Nine: Time Travel – Episode 13 Recap

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h29m46s104Sun-woo is either the most confident man ever, or someone who feels his life is so messed up he has nothing left to lose. It impresses me that he thinks going back to convince Young Hyung to turn himself in was at all possible.  To me, this feat equals cleaning a gymnasium floor with a toothbrush in 30 minutes in the dark with one hand tied behind his back. But, hey, I am not the hero, Hero is…

✵ ❂ ✿ ❇ ❋ ✺ ✥ ✺ ❋ ❇ ✿ ❂ ✵

We see a replay of Sun-woo preparing to go back to the past and Young-hoon yelling at him to not go.  Young-hoon calls and texts again, but Sun-woo has already lit the incense and left the present.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-19h59m10s176Young-hoon paces, worried, looking at the sleeping Min-young. His phone rings…Sun-woo already? No, it’s Hyung who suddenly remembered Choi knew what Sun-woo looked like. Hyung wants to know if there is anyway to warn him? As if Young-hoon needed anything else to worry about. Young-hoon tells him there is no way.


Sun-woo walks into the bookstore looking for Young Hyung who is out talking with Evil Choi. Again we see the conversation where Choi shows him the photo and tells him to call if this man shows up.

Sun-woo looks around the record store. When he inspects the back, he finds that empty, too. He checks his watch.


Hyung arrives and shows great surprise when he realizes the man in the photo came to see him. Sun-woo can’t wait for the store to close to talk, but suggests they go somewhere quiet to talk. Nervous Young Hyung pretends to go get his keys in the back, but ends up heeding Choi’s warning to call immediately if he sees the Mystery Man.

Present Hyung, remembering along with the events we see unfold, yells “Don’t call! Don’t call!”

Unfortunately, Young Hyung is too afraid not to call and dials.

Sun-woo’s time is limited and gets antsy waiting. He looks over at the front desk of the shop and notices the car key is there, not in the back. Looking around to see if anyone notices, he picks up the handset and overhears Choi and Hyung discuss his demise.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h05m00s91Not waiting for Hyung, he scoots out when Yoo-jin and Young Shi-ah come back from her little friend’s house. Mom scolds her daughter for not being careful, and warns she cannot do things like that in America!

Shi-ah catches Sun-woo’s departing figure out of the corner of her eye…Does she recognize him from the hospital when her mother attempted suicide? Hmmm…she peeks out the door into the stairwell, but he is gone.

Yoo-jin finds Hyung in the back and asks about the man who just left. He left?


Outside, we see Sun-woo has the key to Hyung’s car. He scopes the area out and finds a parked car in an alley across the street.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h07m45s200He tries the lock and it opens. Once inside, he pulls out the VHS tape from his coat and hides it in the glove box.  His watch tells him he has 15 minutes left.

At that moment, Choi’s Henchman drives up and gets out of the car.

Sun-woo considers his options for a little bit – what does he do now? He gets out of the car.  Stepping towards each other, there is a quick second of recognition: Sun-woo remembers the CCTV footage of the capped man setting fire to his father’s office.  Hench looks at the photo from the eye wear shop.  They both stare fixed  in place just as a family with balloons walks by.

vlcsnap-2013-04-23-08h11m29s18 (Of course a family with balloons shows up on a heretofore deserted street…) Before the family passes, Sun-woo has escaped back into his car, slamming the lock down just as Hench gets to him, knife drawn.


Sun-woo races off with Hench in hot pursuit. We see the guy using his car phone to call Young Hyung and holler at him: How does the dude in the suit know my face?

But Hyung has no idea either.

Car chase ensues. Where is Sun-woo going?!

Present Hyung breaks out into a sweat waiting for his memories to let him know what happened to his brother in the alternate timeline.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h12m32s0 Young Hyung’s uselessness in that situation plays really well with Present Hyung’s helplessness. Neither of the men can do anything. Young Hyung is completely conflicted on whether to listen to Choi or not, Present Hyung has to stand back and literally wait for himself to come to the right decision. This is awesome.

