Black: Episode 14
Everybody struggles to understand their emotions this episode, particularly those who refuse to believe that they’re in love (ahem, Black). There’s also some stuff about the mysterious missing tape, as well as tracking down the culprit responsible for Scarface killing all those people. Not to mention dramatic attempts at being the Noble Idiot. Because of feeeeeeeeeelings.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Black suddenly jolts to consciousness in the back of an ambulance. He remembers seeing a key on the ground when he was looking for Ha-ram, and returns to that area to find an old, rusty gate in a tunnel. The gate is locked.
Shining a flashlight inside, he sees Ha-ram. He uses his supernatural strength to bend the bars of the gate so he can squeeze through. Black gently pulls Ha-ram into his arms, and, thinking she’s dead, he quietly apologizes for being too late.
He soon realizes that Ha-ram is still alive, and tries to help her regain consciousness. When she does, she shrieks at him, pushing him away and desperately pleading that he kill her and no one else. She huddles in a corner, sobbing as she repeats that the other person had nothing to do with it.
The crime lab discovers that there was actually two types of blood found where Ha-ram was stabbed, which means that the two liters of lost blood was from two different people. That other person was Man-soo, who Ha-ram protectively cradles in her arms.
A flashback reveals that just after Scarface stabbed Ha-ram, Man-soo came flying from out of nowhere to tackle Scarface. Man-soo clung to Scarface, urging Ha-ram to run away, but when she saw Scarface stab Man-soo, Ha-ram ran back to try and save Man-soo.
After knocking Scarface to the ground, Ha-ram helped Man-soo run away (or limp away) until she found the gate in the tunnel. Remembering Joon once gave her advice (that her father gave him) that the safest way to protect herself was to lock herself up so the enemy couldn’t reach her, she attempted to padlock the gate shut as Scarface approached.
The padlock key dropped on the Scarface’s side of the gate, but instead of unlocking it, Scarface finished locking the gate. Knowing Man-soo and Ha-ram would be unable to escape, he gleefully left them to die, tossing the key aside as he walked away.
Man-ho’s father has died, and Moo-gang’s mother sadly tells the other attending doctors to contact his sons.
Just then an ambulance arrives with Man-soo, Ha-ram, and Black. Man-soo’s in the worst condition, unconscious with stab wounds in his chest. Creepy Doc watches in astonishment as Ha-ram and Black follow Man-soo’s gurney. Creepy Doc is stunned that they’re still alive.
Man-soo is rushed to the operating room, and Black watches from a distance as Ha-ram kneels, sobbing. As Moo-gang’s mother prepares to enter the operating room, Ha-ram stops her, begging she save Man-soo’s life. Ha-ram blames herself for Man-soo’s injuries.
Soo-wan hurries to the hospital, relieved that Black is okay. But Black needs a favor from Soo-wan.
As Ha-ram sits outside the operation room, quietly praying that Man-soo will survive, Soo-wan approaches and gently informs Ha-ram that she knows exactly how Ha-ram is feeling. Soo-wan tells Ha-ram about a boy who liked her, and one day, he tried to save her — but he died. (The boy, of course, is Joon, although Soo-wan never mentions his name.)
Soo-wan confesses that she felt guilty for the boy’s death, and even tried to kill herself over it. But she realized it would only make that boy’s life meaningless. Since her life was saved at the cost of his, she shouldn’t throw away her life so easily.
Because Man-soo risked his life to save her, Ha-ram should focus on taking care of her own injuries so she can be healthy when he wakes up. Ha-ram allows Soo-wn to escort her to a doctor.
Black watches Ha-ram sleep in her hospital bed after her wounds are attended to. Soo-wan finds him and reminds him that since she did as he asked (making sure Ha-ram was taken care of), he now has to fulfill her request to make sure his own injuries are treated. Soo-wan cries as she bandages Black’s hands, wishing she hadn’t wanted him so much.
Ha-ram wakes up and limps out of her room only to discover her mother is at the hospital, being treated for whiplash after the bus hijacking. Mom is delighted and relieved to find Ha-ram alive, but Ha-ram blows her off, pointing out that it’s not like Mom’s ever cared about her before.
