Episode 9 of Move to Heaven begins with some home videos, paving way to show a 29 year old called Seong-Min. He grew up in the United States but found it a struggle to fit in and eventually got himself arrested. He eventually returned to Korea, trying to find his birth Mother.
This search is fruitless, and made worse by his inability to speak competent Korean. He has a heart problem too and eventually finds himself sleeping for the last time among a sea of rubbish and broken dreams.
Meanwhile, Sang-Koo starts washing the Move to Heaven van with Na-Moo. As they talk, Sang-Koo senses that she likes Geu-Roo. It turns out this dates all the way back to when she was 6. Anyway, the pair are soon interrupted by another call coming in. This is for Seong-Min, who was also known as Matthew. Apparently he passed away thanks to his genetic condition. He died in the Chrisann Motel, which the pair head up to clean out.
The scene is grim, with rubbish strewn across the floor and blood stains on the bed. As they clean up, Geu-Roo uncovers a necklace for A-Ji, Matthew’s dog. As Geu-Roo hurries off to investigate further, Sang-Koo presses the social worker who was in charge of Matthew’s case.
His Mother had “issues” seeing him and this basically stems from the adoption being dissolved. His heart condition is what caused her to send Matthew off to the United States for 30 years. Upon his return though, she remained adamant she didn’t want to see him. This also means she won’t receive Seong-Min’s belongings.
Just like before with the notes, Geu-Roo puts all the pages of the book together, taping them back. Geu-Roo’s genius brain flicks through the pages and stops on a picture of Eun-Jeong, Seong-Min’s birth mother.
Geu-Roo and Sang-Koo track her down and confront the woman about Matthew’s passing. Although she initially refuses to believe he’s her child, it soon becomes apparent that he is, in a roundabout way.
It turns out she helped raise Matthew at a foster home. Matthew was the last child they had at the home and Seong-Min believed that she was his Mum all this time. Not understanding Korean fully, and still learning, he saw the pictures and believed they were linked together.
With broken Korean, Matthew showed up at a book signing and eventually changed his mind over telling her his name is Seong-Min. He chose his American name instead. This meeting is what drove him to drink and rip the pages out in the first place.
This also came after being told his Mother didn’t want to see him. Sang-Koo talks about the disappointment and regret, using his own experience as a way of channeling that through Eun-Jeong’s woes.
After, they head to the Animal medical center where A-Ji is situated. His collar is placed back around his neck again.
The pair finally head back on the road but a news report breaks featuring Eun-Jeong. She delivers an impassioned broadcast addressing the entirety of Korea about the flawed overseas adoption process. She gives specific emphasis over how babies like Matthew Green/Seong-Min are stuck in the middle of all this. Geu-Roo is smart and reveals that he too is a child like that.
Back home, Sang-Koo receives a call from Madam confirming that the fight is at 11pm. Sang-Koo demands his documents be kept safe and vows to come after her if they’re not.
In the morning, Geu-Roo awakens to find Sang-Koo cooking breakfast – identical to the way Jeong-U did the day of his death. Well, Geu-Roo immediately suspects his Uncle is going to pass and becomes worried that he’s terminally ill. In fact, he even swaps the plates over just like that first episode.
Sang-Koo takes one last glance at his nephew before collecting his things and leaving. It turns out the other plate at the table is actually for Na-Moo. As he turns and walks away, Sang-Kan claims he doesn’t have a home to an arriving Na-Moo.
She immediately heads inside and admits that she has a bad feeling about all this. So too does Geu-Roo, who happened to have heard Sang-Koo’s threatening chat the night before with Madam.
Back home, Geu-Roo and Na-Moo uncover the documents for Punch drunk and realize that Sang-Koo could be in serious danger.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to Move to Heaven really layers on the drama as we see Sang-Koo make a decision and fight for his family. He’s determined to right the wrongs of the past, but also knows he could lose his life in the ensuing fight.
Meanwhile, the Matthew Green case works really well to juxtapose Geu-Roo’s current situation. Seeing Sang-Kan actually getting into the role and clearing out the room with respect is a sign of how far his character has come over such a short space of time.
The ending certainly leaves the door open for a dramatic finale to follow, with lots of question marks hanging over the direction this one is likely to take next.