Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 17
Last week’s revelation threw into question everything Do-hyun thought he knew about his identity—and for someone plagued by multiple personalities, that’s a tremendous loss. The veils shrouding the events of the past are ripped away one by one, while the various factions in the present scramble to gain an advantage. With his personalities in hiding and Ri-jin going through her own trials, Do-hyun finds the burden landing squarely on his shoulders. Will he be strong enough to bear it alone?
EPISODE 17 RECAP
Discovering that Ri-jin’s name used to be Cha Do-hyun shakes Do-hyun to his core. Now he understands that he was given Ri-jin’s place on the family register, which allowed Seungjin Group to erase all traces of the girl who lived in the basement.
Do-hyun clutches Se-gi’s stuffed bear to his chest and wails, helpless in the face of this terrible truth. At the family restaurant, Ri-jin also breaks down after finding the photo of her younger self with the woman she thought was Do-hyun’s mother.
Ri-on and their parents come rushing in and hold Ri-jin while she cries, lost in the rush of memories. She’s completely lost to the present, not reacting to her parents’ words, so Ri-on goes to get a sedative.
We flash back to twenty-one years ago, with little Ri-jin (I’ll continue to use their current names to keep things simple) playing on a swing. Her mother scolds her for taking chances, but she doesn’t stay mad for long. A man arrives at the edge of the park; it’s Do-hyun’s grandfather, then-chairman of Seungjin.
He has come to America to convince Seo-yeon to take the reins of Seungjin Group. Joon-pyo has run away, presumably for good, and there is no one as capable as Seo-yeon to take over the company.
Seo-yeon wants nothing to do with the company, but Grandpa plays on her weak point: her daughter’s future. Seo-yeon is dead broke, and her daughter will always face scorn for being born out of wedlock. Grandpa offers her a future as the heir of Seungjin Group, as long as Seo-yeon places her on Joon-pyo’s family register.
Grandma Seo welcomes Seo-yeon into the house under the impression that Ri-jin is Joon-pyo’s child. She cheers up noticeably after seeing Ri-jin, though she wonders where Joon-pyo is, and why he’s not here to see how well his daughter has grown.
Joon-pyo is in hiding with little Do-hyun, living under an assumed identity. He tells Do-hyun that hiding your name can help you live freely, which is what he wants to do in life. His idea of happiness is sailing around in a boat of his own, doing whatever takes his fancy and not getting scolded for it.
Do-hyun promises to buy his father that boat. When he does, they will name it the “Perry Park.”
Do-hyun’s mom badgers Joon-pyo to beg for forgiveness from his family, so that Do-hyun can be placed on the family register. Joon-pyo says he cut all ties, but Mom leaves him with an ultimatum: If he wants to do right by his son, he will return to Seungjin Group.
Accordingly, Joon-pyo takes Do-hyun back to Seoul, promising that Mom will join them soon. This results in the homecoming scene we saw before, when Joon-pyo returns to find Seo-yeon already living in the main residence, with a child he knows can’t be his own.
The chairman won’t allow Joon-pyo’s son to be added to the register, since Seo-yeon’s child is already listed there. Out in the hallway, Grandma Seo hears that Ri-jin isn’t actually her son’s daughter. Gah, the web is getting so tangled!
The children introduce themselves as Cha Do-hyun and Cha Joon-young, and they seem to take to each other immediately. They jump on a trampoline in the yard, laughing as if they don’t have a care in the world.
In the present, Grandma Seo learns that someone has leaked the news of Joon-pyo’s coma, which weakens her position considerably in the eyes of the world. Grandma asks Do-hyun’s mother if she was responsible for this, which she firmly denies.
But no sooner does Grandma leave to do damage control than Mom calls Ki-joon’s father to commend him for putting her information to good use. She reminds him of his promise to place Do-hyun in control of some of Seungjin’s subsidiaries.
Ki-joon overhears the phone conversation between his father and Do-hyun’s mother. He’s curious about what deal is so important that it requires giving away important subsidiaries of Seungjin Group, and to Do-hyun’s mother at that. Dad says he doesn’t need to know, and should simply benefit from the results.
Grandma Seo stalks through the company hallway, icily ignoring Ki-joon’s father outside the elevator. When she reaches her office, however, she finds Chae-yeon waiting for her.
