Brace yourself, for this hour does not seem like an easy one for the faint-hearted fans, including me. Tears seem to be endless for episode 15 and I can’t imagine what will happen if this episode is going to grind my heart with all the torture and sadness. Will there be an end to their suffering of 21 years? And the most important thing: how will Ri-jin process all the memories when they come and hit her all at once?
The trip day was here and Do-hyun got dressed up before looking at his reflection on the mirror, practicing his smiles. Although his eyes were enough to show how heartbroken he was, he managed to break into a weak smile for the trip. Ri-jin started taking selcas on her phone and she even recorded a video for Do-hyun, mimicking the video Se-gi made for him when he first returned to the country. Do-hyun saw the toy train peeking from inside the box and it reminded him of the toy trains he shared with little Ri-jin back then.
Off they went to ride the Snow Flower Train, with Do-hyun writing something in his notebook since they boarded the train. Ri-jin was curious about it and managed to snatch the book away from Do-hyun’s grab, before realizing that he had been listing his favourite things, as if he’s reporting his whole personal information to her. He did it because he thought that the Q&A session would be too long, so he wrote it down for her. Heh, so thoughtful of him. She saw an interesting detail in the list and the started to play a game, in which Do-hyun did terribly at. I think she was testing the thing he said he couldn’t do, and Ri-jin had a field day hitting Do-hyun as the game’s punishment. Kekeke! It was the first time she met a person that would be so bad at playing simple games like those, and Do-hyun’s complaint reminded her of Se-gi. She didn’t tell him the details and hit his head instead of his arm before they rushed to get off at the station.
The postcards left behind by them on the train read: “Cha Do-hyun and Oh Ri-jin’s couple trip. Remember. 26.02.2015” and “Oh la oh la~ It feels good! Ri-jin is excited! ❤ The happy moment with Cha Do-hyun. Thank you for keeping the promise. 26.02.2015.”
They walked down the road and headed towards a river, as Ri-jin told Do-hyun about something she dreamed about: she made a promise with a certain child that they would go for a trip together to a faraway place with the train when they grew up. She had never told Ri-on about the dream because she was sure that Ri-on would say that the other child was him, but she knew that it wasn’t her brother. She was about to ask Do-hyun if the kid could be him, but she nearly slipped off the slippery rock and Do-hyun caught her from falling, before teasing her. Nice catch, indeed.
Chairman Seo learned about Madam Shin’s effort to find a child and that’s not all; Young-pyo’s side had also made a move and that included bringing some of the directors who were once the chairman’s allies to his side. Her secretary thought that she should use Do-hyun as her guarantee just like she always did, and that she should bring her grandson back into the company. She scolded the secretary for daring to teach her how to act but unknown to her, Madam Shin was eavesdropping to their conversation. Madam Shin went to visit Young-pyo’s house with an intention, and Young-pyo assured her that he would not abandon Do-hyun who had been guarding Seungjin like a faithful dog all this while, implying that she should leave everything to him. She wasn’t going easy at all, suggesting that he made Do-hyun as the person responsible for the department store and the car manufacturing business under Seungjin. Madam Shin was very confident, because she had the card that Young-pyo won’t be able to refuse…
The date continued with the couple sitting in front of a dining table…looking at a sorry state of a packed kimbap Ri-jin brought from the house. Do-hyun can’t help but to laugh at the food but he admitted that it still tasted good, despite looking a bit messy. They dug in the local specialty there and Do-hyun explained how the noddles got its name. He asked whether she was good in cooking and Ri-jin told him that there were two things she couldn’t do: cooking and arithmetic. It’s not that because she was bad at Maths, but she would always fell sick when she had to watch over the counter at Ssangri. She didn’t take after her mother when it came to cooking but she took after her father for their inability to do calculations. Ri-jin joked that both Ri-on and her would throw out punches over words, but Do-hyun seemed to realize that her words were right, considering how Ri-on confronted him on the day before. Talking about the twins’ similarities, Ri-jin said that both of them couldn’t reject other people’s requests easily, and they were both afraid of the basement.
