I loved this episode, just a remarkable feat of stringing so many developed plot points together. 49 Days continues to inch up little by little in ratings (hitting 14 today), and I would love if this drama ended close to 20, putting it alongside some of my favorite dramas which were dramas that got better episode-by-episode, with ratings that reflected such qualitative improvement.
Going forward, aside from tomorrow’s episode 16, I may recap the final four episodes in batches of two after both episodes airs. I’m wiped out from producing two recaps in one day, on top of doing my day job and my personal life. I’m not trying to play favorites between 49 days and Best Love, because frankly today’s episodes for both dramas were on par with the level of awesomeness. But since other folks are recapping 49 Days, I thought it more befitting that I produce the BL recap before my 49 Days recap, so drama lovers have more selection to enjoy.
Episode 15 Recap:
Min Ho addresses Yi Kyung directly, and she answers with his name, seemingly as if she knows who he is. But her next reaction makes it clear that she is uncertain as to what she just said, as her eyes widen in confusion and growing shock. Min Ho asks what she is doing here at the coffee shop, and when she doesn’t answer, he asks her who she is? Yi Kyung tells him to leave, and she turns around to avoid his questions.
Dr. Noh arrives just in time, asking Min Ho what he wants with Yi Kyung. Min Ho says that he just wants to talk with her, but Dr. Noh takes a look at the shrinking Yi Kyung and tells Min Ho that she clearly doesn’t want to talk with him. Min Ho reluctantly leaves, looking back to ask silently whether she is Song Yi Kyung or Shin Ji Hyun.
Dr. Noh and Yi Kyung sit down to talk, and she confesses that she doesn’t know that man back there. But she called out his name unconsciously. She recalls seeing him during one of her hypnotic sessions, and the sensation she got wasn’t very pleasant. Dr. Noh asks if Yi Kyung remembers meeting him yesterday, and clearly she doesn’t. Dr. Noh recalls her dressing differently and acting oddly when he saw her. He tells Yi Kyung she’s suffering from multiple personality disorder, but Yi Kyung refuses that possibility.
She thinks what is happening is supernatural, that there is a spirit that lives inside of her, who appears to care for her wellbeing. Yi Kyung tells Dr. Noh that her mom abandoned her at the train station when she was five years old, telling her that she was off to change her brother’s diaper and never returning. Yi Kyung cried at the orphanage on her first day there, and a boy came to comfort her.
We see little Yi Soo, offering Yi Kyung a bar of chocolate. Yi Soo names her Song Yi Kyung since she doesn’t know her real name. Yi Soo had been abandoned at the orphanage when he was a baby, so he was used to being alone. Yi Soo helped Yi Kyung forget the pain of being abandoned, and for eighteen years they lived together, like siblings, like friends, and later, like a couple. But after some time, Yi Soo dumped Yi Kyung, and died shortly thereafter two weeks later. Yi Kyung never got to tell Yi Soo anything, to ask him more questions. We see Scheduler has arrived at the scene, and he asks Yi Kyung if indeed Yi Soo had discarded her? After Yi Soo dumped Yi Kyung, she lost all hope of trusting anyone, because no one wants her. Scheduler listens to her talk and starts to cry without realizing it. Yi Kyung doesn’t want to move out, because she feels like that spirit is very warm and caring towards her.
Dr. Noh leaves the coffee shop, and Min Ho, stalker extraordinaire, is waiting outside and follows him in his car. Ji Hyun is at the apartment, thinking back to running into Dr. Noh the day before, worried that he will tell Yi Kyung. She wonders whether Yi Kyung is undergoing hypnosis because of her? Min Ho heads home and finds In Jung outside waiting for her. She wants to know if Min Ho confirmed whether it’s Ji Hyun inside of Yi Kyung. Min Ho yells at In Jung that it’s an impossibility and tells her to go home.
Min Ho goes inside his apartment and looks at the engagement picture of himself and Ji Hyun. He grabs the picture and smashes it on the floor, screaming that it’s impossible for Yi Kyung to be Ji Hyun. The clock reads that there are 13 days left. Yi Kyung comes home, looking around her apartment as if she can sense Ji Hyun’s presence. Ji Hyun tells Yi Kyung that today, her father is having surgery, and could Yi Kyung please go to sleep early? Yi Kyung immediately lays down to go to sleep. Ji Kyung runs out of the apartment and finds Kang waiting for her outside. He knows about Ji Hyun’s dad’s surgery today, and is offering to take Ji Kyung there right now, before other people arrive. Once others are around, if Ji Kyung starts crying, people will think it odd.
