Crash Landing on You: Episode 10
What a fantastic episode! Crash Landing on You packs a lot of suspense and redemption into this episode, re-igniting my excitement for the final countdown to the finish. Everything has changed and the stakes have grown higher, and it’s possible that even former allies could turn against each other as their motives clash in this new situation.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
After one last, heartbreaking kiss, Jung-hyuk finally succeeds in sending Se-ri back to South Korea. A short time later, she shows up at the Se-ri’s Choice building, stunning all of her employees by being alive, and offering a huge sale on all of her products for the first time in the history of the company.
It happens to be the day when the board of directors will be voting on whether to appoint Sang-ah, Se-ri’s sister-in-law, as the new CEO of Se-ri’s Choice. Making her way to the boardroom, Se-ri runs into Secretary Hong, who bursts into tears to see her alive and well and grabs her in a huge hug, making her crack her Tough Boss expression and smile a little.
Just as the board members are all voting on favor of the change and Sang-ah is simpering in victory, Se-ri walks into the room and gives them the shock of their lives. She takes pity on the board members and sends them scurrying back to work, then tells Sang-ah that she’d always pegged her as impatient and greedy.
At the DMZ, the ducklings are back to their regular patrol schedule. But they’re worried about Jung-hyuk, who hasn’t been eating or sleeping well since Se-ri left. He spends time thinking about his last day with Se-ri, and after dark, he’s approached by a very tentative Man-bok.
They go somewhere private to talk, where Man-bok tells Jung-hyuk that he’s spent his whole life listening to others and never gets to talk about himself. But he says he once met someone who listened to him, and he shows Jung-hyuk the wallet his friend gave him as a birthday gift. Inside is a note wishing Man-bok a happy birthday, and signed by Moo-hyuk.
We flash back to ten years ago, when the swine flu was raging through the area. Man-bok’s son, Woo-pil, was an infant at the time and became very ill, but the hospital was out of medicine. Moo-hyuk had shown up at Man-bok’s house with medicine and a nurse and saved Woo-pil’s life, and although Man-bok hadn’t been able to pay him back for it, Moo-hyuk had taken what money Man-bok could offer as an acceptance of his gratitude.
Very soon after that, Man-bok had been ordered by Chul-kang to wiretap Moo-hyuk and listen in on him. Man-bok had balked, but his mother had been arrested for trying to cross the border, and Chul-kang had promised to get her out of prison. Man-bok had heard Moo-hyuk discussing Chul-kang and his crimes, and how he was planning to take the evidence to the Trial Bureau in Pyongyang. Moo-hyuk had had one chip with the evidence on them — one he was carrying to the Trial Bureau, and the other he’d hidden inside his watch.
It had been Man-bok’s job to alert Chul-kang to Moo-hyuk’s position so he could send his armored trucks to kill him. When he arrived home later, his wife had given him a birthday gift that Moo-hyuk left for him, with a note inside (and his money returned, aww) asking him to have a drink together when Moo-hyuk returned from Pyongyang. When he read the letter, Man-bok had wailed his grief for the only friend he’d ever had.
Now, Man-bok tells Jung-hyuk that he’s always told himself he had no choice, but he never felt any better. He sobs that he misses Moo-hyuk, then he gets on his knees and says he wants to pay for what he did. He asks Jung-hyuk to take care of his family if anything happens to him, and he hands over Moo-hyuk’s watch and a recording of the night Moo-hyuk died.
Jung-hyuk listens to Moo-hyuk talk about how proud he is of his brother’s piano ability, and how much he was looking forward to hearing the song Jung-hyuk wrote for him. Jung-hyuk breaks down as he hears the truck crash, sobbing over and over that he’s sorry.
In the morning, Wol-sook finds a letter from Se-ri in her salt crock, which explains why she had to lie about her real identity and thanks them for being her friends. The village wives are shocked to learn that “Sam-sook” is actually the famous CEO of Se-ri’s Choice, and awww, it’s obvious they miss her a lot.
When Se-ri has been back for two weeks, she goes to her father’s house for a family dinner. Hye-ji gushes over her, and Se-ri clasps Hye-ji’s hands…and reclaims the ring that Hye-ji swiped from her dressing room, ha. Hye-ji immediately tattles on Se-ri’s stepmother for letting them into Se-ri’s apartment.
Hurt, Se-ri confronts her stepmother, who (along with Sang-ah) bought up most of her company’s stocks when the price plummeted after the announcement of Se-ri’s “death.” She warns Stepmom that the company belongs to her, not her stepmother’s children. She says sadly that Stepmom must have been glad Se-ri was supposedly dead, and apologizes for disappointing her.
Stepmom gets out of dinner by claiming to feel sick. Se-ri fakes amnesia and lets her family think she’s been in the hospital since her accident, though she says she remembers quite clearly up to their father choosing her as his successor.
Back at home in her luxurious apartment, Se-ri delights in the conveniences of her cushy South Korean life like stable electricity and hot water, and she rededicates herself to living like the young, wealthy woman she is. But at one point she starts to say something to Jung-hyuk, and when she remembers he’s not there, all the happiness drains out of her.
