Duel: Episode 10
It seems that cloning could solve a lot of the nature-versus-nurture debate, since we get a glimpse into Sung-hoon and Sung-joon’s pasts that make us wonder about the “what could have beens” if things had gone differently. The important question, though, is whether Sung-joon will be able to successfully pass himself off as Sung-hoon and somehow rescue Soo-yeon.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Flash-forward intro: Director Baek and Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon, pushing an unconscious Soo-yeon in a wheelchair, wait for an elevator. Director Baek makes a call on his phone, then asks Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon if he left his phone behind, revealing that the person he’s dialing is Sung-hoon. Sung-joon bluffs that he forgot his phone, and Director Baek seems to take it in stride.
Suddenly Director Baek grabs Sung-joon’s ass (or maybe just his back), but it’s only to verify that the person calling himself Sung-hoon isn’t carrying a gun like usual. Director Baek accuses him of actually being Sung-joon, then lifts up his shirt to reveal the bandage on Sung-joon’s side. Director Baek rips off the bandage to prove that there’s no gunshot wound.
A couple of doctors administer the second stem cell injection into Chairman Park’s IV bag. The head doctor places her confidence on data and statistics, which means she believes that the injections are working. Head Doctor relays this information to Seo-jin and Seo-jin’s brother, much to Seo-jin’s delight.
Also, Head Doctor’s name is HAN YOO-RA, which makes me realize this must be the “Director Han” from Seo-jin’s caller ID and not the guy I’ve been calling Big Boss. I’m suddenly overcome with the urge to mail OCN a big box of “Hello, my name is…” name tags.
Doctor Han reassures Seo-jin and Oppa that they’ll continue to administer all the injections to the Chairman since there haven’t been adverse reactions so far. Doctor Han does caution that since their first test patient, Soo-yeon, is no longer available, she can’t guarantee the results. But Seo-jin trusts Doctor Han and believes her father will get better soon.
Oppa doesn’t quite share her optimism, warning Seo-jin not to set such high expectations. After Oppa leaves, Seo-jin calls to check on Soo-yeon, making sure she’s been moved safely.
In a secret meeting with the now-nameless Big Boss, Seo-jin orders him to bring Sung-hoon to her. Seo-jin is determined to get her hands on the organ donor list. Big Boss warns her that Sung-hoon won’t give up the information too easily, but she points out that they’ve fed, housed, and “tamed” him, so Sung-hoon should be grateful to them.
If Sung-hoon doesn’t agree to tell her about the list, he can just go back to where he came from. Big Boss: “Where, the Chairman’s research lab?” Seo-jin scoffs. No, she orders Big Boss to set up a room in the hospital basement that will look exactly like the research lab. She’ll take out the rest of “their ward’s” organs there, and she wonders if they will look any different from normal organs.
At Sung-hoon’s lair, Sung-joon preps to take care of Sung-hoon’s wound and Deuk-chun finds Sung-hoon’s phone. Deuk-chun calls Director Baek, who assumes that Sung-hoon wants to know where they’ve taking Soo-yeon. At Deuk-chun’s urging, Sung-joon cautiously asks Director Baek where Soo-yeon is, but Director Baek tells him that he’s almost at the lair and they can talk in person.
Soon, Director Baek with the Big Boss security team arrive. Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon pretends he’s just emerged from the shower, and calls Soo-yeon “Soo-yeonie” instead of “Jang Soo-yeon” — both blunders that Director Baek notices and finds odd. But Sung-joon “proves” he was shot by flashing open a corner of his bathrobe, revealing the bandage on his side.
Using his scornful Sung-hoon voice, Sung-joon tells Director Baek that he patched up his own wound and he’s better now. Sung-joon also distracts Director Baek so he can turn off the video feed to the basement cameras. That way Director Baek can’t see that the real Sung-hoon is passed out on the hospital bed.
