Crash Landing on You: Episode 12
Get your tissues handy, because this episode will tug on your heartstrings. There are reunions, partings, shows of friendship and declarations of feelings, and all of them guaranteed to soften the hardest heart. But there’s still danger looming, and it’s gaining allies and getting closer, so our little family needs to keep their guard up as long as they can.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Chul-kang stalks Se-ri through the empty parking garage, so she hides in the guard booth where she can watch his location on the CCTV feeds. Unfortunately, he figures out that it’s a good hiding place and heads towards her… but at the last second, Jung-hyuk calls Se-ri’s phone. Chul-kang answers, and while he’s taunting Jung-hyuk, Se-ri sneaks out of the booth.
She manages to stay alive until Jung-hyuk arrives, and when Chul-kang threatens to shoot her, Se-ri calls out that he’s lying. Jung-hyuk follows her voice and finds her, and they both breath a sigh of relief. The security guards finally arrive, and Chul-kang leaves… for now.
Back at home, Se-ri has a doctor make a housecall to check a minor knife wound that Jung-hyuk sustained while fighting Chul-kang’s hired men. She asks the doctor to keep this a secret, but he gets into a van with Se-hyung and Sang-ah and tells them that there’s a man staying with Se-ri. Sang-ah wonders why Se-ri is having this guy treated at her place when she’s never taken a date to her home before.
Se-ri is understandably upset that Chul-kang was about to get a job at her company with a fake ID, and she snarls that here in South Korea, she can do things she couldn’t do in the north. Jung-hyuk says gently that she protected him, and she asks him not to go anywhere until his wound is healed. Seeing her obvious worry, Jung-hyuk nods in agreement.
A week later, Se-ri and Secretary Hong visit a rough neighborhood in Seoul. Se-hyung arranges a meeting with several men and informs them that she’s purchased the buildings they live in. She mentions their altercation with Jung-hyuk, and offers them a deal — the person who gives her conclusive evidence of the incident will get to live rent-free from now on.
She also passes around a photo of Chul-kang and offers a reward for the man who finds him. She leaves, and HAHA, they all start making calls to their contacts.
Next Se-ri asks Se-hyung for information on Soo-chan, the guy who sold her life insurance. He’s been laid off from his insurance job, and Se-ri finds him shivering at a bus stop. She tells him that she heard how hard he tried to find her while she was lost in North Korea, and although he admits that his motives were selfish, Se-hyung says she was impressed with his dogged determination and offers him a job at triple his old salary.
Jung-hyuk stays at Se-ri’s place while she’s at work, honoring his promise not to go anywhere while he heals up. Worried about how quickly Chul-kang found Se-ri, he gets on her computer and logs onto a website called “Shield.” He finds the file he wants and loads it, and it’s full of information on Chul-kang’s South Korean activities.
Most importantly, it reveals that Chul-kang was able to get a job at Se-ri’s Choice because the CEO of the security company once used his “keeping” business in North Korea. It means that Chul-kang probably has a huge network of people in South Korea who owe him favors, which he’s now calling in.
Meanwhile, the ducklings convene at the sauna to discuss what they’ve accomplished. Man-bok did what he does best — he lurked around the Se-ri’s Choice building and listened to office gossip, but although he now knows which married employees are having affairs, he hasn’t gotten any information on Se-ri.
Chi-soo staked out a chicken place near Se-ri’s home, since she said she eats so much meat. Customers mistook him for the valet, and he did such a good job that the chicken shop owner hired him to make deliveries, hee. Unfortunately, Se-ri didn’t order any fried chicken, so he didn’t find where she lives but he did make some good money.
HAHA, we see that Jung-hyuk did actually call the place to make an order, but Chi-soo was busy eating free fried chicken and took the phone off the hook. So close!
