Yong-pal: Episode 11
Yeo-jin finally starts thinking about planning to someday soon take action against her murderous brother, who tries to defend his actions this hour with decidedly mixed results. Thankfully she’s got one hell of an ally in Tae-hyun, but she finds another ally where she definitely wasn’t expecting to in her late father. It’s a shame that some things between them couldn’t be solved until he was beyond the grave, but better late than never, right?
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Tae-hyun accompanies the hospital’s chief of security to Yeo-jin’s consultation following her “checkup,” though it doesn’t seem like they checked that much since they all think the woman beneath the bandages is the factory worker who tried to kill herself.
Luckily for Yeo-jin, the doctor believes she’s suffering from amnesia as well as an inability to speak, so this quells concerns about her talking to anyone. But just to make sure she doesn’t, the chief of security has her moved to the twelfth floor—at least until the shareholder’s meeting.
Only when he’s left alone with Yeo-jin does Tae-hyun confront her about her daring move: “Are you crazy? What are you doing here?” But before he can get another angry word in, Yeo-jin wraps her arms around him and pulls him to her.
She asks what he was thinking by writing that letter to her, and that she knew that it was really just a cry for help. Tae-hyun softens enough to place his hand on her back, and she tells him to just admit he’s happy to see her.
“How can you smile in this situation?” he asks at her teasing tone. “Don’t worry,” she reassures him. “I have a weapon to use in the fight against Han Do-joon. One that can save you.” She won’t tell him her exact plans, only that they can no longer hide from the battle awaiting them—and even if she could, she wouldn’t.
Chae-young’s spying maid listens in on Do-joon’s conversation with his secretary and a maniacal President Go, who urges him to put out Yeo-jin’s obituary and clean up what’s left behind, by which he means Tae-hyun.
So she calls him into her hospital room to tell him that he has to leave immediately, and surprises him when she reveals that she already knows he was planning to make her believe he ran away when in reality he’d just kill himself.
Chae-young promises to help him disappear, prompting Tae-hyun to ask why she’s helping him. “Because I like you. I like your style,” she replies simply. But even with the offer, Tae-hyun can’t leave now. Chae-young hopes that he’ll tell her when he changes his mind, because if things go too far, there’ll only be so much she can do.
Tae-hyun and Yeo-jin are waylaid on their way to her old hospital room (where her father hid his will, which is presumably what Nurse Ahjumma shared with her) by Do-joon and company on their way to see his dear sister, leaving Tae-hyun with no other choice but to leave Yeo-jin in the hall and follow them inside.
While standing over the mannequin, Do-joon tells Tae-hyun to “officially” call Yeo-jin’s time of death. When he does, Do-joon and President Go shake hands to cement their unholy union, and it’s at President Go’s suggestion that he turn Yeo-jin’s funeral into his own coronation ceremony that Do-joon decides to do just that.
Tae-hyun rushes to Yeo-jin’s room to urge her to flee, since they’ll be holding her funeral and her identity will surely be revealed. But she doesn’t take this as a warning, but more of an opportunity—though for what, we don’t know.
Cut to the moderate press conference where President Go announces Yeo-jin’s death and upcoming funeral within the week. Do-joon’s secretary just continues to stew that President Go is taking his place, which Yeo-jin notices and takes advantage of by texting her brother’s phone while it’s in his secretary’s possession: “Carry out my funeral well, Oppa. -Han Yeo-jin.”
It’s enough to leave him unsettled, since it’s Do-joon’s secure phone that only a handful of people even know the number to. Yeo-jin’s revenge has begun.
Chief Lee still hasn’t received surgery, and tension arises when Tae-hyun suggests Tae-yong perform it despite not having permission from security. Can he call himself a real doctor if he waits that long?
Tae-yong takes this as an insult and growls that he decides what’s best for the surgery department, not just one patient. “Is that why you reported me?” Tae-hyun shoots back. He further whittles away at Tae-yong’s pride when he tells him to stop talking about being a “real doctor” in front of the impressionable nurses and rookies.
Watching all the flower wreaths being brought in for Yeo-jin’s funeral, Nurse Ahjumma comments to Tae-hyun that it seems more like a festival than a funeral. But Tae-hyun tells her they’ve got bigger fish to fry—more importantly, he needs her help to save Chief Lee.
Do-joon basks in the limelight at Yeo-jin’s funeral, not even bothering to hide the smirk on his features as he passes by countless minions with their heads bowed to him. “Please rest in peace in heaven,” Do-joon thinks to himself as he faces the portrait of his supposedly dead sister. “I’ll gladly go to hell.”
After the first incense stick he places at her altar breaks, making him wonder if his late sister doesn’t want to accept it, he replaces it with another before President Go informs him that any mourners who arrive in grey ties have pledged their loyalty to him.
Chae-young’s father shows up in a gray tie, though he acts much more subservient to his son-in-law as he begs him to forgive his foolish daughter. Do-joon acts like he’s uncomfortable with all the groveling, but his sly smile gives him away.
That’s when Do-joon’s secretary receives another ominous text, again claiming to be from Yeo-jin: “Oppa, if everyone finds out that I’m alive and well, won’t your whole world be turned upside down?”
Of course, only then does he actually go and check the body in the morgue, and is justifiably frightened when he realizes that it’s not Yeo-jin’s corpse. Do-joon will kill them if he were to find out, but the chief of security says that all they have to do is find Yeo-jin before the wake. They’ll start by finding out whose body is lying in her place.
They corner Nurse Ahjumma in a weirdly dark and quiet area of the hospital to confront her about misidentifying Yeo-jin’s corpse. Thank goodness she’s fast on her feet, and when asked why she did what she did, she claims Chief Lee switched out the corpses and that she only did what he told her to do.
I love Nurse Ahjumma even more now, because in shifting the blame away from herself, she’s also doing as Tae-hyun requested by helping Chief Lee—now Do-joon’s secretary has a reason to keep him alive in order to question him.
To that end, he enlists Tae-hyun to perform Chief Lee’s surgery, though Tae-hyun remarks on the irony in asking someone who’s about to die to save someone else. Do-joon’s secretary reminds him that it’s not just his life on the line but his sister’s, giving Tae-hyun no other choice but to acquiesce.
While Tae-hyun turns Chief Lee’s tiny stab wound into an enormous abdominal incision, Chae-young confronts her husband about wanting a divorce. Now that her father has pledged loyalty to him, there’s no more reason for him to have her as his hostage, right?
She adds that while she’d considered taking Yeo-jin and using that to her advantage, now that she’s dead, there’s no reason for her to stay with him. But Do-joon shuts that idea down fast: “You can never escape from my grasp.”
Chae-young can’t understand why he’d want to keep a wife who won’t even sleep with him, to which Do-joon replies, “I love you.” She finds that idea laughable and tells him it’s not love, but obsession.
He doesn’t necessarily refute that, turning gravely serious as he adds that everyone he ever loved abandoned him—his mother committed suicide, and the stepmother he loved more than his own mother abandoned him as soon as she had Yeo-jin.
“Do you know what happened to those people?” he asks Chae-young without actually asking her. “I buried all of them with my own hands. And now, it’s time to bury Yeo-jin. No one can abandon me now before I abandon them.”
To his not-a-sob-story, Chae-young adds her own real one: “Before I married you, I had someone I loved. He was the son of a small company, and he was kind. I was pregnant with his child.” At this, Do-joon’s hand clenches into a fist.
She continues that she never wanted to be a chaebol’s wife, but because her father had no choice but to bend to his master’s (Do-joon’s father) will, her lover’s family went bankrupt and he committed suicide in the end. And she aborted his child.
“Do you understand now?” she turns to Do-joon, her eyes glistening. “You were never the victim. You’ve always been the perpetrator. I am never going to have your child.”
Do-joon throws his glass against the wall, shattering it, before dragging Chae-young to the couch and throwing her on it. She doesn’t struggle as he straddles her and smashes his lips against her unyielding ones, but it’s that lack of resistance that finally stops him. “You can kill me,” Chae-young finally says, “but you can’t have me. Ever.”
After she slips from his grasp, Do-joon drinks heavily and calls his secretary to task for keeping her background a secret from him—he must have known about her past since he did all the checking on her for his father.
His secretary admits he knew, but falls to his knees to beg Do-joon’s forgiveness for keeping it from him on the late chairman’s orders. He grows concerned when Do-joon doesn’t throw something at him, worried that all Do-joon’s talk of killing everyone who knew too much will end with him six feet under.
Unwittingly, Yeo-jin picks the perfect time to send Do-joon’s secretary another text: “Bring my passport to Incheon Airport right now. If not, you’ll also die by Han Do-joon’s hands.” Convinced that she’s alive and attempting to flee the country, his secretary calls for all their resources to go to the airport and catch her.
Tae-hyun finds Yeo-jin on the hospital’s rooftop garden after finishing up Chief Lee’s surgery, and doesn’t ask why when she asks for his cell phone. Texting as Tae-hyun, she sends a message to Chae-young claiming that he’s ready to leave the hospital. Chae-young texts back that she’ll be there in half an hour.
It’s then that Yeo-jin tells Tae-hyun what she wants, and that’s for him to escape the hospital’s clutches. She’s already taken care of the guards by diverting everyone’s attention to the airport, which will clear the way for him.
He refuses to go and leave her behind like this, but she assures him that what she needs him to do can only be done if he’s outside the hospital’s sphere of influence. After resisting initially, Tae-hyun finally agrees to hear what that something is: “Will you… marry me?” Whaaaaat.
“Marry me and become my heir and guardian,” Yeo-jin adds. “That way, you can protect me from Han Do-joon.” Tae-hyun doesn’t even take a second to answer with: “Okay, I will.” Yeo-jin warns him not to answer so easily, since it’s a decision that’ll take careful consideration and—…
But a kiss from Tae-hyun interrupts her train of thought. That’s his answer after careful consideration, he says, and Yeo-jin accepts. And though Chae-young scoops him up from the hospital after using some plainclothes minions to beat down the guards, Tae-hyun surprises her by asking to be taken to the airport.
Chae-young kind of steamrolls over anything Tae-hyun has to say, assuming that he wants to escape to the States. She also is operating under the assumption that he texted her for help, so she feels free to tell him that she’s getting a divorce, but proves she’s not that clever when she adds that Do-joon won’t have a reason to bother him once they divorce.
Tae-hyun worries that she’s getting a divorce because of him, but Chae-young doesn’t catch the anxiousness in his tone: “Why else would I get a divorce?” Sensing that they’re on two very different wavelengths, Tae-hyun stutters that he already has someone he loves. Chae-young doesn’t believe him, since nothing in his background check supports that.
Knowing that Do-joon’s secretary will be alone since he’s sent everyone else off to the airport, Yeo-jin texts him to meet her in her room. She takes off her bandages as she walks into her former prison, remembering the words Nurse Ahjumma passed down to her from her father. Like he said, she needs no key to that room when she is the key.
It takes strength for her to walk up to the bed where she lied for three years, utterly powerless, as memories of her time trapped there come flooding back. Once again, she has only to use her handprint to activate the room’s sensors, and has only to sit on the bed for the body scanners to pick up her identity.
A video of her father begins to play, his last will he left her. Past Chairman knew she’d only see this video if she found her way back to her room, which means she’s qualified to become the room’s owner, as well as the owner of Hanshin Group. He also knew that if she was watching, it’d mean he was dead and gone.
Even in death, her father ruefully acknowledges that she must be relieved he’s gone, since she’d tried to kill herself because of how much she hated him. But now he begs her not to die, and cries that he’s sorry. Yeo-jin cries too while watching, as her father says that keeping her in a coma was the only way to keep her alive.
Nothing hurt him so much as when Yeo-jin tried to take away the person he loved most, but he thanks her for at least knowing that she was the one he loved most. And though he knew Do-joon wouldn’t wake her after he died, he still had no other choice but to try. “I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you to the end.”
But then he reveals a bombshell Yeo-jin couldn’t have even dreamed of: He admits he knew about her dating Daejung Group’s heir, but had believed enough in her judgment to leave their relationship alone. It was only after they started their relationship that her father found out that her fiancé had approached her with a motive—he’d secretly been working with Do-joon the whole time.
