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Sell Your Haunted House: Episode 9

The repercussions of a big revelation echo through this episode, as a schism in the leads’ partnership causes our exorcist to take on a murder case alone.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Hwa-jung steps in to interrupt the tense stand-off between Ji-ah and In-bum. Ji-ah tells In-bum she never wants to see him again and orders him to leave, and he storms out to the van and drives away. Ji-ah observes that Hwa-jung doesn’t seem surprised, and Hwa-jung pretends that she only found out herself earlier that day, faux naively wondering if In-bum was trying to scam them.

A morose Ji-ah drinks alone in her apartment. She thought she’d finally found someone who understood her and was willing to share the burden she had to bear, but now she realises that In-bum had been deceiving her all along. She feels stupid for trusting him, and guilty for growing fond of the person who killed her mother.

In-bum pours a libation on his uncle’s grave, wondering whether he really did cause Sung-shik’s death. His grandmother finds him there and takes him home for a meal, assuming that he’s in some kind of trouble. She tells him that thugs ransacked the house searching for something of his and a young woman came looking for him yesterday, which In-bum realises is how Ji-ah discovered his secret.

A young woman goes to pick up takeout at night, seeming skittish and wary of lone men. Running into her landlord in the lobby, she pleads with him to try and find a new tenant quickly so she can move out of her apartment as soon as possible, convinced it’s haunted.

As the elevator doors close behind her, the lights flicker and the ghost of a young woman appears, terrifying her. The landlord calls to her and we realise that she’s actually in a trance, standing just outside the elevator but convinced she’s trapped inside it with the ghost, and she faints.

In-bum hasn’t been in contact and Ji-chul is worried about him. Hwa-jung finds Ji-ah in the archive, where she’s been holed up for hours. She now realises that the little boy she was looking for knows even less about what happened 20 years ago than she does, so she’s resorted to obsessively searching the old exorcism records for clues, to no avail.

Hwa-jung makes Ji-ah eat and tells her she’ll find a new medium. After she leaves, Ji-ah shuts herself back in the record room as Mi-jin watches from the top of the stairs, the boundary of her domain.

Ji-chul finally meets his online girlfriend and she turns out to be the young woman from the elevator, whose name is Bae Soo-jung. Ji-chul is ecstatic and chats enthusiastically, but Soo-jung is quiet and withdrawn, eventually asking Ji-chul about the haunted real estate company he mentioned working at.

Warned by Ji-chul not to mention that he referred her, Soo-jung goes alone to Daebak Realty to ask them for help finding a new tenant for her apartment. She’s being haunted by the ghost of another tenant who was recently murdered, despite the fact that they barely knew each other.

When pressed, Soo-jung admits that she was the last person to see Lee Hyun-ju alive. She had been in the elevator with Hyun-ju shortly before her death, along with a masked man that the police suspect was the killer.

Moping around staring at the old family photos on the wall, In-bum upsets his grandmother by asking why she thinks Sung-shik committed suicide. She insists that her son would never have killed himself and gives In-bum a box of his old things to look through.

In-bum finds a copy of Sung-shik’s confession in which he explained that he acted in a moment of drunken rage, angry at the prospect of being made homeless, and demons deeply regretted what he had done. The letter convinces In-bum that his uncle did set the fire, meaning that the two of them really were responsible for Mi-jin’s death. He heads back to speak to Ji-ah, leaving his grandmother alone with the chicken she’d bought for his dinner.

Outside the restaurant, Ji-chul overhears Tae-jin on the phone cursing at his lackeys and thinks he’s gone back to his old ways, but then realises that he’s actually ordering them to track down the restaurant owner’s missing son.

Hwa-jung briefs Ji-ah, informing her that Hyun-ju was stabbed to death in an underground parking lot a month ago, shortly after reporting a suspicious man lurking around her building to the police. The suspected assailant was caught on CCTV in the elevator, but couldn’t be identified and still hasn’t been apprehended.

The footage shows that the man actually got in the elevator alone with Soo-jung, before Hyun-ju joined them. He then switched targets and grabbed Hyun-ju instead, and Hwa-jung wonders if she’s attached herself to Soo-jung because she’s bitter that she died in her place. Ji-ah goes to carry out her preliminary investigation, refusing to speak to In-bum who’s been waiting for her outside.

Detectives Kang and Choi are investigating Hyun-ju’s death and deduce that her assailant was probably a local who deliberately chose to kill her in the parking garage because he knew that the CCTV cameras there weren’t working. They canvas the area looking for witnesses, and while speaking to a restaurant owner with an injured shoulder, Detective Kang sees Ji-ah walk past and follows her.

Back at the parking garage, Ji-ah summons Hyun-ju’s ghost to verify her identity and tells her that what’s done is done, and she needs to move on even if she’s angry with Soo-jung. The ghost struggles to reply but can’t make a sound, crying tears of blood before she disappears.

Ji-ah imagines In-bum walking up to her and taking her hand, and calls Hwa-jung to ask her to get in contact with Hyung-shik, their previous medium. Stepping out from behind a pillar as she leaves, Detective Choi is convinced that they just witnessed Ji-ah speaking to a ghost but Detective Kang remains skeptical.