Sung-joon also turns on the intercom, and now Deuk-chun, hiding behind the basement door, can hear Sung-joon and Director Baek’s conversation.
As promised, Big Boss sets up a medical room, and based on the straps he tests, this will not be a pleasant experience for whomever is going to be bound to that bed.
Director Baek tells “Sung-hoon” that the Big Boss is looking for him and that they should get going. Director Baek doesn’t know exactly why, but assumes it has to do with Dong-seul. Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon refuses to go and instead demands to know about Soo-yeon. Sung-joon definitely nails the imperious commanding presence of Sung-hoon, although in those brief seconds when he isn’t face-to-face with Director Baek, Sung-joon gets a slightly panicked “ahhhh, what am I doing?” look.
Annoyed, Director Baek grumps that “Sung-hoon” should stop stalling because it’s not like Sung-hoon is in charge, anyway. Besides, Soo-yeon is with the Chairman. Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon agrees to go after he gets dressed. Director Baek calls after him to look nice since he’ll be meeting with the young lady, too.
When Sung-joon gets to Sung-hoon’s bedroom, he stares in the mirror like a lost puppy, wondering who the heck the “old man” and the “lady” are. I’d tell him, but at this point, without everyone wearing appropriate name tags, I can only guess, too. Sung-joon decides that he’ll only have to fool them for a short period of time and then he’ll leave with Soo-yeon.
As Sung-joon pulls out one of Sung-hoon’s crisp white dress shirts, he practices Sung-hoon’s Cheshire smile, and oooooh, it’s creepy. Well done. I also have the urge to admire how handsome he looks dressed as Sung-hoon until I realize how ridiculous that sounds, because it’s not like we haven’t seen Yang Se-jong in Sung-hoon’s suits before. But somehow here it’s different.
On the hospital bed downstairs, Sung-hoon is still unconscious. But a finger twitch clues us in that Sung-hoon won’t be unconscious for long.
Jo-hye thinks over her conversation with the Chief Prosecutor, and how he warned her that she shouldn’t try to act above her station. The Chief Prosecutor orders her to go on leave starting next week, although he pretends in his condescending way that it’s a vacation so she can clear her head. It does mean the clock is ticking as she needs to finds a way to prove that the case she’s working on is too important to ignore.
Jo-hye’s team bring her their research. They’ve found out that Sanyoung did move around a lot of money in 1992 and 1993, which could account for a secret experiment. Also they have a file on Doctor Lee, which connects him to stem cell research thanks to a thesis he published in 1991, gaining him a fair amount of attention, even though he suddenly vanished from the public eye afterwards.
Deuk-chun follows Director Baek and Sung-joon to Sanyoung Research Hospital, and Deuk-chun finds it odd that there are so many security guards standing about.
Sung-joon tries to hide his nerves as he, Director Baek, and the security team wait to go upstairs. Sung-joon glances in a mirror and sees Sung-hoon’s face staring back at him. That reminds him of when tiny Sung-hoon asked tiny Sung-joon if they could switch outfits. Aw, tiny Sung-hoon calls tiny Sung-joon, “hyung.”
Tiny Sung-joon explains that the doctors told them they should never switch outfits since they’re exactly the same. Tiny Sung-hoon: “That’s why it’ll be fun!” Tiny Sung-hoon says that they could pretend to be each other and no one else would ever know.
I’m not so sure, because Director Baek gives Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon a pretty serious side-eye when he sees “Sung-hoon” nervously fiddling with his collar. Director Baek is amused since he’s never seen “Sung-hoon” nervous before, but admits it’s understandable since he hasn’t seen the “old man” and the “lady” since “that day.”
The elevator doors open and Big Boss greets them. Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon smoothly says that it’s been awhile, but I’m more distracted by the fact that Director Baek gives a concerned look at Sung-joon’s ass as Sung-joon steps forward to greet everyone.
