I can’t believe that 49 Days is close to the halfway mark today (its set for 20 episodes), partly because so little substantive plot has happened, and partly because it felt like an interminable slog for me to wade through 8 episodes of mostly boring and repetitive moments for a few striking scenes. There is a possibility that this may be my last recap for this drama, since I’ve given it plenty of time to click with me and it hasn’t. This is an instance where cast chemistry, which almost everyone has with everyone else, isn’t enough to elevate substandard fare.
I’ll likely watch 49 Days to the end, but if episode 9 doesn’t grab me then I’ll revert to being a happier passive watcher rather than an increasingly grumpy active recapper. Today’s episode wasn’t nearly as good as yesterday’s, but did have one scene that really stood out amongst the rest, and to no one’s surprise, it involved Scheduler. I do adore that boy, and Jung Il Woo has done more than enough in 49 Days to wash away his stinker performance in My Fair Lady.
Episode 8 Recap:
In Jung and Ji Kyung stare at each other, the mood tense and uncomfortable. Ji Kyung looks at the groceries that In Jung is carrying, clearly understanding that In Jung is playing the doting girlfriend and bringing over food. In Jung asks what Ji Kyung is doing here? Ji Kyung answers that Kang Min Ho hired her to be his housekeeper. It’s Ji Kyung’s turn to ask In Jung what SHE is doing here?
In Jung lies that she is bringing over soup for Manager Kang as per the request of Ji Hyun’s mom. Ji Jyung takes the food from In Jung, wondering out loud why a secretary is acting like an errand boy and also how In Jung knew the code to this apartment? Ji Kyung casually dismisses In Jung, who quickly lies again that Ji Hyun’s mom told her the code. Ji Kyung throws out the information that Min Ho isn’t coming home until after 11 p.m. tonight.
In Jung leaves, getting in the elevator just as Min Ho arrives, exiting from another elevator. Ji Hyung is angrily cooking, upset that In Jung just shows up and concocts lies like her mom gave In Jung soup to bring to Min Ho. Ji Kyung doesn’t want to cook for Min Ho, so she decides he can just eat the food In Jung brought over.
Min Ho walks in and startles Ji Kyung, who puts her hands on her head and yells out “daddy!” Min Ho finds out that the soup was brought by In Jung, who just left. Ji Kyung notices that he brought paperwork home, as Min Ho walks into his room to call In Jung and placate her. Ji Hyung tries to peek into his room to see where he stashed his important documents, but Min Ho tells her to leave work now and clean up tomorrow.
Ji Kyung leaves but sneaks back in after Min Ho goes to meet In Jung for dinner. Ji Kyung goes inside Min Ho’s room and rifles through his drawers looking for the paperwork. Oh sweetie, there is always a secret compartment somewhere. Min Ho meets In Jung at a restaurant and does his usual slimy excuse-making speech on her. In Jung asks why Song Yi Kyung is at his apartment, and Min Ho turns it around and is upset that she would open the door herself to enter.
While Min Ho asks In Jung what is going on in her mind, she turns it around and asks whether he likes Yi Kyung? Min Ho tries to explain that he simply needed a housekeeper, and that during the 2 years when he dated Ji Hyun, he never once betrayed In Jung emotionally and felt something towards Ji Hyun. In Jung is not happy, but there is nothing else she can say.
Ji Kyung goes home and puts on a track suit, taking Yi Kyung’s body out for a jog around the track. Either Lee Yo Won is the worst runner in the planet, or she was told to run like a madcap fool. Scheduler comes to meet with her, and finds out that Ji Hyun wants to take good care of Yi Kyung’s body, since no one seems to care about her, and Yi Kyung is doing so much for Ji Hyun.
Scheduler wonders why she is wasting her precious limited time doing this, when she still has tears to collect. Scheduler tries to goad Ji Kyung, telling her that her plan to work at Min Ho’s place to earn money and try to get the tears is surely a great kill-two-birds-with-one-stone type of grand scheme. Ji Kyung sits down and tells Scheduler that she spent 4 days just thinking about things.
She knows how long a day is, and how much time she had left in her 34 days. She wants to make the most of it. She thanks Scheduler for being so concerned about her, and finds out that Scheduler has 34 more days until his tenure is up, and Ji Hyun is the final soul he has to schedule. Scheduler secretly scoffs at how Ji Hyun dares to think of him as her friend.
In Jung goes to the restaurant to buy take out, and finds out that Yi Kyung has been fired from her job for supposedly trying to seduce Ji Hyun’s fiancée. In Jung is furious, but also perceptive enough to wonder why Kang is looking out so much for Ji Hyun, when it always appeared that Kang didn’t like Ji Hyun. Kang and the manager talk, with Kang expressing his worry that Yi Kyung is working at a bar in her condition.
Ji Kyung lays down to rest, and Ji Hyun pops out of the body. She talks to the sleeping Yi Kyung, telling her that she’ll feel better after resting for a few more days. Yi Kyung goes to work, and its clear that she notices something doesn’t feel quite right with herself. Dr. Noh comes for coffee, and he hilariously says that it may appear he is a stalker, but all he wants is to make sure Yi Kyung is doing fine.
Yi Kyung tells Dr. Noh that he did the best he could do back then, and it wasn’t his fault. There is no need for Dr. Noh to keep coming again. Dr. Noh says that when Yi Kyung came to him, he had just been married for 3 months. During the happiest time of his life, he met someone going through the worst time of her life. Three years after they got married, there was a car accident where his wife died but he emerged unscathed.
Dr. Noh continues – it’s hard to let go, but his wife would have wanted him to, even though he misses her greatly. Yi Kyung listens to this speech with her hands shaking as she makes his coffee. Back at the apartment, Yi Kyung takes out a faded picture of smiling two kids, one boy and one girl. She thinks back, and she hears a man’s voice yelling “I’m sick and tired of you.” (and it’s totally Scheduler’s voice).
Yi Kyung slaps the picture on the ground as she swallows back her impending tears. Ji Hyun reads the writing on the back of the picture, which reads Song Yi Kyung and Song Yi Soo. Ji Hyun asks Yi Kyung if the boy is her brother? Yi Kyung finally sleeps and Ji Hyun enters her body. The first thing Ji Kyung notices is that Yi Kyung burned her hand last night.
Ji Kyung tells Min Ho that her work hours will be 11-3, but Min Ho wants it from 10-6. They argue back and forth, with Yi Kyung telling him she has other things to do in the afternoon. She tells him that she only needs a few hours to clean his apartment, but Min Ho points out all the other stuff she didn’t do. He tells her that he pities her which is why he gave her a job, so she should stop it with her attitude.
Yi Kyung says that she quits then, but Min Ho stands up and asks for her ID card. She gives it to him, and he notices that her hand is burned. In Jung goes to see Ji Hyun’s dad at the hospital to report on work matters, and In Jung leaves without taking a look at Ji Hyun, which causes Ji Hyun’s mom to note that In Jung has always been a girl with a lot of inner complexity.
In Jung arrives at work just to see Min Ho driving off. She calls him only to have him immediately lie to her than he’s in a meeting and can’t talk. It’s pretty karmic gold to see the lying cheater (In Jung) being lied to and cheated on herself, and she can’t even do anything about it since officially Min Ho is Ji Hyun’s fiancée. In Jung finds out from another secretary that Min Ho claimed that he was sick and cancelled all his afternoon appointments and went home to rest.
In Jung immediately goes to see Kang, pretending to ask about the design project. Kang says that he’s not doing the project, but In Jung says that Min Ho is certain that Kang is still doing it. In Jung maneuvers it so that Kang goes to see Min Ho at his apartment this afternoon to hand over the design sketches and confirm he’s not working on the project anymore.
Ji Kyung is searching diligently in Min Ho’s room, finally deciding to open his closet and search it again for a hidden safe or other such hiding place. She’s about to discover a potential hidden crevice when Min Ho comes home. She pretends to be hanging up his clothes, and he doesn’t even suspect. He gives her ointment for her burn on her hand, and when she refuses to walk away, he grabs her hand. They start tussling, and she finally agrees to take it.
She opens the door to find the soup is burning on the stove. She quickly puts the burning pot in the sink, and Min Ho opens the door to let out the smoke, only to see Kang standing in front of his door. Kang stalks inside and asks what she is doing here? Ji Kyung says that she is working here, and Kang goes into a furious rage and tries to drag her out of there.
Ji Kyung throws off his hand and says that it’s not her concern that she is working at the apartment of Kang’s friend’s fiancée. Kang tries to give her the job back, and she tells him that she wants to continue to work here. Ji Kyung secretly apologizes to Kang, telling him that she needs to work here, but Kang doesn’t know who she really is and why she needs to continue to work for Min Ho.
Kang angrily leaves, and Min Ho listens to this entire conversation with a curious expression. After Kang leaves, Ji Kyung goes into the bathroom to wipe away her tears, upset that she has to be mean to Kang and lead him to misunderstand the situation. Kang comes back to the restaurant to see the two waiters giggling outside and watching a video.
Kang goes into his office and starts throwing furniture and display design around. Min Ho is reading the design portfolio Kang brought over, and Ji Kyung is making dinner. Min Ho the sleaze bucket thinks back to the contradictory statements made by Ji Kyung (when she told Min Ho that she dislikes him, and when she told Kang that she wants to keep working for Min Ho), and he smiles, perhaps under the delusion that Ji Kyung secretly likes him.
