EPISODE 22 RECAP
After the visit from Park Tae-soo’s men, Yoon Hye-rin’s conscience starts to bother her so she turns to Chang To-shik to see if there’s anything she can do to get Tae-soo released. He tells her it’s too late though. He reminds her that she intentionally made it appear as if Tae-soo betrayed the powers-that-be in government in order to save her casino and she did it knowing that Tae-soo would have to pay a price for that. Even though she’s finally willing to give up the casino to ensure Tae-soo’s safety, Chang tells her it’s not possible to save Tae-soo anymore. He’s too well-known now and the government has no more use for him so they’ve washed their hands of him.
And once again, even though this is all happening because of what she’s done, she gets mad at Chang for not being willing to help and angrily asks if there’s anything his backers can’t get away with. “Wasn’t it you who filled Kwangju with armoured vehicles?” she asks, “Or have you forgotten that?”
When she leaves the restaurant where she met Chang, we see that Baek Jae-hee has been waiting outside for her. He opens the door for her to get in the car, but she’s too keyed up to sit. The restaurant is across the street from the seashore and she walks to the other side of the street to look at the ocean view.
As she’s standing there, she tells Jae-hee about the time she and Tae-soo went to a nearby island after he got out of rehab camp. She says Tae-soo asked her to trust him and stay by his side, but she ran away the very next day. At the time she thought she was leaving for his own good, but now she thinks she was just afraid to commit to one man.
She turns to look at Jae-hee and tells him he’s wrong in his belief that she’s not the type to run away. In reality, she will run if she gets scared. He tells her he doesn’t care as long as he’s there for her to lean on when she’s sad. She smiles at the sentiment and turns back toward the sea, then she says she doesn’t want to be indebted to Tae-soo any more than she already is. “I’ve suffered enough because of him,” she says. (And she’s delusional as ever. I think it’s actually Tae-soo who has suffered enough because of her, but I guess it helps to have selective memory.) She says just the thought of Tae-soo is painful and she can’t live like that anymore.
Speaking of Tae-soo, we get a glimpse of him in jail in the next scene when we hear a guard announce the arrival of Prisoner Lee Jong-kun. The guard opens the cell door to let him in, and Tae-soo is just as surprised as we are to see Jong-kun coming in. Tae-soo asks what he’s doing there and Jong-kun reminds him of his promise to follow him wherever he goes. Tae-soo doesn’t look too pleased to see him, but Jong-kun ignores his cool reception and goes about making sure Tae-soo is comfortable. Tae-soo eventually starts smiling and asks if everyone is okay on the outside.
Jong-kun assures him that everyone is fine, but he says he has something to tell Tae-soo about “that woman.” He says they thought Hye-rin knew what was going on so they went to see her thinking she’d be able to help Tae-soo get released. Instead, she acted as if she didn’t know anything, and she was shocked to learn it was Tae-soo’s money that enabled her to reopen her casino.
Tae-soo then gets another surprise visitor. It’s Lawyer Min. Tae-soo (continuing his not-so-bright-streak) asks if Hye-rin sent him. Lawyer Min doesn’t answer. Instead, he asks if Tae-soo would prefer that someone else represent him. If so, he’ll find him another lawyer. Tae-soo says he wants to hear what Hye-rin has to say first, but Lawyer Min tells him they should focus on his case because Hye-rin merely wants to pay the debt she owes hm. Tae-soo tells him he’s talking about something that’s more important than his case. But Lawyer Min disagrees. He tells Tae-soo there are couples who were never meant to be. It’s called “fatal attraction,” he says, and that’s how he sees Tae-soo and Hye-rin. (I’d quite agree.) Tae-soo says, “I guess you’re saying that Hye-rin and I will be meeting each other again, then.”
Kwangju District Attorney’s Office
Hye-rin hasn’t given up on securing Tae-soo’s release so she pays a visit to Kang Woo-suk next. She tells him there’s something she didn’t tell him during his last visit. In return for the information, she wants to meet Oh Jong-do, but she doesn’t want Woo-suk to let on that they know each other.
Woo-suk complies and in the next scene we see all three of them in the interrogation room together. Woo-suk sets it up as if Hye-rin is there to be questioned about Jong-do’s case, and she tells him about Chairman Yoon’s slot-machine businesses, half of which he used Park Seung-chol’s name as the record owner.
