Leading the pack of new dramas in 2015 is MBC’s Wed-Thu miniseries, Kill Me, Heal Me. Everyone is probably aware of the drama behind the drama of this show, but what happened might be for the better. I can’t help but to think that everything feels right with the cast, and the writer’s previous works pre-The Moon that Embraces the Sun give me some hope that it can continue with the right momentum until the end. Hook, line, and sinker…or in Kill Me, Heal Me‘s style: catch me, save me, and love me..please?
A man was having a cut and paste session by himself but rather than the mysterious man in the dark, the materials he were collecting were the focus for now: various newspaper clippings and cuts about the family members of Seungjin Group: Seo Tae-im, Cha Gun-ho, the fatal car accident which killed Seungjin Group’s Chairman Cha Gun-ho and his daughter-in-law President Min Se-yeon, the next in-line to inherit the group Cha Jun-pyo, the mysterious fire that broke out in the family’s mansion, and the heir who was saved from the fire. All the details were put on a big blackboard and the lingering headline threw a question: would the said heir be able to live comfortably after facing the tragedies happening to his immediate family?
The young heir outgrew himself to become Ji Sung aka our football player, Cha Do-hyun. He was the object of his Korean friend’s jealousy for his perfect self: kind and likable by literally everyone. Oh, before I forgot, we were in a locker room full of American lads, circa Summer 2004. I’m not sure if Do-hyun was just kind or he was someone who couldn’t refuse other people’s request..out of being polite, but he was willing to help out a schoolmate (I assume she was) to pass a document to another mate. His Korean friend thought that the girl was being rude, but yeah, Do-hyun was a little too kind to everyone.
Little did he know that his visit to the mate, known as Jennifer, turned out to be something else, as he walked into the scene of the girl being physically abused by her father. Do-hyun, being the good guy he was, tried to help out, but he only became the next punching bag. Ouch. All the kicks and punches brought back his memories of being abused during childhood and his eyes changed, while he himself tried to comprehend what was happening inside his own mind. The police barged in (albeit too politely) after receiving some complaints from the neighbours, and Jennifer put the blame on Do-hyun for assaulting her. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Do-hyun came back to his empty bachelor’s pad with a voice mail from a certain Secretary Ahn, who had found out about his case with the police. He could only listen to his secretary’s report and went straight to the bathroom. Memories of the earlier assault hit him again and before he could reach for his bottles of medicine, something inside him changed…and his eyes turned purple. Do-hyun seemed to turn into someone else; someone that was more menacing and more dangerous, judging from the finger tapping and the wicked smile.
The bad boy Do-hyun walked through the city of New York and greeted Jennifer’s father with a punch in his face before beating the man into a pulp. He gave the man a warning not to touch his daughter again, and Jennifer mouthed ‘thank you’ from the upstairs. He gave a reassuring smile…and the next thing Do-hyun knew, he woke up in his place with the eyeliner and his blood stained clothes. Not a good way to start the day, but it was for the better, since that was the first time he found out about the monster living inside him.
Ten years later, 2014, Do-hyun had known his other persona so well, enough for him to describe the bad boy side of him to a psychiatrist (cameo by Jung Eun-pyo): his name’s Shin Se-gi (literally meaning ‘New Century’), same age as him, and had a tendency to turn his surrounding into a bloodshed arena. You could tell that the psychiatrist was a scaredy cat, as he grew more uneasy over the course of Do-hyun explaining his split personality condition. Do-hyun’s other self would steal his body without him realizing about it and he would wake up to a place unknown to him (for instance, in the middle of tattoo-making), or have someone he didn’t know recognizing him. Because of that, he would have to suffer some consequences because of something he did not do, like being dunk in water for ignoring a certain shady woman (cameo by Baby VOX’s Kan Mi-yeon).
