49 Days: Episode 11
My favorite thing about when people in dramas Find Out About Stuff is that this new information naturally causes people to adjust their behaviors accordingly — the discovery necessitates a recalibration of relationship dynamics. After ten episodes, we’ve gotten wise to the pattern of blustering-jealousy-bickering regarding Ji-hyun’s various relationships, so it’s a refreshing change to shake that up a little.
Also? It means a whole new side of Kang-ahhhhh. And the more sides I get to see of him, the happier I am. Rawr.
SONG OF THE DAY
Park Ji-yoon – “바래진 기억에” (In faded memories). The previous post alerted me to the fact that there was an album I didn’t know about from Park Ji-yoon, who’s the latest addition to the cast of Lie To Me. It’s too bad I didn’t know about it sooner, since it’s already my favorite — I like her recent, more mature songwriting style even more than the pop songs she was famous for earlier in her career. [ Download ]
EPISODE 11 RECAP
So we have Ji-hyun at the end of her rope, praying for help from above. She wants to live but despairs of any hope, believing herself unloved and forgotten. And it’s then that she gets her Sign — her first tear appears in her necklace.
To answer the question burning in all our minds, we flash back to Kang’s discovery of Ji-hyun’s seal. He and Manager Oh confirm that it’s hers, and try to figure out how it got to Heaven. Since Ji-hyun has never stepped foot inside Kang’s personal quarters, he realizes that his niggling feeling about Yi-kyung was right after all, despite her earlier protests to the contrary.
Convinced of his hunch, he hurries to the hospital and tells the unconscious Ji-hyun, “So it was you.” And that’s when his tear (finally!) falls.
(Thank god! I was afraid they’d drag out this was-it-or-wasn’t-it question for the entire episode, which would have driven me batty.)
Curiously, at the same moment that his tear falls — and the necklace gleams — Ji-hyun’s vitals spike up for a second on her life-support machinery, just before settling back into their normal pattern.
Taking hold of her hand, Kang whispers, “It’s good to see you, Shin Ji-hyun. I have no idea what’s going on — but I’m glad to see you.”
He hears from the nurse that a young lady had just been here, which makes him guess that it was Yi-kyung. Racing to Ji-hyun’s house, he gets the housekeeper’s confirmation that a tall, slender friend had recently visited.
Meanwhile, Ji-hyun (as Yi-kyung) walks along happily, thanking the heavens for this one mystery person who loves her. The Scheduler pops up to sing her a congratulations song — replete with pom-poms, a birthday hat, and little-boy short pants. Gah, why so cute?
She grabs him in a hug, and he struggles and sputters, “You’re not my type!…I think.” Har. If only he knew. In any case, he says they can’t display affection, for fear of incurring more celestial penalties. Especially since the sting of that extra week of reaperdom is still fresh.
She guesses her tear came from Seo-woo (the Scheduler sighs that people will believe what they want to believe), and brims with gratefulness at the “one person in the world who loves me.”
Ji-hyun wants to thank Seo-woo for the tear, so she drops by the bakery with the excuse that she’s here to thank her for the free bread last time. She assures her that even a careless gesture can mean a lot, and that her help came just when she was loneliest. She adds that her hospital-ridden friend is really lucky to have a friend like her. Seo-woo answers that she’s the lucky one to have Ji-hyun as her friend, which reinforces Ji-hyun’s hunch that the tear came from her.
When In-jung arrives at the bakery, she and Ji-hyun tense to see each other: In-jung’s thinking of Yi-kyung being wise to her secret relationship with Min-ho, while Ji-hyun thinks of In-jung plotting to bankrupt her father.
While out of earshot of Seo-woo, Ji-hyun speaks sarcastically and exclaims, “Omo! Your boss’s daughter is Kang Min-ho’s fiancee. You’re too much, Shin In-jung-sshi.” In-jung doesn’t have the chance to make up any excuses, and is perturbed at the way Yi-kyung shoots her a dark look on her way out.
