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The Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 9 Recap





I’m so fascinated by the doppelganger mythology in Legend of the Blue Sea, and the more we learn about the connection between our two heroes, the more questions I have about the magic that binds them. What I wouldn’t give to spend an hour on Dam-ryung’s story, just to grill him for what he knows! Up until recently, I had assumed that time flowed from past to present linearly, but it’s starting to look more and more like that’s just half the story.

 

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

When Chung says she’ll leave and go back to where she came from, Joon-jae says he’s made a plan to like her. “So don’t go,” he says. She asks searchingly, “Don’t go?” He says it again so that she believes him, and a tear trickles down her face.

He reaches for her hand to take her home, when suddenly he doubles over in pain, his wounds from the fight with Dae-young finally catching up to him. He collapses right there in her arms, leaving Chung crying out his name in a panic.

As he lies there on the pavement, Joon-jae has a dream or some sort of vision: He walks into a dark room filled with mirrors, and endless reflections of himself stretch out in a row before him.

Then from the other side, his Joseon doppelganger Dam-ryung walks up, their reflections facing each other in parallel lines. Dam-ryung meets his eyes, and Joon-jae looks shocked as he stares back.

Dam-ryung is the first to speak: “Who are you?” Omo, are they… meeting each other in a dream? This is trippy. Joon-jae just asks him the same thing, and Dam-ryung answers, “I am Dam-ryung. If you are me in the next world, remember this after you wake from this dream: Everything is repeating. The connections made here continue there, as do the ill-fated connections. Protect her from the dangerous ones.”

Dam-ryung doesn’t get a chance to explain further before Joon-jae wakes up, surrounded by paramedics and a frightened Chung. He gets up and says that he’s okay now, and the relief washes over her visibly. She grabs him fiercely in a hug and it stuns him at first, but he hugs her back and says reassuringly that he’s okay.

They leave the river (phew, nothing good happens there!) and he asks if she’s still in pain from whatever was bothering her earlier. Once he hears that she’s fine now, he gets mad at her for threatening to leave at the drop of hat.

He tries to act cool as he asks where she would’ve gone: “To that civil servant?” he wonders, thinking of her merman friend. Chung says that he’s gone far away, and Joon-jae asks huffily, “Were you going to go far away with him? Did he ask you to eat ramyun far away?”

Chung clarifies that the merman wasn’t the one who cooked her ramyun, and Joon-jae only gets madder at that, thinking that there’s yet another man he has to contend with. He demands to know who Ramyun is, but she can’t very well tell him that Ramyun is pre-amnesia Joon-jae, so she clams up.

Joon-jae decides he’s going to do something about this and leads Chung to a nearby claw machine and instructs her to pick out a stuffed toy she likes. She picks the pink octopus, so he tells her that because she chose it, she can only go after that one.

He sticks a coin in the slot and lets her play, and Chung is disappointed when she nearly gets the octopus out but loses it at the last second. He points out that almost getting it out isn’t the same as having it, and that life is full of things that might or might not happen, but the deciding factor is whether she’ll give up on the pink octopus and leave it stranded in there forever. He’s really hung up on this metaphor, isn’t he?

He tells her to try again, but Chung loses a second time and decides that this game must be impossible. He takes it very personally and shouts, “If you chose it, then you can’t quit until you make it yours! Whether that’s the pink octopus or… anything!” LOL, are you the pink octopus?

She goes after the toy octopus with renewed determination, but the night wears on and Joon-jae eventually gets tired of waiting and calls it quits. She doesn’t want to give up, but he insists that this isn’t giving up—it’s taking a break. Chung happily quotes her favorite TV show sendoff: “Same time next time?” and he pets her on the head sweetly.

They finally get home and the boys are concerned about Joon-jae’s attack earlier that evening, but he tells them that he doesn’t know the man who attacked him. The glimpses of Dae-young’s face from both present and Joseon flash through his mind, and then he suddenly focuses his gaze on the TV, where the news is broadcasting another sighting of killer Ma Dae-young in the streets.

“It’s him,” Joon-jae says, and then next to him, Chung says matter-of-factly that he’s not wearing a hat today. He asks if she remembers him coming to the house on that rainy night, and she says she’s seen him once more after that too, when she was passing out flyers in the street.

Nam-doo gets goosebumps to hear that a killer has been stalking her, and Joon-jae flips his lid altogether, screaming, “If something like that happened, you should’ve said so! Are you stupid?!” Nam-doo jumps to her defense and Tae-oh glares.

Upstairs, Joon-jae paces back and forth wondering why Dae-young would be after Chung, and Nam-doo points out that Joon-jae is a target too. Joon-jae only fixates on his worry for her, and that’s when Dam-ryung’s words come back to him, to protect “her” from danger, without indicating who this woman is.

He hesitates and tells Nam-doo that he dreamt a strange dream where he’s in Joseon and wearing that jade bracelet, and he’s Dam-ryung. Nam-doo doesn’t take it seriously, figuring that Joon-jae’s dream is like the time he dreamt he was Lee Soon-shin after watching Roaring Currents. Heh. Joon-jae insists that this is different.

Nam-doo asks jokingly if he was looking into a past life, and Joon-jae answers seriously, “No, not a past life, but it felt like a different world, another me.” Nam-doo says he’s just having those dreams because he told him about the bracelet and the vase, and Joon-jae wonders if maybe that’s it. Nam-doo decides that it’s probably a good portent before a big job, and he wonders gleefully if robbing Jin-joo will be a big success.

Their target, Shi-ah’s sister-in-law Jin-joo, spends her evening calling up other moms in her daughter’s school to blackball Yoo-na, the little girl who got into a fight with her daughter. She asks husband Dong-shik why he hasn’t gotten anywhere with Chairman Heo, when she’s been devoting so much energy into buttering them up with food.

Jin-joo and Dong-shik are hoping to piggyback on one of Chairman Heo’s lucrative investments with their slush fund, and Jin-joo is a nervous wreck about getting caught before they can hide the fund away safely in an investment. Dong-shik agrees that they worked too hard to embezzle that money bit by bit to call it dirty money. I’m glad these two are played for comedy, because they’re ridiculous.

At Chairman Heo’s house, Stepmom is alarmed to see Dae-young outside her gate, dressed as a deliveryman. He says over the intercom that she needs to sign for something in person, so she goes outside to hand him a thick envelope full of money.

Dae-young says that Joon-jae isn’t an easy mark, calling him slippery, but Stepmom warns him that they’re running out of time because Chairman Dad is about to alter his will, and could leave everything to Joon-jae.

Her son Chi-hyun pulls up to the gate, cutting their conversation short, and Dae-young hands her a letter and goes on his way. Breezing over the moment, Stepmom links arms with Chi-hyun and leads him in.

