When the Devil Calls Your Name: Episode 11
This episode is all about fathers and sons, and how the love of a parent for their child can make them do things they would never do otherwise. Many more truths are uncovered, but as always, the truth only makes things more complicated. When one’s soul is on the line, how do you choose which love to save and which love to sacrifice?
EPISODE 11 RECAP
With Luka lying on the operating table on the brink of death, Ha Rib begs Tae-kang to trade his life for the life of the boy he just discovered is his son. Tae-kang refuses, but he does promise to save Luka’s life… if Ha Rib brings him Yi-kyung’s soul right now.
After he leaves, Manager Kang asks Tae-kang what he’ll do if Luka dies and Ha Rib decides not to bring him a grade one soul at all. Tae-kang just says he can’t do that, then leaves to save Luka.
Just as the doctors realize that Luka is gone, someone enters the operating room unseen. It’s Manager Gong, and as he reaches out a hand to Luka’s forehead, Luka’s heart begins beating again.
Yi-kyung finds Ha Rib sitting on the curb outside the hospital in the pouring rain, and he bleakly asks for her soul. She hugs him, and Ha Rib prepares to tell her the entire truth about who he is. But just as he’s about to confess that he’s really Seo Dong-chun, Kang Ha calls out to them.
They run inside and hear the doctor tell Luka’s mother that not only is he alive, but his heart condition has spontaneously improved. Yi-kyung sinks to her heels in relief, and Ha Rib crumples the contract in his hand.
Tae-kang runs into Manager Gong at the hospital and asks if he understands what he just did. Manager Gong replies that ten years ago, a certain devil meddled with the life of a boy who was destined to die. Manager Gong says that the deity allowed the contract (and all demon/human contracts) because he trusts humans to choose good over bad.
He says that he saved Luka because if he hadn’t, Tae-kang would have. Tae-kang is incredulous that Manager Gong would act against the deity’s wishes to spare him punishment, gloating that Manager Gong is doing exactly what he criticizes Tae-kang for — meddling in human lives. He asks angrily if Manager Gong expects him to be touched or want to reconcile, and says he’s too resentful for that to happen.
He tells Manager Gong that he’ll just become more corrupt the more Manager Gong does things like this, but Manager Gong says that if Tae-kang goes any further, he’ll pass the point of no return. Tae-kang snarls that it’s already too late, and Manager Gong recalls a long-ago conversation between him and Tae-kang, before he became a demon.
The Tae-kang from the past (cameo by Nam Da-reum) had asked his father angrily if he was really going to let a child die and his murderer live. Manager Gong had said the child has his own life-and-death destiny, and that even the foulest humans are the deity’s children.
Tae-kang had argued that if the child had to die, his murderer should die an even more painful death. Manager Gong had insisted that their job was only to watch over humans, but Tae-kang had announced, “From now on, I choose not to follow the deity.”
Now Manager Gong begs Tae-kang to let go of humans, but Tae-kang retorts that Manager Gong needs to stop getting in his way. He turns to leave, only to realize that Ha Rib overheard their conversation. He’s shocked to learn that Manager Gong is Tae-kang’s father, and he yells that they have no right to play games with his son’s life.
Tae-kang practically carries Ha Rib out of the room as Manager Gong remembers the moment that Tae-kang was punished for rejecting the deity. Manager Gong had turned away from Tae-kang’s pleas as another heavenly being had severed Tae-kang’s left wing.
Taking Ha Rib to the now-empty operating room, Tae-kang tells Ha Rib that he got lucky, because it was Manager Gong, the deity’s messenger, who saved Luka’s life. He clarifies that he still wants Yi-kyung’s soul delivered by the agreed-upon date, and he’ll release his claim on Ha Rib’s soul.
Ha Rib doesn’t see why he should honor their deal, now that he knows there’s another being that controls life and death. Tae-kang says that human destiny is determined by the deity, but each human only has one destiny, and the deity can’t just change it however he wants.
