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Hi Bye, Mama! : Episode 16 (Final)

Are you ready for the extra-long sob fest finale? The show has prepared us for this ending, but it’s still an overwhelming mix of emotions as everyone struggles through grief and happiness and guilt on their way to catharsis. Yuri has made her decision, and it’s time for everyone to move forward without guilt. Some are more prepared for this day than others, but their shared grief also helps them move forward together.

 
EPISODE 16: “Petals Fall, but the Flower Endures”

“I won’t take my place back,” Yuri firmly tells Kang-hwa as they linger outside his car. She tells him that Seo-woo is the first life she’s valued more than her own, and she refuses to take her spot back if it means that Seo-woo will be haunted by ghosts for the rest of her life.

Kang-hwa desperately clings to the hope that there’s a way for Yuri to stay and for them to banish the ghosts from Seo-woo as well. But he recalls when Yuri first told him about the ghosts that plagued Seo-woo and an unsettling drawing Seo-woo made of the ghost who used to haunt their apartment. And Yuri knows there’s no perfect option, only a choice between the two.

Kang-hwa still clings to his desire to keep Yuri alive, no matter what. But Yuri tells him that, just like five years ago, this decision is hers to make and hers alone, and she’ll choose Seo-woo every time. She tells him that he did everything that he could, both times, and that she’s sorry that he’s in a position to feel guilty again.

At the bar, Hyun-jung wonders if telling Kang-hwa everything was the right thing to do. Geun-sang reassures her, saying that it’s better for him to know and get a chance to try this time than to have this be a surprise again. But Hyun-jung thinks back to her last conversation with Yuri, and she realizes that Yuri never agreed to take her place as Kang-hwa’s wife back.

Meanwhile, Midongdaek has finally discovered the reason for Yuri’s return: a wish made by Yuri’s mom at the temple asking to see her daughter just one more time. That night, Mom holds Yuri in her arms as they sleep and sings softly to her, her wish a reality.

At the columbarium, Guk-bong has clearly been busy. The only ghosts who remain are our lady trio. Gwi-soon and Hye-jin look up to ask Mi-ja about her son, who has been visiting her urn frequently lately since his business failed again. They indicate that he always seems to turn up with these issues, and the ghosts sigh that life is just tough.

The next morning, Yuri’s mom is surprised to find Yuri boxing up all of her old things in her room. Mom does not seem happy, even though Yuri says everything is old and unused. Mom lowers herself to the bed and sighs that she kept everything because Yuri was in the room still. She could come in to see photos that reminded her of her grade schooler who went to school with a backpack bigger than her, her teenage daughter who would giggle at leaves on the street, and her high schooler who cried so hard when she failed the college entrance exam.

She tells Yuri that if she’d gotten rid of everything in the room, it would have felt as though Yuri had never existed at all. Yuri leans in and tells her mother that even if nothing of her is left in the world, she still lives in her heart always.

But the melancholy follows Mom out of the room, and Dad asks what’s wrong. Mom brushes his concerns off, but her mouth sets in a thin line when he asks if she had the dream again, and she says yes. And then she turns to the kitchen cupboards and takes out the seaweed her neighbor had gifted her.

Kang-hwa finds Yuri for round two of trying to convince her to live. He says that they should just focus on her staying alive right now, and they can work on solving Seo-woo’s ghost problem afterwards. Yuri reminds him of the freezer incident at the daycare, and that this is a more deadly problem than just seeing friendly ghosts all the time.

Yuri tells him that after having been dead, it’s living that feels strange to her now. The frustration gets to Kang-hwa, and he growls at her, “Since you already died once should I say, ‘Okay. Bye. You’re dead already anyway?'” Yuri has nothing to say to calm him, and can only walk away.

She makes her way to Midongdaek, who shares the discovery of her mother’s wish. Midongdaek says that she always assumed that Yuri’s mother was at the temple every day praying for her daughter’s peace, but she had instead been praying for this one wish. Yuri says that she failed to see this because she’d only been concerned about her own daughter, and Midongdaek says that everyone is like that. She says that she lives alone like she does to take care of her own child and his family, while her son is only concerned with his child.

And with this revelation, Yuri realizes that these 49 days haven’t been a punishment or test at all; just a gift. And in montage, we see moments that Yuri had yearned for but thought she’d never experience: hugging Seo-woo for the first time, seeing her mom again, bringing Seo-woo to play with her entire family, Seo-woo comforting her sweetly, and the fresh air from Hyun-jung’s car as they drove. Yuri nods and commits to using her remaining time to enjoy it while she’s there. Midongdaek tells Yuri that she’s grown stronger, into a real mom now.

Yuri visits Hyun-jung first to relay her decision. Hyun-jung tries to fight for her friend at first, saying that everyone is cruel to her, but she stops when Yuri asks her to help leave with a smile in the end. Hyun-jung breaks down into sobs as the reality settles in, and Yuri holds her tightly as Geun-sang stands by.

Kang-hwa finds himself at the columbarium in front of Yuri’s urn, as he sinks in front of it in despair. Midongdaek finds him there, and suggests that while she understands his feelings, he might regret wasting time later if he doesn’t try to enjoy time with Yuri now. That desperate look returns to Kang-hwa’s eyes as he begs Midongdaek for some new information that would allow Yuri to live and keep Seo-woo safe. Kang-hwa offers himself up, for whatever the universe wants from him. He’ll see ghosts, he’ll die and move on, just as long as Yuri can stay. But Midongdaek tells him gently that nothing can be done, and suggests that sending someone on properly to their resting place can be a way of showing their respects.

At their home, Min-jung lingers at their wedding portrait. Her bags are packed and waiting on the bed. Meanwhile at the bar, Hyun-jung shows Yuri the friendship bracelets Min-jung left in her care, after drinking her beer and crying. Yuri asks if Min-jung said anything, and Hyun-jung shares Min-jung’s intention to divorce Kang-hwa. Yuri is immediately upset and wants to fix things, while Hyun-jung tells her friend that this is something between Kang-hwa and Min-jung, not something that Yuri can take care of.

Min-jung walks Seo-woo to school and tells her daughter how pretty she is. Seo-woo senses the melancholy, and presses a bandaid on Min-jung’s hand. Min-jung asks if she seems sick, and then wraps Seo-woo in a tearful hug.

Yuri is upset to see that Min-jung managed to smuggle Seo-woo into the daycare without her seeing, but her focus shifts when Seo-woo throws up in the playroom. Yuri loads Seo-woo on her back and she and the daycare manager run to the nearby hospital. It’s just a little enteritis, thankfully, though the daycare staff have already contacted Min-jung.

Min-jung rushes in, worry and fear in her eyes, but her expression falls away when she sees Yuri already at Seo-woo’s side. Min-jung pivots back around to the doors, but Yuri manages to catch up just outside. Min-jung asks Yuri what she’s supposed to do, since Seo-woo’s real mother is at her daughter’s side now, but Yuri asks her not to leave and tells Min-jung that both Kang-hwa and Seo-woo need her.

Back at the temple, Yuri’s mother spots Kang-hwa just outside the columbarium. They sit together at the nearby tables and Mom asks what’s bothering Kang-hwa. Without telling the whole situation, Kang-hwa confesses that he’s scared that Yuri will disappear again.

Mom turns to Kang-hwa and tells him about the dream that she’s been having every night since Yuri returned. In the dream, Yuri says goodbye to her and leaves. Mom says that she feels relief each morning that she wakes up and finds Yuri still there, but that she also can’t help but wonder if Yuri came back to life to say goodbye, and that the dream is Yuri trying to prepare her for her real departure. Given this, Mom has committed to saying goodbye to Yuri with a smile. Retreating to his car, Kang-hwa hears Yuri again and again, telling him that she’s sorry and that none of this is his fault.

At the hospital, Yuri gives Min-jung the whole story, including her impending death. Min-jung is immediately worried for Kang-hwa, and Yuri tries to reassure Min-jung that whatever he said to her to want to divorce, he didn’t mean it. Min-jung asks Yuri why she doesn’t hate her, and Yuri tells her that she’s only grateful towards her. Yuri says that her death turned sweet Kang-hwa into a thorny cactus, and she appreciate that Min-jung keeps holding on to him even though he’s so changed.

And, Yuri can’t forget, Min-jung is Seo-woo’s favorite person in the world, and that gave her so much relief. Min-jung asks if there is any way that Yuri could stay, and Yuri says no.

