Surviving this world of secrets will require a sharp mind that can keep any incoming dangers at bay. But when emotions threaten to break the surface for some of our characters, they’ll use a weapon more powerful than any gun: their words. Dodging a bullet will be easier than a sharp tongue, and whether they choose to use those words to heal or hurt others is entirely up to them.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Je-ha pleads with Anna to stay alive while Chief Joo is barred from transporting her in an ambulance. Once he arrives on the scene, he rides with Anna in the car while Je-ha takes the wheel. He relays the order to head back to JSS headquarters, much to Je-ha’s frustration.
So Je-ha guns it down the streets, honking the horn to alert people and traffic to move out of the way. Immediately upon their arrival, Anna is wheeled into the infirmary.
Meanwhile, the girls who took a selca in the previous episode decide to ask the internet if the pretty girl photographed behind them is the one the famous designer was looking for in Barcelona.
Je-ha is a bundle of nerves as he waits outside, his mind retracing the conversation leading up to Anna’s severe allergic reaction. Anna dreams of the fateful night of her mother’s death, and as the shadow hiding behind the door grabs her, her eyes fly open.
It takes a minute before Anna can catch her breath enough to ask where she is. Told that Je-ha brought her here to JSS within an inch of her life, she sees Je-ha standing outside, peering in.
Once they’re outside, Doctor Kim reassures Je-ha that Anna is in good hands here. She’s more concerned about Anna’s mental health and recommends a psychological follow-up. When Mi-ran asks if she herself played a part in Anna’s condition, she’s immediately scolded for thinking about herself.
Je-ha, meanwhile, storms into Chief Joo’s office demanding to know who exactly called off the ambulance. Such is Anna’s plight, Chief Joo explains—where her death would be easier than her existence being exposed to the world. Je-ha had given her strawberry ice cream, which Anna voluntarily consumed even though she knew it could kill her.
Knowing who sent away that ambulance will neither help his cause nor change Anna’s circumstances—if they had taken her to a hospital, then that would’ve been a death sentence to everyone at JSS assigned to her care.
Je-ha likely would’ve been spared as a member of Cloud Nine, but the best thing he can do now to protect Anna and anyone else is to act natural.
Je-ha sits with Master Song, who claims all he knows about Anna is that she was forced to live abroad because of her parents. And for someone who doesn’t know much about her, he does know a surprising amount about Anna’s familial background, like how Anna isn’t legally Se-joon’s daughter because they do not share the same surname.
Anna’s mother, Um Hye-rin, was already pregnant when she got married and left for the States. Master Song isn’t sure what happened there, but the mother returned to Korea one day with young Anna in tow. By then, Se-joon had gotten married to Yoo-jin, so he believes Se-joon kept that family a secret from Yoo-jin.
But then Anna’s mother met an untimely death, and Anna was sent abroad again. Master Song believes Anna’s mother ended her own life, and he worries that Yoo-jin might do something to Anna.
Yoo-jin meets with the Presidential Chief of Staff about a proposal, prodding him how the lame-duck president is nearing the end of his term in office. She’s come prepared with documents that could safely compromise the president as well as JB Group and her scholarship foundation. Knowing each other’s weaknesses should be enough to strike a deal, yes?
A pair of hikers is turned away from the restaurant, and the burn mark on one hiker’s right wrist is unmistakeable—these are Representative Park’s men.
The chief of staff remarks that he now understands why Sung-won fears his noona. He wouldn’t dare to speak against the nation’s future first-in-command—meaning her—though they both chuckle over the idea that the title would be reserved for her husband, the presidential candidate. In regards to when Se-joon would join their political party, Yoo-jin asks that the chief of staff pave the way for them first.
Needless to say, Yoo-jin is elated afterward and celebrates in the car. Her staff is silent at first but laughs alongside her when instructed.
Representative Park is tipped off about the meeting, which he concludes likely ended well for Yoo-jin. He’s well aware that politics is a dirty game, and tells his secretary that whoever exposes what is dirty and corrupt ends up being the nation’s hero.
We briefly cut to Se-joon, who is filled in Yoo-jin’s activities while being prepped for a motivational speech. He sends a wink to the makeup artist while keeping a hand on her leg.
Yoo-jin heads straight to the JSS infirmary to see Anna, shutting down the idea that Anna should receive additional treatment at a hospital because of her suicide attempt. She sends everyone away so she can speak with Anna alone, and Je-ha doesn’t leave his spot outside the door.