Do-hyun had received a diagnosis from a certain Dr. Seok Ho-pil (Schofield?), who ruled his condition as a Dissociative Identity Disorder. The Scaredy Cat Psychiatrist freaked out when he heard Do-hyun describing his other personae, from the violent Se-gi, to the bomb maker Ferry Park and the suicide addict Yo-sub. We couldn’t exactly know how many psychiatrists had turned down his request for treatment like this, but Do-hyun was nevertheless affected to have his hope dashed for the umpteenth time. He wasn’t even sure what would happen to himself and his unknown alter egos.
Secretary Ahn Guk (Choi Won-young with a very bad case of hair styling and in need of immediate makeover) was there by the time Do-hyun went back to his home and he was there to carry out the President’s order, which was to bring Do-hyun back to South Korea for good. Do-hyun was uneasy about it, especially when his was still undergoing secret treatment and he did not really know when his other selves would jump out and take over his body. He was reluctant to go back…
…until he woke up on a flight en route to Korea. Looks like someone chose to make the decision for him without his approval, and poor Do-hyun was unable to do anything about it. A friendly man sitting beside him seemed to recognize him but Do-hyun was too busy to notice it. Se-gi had actually left a video message for him, telling Do-hyun that he already took care of everything on his side. Se-gi was even criticizing Do-hyun’s style, but he dressed himself with Do-hyun’s clothes! That was enough to send Do-hyun running towards the arrival gate and trying to book a flight ticket back to New York, but he was greeted by a small group of bodyguards, who were there to escort him home.
A lady arrived at the airport while insisting that she was not the writer called Omega (“or Oscar, whatever he is!”) to a phone call. We’re not formally introduced to her yet but for the sake of clarity, she was Oh Ri-jin (Hwang Jung-eum), who went to the airport with the sole intention of catching someone. She headed straight towards Do-hyun, who thought that she’s another person who recognized him and did not feign ignorance this time, unlike before. Ri-jin launched towards him..but not exactly attacking him, but the person hiding behind him: the friendly guy from the flight earlier.
This friend was Oh Ri-on (Park Seo-joon) and he used the poor Do-hyun as his human shield against Ri-jin, so clueless Do-hyun was stuck between the two fighting siblings. Ri-on pleaded for Do-hyun to help him and being the good guy, Do-hyun tried to talk Ri-jin out of her violence but to no avail. Ri-jin got hold of Ri-on’s ears and she was this close to revealing his pen name but Ri-on managed to drag her away, acting like Ri-jin was his sick little sister who escaped from the hospital. Do-hyun looked a little apologetic towards Ri-jin but for now, he’s got a bigger issue to deal with.
Ri-jin was still angry at her older brother, Ri-on, for using their family to remain anonymous, but he argued that it was the reason why he became successful in his writing career. He defended his weird pseudonym Omega, because he loved Omega-3 so much. Not sure if he was talking about the title of his latest novel or the fatty acid, but hopefully he’s not some kind of fish oil addict. Ri-on went on to talk about their twins status and the possibility of being separated at birth of they were born in Joseon Dynasty, but that too advanced into another endless bickering of these two.
They arrived at the hospital and Ri-on coaxed his sister to endure her hospital life well and to remember that they would always be together in their hearts. Pffft. Ri-jin had enough of his sugar-coated words and went to greet an alcohol-dependent patient who just arrived on ambulance and we finally got to see the white coat underneath her winter coat. Our Ri-jin was actually a psychiatrist; to be exact, the first year resident psychiatrist at Kanghan Hospital (aka Strong Hospital).
The alcoholic patient caused a ruckus inside the ward, refusing to let his stomach pumped and threatening the staff with an IV pole. Ri-jin tried to talk him out by offering to treat him with alcohol, but she was actually looking for a chance to grab the man and pin him to the ground before sedating him. It seemed to be a normal occurrence in the hospital, and Ri-on, having witnessed the whole scene, was only sighing with a noticeable amount of love for his cool little sister. Did I see his eyes twinkle for a moment there?
