Missing 9: Episode 14
We’re still uncovering the full truth of Jae-hyun’s murder, and I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever know what really happened that night. Meanwhile CEO Hwang fights for his life, as all the survivors rally together to come up with a plan to stop Tae-ho and CEO Jang. Will they be able to outmaneuver the evil duo, now that Tae-ho knows the truth and is striking out on his own?
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Tae-ho is treated for his stab wound, and the next day CEO Jang visits him in the hospital. He tells Tae-ho that this wouldn’t have happened if he’d just listened, but Tae-ho ignores him and asks why he killed Jae-hyun.
CEO Jang says he did it for Tae-ho, because Jae-hyun had heard everything they talked about that night while they thought he was dead. Tae-ho scoffs at the idea that killing Jae-hyun was the only option, and sarcastically sneers that he’s touched by CEO Jang’s concern for his welfare.
CEO Jang corrects Tae-ho, saying that he’s the one who killed Jae-hyun, and all CEO Jang did was clean up his mess. Tae-ho repeats that he shouldn’t have killed him, and that his life would have been very different than it is now.
On his way out, CEO Jang stops and asks what Tae-ho plans to do about So-hee’s cell phone. We see Tae-ho on the phone with Joon-oh earlier that morning, when Joon-oh had ordered Tae-ho to call off the police he’d sicced on him.
He’d warned Tae-ho that if the police found him, they’d also find So-hee’s phone, and that would be bad for both of them. Now Tae-ho tells CEO Jang that he’ll find the phone himself.
We flash back to a day soon after Jae-hyun’s death, when Tae-ho had an appearance at an event. He’d hallucinated seeing Jae-hyun standing at the back of the crowd, covered in blood and staring at him accusingly. The apparition soon disappeared, but Tae-ho had been severely rattled.
Afterward, CEO Jang had found him in the van, freaking out. Tae-ho had said he wanted to confess, and CEO Jang had slapped him and told him not to let an accident ruin his life. He tells him to keep quiet, let Joon-oh take the fall in the public’s eye, and soon it would all blow over.
Crying, Tae-ho had asked if he’s supposed to live the rest of his life feeling guilty. CEO Jang said it was too late to go back, and told Tae-ho that he’d soon discover that people can be capable of even worse things, as he hugged the terrified Tae-ho.
Later, Tae-ho had been talking to some reporters, and So-hee had walked past him with an enigmatic smile. They’d found themselves together in an elevator that same day, and So-hee had called him a murderer, and asked if he could forget.
Now Tae-ho sits alone in his hospital room, tears streaming down his face.
Ki-joon visits Ji-ah during a photo shoot, and they find a bench to sit and talk. Ki-joon apologizes for not telling her what was happening as they were looking for So-hee’s phone, and promises to be honest with her from now on.
Ji-ah suggests they they forget about all of that now, then asks if CEO Jang threatened Ki-joon because of the money her mother borrowed from the company. He pretends that she’s right, and asks if she feels that he meddles in her business.
She says no, because she knows why he does it. She adds that she also knows everything that happened between Ki-joon and her brother. They had been in the same unit in the army, where Ki-joon had been the unit’s doctor, when her brother had died in an accident. Ji-ah remembers Ki-joon crying more than anyone else at her brother’s funeral.
Ki-joon asks why she never said anything, and why she doesn’t hate him. She replies that her brother died while serving in the army, and she knows it wasn’t Ki-joon’s fault. Ki-joon feels like he killed her brother, but Ji-ah argues that he was only trying to save her brother’s life.
She also knows that Ki-joon gave up his army career and became her manager so that he could take care of her in her brother’s place. She tells him that he’s long since made up for her brother’s absence, and that’s why she forgives him.
Ji-ah tries to cheer Ki-joon out of his funk, and when it doesn’t work, she takes her coat off and drapes it over his shoulders. Awww. She heads back inside, leaving Ki-joon with his thoughts.
Joon-oh talks to someone on the phone, mentioning that Bong-hee invited him over to dinner. HA, he actually giggles, so cute. He spots a claw machine nearby with some cute stuffed critters, and decides to try for one. He wins one on the first try and gets excited, then wins another one on his second try.
