More than one life will hang by a narrative thread this hour when the battle over one object drives the fight to the gates of Yoo-jin’s fortress. Even if her enemies aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, their persistence and relentlessness will still require her to put up a strong defense to give her some time to think of a better offense.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Seeing the memory drive in Seok-han’s hand, Je-ha makes a move. He’s held back though, giving Seok-han a head start. Je-ha frees himself and immediately gives chase down the hospital corridors.
He’s soon thrown backwards by more men, and lands some punches while they get in a few kicks. Je-ha is held back by a bodyguard and spots Burn Mark smirk and head down to the parking garage. So Je-ha flips the bodyguard over, then kicks another man down and follows Representative Park’s men.
Burn Mark catches up to Seok-han in his car, tapping on the window and identifying himself as the police. When Seok-han doesn’t comply, Burn Mark’s partner points a gun at him.
Seok-han is instructed to get out of the car and while he’s being searched, he asks who they’re with: Representative Park or Yoo-jin. He takes an opportune moment to attack and escape, breaking into a run.
More men appear as he descends into a lower level, which is when Je-ha suddenly appears and kicks them away. He deals with a few more before chasing Seok-han again, and Burn Mark and his partner remain on Seok-han’s tail as he dashes back up the ramp.
They catch him before he can climb into his car, however, and Seok-han backs into a railing. Je-ha arrives just as Seok-han lose his footing and flips over the railing. He grabs Seok-han’s arm just in time, but now they’re both dangling from the railing.
Thinking fast, Je-ha swings him into the level below, and now he has the memory drive. Burn Mark breathes a relieved sigh when he sees that Je-ha is still alive. He demands that Je-ha hand over the drive, but Je-ha responds by jumping off the railing, landing on a moving truck, then rolling onto the ground.
But Je-ha doesn’t get far before getting shot in his side. He crashes into the sidewalk’s railing and hides the memory drive in the grass before painfully getting to his feet. A car drives up just then—it’s Chief Joo, who ushers him in.
Chief Joo tries to staunch the bleeding and urges a wounded Je-ha to stay with him while the police cars remain hot on their tail. Yoo-jin’s eyes grow wide when she hears about Je-ha’s injury while Anna is woken up to hear the news.
It turns out that Chief Joo’s car isn’t the only JSS vehicle on the road—at the agent’s signal, the JSS cars behind them block the police cars. Anna earnestly prays for Je-ha’s safe return before being called downstairs to watch the news report on how the president’s son is injured and the unknown assailant is still at large.
Representative Park is also watching this broadcast and decides to take this opportunity to attack the JSS headquarters. He calls the police commissioner and instructs him to gather his men and strike Cloud Nine by collecting all the secret intel Yoo-jin has and delete the data on the main server. Because it’s just that easy?
We see that the politician isn’t alone—Sung-won’s father-in-law chuckles beside him. But Representative Park feels they still have reason to worry should the memory drive falls into Yoo-jin’s hands.
Upon their arrival at the JSS headquarters, Chief Joo is instructed to wheel Je-ha down to the Cloud Nine sublevel instead of the infirmary. Yoo-jin gasps when she sees Je-ha injured and unconscious and orders Chief Joo to bring all the supplies required for surgery.
She inducts Doctor Kim into Cloud Nine on the spot and commands her to save Je-ha no matter what.
CEO Gook is present when the police commissioner arrives with his men. He has no choice but to let the police in because they have a search warrant, but of course Je-ha isn’t in the infirmary.
Je-ha is down in the Cloud Nine conference room which now serves as a makeshift operating room. Yoo-jin paces back and forth as Doctor Kim removes the bullet, but then Je-ha goes into sudden cardiac arrest.
Yoo-jin rushes inside as Chief Joo begins administering chest compressions. She cries, “No, Je-ha. Don’t die.” She too prays for Je-ha’s life, and moments later, there’s a faint pulse. Doctor Kim preps the defibrillator, then induces a shock into Je-ha’s body over and over again.
We enter Je-ha’s subconscious as he dreams of an idyllic time with Anna at… a Subway? Really? You’re choosing this life-or-death moment to feature a sponsor? The guy barely has a heartbeat!
He and Anna have a picnic in the park which is followed by a stroll and some games. He imagines Anna waiting for him back at the house so they can catch their flight. She heads upstairs when he doesn’t come right away, and we see that Je-ha is still injured in his dreams.
She’s shocked when she sees the wound and calls out to him as he collapses to the ground. (Quick, somebody wave a sandwich under his nose to bring him back from the dead!) And then Anna wakes up in her room. Did they just have the same dream?
Over at the JSS headquarters, CEO Gook accompanies the police commissioner and his men into the elevator. However, the elevator doesn’t move when the police commissioner presses the button, but a threat to have CEO Gook arrested forces the latter to use his access card.
CEO Gook leads the men into the server room and the technicians immediately get to work on the main server. Down in Cloud Nine, Yoo-jin watches the men through the CCTV feed and checks in with her computer that their most sensitive data will remain intact.
Representative Park is delighted when he hears the technicians have succeeded in hacking into the JSS database. Elsewhere, Sung-won’s father-in-law reassures the other men that he’s deployed his own technicians for the job, so there’s no way Representative Park will get a hold of the Cloud Nine data.
However the others believe it’s too early to celebrate because there’s still a chance the memory drive can still end up in Yoo-jin’s hands. They can neither be certain that the drive was actually taken from Seok-han until he comes to.
Speaking of whom, Seok-han wakes in the hospital and the first thing he asks is about what happened to the man who took the USB. Upon being told that the thief is currently hiding in JSS, Seok-han tells his bodyguard not to go after him because he helped him escape earlier.
The police commissioner is flabbergasted when he learns that the database the technicians hacked into doesn’t contain highly confidential information. He’s annoyed when he and his men receive orders from the Blue House to pull out, and CEO Gook escorts them out with a hearty laugh.
Once Representative Park hears about the presidential orders, he realizes that the memory drive has been stolen from Seok-han after all. Over at Cloud Nine, Yoo-jin arrives at the same conclusion—Seok-han has called off the search on Je-ha upon realizing that he now has the USB.
Now Seok-han must tread with caution lest Je-ha disclose the USB’s contents to the public. She’s positive that her theory is correct, so while Chief Joo searches for the USB, the rest of them will put on their best poker face and act as if the USB is in their possession.
Sung-won swings by to see Seok-han, who plays dumb about the stolen USB. But then Seok-han is taken aback when Sung-won pinpoints Je-ha as the thief. Elsewhere, Se-joon asks his driver if “it” (meaning, the USB) is truly in Yoo-jin’s possession now.
Chief Joo, meanwhile, conducts a not-so-covert search for the USB around the hospital parking garage. He joins Se-joon in his car and freezes when Se-joon asks if he’s looking for the USB Je-ha has lost.
Se-joon explains that Je-ha had stolen the USB for him so that he could use it to bring down both Representative Park and Yoo-jin. He knows that Chief Joo is more loyal to Yoo-jin, but he asks that Chief Joo give him the USB once it’s found. If it falls into Yoo-jin’s hands, he’ll be nothing more than a puppet president.
Chief Joo advises Se-joon to choose his words carefully because he can’t even guarantee that he can recover the USB yet.
As Doctor Kim grabs more medical supplies, Anna rushes into the JSS infirmary looking for Je-ha. Master Song guesses that Je-ha is probably on the ninth floor because he’s a Cloud Nine member, and Anna ignores Mi-ran telling her that’s a restricted area.
Sure enough when pressing the elevator button doesn’t work, Anna opts for the stairs instead. Yoo-jin sees her on the CCTV feed and orders her prompt removal. She then looks upon Je-ha (who’s now asleep in a crisp white shirt) and is relieved to hear that his condition has stabilized.
She arrives at the lobby in time to see Anna pleading with the JSS agents to allow her to see Je-ha. She’s offended when Anna addresses her as “Ajumma” and instructs her to call her “Mom” instead. “Isn’t a stepmother a mother as well?” she sneers.
So Anna gathers her voice and once again asks to see Je-ha. Yoo-jin swiftly denies the request, and that’s when Anna says it: “Mom.”
Yoo-jin is taken aback even though she was the one who told Anna to call her as such. “Mom,” Anna repeats, then gets on her knees. “I beg of you. Please let me see Je-ha… Mom.”
Aware of all the eyes on them, Yoo-jin asks what she’s doing. Biting her lip, Yoo-jin then bends down to scoop Anna into her arms. Her concerned expression hardens as she decides that she also needs to consider what may happen after Je-ha comes to.
So Yoo-jin leads Anna down to the Cloud Nine sublevel and informs her that Je-ha is still in critical condition. But before Anna can step inside, Yoo-jin asks, “Are you really not going to leave? Wouldn’t it be difficult for Je-ha to protect you in his current condition?”
Anna turns to her and replies that she’ll leave once Je-ha is all right, but Yoo-jin isn’t so sure that Anna will keep her end of the bargain. Je-ha can’t even receive proper medical treatment at a hospital because he’ll end up facing an attempted murder charge for harming the president’s son.
She’s putting everything on the line to protect Je-ha, Yoo-jin argues. “Anna, it’s time for you to protect Je-ha too.” Je-ha won’t be able to leave as long as Anna is by his side, and plus, he’ll eventually get caught.
“I’ll save Je-ha, so just leave,” Yoo-jin adds. “That’s the best thing you could do for him.” She once again offers Anna the opportunity to leave and live her own life. If fate is on her side, Anna may cross paths with Je-ha in the future.
Anna needs to think about the other employees tasked to protect her too, Yoo-jin says. Looking back at Je-ha, Anna tearfully agrees to leave—in exchange, Yoo-jin must save Je-ha. Yoo-jin nods.
Anna steps inside the conference room as fresh tears replace the old ones. She sobs over him and places a hand on his cheek. She tells him not to die and softly kisses him. On the other side of the glass, Yoo-jin looks away.
Her face still inches to his, Anna whispers, “Je-ha… I love you. You cannot die.”
The next day, Yoo-jin informs Se-joon of her plans to send Anna away to designer Jean-Paul Lafelt. Anna won’t be hidden away this time since the entire world knows who she is, and the negative public opinion about Anna and her mother won’t matter once she lives in another country.
Yoo-jin will treat her so well that Anna won’t even want to return to Korea. She’ll be so kind that Anna won’t even remember her own mother, which prompts her to tell Se-joon of how Anna called her “Mom” for the very first time yesterday.
She uses the same taunting voice to repeat the term of endearment at Se-joon’s face, then breaks into a cackle. At the very least, Se-joon is relieved to hear that even though their plans are different, they’re both hoping for a happy ending.
Things aren’t looking good for Sung-won and his father-in-law, especially when everyone in the dark conference room receives a greeting text from Yoo-jin. That’s enough reason for the other men to switch loyalties and invite Yoo-jin into their secret circle.
As the housekeeper packs Anna’s things, Mi-ran wonders if this means they’ll be discarded. Anna reassures them that that won’t happen because Yoo-jin gave her word. Haven’t you realized that you can never trust your stepmother?
A tear falls from Anna’s eye as she thinks back to Yoo-jin’s promise to save Je-ha and everyone else here if she leaves.
Sung-won flags CEO Gook down on his way to work, hoping that they can chat. He then pays a visit to Representative Park and suggests that they join forces. Nothing has gone well for Representative Park after teaming up with his father-in-law whereas Sung-won helped him find success in Iraq.
He chuckles that he’ll take Cloud Nine while Representative Park recovers the USB. He lets out a hearty laugh when Representative Park says to come back once he’s gotten everything from the ninth floor. Sung-won: “Why does everyone keep thinking that Cloud Nine is on the ninth floor?”
While Chief Joo tells CEO Gook that Je-ha needs to wake up before their enemies find out that they’ve been bluffing about the USB, Je-ha finally comes to. Doctor Kim informs Yoo-jin of the good news, then instructs him to stay put.
Doctor Kim tells him that Anna came by last night, and he asks how she’s doing. Upon being told that Anna is holding up fine, Je-ha asks Magic Mirror to show him what happened in this room last night.
His heart breaks as he watches the video feed of Anna sobbing over his unconscious body. A tear escapes from his eyes as he listens to Anna telling him that she loves him.
Yoo-jin runs in with elated steps, but then stops short when she sees Je-ha watching Anna onscreen. She recalls the last words she spoke to Anna’s mother, about how love wasn’t meant to be shared. Omo.
Representative Park is on the literal edge of his seat when he hears that they have an opportunity to take Cloud Nine and Yoo-jin if they strike now. Sung-won believes that Je-ha won’t stick around for long even if he does wake up, and they can trust the one they’ve got on the inside.
Yoo-jin goes in to see Je-ha with the other Cloud Nine members in tow. She smiles, then asks if Je-ha succeeded in stealing the USB. He says nothing, so she asks where he hid it. “I didn’t steal that memory drive to give to you,” Je-ha answers.
Emotions well up within Yoo-jin, but she stops CEO Gook from ripping into Je-ha. When she asks why he stole it then, Je-ha tells her the half-truth that he wanted to destroy Representative Park with it.
Furthermore, Je-ha won’t give up the USB because he knows Yoo-jin wouldn’t dare to reveal its contents. Doing so would implicate JB Group because Sung-won is also embroiled in Representative Park’s corrupt activities, so unless Yoo-jin wants to see the end to JB Group, she won’t do anything with the information.
He didn’t steal that memory drive to protect Yoo-jin either. Much like the incriminating e-mail, this USB is now his ticket to protect himself and Anna.
CEO Gook gets worked up by the time he and Chief Joo return to his office. He believes Yoo-jin’s soft spot for Je-ha has hindered her judgment because she normally would’ve extracted the USB out of anyone else one way or another.
He scolds Chief Joo for being so blind to Yoo-jin’s affection for Je-ha, then asks if Chief Joo plans to remain here at JSS instead of pursuing his dreams to serve the future president at the Blue House.
Picking up on the oddity of these queries, Chief Joo chooses his words wisely. He confirms that he’s on duty to act as Se-joon’s security detail tonight.
Back in the Cloud Nine sublevel, Yoo-jin asks, “Then… did you do it to bring me down?” She interprets Je-ha’s silence as a yes, then asks why he did it: “You’re my friend, after all.”
When Je-ha asks if she ever shed a tear out of pity, Yoo-jin says her entire life is tragic. “No, not self-pity,” Je-ha clarifies—has she ever cried for someone else? Je-ha guesses that she hasn’t because people like her tend to be sensitive to their own pain but ignore the pain of others.
But everybody feels pain regardless of their age, class, or nationality. “All those people seek to be happy, just like you do.”
She acknowledges that people want to be happy within their own place in life, but Je-ha retorts that it’s people like her who can easily kill if it means maintaining their station in life.
“That’s why I can’t be your friend,” Je-ha tells her. Rather than a friend, what Yoo-jin needs is someone to either worship her, such as Secretary Kim, or someone for her to idolize, such as Se-joon all those years ago. Unfortunately for her, neither of those options work for him.
Sung-won checks in with CEO Gook to find out where his loyalties lie now. He grows smug when CEO Gook is on board, and Burn Mark leads the men to the JSS headquarters. CEO Gook creates a mess to distract the last of the JSS security team while Burn Mark’s squad rushes into the building.
Down in the sublevel, Yoo-jin tells Je-ha that she doesn’t want him to worship her. She starts, “I… just…”
But he cuts her off: “You probably wanted to own me… and just make me into another one of your slaves.”
Sung-won arrives at the JSS headquarters in time to be entertained by the ongoing fight. He greets CEO Gook with a smile, and the group descends to the Cloud Nine sublevel.
And then do what? Even if all those men were to confront Yoo-jin in Cloud Nine, they still wouldn’t have access to Magic Mirror’s database which Representative Park just has to have this hour. A more likely reason would be to speak with Je-ha since he definitely knows where the USB drive is.
Speaking of which, I really do have to wonder if anybody in this dramaverse truly knows what sort of intel is contained in that drive. Everyone wants their hands on it but no one has been able to confirm its contents and whether or not it does give details that implicates Representative Park and JB Group’s corrupt business activities. We’re working on blind faith that this USB is an important narrative plot device, but then again we’ve been given so many false third-party claims in this series that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone actually took a closer look at the drive and found nothing. And when an item is surrounded in vague mystery, it’s difficult to feel the threat of its exposure to the public.
So it’s rather puzzling to listen to Representative Park and the men in their secretive conference room worry about the USB falling into Yoo-jin’s hands if, in fact, there is information that could bring JB Group to ruin. Her enemies are well aware of her bitter resentment over being passed over as heiress to the conglomerate and her desire to take the company for herself. Even in the tiny likelihood that she didn’t want the company anymore, they should’ve known what Je-ha does know: that she wouldn’t risk destroying the company her father worked so hard to build.
This week’s episodes felt like an odd attempt on the show’s part to stall for time before one final conflict and showdown by rushing to pad the hour with naive baddies pursuing even sillier schemes. Why Representative Park and Sung-won’s father-in-law thought that they even had a chance at overtly hacking into the JSS and Cloud Nine database is beyond me, because surely they couldn’t have believed that it would be as easy as waving around one search warrant and a threat of arrest. I feel like they shouldn’t have been surprised that the tactic didn’t work, but by this point, these characters are no more than low-level, harmless, incompetent baddies.
But the character who stays on my mind the most is Yoo-jin, who faced some tough criticisms from Je-ha in the final few minutes of this episode. Given the complicated relationship between Je-ha and Yoo-jin in this series, I expected there to be a fallout sooner or later, but somehow keeping Je-ha unconscious for most of the hour and then tearing into Yoo-jin soon after he woke up seemed like an odd choice to place this conflict. Unless he thought that she was only thinking about herself in regards to The One USB. At the very least, his points are valid since they question Yoo-jin’s level of compassion and how her closest relationships are people whom she orders around or puts on a pedestal.
She’s built false walls of affection out of emotional manipulation and romanticized ideas of closeness while justifying her wrongdoings as her way of protecting either herself or those she cares for most. Whether her deep fondness for Je-ha has romantic roots or not may never be confirmed since once again, we only have what we can interpret onscreen and whatever a third-party (CEO Gook) tells us. It’s too late for Yoo-jin to be romantic competition for Je-ha’s heart when the main pairing has been solidified for weeks now.
But hey—if Je-ha can dream about sharing a footlong with Anna on the brink of death, then maybe anything is still possible for this show.