18

Jirisan: Episode 6

We step away from the main mystery this hour, but there’s no shortage of thrills. Our no-nonsense protagonist’s past and present collide in a spectacular way on the mountain, and we learn how she came to work as a ranger. At the same time in the midst of a severe winter, a sweet romance begins to blossom.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

2018
While marveling at the vastness of Jirisan, Hyun-jo muses about Lee Se-wook, who’s been missing without a trace for two months now. Yi-kang changes the subject and asks him about his visions and Hyun-jo tells her it’s been a while since the last one.

He brings up the approaching Christmas holiday and we see Yi-kang the Grinch effectively end the conversation. She tells him to get back to work and walks off. Someone texts Hyun-jo, reminding him of their Christmas date and tells him not to be late.

Winter is in full force, with snow covering the mountain. Gu-young takes pictures of the rangers and the station’s Christmas decorations but no one is feeling the holiday spirit as much as him. He takes selfies with Yang-sun and uses that moment to invite her to take part in a winter swimming festival with him. (Yi-kang: “Is he serious?”)

Christmas day arrives, Gu-young runs after Hyun-jo and pleads for a favor. He asks Hyun-jo to cover a shift for him because he’s finally scored a movie date with Yang-sun. Hyun-jo tries to decline, saying he already has plans. He volunteers Yi-kang, but Gu-young says she’s already been called in by Il-hae. Gu-young adds that she needs Hyun-jo by her side, and scampers away with a thank you.

Il-hae (plus his partner) happily clocks off and praises Yi-kang and Hyun-jo for handling the holiday shift at Bidam Shelter, calling them the needle and thread of Jirisan. Hyun-jo asks Yi-kang who is which and Yi-kang just responds with, “Does that even matter?” She gives him a rundown of what’s in the shelter and where important things are before they start…beating out dust from blankets and cleaning the place. Hilariously, Yi-kang criticizes everything Hyun-jo does (beat harder, fold neatly) and to be fair she is a lot better at the work.

A call comes in from Il-hae to let them know that someone is dropping by to pick up a lost item. Hyun-jo checks the logs and when Yi-kang hears the name “Im Chul-kyung,” she becomes lost in thought.

Gu-young looks dapper as he waits with a bouquet of flowers for Yang-sun outside the movie theater. Yang-sun arrives…but hesitates outside the building. (Oh no, I have a bad feeling about this.)

Back at Jirisan, a car pulls up and a man heads up the mountain. A taxi follows later and another man gets out, peering into the first car before also heading in the same direction as the first man. Somewhere else at Jirisan, a woman also arrives and she tries to call someone but the call doesn’t connect.

At his house, Dae-jin is watching the news about a police officer, Lieutenant Im Chul-kyung, who was arrested for taking bribes from a drug dealer.

Yi-kang’s grandmother is with a group of friends fussing about how Yi-kang was crazy about Im Chul-kyung. When she was 14, she had gone to the mountain for three days and had come back with a broken arm. Moon-ok decided to send Yi-kang to a training center for troubled youths.

1997
It’s the first day of boot camp and their first activity is to hike to the top of the mountain and there are prizes for the top three finishers. Yi-kang (cameo by Kim Do-yeon) effortlessly overtakes the rest of the group. She’s surprised when another boy (cameo by Choi Hyun-wook) climbs up at her pace and when he offers a hand at one point, she rejects him. Even with a broken arm, Yi-kang reaches the top first and her gaze lingers on the same boy, who came last for helping another injured boy.

Afterwards, she waits with him at a bus stop. Moon-ok comes and scolds her for hanging out when their house is just nearby. A bus arrives and just as the boy is about to get on, Yi-kang runs back, hits him on the back and sprints away.

The flashback ends and at Bidam Shelter an SOS call comes in — someone has sprained an ankle on the way to the shelter. Yi-kang asks if the person who needs help is the same one who set to pick up a lost item. The other ranger isn’t sure but Yi-kang goes out to help, leaving Hyun-jo to man the shelter.

It’s snowing harder than ever when Woong-soon and another police officer arrive to investigate the car that arrived earlier. They run the plate number and discover the car is on the wanted list. Suddenly a gunshot rings out and a man falls to his knees in the snow.

Hyun-jo also hears the shot back at the shelter and radios out a message about the sound. Yi-kang heads in the direction Hyun-jo directs her to, while other rangers head out to see if it was the start of an avalanche.

Suddenly, someone knocks on the shelter door, followed by scuffling sounds. Hyun-jo peers out the window to see who it is and gets a fright when a flashlight suddenly turns on — illuminating Gu-young’s blank face staring back at him. LOL.

