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Come Here and Hug Me: Episodes 21-24

Now that our leads have had their small bit of happiness, it’s Dad’s turn to be very pleased. It means more unpleasantness for our leads, but we’re not here for the happy things, are we? We’re here for a good fight and shifting loyalties and guilt-torn characters (and a certain brother’s redemption arc)–all stuff that the show sets the stage for with this week’s twists.

(Note on names: the show switches between Jae-yi/Nak-won and Do-jin/Na-moo often, depending on the speaker and how they feel. We’ll stick to using Jae-yi and Do-jin for the adult counterparts and only switch to Nak-won and Na-moo when the name change is relevant to the scene.)

EPISODES 21-24 WEECAP

The dashboard clock ticks down to 12 midnight (fixed by the production team!), ending Do-jin and Jae-yi’s date. Jae-yi closes her eyes as Do-jin leans in for a kiss… and chickens out, leaning on her shoulder instead. Jong-hyun’s phone call breaks the awkwardness as he tells Do-jin to take time off work. The station is swarming with reporters because of Park Hee-young’s theory that Na-moo has his father’s violent streak.

After Do-jin drops Jae-yi off at home, she gathers the courage to open Yoon Hee-jae’s letter sent from jail. In it, he acknowledges that he ruined her lovely family and tells her that the best way to get back at him is to live her life well. Jae-yi remembers Do-jin’s request to use him if she needs something. Meanwhile, Do-jin thinks of the similar promise they made in their childhood: for him to come to Nak-won if life is too difficult. He turns the car around and reaches her house just as Jae-yi is leaving to go to him.

As soon as he’s inside, he tells her what we’ve known for the past twenty episodes: that seeing her kills him with guilt, but not seeing her drives him crazy because he likes her so much. Jae-yi kisses him before answering that she likes him too. They kiss some more and move on to her bed where they lie down fully-clothed, just staring at each other. Jae-yi makes him promise to say sorry whenever he’s feeling guilty so she can assure him right away that she’s fine and she likes him over and over.

While all that sweet staring is happening, we switch to a frantic Hyun-moo with blood on his sneakers. He ends up in front of Mom’s shop again. This time, Mom is there to talk to him. He scolds her for working very late (she’s been waiting for you, fool!). Mom realizes that he’s been watching her all along. She begs him to surrender and pay for his crimes, promising to wait for him to get out of prison again. As usual, he pushes the tempting offer away. He just wanted to check that she, So-jin, and “Na-moo, that jerk” are safe. Mom’s safety now comes before his loyalty to Dad as he tells her to stay close to Chief Go and report this visit so they’ll assign more cops around her.

Do-jin ignores Jong-hyun’s warnings to hide and is greeted by Reporter Han at the station with her usual “Park Hee-young wronged you, why not work with me to write a defense?” tack. He isn’t interested but the traitor informant sunbae (KANG NAM-GIL) takes note of Han’s offer.

Jae-yi is back to auditioning for side roles when her image takes a hit from the news. After the director passes her, he fishes for gossip while pretending to be concerned that the scandal (she’s dating her parents’ murderer’s son) can’t be true, right? Jae-yi readily answers, “It’s not… a scandal,” before cheerfully excusing herself. Manager Pyo begs his charge to act less happy in public. Her story is all over the news and people are calling Do-jin “Dojin Gamrae” (a play on gojin gamrae meaning bittersweet/pain before pleasure). Jae-yi snickers at the pun and speedwalks away from poor Pyo who speedwalks to keep up and put a lid on this indecent happiness.

Do-jin’s team impresses me with how competent they are as they compare the victims of the hammer attacks. They figure out that the first non-fatal one was by Hyun-moo while the actual deaths and Jae-yi’s Christmas surprise were committed by a different guy. They also conclude that the two are working separately. Knowing that Christmas Guy could only have heard the details from Dad, Do-jin directs his colleagues to check Dad’s inmates and cross-reference with psych evaluations and residents of their jurisdiction.

Moo-won is getting warmer too. He’s narrowed down a list of inmates including Lee Seung-woo and asks his detective to track down the members of Yoon Hee-jae’s fansite. Meanwhile, he’s off to interview the idol murderer in the flesh for the Park Hee-young vs Yoon Hee-jae assault case.

Dad recognizes Moo-won’s name and keeps derailing the investigation by “feeling sorry” for the prosecutor who lost his biological parents in a tragedy before losing his adoptive ones to him. Moo-won “feels sorry” for Dad too: he was betrayed and beaten by his sixteen year-old son whom he trusted so much. Dad denies Park’s story, claiming a parent won’t hurt his kid and vice versa. Moo-won says he’s not a parent but a monster, which Dad points out is better than having no parents at all. Ouch. Also, I beg to differ.

He gets under Moo-won’s skin by asking who’s gonna die from his bad luck this time. He blames his laxness as an oppa for Nak-won and Na-moo’s relationship, playing on Moo-won’s fear that Na-moo is dangerous. Moo-won loses it at the mention of his sister’s name. He hauls Yoon Hee-jae up and slams him against the wall, threatening to kill him and his favorite son if he hurts Nak-won. Cops enter to break up the fight and let Moo-won know that Park Hee-young was found dead in her apartment (Oh no! It’s final?!). Dad leaves with a smug smile and the observation that Moo-won is also dangerous–he should stay away from his sister too.

Watch the video

Stay away from my sister

 
Do-jin is currently nearby. He’s out on the steps apologizing to Chief Go who’s subject to an inquiry for covering up Na-moo’s attack on Dad. Chief assures him that he’ll be fine. He did it for Do-jin and Mom who showed him there are still good people in the world when he was losing hope in mankind.

Dad’s prison transport passes by during this heartwarming moment. At first he lights up to see Do-jin in the flesh, even from afar, but his eyes turn murderous to see Do-jin smile while Chief Go ruffles his hair. Dad remembers Na-moo resenting the fact that his father is a monster, and I’m very worried for Chief right now even if there are three guards, safety windows, and handcuffs between him and Dad.

Do-jin gets a call about Park Hee-young’s death and heads over to her house. He sees the discarded hammer and the partially burnt rug and figures out that it’s a copycat crime of Yoon Hee-jae’s. Traitor sunbae Nam-gil rummages through Park’s desk until he finds a recording pen which he secretly pockets. He then joins the team as they watch the CCTV and mark two suspects matching Hyun-moo’s and Seung-woo’s profiles entering the apartment the previous night.

If you’ve ever wished for Hyun-moo’s redemption, now’s the time to cross your fingers as he hunkers down at a PC room to watch a hidden camera video of that night, the contents of which we see as a flashback.

Park fearlessly lets Hyun-moo into her home. She turns on the recording pen and hides it in her desk, angling for an exclusive. The doorbell rings to interrupt the unfriendly chat and Hyun-moo accuses her of reporting him to the cops. She rolls her eyes at the idea that she cares about a murderer’s capture when there’s a scoop at stake. Yeah, Hyun-moo, don’t you know she has no soul?

She makes sure Hyun-moo is safely hidden before moving towards the door, but the keypad lock starts beeping before she can reach it. The passcode works and the knob turns and in comes Seung-woo who only has time for one jolly greeting before he hits her with a hammer.

Hyun-moo listens as Seung-woo drags Park towards her stalker wall. Seung-woo announces that she’s outlived her use and caused trouble. Now Dad wants her dead. She fires questions at him while looking towards the door hiding Hyun-moo. I’m screaming for Hyun-moo to come out or call the cops or something, but he only listens as Park grasps at Seung-woo’s adulation of Dad, offering to make him famous too. Seung-woo demurs since he’s more interested in actual killing, emphasized by bashing Park’s head in a couple of times. Hyun-moo finally jumps out at that, but it’s too late.

Hyun-moo stops watching the video in the present. Meanwhile, Do-jin figures out the following: one of the suspects entered with Park Hee-young before hiding in the closet. The second suspect entered without forcing the door and attacked as soon as he came in. He then dragged the injured Park further inside before killing her and setting fire to the rug. From the blood spatters and Do-jin’s memory of Dad’s killing attire, he deduces that the killer was the one wearing a raincoat: Seung-woo.

The team heads out to track him down. Reporter Han asks for Do-jin’s thoughts as one of Park’s victims. Do-jin asks her pointblank if she thinks that Park deserved to die when she’s a reporter herself, striking Han speechless again. You know, if she doesn’t stop talking to Do-jin, she’s gonna end up feeling too guilty to do her job.

