Reunited Worlds: Episodes 5-6
As the harsh reality of Hae-sung’s situation starts to make itself known, he has a hard time maintaining his usual cheerful attitude. He can’t ignore the fact that his loved ones have grown up and moved on without him. But Hae-sung also has a lot to be grateful for and people who are glad he’s returned, even if he still has no idea how it happened or why he’s here.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Hae-sung tells Jung-won emphatically that she was not responsible for his death. She starts to cry with relief, sobbing that she’s missed him every single day. Hae-sung wraps his arms around Jung-won and holds her as she cries.
He narrates that the moment he hugged Jung-won, he heard his own heart pounding. He says that it sounded like a clock, like the sound of his time in this world starting again.
Later, Hae-sung offers to leave if she’s uncomfortable with his staying with her, but Jung-won says it’s fine. She says he can sleep on the couch, teasingly asking if he had other ideas and making him splutter indignantly.
He catches Jung-won laughing and knows immediately that she’s thinking of that day when she’d joked about having five kids, then called him a pervert for thinking about what that would entail. She laughs at him again now, when she catches sight of Hae-sung in a borrowed pair of her flowered ajumma pants and too-tight shirt, and he pouts at her until he gets a load of himself in the mirror.
He offers to help Jung-won unpack, and the first thing he pulls from a box is a bright red, lacy negligee and matching panties. Hae-sung falls on his butt in surprise as Jung-won snatches the underthings away from him, insisting that Jin-ju gave them to her but that she’d never actually wear them.
They decide to watch TV instead, but when Hae-sung tries to work the remote, the television flips channels wildly. Jung-won takes it away and the TV behaves normally, then starts flipping when Hae-sung holds the remote again. It’s definitely strange, but they decide nervously that the TV must be broken.
On her way to bed, Jung-won upsets a box of odds and ends. Hae-sung spots a small jar with the tab off of a beer bottle suspended inside, and he immediately recognizes it. He’s tickled that Jung-won kept it for all these years, remembering a day they’d spent together as teenagers.
In flashback, we see that Jung-won had asked Hae-sung to skip school and go to Seoul with her, but she’d retracted the invitation when he’d just stared at her. Bracing herself for a lecture, Jung-won is surprised when Hae-sung only asks if something happened.
She mutters that she found her mother, and Hae-sung says, “Let’s go to Seoul.” He takes her hand and leads her to the city, where they locate her mother’s new address. As they sit outside the apartment building, Jung-won’s mother comes outside with her new husband and young twins.
When her mother goes back inside for something, Jung-won impulsively follows her and confronts her in the lobby. Her mom tells her to go, but Jung-won asks why she’s so eager to get rid of her when they haven’t seen each other in seven years.
She says that she won’t see her mother again, but that she wanted to see her just once after she abandoned her daughter. She tells her mother that she taught her a valuable lesson, that a parent can just turn their back on their child and lead a good life.
Her mother’s new husband comes in with the twins, and her mother lies that Jung-won was just asking for directions. The happy family gets into the elevator together, and Jung-won’s mother doesn’t say another word as the doors close between them.
Hae-sung witnessed the whole thing, and when they go back outside, he grabs a rock and smashes the family car’s windshield. A cop blows his whistle at them and they run, but Jung-won trips and falls. Hae-sung helps her up and they manage to escape.
Once they’re safe, Hae-sung bandages Jung-won’s scraped knee, and she says that she felt that her pride would be salvaged if he was there when she met her mother. She calls him stupid when he says that makes no sense, then she starts to cry.
When she’s feeling better, Jung-won tells Hae-sung that she wants to try drinking a beer. He’s hilariously horrified and refuses, but she gives him the puppy-dog eyes until he gives in. Luckily for Hae-sung, the convenience store worker is an ancient old woman who’s fast asleep, so he grabs a beer and leaves some money without waking her.
He trots back to Jung-won, who points behind him and gasps, “There’s a cop!” Hae-sung whirls with his arms up, but she’s just punking him, hee. (And I can’t blame her, his grumpyface is so cute!)
They share the beer, then Hae-sung takes the tab off the can and holds it out to Jung-won, saying that it’s a ring. He slides the tab onto her ring finger, wishing her a good life and revenge on her mother. Jung-won looks up at Hae-sung, adoration shining in her eyes.
