Joon Jae faces a decisive end to someone.
Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 17 Recap
Dae Young and Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) are on the roof. She declares his memory will now be erased. She hopes he’ll get a taste of hell. She closes her eyes. She flashes through his life starting with the present and then his past life. She sees Dam Ryung on the boat trying to save her. She sees Dae Young fling his spear into the water at her. She sees Dam Ryung with the spear in his back. She can’t believe it. Joon Jae told her they lived happily every after. She sees this was a lie. She hears his lie “they aren’t hurt. They have babies and enjoy raising them. They grow old together”. Sim Chung utters “lies.” She cries. “It was all lies again!”
Dae Young stares at her blankly and asks who she is and where they are. Sim Chung looks at him in disgust. She tells him she’s seen the people he’s murdered. She knows he snuffed out lives before they fully blossomed. She’ll make it so he never remembers anything again. She steps towards him. He steps to the railing at the rooftop. She steps towards him again. Afraid, he pulls out a knife. She grabs his wrist and squeezes. He drops the knife. She continues where she left off in the past. Now she sees Se Hwa hugging Dam Ryung’s lifeless body and sees her take the spear and push it into her body. Sim Chung drops Dae Young’s wrist and grabs her chest. He runs. She doubles over.
Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) asks his father to believe him and leave with him. His father refuses to leave with him. Joon Jae walks about of the room knowing he can’t convince and reach his father. Jo Nam Doo, Tae O, and Joon Jae leave the house. His father cries alone in his room. Nope, I don’t feel sorry for his father…at all.
Ahn Jin Joo enters the room with her friends including the uninvited Kang Seo Hee. Jin Joo tells Seo Hee she didn’t invite her so she would not feel uncomfortable. Jin Joo calls out and Joon Jae’s mother, all spiffy, enters the room. She stares at Seo Hee.
Sim Chung enters the house knowing she has to leave but already missing the fun and family and love she experienced within its walls.
Jin Joo introduces Joon Jae’s mother as Heo Il Joong (Joon Jae’s father) first wife. In dramatic fashion Jin Joo relays how Joon Jae’s mother was recently reunited with Joon Jae. It’s like some weird poetry reading the telling of the story. The women clap their congratulations. Joon Jae’s mother promises Seo Hee that she’ll return Joon Jae to his rightful place. Seo Hee smiles and says that place no longer exists. She states that Heo Il Joong transferred all assets to her and Chi Hyeon. Seo Hee warns Jin Joo and Joon Jae’s mother to never need her help again. She leaves. Jin Joo calls Heo Il Joong a puppet. Joon Jae’s mother looks grim.
Seo Hee calls Dae Young. He asks her who she is. He asks her why everyone calls him a murderer. He tells her he doesn’t know who he is or where he is.
Chi Hyeon returns home and rushes to his father’s side. He asks if someone came into his room. Father denies it claiming he was sleeping.
Chi Hyeon is livid there is no CCTV.
Tae O tells Joon Jae, Nam Doo, Detective Hong and his partner that Joon Jae’s father has signed a legally binding document transferring everything to Seo Hee and Chi Hyeon. Joon Jae relays that his father can barely see. He thinks he doesn’t know what he signed. Detective Hong is angry that Joon Jae didn’t extract his father. Joon Jae bluntly says his father didn’t believe him and called him a conman. He hands the a needle, extract of the flowers, the substitute medicine Seo Hee feeds Joon Jae’s father, and picture of the flowers, to Detective Hong and asks him to have it analyzed. Nam Doo recognizes the flower and says it is a powerful poison used for centuries to kill. Interesting that Nam Doo knows this. Joon Jae asks Detective Hong to get a search warrant for his father’s house. Though his partner indicates that won’t be easy, Detective Hong assures Joon Jae he’ll get the search warrant.
Seo Hee drives to where Dae Young is hiding. He doesn’t recognize her. She tells him who she is. He doesn’t recognize the name. She yells that she is Kang Ji Yeon (Seo Hee’s original name). Dae Young flashes backs to meeting Kang Ji Yeon when they where children. When they met, Dae Young was drawing a mermaid. That’s interesting.
