It’s a race against the clock in this penultimate episode when the threat of death and destruction looms over those Je-ha feels compelled to protect and those who simply wish to save themselves. Trusting in power and authority can only get our characters so far, because they’ll soon learn that everyone is powerless when time is ticking away.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Sung-won ventures down to the Cloud Nine sublevel thanks to CEO Gook while Representative Park’s men corral the JSS agents. He marvels at the surroundings, and suffice it to say, Yoo-jin is not happy to see them.
She orders her computer to close the doors which creates a soundproof glass barrier between them. Upon hearing Je-ha point out the explosives they’ve brought, she turns off the soundproofing to greet her unwelcomed guests.
Eager to show off the bomb, Sung-won cackles while he inputs the sequence with a covered hand. He figures two hours should be enough for them to talk and makes himself comfortable.
Yoo-jin is miffed when Je-ha turns on the soundproofing to ask where Anna is. He’s told Anna is on her way to see Lafelt, and then the soundproofing is dropped right before Representative Park calls.
Greeting everyone with a hearty laugh, Representative Park points out that his knight has captured the queen. “So you sent him in to kill me?” Yoo-jin returns airily. The politician hasn’t forgotten how he nearly died when she came after him, and he has only one demand: the USB.
Sung-won chimes in that he just wants Cloud Nine, and so once again Je-ha mutes everyone else. He suggests that Yoo-jin honestly tell them that she doesn’t have the USB, and they’ll go after Representative Park. Again.
So they go through with that play when Yoo-jin unmutes the system and tells the politician that the USB isn’t in her possession. CEO Gook confirms it and directs them to Je-ha, who tells Representative Park that it was all Burn Mark’s fault the memory drive isn’t in the politician’s hands yet.
Representative Park declares that Je-ha has been working for him this entire time, which leaves CEO Gook in shock while Sung-won is simply amused. Although Yoo-jin calls Je-ha a traitor, she asks telepathically what he plans to do now. He responds in his head: “I’ll have to go catch Park Kwan-soo.”
Je-ha continues to act like a mercenary when he’s asked to fetch the USB, as Representative Park promises to pay him and give him a bonus for his services. With that, he leaves the siblings to chat.
Before Je-ha leaves, he and Yoo-jin turn their backs on Sung-won to have one final soundproof chat. When she worries about his weakened state, he tells her that he won’t come back to Cloud Nine. He advises that Yoo-jin do the same and leave this part of her life because she’ll likely be happier without it.
“I can’t leave Mirror behind,” Yoo-jin replies. “Because Mirror… is me.” He understands that this computer is a manifestation of her extensive power, to which Yoo-jin says that very understanding is why she gave him access to Mirror.
Sung-won is a man who has everything and yet goes to great lengths to have Cloud Nine for himself, Yoo-jin notes. Bringing her hand up to her chest, she adds, “But… this is already yours.”
Turning to her, Je-ha explains that anyone who experiences a taste of Mirror’s powers will have a voracious greed for Cloud Nine. The same applies for Yoo-jin, the ruling witch of this domain, so he tells her to leave this place while he takes out Sung-won and Representative Park.
Before he walks through those doors, Yoo-jin wistfully adds that they should have crossed paths at a better time and place. “Take care,” she says while thinking back to everything they’ve been through together.
Je-ha calls upon the computer to close the doors behind him when he leaves. Yoo-jin fights tears as he walks out, leaving her to deal with Sung-won.
Over at the airport, Anna shares an emotional farewell with her housekeeper and two bodyguards. Secretary Kim is there to see her off again, though Anna notes her father isn’t here again. When Anna asks her to look after Je-ha, she reminds her that she tried to kill the lovebirds. “I haven’t forgotten,” Anna answers. “But going forward, I’ll try to forget that.”
Yoo-jin checks that Je-ha has left before turning her attention back to Sung-won. She orders her computer to lock all the doors and shut down the cell reception, but she’s somehow able to connect this current video feed to Secretary Kim’s phone.
Irate, Secretary Kim orders more men to the JSS headquarters. Now Yoo-jin taunts wryly, “Shall we begin the game now?”
She starts off by having Mirror track down CEO Gook’s grandchildren in the States and deploying men to off them in an hour’s time. She temporarily calls off the hit when CEO Gook falls to his knees and begs, and isn’t sympathetic to the idea that the man betrayed her because he didn’t want to see the JB Group children bicker.