In-bum is still waiting outside the office when Ji-ah returns, and she relents and allows him in to say his piece. In-bum tells Ji-ah that he never really understood his uncle’s death, but when he returned to Daebak he started to remember vague details about what happened and decided that he had to find out what happened 20 years ago.

When he was young, Sung-shik was the only one who would believe In-bum when he said that he hadn’t really done the things he’d done while he was possessed, and In-bum wanted to return the favor by believing that his uncle wouldn’t have done those awful things people said he’d done. In-bum apologises to Ji-ah for causing the events that led to her mother’s death, and for deceiving her about his intentions during their partnership.

Back at the restaurant, In-bum tells Ji-chul that he’s not giving up on investigating Sung-shik’s death, but they’ll have to leave Daebak Realty and move on. He wants them to find some kind of legal occupation this time instead of going back to scamming people, but Ji-chul refuses to go until Soo-jung’s case is resolved.

An assemblyman arranges a meeting with Director Do to discuss the redevelopment, unhappy that there are still some hold-outs. He urges Director Do to tie up the loose ends before the upcoming local elections, concerned that Dohak Construction could lose their permit to redevelop the land if there was to be a change of leadership.

Hyung-shik arrives to help with the exorcism and Hwa-jung is delighted to see him, but Ji-ah slips and absent-mindedly calls him ‘In-bum’ multiple times. Detective Kang is hiding in a car watching as the pair get to the parking garage and set things up.

Hyun-ju’s ghost is in Soo-jung’s apartment when the incense summons her downstairs, and once her spirit possesses Hyung-shik she doesn’t attack Ji-ah but pounds at the barrier, trying to return to Soo-jung.

The spirit awl in Ji-ah’s hand gives Hyun-ju flashbacks to her assailant leaning over her holding a knife, and she fights back when Ji-ah attempts to stab her. Ji-ah quickly realises that she’s just scared and hides the awl behind her back, walking up to Hyun-ju slowly and calmly, and covering her eyes with one hand so she can’t see what Ji-ah’s about to do.

Suddenly Detective Kang interrupts just as Ji-ah’s about to strike and tries to restrain her, believing that she’s trying to hurt Hyung-shik. Hyun-ju seizes her chance and flees through the gap he made in the spirit barrier, pursued by Ji-ah.

Soo-jung is studying at her desk when she’s suddenly attacked by Ma Kang-tae, a local restaurant owner and the man who killed Hyun-ju. She fights back and manages to throw him off, running to the door where she finds Hyun-ju waiting in Hyung-shik’s body.

Ji-ah arrives to find Hyun-ju thrashing Kang-tae and intervenes, sending them both flying and knocking the attacker unconscious. Detective Kang runs in to find Ji-ah straddling Hyung-shik, about to plunge the awl into his chest, and aims his gun at her as he orders her to freeze. Ji-ah ignores him and stabs Hyung-shik anyway, and Detective Kang shoots.

Hyun-ju had noticed a suspicious man following Soo-jung into the elevator and felt uneasy about the way he was watching her, so decided to join them. Deliberately standing between them, Hyun-ju was about to speak to Soo-jung when the man grabbed and pushed a knife threateningly against her side, silently warning her to keep quiet. Not noticing that anything was wrong, Soo-jung got off at the next floor leaving them behind, and the man accused Hyun-ju of purposely trying to come between them.

As Hyun-ju’s spirit and the awl disappear, Detective Kang warns Ji-ah that the next time he shoots it won’t be a blank. She stands with her hands up, and Hyung-shik wakes up confused but unharmed as more police officers pour into the apartment to apprehend them all.

At the police station, Ma Kang-tae insists that was just visiting Soo-jung and did nothing wrong. When Hwa-jung arrives, Soo-jung tells the police that Kang-tae is the masked man she saw in the elevator with Hyun-ju, which he vehemently denies. Noticing Soo-jung’s distress, Hwa-jung reprimands Detective Kang for not having separated the victim and suspect, and Soo-jung is led to another room to be interviewed while Hwa-jung waits outside the door.

Kang-tae tells the police that Soo-jung had given him the key code to her apartment because they were having an affair. He was trying to break up with her that night because of his marriage, but she didn’t take it well and things got out of hand. Soo-jung listens in disbelief to his version of events, and insists that it’s all utter nonsense.

Meanwhile, Detective Kang interviews Ji-ah and Hyung-shik together and gets increasingly frustrated by their answers, convinced they’re playing with him when Hyung-shik claims that he can’t remember what happened because mediums have no memory of the time they’re possessed.

Ji-ah tells Detective Kang that Soo-jung was Kang-tae’s real target all along, which should have been obvious from the CCTV footage. He took his anger out on Hyun-ju when she ruined his plans, although she didn’t go down without a fight and managed to fracture his shoulder during the struggle.

Detective Kang dismisses this story as a product of Ji-ah’s imagination. Kang-tae may be a stalker but that doesn’t mean he’s a killer, and they’ll need actual hard evidence to arrest him for Hyun-ju’s murder. Scornful, Ji-ah hands him a picture of the murder weapon that she’s drawn on a receipt: a knife with the letter ‘M’ on the handle.

Ji-chul is waiting anxiously for Soo-jung when they get out, but she flinches away from him when he goes to touch her, shrinking into Hwa-jung. Ji-chul apologises to Ji-ah for hiding their relationship from her, explaining that he was afraid she’d refuse to help Soo-jung if she knew.

