HO. LY. CRAP! That would be the sound of my heart exploding. Basically, this is the episode where I die a thousand deaths, from the Swoon / Tears / Cute / Cry / Cute … aaaaaand back to Tears. There’s only one cure after this emotional rollercoaster of an episode: a hug from Kang in a Trenchcoat. It’s the latest model, and it sure is pretty.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
Yi-kyung grabs Kang in a backhug, startling him, and nearly giving me a heart attack. He tries to stop her, calling her Song Yi-kyung-sshi, but then she holds on, crying, “Just a little… a little longer…”
He realizes that it’s Ji-hyun. Oh, thank god. I nearly had an aneurysm at the thought that the lovelines might cross that way. Not that I thought it was anything but cold comfort on Yi-kyung’s part, or that Kang would ever waver, but mostly I was crushed at the thought of Yi-soo looking on.
He puts his hands over hers (swoon) and says, “Tell Ji-hyun to say what she wants to tell me right now… when she wakes up. That I want to hear it. And not to go without saying goodbye.”
Waaaah. Heartbreak. Ji-hyun cries, unable to say anything as herself, but just holding onto him for dear life. He adds: “And not to go like Mom did.” Aw. She nods silently. He lingers for a moment, and then breaks their hands free and walks away. Aaack! Why are you so hot?
Turns out they have an audience (as does EVERYONE, ALWAYS in this drama) in Min-ho, whose eyes flare up in anger. He watches, thinking back to when he was told that Yi-kyung had full control of her body.
Downstairs, Ji-hyun thanks her unni, and Yi-kyung says that if she could, she’d like to give her life to Ji-hyun so that she could go to Yi-soo and Ji-hyun could remain with Kang.
Ji-hyun tells her not to even think that way, and feels disappointed, since she thought Yi-kyung helped her out of concern and attachment, not just guilt. Yi-kyung says it’s a mix of all of the above, adding that Yi-soo isn’t someone who can come back to her. Ji-hyun points out how messed up their lives are. Yeah, you think?
In-jung stirs in bed, and opens her eyes to find Ji-hyun lying right next to her, smiling all scary and ghost-like. And then… the ghost hugs her. AH! That totally creeped me out. She wakes up from the dream, but can’t shake the feeling that Ji-hyun is haunting her ass, as promised. K-A-R-M-A, baby.
Over at Heaven, Yi-soo and Ji-hyun sit up while Yi-kyung sleeps. Yi-soo sits by her bedside, watching her with tears in his eyes. He can’t resist and brushes the hair out of her face, leaving his hand on her cheek. Yi-soo: “This is so cruel.”
In-jung calls Min-ho in a panic, and waits up all night for him to show. He finally arrives, and tells her that she was right—it IS Ji-hyun, and Yi-kyung is Ji-hyun and vice versa. Huh? Now I’m confused. I think he just means that Ji-hyun’s soul is in there too.
She’s scared that Ji-hyun threatened to follow her around for the rest of her life, and Min-ho says there’s but one solution: get rid of Ji-hyun, and her soul goes poof. He surmises that she’s not really a ghost, and that her spirit is wandering around because she’s still alive. Well it’s logical, but it’s also MURDER.
He says that her father knows everything and that he can’t gain access into the hospital. So In-jung has to do it. Min-ho: “You started it, so you have to end it.” Way to pass the buck, dude. In-jung shakes, crying in shock at Min-ho’s suggestion. You people are scary.
Ji-hyun sits by the calendar, lost in thought, and she muses to Yi-kyung that she only has four days left. She asks if Yi-kyung remembers last night (when Ji-hyun was driving her body, hugging Kang) and she smiles.
Ji-hyun notes that it’s the first time she’s seen her smile, and wonders if she isn’t afraid of her anymore. She asks why she doesn’t have more questions about Yi-soo, and why he’s coming to see her. Yi-kyung says that she knows—it’s because he’s coming to take her with him.
Kang calls Ji-hyun out and takes her to the market. He tells her how to choose vegetables, and she’s impressed that he knows stuff like that. Kang: “Do you think that a man living alone in the States maintains this appearance and health with no effort?” LOL. I love vain Kang.
She jokes, “Is Kang Min-ho in there?” Ha. He gets pissy and takes back his offer to make her breakfast, so then she threatens to eat elsewhere, and he re-takes it back: “I was going to make you breakfast, and then I was NOT going to, but then I decided to.” Pfffft!
