I like it when the heroine is someone with a lot of growing to do, and not just makeover-style, but real character growth. Ji-hyun is such an interesting heroine because although she’s naïve and dumb and really quite off in her own princess land, she’s also very open and trusting and sweet. She sort of forms attachments despite other people’s reluctance to get involved in her life, and we can already see Reaper Boy and Kang being drawn to her character even in the face of her royally messed up situation.
The drama is speeding along at a nice pace, revealing secrets left and right and giving us great character beats along the way. I’m now fully invested in the characters’ journeys and curious about their pasts too.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Ji-hyun rushes to try and find her official seal before Min-ho reaches the room, but she can’t manage to track it down. Just as he enters, she scrambles out the patio door and (unnecessarily) hangs off the ledge. She can’t hang on any longer, and falls a few feet down to the ground, injuring her ankle in the process.
In-jung goes to the hospital to meet someone she calls “Mother,” though it doesn’t appear to be her own mom. The woman is suffering from dementia, and doesn’t recognize her. She yells up a storm, making In-jung upset. Maybe Min-ho’s mom?
Back at Ji-hyun’s house, Mom comes in, cutting Min-ho’s search short, and he ends up leaving the house with nothing but pictures and dolls. Ji-hyun watches him leave, wondering if he found it, but sees his frustration and rests assured that he didn’t find it either.
As she watches him go, she says, angry at herself: “Shin Ji-hyun, you trusted someone like that. You thought that someone like him loved you.” Aw, it’s probably the first time this sheltered girl ever even thought that people could be untrustworthy, let alone malicious.
She looks back at her house, crying at the thought of Mom and Dad. She wanders the streets for a while, feeling adrift and alone.
She stands on a corner for a long time, watching people pass by, and then in a fit of frustration, she starts hitting her head in that I’m-such-a-dummy way. As if a voice from the sky, the Scheduler shouts, “Why are you hitting Song Yi-kyung?” Oops. She realizes that it really isn’t HER head she’s hitting. She looks for him, and finds him up on a balcony sipping coffee, because really, what’s the point of an afterlife if there’s no coffee?
She runs up to him brightly, and he just tsk-tsks at her when he sees her limping. He yells up a storm, that no one gave her permission to go hurting Yi-kyung. She apologizes, but then smiles eagerly, glad to have someone to talk to.
She grabs his hand as she sits down next to him, eliciting the most hilarious reaction out of him, something like OMG it TOUCHED me. She really might as well be a slime monster, by his recoil.
I dearly love the fact that she thinks they’re friends, while he’s like get it off, GET IT OFF, gedditOFF!
He makes it clear that theirs is not that kind of relationship, (Yeah, let’s see how long that lasts, Reaper Boy.) and she says it’s just that she doesn’t know what to do, and there’s no one else to talk to about it.
She starts laying out her troubles, wondering what on earth Min-ho and In-jung are up to, how much time she’s supposed to dedicate to finding her seal, what if she can’t find it, what about the tears…and he finally puts up his hand in protest to stop her.
He reminds her that he’s not a person, and that he’s not here out of concern for her. He got paged here, because his host-body-injury-dar sounded an alarm at him. Ji-hyun sighs, “Oh…is that why you came?” as a tear falls.
He tells her that he’s got a busy schedule himself, thank you very much. But she reminds him that he gave her that hint last night, about opening the door. I love that she’s sitting there trying to prove their friendship…to him. The Scheduler gasps and looks around, “ME?! When?”
He jumps up from the table and overacts that she’s just making things up now, and walks away. She sits and pouts, saying to herself that he really did give her the hint; she’s sure of it.
As Reaper Boy walks away, he looks back at her with a sigh, saying to himself that she’s slow on the uptake, which is why she’s always getting hurt. AW. He’s clearly been breaking rules to help her. Big ol’ softie.
Min-ho stops by the hospital to drop off Ji-hyun’s things, winning him extra Daddy points. Dad announces that he’s going back to work, which is probably going to make whatever scheme he’s got brewing more difficult.
