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Go Back Spouses: Episode 3

This show cracks me up. Now that Jin-joo and Ban-do have confirmed that their sudden time slip wasn’t some crazy dream, they’re determined to relive their youth the way they’ve always wanted—the way marriage never allowed them to. And with their colorful group of friends, it’s guaranteed to be a good time.

EPISODE 3: “Finding spring again”

In the year 2004, sometime in the beginning of our couple’s marriage, Jin-joo is stuck at home contemplating the bills, and Ban-do is running around a hospital trying to complete a sale. All the while, Bo-reum is living it up in a night club, and Dok-jae and Jae-woo are picking up a couple of girls.

Jin-joo narrates that people get certain rights they can enjoy during this season of their lives. Those people get to see the beauty in life instead of the evil. “For us,” she continues, “that passionate and youthful time that everyone enjoyed was like the spring that had passed without giving us a chance to look at the flowers.”

We rejoin our characters in 1999, just after they dispersed from their group date. Bo-reum and Jae-woo have some drinks, and it’s clear that Jae-woo is intimidated. He watches Bo-reum down her drinks like water, while he pathetically sputters as he tries to keep up.

If that didn’t scare him, her disgust with the restaurant’s music does. He shrinks in his seat as she rants about the artist and how terrible it is for the guy to sing about saying whatever he wants as long as he’s drunk and won’t remember it later.

Jae-woo insists that he would never do something like that, which just amuses her. He tells her to take it easy with her drinks… and the next thing we know, Bo-reum is left with a passed out Jae-woo. Ha.

Bo-reum has no choice but to piggyback Jae-woo all the way back to campus, cursing through her teeth the entire time. She dumps him at the male dorms and leaves without another thought.

The next morning, Jae-woo wakes up in the dorm lobby, with no idea as to how he got there. Welp, he’s definitely going to regret that.

A scream erupts from Jin-joo’s room, and her mom and unni come running in to find her with puffy red eyes (after spending all of last night crying about Seo-jin, her son in the future timeline). But Jin-joo is more concerned with the fact that she still looks young.

As Jin-joo puts her goodbye letter to Mom away, her dad cautiously sticks his head in and asks if she’s angry with him. She insists that she isn’t, though her face says otherwise. He offers a bonus to her allowance, but again, she says no and walks away. Dad wonders why she’s been so weird around him lately, and then he stuffs the cash in her jacket pocket anyway.

Meanwhile, Ban-do sits in his room, wondering how long his trip to the past will last. He hopes it’s a permanent thing, only to realize that would mean he’d have to serve in the military again. But he smiles, thinking that would still be better than being divorced. He takes a look in the mirror and figures that it’s time he have some fun.

Ban-do sits his family down and demands that his parents hand over all their assets. They stare at him, their mouths agape, as he promises to bring back a fortune once he invests in neighborhoods that are sure to be big in the future.

But, of course, that only angers Dad, and he stalks off to his room to retrieve a hammer. Mom desperately tries to hold Dad back as he chases Ban-do around the living room, while his noona just sits back like this is an everyday occurrence, lol.

A little later, Ban-do leaves his house with a huge wad of cash. Since his first plan failed, he resorted to selling all his prized possessions, such as his computer, VHS tapes, and CDs.

Ban-do sees his bus take off without him, but he just smiles, accepting the challenge. He breaks into a run and manages to catch up with the bus. Dok-jae sees him out his window and yells for the driver to stop, but when he does, Ban-do runs right past them.

Enjoying his restored energy, Ban-do happily shouts, “All right! I won!” and runs the rest of the way. As he runs down the street, Jin-joo rolls by in a taxi. She tells herself that she should find Ban-do to figure out what’s going on, oblivious to the fact that he’s just outside.

Once she gets to campus, she’s surprised that the taxi driver won’t accept credit cards. She insists that she definitely paid with one yesterday (when she got into Nam-gil’s car), but agrees to pay with cash. But it’s only then that she realizes that she left her wallet in Nam-gil’s car, so she searches her pockets until she finds the money Dad left her.