Joo-mok and Eun-dong’s assignment was to visit a PC cafe, and Joo-mok says importantly that he “analyzed the sentiment of South Koreans,” which Chi-soo correctly interprets as “watched dramas all day.” Eun-dong was no better — he wasted the day playing online games under the handle “Desperate Effort,” and had formed a bitter rivalry with someone calling themselves “Tomato Cultivator.”
LOL, Tomato Cultivator just happens to be Jung-hyuk. He loses a duel and vows revenge on Desperate Effort, and when Se-ri arrives home, she finds Jung-hyuk about to storm out the door to settle this in person. Se-ri knows what he’s been up to, as he used her credit card to buy in-game items.
Jung-hyuk looks both ashamed of himself and childishly defiant as he explains that being a level 4 wizard requires a lot of resources, hee. Se-ri forbids him to go out and makes him log out of the game. ARGH, they could have found each other! Jung-hyuk sulks when Se-ri tells him that she’s put a parental lock on her computer.
Kwang-bum had the hardest day — he whines that he couldn’t get anything done because people kept stopping him and handing him cards. One guy told him, “You’re the one we’ve been looking for,” and now he’s scared he’s blown their cover, unaware that he was only attracting talent scouts with his good looks.
Back in North Korea, Dan gets a call from Seung-joon, whose electricity has gone out and he’s gotten sick from the cold. His phone battery dies mid-sentence, and Dan is so worried that she sneaks out. When she gets there, Seung-joon is lying on the floor in the dark, so she puts him to bed.
Still grumpy, Dan makes Seung-joon some porridge and raps him on the head with the spoon, refusing to feed him herself. Seung-joon says the porridge is really salty, but when Dan gets offended, he explains that he was poor as a kid and lived on salty porridge.
Dan snaps that she knows what kind of person he was in South Korea, having seen a dossier that her uncle put together on him. She knows that he was engaged to Se-ri, and that after Se-ri broke things off, he swindled Se-hyung, so she warns him not to try conning her.
Seung-joon tells Dan that his father was conned by someone he trusted and lost his company. They moved to the U.K. and all they could afford was porridge with salt. He says his father died and his mother remarried, and he was sent to boarding school.
Dan asks why Seung-joon became a con man after what happened to his father. He says it was for revenge and Dan puts together the clues — it was Se-ri’s father who ruined Seung-joon’s father. Seung-joon tells her that he planned to marry into the family and destroy them from the inside out, but when Se-ri proved too smart, he targeted the greedy brother.
He says that he thought he’d feel better once he avenged his father, but it didn’t feel good at all. He remembers hearing that living well is the best revenge, and he wonders if giving back the money and living well would be better.
But Dan disagrees, and she snaps at Seung-joon to get well, go back to South Korea, and ruin Se-ri’s family. Seung-joon grins as he asks if she’s mad enough to get his revenge for him. HA, Dan is so frustrated that she finds a hidden bottle of booze and starts guzzling it down.
Se-ri finds Jung-hyuk drinking a beer and offers him soju instead. They get quietly drunk together, and Jung-hyuk announces that he wants to say something while Se-ri is intoxicated. He admits that he doesn’t want to go back, but wants to stay with Se-ri. Feeling herself sobering up quick, Se-ri takes another shot.
Jung-hyuk continues, “I want to marry you here and have a child who takes after you.” Awww. Se-ri says she likes daughters, then she takes another shot when Jung-hyuk says he likes twins, lol. She asks Jung-hyuk what else he wants to do, and he says with a smile that he wants to play piano again, so Se-ri offers to buy him Seoul Arts Center.
Jung-hyuk says he wants to see her grow old with gray hair and wrinkles, and Se-ri informs him that she plans to grow old very slowly so he’ll have to stay for a very long time. But she makes him pinky-swear not to drink with other people, because he’s much too attractive when he’s drunk.
In the morning, Seung-joon wakes up to find Dan in bed with him, snuggling the almost empty liquor bottle. He watches her sleep, marveling that she can relax knowing he’s a con man. But her mother is upset to think that Dan spent the night with Seung-joon, and she orders Colonel Go to use all of his military influence to find out everything he can about Seung-joon.
