While You Were Sleeping: Episodes 13-14
You know, for a light fantasy romance, there sure are a disproportionate number of killers running about in this drama. This is a show that’s never as dark as you fear because the good guys are truly good, but never actually safe either, because everything is tinged with impending doom. It doesn’t help that so many of our characters can see the future, which only serves to make every line of narration sound prophetic and ill-fated.
EPISODE 13: “A Secret I Cannot Tell”
We rewind to the moment when Jae-chan called Hong-joo earlier that night to check in, and see this time that officer Woo-tak had been watching the clock. He’d gotten a request from Jae-chan earlier to be with Hong-joo on this day and time, because of that frightening dream he had where she was running from a murderer.
Woo-tak had promised not to leave Hong-joo alone on that day and time no matter what… which we already know ended with him lying in a pool of blood after being stabbed and beaten by Chicken Oppa Dae-hee. Everybody hurry!
Jae-chan races to get there on time as well, and he decides to call ahead for police backup as he keeps checking his watch nervously. When he arrives, Jae-chan runs to Woo-tak’s side in a panic, but Woo-tak’s partner has thankfully gotten there before him, and says that he’s still breathing. Phew.
Jae-chan runs upstairs to the roof to save Hong-joo, ignoring Chief Choi’s cries for him to wait for his team because it’s dangerous. He ends up in a bloody fight with Dae-hee, who manages to gain the upper hand and choke Jae-chan, who struggles get free.
It’s a flying shoe to Dae-hee’s head that gives Jae-chan a chance to turn the tables, which comes from Hong-joo, of course. It gives Jae-chan’s investigator team just enough time to finally huff and puff up the stairs to make the arrest.
Jae-chan is so busy strutting over to Hong-joo like a drama hero that he completely misses Chief Choi gasping behind him, “How could you just go by yourself like that? Your legs, ostrich legs. Our legs, just legs!” Hee.
Jae-chan asks if the girls are okay, and Hong-joo wraps her arms around him and lets loose her tears, as he pets her hair affectionately and says it’s all over now. She asks after Woo-tak, and he doesn’t answer…
But sometime later, Woo-tak wakes up in his hospital bed with Hong-joo and Jae-chan by his side. The first thing he does is ask after Hong-joo, and she clutches his hand and assures him that she’s okay, making him smile in relief. His partner has the most emotional reaction out of all of them, elbowing his way in between Jae-chan and Hong-joo, crying dramatically and pinching Woo-tak’s cheeks.
Dae-hee gets put away in prison, where he screams for his lawyer like a madman, to no avail.
When they’re alone, Woo-tak tells Jae-chan that getting stabbed is not like the movies at all, where you can get stabbed a bunch of times and keep fighting. Jae-chan apologizes for asking him to protect Hong-joo that day, but Woo-tak says he’s grateful that Jae-chan told him to be there.
Jae-chan says that Dae-hee won’t go free this time, because he has evidence of poisoning, a testimony from the sister, and most importantly, the leading prosecutor is trustworthy. Woo-tak: “Ooh, who is it?” Jae-chan: “Me.”
When Jae-chan returns to the office, Hyang-mi peppers him with questions about his injuries in the line of duty, and Chief Choi complains very loudly about Jae-chan running off to be a hero all by himself without the rest of the team, not realizing that the chief prosecutor is standing right behind him. You people should just always assume the boss is standing there, because he usually is!
Jae-chan cringes and tries to stop him, but instead of getting in trouble for not following the rules, the chief prosecutor gives him credit for singlehandedly making the arrest. Poor Chief Choi.
Jae-chan runs into Yoo-bum in the elevator, and he asks Yoo-bum if he doesn’t find it difficult to be a lawyer after being a prosecutor, having to defend someone when you can see very plainly that he’s a bad guy. Jae-chan says he wouldn’t be able to do that no matter how many millions were thrown at him, but Yoo-bum tells him not to be so sure: “My today could be your tomorrow.”
