himself.
The three of them end up at the police station. Yi-kyung’s mother apologizes profusely for her drunk husband’s behavior, then she tells the detective to lock up her husband. Dong-chun seems much more concerned about Yi-kyung, who doesn’t react to anything that’s going on.
Back home, Dong-chun uses tape to patch up his guitar, but it’s still out of tune. A shadow crosses his window and when he opens it, Yi-kyung is sitting outside. She tells Dong-chun that she comes here whenever her stepfather drinks.
Dong-chun says that people who get drunk and abuse women and children do it because they feel helpless to those stronger than them. He advises Yi-kyung to beat her stepfather up and show him she’s stronger. She asks why he thinks he knows about her life, so he shows her a scar on his eyebrow from when his own father once hit him with a guitar.
Yi-kyung asks Dong-chun to play her a song, but he says his guitar is broken and closes the window. Yi-kyung calls through it, asking why he named his band “Liver and Gallbladder. ” Dong-chun joins her outside and she teases him about his weird band name, so he explains that it meant he’d never give up his liver and gallbladder no matter how bad things get.
He sighs that he was so arrogant back then, and that it’s been ages since he gave up his liver and gallbladder. He says he’s singing at a wedding tomorrow, and Yi-kyung feels bad about the bruises and broken guitar, so she re-tapes the guitar (casually sticking the old tape to Dong-chun’s arm, cute) so that it will play in tune. She even makes a little musical note out of tape, which Dong-chun scoffs at but secretly likes.
She tests the sound by playing her favorite song from Liver and Gallbladder, and Dong-chun looks impressed. He plays her a new song he’s been working on, and soon they’re chatting like old friends. Dong-chun even takes Yi-kyung along to play with him at the wedding the following day, and they’re a big hit together.
Afterward, Yi-kyung was so excited that she suggested they form a duo. But the current Yi-kyung tells Ha Rib that that’s when she stopped dreaming about being a musician. She clearly remembers putting that tape on Seo Dong-chun’s guitar, and she asks Ha Rib where he got it, so he lies that he bought it from a collector and acts like he’s only now learning it belonged to Seo Dong-chun.
Yi-kyung admits that she was hoping Ha Rib knew Seo Dong-chun, because she wanted him to be the first to know she’s made it as a recording artist. Ha Rib asks why, and she says it’s because she was hoping he could give her advice on what to do next since he’s the one who got her to dream of having a future.
Ha Rib is stunned to learn that Yi-kyung is that same girl from his past, and he thinks, “But then, I’m the one who stole her dreams twice. Now I’m trying to take her soul.”
Tae-kang takes Seo-young to dinner again, eating slowly this time but still not speaking. Seo-young remembers a meal she had with the real Tae-kang once, when he’d told her he was going to quit acting, since he wasn’t very successful.
Seo-young had encouraged him to rest and keep auditioning, and that eventually a good role would come along. He’d gone along with her, but he hadn’t seemed to feel any better.
Now she asks him, “You aren’t Mo Tae-kang, are you?” Demon Tae-kang admits that he’s actually a devil, which Seo-young interprets as him being facetious. She offers him a hand and ask if they can start over, and as Tae-kang shakes her hand he thinks, “None of those words suit who I am inside.”
His inner voice changes to his distorted demon voice as recalls a conversation with a hooded figure. He’d argued, “The more I connect with them, the more complicated they seem. Just how meaningful are humans, anyway, and why did they make him abandon us and come here?” The hooded figure had replied, “The human in his mind is himself, it’s not as simple as you make it out to be.”
The demon had asked if the figure was saying that a first-grade soul still exists, insisting that it can’t be true. The figure had told him that what he sees isn’t everything, and that humans are complicated. “The moment you realize that is when you’ll finally suffer…”
Ha Rib takes Yi-kyung home and tells her that Seo Dong-chun is probably dead, but she doesn’t believe him. Ha Rib tries to make a smooth exit, but his vintage car won’t start, ha. Yi-kyung calls it old, and Ha Rib yelps that it’s younger than Seo Dong-chun, then gloats when the car finally starts.
Kang Ha yells excitedly through Ha Rib’s basement room door that the video of Yi-kyung busking already has more than two million views. Ha Rib is too depressed after his conversation with Yi-kyung to respond, or to take any of Seo-young’s calls. People grow worried about him after a few days, except for Chung-ryul, who’s just annoyed that Ha Rib insisted on debuting Yi-kyung then disappeared.