Driving back, Kang-hwa finally gets the message of Seo-woo’s hospitalization, and when he arrives it’s Min-jung at Seo-woo’s bedside. Is that relief in his eyes? It’s hard to tell, because once they’re outside he immediately casts his eyes down again. Min-jung offers him an opening, saying that when they were living together he would thank her for small things, like combing Seo-woo’s hair or tucking her in at night, as if she were a stranger. Kang-hwa finally offers something other than, “I’m sorry,” and says that he didn’t ever want to regret anything again, like he had with Yuri.

Min-jung acknowledges that Kang-hwa has finally made an effort to open up, but she still walks away. Over her shoulder, she tells Kang-hwa to give Yuri a good send-off, and says that they’ll discuss the status of their divorce once Yuri has left.

Yuri has her mom’s wish on her mind, so she throws herself into spending good time with Mom at home. But after her conversation with Kang-hwa, Mom has a different sense of what this time means now, and she tells Yuri she has something for her.

Mom finally cooks seaweed soup with the seaweed she’s had hidden away. Mom tells Yuri that she wanted to make a big pot for her after she gave birth, and tells Yuri about that big pot that went to waste on the stove after her death.

It’s a story that Yuri already knows, and Mom now asks if Yuri was always at her side these last five years. Yuri hesitates, but Mom knows the truth. She says that she understands now that Yuri hid Seo-woo’s baby things away not for herself, but for Mom. And of course as we know, Yuri was there for the moments when Mom snuck away to Yuri’s room to cry over the baby clothes or to try to distract herself with games on her phone.

Mom begins to cry and Yuri holds her tightly. Mom says that she wished really hard that she could see Yuri again, because she wanted just one chance to tell her that she was sorry. Yuri asks why Mom would be sorry, and Mom says that she knew how much pain Yuri felt even when she just cut her finger, so she couldn’t stand to think about the pain Yuri must have felt, all by herself on the pavement. Mom’s guilt is because she was sorry that she wasn’t at Yuri’s side when she died.

Yuri reassures her mother that she was strong the whole time, because she hadn’t been alone. Seo-woo had been with her through it all, and that’s what made her strong. The two hold each other tight as they cry.

At the columbarium, Gwi-soon and Hye-jin watch as Mi-ja sits with her son, who has come to cry at his mother’s urn. The camera slowly pans up to show that Mi-ja’s son is an old man himself, much older than Mi-ja was when she died. The ghosts sigh that it’s at that age especially that you miss your mother, and they all agree that they miss their own.

Kang-hwa and Yuri meet for one final round, and Kang-hwa asks one last time if there’s no way for Yuri to stay. He seems resigned though to her answer now, and Kang-hwa wishes that he’d known how things would end so that he could make sure that Yuri saw Seo-woo more. He says that he’s been a fool, but Yuri tells him that all of these moments have been really precious to her. She was able to hug Seo-woo, and she was also able to hold Kang-hwa when he panicked.

“How can I let you go again?” he asks her, and Yuri apologizes for her decision, now and five years ago. Kang-hwa apologizes now, and Yuri tells him no, that she’s grateful that he loved her while they were together.

That night Kang-hwa hovers over Seo-woo as she sleeps. He whispers to her that the pretty aunt is actually her birth mother. “Your mom must love you, no, she does you a lot.” He kisses Seo-woo’s tiny fingers, and asks her to forgive him.

Now that everyone is on the same page, Yuri writes out a to-do list of things she wants to experience before she leaves. Number one: keep my promises to friends.

It’s her ghostly friends she’s thinking of, and she takes the remaining ladies out for bbq, which she turns into ghostly offerings for all of them. The waitress lifts her eyebrows as Yuri chatters away at an empty table, but Yuri’s unconcerned. The food is the ghosts’ idea, since they’ve decided that they have no favors to ask. They see no reason to scare their families with knowledge that they’re still lingering as ghosts, and have decided it’s time to move on. Instead, they’re just grateful that they were able to keep one another company during their time as ghosts, and agree to meet again in a new life.

Second on Yuri’s list is to return favors, and there’s a big one she owes to the ghost family. So she brings a very confused Pil-seung around to her parents’ house for a home cooked meal. Pil-seung is surprised to hear Yuri call herself a friend of the family, but she smiles at him that she’s indeed good friends with his parents. Pil-seung doesn’t let the surprise ruin his appetite though, as he digs in.

Next up, Yuri wants to enjoy everyday mom life, so she and Hyun-jung take the kids out to a cafe. The tasks become bigger and more important, as next up, Yuri wants to say goodbye to her family. But they’re able to keep it happy, and have a fun picnic with Seo-woo and hang out all day into the evening.

The last task on Yuri’s list is to say goodbye to those closest to her, and so she and Hyun-jung set off for a camping trip with the kids. The guys ride separately in Kang-hwa’s car, and while Kang-hwa is there, he’s still not able to crack a smile or relax. Geun-sang asks him to pull up alongside Hyun-jung’s car, and he begs the girls to let him ride with them instead, haha. He even promises that he remembered to bring the meat this time, but the ladies just zoom ahead.

At the campsite, Geun-sang and Kang-hwa play soccer with the kids while Hyun-jung and Yuri watch. Hyun-jung takes the moment to give Yuri a letter from Min-jung. Hyun-jung says that Min-jung asked her to give Yuri a good send-off with Kang-hwa. Yuri asks if Min-jung is still divorcing Kang-hwa, and Hyun-jung reminds her that there were problems between the two even before Yuri returned. Hyun-jung tells Yuri to worry about her own problems, and to smile.

Yuri finds a spot alone to read Min-jung’s letter. Min-jung moves through all of the names she’s known Yuri by, until finally ending at “Seo-woo’s mom.” Min-jung says that she’s mad not just because Kang-hwa and Yuri lied to her, but now also because she’s so sad to lose a friend. She says that she’s glad to have met Yuri, and ends with a P.S. that promises that she will protect Seo-woo with all of her heart. Kang-hwa watches Yuri quietly in this moment.

And then everyone is together, singing and clapping around the campfire. Hyun-jung’s smile begins to falter, but Yuri reminds her and the corners of her lips lift again.

Kang-hwa and Yuri find a spot alone to talk. Kang-hwa asks Yuri if she’s happy, and she says that she is, now that she can leave laughing and smiling along with everyone, instead of alone without anyone knowing. Kang-hwa asks if she has any regrets, and she tells him that the person she could count on the most in life was her mother. Her one regret is that she wasn’t able to be that kind of mother for Seo-woo. But she looks Kang-hwa in the eyes and tells him that since she can’t, it’s up to him to be that kind of dad for Seo-woo, and he promises to.

She asks him what he missed the most after she died, and he says that he was most sad that he wouldn’t be able to grow old with her. He’d always imagined them seeing Seo-woo go to college, get married, and have her own children, all with Yuri at his side. Yuri says that she also wanted that life, and Kang-hwa says that he’s grateful that Yuri gave him Seo-woo. Yuri asks Kang-hwa to live his life to the fullest for Seo-woo from now on, and he promises that he will. He even manages a smile, and the ghost of his old self is in it. They lean in for a hug, and hold each other for a long while on the bench.

And then, Yuri’s final day arrives. Mom steps outside and looks at the flowers on the trees, in full bloom. Yuri gives her final goodbyes to Seo-woo. She tells her daughter to always smile and asks her to come to her in the next life as well.

As Yuri hugs her, Seo-woo gently says, “Bye, Mom.” Tears spring to Yuri’s eyes as she hears her daughter call her “mom” at last.

In the end, Midongdaek is there with Yuri. Yuri earnestly thanks her friend for helping her all this time, and they exchange a few teasing words as well. Midongdaek says that Yuri has one more goodbye to give, and holds out a mirror. Yuri looks in the mirror and says goodbye to this life, and she does.

Yuri walks forward on her own, down a path surrounded by blossoming trees.

“Kang-hwa, Seo-woo,” she says in voiceover. “When you go to heaven, god will ask you two questions. If you answer yes to both questions you can be reborn as a human in your next life. First, were you happy with your life? And the other question is, Were other people happy because of you? Let’s be reborn as humans and meet again in the next life.”

EPILOGUE

And now it’s time for a time jump. On the table, Seo-woo’s baby photos lead to new photos as she grows bigger and bigger, and soon she is a young lady. That young lady sits on a park bench with a book open on her lap and Yuri’s friendship bracelet from Min-jung on her wrist.

