Crash Landing on You: Episode 15
Our hero and his ducklings have overstayed their welcome, and they find themselves in some very hot water with no way out. The truth is too dangerous and lies don’t work against a smart opponent, which leaves them with very few options. Meanwhile, another would-be hero fights for his own happy ending, but it might be too little, too late.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Seung-joon tries to escape from the men chasing him, but he ends up trapped on the roof of the apartment building. He wonders if this is the end, and why he’s thinking of Dan at such a time. The men quickly find him, and Seung-joon gapes when their leader aims a rifle at him… his former trusted broker, CEO Jeon.
Chul-kang receives an email from his North Korean contact saying that Director Ri has a plausible story for why Jung-hyuk is in South Korea, so they weren’t able to threaten him. Chul-kang is told to kill Jung-hyuk, and that if he can’t, not to return home.
Jung-hyuk bursts in and aims his gun at Chul-kang, but he’s been followed by NIS agents, who order Jung-hyuk and Chul-kang to drop their weapons. Chul-kang turns his back on Jung-hyuk, seeming to surrender, as the NIS agents aim their weapons at Jung-hyuk. But Chul-kang pulls a gun from his waistband and whirls to shoot Jung-hyuk.
Moving quickly, Jung-hyuk sidesteps out of the line of fire, and Chul-kang is struck by several NIS bullets. Collapsing to the floor, Chul-kang gasps that he sent evidence of Jung-hyuk and Se-ri’s relationship to North Korea, so Jung-hyuk can’t return home or his parents will be executed.
Chul-kang claims that Director Ri chose not to investigate Moo-hyuk’s murder because he knew he would find that his own actions were at fault. Voice weakening, Chul-kang says that Director Ri probably wants Jung-hyuk to die here, which puts them in the same situation, so they should die together. He reaches for his gun, but he dies before he touches it.
Sick with grief and believing Chul-kang’s words about his father, Jung-hyuk raises his gun to his head. But the NIS agents burst in and arrest him before he can take his own life.
In the village in North Korea, Wol-sook decides to shave her head out of shame for the things she said to Dan’s mother while she was drunk. But a sudden commotion outside has the ladies running to see Myung-sook and Woo-pil being dragged away by two uniformed men.
The men claim to be from the State Security Department, so Young-ae tells them to give her regards to the director of the State Security Department, Ma Young-seop. The men promise to do that and Young-ae crows that Ma Young-seop is her brother, catching the men in their lie and forcing them to let go of their captives. Young-ae tells Myung-sook and Woo-pil to stay at her place where it’s safe until Man-bok comes home.
It’s no surprise that Se-hyung blames Sang-ah for the fact that he’s been disowned. But Sang-ah says that they still have a card to play — she heard from Chul-kang that Se-ri’s “bodyguard” and the other men who are watching her are all here illegally from North Korea.
Chi-soo and Joo-mok play a joke on little Eun-dong, telling him that there’s a person inside the vending machine who hands out drinks when someone wants one. He falls for it hook, line, and sinker and apologizes to the machine while they snicker behind his back, hee.
Man-bok and Kwang-bum are caught and arrested in Se-ri’s room by the NIS agents. The others hide, frightening themselves with horror stories about how the NIS will torture them if they’re arrested. Chi-soo is an orphan, so he sacrifices himself to lead the NIS away from their hiding place. Unfortunately, he runs to a dead end and they all end up in handcuffs.
Se-ri staggers to the lobby as the ducklings are being taken away. She pleads with the NIS agents, but the ducklings are more upset that Se-ri might hurt herself than they are about being arrested, so they yell at her to stay. Se-ri sobs that this is all her fault, and her Stepmom tries to console her, but she ends up making herself sick.
In the van, the ducklings think about Dong-gu from Division 11 and how crazy he acted. They assume he must have been through some intense torture, so when they arrive at the NIS headquarters, they’re braced to face extreme torture and mistreatment.
Instead, they go through a pretty mild intake and medical exam. Chi-soo is then strapped to a lie detector, which he assumes means the electric torture is about to start. HAHA, he upsets himself so much that everything he says flags as a lie, invalidating the test.
