Rescue Me: Episode 6
The longest night of Sang-mi’s life (so far) comes to an end, and in the aftermath, everyone tries to figure out what comes next. While our heroine’s cries for help haven’t gone unheeded by her would-be saviors this time, the cult’s terrifying manipulations go far beyond physical threats. And with the last thing Sang-mi truly cherishes being used against her, it’ll take everything she’s got to keep from giving in.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
We return to the car accident between the Guseonwon van and the boys. Jung-hoon threatens to call his police officer father, but Disciple Kang counters with her own threat—once they’ve called the police, the boys can get tested to see if they’ve been drinking.
Hearing that, the boys concede that it was their fault too. But just as Sang-hwan turns to leave, a car drives past, illuminating Sang-mi’s face in the van’s backseat. Sang-hwan hears her whisper, “Rescue me.”
Guseonwon’s muscle, Jo Wan-duk, slams the van door closed before Sang-mi can say more, and Disciple Kang asks if the boys want anything else, clearly alarmed at Sang-hwan’s interest in Sang-mi.
The boys leave, but not before Disciple Jo shoves the money he had been trying to bribe them with into Jung-hoon’s hand.
The boys don’t go too far though, and they park their motorcycles on a dead end looking out over the city. Sang-hwan asks if the others saw her, and Jung-hoon responds that sure, he saw the pretty “ajumma” (Disciple Kang). Man-hee’s expression is much more grave though, and he nods in agreement when Sang-hwan says that it was Sang-mi in the car.
It takes a second for Jung-hoon to remember Sang-mi, but then he recalls that she disappeared after her brother died, presumably back to Seoul. Sang-hwan points out that Sang-mi didn’t ask them to help her, but to “rescue” her, a signal that she’s in real trouble.
Back in the van, Disciple Jo questions Sang-mi about the boys, but her father interjects that there’s no way she could have known them, since she was barely at school long enough to make friends. (And whose fault is that?)
Leering, Disciple Jo says that he’ll make sure Sang-mi isn’t lonely anymore, but Disciple Kang, clearly fed up, interrupts him and tells everyone in the van to contemplate in silence.
The boys are back on the road, determined to follow the Guseonwon van. Jung-hoon pulls out a selfie stick and gets ready to broadcast their rescue mission to his streaming channel.
The motorcycles catch up to the van and take the left fork in the road as the van takes a right, Jung-hoon narrating to his viewers the whole way.
They twist through the roads of the city to follow the van from a safe distance, and at one point, Sang-mi spots Sang-hwan driving down a parallel street. They lock gazes, and Sang-mi touches her hand to the window.
Still not ready to give up and with help in sight, Sang-mi takes note of the other van passengers, who are tired and distracted, and starts to plan another escape.
The boys continue to careen forward down the darkened streets until Sang-hwan has to swerve to miss an oncoming car at an intersection, which throws him off his bike. Jung-hoon calls out in alarm, but Sang-hwan doesn’t acknowledge the car and just gets right back on his bike.
As Sang-hwan peels out, Jung-hoon yells at the driver to watch where they’re going as he and Man-hee speed off after Sang-hwan.
The van stops at a light, and Sang-mi looks frantically out the window for the boys before she dives for the door and tries to rush out. But her father’s reflexes are quick, and he hauls her back into the van as she calls out for help. Sang-hwan and crew catch up just then, and Sang-hwan squints at the door as it closes, unsure of what is going on.
Sang-mi struggles against her father, screaming, while Disciple Kang looks down in exhaustion. Once the light changes, the van drives forward, and the boys resume their chase.
The boys are in close pursuit, but as they hit a speed bump while traveling up a steep incline, Sang-hwan’s bike stalls out while Jung-hoon drops his selfie stick and runs to retrieve it. Sang-hwan tries to follow the van on foot, but he can’t keep up and throws his helmet down in frustration.
The van finally makes it to the house where Sang-mi and her dad will be living, and as Sang-mi is led from the car, she’s silent and resigned. Just in case though, Disciple Kang calls out one last warning: When Sang-mi’s feeling bad, she should think of her mother, who is still at the religious compound.