Joon Jae enters his bedroom and calls to Sim Chung assuming she’s in the loft. He’s right, she’s in the loft laying on her bed, listening to loud music. He turns off the music, takes her hand and finds that she’s cold. He’s concerned. She tells him to go. He’s surprised. She barks at him that she needs to think but doesn’t want him to overhear. Joon Jae asks what she needs to think about. She snaps that it’s none of his business. Sim Chung says she’s tired of him having access to all her thoughts but she knows nothing about what he thinks. She tells him to leave. He stares. She asks if she should leave. He tells her he’ll give her space. He hugs her, assures himself her heart is beating ok, and turns to leave. He asks if she needs him to leave the bedroom or the house. He offers to sleep on the living room couch. She asks him to leave. I expected Sim Chung to be gone when he returned home.
Joon Jae tells Nam Doo that Sim Chung kicked him out for the night because she had stuff to think about. Nam Doo tells Joon Jae that means he did something wrong. Nam Doo asks if he hid anything from Sim Chung. Joon Jae sighs.
Seo Hee demands that Dae Young tell her everything he does remember. He describes the dead people from his past. Seo Hee tells him that he’s the kind of man the desires revenge. She tells him he was an abandoned child and he’s taken his revenge on the world ever since. Dae Young says he can’t remember. Seo Hee says his mind has always had issues remembering his rage. She promises she’ll always be by his side and to guide him in his revenge.
The next morning, Joon Jae appears in the loft wearing wireless headphones and tells Sim Chung that he can’t hear her thoughts. He tells her to come down for breakfast. Tae O doesn’t understand why Joon Jae is wearing his headphones. Joon Jae has the volume up, so he yells his response to Tae O and Nam Doo who enters the room. Tae O snatches the headphones off Joon Jae’s head. But when Sim Chung enters the room, Joon Jae snatches them back from Tae O and puts them on. Joon Jae yells the food is ready. She stares at him. What woman doesn’t secretly enjoy to see their man grovel, even if he doesn’t know why?
Detective Hong makes the case for a search warrant to his boss. His boss says because the evidence was garnered illegally he cannot have a search warrant.
That leaves Detective Hong in the car with Tae O and Joon Jae listening to the bug they placed in Seo Hee’s flower room. Seo Hee is livid when she counts her pills and realizes that one is missing. She calls the maid and yells at her for allowing men into her room.
Seo Hee brings the medicine/poison to Joon Jae’s father. He tells her he’ll take it later. She leaves. He puts the medicine/poison in the trash. Little does he know, Seo Hee watches him toss the medicine/poison.
Joon Jae’s mother visits the secretary who is still in a coma and his wife in the hospital. She tells the wife she believes that good and bad balance out. It’s time that the wife experience an upswing of good.
Flashback…the secretary hides with his stolen scroll. Nam Doo finds him.
Present day secretary flexes his fingers but no one sees this.
Nam Doo visits the aquarium and ask if mermaids really exist. The fish collector doesn’t know but claims if they ever found one it would be worth loads of money. Nam Doo’s eyes see the dollar signs. He remembers finding the jar of pearls in Sim Chung’s room. He recalls hearing Joon Jae call Sim Chung a pseudo mermaid. Present day Nam Doo wonders if Sim Chung is really a mermaid.
The homeless woman and the little girl, Yoo Na, visit Sim Chung who claims she needed to see them. Sim Chung THINKS “I may have to leave this house and I wanted to say goodbye before I left”. Recall Yoo Na can hear Sim Chung’s thoughts just like Joon Jae can. She thanks Yoo Na for being like an elder sister. She thanks the homeless woman for being her teacher. The homeless scoffs but Sim Chung assures her she’s a life coach. The homeless woman tells Sim Chung that when you value the chance encounters of life, then your life will be filled with good connections. Yoo Na agrees that she’s a life coach. They engage in a three way hug.
As Tae O and Joon Jae drive home, Chi Si A calls Joon Jae and asks him to stop by the coffee shop she’s at. There’s something she has to tell him. He agrees and says he has something to tell her too.
Joon Jae tells her about his mother. Si A says it’s amazing that his mother lived in her house. Si A gathers her courage and tells Joon Jae that she likes him as a man not a friend. She knows Sim Chung is in his heart but she’s willing to wait until Sim Chung leaves. Joon Jae asks why Sim Chung would leave. Si A says Sim Chung is unique and charming but she feels that Sim Chung will leave one day. Joon Jae interrupts and finally says the truth. He tells her that Sim Chung will stay by his side forever. If Sim Chung leaves, he’ll follow her. He tells Si A not to wait for him. He tells her to find a good man. Joon Jae says he should have told her this sooner and apologizes. That’s an understatement. Joon Jae should have told her long ago, before he found Sim Chung if he didn’t like her romantically. Si A hides her tears.
As Joon Jae walks to his house, his finds Chi Hyeon waiting for him. He asks why he’s here. Chi Hyeon tells Joon Jae that he scurried into his home like a rat. Joon Jae hits Chi Hyeon! Yes! Chi Hyeon tries to hit him but misses. Joon Jae hits Chi Hyeon again. Chi Hyeon yells that father says he doesn’t want to see his con man son and that he, Chi Hyeon, is enough son for their father. Joon Jae grabs Chi Hyeon and tells him to shut his mouth. Seeing that he’s hit a nerve, Chi Hyeon rubs salt in the wound and says that even Joon Jae knows that he’s nothing but a con man. Joon Jae asks why Chi Hyeon didn’t tell him about father’s eyesight. Chi Hyeon says he told Joon Jae, but was ignored. Joon Jae asks Chi Heyon’s mother contributed to father’s failing eyesight. Seeing that he’s hit a nerve, Joon Jae rubs salt in the wound and says that Chi Hyeon knows what he mother has been doing. Joon Jae yells demanding to know why Chi Hyeon would turn his back on the father that loved him. Chi Hyeon tells him to let go. Joon Jae continues to shake him and promises that if the ill treatment of his father continues that Chi Hyeon and his mother will both die. Joon Jae releases Chi Hyeon and strides away. Chi Hyeon yells that Sim Chung met him last night. He scoffs that Joon Jae sent her to distract him so he could sneak into the house. Chi Hyeon yells that Joon Jae can’t protect anyone. Joon Jae strides away. Wow! That was an excellent scene. The anger was palpable. Both men got physical (not Chi Hyeon and I’m not sorry about that) and landed multiple verbal blows on each other.
Joon Jae finds Sim Chung once again blocking her thought through loud music. He turns the music off, sits by her, and asks her with a sincere heart to tell her what’s troubling her. That was effective. I’d tell him what he wanted to know. Sim Chung says the jade bracelet she gave him in Spain, she originally found in the ocean. She says that once she put the bracelet on, the cycle began again. She know that she swam to Korea to find him because of fate. She tells him that he told her their past lifetime together ended happily ever after. She asks why he lied. She knows he died because of her, and she died because of him. Joon Jae looks at her surprised that she knows. Sim Chung shares that she meet Chi Hyeon the night he went to his father’s house. After that meeting, she saw Dae Young. She held Dae Young’s hands and erased his memory. In doing that, all Dae Young’s memories past and present were revealed to her. She knew how they died in the past. She understands Joon Jae’s fear that the present will repeat the past. Sim Chung says she’s the key, the reason the cycle began again, and must leave. Joon Jae asks a simple question – do you regret beginning the cycle again? Sim Chung recalls their time in Spain. She recalls their time in Korea. Lots of happiness and love and caring. She admits the obvious, she’s not sorry. She loves them together. He touches her gently and says he feels the same. He loves them together too. There isn’t anything to regret. Sim Chung admits she’s afraid he’ll die because of her. Joon Jae says if that happens, she must continue to live. He tells her even if he isn’t there physically, he’s still there loving her. They stare into each other’s eyes. Wow! Perfect scene. She was honest. He was honest. They were quietly open about their concerns and fears. Their chemistry shined. Sometimes its the quiet scenes that show the best in an actor.