Do-hyun thought that the twins had a good relationship with each other and he was so envious of them. He laughed at Ri-jin’s effort to eat the noodles, but the mention of the basement brought another flashback of his conversation with Ri-on. He had read the manuscript for the novel The Basement Child written by Ri-on, and he wondered if Ri-on wanted to know the back story to the novel. Ri-on asked Do-hyun if he had revived his lost memory, and Do-hyun proceeded to tell him the story of little Ri-jin and him, who promised to meet every night at 10 PM, in his house’s basement. The girl was kept hidden in the basement because her existence wasn’t supposed to be known to the rest of the world, but Do-hyun himself didn’t know the reason yet. Ri-on was questioning why the basement where the kids were spending time together turned into a place where their fear multiplied, and Do-hyun opened up to him about what had happened 21 years ago in that basement.
Ri-on was thinking about the same thing while he was writing his manuscript but he went out, as if it was time for him to go somewhere. He kept thinking about Do-hyun’s story while he was driving. At the same time, Do-hyun and Ri-jin were still spending time together, but Do-hyun couldn’t seem to keep his happy face any longer.
Do-hyun: The children’s promise to meet every night at 10 was not easy at all. If the boy made a mistake or his visit to the basement was found out by his father, the girl would be the one receiving the beatings. The boy who couldn’t protect the girl locked away his hurtful memories and threw them away, before multiple sides of him started to come out. However, the locked memories were corrupted; the boy mistook the girl’s experience of being abused as his own. It was because of his wish to be the one being abused instead of the girl, and to have all the torture endured by the girl to become his own.
Ri-on expressed his thoughts that no one in this world wished to become a victim, and the other people inside Seungjin at that time were more powerful to change the event back then. Perhaps, it was the best consolation Ri-on could offer to Do-hyun when he assured him, that Do-hyun was not the witness; he was just another victim in the scenario. Do-hyun asked Ri-on if he had any intention to continue writing the novel about Seungjin, because he was willing to provide the reference. He only had one condition, that was for Ri-on to make the novel as a bestseller.
The trip reminded Ri-jin of a trip she had with the whole family when she was young but she ended up getting scolded with Ri-on after the twins fought. Ri-jin explained that she was full of vigour because of her brother, and that was helpful for her in dealing with the patients when they’re out of control, or when she had to deal with Yo-na. She teased Do-hyun about Yo-na’s endless fangirling and her kiss incident (mimicking Yo-na LOL) while Do-hyun could only laugh at her. She also told him about the meaning of her name (bright/ 영리한 Ri and treasure/보배 Jin) and Do-hyun promised to remember the beautiful name for a long time. He looked distant and Ri-jin seemed to notice his unusual behaviour then.
They walked following the train track and Ri-jin ran towards the beach at the sight of the wide blue sea in front of them. She was so excited, like a little girl who saw the sea for the first time, and urged for Do-hyun to be closer to the water. This…is it, right? When Do-hyun called her name, in a very serious tone, Ri-jin knew that his memories had returned and asked the same question she threw to Se-gi before: was she there inside his memories? Was those memories about the good times they had? Was he having a hard time with her beside him? Do-hyun didn’t answer her even when she asked if that was a farewell for them.
Do-hyun: Oh Ri-jin, thank you for everything. The chairman and my mother had found out about my illness, hence there was no further need to keep it a secret from my family. I will have things to do from now on, so I won’t need you. The contract ends today. You’ve worked hard.
Ri-jin didn’t have any objection against his decision, but she didn’t even turn back to face him She told Do-hyun to leave first if he had the confidence to show his back to her. Do-hyun didn’t say anything and turned around slowly, before walking away from the spot he originally stood. Ri-jin sat there without looking back, and Do-hyun walked away without turning back even once. Ri-on had arrived there and after some time, he approached Ri-jin on the beach, telling her to get up for them to have something warm to eat, before he froze to death.