The police also release Kang-tae, as technically the only thing they can prove he did was trespass. The detectives aren’t happy about it but they don’t have enough evidence to hold him for anything else, particularly as it was a first-time offence. Ji-ah turns to leave but a frightened Soo-jung grabs her arm, silently pleading for help.

In-bum anxiously awaits Ji-chul’s return, concerned that something might have happened to Ji-ah. Ji-chul listens to him worry about whether Ji-ah was cold without him there to recharge her, and gets annoyed at his lack of interest in Soo-jung’s plight.

Ji-chul is loitering anxiously outside Daebak, torn between wanting to go in to check on Soo-jung and not wanting to bother her, when he’s joined by In-bum who’s still fretting about Ji-ah. He remembers what it was like dealing with the memories and emotions left behind by a murdered ghost and is concerned that Ji-ah might be struggling.

Just then Ji-ah suddenly runs out of the office and drives off at speed, and In-bum — worried that the ghost’s emotions may influence her into doing something drastic — gives chase. He finds Ji-ah’s car parked outside a theater which has recently had to cancel its production of Pride and Prejudice after the death of the lead actress, Lee Hyun-ju.

In-bum finds Ji-ah standing on stage in full costume, a spotlight shining on her. He gapes at her stunned and Ji-ah stares back at him in a trance, until they’re interrupted by a security guard.

As In-bum steps forward to explain, he puts a hand on Ji-ah’s shoulder and his touch snaps her out of her trance. She instinctively flips him, but recognises In-bum mid-manoeuvre and tries to stop, losing her balance and sending them both crashing to the floor.

 
COMMENTS

I loved the female solidarity this episode! Hyun-ju deliberately inserted herself into the middle of that situation in the elevator because something felt off to her, putting herself in danger for a woman she barely even knew, and even in death she was protective of Soo-jung. Hyun-ju’s ghost could easily have been focused on trying to avenge her murder or bring the killer to justice, but she chose to use her energy to try and warn Soo-jung before something terrible happened to her. Her death was incredibly unjust, and I was glad Hyun-ju got the chance for a little bit of vengeance when she beat the heck out of her murderer from beyond the grave — and that she used Hyung-shik’s bigger, stronger body to do it. And for all Hwa-jung’s failings, she was a reassuring and commanding presence when she arrived at the station, caring for Soo-jung and advocating on her behalf.

Is our stalker lying to the police or actually deluded to the point that he genuinely believes he’s in a relationship with Soo-jung? I’m a little surprised the writers didn’t try to play with that angle a bit more by not showing us what happened in the apartment and just presenting us with Kang-tae and Soo-jung’s differing accounts of the incident, allowing us to try and judge which was the truth, but I guess that’s not the story they want to tell. What actually happened in the elevator wasn’t a twist, it was very obvious from the CCTV footage. Ji-ah may have noticed and not mentioned it, but I don’t think Hwa-jung or the detectives did and I expect better from them. Police incompetence in service of the plot is starting to become a recurring issue, and I can’t tell whether Kang-tae’s release is a symptom of that or whether the writers are deliberately trying to draw attention to how difficult it can be for women who are threatened or stalked by men to get the police to take action before it’s too late.

Detective Kang is starting to get on my nerves. It’s understandable that he’s skeptical of the supernatural but he’s now bordering on being deliberately obtuse, and it’ll only be a matter of time before his interference causes an actual disaster unless he actually stops and engages his brain sometime soon. I didn’t like the fake-out shooting, it felt pointless and the writers are better than that. Although Korean police officers apparently do have blanks in their guns, it feels a little useless to warn someone you’ll use a real bullet next time when they’ve already stabbed a person — and did Detective Kang not realise that the weapon had disappeared? I’m also not sure how he knew to be lying in wait for Ji-ah that night, and I’m interested to find out who tipped him off (unless it’s just a plothole).

I’m not at all sold on Ji-chul and Soo-jung’s relationship. I know she’s obviously under a lot of stress at the moment, between the ghost and the stalker, but she doesn’t seem interested in him or like she enjoys his company at all. I find it very hard to reconcile her with the woman who was texting Ji-chul constantly and sent him underwear last week. Loved Ji-chul’s white hoodie and pale pink denim jacket combo for their first date though!

I was pleasantly surprised that Hyung-shik was a competent medium who worked well with Ji-ah. Even though we technically knew that from his appearance in the first episode, I half-expected the writers to make him obviously inferior to In-bum, to emphasise how necessary In-bum is to Ji-ah. But even on a personal level, Hyung-shik obviously knows Ji-ah well enough to anticipate that she’d go for Kang-tae and restrain her at the police station and to deduce that she wanted a pen in the interview room. I actually appreciate this approach both because it’s a more realistic relationship between two people who have worked together regularly, and because it feels as though Hyung-shik is a person in his own right and not just a foil for In-bum. Plus, it shows that Ji-ah isn’t missing In-bum because she needs a competent partner, she just misses him.

