49 Days: Episode 13
Yay for more secrets getting revealed! I like when people find out stuff and are forced to deal with the fallout, rather than constantly trying to keep the same old secrets hidden all series long. Keep the revelations coming, please!
Also, this is a good episode for evolving our rules, and delving into Yi-kyung and the Scheduler’s past. And also for manipulative backstabbers to get served, a little bit. That’s always fun.
SONG OF THE DAY
Loptimist – “연어” [ Download ]
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Kang surprises Ji-hyun with a hug, moved to do something to help her and frustrated that he can’t do more. A few seconds later, Ji-hyun recalls herself and pushes away, asking what he’s doing. Kang plays dumb, but in the cutest way ever: “Did I just do something? I was sleepwalking, so I don’t remember.” LOL. If you think that’s gonna work…
It doesn’t, so he tells her she looked so lifeless that he acted out of encouragement: “It’s a comfort hug!”
He adds that he lived in the U.S. for a decade, where hugs are eeeeverywhere! “Ah, you must not know since you haven’t lived in America.” HA. Use America as an excuse for everything.
Ji-hyun’s still suspicious, so he reminds her that she’d called herself an orphan with nobody to count on. That makes Ji-hyun pout inwardly that he’s smitten with Yi-kyung, and she tells him that a guy with a girlfriend shouldn’t go around hugging other women. He clarifies that he never said he had a girlfriend, just that there was a woman he liked.
She retorts that he took someone that big bouquet of roses, and he replies that it was to lift her spirits and give her energy. She yells, “But you just hugged ME to give me energy!”
Two…plus two…is…? Sigh, Ji-hyun, our endearing little dummy.
At a distance, Min-ho’s lackey finally has some evidence to take back to his evil boss, having snapped a photo of the hug.
The not-couple heads back to Heaven, where Kang orders a full meal for the two of them. But they’re still maintaining appearances, so he pretends it’s all for himself — but he only wants a taste of everything, and the rest will go to waste…so…
That’s enough excuse to get Ji-hyun eating. To continue with his whole motivate-Ji-hyun-secretly plan, he tries to work in some encouragement by telling her, “Why are you eating right now?” Ji-hyun: “Because you told me to.” Kang: “No, it’s because we eat to live. To live. LIVING is more important than anything.”
Not surprisingly, his crypticness just puzzles her; she’s basically tells him that she understands the words coming out of his mouth, but has no idea what he’s getting at.
Kang explains that love, revenge, and eating are all pointless once you die. But now we’re getting too close to the truth, so to ward off her suspicion that he’s on to her, he reminds her that she’d told him she had a limited time to live.
Later, Kang puzzles over the details with Manager Oh, about how Ji-hyun hid her seal on the day she was supposed to be married. Kang is now looking into the Haemido project, tapping contacts at other companies for info. Manager Oh thinks Kang should be concentrating on the whole how-to-keep-Ji-hyun-alive issue, but Kang is afraid he’ll endanger Ji-hyun by mishandling her secret. Right now, he decides, the priority is getting Ji-hyun’s father into surgery.
Manager Oh’s wife has been trying to come up with ways to “prove one’s true feelings,” and suggests that the key is in one’s gaze, since the eyes are the window to the soul. (Or, in Korean, the mirror to your feelings.) Kang thinks she’s on to something.
Thirteen episodes in, and finally the Scheduler gets his music-video moment as he basks in the sunlight listening to music. Naturally he’s grumpy when Ji-hyun interrupts, worried that Kang’s on to her secret. The Scheduler replies that from a logical point of view, nobody would believe her secret as true, and in any case, as long as nobody finds out as a result of Ji-hyun’s own behavior, she’s in the clear. (Loophole being: People are free to find out on their own.)
Another nugget of info he drops: Even if Ji-hyun lives, she won’t remember her 49 days. If she did, that would upset the balance of, like, the world.
Horrified that all her newfound knowledge would fly out the window, Ji-hyun realizes that she has to take care of the Min-ho situation before the 49 days are up, so that she won’t go back to her trusting ways and marry him. The Scheduler says cryptically: “You might, or you might not.”
Also worrisome is Min-ho’s sudden change of heart — how he went from pursuing her to dropping her like a hot potato — and decides she needs to find out his safe passcode asap.