He’s sent to eat and calm down, and he’s joined by Eun-dong, who’s feeling pretty chipper after his own questioning. Eun-dong tells Chi-soo that they already knew everything about him and even showed him satellite photos of his hometown, and that he wasn’t tortured at all.
Meanwhile, Jung-hyuk is elsewhere in the building, refusing to speak or eat. The NIS agents are worried about having the son of the director of the General Political Bureau in custody, which would create a huge problem if it got out. They correctly guess that Jung-hyuk plans to take responsibility for everything in order to protect his parents and Se-ri.
Director Ri learns that Jung-hyuk and the others were all arrested by the NIS. He’s comforted a bit by the fact that Chul-kang is finally dead and that Jung-hyuk is safe for now, but his informant suggests that he prepare himself in case that changes.
Seung-joon is taken somewhere by CEO Jeon, fussing at him the whole way for betraying him. Finally CEO Jeon tapes Seung-joon’s mouth just to shut him up, then tells his men to stop at a hotel for the night.
With Se-hyung disinherited, Se-joon and Hye-ji celebrate that they’re close to getting the family company for themselves. Chairman Yoon listens as Se-hyung tries to convince him that Se-ri’s scandal with a North Korean soldier is much worse than anything he’s done. Chairman Yoon snaps that he won’t discuss family issues with someone who is no longer family, so Sang-ah tells Seung-joon to drop it and wait until Seung-joon comes back, then they’ll have plenty of evidence.
Se-joon and Hye-ji were eavesdropping, and they take this information straight to Se-ri and Stepmom. They tell Se-ri that Se-hyung and Sang-ah plan to spin things to make themselves look like patriots, but Se-ri backs up, asking if they’re really planning to bring Seung-joon back.
Seung-joon is still tied and gagged in the hotel room, but once the other men (that we now know were hired by Se-hyung) fall asleep, CEO Jeon creeps out of bed and frees him. Seung-joon wanders the marketplace trying to find a way out of the village, but he spots Se-hyung’s men looking for him so he hides behind a market stall.
A boy taps Seung-joon’s shoulder — hey, it’s the homeless boy that Se-ri gave food to when she was first in North Korea! The kids create a distraction by begging loudly so that Se-hyung’s men quickly leave the area. The song they sing, about orphans with nobody to care for them or mourn when they die, reminds Seung-joon of his own circumstances and makes him cry.
Once the coast is clear, Seung-joon tells the homeless boy that he’s an orphan, too, and also has nobody to mourn his death. He gives the boy a huge fistful of cash as thanks for saving his life. Continuing on his way, Seung-joon sees the pawnshop and remembers Se-ri saying that she pawned the diamond ring he gave her.
The NIS hold a briefing where they watch CCTV video of Jung-hyuk since he’s been in South Korea. Although they’re looking for evidence that he’s dangerous, all they find is footage of him holding doors for people, getting balloons out of trees for kids, and helping an old lady push her cardboard cart up a hill, ha.
Frustrated, the NIS agent tries to question Jung-hyuk again. He lies that he came to South Korea to convince Se-ri to return to North Korea (along with her money and business sense). He also says that the ducklings were only here to participate in the Military World Games, and that he got them involved in his business against their will and prevented them from returning home.
The agent seems to know he’s lying, and when he tells Se-ri, she insists that Jung-hyuk never tried to keep her in North Korea and in fact risked his life many times to send her home. She says he only came to South Korea because Chul-kang was trying to kill her, and that all she wants is to get Jung-hyuk home safely, and that she’ll accept whatever punishment comes with that.
There’s another NIS briefing in which the agents agree that Se-ri’s version of the story seems the most likely. They tried asking the ducklings but got nowhere, so they bring Se-ri to speak to Jung-hyuk directly. Jung-hyuk ignores Se-ri when she talks to him, so she says that she knows he’s acting this way to protect her.
Jung-hyuk replies coldly that he only used Se-ri because of her wealth and influence. He admits that he developed some feelings for her, but he says his reason for coming south was to get revenge on Chul-kang for killing his brother.