Ji-hyun wanders some more and ends up outside of Seo-woo’s bakery, and she watches her friend, only now realizing how lonely it is to be without her. Seo-woo recognizes her from Kang’s restaurant, and seeing that she’s hungry, offers her some pastries. It’s a good thing this girl’s got friends in the food service industry; otherwise she’d starve to death.
Back at Kang’s, the other two waiters complain that Yi-kyung is late again, and wonder what’s gotten into their boss, who they know to be a cold stick in the mud. The manager tells them that there’s always more to a person than what they can see.
But when Kang appears behind them and finds out that Yi-kyung still isn’t back, he walks out in a huff, ready to re-re-re-re-fire her. He sees her walking in, stuffing her face with a pastry, and assumes she’s just abusing his kindness and goofing off.
He takes it personally, asking if she thinks he’s a moron, thinking that she’s taking advantage of him now. But of course, in true Ji-hyun fashion, she’s so caught off guard that the last piece of bread gets stuck in her throat, and she starts to choke.
Kang’s concern overtakes his anger (as it always does) and he cries out for help. Everyone comes rushing out to give her water and make sure she’s okay, and a gulp of water does the trick. There’s a nice moment when she looks up and sees everyone’s faces, concerned for her well-being.
In the bathroom, she throws up and takes a minute to gather herself, ending up in tears. She cries, overwhelmed and exhausted. Outside, Kang is waiting for her, and tells her to follow him. She asks warily why, and he just mumbles that she keeps making him concerned, totally put out by the fact that he’s being forced to care. Heh.
She sits downstairs, worried that he’s going to fire her again, but instead he shows up with a bucket…full of ice water and a towel. He puts it down in front of her and looks away, pretending like he totally doesn’t care but… he noticed she sprained her ankle.
Aaargh. So. Cute. Ji-hyun smiles, realizing that it’s a cold compress for her, and wonders to herself if this is really Kang. He tells her that you’re supposed to use a cold compress for that kind of injury, and she just smiles to herself, as she thinks, “Yeah, I’m the one who taught you that.” Kang: “Why do you keep looking at me like that?” Because you’re being CUTE.
He brings her purse from yesterday too, which she doesn’t recognize at first (oops). He asks her about the whistle inside, and she says someone must’ve given it to her for protection, and blows on it.
That brings Kang back to his first meeting with Ji-hyun, when they rolled down the hill together trying to retrieve her bike. He had sprained his ankle, and Ji-hyun had blown on her whistle, saying that her dad told her to use it in emergencies. Heh. So you were always kinda dumb.
She gets up and says that she’s all better now, but he stops her, sitting down to tell her something. He takes out an envelope of money and offers it to her, saying that he can’t handle things that are complicated and messy, and that since the day she stepped foot in there, he hasn’t had one peaceful moment.
He offers her pay for the 49 days she wanted to work, and fires her. Again. She gets upset at his offer to pay her off, and insists that she’s not a beggar. He refuses to give her another chance, and she asks angrily if this is why he was being nice—just to spring this on her (using banmal in her anger).
He gets mad at the implication, and insists he’s just trying to help her out because it seems she’s got someone to take care of at home, she’s got fiancé troubles, and she doesn’t even have money to eat. She still refuses the payoff and starts to walk away defeated…
…which of course our hero cannot abide. Exasperated, he wonders what on earth she wants from him, and she just says with tears in her eyes that all she wants is to remain here. In her head she thinks, “Kang-ah, if you kick me out, then I’m really alone.”
He tries to get her to take the money, but she says she’ll be okay, and that he’s really been there for her. He finally caves at her stomach growling (heh) and sends her upstairs to eat something. She cries, overwhelmed at the gesture, and he stares uncomfortably at her, clearly unfamiliar with…um…girls.
Kang: “Wh…why are you crying?” Ji-hyun: “I’m crying because I have tears!” Kang: “Why do you have tears? I didn’t even fire you!” Ji-hyun: “Because I’m grateful!” LOL.
