Missing 9: Episode 8
We finally get some answers regarding the rift between the castaways that started when they lost their friend. Of course, the answers reveal more than the survivors bargained for as they learn that their friend Jae-hyun’s death wasn’t as straightforward as they thought. And in the present, Bong-hee faces another new threat that could have everyone turning against her.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Tae-young leads Bong-hee into the press conference, where they both hear Tae-ho say that Joon-oh tried to kill everyone on the island. Bong-hee starts forward to refute his lies, but Tae-young stops her, and Chairwoman Jo sends Investigator Oh over to see what’s happening.
Tae-ho really plays his “grief” to the hilt for his audience, crying and apologizing for not saving his friends. Investigator Oh advises Bong-hee not to draw attention to herself, so she can only watch helplessly as Tae-ho comes out looking like a hero.
Bong-hee is furious, and she asks if this is why Investigator Oh told her not to come here today. She demands to see Tae-ho and Chairwoman Jo, but Investigator Oh tells her to wake up and realize that Tae-ho came back, and Joon-oh is dead.
As Tae-ho’s manager starts to drive him home in his van, Bong-hee pops up in front of the vehicle, kicking it and demanding that he come out. He steps out and she punches him right in the face, growling that everyone will soon see what a liar he is. Tae-ho takes notice of the CCTV cameras and stays calm, saying that they’re not on the deserted island anymore. And besides, nobody will believe her.
Bong-hee yells that Joon-oh is alive, but she stalls uncertainly when Tae-ho says that he saw Joon-oh dead. He steps close and starts, “Joon-oh actually…” but then grins and says never mind. He leaves, and Tae-young approaches Bong-hee, having seen the entire confrontation.
He asks her softly if she’s someone he can trust. Bong-hee pleads with him to trust her now, and swears that it wasn’t Joon-oh who killed So-hee — it was Tae-ho.
We head back to the island, where the whole group is quiet and preoccupied after Tae-ho’s attack on the reporter, Ki-won. They have Tae-ho tied to a pole outside, where Joon-oh keeps a close watch on him. Ji-ah asks what he plans to do with Tae-ho, but Joon-oh says he’ll decide after Ki-won wakes up and they hear what really happened.
Joon-oh and Tae-ho are still sitting there after dark, watching each other warily, and Bong-hee sits with Joon-oh and brings him some food. Joon-oh says that these aren’t the people he used to know, and not just Tae-ho. He wonders sadly if they changed after the crash, or if he just never really knew them.
In the morning, Joon-oh is still watching Tae-ho like a hawk. Bong-hee brings Joon-oh some breakfast, sees him nodding off, and sits next to him to gently tilt his head onto her shoulder. He nuzzles in close for a moment, but he’s nearly instantly startled awake by Ki-joon telling him that Ki-won woke up.
Joon-oh speaks with him in private, and Ki-won says that he came to help him. He reveals to Joon-oh that their old songwriter and friend, Jae-hyun, didn’t really kill himself — he was murdered. He asks if Joon-oh would believe that someone else went to Jae-hyun’s house after Joon-oh left, the night he and Joon-oh argued and Jae-hyun died.
Joon-oh asks how Ki-won could know this when the police didn’t, but Ki-won says that he only needs to know that Jae-hyun and So-hee’s murders are related. He says it’s why Tae-ho tried to kill him yesterday. Around the corner, Ho-hang overhears and reels in horror.
With Joon-oh away and not staring at him, Tae-ho takes a chance and starts to kick a sharp piece of broken brick closer to himself. He asks Ji-ah for a drink of water when she passes with the bottle, so she dumps the entire bottle over his head. HA.
Stunned at Ki-won’s revelation, Joon-oh goes to Tae-ho and asks if he’s hiding anything. Tae-ho refuses to answer, so Joon-oh says he’ll find out himself. He goes out on his own, leaving everyone at camp. Meanwhile, Tae-ho has gotten his hands on that broken brick and begins to saw at the cloth tying him down.
In the present, CEO Jang grumbles angrily when Tae-young insists on meeting with him immediately. He slaps on a friendly face, but Tae-young is in no mood for niceties, and he refuses CEO Jang’s offer of dinner. He says he wants to meet with Tae-ho, but CEO Jang claims that Tae-ho wasn’t feeling well and went home.
Tae-young says that he knows they’re just avoiding him, and tells CEO Jang to pick up when he calls again. CEO Jang is rattled and annoyed, and Tae-young catches him off guard when he asks why CEO Jang hid Tae-ho in that Chinese hospital. He doesn’t wait for an answer, the question itself having made his point.
Not that Tae-young needed proof of CEO Jang’s lie, but he runs into Tae-ho as he’s leaving the Legend Entertainment building. He’s so drunk that his manager can’t control him, and Tae-ho slurs that he’s acting just like So-hee did, then ends up flat on his back on the pavement.
