Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 5
This drama is hijinks galore, and I love it. Young-soo and Gi-tak settle into their new borrowed bodies, and start to pave their paths to settle their restless souls. Through the process, they find that their fates are much more intertwined than simply the night of their deaths, and that complicates matters for Hae-joon, in particular. Was it worth it for him to return? Who’s to trust?
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Jae-gook finds the flaw in Hae-joon’s argument: Why would Young-soo’s wife, Shin Da-hye, work at this department store if she believed that her husband’s death was due to strenuous labor? Hae-joon and Da-hye are speechless, as the rest of the managers start to question Hae-joon’s defense. They claim that Young-soo could not afford to buy his wife the expensive jewelry (which is news to Da-hye), and only Ji-hoon speaks up to defend Young-soo.
In a quick flashback, we see Ji-hoon advising Young-soo on what necklace to get his wife. They’re chummy with each other, and Young-soo jokes that he’d love to have him as his brother-in-law, if only he had a younger sister.
Back in the meeting, the managers continue to grumble assumptions about Young-soo’s suicide. Ji-hoon demands everyone to stop, especially with Da-hye there in the room. She runs out in tears, with Ji-hoon on her tail. With that, Jae-gook concludes the meeting.
Hae-joon watches Da-hye cry in the comfort in Ji-hoon’s presence, and Jae-gook tells him that no one cares about the reason for a salaryman’s death. Everyone, even a bereaved widow, comes here for their paycheck.
Yi-yeon stands in front of Director Bong with her arms crossed and asks Seung-jae to simplify the offer. He rattles off the situation and she demands, “SIMPLER!” Essentially, she’s not the main character, and she’s just subbing in for two scenes today.
The director seems ambivalent about offering her the role, but Yi-yeon obliges. It’s her comeback after 10 years, and she convinces herself that a loyal cameo is best. She asks where the dressing room is, and he points to the bathroom.
Hae-joon approaches an expressionless Da-hye and asks to speak with her privately. She refuses and points out that he spoke very publicly about her situation earlier; why not now? She asks if he’s ever lost a loved one and criticizes him for boiling everything down to money.
Yi-yeon’s hoobae rival Joo-yeon tells her that she’s the one who got her this role and asserts her authority by pouring water on her head. Turns out it’s an acting scene, but it mirrors reality. Yi-yeong advises Joo-yeon to focus on acting instead of trying to seduce a spot into the Sunjin household. At best, it’ll get her to where Yi-yeon is now.
Hands shaking, Yi-yeon stumbles into the bathroom and rushes into her stall for her flask. She takes a swig and slides to the ground in tears. She tries to muffle her crying when she hears footsteps, but it’s none other than Hong-nan. Yi-yeon cries freely while Hong-non sings to cover up the noise and Seung-jae guards the bathroom entrance. Aw.
Hong-nan slaps makeup onto Yi-yeon’s face and wonders aloud why Gi-tak would record all of Yi-yeon’s TV appearances. Yi-yeon seems flattered. But Hong-nan brings her back to the moment. Is she going to submit to the disrespect from that young actress? She tells Yi-yeon to stay confident and slaps more rudimentary makeup onto her face. Haaaa, it looks really bad.
After a quick fix, Yi-yeon is back on set with Joo-yeon, who purposely messes up her lines so she can repeatedly pour water on Yi-yeon. They finally get an okay from the director, and Hong-nan rushes to steal the chair from Joo-yeon (who falls on her butt) for a very hungry Yi-yeon.
Hae-joon finds Da-hye in the stairwell, but she runs away to the top of the building, where she stops at the sight of the police tape. Hae-joon catches up and drags her to the ledge to see clearly where her husband died. She still can’t understand why her husband died this way and demands answers. Unable to provide any, Hae-joon hands her the necklace and promises to uncover the truth.
Seung-jae finds Je-gil crouched over eating by the trash and gets a short beating from him until Je-gil can’t help himself. He gives Seung-jae a big hug, but the bromance is pushed aside when Je-gil spots Yi-yeon and Hong-nan behind him.
Je-gil serves the three with a pasta dish, which Yi-yeon starts to wolf down. Hong-nan and Seung-jae look disgusted, and Hong-nan heads to the kitchen to remake the dish. She’s skilled with the knife and whips up the dish like a pro. Je-gil is shocked that it tastes just like Gi-tak’s dish. From the kitchen, Hong-nan suddenly gets a flashback to his Gi-tak days and remembers that Young-soo was the guest who asked for the necklace in the meal for his wife. He shudders at the twist of fate.
Da-hye discovers a letter in the necklace box, which we see was written by Hae-joon-as-Young-soo. In the letter, Young-soo expresses his guilt towards his family and his apologies for never being there. He writes that he loves Da-hye, and she breaks down in tears.