Min-ho is distracted at work, worried about Yi-kyung hearing In-jung’s damning outburst about their evil plot. He’s unsettled at leaving the matter unresolved but he can’t get a hold of her, nor has he been able to trace her cell phone number — the number exists, but there’s no name attached. I suppose it wouldn’t do to have it registered to “God.”
Kang bursts in to ask if Ji-hyun’s been by — by now his conviction that Yi-kyung is Ji-hyun is complete, so he doesn’t realize the slip until it’s pointed out. He corrects himself and asks after Yi-kyung, gets back a negative, and rushes out as quickly as he came.
Min-ho’s curiosity is piqued by Kang’s odd questions and chases him down to ask why he’s looking for Yi-kyung. Kang brushes him off, but In-jung overhears, and the mere fact that both women’s names were mentioned in the same breath is enough to arouse her suspicions.
Frustrated, Kang heads to her apartment, which is still empty. He wonders what she’d meant when she said she was leaving for someplace far away, trying to glean meaning from them now that he knows the truth.
Ji-hyun arrives home as he’s leaving, and he calls out, “Shin Ji-hyun!” Shocked and trying to figure out how to react, she pretends she doesn’t know what he means, while wondering to herself how he knew it was her. But this conversation is heading for dangerous waters, and her teardrop pendant burns in warning. Frightened, she stammers that he’s wrong, that she’s Song Yi-kyung, and tries to run away.
He’s certain that he’s right, but thankfully catches on that there’s a reason she can’t reveal her true identity. So he doesn’t take it to heart when she insists she’s none of his business and tells him harshly to stay away. To her surprise, he backs off readily and says he made a mistake.
She runs home in a panic, while Kang stays outside her apartment all evening mulling things over.
Once safely home, she prepares to eject herself from the body, only to realize that her farewell cleaning project presents a new problem — now that she’ll be sticking around, she can’t have Yi-kyung picking up on her presence. She busies herself messying up the place, spreading dust around, and in so doing accidentally spills a box containing cards collected over the years.
Reading through them, she finds notes from Song Yi-soo — one from middle school, another from age 20 that’s decorated with a heart. Ji-hyun deduces that Yi-soo isn’t her brother, as she’d initially assumed and recalls that Yi-kyung is an orphan (which may lend some weight to the theory that they grew up at the same orphanage).
Ji-hyun also realizes that Yi-soo must be the dead person in her life, and promises to find out about him.
With that, she leaves the body for Yi-kyung’s consciousness to reclaim, only she has forgotten to add the bathroom to her re-cluttering project. Thus when Yi-kyung sees it, the newly cleaned space unnerves her, and she heads out to meet with Dr. Noh again to discuss her condition.
Kang, still waiting outside, watches as Yi-kyung leaves, wondering what is keeping Ji-hyun from revealing her true self, and what role Yi-kyung plays in all this.
That evening, Ji-hyun visits with her parents at her hospital room, pleading with her father to stop being so stubborn. To her shock, Mom relents in her insistence that he get the surgery, saying that he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to. However, she doesn’t want Min-ho to take his place as the family’s new caretaker. She’ll take care of them herself, so Dad can die without this burden on his shoulders.
Dad doesn’t see why she doesn’t trust Min-ho, but Mom argues that it’s not about trust — it’s because she doesn’t need him. She says she’s lived comfortably these many years thanks to him, so now she’ll step up and be the one to take care of the family.
Aw, this is unexpectedly touching, to see the formerly weak, wilting mother find her spine and take charge. Ji-hyun’s 49-day adventure may have disillusioned her about her friends, but damn if it hasn’t been a gift with regard to her family.
The next morning — with 24 days remaining — Ji-hyun greets Yi-kyung on her arrival home. Kang has spent the entire night waiting outside, and watches as a tired Yi-kyung trudges inside — and then, some minutes later, re-emerges dressed prettily and with a spring in her step. And that’s how he puts the pieces together to realize that Ji-hyun is borrowing her host’s body.
Thus when Kang finds her rifling through job listings, he plays along, making no further mention of Ji-hyun. He explains that he’s here to scout her to work for his restaurant, clarifying his odd behavior yesterday by saying that he’d fallen asleep after a few drinks, and dreamt that Yi-kyung said she was Ji-hyun and asked him for help.