He asks Seo-young about Seo Dong-chun, but she says she only met him once ten years ago, and she doubts that Ha Rib knows anything about him, either. Chung-ryul says that Dong-chun looked terrible ten years ago, and that he doesn’t even know if he’s alive.
Yi-kyung and Luka have a meal on their roof with Dong-hee and Kang Ha, and when Dong-hee wonders where Ha Rib is, Kang Ha says that he gets depressed in the summer. Luka asks about Kang Ha’s memory loss, and Kang Ha gets quiet. Dong-hee is surprised Kang Ha has never had his fingerprints run to learn his identity.
Later, Yi-kyung tells Luka about finding Dong-chun’s guitar in Ha Rib’s basement, and Luka perks up with interest. She asks what Luka knows about Dong-chun so he shows her the bill he swiped, which lists Seo Dong-chun as the owner of the building, but he tells her that Ha Rib collects the mail.
A series of quick flashbacks shows Dong-chun selling his soul and becoming Ha Rib, while Ha Rib narrates that he became intoxicated by his new self. He’d never thought about Yi-kyung again, which he finds very strange. He finds Tae-kang and accuses him of knowing about Yi-kyung back then.
Tae-kang asks why Ha Rib always suspects him, but Ha Rib says that Tae-kang stole Yi-kyung’s song for him on purpose. He asks why, but Tae-kang just says he does what he wants without thought to someone’s fate or misfortune. He tells Ha Rib that he’s mistaken about one major thing — he didn’t seek Ha Rib out, Ha Rib sought him out.
He says that it wasn’t just Yi-kyung’s songs that were stolen by the “old man,” and implies that Ha Rib only feels guilty about Yi-kyung’s songs because he knows her. Ha Rib yells that a soulless demon has no right to talk about conscience.
Tae-kang offers to bring the others that Ha Rib has stolen songs from so that he can apologize for stealing their passion to satiate his greed. He relishes Ha Rib’s hatred, laughing in his face. Ha Rib calls Tae-kang a bastard, but Tae-kang snarls that he made a deal with that bastard, so he’d better hurry.
Ha Rib asks about someone named Ga-ae, but Tae-kang says that Ha Rib was the one who wished she would never appear again. At his limit, Ha Rib screams, “Why are you doing this to me?!” Tae-kang just whispers that he hates the word “hope.” As we watch him plow through a small army of extras for a scene in his next movie, Tae-kang’s voice says:
Hope — it’s a disgusting, vulgar emotion. With that convenient illusion you call hope, you justify your empty, selfish desires… and forgive yourselves for focusing on those dirty desires. You try so hard to deny the fact that you’re reluctant to give them up. But the end of your dirty desires is despair.
When despair smiles at you, when you need an excuse to forgive yourselves, I will forgive you and save you. Because you called my name… My job is to save you when you’re lost and struggling from frustration. Humans are completely worthless, but I still forgive and salvage you. That is my way of taking revenge. That is the purpose of my contract.
The director yells “cut” and Tae-kang walks off the set, cool as a cucumber, while behind him, the crew realizes that he actually injured all those extras. Ha Rib goes back to Tae-kang and asks to see proof that his first wish (the one we never saw) came true, promising to keep his end of the deal once he does.
Manager Gong notices a crowd gathering on the street and sees that emergency responders are trying to save a young child who’s hanging from the bars of a balcony railing. The boy’s hands slip and he plummets several stories, and the crowd close their eyes in horror. But the boy’s voice calls out, “I’m flying!” as he levitates back up and into an emergency responder’s arms. As soon as he’s safe, Manager Gong quickly walks away.
Tae-kang sees a news report about the incident later that day, and he gets so angry he causes a power surge. He growls to Manager Kang that “he” is very near.
He’s filming another scene, this one in a host bar, but he misses his cue so the other actor is forced to ad-lib. While he does, Tae-kang thinks of that voice saying, “One day, those souls will start to burden you. One day you’ll realize I’m not the one who abandoned you. You will learn that you abandoned yourself.”
Kang Ha falls asleep and suffers a nightmare of a woman hitting and insulting him, then of being shut up inside a small space calling for help. He’s on a street being attacked by a crowd of protesters, and there’s a little boy holding a sign that says “Save my mom.” He wakes up screaming.
In the morning, Kang Ha borrows a suit from Ha Rib. Ha Rib notes that Kang Ha leaves the house a lot lately, and Kang Ha retorts that Ha Rib finally left the basement. Kang Ha goes to the police station hoping that his fingerprints might be on file and lead to discovering his identity.