In between the book pages is the polaroid photo taken of Yuri, Kang-hwa, and Seo-woo at the amusement park. Written on the photo in Yuri’s hand, it reads, “My baby, will you remember that I was with you?”

Seo-woo folds over the cover of her book on the photo, and the title reads, “Petals Fall, but the Flower Endures,” a book about the philosophy of death and shared grief (and the title of this episode). At Seo-woo’s side, there’s a textbook for film studies, and a notebook titled “script” with Seo-woo’s name on the cover.

Seo-woo looks up when her parents call out to her and runs over to them. Though their backs are to us, Kang-hwa and Min-jung’s distinct voices ring out as they laugh and talk together.

 
COMMENTS

If I told you that it was easy to recap this final episode, it would be a lie. I certainly cried through the entire hour and a half, and then through about 40% of my attempt to write about my feelings as well. From the start, this show was able to dig in and tap into those heavy, messy emotions, and it managed to maintain that through to the end. I think that we can agree that there were some misses here and there along the way, especially when it came to some plot decisions, but in the end, the emotional arcs made it to the end they were meant to reach.

I really enjoyed this drama, but I would say that it suffered in two areas: the first is that it didn’t trust the viewers when it came to the magic system and its rules.

What made the writer’s previous efforts with Go Back Spouses so good was that there weren’t too many rules getting in the way of the emotions. The magic of that show was never really explained, and stayed out of focus for the majority of the run. Hi Bye, Mama!, on the other hand, created Midongdaek entirely to serve as the source of information, and then failed to justify the need for the information she gave.

We didn’t need Guk-bong waiting eagerly to collect Seo-woo for shaman duty to be fearful for Seo-woo and her ghost vision. And though 49 days makes sense in a traditional mythological and theological sense, there was no need for a ticking clock either to propel our characters forward. The revelation of Mom’s wish in the temple was so perfect at the end; it was seriously all we needed without all the mess in the middle. I believe that Yuri would have tried to fix Seo-woo’s ghost vision no matter what reason she did or didn’t have for her return, and she didn’t need rules or tips from Midongdaek to figure out that it was her presence at her daughter’s side that was going to ensure that the ghosts never faded.

Without Midongdaek supposedly supplying answers to Yuri, Yuri still would have made the decision not to get in between Kang-hwa and Min-jung. Yuri’s growing concern about whether she was experiencing a gift or a punishment could have been all the more palpable with no answers at all. The show does character and emotion so well, I would have preferred that they didn’t try to explain the unexplainable to us. I would much rather accept the magic and get to the meat of the story.

The other letdown in the end was the way that the side character ghosts were handled. The idea that Yuri was going to help everyone resolve their problems being introduced so late in the show… we knew it wasn’t going to be achievable. And honestly, I even think that conclusion is okay. Some ghosts were able to fix some things and move on, and for others, it was okay to come to the realization that too often both life and the afterlife are filled with regret if they aren’t careful. It all weaves nicely into the show’s over-arching themes… but the ghosts weren’t given enough screen time at the very end for this to feel fully integrated.
The emotional beats were there, but they weren’t held long enough, and so it just misses its mark in execution. It’s all so close, but not quite there.

Even with these small let downs though, it’s hard to feel anything but grateful for a show that just makes me feel so much, even days after I’ve watched the last episode. I love a story with no villains. It can make a sustained plot difficult, as I think we see here, but I am perfectly fine with imperfect story when I’m left at the end with so many warm fuzzy feelings for every single character (I guess the exception is Guk-bong, but he barely got enough screen time to count).

I was so worried about Min-jung at first, unsure whether the show would villainize her. And now at the end, as everyone has always said, Min-jung is too nice. She stepped back to let everyone heal the way they needed to. She didn’t jump in and demand that others take care of her feelings (even though she totally deserves to have that). She’s patient, but she’s learned that there’s a difference between kindness and being trampled. She doesn’t hang back completely anymore. And with Yuri’s brief return, she finally understands that she is Seo-woo’s real mother. She has the approval and gratitude of Seo-woo’s birth mother, and now she can finally understand how silly it is to feel like an imposter when she’s serving a very important role in Yuri’s daughter’s life.

I loved how even though it was Yuri’s mother’s wish that brought Yuri back, Mom was ultimately the one most prepared to let her daughter go again. Some of Yuri’s final words to Kang-hwa are about her mother and how she always had her back, and that showed here as well. Mom understood everything that Yuri felt from the very start of this, and she never resisted or fought her daughter’s decisions. Where even Kang-hwa and Hyun-jung couldn’t understand her, Mom saw immediately how Yuri would feel about her daughter and what her choice would be.

And Kang-hwa. Sigh. While Mom was ready, Kang-hwa never could be. Kang-hwa struggled so hard to see beyond his own pain, and couldn’t do it until the very end, and even that peek beyond was begrudgingly. It doesn’t make him bad. Nothing Kang-hwa did was cruel or wrong. He wasn’t alone in his grief and guilt all these years. But he loved Yuri so entirely, and that love just lodged itself in such a way that he couldn’t do anything but hurt. I don’t want to say that I was glad to see him hurting, but I appreciated that not everyone had to come around and feel perfectly at peace with Yuri’s decision. People are different, and I think it was a really honest look at the way loved ones may each find their own path to letting go. By the time jump, Kang-hwa has found his new balance. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have that pain still sitting with him deep down, but he seems to understand now that Yuri is with him, in Seo-woo. Those habits that remind him of Yuri, like the nose-wriggling at night, have likely only grown more pronounced as Seo-woo has aged. Even without Yuri there to guide her along the way, there are pieces of Yuri that linger.

In the end, the reminder here is that life is a gift, and that we should try to enjoy it while we can. That is true for when Yuri was alive, and when she returned. It’s a show that warns about getting stuck, especially because we feel guilty or regret things. Both the ghosts and the living struggle with these things, but it takes a moment of communication between the realms for everyone to realize that kind of life isn’t what they want for the other.

And by the end, there are two ways to live on. As she passes on, Yuri looks forward to a future life when she can find Kang-hwa and Seo-woo again. Perhaps that time, they can make it to when they’re old and grey, the lives they were looking forward to. And in the meantime, Yuri lives on in Seo-woo. Seo-woo carries everyone’s memories of Yuri for them, even as she finds her own joy in life.

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Despite all its flaws, I am SO happy about how they handled Mom. I was worried about how Yuri would break it to Mom, but to know that she was ready for it and accepted it with grace and open arms is better than I could ever imagine. She even convinced Kang-hwa (who I worried for the entire drama) to find peace with it.
Moms are just... amazing.

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Mom is the MVP in this drama, especially in this eps. I love how she instinctively knows that Yuri is only here to say her goodbye. That was such a mom thing. And I love how wise and loving she is. She managed to talk sense to all our 3 main leads, a seemingly impossible feat given how many people tried to do exactly that and failed.

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Since Mom was played by the epic Kim Mi-kyung - who in my opinion is the best Korean actress in dramas - I knew she would do a great job, and she did. She could be conflicted and we would see it, she could be withdrawn and yet we could still feel and understand what was happening beneath the surface. Her growth was in subtle ways, but that was natural for this character. Loved everything about mom.

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I think this drama's biggest problem is the way they dragged the built-up and climax for 15 long eps, only to have the most rushed-out resolution all in the finale eps. At first I like the idea of exploring the ghostly world, but eventually it only bogged the story down with so many different characters and their respective stories that didn't always being tied up well to the main plot. To make everything worse, many of those little stories were suddenly dropped off without rhyme or reason, so why did they even bother with all the built up before? I wonder if a shorter eps count and duration (like the writer's other drama: Go Back Spouses) would actually improve this drama's overall quality.

I'm glad this eps focused solely on healing, on people finally talking about their problem and discussing about how to overcome it together (however late it might be). But I also have to say that the emotional punches will land better if the healing process was shown since several eps ago. People need time to process things, and instead of dwelling in the same crippling and exhausting grief over and over, I'd rather the drama started exploring about their effort at healing much earlier. I love the montage of Yuri's last days and how she spent it to properly say goodbye to every important person in her life. But I also have to quiet my disbelief at the sudden calmness of everyone when they were still wailing over the injustice of everything just 1 eps before. And don't let me start on how Seo-woo accepted Yuri as her mom just like that, without any proper explanation. Don't get me wrong. I love it. But I wish we can know more about Seo-woo's thought on everything that happened in those 49 days. This drama should have been her story too, so it's a shame that we never got the chance to know her well enough.