Kang’s not the most convincing liar, and his face is pretty adorable as he tries to pull reasonable-sounding explanations out of thin air. Lucky for him, Ji-hyun’s never been quick on the uptake; she initially turns down his offer, but tentatively buys his explanation of sleepwalking. In fact, he says that Manager Oh had scolded him mightily yesterday and ordered him to rehire her after interpreting his dream to mean that he needs Yi-kyung with him. He offers her a 50% raise and freelancer status, which she happily takes.
Kang re-introduces Yi-kyung to the staff, and everyone smiles knowingly to have her back yet again. Well, everyone but Su-jin, who’s offended at Yi-kyung’s goodbye present of a cactus plant, thinking it was an insult about her personality. Yi-kyung explains that she’d actually given it because Su-jin seemed “prickly on the outside, but full of tears on the inside” — and that insight into her character actually wins her over as Su-jin feels like she’s finally been understood.
Trying to play it cool, Kang asks Manager Oh for more info on the whole “49 days to wrap up unfinished business” theory, keeping things on a hypothetical level. Since Ji-hyun can’t reveal her condition, he’s playing it safe by keeping her secret.
His reaction is pretty adorable when Ji-hyun asks to take a few hours off — rather than getting upset, he agrees readily and goes overboard confirming that she’ll come back — she will, right? She’s not going for good? And if she happens to be out for the rest of the day, she’ll call him, right?
Min-ho has been calling Yi-kyung incessantly, so when he finally succeeds in meeting her, he expresses his frustration with her ignoring his calls. He’s impatient to explain the scene she’d overheard, like a liar is overeager to supply the details to excuse his behavior.
Ji-hyun returns his key, but adds that this doesn’t mean she’s refusing to see him. It’s a curious thing to say, because she understands that he’s the villain in this piece — he’s cheating on his fiancee with her friend, and has plans to bankrupt the fiancee’s family business. He agrees, calling himself the bad guy and copping up to having dated In-jung behind Ji-hyun’s back, not trying to defend his actions.
She interrupts him, saying she doesn’t care about his relationship with In-jung, which he interprets to mean that she wants to date him anyway. Is there some sort of gene in evil villains that inflates sense of ego?
His phone interrupts, and Min-ho detains her while he takes the call from a factory manager down in Jinan. Ji-hyun recognizes his name, since he’s been in business with her father from the start, and puzzles over the clues as she listens to Min-ho’s heated side of the conversation, which ends with plans to meet the man tomorrow.
Min-ho makes plans for an overnight business trip to Jinan, where he’ll talk to Manager Seo and have a few business meetings. He brushes aside In-jung’s suggestion to go together, which disappoints her. But In-jung, disturbed at Min-ho’s fixation with Yi-kyung, decides to take matters into her own hands, starting with a visit to Kang.
Meanwhile, Kang so very cutely hovers outside the restaurant while awaiting Ji-hyun’s return. But of course, the instant he sees her arriving, he turns away and feigns indifference. He is a constant source of entertainment for Manager Oh — and also me — who misses nothing. Not that Kang is subtle AT ALL about his interest.
In-jung drops by and can’t resist asking about his interest in Yi-kyung, even asking if they’re dating, which he roundly denies. She’s here to ask about his plans for tomorrow, and hears that he’s planning a trip down to Jinan. (It’s independent of Min-ho’s trip, and the Jinan connection isn’t quite as absurdly coincidental as it might seem because it’s their hometown. The reason Kang gives for his trip is to prepare his mother’s upcoming memorial.)
In-jung seizes this opportunity to suggest that they all go to Jinan together — the two of them and Seo-woo — which gives her an excuse to see Min-ho without blatantly tagging along unannounced.
On her way out, In-jung stops to have a word with Ji-hyun, and again tries to explain her relationship with Min-ho, saying there are extenuating circumstances. This time Ji-hyun accepts the explanation and promises to keep the secret, which greatly relieves In-jung.