In the present, Hae-sung walks Jung-won to her bus stop in the morning, and he tells her that he’s going to look for his siblings today. She gives him a card from her restaurant and invites him to come watch her work.
Hae-sung sends her off with a giant smile and a happy wave, and in voice-over he says that it’s nice to say goodbye knowing they’ll be able to see each other again. He takes a moment to soak up the sun and thinks to himself, “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, I hope I’ll get to see the morning sun every day.”
As she rides the bus, Jung-won muses that this might be a very long dream. But she decides to keep going until the dream ends.
Hae-sung finds his younger brother Hae-chul, who leads him on a chase through a maze of back alleys. Eventually he’s cut off by a police car and sees that it’s Hae-sung’s friend Ho-bang… heh, they planned this in advance.
Obviously enjoying Hae-chul’s reaction, Ho-bang tells him that this really is Hae-sung, then leaves the brothers to talk. Hae-sung has Hae-chul call his loan shark bosses, and soon he’s tossing them around like they weigh no more than tissue paper.
They’re battered and begging for mercy (in jondae, PFFT) when he finishes with them. Hae-sung says this is payback for having him beaten a few days ago, and they agree that that’s toootally fair.
Hae-sung tells the loan sharks that Jung-won will pay them back, but they aren’t to threaten or harass her anymore. He also informs them that Hae-chul is quitting, and no fools, the loan sharks eagerly agree to his terms.
Later Hae-sung apologizes to Hae-chul, saying that if he hadn’t died, Hae-chul would be in college by now. Hae-chul cringes from his touch and asks angrily if Hae-sung is going to take responsibility for his future now. Hae-sung counters that the loan sharks certainly weren’t going to.
Hae-chul scoffs that his life is ruined because of Hae-sung. Hae-sung tells his brother that he didn’t kill the bully Jung-chul, but Hae-chul says that there was evidence that proved his guilt. Hae-sung insists that he’s a witness, not a killer, and that Jung-chul had already been attacked when he got to the art room that night.
But Hae-chul says that even if that’s true, his life is already destroyed. He argues that Hae-sung can’t clear his name when he can’t even reveal himself, and he yells at him to just leave it alone. Hae-chul gets up to storm off, but Ho-bang is hanging out nearby again and he insists they all go to eat together.
Min-joon’s restaurant is featured in a culinary magazine, and waitress Soon-ji complains that only the kitchen staff are in the photo. Jung-won runs over to see the photo and collides with Min-joon on the way, and he catches her in his arms. He realizes his entire staff is watching and props her back up, and they try to pretend that was totally natural.
Min-joon is visited that evening by an old friend, Seo-won, who says she brought someone for him to meet. She’s joined a few minutes later by a handsome young doctor, and she points out Min-joon to him. He looks over and sees Jung-won working near Min-joon, and they seem to recognize each other.
Over a much humbler meal, Ho-bang gives Hae-sung a new smartphone. He makes Hae-chul give Hae-sung his number, and says all their friends’ numbers are in there, too. Hae-chul jumps up when he gets a call from a girl, and Hae-sung grins at the idea of his little brother with a girlfriend.
When Hae-chul comes back, Hae-sung asks for their other siblings’ numbers as well. Hae-chul mumbles that he doesn’t have them, and when Hae-sung demands to know why, he says that they’re estranged.
Hae-chul rants that Young-joon cut ties with the family when he went to medical school. Young-in didn’t talk to any of them for two years after Hae-sung died, then she moved to Seoul, and little Soo-ji was sent to an orphanage. Hae-sung is angry that Young-joon didn’t take up the role as family protector, and he asks where he can find him.
Of course, it’s Young-joon in Min-joon’s restaurant right now, and he seems nice enough when Min-joon is introduced to him. He keeps sneaking glances at Jung-won, and when she leaves the kitchen, he makes an excuse and follows her.
He finds Jung-won and apologizes for not saying hello in front of the others. He tells her that he’s engaged to Seo-won, and that he works at the hospital her father runs. He says that they think he has no siblings, and Jung-won realizes that this is the real reason he came to talk to her — to make sure she doesn’t say otherwise to anyone.
Jung-won agrees, but she says that it will hurt his siblings’ feelings if they find out. She remarks that Hae-sung will be furious, and Young-joon’s face goes hard as he tells her to stop living in the past. Undaunted, Jung-won says that he’ll be seeing Hae-sung soon.
