Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 4
Young-soo and Gi-tak start to settle into their new personas (and new bodies), although it’s no easier getting close to the important women in their lives as it was before. Kinda makes one wonder if leaving heaven was worth it, since their lives appear to be meaningless with little hope to fix things. But they still have a mission, and it’s enough to know that there’s at least someone who misses them to fuel them onward — one hilariously awkward step after another.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Hanna holds up the necklace as proof that her father didn’t commit suicide, and as she clings to Jae-gook’s coat, begging him to help her, he flings her aside. A crowd starts to gather, and as Hanna reaches out to pick up the necklace that fell to the ground, she looks up to see Young-soo-as-Hae-joon standing there, his hands balling up into fists as he glares at Jae-gook.
There’s a total showdown between the two men, and Jae-gook smirks when he thinks that Hae-joon is about to bow before him, but instead he kneels next to Hanna, gently asking if she’s okay. He reminds her that her father said that when she fell, she should stand up again. With tears in her eyes, she does just that.
In his office, Hanna explains to Hae-joon why it doesn’t make sense for her father to commit suicide after spending so much money on a necklace, besides, he was too much of a scaredy-cat to end his life. Young-soo is touched that his daughter doesn’t believe he would leave her like that, and asks if he (Hae-joon) can keep the necklace to give to Da-hye later. She assumes it’s because he wants it for the “debt” they owe.
Da-hye rushes into Hae-joon’s office, frantic that her daughter showed up to the mall without warning. She’s ready to yell at Hanna for skipping school, but mostly she was just worried something had happened to her Hae-joon turns away, but silent tears slip down his cheeks as he watches his wife and child sob and hug each other.
Later, Gi-tak finds Hae-joon standing on the rooftop, and he’s delighted to tell him that he’s figured out who’s behind Yi-yeon’s scandal. But Hae-joon tells Gi-tak that this is where he (Young-soo) breathed his last. That brings the mood down, and Gi-tak somberly says it must have hurt.
We see the men in their true bodies as Young-soo admits that he can’t really remember anything — whether it hurt, or if he was sad or scared. But this time he’s hurt, sad, and scared for his daughter. He’s more determined than ever to reveal the truth about his death so his his family won’t have any reason to cry again.
Hae-joon gives Da-hye and Hanna a ride home, and gently carries a sleeping Hanna inside to her bedroom. It’s a very tender moment that’s disturbed by Young-soo’s father, who wonders what this strange man is doing there. Da-hye reminds him, and he invites the “loan shark” to eat before he leaves. Aw, I wonder if Young-soo knew that his father was starting to have dementia.
As he leaves the house, he asks Da-hye if she also believes that Young-soo committed suicide. She points out that it’s useless whether she believes it or not — it’s not like the dead can talk. Hae-joon grimly laughs at that thought as he’s chauffeured home.
Gi-tak is attempting to see Yi-yeon but Seung-jae’s finger to his forehead is blocking his way, and in his female body, he’s no match for Seung-jae’s strength. He’s got no where to go, though, and uses his in-depth knowledge of Seung-jae to essentially blackmail his way past the bodyguard.
Suk-chul is there with Yi-yeon, and he reads her the hundreds of netizen comments about her behavior in the department store. They’re all negative, but Yi-yeon dismisses them, more pleased that her behavior must have gotten her ex-husband’s attention if he sent Suk-chul to chide her, since she knows he’s one of Jae-gook’s lackeys.
He tells her that both their lifestyles are being funded by Jae-gook, so if she wants to keep her nice house, she needs to get her act together. He throws down copies of the photos of her and Gi-tak hugging on the night Gi-tak died. Yi-yeon tries to hide her distress at seeing the photos, but it clearly bothers her to be reminded of that night.
The sound of Gi-tak’s (female) voice distracts them — despite Seung-jae’s efforts to stop him, he’s made his way into the house. He immediately recognizes Suk-chul, and his fists curl in fury, but restrains himself and, as “Gi-tak’s sister,” politely asks if Suk-chul would like some coffee.