As Ha-ram continues her slow, painful way down the hall, Mom breathes a prayer of gratitude: “Ha-ram’s father, you protected her, didn’t you? Thank you.”
Kwang-kyun and the other detectives storm into Scarface’s hideout, and thanks to information from Black, Kwang-kyun knows that Leo is Scarface’s next victim. Kwang-kyun also spots the victim photo board and sees that there are two photos missing.
Man-soo’s surgery went well, although his condition isn’t completely stable. But at least he’s alive. Ha-ram sits by Man-soo’s bed, watching him as she recalls him asking her if she saw any Shadows around him when they were locked in the tunnel.
Ha-ram said she didn’t see any, which meant he was going to live. Man-soo reminded her that she told him she can’t see Shadows in the dark, so he knew she had to be lying.
Man-soo turned to Ha-ram and asked if she would date him — or at least be his girlfriend until he died. He didn’t want to die and become a bachelor ghost. Ha-ram told him he was speaking nonsense, but he cut her off, sincerely confessing that he likes her. Ha-ram didn’t answer and focused on making sure he was comfortable.
Leo’s drama is filming at the police station (and may I just add that Leo looks much more attractive without the green hair). Kwang-kyun asks if Leo’s ever seen Scarface, but Leo points out that he would have recognized him as Mi-so’s driver if he’d known Scarface from before.
Kwang-kyun then asks if anything strange happened while Leo was filming at Royal Hospital, and Leo mentions Missing-finger kicking him out of his napping room, but Leo says he doesn’t remember what Missing-finger looks like. Kwang-kyun asks if Leo has any connections to Mujin, and Leo says that he doesn’t — he spent his childhood in America.
After Kwang-kyun leaves, Leo’s manager wonders why Leo said that, since he thought Leo had mentioned he grew up in Mujin. Leo scoffs, insisting that he never said such a thing, but he looks suspiciously thoughtful as he flips through his drama script.
It’s Chief Bong’s turn to try and summarize everything the detectives know so far: Joon witnessed something the day Clara, Jin-sook, and Seon-young disappeared, and the next day Joon was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Scarface was hired by the man in the butterfly watch to get tapes from Clara, but instead killed her, but Scarface didn’t kill Joon. However Scarface did kill the mental health director and his sister-in-law and her husband.
But Scarface doesn’t seem to hold any grudges against Mi-so or Leo, despite sending both of them threatening anonymous letters (and ultimately killing Mi-so). The detectives theorize that since there were rumors about Man-ho being Mi-so’s sponsor, that would mean Man-ho is somehow related. But they wonder how Leo and Man-ho are connected. As do I.
Breaking news about the death of Man-ho’s father interrupts the detectives speculation. Ha-ram, watching the news from the hospital, wonders how that could be when the last time she saw him, there was no Shadow. She realizes that she might have been looking at the wrong patient.
Moo-gang’s mother gives Kwang-kyun the key Chairman Oh was holding when he died. She didn’t want to give it to Man-ho, since she knew that Man-ho kept wanting his father to die so Man-ho could take over Royal Group. Mom then hesitantly asks if there’s a way Kwang-kyun could convince Moo-gang to leave the police force, since she doesn’t think it’s a good fit for him, but Kwang-kyun proudly tells her that Moo-gang is actually a pretty decent detective.
Ha-ram rushes to Man-soo’s side as soon as she hears he’s regained consciousness. Man-soo’s first question is if Scarface has been caught, and Ha-ram wrestles with how much she should tell him — including about his father passing away.
Black’s been lurking around Ha-ram all this time (Ha-ram’s “shadow,” if you will), and when she sees him outside Man-soo’s room, she demands to know what happened to Scarface. Black simply tells her that he died.
Ha-ram doesn’t believe him since Black’s been lying to her all this time about being Joon, but Black practically drags her to the morgue so she can see for herself. Kwang-kyun sees them and cautiously follows.
Ha-ram stares at Scarface’s body in anger and disbelief. She asks him why he killed her father, adding that if only people had believed her when she was child and pointed out the man with the spider tattoo, none of this might have happened.