Disciple Kang goes on to say that while Guseonwon will do their best, only Sang-mi and her father can really care for her mother. Though despondent, Sang-mi recognizes the threat for what it is, and her eyes meet Disciple Kang’s gaze just once more before glazing over again, a tear running down her cheek.
The van drives away, leaving Sang-mi and her dad alone. Dad beckons Sang-mi in, but Sang-mi just stares.
Dad meets the stare with his own menacing countenance and warns that whatever Sang-mi’s planning, New Heaven’s God knows everything, down to the number of strands of hair on her head.
There’s still some fight left in Sang-mi, though. “Why are you doing this to me? Why? Why on earth are you doing this?” she asks, trembling. She begs Dad to help her and tells him that the people of Guseonwon killed Jeong-gu and might target Mom next.
But even with her tearful pleas, Dad holds firm, coldly blaming Sang-mi’s resistance to New Heaven’s God as the reason why Mom hasn’t recovered. Ouch.
We jump to another dark road, where Sang-hwan’s father reclines in the backseat while his campaign manager drives. When his campaign manager asks what he’s going to do about Sang-hwan, Yong-min starts to suggest that it’s best to keep his son close and under his control, but the conversation is interrupted when their car suddenly careens into a deer running across the road.
The two get out of the car to look at the injured deer as it breathes heavily on the ground, and while Yong-min’s campaign manager wants to call for help, Yong-min stops her. Telling her that even if the deer survives, it wouldn’t recover enough for a “life worth living,” Yong-min crouches down and silently snaps the deer’s neck, putting it out of its misery.
Back at the Im’s new house, Dad carries a toolbox inside while a fluorescent light flickers overhead. Dad’s not using the tools to fix the light, however, and instead installs a padlock on Sang-mi’s door to keep her inside.
Sang-mi cowers on the floor in her room while her dad pounds the lock into place. As he hammers, he chants a fervent prayer to New Heaven’s God to cleanse them of their sins as the flickering light casts a ghastly shadow on Dad’s face.
After he installs the lock, Dad continues to hammer and pray, finishing his work by hanging a cross on the wall.
Meanwhile, Sang-hwan heads home and visits with his mom in the hospital. Sang-hwan notes that his mother looks lonely, and is reminded of Sang-mi’s imploring face from earlier. He wonders if his mother has something to ask of him, just like Sang-mi, but as always, his mother is silent.
Sang-hwan swears to his mom that he won’t run away from the problem this time, and asks her to help him.
At the Arabian Club we saw Dong-chul about to enter in the last episode, Dong-chul is introduced to the club boss by one of his employees. The boss tells Dong-chul that he should be resting after getting out of jail, but Dong-chul retorts that he needs money to buy his grandmother a house. The boss laughs at his candor and offers him the job.
The next morning, Sang-hwan finds his dad outside gutting the deer he hit. Sang-hwan complains that his mother hates the smell of blood, and Yong-min shares that when he was a boy, his own father told him that the only way he could escape the smell of blood was to never be weak.
On that note, Yong-min tells Sang-hwan that he has to let go of the regrets that have been torturing him for the last three years. “Everyone tells me to forget about it and move on,” Sang-hwan argues. “But don’t you think it’s wrong?”
His father replies that everyone is born with a predetermined destiny, and Sang-hwan retorts, “Are you saying that it’s my fate to obey everything you say?”
Yong-min says that he’s doing everything for Sang-hwan, but Sang-hwan has a rebuttal for that too—he knows his father is running for provincial governor, and he knows his father is just trying to sweep away anything that could get in the way. Sang-hwan storms away while his father continues to hack away at the deer carcass.
Back at the Arabian Club, a motorcycle pulls up. The driver is wearing a flamboyant shirt and dark sunglasses, and he saunters into the club, weaving his way to the dance floor.
He sways there, gyrating bizarrely across the empty floor until an employee tries to stop him. The employee thinks he’s a drunk, but the motorcyclist pulls out a pair of barber clippers and waggles them at the employee.