Woo-suk perks up at the mention of President Park and asks if she’s talking about the man who died in a car accident. Hye-rin confirms that she is and tells him the profit from the slot machine operations went directly to governmental officials as kickbacks. Woo-suk asks for the names of the government officials who received the bribes and Hye-rin looks at Jong-do before she answers. Jong-do sits there smirking because he knows she can’t answer that question.
Hye-rin tells Woo-suk there is a ledger with a record of every bribe her father paid, but she no longer has it. She tells him she went to the bank one day to get it out of the safety deposit box after her father died, but someone took it from her before she could leave the bank. Woo-suk tells Mr. Oh to get a roster of Jong-do’s boys for her to see if she can identify the person who took the ledger from her.
When Mr. Oh leaves the room to find the roster, Hye-rin asks Woo-suk if she can speak with Jong-do alone. Woo-suk pretends to protest against leaving a witness alone with a suspect, but Hye-rin insists so he tells them he’ll give them five minutes and he leaves the room too.
When they’re alone we find out why she’s really there. She suspects Jong-do made a copy of her father’s ledger before he turned it over to Chang and she wants to feel him out to see if her suspicions are correct. He, of course, claims he doesn’t have a copy of it so she threatens to provide Woo-suk with enough evidence to convict him if he doesn’t tell her the truth. He’s not swayed though and reminds her that he has powerful friends too. But she spooks him when she reminds him how his backers would feel if they knew he had a copy of Chairman Yoon’s ledger. She gets up to leave, and he stops her before she can get out of the room.
The scene then cuts to Hye-rin meeting Woo-suk in the hallway where he asks if Jong-do really has a copy of the ledger. She refuses to tell him, but she does agree to provide him with more evidence against Jong-do if he needs it. He tells her he left her alone with Jong-do because he trusts her. He doesn’t care what she’s up to now, but she knows right from wrong, he says, and she should give them that ledger. She looks at him and says she’s sorry, and he asks if she still can’t trust a national prosecutor? She tells him she’s doing it for him and for “that person.” He asks if she’s talking about Tae-soo and she nods. Then she walks down the steps and leaves.
She heads over to Jong-do’s apartment with Jae-hee (so Jong-do must have told her where he hid the ledger!) and Jong-do’s girlfriend lets her in when she says she’s his boss. They go into the bedroom where they cut open the mattress and find the ledger buried inside.
She wastes no time and calls Chang from the car as Jae-hee drives her back to Seoul. She tells him she found her father’s ledger so it looks like she can use it to make a deal. “I think you’ll have to give some more thought to freeing Park Tae-soo,” she says.
Kang Tong-hwan is not happy when Chang informs him that Hye-rin has a copy of Chairman Yoon’s ledger and wants Tae-soo released. He’s defiant as ever though and refuses to comply. Chang tells him that Hye-rin is fully capable of following through with her threat to release the contents of the ledger, but Mr. Kang tells him they’ll just have to make sure she’s not able to do so. Chang just stares at him and Mr. Kang asks why he’s not responding. Chang says it’s because he’s not sure how serious Mr. Kang is being right now, and he asks Mr. Kang to tell him exactly what he wants him to do. But Mr. Kang is not willing to come right out and say he wants Hye-rin murdered.
Instead, he stands up and starts walking toward Chang. “I devoted my whole life to the security of this country. But now the country is in turmoil over this election. Have you considered the ramifications if this information is publicized? Those red commies will use it to stir up the masses. They’ll throw this country into chaos. Do you want to see another Kwangju Uprising? I want you to snuff out any dangerous elements. We should have done this already,” he says. Chang still doesn’t respond. He just sits there staring straight ahead. Mr. Kang sits back down and says, “I know you’re close to this girl, but the next generation’s historians will understand that.”
Whatever qualms Chang has about ordering Hye-rin’s murder, he gets over them pretty quickly and goes to Kwangju to visit Jong-do at the Prosecutor’s Office. He knows Jong-do gave Hye-rin the ledger and, even though Jong-do swears he didn’t do it, we see that Chang doesn’t really care either way. He just needs someone to take care of Hye-rin for the powers-that-be so he tells Jong-do he’ll have to handle Hye-rin because he’s responsible for her getting a hold of the ledger.