In-bum’s worry for Ji-ah was very sweet — “what if she gets cold without me there?” — and I’m beginning to think that she now occupies at least 50% of his brain at all times, but I’m not sure how to interpret In-bum’s stunned reaction when he saw Ji-ah onstage. I feel like that was supposed to be the big makeover moment where the male lead suddenly realises how beautiful the female lead is, but Ji-ah always looks achingly gorgeous and if In-bum hadn’t noticed that until now then there’s no hope for him. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that the wardrobe change caught him off guard and made him look at Ji-ah from a fresh perspective, or maybe it was the uncharacteristically peaceful expression on her face that caught In-bum’s attention. For a moment at the end there, I genuinely thought Ji-ah was going to dip In-bum — am I the only one a little disappointed it didn’t happen?

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I keep seeing references in K-dramas to Seoul performance theaters for stage plays and musical theater. That's a detail of Seoul city life I never would have imagined. The ballad singer Park Hyo-shin lists 'musical theater actor' among his credits.

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Regarding the fake-out, I think that the detective is half-convinced, which is why he used a blank shot instead. Also, Ji-ah is gorgeous all the time of course, but she looked almost ethereal in that dress. The drama discussion board was flooded with comments on JNR's visuals after that scene and I think it's reasonable that In-bum was stunned.

I feel like episode 9 was a great build-up to the turn of events in the next episode. This drama really has exceptional pacing. It's obvious that the show was planned well-ahead seeing how it's episode 10 already and the cliffhangers are still there! Knowing K-dramas and their filming schedules, usually you get the cliffhangers in the first 2 episodes and that's pretty much it. I'm hoping that the drama keeps up and gets more attention from Korean viewers. I have little gripes here and there but I think it deserves more love than it's getting domestically.

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Detective Kang is getting in my nerves too. He just seems super annoying tbh. Like why worry about this when you must be having better stuff to worry about. I agree with @branwen about Ji Chul and Soo Jung's relationship. There seems to be a disconnect. Also I too loved the female solidarity in this episode. Soo Jung thought Hyun Joo to be annoying and someone she wouldn't really approach and to see the same person have her back as a woman was something very realistic. It reminds me of the time I got my period in school and this girl I absolutely detest gave me a pad as I didn't have one. That girl is still the same person but the incident taught me a lesson in female solidarity. Also I felt bad for halmoni when I saw In Bum leave without having the chicken but then I saw her leave him alone as a kid and I was like 'eh'. The case mirrors real life s much because there isn't usually much the police can do when it comes to stalking and often times the help comes a little too late. Also I love how Ji Ah misses In Bum even though she might not admit it to himself.

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Agree with you about Detective Kang. But trying to be in his shoes, it's making sense if he doubts Ji Ah. For police, you can't do anything without evidence or body (referring to "Beyond Evil" or other thriller serial).

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Yeah, tbf if someone in real life told me they were doing exorcism I'll think that they just escaped from a psychiatric hospital. I don't think I'll fare any better than the detective.

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Indeed! and in case of Detective Kang, he also has investigated Hwa Jung in the past, and thought that Hwa Jung has turned into a fraud...

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Yeah, so I wasn't too bothered about his interference. I do think that the police are still really inept in this drama though, but from what I read it seems like Knetz don't think it to be out of the ordinary.

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@branwen: great observation about ji-ah's professional relationship with the other psychic. i'm glad they didn't set up any contrived competition between him and in-beom that would've distracted from the main story. it's nice to see them acting like real, rational adults instead of---characters in a kdrama : )

also, did anyone else think that the violence was upped a bit in this episode? i don't if they're editing things as it goes along but maybe they're trying to attract the taxi driver audience hahaha.

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I believe the script was completed pretty early on because of CG requirements. In fact, this story was originally written for the first two episodes. So, no they aren't trying to attract Taxi audience.

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i agree that the script was written long ago but they can still edit it as it goes along to add in certain things if needed. so they could conceivably make some of the scenes longer or not as long, or add in more or less details. not big structural story changes but little things like cutting back to the woman being dragged by her hair/slapped around instead of not showing that. not saying that they are doing that but it would be interesting if they're trying to juice up the ratings by making things a bit more violent.

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Perhaps the point of the violence in this episode is to emphasise the vindictiveness of the stalker, and to show how much nastiness there is behind the genial facade. I know violence isn't the answer, but damn I was pleased when Hyun-ju gave him a taste of his own medicine. (And the way she slapped him, flung him around, etc did seem very similar to the way he beat her up earlier.)

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Actually I thought the team was more of playing it safe than violent... to be honest, comparing what we have seen in others recently, SYHH is mild... And episode 10 could gone worse if they have gone with showing the memories of the stalker.
They could milk it for ratings but I am glad they didn’t coz everything has been so much of showing a slice of life and story or lesson to tell, to simply change that for rating would have made it somewhat a bitter pill.

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i agree. and like @branwen said, i'm glad the bigger psychic dude was the one who was possessed this time. Not that In-Beom isn't strong when he's possessed but that other guy is pretty burly hahaha

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Jang Nara rocks the all black look but she looks absolutely stunning in that white dress!

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I love how this episode uses a ghost/murder story to examine the good girl vs bad girl distinction, the ways we pigeonhole women and how all this might undermine female solidarity. Soo-jung probably left Hyun-ju in the lift because she thought Hyun-ju was a flashily-dressed good-time girl who knew her way around dodgy guys. But no woman, whoever she is or whatever she does, is safe from men like that stalker, or from gaps in the law. We should be like Hyun-ju and Hwa-jung, who seem to look out for other woman almost instinctively. Even the jaded Ji-ah can’t completely suppress her protectiveness. When the stalker got just a bit threatening at the police station, she leapt up between him and Soo-jung so ferociously that Hyung-sik had to calm her down.