He tests the waters, asking if she’s heard any news of Joon-jae, and she feigns total ignorance. Chi-hyun admits that he had a chance run-in with Joon-jae lately, and notes his mother’s relief when he says that he’s telling her before mentioning it to his father. Stepmom advises him to keep quiet for the moment—just for Dad’s sake, of course, since he seems stressed out lately.

Chi-hyun asks if his mother already knows about Joon-jae’s current whereabouts, because it’s odd for her not to be more curious and ask for details. Stepmom regroups quickly to say that Joon-jae has inflicted quite a large emotional scar on her and Dad, and that it’s not her place to step in when Dad’s not taking any action.

Chi-hyun looks half-sick with his suspicions and half-hopeful that Mom will turn it around, poor thing, and points out that Dad might feel his hands are tied out of respect for the two of them. She replies that she’s sorry that Joon-jae and his father’s relationship is so damaged (riiiight), “But don’t you like how things are for us now? If Joon-jae returns, do you think we could live like we do now?”

Chi-hyun starts to protest, but she cuts him off: “And you? Do you think you could live enjoying everything you enjoy now?” He argues that he’s just trying to protect her, but she says, “But protecting me isn’t you’re job, it’s mine.” She ends the conversation cheerily, and Chi-hyun looks after her with red-rimmed eyes.

The next day, Chi-hyun takes a call as he’s driven in to work, and appears to be working his way down a list of phone numbers.

One of those numbers gets through to Joon-jae, who takes a call while in the middle of planning his con with his team. Chi-hyun asks for Manager Nam before guessing, “Are you Joon-jae?” Ah, he must be working through Ajusshi’s phone log and calling everyone on it.

Chi-hyun informs Joon-jae of Manager Nam’s car accident and current condition, and Joon-jae immediately heads out to see him. He pauses on his way out to ask where Chung is, and gets annoyed at the boys for not preventing her from leaving the house, worried about the maniac killer on the loose.

His call to Chung goes unanswered, so he turns on his GPS tracking app, and wonders why she goes to a particular location every day.

Because that’s where awesome homeless fashionista squats, apparently. Chung goes to chat with her and soaks in her love advice, like how today is Day 1 of her relationship and how it’s a crucial time for her, if she wants to make Joon-jae fall for her. Chung asks eagerly for a way to make Joon-jae fall so hard he’ll never break up with her: “That’s the way for me to stay here for a long time and not get sick.”

Homeless Fashionista lays out the three phases of love: romantic love, hot love, and dirty love. She says she usually starts with dirty, but advises Chung to go with romantic, saying that it all seems like going through the motions—coffee, movies, texting, making date events—but actually, “Everything is heading for dirty.”

Chung is curious to know more about this dirty love, but Homeless Fashionista tells her she’s not ready for that; attempting it badly could end things prematurely. Stick to shooting love guns, she says. “Gun? That kills people,” Chung says, shocked. Fashionista agrees, watching a couple shoot each other cheesy hearts: “They love it to death.” Fashionista asks if she and Joon-jae have thought up nicknames for each other, and Chung tries to think one up. “Mermaid?” she suggests. Fashionista tells her to pick something that exists, since mermaids don’t.

Just then, Joon-jae’s car squeals to a stop at the corner and he jumps out, starting with the scolding right away. He stops short at the sight of Fashionista, whom Chung introduces as a friend. Joon-jae murmurs to Chung, “You were hanging out with a beggar?” Fashionista: “I can hear you.” He ushers Chung away while Fashionista insists she’s not a beggar who takes money—she’s a street person.

Joon-jae visits a still-unconscious Manager Nam in the hospital, whose wife begs him to wake up. Joon-jae tells the wife firmly that Ajusshi wasn’t drunk driving, and asks after the black box footage. The wife says that nothing was filmed that day, and Joon-jae’s mind flashes to the thought of Dae-young erasing it, which we know is what happened.

Chairman Heo visits the hospital too, but he’s there for his own diagnosis: traumatic cataract. There’s a small injury on the eye, and the doctor asks if he’s rubbed his eyes severely or accidentally poked it with something. Chairman Heo doesn’t think so, and only felt it was odd when his vision went white and blurry.

The doctor warns him to look after his health before he loses his vision entirely, and asks him to stick around for dinner. But Chairman Heo says he has a visit to make elsewhere in the hospital.

Chung waits out in the hall while Joon-jae visits with Manager Nam, and Chi-hyun comes out to greet her. She calls him “Heo Joon-jae’s family” and narrows her eyes at him before repeating her warning that she’s not going to break up with Joon-jae.

Chi-hyun laughs and says he understands, and he guesses that they must be fairly close. He asks if they’re going to marry, and Chung just says they’re still planning “many things,” leaving him to believe that they will.

She looks over at him and says that family is supposed to look alike and be warm and sweet, recalling what she learned about the word, and asks why Chi-hyun and Joon-jae aren’t those things. That puts him on the spot, but Chi-hyun doesn’t have a chance to answer because Chairman Heo walks up.

Chung asks if he’s also “Heo Joon-jae’s family,” and Dad is startled at the mention of Joon-jae. Chi-hyun is about to tell him the truth when Joon-jae steps out of Manager Nam’s hospital room, coming face to face with his father.

They’re both floored, and father and son relocate to a table where they continue to stare at each other in heated silence. Very different versions of Joon-jae’s childhood flash through their heads as they sit there: Dad remembers being chummy with Little Joon-jae and going to the neighborhood sauna together, while Joon-jae remembers being sick in bed and crying for his father, who took his new family out for dinner without him, thanks to Stepmom’s lies.

Dad asks how Joon-jae got his face bruised up like that, and though it’s obvious he’s concerned, the words come out more like an “I told you so,” for leaving home and suffering on his own.

Joon-jae scoffs at the show of concern and says, “I didn’t leave home—I left your side.” He says he didn’t even suffer much, since he felt free and unburdened compared to life in Dad’s house.

That’s a sharp blow, and Dad betrays his hurt as he asks what he did that was so wrong. He asks if treating Chi-hyun well was so bad, arguing that as his son, Joon-jae should understand. “I did that on purpose because you’re my son!” Dad cries.

“You gave up… on Mom and me,” Joon-jae answers, finally giving him the real reason he’s mad, “You threw away the time we’d all spent together, without looking back.” Dad lowers his head at that, and Joon-jae fights to hold back his tears. He adds that if Dad gave up on them and made a different choice, he should stop having regrets and move on.

Dad says that nothing in life happens the way you planned, but he’s getting old now, and he wants to settle his affairs and leave Joon-jae what’s rightfully his. But Joon-jae refuses to come back home and says, “I won’t accept anything from you, whether it’s money, or the way you live, or the way you throw people away—all of it. I don’t want anything from you. I don’t want to be connected to you. I don’t want to see you.” Augh, stop it, I’m actually starting to feel pity for your dad!