He tells Ha Rib that humans get one chance to change their own destiny, which is what Ha Rib did by signing a contract with him. He adds that the contract also changed Luka’s destiny for the past ten years. Ha Rib asks why he should honor the new contract and how he knows Luka won’t be in danger once he delivers Yi-kyung’s soul.
Tae-kang says that Luka has escaped death twice, but Ha Rib isn’t reassured, since he knows that there are beings that can interfere whenever they want. Tae-kang just tells him to be thankful that Luka is alive even though he didn’t procure Yi-kyung’s soul today. He informs Ha Rib that Manager Gong won’t get involved again and tells him to honor their contract and save his soul.
Ha Rib wants a promise that Luka won’t die once he does, so Tae-kang tells him that when he delivers Yi-kyung’s soul, his first wish will be renewed. But Ha Rib wants to hear the words, so Tae-kang says, “I promise on the deity’s pride.”
Chung-ryul shows up late at the hospital, and Ha Rib ignores his questions about Luka’s surgery. Distracted, Chung-ryul bumps into a patient and knocks him down, and his vision blurs as the patient’s face turns into a grinning death-mask. Chung-ryul stomps on the patient’s good leg then kicks away his crutch, then stalks off.
Yi-kyung and Sun-ah are there when Luka wakes, and the first word he gasps is, “Dad…” Chung-ryul runs in to hover over Luka, shoving his mom aside.
Yi-kyung goes home, where she thinks about her encounter with Ha Rib outside the hospital. He’d been distraught over how he’s lived his life, confusing Yi-kyung’s emotions. Meanwhile, Ha Rib looks in on Luka, but he leaves once he sees his son resting peacefully.
When Tae-kang returns home, Manager Kang is worried that he’ll be in trouble for saving Luka without a contract. Tae-kang just says that all souls are different, but they’re all pathetic to him. He remembers Manager Gong’s warning that he’s about to go too far, but he tells Manager Gong that if the deity is still determined to find good in him, then, “I’ll reveal the evil in all good that is done. I will prove his arrogance.”
Manager Kang asks Tae-kang to bring his daughter back, since he was able to do it for Ha Rib and (he believes) for Luka. Tae-kang starts to say that he can’t without a contract, but he remembers his own pleas for the murdered child’s killer to be punished, so he trails off with, “I can’t do that.”
The heavenly messenger that Manager Gong spoke with previously comes down to ask Manager Gong why he saved Luka. Manager Gong says wearily that he had no choice, but Messenger mocks him for thinking that Tae-kang would be grateful for sparing him punishment. Manager Gong takes the blame for Tae-kang’s situation, but he still asks for Tae-kang to be given more time.
Messenger reminds Manager Gong that he was fired from his leadership position, and Manager Gong snaps that that’s why he’s asking a favor. Messenger says he only relays the messages, and that it’s time for Manager Gong to return and await orders.
Kyung-soo gets a visit from his girlfriend Hee-won’s mother, who isn’t happy that her daughter has been lying about living with a man. Later, Hee-won shames Kyung-soo for his family situation and his debt, but she says she could deal with those.
The thing she’s really angry about is that she can tell Kyung-soo is keeping something from her, and she refuses to live her life with a wall between them. She’s a flight attendant, and she tells Kyung-soo to pack up and move out before she returns from her next trip.
At the hospital, Luka asks his mother if Ha Rib was there during his surgery, disappointed that he hasn’t visited. Sun-ah recalls the way Ha Rib reminds her so much of Dong-chun, but she doesn’t mention this to Luka.
Dong-hee does an online search and discovers that Kang Ha was, indeed, a judge before he lost his memory. His name is Jung In-seok and he’s 42 years old, and hilariously, it’s his age that bothers Kang Ha the most. The man from the accident who recognized him had given Kang Ha a card for his Chinese restaurant, and Dong-hee offers to go with him and see what else they can learn.