One last thing I'm really disappointed with is the way the writer never really dealt with the problem between Kang-hwa and Min-jung. For a conflict that was one of the main plot point, it baffled me that there's no real resolution about it. I couldn't help thinking that them staying together in the epilogue could mean 2 things: that they have resolved everything off screen, or that they never truly overcome their deep-seated problems but Min-jung choose to stay for Seo-woo's sake. I don't think it's too far-fetched to imagine that the happiness Min-jung get from staying as Seo-woo's mom and most favorite person is more than enough to counteract the hurt she feel from Kang-hwa's passiveness. Isn't that just like Min-jung to stay for the familial love instead of romantic feelings?

Speaking of romantic love, there's actually never much talk about that when it comes to Min-jung and Kang-hwa's relationship besides their initial attraction to each other and their very early dating scenes. Even when the topic about romantic feelings came up, it strangely never happened in this couple's conversation. Instead, we saw Hyun-jung...

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I also wished we got more of Seo-woo's POV. Like you said, this is also her story. Quite sad that didn't get utilized.

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I totally agree with your frustration at the way this show mis-handled KH and MJ. The show wasted several episodes wallowing in KH's grief and psychosis but never revealed either his heart or his thought processes. Both the script and the actor (frankly, I was not impressed with Lee Kyu Hyung's consistently blank expression) did not reveal enough to make us care about him or see his progress. Did he really love MJ? We were never allowed to see it. How did he get over his surgical trauma? Naw, we aren't getting that either. Did he remain guilt-ridden and grieving and angry to the end? Not sure. Maybe?

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The ending saved the drama. But I'm still not completely satisfied. Biggest disappointment was Gang Hwa though. Did he even love Min Jeong? Why did he marry her?
When Yu Ri said Gang Hwa loves Min Jeong. I believed her. Because 1) she's witnessed it all and 2)Because I really wanted to believe that Gang Hwa wasn't the type to marry for convenience, 3) beacuse i really wanted the story to be about a man learning to live and love again after losing his beloved wife.
But I also understand those ppl who argue that Gang Hwa never loved Min Jeong because we weren't privy to their romance and Gang Hwa has not once said it in words and not exactly through actions either. Maybe they should have shown us a little of their dating days or the day he decided to marry her! Also it should be noted that in the last episode Yu Ri says "Min Jeong loves Gang Hwa and Seo Woo" and "Gang Hwa needs Min Jeong". Not anything more. Not anything else.

Someone said this on the beanie wall that the drama spent more time on Gang Hwa's pain and just the last episode on what Yu Ri actually claimed she wanted to do with her 49 days. They said, maybe the last 6 episodes should have been more focused on that instead of hammering us with Gang Hwa's pain. I agree with them.
I feel like Gang Hwa remarrying was just there for plots sake. To make things complicated because otherwise I do not understand why he would marry Min Jeong if he was never ready to let go of Yu Ri. And the writer never evebln explains it!
This could have been such a beautiful and amazing drama if they had spent the first half focused on Gang Hwa's unbearable pain at losing the love of his life and what a mess he was and the next half dealing with how he moved on, liked, dated, loved and then eventually married Min Jeong.
Plus they always showed us devasted Gang Hwa but never how he took care of a little new born baby (There were a few scenes in one episode and no more) when in reality if a spouse dies leaving behind a new born baby, you do not even have the time to grieve, that is how much time a baby takes up. Ofc I'm not saying Gang Hwa shouldn't have been grieving what I'm saying is I needed more of him being a parent to Seo Woo.
Ah well I should stop lamenting about the "What could have been's". I want to talk about our girl Yu Ri but she's one of those characters that I can't articulate well so I'm going to leave her to other beanies. Instead I want to give a shout out to Yu Ri's mom for being the most sensible and warm character. I loved how much she respected Min Jeong and Min Jeong's place as Gang Hwa's wife and Seo Woo' s mom! She never made Min Jeong feel as if she took her daughter's position because she didnt. Min jeong's place is Min Jeong's and Yu Ri's place is wholly Yu Ri's . That scene when she called her "seo Woo's mom"? YES, YES AND YES!!

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Also, I have another question, not necessarily a complain but when Yu Ri was pregnant, both she and Gang Hwa would refer to the baby as "Yeol Mu" , but when she was born, the baby was named "Seo Woo". I thought there would be a small scene where they talk about the name change or maybe I'm missing smth?

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Yeol-mu is the fetus name, if that makes sense. They usually have a nickname for the unborn baby. For reference, unborn baby in Fated to Love you was called gae-ddong or dog poop. :)

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Oh okay! So they have a different name for the fetus and a different one when the baby is actually born!? Right, this makes sense. Thank you for the context:)

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Thanks for the explanation, I was also wondering why they changed the name (and it also reminded me of cute Yeol Mu in Never Twice).

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In the scene where Yuri said "Gang-hwa needs Min-jeong", the literal translation would would be "Gang-hwa cannot live without Min-jeong". It is similar but also opens up kore alternative meaning to it. I still think Gang-hwa sucks for saying sorry to Min-jeong when she said she'd leave though so yeah.

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You're right, the literal translation does open more alternatives to what she meant. But even if she literally meant "Gang Hwa cannot live without Min Jeong", I have no reason to believe it because they told us so but did not show us. How am I supposed to believe that he even had an inkling of affection in his heart for MJ when he basically just stood, head bowed and said sorry, which as Wapz puts correctly in her comment means "I'm sorry for aksing but please leave, make this huge sacrifice for us without caring for your own happiness!."

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Hi, after finishing this drama.. i agree with you that what makes this drama complicated is GangHwa's second marriage.

So it would be better if this drama only has 12 episodes. It should focus on how Yuri will make her family and friends let her go, how Yuri will build her bonding with Seowoo, or how GangHwa's effort to move on. After all what Yuri wanted during 5 years is Seowoo knows her mother and her family (especially Mom & GangHwa) not to blame themselves.

But the writer choose to extend the emotional moments until the end.

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Yuri actually said GW likes MJ a lot. That of all people she had seen how much he likes her. She used the word "Joah", not Sarang. Even she could nt lie about him loving her because she had never seen it.
I did see him changing & adjusting to according to MJ - with the spicy food, but except for that nothing.

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I imagine GH to like MJ in his own very reserved way. I really hoped the ending would involve something like:

MJ: GH, I know you still love Yu Ri and that's ok, you don't have to give her up just because you are with me now. I love her too.

And that's how they heal.

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Oh my goodness it’s as if you spoke what my mind was thinking!

Wasn’t 5 years enough ( years both Ganghwa and Min-Jung we’re together) for him to open up and show love and affection to Min-Jung? If you really love someone you’d open up during those 5 years.

What’s up with him only keeping Yuri’s picture by his table and their wedding ring on his work drawer? He doesn’t even have his kids picture nor Min-Jung does he really love Min-Jung?

Yuri kept saying he does, but she also didn’t know what she wanted to do and said a lot of things that made no sense.

You are correct if you haven’t move on, how can you love? Makes no sense.

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Do I regret watching this drama? No.
Do I wish it had better writing? Yes.

This writer is very good when it comes to writing emotions into her work. She can cut you so deep, hit where it hurts, and just leave you crying on the floor. You are exactly right about GBC not having lots of rules to the time travel and this one had too many that didn't make sense. Not sire if it was just me but I was so annoyed every time they were like omg Seo-woo can't live if she keeps seeing ghosts *gasps* right in front of Midongdaek. I found it extremely rude. I get it's a safety issue but it didn't seem like their main concern.

This drama would have benefited from having only 12 episodes. About 4 eps here were obviously filler and just dragged the story. I just can't get with how they kept messing up when all they had to do was be honest with each other. Yuri could have told them all, "I'm here to keep Seo-woo from seeing ghosts but only for 49 days so let's have the time of our lives and do what we can for each other". It was that easy. Minjeong wouldn't have to get hurt and trampled on by everyone.

My biggest disappointment though is Gang-hwa. Oh man, at this point, I feel bad I have nothing good to say about him. And I watched this because of Lee Kyu-hyung!

Anyway, it still did really good for the most part. I cried a bucket or two watching the last episode. So many realizations throughout the show like learning how to appreciate life and making decisions. Thank you to the staff and actors for working hard during these tough times! Thank you, SailorJumun and abirdword, for the recaps!

