This episode RULES! Here are a few reasons why: Sweet Kang, Angry Kang, Hero Kang, Smart Kang, Jealous Kang, Fisticuffs Kang, Bratty Kang, Petty Kang, Cutie Pie Kang, Bad Excuses Kang, Playboy Kang… Did I leave any out? Oh yeah… Kang in a Suit. Need I say more?
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Ji-hyun starts feeling woozy, and then her soul pops right out of Yi-kyung’s body. In the middle of the park, in the middle of the day. Oh, crap.
Min-ho asks if Yi-kyung’s okay, but all he gets back is a “Who are you?” But before things can get too complicated, (and damn, too bad) In-jung arrives to discover Min-ho here “with that woman.” He drags her away to talk, leaving Yi-kyung confused and alone.
Ji-hyun calls the Scheduler in a panic, but Kang has been keeping an eye from afar, and swoops in to save the day. Gawd, I love Kang as the big bleeding heart hero. I mean, don’t get me wrong—I ALSO love petulant, petty Kang. But this Kang is so sweet.
The Scheduler drags Ji-hyun away, calling her a troublemaker (hey, takes one to know one, buddy) and Kang reassures Yi-kyung that everything is okay. She recognizes him, which does calm her down, but as she looks at her surroundings, she has a momentary flashback…
Oh noes. More tugging of the heartstrings. Damnit, Show.
Yi-kyung and Yi-soo walk hand-in-hand in their high school uniforms, looking like the cutest couple there ever was. She says, “Oh no, what am I going to do? This place is so pretty.”
Yi-soo: “What am I going to do?” And she finishes his thought: “…because I’M so pretty?” Haha. I’d barf if you weren’t so cute. They walk along and then disappear, like a momentary hallucination.
In-jung demands to know what Min-ho is doing here with Yi-kyung, and asks if he came here with her. He doesn’t directly answer her, but ends up running off to check on Yi-kyung because he’s worried about her, leaving In-jung stewing and totally rejected. I sense some deep-seated issues about to surface with this one.
Meanwhile, the Scheduler gives Ji-hyun a talking-to, and she worries what’ll happen if she can’t get back into her host body before midnight (the official penalty is one day per minute that she’s late). But there’s at least one loophole for today: this wasn’t her fault, getting ejected in the middle of the day, so she won’t be getting that penalty.
But that makes Reaper Boy wonder what made Yi-kyung wake up. He guesses that there’s something about this place, and that bringing her here has triggered something significant for her. Dude, you have no idea.
He consults his reaper smartphone, which tells him that in the case of the host waking up in the middle of the day, he can make her believe that the entire day was a dream. The cost: another of the 49 days shaved off. Ji-hyun pouts that she’s already used a day, but they’re pretty much out of options at this point.
They run to catch up to Yi-kyung, who is walking along down the path where she and Yi-soo had once walked. She instinctively just follows a young high school couple, as if in a trance, and Kang follows silently behind her.
Ji-hyun and the Scheduler catch up, and then as all four of them walk along, Yi-kyung sees two kids at a table with tarot cards and stops. That triggers Kang’s memory, and then he flashes back…
After their magic club had picked partners, he and Ji-hyun were assigned to raise money for a charity by setting up a tarot card booth in that park. Ji-hyun works tirelessly trying to get people to stop, while he just sulks off to the side, all the while stealing glances at her.
After singing to get people’s attention (which of course embarrasses Kang to no end), one couple, a pair of kids from another school, finally stops at the table…
O.M.G. It’s Yi-kyung and Yi-soo! Dude, I assumed they were tacitly connected because they lived in the same so-called “reaper district” as adults, but it didn’t even occur to me that it might go back as far as high school.
And there they are, our main foursome, all dressed in high school uniforms, all alive, and staring right at each other. My mind, she is blown.
Ji-hyun coaxes them to pay 5 bucks and pick a card, and Yi-soo hesitates saying that it’s a hoax. Ji-hyun swears it’s not, and Yi-kyung wants to play for fun, so he agrees. As he pays, Ji-hyun notes a few things: he’s got worn sleeves, and she carefully reads Yi-kyung’s nametag, and sees that they’ve come up from another town.
He then picks a card—it’s the Lovers card, featuring two naked people, making both of them blush. But Ji-hyun’s reaction reveals that this is not the fortune she wanted to deliver to the young couple.
They note the look on her face and ask if this is a bad card. So she lies, telling them that they’re meant to be, and that they’ll get married and have a long, happy life together. She then does a trick and reveals a pink rose, and hands it to Yi-kyung with a smile.
She tells her that it’s her favorite flower, and we see that this is the moment when Kang discovered this about Ji-hyun, and why he still brings her pink roses to this day. It’s ALSO the same rose that Yi-kyung still has in her apartment—the one that Dr. Noh returned to her. It has to be.
In the present, all four of them stand there in front of the table, and the Scheduler watches them quizzically, trying to figure out why they’re all so lost in thought. It’s a nice moment, as each of the two who are still alive—Kang and Yi-kyung—are flanked by the people they loved, hovering by them as spirits.
Back in the past, Yi-kyung and Yi-soo sit by the water talk about their dream to build a pension. Yi-soo takes the flower and tells her that he’ll build it for her, and call it June Love, because he’ll build it for her by next June.
He then gets down on one knee and gives her the rose, telling her that he loves her. Oh, my god, I can’t take it! It’s so sad!
He kisses her on the forehead, and then in the present, Yi-kyung’s tears start to fall as she remembers it all. The Scheduler looks at her, a little shaken, and then in an instant, she collapses.
Without even thinking about it, the Scheduler materializes in order to catch her as she falls. Yi-kyung looks up, actually seeing Yi-soo’s face in a haze, before passing out. Omigod, omigod, omigod.
Yi-soo holds her like that, moved by her tears, and he wipes them with his hand. It shakes him, though he can’t remember or know why.
Kang doesn’t even notice, as he and Ji-hyun keep staring at the kids, lost in memory. Back in the past, Kang scolds her for lying to the young couple. He may have half-assed most things, but he knows enough that she read their card upside-down, meaning that the “true” fortune would have been: lovers who are destined to part forever.
She just says in her Ji-hyunesque way that they looked so happy together, and that she didn’t want to give them bad news. So, what’s wrong with a little white lie? He argues in his stubborn way that it’s still lying, and that she doesn’t get to decide whether or not they ought to hear the truth.
She grumbles that he’s one to talk, being the brat who rejected his mother’s birthday soup, and that riles him up. He starts to pack it up, and she grabs his arm to stop him, and in anger he shakes her off, only she’s a stick, so she goes flying into the bucket of roses.
That’s when her bracelet comes off (the one he still keeps) and she cry-yells at him to go away. This is the big fallout? Everything else about this flashback is awesome, but this part is lame-o. Oh well. Maybe there’s a part 2?
And…there is. Oh, thank god. Kang rushes back to the scene but doesn’t find Ji-hyun there. He does pick up the bracelet, though, and shows up to school the next day bearing a giant bouquet of pink roses. Aaaaaargh. Kang ah! So. Cute.
But timing’s not on his side, as he walks in to hear Seo-woo announce to the class that Ji-hyun is off to Seoul, and that they’ll never see her again. He rushes out to try and find her, only to be met by his mother, and then his father. His bags are already packed, as Mom has decided to give in and send him to the States to live with Dad.
Aw, poor puppy. So it wasn’t like a giant fallout or anything, but basically an unfulfilled chance at first love. Kang’s also stunted emotionally, so we can see why he clung to this memory for so long.
Note: In each of their flashbacks, I think present-day characters are only remembering the other couple vaguely. As in, Ji-hyun hasn’t put together that Yi-kyung is that girl in the past, and that the Scheduler was her boyfriend. At least not YET.
Reaper Boy yells at Ji-hyun to pop back in while Yi-kyung has fainted, and Kang literally sees the change right before his eyes. He knows that it’s Ji-hyun again, and pretends not to notice the crazy, just offering up the excuse that she’s fainting because she’s hungry.
Meanwhile, Min-ho runs back to the scene to look for Yi-kyung, shouting her name in the crowd. In-jung stands in place, still stung from the rejection, as a tear falls.
Over dinner, Kang stares at Ji-hyun intently, and we see that after he had dropped her off to meet Min-ho, he still followed her out of worry. He saw everything—that In-jung had arrived and gotten miffed, that Min-ho dragged her away, and that she had called him “oppa.”
He puts some food on her plate, and she notes his increasing weirdness—that he’s being nice, and not even getting angry about the fact that she came here with Min-ho. So when she gets a phone call from the bastard, he half-acting / half-truthfully grabs the phone out of her hand, yelling that people shouldn’t call when she’s eating.
He tells her not to meet Min-ho, and to go back up to Seoul with him instead. Ji-hyun, dim girl that she is, interprets the action as him basically confessing that he likes Yi-kyung. Heh. Well, you’re half-right.
By the time Min-ho gives up trying to find Yi-kyung and remembers that he ditched In-jung, she’s long gone. She’s gone to her parents’ house, and we see that she grew up very poor, which was probably the main source of her ire towards Princess Ji-hyun.
She can’t bring herself to go in though, and Min-ho catches up to her there. She gets a call from Seo-woo, or rather the restaurant owner where Seo-woo is drunk and passed out, from being stood up by Kang.
In-jung makes a snide remark to Min-ho that she’ll take Seo-woo and that he should go, since he has someone waiting for him in his hotel room. But he cancels the rest of his business trip and takes them back.
