Missing 9: Episode 6
The deeper we delve into the secrets of the island, the more it feels like we still have to discover. The isolation has a way of bringing out the best or the worst in the survivors, as the hardship teaches each of them who they truly are. You may be a hero or a monster – but the important question is, will they be able to uncover the monster before it’s too late?
EPISODE 6 RECAP
While fighting over the lifeboat, Tae-ho kicks Yeol down an embankment, and Yeol hits his head on a rock. Tae-ho begs him to wake up, but Yeol is gone, and Tae-ho pushes his body into the ocean to be carried out to sea.
On the smaller island, Bong-hee follows So-hee to a cliff over the water and begs her not to jump. So-hee takes a step towards the edge and Bong-hee grabs her, trying to pull her to safety, but So-hee trips and goes over the edge.
Bong-hee looks down and sees So-he hanging by her fingernails, reaching a hand up for help. Bong-hee stretches out her hand, grabs So-hee’s, and struggles to pull her back to safety.
In the present, Bong-hee sits straight up, having suddenly recovered all of her memories from after the plane crash. She gasps in relief, “It wasn’t me. I didn’t kill her.” She catches a cab to find Chairwoman Jo, but on the way she hears a news announcement about the press conference, and directs the cab driver to the location.
As Chairwoman Jo prepares to tell the press everything, including Bong-hee’s confession, she wonders if she’s doing the right thing. She takes the stage and gives the reporters a short rundown on everything that’s happened so far.
Chairwoman Jo reaches the point in her statement where she confirms that So-hee’s death was ruled a murder, and in the back of the room, prosecutor Tae-young awaits the naming of his sister’s murderer. But just as Chairwoman Jo is about to reveal Bong-hee’s confession under hypnosis, Investigator Oh interrupts to tell her that they’ve found another survivor.
At the same time, Bong-hee herself runs in and approaches Tae-young. She tells him that she’s gotten her memory back, and that she wasn’t the one who killed So-hee.
Chairwoman Jo sees Bong-hee in the back of the room and figures that something is up. She ends the press conference, and on their way out, Investigator Oh tells her that the newest survivor is CEO Hwang. He also tells her of the accident — CEO Hwang’s car was crushed by falling construction equipment while on his way to the airport in China. Chairwoman Jo instructs Investigator Oh to have CEO Hwang’s body brought to Korea, and to get Bong-hee out of the conference room before the reporters see her.
In the back of the room, Tae-young asks Bong-hee who really killed So-hee. But they reporters spot her before she can answer, and they swarm her until Investigator Oh pulls her away, leaving Tae-young without an answer.
Back on the island, Tae-ho makes his way back up the beach, but he finds that Ki-joon and Ji-ah have escaped from where he left them tied up. Suddenly he’s kicked violently and falls to the ground, and he looks up in shock to see Joon-oh standing over him. He’s alive!
Joon-oh had survived the rogue wave, and the body we saw on the beach was actually that of the copilot Joon-oh had tried to save. It looks as though he didn’t die right away, and Joon-oh stayed with him until he finally passed.
He came back to rejoin the others, and now he pummels Tae-ho until he passes out, furious that he tied up Ki-joon and Ji-ah. He leaves Tae-ho lying there and tells Ki-joon, Ji-ah, CEO Hwang, and Ho-hang that they need to go rescue Bong-hee and So-hee.
CEO Hwang thinks they should wait until morning, but Joon-oh argues that if it’s bad for them here, it’s worse for the girls. He says that even if they lose the boat and end up stuck here forever, people are the most important thing.
Bong-hee manages to pull So-hee back to safety, and So-hee looks chastened. She apologizes to Bong-hee, and Bong-hee notices that she’s injured her wrist and urges her back to their small camp on the beach.
Ki-joon offers to go in the raft with Joon-oh, and poor Ho-hang gets told to join them. CEO Hwang and Ji-ah head back to take care of Tae-ho, but Tae-ho is already awake and has made his way back to the shelter. He fills a suitcase with clothes and food and goes off alone into the forest.
After a couple of false starts getting Ho-hang into the lifeboat, the guys make it across to the small island. Joon-oh is relieved to find So-hee on the beach next to the fire, but he wants to know where Bong-hee is.