Tae-young approaches the manager and slips his business card into the man’s shirt pocket. He tells him to give it to Tae-ho with a message that So-hee’s brother wants to talk to him, and that he’ll know what it’s about.
The manager takes Tae-ho and the business card up to CEO Jang’s office, and CEO Jang yells at Tae-ho for not being careful. Tae-ho ignores him, until a call informing CEO Jang that another survivor has been found has Tae-ho snapping wide awake and sober.
Chairwoman Jo and Investigator Oh go to the airport to meet with the latest survivor. Chairwoman Jo is hoping he can give a statement corroborating either Tae-ho or Bong-hee’s stories, but Investigator Oh tells her that he’s been too unstable to question.
The latest castaway to come home is Ho-hang, and he looks severely traumatized. He’s twitchy and shies away from everyone, clearly no longer quite sane. They take him to the facility where they’ve been questioning Bong-hee, and he seems terrified that someone might find out he’s back.
Chairwoman Jo is furious that Ho-hang doesn’t appear to be a reliable witness, so she tells Investigator Oh that they’ll wait and see if he recovers. Investigator Oh asks what will happen if Ho-hang contradicts Tae-ho’s statement, and she says they’ll just have to make sure that doesn’t happen.
But that night, when Bong-hee talks to Tae-young, she’s positive Ho-hang will tell the same story she’s been telling and testify in her favor.
On the island, Ho-hang finally takes out the braids So-hee put into his hair, needing the wires she tied it with to help repair the radio Ki-won found. As he works, he tells CEO Hwang that he heard Jae-hyun’s death may not have been a suicide, and that he thinks Joon-oh went to Ki-won’s old camp to look for clues.
Later, when he’s alone, Ho-hang is suddenly grabbed from behind by Tae-ho, who growls in his ear and asks where Joon-oh went.
As Joon-oh hikes to Ki-won’s camp, ghosts of the past begin to haunt his thoughts. He remembers how ex-fans would throw eggs at him after Jae-hyun’s death, and how everyone at Legend Entertainment would look at him with censure in their eyes. Their ugly words echo in his mind, and he has a difficult time focusing on the path ahead of him.
He thinks back to a time when he gave Jae-hyun the Artist of the Year award he was given for a song that Jae-hyun wrote, arguing that it was rightfully his. They’d gone to the roof and drunk alcohol, and Jae-hyun had said he wanted to make his own debut someday. Joon-oh had urged him to do it, though he’d asked him to wait until he sorted his own situation out first.
CEO Hwang had been firmly against the idea when Joon-oh brought it up to him, and he’d told Joon-oh to convince Jae-hyun not to quit. Though Joon-oh argued that it was wrong to hold back such a talent, CEO Hwang ordered him to stop Jae-hyun no matter what.
Joon-oh had gone to Jae-hyun’s home and found Jae-hyun packing, preparing to quit altogether. Joon-oh had asked him to trust him and just wait, saying that quitting now would be a terrible waste, but Jae-hyun had argued that he’d already waited seven years.
Hurt, he’d accused Joon-oh of pretending to care about him but really only caring about Dreamers. Apparently, Tae-ho was planning to go solo, and Joon-oh was at the end of his rope with worry about how to keep Dreamers going. Jae-hyun had said it was too hard for him, so hard that he felt like dying. Joon-oh had snapped and yelled at him to die then, if he was just going to quit so easily.
Joon-oh had left angry, but he’d gotten a couple of beers and gone to the roof, then called Jae-hyun to meet him. Jae-hyun hadn’t answered, and when he finally left, he’d been joined by a worried Yeol. Everyone began arriving in rapid succession, saying that Jae-hyun wanted to talk to them. Tae-ho had arrived last, and they’d all headed inside.
But before they got to the building, Jae-hyun had fallen from the roof and landed on a nearby car, dead.
Joon-oh finally makes it to Ki-won’s old camp after dark and goes through the personal things he left behind. He finds a plastic bag hidden inside an airplane seat, and inside are some articles about Jae-hyun’s death, along with CCTV photos of the door to his building.
Joon-oh sees himself entering and leaving the building that night, just as he expects. But a second set of shots show Tae-ho also going inside, about half an hour after Joon-oh had left.
He’s so absorbed in looking at the photos that the first clue Joon-oh has that Tae-ho is nearby is the hard blow to his head with a rock. Joon-oh turns to look at Tae-ho in disbelief, then slumps over unconscious, blood pouring from his head.
In an attempt to help Ho-hang recover, Investigator Oh takes him to see CEO Hwang in the hospital. The boss is still in a coma, and Ho-hang wails and cries over him, begging him to wake up. The plan seems to have backfired, and Ho-hang is so distraught that Investigator Oh has to physically drag him from CEO Hwang’s bedside.
