Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 18

Hyde, Jekyll, Me: Episode 18

onto Hyde, Jekyll, Me

It’s cute! I don’t know if this show was saving all its adorable swoony rom-com moments for its final push, but today’s episode is actually chock full of sweet and funny exchanges, a strong romantic conflict, and moments of awareness for all our characters. After fifteen years of sharing a body, Robin and Seo-jin finally start to get to know one another, and ready or not, the barriers between them begin to break down.

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Toy – “우리” (Us) [ Download ]
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 EPISODE 18 RECAP

After dropping the bomb that she publicly outed Robin as Seo-jin’s pen name, Hana sits there waiting for Seo-jin to blow up at her.
He doesn’t, and though he seems shocked, he’s mostly amused. He sees this as an extension of what she secretly wants—both of them—and even thanks her for finding a good way for the three of them to be together.
He supposes that Robin was more upset, and she doesn’t deny it, but says that he’s being understanding. She’s still a little shocked at Seo-jin’s ease, and he just asks her to eat with him in honor of turning him into a webtoon artist overnight.

Chairman Dad gets himself all wound up in a tizzy about the news and chews out his minions, only to be told by his publicity team that this is the best thing that’s ever happened for them.
Dad doesn’t really understand what could be good about his son having a secret manhwa hobby (as if he’s not a famous published author), but the publicity team spells it out for him: If Seo-jin takes over Wonderland, he could be the next Walt Disney. You can practically see the dollar signs in Dad’s eyes.
They run with that, and cousin Seung-yeon fumes to have yet another evil plan backfire on him. Seriously, you’re more helpful for Seo-jin’s career than anyone—keep being terrible at your villainy!

Woo-jung bursts into tears as she reads the news about Robin being Seo-jin’s secret creative identity, and admits that she’d never have come up with the idea herself. She acknowledges Hana as a good manager AND girlfriend, finally letting go of Robin (never mind that you already have the adoring Eun-chang).
Hana watches curiously as Seo-jin goes about making breakfast, which is definitely a first. He catches her staring at him, so she asks about the necklace that he always used to wear. He tells her that he spent a lot of time trying out every single religion, and that necklace was some kind of talisman made to ward off evil.
She chuckles that he got taken, and he agrees that it did nothing—but it still made him feel better to wear it. He says that everyone seeking out religions is just looking for something to believe in, and she asks what it was that he wanted to believe. Seo-jin: “That I’m getting a little better, every day. That I’m becoming a better person, little by little.”

All it takes is one flashback to what an asshat he used to be, and she tells him that the talisman totally worked—he’s already a better person. Well that’s the understatement of the year.
He flashes a little grin at her, and then he’s interrupted by a call from an old college friend who wants to meet up. His phone is filled with messages from classmates, all guys that he’d lost touch with who are suddenly open and warm after learning that he moonlights as a webtoon artist.
He shows her the messages and they laugh at how his friends have all turned into ajusshis. Hana is the first to suddenly be aware of how close they are as they lean over the counter, and she steals a glance at Seo-jin’s smiling face while he isn’t looking.

Taking that look right there—that’s the mistake, because you can see how it makes her heart flutter and go off-kilter. It’s just a split second, and when Seo-jin looks up to meet her eyes, she’s flustered.
They’re saved by the bell when another classmate calls, and Seo-jin murmurs to himself that this is such a strange new experience, and wonders if he really had so many friends. Hana tells him that this is just the beginning, and lots of things will change, “For the three of us.” It’s the first time she’s said it like that, using Seo-jin’s words.
She says that they need to sit down with Secretary Kwon and go over a strategy for how to pass Robin and Seo-jin off as one guy. So they sit down to do just that, with both Seo-jin and Robin spliced into the same meeting as if they’re both there.

It’s kind of adorable how Robin raises his hand every time he wants to ask a question. They go over some basic rules about pretending to be one another, and Robin requests a chance to attend a webtoon convention, and declines any business-related meetings of any sort.
Seo-jin declines to share his cell phone password, though he wants Robin to share his, and even though I know he’s imagining Robin sitting there for his turn at this meeting, in the scene it looks like he’s being haughty right to his face.
Hana decides to just pass out pen and paper to both boys, and demands a list of 100 things that Robin wants to know about Seo-jin, and 200 things that Seo-jin wants to know about Robin.

