L.U.C.A.: The Beginning Episode 9

Sidekick warns Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) to cooperate or her baby will die. Team Lead Choi Jin Hwan arrives with baby items and smiles. Goo Reum asks who he’s working for. He wants to know where Ji O is. Goo Reum asks why when she reached out to DK, Sidekick arrived to force her and her baby to leave the hospital. Goo Reum doubts the bodies found in the car where really her parents. Team Lead Choi assures her they were her parents. He asks again where Ji O is. Goo Reum assumes they are lying to her to capture Ji O. She says they can talk if a DNA test reveals the bodies were her parents. Team Lead Choi agrees. Sidekick rips hair from Goo Reum and tells Team Lead Choi to run the DNA test.

Team Lead Choi meets with Kim Cheol Soo. Team Lead Choi confirms Goo Reum wanted the DNA test as expected. Mr. Kim chuckles at her predictability. Team Lead Choi gives him Goo Reum’s hair. Mr. Kim gives him the test with the fake results. He advises Team Lead Choi to believe the lie he’ll tell Goo Reum tomorrow, to increase the odds of her believing him. Mr. Kim shoos him away when he gets a phone call.

Won Yi, Ji O’s friend, arrives at the specified location to meet Ji O (Kim Rae Won). He sees something is wrong. Ji O tells him Goo Reum left with Sidekick. Ji O admits he has a reason to live. Won Yi points out he’ll die going after them. Ji O doesn’t care. Won Yi says Sidekick works with the police. Ji O says Team Lead Choi works for Team Evil. He’s willing to go to the police station. Won Yi knows Ji O will be captured if he does that. He offers to handle. He points out they never had anyone help them when they were young, now they can help each other. Won Yi wants to meet Ji O’s daughter. They only have each other for family. Ji O thanks him. Won Yi promises to sell him out if he gets caught. He confirms Ji O is willing to go all the way to save his wife and daughter, knowing Ji O has been a loner all his life. Ji O counters he’s never been alone with Won Yi in his life. Won Yi smiles and calls him corny. He tells Ji O to wait and he’ll get him.

Nice moment!

Mr. Kim is taken aback when Pastor Hwang summons him to learn he’s got a new co-worker, Ms. Jung, and she’s no longer a subordinate. Mr. Kim asks what she manipulated to get the promotion. Ms. Jung says he’s reckless life gave her all the fodder she needed.  She points out that Goo Reum’s father wanted to make humans that wouldn’t get sick while Doctor Ryu wanted to create hybrid humans under the guise of human evolution. Goo Reum’s father took Ji O to stop the research and contacted the NIS.

Flashback…Goo Reum’s father hands over a young Ji O to the NIS. He only wants enough money to leave Korea and live elsewhere.

Ms. Jung says that Goo Reum’s father was a whistleblower who didn’t die in a car accident like Mr. Kim has manufactured.

Flashback…a young Ji O pulses an energy burst and blows up the NIS car.

Ms. Jung is sure Mr. Kim killed Goo Reum’s father. Mr. Kim doesn’t deny it.

Flashback…Mr. Kim’s security team finds the NIS truck. They track Goo Reum’s father into the woods. Mr. Kim pulls Goo Reum’s father to his feet and demands to know where Ji O is. Goo Reum’s father declares the experimentation is morally wrong and must be stopped. Mr. Kim states Goo Reum’s father’s wife will be killed if Ji O’s whereabouts aren’t revealed. Mr. Kim states Goo Reum will become an orphan. Mr. Kim pushes him against a pile wood which stakes and kills Goo Reum’s father. Mr. Kim can’t believe it.

Ms. Jung tells Mr. Kim his mistakes – fabricating Goo Reum’s father’s death and framing his loyal minions for murder – cost the organization and must end. Yoo Na overhears. Pastor Hwang knows Yoo Na is listening. Ms. Jung hands Mr. Kim an envelope. Mr. Kim asks Pastor Hwang if she can sweep him under the rug with money. Pastor Hwang says she can. The envelope contains a resignation letter and a confidentiality agreement. Pastor Hwang wants the signed resignation letter in 3 days.