He makes her breakfast and asks what she’s doing today. Ji-hyun: “Work.” Kang: “On a beautiful day like this?” Haha. Why am I not surprised that you don’t want to work? I’ve never seen a man with so many job titles do so little work. Ever.
He hands over her part-time pay, and says that he’s going to the hospital to meet with Dad to discuss Min-ho (to file an official suit against him). Ji-hyun beams over being able to stop the bankruptcy, and says that she has no regrets and no grudges anymore.
The company isn’t really out of the woods yet, as Dad confirms the likelihood that the Haemido deal goes south, requiring a ginormous sum of money to be put up as a guarantee. No investor guarantee means that Min-ho’s shell company gets Haemido anyway, just as he has planned.
Basically, they’ve blocked one maneuver, but the counter-attack is in full swing. Min-ho makes it clear too, as he interrupts Dad’s meeting to bluster about not being invited, and refuses to offer his resignation (because Dad has no grounds to fire him). If I were him, I’d still fire his ass first, and then deal with the lawsuit later when he fights it.
Kang can’t believe that In-jung is still working there and refusing to back down, and he asks her to stop Min-ho. She tells him that Min-ho isn’t someone who can be stopped, and that she can’t leave him. She’s come too far, and she has to see it through to the end.
All the way to murder? Also, why is this the prevailing logic of K-drama Evildoers? I’d rather you just say you’re that greedy. The I’ve-come-this-far-so-I-have-to-keep-going thing just makes me roll my eyes.
Kang tries to appeal to the fact that she was Ji-hyun’s friend. In-jung correctly points out that she did all this…despite being her friend. I have to say, I think you are correct in deducing that you are therefore the bigger baddie. In one sense, anyway.
The Scheduler shows up at Heaven, and openly ogles Ji-hyun-in-Yi-kyung’s-body. He flirts at her that he’s here to see her face, and Ji-hyun has to remind him to stop confusing her for Yi-kyung.
He doesn’t even care anymore, and says that this is all he can get (since she’s always sleeping when Ji-hyun isn’t driving). “Besides at night… you looked like you were shooting some movie. What’s with that melo crap with my Yi-kyung’s body?” Haha.
She says that she got permission and that it was Yi-kyung’s idea to begin with. She remembers Yi-kyung’s words and asks the Scheduler if his one wish was to take Yi-kyung with him when he goes.
She tells him that it’s what Yi-kyung thinks, and his face goes white at that. Ji-hyun muses that he sort of acts that way, what with his treating her like she’s still his girl. He just repeats, “That’s what Yi-kyung thinks?” He gets up and walks away, probably half-angry at her for thinking that, and half-angry at himself for even letting her think that.
In-jung meets with Min-ho and pleads with him to back out now, and just run away with the money. He tells her that it’s never going to happen, because money isn’t the reason why he started this. No, it was your god-complex.
She surmises correctly that he’s actually caught up in his feelings—that he’s really in love with both Ji-hyun AND Yi-kyung. He doesn’t even try to deny it, and then, like the evil genius that he is, turns that fact around on her. He says that as long as Ji-hyun is around, he’ll never be able to be with In-jung, for fear that she’ll always be haunting them, or even inhabiting HER body.
That’s the ticket that gets In-jung debating bloody murder. She takes down their picture and heads to the hospital. Ji-hyun is there in spirit form, waiting for Kang to return from dropping off her parents at home.
She follows In-jung inside…
In-jung starts shaking as she approaches the bed. Ji-hyun: “What’s wrong? What are you doing?” She raises her hand up to Ji-hyun’s oxygen mask.
Just then, Kang returns, and walks in to find In-jung mid-attempted-murder. He freaks out and pulls her back, screaming, “Shin In-jung! Are you crazy? How could you do something like this? To Ji-hyun… Are you a person? How could you do something like this? You want to go this far? What did Ji-hyun do wrong? What did she do to you? You guys aren’t human, are you? Go. I might kill you. So go.”
Sometimes it does take being caught by someone sane to acknowledge how crazy you are and how low you’ve sunk, and it seems that In-jung is crying more than just you’ve-caught-me tears. She leaves without a word. I have this urge for her to get hit by a truck and then turn into a ghost, so that Ji-hyun can slap her, ghost-to-ghost.
Ji-hyun is crouched on the ground, sobbing in fear. God, the trauma of witnessing your own almost-murder?
Kang shows up at Min-ho’s apartment the next morning, wearing a trenchcoat. Buh… there are words coming out of his mouth, I think.