He goes to work securing Jong-do’s release too. We don’t see his machinations, but we do see Woo-suk pay a visit to the judge who authorizes Jong-do to get out on bail. Woo-suk points out that due to the nature of the charges against Jong-do, he is supposed to be held without bail. He also points out that bail is not appropriate in Jong-do’s case because he poses a risk of harm to the prospective witnesses set to testify against him. The judge gives Woo-suk the lamest excuse ever for releasing him. He says he had to let Jong-do out on bail because he’s from Kwangju and the people of Kwangju are very emotional and don’t like other people from Kwangju being imprisoned (and I’m seriously rolling my eyes here—this is supposed to be a judge and this is the best he could come up with?). Woo-suk isn’t buying it either, but there’s nothing he can do. He has to stand back and watch as Jong-do walks free.
That night, Woo-suk can’t sleep and Chung Sun-young finds him brooding in the darkened living room. She sits down next to him, and he admits he doesn’t think he has the right to serve as a prosecutor. He thinks he should just give up and live a normal life, but Sun-young tells him he should think about their son and the world their son will inherit whenever he feels like giving up. Woo-suk turns to her and asks if she just said something about a son, and she nods and tells him she’s three months pregnant. (They both look sad and serious though. If a baby doesn’t make this couple crack a smile, I give up.) Woo-suk smiles (a bit) and takes her hand and thanks her, and she finally smiles too (but this is still the most depressing baby announcement I’ve ever seen).
At the Yoon household, Hye-rin is eating breakfast and the phone begins to ring. It’s Chang, who tells her he’s making preparations for Tae-soo’s release. It’ll take a while though, he says, and they’ll need at least a portion of the ledger to verify that she has it. He tells her to name a quiet place for them to meet.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Min visits Tae-soo and tells him he will be released soon and Hye-rin wants him to cooperate with whatever the officials are asking him to do to speed the process along. Tae-soo is suspicious and wants to know how Hye-rin has managed to get him released. Lawyer Min tells him about Chairman Yoon’s ledger, which Jong-do stole from Hye-rin. He tells Tae-soo that Hye-rin has gotten a copy of it and is blackmailing Mr. Kang into releasing him in exchange for keeping the contents of the ledger private. Tae-soo thinks Hye-rin is crazy and Lawyer Min says he agrees, but she won’t listen to him or stop until she gets Tae-soo out of jail, he says. Tae-soo refuses to move forward. He wants to meet Hye-rin face-to-face, but Lawyer Min says he already told her to talk to Tae-soo before she moved forward with her plan. Hye-rin refused, saying she’ll meet him after he’s released.
When Tae-soo goes back to his cell, it’s only more bad news. While Tae-soo was visiting Lawyer Min, Jong-kun was meeting with Jung In-young. In-young told him that Jong-do was released on bail. This news sends Tae-soo into a meltdown because he realizes Hye-rin is in danger. He grabs Jong-kun by the collar, then pushes him away and starts tearing up the cell. When he’s relatively calm, he calls Jong-kun over to him and says he has to get out of there. Then he apologizes because he’ll have to leave him behind.
As Lawyer Min leaves the jail, we see that someone is watching him. The person is holding a picture of him with Hye-rin, and Jae-hee is in the background too. The camera pans out and we see that it’s Reporter Shin Young-jin. She’s sitting in her car and watches as Lawyer Min drives off.
She’s not the only one on a stake-out though. The scene then cuts to two men hiding behind a tree as they spy on people arriving outside of a warehouse. It’s Chang-min and In-young who watch as Jong-do arrives. A little while later, Chang arrives as well and they watch as Jong-do approaches the car and bows to Chang. They’re too far away to hear what they’re saying, but they see the two converse, then they see Jong-do bow again and Chang’s car pulls off.
Back at the Yoon household, Jae-hee is hanging up his clothes when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Hye-rin. She hands him an envelope and tells him it’s the deed to a plot of land on Jeju Island. She wants him to go to Jeju tomorrow. He wants to know what she’s up to, but she won’t tell him.
She says it’s her way of thanking him for all that he’s done for her. All she’s ever done is take from him, she says, so she wants to give him something for once. He tells her she wasn’t always just the one receiving. He was fortunate to share a special relationship with one person in his life. “There aren’t many people who can say they’ve done that. You made that possible for me. Can you understand that?” he asks. Then he tells her he’s the one who should be thanking her. She looks at him and he says he wishes she could have the same blessings he’s had.
She stands up and walks out of the room. But she comes back down the hall a moment later and stands in front of him staring at him until she finally hugs him. As she’s holding him, a tear falls from her eye. He doesn’t move at first, but soon he pats her hair and gently kisses her on the forehead. (Is that all we’re going to get from these two after twenty-two episodes—romantic this show is not.) She smiles at him and they stare at each other until she finally turns around and leaves for good.
The next day, a guard at the correctional facility opens the door to Tae-soo’s cell to lead him out of the ward. Jong-kun peeks out after them and Tae-soo stops midway down the hall to turn and stare at him for a moment. The guard pats Tae-soo on the shoulder and walks him out to an awaiting bus to be transported somewhere.
Meanwhile, Jae-hee goes to the airport to comply with Hye-rin’s orders for him to go to Jeju. However, he knows she’s up to something and as soon as he walks through the door to enter the terminal he stops and turns back around and stares out at the street.
Hye-rin, unaware that Jae-hee may not get on the plane, is with Lawyer Min at the office. She tells him to hide the ledger in a safety deposit box somewhere and he tries to talk her out of doing whatever she plans to do. She tells him she’s already made up her mind as he implores her to cancel the appointment she’s made to meet Chang.
He says there must be some other way, but she says she’ll meet Chang alone as agreed. He asks why she sent Jae-hee to Jeju Island if it was that simple and why won’t she tell him the location of the meeting? Instead of responding, she stands up and assures him that everything is fine. After all, she’s just meeting a government official in a law-abiding country, she says.
Outside, Hye-rin gets into the car Chang sends to pick her up. The driver closes the door for her and gets back in the driver’s seat and pulls off. Not too far away, we see that Reporter Shin is watching from the parking lot. As she’s about to get out of her car, Jae-hee is there. He opens her car door and tells her to move over. He’s getting in to follow Hye-rin and I guess she’ll be coming along for the ride.
As he follows the car Hye-rin’s in, Reporter Shin opens her notebook and looks at the picture she has of Hye-rin and Lawyer Min with Jae-hee in the background. She stares at Jae-hee, confirming that he’s the one in the picture.
Onboard the correctional facility bus with the other inmates, Tae-soo looks around as if he’s up to something. It soon becomes obvious that he is. In-young and Chang-min are in a big rig truck nearby and Tae-soo watches as the truck approaches the bus. The truck barrels past the bus and stops abruptly in front of it, causing the bus to rear-end it. In-young and Chang-min jump out, attack the guards and escape with Tae-soo.
There’s a motorcycle in the back of the truck. And we see Tae-soo solemnly hug In-young tightly, then he goes over to Chang-min and hugs him too. (He is so bad ass in this scene.)
He gets on the motorcycle and the men open the back door of the big rig and he guns the engine and pops a wheelie as he rides the motorcycle off the truck, lands on the highway, and roars away.
In-young and Chang-min can only look on as he rides off, and either I’m a total geek or that was the coolest scene in the whole drama! (Probably a little of both, lol.)
Meanwhile, Hye-rin arrives at the meeting place, but as expected she barely makes it inside the building before men swarm the entrance and grab her. The men put her right back in the car she just exited and it pulls off as Reporter Shin and Jae-hee pull up. Luckily, Reporter Shin and Jae-hee are not too far behind and they see what happens and start following the car again.
The men take Hye-rin to a remote building where Jong-do walks in with a few of his men. Hye-rin tries to play it cool and tells him that he’s not the one she came to meet. He tells her he’s there to get what’s his. Hye-rin says there was no need to go through the trouble of kidnapping her. She would have given him the ledger back when he needed it. Jong-do laughs and asks if all rich b*tches think the world is as simple as she seems to think it is. He turns to walk away and that’s when she makes a move and tries to run.
Outside, we see that Jae-hee has made his move too. He starts to attack the men guarding the building as Hye-rin tries to escape inside. It’s not long before she’s caught though, and Jong-do is about to slap her just as Jae-hee makes his way inside. (And boy is my heart about to implode. If anything happens to uri Jae-hee-sshi, I can’t promise I’ll finish watching/recapping this show.)