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I had an issue with those comments in front of Midongdaek too, though I think it was covered well enough when Yuri framed it as a safety issue and as a force that would steal Seowoo's abililty to make her own choice later, as evidenced by the exorcist's near abduction of her. It balanced out.

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I agree with you, in your No and your Yes.
I always said this drama should have been about healing and learning to say goodbye. From episode 10 to 15 I had the feeling they were just "filling the gap" to keep de 12 episodes. Last episode was what I wanted from episode 10 or 11.
But even so, I loved it.

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Hi abirdword, thank you for recapping the last episode. I agree with you that i'm writing my comment with tears (even when i see the bts or re-watch the last eps, i still can't stop crying) & the screen time of ghosts really need to be extended.

I really appreciate to some people who divided as #ThisIsHappyEndingTeam and #ThisIsSadEndingTeam. I'm not one of them since i always think that this is bittersweet ending. No one will be happy if we lose something we love, right? What's worse that being left by someone we can't live without?

But from my point of view, this drama really has beautiful lessons that we can learn. Like how to cherish every moment in your life with your loved ones, how to let go of something we love, how to always remember that the power of mother's love and pray is real.

I really love how Yuri has beautiful good bye for her family (especially GangHwa, Seowoo, and her mom) and her friends who trully love her. God gave her 49 days to fix all things, she can make mom and GangHwa to finally accept her fate and not blame themselves again, she can spend her time with her precious daughter who finally call her "Eomma" in the end. So when her time comes, her loved ones can say good bye properly with no regrets.

By the way, "Jalga, Eomma" thing really broke my heart and i feel like i ran of tears by watching that. Seowoo-ya, you really are good girl like your Eomma.

Thank you Hi Bye Mama team, especially Kim Tae Hee, Lee Kyu Hyung, and Kim Mi Kyung, thank you for delivering such beautiful lessons to us every weekend.

P.S. I really hope Kim Tae Hee and Lee Kyu Hyung can be reunited in another drama (hope it will be Romantic-Comedy) because their chemistry are soooooooooooo good (remember the flashback scene when they were dating?). Can i get an Amen?

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For some reason the version I watched day of release was missing that whole middle part from Yuri learning about her mom's wish to bringing Pilsoo to eat a home cooked meal with her family.... So I just went back And watched those parts and now I'm a crying mess. 😭😭😭

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Pil Seung can play a young Yoon Kyung Sang....

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Righttttttttt omg I need this in life! I've been telling my friend nonstop about Pilseung and how he looked so much like Kyunsang lol.

I miss Yoon Kyunsang. Please come back in a cutesy drama.

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I had very high expectations of Hi, Bye Mama given it was the writer of Go Back Couple, but as soon as Yuri came back to life, the show lost its steam.
1. I had a lot of issues with how they defined Yuri's place. Was it regarding what place she was in when she died? Shouldn't a person's place (honestly a very absurd concept) in the world be where they're born?
2. After coming to life Yuri only kept playing with Seo woo, there was no plot moving forward except for people finding out one after another and jbtw why did they all accept it too easily that a dead person is back to life. They accepted it as if she had gone missing and now returned rather than someone who was dead and has come to life again.
3. The ghost stories were fillers. They didn't matter. They didn't make me cry a tear. Which btw coming to crying, the characters cried all the time while me as the viewer wondered why they're crying at all. Making your characters cry doesn't mean you'll make your viewer cry too, make them resonate with the emotions you're trying to tell. If Yuri's story still was emotional, the other ghost stories weren't but everyone was just terribly sad and cried all the time, it downright became irritating after one point.
4. Kang Hwa never loved Min Jing. There I said it now drama how about you make Yuri help me explain this that he does and not *show* KH and MJ in a healthy relationship. That's what this show has been doing Tell don't show. I didn't buy that with the big hole YR left in KH's heart, MJ even existed there. He may have liked her yes but the fact that he never wanted to come forward and open up with MJ regarding this is a sign that MJ wasn't even closed to be loved as much as KH loved YR. Also how he basically just told MJ to back off and leave (yes saying sorry when MJ told she'll leave meant exactly this that sorry for asking for a huge sacrifice but do it for us) meant he didn't even value her half as much as YR.
4. Many things happened offscreen. I never understood why KH started to get better when YR came when he looked reasonably more stressed, it was never discussed in the show. How MJ and KH got back together despite their several issues?
5. I hated how everyone gave YR the blame and she was meant to say sorry. Come on dying isn't your fault. Plus KH never got the appropriate resolution either, it felt like he and YR still had so much to clear up.
6. The show wasn't even half as funny as GBC. I shouldn't be compared because it was a tight plotted 12 episode show with a story that easily spread into all those episodes with a goal in mind. Here however as I thought the goal would be YR correcting the relationships that had gone bad after she died, it never really happened till the last or few episodes. And she perhaps didn't even manage to correct anything, i don't think SW meets YR's parents, YR did nothing to restore GH and MJ's almost broken marriage.
7. Lastly, the stakes weren't high enough, SW...

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7. Lastly, the stakes weren't high enough, SW seeing ghosts and choosing to do whatever with her life compared to YR actually getting to live. Maybe a life vs life would've been better. That's what I thought was meant to be when the exorcist came in the story. I do get how YR would've destroyed SW's life to an extent but still it felt like they could still work it out.

Despite all these flaws there are reasons why I kept watching this show till the end (I actually wanted to drop by the 14th episode but well I thought let's just get done with it).
1. The epilogues and prologues were the best part of the show. They made me come back to the show. Those were actually emotional and kind of showed how the writer could pack a good emotional punch in a few minutes.
2. The perspective of the dead was nicely done. The what ifs the show highlighted made me realize how I should be valuing the people around me when noone knows if there ever will be a next time.
3. The acting was good. While I never stay in a show because of the acting, atleast it wasn't a hurdle here. Kim Tae hee improved a ton after Yong pal but the scene stealers were Lee Kyu Hyung and Go Bu Gyeol. Their crying scenes were heartbreaking. You could feel they were in huge pain.
4. The step mom. I loved how all three women became frieds, how YR always liked MJ. How they showed that step moms try their level best for the children too. Yes there are bad step moms in the world but there are so many good ones too that we conveniently ignore. But these are just normal women trying to love someone else's birthed child and loving her like their own. The show would've been way better if they developed the trio's friendship earlier because they were interesting. I loved how MJ called YR unnie till the last moment, she actually cherished her.

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1. The word that was used was 자리 which can easily be translated to place but in this drama, it was a place where you belong. Say, you work at an office and you have your own desk. That is your 자리. If you're overstepping boundaries, you need to learn to keep your 자리. That is why at first, I thought by going back to her 자리, they meant for Yuri to realize that she's dead, do what she can for the 49 days, and accept that the place where she belongs is the afterlife, not with the living.

6. GBC had Lee Yikyung. Big shoes to fill. Lol

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Yu Ri finding her place and coming to terms with that (death) is probably the best explanation of the ending. Agreed with your 'where she belongs' theory.

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That's a good perpective on the show. The characters just kept saying thag her place was being KH's wife but this is more appropriate.

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Agree again!

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Thank you for giving the alternate translation. It makes so much difference in meaning.

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Yes to every single word you've said!!

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Really wanted more Pil-seung and family. They were such highlights! And their sacrifice for Seo-woo plus Yuri bringing Pil-seung to her own family just wrecked me.

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And it would have been nice if we were allowed to know if the family stayed in Seo-Woo's life. The original reason for denying the poor kid her grandparents and extended family was that she would be "confused". In the euphoria of having Yuri around this was ignored, but what happened when she was gone? Did the family retreat back to their old ways? We don't know.

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Up until episode 14 I was so worried that Kim Mi-kyung's talent will be underutilized in this show, but then came episode 15 and the (not-so-shocking) reveal on how Yu-ri came back to life because her Mom wants to see her again. Out of all the characters, I was so glad that it was Mom who thanked Min-jung and called her Seo-woo's Mom and that she was finally ready to let go of her daughter after seeing her one last time. Kim Mi-kyung is amazing in any role that she is given, but her Mom roles are the best.

There are so many things I wish this drama focused early on and a lot of things I wish this drama did (seriously, this drama would really work well with 12 episodes), but although it could be better, this ending made my memory of this drama wonderful.