Gu-young laments that he got stood up and has nowhere else to be on Christmas. He goes to the office to grab a tissue for his runny nose and spots Im Chul-kyung’s name in the logbook.

Gu-young recognizes the name as Yi-gang’s first love and tells Hyun-jo the story of how Chul-kyung met Yi-kang for the second time in Seoul when Yi-kang ran away from home. He knows the story inside and out thanks to how often she tells it when she gets drunk lol.

2002
Yi-kang is dressed up as a soccer ball mascot and hands out flyers. Im Chul-kyung (Sohn Seok-gu) is also there with his own stack of flyers he recognizes her right away. He leaves her one of the flyers he’s carrying, inviting her to eat with her grandmother at the restaurant he’s promoting. Yi-kang calls out to him, asking how much he’s earning.

While juggling her new restaurant job she studies to retake the college entrance exams. She heads back to her room in Seoul and finds Chul-kyung waiting for her. With the exam out of the way, he invites her to the beach on his motorcycle.

It’s the first time she’s seeing the ocean in her entire life. They sit together in silence for a bit before he asks her why she hit him all those years ago. While looking out over the ocean, she reveals that it was because she was jealous that he had somewhere to go while she was stuck at the mountain.

In Seoul, the restaurant owner angrily accuses Chul-kyung of stealing $100, which he denies. When Yi-kang sticks up for him, the owner accuses her of being an accomplice and fires them both. She demands the man pay them for hours worked, and he throws a bag full of coins onto the ground.

Yi-kang doesn’t hesitate to stoop down and start gathering up the coins. She carefully asks Chul-kyung if he stole the money and he stands in silence for a beat before walking away. She calls after him and he tearily responds that he doesn’t know what he’ll become in the future, but he won’t, “live this humiliating life.”

Gu-young finishes telling Yi-kang’s story and concludes that ever since then, it’s like Christmas is cursed for Yi-kang.

Woong-soon calls in just then about the suspicious car and a wanted man — Chul-kyung — being near their location. Suddenly, the lights go out and the call is cut. Gu-young checks the fuse box while Hyun-jo gears up to find Chul-kyung. Gu-young’s worried and tries to keep Hyun-jo from going out to search on his own but it’s not use; Hyun-jo is determined to find Chul-kyung.

At last, Yi-kang finds the hiker with a sprained ankle. The woman, Jung Soo-min, asks if Yi-kang is from the shelter, then asks if she’s seen Chul-kyung. Yi-kang says he hasn’t been by and Soo-min can’t believe it. She introduces herself as a detective who works with Chul-kyung and explains that he’d been wrongfully accused of bribery. She asks Yi-kang to take her to the shelter so she can look for an important piece of evidence that Chul-kyung had told her he’d left there.

Gu-young is still struggling with the fuse box and discovers that it’s not an outage — a wire has been deliberately cut. The door behind him suddenly creaks shut so he heads over to check it out.

Detectives from Gunsan arrive at Woong-soon’s police station and they’re already aware of the whole situation somehow. The head detectives wants to know if they can get in touch with Bidam Shelter, but because the weather’s bad all radios and phones are down. The detective asks Woong-soon to call again and stresses that they need to head up the mountain ASAP.

Unable to radio anyone, Yi-kang decides to take Soo-min to the shelter. She helps the injured woman walk and Soo-min asks what Chul-kyung had left at the shelter. A blue backpack. Elsewhere, Hyun-jo finds the man who had been show, lying in the snow. It’s Chul-kyung.

When Yi-kang discovers the cut wire, she asks Soo-min to wait outside. She enters the now-dark shelter and comes across Gu-young lying on the floor with blood on his face. She runs to the phone but a man suddenly appears behind her, pointing a gun at her head. She’s able to subdue him by spraying into his face, but she’s knocked out the man’s accomplice: Soo-min.

The two of them frantically start looking around the shelter for the evidence Chul-kyung had left behind. But when they find the blue backpack, the man comes to the conclusion that the evidence was all a lie. A noise draws the man out, and Hyun-jo tackles the man while Chul-kyung cuffs Soo-min. (It turns out Chul-kyung had been wearing a bulletproof vest, so he was well and alive when Hyun-jo found him earlier, just stunned.)

The Gunsan detectives arrive to take in the real criminals and the head detective tells Chul-kyung he was right. Chul-kyung had set up a trap to suss out the true culprits. Yi-kang regains consciousness. She and Chul-kyung lock eyes, and seeing him seems to bring back memories for her.