Hench gets on the phone to shout at Choi. “We’re in this together!”  Before, I am guessing, Hench did what he did for the money – nothing personal. But now that Sun-woo knows what he looks like, the stakes have increased. It is no longer simply stopping Sun-woo for Choi’s sake, but for him to stay out of jail.

More car chase. (Nothing here to report except: The tunnel is the same one from Nice Guy. Aren’t Sun-woo’s little sneakers cute working the clutch, gas and breaks? He’s a quick relearner that one.)

After a couple close calls with Hench bumping Sun-woo Ben Hur-style with his chariot spurs car, only to end up smashed into water-filled road blocks, Sun-woo gets away. Hench’s car stalls and gets out to slam his fist on the roof of the car in frustration.  Sun-woo drives away and spots a phone booth.

Young Hyung, who had run out to try to catch Mystery Man, returns to Yoo-jin. She asks who the man is and he lies saying it is a med student sunbae. He’s very nervous when Choi calls the store phone. How did the guy find out who they are? Hyung informs Choi that Mystery Man even took the car keys.

We see Sun-woo go into the phone booth and drop coins, dialing Hyung’s store. Choi’s call is blocking Sun-woo’s as he gives Hyung bad advice about what to do next, while Sun-woo gets a busy signal.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h18m28s236When Hyung asks what Choi plans on doing with the fellow, Choi implicitly implies the guy’s a dead man.

Finally Sun-woo’s call gets through to talk to his brother.

Present Hyung looks up at that moment in hope. He remembers the call!

In the past, a passionate Sun-woo has mere minutes to convince Young Hyung to NOT listen to Choi, to not ruin his life, to turn himself in and NOT let Choi win.  He lets him know he left the video of the night in Hyung’s car. While giving Hyung the real and future of his existence if he doesn’t listen, Hench opens the phone booth door and stabs Sun-woo.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h21m11s70Hyung can hear the battle on the other end of the line.

Present Hyung, too, remembers.

Hench and Sun-woo’s blood covered hands grab and wrestle for control in the tiny space of the phone booth. Hench drives the knife in deeper.  Twice. Three times. Four. We hear Young Hyung calling out over the phone. Sun-woo grabs the heavy phone book and clobbers Hench hard enough to keep Hench out of the booth. He picks up the handset and

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h22m24s38continues in his argument to Hyung to give up.  Best point: I am not just asking as a favor for me, but you asked this for yourself.

Directly after that statement, Hench reappears with a heavy rock, and throws it at the glass booth – shattering it completely. Sun-woo just escapes getting hit, while poor clueless Hyung listens confused in two time lines:  both on the other end of the line, and twenty years ahead.

Sun-woo, knife in his side, somehow manages to  go up to his car and get in before Hench can stop him. He drives away.


Young-hoon paces and rubs his hair in frustration. Waiting for the call.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h23m56s188Min-young sleepily asks where Sunbae is. Young-hoon tells her the news cast isn’t over yet. He phones the empty dressing room and we see the incense burning down.

Meanwhile, as Sun-woo drives, grimacing in pain-his hand holds the bloody knife. He spots a place to hide from Hench. (You know, those moving billboards that they erect outside of tunnels? Yeah, behind one of those.) (Can’t you hear that clock ticking? Oh, that’s me screaming? “Time’s a wasting Sun-woo!! What are you doing?!”) Hench drives past him, but then realizes he has been tricked and reverses.  Sun-woo witnesses this and decides he has to get the heck out of there. Red hand on steering wheel and shift, he keeps going.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h27m33s48The pain has to be unbearable.

The cars end up on an bridge. Hench cuts him off and gets out of the car with a hammer. He doesn’t know Sun-woo went out the other side, and didn’t see him climbing over the barrier towards the railing.

Sun-woo looks out over the water.  Hench smiles the evil smile of a self-satisfied bad guy and asks “Do you really think you could get away?”

