Goodbye Mr. Black: Episode 4
Good news: The setup is complete and the final betrayal forces our hero to shed his innocent trust in other people. Okay, so that’s not good news for him, strictly speaking, but it IS good news for us because we say goodbye to good guy Ji-won and say hellooooo, Mr. Black. We’ve all been waiting for this moment, so let’s make it count. Let the revenge games begin!
SONG OF THE DAY
MJ (Sunny Side) – “인정하기 싫어서” (Because I Don’t Want to Admit It) [Download]
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Our good guys make the rookie mistake of leaving the bedside of the one witness who can identify Killer, which of course gives Killer just enough time to sneak into the hospital room and do his job.
Ji-won tells Swan (aka Kaya) that he might not have to be on the run anymore, and she congratulates him halfheartedly. Of course he has to eat his words when they return to the witness, and Ji-won runs after Killer just in time to catch a glimpse of his face as his car pulls away.
Swan tries to prevent Ji-won from walking into a death trap, but he takes off anyway, dropping his compass at her feet. Symbolism!
Ji-won tails Killer all the way to his meeting with Teacher Baek, who’s got his back turned so that we can’t see his face. And at the last minute, best friend Sun-jae arrives at the scene, and Ji-won’s first instinct is to call out to Sun-jae to warn him of the danger. Ack, no!
Thankfully, our helpful ally Ji-ryun is on top of it and pulls Ji-won out of sight just in time. Phew. Ji-won misses the part where Sun-jae sits down and gets a pat on the back from Teacher Baek for alerting them about the (formerly) surviving witness.
Ji-won insists on going back to save his best friend from the scary baddies, but Ji-ryun says that Sun-jae is one of them—he’d been suspicious of Sun-jae but unsure, until now. Ji-won refuses to believe it, but Ji-ryun asks him to think long and hard about his friend’s behavior since Dad’s death. Was it really all aboveboard?
Ji-won flashes back to all of Sun-jae’s questionable excuses and shifty behavior, but in the end his faith in his friend still holds strong. Ji-ryun finally has to yell at him that he’ll die if he goes out there, and reminds Ji-won that the only other witness just died, which leaves one loose end: Ji-won. Thank goodness one of us is thinking.
Sun-jae answers his phone as he arrives at the hotel, and it’s Ji-won on the other end, spying on him from the second floor balcony as they talk. That’s dangerously close, but Ji-won makes sure not to give away his location (though he does say he hasn’t crossed the border yet).
Sun-jae is eager to meet, but Ji-won tamps down tears as he says it would be too dangerous for Sun-jae if they met up. He’s about to hang up when Sun-jae baits him with: “[Little sister] Ji-soo has vanished.” So of course Ji-won is frantic with the questions, but Sun-jae just tells him to come to the hotel so they can talk in person and hangs up.
That messes with Ji-won enough that he goes running after Sun-jae, but he stops in his tracks when he spots Killer and his henchmen arrive and report directly to Sun-jae, who gives out orders to lie in wait for Ji-won.
It’s the confirmation he needed to see with his own eyes, and Ji-won finally believes that his friend has betrayed him. He sinks to the ground in tears as he watches Sun-jae prepare a trap for him.
That night Sun-jae waits in his room, gun cocked.
And back in their beach hideaway, Swan waits anxiously for Ji-won to return. She holds his compass and remembers asking him about it before, and he’d told her that because it’s broken, he couldn’t find his way back home.
Sun-jae waits and waits, and at last someone approaches stealthily. Sun-jae holds his gun at the ready… but it’s Killer, here to tell him that the sun is almost up, and Ji-won likely won’t show.
Sun-jae takes the opportunity to ask Killer what he did with Ji-soo, and Killer either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or pretends not to. Sun-jae warns him that anyone who messes with him will pay the price. Geez, you kill a few people, and the power goes straight to your head.
Ji-ryun has waited up all night outside the beach cottage, and Swan comes out to tell him that Ji-won won’t be returning. They both resign themselves to that with obvious disappointment, and Ji-ryun asks if Swan doesn’t want to come back with him to the child welfare organization. She puts on a brave face and insists that she likes it here, and now she can have all the eggs to herself.
Ji-won’s voice suddenly cuts in from the distance, “One of those is mine!” and he walks up with a big smile. Swan and Ji-ryun are even more shocked and confused when Ji-won chatters away about making breakfast stew, all sunshine and charm, like he didn’t just get his entire world turned around last night.
He shows Swan how to make the stew and says, “See, it’s easy. You can do it by yourself, right?” Ah, so he’s here to say goodbye, is he? Swan can tell as much and asks if he’s come back for his compass, but he just tells her not to sell it for gold.