She repeats to herself that none of this is her fault, but I’m not sure how much she believes it. Kwang-kyun, eavesdropping, is shocked to realize that Ha-ram is his old partner’s daughter.
A few days pass and Man-soo’s feeling better, although he’s still at the hospital. Ha-ram tends to him, and Man-soo inwardly cringes as he recalls asking her to be his girlfriend before he died.
Man-soo reassures Ha-ram that he’s doing much better so she doesn’t need to spend all her time caring for him. Then he awkwardly tries to bring up their conversation in the tunnel, pretending he doesn’t remember what he said. Ha-ram says she doesn’t remember what they talked about, either, much to Man-soo’s relief.
As Ha-ram leaves Man-soo’s hospital room, she sees Man-soo’s birth mother in the hallway. Man-soo’s birth mother hurries away, and Ha-ram notices the woman’s Shadow. That means Hip-hop and Joseon aren’t far behind. Aw, Hip-hop still wants to find a way to convince Ha-ram to save the birth mother.
Black walks right through the Reapers to brood outside Man-soo’s room. Black ignores them, but apparently the Hip-hop and Joseon have cause to worry as they warn Black that if he kills a human, Black will cease to exist.
Black then moves on to that most human reaction of drowning his sorrows in alcohol. When he’s nearly passed-out drunk, the food stall owner calls Soo-wan, who’s still first on Moo-gang’s speed dial. When Soo-wan gets there, she assumes Soo-wan is Ha-ram just based on the amount of times Black called out Ha-ram’s name. Black refuses Soo-wan’s help and drunkenly stumbles away.
When Black ends up falling asleep the police station, Kwang-kyun is tasked into dragging him home. Black wonders why he’s acting like this, and Kwang-kyun points out that Black climbed out of a moving car and got shot because of a girl. He wonders if Black is an idiot, stating that Black’s obviously in love.
Kwang-kyun laughs at Black’s bewildered reaction, wonderng if Black has ever been in love before. A flashback shows Kwang-kyun and Ha-ram’s father back in Mujin, when Ha-ram’s father asked him the same question after Kwang-kyun wondered how he felt about Clara.
Ha-ram’s father warned Kwang-kyun that the person you love might not always be there as long as you’d think, so Kwang-kyun shouldn’t over-think things or waste time worrying about it. Even though his wife left him, Ha-ram’s father never regretted loving her. In the present day, Kwang-kyun confesses to Black that he truly loved Clara and doesn’t regret loving her, no matter what kind of person she was.
It’s a crisp fall day as Ha-ram pushes Man-soo’s wheelchair around the park. She carefully makes sure he’s warm and comfortable, and Man-soo suddenly tells her that he really does like her. He admits he remembers what he told her that day in the tunnel, and that he actually meant it when he asked her to be his girlfriend.
Ha-ram is grateful for Man-soo saving her life, however she doesn’t feel the same way about him. Man-soo assumes its because of Black, but Ha-ram protests Black has nothing to do with it. Man-soo wonders if she liked Black because she thought he was Joon, or if she liked Black for himself. At least Man-soo takes her rejection gracefully, asking if they can be friends like they were before.
Kwang-kyun’s discovered that Chairman Oh’s key is to a VIP safety deposit box, but the bank refuses to open it unless Chairman Oh — or Man-soo, who was declared Chairman Oh’s proxy — opens it.
Kwang-kyun hurries to the hospital to ask Man-soo if he’s ever seen the butterfly watch. Man-soo stares at the photo, wondering if it’s the same butterfly watch Ha-ram had asked him about awhile ago. He tells Kwang-soo that he’s never seen it before.
Kwang-kyun then asks him about the safety deposit key, and Man-soo is surprised that Kwang-kyun has it, since it’s the key Man-soo’s father promised to tell him about “when the time was right.” Kwang-kyun informs Man-soo that he’s the only one who can open the safety deposit box now that Chairman Oh has passed away.
Man-soo is shocked — this is the first he’s heard about his father’s death. Man-soo wheels himself out of his room to confront Ha-ram, demanding to know why she told him that she didn’t see any Shadows on his father.
He weeps in grief as Ha-ram apologizes. She explains that she must have mistaken Sang-min’s hospital room for Chairman Oh’s, and so she checked for Shadows on the wrong person.
As Man-soo sits in front of his father’s memorial, he tells Ha-ram that he doesn’t blame her. Man-soo believes that his father died of a heart attack (according to the doctors), which would have been impossible to prevent even if Ha-ram was able to see the Shadow.
Black refuses to accept that he’s in love, reminding Hip-hop and Joseon that he’s the coldhearted 444. The idea of Black falling in love with a human is ridiculous! Hip-hop and Joseon play along, agreeing with him. Black’s suddenly determined to track down Loser again, blaming Loser for putting him in this situation in the first place.
Black continues to repeatedly and obsessively scoff at the idea he could be in love. Hip-hop stares at him like he’s gone crazy.
Man-soo opens his father’s safety deposit box — it contains a video tape. OMG, is this the tape?
Kwang-kyun watches the tape, but all we can see on screen is a woman’s figure (fully clothed, thankfully). Kwang-kyun stares the the TV in disbelief: “It wasn’t Man-ho?”
Kwang-kyun takes the tape to Congressman Kim, who confesses that he was the one who originally filmed the interview, back when he worked on an investigative reporter TV show. He’d gone to Clara’s bar because there had been reports of a prostitution ring, and found Seon-young in a back room.
Seon-young was scared of the sex traffickers, who’d already threatened her before. Congressman Kim told Seon-young that if she confessed everything she knew, he’d make sure the prostitution ring would be destroyed and they wouldn’t bother her again. He promised to disguise her voice and make sure her face wasn’t visible so no one would recognize or harm her, especially since she was the only witness.
Congressman Kim interviewed her using the bar’s camera, worried that Seon-young would change her mind about the interview if he went to get his own camera. As he filmed, a terrified Seon-young confessed that Chairman Oh was the person behind the prostitution ring, although Byung-shik was the one who funded it.
Kwang-kyun can’t believe that Congressman Kim didn’t go public with the tape, and Congressman Kim admits that as he was going through the tape in the office, the report of the Mujin mall collapse caused all the investigative reporters to hurry to the site of the mall. When Congressman Kim returned, the original tape had disappeared from his desk.
Congressman Kim assumed Seon-young, scared, had confessed that she’d done an interview, so Chairman Oh then had someone steal the tape. Congressman Kim tried to find Seon-young again, but she’d disappeared. No one investigated the sex trafficking because there was no longer any proof.
Kwang-kyun realizes that Chairman Oh was bribed by Byung-shik to insure Mujin mall by providing him a way to have sex with minors. Kwang-kyun wonders if Chairman Oh was really the one behind it all, even though he couldn’t have been the one to kill Jin-sook since the chairman was bedridden at that time.
Congressman Kim then shares a voicemail that he received from Commissioner Song just before the commissioner met his fate with the Truck of Doom. Congressman Kim assumed it was an accident, but now he wonders if Commissioner Song’s death was intentional, since the commissioner had planned to talk to him about Man-ho.
That’s enough evidence for Kwang-kyun, who orders another search-and-seizure warrant against Man-ho. But Royal Group’s influence and power manages to get the request denied. Kwang-kyun goes all “Crazy Dog” as he insists that all the clues point to Man-ho being the culprit. Chief Bong argues that they still need more evidence — such as proof that Man-ho has the butterfly watch.
Man-soo shuffles into the police station with the box of 1997 files. He’s also included a photo of one of the selfies he took while in his brother’s closet months ago — which includes a photo of Man-ho’s watch collection, and the butterfly watch is clearly visible. Yes!
Man-ho speaks to Royal Group’s board of directors, promising to make Royal Group the number one company in the world — starting with the Royal Group mall in Mujin. Kwang-kyun barges in with his arrest warrant and escorts Man-ho out in handcuffs. Double yes!
In the interrogation room, Man-ho insists it’s ridiculous to suggest that he killed Jin-sook, a person he didn’t even know. But Kwang-kyun’s asks if it was Man-ho or Chairman Oh who hired Scarface to kill Clara and then got Scarface locked up in the mental hospital.
Kwang-kyun continues to poke the bear by asking about his relationship with Mi-so. Man-ho denies that Mi-so was his mistress and instead his interactions with her were purely business related.
Kwang-kyun shows him the picture of the man with the butterfly watch who met with Jin-sook the night she died, and Man-ho protests that he was elsewhere then.
Except Man-ho’s driver testifies that Man-ho paid him to take the night off so Man-ho could personally drive the car. Later, the driver found a receipt from Mujin’s tollgate in the car. Man-ho’s ready to throttle his driver, but it’s enough proof for the detectives to be satisfied that Man-ho is the culprit.
So-tae wonders, though, how Man-ho is connected to Leo (tell me about it!), and Chief Bong says they’ll figure it out eventually. Sigh.
Soo-wan visits Ha-ram, confessing that Black didn’t lie to Ha-ram about being Joon so he could use her. He’d only found out recently and wanted to tell her, but couldn’t figure out the right time. Soo-wan surmises that Black must have been afraid to tell her for fear of losing Ha-ram.
Soo-wan admits that her relationship with Moo-gang wasn’t the greatest before his accident, but when she found out he lost his memory, she pretended everything was going well to convince him to stay with her. Soo-wan asks Ha-ram to stay by his side so he won’t get hurt any more — and because Ha-ram seems to be the only thing that makes him happy.
As Soo-wan sits in her car outside Ha-ram’s apartment, she wishes Moo-gang will be happy with Ha-ram, vowing to protect him at any cost. With a determined look on her face, she drives away.
During a celebratory work dinner (the misfit backup detective team is now promoted to a Violent Crimes Unit!), Kwang-kyun drunkenly staggers to the bathroom, accidentally knocking into a group of women. As he apologizes and picks up their belongings for them, he sees a cartoon bunny head attached to one of their purses. That makes him realize something and he hurries out of the restaurant.
Hip-hop makes up a cute rap complimenting Black on his stylish outfit, asking if he’s going to see Ha-ram and confess he’s in love with her. But Black’s actually going to say goodbye. Hip-hop wonders if this means Black will leave Moo-gang’s body, and Black retorts they should just call the Death Squad now. He’d rather be a three-headed dog than have someone think he’s in love with a human.
Hip-hop asks Joseon if this means Black will leave without finding his true body, and Joseon sighs that some things are just meant to be.
Tiffany and Hyo-jin visit Man-soo, who despondently ignores Tiffany’s attempts to cheer him up. Hyo-jin plays the video she took of Black jumping onto the bus, demanding that Scarface tell him where Ha-ram is. Man-soo watches it, his eyes growing wide with shock.
Kwang-kyun tries to call Chief Bong, but he’s too drunk to answer, and the dirty detective answers instead. So-tae is annoyed that Kwang-kyun isn’t answering his phone, and So-tae tries to find him since Kwang-kyun said he’d pay for the detectives’ meal.
Kwang-kyun, bloody and injured, crawls out of his overturned car that’s been run off the road into a steep ditch. A man dangles the butterfly watch in front of Kwang-kyun’s face.
Despite knowing that this will mean he’s giving up any hope to be with Ha-ram, Man-soo sends Ha-ram a copy of the video of Black clinging to the bus, demanding Scarface tell him where Ha-ram was.
Black arrives at Ha-ram’s place to tell her that he’s planning on leaving, and simply wanted to say “goodbye.” Ha-ram suddenly grabs him in a back-hug, confessing that even though she thought she liked him because he was Joon, she’s realized that she actually likes him for him.
Black slowly turns around and Ha-ram says that the person she likes is him, Moo-gang. She pulls him close and kisses him. Black’s eyes open wide in surprise.
Awwwwww. On the one hand, it’s really sweet that Ha-ram realized that she likes Black not because she thinks he’s her childhood sweetheart, but because of what she’s known about him since they’ve started working together. On the other hand, she now thinks she’s in love with Moo-gang, which — while closer to the truth — still isn’t the whole truth. And if we’re correct in our theory that Black’s true spirit is Joon, then poor Ha-ram’s mind is going to be blown even more: “I’m in love with Joon, but now I realize it’s really Moo-gang, but he’s actually Joon’s spirit in Moo-gang’s body.” Which might be a pretty sweet deal, all things considered (hey, we don’t know what Joon would have looked like all grown up!). I definitely loved watching Black quietly find ways to stay in Ha-ram’s orbit. It was clear that he respected her boundaries, but still wanted to make sure she was safe, especially since she nearly died because he wasn’t by her side. Also the way he kept tabs on her reminded me of the way Reapers patiently follow their assignments until it’s time to reap a soul.
I feel slightly vindicated that everyone else in this show is just as mystified as I am about how Man-ho and Leo are connected. If they even are connected. I’d already suspected that Man-ho, that evil dog-killer, might actually a red herring to distract us from the mysterious man who’s truly been calling the shots. There’s definitely someone else out there, because it couldn’t have been Man-ho who ran Kwang-kyun off the road since Man-ho is (presumably) in jail. That means there’s another Big Bad out there (and I reaaaalllly hope the watch he showed Kwang-kyun was Man-ho’s, because I think I’ll tear my hair out if it’s revealed that this “one of a kind” designer watch has yet another copy out there).
I also had a sudden suspicion that maybe Leo did die that day in the hotel and Loser stole his body instead of Creepy Doc (but Creepy Doc definitely has some Reaper in him because how else can he see the Reapers at the hospital or know about the capsule?). It kinda made sense, for a hot feverish minute, until I realized that Ha-ram would have noticed the Shadow in Leo, and it doesn’t explain why Creepy Doc wants to kill Leo. Then I put on my conspiracy sunglasses and decided that, if it’s true that Ha-ram can’t see her own Shadow/Reaper, then maybe she can’t see Loser because if he and Black were partners, then technically they should be reaping Ha-ram’s soul together. Unless it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that Reapers work in pairs. After all, when Ha-ram’s mother and father got into that accident on their wedding day, it looked like there was only one Reaper in the backseat. Or maybe the underworld decided to learn from experience and realized working in pairs means a Reaper is less likely to make a run for it, like Ha-ram’s father did. Or maybe I’m overthinking the logistics of Reaperdom. Maybe I should just take Chief Bong’s advice and wait for the show to explain it to me.
At least we’ve finally found the tape! I think. Because if Man-ho really was the one who tried to hush everything up by hiring Scarface to find the tape (even though he wasn’t able to), then you think Man-ho would have discussed it with his father, who might have told him “Hey, I actually have that really incriminating tape locked up in my secret safe deposit box.” If nothing else, a few lives would have been saved. I’m torn about Chairman Oh. He’s obviously done some serious misdeeds in his life (how timely and enraging it is to think about a powerful older man coercing an underage girl to have sex with him). But I just can’t peg him as being truly evil for some reason. There seemed like a resigned acceptance of his fate — like he knew he needed to pay for his crimes.
I hate the fact that Man-soo will eventually have to see his father, who he idolized, in such a terrible light. There are so few people in Man-soo’s life that he can trust and respect — and love — that to have his memories of his father tainted by the actions of the past will likely destroy him. Man-soo’s such a squishy marshmallow that I want to protect him from enduring anything horrible ever again. Although, I have a lot of respect for the way he handled Ha-ram’s rejection, especially now it means I can impatiently wait to see how long it takes for Man-soo to realize how awesome Tiffany is and that he might make a pretty cool stepdad. I’m just sayin’.
I also have some grudging respect for Soo-wan confessing that she lied about Black pretending to be Joon just to use Ha-ram. But now I’m worried that Soo-wan will do something dumb and dangerous — well, not like that would be anything new for her, but she certainly seems to be giving off the vibe of “I have nothing else to lose so I might as well take down everyone I can or die trying.” Considering she’s still the only living witness of the teenage prostitution ring, she actually holds some power if she decides to reveal what really happened in Mujin — and hopefully take down even more powerful and corrupt people while she’s at it.
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