So-hee says Bong-hee went to find something (probably medicinal plants for her injured wrist), and Joon-oh grows worried all over again. He runs off to find Bong-hee while the others stay with So-hee, who cries and apologizes over and over.
As Joon-oh looks for Bong-hee, he thinks of everything they’ve been through since they first met. They got off to a rocky start, but have grown close on the island, even saving each others’ lives multiple times.
He finally finds Bong-hee searching for something in the grass, and he asks what she’s doing. She looks at him as if she’s seeing a ghost, and all she can do is breathe his name in relief at seeing him alive. Joon-oh approaches her and she fusses over him, making sure he’s okay.
Joon-oh takes a candy from his pocket and pops it in Bong-hee’s mouth. He softly tells her not to put others before herself, and to stop going in the water alone to look for food. He tells her that he’ll do all the dangerous things from now on, so that she doesn’t have to do anything anymore. Awww, such a sweetheart.
He starts to lead her back to the others, but Bong-hee just stands in place, still reeling. Joon-oh goes back and gives her his coat, telling her, “Stay right beside me. You can do that, right?” Bong-hee nods, and they start back towards the beach.
They make it back to the main island, and on the way to their shelter, Bong-hee gives So-hee back her infinity necklace. So-hee tells her to keep it, saying that her brother said it would protect the wearer, and she wants Bong-hee to have it since Bong-hee keeps protecting her.
They run into CEO Hwang and Ji-ah, and CEO Hwang asks if anyone has seen Yeol. They suddenly realize he’s gone, and Ji-ah says that she thinks Tae-ho did something to him, which means he’s gone, too.
Joon-oh realizes that Tae-ho must have run off when he finds the clothes and food gone. They all go looking for him, and Joon-oh slips into a mud puddle and lies there, exhausted and despondent.
He thinks back to the night before he, Tae-ho, and Yeol made their debut, when they’d wondered how long they would last as an idol group. Yeol had worried they’d someday argue and disband, and Tae-ho had assured him that would never happen.
Joon-oh had said that they would naturally get jealous, keep secrets, argue, and resent each other. But he’d made a promise that no matter what, they would always trust each other. Then Tae-ho had farted and Yeol had opened a window to escape the stench, ha.
The castaways gather back in camp and discuss where Tae-ho may have gone. They piece together the evening’s timeline — first Tae-ho tied up Ki-joon and Ji-ah, then went after Yeol. Since nobody has seen Yeol since then, they assume that Tae-ho did something to him before fleeing out of fear.
Only Joon-oh doesn’t agree, and he says that he’ll go looking for them since they must still be on the island. He tells Ki-joon to stay and take care of the others, deciding that he needs to do this as the former leader of Dreamers.
Bong-hee stops him before he leaves the following morning to give him some fish to take with him, and Joon-oh is touched that she took out the bones for him. She asks what he’ll do if he finds Tae-ho and learns that he killed Yeol. Joon-oh says that he’s not sure, but that he thinks he’d feel like killing him.
He even admits that he can’t let himself think that Tae-ho killed Yeol, or he’s afraid he might not look very hard. He says that he’ll find them first, then ask questions. Joon-oh then goes out searching for Tae-ho and Yeol day after day, unaware that he comes close to Tae-ho’s hiding place several times, but Tae-ho always manages to stay out of sight.
In the present, a man lies in a hospital bed, unconscious and hooked up to machines. It’s CEO Hwang, who miraculously survived the accident intended to take his life. Chairwoman Jo, annoyed, asks his doctor to call her if he regains consciousness.
While she’s still at the hospital, she gets a call from someone who sounds like her boss. Whoever it is isn’t happy with the way she’s handling the information on the crash and hangs up on her.
Investigator Oh calls next to tell Chairwoman Jo that Bong-hee’s memory is back. They meet, and he updates her on what Bong-hee has told him so far: that Yeol disappeared and Tae-ho was responsible. Chairwoman Oh backs up and asks if Bong-hee told him who killed So-hee, and Investigator Oh confirms that she did. They resume Bong-hee’s recorded sessions, and Bong-hee continues with her story, which now corresponds with the events we’re seeing happen on the island.
One rainy day, Joon-oh goes looking for Tae-ho and Yeol as usual, while the others rest at the shelter. CEO Hwang objects to Ki-joon and Ji-ah exchanging shoulder massages, saying that Ki-joon shouldn’t be touching Ji-ah since he’s just a manager. He reminds Ki-joon that he’s still his boss and warns him not to forget his place.