Yoo-bum surprises him by saying that he won’t be defending Dae-hee anymore. He says that no matter the size of the pot, he won’t bet when the probability of winning is so low.
Chicken Oppa Dae-hee is still full of hot air when Jae-chan brings him in for questioning, accusing the prosecutors of keeping Yoo-bum away from him. Jae-chan gives him the cold hard truth—that Yoo-bum turned his case down because the odds of winning were so bad, and he’s been assigned a public defender.
Jae-chan relays a message from Yoo-bum using a metaphor that Yoo-bum had used with Dae-hee in their initial meeting, about knowing how empty a container is so that he can gauge how much water to fill it with. His message to Dae-hee now is that he’s broken and can’t be filled with water again, no matter what he does.
Dae-hee refuses to believe it and screams for Yoo-bum until he’s blue in the face, and finally has to be restrained for going ballistic.
At home, Jae-chan turns on the evening news to watch the report about his case, and his brother Seung-won is impressed when he sees Hong-joo on TV covering the story. Jae-chan sighs, a little dissatisfied, and Seung-won asks what’s wrong.
Jae-chan just thinks back to his dream where Hong-joo had been the one sitting beside him when he watched this news report, and he deflates to see Seung-won sitting where Hong-joo should be.
At Dae-hee’s trial, Jae-chan makes his case and asks for life imprisonment, as Hong-joo takes notes, while Dae-hee’s sister cries in the audience.
Afterwards, the chief prosecutor has an epiphany and puts up framed calligraphy in his office that means roughly, “Thanks to you, no thanks to me,” and announces to his staff that it’s his fault that a killer went free, and only thanks to Jae-chan that he was put away properly.
Except his idea of “my fault” consists of blaming himself for putting the rest of his staff on the case, forcing the rest of the prosecutors to quickly declare that it was actually their fault. Only Hee-min is unapologetic, deciding that it was Prosecutor Lee’s fault for not ordering the autopsy.
The two of them continue the argument out in the hall, where she refuses to budge and claim any of the responsibility for the first trial going awry. Prosecutor Lee asks if it doesn’t frighten her to think of how many people could have died because of their mistakes, saying that his hand is still shaking just thinking about it.
But Hee-min stubbornly refuses to take any responsibility, asking why that would be on her if a killer went free and killed more people. Yikes, you’re starting to sound a lot like Yoo-bum.
Hong-joo is lost in thought as she strolls through the park, remembering how Woo-tak told her to stay outside and faced the killer alone, and then bought her time to escape. When Jae-chan calls wanting to drop her off at work, she lies that she’s at the police station, only to find him standing right in front of her at the park.
He’s armed with a box of tissues, and tells her that he had a dream about her blaming herself and crying. She acts cool as a cucumber and calls that absurd, but next thing we know, she’s bawling with a stack of used tissues beside her.
Jae-chan knows she’s blaming herself for Woo-tak getting hurt, but he says he’s blaming himself more because his debt to Woo-tak is greater. She thinks he doesn’t seem to be very upset or overcome with guilt, but Jae-chan says he considered it from Woo-tak’s point of view, and realized that if he were in his shoes, he’d just be relieved that Hong-joo was okay.
At the same time, Prosecutor Lee finds Hee-min quietly crying by herself, and he smiles and turns around to let her be alone. In voiceover, Jae-chan tells Hong-joo not to feel guilty for too long, but to just remember it for a long time so that the debt can be repaid.
Prosecutor Lee stops Hyang-mi from disturbing Hee-min while she cries, and even leaves a post-it on the door asking not to be disturbed in the middle of an interrogation.
Jae-chan tells Hong-joo that there’s no use regretting spilled water—that the only thing you can do is slowly refill it, because time doesn’t flow backwards. She wonders if they’re lyrics to a song or something, because it sounds like he’s quoting someone else’s words, and he smiles.
It takes him back to the night of the motorcycle accident 13 years ago, when his father had been so disappointed in him for forging his grades. Little Jae-chan had been sobbing outside the police station when one of Dad’s junior officers came out and gave him that speech about spilled water, assuring him that he’d have lots of time to make it right and wipe away his father’s disappointment.