As the club boss plays a game of cards in the back room, his employee stumbles in, the middle of his head shaved down the middle. The motorcyclist kicks open the door and slams his clippers down on the table across from the boss, cross tattoos visible on his hand.
The other guests make a quick exit, and the motorcyclist tells the boss, Jin-suk, that he’s missed him. It seems that the motorcyclist, CHA JOON-GU (Go Joon), has been in prison for nine years for murder after taking the fall for Jin-suk.
Jin-suk says that he had forgotten his friend, and Joon-gu reaches for his clippers. He tells Jin-suk that he wanted to give him a haircut today, but now he’s thinking that he should let Jin-suk’s hair grow out a while so that when he does come to cut it, it’ll stand out more.
Joon-gu heads for the door, and knows by the sound outside that Jin-suk has arranged for his men to attack him. And sure enough, he finds himself cornered by a whole gang of men with bats and clubs when he leaves the room. Joon-gu scoffs that he wishes they had more original weapons, and the fight begins, with Joon-gu wielding only his barber clippers and a great amount of agility.
While Joon-gu jumps, kicks, and throws henchmen to the ground in an impressive action sequence, Dong-chul watches impassively as he recognizes Joon-gu as the man who gave him his haircut before he left jail.
Ending up at Dong-chul’s feet, Joon-gu snaps the brush off Dong-chul’s broom and shakes his finger in recognition at him before returning to the fight armed with the broom handle.
Once he’s dispatched the last of the henchmen, an out-of-breath Joon-gu spots Jin-suk in the doorway and throws the broom handle at him, and it barely misses as Jin-suk dodges. Joon-gu’s quick to pin Jin-suk to the wall as he tells him he read the Bible in jail, and he recalls the story of Job for Jin-suk, telling him how Job suffered so God could teach him not to be arrogant.
“Now, I’m God, and you’re Job,” Joon-gu tells Jin-suk before he releases him and leaves. Jin-suk throws his hands up in frustration, and Dong-chul just shakes his head at the scene.
Dong-chul follows Joon-gu outside, and when Joon-gu asks if Dong-chul was able to meet up with his friends, Dong-chul just shakes his head. Joon-gu sagely nods as he says that sometimes your friends become your enemies and your enemies become your friends once you get older.
Joon-gu points out that he and Dong-chul are the same situation with their friends, with “burning lumps of metal in their hearts.” He adds that he’ll be staying in the area for a while, and tells Dong-chul to contact him if he ever needs help.
At Guseonwon, Sang-mi and her dad are back to work. Disciple Kang tries to make pleasantries, but Sang-mi ignores her entirely. Dad just smiles and tells Disciple Kang that he trusts that New Heaven’s God will answer his prayers. At this, Sang-mi mutters, “How disgusting,” and Disciple Kang’s smile fades.
Sang-mi turns to her dad and reiterates what she just said before calling Disciple Kang disgusting too. A voice from the hill above shouts down at Sang-mi, scolding her for speaking such foul words with such a pretty face.
Sang-mi looks up and finds Disciple Jo standing with his brother, Wan-duk, as well as her mother seated in a wheelchair between the two men.
Sang-mi’s mother wonders why Sang-mi is still here, believing that Sang-jin has already left for school. Disciple Jo leans in with an eerie smile and promises to get Sang-mi to school, clearly feeding into Mom’s delusion as she thanks them for caring for both her children. Dad looks down at this.
Disciple Jo issues Sang-mi a final warning, telling her not to say or do bad things if she doesn’t want to worry her mother.
Father Baek watches the scene from his office window until he’s interrupted by a visit from Dad’s former cattle farmer boss. The cattle farmer is here to beg for help after receiving a serious stomach cancer diagnosis.
The cattle farmer gets on his knees and vows that he’ll give New Heaven’s God everything that he has, and Father Baek encourages the farmer that indeed, he will be saved if he rejects greed. The farmer bows even lower, promising his farm and everything he has to New Heaven’s God.