In-jung’s Spidey sense is tingling with the mention of Ji-hyun’s mysterious, alleged new friend Jung-eun who is interviewing all of Ji-hyun’s friends. She confirms that neither she nor Seo-woo has been contacted by her, and tries to find more information on her.
Ji-hyun is alarmed when she hears that the restaurant’s plants have been repotted, fearing for her seal’s safety. When she drops by to clock out with Kang, she steals a look at his plant and asks if he in fact repotted them all. He lies and says there’s no way he’d risk his back for that, assuring her that the pot will stay there forever, noting her relieved reaction.
What makes me giggle is how Kang then emphasizes the part about men needing to take care of their backs, which is one of those things Koreans say with a completely straight face that makes my inner 12-year-old snicker. (A friend’s mother once advised us not to date boys with bad backs, saying knowingly, “One day you’ll know why.” And there we were, trading glances, thinking, “Uh, we’re 20 years old. I’m pretty sure we know already.”)
Kang’s “I’m A MAN too, you know” statement makes Ji-hyun’s memory flash back to the recent hug, and she stammers and tries to leave quickly. Kang insists that she sit with him, and they sit in awkward silence for a while. When she asks about the ceramic box on the side table to break the silence, Kang interrupts her hurriedly — her seal and bracelet are inside — and suggests they head out together.
(He grabs her hand in his hurry, and then covers for it by insisting it’s a handclasp of encouragement. Oh, Kang-ah, I’ll let you encourage me, all night long…)
Meanwhile, Min-ho’s minion reports to him about the latest developments, replete with photos. Jealous, Min-ho heads for Heaven that night, and watches as Kang and “Yi-kyung” emerge together, alarmed when they literally fall into each other’s arms (accidentally, but still). He calls her name angrily, and Kang starts to intercede, but when Ji-hyun holds him back, Kang forces himself to be patient and withdraws.
At his jealous comment that she’s been swayed to Kang’s side, she says pointedly, “Any woman who knows how to judge men would naturally stand in line for Han Kang, not you. I was stupid and no judge of character to get ensnared by you.”
He demands to know why she was with Kang in Jinan, and Ji-hyun tells him she knew he’d come back to her — that his dismissal of her was an attempt to convince himself he was through with her. She tells him she hasn’t revealed his plan and association with In-jung to anybody.
Kang watches Min-ho escort her away in his car, clenching his fist and wondering what she needs from Min-ho.
Min-ho takes Ji-hyun to a bar, calmer now and concerned about her health, recalling that she’d blacked out in Jinan. She replies that she suffers from narcolepsy, furthering the trend of this drama’s characters either having major sleep issues, or blaming their problems on them.
Ji-hyun says she’d like to go to that restaurant again, the one he used to take his mother to. He admits not liking talking about his mother, but shares that she’s been in the hospital for years — a fact that tips Ji-hyun off that the woman he’d passed off as his mother at their engagement was a fake. Playing up this moment of his emotional vulnerability, she puts her hand on his sympathetically.
She doesn’t allow Min-ho to see her home, but he’s got this covered and sets his minion on her tail.
The Scheduler pops up on the bus to alert her to her follower (quipping, “Are you shooting a Bourne movie?”). She recognizes the minion as her father’s driver and Min-ho’s friend, realizing that he’s having her followed. She frets about what to do, only to have the Scheduler say, “We’ll just have to become Matt Damon and Franka Potente.” And which one will you be, Scheduler?
His idea of a slick Bourne-esque getaway is…to run really fast off the bus. LOL. Seriously, that’s about as high-tech as he gets. The glee on his face is sort of priceless, though.
Mr. Minion has to chase on foot, and loses them. The Scheduler gives a celebratory whoop, although it’s not like their pursuer could see him anyway (he’s still invisible to humans), which just confirms that he’s a thrill junkie.
The Scheduler points out that she’s not working on her Three Tears Project, instead fixating on revealing Min-ho’s true colors. Ji-hyun answers that she doesn’t need to go around trying to find tears, because that doesn’t change whether she was loved or not in life. Shrewdly, she asks if these 49 days were really just a present to the soul who died too early.
She might be on to something, because the Scheduler fidgets at these questions he can’t (or isn’t supposed to) answer. He declares further discussion “crossing the line” and ends their conversation with a warning to be careful not to disrupt Yi-kyung’s life. Well, any more.
Min-ho arrives home drunk, and finds In-jung waiting for him. She’s worried about this Jung-eun character, sure now that she’s responsible for the missing seal. Hearing that she was also in Jinan, In-jung fears that Jung-eun may following them.
Min-ho’s not nearly as worried, and suggests that if she’s so concerned, In-jung could go abroad for awhile. She accuses him of trying to get rid of her, and although he admits that he does like Yi-kyung, he insists that she’s not their problem, and that their relationship was on the rocks before that.
Min-ho reminds her of the very date In-jung first proposed the Destroy Ji-hyun Plan to him, since it was his birthday — which I’m betting also gives us his passcode (October 5, 2009). Ever since, they’d spent all their time training Min-ho on Ji-hyun’s personality, likes, dislikes, parents, etc. “What we did for two years was business, not love.” It was natural that feelings would cool when they did nothing to keep them alive. He’s…not wrong.
That night, Ji-hyun’s spirit has trouble falling out of the host body, which has been happening ever since the Jinan trip. When Yi-kyung’s back at the control panel, she meets Dr. Noh at the cafe, and is startled when he asks about her day off.
Thinking back, she realizes that what she’d thought was a dream must have been real — a fact that brings the Scheduler by, beating himself up about forgetting to maintain his Yi-kyung disguise in front of Dr. Noh. It’s as though some unexplainable force prompted him to show his real face, but he doesn’t know what. Worse yet, he may be facing another penalty.
More hypnosis. Yi-kyung revisits another memory, of herself and Yi-soo arguing. The tone hints at a breakup — one where he’d broken her heart: He’d told her that people change, and she had cried, “But you’re Yi-soo.”
Yi-kyung had been working at the hotel at the time, so this must have been just about the time he died. Interestingly, the phrase he tosses at her here is one he repeats as a Scheduler, but what was said defensively in the flashback has become derisive in the afterlife: “People always change. That’s what they do.”
Still in hypnosis, Yi-kyung’s memories now conflate with Ji-hyun’s, as she describes seeing Min-ho and In-jung in the hotel together. She recognizes herself in the scenario, but doesn’t feel that this is really her, and starts flashing to other scenes from Ji-hyun’s time in her body. She even sees Ji-hyun’s spirit talking to her.
The explanation our doctor provides? Yi-kyung must be recalling scenes from a past life, mixed in with her current life. PFFFFFFFFFFFFFT. I’m on the floor, laughing.
(Koreans do speak of past lives in a fatalistic sense, but even so, it’s kind of absurd for a medical professional to immediately offer that up as his “diagnosis.” What about a simple “Dreams don’t always make sense”? Dude, I once dreamed that my brother was MacGuyver and rescued me from a building under artillery fire — I’m under no illusions that any part of that dream was “real.” I was also once able to fly in a raccoon suit, which I’m pretty sure was a result of playing too much Super Mario 3. Aside from that explanation, maybe she’s having schizophrenic episodes?)
Yi-kyung is sure it’s not a past life, though, and says something strange is happening to her: “I want to talk about it, but it feels like it’s something I can’t talk about.”
When Yi-kyung gets home that morning, her hand brushes against Ji-hyun’s spirit — and both ladies feel the sensation. Uh-oh!
In-jung gets Jung-eun’s phone number from one of the other friends, and the number pattern strikes her as familiar. To confirm her hunch, she seeks out Ji-hyun’s mother, taking her to lunch with the comment that Ji-hyun had wanted to eat pasta with her mother. They go to Heaven, where Kang greets Mom warmly and serves her Ji-hyun’s favorite dish.
This is all to put Mom face-to-face with Yi-kyung, of course, to see if she calls her Jung-eun. Kang, on the other hand, guesses that Ji-hyun would enjoy seeing her mother, and calls her to come quickly. Alas, he doesn’t explain why, expecting this to be a pleasant surprise. Well, one of those words applies.
When Ji-hyun arrives, Mom exclaims, “Jung-eun!” That gives the self-satisfied In-jung the opening to ask how Song Yi-kyung could also be Park Jung-eun, a question that puzzles everybody.