She’s right — that very afternoon, Hae-sung storms into Young-joon’s hospital searching for him. Young-joon is in his office with Seo-won and her mother, the director of the hospital, who obviously dislikes Young-joon.
A nurse informs Young-joon that a student is here saying that Young-joon knows him. Young-joon goes pale when she gives him Hae-sung’s name, then Hae-sung himself bursts into the room. He spots his brother and says, “Young-joon-ah, it’s Hyung!”
Seo-won is confused, but Young-joon collects his wits enough to say that he doesn’t know this person, and orders him removed from the hospital. Hae-sung begs Young-joon to let him explain, but security starts to drag him out. Hae-sung flings the security guards away as he frantically blurts out things that only he would know about Young-joon, trying to prove that he’s really himself.
Terrified, Young-joon scrambles away as Hae-sung advances on him, insisting he’s real. Suddenly, Hae-sung is yanked away by a strong hand, and he looks up to see the mysterious man from the bus holding him by the collar.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Annoyed, Hae-sung slams a hand into the mystery man’s chest to toss him away, but nothing happens. He tries again, but the man doesn’t budge. It’s only then that Hae-sung recognizes him from the bus, when he’d asked Hae-sung if he “came back” recently.
The man shoves Hae-sung to his knees and literally drags him out of the building. Hae-sung is powerless in the face of the man’s strength, and he finds himself thrown across the hospital’s parking garage a few times until he’s too exhausted to move.
The man growls in his face, “Listen well. Don’t use your power recklessly.” Hae-sung asks who he is, but the man just says not to do anything to draw attention, “Or you’ll put all of us in danger.”
The mystery man leaves, and Hae-sung’s phone rings with a call from Ho-bang. He’s with Jin-ju, who’s glaring at him suspiciously for claiming that he’s calling Hae-sung. Hae-sung tries to answer the phone, but the screen goes snowy and it screeches whenever he talks, then the call is disconnected.
That night, after he’s healed, Hae-sung waits outside the restaurant for Jung-won to get off work. He recognizes Min-joon, who leaves first, then Hae-sung lights up like a Christmas tree when Jung-won comes outside. She’s just as excited to see him, but she tenses up when she spots Min-joon nearby.
She tells Min-joon that Hae-sung is her cousin, which has Hae-sung frowning at her. Min-joon bounces over to say hello, but Hae-sung doesn’t like the way he pats his shoulder like a little kid. As Min-joon drives away, he looks back to see Hae-sung brushing his shoulder off with a big pout on his face.
Once they’re alone, Hae-sung asks Jung-won to have a drink with him. They find a convenience store, but Hae-sung chickens out of buying the alcohol when he sees the clerk watching him. It looks like it kills him to ask Jung-won to buy the drinks, ha.
She teases him for being scared, but she buys beer and soju, and she tells Hae-sung that the proper ratio of soju and beer is 8 to 2. She goes back inside to get a snack he likes, and when she gets back outside, Hae-sung is polishing off the soju bottle. OMG.
She tells him that the mix was supposed to be mostly beer, but he says he feels fine. Cut to: Hae-sung staggering through the park, barely able to stay upright even with Jung-won’s help, insisting that he’s completely sober. Those pink cheeks would disagree, hee.
To prove how very sober he is, Hae-sung starts pointing out things he recognizes, like street lamps and trees. He bellows happily at a mother with her baby, then points to an older man on a bench.
Jung-won stops him, forbidding him to call the man a grandfather, but Hae-sung wags a finger at her. He points again and declares, “He’s bald!!” LOL, drunk Hae-sung is hilarious.
Jung-won eventually gets Hae-sung home, and he beams at her as she complains that he has the worst drinking habits. He tells her that he saw both Young-joon and Hae-chul today, and she asks what they said.
Hae-sung’s smile falters as he says that Hae-chul blamed him for ruining his life, and that Young-joon denied knowing him. He says softly that he doesn’t know why he’s here, then sighs that nobody welcomes him because he ruined his siblings’ lives.
Looking heartbroken , he adds that if he had known this would happen, he would have lived for himself more. He tells Jung-won that he thought of it as his duty to take care of his siblings,believing that giving them a good life meant he would have a good life, too.
