When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 9
Our dubious hero is already reeling from some pretty serious revelations about his past life, but the curveballs just keep coming. He’s spent the last ten years maintaining an iron control of his life, and as it unravels, he starts to unravel, as well. He’s not yet ready to let go and trust others, but he may not have much of a choice.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Yi-kyung is surprised by a late-night visit from Ha Rib, who’s upset that she finished the song he once started writing as Seo Dong-chun. She apologizes for not telling him but she can’t understand what she did wrong.
Ha Rib says she’s ruined, but Luka interrupts and asks what he means by that. Ha Rib screams that every song Seo Dong-chun wrote was cursed. He leaves, and Luka and Yi-kyung imagine that he’s upset by bad memories of his “father.”
The next day, everyone at Soul Entertainment field calls from reporters about Yi-kyung’s new song, which Luka uploaded to the internet after Ha Rib argued with Yi-kyung about putting it on her album. Seo-young calls Ha Rib, who assumes the song is a failure, and when Seo-young tells him otherwise, he accuses her of rigging the music charts, ha.
Yi-kyung looks pleased that her song is topping the charts, but she tells Luka that she’ll probably get told off for composing it in her style. Luka says that Seo Dong-chun probably likes it, and when Yi-kyung says he’d have to see her to scold her, Luka just sighs.
Idol Ra-in is furious at Seo-young for supporting a rookie and forgetting all about her. She goes all mushy when Tae-kang shows up, but Tae-kang only has eyes for Seo-young, who kissed him on their most recent date. Just thinking about it makes his heart pound, and Ra-in notices him clutching his chest.
Seo-young escapes, and while Ra-in whines to Tae-kang about how haaard it is to gain weight (ugh), he plants a kiss on her. Ra-in is stunned silent for once, but Tae-kang feels nothing. He tells Manager Kang about it later, and how his heart thumped like crazy when Seo-young kissed him. He wonders if Mo Tae-kang’s body has a heart condition (LOL), but Manager Kang tells him giddily that it’s love.
Manager Kang leaves to take a call, and Ra-in startles Manager Kang by popping up to gloat that she’s figured him out — he’s not human. She asks if he’s an alien, or a goblin, or a beast from another dimension, then decides she doesn’t care so long as he kisses her again. Tae-kang looks terrified as she tries to pin him down and get another kiss.
He finally stops her with a snap and a “Standby!” but it leads to an unfortunately honest tirade from Ra-in about how he’s playing hard to get when she could land any man in Korea. Manager Kang snaps her out of it, literally, then wanders to the window, where he sees another daytime shooting star.
It sends him downstairs and out to the street, where Manager Gong calls out to him from his fishcake stand, “Why don’t you have a fishcake, Ryu?” Tae-kang already knows, through Manager Kang’s search, that Manager Gong is the one he’s been looking for, and he thinks, “Yes… Father.”
They relocate to a church, and Tae-kang mentions bitterly how Manager Gong left his position and came down to the human world. Manager Gong says it’s like a picnic, all thanks to Tae-kang. He tells Tae-kang to stop playing around like a kid and go back, but Tae-kang grumbles that Manager Gong kicked him out and made sure he had no place to go.
Manager Gong says kindly, “You belong at my feet. Ask for forgiveness and beg for mercy.” That makes Tae-kang laugh, wondering what he needs forgiveness and mercy for. He tells Manager Gong to stay away from him, and Manager Gong’s expression turns stormy as he snaps, “Stop torturing humans!”
Tae-kang instantly changes into his demon form and asks if Manager Gong will burn away his remaining wing if he refuses. He snarls that he can’t go home because one of his wings was burned, and he can’t see the world as it is because Manager Gong took his eye. He asks if Manager Gong even remembers how he ended up like this, and he vows to continue taking revenge.
Manager Gong looks pained as he tells Tae-kang that his anger will burn up his wing, and his lust for revenge will rebound back on him. He says that Tae-kang can’t win by taking human souls, but Tae-kang just screams that he’ll prove how hideous Manager Gong’s beloved humans can be. Manager Gong says sadly, “There was a time when you also loved those humans.”
Seo-young talks to Yi-kyung about going on a show called Music Factory, and says that she wants Yi-kyung to sing a cover song for her second number. Seo-young suggests Shi-ho’s song, the one Yi-kyung sang on the idol showcase, and Yi-kyung reminds her that it’s actually her song. Instead, she decides to sing her favorite Liver and Gallbladder song, “The Streets Without You.”
