Come Here and Hug Me: Episodes 17-18
Ah, to be young and in love… is a bad thing in dramaland. Or maybe it’s just a bad thing to be anything this week as the show creates fresh problems for everyone, angels and psychopaths alike. Do-jin will need lots of hugs and an extra pint of blood to deal with everything that’s coming his family’s way because believe it or not, things can get worse than just having a psychopath murderer for a father.
EPISODES 17-18 RECAP
We pick up where we left off: the two brothers wrestling over a hammer in Jae-yi’s garage. Do-jin is hard-pressed trying to defend himself, block the door, and talk Hyun-moo out of a murderous rage all at the same time.
Hyun-moo ups the pressure by describing all the evil things he’s been up to lately, like paying off a perp to hurt Do-jin and setting up that Christmas present for Jae-yi. Do-jin sees through his lie of attacking Jae-yi the other night but that’s easily remedied because he’s here now to hurt Jae-yi for being the reason Do-jin sent Dad to jail. Do-jin explains to his hyung that he did it because Dad’s a freaking murderer, but Hyun-moo thinks he should’ve let the killings go for their dad’s sake. Do-jin cries that it’s exactly because he’s their father that it’s harder to excuse him for committing atrocities and hurting his own family in the process.
In a flashback, we see just how un-father-ish Dad can be as he watched three boys beat up a young Hyun-moo. Instead of lifting a hand or telling the boys to scat, he stared down at his son and ordered him to win and stop being an embarrassment to his father.
Back in the present, Do-jin reminds Hyun-moo that his real family is Mom and Do-jin who never stopped reaching out to him, even in prison. They can be a family if he’d only stop rejecting them. Hyun-moo hesitates before lashing out that he can’t trust them because they already betrayed Dad.
Just then, Jae-yi arrives on the other side of the door, making Do-jin panic as the sound of her voice drives Hyun-moo so mad, he starts tearing the door down. Do-jin holds him back, reminding him that they used to look out for each other. In another flashback, we see that Hyun-moo found his little brother’s hammer and called him a weird kid before throwing it away. Do-jin wonders what happened for Hyung to pick up the Hammer of Violence now?
Dad happened, is what. In another flashback, Hyung talked to Dad in jail, asking for permission to kill Na-moo. Dad laughed in his face for trying so hard to get his approval. He tells him not to bother as he’s useless and will never beat his younger brother anyway.
The memory tips Hyung towards the dark side. He drops the hammer and takes out a knife, diving for the door. Do-jin blocks him and gets stabbed instead. Gah! Does he think he’s actually a tree?! Hyun-moo stares, horrified at the blood on his hands. He remembers Moo-won’s words that murder is disgusting and it will haunt you forever. He stumbles out of the garage, bumping into the Yoon Hee-jae fanboy from a previous episode. Fanboy scoffs at him and surveys the scene, laughing to himself as Jae-yi fights the urge to faint at the sight of such violence. She manages to stay conscious enough to call an ambulance and render first aid on Do-jin until help arrived.
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Park Hee-young is currently on a mission to get a statement from the tight-lipped Moo-won. She ambush interviews him, bringing up his connection to Hyun-moo, then Jae-yi’s PTSD, until Moo-won grabs her collar and finally offers a “statement”: she’s nothing but a Yoon Hee-jae using a pen to destroy people’s lives.
Park explains that her actions are a social good since she sacrificed Jae-yi to get compensation and publicity for the other victims, but Moo-won steps on that self-assurance by referring to her work as “picking up Yoon Hee-jae’s shit.” Park one-ups him by calling out his real name, Lim Tae-kyung, and the fact that he killed his parents’ killer at such a young age. She wonders how it feels to be a murderer at twelve and if having a criminal’s mind is his secret to being a successful prosecutor. Moo-won isn’t even fazed as he agrees that he’s a monster… just like her and Yoon Hee-jae. She’s offended to be lumped together with murderers, but Moo-won calls what she does a different form of killing.
