Duel: Episode 15
There are no more secrets, which is probably a good thing since we’re in our penultimate episode and are running out of time for last-minute surprises. But it also means that Sanyoung has now figured out where the original cure has gone and will do anything to get their greedy little hands on it, so the race is on.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Wide-eyed and hysterical, Sung-hoon drives away from the hospital, telling himself he didn’t kill Doctor Mom — it was Sung-joon’s fault. Meanwhile, Big Boss reports to Chairman Park, letting him know that Mi-rae is miraculously healing after being hit by the motorcycle.
Big Boss has also discovered that Mi-rae is Nurse Ryu’s daughter, and that Doctor Mom has been attentive to Mi-rae ever since the accident. So much so, Big Boss adds, that one might think Doctor Mom and Mi-rae are actually mother and daughter. Director Park suddenly gets an idea, and he orders Big Boss to bring Mi-rae to him.
Mi-rae, still sobbing after watching Doctor Mom get shot, is escorting back to her room by Hyung-shik. He doesn’t notice Big Boss lying in wait to knock him over the head with a wrench. With Hyung-shik unconscious on the floor, Big Boss injects Mi-rae with a knock-out drug and wheels her out of the hospital.
Down in the parking garage, Sung-joon weeps as he holds Doctor Mom in his arms. He begs her not to leave after he just found her. His voice cracks with emotion as he calls her “Mom,” but she’s unresponsive.
Deuk-chun and Soo-ho drive after Sung-hoon, but the clone’s erratic driving causes him to lose the detectives. Hyung-shik calls to let them know that Mi-rae has been kidnapped. When the detectives return to the hospital, Hyung-shik apologizes for losing Mi-rae and for not seeing the kidnapper’s face before he was knocked out. Hyung-shik also sadly reveals that Doctor Mom is dead.
On their way to the security office to find CCTV footage, the detectives run into a dazed Sung-joon. Deuk-chun growls that he was worried since no one knew where Sung-joon had disappeared to after Doctor Mom’s body was brought into to the hospital.
Looking like a lost puppy, Sung-joon admits he didn’t know where to go. Sung-joon starts to break down as he blames himself for Doctor Mom’s death, but Deuk-chun gruffly insists that it isn’t Sung-joon’s fault.
Sung-joon then asks about Sung-hoon, but Deuk-chun avoids answering by telling him that that Mi-rae has been kidnapped. The guys look through the CCTV footage, but the kidnapper disguised himself with a cap and seemed to know exactly where all the cameras were so he could avoid being seen.
Even if they can’t see the man’s face, Sung-joon recognizes him as Big Boss thanks to the familiar build and tell-tale strangling-cord peeking out from Big Boss’ pocket. That ties the kidnapping to Sanyoung, and Deuk-chun determines that their next step is getting Motorcycle Man to confess who hired him.
But first, Deuk-chun brings Sung-joon to Soo-yeon’s room. He orders the younger man to stay there and keep an eye on Soo-yeon. Aw, it’s Deuk-chun’s attempt to get Sung-joon’s mind off of what happened with Doctor Mom (or at least provide him a safe place to work through his grief).
Back at his lair, Sung-hoon further descends into a total mental breakdown as he keeps replaying Doctor Mom’s final moments in his mind. He continues to scream that Doctor Mom died because of Sung-joon.
Mi-rae, bound and gagged, huddles in the corner of an abandoned lab, while Big Boss reports to Chairman Park in his VIP hospital room. Big Boss starts to add that there was an incident at the hospital when Seo-jin walks in. She greets her father happily, but the smile fades when Big Boss informs them that Doctor Mom is dead.
Chairman Park is shocked, even more so when Big Boss says that Sung-hoon was the one who killed her. Chairman Park says Seo-jin must be pleased, since she always wanted Doctor Mom dead. Seo-jin demurely insists that she regrets what happened, but once she’s alone in her car, she muses that she never thought Sung-hoon could make her this happy.