Yeo-jin’s eyes fill with tears as her hand covers her mouth in shock and disbelief. Her father reveals that her fiancé had planned to set Yeo-jin up on false charges so Do-joon could remove her from the upper echelons, but that things changed when her beau wanted to keep her and the funds he was promised.
That’s what caused his death at Do-joon’s hands, her father adds, though Do-joon had intended for the accident that happened that fateful night to kill both Yeo-jin and her lover. Which kind of begs the question of how her father knew all of this and somehow still had absolutely no way to rein his son in, but okay.
After a few brief moments of hysteria on Yeo-jin’s part, she becomes eerily calm as she listens to the rest of what her father has to say, unaware that Do-joon’s secretary is trying and failing to gain entry to her room. In order to help her gain strength to fight the good fight, her father directs her to a hidden drawer at her bedside containing a USB drive.
In it, her father says, are all of Hanshin’s internal documents, including damning info on slush funds and funds used for political lobbying. Just having that drive will give her power over all Hanshin’s directors and any government official who received money from them.
The owner of that drive can become the real owner of Hanshin Group, her father adds. He also knows that Do-joon will try his best to get his hands on it, but that he can never have it, because he’s not the true heir.
And finally, her father tells Yeo-jin that no matter what anyone said, he loved her mother. “Yeo-jin-ah, I love you. And… please protect Hanshin Group.” Yeo-jin takes all this in with tears streaking down her face. Poor thing.
When she’s ready, she presses the button to give Do-joon’s secretary access to the room. He walks inside fearfully, but masks it to put on a sardonic front: “Here I am, at your command. What will you do now?”
Yeo-jin’s first command? “Kneel before me.”
Poor Yeo-jin. That was a lot to take in, not only because she just recently found out her father wasn’t as horrible a man as she thought he was (but then, why did she think that if he didn’t oppose her union?), but because her whole world has just been turned upside down. The man she once vilified was secretly her greatest supporter and admirer, while the man she was willing to kill herself over turns out to have been a snake in the grass.
Add that to having a brother who tried to kill you, and crying suddenly seems like a tame reaction by comparison. But it does make me wonder about Do-joon’s past, and what happened to him to make him the sort of man he is today. Now that we know he was trying to kill Yeo-jin the night of the accident, we can say his supposedly loving actions toward her were manipulative—but how about in the past, when he was too little to know how? They used to love each other once, so did Do-joon sacrifice everything he once was at the altar of greed and ambition?
It was interesting to see his scene with Chae-young play out, if only because it gave us a deeper peek into Do-joon’s twisted psyche. The thing is, it’s not that twisted—while everyone except him can see he’s in a hell of his own making, Do-joon seems to see his life as a way of proving to those who would’ve doubted him that he is powerful and worthy of respect. But it’s also a mad scramble for control over those in his life he’s afraid might leave him, or how he thinks one gains control, and when viewed through that lens, Do-joon can almost be seen as tragic.
Key word: almost. At the end of the day, murdering people is inexcusable no matter how tragically one was brought up (today’s public service announcement), and Do-joon isn’t so far gone enough not to know that. Right now he’s able to do everything he wants with impunity—part of the perks of being filthy rich in a fictionalized world—so the next step would be to see him come across a challenge he can’t surmount just by giving someone an order. Do-joon talks a big game about having sent people off with his own two hands, when in reality he’s done none of the dirty work, and probably wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he did.
That’s where Yeo-jin’s plan comes in, and she’s picked a great target with Do-joon’s secretary. From day one we’ve seen how he’s been mistreated and abused by his master, and more recently how the fear of being done away with has been slowly creeping in. Yeo-jin may just be exactly what he needs to switch sides, because Do-joon has to figure out sometime that there’s a certain art to threatening people, and that it just doesn’t work if you threaten to kill everyone near you without incentivizing the kind of behavior you actually want from them. Or maybe he won’t ever learn, and will just be the kind of villain you wish well on their way to hell.
Whatever Yeo-jin’s ultimate plan is, I wonder if any of it will change now that she has the One USB. I’m mostly curious to know exactly how she thinks a marriage with Tae-hyun will protect her against her brother—not exactly the most empowering concept, but if they already love each other and are willing to go that extra mile, good luck and mazel tov.