But now he says sadly that he didn’t have to do that, and he asks Jung-won, “How did I get here?” Jung-won doesn’t know what to say other than that she’s sorry, and she watches as Hae-sung nods off to sleep.
His phone rings, and she answers when she sees that it’s Ho-bang. He’s shocked she answered and asks if she’s with Hae-sung now, and he says he’ll call her right back. HAHA, is he spying on Jin-ju while she’s on a date?
He is, and he gets fed up when she continuously misunderstands her date’s questions. He storms over to their table and grabs her by the wrist, saying that they have to go see Hae-sung right now.
When Hae-sung wakes, he imagines that he sees all of his old friends there, smiling at him. He rubs his eyes and looks again, and they are there, only they’re their grown-up selves. They stare at him in wonder, and Ho-bang tells them not to think too hard about this.
They’re all crying, including Hae-sung, as he recognizes each of them in turn. Jin-ju hugs him and wails that they knew he didn’t kill Jung-chul, then Tae-hoon says tearfully that they’re all doing well.
Moon-shik just sobs and says he’s glad to see Hae-sung, which sends Hae-sung into a fresh bout of tears, so grateful to hear that they missed him. They all fall into their old comfortable bickering like no time has passed, and Hae-sung finds his smile again.
The next day, Hae-sung goes to Chungho and walks Ho-bang through everything that happened on the night that he died. He explains that he left his bicycle light in the art room in his hurry to get help for Jung-chul, and points out the spot where the car hit him.
Ho-bang asks if Hae-sung remembers the car. He tells Hae-sung that the car belonged to Tae-hoon’s father, who’s the chairman of both the Chungho Foundation and the Chungho department store. Apparently Tae-hoon’s father wasn’t in the car that night, and the driver who hit Hae-sung went to prison for manslaughter.
Ho-bang says that Tae-hoon had a particularly difficult time after Hae-sung died, and that it was hard to watch him suffering. He asks if Hae-sung saw anyone while he was on his bike that night, but he says he didn’t.
Hae-sung smiles brightly when Hae-chul joins them, grumbling that if Jung-chul’s murderer really is someone else, he’ll kill the guy (awww, he’ll come around). He confirms that Hae-sung’s family was planning a surprise party for him that night, and that Jung-won sent Hae-sung to the art room on a made-up errand to buy time for them to get ready.
Hae-sung looks pleased to learn of the party, but he grows serious again when Hae-chul says that their grandmother and Young-in went to the hospital when they heard about the accident, while Jung-won went to the police station. Hae-chul mutters that he stayed home with Soo-ji, but that Young-joon wasn’t home.
Ho-bang stops Hae-chul, confused, because Jung-won’s police report said that all four of Hae-sung’s siblings were home that night. Hae-chul repeats that Young-joon came home very late, and Hae-sung wonders if Hae-chul was just too young to remember clearly.
At work, Jung-won stops outside to clean up a ripped bag of trash. She looks up when a well-dressed woman approaches her, eyes widening when she realizes that it’s her mother. Her mother seems cautiously happy to see her, and she says that she’s been wanting to see Jung-won but didn’t know where to look, but then she saw Jung-won’s picture in the magazine article.
Jung-won asks her to leave, but her mother says that she’s sorry for abandoning her when she was young. Jung-won snaps that she doesn’t want to hear it, which is when Min-joon steps outside and sees the two women talking. He slips into a corner to avoid interrupting, and accidentally eavesdrops.
He hears Jung-won remind her mother that she claimed not to know who she was, so her mother gets to the point. She says that she heard Jung-won is having money difficulties and tries to give her an envelope, but Jung-won just laughs. In a fit of pride, she claims to own this restaurant, then adds that she’s marrying Min-joon soon.
She tells her mother angrily that she doesn’t need her money, but her mom says that she doesn’t have to lie and holds out the envelope again. Min-joon decides to do something, so he approaches the women and introduces himself to Jung-won’s mother. He tells her that he and Jung-won are getting married, backing up her lie.
When Jung-won’s mother asks if they can have lunch, Min-joon oh-so-politely turns her down. He says they’re all booked up today and pulls Jung-won inside, but once they’re out of her mother’s sight he drops Jung-won’s arm. She scurries back to the kitchen, where she’s distracted for the rest of the day.
Hae-sung can’t stop thinking about Hae-chul saying that Young-joon was out on the night he died. He tries to call Jung-won, but his phone still goes haywire whenever he tries to use it.