Tensions are still high between the roommates, but In-jung sets about thawing out Seo-woo, who initially rejects the suggestion to go to Jinan together. But In-jung plays the Kang card, knowing that Seo-woo’s interest will be piqued at this chance to spend some quality time with her crush, and plans are made.
Yi-kyung meets with Dr. Noh for her first hypnosis treatment, per his recommendation, and follows his instructions to open the door she sees in her mind. She’s calm until this stirs a flashback to her suicide attempt — only, this time, she can see Ji-hyun’s spirit begging her not to do it. (Omo! So she can see her ghost? The rules, them be changin’…)
Dr. Noh wakes her when he sees her flailing in agitation, and asks what caused the disturbance. Only, she doesn’t understand it either, and asks him what she saw.
In the morning, Ji-hyun takes her place in the body and readies to set out for her trip to Jinan. The Scheduler pops up unannounced to express his disapproval of her plans to use the body to join a man on an overnight trip. She points out that it won’t be overnight — she’ll take the bus home by midnight — but he points out that men are all about turning a day trip into an overnight one, LOL. Truer words.
She counters that he’s acting awfully protective of Yi-kyung when she (Ji-hyun) is actually the one he’s supposed to guide. He doesn’t have a good rebuttal, and insists that this is a dangerous plan, that she’s better off working on her tears.
Ji-hyun counters that the tears are “not something I can do.” She was touched at the proof that she was loved — but there’s nothing she can do now to change whether she was loved during her life. It’s out of her hands. What she needs to do now is save her father — if she can break his faith in Min-ho, he can get surgery and pursue his only option for surviving.
Exasperated, the Scheduler tells her that if she goes, it’s not his responsibility. She says she’s not afraid of her own death anymore — but she is afraid that her father will die because of her. He replies that “Living and dying aren’t things to be decided by human effort.” Meaning, better to leave all that stuff to Fate or God or whatever greater power is out there.
Ji-hyun surprises Min-ho by showing up at his apartment, announcing that she’s joining him on his trip. He’s pretty gratified (ah, that ego again) and that keeps him in a good mood on their drive to Jinan.
Along the way, Ji-hyun asks him what kind of person his fiancee was. He answers that she wasn’t an interesting person — she was very simple and innocent. She returns that he’s not interesting, either, since transparent people aren’t very interesting, meaning she can read him clearly. Except for one thing: Why is he pursuing bankruptcy? Does he have something against the fiancee’s family?
Min-ho answers no — Ji-hyun’s a nice girl and her parents are good people. He explains cryptically by saying it’s just a matter of bad luck, “like with me.”
The girls also head down to Jinan in one car, while Kang goes in another, intent on finding a particular monk who knows about the 49 days theory.
Upon finding the man, Kang peppers him with questions about the life-afterlife divide, in particular wanting to know whether a soul in her 49 days would be forbidden from revealing her identity. What would that soul need to do in order to return to life?
Min-ho drops Ji-hyun off in the city before heading to his meeting with factory Manager Seo, making plans to meet her later for dinner. Ji-hyun tries to hail a cab to follow his car, but misses her chance and therefore spends the day walking around her old haunts.
The meeting with Manager Seo is hostile, because Min-ho is dragging his feet on the bankruptcy matter. At this divergence from the original plans, the other parties have grown suspicious, and there’s a lot of mistrust going around on all sides.
Min-ho calls Seo’s bluff to ruin the plans by alerting President Shin, which works in silencing the man. He warns them to do nothing until he makes the order to jump into action.
The girls, in the meantime, have arrived at Jinan and look around with fond eyes at their old neighborhood. Seo-woo is full of good memories, but In-jung’s wistfulness indicates that her time here was less happy than she let on.
Ji-hyun wanders the grounds of her old high school, where she’s spotted by Kang. Whatever he’s learned from the monk, we’ll have to wait to find out, but it’s made Kang even more sympathetic; he thinks of how lonely Ji-hyun must have been, hiding her identity all this while.