2006
Inconsolable, Yi-kang sobs on the bus as she makes her way home. But when she arrives, she’s shocked to see her grandmother looking as spry as ever. Worried about how aimlessly Yi-kang was living, Moon-ok had fibbed about being critically ill to get her back home. Her master plan for Yi-kang? A job as a Jirisan ranger. Moon-ok literally drags Yi-kang to a job interview with Dae-jin, and despite her protests that she hates mountains, Yi-kang does reluctantly sit for the interview.

Dae-jin laughs to see her and asks what her reason for applying is. She claims she doesn’t have one. He asks Yi-kang if she’s still afraid of the mountain, and he follows that with another question for her: “Do you still think that I let your parents die?”

Her eyes well up with tears, and he challenges her to save people. He tells her that if she’s afraid that people will die in the mountain, she should save them before that can happen. And that she does. We next see her berating an old man for hiking and drinking — a dangerous combination.

In another time, she’s manning the shelter and meets Chul-kyung again as he comes to retrieve a lost item. They catch up a bit and she remarks on his job as a rookie cop, that he got what he wanted, not living a humiliating life. He tosses back that she fits in better with mountains than oceans.

He starts to tell her something but Gu-young zips by with an SOS alert and she runs off to help a hiker who had a cardiac arrest. She turns back to look at Chul-kyung and he asks if he can see her again if he comes back. He tells her he’ll visit often.

Tired from their successful rescue effort, Gu-young says he understands why she always says she wants to quit. He contemplates that maybe it’s time to quit. Yi-kang declares that she won’t quit; that she’ll stay with the mountain.

Back in the present, Gu-young is okay too, apart from a minor head injury. Chul-kyung awkwardly strikes up a conversation with Yi-kang outside the shelter. He apologizes for what happened and explains he never thought things would get so dangerous. Chul-kyung thought she had quit because he hadn’t seen her ever since their first Jirisan reunion and he admits he had visited often.

Yi-kang tells him he should have called her, but he looks at her intently and simply confesses that she was right. All those years ago, he stole the money. He’d wanted to buy that motorcycle he had used to take her to the beach. A few months later, he returned to the restaurant and apologized, paying back the owner then.

That was what he wanted to tell her the last time but he never got the chance. He apologizes for lying but says he was too embarrassed to own up back then. Chul-kyung promises to call next time he’s at Jirisan. And casually adds that his wife loves mountains too.

In the morning, Chul-kyung leaves with the culprits and police. Yang-sun rushes over Gu-young, distraught about the news of his injury. He’s completely confused and figures she couldn’t have come to the station because of him. Yang-sun nods that she ran there because she heard he’d been hurt.

It’s only then that they realize there had been a misunderstanding during their last date. They were both waiting outside the theater but at different locations. Hyun-jo asks why they didn’t just call each other and Gu-young says he didn’t want to pressure her.

They set up another date and this time, Gu-young gets to hand over a bigger bouquet of flowers and they enjoy the movie together. At a hospital, Il-hae beams at his newborn baby girl.

Hyun-jo and Yi-gang relax over drinks and Hyun-jo asks why Yi-kang keeps staying at the mountain while being so vocal about how she hates it. She drinks sweet potato makgeolli and Hyun-jo readies himself to listen to her story.

Afterwards, Hyun-jo piggbacks her home much to Moon-ok’s gratitude. She prepares a warm cup for tea for him and he checks out the photos of Yi-kang that are all over the house. Nearly every photo of her features the mountain too. He thinks to himseld that she couldn’t leave the mountain simply because she loves it. His appreciation for her dedication is interrupted by a sudden vision of wildfires on the mountain.

 
COMMENTS

I knew it! Yi-kang may say she hates the mountain, but she really does love Jirisan. I’m glad that her first love didn’t actually influence her decision to become a ranger, despite how much I enjoyed Yi-kang silently mooning over Chul-kyung. It would have been out of character for her to have made decisions based on a man, so I was happy to see that while she still carried a flame for Chul-kyung, it was her love for Jirisan keeping her there as a ranger. In a way, Yi-kang’s relationship with Jirisan is the true first love story here. Just seeing how from a young age she had loved the mountain, it’s obvious that her parents’ death left her with feelings that she may not have fully dealt with yet. As of now, it seems like it was only after her parents’ death that Yi-kang started talking about hating the mountain.

