365: Repeat the Year: Episodes 15-16
At this point, I’m all out of theories and I’m just watching this drama in fascination, wondering what the next twist will be. Nobody is who they seem to be, nothing is as it seems, and even the most upstanding travelers have their deep, dark secrets. I have no idea what will happen next, but for me, that’s most of the fun.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Se-rin leaves a voicemail for Ga-hyun, terrified after Shin told her she’s the next to die. But Ga-hyun no longer believes Se-rin after finding out that she’s a compulsive liar, so she decides to ignore Se-rin’s message. That only lasts a moment before worry kicks in, but Se-rin doesn’t answer when Ga-hyun tries to call her back.
Ga-hyun plays Se-rin’s message for Hyung-jo, and she says that she actually hopes Se-rin is deceiving her again, because it’s better than the alternative. They track Se-rin’s phone to the spot where she last used it and find it lying broken in the street. It feels like a dead end, until Ga-hyun remembers that Se-rin also had Young-woong’s phone.
There’s no answer there either, so they also track its location. They end up in a really remote spot, so Hyung-jo calls Young-woong’s phone again. They hear it buzzing, and Hyung-jo follows the sound to sewer grate… and he sees Young-woong’s phone lying underground next to Se-rin’s dead body.
Hyung-jo’s team arrive on the scene while the forensics team removes Se-rin’s body. Sun-ho notices that Hyung-jo’s focus is on Ga-hyun, who’s particularly traumatized by Se-rin’s death. Hyung-jo thinks about how Shin knew Se-rin would be the next to die, and his eyes go hard.
Meanwhile, Shin gently wakes her daughter Young, who greets her mother in an adorably formal tone. She tells Shin that Ji-hyun, her assistant, taught her that because she’s not a baby anymore and will be going to school soon. Shin asks if Young wants to go to school, and when Young nods, Shin says, “Mommy would also like to see you go to school…”
At the police station, the team has a meeting to discuss Se-rin’s case, which has been deemed a murder. They have two suspects — Young-woong, who they think may have fought with Se-rin over his report against her, and Jung-tae, since Se-rin was supposedly his victim seven months ago and he was discharged the morning she was killed.
Shin meets with her doctor friend, who gives her some medical results. She says they’re not good and asks Shin if she’s prepared for this, but Shin’s only answer is a curt thanks.
When Shin returns to Jian Clinic, Ga-hyun is waiting at the gates to ask why Se-rin is dead when she did everything Shin told her to do. She accuses Shin of lying that she quit working as a therapist because her friend committed suicide, because she’s not capable of caring for another person enough to mourn them. Shin refuses to answer and just calls her bodyguards on Ga-hyun.
At the station, Hyung-jo questions Young-woong, who says that he hasn’t seen Se-rin since he left her at the rest stop. He’d spoken to her just hours before she died, but she just kept asking where he was so he hung up on her. He hesitates before saying that he was with a friend at the time that Se-rin was killed, but his alibi checks out.
No-seob checks in on Ga-hyun at home, and she tells him that Se-rin lied to them about everything. She admits that she told Se-rin she never wanted to see her again, and then it came true (oof, and after the exact same thing happened with her friend Joo-young). She feels guilty over how scared and lonely Se-rin must have felt when she died, and she’s ashamed at the way she begged Shin to tell her how to save her own life, after she’s been acting so tough.
No-seob says that he understands because even at his age, he still doesn’t want to die, so he also asked Shin to tell him the date of his death (with no luck). As he’s leaving Ga-hyun’s house, No-seob checks to make sure he’s alone, then makes a phone call.
As the last person Se-rin called before she was killed, Shin is brought in for questioning. She won’t tell Hyung-jo what they spoke about, citing doctor/patient privilege, and when he asks if Se-rin was her patient, she acts as if there’s no other way for her to have known Se-rin. Hyung-jo asks for patient records or CCTV footage to prove it, and Shin chuckles that he’s just looking for an excuse to investigate Jian Clinic.
After her questioning, Shin tells Hyung-jo that she told Se-rin to leave town, but Se-rin chose to stay and look for Young-woong and she lost her chance to save her own life. Se-rin had pleaded for Shin to help her again, but Shin had only said that it was too late.
Shin says that fate is fascinating — no matter what you do, you end up living the life you’re meant to live. Hyung-jo asks who killed Se-rin, since Shin seems to know all about it. She says that at the time of the reset, the case was still unsolved, but that it would be fun if it turned out to be Jung-tae.
We see what happened the previous night from Jung-tae’s point of view — he’d asked Se-rin why she’d framed him, and she’d sworn that she never intended for him to be arrested. She had sobbed that Jung-tae isn’t a bad person, because he’d tried to help her, but he’d growled that he definitely wanted to kill her now.