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Quite well pointed about her prejudice and image she had already made of Hyun-ju but i also think Soo-jung is more of a coward...Still must say that her personality didn't let quite the nice impression,it rubbed me the wrong way somehow...

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I agree that Soo-jung is prejudiced and self-absorbed and I didn't like her either.

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Sure but literally every woman in this is a 'nun' in the nun-whore dichotomy except for literally one female character and she got murdered. Violently. Which they made sure we saw.

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I think one purpose of the car-park scene was to allow it to be mirrored by Hyun-ju/Hyung-sik beating the stalker up later in a similar and cathartic manner. IMO it was still pretty excessive. Nevertheless I think it's a bit more complicated than the usual "martyred/punished whore" thing. For a start, Hyun-ju is only shown drunk once, and only from Soo-jung's POV. Otherwise she was just an ordinary woman and (at the end of the ep) a struggling actress. In fact it's the SJ character who is often shown in an unflattering light, even in the drunk scene. Furthermore, I don't see HJ as a martyr. Although she'd stepped in to help, she had also expected SJ's support (if only in the form of her physical presence). So for me, the overall effect is not that the "whore" has sacrificed herself, but that a woman has failed another woman.

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Oops. Actually, lots of ordinary women get drunk as skunks, including Ji-ah and myself.

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I think this week's set of episodes were really well-written. I also feel sometimes it might be better if the recap covers both episodes at once instead of just one at a time so that the loose ends get tied up, but I imagine there are other more business-ish considerations that go into this.

Btw Jang Nara looked absolutely gorgeous in that white dress. When she blinked blankly I was like... "oh wow this is too much". Lol.

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I love your comments Branwen! And thanks for the recap as always!

This episode hit hard. It's because I'm also a woman, and I know how terribly a woman can be affected by men who thought of her as an object (of passion or whatever.) I was literally heartbroken upon seeing what was done to the beautiful Hyun-ju, and I was literally mad at Soo-jung for chickening out. She COULD have told someone about this after seeing Hyun-ju pleading eyes. I hated her for that.

And upon reading your comment about Soo-jung, I realized that there were actually inconsistency in the way Soo-jung was written. Yes! I also can't seem to connect the anxious her with the one who sent a box of men underwear to her boyfriend whom she dated online. The only merit she made so far was to try to get that man for good. Besides that, no, I don't buy her character; or even if I met such a person irl, I don't think I'd be able to get to know her; not that I would want to get to know her ofc.

For me, personally, I learnt a bit in this episode. You don't really know a person unless you really know the person, that is what I got.

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And I didn't really buy that on-stage scene between In-bum and Ji-ah, too! I mean she was beautiful and all; actually her innocent eyes made me realize how good of an actress she really is. And thanks to your comment, I know understand why I didn't go 'uwu' at that scene: It was because she had always been gorgeous! But anyway, I'll give In-bum and the writers and all the benefit of the doubt: She might look different in that white dress. With that innocent eyes, she sure looked ethereal.

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Lobotomised.
She didn't look innocent.
She look lobotomised.
Like a lobotomised doll.
I hated that scene. So much.

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Ooff.. now that you mentioned it she did look like a doll.

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Lol... I am always amused by how dramas kept giving JNR an enchanting makeover moment... that woman is no plain Jane even by far standard.... she has a doll like feature and that should have already tell you something.

Looks aside, what I like most is her ability to act with her eyes. You could tell that she was not Ji A on stage, more of a possession, the blank lost look.

But this time I think it was more for IB to be stunned than enchanted. Also perhaps to show him that Ji A could have been different if not for her choice of job. But I think he was already quite taken by her previously. Just that this was something more of a surprise to him.

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But (this is probably me giving the show way too much credit) I thought she was looking totally out of it (and very much not like herself) because she was under the influence/after-effect of a possession?

That was no longer her and I would have hated it if I'd thought it was a glow-up scene and In-bum had fallen for her at that point. Instead, he just seemed to stare as if to wonder what had happened to her.

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From the way that I interpreted it while I was watching, I felt like he was enchanted by her beauty and did 'officially' fell for her at that moment. This I didn't like.

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I believe the first part is true, but the second part is also true. That is, she was semi-possessed but In-bum was also stunned by her beauty (this was implied in the subsequent episode), not so much that she looked different. That said, I don't think it's necessary to read too much into the scene.

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@mmmmm I don't agree with that interpretation though, I thought it's pretty obvious that he felled for her way before this. That said, I'm not for developing a romantic subplot in this show. It's doing perfectly fine rn as is.

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I agree that In-bum looked stunned because he had never seen Ji-ah like that before, and not because he was enchanted by how she looked. At the start of ep10, I think it's kinda suggested that In-bum realised at that point that Ji-ah was more vulnerable than he'd thought. Also, the conversation between Ji-ah and Soo-jung in ep10 suggests that when Ji-ah stood on the stage she was fully experiencing Hyun-ju's passion for acting.