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h29m47s107Sun-woo checks his watch –   sees how little time he has left. Hench sizes up Sun-woo’s options and suggest helpfully if he doesn’t want to kill himself, he should just come with him.  (Although one would argue they are the same thing.)

Sun-woo says, “Lets end it now. I have nothing to lose.” Then gives a smile grimace of victory? irony? Hench looks bewildered. That was unexpected. Sun-woo climbs over and leaps into the water while Hench rushes to the railing and sees him fall.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h30m15s139What the?  In the river, blood pours from Sun-woo’s stab wound. He comes to with one minute left in 1992. He sinks down into the depths.


Tall CBM worker comes back after the 30 minutes to wake up Sun-woo.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h31m25s63He starts to walk away, but something tells him to go back. There is no answer. We see the room is empty. Urgently, he calls to Sun-woo. Suddenly a sopping wet and bloody Sun-woo shows up on the floor. Incense burned all the way down.


Outside, Bum-suk joins Tall one who says he thinks Sun-woo fell because he heard a thump and both men force their way into the room. (Yes!)

Once inside, they act impatient with their sunbae. What’s he doing?

“Duh.” Sun-woo replies, “I’m lying down.” They don’t see the pool of blood right away, but do notice he’s wet.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h34m08s156While they panic,  Sun-woo coolly tells them he’ll be needing a sub for tonight’s show and that he doesn’t think he can do it.

On the set, Chul-min, PD and The Hussy are joking and laughing about Sun-woo. Bum-suk runs in hands all bloody to alert them Sun-woo’s been stabbed.


We see Sun-woo being wheeled through the station on a gurney. Chul-min is trying to find out who the heck would stab the anchor? Sun-woo, bleeding and suffering, makes up a story on the spot that he thinks a crazy man who hates the world came in to stab him.

The crime scene is being taped off. Everyone is stumped.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h36m27s15The door was locked from the inside. No CCTV in the room, so they have to accept Sun-woo’s story. Chul-min threatens to kill the bastard who did this!


Young Hyung runs to the bridge that Sun-woo jumped from. Hench is filling Choi in over the car phone and estimates that the body should surface in three days or so.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h37m42s251 Hench sees Hyung, and gets out of the car to talk to him.  We find that Hench called Hyung to come retrieve his car. He gleefully updates Hyung on the facts. That Mystery Man committed suicide by jumping.  That he was stabbed. Unless he’s Superman, he’s dead.  Hench worries that things’ll get complicated when the body shows up.

Young Hyung and Present Hyung attempt to process the horror before them and what that means to them.  Young Hyung must be asking himself – Why would this man come to warn him then kill himself?

Present Hyung gets a call from his brother’s phone in the ambulance. Hyung talks to the paramedic. Finds out what hospital they are going to. He hangs up, then calls back right away. He tells him to check Sun-woo’s lungs for water as well as treating the stab wound. Although it is a mystery to everyone how Sun-woo could have gotten water in his lungs from inside the locked office.

Hyung tells his wife about Sun-woo getting hurt and berates himself for being and idiot and living his life like that. Wife is very confused.

Sun-woo wakes up when the ambulance arrives at the ER. Young-hoon calls and the phone gets handed to him.


Sun-woo admits defeat to his friend.  “I told you didn’t I? I was afraid of people having different intentions. I forgot about Choi Jin-chul. His intentions.  He knows way too much now. He even knows my face. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I don’t know what Jung-woo will do. I can’t see anything coming.  Jung-woo doesn’t know himself. How would I know? “

The hospital team interrupts the call. Sun-woo gets taken into the hospital.

A woman arrives at Sun-woo’s house to take care of Min-young. Young-hoon leaves Min-young in the nurse’s care.

At the news broadcast, the crew discusses who could possibly have stabbed Sun-woo. They think of Choi immediately.  Even though he wouldn’t have done it himself.  The financial loss as well as his projects coming to a full stop due to Sun0-woo’s investigation are enough of a motive for Choi to want revenge.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h43m01s120Maybe it was a fan of Choi’s?