Ri-on went back to his car and started to sing to himself while digging through his bag. Among his belongings were the news clippings of Do-hyun neatly arranged in a clear folder. So I was right about him knowing Do-hyun! As for Do-hyun himself, he arrived at Seungjin Group’s mansion but greeted with an argument between the two women of the house: his grandmother, Chairman Seo Tae-im (Kim Young-ae) and his birth mother, Madam Shin Hwa-ran (Shim Hye-jin). Mdm. Shin was eager to know about someone’s whereabouts from Chairman Seo, who had successfully hid the person in a nursery home at an unknown location. They were too engrossed in their argument and did not realize that Do-hyun was there, but he only bowed obediently without saying anything.
They sat around a table laden with lavish meal and Do-hyun was pampered by his mother, but his grandma did not wait for too long to discuss about his requests in return for him going back for good. Do-hyun finally learned about what Se-gi was talking about in the video earlier: he asked for a high position in the group and a 5% stock under his name, but Chairman Seo made him the Vice-President of ID Entertainment, a company under Sungjin Group and promised to transfer 0.5% of the group’s share under his name on his birthday for his hard work at the company. Mdm. Shin was too busy arguing that Do-hyun shouldn’t be put to work under ‘Ki-joon’ since he was the group’s heir, leaving no space for her son to even say a complete sentence. He must had lost all his appetite by then.
Se-gi was very smart as he requested for Do-hyun to stay in a separate place by himself, and it turned out that he asked it all through a video call with Chairman Seo. That’s scary. Do-hyun was worried that something would happen later. Secretary Ahn vowed to do anything to help him, but a call interrupted their conversation. It was Cha Ki-joon (Oh Min-suk), Do-hyun’s direct superior and cousin, inviting him for a drink later that night. Although he seemed friendly, his exchange with his daddy dearest, Cha Young-pyo (Kim Il-woo), suggested that he might be a hungry wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Secretary Ahn warned Do-hyun about Ki-joon and his scattering eyes, meaning that he’s capable of finding out everything about Do-hyun, so getting treated in a hospital was a no-no for the time being. Do-hyun requested for Secretary Ahn to find where his psychiatrist from before, Dr. Seok (Go Chang-suk)…and the doctor worked at the same hospital as Ri-jin. He was also her professor and questioned her about a patient named Heo Suk-hee (Husky?) on their way to check on the patient, but the patient had escaped to a ‘paradise of communicating through vibrating music, shining lights, and dancing’. Dr. Seok left in a huff and Ri-jin was chided by her supervisor, Dr Park (finally, Lee Shi-un in a role that compliment his good looks!).
Patient Suk-hee was possibly heading to Paradise Club, where Do-hyun was set to meet Ki-joon for their drinking session; however, Secretary Ahn thought that Do-hyun shouldn’t be drinking to avoid any unfortunate incident from happening, especially when he’s around Ki-joon. The private drinking session was not really private at all, since Ki-joon had invited a whole team to join them. Humm..going out strong against your rival, son? He sent the team out to have some fun after introducing Do-hyun to them and kept teasing Do-hyun about his good boy image when the latter opted for a glass of plain water instead of some booze. The celebration was not only for him as the company was also welcoming the new Art Director, someone whom Do-hyun knew too well. Ki-joon might be aware of Do-hyun being affected by Han Chae-yeon (Kim Yoo-ri)’s presence too…
Ri-jin was hunting down Suk-hee with Ri-on’s help and the first step was no other than tracking the patient’s phone, only to be led back to the ward. The patient was smart, knowing exactly what would happen, but a text on the phone gave a hint to Ri-jin about where the paradise was..
Do-hyun was being cornered about talks regarding his love life, and Ki-joon did not hesitate to remind him of his crush towards Chae-yeon. Ahhhh don’t torture him! She wanted to know who his crush was but they were interrupted by their colleagues, inviting them to grace the dance floor. Do-hyun opted to stay out of the crowded floor and reminisced the day he was supposed to meet Chae-yeon back in the US, but had to hide himself after being doused with water by the shady woman.