After she pays, Jin-joo finds a note from Dad saying that he’ll talk to Mom about buying a phone, but she just shoves it back into her pocket. She then catches sight of Nam-gil arriving to school and quickly hides behind a trash can, afraid to face him after their awkward encounter the day before.

Friends Bo-reum and Seol surprise her, crouching down to see what she’s looking at. And then, another figure comes by to surprise them: It’s Dok-jae, with Jae-woo close behind, wondering what they’re doing by the trash can.

Jin-joo waves her foot at him, trying to shoo him away before Nam-gil notices them. And sure enough, Nam-gil turns to see everyone crowded by the trash can, with Jin-joo’s leg still sticking out. Not thinking much of it, he goes on his way.

Now that the coast is clear, everyone stands up. Dok-jae is happy to introduce himself to the ladies again, though his smile drops when Bo-reum points out the bandage on his forehead.

She correctly guesses it’s due to the beating he got from the “bomb” at the group date. He asks why she didn’t stop the beating if she saw them, to which she answers that it wasn’t her problem. Heh.

As the girls leave, Bo-reum turns back and tells Jae-woo that she’ll be seeing him soon. Jin-joo also turns back to ask if the boys have seen Ban-do, but they can only shrug.

Dancer Seo-young has her usual group of fanboys crowd by the studio door, though her friends mention that the guy in the yellow uniform hasn’t shown up yet. In flashback, we see that Ban-do had tried multiple times to walk up to her and hand her a drink, only to give up and run away.

Ban-do finally makes his entrance, watching Seo-young from the door. He has an aura of confidence, knowing very well that things are different now. He walks up to Seo-young and coolly introduces himself, much to her surprise.

He gives her the drink he’d tried to hand over so many times, which she accepts. He then asks for her phone number, saying he’d like to greet her as someone he knows from now on. Smooooth.

Ban-do shows off the number to Jae-woo and Dok-jae, but they don’t buy it. Dok-jae dials the number to see who it really belongs to, only to hang up in a panic when it’s Seo-young’s voice on the other end.

They wonder where his sudden confidence came from, and he responds that he’s not the same man he was before—he’s got the wisdom that comes with age and the young body that’s as strong as Iron Man’s suit. His buddies stare at him blankly, having no idea who Iron Man even is.

They ask if he confessed to Seo-young, but Ban-do merely says that there are certain steps you take before you ease your way into dating. Jae-woo and Dok-jae burst into laughter at that, saying that he should just confess and end it right there. Ban-do sighs at their ridiculous logic.

Jin-joo and her friends walk into the auditorium, where she finally finds Ban-do. She walks up to him and the boys and tells him that they need to talk, but Ban-do says he has nothing to say to her and waves her off.

So Jin-joo goes to her seat, staring daggers at Ban-do the whole time. Their professor hands out an assignment where they jot down the name of a person they wish to observe and label all the compartments of the brain as they view them. At this, Jin-joo gets an evil glint in her eyes.

Poor Dok-jae gets his paper filled with insults toward his hair, while Ban-do gets his filled with words like “coward” and “cheapskate.” The word “cheapskate” echoes in his head as he remembers that Jin-joo had called him that numerous times throughout their marriage, and his eyes meet Jin-joo’s as he realizes that she’s come from the future too.

After class, Ban-do drags Jin-joo outside so they can speak alone. He calls her out on ignoring him when they’ve both been here all this time, but Jin-joo reminds him that he did the same thing, calling him a cheapskate again. He shudders to hear those words come out of her now that she’s young again.

Jin-joo says that they should be figuring out why they’re back in 1999, but Ban-do insists that they should feel grateful. He thinks they should live their lives to the fullest now, away from each other. Jin-joo seems a bit hurt by his words, but she puffs out her chest and agrees. And with that, they say their goodbyes.

