Hi Bye, Mama! : Episode 7
The more our heroine pushes herself into her daughter’s life, the more frustrating it gets for the other characters. Of course, Yuri means well, trying her best to help little Seo-woo, as well as her ghostie friends, but when will she take the time to worry about herself? Her 49 days are dwindling down and she’s yet to face some of her biggest problems.
EPISODE 7: “Where Flowers Bloom and Fall”
In 2013, our two couples enjoy a night out camping, already planning their 60th birthday trip. As everyone beats Geun-sang for failing to bring any real food, Yuri narrates, “Among the countless people in the world, we build relationships with certain people and settle down. I was also blooming like a flower among the people I was surrounded with.”
We see Yuri laughing with her family while watching TV, Yuri laughing with old friends during a reunion — and then, after her death, we see her family unsmiling while watching TV, her friends continuing their reunions while still keeping a plate by her usual spot. As Kang-hwa, Geun-sang, and Hyun-jung cry during her funeral, her narration concludes, “I thought my flower had bloomed firmly and strongly, but it disappeared too quickly.”
Back in the present, Hyun-jung thinks back to when she told Yuri about Min-jung’s plans for a divorce. Yuri didn’t believe it at first, arguing that Min-jung wasn’t that kind of person. Hyun-jung insisted Yuri just think of herself in this situation, but Yuri blurted out that Kang-hwa couldn’t get divorced.
Hyun-jung is still thinking about this, wondering how Yuri knows so much about Min-jung, while sitting outside the convenience store with her hubby and Kang-hwa. The guys are talking about Doctor Jang pretty much saving Kang-hwa’s career, but Kang-hwa looks more distracted than happy.
Hyun-jung is so fed up with Kang-hwa’s attitude that she nearly reveals Min-jung’s secret, but instead she tells him not to strain or suppress himself and return to the old him. “What was the old me like?” he asks emotionlessly. She’s too stunned to answer, so he gets up and leaves for home.
Meanwhile, after crossing paths on the crosswalk, Yuri and Min-jung sit down at a coffee shop. Yuri elaborates her question from the last episode (“Can I?”), saying she wants to be Seo-woo’s school pick-up helper. She can’t help looking guilty as she makes this request, making Min-jung ask why she always acts as if she wronged her.
Min-jung then apologizes, taking Yuri off guard, admitting she remembered the headbutting incident. Yuri smiles and waves it off, saying she’s got a good, strong forehead. The two women laugh, and between them, Seo-woo watches them with the cutest grin on her face.
When they part ways, Min-jung turns to Seo-woo and asks if she likes Yuri, a little sad she seemed so excited to see her. Seo-woo kisses Min-jung’s hand (oh my g’aww) and says, “I like you more, Mommy.” Min-jung smiles, while behind them, Yuri looks on with a conflicted expression.
The next morning, Min-jung hesitantly approaches Kang-hwa and reveals that she took Seo-woo to a learning center, handing him the performance results. She’s worried that Seo-woo may have some problems, but he tells her that it’s no big deal and that all kids progress differently.
Min-jung looks like she wants to argue but puts on a smile and agrees. For a brief second, when Min-jung looks away, Kang-hwa looks at the results with worry too. Min-jung then reveals that Yuri asked to be Seo-woo’s helper, wanting his opinion, and he nervously suggests she do what she wants.
The columbarium ghosts are still stressed as they think up their favors, save for the ghost family. They call dibs on the first favor, taking Yuri to Pil-seung’s apartment building. Yuri hides in the hall until Pil-seung leaves for work (his parents proudly stating that he’s a pilot) and then sneaks inside.
To Yuri’s horror, the apartment is an absolute mess; she shakes her head and says that she can’t possibly clean it. Before she can escape, the ghosts fall into their best tactic and erupt in exaggerated sobs. Haha.
At Seo-woo’s school, one of the kindergarten teachers looks especially sad. We then cut to the columbarium, where her mom and sister are paying their respects to her dad. The dad Pan-seok’s ghost stands by them, beaming with love, and another ghost — his boss Sam-dong — laughs at how pathetic his altar is.
The ghosts watching sigh that the two men are at it again. Apparently, Pan-seok was Sam-dong’s driver and killed them both in a car accident. And Sam-dong obviously won’t ever let Pan-seok live that down. He’s ashamed that their altars are right next to each other, his being far bigger and fancier.
Up in her room, Midongdaek is frustrated with ghost Sang-bong for failing to assist her with fortune readings. He’s still a freshly made ghost, so he can’t see people’s auras, but lucky for him, their next client just so happens to be someone he knows — Geun-sang.
With Sang-bong’s help, Midongdaek impresses Geun-sang by correctly “guessing” he’s a doctor and earns a generous tip. Now trusting her, Geun-sang tells her that his friend recently came back to life.
Panicking, Midongdaek stutters that yeah, that totally happens all the time, and warns him not to mention this to other shamans because it’s lame. Geun-sang, naive as ever, agrees, unknowingly leaving with Sang-bong following him to his car. Oh boy.
