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Tomorrow: Episodes 3-4

Our half-human hero is now officially a part of the team, but their next case hits closer to home than he ever expected. It also serves as an example of what reapers aren’t technically supposed to do, what happens when they do that which they’re not supposed to do — and most importantly, what happens when they act like… humans.

Editor’s note: This drama starts off each episode with a warning that it contains content about suicide, and though the message of the show is that suicide is never the answer, this topic is definitely not for everyone, so we’ll be putting this note at the start of our weecaps, too. And, if you ever need anyone to talk to, please know there’s a whole community here to support you.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Jun-woong is now officially a part of the team, which means proper introductions, an overview of the reaper code of conduct, and a new suit — a reaper has a reputation to keep up, after all. Only problem is, after these four episodes I’m getting the feeling that these reapers are not reapers at all. In fact, they’re more like guardian angels, and we see this explored this week as our reapers take on their next case.

As the team settles into their office, Jun-woong is warned about the things he absolutely can’t do as a reaper: use his abilities in front of humans, interfere in human affairs, and leave any ties that connect him to the land of the living. Part of this is getting a new face, so when he’s out reaper-ing in the world, he’s not recognized, and Ryong-koo has a grand old time giving Jun-woong a new ajusshi face and name. He’s enjoying this a little too much haha.

The new face and identity seem inconsequential, but we actually see what it means for Jun-woong all too soon. First, we catch a glimpse of him in his house, having a moment at his father’s memorial service until his mother and sister show up, mourning Jun-woong’s coma as well. This sets up how much Jun-woong needs to be successful and return to his life and body, and I didn’t think it was possible but every time he’s on screen being his sweet doofy self, I’m rooting for him even more.

The next case pops up on their app, and it just so happens to be Jun-woong’s best friend from school, NAMGOONG JAE-SOO (Ryu Sung-rok). We caught a glimpse of him last week, but it was so off-handed it didn’t seem like much of anything — but this week, we dive into his story, and it’s both touching and sad.

We are treated to flashbacks of the two boys in high school which show how their friendship was formed, and also the determined mindset that set Jae-soo apart from the others. (Okay, I’m loving these two so much I could do with a spin-off drama about them in high school.)

But the present-day Jae-soo has changed a lot. His dedicated studying for the police exam has led him nowhere but failure, and his best friend being in a coma was the final punch to take him down. While our team does their best to keep this boy alive, Ryeon gets special permission from the Jade Emperor to use a certain time-traveling car. Jun-woong is sure that if they give Jae-soo the fried chicken he had as a kid — a seminal moment in his childhood where he received words of encouragement from his father — he’ll be able to turn the corner.

Though I’ll say that Jae-soo’s suicide attempts felt a little less authentic compared to Eun-bi last week, his pain is definitely real, and this entire story arc showed us lots about our characters, their pasts, and even some hints on how Jumadeung works.

First, we saw Jun-woong’s desire to help people grow tenfold when it was someone so precious to him. We might lol when Jae-soo doesn’t recognize the ajusshi at the door (instead of our dapper 6’3″ Rowoon), but the humor — as ever — carries us through the dark places the show also needs to tread. Jun-woong’s giant teddy bear heart is an asset to this team, and this particular story arc is meant to show us that even more.

Next, we also learn a lot about the mysteries of Jumadeung. These mysteries are just hinted at for now, but when Ryeon and Jun-woong take the ugliest van out of the luxury car garage and travel back to 1999 on the search for chicken — well, they find a lot more than chicken.

What they find is that actually this whole thing has been predestined. That fried chicken that created such a pivotal moment in Jae-soo’s life? That was made possible only by our time-traveling reapers who, back in 1999, not only save Jae-soo’s father from a desperate suicide attempt, but give him a glimpse of hope, and put the fight back in him. It’s that same moment of hope they’re looking to give to Jae-soo, now, and thank God, they finally manage it.

The twistiness of this story arc bent my brain a little, but it also made it all the more fun — and complicated. By the end, I just wanted to squeeze Jae-soo — I hope we return to his character later in the drama when we see what happens to Jun-woong. I have a feeling we will, since this week the drama showed us how layered it can actually be, starting to tell one story, and then showing it to us again from a different angle. I love this approach as a viewer, because it makes you pay attention to all the details and how they’ll play into each other, but it also ups that feeling of fate, and how each action has its ripple effect.

