Crash Landing on You: Episode 13
Our heroes’ time in South Korea is running short, and soon they’ll have to go home or face dire consequences. But their target is still at large, and they’re getting no closer to finding him. It’s going to take a big move to stop him in time, but we know by now that nothing ever goes as planned.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Having thought that her empty apartment meant that Jung-hyuk and the ducklings had returned to North Korea, Se-ri bursts into tears when it turns out they were only throwing her a surprise birthday party. She runs outside and Jung-hyuk follows her, and since she’s embarrassed, he gives her a backhug and says that this day will always be a day when he’s grateful that the person he loves is alive.
Jung-hyuk asks Se-ri if she’s going to cry like that when he really does leave, but Se-ri says she won’t. She tells him to go home soon, worried that he won’t be able to if he’s in South Korea for too long, and she assures Jung-hyuk that she has the resources to protect herself against Chul-kang or anyone else.
Inside, the ducklings are worried after seeing Se-ri cry for the first time. Man-bok mentions the time Se-ri missed her plane, and the others gape at him (Chi-soo: “Just how much did you listen to us??”). Man-bok goes downstairs to bring Jung-hyuk and Se-ri back inside, and he senses something sinister but doesn’t see Chul-kang driving away.
Back upstairs, Se-ri tells the ducklings that she was just surprised. She accidentally complains about the old-fashioned cake, and everyone looks at Jung-hyuk, whose proud expression melts, ha. They light the candles and sing the North Korean version of “Happy Birthday,” then Se-ri teaches them how to make a wish before they blow out the candles together.
Later, Jung-hyuk comes to Se-ri’s room to give her a present. He’s adorably shy about it, saying multiple times that it’s no big deal, clearly feeling like it’s a very big deal. Finally Se-ri just grabs his hand and pries it open, and finds a gold ring inside… awww, Jung-hyuk looks like he might throw up.
It’s too big so Se-ri puts it on her thumb, but Jung-hyuk says that’s his ring and hands her a smaller one. Couple rings! He puts the ring on her finger and Se-ri pouts that for a guy who’s never dated, he’s good at making a woman’s heart flutter. She slides Jung-hyuk’s ring onto his finger and says she’ll always remember him, and why they’re not kissing right now, I have no idea.
Up north, Dan’s mother visits the village and runs into Wol-sook and Ok-geum. Wol-sook mentions that she saw a strange man going into the apartment meant for Dan and Jung-hyuk, but luckily Mom came armed with “keep quiet” gifts. She says the man is her nephew, Alberto, recently home after living in Europe, but the ladies immediately peg that as a lie.
Mom heads up to the apartment and runs into Seung-joon, who turns on the charm full-force. He explains that Dan got drunk and that he was about to bring her hangover soup, and he kneels to apologize for Dan’s behavior.
Mom barely drags herself away from Seung-joon and goes to the bedroom to smack Dan awake. Seung-joon pokes his head in to invite Mom to dinner, and HA, she recognizes the side dishes that Dan stole from her own fridge. Mom asks Seung-joon what his relationship is with Dan, and he says honestly, “I have a crush on Dan. I know she is engaged to another man.”
Her mother asks why he likes her, and he lists her “disciplined sternness and noble elegance.” Mom gives Seung-joon the stink-eye, but in private she tells Dan that she likes him. Dan insists that there’s nothing between them, and that she still intends to marry Jung-hyuk when he returns from (they think) the DMZ.
Back in Seoul, Jung-hyuk locates Chul-kang’s lackey, Manager Oh. He gives Manager Oh a painful neck-pinch for arranging a meeting then sending thugs to beat him up. Manager Oh admits that he’s not loyal to the people he connects, and Jung-hyuk says that he doesn’t need loyalty, just answers to his questions.
Meanwhile, Se-ri asks Man-bok about their scheduled return with the World Military Games athletes in a few days. Man-bok confirms that Jung-hyuk’s father took a big risk setting it up and that Jung-hyuk won’t be safe if he misses the bus, and Se-ri says that Jung-hyuk has to go back no matter what.
Wanting to give the ducklings a gift, Se-ri gives them her black credit card and tells them to go buy themselves some stylish clothes and anything else they want. They’re thrown off by things like pre-torn jeans (until Kwang-bum tries them on and looks fantastic, hee), and Eun-dong falls in love with a reindeer hat with flappy ears.
Sang-ah has been snooping around collecting information on Se-ri, and she calls another meeting with the board of Se-ri’s Choice. She wants to vote again regarding becoming the new CEO, this time basing it on whether Se-ri is suitable to run the company. She’s ready to spill all the details about Se-ri’s disappearance, but before she gets started, Se-ri’s stepmother shows up.
In private, Sang-ah claims that she’s only trying to make Se-hyung successful, but Stepmom snaps that she’s not about to sacrifice one child for another. She says that she and Chairman Yoon know where Se-ri was, as well as the fact that Se-hyung and Sang-ah tried to stop her from returning home, and she tells Sang-ah to bring Se-hyung home from Hong Kong and come see them immediately.
While Se-ri is at work and Jung-hyuk is pretending to be her bodyguard, Secretary Hong shows Se-ri a late-night drunken plea to get back together that her ex-boyfriend posted online. He mentions several other guys she’s dated, so, shooting nervous looks at Jung-hyuk, Se-ri barks at him to get back to work.
Once they’re alone, Se-ri claims that those men were just passing through her life, and Jung-hyuk sulks at her to tell him if he’s one of those “passing through” guys. Se-ri teases him that he took too long to find her, and that it was difficult dating so many men without finding The One.
Since they’re together now, they play hookey from work and go to the movies, where they take advantage of the movable armrest to hold hands. They go for a drive and take a walk on a suspension bridge, and Jung-hyuk brings up another time when he played hookey.
He says he skipped class to take photographs, and that he saw a woman who was totally his type about to jump off a high bridge. Se-ri pouts at the “my type” comment, but soon she recognizes herself in his story. Jung-hyuk continues, saying that he’s thought about her a lot since then and shows Se-ri the recorder he found in her desk.
Se-ri asks with wonder in her voice how many times they’ve met without knowing. She says that if it’s true that one’s happiest moments are the last thing one thinks of as they die, then this moment will be her last thought (and again, why are they not kissing?!).
The ducklings finally get to eat at the fried chicken restaurant, which is full of people watching a soccer game. Chi-soo and Man-bok act like they don’t care about the game until they learn that it’s between Korea and Japan, and by the time Jung-hyuk and Se-ri join them, they’re jumping up and down and screaming every time Korea makes a goal.
After the game, Man-bok steps outside for a cigarette, and to his horror he finds himself face to face with Chul-kang. Chul-kang says that he was angry when he found out Man-bok betrayed him, and he asks if Man-bok believes that Director Ri will protect him when he learns that Man-bok killed Moo-hyuk.
He reminds Man-bok that he’s the one who’s been providing for his family and freed his mother from prison. Man-bok begs Chul-kang to turn a blind eye and let him atone for what he did to Moo-hyuk, so Chul-kang tells him to choose — Moo-hyuk, or Woo-pil, his son.
The night Jung-hyuk and Eun-dong bunk down in one of Se-ri’s guest bedrooms together. Eun-dong talks excitedly about visiting the PC cafe and playing video games for the first time, and Jung-hyuk listens with an indulgent air… until Eun-dong mentions his fight with “Tomato Cultivator,” ha. Unwilling to admit that he’s the one who didn’t show up to duke it out in person, Jung-hyuk stomps out of the room.
In the kitchen, he runs onto Man-bok, who’s crying from worry. Man-bok goes still when Jung-hyuk apologizes for causing him to be separated from his family, then he shuffles out of the room without a word.
The village ladies visit Young-ae again, and Myung-sook says that she learned from Man-bok’s wiretapper friends that Young-ae’s husband was arrested because Chul-kang was trying to dig up dirt on Director Ri. With Jung-hyuk gone, they have no way to contact Director Ri to ask for leniency for the senior colonel, until Wol-sook remembers that Dan’s so-called cousin is right here in the village.
They go to the apartment as a group, running into Dan on the way. They let themselves into the apartment just as Seung-joon is getting out of the shower, and they all stare at his naked chest (OMG Dan’s face!) while he tries to act nonchalant.
While Seung-joon gets dressed, Dan curtly asks the ladies what they want. Young-ae asks her to put in a good word for her husband with Director Ri, but Dan snaps that she doesn’t take personal requests. Seung-joon joins them and tells the ladies that Dan actually has a warm heart, and he promises to talk to his “aunt” about the situation.
One of the ladies mentions seeing Seung-joon coming out of Jung-hyuk’s house recently, and Dan quickly makes an excuse. But later, she asks Seung-joon angrily why he was there. Seung-joon says that he’s decided not to lie to Dan, so he tells her the truth — that Chul-kang followed Se-ri to South Korea, and Jung-hyuk is in Seoul to save Se-ri and catch Chul-kang. Dan starts to cry, worrying Seung-joon, but she slaps away his hand and walks away.
After doing his research, Colonel Go tells Dan’s mother that Seung-joon is who he says he is, but that Director Ri’s investigation turned up that he’s one of the swindlers who was being “hidden” in North Korea. The good news, he continues, is that Dan knows about it, so at least she didn’t fall prey to his swindling. Mom yells that that’s not good news and chases him around the house, ha.
