When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 14
Even the most well-meaning human beings can be capable of letting others down, and this episode shows us that even angels aren’t immune from disappointing those they love. When one expects more of others than they can give, you’re bound to be disappointed no matter how hard the other person tries. One desperate musician is learning a hard lesson that one can only change oneself, and he’ll have to decide whether he’s willing to risk everything for those he cares about.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Ha Rib sits in his basement music room, shreds from a ripped poster scattered on the floor along with his old guitar. He’s haunted by the events of the past few days, from the moment he pressured Yi-kyung to sell her soul to save Luka, to her threat to expose him to the world, to Manager Kang’s promise to help him get Yi-kyung’s soul back and his subsequent death. Ha Rib wonders why it matters that he’ll keep his own soul until he dies, if he can do such a terrible thing to someone he cares about.
Tae-kang is also preoccupied, thinking of the messenger who came to visit him and said she’d be taking him back soon. He’s worried about Seo-young and all the medications she’s taking lately, and he lies down in the same place where Manager Kang recently lay, but it offers him no peace.
The investors are concerned about Soul Entertainment’s revenue loss, and they’ve decided to fire Seo-young. Chung-ryul assures them that they’re about to see a huge turnaround once they become listed and start selling shares. Seo-young objects to this plan and sarcastically asks Chung-ryul when he was put in charge.
Ha Rib bursts into the meeting and starts yelling at Chung-ryul for planning a takeover from the very beginning. He warns that they’ll be sorry if they fire Seo-young, but Chung-ryul takes credit for making Seo Dong-chun a successful musician, then calls security to have Ha Rib removed.
Fed up, Seo-young quits on the spot, and she and Ha Rib go for drinks. Seo-young admits that she knew Chung-ryul was planning to merge Soul Entertainment with his pharmaceutical company, but she thought it would simply bring in more investments.
She reminds Ha Rib of the day they met back in 2009 (after he became Ha Rib), when he’d found her alone in the agency building after everyone else abandoned the sinking company. He’d brought her to this exact restaurant and had her listen to his demo, and she’d been so excited she’d offered him a job as her music producer.
Now she tells him that the past ten years have been the best of her life. Ha Rib can’t help wondering if he’s experienced the same happiness since signing that contract with the demon.
Yi-kyung is in the recording studio, but the songwriter complains that her singing lacks emotion. Yi-kyung tells him that her singing is fine and she fires him. Remembering Yi-kyung’s accusation that this is all because of him, Luka accepts the blame for her change in personality.
Yi-kyung asks if he likes her, and he says, “You taught me about hope.” She tells him to stop being so clingy, but he says he’s just happy to be around the people he loves, like her and his father. Yi-kyung says that both of their fathers are garbage and tells him to be more realistic.
Previously Yi-kyung had told Luka everything that’s happened, including that Ha Rib is Seo Dong-chun. Luka had gone to see Tae-kang and offered his own soul if Tae-kang would return Ha Rib and Yi-kyung to normal, since he’s the reason they both sold their souls.
Tae-kang had refused, saying that Ha Rib wouldn’t want that, and Luka had sobbed that Tae-kang should have let him die. He’d begged on his knees, but Tae-kang only growled that he begs just like his father and ordered him to leave.
He goes home to find Ha Rib waiting for him. Luka tells Ha Rib that a priest once said that if you’re not desperate when you hope for something, it’s just greed, and that conversation convinced him that the man he saw before his first surgery really was his father because he wanted it so badly. He doesn’t say that now, he’s sure it was Dong-chun/Ha Rib that he saw.
He talks about how Yi-kyung used to smile and cheer him up, and how much it hurts that she seems to have lost her memories. He asks if she’ll go back to her old self if he wishes for it desperately enough. Instead of answering, Ha Rib offers Luka a plane ticket and tells him again that he needs to leave. Luka promises he will, but not until he saves Yi-kyung, thinking, “And after I save you, too, Dad.”
Kyung-soo goes home to find the place a mess, and his mother with a bruised arm and split lip. He runs out and finds his father drinking at a nearby restaurant. Although he seemed repentant when Yi-kyung confronted him, Dad asks belligerently if Kyung-soo has come to smash him in the head again and mocks Kyung-soo for being too scared to tell the world that he’s the one who struck him down.