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Major sob fest. The last time I cried this bad was during Prison Playbook finale.
I was satisfied with the ending though. I was glad Gang Hwa is now able to move on. This drama deals with love, and death, and it was done in such a beautiful way. I'm glad I watched this until the end.
Thank you production team~

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I was very underwhelmed by the ending. I felt like Yuri was being too selfless for Seo-Woo’s sake and was being selfish in handling Gang-Hwa. It didn’t seem enough of a reason for her to go that Seo-Woo would see ghosts for the rest of her life—-Seo-Woo has an entire family to help her process things, and now that they understand the problem, they could better solve it, together. Yuri didn’t even try or appear to consider Gang-Hwa in making her decision, and we know they both desperately love each other so much, and they have a chance to get it back. Heck she could have stayed for her own family, if not Gang Hwa, but she unilaterally made that decision. I get that Min-Jung probably stayed for Seo-Woo and maybe her love for Gang-Hwa who would’ve been guilt-ridden if Seo-Woo had been left motherless again. It did all feel terribly rushed and unsatisfying, but I can understand why it had to end like that. It’s just that it could have been more, and it just wasn’t.

P.S. I second the call for another KTH-LKH project, hopefully one where their characters have a happy and satisfying ending. Also I do believe the child actor who plays Seo-Woo is one of my favorite children omo so adorable.

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Oh, these goodbyes... these goodbyes... isn't it so hard to look at your reflection in the mirror and say goodbye? It's so heartbreaking!!! Though no one probably comes back to life like Yuri, there are so many people who are battling death every day, I think Yuri's return to this world is kinda like those people's life story, the battle for life and finally, you have to face death and say goodbye, most importantly to yourself, I think it was a good conclusion. At the beginning of the drama, I thought the subject is repetitive and I was worried the drama be boring, but it wasn't, the storyline was kinda fresh, I enjoyed it. Thanks for all the recaps :)

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I haven't watched a single episode, only read the recaps but even then, the tears can't stop flowing. Thank you for the beautiful recaps.

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I have complaints, but I'm going to talk about the things I loved first because I even teared up when reading this recap. This drama is THAT powerful.

The thing I loved the most about HBM was how balanced the characters are. Balanced here means they could have very different views (mainly about whether Yuri should take her place back or not) but still supportive at the end. Mom and Dad were equally sad (actually Mom is probably even sadder) but they handled their pain in the exact opposite ways. Dad would try his best to get close to Seowoo, and Mom would try to stay away (and looked over Seowoo from afar) although that even made her more miserable. Hyunjeong was on Yuri's side the whole time and Geunsang was constantly worried about Minjeong. While I wanted Yuri to go up right from Day 1, I was glad she had at least 1 person who tried to convince her to stay (besides Ganghwa). I think somehow she needed that, the one person who was on her side no matter what. Not saying that Mom wasn't on her side, but she handled things with so much grace and consideration and wisdom. She thought about everyone's happiness, and that was why I worshiped her so much, but Yuri was lucky to have Hyunjeong.

Minjeong is probably my favorite character after Mom. None of us expected ourselves to like her, but we ended up rooting for her as she tried her best to go towards happiness. I never wanted her to leave, but during the last 2 eps, I kinda felt conflicted because everyone kept saying that she loved her husband & daughter, and they wouldn't be able to live without her. That was true, but would staying make her happier?

And now I'm going to start complaining hahaha. I waited and waited and WAITED for Ganghwa and Minjeong to have actual conversation about their relationship. It never happened. Yuri kept saying that Ganghwa loved Minjeong, and he kinda hinted it on the last ep, but I want proofs! I needed to know that he cherished Minjeong just as much because that was what she deserved. If she stayed only because of Seowoo than I would rather have her leave. I know it would only make Seowoo suffer, but I care about Minjeong's happiness so much. That was my biggest disappointment with this drama, since I loved seeing Ganghwa and Minjeong together.

As much as I want to blame Ganghwa for neglecting Minjeong.... I can't. He was in so much pain and he probably shouldn't have gotten remarried so soon but since he got 0 explanation about this (despite the drama showing that he liked Minjeong), I just couldn't blame him. But Minjeong pointed it out for him, telling him to fix himself first before trying to make her happy.

Not gonna say much about the ghosts side stories since everyone said it already, but I was still mad at that one ep when Yuri was stuck in Pilseung's house for almost the whole episode. Wish the writer had realized sooner that she would need time to solve GH-MJ's problems.

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This recap is perfect, you said everything I thought better than I could. Thank you.

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Ending suck.. I am just going to stop watching K drama's until episode 14 because the writers tend to disappoint.
MJ was a second choice and second best, MJ was never Kang Hwa's choice, he settled for her and in their life. Yuri suffered needlessly and continuously and whats worse is they showed what her life would have been if she lived, Yuri would have lived a great and happy life, so that sucks. Awful, awful ending with acceptance more so than happiness with our main leads.

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Mom, MinJung, and SeoWoo broke my heart. Towards the end I cried only for these characters. Other beanies have eloquently written about all the missed opportunities and mixed messages so I’m not going to get into it anymore. Mom and MinJug acted with grace and dignity. I’m going to remember the three characters and forget everything else about this drama.

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Thanks for the lovely recap. I agree with a lot of your views, it was a flawed drama but I got sucked in and it made me feel very deeply. I think they were overly ambitious with the other ghost arcs and it deviated a bit in the middle though the last few episodes could have used some levity which was maybe why the ghosts were around in the first place.
Personally, I loved our heroine and wanted a conventional happy ending for her..but that’s not the point of this story. She mentions in the 1st episode she and KH thought the 13 years together (including the dead 5) were unbreakable..so we should have seen this coming. The way they treated her death and goodbyes were touching and I loved that Midongdae had her say goodbye to herself before leaving. That message to KH and SW to meet her again.. cue buckets of tears.
KH..i also agree that it was nice to see someone not completely embrace her leaving. With everyone close to the situation giving him guidance, i’m glad he was able to have closure with her and live. He is fully involved in his career and has reconciled his marriage. Yes, Yuri will always be in his life through SW. I was a little confused about the scene in SW’s bedroom where he tells her Yuri is his birth mother and asks for her forgiveness one day...for not telling her sooner? Or for being a shell of a person?
I love Yuri’s family, her Mom knows her like no one else. Their relationship is so touching.
The mini epilogue was just enough to see SW grown up, an exuberant person like Yuri and also following a creative path. I liked that she wore that friendship bracelet MJ had given Yuri..i like to think that SW knows a little about Yuri and hopefully in touch with her grandparents.
I won’t miss the heartache from this drama but loved the characters and all the actors. The best friends, family, kids...especially Kim Tae Hee, Lee Kyu Hung and Kim Mi Kyung.

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Who is seo woo's mom in the last part?

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I think is MJ

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I loved the show but I'd agree that there are some aspects that could have been improved. Is it just me who loves Pil Sung? I feel as though he was just a filler whenever, a story that didn't really flourish but had much potential. Pyo Chi Soo (still hangup on the CLOY), feels unnecessary to me and rather an unplanned insertion. They didn't need him to move the plot forward at all and unless I am mistaken, he was sent by an organization of Shamans who are supposed to ascend spirits and somehow they are counting the spirits they've departed? Totally unnecessary.

The show lagged in the middle when there was nothing moving plot-wise though I'd say that I would have loved to see them grieving the second time where they had the chance to say goodbye. Might be a good juxtaposition of where they started to where they ended.

Nonetheless, it was great emotional ride albeit the untapped potential.

P.S. I would have liked it to see Min Jung and Gang Hwa get their own kid and name her Cha Yu Ri :)

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The show had a proper ending. I predicted that Yuri and Seo-woo would have a final hug and Seo-woo would say goodbye to her mom. Yuri's mother was the most rational and understanding character. I liked the twist that it was her wish, not Yuri's, that was granted. She was not selfish in wanting her dead daughter to live but merely a chance to properly say goodbye.
I never trusted the shaman's explanations about Yuri. I still don't believe it was merely Yuri's choice of living or exorcising Seo-woo's ghosts.
It was also good that we finally saw Kang go through all the steps of loss, mourning and grief to recover "his place" in the world as a surgeon, father and husband.
The epilogue was filmed distant and felt even more distant. Was it filmed that way because of the hiatus and actors were not available for the final shoot? MJ and Kang are still a couple, but we do not know anything about their relationship except their love for their film student college daughter, who was wearing the friendship bracelet MJ gave to Yuri. I thought it could have been a stronger visual if MJ and Kang went to the park with their second daughter to solidify that Kang has a happy marital life with MJ.
Overall, despite its plot holes, it was a good series.