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Especially as the camera had earlier panned to a poster of Hyun-ju wearing the same outfit.

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It's good to see that some others saw it differently; but based on the feeling when I saw it, I really felt that he was more into her after seeing her in that white dress looking not as herself.

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I agree with you. Women on this episode were mainly portrayed as easy preys for men. I want to believe JiAh was like that because she was possessed and was acting (the name of the play was Proud and Prejudice... I hope it had nothing to do with Jane Austen's novel or Lizzy would be quite mad about it), but I know for sure, that person on the stage was not JiAh.

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Agree. This scene felt very out of place for me in an otherwise strong week.

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It's a very strong week Lakes. I literally loved almost everything about it; so when something feels just a little bit out of place, it caught my attention immediately. I actually felt Ji-ah was pretty in the white dress, but when Branwen pointed out how she felt about that scene, I realized that I also had that nick picking feeling then.

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I thought the slow blinks were effective to show that she was under a deep trace because she had absorbed the memories of Hyun-ju, whose life goal was to star on at very stage.

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Another interesting take

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I thought that In-bum had been much more enchanted by her when she showed up all kick-ass in black to safe his life.

So yeah, I didn't go 'uwu' either.

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Perhaps there is a little bit of bias in that scene, too. Women are generally expected to be all white and innocent? Women can't be that cool, chic, and badass? I didn't like that scene either, but I'm sure it was expected that it should draw the 'uwu' reaction from the viewers.

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He never noticed how beautiful she was until she looked like a mindless 6 year old playing dress up.
In the same episode where we meet Chief Heo's "girlfriend" and she's a 20 year old that looks and acts 12.

Oh ignore me, bah humbug or something, I really didn't like this episode or the one after.

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Koreans have a thing for innocence and purity so no wonder they included the end scene with Im Bum smitten by Ji-ah's whole appereance...Minority that actually likes her sexy dark looks...

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I dont feel that scene was uwu in any sense. It just made me feel so bad for the musical actress. She finally got her lead role and she didn't even get to stand on stage. So sad for her. I was half expecting Jang Nara to start singing on stage but that didn't happen. My main issue with the stage scene was...how on earth did they get into the theatre, it's not one of their clients, so they don't have keys to the place 🤷🏻‍♀️

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I felt really bad for the actress too. She lived and breathed theater and now when she got her first leading role in a Jane Austen production, she was killed. I can almost feel the actress's yearning to be on stage.

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The actress was great. She did emote so well.

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I didn't buy SooJung either. Her character doesn't make sense, she's a total plot device.

And I don't buy the women's solidarity. At all. It would have been real solidarity if they had confronted the man together, but instead she sacrificed herself. They were two of them on that elevator. The message I got was: if a man wants to hurt you, he will hurt you. HyunJu didn't even try to fight back or ask for help. She just let that man kill her. And I'm not blaming her, she's the victim, it's just that I didn't feel any of that supposed solidarity. Just a sacrifice: I'll get myself killed instead of you.

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I think she did try quite desperately to get Soo-jung's attention in the lift, but couldn't do much because she was afraid that the stalker would stick the knife into her there and then. But the moment the stalker removed the knife and started beating her up in the car part, she fought back with all her might. As Ji-ah pointed out, she didn't make things easy for the stalker, even managing to injure him quite severely.

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Another interesting thing they did was to have Soo-jung wearing headphones. If she hadn't been using them, she might have heard Hyun-ju's brief exclamation just before the stalker pressed the knife into her side.

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Yeah.. I mean at that moment I also felt pity for Hyun-ju character; Soo-jung was also wearing the headphones. I mean what could have been worse..

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I feel like it's usually young people or guys who just wear headphones when alone and out and about in the dark. Drives me nuts when I see them. Makes me think, "I could just mug you right now..." I would like to listen to music too while I walk home at night, but I'm making my safety a priority.

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I know what you say, but yet I don't buy it. If you decide to get into the elevator to protect someone else, then your attitude is not the one she had, but that's only my opinion. Also, she actually injured him, so there must be rests of his DNA on him, and yet it was not mentioned by incompetent police. No. I still don't buy the whole thing.

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But there could be lots of people's DNA on Hyun-ju for perfectly innocent reasons. The stalker could even claim to have left DNA in the lift while making a delivery to her building, and HJ had leaned on the same spot or something. And there was nothing to definitively identify him as the man in the lift. The cops only had Soo-jung's word for it.

Mind you, I don't think the cops are terribly competent either. They should have spotted the connection to Soo-jung much earlier, then kept her under police protection and surveillance.

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I think this episode had examples of both female solidarity and self-preservation. It was painful to see a situation where one woman inserts herself into a situation to help another, only to end up having sacrificed herself as the other saves herself. I felt really bitter about that, and really did not warm to Soo-jung at all. But I don't think that's unrealistic, honestly. How many times do we read the news where someone was being harmed and people just watched or walked by. People save themselves - good or bad, maybe the point is that we are more wired for this than we like to admit?

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Actually I believe there was a very similar incident where a Chinese student was murdered by her roommate's ex-boyfriend. The victim's mother claimed that her roommate refused to open the door; the roommate claimed that the door was stuck. I think while female solidarity is a thing, Soo-jung's inaction might also be unfortunately realistic.

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I do think that gets addressed in ep 10, though perhaps a bit neatly.