We see Choi go though an archival box. He opens the one from 1992, finding Sun-woo’s photo.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h44m16s102 Secretary Kim recognizes Sun-woo right away.  Choi, in shock, agrees.  Secretary Kim informs Choi of Sun-woo’s attack. He’s afraid the blame will fall on them. The beautiful irony is that karma wins! Whether Present Choi gets accused of the attack even though it was from the past, or whether Young Hyung turns himself in, Choi will be rightfully accused.

Past Hyung has driven himself over to the police station.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h46m34s193We hear Sun-woo’s words echo in Hyung’s ears: “Hand it (the tape) over to the police as you turn yourself in. You must get Choi Jin-chul with you to end everything smoothly.  Don’t let the thought of the possibility of him being your biological father get to you.  Choi Jin-chul will get more people killed for his own gains.” (Hyung has so much to lose by going in. How can he know how much worse it’ll get if he doesn’t?)   He remembers Hench’s words about the Mystery Man’s suicide, then Mystery Man’s begging to do what he, himself, wants.

Present Hyung is being driven over to the hospital in the back seat of a cab. Suffering with his younger self. You can see he is willing wishing hoping wanting himself to do the right thing, but again, all he can do is wait.

Young Hyung decides not to go in. He puts the tape back into the clove box and turns off the car.

Present Hyung calls him helpless. The news reporters are out in front when Hyung  gets to the hospital.  Bum-suk meets him at the elevator and we learn the injuries are not life threatening (YUSH!)

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h49m54s149Present Hyung’s world tilts as he remembers a moment of resolution.   In the past, Young Hyung gets out of the car with the tape and walks towards the building.  Present Hyung pauses, lost in the past.

Past Hyung goes through the doors of the cop room. Present Hyung gets into the elevator up to where Sun-woo is being wheeled into surgery. He stops him and asks if he is OK.  In another cool statement, Sun-woo admits it wasn’t all that easy to convince Young Hyung. Hyung lets him know he just went into the police station (twenty years ago), then, holding his little brother’s hand, Hyung says he is sorry.


(tears)(Jomo’s)  We see Hyung watch them take Sun-woo away to surgery.

Past Hyung greets the investigator who is pleased to see him again.

vlcsnap-2013-04-22-20h52m55s168They sit and Young Hyung slowly gets to the point. The fire was arson. His father was murdered.


Present Hyung simul-remembers what happened. “The murderer,” Young Hyung says, “is me.” And our third Hero is born.

Present Hyung? Goes dark.

Sun-woo wakes up in a single hospital room. Very much alone. His vision focuses  on the IV drip and the rest of the room when a call comes in from Min-young. He looks at the phone.

He remembers why he decided to make the last trip back despite the obvious possibility of failure.

phonehosp “Does everything fall back to where it was?  I don’t know what will happen. It never worked as I intended.  My life could change completely. But I still think that I have to change it.  It was wrong from the beginning.”

He answers the phone, not knowing which Min-young is on the other end – wife or niece? “Yobosayo?”



Jomo’s Comments  

This episode really highlighted the creative team’s love of film noir. All the elements are there again. The injured Hero, wearing the dark three piece suit a 1940’s character would be perfect in, who keeps going and going, chased by a pursuer who can be slowed but not stopped. His task is the impossible; the obstacles insurmountable. When he gets pushed to the edge, he makes a literal leap of life and faith. Of course, the politically correct Millennium sponsors won’t let him take a shot of liquor to dull the pain, but I can pretend that happens off camera.

I shouldn’t have worried about Hyung, Young or Present, since he came through in the end. It is heart breaking that Young Hyung is giving up an unknown and uncertain future, and Present Hyung is fully aware of what his losses will be. I am so proud of them!

Please don’t post spoilers of ep 14 here. I closed my eyes to the preview again!

