Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 3
Our two ajusshis fall deeper into their new personas, as they try to find ways to help the ones they left behind. It’s frustrating that they can’t reveal their true identities., but they’ll have to figure out how to solve their problems without giving themselves away. Their involvement is critical if they want to help their loved ones out of the jams they’ve found themselves in, so they’ll have to forge new relationships and trust in order to be successful.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Maya explains to Young-soo that the mix-up which gave him a body identical to someone already alive was totally not her fault at all, it was a computer glitch. And since the computer never makes mistakes, this is all due to something nobody could have foreseen — Heaven’s will.
Young-soo figures that everything will be fine as long as nobody recognizes him, but it’s already too late. Manager Ma (I mistakenly called him Manager Park before, sorry!) has figured out that he must be the new store manager, here early to check out the store before he officially starts the job. We already knew Manager Ma was a toad, but he’s also a spy, and he reports the information directly to Jae-gook.
Suk-chul offers to take care of this “new dog” of Chairman Cha’s, but Jae-gook prefers to handle things himself. Looks like there’s gonna be another fight between the new dog and the old dog.
Yi-yeon wants to know what Gi-tak knows about the photographs taken of her and Gi-tak just before he died. Playing the part of Gi-tak’s sister, he says that Gi-tak called right before he died and told her everything. He claims that Gi-tak told him to find Yi-yeon if anything happened to him, and help her however she could.
But Yi-yeon’s guard is up and she assumes that Gi-tak is here to get something out of her, and tells him that he’s barking up the wrong tree. Gi-tak asks if Yi-yeon believes that he beat up that model — couldn’t it have been a trap? And a successful one, since Yi-yeon was caught and the bait was killed. That rings true and rattles Yi-yeon, so much that she pours her drink all over the floor.
Speaking as himself now, Gi-tak repeats his words from that night: “I don’t resent you. I never have.” Yi-yeon’s face crumples at the reminder. She gathers her wits and accepts that this might be Gi-tak’s sister, as much as she knows of that night, and Gi-tak says again that he’s only here because she’s alone, and needs someone she can trust. It was the last favor Gi-tak asked.
Gi-tak tries to redeem Seung-jae’s opinion of him as well, insisting that he never touched that model. He learns that after everything went down, all of his boys were separated, but he swears that he kept his promise to live lawfully until the very end.
Seung-jae doesn’t believe him, still thinking that he betrayed them all just for a woman. He tells Gi-tak one last bit of information before sending him away, that “the Boss” had a heart attack after Gi-tak’s death, and that’s how Suk-chul has been allowed to run amok.
Young-soo trails behind Da-hye as she walks home that night, and she’s so lost in thought that she never even notices him. Their daughter Hanna meets Da-hye on the road, and when she runs towards them excitedly, Young-soo is so stunned and happy to see her that he forgets himself and opens his arms wide to catch her. It breaks his heart when she goes right past him and into her mother’s arms. Oh, that’s heartbreaking.
He follows them all the way home, and they watch him as he stands forlornly at the gate just staring at the house. Hanna decides to chase off “that pervert” and arms herself with a potted cactus, but her mother stops her — only to grab an entire tree, ha. Like mother, like daughter.
The whole family ends up outside to confront Young-soo, who swears he’s not a pervert. His father sets the dog on him, and she sails over the gate and knocks him over — only to start licking him to death. Awww, the dog knows him!
Da-hye finally recognizes him from the department store, and Hanna decides he’s not a pervert, he’s a stalker. Hee, I love her spunk, and Young-soo praises her like a father would, for being suspicious of a strange man. Young-soo mutters to himself that he needs to find a reason to get inside his house, and Hanna snaps that it’s her dad’s house.
His father asks if he’s from the bank, which gives Young-soo an idea. He claims that Kim Young-soo owed him money, which he borrowed to buy the house. He was never paid back, so technically, this house belongs to him. Now they all think he’s a loan shark, which isn’t great but it at least gets them to accept him inside.
Once inside, the memories of better times with his wife and family overwhelm Young-soo. Everywhere he looks he sees specters of his life here, when he and Da-hye were happy and in love. He’s snapped out of his reverie by three angry faces, and he internally apologizes for making them think that Young-soo was unreliable, but he sticks to his story about the unpaid loan.
Young-soo asks to pay his respects, and bows deeply before his own memorial shrine. He notices how nothing seems to have changed, except that he’s gone, and cries when the reality of his death finally hits him. He doesn’t notice Hanna and Da-hye watching him, wondering why he’s so moved.
