The success of every calculated plan depends on its execution, but gauging that success only gets harder when everyone has an ongoing scheme of their own. Je-ha will need to tread carefully if he wants to protect the lives of those he holds dear, especially when all of his enemies have cast their nets far and wide, and are eager to scoop up anything they can get their hands on.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Yoo-jin’s tearful announcement that Anna is Se-joon’s biological daughter leaves the reporters abuzz. She faints moments later, and Se-joon wheels her inside.
Representative Park celebrates in his office while a furious Sung-won catches up to Se-joon prior to his press conference. His initial confusion turns into anger when Se-joon expresses his disappointment in him—the inmate who claimed to have been a witness to Anna’s mother’s death was an actor.
During the briefing, Se-joon recounts how he’d fallen in love with Anna’s mother back when he was a lawyer in 1993. They had plans to marry, but in the following year, he’d been arrested while running for office and Um Hye-rin had married Director Go.
Although the news had left him heartbroken, he was able to become an assemblyman two years later thanks to his current wife Yoo-jin. He goes on explaining how Um Hye-rin returned to Korea with a young Anna, and he describes the revelation that Anna was his daughter as “a nightmare.”
Anna is in disbelief at the words, but Se-joon isn’t done yet: He portrays Yoo-jin as a devoted wife who accepted his past whereas Anna’s mother had threatened to reveal the truth unless Se-joon accompanied her and Anna back to the States.
“Lies,” Anna utters at the TV. She refuses to believe the words coming out of her father’s mouth as Se-joon says he had refused to comply to Um Hye-rin’s demands. He becomes more emotional when he touches upon that fateful night Anna’s mother’s death: Like so many other times, she’d threatened to kill herself unless Se-joon went to see her.
He hadn’t believed her, and she was found dead the next day. While the death was ruled out as suicide, he feels responsible for the morbid consequence. He takes all the blame because his wife has been through enough by taking in Anna along with his painful past.
Watching her father deeply bow in apology, Anna mutters, “Wait and see. Once the witness steps forward, Choi Yoo-jin is done for.”
Speaking of whom, Yoo-jin sits in the interrogation room when the inmate is brought in. The detective grows frustrated when the man says he told Anna that he probably witnessed Yoo-jin killing Um Hye-rin, but he never actually said it was her.
The corner of Yoo-jin’s mouth curls upwards while on the other side of the glass, the police commissioner is told that this man had a solid alibi on the night of Um Hye-rin’s death. Sung-won calls Anna to inform her that they’ve been set up—they’ll be lucky if they aren’t charged for providing a false witness.
Down in the sublevel, Secretary Kim confirms that the false witness was a trap for Anna. She doesn’t feel a bit of remorse for besmirching Anna’s mother’s reputation because she was protecting her boss. She smirks when Je-ha tells her that this ploy was a mistake on her part.
Upon Yoo-jin’s release, she barely listens to the police commissioner’s apology before cutting him off and instructing him to give Representative Park her regards. She wears an apologetic mask in front of the press who ask if it’s true Um Hye-rin blackmailed them and if Anna knows about it.
In a hair salon, a pair of ajummas watch the story unfold. Not only do they buy into the story that paints Um Hye-rin in a negative light, they also pity Yoo-jin and believe that Representative Park is trying to humiliate Se-joon again.
Once Yoo-jin is whisked away, the police commissioner is left to face questions from the press. He denies that the police is currently cross-examining the supposed witness, and explains that Yoo-jin had simply participated in some questioning. Representative Park turns off his TV and chuckles that Se-joon and Yoo-jin have pulled the wool over his eyes once again.
Yoo-jin is met with public support when she’s taken into the hospital. Sung-won is already waiting in her room, and when he apologizes, she smiles. And then the camera hones in on that specialized recorder pen stuck in a potted plant.
Je-ha uses that to listen in on the conversation inside, as Yoo-jin tells Sung-won to wait until she decides what to do with him. He readily agrees to stop seeing Anna and do away with the staff assigned to Anna once she’s sent overseas.