Kang Ha and Ha Rib are both quiet and thoughtful that evening as they share some bottles of soju. Kang Ha surprises Ha Rib with his real name and the fact that he was a judge and a good person. Ha Rib assumes that Kang Ha will go back to his old life now, but Kang Ha tells him about his nightmares of being locked in a box and how he feels crazy and confused when he wakes.
Ha Rib tells Kang Ha that he can stay at his house as long as he wants. He’s more shocked by the knowledge that Kang Ha is older than him, and Kang Ha magnanimously allows him time to start treating him as such. Ha Rib thinks to himself, Arrogant jerk. I’m sixty-six years old, you bastard, HA.
Unable to get Ha Rib off her mind, Yi-kyung paces her apartment until late. She ends up on the rooftop, running in circles to cool herself off and wailing that she must be crazy. Luka finds her there, having run away from the hospital, and luckily for Yi-kyung he’s got ice cream. Best girlfriend ever.
Poor Luka stares longingly as Yi-kyung eats the ice cream, badly wanting some, but she refuses to share. He shows off his impressive scar, and he tells Yi-kyung how thankful he is that his father was there for his first surgery and his hyung was there for his second.
He quickly changes the subject and tells Yi-kyung about the song that Ha Rib sang for him. He says that he thinks Ha Rib knows they’re brothers, which means Seo Dong-chun wrote that song for Luka. He’s saddened that Ha Rib is pushing him away and asks Yi-kyung if he should just bring up the subject, or if Ha Rib would react badly.
Yi-kyung believes that Ha Rib cares about Luka a lot, but that there’s something complicating the matter for him. She advises Luka to take things slow and grow closer to Ha Rib over time. They continue discussing Ha Rib, who Luka thinks is charming, but Yi-kyung snaps that he’s moody and randomly adds that they’re definitely not dating.
It’s time for Luka to return to the hospital, and Yi-kyung asks if he really came here for ice cream. In Serbian, he says, “There was a face I missed.” Switching back to Korean, he says cryptically that there are a lot of things he wants to do in life, and he tells Yi-kyung to do whatever she wants so she has no regrets.
Kyung-soo watches from the hallway as his mother tells her husband that he’s not allowed to die and make both of her children murderers. A little drunk, he goes to Ha Rib’s house and says there’s something he has to tell him. We see that night ten years ago play out as he tells Ha Rib what really happened.
Stepdad had been furious with Mom, and was kicking her viciously while Yi-kyung begged him to stop. Stepdad had punched Yi-kyung in the face to make her let go of him, then began kicking her as she lay half-unconscious. Yi-kyung had reached out for a heavy glass ashtray, but Stepdad had yanked her back and stood on her throat, having decided to just kill her and get rid of her.
Kyung-soo had come home just in time, and to stop him from killing Yi-kyung, he’d picked up the ashtray and hit Stepdad over the head. Stepdad had collapsed, and Kyung-soo had dropped the bloody ashtray and slumped against the wall, sobbing, “Please… please stop…”
Mom had offered to take the blame so Kyung-soo could fulfill his plans to be a cop, but while they were arguing about it, Yi-kyung had called the police herself and confessed. While waiting for the police, she’d picked up the ashtray and made sure her fingerprints were all over it.
Kyung-soo tells Ha Rib that Yi-kyung went to jail, but he didn’t take the police academy test, because hearing Yi-kyung call him a fool made him feel a bit better. Ha Rib is stunned, and he asks why Kyung-soo is telling him all this. Kyung-soo says Ha Rib just seems like a good person who might know how to straighten everything out. They don’t notice Kang Ha listening from the stairs.
The next day, Chung-ryul is full of praise for Yi-kyung and her growing popularity. He asks Ha Rib cagily if he’s tried to contact Seo Dong-chun, since everyone wants to interview him regarding Yi-kyung’s cover of his song, but Ha Rib maintains that he doesn’t know where Dong-chun is.