Hahahaha, Gi-tak is so busy glaring at the two of them discussing business matters that he doesn’t realize that the spoonfuls of sugar he’s pouring into the coffee cup are actually spoonfuls of salt (not that he’d care, anyway, I’m sure). Suk-chul says that the only acting offers they’ve received so far are for a role requiring nudity and a role in an erotic film. Yi-yeon tells him that she’ll work hard to escape his agency, holding her cool and calm demeanor together long enough for Suk-chul to leave.
As soon as he does, her shoulders droop in weary exhaustion and she grabs a bottle of liquor, gulping down a few drinks before Gi-tak tries to snatch it out of her hand, telling her she’s had enough for today. Yi-yeon tells Gi-tak that she’ll be meeting with movie producers tomorrow for her first role in years, but she’s not ready — will she still be considered “camera worthy,” now that she’s older and no longer has a perfect body?
Then she asks Gi-tak for his name, or rather, the name of “Gi-tak’s sister.” Glancing around, he sees the red flower on the coffee cup, and tells her it’s “Hong-nan” (meaning red orchid). Yi-yeon says it’s a pretty name to suit a pretty woman (and it’s a nice name to start using female pronouns!). However, she tells Hong-nan that she never wants to see her again — she doesn’t want any reminders that Gi-tak ever existed. She’ll repay Gi-tak’s debt later; Hong-nan will just have to wait.
Hong-nan demands Yi-yeon tell her exactly what Suk-chul said, but Yi-yeon throws the bottle of alcohol against the wall, screaming at her to get out. She’s been trying to hold it together, but she finally reaches her breaking point. With tears in her eyes, Gi-tak-as-Hong-nan leaves, telling Yi-yeon that it’s too late to repay that debt. After she leaves, Yi-yeon releases her pent-up emotion by silently weeping.
Meanwhile, Young-soo-as-Hae-joon is trying to psych himself up as he stands nervously stands before Chairman Cha. This is supposed to be his father, not just the chairman, so he shouldn’t feel nervous — except as soon as Chairman Cha looks up at him, he immediately bows deeply and shouts out a polite greeting. Then he sees Jae-gook standing there, and he continues his bow, instinctively apologizing for his behavior from before. Oh, man, as if there was any doubt that this was Young-soo, his awkward deference is a clear giveaway.
Ms. Wang translates the chairman’s little sigh-and-nod by shouting that starting tomorrow, Hae-joon has to increase the sales by 130 percent, so he should go home and get some rest. As they leave the house, Jae-gook warns Hae-joon that no matter what he’s got planned, there’s no way that the chairman will acknowledge Hae-joon as a legitimate son. Besides, the mall is experiencing so many losses that they’ll be closing it soon, anyway.
Inwardly, Young-soo is furious that closing the mall means he died for nothing, after all the effort he’d put in to raise sales. But outwardly, Hae-joon smiles and says he understands, but he’ll still do his best. Watching him go, Jae-gook mutters to himself that this is going to be fun. Oh, you have no idea.
A depressed Hong-nan sits down on a bench, repeating that Yi-yeon doesn’t want to remember her. Or rather, doesn’t want to remember him, Gi-tak. The scene switches to Gi-tak’s body, and he plucks leaves off a branch, trying to determine if he should go or not. Except the last leaf is “go,” and he throws it away in disgust.
But it’s not like he has anywhere to go — there’s no one waiting for him. Why did he bother to come back at all? His stomach growls, and it’s back to Hong-nan as she realizes that she has no money. She pulls out her phone and hesitates with her finger over the “star” key, knowing that if she presses it, she’ll connect with Maya.
But Maya calls her anyway, asking if she wants to go back. But Hong-nan has too much pride to admit defeat and yells at her to leave her alone. Maya is always watching, though. It’s her job.
Hong-nan slowly walks up the stairs to a rooftop apartment — it’s Gi-tak’s old place, and she smiles as she remembers the times when he would practice his boxing and hang out with his boys. It also has a good view of a billboard across the way, and he would stand and stare out at the advertisement boasting Yi-yeon’s face. But that smile fades when he also remembers her telling him that she wants to forget he ever existed. Aw, and now it’s her rival Joo-yeon on the billboard.
