New dangers are in store for Je-ha, and they’ll require the use of his heart rather than his gun. Reopening deep emotional wounds can often be an unpleasant task, but if that’s the cost of getting one step closer to the bottom of the truth, then our bodyguard is more than willing to pay that price.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Following a lengthy series recap, we pick back up at the sub-basement where Je-ha steps into an empty corridor that leads him to a glass door that requires a two-step identification verification for entry.
Behind that door houses an expansive glass conference room, where Yoo-jin, Secretary Kim, the head of JSS, and Chief Joo are reviewing the profiles of the scholarship foundation’s board of directors who had sought after her dismissal.
Je-ha takes a seat as we zoom in on the ongoing conversation inside. Yoo-jin plans for a long, grueling legal case against one director and putting him on a recruiter’s blacklist. There’s video proof of another director getting it on with another woman, which Yoo-jin says they can expose to the world and have someone make sexual assault claims against him.
But then on second thought, Yoo-jin decides that the director’s children should see that video first. Everyone else is taken aback by those words, and she finishes Chief Joo’s sentence about the children’s reaction to seeing a sexual video of their father: “Wouldn’t they want to commit suicide?”
Or maybe not, with this video alone, she concludes. But the topic of death has been lingering in her mind—when she was faced with the rest of the family at the funeral, she had thought to herself what method of death would bring the least amount of pain?
Seeing Je-ha waiting patiently outside, her face splits into a faint smile before composing herself once more.
Anna overhears Mi-ran and gossiping about Je-ha being part of Cloud Nine downstairs. Mi-ran’s world comes crashing down when she realizes that means there’s no one on night duty tonight, and Anna looks up to the cameras.
Je-ha steps inside the glass-encased conference room once the others leave. He admits he’s impressed by this structure Yoo-jin probably spent a pretty penny to have built. Not only are they several stories underground, but it’s also soundproof, making it ideal in keeping out potential eavesdroppers.
He gets right to the point—why did she call him here? She wants to hear every bit of his life story because not everyone runs into a den of enemies with an umbrella and handkerchief these days. She’s curious about the man behind those actions, and when Je-ha asks what she really wants to hear, she raises her eyebrows in surprise. “But it’s true,” she thinks to herself.
Since she’s heard about his army days, Yoo-jin says she’d like to learn more about his time in Iraq. She tells him: “Soon we’ll begin the hunt on Park Kwan-soo. Is that enough of a reason for you?”
His eyes flicker, attentive now, as she reminds him that no one will know what they share here thanks to these soundproof walls. He asks who’s listening in on the mics in this room then, and Yoo-jin identifies the computerized voice as her Magic Mirror, like the one in Snow White.
He scoffs at that, so to prove it, Yoo-jin chants, “Mirror, mirror, who in this land is fairest of all?” Her computerized magic mirror voice answers, “Snow White.”
While Anna picks up on a news story about her father visiting a church tomorrow, Yoo-jin shares how her Magic Mirror is smarter than the other artificial intelligence systems available today.
This room acts like the brain of JSS, a hub that stores all the secrets of the world. Her Magic Mirror is a highly-advanced software whose function is to comb through all that information and give her the most accurate answers to her questions. So if Je-ha shares his story, Magic Mirror will satiate his curiosity.
“Why do you think there would be things I’m curious about?” Je-ha posits in return. Yoo-jin replies that he wouldn’t have joined the JSS if he weren’t curious. She knows he doesn’t have a comeback for that, and tells him that she’s the only one who can access the encrypted data because Magic Mirror only responds to her voice commands.
Anna sneaks downstairs into Mi-ran’s room, rummaging through her drawers for her JSS ID badge. She takes a few more items, then discovers a stash of syringes.
We cut back to the glass house where Yoo-jin asks what happened to him and why he’s after Representative Park. Je-ha sits down and breathes deeply before starting his story about Rania.
We’re taken back to the day of Representative Park’s visit to the Blackstone campsite when Je-ha had seen the secret deal go down. He had tried to grab her attention for a few moments before settling in for a nap in his car.
Representative Park had given another mercenary a nod before climbing into his car, and Je-ha had witnessed Rania being taken. We know how this story goes—a gunshot followed by him seeing her body on the ground.
But we learn something new now: someone knocks him out with a punch, and Je-ha found a gun in his hand when he’d come to. He’d thrown it aside to stagger toward Rania’s body, and was still wailing when he’d been apprehended.
