When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 15
It’s time to pay the piper, both for our wayward musician and his demonic frenemy. Their reactions to their fates are very different, yet they still manage to commiserate over a deity that hardly seems interested in fairness. Ha Rib decides to take his fate into his own hands and spare his loved ones.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
After the stunning realization that the thousands of souls he’s just released from Tae-kang’s prison can never return to their bodies, Ha Rib staggers home in shock. He can still see the souls swirling aimlessly over the city. He goes to his basement music room and looks at the bill for his soul from the deity, which is due in eight days.
He visits Seo-young in the hospital the following day, and when she asks about the company out of habit, he reminds her she doesn’t need to worry about it anymore. She says she should feel freed from the company that was weighing her down, but she just feels suffocated.
Ha Rib visits Tae-kang next to ask what will happen to the souls, and Tae-kang says they’ll float around the world. Ha Rib asks if Tae-kang intended to return them, but Tae-kang only replies lazily, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” Ha Rib mentions Seo-young, and how he got a call that someone had left her unconscious outside the ER, and says there must be one soul Tae-kang thinks of as precious.
Tae-kang had been the one to find Seo-young after her accidental overdose, and he’d picked her up in his arms, only to find Ryu 31 standing before him. He’d begged her not to stop him, and she’d said, “The deity’s will shall be carried out.” Tae-kang had almost cursed the deity’s will… but he’d stopped himself and agreed to do as Ryu 31 wished if she let him past.
Ryu 31 had stepped aside, and Tae-kang had apparated to the rooftop, Seo-young still cradled in his arms. He’d unfurled his wings, demonic black but whole. He’d asked, “Are you testing me again? Do you want to be considered merciful to those who mean well?” Now Ha Rib asks if Tae-kang still believes he won his bet with the deity. Surging to his feet, Tae-kang says it’s not over yet.
Chung-ryul has had Liver and Gallbladder’s old albums re-released. Ha Rib asks if his Montenegro business isn’t doing well, and when Chung-ryul complains that Luka is always whining about being sick, Ha Rib nearly snaps the CDs in half with his bare hands.
Ha Rib asks if Chung-ryul knows why he sold his soul. He admits that the song he threw away was written to make money, but that he threw it out because his pride wouldn’t let him release it. Then Chung-ryul became successful with that song, but Ha Rib still thought people would one day recognize his sincerity, until he got old and desperate.
He loses his train of thought when he spots a tiny golden orb floating near Chung-ryul’s shoulder. Chung-ryul says that he approached Ha Rib first about making music together because he thought he’d benefit from Ha Rib’s talent, but after a while he realized he’d never be as great as Ha Rib, though he was confident that he was more popular and a better singer.
But Chung-ryul says he couldn’t stand Ha Rib treating him like an accessory, and he asks if Ha Rib ever thought of him as a friend, tears streaking down his face. Ha Rib simply says he’s sorry, but the moment is lost when Chung-ryul stands and straightens himself out, chasing away the golden orb.
On his way out, Ha Rib sees Ra-in sitting alone in Seo-young’s office. She complains that everyone hates her and says she’s a terrible actress. While she talks, she doodles on a sketch pad, and Ha Rib notices that she’s actually a pretty good artist. Ra-in whines that she sold her soul but got scammed, then bursts into tears.
Taking her hand, Ha Rib pretends to put something in her palm, saying it’s her soul, and that now she can put her soul into acting. Ra-in snaps that she’s not an idiot, HA, but Ha Rib thinks that there must be a way to help people retrieve the souls they lost.
An assistant brings Ha Rib the news that Yi-kyung’s father is dead, and his killer is Yi-kyung’s mother. He finds Yi-kyung in the practice room, just as she throws her guitar at the wall in frustration. He shows her the news article, but she just reminds him that she never wants to see him again.
Ha Rib tells her that once her soul disappears she’ll no longer be inspired, but she says she’s already good enough to rise to the top. Ha Rib says he used to think the same way, but that Yi-kyung can write beautiful songs again once her soul returns.
Kneeling, he reminds her that all she ever wanted was for people to hear her songs. But Yi-kyung asks if he’s ever lived a life where everyone told him he was unlucky, and she says she’s going to succeed because the one with the power always wins.
Ha Rib warns her that she won’t be able to create new music, so her fans will eventually turn on her. He says her music already lacks emotion, but Yi-kyung fires back that he kept forcing her to make music despite her refusals. She asks if he was just using her to his advantage, and he can only apologize.
Yi-kyung asks what he thought when she would say she missed him, and if he didn’t care about her feelings because he planned to make her famous then cause her to fall. A tear slides down her face, reminding Ha Rib that CEO Song said that losing your soul means you can’t cry. He thinks about Manager Kang saying that sometimes a soul returns on its own, and Ha Rib thinks that Yi-kyung’s soul may be one of those.
At home, Ha Rib looks through his old notebook and finds that Luka has written out the song he started and that Yi-kyung finished. He sits down and starts writing, determined to compose one last song before his soul is taken.
At the police station, Kyung-soo confesses to his colleague that he was the one who attacked his father ten years ago, and that he let Yi-kyung take the blame. He visits his mother, who’s in custody, and tells her that he told the truth.
Kang Ha dreams of his past as a judge and how he absolved crooked companies of wrongdoing. He startles awake, and he suddenly realizes why he keeps dreaming of being locked in a box.
Back at Tae-kang’s place, Ha Rib confronts Tae-kang for demanding a grade one soul when he doesn’t even know what one is. He throws down the news articles about Kyung-soo’s confession and says that this is what makes Yi-kyung’s soul “grade one.” He says that losing her soul only made her the same as other humans, and that whether or not her soul is grade one, it’s precious to him.
Tae-kang just says that an interesting interpretation, and Ha Rib growls that he and the deity are both cruel. Tae-kang says that the deity’s always been cruel, and Ha Rib wonders if Tae-kang still thinks he won, because he thinks Tae-kang lost.
Kang Ha goes to his sister, who produces a small locked box identical to the one Kang Ha imagines himself locked in, and inside he finds reports on one of the companies he absolved, Super Baby Foods. He takes the box to the protesters and gives them the key, wishing them luck in their continued fight.
Ha Rib tells Seo-young that Ra-in’s drama isn’t going well, and Seo-young confesses that she wasn’t planning to renew Ra-in’s contract next year. Seo-young asks after Yi-kyung, but Ha Rib can only sigh. Seo-young says this doesn’t feel like the end, and Ha Rib says it’s because she hasn’t let go.
She goes to see Tae-kang, who’s still sitting dejectedly in his vine-filled apartment. He seems bewildered as he murmurs, “There’s nobody here, but someone is crying. I’m on the verge of tears, too, but I don’t know why.” Seo-young tells him he can cry without knowing why, and she cradles his head.
Tae-kang thinks about Ha Rib saying that he lost because Yi-kyung sold her soul to save someone else. Seo-young tells Tae-kang that she dreamed she was flying in the arms of an angel. Tae-kang thinks that the heart beating now isn’t Mo Tae-kang’s but his own, and he wonders when his heart began beating for a human.
Yi-kyung hands over her old phone as proof of Ha Rib’s plagiarism, ordering the Soul Entertainment team to report it. They warn her that fans will view her as insensitive for doing this when her stepfather just died, but she says she didn’t ask their opinion and they can leave if they don’t like it.
They all leave except Luka, who argues that this was the demon’s doing, not Ha Rib’s. He offers to help Yi-kyung take back her song, but says this isn’t the way to do it. He continues that she won’t stay on top if she can’t write new songs, but Yi-kyung just says she’ll never come down from the top.
Yi-kyung’s father is finally buried, and Ha Rib watches Yi-kyung at the gravesite, thinking about how she once described a grade one soul as “a soul that hurts like crazy when it’s not near you.” Yi-kyung calls Kyung-soo stupid and selfish for confessing his guilt at this late date, and says that he and Mom are on their own now, and not to get in her way.
Ha Rib waits at Yi-kyung’s van to talk to give her his music notebook, telling her to sing these songs when she can no longer compose, and that she can even say that she wrote them. She says she’s not like him, but he reminds her that she loves music, and that maybe if she keeps singing, she’ll remember that. She slaps the notebook out of his hand, so he just tells her never to give up singing, whatever it takes.
Reporter Uhm talks with Ha Rib about the plagiarism accusations, which go far beyond Yi-kyung’s two songs. Ha Rib tells him to go ahead and write the story, though he asks for a little time to fix things himself first.
He approaches Luka and asks what he wanted to do most with his dad, saying that “hyung” will do it with him (he doesn’t know that Luka knows). Unsurprisingly, Luka chooses busking in Hongdae, and Ha Rib looks like he’s having more fun playing music than he has in years.
Afterward, Luka and his mother agree to return to Montenegro. Before he goes, Luka promises to give Yi-kyung the notebook she refuses to accept from Ha Rib.
Ha Rib makes Tae-kang come out to talk to him, and Tae-kang scarfs down the sweetest, most childish-looking dessert ever, hee. Ha Rib asks what happens to Tae-kang after he loses his soul in a few days, and Tae-kang says that he’ll be dissipated. Ha Rib asks if the people whose souls he’s taken are miserable, but Tae-kang says mostly they tend to stay at the top, because there’s always someone who will help those with money and power while others look the other way.
Ha Rib asks who will collect his soul, but Tae-kang doesn’t know, and when Ha Rib asks if Tae-kang will just cease to exist, Tae-kang answers, “Forever and completely.” Ha Rib wonders if Tae-kang is really okay with that, calling the deity petty, and Tae-kang says he wouldn’t test humans if he were generous. “If he was generous, why would he send humans to the fiery pit just because you fools made a mistake? If he was generous, would he send a demon to this world and let him tempt humans however he wants?”
Ha Rib asks for a favor since Tae-kang is going to disappear soon and he’ll be soulless. We don’t hear what the favor is, but when the Liver and Gallbladder album is re-released and Chung-ryul hands out free CDs to the employees, Luka notices that the song that made Chung-ryul rich, This is Love, is finally correctly credited to Seo Dong-chun. PWAHAHA.
Tae-kang is waiting in Chung-ryul’s office, but Chung-ryul is on the phone yelling about the song credit and tells him to get out, so Tae-kang does. He asks Ha Rib if he’s doing this as a favor to an old friend, but Ha Rib says it’s not a favor… as Chung-ryul suddenly notices that he looks like his young, handsome self again. He’s thrilled until he gets kicked out of the building by security.
Tae-kang is so impressed by Ha Rib’s deviousness that he invites Ha Rib to his place for a drink. Ha Rib says he’s just apologizing to Chung-ryul before he loses his soul. He didn’t know that Tae-kang also changed the CD cover, and he snaps that he’s not the least bit thankful.
Luka tells Yi-kyung that he’s leaving and offers her Ha Rib’s notebook. She turns away, and when he tries to stop her, she shoves him and jumps into her van. Luka is disappointed, and he smiles sadly as he says, “Goodbye, Kelly.”
Kang Ha tells Ha Rib that he’s ready to resume his old life and defend those he wronged in their retrial. He gets choked up as he wishes Ha Rib farewell, and Ha Rib tells him, “Goodbye, Judge Jung In-seok. Goodbye, Kang Ha.” They hug each other tightly until it gets awkward, hee.
With only five days left on his contract, Ha Rib thinks, “I can’t undo it. I can’t change it, either. I can’t die. I need to erase myself. I need to get rid of myself forever… This is the end.”
Ha Rib accompanies Luka to the airport, fussing exactly like a dad. Luka says that his father may not have been the best person, but he was the best dad Luka could have asked for. He says his father probably felt like he was in an endless tunnel and that’s why he pushed him and his mother away, to spare them from the darkness he endured alone.
He says he didn’t get to see his dad, but he got to meet his “hyung,” and he goes in for a hug. Too moved to speak, Ha Rib thinks that goodbyes are imperfect, which is why they always end up hurting. He and Luka say silently, “Goodbye, Dad,” “Goodbye, my son.”
Before they go, Sun-ah asks Ha Rib to pass a message to Seo Dong-chun. She asks him not to be heartbroken, because she never thought of him as a bad man, and that she loved him once. She adds that Dong-chun gave her Luka, and that if she weren’t such a coward she wouldn’t have let him suffer alone.
Ha Rib wipes his tears and tells her not to be sorry, because Dong-chun was ashamed of being pathetic. He says that Dong-chun regretted that he could never stand proudly, and as she turns away, Sun-ah thinks, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll stand proudly again.” Awww, she knows.
Ha Rib breaks down as they leave, sobbing as if his heart is breaking right in the middle of the airport.
The Soul Entertainment office is flooded with calls for Chung-ryul — apparently his pharmaceutical company was involved in Kang Ha’s baby food case — but nobody has seen him. He’s pretty happy with his new former face and even gets scouted by an idol agent, ha. But he soon realizes that with this face, he won’t be able to access his money. And as he’s driving, he gets stopped at a checkpoint… uh-oh.
Tae-kang finally talks Ha Rib into having a drink with him to celebrate their new friendship despite “a few hiccups.” Ha Rib isn’t on board with the whole friendship thing, but Tae-kang grins that he’ll miss Ha Rib’s charming temper (Ha Rib: “Don’t miss me, ever!”).
Tae-kang is worried about Ha Rib’s state of mind, which he says feels like the calm before the storm. Ha Rib says that he sold his soul because his son and his music were his biggest regrets in life, but now he regrets that he didn’t value his soul enough.
He gets a call from Chung-ryul screaming for Tae-kang’s number, but he quickly hangs up when Tae-kang starts calling it out gleefully. They end up at the police station, bailing Chung-ryul out for vehicle theft. Chung-ryul orders Tae-kang to change him back, and Ha Rib has to physically stop Tae-kang from doing Chung-ryul some serious damage.
Instead, Tae-kang tells Chung-ryul that to get back his old life, he has to do a series of ridiculous things like pooping and spinning. Chung-ryul does, then realizes that Tae-kang already changed him back, haha. He heads back to Soul Entertainment, feeling pretty cocky, only to get arrested for his part in the Super Baby Foods case. Ah, cosmic justice.
Seo-young is asked to return to the company, but she’s lost her confidence. Ha Rib says that she’s the only one who can save Soul Entertainment, and as his last request he asks her to go back and make things right. He has her record a video of him which we don’t see, then sends her on her way.
Tae-kang shows up, and Ha Rib says he should just go after Seo-young. They end up at a bar instead, and Ha Rib asks what the deity was trying to prove by giving Tae-kang his demonic abilities. Tae-kang says that they were just pawns in a game. He reveals that when Luka died, the deity had already called off their bet and disallowed demons to take human souls.
He doesn’t understand why the deity still let Yi-kyung sign her contract. He figures it was just stubbornness in wanting to prove he was right, which means the deity isn’t much of a winner, either.
Ha Rib asks about the loose souls again, and whether human desperation could bring them home. Tae-kang scoffs at his useless hope and gloats that Ha Rib only has four days left. Ha Rib asks why the contracts offered four wishes when saving Luka would have been enough incentive, but he answers his own question — greed. He muses that it will only get worse when he loses his soul and becomes a monster.
There’s a small golden orb hovering around Yi-kyung, but she doesn’t seem to see it, so it floats away again. She’s greeted at the agency by a crowd, but they’re not fans — they’re yelling for her to apologize. Yi-kyung just shoots them all the finger, making sure that the paparazzi get good, clear shots.