I’m presuming this is where Director Baek starts to become suspicious of Sung-joon because he doesn’t see the tell-tale bulk of a concealed gun, but… it really just looks like Director Baek is checking out Sung-joon’s ass. Which makes me wonder how often he checks out Sung-hoon’s booty to be able to tell the difference.
Speaking of Sung-hoon, there’s chaos in the lair’s medical basement. The bed is upended, and surgery tools and bloody rags are spilled all over the floor. But Sung-hoon is nowhere to be found.
At Sanyoung, Sung-joon reassures himself that he only has to put up this charade a little longer, but he seems to push his luck by asking about Soo-yeon. Big Boss grabs a cord that he clearly keeps handy for moments like these and wraps it around Sung-joon’s neck.
The security team doesn’t even blink as Big Boss slams Sung-joon against the wall. Big Boss tells Sung-joon that he better keep quiet or else. But Sung-joon persists in demanding that Soo-yeon be let go. He knows that Big Boss isn’t going to kill him because if they wanted him (that is, Sung-hoon) dead, they would have killed him earlier.
Amused by Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon’s wit, Big Boss agrees to show him where Soo-yeon is. She’s locked up in a hospital room that looks suspiciously like the same hospital room where Dong-seul and Joo-shik were locked in. Big Boss tells “Sung-hoon” that now that he’s seen Soo-yeon, they’ll move on to the whole point of this meeting.
Deuk-chun, Hyung-shik, Soo-ho, and Chief Park stake out the hospital. Yay, the detectives are back together! All of them find it odd that they see more security guards than patients. Even though he knows Soo-yeon is in there, Deuk-chun decides to wait a little longer, relying on Sung-joon’s plan, instead of barging in and perhaps making things worse. Wow, talk about character development.
Big Boss brings Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon to Seo-jin, who Sung-joon realizes must be the “lady” they were talking about earlier. There’s a dinner table set up and she invites him to sit down. He does so, cautiously, and she remarks that he seems different than before — his eyes seem kinder.
Seo-jin wonders how long it’s been since they last met. Smart Sung-joon recalls a statement from Director Baek earlier, and smoothly says that it’s been two years. Seo-jin agrees it has been awhile, but even so, she wants to make sure that “Sung-hoon” hasn’t forgotten their promise. Sung-joon wonders to himself what that promise could be.
A flashback shows Sung-hoon, looking worse for wear in his dirty and bloody hospital outfit, gagged and tied to a chair. Sung-hoon tries to resist, but Big Boss uses his trusty strangle-cord to convince Sung-hoon not to move again as Seo-jin sits down across from him.
After Sung-hoon’s gag is removed, Seo-jin smiles and asks him how it feels to have escaped the research lab. Apparently he escaped five days ago, which could explain why he’s so dirty, bruised, and bloody. Sung-hoon demands to know who she is, but Seo-jin simply informs him that she’s someone who can keep him alive.
Seo-jin tells Sung-hoon that he should be experiencing the painful problems of being a clone. Considering how fast his body is aging, she muses that he likely won’t live to be thirty. Sung-hoon sneers that he knows she can’t cure the disease. After all, that’s why he’s been locked away, to see if there can be a cure.
But Seo-jin tosses him a USB drive, telling Sung-hoon that there’s a video of the “original” Doctor Lee injecting himself with something. She wants Sung-hoon to help her find it. Seo-jin promises to pay for everything he’ll need. Sung-hoon laughs at the idea of trusting her, since he knows she has no interest in saving his life.
Seo-jin thinks for a second, then suggests that Sung-hoon can consider it revenge against Sanyoung. Leaning in, she smiles as she tells Sung-hoon that she’s also someone who doesn’t want to see the Chairman succeed. I’m thinking she means “Chairman Oppa” and not her father.
In the present day, Sung-hoon has with a look of determination as drives somewhere. Under his breath he mutters the name, “Park Jung-hyuk.”