But before Sung-won leaves, he asks if it really was Yoo-jin who killed Anna’s mother. Je-ha waits with bated breath, but Yoo-jin doesn’t take the bait, asking if Sung-won is recording their conversation.
Sung-won chuckles and leaves, though he looks plenty annoyed once he’s alone and ignores Anna’s call. Yoo-jin, however, sits alone with her thoughts and remembers how Anna’s mother had been gasping for air and reached out to her for help.
Yoo-jin had shaken her off, causing Anna’s mother and that bottle of pills to spill onto the floor. “Save me,” Um Hye-rin had faintly pleaded. Tears welling up in her eyes, Yoo-jin had replied, “I’m sorry. Love wasn’t meant to be shared.”
More tears fall from her eyes as Yoo-jin mulls over that memory now. Anna is unable to get in touch with Sung-won, and she and Je-ha head up to the roof where she apologizes for not telling him about her visit with the prison inmate.
He pulls her closer when she calls herself a fool, and he tells her not to cry because she needs her strength to fight the real battle ahead of her. He points out that her father has arrived and advises that Anna hear him out.
So Anna sits with her father, who takes a few beats before apologizing to her. He admits that everything he said at the press conference was a lie—her mother never blackmailed him but sought him out in earnest. “And… your mother didn’t commit suicide,” he adds softly.
He admits to lying to her when they were first reunited at the infirmary because Yoo-jin was watching them. He’s only telling her all this now because he’s a coward and he fears losing Anna.
Anna wipes away her tears and retorts that her father likely fears for his political career. Se-joon doesn’t deny it but explains that politics means everything to him and it’s the only way to save her and make her happy. “Do you know why [politics] is your everything?” Anna returns. “Because you threw my mother and myself away for it.”
Se-joon winces at the truth, and a tear rolls down his cheek. Anna’s voice stabilizes and she asks what he wants her to do now—stay hidden until the election is over? Do nothing to Yoo-jin, her mother’s murderer?
She rises to her feet and says her father didn’t lie to her; his words were sincere. He has nothing to fear, she adds, “because you’ve already lost your daughter.”
Je-ha spots Se-joon’s disheartened exit, and while he debates with Magic Mirror for a deeper analysis, Se-joon continues his campaign activities. Secretary Kim sees Je-ha alone in the sublevel while Anna visits her mother’s grave again. “I’m sorry, Mom. I’ve ruined everything,” she cries.
Anna isn’t alone for long, however, as Yoo-jin pulls up in her car. She sets down the bouquet of hydrangeas, saying that Anna’s mother loved them. She knows this because Se-joon once came home drunk and gave her a bouquet of these flowers.
Although hydrangeas weren’t her favorite, Yoo-jin says the gesture made her feel good… until she went to Anna’s home and saw a vase filled with them. She knows Anna despises her enough to want her dead, but she never hated Anna that much even when she considered killing her.
“Because in a way… you and I are quite similar,” Yoo-jin explains. “Like you, I didn’t have a mother when I was your age. There was a stepmother in her place who had stolen my father away. She was my father’s secretary, then his mistress, and ultimately became his wife.”
“That very woman is the mother to Sung-won, whom you call ‘uncle.’ Ironically enough, I’ve become your stepmother,” Yoo-jin continues. It’s possible that Anna’s mother could’ve gotten married without knowing that she was pregnant, then gave birth to Anna and had gotten a divorce.
She even understands the possibility that Anna’s mother would’ve returned to Korea to see Se-joon, and yet what was she supposed to do? “I threw away everything I had to choose your father.”
“So are you trying to say that was why you killed my mother?” Anna counters. Yoo-jin returns, “How nice would it have been if you were my biological daughter?”
She tells Anna that her surname will change from Go to Jang, which makes Anna her daughter by law. Because she’s childless, Anna could go on to become the president’s daughter and later own JB Group. “If you want to take revenge against me even after you’ve inherited everything I have, do it then.”