A flashback takes us back to a meeting of their club back in high school, when Kang stood back while everyone else picked cards to partner up — typical of him, he’d been off alone, acting too cool (literally) for school. Yet hilariously, when Ji-hyun had picked him as a partner, she’d expressed dismay — he’s unlucky — and he’d been insulted enough to rap on her head and remind her that he doesn’t want to be her partner either. Like, totally. Hmph.
Ji-hyun freezes when she turns and sees Kang standing right there, trying to think up a good reason for her presence here. She fumbles to come up with something, but he helps her along and lets her off the hook readily.
When she says that she came here with Min-ho, Kang thinks understandingly that it makes sense that she might still have feelings for her fiancé. She hurries to explain that she isn’t interested in engaged men — she’s not in a relationship with Min-ho — yet Kang gives her an out again, saying that it’s entirely possible to like someone who’s engaged, since we can’t control our feelings. He adds that concealing one’s feelings can be more painful than ignoring them.
Aw. I love overly-understanding Kang. It’s such a 180 from his jealousy, and Ji-hyun wonders at it, having expected anger.
Dinner plans are where things get tricky, with Min-ho making plans to meet Yi-kyung at 7, still unaware that the entire Scooby gang is here. When In-jung texts asking for him to call (presumably to join him for dinner), he sighs in annoyance and texts back the excuse that he’s going out for business drinks with a work contact.
In-jung isn’t deterred, though, and calls the hotel to find out Min-ho’s room number. She then tells Seo-woo that she’ll conveniently drop out of their dinner with Kang, so that Seo-woo will get to have a one-on-one date with him.
Meanwhile, In-jung gets a text from Yi-kyung (Ji-hyun) telling her where to meet Min-ho for dinner — the place he’s meeting Yi-kyung. Oy, this is getting complicated. Confused yet?
Kang offers to show Ji-hyun around town until dinnertime, and takes her around the sights. He keeps sneaking glances at her all the while, quickly glancing away when she catches him. So cute.
Of course, Ji-hyun is still unaware of his love for her and just wonders what’s with all the staring. One of these days… two plus two…
At the appointed meeting place, Kang drops Ji-hyun off and even wishes her fun with Min-ho. She finds Min-ho waiting for her nearby, in a good mood in anticipation of their dinner date.
He’s oblivious to the fact that In-jung is on her way here to meet him, while Ji-hyun prepares for the confrontation scene…
…except that she starts to feel dizzy. Stumbling, she loses her hold on her host, and her soul starts to waver in and out of the body like it did once before. As Yi-kyung falls to the ground, Ji-hyun’s soul is thrown out, and she looks horrified as she realizes the mess this puts them in.
Min-ho calls Yi-kyung’s name worriedly, and Yi-kyung, just starting to gain her bearings, looks up and him and asks, “Who are you?”
Ohhh, shit. What a strong way to go out on an episode that was a cut less exciting than last week’s two great episodes. I predict that Kang will swoop in to the rescue and cover for Ji-hyun, since he’s finally onboard with the full truth and will probably be quick enough to realize that something’s up. But what this means for Yi-kyung (and her already-fragile state of mind) ought to be interesting… not to mention Min-ho. Something tells me he’s going to take Yi-kyung’s Jekyll-and-Hyde switcheroo a lot less gracefully than Kang (who, let’s face it, was not all that graceful himself).
But I love that Kang has figured this all out, as ridiculous as it is — yeah, it sounds pretty far-fetched to hear him deduce, “Ah, so she was borrowing the body! It all makes sense now!” But there’s always a certain amount of suspension-of-disbelief involved in fantasy dramas, and once you get past that block and just accept it, it opens the story up to go in new, fun places. Plus, it’s just so refreshing to see Kang getting to be lighthearted and cheerful for once, rather than broody and confused all the time.
Plus, there’s the added element of identity charades going on, because now HE’s fooling Ji-hyun, while she believes she’s the one fooling him. The first half of the drama allowed Ji-hyun to see the softer side of Kang, and gain unexpected insights into his character that she never would’ve seen as Ji-hyun. Now it’s his turn to use his newfound advantage to find out a few things about Ji-hyun.
This is gonna be fun.