Back at Pil-seung’s apartment, Yuri wonders how there can be so much junk without any bugs. The family says that they used their ghost breath to keep the bugs away, and Yuri snaps that the absence of bugs probably encourages Pil-seung to keep things messy. Still, it makes ghost mom Bong-yeon happy that she can at least do this for her son. “I don’t need 49 days like you,” she says, smiling sadly. “Just one. I want to be human just for one day.”
We flash back to 1999, when the family was driving over to Pil-seung’s school to pick him up. They pulled up to the stop light in front of the school, spotting Pil-seung standing on the sidewalk. But as they were making the turn, a Truck of Doom crashed into them, right in front of Pil-seung. Dad Dae-choon and noona Young-shim were killed instantly, but Bong-yeon was still alive as Pil-seung helplessly looked on crying. Bong-yeon managed to gasp out, “Go, baby” before falling into darkness.
Yuri nearly has tears in her eyes listening to this story, and Bong-yeon tells her that there’s no need for her sadness since they’ve both experienced unfair deaths. And while she is jealous that Yuri gets to touch her daughter, she’d rather stay with her son as a ghost all his life than get 49 days and have to go away. Yuri looks even sadder as these words sink in, so Young-shim changes the subject and suggests she get to cleaning.
At the hospital, during lunch break, Kang-hwa is in a daze as he eats his food. He immediately snaps out of it, however, when Geun-sang asks their colleagues if they’ve ever had a friend come back to life. The colleagues get up and walk away, thinking he’s crazy, lol. With them gone, Kang-hwa tells Geun-sang that Yuri asked to be Seo-woo’s helper, and Geun-sang notes that Yuri is sure starting to make things complicated.
Speaking of which, Yuri tells the ghost family that she insisted on being Seo-woo’s helper to get access to the home and get rid of the apartment ghost once and for all. In the middle of their discussion, they hear someone at the door and react quickly.
Yuri hides in the closet, while Pil-seung enters the apartment, having realized today was actually his day off. Naturally, he’s confused to find a clean space and a fully prepared meal on the table.
Over at the columbarium, more of Pan-seok’s family comes to visit his altar, and again, his boss has to give him shit about it. Sam-dong rants that the cheap altars should have a limit on visitors, and granny Gwi-soon scoffs that he’s being ridiculous.
Gwi-soon’s buddy Mi-ja steps up too, putting Sam-dong in his place. He yells that she doesn’t know who she’s talking to, and she throws back, “You’re a ghost. You think you’re still a chairman when you’re dead?” Sam-dong is still huffy, but later when he finds a notice on his altar, we see the real reason why — his burial payment is overdue and his family aren’t responding.
Yuri fails to show up at work because she’s still stuck in Pil-seung’s closet. His family happily watches him enjoy his meal, only to jump up in a panic when he gets up to shower. He goes straight for the bathroom, though, so Yuri gets ready to run. She tries to tie her hair up, but her hair-tie snaps and falls where she can’t see it. She has no time to find it, as Young-shim yells for her to get out.
But then Pil-seung comes out of the bathroom, needing fresh underwear, and the ghosts are yelling for Yuri to hide again. This time, when Pil-seung walks in, he does a double take to the floor — Yuri accidentally kicked her hair-tie out. He grabs a wooden judo sword and prepares to open the closet.
The ghost family screams for Yuri to grab onto the door, but Yuri just ends up tumbling out of the closet, scaring the pants off of Pil-seung. He slams the sword right over her head, giving her an instant nosebleed. It’s only then that he recognizes her, but before he can question her, she passes out.
At the hospital, Kang-hwa decides to go on paternity leave so Min-jung won’t have to hire Yuri. The nurses warn him that this won’t look good when the disciplinary committee just recently cleared him.
We cut to Yuri, having regained consciousness and once again sporting tissue up her nose. She makes up the excuse that she was assigned as Pil-seung’s housekeeper and gets up to leave. Pil-seung stops her and asks if she’ll come back, complimenting the meal she made.
Yuri smirks and says that she didn’t make it, flashing back to Bong-yeon instructing her every move while she was cooking. She then turns and makes her way out of the building, ordering the lingering ghost family to leave her alone. As they scurry off, her expression softens.
She thinks back to before, when she asked the family why they never followed Pil-seung to work. They answered that they were scared being that high up in a plane would send them up to the beyond; they didn’t understand why their son had to be a pilot.
Later, when Yuri was alone in Pil-seung’s room, she found a magazine article about him, the headline reading “Since the family I miss isn’t in this world, I will fly up to them.” She now sighs, feeling bad for the separated family.
Yuri walks back to her hotel, surprised to find Kang-hwa there waiting for her. He takes her out to dinner and afterwards, she tells him he doesn’t have to worry about her like this. “Until when,” he asks. “should I do nothing?” He takes a step closer and asks why she’s only seeing her mom in secret when she obviously misses her.
Kang-hwa thinks they should just tell her mom and Min-jung everything and figure it out from there. Yuri assumes he’s saying all of this because of the pick-up helper business. Rather than explain herself, however, she just tells him that she has to do it. He sighs but, remembering her hugging Seo-woo, reluctantly agrees.
Meanwhile, Hyun-jung and Geun-sang are arguing about the helper business as well, when Geun-sang’s aunt calls. Apparently, his aunt is a shaman and she wants to know more about his session with Midongdaek. She warns him to be careful since he attracts spirits (while Sang-bong is standing right in front of him, lol).
The next day, ghost Sam-dong watches his children acting like actual children on the news as they fight for his money. Someone later removes the late notice from his altar, but we don’t get to see who.
It’s a rainy day, and Min-jung is without an umbrella when she heads out. She makes a run for it, when someone grabs her and pulls her under their umbrella — Yuri. Min-jung is taken aback at first but responds to Yuri’s smile with her own.
Elsewhere, Pil-seung is stuck in a convenience store, also umbrella-less. He spots Kang-hwa with an umbrella and smiles slyly; he runs up to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. Kang-hwa is confused as heck, but Pil-seung smooth-talks his way into getting Kang-hwa to walk him towards his neighborhood.
As Yuri and Min-jung are walking together, Min-jung asks if the other mothers at the kindergarten talk about how full of herself she is… Y’know, not that she cares or anything. Yuri can tell that she’s lying, saying she should stand up for herself instead of pretending she’s okay all the time.
Min-jung looks up, Yuri following suit, as they walk up to Kang-hwa and Pil-seung. Everyone stops where they are, looking at each other in shock.
In 2013, during their camping trip, Yuri is angry with Kang-hwa for forgetting to bring the hand warmers she asked for. He meekly apologizes, saying he’d been too engrossed in the finale for Answer Me 1994 when she made the reminder. “I had to confirm who Na-jung’s husband was,” he says. HA!
To make up for it, Kang-hwa acts as a human heater and snuggles up to Yuri. We then transition to Kang-hwa and Seo-woo snuggling inside a tent, and Yuri narrates, “There is no flower in this world that blooms without meaning. In that place where I bloomed and fell, other flowers of mine began to bloom.”
In retrospect, not much happened story-wise in this episode, with Yuri spending most of her time at Pil-seung’s apartment. We got a lot from our side characters, like the ghost family and the ghost newbies Sam-dong and Pan-seok, which I’m not complaining about; these characters are funny and interesting enough to hold their own. Sometimes they’re so funny that, like Yuri, I forget that they each come with their own sad story. I was especially surprised by how emotional I was with Sam-dong and his storyline. On a surface level, he was that total jerk of a chairman that thought money and power was all that mattered. And I was so ready to get my eyes rolling, but then Mi-ja reminded him that he was a ghost, snapping him and me into reality. No matter how hard he worked while living, it wasn’t enough for his family, who couldn’t even bother to visit his altar. Him having to see his children fighting, after seeing how loving his subordinate’s family was — that was pretty painful.
If that weren’t enough, we had to suffer even more pain with Pil-seung. For some reason, I figured that the family passed away when he was too young to remember. He never showed much sign of sadness or loneliness, so it made sense to me that he simply didn’t remember them or what happened. But to know that he was plenty old when it happened and that it happened right in front of him, my heart is that much heavier for him and his family. Still, even though he’s a bit of a slob and a weirdo (seriously, how was he able to eat food without knowing where it came from?), he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Emphasis on seems. This show always throws those emotional punches when they’re least expected, so I’m sure this family’s emotional journey isn’t anywhere near done. I’m still curious as to what his stuffed animal collection is for. I’m paying attention to all the small details now, because sooner or later, they all come into play.
The ending of last week’s episode felt off to me, only because it didn’t fit with Yuri’s character to flat-out ask Min-jung to take her place. Of course, this episode only proved that it definitely isn’t Yuri’s character and that she very rarely does or says anything selfish. From day one of her 49 days, she’s done nothing but protect the people she loves, even if that means staying away from them. But now that we’re almost halfway through the drama, it’s beginning to look like protection won’t be enough. Kang-hwa and his friends are right to be frustrated because Yuri is basically pushing them to be understanding when she’s keeping them in the dark. I understand her wanting to fix Seo-woo’s ghost problem and quietly leaving, but there is no leaving quietly when she’s already revealed herself to this many people. There are too many of her loved ones involved, and they should also have a say in what happens next. Maybe it’d be better if she just told them the truth and they worked this out together.
Going into the first episode, I wasn’t sure how the drama would end — how I wanted it to end — and I still don’t know. Sure, Min-jung could divorce Kang-hwa, and Yuri could return to her rightful place, but that would be too easy. Too easy and too messy, for Min-jung plays such an important role in this family now. And sure, Yuri could do the noble thing and leave her family to join the beyond, but even that would be too easy. I really don’t know which direction the next half is going to go. At the same time, I have enough trust in the writer by now to just go with the flow. I trust that Yuri’s loved ones, and Yuri herself, will get the healing they need.