Yoo Na watches Mr. Kim leave. She asks Pastor Hwang if Mr. Kim will really resign. Pastor Hwang believes that Mr. Kim is nothing without the organization’s power. Pastor Hwang says Sidekick will be released from Mr. Kim’s grasp in 3 days. Yoo Na agrees to bring the embryos once Sidekick is free. Pastor Hwang suggests Yoo Na and Sidekick move, get married and have kids. Yoo Na doesn’t think that’s possible. Pastor Hwang tells her to show Sidekick it is possible.

Goo Reum tends her baby. She remembers Ji O telling her to find out whether or not he killed her parents. She cries. Sidekick observes.

Won Yi tails Detective Kim. He calls Ji O that kidnapping a police office isn’t a smart idea.

Team Lead Choi lies to Goo Reum that her parent’s car was zapped by electrical voltage like an energy burst. He says only 1 person could create that. He asks where Ji O is. Team Lead Choi says he’ll get revenge for her. Goo Reum doubts the validity of the report. Team Lead Choi pushes that Ji O has killed many. He warns her that not seeing reality will but her baby in danger. Team Lead Choi only wants to capture Ji O to help her. She cries. Team Lead Choi asks if Ji O is the baby’s father. Team Lead Choi doesn’t believe her. Sidekick listens intently. Team Lead Choi can’t believe she got pregnant by her parents’ murderer. Goo Reum sobs.  Pastor Hwang calls Team Lead Choi.

Team Lead Choi tells Mr. Kim that Pastor Hwang called to report Mr. Kim would be resigning. Mr. Kim wants Team Lead Choi’s loyalty. Pastor Hwang has his loyalty is the response. Team Lead Choi also heard that Mr. Kim is leaving NIS. Team Lead Choi tells Mr. Kim to enjoy his retirement and never contact him again. He recommends that Goo Reum be released because she’ll never turn on Ji O.

Sidekick tells Mr. Kim that Goo Reum will crack soon. Mr. Kim tells Sidekick to gather men and kill everyone at the church, compound, and lab. Leave no trace. Sidekick knows Yoo Na is in the compound. He says he’ll need a day. Mr. Kim says Team Lead Choi is a traitor and war is next. Mr. Kim asks if Sidekick is loyal to him. Sidekick asks if Mr. Kim is loyal to him. Mr. Kim claims he is.

When Detective Kim ducks into a pub for soju, Won Yi calls Ji O and says the time is now. When Ji O arrives, they are thwarted when Team Lead Choi and the rest of the team arrive. Ji O thanks Won Yi for his friendship. Then he zaps Won Yi.

In the pub, Detective Kim shares that Goo Reum called and was in a hospital after having a baby. He says Goo Reum changed her identify. Detective Kim believes Goo Reum was abducted. Team Lead Choi asks why Detective Kim didn’t report it. Detective Kim shows the baby’s shoe and wonders if Ji O is involved. They spot Ji O through the window. They give chase. Ji O lets them catch him. He tells Team Lead Choi that he’s working for terrible people. Team Lead Choi tells his team to apprehend Ji O. They try and fail. Ji O asks Team Lead Choi where Goo Reum is. Detective Kim might have overheard.

Yoo Na senses someone in her room. It’s Sidekick. He flings her to the bed and chides her for standing on the balcony. Yoo Na admits she wanted him to see her and come to her. Yoo Na asks why he didn’t come sooner. He wants the research she stole. Yoo Na declares that doesn’t matter, they matter. Sidekick tells her to run, everyone in the compound will be killed tomorrow. Yoo Na says Mr. Kim is history. Sidekick repeats his warning to run. Yoo Na asks him to run away with her. She asks if she means anything to him. Sidekick says he must stay by Mr. Kim’s side to let her live. He leaves. Yoo Na cries.

The next morning, Team Lead Choi wakes to find Ji O watching him. Ji O knows he’s helping Team Evil. Team Lead Choi tries to overpower Ji O. It doesn’t work.


Mr. Kim can’t believe that Sidekick can’t raise the army of men they need. Sidekick explains no one is to answer Mr. Kim’s calls. He snaps the organization has fallen apart. Sidekick admits he’s staying. Mr. Kim promises to fix Sidekick’s arm once they catch Ji O.

Mr. Kim visits Goo Reum. He explains he works for the government and worked with her father. Mr. Kim explains the company (National Intelligence Service) took Doctor Ryu’s research, even though there were ethic issues, and supported it. Mr. Kim states Goo Reum’s father joined the team. Mr. Kim states Doctor Ryu and her father created the monster Ji O.

Team Lead Choi wonders why Goo Reum ended with a monster like Ji O.

Goo Reum doesn’t believe Mr. Kim. He explains that Ji O’s name stands for prototype 0. He says prototypes 1 and 2 died. Mr. Kim says that when her father took Ji O away, Ji O emitted an energy pulse in the car.

Team Lead Choi advises Ji O to run if he wants to save Goo Reum’s life.

Mr. Kim lies that Ji O’s energy pulse killed her parents. Goo Reum counters that Ji O said her father liked him. Mr. Kim agrees. Mr. Kim says again Ji O killed her parents because he’s a monster.

Ji O applies energy to Team Lead Choi.


Goo Reum asks if Ji O really killed her parents. Mr. Kim states Ji O the monster killed them. Mr. Kim points out that Goo Reum was orphaned because of Ji O. Does she want the same for her daughter? Mr. Kim promises to clear her name. Goo Reum agrees to call Ji O.

Mr. Kim gets a call from Team Lead Choi but it’s really Ji O. He steps out of the room. Ji O asks where Goo Reum is. Mr. Kim says he can kill Goo Reum and the baby at any time. He has the power. Mr. Kim says he’ll call Ji O back with the time and place.

Team Lead Choi tells Ji O he won’t win. Ji O leaves.

Mr. Kim returns to Goo Reum. He vows to catch Ji O and send her baby abroad if she doesn’t cooperate.


Pastor Hwang tells Ms. Jung once Mr. Kim is gone; the embryos will be returned. Ms. Jung wants Pastor Hwang to turn her attention to developing vaccines inherent in bats. They would dominate the global economy.

Ji O arrives at the compound.


Mr. Kim smugly tells Sidekick he sent Ji O to the compound. They won’t need extra men; Ji O will kill everyone for them. Sidekick runs.

Pastor Hwang and Ms. Jung are told they need to leave the compound.

Ji O takes on the security team.

Ji O takes on Yoo Na. He demands to know where Goo Reum is. Yoo Na stabs him. Ji O extracts the object.  Yoo Na charges. Ji O flings her down. She hits her head.

Goo Reum tries to soothe the baby.


Sidekick arrives at the compound. He finds Yoo Na bleeding out on the floor. He holds her. She cries then dies. The grief rips through Sidekick.

Ji O holds a cloth at his wound.

Sidekick doesn’t answer Mr. Kim’s phone call.

The next day Sidekick finds Won Yi. He orders him to call Ji O.  Sidekick forces Won Yi to call Ji O.


Won Yi calls Ji O. He asks to meet. Ji O agrees to meet at the construction site. Won Yi yells at Ji O not to go. Sidekick beats Won Yi. He takes him to the construction site. Won Yi says that Ji O is father and deserves a chance. Ji O arrives. Sidekick holds Won Yi. Won Yi tells him to take care of himself. Sidekick kills Won Yi. Ji O screams. Sidekick turns to Ji O and says he did that on purpose.