Meanwhile, In-jung goes to the bridal shop to retrace Ji-hyun’s last steps, in hopes of finding her seal. The woman at the shop gives her a cold dose of reality instead: the day of her accident, Ji-hyun was being especially picky about In-jung’s bridesmaid dress, insisting that it had to be pretty, because she had picked out a hottie groomsman just for her.
In-jung reels at the realization that the friend she was betraying was thinking so much of her that she left wearing that dress just to show it to her. Well, that’s what you get for being a backstabbity friend. And speaking of backstabbers, Min-ho’s land deal threatens to go south, and he asks for just a little more time.
He shows up at Heaven (who let him in?) and Ji-hyun, simple girl that she is, can’t help but be totally transparent around him. She eye-daggers him from far away, and yet shakes in his presence. He notes her behavior and condescendingly tells her not to fuss about near him.
He gets a call from “Secretary Shin,” and steps outside to take the call. Ji-hyun suspects that it might be In-jung, and so she follows him to eavesdrop, hearing him say her name as he tells her to stop crying. He also lets it slip that this is a plan two years in the making.
Ji-hyun wonders what that means, since she met him less than two years ago…
It finally dawns on her that their meeting may not have been as coincidental as she thought. It’s something we suspected from the moment Min-ho showed himself to be a shady bastard, but I don’t blame her for not making the connection because really, who would do that in real life?
Before she has a chance to properly suss out the timeline, Min-ho ends the call and notices her nearby. He tells her to stop, since he knows what she’s angling for, but she’s not his type. Ew, smug much?
She scoffs that he thinks she’s interested in him, and can’t help herself:
Ji-hyun: I thought you were only good at remembering names, but you must be good at being delusional too. Even if I were a good actor, would I be anywhere near as good as you? You have good manners but no sincerity. And your face is not your real one. Since you know psychology so well, you must use people and con them quite well.
God, that felt good, just hearing her say the words. But as she says that last part, her tear necklace starts to glow red and she stops from the pain.
All of a sudden, the Scheduler appears right between them, giving her an ominous warning: she is dangerously close to revealing her identity, and if she does, that necklace breaks. And when necklace breaks, 49 days are O-V-E-R.
She nods that she understands, all the while with Min-ho staring at her like she’s a crazy person. Kang walks up just then, seeing the two of them together. Min-ho asks what she’s doing, and she gathers herself, spitting out that he’s Kang’s friend’s fiancé, but accusing her of trying to seduce him, so she’s angry is all. She whirls around and goes inside.
Later that night, Yi-kyung, driving her own body, notices her twisted ankle and her clean hair. She checks it out in the mirror, when her friendly neighborhood stalker comes in, noting that it’s the first time he’s seen her look in the mirror.
He prods her to take up more of an interest in him, but she refuses, so he tells her that he knows quite a lot about her…why she went to that place, what the scar on her wrist is. She thinks back and remembers him now as a neurologist that she saw, probably close to the time of the accident.
Okay, I don’t know if I’m supposed to be creeped out, but um…I really really dislike the idea of doctor-stalker. I think it’s a coincidence that he started to buy cigarettes there. I’m gonna go ahead and think that, because I kind of have to. Well, at least we find out his name: Non Kyung-bin, M.D.
He smiles now that she’s finally remembered him, but she doesn’t return the sentiment, and tells him not to mess with her; she doesn’t want to remember anything. Hm, I wonder how much of that is literal. Does she actually have pockets of memory missing, or is she just living in denial?
In-jung tells Min-ho that she went to see his mother, and insists that they have enough money to take her abroad and live comfortably. He senses that she’s brought up his mom in a moment of weakness, and she confirms it, saying that this isn’t what she signed up for.
She’s worried about Ji-hyun’s dad, and what losing his company will do to him. So, hostile takeover it is. Though what it has to do with Ji-hyun’s land is still a mystery. Min-ho tells her that this is what they planned from the beginning…
Which takes us back to that not-so-fateful day when Ji-hyun was “rescued” by Min-ho…because In-jung ditched her and set the trap for him to swoop in and save the day. And the same goes for that not-so-coincidental run-in at the theater a week later, of course.