Hae-joon brings the clothes he bought for Hong-nan and gives them to Da-hye. She tries to refuse the offer, but he forces the bags into her hands. As he leaves, she tells him that there was a letter and begins to cry. Unable to hold back his emotions, Hae-joon pulls her into an embrace and cries with her. But the crying and holding turns out to be a figment of his imagination. Heh.
Back at the restaurant, Je-gil tells Hong-nan about the necklace lady, whose husband died on the same day. He took pictures when she was at the restaurant that night and captured her with another man. That man being Ji-hoon.
Hong-nan calls Hae-joon and tells him about the mysterious man who came the night they both died. Just as Hong-nan tells him the info, Ji-hoon pulls up. Hae-joon spots them in an incriminating embrace and rushes over to pull them apart. He throws a tantrum on the car and cries about the betrayal. Once again, it’s a figment of his imagination — the tantrum at least, though the hug still seems real.
Yi-yeon receives a call from Director Bong, and it looks like he set her up with a meeting with Director Gu, the director who created the project that rose Yi-yeon to Hallyu fame. She gives him a hug, which Hong-nan strongly disapproves of.
Yi-yeon looks over the script and apologizes to the director that she would not be willing to take a side character for her comeback. He clarifies that he wants her as the lead, to which Hong-nan calls him out for being a quack. Who would want Yi-yeon as their lead after all the bad press?
But he seems genuine with his offer, especially after seeing Yi-yeon’s commitment in her acting today. He’s all about shaking up the norms and swimming against the current, so he gladly makes the offer to Yi-yeon in hopes that they can relive their glory days.
Hong-nan gets on her knees and immediately apologizes. She thanks him for his decision and hands him what seems like a bribe. But when he opens his hands, it’s nothing. “It’s an eraser to erase the memory of what I just said to you!” She gives him a signature slap on the arm and seals the deal with a wink. Ha, love it.
Yi-yeon tries to act nonchalant about scoring this role but has wild celebration by herself in the van. It’s cut short by Hong-nan, who opens to door and says she’s off to see a friend.
Hong-nan finds Hae-joon trying to climb off a bridge and stops him. She tries to convince him that it was her misunderstanding, but Hae-joon continues to wallow in sadness and regret. Maya makes an appearance, reminding them that they cannot get revenge. She tries to convince both of them to return to the afterlife at this vulnerable time, but Hong-nan shoos her away.
Both in their heads about their own problems, Hong-nan and Hae-joon share a drink. Hae-joon cries in misery about the potential affair and scolds himself for not seeing the signs. Hong-nan adds fuel to the flame by speculating that Young-soo was the cock block in that love triangle. Then Hae-joon shakes his head, convinced that his Da-hye would never do such a thing. Hong-nan wonders why he’s so hung up on this. Does he imagine that they did it? And that he did it better than him? LOL.
Suddenly, they notice things disappearing from the table. First a chicken leg, then a bottle of soju. They turn around and find Maya munching and drinking.
Da-hye looks at Young-soo’s calendar, which has their anniversary obnoxiously marked. She puts the letter with it and puts it back in the box. She thinks back to her conversation with Ji-hoon and her speculation that Young-soo’s death may have not been suicide. He agrees with the speculation but tells her to stop, lest it be harder on her and her family. She climbs into bed, holding Hanna close.
As Jae-gook leads the entourage through the department store in the morning, Hae-joon notices Da-hye smiling and mouthing words to someone behind him. It’s Ji-hoon, and the jealousy drives Hae-joon to force his way in front of Jae-gook to confront her. He criticizes her “ajumma” fashion, embarrassing her by pointing out the cheap heels and ghastly ankle socks. But as he walks away, he immediately regrets his actions as he’s reminded of the time that Jae-gook singled him out for having a face unfit for the fashion industry.
In the morning meeting, Ji-hoon presents about the upcoming fashion show, and his presentation is met with praise. Manager Ma (oops, we had him as Manager Park in previous recaps) commends his work, saying that he’s trustworthy, but that comment sparks Hae-joon to loudly disagree. He makes a scene with his glare and pointing until he realizes what he’s just done. He sheepishly slips back to his seat.
Through Ms. Wang, Chairman Cha orders the project to be led under Hae-joon, much to Jae-gook’s discontent.
Ji-hoon briefs Hae-joon on the fashion show, but all Hae-joon can think of is the affair. Ji-hoon returns the bags of clothes that Hae-joon brought to Da-hye last night, and Hae-joon becomes even more suspicious.
He asks Ji-hoon if he thinks Young-soo committed suicide, and Ji-hoon says that he doesn’t believe Young-soo did. But Hae-joon now has evidence that Young-soo may have committed suicide, after seeing a possible reunion of past lovers.