Ji-won continues to ignore their stares all throughout breakfast, and just shovels his face full of food. When Swan chokes on a bite, he stops Ji-ryun from rushing to help her, insisting that Swanny isn’t a child. That just angers Swan even more and she storms out.
Ji-ryun asks what Ji-won is planning to do, when he knows what’s at risk. But Ji-won says his sister has gone missing, and even though it might be a trap, he has to do something about it. He shows Ji-ryun the inscription in his compass, spero spera, meaning, “While I breathe, I hope,” and assures him that he won’t die.
Ji-won finds Swan outside drawing in the sand, and he asks why she always draws elephants and why the eyes are so big. She says that mommy elephants never close their eyes until their babies are asleep, though she has no memory of where she heard that.
He throws an arm around her and holds her hand as he writes out her name in the sand, suggesting that she ought to know at least how to write her own name. She doesn’t want to learn how to write, so then he writes his name, “Black,” and tells her to learn that one. She says it’s a fake name anyway, but he shakes his head and says, “No, from now on, that’s my real name.” Okie dokie then. Black it is.
At his coaxing, Swan tries writing her name and starts getting into it, and they stay out there until the sun sets practicing her name and his in the sand. In the ensuing days, Black/Ji-won prepares to say goodbye, and Swan spends her time whittling a small piece of wood.
Black sends a letter to his girlfriend Mari and then visits Ji-ryun at his office, where he says it’s Christmas and demands a present, heh. Ji-ryun has just received someone’s last will and testament in the mail, which he hides when Black enters.
At Black’s request, Ji-ryun brings Swan a new dress and a pair of shoes and invites her to a party, where he says that Black will be waiting for her, since he’s made her wait for him so many times. Ji-ryun was given strict instructions to bring her so she wouldn’t call the police, and Swan remembers warning Black not to disappear on her without warning, or else she’d call the cops on him.
She realizes that he means to say goodbye, and refuses to go tonight. She lies down in bed like a child and says she’s not feeling well, and though she starts out saying, “It hurts!” to try and convince Ji-ryun that she’s really sick, in the end she whispers it quietly with a different meaning entirely: “If I’m hurting, will Black not go?”
Black waits that evening at a Christmas party that the welfare organization is throwing for the children, and he smiles when Swan shows up in the new dress and shoes. Aw, it’s just a sweet moment because you know she’s never been to anything like this before.
Some kids nudge them to join in with the dancing, so they comply and sway lightly on the dance floor. Swan betrays a pained look whenever her back is turned to Black, but she always puts on a big smile before facing him.
After their dance, Black gives her his Christmas present—a snow flurry overhead. Though she knows it’s fake, it makes her smile to experience snow for the first time in her life, and Ji-ryun snaps a photo. Swan says she has a present for him too, and holds out a compass that she carved out of wood. She says it’s to help him find his way back home since his compass is broken.
Swan assumes that he wished to return home when they lit their lanterns at the festival, but Black thinks to himself, “No, what I wished for was…” We don’t get to hear him finish the thought, and Swan puts the new compass in his hand.
Black sits up that night watching her sleep, and then puts his military tags back on before quietly getting up and walking out. Swan has been awake the whole time, and her heart sinks to hear him walk out the door.
She gets up to see that he left behind his old compass with a blank note for her, and she runs after him outside on the beach. She asks if he’s really going, and tearfully draws an imaginary line between them, saying, “Don’t cross over to this side again, or I’ll kill you. And take back what you said about finding me wherever I am! Take it back… so that I don’t look behind me as I walk down the street. So that I don’t wait!” Aw.
He takes it back like she asked, which of course makes her cry more. She walks right up to him and gets on her tiptoes, and kisses him softly on the lips. Swan: “If you don’t go, I’ll do it again. Go. Don’t get caught by me, or anyone. Go.” He looks at her tenderly one last time, and then walks away without looking back.
As she watches him leave, Swan thinks, “Goodbye, Black. It doesn’t mean farewell, but that I was happy to meet you. Goodbye. Goodbye, Black.”
Small-time con artist Sung-min has a meltdown when he finds that his safe full of money and gold has been robbed. The only thing left inside is a cell phone, and when it rings, he’s startled to hear Black on the other end. Sun-jae hears about it right away and rushes to act.
Meanwhile, Black calls Ji-ryun to let him know enough of his plans for Ji-ryun to freak out. Black says he has to disappear in order for his sister to be safe (presumably because that makes her the sole surviving heir, but I worry about him taking that gamble). Black asks him to look after Swan and just hangs up.