Seo-jin complains about his load being double when he’s not even curious about one single thing, but Hana gripes that he would just fill the first list with bullshit, which is why he gets 200. Secretary Kwon barely stifles back a laugh and Seo-jin scowls.
Both boys spend the next day writing lists of questions (Seo-jin only comes up with four!) and then answering each other’s lists, and then later, Hana and Robin read over Seo-jin’s answers.
Robin is shocked at the number of favorite movies listed, and Hana says that Seo-jin is practically a movie critic these days. She realizes that his favorites are all stories about children, which gives her pause.

Seo-jin does it interview-style by asking Hana to read Robin’s answers aloud. He’s annoyed to hear that Robin’s stress-relief is just to sleep, which he interprets as dumping all stress onto Seo-jin to deal with.
He scoffs to hear that Robin’s favorite movies all feature Batman, Spiderman, or X-men, but is doubly pissy that Hana thinks it’s cute. He whines, “Is it cute for a grown man to watch the Batman series?” like he’s suddenly questioning her taste in men.
Seo-jin gets even grumblier when Robin answers that he’d like to try a triathlon: “Is he trying to kill me?” But he sighs that in all this time, he’s exchanged countless messages with Robin and tracked his every move… but he’s never known anything about him. Hana says that Robin admitted the same thing—that they’d shared a body for fifteen years but never bothered to learn what the other wanted in life.

Robin’s big webtoon convention rolls around, and he and Hana are both a bundle of nerves. He notices her shaking as she helps him get dressed and thinks she’s scared that he’ll make a mistake in public, but she says that it’s nervous excitement about going to their first official function as a couple.
They walk in holding hands, and are stunned when the elevator doors open onto a crowd of screaming fans all waiting for Robin. They’re so surprised that neither of them moves a muscle before the doors close on them, and Hana smiles up at Robin to reassure him before opening the doors again.
This time they smile and walk onto the red carpet, and another reassuring smile from Hana gets Robin to try and enjoy the moment, even if he is adorably stiff and awkward about all the sudden attention.

Woo-jung is subdued all evening, and she admits to her father that she’s happy for Robin, but she’s fantasized about being on his arm for this big moment for a very long time. Eun-chang doesn’t have to be told to know what’s going on in Woo-jung’s head, and he shows up unannounced with a scooter and two helmets.
He insists on going for a ride, and once they’re driving down the street, he tells her that they aren’t really going somewhere—he just knows she has stuff on her mind, and encourages her to shout it out while the engine is roaring and no one can hear her.
With some nudging, she finally shouts a congratulations and a goodbye to Robin, and then asks Eun-chang to shout too, so that she feels less embarrassed. Eun-chang complies with the sweetest declaration at the top of his lungs: “Be mine, Min Woo-jung! Come to me, Min Woo-jung! I’ll be good, Min Woo-jung!” That puts a smile on her face, and she tightens her grip around his waist.

Hana and Robin cuddle on the couch as she admires his trophy, and he asks if she thinks it would be okay for him to go on a radio talk show that invited him. She tells him to do it, and he’s amazed that he’ll get to leave further proof of his existence out in the world.
She asks him to draw something new so that they can go back to the convention next year and the year after that, and he takes the pen portion out of his award and hands it to her. He tells her that she’s his pen, and she squeezes his cheeks together until his lips pucker, and plants a kiss.
He traces his finger along her lip and then goes in for more kisses, and wraps his arms around her as they blissfully swoon between smoochies.

The next morning, Hana excitedly gives Seo-jin the play-by-play (well, minus the lip action), and though Seo-jin rats Robin out for having prepared an acceptance speech for the award he swore he didn’t expect to win, he seems genuinely happy for Robin.
Hana accompanies Robin to the radio show (cameo by K.Will), where he shares his thoughts on adulthood and how most people are still kids at heart and just struggling to catch up to their bodies and act as adult as they’re supposed to.
It’s a call-in radio show where they give dating advice, and when Seung-yeon spends his evening obsessively listening to the show instead of paying attention to his girlfriend, she finally picks up her phone to call in and complain that her boyfriend is the obsessive type and it’s starting to wear thin. Seung-yeon has even more reason to hate Robin when he advises her to break it off, keh.

Seo-jin wakes up the next morning with a splitting headache, and to Secretary Kwon’s surprise, he can quote verbatim the stuff that Robin said during the radio show. Ooooh, he’s getting Robin’s memories now?
Robin wakes up that night with a headache as well, but this time something new happens: He can’t remember his radio show, beyond arriving at the station with Hana. OH.
He goes to see Dr. Kang, and she says that Seo-jin came by earlier as well. She didn’t think much of Seo-jin’s condition because sharing memories wasn’t entirely new for them, but Robin’s memory loss is a significant change, and she asks what they’ve done differently lately.

