Episode 17 seems a little late in the game to still be denying your feelings, but this show isn’t exactly known for its speedy development. Still, Seo-jin has come miles since we first met him, and when Hana tries her damnedest to deny her feelings for him, he reminds me once again why I’m on his side. And no, it’s not just the glasses.
SONG OF THE DAY
Bily Acoustie – “어떻게 설명할 수 있나요” (How Can I Explain) [ Download ]
EPISODE 17 RECAP
We backtrack a little to Seo-jin confronting Chairman Dad, after Robin warns him that Dad is messing around in his (their?) love life. Dad shows Seo-jin a story about Robin’s recent interview cancellation, which has drummed up more interest over his mysterious hidden identity.
Chairman Dad doesn’t try to sugarcoat what he did: He asked Hana to leave, hoping he’d be able to put a stop to things before Robin decided to go public. Dad is meddling, but he asks astutely whom this relationship is for, if Seo-jin isn’t even the one that Hana likes. Ouch.
Seo-jin simply counters that he’ll tell the world about Robin first. He points out that Dad has always wanted to keep Seo-jin hidden away from the world, while Dad argues that it’s called protecting, not hiding, so that he can inherit everything.
But Seo-jin finally says that he doesn’t want any of Dad’s things, and pleads for him to stop making Seo-jin live a life he doesn’t want, just to protect what belongs to his father. Chairman Dad doesn’t see what’s left of his if Seo-jin doesn’t want his inheritance, but Seo-jin argues that what’s left would be what he really wants, and truly his own. Seo-jin: “From now on, I’m going to protect what’s mine, not what’s yours.” With that, he walks out. Good for you!
Cousin Seung-yeon isn’t done with his meddling, though, and makes calls to every reporter he knows to leak Robin’s officetel address. In no time the hall is teeming with reporters, and Hana and Jin-ju are trapped inside.
Jin-ju asks why they can’t get Robin to do the interview anyway, not really understanding Hana’s reservations. She also lets it slip that Seo-jin is on leave from work because he was basically ousted at the board meeting, adding to Hana’s worry.
Hana calls Secretary Kwon for help, and Seo-jin immediately tells him to bring the car around so that he can go in person. That seems risky given the situation, but Seo-jin says he’s trying to clean up his own messes, “So that I can start a new life.”
Seo-jin insists on going upstairs alone, where he walks right past the wall of reporters and all cameras turn on him. One reporter in particular heard from Seung-yeon that there was a connection between Seo-jin and Robin, and asks the question directly.
He faces them and begins to say, “Robin and I…” but before he can get the words out, Hana comes busting out to wrist-grab him out of there. These must be the least athletic reporters ever, because they manage to dodge the entire group by slipping into the stairwell and going up to the roof, in like ten seconds.
Hana is pissed, and wants to know what on earth he was about to do when she just barely convinced Robin to back down yesterday. She seems more protective of what Seo-jin has to lose than he is, and complains that he’s making her worry about him.
Seo-jin startles her by shouting, “Don’t worry unless you’re going to love me!” Flutter. He takes a step closer and says calmly, “You said I was confused? You’re the one who’s confused. You like me.”
She starts to interject, but he adds that she loves Robin and she’s loyal, which means that she feels like she can’t love another man, not that she doesn’t love another man. Semantics, maybe, but I can’t disagree.
He tells her to think carefully about why she’s worried about him. He doesn’t discount the possibility that it’s just her compassionate nature, but then points out how many times she’s risked her own life to protect him. He asks her to think about why she stopped Robin from doing what he wants, in order to protect Seo-jin.
That one stumps her, and she hesitates. She finally shakes it off and gives the excuse that she’s just too caring for her own good, but Seo-jin tells her that it’s the wrong answer. He’d be infuriating if I didn’t think he was right.
Secretary Kwon finds them up on the roof and tries to get them to escape quietly so that the reporters can’t see, but Seo-jin says that nothing has changed—he still plans to give a statement.