Do-jin thinks of how Jae-yi’s photograph was deliberately marked by the suspect and heads over to check on her right away. He scolds her for waiting outside which, thank goodness, because our girl has no concept of safety at all. Do-jin gets a call about Seung-woo’s possible whereabouts so the couple hugs once more before he leaves. Moo-won who’s watching from his car the whole time grips the steering wheel in anger, Yoon Hee-jae’s poisonous words about Na-moo being dangerous ringing in his head.

In a series of short flashbacks, we see how Dad spent his years in prison, always looking in the mirror and greeting a smiling Na-moo. But in 2018, after reading the articles where Do-jin seeked Jae-yi out in the hospital, Dad’s imaginary Na-moo isn’t smiling anymore. Neither is Dad. Seung-woo mentions the article in one of his visits and asks for permission to finish Dad’s story. Dad instructs him to meet JEON YOO-RA first and let her know that her wish will finally come true. We see Dad reading one of Yoo-ra’s letters, complaining that she’s been waiting for three years now.

In the present, Dad adds Chief Go to the list of Na-moo’s weaknesses which include Park (now eliminated), Jae-yi, Mom, and So-jin. Moo-won’s and Mom’s words about him no longer being Na-moo’s father haunt him. And in a daydream, he meets this better, adult Na-moo. He growls out Do-jin’s name before strangling him.

Seung-woo in a mask kindly interrupts Do-jin’s investigation to greet him with (you guessed it) a hammer. But Do-jin’s a more formidable opponent than innocent civilians as he easily dodges each swing and taunts Seung-woo for being a corny copycat of Dad. Seung-woo’s lunges get more desperate as he faces off with Dad’s favorite son. Do-jin grabs him and pushes him against the fence, creeping out even the actual killer as he leers at him and greets him by his real name, Yeom Ji-hong. Ji-hong only gains the upper hand by attacking a passerby, forcing Do-jin to use his body as a shield. (Why?) But he’s at least smart enough to cause a commotion and scare Ji-hong away.

Watch the video

Nice to meet you, Yeom Ji-hong

 
Hyun-moo is late for So-jin-watching duty. She’s walking home alone when a stalker grabs her wrist. It’s an unwanted suitor who backs off for now when she threatens to call her Cop Oppa. But almost-killer Oppa is just as effective as Hyun-moo later grabs the guy into an alley and frightens him, “Does it scare you? Then why did you do it to her?” Aww, look at you, teaching empathy and all.

Jae-yi is distracted by hate messages while reading her new script. She ends up playing hooky and visiting Do-jin at work. At first, she teases that she’s just making sure he sees the real her instead of that coffee standee Jae-yi. But this couple’s date won’t be complete without checking if the other is okay. Jae-yi hears about the scuffle and confirms that he went to the hospital before ordering him to get some rest. He tells her the details of the case which he initially hid from her. In return, he asks Jae-yi not to hide her problems from him.

Moo-won comes home to his small apartment and looks sadly at both his parents’ pictures. He recalls stabbing the murderer in his childhood and his hands start to shake as he hears Yoon Hee-jae’s words that he shouldn’t be around Nak-won.

The next day, Ji-hong shows up at the station, lawyer in tow. They block any questions unrelated to his fake ID. It’s the only offense for which they have solid proof against him for now. But Do-jin gets through to him by bringing up Ji-hong’s Bible studies with Dad. Ji-hong pretends to recognize Do-jin from the news and asks why he won’t visit his nice, remorseful father in prison. Do-jin turns the question on him. “Why won’t you visit the father you supposedly live with? Is it because you resent him being weak, unlike Yoon Hee-jae? Is that why you wish Yoon Hee-jae is your dad?” (OMG he can read him like a book and it is awesome but I am a-feared he’s gonna unhinge him further.)

His lawyer stops him from answering but Ji-hong can barely hide his excitement at this conversation as he asks Do-jin to continue. So Do-jin shares the story of meeting a pathetic guy last night who wants to be another Yoon Hee-jae but only ever hurts weak people. Then he asks Ji-hong, “What are you really, without Yoon Hee-jae?” Sunbae listens to this conversation and recognizes Ji-hong’s voice from the stolen pen recorder. (Which why in heaven’s name isn’t he submitting for evidence?)

Reporter Han sees Ji-hong walking out of the station and redeems herself a little bit by telling Do-jin that she saw the guy hanging around Mom’s shop. Do-jin calls Mom and asks her to close shop early, promising to explain later. Explain now! There’s no later in dramaland!

Hyun-moo proves he’s just a cinnamon roll as he gets a nightmare. It’s the part he refused to watch in the video after he burst out of the closet. Ji-hong, armed with a bloody hammer, recited Mom’s and So-jin’s daily routine, “worrying” that they’re so careless, what with crimes being so common lately. Ji-hong then told the frozen Hyun-moo not to dawdle, it’s not like he can report the crime himself. Hyun-moo stumbled after Ji-hong left, breaking a trophy and revealing the hidden camera by accident.

Moo-won finds out Ji-hong’s real identity too (uhm, why aren’t you and Do-jin’s team working together?!) But Moo-won does one better and checks anyone else who’s had contact with Yoon Hee-jae, which is good for us and bad for this Yoo-ra character. He stupidly ignores Jae-yi’s call, thinking of Yoon Hee-jae’s words to stay away. Which, why? She could be in danger right now with 1% battery left and she will die because you’re a fool.

It’s a good thing Jae-yi is only in danger of being gossiped about as the staff call her names. Her more popular actress friend/sunbae Se-kyung arrives on set and out-bitches the staff before following Jae-yi to the dressing room. Jae-yi’s ex-costar tags along and grabs Jae-yi’s wrist, pretending to teach her how to do the scene better. Do-jin shows up and grabs his wrist as Jae-yi smiles sweetly and introduces her cop boyfriend. The actor concedes he’s good-looking for a cop and Do-jin pettily concedes… he’s not good-looking for a star. Hah! This is the sass we needed twenty episodes ago! Manager Pyo looks like he’s about to cry as Do-jin scolds the top star, explaining the concept of NO and recommending a seminar on sexual harassment prevention while Jae-yi proudly looks on.

She later teases Do-jin about getting mad then pecks him on the cheek, turning his pout into a smile. She’s happy to be fighting about petty things like a normal couple. But Do-jin has other coupley things in mind, like smooching, which he asks for more of.

So-jin is walking home when she’s greeted by a different stalker. It’s Ji-hong, calling her using Dad’s nickname “our young princess.” The sight of the hammer triggers her childhood fear of Dad. She freezes as Ji-hong raises the hammer. Hyun-moo appears out of nowhere and pulls a Do-jin by shielding her with his body while Ji-hong just keeps hitting him like a stubborn nail. Which, why?! Call for help! When I imagined him saving So-jin, I didn’t imagine being this frustrated. Thank goodness for a couple of ajummas scaring Ji-hong off and leaving Hyun-moo alive to live out my dream heroic moment at a later episode.

So-jin tells her Oppa to go to the hospital. Surrender if he has too. Mom and her know he’s innocent of murder. He refuses as per usual and just warns her to be careful because Ji-hong is crazy, making So-jin accuse him of being in cahoots with the guy.

Do-jin hears the story from Mom and So-jin. They all worry about Hyun-moo’s injuries and feel the urgency of catching him before he gets into deeper trouble. Hyun-moo is self-medicating with soju when he sees news of Moo-won assaulting Dad during interrogation. He glances at the hidden camera recording as he remembers the quiet classmate who warned him against killing people. Yes, Hyun-moo, you can trust him!

Jae-yi is tired of Moo-won ignoring her calls and visits his officetel to find him sick. He asks her to stop dating Na-moo, promising to be there for her instead if she’s in pain. He knows the murder isn’t Na-moo’s fault but their relationship can only end badly. She’ll remember his father every time she sees Na-moo until one day, she won’t be able to look at Na-moo anymore and the guilt will consume her–like it does him.

In a flashback, we see Moo-won during the funeral, arguing with a bunch of angry elders. He’s asserting his right as Nak-won’s older brother and promising to take care of Nak-won without using up their money. Nak-won hears this and cries herself to sleep. She wakes up with Moo-won watching over her and assuring her the nightmares will stop after some time.

In the present, Dad walks out to a waiting transport, presumably for another hearing. But he stops and takes one last look at the prison before leaving. It’s intercut with scenes of Yoo-ra (Bae Hye-sun) shopping for new curtains and men’s clothes. Dad spots a marker on the road and braces himself. The bus trips a wire, triggering a trap and causing the bus to crash. Everyone is knocked unconscious except for Dad who breaks the window and steps out, breathing in the air of freedom. Some time later, he’s still standing there smiling when a couple of cops pull up and surround him. Ohno ohno ohno…

The next day, So-jin is busy milking her injury and being spoiled by Do-jin while Mom nags at her to stop. The happy family breakfast is rudely interrupted by news of Dad’s escape last night. We see Jae-yi and Hyun-moo in their respective rooms also watching the news in shock.

Moo-won gets dressed for work and the camera lingers on the hidden camera on top of his bag. Omo! Did Hyun-moo already send it?!

Dad climbs up the stairs to Yoo-ra’s apartment and has a neighborly chat with a little boy, telling him about his own sweet and smart son that he’s gonna visit soon.

COMMENTS

The escape couldn’t have come at a better time. The show was starting to lag with Park’s recycled headlines and Ji-hong dancing around everyone with his hammer. And the less said about the prolonged romantic angst, the better. We also know Dad had to get out at some point, because there’s no way his last encounter with Na-moo would be that hurried ten-minute fight on Christmas Eve.

It’s a bit horrible, but now that Dad is out and Do-jin has more people to protect, I’m even more excited for the second round. On one side, we have Dad and his psychopath friends armed with home improvement materials and a lack of conscience. On the other side, we have Do-jin’s and Jae-yi’s family and friends armed with love and forgiveness, featuring Do-jin and Hyun-moo as human shields. It doesn’t seem like much, but the two brothers are both half a Yoon Hee-jae, adding up to one whole Yoon Hee-jae for the good side. Well, once Mom and So-jin convince Hyun-moo to jump to the good side.

There’s also the tortured Moo-won who’s probably incapacitated with guilt, but it’s nice to know that there’s someone on our team with more practical killing experience. (I’m horrible, I know.)

In all seriousness, he’s another tragic character. His melo eyes are apparently out of guilt (and not fake-cest as I assumed). He’s spent all these years protecting Jae-yi from the public and their own family, all while worrying that there’s something wrong with him. Which, no! There’s nothing wrong with defending yourself. What’s up with the people in this show? I know Dad is a psychopath manipulator who’s leveraging the guilt to play with his victims, but the “public” in this show seems to share this twisted idea that hurting your attacker means you’re a monster too. It’s a bit annoying as a conflict because people don’t think that way in real life. Right? Don’t disappoint me, World.

Speaking of monsters, what’s up with the new She-vil, Yoo-ra? Is she another one of Dad’s fans? If so, I pity her a tiiiny bit. We know Dad doesn’t care about her because he tore up her letters. She’s been waiting for him to escape for three years but Dad kept her at bay. It was only until Do-jin found a proper father figure and is moving on with Jae-yi that Dad decided to go out and “fix” his son’s life. Because apparently, Na-moo can’t have friends unless they’re psychopathic minions like Ji-hong and Yoo-ra.

I think in that regard, Dad was honest about wanting Jae-yi to move on and find someone else so he won’t have to kill her. But Jae-yi chose to stick with Na-moo and be a “weakness,” and now all bets are off.

Finally, I’m a bit pissed that Park Hee-young is dead. I know she was grating with her repeated cries of “Na-moo is the devil’s spawn!” but now that she’s been killed off without much history, I appreciate Kim Seo-hyung’s acting even more. There were lots of scenes where I was led to believe that Park had a backstory. Something in the way she lets her mask fall in front of Yoon Hee-jae. It just seemed like there was more, a reason she was so disgusted by killers, to the point that she thinks she’s entitled to ruin the lives of murderers’ families. It’s a bit disappointing to find out that the writer didn’t intend for her to be more than an opportunistic journalist. Oh well, goodbye, Reporter Park. You deserved more in terms of character background AND suffering, but I’m sure we’ll see Kim Seo-hyung in another fun-to-hate role anyway.

 
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