That night, Jung-won waits for Min-joon after work to apologize for using him to lie to her mother. She thanks him for going along with it, and admits that she’s embarrassed. She starts to explain about her complicated relationship with her mother, but Min-joon says that she doesn’t have to tell him.
He admits that he also has family issues he doesn’t want people to know about. Jung-won looks grateful, and she says that since she was young, she’s wanted to get back at her mother for abandoning her. She thanks Min-joon for helping her do that today, then bursts into tears.
Without a word, Min-joon steps forward and hugs Jung-won, and she rests her forehead on his chest and sobs. Nearby, Hae-sung shows up to take Jung-won home, and he freezes when he sees her in Min-joon’s arms.
Oof, poor Hae-sung. He’s still so in love with Jung-won. It makes sense because for him, no time has passed, and he doesn’t seem to care that she’s now older and changed by life — to him, she’s still that young girl who’s the center of his universe. It’s adorable the way he still acts like the oppa with her, even though she’s twelve years older than he is now. But as cute as that is, it makes me ache for all the years that Hae-sung and Jung-won didn’t get to spend together, that they didn’t have the chance to grow up together and experience their young first love growing into a more mature love.
And as much as I would love for Jung-won and Hae-sung to resume their romance now that Hae-sung is back, the truth is that Jung-won has had twelve years for her innocent first love to fade into a bittersweet memory. If Hae-sung had come back twelve years older I might not be so concerned, but he’s still a teenager in both body and mind. Even if Jung-won still loves him, the problems surrounding a woman in her thirties dating an eighteen-year-old are pretty huge. Min-joon is so much more appropriate for Jung-won in just about every way, and when they’re together they seem like they’d make such a great couple… if it weren’t for Hae-sung.
I haven’t mentioned Min-joon much because so far, he’s been pretty peripheral to the main story. But he’s stepping up his game with Jung-won, and it’s sort of worrying me that she’s noticing him as a man. And who wouldn’t — he’s handsome, successful, sweet, understanding, and he’s gone to bat for her more than once, even lying to help her save face in front of her estranged mother. I actually like him a lot, especially the way Jung-won seems to bring out his nervous, shy side, and how he’s not afraid to show his vulnerability to her. He would make a really interesting leading man, if this were a different story.
Anyway, I have a feeling that love isn’t the reason Hae-sung was brought back by whatever orchestrated this situation. His main focus and reason for being were always his family, and we know that at least one of them is in real trouble. Add to that the mystery of Jung-chul’s possible murder, and a lot of inconsistencies surrounding Hae-sung’s death as well, and Hae-sung has a lot on his plate before he can even begin to think about romance. At least I’m not as worried this week that Hae-sung is only here to fulfill a purpose then leave again, because according to the mystery man, there seem to be more people who have come back from the dead and are still around. I just love the looming mystery of it all — why and how Hae-sung returned from the dead, how he’s acquired superhuman powers, and why some people get to come back and not others.
I’m so glad that Hae-sung finally got to reconnect with his old friends. That whole scene had me blubbering as hard as Hae-sung and his buddies, because it was so sweet how awed and grateful they all were to see him again. After being rejected by both of his brothers, Hae-sung really needed to know that there are people who are overjoyed to see him again. His entire identity was wrapped up in being the guiding force of his family, so I can’t imagine how devastated he must feel to wake up one day twelve years later, and find that they blame him for ruining their lives. I didn’t really believe Hae-sung when he said that he wouldn’t have sacrificed for his family if he’d known all this would happen, because that’s not who Hae-sung is — he’s a born caretaker, and it was obvious when he was with his siblings that he adored taking care of them. But it broke my heart when he said that his sacrifices didn’t mean anything. It was so sweet for Jung-won to arrange for his friends to come, so that he could see that he does make a difference in many people’s lives.
What I want Hae-sung to understand is that he’s got it all backwards. It’s not that his living for his family meant nothing — the truth is that it meant so much, and that he was so essential to them, that they just couldn’t cope with him gone. Without Hae-sung to love and protect them, his family had no rudder. They lost their guiding star, and they didn’t know how to keep it together without him. I hope that Hae-chul will come around quickly and help Hae-sung reconnect with his other siblings so that, even if it’s a few years late, they can become a family again.
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