Elsewhere, Dong-chul visits his grandmother’s grave. Aww, it seems that she died while he was in prison and the money he is earning isn’t for her after all. He laments the work that she had to do in life and says tearfully, “I don’t know about anything else, but I wish you’d live with a straight back in paradise.”
Dong-chul recalls when his grandmother visited him in jail. She had cried and pressed her hand to the glass, and Dong-chul had turned to walk away, only to swing around and kiss her hand through the glass. Awwwww.
Back in the present, Dong-chul sits next to her grave and fights to hold back his tears as he apologizes for leaving her to die alone. “I’m so sorry,” he says, finally crying.
Meanwhile, Disciple Kang brings Sang-mi along to recruit new believers downtown. To ensure compliance, Disciple Kang reminds Sang-mi not to say or do bad things for her mother’s sake. Sang-mi has no choice but to submit and wordlessly distributes fliers on the street.
Disciple Kang asks a young man if he has time to take a survey to help them raise money for hungry children. He’s hesitant until Disciple Kang nods Sang-mi over, and the student agrees while he admires her face. She uses similar tactics to prey on other young students.
In the pool hall, Jung-hoon and Man-hee goof around at the pool table while Sang-hwan looks on distractedly. Jung-hoon knows that Sang-hwan is thinking about yesterday’s van chase and tells him to forget about it.
Jung-hoon breezily says that Sang-mi is probably fine, but Man-hee speaks up solemnly, asking Sang-hwan if they should look for her. Sang-hwan asks if Man-hee can find her, and Man-hee nods.
Jung-hoon still isn’t convinced, but something catches Sang-hwan’s eye out the window. Sang-hwan spots Sang-mi on the street outside, passing out fliers, and asks the boys if this is coincidence or fate. Man-hee says that Sang-mi doesn’t look like she’s in trouble, but Sang-hwan heads out to ask her directly.
Disciple Kang recognizes the boys from the accident the previous night as they approach, but she’s not fast enough, and they reach Sang-mi first. Sang-hwan cuts right to the point and asks Sang-mi, “Do you really need help?”
Panicking, Disciple Kang threatens to call the police, but Sang-hwan demands to know what legal basis she has for doing so. He’s barely done speaking when Wan-duk suddenly lunges for Sang-hwan’s neck — but this time, it’s Jung-hoon’s turn to threaten to call the police, forcing Wan-duk to reluctantly back off.
Disciple Kang demands that Sang-mi tell the boys herself that she’s not in danger, and Sang-mi’s thoughts immediately turn to Disciple Jo’s threats from the hilltop. Sang-hwan notices her hesitation and encourages her to speak truthfully, swearing that he will help her this time.
Thinking about her mother, Sang-mi works up the courage to tell Sang-hwan to get lost. Sang-hwan presses her further, asking if she’s serious, and Sang-mi nods shakily, though her expression doesn’t match her words.
Disciple Kang drags Sang-mi away, heedless of the traffic as they nearly get hit in the crosswalk several times before they make it to a taxi and speed off. Sang-hwan just stares after them, and he doesn’t budge until Jung-hoon pulls him away.
Dad is doing some work on the entrance sign at Guseonwon when the taxi pulls up. Sang-mi yanks her arm away from Disciple Kang, revealing fresh cuts from Kang’s fingernails digging into her skin. Disciple Kang looks at that in surprise, as if she was unaware she was gripping so hard.
Dad wonders at their early return, and Disciple Kang frantically explains that the boys from the crash turned up to tempt Sang-mi with the words of the devil.
Dad tries to cleanse Sang-mi with some Living Water, but Sang-mi jerks away in disgust. This only serves as further “proof” of her corruption to Disciple Kang and Dad, who both pray over Sang-mi.
At the police station, Detective Lee shoves jjajangmyun into his face as he overhears a mundane complaint. It’s enough for him to profess that he’s sick of this town, and as he stalks off, he stops in the hall when he spots an elderly woman begging Officer Choi to help her find her missing granddaughter.