After Seo-jin leaves, Chairman Park orders a DNA test to be performed on Mi-rae to compare to the DNA records they have for Doctor Lee. The chairman assumes that Doctor Lee must have stolen the vaccination for his daughter.
Sung-hoon scrambles around his lair, looking for his medication, and finally finds one to inject into his hand. When he sees Seo-jin is calling, he answers only to order her to bring more medicine. She smugly says that he must be running low, but she’s set aside some from her father’s stash and will have it delivered to his place.
She casually adds that she heard that Sung-hoon killed Doctor Mom. Seo-jin asks if Sung-hoon wants her help, since she knows the police are looking for him. She offers to get in touch with someone who’s been a help to their family for years. When Sung-hoon hears her say the Chief Prosecutor’s name, he realizes it’s the same person who talked Deuk-chun out of helping him and Doctor Mom twelve years ago.
At the police station, Motorcycle Man whines that Deuk-chun is keeping him at the station but actually interrogating him. Deuk-chun idly flips through the paper as he says that Motorcycle Man has been abandoned by Sanyoung. Motorcycle Man insists that he doesn’t know what Deuk-chun is talking about, and Deuk-chun offers to tell Motorcycle Man a story that might interest him.
Twelve years ago, there was another man who fell asleep at the wheel and hit someone, and a few days later, the prosecutors came and freed the man from jail. However, Deuk-chun adds ominously, no one ever saw the man after that. Deuk-chun offers to buy Motorcycle Man a “last meal” before the prosector arrives, but the terrified Motorcycle Man now wants to know what will happen to him if he testifies.
All Deuk-chun can promise is that Motorcycle Man will stay alive. That’s enough to get Motorcycle Man to officially confess that Seo-jin was the one who hired him to kill Doctor Mom.
With that confession, Hyung-shik and Soo-ho are able to arrest Seo-jin for attempted murder. Ahhhh, it’s so satisfying to see Seo-jin in handcuffs.
Director Park is furious that someone would arrest his daughter, as though they don’t know who she is. He calls the Chief Prosecutor to take care of this mess, like he always has, but the Chief Prosecutor is unfortunately tied up. Literally.
The Chief Prosecutor is gagged and tied to Sung-hoon’s hospital bed. Picking up the prosecutor’s phone, Sung-hoon declines Chairman Park’s call, musing that it’s convenient he should call just then because it’s proof the Chief Prosecutor is still working for Sanyoung.
Sung-hoon assumes that the Chief Prosecutor must have gained his position thanks to Sanyoung’s influence. With an angry shout, Sung-hoon declares that the man isn’t fit to be a prosecutor, since he helps the rich and powerful while ignoring a scared boy and his mother.
Sung-hoon continues his tirade, telling the Chief Prosecutor how much pain he’s endured thanks to the prosecutor stopping Doctor Mom and tiny Sung-hoon from getting help. If it weren’t for the Chief Prosecutor, Doctor Mom wouldn’t have tried to escape, and then subsequently get hit by the car preventing her from running away.
The Chief Prosecutor tries to plead for his life as Sung-hoon raises a scalpel. But Sung-hoon wants the Chief Prosecutor to know just how much pain Sung-hoon has endured the past twelve years. Sung-hoon jabs the scalpel into the Chief Prosecutor’s body.
Chairman Park’s next option is Jo-hye. As Jo-hye starts to head out to take care of the situation, Deuk-chun arrives at her office, asking if she’s aware that Seo-jin has been arrested. He adds that Mi-rae has been kidnapped by Sanyoung, and offers a swap. If Jo-hye tells him where Mi-rae is, Deuk-chun will hand over Seo-jin.
Jo-hye scoffs that it won’t be easy, but she agrees to cooperate, since Deuk-chun asked — and this means he must trust her now. But Deuk-chun just tells Jo-hye to hurry and find Mi-rae if she wants Seo-jin to be released.