When Ha Rib learns of this, he tells Seo-young that the song has copyright issues, but she says that since nobody knows how to reach Seo Dong-chun, she got permission from Chung-ryul. Ha Rib is still against it, but Seo-young says that Yi-kyung is talented and a decent person, so she wants to trust her judgment.
Ha Rib storms out to give Yi-kyung a piece of his mind. She and Luka are in the practice room, rehearsing her arrangement of the song, and Ha Rib stops for a minute to listen. He barges in to complain that it sounds horrible and says that Yi-kyung should sing a popular song, but Yi-kyung argues that she loves this song and sings it well.
Ha Rib asks in disbelief what she likes so much about it, and she and Luka both say that it’s because it’s a Liver and Gallbladder song. Ha Rib yells at them for not listening to him or treating him with respect, but after he’s gone, Yi-kyung and Luka grin and agree that Ha Rib seemed pleased, hee.
Seo-young goes to see Tae-kang to complain that he hasn’t called her after they agreed to start over. He’s not sure what else he was supposed to do after they had a date and kissed, so she takes him to her place and makes him dinner. She confesses that she wasn’t there for him when he needed her, acknowledging that she’s a workaholic and may not be able to change, but she promises to try. Tae-kang is even more confused when her words make his heart pound.
She gets a call from work and has to leave, so she tells him to stay and finish eating… then leaves a list of errands for him to run for her. HA, so much for changing. But Tae-kang obediently cleans the kitchen, feeds and walks her nasty little dog (and even picks up after it!), and pays for her dry cleaning.
From his fishcake stand, Manager Gong watches a father promises to bring his young son a gift from his business trip. The little boy asks his father not to go, and Manager Gong imagines himself as the father, telling his son that people need him to give them courage, even when they’re not grateful.
Ha Rib, Seo-young, and Chung-ryul watch Yi-kyung practice her cover of “The Streets Without You.” Chung-ryul and Seo-young are effusive with their praise, but when they look for Ha Rib’s opinion, he just mutters a grumpy, “Good job.” Later, he wonders how Seo Dong-chun is suddenly the center of everything when the world never used to acknowledge his existence.
He stops by his old building and finds Luka looking in the mailbox. Luka says he’s hoping Seo Dong-chun will return to his old home, and he demands that Ha Rib tell him where Dong-chun is. Ha Rib says truthfully that he hasn’t seen Dong-chun in ten years, and he tells Luka that he’s probably dead.
Luka repeats over and over that Dong-chun isn’t dead, he can’t be dead. He suddenly grabs his chest and falls to the ground in pain, and Ha Rib has to piggyback him down the hill to get help. They make it to the hospital, and as he’s being rushed into emergency, Luka makes frightened eye contact with Ha Rib.
Ha Rib is transported back ten years, to another time when he made eye contact with a very sick boy — his son. He’s stunned, but he makes his way to the desk to give the nurse Luka’s information. A woman runs up and asks about her son, and Ha Rib recognizes her as Sun-ah, his child’s mother.
He follows her to a room, where she fusses at Luka, and Ha Rib’s suspicions are confirmed — Luka is his son. Now Ha Rib realizes why, when he asked where “the child” was hidden, Tae-kang told him that his first wish has already been granted… his son has been right in front of him all along.
Luka spots Ha Rib and calls out to him, but Ha Rib stays in the hall and listens as the doctor tells Luka that his congenital heart defect is worsening. His mother asks the doctor if he can get on a plane, but the doctor says he needs surgery immediately. Luka protests in Serbian that he’s found a brother, and he won’t leave until he finds his father.
Sun-ah comes out to introduce herself to Ha Rib, and they relocate to a cafe to talk. Ha Rib thinks that he almost doesn’t recognize her, as she thinks that he looks a lot like Dong-chun. We see that she spoke with Chung-ryul already, who told her that Ha Rib claims to be Dong-chun’s on. She thanks Ha Rib for taking care of Luka and promises to take him back to Montenegro as soon as he recovers from surgery.
Luka’s surgery is in two weeks, but he insists that he can perform Yi-kyung’s song with her, especially since it’s also his father’s song. His mother ignores this and says they’ll go home after his surgery, and that Seo Dong-chun isn’t interested in meeting him, but Luka switches to Serbian again to say that he wants to know his father.
In Luka’s apartment, Ha Rib thinks about the conversation he had with Luka’s doctor. She’d told him that there’s no guarantee that the surgery will fix Luka’s heart, but that the sooner the surgery happens, the better his chances are.