As surgeons operate on Do-jin, we get another glimpse of Christmas Eve 2006. Na-moo looks spent as Nak-won is dragged away. He screams in frustration at why his father has to be a monster but Dad just repeats he has to get rid of Na-moo’s weaknesses like some sick killerbot.
Mom and So-jin are in the hospital waiting for the surgery to end while hearing the details from Jae-yi. During a quiet moment, Mom kneels before Jae-yi and wipes the blood off her hands while apologizing for what happened twelve years ago with her husband and tonight with Hyun-moo. Jae-yi kindly but firmly turns her down, “I’ll take that apology from the people who need to apologize.” When Do-jin wakes up, Mom promises to catch Hyun-moo to make him pay for what he did and stop him from causing more trouble. Do-jin asks to bring Hyun-moo in himself, confident that his hyung wouldn’t go too far. (So can’t you, with that stab wound!)
Do-jin is right though. So-jin finds Hyun-moo lurking at home. She fearlessly beats his chest, scolding him for hurting Do-jin Oppa. He silently takes her abuse until he realizes that Do-jin is still alive. So-jin notes the relief in Hyun-moo’s face. She tells him she’ll call the cops now so he can snap out of whatever’s gotten into him. He says he’s doing this revenge thing for Dad and leaves after warning her not to call the cops lest he ends up hurting her too. So-jin reports what happened to Mom who also notes how Hyun-moo showed a teensy bit of concern for Do-jin.
The next morning, Dad happily greets a visitor. It’s Mom. She looks terrified to be there but curses Dad out anyway for pitting the boys against each other. She warns him not to talk to any of her sons ever again. Dad is genuinely surprised and impressed that Hyun-moo was able to cause enough trouble to make her finally visit him after twelve years of silence.
He must’ve been dying to ask her the next question, “You saw what I did to the woman at the dog farm, right?” Dad guessed it was the reason Mom ran away without a word. He points out that she’s partially responsible for what happened to Nak-won’s family. If she reported him instead of hiding, he would’ve been caught sooner. We know Mom already feels the burden of her inaction, but it’s disturbing to hear the actual murderer gleefully point it out.
To ease her guilt (or not), Dad shares what a nun taught him about repentance: God will forgive, you only have to ask. Dad takes that logic and runs with it: if getting forgiveness is easy, then you can sin again and just repent again.
Not that Dad plans to sin anytime soon. Only when he doesn’t get what he wants. Like more visits from Mom, So-jin, and Na-moo. Oh, and for Mom to stay away from other men. He also assures her he’s not entirely powerless in prison. Mom is trembling with fear and anger by the end of Dad’s
wishlist threats. She vows to tear him into pieces and eat all of them if he ever comes near her three children again. Of course, such display of inner strength just excites Dad as he pronounces Mom his ideal woman.
That night, Park Hee-young airs a preview of her upcoming documentary, updated with details of Jae-yi’s and Do-jin’s ongoing tragic love story and the hyung who won’t leave them in peace. She wonders how Nak-won and Na-moo can stay close friends twelve years after they survived the attack—unless they shared a terrible secret, something that was covered up in police records and court hearings. Something the kids did that made it easier for the cops to catch the strong Yoon Hee-jae.
Park ends the segment by promising to dig for the full truth as part of the process of “cutting the evil” out of Yoon Hee-jae’s family. Her staff cheers as they watch the ratings rise. I hate them. Where’s a World Cup pre-emption when you need one?
Meanwhile, Hyun-moo is trying to psych himself back on the murdering train as he follows a drunk man into a dark alley. He doesn’t notice that Dad’s fanboy is stalking him until Fanboy runs forward to bash the drunk guy’s head in. Fanboy introduces himself as the real guy behind the recent hammer attacks. He stepped in when Hyun-moo chickened out, unable to kill his first victim. Fanboy also reveals that he’s been in contact with Dad who described Hyun-moo perfectly: a weakling not worthy to be Yoon Hee-jae’s son. Nooo! Stop breaking his murderer-wannabe heart!
Dad is in a foul mood after watching Park Hee-young’s broadcast. He hauls a guard inside his cell and strangles him, wondering if he’ll be his thirteenth—no, fourteenth kill. In the end, he decides to let go because the guard isn’t worth breaking his twelve-year no-kill streak for. (Wait, can we rewind to the part where he said fourteenth kill?!)
Jae-yi doesn’t even listen to the rest of Park’s trashy show. She leaves her hotel room and ignores people’s stares to go visit Do-jin. She finds him exactly as she feared, worrying about her and the documentary instead of resting. She wonders why the world keeps making them suffer when they were just kids who liked each other. Do-jin just stares at her like a puppy as she asks if they can stop being sorry all the time and try being happy for once.
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Let’s stop being sorry
You can’t disagree with her. What’s the point of being merciful and putting off your happiness when everyone else won’t leave you in peace anyway? Story-wise, I also want them to just get together already. It doesn’t matter if it causes them more pain or a bit of happiness or both. I just want something to happen to them because all the other problems have already moved along and given birth to new problems. Even Dad and Hyun-moo have fresh enemies now. When your show’s source of conflict gets its own source conflict, it makes the weepy love story look insignificant in comparison.
Also, I just love confrontations. They blow secrets out in the open so we can move forward with the consequences, and this week we were spoiled with meaty ones. In Do-jin’s and Hyun-moo’s encounter, I didn’t like that Do-jin was stabbed but I love that it bared Hyun-moo’s real feelings toward his little brother and murder in general. Now the family has confirmation that there’s a part of Hyun-moo that isn’t fully controlled by Dad. And it’ll be much harder for him to follow in Dad’s footsteps after he’s had a taste of that “disgusting feeling” of killing someone.
Then there’s Hyun-moo’s introduction to Dad’s fanboy who’s everything Hyun-moo wishes he could be. Will the fanboy’s closeness to Dad be the pressure Hyun-moo needs to kill someone for real? It’s one thing to compete with a brother who tries to redeem you at every turn, it’s another to compete with a soulless stranger who taunts you with intel straight from your Dad.
There’s also Mom’s visit with Dad. We know she’s strong to step up to Dad and protect the kids, but having Dad expose her wrongs and applaud them was painful to watch. I’ve always wondered if Dad was faking his overtures to Mom so he can stab her when she gets too close, but the reveal that he’s “in love” with Mom for keeping his terrible secret was disgusting. It’s like the most abhorrent compliment ever.
Murders aside, Yoon Hee-jae’s obsession with strength is fascinating because he actually has a good eye for it. Mom and Na-moo have never shown any tendency towards violence, yet he was able to pinpoint and admire them as strong people. That means when he gushes about strength, he’s referring to the mental more than the physical kind. But then he showcases his strength by murdering people, which is really just an exercise in physical prowess. Or does he count overcoming that emotional block of killing a person as an exercise in mental strength? If that’s the case, then he probably thinks Mom and Na-moo are capable of murder too, under the right circumstances.
I’m thinking it’s the same reason he tolerated or even had a chatty relationship with Park Hee-young. He sees through her and knows she has the guts to destroy people’s lives. Other reporters (like the one Do-jin threatened in earlier episodes) would back down or feel a bit of guilt when confronted with what they’ve done, but not Park Hee-young. I don’t even think she’s bluffing when she didn’t understand what Moo-won meant about killing people with her pen. She really believes she’s not in the wrong. Everyone else is just too weak to chase after an “interesting” story.
It’s the kind of logic that makes you think repentance is a Get Out of Hell Free Card. The same kind of logic that gives you the confidence to backstab your psychopath friend with a tiny psychopath fanclub in front of national television. It looks like a power move but it doesn’t seem smart to me. Maybe intelligence isn’t Park Hee-young’s strongest suit. If she’s not careful, someone will be writing her name in the headlines soon with a number fourteen attached to it.