Se-ri sobs that if he takes all the blame, he’ll be labeled a criminal and he’ll never go home. Jung-hyuk says that seeing her now bothers him more than the thought of losing his life, and in her weakened state, it’s all she can take. She leaves, and collapses in the hallway.
The NIS agent tells Jung-hyuk that he was too harsh, and that Se-ri is being carried out unconscious. Jung-hyuk gives himself away by leaping from his seat and rushing out of the room, just in time to see Se-ri being hurried from the building. He finally lets the tears he’s been holding back fall as he watches her go.
Se-ri is taken to intensive care due to sepsis caused by her still-healing wound and severe stress. The doctor tells Stepmom that there’s a high chance Se-ri might die, but all they can do is wait.
The village ladies are worried that Myung-sook still hasn’t heard from Man-bok, so Myung-sook suggests they go see the fortuneteller again. Sadly, the fortune teller revealed that a State Security Department officer was having an affair to his wife, so he had her arrested.
The ladies find Seung-joon loitering outside and invite him in to eat. He’s obviously starving and eats so fast that Wol-sook jokes that someone must be chasing him, ha. He leaves and goes to Jung-hyuk’s house, and Dan calls him after finding her apartment ransacked and him gone.
She goes to meet Seung-joon and gets flustered to be alone with him in the dark, so she lights a candle. The absurdity of being in Jung-hyuk’s house with Seung-joon doesn’t escape Dan, but Seung-joon says that Jung-hyuk won’t mind since he’s the one who set him up with a broker and a South Korean phone (that explains that).
He tells Dan that Se-ri’s brother sent people after him, and that he plans to leave for Europe tomorrow. He asks her to take him to the airport, and she agrees, pretending not to be bothered that he’s leaving her. Seung-joon mutters that she could at least pretend to try and stop him, even if it’s only a joke.
Feeling overwhelmed, Dan stands to get some distance, but Seung-joon grabs her hand and stops her. He says he’s been trying to live a good life, but he’s still at the bottom. He tells Dan that he knows he shouldn’t do this, then slips his diamond ring on her finger.
He admits that it’s the ring he bought for Se-ri, but Dan is the one who picked it out and it’s the best he can do. He says that if he’s doing better later and visits her, and if she’s still single, he hopes she gives him a chance. Dan starts to sob so Seung-joon hugs her, and he says that because he likes her, he’ll remember which direction to go.
Not having found anything incriminating on Jung-hyuk, the NIS agent decides to look into the ducklings’ activities while in South Korea. His aide tells him that they charged everything on Se-ri’s card, but it’s all cheap charges like video game items at a PC cafe, downloads of South Korean dramas (all starring Choi Ji-woo, lol), and noraebang snacks. LOL.
The NIS agent gives up on the ducklings, and instead he shows Chul-kang’s laptop to Jung-hyuk. They’ve hacked into his email and found the message where he was told to kill Jung-hyuk, which contradicts Chul-kang’s claim that Jung-hyuk’s father didn’t want him to return home. Knowing that his father didn’t give up on him, Jung-hyuk finally breaks, and he asks how Se-ri is doing.
Dan takes Seung-joon to the airport like she promised, but she refuses to look at him and leaves without saying a word. She lets herself sob after her taxi pulls away, so she doesn’t notice the suspicious vehicles following her. Soon Seung-joon gets a call from someone who says that he’ll kill Dan unless Seung-joon gives himself up.
Seung-joon tries to play it cool like he doesn’t care what happens to Dan, but the guy makes it clear that he’ll follow through on his threat. He gives Seung-joon an hour to show up at an address he texts to him, otherwise Dan will die.
Seung-joon only hesitates for a moment before ripping up his plane ticket and jumping into the nearest taxi. He bursts into the warehouse where the men are holding Dan hostage, shooting a rifle at anyone who moves. He takes down most of Se-hyung’s men, but one of them gets off a lucky shot and hits him in the shoulder.
He calls out to Dan that he’s okay then continues shooting, but the last man shoots him in the stomach before Seung-joon kills him. Seung-joon watches Dan running towards him, and he smiles as he thinks, “I was wrong. When I die, there’s someone who will cry for me. The fact that it’s you makes me sad and happy.” Oh no…
While unconscious, Se-ri has a dream that takes her back to the day she was accidentally blown into North Korea. In the dream, she knows everything that will happen to her, the good and the bad, and how it will all end. But she chooses to experience it all again, just so that she can meet Jung-hyuk and love him again.
Jung-hyuk is told that Se-ri has taken a turn for the worse. He’s allowed to go to the hospital, where he can only watch helplessly as doctors work to save Se-ri’s life. He thinks to himself, “If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t meet you. You wouldn’t get to know me, then you would be safe and happy.”
Seung-joon also has a revelation as he’s being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, Dan crying over him: “If one of us must die while the other lives, if that’s fate, it’s only right that I die and you live on.”
A tone indicates that someone has died, but between Se-ri and Seung-joon, it’s not clear which one lost their fight.
While analyzing the CCTV videos of Jung-hyuk, the experts noticed something interesting whenever he was with Se-ri. He was always angled towards her, he frequently mirrored her gestures, and he blocked her whenever men came near. The aide tells the NIS agent that these are all indications that Jung-hyuk loves Se-ri, and the agent snaps that anyone can see that.
Dammit, I think we’re going to lose Seung-joon. We’ve had several gunshot cliffhangers here towards the end, but this one actually worries me. I can see the show killing off Seung-joon for a lot of different reasons, and letting him go out a reformed hero (I know the finale already aired but I haven’t see it, so no spoilers please!) makes a lot of sense, character-wise. Not to mention that Seung-joon is wanted for pretty serious crimes in several countries, so there’s not really anywhere for him to go and be safe, even if Dan could move away from North Korea permanently, which I’d doubt would be possible. But Seung-joon’s death would be so unfair to Dan, who just got over a very long crush on Jung-hyuk, and she doesn’t deserve to lose the man she’s actually come to love. So, while I actually don’t have much hope for Seung-joon’s survival, I’m going to feel horrible for Dan if he dies.
I really hate Noble Idiocy, but in some cases I can see why a character chooses that route. I understand why Jung-hyuk tried to take all the responsibility for being in South Korea — it would protect Se-ri and the ducklings, as well as his family back home, if he were in South Korea for the political and personal reasons he claimed. He would be punished and the others would be exonerated. But the NIS agents aren’t stupid, and they can see the evidence that Jung-hyuk is not a spy. He’s just a man in love who’s trying to protect those he cares about, and not at all a danger to anyone.
It broke my heart to hear Se-ri and Jung-hyuk’s innermost thoughts, and how different they were, but they were also perfectly in-character. They both have very naturally loving natures, but were forced by loss, betrayal, and neglect to shut off that side of themselves. It makes sense to me that Se-ri is willing to go through all the danger, fear, and pain again just to get the chance to experience love again. But Jung-hyuk is also a protector, so he would sacrifice that love if it meant that the person he loves would be safe and happy.
Unfortunately, none of this solves the problem of whether there’s a way for Jung-hyuk and Se-ri to ever be together. I can’t imagine their not having a happy ending, but how that will come about is still a mystery to me. Se-ri can’t go to North Korea, and Jung-hyuk can’t stay in South Korea, so the only other place I can think of that would be a safe haven for them both is Switzerland. It would be a nice poetic ending for them to make a life together in the place where they first met, but I have a feeling that their troubles aren’t over yet.
- Premiere Watch: Stove League, Crash Landing on You
- Hyun Bin becomes protector for Sohn Ye-jin in tvN’s Crash Landing on You
- South Korean heiress Sohn Ye-jin meets North Korean soldier Hyun Bin in Crash Landing on You
- Hyun Bin, Sohn Ye-jin in new stills and poster for tvN Crash Landing on You
- Kim Jung-hyun to play elite socialite in Love’s Crash Landing
- Hyun Bin, Sohn Ye-jin team up with Legend of the Blue Sea writer for tvN romance