Bong-hee sneaks up behind him and startles him, then decides she wants to try the game. She begs Joon-oh for some money, but though she tries several times, she never manages to win a toy.
Joon-oh gives Bong-hee both of the dolls he won, enjoying how happy it makes her. They chatter about nothing important as they walk to Bong-hee’s place, then Bong-hee calls Joon-oh “oppa” and it just about breaks his brain.
Bong-hee has invited everyone over, and Joon-oh tells them about the recording on So-hee’s phone that proves that CEO Jang killed Jae-hyun. Ji-ah asks why So-hee always blamed Joon-oh for his death, which makes everyone uncomfortable in front of Tae-young.
Tae-young says that there were a lot of things he didn’t know about his sister. He’d noticed that she was acting strange, but he didn’t want to acknowledge the change in her. Joon-oh says that they all ignored it, chalking it up to Jae-hyun’s death.
Bong-hee tries to defend So-hee, saying that she’s sure she didn’t make the recording planning to use it for blackmail. Ji-ah asks again why So-hee seemed to blame Joon-oh, especially since she’d always respected him a lot before, and Ki-joon suddenly thinks of something.
He remembers going to visit Joon-oh once after Jae-hyun’s death, and he’d found that So-hee was already there. She’d been sitting on the floor next to Joon-oh, who’d passed out while drinking.
Ki-joon had heard So-hee tell Joon-oh that she didn’t plan to come here, and she’d apologized to him. She’d tearfully said that she knew he didn’t do anything wrong, but that if she didn’t have someone to take her anger out on, she wouldn’t be able to bear her grief.
Prosecutor Jo says that So-hee probably felt guilty for letting Tae-ho and CEO Jang buy her silence. Tae-young looks sick that his sister was going through something so terrible, and he apologizes to Joon-oh on So-hee’s behalf. Joon-oh softens towards him, and says that it’s all in the past now.
He says they need to focus on making Tae-ho and CEO Jang pay for their crimes before Tae-ho does something else to one of them. Bong-hee adds that they need to stay alert until the press conference, and Ji-ah and Ki-joon promise to tell the truth this time.
Tae-young tells of his plan to make sure CEO Jang and Tae-ho can’t escape after the press conference, warning them all to be ready for the media storm that the recording on So-hee’s phone will cause. They all toast to their anticipated success, feeling optimistic.
Joon-oh suggests they move CEO Hwang to another hospital so that CEO Jang can’t get to him. They wonder what to do about Ho-hang, who hasn’t committed to testifying for them, worried that he might tell CEO Jang where CEO Hwang is moved to.
Ho-hang is currently headed to visit CEO Hwang in the hospital, where he finds Hwang’s wife asleep at his bedside. He goes to tuck CEO Hwang’s hand under the covers, but he sees his fingers twitching and freezes. They move again when Ho-hang grabs his hand, and then CEO Hwang opens his eyes.
Ho-hang’s happy shrieks wake CEO Hwang’s wife, and the two hug and cry. Ho-hang tells CEO Hwang to blink if he recognizes him, and Hwang blinks. He’s weak and has a long way to go, but he’s still in there.
Ho-hang calls Ki-joon, sobbing, and tells him the good news. Everyone rushes to the hospital, where they all get the news that he’ll probably make a full recovery. CEO Hwang’s lips wobble and his eyes fill with tears to see everyone alive and safe – having been one of the first survivors found, he didn’t know they all made it back. Oof, he’s not the only one crying.
Ho-hang heads to the Legend building to give CEO Jang the good news, but CEO Jang gets a call from an informant at the hospital before Ho-hang arrives. Ho-hang stops at his office door when he hears CEO Jang asking if CEO Hwang can talk, adding angrily that he only let him live because he couldn’t tell anyone what he knows.
Ho-hang is horrified to hear CEO Jang say that they have to kill CEO Hwang if it looks like he’ll regain the ability to speak. Tae-ho comes up behind him and startles him, asking why Ho-hang is just standing there, and Ho-hang stammers that he was just leaving and beats a hasty retreat.
Tae-ho asks CEO Jang if it’s true that CEO Hwang is awake. CEO Jang confirms it, and says that they need to kill CEO Hwang before he tells everyone that CEO Jang killed Jae-hyun.
Tae-young takes his evidence regarding Jae-hyun’s murder to the detective, and tells him to re-open the case. Tae-young asks if he investigated So-hee’s murder really thoroughly, and when the detective insists that he did, Tae-young says that he knows the detective is aware that Joon-oh is back.
The man grows defensive, but when he says that Tae-young doesn’t even have any proof of Joon-oh’s return, Tae-young asks why he sent detectives to Bong-hee’s house to catch him. The detective stops lying, but he says that even if Joon-oh is back, he won’t have an easy time clearing his name.
Tae-young tells him to tune in to the press conference tomorrow, and everything will be revealed. He adds that he’s also learned that the person who killed Jae-hyun is the same person who tried to kill CEO Hwang, and tells the detective to choose sides wisely.
As soon as Tae-young leaves, the detective calls Chairwoman Jo and tells her that Ki-joon is changing his story about So-hee’s murder, and that Jae-hyun’s case now looks to be a murder. He’s upset that the Special Investigations Committee did such a sloppy job, but Chairwoman Jo says that her job was just to collect information.
The detective warns her not to say things like that if she wants to be re-elected, and asks how she’ll face the voters if Joon-oh holds his press conference. He reminds her that she’s obligated to help him process this situation the way he was instructed.
CEO Hwang’s hospital room is bustling, with everyone rushing around taking care of him. Ho-hang is surprised to see them all, but he’s too ashamed to join them. He walks down the hallway, and comes upon Tae-young and Prosecutor Jo.
Prosecutor Jo says that a witness saw a man messing with the construction equipment just before CEO Hwang’s accident, and he hands over a composite sketch. It matches a photo of one of CEO Jang’s men, the same guy who was following Tae-ho.
Tae-young realizes that he knows the guy too — he’s the one who blocked him from entering the hospital room in China, where he’d seen CEO Jang talking to a patient (that turned out to be Tae-ho).
Tae-young instructs Prosecutor Jo to gather these pics with the evidence that CEO Jang bribed the Chinese hospital so his guys could kill Ji-ah and Ki-joon. He plans to use them to nail CEO Jang and Tae-ho as the culprits in both murder cases.
Chairwoman Jo meets with Tae-ho and tells him about Joon-oh’s press conference, where he plans to reveal a certain recording. She asks if he can stop Joon-oh before the press conference, and Tae-ho says that he has to.
In CEO Hwang’s new room, his wife thanks everyone for being there for her husband, now and on the island. People have been saying that CEO Hwang caused the plane crash, which has caused hardship for their family, and she’s grateful to see him surrounded by people who love him.
She leaves for home, and Ho-hang shyly thanks everyone, too. Apparently he’s back on their side but he’s still embarrassed, though they say that they don’t blame him for doing what he had to do to protect CEO Hwang. Even Joon-oh says that he’s not mad, though his supportive thump on the arm is a bit aggressive, ha.
Byung-jae is called to drive Tae-ho, and Joon-oh guesses that he plans to look for So-hee’s phone again. In the van, Byung-jae listens in on Tae-ho’s phone call where he says he’s going to the press conference, and he pauses to send a text. Tae-ho sees him do it, but he doesn’t say anything.
CEO Jang’s henchman reports that they’ve found CEO Hwang’s new room. CEO Jang tells him that tomorrow before the press conference, he’s to get rid of him.
Joon-oh receives Byung-jae’s text that Tae-ho will be at the press conference tomorrow, then he tells Tae-young that all Chairwoman Jo has said is that she’ll see him there. Tae-young warns Joon-oh not to trust her, but Joon-oh is confident even if she doesn’t help them.
That night, Joon-oh paces nervously on Bong-hee’s rooftop, while she watches him from a distance. She smiles fondly, and says softly that he’ll do well tomorrow.
Tae-ho exits his building, and finds Byung-jae crouched by his van, furiously texting on his phone. He sneaks up behind him and reads over his shoulder that he’s reminding Joon-oh to bring the cell phone, and wishing him luck clearing his name. Byung-jae starts when he sees Tae-ho there, and Tae-ho says wearily that he’ll take his own car.