Se-ri lines up the ducklings and gives them all skin mask treatments, and she tells Joo-mok that she’s sending him on a very important errand. She has him dress up and sends him to a restaurant, and OMG I can tell by his hat that he’s about to meet Choi Ji-woo! Sure enough, there she is waiting for him (cameo as herself).
At first Joo-mok can barely speak, but when Ji-woo asks if there’s something he wants to say to her, he recites a famous line from her drama Stairway to Heaven: “You said that people who love each other eventually meet, right? No matter how far you go…” Ji-woo finishes the line, “Love returns in the end,” and Joo-mok pulls his hat over his eyes to hide his happy tears. (That was AMAZING.)
That night, Joo-mok asks Se-ri how she tricked him, so she shows him that she had her fingers crossed while saying she was sending him on an errand. Eun-dong tells the others that crossing your fingers means that you’re lying, but it makes it okay. Joo-mok thanks Se-ri for making his dream come true and says that he can die happy now (noooo don’t say that!).
Se-ri talks about the awards she gave the guys, and Eun-dong says that it feels like they’re saying goodbye again. Se-ri agrees that they say goodbye a lot, but that it’s good to say it while they can. She fusses at them for not using her card like she told them to, so she got them gifts.
Jung-hyuk makes sure that the ducklings are ready to leave on the scheduled bus, but he says he’ll join them after Manager Oh contacts him. Man-bok has apparently caved, and he sends the audio of their conversation to Chul-kang, so Chul-kang calls him to say that he’ll lure Jung-hyuk away through Manager Oh (so he can kidnap Se-ri).
Sang-ah brings Se-hyung to see Chairman Yoon, who’s furious at Se-hyung for lying about Se-ri’s whereabouts. He tells Se-hyung that he made him the heir because he’s incompetent, so he thought he would ask for help, and that he’s going to call another shareholders’ meeting and have him demoted.
Sang-ah begs on her knees for forgiveness, and she shows Chairman Yoon pictures of Se-ri and Seung-joon together in Pyongyang. She insinuates that Se-ri was working with Seung-joon when he conned Se-hyung, as revenge for Chairman Yoon forcing a takeover of Seung-joon’s father’s company years ago. Chairman Yoon says he’ll look into it, and that if Se-hyung is lying again, he’ll lose everything.
Se-hyung calls Se-ri and tells her to come to the house. When Se-ri agrees, he gives Chul-kang a map of the route that Se-ri usually takes. He says he doesn’t care what Chul-kang does with her so long as she never comes near him again.
When Se-ri pulls away from her building, Man-bok calls Chul-kang to tell him that she’s on her way, and that he and the guys will be leaving soon to catch their bus home. They’re already late, and the bus driver is growing nervous.
Se-ri hits a certain stretch of road, and three vans flank Se-ri and force her to stop. Tough-looking men carrying blunt weapons get out and rush her car.
Meanwhile, Jung-hyuk is told by Manager Oh to come to an empty warehouse, where he’s met by Chul-kang and about twenty hired thugs. He says that as long as Chul-kang is in South Korea and Se-ri is in danger, he has no intention of leaving. Chul-kang’s men attack, and Jung-hyuk easily fights them off for a while, but eventually one of them lands a blow that doubles him over.
Manager Oh, coward that he is, escapes during the fighting, but outside he squints to see another car pull up. Five figures walk towards him, and OMG it’s the ducklings! And wow, do they look dapper in their stylish suits.
We back up a bit to see how this all happened — when Jung-hyuk finds Man-bok crying in the kitchen, he asks Man-bok to tell him if there’s something he wants to say. Man-bok says that this is the first time anyone has ever asked him to speak his mind instead of just repeating what he heard, and he decides to do exactly that. He tells Jung-hyuk that Chul-kang threatened his child, but that this time, he’s going to fight. Yes!
Later when Jung-hyuk talks to the guys about leaving, all the ducklings have their fingers crossed as Man-bok openly records their conversation to send to Chul-kang, hee. They tell Se-ri that Se-hyung is planning something with Chul-kang, so when he calls her to the house, they make a plan.
The ducklings hide in her car, and when the thugs attack, they jump out and put up a fight. They seem to be enjoying the chance to use their fighting skills again, and even Man-bok leaps onto the last thug’s back and knocks him out. Damn, I love these guys.
Once they’re done, they continue to the warehouse where Chul-kang lured Jung-hyuk. They’re joined by the guys that Se-ri hired to find Chul-kang, and she sends them inside with a promise of two years’ free rent. Just as things are looking bad for Jung-hyuk, he’s backed up by his squad and enough fighting men to match Chul-kang’s thugs.
