I loved this episode for all the reveals of the repercussions of what Sun-joon did by helping his Hyung, and the discussions that came about as a result. Just like most time travelers, he leaps before he looks, and ends up learning the consequences the hard way.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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The episode begins with a rerun of the conversation between Young-hoon, and Sun-woo about visiting Shi-ah and giving her his Hyung’s phone number, Young-hoon wonders what could have changed because of it.
Strangely, Sun-woo remains confident that it won’t be a problem. In reference to his Hyung and the girlfriend becoming a couple or not, he says the words “If it still doesn’t work out, then they were never meant to be.” (This still makes me very worried.)
Young-hoon goes into surgery and in a split screen, we see current time and 1992 time happening simultaneously. Young Hyung answering the phone call from Shi-ah sends Young-hoon reeling through renewed memories. He is so shaken, he drops a clamp and blood spurts. (Jooni would NOT like this.) As soon as the surgery is complete, he runs out repeating, “There’s no way…”
The hoobae, Suh-joon is delegated to answering questions about the surgery, while Young-hoon runs through the hospital, up an elevator.
Flashback: Young Hyung shows up at the emergency room and finds his girl, Yoo-jin unconscious. Shi-ah keeps assuring him her mom isn’t dead, just sleeping.
Young Hyung, overcome by the choice he is facing, decides on the spot not to run away anymore.
He’s sorry. He will take care responsibility. He hugs Shi-ah telling her not to worry.
Present: Dead Hyung, now Chief Doctor Hyung sees Young-hoon, who is distraught and blood spattered, in front of his office door, and asks if he is OK.
Now, it is Sun-woo’s turn to reel through revised memories. He still doesn’t save his father from the fire again. Young Hyung brings Shi-ah to meet Sun-woo recovering in the hospital.
We learn that Hyung and family move to the United States, and hear Shi-ah wishes Samchoon could go, too. Cute!
Young Sun-woo informs his mother of Hyung’s news. Mom is still wheelchair bound after her husband’s death. Sun-woo laughs that Shi-ah changed her name for no apparent reason. Sun-woo shows his unresponsive mother the photo of the happy family.
Just in case Min-young stepped away without him knowing, Sun-woo checks with the waiter if he came alone. Has he been alone from the start? Yes, the waiter replies, and offers to get him a cab. Sun-woo tells him to bring another drink, but we see he is experiencing extreme distress, then passes out as his phone rings.
Sun-woo wakes up in his own bed, Min-young is the first thing he sees. He is speechless but visibly relieved (as was I), to see Min-young there with them.
She chatters about how he wouldn’t let them take him to the ER, that Young-hoon came and gave him an I.V., and that she hasn’t unpacked from Nepal.
Oh, good, he thinks, nothing is changed after all.
He tells her he had a dream that his dead Hyung came back to life, which was fine with him, Min-young interrupts him:
“You mean Apa?” Panic strikes Sun-woo’s face again.
Min-young asks if had a dream of her dad dying? And calls him Samchoon, which shuts him down again. He stares at her, only not at her, but his swirling thoughts. She asks him why is he looking at her like that?
Bum-suk, her CBM co-worker, comes in and asks Min-young if he woke up, and if he is OK.
We get reminded that the Choi Jin-chul business DID happen in this reiteration of events, and that an emergency meeting is happening to talk about their plans.
Min-young drags Bum-suk outside, but he is confused. She lets him know that Sun-woo is acting weird.
Flashback: We see the aftermath of Sun-woo passing out at the bar, the CBM workers carry a seemingly drunken Sun-woo into the car. The waiter lets them know that Sun-woo only had one beer before collapsing, and he didn’t call 119.
In the back of the car, Sun-woo is unconscious.
Someone suggests they call Min-young, since her father is a doctor at Hanseo Hospital. Sun-woo becomes alert enough to stop them. He insists they take him home, and get Han Young-hoon to meet them there.
Young-hoon shows up at Sun-woo’s house upset that Sun-woo fainted. He runs into the house, where he finds Min-young wiping Sun-woo’s forehead. She greets him politely; Young-hoon appears to be a little frightened of her. She asks if he was surprised to see her there.
He says a little, and asks what she is doing there. Min-young explains how the CBM guys called her. When he tells her he thought she was still in Nepal, she explains that she got back that morning.
She is curious what happened, since Sun-woo wasn’t inebriated.
The doc feigns ignorance and says he still needs to examine him.
Min-young isn’t buying it, and asks if Sun-woo is sick because she found a little packet of pills in his pocket. They had Hanseo Hospital printed on them, so she guesses that he prescribed them. Her father hadn’t mentioned anything about Sun-woo being sick. What are these pills?
Young-hoon claims they are nothing – vitamins and relaxants since Sun-woo works too much. Young-hoon takes the packet and puts it in his pocket.
She doesn’t believe him.
Sun-woo, alone in his room looks at Min-young’s CBM ID card.
We flash back to when she applied for the CBM job back in the summer of 2007. She sits nervously in the hall waiting for her turn to be called, just as Sun-woo walks by.
(I’ll assume some time passed – maybe a couple weeks.)
Sun-woo walks into the newsroom with a co-worker where and a group of what look like newly hired associates stands. Sun-woo asks who they are, and we learn they are new hires. Park Min-young introduces herself.
Seeing her there surprises him, and she smiles. He wants to know what the heck she is doing there, and she glides around the answer, saying, “Long time, no see …”
He’s all Samchoon-ish with her now. When he insists she tells her why she isn’t in Europe. She admits to lying to her mother, and that he knew she wanted to be a journalist after college!
Those around them ask how they knew each other. Min-young gets playful, “Should I tell them?” That makes them even more curious, throwing out “ex-wife” or maybe she owes him money?
Min-young tells the surprising truth that he is in fact her Samchoon, which is difficult to believe considering how close in age they are.
Flash to present, exhausted Sun-woo sits on the end of his bed gripping Min-young’s ID badge.
He cannot seem to come to terms with the changes, and holds his forehead in anguish? Maybe there is physical pain, too.
Outside his room, Min-young is showing another packet of Sun-woo’s pills to Bum-suk. She is not letting this evidence go, and doesn’t believe Young-hoon, and she will find out what the drugs are for from her father. Bum-suk chides her, but she claims it is her keen reporting mind that is driving her. They go back a forth about her being a real reporter-not someone who uses search engines to find news. After all she has been to the Himalayas.
She walks around the house bragging a little. Bum-suk asks what we want to know, how come Sun-woo’s house is so huge? He says it is his first visit and that he didn’t know it was so nice.
Min-young explains that it is Grampa’s house. When Bum-suk asks why Min-young’s family doesn’t live there, too, we find out Hyung doesn’t want to…(Hmmmm, really?)
But Min-young would like to live there. She throws herself onto the white leather couch in the living room. She likes the yard, but they won’t let her move in with Samchoon alone. (Do it, do it, do it!!!)
Sun-woo comes down the stairs. He has a determined air. He tells them they can go to work, and that he is fine. Min-young wonders where he is going, and Bum-suk says he called Sun-woo in sick. Sun-woo denies being ill, and reminds them to be ready for 10:30 emergency meeting, or else. Bum-suk complains, “”Hey, I was up all night for you.” Sun-woo won’t take the blame. Did he ask them to come? He walks towards the door, but turns around, comes back, and snatches the packet of pills from Min-young.
How dare she search through his things, he asks.
Min-young is more worried than curious.
Why is he taking these pills? Plus, it’s weird that he’s hiding it.
He won’t respond, but then she tries a new tact.
Dad! She will tell on him if he won’t admit the truth.
He pauses, then, answers “Viagra.” (I die laughing!) He leaves two shocked people behind him, the Bum-suk muses,
“He’s not that old…Some reporter you are, more like a vulture. How embarrassing!”
At Hanseo Hospital, the nurse at the Neurology reception answers the phone. She tells the caller that Dr. Han is not available because he is in church at Christmas mass.
The next shot is Young-hoon in Church playing fervently. It shouldn’t be funny, but it is.
Sun-woo shows up, kidding him about his piety.
Sun-woo looks deconcrisse de la mappe* * very bad quebecois for completely wiped out
He sits in the pew next to his friend and asks:
“Teach me how to pray. I’ve never had a religion. But I really want to pray today. How do you do it? Is it Holy Mother first?” He attempts crossing himself like a Catholic.
Young-hoon hilariously calls him a son of a bitch, not the best choice of words in a holy place, the nearby worshipers look up in surprise.
“I thought I was going to go crazy if I didn’t at least come here. Do you know what happened while you were asleep? A dead person talked to me. Jung Woo works in the same hospital as me! Do you know how scared I was? He wasn’t a ghost. He was alive. He spoke to me, alive.
Do you know what you have done, you jerk? It’s up to God when it comes to life or death. I prayed here all night, but I didn’t get any answers. There were no answers.”
(I love the fact that it is these two characters that will discuss the philosophical discussions of time travel ramifications, morals, etc. Both are intelligent men, one with a scientific mind, and one more literary – less serious.)
Sun-woo kids that Young-hoon picked the wrong church. The incense, after all, came from the Himalayas. He should be in a Hindu temple instead. It isn’t a case for What Would Jesus Do? (LOL)
Young-hoon takes offense at his joking tone. Is Sun-woo nuts? You’re kidding now? What kind of person does this?
Sun-woo defends his actions that being ill didn’t make him pass out, but shock. Young-hoon asks if Sun-woo really didn’t know Min-young was Yoo-jin’s daughter? (It also tells us he has never seen baby pictures of Min-young over the last five years.) How could Sun-woo know? Min-young changed her name twice –that isn’t normal. Min-young also never referred to her father as her stepfather, either.
Sun-woo brightens then, and starts talking about the present Min-young. That she isn’t that different, that she has a doctor father instead of a lawyer. She still doesn’t think that much, and she is as cheerful. He mentions that even though Hyung didn’t break up with his girlfriend, he still left the family. Young-hoon looks at Sun-woo with pity.
Sun-woo continues that while Hyung is a good husband and father, he isn’t a good son or brother. They look at each other, considering the changes, but it is too much for Young-hoon who messes up his hair and bangs his head on the front of the pew. Young-hoon says he thought they had experienced a Christmas Eve miracle – a gift from God! But it couldn’t have been a gift, though not a curse either. So what is it?
Sun-woo responds with one of my favorite expressions the character uses: “Keurugai,” as in, “Right.” Which is a complete non-answer. He agrees – what is this thing?
(I have to step in here and ask. Is there a 3D thing going on now? Cause the next thing we see is this eerie cross comin’ out the wall at us, which without 3D is frightening. I can’t imagine WHY the director wants to scare the beejeesus out of the audience with a creepy crucifix!! Maybe my 12 years of Catholic schooling is coloring my view.)
They walk down the stairs outside the church. Young-hoon describes how strangely he acted around the returned from the dead Jung-woo. From Jung-woo’s point of view, he just had lunch with him that day, but when he saw him, he suddenly screamed like he had seen a ghost.
Young-hoon says Hyung must have thought he lost his mind and doesn’t know how he is going to explain himself when he does see him.
Sun-woo is comforted that Hyung is going on a trip tomorrow, because he doesn’t think he could bear to see him now either. He would either scream in joy or terror, too, which would confuse his brother.
They address the strangeness of what physical evidence is left. Even though Hyung didn’t die in Nepal, so Sun-woo didn’t go to the Himalayas, he still has the incense, which he pulls from his pocket (which there is NO WAY was there as he walked down the stairs. It was a little like Mary Poppins and her carpet bag) and the Bodyguard album.
The memories are gone (I assume he means that the OTHERS have no memory since they still remember. ) How mysterious…
To the hospital: Dr. Cute Hoobae, Seo-joon, gets a drink of water, and talks on his cell. He asks the person if where the are spending the night, and how long they will be there. He is a little disappointed that he won’t be able to see them tomorrow, will he?
He see that Young-hoon arrives back from church, so he ends the call saying he will call back later.
Young-hoon goes to Jung-woo’s office. We learn Hyung is Chief of Surgery. He sneaks into the empty room, turns on the light, and starts looking for clues. He sees Jung-woo’s name on the name plate, the diplomas, and a photo that includes Jung-woo, Cute Seo-joon and him. Right after he picks up the family photo, Cute Seo-joon comes in and scares the living daylights out of him. Seo-joon asks what he’s doing there. (But I have to ask, Why did you follow him in?)
They talk about the surgery from the previous day. Since Young-hoon was acting strangely, the others were afraid they had made a mistake, but Young-hoon says there was no problem.
Suddenly, out of no where, Young-hoon asks
“Did I set you up on a blind date last summer?” Seo-joon is surprised that his Sunbae seems not to remember.
Young-hoon asks if he is still seeing her, which surprises Seo-joon more since Young-hoon had previously claimed he wouldn’t get involved, and wouldn’t ask about it later. Yet, Young-hoon insists on knowing if he is still seeing her. He even tries to keep it a secret, but that angers Dr Han.
Things get tense between them. Seo-joon asks, “Am I not supposes to go out with her?”
Flashback to the previous summer. Young-hoon is sitting with Seo-joon in a restaurant. Min-young comes in and as she sits, apologizes for being late.
Dr. Han introduces to her his resident, Kang Seo-joon and Min-young as a reporter at CBM. Seo-joon smiles his pretty smile and tells her he has heard a lot about her. Young-hoon wants to make a quick exit, telling them to exchange cards, eat, enjoy themselves. He contends that he won’t get involved from her on out.
As he gets up to go, Min-young follows him, asking him to please not tell Samchoon. She is already in trouble with him at work, she doesn’t want to get in more trouble for dating.
We come back to the present, in Hyung’s office where Young-hoon swears. He’s disgusted with himself, and confuses Seo-joon even more if that is possible by asking, “Can’t you just break up with her?”
Seo-joon is now completely incredulous. “Wha? I’m supposed to break up with her?”
Young-hoon is overwhelmed and throws the kid out. He doesn’t want to look at him, and wonders what he was thinking setting them up? He shoves him out the door, even kicks him for good measure. He slams the door behind him, takes off his glasses rubbing his forehead. Leaning against the door, he swears a little more. (This is making me laugh out loud. On the one hand, I feel bad for him, on the other, he was just trying to do them a favor. How could he have known?!)
Sun-woo is driving when Min-young calls on his cell. Note the photo is of her in the parka from their Himalayas vacation.
He glances down, but doesn’t pick up. It stops ringing, but seconds later, she calls again. He still doesn’t pick up. He pulls up in front of his estate, and a car is there. Her car?
He stares at it for a beat. Moving slowly, he gets out, walks up to the car, then up at the house where he can see lights are on. After another pause, reluctantly he goes in. Her shoes are in the entrance. After he puts on his slippers, he spots her coat and bag on the white leather couch.
Min-young, wearing an apron bearing a ladle, greets him. She’s chatty, telling him he is earlier than she expected, and he didn’t pick up when she called so she just came in.
“How did you get in?” he asks. She tells him she saw the passcode before 5935 (Anyone care to guess the reference?)
This Min-young is decidedly more chirpy than the previous version. When she speaks, it is non-stop. She explains that she didn’t want to be impolite, but it was cold out, and he wasn’t answering his phone…that her mother wants her to stay with him while he is sick – until they get here – until the weekend. Against this wall of words, Sun-woo stands silent and unresponsive, not making eye contact.
Min-young doesn’t seem to notice, telling him to hurry washing up because she’s hungry. She skips away, and Sun-woo eyes follow her. I get the impression he is processing, processing, processing these interactions, but nothing is being resolved. He has the little rainbow pie spinning in his head.
Sun-woo enters his room and lays his jacket on the back of his chair, letting out a big sigh and closing his eyes. He takes an international call on his cell. It’s his Hyung – who is lying on the deck chair of an inside pool in “vacation” mode.
For Sun-woo, this is the first time they have spoken in over a year. It’s almost too much. Jung-woo scolds him like a responsible, doctor older brother would. Telling him to come get examined next week. Sun-woo can’t speak, tears welling up.
“Are you listening,” Hyung asks. Jung-woo’s wife, Yoo-jin sees he is talking on the phone and asks “Samchoon?” Jung-woo nods yes. Jung-woo asks worriedly about the surprise attack on Chairman Choi. Didn’t he go too far?
But Sun-woo just wants his brother’s praise “What did you think? Were you happy with it?”
Jung-woo responds “Of course I am!” but he’s still concerned. Relieved, Sun-woo replies as long as it’s good with him, it’s good.
The look on Sun-woo ‘s face is heart-breaking. Jung-woo switches into father mode saying Min-young’s worried, too, and the wife told her to stay with him. Jung-woo says, “She’s a fan, you know,” (So this is the angle her feelings will take…) adding that Sun-woo can ask her to cook anything. Sun-woo agrees to do so.
The next scene in a restaurant is our first sighting of the Young-hoon clan: his wife, and his cute little daughters.
Young-hoon remains distracted while his girls and wife complain they want ice cream and the little one needs to go to the bathroom. In the middle of his wife’s yelling at him, he escapes to call Sun-woo. Ha!
Sun-woo is in the bathroom, throwing water at his face. Once, twice, three times, four. How many times does it take to stop the spinny wheel? He stands still again. A call comes from Young-hoon.
Apparently, Young-hoon has been thinking about this. Why doesn’t Sun-woo go back in time and stop Hyung from getting married. It the past is going along at the same rate, there is time. Sun-woo doesn’t respond.
We flash back to Shi-ah sleeping beside her mom, who is startled to see Young Hyung, looking very handsome, there. She asks what he is doing there and tells him to go. He refuses saying he will never leave again.
The conversation continues in the present.
“So?” Sun-woo asks.
Young-hoon explains the couple didn’t get married until a year after their father’s death, that Sun-woo can go back and break them up.
Sun-woo considers it – Break them up? He repeats.
Young-hoon thinks maybe it’s just a test. Sun-woo should have been more careful with the incense sticks. Who is he to change people’s lives?
“You should have just saved your own life and be grateful for that.”
Young-hoon likens this situation to Sun-woo eating the forbidden fruit of knowledge. So Young-hoon decides incense – NOT a gift – but a curse.
After all, Hyung was going to break up with the girl. It was their destiny and Sun-woo changed it.
“My brother lived because of that woman,” Sun-woo says. That thanks to his sister-in-law, Hyung worked hard, stayed around, and didn’t go off to die alone. He has a woman he loves and a daughter. Why would he want to change that back?”
“Sure, your brother lived and his life is a lot better,” Young-hoon admits, but what about Sun-woo?
Sun-woo insists, “My brother lived. Whether it was a Hindu god or Jesus that sent me the sticks. I still thinks these are gifts. If I think that’s a curse, doesn’t that make me a bad man?”
They both hang up, still deep deep in thought, Sun-woo wipes his face with a towel. As he gets set to go downstairs and face Min-young, the sound of Whitney Houston’s voice strikes him like a hammer.
“If I….. should stay…”
Emotion washes over him as the song continues, he turns.
“I would only…be in the way…”
Downstairs we see Min-young had put the record on. Sun-woo comes down the stairs looking at her back.
“…so I’ll go…but I know…”
She asks if she can play it loud. “I found this in your room. If the food isn’t good, the music might add some ambiance.” She giggles, and he laughs, wryly.
They sit down to eat and she chatters about the food, and the rice cooker and he shouldn’t expect too much from the meal, while the memories from the song dig into his heart like a knife.
“…will always love you…”
He asks what makes her think he has any expectations. He picks up his chopsticks to eat.
Min-young comments that it is strange how new the record jacket is considering it came out in 1992.
He glances at it, but says, “Who knows?” Not one to let things go, she asks suspiciously,
“Were those pills really Viagra?” Because she would be disappointed in him if it were. We start to see that Sun-woo is barely holding it together now, and he gets angry.
What right does she have to be disappointed? Why should she care what medication he is taking?
Ah, she’s his fan, that’s why. Now her fantasies were hurt.
He says then he will have to completely destroy her fantasies. He fainted from taking too much Viagra. He was hoping to have a one night stand on Christmas Eve. He was too ashamed to go to the hospital. Young-hoon wouldn’t tell her because she was a girl. She needs to see all men are the same. She needs to come out of her dream. He doesn’t need a fan.
Despite his harsh words, she laughs, saying she is relieved.
He doesn’t look up, but he is a little surprised at her reaction.
Min-young explains he wasn’t acting like himself, and that concerned her, maybe he really was ill? But now he’s back to being Park Sun-woo again.
