Black: Episode 11
Black struggles with his new empathetic desire to save lives, a desire that directly goes against his Reaper instincts. And his jealousy finds him with a new non-Reaper roommate, which could definitely cramp his style, if not outright steal it. Kwang-kyun gets closer and closer to figuring out what happened Clara, and another villain rears his ugly head.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
As the thugs-for-hire beat down the Mujin mall protestors, Ha-ram rushes in to try and pry her stepfather away. As she grabs him, she sees that he’ll die in a fire — which confuses her, because it means he won’t die at the protest.
She hears one of the protestors ask about the kids, and Ha-ram discovers that the children of the protestors are in one of the temporary buildings next to the construction site. Black runs into the middle of the fray, protecting Ha-ram from the thugs-for-hire.
Congressman Kim goes to check on the children who are playing inside, and a masked man pours fuel outside the temporary building, lighting it on fire.
Black fights off the thugs and Ha-ram runs to where she sees dark smoke billowing. Kwang-kyun also rushes into the fight, firing off a warning shot to get everyone to stop. Black realizes Ha-ram’s disappeared.
She’s found the temporary building that’s slowly catching on fire, but the doors are chained shut and the windows are barred, so Congressman Kim and the children can’t escape. Ha-ram looks in the window to see not only smoke from the fire starting to fill the container, but also so many Shadows that she can barely see the children.
Black finds Ha-ram desperately trying to break the chain on the door and screaming for help. He hesitates, wrestling with his Reaper instincts to not interfere with death, recalling Joseon talking about how difficult it was for the Reapers to take the souls of the innocent children that died in the mall collapse.
Remembering Seung-chul’s father who said that, unlike “widow” or “orphan,” there’s no word for parents who have lost a child, Black decides to help the children. He ignores the dozens of Reapers patiently waiting as he uses his superhuman strength to bend open the bars on the window, creating enough space for the children to be freed.
As the congressman passes children through the window into Ha-ram’s arms, the Shadows begin to disappear. Kwang-kyun and the protestors also run up to the building, and Kwang-kyun shoots off the lock, opening the door for the rest of the children to be freed.
Ha-ram’s stepfather sees her helping, surprised that she’s there. He runs into the building just as Black is trying to save a little girl who’s terrified to leave past the flames. Black’s clue to find her is her Reapers (which he again ignores), and he and Congressman Kim manage to bring the girl to safety.
Ha-ram realizes that this must be the fire from her stepfather’s Shadow. She finds him trying to protect a child, but he’s passed out. She calls for Black to help, and he does so, only to make sure Ha-ram escapes the rapidly burning building.
Ha-ram refuses to leave the building just yet, because she sees one more person trapped. Paramedics and firemen finally arrive, but it’s mostly thanks to Ha-ram (and Black) that everyone is saved — including the man who was trapped. As paramedics wash the blood from the man’s face, a scar is revealed on his cheek.
Ha-ram’s stepfather is worried that she’s hurt, and she wonders when he became such a hero. Her stepfather says no parent would watch a child die if they could save them. Ha-ram tells him he should focus on saving his own child, reminding him of the bone marrow transfer that her stepbrother needs.
Black’s furious that Ha-ram could have been killed during her selfless attempts to save the children. He asks if she’s afraid of dying. Ha-ram says she’s afraid of death, just like everyone else, but she’s more afraid of watching someone else die.
Black grudgingly starts to clean Ha-ram’s soot-covered face. He orders her to keep her eyes shut, but when she keeps looking at him, he hesitates, then tosses the cloth at her so she can finish wiping her own face.
The thugs-for-hire insist they didn’t set the fire, and Kwang-kyun is ready to unleash his “Crazy Dog” on all of them, but he’s surprised by Ha-ram who bursts into the station and yells that they should all be filled with acid and dumped into the ocean. Ha, shutting up the Crazy Dog is a pretty impressive feat.
Kwang-kyun wants to know why Black is in Mujin. Black says he was just running errands, then asks why Kwang-kyun is in Mujin. Kwang-kyun: “Running errands.” Ha!
