I love how this is all boiling towards a certain point and how we are all just waiting for that eventual moment.
I’m horrible I know, I promised that I would provide screenshots for the previous Episode 12 recap but I didn’t and now I don’t think I would ever HAHA. Even Episode 13 recap has been skipped because I fell sick. Again! Nonetheless, I really want to share my thoughts on this episode, so here it is even though it’s belated!
Remember how Dae Sik breaks into the church and pours gasoline over the bible? Sang Mi’s father asks Sang Mi to get out because he believes that Almighty will protect him. Just as Dae Sik is about to fling the lighter, Dong Cheol dashes in and takes him down. Dae Sik is shocked to see Dong Cheol and lands a few blows but Dong Cheol manages to hold him down and tells him to CALM DOWN BECAUSE HE’S NOT ONE OF THEM.
He promises to take down this place and asks Dae Sik to trust him. Just before the other followers burst into the church, Dae Sik follows Dong Cheol’s request and gives him another punch.
As the other believers help him up, Dong Cheol is back to being a shy student and explains that he thought he’d better protect the Spiritual Mother. When asked why by Baek, he quickly lied that it’s because she would cleanse them of their sins. Apostle Jo directs Dong Cheol to return to his room and doesn’t notice that he is actually loitering behind a wall, so he drops the facade and presses Apostle Kang for more funds.
Kang is disgusted with his greed and thinks that it’s him who brought the detective here. He has taken enough, “So please leave now. The Spiritual Father and I will lead this place from now on.” Jo pushes her to the wall and strangles her – he pulled strings so that she wouldn’t go to jail for killing her husband and now she wants to bite the hand that feeds her?
Jo smirks that he only curries favour from her and Baek Jung Ki because they are cash cows.
After he lets her go, Kang collapses to the ground but eerily starts laughing and prays that the Almighty will not abandon her, especially since she has devoted her daughter, her family, her time and her life.
Dong Cheol sneaks into Sang Mi’s mother room to tell her that Sang Mi is okay. The mother wants to see Sang Mi immediately but Dong Cheol advises for her to pretend as before until her body recovers, “You can’t protect Sang Mi when you’re also weak.” Before he leaves, the mother presses the butterfly clip into his hands, “Please tell her I love her.” “I promise you that you will get out of here.” I didn’t really understand why they keep visiting the mother and to repeat lines like how they will all get out soon, but on hindsight, I realise it’s because this episode is the lead-up to an eventual show down that is about to happen very soon, and it’s going to be brutal.
Kang is in pain because of Jo and So Rin, so she locks herself in one of those dilapidated huts and pray for Almighty to keep her focused. In the meantime, Dong Cheol finds evidence that Sang Mi has been listed as a patient in Guseonwon, and so are some other people. The trio realise this is a ploy to record all believers as patients so that they can obtain psychotropic drugs and feed to them. They can also qualify for state subsidies as a sanitarium. With the medical records, So Rin wants to bring it to a friend in the broadcasting station and make it into a national problem. The whole time this was going on, I was so scared that Kang could actually hear them omg.
Dong Cheol passes the clip to Sang Mi who holds it in quiet strength. At night, So Rin gets onto the van which brings people out but is stopped by a believer who brings her to Kang. Kang gets agitated with her lies, knowing that she’s a reporter, “Did you come here to approach Sang Mi. How can you be so brazen before our Almighty?”
With Kang’s instructions, the two believers stuff her head into a swirling washing machine. What on earth?!
That night, Sang Mi is told to take part in the service. As she gives a testimony of how it was in the Almighty’s plan to bring her here and make her the Spiritual Mother, her mother breaks down in tears while Dong Cheol watches in pain. Basically the only sane people who care about her.
Can I admit though that I find her alleged tongue-speaking slightly hilarious… >< Hope I didn’t offend anyone with that!
Sang Hwan and Man Hee FINALLY start asking the question of where Jung Hoon is which befuddles me a little – like has it only been a day?
Their delivery friend nonchalantly comments that Jung Hoon has been going to church because he got onto the van that says “Join us on the happy journey to paradise”. The two friends immediately know he has been kidnapped by Guseonwon and inform Dong Cheol. Dong Cheol comes out of his staple cubicle and runs straight into Jo. Jo knows he is suspicious and tries to search for a phone in the place where Dong Cheol hid it…except he doesn’t find it…because Dong Cheol brought it out with him. Wow talk about timing!
He recalls the dubious huts previously where he heard sounds and informs Sang Hwan. In the meantime, Jo and sidekick check on the prisoners and one of them has died. Ouch I wonder what each of them is locked up for! Sidekick buries the dead prisoner while Jo mutters that he has been doing dirty stuff for Guseonwon. I have this fascinating image in my head where the police finally cordons off the area and starts digging the forest around Guseonwon. I wonder how many bodies they would find?
So Rin has been locked up and fed pills, so when Baek Jung Ki tries to test Sang Mi out by making them meet face to face, So Rin almost spills out, “Sang Mi, you need to run away. Your mother also wants you –” Sang Mi is horrified at the notion that Baek Jung Ki wants her to carry out a fire prayer for So Rin, but is left with no choice when So Rin mutters about her mother.
She presses So Rin to the ground and starts whacking her back, but Dong Cheol arrives in time to tell them that he saw suspicious people walking towards the prayer room in the woods. This allows Jo and sidekick to find just in time that the dungeon? hut? has been broken into and that Jung Hoon is gone.
Dong Cheol chases after the guys too and then asks Sang Hwan to punch him so as to put up a show. Thankfully Sang Hwan still manages to escape!
Dong Cheol later explains that he simply ran into the boys while walking around and that he heard their voices, which is why he recognised them in the dark. Thank goodness he’s fast on his feet because Baek Jung Ki isn’t naive! Nonetheless the Spiritual Father believes him and tells him he’s a precious gatekeeper to Guseonwon. As Jo enters the room, the rest is dismissed. On the way back, Sang Mi astutely informs Kang that she has a divine revelation that tells her not to send away the person who just fought with the demons.
Thanks to her quick thinking too, she manages to get her message across to Dong Cheol. She murmurs Hong So Rin, “Thank you,” as she passes the Living Water to Dong Cheol.
Baek is pissed off with Jo for kidnapping the boy while Jo is pissed off that Baek is putting their entire venture at risk just for one girl. “Why are you obsessing so much about Sang Mi??” Baek wants to kick him out because his lack of faith means he’s no longer a child of the Almighty. We finally learn the back story to Baek – he has been convicted of fraud EIGHT TIMES. What??
Jo picks up an object to hit him but can’t bring himself to because he finds himself facing this (fascinating imo) person who has started living his lie. “The prisoner you knew in the past has died. I am the father of all the spirits who will lead you to paradise.” Sang Mi is led back into his room and once again relies on the reason of divine revelation to see her mother. You know for once, I’m glad the father is so stupid.
Sang Hwan finds Detective Lee who is still lukewarm about the idea of taking Guseonwon down. Sang Hwan is determined to get Jung Hoon to a hospital and to press charges for everything that has been done. Detective Lee is finally stirred into some action, although at the moment I’m still unsure whether it’s just fluffy talk. Sang Hwan tells Man Hee to bring Jung Hoon to the hospital since he wants to talk to his father one more time. If his father is still obstinate, then he will press charges against his own father and hopefully that will generate media interest.
Dong Cheol sees Sidekick bringing So Rin somewhere but loses them. He also receives a message from Sang Hwan telling him to stay strong because he will bring the police the next day no matter what. I have to talk more about this later, but screentime-wise, I’m pretty sure Dong Cheol has more than Sang Hwan?
In the meantime, Sang Mi enters the room with a vial of living water but looks at her mother with a warning glance when the mother almost leaps upright. Sang Mi’s mother regaining her mental and physical health makes me feel so triumphant and I love watching how she instantaneously understands her daughter’s glance. She cleverly murmurs that she’s in paradise now. Sang Mi pretends to accidentally break the vial so that the father is sent to retrieve another.
She assures her mother that she’s strong because she has people helping her and that she will bring her out soon.
Dong Cheol sets up a meeting with Sang Mi in the toilet and learns that there’s a separate ward in the basement where they lock up problematic believers. You got to give the both of them 100 marks in terms of their bad-ass chemistry.
Jung Hoon discreetly visits his father and through a flashback, we see how he was actually there when his father received the bribe from Jo. I’m just a little confused with the timeline and may actually need to rewatch this – was this scene before his kidnap or after? If after, how could he be walking around the grounds and broadcasting?? He calls his father and tells him that he misses him. His father is so happy but I think Jung Hoon’s serious expression has got to do with him knowing that him going to the hospital will invariably untangle the Guseonwon knot and bring his father into it.
So Rin wakes up tied to the bed frame and with Kang threatening to inject her with something that will bring her to paradise. That is the same thing that she injected Sang mi’s mother with and now we know, her husband too. Kang is becoming this fanatic, self-deluded woman in my eyes. Just right before she injects it, Dong Cheol appears behind her and through sheer force, pushes the needle into Kang instead.
He brings her out and tells her to keep running straight along a bridge by a stream where his friend will pick her up.
Sang Hwan visits his mother but receives the call from Dong Cheol to pick up So Rin and leaves. He reassures Dong Cheol again that he just needs to hold out for that night. Right after he leaves, Sang Hwan’s mother reaches for the recorder. So Rin runs for her desperate life and waves down the first vehicle she sees, which unfortunately for her is the Guseonwon van. Jo pulls her by the hair and smirks that Almighty must be smiling down on her.
By the time Sang Hwan arrives, she’s gone and he receives a call from his mother, “Sang…Hwan…”
In the preview, we see Sang Hwan finding his mother on the ground and that she can move!!
Last thing’s first – so am I right?? I think I am, with regard to Sang Hwan’s mother! I can’t wait to see what dirty laundry she has been recording of her husband and no sympathy for that slimy man! I know an affair hurts because someone betrays you behind your back, but I am just so horrified that someone will actually physically commit an affair in front of your eyes on the presumption that you are too weak to stop him. Imagine how Sang Hwan’s mother must have felt when Ji Hee touches her. *Shivers*
Apostle Kang’s character has slightly evolved through the episodes and I think we have finally gotten the full picture, although I’m still a bit confused with the daughter aspect. I find her so fascinating because in my opinion, she is perpetuating the lie because she’s in denial. Whilst Baek Jung Ki seems to truly believe that he’s the Spiritual Father, Kang almost appears like a petulant child who wouldn’t let go of something that she has sacrificed so much for. To tell her that the thing she has staked everything on is fake and a lie will be such a huge blow to her. In a sense, that is very human and relatable and that makes all the more ironic because her faith in Almighty stems from an earthly, mortal fear.
The daughter confuses me because in one scene, she was seen praying with Kang and claiming that the pastor is really good. In others, she retaliated by asking why her mother would put her through it. Was she the previous ‘Spiritual Mother’? Then in that case, did she jump from a rooftop per Baek’s story or did she drown in the creek per Kang’s memory? I hope this will be cleared up as it’s the only thing bothering me right now!
Apostle Kang is also very insecure and hates others who are more blissful than her. This is why she treats Sang Mi’s mother so horribly because she has a daughter, Sang Mi, who would come back for her. In contrast, her own daughter left her behind and died. That vengeance springing from a jealousy is also something fascinating. I truly am quite taken with the main characters of this show because they aren’t just villains – they have so many layers! (…coughs…did you notice that was a Shrek reference?)
As for Baek Jung Ki, I don’t think his arc is truly finished yet but we also have a good picture. For him, I still want to know how his previous convictions of fraud came about. Was he delusional back then already or just plain conniving? In any case, I see a man who actually thinks he IS the Almighty. That sets him apart from Apostle Kang’s personality arc because she is still very human. For him, his hands being un-burnt by the flames were a true testimony to his spiritual power. I wonder how his raping urge fits into that. My guess is that he knows he wants Sang Mi for sexual purposes, not spiritual, (basically I don’t think he buys into his own lie of a Spiritual Mother) but he thinks he can get away with it because he’s the Spiritual Father. That means, with regard to Sang Mi, there’s a mix of human and delusional factors in play, which makes Baek Jung Ki an equally deep character. His lines, like how fruits have to ripen, truly bring goosebumps because they are just SO ingenious (from the scriptwriters’ point of view). Go google <Fruits as sexual metaphors in literature> if you are interested!
I think I will comment more on the main young leads at the end, but for now, I like it that they carve out different roles for Dong Cheol and Sang Hwan such that I find a comparison between them akin to an apple and an orange. Note how Sang Hwan’s instinctive response is to rely on the law and the police, while Dong Cheol goes for the action. Although initially Dong Cheol’s way of penetrating into Guseonwon is definitely the best idea, I hope that the last two episodes will show us how Sang Hwan’s and the law’s involvement play a vital role too. Otherwise, you can honestly remove Sang Hwan and still get almost as good an escape plan. However, after everything that they have gone through, I still think that the reason why Sang Mi will eventually end up with Sang Hwan is because she’s too similar to Dong Cheol. That’s why they make good kickass buddies but I’m not sure about lovers. Let me know what you think!
As for speculation for next week’s finale 2 episodes, I love how they keep emphasising that Dong Cheol and Sang Mi just need to hold out for another night. Whether it has a good ending or not, this is going to explode and we need to hold tight to see who emerges victorious. I have this hunch that So Rin is not dead because Jo is already tired of cleaning up after Kang and Baek! Omg also guys, while tweeting, it suddenly occurred to me