Tomorrow With You: Episode 16 (Final)
It’s time to take one last trip with this show, which has taken us for quite a ride on its narrative tracks. Never has capturing a moment in time been so important than in this finale, where one instant can mean doom and gloom or happiness and rainbows for our couple. Each of our characters knows that they’ve got one shot to focus on saving whomever they love most, but is it enough to change the course of fate once and for all?
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
February 2019. Ma-rin writes another email to So-joon, telling him of how everything he said would come true did: the Duck Ramyun fervor, the most recent presidential election, and the Starcraft match between Lim Yo-hwan versus AlphaCraft, which she and Ki-doong spoiled for Se-young.
All the futuristic items So-joon bought for her now feel like things of the past, and she worries their time together might someday feel like that, too. Like the other emails, she schedules this one to send in February 2022.
That’s the date So-joon comes to in a hospital bed in his own home. He wonders where Ma-rin is and believes this must be a dream. It turns out the woman we saw out in the patio is his caretaker and his doctor tells Ki-doong and Se-young that So-joon was conscious for only a few moments.
Se-young points out that this is the fourth time this month So-joon has shown some activity after being comatose for two years. The doctor agrees that So-joon’s case is an anomaly; So-joon was found on the tracks severely bleeding, yet he didn’t show any other signs that would keep him in a coma for this long.
As Ki-doong and Se-young leave (he adorably takes her purse and sticks in hand in her coat pocket), he reminds her that this So-joon from the past has stayed with them for too long. She admits there are times when she thinks that So-joon is better off being in a coma than waking up to a grim reality where it will soon be three years since Ma-rin’s death. What.
He agrees that they can remain optimistic, and So-joon can choose to either return to his present or live here in 2022.
So-joon’s monitors act up again later that night, but this time So-joon starts coughing. He wakes again in the morning to see Ki-doong by his bedside and asks, “What year is it?” Ki-doong stammers in shock at his friend looking back at him and replies, “2022.”
One month later, March 2022. As So-joon rides the subway, he narrates that he’s lived in the future for one month now but he still can’t return to the time he disappeared from. Ki-doong told him that So-joon reappeared on November 30, 2019, exactly three years after Director Kim was apprehended.
So-joon realized that he skipped past his “last day,” and figured he’d been in a coma since then because he occasionally heard voices. He gave Ki-doong a belated congratulations on his marriage to Se-young, and Ki-doong asked why So-joon didn’t once ask about Ma-rin.
So-joon didn’t want to talk about it, guessing that Ma-rin had met her demise on March 25, 2019. He now lives in a future where Ma-rin no longer exists, and he isn’t able to go back to the year when Ma-rin was still alive.
Back in the present, Ma-rin worries about her eyesight because things that are level appear off-balance to her and vice versa. But her attention is turned to So-ri, who’s been reading about someone online who goes by the handle “Kkot-soonie” and has accurately predicted a number of events.
Ma-rin pulls up a livestream of a broadcast jockey dressed in regal robes who wishes to know who “Kkot-soonie” is. HA, it’s Secretary Hwang. Ma-rin recognizes him and writes off the story, but So-ri swears that all of the predictions have come true, including some unsolvable crimes. Why, Kkot-soonie even uploaded a photo of Duck Ramyun a year before it actually became popular. LOL.
So-ri is convinced that Kkot-soonie must be a time traveler whereas the real Kkot-soonie sighs, wondering how the netizens managed to find all of those hidden comments she posted. But Kkot-soonie has recently gone quiet, making people wonder if she’s traveled to the future, and Ma-rin barks at her to get back to work.
Secretary Hwang still works for Director Wang, who insists that he paid for his own night out last night. He’s sick of his nagging secretary making sure that he’s an upright businessman, but after having worked for a man who embezzled company funds, can you blame him?
Ma-rin worries that her predictions might get her incriminated, remembering when she posted them in the first place. So-joon expressed the same worry that her warnings will backfire, and they bickered over whether or not they should intervene in other people’s lives.
Ma-rin and So-joon fought over the laptop until she collapsed on top of him. He remarked that this was a risque position, and she sighed that it must’ve been hard for him to keep so many secrets about the future to himself over the years.
She pressed an ear to his heart so it could vent, and when he asked what his heart said, she replied that it often felt lonely and forlorn, but felt better because she was there. He laughed while she kept listening, and he hugged her tight.
Ma-rin meets Ki-doong and Se-young for celebratory drinks later that night, where they laugh at the comments about her. Ki-doong dampens the mood by saying that So-joon should’ve been here for this, and Ma-rin says So-joon would’ve berated her for posting so many predictions online.