He complains that Ji-ah and So-hee are all the talent he has left after the crash and events on the island, and tells Ki-joon that once they get home, he’s not allowed near Ji-ah. Ki-joon tries to explain that it wasn’t skinship, but he backs down in the face of CEO Hwang’s anger.
But Ji-ah isn’t about to let it go that easily, and challenges CEO Hwang on why she and Ki-joon can’t stay friends. He tells her that actresses who date managers cause scandals, and tells her to stick with Tae-ho. Ki-joon keeps apologizing to CEO Hwang, but Ji-ah tells him to knock it off.
CEO Hwang just tells Ji-ah that she’s not allowed, and that doesn’t sit well with her at all. CEO Hwang again says through gritted teeth that she can’t get involved with Ki-joon, so Ji-ah turns and asks Ki-joon boldly if he wants to date. Okay, I love her spunk.
Ki-joon is flustered, and he says that he has no idea what’s happening right now, hee. Ji-ah pressures him for a yes or no answer, and after thinking for about a third of a second, he agrees to date her. Ji-ah announces to everyone that he’s her boyfriend now.
CEO Hwang’s voice takes on a too-calm, warning tone, and he tells her again not to get involved with Ki-joon. In response, Ji-ah grabs Ki-joon’s face and plants a big ol’ kiss on him. She tells CEO Hwang never to mention Tae-ho to her again, and leaves. HA, Ho-hang shoots Ki-joon a proud thumbs up.
Out in the rain, Joon-oh sees something that makes him freeze. It’s Tae-ho, washing his face in the river, and Joon-oh whispers his name. Tae-ho doesn’t move at first, but then he breaks and runs.
Joon-oh chases him into the cave where he’s been hiding, and grabs him when he trips on a rock. Tae-ho throws wild punches while Joon-oh asks why he’s running away, and he eventually straddles Tae-ho and punches him until he stops struggling. He asks where Yeol is, but Tae-ho throws sand in his face and nearly gets away again.
But Joon-oh pulls him back again and yells for Tae-ho to say that Yeol isn’t dead. He slams his fists into Tae-ho’s chest and screams, “Tell me you didn’t kill him!” Tae-ho stops fighting and whispers, “It was a mistake.” He starts to cry and whine that he didn’t mean to kill Yeol as Joon-oh stares at him in stark horror.
Right away, Tae-ho starts to justify what he did, saying that Yeol lied to him and went around behind his back. He blames Yeol for his actions, saying that he wouldn’t have hurt Yeol if he’d just obeyed, while Joon-oh gapes at him as if he can’t believe what he’s hearing.
Tae-ho sobs that everyone is against him, but all Joon-oh can think about is their long-ago promise never to turn on each other. He picks up a large rock and raises it high in the air. As Tae-ho begs for his life, Joon-oh brings the rock crashing down.
Back at the shelter, Ki-joon asks Bong-hee what Ji-ah said to her about him (so cute, it’s like middle school). Bong-hee tells him that she thinks Ji-ah didn’t really mean it about dating him, and Ki-joon blusters that of course, he didn’t mean it either. Awww, poor puppy.
Joon-oh comes back to camp looking subdued, and he shakes off Bong-hee when she sees blood on his hand. He calls out to someone, and a sheepish-looking Tae-ho shuffles into camp.
Ji-ah flies at Tae-ho and demands to know where Yeol is. She beats her fists on his chest, asking over and over if Tae-ho killed him. But Tae-ho doesn’t say a word, just as Joon-oh had instructed him when he invited him to come back. He’d told Tae-ho to feel guilty towards Yeol for the rest of his life, and to pay for his sin that way.
The other survivors express concern about letting Tae-ho stay with them, but Joon-oh says they can’t just leave him alone to die. He asks if they prefer to just kill Tae-ho now — he admits that Tae-ho deserves it, but Joon-oh entreats them all to be better than that.
So-hee asks if they can let Tae-ho leave if he wants to go while looking shifty, as if she has something in mind. Later, she meets Tae-ho in secret in the woods and asks him to leave. She says that he’s killed people, adding that she can always tell the others what he did (referring to his killing the pilot for the food in his suitcase), and then he really won’t be able to stay.