CEO Jang’s henchman sneaks into CEO Hwang’s room, and pulls out a syringe. He starts to inject something into CEO Hwang’s IV line, but luckily Ho-hang shows up in time to stop him. Ho-hang heroically throws himself at the henchman, trying his best to prevent the man from escaping, but he eventually gets away.
Ho-hang starts to chase him down the hall, but a whole crowd of men in black come running at him. He leaps back into CEO Hwang’s room and shuts the door, and they do their best to break the door down.
Suddenly they stop, and Tae-ho comes sauntering to the door. He tells Ho-hang that he can save him and CEO Hwang, while the men catch the henchman and bring him back.
Ho-hang slowly opens the door, and when he sees the man who tried to kill CEO Hwang, he asks what Tae-ho wants. Tae-ho just tells him to make a phone call. Ho-hang calls Joon-oh, and tells him that someone tried to kill CEO Hwang.
Ki-joon and Joon-oh turn and race to the hospital. Ho-hang lies to them, saying that CEO Hwang was taken for an exam and he panicked for no reason. Luckily he has zero poker face, and Joon-oh can tell that something is off.
Ki-joon goes to the parking garage to pull the car around, and several cars start to follow him. He pulls away from them, and they all pursue except the last car, which Tae-ho is driving. He screeches to a halt when he sees Joon-oh standing in the middle of the garage.
Joon-oh holds up So-hee’s phone, taunting him. Tae-ho aims his car at Joon-oh and chases him through the parking garage, following closely as Joon-oh weaves through the concrete pillars. Then Joon-oh miscalculates, and he rolls over Tae-ho’s hood and falls to the ground, unconscious.
Tae-young begins the press conference on time, even though Joon-oh hasn’t arrived. He announces that he’s here on Joon-oh’s behalf, to reveal the truth about a murder case from four years ago.
Tae-ho retrieves the phone from Joon-oh’s pocket, and tries to leave the parking garage. The gate is stuck so Tae-ho steps out of the car to confront the man working on it, who seems to be ignoring him. The man turns, and it’s Ki-joon, who tells Tae-ho to look behind him.
Tae-ho turns to see Joon-oh standing by his car, holding So-hee’s phone again. Ki-joon reaches up to whack Tae-ho upside the head (that never gets old!) and runs, but Tae-ho ignores him and goes after Joon-oh.
Joon-oh suddenly drops the phone and skids to a halt. Tae-ho also stops, clutching his painful stab wound site. The phone lies on the ground between them, and they eye the phone and each other, calculating who can reach it first.
But before either of them makes a move, Ki-joon drives between them in Tae-ho’s car, and runs over the phone with his wheels. The phone is completely crushed, and Joon-oh starts to scream at Ki-joon for destroying their only evidence.
Tae-ho thoroughly enjoys the show as Ki-joon and Joon-oh yell back and forth, knowing that he’s free and clear now that the phone — and the recording of Jae-hyun’s murder — has been obliterated.
Joon-oh wails in frustration, wondering what he’s going to do now, then he pulls his phone out and places a call. His voice and expression go eerily calm as he tells someone to turn on the radio broadcast of the press conference. The garage speakers fire up, and Tae-ho listens to Tae-young’s voice say that Shin Jae-hyun’s death was not a suicide, but a murder.
Tae-ho goes from amused to horrified, as it dawns on him that he’s been duped. At the press conference, Tae-young plays the salvaged audio file of CEO Jang and Tae-ho, and Jae-hyun begging for his life.
Another flashback to that night reveals what happened a few minutes before Jae-hyun’s murder. Tae-ho had accidentally knocked Jae-hyun to the ground and split his head open, then called CEO Jang for help. CEO Jang had checked Jae-hyun and felt a pulse, but he’d let Tae-ho think he was already dead.
CEO Jang’s assistant runs in with a tablet tuned to the press conference, and CEO Jang watches it, incredulous. He barely has time to process what’s happening before two detectives walk into this office and present him with a warrant for his arrest.
We get to see how Joon-oh planned this whole bait-and-switch — with everyone gathered in CEO Hwang’s hospital room, he’d told them that Tae-ho planned to steal So-hee’s phone from them. He’d moved the audio file to Bong-hee’s phone, and came up with a plan to lure Tae-ho away from the press conference.