Maybe it was the overall romantic vibe of this episode but it seemed like Hyun-jo may be started to feel something towards Yi-kang. I like their chemistry as work partners and I’m not sure if I can see them as romantic partners (not sure if I want them as romantic partners frankly) so I’m hoping those flickers are just a fluke. Il-hae described Hyun-jo and Yi-kang as the “needle and thread” of Jirisan and they really do work well together. This metaphor also felt like a nod to the current timeline, where the two of them are connected across dimensions and able to communicate even with Hyun-jo in a coma.

Dae-jin played a surprising role in this episode as I hadn’t expected he would be the person who had hired Yi-kang. To see him go from encouraging Yi-kang to save people, to subsequently encouraging her take a job away from Jirisan…it was a bit of whiplash and if he’s the killer…well, let’s just see where the show takes us becauseI don’t want the culprit to be Dae-jin. He was/is a huge figure in Yi-kang’s life and I don’t want her to have lost both her parents and a mentor figure.

On a lighter note, who else is as fascinated in the many weirdly unique festivals Gu-young is always finding? I remember him searching a mud festival before so I wonder what they’ll come up with next. I hope his successful movie date with Yang-sun doesn’t mean he’ll stop looking for interesting dates lol. I’m always entertained by these little wacky moments and I can’t help but wonder how many strange festivals could exist in Korea. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Gu-young and Yang-sun’s budding romance. They’re so adorably cute and awkward and it’s a nice respite from all the murders, even if I am also impatient to learn what happened That Day.

Just as I was getting used to Jirisan’s time jumps, they throw in multiple flashbacks throughout the years. I did appreciate seeing what made Yi-kang decide to be a ranger and the insight into her motivations, but in this episode the travels across time was a bit much. It was great to see Sohn Seok-gu again, but I don’t see how the drug dealer storyline will connect to the main story. I’m ready to get back into the main storyline and see what happened to Hyun-jo and Yi-kang that winter in 2019 but if my guess is correct we’re still a year away from that event.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

18

Required fields are marked *

And this was the episode when I finally accepted the fact that this drama has no clue what it's doing.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show is so dumb lol.
I keep half thinking I'll be able to enjoy it BECAUSE of that, but I haven't been successful for a full episode yet.

Also the only OST I am interested in either hasn't been released yet or is not actually an OST and just a random background song too obscure for Shazam.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with you, at this moment, I like Hyun Jo & Yi Kang work partner chemistry, without any romance.

I love this episode. Yi Kang-Chul Kyung relationship was sweet to begin with. I thought they were going to date each other, but nah, he's telling her he's married. This smacked me to my face. I laughed watching Yi Kang throw her hot drink upon hearing he's now has a wife. *punch in the air*

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This episode felt like another drama with Seokgu as lead :) stand-alone, it was a nice twist and closure to a first love story but not sure how it fits in the plot. This could have been called a special episode :)

I almost forgot we had/have a serial killer.

I doubt they will skip the romance. It’s a kdrama after all. I didn’t see any sparks. But he probably likes her already.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Those festivals all exist in the US too, they're just named differently. Mud runs and polar runs, etc.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The direction of this episode is interesting (and infuriating) as its usually the snowing at the mountain being the reason characters can't advance further and have to take shelter, instead of two people going out into the snow (poorly dressed... I'm turning into my mother because WHERE ARE YOUR HATS? SCARFS? its not freezing rain, its snow... so -5C? Still cold, why would you not dress for the weather?) to look for people. With how large Jirisan is... the chance was greater that Hyun-jo would have passed by the detective without even knowing it.

The lady detective was wearing shoes right? Her toes must have been so cold. (Sorry, my life for half the year normally revolves around how much I hate snow.) I laughed when Yi-kang told her to wait outside. After being caught out in the snow for such a period of time, your definitely going to stay outside shivering in the cold. It would have made more sense that the both of them flopped into the shelter and then noticed there was something amiss.

And was I wrong? Did the female detective have a PLB to send an SOS signal? I didn't think the area had cell service. And they knew exactly where she was... was that from a trail marker (that wouldn't be covered by the snow)? If that's true, could they have talked about the technology instead of focusing on improbable heroics?

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ahhh the snow keeps distracting me, too! Why are you wandering off at night, alone, on the mountain, in a snowstorm?? I lived for some years near Yellowstone (the US equivalent of Jirisan), and even visitors are told not to hike alone, in case something happens to you. I'm not sure how a taxi could drive up that kind of incline in that depth of snow, either (I've been watching this episode during a snowstorm where I live, and am extremely familiar with what a car can and can't get through on an unplowed road...)

That said, I keep watching, as I love mountains. I wish the flashbacks weren't so confusing, though...