Mi-rae’s DNA results reveal that she is, indeed, Doctor Lee’s daughter. Director Park cackles in satisfaction since he now knows that the original vaccine is finally in his possession. Jo-hye arrives as he tells Big Boss to move their “investment” downstairs so he can check on it in person.
Jo-hye tells Director Park that Motorcycle Man has been released to her but Seo-jin is still at the police station. In order to protect Seo-jin, Jo-hye wants a promise that she’ll be promoted to Chief Prosecutor. Well, the position is certainly freed up now. Director Park says that he’ll promise to consider it once Seo-jin is released, and Jo-hye smiles demurely as she thanks him and leaves.
But as she heads to the lobby of the hospital, Jo-hye sees Big Boss giving orders to Chairman Park’s chauffeur. Knowing Big Boss is in the process of moving the “investment” (that is, Mi-rae), Jo-hye brightly introduces herself as the prosecutor helping Seo-jin. Big Boss politely brushes her off as he returns inside, and she turns her attention to the chauffeur.
Jo-hye fibs her way to getting not only Chairman Park’s destination — Hajin Research Lab — but she also manages to convince the chauffeur to let her borrow his Hajin ID card. I get the feeling this chauffeur will not have a job for much longer.
Jo-hye then makes two copies of the ID to give to Deuk-chun, telling him that Mi-rae is being held in Hajin’s basement laboratory.
Deuk-chun surprises Hyung-shik by ordering Seo-jin’s release. Hyung-shik protests, but a promise is a promise. Hyung-shik says that if they just tell Director Park that they’ll let him have Seo-jin back in return for Mi-rae, the director would comply to save his daughter.
But Deuk-chun knows the Sanyoung family, and given a choice between saving themselves or saving a loved one, they’ll choose themselves each time. Soo-ho is offended that someone could be so selfish, especially when there are other people who would die trying to save their daughters. Like, say, what Deuk-chun would do for Soo-yeon?
Jo-hye asks if Deuk-chun trusts her yet, then adds that whether or not if he does, she needs a favor. He can consider it as payback for his reinstatement. Jo-hye asks Deuk-chun to find evidence that will help her take down Sanyoung for illegal experimentation.
Deuk-chun says that he doesn’t owe Jo-hye anything and he’s only going there to save Mi-rae. Jo-hye simply warns him to be careful.
Soo-yeon’s condition is getting worse, and when Sung-joon calls Deuk-chun to let him know, Deuk-chun hurries to his daughter’s side. As Sung-joon watches in concern, Deuk-chun soothingly reassures Soo-yeon that it’s just pneumonia, which she’s endured before, and she’ll feel better soon after she gets some rest.
After Soo-yeon falls asleep, Sung-joon tells Deuk-chun that Soo-yeon’s lungs are hemorrhaging and the tumor has spread to her bones. The doctor is giving her painkillers, but there’s no hope for treatment.
Sunbae rushes up just then, with a bowl of fresh cleansing cloths for Soo-yeon. But his first concern is about Mi-rae, and he begs Deuk-chun to return Mi-rae to them safely. In return, Sunbae cheerfully promises to stay by Soo-yeon’s side and help Sung-joon care for her.
Sung-joon wants to know why he can’t go with Deuk-chun to save Mi-rae. Deuk-chun explains it’s police protocol, but Sung-joon knows that Deuk-chun isn’t even taking his fellow detectives with him. Sung-joon insists that he’ll be an asset — he has Doctor Lee’s memories, so he’s familiar with the layout of the lab.
Deuk-chun orders Sung-joon to stay away, warning him that Chairman Park’s men will kill without hesitation. Sung-joon barely escaped from them when he was pretending to be Sung-hoon, and Deuk-chun advises Sung-joon not to push his luck.
Sung-joon asks if Deuk-chun thinks that he’ll be grateful he managed to survive while doing nothing should Deuk-chun and Mi-rae be killed, just like Doctor Mom. Sighing, Deuk-chun relents, and they drive to Hajin lab, followed by Hyung-shik, Chief Park, and Soo-ho. Whew, at least they’re taking some back-up!