Ji-hyun can’t explain this and rushes out, and In-jung follows her to confront her about the name change and why she called herself Ji-hyun’s friend, accusing her of lying.
But at that, Kang — having clocked Ji-hyun’s panic — joins them to declare that Yi-kyung is right — that he hired her at Ji-hyun’s request, that Jung-eun is a nickname, and that there’s no issue here.
In-jung argues with Kang, calling his behavior odd, but he retorts that hers is even odder. Why should she care if the two ladies were friends? “How important is this, that you’d use Ji-hyun’s mother?” He reveals that he knows she’s dating Min-ho and calls her behavior shameless. He warns In-jung to watch herself, so they’re able to smooth things over with Mom.
Later Kang asks Ji-hyun innocently, “Were you really friends with Ji-hyun?” and exclaiming that that must be why he thought there were similarities between them.
Ji-hyun wonders why he covered for her, and he reminds her that he owes Ji-hyun for a lot of things, and that she was always the type to stick up for the underdog. So while he didn’t understand the situation, he could see she felt cornered.
He adds that he doesn’t really care for In-jung, asking, “Didn’t you know about her and Min-ho?” Her response confirms his hunch that she knew.
Figuring In-jung will blow her cover right away, Ji-hyun calls Min-ho to get to him first. He takes her call with a smile and they make plans to meet later, and when In-jung calls immediately afterward, he frowns and shuts off his phone.
After lunch, Kang drives Mom back to the hospital and takes this opportunity to have a word with Daddy Shin, who is as gruff as ever to Kang. (Although, I swear he’s moved from true dislike to grudging acceptance — that’s jeong and the Korean way for ya: Persistence breeds affection. Hm, maybe that explains a lot about K-dramas…)
Kang says he’s speaking on Ji-hyun’s behalf, because they’ve been in similar circumstances, and proceeds to share about his mother. Kang hadn’t known she’d died until a year afterward, per her intention. She’d sent him abroad, thinking it would be best for him, not telling him of her illness or why she divorced.
Kang overrides Dad’s protests and says he still doesn’t understand his mother. So how will Ji-hyun feel if she wakes up and finds her father gone, knowing it was because of her that he didn’t get the surgery?
Ji-hyun meets Min-ho to out her double identity as Jung-eun, Ji-hyun’s magic club friend. This explains why she had been friendly when they’d first met, and also why she then hated him after learning of his relationship with In-jung. The news comes as a huge blow to Min-ho, who has trouble processing what this means — that “Yi-kyung” knew he was with Ji-hyun, but that she still likes him now.
In-jung bursts in, ready to announce her big discovery to Min-ho, only to find out that she’s been pre-empted. In-jung tries to discuss it with Min-ho, trying to suss out what “Jung-eun” is up to, but Min-ho doesn’t have the headspace to deal with her frantic worrying and yells at her to leave him alone to think it out.
In coming clean, Ji-hyun has been able to keep her story straight, but now she worries that she’s cut off her avenue to learn more from Min-ho. Not in Yi-kyung’s body, at least. Which means her father’s health and future are still in danger.
Ji-hyun sees Min-ho dashing out of his building in a hurry and wants to follow him immediately. She races home to drop off her host again, but as much as she wants to go out immediately, she’s also worried that leaving the door open (so her soul can leave) will worry Yi-kyung.
Finally, she decides to wait out of consideration for Yi-kyung, which turns out to be a good decision because Yi-kyung wakes up and immediately checks her surroundings, relieved to see her door closed as she left it.
Min-ho checks in with Kang about knowing that Yi-kyung was Ji-hyun’s friend all along. Min-ho says that if Kang had just told him from the beginning, they could have avoided a lot of hassle rather than getting all upset whenever he got involved with Yi-kyung.
But Kang has a pretty airtight defense: “But I trusted you. I believed you loved Ji-hyun.” Plus, he adds, “I like her.” Eep! (I mean, we all knew. But there’s always that thrill you get from hearing someone admit it out loud.)
That night, Ji-hyun (in spirit form) is about to leave to attend to her own business, and waves a cheery goodbye to Yi-kyung. Problem is, she’s starting to care more and more about Yi-kyung’s life and welfare, and her worry prevents her from leaving.