The woman is hard of hearing, so Detective Lee has to yell his reassurances as he takes her information. When the grandmother says that he’ll be “blessed,” a look crosses Detective Lee’s face, and he checks his notes and wonders if there’s a connection between religion and the possible runaway granddaughter.
Sang-hwan & Co. are out drinking again, and Jung-hoon tries to convince Sang-hwan to leave things alone with Sang-mi. He tells Sang-hwan that not even the police interfere when it comes to a family’s personal issues.
Sang-hwan just won’t give it up though. He thinks back to the moment when Sang-mi had begged for his help and he had pulled away, reliving Sang-jin’s plummet from the rooftop and Sang-mi’s ensuing tears as she’d whispered, “Rescue me.”
Man-hee speaks up to ask if they should go investigate Guseonwon’s hideout. Jung-hoon rejects it, but Man-hee has an idea, his eyes alighting on the bowl of delivery jjajangmyun the waitress is eating.
The boys call up their favorite jjajangmyun delivery guy, but he thinks the descriptions the boys give are ridiculous, which include a man with curly hair, a woman who shoots lasers with her eyes, and a beautiful girl from Seoul. Heh, pretty accurate.
The deliveryman spots a fellow deliveryman on a scooter and asks if he’s delivered to a “pretty girl he can’t stop thinking about.” Jung-hoon thinks they’ll need details on the more distinct characters they’re seeking, but the second deliveryman knows immediately who they’re talking about, and he says that he actually just delivered to them.
After finding out the address from the deliveryman, Sang-hwan gets on his bike and tells the other boys that he’s going home. Jung-hoon points out that Sang-hwan would normally go investigate right away, but Sang-hwan says it’s better if they wait until tomorrow.
As Dong-chul and the other employee hand out fliers for the Arabian Club, we get a closer look at the other employee, Dae-shik, who turns out to be the leader of the opposing gang from Episode 1 (the guy who stopped the fight before it could get started). They seem friendly now, and Dae-shik invites Dong-chul out for drinks after work.
A group approaches Dong-chul, and Dong-chul is shocked to see the bullies who escaped responsibility for Sang-jin’s death. The group of bullies are equally surprised to see Dong-chul working for a club as Dong-chul struggles with his emotions before handing them a flier. The bullies say nothing, stunned by the encounter.
In a parking garage after work, Dae-shik tries to console Dong-chul by offering him a cigarette, but before he can light it, Dong-chul hears a woman’s scream.
Dae-shik tells him to ignore it, and Dong-chul almost does. But the struggle continues, and the boys see a woman struggling to get away from a man. Dong-chul can’t help himself and says that he’s all about guts before grabbing a metal pipe from the trash on his way to the scene.
Dong-chul scurries up the hood of the car with the man and woman inside. He demands the man get out of the car by the count of three, and when the man doesn’t budge, Dong-chul smashes the windshield repeatedly until he breaks through.
The man finally gets out of his car and asks Dong-chul if he’s crazy. Dong-chul coolly responds, “I warned you to get out on the count of three.”
Elsewhere in Muji, we find Sang-hwan in front of Sang-mi’s house — ah, so he’d lied to his friends about going home. He prepares to jump over the wall, but a hand suddenly pulls him back. Sang-hwan whirls to find Jung-hoon and Man-hee, who knew better than to believe Sang-hwan.
The other boys refuse to let Sang-hwan be the hero alone, and Jung-hoon predictably gets his live stream ready on his phone for his viewers.
Sang-hwan lithely leaps over the wall, but Jung-hoon lands loudly in the jjajangmyun bowls. The boys scowl as a light comes on in the Im household window, and they duck behind the corner of the house.
Dad comes out to investigate, slowly getting closer and closer to where the boys are hiding.
That was one really long night for everyone, Sang-mi in particular, and its conclusion left a keen feeling of defeat. It hurt to see all of Sang-mi’s desperate efforts thwarted, but the fact that Sang-mi is still trying, that her spirit isn’t broken, speaks to her incredible character. Even as every attempt failed, I cheered for her when she dived for the van door handle, when she tried to get through to her father, and when she called her father and Disciple Kang out on their distorted prayers to New Heaven’s God.
I think Seo Ye-ji has been absolutely phenomenal at portraying such a different female character from what we’re used to seeing. Sang-mi is serious, caring, and unyielding in the face of what she knows is wrong. It’s heartbreaking to see her in such circumstances, but there’s no doubt in my mind that she’s going to keep trying to not only get herself out, but that she’ll make sure her family gets out with her.
Guseonwon holds true to form here. Their specialty is preying on the weaknesses of others, and when it comes to Sang-mi, the only thing they can get her on is her love for her family. I do wonder how long Disciples Jo and Kang’s patience will hold out, however. Father Baek is the only one who seems to believe that Sang-mi is truly “the one” important to their movement, and I wouldn’t be surprised if either of the disciples broke down and tried to get rid of Sang-mi in an “accident.”
But in addition to the Guseonwon threat, the show has managed to take an initially sympathetic character, Sang-mi’s dad, and turn him into the most menacing person in Sang-mi’s life. Disciple Jo keeps supplying the gross lechery, but it’s the knowledge that Dad was once a downtrodden man desperate to take care of his family that keeps churning up sympathy in me for a guy who has beaten his child down in front of cops, blamed her for her mother’s illness, and locked her in her room. The scene where Dad installs the padlock was the scariest of the long night, and felt reminiscent of classic horror films like the The Shining and Carrie. Just watching Dad walk around right now is terrifying, and I really hope that he turns back at the last minute before finding Sang-hwan and the boys lurking in his new yard. The boys aren’t ready for an encounter with Dad yet.
I thought Taecyeon got more comfortable as Sang-hwan in the last couple episodes and did a good job in both his dramatic scenes with Sang-mi and his father (“Are you saying it’s my fate to obey everything you say?” is a great line). I think what I’m still struggling with is that he seems unsure what to do with himself physically in scenes, and so when Sang-hwan strides out onto the street to help Sang-mi, it kind of looks like Taecyeon’s just looking for his spot marked on the ground somewhere. I’d love to see him master his body language and pull the whole thing together.
And man, Sang-hwan’s father. I’m in support of putting a deer out of its misery, but geez, what does that say for his perspective on his wife? His words at the car about a life worth living were definitely speaking to more than the dying deer, and we’ve gotten hints that his assistant may want to move in as his lover. Sang-hwan is slowly realizing that he can’t just sit back anymore and obey his father, and this time, he might be fighting for his mother’s sake as well.
As for Dong-chul scene at the grave, it hit me right in the gut. I thought I was going to be able to handle his grandmother’s death, but then we saw Dong-chul in prison giving her one last kiss, and I broke. As soon as Dong-chul’s relationship with his grandmother was introduced, it seemed inevitable that it would come to a tragic end. But instead of a conspiracy or a horrible accident, it was her anguish for her grandson and loneliness that finally took her life. For Dong-chul, he can blame absolutely everyone who put him in jail, Sang-hwan included, but number one of his list of blame is himself.
Dong-chul has found a mentor in Joon-gu, and that could be for better or worse. Both men are dealing with dire betrayals and are trying to control short tempers, and we’ll see if Joon-gu is able to model moderation and forgiveness for Dong-chul in the end, or whether he’ll show him what retribution could cost him.
And as for the other boys in the crew, I like how Jung-hoon and Man-hee have turned into the angel and devil on Sang-hwan’s shoulders. Jung-hoon advocates for selfish indifference, while Man-hee has taken on a more quiet and supportive role, turning up to find a solution every time Sang-hwan gets stuck on deciding what to do. I really want Jung-hoon’s streaming channel to play a major part in their takedown of the cult.
And finally… is jjajangmyun actually the secret to bringing down the cult? It’s not just a popular dish in town, it’s made some major assists in the story on both sides. It helped Man-hee figure out where Sang-mi lived, powered Detective Lee’s deduction skills, and gave the boys away as they crept into the Im’s yard. I’m just saying, there might be more to Dong-chul’s favorite dish than meets the eye.
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