She chuckles that there isn’t anything to tell now anyway, and jokes that she can’t even come clean. She admits that her upcoming photo exhibition makes her think of So-joon because it would’ve been nice if he were here to see it.
Her smile doesn’t fade until after she sends the married couple off, and buys more beer at a convenience store, where a couple bicker over who should pay. Ma-rin returns home and feeds the robot vacuum tissues while she continues to drink.
Over in March 2022, So-joon takes the subway, praying that it will take him back to the present this time. But it doesn’t work. He shares his woes with Ki-doong, telling him that even if he could go back, he’d only have two days before Ma-rin’s death.
Ki-doong has the hard task of advising his friend to move on and live out his life here in the future. What if So-joon manages to return to 2019 but isn’t able to save Ma-rin? But then he takes it back when So-joon asks what he’d do if it was Se-young.
So-joon doesn’t know what to do, worried that Ma-rin must’ve felt so alone. Ki-doong remembers that Ma-rin did think of him in her final days, but this is something out of So-joon’s hands.
“So I should live here alone?” So-joon asks. “My home is there. I’m supposed to be where Ma-rin is! Even if I could see her for one hour, no, even ten minutes… I’d really want to go back.”
As So-joon returns to his robot vacuum in his dark, empty house, Ma-rin decides to schedules her next email to So-joon for three years from now. So-joon reads it in his office, as Ma-rin writes that she’s a bit tipsy right now and wonders if he’s been cheating in the future.
She reminds him that they were supposed to watch the fireworks together on March 25, 2019, two days from now. He cracks a smile when she asks if he’s having the time of his life in the future with the hovercars and orders him to come back soon.
He looks at the desk where Ma-rin has left him a message: “I miss you.” He then reads all the emails Ma-rin sent him over the years and sobs.
So-joon visits the tree dedicated to Ma-rin, noting that while not much the future hasn’t changed much, he finds it unfamiliar territory without Ma-rin by his side. Not too far away lies Doo-shik’s marker, listed under his real name, Song Doo-il, and died on March 25, 2019.
Ma-rin arrives on the opening day of her photo exhibition and worries that no one has arrived. Her first guest is the photographer who once wrote her off, and as it turns out, the person who helped her get an award.
She still remembers the day So-joon brought Ma-rin to her studio, and admits that she genuinely wanted to take Ma-rin under her wing. She can see that Ma-rin’s talents blossomed without her.
It isn’t long before the gallery is full of guests, including Ki-doong and Se-young, who gift her with a bouquet. Even Gun-sook congratulates her, and Secretary Hwang hangs back in a corner.
In 2022, So-joon arrives at the Seoul Station stop only to find that it’s currently under construction. He sneaks in anyway, but is stopped by a construction worker. He makes up a weak excuse and tries to bribe the man, but that backfires and soon a whole group tries to usher him out.
So-joon blows past them and makes a run for it down the tunnel, determined to make it back to Ma-rin. And this time, he succeeds in hurtling back to 2019.
Ma-rin isn’t waiting outside the platform at Namyeong Station, but he need only run outside to see her standing by the subway crash memorial. He hollers, “Song Ma-rin!” and runs into her arms.
She breaks away, thinking that he’s from the past, and walks away. But So-joon follows her, saying that even if he were to travel to the past, he wouldn’t break up with her. He doesn’t regret meeting her, but he remembers how troubled he was when she lied to him about why they should’ve broken up.
Ma-rin stops in her steps as So-joon calls out, “You told my past self to break up with you, and my future self to return! That’s really like you, Song Ma-rin.” She turns and asks who he is.
Tears fill her eyes when he asks how she could send him a hundred emails. So-joon cries, “I won’t go out with Future Ma-rin. I got the email you sent yesterday three years into the future. You told me to hurry back!”
Ma-rin grabs him in an embrace and wails in his arms. He apologizes for taking so long, and she shrieks, “Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you?”
They return home together, and Ma-rin swoops in to kiss him. He returns the kiss, and they smile at one another between kisses as they make their way toward the bedroom.
Ki-doong is working late at the office when he gets a photo of So-joon making a silly face, informing his friend of his return. He runs over to Se-young’s office to tell her the good news. She’s utterly relieved, and Ki-doong says their friend has one more surprise for them: the winning lottery numbers in March 2022.
Gun-sook meets with Secretary Hwang, explaining that she came up from Jeju to be here for Ma-rin’s photo exhibition. Secretary Hwang admits he still suffers from nightmares, but he’s gained some internet fame as a broadcast jockey.
She’s well aware of his livestream, but she wants to know more about the mysterious Kkot-soonie. He doesn’t know that much either and provides Gun-sook with some encouraging words and agrees to lend an ear whenever she likes.