Ha Rib sees Luka’s scrapbook on Seo Dong-chun, and Luka’s odd fascination with Dong-chun makes sense now. Ha Rib doubles over with the pain of knowing Luka might die before he ever gets to know him.
When he finally goes home, Tae-kang is waiting for his next singing lesson. He tells Ha Rib that he’s decided Yi-kyung is indeed a grade one soul, which is really just strategy now that he knows Manager Gong sticks close to her. He tells Ha Rib to take his time bringing him her contract, which makes Ha Rib suspicious, but since he’s seen proof that his first wish was granted, he accepts this.
He asks Tae-kang why he takes human souls, figuring they’re somehow worth the effort, but Tae-kang says souls are useless and it’s just a hobby. Ha Rib lashes out, asking why Tae-kang doesn’t just kill people instead of playing with their lives. Tae-kang tells Ha Rib not to assume that everything that happens to him is his fault.
Kang Ha somehow finds himself on a date with Dong-hee, which he tells her nervously is his first, but she says that it’s their second date. Kang Ha thinks of how they met, when he’d happened to come across Dong-hee getting beaten up by her ex-husband. Despite looking pretty beat-up himself (for some reason?), Kang Ha had run in and helped Dong-hee distract her ex until Kyung-soo and his partner had noticed them scuffling.
The ex had lied to the cops that he only hit Dong-hee a little bit after learning she’s been seeing Kang Ha. Kang Ha had explained in lawyers’ terms that he’s been assaulting Dong-hee for two years, and that they’re technically not married since they never registered the marriage. Dong-hee agrees to settle, and as they walk together later, Kang Ha asks her why, but she avoids the question. She does say she never wants to see her ex again, and she asks Kang Ha not to tell Yi-kyung about this.
The idea that that was their first “date” relaxes Kang Ha, and he tells Dong-hee how strange it is to have no memories yet discover that he’s a great cook, or a good driver. He confesses that he’s scared to find out who he is, and that sometimes he remembers a woman. He’s quick to clarify that she’s not his wife, then wonders if he ran away after fighting with his wife. Aww, he’s so cute.
Sun-ah finds Ha Rib lurking nervously outside Luka’s hospital room, but when they enter, Luka is gone. He’s at Yi-kyung’s show, and he looks terrible as they rehearse. He tells Yi-kyung that he’s fine with a weak smile, then he passes out.
Seo-young is surprised to run into Tae-kang at the music show station. He reports on Puppy’s potty progress then tells her that he’s interested in some performers. Ha Rib sees them on his way in, looking for Luka, only to learn that he’s passed out again.
After checking that Luka is conscious, Ha Rib angrily pulls Tae-kang into the hall. He assumes that Tae-kang’s done something to Luka, but Tae-kang says he has nothing to do with it. Ha Rib decided to take his word for it, but warns that if anything happens to the kid, “We’ll both be doomed.”
Seo-young leads Yi-kyung to Ha Rib and says that Luka can’t perform, then pokes Yi-kyung, who says, like she’s reading from a script, that she’s just a rookie and she doesn’t know what to do. She and Seo-young (and Tae-kang, lol) turn big sad puppy-eyes on Ha Rib, and Ha Rib finds himself agreeing to play for Yi-kyung when it’s her turn to perform.
When she begins the song, Ha Rib’s hands shake so badly that he needs Seo-young’s help putting in his earpiece. He steps onstage to join Yi-kyung for the chorus, and we see in a flashback that Luka told Yi-kyung that Ha Rib would sing the song better, because it’s his father’s song, and Ha Rib is his brother.
As they sing together, Ha Rib struggles with memories from the past, even momentarily becoming his old self as the song reaches its climax. Afterward, he’s pale and stunned as he thinks that the world was fine without Seo Dong-chun in it… until he recalled the moments that he missed.
That night, he fights a fever and dreams of singing “The Streets Without You” on a beachfront stage over forty years ago, and of he and Chung-ryul winning a college music contest with the same song later. Ha Rib is sick for several days, unaware of the fact that his song is climbing the charts and everyone is looking for Seo Dong-chun.
Seo-young visits, and she wonders where Dong-chun’s demo is, but Ha Rib doesn’t wake. Luka also comes to sit with Ha Rib, simply holding his hand and wishing for him to get better.
Ra-in complains to Manager Gong about Yi-kyung, and Manager Gong tells her to have some self-respect or nobody else will. He accidentally loses his temper and snaps that she may as well sell her soul otherwise. She figures out who he’s talking about, so she approaches Tae-kang and offers to sell him her soul for some wishes.