Junior Cop had told Jae-chan the same thing about keeping his guilt short but his memory long, and Little Jae-chan had agreed. In the present, he says that someone said it to him long ago, but he doesn’t remember who it was.
Hong-joo runs out of tissues and he offers her his tie, heh. She asks if she can lean on him, so he happily offers his shoulder too. Hong-joo repeats his words in voiceover, “Cry briefly, and feel guilty for a short while, but remember for a long, long time.”
She continues to narrate, “We couldn’t even imagine it then, that those warm words of comfort would become someone’s final words in the distant future.” Well that’s ominous.
At the home of an Olympic archer, a repair technician fixes the internet service. Cable Guy (cameo by Baek Sung-hyun) seems friendly enough, making nice with the archer to ask for a positive rating when she gets a service call asking how he did. The housekeeper asks him to take out the recycling on his way out, and though he doesn’t seem keen to do it, he agrees, hoping for a good rating.
His expression turns bitter when he’s alone though, and he puts up a Facebook post wondering if he should just leave. That message gets read by Woo-tak, who gives it a thumbs-up.
Hong-joo gets a text from Woo-tak asking her to come pick him up because he’s getting discharged from the hospital, and she dares to leave work early, leaving slave-driver Bong sunbae stuttering in her wake, thinking she’s lost her mind.
Jae-chan is a little taken aback when he catches sight of Woo-tak’s muscles as he changes clothes, and Woo-tak says all cops look like this. Jae-chan notes that his partner doesn’t seem to look that way, all the while flexing in his dress shirt and tie, heh.
Hong-joo bursts into the room while Woo-tak is still half-nekkid, and the only one who freaks out is Jae-chan, who falls all over himself to run over to Woo-tak, using a jacket to hide the hottie from Hong-joo.
He snaps at her for not knocking, and Hong-joo just hops around behind him, trying to get a peek at Woo-tak, haha. Jae-chan squeaks at Woo-tak to get dressed faster, and Woo-tak just smiles, amused by the whole thing.
Woo-tak asks Hong-joo if he can impose and stay at her house for a few days, and Jae-chan blurts, “WHY?” He says the doctor told him to rest up at home for a few days, but he can’t nurse himself and can’t go to his parents’ house.
Jae-chan offers to drive him to his parents, but Woo-tak says he signed a contract with them that he’d quit the police force if he got hurt, so he can’t let them know. Hong-joo is happy to help, and Jae-chan offers his house instead. But Woo-tak says he has a different favor to ask of Jae-chan.
Cut to: Seung-won arriving home to his house torn to shreds, covered in a blanket of toilet paper and pillow stuffing. He panics and calls for Hyung, but Robin the dog comes out to greet him instead. HA.
Seung-won finds Jae-chan at home, completely ignoring the dog’s rampage of destruction and instead spying on Hong-joo in the dark like a crazy person. Jae-chan snarls to see Woo-tak being treated to a barbecue party across the street.
Mom takes out her notebook and decides that Woo-tak is back in the game, giving him a point for saving Hong-joo. Mom promises to bring him back to health with the best care, and asks what he likes to eat.
Woo-tak looks around for sesame leaves and says he has to have them when eating meat, and Jae-chan sighs when Woo-tak calls to send him on the errand. Jae-chan agrees through gritted teeth and then tells his brother that he just remembered the poem: “You have look from a distance / To see that it is pretty / You have to look for a short time / To see that it is lovable.”
Seung-won asks if there’s really a poem like that, and Jae-chan kicks him for being dumb. (The original is: “You have to look closely / To see that it is pretty / You have to look long / To see that it is lovable.”)
But when Jae-chan goes outside, Hong-joo joins him, saying that Woo-tak requested even more things.
Woo-tak video-calls them while they’re shopping and directs Hong-joo to buy a stuffed penguin because it looks like her, and then proceeds to micromanage the whole shopping trip, directing Jae-chan to model cutesy sleeping masks and enjoying his grumpy reactions.