Now that Doctor Mom is dead (sniffle, sniffle), Chairman Park promotes the second-in-command doctor to the head of the research department. They enter the lab where Mi-rae is tied up, and Chairman Park tells Mi-rae that he can now see the resemblance to her father.
He adds that since Mi-rae had the chance to meet her mother before she died, Chairman Park should introduce her to her father. Wait, he’s not going to…
OMG, yes, he is. Chairman Park orders his men to open the sealed tank, revealing the cryogenically frozen body of Doctor Lee.
Mi-rae deservedly tells Chairman Park that he’s not even human, keeping a body around like that. She pleads for the chairman to let Doctor Lee rest in peace, since his body is now useless. But Chairman Park says it’s hard to find someone whose DNA is replicable, adding that he sees no reason to stop cloning.
Just because the original experiment was illegal doesn’t mean it always will be. One day the clones will be revealed to the world, but before then, Sung-hoon’s organs will fail and he’ll die. So of course Chairman Park will need new clones to replace the old ones.
Mi-rae screams at the chairman, calling him crazy. She vows that she won’t let him get away with it. But with a villainous laugh, Chairman Park mockingly says the only way to stop him is if she escapes the research lab. Is… is that a challenge?
Outside, hidden just out sight from the lab, Deuk-chun and Sung-joon are in white doctor coats. They’re prepping to go inside the lab, leaving behind Hyung-shik, Soo-ho, and Chief Park to be on guard outside. Deuk-chun confirms that the detective trio left their guns behind — this is an unofficial rescue mission, and he doesn’t want anyone getting into trouble (or possibly causing trouble, too).
Chief Park pulls out some makeup to cover up the marks on Deuk-chun’s face, telling him it’ll be suspicious if Deuk-chun walks in with his face battered and bruised. It’s true but also funny.
The detectives and Deuk-chun continue to keep watch on the hospital, and once Chairman PArk leaves, Deuk-chun and Sung-joon enter. They confidently approach the barriers that require an ID to be scanned before the gates open. Sung-joon gets through, no problem, but Deuk-chun’s (stolen and copied) ID isn’t working. Uh-oh.
One of the security guys comes over to see what the problem is, and Deuk-chun babbles that the ID fell in the toilet and now it doesn’t work that well. Pffft. He tries scanning it one more time and the gates open. Whew.
Sung-joon and Deuk-chun cautiously make their way through the hallways based on Sung-joon’s memory — and his memories of Doctor Lee’s memories — until they find the basement lab.
On the drive, Chairman Park starts to cough up blood, so they turn around and head back to the lab. Chairman Park needs the cure ASAP, which means taking out Mi-rae’s bone marrow right now to perform a transplant.
Deuk-chun picks the lock of the secret basement lab, but once he and Sung-joon enter, there’s no one there. Sung-joon finds Mi-rae’s neck brace, which proves that she was there earlier. Both men look at the casket-like container on the lab-bench, wondering if Mi-rae is in there. There’s a passcode-protected lock, though.
Mi-rae is strapped down in an operating room, and Mi-rae tells the new doctor-in-charge that she knows the doctor convinced Chairman Park to move Mi-rae upstairs. Mi-rae pleads with New Doctor to unstrap her from the operating table so she can escape, but knowing Doctor Mom is dead, New Doctor is too scared about her own fate to disobey Chairman Park.
Mi-rae insists that Doctor Mom wasn’t killed by Sanyoung’s people. New Doctor is surprised that Mi-rae knows Doctor Mom, and Mi-rae tearfully confesses that Doctor Mom is her mother — even though she never had the chance to call her “Mom.” New Doctor seems moved by this revelation.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Sung-joon and Deuk-chun are attempting to crack the passcode. They try Chairman Park’s birthday, but it doesn’t work. Deuk-chun gets the idea to use Sung-joon’s birthday, since that’s also the day Chairman Park succeeded in creating the first clone and getting a step closer to creating a cure for his disease.