Kyung-soo reminds Dad that he promised to be a better man twice, once when he married Yi-kyung’s mother and again after he was cured. But Dad just slurs that Yi-kyung is making big money, and orders Kyung-soo to have her pay for his alcohol or he’ll start talking to reporters. Crying, Kyung-soo says, “You’re the devil.”
Idol Shi-ho gets arrested for trying to steal back the car Ha Rib took back and gave to Yi-kyung. Ha Rib and Seo-young come to the police station, but Yi-kyung insists to Ha Rib that those who steal should face the consequences: “You should know, since you stole others’ songs.” Ouch.
At home, Ha Rib thinks about when Yi-kyung was working for him, and she’d said that he showed up like an angel just when she needed a job. He asks his memory of her, “Like an angel… will I truly be able to save you?”
Kang Ha grows worried when he hasn’t been able to reach Dong-hee in a while. He stands outside the courthouse and thinks about how he remembers everything now, when he was a judge. He hears the voices of desperate people pleading for his help.
He clearly hears his own voice dismissing several cases, all of which were companies being sued for things like fraud, or negligence resulting in death. After many of these dismissals, Kang Ha had suffered an episode and had fled from the court building, and that evening, Ha Rib had found him wandering the streets with no memory.
He confesses everything to Ha Rib and asks why he saved him that night, when many people suffered because of his wrong choices. Ha Rib tells him there’s a reason he’s here, and Kang Ha says he’s ready to remember and find a solution now. Ha Rib thinks to himself that it’s important to remember even the most painful memories.
He calls Dong-hee, but she’s frantic when she picks up and begs for help. Yi-kyung has tracked down Dong-hee’s ex at his restaurant job and is going after him with a baseball bat. Ha Rib sees the onlookers all with their phones out taking videos, so he draws attention to himself and away from Yi-kyung.
He starts smashing up the kitchen and screaming that Dong-hee’s ex is guilty of multiple assaults, circulation of personal videos, and blackmail. He orders the ex to give him the original video file, and the scumbag hands over two cellphones and the USB. Ha Rib gives them to Dong-hee, then makes the ex beg Dong-hee for forgiveness.
Dong-hee tells him to turn himself in, repent, and live in pain for the rest of his life, like she will. But Yi-kyung tells Ha Rib that she wasn’t doing this for Dong-hee, but because the ex insulted her. She accuses Ha Rib of acting righteous and says it’s not like him.
She offers to show him what people are really like and leads him to where her stepfather is still drinking himself into a stupor. She vows to crush whoever gets in her way, warning Ha Rib not to interfere with her business. Glaring at Stepdad, she says that she’s looking for the cruelest way to crush him.
Stepdad slurs that he should have beaten her mother worse than he did, and Yi-kyung nearly attacks him. But Ha Rib stops her and tells her to crush him, first. He heads to Manager Gong’s cafe next, where he tells Manager Gong that Yi-kyung is in danger but he doesn’t know what to do.
Manager Gong tells Ha Rib a story — long ago, a young angel saved a dying child and punished the murderer who hurt the child. The angel was banished to wander the human world, and eventually he made a bet with the deity. The fallen angel bet that humans are selfish and evil and would willingly sell their souls, but the deity trusted the good in humans so he allowed the fallen angel to purchase human souls.
The fallen angel was Ryu, who became a demon. But Manager Gong continues that Ryu made a mistake, because Yi-kyung sold her soul in an act of sacrifice to save others, not for her own greed. Ha Rib says he’s willing to do anything, even resell his own soul, to get Yi-kyung’s back, and Manager Gong quips, “You must have a lot of souls on your person…”
Growing serious again, Manager Gong correctly guesses that Tae-kang wanted a grade one soul, so Ha Rib brought him Yi-kyung’s. But he says there’s no such thing as a grade one soul, because if there were, it would be a deity, not a human. He tells Ha Rib cryptically that he’s the important one, not Yi-kyung, and that nothing goes exactly according to the deity’s plan because humans have free will. Then he demands five bucks for Ha Rib’s coffee, PFFT.