Detective Kyung-soo asks him if Ha Rib is single and looks disappointed when Kang Ha says he is. Kang Ha finally gets around to asking about his fingerprints, which a flashback shows was suggested three years ago by Ha Rib when they met, but Kang Ha was too afraid. Kyung-soo says gently that Kang Ha probably has a painful memory he wants to forget, and that he envies him because he also wants to forget, and Kang Ha decides that he’s still not ready.
Yi-kyung is out shopping with Luka for a birthday gift for her mom, and Luka says he wants to give his mother a gift but he’s not sure she’ll accept it. Meanwhile, Ha Rib goes looking for Yi-kyung’s mother and finds her kimbap store, which is still closed and covered in hateful graffiti.
Mom is at home taking care of her invalid husband, and Ha Rib can hear her complaining in frustration. Then she screams, so he goes inside and finds her on the floor, having fallen while trying to help her husband to the bathroom. Ha Rib recognizes Yi-kyung’s stepfather, but he pushes past the memories and helps Yi-kyung’s mother to the hospital.
She’s fractured her pelvis, but she argues with the doctor, who wants her to be on bed rest. Ha Rib tells Mom that he’ll look after her husband so she can stay in the hospital, but he has difficulty entering their home again.
Ha Rib wonders if this happened because he told young Yi-kyung to beat him up. As he changes Stepdad’s clothes, Ha Rib thinks, “Do you know that you did wrong to your stepdaughter, and that I did wrong to you?”
When Yi-kyung and Luka arrive with her mom’s birthday gift, they see the graffiti on the shop for the first time. Yi-kyung tells Luka not to follow her inside, and she starts to leave her gift on the doorknob, but Kyung-soo is there and suggests she at least say hello.
They’re both surprised to hear Ha Rib screaming because Yi-kyung’s stepdad bit him while Ha Rib was trying to bathe him. Kyung-soo hurries to help Stepdad just as Yi-kyung’s mom returns home, and Yi-kyung orders Ha Rib to leave. He sees her distress and goes without a word.
He listens from the hallway as Yi-kyung explains who Ha Rib is and Mom hits Yi-kyung for letting him find out where they live. It turns out that Kyung-soo is Yi-kyung’s brother (that explains so much), and Mom is scared that Ha Rib will tell everyone and his police career will be ruined. Wow, I knew Mom was horrible to Yi-kyung but this is so much worse than I thought.
Kyung-soo tells their stepfather that he knows he’s faking sleep to avoid him. He gives Mom some money and wishes her a happy birthday, then leaves for work. On his way out, Kyung-soo asks Yi-kyung if Ha Rib knows about their family, but she just glares at him and refuses his offer of a ride.
He snaps that she never just does as she’s told, but Yi-kyung says coldly that she doesn’t think of him as a brother so he shouldn’t try to act like one. Kyung-soo tells her not to mind Mom and do whatever she wants, as if she’s alone in the world.
He drives away, and the neighbors gossip loudly enough for Yi-kyung to hear them conjecture that the ambulance earlier was probably because she tried to kill her mother this time. Yi-kyung takes a deep breath, then takes Ha Rib’s advice and greets them with a smile. She jumps in Ha Rib’s car as he’s leaving and tells him to drive, and he does as he’s told when he sees how upset she is.
He follows her all the way up to her rooftop apartment, feigning concern as the building owner. Yi-kyung sighs that she thought her mother would support her if she saw her sing. She thanks Ha Rib for helping her mom, and says that she can’t be angry because the things people say are all true, but that she wants to sing anyway and needs to prove herself.
Ha Rib says he’s sorry, “For everything I ruined. For your youth. Your talent. Your life. Everything.” Uncomfortable, Yi-kyung says it’s not like her life is in ruins, and Ha Rib says eagerly that that’s the perfect mindset to have for music — to forget her hardships and just make herself happy.
Holding back tears, Yi-kyung says that rather than make herself happy, she wants power so she can escape her life and so nobody can harm her family. Ha Rib pats her shoulder awkwardly, and neither of them sees Luka watching them.
Tae-kang visits the building where the little boy supposedly flew, and he sees a falling star flash over the building in broad daylight. Later that night, Manager Kang asks Tae-kang what he’ll tell Ha Rib about his first wish, but Tae-kang says it’s pointless because he already showed him.