Ji Kyung visits with her parents, wishing her dad a successful surgery. Her dad is pleased to know that Ji Hyun has such loyal friends like Ji Kyung. He tells Ji Kyung to visit Ji Hyun often, and everyone starts to get teary-eyed. Ji Kyung asks if she can give her dad a hug? She gets up to hug him, telling him that she will see him shortly. She runs out before they can see her tears.
In the corridor, Ji Kyung is sobbing, while Kang is doing is best to comfort her, asking if she associates Ji Hyun’s dad’s surgery with a fear of her own dad dying. He hands her a tissue and tells her that he will call her when the surgery finishes. They head out only to find Min Ho at the scene. Min Ho acts none too pleased that Kang is escorting his woman around.
Min Ho asks why Ji Kyung didn’t call him if she was visiting the hospital. Kang answers that he wasn’t expecting to see Min Ho here. To which Min Ho retorts that any place he can’t come, is also a place Song Yi Kyung can’t come. Min Ho offers to take Ji Kyung back to the restaurant, and the boys almost start squabbling again before Ji Kyung defuses the situation by accepting Min Ho’s offer to take her. Kang watches them leave with a clenched fist, wondering just how long this charade must continue.
Min Ho and Ji Kyung have a pointed conversation in the car – he asks her why she went to visit Ji Hyun’s dad, and she says to say a final farewell of sorts. He asks if she doesn’t feel guilty (for supposedly dating him, the fiancee of her friend Ji Hyun), but she says that guilt should not stop one from doing the right thing. At the restaurant, the manager’s wife is upset that her husband is constantly with Kang and won’t tell her what is going on. The manager gets short-tempered with her, especially since today is the anniversary of Kang’s mother’s passing. Ji Kyung overhears this, and realizes that on such a day, Kang is taking care of her father.
Ji Hyun’s father says his words to everyone before he heads into surgery, especially taking time to thank Kang. Ji Kyung is at the restaurant fretting over the surgery. Ji Hyun’s mom sits by Ji Hyun’s bedside as her husband goes into surgery. Min Ho, Kang, In Jung, and Seo Woo watch him go into the OR, with everyone giving everyone else pointed looks (except for oblivious Seo Woo). Min Ho, Kang, and In Jung all head off to their separate engagements, telling Seo Woo each will be back later.
Kang meets with the president of a company who is his sunbae. Kang finds out the Haemi Island project is a dual contract situation. Min Ho meets with the waiter at Kang’s restaurant, offering him a job after he graduates from college, if he will help Min Ho do something. In Jung heads back to the waiting area outside the OR. Kang walks back, looking at her like she is some sort of insect. Kang compliments In Jung on her stellar team work with Min Ho. In Jung wonders why Kang hasn’t revealed the truth to Ji Hyun’s parents, and Kang tells her that Ji Hyun’s dad is finally stable and undergoing treatment, why would he rattle them now?
Ji Kyung is heading to the hospital when she passes a street bum. Both of them pause and turn back to look at each other, which is when we see that each had noticed the same teardrop necklace around the person’s neck. The bum’s necklace doesn’t have any tears, and he looks at her necklace enviously, noting “so this is what the evidence looks like?” He’s not from Seoul, but has traveled here to visit a friend he found out was at this hospital. Turns out he died an hour ago, and the bum is sad he couldn’t even leave a tear before departing. The bum has only one more day left on his quest.
He tells Ji Kyung not to trust in humans, who are garbage and filth. He punches his own body, explaining that this body is the reason he is in a coma right now. The guy struck him on the back of the head with a rock. The bum says that Ji Kyung has hope since she got a tear already. He explains to Ji Kyung that her soul will progressively get more and more tired, finding it harder to enter and exit the body.
When he had 13 days left, he sent flowers to his family and left notes for his kids. He rushes off to catch the train, and Ji Kyung puts some money in his hands, telling him to take a bath before leaving. In Jung arrives to see this exchange, but she can’t hear what they are talking about. The man confesses that it’s been a tough 48 days, and Ji Kyung wishes him well on his journey. In Jung stops the man, asking for information about Ji Kyung. She offers to give him money if he will tell her who Ji Kyung really is. The man tells In Jung to save him first. If she can save him, he’ll give her real estate he owns. He looks at her pitifully and then walks away.
The doctor comes out and announces that the surgery was a success and the tumor has been removed. The patient is still in critical condition until he regains consciousness. Kang runs off to tell Ji Kyung. Outside the hospital, Kang tells Ji Kyung the news, offering to take her to dinner first before coming back to visit her dad. Ji Kyung tells him to go take care of his mother’s memorial first, and Kang says that they can do it tonight. At the restaurant, Kang sets out a glass of his mom’s favorite red wine and toasts her memory. Kang reveals to Ji Kyung that his mom was so cruel as to not leave even a picture for him, leaving only this piano.
When Kang was small, his father was always abroad for business. One day his mom started to drink, and would even drink with men. To a child’s mind, he can’t comprehend why his mom would do this? Now he knows it was because she was lonely. His parents then got a divorce, and his mom just wanted to live with Kang. Kang was angry so he refused to go home, refused to be nice to his mom, refused to speak to her.
His mom’s face turned darker, and he later realized it was intestinal cancer, rather than being sunburned. She send him to the States without telling him the truth, and she died all alone a year later. When he arrived in the States, he realized that he had a younger brother who was living with his dad, a child his dad had out of wedleck. Kang wonders if his mom died regretting having given birth to him, turning him into a bad guy.
Ji Kyung comforts Kang – now it’s her turn to be the rock for him in his time of sorrow just like he has been there for her when she has needed him the most. Ji Kyung tells him that the piano was perhaps all his mother had left to give him, and it was something his mom loved and derived great comfort from. She reminds Kang that his mom probably did what she did specifically so he doesn’t feel guilty. Kang says that Ji Kyung’s comfort really worked, and he does feel better. Kang wipes away his tears, and he and Ji Kyung look at each other with mutual unspoken understanding.
Standing outside, watching it all, is none other than douchebag of the year award winner Min Ho. He thinks back to his conversation with Dr. Noh, who tells him that Yi Kyung specifically mentioned a woman entering into her body. Min Ho is about 99.9% certain that Ji Kyung is Ji Hyun. He turns around to see In Jung staring at him.
Ji Kyung asks Kang what is was that he owed Ji Hyun that he feels indebted to Shin Ji Hyun. Kang confesses that he tried to leave to see his dad, when his mom forcibly transferred him to the high school in Jin An. He met Ji Hyun three days in, and he gradually got used to being there. One day Ji Hyun used magic to trick him into drinking his mom’s seawood soup, and to this day he is grateful to her. His biggest regret is not saying anything the last time they parted, at the cherry blossom lane when they fought.
Kang hands Ji Kyung the bracelet he has been keeping as a momento of Ji Hyun, asking her to return it to Ji Hyun since they are such good friends. What is so unbelievably rich in this entire scene is that Kang knows Ji Kyung is Ji Hyun, and Ji Kyung knows that Kang knows that she’s Ji Hyun as well – so the entire conversation is loaded with double understanding upon triple understanding. It’s sublimely awesome!
Ji Kyung flashes back to how she saw Kang reject his mom’s seawood soup that day – she was munching on a corn dog and happened to see the scene. She introduced herself as Kang’s friend, and took the seawood soup from her. She handed it back later that day, telling his mom that Kang drank all the soup. Kang’s mom gave her that very same bracelet, thanking her and telling her that she never had a daughter and would like to think of her as such. Oh my god, this was such a wonderful revelation, one I completely did not expect, and yet felt so natural and poignant. L.O.V.E.
In Jung demands to know why Min Ho went to the restaurant, correctly surmising that Min Ho has truly began to suspect that Ji Kyung is Ji Hyun. She asks Min Ho why he refuses to ascertain the truth? Is it because that would make it somehow kismet that Min Ho has fallen in love with Ji Hyun in the end? Min Ho rages at In Jung that she cannot be Ji Hyun, because its not the Ji Hyun he knows. Why yes, asshole, she’s grown a backbone and some brains. All because of you. I hope you choke on your bile.
Ji Hyun leaves Yi Kyung’s body, and they go their separate ways. Kang follows Yi Kyung to work, confirming for himself that she is fine. Ji Hyun’s spirit goes to the hospital to visit her dad, who is still sedated. Her dad’s soul finds himself walking the pathway to Heaven (which is apparently through a misty corridor), when he sees Ji Hyun behind a door. He runs towards Ji Hyun happily, which makes him wake up. In his semi-conscious state, he sees Ji Hyun’s soul looking down at him. She whispers that she loves him, and her dad starts to cry. Oh what a lovely moment.
Ji Hyun walks down the street and Scheduler on a motorcycle comes to get her. Ji Hyun tearily tells him that her dad’s surgery was a success. Scheduler tells her that he knew her dad wouldn’t die, because the downloaded assignment he got yesterday didn’t include her dad’s name on the list. He gets a new download every ten days to inform him of his new assignments. Scheduler tells Ji Hyun that a person’s life in this incarnation determines the life in the next cycle. Ji Hyun wishes Scheduler to live a good life next, a long and prosperous life.
Ji Hyun tells Yi Kyung that her dad is safe now. Since Kang read her letter, he’ll tell her dad about Min Ho, and once Ji Hyun wakes up, she won’t have to marry Min Ho. Ji Hyun wishes she could do more for Yi Kyung, in the twelve days she has left, even though Ji Hyun has pretty much given up hope of getting two more tears. Oh Ji Hyun, how you have grown, I applaud your courage and inner strength.
Seo Woo is at the hospital visiting Ji Hyun’s dad. She comes home to find In Jung sleeping on the sofa. The phone rings, and it’s Min Ho calling. In Jung gets up and grabs the phone, but Seo Woo grabs her hand and tells her to answer the phone right now, right here. Why does she need to go to the bedroom to talk to Min Ho?
Seo Woo puts everything together, realizing that Ji Hyun’s boyfriend is Min Ho. Seo Woo goes ballistic on In Jung, grabbing her hair and pushing her around. Seo Woo is incensed at what In Jung has done (oh, if only you knew the extent of her perfidy, Seo Woo) – she reminds In Jung that she only was able to attend college in Seoul because of Ji Hyun. Everything In Jung has, she has because of Ji Hyun. In Jung looks stunned to be reminded of all of this.
Kang hears the good news about Ji Hyun’s dad, and he’s about to rush off to tell Ji Kyung when the lady herself comes to his door bearing a tray of food. She tells him that she already knows that her dad woke up. She tells him that Song Yi Kyung is older than Kang by one year, and he needs to stop calling her Song and start calling her noona. Ji Kyung unveils the breakfast she made consisting of all his childhood fave breakfast foods. Kang starts to protest that he’s not a child, but then he makes a connection and asks Ji Kyung if Ji Hyun has ever met his mom before? Ji Kyung rushes off and Kang enjoys his breakfast.
Min Ho finds out that Yi Kyung works at the coffee shop at night. He then calls his partner-in-crime, telling him that it’s time. Cue ominous music. Oh Min Ho, why couldn’t you have stopped yourself in time. Ji Kyung goes to the hotel where Yi Kyung used to work, and tells her former co-worker that Yi Kyung lost her memory. She finds out that Yi Soo used to work at the hotel as well, but quit after 6 months wanting to become a singer. After Yi Soo died, Yi Kyung collapsed and never came back to work. Ji Kyung grabs a box full of Yi Kyung’s belongs that the co-worker had saved for her.
Ji Kyung goes to meet with In Jung, who confesses that Seo Woo beat her up after she found out after finding out about her relationshop with Min Ho. In Jung tells Ji Kyung that today she’s here to tell Ji Kyung what happened between her and Ji Hyun to make In Jung do what she did. When In Jung was a senior in high school, her dad died in a traffic accident. She would go and complain to Ji Hyun because she had no money to go to college. Ji Hyun immediately asked her parents if In Jung could live with them in Seoul.
In college, she worked as Seo Woo’s bakery. One day she got sick, and Ji Hyun went to work in her stead. Except when Ji Hyun went to work for In Jung, she missed classes, which cost her multiples of what In Jung earned at that job in tuition money. Ji Hyun’s mom got upset, but Ji Hyun’s loyalty to her friend made her refuse to admit any wrongdoing. So Ji Hyun’s mom called In Jung aside to discuss. In college, Ji Hyun stuck by In Jung’s side, even when In Jung suggested she do something else. When In Jung’s boyfriend came to visit, Ji Hyun would tag along claiming boredom at home. When the boyfriend started calling Ji Hyun and broke up with In Jung, Ji Hyun still had no clue what she had done.