What they don’t realize is that spectral Ji-hyun is there watching the whole scene unfold, as she witnesses firsthand just how far back it all goes. While I would’ve rather her figure it out on her own, I’m not exactly going to bet my life savings on her brain trust, so I suppose this way she knows (and we know) once and for all.
Min-ho adds that if it had all gone according to plan, he’d have been married by now. He insists that Ji-hyun’s dad has all but given up on his daughter and returned to work (untrue, but it bolsters his argument), and that they need to finish out their plan.
Ji-hyun heads outside for a good cry, and then finally stands up, looking vengeful. I rather like the idea of you being a vengeance ghost, if the tears thing doesn’t work out for ya.
When she returns to the hospital room, In-jung is there alone, and she shouts at her best friend, saying that she thought that being rescued by Min-ho and then meeting him again was fate. At the same time, In-jung looks at Ji-hyun’s body lying there, and thinks to herself, “Forgive me, don’t forgive me…I won’t ask you these things. You had a hand in this too…why I became like this.”
The backstory of the two BFFs is actually more interesting to me than the whole takeover scheme, because I want to know what made In-jung do such a thing. Ji-hyun, still shouting, blames her for the accident and asks if all of this was for money. Out loud, In-jung muses that Ji-hyun always finds a way not to get hurt, and maybe it’s better this way, so she never knows.
She’s like, I’m standing right here, all ghostlike, and tries to hit her through the mystical barrier. It sends her stumbling, which is when she notices the kangaroo stuffed animal that Min-ho brought from her room as his decoy.
It triggers her memory from the last time she used her seal, and remembers placing it right there, in the mommy kangaroo’s pouch. She can’t touch it herself and almost calls Reaper Boy, but then remembers his angry speech about schedulers not getting involved in people-things. She decides to wait, and watches In-jung sleep, anger washing over her as her hand balls up into a fist.
The next morning she counts the seconds until 10am, and then wakes up in Yi-kyung’s body. She calls the Scheduler first thing, but he’s busy working at the local swimming pool…is what he tells her. He’s busy workin’ it is more like it, as he flirts with all the girls there.
He finally picks up his phone and tells her where he is, so she shows up, wondering what on earth a reaper is doing at a pool. Ji-hyun: “Are…all of them reapers too?” Hahaha. Nope, normal pool, normal people. He cheekily asks who would follow a reaper who didn’t have pull (as in, with women)?
She’s come here to tell him that she’s going to the hospital to recover her seal, and then tell Dad about Min-ho and In-jung. Reaper Boy: “So, you’re just going to break all the rules, all at once?” She nods fearfully, asking what’ll happen to her if she does. Will the elevator come?
Yeah, the Express one, he assures her. She asks him to stall the elevator for just one hour, for her. But they’re interrupted by his phone, reminding him that he’s got a soul to reap. He turns to walk away from her, and in a flash he’s fully dressed in a suit.
He walks a few paces, and then an accident happens at the edge of the pool, where a woman falls and breaks her neck. Turns out he really was working. Her soul pops out and he tells her quite saucily that he’s here to announce her “deadness.” Haha. Rudest reaper ever.
She refuses to enter the elevator and makes a run for it. He just sighs as he watches her run. Ji-hyun sees that she’s coming straight for her and panics, but just as she’s about to run smack into her, two hooded grim reapers, old-school style, appear between them. They drag her, kicking and screaming, into the elevator.
Ji-hyun asks why this soul was so different from that guy at the hospital, and the Scheduler just says that you get treated in death the way you lived your life here. Well, it’s only fair.
Outside, she asks if he’ll just hold off on her elevator (since she’s about to break the rules) for an hour, and gets his word. He adds snootily that lying is for humans, so she can trust him.
She asks if she’ll see him again, post-elevator ride. Taken aback, he wonders why they should ever see each other again. Ji-hyun: “I’ve grown attached to you.” Aw, like a puppy? So cute.