After learning about how Robin and Seo-jin opened up to each other, Dr. Kang sees this latest development as a sign that they’re merging, and Robin is understandably alarmed at that. She tries to tell him that this means they’ll fuse personality traits and he wouldn’t be destroyed, but Robin’s face hardens as he says that melding IS destruction, for him.
He gets up to go but then asks in a quiet voice, “If I disappear, where do I go? Seo-jin’s body stays alive, but did I never have a soul or a body to begin with?”
Robin sits in the dark trying to process everything, and Hana pounds on his door, worried because he blew her off with a message that the was sick. After a while he finally comes out, and she hugs him in relief to know that he’s okay.

He lies that he’s just feeling overwhelmed with all the changes lately and needs a day to himself, and convinces her to go.
When Dr. Kang explains what’s going on to Seo-jin, he panics just as much and says that this would mean Robin’s destruction. She notes that they’re having the same reaction to the news, and Seo-jin tells her that they aren’t ready for this yet.
Seo-jin finds Hana looking a little lost, and she feels his forehead to make sure that he isn’t sick. She asks if something’s going on with Robin because he didn’t seem like himself and wanted to be alone, and Seo-jin covers for him, insisting that this is perfectly normal and that she’s the one overthinking things.

Robin spends that evening locked away in his room downstairs, and Hana sends texts pleading with him to come out and just let her see his face. He doesn’t reply, but says to himself that he can’t face her right now because he doesn’t know what he might say, or if he might even blame her.
Hana asks if she did something wrong and sheds a tear, and inside, Robin begins to cry as he says to himself, “I’m sorry. I’m not ready yet. How am I supposed to leave? How am I supposed to say goodbye to you?”
Seo-jin finds her asleep on the couch and tucks her in before making breakfast. When she wakes up, he presents her with seaweed soup because it’s her birthday, and she’s touched, though her mind is still swimming with thoughts of Robin.

She tells him that she waited all night, but Seo-jin already knows that Robin never came out. She asks with tears brimming in her eyes if Seo-jin is happy living this way, and if Robin is. Seo-jin tells her to eat first, and that he’ll make it so that she can ask Robin directly: “I can’t answer for Robin’s happiness or his life.”
Only when he wakes up that night, he’s still Seo-jin. Ruh-roh, is Robin hiding or is he fading?
Seo-jin jumps to block the door when Hana comes knocking, and in his panic he does his best Robin impersonation and buys some time. And then Woo-jung calls from the radio station to say that everything’s ready for his birthday surprise for Hana.

Seo-jin texts Secretary Kwon to sneak into his room quietly, and greets him pretending to be Robin. He asks if something doesn’t feel off, and Secretary Kwon practically jumps out of his skin when Seo-jin switches gears and tells him that Robin never woke up.
After telling the whole story, Seo-jin rifles through his closet while Secretary Kwon turns into a blubbering mess, thinking that Robin already disappeared and he never got to say goodbye. Seo-jin assures him that he isn’t gone gone, because Seo-jin and Hana aren’t ready to let him go. Secretary Kwon wails, “And do you think I’m ready? I’m not ready either!” D’aw.
Seo-jin has to bark at him to get it together, and promises to cry with him tomorrow if Robin still doesn’t show by then. They finally come out and Hana demands an answer for why he wouldn’t see her for days, and Seo-jin blurts, “Because I was happy.”

He says that he’s been so overwhelmed with happiness that it started to make him nervous, worried about how long it would last and if it was all a dream. Hana takes his hand and assures him that this isn’t a dream, but makes him swear not to do that again. She says that she hates guys who don’t answer calls, and Seo-jin nods a promise.
Secretary Kwon rushes them out the door for Robin’s radio show, but then when they get to the car, Seo-jin stops in his tracks. Oh crap, he has to drive it! He mentally chides himself for not taking driving lessons, and gingerly gets into the driver’s seat looking pale.
He looks seconds away from confessing the truth, when Secretary Kwon knocks on the window and asks if he can’t tag along to visit the station. I love the crazy eyes that they exchange as they fake their way through a conversation to justify Secretary Kwon kicking him out to drive.

Seo-jin doesn’t even have to try that hard to play Robin during his radio show, the reactions and speech patterns coming so naturally to him now. He reads the last caller’s story of the night, describing the city of Venice, which might sink into the water at any time.
He asks if the people who love that city aren’t afraid that it might disappear, or perhaps that fact is what makes them love it. He then confesses that he’s a person who resembles the city of Venice, and it’s clear that Seo-jin is reading a message from Robin.
He admits that he’s lived always fearing that he might disappear one day, but he’s made a decision to live differently from now on, and looks up at Hana. “Even if someone left me yesterday, or if I disappear tomorrow, I’ll live today.. Jang Hana, with you.”

Seo-jin is surprised as he says the words, but when he looks up at Hana, he breaks into a smile. On cue, the circus troupe arrives with cake and balloons to sing happy birthday to Hana on the other side of the radio studio. She radiates happiness in that moment, and Seo-jin gets to feel it for the first time—what it’s like to make her smile that way.
A ruckus in the studio sends the DJs’ headphones blaring with feedback noise, and for some reason it triggers a headache, and Robin comes out even though Seo-jin didn’t lose consciousness.
Robin is startled to find himself sitting in the station, and after the show ends, Secretary Kwon whispers in his ear in jondae that everything was perfect and nobody noticed. He’s shocked to realize that Seo-jin pretended to be him and didn’t even mess up once, and he confirms it with Woo-jung that nothing was weird about the radio broadcast or his birthday surprise.

Woo-jung hands him the footage she recorded during the show and mentions that Hana’s face says it all—she’s totally in love with him. That’s really not a comfort to Robin right now, given the circumstances. Woo-jung says goodbye with some finality and walks off.
Robin watches the recording when he’s alone, and is floored to see Hana so happy and unaware that Robin wasn’t Robin. He thinks, “She didn’t know…”
But what shocks him even more is the look on Seo-jin’s face, and it starts to dawn on him: “That’s… me. Seo-jin… is me.” Closing caption: Before I knew it, we surpassed “you and me” to “us.”

 COMMENTS
It actually saddens me that an episode like this one came so late—why couldn’t we have done more of this, all the way through? There would be endless cute love triangle moments to spare, and still plenty of room for the occasional kidnapping hullaballoo. Oh well, there’s no use dwelling on that now. I hope that it means we’ll at least get a finale week with clear-cut resolutions for all our characters and satisfying send-offs. I wouldn’t mind more romantic development between Hana and Seo-jin, of course, even if it’s tiny moments of awareness like in this episode.
She’s clearly warming to the person that Seo-jin has become (since she witnessed firsthand what he used to be like), but I’m even happier that Seo-jin seems to be living a fuller life, reconnecting with friends, developing new interests, and being patient while Robin gets his moment in the spotlight. I’d feel sorry for Seo-jin if he were just standing in the wings waiting, but he’s living and growing and not just stuck in the same place he was in for fifteen years. The biggest change was both Seo-jin and Robin opening up to each other about their dreams and hopes, and how surprised they were at the other’s answers. Even the movie picks were more than just jokes—I noticed that Seo-jin never says that Batman is stupid; he thinks it’s immature, but it’s another way in which Robin is really Seo-jin’s inner child.

The jealousy between them is a given, of course, but Seo-jin really got to me today when he chose to defend Robin and cover his ass with Hana. He did it like a friend, not in a selfish way, because now he understands Robin better than anyone. It kills me that Seo-jin isn’t prepared to let him go as much as Robin is afraid of disappearing, and that what he chooses to do is help Robin out and buy him time to sort out his feelings. Now goodbye seems more inevitable than ever, but I feel like we’re building towards Robin’s acceptance of reality. It goes both ways, since Seo-jin has to learn to live without that crutch, but it’s especially sad for Robin, who’s essentially facing death. I believe Dr. Kang’s assessment that they’ll merge in some way, but until it happens, we won’t know what that really means. Will Seo-jin suddenly know how to drive or draw? Or will he just be nicer?
It’s heartbreaking (but fitting) that Seo-jin begins to respect Robin as his own person at the same time that Robin finally realizes that he and Seo-jin are the same person. They had always been so firmly on opposite sides of that issue, but the fact that they’re now in each other’s shoes tells us how far they’ve really come. I didn’t expect Robin to ever acknowledge that he and Seo-jin were one person, but I guess it’s impossible to deny it when you recognize yourself in someone else so clearly. They might be different in all other things, but in the way they look at Hana, they are exactly the same. And once you know that, is there any un-seeing it?

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Tags: featured, Han Ji-min, Hyde Jekyll Me, Hyun Bin, Sung Joon