Once out of sight, Ban-do wonders if he was too harsh on her. He remembers their tearful phone call the night they decided to get a divorce, when Jin-joo had said that she was so unhappy. “Oh, whatever,” he tells himself. “It turned out well. She did say she was unhappy.”

In her next class, Jin-joo can’t stop thinking about Ban-do’s suggestion that they live their lives separately. She snaps out of it when her professor says that they can never get their youth back—and with that said, he has everyone start on a bucket list. Jin-joo gets to writing, though we don’t get to see what the first thing on her list is.

Later, as the girls chill out in their dorm, Jin-joo whines that they should go out instead of wasting time inside. She asks what the kids do these days, which gets a laugh out of Bo-reum. Bo-reum jokes that these “kids” go drinking and clubbing. Jin-joo likes the sound of that, and suggests they go clubbing tonight.

Bo-reum and Seol are shocked to hear that—Jin-joo had sworn to never enter a night club—but they’re more than willing to break Jin-joo’s rule for a night of fun.

So the girls get all glammed up and make their way out of campus, turning heads as they go. They’re all smiles until they reach a treacherous downward trek, looking down at their monstrous high heels in dismay.

Bo-reum and Seol take baby steps down the hill, but Jin-joo decides to brave it and march down confidently. But she soon loses her footing and starts speeding down the hill with no way to stop.

She yells for everyone to get out of the way, but one figure stays where he is, watching her speed toward him: Nam-gil.

Jin-joo runs right into Nam-gil’s arms, and immediately freezes in shock. Nam-gil then releases her, saying that he probably smells. Embarrassed, Jin-joo says that he doesn’t smell at all, but he just walks past her with a blank face. However, once he’s out of sight, Nam-gil’s expression turns flustered as he wonders what kind of person Jin-joo really is.

Ban-do and his friends stand at the bottom of the hill, having witnessed what happened. Dok-jae and Jae-woo joke that they should wait around to catch more falling ladies, but Ban-do just watches Jin-joo with an unreadable expression. Jealousy, perhaps?

At the night club, Jin-joo is mesmerized by what’s she’s been missing out on. She’s happily dancing at their table, and when she notices other people waving a light around, she picks the light up on their table and waves it, unaware that it’s used to signal the waiters.

When a waiter comes running, he suggests that they try “booking” (a Korean practice in which women are sent to rooms to socialize with men). Jin-joo is all for it, and she allows the waiter to drag her and her friends to a private room.

In the club’s bathroom, future doctor Park Hyun-suk answers a call from his girlfriend and lies that he’s at the library. Afterward, he joins his friend outside and asks if he’s spotted any decent girls yet (ugh, you pig). It’s then that he notices Jin-joo as she and her friends follow their waiter.

Ban-do and his friends are in the club as well, sitting in their own private room. As they ready themselves for socializing, Ban-do announces that all the drinks are on him. That gets everyone’s spirits up, but as soon as they’re introduced to some women, the mood slowly dissipates.

Dok-jae isn’t interested in his girl, and none of Jae-woo’s girls are interested in him. Instead, all the girls flock over to Ban-do’s side of the room. He’s the life of the party as he tells joke after joke.

Meanwhile, Jin-joo and the girls sit with Hyun-suk and his friend, the air awkward. When Hyun-suk asks her age, she almost says “38,” but makes a quick save by asking how old he thinks she is. He makes her blush by guessing that she’s 20, and notes that he’s her oppa since he’s 26.

Jin-joo shyly calls him oppa, earning an incredulous look from Bo-reum. Hyun-suk’s friend likes Bo-reum’s feisty attitude and challenges her with drinks, but the poor fella is passed out before he can even eat his words.

A techno song comes on, and Bo-reum urges the girls to come out and dance. Before Jin-joo can leave, Hyun-suk grabs her wrist and hands her a note with his phone number. “Let’s see each other again,” he tells her. She smiles and nods.