That of course just makes Reaper Boy scoff at the absurdity: “Why are you like this?” Hehehe. He wonders why she’s playing cool when she’s usually all weepy, and she counters, “Who cries when they get conned? You don’t cry. You get mad,” she says not quite so convincingly, through quivering lips.
She wonders if her elevator ride will be as scary as the one she just witnessed, and asks if he’ll be there with her, the whole way. She then realizes she’s running out of time, and dashes off. Reaper Boy wonders aloud that she didn’t even ask for a ride or anything.
Aw, were you gonna offer her a ride on your little hipster reaper bike? Your cuteness is killing me right now. She heads to the restaurant first, but finds that the doors are closed.
Meanwhile, Min-ho shows up at Ji-hyun’s house to pick up her parents, as today was supposed to be their wedding day. They head to the hospital, and In-jung takes the opportunity to send the housekeeper on an errand, buying her time to look for the seal.
Everyone else, including Kang and Seo-woo are at the hospital, as Mom tearfully tells Ji-hyun that it’s supposed to be the happiest day of her life. The nurse enters to tell Min-ho that the stuffed animals have to go, because they present a health hazard. (?) Whatever, Show.
Kang heads out, shocked to run into Ji-hyun (in Yi-kyung’s body) at the entrance to the hospital. Using banmal in a fit of panic, she yells, “Ya Han Kang! If you’re going to close the store, you could tell me!”
Her slip doesn’t really register with him, as he asks what she’s doing here. He puts the pieces together and assumes that she must actually have an illness, and is being treated here. She doesn’t have time to explain, and just runs in.
But when she gets there, she has to hide as everyone leaves the room, and she sees Min-ho walk out, kangaroo in tow.
Once outside, Min-ho calls In-jung to check on her progress, but she says she turned the whole room upside down with no luck. He hangs up and pounds the hood of his car in anger, which Kang witnesses from a distance. Min-ho drives off.
On her way out of Ji-hyun’s house, In-jung sees a stuffed toy dangling from her cabby’s rearview mirror, and it triggers her memory. The day that Min-ho had given Ji-hyun her kangaroo, with jewelry stuffed in the pouch—she had called it her new treasure box.
She rushes to the hospital to look for it, and finds it already gone, and Min-ho isn’t answering his phone. In-jung and Ji-hyun both hail cabs and race towards…somewhere. It’s the Wild Kangaroo Chase! Just like a safari, but different!
Ji-hyun ends up in front of her parents’ house, as she braces herself and rings the doorbell. Mom asks, “Who is it?” Ji-hyun: “I…”
Well she’s not going to reveal herself right now, so the bigger question is, what’s Min-ho going to do with that kangaroo? Such a funny thing to make the object of such drama, especially when they do close-ups of Kangaroo’s face, like it’s taunting them with its super-secret pouch of legally-binding goods. Ha.
I’m really liking Bae Soo-bin in the evil role, because I’m so used to seeing him be the prefect not-the-guy second lead so many times. It’s refreshing to see him be delightfully unsympathetic, so that I’m happy to hate him. In-jung, on the other hand, is actually sympathetic in comparison, though she’s of course just as guilty.
The thing that interests me about her character is that she doesn’t seem to be very cold-hearted, so she likely went along with Min-ho because she loves him (and has loved him for god knows how long). But then, how on earth did she keep up the façade for that long, if she really did care about Ji-hyun? I like that theirs is the relationship with more backstory that has yet to be revealed.
Kang is adorable, and what’s great is how different Ji-hyun is around him. It shows a different color to her personality entirely, and it makes me hopeful that he’ll somehow make the connection that Yi-kyung is Ji-hyun. And even if he doesn’t, she gets to see a whole new side to him too, that he’s kept hidden away for all these years.
And Reaper Boy is just my new pet. I love their odd-couple relationship where he’s trying desperately to have some professional distance (he has his reaper pride, after all) but Ji-hyun is just such a trusting person that she’s already attached, making him so delightfully uncomfortable. Also, can he reap souls at the pool every day?