They’re out so late that Hong-joo notes that the barbecue party is long over, and Jae-chan smirks in satisfaction that Woo-tak never got his sesame leaves. In front of their usual coffee shop, Hong-joo notes that the Cupid Barista isn’t back at work yet.
When they get back home, Hong-joo refuses Jae-chan’s help carrying the bags out of the car, saying that she doesn’t want to keep being indebted to him, because she feels like all she does is take his help and rack up debt.
He asks if he can’t be an exception, and asks her to just take and not ever repay him. She asks in her usual jokey way if she makes him want to protect and help her. He replies, “Yes,” very sincerely, which catches her off-guard.
She asks what’s up with him lately, always replying to her comedy with melodrama, but he just continues to be swoony and grabs her hand, declaring that she can consider all her debts paid with this… and he leans in to kiss her. But at the last second when he’s just inches from her lips, he stops. He leans forward again, but the seatbelt catches, refusing to let him go any further. Pwahahahahaha.
The best part is, he just keeps trying, as the seatbelt stays locked in place and Hong-joo stares at him, wide-eyed. She asks what he’s doing, and he awkwardly pretends that nothing happened.
No one answers the doorbell, so Hong-joo asks Jae-chan to hold all the bags so she can fish out her keys, and she stops to ask what he was trying to do in the car. Embarrassed, he tells her not to bring it up, pointing out that she did something similar once when she was untying his apron, and he had the manners not to mention it to her. Ha.
At that, Hong-joo grabs his face with both hands and kisses him lightly. Cute!
He’s so stunned that he just stands there like a stone, and Hong-joo asks awkwardly if this wasn’t it. She laughs in embarrassment and tells him to pretend it didn’t happen, and then has to take the shopping bags out of his hands before running inside to deal with her mortification in private.
Jae-chan remains standing there for a long beat, which we see from the intercom camera… that Woo-tak has been watching the whole time. Aw, poor Batman.
He pretends not to have heard the doorbell when Hong-joo comes inside, and she offers to return any of the stuff he doesn’t like. But he just smiles at her and says he likes all of it, without even looking in the bags.
Jae-chan comes home still in a daze, but then the shock finally wears off and he breaks into a goofy grin. He touches his lips and cups his face sheepishly, twirling around like a happy kid.
He’s in such a good mood that his reaction to Robin the dog pooping in the house is to hug and praise him, earning him a kiss from Robin and a confused stare from Seung-won.
Seung-won says “that ajusshi” somehow found their new address and sent them money again, and he asks if they can’t just start using it now. But Jae-chan says it’s going back, which doesn’t surprise Seung-won in the least.
The sight of the envelope takes Jae-chan back to a memory of his father’s funeral, where he’d grabbed Hong-joo and fled from the reporters. They hid out of sight and overheard them searching for the cop’s son and the bus driver’s son (well at least that explains why he assumed she was a boy), but then the reporters had gotten distracted by the arrival of the soldier’s older brother, a cop.
Hong-joo had spotted the cop hiding in the same room with them, and Jae-chan was shocked to recognize him as the kind advice-giving Junior Cop who worked with his father.
Junior Cop shed tears as he apologized to them for what his brother did, and Jae-chan pushed him against the wall, crying, “You said I’d have lots of time in the future! That I could make it up to my father! But there’s no future anymore! I have no father!”
In the present, Jae-chan adds the letter with no return address to a drawer filled with countless more envelopes of the same kind.
Jae-chan waits and waits outside Hong-joo’s house the next morning, while she’s sprawled out on the ground, spying on him through the crack underneath her gate. Mom catches her, and she asks Mom to tell Jae-chan she already left.
So of course Mom goes right outside and tattles on Hong-joo, forcing her to come out and face the music. She keeps avoiding Jae-chan and keeping her distance as they walk, so he keeps pulling her closer to him. She pretends not to remember even seeing him last night, so he agrees that nothing happened last night, and tells her to stop avoiding him and stop disappearing when he wants to find her.