Kwang-kyun slyly asks Black about his relationship with Ha-ram, but Black just pinches Kwang-kyun’s cheek and smirks, telling him it’s none of his partner’s business.
Man-ho is furious as he watches the news about the fire. Missing-finger was only supposed to scare the protestors, not try to kill their children and the congressman. Missing-finger says it was a mistake and that something went wrong.
Kwang-kyung finds Madam Hwang, demanding she tell him exactly what happened when Clara disappeared, since he now knows Clara didn’t run away. Madam Hwang stutters out that Clara disappeared the same day Byung-shik was supposedly found dead, a few days after Mujin mall collapsed. Jin-sook had come to Madam Hwang, pleading with her to help find Clara and Seon-young, but Madam Hwang and Jin-sook couldn’t find them.
It was a few days later that Jin-sook ran away, and Madam Hwang was the one who stole the bar’s money. Kwang-kyun is furious — if Clara had been reported missing but the money had been left behind, he would have looked harder for her back then instead of assuming she ran away.
Madam Hwang is shocked to discover Clara is dead. She insists tried to ask what happened to Clara and Seon-young, but Jin-sook refused to talk about it, except to say “that man” would kill her if she did. Madam Hwang doesn’t know who “that man” was, but assumes it must have been the person who killed Jin-sook.
Black drives Ha-ram to Royal Hospital so she can check if her brother still has a Shadow. As he waits for her in the car, Black berates himself for saving so many humans today.
Ha-ram peeks in the doorway of her brother’s room, seeing her mother patiently sitting by his side — but thankfully, no Shadow. Mom realizes Ha-ram is there and hurries after her, thankful for what Ha-ram did to save her husband’s life.
Mom notices the burns on Ha-ram’s arm, apologizing that she put Ha-ram in danger because of her concern for her stepson. Ha-ram asks why Mom can have so much love for a boy that’s not even her own son, yet not seem to care about her own flesh-and-blood daughter.
Ha-ram asks why Mom tried to kill her, that day so many years ago when she tried to force young Ha-ram to overdose on sleeping pills. As Ha-ram’s voice rises in anger, Mom is close to tears, quietly telling Ha-ram that she was scared. Fighting back her own tears, Ha-ram demands to know what kind of mother is afraid of her own daughter. Ha-ram hurries out of the hospital as Mom whispers she’s sorry.
Black finds Ha-ram sitting on a bench outside the hospital, and can tell that she’s not as fine as she says she is. He pulls her into a hug and she buries her face in his shoulder as she weeps. Watching nearby is Creepy Doc, who drives away on his motorcycle.
Leo’s tired of pretending to be sick, and asks his manager to get him out of the hospital, but his manager says he can’t be released until tomorrow. Leo picks up the script for his new drama, then asks to see the script from the rookie writer whose life he saved.
Kwang-kyun deduces that Jin-sook and Clara were killed by the same person, which means it’s possible Byung-shik did it. The watch expert calls, revealing that that while the watch is authentic, it’s odd that the designer (who only makes one-of-a-kind watches) had a part in the watch that was labeled #2.
Chief Bong confirms that there must be two watches, since the photos of Byung-shik that Seung-chul’s mother took proves that Byung-shik was in the Philippines the night that Jin-sook met with the mysterious man with the watch. Two watches means two different men.
Due to the bad press about Sang-min’s scandal and then the protesters’ children nearly dying in a fire, netizens are boycotting Royal Group. Man-ho’s assistant suggests they stop the mall construction. Man-ho decides to lay low until his father dies and hope the bad press is gone by then.
Black returns home to find Joseon and Hip-hop waiting for him. Black’s so irritated at Joseon calling him a big hero for saving children’s lives that he doesn’t immediately notice Hip-hop’s new appearance, which is his original form of Hyun-soo.
Since it’s not uncommon for so-called “pure-blood” Reapers to change their appearance, Black just assumes Hip-hop wanted to try something new, although he doesn’t understand why Hip-hop would want to look like a teenager.
