40

Tomorrow: Episodes 13-14

It’s here, folks! The backstory we’ve been waiting for: the sad truth, the tragic events, and the story behind the red thread of fate that once bound our two reapers.

 
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for: the ultra tragic backstory of Ryeon and Joong-gil. But, before we get there, we take a one-episode turn through some real-life tragic history. That of the “comfort women” — Korean women forced into sexual slavery for the benefit of Japanese Imperial soldiers during WWII.

By now we know it’s very like Tomorrow to pull us deep into an episode-long story of anguish, but at this point in the story — Episode 13, our comfort women story — it seems a little out of left field. But hold on, because it’s not. Everything comes full circle.

We dig into the story of the comfort women not from one of the women herself, but from a friend of one. She’s a grandma now, but in her youth she mistakenly sent her friend to work in a Japanese factory — which actually led to her becoming a comfort woman. After finding out, this poor grandma has been living in anguish the last few years, and is planning to kill herself out of guilt.

Instead, though, her story is wrapped into two other women’s tales, and through it they all find healing and closure — since that’s the aim of our reapers, anyway. The grandma, YOO BOK-HUI (Kim Yong-lim) is connected to LEE JUNG-MOON (Kim Young-ok) through our reapers, and through her we learn the horrors the comfort women endured. We also learn about the young friend Bok-hui sent off: YOON-YI. She was the light of the other women’s lives, and even wound up saving them.

The story connections get a little bit wild here — the young reaper assigned to collect Jung-moon turns out to be Yoon-yi, now reincarnated as a reaper. When she reveals herself to them in the present, both grandmas find closure through embracing this young reaper, and at this point I’m just another granny hiding tears behind her hankie.

But the connections don’t stop there — early on, the Jade Emperor told Ryeon that this case was connected to Jun-woong’s past life. He doesn’t remember it, of course, but he was a Korean fighter that helped save the escaped comfort women so many decades ago. It cements what we thought we knew about Jun-woong’s character (is there a purer heart around?), and gives us the feeling that everything is interconnected — stories, fates, lives.

It’s with that feeling that we head into Episode 14, with Ryeon drinking her way miserably through the one day of the year that reapers get off: their death day. Ryeon’s harshness towards Jun-woong (and her 100% negative energy) makes him go to the Jade Emperor, who finally intuits that he is ready to hear Ryeon’s tale.

And so — finally, after fourteen episodes of waiting — we take a deep dive 400 years into the past right into our tragic Joseon romance, and boy is it a doozy.

As expected, this story sucks you in with the power of a Dyson vacuum. Not only have we been waiting so long, but we’ve seen so many glimpses that it’s all the more meaningful when it finally comes together.

Ryeon was a young noblewoman with a kind heart who met a fellow nobleman — at first haughty, but quickly turned into an honorable man who adored her. Their story quickly follows their youthful romance, and fate truly meant them to be together, because they were each other’s betrothed without even knowing it (squee!).

The pair is soon married, and we see the eye shadow moment and the wedding procession again, and then catch up with the couple later (now as our main actors), happily married and frankly, quite adorable.

But it’s bad times in Joseon, and the country is attacked by invading barbarians. Joong-gil is a military leader at this point and goes off to fight and protect the country, while Ryeon stays behind, eventually fending off an attack right in their village.

Ryeon is as brave and badass as we know her to be in the present, saving her servants and proving her skill with a bow. But, eventually, the women are rounded up and taken as prisoners by the barbarians, and they leave Joseon behind.

But Ryeon has fight — and knowledge — and eventually poisons their captors and leads a huge group of woman back to Joseon… only to be treated worse than dirt. Joong-gil returns and swoops in like the hero he is (eek!), but his influence alone is not enough to change the terrible course of fate. And here’s where we get the parallels to the comfort women — a group of survivors reviled upon their return, instead of rejoiced over, as they should be.

The story moves quickly, but we see how the hate and ridicule slowly breaks down Ryeon’s spirit. People are merciless — from the people in the village to the mother-in-law who despises her. Ryeon’s beloved servant and friend even covers her body with her own while the two are stoned; the servant dies protecting her.

