There has been a lot of math in this series, mostly subtraction, as we watch the number of sticks dwindle, and watch our hero’s chances turn to zero when he left his last two in 1992. But since there are twelve more episodes, math is our on our side, too. All we need to do is sit back, put all spill-able things away from
me ourselves, and prepare for what this creative team has reckoned to keep us on the edge once again, at least twelve more times. Ready?
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It is 10am the day after Dad died, and Yoo-jin comes into the funeral with her daughter Shi-ah.
Shi-ah spots Hyung, and despite the circumstances, her face lights up and tells her mother “Look Ahjussi!” (Aww!) Her mother shooshes her. There is a small group of men discussing how strange it is they cremated the body without an autopsy. Just as they cast aspersions at Choi, he shows up looking as guilty as he possibly could.
Choi slithers in to pay his respects to Hyung and Mom. Hyung is completely shell-shocked. Like the true snake Choi is, he hisses advice to Jun-woo instead of words of comfort. “Don’t betray yourself with your trembling hands. The Police are suspecting me. Stay calm Don’t say anything dumb.” He touches Hyung on the arm, and offers Mom public words of condolence. Mom, worried, tells him, “I forgot to tell you about the man.”
Present Choi in his car, thinks back to the funeral “Who is this The Stranger?” In his memory, we see Choi takes Mom into the hallway, and she tells him more about The Stranger who bought me Glasses at the Movies. The Stranger never came forward in all that time for blackmail, so Choi forgot about it, until what Sun-woo told him about having evidence. Choi holds the flash drive. “Who is this guy?”
They show up at the DA’s office, and the crowd of reporters discuss the charges against him and surround him as he enters.
Outside Sun-woo’s house, Young-hoon is walking Min-young to her car.
“It’s embarrassing, men stuff.” LOL Min-young tells him not to try that Viagra line again, but Young-hoon explains Sun-woo is devastated after a break-up, that he was dumped.
Min-young wants to know more about this Joo Min-young, but Young-hoon doesn’t reply directly to her question. He changes the subject to fishing! Min-young tells him he is a terrible liar, and he shouldn’t even try to cheat on his wife. He pretends to be insulted by that. She pulls away in her car, looking back and a very worried friend in her rear view mirror.
Young-hoon watches the car go, saddened by the fact Min-young as niece cannot offer the same comfort as Min-young girlfriend. The ambulance comes to takes Sun-woo.
Min-young flashes back to the strange conversation with Sun-woo when he touched her face tenderly. She holds her hand to her cheek in the same spot. She wonders why he is crying, and remembers he said it was a secret. Deep in thought, she doesn’t notice that the light had changed. Min-young cannot let go of this suspicion, and calls Young-hoon. He answers from the ambulance. She fires her accusations. Sun-woo had medication, but he isn’t listed as a patient, which means he is being treated under a fake name. She demands he tell her, she’s family, as a favor. Young-hoon hangs up and heaves a big sigh.
Jung-woo comes into Sun-woo’s hospital room. Both boys look crushed for different reasons. Poor sad Jung-woo berates himself for not getting there in time to save his Dad, while Hyung is overwhelmed by guilt. The fact that he cannot talk to anyone sympathetic about his own predicament makes this even more heart-wrenching.
Flash forward to present.
Hyung prints out his Letter of Resignation. (I can’t read hangul, but I know THAT letter by now.)
The ever persistent Min-young comes into his office. “Apa!”
She makes him take her to lunch, where she chats non-stop about Samchoon. “Why’d he do that to you?” She and her mother worked up a story that the fight broke out over money. It’s kind of a good cover story to keep Mom from asking more questions, and Min-young is proud of herself. Hyung tells her to eat, and she tells him the same thing. He stirs his soup, but you can see he has no appetite.
(I get the feeling she isn’t going to leave any stone unturned before she finds out the BIG secret. Suddenly, I understand what the heck Sun-woo was up to when he said that word to her soooo many times, which makes me love him so much more, and makes me appreciate how well he knows this girl.)
Min-young leaves him outside the office when Cute Hoobae shows up. An all-out marriage attack hits her from his side. He drags her to meet his very friendly parents,
and she nervously greets them. The parents have obviously decided that she is the woman for him. They invite her to lunch, and she tries to say no, but realizes she has to go. Her father, who has been watching, calls her name. Min-young confesses she never told her father that she was dating anyone! Cute Hoobae introduces himself. (The confidence, it is strong with this one. If I didn’t completely hate him just for NOT being Sun-woo, I would like him.)
We find our hero in a small hospital room. He is blue-white and suffering. The doctor with him informs him that Dr. Han has scheduled a surgery to remove the tumor. “Would Sun-woo sign?” Sun-woo smiles at the futility of having an operation when he knows how bad-off he is now. In another room, a line-up of doctors talk about Sun-woo’s tumor. The growth was impossibly fast. It even changed. The surgeon tells him to give up and scolds Young-hoon for not acting faster. Young-hoon’s mysterious reply about having another way to treat it just makes the other doctor mad. Young-hoon admits to being out of it for a month now. We see Sun-woo sign the consent form, looking at the phone.
Hyung gets a call from Min-young from the CBM office. She apologizes for not having told him earlier that she was dating.
Hyung signs the resignation letter, then opens his drawer of one needle and medicine bottle. (Really NOT a good hiding spot for an addict.)He holds the needle, then answers the phone instead. Sun-woo shares his last words to his brother.
“I thought I should call you once at least. I don’t want to have a conversation. So just listen to me. I don’t think I can ever forgive you. This isn’t up to me to forgive. But let me ask you one thing. You could get her after all that sacrifice. Be responsible. Don’t just depend on drugs. Fight off depression. Be a good doctor. Make your family happy. If you can’t even do that… Then my life is just too meaningless. Visit Mom often before she passes. Be a good husband. Be a good father.” Hyung and he cry, it is even poignant when I realize Hyung has no idea what his brother has done for him.
After he finishes, Sun-woo crashes to the ground, a tear rolling down his face.
A buoyant Young Young-hoon is skipping and whistling merrily towards Sun-woo’s house in a happy red riding parka. Someone had a good time with Future Wifey in on the train to Chuncheon.
We haven’t seen this side of Young-hoon yet; it hurts me that he can’t stay in this good mood for long. He rings the bell, and goes in to find out the horror his friend has gone through in the past day. An aunt informs him about Dad’s passing and that Sun-woo is hospitalized. In a very clever split screen, we see both Young-hoons, then just Adult Young-hoon praying for his friend in the hallway. The nurse calls the Adult in to tell him they have to operate stat.
We see Young-hoons take off in a sprint towards both Sun-woos in the hospital.
(I need to stop here to love love love Young-hoon now. We know what a good friend he IS for Sun-woo, but to see that he has been that concerned about his friend for that long touches me deeply. I may need to change who Hero is in my recaps.)
Young Young-hoon arrives at Sun-woos side looking down on him in concern. Adult Young-hoon does the same.
Little bandaged face Sun-woo yells at Little Red Parka Young-hoon about disappearing on him when he needed him most. Why didn’t he have his pager on him? Young-hoon is overcome with guilt. They both cry about his father’s passing.
Sun-woo lying on the gurney chides Young-hoon for trying to do the impossible and save his life. “Just kill me in peace.” Young-hoon claims he can save him, but Sun-woo calls him a liar, shaking his finger at him. He’s smiling as they roll him away into the elevator.
1992 Young Young-hoon gets scolded for crying “Make him laugh!” The aunt suggests.
Sun-woo sends her out of the room. In a conversation that would test most friendships, Sun-woo tells Young-hoon about the Man from the Future who warned him that his father would die, but that he didn’t believe him.
“Who was it?” Young-hoon asks.
“Me, in 20 years.” is the crazy response. “He came from the future.”
We see Sun-woo being prepped for emergency surgery.
Younger Young-hoon holds Sun-woo’s ID card. He admits that he does look like his friend. They talk about how Sun-woo’s warning that someone else was going to die, and the 9PM meeting time that night. Sun-woo asks Young-hoon to go in his place.
At the hospital, Young-hoon is outside the operating room deciding if he should call Min-young or not. He remembers her pointed questions regarding Sun-woo’s prescriptions. He calls.
Min-young is covering the New Year’s Eve party in Seoul. There is a huge crowd, lots of noise, and one of the palaces.
She is shocked at the proposal, doesn’t seem she is in to him as he is with her. (OF course not, she loves Samchoon, I mean Sun-woo.) Fireworks break out and interrupt this conversation (to my great relief.) Min-young hangs up then considers what just happened. She puts away her phone just as Young-hoon calls her. He goes into surgery without letting her know anything.
Younger Young-hoon rides his bike to the park where Adult Sun-woo suggested to meet himself. He examines the ID card again.
Surgery The operating surgeon tells everyone it is going to be difficult. Everyone will be spending New Year’s Eve in the operating room.
1992 Younger Young-hoon waits and waits and waits and waits for Sun-woo to show.
Surgery (These scenes are bloody and scary. As we switch back and forth, I hope it is all right with you all if I just write: Surgery without a lot of descriptors.) Head doc says he can’t believe Sun-woo was even able to talk with a tumor like this. Young-hoon listens.
1992 11PM Younger Young-hoon waits.
Sun-woo recalls his conversation with himself how they need to talk for along time for Sun-woo to live a normal life. He gets a call from Young-hoon in a telephone booth. (QIHM fans- LOOK! Dr. Who fans, too!!) who doesn’t think he will show.
Young-hoon gets an idea”Where’s the beeper?” Maybe he’ll get a call on that. Young-hoon goes to Sun-woo’s bedroom to retrieve it. He sees that nobody has called.
Surgery It has bee going on for two and a half hours. Doesn’t look good. Bleeding breaks out.
1992 Sun-woo gets a call from Young-hoon who comes up with a conspiracy theory that the Future Man did it on purpose. Suddenly, Sun-woo realizes that the person who was going to die was, in fact, himself. That is why he didn’t show up at the park. Young-hoon doesn’t believe it, but Sun-woo is confident he is going to die at 38.
Surgery Head doc gives up and pats Young-hoon on the shoulder and walks out. Young-hoon wants to keep trying, even though the crew advises him to close. At least the patient can live a few more days.
1992 Young-hoon asks Sun-woo “So, what do you die from at 38?” Sun-woo says he didn’t get to talk to himself, so how should he know?
Surgery Blood pressure is dropping
1992 Young-hoon doesn’t let Sun-woo talk about dying. He’s coming to go hang out Sun-woo now at the hospital.
Surgery Young-hoon keeps at it, despite the warnings from the machines, and the blood coming out of Sun-woo.
1992 Young-hoon looks around Sun-woo’s bedroom.
Surgery Young-hoon is performing CPR and that shocking thing, even though Sun-woo has coded. “Please, please, please,” he repeats. One of the others stop him. He looks down on his best friend.
1992 Young-hoon hold’s Sun-woo’s ID.
Surgery Young-hoon steps back from the operating table and falls to the ground. They cover Sun-woo with the sheet. (Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!) Young-hoon holds his head and cries.
Min-young calls, saying it was too loud to hear the phone. She asks what’s up? Young-hoon doesn’t want to tell her, he starts…”Sun-woo…” She can’t hear him. “Sun-woo died.” The crowd drowns out what he said. He is about to tell her again when suddenly…suddenly EVERYTHING CHANGES!
1992 Young-hoon, in Sun-woo’s bedroom, drops something and looks for it.
Present Young-hoon reels as his memories get rewritten; he is unable to answer Min-young’s questions. He runs runs runs away.
1993 Young-hoon finds the prescription packet that Sun-woo dropped in the struggle with his younger self.
Present Young-hoon runs back into the operating room looking for the patient. The nurse informs him that he is being wheeled to the ICU. (Who puts dead people in the ICU?)
1992 Young-hoon calls Sun-woo and tells him about the pills. They deduce that Sun-woo is dying of a disease. Young-hoon orders his friend to get a doctor STAT.
Present Young-hoon runs and runs
1992 Young-hoon describes the pills to the doctor.
Present Young-hoon stops the folks moving the gurney.
1992 The doctor tells Young-hoon the drugs are for a brain tumor.
Present Young-hoon removes the white sheet slowly slowly, his hand shaking. It’s…it’s…it’s
NOT EFFING SUN-WOO!!
Confetti! Party horns! Fireworks! Ornamental punctuation!!
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Young-hoon hears Sun-woo’s voice from the television who is live broadcasting about the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
🙂 ♥ ☀
The number to celebrate in Ep 9 of 9 is two. Two friends, two Young-hoons saving his best friend’s life. This is not bromance; this is Heromance. I ❤ HYH.
Subtitles Credit Dramafever
I loved the *heromance* as well, and I was really admiring on the part of the younger Young-Hoon. I have been good with the younger Sun Woo (even though I thought the lip fiddling thing was a bit ham-handed that was more of a script thing than an acting choice), but to me there was a flawed moment in this episode. When he was talking to Hyung about how he should have saved Dad the tears felt too forced and the dynamic between them was awkward. To me, I thought he may be too inexperienced for nuance in such a grave scene. This was the first time I feel like I was taken out of this drama and just *aware* of how it was not quite working.
I also really liked the “mirror” experience of events between the late hours of 1992 and 2012 for Young-Hoon. It is like he is living those circumstances again to give him another chance to get it right.
I was excited that Young-Hoon gets a chance to change history. It gives me hope that Min Young will too. I have been thinking about how I want her to time travel. Obviously we want her to “know” the alternate timeline and be conscious of the fact that Sun Woo is her OTP (One True Pair). At least she senses her hottie doctor is not the one by faking that she didn’t hear is proposal due to the fireworks (and hooray for those fireworks actually keeping her from hearing Sun Woo died). I think I want her to time travel (or at least be more actively involved) because I don’t want her to be the damsel in distress. I want her to have a part in saving what should be, and not just being confused. This is a girl who publically flipped him off, I want her to put that same level of passion into being with him.
I also wonder if . . . Resurrected Sun Woo? (why do I feel like we will need a name for each new version who is fundamentally altered by time change events?) has memories of before, his time travel, or Joo Min Young. If so, then I think it is possible Hyung remembers his previous time line. Of course, surviving his brain tumor might mean he is blissfully unaware of how his father died (something he never shared with Young-Hoon, at least on screen). Lots of questions going into episode ten, I love it.