Secretary Kwon suddenly bursts into a feet-stompy fit right then and there, crying that Seo-jin could at least be considerate enough to wait until he and security team have found new jobs before giving the interview that will cause them all to become unemployed. Kekeke.
Seo-jin just stares, wide-eyed, as Secretary Kwon complains that he has a family to support, and asks if he hasn’t he earned this much consideration after all he’s done. Seo-jin can’t form words, but he does as asked and lets them escort him out the back.
As he and Hana wait for the car to be pulled around, she has an answer for him and says that she stopped him from doing the interview because this isn’t the way Robin would’ve wanted to do it—he’d want to be here as himself.
But Seo-jin calls her out on avoiding the issue, since he asked her why she stopped Robin from doing his interview. He thinks it’s because of Seo-jin: “I know why you worry about me. Think about it carefully.”
The reporters catch up to them just as they get into the car to leave, and all of them are busy snapping pictures of Hana. She’s shocked to realize that they think that she’s Robin, and soon her blurred-out picture accompanies a series of news stories speculating that Robin is a woman, and Seo-jin’s girlfriend.
Hana spends the rest of the afternoon lost in thought, and texts Seo-jin that her answer is no. He tells her to actually think about it instead of insisting, but she replies that she doesn’t need to.
Robin wakes up that evening and reads the news, and has a memory flash of Hana dragging Seo-jin away from the reporters. Hana warns him not to go to the officetel for a while, and asks him to meet her at Woo-jung’s café.
Hana sits there smiling at Woo-jung and Eun-chang, as they bicker about how Eun-chang should go see a doctor about his back pain because Woo-jung is worried about him. Hana asks if she likes Eun-chang, and Woo-jung swears that she doesn’t—she just worries about him is all, like whether he’s eaten or if he’s okay.
The truth starts to dawn on Woo-jung, and she asks Hana if that’s what it means to like someone—to worry about them. Hana goes silent at that. Is… Woo-jung actually being a useful character right now?
Robin comes to pick Hana up, and at first they joke about how she’s Robin and he ended being Seo-jin’s girlfriend. Chairman Dad had all the initial articles taken down, but the rumors and speculation remain online.
The air is a little strained between them, and Robin admits that he doesn’t like it that Hana and Seo-jin are rumored to be a couple. He asks if anything else happened, and she only tells him that she argued with Seo-jin, and nothing more.
They go on an obligatory PPL shopping date where they buy matching couple looks from head to toe. Hana is happy to go along with whatever Robin picks out, remembering how desperately he had wanted an identity and a life of his own.
In the morning, Seo-jin goes to visit Tae-joo in prison. Seo-jin asks if he remembers sneaking into the theater together as kids because his father forbade him, and admits that he hasn’t properly seen a single movie or television show since then.
Tae-joo seems to have found some peace, and tells Seo-jin without bitterness to start over, and do all of the things he never got to do before. Seo-jin asks what about him, and Tae-joo suggests that he come back and report on his new adventures, like when they were kids and Seo-jin would tell him about his trips abroad.
Their visiting time is up, and the two old friends exchange warm smiles before Tae-joo gets escorted out.
Hana sends Seo-jin another text that she thought about it and her answer is still no. But she’s the one staring at her phone for three hours when he doesn’t reply, and she’s dumbfounded when she hears that Seo-jin had lunch with her circus troupe members, and asked them for movie recommendations because he’s never really seen any.
When she hears that Seo-jin is riding the rides at Wonderland, she decides something’s up with him, and asks Secretary Kwon about it. But he’s just as confused and asks Hana if she knows why Seo-jin is acting so strangely.
He tells her that Seo-jin asked him if he wanted to drink in the middle of the afternoon, and while he doesn’t think it’s a bad idea for Seo-jin to let off some steam, he’s worried. He mentions Seo-jin’s latest conversation with Chairman Dad, and how he gave up his inheritance to protect Hana and her love, which further confuses Secretary Kwon: “The one you like is Robin, so doesn’t that mean he’s protecting Robin? But what does that mean?”
Secretary Kwon wonders aloud if Seo-jin doesn’t intend to be cured… and that seems to get through to Hana. She seeks Seo-jin out and confronts him about giving up on treatment, clearly worried about him.
He asks if she’s realized yet that worrying about Seo-jin is a road that leads to Robin’s destruction, and Hana stares at him in shock. He points out that she insists that she loves Robin and that he and Robin are two different people: “So why do you worry about me?”
He gets down to the heart of the matter, why she can’t admit that she likes him: “Because you’re afraid that loving me will lead to Robin disappearing. But you love Robin and me, me and Robin both.”
This time, she doesn’t deny it and she doesn’t argue that he’s got it all wrong. She asks if that’s the reason that he’s given up on treatment—has he decided to live with his illness?
That’s clearly what he intends to do, because he answers without hesitation: “Everyone lives with illnesses. Luckily my illness is that there’s a better person inside of me. And you love him. So let’s live the rest of our lives, the three of us, fighting with each other.”
She digs her heels in and says that she won’t change her mind about how she feels, but Seo-jin surprises her by saying that that’s good, because it’s the only thing keeping their three-way relationship alive. She asks why he keeps trying to confirm her feelings then, and Seo-jin says that it’s the only thing he can do, because acting on his feelings would break their tenuous arrangement. He leaves her lost in thought.
After failing with the reporters the first time, Seung-yeon decides to take a more direct approach and tells one reporter the real story behind Seo-jin and his condition. He still doesn’t have any proof though, so his plan is to speculate in the press and create an incident to draw the truth out.
Hana asks her friend Jin-ju what she would do if, hypothetically, being with someone meant that he would be sick for the rest of his life. Jin-ju says that’s too big a burden to bear, because what if he began to resent her down the road? But then Hana adds that leaving him would lead to his death (thinking of Robin now), and Jin-ju balks, hating both choices.
Seo-jin spends the day watching movies and drinking beer, and he even reads comic books. Robin wakes up on the couch surrounded by books, and picks one up to read an underlined passage in Notes to Myself, about preparing oneself to change and communicating that change to others.
Robin is further shocked to find a post-it on a comic book—his comic—asking when he’s going to publish the next volume. He knows something is going on, and calls Secretary Kwon to ask what happened yesterday.
This time he learns that Seo-jin almost outed their secret, and that Hana stopped him, not to mention that she omitted these details when he saw her last.
He rushes over to see her, not realizing that he’s being tailed by the reporter sent by Seung-yeon. Robin confronts her about stopping Seo-jin yesterday, and when she points out that she wasn’t picking a side, he’s hurt by the fact that she wouldn’t pick his side, and cries that if Hana disavows him too like everyone else…
But she swears that she’d never do that. Hana wants to do everything with him, but she asks if they can really be happy if it costs them another person’s happiness. Robin argues that there’s no way for him and Seo-jin to both be happy, and there’s no way for Robin to be acknowledged without negative consequence to Seo-jin.
Robin says that he might disappear at any moment, so how can he ask to love her and be loved?
He stalks out angrily, and Hana chases after him to continue the conversation. They get into his car, and the reporter tells the hired henchman next to him to do a good job and gets out of the car. When Robin is stopped at a red light, the guy slams the accelerator and rear-ends him on purpose.
It’s not a big accident, but the guy is immediately hostile and demands Robin’s driver’s license and national ID number. Oh no, so that’s what Seung-yeon wanted. The cops are called, but Robin remains as stubborn as ever. No matter how much Hana pleads, he insists that he’s not Seo-jin, and refuses to give them any other information beyond the name Robin.
This continues down at the police station, and Seung-yeon pumps his fist to hear that Robin’s only helping him along by being so stubborn. Hana steps away to call Secretary Kwon, and notices the reporter lurking nearby, recognizing him from the other day.
But she doesn’t have time to react before the reporter asks Robin if he’s the webtoon artist. On cue, more reporters swarm around them and ask for a confirmation. Robin hangs his head, and Hana struggles with what to do, knowing that outing him would hurt Seo-jin, but disavowing him would hurt Robin.
She startles Robin when she speaks for him and confirms his identity as the webtoon artist. He beams proudly as flashes go off around them, and then Hana squeezes her eyes shut to add, “But it’s a pen name.”
She says that this is Gu Seo-jin, and that he overcame his traumatic childhood experiences by creating webtoons under the pen name Robin. Hana looks like she can barely believe what she did, while Robin gapes at her, too stunned to even speak.
Seung-yeon fumes like an impotent little gnome, thwarted yet again. The circus members are quite confused since they still believe that Robin and Seo-jin are twins, but they chalk it up to more attempts to hide the chaebol birth secret.
Seo-jin is alarmed to find Hana and Secretary Kwon waiting for him first thing in the morning, and asks if Robin caused some kind of trouble. Hana cops to being the one to cause it this time, and apologizes.
Seo-jin sits down to read the news feed, which is filled with stories about Seo-jin’s double life as a webtoon artist. He turns to her slowly: “What… did you do?”
Closing caption: Final fireworks—brilliant and strong.
I’m honestly confused as to why they all think this is a huge revelation—Robin as Seo-jin’s pen name is pretty much the first cover story that comes to mind, no? It’s way better than the twin story, since that’s so easy to disprove, and this way Robin is accounted for and even glorified as Seo-jin’s better half. It just doesn’t strike me as an actual solution though—it’s a bandaid, much like the twin cover story. And if Robin is still feeling threatened, this doesn’t change the overarching problem that he faces. It’s a smart way to buy some time and save both Seo-jin and Robin from having to make their condition public, but the truth is that it still boxes Robin into being Seo-jin’s alter ego. To be fair, that’s what he is, and his dream of becoming his own person is unrealistic at best. But he might see this as Hana protecting Seo-jin above all. Though maybe it’s really the thing that she wishes were true.
It’s kind of nice to have everything else fall away and focus almost entirely on the love triangle, though would it kill them to pick up the pace? When we do get to the revelations and important conversations, I’m usually satisfied with the characters’ growth and the ways in which they’ve changed, but I still feel like I’m waiting for them to really dive in, to let things get messy rather than talk about the relationship instead of having it. I’m glad that Seo-jin was able to crystallize Hana’s fears and reservations about admitting her feelings, because I was starting to wonder how she could be so in tune with her feelings for Robin but so out of tune with her obvious feelings for Seo-jin. But Seo-jin understands it better than she does herself—that admitting her feelings isn’t as much about being unfaithful to Robin romantically, as it is about opening the door to Robin’s disappearance for good.
I did expect Seo-jin to make the sacrifice to keep Robin around, but it was still really touching when he did it. We’ve seen how much he’s suffered and how desperately he’s wanted to live a normal life, but now the choice is simple for him: He loves Hana, Hana loves Robin, so he won’t be the one to take Robin away from her. I think that’s the point at which Hana sees Seo-jin’s love for her as something real, because he’s actually giving up his own happiness to put her first. I can’t believe he’s suggesting that they actively maintain a love triangle though. I mean, I get it… but it still weirds me out.
The one thing that (barely) keeps it from twisted threesome territory is that Hana is still choosing Robin. Seo-jin knows that this is the only thing keeping their situation in balance, if you will. Because the second she chooses him, all bets are off and he wouldn’t be able to guarantee Robin’s existence. I don’t know how she wouldn’t love Seo-jin when he’s willing to split himself in half to give her what she wants, and something tells me that Hana isn’t the kind of person to let him stay broken for her sake, despite her loyalty to Robin. But if she lets herself love Seo-jin, does that mean Robin disappears forever? And if Hana is already arguing that she and Robin couldn’t be happy if Seo-jin sacrificed his happiness for theirs, has she already disrupted the balance?
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 16
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 15
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 14
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 13
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 12
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 11
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 10
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 9
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 8
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 7
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 6
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 5
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 4
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 3
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 2
Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 1
Tags: featured, Han Ji-min, Hyde Jekyll Me, Hyun Bin, Sung Joon