Then he literally just stands in the street and waits for truckloads of henchmen to come after him. This is your plan? This is a terrible plan.
Black takes off running, and as the camera zooms out in an aerial shot, we fade into a city map in a flashback, where Black had mapped out his route. Well, that’s something. Swan saw that map too, so when she comes upon them mid-chase, she’s able to take a shortcut and find Black first, standing on a ledge on a rooftop.
She calls out to him, and Black smiles warmly at her for a long beat. But elsewhere, the henchmen are closing in on him, and Sun-jae tells them that they can shoot to kill. Killer takes out his sniper rifle and readies his shot with Black in his sights…
The henchmen arrive on the rooftop and Black runs, but Killer fires off a shot into Black’s shoulder just as he hops over the ledge. Swan screams and she drops the compass (again?), while Black quite literally hangs on for dear life on a pole. He manages to fall the rest of the way without any further injury, though Killer cuts him off on the ground by ramming into him with a car. Ouch. Black goes tumbling but fights him off, and goes running into the forest by the river with a few more gunmen on his tail.
Meanwhile, Sun-jae snatches the sniper rifle out of Killer’s hand and slaps him across the face. HA. Okay, that made me laugh out loud. Clearly Sun-jae has decided to take matters into his own hands, and drives off in a speedboat alone.
Black reaches a warehouse by the river, shot multiple times and pretty much cornered with nowhere to run. He drops the compass Swan gave him and makes sure to recover it even with bullets flying in his direction, and looks like he’s preparing to make his last stand.
The henchmen actually scamper off when Sun-jae arrives in his boat, because he’s pretty much firing at anything that moves. In the end it’s just Sun-jae and Black. With his tears brimming in his eyes, Black says, “I’m tired. Let’s stop this,” and there’s a moment of pause when Sun-jae peers into his scope and sees his friend staring right back at him and shedding a tear.
Sun-jae blinks away the guilt and steadies his gun, but at the last second, Black moves first and fires off a shot right into Sun-jae’s shoulder. Sun-jae misfires, straight into a barrel of gas, sending the whole warehouse up in flames. Swan looks behind her, hearing the explosion in the distance.
Once the fire dies down, Sun-jae looks through the rubble for signs of life, but all he finds is Ji-won’s military tags burned and covered in blood. It’s enough to convince him that Ji-won is dead, and he returns to Korea to give Mari the news.
Mari wails in grief, and Sun-jae pulls her into a hug. Damn, that’s cold. You killed him and you’re comforting his girl? He says it to her, but almost more to himself: “It’s all over now. It’s over.”
Swan waits on the swings, and someone finds her drawing at the cottage and finds her there. She’s disappointed to see that it’s Ji-ryun, and she asks after Black. He says that Black won’t be returning, but Swan shows him the inscription on the gold compass and says that Black can’t die. She decides that she’ll have to return the compass to him, and says that she’ll get it fixed so that it leads her to him.
Then we fast-forward to Seoul, 2016.
A nervous man leaves something in a subway station locker, and a different man comes to pick up the flash drive inside. But later that night, the same nervous man is chased through the woods, and he trips and falls and dies, and it’s Killer who catches up to him and pries a different flash drive out of his cold dead hands.
Protesters are demonstrating against Sunwoo Group’s new market development, and suddenly a reporter jumps in to interview them. It’s Swan, recording herself with a phone camera on a selfie stick, and signing off as Reporter Kim Swan. No way. Remember when you couldn’t read?
She types up her story right there in the street and sends it in to Panda Magazine, only to have her editor yell at her and demand a new story in two hours. He also returns her first story marked up with spelling mistakes, and she cringes in embarrassment.
Swan stops in the street when she sees a news broadcast about Sunwoo Group, which is how we catch up on Sun-jae’s rising success as the group’s president. Mari is by his side at a ribbon cutting ceremony, and there’s speculation about Sun-jae, head of Sunwoo Construction, joining up with Teacher Beak, who’s now head of Sunwoo Distribution. Basically, the baddies got exactly what they wanted.
Sun-jae is stopped on his way out of the office that day by the arrival of a woman named MAY (Ha Yeon-joo), who represents a company interested in investing. May seems only interested in Sun-jae, but he brushes her off and continues on his way.
May meets with Teacher Baek regarding a new casino project, and she catches him off-guard when she says the investors are interested in Sunwoo Construction—aka Sun-jae’s company. Teacher Baek insists on making the deal with his company alone, which she goes along with readily.