The apartment is just as Gi-tak left it, with the pictures of him and his boys on the walls (and pictures of Yi-yeon, too, of course). Hong-nan pulls out one of her favorite movies and watches it, crying as she recites the lines along with the actors. OMG, is that a pillow with Gi-tak’s face on it? Hahaha, there’s so much of Gi-tak’s “celebrity chef” merchandise all over the room. His face is everywhere!
The sound of the front door being unlocked sends Hong-nan skittering. She hides in the wardrobe as Suk-chul enters, singing happily to himself. Wait, did he also take Gi-tak’s apartment? He pours himself a glass of wine to celebrate the big contract he signed today, and as Hong-nan glares at him from her hiding place, Suk-chul picks up one of the cups with Gi-tak’s face on it and slaps a sticker on it — one with his own face. Pfft.
Just as he’s wondering when he turned on the lights, they go out. He tries the light-switch, but it’s not working. Hong-nan uses this opportunity to slip out, but the light from his phone catches her as she’s trying to crawl away. In the darkness, and with her long hair in front of her face, she looks exactly like a ghost, causing Suk-chul to faint in fear. Bwhahahaha!
Hong-nan runs out of the house, only to be caught by a masked man who carries down to the street. The gloved hand on her mouth prevents her from screaming, and she uses her best moves to try and escape. But Gi-tak is once again reminded that Hong-nan’s body doesn’t have as much power and strength as he’s used to, and he has to resort to biting her kidnapper’s arm instead, hanging his head in shame that he had to fight “like a girl.”
But this is no ordinary kidnapper — it’s Seung-jae, who’s been carefully following her since she left Yi-yeon’s. He was the one who cut the power so the lights went out, allowing her to escape. He doesn’t care if she’s a con-artist or really Gi-tak’s sister, but she should leave before she gets hurt. Hong-nan is just pleased that he really cares, and she pinches his cheeks in affection. Oooh, is there a little sexual tension there?
Seung-jae breaks her hold, and Hong-nan playfully asks if he wants her to call him “oppa.” She grabs his cheeks again as she tells him to look at her like she’s his boss and not as a woman. The real question isn’t why she wanted to see Yi-yeon. Right now she wants to know why Suk-chul was there. Hahaha, Suk-chul is screaming and dancing in fright on the rooftop, still terrified from seeing a ghost.
But Seung-jae has something to show her first — Gi-tak’s grave. He gently lays down a bouquet of flowers, and Hong-nan stares at the name plaque in amazement. Since Gi-tak didn’t have any family, Seung-jae had wanted to spread his ashes out in the ocean, but then he thought Gi-tak would be too lonely.
Seeing his grave in person, the reality of his death is finally hitting home for Gi-tak. Seung-jae tries to hide his emotion as he warns Hong-nan to stay out of danger. If something happens to her, he won’t be able to continue to visit Gi-tak’s grave in good faith. Hong-nan tells him not to blame himself — it was an accident. If the two of them had been together, they would have both died. That’s why Seung-jae is waiting, quietly, for the right moment to reveal the truth.
Hae-joon’s chauffeur drops him off at his new home, a luxurious space befitting the illegitimate son of Chairman Cha and possible heir to Sunjin Group. It’s hilarious how he marvels at all the different rooms with their expensive furnishings while his staff follow quietly behind like ducklings. After he sends them home for the night, he does a goofy little happy dance and plays with the lights that turn on and off with the clap of a hand. What an adorable dork.
His playful joy is short-lived, though, because he gets a call from a drunken Hong-nan. As he helps her into his new home, she grabs him by the collar, roughly shaking him back and forth as she yells that Yi-yeon wants to forget Gi-tak. But then there’s Seung-jae who can’t forget his hyungnim, who’s the only thing like family to him.
