Open Thread: Kill Me, Heal Me Episodes 13 & 14

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Yo Na’s headlining our post today, because I just love how blithely carefree she looks, running with the wind in her hair, and so much delight on her face. So iconic! 🤩

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question. We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 13

I found this episode quite muted, for the most part, but on the plus side, we do get some important reveals, that help to flesh out our story – and we do get an appearance by Yo Na, whom I always enjoy.

This episode, we spend more time exploring Ri Jin’s backstory, starting with her nightmares. I don’t know why; it never really registered for me, until now, that Ri Jin suffers from nightmares the way Do Hyun suffers from nightmares. Even her delirious refrain is the same, “Don’t go. Play with me.” That’s the exact same thing that Do Hyun’s said before, in his dreams, isn’t it?

Perhaps it’s because she doesn’t seem to have them all that often, but this episode, we see that they do haunt her, at least from time to time, and it’s been Ri On who’s been helping her, by putting a positive spin on the meaning of her dreams, all this time.

I know I said not that long ago, that I found I wasn’t liking Ri On very much, but this episode, I find that shifting, all over again. He really does care about Ri Jin, and is committed to helping her, to the best of his ability.

The tarot card reading felt pretty random, though I get that this is supposed to provide provocative food for thought for both Do Hyun and Ri Jin, regarding the future of their maybe-relationship.

On this note, I also wanted to way that I found Do Hyun’s question this episode, on whether Ri Jin can see him as a man (ie, as more than a patient), and Ri Jin’s struggle over this issue, rather odd. Given that they’ve kissed and been rather cozy with each other, I’d assumed that they were cognizant of their feelings for each other. So this sudden thing, of putting it on the table for consideration and discussion, also felt rather out of left field for me.

However, I do enjoy the fact that Ri On drops everything, when he hears from Ri Jin that she’s had nightmares again, and needs him. I enjoyed the scene of them talking outside the house, and in particular, I was struck by Ri On’s answer, in response to Ri Jin’s question of whether a first love is difficult for a man to get over.

“That depends. If they can get over it all at once, then that’s great. If they return to it one more time, those are residual feelings. If they turn back twice, that’s sadness. If they turn back three times… that’s pain. If they keep returning to it until they’re all ragged… That’s how their heart gets torn up. And they continue to endure it as their heart is torn apart.”

As he says this, his expression slowly darkens to something rather somber, and there’s a tiny hint of tears in his eyes, as he looks at Ri Jin, and I’m convinced that he’s thinking of his own struggle to get over Ri Jin, even as he articulates this. Nicely played, not just by Show, but also, by Park Seo Joon, whom I think does a lovely job of delivering this scene.

And that moment, when he pulls the blanket over her eyes, in an echo of when he’d done something similar back in school, when he’d seen the boy she’d liked, with another girl, is a nice poignant callback. I feel bad for Do Hyun, of course, but in this moment, I feel that Ri On’s acting out of concern for and protectiveness of Ri Jin, and not out of spite to Do Hyun, and it feels.. bittersweet.

At the same time, my heart goes out to Do Hyun. With his exit from the company, and the now much more overt estrangement from Chairman Gran, it feels like Do Hyun’s more isolated than ever (yay for Secretary Ahn refusing to leave him though!).

Now, with him overhearing Ri Jin talk wistfully of her days at the hospital, where life had been so much simpler, he’s faced with the obligation to let Ri Jin go – at a cost to himself. On top of this, he’s trying to find out about the child in his memories, and Mom isn’t being veyr helpful. I can imagine that this just adds to Do Hyun’s stress, and so, it’s no wonder that it isn’t long before Yo Na makes an appearance.

And what an appearance it turns out to be! Ahahaha. I kind of feel bad for how terrified Ri On is, but I couldn’t help giggling at the Yo Na hijinks. She really is so bold and feisty; I can see why Ri On doesn’t know what to do with her. 😂

My favorite bit is when Yo Na stops running to reapply her lipgloss, and then decides that since Ri On can’t catch her, it’s time that she catch Ri On instead. Muahaha. I love how in-charge Yo Na is, even though she’s supposed to be a high-schooler.