EE’s Comments

So this episode was a fine example of why one should never ever watch the preview. I spent the first half refusing to be “faked out” by Sun Woo disappearing behind the balloons or dropping from view at the bridge or ducking the rock at the phone booth. I think each time we were supposed to think “Phew! He vanished, called back to the modern day by the extinguishing incense stick.” But because dum-dum here watched that preview like a junkie seeking a fix, I knew it wasn’t over until he was submerged in the water because I had already viewed that scene.
So the dirty cop/Choi’s Henchman set the fire . . . I did not expect that. I think in the back of my mind I had assumed that they met because of the fire; he had been an investigator and eventually fell in with Choi’s evil deeds. Now I am wondering what other naughty tasks they have done together.
I was also surprised that Young Hoon wasn’t waiting outside the door of the dressing room for Sun Woo to return, especially after Hyung Jung Woo called him to say Sun Woo was in danger. I wonder if Sun Woo can bring anyone into the time travel with him (or is it simply he who lights it, fights it?).
Either way, I am guessing episode 13’s events were a game changer. Thankfully we don’t have to wait 5 days to find out.

Credit for subs to Dramafever

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19 Responses to Nine: Time Travel – Episode 13 Recap

  1. JoAnne says:

    A few things: you guys are rocking this; this episode in PARTICULAR was edge-of-the-seat crazy from the first minute on, I could barely stand myself watching; I giggle every single time I say ‘Young Hyung’ in my head; you marvelled at a family that ‘just happens’ to walk by – I was mesmerized by the balloons. WHY THE BALLOONS?

  2. nomad says:

    I haven’t even watched this episode…but reading this recap, I can feel my heart beating faster, my hands sweating…ugh! what a ride!

  3. antoniazc says:

    no preview… and i’m dying to watch episode 14
    those were the longest 30 minutes ever… i was pulling my hair out all the time. what to expect for next episode?
    even if things go well we have some points left to be covered:
    – SW’s mother
    – did JW really kill his father?
    – is JW Choi’s son?
    – In the new reality will Choi and MY know things as they happen just as SW, YH and JW?
    -how JW found the sticks? did he timetravel?

    those were a few of my many questions, besides of course, if MY is niece or wife or if JW is dead or ex-convict in the new reality… the thing is we have only One stick and 7 episodes left!!!!

    last but not least, thank you so much for your wonderful recaps!!! i’m waiting for them as much as i’m waiting for every new episode!!!!

    • jomo143 says:

      When I watched this episode raw it was exciting and I wrote fast. But somehow, watching it the second time, even though I knew what was going to happen was just as much fun. I think sometimes action doesn’t hold up in the lather rinse repeat cycle, with Nine I see more things at each viewing rather than get bored.
      Part of it is because of we know the character’s motivations so well. Sun-woo’s persistence to change Hyung’s mind no matter what Hench was doing to him made sense to me. He really had sooooo much to lose at that point. You could read that desperation with every bloody movement.

  4. bobo says:

    I know sometimes things don’t actually make total sense in Kdramaland but can someone explain to me how Sun-Woo managed to jump off the bridge in 1993 and appear in the broadcast station in 2013? If I remember watching the 2nd episode correctly, when Sun-Woo first discovered his pager and lid the incense in the broadcast studio in 2012, Sun Woo went back to the broadcast station of 20 years ago and not in the sea? Maybe I am missing something here.

    On a side note, I am totally in love with Lee Jin-Wook in this drama. He certainly looks fine in his three piece suit! This show has really renewed my interest in him. 🙂 Can’t wait for episode 14!

    • antoniazc says:

      i was thinking of the mechanism even before episode 13.
      when he travels to past he appears in the same place (i.e. if he’s in the broadcast station he appears in broadcast station) but when he travels from past to present he appears where the stick is, i mean from the starting point (i.e. when he was grabing hyung in the alley he returns to his car)

      i must agree with you about loving LJW in this drama, and about him looking fine in his 3 piece suit <333. it's my first time watching him and i hope he will be doing more dramas as a lead. highly considering watching I Need Romance 2012.