His expression grim, jaw clenched too tightly as he chews his food, he insists he’s not joking.
But she says she is too big a fan to change her mind. He laughs and seems to relax a bit, until she asks if he has ever been to Nepal.
This is torture to watch.
With enthusiasm, she tells him he should if he gets a chance. It’s not too bad a place.
Is that so? he asks.
Yes, she shares her travel experience, Not Katmandu, but Pokhara. Nice weather. Big Lake. You can see the snow in the mountains. Machu Picchu is great for a drive.
We flash back to their once joyous honeymoon in Machu Picchu while listening to the song we heard when she confessed to him, and once again we see him shattered.
“And I will always love you…”
They pick out post cards, walk along swinging their hands between them. He makes cutie-pie faces buying mittens. They run up a hill and he grabs and hugs her. They cross a romantic lake, taking selfies. Min-young listens to his head sets and they end up snuggling as the sun sets.
(I swear to you all, if that montage was one second longer, I would have had to throw the laptop.)
As the last note of “you…” fades, we come back to the kitchen where Min-young continues to hammer how freaking nice NEPAL is. There are no words that do it justice. He has to go see it personally.
Then she tells him how she has decided to have her honeymoon there, and it’ll be memorable because it’s unique. Who would go to the Himalayas for their honeymoon?
Which is exactly the same thing she told him when they went there together.
We flash to when she was spinning and showing off her new dress she bought special.
We hear her repeat, or say for the first time, actually, how memorable a honeymoon in the Himalayas would be…except she forgot theirs, and he remembers.
The hugs at sunset, the heart-stopping second kiss…the pinning on the bed…while the record spins…
In the present, it’s all too much for him. He stops with the chopsticks halfway up, then slams them down.
She’s like, “What’s wrong?”
He stares aggressively at her, daring her to remember their past together, their love and feel the passion they shared.
He swears, and she thinks it’s because the food isn’t good.
We see more of the conversation between Sun-woo and Young-hoon on the stairs of the Church. Sun-woo is holding the incense container.
He talks about how their memories don’t exist for the rest of the world.
“But I have the incense sticks. It’s a mystery.”
Young-hoon asks how can this be?
Sun-woo says why ask how it can be when nothing that occurred in the last few days was possible. Sun-woo holds up the incense saying, “That’s the problem, isn’t it?”
If this isn’t disappearing, then the memories aren’t gone, either.
Can I live on with two memories – even if I get healthy?
In voice-over he asks “How can I survive if I miss my alternate life this much?”
Last shot is in the kitchen. Sun-woo looks like he is going to explode, and Min-young is just confused.
Wow. Poor poor Sun-woo. This is such a good example of “be careful what you wish for, it might come true” like that (dreadful) Monkey’s Paw story by W.W. Jacobs.
Biggest and most heartbreaking change turns out that Sun-woo is now his former finacee’s Samchoon! How perfectly horrible is that? Not only is she no longer his girl, now she’s his niece? Talk about a barrier. Even worse, his best friend, Dr. Young-hoon, played match-maker to Min-young and his hoobae, the cute Seo- joon. That explains that character’s description as Min-young’s boyfriend.
Unfortunately, Young-hoon’s suggestion that Sung-woo goes back and break up the couple won’t necessarily mean things will go back the way they were right?
My friend EE pointed out a Back to the Future reference that I missed. Remember when Marty wakes up and hears what he thinks is his aged mother’s voice, but he is in the past? They faked us out like that when Sun-woo wakes up and sees Min-young tending to him. It wasn’t until we hear her call him Samchoon that the blood leaves his face and words desert him and he realizes he is screwed.
I had to work really hard remaining neutral when I wrote about formerly-known-as-Cute-Hoobae, Seo-joon, now known as the-Man-Threatening-to-Destroy-our-Hero’s-Happiness. I felt no sympathy as his Sunbae suggested he break it off with Min-young. I did take some comfort in that they had only starting dating Summer 2012 – that means they may not have even made the six month mark yet. Maybe she just hasn’t been around him long enough to find him irritating? Maybe he is a close talker, eats one pea at a time, snoops in her closet. It could happen.
Credit subs: Dramafever