The girls get on the dance floor, and while Jin-joo seems unsure at first, she’s soon whipping her hair around just like everyone else. And only a few feet away, Ban-do and the boys are hittin’ it hard too.

In fact, Ban-do gets so into the music that he accidentally bumps into Bo-reum. He and Jin-joo frown at the sight of each other. Jin-joo tries to dance away from him, but Ban-do actually dances her off to the side to ask what she’s doing here.

Jin-joo scowls that Ban-do must’ve had such a hard time keeping it all in, seeing how much he’s enjoying himself. Ban-do says that as a matter of fact, he did. And he figured that he might as well come to the club if he wants to meet another woman and start a new life.

He looks at Jin-joo’s getup and tells her that an ajumma like her will never get a man looking like that. He dances back over to his friends while Jin-joo watches in annoyance.

Back on campus, Nam-gil stands at the bottom of the hill, remembering his run-in with Jin-joo and his pounding heart as he held her. His friend finds him and asks what he’s staring at.

Nam-gil starts to ask his friend if he’s ever hugged a woman before, but he thinks better of it and suggests they leave. Aw no… You’re gonna break my heart, aren’t you?

Jin-joo is off getting drunk by herself while the girls hang out with Ban-do and friends. Dok-jae makes the mistake of challenging Bo-reum to a drinking competition (seriously, when will these guys learn?) and ends up choking on his drink before declaring her the winner.

As Dok-jae passes out, Ban-do can’t help but laugh. Bo-reum takes offense to this and asks if he’s trying to challenge her too, but he knowingly refuses and says that he’s definitely not as strong a drinker.

Bo-reum smiles at that, and then her gaze goes to Jae-woo. She asks him if he remembers the night they went out. He stutters that he does, and Bo-reum clearly sees through the lies. She says that if he remembers, he should keep the promise he made. “Promise?” he asks, unsure.

Just then, a waiter comes barging in to tell them that their friend has gotten way too drunk.

Jin-joo sways over to the DJ booth and switches the music off, getting the attention of all the club-goers. She grabs a microphone when Ban-do and Bo-reum come running out to see what’s going on. Jin-joo spots Ban-do standing up on the second floor and holds up the slip of paper with Hyun-suk’s number. She brags that a nice oppa said she was pretty and points Hyun-suk out in the crowd.

Ban-do’s amusement is wiped from his face the second he sees his future boss. He almost looks like he’s about to march over to him when Jin-joo’s tone turns serious. “What are you going to do about Seo-jin?” she says into the mic. At that, Ban-do’s blood turns cold. He looks back at Jin-joo, tears forming in his eyes… and then Dok-jae comes out of nowhere and starts puking over the railing. Ha! Also, ewwwwww. Way to ruin the moment.

Dok-jae is quickly thrown out of the club, along with Ban-do and Jae-woo. As Jae-woo tries and fails to pick Dok-jae off the street, Ban-do watches Jin-joo being taken away by her friends.

Jae-woo asks who this “Seo-jin” guy is that Jin-joo mentioned, but Ban-do doesn’t answer. He takes off, wanting to walk back alone. With Jin-joo’s words still in his head, Ban-do is overwhelmed with the reminder of his son, and he stops walking as he lets his tears fall.

The next day at school, two radio show hosts switch on their next song before scurrying off to the bathroom. Outside, Ban-do finds Jin-joo and drags her into the room, insisting that they need to talk.

To Jin-joo’s confusion, the first thing Ban-do says is to hand over “that guy’s” number. He warns her that Hyun-suk is complete trash, but she doesn’t understand why he’s suddenly trying to butt in when he was the one who suggested that they live separate lives.

Ban-do says that Jin-joo’s the one who had to go and announce their divorce to an entire club. He says that she might as well put up a sign that they also have a kid. As he continues that they’ll both be doomed if this news actually gets out, we see that the microphones in the showroom have been getting their entire conversation.