His time alone was interrupted by an overly friendly lady (Kim Seul-gi!!), who could tell that he was a lonely soul with a scarred heart, just like a mind reader. She introduced herself as the psychiatrist Heo Suk-hee, but Do-hyun politely rejected her name card. Suk-hee suddenly spotted Ri-jin among the crowd and pleaded for Do-hyun to help her with the escapee Ri-jin, while Do-hyun recognized Ri-jin as the sick lady at the airport earlier. He’s mistaking her as a mentally ill patient, and Ri-jin’s hyper self only made Do-hyun more eager to stop her and make her calm down. She had enough of his interference and threw him onto the floor, judo style.
That was enough of a trigger for Do-hyun, as he started to experience intense headache. He escaped to the washroom and Ri-jin had to choose Suk-hee over her worry over Do-hyun. Although he tried to take his medicine, he failed to do so and soon passed out for a moment, before drumming his fingers and growing a red tattoo on his neck. His eyes turned purple…and this had to be Se-gi, because the first thing he did was to complain about the tacky clothes he’s wearing at that moment. A guy smudged his eyeliner when Se-gi slammed the door and Se-gi seemed to fancy his earring.
The next thing we know, Se-gi was making his way out of the noisy club in the guy’s studded leather jacket and earring, complete with eyeliner. He passed by Ki-joon, who seemed surprised to see the bad boy version of Do-hyun. He was actually amused to find out that his perfect cousin was hiding a different side of him. The Jacket Guy called his gang out to find Se-gi, because he hid some ecstasy in the jacket.
Ri-jin managed to catch Suk-hee and put her on the ambulance, but she couldn’t ignore Do-hyun after what she saw earlier. She went back towards the club but Se-gi stopped her. Thinking that he’s Do-hyun, Ri-jin was slightly taken aback to see him in a different set of clothing, but Se-gi grabbed her arm and looked intensely at the ticking clock…
Se-gi: Remember…7th January 2015, at 10 PM sharp..is the moment I fell for you.
Time seem to freeze at the moment and the two of them stared into each other’s eyes…before Ri-jin guffawed at the extremely cheesy line. But then, she could not help but to wonder what made him say so…and guessed it right: he fell for her rough moves. LMAO! I would have the same reaction as Ri-jin, who screamed upon hearing his confession, but they were interrupted by a bike gang surrounding the area, clearly trying to go against Se-gi. Ri-jin’s thoughts were to die for: the ever-changing scenes made her wonder if she was in a rom-com, action, erotic, or bromance movie. Pwahahaha! Jacket Guy told Se-gi to take off the jacket but Se-gi refused to do so and opted for a fight.
The crowd went wild inside the club as the fight got more intense outside, but Se-gi managed to defeat them all. He walked calmly towards Ri-jin but Jacket Guy managed to hit Se-gi’s head. Se-gi didn’t fall down and grinned wickedly at his opponent…
[END of Episode 1]
I have to admit that I regretted checking out the drama yesterday, because I did not expect to fall in love this fast with the show! The introduction part was a bit boring but once the story focused on Do-hyun, my interest was piqued. I’m sure that I am not the only person who feels like hugging Do-hyun and comforting his inner demons, because he really needs one. I have an inkling on what might have happened to him when he was young, but I will let the story unfold first instead of torturing my mind with all the possibilities. Maybe the guessing games can start properly after the fourth episodes, since we will have more clues by then.
The Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) portrayed in this drama might not be entirely correct and it is tailored to fit the plot, with sufficient dramatization and special effects. We are shown how much Do-hyun has to endure with multiple personae living inside him and it might be worse for a real patient, who is possibly still fumbling around trying to find what is wrong with his own self. Mental illness is not something to be taken lightly as it is as deadly as any physical disease, and if the dramas can spark someone’s interest regarding the illness, I think that the drama has succeeded to promote some awareness about our mental health. I’m all for learning more things through dramas!
Serious talks aside, this show is chock full of punny names that I’m sure I’ll miss one or two of them, so feel free to remind me of any that I have missed! We have Dr Origin, Mr Orion, Mr New Century, Dr Schofield (probably a reference to Dr Frank Schofield, but he was a veterinarian), and Miss Huskey so far, and I expect to see more of them in the near future. Lots of things to look forward to, and I’m here, patiently waiting for new episodes…