The siblings sat over a proper meal at a place nearby and Ri-on left everything up to Ri-jin: she could curse at or hit him, according to her own judgement. She wondered how he knew she was there and guessed that Do-hyun and Ri-on had planned it all beforehand. Ri-on thought that it would be better if Ri-jin did something to release the emotions inside her, and he didn’t think that recalling all those trashy memories would do anything good. He wished for them to live with their family like before, and Ri-jin couldn’t stop her tears anymore from flowing.
Do-hyun was lying down on his couch when Secretary Ahn went to his house and he started blabbering about acting so cool on the beach before. He had a few drinks but he couldn’t seem to be drunk enough for Se-gi or Ferry to take over his consciousness. He wished to have any of them to come out at that moment, but they weren’t there to help him. Secretary Ahn told him to go to his room because he didn’t want to see him like that and the ever-faithful Alfred Ahn decided to help Do-hyun in nursing his heartbreak. He gave Do-hyun a pep talk, after telling him that it wold be helpful to cry, about losing a woman couldn’t be compared to the feeling of losing a country (Advisor Chae, is that you?), but Do-hyun felt like he just lost a country. His cheeks were wet and Secretary Ahn knew that he was crying, although his eyes were hidden under the sleep mask.
The Oh Family huddled around the dining table for breakfast and Ri-jin was overly excited for the soup. Ri-on warned her that she was overreacting, while their parents thought that she wasn’t fed properly by the chaebol who hired her. Daddy Oh told her to quit working there and right at that moment, her things from Do-hyun’s house arrived. Ri-jin told her parents that she had resigned and excused herself from the table. She took out her clothes from the luggage and the sight of her rabbit pajamas reminded her of Yo-na. She got teary eyed but she suddenly got a call from a woman: Chairman Seo.
Dr. Seok and Do-hyun had their secret meeting again, this time at an a public aquarium. I love how random the places they chose, probably to keep it as a secret and as natural as possible. Do-hyun had told Dr. Seok everything except for the child’s identity and he was planning to find out the reason why the child was hidden and abused, so that he could properly apologize to that person. Dr. Seok thought that Ri-jin was still working with him, but he still told Do-hyun to contact him if anything happened.
Ri-jin was summoned to Seungjin mansion and she went there but thankfully, the housekeeper reported to Secretary Ahn about Chairman Seo and Ri-jin’s meeting. Secretary Ahn was meeting a man who worked at the mansion when the garden party was held prior to the fire incident, and he informed Do-hyun about another person who could give them more details: Seo-yeon’s driver. Do-hyun was concerned when he got to know that Ri-jin went to the mansion and drove there in a hurry. Ri-jin told the chairman that she was no longer Do-hyun’s personal doctor, so Chairman Seo dismissed her. Ri-jin then tried to talk to her about helping Do-hyun to deal with his illness, but the chairman didn’t think that bringing up the past would do any good for them.
Her remark Ri-jin being a daring lady stirred another wave of memory in Ri-jin, as she could hear the grandma’s voice, saying the same thing to the younger version of her. The housekeeper brought in the photos of Jun-pyo and Ri-jin was disturbed after seeing the photos. She looked pale and the housekeeper escorted her out of the study, but that’s not the end of the memory. Ri-jin heard the sound of musical instruments being played and this time, we got to see the longer and more accurate version of little Do-hyun’s piano practice session.
Little Ri-jin was actually there in the scene, playing the violin to accompany Do-hyun’s piano, but Do-hyun made a mistake. Jun-pyo closed the book he was reading and walked towards the children, telling Do-hyun that another person would receive the punishment if he made a mistake. Little Ri-jin just stood there silently, but she was brave to told Jun-pyo that it was not right for an adult to hit a child. Jun-pyo hated that she resembled her mother so much and dragged her away by the collar, as little Do-hyun begged for his father to hit him instead.
