The Couch Potato : Black (K-Drama,2017) – Episode recaps – Ep 16 to 18 (Final)

Hello everyone and welcome back to my expedition into the series called “Black”! It’s the story about a grim reaper who is on the chase after his runaway colleague. While he is trying to find him he meets a girl who can see the shadows of death – she can know when a person is about to die and how. The two them sink knee-deep into a twenty tear old cold murder case. So far we have had some huge cases, losses, villians and revelations and we are now on the final run.

Now it’s not just episode recaps that I will have up on my blog, but I will have a post with my expectations based on the synopsis and cast, episode recaps with my commentary in bold italics, a review and expectations once I reach the halfway mark in the episodes, and a final spoiler free review if you are looking for just that. You can access them all by clicking the link here.

Episode 16

We start the episode to when Moo Gang is on the day he was shot. He gets a news that Ha Ram the fortune teller girl has the tape. He does get the tape and realizes after seeing the photo of her and Joon it is her. Later he is seen breaking into Leo’s hotel room and coming out dazed. He gets caught by the soldier and thinks – it’s better to die. But he suddenly thinks that he has to live as he needs to ask “that person”, why they did such a thing. But by then he is shot. Okay so there’s a lot of “that person” here but who is Moo Gang talking about? I feel like it’s someone we haven’t seen or been introduced to yet.

In the present Black wonders why Moo Gang went to the hotel. All the records about the guests seem to be deleted.

Black confides in the other detectives after finding out the snitch within them that it was the Congressman who was behind it all. In fact Kwang Kyun was hot on his trail but killed by him too. They hunt for more proof to arrest him while the Congressman is worried Moo Gang is getting his memory back.

They realise that in order for everything to be alright Black needs to retrieve Moo Gang’s memories. He calls his reaper friend to get Moo Gang’s soul. The next day he walks in dressed as Moo Gang in his pink hoodie and everyone thinks he has got his memory back.

The Congressman captures Soo Wan and threatens Moo Gang to come with the tape which he does. He puts it in and it’s indeed the tape. The Congressman glees with happiness as he recounts all his crimes – the tape, ordering to kill Clara, locking up the scarred man, tricking and forming an alliance with Man Soo’s father and the building man, meeting up with the freezer victim and killing her, killing the scarred man, Ha Ram’s father, the boys parents, locking up Man Ho and killing Man Soo’s father and Kwang Kyun. As he leaves he sees that his entire proclamation was broadcasted live and he is arrested. Now locked in, Soo Wan decides to leave abroad to start a new life. Black asks her about the tape, he noticed that at one point the glass was full and the next it wasn’t. Soo Wan says she had knocked it down and her face was shown so it was edited. I smell something fishy.

We then see a montage of a what happened in the background as they prepared for this. They even made a fake video with Soo Wan’s help to make it seem true. Ha Ram and Man Ho are meanwhile throwing hands to get a chance at Congressman. The next day Ha Ram sees Man Soo’s birth mother still protesting for her son in the military. Ha Ram informs him that she will die tomorrow at 3 pm. It looks like she is protesting as her son’s death was a suicide due to the abuse he experienced under Senator Nam’s son and depression. It was said there were pain releiving menthol patches on his private parts when his body was examined but that was later changed to be the smell of the menthol patches from the examining doctor. Black’s reaper friends are shocked to see the boy, now in the form of a reaper next to his mother, as it’s impossible for reapers to go near their loved ones.

Black is all but ready to leave to the underworld but his reaper friend somehow subtely seems to be giving him a clue about something. But what? Is it his real identity, the body underwater in episode 1?

Ha Ram finds out the menthol patches on the doctor were a lie as he is actually allergic to menthol. As she leaves she sees the blind man who warned her to stop saving lives. He tells her that he was like Ha Ram trying to save lives and ended up saving the life of a pilot who was trying to commit suicide. That pilot later crashed a plane and killed himself and hundreds on board – the same flight Ha Ram got off of in the earlier episodes. Guilty and horrified at what he had done he made himself blind.

As Ha Ram tries to understand what the man said, Black realises the picture of the body of Joon oppa is actually of another boy depending on the marks on his body. He realises that Joon oppa may be alive after all.

Episode 17

Realising that there has been a body swap with Joon and feeling he can make Ha Ram happy by finding the real Joon he first investigates with Moo Gang’s mother. He finds out that a post mortem was not done as the body was already way too damaged. Thinking he met a dead end, he gets one lead as he realises that the last thing Ha Ram’s father investigated before dying was about Joon and that he met up with a doctor – the same creepy Grim reaper Doc at the hospital.

Black goes to the creepy doctor and asked about why Ha Ram’s Father met up with him. Although he doesn’t remember the police officer who came he says the reason was because of his stolen car which was stolen from the parking lot after working 4 days with the Mujin disaster. He asks about the body swap and the body of the boy with the missing hand but he doesn’t know anything. Meanwhile Ha Ram is out to save Man Soo’s birth mother by proving that the military doctor was lying.

Ha Ram is however averse after the blind man warned her and tries to not interfere anymore. Meanwhile Black finally finds his missing partner, which was the whole point of black taking on a mortal body in the first place. During the chase he gets hit by a car and goes unconscious. Meanwhile Man Soo saves his mother and uncovers the truth himself.

Meanwhile the hip hop loving reaper finds a revelation that if a reaper enters their own body they can’t leave it. Since Black can’t leave Moo Gang’s body he tells that to Black but Black dismisses the theory as he is in Moo Gang’s body. Okay the whole Joon oppa/Moo Gang/Moo Chan thing is confusing me. Something’s up.

Ha Ram sees a reaper in the Creepy doctor to which Black chases him thinking he’s his runaway partner only to find out it’s a reaper that’s been missing for centuries and she has been killing humans and taking different bodies and living all this time. Black is all about reporting her but the woman tells her that she remembers what Ha Ram’s father asked the doctor – it was about the body with the severed limbs. She even tells him that she can tell where Joon’s body is and that killing a human and vanishing isn’t the ultimate punishment.

As Black goes around to investigate, he gets a flash of a memory and finds an old run down medical centre. He realises something and vomits into the bushes. The next scene we see him finding his body at the bottom of the cliff in episode 1.

In the flashback we see a young Joon, Moo Gang and his mother at Mujin for the conference. Joon records a happy birthday video for Soo Wan and goes to find her which is when he finds that Clara is attacking her and Moo Gang stops Clara. The three kids run and Joon returns to check if Clara died. It’s at the time the scarred man is seen threatening Clara for the tapes and Joon distracts him by holding up his birthday tape and saying he has it. Moo Gang hits the scarred man and gives him the scar and the kids run. Joon is eventually saved by Ha Ram’s father whereas Moo Gang is saved by a passerby.

Joon tries to call Moo Gang’s mother for help but gets shot in the head. The scene then flits into the hospital. Moo Gang a weak heart patient is nearing the brink of death after all that happened on the day and needs a donor. Moo Gang’s mother then takes an unconscious Joon and decides to take his heart saying he will be brain dead anyway. The Creepy doctor helps them and they strap Joon’s body in Creepy doctor’s car and throws it down the cliff. Meanwhile they find the boy with the missing hand whose injured and runs over him badly and puts it around that he is Joon and is killed. As Black finds his body, all his memories return to him and he cries and falls in shock as his reaper friend from the Joseon period, the one who collected his soul all those years ago stands by. He asks him to notify of the body so that he can take his true form and return to heaven.

I. Did. Not. Expect. That. I need a moment to wrap that up, OMG.

We then see a rather emotional montage where Black visits his birth mother, Joon’s birth mother and breaks down as he eats her food at her restaurant. He then walks her home and takes a picture with her for a keepsake as she sees Moo Gang just like her son. I’m not crying, you are. Yes! Ugh!

Black later confronts Moo Gang’s mother who claims she did it all for him (Moo Gang). Meanwhile Black finds out that a young Leo had seen Moo Gang’s mother take Joon’s bullet injured body away and later found out about the heart and revealed it to Moo Gang. But Moo Gang is shown to be throwing away the proof and leaving Leo, the only person who knows the truth to die. He realises that the man behind Joon’s and Moo Gang’s shooting was the congressman, just when news of his release are out.

Black makes his way back to the original site to find the tape from that day as he remembers his fragmented memories. He surprised to see Ha Ram there who says that she had followed her father there as she had seen a shadow on him. A young Ha Ram picked up the rifle dropped by the scarred man and shot the shadow near her father , who turned out to be Joon oppa. The recoil leaves her unconscious and she doesn’t remember anything. Black remembers and falls down in pain.

Oh come on! Give the guy a break! And give me a break! I’m going to die crying!

Episode 18 (final)

I haven’t finished sniffing back all my tears from the last episode but I need to find out how they intend to end this, hopefully on a happy note!

We see that Black is torn between submitting Leo’s laptop with all the evidence and finding Joon’s body so he can go to heaven and fearing Ha Ram would be upset when she finds out the truth. He eventually even thinks of living as a human in this body but Joseon is scared that The Death squad will catch up to him and the goal was to discover Joon’s body.

Soo Wan gets ready to tell the press the truth to ensure the Congressman is prosecuted. Black tells her that he will take care of that and asks another favor of her. She meets up with Joon’s mother who saw Soo Wan like her own daughter. Once the two reunite she asks Joon’s mother to start a new life with her in America.

Black meanwhile finally finds his runaway partner – he was in Leo’s body all along. He had occupied it shortly after Moo Gang left Leo and Leo died of a drug overdose. The grim reaper inside Creepy doctor is also turned into the death squad.

Black tells goodbye to Ha Ram at the airport pretending to go to America for his brain surgery. It’s actually Soo Wan and his mother that he says goodbye to. However Soo Wan finds an old SIM from Moo Gang’s burner phone and decides to meet up with his friend to reveal the truth and prosecute The congressman, but fingerless man catches up to her.

Ha Ram meanwhile opens the time capsule and finds two tapes. The actual tape of Soo Wan and the birthday tape that Joon recorded. She had actually stolen the birthday tape out of jealousy and Joon on that night had hid the other tape with it as he remembered the time capsule was nearby.

Black realises that Joon and Leo had met when they were kids and Joon realised his first recorded tape was gone (stolen by Ha Ram) so Leo had given him his father’s tape, which was Soo Wan’s tape – and that’s how all the events tied together.

Black is too late to reach the time capsule and Ha Ram has been kidnapped along with it by fingerless man and is threatened. Fingerless man is supposedly hired by another ex-mayor guy altogether who also seemingly had a role in all this. Black kills fingerless man and the ex mayor and saves Ha Ram Black then jumps off a cliff and hopes Ha Ram will be happy as he decides to end it all.

Meanwhile Moo Gang’s mother has committed suicide and so has the evil Congressman. Looks like a girls donor heart was received as soon as she finished operatong on Joon as well. Unfortunately Ha Ram learns the truth as well and Leo watches on as per his promise with Black. Everyone realises Black never went to America and that he killed himself off the cliff where Joon’s body was dropped.

As Black stands trial before the Death Squad he realises that Joon’s body has been discovered due to Ha Ram. He then asks the maximum punishment which is him ceasing to exist. The squad grants the same and we see that the world changes. Ha Ram’s parents’ never meet with an accident, she is born a normal child and becomes a firefighter and saves many lives including the characters she saved throughout the series. In the end she is shown to grow old, an old Leo who still remains her friend tells her a story about a grim reaper and a girl and how the reaper ceased to exist. Lamenting at the sad story Leo gives her a gift – it’s the red thread bracelet she gave Joon. She then slowly looks like her memories are returning. She quietly passes away the next day and is accompanied by Black to their next journey.

And that’s a wrap on Black and wow! I have so many thoughts about this and it will all come up in a review which can be read by clicking the link at the top! What did you feel about the episodes? I loved it!

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