The village ladies are worried about Young-ae, who hasn’t been seen since her husband was arrested. Myung-sook is concerned that Young-ae might be out of food or firewood, but Wol-sook says that the State Security Department will be watching the house, so if they visit Young-ae and get caught up in an arrest, she can’t help them.
Se-ri and Jung-hyuk dress up for the grand opening of a new Se-ri’s Choice home goods store, and Se-ri sees Jung-hyuk’s watch for the first time. He got it from Man-bok, but Se-ri tells him that it’s the same watch she bought for him for Christmas. Amazed, Jung-hyuk tells Se-ri that she saved him without knowing it.
At the grand opening, Se-ri makes a speech to the employees then declares the store open for business. The ducklings saw an ad for the grand opening, and take this as their chance to finally catch up to Se-ri. They dress “like South Korean men” (Chi-soo is way off, but Kwang-bum nailed it) and split up to look for Se-ri.
Their efforts fail spectacularly, and the employees report their odd behavior to the manager. Man-bok (who is listening, naturally) hears that they’ve been singled out and warns the others. HAHA, they have to wake Eun-dong from where he’s fallen asleep in a model bed.
The security guard is only trying to give Eun-dong his shoes that he left behind, but the ducklings don’t know that, and they run out the door in a blind panic. Jung-hyuk happens around the corner just as Eun-dong slips in his socks and Joo-mok goes back to help him up.
They don’t stop running until they get to a park nearby, when they notice that Eun-dong doesn’t have his shoes on. Chi-soo starts to nag at Eun-dong for falling asleep, upsetting Eun-dong so much that he almost cries. Chi-soo gruffly offers Eun-dong his shoes but Eun-dong refuses, feeling every bit of his immature seventeen years old.
Suddenly, Jung-hyuk walks up with Eun-dong’s shoes and kneels to put them on his feet. The ducklings are so shocked to see Jung-hyuk that they can’t speak, until Eun-dong throws himself at Jung-hyuk. Joo-mok and Kwang-bum go in for hugs, while Chi-soo and Man-bok look on, sniffling.
Se-ri has noticed that Jung-hyuk is missing, but she’s distracted by Se-joon and Hye-ji, who feign hurt that she hasn’t confided in them about being stuck in North Korea. Se-joon claims to have their mother’s support and they propose that Se-ri also back him against Se-hyung and Sang-ah. Se-ri has another idea, for Se-joon and Mom to support Se-ri against Se-hyung, but Se-joon whines that she’s being selfish.
He lets slip that Se-hyung tried to have Se-ri stranded in North Korea, which he heard from Manager Oh, Seung-joon’s former henchman. He says that Manager Oh has been hanging around Se-hyung and throwing around a lot of money lately, so Se-ri tells him to find out who’s been giving him the money and why.
Jung-hyuk finally calls Se-ri and tells her that he’s found the ducklings. When she arrives at the park, Eun-dong runs to hug her, followed by a tearful Joo-mok. Chi-soo acts like he doesn’t want a hug, but when Se-ri puts her arms out he goes in smiling, awww.
Se-ri and the four original ducklings end up in a group hug, which Jung-hyuk watches with a fond smile until it goes on a little long, then he wades in to swat their paws off his lady, hee. He introduces her to Man-bok, who says shyly that he’s seen her several times back in the village.
They all go to Se-ri’s place, and Man-bok immediately starts looking for surveillance bugs until Se-ri assures him that there aren’t any. Chi-soo accuses her of lying about owning such a huge home, while the others marvel at the luxuries of hot water and electricity that never shuts off at night.
Young-ae’s son brings her some food to keep her strength up, and as they eat, he asks if they’ll have to leave the village, and why she forbade him to see his friends. Before she can answer, they hear a knock at the door, frightening Young-ae that they’re about to be arrested.