After business time, Ma-rin is caught up on how So-joon was doing in 2022. He assures her that she was a great caretaker and believes that their future will be brighter now that he’s come back to her.
He asks her how she’s been doing, happy to hear that she won an award for her work. She says things haven’t been too hard for her, then amends that statement: “It was sort of hard, but I suddenly can’t seem to remember any of it because I’m so happy.”
He asks to see the exhibition, stopping at the set of candid photos of himself. He teasingly asks how she handled missing him so much, and she answers, “You came to me whenever I was about to forget you.”
She explains that he would come find her from the past, whether that was a video message or dumplings or a chance encounter. “And whenever I missed you so much, I even went around looking for you.”
She saw his past selves wait outside their house or head to Ki-doong’s place or by Seoul Station. She remembers their strained conversation on the street nearby Ki-doong’s old place, and confesses that she was out looking for him that day.
March 25, 2019. Ma-rin’s parents are on their way to see their daughter’s photo exhibition. Mom reminds her husband of how he left them, and when she puts her arm through his, he wriggles it out to grab her by the shoulder. Cute.
Both of them are taken aback to see So-joon there, and Mom greets her son-in-law with a hug. While Ma-rin drags Mom away, her father calls So-joon out to berate him on being foolish enough to return to this day.
But So-joon tells him to give it a rest since time is of the essence, because today is also Ma-rin’s father’s last day. Ma-rin had told him how her father was a fellow survivor of the 2009 subway crash, which means they all share the same fate.
Ma-rin’s father corrects him, saying that he lives for three more days. But So-joon says no one else knows what will happen today, and ever since he learned of his ability to time travel, there wasn’t a single day when he didn’t worry about the future. Oddly enough, he feels at peace today of all days, as if what he has now is enough.
He won’t give up hope since he has to take Ma-rin to the fireworks show tonight and there’s so much he wants to do with her. He’s told that the moment he chooses to give up will be the end, and says that he isn’t giving up—he plans on spending a happy day together with Ma-rin today.
Ma-rin’s father plans on being a better parent to his daughter once they get past this hurdle today, and asks if So-joon remembers the story about his daughter who lived happily with her husband.
So-joon remembers that story as the one used to coerce him into a relationship with Ma-rin. It’s only now that Ma-rin’s father admits that story was wishful thinking, but he honestly thought that they looked good together and would be happy together, whether that would be for one year or a decade. “But I don’t know if I did the right thing,” he gulps.
So-joon thanks him for bringing them together, promising to call him “Father” if they should see each other tomorrow: “I wish you the best of luck… Father.”
Ma-rin comes outside to collect So-joon and hopes that everyone can go out to dinner soon. So-joon tells her in a low voice to speak to her father some more, but Ma-rin says they have to go.
She takes him to City Hall, reminding him how they were supposed to register their marriage the day he disappeared. She grumbles to find the form right next to the divorce form, but brightens when they fill out the document.
Ma-rin then takes out her camera to record this historic moment, and after telling So-joon to smile, she asks how he feels about making their marriage official. “I’m happy,” he says solemnly before adding, “I love you.”
She’s still smiling when they go out for coffee afterward, giggling how they’re officially a family. So-joon points out a poem written on the table, entitled “Visitor” by Jung Hyun-jong:
In truth, one’s visit is a tremendous thing
for he comes with his past, present, and future
for it is because he comes with his whole life
Ma-rin says that sounds like them and thinks they can leave a message behind like this one. Another patron chimes in to inform her that’s a famous poem, and So-joon lets out a stifled laugh.
They laugh about it outside because they both had no idea it was a poem by a famed poet. He asks what they should do next, and she says they should go see the fireworks. He agrees to take the bus there, and she runs ahead of him to find the bus stop. Waitaminute, you’re not gonna go after her?!
Ma-rin reaches the street corner, where a man bumps into her, causing their marriage certificate to fly out of her hands. She runs into the street to pick it up and hold it up victoriously, and So-joon runs into the street after her and holds her close. Shit, you can’t move five feet?!
But then the oncoming car swerves to avoid them: it’s Ma-rin’s father, who stops right in right of oncoming traffic. So-joon and Ma-rin lift their heads to see him smile at them… just before the cars crash into him.
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” we hear So-joon narrate. “Just like the guilt I suffered when I lost my parents in the Namyeong Station crash… Ma-rin and I will face many painful days to come because of this day. But still we’ll forget… how precious this day was.”
March 2022. Ma-rin and So-joon argue before breakfast, him complaining that Ma-rin hasn’t bothered to learn how to cook, her stating that he’s been spending an awful lot on commuter costs—he’s still time traveling, isn’t he?
She complains that his constant trips are why they haven’t been able to get pregnant yet because he puts his manhood through so much on the subway. She reminds him that they even wrote up a contract and she feels disappointed whenever he breaks his promises to her.
So-joon argues that she only allows him to travel to the future to buy her pretty things, and gets worked up when she says he hardly works. She tells him to stop yelling, and he can tell that she’s upset again.
Ma-rin says he’s changed so much, but doesn’t allow him to slip away to leave things the way they are. But he says he has to provide, so she barks at him to leave and pushes him out of the way.
In the car, So-joon wonders what he did to deserve being yelled at all the time, then his phone alerts him to another one of Ma-rin’s scheduled emails addressed to him. He pulls over to check it. As he smiles, we hear him say that he still receives Ma-rin’s emails from the past from time to time… back when every second meant so much.
He calls to apologize to Ma-rin and ask his Kkot-soonie out on a date. She asks, “When?” “Today,” So-joon replies.
Heartbreakingly beautiful. My heart was caught in my throat for the majority of this finale because while I yearned for a happy ending for a couple, I honestly thought they might not live to see it. Things did look dire when So-joon was trapped in the future, unable to do anything but wait as the present kept going. I could feel So-joon’s deep sense of loneliness, having to live in a broken future that didn’t include Ma-rin.
I’m not quite sure how So-joon knew that he’d make it back in time before he read all of Ma-rin’s scheduled emails, but then again, the writing has only passively suggested the rules of time travel—perhaps the same amount of time seem to pass regardless of when So-joon is. It certainly seemed like Fate was on their side when So-joon wanted to return to Ma-rin most, and just in time to spend a short time together before D-Day. Given my deep love for this couple and my deeper desire to see them reunited, however, I didn’t mind the idea of So-joon’s love and yearning winning out to bring them back together.
Even though I knew something big would’ve had to happen if our couple had any shot of being together for the long haul, I honestly thought that So-joon was prepared to die with her. His words about peace and appreciating the time he and Ma-rin had left together sounded like a dying man about to breathe his last breath. But if I’m to step back and look upon their relationship as a whole, I’m far more impressed by Ma-rin, whose life was changed forever because our hero thought it should. She opened her heart to a man who originally had no plans of getting involved in her life, and waited for her time traveling husband to come back to her. Even in her most hopeless of moments about their future together, she was still fighting for him, desperately hoping that he’d be able to come back. Her concern was rooted in their present whereas So-joon clung to the future. I thought it sweet of her to try and catch glimpses of So-joon whenever she could despite knowing that those time traveling So-joons wasn’t the one who disappeared.
Then there’s Ki-doong, who I absolutely love to pieces. Not only was he So-joon’s confidante, he also became Ma-rin’s partner in crime. His friendships with them made me laugh and cry, and I can’t ever forget him for asking the hard-hitting questions about time travel and about life. His scenes tore at my heartstrings, and he was always present with So-joon no matter what year his buddy came from. I admit to being upset with him being so hung up on Se-young in the beginning, but her character became much easier to watch and more relevant once she got together with Ki-doong. A part of me is sad that it took Doo-shik’s sacrifice for our couple to have a bright future, since that means that Mom is once again alone. He couldn’t have possibly known that they would be at that street corner at that time and be hit by the other car in the opposite direction… or did he? I suppose we’ll never know, like how we’ll never know how or when Doo-shik’s time traveling ability began.
While I won’t write up Tomorrow With You as one of my favorite attempts at time travel alone, I can say I greatly enjoyed the romance between our main couple. Shin Mina and Lee Je-hoon shared an electrifying chemistry onscreen that even made the most mundane moments of married life feel real and normal. You could tell how much fun the actors had with these characters, and I swear I caught a moment or two of either Shin Mina or Lee Je-hoon about to crack a smile. We needed to feel So-joon and Ma-rin’s magnetic need to be with one another as well as a reason to root for them to be together. Both Shin and Lee knocked it out of the park in that regard, and I feel like I need to watch a ton of behind-the-scenes clips to get my fill.
Tomorrow With You may not have been a perfect ride, but I can say with confidence that I loved how beautiful the melancholic and contemplative beats of the story were played out in the show’s direction. In many ways, I felt like our resident time traveler trying my best to remain present while my mind was worrying about the future. But then I’m reminded that time only moves in one direction for us, so the best thing we can do is to appreciate every moment and hope that our actions now will help create an even better future.
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 15
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 14
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 13
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 12
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 11
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 10
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 9
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 8
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 7
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 6
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 5
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 4
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 3
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 2
- Tomorrow With You: Episode 1