May leaves the meeting and tells someone over the phone that she got a signature on the deal quite easily, and teasingly threatens to walk away from the deal if he/she on the other end doesn’t show up in person.
Sun-jae arrives at the doctor’s office just in time to join Mari as she’s getting an ultrasound. Ack, you married him AND you’re having his baby? He tells her to take it easy, but she refuses to stop working on the party for the hospital that she manages. She says it’ll be helpful to him too, when the board votes on him becoming chairman, and he jokes that she’ll kick him out if he doesn’t win.
Mari says that living together must’ve made her a little like him, because now she hates the idea of being in second place. Sun-jae takes her hand and sighs contentedly, “I wish time would stop like this.” Aw, I know he’s evil but he seems so genuinely happy.
Swan hangs out at the police station and butters up every detective she knows looking for a story, and happens to catch a breaking incident—a corpse is found in the woods—which she reports right away to her editor.
The corpse turns out to be the nervous man who died while being chased by Killer, and a young man in a trenchcoat walks up to the scene and demands a status report from the uniformed cop. Uniform tells him what they know so far—only the man’s name and the fact that he worked at Sunwoo Distribution.
Trenchcoat Detective seems interested in that last tidbit, but doesn’t get to follow up because the real detectives come running up shouting, “Shut your mouths!” and greet Trenchcoat as Reporter Seo, LOL.
This is SEO WOO-JIN (Song Jae-rim), Swan’s boss at Panda Magazine. He cheekily points out to Uniform that he never said he was a detective, and the real detectives are so familiar with him that it seems like part of their routine to threaten him with obstructing justice, but never do anything about it.
Swan runs up and asks excitedly if they got the exclusive and were first on the scene, but Woo-jin announces that she’s fired. He calls her stupid and says he has no use for a reporter who can’t turn in a well-written story. Swan immediately switches to banmal and calls out, “Hey, Seo Woo-jin!” She points out that he’s not her sunbae anymore if she’s out of a job, and wonders how he can fire her if he’s never paid her. She threatens to report him for violating labor laws, and then resumes work right away by claiming this story as hers. On her way down the hill, Swan trips and falls, and Woo-jin rushes down to see if she’s okay. She’s better than okay because the fall causes her to see a slip of paper—a receipt for a storage locker.
Meanwhile, Teacher Baek looks at the document that was in the dead man’s flash drive, and finds a VIP list for his company. He assumes that Sun-jae was the one trying to get his hands on this list, and sighs that another person had to die because of Sun-jae’s greed.
Swan goes to the man’s funeral to see if she can learn anything from his friends or co-workers, only to get kicked out by the grieving widow. She’s about to leave when she spots a silver-haired man who runs away at the sight of her, and she manages to catch his license plate as he drives away. She trudges home in a funk, wondering what got into her today, all because she heard that Sunwoo Group might be involved somehow. She crouches in the street and takes out Black’s compass with a sigh, remembering his promise that he’d come find her wherever she was. She says out loud, “I’m here. I’m here!”
A car pulls up just then, and it’s Ji-ryun, whom she calls oppa now. He asks what she’s doing outside, and she says that she’s waiting for Mom to go to bed so she can sneak in without getting yelled at. She has a mom now?
He asks if they should leave and come back later then, and Mom yells over the intercom for them to come in this instant. Inside, Mom yells at both son and daughter for making her lonely and never coming home. Omo, Ji-ryun got his own mother to adopt Swan? That is so cuuuuuute.
Swan does overhear Mom telling Ji-ryun that she’s okay with Swan as a daughter, but not as a daughter-in-law, which was partly why Mom adopted her. Ji-ryun laughs and assures Mom that Swan has never seen him as a man. Yeah Mom, stop making the cute thing weird.
That night Swan gets a text from an unknown source reporting that there’s a record of Black’s little sister Ji-soo at a hospital in China, but nothing after that. She has a map on her wall with pictures of Black and Ji-soo, and she apologizes for not having found his sister yet.
Mom comes in and asks Swan to go on a date with her tomorrow to go look for eligible bachelors, and hands her an invitation to a Sunwoo Group charity party at the estate, thrown by Mari.
At the party, Swan watches Mari for a long while, and Ji-ryun asks why she caved to Mom and came here. Swan says she was curious to see the house that Black grew up in, and says a little bitterly that it’s nice and she sees why Black kept wanting to go home.
Ji-ryun introduces Swan as his little sister to both Mari and Sun-jae, and she even bumps into Teacher Baek, not that they know who the other is.
The party is being spied on by someone who watches a video feed from a car. We don’t see the face, but the footage (shot by a waiter at the party) is of Sun-jae conversing with Teacher Baek about Sun-jae soon becoming chairman.
Swan wanders inside the house and gazes at the wedding photo of Mari and Sun-jae, and Mari happily agrees to an interview because she’s Ji-ryun’s sister. She asks Swan her name, and when Swan says she isn’t a swan, but an ugly duckling, Mari immediately thinks of Ji-won saying that about his little sister.
The lights start to flicker in and out at the party, and while it’s dark, someone approaches the garden…
A flashlight beam lands on Sun-jae and flickers, and then his phone rings. A familiar voice says, “It’s me.” It’s Black! Sun-jae doesn’t recognize the voice right away, so he adds, “It’s Ji-won.” Sun-jae snarls into the phone, “Cha Ji-won is dead!”
On cue, the lights flicker on, and the most handsomely dressed ghost ever walks right into the party. I love this moment. It’s Black/Ji-won, back in the flesh, and everyone’s jaws drop at the sight. Mari drops her glass and Ji-ryun stands up: “Black.”
But it’s Sun-jae that Black is fixated on, and he approaches very close to whisper, “I escaped… to kill you.” He adds a devilish smile, enjoying the moment.
Then he sees Mari and walks toward her as she cries, reaching out a hand as he says, “Mari-ya, I’ve come to get you.” Mari whispers his name through her tears like it’s a question, while Swan comes out of the house and sees Black from behind and cranes her neck to see who it is.
Hm, on the one hand, I really love the party moment because it’s such a big reveal, and it turns everyone’s world upside-down to have Black/Ji-won return from the dead like this. Plus, I love the theatricality of it, and the way he really builds up his own grand entrance. It’s a very swoony entrance. The more of that we get, the better. I already like the character loads more now that he’s returned with a revenge mission, because the earnest Ji-won was nice and good and all, but smart, worldly Mr. Black who’s going to take his time to make his move? That’s exciting.
But on the other hand, I do feel like I was left out of the loop on some key parts in his development, like what on earth Black was thinking when he made that last stand against Killer and Sun-jae—because if it was to stage his own death, it should’ve come across in the execution. There was just a lot left to be desired in the whole sequence of events when he fights that final battle, because the way it played out, it seems like he just kind of lucked out and walked away with his life. The only conclusion I can come to is that he knew dying would be his only way out and he planned it that way, but honestly Ji-won’s character as a whole hasn’t given me the confidence to trust that what he did was intentional.
Upside is, I am definitely ready to put that trust in Mr. Black now that he’s come back from the dead and spent his time formulating a revenge plan—I have hopes that he’s now going to stay one step ahead of the audience in a good way, and really work the mysterious debonair charm to its full potential. I’m confused about him very plainly outing himself as Cha Ji-won though, so that’s a hurdle that’ll be interesting to watch him jump over. Will Ji-won be declared un-dead, or will he just move about his old world as Mr. Black, and what does that mean for his family’s company?
I was surprised that Swan got left behind too, because I expected her to be a part of his revenge. Right now she’s somewhere in the middle, and it feels a little strange for him to have two past lives in limbo—one with Mari, and one with Swan. I suppose in exchange we do get some development for Swan’s character independent of Black, which is a pretty nice bonus. And I kind of love that she didn’t just go from illiterate to sudden genius, and that she’s a reporter who can’t spell for an internet magazine that may or may not pay its employees. I already really like her scenes with Woo-jin, and can’t wait to see more of her work life with him. Plus, Ji-ryun becoming her real oppa is my favorite thing in the show so far. I really hope he stays a good guy for the whole drama. Please, I beg of you. Just this once!
For the first time, I’m dying to see the next episode to find out how everyone reacts to Mr. Black crashing the party. It’s a good place to be, especially when the first three episodes didn’t exactly leave me on pins and needles. But now the revenge begins in earnest, right? And Mr. Black keeps wearing those suits? ‘Cause if your goal for crashing the party was to make your ex regret leaving you, I think you got the job done.
- Goodbye Mr. Black: Episode 3
- Goodbye Mr. Black: Episode 2
- Goodbye Mr. Black: Episode 1
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- Goodbye Mr. Black teases revenge and romance
- Oh Snap! Mr. Black in white
- Moon Chae-won sifts through trash for Goodbye Mr. Black
- Kim Kang-woo totes a gun at sea for Goodbye Mr. Black
- Why hello there, Mr. Black
- Yoo In-young jumps aboard cast of Goodbye Mr. Black
- MBC welcomes back Goodbye Mr. Black