At the hospital, Seo-jin reminds “Sung-hoon” that she paid for his lair and fancy suits. Since she held up her end of the bargain, it’s time for “Sung-hoon” to pay up with the “list.” Sung-joon quickly figures out that she must mean the same list that Sung-hoon fought him for at the dogfighting arena.
Seo-jin needs that list since Dong-seul’s kidney was a bust, so she now she has to find the other organs. Sung-joon realizes that this means the vaccine cure is in the organs, which is the first time he’s heard of it. At his confusion about the importance of the organs, Seo-jin asks if he’s suddenly gone brain dead since she knows he’s watched the video of Doctor Lee and the golden syringe.
Except, of course, Sung-joon hasn’t, although Sung-joon suddenly seems to get a flashback memory of Doctor Lee injecting himself. Sung-joon manages to cover up his confusion with a casual “I’ll deal with the people on the list myself.” Sighing, Seo-jin says she wished he hadn’t said it, but she’s not surprised. She says they’ll skip their meal and go straight to dessert.
However, “dessert” is actually a code word. A security team readies up a vial of something that will likely knock Sung-joon out so they can strap him to the hospital bed downstairs.
Outside the hospital, the detectives see the security guys suddenly all rush inside. Deuk-chun deduces that something bad is going down.
Realizing he’s in a dangerous situation, Sung-joon thinks quickly and agrees to give Seo-jin the list if he can have Soo-yeon. Big Boss hands Sung-joon a notebook to write down the names of the people on the list, and Sung-joon slooooowly picks it up since he obviously doesn’t know who’s on the list — only Sung-hoon knows.
A security guy arrives to let them know that the “dessert” is ready, and Sung-joon worriedly wonders to himself what they will do to him. Seo-jin waits for him to first finish the list, and Sung-joon nervously clicks the pen as he thinks.
Sung-joon has a memory flashback of Doctor Lee secretly meeting someone in the stairwell of the hospital, handing over the golden syringe and telling that mysterious person that this is the real vaccine.
At a different hospital, Sung-hoon finds Park Jung-hyuk, who according to “the list” received Doctor Lee’s liver. But now Jung-hyuk is dying from liver failure. Sung-hoon takes a scalpel and, with a scary look in his eye, jabs it neatly into the man’s neck, expertly killing him.
Back at Sanyoung hospital, Sung-joon sets down the notebook, telling Seo-jin that the list is pointless. He knows that the injection Doctor Lee gave himself was a fake, so there’s no point in finding the organs.
This surprises Seo-jin, since she’s never heard of that before. With a very Sung-hoon-like smirk, Sung-joon explains that thanks to the cloning, he has Doctor Lee’s memories. Sung-joon-as-Sung-hoon tells Seo-jin that he’ll find the real vaccination. He stands to leave, adding that he’ll still be taking Soo-yeon with him.
Seo-jin permits it, informing Big Boss that they won’t need “dessert.” Sweet puppy Sung-joon can barely hide his relief, although he still manages to maintain his cover as “Sung-hoon.”
Director Baek wheels the sleeping Soo-yeon out, and Sung-joon tries to stifle his adorable grin when he takes over wheelchair duty. So cute, but Director Baek is suspicious.
Chief Park, Hyung-shik, and Soo-ho barge into Sanyoung hospital, creating a diversion under the guise of “official business” which causes them to butt heads with the security team, distracting everyone. Deuk-chun slips into the hospital, unnoticed.
Director Baek, Sung-joon, and the sleeping Soo-yeon wait for the elevator. Director Baek calls Sung-hoon’s phone, and Sung-joon bluffs that he forgot it. Then Director Baek does the booty-grab to reveal that “Sung-hoon” doesn’t have his gun, and then lifts up Sung-joon’s shirt to reveal there’s no bullet wound.