A neighbor tells Hyung-jo that she saw Jung-tae going into his place with a young woman around 3:30 p.m., but when pressed, she can’t say for sure that it was Jung-tae, only that it was a man. Hyung-jo hadn’t brought Jung-tae home from jail until 4 p.m., so he knows that Se-rin was with someone else.
Sa-kyung calls the rest of the team and tells them that they can get the dashcam footage from the taxi that Se-rin took to Jung-tae’s place tomorrow. She’s also learned that Se-rin took another taxi to her apartment three hours later, but she was picked up from the hospital, not Jung-tae’s place.
Hyung-jo goes to the hospital and asks Jung-tae’s sister, Jung-hee, if she can reach her brother. She says that Jung-tae had promised to bring Se-rin so that she could tell Jung-hee the truth. Meanwhile, Ga-hyun goes to Se-rin’s apartment and imagines Se-rin stepping out and hugging her like she always did before, but her arms are empty.
Se-rin’s sister and parents come out of Se-rin’s place, so Ga-hyun pretends to be walking by. She ducks into the stairwell and listens as they discuss Se-rin’s funeral — her parents seem pretty cavalier about her death, and complain that Se-rin is still humiliating them even after her death. Ga-hyun thinks about Se-rin’s worry that her parents might not miss her if she died, and hearing that Se-rin’s fears were entirely founded makes her sob for the girl who only wanted to be loved.
Jung-tae had gone to see Shin last night, furious that Se-rin ran away from him and wanting Shin to call her to the clinic. But Shin had checked her hourglass, which ran out of sand at that exact moment, and she’d told Jung-tae that it was too late — Se-rin had just died.
Shin is on the phone with someone she calls Professor, and she tells them not to worry because she has things under control. Jung-tae shows up again and asks if the girl who was found dead last night was Se-rin. Shin informs him that he’s the prime suspect, and he yells that she knows perfectly well he didn’t kill Se-rin, because he was at the clinic with her.
She admonishes him to behave, because she’s the only one who can prove his innocence. He reminds her that he knows her secrets, and she growls that that deal was only for his sister’s life. Jung-tae says he’s still a thug, but that he won’t reveal Shin’s secrets if she just tells the police the truth. Shin smiles a nasty little smile, and Jung-tae starts to look nervous.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Meanwhile, Hyung-jo and Ga-hyun discuss the fact that Young-woong seems to be hiding something, and that it’s possible he had his friend lie about his alibi. Hyung-jo says that Young-woong appeared genuinely surprised to hear of Se-rin’s death, and Ga-hyun wonders what else he might be hiding.
Hyung-jo says that Young-woong’s last conversation with Se-rin was over three minutes long, but that he wouldn’t say what they spoke about, so he’s sure it has something to do with it. Ga-hyun gets Young-woong to meet with her, and she asks about the last thing Se-rin said to him, but he gets nervous and says it wasn’t important.
When he reviews the dashcam footage from Se-rin’s taxi, Hyung-jo gets a surprise — Jae-young was at Jung-tae’s place waiting for her. Sa-kyung questions Jae-young about meeting Se-rin and her death, but he keeps stubbornly silent until she loses her temper. Eventually his lawyer arrives and they have to let him go.
This infuriates Hyung-jo, but Captain Heo says they have to release Jae-young because he’s the son of Go Seok-gyu, the nominee for Minister of Education. He promises they can bring Jae-young back in after they gather more proof of his involvement, but they have to play it safe for now.
Ga-hyun doesn’t understand why Se-rin would respond to a call from Jae-young, since she’s suspected him and Jung-tae of something for a long time. She thinks that maybe Se-rin or Jung-tae discovered Jae-young’s weakness, but Hyung-jo can’t think what kind of weakness a minister’s son would have. Ga-hyun remembers something about Go Seok-gyu’s nomination hearing from before the reset, but Hyung-jo doesn’t recall anything.
Jae-young is also thinking about the time before the reset, when his father’s nomination hearing was destroyed by rumors regarding his son. He calls someone and asks if they’ve contacted Jung-tae yet.
Jung-tae is currently sitting by the river, looking infinitely sad as he also thinks about the year before the reset. He’d gotten a call that his sister was in the hospital — her husband had beaten her again, and this time she’d fought back and killed him, then tried to commit suicide.
She was also suffering from a life-threatening heart condition, which she hadn’t told her brother about. Jung-tae had tried to see her in the hospital, but no matter how hard he cried and fought, the police hadn’t let him in.