Joong-gil is desperate to save his wife from her anguish and “punish” the people that spread false rumors about her, but this is the final straw for Ryeon, who doesn’t want to be his undoing.

In the end, Ryeon sees no way out but through death (and her mother-in-law doesn’t make it very hard for her as she prods her along, evil wench!).

Though Joong-gil tries to get through to Ryeon (that passionate fight between them that we’ve seen snippets of), eventually she decides to take her own life. It’s so super tragic, only made worse when we see Joong-gil’s anguished sobs over his wife’s body.

Ugh, I was expecting something of this tragic magnitude, but it’s so much worse when we see it play out — and even more so because we know that the bond between Ryeon and Joong-gil was forever severed by her act. *Sob*

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

40

Required fields are marked *

Episode 14 was a peach! Agree with you, @missvictrix, they had dropped bits of the final story so cleverly in earlier episodes that the final watch through had extra emotional impact. I was so, so, so relieved that Jung-gil and Ryeon were a strong couple and KSH and LSH absolutely nailed the relationship (although, got to admit it, slightly wistful that sort-of-noble-idiocy was at play here. It wasn't *bad*, but still, a good conversation about how they were feeling and what they wanted from each other would have been a bonus rather than straight to suicide for the sake of the other...) That final moment of him hugging her corpse was gut-wrenching: the LSH moment I was waiting for!

It has been interesting to see how are main trio in the suicide dept have stories all linked to the comfort women theme (I'm putting Ryung-gu's mother in that category as someone who was used in that way although she technically wasn't one). The victim, the witness, the liberation aide. I'm still pondering on the significance of this connection - or whether I'm just reading too much into it all!

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't see it so much noble idiocy as it is a genuine practice in Joseon culture. Honour killings and women carrying an eunjangdo (the little blade her mother in law gave her) to kill themselves to avoid defilement should they be captured was a very legit thing in the time period. So is the power the Matriarch of the house holds over the Daughter in Law and even her Son. (That much is accurate even if the hunting outfits weren't :p)
It was maybe a little rushed in execution-like we had only one ep to cover it all really- which maybe contributes to your feeling of lack of communication? But this had been going on for over a year minimum, and her mother in law had been constantly pressuring her- the final straw for Ryeon was seeing her beloved husband start to loose himself for her sake after her lady in waiting died.

Do I agree with any decision made therein? No, but like it had to be tragic and aggressively sad because that's what this show is. I don't agree with the overall execution of this show either but I'm trying to avoid ranting at it rn, and I'm here for LSH so.

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap @missvictrix! Episode thirteen was another difficult one for me. My hear truly breaks for the women and girls who experienced these horrors. They endured so much and had to experience additional trauma when they returned home. Episode fourteen was definitely lighter in tone (at least the first part) and I am glad that we given a chance to see just how much Ryeon and Joong-gil loved and respected one another. Again, as with the women who escaped the barbarity of the Japanese sex slave camps, the women who managed to escape the barbarians faced the same social stigma and isolation. It angers me that these women were blamed for crimes that were committed against them.

11
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Episode 13 was so sad and it was gut wrenching when I realised that these events actually happened in real life. I don't know how those "comfort women" possibly survived such atrocities.
I had not even noticed the parallel between the stories in both episode because I was excited to finally have the full back story of Joong-Gil and Ryeon. We had seen glimpses of their story but I had not imagined it would be such a sad one.

Lee Soo-Hyuk and Kim Hee-sun were amazing in portraying their characters.

Should I hope for a "happy" ending? 🥺😓😢

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm pretty sure the Jade Empress will be splicing some severed threads together next week.

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm crossing my fingers then

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I believe that we will get a happy ending :)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The sad part is even today honour killings still happen... For the sake of the family...

What makes this story painful is that it's very simple not some epic the universe is against us star crossed lovers, but just an every day human tragedy that doesn't make sense... Why can't we as humans evolve all together at the same rate

She did what was expected of a "good" wife, for people calling it noble idiocy, let me say if so she would have just faked her dead and loved him from afar like every kdrama ever, but reality says other wise...

I feel he went insane after her death and proceeded to kill more people...

