Healer: Episode 15
Sweet! It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to sit back and bask for a while, because I dunno about you guys but I could use some recovery time from all the weeping and heart-wringing I did before. And with the plot continuing to speed along, I actually find myself able to enjoy the cheeriness more, because while I love romantic fluff (and would happily take tons of it, angst-free), you don’t always want it to happen at the expense of development, because then it feels like filler. Better to get adorable cuteness and forward movement in one fell swoop!
SONG OF THE DAY
Just – “그대 때문에” (Because of you) from the Healer OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 15 RECAP
So, that kiss. As Jung-hoo finally stops pushing Young-shin away and kisses her, it intercuts with memories of their first one on that rooftop, finally bringing together those two identities into one.
A short while later, we see two mugs side by side on the table, two sets of shoes intermingled on the floor, and two people lying in bed next to each other. Okay, the drama didn’t show us anything, but just knowing that they got an offscreen bed scene makes me happy enough.
Jung-hoo contentedly watches Young-shin sleeping, and looks adorably disgruntled when she starts to turn away from him in her sleep. He slowly slides his arm under her shoulders, and as she turns back into his side, he cradles her with both arms, going back to sleep with her head tucked under his.
When she wakes up, the spot next to her is empty, and she stretches awake… and finds Jung-hoo still looking down at her from the other side. They smile bashfully at each other, and then he ducks under the covers to join her.
Another cut later (yay! Y’know, I’m just going to be happy for them that there’s so much need to presumably cut), and Young-shin towel dries her hair after a shower. Jung-hoo takes over the task, and for a brief moment her eyes are covered by the towel, her mouth exposed, not unlike it was during their rooftop kiss. Ha, he goes in for one, only to have her inadvertently interrupt him by pulling the towel, and she catches him staring.
Later as he watches her yet some more, he envelops her in a hug and thinks, “I thought it was a dream. I don’t usually dream much, and wondered why this one was lasting so long.” As Young-shin tends to his injured arm, he can’t keep his hands to himself, touching her head and cradling her in his lap, adding, “So I kept needing to confirm whether it was real, or maybe not. And then I would think, Is it okay for this to be real?”
He really can’t leave her alone for even a second, needing to hold on every moment, even when she’s doing something as mundane as cooking. He hovers around, dangling over her shoulder, and when she pushes back for some room, he just sneaks a kiss. And you know, she doesn’t really mind that so much.
He insists on walking her out, and she waves goodbye and boards the bus… only to have him step onto the bus at the last minute. He pulls her into the last row and squeezes her into the corner, loath to let any opportunity to be together pass him by.
Young-shin concedes to let him tag along for just one stop, but she can’t really pretend to be annoyed for very long and they cuddle some more. So he gets off at the next stop, and they wave goodbye for ages as her bus pulls away.
Back at home, Jung-hoo logs back online and talks to Min-ja, saying that he’s getting confused between real and fake, particularly since Healer work requires him to take on fake identities. Every time he steps out into the world, he’s been somebody else, “But when I’m with her I have to be real.”
He pauses to wonder, “But the real me? What is that? Does that exist?”
Ajumma just grumbles that he’s thinking too much, and that he shouldn’t: “When you think, you cause trouble.” Jung-hoo thanks her sincerely, to which she responds by totally ignoring him, because we know she’s a gruff ol’ teddy bear. And when Jung-hoo heads out “to find the real me,” she sighs that it’s time for a switch. She must mean Healers.
When Moon-ho arrives home, he’s surprised to find Jung-hoo waiting for him with a conciliatory six-pack of beer. Moon-ho’s glad to see him, and says he was worried.
He asks if Young-shin knows about his identity, and Jung-hoo says she figured it out. He’s thinking over how much he should tell her, but she isn’t asking any questions. Moon-ho catches on with a smile: “You like Ji-an. That’s why you can’t tell her—who she is, who her father is, or about your father.” Moon-ho asks for his understanding since that’s how he was—he liked Myung-hee and Ji-an, and therefore couldn’t tell them what he knew.
Jung-hoo gets down to business, saying that he wants revenge for Teacher’s death, and to clear his father’s name. He also wants to know when he can tell Young-shin her mother is alive. Moon-ho readily agrees, but wants to wait to tell Young-shin until it’s safe for Myung-hee—so, after they’ve accomplished the first two goals.