Oh, right. He tells Min-ho that he’s here to tell him what kind of person he is… a shameless one. He drops the “hyung” (dropping any sign of respect) and tells him that he’s become the one thing his mother slaved her whole like to keep him from becoming: his father.
He gets him right where it hurts, spitting that he’s trampled on his mother’s hopes. Eye-to-eye he lays it out: “You’re the man who made the woman who loves you lay a hand on her friend’s respirator.” Min-ho’s shaken at the baldness of the facts.
Kang asks what he’s going to do when Ji-hyun’s gone, since Kang’s got a soul AND a body, that plans to stick to Min-ho’s side. Hehe. I’ve never heard of a living haunting, but he’s learned a thing or two from his girlfriend the ghost.
Downstairs he discovers Ji-hyun’s camera, and flips through her old pictures with a smile. He then finds the videos she took of her friends crying (the fake tears), and it dawns on him that she’s already done it all, and that this is how she’s spent her days.
He comes outside and watches her work, his look saying a million things that he can’t say out loud. Manager Oh: “Kang-ah, if you stare like that, it’s weird.” Pwahahahahaha. Can’t argue there. Bunch of weirdos all over this drama, if you think of all the stalker-on-stalker action.
In his office, Kang cries, breaking my heart. Through his tears he says, “Ajusshi, I want to save her. I want her to live.” Aw. Manager Oh comforts him, and Ji-hyun listens from the stairs, watching Kang cry for her.
Now it’s her turn to cry, as she meets the Scheduler and sobs that she wants to live as Ji-hyun, to Kang. “I want to hear him call me Ji-hyun, and I want to answer, “Kang-ah.”" Aw, so simple and yet speaks volumes.
Scheduler: I understand Shin Ji-hyun’s heart. Seeing, but unable to acknowledge that you know, unable to say that it’s you. I don’t know why I’ve remembered myself, and given such pain either.
She asks if there’s some sort of trade-off so that she can be Ji-hyun in front of Kang, like trading her remaining three days for three hours of being herself. The Scheduler firmly puts the kibosh on that, as there is no such loophole. He asks if she’s really that resigned to die.
She counters that she isn’t even going to remember any of this anyway—memories or feelings—even if she does live. Everyone around her will remember, except for her. Aw, another reason for heartache—knowing it’ll all disappear for her, no matter which way she ends up.
She calls the 49 days cruel, and the Scheduler muses that he’s always heard that there are 49ers who turn melo in the end. What’d you expect? For her to skip off to the elevator with bells on?
Over in Land Deal Battleship, Min-ho starts phase two, by pulling out one of the major investors in the Haemido project. It’s as feared, and now Daddy Shin has to put up another chunk of cash in a big hurry if he’s going to save his company from going under from this one deal.
Meanwhile, Kang meets Seo-woo, and tries to remind her that Ji-hyun is still alive. He adds that even if she were to die, that people’s connections don’t die along with them.
He gets the call from Ji-hyun’s mom that the company’s back in trouble, and sees Ji-hyun walking back to Heaven. They instantly light up at the sight of each other, and he asks what she’s doing wandering about.
She pouts that now that she’s free, he’s really busy, and he instinctively raises his hand to her face… only he has to stop in mid-air. Eeeeee!
They walk back together, their hands brushing against each other but unable to touch. So. Cute.
Kang decides on his last-ditch effort: to go see his estranged dad in the States, to ask him to invest in Haemido. He knows that asking for this amount of money is no tiny favor, and ironically enough, knows that he can present it as a sound investment because Min-ho did the work, and in that one arena, he can be trusted.
Here’s the hitch though: Kang thinks he has five days until Ji-hyun’s time is up. But no, she’s down to three days, and this is one area they haven’t cleared up with each other. (Nor can she say so directly, because it violates the rules.)
So Kang plans his trip, thinking he’s got plenty of time to go and come back in two days, and then have two days left with her. Oh crap.
Min-ho tries to send In-jung abroad, giving her some money and telling her to go before being around him messes her up any more. What, now that Kang has seen through you, you’re all of a sudden worried about her?
She doesn’t want money; she wants him, and protests. Just then, Ji-hyun’s mom arrives at In-jung’s door, and runs right into Min-ho. Her jaw drops, not because she doesn’t know, but because she’s being confronted with it so blatantly.
In-jung sends Min-ho away, and then Mom gets a good slap in. In-jung actually becomes defiant rather than apologetic, and throws it back in Mom’s face that she’s the reason for all this—because she always knew that Mom hated her.