Tae-ho plays dumb, so So-hee says she’ll just make him leave, and heads back to camp. Tae-ho stops her and says that he won’t be the only one hurt if she tells on him, telling her to forget all this so they can all survive. But So-hee says they can just die together before starting back toward camp again.
Tae-ho’s face takes on that cold, empty look, and he follows So-hee. He wraps his jacket around her throat and squeezes, not letting go until well after So-hee stops moving. He sits next to her body and says calmly that survival is hard.
In the present, Bong-hee relates all this to Investigator Oh, though she says that they thought So-hee killed herself. CEO Hwang had found So-hee’s body hanging from a tree the next morning, and they’d all just assumed she committed suicide. Plus, Ho-hang had told them that So-hee was talking again about how she wanted to die.
Investigator Oh asks how they learned that Tae-ho killed her, and Bong-hee reveals that Ho-hang was a witness to the murder. He’d stepped away from camp and seen So-hee’s body being dragged away, and he’d followed to find Tae-ho with her. Tae-ho had threatened to kill Ho-hang if he told anyone.
The survivors had made a raft, and sent So-hee’s body out to sea wearing a crown of flowers.
Chairwoman Jo isn’t happy about this, but she decides that they’ve heard enough to believe that Tae-ho was So-hee’s murderer. She tells her people to call another press conference, but then she takes another call that has her ordering Investigator Oh to halt Bong-hee’s questioning immediately.
She says that they’ve found another survivor, and that they’re on their way to Korea right now. We see the silhouette of a man walking with a couple of Chinese policemen, and the camera zooms in to show his face — Tae-ho.
Tae-ho being alive and back in Korea definitely brings a whole new sense of danger to the present timeline — I previously said that Bong-hee’s life may still be in danger because of what she knows, but I wasn’t expecting her to have to face Tae-ho quite this soon. Once again, Missing 9 is carrying us to the next confrontation with breakneck speed, and I’m sure Tae-ho isn’t going to be exactly thrilled when he finds out that Bong-hee has told the investigation that he killed three people. At least, that we know of.
What’s great about this show is how it doles out information in such an interesting way. It gives us the broad strokes first and makes us think events happened one way, then parcels out details slowly until we get the whole picture, which is often very different from what we originally thought. It’s a great way of showing how the big picture definitely isn’t everything, and that details matter. What you think you know when hearing only the main pieces of information can actually reveal a very different truth once the entire story is told.
For instance, we’ve known that So-hee dies for several episodes now, but we’ve been made to think that it happened in different ways as we learn more about the true events. What started as a seemingly straightforward suicide became an accident, then turned out to be a murder to stop her from talking. The buildup of this and several other events on the island have turned the show from a simple “who survived the crash” story to a full-on murder thriller.
I knew Tae-ho would find a way to justify what he did to Yeol, and sure enough, he took his explanation to Joon-oh straight from the abuser’s handbook. He blamed it all on Yeol, saying that if Yeol had only done what he told him to do, he wouldn’t have been forced to hurt him. It’s interesting that Tae-ho’s attitude doesn’t seem to be something he’s always had, because in flashbacks he seems to have been a sweet, funny guy who loved his friends. But, knowing the way bullies work, I’m betting it’s more that Tae-ho was just very good at hiding his true self before, and that the island is bringing out the pure, unfiltered potential monster that he’s always been underneath. We know he’s got a great career now as an actor, and I have no doubt he uses that ability in his personal life. I didn’t even think his tears in front of Joon-oh felt genuine — he was just doing whatever he needed to do to get on Joon-oh’s good side. And it wasn’t long before his true colors showed again, since he was more than willing to take So-hee’s life without even a second thought.
So-hee’s death (well, seeing how it actually happened) struck me surprisingly hard, considering that we’ve known she doesn’t survive the island for several episodes now. I think it’s because she had just finally found her will to live — you could see the light in her eyes returning after Bong-hee saved her from the cliff. Her fatal mistake was not being able to keep her mouth shut, but part of me can understand why she told Tae-ho what she knows. They’ve been friends for years now and went through a tragic loss together, plus she’s young and a bit naive. Even though she’d seen Tae-ho kill the pilot, it’s true that he was probably mortally wounded anyway, and he was a stranger to them. It probably never occurred to So-hee that Tae-ho would be capable of killing her in cold blood.