A drunk Si A calls Tae O and yells that honesty ruined her and it’s his fault. He sighs and asks where she is. He finds her singing and sobbing at a karaoke room. With tears streaming down her face, she asks if he felt like this when she rejected him. She says she loved Joon Jae for so long. Tae O puts his arm around her an lets her cry against his chest. Aw, Tae O is such a sweet guy!
Joon Jae’s father wakes and leaves the bedroom. He hears Seo Hee telling Dae Young to stay in the basement. Seo Hee assures Dae Young that no one will know he’s there. Listening to their conversation, Detective Hong asks his partner who came home recently. His partner says Seo Hee’s car went into the garage. Detective Hong wonders if someone else was in the car. Joon Jae’s father makes his way down the stairs. He doesn’t fall, which I wondered if he’d do. Seo Hee tells Dae Young that her husband thinks he’s the new secretary. She tells him to make sure that her husband doesn’t contact anyone. She tells them him this will be easy because he can’t see. Seo Hee asks Dae Young if he remembers anything. He doesn’t. She shakes him and tells him to remember. They are almost at the end of the game. Joon Jae’s father can’t believe what he he has heard. He tries to make his way up the stairs and makes a noise. Seo Hee comes out to investigate. She sees Joon Jae’s father hiding behind the couch.
Detective Hong has everyone listen to the recording of Seo Hee telling someone that her husband thinks he’s the new secretary. She tells someone to make sure that her husband doesn’t contact anyone. She tells someone this will be easy because he can’t see. They wonder who Seo Hee is talking to. Sim Chung says it is Dae Young. Everyone stares at her. She states that Dae Young cannot remember anything right now. Nam Doo and Detective Hong ask how Sim Chung knows that Dae Young can’t remember. Joon Jae interrupts and asks when the search warrant will be issued. Detective Hong expects the search warrant by tomorrow morning.
Joon Jae’s father turns his cell phone off and hides his it under the bed. Seo Hee brings his medicine and says she’s going out for the night. She asks where the cell phone is. He claims not to know. She calls it but learns it is turned off. That’s the first semi-smart thing Joon Jae’s father has done. Seo Hee tells her husband she’ll be back later. He asks if she ever loved him. She responds that she’s always loved him. He throws the pills away. He drink the tea. He notices the bitter taste. Little does he know that Seo Hee is watching him. She smiles the smile of a woman that is satisfied that she just got more poison into her husband.
She leaves the house. The police tail her. Seo Hee calls Chi Hyeon and asks him to meet her in a public place for a drink. Ah, crafting an alibi for herself and her son. Chi Hyeon realizes what his mother may be doing. He tells her he has an appointment with other people that he can’t break. He tells the driver to head home quickly.
Joon Jae’s father grabs his heart. He falls off the bed, gets his cell phone, manages to turn it one and call Joon Jae (I heard no voice commands). But Joon Jae is knee deep in discussions about his father and does not hear his cell phone ring in the bedroom. His father leaves a message.
In the house, Dae Young gathers all the poison flowers into a trash can. As he strides to the door, Chi Hyeon bursts in. Dae Young tells Chi Hyeon that he should not be home. Chi Hyeon runs upstairs.
Joon Jae goes to his bedroom, sees his cell phone has a message and listens to his father say “Joon Jae you were right.” He grabs his jacket and runs for the door. He asks Nam Doo to call Detective Hong and look after Sim Chung. He runs out the door as Nam Doo yells what’s going on. Sim Chung comes into the room and asks where Joon Jae went to. Nam Doo doesn’t know. He looks at Sim Chung speculatively.
As he drives, Joon Jae listens to his father’s message “Joon Jae you were right. My decision was wrong from the start to the end. I’m not sure why admitting that was so difficult. I’m not sure why it took so long. I missed our times together with your mother. I want to return to those times. Why did I live without love? Why couldn’t I say I was sorry? I am so sorry.”
Joon Jae arrives at the house. There’s an ambulance outside. Joon Jae rushes to the courtyard and sees the EMTs taking a body sheet draped body out on a stretcher. Joon Jae recalls that last of his father’s message “If I could be reborn, I’d like to live as your father and your mother’s husband. Am I greedy? I’m sorry Joon Jae.” Joon Jae approaches the body and removes the sheet. It’s his father. Joon Jae recalls his father’s final words of the message “I love you.” It is his father under the sheet. Joon Jae steps back. He tells his father that it isn’t supposed to end like this. The EMTs puts the sheet back on his father’s face and they carry him away.
Joon Jae cries and falls to his knees as they load his father in the ambulance. He yells “it’s not time father! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” The ambulance drives away. Joon Jae sobs out his pain.
The mermaid memory erase is not permanent. Sim Chung has yet to realize that everyone’s memory she has erased has slowly but surely remembered. The wonder power she thinks makes her invincible makes her more vulnerable.
Joon Jae’s father dies. I don’t feel much about that. I didn’t like him. He made his own bed with a lying witch who mistreated his son and poisoned him to death. Joon Jae feels regret that he didn’t hoist his father over his shoulder and save him. Joon Jae feels pain at losing his father and knowing their time is permanently over.
Side characters notes. Nam Doo again showed that money is his primary driver as he eyed the money making mermaid Sim Chung. Tae O comforted a drunk distraught Si A who took his advice and confessed to Joon Jae. Finally Joon Jae rejected her. It needed to happen. But it hurt Si A. Ah Jin Joo was surprised when her party to introduce Joon Jae’s mother in hopes that she’d be powerful and rich woman went bust when Seo Hee declared that in the will she and Chi Heon get everything.
On the evil side of the house, Dae Young lost most of his memory. Seo Hee, was irritated, but willing to use Dae Young as her lackey without a memory. We learned that Seo Hee grew harvested poison from the flowers and that was the medicine she gave Joon Jae’s father. Chi Hyeon confronted Joon Jae who dared him to help his father. If Chi Hyeon tried to do that when he dashed home instead of meeting his mother, it was too little, too late.
Dam Ryung / Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) lost his father. At least his father reached out to Joon Jae and apologized with a cell phone message. That’s something for Joon Jae to process in the positive column from his father. Joon Jae’s father was no prize parent. Joon Jae was right to flee that household that was so unfair to him. It created a physical estrangement but a mental one had been put in place when Joon Jae’s father dumped his mother for the evil Seo Hee. I understand that Joon Jae is ripped open that the estrangement he wanted to abate is permanent. I hope one day he understand that the fault lies with his father.
Joon Jae is ashamed of his con artist ways. This time Chi Hyeon shamed him by calling him a con artist. But Joon Jae shamed Chi Hyeon by pointing out he was standing idly by while his mother poisoned his father. Their confrontation was full of seething anger and satisfactory.
What surprised me was that Sim Chung did not leave Joon Jae. He realized he was in the dog house and gave her time to sort out her feelings. Then when they were both calm, he asked her to tell him what was troubling her. To her credit, and it exemplifies her commitment to their relationship, Sim Chung told him that she knew he lied. To his credit, and it exemplifies Joon Jae’s investment in the relationship, he admitted he did lie and apologized. They agreed that while restarting their cycle of fate was scary, it was worth the risk. That was lovely, solid, and gratifying.
Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) got mad, made Joon Jae wait for her to be ready to share, and then set the anger aside and told him what was wrong. Too many times couples engage in the anger and silent treatment but never resolve or speak without blame about the issue at hand. Sim Chung clearly told Joon Jae he lied and it hurt her. She told him that she was catalyst for the second round of their relationship. She told him she was afraid he’d die once again. But she couldn’t deny that their time together was wonderful and that it was worth the risk to walk this relationship path in this time and hoped they ended up happily ever after.
Will Nam Doo throw her in the pool to reveal her mermaid status? Will he avoid touching her to dodge the memory erase?
Another instrumental song of the OST is “The Next at This Time” by Second Moon.