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Finally! I figured as much that it would be something like this but I didn't expect the show to also have a parallel story with the comfort women. It's heartbreaking and I wish people nowadays wouldn't blame the victim anymore but I guess we're still far from it? or are we getting closer?

With Jun-woong saving the women in his past life and the Jade Empress showing Ryeon's past life, maybe he's there again to save Ryeon while she will save Joong-gil or more like their red thread of fate.

Two more eps and I still want more of Joong-gil. Please don't end with him in tears.

8
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm quite thinking that we finally got the big hint in this episode as to who is the person who Ryeon wants to save aka her Maid and best friend...

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

You could be right but she got reincarnated so I figured there was no need to save her and she's currently having a good present life by being an actress. Whilst Joong-gil murdered people and became a Reaper. Ryeon committing suicide was her way of saving Joong-gil in the Land of the Living so I thought she might do something this time as well to save him or she wants to save both of their souls. Their red thread of fate.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The Jade Emperor always said that their deal was meant for Ryeon to wait for the person who she must save as that person will want to commit suicide,so it's a living being...

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

oohhhh forgot about that!

0

Two more heart-wrenching episodes. The writers tied the 'comfort' women theme together well (what an awful euphemism, in episode 13, it was clear that many were young girls).
I hadn't seen the link of Ryeon and Jong Gil as husband and wife coming, so was gutted by the story. Can't believe that next weekend are the final episodes...I'm interested to see what is in store (please let us with some hope....)

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Have major problems with basically everything else about this show but...

Devoutly married Lee Soo Hyuk who is intensely devoted to his wife, and weilds a sword as only LSH in hanbok can? Yes, that is what I waited 14 episodes for, thank you~~~

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I watched this episode a second time because it was devoted to their story. Also, Lee Soo Hyuk looks so handsome in a hanbok!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

While I do have some issues with the overall execution, THIS is what I’ve waited 14 episodes for. Hanbok-clad, wife-guy Lee Soo-hyuk is everything I ever wanted. Now I just need him to play this sort of character as a legit male lead. Without the tragedy of course.

Fingers crossed that the Jade Empress will be fixing some broken threads next week? I need this for Ryeon and Joong-gil, and for the sake of the story itself, which has been aggressively upsetting to the point of detriment.

13
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Now I just need him to play this sort of character as a legit male lead. "
- *adds to potential causes of Sic's next death*

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’ll be right there with you when it happens.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also ☠️ if that happens. We'll achieve critical mass for a haunting, right?

These episodes, man. Hard to watch, hard to look away.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not even watching this show but I'm tempted to check out episode 14 just for LSH weilding a sword while looking good in Joseon era clothing. And I would absolutely watch him play the character in a drama where he's the lead as well.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

As long as you’re down with unbelievable sadness and angst, you’re welcome to join us.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Fortunately you don't need much prior context as ep 14 is pretty self contained plot wise. So I'd say go for it! But as the Lady said, it's frakkng almost gratuitously tragic lmao

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Now I just need him to play this sort of character as a legit male lead. Without the tragedy of course."
Yes! Right there with you @ladynightshade.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have major issue with this show. Chief one bbeing how the mental health aspect, depression etc. has been ignored when addressing people taking thwir own lives. They had an opportunity and it was squandered to address things realistically. Also, the show is morose to the point of being off putting and I am not sure with the theme if it is possible to perhaps execute it differently. We will never know with these direction production team. As for Joon Gil, Koo Ryeon....their story is the beating heart of tgis show and they have entirely sidelined it until episode 14. The smarter way would be to try weaving it in each episodes story. You have two leads that set the screen on fire by their sideways glances and you decide to waste it. That's not smart. Anyway The Tumblr theory of returning ladies were right. Kudos to whoever made that prediction. I just wish we had seen more interaction between Lee Soo Hyuk and Kim Hee Sun instead of 1 minute every episode.

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Every week I think I can't cry more than this and then the next week comes along - this week takes the cake though, I was bawling hard both episodes and I haven't processed it enough to comment on it. I also can't believe we've only got a week left! I'm not ready to let go of the team and sincerely hope we get a proper end to all their storylines, though considering we've only got two hours left, it's an ambitious ask I suppose.