Chung-ryul shows Ha Rib a photo of him and Yi-kyung hugging outside the hospital, his tone of voice sharpening just enough to make it clear this is a threat. He says that of course he doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but that if anyone saw the picture they’d assume that Ha Rib’s interest in Yi-kyung is about more than her music, and could ruin their careers.
Ha Rib orders Chung-ryul not to mess with Yi-kyung or he’ll start talking about the dirty things Chung-ryul has done. Chung-ryul tells him that he sounds just like Dong-chun, with his nasty temper. Ha Rib asks what he wants, so Chung-ryul says he wants to know where Seo Dong-chun is, and for Ha Rib never to act up again, or else.
Ra-in is still floating around the office dressed in white, and she tells Seo-young that she’s being baptized and changing her name to Catarina, LOL. Seo-young gets angry with her for missing a meeting for her drama, but Ra-in assures her that once she becomes sacred, all her problems will disappear.
Yi-kyung and Ha Rib run into each other in Hongdae, and when Yi-kyung can barely look Ha Rib in the eye and flinches when he comes too close, he accuses her of thinking inappropriate thoughts in broad daylight (says the guy who jumped to the exact same conclusion, hee). Yi-kyung admits that she’s never had a man hug her like he did, because she’s always been too busy working to date.
She insists that she’s quite the catch, and as she tells him all about her future dating plans which definitely do not include him, Ha Rib thinks, “Look at her. How can I possibly ask someone so pure for her soul?”
They’re there for another busking event, and ha, Luka has run away from the hospital again to play keyboard. Everything goes well this time around, and Ha Rib again notices the way Luka looks at Yi-kyung. He thinks, “My son has fallen in love. This must be the devil playing a trick on me. This must be entertaining for him.”
In fact, Tae-kang is watching from a cafe a few stories above the street, but he doesn’t seem entertained as he stares at Seo-young. She’s thinking of him, too, and the night she’d asked him to sing her to sleep, but instead he’d told her to go home.
Noticing Ha Rib’s mood, Tae-kang wonders why he’s wavering regarding Yi-kyung’s soul when his own is on the line. Manager Kang says that humans are strange, and that now Ha Rib’s priorities have probably shifted to Luka. He explains that the conscience often prevents human from making the most logical decision, but Tae-kang scoffs that that’s just greed.
After the show, Ha Rib and Luka both watch as Yi-kyung signs autographs. A girl brings Luka a beer and says that she likes him, but Ha Rib confiscates it and gives him a yogurt instead. Luka wonders out loud if he should confess his feelings to Yi-kyung today, then takes it back, musing pointedly that she seems to like someone else.
Back at home, Ha Rib realizes that he needs to do something about Kyung-soo’s confession. He approaches Seo-young with the idea to leak the truth to the press, admitting that he hasn’t asked Yi-kyung’s permission because he knows she’ll refuse. Seo-young reluctantly agrees, and Ha Rib admits that it’s wrong, but he says that he wants Yi-kyung to shine without people saying bad things about her.
He leaves the office, vowing to himself: “If I must accept my new destiny, I’ll do so on my terms.” But at the same time, Tae-kang decides that if Ha Rib is trying to change the rules, he’ll give him the experience of losing everything.
Seo-young prepares a press release and emails it to a reporter, then calls him to ask a favor. Meanwhile, Ha Rib paces his basement music room, bracing himself for Tae-kang’s inevitable arrival. When Tae-kang shows up, Ha Rib plays it cool as Tae-kang taunts him for missing his old life so much that he’s created a shrine to Seo Dong-chun.
He says he came because he’s doubting Ha Rib’s resolve to fulfill his promise to make Yi-kyung a star, cause her professional downfall, then convince her to sell her soul to regain her fame. He says that Ha Rib wavered when his son’s life was in danger, but Ha Rib counters that Tae-kang didn’t even save Luka.
Tae-kang continues that it looks to him like Ha Rib is planning to stall as long as Luka is alive and Yi-kyung is happy. He asks Ha Rib if he’s forgotten the reasons he sold his soul besides Luka, like money, success, youth, and music. He offers to go back to the beginning, his eyes glowing hotly.