The memories were not easy to handle, but Ri-jin managed to walk out of the mansion. She kept thinking about Do-hyun’s words, telling her about his intention to find the child in the basement, and felt that the child was actually herself. Her fears, Do-hyun’s apology for being late, and him telling her not to revive her memories all made sense now: the child in her dreams was Do-hyun, and he had remembered everything. She fell onto her knees, still in the vicinity of the mansion, and hid her face in her knees. Do-hyun saw her and ran towards her, but her plea to be saved stopped him from touching her. The housekeeper went out and escorted Ri-jin to the car, while Do-hyun sat there on the ground, wallowing in his guilt for the umpteenth time.
Do-hyun went to Chairman Seo, demanding to know why she called Ri-jin there and he was not in the mood to be courteous this time, even in front of his grandma. The chairman didn’t really answer his questions and just ordered Do-hyun to return to the company, but Do-hyun flatly refused it and made it a point that he would never return to the company.
Ri-jin chose to settle down at a cafe and she was soon joined by Ri-on. She asked for Ri-on to decipher the meaning of her dream.
Ri-jin: I was around seven years old at that time, and I was accompanying a boy’s piano practice by playing violin. The boy made a mistake with his piano but I was the one getting scolded. A certain scary-looking man dragged me to the basement. Who was the man who dragged me? Was it the wind man? I was locked in the basement for the whole day. But that boy went to visit me every night at 10. I waited for him every night with hope, so that I could play with that boy. Was you the boy I waited for, or was it Cha Do-hyun?
Ri-on realized that Ri-jin had started to recall her lost memories, but she was more interested to know how much he had found out, and to what extent did Do-hyun and him made their pact. She knew that he won’t open his mouth, hence Ri-jin had decided to find them on her own. She went back home in tears and made the request to know about her birth parents from Mama Ji, since she had started to be curious about them.
Do-hyun headed back home but he had more things to be discussed with Secretary Ahn. They’re contacting Seo-yeon’s driver in the past and the secretary gave Do-hyun the family register, together with the record of Seo-yeon entering the country with Chairman Cha and a 6-year old girl. The girl’s whereabouts couldn’t be traced afterwards, and Do-hyun realized that something was off in the family registry: he was brought into Seungjin because he needed the family register to attend the school, but he clearly remembered that it was in the winter when he was introduced to his grandma. However, his name had been there in the family register since that year’s summer (or to be exact, on the same day Seo-yeon went back to Korea with her daughter). It was impossible for the late chairman to put Do-hyun’s name in the register before they met, because no one in Seungjin knew about his existence before that.
Mama Ji gave to Ri-jin an envelope containing Seo-yeon’s belongings and she kept it with her all this while to be given to Ri-jin, although she hoped that she would never ask about it. Ri-ji decided to open it later and wondered what kind of person her birth mother was. Mama Ji told her that her friend Seo-yeon was intelligent, kind, and beautiful, just like Ri-jin. Although Seo-yeon became a cold person after her family fell apart, Mama Ji believed that it was her way of protecting herself. Seo-yeon was forced into a loveless marriage with a chaebol family and her marriage was an unhappy one, but she was cherished by her father-in-law, who preferred her over his own son.
Seo-yeon then decided to get a divorce since Jun-pyo left the house after getting into an argument with Chairman Cha. Jun-pyo gave her the divorce papers and she planned to sign it and resign for her position as the company’s President before leaving the family. She was the one who brought up the divorce at first, telling Jun-pyo that she had a man she loved even before they got married. Seo-yeon didn’t feel any regret since she had done everything for the family and she was planning to leave for the US together with her lover.
Mama Ji herself didn’t get to meet Seo-yeon’s lover, who was also Ri-jin’s birth father, and the father passed away, leaving the mother and the daughter by themselves. Ri-jin apologized to her mother, saying that she wasn’t doing this because she hated her mother. She herself didn’t want to remember, but she continued to recall all the memories and felt troubled. Mama Ji understood her feelings, because she’s her mother.
Do-hyun continued to look at the documents but he suddenly experienced the headache, this time being more serious than usual. Ri-jin opened the envelope and peered through the photos and realized that her birth mother was Do-hyun’s legal mother. Do-hyun jolted up awake in his bed when Ri-jin opened the locket, and he found himself sleeping together with the teddy bear. Something caught his eyes..