She actually blames them for taking her in, as if it’s their fault for having been nice to her. So… what you’re saying is, you’re jealous of the love that Ji-hyun got, from her own parents, and you’re upset that they didn’t love you 100% the same? But… YOU’RE NOT THEIR DAUGHTER. Gah. What’s a little denial to a crazy person?
Ji-hyun asks Yi-kyung for some advice on something nice to do for Kang, and Yi-kyung says that she used to make kimbap for Yi-soo and go on picnics. She wonders where she can make food undetected.
Kang is just outside, saying a quiet goodbye as he gets ready to leave. But! You were the one all big on goodbyes! Nooooo!
Manager Oh thinks he should tell Ji-hyun, but he doesn’t want her to know what’s going on with the company and spend her last days worrying. So he sets off without a word.
Ji-hyun returns to Yi-kyung’s apartment to make kimbap in secret, which is where Min-ho finds her. She nearly jumps out of her skin in fear, but then gathers herself and manages to put up a good you-don’t-scare-me front.
It turns out that Min-ho’s here to draw up a contract for this apartment… in Yi-kyung’s name. She wonders what it means.
The Scheduler is busy training his replacement, which is just funny because this ajusshi in a suit is calling him sunbae. He receives his last reaping schedule, and looks to see who he’ll be taking the elevator with for the last time…
Ji-hyun returns to Heaven with her kimbap all ready, and asks Manager Oh where Kang is. Hilariously, he just says that Kang went to America, when Kang expressly told him to lie. Well, he kind of covers for him, saying that something came up with his dad, and that he’ll be back the day after tomorrow.
Ji-hyun: “The day after tomorrow? NO!” She runs outside, calling out, “Kang-ah! Kang-ah!” over and over again, sobbing like a little girl. Oh, it’s breaking my heart.
She crumples to the ground in tears, “Kang-ah! I won’t be here. I won’t be here…” NOOOOOO! KANG-AH, why are making her cry?
She continues to cry in bed in her spirit form, and Yi-kyung tries to comfort her that they can meet when he returns. Ji-hyun makes it clear that she won’t be here then, and Yi-kyung says, “The day after tomorrow, Ji-hyun-sshi will be gone too…” She says it wistfully, like here’s yet another person who’s leaving me behind.
Yi-kyung goes to see Dr. Noh for the last time, to tell him that she’s living for the traveling soul, which he doesn’t understand. She thanks him for looking out for her, and says goodbye.
The Scheduler shows up to give Ji-hyun her final notice, in an official capacity. She’s got a little over sixteen hours left, at which point she’ll be taking the elevator at the exact time of her accident. He tells her that she can’t leave anything behind that reveals her identity—that means no letters, no recordings, nothing.
He finishes his speech, and then adds a pat on the back, saying that he’s cheering her on till the end.
In-jung lies on the ground alone in the apartment, next to the picture of the three girls, now sitting on the floor. Seo-woo finds her like that, and muses that In-jung has lost everything. She sits down next to her with the photo in her hands, and says that she’d felt bad about Kang liking Ji-hyun because she’d believed that Ji-hyun wasn’t going to make it. She repeats Kang’s words, that people’s connections don’t end because they die.
On her last day, Ji-hyun goes out and buys things for Yi-kyung, like skincare products and new underwear. It’s so sweet—it’s her way of telling her unni to take care of herself.
She goes for a walk to take in the world one last time, and notices little things, like a rock in her path. She picks it up and says to it, “You’re so pretty.” It’s so heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
OMG, this Last Day stuff is killing me. Not gonna cry… Not gonna cry…
She then goes to see Seo-woo to buy a cake for her parents’ anniversary. Seo-woo gets adorably jealous that “Yi-kyung” knows Ji-hyun better than she does, and she counters that she’s Ji-hyun’s best friend. “We’re total beppus!” [best friends]
She agrees, and tells her that Ji-hyun told her that after her parents, she loved Seo-woo the most, and that she was the kind of friend who was like the shade from a big tree. Aw.
She heads to the hospital with the cake, and wishes her parents a happy anniversary. They tell her that Ji-hyun used to always sing them a song, and she plays them a CD that she brought.
Ji-hyun asks Yi-kyung to eject her soul, and as the song plays (the same one that was Kang’s mother’s favorite), she stands there in her spirit form and sings.
Damnit, I’m totally crying.
Yi-kyung walks over to Ji-hyun’s bedside, and it stirs something in her. (It seems like she sees or notices something, but we don’t know what.) She watches Ji-hyun sing with tears streaming down her face, and she cries too.