The reporter that Seo-young sent the press release to is the same one that was so vicious to Yi-kyung at her press conference. He shows Yi-kyung the email from Seo-young, wanting to confirm the information before he prints it, and Yi-kyung angrily asks who sent it to him.
She heads to Ha Rib’s house to confront him, ringing the bell over and over when he doesn’t answer. She knows he’s watching her on camera and she asks how he could do this after seeing the lengths she’s gone to for her family.
She growls that he’s just like the devil, and that prods him to reach up to answer her. But when he sees his hand, he freezes — it’s spotted and wrinkled, like an old man’s hand. Tae-kang has taken away his youth, leaving him back in his original body.
I did not see this coming! Hopefully it’s just a temporary threat to remind Ha Rib that Tae-kang can always take away what he was given if Ha Rib reneges on their deal, because Ha Rib certainly won’t be able to secure Yi-kyung’s soul if he’s back to being old and destitute. But it does serve as a dark reminder that he’s going to have to admit to his past at some point, and when that happens, there’s no telling what might happen.
Each of our three main characters are dealing with parent/child issues in some way, and I find it fascinating how they’re each in completely different situations in that regard. Yi-kyung’s father figure was abusive and violent, yet she’s still willing to take care of him, though it’s more for her mother’s sake. Despite the fact that her mother has spent ten years pushing Yi-kyung into the shadows in order to keep the truth as quiet as possible, and despite the fact that the whole story of what happened is a lie, Yi-kyung’s priority is still to protect her family even if it means taking the blame for someone else.
Tae-kang and Manager Gong are the only parent/child duo in the show where we get to see both sides of their conflict, and their story is so tragic. Tae-kang was a beautiful angel (and so tragically young) who only wanted the world to be fair, and his disillusionment when he realized that his own father would not step in and fix what he perceived as a gross injustice made him turn his back on his father, as well as the ultimate deity itself. It makes sense now why he tortures humans by giving them their deepest desires in exchange for their souls — he’s still angry that nobody punished a man who murdered a child, so he’s taken it upon himself to punish “evil” humans. Ironically, out of all our characters, I see Tae-kang as the one most in need of saving, but Manager Gong is growing frantic that Tae-kang will cross that line and never be able to return to his original angelic self. And even Manager Gong is in conflict with his own heavenly father, as he tries to save his son before it’s too late.
Ha Rib has his own father issues, though in his case, he’s coming from the viewpoint of both the father and the child. His father was physically abusive, beating him with his guitar when he found out Ha Rib wanted to make music, which ironically solidified Ha Rib’s desire to be successful and set him on this path in the first place. Then later, Ha Rib found out that he was a father himself, but circumstances forced him to be an absent father in order to give his son the best life possible. Now that he’s met Luka and is realizing how his absence in Luka’s life has hurt him, there are so many lies between them that Ha Rib doesn’t feel he can tell his son the truth, and he has to witness Luka’s sorrow as he searches for the father he’ll never find.
I’m not surprised to learn that Kyung-soo is the one who actually attacked Stepdad and left him severely disabled — there have been plenty of breadcrumbs hinting at the truth, though now we have it straight from the horse’s mouth. Kyung-soo was the family’s only hope with his potential to get a good, respectable job, so Yi-kyung, being the self-sacrificing person she is, threw herself under the bus so her brother could remain free and take care of their mother. I’m sure she thought that, as a minor, she wouldn’t get into as much trouble as Kyung-soo would as an adult, and she wouldn’t have if Ha Rib hadn’t let her take the fall for the money he stole. That incident, compounded with the assault case, is the reason Yi-kyung didn’t get off on probation. It’s also more proof that she is a grade one soul, and for a demon who recently didn’t even believe that grade one souls even existed anymore, it makes me very curious why Tae-kang wants it so badly.
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