The entire campus listens as Ban-do and Jin-joo argue, Seo-young and Nam-gil included.

Epilogue: The honeymoon phase in 2004.

In a continuation of the opening scene, Ban-do and Jin-joo relax with some beer after a long day. Since they’ve used up this month’s expenses, Ban-do worries how they’ll get by. Jin-joo smiles and says they can get by with her love, making Ban-do lean over and kiss her cheek. Jin-joo kisses his cheek in return. Cuuuute.

Jin-joo wonders what they’d be doing if they weren’t married, and Ban-do says that they’d be spending frivolously like everyone else. Jin-joo nods, saying she wants to do that too. Ban-do asks if there’s something else she wants to do, and she asks him the same question, so they agree to say their answers simultaneously.

At the count of three, they both declare that they would want to go to a night club, only to laugh at their identical answers. They continue to smile at each other, their eyes filled with love.

We see Ban-do and Jin-joo dancing in the night club again, having the time of their lives. Jin-joo narrates, “Our youth, which was like the spring that had passed without giving us the chance to see the flowers, went around until it found us again, even more passionate and intense.”

Back in Jin-joo’s home, her journal sits open, with the first thing on her bucket list being to go to a night club. Her mom places a withering cactus back on her desk, saying that she could still revive it.


What a fun episode! And that’s the best compliment I can give this show—it’s so fun and active that there’s never really a moment where I feel even slightly bored. I love that our couple thinks that since they’re “older,” they’re more mature than their college-aged friends. Yet at the same time, they seem as immature as ever. Or, at least, Ban-do does. He’s a hoot to watch, but man, is he a man-child. I’m starting to see why Jin-joo got so frustrated with him the further they were into their marriage. He’s a charming guy, but it’s obvious that he’s kept his mindset from college all this time, and it’s not the mindset one should be having when he’s a husband and a father.

But again, he’s just so damn funny. A lot of the comedy here works so well and it hits us so often—there was a point where my cheeks hurt from laughing too long. Ban-do and Jin-joo are great together, and when you add their crazy friends and family to the bunch, they’re even better. The families really interest me, Jin-joo’s in particular. I’m curious to know why she’s so angry with her father—he seems like a nice enough man, but she’s so cold toward him that my first instinct is to believe that he did something terrible like cheat on Mom. Or, who knows, maybe it has something to do with Mom’s death? I want to know!

The friends were the true highlight of the episode, though. Bo-reum is fierce and badass, and Dok-jae is… well, poor Dok-jae is a hot mess, but he’s quickly becoming my favorite character. Anytime Lee Yi-kyung shows up onscreen, I get the urge to laugh, and not just because of those luscious locks of his. As funny as he and the other side characters are, I hope they’re not just here for the comedy. With our main couple going through some serious issues, I’d like to see everyone—the girls and the guys—step up as friends. I didn’t get a good sense of Dok-jae and Jae-woo being all that supportive in the present timeline, so I’ll be looking for some change there.

But getting back to our couple, they’ve been viewing this experience as an opportunity to escape each other and live brand new lives. But, of course, changing the past will change the future. So the question is, are these two willing to erase their son from their lives? Now that they’re both considering this, I wonder where it puts them. I’m actually glad that the drama brought up this kind of topic. This couple hates their present lives, and I get that, but having a child in the picture changes everything.

This places a lot of responsibility on their shoulders as they play around in the past. And I can see that they’re starting to wonder if a “better” life is worth losing little Seo-jin. I don’t know how this will affect their relationship with each other, but it’s sure to put some guilt on their minds as they chase after new love interests. If anything, I at least hope that Ban-do and Jin-joo put aside some of their pettiness and figure out exactly what they want to do. We may not know how this time travel works, but methinks Fate saw how unhappy these two were and allowed them the chance to fulfill their bucket lists. As they continue down their lists, they’ll be sure to come back to each other, right?


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