When Ha Rib arrives home, the new messenger is at his house. She hands him a letter from the deity addressed to Seo Dong-chun, then disappears. The letter is a bill stating that Dong-chun’s ten-year contract expires in ten days… wait, what?
Ha Rib takes the letter to Tae-kang to ask why the deity is calling in his soul when he’s supposed to have it for the rest of his life. Tae-kang explains that technically, Ha Rib didn’t bring him Yi-kyung’s signed contract. The deity considers her contract to be with Tae-kang only, which means that his promise that Ha Rib can keep his soul is invalid.
He says that the deity is billing Ha Rib directly for his soul, which means that Tae-kang is no longer allowed to sign any new contracts with humans. Ha Rib asks what this means for him, and more importantly, Luka. Tae-kang promises that Luka is safe from interference by him or the deity, and that if anything happens to him now, it’s just his fate.
Tae-kang tells Ha Rib that this is all between him and the deity and has nothing to do with him, but Ha Rib says that it has everything to do with him when they’re meddling in his life. He yells up to the sky, “You’re just as bad (as him)!” and Tae-kang hilariously deadpans, “Oh dear, now you’ve made a human angry.”
Ha Rib thinks about what Manager Gong said, and he wonders how he’s supposed to fight deities using only his free will. The CD player comes on all by itself and plays his old demo, and he spends the night walking the streets and thinking.
After seeing the news, Luka goes to Ha Rib’s house, and Kang Ha passes him at the gate without even acknowledging him. Luka goes inside, where he follows the music to Ha Rib’s basement music room. Ha Rib’s ripped-up poster is scattered on the floor, along with his old guitar.
Yi-kyung sits in Seo-young’s CEO chair ignoring a diatribe from Chung-ryul about how she’s betrayed him. She hears Seo Dong-chun’s song and it seems to put her into a trance. She makes her way to Dong-chun’s old room, and she remembers sitting in the rain talking about music with him.
From behind her, Ha Rib asks, “Do you remember asking me what kind of person I am? I was going to use you to my advantage… I’m a worthless person. But you’re different. You willingly took the blame for money I stole even though I was worthless, and you endured everything for your unfortunate family. You knew how to sacrifice yourself.
“It’s not that you were unlucky, you just knew how to be considerate of others regardless of your misfortunes… But you still had hope, held onto your dream, and didn’t throw yourself away. And you still protected me even though I was worthless. That’s the kind of person you are.”
Yi-kyung replies that she only wanted him to be her silver lining, someone she could lean on when she was having a hard time. Ha Rib says earnestly that he’s sorry and asks her to return to her old self, but Yi-kyung says she’s still the same person. She warns him to stop butting into her life and walks away.
Kang Ha frantically searches for Dong-hee, while at the same time, Luka reassembles the poster of Liver and Gallbladder’s music festival poster. He looks through Seo Dong-chun’s composing notebook, thinking, “My father didn’t have to have the best life. It’s okay if he failed. I’m okay with him just being my dad.”
As it turns out, the new messenger is the thirty-first Ryu, and Tae-kang tells Manager Gong that she came to see him. Manager Gong says that this means Tae-kang has to follow the deity’s orders, and that they’ll both be punished and the humans will be left to their own fate.
Tae-kang seems most concerned about Luka’s fate, and Manager Gong asks if he feels guilty for lying to Ha Rib. Manager Gong sighs that Luka will also have to live his destined life, and Tae-kang insists that he proved the deity wrong. Manager Gong counters that the deity is never wrong, and he tells Tae-kang that the only way to lessen his punishment is to save “that one soul.”
Scoffing, Tae-kang says that Manager Gong is still not listening to his son. Manager Gong says that Tae-kang is the whole reason he came to Earth, but Tae-kang replies, “My resentment has already grown so much! My anger has already become so big! What’s the point of telling me that now?!”
He yells at Manager Gong to condemn him like he did before, because that’s who he really is. Manager Gong says sorrowfully that he’d hoped Tae-kang would remember his father, but he was asking for too much.
The next day, Ryu 31 shows up at Manager Gong’s food truck, shining with heavenly light. He tells her that he never intended to defy the deity, and that he abandoned his duties and came to Earth for one reason. He says he thinks he stayed true to his purpose and Ryu 31 just smiles sadly.
Looking around him, Manager Gong thinks, “Forgetting and being forgotten are both terrifying. Why the deity chose this world as the greatest punishment, and why the devils are always tempted by this place, should be remembered.” His food truck disappears, and Manager Gong steps through the cafe doorway into a blinding white light.
Ryu 31 goes inside the cafe, which is empty now. At his home, Tae-kang is assaulted by a loud shrieking noise, and suddenly the room is filled with white vines. He collapses in agony, screaming, “Why? Why?!”
Yi-kyung goes shopping for a fancy new house, and the previously callous broker gushes over her now that she’s successful. Luka finds her and offers his services as an errand boy, saying that he’ll help her however he can if this makes her happy. Yi-kyung just goes inside, slamming the door in his face.
He thinks, “I desperately prayed to the deity for you to remember your old self. But then, I’m not sure if you’ll be happy going back to your old self. All I want is for you to be happy.”
Ha Rib meets with Sun-ah at the restaurant where they met, and tells her that he told Luka he can only stay in the country for a week. Sun-ah agrees to that, but says she needs to go home because her husband is sick. She mentions Seo Dong-chun, sighing that hurting others can hurt ourselves more, as she remembers the day Dong-chun kicked her out.
She tells Ha Rib that she she loved Dong-chun as a musician, and that she raised Luka alone because she didn’t want to be a burden to Dong-chun. Now she regrets not giving Dong-chun a chance to be a father, but Ha Rib thinks that she did give him a chance, when Luka was sick, and he walked away from it.
Kyung-soo is startled to hear his parents’ address come up on the police radio. He asks his partner to stay outside, and he goes inside to find Yi-kyung’s mother badly beaten and Stepdad lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Kyung-soo checks his pulse, then bursts into tears –he’s dead.
He picks up the candlestick that Mom used to strike down Stepdad and starts to wipe off the fingerprints, but Mom stops him. Kyung-soo wants to take the blame, to make up for not doing the right thing ten years ago, but Mom says they can’t let history repeat itself. She asks him to tell the truth, and although he sobs as if his heart is breaking, he makes himself handcuff her.
Seo-young goes to Tae-kang’s place and calls through the door that she has one last thing to say to him. When he opens the door, she’s wearing silly blinking devil horns and a serious expression, obviously very drunk. She knocks on his chest and asks if Mo Tae-kang is in there.
Speaking to the real Tae-kang, she asks if he sold his soul to the devil because he felt he’d let her down. She admits that their relationship had long since ended, but she couldn’t accept it and became obsessed. She finally looks at Tae-kang and says she knows he’s not her Tae-kang, but that she’s grateful to him for helping her get over him.
Unable to fall asleep when she gets home, Seo-young takes some medication and soon starts hallucinating, hearing her own voice as she explains away plagiarism, admits to using unethical methods, and calls herself a devil. She falls unconscious and dreams she’s in Tae-kang’s arms.
When she wakes, she’s in the hospital with a very worried Ha Rib hovering over her. She falls asleep again, and Ha Rib despairs that he doesn’t understand what’s happening to them all or how it will affect their lives in the long-term, but he vows to fight back whether he’s being punished or this is just a cosmic joke.
With his guitar case in tow, he goes to see Tae-kang, whose home is still wreathed in ominous-looking vines. He tells Tae-kang to either take his soul now and put everything back the way it was, or kill him. Tae-kang wearily refuses, so Ha Rib pulls the sword he had made out of the guitar case. He says that if Tae-kang won’t make him disappear, then he’ll make Tae-kang disappear.
He swings at Tae-kang, who’s suddenly standing behind him, his own flaming sword appearing in his hand. When Ha Rib lunges at him again, Tae-kang raises his arm and impales Ha Rib. Ha Rib actually smiles, then collapses as Tae-kang yanks the sword from his chest. His wound heals itself instantly, but he’s still in pain, writhing on the floor as Tae-kang asks if he wants to die that badly.
He informs Ha Rib that he can’t die, and that he’ll live on no matter what he wants once the deity takes his soul. Ha Rib sobs that this is all due to his greed, begging Tae-kang to let him die so everything can go back to normal.
Tae-kang reminds Ha Rib that he asked for his help in the first place. Ha Rib apologizes pitifully, desperate to make up for his mistake, but Tae-kang says that he always had the option of not signing his contract. He reminds Ha Rib that he wanted this, and Ha Rib asks if he really has to live the rest of his life without a soul.
He lurches to his feet and growls that he won’t live like that. He picks up his sword, whirls around, and slashes through the white trees that have always stood in the room. Screaming, Tae-kang can do nothing as thousands of white motes of light fill the room.
Ha Rib turns back to face Tae-kang. He asks if Tae-kang is upset that he ruined his collection of souls, and he screams at Tae-kang to kill him now. But Tae-kang whispers, “Now there’s no way for those souls to return.” Ha Rib’s expression turns from triumph to horror, and tears fill Tae-kang’s eyes.
Finally, Ha Rib takes a stand! He’s always been so weak, begging and bargaining and blaming others instead of being responsible and taking decisive actions, so it’s no wonder his life has been so screwed up. Selling his soul for money and fame didn’t do anything to alter Ha Rib’s basic character, so even though he gained the material wealth and recognition he thought he wanted, none of it was able to make him happy because he was still the same person deep inside. And as he said to Yi-kyung, that person was worthless and still is, because he hasn’t really changed. Meanwhile, Yi-kyung was a more worthy person than Ha Rib could ever be regardless of her unfortunate circumstances, because she’s willing to give up herself to benefit others. She was always contented because of that, so I hope that it’s not too late for Ha Rib to finally understand that the only true way to change his life is to stop worrying about outside matters, and focus on being a selfless, generous person.
Speaking of Yi-kyung, the fact that she was never a grade one soul after all, I think, could turn out to work in Ha Rib’s favor. It means that Yi-kyung isn’t perfect and never was, she’s just a deeply decent and unselfish person who puts others first. If Yi-kyung can do that with an imperfect soul, so can Ha Rib… or anyone else. I believe that Ha Rib is capable of setting things right — returning Yi-kyung’s soul, saving Luka, and securing his own soul — he only needs to figure out how to use his human free will to thwart both Tae-kang and the deity. It’s a tall order, but he’s been given all the tools to accomplish it, all he has to do now is work out how to make it happen.
I’m saddened, but not at all surprised, that Yi-kyung’s stepfather went right back to his old ways. He spent ten years as a quadriplegic, his every need being cared for by the very woman he abused, but it looked as though he had significant brain damage, too. I doubt he remembered much of that time after he was cured, though I doubt he would have stayed sober for long even if he did, so I was just bracing myself for him to return to his old abusive ways. I mostly feel bad for Kyung-soo, who has spent a decade feeling guilty for not taking his due punishment, but Yi-kyung’s mom was right to stop him from accepting blame this time. That would have only repeated the cycle of one person being punished for something someone else did, and wouldn’t solve anything.
Events are finally coming to a head, with everything appearing to be connected and with Tae-kang right in the center of it all. I had a feeling that the solution for ending everyone’s torment would be something that has been right in front of our noses this whole time, and it looks like the answer lay in Tae-kang’s trees. I thought they were just decoration, but when they sprouted long, questing branches at Manager Gong’s disappearance, it became obvious that there was more to the trees than simply ambiance. Ha Rib took a chance by attacking the trees instead of Tae-kang directly, and he was correct that they’re Tae-kang’s weakness, but I didn’t expect them to be where he’s hidden all the souls he’s collected over the years. From Tae-kang’s reaction, I suspect that he never really intended to keep the souls forever. He seemed as horrified by the fact that they can never go back to their owners as Ha Rib is, and I’m scared that Ha Rib may have just made the situation a thousand times worse.
- Premiere Watch: When the Devil Calls Your Name
- Stolen dreams and brutal honesty in tvN’s When the Devil Calls Your Name
- New character posters for tvN’s When the Devil Calls Your Name
- Jung Kyung-ho’s world goes up in flames in tvN fantasy comedy
- First look at Jung Kyung-ho, Park Sung-woong in tvN fantasy comedy
- Jung Kyung-ho, Park Sung-woong reunite in tvN’s new fantasy thriller