Yoo-jin turns to leave, but that’s when Anna says she doesn’t need any of that. To that, Yoo-jin marches back and tells Anna to leave and live her own life however she sees fit then, whether that’s being a model or something else.
Yoo-jin is more than willing to help her because there’s nothing here for Anna now: her mother is dead, her birth secret is now public, and her father can’t be trusted. “Do you want to keep living with a stepmother like me?”
“What if I say no? What if I said I’ll work to the end to reveal my mother’s murderer?” Anna argues. Yoo-jin answers, “Then I suppose your life will continue to be tragic. You’ll see everyone you love die.”
Everyone from the housekeeper to Mi-ran, and most importantly, Je-ha. Every life that has tried to protect her will die in the pursuit, but Anna disagrees: “No, Je-ha will kill you before that happens.”
In a taunting voice, Yoo-jin points out that Anna still doesn’t know why Je-ha is working for her. Je-ha is unable to take a life because of his PTSD, so she’s helping him complete his revenge. Je-ha is trying to avenge his deceased fiancee, and he’ll likely leave Anna once he’s seen it through.
She realizes that Anna didn’t know about any of this and scoffs that Anna should’ve asked Sung-won about it. But Anna refuses to believe it and reveals her plans to leave the country with Je-ha.
“Is that what he told you?” Yoo-jin fires back. Smiling, she asks if Anna even knows that the name Kim Je-ha is an alias. At Anna’s silence, Yoo-jin notes that Anna really does know nothing. Anna tries to argue that she already knows Je-ha is a wanted man, but that he was framed for his crimes.
“So that’s what he told you,” Yoo-jin responds without skipping a beat. “That he was framed for Rania’s murder?” Yoo-jin is amused when she realizes Anna didn’t even know the name of Je-ha’s late fiancee either, so she lays out all the cards on the table: Je-ha wasn’t framed for murder, but he’s a wanted man for killing civilians when he was a mercenary in Iraq.
Anna is free to confront Je-ha about all this, but Yoo-jin needs only one phone call to unmask his veiled identity she’s created for him and put him behind bars for the rest of his days.
Je-ha speaks with Se-joon alone after the latter completes his volunteer work. After reassuring Se-joon that Anna is holding up, he voices his opinion that he believes Se-joon is a horrible father.
But he has a proposition that could get Se-joon back into Anna’s good graces where Se-joon would win the presidential race and be freed from Yoo-jin’s clutches. What he asks for in return is for Se-joon to reveal the true murderer.
Yoo-jin is pleased when she hears that Je-ha has spent many hours speaking with her computer. “Do you know why ‘Mirror’ was given that name?” she poses. “Because one needs to show oneself before asking Mirror a question.”
So when Yoo-jin asks her computer what Je-ha has been looking into, it pulls up the search history. She wonders why Je-ha was so interested in learning about the current oil developments in Iraq and the Kumar group, and tenses when she learns that Je-ha has coined these activities as “Kumargate.”
Se-joon agrees to Je-ha’s terms, so Je-ha discloses that Representative Park is involved in a large scale corruption ring that implicates the current president. He has physical proof, which should be enough for Representative Park to back off. Not only that, it’s enough to take down Yoo-jin and JB Group.
Je-ha is offering this information because he knows Se-joon is a corrupt politician who would betray Yoo-jin if given the chance. He believes this is the way to bring Yoo-jin and Representative Park to justice while also protecting Anna and restoring her mother’s honor.
Se-joon agrees to acting like a father to Anna, and the men shake on it.
Down in Cloud Nine, Yoo-jin asks her computer if Je-ha has asked about her or Anna’s mother. She believes Je-ha is quite considerate when her computer says no, but Secretary Kim leaves open the possibility that Je-ha has found out that he cannot access information on her through the computer.
Yoo-jin says that doesn’t matter, then asks what Je-ha’s most recent search query was. Both she and Secretary Kim are puzzled when they hear he was looking into Korean civilians living in the Kumar area, and the results show a list of medical volunteers.