CEO Gook pleads for another chance, citing that he acted on the late chairman’s orders to clean up Um Hye-rin’s death. That’s news to Sung-won, and Yoo-jin grits out that’s why CEO Gook was rewarded by eventually becoming the head of JSS.
She does, however, agree to take his life in exchange for his grandchildren. She picks up on his initial reluctance, but CEO Gook agrees, much to Sung-won’s surprise. CEO Gook thanks Yoo-jin, swears to repay this debt in hell, swipes a gun from an agent’s holster, and shoots his own temple.
Yoo-jin smiles as she tells Sung-won that this is how you deal with Cloud Nine members. But he shouldn’t be so elated because she’s coming for him next. Then she immediately tells the other agents that whoever shoots Sung-won first will reap a great monetary reward.
When one agent turns his gun on Sung-won, Yoo-jin offers the same amount to everyone, and now Sung-won has three guns pointed at him. Sung-won tells them that he’s far wealthier than Yoo-jin and reminds her that he’s the only one who can defuse this bomb. Furthermore, the bomb has a GPS sensor so it’ll go off anyway should he choose to walk right out of here.
So Yoo-jin calls off the hit, though she’s inclined to think Sung-won will die tonight anyway. They dismiss everyone (including CEO Gook’s corpse) so that they can chat.
Yoo-jin acknowledges that Sung-won has put a great deal of thought into this plan, but soon those men will turn their guns on him to defuse the bomb, and they’ll need her to reactivate the elevators. That is, once those men off him of course.
Sung-won has no escape, Yoo-jin says as the camera turns to the timer on the bomb: D-87 minutes.
Meanwhile, Je-ha and Burn Mark head back to the hospital parking lot where Je-ha retrieves the USB. Burn Mark punches him in his injured side and calls Representative Park, who orders him to shoot him.
Just as Burn Mark readies his gun, he’s shot down… by Chief Joo, whom Je-ha asked to be sent waiting there. Representative Park stammers nervously when Je-ha picks up the phone and asks where to bring the USB now.
After agreeing to meet with Representative Park in his panic room, Je-ha climbs into the car with Se-joon, who is glad to hear that he’s secured the USB. He advises Je-ha go get treated, but Je-ha refuses to go to the hospital and to hand over the USB to Se-joon—Sung-won is keeping Cloud Nine hostage with a bomb, so they must expose the USB contents to the world.
Chief Joo argues that doing so will mean the end to Se-joon’s political career—he knows that they need to stop Representative Park and Sung-won, but going public now will only further complicated matters.
But Je-ha retorts that if they don’t act now either Sung-won will acquire Cloud Nine or Yoo-jin could die while being held hostage. Je-ha has no patience for Chief Joo’s concern for “the greater good” because that’s the same excuse he used against Je-ha in their army days.
When Se-joon sides with Chief Joo, Je-ha throws back: “What about Um Hye-rin? And Anna?”
Je-ha resolves to do it himself then, and doesn’t bat an eyelash when Chief Joo raises a gun at him. He remembers how Chief Joo told him that JSS wasn’t a group to be trifled with, but now the man would throw his last shreds of his morality for these people.
“What about you then?” Chief Joo counters. As he knows it, Je-ha is on the run for killing Iraqi civilians after being jettisoned from Blackstone.
Chief Joo has got it both right and wrong, Je-ha says—he was a former mercenary and cast aside by his home country, but he didn’t kill any innocent lives. And the reason he’s on the run is because Blackstone found out that he’d be testifying against them.
Je-ha grows frustrated when Se-joon says he’ll be nothing more than a scarecrow without that USB: “You have to be a father to Anna now!” Fed up, Je-ha slams down the USB, explaining how his original plan was to save Anna from Yoo-jin’s grasp and kill Representative Park.
He’s off to kill Representative Park now, and then ignores Chief Joo’s protests about whether or not he plans to blow himself up too with the C-4 explosives in the back of the van.
It’s D-79 minutes down in the Cloud Nine sublevel, and Yoo-jin laughs when Sung-won whines about using Mirror together. He tries appealing to sympathy, remarking on how much he always envied her courage.
She wasn’t illegitimate like he is, and when everyone thought she’d take over the company, she married for love whereas he agreed to an arranged marriage. He adds in a sigh for good measure, and when Yoo-jin says she would’ve fallen for that lie if she was slightly more gullible, he bursts out laughing.
He chuckles that Yoo-jin sure is clever, and wonders if it’s true that their father had CEO Gook cover up the fact that Yoo-jin killed Anna’s mother. “What would you know?” she sneers.
Sung-won opts for a different angle: he’ll give Yoo-jin half of his shares in JB Group if they can both use Mirror. Then when he takes Jinhan Group, he gives her JB Group. O how gracious of you.
But Yoo-jin wonders if he’s feeling the time crunch because she’s certain he didn’t plan on dying in this sublevel when he brought those explosives in. Plus, there’s no need for her to strike a deal with him when he has no choice but to defuse that bomb.
He’s better off disabling that bomb and leaving the premises with it, she chides. If he does that, she won’t kill him.
She accepts a call from Se-joon and laughs when he comments that the bomb must’ve not gone off yet. Sung-won is surprised when he and Yoo-jin learn that Se-joon is now in possession of the USB.
Hearing that Je-ha insisted upon Se-joon to expose the USB in order to save her, Yoo-jin lets that idea settle in, then tells her husband not to reveal the contents. He has no need to worry about Sung-won, who’ll likely deactivate the bomb before then.
She believes it’ll be more believable if Se-joon calls Sung-won’s father-in-law and Representative Park with the threat of the USB. Impressed, Se-joon lets out a hearty chuckle.
She asks after Je-ha and nearly asks where he is before refraining from finishing that inquiry. She then turns to Sung-won and points out that his ally Representative Park is done for. Should she take all of JB Group and start over instead?
So Se-joon calls Sung-won’s father-in-law who then calls Representative Park about the current whereabouts of the USB. Representative Park believes Je-ha has been acting as a double agent, then suddenly remembers that Anna is Se-joon’s daughter.
He sends his men to his hideout and vows to bury them all tonight, whether that’s Se-joon or Je-ha or anyone else.
Anna looks at a photo of Je-ha before being asked to turn off her phone for takeoff. As she wipes away her tears, Je-ha pulls to the side of the road and tries calling to no avail. Before the plane takes off, however, a police officer approaches to collect her.
D-60 minutes. The van drives into Representative Park’s hideout, and Je-ha appears from behind to take down a few bodyguards. Not only does he have a gun, but he’s also wearing some C-4, but that doesn’t stop the bodyguards from targeting him.
He holds one guard at gunpoint, but then the guard whirls around with a knife. Je-ha goes for the counterattack then disarms him. He then keeps the gun trained on the guard until they reach Representative Park’s panic room and instructs the man to place the C-4 on the door.
The door busts open, but Representative Park is nowhere to be found. He’s told that Representative Park got hold of Anna just before her plane took off, and the only way to get her back is to give the politician the USB.
Je-ha shoots the ceiling then points the gun back at the guard while stepping on his injured leg demanding to know where Anna is now. Next thing we know, he’s using the guard as a human shield and throws him to the other guards before spinning and taking one down with a bullet.
He takes a few more shots behind a desk before grasping his bleeding side. He inserts another clip then slides the gun across the room. He takes out another gun from his coat pocket and slides on the floor to catch the other gun and use both to take down two guards from both sides.
He calls Mi-ran from the car, filling her in about how Representative Park has kidnapped Anna. While Mi-ran checks with the airport, Representative Park gets in contact with Se-joon via video call.
Se-joon is all smiles until he sees Anna bound and gagged. Representative Park offers to exchange her life for the USB and suggests they all head down to the Cloud Nine sublevel to discuss matters there. Because that’s where the party is?
He reminds Se-joon that the data on that USB cannot be copied, and he’ll be sure to check that it’s genuine once they meet. He instructs his secretary to send Anna along to the JSS headquarters first. D-48 minutes.
Upon hearing that Representative Park really did kidnap Anna, Je-ha screams in frustration and slams on the accelerator. He’s still in pain and sweating bullets by the time he arrives at the construction site where the workers immediately attack him with tools and supplies.
His gun gets knocked out of the way, so Je-ha gets a few punches and kicks in before one worker hits him on the head with a piece of wood and another kicks him down.
Bleeding, Je-ha struggles to his feet and grabs a piece of wood from a lit barrel. He swipes the burning stick at them, using it like a sword to strike their backs and legs. He runs inside where more workers greet him with punches and metal pipes.
When one worker grabs him, Je-ha uses the momentum to swing his legs to take down a worker with a flying kick. He whirls away to avoid a few attacks and pulls himself back as a worker strangles him with wood and another wields a sledgehammer.
He escapes that hold, only to sustain more injury. He charges when one worker attacks with a metal pipe, then steals it to take down some more workers before delivering one final helmet-cracking blow.
He can hear Anna’s struggles in the distance and spots her being stuffed into a car. He gets past the pair of wood-wielding workers and locks eyes with Anna in the car.
Remembering Anna’s cries from when she was held in a car in Spain, Je-ha starts running and barely grabs hold of the car. More of Representative Park’s men appear in the company of the politician’s secretary, who screams at them to kill Je-ha.
One by one they draw near, and Je-ha uses a knife to swipe and stab any necessary body parts. He forsakes the last agent to face Representative Park’s secretary. D-44 minutes.
Meanwhile, there’s a knock at the JSS office—it’s Master Song who has stayed hidden during this takedown. He takes out one guard by poking him in the eyes and goes right for the family jewels of another guard.
He works quickly to release the other JSS agents, and the group head to another room in those outfits to save Team Leader Seo. They use those disguises to casually walk up to the men holding Anna hostage and take them out in the JSS lobby.
Anna finally breathes easy once she sees Master Song, who leads Anna to a stairwell before heading back to help out with the ensuing brawl. Anna runs to the parking lot just as Representative Park’s men come looking for her with flashlights.
She lets out a shriek when she sees headlights up ahead, and then someone grabs her from behind. It’s Master Song, and his hand over her mouth brings up another memory of the night her mother died… of Master Song wielding a flashlight and covering up her mouth. Oh.
As the image sinks in, she asks, “It was… you, Master Song?” He’s confused at first, so Anna asks him if she was the shadow in her mother’s room that night. He stammers a response, but Anna draws back.
A bloody Je-ha walks up to Representative Park’s frightened secretary, who tells him that he needs to hurry over to Cloud Nine. He tells the secretary to drive, but when the latter says they can’t, he asks why.
Je-ha raises the knife when the secretary doesn’t reply right away, and the secretary yells, “The bomb! The bomb will go off soon!”
He says they can just defuse it, but the secretary returns that there’s something Sung-won doesn’t know: the bomb cannot be defused once it’s been activated. Well, crap.
Je-ha screams in frustration as the camera hones in on the timer: D-38 minutes.
And so the countdown continues. Even though there’s supposed to be a sense of looming doom and dread surrounding this bomb, I oddly don’t feel the same desperate threat of death as some of our characters do. If I take a minute to think about why that is, I’d have to point to my perception of time as a viewer in this penultimate episode.
At first I thought two hours would be barely enough time for Je-ha to retrieve the USB, encounter some trouble and make it back to the JSS headquarters to negotiate for Yoo-jin’s life (and now Anna’s it seems). But given how eventful this episode was with everyone traveling across town so speedily, it makes me wonder that in spite of Je-ha’s frustrated roars, he’ll have more than enough time to get everything done.
Whenever I felt that a good chunk of time must’ve passed, the occasional check-in would remind us that whatever happened only shaved fifteen or so minutes. Here’s where I feel seeing the clock running on the bottom of the screen would’ve helped pack in the suspense and drive in the idea that time is supposed to be working against Je-ha. Because with about 38 minutes left on the clock, no one except Yoo-jin and Sung-won are keeping a keen eye on that bomb.
But we’ll move on to the lives at stake because Representative Park’s plan is to pack everyone in the Cloud Nine sublevel like a pack of sardines. Little does he know that Anna isn’t part of the party he’s set up, and I honestly don’t think he’s thought about his plan backfiring on him in the sense of Je-ha calling Yoo-jin (because she can somehow get cell reception through Mirror) and Sung-won betraying him so that everyone can live to see another day. And if Se-joon is headed to Cloud Nine, is Representative Park banking on the assumption that the USB will be destroyed once the bomb blows?
We can’t let this episode pass without Anna’s most recent revelation about her mother’s death. Even though we’re in finale week and have little room pacing-wise to doubt the truth, Anna’s memory has triggered false positives in the past. Much like the other times, this memory is brief and we’ve yet to hear Master Song’s defense. So until we get our ducks in the row, I’m inclined that we still won’t get to the bottom of Anna’s mother’s death until the bitter end.
As of this moment, I feel much like Yoo-jin, who sees through Sung-won’s tricks and waiting for someone else to crack first. Even after Je-ha ripped into her, he was mollified to hear that at least Anna was safe (at the time), and on a basic hero level, worried about Yoo-jin dying within herself. I wouldn’t be surprised if placing the hand on her chest and calling it his had layered meaning about giving him Mirror, herself, and her heart, and now that she’s said her farewell, the queen must keep her sense of attachment to him in check.