Appreciate this rom-com episode, for we will be going back to the screwed-up, frustrating life it is in the world of Missing 9 next episode!
Joon Oh is alive! Not that I doubted that Jung Kyung Ho would disappear off-screen mid-drama, but Seo Joon Oh is alive woohoo!!
Prosecutor Yoon calls for an update and is glad the two finally get to meet. He in turn updates Bong Hee that he’s looking into Jae Hyun’s suicide. While waiting alone in Joon Oh’s room, Bong Hee sees the article printouts that Joon Hee had pasted on the wall – he has been up to the date with the Seoul happenings.
Joon Oh returns with some snacks, and when Bong Hee asks about his wound, he whines that he’s overstraining it for Bong Hee. Bong Hee smiles that this is the Joon Ho she remembers; he’s really alive. He murmurs that it must have been hard for her to look for him thinking he’s dead, but she replies, “If I had thought you were dead, I wouldn’t have looked for you. I looked for you because I believed you were alive.”
Marry her, Joon Oh!
In a quick flashback, we learn that Joon Oh is washed up ashore and found by the old fisherman who took him in. He is also the doctor in the town and treated Joon Oh’s wounds, which is lucky for Joon Oh. “If I had gone to a big hospital, I would have ended up unconscious like President Hwang.”
As for Bong Hee’s number, Joon Oh lies that he can memorise his staff numbers – that’s why he’s a celebrity. In truth, he had to call his manager to get it hahaha. Bong Hee observes quietly that people from the island change once they came back to reality and it’s been hard for her. Joon Ho pats her on the head and apologises for leaving her alone. I find this observation so poignant…do people change because they have to fight for their survival on the island, or does the island simply bring out their true characters which they hide once they return to society? In the whole gang of Missing 9, I think possibly only Bong Hee, Joon Oh and Yeol are true to themselves.
At Legend Entertainment’s EGM, Jang Do Pal successfully gets appointed to president and Ho Hang to vice president. Ki Joon watches on sullenly while Ho Hang keeps nagging at him to smile.
Back in China, Joon Oh tells Bong Hee that Reporter Kim told him So Hee knew who the killer was but kept changing her testimony because of Jang Do Pal. Since Tae Ho arrived a little later than the rest of them, and Jae Hyun fell soon after, someone must have helped pushed Jae Hyun from the apartment. Even though they are talking about something so serious, it’s quite funny because Joon Oh can’t help but vandalise Do Pal’s face. It’s also heartwarming to see Joon Oh so worried about Bong Hee when he learnt that Do Pal tried to kill Ji Ah and Ki Joon.
Bong Hee thinks that it’s going to be hard when they return to Seoul but Joon Ah assures her that he will change the minds of those survivors. Bong Hee then asks yet another important question – how is Joon Oh going to return to Seoul? He’s being investigated. Joon Oh has an idea, and in the next scene, the old man draws a map with chinese words. The couple has no idea what he’s trying to say and hilariously bickers like crazy over which direction to turn in the alley way.
Here’s when Missing 9 turns into a full-fledged comedy.
The couple finally successfully find the man they were looking for, who leads them to another man. First, Joon Oh has to pass the physical examination – of whether he is able to fit into a locker hahaha. The smuggler then asks for Joon Oh’s fingerprints, fingernails and hair, much to Bong Hee’s shock, and also consistently for a stowaway fee, to Joon Oh’s irritation. The idea is that Joon Oh will be smuggled into Korea by hiding in the freight containers, but Bong Hee doesn’t like that. She wants to call Prosecutor Yoon and Joon Oh grumbles, “I think you trust So Hee’s brother too much.”
He dramatically sends Bong Hee off with a flourish (yelling “Go!” in Mandarin at the same time) and soon gets driven to the ship. While Bong Hee returns to Korea via plane, Joon Oh tries to strike a friendship with those in the cargo with him. His neighbour isn’t friendly at all, and keeps welding a knife while muttering, “You don’t need to know!”
Joon Oh intermittently wakes up. The first time he does so, he watches someone do a magic trick…and then demand for payment because, “You have to pay me for watching my show.” Two people start juggling with fire! in a small container with no air circulation! and they too start demanding for payment hahahaha. This reminds me of those tourist scams. Joon Oh finds a man looking at a letter from his daughter, and starts thinking whether he misses anyone.
The next time he wakes up, the knife neighbour is crying…because he lost his knife. The magic man lost his cards…and the last guy lost the letter from his daughter…all because they gambled it away! Joon Oh can’t take it anymore. He takes out all the cash he has and challenges the gambler. I survived a plane crash, a landmine, and two storms. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. This is all I have. I am Seo Joon Oh, a man with nothing to lose. I find this part SO hilarious, partly because even Joon Oh knows how ridiculously lucky he is!
The episode also seems to give up on being realistic at some point in time, like how when the cargo reaches Korea, a warden blatantly opens it in bright daylight…and all the illegal immigrants just run out like that!
Turns out Joon Oh has gambled every bit of his money away, and his clothes too, and is dressed only in garbage bags. He asks for Bong Hee’s scarf and Bong Hee so kindly wraps her WHITE cashmere scarf around his neck.
Ji Ah turns down acting in a drama with Tae Oh, partly because this was meant to be So Hee’s role and partly because she can’t pretend to be in love with Tae Oh. Eeew, can you imagine kissing this murderer? But Jang Do Pal will not take no for an answer. He speaks in private with Ki Joon and we realise that he has released rumours to the tabloid that Ji Ah’s four months pregnant with a manager’s baby.
At the same time, Ji Ah and Ho Hang are reading the tabloid and Ji Ah hilariously asks Ho Hang, “Am I pregnant?” Hahaha.
As Ki Joon is leaving, Do Pal receives a call about the search team having discovered articles left behind by the survivors on the island. He gets worked up when he hears there’s a cellphone, and a flashback shows So Hee gripping tightly to the phone while she pushes Do Pal to set up a meeting between her and the drama director. When So Hee disappeared, Do Pal ransacked her house but couldn’t find it. He calls Ji Ah and asks whose phone Ji Ah used on the island. Ji Ah answers truthfully that it’s So Hee’s.
Hee Kyung decdes to run for the congress and Investigator Oh remains working for her. He gets a call about the articles, which are sent back to Korea. Joon Oh grumbles that Bong Hee brought another turtleneck for him to change into hahaha, which is a throwback to Episode 1. He has also thrown away Bong Hee’s scarf because it stank. Dudeee, Bong Hee you should have given him a lesson!
Joon Oh needs to settle something and tries to borrow 10 dollars from Bong Hee. Bong Hee reaches into her bag…and smiles sheepishly at Prosecutor Yoon, “Can I borrow 10 dollars?” Cute!
Ji Ah deduces that Ki Joon is being threatened by Do Pal and wonders if it’s because of her. She doesn’t care about the tabloids but Ki Joon says she should – she’s an actress! So she should act in the drama with Tae Oh who has a good reputation. “Do you think I’m crazy? Don’t you feel sorry towards Joon Oh? Oh right…we don’t even deserve to be sorry. We betrayed him completely.”
We always know Ji Ah has a fiery temper and she can’t stay in the van with Ki Joon anymore, so Ki Joon has to get off hehe at a random road. He finally returns home with a ride from Joon Oh’s manager…..but discovers Joon Oh in front of his house.
Joon Oh hilariously gives chase and Ki Joon runs, and so for a good 10 minutes, we watch these two guys running around. The chase keeps stopping halfway because Joon Oh is distracted by an old-school toy machine, then by tteokbokki. While it adds comic relief to the already rather ridiculous (in a good way) episode, this shows us how close the two guys are and it’s kinda saddening to know that they may never go back to the same friendship they had again.
Prosecutor Yoon worries that Joon Oh may reveal his identity but Bong Hee trusts in him that he will change the minds of those who were with them on the island.
The chase continues till nightfall and the guys take it to the sauna. It seems like men talk is always in the sauna. Joon Ah is in disbelief at how shameless Tae Oh can be, and Ki Joon nonchalantly points out Tae Oh’s good acting, “He’s a better actor than you.” It will not be easy to defeat Do Pal and Tae Oh, but Joon Oh wants to do this for Jae Hyun and So Hee. Ki Joon apologises many times that he can’t take Joon Oh’s side even though he has come back alive. “You’re the one who said that you’d always be by my side.”
Ki Joon disappears under water, and finally Joon Oh loses his cool, “Why did you bother giving me such an insincere apology?” Finally, we touch the emotional, raw bit of the betrayal, as contrasted with the light-hearted chase. Even though Joon Oh quickly changes to light banter about how he sneaked into Ki Joon’s house, the mood remains somber, and we learnt that even Ki Joon’s house is bought by Joon Oh.
Joon Oh finally sits down for a talk with the Prosecutor and sidekicks, but Bong Hee’s mum is disappointed to find out that the lazy, unkempt man in a red jacket is THE Seo Joon Oh. In contrast, the Prosecutor and his sidekicks are dressed in suits and are very polite. Joon Oh quietly asks whether there’s anything to drink, much to Bong Hee’s mum dislike.
Prosecutor Yoon tries to strike up a conversation with Joon Oh but he answers with one-liner responses. Bong Hee murmurs that he’s making them uncomfortable and tries to laugh to de-ice the atmosphere. Tae Young then says that Joon Oh can be casual with him, and certainly he has been the gentlest in this scene, but Joon Oh’s like, “You don’t sound very casual with me.” Joon Oh stop being a jerk!
Anyway, Tae Young quickly brings business in and asks the sidekick to give a briefing – while re-looking into Jae Hyun’s case, they found a record of So Hee’s testimony that Jae Hyun’s death was a murder, but she kept changing her testimony because she wanted to point to Joon Oh as the suspect.
What I like about this drama is the inter-cut of scenes that could span across 3 different time lines. While the discussion overlays as narration, we see scenes of Tae Young’s investigation work and how the articles are being shipped to Korea. Among those articles, there was something familiar to Tae Young – So Hee’s phone. In the meantime, Do Pal rushes to the immigration while a man quietly retrieves So Hee’s phone. Tae Young reveals that So Hee insisted on using the old phone even though it was hand-stained, because she wanted to use the one she was most comfortable with.
The articles get sent to Investigator Oh and Hee Kyung because no one knows where to send them to since the commission has been dissolved. Do Pal rushes to the immigration security but learns that someone has already taken the articles away. Hee Kyung orders Investigator Oh to burn the articles since she’s no longer chairwoman of the commission.
While the boxes of articles get burnt, Joon Oh declares that they should get the phone.
Question is: who is the man who was ordered to retrieve So Hee’s phone? Is it So Hee’s brother? Or is it someone neutral, waiting to hold this symbol of power?
I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about this episode. While I think it was filled with comic relief (bordering on the insane sometimes), I appreciate that there are still undertones of evil and scheming to remind us that it’s yet a happy ending. I do think it’s slightly draggy to use one entire episode to assimilate Joon Oh back into Seoul, but I stop complaining once I think about how the next episodes will be frustrating for us again. In Episode 12, everyone is in a frantic search for So Hee’s phone and we understand why – Jae Hyun recorded his own murder, and must have sent something to So Hee. Tae Oh also finally meets the man he thought was dead.
I don’t think that this drama is perfect and I think that it being a shorter series might actually do more good. I would imagine a tighter plot with lesser, but more potent deaths, if Missing 9 was to be 12-13 episodes. But I’m too far into this with my favourite couple, that I appreciate any screentime of Joon Oh and Bong Hee. Oh and is that a tinge of a second love lead I see in Yoon Tae Young? HAHA this drama tickles me so much.
You may also be interested in: Missing 9 Episode 10 Recap and Missing 9 Episode 8 Recap, and guys, come follow me on Instagram and Twitter so that we can have fun together! I will be posting regularly on both platforms, the handle is @thoughtsramble!