Instead, she follows along to see what Yi-kyung is up to, which takes them outside a church where Yi-kyung sits alone. Seeing that, Ji-hyun asks sadly, “Do you really have no place to go? Nobody to meet? I’m lonely because there are people I want to meet, but can’t as myself. You’re lonely because you have nobody to meet?”
Ji-hyun leans in as though to brush Yi-kyung’s hair away — but Yi-kyung reacts to the almost-touch, like she can feel her presence.
Ji-hyun (the spirit) follows Min-ho into his apartment that night, waiting for her opportunity to get at the safe. It’s not the most effective plan, given her lack of physical form, and she has no choice but to wait things through, hoping he’ll open the safe himself. Alas, he doesn’t, and she sits like this for several days with no luck, until she’s down to 16 days.
When Ji-hyun finally leaves Min-ho’s apartment and heads back home, she greets Yi-kyung in her customary bright way — but today, Yi-kyung looks around as though she heard her voice.
That takes them back to side-by-side brooding: Ji-hyun is glum about her predicament, while Yi-kyung feels haunted — but by Yi-soo, not Ji-hyun. Finally Yi-kyung breaks down in tears, crying, “Yi-soo…Don’t do this to me…Why now?”
Her tears move Ji-hyun, who cries sympathetic tears for her pain, wanting to comfort her but not able to. So when Ji-hyun next takes her place in the body , she beelines for Yi-kyung’s college yearbook, wanting to connect Yi-kyung to old friends.
And that’s when she catches sight of the picture right next to Yi-kyung — Yi-soo. And my, doesn’t he look rather familiar…
She finds the Scheduler at his music studio (ignoring his orders, “Don’t come over!”) and races in with the yearbook, insisting she has something important to show him.
The Scheduler’s dismissive, but when she flips to the page, his eyes widen in shock:
Yay, finally more information about Yi-kyung and Yi-soo. While the flashback doesn’t give us a ton of information, it appears that they’d grown apart, which is actually kind of heartbreaking to watch when you contrast Yi-soo’s impatient irritation with his devotion in previous flashbacks. I guess it happens on a daily basis so the cooling of love — something of a motif in this episode — isn’t tragic stuff… But it’s sad, given how much their rift affects both of them — and one of them has had his memory wiped and is in the afterlife. If that’s not enough to break a bond, I’m figuring a little youthful desire for change wasn’t going to be enough to do it.
As for the main love triangle… You know what’s funny is that it’s pretty trite stuff, and yet I’m just eating it all up. I think it says a lot about the pull of these characters, and the romantic conflicts, that we’re starting to go round and round in circles, and I KNOW it’s feeling repetitive, but I still love every second of it. Min-ho jealous? Kang jealous? Ji-hyun going from one wrist-grab to another? Both boys taking turns fuming and brooding? Yes, please, more!
(That said, I wouldn’t say no to shaking things up a little…)
And while I don’t think they’ll ever redeem Min-ho, we get more of a look into his change of heart. I like that In-jung was the instigator of the plot, not just because it makes her more active in this plan than the sad-sack girlfriend along for the ride, but because it adds a nice karmic touch to her current misery. She brought it on herself, so she has no one to blame but herself.
I’m also curious to see where this Ji-hyun/Yi-kyung development is heading, since it freshens up the plot at a point when we’re settling into familiarity. Three tears, check. Min-ho takeover plot, check. We need something to liven up the conflict, and this should do it nicely. I like that there are two ways to look at their dynamic: (1) the separation between their souls is weakening and getting confused, or (2) the connection between them is strengthening. It’s two sides of the same coin, but both offer different perspectives on the issue.
- Jo Hyun-jae sings for 49 Days
- 49 Days: Episode 12
- 49 Days: Episode 11
- 49 Days: Episode 10
- 49 Days: Episode 9
- 49 Days: Episode 8
- 49 Days: Episode 7
- Interview with 49 Days’ Scheduler Jung Il-woo
- 49 Days: Episode 6
- 49 Days: Episode 5
- Jung Il-woo sings for 49 Days
- 49 Days: Episode 4
- 49 Days: Episode 3
- 49 Days: Episode 2
- 49 Days: Episode 1