Black: Episode 6
Black’s mission to find the runaway Shadow means Ha-ram finally gets to meet her favorite idol star, although sometimes an idol is better off left on its pedestal, image untarnished. Meanwhile, Soo-wan deals with the realization that the tapes from twenty years ago are in someone else’s hands, and Kwang-kyun’s investigation into Jin-sook’s death gets him closer to a greater conspiracy.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Black wakes up from a dream of Clara hitting Sun-young, demanding the tapes, just like we’ve seen previously from Moo-gang’s memory — but this time the younger boy is there, too, watching alongside Joon. Black remembers the video tape from the secret room, but when Black enters the secret room, it’s empty — no tape, no photos or news articles on the wall. Everything’s gone.
A man who’s face we can’t see (but who wears a butterfly watch identical to the one Man-soo’s father had) now has the video of teenage Soo-wan undressing herself, and he orders the missing-middle-finger man to bring her to him.
In a flashback, we see teenage Soo-wan buttoning her shirt, tearfully telling Clara that she won’t to do it. Clara reminds Soo-wan (or Seon-young, as she was known then) that it’s expensive to become a doctor, and there’s no one who can afford to pay Soo-wan’s tuition. The only person who offered was Joon’s mother, but she’s in jail.
Left with little choice, Soo-wan cries as she tells Clara that she’ll do it. Clara turns on the camera as Soo-wan starts to undress.
In the present, Soo-wan rushes to the ER as a patient is wheeled in. She stops short when one of the paramedics says that it’s a man who threatened to rape a girl, but then was stabbed with his own knife. Soo-wan freezes, the rapist’s blood on her hands as another doctor attends to the patient.
In the privacy of the restroom, Soo-wan sobs as she scrubs the rapist’s blood from her hands. Regaining her composure, she exits the restroom, surprised to see Black standing there. He first thinks she’s the one who stole everything from the secret room, but Soo-wan is rattled when he mentions the stolen tapes. Then Black decides the likely culprit is the man with the missing finger who tried to steal Moo-gang’s eyes.
Kwang-kyun visits Jin-sook’s husband, who admits the Singing Pumpkin business card is his. It’s his dream to be a trot singer, and Jin-sook designed the card based on a design from a bar she used to work at. He also tells Kwang-kyung about Commissioner Song’s recent visit, when he asked to see Jin-sook’s old pictures.
Back at home, Black tells Joseon and Hip-hop about the dreams he’s been having. Joseon says that they’re just leftover memories in Moo-gang’s brain, but he’s worried that Black might start to be experiencing side effects of becoming more and more human, such as eventually not being able to teleport.
Black’s disdainful about becoming one of those “uncivilized” humans and renews his determination to find Loser. He needs to do it as soon as possible so he can get out of Moo-gang’s body.
Ha-ram is, of course, his only hope of quickly finding Loser, so he takes her to the food cart ajumma that Black had tracked down his first day in Moo-gang’s body.
Black tells Ha-ram to look for the Shadow in anyone who approaches the food cart. Conveniently, the first customer is a motorcyclist, and Ha-ram can see the Shadow lurking within his chest.
Ha-ram and Black try to chase down the motorcyclist, who speeds away. Then Ha-ram and Black run into the local gangsters, who are ready for a rematch. Even though Black speedily takes them all down in his desperation to follow after the motorcycle, it’s enough of a diversion that he loses the cyclist.
The food cart ajumma tells them that the motorcyclist is a regular customer who’s one of her son’s friends, although she doesn’t know much about him. She recognizes Black as the guy who followed her while wearing a hospital gown, but Black stubbornly denies it. Ha!
Black investigates one of the nearby restaurants and finds a man in black with a motorcycle helmet next to him. Black grabs the man, shoving him face first into his food, ordering Loser to leave the man’s body. But Ha-ram rushes in and tells Black that it’s the wrong man — there’s no Shadow.
Over lunch, Black’s still focused on the task at hand, insisting Ha-ram carefully scrutinizes everyone for Shadows. Exasperated, she tells him that there are no Shadows and he should stop being obsessed about it for just a few minutes.
But Black finds it odd that Loser wouldn’t want to be close to his sister, who’s also having lunch there with her friends. Ha-ram chows down on the rice cakes, but Black refuses to eat.
He uses his thumb to wipe off a bit of sauce that’s smeared on Ha-ram’s lips, then he tastes it — and immediately spits it out, startled by the spicy flavor. Ha, it’s not exactly Ha Ji-won and Hyun Bin’s Secret Garden foam kiss.
Black overhears Loser’s sister, Soo-young, mention that the motorcyclist gave her money, saying he’s a friend of her brother’s. Ohhh, so the food cart ajumma is Loser’s mother.
On the restaurant TV, a commercial with Hallyu star Leo starts playing, and Soo-young angrily says that her brother killed himself because, even though he was Leo’s manager, Leo never stopped bullying him. She’s convinced her brother became a ghost just to haunt Leo.
Well, Loser might not be haunting Leo as a ghost, but he does seem to be stalking him as a Reaper in another body. The motorcyclist pulls up at Leo’s house (that’s surrounded by screaming fangirls), puts something in the mailbox, and then drives off. When Leo’s manager delivers all the mail and packages from the fans, Leo finds the bloody note made from cut-out magazine words, warning Leo he’ll regret his past actions.
Black stops by Leo’s place just then, asking if Leo has seen any suspicious people nearby. Leo rudely dismisses Black and then retreats to his room. Leo’s manager apologizes for Leo’s attitude, then gives Black the bloody letter. The manager is worried about what it means, since it seems more than just a hate letter from a anti-fan.
Leo secretly watches Black and his manager from his bedroom, recalling the last time he saw Moo-gang. A flashback shows Leo on the floor, overdosing on drugs. A dazed Moo-gang stands next to him, then slowly throws a manila envelope into the trash. Moo-gang turns and walks away from Leo, who begs for help.
At the hospital, Soo-wan worries about how quickly she’ll be discovered as the original Seon-young, and if she’ll eventually be killed in the same brutal manner as Clara and Jin-sook. She leaves a letter of resignation on her desk and then leaves, carrying the bag of Moo-gang’s bloody clothing from the day he died.
Just as she’s headed out, the missing-finger man arrives at the hospital, looking for her. Soo-wan hurries to the elevator, grabbing a scalpel from a nurse’s station, which she then uses to stab the man’s hand when he attempts to hold open the elevator door. She stabs him right in the prosthetic finger, which seems to annoy him more than anything else, but thankfully Soo-wan is able to safely escape once the elevator fills with other doctors and patients.
Kwang-kyun continues to study the CCTV footage from Mujin, trying to piece everything together. Even though he can’t see the faces of the men caught on camera, he deduces that Jin-sook must have been a part of the prostitution ring mentioned in Commissioner Song’s notebook.
Kang-kyun also concludes that Commissioner Song recognized the man in the CCTV footage, and was on his way to tell Kwang-kyun about it when he died in the car accident. Based on the CCTV footage, Kwang-kyun believes that the man with the butterfly watch ordered the man with the missing finger to kill Jin-sook, due to something related to the teenage prostitution ring.
As they stake out Leo’s house, Black asks Ha-ram to carefully scrutinize Leo and his surroundings make sure there isn’t a Shadow nearby. That’s a dream come true for Ha-ram, since she’s a huge fan, and there’s no hardship on her end to stare at her favorite star.
As Leo’s stylist prepares him for his evening schedule, she takes advantage of the empty dressing room to try and steal a kiss, but he rebuffs her. She then hands him a hotel key, telling Leo to meet her there after work. When a girl group enters the room, Leo hands one of them the hotel card from the stylist, nonchalantly asking the girl group member to meet him there later.
Black and Ha-ram arrive at the dressing room, but Leo storms out before his manager can explain their presence. Ha-ram’s a little overwhelmed by seeing her idol so close in person, but she also confirms that there aren’t any Shadows nearby.
Hours later when the performance ends, Ha-ram carefully stares at each one of the departing fans — but once again, no one has a Shadow. Leo’s manager runs over to them, worried because Leo has suddenly disappeared. Duty-bound to save her idol, Ha-ram takes the lead, barking out orders for everyone to search the broadcast building, since Leo couldn’t have gone very far.
Near one of the exits, Ha-ram sees a man lighting a cigarette. When she touches him to ask if he’s seen Leo, she gets a vision that the man will die if he stays in that spot, being hit by something — or someone — falling from the roof. She tells the man that he’d better move or else he’ll die.
Ha-ram hurries to the rooftop where a woman stands on the ledge. Ha-ram’s too far away to save her before the woman steps off the ledge, but Leo — who had apparently escaped to the roof — grabs the woman, and together he and Ha-ram pull her to safety.
Ha-ram tries to comfort the woman, a rookie writer who had her first drama script stolen by a more established writer and director. She was at her wits end because no one would believe her about the theft, and she didn’t have the strength to keep fighting against the more powerful.
The writer thought that if she killed herself at the broadcast station, someone would finally acknowledge her. Ha-ram gently reassures her that even if she’s exhausted and lonely, to try and hang on since someone will be on her side one day.
Encouraged by Ha-ram’s words, the woman leaves with a much more optimistic view on life. Black, exasperated, asks Ha-ram if she saved that woman’s life. Actually, Leo did, and Ha-ram points out that Leo is a good guy after all. Black’s just relieved it wasn’t Ha-ram’s doing.
Ha-ram returns home to find her young stepbrother waiting for her. He has an envelope of cash from her mother, who got the deposit money back from her husband. Aha, so it was indeed Ha-ram’s stepfather who lied about Ha-ram moving out.
Ha-ram tries to ignore her stepbrother, but when he catches his arm in her door, she notices a huge bruise on his arm.
Ha-ram’s mother is at work as a nurse at Royal Hospital, and she can’t help but overhear a woman yelling at her cousin’s estranged husband. The woman tells him that his wife is going to die soon, so he should visit before it’s too late.
Ha-ram bursts into the hospital ward, dragging her stepbrother behind with her. Yep, there’s a Shadow on the cousin — she’s definitely going to die soon. But Ha-ram ignores it to yell at her mother for marrying a man who abuses his son — and his wife, apparently, because Mom tries to quickly cover up her own bruises.
Even though Ha-ram is angry at her mother, as soon as she leaves the ward, she reports her stepfather’s domestic abuse to the police. The drunken estranged husband of the dying woman bumps into Ha-ram on his way to see his wife, and he angrily tells his wife that she should just die already.
Man-soo’s at the bar where Jin-sook’s husband works, and Man-soo asks if they’ve caught Jin-sook’s murderer yet. One of the bar girls, Tiffany, is friendly with Man-soo, knowing that he comes to this seedy bar particularly so he can be left alone.
Aw, Man-soo can’t stop thinking about Ha-ram, but tells Tiffany that he’s totally not attracted to Ha-ram, nope, it’s just about business. Mmm-hmmm. Sure. Besides, he has his exclusive Halloween party to think about, which is part of his plan to retain and attract Royal Insurance VIP clients.
The owner of the bar is also one of the hostesses that used to work at Singing Pumpkin, but she’s in Japan and won’t be back until next week. Even though Kwang-kyun can’t talk to the owner right now, he at least asks Jin-sook’s husband if he recognizes the butterfly watch — but Jin-sook’s husband has never seen it before.
Man-soo invites Ha-ram to the VIP Halloween party so she can check to see if anyone has a Shadow, which will save her time from having to track them all down individually. Ha-ram thinks the party is a ridiculous idea, but Man-soo sweetens the pot by telling her Leo will be there. If that doesn’t motivate her, then threatening to fire her will, since it means she won’t get the investigation file about her father’s death.
Black’s still trying to track down Loser, but no matter how much he has Ha-ram stare at the people around Leo, there’s no Shadow to be found. Ha-ram shows Black the Halloween party invitation. Since Leo will be there, it might be a good chance to find the Shadow.
But Black is distracted by the cartoon depiction of a Grim Reaper on the invitation — the kind with the classic hood and scythe. He scoffs at how tacky human’s imaginations are, telling her that Reapers actually look quite gentle. Pffft.
As Ha-ram figures out costumes for them to wear, the missing-finger man keeps an eye on Black, assuming that Soo-wan will eventually show up to wherever Moo-gang is. Except Soo-wan’s on the phone trying to get a flight to Chicago ASAP, since she’s accepted a position at an American hospital in order to flee the country.
Thanks to Black’s “help” in picking out costumes, Ha-ram arrives to the party dressed as Princess Fiona from Shrek. It may not be the most elegant costume, but Ha-ram still princess-flounces into the party, ready to look for Shadows. To her dismay, nearly everyone is wearing a mask, making it difficult for her to figure out who are the VIP clients on her list.
Aw, Man-soo is dressed as Shrek, although it seems he didn’t actually try to match Ha-ram. Nevertheless, they’re delighted by the coincidence, but when Ha-ram brags that she haggled the cost of her costume down to 20,000 won, Man-soo confesses he spent 2,000,000 won. Hee!
Black arrives at the party in the costume that Ha-ram picked out for him, which is a black suit with a name tag that says, “Grim Reaper.” HAHAHAHA! Apparently he’s dressed as Brad Pitt’s titular character from Meet Joe Black (and, of course, Black’s namesake).
I’ve never seen the movie, so both Black and I are bewildered that Ha-ram was so adamant he carry around a jar of peanut butter. But Black thinks the peanut butter is tasty, so there’s no complaints. As Black reminds Ha-ram that she needs to keep an eye out for the Shadow, a masked man stealthily steals Black’s phone from his pocket.
Soo-wan is heartbroken that she won’t be able to say a final goodbye to Moo-gang in person. She instead has to settle for a call goodbye, but she’s surprised when another man answers. It’s the missing-finger man — aha, so he was the one who stole Black’s phone. He tells Soo-wan that if she wants to save Moo-gang’s life, then she better come quickly.
Man-soo touches up his Shrek makeup while one of his chaebol buddies asks why “that girl from the bar” was invited to the party. Man-soo defends Tiffany, telling his smarmy buddy that Tiffany is a friend so the buddy better watch what he says about her. On the way back to the party, the smarmy buddy offers Man-soo’s nephew some drugs. Uh-oh.
Tiffany does not look thrilled to be at the same party as Leo. A flashback shows that Leo did not take kindly to Tiffany refusing to spend time with him outside the bar, and grabbed her hair to drag her into his van. Man-soo and Loser (who was still alive and Leo’s manager at that time) intervened to save her.
At the party, Man-soo apologizes on Leo’s behalf, and Tiffany says that a VIP party isn’t as much fun as she thought it would be. Aw, when she asks if she can take a slice of cake home to her daughter, Man-soo offers to pack up a whole tray of leftovers for her. What a thoughtful cutie.
In repayment for Man-soo’s kind gesture, Tiffany gets the DJ to play a song just for the “Shrek” couple. Black watches Ha-ram and Man-soo hamming it up on the dance floor in an effort to entertain the VIP clients. Black sneers that they don’t suit each other, but I beg to differ, because they’re actually the cutest things ever.
Soo-wan finds Black on the balcony at the party. She tearfully confesses that she’s leaving for America, adding that since she came all this way to say goodbye, he could at least try to look a little sad. Soo-wan leans in for a kiss — which Ha-ram sees, her eyes filled with the pain of broken heart.
Even though Black pushes Soo-wan away, he wonders to himself why his heart always seems to ache when he’s around Soo-wan. Soo-wan tells him that she’ll repent for the rest of her life because of what she’s done. She also thinks it’s for the best that he doesn’t try too hard to regain his memories.
Suddenly the lights are shut off. The guests think the sudden darkness all a part of the party atmosphere, but Ha-ram starts to panic after someone bumps into her and she has a Shadow-vision of how that person dies. The person’s face is obscured in her vision so she can’t tell who it is.
Soo-wan also disappears during the darkness, stabbing the missing-finger man in the neck with a nail file when he tries to grab her. Once the lights turn on again, a bewildered Black wonders where Soo-wan vanished to. Black sees the masked missing-finger man stagger off, clutching his bloody neck.
The man runs after Soo-wan as she drives off. She speeds down the highway, and he follows in close, angry pursuit. But Black suddenly drops onto the man’s car, trying to force the man off the road. It’s a bloody battle on the car as Black punches through the window to try and take control of the steering wheel, but the man slams on the breaks, causing Black to tumble off the hood.
Now out of the car, the man and Black fight each other in the middle of a bridge. Black angrily tells the man that things will get complicated if the man kills Moo-gang again. In response, the man stabs Black in the stomach, telling him that he (Moo-gang) should have laid low and behaved after being allowed to live.
Then the man throws Black over the side of the bridge, where he splashes into the water. Soo-wan, who had turned her car around when she saw Moo-gang fighting the missing-finger man, runs over to the edge of the bridge, screaming Moo-gang’s name. As Black starts to drown, he hears Ha-ram shouting “Oppa, no!” He muses that Ha-ram will be sad about Moo-gang’s death.
The missing-finger man grabs Soo-wan and drags her off. Black continues to sink deeper into the water. Suddenly, his eyes open. Black: “What’s going on? Why can’t I leave?”
I thought I was finally getting a decent grasp of how the supernatural worked in the human world, but now I’m just as baffled as Black. Which is undoubtedly a good cliffhanger to keep me watching because I want to know why he’s the exception to the rule. But I also feel like Black on the hood of the car, careening wildly about with no idea where this is going but still clinging on for dear life as the writer speeds through more plot (and even more random details that will undoubtedly be vitally important later). I also want to punch through the windshield and grab the steering wheel, all the while screaming, “What is going on? Where is this going? WILL IT ALL EVENTUALLY MAKE SENSE???”
I don’t know what to trust any more. Leo’s obviously a terrible guy because of the way he treated Tiffany, but why would Moo-gang be so heartless as to leave him behind when he was overdosing (whether purposefully or not, I’m still not sure)? It’s a good thing Black is still stuck in Moo-gang’s body because there are so many more memories of his that I need to know, because Moo-gang is definitely not just the adorable clumsy buffoon we first met. There’s something wayyyyyyyy deeper going on — but at this rate, I’m not sure when we’ll find out what it is. Hopefully we will soon, though, because I’m starting to get “detail retention fatigue.”
At least this episode actually had someone’s life being saved, even if Ha-ram wasn’t directly involved (but she totally would have done it if she could have, so I at least give her that much credit, since if she had the vision, then maybe Leo wouldn’t have noticed and interfered if Ha-ram hadn’t run up there and screamed). Then again, she may have been responsible for saving the life of the guy who was going to be killed by the writer’s falling body, although I’m not sure how much of a win that would have. I’m pretty sure the man she saved is the scarface guy who killed the doctor at the mental health hospital, then went looking for Soo-wan — the same guy that was looking for young Joon and the other boy in the abandoned warehouse. I suppose the scarface guy can’t die until we figure out how he fits in with this sprawling mystery, though.
I also ache for Soo-wan and everything she’s endured. She’s clearly had a difficult life, making choices that might not have been the easiest for her to live with, but it got her where she wanted to go. At least until now. I’m really rooting for her to be able to reclaim her life, but I’m also concerned about what will happen to her now that she’s been captured by the missing-finger man. Why is everyone so desperate to kill anyone related to the teenage prostitution that happened twenty years ago? Even though logic tells me that a second-lead can’t die when we’re not even halfway through a show, I’m also fully aware that this show can do bizarre and amazing things when it comes to death.
In terms of the other second lead, I adored Man-soo and Ha-ram as Shrek and Fiona. The rules of dramaland make me assume that this will be a one-sided romance destined to fail because Ha-ram’s first love is all that matters, but honestly, they’re adorable together. I love how she sasses him around, clearly unimpressed at his so-called status as a CEO. I also love how he completely trusts her and believes in her ability to see Death. I’m not saying they’re a match made in heaven (or, uh, hell, or wherever it is that Reapers live), but I find their friendship and partnership a lot more believable than whatever the heck is going on between her and Black. I’m also hoping Leo somehow is the good guy she believes him to be (and not the jerk and cad he appears to everyone else). I just really want Ha-ram to have something good in her life, even if it’s only a celebrity crush.
It does seem apparent that the person Moo-gang was in such a huge rush to meet the day he died was Leo — or at least somehow connected to Leo. The clothes Moo-gang was wearing in Leo’s memory of overdosing were the same clothes Moo-gang wore when he was shot, and I’d bet that was a hotel bathroom. Of course, it doesn’t explain what’s in the envelope Moo-gang threw away, but then again what would this show be without adding another dozen mysteries each week? Probably less confusing, but where’s the fun in that?
- Premiere Watch: 20th Century, Witch’s Court, This Life Is Our First, Mad Dog, Revenge Club, Go Back Spouses, Package, Black, Revolutionary Love
- Song Seung-heon goes from bad cop to badass grim reaper in Black
- The unlikely human-reaper duo saving lives in OCN’s Black
- Grim reaper Song Seung-heon and death psychic Go Ara in OCN’s Black
- Dying roses and burning skulls for OCN’s Black
- News bites: July 1, 2017
- Song Seung-heon and Go Ara for reaper-human romance in OCN thriller Black
- OCN completes weekend lineup for 2017 with new drama from God’s Gift writer