Chul-kang sneers at Man-bok, then pulls a gun and fires at him. Jung-hyuk kicks the gun as Chi-soo flings Man-bok to the ground. Everyone starts fighting, and Jung-hyuk loses Chul-kang in the chaos. He finds Chul-kang holding a knife to Man-bok’s throat, but someone comes at Jung-hyuk and distracts him for a moment, just long enough for Chul-kang to drag Man-bok outside.
Se-ri is still in her car and witnesses Chul-kang punching and strangling Man-bok. Chul-kang leaves Man-bok lying on the ground and hides behind another car when Jung-hyuk follows him outside, and Se-ri watches in horror as Chul-kang points a gun at Jung-hyuk. He pulls the trigger, but Se-ri drives her car between them, and the bullet shatters her window.
Whirling around, Jung-hyuk sees that Se-ri is unconscious and he fears the worst. He shoots Chul-kang, who survives the shot and staggers behind the car again. Chul-kang reaches for the gun he dropped, but someone else gets to it first — Man-bok. Ohthankgoodness he’s alive! Sobbing, he lifts the gun, aims at Chul-kang, and shoots.
Jung-hyuk opens Se-ri’s door and she tumbles into his arms, bleeding from a gunshot wound. He hears her voice saying that she’ll think of that moment on the bridge as her happiest moment when she dies, and his own memories of her race through his mind — tying her hair back with his handkerchief, finding her in the crowd by holding up a candle, kissing her at the hospital.
He tries to wake her up, then he realizes how much she’s bleeding and he’s frozen with grief. He sobs wordlessly as it starts to snow, thinking, “No, no, it wasn’t enough. I still have more to say. There’s something I haven’t told you. I love you. I love you, Yoon Se-ri.”
Jung-hyuk tells the ducklings that he’ll meet them later at the bus. Chi-soo speaks for all of them as he says that there’s more Jung-hyuk can put on the line than just his life — them. He says that in this situation, Jung-hyuk is as important to them as their country.
Jung-hyuk says he can’t ask this of them, but Joo-mok tells him that Se-ri has become precious to them, too. Kwang-bum and Eun-dong are equally determined, so Jung-hyuk gives them his orders: “Do everything in your power to protect Se-ri. I trust you.”
But later, the ducklings run outside to find Jung-hyuk holding Se-ri’s limp body in his arms. They stand helpless, unable to do anything to save her.
I’ve seen enough dramas to be relatively certain that Se-ri isn’t about to die, but that doesn’t lessen the gut-punch of seeing Jung-hyuk and the ducklings sobbing over her, sure that everything they’ve risked and sacrificed was for nothing. Their grief and shock at seeing Se-ri lying in her own blood is heartbreaking, and I hope for their sake that she recovers enough to lovingly chastise them for thinking she would die so easily before they have to leave. But I’m worried about the fact that they’ve all apparently missed their chance to go home, and the tunnel that Jung-hyuk came through has been discovered by the authorities, so our boys are at great risk of not getting home at all now.
Seung-joon and Dan are still growing closer, but I’m concerned that Dan is too stubborn to admit her feelings for Seung-joon — not to him, but to herself. Even though Dan’s feelings for Jung-hyuk aren’t actually based on any real relationship between them, she’s “liked” Jung-hyuk for so long that it’s more habit than anything else. And Dan is so strong-minded that it’s going to take a lot for her to let Jung-hyuk go, even if her actual feelings are for Seung-joon. Luckily, Seung-joon has a way of putting things to her that force her to admit the hard truth, so hopefully he can help Dan realize that what she feels for Jung-hyuk was an illusion, but that what they have is very real.
Aside from that, I’m so proud of our ducklings! They’re so sweet that I easily forget that they’re experienced soldiers, trained to fight and defend what they love, and they really stepped up and proved that in this episode. Their forward thinking and planning, their delight in getting to show off their skills, and their devotion to their leader(s) was beyond impressive, and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Man-bok especially stood out by finally standing up for what’s right like I always knew he could. He has been in the process of coming out of his shell — pun intended, lol — and he showed true courage by standing up to Chul-kang and even attempting to kill him (this isn’t my first drama… until I see a body, I won’t assume Chul-kang is dead).
Speaking of the ducklings, seeing them all acclimating so well to the South Korean culture is fun, but every now and then I remember that they have to go home to their lives. It makes me sad, but then I wonder why, because their lives weren’t exactly bad in North Korea. Maybe they won’t have things like state-of-the-art electronics and limitless credit cards after they leave, but they have their families and the things that are familiar to them, as well as each other. I do hope that Jung-hyuk finds a way to stay with Se-ri without risking his parents’ lives (which I’m almost certain would involve faking his death), but maybe sending the ducklings home won’t be so terrible. Jung-hyuk and Se-ri will miss them, and I can’t imagine their little family being split up, but they’ll always have each other and this amazing experience they shared.
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