Han Kang! Kang-aaaaah! Why so cute? You’re killing me with your I-was-gruff-at-sixteen thing. Your bewilderment at feeling feelings is the most adorable thing about this drama, which is saying somethin’, since I’m including Reaper Boy and his array of pouty faces. Oh, now they’re warring… Can’t. Choose. Just. One.
Maybe they can have a shouting match, or a pout-off, to determine who is the meanest-with-a-heart-of-marshmallow of them all. Yeah, I’d buy tickets to that.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
In-jung walks into Min-ho’s apartment, and to her utter horror, she finds Ji-hyun (in Yi-kyung’s body) glaring right back at her. Ji-hyun’s the one with the upper hand here, despite being the help: for one, she’s the one with the proper invite, and two, she knows that In-jung’s relationship with Min-ho is super-secret. She turns that fact around on her, asking what the secretary is doing here, and how she knew the lock code.
In-jung lies that she’s here on an errand to deliver food, and Ji-hyun accepts it with a cold send-off. In-jung leaves, unable to shake the feeling that something is terribly amiss here. Yeah, I’d say so. That’s what happens when you date a sneaky bastard.
Sneaky Bastard arrives home soon after she leaves, and is quite flustered when Ji-hyun tells him about In-jung’s little visit. She notices that he comes home with a file, which he takes into his room.
He calls In-jung and suggests dinner out to do some damage control. (When he works In-jung like that, it makes my hair stand up on end.) Meanwhile, Ji-hyun re-enters the apartment to search for the mystery file, which he’s locked in his safe.
In-jung can’t understand why he’s hired Yi-kyung of all people as a housekeeper, which he just tries to brush off as no big deal. But she points out how out of character it is for him to help someone because she got fired, or give her a second chance when she was so rude to him.
He asks if in the two years he’s been with Ji-hyun, if he ever fell for her. She answers no. So…he was faithful to you…behind her back? Doesn’t that like, negate the definition of faithful? Whatever. No honor amongst these thieves. He refuses to discuss the matter further, feeling it beneath him to even consider falling for someone of Yi-kyung’s position. Evil AND snooty? You’re just going for the trifecta, aren’t you?
Ji-hyun returns home, finding that her new schedule gives her more free time. She decides to go for a run, deciding that the only thing she can do to repay Yi-kyung is to eat well and exercise. Aw, that’s adorable. I kinda love her for that. And for the way she talks to Yi-kyung, like she’s really an unni.
During her run, she starts getting chased by the sound of a ghost, running along beside her, and she freaks out. Um… duh, it’s your Scheduler, and HELLO, you’re a ghost too!
Reaper Boy shows up in workout gear, complete with sneakers that have wings on them. This kid’s wardrobe alone is a spectacle worthy of its own recaps. He teases her for not having any friends to gather tears from, and she makes excuses for them that they’re busy, and they don’t know how dire the situation is for her.
He figures that she’s trying to kill two birds with one stone, working for Min-ho, and raps her daily routine at her (gah, as if he isn’t cute enough). She asks if he’s ever just thought about his life for four days, which of course he hasn’t because he’s not alive.
She tells him that being trapped in Yi-kyung’s house made her realize how precious each day was, and how many things you could accomplish in just one day. Stop making me feel lazy, Show.
She promises to make each day count. He’s proud of her for growing up a little, but makes sure to nag that she not get into any more scrapes, please. She puts her arm around him, grateful for his concern, and he puts his arm around her and adds: “I’m worried about ME.” Heh. He points out that she’s his last troublemaker (because she’s the last of his reaper duties at the end of his five-year term). Yeah, I’m sure it’s just smooth sailing from here on out. No trouble at all.
He disappears, and she shouts that she’ll call. He looks on from above and scoffs that she thinks that they’re friends or something, all the while holding his arm out like she’s still there.
In-jung stops by Kang’s to do a little digging, and asks the waitress why Kang fired Yi-kyung if he likes her. She gets back an answer she doesn’t like: because she made a move for Min-ho. She gleans a second tidbit from that news too, realizing that Kang thinks a lot of Ji-hyun (to protect her fiancé), when they all assumed he disliked her.
Kang, meanwhile, is still worrying over Yi-kyung/Ji-hyun, thinking that she’s working at a bar because of him. Manager Oh catches him mid-reverie and tells him to go find her then, if he’s so worried.
Ji-hyun heads home and when she pops out, remembers to thank Yi-kyung sweetly. At the new coffee shop, Yi-kyung gets her first customer of the night: Dr. Noh. He smiles and says, “I seem like a stalker, right?” Haha—I was just going to say that exact thing! Points for self-awareness?
She tells him that he did the best he could as a doctor, and that “it” wasn’t his fault. He agrees—he’s always done his best as a doctor, and knows that he did everything he could. But then he adds that when he met her five years ago, he was a newlywed.
He had met Yi-kyung at the lowest point in her life, when he was at his happiest. But then three years ago, he watched his wife die in a car accident. He explains that there are some things that people can’t understand unless they go through it themselves.
He tells her that if she can’t forget, then to just miss him—that’s what he did, because he missed her so much. Okay, I’m now convinced that he’s not a stalker. Whew.
His words stir something in her, and she finally takes out a picture at home, as Ji-hyun watches. It’s a picture from grade school, of Yi-kyung with her little brother, Yi-soo. She finally lets herself remember and miss him, and she cries, as the Scheduler’s song “Scarecrow” plays on the soundtrack.
Ji-hyun wakes up and goes to Min-ho’s apartment to officially start work, and he adds a slew of tasks for her to do, including hand-washing his things, because he’s a little princess.
But then he notices the burn on her hand (from the espresso machine the night before) and it weighs on him. It finally niggles at his conscience (I know—he has one?) enough for him to duck out of work in the middle of the day to go back home.
In-jung spots him driving away and catches him red-handed in another lie, so she rushes over to Kang’s. She makes up the excuse that Min-ho is going ahead with the Haemido project believing that Kang is still onboard, and that Kang ought to go in person to make it clear, either way.
Ji-hyun uses her time to search for the file, finally discovering his secret safe, but Min-ho arrives before she can even make an attempt at safecracking. He gives her ointment for her burn, totally lying that he didn’t come back just for that.
They discover that while they were arguing, the pot she left on the stove has started to burn, and Min-ho rushes to open the door…just in time for Kang to appear, unannounced. Ruh-roh.
Kang flips his lid to see Yi-kyung there, and tries to wrist-grab her out of there. But she holds her ground, declaring that this is where she wants to stay. Even Min-ho looks surprised at that. In her head, Ji-hyun apologizes to Kang, that she’s got unfinished business here.
Poor Kang-ah. He’s all turned around, from jealousy mixed with his protective instinct, all the while being totally rejected. He asks, angry and disappointed, “Was it this all along?” She turns her back to him, and starts to cry.
Kang leaves, angry at himself for worrying over Yi-kyung so much that he was planning on finding her. Ji-hyun cries in the bathroom, unable to make things right with Kang. He heads back to work in a bear of a mood, and trashes his office, remembering her words that she had no interest in Min-ho, now thinking they’re all lies.
Meanwhile, Min-ho actually smiles to himself, thinking that Yi-kyung really does like him, what with her outright declaration to Kang that she wants to stay. He suggests they go out to dinner, and takes her to a small family restaurant that Ji-hyun notes he’s never brought her to.
He says it’s a place his mother used to frequent. She makes a jab that he must’ve brought his fiancée here, and that she has no intention of being treated like a woman by him. He calls what he thinks is her bluff: if she isn’t interested, why didn’t she leave with Kang when he re-offered her a job?
He says that he doesn’t trust a poor woman’s pride, which is completely condescending, of course, but it also sounds like he says it out of personal experience—as in, he’s familiar with being poor, and the lengths a person will go to, to rise above it. It’s an assumption on my part, but I think it speaks to his character’s motivation.
After eating they part, and she walks away wondering why he brought her to a place that’s special to him…a place he never brought Ji-hyun-in-Ji-hyun’s-body. She thinks back to all his weird behavior, and it dawns on her…”Kang Min-ho, what is this? Do you like Song Yi-kyung…I mean…me?”
At home, Ghost-Ji-hyun asks Yi-kyung what all this means. Does he like her? Or Yi-kyung? Yeah, it’s confusing for the rest of us too.
She follows Yi-kyung to work, and calls the Scheduler to meet her there. She whines that for a Scheduler, he sure does make people wait around a lot, but he thinks she should be grateful he even meets her at all.
He asks why they’re here, and she reminds him that he’s the one who doesn’t like being at Yi-kyung’s house, and he just breezes, “Here, there…” Another hint that it’s not so much the place as it is the third party involved that gives him that uncomfortable feeling.
She asks him for a favor: to track down Song Yi-soo. He tells her that he’s not a Help Center, and to do it herself. Her remaining days are his last days as a Scheduler too, so he’s got a lot to do before his term is up. Like rock out in Hongdae?
Ji-hyun: Cold bastard. You were a person once. When you were alive, you must’ve loved somebody.
Scheduler: I could’ve never had the chance to love anyone. I died early, you see. At 23. Shin Ji-hyun, have you died at 23? What do you think it feels like, to die at 23?
Ji-hyun: Why wouldn’t I know? It feels totally awful.
Scheduler: No, it feels unfinished. Crazy unfinished.
Ji-hyun: I thought you couldn’t remember anything.
Scheduler: My memories are gone, but the feeling remains. Do you think I’m living large as a scheduler for no reason? I died so young that I’m living out the life I didn’t get to live.
Ooof. Cut my heart out and serve it on a plate, why don’t you. Ji-hyun sighs that she feels bad for him too. He tells her to stop wasting his precious time with matters concerning Yi-kyung, then. But as he whirls around to leave, he comes face to face with her.
It’s a beautiful moment, the two of them suspended between dimensional rifts, the closeness stirring his heart. It shakes him, and he tells Ji-hyun not to call him with Yi-kyung around anymore, and leaves.
In-jung is dying of curiosity to find out what happened when she sent Kang over to Min-ho’s the other day, and she decides that Kang’s birthday is the perfect excuse. She knows that Seo-woo likes Kang and already has a present ready for him, and suggests they stop by tonight.
Aw, poor Seo-woo, who doesn’t know a thing about Kang’s undying crush on her best friend. It’s going to be even harder for Ji-hyun to get tears from Seo-woo if she finds out that Kang’s ALSO got a crush on Yi-kyung.
Dad makes an impromptu visit to the office, spurring Min-ho to follow him to the hospital in fear that something’s up. He witnesses Dad throwing up for what he realizes is now the second time. He senses that something’s amiss, and goes to ask the doctor, who TOTALLY JUST TELLS HIM, wtf? Anyway, Dad’s got a brain tumor, and he refuses to be operated on with Ji-hyun in her current state.
Ji-hyun spends her day in a war against the safe and its six-digit code. She actually does the math to find out the number of possibilities of six-digit combos, and hangs her head in frustration. She starts searching for some clues, and finds today’s date marked on Min-ho’s calendar as Kang’s birthday.
Manager Oh goes to wake up Birthday Boy, who’s been on a downward spiral, following his outburst at Yi-kyung. He drags him out and has to inform him that it’s his birthday today, and gives him traditional birthday soup.
Kang looks down, surprised that it has mussels in it, and asks if his mom told him that he likes it this way. Manager Oh tells him that Yi-kyung made the soup; she dropped it off earlier because she made too much and had extra.
He peers down at the soup, as we flashback to his high school days, when Mom had come to school bearing soup on his birthday. He acted like a brat, rejecting her and throwing the soup on the ground.
Later in class, Ji-hyun heads to the front to do a magic trick, asking for bets on where her bottle cap will end up. Kang reliably makes a snide remark so she singles him out on the bet: if she wins, he has to do whatever she says.
He loses, and follows her outside, where she spreads out a lunchbox feast and tells him that his punishment is to eat with her. He looks down and sees his mother’s soup. Angry and embarrassed, he asks her if she saw everything.
Ji-hyun: “You’re the size of a mountain, but you treat your mom that way?” As in: you’re grown, but why are you still acting like a child? She basically has to bully him into eating the soup, and he finally caves, but only if she turns around while he eats.
Omg, his embarrassment is the cutest thing. She happily turns around and tells him to eat every last drop. He obliges, even cracking a smile, while her back is turned. I can see why he fell in love with her. And also why she never knew.
Back in the present, he puts his spoon down, head and heart totally spun around. He shouts, exasperated, “Why the hell is this woman like this?!” LOL.
He asks Manager Oh if Yi-kyung really brought this, and he confirms it, adding that she technically asked him not to say anything. That just confuses Kang even more, as he says, “This is my mother’s birthday soup. I don’t know what this feeling in my heart is. Is it because of Shin Ji-hyun, or Song Yi-kyung? I don’t know.”
And with that, he bolts, running right past In-jung and Seo-woo. He heads straight to Min-ho’s place and rings the doorbell and bangs on the door shouting Yi-kyung’s name.
She hesitates, but finally lets him in, and he asks her again why she’s here. “If you’re interested in Min-ho, then say so, and this’ll be the end of it.” He waits, and she says nothing. That’s enough of an answer for him, as he tells her to stop it then, and drags her out, laundry be damned.
Raah! Kang-ah! I’m totally swooning right now. Well, I pretty much feel the same way about
Laundry Min-ho, so go, go Kang! I’m kind of torn between wanting him to figure things out and not (because he’s got a lot of the puzzle pieces, this guy), but either way his character is progressing nicely.
I kind of laughed to see him as a teenager, being just as gruff to his mom for reasons yet unknown, because I dunno why—I just like the idea that he’s always been a curmudgeony guy. Like an old man trapped in the body of a sixteen-year old. Well, a thirtysomething playing sixteen, but whatever. I lived through 90210. I can suspend my disbelief for just about anything.
I’m finally coming around to the Ji-hyun/Kang pairing too, not that I was against it or anything. But her character is progressing nicely too, so I like the idea that they’re both growing as people because of each other, unwittingly.
Well, the Scheduler also has a lot to do with Ji-hyun’s growth, particularly her increasingly sweet relationship with Yi-kyung (one-sided though it is). I like that she’s becoming less selfish and actually spending some of her precious time taking care of Yi-kyung’s body and trying to find her brother.
I’m sure it’s not a spoiler at this point to discuss the Scheduler as Yi-soo, though of course the drama has yet to give the final word. But even with the one encounter in the coffee shop and her moment with the picture, Jung Il-woo and Lee Yo-won play the moments with such conflicting emotion, that I can’t wait for their real reactions when their connection becomes transparent.
- 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