He’d essentially been framed for Rania’s murder and managed to escape a week later. Representative Park had been long gone by then, and the private military company had already moved their campsite. So he traveled with a group of Syrian refugees and eventually made it to Europe.
“That’s the reason why I must kill Park Kwan-soo,” he states, his bottom lip quivering. Yoo-jin considers that a good enough reason, so she instructs her computer to answer all of Je-ha’s questions.
Per Je-ha’s request, Magic Mirror brings up Representative Park’s activities on September 15, 2015. But when he asks to learn why the politician was at the Blackstone campsite that afternoon at 15:30, the computer is unable to identify why.
Yoo-jin instructs her computer to widen its search parameters, and now Magic Mirror states there was a 53.3 percent chance the politician was in a secret meeting. When Je-ha asks with whom Representative Park was speaking with, the computer asks for a location.
He gives it, and the computer generates four names: Representative Park, Rania, an unidentified Blackstone agent, and the leader of the Kumar group Abdul Omar. He asks for the reason for their meeting, only for the computer to state that the reason is unknown.
So Je-ha asks why Representative Park had Rania killed, to which Magic Mirror says there is a 68 percent chance it was because she knew information that couldn’t be leaked. Je-ha slams his fist on the table upon seeing the results, and asks to find out what the men discussed.
But that information can’t be traced either, and Yoo-jin says it’s pointless to inquire more deeply when the data isn’t there. Then Magic Mirror states that Abdul Omar escaped the CIA’s grasp two weeks following that meeting and assembled a new military group.
Yoo-jin wonders if that means Representative Park has been supplying arms to Abdul Omar’s men.
Meanwhile, Anna sneaks outside dressed in Mi-ran’s suit after slipping some of the contents of the syringe into her mug. She jumps when the security car outside flashes its headlights, and she uses her earpiece to communicate that she’s out for an errand.
Anna climbs into a taxi by early morning and sticks her head out the window to feel the breeze. She puts on her sunglasses to protect her sensitive eyes.
Yoo-jin surmises that Je-ha must’ve loved Rania, but he isn’t sure whether he found love during the most miserable days of his life or what he felt was useless compassion. “Useless?” Yoo-jin repeats, and Je-ha explains that he was the one who introduced Rania to the Blackstone mercenaries.
Je-ha gets up to leave, but he refuses the offer to stay in the JSS residences just because he’s part of Cloud Nine now. But Yoo-jin emphasizes that she protects her inner circle including their families.
He says that sounds an awful lot like calling him her slave, and Yoo-jin says she’s never betrayed anyone who hasn’t ever betrayed her. To that, Je-ha bites back: “There’s no such thing as a master who does not betray his slave.”
He turns to leave, but then looks back at her: “There are people who don’t betray their friends, though. Isn’t that right… friend?”
Anna gets off at her old neighborhood and stands outside her childhood home. She thinks back to happier times with her mother when they would cook outside and dance together, a memory that brings tears to her eyes.
We briefly check in on Je-ha’s ride back from the JSS headquarters, where the bodyguard who drove him there believes that Je-ha had failed to be included in the elusive Cloud Nine.
Anna imagines more happier memories with Mom while she roams the streets. Seeing an old photo of her and her mother on display outside a local photo studio, she inquires about it with the owner who needs a little push to remember her.
The owner remembers Mom with fondness, sharing how the movie star once came in with Anna to have her passport photo taken before she left for the States. Evidently Mom had also wanted a family portrait as well, so the photo on display was of her, Anna, and a family friend.
He shows Anna how he folded the photo so that the third subject wouldn’t appear in the frame. Seeing the photo now, Anna remembers that there was a family friend.
So when Je-ha returns to the house to find Mi-ran asleep and Anna gone, Chief Joo calls his superior to suggest that that they search for Anna without letting Yoo-jin know. He berates Mi-ran for her ineptitude and breathes a sigh of relief when she gets transaction updates on her phone because Anna is using her credit card.
Anna takes another taxi to pay a visit to that family friend who resides at a sanatorium. She finds the woman lying in her bed, barely lucid. She calls Anna by her mother’s name Hye-rin, and asks for food.
Anna bends down again and identifies herself. This time the woman repeats her name correctly, then rises from her bed in alarm, calling Anna by her mother’s name again. “Hurry and run away! Go to America with Anna!”
“Choi Yoo-jin has found out everything! Run away!” the woman cries. “That person will kill you and Anna! You must hurry!” Anna is taken aback by the woman, but now she has confirmation that Yoo-jin wanted her and her mother dead. She tries prying for more information, but the woman has slipped back to her babblings.
Thanks to her stolen earpiece, Anna finds out that the JSS agents have arrived at the sanatorium. Mi-ran checks the patient’s room but Anna is nowhere to be found. Je-ha isn’t surprised that the news of Anna’s disappearance has reached Se-joon’s ears when he calls Chief Joo, though Se-joon has instructed that Anna doesn’t show up at his scheduled church appearance today.
Just then, someone walks out the door behind them—it’s Anna, disguised as a nun and telling herself that her father is under Yoo-jin’s influence.
Yoo-jin and Se-joon look like saints when they help an elderly woman up the hill to the church. Conversely, Representative Park’s car obnoxiously honks its horn to make way, much to the attendees’ chagrin.
Se-joon and Yoo-jin help the elderly woman to the pew, then nervously look around hoping that Anna isn’t around. Representative Park loudly insists that they join him in the front pew, and sees the couple modestly accept seats next to the old woman.
Once Mass begins, Anna enters the church with a group of nuns. She sees her father in the pews and utters, “Dad.” Se-joon narrows his eyes to get a closer look, then looks away.
Anna sees her father quietly grab Yoo-jin’s attention, and Yoo-jin turns from surprise to bewilderment once she sees Anna. She texts a clue to Chief Joo, who then relays the intel to the rest of the team.
The priest stops the JSS agents from interrupting the service to apprehend Anna. She remains standing even after the song ends, her tear-filled eyes fixed on her father. Je-ha internally tells Anna not to expose herself and calls off the order to move in.
The priest says there’s another song, and Anna opens her mouth to sing “Amazing Grace.” Her angelic voice carries throughout the chapel, and the other nuns join in on the next verse.
Tears roll down Anna’s cheeks and drop from nearly every eye of the attendees, including angry ones from Yoo-jin. Once the song is over, Je-ha takes a few steps toward her and stops, trying to communicate to her with his eyes: “Don’t do it, Anna-yah. You can’t.”
Anna stands for a few more moments then walks off to the side. She turns to get one last glimpse of her father and Yoo-jin’s scowl. Je-ha tries catching up to the nuns to find Anna, but she’s already gone.
One nun hands him a note, though, and he delivers that to Se-joon. In it, Anna writes that she must’ve lost her way. She asks that her father come and get her: “You know where that is, don’t you?”
Se-joon is well aware that everything will come crashing down if Anna’s identity is exposed to the world now. What he wants to know is how Anna was treated that she would resort to such extreme measures, but Yoo-jin will have none of it today and tells him to figure out the location in Anna’s note.
When he says he doesn’t know, which Yoo-jin finds hard to believe. Even she’s saddened by how Anna is convinced that a father like him would come and find her. She instructs Chief Joo to leave, and now that they’re alone, she reminds him of the last breakfast she ever made for him fourteen years ago.
She wouldn’t have despised Se-joon as much as she does now if he had just left her that day. That was the day the news of Anna’s mother’s supposed suicide hit the front page, and Se-joon had dropped a cup in shock.
Before he could storm out, Yoo-jin had threatened him that Anna would die if he left now. Back in the present, Se-joon asks, “Should I have left Anna to die in your hands then?”
“You murderer,” he sighs. Yoo-jin had shared a similar thought—that Se-joon was trying to protect Anna from her, but now they both know the real reason why Anna was kept hidden from the world: “You were afraid that Anna would be an obstacle to your ambition!”
Whereas the JSS is nowhere near cracking Anna’s code, we see Anna sitting alone on a park bench. She remembers the day she went to the amusement park with her parents, who did their best to make sure she had a good time.
When the speakers made an announcement about a missing child, Se-joon had asked young Anna what to do if she ever lost her way. He was impressed when she chirped that she’d take a taxi, then asked what she’d do if she were abroad.
“I’d have to hurry and find you,” she’d answered. Se-joon had bent down to meet her eye level and explained how it’d be impossible for him to find her if she kept running around. Instead, she should stay put at the exact location where they lost one another.
“No matter how scared you get, you must endure and wait,” he’d instructed. “Then I’ll come find you where you are.” Young Anna had told him that he had to promise to come and get her.
So that park bench must be where Anna and her father had lost one another. A pair of girls stop to take a selca, unaware that Anna is in the background.
But that photo pops up on the JSS’ systems, and the agents are sent to her location. In the car, Je-ha asks Team Leader Seo for a favor.
Anna prays in earnest, and when she opens her eyes, she sees her father walking towards her with a big smile and an ice cream in each hand. She smiles, and the camera pans behind her to reveal that it’s actually Je-ha.
She looks crestfallen, and Je-ha tells her that her father was busy, so he sent him. He takes a seat next to her and says she put up a strong front back at the church. But she’s still fixated on her father’s reaction to her sudden appearance. Was he mad?
Je-ha says somewhat unconvincingly that her father was worried about her, and offers up the ice cream, telling her that her father wanted her to have it. She accepts it, since it’s from Dad after all.
While Team Leader Seo and the other JSS keep watch from a distance, Anna shares how this park used to be an amusement park called Dreamland. She describes that it was also her own sort of “dream world”, a phrase she says in Spanish.
She was so happy that she got to spend time with her father back then, because that gave her something to brag about. He empathizes with the joyful childhood memory, but her breathing becomes increasingly shallow as she says she couldn’t brag because no one was supposed to find out who her father was.
She struggles to breathe as she shares how her mother told her that her father was a powerful man, and bad people will come and harass him if they ever found out about them. She didn’t know what that meant at a young age, and she gasps to say the next few words: “But I was afraid… of the bad people… harassing my father… so I think I held it in.”
She’s gasping now, and Je-ha places a hand on her arm, asking if she’s okay. She utters in Spanish: “Wishful thinking.” Fighting for breath now, Anna says she realized that she was that very bad person all along.
With that, Anna faints in his arms. Je-ha calls for an ambulance while Chief Joo learns that Anna has a severe strawberry allergy.
Je-ha reports that Anna has a faint pulse, and he’s instructed to make sure that Anna keeps breathing. So he starts mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and screams at her to wake up. She opens her eyes for a brief moment before slipping into unconsciousness once more.
As much as I’d been looking forward to Anna’s re-emergence into the world, I have to say watching her behaviors and actions in this episode was disorienting. Gone is the girl holed up in her room and avoiding strangers, because now she’s been replaced by a girl able to both initiate conversations with strangers and is surprisingly okay with personal space.
Sure Je-ha isn’t exactly a stranger to Anna, but their interactions have been limited and short in duration so far, save for the two nights he was on night duty. But it’s strange to watch Anna act as if her social phobia was a thing of the past now that she’s thrust into the real world. What’s even more astounding is that she can even correct people and clarify what she actually means, which begs the question—if she’s been kept hidden for so long, where did she learn these communication skills from?
Her proactive decision to sneak out and find her father is less surprising, since we’ve been told that was her primary reason for escape. Once she learned that her father was in Madrid, she ran out of the monastery with purpose, even if it meant running barefoot. We saw some progression when she had cleverly used a thermal blanket as a cover, but that simple trick suddenly evolved into a much more complex level of foresight in her latest escape and a master of disguise. So while I’m glad that we are seeing Anna has a sense of agency when there is a motivation, the leap was so great that I’m not sure what the requirements are for Anna to have a sense of agency—access to resources? A familiar environment? Superpowered ramyun?
Or perhaps it’s because the writing would like to push the reminder that this story contains some fairytale influences from Snow White. Yoo-jin would be the evil stepmother seeking to rule a kingdom while trying to do away with the fairest in all the land, Anna. And who should she send but her own huntsman Je-ha. If we’re following the fairytale now, many of us will know that the Huntsman shows compassion to Snow White, which is similar to how Je-ha sees Anna at present.
Even though Je-ha had lied about acting under her worried father’s commands, I still found it a bit strange how she opened up to him so quickly. It seems that night in Spain when he left her to her captors is a long lost memory in Anna’s mind because there isn’t an ounce of resentment in her voice when she’s speaking to him. Bringing it up now makes it seem like I’m the one holding a personal grudge in her stead, but surely that moment of abandonment in her greatest time of need would bring with it some relational consequences?
Speaking of relationships, I thoroughly enjoy watching Je-ha and Yoo-jin electrifying interactions onscreen. Not only is Yoo-jin genuinely interested in Je-ha’s backstory, she also knows she has something to gain (bringing down Representative Park) if she can help Je-ha exact his revenge. I’m relieved that Cloud Nine is a possible outlet for him to vent, and this fancy software will hopefully be a helpful way to acquire more information later on. What’s important is that Je-ha is part of Yoo-jin’s inner circle now, and he’s right to take her word of trust with a grain of salt because you could work for years to build her trust, but it takes just one moment to destroy it.