  5. cass says:

    Nine is the first drama that I am actually watching as it airs, and OMG what a baptism of fire it is. Ive even taken to watching the episodes raw, depsite understanding only about half a dozen words throughout (I love you, hello, goodbye, I’m sorry, wait a moment, what are you doing …..) , The Sun Woo/Min Young love story is heartbreaking. I was sobbing like a small child almost throughout ep 11 and I am certain there are more tears to come in ep 14, after ep 13’s cliffhanger. Thanks so much for the recaps, they fill in those little nuances and gaps that I tend to miss whilst reading the subs. I shall be haunting the pages here for the ep 14 recap and until we reach episode 20 and probably beyond. Oh and whilst waiting for the new episodes each week, Ive managed to watch almost all the other dramas that the gorgeous LJW has appeared in, my favourites so far are Spy Mung Wol and INR2, the latter probably favourite of all.

    Finally, can I say that I’m a new K-Drama addict (about 6 months in now), and I am so glad to find that I am not alone in my obsession/addiction. As a 50-something English wife, Mother and Grandmother, I had begun to think I was living in an alternate universe with my attachment to all things related to Korean dramas, movies etc. 😉

    • JoAnne says:

      Oh there are sooooooooo many of us out here! Have you dipped your toe into Open Thread on Dramabeans, on Fridays? It appears at about 9:30 in the morning here on the eastern coast of the US, so – mid afternoon for you. You’ll get quite the education, and LOTS of suggestions for things to watch.

    • jomo143 says:

      Welcome and ditto to what JoAnne says.
      If you like this show, YOU WILL LOVE Queen In-hyun’s Man. YOU MUST WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. 😉 There are recaps at Scattered Joonni and Dramabeans for when you need to see what everyone else thinks. It is by the same creative team, and offers the same amazing love story with heart-stopping drama stuff. It is one of my all time favs.

    • Julia the Berkshire Beanie says:

      We 50 yr old ajummas need to form out own clique.

  6. cass says:

    Oh yes, I haunt Dramabeans daily !! It was one of my first ‘go to’ sites for everything K drama!!

    • EE says:

      Welcome Cass! I am (relatively) new to the drama viewing myself, my first “live watch” was a tandem of Mary Stayed Out All Night (terrible, but I couldn’t get enough) and Secret Garden (wonderful, and I couldn’t get enough). That itchy GOTTA HAVE IT feeling is fantastic and horrible all at once 🙂

  7. jo f says:

    Yay! Recaps of Nine…I found this a little too late in the game, but better late than never. Really? One stick and 7 eps to go? I’m wondering if young SW wouldn’t be the key to getting this all righted out. I’m being optimistic that there can still be a happy ending with everyone alive and kicking, and those who were married stayed married and those who shouldn’t have married are not.

  8. Ennayra says:

    Thanks for the recap! It has been so long since I’ve watched a drama which causes me to yell at the characters while I’m watching. I love it! And show has given me a new appreciation for Lee Jin-wook. Before Nine, I’d seen him in City of Glass back in 2008, but not all the subs were available, the video was grainy, and the story wasn’t that great, so I gave up after episode 8 or so (out of 51, lol). Dramas are a lot easier to find these days, and I really appreciate it since it allows me to communicate with everyone here!

    I’m so surprised by how much I love NIne, that I’m staying a little behind on purpose. Yeah, I risk spoilers, but what if I get a really intense craving for a new episode and then there isn’t one? Just taking care of my future self. ;-P

    Hyung, I am so tired of. I realize he’ll probably be a key player in the next 7 episodes, but I am so tired of how weak he is! He’s more frustrating than Choi Jin-chul. I honestly didn’t expect him to actually turn himself in. Now I’m all paranoid that the cop he’s talking to is working with Choi Jin-chul – if that’s the case he’ll never get the courage to tell the truth again and the evidence will be destroyed. Ahh!

    Anyway, next episode I hope to have some more Min-Young. I find it ironic that in real life Jo Yoon-hee and Lee Jin-wook are only 1 year apart.

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