49 Days continues to have splotches of interesting moments fraught with tension and/or deeper purpose, but those moments are interspersed here and there without coalescing into a cohesive and fast-paced narrative. Episode 5 gives me a vague feeling of the story and the characters doing and saying things, but it doesn’t translate into a bigger picture. Which really has been an ongoing problem with the drama since the very beginning for me.
Luckily, I’ve gotten so used to the things that aren’t very good in 49 Days (like the OST, the horrible editing, the weird camera work, and Nam Gyu Ri’s bad acting) that it doesn’t annoy me anymore or take me out of the moment like it used to. I do wonder why the writer continues to conceal Yi Kyung’s story and parse it out in such measly increments. Unlike a revenge thriller like Mawang, knowing Yi Kyung’s (and to a lesser extent, Scheduler’s) story in this drama would actually intensify the narrative and not deflate it.
Episode 5 Recap:
Ji Kyung speaks into the intercom and tells Ji Hyun’s mom that she is Ji Hyun’s friend Park Jung Eun, and that she is here to retrieve an item that Ji Hyun had borrowed from her. In Jung is rushing to Ji Hyun’s house. Ji Hyun’s mom asks what item she is here to retrieve, and Ji Kyung tells her that it’s a magic CD. Ji Kyung concocts a story that she met Ji Hyun online and became friends.
Ji Hyun’s mom believes that she knows all of Ji Hyun’s friends, so why hasn’t she ever heard of her before? Ji Kyung tells her mom that Ji Hyun performed a magic trick for her parents for their anniversary last year, and that she taught Ji Hyun that magic trick. She sees the kangaroo sitting in the bag and correctly identifies the kangaroo as a gift from Min Ho to Ji Hyun.
Mom gets up to retrieve the item from Ji Hyun’s room, but Ji Kyung stops her and asks that she rest since she looks so tired. Ji Kyung takes the kangaroo and other stuffed animals upstairs to Ji Hyun’s room, where she successfully finds and retrieves the seal. She arranges all the stuffed animals the same way Ji Hyun did, and she grabs the magic CD on her way downstairs.
When she heads back down, she sees that Ji Hyun’s mom is sleep on the sofa. Ji Kyung looks at her with sadness, clearly missing her mother and worried about her. She tells Ji Hyun’s mom that Ji Hyun loved her very much, and wanted to be a mother just like her. Ji Hyun’s mom always thought Ji Hyun preferred her father, and treated her less warmly, so she is happy to hear that Ji Hyun spoke of the love for her mother.
Ji Kyung hurriedly leaves because In Jung arrives, and she hides behind a tree in the yard as In Jung runs inside. In Jung tells Ji Hyun’s mom that she left her cellphone in Ji Hyun’s room when she was cleaning it up earlier and rushes upstairs. She searches in the kangaroo pocket and finds it empty. She sees that the necklace that was in the pocket is now resting on the kangaroo’s paw, and realizes that someone must’ve have rifled through the pocket.
Ji Kyung leaves with a triumphant smirk towards In Jung. She remembers back to earlier when Scheduler gave her a hint that she has a higher IQ while in her soul state. Ji Kyung then racks her brains for a solution, and realizes that everyone sees her as Song Yi Kyung, so she can just ask to enter her own house because no one would recognize her.
In Jung goes downstairs, and finds out from Ji Hyun’s mom that supposedly a friend of Ji Hyun’s came by earlier and went upstairs to Ji Hyun’s room to retrieve something. Ji Kyung takes the seal back to Yi Kyung’s apartment, wraps it in plastic, and puts it in Yi Kyung’s box of things she’s been storing away. The landlord comes by and demands rent, claiming that she knows Yi Kyung hides money here. She persuades the landlord to come back tomorrow.
After the landlord leaves, Ji Kyung bemoans how Yi Kyung is living, hiding money in the house and refusing to put it in a bank. What if a thief came inside? Which makes Ji Kyung realize the seal is not safe in the house either. In Jung tells Min Ho that she couldn’t find the seal inside the kangaroo pouch, and she suspects this “friend” of Ji Hyun’s since In Jung has never heard Ji Hyun mention a friend named Park Jung Eun.
Min Ho is calculating and rational, wondering what reason someone would take the seal? If someone knew about the swindle, it would be easier just to inform Ji Hyun’s parents and expose them. Min Ho tells In Jung to get some rest, since she was at the hospital all night. But In Jung can’t rest since matters are so dire, and the payment on the island is due shortly. Min Ho promises to take care of things, and he needs some time to think first.