Seo-young hears from an employee that the hate campaign against Yi-kyung is getting worse, but also, a lot of people are asking when she’ll release a song. Yi-kyung walks into Seo-young’s office, and a few minutes later Seo-young tries to call Ha Rib again, but he declines the call.
Meanwhile, Chung-ryul and his investigator check out Seo Dong-chun’s old home. The taxes on the building are paid up and there’s no record of Seo Dong-chun leaving the country, so Chung-ryul concludes that he must be alive. The investigator says the area is slated for redevelopment, and Chung-ryul wonders how Dong-chun is investing in real estate when he’s broke.
Ha Rib eventually shows up at the Soul Entertainment office, where Luka angrily accuses him of sending Yi-kyung to fight a war on her own. Ha Rib races to where Yi-kyung is with Seo-young, about to do a press conference for the media.
Yi-kyung starts by apologizing for being late to her showcase, but the reporters fire questions about her supposed past as a school bully and her assault case so fast that Yi-kyung can barely answer. They even ask if she and Ha Rib lived together when she was his housekeeper, implying an improper relationship and again not letting her answer.
Chung-ryul stops Ha Rib in the hall outside the room, and when Ha Rib says he’s busy, Chung-ryul calls out, “Hey, Seo Dong-chun.” He says that Ha Rib has seemed familiar despite his face blindness, but that now he recognizes the look of hatred in his eyes, and he asks what Ha Rib’s relationship is with Dong-chun.
This episode was just full of reveals, the kind that answer a lot of questions and raise even more. We learned a little something about nearly everyone in this episode — not enough to know their whole stories, but enough to get some ideas about why certain people have been acting in certain ways. The revelation that Kyung-soo is Yi-kyung’s brother particularly knocked me for a loop, because it explains his interest in Yi-kyung without adding another unnecessary love interest, which is good, but it also increases the complexity of her home life and makes me really, really angry on her behalf. Where was Big Brother Cop when Yi-kyung and Mom were being abused? Why does he let Yi-kyung be bullied into a life of obscurity by their mother just so he can have his comfy job?
We learned a lot about other characters too, like why Kang Ha probably doesn’t want to remember his past — it looks like he was an abused husband, and that something traumatic happened to him having to do with a crowd of protesters. He’s so friendly and cheerful, and it broke my heart to see him so cowed and afraid in his nightmare. Knowing that Ha Rib encouraged Yi-kyung to fight back against her abuser is also hard to process, because it’s certainly not his fault or Yi-kyung’s that things turned out the way they did (the fault lies squarely in the lap of abusive Stepdad) but we know that Yi-kyung has been paying for that “advice” for ten years. Now Ha Rib knows it too, and he’s feeling the weight of responsibility for how his flippant words affected Yi-kyung’s entire life.
Even Tae-kang seems to have some deep dark secrets, and it looks like his interest in Ha Rib may have had something to do with Yi-kyung from the beginning. My suspicion, like Ha Rib’s, is that Tae-kang made Ha Rib forget Yi-kyung when he first sold his soul, and that he’s brought them together again now for a darker purpose. But I’m even more curious about that conversation we saw with the hooded figure — who was that and what on earth were they talking about?
I believe that Manager Gong is definitely some sort of otherworldly being after seeing this episode, and I wonder if he’s the same “he” that the demon complained to the cloaked figure “abandoned [them] and came here?” It sounds as though there is/was a supreme being/godlike entity that used to dwell in another realm but decided to come to Earth, and that Tae-kang has been searching for him. Evidence strongly points to Manager Gong as this supreme being, especially if he can even make a child fly. But why would a supreme being leave its own realm and come to Earth to live as a human, and why is he sticking so close to Yi-kyung? Terrible things happen to good people all the time, but it doesn’t merit a god getting personally involved in their lives.
This show is really getting good now that it’s hit its stride in the last few episodes, turning out to be a lot more thoughtful and contemplative than I originally expected. Everyone has a painful past they’ve been trying to forget, some literally and some figuratively, and something about the current situation is forcing them all to confront the truths they’d rather not acknowledge. Yi-kyung’s beginnings of success are bringing up her criminal past and her relationship with Ha Rib is stirring up memories of the mentor she hasn’t seen in a decade. Ha Rib is having to face the fact that Yi-kyung’s difficulties may be all his fault, and that his casual advice might have cost a man a his health and a young girl her future. Even Tae-kang is confronting memories of a painful abandonment, which I believe will tie everything together once the truth is out in the open.
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