Gi-tak pretends to be “the Boss’s” assistant, gaining him access to his heavily guarded hospital room. We see Gi-tak still alive and visiting this man, who seems like a father figure to him. He asks if Gi-tak is ready to take over… something, presumably his gang activity, but Gi-tak refuses.
Suk-chul joins them and the atmosphere goes cold, but they keep the peace as long as the Boss is around. Now Gi-tak begs the Boss to wake up — and as he gently tucks the man into his hospital bed, his toes twitch just the tiniest bit.
Young-soo scarfs down dinner as if he’s starving, which is probably true. Hanna sneers that he sure is making himself at home, but Dad takes up for him, and even offers him the rice from Young-soo’s memorial offering. Young-soo looks chastened, but he accepts the gesture of kindness, though he chokes when Dad comments that he eats just like Young-soo.
He tried to cover by saying that Young-soo used to always compliment his wife’s cooking, and we’re shown in flashback how besotted Young-soo was with Da-hye from the beginning. When he asks about Young-soo’s life insurance, Da-hye excuses Hanna from the table and speaks to him privately.
She tells him that they haven’t gotten the insurance payment, and shushes him when he asks if it’s because Young-soo supposedly committed suicide — she thinks Hanna doesn’t know. But kids gossip too, and Hanna has heard the rumors from her classmates.
Later that night, Da-hye finds Dad cleaning Young-soo’s workout equipment, which she’d left out to be thrown away. Dad wants to keep it, and even Hanna objects, but Da-hye insists that everything goes — his gym gear, his books, even his shoes.
Annoyed and frustrated, Gi-tak goes out drinking, his skimpy clothing drawing unwanted attention from a group of ajusshis at a nearby table. His cranky attitude finally scares them off, and he continues drinking, thinking about how Yi-yeon told him that she’s thinking of doing that nude photo shoot.
The rumors that she cheated on her husband and had an affair are getting to her, and she’s lost confidence. She’d threatened to kill Gi-tak if he means to take advantage of her weakness, and asks him not to tell Seung-jae about this.
But Gi-tak won’t get any peace tonight, because there’s a drunk man wailing at the next table — it’s Young-soo, and hoo boy is he a sloppy drunk (he’s screaming that his dad sits down to use the restroom, which he only found out tonight, ha). Gi-tak joins him, though they still don’t know who the other really is at this point, and he tells Young-soo that there are three types of eyesores — men who cry, drunkards, and drunkards who cry. HA.
Young-soo swears that he’s not normally like this, but he hiccups that he’s just having a really bad day. Gi-tak pours him a shot and tells him that his father is a great man, because sitting down to pee is only right. OMG, that’s hilarious.
A few bottles later and they’re discussing the mysteries of life and dried pollack, but Young-soo dissolves in tears over his father again. They decide to leave, but neither of their magic wallets has any money inside (Gi-tak amusingly yells at the ceiling, hee). They end up making a run for it, but it turns out not to be necessary, as the single bill Gi-tak threw down on the table mysteriously turns into enough to cover their tab.
They’re surprised to realize that they’re staying in the same hotel, and on the same floor. Young-soo finds Gi-tak familiar, and looks deeply into his eyes… it’s no wonder Gi-tak thinks this is just another dude hitting on him.
Young-soo holds Gi-tak still and backs him up against the wall, still looking closely at his face. He’s seeing his old reflection in Gi-tak’s eyes, and though Gi-tak tries to deck him one, his new female body betrays him and starts to respond to the close proximity of a handsome man. HA, he’s alternately swooning and horrified, it’s hysterical.
Young-soo is honestly only trying to see himself in Gi-tak’s eyes, but poor Gi-tak thinks he’s being seduced, and he can’t help but enjoy it a little bit. He tries valiantly to control his reactions, but when Young-soo leans in close to whisper, “Are you… untimely death?” Gi-tak plants a kiss on him.
HAHAHA, for one second we see the real Young-soo and Gi-tak kissing (it’s the best thing ever), then they break apart and holler, as they each realize who the other is. And then it’s a brotherly love-fest, with lots of hugging and rejoicing that they’ve found each other.
Once they calm down a bit Gi-tak is understandably jealous that Young-soo got such a hot manly body, while he got a squeaky voice and boobs. Young-soo is more than happy to show off his new chocolate abs (and we’re more than happy to see them again).
But he turns shy when Gi-tak wants to see what else he’s been blessed with. Gi-tak does still look like a beautiful woman, after all, which makes it that much more hilarious when he practically attacks Young-soo’s pants. Young-soo does whisper the truth into Gi-tak’s ear, which prompts Gi-tak to yell at the ceiling again, “Have I sinned that much?!” HA.