Ji-hoon confidently asserts that there is nothing between him and Da-hye. Hae-joon can’t believe a word and gets close to threaten him with his power. After wiping the spit off of his face, Ji-hoon tells him that there was something between him and Da-hye that Young-soo did not know, but it was not a romantic relationship.
Hae-joon demands evidence of this, and Ji-hoon agrees, not for Hae-joon, but for Young-soo. Manager Ma enters the office, and Hae-joon orders him to return to his original title and give his assistant position to Ji-hoon.
Yi-yeon shows Suk-chul the script she scored without any of his help and vows to pay off the contract fee with her own money. She won’t use any of Jae-gook’s money anymore. To prove her point, she stops Hong-nan from getting water from the water filter since it belongs to Jae-gook. Suk-chul laughs at her confidence and jokes about the slightest hope he has for her success.
Hong-nan finds it ridiculous that Yi-yeon won’t use anything of Jae-gook’s when she’s living on his land in his house on his sofa. She tells Yi-yeon that she shouldn’t even breathe since the air filtration belongs to Jae-gook as well. At that Yi-yeon holds her breath for as long as possible and says that she would if she could.
Yi-yeon acts like the generous one by offering a manager position to Hong-nan, but when she’s asked about a paycheck, she avoids the topic. But Hong-nan only has one condition for work — housing and food — which Yi-yeon readily agrees to.
Hae-joon throws Ji-hoon the keys and tells him to drive safely because he’s precious. When he turns around, he runs into Da-hye and when he notices it’s her, he immediately turns cold and walks away. Ji-hoon stops to help pick up her dropped items, but Hae-joon summons him.
Little did he know, Da-hye was collecting more of Young-soo’s belongings. In his jacket pocket, she finds candy wrappers, which reminds her of the candy wrappers she found in his suit jacket. His excuse was that he never had time for lunch, but she scolds him for not eating the vegetables she packed him. Young-soo smiles sheepishly and breaks the tension by commenting that even her nagging is pretty.
Da-hye imagines Young-soo busily making calls while eating his “lunch,” but her thoughts are interrupted by a call to return to work.
In the security room, Ji-hoon tells Hae-joon that the roof camera was broken and could not recover the footage from the night that Young-soo died. Hae-joon notices Da-hye sitting while on duty, and the staff in the room notice as well. They give her supervisor a call, and she’s chastised for taking a break, even though there were no customers to tend to.
Hae-joon watches from afar, and then he notices Ji-hoon looking at her with his puppy dog eyes, which gets him riled up again. When Da-hye tries to exit the revolving doors, Hae-joon stands in the way. They push against each other until Hae-joon lets the door go to make her fall. He looks apologetic for a moment then quickly composes himself.
Yi-yeon starts marking her house with red tape to signify what belongs to Jae-gook. She even labels Seung-jae and fires him on the spot. Hong-nan tries to calm her down, but Seung-jae stands his ground by saying that he belongs to no one. Since he works for Na Suk-chul, he’ll continue to be her manager until he’s told otherwise.
Yi-yeon lets the issue rest and tells Hong-nan that they’ll be training hard together until the press conference for her drama. They exercise hard and eat rabbit food, but it’s portrayed oh-so-comically by our odd couple.
Meanwhile, Hae-joon tries to find more clues into revealing the reason for his death. He continues to work with Ji-hoon and takes every chance he gets to poke at his cheating tendencies. Like when Ji-hoon unknowingly grabbed a kimbap from Hae-joon’s roll, Hae-joon asks if he’s always tempted to take others’ things. Then, he’s forced to spit out the kimbap, which Hae-joon then throws into his mouth. HA.
Hong-nan wakes up in the middle of the night, hungry from her intense dieting, and she complains that Gi-tak didn’t even train this hard for his competition. But the fridge is only full of cucumbers and water — nothing of substance.
Then from behind, a water bottle drops. It’s Yi-yeon, and she looks emotional from a realization. She slowly walks toward Hong-nan. “It’s you, right? Did you think I wouldn’t know? Did you think you could hide it from me to the end?” Yi-yeon gently touches Hong-nan’s face, leans in, then suddenly stops. She complains, “I can’t get into the right emotion because you’re a girl.” Oh phew.
Even with that close call, Hong-nan lingers on that moment, touching her face. Then she stuffs her face with real food at Hae-joon’s place. She tells Hae-joon that he’s pretty good at making other people’s lives miserable, but Hae-joon argues that he only knows because he’s been through it. Still stuffing her face, Hong-nan reminds her friend that it’s not fun from the other side.
Da-hye tucks Hanna into bed and finds Young-soo’s phone in her hands. She looks through it on the bus ride in the morning, flipping through pictures and messages. She finds a strange message about a delivery, which piques her curiosity.
Hae-joon finds a potential security camera to use as evidence, but the security team refuses to cooperate. But when Ji-hoon shows them his business card and threatens legal action against them, they acquiesce. Outside, Hae-joon asks Ji-hoon if that legal stuff was true, and Ji-hoon just shrugs — he has no idea. Luckily they have the video in their possession now, and Hae-joon sends it off to Sunjin.
Da-hye continues to stare at the message on Young-soo’s phone, unaware that her colleague is scolding her for using her phone during work hours. Hae-joon sees this and approaches the ajumma to pick a fight about work manners. Ji-hoon offers to take care of the matter, which only exasperates the situation.
Hae-joon starts making a scene about her potential love life on her phone ruining sales, but Da-hye yells at him to be quiet, catching everyone off guard. She excuses herself to take care of an important matter, and Hae-joon notes that she’s not he woman he knew.
In the stairwell, Da-hye looks up the tracking number for the package and finds that Young-soo sent this mysterious package to “Jung Flower-nim.” Before she can put together any clues, she overhears a pair of workers eating on a floor above. They’re scared that they’ll be caught eating there, but they’re even more afraid of the rumored ghost of Young-soo. They suspect that he’s following his widowed wife.
Da-hye begins to tear up, and Hae-joon asks aloud who’s spreading these rumors. The workers run away, and Da-hye tries to avoid Hae-joon. But he stops her and asks if she doesn’t get mad. She admits that she does and expresses her anger towards him. Why does he act this way towards her after vowing to find the real reason for Young-soo’s death? What did she do that was so wrong?
Hae-joon takes a breath and accuses her for assuming Young-soo did commit suicide or not knowing her husband well enough to know the reason for his death. “And that’s why I don’t like you, ajumma.”
Hm, interesting choice for a first conflict, though not particularly surprising. Based on the context of this conflict, it’s probably a big misunderstanding from Hae-joon/Young-soo’s point of view. Ji-hoon is a good guy who genuinely cared for Young-soo. I think we’ve gotten hints that Ji-hoon was really invested in the mystery of Young-soo’s death, and his care for Young-soo probably translated into his attention for Da-hye. I think Hae-joon knows this internally, so maybe his sudden change of behavior has more to do with his sense of betrayal from Da-hye, who outwardly has accepted her husband’s suicide. It’s a compelling question to ask though: Is it better to accept Young-soo’s death as suicide or find out the real reason for his death? For the sake of Da-hye’s sanity, which option is better?
While it’s not the most interesting of conflicts, I do like this affair speculation for the hilarity. Just off the bat, it makes Ji-hoon coupled with Hae-joon, and I find it hilarious to see Rain call his own name (Jung Ji-hoon), making it extra meta for our audience. The pettiness in the little acts of revenge crack me up. They’re pretty cheap laughs, but I enjoy watching adults — especially dead adults who have returned from the dead with a purpose — wasting their time being immature.
Overall, I love how our cast is willing to go all in with their performances. I can just sense how much fun they’re having with the characters. They put their full range of emotion and comedy to use, and it makes the show so much fun. They make the best of their character confusion, which could end up being a big mess in the wrong hands, and the result is gold.
For comedy purposes, the body sex confusion is great, but I find especially interesting in Yi-yeon and Hong-nan/Gi-tak’s chemistry. In this cultural context and story, I do think Yi-yeon would have been more wary to let a stranger into her life if he were male, so Gi-tak disguised as “younger sister” allows for smoother progress. Their growing relationship definitely has more of a sisterly bond vibe but undoubtedly with romantic undertones. That’s what made their almost-kiss scene so interesting and confusing, since the Yi-yeon and Hong-nan dynamic is so different from the Yi-yeon and Gi-tak dynamic. At the same time, we know that Gi-tak is Hong-nan. Confused yet?
Of all the partnerships in the drama, my favorite has to be the ajusshi couple. They keep each other in check and have each other’s back, as colleagues in death. In the afterlife, they’ve only got each other, and turns out, they’ll probably be helpful to each other. We didn’t get to see our ajusshis in this episode, and I hope we get to see more of them because they’re precious.
I really like how this drama just works, despite its ridiculous premise. It knows it’s a comedy, but there are just enough poignant moments for me to take the characters seriously. They’re on this impossible journey to reveal the conspiracies behind their deaths, but absolutely nothing is self-motivated. It’s for those they left behind, for those who still hurt because of their absence. The drama has a great way of getting that across, and that makes me care for our dead partners in crime. I’m on board for their journey to find peace for those they left behind before officially crossing over the afterlife, even though we’ve got a soju and chicken stealing reaper ready to bring them back at a moment’s notice.
- Come Back, Ajusshi: Episode 4
- 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