Jung-hoo doesn’t argue, and asks what method Moon-ho has come up with for taking down their evildoers. Moon-ho replies that he only has one way: “The method used by your father and Chae Young-shin’s father, the method I’ve only imitated my whole life. Do you want to try it with me for real?”
They drink to it, and Jung-hoo adds that Moon-ho was right about him liking Young-shin: “Just know that.” Moon-ho just smiles knowingly.
With that, they get to work. Moon-ho debriefs Jung-hoo on the facts: Moon-shik began working for the Elder in 1992. He struck out on his own years later, and the Elder sent him Secretary Oh, who’s got a few false identities, including that of a lawyer.
“The relationship between those two is quite interesting,” Moon-ho says, describing Moon-shik and his secretary as the two sides of a coin. With Secretary Oh carrying out all the dirty work, Moon-shik gets to keep his image pristine. Moon-ho notes that sometimes it really seems like his brother believes he’s done nothing wrong, like he can’t remember, and that’s why Moon-ho was fooled for so long.
That certainly seems true as Moon-shik arrives at the hospital to deal with Teacher’s funeral arrangements, calling him a dear friend and wanting only the finest. He looks genuinely bereaved as he carries his friend’s picture, as though he’d had nothing to do with his death.
Dressed in funeral black, Jung-hoo slips into the hospital to get to Teacher’s ashes first, leaving a box in place of the one he takes. He sees Moon-shik leaving the hospital with the decoy ashes, telling his Teacher that he couldn’t leave his remains in those hands. Jung-hoo promises to scatter the ashes in the South Pacific that Teacher liked so much.
At the Someday offices, Moon-ho directs his staff on their next broadcast. Thanks to their double agent Jong-soo, they’ve gotten their hands on Moon-shik’s prepared question list for his live television speech. Jong-soo has fed back information to the enemy that Someday is preparing something big, to coincide with Moon-shik’s broadcast. They predict that Moon-shik’s side will be beefing up cyber security in anticipation.
Moon-ho instructs Young-shin to talk with Detective Yoon as planned, and assigns her to work with a freelancer while Bong-soo is out on a leave of absence.
So Young-shin heads out to connect with the contact, and wouldn’t you know—there’s Jung-hoo, waiting to meet her. He greets her as though it’s their first time speaking, and finally provides a name: “I’m Seo Jung-hoo. I’m the freelancer who will need your help today.”
She repeats his name a few times, trying it out. “Seo Jung-hoo. Seo Jung-hoo-sshi. Or just… Jung-hoo-ya?”
I love how readily they fall into banmal (we can thank Bong-soo for making it so easy), and he apologizes for taking so long to get to this point. She smiles and says, “We finally meet,” and he smiles back at her.
And then she adds that he deserves a few blows anyway, and kicks him several times. Ha, I think he got off easy, all things considered.
They pull up to the police station, and she asks if he’ll disguise himself in order to go inside. He replies that his method is to use whatever is at his disposal, depending on the situation, and then clips a miked barrette into her hair. He tells her to say something, and she barks into it loudly, “I miss Park Bong-soo!” Don’t we all.
Jung-hoo follows Young-shin into the station, keeping his distance to make it look like they’re separate parties while she checks in. Then as soon as she’s granted access, he acts like he’s with her, which gets him past the checkpoint.
He has to leave her while she meets with the detective, so Jung-hoo issues advice like a nervous mother hen. When he starts to explain how to react if danger were to befall her, Young-shin points out that she’s in a police station, surrounded by police officers. With that, she joins Detective Yoon, having agreed to exchange information: He’ll tell her about President Hwang’s death, if she tells him about the Healer.
Jung-hoo continues upstairs for his own mission, disguising himself in a police uniform, and can hear over Young-shin’s mic as Detective Yoon excuses himself to work on a network server change that they’re kicking off in fifteen minutes. Ajumma realizes what Detective Yoon is doing and barks out a string of curses, calling him crazy.
Apparently her last hack must have pushed him to extremes, because now he’s decided to shut out all access to the police network from the outside. Yes, this blocks her out, but she’s offended in principle too, since it makes it impossible for the police to access their own network from outside the physical station.
Jung-hoo reminds her that that’s not her problem, and they return to the task at hand. She directs him to find any computer terminal to use as their entry point to the system, and it’s important to get in before the server reset in fifteen minutes.
So Jung-hoo caaaaasually sits himself down at a desk, trying to look as unobtrusive as possible. But his attempt to log in turns up an error page, and Min-ja deduces that even if all the police computers have been cut off from outside access, Detective Yoon needs at least one access point, and it’s bound to be his own computer. Time’s ticking.
When Detective Yoon asks Young-shin for her intel on the Healer, she thinks fast and admits the truth about meeting him. Then she gasps dramatically, pointing out the door. That’s him! He’s here!
Excited, Detective Yoon follows as she runs down the hall, zooming right past Jung-hoo, directing the officers far, far away. On her way out she marks Yoon’s computer by flinging her hat onto it, then surreptitiously motions for Jung-hoo to find that desk.
Jung-hoo heads into the cyber office and sits down at Yoon’s station. A few keystrokes later, he’s granted ajumma access. He’s out before anybody even notices.
Young-shin leads the cops all the way outside, at which point she stops in confusion and admits that she thought it was him—you know, this guy she has a crush on. HAHA. I’m so embarrassed for her even knowing she’s lying, and the look on Detective Yoon’s face is priceless.
The detective dashes back inside, not even noticing as Jung-hoo walks past him on his way out. Jung-hoo sternly lists all the violations she’s just committed, like interfering with police duty. She sighs heavily (“I know, it’s what I get for meeting such a boyfriend”), before dissolving into giggles: “This is such fun!”
She runs back into the station while he gapes in disbelief, though I notice the word he gets hung up on is “boyfriend.”
Moon-shik receives confirmation that Jung-hoo did in fact arrive from Russia recently—at least, the customs logs check out. But Secretary Oh has photos of “Bong-soo” taken by their police mole, from before Jung-hoo’s supposed arrival in the country. This just convinces Moon-shik that Jung-hoo is the Healer, and that he’s got the skills to change customs records.
Secretary Oh then plays the recording of the recent phone call between Young-shin and Myung-hee. Of course you’re tapping your wife’s phone.
Moon-shik confirms that Jung-hoo grew up without parents, and Young-shin grew up surrounded by ex-convicts. “So they never learned to acclimate to society,” he says, deciding that it’s his “duty” to step in. Oh, like you’re doing them a favor all of a sudden, Uncle Moon-shik? This man sure has a gift for reframing the truth for his needs.
At the station, we finally get an ID on the police mole who’s been feeding information to the bad guys. Ajumma gets his name, Park Ki-jung, and sends it along to Jung-hoo, who can’t shake his nervousness at leaving Young-shin at the police station, not after Teacher died there. But Min-ja warns him to stick to the plan.
Resuming their chat, Young-shin describes her Healer encounters to Detective Yoon. Her story is mostly true, but in light of recent events he’s now eyeing her with skepticism. Ajumma asks her to stall a bit longer, and Young-shin goes on, somehow making the truth sound silly and inconsequential.
Detective Park gets an alarming text from an unknown source, attaching a photograph of his meeting with Secretary Oh. His home address is listed, upping the creepiness.
Jung-hoo arrives at that apartment and gains entry. There’s a family photo inside but no family—they’re in Canada. Jung-hoo links the computer for ajumma to search, and proceeds to look around for clues.
Jung-hoo finds the important documents hidden in the toilet tank, which contains bankbooks under a false name. There’s also a vial containing a drug. He snaps photos, which then get texted back to Detective Park, who howls in frustration as he speeds home.
Moon-ho receives the same photo texts, including the log of bank deposits. He calls Detective Yoon, who’s still sitting with Young-shin, and offers up a deal, dangling tantalizing information as incentive for the police to cooperate. He says he knows about the Healer (the Teacher version) and wants to catch the person who killed him, and forwards the damning texts to the detective. Basically, one of their own is taking money regularly from the enemy—he’s a mole.
Detective Yoon bolts out of the office, gathering his team to go after their mole, Detective Park. Moon-ho offers to hand over all his information, with the condition that they be allowed to cover the case and broadcast the arrest. Which is asking for a lot, since the police would be exposing that a police officer murdered someone while in custody.
Unable to get in touch with Detective Park, the cops head out for his home next. Already Jong-soo’s on hand to film the action, while Young-shin grabs the mic to begin reporting on the scene.
Detective Park arrives home and sees that his valuable documents have been taken. He calls Secretary Oh in a panic, who stops him to ask suspiciously, “Which phone are you calling from?” He disconnects.
Detective Park grabs a suitcase and starts packing. Seconds later, Jung-hoo comes at him from behind and easily subdues him, wryly noting the futility of fugitives who stop to pack instead of just running.
Outside, the detectives and our reporters screech up to the building and race inside. The reporters get left behind at the packed elevator, so Young-shin just reports from there on the fly, interviewing the detective who’s been left behind.
When the cops get to Park’s door, they find a trail of Post-It notes with arrows drawn on them, leading them to a set of keys. Inside, the evidence is laid out neatly on the kitchen table. Healer is so helpful! Either that or he doesn’t trust the cops’ intelligence, which, frankly, doesn’t seem an unwarranted fear.
Another arrow points to the router, and then in the other room, they find their colleague, bound and gagged and shamefaced.
The reporters film his arrest as he’s loaded into the cop car. Jung-hoo joins Young-shin in front of the building and asks, “Miss, do you have some time?” Young-shin all but rolls her eyes and asks ajumma via her hairpin mic not to teach him such corny dialogue.
Ha, and poor Jong-soo finishes filming and turns around to find that he’s been ditched again. I so want Jong-soo to be able to watch the Healer drama after everything’s over, so he can finally see just how much he’s been missing all along.
Flashback scenes take us back to 1980, focusing on Teacher in his role as the motorcyclist diversion while his friends broadcast out of the truck. Moon-ho narrates to the camera the story of friends who were targeted for daring to expose the truth ignored by the media, and how Teacher spent eleven years in prison for that crime.
The Someday broadcast connects dots, painting the picture of a Teacher who had known dangerous things about important people, and died in custody.
Moon-ho outlines the monthly deposits made to Detective Park’s accounts, and the recorded call from Park to Secretary Oh gets played, which is pretty damning with the mention of them “catching on” and needing to run.
Moon-ho makes the link between Secretary Oh and Moon-shik—and then connects both men to the Teacher kidnapping. They even show the CCTV footage placing Moon-shik at the scene of the kidnapping on that day. Damn, he’s done his homework. Kudos, Moon-ho.
Watching from home, Moon-shik fumes and heads up to see Myung-hee… who happens to be watching that very broadcast. It’s only now that she realizes her old friend is dead, and Moon-shik fumbles to explain that he didn’t tell her because he didn’t want to upset her. She won’t look him in the eye and asks him to leave her alone, and all he can do is step aside. She closes her door in his face.
She turns her attention back to Moon-ho’s broadcast as he says that there are too many people who suffer unjust deaths but don’t merit so much as a mention in the newspaper. “Even if we can’t tell all of their stories,” he says somberly, “we wanted to tell at least one of them.”
Once again, his staff is pulled into his thrall, as Moon-ho concludes, getting a little choked up, “We remember you. To let you know this, we made this broadcast today. Thank you for watching with us.” Once again he bows his head to the audience in sign-off.
Damn, Moon-ho is good. He has a way of speaking that makes people sit up in awe, and it puts a tear in my eye.
Young-shin and Jung-hoo watch together, cuddled close, with Teacher’s ashes sitting on the table before them. Young-shin asks whether Teacher was a good guy, and Jung-hoo shakes his head: “Nope. He was a perverted old man.” She smiles and notes, “But you still liked him.” Jung-hoo says yeah.
She comments that he’s got a lot of good people around him, listing off ajumma and Teacher: “And me too. Of them, I’m the best.”
Jung-hoo holds her tight and thinks back to Teacher, and what it was like being instructed by him, and exasperated by him, and abandoned by him. But even that doesn’t have the old sting anymore.
Moon-shik calls Moon-ho that night, and as usual, their tones are both artificially light while both of them are fuming underneath the surface. Moon-ho pointedly addresses his hyung formally as mayoral candidate, saying that “we” have only just begun, noting that Moon-shik doesn’t have an “us” to refer to.
On the contrary, Moon-shik says patronizingly that Moon-ho’s still young, and that he does have an “us.” He describes his side as being held together by a sense of collective survival, where even though they’ll fight, they’ll stick together. Moon-ho’s team, on the other hand, is held together by nothing substantial, calling Moon-ho’s entire mission a flimsy justification.
Moon-ho struggles to tamp down his anger when his brother asks if “those kids” have faith in him. Moon-ho warns him not to mess with the kids, no matter how low he sinks.
Moon-shik returns, “Isn’t it you who messed with them first? They grew up okay—why stir them all up? I hear you still have nightmares. Shouldn’t it be enough that you suffer like that, and not make the kids do it too?”
Moon-ho asks if he can take this phone call as a declaration of war. Moon-shik chuckles that Moon-ho was the one to issue one first, via the broadcast.
In the morning, Jung-hoo wakes up in bed (sadly alone), and reaches for his phone. But as he calls Young-shin, she picks up another call, giving him the busy signal.
It’s Myung-hee, who asks to meet and invites her to the house. Young-shin accepts happily, and rushes out of the house, where she’s greeted by a driver with a fancy car. Seated inside is Moon-shik, who makes it sound like he’s here on his wife’s errand. Uh-oh. No no no. Bad!
Young-shin tries to decline but is persuaded into the car, and he comments on her not driving herself. She admits to having a fear of it, and supposes that it must be linked to some kind of childhood trauma. Sometimes she dreams about being on a dark road at night with cars zooming past her, and that’s a tidbit that makes Moon-shik’s face cloud over.
Then he slaps the smile back on and has his chauffeur drive on.
It was only a small glimpse, but I found one of the big intriguing moments of the episode to be the comment that Moon-shik doesn’t seem to view himself as culpable—and that he doesn’t even seem to remember sometimes. I don’t know if Moon-ho means that he just acts that way convincingly, which is entirely possible, or if there’s actually a deeper kind of psychological dissociation going on in Moon-shik’s mind, but I find it a fascinating prospect. It certainly fits in with what we’ve seen of his character thus far, where he so cleverly twists every situation to suit his needs at the moment.
We saw it several times in this episode alone, such as how he first sighs about “those children” being left to live wayward lives that he must now step in to intercept them from… and then later tells Moon-ho that the kids grew up totally fine and blissfully ignorant, and that Moon-ho would be the evil one for shaking up their peace for his own selfish ideas of justice or whatever. Both times I felt like he was totally talking crazy talk, but making it sound chillingly sane. In fact if we hadn’t seen him swing from one extreme to its opposite in such a short period of time, I might even think he believed himself when he was making all his justifications. Funny how he’s really the one with the flimsy justifications, but he manages to project that onto his brother and make it sound plausible.
So in that context I do cut Moon-ho some slack for his earlier inactions, because Moon-shik is a master mind-manipulator. My question is whether he manipulates himself while he’s at it—does he allow himself to fall into the illusion, or is he always in control? I’m not sure, but the question is intriguing. In any case, I believe Myung-hee is the key to understanding, because she’s been his reason for hurtling forward, however misguidedly. Now that she’s on her way to fracturing that bond, he’ll soon be adrift and then we’ll have to see what happens.
Speaking of adrift, I did love how quickly our main couple fell into step with each other, once they got past the whole deception-lies-denial part of the relationship. It’s gratifying to see how much Young-shin means to Jung-hoo not just as a romantic love interest, but as a symbol for so many other aspects of his identity. And you know what’s better than a hero with secret identities being tortured by his various facades? A heroine who gets a total kick out of the skulking, and proves to be a handy partner—she’s way more fun being an active participant than the object, or the damsel needing rescue.
I love that Jung-hoo’s puzzling over the question of who he is, when all along he hasn’t bothered to think of it. His core persona has meant just as little to him as the disposable disguises he adopts for each job, and that speaks to his emptiness in not having a reason for living. He has no idea of who he is, and no reason has existed to prod him into figuring it out, because what did it matter?
His primary motivator for wanting to find himself may be Young-shin, but I appreciate that it’s not just about romance here. I think of her as something of an anchor for his lost soul—not necessarily saving him single-handedly but providing a crucial point of reference, a guiding light that will lead him to himself. Because while I love them in love, I find it significant that they are both in need of figuring out for themselves who they are and how they fit into this world—it’s less of the you-complete-me mentality and more of them spurring each other to complete themselves, so they can be together as whole people.
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