..and it was the image of little Ri-jin, sitting in front of him. He smiled tenderly at the girl and gave her the teddy bear. Little Ri-jin mentioned that Do-hyun asked her name before, and he answered that he already knew her name. She shook her head when Do-hyun said that her name was Oh Ri-jin. He asked her again…what’s her name then?
Ri-jin opened the locket to reveal the photos of Seo-yeon and her younger self, but she started to hear Do-hyun’s name being mentioned in her memory. It was Seo-yeon’s voice, calling out Do-hyun’s name while little Ri-jin was playing on the swing. Little Ri-jin then ran towards Seo-yeon..and her mother called her ‘Do-hyun’.
Ri-jin couldn’t believe what she had just remembered, and Do-hyun was still confused when he asked the girl’s name again.
“My name is..Cha. Do. Hyun.”
[END of Episode 16]
I can’t help but to be reminded of Se-gi’s line in the second episode. Was he implying that he was the original person, since he had the memories..and also, the real name of the boy? Was Do-hyun’s name before he joined Seungjin Shin Se-gi? I totally didn’t see that twist coming, and no one probably did, because we were all focusing either on Ri-jin and Do-hyun’s break up, Ri-jin’s reaction to the memories, and Do-hyun’s other alters. And now…Do-hyun we knew all this while might not be the real owner of the name Cha Do-hyun.
What could more more surprising than this? Dear writer-nim, go ahead and surprise me. I am ready to accept anything.
But for now…let me collect my thoughts first. I think my brain just jumped out of my head after that ending.
Advance thank yous for all your comments ^^v
[+] I’m back, but I can’t promise what I’m going to write will be coherent. There are too many things in my mind, and there seems to be no ending to what I’m thinking right now. Dear show, what have you done to me?
First: Do-hyun. We know that there’s something bigger – perhaps closer to a conspiracy – behind all the things that happened to the kids in the past, but the name switch was something no one could have guessed. One interesting point is that the family register listed the name Cha Do-hyun as a male. Yeah, the Do-hyun we know today is a male, but was it like that before? Did Chairman Cha put Ri-jin in the family register as a boy from the beginning? Since we haven’t seen the late chairman yet, not even in any of the characters’ flashbacks, the secret must be there with his appearance, which will probably take place next week. Although Do-hyun insisted that no one knew about his existence before he went to Seungjin mansion with his father, it is a possibility that Chairman Cha had learned about him and also Jun-pyo’s whereabouts, but he chose not to tell anyone about it. He might have predicted that Jun-pyo would crawl back to him because of the boy, and he’s been preparing everything in advance. Did he realize that little Ri-jin was not Jun-pyo’s blood back then too?
There’s one thing I’m sure about, that this new piece of information won’t be easy for Do-hyun to deal with. Imagine yourself in his shoes: witnessing your friend being abused because of you, thinking that the friend died in the fire while you’re saved, living his whole life shutting down his memories because of the guilt, producing multiple identities to cope with the pain, finding out that he had been abused before realizing that his memories were corrupted, learning the truth, including the person he cherished the most in the world turned out to be the same girl he failed to protect back then, living with even more guilt on his shoulders, and finally…realizing that he might have been living under someone else’s identity. Ah, Do-hyun…you deserve to live happily ever after for the rest of your life, more than anyone else in this drama.
Do-hyun will start to be curious about his real identity, and the pressure to find out the truth will weigh on on him, producing another alter in the form of the mysterious Mr. X. We know nothing about him, just like Do-hyun realizing that he doesn’t even know who he is actually. If we’re to suggest that the alters are emulating the people who affected Do-hyun the most, then we might be on the right track. Most of the alters had the traits which once belonged to Jun-pyo: Se-gi’s finger tapping; Yo-sub’s interest in everything fine (classical music and art) and the glasses; and the alters’ tendency to grab other person’s collar. Do-hyun himself shows the sign of being a concerned adult when he was worrying about Yo-na, probably like his father’s tendency to have expectations on him back then. It won’t be too much of a surprise if Do-hyun had been living his life as good as he can to prevent himself from getting into trouble like his father, because he has witnessed how his kindhearted father changed into a monster.