Cable Guy is back at the archer’s house to fix the internet line, which she complains is the third time this month. He assures her that the problem has been fixed and asks her to give him a good rating when she gets the call. She grumbles about the spotty service, so he offers to take out the recycling again, and this time his expression darkens even more when she closes the door behind her.
The officer with a crush on Woo-tak is filling in for him on patrol with his partner, and they answer an emergency call from the archer’s house. When they get there, the housekeeper is in shock, and they gasp to find the archer dead in her living room, lying in a pool of blood, which has then been drawn into some sort of symbol on the floor around her.
Hong-joo covers the story on the morning news, which everyone watches as they set the breakfast table at her house (yay, they’re all eating breakfast together!). Cable Guy is identified as the prime suspect, and Woo-tak watches the TV with obvious interest, making Hong-joo ask if he knows the suspect.
But Woo-tak says no and asks Mom for a list of side dishes to take home with him today, and Jae-chan is inappropriately happy to hear that he’s going home. The outburst makes Woo-tak smile to himself, knowing why Jae-chan is reacting that way.
Later that night, they load up Woo-tak’s car and drive him home, and this time when they pass by the coffee shop, Hong-joo spots Cupid Barista and all three of them are relieved to see her back at work. Hong-joo’s concern makes Woo-tak smile and look back at her.
As they help Woo-tak unpack his things, Hong-joo notes the empty state of his refrigerator sadly. Jae-chan asks how his stab wound is healing, and when Woo-tak offers to show him, Jae-chan hugs him to prevent him from showing off his abs again.
Woo-tak walks them to the elevator, and Hong-joo reminds him that Mom told him to come over for breakfast every morning, and to tell her if he runs out of side dishes. Jae-chan adds that he’ll run over if he needs anything, but Woo-tak says he’s fine now, and they should consider their debt repaid.
Woo-tak surprises them by saying that Jae-chan was right—that he doesn’t blame them for his injury, and he’s just glad that Hong-joo is okay. He leans in close to tell Hong-joo not to cry or feel guilty anymore, and Jae-chan and Hong-joo both recognize those words from the park.
Woo-tak saw it in a dream, of course, and Jae-chan asks if that’s why he purposely ordered them around like minions, to ease their burden and guilt. Aw. Woo-tak confirms it with a grin and sends them on their way.
Hilariously, Jae-chan’s reaction is to be upset that Woo-tak ran them around on errands and then suddenly gets to seem all cool with one line, while making him look petty in comparison. Ha. He says that Woo-tak has a mysterious side, and that makes Hong-joo think of Woo-tak claiming that he had overly protective, doting parents, which doesn’t match up to the empty refrigerator she just saw. She agrees that he’s a mystery.
That night, something catches Robin’s attention and he gets out of bed, and Woo-tak stirs in his sleep. He dreams of being questioned at the prosecutor’s office by Jae-chan, about knowing the murder suspect, Cable Guy Do Hak-young.
In the dream, Woo-tak says that he and Hak-young were high school classmates, and roommates until a year and a half ago. He admits that when he heard about the case, he did think that Hak-young could be the culprit.
A phone call from Hong-joo wakes him up, and she asks if he’s okay, saying that she just had a dream about that murder suspect bursting into his apartment and threatening him. She guesses that Woo-tak knows him and lied about it, but he insists that he doesn’t.
Hong-joo tells him to lock the doors and call the police, and he laughs and reminds her that he IS the police, and assures her that he’ll be safe.
He smiles to himself after the call, but then suddenly the smile fades into a icy glare, and he stares across the room and says, “Why did you come here, Do Hak-young?” What?
Then we see that Hak-young has been sitting on the other side of the room with Robin in his lap this whole time. Jeepers. Hak-young has a really creepy far-off look in his eyes, and he says that the lock code hasn’t changed, wondering if it’s really been over a year since he’s lived here.
Hong-joo paces her room and finally decides to grab a coat and head out.