Young-soo points out that Gi-tak got something he didn’t have, “Two of them. Whoo!” But Gi-tak says they’re useless, and mimes the nice big ones he’d have liked to have, at least.
They exchange stories, and Gi-tak asks Young-soo how he plans to keep the truth of his death (or at least the public story) from Hanna. He’s not sure, he just knows that he has to protect her.
He asks Gi-tak if he’s having the same problem as him — he can’t seem to stop himself from talking too much once he gets started. Gi-tak doesn’t, but it makes him wonder if his momentary attraction to Young-soo could be something similar, like a side effect of being in new bodies.
Hanna has somehow gotten possession of her father’s cell phone, the screen shattered from his fall. She holds it at night, seeing the family photo he used as his screensaver, and crying to see that most of his calls were to “My Joy, Hanna.” She calls him a liar, for not keeping his last promise to come right home.
Da-hye also stays up late, cleaning and remembering that her last conversation with Young-soo was her yelling at him. Even Dad can’t sleep, and we see that he managed to save Young-soo’s shoes from being tossed out.
Lee Hae-joon, Young-soo’s doppelganger and Chairman Cha’s illegitimate son, is okay after his harrowing airplane ride. But they had to make an emergency landing in Japan, so he’s on standby for a flight to Seoul. He calls his father (through Ms. Wang) to tell him he’ll be there tomorrow, but they’ve heard the rumors that he’s here already.
They assume that he’s just needing more time for his “secret evaluation” of the store. Ms. Wang barks at Hae-joon to get there NOW, and he’s determined to make a good impression and be acknowledged by his father. If there are no set paths, he’ll just make his own.
On Young-soo and Da-hye’s anniversary, when they’d left Gi-tak’s restaurant early for his coworker’s funeral, Young-soo had accidentally left the necklace he bought for his wife with Je-gil. Hanna knows this and returns to the restaurant, demanding the necklace back, but the bouncer sends her away.
She runs into Je-gil outside and asks for his help, and sure enough, he’d kept the necklace and given it to his girlfriend. But he’s no match for Hanna’s puppy-dog eyes, and gets it back to return it to her.
Young-soo decided that his first priority is to make sure that Da-hye knows that he didn’t commit suicide, and the best place to get proof of that is his old workplace, where several people know that he wouldn’t have done such a thing. He’s startled when he walks in and the employees line up to bow, not realizing at first that they mean him.
He calls Maya from the bathroom to ask why everyone is acting so strange around him. She’s obviously been up all night (even her halo is droopy), and yawns that his doppelganger, Lee Hae-joon, is the new store manager. Young-soo panics, but she whines that she hasn’t slept a wink because she’s been dealing with Hae-joon.
She’s done a good job — all Hae-joon can find to take him to Seoul is a drunk pilot with a rickety plane, but he takes his chances. The pilot calls a radio tower to confirm his navigation plans, and the air traffic controller tells him to maintain his course.
But all is not as it seems — the air traffic controller is actually Maya, and she has an ulterior motive. She creates a rogue wind which knocks the plane off-course, and they’re lost at sea.
Young-soo starts to feel the potential of this situation when another encounter with Manager Ma has him realizing how terrified the man is of him. He takes advantage of the power flip and tells Manager Ma that he needs to start paying more attention to his job.
When they’re spotted by Da-hye, Young-soo makes Manager Ma call him by name, loudly, and her eyes widen to hear that this man isn’t a loan shark at all, but the store’s new manager.
The model that’s capitalizing on his supposed scandal with Yi-yeon, YOO HYUK (Park Min-woo), is holding a fan meeting in the department store, and he tries to hide when Yi-yeon arrives to do some shopping. She finds him and says hello in a sickeningly sweet voice, creating a stir. She even asks in front of his fans why he lied about her, rendering him speechless.
A store manager asks Yi-yeon to leave, since her presence could make other shoppers uncomfortable. Gi-tak must have been following her because he walks past her, close enough to briefly squeeze Yi-yeon’s hand in support. It gives her just enough courage to insist on staying to shop.
Da-hye approaches Young-soo (who giggles at her, so cute), to ask how exactly he knew her husband. She doesn’t believe his claim that they were best friends, since Young-soo never mentioned him, and he says that Young-soo was just that good at keeping secrets.
Gi-tak crashes into Yoo Hyuk hard enough to make him drop his phone, and purposely picks up the wrong one. Yoo Hyuk realizes the switch and asks for his phone back, but not before Gi-tak has time to memorize the phone number of the person Yoo Hyuk was speaking with about Yi-yeon.