However one name catches Yoo-jin’s eye: neurosurgeon KIM SEOK-HAN, the president’s son. She realizes that Je-ha has drawn the same conclusion.
We know Seok-han as the doctor who introduced Sung-won and Anna to the psychiatrist. Ah, this must be why he recognized Je-ha, who we see scan the hospital’s security cameras to find the doctor in prayer in the chapel. Je-ha sits there for a minute before something dawns on him and he flies into action.
Representative Park isn’t surprised when he sees Je-ha waiting for him and perusing documents at his desk. Je-ha acts like he’s here for more money, laughing when the politician asks if he’s trying to switch sides.
With Se-joon’s popularity falling, Representative Park doesn’t have an urgent need of Je-ha’s services, but that’s when Je-ha counters that he should still be concerned about his past in Kumargate.
Representative Park freezes at the mention even though he’s likely never heard the phrase “Kumargate” before, asking how Je-ha found out about it. But Je-ha says he even knows that the politician is keeping tabs on the president’s son, Seok-han.
Yoo-jin remains calm when she hears about Je-ha’s private meeting with Representative Park. She reassures CEO Gook that it’s all part of her plan and assigns Chief Joo to support Je-ha. She tells her staff that this plan reaches further than the presidential election—it could change the fate of the country.
Seok-han is called to oversee Representative Park’s CT scan, and he sends the technician away to speak with the politician alone. When Seok-han says his visit puts him in a difficult position, Representative Park says it’s because he hasn’t been answering his calls.
He tells the doctor to keep a closer eye on the “dangerous item,” adding that Yoo-jin’s people have their eyes on it now. It’s best that the item is either moved or destroyed altogether.
Seok-han admits that he gave that idea some thought, but decided to keep whatever that item is after Representative Park used it to get rid of the presidential chief of staff. So it’s in the politician’s best interest to remember that he still holds that card in his hand.
After the exam, Seok-han says there’s no need for a follow-up. Representative Park chuckles that preventative care is always best and advises that Seok-han beef up his security lest something terrible happen to the president.
Je-ha watches Representative Park leave and notices a group of men eying an opportunity to slip through Seok-han’s security. Turns out Chief Joo is in the area too, because he calls to inform Je-ha that there even more of Representative Park’s men in the hospital.
Je-ha and Chief Joo speak alone, and Je-ha seems amused when he finds out Chief Joo is here on Yoo-jin’s orders. That means she found out about this plan thanks to her computer, so he requests that Chief Joo and the other JSS agents make it very obvious about monitoring a doctor.
Seok-han has been sitting on some important evidence which isn’t stored in his office because the hospital records show that his office was recently broken into. It’s likely the burglar was one of Representative Park’s men, but they found nothing which means that evidence is stored someplace that can’t be searched or hacked into.
Je-ha’s best guess is that Seok-han has stored the information on an external drive and keeps it close to the vest. The reason he wants to make it obvious that Seok-han is being watched is to make doctor feel so uncomfortable that he’ll store that drive somewhere else and show them the way.
Representative Park chuckles when he hears about the JSS agents at the hospital. Even though Seok-han has some security detail and could call upon the police for backup, Representative Park has the police force in his hands.
Still, Representative Park feels uneasy and orders that his men either swoop in to steal the evidence or destroy it.
Seok-han goes to pray at the chapel, and his hand nervously dips to the pew in front of him. He notices the JSS agent sitting a few feet from him and turns to leave, only to come face-to-face with Je-ha.
He passes Je-ha, who then runs over to the pew where Seok-han was sitting in. Neither of them spot anything. Seok-han, however, looks uneasy when he returns to his office. He sends his bodyguard away to make call, which goes ignored… by Sung-won.
Sung-won and his father-in-law sit in a dark conference room where the other men wonder who will end up with the memory card. His father-in-law states everyone in this room needs to decide to do away with either Representative Park or Se-joon, while Sung-won says the men in this room will likely need to side with whoever gains possession of that memory card.
One man speaks up and notes how they’ll all be at Yoo-jin’s mercy if she gets her hands on that memory card whereas nothing will change if Representative Park wins.
Back at the hospital, Seok-han is annoyed when one of the JSS agents stares directly at him and then steps back. Those agents make a show of going off-duty, and even Team Leader Seo sends him an obvious wink.
Seok-han then runs to the chapel just as Je-ha emerges. He orders his men to take hold of Je-ha while he runs inside and tips over the chair where he’s hidden the memory card. Having seen everything because the door is open, Je-ha thinks to himself: “So that’s where it was.”
Now that the memory card is safely in his hands, Seok-han doubles back and asks, “Who are you?”
You know, I honestly wish I knew. This episode was trying to cover so many things in one hour that it felt like we were skimming each relationship and topic and being rushed to the finish. Everything about this episode drilled in the idea that the show is in its second to last week and the plot points were presented as if there just wasn’t enough time to cover it all.
Perhaps there isn’t despite how we’re still somehow preparing for the Very Important presidential election and our characters are still using the same threats about Um Hye-rin’s death for weeks now. Even though Yoo-jin managed to use the fabricated story about Anna’s mother to her advantage, I do have to wonder if Yoo-jin had enough forethought for a long-running failsafe in the form of the inmate on the off-chance that Anna would somehow seek him out. The timeline is a bit screwy here since the rumors came out after Anna’s visit to prison, but not only has the series shown us multiple times that Yoo-jin is rarely fooled and that everything is somehow part of a plan, this episode even has her telling us that it is.
Which brings me to her allowing Je-ha to have access to her computer. It’s rather odd that Je-ha would ask Magic Mirror if he could inquire about Yoo-jin only for Yoo-jin to later learn that he didn’t ask about her, then for Secretary Kim to suggest the possibility that Je-ha wouldn’t be able to access that information. Furthermore, Yoo-jin interprets Je-ha potentially not asking about her as a courteous gesture, but then uses his search history to learn more about him and his attempts to dig into Representative Park’s activities in the Middle East.
And to that end, I’m open to the idea of Je-ha asking the right questions to gain intel on Representative Park’s corrupt activities in Kumar and to find Seok-han. Even though he has full access to Magic Mirror’s database, he’d be a fool to think that Yoo-jin wouldn’t be keeping tabs on his activities. For some reason I can’t put my finger on, I get this wriggling feeling that he knows Yoo-jin doesn’t fully trust him with the computer and he might have something else up his sleeve. But then he’s taken that same information from Magic Mirror to potentially use it against Yoo-jin by helping Se-joon become a better father in Anna’s eyes. If this whole plan doesn’t sound long-winded yet, that’s because we haven’t even touched upon the supposed importance to the memory card to the half-masked businessmen in a dark conference room… though really I think we can leave those men be since their support or opposition isn’t much of a threat.
So it’s a pity that the strongest moments of this hour threaten to be bogged down by the convoluted plan mentioned above. Yoo-jin’s exchange with Anna by her mother’s gravesite was a conversation I’d been looking forward to ever since her first confrontation with Anna upon her return to Korea. Like a personified mirror, Yoo-jin has always seen a part of herself in Anna from their similar family setups to a common hatred for the woman who interrupted their lives. Her words of concern to Anna always mask an underlying threat, which is always expertly delivered by Song Yoon-ah. There are times when I do wonder if it’s Song’s acting prowess that inserts Yoo-jin’s words with more dramatic depth, because any retort seemingly falls to the wayside. Even a simple “Is that what he told you?” sends chills down my spine.
But it’s not only the sneers and threats when Yoo-jin has my undivided attention—it’s also the moments when she has no one else but her thoughts. We still don’t know for certain if Yoo-jin was the hand that killed Anna’s mother, but either she refuses to admit it to anyone else or won’t admit it to herself.