Woo-tak asks again why Hak-young came to him, and he says ominously, “I became a murderer.” But when he starts to explain himself, he swears up and down that he never killed anyone, but everyone’s made him out to be a killer.
Woo-tak says he’ll help and tells Hak-young to turn himself in, which he agrees to do. But he asks Woo-tak if he believes he’s innocent, saying that he came here because Woo-tak is the smartest and best person he knows.
Hak-young asks desperately if Woo-tak will take his side, and Woo-tak says wearily, “Do I have to say I believe you so that you’ll turn yourself in?” Ack, is that a thing to say to a possible murderer?
Hak-young reels at that and counters, “If I end up a murderer, then I’m going to spill your secret to the police,” and tells Woo-tak to prove his innocence if he wants to keep his secret.
What secret?! What is his secret? It’s probably not that bad, right? Although I can’t imagine why Woo-tak would be friends with a guy he could so easily believe would be a murderer, or why he’d cover for him and lie so baldly to Hong-joo when she and Jae-chan are bound to find out the truth… unless that secret were something colossal. He doesn’t seem to be afraid of Hak-young, but right now I’m not sure if that’s a comfort or not. We just got you out of the hospital! Now you have murderous friends and a dark past? Is this going to be the new pattern, where we end every episode leaving me worried about Woo-tak?
I loved the way he just casually got Hong-joo and Jae-chan to take care of him in an effort to ease their guilt, but it was so sad to think of it as a brief chance for him to be surrounded by love and warmth, because I’m fairly certain he lied about his loving parents. He’s always seemed a bit lonely and shut off, despite his friendly, upright demeanor, and that just makes me root for him to rely on Jae-chan and Hong-joo more so that they can get past his barriers. He obviously has a crush on Hong-joo, but he also seems to like Jae-chan just as much (which I adore), so I don’t expect him to ever cross a line when he so plainly sees how much they like each other. I mean, it’s one thing to accidentally witness their first kiss, but if he’s seeing their private conversations in his dreams, there’s really no unseeing the way they look at each other and depend on one another.
I do think we have Woo-tak to thank for giving Jae-chan a kick in the pants in the romance department, hilarious failure that it was. It was a treat to get an entire hour of Jae-chan being petty and jealous (it’s becoming Jung Hae-in’s specialty in dramaland, turning heroes into jealous children, which I don’t mind one bit). There’s nothing to make you throw all your second-guessing out the window like a rival who looks like that, sleeping over at your probably-girlfriend’s house. I really want more of these rom-com hijinks—I was so disappointed when he recovered and went back home so soon, because he brings out such a fun side of Jae-chan. But we seem to be headed for a much darker storyline with Woo-tak’s character.
One disappointment in recent episodes is the lack of development on the dream front, which has turned into a very straightforward pattern: vision of potential danger sends heroes to save the day, end of story. There were hints earlier on that the ripple effect of the Three Dragons changing the course of the future would be great, but the show has yet to follow through on how that cause-and-effect chain is actually carried out, and what changes have led to a future that maybe shouldn’t have happened. I do expect the drama to throw that wrench into the works when it’s least convenient for our characters, but right now the dreams feel like they’ve been sidelined, or flattened out in a way, to serve as a device for one primary purpose with little consequence attached. It’s not that I’m asking for suffering! I guess I just like my stakes sky-high. Or maybe I just can’t shake the feeling that the other shoe has got to drop, and someone’s dream is going to be very wrong at the worst possible time.
- Premiere Watch: While You Were Sleeping
- Brotherly love changes a hero’s fate in SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- Lee Jong-seok’s awkward social skills in While You Were Sleeping
- Lee Jong-seok moves in next door in While You Were Sleeping
- A kiss in the flower-filled night for While You Were Sleeping
- Dreamy first teaser for SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- First sleepy couple stills for SBS’s While You Were Sleeping
- Star cameos continue for While You Were Sleeping with Yoon Kyun-sang and Lee Sung-kyung
- While You Were Sleeping gets a September premiere date on SBS