Jae-gook storms into the store spoiling for a fight, knowing that today is the day that his rival starts work. He’s stopped in his tracks by little Hanna, who knows he’s the president and wants to talk.
Yi-yeon is told that the tailor working on her outfit will be fired if she doesn’t leave the store in five minutes, so she backs down for now. Young-soo happens to be in the area and overhears, and asks angrily if this is how the store is being run. He apologizes to Yi-yeon, and promises that this will never happen again. Awww, we see him shoot a wink up to Gi-tak, who had him intervene.
Gi-tak admits to Seung-jae that he’s trying to find out who hired Yoo Hyuk — he suspects Suk-chul. It’s his hypothesis that Suk-chul’s men beat up Yoo Hyuk to frame him, but he also thinks that there’s someone behind Suk-chul, pulling the strings.
Downstairs, Hanna begs Jae-gook to clear her father’s name… she’s certain that he didn’t commit suicide. She’s making a scene, and Jae-gook looks like a cornered rat. Ji-hoon tries to calm her down and tells Jae-gook who she is, and she cries that her father wouldn’t have killed himself after buying her mother the necklace.
Jae-gook flings the girl’s hands off his jacket, accidentally pushing her to the ground. The necklace goes flying, and lands at the feet of Young-soo. He’s witnessed Jae-gook treating his daughter violently, and he clenches his fists and shakes with rage.
Meanwhile, the real Hae-joon pulls his injured pilot out of the ocean and onto an island beach. Both men have survived the loss of the plane, but they’re utterly alone on an empty island.
We’re starting to get an idea of how difficult it will be for Young-soo and Gi-tak to accomplish their goals on Earth, since they’re being forced to concoct elaborate explanations and backstories to explain how they know what they know. Gaining the trust of those they care about isn’t an easy task – especially since emotions are running high and everyone they left behind have their guards up. But at the same time, it’s extremely fun, watching Young-soo learn to use the power of his newfound looks and position, and I have a feeling that seeing Gi-tak slowly start to take advantage of his feminine wiles will be even better. They’re so cute individually, but they’re exponentially more adorable when together, so I can only hope that this idea of Gi-tak’s to team up and help each other continues.
It feels as though Gi-tak will have an especially hard time with Yi-yeon and Seung-jae, since his relationships with them were tenuous and his past hitory works against him. He may have been reformed, but Yi-yeon knew him when he was a brawler and seems to have easily lost her belief in him once he was gone. And with Seung-jae, there’s that sense of betrayal he’ll have to contend with. It’s not entirely clear wha their relationship was before Gi-tak’s death, other than that Seung-jae and the others were sort of “lost boys,” boys who were getting into trouble and that Gi-tak had saved, trying to spare them the same life he’d lived. But Seung-jae especially seems ot have bought the line that Gi-tak went back to his old ways, and for a woman at that – that must feel like the worst kind of betrayal, to him. It’s no wonder that he’s acting out by working for Suk-chul now, which probably feels equally like he’s just doing what he can to live, and getting back at Gi-tak at the same time.
Young-soo’s big mistake was not getting his story straight before he approached his family, but claiming to be an old acquaintence of Young-soo’s at least got him in the door. Once he’s playing the part of Lee Hae-joon, he can still keep up that ruse, and be able to gather the information he needs to prove that he didn’t kill himself after all. We know that several of his coworkers and employees knew him to be a good man, just overworked and stressed, and that they believe that he didn’t take that bribe. Hopefully his lucking into this persona will get him the cooperation he needs to clear his name, and at least leave his family living comfortably after he has to leave again.
I have only watched this far at this point, though several more episodes have aired at the time of this recap. I may be stating the obviously, but I’m really hoping that Gi-tak and Young-soo team up to take down their enemies together, because their chemistry is off the charts. The bromance potential is strong with these two (despite one being a woman physically), because despite their very different situations and personalities in life, they’re stuck in a confusing and dangerous position now and could use each other’s help. The two guys together are just fantastically dynamic and hilarious, and could get a lot more done if they work together. Two heads are better than one, after all.
- Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 2
- Drama Hangout: Come Back, Ajusshi
- Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 1
- Dueling press conferences: Descended From the Sun vs. Come Back, Ajusshi
- Come Back Ajusshi takes Rain’s body out for a spin
- A kiss with Rain is a kiss with Ajusshi
- Escape from the afterlife train in Come Back Ajusshi’s first teaser
- Kang So-ra considers Goodbye My Beloved opposite Rain
- Rain offered new afterlife drama Goodbye My Beloved