Han Kang is talking to his business partner about his suspicion that Ji Kyung has only 40 some odd days to live. His partner can see that Kang is very concerned about Ji Kyung, regardless of Kang’s denial and claim that she just annoys him. Kang concedes that Ji Kyung reminds him so much of Ji Hyun it’s really quite confusing. The business partner tells Kang to do what he thinks he can do at this time.
Ji Kyung comes back to the restaurant and wants to hide the seal in the soil of a potted plant outside the restaurant. She’s looking for a shovel, and ends up hiding upstairs to avoid being spotted by the business partners. Upstairs is apparently Kang’s living quarters, and Kang is showering in a shower that is open to the rest of the apartment. Like – O.M.G.
Kang is singing and dancing to Ji Hyun’s favorite song while in the shower, and Ji Kyung sees him and begrudges his seemingly happy state while her body is currently in a coma at the hospital. Ji Kyung is headed back downstairs when she sees a different potted plant in Kang’s apartment. She decides to hide the seal in this plant instead. Singing-in-the-shower Kang keeps thinking back to both Ji Hyun and Ji Kyung, and he finally gets out of the shower when he notices some movement out of the corner of his eye, which is Ji Kyung running out of the apartment.
Freshly-showered Kang comes downstairs and sees Ji Kyung helping to clean the restaurant. He tells her to leave and drags her out of there. The partner’s wife is giddy over how romantic it was that Kang grabbed her hand and pulled her outside. Kang wonders why she’s not resting, and why she has such a fiery temper for someone who is sick. He asks if it’s true that she has a terminal illness and has 48 days to live. Ji Kyung amends that to 42 days, and confesses that she does have a rare disease indeed.
She tells Kang that he won’t see her again after 42 more days has passed, so he should endure it. She points to Yi Kyung’s face, and says that Kang won’t need to see this face after that time. Kang tells her not to clean, and stalks off. Ji Kyung looks at him and grumbles inwardly that he’s so kind to Song Yi Kyung, but so mean to Shin Ji Hyun. Kang watches Ji Kyung moving plants and finally gives up pretending to read and gets up to help her. When she’s wiping the windows and almost tips the chair over, he puts his hand on the chair to steady it.
They end up cleaning the window together, and the partner and his wife watch them with a smile on their face. The partner asks Kang to play the piano for them. Min Ho is off playing racquetball and working off his stress and pissed off energy. Later that night, Min Ho goes to some rooftop and looks out over the Seoul nightline and thinks back to the doctor diagnosing a patient with no brain activity.
Min Ho goes to the hospital and sees Ji Hyun’s father arguing with the doctor outside of Ji Hyun’s hospital room. He takes Ji Hyun’s dad to dinner, and he confesses that he didn’t sign the contract that day. He shows him Ji Hyun’s lipstick and confesses that she gave him the wrong thing that day, and then she got into an accident. Min Ho tries to explain and takes the blame, telling him that he can’t handle the land sale now. Min Ho hands Ji Hyun’s father his resignation letter.
The business partner and his wife have a candlelit pasta dinner, which is their once-a-month celebration. They turn on the music in the restaurant and enjoy their meal, while Kang and Ki Kyung sit off to the side and eat their pasta. Kang notices that Ji Kyung picks out her basil from the pasta, and eats it with a pair of chopsticks, just like Ji Hyun.
Ji Kyung admires how much that couple loves each other, and wistfully wishes for the same thing in her life. Kang alleges that this is all a tactic by his business partner to get his wife to help him clean the restaurant once a month. Ji Kyung grumbles that Kang’s attempt to console her is really lame. Ji Kyung is about to run home when Kang comes out and hands over her salary, including taxi money since she volunteered to come clean the restaurant today.
Ji Kyung is walking home thinking that no one cries for her. She hears Scheduler chiding her for feeling sorry for herself, and she sees him sitting on the swing. He asks what she is still doing here, since she wanted to ruin her chance at resurrection to expose her friends’ betrayal. Ji Kyung confesses that she got the seal back in a way that doesn’t need her to destroy herself.
Scheduler is about to leave when Ji Kyung further confesses that today was the day she was supposed to get married. She asks him what happened to the other two people who got a 49 day chance? He mentioned that one person chose to die, but what about the other person? Did that person get three pure years? Scheduler doesn’t answer and tells her to hurry home before she misses her deadline. At the hospital, Ji Hyun’s dad watches over his daughter.
Spirit Ji Hyun is explaining to ramyun-eating Yi Kyung about how she got the seal back and hope that the land sale getting scuttled will get her father involved with the matter and hopefully expose the conspiracy by Min Ho and In Jung. However, Ji Hyun feels like it’s pretty hopeless with her other task – to find a way to win herself another chance at life.
Yi Kyung heads out to go to work, and Ji Hyun gets a text from Scheduler to meet him outside. He tells her that he doesn’t like going into Yi Kyung’s room. He can’t explain why, other than he feels that it’s inconvenient. Scheduler takes Ji Hyun to a department store for some retail therapy. He thinks that shopping is a good way to change a girl’s mood.
Ji Hyun moves to leave, telling him she isn’t in the mood to shop, but Scheduler turns her around and suddenly she’s wearing a super skimpy outfit. Ji Hyun grabs a jacket from the rack to cover herself (are they in a magic land department store, because isn’t she suppose to NOT be able to touch things?), and Scheduler tells her that not getting married to Kang Min Ho is something worth celebrating.
Ji Hyun’s dim little light bulb goes off, and she happily models outfits for Scheduler, who pretends to not be interested but is totally checking her out and giving her fashion advice. She finally settles on a flowy white dress and low-heeled pumps, and a new shorter hair-do. Ji Hyun says that she has two people who are on her side, Kang and Scheduler, even if Kang is technically on the side of Ji Kyung.
Scheduler tries to maintain his distance from her, but agrees to drive her home tonight. Ji Hyun doesn’t want to go home and have to wait for Yi Kyung in the alley. Scheduler looks at her in shock and asks if she intends to go to a hotel room with him? Ji Hyun is appalled at his mistaken allegation of her intentions.
In Jung and Seo Woo are having breakfast, and Seo Woo thinks about Ji Hyun, who would have been married yesterday. In Jung doesn’t want to talk about it, and stalks off. Ji Hyun is at the convenience store, where Yi Kyung is falling asleep behind the counter. Ji Hyun realizes that her daylight activities in Yi Kyung’s body is probably taxing it to the point of exhaustion.
Yi Kyung leaves work and the doctor arrives just in time to catch her. Ji Hyun wonders if this is Yi Kyung’s boyfriend? The doctor asks Yi Kyung to go have a meal with him, but she just turns and walks away. He follows her, and she finally stops and hands him the money without saying a word. The doctor continues to follow her, starts to share some of their mutual backstory.
The doctor says that it was 100% his fault that the person died. He left the hospital and moved to this neighborhood, and lived in seclusion like a dead person for two years. When he finally came to his senses and was ready to move away, he suddenly ran into Yi Kyung. He say that she’s been living like this for 5 years, and shouldn’t it be time for her to move on?
Yi Kyung turns and asks him what he wants her to do then? He wants her to let out what she’s been keeping bottled up inside, he will help her. She turns and tells him that doesn’t like to be friends with someone who has a memory of that time. She doesn’t need a friend like him, and no one can help her in this world. Whether it’s a psychiatrist or a friend, she doesn’t need anyone. Ji Hyun is shocked to hear all this.
Back at the apartment, Yi Kyung is sitting against the wall, and Ji Hyun asks her what happened? Who died? Was it everyone in Yi Kyung’s family? Ji Hyun wonders how she would deal if her parents died, or how her parents will deal if she died. She looks at the cellphone and confirms that she has 41 days left. Ji Kyung heads to work and looks at a camera that has her parent’s pictures stored on it.
Ji Kyung makes a note of additional people she needs to go see, and she adds Seo Woo and Han Kang to the list. Kang is drinking coffee outside and sees Ji Kyung running up the steps. He looks at his watch and sees that she is 5 minutes early. She gets his permission to use his computer during her break. Ji Kyung goes online and finds the phone numbers for all of Ji Hyun’s friends, wondering how long it’s going to take her to visit each of them, especially since she needs to work full time.
Min Ho is on the phone trying to salvage the deal, and Ji Hyun’s father comes to see him. Min Ho’s preemptive quitting gets Ji Hyun’s dad to trust him even more as a dude who care about the wellbeing of Ji Hyun over his career. Min Ho worries that without the sale of Ji Hyun’s land, the company has no money to put down as a deposit on the island venture.
Ji Hyun’s dad tells Min Ho to concentrate on the company since Ji Hyun is already in the state she is in. Min Ho tells In Jung that he’s settled the situation with Ji Hyun’s dad. Min Ho meets the investor and devises another financial scheme without the need for Ji Hyun’s land.
Kang calls Min Ho and asks him to come over. He sees Ji Kyung lurking outside his office, and she comes in to see him. Kang asks what she needs from him this time, and she confesses that she is here to ask for flexibility in her work hours. She’s willing to take a lower salary, which considering she is already earning less than minimum wage shouldn’t be a problem.
Kang refuses, and Ji Kyung lowers her salary request even lower. Kang is smirking when Ji Kyung decides to quit because she can see him toying with her. He stops her and confesses that he’s just having fun at her expense. She pretends to be angry at him, and finally they both start laughing at the situation. Min Ho arrives to see this scene, and he heads upstairs to pour himself a drink.
Ji Kyung goes back up to the restaurant and sees Min Ho drinking. Min Ho calls her over, and tells her to stop doing things which give people the wrong impression. Initially she was super warm and solicitous towards him, and now she’s extra cold and dismissive of him. This isn’t the attitude of an employee towards a customer. She says that she will watch her behavior in the future, and Min Ho wonders why she’s still not apologizing.
Kang comes upstairs and sees this exchange. Ji Kyung’s necklace glows red, and she’s reminded not to lose her temper. She tells Min Ho that she will do better in the future. She turns to leave, and Min Ho asks her where she heard that he has a fiancée. Min Ho is trying to continue the conversation when Kang interjects and asks him to come downstairs.
Min Ho asks Kang what Song Yi Kyung use to do, and what her relationship was with Kang in the past. Kang says that she is just a part-time employee. Min Ho asks Kang to fire her since she’s so dismissive of a customer. Kang refuses, and wonders what has gotten into Min Ho, who normally is very considerate and forgiving of others. Why is Min Ho treating Yi Kyung this way?
Kang asks if Min Ho is attracted to Yi Kyung, which is why he’s being so mean towards her. Like an immature boy would to a girl he can’t help but like. Min Ho brushes aside that possibility, and leaves without discussing anything further with Kang. He sees Yi Kyung in the courtyard, and thinks back to what Kang said, wondering if it could be possible that he would like a woman like Yi Kyung.
Min Ho grabs Yi Kyung’s arm, and tells her that he really doesn’t like the way she looks at him, with such disdain. Until now, no one has ever given him that look before. Yi Kyung throws it back at him – perhaps he’s upset because he has done something that deserves others to view him with disdain. She moves to leave, and Min Ho grabs her arm again, saying that she is quite laughable, isn’t she?
Which is when In Jung walks up to the restaurant and sees this tableau. Ooops, your secret boyfriend is not-so-secretly hot and bothered by another girl. So NOT sorry for you, sweetheart. Try telling the rival to back off when you’re the secret hidden tart on the side.
Thoughts of Mine:
I’m not sure I’m liking where the drama is headed with respect to Min Ho and Ji Kyung. If it’s to make him infatuated with her because she upsets and intrigues him, then I’m totally onboard with that. But if it’s to make him fall in love with her and turn a new leaf, then ugh lemme go preemptively barf now. I hate it when all the guys in a drama circle one girl like she’s Aphrodite crossed with Demeter, i.e. gorgeous and can cook and clean.
We’ve already got Scheduler and Kang reluctantly charmed by Ji Hyun, please don’t add Min Ho to the mix, especially since it makes no sense. Unless Min Ho would have fallen in love with Ji Hyun had she been a bitchy towards him in real life. On the other hand, Min Ho’s new founded attitude towards Ji Kyung does confirm one thing for me – Lee Yo Won has amazing chemistry with all three male leads in this drama. Amazing because it’s so different with each guy, but feels alive with energy and emotion.
We’re starting to be told snippets about Yi Kyung’s backstory (someone died over five years ago and she’s been sleepwalking through life since then), and the doctor fellow clearly knows the entire story and is somehow involved. I’m really impatient about Yi Kyung’s story because I feel the drama is going to take off only after the big reveal and her character becomes integral to the current story about Ji Hyun getting the three pure tears.
The whimpy resolution of the seal situation reinforced how middling that subplot was, and how overly dramatic it was all presented as. I think it’s time for me to conclude that 49 Days has a very weak story proper, and is anchored really by relationships (existing and developing) between the six characters. I’m cool with that, and hope to see everyone’s emotions, baggage, and problems get further entangled into a big hot mess before it’s resolved.