Yoo-jin breaks the ice by commenting on Anna’s singing voice and nun’s habit, though her voice quickly turns sharp: “But what were you expecting by showing up [at that church]? Did you think I was stopping your father from seeing you?”
She reminds Anna of how her father reacted when he saw her at the church—of how he averted his gaze and informed her of Anna’s presence. “Your father doesn’t want to meet you,” Yoo-jin continues. “He won’t appear before you. Just like how he didn’t show up the day your mother died, or the day you left for Spain.”
Anna stares at her intently as Yoo-jin acknowledges that it must hurt, but this is her reality. As a daughter herself, she understands how all daughters have a special place in their hearts for their fathers, but the thing is, fathers don’t understand how their daughters feel.
Yoo-jin’s voice carries into the hall as she continues, “You must have thought you were all your father had left, but you aren’t everything to your father. You are but a very tiny yet very burdensome fragment of his past.”
When Anna asks to meet her father so she can ask him herself, Yoo-jin replies that she couldn’t possible drag her father here against his will. Out of consideration of their marriage, she couldn’t possibly do that to him, she adds.
And to that, Anna retorts, “Dad… doesn’t love you.” Ooh. Yoo-jin’s smile fades for a moment before she calls it up again, asking, “Is that what your mother told you?” A tear rolls down Anna’s cheek as Yoo-jin speaks of how she understands that her mother must’ve hated her, and softly says there’s something about her Anna was too young to understand at the time.
Being re-elected is the most important thing for any politician, but her mother used her to blackmail her father when the election was just around the corner. Now that bitter tone turns to fake pity as Yoo-jin remarks on how sad it must’ve been for young Anna to hand her alcoholic mother the pills that would bring her death.
Anna immediately refutes that statement, saying that it wasn’t the pills. Someone else was in that house that night and tried to kill her too. Yoo-jin’s expression turns stoic: “And was that me?”
She flicks the switch to mock sympathy, adding that Anna’s memories must be lying to her because the reality was much too painful to remember. She states, “The truth is that your mother died because of the pills you gave her.”
Anna calls bullshit on that statement—their old housekeeper told her everything at the sanatorium. But Yoo-jin counters that with this logic: “If I had killed your mother and the housekeeper had known about it, would I have let her live?” What’s even more chilling than those words is the faint smile that follows it.
Having heard enough, Je-ha enters the room to put an end to the discussion. Yoo-jin acknowledges Anna must be tired from running around all day and tells her to get some rest and to take care of herself. She instructs him to come down to Cloud Nine (er, wouldn’t you think Anna might wonder what that means?), but Je-ha tells Anna to stop crying because he’ll be back with her father.
He arrives at the event hall in time to see a glimpse of a group of men emerging from a bathroom with bags. He doesn’t tell Team Leader Seo about the men, but keeps a keen eye out during the event.
He alerts the other agents about a suspicious-looking man sitting in the audience, and then quickly identifies the other suspects. Team Leader Seo says there’s no reason for alarm because all those men passed the security check.
Je-ha steps outside and sees a police van before heading back to the auditorium. He remains in the doorway and keeps watch as the suspicious men send each other nonverbal cues.
He tries reporting to Team Leader Seo again, and waits with bated breath as one man reaches inside his jacket… to take out a phone. Again, Je-ha is shut down.
Just then, one man gets up from the front row and Je-ha runs to knock him down. It’s K1, who tells him to stand aside, and he and the other men start protesting against Se-joon and throwing eggs at him.
The JSS agents apprehend the men, but Se-joon orders them to stop and let the men speak their minds. He launches into a speech about how their protest is a response to how the politicians have let the people down, then chuckles that a few eggs never hurt anyone. Seeing how the audience laughs with him, it becomes clear that this stunt was a PR move.
Je-ha steps to the sidelines as Se-joon revs up his speech, promising the audience that he will shape up as a politician. In order to establish a greater sense of transparency, he declares that he will allow himself to be thoroughly investigated for corruption. He adds that if the prosecution finds anything on him, he will withdraw from the presidential race.
He ends that motivational speech with the hope that those who previously opposed him would give him the eggs that were meant to be thrown at him so he can give them to his loving wife to cook with. And to that, the audience chants his name over and over.
Se-joon heads back to the dressing room afterward and sends his men away, citing that he’ll be taking a long shower. Not alone of course, since the makeup artist is waiting for him inside the room, and he invites her to join him in the shower.