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I do wonder if there is a less than happy ending that could've worked a little better, because I think redemption is a bit too good to be true. That said I'm satisfied with how things are going. I feel that when a show is good, I keep thinking of ways it can be better. Conversely, when I watch a less than satisfactory drama, I don't nitpick on the story that much.

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Yes, and yes. It's hard to admit that if we were Soo-jung, would we definitely try to ask for help to help a stranger in the lift that we believed that she was asking for help with her eyes? The only time she did see Hyun-ju was when she knocked on her door.. and drunk. She didn't even know Hyun-ju and how beautiful of a soul she was.

Sigh... it's a pity that such incident keeps happening. It's interesting though that there are so many perspectives exchanged in this thread!

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Completely agree! This is one of those dramas that has the added bonus of being so fun to discuss with beanies!

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I get you all and I understand.
My point is that if I think of myself as HyunJu (and I can see myself) and I decide to get into that elevator, I would be much more aggressive than she was. I mean, I was the one who yelled a man in the street "You bastard and pervert" when he passed by my side and said some nasty things about my boobs. But then, if she had been that way (and she should have, that's the only reason she got on that elevator), we wouldn't have a ghost. So that is my main objection about this story.
But again, this is fiction.

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@eazal I love how fierce you're Eaz!

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Also, I think Hyun-ju was a bit scared of the stalker even as she jumped into the lift, and she was hoping that she could quietly manoeuvre Soo-jung and herself out of the lift before he did anything - or at least that even if he did something, he would have two women to deal with. She didn't expect the stalker to be so sneaky, or Soo-jung to be almost completely oblivious to what was happening.

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@knewbie Same. That’s just so sad. 😔

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Thank you for the recap!

I agree detective Jung is starting to become a pain with his interference in this episode (thankfully he does improve).
I wonder why they have to make Soo Jung Ji Chul's online gf, I can't seem to connect the two at all. I mean they could have made her just another client who approached Daebak Realty and it would have made no difference to the storyline.

Seeing how sympathetic and gentle Hwa Jung is towards Soo Jung makes me think she must have known what it's like to be in the victim's shoe. Why does she readily admit to being someone who murdered her own children? I'm starting to think rather than committing the crime, she blames and thinks of herself as the culprit. How she's connected to the mother's death is still a mystery to me but I'm convinced she's not evil.

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I really didn't like the way the ghost story of this week was used. I understand what you said about women's solidarity, but then I hated men lack of solidarity. I mean, I love this drama but... are you telling me you let the man walk free because there's no proof? The last person who saw the victim, probably rests of his DNA on her, and he assaulted the other person who was on the elevator and there is no proof? Drama, you were doing so good so far.

And as for that strange couple of JiChul and SooJung, it just doesn't feel right. Not that I see something hidden on her intentions, just that JiWon doesn't fit into the "girlfriend" we've known so far. If HyunJu has been dead for a month (or a couple of weeks) how can she be that anguished and yet sending cute texts to JiChul all the time?

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She's so infantilised and a full 15 years younger than him. The whole thing was skeevy.

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It was really bad. I absolutely cannot imagine her sending him underwear in the post. (Actually, I just don't want to imagine that)

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Sorry, I don't know why anyone would send someone underwear in the post, unless you were a kid at summer camp and it was your mom because you got pranked and had all yours stolen.

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I think it's one of those really bad jokes. Even if it's not through the mail I can't fathom gifting anyone underwear. They can buy their own.

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You really made me laugh, in a good way, thank you.

It looks ... hrrr I don't know that word that I should use. I really can't connect her with the sending of underwear unless she isn't who she seems to be, which I don't think it's the case since now the writer has sent her to the police academy already.

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I never got the "I'll buy you underwear" as a thing. I remember a friend (man) telling me how he was buying his girlfriend underwear and when I asked him if she was ok with it, he told me she actually asked him. I thought it was weird. At some point in my life I wouldn't let my mum buy me underwear, let alone a man who doesn't know what kind of bra I need...

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re: underwear tbh i think it's just flagrant product placement : )

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Exactly this twin, exactly this!!!

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As for the JiChul and SooJung relationship, it really makes no sense. The actress' performance was bad but her character was worse. If she was such a scarred and scared person, why would she, a college student, be infatuated with a much older man to the point of blindly sending him gifts without ever meeting him? It looked like a perfect set up of the scammers being scammed by a young, pretty co-ed.

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The way they just let him walk free was infuriating! Even if they couldn't hold him for murder, they totally dismissed how he trespassed and assaulted her. Seems like the police doesn't do any work in this drama.

I was surprised that Ji-chul's girlfriend does exist. I was expecting him to get catfished. Guess they weren't all that serious. Probably just texting and have only gone to handholding stage. I can't tell how old he is either. In-beom is younger than Jung Yong-hwa- In-beom was in high school in 2014 according to his yearbook...so he's probably 25? I feel like Ji Chul can't be that much older?

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As much as it also infuriated me, I believe that there are many places in the world that officers don't do their job well enough. It was achingly sad to see he was freed just because there was not enough evidence to hold him there, knowing that this still exists in parts of the world.

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I have been wondering if this is one theme of the drama because everytime we see the police there is aways a visible sign in frame that extols the virtues of the police. It seems almost sarcastic and cynical in light of the context of the police being the exact opposite so far.