Sung-joon types in his birthday — and it works! The container unlocks and they slowly open it to discover Doctor Lee’s frozen body. Sung-joon is riveted at the sight of the original version of himself, and Deuk-chun has to shake him out of it, reminding him that they’re there to save Mi-rae. Sung-joon deduces that they must have taken Mi-rae upstairs to run some tests.
New Doctor tries to nonchalantly wheel Mi-rae down the hallway, but as they reach the elevator, Sanyoung security stop her, demanding to know where she’s going. New Doctor says that Mi-rae needs a CT scan, but the security guys know that the chairman has ordered an emergency sample of Mi-rae’s bone marrow. They tell New Doctor that the other doctors should be arriving soon to take the sample.
Other doctors do arrive — but it’s Sung-joon and Deuk-chun, who skid to a stop as soon as they step out of the elevator and see Mi-rae, New Doctor, and the security guys standing there. Mi-rae immediately bluffs that these must be the research doctors who have come for her, and Sung-joon and Deuk-chun play along.
New Doctor, to her credit, isn’t willing to relinquish Mi-rae so readily, but Mi-rae squeezes her hand to let her know it’s okay. As Sung-joon and Deuk-chun start to wheel Mi-rae to the elevator, the real research doctors arrive. Once everyone realizes that Deuk-chun and Sung-joon are imposters, Deuk-chun pushes the real doctors aside, causing them to knock down the security guys.
That allows the trio to escape to the elevator. Mi-rae insists she can walk on her own two feet (because she’s got the amazing original vaccine curing her). She reminds the guys that no one will hurt her since Chairman Park’s life depends on her staying alive.
Deuk-chun pulls out his teeny-tiny gun to provide cover as they make their escape. Once they reach the lobby, a flood of guards rush toward them, but Deuk-chun fires off a warning shot which sends the guards scattering backwards. But one gun isn’t enough to overcome a couple of dozen guards, and soon Deuk-chun is disarmed.
Fighting as best as he can, Deuk-chun desperately tries to make sure Mi-rae gets away. He even gets in some brutal punches by using a pair of handcuffs like brass knuckles. Hyung-shik and Soo-ho also join the fray as Chief Park drives to the front door to pick Mi-rae up, but Big Boss stops the commotion by firing off his own warning shot.
Pointing the gun at Sung-joon, Big Boss orders Mi-rae to be handed over. Big Boss threatens that he’ll take Mi-rae even if he has to hurt her — she just has to be alive. Deuk-chun leaps forward to wrestle the gun away from Big Boss, which gives Sung-joon and Mi-rae a chance to run to the waiting van.
A gunshot goes off, and everyone turns around to see that, whether due to wrestling with Deuk-chun or on purpose, Big Boss has shot Deuk-chun in the side. Hyung-shik and Soo-ho are shocked and furious as they continue to battle the guards. Sung-joon screams in horror as he yells at Chief Park that they can’t leave Deuk-chun behind.
But Chief Park is focused on the mission and makes sure both Mi-rae and Sung-joon are securely in the van before speeding away. Sung-joon pounds on the van windows, helplessly screaming that they need to take Deuk-chun with him.
Deuk-chun, collapsed on the ground, weakly watches them drive away. His protective-yet-bloody hand on Big Boss’ gun only dropps once he’s sure Mi-rae and Sung-joon have safely escaped.
I didn’t think I could hate Chairman Park even more, considering all he’s done to ruin the lives of the clones (especially Sung-hoon) in his selfish pursuit to find a cure. But wow. My hatred for him has become a visceral ball of boiling anger that I wish I could throw at him, causing the chairman to combust as he’s punched in the gut with my burning fury. I’ve loved Mi-rae ever since I first met her, when she proved herself to be smart, kind, thoughtful, and caring. She’s one of those heroines who could probably be described as “plucky” yet it’s somehow not a cliché. Mi-rae is wonderful and perfect and therefore I haaaaaaaaaaate that Chairman Park decided that the first thing he would do after capturing her is force her to “meet” her father. Ugh.
