Friday, February 26, 2016

Nine Episode 17: Weddings

Nine: Episode 17

April 24, 1993, 11:00 am. It is raining as people walk into a church. According to the Dramafever subtitles the announcement board in front reads Groom: Park Sun-woo, Bride: Kim Yoo-jin. That is wrong though; it's Park Jung-woo, the older brother. Young-hoon (young Dr. Han) greets hyung and Shi-ah (young Min-young). Hyung has sent Sun-woo to look for Yoo-jin's passport. Evil Minion, pretending to be from the high school, calls the priest to find out where Sun-woo is and heads for Yoo-jin's store.

Young Sun-woo can't find the passport (Yoo-jin finds it in her bag) and heads back to the church. Evil Minion pulls up to him, confirms his identity, and attacks; but he gets away and locks himself into the store.

Adult Sun-woo stops his car in traffic as he remembers getting stabbed, and registers scars on his arm and shoulder. Then Choi's goons arrive and there is a short car chase until Sun-woo looses them by pulling a fast U-turn on a busy street. When Chief Oh calls he asks him something we don't see. Then he calls Min-young to tell her he is going to try to stop the wedding. No one is happy; her mother has become a widow twice. The incense thing has never turned out well, but he still has to try as long as there is hope. He asks her permission and she agrees. He sets his watch, lights the incense, and disappears. [fourteenth time travel 17:38]

Evil Minion knocks on the glass door while young Sun-woo tries the phone, which unfortunately has been disconnected.

1993 Dr. Choi is finishing paperwork in his hospital office before going to the wedding when in walks adult Sun-woo with a baseball bat. As he recognises him as the witness from the night Dad died, 2013 Dr. Bug-eyes in his hospital gown remembers it. He now knows where Sun-woo is and gets dressed. He leaves the hospital, followed by reporters but not apparently the police. (I thought he was a prisoner?)

Adult Sun-woo ties up Dr. Bug-eyes with duct tape and finds his address book. He calls Evil Minion and orders Dr. B. to find out where his young self is. Luckily Evil Minion's car phone rings just as he is getting a hammer to break the door with. He reveals the store location and Sun-woo is so busy with his memory update that he misses the chance to have Dr. B. countermand the hit order. But he does say that it will be worse for Dr. B to lose twenty years of glory than to get killed. And he walks out.

Just as young Sun-woo is wondering if he is safe, Evil Minion pops in front of the door with the keys he had dropped in his panic. He backs away and throws things at the attacker, but just as Minion makes an impossible-to-dodge swing with the hammer, there is a commercial. No, adult Sun-woo shows up and takes over, and it is hammer vs. baseball bat. When Minion gets knocked out, Sun-woo gives his younger self an assignment. We don't hear what that is either.

Sun-woo sends his younger self in a taxi to the police station with another copy of the videotape, saying it is about the hospital fire, and that his father dying was an accident. He promises him he will have a good life and be happy. Another call comes to the priest's office for Jung-woo, and adult Sun-woo tells him he is the witness and has given the tape to his brother. Jung-woo can either marry and run away or stay and pay for his crime. [37:48] Sun-woo looks at his watch; there are five more seconds. He waits in the phone booth in the rain for a time jump.

April 24, 2013, 11:55 am. Dr. Choi and his aides pull up in front of the hospital and see Sun-woo's car with incense still burning inside. He tries to break in.

Sun-woo's friend calls Chief Oh with the news that Choi is on the loose. Chief Oh remembers Sun-woo asking him an hour ago where he had been on that day in 1993 and what his pager number was. And had added that he had the most integrity of anyone he knew. Flashback to April 24, 1993, 11:55 am. Then-reporter Oh with long hair and horn-rim glasses is arguing with the police chief about covering up a case. He says he had watched something. Is it the same case? Adult Sun-woo had told younger self to go to Reporter Oh for help, and he was often at the police station. As Reporter Oh is leaving, a clerk tells him someone wants to talk to him.

Back at the church the wedding is beginning. Jung-woo comes out of the priest's office and hesitates before the chapel doors.

At the police station, young Sun-woo introduces himself to Reporter Oh. 

Dr. Choi rifles his trunk for a golf club and is swinging it at Sun-woo's car window, when it disappears with a dribble of smoke. As Dr. Bug-eyes stares at it, his aides disappear in a similar way, as does his car.

Adult Dr. Han paces nervously when he is suddenly stopped by a new memory change. Adult Min-young registers something as well. The wedding guests start looking for the groom, but only young Shi-ah checks the front door. Young Jung-woo gives her a look and then continues walking away.

At 12:00 Adult Min-young sees the mourners disappear, then the photo of her dad, and then her mother. She realizes she is standing outside the church in a wedding dress. The announcement board reads Groom: Park Sun-woo, Bride: Joo Min-young. She sees her mother in a lavender hanbok with a smile on her face. Lucky her, at least she knows what is going on. Everyone else has been dropped into a different timeline without noticing.

Is it a new timeline or just the original one again? The first big change was the wedding between Sun-woo's brother and Min-young's mom, and that has been put straight. However, this time around Jung-woo and Choi are going to be caught by the police. So it's a new timeline. 

I'm pretty proud of Sun-woo for asking Min-young's permission to change things and to let her know what he was up to. He cares about what she thinks, which is a change from the beginning of the show when he was blowing her off. The sad thing is, he was trying to make his brother happy but it didn't turn out.

Jung-woo wanted to make Yoo-jin happy, but that didn't turn out either. Now there are three versions of their story. (1) They broke up and never got together. (2) They broke up but got together again and married and then he suicided. (3) They broke up, got together again, and he jilted her at the wedding. He made her unhappy each time.

Running count – time travels: 14; remaining incense sticks: 0; Timelines: Past7, Present6.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nine Episode 16: Choi Gets a Turn

Nine: Episode 16

Sun-woo sits in a church trying to pray, when Dr. Han enters with the news that his brother, Jung-woo, has passed away. Sun-woo stalks out in a fury intending to kill Choi, but Dr. Han won't let him. Dr. Han takes the incense back into the chapel and decides to grind it to powder so it can't be used by anyone. He declares that it's not Dr. Choi's fault; the incense has not made anyone happy; hyung would have been better off dying in the Himalayas than going the way he did. He holds up the incense stick, saying if it is evil, the Lord will help them get rid of it. To his amazement, it dissolves with time-travel style smoke along with the case. (The smoke is a hint, guys.)

We jump to the next day, April 24, 2013, at 10:00 am; with Dr. Choi riding in a car and his aide reporting that Sun-woo had been at the mortuary all night. People are paying their respects to the family there, and a funeral is planned for the next day, so it will be hard to catch him alone. The aide has Sun-woo's phone record (where do they get these things?) showing a text half an hour before the knife attack, saying he is going somewhere and if things work out, “It will all be back in place in 30 minutes.” And a reply from Dr. Han wondering if Choi knew about the incense.

His boss, Chief Oh,  comes to the mortuary with news that Choi is going to prison. They don't have banks of flowers and displays of fruit the way you usually see; there is a bouquet and a Catholic crucifix and statue. But they still have food for the mourners.

Dr. Han calls Sun-woo out. He has a theory that neither the incense nor Jung-woo were of this world; they belonged to the past. He thinks the incense disappeared because Jung-woo died. Sun-woo thinks back to Choi saying in the hospital that if he could go back in time all he needed to do is kill one high school kid, and says it's more likely that a person interfered than that God did. He thinks it disappeared because of a time change. Flashback of someone taking the incense out of the closet, juxtaposed with it disappearing out of Dr. Han's hand. Yup, that was it!

Min-young stands in front of the altar remembering Jung-woo calling and thanking her for choosing him as her father. She tells Sun-woo that she had thought she could stick it out and things would get better, but she didn't think her father would do this. She asks him to change things but he can't because he's lost his last incense stick, and she dissolves into tears. She must have really loved Jung-woo as her father, because we never saw her mourn her Boston lawyer step-father.

Meanwhile back at the court house, three judges enter and begin to read Dr. Choi's indictment.

April 24, 1993, 10:00 am. The housekeeper comes to the gate [21:10] and hands the incense case to the same policeman who took Jung-woo's evidence. We see she had gone into young Sun-woo's room while he lay there asleep, and taken it from the closet. Argh! Why didn't he wake up? The cop claims he needs it for the investigation and asks when Jung-woo is going to America. She tells him it will be later that day, after the - subtitles say graduation, I think it should be wedding.

Back to Dr. Choi in the dock. He suddenly goes bug-eyed again as he is flooded with new memories. Exactly twenty years ago to the minute, the policeman is handing him the incense case, saying he doesn't know how that video tape was made. The only odd thing he could find was this incense, so he brought it. It had fingerprints of the younger son, but is the only thing that could have belonged to that witness. Present Dr. Choi immediately connects it with the text from Dr. Han about incense. Past Dr. Choi opens the case to find two incense sticks. There is also a note written by young Sun-woo, “It's not mine, so it must be yours. I will keep it well for the next twenty years.”

Present Choi realizes that the incense was from the future and collapses as he tries to remember where he had stashed it – right as the judge is giving him ten years. Sun-woo's friend from work, who was at court, calls to tell him that the trial has been adjourned. In the ambulance, alone with his aide, Choi suddenly opens his eyes, tells the aide where to find the incense case, and fakes unconsciousness again. (Why aren't any EMTs there, hey?)

Sun-woo remembers Choi standing outside the ICU claiming that he could find out everything, even in prison. He figures that Choi has suddenly remembered that he somehow has the incense, and heads out to the hospital to try to stop him.

The aide finds the incense in the same 92-2000 box in the archives that the CCTV picture had been in. He brings it to the hospital room and Choi chases everyone out. Here's the thing. Young Sun-woo had a case with two sticks saved in his closet. As an adult he used one of them. But Choi has a case that was taken in the past when it still had two sticks. That is why he opens the case and sees two. But when he lights one of them it burns down instantly without any time travel. That's because Sun-woo had already used it in episode 12, when he took the videotape to young hyung and got stabbed. In my opinion, since the cop got the incense back, it should not have been in the closet all those years, and Sun-woo shouldn't have gotten ahold of it.  But the writers decided that since the witness was a time-traveler who shouldn't have been there, the cop looking for more information about him counted as a timeline change.

Dr. Choi gingerly lights the last stick and watches it burn normally for a few seconds, when it suddenly disappears. [thirteenth time travel 34:00] He looks around to see that his hospital room has changed and there is another patient in the bed. We see split-screen that the incense stick is lying on a table in the present-day hospital room. Choi sees a calendar on the wall that confirms it is April 1993. He calls his office, gets Evil Minion's number from the nurse, and sends him to kill young Sun-woo.

Adult Sun-woo runs through the hospital and beats up the security men to get in to see Choi, without being noticeably bothered by the wound in his side. (It's been two weeks.) He sees the burning incense stick and snuffs it out, which causes Choi to be sucked back into the present. Sun-woo tucks the incense into his jacket as security hustles him out. Choi smiles, satisfied.

Sun-woo runs back to his car for the old diary and finds April 24, 1993 was his brother's wedding. The entry says that he was busy in the morning and then ran an errand for his brother and missed most of the wedding, which was at noon. Neither he nor Dr. Han can remember what went on that day since it is the alternate timeline, and they only remember altered events as they happen.

Young Sun-woo is walking slowly down an alley in the rain when Evil Minion drives up and talks to him. Adult Sun-woo is driving when he sees a scar growing up his arm and suddenly remembers being attacked, but not where. Young Sun-woo backs away from Evil Minion with a big slash on his arm.

Here we have two conflicting timelines. (1) The incense sits in the closet until Sun-woo gets it in episode 12. (2) The cop gets it and it sits in storage until Choi's aide gets it in episode 16.  The time-travel trip Sun-woo made with the first stick could have been negated since he didn't have it in the new timeline. He wouldn't have taken the videotape to hyung and he wouldn't have gotten stabbed. But the stick just dissolves for Choi because it has already been used. So this is a residual effect, like keeping injuries and objects you had before the timeline changed. Once the incense has been used, it has been used.

Running count – time travels: 13; remaining incense sticks: most of 1; Timelines: Past6, Present5.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Nine Episode 15: Dr. Bug-eyes

Nine: Episode 15

April 23, 2013. The hospital calls Dr. Han because Sun-woo isn't showing up for treatment. He visits Sun-woo and finds him passed out on the couch and the house littered with liquor bottles. He tells Sun-woo to pull himself together and reveals that Min-young and her family have gone on vacation to Japan.

But Yoo-jin calls to check on Sun-woo and says that hyung did not go with them. Dr. Han phones the hospital; hyung's office door is locked and the phone is ringing inside. They break in and find hyung has OD'd, collapsed at his desk. When Dr. Han arrives they are piggybacking (Oh really? Don't they have gurneys?) hyung to the ER. Sun-woo finds a suicide note and flashes back to a visit from hyung a few days before, when hung had wanted all of them to run off to America. Sun-woo had replied that Min-young had made the call. She had chosen to keep Hyung as her Dad. [17:14]

Sun-woo sits exhausted outside the OR, and Dr. Han calls Min-young to tell her to return to Korea.

Cops pull up in front of a gas station owned by Evil Minion and arrest him for stabbing Sun-woo on April 11. The surgeon had found his broken-off fingernail in the wound and since he had a criminal record his DNA was on file. The cops also discover that Dr. Choi had been wiring money to the Minion family. Evil Minion is flabbergasted to be accused of stabbing someone he didn't know, and also that the cops have his knife from 20 years ago. He calls Dr. Choi, who starts to think about that CCTV picture from 20 years ago. Thinking that man could really be Sun-woo makes him bug-eyed.

Sun-woo tears out every page from his old diary that talks about time travel and flushes them. (Why were they at the hospital?) He tells Dr. Han that Choi will figure it out soon. He wants to get rid of the last incense stick.

Meantime, Dr. Bug-eye remembers Sun-woo saying he would have to go and see who killed his father. He had asked how, and Sun-woo had said, “It's easier than you think.” [32:43] He finds out that hyung is in the ICU and goes to see him. Sun-woo is sitting outside with the suicide letter in which hyung writes that his biological father is Choi and he's nothing but a source of unhappiness to everyone.

Choi comes back out and accuses hyung of being unstable and weak. He adds that 20 years ago a man was stabbed and disappeared, but is sitting in front of him right now. "Is it like a time machine?" he asks. Sun-woo answers, "yes."  Choi leaves, and in a shiny silver car to match his shiny silver suit, instructs his aide to search through everything he can about Sun-woo and find out what he's been doing since December. Sun-woo remains outside the ICU staring at his last incense stick until Min-young walks up. They stare at each other, tears rolling down their faces.

Is Dr. Choi worse now than in the original timeline? Originally he had manipulated hung and hired an arsonist. (Where do you get an arsonist from?) This time around they have a witness to deal with, and athough Choi didn't want any killing at first, the minion disagreed and now it doesn't seem to bother him. Apart from that, Choi still has the same crooked business deals going on.

Running count – time travels: 12; remaining incense sticks: 1; Timelines: Past6, Present4.

Nine Episode 14: Consequences

Nine: Episode 14

Sun-woo wakes up in the hospital to his phone ringing. Since it is the nurse calling about Min-young, he knows the timeline hasn't changed. He calls hyung to find they were thwarted by Choi, who had bribed the police. We see hyung turning in the evidence tape and going home to see young Sun-woo and Young-hoon (with doughnut all over his face!) And then Choi showing up to threaten hyung and destroy the tape.

Young Dr. Boyfriend gets Min-young's phone traced (how?) and finds her at Sun-woo's house with the nurse. Seeing her in a man's shirt, with her clothes cast on the floor, and the Record from the Past on the nightstand, he realizes he has been had and takes off in a taxi. Sun-woo is getting dressed and ready to leave the hospital when Young Dr. B walks in and pastes him a couple.

When Dr. and Mrs. Han meet for lunch she tries to tell him the hospital gossip about Min-young and Sun-woo. He has a cow and walks out. He doesn't explain to her; there's no way she could understand him.

Sun-woo shows up for work about a week later to find that nasty rumors have been circulating. Min-young cancelled her wedding and has been apologizing and returning gifts. Chief Oh tries to prevent them from resigning, so they meet in a glassed-in conference room to talk. She tells him he's big news and can't quit, so she will instead. Dr. Han has told her about the incense sticks, and she has figured out he was the man who took her mom to the hospital when she was little. She doesn't want the last incense stick used because her Dad might disappear; she just wants to stay as family. (Do all Korean companies keep file boxes on hand for employees to use when they quit?)

The people around them are taking it hard. Min-young's mom wants answers which she can't give without implicating Sun-woo. Their boss feels betrayed and let down. Sun-woo cries and stares into space. Min-young cries and then puts on a cheerful face for her mother. At this point, Sun-woo, Dr. Han, and Min-young all remember the alternate timelines. Dr. Choi got a new memory in episode 11 but doesn't realize it is from an altered timeline. No new time travels or changes this episode.

Running count – time travels: 12; remaining incense sticks: 1; Timelines: Past6, Present4. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nine Episode 13: New Memories

Nine Episode 13:

We pick up on April 10, 2013, at 10 pm with Dr. Han being nervous and hyung calling him to warn him about his new memory that 1993 Choi has a picture of Sun-woo. But Sun-woo has already set his watch for 30 minutes and lit the incense. Exactly twenty years in the past, Choi is showing the CCTV picture to hyung and saying they have to get rid of this guy.

In 1993 Sun-woo walks into Yoo-jin's record shop and young hyung recognizes him. Present day hyung cringes as he now remembers himself phoning up Choi. A suspicious Sun-woo listens in on the store extension, hears Choi telling hung to stall, and takes hyung's car keys from the counter. He finds the car and puts the VCR tape in the glove compartment; and then Evil Minion shows up and they recognize each other. A car chase ensues, but Sun-woo eludes him and finds a phone booth. He calls hyung and tells him he will never be happy [17:40] but will end his own life - December 31, 2012 according to the subtitles. (Wait. Didn't he die in the Himalayas in January that year?) As he is telling hyung about the videotape, Evil Minion opens the door and stabs him. There must be something about phone booths. As all this is happening, hung is simultaneously remembering listening to it. The fight in the phone booth is followed by another car chase, which ends on a bridge. With one minute left on his watch, Sun-woo jumps into the water, knowing he will land in his own time. [25:30]

Back in the present, his co-workers find him on the floor, wet, in a pool of blood. The news goes on without him while the staff speculate about Choi being behind it. A friend who goes in the ambulance calls hyung, who tells them to check for water in the lungs. When Dr. Han calls, Sun-woo is able to tell him that Choi knew his face and is doing different things from before.

Present-day Choi, looking through old files in a box labeled 92-2000, finds the CCTV picture of the man in the optical shop and sees that it looks like Sun-woo. [37:20]

Present-day hyung agonizes through new memories of himself talking to the minion and being afraid to confess. However, as Sun-woo is being wheeled into the OR he is able to report that his young self is heading into the police station.

As a result of Sun-woo taking his mother to an optical shop that had security cams, Dr. Choi now has his picture and is acting differently than before. Such as hiring a hit man. However, he does not remembering everything or realize there is an alternate timeline.

Running count – time travels: 12; remaining incense sticks: 1; Timelines: Past6, Present4.