On the island, Tae-ho drags Joon-oh to a cliff overlooking the sea and looks at the CCTV photos of himself going into Jae-hyun’s building. He throws the photos and articles into the ocean as Joon-oh wakes up behind him.
He asks why Tae-ho did it, and Tae-ho tells him that it’s too hard for him now. He grabs Joon-oh’s throat and starts to throttle him, gasping that he hopes Joon-oh is the last one.
We see his last conversation with Jae-hyun, in which he’d gotten so angry at the songwriter’s plan to leave that he’d punched him. Jae-hyun had grabbed onto him, and Tae-ho had shoved him away roughly, slamming his head into a metal briefcase. He’d been horrified by all the blood and started to call an ambulance, but the next thing we see, Tae-ho had gotten into a cab and told the driver to drive around for a bit.
As he’s being strangled, Joon-oh gasps, “Why did you kill him?!” Tae-ho says it makes no difference, since Jae-hyun is dead all the same, and he continues to choke Joon-oh while he frantically fights for his life.
In the present, Tae-young takes Bong-hee to see Chairwoman Jo. She insists on being there while Ho-hang is questioned, and asks Chairwoman Jo to tell the public that Joon-oh is innocent once they hear his statement. Chairwoman Jo agrees to let her stay, but as for Ho-hang’s statement, she says they’ll wait and see.
Ho-hang is so nervous that he nearly hurls in Investigator Oh’s car, so they pull over to let him use a restroom. Investigator Oh goes outside when his car alarm starts going off, and a knock on the stall door annoys Ho-hang so much he comes out to see who it is. Someone in a hoodie grabs him and drives him away in another car, gagged and bound.
The car stops, and Tae-ho climbs in next to Ho-hang, while CEO Jang gets in the front seat. Tae-ho rips off Ho-hang’s gag and Ho-hang starts screaming, but Tae-ho stays calm and says it’s good to see him alive.
On the island, Ki-joon and Bong-hee go looking for Tae-ho and Joon-oh. Joon-oh has managed to break Tae-ho’s hold on his throat, and the two fight on the cliff until Tae-ho slams into Joon-oh and they both go tumbling over the edge. Bong-hee hears Tae-ho’s bellow of rage and heads toward the sound.
Somehow, Joon-oh manages to grab the ledge with one hand and Tae-ho’s hand with the other. Joon-oh gasps for Tae-ho to say why he should save him, but Tae-ho tells him to let him go. He starts to loosen his grip on Joon-oh’s hand, and Joon-oh screams that he should live. Tae-ho says calmly, “You never listen,” before letting go of Joon-oh’s hand and plummeting to the rocks below.
Bong-hee follows Investigator Oh out to look for Ho-hang, but they don’t have far to go — Tae-ho dropped him off at the gate to the building. Ho-hang is eerily calm, and he tells Bong-hee that he met up with a friend. Investigator Oh doesn’t buy his story, but Ho-hang goes inside to give his statement without elaborating.
Bong-hee asks if everything is okay, and Ho-hang evasively says that he’s fine. He testifies that So-hee’s death was a homicide, and when Investigator Oh asks who killed her, he says that everyone already knows.
He says that Tae-ho’s statement was correct, that Joon-oh killed So-hee. Bong-hee jumps up and runs into the room to ask why he’s lying, but Ho-hang continues that Joon-oh had an accomplice. We see that Tae-ho had told him to say that he saw Joon-oh kill So-hee, and Ho-hang had been too terrified of him to speak the truth.
When Bong-hee enters the room, Ho-hang says that she was Joon-oh’s accomplice. She’s pulled from the room by the guards and begs Investigator Oh to believe that she’s innocent.
Bong-hee finds Joon-oh on the cliff, just as he pulls himself up and sinks to his knees in grief. She holds him while he screams and cries, and eventually, they get up and walk back towards camp. Joon-oh is stunned and silent, and Bong-hee takes his hand — the same hand that let go of Tae-ho.
She says she gets scared at night, and the contact snaps Joon-oh from his daze. When Joon-oh asks if he should go back, looking at Bong-hee with desperate, pleading eyes, she says they’re all waiting for him, because it’s where he belongs.
They’re all relieved to see Joon-oh safe, and Ho-hang even cries. CEO Hwang tells Joon-oh that he already knows the truth of Jae-hyun’s death from Ki-won. He even apologizes for putting pressure on Joon-oh to convince Jae-hyun not to quit, understanding now that it was his job as CEO.
Joon-oh cries and tells CEO Hwang that he killed Tae-ho. CEO Hwang muses that the news doesn’t even upset him somehow, and Joon-oh bows his head in shame. CEO Hwang tells him not to blame himself, because he didn’t do it on purpose.