Jae-hee is no match for Jong-do’s men. There are just way too many of them and only one of him, and eventually the men start to get the better of him. The police and Tae-soo arrive outside as Jong-do’s men start dragging Hye-rin away as she yells Jae-hee’s name over and over. He’s down by now being viciously beaten. When it looks like the beating may finally be over, all he can do is stare at Hye-rin from the ground. He tries to stand up one last time, but there is someone behind him with a metal pipe. The guy raises it to strike Jae-hee, but he stops when there’s banging on the door and one of Jong-do’s men comes in to tell them the cops are about to storm the building.
Hye-rin sinks to the ground and Jae-hee faints as Jong-do’s men prepare to flee. But Jong-do, snake that he is, looks back at Hye-rin with Jae-hee and ominously approaches the pair. He picks up the metal pipe and hits Jae-hee over the head. He’s about to strike again, but the sirens are too near and he finally runs away. Jae-hee has totally collapsed by this time and looks like he’s having trouble breathing as Hye-rin cradles his head in her lap. As Jong-do and his men escape, Tae-soo is waiting nearby and he sees Jong-do in one of the cars and gets a steely look in his eyes.
Meanwhile, Jae-hee is loaded onto an ambulance as Reporter Shin looks on from the sidelines. Inside the ambulance, Hye-rin holds Jae-hee’s hand and sobs as one of the medics tries to put an oxygen mask on his face. He keeps pushing the mask away though. When they make it to the hospital, the medics wheel him down the hospital hallway as Hye-rin runs beside the stretcher calling his name. He opens his eyes again and Hye-rin notices his hand moving and grabs it. She keeps talking, but he can’t hear what she’s saying. His vision gets darker and darker until he closes his eyes for the last time, and the episode ends.
I need a moment to gather my thoughts (and send a supplication to the drama deities in hopes that the last scene doesn’t mean what I think it means). Is Jae-hee gone or is he just hurt and we’ll see him again in the next episode? I don’t want to live in a world without Jae-hee. Just in case it hasn’t been absolutely clear throughout these recaps: he’s my favorite character! I know this is supposed to be about the big three here (CMS, GHJ, and PSW) and I like them all well enough, but true love is reserved for Lee Jung-jae alone. Does he do anything except send smoldery looks Hye-rin’s way and participate in a few gratuitous fight scenes? No, but ask me if I care? Hmmm. Let me think about that for one-tenth of a second: the answer is firmly no.
When I first began these recaps, I was chatting with Jomo on Dramabeans’ Open Thread one day about recapping the series. (By the bye, you can check out Jomo’s blog here). She happens to be a huge fan of Sandglass and knows a lot more about the history surrounding the drama than I could imagine. Apparently (at least according to Jomo) the producers added Lee Jung-jae at the last minute purely to draw in the ladies. I speculated that the last minute nature of his arrival probably accounts for the fact that he has almost no dialogue throughout the series. He just pretty much stands around looking pretty (which you have not once heard me complain about I might add). Jomo told me that the writer called Jae-hee “the most popular character ever to have nothing to do with the plot,” and I couldn’t agree more. Adding him was a genius move on their part because he definitely helped to keep me watching, and now if he’s not around, what will I do?
I guess I’ll keep going. There are only two more episodes left, but if he’s really gone, I just want everyone to know that these final recaps are completed under duress. I’ll save my tears until I have confirmation that he has died. Until then, I’m typing with my fingers crossed so expect the rest of my thoughts to be illegible gibberish why don’t you?
In all seriousness, it’s really unfortunate that Jae-hee’s possible death is all I can think about because this was the best episode of the series so far. Tae-soo has always been a total bad ass and that shone through loud and clear here. We all know where he’s heading—a show down with Jong-do and I can’t wait for a Jong-do-less Sandglass. I will save my thoughts on Hye-rin for the finale because this recap is dreadfully past due and I’ve typed enough for now. Until next time . . .
Sandglass: Episode 21 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 20 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 19 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 18 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 17 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 16 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 15 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 14 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 13 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 12 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 11 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 10 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 9 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 8 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 7 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 6 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 5 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 4 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 3 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 2 Recap
Sandglass: Episode 1 Recap