It’s been the fourth time for Nana to appear, but we haven’t really seen her yet. The name Nana itself isn’t the alter’s name, and after watching the ending of episode 16, I can see why we can’t see a proper portrayal of the girl alter through Do-hyun. Although Do-hyun said that the alter was a 7-year old girl, he himself isn’t really sure about the alter. Nana first appeared when Do-hyun started to experience co-consciousness with Se-gi, and the girl alter might have existed alongside Do-hyun, like how he could see Se-gi through himself. Nana’s existence is complicated to be described and that’s what makes it even more intriguing. Could it be that Do-hyun unknowingly projected the image of the girl all this time after being triggered by the basement, and the reason why the girl remains a separate figure from Do-hyun (unlike his other alters) is because of Do-hyun’s way of seeing himself: he views himself as the illusion, the fake, and the person wearing the mask that is the identity, Cha Do-hyun. His unconscious mind knows that he wasn’t the original Do-hyun, and he chooses not to become Nana; instead, he gives the girl alter a separate figure from himself, because he have had it enough, cosplaying himself as Cha Do-hyun, the name which once belonged to the little girl.
The real Cha Do-hyun, or our Oh Ri-jin…if I were Ri-on, I would totally make the same decision as him, which was to protect and shield Ri-jin from finding out whatever things happened in the past. But then, we get to hear what she really felt about finding her lost memories. Even if people around them think that it might be hard for her to accept the past, no one can imagine how disturbing it is for Ri-jin to be continuously harassed by the situations she didn’t remember, and they won’t go away simply by closing her eyes. Perhaps finding the truth is a better option, since no one will be able to withstand the harassment of the mysterious nightmares like Ri-jin had. Although she was greatly affected when the memories returned, Ri-jin proved how strong she was to be able to walk out of the traumatic place this time. She can handle it, and she showed it to Ri-on. One thing I hope she will realize is that Ri-on has done something he thought would be helpful to her, and she knows how much he cherishes her. Same goes for Do-hyun, and I’m glad that Ri-jin is finding out about her past as fast as Do-hyun is.
I think that Ri-jin has to be the one who assures Do-hyun that he did nothing wrong back then, and he should put an end to his guilt since 21 years ago. Ri-on’s words were not enough (although I really love how he comforted Do-hyun and stated that he was just another victim) for Do-hyun, and that is not because Do-hyun is weak. That guy has endured everything related to his illness for 11 years by himself and he has lived cautiously to hide everything from his family. We often see Do-hyun in tears and losing his consciousness, but I won’t say that he’s weak. His inner self is in fact stronger than what we give him credit for, but in the case of his guilt, he can’t simply get over it by himself. He needs Ri-jin by his side, telling him that he was innocent, because that’s the only way for him to accept it and stop putting the blame on himself. He felt extremely guilty towards Ri-jin, and the words that can console her are those from Ri-jin, telling him that she had never blamed him for what happened.
It’s a lie to say that I don’t feel any anger towards the adults in Seungjin. Their indifference towards the tragedy makes my heart boil, and Do-hyun’s question makes sense: are they even humans? They don’t even flinch at the thought of facing the child whose life they had ruined, and to think that they don’t see it as a big deal is even more horrifying. Maybe the fear will kick in once they realize that Ri-jin is still alive and trying to take Seungjin away frm them, because the only thing they care about was their wealth. It’s revolting to think that humanity, or even a small compassion, can be pushed away because of the wealth and fame. It’s sickening.
Now that we’re approaching the last four episodes of this drama, I hope the drama has had enough of killing our hearts. The only thing left is to tie up the story nicely, and heal us with a proper closure for the characters. You killed me multiple times, drama, but I’m willing to entrust you with the healing of my heart. You can do it, Kill Me, Heal Me~!