But it’s only Myung-sook, who brought some potatoes in case Young-ae was running out of food. Seconds later, Ok-geum arrives with fermented bread, then Wol-sook with an entire wheelbarrow full of firewood. Several more ladies show up with food, and although Young-ae snaps that they’ll get in trouble, she’s so touched that she bursts into tears.
That night Se-ri feeds the ducklings grilled meat for dinner, and Chi-soo stuffs his face, claiming that he’s just getting revenge for the way Se-ri gobbled up all of Jung-hyuk’s food. She says he’ll have to eat all the beef in the country if he’s trying to bankrupt her, ha.
The ducklings bust Jung-hyuk’s chops for feeding Se-ri most of the meat, and Joo-mok calls him “loverboy.” Even Chi-soo admits that it’s pretty romantic to follow a woman all the way to South Korea, making the others giggle at his expense. Man-bok watches Jung-hyuk and Se-ri fondly, but he seems to remember something and his smile fades.
Later, Se-ri accidentally overhears Man-bok talking to Jung-hyuk about their deadline for bringing him home. Jung-hyuk argues that he has to stop Chul-kang or he’ll kidnap Se-ri and take her back to North Korea, then go after him and his father. Man-bok says that Se-ri will be fine, with her money and social status.
The next morning Se-ri’s parents have seaweed soup for Se-ri’s birthday, even though none of the kids showed up. Se-ri’s stepmom accuses her husband of knowing Se-ri was in North Korea and not telling her, asking if he thought she’d use it against his daughter, and he admits that he did.
She tells him that Se-hyung hired people to stop Se-ri from returning. In flashback, we’re shown that Secretary Hong and Soo-chan took the audio recording of Se-ri to Chairman Yoon and told him that Se-hyung told the police it wasn’t Se-ri’s voice. Se-hyung had been there and had told his father that they’d gotten many false reports of people claiming to have seen Se-ri, and had convinced Chairman Yoon to believe him.
Se-ri tries to leave for work before anyone is up, but Jung-hyuk catches her. He starts to say something but she talks over him, asking if his wound is healed. He says it is, so Se-ri tells him that now that he’s kept his promise, he’s free to go.
She’s distracted all day at work, watching her phone for a message from Jung-hyuk and being disappointed when one never comes. At some point during the day, Jung-hyuk and the ducklings leave Se-ri’s place together.
Se-ri’s stepmother visits her at work to say that she knows what Se-hyung did while she was in North Korea. Se-ri asks bitterly if she’s going against Se-hyung for Se-joon, sure it’s not her since she’s not Stepmom’s biological child. Stepmom insists it’s not like that, but Se-ri snaps that she doesn’t trust her.
In a flashback, a young Se-ri walks on the beach with Stepmom, who looks distraught, and tells Se-ri to wait while she goes to get drinks. Se-ri spent the whole night telling herself that Stepmom would be back by the time she counted to one hundred, but no matter how many times she counted, Stepmom never returned.
Now she tells her stepmother that there’s a place in her heart that’s still on that cold beach. She says she’s asked herself ever since if it would have been better if she’d never been born. Stepmom says that Se-ri doesn’t have to believe her, but Se-ri snaps at her never to visit on her birthday again.
Manager Oh takes Chul-kang to meet with Se-hyung and Sang-ah, saying that they have similar goals in wanting Se-ri gone. Se-hyung asks what happens to Se-ri if Chul-kang takes her back to North Korea, but Chul-kang won’t guarantee her safety.
Apparently Se-hyung does have limits, because he objects to the idea of Se-ri being killed. He storms out with Manager Oh on his heels, but Sang-ah lingers to offers Chul-kang enough money to carry out his plans, as well as information like Se-ri’s address.
When Se-ri returns home after work, it’s to a dark, empty apartment. Even though she told Jung-hyuk that she’d be okay when he left, she sinks to the floor, sobbing her heart out. She hears a noise and the lights go on, and awww, Jung-hyuk and the ducklings are standing there in party hats holding gifts. It was a surprise party.