For instance, before they leave 1999, Jun-woong suddenly has a thought and bolts. Next thing we see him grabbing a little kid, chucking him over his shoulder, and running through the neighborhood with him. Aww, it’s Jun-woong himself as a little boy, and Jun-woong’s line as he’s huffing and puffing made me cackle: “Lose some weigh, would you!? It’ll all go to your height, but still!”

Turns out, he’s realized that this is the day his father leaves for a business trip that he’ll never come back from. Rather than try to change his father’s fate, what he does is deposit his young self on the scene so that he can say a proper goodbye to his father — the thing he was never able to do. Gah! I love everything about this.

Though a lot of the action is very Jun-woong-centric this week, it actually shows us a lot about Ryeon, too. She’s not only desperate enough to save a life that she goes along with the wacky fried chicken scheme, but when they later discover the truth about Jae-soo’s father, she breaks every reaper law around to save him.

Ryeon also knows about Jun-woong’s close connection to Jae-soo from the get-go, but decides to keep him on the case since his personal feelings and knowledge could be of use — and this was proven exactly true. Much like last week, Jun-woong brings a level of compassion to the table that changes everything. And Ryeon might act like she can’t tolerate him (and enjoys tormenting him), but I think she’s beginning to see his worth, too.

With the quick wrap-up of Jae-soo’s story, and Jun-woong’s brief moment in his own past, our team is quickly faced with their next case. Turns out, the girl whose soul we saw get collected by the smoldering Joong-gil earlier (while we were there searching for Jae-soo) was an important part of it. She passed in a car accident, but her singer-songwriter husband KANG WOO-JIN (played by singer-songwriter Kang Seung-yoon of WINNER, yay!) is in such a state of despair that he’s now suicidal.

We get a glimpse of their sweet romance, and feel his pain all the more. The team definitely has their work cut out for them next week, but luckily his deceased wife has evaded Joong-gil’s team and as a “runaway soul,” can help our reapers save Woo-jin’s life.

We close on the Woo-jin cliffhanger, but I have to also touch on the peek into Ryeon’s past that we get. We learn that she once worked for Joong-gil’s escort team, and the flashback we saw in a previous episode where she’s trying to save a life — and Joong-gil is shouting at her to let the man go — that seems to be a pivotal moment in their break. Ryeon heads to her new team, and Joong-gil basically loathes her and what she stands for.

Joong-gil also hates her team, and wastes no time in mocking them with the following line: “A newbie who doesn’t know the basics, a subordinate with no sense of duty, and a team manager from Hell.”

Well, Joong-gil certainly feels like he’s getting set up as our underdog team’s foil, but also, I kinda like him? His callous and polished reaper team are the perfect contrast for our ragtag team and their rather unpopular mission. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some more turf wars between these two departments.

 
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I am actually quite enjoying this show despite the dark topic it deals with. That might have a lot to do with the bursts of humour and the cast! (Special shoutout to Rowoon for being hilarious and for Lee Soo Hyuk to be so smouldery!)

The best friend's story made me really sad, specially cuz I also spent some years of my life preparing for government service exams n it really does feel like life is passing you by n you are unable to make any progress.

The cases really seem to be quite well thought out till now n I can't wait to see more info abt our main characters.

Shoutout to the cameo by Kang Seungyoon. His acting seems to be improving with every new performance of his (Racket Boys, Voice, Kairos, Prison Playbook). That scene where he shouts that he is responsible for his wife's death gave me goosebumps! And omg that sweet kiss, that sweet backstory! <3 <3 I wish we get to hear him sing more though cuz you can't take 6 time KOMS WINNER, give him the role of a singer-songwriter and not make him sing!

Anyway, looking forward to the next week!

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Kang Seungyoon did an amazing job. I loved the flashbacks of the first time he and his wife met.

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Yes to Seungyoon singing! Please!

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I’m glad this show is getting weecapped! I binged the 4 episodes in one sitting. I like all the characters. I love Team Leader Koo’s fashion style - pink hair, sparkly boots 😍
The OST is awesome! I love the funny moments. Jun-Woong and Jong-Il getting scammed by the same shaman cult was hilarious 😂
It’s as if the show understands that the subject matter is very heavy and they lighten the atmosphere with fashion, music, and humor but in an unobtrusive way. I can’t wait for next week’s episodes. Hope it stays good!

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IKR? Her boots were awesome, she looked so good! And I love how her makeup is pink like her hair, she looks great.

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The episodes are so heavy that they leave you sad, but then the epilogues happen and you leave the drama with a smile. This is indicative of there is light at the end of the tunnel when you consider that the drama deals with suicide.

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I love how this show is so freaking sad and hilarious at the same time. And I love how it doesn't make sense sometimes.

Two episodes looking for the miracle chicken his dad gave him and at the end it was made for them, they had to save the dad and the chicken tasted like crap. LOL

The epilogues of this show are the best! The chicken suits! The bike! 😂 I love this drama.
I'm going to ignore every time they scream and ask dumb questions to depressed people and just enjoy the comedy, RW being a total sweetheart and everyone looking hot.

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In the beginning, I was attracted so much to their looks and creative set up that I did not notice that some of the scenes, such as Jun Woong forgetting his friend's mental state and suddenly becoming ecstatic over riding cars , were abruptly transitioning from seriousness into comedy. It is a bit jarring considering the subject of the drama and this might be one of the reasons the drama isn't gaininh viewers despite tight knitted plot.

Also, I am confused as to how adult Jae Soo did not remember the pink haired Koo Ryeon from his childhood, especially when the ocassion was his birthday. If they prevented Jae Soo's dad from comitting suicide doesn't it alter the past timeline? Why was no consequence of it was shown? I still love this show despite my ponderings.

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Adult Jae Soo did not remember the pink haired Ryeon Koo from his childhood because she was probably seen in another form.

As for the prevented suicide, together with the fried chicken, these events are exactly what happened in the past, which leads to the present.

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Agree, reapers are not seen by humans in their real forms.

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I'm tired of the risk management team this week. Ryong-koo seems like the only relatively sensible one.

Yes, I now know it was predestined but I rolled my eyes at Ryeon warning Jun-woong not to mess anything during their trip to the past and then basically leading the way.

I'm not really clicking with Rowoon's character as much as I would like for now 😑. Jun-woong's humane approach is definitely needed in the RM team to balance Ryeon's but I found him a tad bit annoying this week.

I love the epilogues 😂.

We got a bit more of Lee Soo-Hyuk and I made sure I rewatch all those scenes🤭.

Ps: He really looks good in black

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It did seem that way in my 1st watch-through, but after reading the DB recap, it seems that the time-travelling grim reapers were in fact part of the past.

Their actions (saving Jae-soo's father, making the fried chicken is exactly what happened in the past), which leads to the present.

That's why our dear Jade Emperor spoke about the fried chicken that way when Ryeon-Koo asked for the car.

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This clarifies a lot! Thanks @xavierthay

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This drama is very good to make me cry and laugh.

I really liked the friendship between Jun-Woong and Jae-Soo. The way the became friends and how they always supported each other since. Jae-Soo hit rock bottom with the fact he failed his exam, his friend is not here anymore... I liked how his father's arc and his own were intertwined. They needed to save his father to save him.

We learn a little piece of each character in every episode.

Koo Ryeon: One of the Grimp Reaper explained the dead were judged then sent to Hell/Heaven or become a Grimp Reaper. But like Park Joong-Gil said, Koo Ryeon was already in Hell (wandering with regrets?) when The Jade Emperor took her. She has a mission but couldn't do yet... She understands people she needs to save but she's more the tough love kind.

Park Joong-Gil : His job is to take the persons who died but still wants to live. So I guess, it's why he's so angry against the ones who want to commit suicide. But it seems he sees the world in black and white... not a lot of room between where he could use a little bit empathy. I love Lee Soo-Hyuk, but it would be nice to see him in a different role than acting charismatic, looking good, not very talkative every time (even if he's doing good at these :p)

Jun-Woong : I was really surprised he didn't try to save his father. He just said what he wants to say to his father and got a family picture that was missing. It explained a little bit more how hard it was for him to no find a job, he's the only man of the family. The PD has a lot of fun with the car size and Rowoon's height or the chick costume!

Lim Ryung-Gu is still a mystery. He's loyal to Koo Ryeon (even if Jun-Woong was teasing him with that). I don't know if he likes their mission. I wonder about the person he's searching every night.

The epilogues are so fun. Koo Ryeon and Jun-Woong on the scooter or the very very short scammer with the very very tall Grimp Reapers.

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Park Joong-Gil speech about suicide being an act of cowardice, how those who take their own lives are no different from murderers, was very personal. Or at least, that is how I interpreted his statement.

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He's always angry, so it was hard to see if it was more personnal or if it's because he always deals with people who begs him to let them live.

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Somehow first time I did not like Ra Woon 's character in a drama. Not easy to sympathize with him and he is so moody . May be Lee Soo Hyuk is too charismatic that Ra Woon become under his shadow :) Kim Hee Seon s outfits are really out of world :) I love them. Somehow I didn't click with this drama I just checked in this week because was curious what she was wearing :)

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I prefer Jun-Woong than Joong-Gil who has only one mood : anger! Anger against the deads, the ones who wants to commit suicide, the Risk Management team (when it's a Jade Emperor's idea).

It's normal that he's more charismatic, it's pretty much the point of the story. Jun-Woong is a basic human with basic human needs, ideas, feelings and who cannot find a job. Joong-Gil is the charismatic chief team who is great at his job aka making everybody feeling scared.

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Thanks for the weecap, @missvictrix! Loved the way Ryeon raised her hand to take on Jun-woong into her team!

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Ro-Woon is a giant among men, lol. He literally towers over everyone around him. That said I find his character incredibly annoying. I honestly feel like he takes away from the drama. I think it would be better without him. The best scenes are with KHS and LSH.

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KSH and LSH. We need more!!

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Thank you for this recap! I am really enjoying this drama. What I love is the message of hope that it offers for the viewer. I also hope that any Beanie who is struggling with mental health issues can also find strength and encouragement from this drama. No life is without purpose and meaning.

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Junwoong's character is a bit annoying sometimes, a troublemaker intern indeed, but he gives balance (and happy vibe) to RM team. After he wakes up from coma, Ryeon and Ryong Gu will miss him.

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Thanks, @missvictrix for the recap that captures some of the really surprising layers of this show. After the 2nd episode, I thought their would be an element of crusading for justice on the behalf of oppressed victims, but then 3 and 4 were more using the anti-suicide squad as a framework to bring out sweet,emotional stories.
As far as the topic, I think those who critique the show for downplaying the element of mental illness involved in suicides (that was brought up by a few people in this weeks DB "what we're watching") are probably right, but it is easier, and more satisfying to the show's narrative to remediate those circumstances such as bullying, failure in life goals, and response to tragedy, because presumably the person experiencing these can be talked out of a suicidal response to them (of course, in real life, that would require more lengthy therapy, but this is a tv show.) The kind of suicides that are hardest to deal with in the real world are those where there is no direct cause, except for concealed struggles with mental health. But again, that doesn't make for palatable tv drama, so I'll cut the show some slack on that one.
As far as the fantasy framework, I really hope the show will explore the death as a corporation angle more. That could be a source of dark humor.
Finally, @emsel mentions that the humor is a somewhat jarring contrast, and I agree, but I think it so far has corresponded with those cases in which there is a happy outcome, the victim is saved, so it does not seem offensive.
What is instead an interesting contrast to me is between the nondescript humans, and the stunningly attractive reapers--not just the lead reapers, but their assistants as well. I doubt it will undermine the anti-suicide message, but who knew death could be so good looking!

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I'm still watching this drama although I don't love it. I guess I was expecting something more edgy, and the episodic nature of the show doesn't really work for me (it's hard to grow emotionally attached to side characters I've just met and will only know for the span of an episode or two. And there's not a lot of development of the leads yet, either). The dialogue and mythology are predictable and standard for the genre. There's also not nearly enough of Lee Soo Hyuk's character!

My hope is that within the next two episodes things will get more interesting and the larger, underlying conflict and themes will emerge.

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One plot element that will be interesting to see what the show presents is who Ryeon has to save, as alluded to by the Jade-empress/goddess. I would say that the obvious answer, Ryeon herself, would make it fairly predictable. Another possible answer, Jun-woong, would again be somewhat predictable. It would certainly flesh out the fantasy world though, if the answer was instead Joong-gil or Ryung-gu.(or it might make it too confusing.)
But speaking of that, I have read several comments like yours that the fantasy world show depicts is unimaginative and standard for the genre. Not usually being a fan of this type of show (I watched a little Hotel del Luna but dropped it), I was wondering does Korea have a different mythology of personified death, that there are a group of grim reapers that actually save people? I was giving the show credit for originality in that regard, but maybe I shouldn't be.
Or, and this would be really why I'm asking this question, do other, better shows depict death as a corporation? Because if they do, I would like to watch them, as somewhat the fan of the idea that corporate bureaucracy is hell!

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I did assume, as you mentioned, that the person Ryeon needs to save is herself. That was reinforced--in my mind at least--by the extremely brief Joseon (or another long ago time period) flashback we got of her apparently murdering someone or being murdered. But I could be off.

Even though they mythology isn't exactly the same, this one's basic set-up of a capricious head deity, a bureaucratic after-life, and immortals fighting for control of souls reminds me of Hotel Del Luna, Mystic Pop-Up Bar, and Bride of Haebak. It may not be a fair comparison as they all have different setups (and as you said, the idea of an afterlife run like a corporation isn't repeated in those other dramas), but the fantasy elements felt and looked much the same to me (in Mystic we also have the idea that people have to atone for suicide) as did the conversations between characters about the afterlife. But maybe it'll start to feel more fresh as we dig deeper into the story.

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Thanks for the reply! I forgot about those others. Saw an episode of the Bride of Haebak and it was bad, and stayed clear of the Mystic Pop-Up Bar.

I did notice that Joong-gil gave voice to the traditional Christian vision of suicide as the equivalent of murder, except worse. Any k-drama version of the fantasy afterlife of suicides would have to go a long way to match the bizarre weirdness of Dante's Inferno, where the suicides are encased in trees, eaten/tortured by harpies and can never return to their bodies even after the Last Judgment. I must say I prefer the idea of a crisis management team, led not by a harpy but the beautiful Ryeon!

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Hmm, you may have been a bit hasty in your rejection of Mystic. The world building was excellent and the deeper philosophical notes were well done. Bride of Haebak got into the weeds plot-wise and never managed to hack out. Some good cg scenes, though.

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Thanks--I'll check out Mystic. Maybe I'm a fantasy guy after all. I wish my wife knew that.

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Late but just have to shimmy in to second the recc and plug of Mystic Pop Up Bar. If only all fantasy kdramas were as written and executed as tightly and confidently as it, I would be a happier fantasy fan.

Truly an underrated gem of a show, knew exactly what it was and where it was going and how to get there! Of all the above mentioned and not mentioned dramas that have similar fantastical set ups to Tomorrow, Mystic is definitely the best.

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4 ep in, I am enjoying the story and the interaction so far. I expect they start to show us more about Joong-gil's own background and where his dislike of Ryeon came from. He is listed as one of the main lead and it's about time to learn more about him (what's his deal, really).
I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I would like to see more people joining Ryeon's team.

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Thanks @missvictrix for the weecap. I hope you keep them coming. I am really starting to settle in and enjoy this drama and going for the ride with these characters.
In a way so far it is following the MOVE TO HEAVEN and D.P. format of the story of the week or week and a half which is fine by me.
All the leads are great but Rowoon is a joy as Jun-woong. His loyalty to friend Jae-soo was beautiful. Just an aside but I loved that that the writer gave Jae-soo the surname ‘ Namgoong’. Perhaps it is a nod to the man himself NGM.
The first kiss scene between Woo-jin and Na-young was very sweet.
As I said before in a ‘heavy’ drama like this humor is very important and I think the writers (there are three according to MDL with this drama as their only credit!) are handling that part quite well.
Last thing, when I see the Jade Emperor (Kim Hae-sook) I want to say: Ro-sa!

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I want to like this show, but I cannot handle the bullying and the suicide. I'll read your wee-caps to see what I'm missing, but I need to find something lighter to watch.

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As you and many beanies have said before, I love how the drama manages to tell a sad story and then add notes of comic relief. We are addressing a very delicate issue here and I love the way the drama is doing it, because the fact that we smile most of the time doesn't change the that we actually feel the pain Jae Soo is feeling inside.

I also love the storytelling and that we are not getting a lineal story. These jumps, ups and downs, make me want to pay more and more attention to every detail, seeing how something that seemed irrelevant now can be pivotal in the future.

And I know I've said this before, but... can we have more LSH, please? Yes, I am biased, I'm not ashamed to say it!

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Am I the only one feeling this show is lacking something and is kinda boring and predictable?! I struggled with ep 3 & 4 and have paused them a few times to do other things like detangling my necklace lol!! I'm not so sure on this one yet...It doesn't have the spark or originality of lets say a Hotel Del Luna or Goblin which are kind of in the same fantasy grip reaper drama realm which were so gripping. I like Rowoon a lot so will stick around a little longer to see if this gets better.

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This show is reminding me a lot of While You Were Sleeping with the 3 leads moving on to a different case each week and the side characters basically falling off the table afterward. I tend to not like this approach but am moving forward for Rowoon (I started The King's Affection for the same reason and it turned out I loved it, so who knows).

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