How is she supposed to react to that? She can’t even fight with her weak fists. Plus, “it’s always raining,” she says as she pats her cheeks, wiping away the wet tears. Aw. Hae-joon feels himself momentarily drawn into her sad pout, but pushes her away where she falls to the floor with a thud that turns off the lights. Hee! Then Hae-joon gently slaps her to bring her back to consciousness, which only causes the lights to continue to turn on and off. Double hee!
In the morning, Hae-joon wakes up, still delighted with his handsome face. But when he finds a bra in his bed, he’s relieved to discover he has his pants on. Someone who doesn’t have their pants on, though, is Hong-nan, who apparently likes to sleep in the buff. Oh, awkward roommates, how I love you.
Hae-joon arrives at the mall with his entourage, and all the salesgirls fangirl at the sight of him. Manager Park is relegated to assistant and as he carefully delivers a cup of a coffee to Hae-joon, while the salesgirls huddle around the office, watching through the windows as Hae-joon poses for them.
Hahaha, when he winks at them, one of the actually swoons. Oh man, it looks like Hae-joon is going to make Manager Park’s life hell as he demands a different style of coffee and tells him what kind of plastic surgery he should get, befitting someone who works in the fashion industry.
He’s delighted when Hong-nan stops by, but she’s here on a mission: to go shopping. Hong-nan is drooling over the men’s cowboy boots and leather jackets, so Hae-joon has to drag her (literally!) over to the ladies side of the department store. The salesgirls immediately leap to attention, fawning over the handsome Hae-joon. But he wants Da-hye to be the one to help Hong-nan select new clothes.
Hong-nan is grumbly about having to wear stockings, since they get stuck in her ass, but she looks really good in that curve-hugging little black dress. Her rough language makes Hae-joon scramble to cover her mouth, telling salesgirls to pack up everything and he’ll pay for it with his flashy VIP credit card. He blanches when they tell him the amount — over $9,000, but he pays it anyway, despite some reluctance to hand over the card.
As they walk through the store, Hae-joon sees Hong-nan’s bowlegged cowboy stomping and tries to teach her more feminine stances. That’s funny in and of itself, but I’m crying from laughter watching Young-soo and Gi-tak try to pose in their original bodies.
Hong-nan mentions that Da-hye seems familiar to her, even though she can’t remember where she’s seen her before. Then she tries to get Hae-joon to buy her a camera by giving an over-the-top oppa-pout-wiggle. Hahahaha, I’m dying.
Yi-yeon is at a film producer’s office, pulling a “do you know who I am?” routine on the nervous secretary. She’s about to barge in on the producer’s office when he hurries out to greet her. He spins her a tale about how the director hasn’t really decided on an actress yet, but when Joo-yeon pops out of the office, Yi-yeon knows who the role has been given to.
She grabs the producer by the collar and shoves him up against a bookcase. But instead of threatening, she begs him to find her a role, any role — she’ll play a mother, even a grandmother! But his hands are tied. Sunjin Group (Chairman Cha’s company) is one of the biggest investors, and they’ve black-listed her. Unless it’s an indie film, she won’t be getting any major roles.
Yi-yeon looks like she’s ready to kill him, but Seung-jae arrives with her phone. It’s a film director, and she pretends to check her schedule as she says she can squeeze in a visit with him.
Manager Park reports to Jae-gook, detailing all the bizarre ways Hae-joon acts. Such as with going shopping with Hong-nan, how he orders Manager Park to bring him different drinks, and how he impressed everyone with his peeing prowess in the men’s restroom. Hahaha! Jae-gook thinks he doesn’t pose much of a threat, though.
At the department meeting, everyone stares at their new branch manager Hae-joon, who gulps down glass after glass of water, warning everyone not to drink too much alcohol or they’ll get scolded in heaven. Pffft. He’s surprised to see Ji-hoon there, who’s been recently promoted to department head. He takes Ji-hoon to task, asking about the day Young-soo died. He’s trying to build up evidence that a man who had made so many plans that day wouldn’t have committed suicide.
He’s determined to get to the truth of Young-soo’s death, since no one will want to buy merchandise from a mall where one of the employees committed suicide. There’s some rumbling from the other department heads, but Jae-gook says he’s willing to hear Hae-joon out.