Dad looks like he’s about to burst into tears. At the very end, Joon-jae adds, “But stay healthy,” and bows before walking away. Dad calls out to him repeatedly, his vision suddenly blurring and making him squint in pain, but Joon-jae doesn’t notice and doesn’t turn back.

Joon-jae is silent the whole way home and takes cold medicine the moment they get inside, and he tells Chung, “Go if you want to. That was all nonsense, what I said about not giving up on your choice. Does that exist anywhere?” He says things were easier when she wasn’t around, and shuffles off to bed thinking of the time he was sick and left all alone as a child.

He falls asleep aching alone just like he was then, but when he wakes up, Chung is at his bedside holding his hand and trying to bring down his fever. She holds a cold towel to his head and says this works in dramas, and he snaps at her gruffly to go to her room.

She sees through his act though, and points out, “You talk like that, but want me to stay by your side, don’t you? Even if you tell me to give up, you want me to say, ‘No, I won’t give up,’ don’t you?” He immediately thinks of his father, and Chung declares, “No, I won’t give up. I’m going to stay by your side no matter what you say.”

She tells him not to be in pain over things he can’t say, and he starts to cry as he admits that he couldn’t say all the things he wanted to tell his father: “I couldn’t say any of it: That it was so hard when I left home. That I hated him but was worried that he’d look for me, so I left my phone number unchanged for a long time. That I was so lonely when he never called. That as I took the high school equivalency exam alone and went to college alone and lived alone, I missed him. I missed him so much.”

He breaks down in tears, and Chung cradles him in her arms as he sobs.

Afterwards, Joon-jae awkwardly revises history and says he didn’t cry, so much as shed a few tears, and blames the emotional outburst on the cold medicine. He says that Nam-doo and Tae-oh needn’t hear about it, and Chung assures him that she’s quick to forget. She encourages him to talk to her about things he can’t tell other people: “I’ll listen to it all and forget it for you.”

The air becomes charged between them, and he asks, “Will you really forget it all? Then forget this too.” He leans in and kisses her softly, and her eyes flutter closed. Kyaaa.

The next day, Joon-jae slaves over spaghetti in the kitchen, insisting that he’s making it for himself, while Nam-doo smirks knowingly to see him garnish the plate with loving care.

Chung gets all dolled up before coming downstairs, taking care to make her lips look extra enticing. The boys are all wowed by her beauty, and Tae-oh even snaps a picture in appreciation.

Joon-jae leaps to his feet and crows that it’s wrong to take pictures without permission, and snatches the phone out of Tae-oh’s hands. He deletes the photo of Chung, though not before sending himself a copy, ha.

Joon-jae is so distracted by thoughts of their kiss that he has to go hide in the next room, licking his lips the whole way there.

He peeks out at her talking to the guys like it’s just an ordinary day, and wonders why she’s so unaffected and he’s the only one feeling awkward. Then he takes out his phone and makes moony eyes at the photo of Chung.

Shi-ah comes by with something to show Joon-jae, and Chung glares territorially. Shi-ah insists on speaking to Joon-jae privately and shuts all the panels to the pool area one by one, while Chung follows her from panel to panel, trying to peek inside.

Shi-ah has news that a construction site dug up Joseon-era artifacts the other day, and her professor believes it to be where Dam-ryung lived. Joon-jae sits up with interest…

Joseon. Dam-ryung wakes up at his desk with a start, having just seen Joon-jae’s conversation with Shi-ah in his dreams. He paces and thinks to himself that he has nineteen days remaining before he supposedly dies, and needs to find a way to make Joon-jae believe in his existence.

He gets an idea…

…and back in the present day, the archeologists dig up something else at the construction site.

At Chairman Dad’s house, Stepmom makes a shady swap of some sort between pills on Dad’s nightstand while he’s not looking. She urges him to take his pills and rest up for his health. Ack, don’t do it, she’s probably making you blind! Stepmom suggests finding a replacement for Manager Nam, but Chairman Dad is reluctant to do so and has faith that Manager Nam will recover in no time. She can barely hide her disappointment but lets it go for now.

When Jin-joo takes her precious puppy named 500 (short for five million won) to the vet the next day, Nam-doo is there posing as a rich client with his puppy, named 900. Jin-joo is immediately curious when he says that he named the dog for the amount of money he pours into it monthly, since it nearly doubles hers, and he says it’s because he sends the dog to self-esteem training on Mondays and British etiquette class on Fridays.

Nam-doo reports back to Joon-jae about his first meeting with Jin-joo, and says that he’s already spread rumors to the Gangnam broker who feeds Jin-joo and her friends investment tips.

That broker tells the group of rich ajummas that a big fish in the investment world who owns a 57-story building in Dubai is working on a new development project in Singapore and just came back to Korea because his fiancée lives here and he can’t be without her. The broker says he’s currently cleaning out every store in Gangnam with that fiancée, and Jin-joo gets a glint in her eye.

Joon-jae is supposed to play the part of the real estate mogul, and he asks Nam-doo who’s supposed to play his fiancée. Someone hobbles over to them awkwardly in a pair of heels… and Joon-jae turns around to see Tae-oh dressed up as a woman. Oh noes. Now I can’t unsee that!

Nam-doo: “He’s pretty, but that’s a stretch, huh?” Tae-oh grumbles that it was a bad idea and hobbles away, and Nam-doo smoothly suggests Chung for the role, as if he just thought of the idea. Joon-jae says no, but Nam-doo argues that he’s always stuck to her side anyway for safety reasons, so they might as well bring her along.

Nam-doo explains to Chung that the little people inside the TV are actually people shooting a drama, and Chung surprises them both by saying that she already knows they don’t live inside the TV and it’s just a drama. Joon-jae pets her affectionately and calls “our Chungie” very smart, and Nam-doo mocks him by petting Joon-jae on the head. “Our Chungie?” he repeats with sass.

Nam-doo explains that they’ll be shooting their own “drama,” in which Joon-jae will play the role of a desirable rich man, and Chung says that in the dramas that’s always the executive director character. She’s happy to join in and loooooves it when Nam-doo tells her that she’ll play Joon-jae’s fiancée.

Joon-jae finally relents and says that Chung just has to not do three things while they’re there: Don’t speak, don’t laugh, and don’t eat. She’s fine with that except for that last one, and Joon-jae promises to buy her ice cream and cake afterwards. Chung: “I’ll see you, and raise you a sweet and sour pork.” The boys both gape at her nimble use of gambling terminology, and Joon-jae says with a smile, “Call!” Nam-doo leaps off the couch with an excited cheer: “Let’s go spend some money!”

They weren’t kidding around, because Joon-jae and Chung strut through a department store with bodyguards and Nam-doo in tow, and they just start buying everything in sight.

Jin-joo kicks up a fuss when her appointment to use the department store’s VVIP lounge gets canceled in favor of a more important client, but her jaw drops when she sees Joon-jae and Chung arrive with their entourage. Joon-jae says to the clerk, “My honey doesn’t wear shoes that have touched the ground once before, so we’re back.”