From a distance, Ha Rib watches her with dismay. In voiceover, he says that farewells are sometimes incomplete, and that we fear farewells because they’re never perfect: “Because we never imagined a fearful farewell, we suffer due to incomplete farewells.”
As she’s being prepped for a show, Yi-kyung receives flowers from Ha Rib and a gift from Luka. She stares at them, but otherwise seems disinterested.
Ha Rib watches Yi-kyung’s performance, which is devoid of the soulful music she always said she wanted to make. He remembers Yi-kyung as she used to be, generous and loving, and thinks, “Child, it hurts to see you. I feel sorry and I miss you. Now I feel sorry for you. Now you hurt me. Now I miss you.
“Me a long time ago, us a while ago, and us from now on. There was someone I could take shelter with. I should have seen that. ‘A soul that hurts to think it’s not around you,’ I should have known I had such a thing. I’m so sorry. I was a fool. The best soul, endlessly precious… until the day you greet it on its return, goodbye.”
I’m so worried about Ha Rib… he’s been going around saying goodbyes, and while I understand that he’s simply trying to appreciate what he had even if it’s too late, it concerns me that he’s just giving up. Instead of fighting to keep his soul (and he has a solid case), he’s just planning to disappear so that he can’t hurt those he loves anymore. It’s noble and selfless, but it’s also surrender. If Ha Rib is going to go out, I want to see him go out kicking and screaming at the unfairness of it all.
On the other hand, Tae-kang has suddenly gotten very carefree and downright friendly now that he knows his time is short and he has nothing to lose. I love how much that annoys Ha Rib, and how he keeps telling Tae-kang all his problems and regrets, then ordering him not to act like they’re friends, ha. This dynamic is what I expected when I was watching the promos, and I think that it would have been a lot more amusing if Tae-kang and Ha Rib had developed as frenemies a lot sooner. Not only would it have been fun to watch, but it would have made Tae-kang a lot more menacing when he had to flex his demonic powers. But I’m glad we got this at all, even if late in the game, because it’s highly entertaining to watch Tae-kang poking at Ha Rib and laughing when Ha Rib snaps at him like a grumpy child.
I think I like the change in Tae-kang because, while I don’t think the deity is going to take pity on him after everything he’s done (nor should he), it would be satisfying to see Ryu leave this universe with a smile on his face. He’s learned to care about others, and even how to love, and for an angel-turned-demon, that’s pretty significant. I think it’s a good sign that when Tae-kang was carrying Seo-young, his wings were whole — he’s only ever had a partial left wing after having it cut off.
Not only that, but Seo-young remembers his wings not as black demonic smoke, but shining and white. I interpret this to mean that Tae-kang is redeemable, that he can still be returned to his angelic state before he’s dissipated. It may even be true that he must be redeemed in order for Yi-kyung and all of his other victims to regain their souls. But his anger and pride are still as strong as ever, and I do think he has good reason to be angry and disillusioned by the way the deity works, but rebelling and harming others wasn’t the way to handle it. Still, he was a very young angel at the time, and he deserves to at least have his changes be acknowledged.
I almost couldn’t continue when Ha Rib sobbed in the airport as Luka and Sun-ah were leaving. As far as Ha Rib knows, he’s never going to see them again, or if he does, he won’t care. One thing this show has done beautifully is the careful way it opened up Ha Rib in slow layers, showing us that his cold, harsh exterior was simply a shield for a very deeply loving, sensitive soul. He pushed Sun-ah, and later Luka when he was a child, away not because he didn’t love them, but because he loved them so much that he was willing to spare them from the dark, empty life he was living. And although it was ultimately better for them, it sentenced Ha Rib to a sad, lonely life. Now he’s watching them exit his life again, and this time he knows exactly what he’s losing, but he’s strong enough to let them go even though it hurts so much more this time. To me, that just proves what a good person Ha Rib truly is, and it reminds me that, long before Yi-kyung, Ha Rib sold his soul to save his son. I wonder if, in fact, he’s been the grade one soul all along.
- 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