Because Ji Hyun was innocent and never suspected anything. When Ji Hyun bought a new outfit, she would ask In Jung if she liked it and offered to give it to In Jung, who never accepted. Ji Hyun’s kindness made In Jung seem more pathetic, so one day she wondered, if Ji Hyun was in her situation, would Ji Hyun be able to smile and laugh. So In Jung asked Min Ho to treat Ji Hyun the way he treated her. Ji Hyun once said to In Jung that she would never regret giving anything to In Jung. So what if Ji Hyun gave her fiancee and her father’s company to In Jung?
So this was all a test of Ji Hyun’s love and compassion for In Jung, spurred by In Jung’s anger at her own lot in life and resentment of Ji Hyun’s natural optimism and birth right? Damn, In Jung, your bitterness is truly like an insidious disease that ate you right up. In Jung asks Ji Kyung to convey her words to Ji Hyun. Ji Kyung tells In Jung that Ji Hyun truly loved In Jung, and In Jung likewise says that she truly loved Ji Hyun.
Ji Kyung sits outside and thinks back to what In Jung told her. She doesn’t buy In Jung’s reasons as the whole story. She looks through the box with Yi Kyung’s belongings, and finds tons of pictures of Yi Kyung and Yi Soo. She comes across pictures of Yi Soo cuddling with another woman, and she gets upset on behalf of her unni. She marches to find Scheduler, crossing her arms and berating him for him betrayal of Yi Kyung. She shows him pictures of Yi Soo with the other woman, and Scheduler once again asks if that dude is him.
Ji Kyung wonders if Scheduler’s big wish is not on behalf of Yi Kyung, but for that woman. Ji Kyung accuses him of breaking up with Yi Kyung to be with that woman. Scheduler denies it, and Ji Kyung refuses to accept his explanation since he has no memory. Suddenly Ji Kyung’s words blend into Yi Kyung’s accusations of him years ago, and Scheduler sees Yi Kyung juxtaposed with Ji Kyung. He starts to cry, and calls out for his Yi Kyung.
Thoughts of Mine:
Some deux et machina aside (which frankly wasn’t terribly off-putting or derivative), this episode continues to rock the casbah of awesomeness. Everything is starting to fully come together, all the carefully laid developments beginning to yield meaningful results. This drama revels in the connections, for very little happens in terms of action, but it’s always so-and-so talking here that brings the story along.
While I never expected Ji Hyun’s daddy to die, it was nevertheless important that he lived, because I can feel how he’s the only thing Ji Hyun cannot let go of right now. That it was Kang from beginning to end who had done the most for Ji Hyun, and coupled with his history with her, and her history with him and his mom, that makes the Kang-Ji Hyun ship the definitive OTP of this drama. Still doesn’t meant she’s going to live, because sometimes a sad ending perhaps makes the most sense and leaves the most impact. For example, Ji Hyun can fail in her quest and die, yet Yi Kyung retains vague memories of Ji Hyun’s personality and quirks, and years later, it’s Yi Kyun and Kang who have moved on together from the loss of their loved ones. I say this because I know Yi Soo/Scheduler surely will not resurrect even if pigs fly. That boy’s final wish is something related to Yi Kyung, but it’s not to get another chance to be with her in this mortal coil.
Seo Woo’s smackdown of In Jung was priceless, wasn’t it? I wished it lasted longer, and included a couple of slaps across the face for good measure. It’s high time In Jung finally gets some retribution, but sadly she stills seems to have no regret for her actions. Like Min Ho’s reasons for becoming a corrupt man in pursuit of his goals, In Jung’s reasons for wanting to inflict suffering on Ji Hyun make sense only to herself, and is not a reason anyone can accept for her actions. Eh, I hope both she and Min Ho get some jail time, find their decency and humanity again, and come out and become contributing citizens rather than leeches wallowing in their own self-pity party.
Kang is so awesome I no longer feel the need to discuss his awesomeness. Just accept it like the air we breath. His remembrance of his mom and sharing of his guilt with Ji Kyung was lovely, a moment where their friendship and understanding and history together helped them to support each other. Scheduler’s story with Yi Kyung continues to be a series of sad and woeful misunderstandings on top of bad luck. It’s sad, but perhaps Ji Hyun’s role is to show Yi Kyung that one can feel hopeless, and yet still find the joy to enjoy what is left of one’s life.