He’s got a presentation all prepared, with interviews from the chairman that Young-soo had chased down to beg for a second chance. Why would he commit suicide after working so hard getting an exclusive contract like that? Then there’s the taxi driver who said that he was incredibly intoxicated, and the security guard who admits no one actually saw him jump.
He gets a message from Hong-nan (who cutely calls him “oppa,” ha). She’s sent him a bunch of selcas, but it’s really just to test out the camera (I guess that oppa-pout-wiggle worked). She’s on the rooftop, looking for any evidence of CCTV cameras. The one facing where Young-soo supposedly jumped is broken.
Hae-joon resumes his argument that Young-soo didn’t jump on purpose, but one of the other managers points out it was strange for him to be on the roof in the first place. Manager Park adds that it’s not like you can ask a dead person for answers, anyway. Hmm, I seem to have heard those words before.
All during this, Da-hye has been silently pouring water and setting out snacks for everyone, but now her trembling hand drops a glass. Hae-joon continues pointing out that Sunjin Group effectively killed Young-soo — due to pressure of trying raise sales, he took poor care of his health and had many health issues. Why would someone suffer through all that, being so devoted to his job at risk to his health, only to kill himself?
He passionately insists that even if the company is only responsible for a percentage of Young-soo’s death, they should take responsibility for it and give compensation to his family. He looks at Da-hye as he says this, but Jae-gook’s applause catches his attention. He understands Hae-joon’s point, but if he’s correct, then it means that Da-hye is working for the company that killed her husband. If she had any doubts it was suicide, why would she be here?
With tears in her eyes, she looks over to Hae-joon.
Meanwhile, on an island somewhere, the real Hae-joon has washed up on shore with the pilot, who is suffering from hypothermia. He warms the pilot’s body up with his own (rawr), only to have the confused pilot ask: “Who are you?”
I unequivocally love this show, so I’m delighted for the opportunity to recap it. I’m a little bummed that it’s up against the Descended From the Sun ratings behemoth, since I feel this drama deserves a lot more love and attention. There’s a masterful energy within the show that is able to balance the hilarious slapstick with the tender heart-tugging moments. Sometimes these moments seem to almost occur at the same time, but it feels genuine and natural. I don’t feel as if I’m being unnecessarily jerked around.
Echoing previous comments, the cast is amazing. There’s some magic here considering how everyone is thoroughly embodying their character. Which is no easy feat, since two people are essentially trying to play the same person. I have so much respect for Rain and Oh Yeon-seo, since I’ve never once doubted that they are actually Young-soo and Gi-tak, just in different bodies. Trying to make it clear which representative body we see on screen can be sometimes difficult, and so I hope it’s not too confusing (especially for Gi-tak/Hong-nan). I feel like she’s starting to become her own person, and now that he’s given her a name, it seems like it’s only right to refer to her with female pronouns. Plus, it’s just been fun watching Gi-tak begin to learn to thrive in his female body. Sure, he doesn’t have all the socially-acceptable mannerisms down, but he doesn’t care. He knows how to work the aegyo (and the, ahem, assets), and while his body may be physically weaker, there’s a new psychological and sexual power to explore.
Honestly, as much as I had originally started watching for Rain (*insert fangirl squeal*), I’m finding that what I love most are all the ladies on the show. Lee Min-jung brings a graceful understated performance that balances out the bombastic personalties of Hong-nan, Yi-yeon, and Maya. With just a small glance or two, she’s able to convey the struggle of trying to maintain her stoic, polite attitude, even while it’s clear she’s grieving for her husband and worried for her future. I feel like there’s a lot she could teach Hong-nan about strength — inner strength, that is. So it’s heart-breaking for me to see Hae-joon continue to needle her in an attempt to get her to react to how Young-soo died. I kind of want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him, telling him that he’s being an idiot for digging at a fresh wound that only appears to be scabbed over. But I’m sure he’ll learn his lesson in time.
Speaking of “in time,” thanks for your patience as we hurry to get caught up (and please, no spoilers of future episodes in the comments!). It’ll be worth it — I promise.
- Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 3
- 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