Do-hyun is still in his apartment, calmer now after coming to terms with the truth of his name. He has learned that there was a request to change Cha Do-hyun’s gender as listed on the registry from female to male, and suspects that this is the role his grandmother played in the events of twenty-one years ago.
Chae-yeon has come to Grandma Seo to propose a deal: Her family’s shares in exchange for Grandma supporting her relationship with Do-hyun. Chae-yeon also asks that Grandma give Do-hyun real power once she strengthens her position, and pointedly requests that Grandma be the only in-law relation that she will have in marriage.
Do-hyun is exercising when Chief Ahn tells him about the news article outing Joon-pyo’s coma. Chief Ahn wants to know whether he’ll go to Grandma Seo, since even though she’s been dealt a serious blow she’s not the type to ask for help. Isn’t Do-hyun worried that Ki-joon’s family might take over Seungjin Group?
“That can’t happen,” Do-hyun declares. He’s going to make Seungjin Group his, no matter what. But he wants to let Grandma Seo stew in her own mess a while longer, so that she’ll be desperate enough to come looking for him first.
Chief Ahn delivers a photograph of the staff members who worked in the Seungjin mansion on the day of the fire. Do-hyun looks through their faces and recognizes Ri-jin’s mother, whom he met before while pretending to be Perry Park.
Ri-jin’s family has called Dr. Seok to check on her, and he reassures them that she’s physically healthy. But he asks if anything happened recently to give her a shock, and Dad just says that getting fired from her job as “that chaebol’s physician” upset her. In her own way, says Dad, Ri-jin took a lot of pride in that job.
After seeing the picture, Do-hyun surmises that it was Ri-jin’s mother who rescued her from the fire all those years ago. Chief Ahn asks if he recognizes anyone in the picture, but a call comes in from Dr. Seok before Do-hyun can explain.
Dr. Seok tells Do-hyun about Ri-jin’s collapse. Although he didn’t tell the family, he guesses that Ri-jin was reacting to the stress of suddenly recalling a memory. “Are you two recovering your lost memories one by one?” he asks. Dr. Seok wonders if the two of them are tangled up in something dangerous.
Do-hyun only cares about Ri-jin and whether she’s okay. Dr. Seok assures him that she’s healthy, but the danger only really surfaces after she wakes up. She may experience “Repetition Compulsion,” which is a psychological phenomenon in which trauma victims reenact events from their past (there are different ways in which this can happen, but two of them happen to be sequential nightmares and hallucinations).
Ri-jin finally wakes up with Mom sitting by her bedside. On the verge of tears, Mom says that if things were going to be so hard for her, Ri-jin should have come to her instead of crying alone.
Seeming calmer now, Ri-jin reveals that she remembers that Mom saved her from the fire, and that her name used to be Do-hyun. But the knowledge only leaves her with more questions, specifically why she and Do-hyun had their names taken from them.
Ri-jin reassures Mom that she likes her name, and that she was always grateful her parents gave it to her and accepted her into the family. But she also liked Do-hyun’s name (not to mention the man she thought it belonged to). “What do I call him now?” she asks, beginning to cry.
Do-hyun throws up in his bathroom, tormented by the guilt brought on by his memories. He thinks back to when he first introduced himself to Ri-jin as Cha Do-hyun, only now those words carry a very different meaning.
A stress headache is triggered, and Do-hyun staggers to his study to find medicine. But in his medicine drawer he finds a message from Ri-jin, telling him to watch the video she left if he needs medicine.
Do-hyun puts the flash drive into his computer and calls up the video that Ri-jin made. She makes a hilarious mic-testing noise and addresses the camera: “Are you watching, Cha Do-hyun? Are you listening, Cha Do-hyun?”
In the video, Ri-jin scolds Do-hyun for relying on medicine to deal with his issues instead of overcoming everything with her, the way he promised. He said he would replace all his bad memories with good memories, which is one of the reasons Ri-jin wanted to ride the Snowflake Train with Do-hyun.
Ri-jin goes on to apologize for hesitating and denying her feelings. Now she will say it directly, and she asks Do-hyun not to be shocked at what she has to say: “I like you.”
Knowing what he does now, watching this video is the purest torture for Do-hyun. Tears stream down his face and he punches the desk repeatedly, unable to do anything for the woman he loves.
Ri-on finds Ri-jin in her room and gets mad at her for avoiding her family. Mom is cooking up a storm to comfort her and Dad’s heart is breaking for his beloved daughter, but Ri-jin insists on suffering alone.
Ri-on reminds her that he wants a sister who fights back, and says that if she won’t do that, she isn’t his sister. “Don’t be like that,” Ri-jin cries, holding him back. She says that with Ri-on by her side, she was never fearful as a child. The only thing she ever feared was him not being her brother.
After Ri-jin apologizes, Ri-on makes her promise to eat enough and tell the family when she’s having a hard time. She thanks him wholeheartedly for being her brother, and he leads her out of her room in search of food.
Ri-jin and Ri-on take their dog for a run along the river, racing each other and laughing for the first time in a while. Ri-jin tugs on Ri-on’s hood and hops on his back, and when the siblings are exhausted they lie down next to each other in an open field.
Without speaking, the two carry on a complete conversation. Ri-jin tells Ri-on how grateful she is that he was willing to share their parents’ love, which otherwise would have been his alone. Ri-on teases her for being so corny, but turns serious when he thanks her for loving him.
Alone in his apartment, Do-hyun picks himself back up after the emotional blow of Ri-jin’s video. He dresses in work clothes and heads outside, only to be intercepted by an important visitor rolling up in a fancy car.
Grandma Seo rolls down the window and tells Do-hyun to get in. He knows what she wants, however, and says that she’s awfully haughty for someone who needs his help. In return for his cooperation, she offers to tell him the whole truth about what happened on the day of the fire twenty-one years ago.
Do-hyun rides with Grandma to the hospital where Dad is still deep in his coma. She asks Do-hyun to promise that after learning the truth, he will return to Seungjin Group. Do-hyun merely promises to consider it, after he hears what Grandma has to say. She begins her story of the day of the fire, which started out as the happiest day of her son’s life.
Joon-pyo plays the gracious host, welcoming guests to Seungjin Group’s party. Among the guests are Ki-joon’s parents, looking slightly disgruntled, and Chae-yeon’s outspoken mother.
Grandma Seo goes into the kitchen to give last-minute instructions to the catering staff, which includes Ri-jin’s mother (not her biological one, who by this point already died in the car crash).
After Grandma leaves, little Do-hyun comes in and asks for more food. He shovels snacks into a plastic bag and takes what the cook gives him, saying he would prefer to carry it himself. After he leaves, Ri-jin’s mom talks to a gossipy coworker about the complicated Seungjin family tree, fishing for information about Ri-jin.
Do-hyun’s mother preps him for his introduction to society, since the world did not know he was living there until today. She reminds him to work hard and inherit Seungjin Group so that she can live openly as the lady of the house.
Joon-pyo addresses the assembled guests. He thanks them for being there and announces that he has a son who will follow him as Seungjin Group’s successor. The rumors start to fly immediately.
Ki-joon’s mother gossips with some other high-society ladies about this news, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the former chairman’s death. It’s pretty clear, after all, who benefited the most from the tragedy.
Little Do-hyun sneaks through the hallway to reach the basement, but he’s stopped by Ri-jin’s mom, who asks him where the basement is. Just then Dad enters the hallway, and Do-hyun ducks away to avoid notice. When Dad sees that Do-hyun isn’t in his room, he marches immediately to the door that leads to the basement… luckily, Ri-jin’s mother was watching from around a corner.
Do-hyun finds Ri-jin in the basement and apologizes for being late. He tells her to pack everything and run away with him. They’ll take the train, he says, and go far away. Ri-jin’s face lights up when she hears about the train, and they rush to the door. But when it opens, Do-hyun’s father stands there with a blood-chilling expression.
Do-hyun immediately starts to beg forgiveness, but Dad shoves him out of the basement and shuts the door. Do-hyun cries and pounds on the door in vain.
In the present, Grandma Seo tells Do-hyun how she left the party to search for Joon-pyo. But on the way, she saw someone setting the fire. And the person who set that fire… was none other than Do-hyun.
Grandma Seo yells that Do-hyun is responsible for her son being in a coma, while Do-hyun grabs the railing on the bed for support. She explains how she had no choice but to cover everything up, or else people would find out about her son’s weakness and, even worse, what happened in the basement.
Do-hyun leaves the hospital room, the present melding with his memories. He remembers pounding against the closed door, when Se-gi’s voice floats across his mind, offering to take on the burden that is too much for him. He looks down at a tin of “New Century” matches (Shin Se-gi means “New Century”). His tears stop, and his expression grows fixed and cold.
We see little Se-gi in his first appearance ever, dragging a canister of oil all the way down the steps to the basement room. He coats the floor with gasoline and tosses a match, watching the flames begin to roar. In voiceover, Se-gi says that he was the one to save the child. Collapsed in the hallway outside his father’s hospital room, Do-hyun’s fingers tap the floor in a way that spells trouble…
At the restaurant a little later, Ri-jin goes outside and finds Se-gi waiting for her. “I’m sorry I’m late,” he says, and holds out his hand.
First of all, Saya’s definitely taking chances by saying we’re not friends anymore—I assure you, words will be had. We’re besties, Saya, and don’t you forget it!
On to the show. I’m still a little mad at Do-hyun, but he suffers so much as a result of his choices that I can’t help feeling sorry for him too. Many of you pointed out that as frustrating as Do-hyun’s martyr complex can be, it’s in line with his personality as it developed over years of cleaning up his alters’ messes alone. And Ji Sung, as always, infuses Do-hyun with such passion and force that I could forgive him pretty much anything.
Before we get to the heart of the episode, I have to say I’m glad Chae-yeon is trying to get her revenge. Ki-joon’s family treated her like a bundle of stock options, and now she’s using exactly what they coveted most about her to get back at them. It’s lovely poetic justice, but unfortunately for her it’s hardly the way to win Do-hyun’s heart. Chae-yeon’s going to get hurt again before this whole mess is wrapped up, and I’ve come to like her character enough to feel bad about that… kind of. A little.
I loved Ri-jin’s reaction to the truth of her name, and how it contrasts with Do-hyun’s guilt. Do-hyun thinks he took Ri-jin’s name away from her. She was abused in his place, which in his mind makes it his fault.
But Ri-jin thinks differently, and it shows when she tells her mother that “we had our names taken away.” Ri-jin may have been the only one getting hit, but both children were victims of abuse. Ri-jin knew that from the very moment she regained her memories; Do-hyun, on the other hand, may need some time to figure that out.
I hope Do-hyun did some serious thinking when he saw Ri-jin’s video. She told him what I wanted him to already know: They promised to fight together and replace bad memories with good memories. So why does he insist on crying alone? Do-hyun needs someone—preferably Ri-jin—to tell him the same thing Ri-on told his sister in this episode: It’s okay to let people help you.
It was really nice to get some coherence to the events of the past. The Seungjin tragedy finally gained an intelligible shape, even if it’s as depressing as we were coming to expect. The origin of the Perry Park persona was a nice touch, giving us insight into Do-hyun’s relationship with his father before it was twisted by jealousy, grief and madness. How different might things have been if Do-hyun’s mother hadn’t pushed the family back into the spotlight in search of wealth?
Then there’s Se-gi’s first appearance, which wasn’t entirely unexpected but was properly blood-chilling. Maybe his logic was a little flawed—setting a fire outside the basement doesn’t exactly increase Ri-jin’s chances of survival—but then again, he was seven and seriously traumatized. At the very least, Little Se-gi throws shade like a boss.
I am SO PUMPED that Se-gi returned at the end of the episode, because Se-gi is not the type to let anything keep him from Ri-jin, not even his own guilt. Now that we’re nearing the last week, I want Ri-jin to stop being protected and start getting angry. She has more reason to get back at Seungjin Group than anyone, so I hope the boys who are currently falling over themselves to protect her decide instead to splash some metaphorical gasoline around and ask her to light the match. Playtime’s over, kids—time to fight back.
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 16
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 15
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 14
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 13
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 12
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 11
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 10
- Kolorful Palette: Split [Kill Me, Heal Me]
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 9
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 8
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 7
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 6
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 5
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 4
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 3
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 2
- Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 1