The others join them, and Ji-ah tells Joon-oh that nobody thinks Tae-ho’s death is his fault. Her lip wobbles and she apologizes, saying that she’s just sorry she’s never apologized to him.
They all agree that what’s important is that Joon-oh came back safe, and Ki-joon adds that Tae-ho didn’t just blame him for Jae-hyun’s death. He says that he ruined his life, so they should reveal who the killer was, and who the true victims were.
Joon-oh agrees that they do have to reveal the truth, including that he killed Tae-ho. He says, “When we go back, if we go back, please help me so I can pay for what I did. All of you shouldn’t do anything for me. Let’s remember what happened, what we saw, and what we heard here. Let’s remember it as it is.”
On a beach nearby, Tae-ho lies in the sand, covered in blood. The sound of his breathing can be heard, labored but steady.
Ki-joon wakes the next morning and hears a noise, and he rushes over to the repaired radio. It’s giving off static, and he wakes everyone with his cries that it’s working.
He, CEO Hwang, and Ho-hang go to sit on a rock outcropping overlooking the ocean, the now-silent radio at their feet. Ki-joon calmly announces that he sees a ship, and Ho-hang agrees that a ship would be pretty cool. CEO Hwang realizes that not only is the ship real, but it’s turning to head their way. The three jump up and celebrate — they’re rescued!
I can’t even explain why exactly, but seeing Joon-oh refuse to leave Tae-ho outside, alone and tied up, just broke my heart. He still feels responsible for him as his band leader and hyung, even after their group disbanded. Tae-ho treated him hatefully for years, and he even killed Yeol and So-hee on the island. You can just see the sorrow and disappointment in Joon-oh’s eyes every time he looks at Tae-ho, and you know he’s remembering that friendly, funny guy he used to know before his mind snapped. I can’t imagine being in Joon-oh’s place, looking at someone I thought I knew as a warm, talented person, but who has now become a psychotic killer. And the fact that he’s still taking care of Tae-ho to the extent he’s able, even if all he can do is not leave him to sleep outside alone, just speaks volumes about the kind of man Joon-oh is.
I just knew there had to be more going on between Tae-ho and Ki-won than just the fact that Ki-won saw So-hee and Jae-hyun dating. Ki-won stiffened the instant he saw that Tae-ho had survived the crash, and he was aggressive with Tae-ho right off the bat. I’m surprised that people keep antagonizing Tae-ho, knowing that he’s already killed two people and that they’re on an island with nothing and nobody to protect them. But I’m glad we finally got the full truth of what happened the night of Jae-hyun’s death, because it tells us a lot about Tae-ho and whether it was the island that made him homicidal. Filling in the blanks, I’m guessing that it was Tae-ho who contacted everyone to meet, and somehow arranged for Jae-hyun’s body to fall from that roof where everyone would see and assume suicide. The death was obviously an accident, but Tae-ho’s covering it up as a suicide definitely inspired him when it was time to get rid of So-hee. So while he may not have killed on purpose until the island, it’s not the first time Tae-ho ended someone’s life when they made him angry.
So I don’t think Tae-ho intended to kill Jae-hyun that night, but I do think it shows that that volatile, violent side of him has always been there. And instead of calling for help and explaining that it was an accident, he doubled down and staged a supposed suicide to hide his guilt (and it explains why the blood was on the wrong side of Jae-hyun’s face, which always bothered me). It’s exactly what happened with Yeol — Tae-ho let his temper flare out of control, got someone killed, and rather than take the blame for the accident, he hid his guilt. And now that he’s gotten a taste of real killing, it really does feel as though he’s enjoying it when he wraps his hands around someone’s throat.
It’s an interesting contrast to Joon-oh, who initially seemed to be the most self-absorbed of the three ex-Dreamers. But now that we’ve seen the entire situation, it’s obvious that he wasn’t really telling Jae-hyun to die — he was angry that Jae-hyun was throwing his future away so easily, and with such bad timing for those who depended on him. Yes, he said a terrible thing, but it wasn’t terrible enough to make Jae-hyun end his own life. And Joon-oh is a man who takes his leadership status seriously — he accepts full responsibility when he thinks he’s killed Tae-ho, and it’s clearly not just lip service. The way he sobbed on Bong-hee’s shoulder shows that her truly believed he was responsible, instead of the obvious proof that it was pure self defense.
Then he immediately goes to the group and tells them what happened without sugarcoating it or downplaying his role in the accident, and tells them that if they’re rescued, he wants them all to tell the truth. He’s not scared to face the consequences of his actions (and we also saw this in the past when everyone blamed him for Jae-hyun’s death, and he never tried to defend himself), and even urges the others to be honest even if he ends up punished. More and more, Joon-oh is showing himself to be a deeply decent man, and I won’t be surprised if we find out that the supposed drunk-driving incident that broke up Dreamers was another instance of him taking the blame for something that was technically someone else’s blunder.