Tae-kang says her soul is too pure yet low-grade for him to be interested, then begs Manager Kang to get her out of his face. He thinks of Manager Gong telling him to stop torturing humans, and he lashes out, his eyes burning red.
When Ha Rib eventually wakes from his fever, he imagines Sun-ah nursing him and gasps that he’s sorry. But when his vision clears, it’s actually Yi-kyung with him. She explains that he’s been sick for a week, and that the song has blown up — people are calling it the rediscovery of Seo Dong-chun.
Ha Rib asks why Yi-kyung doesn’t hate Dong-chun for ruining her life and turning her into a criminal. She counters that her life is nobody else’s fault, and that she’s even grateful to Dong-chun for being nicer to her than anyone else ever was. She asks Ha Rib not to hate his “father,” and he sarcastically calls her an angel.
He asks, “How would you feel if the father who beat you bloody were to recover? Wouldn’t you rather he died?” But Yi-kyung says she wants her stepfather to get better because if he dies, he can never repent and apologize and she’ll always be his attacker. She admits that it takes constant, painful effort to get past her hatred.
Incredulous, Ha Rib screams that he’ll pay the best doctors to treat her stepfather, but halfway through, he starts crying and wailing that he’s sick of this. Even as he wonders what he’s doing, he reaches out to Yi-kyung, and we see that she witnessed him crying in Luka’s apartment.
She pulls his head to her shoulder, and holds him as he sobs. Ha Rib pulls back, and they stare into each other’s eyes from only inches apart.
Then Ha Rib shrieks and whacks Yi-kyung, knocking her right off the bed, and immediately yelps, “Are you okay?” Kang Ha walks in at exactly the wrong moment, and the three of them freeze.
I love this show so much. It’s so bizarre, yet entirely in character, for Ha Rib to freak out and throw Yi-kyung across the room right in the middle of a romantically charged situation. I was all caught up in the moment, expecting Ha Rib and Yi-kyung to either kiss or get awkward, and instead Ha Rib just yeeted Yi-kyung right off the bed. And of course Kang Ha witnessed the whole thing, because what would a moment like that be without an extra helping of embarrassment? That’s one of my favorite things about this drama though, the fact that it sets me up to expect a certain plot development based on just about every other drama I’ve ever seen, then it flips things around with something I never expected. And I fall for it every time.
Speaking of flipping, everything I assumed about Tae-kang, or more accurately Ryu, the demon inhabiting Tae-kang’s body, has turned out to be wrong. I thought he was a one-dimensional character in terms of his background — he’s a demon, and demons steal souls, and that’s all there was to him. But after his confrontation with Manager Gong, it sounds more like he was originally an angel that was punished for some reason, and that Manager Gong took his wing and his eye and sent him to Earth to learn a lesson. But instead, Tae-kang has nurtured his hatred and uses soul-stealing as a form of revenge, which makes me think that whatever happened to him, happened because of a human. I also suspect that the year he’s spent as Mo Tae-kang is the first time he’s actually inhabited a human body, which is why he’s so befuddled by his body’s natural response to emotions.
Luka’s entire story just breaks my heart (no pun intended) now that we know the whole truth. Seo Dong-chun never even knew about him until he was almost dying, then Dong-chun refused to have anything to do with him after paying for his heart surgery. Knowing him as we do, I’m sure that it wasn’t indifference that kept him from wanting to know his son, but that Dong-chun was both afraid to get attached, and ashamed of himself so he assumed any child of his would be, too. Now, as Ha Rib, he learns who his son is and that he’s sick again, and that not only is Luka not ashamed to have Seo Dong-chun as a father, he’s actually proud of him. No wonder Ha Rib is such a confused wreck.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Ha Rib and Yi-kyung as lovers, though that’s certainly where the story is taking them. Everyone in this show — including Tae-kang — is just so broken, and in real life I wouldn’t recommend any of them try to enter a romantic relationship without some extensive therapy first. But on the other hand, they’re broken together and in very similar ways, and I can see how Ha Rib and Yi-kyung especially could be good for one another once all the secrets are out in the open. Things are about to get extremely emotionally confusing for Ha Rib as Dong-chun is suddenly recognized as the musical talent he truly was, long after Ha Rib tried to forget his old self, and he’s going to need Yi-kyung’s steady positivity as he works through it. I just hope he can open himself up enough to let her in.
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