It had taken him a few hilarious tries to get everyone to follow along, as each time he explained it, someone had gotten confused. Finally he told them all to just follow his orders, heh. It had been Byung-jae’s job to make sure Tae-ho knew Joon-oh had the phone, and as it turns out, he’d deliberately let Tae-ho read his text message over his shoulder.
Bong-he’s only responsibility was to keep the file safe on her phone. Tae-young had assured everyone that if they can prove that Tae-ho was an accomplice in Jae-hyun’s murder, it will be easy to make his other crimes stick.
Tae-ho stands in the parking garage, appalled to have been tricked this way. He jumps in the car and Joon-oh and Ki-joon let him drive away, even giving him cheery little waves goodbye. Joon-oh calls someone and tells them that Tae-ho is leaving the garage, and he and Ki-joon link arms and happily skip away.
I LOVE IT. Tae-ho totally got played, and it was so perfect of Joon-oh and Ki-joon to distract him from the press conference so that Tae-young could do his job uninterrupted. I adore watching Joon-oh use everyone’s assumptions that he’s not that smart or clever to trick them into doing what he wants, and seeing him and Ki-joon working together, looking like buffoons while having the situation completely under control, is just beautiful.
I really appreciate how Missing 9 has consistently been such a well-thought-out story, with no stone left unturned and no detail left behind. Even small moments that happened in the first episode are all getting their explanations, and often, seemingly innocuous events turn out to be crucial to the story. It’s such a pleasure to remember something I thought I’d forgotten, and know that there was a reason we saw that happen or that that character said that strange thing. Even things that seemed like plot holes before, such as So-hee blaming Joon-oh for Jae-hyun’s death when she knew he wasn’t guilty, are being explained in ways that make complete sense. Sadly, dramas this well thought out can be rare, so I’ve very much enjoyed being able to sit back and trust in the story, knowing that everything happens for a reason. It’s a shame that it’s flying so low under the radar, because aside from some jarring tonal issues in a few later episodes (like slapstick scenes in places where they don’t feel organic), the show has really been very well done in all aspects.
Not to excuse Tae-ho’s actions, but I do believe that if Jae-hyun hadn’t died and Tae-ho hadn’t thought he was the killer, he never would have turned to the dark side as he’s done. It’s CEO Jang who’s the Big Bad Evil here, and yet I’m somehow still shocked when we discover some new and horrific thing he’s done. As bad as seeing him kill Jae-hyun was, it was even worse knowing that he knew Jae-hyun was alive the whole time, and that he sent Tae-ho out deliberately so that he could kill Jae-hyun and use the situation to control Tae-ho. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that CEO Jang somehow arranged for their plane to crash — after all, it would have gotten rid of every single person standing in his way of having unfettered control over the company. I’m thinking that he planned for CEO Hwang, Tae-ho, Joon-oh, and So-hee to all die in that crash, clearing the way for CEO Jang to take over and make a whole new start.
But CEO Jang didn’t count on them all coming back alive, much less for Tae-ho to break loose of his control and go rogue on him. I’m almost rooting for Tae-ho to take him down hard, because CEO Jang has got to go — jail is too good for him. And right now Tae-ho is the only one with a hard enough skin, not to mention a pretty damn good motive, to do it. I think Tae-ho still needs to pay for his crimes, for killing three, maybe four people (I refuse to give up hope that Yeol may still be alive, as we’ve never gotten conclusive evidence of his death) on the island, and trying to kill several more. But what I’m hoping to see is for Tae-ho get the chance to make CEO Jang pay for ruining his life, maybe even working with the others to make that happen, then turning himself in voluntarily and repenting his past actions.
But then I remember how clever and resourceful Joon-oh can be when the pressure is on, and I think it might be even more fun to see our survivors come up with one final plan to take down Tae-ho for good. It’s so entertaining to see events unfold, then later see them again from a different angle, and realize just how many things that seemed random — or even bad for our guys — were actually planned in advance. I would love to see one last scheme involving all of the good survivors (yes, even Ho-hang, I need him to be redeemed!) leading Tae-ho to think he has the upper hand, only to slam him back to reality at the last second. But whatever ending we get next week, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a wild and crazy ride.