My Thoughts

Threats, lies, and side characters die. Writer Chun Sung Il (Chuno) raised the stakes for Ji O and his nemesis Sidekick. Ji O killed Yoo Na, albeit not with the same deliberate intent as Sidekick. Poor Won Yi, he was Ji O’s only friend. Sidekick had to take retribution for Yoo Na and lure Ji O to him. Won Yi was the obvious choice. Sidekick deliberately killed Won Yi right in front of Ji O. Part of me understands Sidekick making Ji O pay for killing Yoo Na. She was Sidekick’s love. He protected her by staying with Mr. Kim. He warned her to leave the compound. All to no avail. Mr. Kim sent Ji O to wipe out those in the compound. In essence Mr. Kim sent Ji O to kill Yoo Na and everyone else. But Sidekick can’t see that for the grief and the blind loyalty he gives to Mr. Kim. Sidekick doesn’t see the obvious, Mr. Kim doesn’t care about him, he’s only a tool to be used then discarded. Pastor Hwang allowing Mr. Kim 3 days to resign seemed stupid. She gave him time to come up with a counterplan to kill her. Ms. Jung had an interesting idea that vaccine development would allow Pastor Hwang to control the world. Writer Chung wove in the COVID reference well. What happens next? Ji O wants to kill Sidekick for killing Won Yi. Sidekick wants to kill Ji O for killing Yoo Na. It isn’t going to be a diplomatic discussion.

Ji O (Kim Rae Won) wanted to find Goo Reum and his daughter. He had the right idea, capturing Team Lead Choi, who knew where Goo Reum was. But he wouldn’t talk. Ji O’s tactics to get Team Lead Choi to talk were warranted.  I was sorry to see Won Yi murdered right in front of Ji O. It was brutal. Ji O’s dispatching Yoo Na was too. Ji O wants to get to his wife and child. Is Ji O doomed?

Ha Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) was told Ji O killed her parents. Mr. Kim explained that her father co-created Ji O along with Doctor Ryu. Mr. Kim lied that Ji O’s energy pulse in the car killed her parents. Team Lead Choi lied that it was her parent’s bodies in the car. Goo Reum had a moment of lucidity when she pointed out she’d been framed with their false lab work and lies. But in her heart, she believes there is a chance that Ji O killed her parents. She doesn’t want to, but she doubts Ji O. We did learn via flashbacks that Mr. Kim killed Goo Reum’s father. I won’t be sorry when the lying self serving Mr. Kim dies.

I rank this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in L.U.C.A
11 comments on “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning Episode 9
  1. Snow Flower says:

    I was shocked that Yoo Na (Crimson Hair, later Raven Hair) died. I was hoping for a redemption arc for her. In a way, she did redeem herself by not playing by Creepy Cult’s rules, but I was hoping that she would help Ji Oh. And now Burned Arm Sidekick has gone completely rogue…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Tilly says:

      I had hoped Yoo Na 🦿🎖 would not only redeem herself, but drag Yi Son 🦾🎖 with her down that road of redemption. Will Yoo Na’s 🦿🎖 death give Yi Son 🦾🎖 the freedom to follow his heart or will he continue to be fixated on thinking he is entitled to Ji O’s ⚗🐭⚡ arm❓⁉️ With Ji O ⚗🐭⚡ having animal DNA 🧬 is a transplant even possible❓⁉️ Seems to me Kim Cheol Soo 👨‍💼 😈 is promising an arm transplant to Yi Son 🦾🎖 simply as the carrot 🥕 that will drive Yi Son 🦾🎖 forward. Doesn’t the man, who “expends” all the expendable realize he is expendable too❓⁉️

      Liked by 2 people

    • I was shocked that Yoo Na (Crimson Hair, later Raven Hair) died. I was hoping for a redemption arc for her…Burned Arm Sidekick has gone completely rogue
      I wanted her love to make a bigger difference. Now that she’s gone, an eye for an eye is Sidekick’s predictable response. Where did she hid the embryos?

      Like

      • Jane Tilly says:

        “Where did she hid the embryos?” -KJT

        Good question seeing how Dr Ryu 🥼😈 specified strict storage conditions to Kim Cheol Soo 👨‍💼 😈 to maintain the embryo viability.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Tilly says:

    Well, the spotlight 🔦 turned to Goo Reum👧🤜💢 and Ji O’s ⚗🐭⚡ baby sooner than later. I’m sickened Goo Reum seems to be buying the Ji O ⚗🐭⚡killed her parents rhetoric … tell me after she was royally setup by L.U.C.A. that she really doesn’t believe Kim Cheol Soo’s 👨‍💼 😈 fabrication being fed by Team Lead Choi Jin Hwan 👨‍🦲🔎

    Meanwhile, it looks like Won Yi 🥴⚙ is a true friend to Ji O ⚗🐭⚡… they had a nice bromantic 💙 moment together. You’re right KJT “Threats, lies, and side characters die.” The difference is Yoo Na🦿🎖 made a choice to stay at the Pastor’s compound, while Yi Son 🦾🎖 deliberately used Won Yi 🥴⚙ as a pawn to get revenge for Yoo Na’s🦿🎖 death. Is it possible Won Yi 🥴⚙ survived❓⁉️

    It’s such a shame Kim Cheol Soo 👨‍💼 😈 is such a master manipulator and yet, Ji O ⚗🐭⚡ continues to take him at his word and let himself be used.

    Is it just me or does Team Lead Choi 👨‍🦲🔎 appear to want help our protagonists; is he just in too deep with L.U.C.A.❓⁉️

    Like

    • tell me after she was royally setup by L.U.C.A. that she really doesn’t believe Kim Cheol Soo’s 👨‍💼 😈 fabrication being fed by Team Lead Choi Jin Hwan 👨‍🦲🔎
      Hard to believe she’d believe ANYTHING out of the lying mouth of Team Lead Choi considering he tried to kill her and helped frame her.

      Is it possible Won Yi 🥴⚙ survived❓⁉️
      Understandable wishful thinking (though I’d love to be proven wrong).

      Is it just me or does Team Lead Choi 👨‍🦲🔎 appear to want help our protagonists; is he just in too deep with L.U.C.A.❓⁉️
      Snow Flower’s comment below shows you aren’t alone in that line of thinking.

      Like

  3. Snow Flower says:

    I have high hopes for Team Leader Choi to redeem himself.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. DramaDazed says:

    One thing I haven’t seen raised yet is Goo Reum possibly having a birth secret. Her dad was doing research too, and Dr Ryu snarked about how her dad was always bragging about Goo Reum in a way that made Ryu sound jealous to me. I don’t see how it would fit in the plot but I am not sure of the endgame here with multiple conversations about the evolutionary impact of the dna enhancements. Also in one scene TL Choi asked her twice ‘what are you?’. Of course that could be a subtitle issue, due to the context component of understanding Korean language but the screen said ‘what are you’. And…y’all may already know I often overthink.

    I never saw Chuno (much as I love Jang Hyuk). I did read about it. I am not comfortable with unrelenting danger and sorrow. The farm interlude notwithstanding, this show seems headed that way.

    Like

    • Jane Tilly says:

      “TL Choi asked her [Goo Reum 👧🤜💢] twice ‘what are you?’. Of course that could be a subtitle issue, due to the context component of understanding Korean language but the screen said ‘what are you’. And…y’all may already know I often overthink.”-DD. I’ve frequently heard 너 뭐야 (what are you?) used and I don’t think it is a verbatim translation. There are times that it seems who do you think you are might be more appropriate, but I don’t think it is universally interchangeable. I wish I had taken Korean language courses in college or lived in South Korea for a while to be able to distinguish nuances in the language.

      Goo Reum 👧🤜💢 having a birth secret is an interesting concept.

      “”-DD

      Like

    • Jane Tilly says:

      THAT POSTED PREMATURELY

      “I am not comfortable with unrelenting danger and sorrow.” -DD. I generally concur with that sentiment DD. I am a sucker for happy endings or at least the hope of happiness. You’re right … this drama has been dark and foreboding from episode 1, when Team Evil shoved Ji O’s ⚗🐭⚡ kind coworker into the incinerator to burn 🔥 alive.

      The only sanctity of life the leadership of Team Evil 😈 has is for their own greedy, selfish lives, otherwise they would not be illegally experimenting on humans and eliminating the majority of those involved in the project considering all others as expendable, while they busily calculate how much money or power they can gain from the project.

      Like

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