Se-ri just cries harder and runs out, and the ducklings stare at Jung-hyuk until he follows her. He catches up with her and apologizes, and she admits that she was crying because she was scared. She sobs that from now on, she’ll remember this good day every year on her birthday, and Jung-hyuk walks over to fold her into a backhug.
He whispers in her ear, “Next year, and the year after that, and the year after that will all be good. Because I’ll be thinking of you. I’ll be grateful you were born into this world. I’ll be grateful that the person I love is still breathing. That’s why your birthday will always be a good day.”
When Jung-hyuk loses the video game battle to Eun-dong, he leans back in his chair to take a deep breath and sees something interesting on Se-ri’s desk. It’s a small recorder, and when he plays it, he hears Se-ri’s voice saying her final goodbyes to her family from the bridge in Switzerland. She’d said it was her birthday, and Jung-hyuk checks the calendar and sees that it’s today.
He remembers being on that bridge and asking a woman to take his picture with Dan, just as he hears his own voice on the recording. A look of wonder crosses his face when he realizes that that woman was Se-ri, and he says to himself, “It wasn’t a coincidence… it was fate.”
He pockets the recording and starts to leave, but that’s when Se-ri comes home. Jung-hyuk quickly makes up a story that he was going out to meet someone — but where was he really going?
Is it strange that I’m almost more scared of Sang-ah right now than I am of Chul-kang? We know what Chul-kang is capable of, but Sang-ah is an unknown quantity, and until this episode I’d underestimated her as merely dangerous to Se-ri’s company. But she’s willing to keep going when even her greedy husband says enough is enough, and she’s willing to see Se-ri dead in order to secure control of both companies.
There were a lot of emotional scenes in this episode, and one of my favorites was Se-ri’s reunion with her ducklings. Their responses to seeing her again were so perfectly in character, with Eun-dong running to her like a long-lost mom, Joo-mok unabashedly crying, and Chi-soo being stubborn but coming around eventually. All the while, daddy-duck Jung-hyuk stands by, indulgently letting the kids swarm all over mama-duck and letting them have their moment. The whole scene was exactly as wonderful as I hoped it would be, then Jung-hyuk hilariously undercut the moment by getting jealous, hee. Never change, Jung-hyuk, never change.
Once again, Seung-joon and Dan convinced me that they really need to be together forever. They’re both so annoying by themselves and they’re such polar opposites, but together, they work perfectly. I love how Dan reluctantly took care of Seung-joon when he was sick but didn’t let him milk it too much, and how he knows just how much to push her to get a reaction but not truly make her angry. I can totally see them as an old married couple, bickering happily and driving each other nuts. They’re having a positive influence on each other, with Dan softening a little and Seung-joon realizing that his lifestyle is pretty awful, but I hope they don’t change each other too much, because I love them just the way they are.
But it was Jung-hyuk’s drunk-but-not-drunk confessions that really hit me right in the feels. Jung-hyuk still hasn’t said the words “I love you” to Se-ri, but he doesn’t really need to after confessing that he wishes he could stay and spend the rest of his life with her. It was such a bittersweet moment because he was laying his true feelings right out there, but they both know it’s impossible. It’s dangerous for Jung-hyuk to even be in South Korea at all, much less if he never went home — his parents would be in serious trouble, and so would the ducklings and their families. I want so badly for Jung-hyuk and Se-ri to have a happy ending, but I just can’t see how it can happen without lots and lots of collateral damage.
This whole episode really focused on love, and all the ways that people can love each other even under terrible circumstances. I adore a good romance, but that’s not the only kind of love by far, and Crash Landing on You highlights all kinds. Love between men and women, love between friends, love within a family — it’s all here, and it’s all portrayed so beautifully. I think that’s what I’ll miss most when the show is over… all of the characters and the ways they prove that no matter what’s going on in your life, there is always love.
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