Jin-joo immediately recognizes Chung from her daughter’s altercation with Yoo-na, and then gasps to hear Joon-jae mention Dubai. She puts all the pieces together and guesses that this is the real estate mogul, and lights up to recognize Nam-doo, who’s there with them. She calls him “900’s daddy” and he acts surprised to run into “500’s mommy” here.

Nam-doo explains that he runs an investment company and he’s hosting a very important guest who came from abroad, and acts further surprised when Jin-joo lists everything she’s heard about the Dubai mogul “CEO Kim” and his fiancée. Nam-doo makes her swear to secrecy, and Jin-joo reels in excitement from the discovery.

As they walk out of the department store, Chung struts like a diva but whispers into Joon-jae’s ear that she’s hungry and would like some ddukbokki and soondae. As they head out, Jin-joo stops Nam-doo one last time to ask if it’s possible for her and her husband to have dinner with his client.

Nam-doo acts like it’s a tough request, but then adds that “CEO Kim” did mention in passing that he wanted a home-cooked meal since it’s been so long since he had one here. Jin-joo jumps at the opportunity and says that the “female Teacher Baek” (referring to the celebrity chef of home-cooked meals) lives at her house.

She’s referring to her housekeeper Joon-jae’s mom, of course, and happily tells this to her husband and Shi-ah that night over dinner. Shi-ah says it smells fishy and asks if this guy isn’t a con artist, but Jin-joo says she’s already confirmed the story that another friend went all the way to Dubai to try and meet with this CEO Kim and got turned away. She says that he’s the real deal and that even if they threw millions at him, they’d have to beg to be included as an investor in his business.

Shi-ah says that’s Scamming 101, making people believe that something is competitive and desirable so that they rush to invest. Jin-joo and her husband’s excitement deflates, and Jin-joo invites her to dinner with CEO Kim then, so that she can see for herself and make sure he checks out. Uh-oh.

Shi-ah gets interrupted by a phone call, and she sounds surprised by the news.

As Joon-jae and his crew drive home, Nam-doo praises Chung’s acting skills and Joon-jae says proudly that Chung is very smart and quick on the uptake. Pfft, well they say love is blind?

Chung says she was happy to help Joon-jae do good work, and then as they pass by the claw machine in their neighborhood, she says that people told her that the owner of that claw machine is a con artist. She calls the con artist a bad man, and suddenly all three boys start to fidget in the car.

Nam-doo says, “Not all con artists are bad men. Some con artists are less bad men who con worse bad men.” Ha. She argues that con artists still fool people though, and Nam-doo asks if she’s never lied to anyone or kept a secret. Chung grows quiet and instinctively fidgets with her necklace.

Joon-jae snaps at him to cut it out, and Nam-doo thinks that Joon-jae is being weirder than usual and more protective of Chung. He asks if there’s been a change in relationship status that he doesn’t know about, and at the same time, Chung answers “Yes” while Joon-jae says “No.” Awkward.

Joon-jae is saved by the bell when Shi-ah calls, and he asks to be dropped off to go see her. At the museum where she works, she explains that they uncovered something that was uncharacteristically well-preserved—sealed and buried on Dam-ryung’s estate, almost like he wanted it to be found generations later.

As they approach the room, Joon-jae asks to go inside alone, and steps through the rows of ceramics and other objects found at the dig. As he nears a scroll that’s been hung up on the wall, lightning strikes overhead and all the lights suddenly go out.

Joon-jae takes out his lighter and approaches the painting for a better look, and is shocked at what he sees: a portrait of Dam-ryung, who shares his face.

Epilogue.

Joseon. Dam-ryung racks his brain trying to come up with a clue to leave for Joon-jae to confirm his existence. He comes up with the idea to have a portrait drawn, and asks the artist to take extra care with it: “It is a drawing I need to keep for a very long time.”

 
COMMENTS

I didn’t expect this show to mix Signal with The Little Mermaid, but I’m loving what the communication between Joon-jae and Dam-ryung adds to the story. Now it feels like it’s up to Joon-jae to save Dam-ryung’s life, and with the ability to see each other in dreams and leave each other clues, it opens up the past storyline in a very interesting way. Now it’s not just a cautionary tale or a sad version of history that keeps getting repeated, but a past that can be fixed actively, and that’s exciting. It’s as much a big advancement for Joon-jae in the present as well, since Dam-ryung can provide him with crucial clues like who’s evil and should be avoided, not to mention the big bomb that Chung is a mermaid.

I’m really starting to wonder if Joon-jae is right about them living in parallel universes rather than being reincarnations of each other, but time and space seems to act in two contradictory ways between Dam-ryung and Joon-jae: Past-to-present is linear when it comes to artifacts, as the vase and scroll were dug up centuries later in Joon-jae’s time, having aged appropriately. But then Dam-ryung and Joon-jae seem to be communicating in parallel timelines through their dreams, which are two-way (at least I think so), and Dam-ryung’s survival seems to hinge directly on what Joon-jae learns in parallel time, day by day. That makes me think that they’ll end up holding the keys to the other’s survival, so I hope that more dream conversations are on the way. Do you think if they time their naps perfectly, they can hang out all the time?

I do enjoy the capers in this show, but this one is particularly entertaining because we’ve established Jin-joo’s character as a rich snob who’s particularly deserving of a comeuppance, and that helps make the whole scheme really fun. Then of course there’s the added tension of how all our worlds are about to collide because of this one con, making me antsy to skip forward to the big dinner at Jin-joo’s house. Joon-jae already reunited with one parent faster than I expected, though I guess I wouldn’t call Dad and Joon-jae’s reunion very successful, given how neither of them could say what they really wanted and left angrier than before.

I loved Joon-jae’s whole rant about the pink octopus representing a love that you shouldn’t give up on, because at first it just seemed like a roundabout way to get Chung to choose him among all her suitors and pursue him alone (it’s even funnier because octopus legs are a metaphor for dating around and keeping all your options open), but then later it morphed into his ideal of love as the opposite of Dad’s. Dad did the one thing he can’t forgive—giving up on the person he chose to love—and he’s so twisted up about that abandonment that he’s grown up into someone who chooses not to love because he doesn’t want to be a quitter like his father. I don’t think he’s actually worked that out yet, but it says a lot that he’s asking Chung not to give up on him. It meant more that he trusted her enough to cry and share his dad trauma with her than to make big declarations and future promises, but I’ll take those too, because there are only so many times a girl can kiss and forget, right? If only he knew the extent of the relationship between the lip-locking and the actual forgetting.

I’m so fascinated by the doppelganger mythology in Legend of the Blue Sea, and the more we learn about the connection between our two heroes, the more questions I have about the magic that binds them. What I wouldn’t give to spend an hour on Dam-ryung’s story, just to grill him for what he knows! Up until recently, I had assumed that time flowed from past to present linearly, but it’s starting to look more and more like that’s just half the story.

 

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

When Chung says she’ll leave and go back to where she came from, Joon-jae says he’s made a plan to like her. “So don’t go,” he says. She asks searchingly, “Don’t go?” He says it again so that she believes him, and a tear trickles down her face.

He reaches for her hand to take her home, when suddenly he doubles over in pain, his wounds from the fight with Dae-young finally catching up to him. He collapses right there in her arms, leaving Chung crying out his name in a panic.

As he lies there on the pavement, Joon-jae has a dream or some sort of vision: He walks into a dark room filled with mirrors, and endless reflections of himself stretch out in a row before him.

Then from the other side, his Joseon doppelganger Dam-ryung walks up, their reflections facing each other in parallel lines. Dam-ryung meets his eyes, and Joon-jae looks shocked as he stares back.

Dam-ryung is the first to speak: “Who are you?” Omo, are they… meeting each other in a dream? This is trippy. Joon-jae just asks him the same thing, and Dam-ryung answers, “I am Dam-ryung. If you are me in the next world, remember this after you wake from this dream: Everything is repeating. The connections made here continue there, as do the ill-fated connections. Protect her from the dangerous ones.”

Dam-ryung doesn’t get a chance to explain further before Joon-jae wakes up, surrounded by paramedics and a frightened Chung. He gets up and says that he’s okay now, and the relief washes over her visibly. She grabs him fiercely in a hug and it stuns him at first, but he hugs her back and says reassuringly that he’s okay.

They leave the river (phew, nothing good happens there!) and he asks if she’s still in pain from whatever was bothering her earlier. Once he hears that she’s fine now, he gets mad at her for threatening to leave at the drop of hat.

He tries to act cool as he asks where she would’ve gone: “To that civil servant?” he wonders, thinking of her merman friend. Chung says that he’s gone far away, and Joon-jae asks huffily, “Were you going to go far away with him? Did he ask you to eat ramyun far away?”

Chung clarifies that the merman wasn’t the one who cooked her ramyun, and Joon-jae only gets madder at that, thinking that there’s yet another man he has to contend with. He demands to know who Ramyun is, but she can’t very well tell him that Ramyun is pre-amnesia Joon-jae, so she clams up.

Joon-jae decides he’s going to do something about this and leads Chung to a nearby claw machine and instructs her to pick out a stuffed toy she likes. She picks the pink octopus, so he tells her that because she chose it, she can only go after that one.

He sticks a coin in the slot and lets her play, and Chung is disappointed when she nearly gets the octopus out but loses it at the last second. He points out that almost getting it out isn’t the same as having it, and that life is full of things that might or might not happen, but the deciding factor is whether she’ll give up on the pink octopus and leave it stranded in there forever. He’s really hung up on this metaphor, isn’t he?

He tells her to try again, but Chung loses a second time and decides that this game must be impossible. He takes it very personally and shouts, “If you chose it, then you can’t quit until you make it yours! Whether that’s the pink octopus or… anything!” LOL, are you the pink octopus?

She goes after the toy octopus with renewed determination, but the night wears on and Joon-jae eventually gets tired of waiting and calls it quits. She doesn’t want to give up, but he insists that this isn’t giving up—it’s taking a break. Chung happily quotes her favorite TV show sendoff: “Same time next time?” and he pets her on the head sweetly.

They finally get home and the boys are concerned about Joon-jae’s attack earlier that evening, but he tells them that he doesn’t know the man who attacked him. The glimpses of Dae-young’s face from both present and Joseon flash through his mind, and then he suddenly focuses his gaze on the TV, where the news is broadcasting another sighting of killer Ma Dae-young in the streets.

“It’s him,” Joon-jae says, and then next to him, Chung says matter-of-factly that he’s not wearing a hat today. He asks if she remembers him coming to the house on that rainy night, and she says she’s seen him once more after that too, when she was passing out flyers in the street.

Nam-doo gets goosebumps to hear that a killer has been stalking her, and Joon-jae flips his lid altogether, screaming, “If something like that happened, you should’ve said so! Are you stupid?!” Nam-doo jumps to her defense and Tae-oh glares.

Upstairs, Joon-jae paces back and forth wondering why Dae-young would be after Chung, and Nam-doo points out that Joon-jae is a target too. Joon-jae only fixates on his worry for her, and that’s when Dam-ryung’s words come back to him, to protect “her” from danger, without indicating who this woman is.

He hesitates and tells Nam-doo that he dreamt a strange dream where he’s in Joseon and wearing that jade bracelet, and he’s Dam-ryung. Nam-doo doesn’t take it seriously, figuring that Joon-jae’s dream is like the time he dreamt he was Lee Soon-shin after watching Roaring Currents. Heh. Joon-jae insists that this is different.

Nam-doo asks jokingly if he was looking into a past life, and Joon-jae answers seriously, “No, not a past life, but it felt like a different world, another me.” Nam-doo says he’s just having those dreams because he told him about the bracelet and the vase, and Joon-jae wonders if maybe that’s it. Nam-doo decides that it’s probably a good portent before a big job, and he wonders gleefully if robbing Jin-joo will be a big success.

Their target, Shi-ah’s sister-in-law Jin-joo, spends her evening calling up other moms in her daughter’s school to blackball Yoo-na, the little girl who got into a fight with her daughter. She asks husband Dong-shik why he hasn’t gotten anywhere with Chairman Heo, when she’s been devoting so much energy into buttering them up with food.

Jin-joo and Dong-shik are hoping to piggyback on one of Chairman Heo’s lucrative investments with their slush fund, and Jin-joo is a nervous wreck about getting caught before they can hide the fund away safely in an investment. Dong-shik agrees that they worked too hard to embezzle that money bit by bit to call it dirty money. I’m glad these two are played for comedy, because they’re ridiculous.

At Chairman Heo’s house, Stepmom is alarmed to see Dae-young outside her gate, dressed as a deliveryman. He says over the intercom that she needs to sign for something in person, so she goes outside to hand him a thick envelope full of money.

Dae-young says that Joon-jae isn’t an easy mark, calling him slippery, but Stepmom warns him that they’re running out of time because Chairman Dad is about to alter his will, and could leave everything to Joon-jae.

Her son Chi-hyun pulls up to the gate, cutting their conversation short, and Dae-young hands her a letter and goes on his way. Breezing over the moment, Stepmom links arms with Chi-hyun and leads him in.

He tests the waters, asking if she’s heard any news of Joon-jae, and she feigns total ignorance. Chi-hyun admits that he had a chance run-in with Joon-jae lately, and notes his mother’s relief when he says that he’s telling her before mentioning it to his father. Stepmom advises him to keep quiet for the moment—just for Dad’s sake, of course, since he seems stressed out lately.

Chi-hyun asks if his mother already knows about Joon-jae’s current whereabouts, because it’s odd for her not to be more curious and ask for details. Stepmom regroups quickly to say that Joon-jae has inflicted quite a large emotional scar on her and Dad, and that it’s not her place to step in when Dad’s not taking any action.

Chi-hyun looks half-sick with his suspicions and half-hopeful that Mom will turn it around, poor thing, and points out that Dad might feel his hands are tied out of respect for the two of them. She replies that she’s sorry that Joon-jae and his father’s relationship is so damaged (riiiight), “But don’t you like how things are for us now? If Joon-jae returns, do you think we could live like we do now?”

Chi-hyun starts to protest, but she cuts him off: “And you? Do you think you could live enjoying everything you enjoy now?” He argues that he’s just trying to protect her, but she says, “But protecting me isn’t you’re job, it’s mine.” She ends the conversation cheerily, and Chi-hyun looks after her with red-rimmed eyes.

The next day, Chi-hyun takes a call as he’s driven in to work, and appears to be working his way down a list of phone numbers.

One of those numbers gets through to Joon-jae, who takes a call while in the middle of planning his con with his team. Chi-hyun asks for Manager Nam before guessing, “Are you Joon-jae?” Ah, he must be working through Ajusshi’s phone log and calling everyone on it.

Chi-hyun informs Joon-jae of Manager Nam’s car accident and current condition, and Joon-jae immediately heads out to see him. He pauses on his way out to ask where Chung is, and gets annoyed at the boys for not preventing her from leaving the house, worried about the maniac killer on the loose.

His call to Chung goes unanswered, so he turns on his GPS tracking app, and wonders why she goes to a particular location every day.

Because that’s where awesome homeless fashionista squats, apparently. Chung goes to chat with her and soaks in her love advice, like how today is Day 1 of her relationship and how it’s a crucial time for her, if she wants to make Joon-jae fall for her. Chung asks eagerly for a way to make Joon-jae fall so hard he’ll never break up with her: “That’s the way for me to stay here for a long time and not get sick.”

Homeless Fashionista lays out the three phases of love: romantic love, hot love, and dirty love. She says she usually starts with dirty, but advises Chung to go with romantic, saying that it all seems like going through the motions—coffee, movies, texting, making date events—but actually, “Everything is heading for dirty.”

Chung is curious to know more about this dirty love, but Homeless Fashionista tells her she’s not ready for that; attempting it badly could end things prematurely. Stick to shooting love guns, she says. “Gun? That kills people,” Chung says, shocked. Fashionista agrees, watching a couple shoot each other cheesy hearts: “They love it to death.” Fashionista asks if she and Joon-jae have thought up nicknames for each other, and Chung tries to think one up. “Mermaid?” she suggests. Fashionista tells her to pick something that exists, since mermaids don’t.

Just then, Joon-jae’s car squeals to a stop at the corner and he jumps out, starting with the scolding right away. He stops short at the sight of Fashionista, whom Chung introduces as a friend. Joon-jae murmurs to Chung, “You were hanging out with a beggar?” Fashionista: “I can hear you.” He ushers Chung away while Fashionista insists she’s not a beggar who takes money—she’s a street person.

Joon-jae visits a still-unconscious Manager Nam in the hospital, whose wife begs him to wake up. Joon-jae tells the wife firmly that Ajusshi wasn’t drunk driving, and asks after the black box footage. The wife says that nothing was filmed that day, and Joon-jae’s mind flashes to the thought of Dae-young erasing it, which we know is what happened.

Chairman Heo visits the hospital too, but he’s there for his own diagnosis: traumatic cataract. There’s a small injury on the eye, and the doctor asks if he’s rubbed his eyes severely or accidentally poked it with something. Chairman Heo doesn’t think so, and only felt it was odd when his vision went white and blurry.

The doctor warns him to look after his health before he loses his vision entirely, and asks him to stick around for dinner. But Chairman Heo says he has a visit to make elsewhere in the hospital.

Chung waits out in the hall while Joon-jae visits with Manager Nam, and Chi-hyun comes out to greet her. She calls him “Heo Joon-jae’s family” and narrows her eyes at him before repeating her warning that she’s not going to break up with Joon-jae.

Chi-hyun laughs and says he understands, and he guesses that they must be fairly close. He asks if they’re going to marry, and Chung just says they’re still planning “many things,” leaving him to believe that they will.

She looks over at him and says that family is supposed to look alike and be warm and sweet, recalling what she learned about the word, and asks why Chi-hyun and Joon-jae aren’t those things. That puts him on the spot, but Chi-hyun doesn’t have a chance to answer because Chairman Heo walks up.

Chung asks if he’s also “Heo Joon-jae’s family,” and Dad is startled at the mention of Joon-jae. Chi-hyun is about to tell him the truth when Joon-jae steps out of Manager Nam’s hospital room, coming face to face with his father.

They’re both floored, and father and son relocate to a table where they continue to stare at each other in heated silence. Very different versions of Joon-jae’s childhood flash through their heads as they sit there: Dad remembers being chummy with Little Joon-jae and going to the neighborhood sauna together, while Joon-jae remembers being sick in bed and crying for his father, who took his new family out for dinner without him, thanks to Stepmom’s lies.

Dad asks how Joon-jae got his face bruised up like that, and though it’s obvious he’s concerned, the words come out more like an “I told you so,” for leaving home and suffering on his own.

Joon-jae scoffs at the show of concern and says, “I didn’t leave home—I left your side.” He says he didn’t even suffer much, since he felt free and unburdened compared to life in Dad’s house.

That’s a sharp blow, and Dad betrays his hurt as he asks what he did that was so wrong. He asks if treating Chi-hyun well was so bad, arguing that as his son, Joon-jae should understand. “I did that on purpose because you’re my son!” Dad cries.

“You gave up… on Mom and me,” Joon-jae answers, finally giving him the real reason he’s mad, “You threw away the time we’d all spent together, without looking back.” Dad lowers his head at that, and Joon-jae fights to hold back his tears. He adds that if Dad gave up on them and made a different choice, he should stop having regrets and move on.

Dad says that nothing in life happens the way you planned, but he’s getting old now, and he wants to settle his affairs and leave Joon-jae what’s rightfully his. But Joon-jae refuses to come back home and says, “I won’t accept anything from you, whether it’s money, or the way you live, or the way you throw people away—all of it. I don’t want anything from you. I don’t want to be connected to you. I don’t want to see you.” Augh, stop it, I’m actually starting to feel pity for your dad!

Dad looks like he’s about to burst into tears. At the very end, Joon-jae adds, “But stay healthy,” and bows before walking away. Dad calls out to him repeatedly, his vision suddenly blurring and making him squint in pain, but Joon-jae doesn’t notice and doesn’t turn back.

Joon-jae is silent the whole way home and takes cold medicine the moment they get inside, and he tells Chung, “Go if you want to. That was all nonsense, what I said about not giving up on your choice. Does that exist anywhere?” He says things were easier when she wasn’t around, and shuffles off to bed thinking of the time he was sick and left all alone as a child.

He falls asleep aching alone just like he was then, but when he wakes up, Chung is at his bedside holding his hand and trying to bring down his fever. She holds a cold towel to his head and says this works in dramas, and he snaps at her gruffly to go to her room.

She sees through his act though, and points out, “You talk like that, but want me to stay by your side, don’t you? Even if you tell me to give up, you want me to say, ‘No, I won’t give up,’ don’t you?” He immediately thinks of his father, and Chung declares, “No, I won’t give up. I’m going to stay by your side no matter what you say.”

She tells him not to be in pain over things he can’t say, and he starts to cry as he admits that he couldn’t say all the things he wanted to tell his father: “I couldn’t say any of it: That it was so hard when I left home. That I hated him but was worried that he’d look for me, so I left my phone number unchanged for a long time. That I was so lonely when he never called. That as I took the high school equivalency exam alone and went to college alone and lived alone, I missed him. I missed him so much.”

He breaks down in tears, and Chung cradles him in her arms as he sobs.

Afterwards, Joon-jae awkwardly revises history and says he didn’t cry, so much as shed a few tears, and blames the emotional outburst on the cold medicine. He says that Nam-doo and Tae-oh needn’t hear about it, and Chung assures him that she’s quick to forget. She encourages him to talk to her about things he can’t tell other people: “I’ll listen to it all and forget it for you.”

The air becomes charged between them, and he asks, “Will you really forget it all? Then forget this too.” He leans in and kisses her softly, and her eyes flutter closed. Kyaaa.

The next day, Joon-jae slaves over spaghetti in the kitchen, insisting that he’s making it for himself, while Nam-doo smirks knowingly to see him garnish the plate with loving care.

Chung gets all dolled up before coming downstairs, taking care to make her lips look extra enticing. The boys are all wowed by her beauty, and Tae-oh even snaps a picture in appreciation.

Joon-jae leaps to his feet and crows that it’s wrong to take pictures without permission, and snatches the phone out of Tae-oh’s hands. He deletes the photo of Chung, though not before sending himself a copy, ha.

Joon-jae is so distracted by thoughts of their kiss that he has to go hide in the next room, licking his lips the whole way there.

He peeks out at her talking to the guys like it’s just an ordinary day, and wonders why she’s so unaffected and he’s the only one feeling awkward. Then he takes out his phone and makes moony eyes at the photo of Chung.

Shi-ah comes by with something to show Joon-jae, and Chung glares territorially. Shi-ah insists on speaking to Joon-jae privately and shuts all the panels to the pool area one by one, while Chung follows her from panel to panel, trying to peek inside.

Shi-ah has news that a construction site dug up Joseon-era artifacts the other day, and her professor believes it to be where Dam-ryung lived. Joon-jae sits up with interest…

Joseon. Dam-ryung wakes up at his desk with a start, having just seen Joon-jae’s conversation with Shi-ah in his dreams. He paces and thinks to himself that he has nineteen days remaining before he supposedly dies, and needs to find a way to make Joon-jae believe in his existence.

He gets an idea…

…and back in the present day, the archeologists dig up something else at the construction site.

At Chairman Dad’s house, Stepmom makes a shady swap of some sort between pills on Dad’s nightstand while he’s not looking. She urges him to take his pills and rest up for his health. Ack, don’t do it, she’s probably making you blind! Stepmom suggests finding a replacement for Manager Nam, but Chairman Dad is reluctant to do so and has faith that Manager Nam will recover in no time. She can barely hide her disappointment but lets it go for now.

When Jin-joo takes her precious puppy named 500 (short for five million won) to the vet the next day, Nam-doo is there posing as a rich client with his puppy, named 900. Jin-joo is immediately curious when he says that he named the dog for the amount of money he pours into it monthly, since it nearly doubles hers, and he says it’s because he sends the dog to self-esteem training on Mondays and British etiquette class on Fridays.

Nam-doo reports back to Joon-jae about his first meeting with Jin-joo, and says that he’s already spread rumors to the Gangnam broker who feeds Jin-joo and her friends investment tips.

That broker tells the group of rich ajummas that a big fish in the investment world who owns a 57-story building in Dubai is working on a new development project in Singapore and just came back to Korea because his fiancée lives here and he can’t be without her. The broker says he’s currently cleaning out every store in Gangnam with that fiancée, and Jin-joo gets a glint in her eye.

Joon-jae is supposed to play the part of the real estate mogul, and he asks Nam-doo who’s supposed to play his fiancée. Someone hobbles over to them awkwardly in a pair of heels… and Joon-jae turns around to see Tae-oh dressed up as a woman. Oh noes. Now I can’t unsee that!

Nam-doo: “He’s pretty, but that’s a stretch, huh?” Tae-oh grumbles that it was a bad idea and hobbles away, and Nam-doo smoothly suggests Chung for the role, as if he just thought of the idea. Joon-jae says no, but Nam-doo argues that he’s always stuck to her side anyway for safety reasons, so they might as well bring her along.

Nam-doo explains to Chung that the little people inside the TV are actually people shooting a drama, and Chung surprises them both by saying that she already knows they don’t live inside the TV and it’s just a drama. Joon-jae pets her affectionately and calls “our Chungie” very smart, and Nam-doo mocks him by petting Joon-jae on the head. “Our Chungie?” he repeats with sass.

Nam-doo explains that they’ll be shooting their own “drama,” in which Joon-jae will play the role of a desirable rich man, and Chung says that in the dramas that’s always the executive director character. She’s happy to join in and loooooves it when Nam-doo tells her that she’ll play Joon-jae’s fiancée.

Joon-jae finally relents and says that Chung just has to not do three things while they’re there: Don’t speak, don’t laugh, and don’t eat. She’s fine with that except for that last one, and Joon-jae promises to buy her ice cream and cake afterwards. Chung: “I’ll see you, and raise you a sweet and sour pork.” The boys both gape at her nimble use of gambling terminology, and Joon-jae says with a smile, “Call!” Nam-doo leaps off the couch with an excited cheer: “Let’s go spend some money!”

They weren’t kidding around, because Joon-jae and Chung strut through a department store with bodyguards and Nam-doo in tow, and they just start buying everything in sight.

Jin-joo kicks up a fuss when her appointment to use the department store’s VVIP lounge gets canceled in favor of a more important client, but her jaw drops when she sees Joon-jae and Chung arrive with their entourage. Joon-jae says to the clerk, “My honey doesn’t wear shoes that have touched the ground once before, so we’re back.”

Jin-joo immediately recognizes Chung from her daughter’s altercation with Yoo-na, and then gasps to hear Joon-jae mention Dubai. She puts all the pieces together and guesses that this is the real estate mogul, and lights up to recognize Nam-doo, who’s there with them. She calls him “900’s daddy” and he acts surprised to run into “500’s mommy” here.

Nam-doo explains that he runs an investment company and he’s hosting a very important guest who came from abroad, and acts further surprised when Jin-joo lists everything she’s heard about the Dubai mogul “CEO Kim” and his fiancée. Nam-doo makes her swear to secrecy, and Jin-joo reels in excitement from the discovery.

As they walk out of the department store, Chung struts like a diva but whispers into Joon-jae’s ear that she’s hungry and would like some ddukbokki and soondae. As they head out, Jin-joo stops Nam-doo one last time to ask if it’s possible for her and her husband to have dinner with his client.

Nam-doo acts like it’s a tough request, but then adds that “CEO Kim” did mention in passing that he wanted a home-cooked meal since it’s been so long since he had one here. Jin-joo jumps at the opportunity and says that the “female Teacher Baek” (referring to the celebrity chef of home-cooked meals) lives at her house.

She’s referring to her housekeeper Joon-jae’s mom, of course, and happily tells this to her husband and Shi-ah that night over dinner. Shi-ah says it smells fishy and asks if this guy isn’t a con artist, but Jin-joo says she’s already confirmed the story that another friend went all the way to Dubai to try and meet with this CEO Kim and got turned away. She says that he’s the real deal and that even if they threw millions at him, they’d have to beg to be included as an investor in his business.

Shi-ah says that’s Scamming 101, making people believe that something is competitive and desirable so that they rush to invest. Jin-joo and her husband’s excitement deflates, and Jin-joo invites her to dinner with CEO Kim then, so that she can see for herself and make sure he checks out. Uh-oh.

Shi-ah gets interrupted by a phone call, and she sounds surprised by the news.

As Joon-jae and his crew drive home, Nam-doo praises Chung’s acting skills and Joon-jae says proudly that Chung is very smart and quick on the uptake. Pfft, well they say love is blind?

Chung says she was happy to help Joon-jae do good work, and then as they pass by the claw machine in their neighborhood, she says that people told her that the owner of that claw machine is a con artist. She calls the con artist a bad man, and suddenly all three boys start to fidget in the car.

Nam-doo says, “Not all con artists are bad men. Some con artists are less bad men who con worse bad men.” Ha. She argues that con artists still fool people though, and Nam-doo asks if she’s never lied to anyone or kept a secret. Chung grows quiet and instinctively fidgets with her necklace.

Joon-jae snaps at him to cut it out, and Nam-doo thinks that Joon-jae is being weirder than usual and more protective of Chung. He asks if there’s been a change in relationship status that he doesn’t know about, and at the same time, Chung answers “Yes” while Joon-jae says “No.” Awkward.

Joon-jae is saved by the bell when Shi-ah calls, and he asks to be dropped off to go see her. At the museum where she works, she explains that they uncovered something that was uncharacteristically well-preserved—sealed and buried on Dam-ryung’s estate, almost like he wanted it to be found generations later.

As they approach the room, Joon-jae asks to go inside alone, and steps through the rows of ceramics and other objects found at the dig. As he nears a scroll that’s been hung up on the wall, lightning strikes overhead and all the lights suddenly go out.

Joon-jae takes out his lighter and approaches the painting for a better look, and is shocked at what he sees: a portrait of Dam-ryung, who shares his face.

Epilogue.

Joseon. Dam-ryung racks his brain trying to come up with a clue to leave for Joon-jae to confirm his existence. He comes up with the idea to have a portrait drawn, and asks the artist to take extra care with it: “It is a drawing I need to keep for a very long time.”

 
COMMENTS

I didn’t expect this show to mix Signal with The Little Mermaid, but I’m loving what the communication between Joon-jae and Dam-ryung adds to the story. Now it feels like it’s up to Joon-jae to save Dam-ryung’s life, and with the ability to see each other in dreams and leave each other clues, it opens up the past storyline in a very interesting way. Now it’s not just a cautionary tale or a sad version of history that keeps getting repeated, but a past that can be fixed actively, and that’s exciting. It’s as much a big advancement for Joon-jae in the present as well, since Dam-ryung can provide him with crucial clues like who’s evil and should be avoided, not to mention the big bomb that Chung is a mermaid.

I’m really starting to wonder if Joon-jae is right about them living in parallel universes rather than being reincarnations of each other, but time and space seems to act in two contradictory ways between Dam-ryung and Joon-jae: Past-to-present is linear when it comes to artifacts, as the vase and scroll were dug up centuries later in Joon-jae’s time, having aged appropriately. But then Dam-ryung and Joon-jae seem to be communicating in parallel timelines through their dreams, which are two-way (at least I think so), and Dam-ryung’s survival seems to hinge directly on what Joon-jae learns in parallel time, day by day. That makes me think that they’ll end up holding the keys to the other’s survival, so I hope that more dream conversations are on the way. Do you think if they time their naps perfectly, they can hang out all the time?

I do enjoy the capers in this show, but this one is particularly entertaining because we’ve established Jin-joo’s character as a rich snob who’s particularly deserving of a comeuppance, and that helps make the whole scheme really fun. Then of course there’s the added tension of how all our worlds are about to collide because of this one con, making me antsy to skip forward to the big dinner at Jin-joo’s house. Joon-jae already reunited with one parent faster than I expected, though I guess I wouldn’t call Dad and Joon-jae’s reunion very successful, given how neither of them could say what they really wanted and left angrier than before.

I loved Joon-jae’s whole rant about the pink octopus representing a love that you shouldn’t give up on, because at first it just seemed like a roundabout way to get Chung to choose him among all her suitors and pursue him alone (it’s even funnier because octopus legs are a metaphor for dating around and keeping all your options open), but then later it morphed into his ideal of love as the opposite of Dad’s. Dad did the one thing he can’t forgive—giving up on the person he chose to love—and he’s so twisted up about that abandonment that he’s grown up into someone who chooses not to love because he doesn’t want to be a quitter like his father. I don’t think he’s actually worked that out yet, but it says a lot that he’s asking Chung not to give up on him. It meant more that he trusted her enough to cry and share his dad trauma with her than to make big declarations and future promises, but I’ll take those too, because there are only so many times a girl can kiss and forget, right? If only he knew the extent of the relationship between the lip-locking and the actual forgetting.

The Legend of the Blue Sea Korean Drama

List Recap: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 The Legend of the Blue Sea Title: 푸른 바다의 전설 / The Legend of the Blue Sea Chinese Title: 藍色海洋的傳說 Genre: Romance, Comedy, Fantasy Episodes: 20 (To Be Confirmed) Broadcast network: SBS Broadcast period: 2016-Nov-16 to 2017-Jan-19 Air …

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