Ji Kyung asks Min Ho for money to buy groceries to cook dinner, and he says to go out to eat tonight since she can’t put her hands in water with the raw burn. He takes her to a very homey restaurant, where the owner asks Min Ho why he hasn’t been by recently. Ji Kyung thinks to herself that she’s never been to this restaurant with Min Ho before. Min Ho confesses that this is a restaurant his mother loved very much, and he used to come with her.
Ji Kyung asks why he is bringing her here, telling him that she didn’t stay to work for him because she has warm feelings towards him. Min Ho says that he would never look down upon the pride of a poorer person, but he wonders why Ji Kyung speaks so rudely to him. Is it a sense of pride? After dinner, he hands her the keys to his apartment, and her salary for the day.
Min Ho offers to drive her home, but Ji Kyung declines. As she walks away, she wonders why Min Ho is behaving this way towards a household helper (thinking back to all the things Min Ho has done for Ji Kyung), and her not-as-stupid brain immediately registers the possibility that Min Ho likes Ji Kyung. That night, Ji Hyun chattering to to Yi Kyung that it’s so ridiculous that Min Ho likes either Ji Hyun or Yi Kyung.
Ji Hyun calls Scheduler from the coffee shop, and she asks him to look for Song Yi Soo (which Scheduler asks if that is some sort of mushroom). Ji Hyun thinks the guy is Yi Kyung’s brother, but Scheduler says that he’s not some errand boy and all his time is booked. Ji Hyun reminds Scheduler that he used to be human, too. Scheduler tells Ji Hyun that he died too early, at 23, and perhaps he never experienced love before.
Ji Hyun asks isn’t it true that Scheduler doesn’t have any memories of when he was alive? Scheduler may have lost his memories, but the feelings in his heart remains, and he’s only a Scheduler so that he can live the life he ought to have experienced but didn’t since he died so young. Ji Hyun says that Scheduler’s story is so sad, and Scheduler tells Ji Hyun not to tell him to waste his precious time on a woman like Yi Kyung.
Scheduler turns to leave just as Yi Kyung turns to walk back to the counter after wiping the storefront windows, and the two of them pause and there is this frisson of awareness in Scheduler’s eyes as he stares as Yi Kyung. He tells Ji Hyun to never again call him to meet at a place where Yi Kyung is. He walks out and Yi Kyung’s eyes look red-rimmed.
In Jung asks Seo Woo whether she is planning to go to Kang’s restaurant today to celebrate his birthday. Seo Woo grumbles that Ji Hyun used to go with her every year, and In Jung offers to accompany her this year. In Jung asks Seo Woo what she would do if Kang liked some other girl? Ji Kyung has found the hidden safe, but she cannot crack the code to open it. Min Ho is at a work meeting when he gets a call that Ji Hyun’s dad is coming to work right now (the call is from the driver, who is in cahoots with Min Ho).
In Jung quickly texts Min Ho to tell him that Ji Hyun’s father has met with some senior executives. Ji Hyun’s father reprimands In Jung for telling Min Ho about his schedule. Min Ho wonders why Ji Hyun’s father came to work without telling him first, and met with those executives. He drives Ji Hyun’s dad back to the hospital, where Ji Hyun’s father suddenly runs into the bathroom to heave.
Min Ho thinks back to a previous instance where he saw the same thing, and he witnessed Ji Hyun’s father arguing with the doctor and clutching his head. Min Ho finds out from the doctor that Ji Hyun’s father is suffering from a brain tumor and is pressing on his nerves. It’s a dangerous operation with a low chance of success, but there is no other option.
Initially Ji Hyun’s father agreed to the surgery the day after the wedding, but after Ji Hyun got into the accident, he now refuses to have the surgery until Ji Hyun wakes up from her coma. Ji Kyung is at home writing down all the possible 6 digit combinations. She looks at the calendar and realizes that today is Kang’s birthday.
Ji Kyung brings seaweed soup to the restaurant for Kang, who is upstairs passed out on the bed from likely a previous night’s excessive drinking. The manager wakes him up and drags him downstairs to have something to eat. Kang asks what the occasion is, and is told that it’s Kang’s birthday. Kang sees that there is egg in the seaweed soup, and wonders if his mom told the manager about that.
The manager says that he didn’t make the soup, it was brought over by Yi Kyung. Kang flashes back to high school, when his mom brought seaweed soup with egg and a lunchbox to school for him. Kang throws the food on the ground and runs off, with his mom chasing after him. In class, Ji Hyun goes to the front of the class to perform a magic trick. Kang has a bad attitude, and Ji Hyun challenges him to a magic trick show down, and the loser has to do what the winner wants.
Ji Hyun performs the magic trick, and Kang has to guess where the bottle cap went. Kang guesses that it’s in her sleeves, and she shakes it out to show that it’s not there. She tells Kang to come with her, and she drags him outside to eat the lunch that his mom brought. Kang realizes that Ji Hyun likely saw his confrontation with his mom and later got the lunch from her.
Kang tries to push the seaweed soup away, and Ji Hyun smacks him on the head with her spoon and tells him to finish the food or else he’s in trouble. Kang tells her to turn around and he’ll drink it. She happily turns around and eats her food, telling him to keep drinking and then checking to make sure he finished it all.
Kang asks the manager if it’s true that Yi Kyung brought the food over. Kang gets upset, and confirms that the seaweed soup is the same that his mom used to make. He tells the manager that he’s really confused right now, whether its about Ji Hyun or Yi Kyung he’s not sure. Kang rushes off and barely spares a glance at In Jung or Seo Woo, who are arriving at the restaurant.
Kang goes to Min Ho’s apartment and rings the doorbell repeatedly until Ji Kyung opens the door. He walks right up to her and asks her again why she is here? He tells her that it doesn’t matter if she likes Min Ho or not, he doesn’t care. If she doesn’t like Min Ho, then she should not be here anymore. Kang grabs her and her bag and proceeds to drag her out of the apartment.
Thoughts of Mine:
This drama has way too much hand/arm grabbing from two of its three male leads. In fact, I can count on Ji Kyung getting grabbed and/or yelled at by either or both Min Ho and Kang in every single fraking episode. Stop it, writer-nim, it’s not cool or meta anymore. Frankly, Kang is turning increasingly annoying for me to watch by how he treats Yi Kyung. He treats her without much concern for her feelings or considerations, what with the constant yelling and belligerency in his attitude.
Yes, I know he’s confused because he likes her and can’t figure out why, but that doesn’t excuse the hot and cold he blows towards her on a consistent basis. So what if she works for Min Ho? It takes two to tango, if they were in fact cheating on comatose Ji Hyun, so why isn’t he telling Min Ho to back off? I really don’t much like grabbity and yelling heroes, so I hope Kang lays off soon.
Min Ho is such a complicated character, and it appears that the driving factor behind his deceit is a sense of insecurity from likely a childhood of want and (near) poverty. I like that he’s the first person to know that Ji Hyun’s dad is one-foot in the grave as well, because I want to see what he’s going to do about it. Let his conscience (if he has one) stop himself from going any further, or go all the way regardless of an even more devastating consequence of his betrayal.
It’s a testament to how much I adore both Bae Soon Bin and Seo Ji Hye that I don’t want to instantly stabbity their characters when they come onscreen, but instead I’m able to hate them on principle but still find them gorgeously fascinating. I love how strong Ji Hyun has become in the short two weeks she’s been inhabiting Yi Kyung’s body, and how she’s taken to both taking care of Yi Kyung as well as doing her best to handle the mess surrounding Ji Hyun’s life.
I can’t say 49 Days is a bad drama, really it’s not, but it’s a drama that has turned out to be not at all what I expected. I don’t mean plot, because I had no expectations of plot, but rather the tone and direction of the drama feels rather scattered. In 8 episodes, we’ve had less than 30 minutes combined worth of plot developments related to Ji Kyung getting those 3 tears.
It’s been mostly about Min Ho and In Jung’s cheating and their swindle plot, and Ji Kyung’s attempt to expose them. In the last two episodes we’ve gotten some Yi Kyung back story as well. But what about getting those 3 tears, which to be honest is the most important part of the story actually. I feel like the subplot of Min Ho-In Jung have taken over the main plot of Ji Hyun getting her three tears.
If Ji Hyun had more than half a brain, she would realize that getting those tears are paramount to stopping In Jung and Min Ho, because she has one chance to do that, whereas she can easily alert the authorities and have In Jung and Min Ho arrested afterwards once Ji Hyun is back in the world of the living. Furthermore, the fact that her dad and mom have pretty much given up the house and office to live in her hospital room should indicate to her that they would gladly give Min Ho their entire fortune to get Ji Hyun back. Priorities, lady!
It’s because I find 49 Days so frustrating a watch that I just can’t emotionally get invested in this story. With a cast I love (even little doll Nam Gyu Ri has grown on me with her chirpy performance) and a concept I find fascinating, it’s really a shame I can’t like this drama more. With the lack of comments for this recap series, it appears that most folks either aren’t watching or don’t like it much either. So I don’t feel as bad potentially dropping it next week.