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I think it was meant to be sarcastic in this case. The police should have done much better than this if they were better at their job.

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Wonderful recap as always, @branwen - thank you! Yes, completely agree that Hyung-shik being a competent medium who is familiar with Ji-ah's professional ins-and-outs actually adds to the story for all the reasons you so astutely list. He also generally seems like a good person, which I like. He's actually not that dissimilar from In-beom: affable, decent, dependable, ready to go with the flow and not insecure about his role or in taking direction from Ji-ah with the exorcisms.

I'm pretty sure Ji-ah occupies well over 50% of In-beom's brain right now, and I enjoy how the drama demonstrates how adorably besotted he is without making it all about that. It feels like there are several real threads that tie them together (the mystery, the partnership, the attraction, the understanding of being outliers), and I like that they aren't exclusively making him walk around like a moonstruck teen panting after her. And, while considerably more subtly, the drama is doing a good job of showing how Ji-ah is feeling about him, too.

While the Soo-jung bit and the obstinate blockhead of the detective situation fell a bit short for me this week, overall this drama is delivering in spades.

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Question im I the only one who interpreted the light flickering with heart flickering ? Because he did say that sometimes he has no control over it and seems like a heightened pulse might have caused it adding that they panned back to light flickering before the scene cut.

Any thoughts ?

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Oooh, what part was this?

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Hmmm, I didn't think of that. That would be some attention to detail of that was the case.

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The sene at the end where In Bum sees Ji Ah in the dress. I don't think he was so much stunned by her beauty, but that she wasn't in all black, wasn't glaring at him, and the light was literally giving her a halo.

As for Soo Jung, maybe it is the actress, but I don't believe her relationship either.

The police incompetence reminds me of the 90s American action/thriller movies where the police always arrived after the fact. It is annoying and honestly embarrassing.

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It's more annoying when they get all annoyed and self-righteous at non-police doing all the detective work or pursuing vigilantism. Look, no one wants to pay taxes to fund the police work and then end up having to do it themselves.

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#facts

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I think more than any other episode so far this episode is best understood paired with the next episode (episode 10). I too felt it was a little off in some regards, but those were resolved in the next episode. Especially Soo Jung's character.

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@branwen, thank you for your recap. I did not really note how the writer did NOT pit In Bum and Hyung Shik so thank for bringing that observation forward.
Also, how relieved I was for the fake out! I am surprised the writers did not go down that trope filled road to bring our leads back together. I was actually impressed by how restrained the writers were in this episode: our pair did not make up and yet there was no unnecessary angst. On that point alone, I was impressed.

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Umm...did you all forget the Mulle dong case? The painter's case? Then too, In-bum was quite struck by Ji-ah's beauty!

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This! I would have had major issues with the drama if the stage scene was when InBum ‘fell’ for JiAh as the writing has not had to resort to such shallow tropes so far (and I personally think dark JiAh is much more gorgeous).

Instead, we’ve seen how InBum has been falling for JiAh throughout the episodes as they spend time together exorcising and helping the ghosts/humans get their closure. They have built such a close relationship based on trust, respect and understanding that they can now communicate with just a look.

To me, this scene was when he could take a breather to just openly admire her (since she’s in a trance and also not killing/pummeling someone as he had originally feared) and to show us that Hyun Ju had her own life and passions as well before it was tragically cut short.

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Agreed. I gently disagree with @leetennant's comment that this is the episode where In-bum notices Ji-ah's beauty. In-bum has shown signs of attraction from the second week. Examples include his eyes lingering on her dewy face and lips after she grabbed his hand in the painter's studio (Ep. 3, 17:35) and his alertness during her close proximity as she put his necklace back on after exorcising the painter (Ep. 4, 7:35). Just last week, he couldn't repress his eye smiles or gentle teasing at her cuteness in long puffer.

But I agree that the scene on the stage was a clunker. It felt like misplaced fan service. We already know how beautiful she is. In-bum is already attracted her so he doesn't "need" it either.

What I found even more frustrating is that we don't actually see Ji-ah perform as Hyun-ju. Post-exorcism, we've seen In-bum paint, clean, bake (off camera), and trim hedges. Wouldn't it have been more impactful to see Ji-ah recite a soliloquy from the play ... instead of just standing there under a light?

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My trademark sarcasm aside, I'm not sure we're disagreeing.

I agree with all of this. It's why the scene as it exists is, as you said, a 'clunker'. It's out of place, I don't know what it's saying (or I do but it makes little sense in the context of the show so far as many people have explained). It makes Ji-ah a passive character viewed from an external lens. And it's not the first time in this episode that the gaze is wrong for the drama we've seen so far.

These two episodes as a block feel like they're from a different show: one that's more voyeuristic, more violent, and has slightly different characters. Its treatment of female characters feels more exploitative. Its emotional beats are just slightly off and if you'd told me that the main writer was busy with later episodes and left this to an underling I would believe you.

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I need help. What is that romantic piano instrumental song that was playing when Hong Ji a and Oh in bum were together in the stage, right before they started to dance/crashing into the floor towards the end of this episode??? Thanks in advance!
Name of song and artist please!

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That's Ji-Woo from Hello, My Twenties! 2, right?

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