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

My family went camping in Yellowstone one summer and there was things everywhere about not hiking alone and don't feed the animals. We all ended up taking a trail that was like 2.5hr long and then was a dead end, lol. (Poor-child-me got eaten alive by bugs.)
And yes, that amount of snow is a recipe for a car to get stuck. I can't believe the taxi driver wasn't asking if the detective was sure he wanted to get off here.
I remember being in Toronto when it snowed ~50cm and was amazed the taxi driver got through the unplowed road without getting stuck (but it was mostly flat, regardless my own driving skills are unworthy).

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I will keep watching because I love mountains too! Moved from south Florida to Flagstaff, AZ and got a very firm schooling on how to drive in snow. It snows something serious there, but locals have a great attitude about going slowly and not tailgating.
Always wanted to visit Yellowstone in the winter since I only ever backpacked there in the summer.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jeon Ji-hyun and Son Seok-gu have crazy chemistry. I wish Chul-kyung were the love interest. My heart sank when he said his wife. Even Kim Do-yeon and Choi Hyun-wook had chemistry, and I wish they had played their college counterparts.

I was surprised Yang-sun likes Gu-young back because her facial expression looked like someone who didn't want to go on their date that I kept screaming at her to just reject him.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't know if I would like to love the show or hate it.

Once again, the inconsistency of rescue, the bad acting of Gianna Jun, or the bad CG is not my concern here (which I laid out my reasons several times before). Some of those big moments give me goosebumps, but some other moments make me want to throw things onto the TV screen (Spoiler Alert: there's one moment I really want to do that on Episode 7, guess what it is?)

The mystery is interesting, and the timeline is creative (I don't find it hard to follow: they have all the hints for us to do exactly that: captions, characters show up in different timeline, even the screen's aspect ratio), but the character arcs are shallow, and the storytelling is like a mixture of everything. They are like prototypes in notorious Model Plays during China's Cultural Revolution, except they don't need to make real fire in the National Park to shot the wildfire scene, as every thing can be done by CG. This is the feeling I am starting to have in latter Episode 5, and last to this episode (even to the next one).

I want a story that interests me (That's why I don't like C-dramas ... Oh, by the way, iQiyi is a Chinese production company, which gives 2/3 of the budget of this very drama), not giving me propaganda cliché. Is it that hard to do?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Gosh, I feel as though I should nudge the comments off just 6. Thanks to @introvertbean for a great recap.
Sincerely wish I could be more positive since I've been awaiting this drama for ever.
Sitting next to hubby on the sofa, who was a fire tower lookout and range fire fighter in summers during college and now volunteers at a National Monument.
"So, how many rangers, right now today, can operate a drone? None - we have no money for drones."
Hmm and do rangers fight fire? "Nope, they are not trained in fighting fire." This is from a man who went to sea on the Glomar Challenger and grew up in Idaho.
I really really wanted to love this show. Next time you all want to write something out of your wheelhouse, you need to talk to real people, who do real jobs.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

You know, it depends on the state. I live next to Rocky Mountain National Forest, and most rangers are required to get wildfires and prescribed fires management certification. It’s so dry here, we have dozens of huge wild fires all year round. So the rangers are the first ones to combat small fires. The big ones are handled by the combined power of firefighters, local rangers, also volunteer fighters and rangers from other states. BTW: our rangers also double as peace officers here. Not sure if that’s the same with mountain rangers in S.Korea.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can't believe I'm still watching this drama .The only explanation I can think of is I just want to know who the murderer/evil ranger is!! I am not interested in any romance angle between the lead pairs at this point nor in the mystery behind the ghostly spectre roaming the mountains -parallel universe or not I don't care .Just give me Season 3 of Kingdom !!!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I genuinely have no idea why I’m still watching this. The show is a hot mess - and not in a so-bad-it’s-good way. I should totally drop this.

Well, at least I got to see Sohn Seok-gu again. And Choi Hyun-wook as his younger self. Always nice to see a racket boy on my screen.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap!

I’m really surprised with all the grumbles I’ve been seeing about the show (not just for this episode). I like Jirisan a lot and have been enjoying most parts of the story especially when it highlights the more mundane aspects of ranger work.

It’s not my favorite on-going drama (that spot goes to Happiness) but I don’t think it’s anywhere close to bad as others are saying. Could it be a matter of expectation? I never watched the trailers or read the press releases leading up to the premiere. I just watch it as it unfolds (and this is a special case already because I usually wait for dramas to finish completely before starting).

It’s so rare to see a show set outside of Seoul with bits of history, culture and wildlife trivia thrown in the mix.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Great review.
Do you know the name of the song played at the ride to the beach scene?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *