What is it that you just said? Oh yes, you love 49 Days. I suggest writing love in all caps, because you’ll want to be screaming your love even louder after this ass-kicking episode. Has a drama ever started off this weakly only to do a steadily climb towards awesomeness at such a drastic uptick in quality? Frankly I have no clue, because all my mind can think of is one thing: Kang, Yi Kyung, Scheduler, and Ji Hyun smushed into Kang’s white Mini Cooper. It’s like a clown car of hotness and emotional angst. 49 Days, you hurt so good.
Episode 17 Recap:
Kang runs around the neighborhood calling for Ji Hyun. He finally wises up and calls the taxi service to get Yi Kyung’s destination. Scheduler arrives and picks Ji Hyun up off the ground. He asks her where Yi Kyung went, and Ji Hyun dejectedly answers that Yi Kyung took off to Seoul train station.
Kang apparently is quite a storyteller, as he yells to the taxi service that his wife has an uncurable disease and has taken off to commit suicide. If she knew he was following her, she would jump off the taxi. Is the taxi service willing to take that risk? It’s a life and death situation, and Kang asks for their help. Scheduler takes Ji Hyun on his motorcycle to the station.
Kang rushes to the station, arriving just in time to see Yi Kyung sitting inside a train that is about to depart. Ji Hyun also arrives at the station on Scheduler’s bike, and Scheduler tells her to go look for Yi Kyung. Kang and Ji Hyun board the train as it departs the station.
Kang sits down across from Yi Kyung and addresses her as “Song Yi Kyung-sshi.” He apologizes for startling her and asks if he can talk with her. He introduces himself as Han Kang, telling her that he saw her get into the taxi. He tells Yi Kyung that he is looking for someone, and it can only be done with Yi Kyung’s help. She tells him that she knows – what Kang wants and who he is looking for. Yi Kyung tells Kang that “she” is not here right now.
Ji Hyun arrives just then to hear Kang pleading with Yi Kyung to help Ji Hyun. Yi Kyung harshly asks Kang why she needs to lend her body to a female spirit? Ji Hyun sits down and begins to speak with Yi Kyung, crying and apologizing. Ji Hyun confesses that she so desperately wants a chance to live again. Yi Kyung’s eyes widen, and she can see Ji Hyun crying and begging her.
Ji Hyun asks for just ten days of Yi Kyung’s help. Without Yi Kyung, she cannot do anything, she can only wait and die. Kang notices Yi Kyung’s shift in expression and asks if Ji Hyun is here right now? Ji Hyun begs that even if she were to die, she wants these ten more days to try and change her fate. If Yi Kyung won’t give her ten days, can she give her just one day, so that Ji Hyun can see her parents and say the final words she needs to say to them. Yi Kyung starts to cry as she listens to Ji Hyun pleading with her.
Min Ho arrives at Yi Kyung’s apartment, hearing from the landlord that another man was just here looking for Yi Kyung as well. Min Ho confirms from the landlord that the man was not able to see Yi Kyung, who had already left. Kang drives Yi Kyung back to her apartment, with Ji Hyun resting in the backseat next to her.
Kang asks Yi Kyung if she can see and hear Ji Hyun? Yi Kyung confesses that prior to today, she wasn’t able to, but now she can. Yi Kyung tells Kang that the memories and feelings from Ji Hyun still linger inside of her. Yi Kyung can feel her plight, because she shares scattered memories from what has happened.
Kang worries that Min Ho is going to come find Yi Kyung once he discovers that she did not leave for Busan. Kang asks if Ji Hyun is feeling better, and Yi Kyung conveys Ji Hyun’s message that she’s a little better. Scheduler shows up to complete this awesome foursome, sitting in the front seat and talking to Ji Hyun.
Scheduler congratulates Ji Hyun on getting another chance at life. Ji Hyun worries what will happen now that Kang knows? Scheduler says to keep doing what she’s been doing. Ji Hyun says that Yi Kyung can hear and see her now. Scheduler says that sometimes it happens, which indicates that Ji Hyun and Yi Kyung are on the same wavelength, and that Yi Kyung is truly innocent and pure. Scheduler tells Ji Hyun to not run around during the day from now on, because she is getting weaker.
Back at the apartment, Yi Kyung tentatively begins to talk with Ji Hyun. She apologizes for causing Ji Hyun’s accident. The person who wanted to die was herself, but she created problems for Ji Hyun. Ji Hyun tells her that she is also at fault for reaching for her cellphone. Yi Kyung confirms that Ji Hyun has only ten days left. Yi Kyung agrees to do this only for Ji Hyun, as a way to do penance for causing the accident.
Kang waits outside, and he finally relaxes once he sees Ji Kyung walk out. They continue the pretense. Ji Kyung asks if he’s been waiting for a long time, and he says that he’s happy now that he’s seen her. Kang continues to call her Song, and reminds her not to use formal language with him. When Kang shakes Ji Kyung’s hand, she says a heartfelt thank you to him. Kang asks what’s going to happen now, and Ji Kyung tells him that she’ll stay home for the day and go to the restaurant tomorrow. Kang wants to go talk with the landlord, but Ji Kyung tells him not to worry and she’ll handle it. He makes her promise to call him tomorrow and he’ll pick her up.
Ji Kyung is at the supermarket shopping for fresh produce. Scheduler arrives and tells Ji Kyung that as long as Yi Kyung agrees, Ji Kyung can use her body. Scheduler puts more food into the cart, telling her he needs to watch out for Yi Kyung for the next 10 days, though he is really grateful that she managed to bring Yi Kyung back. Scheduler concedes that he neither has the extra attention for Ji Kyung, and he’s also afraid that if he spends more time with her, he’ll grow to care about her more.
Ji Kyung confirms that she can listen to Yi Kyung’s decisions then. Scheduler tells her to use Korean beef to show her appreciation to Yi Kyung. Ji Kyung worries that she doesn’t have enough money. Scheduler grabs her around the shoulder and teases that she can eat well for just one day, to which Ji Kyung shakes him off, reminding him that she is Ji Hyun, not Yi Kyung.
Scheduler grumbles that he’s being used as a guinea pig by his scheduler sunbae. He then teases Ji Kyung for acting out a romance drama play with Han Kang. He warns Ji Kyung not to use Yi Kyung’s body to engage in skinship with Kang, not even one finger can touch. Ji Kyung glares at him, telling him that as long as Yi Kyung agrees, she can do whatever she wants. She walks away leaving Scheduler with his mouth agape.
Ji Kyung goes back to the apartment and cooks a full meal for Yi Kyung. That night, Yi Kyung wakes up to find a meal waiting for her, and a note from Ji Hyun. The note says that since living together, Ji Hyun has wanted the most to cook for Yi Kyung. She’s thrown the ramyun away, and wants Yi Kyung to enjoy the meal. Yi Kyung looks up to see Ji Hyun anxiously watching her, waiting for her to try the food.
Yi Kyung tries the food, nodding her acceptance to Ji Hyun. Ji Hyun tells her to eat up, confessing that Yi Soo told her what food to make. Yi Kyung looks shocked, and asks Ji Hyun how she knows Yi Soo? Ji Hyun tells her that Yi Soo has been waiting to see her for the past five years, explaining that there are things in the world of the deceased that Yi Kyung doesn’t understand.
Yi Kyung’s eyes fill with tears, and she thinks back to her past with Yi Soo. Both of them worked so hard to make money, taking on part-time jobs that results in Yi Soo nodding off during class because he’s so sleep deprived. But everyday Yi Soo would make a lunch box for Yi Kyung, and she would ask him not to so that he can get more rest. He refuses, telling her that he can sleep all he wants once he’s dead. She asks him to quit his club waiter job, but Yi Soo doesn’t want to until he earns enough money for their rent.
Yi Kyung asks again whether Ji Hyun has really seen Yi Soo? Ji Hyun nods, and then tells Yi Kyung that the picture she saw of Yi Soo in another girl’s arms was taken when he was sleeping and unawares. Oh thank you lord for clearing this up for Yi Kyung through Ji Hyun. Yi Kyung is stunned, especially when Ji Hyun tells her that she knew Yi Soo’s music caused a rift between them. Ji Hyun tells Yi Kyung that she needs to be patient, she will see Yi Soo soon, but he can’t appear before her until that time.
Scheduler stands outside the apartment just all angsty. Kang continues to wait outside the apartment, taking his white knight gig and turning into just a hair shy of becoming stalkerish, but who cares! Yi Kyung walks out to go to work at the coffee shop, and In Jung arrives to see Kang watching over Yi Kyung. In Jung calls Min Ho to inform him that not only has Yi Kyung not left the city, she saw Kang outside her apartment.
Yi Kyung tells Dr. Noh that she went halfway and then decided to return. Yi Kyung lies that the spirit is no longer following her. Min Ho walks in and asks to speak with Yi Kyung privately. Dr. Noh asks her to come to the hospital once her work is done. Min Ho asks her what is going on? Yi Kyung tells him that she got rid of the spirit, who was on the train with her. She lies that she can’t see the spirit, but can feel her presence.
Min Ho is suspicious, and Yi Kyung tells him that from now on, Yi Kyung will be working during the day, and Min Ho can come by anytime to confirm for himself that the spirit is not borrowing Yi Kyung’s body. Min Ho asks where Yi Kyung is planning to work, and Yi Kyung tells him she’s working at Heaven, Kang’s restaurant. Yi Kyung tells him that Kang will assume she is Ji Hyun.
Yi Kyung continues to lie to Min Ho, telling him that Kang isn’t 100% sure that the spirit inside her is Shin Ji Hyun, since Ji Hyun is not allowed to confirm that truth. Min Ho calls her Shin Ji Hyun, asking if she thinks he’s an idiot. Well, erm, I do, does my opinion count? Min Ho refuses to believe that Yi Kyung has coincidentally decided to work at Heaven just because she needs a day job. Yi Kyung retorts that she doesn’t need Min Ho to believe anything about her.
Yi Kyung is upset that the spirit took her body without permission. Now she just wants a simple day job. Min Ho asks why she won’t just take the job he offered in Busan, and Yi Kyung tells him that she didn’t consider leaving because she was scared of him. She tried to leave because she was scared of Ji Hyun. Since the accident, Ji Hyun blames her and has tried to scare her. Yi Kyung tells Min Ho that she left Ji Hyun in Busan, and Min Ho can go find her there is he wishes. She wants him to return her apartment to her, and stop trying to get her to leave.
Min Ho looks at her, muttering unhappily to himself “so it was all an act put on by Ji Hyun”. He tells her that Ji Kyung used to look at her with the same piercing gaze. Kang talks with the manager, and both are pleased that Yi Kyung has agreed to help Ji Hyun. They worry whether Min Ho will buy the story, but they need to stall for time. They can’t tell Ji Hyun’s dad about what is happening until he’s discharged from the hospital.
Kang gets a call from his own dad, who is calling Kang to tell him that the company which bought the land is not a legit company. Kang’s dad apologizes before hanging up, which leaves Kang shocked, but the manager reminds him that he’s probably pleased that Kang called asking for a favor. Kang gets another call, which informs him that the company is about to go bankrupt. Executives meet with Ji Hyun’s mom at the hospital, telling her that today they managed to scrape by, but tomorrow they won’t have any money to make payroll.
Ji Kyung wakes up just as Kang comes knocking on the door. Because she has feeling for him, she freshens up the room and fluffs her hair before opening the door. Kang hands Ji Kyung the seal she had hidden in his potted plant. He tells her that the company is about to go bankrupt, and he needs her help. At the hospital, Ji Hyun’s mom confesses that she’s scrambling to get the money, but it’s not enough.
Kang and Ji Kyung hand her Ji Hyun’s seal, telling her to use Ji Hyun’s asset as collateral to borrow money. They remind her NOT to let Min Ho or anyone else at the company know. In Jung reads the news that the company is going bankrupt. At Heaven, everyone is working hard to find a solution, but the waiter goes and informs Min Ho afterwards. Eeeps, traitor in the midst. The driver tells Min Ho that he has been following Yi Kyung for 3 days now, and every day she goes to work at Heaven, and comes home at night, just like she told Min Ho.
Min Ho tells the driver to go help In Jung move, there is no reason to follow Yi Kyung anymore. Min Ho then gets a call that the Ji Hyun’s mom manage to borrow enough money to pay back the outside debt. Kang also gets the call and he’s ecstatic, telling Ji Kyung the good news as well. Both of them are about to hug, but it gets kind of awkward, especially when Ji Kyung remembers Scheduler’s warning about no skinship.
Ji Kyung lowers her about-to-give-Kang-ah-a-hug arms, to the dismay of Kang. He tells her that she did it, while she clicks her finger in nervousness. Kang calls her Song Yi Kyung-noona, and asks her what she wants from him, since she won’t even give him a hug. Ji Kyung grumbles that she can’t even say what she wants to say, do what she wants to do. To which Kang tells her that he understands.
Yi Kyung walks home to see In Jung waiting for her. She remembers from the coffee shop last time and invites her inside. She tells In Jung to look around for Shin Ji Hyun, but reminding her not to use banmal with someone she’s not familiar with. In Jung informs Yi Kyung that she knows about Ji Hyun’s property being used as collateral to borrow the money to stave off bankruptcy. In Jung confirms that Yi Kyung had the seal the entire time.
Yi Kyung wonders why everyone is so concerned about who she really is? Has everyone done so many bad things to Ji Hyun? In Jung warns her that staving off this bankruptcy isn’t the end of things with Min Ho. In Jung wants to know what Yi Kyung wants? Why is she not telling the world, is this her form of revenge on Min Ho and In Jung? Yi Kyung tells In Jung that if she were Shin Ji Hyun, she would follow In Jung for the rest of her days, in spirit form or borrowing other people’s body.
Ji Hyun’s father is out of his hospital bed, and is informed of the near bankruptcy. Kang wants to know how Ji Hyun’s father ended up doing business with the companies. In Jung discusses what to do with Min Ho, and confesses that she’s frightened now. In Jung informs Min Ho that the bank debt was repaid by money borrowed using Ji Hyun’s property as collateral.
In Jung comes home to find Seo Woo with her bags packed. Seo Woo tells In Jung that she can’t live her a moment more, because she is scared of the kind of person In Jung is. Seo Woo tells In Jung that she knows In Jung is behind the attempted bankruptcy. In Jung tries to apologize and stop Seo Woo, telling her that she has felt remorse. Seo Woo tells her that remorse is something that is by default always too late.
In Jung tries to explain herself, saying that she met and fell in love with Min Ho, but she was too ashamed to be so poor before him. She lied that her father was Ji Hyun’s father. So her lies and her envy of Ji Hyun, is what started this entire mess. Seo Woo tells her that no matter how much she likes a guy, she would never do this. In Jung tells Seo Woo that she is the only person In Jung has left. Seo Woo tells In Jung to go to Min Ho, and stop standing here blubbering and crying.
Ji Hyun is talking with Yi Kyung, worried that things are not yet over with Min Ho’s plot. Yi Kyung wonders why Ji Hyun is so worried about her dad’s company’s situation if her goal is to live again? Ji Hyun thinks she is the cause of the company’s peril. If she had understood how In Jung felt, if she had knew Min Ho’s true character before falling in love, then nothing like this would have happened.
Yi Kyung realizes that this is what a family is all about, that even when faced with death, Ji Hyun continues to worry about her family. Yi Kyung asks whether Ji Hyun worries about Kang, who she can see is a truly good man and the two of them like each other. Yi Kyung tells Ji Hyun that if it was her, she would use the last ten days to see Kang, spend more time with him. Ji Hyun confesses that if she does that, she’ll miss him more, especially since there is no guarantee she can live again. She worries that Kang will also miss her more.
Seo Woo meets with Kang, telling him that she moved out. Seo Woo realizes that Kang really does like Ji Hyun very much. She asks him what would happen if Ji Hyun never woke up? How long until Kang is willing to give another girl a chance? Ji Kyung goes to Min Ho’s apartment and enters after punching in the code. Kang can’t reach Ji Kyung and is worried, so he uses a tracker on the phone to locate Ji Kyung’s current location in Min Ho’s apartment.
Ji Kyung opens the safe, only to discover it’s empty. Ji Kyung walks out to find Min Ho waiting for her in the living room. He calls her Ji Hyun, and she insists she is Yi Kyung. Min Ho calls out the signs that she is Ji Hyun, which frightens her and Ji Hyun’s spirit exits Yi Kyung’s body. Yi Kyung biting asks why Min Ho can’t tell the difference in the woman he loves, and Min Ho says that he doesn’t love Ji Hyun.
Min Ho screams that he is going crazy because he doesn’t know who he loves! Boo hoo, cry me an acid river of tears, Kang Min Ho. Yi Kyung tries to leave, but Min Ho grabs her, telling Yi Kyung that no matter what she does, he’ll get the company and the Haemi Island land. That is well worth going insane over. Yi Kyung calmly tells Min Ho that it’s clear he’s still in love with Ji Hyun.
Min Ho calls in his lacket and a spiritual shaman. The man asks “is that her?” Kang drives to Min Ho’s place in a rush. Min Ho’s lackey has his arms holding Yi Kyung, as the shaman does his hoo doo over Yi Kyung’s body. He informs Min Ho that there is no other soul inside of her currently. He stands up and tells Min Ho he’s going to look around the apartment. The shaman walks around the apartment, until he senses Ji Hyun’s soul crouched in the corner. He reaches over her, saying “she’s right here”.
Kang arrives just then, pounding on the door for Song Yi Kyung. The people inside hear that the police is also here, who is none other than SCHEDULER!!! The door opens and Kang barges in, taking Yi Kyung away. Min Ho is told that there is no police outside. Kang pulls over the car so he can tell at Ji Hyung for going to Min Ho’s apartment. Scheduler yells at Kang to not raise his voice at his Yi Kyung.
Yi Kyung quietly informs Kang that she is Yi Kyung, not Ji Kyung, and that Ji Hyun is sitting right next to her right now. Kang realizes that both girls can travel together during the day. Yi Kyung tells Kang that Min Ho has secret documents in his safe. Min Ho is at home throwing a hissy fit when In Jung arrives. Min Ho is furious at being toyed with. He asks rhetorically “Yi Kyung and Ji Hyun are the same, so who did I fall in love with?”
Ji Hyun’s dad asks Min Ho about what is happening with the company. Min Ho confirms his suspicion, telling him that someone is behind it, i.e. him. Min ho meets with his cohort, deciding that they will get the Haemi Island property first, and then the company. All they need is the seal. Yi Kyung is packing up her things to move out, and Kang is helping her. Yi Kyung takes one final look around her crappy apartment and they leave.
Yi Kyung arrives at Heaven, and the manager and his wife welcome her, having prepared a room in anticipation of her arrival. Kang takes Yi Kyung up to his apartment, asking if Ji Hyun has arrived. Yi Kyung looks back and Scheduler arrives to drop off Ji Hyun. Scheduler puts Ji Hyun down on the sofa, and Yi Kyung conveys her arrival to Kang. Kang sits down and asks her if she’s okay?
Kang tells Yi Kyung to come down for dinner and leaves. Yi Kyung asks Ji Hyun how she arrived, since Yi Kyung didn’t see her come in. Ji Hyun confesses that she has a guardian angel looking out for her, but Scheduler corrects her that he’s title is Scheduler. Ji Hyun tells Yi Kyung to go down and eat some pasta because the food here is really good. Scheduler wants to touch Yi Kyung but doesn’t, through it appears that Yi Kyung can sense a presence.
At dinner, Kang thanks Yi Kyung for agreeing to help Ji Hyun. Yi Kyung says that she wanted to die before, but she sees from Ji Hyun a desire to live. Kang concedes that what she’s going through must be tough, but Yi Kyung thinks it’s nothing compared to the debt she owes. Ji Hyun thanks Scheduler for saving her from Min Ho’s apartment, but he was saving Yi Kyung. Scheduler asks not to see Yi Kyung anymore otherwise he’ll keep getting in trouble. Scheduler tells her that she’ll keep getting weaker since the 49 days are almost up.
Kang can’t sleep that night, and neither can the two girls. Ji Hyun worries that Yi Kyung can’t sleep because it’s a new place, but Yi Kyung concedes that it’s because she’s slept so much recently thanks to Ji Hyun. Yi Kyung says she’s going for a walk, and asks Ji Hyun if she wants to come. Ji Hyun doesn’t have the energy anymore, asking Yi Kyung to be careful and don’t go too far.
Yi Kyung walks downstairs to see Kang pacing the restaurant, worried about Ji Hyun, since there are only 6 days left. Kang turns around to see Yi Kyung there. Kang asks how Ji Hyun is doing? Yi Kyung confesses that she is envious of Ji Hyun, but warns Kang not to get more invested, because it’s harder to let go. Kang is upset that Yi Kyung is talking like Ji Hyun will die.
Yi Kyung tells Kang to give up now, which upsets Kang, and he asks her to please leave. Kang confirms that until the moment Ji Hyun leaves, he’s not giving up. He cannot give up. He begs Yi Kyung to not tell Ji Hyun what he just said. Which is when Yi Kyung turns around and grabs Kang for a back hug. OMO, squeeeeee~
Thoughts of Mine:
I went back and read my recaps for the early episodes of 49 Days, when I was getting increasingly fed up with the drama’s slow pace and the lack of substantive character development for the good guys. Back then, I thought that In Jung and Min Ho were getting the lion’s share of screen time and interesting (read: complicated and nuanced) character reveals. The drama has since then done an about face – upping the tempo and transferring all the juicy story and scenes to Kang, Ji Hyun, Yi Kyung, and Scheduler.
I’m not complaining because that’s exactly why 49 Days is clicking right now. But that does mean that Min Ho and In Jung are getting shafted right when their story hits a critical juncture. Will one or both of them repent? Or are they so far gone they can’t make it right again? I’m not vested in the redemption of Min Ho and In Jung, but I am sorta raising my eyebrow on how their character went from tormented by their choice in life to suddenly being cookie-cutter evil.
I actually think narratively it makes more sense for both of them to back off, especially now that they know spirit Ji Hyun is around, and that their big evil plan has been sussed out by Kang. Min Ho’s attitude is also starting to grate on me, and Bae Soo Bin is taking wide-eyed acting and bellowing to new levels of, uhm, intensity. The exorcism scene was so damn funny I almost lost control of my bladder functions. It was random, not to mention stupid, and pretty darn ridiculous that Min Ho would even do such a thing.
But this episode really hammered home the point that Ji Hyun and Yi Kyung have this symbiotic relationship that is so so sweet. Yi Kyung went from someone who could kill herself at any moment to someone who realizes that her body (the very definition of being alive) could help someone else. The thing Yi Kyung wants to toss away so carelessly is also the very thing Ji Hyun is working tirelessly to have a chance to get back – to be alive.
There were so many amazing scenes in this episode. When Ji Kyung cooked food for Yi Kyung, food that she learned to make from Scheduler/Yi Soo, and when Yi Kyung took a bite she immediately recognized the taste. Isn’t food such an important motif in this drama? Yi Kyung emotional rejection of life means she only eats ramyun day in and day out. Ji Hyun and Kang’s connection deepens each time around food – when Ji Hyun makes Kang drink his mom’s seawood soup, when Ji Kyung makes seawood soup for Kang, when Kang makes seawood soup for Ji Kyung, when Kang feeds always hungry Ji Kyung.
Even Min Ho and Ji Kyung have an important connection around food, since he takes her to the restaurant his mom loved. The need for sustenance is a hallmark of being alive and sustaining life, and it’s weaved into this drama at critical junctures to propel character development forward. As for the back hug to end all back hugs, I’m pretty sure that it’s Ji Kyung hugging Kang. Betcha Yi Kyung went back upstairs to get Ji Hyun into her body so she can have a convo with Kang after she saw Kang worried about Ji Hyun.
This episode really took off and never looked back from the very beginning, when Kang and Ji Hyun got on the train with Yi Kyung, and spoke with her. It confirms that Yi Kyung can hear and now see Ji Hyun, and also completely breaks down the I-know-that-you-know pretense between Kang and Ji Hyun. When the four of them (Kang, Scheduler, Yi Kyung, and Ji Hyun) ended up in Kang’s tiny little car together, I almost herniated a disc I was giggling so hard. Now all we need is to strap Min Ho and In Jung on top and the six of them can go have the world’s most dysfunctional picnic of gorgeousness together.