Angry, Director Baek kicks and beats up Sung-joon. Poor puppy — can’t catch a break. But Deuk-chun appears and knocks Director Baek to the ground. Deuk-chun uses his gun to convince Director Baek to go with them as Sung-joon carries the sleeping Soo-yeon in his arms.
They make it to the car unnoticed, thanks to the detective trio hollering up a storm and distracting all the security guards. Deuk-chun gets his revenge on Director Baek by injecting Director Baek with the knock-out syringe. HA!
And aw, I’m a little teary-eyed seeing Deuk-chun’s face as he looks over at his daughter in the front seat of the car. They’re finally reunited.
Doctor Han checks on Chairman Park, and smiles as she tells the other doctor to take a break. But her face grows hard as she tells the unconscious chairman that he’s lived a long life after ruining the lives of “those kids.”
A flashback reveals that Doctor Han is the woman the tiny clones call “Mom,” even though they try to remember to call her “Doctor.” (Does that make her “Doctor Mom”? I think it does.) They chatter excitedly over the news that they’ll be leaving soon, wondering what the sky looks like and what wind feels like. The next morning during the car ride, they thrill over feeling the wind. Sniffle, sniffle.
Back to the present, where the detectives drag the unconscious Director Baek from Deuk-chun’s car to their van. Aw, the other three are so adorably pleased that Soo-yeon and Deuk-chun are reunited, and Deuk-chun says he’ll be in touch once he moves Soo-yeon to a safe place. As he drives Soo-yeon (with Sung-joon in the backseat), Deuk-chun apologizes to his still unconscious daughter that it took him so long to find her.
A car speeds and crashes into Deuk-chun. A very pissed off Sung-hoon gets out of the other car and attempts to take Soo-yeon, but Deuk-chun is not giving up without a fight. The men tussle, and as Sung-hoon punches Deuk-chun, he screams that this is all because of Deuk-chun.
Sung-hoon continues to scream that he shouldn’t have to be the only to die. Still punching Deuk-chun, Sung-hoon yells that if he (Sung-hoon) dies, then Soo-yeon will die, too.
Deuk-chun asks if it’s about Soo-yeon’s stem cell treatment. Sung-hoon shouts that the whole thing was set up by him — Soo-yeon wasn’t selected just by chance. (I knew it!) Sung-hoon starts to strangle Deuk-chun, yelling that it’s because Soo-yeon is Deuk-chun’s daughter.
Doctor Mom is surprised to find out she has a guest waiting for her, and it’s none-other than Jo-hye. The prosecutor tells Doctor Mom that she knows about Doctor Lee — Doctor Mom’s late husband. Ooooh.
Jo-hye asks if Doctor Mom knows anything about an illegal research experiment, but Doctor Mom dismisses her and says that she must get back to work. Jo-hye stops Doctor Mom in her tracks, however, when Jo-hye reveals she knows about the clones that look exactly like Doctor Lee — Sung-joon and Sung-hoon.
A flashback reveals that the tiny clones’ outing that day wasn’t just for fun, but to escape. She has to split up the boys for a short time since she knows that someone is following her, and it’ll be safer to go separate ways and then meet up in Seoul. Doctor Mom sends tiny Sung-hoon off with a trustworthy friend, reassuring the boy that they’ll see each other again soon.
But he pleads to stay with her, and tiny Sung-joon affably agrees to swap places so tiny Sung-hoon can stay with Doctor Mom. Tiny Sung-joon promises to look for tiny Sung-hoon and make sure they’re reunited, no matter what. Aw.
Cut to later that evening, as a worried Doctor Mom and tiny Sung-hoon hurry through a town, acting as though someone is following them. They find a police station. Inside is chaos, and Doctor Mom pleads for someone to help them.
Tiny Sung-hoon tugs on the shirt of the closest detective — who happens to be Deuk-chun. I KNEW IT!
As the modern day Sung-hoon screams that it was all Deuk-chun’s fault, he remembers Doctor Mom getting hit by a car. Sung-hoon, still with his hands around Deuk-chun’s neck, blames Deuk-chun for the death of Doctor Mom.
Doctor Mom sits back down at her desk, telling Jo-hye that she’s got it all wrong. Her husband didn’t create the clones — Doctor Mom did.
Show, I love you. First, because you validate my theories. (I knew Soo-yeon was selected for a reason and that it had to be because of something Deuk-chun did — or didn’t do, in this case.) I also feel validated that it seems Sung-joon didn’t forget his promise to find Sung-hoon (uh, except for maybe when he literally forgot everything), since the research he was doing in his garage-apartment implies that he was trying to piece together where exactly he and tiny Sung-hoon were held, and maybe track down what happened to Sung-hoon. He was trying! Really!
Second, I love you show because you continue to surprise me. I never anticipated this clone-creator switcheroo. Sure, I figured the mysterious woman from the previous episode’s flashback would be important, but not “yes, these clones are my children because I literally created them” important.
While Sung-hoon is still a murderous bastard, I still can’t really blame him. Well, murdering isn’t exactly “good,” but it’s not exactly like he’s had a solid upbringing. He believes he’s been abandoned by his brother, that the only person who’s been like a mother was killed in front of him, and the one person who could have prevented it was Deuk-chun. I’m assuming that Sung-hoon has grown up with this idea that if only Deuk-chun had helped him that day, not only would Doctor Mom still be alive, but they would have managed to successfully escape and he’d be free to live happily ever after with Doctor Mom and Sung-joon. Instead, he thinks Doctor Mom is dead and, based on my assumptions from the conversation he had with Seo-jin, Sung-hoon was taken back to Sanyoung to live the rest of his life as a lab rat.
Speaking of which: that scene where the boys are wondering what it’s like to experience the outside world was so utterly heartbreaking. It made me think of those videos of the dogs that were rescued after spending their lives in a lab as test subjects. The sheer joy those beagles’ experiencing walking on grass for the first time is exactly the same joy the boys’ had when they finally felt the wind. I want to cry thinking about it, because that’s literally what Sung-joon and Sung-hoon are: they’re lab puppies. They were literally created in a lab as an experiment. I’m thankful that Doctor Mom recognized the humanity in these boys, a concept that might have been mere theoretical speculation when she and her husband first created them, and decided that they deserve a life outside of the walls of a lab. At least, I’m assuming that’s what she was thinking, although I wonder if their escape had anything to do with the sudden death of her husband.
I had the thought that she was the one who Doctor Lee gave the authentic vaccination to, but that doesn’t make much sense, unless she’s playing the long game. Doctor Mom works for Sanyoung and was apparently a major part of the stem cell research. Even if she felt guilty about the clones, you would think she would have found a way to utilize the vaccination or at least reveal that she has it, if she knows that the Chairman’s family is desperately looking for it. Unless it’s a mysterious vaccination that can’t be reproduced and she wants to save it for the clones. But that still doesn’t make sense, so right now I’m thinking that mysterious person is someone completely new, possibly someone we haven’t met yet (and when we do, I hope they’re wearing a name tag. Grumble, grumble). I get the feeling Doctor Mom doesn’t know that Sung-hoon and Sung-joon are still out there, now as grown adults, because I think that she would be doing all in her power to save and protect them.
Mostly, though, I’m relieved that Soo-yeon and her father are reunited (at least for right now). Seeing her next to her father in the car nearly made me bawl. I’m still worried that someone will try and kidnap her again, even though I’m holding out hope that Deuk-chun will make sure it doesn’t happen. I also still want her to work her gentle, sweet ways on Sung-hoon to convince him that his idea of revenge and justice is misguided. Okay, I guess what I really want is for the clones, Deuk-chun, Soo-yeon, and Mi-rae (hey, remember her?) to become one big happy family. If Doctor Mom proves herself trustworthy, then maybe she can join the family, too. The more, the merrier.
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