On their way out of Jinan, Ji-hyun perks up at seeing her dad’s favorite restaurant, and Kang notes her interest. He makes up an excuse to bring back some food for the others, and so they stop. Min-ho drives past on the same route and sees Yi-kyung happily carrying out food with Kang.
He’s dying of curiosity—what happened to her, why Kang is there in Jinan—but can’t let on, so he just keeps driving.
It’s time for Yi-kyung to arrive at work, and she makes it, but it’s clearly not Yi-kyung, unless she’s gotten a lobotomy between Jinan and Seoul. She sasses her boss and gets to work, starting with a caramel macchiato for herself. Her reflection in the mirror reveals that it’s Yi-soo, playing dress-up to help Yi-kyung keep her job. Aw. Your prickliness is SUCH an act.
He yells at a couple of kids who are about to ask for some help buying cigarettes, and then sighs when he sees Dr. Noh walk in. He presents himself in his own body this time, and sends him away brusquely, noting that all men are the same. Hm, I wonder if it was a mistake for you to reveal your face to the doc. I guess we’ll see.
Min-ho helps bring Seo-woo home, and then he and In-jung have it out. She notes that this is the first time he’s ever been in her place, and that she’s basically never been able to do any normal couple things with him, and yet here he is, taking a woman he’s known for a month to Jinan. Why?
Min-ho: “Because I’m drawn to her.” Dayum. He’s not mincing words. He tells her that he’s tried not to, and that he feels bad, but he can’t help it…that’s where his heart keeps going. He tells her that he’s not going to do anything about it, and so to wait for him.
In-jung’s jaw drops, even amidst her tears. She’s waited for five years…how much longer is she supposed to wait? They hear Seo-woo stumble to the bathroom to throw up, and he tries to get In-jung to quiet down, but she’s done keeping secrets on his behalf.
She shouts that she’s got nothing to lose and no one to be afraid of if the truth gets out, and so she’s done caring about that. Seo-woo’s practically passed out, but she does wake up just long enough to see Min-ho from the side, for an instant, as he leaves.
Kang walks Ji-hyun home, and insists on watching her go inside. She keeps eyeing him warily, like Nice-Kang does not compute. He just asks her in exasperation if she likes Min-ho enough to follow him all the way to Jinan, and she just replies that there must’ve been a reason for her to do so, but doesn’t offer up what that reason is.
As he watches her, Kang thinks to himself, “Idiot. Idiot, Idiot. You said you saw him in a hotel room with In-jung. And you still like him?” Oh, I totally forgot that he knows that—well, that Yi-kyung had come back from that hotel with her resume, reeling from the trauma of seeing her ex with her friend. Now he’s got all the puzzle pieces.
And with that knowledge, he greets Min-ho with a fist to the face. Aw, yeah! He says, “That was for Ji-hyun!” And then he hits him again. “That’s for Ji-hyun too!” He raises his fist a third time, “And this…”
But he finally calms down, seeing that Min-ho has no excuses and just takes all the hits. Inside, he gives him some ointment, and asks how long it’s been going on with In-jung. Min-ho lies that of course it was after Ji-hyun’s accident, but Kang tells him not to assume he’s an idiot.
He lays into Min-ho for carrying on with In-jung before the accident, and asks if he came to like Yi-kyung at the same time. He can’t believe the hyung he liked and respected so much turned out to be this kind of person.
Min-ho in turn asks why Kang liked him so much, and Kang says it’s because he knows that Min-ho grew up poor, but overcame everything with his own strength. Min-ho just tells him that guys like him think that growing up poor means that he couldn’t afford a car or nice restaurants, and scoffs without further explanation.
So, basically, Kang : Min-ho :: Ji-hyun : In-jung, yeah? Kang warns Min-ho not to bother about Yi-kyung anymore, and Min-ho leaves without answering him.
Kang broods for a while, and then decides to tell Manager Oh everything, because he needs help processing it all. They suss out that she had 49 days from the date of her accident, that she can’t tell anyone who she is, and he wonders about the monk’s words: that she has to get proof of people’s true hearts.
He also can’t figure out why she hid her official seal, and Manager Oh just tells him to help her, because he’s the only one who can.
Ji-hyun has slept all night in Yi-kyung’s body, both of them worn out from the day’s events. She wakes up the next day and remembers the food she brought back, and visits the hospital as Ji-hyun’s friend.
She gives them the soup and tells them that Ji-hyun said that even if she got married, her father would always be her lighthouse, and she asks him to live a long, long time.
Belatedly, In-jung wonders who sent her the text yesterday to meet Min-ho in the park. What, you didn’t wonder that when you got it? Anyway, she calls the number and Ji-hyun answers on the other end, clearly having anticipated the call.