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Just like everyone else said, I liked this drama but it definitely did have problems with unneeded plot points and loose threads. Towards the end Min-jung became my favorite character & she got the short end of the stick. Nothing with her got resolved in any meaningful way.

Well I hope that if this ever gets a remake somewhere, they cut out the fat from the story.

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Can anyone explain me why seo Woo calls Yuri mom at the ending. Like how did she know. I have some assumptions but still I wanna know from you all

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I assume she was told at the amusement park, as the Polaroid photograph in college book referenced Yuri and her baby.

I don't think viewers should have to assume major plot points. Kang's immediate grief, struggles to raise Seo-Woo, his courtship of MJ, and his marriage with MJ would have been better than the ghost stories.

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I just couldn't get into this drama--now that it's over I'll have to try again someday.

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I am genuinely curious, how did everyone else watch this drama? It left me with such a heavy heart through some of the episodes (12-16) I watched of it.

Towards the end, I felt like they just brushed Gang Hwa & his wife's issues under the rug, & their core development was done off the screen. The daughter being perceptive enough to say "goodbye eomma" also gave them an *Out* from telling her properly who her real mom & grandparents relatives etc were; Like difficult decisions & talks were skipped over for a happy kumbaya.

All in all I guess it spoke of grief & letting go, but the last ep was certainly the least impressive of them all.

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The fact that alot of character moments happened off screen is a big disservice to the show. They should have cut out middle parts of the episode & also the epilogue to show Gang-Hwa & Min-jung fixes their issues

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I actually detested that "good-bye mama" - it actually wrapped up all of my issues with the drama in one instance: we don't know really where or when she was told/learned/divined that this was her mother, there was nothing in the lead up that gave us any clues that she knew or would be told, but it came out at just the correct moment calculated to wring the maximum amount of tears out of everyone. Maximum manipulation.

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Yes. This. Exactly.

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Love this drama cries a lot kudos to kthee and almost all the characters❤

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i totally agree! this drama really hit in all the right feels and emotions, but what held it back was the rules that didnt really make sense. what is "take her place"? and then the rule that seo woo would still see ghosts even if the mom was there, etc etc. just seemed like a convenient excuse for yu-ri to ultimately leave because she didnt want to harm her child

i was a little surprised they didn't show an actual goodbye between yuri & her mom, but i guess they had that one scene where the mom was glancing up from her yard. i think that scene would have been tough to watch, and they already had their moments throughout the show. and like the mom had already said she was ready to let yuri go whenever the time might be

i think my heart aches the most for kwang hwa. the guilt he felt for his wife's death and him suddenly leaving her is pain i dont think he'll ever forget, but i'm glad he had some closure with yuri coming back alive. i think it's so sad seeing yuri leave, telling seo woo that hopefully they're meet together in their next lives, and watching her entire family have to move on without her :(

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I started watching this drama because I thought there was hope for Yuri to stay alive. From the beginning KW's 2nd marriage was like sleepwalking everyday. Even any interaction between MJ & SW was non existent. MJ was even contemplating divorce. Perfect scenario for Yuri to come back.

But nope....that wasn't to be. They had Yuri return because she didn't want SW to see ghosts. Now the better reason and actually more realistic reason would have been that otherwise SW would have to take her place since they were both involved in that traffic accident. I visualized a whole other drama where Yuri stays and helps SW cope with seeing ghosts and in fact helps ghosts find closure so they can leave their loved ones in peace. But nope...Yuri has to go back.

I agree that Yuri's Mom is the best. I loved their hugs in bed, it felt so warm and showed how much Mom cherished her time with Yuri. Making her wish the reason Yuri gets a 2nd chance at life makes sense.

Did anyone else feel a little off that KW didn't immediately give Yuri a huge hug when he realized she had come back alive? Granted he had remarried but here he's faced with the one person he adored, who he hasn't been able to forget and she's standing right in front of him. Maybe the writer didn't want them to have any skinship since her intention was not having them be the end game.

Did I need to see them in a happy what if scenario at the end? Not really. That just made me wish for it even more. I also didn't need to see KW, MJ & SW walk into the sunset either. That was a forgone conclusion when Yuri made her decision to go back. Since I never believed in their relationship except with MJ being a replacement mom to SW the marriage was a bust in my eyes.

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I have a theory that they kept KW's motivation (does he love MJ? does he love Yuri more? Is he happy Yuri is back? Does he want to get back together with her?) from us, kept him this blank ball of sorrow and guilt in order to create more suspense and drama. We waited 16 episodes to see him make some sort of stand, to really SHOW us how he felt and why, and it never happened. It was as if his whole function - same as MJ, really - was to create dramatic tension.

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Even with all its flaws, I loved this drama.
I wished it had been shorter, because I felt like four or five episodes where just made to fill some time, no advance in plot or characters and side stories that didn't have sense.
I mean, all the ghost stories were totally underdeveloped, and as much as I loved the ghost family, it as unnecessary to spend so much time with them. Or the "evil" shaman. No need for that.
I wished more episodes had been more like the last one: talking to us of acceptance, healing and saying goodbye.
Even so, I spend the whole episode crying.
And the end was just what it should be.

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That pilot story ..such a wasted potentials.
But all in all it was a good watch (and a good cry^^)

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I liked MOST of the script.. the plot wouldve been great but the ending is sloppy. Left a bad taste, theres no "twist" to the show.

Acting is superb -this is how its supposed to be, really. Oh my ghost, crash landing on you, my holo love.. great acting. A sample of a bad one? Itaewon class.. man i hate that show!

Anyway like i said, the magic u can let go. But whats bad is logic is also out the window -u can bend physics and let the dead live again.. but doctors without logic? Come on!

Whats so bad about seeing ghosts anyway? What are the risks something bad happens to the kid or gang hwa since shell die again?

Yuris just being selfish, when you think about it. Giving in to choosing the less evil, or vote by majority, i am sure everyones vote outweight yuris. Besides, shes ONLY LEAVING so the kid doesnt see ghosts! (How lame is that?! Theyll still exist, since they are real) and not all ghost-seers turn to a shaman anyway!

Like i said, sloppy ending. They could have sat down, thought about adding a twist to it, add 2 or 3 episodes.. everyone a winner.

I cant stress it enough. I HATE the ending.

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Did not enjoy episode 16. Very disappointed with ending.

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I did not understand two things which is probably due to culture: the seaweed dish and 49 days. I appreciated how the characters major and minor were handled with such care and development. The ghosts made a comical relief at times as well as the best friend/ psychologist. When the drama and sadness got to heavy that best friend was terrific. I laughed at his "doctors note" Patient is melancholy until evening when he looks joyful" or " he does not feel good after drinking all night"
( hangover) !!!

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I thought it odd that Yuri was able to get a job at the daycare with no I'd just filling a form out with a "new name". She was close to K but you could see when he began dating M there was a spark. But the reality of living together holding back his grief is impossible. Where was See woo then? Did M marry K when she was baby or what? When did he K attempt suicide? Who would allow him take care for a newborn? Surely his friends would object. Yuri needed the shaman to tie things together and figure things out , who else knew both sides of life/ death.

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My understanding is that seaweed soup is a healing dish. The 49 days refers to the time a spirit has before it is judged to pass into the afterlife. The idea of 49 days after 5 years as a ghost does not make a lot of sense. Your questions are huge plot holes. I think Yuri's mom indicated she would not raise SW because Kang would never get his life/act together.
Another huge question is where was Kang's family during his crisis? Where was MJ's family during her marriage? Did neither have any support group?
The biggest issue is how, when and why did Kang and MJ marry. Kang showed little affection for MJ, but at the same time he did not show any romantic interest in Yuri when she returned. He wandered through the series like a zombie.

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Can i ask question? The last part of the kdrama. who is seo woo's mom? Is it still MJ?

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The presumption is that it is MJ, because SW call out "mom."

The long shot without facial recognition may have been to get around their lack of aging appearance in a 12-15 year time jump.

The only reason the epilogue was made was to show that SW grew up as a normal young woman.

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Hi, i am confused. In the last part where her parents called seo woo. Who is the mother there? Is it still Mj?

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I was asking same question.. I guess so...

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Kdramas really need to try a 10-12 episode format because majority of the times, they don't have enough plot/story to justify their full length.

Dead Like Me (Showtime) handled this issue better imo. Also the ending made sense too considering that's what the female lead said in the beginning. Bittersweet endings can exist in K-dramas!!

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This is a beautiful drama and i really love it. I've watched a lot of kdramas before and never have i cried this much. But to be honest i'm disappointed with the ending. I would still rate it 8/10 because of the great acting and award-worthy performances of the characters especially lee kyuhyung, kim taehee and kim Mikyung. But i'm still sad and although the title is a given, i didn't expect an ending like this. I still can't understand why yuri had to die again. I didn't like it when ganghwa and minjung ended up together when it's obvious that he didn't really love her as much as he loves yuri. It would be better if they just proceed with their divorce because clearly there is a problem. The divorce was supposed to happen in the earlier episodes anyway but it didn't push through. Why stay in a relationship for just the sake of seowoo, it's purely torture. It would've been perfect if ganghwa just raised seowoo with the help of yuri's family, because they deserve to be a part of her life too. As for minjung, i wanted her to leave because she deserves a new life. She could still be seowoo's mother even if they divorced. I just can't understand her reason for staying. Yuri kept saying that ganghwa loves her but i can't see it. She saw everything when she was a ghost but i think her instincts are wrong. Maybe he likes minjung but he has never loved anyone as much as he loves yuri, minjung never got close. For 16 episodes i can't feel that they're a married couple. I don't like them to be together because i'm too attached to the beautiful love story and chemistry of yuri and ganghwa which they clearly don't have.

They showed us the deep love between ganghwa and yuri in the flashbacks but then decided to break them apart in the end. The writer made yuri too selfless and I hate it so much. Yes she thinks about seowoo and she is her top priority but what about ganghwa. I pity him because yuri kept pushing him away and she only makes the decision. In short, ganghwa has no say in everything, he was left alone twice and was forced to move on again. The writer clearly has no intentions for a happy ending and the flashbacks is just her way to torture us.

Oh well i just want a new drama for lee kyuhyung and kim taehee. They were deprived of a happy ending here so i just wish to see them again in a new project. Both of them are great actors and they have a great chemistry but the writer just wasted it here. Hoping for more big projects for these two. I'll miss them and baby Woojin. And my other favorite oh eui shik, i like him so much.

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The ending would've been perfect if yuri, ganghwa and seowoo met again in the after life. It was yuri's wish before she left but damn it didn't happen. Until the end, they didn't make her totally happy. All she did was sacrifice everything for her daughter and she wasn't even rewarded for being selfless. It makes me mad because she wasn't given a chance to reunite with them. Instead we get an ending where ganghwa, minjeong and seowoo are together as family. I don't like it because it's unbelievable that minjeong and ganghwa stayed together. I don't buy the idea that they just moved on like that. Seems like they are forcing them to be together even if it looks impossible. I'm not satisfied because i expected a happy ending for yuri-ganghwa-seowoo, the family that i love the most. This is a fantasy drama so it is possible for yuri to stay alive without complications but then kwon hyeju ruined it. But at least everyone knows that ganghwa loves yuri the most and vice versa. Too bad they weren't given a chance to grow old together and raise seowoo. Instead we see minjeong with them, still trying to fit in, in yuri's position, a second choice indeed. They just made minjeong's character pitiful and ganghwa too because he never got to spend the rest of his life with his true love..

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in the epi 13 and 14 cried both hero and heroine...i love the expression hero felt guilty and cried lot lot lot and feel the emotions and love ,sad,sorrow,and all in that scene ...awesome hero ..if he really love in this world means it should be like this ....i cried my love eun dong drama after that this drama really touched hero guilty...

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In the drama if she alive what will happend next that scene awesome ..I really enjoy that scene and I cried a lot lot lot ....and she and her friend feelings I cry cry cry really....

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Thanks for the recap.

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I had just finished watching this and, this drama was good— if not the best. It had its occasional humor especially because of Geun-sang and Gang-hwa (love their friendship) and the tear-jerking Yu-ri and Gang-hwa flashbacks. Sad to say that, the ending was really disappointing. They tried to make this drama realistic until the end, but that was where it started to go haywire. It wasn’t supposed to be realistic, heck it wasn’t realistic when Yu-ri came back to life. It was supposed to be a fantasy drama wherein Yu-ri comes back to life. The writer made Yu-ri so selfless that even I, as a viewer, got so frustrated for her. Hyeon-jeong and Gang-hwa were ready to help her to take her place back, but writer-nim, sigh, just didn’t want that to happen. Also along the episodes, I really couldn’t see or grip the thought that Yu-ri said Gang-hwa loves Min-jeong. Comparing Yu-ri and Gang-hwa’s scenes to Min-jeong and Gang-hwa’s, one would think that Min-jeong was like a household helper (or was it just me?). He never showed any affection towards her, and the epilogue didn’t justify or show that he really loved her just to be together for all those years. This drama could’ve been better if it fulfilled its fantasy genre. All in all, it was a 7/10 (for me, at least).

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I have just finished this show today! So many tears!!!😥
I knew Yu-ri would not stay, I didn't believe in any magic that could allow her to stay anyways... It was also never cleared how she could live again even if it was only for 49 days.
Still, I am also grateful I watched this show. It made me cry rivers in every single episode, and I don't think I have ever watched a drama that makes me cry in every episode... Maybe only Mother did that, not exactly My Ajusshi, but almost.
So, now literally I have a new drama in my list, which I loved and painfully enjoyed, which made me cry from beginning to end.
Like many beanies have said already, the mythology and reasoning of this writer didn't make much sense and there were plot holes kind of annoying and some characters (mostly extras) were not needed, etc.. But in the emotional aspect, they did an amazing job. To make me cry rivers like that, and I am most of the time like a dry nut... well, that is saying a lot.
Kudos also to the main actors. They made the deal. Kim Tae hee was wonderful plus and Lee Kuy hyung was also amazing...
Shin Dong min surprised me a lot here. I couldn't stop but hating her in "doctor John", but here I couldn't help but love her. That is what a great artist does.
And Lee Mi-kyung, you know already, she is simply amazing in everything she does.

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Just finished watching hi bye mama. Kinda disappointed because the writer wasted the strong team up of the main leads kim taehee and leekyuhyung. She could've opted for a happier ending for the real family but instead chose a sad ending. I hate it when she made yuri too selfless and ganghwa too pitiful. The reason for yuri's second death is too simple and has no logic at all.

The thing that I loved the most is kim taehee and leekyuhyung's acting. Even the drama ended terribly i still wish they would win best actor and best actress. The unforgettable and most tear-jerking scenes in this drama are their scenes together.

As for the writer kwon hye ju, sorry but she deserves all the negative comments that she got. A lot of k-netz are attacking her on naver for her poor writing. Well, i can't blame them because it's true, this drama started beautifully and it has a big potential but then it was ruined in the end. The only one who gets a happy ending here is only oh minjung, the writer's favorite character. The second lead that is too perfect get to have yuri's family and get to grow old with them, such a lucky girl. In my opinion, they should've made her the main lead from the start so we won't expect the normal ending that we want for ganghwa and yuri. Silly to do this to the main lead kim taehee's comeback drama and lee kyuhyung's 1st male lead drama. Go bogyeol is the only one who benefited from her perfectly written step mom character because a lot of people liked her, even more than the main leads. To make her character happy, the writer even did the impossible thing of making ganghwa and oh minjung together in the end. It's so unbelievable when the writer made yuri's character to tell us how much ganghwa loves minjung. It's all lies and i could laugh all day about it because obviously ganghwa only loves one woman. Pitiful ganghwa has to suffer again without yuri and seowoo has to live without her real mom. I would rate this drama 10/10 just because of the great acting of the cast. But if i only consider the story then 5/10.

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Sorry I don't like the stepmom so I'm not satisfied with the ending... I don't get it cos everything that yuri has, goes to her. She's too lucky while yuri and ganghwa are so pathetic. Can't even imagine an ending where in two people who aren't in love grows old together. Their daily life must've been awkward and full of sufferings! I'll just hold on to the ending of ep.15. That's the real and eternal love for me..... That's the real happy family in my eyes...

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After just getting around to finishing the final episode, I have to wonder who the mother was in the final scene.

We hear Min Jeongs voice but we do not see the face. Perhaps this is to leave it open for a season 2.... maybe it’s wishful thinking.

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