What kind of person would show the woman he kidnapped the frozen dead body of the man she’s only just learned is her true father? Especially when it’s only to gloat that he’s still going to use the body for research purposes so that he can live longer — just like he’s going to use her body. Double ugh. What makes it worse is that, unlike the clones where you can almost understand (if you hold your nose and squint) Chairman Park’s reasoning that they’re his “property,” Mi-rae is fully her own person. She was not born in a lab. But I suppose Chairman Park automatically assumes that she’s “property of Sanyoung” because she’s the one who received the original cure, and therefore the fact that she’s healthy means she belongs to the Sanyoung research department as a “test subject.”
What I love, though, is even with all the hardship Mi-rae has gone through in even the past twenty-four hours (or however long it’s been since she was first struck by the motorcycle), she’s still relentlessly positive and gentle. She believes New Doctor to be “good” and gets the doctor to trust her in the escape plan. Mi-rae’s quick-thinking when Deuk-chun and Sung-joon suddenly arrived also serves as a reminder that she’s still the smartest one of the bunch. If the original vaccine could cure toxic personalities in addition to diseased bodies, then I might accept Chairman Park trying so desperately to get his grubby hands on it.
That sad, I really hope Mi-rae can help with the cure — I need Soo-yeon to live. I need Deuk-chun to live (that bullet wound wasn’t fatal! No one can tell me different!). I need everyone to live (except Chairman Park, who is long overdue to rot in hell). But with the death of Doctor Mom, I’m nervous about expecting a “happily ever after.” Actually, I’m just nervous about the ending, period. Anyone else who has seen Nine: Nine Times Travels may understand my trepidation as we enter the final episode. While I love that this writer is known for some mind-bending twists, I also want to fall back on the comforting promise of a safe resolution where I can feel confident that justice was served — the good guys won, the bad guys lost.
Except I still don’t know how that can be done for Sung-hoon, who flails around in that grey area of what is “good” or “bad.” Despite everything Sung-hoon has done, I can still see in him that sweet, naive, and scared little boy who just wants his mother. I can’t blame Sung-hoon for using his desire for vengeance to keep him fighting through all those years as the “lab rat.” It wasn’t his choice to have the happy and hopeful little boy eventually buried under rage and cruelty. I somehow keep rooting for Sung-hoon to reach back into his inner self and remember who he was — but after he killed Doctor Mom, I’m not sure that’s possible. Sung-hoon may be too far gone. I still have hope, though.
Maybe Mi-rae’s miraculously healing bone marrow can also heal Sung-hoon’s soul and somehow redeem his blood-thirsty ways. She may not be his mother, but she is his sister — after all, they do share DNA. For someone who has longed for family his entire life, it would be heart-breaking for Sung-hoon to lose the chance to experience true, blood family with Sung-joon and Mi-rae. Then again, maybe that “one big happy family” opportunity is already lost. As much as the Chief Prosecutor was an unethical power-hungry man who helped condemn Sung-hoon to a life of pain and torture, there comes a point when perhaps there is just one murder too many to allow for redemption. Well, unless it’s Chairman Park’s murder. I can only hope Chairman Park will finally accept his mortality at the hands of the one person who was most destroyed by his endless attempts to cheat death.
- Duel: Episode 1
- Premiere Watch: My Sassy Girl, Seven Day Queen, Best Hit, Duel
- The hunt for the clone is on in new Duel teaser
- Three-way face-off between clones and a desperate father in Duel
- The clone face-off begins in Duel posters
- Chilling sci-fi thriller Duel to cool the summer with killer clones
- Kim Jung-eun considers OCN’s evil-clone crime thriller Duel
- Jung Jae-young returns with OCN suspense thriller Duel