Back at Heaven, Yi-kyung muses that some parents are like that, while others abandon their children. Ji-hyun counters that she could’ve been lost rather than abandoned, but Yi-kyung remembers very clearly how her mother had her little brother, and then considered her annoying. Ji-hyun and I both gasp in horror. Seriously, no wonder this girl has such serious abandonment issues.
She reaffirms that it’s why Yi-soo was sent to her, to be her mom, her dad, her brother, her everything. Ji-hyun says it must be why she lives this way, because someone like that was taken from her.
Yi-kyung apologizes, that because of her Ji-hyun has to leave such parents behind. She confesses to living that way for five years, trying everything to die—cutting her wrists, hanging herself, overdosing.
But every time, something happened to stop it. The landlady would find her, or the cord would break. She says that day was the anniversary of Yi-soo’s death, and says that she’s sorry.
Ji-hyun: If you’re sorry, then live well. When it’s hard, think of days when you had regrets, just like this. Find strength, and live.
Wow. It’s really the best gift she could ever give Yi-kyung.
When Yi-kyung wakes up a few hours later, she finds Ji-hyun gone and a present with a breakfast table set for her. He looks around in a panic.
Outside, the Scheduler waits and Ji-hyun comes downstairs. He offers her a ride anywhere, as a special Last Day service. He asks what she wants to do with her last seven hours.
She tells him to call the elevator down now, because there’s nothing left for her to do. She doesn’t want to linger and feel the weight of her final minutes counting down, so she’d rather choose to go now. I’d probably do the same if I were her, and yet as an onlooker, I’m like, Noooooo!
She looks up at him and thanks him, but he averts his eyes, saying that they should save their goodbyes when they’re in front of the elevator. You big softie.
Seo-woo goes to see Mom and Ji-hyun at the hospital, where the doctor tells Mom that it’s time they give up on Ji-hyun. He tells them that there’s no hope for her.
At the same time, Yi-kyung opens up her present. She finds the note that Ji-hyun had written back when she was going to leave the first time, when Dad’s company was in jeopardy. The note tells her not to be alarmed and that she won’t be returning, and thanks her for everything.
Ji-hyun tells her to stop eating ramen and to take care of herself, and Yi-kyung looks at all the things in the box, her eyes filling with tears. She begins to cry…
Ji-hyun and the Scheduler arrive in the garden, and he puts out his hand to shake hers goodbye. She tells him to hurry and call the elevator down before she starts to change her mind, and they’ll say goodbye then.
The clouds darken and he waves his hand past her to call the elevator… when he notices her necklace light up. A tear appears, surprising both of them.
She grabs it to look, which is when it glows a second time. The third tear!
Back at the hospital, Mom cries hugging Ji-hyun, and Seo-woo stands behind her, sobbing for her friend for the first time.
Ji-hyun and the Scheduler look at each other, stunned…
And in the hospital, Ji-hyun opens her eyes.
It’s ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! OMG, I LOVE that she’s awake now, instead of waiting till the last episode. This show is so great at consistently getting to the next point faster than you expect, which means you’re always engaged and surprised, and quite possibly screaming like a crazy person.
I love that one of her final tears is from Yi-kyung, and the way that their relationship has developed. Yi-kyung went from someone who saw nothing but pain in life, to witnessing Ji-hyun’s earnest plea to live just a little longer, to feeling her love and encouragement directly—for her to live her life rather than wait to die.
And I’m sure that Yi-soo’s wish is that simple too—for her to know that he loves her, and to have her live her life without him. What’s great is that Ji-hyun shows that to her, even lives it for her, in her body, and it sort of brings her back to life. Both girls have been in a coma, one for five years and the other for 49 days, but they bring each other back from the dead.
I actually like that Kang went away, because it keeps him from swooping in and being the big hero (well, more than he already has). I wouldn’t feel satisfied if he somehow saved her in the end. He’s got plenty of heroing with saving Dad’s company, so I’m glad that it’s Ji-hyun herself who continues to make connections with people till the end.
I also like the idea that her last day isn’t spent melo-ing out with Kang over tears and whatnot, because that’s not what this drama is about. It could’ve gone that route, but I like the contemplative, life-affirming quiet moments with Yi-kyung better.
I can’t wait to find out how Kang is going to make her fall in love with him all over again. It’s gonna be SO. GOOD.
- 49 Days: Episode 17
- 49 Days: Episode 16
- 49 Days: Episode 15
- 49 Days: Episode 14
- 49 Days: Episode 13
- 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