May I Help You: Episodes 5-6
This week, we return to the world of our ghost-seeing leading lady as she navigates her ghostly adventures and the societal perceptions attached to her job. We also take a little dive into the life of our errand boy and his unexpected and surprising past.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
We resume from our week-long hiatus by going back three months in time to everything that led up to the change in trajectory of our main characters’ lives. Starting from Tae-hee, we learn he’s actually a doctor (wow!) and the boy ghost who haunts him (Dong-joo’s first ghost) was a traffic accident victim he couldn’t save.
Tae-hee blamed himself for the boy’s death, leading to one of the most drastic career switches in dramaland: doctor to errand boy. Meanwhile, after her initial fright upon seeing the boy ghost, a (still scared) Dong-joo managed to find a lost ring as per his last request. But since then, she hasn’t been able to get in touch with his family to return it, so the request remains unfulfilled.
Back to the present, Dong-joo has moved out of the Dime a Job building (and into a rat-infested dorm) thanks to the friction between her and Tae-hee. But Hae-an is not having any of it because how can “the hamburger to his fries” just up and leave without any resistance from the landlords? Heh. His crush on her is cute! But more than that, he actually reaches out to make sure she’s safe. And for his sweet sake, I hope he doesn’t develop real feelings for her because that ship is headed for an iceberg.
Vincent is also pissed that thanks to a certain someone, he has to look for a new tenant. And said someone is equally not proud of his actions, especially since he has come to realize that Dong-joo was not lying about her ability to see ghosts. Tae-hee tries to track her down, but no such luck, as even her dad thinks she’s holed up at Noryangjin (a famous study town for civil servant hopefuls).
When a drunk Dong-joo and Tae-hee eventually cross paths, she’s not ready to listen to him as she still thinks he’s going to spill her ghost-seeing secret to her boss. She tells him she will confess to the boss herself! And the next time she sees Tae-hee with her boss, she interrupts them with an, “I said I will be the one to do it myself!” Lol. Thinking he already spilled to the boss, she submits her resignation — which her boss promptly tears up after texting her to show up the following day.
Anyway, after saving her from an alleyway stalker, Tae-hee apologizes to Dong-joo for misunderstanding her, and she finally learns that he didn’t reveal her secret to her boss. Their friendship also resumes when she moves back to the Dime a Job apartment and she learns that Tae-hee saved the husband of the pregnant ghost on the bridge.
This week’s ghost client highlights a complex Dong-joo has about her job: her hands. We’ve seen her severely scrub them after work, and then there’s the general notion that funeral directors have dirty and unlucky hands because they touch dead people — a notion the daughter-in-law of the client passes on to her little son, and Tae-hee happens to overhear. And though he’s petty enough to expose the two-faced daughter-in-law in front of their guests, it does nothing to lift Dong-joo’s spirits.
On their ride home, a self-conscious Dong-joo is careful not to touch Tae-hee, but he clasps her hands firmly around his waist as they speed off on the Scooter of Budding Romance. “They’re pretty and cool. Your hands,” Tae-hee tells Dong-joo when they arrive home, and those are not just empty words — he actually means it.
Tae-hee and Dong-joo go for drinks afterwards, and Dong-joo feels less lonely now that she’s able to open up to someone about the difficulties of her task as a ghost errand girl. Tae-hee advises her not to think of it as just an “assignment” given from above as termed by Father Michael (who also happens to be her uncle), but as something amazing done by her hands to help the deceased and the people they left behind.
By the way, I really like the role Father Michael plays in Dong-joo’s life — he’s a spiritual leader, uncle, and friend. Dong-joo’s path is a lonely one and it would have been harder on her if she didn’t have him in her corner encouraging her. Some of my favorite scenes are the ones where the two share a drink together and panic at the thought of her father (and his brother-in-law) finding out that she works with ghosts. Lol.
Dong-joo and Tae-hee have a mini moment of panic when they wake up the next morning in the same bed, but nothing has happened between them (yet). Dong-joo’s scream sends Hae-an knocking at her door, and it’s really hilarious to watch Dong-joo and Tae-hee scramble around to prevent Hae-an and Vincent from finding out that they shared a room overnight.
Anyway, now that Tae-hee has been in her room, it’s not an unfamiliar place to him, and he helps her grab a change of clothes and some study books to rush down to Noryangjin when her dad suddenly shows up for a visit. Unfortunately, he can’t bolt away fast enough so he also runs into Dad, and soon he’s inducted into the Baek family’s school of lies. Heh.
Sadly, at some point in a funeral director’s career, they’re bound to send off someone close to them, and that moment soon arrives for Dong-joo when So-ra’s grandmother (cameo by my favorite K-drama halmeoni Kim Young-ok) dies. Dong-joo is a sobbing mess as she thanks Halmeoni for taking care of her like a real granddaughter. And there’s a marked difference in the attitude of the daughter-in-law from earlier, and So-ra’s family who are genuinely grateful that Dong-joo is the one who’ll prepare Halmeoni to be sent off.
In typical grandmother behavior, Halmeoni wishes that both her granddaughters will settle down soon enough, and her final request is for Dong-joo to pass on a wedding gift she prepared for So-ra. But when Dong-joo’s boss stops an unruly guest from misbehaving at the funeral, So-ra (whose biggest wish is to date – and kiss – a man) takes the boss to be her gift from her grandmother. Lol.
Halmeoni herself is a gift Dong-joo believes was sent by her mother, because Halmeoni always came to pick her up from school with an umbrella on rainy days, and this now makes Dong-joo sentimental whenever it rains. Hae-an also has a rainy day memory, although we have yet to learn what it is — but it seems like a sad one, since he grows somber on those days, and even opted out of a planned movie outing with the Dime a Job housemates which his crush was sure to attend.
But while Hae-an still remains stuck in his memories, Dong-joo is learning to let go of hers as she runs with Tae-hee in the rain. And while Tae-hee is also beginning to settle into his present reality, his past shows up in the person of fellow doctor TAK CHUNG-HA (Han Dong-hee), who happens to be the ex-girlfriend (and almost fiancée) he broke up with when he left the medical profession. And from the look of things, she still has lingering feelings for him. Uh oh!
It’s sad, but not inevitable, for some patients to die as doctors cannot save everyone. But there has to be a special story attached to the death of the young boy that would make Tae-hee just walk out on his former life. Did the boy get into the accident because of him? Gasp! Was the ring supposed to be for Tae-hee’s proposal? I have a lot of questions which hopefully the drama will answer in time.
In any case, I hope Tae-hee learns to forgive himself. Although as we saw from how he blamed himself for being the reason Dong-joo didn’t hear the pregnant ghost’s last words, Tae-hee cannot properly handle self-blame. Still, with ten requests left to go, I’m hoping Dong-joo manages to fulfill the ghost boy’s request and use the opportunity to help Tae-hee say a proper goodbye to the boy, and put the past firmly behind him.