That reminds Black of his old partner and the fact that 419 looked identical to Clara’s “before” photo. Black asks if it’s possible for Reapers to have the same face as a real human. Hip-hop thinks Black is talking about him, and starts defending his face. Joseon intervenes, insisting that it’s impossible for a “pure-blood” Reaper to have the same face as a human, so they must have just been similar.
Black seems satisfied by that answer, but after he leaves the room, Hip-hop sighs, stressed about pretending he doesn’t know the truth that Reapers are really “missing people.”
Joseon grumbles that Hip-hop should move on to the afterlife, now that Hip-hop knows he’s Hyun-soo, but Hip-hop stubbornly insists on staying by Black’s side until Black gets his true form and memories back. Then Hip-hop will accompany Black to the afterlife.
Joseon finds it suspicious that Black’s excuse for saving the children was just because Ha-ram might find out who he truly is if he didn’t. Black quietly confesses that he couldn’t ignore the children’s eyes, staring at him, pleading for help.
Man-soo’s passed out drunk, grieving the loss of Sip-gyeong, when Ha-ram calls to check on him. Ha-ram manages to get Man-soo to Black’s house. Black doesn’t want Man-soo to crash at his house, but when Ha-ram says that Man-soo will have to stay with her instead, he quickly agrees to keep Man-soo.
Joseon can’t believe Black agreed to let a human stay with him, pointing out that it’ll make things inconvenient for all of them. No longer will they be able to talk to each other, because Man-soo will think it’s strange for Black to talk to thin air. Hip-hop is on Black’s side, though, agreeing that there’s no way Black would let someone as handsome as Man-soo stay with Ha-ram. Hee!
In the morning, Man-soo happily chows down on post-hangover chicken. Ha-ram calls Black, worried about Man-soo, wondering if she should make him some porridge. Black retorts that Man-soo is just fine and then hangs up.
When Man-soo asks for more chicken, Black yells at his freeloading guest to get out, but Man-soo gives him the puppy-dog face as he sadly says that he thought this would be a good chance for the two of them to bond. He starts to leave, telling Black he’ll go stay with Ha-ram. Suddenly Black is sweet and hospitable, offering to buy Man-soo as much chicken as he wants. Ha!
Jin-sook’s husband remembers more about an old friend Jin-sook met at the hospital, and when he tells Kwang-kyun, the detective recalls Soo-wan admitting she treated Jin-sook for injuries. Kwang-kyun pulls up Soo-wan’s information, realizing she’s the same age as Jin-sook — a good clue that Soo-wan is the missing Seon-young.
Kwang-kyun hurries away, leaving Soo-wan’s information up on his computer screen — which Missing-finger’s detective informant notices.
Kwang-kyun goes to Soo-wan’s apartment, but she doesn’t answer the door. That’s because Missing-finger already got the intel that a detective would be looking for her, and ordered her to ignore Kwang-kyun. Instead, Soo-wan quietly attends to the bruises Missing-finger gave her, using makeup to cover them up.
Ha-ram arrives at Black’s house, ready to cook Man-soo dinner. But Man-soo isn’t there — he was gone after Black got out of the shower. He stole Black’s only suit, too, which means Black’s back in his expensive black trench coat (although thankfully it looks like he’s at least wearing clothes underneath).
Ha-ram’s worried that Man-soo might do something dangerous, then decides to go looking for him. Since he’s wearing a black suit, Ha-ram’s first thought is that Man-soo will visit wherever Sip-gyeong is buried.
Kwang-kyun’s next visit is to Madam Hwang, asking if she recognizes a photo of Soo-wan. Madam Hwang insists she doesn’t, and Kwang-kyun tells her to call him immediately if she remembers anything about Seon-young. Madam Hwang agrees, but after Kwang-kyun leaves, she looks back in fear at Missing-finger sitting her apartment.
Soo-wan hasn’t forgotten Missing-finger’s threat that if she tries to run away without getting the missing tapes from Moo-gang, then Missing-finger will not only kill her, but Moo-gang as well. Soo-wan searches through Moo-gang’s house, looking for something in particular. She’s relieved when she finds it — but instead of the expected tapes, it’s an old collection of receipts.
As she waits for Black to return home, Soo-wan tidies up his house. She finds a CD under a shelf, where it had fallen after Black had ransacked the place looking for the missing capsule.
The CD is music from Soo-wan’s favorite musician, and back when she was a teenager, young Joon even learned how to play one of his songs on the guitar for her. Joon had gotten the CD signed for her as a present for her birthday, including two tickets to the musician’s concert.
That’s why Joon saw Clara yelling at Seon-young to give her the tapes — he was there to give Seon-young her birthday present. Soo-wan cries as she wonders if Joon died because of her.
When he returns home after being unable to find Man-soo, Black’s surprised to see Soo-wan waiting for him. He wonders why she’s there, since he assumed she left for America. Soo-wan tells him that she realized she couldn’t live without him and decided to return so they could work on their relationship.
Black notices the bruising on her face, despite Soo-wan’s attempt to hide it. She distracts him by offering him a home-cooked dinner — his favorite, red bean soup. Or rather, it’s Moo-gang’s favorite, since red bean soup is traditionally used as a way to expel ghosts and demons.
Black freaks out when he sees the soup, his Reaper tattoo glowing on his neck. He pushes the soup away, and as Soo-wan cleans up the mess, she burns her hand. She insists it’s not a big deal, especially once Black also notices the bruising on her arm. Soo-wan says that she got the bruises from a fall, but Black recognizes torture bruising.
He gently tries to care for her burn, soaking it in cold water. Soo-wan pulls him into a hug, tearfully apologizing — just at the moment Ha-ram walks in to see if Man-soo’s returned. Ha-ram, catching them in mid-embrace, stutters out an apology and leaves.
Soo-wan asks why Ha-ram calls him “Joonie Oppa,” since that’s Moo-gang’s brother. Soo-wan wonders if he’s regained his memory, but Black shows her the photo of the two boys, telling Soo-wan he asked Moo-gang’s mother, er, his mother about them.
Black explains that Ha-ram thinks he’s her old childhood friend, and he’s playing along because he needs Ha-ram for an investigation. He asks Soo-wan to not tell Ha-ram that Moo-gang, uh, he isn’t Joon.
Ha-ram returns home to find Man-soo waiting for her. The hairstyle must come with the suit, because Man-soo’s stolen Black’s upsweep style, too. He proudly tells her that he’s found a job as an insurance planner, just like his father used to be. Man-soo’s determined to work hard to build up his own company that will rival Royal Insurance once day.
Ha-ram asks how his father is doing, and Man-soo confesses that his father was originally hospitalized because of Man-soo. A while ago, Man-soo decided to make his family finally notice him by hacking into the Royal Group security system.
When he was caught, Man-ho decided to treat Man-soo like a common criminal, ignoring familial ties. The shock of it all caused his father to collapse. Ever since then, his father has been bedridden.
Creepy Doc watches as Leo packs up his stuff in preparation for leaving the hospital. A flashback shows Creepy Doc searching through the hospital for Leo, who he found in a stairwell, staggering while clutching the wall.
Creepy Doc tried to strangle Leo, but Leo’s manager suddenly appeared. Creepy Doc pretended Leo fainted and that he was trying to help him. Now, Creepy Doc wishes he had killed Leo back then.
The production team of Leo’s new drama visits him with a get-well-soon basket. Leo accuses them of stealing the rookie writer’s drama.
They deny any plagiarism, since using a similar concept isn’t stealing. Besides, they already spread rumors that the rookie writer is insane so no one will believe anything she says. Leo’s furious, but the PD fights back, insisting that Leo’s nothing more than a pretty face who should be grateful to be a part of this drama.
As Leo’s manager tries to break them up, the collection of Leo’s fan letters spill all over the floor. Creepy Doc picks up the letters and sees a bloodstained one, which he takes back to his office.
Reading the letter made of cutout words that threaten to make Leo pay for his past sins, Creepy Doc is amused that there’s someone other than himself who is after Leo — especially since a stalker could make things easier for Creepy Doc.
Man-soo has taken over Moo-gang’s secret room to set up his own conspiracy wall. Man-soo’s determined to find proof that Man-ho was bribed, and remembers that all the documents from 1997 were deleted — but there are still hard copies in storage.
Leo hangs out a club, looking bored. A rookie actress, Mi-so, drunkenly tells him that she got the lead role in Leo’s new drama thanks to her lover (or “sponsor,” as Leo calls him). When Leo’s manager orders him to return home ASAP, Leo starts to get into his car to be driven home, only to realizes it’s Mi-so’s — she purposely got the same kind of flashy sports car as Leo.
Man-soo gets a copy of the original 1997 documents, and makes sure that the Royal Group employee hasn’t told anyone else about them. Man-soo reveals that all the Chunsu Insurance documents from back then are missing, and the employee wistfully recalls how great it was to work for Chunsu Insurance back then — before Man-ho took over.
Black shows up to work at the police station, much to his fellow detectives’ surprise and amusement. Kwang-kyun is still holding a grudge since he knows Moo-gang knows something about Clara’s death, but Black can’t stop thinking about the fact that 419’s face was exactly the same as Clara’s pre-surgery.
When Black studies Clara’s post-surgery photo, he recognizes her from Moo-gang’s memory that night in the abandoned dye factory. Black wonders if young Moo-gang killed Clara when he hit her over the head with a shovel.
Leo’s been assigned to shadow Chief Bong’s team so that he can research how to play a detective for his upcoming drama. All the guys are thrilled to have a celebrity on their team, but no one wants to baby-sit. Black volunteers, knowing that being close to Leo will help him catch Loser.
Ha-ram visits her stepbrother before he goes into surgery. Ha-ram, in her usual gruff way, tells her stepbrother that after his surgery, he better stop stuttering like he usually does when he calls her “noona.” It’s a short visit, and from outside appearances, not the most sentimental. But knowing Ha-ram, it’s as heartfelt as a “I love you” she can give.
So-tae finds an abandoned phone in the police bathroom and calls the last dialed number. A passing stranger picks up the other phone, which was left along a walkway under a bridge. The stranger assumes it must belong to whomever parked their car there, but when he looks inside the car, he screams when he sees a dead body.
So-tae is delighted that they’ve got a homicide case, and the detectives hurry out to the scene before anyone else can steal the case from them.
Leo tags along, simply following after Black, then realizes that the dead woman is Mi-so. The detectives learn that Mi-so’s assigned designated driver arrived at the club after she had already left, which means that someone unknown drove her and then killed her.
Leo tries to describe what little he remembered seeing of the unknown driver, recalling there was a scar on the man’s face.
In his secret hideout, Scarface (aka the man with the spider tattoo) giggles to himself as he carefully pastes letters cut from a magazine, creating another threatening note.
Ha-ram accidentally bumps into a blind man, who suddenly grabs her arm, warning her not to carelessly change people’s fate because she won’t be able to bear the consequences. Ha-ram stares at the blind man in confused discomfort as he walks away.
A news report about Mi-so’s death reveals that the culprit has a scar on his face, and Ha-ram remembers seeing the scar on the man that she saved from the fire. Soo-wan also sees the news, and remembers Scarface visiting her at the hospital and holding a knife to her neck.
Scarface was the one who locked the doors after Missing-finger set the fire, and then Scarface watched gleefully from a nearby hill as the building with the children started to burn. When he saw Ha-ram run to the building to free the children, his disappointment at his fun being interrupted made him decide to kill her, which is how he ended up in the fire himself.
Scarface smiles at the photos of his victims, taking down one photo to stare it more closely. He starts to yell at someone to be quiet, and pushing aside the racks of beef hanging up, Scarface starts to stab a body hanging from a butcher’s hook.
Studying Mi-so’s body, Black realizes the killer was the same person who killed the mental health hospital director. Mi-so was murdered by someone who takes pleasure in killing.
What a horrible little man. Even though the characters may not know that Scarface is the same person as Spider-tattoo, we the viewers know, and while I was horrified that he would get such pleasure out of killing dozens of children, it certainly does seem to prove that he killed his wife. Once an arsonist, always an arsonist. But it’s interesting that Missing-finger doesn’t seem to be aware of him — I’m pretty sure that Scarface locked the doors after the fire was set, and had nothing to do with Missing-finger. Setting fire to a building with a bunch of children in it is definitely not cool, but I don’t think Missing-finger actually wanted to harm them. I think he was just following Man-ho’s orders to scare the protesters, but originally left the doors unlocked so the children could escape and be easily saved. If you’re worried about your child, you’re not going to be protesting the building of a mall. Or so I assume the logic goes.
I do have to wonder about Scarface’s serial killer ways. Based on the photos of his victims, other than Mi-so there are two women and a man (plus the unknown photo that he held in his hand, the one we couldn’t see). I know one of the women was the director of the mental health hospital where Scarface escaped, and I’m assuming the other woman was his wife. But the photo of the man was hard to make out — I thought it could be Creepy Doc, which might explain why Loser is in Creepy Doc’s body. But then what about the body that Scarface was stabbing at the end? Is it the guy in the photo? If so, it can’t be Creepy Doc, since we know Loser is in that one. So who is it, then?
Maybe that blind seer knows. In a drama about Grim Reapers and multiple brutal deaths, I don’t know why I would be most disturbed by a mysterious blind prophet, but I am. It brings in a classical element of fate, which usually means disaster for heroes who try to ignore it, especially because they ultimately fulfill the prophecy whether they like it or not. Just as Ha-ram has inadvertently done, having saved Scarface not once, but twice if we include the time when she warned him to move after getting the vision of the rookie writer committing suicide and falling on him. Even though Ha-ram can’t bear to see someone die, I wonder how she’d react, knowing she’s saved the life of father’s killer more than once, and each time she saved him, he’s gone on to kill more people.
Going back to that rookie writer, I’m hoping the inclusion of the suspiciously similar story to this drama’s actual writer, Choi Ran, and her experience of having a big name writer supposedly plagiarize her drama scripts after she was removed from the project is more than just a little “gotcha!” in-joke. I hope it’s actually a way for Leo to prove he’s more than just the drug-addicted pretty face everyone assumes him to be.
The more I see of Leo, the more I’m curious about him, since I’d just dismissed him as one of those pretty faces, a convenient plot device to explain why Loser decided to shirk his duty, forcing Black to inhabit Moo-gang’s body. (Plus Leo is a never-ending source of humor whenever Ha-ram’s fangirl ways make Black jealous.) But there has to be something more to Leo, something important that explains why Moo-gang met him that day in the hotel before Moo-gang was shot, and why Moo-gang left him in the bathroom as he was overdosing. There has to be a reason Scarface keeps sending Leo threatening letters that goes beyond just being a crazy serial killer.
At least Black is finally learning to act on his empathy, willing to risk whatever comes from being found out that he’s using Moo-gang’s body if it means saving the lives of children. I also love that the mere threat of having Man-soo live with Ha-ram means Black will agree to just about anything, although I’m also hoping for some bromance to come out of this forced cohabitation because Man-soo definitely needs a friend and confidant (I was going to say a “human” friend, thinking of Sip-gyeong’s passing, until I remembered who Black really is). Yes, Ha-ram cares about Man-soo, but she still seems to see him primarily as her boss and someone who’s needed her help to be saved from the Shadows. Ha-ram only has eyes for her “Joonie Oppa,” which is a pity, because I can’t bear to imagine the heartbreak she’ll endure when she discovers the truth about Joon and his untimely demise.
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