I also love how everything’s all so tongue-in-cheek. It looks like PD-nim had deliberately allowed that crowd (of real fans, with handphones in tow) to gather and gawk at the scene of Yo Na running down the street, with Ri On and Ri Jin in her wake. That feels like one of Show’s self-aware nods. And, can’t lie; if I was there, I wouldn’t be able to pass up a chance to watch Ji Sung running around in a skirt and lipgloss either. 🤩😆

Also, what a surprise, that Ri Jin actually knows that she is adopted. Woah. I didn’t see that coming, especially with how Ri Jin’s been leaning deep into family, and how everyone’s been treating her as absolutely not in the know.

Our plot thickens further, as we end the episode, with Do Hyun’s mom expressing to comatose Dad, that she intends to find that child and get rid of her, so that she never appears before Do Hyun (whoops, too late?), and Do Hyun finding that scrap of photograph, which proves that someone in Ri Jin’s household knows – or at least, knows of – Min Seo Yeon, Dad’s lawful wife. Ooh.

Episode 14

Because it keeps coming up, I think it would be helpful for me to touch on the thing that Do Hyun keeps saying to Ri Jin. My subs translate it as, “Our stories have to corroborate,” but the more literal translation is something akin to, “Our lips have to match.” This is understood in modern Korean to mean matching your stories, but the literal translation, which I believe is also similar to how a kiss is referenced in sageuk-speak, provides the opportunity for the pun that Show keeps using, this set of episodes.

Even though I’ve grown more fond of Ri On in recent episodes, I’m still not sure how much I believe him, when he gives Do Hyun the explanation for why Min Seo Yeon’s photograph was ever in his possession. It feels like part-truth, certainly, but I also feel like a lot of it has to do with Ri Jin herself being connected to the Seung Jin Group, which Ri On is certainly not talking about.

I’m thinking back to how Ri On was pretty much stalking Do Hyun for a while there, and I can’t decide whether his given reason – that he’d planned to write a novel inspired by events related to Seung Jin Group – is the whole truth. Therefore, I don’t blame Do Hyun for acting suspicious either, and questioning Ri On with a relentless, laser-sharp sort of focus.

The whole sequence, of Do Hyun continuing to question Ri On, while Dad keeps popping up and scolding them about doing chores, is played for comedy, and I had to keep reminding myself that this is basically part of Show’s core nature. Show had been clear from the start, that farcical, broad comedy is part of its DNA. I’d just.. forgotten about that, for a little while, with Show delving into more meaningful themes of late.

I do appreciate that out of this seeming detour, we get a couple of important happenings. 1, Do Hyun gets to enjoy the experience of receiving allowance from a parent on New Year’s, which he’s apparently never gotten to enjoy, all these years; 2, Do Hyun gets to hear Ri Jin talk about her dream, which is a rather important piece of his mental puzzle; and 3, Do Hyun gets to see pictures of Ri Jin from when she’d been a kid, which is also an important piece of his mental puzzle. We are definitely gearing up to have some of these fragments pieced together.

Ah, and Do Hyun gets to enjoy some family warmth, which, unsurprisingly, is a pretty novel thing for him as well. I do love how happy everyone looks, as they huddle around, and snap pictures together. Ri Jin’s family might be a little weird, but they are really warm. I mean, how nice is it, that Dad refers to himself as Do Hyun’s parent, when giving Do Hyun the allowance? 🥰

While I’m not much into the petty rivalry that springs up from time to time between Do Hyun and Ri On, particularly when Ri Jin is involved, I do love that Do Hyun thanks Ri On, for helping him to meet good people, and a good friend. And, I also love that Ri On, who’s basically been quite unwilling to have anything to do with Do Hyun, actually tells him that he’s not a good friend but a bad one – but if he’s ok with having a bad friend, that he’ll be Do Hyun’s friend. I mean, that’s pretty huge, isn’t it? Yes please, I would like these two to be friends.

We also seem to finally get past the hurdle of Ri Jin and Do Hyun angsting over whether she can see him as more than a patient (which, like I said, feels a bit like an irrelevant point to me, since they’re already on kissing terms).

I do like how Do Hyun frames his question, in such specific, everyday terms, and in terms of him wanting to be the first person she turns to, in various situations. “Whenever you’re in trouble, or you’re curious about something or you want to talk to somebody… Can’t I be the first person you run to? When you’re too scared to go down to the basement alone… Anytime there’s something you want to avoid… Can’t I be there with you?” Aw. It’s sweet and endearing.

…And, we finally have agreement, as Ri Jin tells Do Hyun that she’ll be there with him, and we get a sweet, unhurried OTP-minting kiss. Y’know, I find it odd that the previous kisses don’t seem to count, and if they didn’t count, I find it odd that they never actually address the issue of these patient-doctor kisses, but well, I guess this is just part of Show’s quirky DNA at work.

Show leans a bit heavily into its makjang tendencies (which, for the record, I’m ok with in principle, because makjang can be entertaining) in our final stretch, with Do Hyun’s mom getting all upset at Do Hyun saying that he will find the child, and that he would even sell Seung Jin Group to make it up to her, if he has to.

Ooh. That’s just the thing to get Mom moving in overdrive, because the next thing we know, Ri Jin’s getting kidnapped right out of her front yard. That’s sooo the kind of thing you’d see in a makjang drama, isn’t it? 😆 Especially with Ri On giving chase, and then losing her because he has to avoid crashing into a passing motorbike.

And then we get a casual, convenient reveal, that Secretary Ahn’s installed a GPS tracker on Ri Jin’s phone, which is how Do Hyun tracks her down to the summer villa where the kidnappers have taken her.

It’s all quite dramatic, but I very much appreciate two things. 1, Se Gi actually tries to take over when the fighting starts, but Do Hyun insists that he will take care of it himself. That’s a Huge Deal, given that he’d never had a choice in the matter before. He’s able to maintain control, and is no longer at the mercy of Se Gi.

And 2, all the fragments of memory about the memory come rushing in at the same time, when Do Hyun’s hit on the head, and we finally have a full picture of what had been going on. Ri Jin had been locked in that basement (probably for being an illegitimate child), and Do Hyun had secretly visited her, to keep her company. But Dad had not approved, and that’s why he’d walk into the basement, ready to punish.

Suddenly, all the fragmented soundbites from the various fever dreams that Do Hyun and Ri Jin have had over the course of our story – “Don’t go, play with me” and “I’m sorry” – finally make sense. Even “10pm” suddenly has a context, because that’s the time that Do Hyun would promise to visit Ri Jin, and that explains Se Ge’s fixation with that hour. I have to say, I do kinda love how everything fits together, in context.

Do Hyun’s finally arrived at the truth that he’s been trying to unlock all this time, so this feels hard-earned. At the same time, it also feels costly, for the pain that he’s had to endure, to get here. What a bittersweet milestone this has turned out to be. 💔 Now I’m more curious than ever, to see what Do Hyun will do with these recovered memories.

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phl1rxd
phl1rxd
23 days ago

Great review Fangurl! When Yo Na ran through the street it was an iconic KDrama moment, one that many fans will remember for years to come. I know I will never forget it.

Last edited 23 days ago by phl1rxd
j3ffc
j3ffc
21 days ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

I’m curious to know: was this show a Big Thing when it was on? Or was the reaction just to Ji Sung’s star power?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
20 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– I thought so. I am sure folks reacted to Ji Sung’s multiple characters as well. I do remember there was a lot of chatter over the Yo Na street scene and subsequent kiss. Ji Sung and Park Seo Joon won the Couple Award at the end of year Drama Awards. The drama won 17 awards and ranked 10.95% viewing in Seoul and 10% nationwide. The OST was very popular and even I have the title track on my play list.

To my knowledge it is not the first KDrama about mental health issues, but may be the first one on DID. Fangurl would probably know better than I would.

While I enjoyed the humor in this drama it was billed as a comedy which I thought was strange as I always felt it was a more serious drama that luckily had comedy bits in it or we might have cried ourselves out of tears.

Ele Nash
23 days ago

OOOHHHH, it’s all fitting together now a lot better – their shared childhood (or part of it) and why their fears of basements overlap. But, like, actually, poor little Ri Jin!! It feels like quite a side swipe, that she has in fact remembered she’s adopted but has never openly said so. Not only that, but she appears to not remember anything much before that, like Do Hyun, and is therefore equally traumatised. Maybe her shrill shriek is repressed fear leaking out. Now, we should all learn not to judge our kdrama characters too harshly too early because they could actually have PTSD… 🤨

I really enjoyed Yo Na’s ridiculously gleeful run through the fan-crowded street! I wonder how aware those crowds were that Ji Sung would be legging it past them in lipgloss?!! Hilarious! 😆

And I agree Ri On’s little speech about first love was sincerely given and actually pretty poetic and accurate. However, I still gah that he’s thinking of her as his first love. I know I need to get past it, but I can’t find a way to yet.

As an aside, I just started watching It’s Okay, That’s Love on a bit of a whim and, lo and behold, another kdrama fusing lots of conflicting show genres with mental health at its heart… Hmm, I appreciate on the one hand kdrama trying to convey the need for tolerance and acceptance and the importance of asking for help, but, wow, they really do crush the reality out of these illnesses in a way I find both perplexing and infuriating. Oh, but the OTP in that show is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😍 Better than this pairing so far, even though the kiss was sweet. I keep thinking it would be more swoony with Se Gi at the kissing wheel… Ah, that may just be me 😊

Leslie A Larocca
Leslie A Larocca
23 days ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele It’s Okay, That’s Love is one of my very favorite kdramas, notwithstanding the liberties it takes with mental health. On that front, I found it generally well-intentioned or innocuous, but I understand that people have different sensibilities around the topic. The OTP 🔥and OST are key reasons for my IOTL love, but Jo In Sung as Jang Jae Yeol, puts me over the top. Apparently, he’s my type (or at least Jae Yeol is.) 😅 I thought Jo In Sung’s acting was terrific, and saw the influence of his experience making movies. Well, I can’t even link my comments to a KMHM reflection …I think I just wanted to fangirl for a moment! 🤣

Ele Nash
23 days ago

Fangirl away, Leslie! I agree, there is *something* about Jo In Sung… Ooh, it was the kiss in the water that has got me 😍 I also always like the low-key way Gong Hyo Jin acts and my goodness, can she act believable crying! Agree that the mental health parts are well-intentioned, it just (like this show) bugs me that it wouldn’t take much to add a tad more authenticity to it. Just, you know, less “pretend” psychiatry and more truth. Because, good intentions aren’t enough to change perceptions of mental health. Still, like this show, the heart is what’s pulling me in, and the great acting. I am hooked!

j3ffc
j3ffc
21 days ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

“It’s Okay, That’s Love” was nowhere on my Langya List of Dramas To Look At, but a great OTP involving Gong Hyo Jin sounds appealing indeed.

beez
20 days ago
Reply to  j3ffc

It’s really good. (Although when the ladies were first discussing it, I thought they were talking about the one with Seo Ye-Ji and Kim Soo-Hyun. I only realized it was the other drama featuring mental health with the similar name when they mentioned Jo In sung.)

Ele Nash
20 days ago
Reply to  beez

Too many Okays! it is definitely worth a go. I am enjoying it very much 😊

merij1
merij1
24 days ago

This one of those shows that goes from good to great in the later episodes. Unlike many others that peak too soon and finish with a whimper.

Despite being overused in k-drama, the “significant shared childhood trauma” trope (or whatever we tend to call it) is so satisfying when executed well. I like the way this one slowly hints and teases its nature in the prior episodes, then fully reveals itself over these final segments.

This is also a show with real character development. Or in this case, character/personality re-integration!

Leslie A Larocca
Leslie A Larocca
23 days ago
Reply to  merij1

“good to great in the later episodes” is what I remember, as well. I just watched KMHM in January, so I’ve only been peripherally keeping up with these posts, but it may be time to hop back on the bus… while I still can. 😉

merij1
merij1
23 days ago

Same for me! Watched a year ago and should now re-watch the final 2-4 episodes for this group watch.

Last edited 23 days ago by merij1
j3ffc
j3ffc
21 days ago
Reply to  merij1

I have to wait until next week to say why, but I agree with your assessment, merij1.

Not Really a Spoiler, But I’m So Excited to Have Learned How To Use This Feature I Couldn’t Help Myself
Let’s just say my eyebrows went up about an inch at the end of ep 16.

Last edited 21 days ago by j3ffc