This drama gave me nightmares. Literally. I was so scared and traumatized, but I couldn’t stop watching it because I was curious.
Curiosity lost me my head.
An heir to a big empire, Cha Do Hyun, struggles with six different personalities living in him. Due to trauma and the needs to cope with his harsh reality, Do Hyun developed DID with at least five personalities. He then hid himself and settled on living in the US, away from his family and friends.
Do Hyun always struggled growing up. He lost his memory from when he was 6 to 7 years old, and afterwards he just grew distanced from his family. When suspecting that the missing year in his life could have been the trigger to his personality disorder, Do Hyun always believed that it was the stress and coping mechanism that triggered it.
Then, one day his strongest second personality, Shin Se Gi decided to take him back to South Korea to claim his rightful place in the family, and Do Hyun could do nothing to stop him.
When he got to Seoul, Do Hyun kept running into a psychiatrist named Oh Ri Jin and his other personalities started making appearances and acting out of control. It started with Se Gi meeting Oh Ri Jin and declaring his love for her, and it spiralled out of control from then on.
After trying to stay away from Oh Ri Jin, Do Hyun decided to protect her and ask for her help by hiring her to be his personal psychiatrist. Oh Ri Jin’s twin brother, Oh Ri On, was a famous writer who investigated Cha Do Hyun’s family and secrets due to their tangled past, and tried to keep his sister from Do Hyun.
As it turned out, Oh Ri Jin and Do Hyun had known each other when they were kids, and Oh Ri Jin wasthe key to Do Hyun’s missing years and the trigger to the development of his other personalities.
Cha Do Hyun: the host of everyone else living in him. His real name was Cha Joon Young before an accident shook him badly and let him mistakenly take Do Hyun’s name as his own. He is a very kind and responsible young man, always making sure everyone’s okay before looking after himself. When he realizes that Ri Jin accepts him and his personalities, he kisses her and shows her that she’s more than just a psychiatrist to him.
- Shin Se Gi: the first personality born after the incident that separated Do Hyun and Ri Jin when they were little. He never forgot Ri Jin, and when he found her again 20 years later, he confessed his love and decided to protect her at all cost. He is a very angry 7 year old child trapped in a man’s body. Throwing tantrums is his way of expressing his feelings.
- Perry Park: an old man who loves making bombs and drinking alcohol. He is loud and expressive, and friendly with everyone. He and Oh Ri On became good friends immediately when they met for the first time, and Perry Park kept trying to find Ri On. When Se Gi got Ri Jin in trouble after their first encounter, Perry Park was the first to come out and rescue Ri Jin.
- Ahn Yo Sub: a 17 year old genius whose nickname is “the suicidal one.” He loves drawing and reading, and he gives Ri Jin hard time due to his tendency to talk about death. He is very calm and quiet, so Ri Jin can identify him easily. He seems to only want what’s best for the other personalities, so when he realizes they want to live, he decides to not die.
- Ahn Yo Na: Yo Sub’s twin sister who is obsessed with Kpop stars and will stalk whoever is “handsome.” Known as the most dangerous of all the personalities, Yo Na doesn’t think twice when she sees handsome men and just runs after them. She usually appears when Do Hyun feels pressured in social settings. She creates chaos wherever she goes and gets Ri Jin in uncomfortable situations. She fell in love with Oh Ri On and became obsessed with him.
- Nana: a little girl who was born as a copy of Ri Jin’s younger self before she went missing. Ri Jin never got to meet Nana, as Nana always appeared mysteriously and audience only got to see the aftermath of her arrival. However, Nana decided to show herself to reveal her real name: Cha Do Hyun.
- Mr. X: Nana’s father. He was never around, so nobody knew he existed. However, after Do Hyun came to terms with his past and accepted what happened, Mr. X made an appearance for the first time before the rest of the personalities got the chance to say goodbye to Do Hyun and Ri Jin.
Oh Ri Jin / Cha Do Hyun: a psychiatrist who kept running into Cha Do Hyun and his other personalities. She happens to be the only one who can tame Shin Se Gi, and that skill proves to be very useful in keeping him under control. Ri Jin is honest and direct, and she is the first person who treats Do Hyun without pity but compassion. At first, she was confused with her feelings between Se Gi and Do Hyun, but later on she realized that the two of them were the same person. As Do Hyun’s memories came back, so did hers, and they ended up healing together by accepting the past and moving forward.
Oh Ri On / Omega: Ri Jin’s twin brother and a famous novelist who followed Do Hyun around for his investigation. He is cocky, sly, and overprotective when it comes to Ri Jin. He had always known that Ri Jin was adopted, and developed romantic feelings for her. When he knew that Ri Jin was working for Do Hyun, he was upset, and tried to get Ri Jin to quit. However, when he realized that the three of them were just bound to be tangled in the ugly fate, he decided to let Ri Jin go be happy with Do Hyun.
I don’t think other characters mattered as much, which was why I only put up these three. Because in this drama, the other characters did not matter as much as the personalities.
Although I do love Ri On’s and Ri Jin’s parents. They’re the best. And of course, the ever loyal Secretary Ahn. What would Do Hyun do without him? I have no idea.
You see, Cha Do Hyun and his personalities show just how powerful our minds are. It is terrifying to see a man struggling so much with himself, due to having no other way to escape his pain and trauma. And in that sense, this drama managed to scar me. It basically tells us that the scariest things in the world might not be that far away, but could also be harvesting inside our minds. And that’s truly scary.
It also revolved around identity so much. Cha Do Hyun always believed that despite having other personalities, he still had himself. However, in the end he figured out that he had stolen Ri Jin’s real name and taken her place in the family as well. He had not even been living with his real name, which he’d forgotten by then. And it was all the more tragic.
I took my time watching this show and actually questioned myself if I’d had any time when I could not remember what happened, or if I felt like I’d become someone else. That’s how much it scared me.
Ji Sung is one brilliant actor. He portrayed every personality so well that I could tell them apart easily. I did not even see them as Do Hyun, but as themselves. I’m not sure what’s more terrifying, the fact that I watched this or that I memorized every personality’s name.
The one thing I had a problem with was the setting and the tone. They tried to make it lighter with comic reliefs every now and then, but the overall tone was still depressing and dark. It was like drowning myself deeper and deeper, instead of swimming by episodes.
This drama got a 7/10 from me. Would I watch it again? Well, some of the episodes maybe, the funny ones with Yo Na. But maybe not the depressing ones. It’s already scary as it is without it being depressing.