That Joseon backstory, with a little more added to it, could definitely stand alone as a drama premise - it feels like an unexplored storyline with a lot of potential (or maybe I've been looking in the wrong places so please let me know if there are dramas with a similar premise!). I do wish RY and JG's story had been explored more and much earlier because I'm already so invested with the one episode crumbs we got, but at least what little we did get was fantastically delivered.
Manifesting Lee Soohyuk leading role soon please!!!

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with you about Ryeon and Joong-gil's backstory. I would love to see a drama dedicated to their relationship.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I haven't finished ep. 13 yet but even as a relative newcomer to kdrama, I see Kim Young-ok and think "Oh great, I'm going to see The Nation's Grandma die again." It's happened so many times. Will this be another? Can't she catch a break? I want a drama where she eats potato chips and drinks beer and swears a lot and is still lording it over the other characters in the last scene.

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! I bawled when she died in Hometown CCC!. When I watched this I was like Oh no! Not again...

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

THIS. Justice for Kim Young-ok. May she soon get to play the badass she deserves to on our screens. I’m tired of tearing up every time her characters pass away.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show makes me cry buckets every week without fail. But I have to say I was so furious with episode 13 on behalf of the survivors. The horror and pain those women, girls even went through only for it to continue once they returned home is sickening. The epilogue was the equally tearful. Beyond what the shows haters say, Tomorrow really highlights societal issues that I’m sure most who live in the west don’t really know about. On a different note, I am happy we got our leads backstory. It nice to see the ryeon was just as badass in her life as well as after life, and how sting the love between them was. Only two more episodes left! I know they will be tearjerkers!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Eps. 12, 13, and 14 were all major weepers...can barely read the recaps.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This set of episodes was so depressing and bleak, but fantastic. Ryeon and Jung-gil better get together by the end of the series and their red string better be restored to the thickness of a rope!

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Normalize crying every week because of Tomorrow. They gave me pain every week because of their story and the history. I don't know how they wrapped their final episode, but please please give us Goo Ryeon and Joong Gil happy ending (I'm doubting actually) or at least give them chance to talk about their past lives and their regret,

and the words Jade Emperor said to Jungwoong. Who is he actually in his past lives? Is he connected with Goo Ryeon and Joong Gil?

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm also expecting THAT twist in regards of Jungwoong from the conversation he had with The Jade Emperor,what she said and how she said it made it clear there is more to him...It almost felt personal for a moment the way she asked him "What is Ryeon to you, exactly?" (For a moment i even believed he might be her son reincarnated as a human long time ago LOL or along the lines)
I think their happy ending might be for them to finally let go of that regret and continue in their new lives as Reapers and even maybe be something more as they are now..Don't see them wanting to reincarnate(if they are even allowed?)
I doubt the Jade Emperor will bend the rules for them,she was fairl till now and doubt she will make exceptions for them alone...

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I believed theory about he's their son too. Jungwoon might be clueless but Jade Emperor obviously know something

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

@miky88 "For a moment i even believed he might be her son reincarnated."
I have had the same thought in my mind. It is possible that Ryeon could've been pregnant when she took her life.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's what I was thinking!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I hvaen´t watched this but amusingly a colleague who declared before that she hates kdramas, showed me the very clip of the comfort women part of this drama and asked if I heard of it.

but I got a workshop and korean exam, and a trip to make. besides I dont have netflix any more

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Bugger the so called honour killing - it’s always the women who get the raw end of the deal. Matriarch be damned, that mother-out-law was a nasty old biddy who couldn’t have cared less about her daughter-in-law. Twould have been far better if she had killed her rather pushing her to top herself.

…..I can’t help wondering if the reason our heroine Ryeon is working in the saving suicides is so she can meet with her former husband. Remember, the Jade Emperor makes reference more than once of Ryeon wanting to see a person. May be they will both have their memories intact. I do like Rowoon’s role as a big, lolloping pup who often pits his foot in his mouth but has a heart of gold. And also, it was good to see why the other fellow is the way his is.

Great show, I’m going to be sad when it finishes.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *