As Su Ryeon makes her way up to the penthouse, Ma Ri and the kids rush to usher people to safely evacuate. Seok Kyung helps Rona up after almost getting a decorative fixture fall on her. Seok Hoon and Min Hyuk help a woman who gets smashed into a glass wall. Jenny and Ma Ri help people crashing into food.
Seok Kyung pauses and looks up at the penthouse elevator, worried for her mother. Seok Hoon drags her away to the elevators as she screams to her mother to stay safe. But right before the elevators close, they see a woman with her dog still stumbling in the lobby.
Seok Kyung remembers how they left Seol Ah for dead in the burning van and she runs out to the young woman. The other kids follow her and Ma Ri pleads with the people in the elevator to wait for them before letting it go down.
The kids make it back, but the elevator force-closes before Seok Hoon and Min Hyuk can squeeze in. They hurry for the emergency stairs.
Su Ryeon and Dan Tae battle in the penthouse all leading up to Dan Tae getting shot in the forehead and falling through the window. As he falls, he remembers all of the evil things he has done before he smashes through the glass ceiling of the lobby and landing in the fountain.
As Dan Tae lies in the fountain, he flashes back to his time with Na Ae Gyo. They had happily made plans for their future together including using Su Ryeon to accomplish their goal of a happy family with two kids living in the most expensive and tallest home in the country.
Su Ryeon sits in the living room and takes a photo of her two children. Resigned to her fate, Su Ryeon cries as she tells them she loves them.
Just then, Logan storms in and he helps her to the penthouse elevator. She tells him that she killed Dan Tae and Logan says she did nothing wrong. Logan says everyone else is safe and they start zooming down in the elevator just as the explosions begin to rock the lobby and the penthouse.
Su Ryeon and Logan brace themselves as Seoul’s tallest tower, a shiny landmark in the heart of the city begins to collapse, floor after floor, onto itself.
Next morning, emergency services begin digging through the rubble. News reports on Joo Dan Tae being the suicide bomber and having found the dead body of Secretary Do.
The news reports there were no other casualties and huge protests have sprung up in the city, including in front of the Blue House.
A recovering Su Ryeon is in bed while being questioned by a detective. She and Logan tell him what they know of Dan Tae’s misdeeds. But the detective says they can’t investigate the car bombing since Dan Tae is dead. The police have found a laptop at Secretary Jo’s home with evidence to prove much of Dan Tae’s crime. It’s a shame they only have this information now that he’s gone.
Feeling partly responsible for the disaster, Su Ryeon and Logan have a press conference announcing plans to compensate residents of Hera Palace by establishing a ten trillion won+ foundation out of their own money.
Logan also announces that he will take over Cheong A Group to help minimize the damage that its employees and shareholders may suffer due to Dan Tae’s actions.
Seo Jin is in Secretary Do’s apartment watching the news coverage as she happily revels in Dan Tae’s death. Secretary Do arrives with medicine from the hospital and Seo Jin says they need to keep up the charade so as to not make Su Ryeon suspicious.
Secretary Do says that with Dan Tae dead, Seo Jin does not have to pay his debts anymore. So she is free to travel. Seo Jin is happy things are going her way and reminds Secretary Do not to let Eun Byeol on to her so as not to make her feel betrayed.
Seo Jin flashes back to the night Eun Byeol made her drink the medicine. Seo Jin had seen and heard her before spiking the wine. When Eun Byeol answered the door, Seo Jin had rushed to the bathroom to vomit out the drugs.
Seo Jin hopes to use Eun Byeol’s testimony to support the idea that she has drug-induced dementia, thus shielding her from any evidence Su Ryeon might put forth in Yoon Hee’s murder. For now, the plan is to send Eun Byeol abroad and Seo Jin to follow once it is set that she cannot function on her own.
Over at the hospital, Logan is with the doctor as Yoon Cheol wakes up for the first time. The doctor says it is a miracle. Logan says Rona is fine thanks to Yoon Cheol and also tells him about Dan Tae.
Yoon Cheol wants to make sure Dan Tae is really dead, but Logan says it will be difficult to find his body. (*redflag!*) But he suffered the most painful and pathetic death, so it’s all good. Now they must focus on Seo Jin.
Yoon Cheol doesn’t readily believe Seo Jin has dementia and thinks she is just faking it to avoid a trial. Logan says they are suspicious, but have no proof to support them.
Meanwhile, Eun Byeol is working, poorly, as a street advertiser trying to attract people into the store. The store owner scolds her for being so bad, fires her and demands she pay him back the advance she begged him for.
The owner shoves her to the ground. Then suddenly, Teacher Ma appears and mocks her. But he offers to help her with money. She initially refuses, but accepts when he says she could get one million won a day.
Mr. Ma brings her to a studio for her to record trot songs. As she sings, she is emotional thinking about her mother and their dreams of operatic stardom now gone.
After a bit more mockery by Mr. Ma, Eun Byeol leaves for the day and gets a call from her father. She rushes to the hospital, relieved that he is better. She tells him about needing to make money to feed her and Seo Jin as well as buy her medicine.
Yoon Cheol asks Eun Byeol if Seo Jin is really sick. She is offended by the accusation and admits that she fed Seo Jin drugs. Eun Byeol says she thought it was the only way to stop Seo Jin from committing any more crimes for her.
Eun Byeol feels guilty, but will do everything to help her mother live. She begs Yoon Cheol to ask Su Ryeon to forgive Seo Jin. But Yoon Cheol says he cannot forgive Seo Jin himself.
Eun Byeol can’t believe her father would pile on like this as she believes Seo Jin is already paying for her sins. She says Seo Jin can’t even sleep as she’s so worried all day. Eun Byeol tells Yoon Cheol she doesn’t want to see him anymore and to just go live with Rona as his only daughter until he dies.
A tearful Eun Byeol walks away from her father. Yoon Cheol tries to chase after her, but trips on his IV instead.
Back inside, Yoon Cheol talks to Dr. Im who confirms Seo Jin’s dementia diagnosis based on her records. Dr. Im says she must have endured so much stress as the amount of drugs she’s prescribed would have her sleeping all day.
Yoon Cheol, however, remembers how Eun Byeol said Seo Jin can’t even sleep at all. Later, he and Dr. Im compare Seo Jin’s old CT scan with this dementia-confirming scan and they see that these are completely different people, confirming Yoon Cheol’s suspicions.
Secretary Do scolds the other doctor for allowing Dr. Im to see Seo Jin’s records and threatens him. But the doctor threatens Secretary Do back.
On the other side of town, Ma Ri visits with Su Ryeon and Logan. Ma Ri says Logan had booked the entire hotel for the kids as well as all the now-homeless Hera Palace residents.
They turn their attention to Seo Jin and after digging through her garbage, confirm she is faking her condition. Su Ryeon decides she will release the dashcam footage as soon as Rona leaves for New York.
Su Ryeon and Logan meet with Yoon Cheol. Su Ryeon tells him about Rona visiting him every day and that she will be leaving for the US tomorrow. Yoon Cheol asks Logan to help him meet with her tonight.
Rona asks if he’s okay to be out and about. He puts on a smile and says he’s recovered quickly. He compliments her on how she looks and how she is so much like Yoon Hee. Rona says Yoon Hee told her she takes her stubbornness and curly hair from her father.
Rona tells Yoon Cheol about her move and how she might even settle in New York. She notices Yoon Cheol is sweating profusely and he explains that he’s just nervous about being out and about so soon after his injury. He wishes her well on her new journey and gets up to leave.
But Rona asks him why he did what he did to save her. She says she hates him for worrying her like that and she cries. Yoon Cheol regrets doing another thing he has to apologize to her for. He wraps his arms around her and tells her to do well in the US and live a happy life.
As Yoon Cheol walks toward the door, he trips on a table. Yoon Cheol flashes back to the doctor telling him and Logan that he has lost his eyesight. And the brain damage he sustained will induce intense migraines that will require the strongest painkillers until he dies.
Before walking in to the café, Logan described Rona’s appearance for Yoon Cheol to know. Yoon Cheol wanted Rona to only remember him in his healthy state.
Both father and daughter cry in agony over their sad situation. Rona takes out a present she was to give her father, a pen engraved with Yoon Cheol’s name and title on it. She says goodbye.
Next day, Logan meets with the Cheong A board and says he will retain all employees with no conditions as the company will be reborn as Simwoon Group. They will proceed with the Cheonsoo development and make it the place to be in Seoul.
As Su Ryeon celebrates reclaiming the Simwoon name for her father, Yoon Cheol calls her as he makes his way to where Seo Jin and Eun Byeol are staying. He wants to tell Eun Byeol about everything himself instead of hearing about it on the news.
Su Ryeon says she is on her way and for him to not do anything until she arrives. On the video call, Su Ryeon sees Seo Jin lurking in the background and she rushes over.
Seo Jin comes up behind Yoon Cheol and he immediately thinks it is Eun Byeol. He tells her about Seo Jin faking everything and is shocked when Seo Jin reveals herself. Yoon Cheol backs away from Seo Jin who begins throwing flower pots at him down the hallway.
Yoon Cheol says he will take Eun Byeol with him. He admits that Su Ryeon knows she is faking and he takes Seo Jin in his arms and begs her to stop this. Seo Jin, in turn, begs him to not expose her for Eun Byeol’s sake.
Just then, they back themselves into the side wall and Yoon Cheol falls over. His head slams into the concrete and blood gushes out. Seo Jin runs down to him and begs him not to die.
Before Seo Jin can call 119, Yoon Cheol reaches his hand out to her face. She takes his hand and he tells her that he never forgot her. “I love you… Yoon Hee.”
Seo Jin cannot believe it. She lets go of his hand and blames Yoon Cheol for making her this way. “You abandoned me to the very end.”
Su Ryeon arrives at the apartment building at the same time as Eun Byeol. She went to buy fruit since she knew her father was coming. Su Ryeon runs up to the apartment, but sees Yoon Cheol lying in a pool of his own blood. He prevents Eun Byeol from seeing it and just tells her to hurry out and call for an ambulance.
Seo Jin sneaks out of the building and runs as the emergency services arrive. She washes the blood off her body in a public toilet and calls Secretary Do to make plans for her and Eun Byeol to go abroad.
Su Ryeon accompanies Eun Byeol to see Yoon Cheol at the morgue. Eun Byeol cries and apologizes for all the hurtful things she’s said to him.
Logan arrives and cannot believe what’s happened. He laments not being able to give Rona’s gift to him. Logan knows Seo Jin will try to flee, but Su Ryeon says to let her. They will play their final card and have Seo Jin confess all her sins.
Eun Byeol comes out of the morgue and Su Ryeon and Logan try to explain that Seo Jin has been lying to her. Eun Byeol refuses to believe it until she sees it with her own eyes.
At the apartment, Secretary Do tells Seo Jin that the police will rule Yoon Cheol’s death an accident due to his blindness. He tells Seo Jin to leave the country first and have Eun Byeol follow later, especially after the funeral.
Just then, Seo Jin gets a call from Eun Byeol. But on the other end is Logan shoving a screaming Eun Byeol into a car. Su Ryeon, holding the phone, orders Seo Jin to come to the place she killed Yoon Hee in one hour or she will never see Eun Byeol again.
Secretary Do tells Seo Jin this could be a trap and that he will take care of this so she can leave. But Seo Jin slaps Secretary Do and says she will save her own daughter.
Seo Jin speeds over to the Kiam Cliffs and angrily confronts Su Ryeon. Su Ryeon begins pushing the car toward the cliff and, believing Eun Byeol is inside, Seo Jin tries to stop it. She opens the front door to put the car back in Park. But she turns to see that it’s only a dummy in the backseat, not her daughter.
Seo Jin pins Su Ryeon to the car and willingly admits to what she’s done. Eun Byeol is with Logan on the cliff above them, watching the entire thing. Eun Byeol cannot believe her mother would do all those things, including killing her father.
Seo Jin refuses to turn herself in and she and Su Ryeon struggle.
Eun Byeol calls the police to report that it was her mother that killed Oh Yoon Hee.
Minutes later, the police approach the cliffs. Su Ryeon reveals that Eun Byeol has been watching. Seo Jin turns up to the cliff to see her daughter distraught and crying above her.
Seo Jin blames Su Ryeon for everything in her life going wrong. And now that she’s about to go down, she will not go alone. Seo Jin grabs Su Ryeon and pulls her to the edge of the cliff until Su Ryeon slips and falls into the water.
Eun Byeol screams at her mother committing another horrific act. Logan slides down the side of the cliff as Seo Jin is in shock that Su Ryeon has fallen.
The police grab Seo Jin as she screams after Su Ryeon, saying she had held on to her. They toss her into the cop car as Logan screams after Su Ryeon as well.
Su Ryeon floats down into the deep lake.
I will say, after the exciting beginning of this episode, this cliffhanger (LITERALLY!!!!!!! lol) was a bit underwhelming. Especially considering this is the penultimate episode of the series. Another potential fake out death complete with the implication that Su Ryeon is in heaven in the preview? Kind of a letdown. But the show has managed to surprise sometimes, so we’ll see.
First back to the start of the episode. I very much enjoyed the extended disaster scenes. The chaos, the emotions. It all worked so well. And to be honest, as a Filipino-American, with the 20th anniversary of September 11th a week away, I felt really emotional watching those first few minutes. I was just a freshman in high school back then, but I still so vividly remember that terrifying day.
This is a soap opera, as I always say. But just, everything that’s been happening the world and ahead of the anniversary, I couldn’t help but think about the people in the World Trade Center having to go through what was happening here.
Rushing for the elevators and the emergency stairs. And obviously, what was depicted here on Penthouse wasn’t even half of the terror suffered by people on September 11th. Our Hera Palace friends had a couple minutes warning. Sadly, the people on that day in 2001 did not.
I had compared what I hoped Penthouse would do with the 2012 Korean film The Tower. I didn’t feel that emotional connection with the film, partly because I went into it knowing it was just a fun, summer blockbuster-type adventure. But here, I was surprised to find myself so emotional.
Anyway, I really liked the kids and Ma Ri being the focus of that chaos. Putting them in harm’s way and having them take the lead in trying to usher people to safety was great. One way to pump the adrenaline is to get unsuspecting characters, those who otherwise have only faced “normal,” everyday struggles (relatively speaking on Penthouse lol), into extraordinary situations. Especially dangerous ones like Seoul’s tallest tower about to collapse onto itself.
The most striking scene was Seok Kyung remembering almost leaving Seol Ah for dead in the burning van and then rushing out to save the woman and her dog. That’s the kind of redemption path you like to see happen. We love full circle moments.
I was a little underwhelmed, however, that Su Ryeon and Logan just took the elevator down. Seeing them brace themselves as they zoomed through the smoke was good. But like, have Logan rush into the penthouse with a parachute and have them flying in the sky as they watch Hera Palace collapse. That would’ve been more on brand for Penthouse and pretty badass. Lol
Seo Jin faking her dementia is not a surprise. The doctor did seem suspicious when speaking with the prosecutor. And even with the expectation that Dan Tae could possibly appear as a zombie in the finale, having Seo Jin be the final boss big bad is fitting.
The way I went from almost feeling sympathy for Seo Jin when Yoon Cheol hugged her to beg her to stop to having a WTF face when he said “I never forgot you” to laughing my ass off when he called her “Yoon Hee.” Perfect progression during that scene. Very much on target for Seo Jin as a character to just let him die like that.
As we head into the final episode, I suppose Yoon Hee really is dead. Which is probably one of the biggest shocks for me in all three seasons of Penthouse. I would have expected they would have gone all the way with all three leading ladies. But perhaps it’s a consequence of the extension into a season three.
So much Filipino soap opera déjà vu if that’s the case. But I guess it works. After what’s happened since Yoon Hee’s death, I don’t think there’s going back on that any more. They put so much stock into the aftermath of Yoon Hee’s death that if she had popped up a few episodes ago, they could still craft a way to place enough blame on Seo Jin.
That is, even if Yoon Hee was alive, Seo Jin still can’t escape punishment since she’s done so much else. And would proceed to do more, as we’ve seen. But now, I don’t think it’s possible.
There’s still a whole episode left. But seeing Eun Byeol finally coming to grips with reality about her mother was handled as well as they could have, I think. Having Eun Byeol be so stubborn (which apparently is a trait both she and Rona inherited from Yoon Cheol lol) until the very last minute is in character for her. And having Eun Byeol see her mother admit to her evil ways with her own two eyes is a great way to sort of wrap up that part of the story.
Seo Jin shocked that Su Ryeon fell over? Umm… okay? Like, she didn’t mean to do that? Come on now. More than 50 hours of spending time with Seo Jin, we as the viewers should know better lol
Anyway, Yoon Cheol’s death was fine and I think did more to progress the endgame for Seo Jin rather than anything else with him and his two daughters. The scene with Rona was good and it is the kind of bittersweet conclusion that works. And the way his death helped to push Eun Byeol back into reality is also great as well.
Back to Dan Tae, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up alive as a skeleton in the finale. Logan specifically said they won’t ever be able to find his body. In soap opera speak, that is of course a loophole to allow him to be brought back in the future. But with only one episode left, perhaps it really was the end of Dan Tae.
And if it was, I think it was fine. He died and was buried in this once-glimmering, towering landmark that he staked his whole life on. Not only that, he killed to make this building happen. And yet, he died right alongside its fiery collapse. That’s a fitting end for him. Even though he deserved to suffer even more than just that of course.
There were a lot of explosions at Hera Palace. But plot wise, there weren’t many bombshells in this episode. I think I expected a bit more from a penultimate episode.
But even though I was underwhelmed, I still have high expectations for the finale. After three seasons of the biggest show on Korean television, they need to go out HUGE.
Also, Im Seulong?! Hello there! Long time no see! Penthouse has had a couple of fun cameos.