She, however, knocks at the door where the man Chief Joo has left behind hands her a syringe. Just around the door, Je-ha witnesses everything.
She peeks her head inside the shower before getting pulled back outside again. A moment later, Je-ha appears. As Se-joon gets dressed, he explains how the guard and the makeup artists were accomplices. He says the police are in on the plot too, and they’re likely barging their way inside, so they have to go.
He and Se-joon make a break for it, and stops just long enough to tell Chief Joo that the police are working for Representative Park. So Chief Joo and the other agents engage the cops in a stand-off, and ask to see an arrest warrant.
Burn Mark says they don’t need one when the woman reported the politician for sexual assault, but Chief Joo says to call in the report that the cops were conspiring to murder a politician.
Both sides put down their guns when they get the news that Je-ha and Se-joon has fled. Speaking of whom, Se-joon laughs in the car and thanks Je-ha for the close call. He asks where they’re going, and when he hears it’s to see Anna, he screams for Je-ha to stop the car.
Je-ha yells back that if Se-joon doesn’t want to see his daughter, he can tell her in person instead of giving her false hope. Even dogs have an instinctual sense of duty, so Se-joon should put up with this at the very least. “Do you know where I found Anna today?” he asks. “Dreamland.”
Se-joon winces at that, and Je-ha tells him how Anna’s first words to him were of concern for her father. Se-joon raises his voice once he hears about the allergic reaction, but Je-ha is well aware of how severe Anna’s strawberry allergy is.
“I don’t think Anna was trying to die because she hated you. I believe she realized she was a burdensome existence to you, and consumed strawberry to try and get rid of herself,” Je-ha finishes.
Once they arrive at their destination, Se-joon makes Je-ha swear to him that he’ll vow to protect Anna to the end if his intentions are noble. If so, Se-joon will go see his daughter. Je-ha swears it.
Chief Joo calls just then, and after Se-joon tells him where he is, he tells Je-ha that he didn’t go see Anna because that would put her in danger. He’s sold his soul to the devil for his ambitions, and in exchange he’s lost his morals and his loved ones.
Because ambition doesn’t come with brakes, all he can do is speed ahead to escape Yoo-jin’s clutches. Anna is a hostage and he needs the greatest power available in this nation to save her, Se-joon says. Furthermore, he can’t turn back now lest Yoo-jin deems Anna useless, which would only place her in more danger.
If he were to breathe one wrong word to Anna, Yoo-jin would find out about his plans and hide Anna someplace where he can never find her. So he considers Anna’s return to Korea as divine grace, though Je-ha never should have brought him here to see her.
But what’s done is done, and he asks that Je-ha keep his promise. “Let’s go…” Se-joon says, tears welling up in his eyes, “…and make my poor daughter even sadder.”
It isn’t long before Yoo-jin learns of Se-joon’s arrival, and she instructs Magic Mirror to link to the camera in Anna’s room. Se-joon registers the camera’s presence and announces his presence in a rich voice.
Seeing as Anna keeps her back toward him, he asks if she’s sleeping. He’s told she’s not, and he chuckles that his daughter must be angry with him. He apologizes that he’s just been very busy, and pretends to act surprised that Anna has a severe strawberry allergy.
He scolds the staff instead, then turns to her to baby her. Yoo-jin tsks while watching the feed, and Se-joon sends everyone else out.
Now that they’re alone, Se-joon sits on the bed and turns Anna over. He tells her warmly that they’re alone now, but Anna keeps her eyes shut. He wipes a tear from her cheek, and she opens her eyes.
She bursts into sobs and hugs him, as Se-joon pats her back. He thinks in voiceover, “I’m sorry, Anna.” She cries that she missed him, and he returns the sentiment.
He does his best to keep his tears at bay, then steps back to get a good look at his daughter. He says she’s all grown-up now, and asks her to wait until he becomes president, when she can have a normal life, like hanging out with friends and going on dates.
He tells her not to worry, and then Anna asks her father to listen: “Mom didn’t kill herself. I remembered everything that happened that night.” She tells him of how she found her mother unconscious, and someone covered her eyes and ears.
Yoo-jin is still watching as Se-joon tells Anna that that’s all in the past now—she must forget. Anna insists that it’s true, and she’s convinced that Yoo-jin killed her mother. Se-joon’s voice turns stern, as he tells her that he mustn’t say that to anyone. Doing so will endanger his career as well as her life.
