A Noble Sacrifice
Realizing their plan is a bust, episode 8 of Sweet Home begins with Hyun-Soo awakening to find the towering behemoth back and angrier than ever. Gil-Seob does his best to help, throwing a Molotov at the creature… until he begins bleeding from the nose. This creature towers over them both as Gil-Seob looks set to meet a grisly end.
Thankfully, he survives courtesy of Ji-Kyung ramming it with a fire truck. That’s not the end of it though as the creature tries to tip the truck over and crush her.
Sang-Wook does his best to free Yu-Ri from the car while Ji-Kyung serves as the distraction needed to save the others to scramble to safety. With the creature suffering serious burns, Ji-Kyung rams it repeatedly with the fire engine and manages to save the day.
Back inside, Jae-Hun keeps watch while Eun-Hyeok completes his surgery and leaves her fate up to Ji-Su herself.
With the threat outside gone, the team head back in as Ji-Kyung’s fire truck supplies crucial fresh water for the group. Gil-Seob berates Yu-Ri for heading out, although thanks to Ji-Kyung she now has an inhaler.
Jae-Hun meanwhile slips back into old habits and continues to drink. Sang-Wook knows all about demons though and sits opposite him, convincing Jae-Hun not to give up hope.
When Hyun-Soo awakens, Ji-Kyung confronts him and asks exactly when his first symptoms occurred. He tells her he just wanted to live. It’s certainly ironic, given what he’s been though and his desire to commit suicide in the past. Eventually Ji-Kyung admits she ran into soldiers and told them about Hyun-Soo too, hence the questions.
After, she has a shower where guilt threatens to consume her. The soldiers promised to let her go and reveal more about Sang-Won exchange for bringing Hyun-Soo to them. After giving her a tracker to hone in on their location, they allowed her to leave given Hyun-Soo may be the key to their survival.
When Sun-Young reveals that she’s infected, the group unanimously vote to keep her inside. There’s a sense of comradeship between these survivors now but the residents do put her in isolation just to be on the safe side.
With Sun-Young gone for now, the rest of the residents tell each other scary stories. Unfortunately a runaway soldier shows up in the apartment block and begins convulsing and coughing up blood.
Away from the drama though, Hyun-Soo talks openly to Eun-Yoo who admits she’s given up ballet and teaches him how to do her hand gesture from before. This small act of kindness is enough for Hyun-Soo to begin cutting his hair. It’s a symbolic gesture, one signifying him cutting away all the pain and grief he’s felt over the years.
Ji-Soo awakens from surgery safe and sound which is one positive to come from this situation. However, the group have bigger fish to fry. The soldier awakens, whom we learn is called Ju-Seong. He’s clearly in shock and as his radio crackles into life, he begins growing more and more erratic. Realizing that their SOS message may not be such a good idea, Sang-Wook and Hyun-Soo head up and cut it loose.
On their way back down, they see the security guard in the elevator heading down with a weapon in hand. Hyun-Soo charges down too and tries to stop him as flies swarm all around his face. Thankfully Jae-Hun is there to stop him as the two square off. unfortunately Jae-Hun loses his arm in the ensuing skirmish.
With the blade of his sword severed too, Jae-Hun stumbles forward and grabs the security guard, stabbing him in the chest and holding him back from the others. Sacrificing himself, he grabs the guard and keeps it at bay in the lift, asking the others to throw the fire in. Eventually Eun-Hyeok does just that as Jae-Hun dies in the fire.
The Episode Review
With an emotionally charged finale and lots of bubbling bouts of drama throughout the episode, Sweeet Home delivers another slower slice of drama. I can’t help but feel though that the opening chapters should have had this sort of pace. While it’s good to get to know all these people and understand their backstory, it’s taken a good half a season before we’ve slowed down and understood their plights and struggles over time.
Still, Jae-Hun’s sacrifice is certainly a noble one and seeing his religion tested by turning back to drink before eventually redeeming himself is enough to make him one of the stronger character that’ll be missed in the upcoming 2 episodes.
It’s all to play for now though and with the end of the season in sight, will Sweet Home end on a typical Netflix cliffhanger or will we get a definitive K-drama conclusion?