They meet, and In-jung asks what she’s up to, not about to give an inch. But Ji-hyun shakes her, declaring that she said she’d keep her secret, not that she wouldn’t meet Min-ho. She tells her not to worry though—he won’t break it off with In-jung so easily since they’ve been “partners” for so long.
She muses that In-jung, being the president’s secretary and Ji-hyun’s old friend, probably got Min-ho his job in the first place. She thinks it shouldn’t be a big deal for them to share Min-ho, since hell, she handed him over to her best friend for two years. Ha. I like this vindictive streak in Ji-hyun.
Kang goes to see Seo-woo and asks about yesterday. He confirms a myriad of things: that she overheard In-jung and Min-ho say that they’ve been together for five years (which she shrugs off as having heard wrong), that In-jung has a boyfriend that she’s never met, and that Ji-hyun’s dad doesn’t have long to live.
Damn, it’s so refreshing to have people just find out everything at once. Kang works it out on his drive back, figuring out that Ji-hyun isn’t still interested in Min-ho; she’s got some sort of plan to reveal his true nature to her father before he signs everything over to him.
In-jung walks into Min-ho’s office and shows him her resignation, announcing that she’s on her way to submit it, and she adds that Yi-kyung sent her a text that day to meet him at the park.
That sends his wheels spinning, and he tasks his minion to dig up everything he can on Song Yi-kyung. He figures that there’s a reason why she’s playing him, and he won’t rest until he finds out.
At the same time, In-jung goes to the hospital intending to resign, but finds out that Ji-hyun’s “friend” is going around interviewing people but hasn’t called Seo-woo or herself, and at Mom’s mention of her coming by with soup from Jinan that she picked up yesterday, her suspicions are aroused.
Kang comes back and finds Ji-hyun lost in thought. He looks on and thinks to himself that he hopes she doesn’t know about Dad’s illness, worried about how she’d handle it. He counts the days and sighs that she’s only got 23 days left.
Yi-kyung goes to work that night and thinks about what she thinks was her dream—that she remembered Yi-soo and that he appeared to catch her. She says aloud, “You shouldn’t have come…even in my dreams. Don’t come. Don’t come.”
On Day 20, a curious thing happens. Just as Ji-hyun starts to pop into her host’s body, Yi-kyung opens her eyes and wakes up for a second, and sees Ji-hyun’s face. Hm. Seems she’s not far from figuring out a few things herself.
Ji-hyun shows up to work to find Kang dressed in a snazzy suit. Hello, nurse! Her reaction is a lot like mine—she looks him up and down and her mouth hangs open, wondering where he’s going, dressed up so nicely.
Just then, a delivery boy shows up with a bouquet of pink roses, and he tells her that he’s going on a date. She’s like, “A date? Wait, you have a girlfriend?” He gets all defensive, asking if he’s not allowed to like anybody, and Ji-hyun thinks to herself that he flirted with Yi-kyung, all the while dating someone else.
Out loud, she calls him a playboy, and then mumbles under her breath, “Pisses me off…she even likes the same flowers as me.” Ha. He tries to explain that she’s not his girlfriend so much as the girl he likes, but she’s not listening.
He goes to the hospital and Dad reacts badly, kicking him out. He tries to get back on the Haemido project, which Dad doesn’t accept, insisting he doesn’t need people who are flaky.
Mom follows him out and apologizes, and Kang takes the opportunity to ask about what Ji-hyun was on her way to do, the day of her accident. Mom says she was going to drop off her seal to Min-ho, because the Haemido land deal hinged on the sale of land in her name.
Ji-hyun calls Min-ho, and he goes to meet her, but this time he’s a step ahead of her. She fesses up to sending In-jung the text, and tries to bait him, by saying that she wants the same thing that Min-ho wants.
But he doesn’t fall for it, saying that there’s nothing he wants from her. She tries to bait him again, saying that he’ll never figure her out, but he counters, “You’re not someone I want to figure out.” And walks away.
She wanders and the minion follows her with a telephoto lens, like a proper stalker.
Kang drives back to Heaven, putting together more pieces of the puzzle: that Min-ho had no intention of marrying Ji-hyun, that Ji-hyun found out about his true nature after the accident, and that’s why she hid her seal.
Kang: All this time, standing in the space between life and death… you’ve had such a hard time. What can I do for you?
Just then, as if answering his thoughts, he comes upon Ji-hyun, walking alone. Swept up in the moment, he answers his own question by getting out of the car and walking toward her…
And he pulls her in for a hug.
Epic. Swoon. Gah, it kills me. He can’t tell her that he knows, he can’t offer words of comfort, so he does the only thing he can do… Aaaargh, I’m RE-swooning.
Make it stop.
I seriously thought he was going to kiss her, when he stopped two inches from her face, but then, considering I might’ve died from heart failure, I suppose it’s good we stop here.
Dear javabeans: Meh-rong!