He tells her that she went through a traumatic incident at a young age, and when Anna protests that she did give her mother the pills because she was crying, Se-joon cuts her off. He threatens to never see her again if she utters another word about it, leaving Anna shocked.
He pulls her in for another hug and apologizes to Anna again in his head. Je-ha arrives outside the door just as Anna asks, “Did you love Mom?” Again, Se-joon breaks into that trademark hearty chuckle and answers, “Of course I did. That’s why you were born.”
She then asks if her mother used her to blackmail him. Se-joon is taken aback by the question, but readily identifies that Yoo-jin is responsible for inserting that thought into Anna’s head. “You devil,” he thinks to himself.
“Is that why you threw me and Mom away?” Anna asks with tears in her eyes. Yoo-jin doesn’t tear away from her monitor as Se-jon replies that those are matters for a grown-up.
She argues that she’s an adult now too, but Se-joon tells her that none of those past matters matter anymore. Crying, she cites how her father just said he loved her mother, but Mom died and she was sent away and he didn’t even come looking for her.
Se-joon says he’s a man doing great things for this country, which means that smaller matters simply fall by the wayside. He breaks out that chuckle once more, and Anna utters, “She was right.”
“About what?” Se-joon asks. Anna thinks back to her earlier conversation with Yoo-jin and relays to her father that Yoo-jin was right. “Wishful thinking,” she breathes in Spanish, then sinks back into her bed.
Se-joon gets up from her bed and tells her to get some rest and take care of herself, the same parting words Yoo-jin left Anna with earlier. He promises to come and see her often, as Anna sobs quietly into her pillow.
Se-joon leaves the room with murder written on his face. Down in the sublevel, Yoo-jin bursts laughing—though the tear that rolls down her face betrays her laughs—and she thinks to herself, “To think that I placed my fate in the hands of a man like you.”
I’ve been wondering this for some time now, but if keeping Anna hidden from the world is of utmost importance, why are there so many people in this world who do know so much about her? Her existence is supposed to be a constant threat to Yoo-jin and Se-joon, and yet we have characters like Master Song (who are great for exposition) claim they know very little, but in fact know a great deal about Anna’s background to teach to Je-ha.
But while exposition can be a helpful tool in learning more about our characters, sometimes in great depths, there are times here when we’re left to question how much of that information to trust. Take for example with Master Song, whose words are mixed in with some truth (like how Anna’s surname is Go) with some still unclear conclusions (like the public belief that Anna’s mother committed suicide). Most of what we know about Anna comes from an outside source, and if parts of that information are potentially unfounded or downright false, then what we have to work with is whatever she tells us herself which, aside from the few convictions of her father to keep her going, is still a new development for us onscreen.
What’s even sadder is that Anna is back in another prison following a near fatal allergic reaction. She had marked herself as the bad person in her father’s life, and her act of consuming the strawberry has everyone in this world suspecting that she would disappear out of concern for her father. That’s a morbidly sad thought, and for now, Anna is again under Yoo-jin’s lock and key in the JSS building. And yet she got to speak with both Yoo-jin and Se-joon separately, even if both conversations weren’t necessarily private.
Her conversation with Yoo-jin was an interesting dance, especially since Yoo-jin appealed to Anna’s plight as a potentially unloved daughter. One could say that Yoo-jin could be projecting some of her own father-daughter issues when she says fathers don’t truly understand how their daughters feel, but she also has a mastery in the art of manipulation. Well, as long as she has the upper hand. Watching Anna stick to her own memories was a good reminder that she sticks to her convictions, but then all it takes is planting one tiny idea to let that grow into a greater shadow of doubt.
In Se-joon’s case, he was aware of the camera, so anything he uttered aloud would be for Yoo-jin’s benefit. Despite his scoldings to Anna to not utter any ill of Yoo-jin, his “I’m sorry, Anna” voiceover and his pretending to not know about her allergy do suggest that he does care for Anna. But much like Yoo-jin and so many others, we’re left to question how much we should actually believe. His plans to have Anna live out a normal life had similar versions—he told Je-ha that he needed more power to save Anna, and he then told Anna aloud that he needed to become president for him to do all the fatherly things he’d like to do. With Yoo-jin holding so much power right now, I don’t know if he’ll be able to meet any of those promises to Anna. But if Yoo-jin says Dad’s lying, and Dad thinks that Yoo-jin’s lying, then who are we left to believe?