Meanwhile, Jung-hyuk takes the microchip out of Moo-hyuk’s watch and pulls up the incident report his brother had compiled on Chul-kang. He looks over it (it’s absolutely terrifying), then sends it on to his father.
Seung-joon is about to meet with CEO Jeon when he’s stopped by some scary-looking government men who say there’s been a report about him, and they want to verify his identity. Luckily they run into Dan, who calls him Alberto and says she was going to call him, and her uncle, Colonel Go, who pulls rank and says that if Dan vouches for Seung-joon then he’s legit.
Later, Seung-joon gets upset when Dan says she wasn’t really planning to call him, since he’s done so many favors for her like carrying her home the night she was drinking. He says she even invited him to sleep over, and Dan reacts with dainty horror, insisting that she never did any such thing, ha.
Seung-joon asks if Dan and Jung-hyuk are still getting married since he’s in the DMZ, and she demands to know where he heard about that, since it wasn’t from her. He’s forced to admit that after dropping her off at home that evening, he’d gotten a call from Jung-hyuk.
Seung-joon had told Jung-hyuk honestly that Se-ri’s brothers didn’t particularly want her back because of the professional threat she posed, and had proposed keeping her in North Korea. But Jung-hyuk had argued that she belongs in South Korea and wanted to go home, and he’d asked Seung-joon for his help.
Seung-joon had protested that he actually barely knows Se-ri, who broke their engagement just weeks before the wedding, but he’d found himself helping anyway. We see now why nobody was seen entering or leaving Director Ri’s house the night that Se-ri and Jung-hyuk left — Seung-joon had distracted the security guard by pretending to be lost, allowing Jung-hyuk and Se-ri to slip away on foot.
Seung-joon had driven them back towards the DMZ, pouting the entire way at Se-ri’s gratitude and the knowledge that she pawned the expensive ring he gave her in order to buy Jung-hyuk a gift. Eventually Seung-joon had handed off the fugitives to Kwang-bum, and he tells Dan that he doesn’t know what happened to them after that.
Dan is upset to learn that Jung-hyuk volunteered for duty at the DMZ again just for Se-ri, and Seung-joon says that he helped them, in part, so that she could end her futile yearning for her first love. Dan says it won’t work, but Seung-joon says (very kindly, for him) that when the man you love risks his life for another woman, it’s game over, adding that hanging onto something that even she thinks is pathetic isn’t love, it’s obsession.
Director Ri acts on the information sent to him from Jung-hyuk, and soon Chul-kang is put on trial for his crimes. He’s prosecuted for arranging six murders disguised as accidents, as well as bribery, sale of stolen artifacts, and drug trafficking.
Chul-kang stays sullenly silent until Jung-hyuk testifies that the evidence came from his late brother, who was one of Chul-kang’s victims, then he says that Jung-hyuk is trying to slander him and the accidents were just accidents. Jung-hyuk shows the judge the piece of ceramic composite material he took from the Engineer Brigade that’s used to make the special truck armor, and testifies that the evidence proves Chul-kang’s involvement in smuggling the material into the country.
Chul-kang begins to talk about Se-ri, and how Jung-hyuk helped her return home, but by now he just sounds like a ranting lunatic and the judge doesn’t even listen. He finds Chul-kang guilty of all charges and sentences him to life in prison doing hard labor with no chance of appeal. Chul-kang lunges at Jung-hyuk and gasps that there’s something he missed, and that because of it, Se-ri will die.
Worried, Jung-hyuk goes back through all of Moo-hyuk’s compiled evidence against Chul-kang for something he missed. What he finds is a discrepancy between the amount of smuggled materials, and the amount of confiscated ceramic armor – which means that there must be two manufacturing places, and the armor is still being made.
Meanwhile, another armored truck is dispatched from the secondary manufacturing location to intercept Chul-kang’s transport to prison. The transport truck is forced into a tunnel and the guards killed, and Chul-kang is rescued.
The following day, Jung-hyuk finds an envelope on his desk, which contains a copy of the article announcing Se-ri’s death (that was previously published). It’s a clear threat, and a call from Chul-kang confirms Jung-hyuk’s worst fears — Chul-kang is alive, and he’s going after Se-ri. Jung-hyuk swears on his brother’s life that he’ll catch Chul-kang.
Secretary Hong tells Soo-chan (who looks much better now that Se-ri is back and he’s not scared of having to make such a huge insurance payout) that he’s worried about Se-ri since she returned. She’d told him to take breaks sometimes when before her motto was “You can sleep when you die,” and she’d taken him to the border and burst into tears when he said he didn’t see anyone on the mountain.
While Man-bok is working, he’s summoned to a dark, dingy room. At the same time, the ducklings are stopped at gunpoint during their patrol by several soldiers.
Se-ri leaves work late, and she doesn’t see Chul-kang watching her in the parking garage, wearing a security uniform. At home, she can’t get to sleep and she’s out of sleeping pills, so she gets up to go for a walk. As she wanders the streets, she wonders to herself:
I wonder which one is love… hoping that you’re worrying about me like I am for you and pining for me like I am for you, or is it wishing that you won’t be worried about me, and that you’ll forget about me and all the moments we’ve shared? Is that love? Or is it love that I’m willing to go through everything from the very beginning just so that I can meet you again?
Ahead of Se-ri, the crowd parts, and she blinks to see Jung-hyuk standing there. When he sees her, his expression goes soft in that way it does whenever he looks at her. It begins to snow and Jung-hyuk approaches Se-ri, and he says that he’s been looking for her everywhere, since she only mentioned her neighborhood and not her exact address.
Se-ri just stares, unable to believe that Jung-hyuk is in Seoul, standing in front of her.
The ducklings are taken to an abandoned building, where Man-bok is already waiting nervously. A shadowy figure approaches them… yes, it’s Director Ri! He tells them that Jung-hyuk has gone south, and he asks them, not as a superior officer but as a father, to go to South Korea and bring Jung-hyuk home.
They’re transported to the south with the military track team, who’s competing in a Military World Games. They’re told that they have two weeks, at which time the track team is returning home, but if they fail they’re on their own.
They stop at a convenience store for ramyun, amazed at the sheer abundance of choice (Joo-mok chooses jjajangmyun because he’s seen it in dramas and wants to taste it, hee). Ever the pessimist, Chi-soo decides there must be so much ramyun because the south doesn’t have enough rice, only for Man-bok to point out an entire shelf of instant rice. PFFT.
After they eat, they make their way down the busy city streets, trying to look casual while sticking out like sore thumbs. A mysterious someone is suddenly behind them and gives orders to relax — and continue forward. Eventually they end up in a less-populated area, and they stop stock-still when the voice inquires as to how long they’ve been here.
Chi-soo says truthfully that they’re only here to bring someone home. Man-bok asks who they’re speaking to, so the man moves around to stand in front of them… OMG it’s Dong-gu (Kim Soo-hyun’s role as a North Korean spy from the movie Secretly Greatly)! Dong-gu puts down his delivery box and explains that he’s been here a long time, but has yet to receive any orders.
Dong-gu’s boss comes out to yell at him for not making his delivery, and his entire demeanor changes as he takes on his secret identity as a fool. He hunches over and makes a goofy face, muttering that he’s going right now, and when he turns back to the ducklings he looks pretty embarrassed, lol.
He gives them a gift — his delivery job, which comes with decent pay and free food and will help them blend in. He wishes them luck and trots off in that silly gait, turning to give them a jaunty salute before running away clicking his heels.
I have so many feelings right now, I don’t know what to process first! I have complicated Dong-gu feelings that, seven years after seeing Secretly Greatly (which is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life), I’m still trying to process. I have motherly, protective feelings for the ducklings — and Man-bok, who I hereby declare an Official Duckling — who are getting to see South Korea for the first time and are bound to be both awed and homesick. I also have worried feelings for the ducklings because for the first time, their objective will be in opposition to Jung-hyuk’s, who isn’t going to be at all willing to go home until Chul-kang is taken care of. I have proud feelings for Man-bok, who finally overcame his fear and decided to make amends for what happened to the only friend he’s ever had and the role he was forced to play in Moo-hyuk’s death. And I have incredible scared feelings for Jung-hyuk and Se-ri, who are so happy to see each other but who are now facing a more dangerous enemy than ever.
I’m so happy that Man-bok finally joined the good guys, and that Jung-hyuk’s father recognized him as an ally who could help with their mission. My heart just aches for him now that we know his whole story involving Moo-hyuk, that they were friends, and that Man-bok didn’t just overhear Moo-hyuk’s murder but actually helped facilitate it (which I completely forgive him for because there was no way he could have refused). Now he’s in a situation where he can, I hope make some new friends, and find the acceptance that Moo-hyuk initially offered him.
At least now we know what Chul-kang has against Jung-hyuk and his family — Moo-hyuk was the one who investigated his corruption and was planning to put him behind bars. A smart man would have avoided Jung-hyuk after learning who he was, but while I think that Chul-kang is cunning and clever, I wouldn’t call him smart when it comes to making judgment calls. Instead of laying low, he went after someone Jung-hyuk cared about and tried to harm her in an effort to get revenge on Moo-hyuk beyond the grave, and that led to Man-bok feeling it necessary to make up for what he did and Jung-hyuk growing invested in stopping him. Now Chul-kang is a loose cannon running around South Korea trying to kill a high-profile person, and he’s got the one man who can bring him down going after him.
At this point, I’m not sure how I feel about the mission to return Jung-hyuk to North Korea. He and Se-ri just belong together, like two halves of one whole, and I’m not sure they’ll be able to separate a second time after the first time was so difficult. But I also understand why Director Ri sent the ducklings to get Jung-hyuk, because it’s as dangerous for him in South Korea as it was for Se-ri up north. If this show were a bit lighter I’d hope for them all to find a way to stay and integrate into South Korean society, but it’s just heavy enough that instead, I’m scared of what will happen if they can’t get home. Basically, the show has just turned everything we know upside-down, and anything could happen from this point forward.
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