Now, Jung-tae thinks to himself that he was able to save his sister this time around, asking their parents to forgive him for being a bad son. He heads back to his car, and someone breaks the window and hits him hard enough to daze him, then drags him out.
As Captain Heo promised, Hyung-jo gets to question Jae-young again when they find CCTV camera footage of him in the elevator at Se-rin’s apartment building. He’s shown again leaving, and he’s extremely agitated. Jae-young says he wanted to know what Se-rin and Jung-tae talked about but she wouldn’t tell him, so they argued.
Hyung-jo already knows that Jae-young wasn’t there to see Se-rin… he was there to confront Young-woong. Earlier, he had called Se-rin as she was on the bus about to leave town and said he had something to tell her about Young-woong, which is why she suddenly got off the bus and met him at Jung-tae’s place.
Jae-young had lured her inside then tied her to the chair, then had waited for Jung-tae to come home. In exchange for procuring Se-rin, Jung-tae had told Jae-young that the person he was looking for now goes by the name of Choi Young-woong, and Jae-young had run out to find him.
Jung-tae had taken Se-rin to the hospital — he’d only wanted her to tell Jung-hee that he’s not a scumbag who beats women, like her husband was. But Se-rin was so laser-focused on Young-woong that she didn’t care about anything but him, so as soon as Jung-tae cut her bonds, she’d run off to warn Young-woong about Jae-young.
She’d gotten to her apartment building while Jae-young was still waiting for Young-woong to come home, and had yelled at Jae-young that it was because of him that Young-woong had to change his name and transfer to a new school. She’d said that she remembered a leaked a school violence video in the original timeline, and she’d threatened to post it online again.
The video had showed Jae-young and a pair of lackeys laughing and force-feeding Young-woong, who was a lot heavier back then. Young-woong had leaked the video in the old timeline tp stop Jae-young’s father from becoming Minister of Education, and Se-rin had guessed that Jae-young went through the reset in order to find him and stop him.
She had recorded their conversation, and Hyung-jo plays the recording for Jae-young. Jae-young insists that he didn’t kill Se-rin, but he still balks at telling Hyung-jo where he was at the time of her murder. Hyung-jo says that people only lie about their alibis for two reasons — they’re either guilty of the crime, or they were committing a different crime at that time.
As it turns out, the latter situation is true for Jae-young. He confesses that his friend had found Young-woong, and they were busy threatening and beating up a very confused Young-woong while Se-rin was being killed. Now that he’s given Hyung-jo his true alibi, Jae-young wants to go, but Hyung-jo says angrily that he can still charge him with assault. Jae-young sneers that it won’t happen because Young-woong won’t press charges.
Ga-hyun talks to Young-woong again, and he says that Jae-young threatened to ruin his family if he went to the police. He’d changed his name, lost weight, and gone to college early to get away from Jae-young, and he’s disheartened that it made no difference. Ga-hyun says that even though Se-rin lied to him, she was genuinely concerned about Young-woong’s past and wanted to make Jae-young apologize.
Jung-tae is dragged to a pier, where a man (Jae-young’s lawyer? I can’t tell, it’s too dark) demands he hand over any copies he has of the bullying video. Jung-tae says he doesn’t really care and doesn’t have any copies. The man threatens his sister’s life if he’s not telling the truth, then lets him go with a warning to stay quiet until Choi Seok-gyu’s hearing is over.
Hyung-jo finally gets a warrant to search Jian Clinic, but while he’s still at the station, Ji-hyun brings him a USB file from Shin. It contains the security camera footage from the facility, and shows that Shin was there while Se-rin was being murdered. They also see that Jung-tae was at the clinic, also ruling him out as a suspect.
Jung-tae grabs Jae-young on the street and pulls him into an alley, furious that Jae-young had someone threaten his sister. He says he can still ruin Jae-young’s father’s hearing because Young-woong isn’t the only kid that Jae-young bullied and recorded, and he warns Jae-young that if he stabs him in the back again, “I’ll make you more famous than your father.”
In the park, Ji-hyun hands off a folder… to No-seob. He takes a call from Shin, who tells him not to worry, and that she’s proved Jung-tae’s alibi. She says that now they’ll see just how ironic fate can be.
Jung-tae sends Hyung-jo a picture that seem to alarm him, then calls him and says he wants to discuss it in person. Meanwhile, Sun-ho finds Hyung-jo’s notebook on his desk and makes photocopies of the pages.
That evening, we see Jae-young in a black hoodie and holding a wicked-looking knife. At his home, Jung-tae talks to Jung-hee on the phone and promises to thank Shin for her help. He hangs up, saying that he’ll come visit her after he meets with Hyung-jo. He finds a box on his desk that wasn’t there before, with a USB inside.
Someone knocks on Jung-tae’s door and, assuming it’s Hyung-jo, Jung-tae lets them in without really looking. The intruder, wearing a black hoodie to hide their face, stabs Jung-tae twice in the belly. Jung-tae collapses, and as he bleeds out, the intruder takes a poker chip — Jung-tae’s good luck charm — from Jung-tae’s pocket then retrieves his knife. He sits at Jung-tae’s desk and types something out on his computer, taking care to use a corner of a handkerchief so as not to leave fingerprints.
After finding out from her manager that Se-rin’s personal information was leaked online, she has an epiphany — none of the travelers were anyone important, so how did Shin know when and where they would die? As she thinks about it, she realizes that the only common factor in their deaths was that Hyung-jo there at the crime scene.
Worried about what this might mean, Ga-hyun calls Hyung-jo. At the same time, the intruder’s phone rings, and we finally see his face… it’s Hyung-jo.
Okay, I don’t even know what to think. Nothing Hyung-jo has ever said or done has indicated that he’s anything less than a paragon of compassion, caring, and self-sacrifice. I just can’t imagine that he’s been putting on a show all this time, especially since we’ve seen how he acts when he’s alone, and seen that he’s infuriated by Shin’s manipulations and committed to saving as many lives as possible. There have been too many scenes of Hyung-jo working on the cases alone, trying to solve the mystery surrounding the travelers’ deaths, and confronting Shin for answers. If he were in on her schemes, he would have no reason to behave like an innocent person when nobody is watching, or to be so adversarial towards her when they’re alone together.
My first instinct is to suspect Jae-young, who we saw wearing a hoodie and carrying a knife, but then the killer clearly has Hyung-jo’s face. This makes me suspect that the man who just killed Jung-tae isn’t our Hyung-jo, but maybe a Hyung-jo from an alternate reset. There’s certainly no reason to think that Shin has been telling the truth about how resets work — she claims that the travelers’ minds went back into their bodies from one year ago, but what if that’s not true? What if she didn’t really take them back in time, but actually moved them to an alternate reality? Perhaps it’s possible for multiples of them to exist in alternate timelines. Maybe Shin has twisted an alternate Hyung-jo to serve her purposes, or a Hyung-jo from an alternate timeline has his own bones to pick with the travelers. Whatever is going on, I feel like everything I’ve learned and thought I was sure about is now suspect, and that we’re back at square one in terms of understanding how all this works.
I’m more convinced than ever that all of this is ultimately about Shin’s daughter, Young, especially after that little scene where Shin was receiving test results, and the way she said wistfully that she wishes she could see Young grow up. Ga-hyun was spot on when she said that a mother would want to see her daughter grow up, not keep reliving the same year and keeping her daughter in a permanent state of limbo (I mean, I’m “only” an aunt and one of my greatest joys in life is watching my niece grow up!). But if Young lost her life in a situation that somehow involved the travelers, it makes sense that Shin would want revenge. It also strikes me that it’s possible those test results were Shin’s and that she might be sick and/or dying, so she’s reliving this year over and over again to stave off her own death (though it doesn’t seem to explain anything else that’s happening). There are still so many possibilities as to what is truly going on.
As for the other travelers, I’m not surprised that Jae-young turned out to be a bully, because he’s never exactly been friendly or even decent to the others. I figured that his story about resetting because he wanted to win a gaming tournament was a lie, and I’m still not entirely clear on Jae-young’s motivations, but it sounds like Young-woong exposed his bullying and ruined his father’s bid for Minister of Education, so Jae-young decided to go back and try to stop him. But simply having his father lose a position doesn’t seem like enough to make a person travel back in time, which makes me wonder about the exact fallout of that scandal. I’m also growing more suspicious of No-seob, who seems just too sweet and kind to be true. All of the travelers so far have had some kind of dark secret, and something tells me that No-seob’s secret might be the worst one of all. In fact, I’m worried that he may actually be working with Shin from the inside (maybe he’s this “Professor” she keeps talking to on the phone?), perhaps in exchange for resets so that he can spend more time with his wife in the last year that she remembers him. Whatever is going on with him, I’m convinced that he’s not nearly as innocent as he seems.
- Premiere Watch: 365: Repeat the Year, A Piece of Your Mind, Welcome, A Couple’s World, Unique Chef Moon, Rugal
- Lee Jun-hyuk, Nam Ji-hyun return to the past in new teaser for MBC’s 365: Repeat the Year
- Cast of 365: A Fate-defying Year gather for script reading
- Nam Ji-hyun considers 365: A Fate-defying Year with Lee Jun-hyuk