This is it- the finale week for 49 Days! I’ve been fidgeting all week since last Thursday in anticipation for the final episodes, all while feeling bittersweet at the thought that it will soon be over. In order to savor everything to the fullest extent possible, and also in my attempt to learn to slowly let go, I’ve decided to recap the last two episodes of 49 Days. And my gosh, what can I say? In true Writer So Hyun Kyung’s style, this drama continues to throw curveballs at us right up to the last minute!
EPISODE 19 RECAP
Just as the Scheduler is about to wave his hand to call the elevator, he stops in his track upon noticing that Ji-hyun’s necklace has suddenly started to glow, and tada, a tear appears. And just then, he “oh’s” again as the necklace lights up the second time, and a third tear joins the other two.
While the two stand in disbelief, the Scheduler marvels that Ji-hyun must have led her life very well after all, for collecting all three tears is a very rare occurrence. The Scheduler comments that she must be very curious to find out whose tears they are, but Ji-hyun tells him not to tell her; she doesn’t want to know because she’s afraid that she’ll only love those three people if she were to find out. (Wise choice, but grrrr… What about me? I’m dying to find out, you know! By the way, I think this secrecy may indicate that the obvious answers (Yi-kyung and Seo-woo) might not have been her tear-givers after all. Does my theory stand that Yi-kyung is in fact Ji-hyun’s sister? Puhaha, me and my stubbornness. Let go, just let go.)
The Scheduler tells Ji-hyun to go on her way, and as she gets ready to say her goodbye, she starts fading away.
Back at the hospital, Ji-hyun’s mom and Seo-woo are still too busy crying their heart out that they do not notice that Ji-hyun has opened her eyes. That is when Ji-hyun’s dad walks in to ask what’s wrong, only to then spot that their daughter is indeed awake and staring right back at them.
Meanwhile, over at Heaven, Yi-kyung packs up to leave, alarming Manager Oh when she tells him that she no longer has any reason to stay there. As he ponders over what those words mean, he realizes that this Yi-kyung is not the Song Yi-kyung he knows (the one possessed by Ji-hyun… yup, that one).
Manager Oh calls Kang, who appears to have just returned from his trip to the States and is driving back, and tells him the recent development. He alerts Kang that they must have miscalculated Ji-hyun’s remaining 49 days, sending Kang to a state of panic at the possibility that Ji-hyun might have died.
But thankfully, Kang’s misery is cut short when he receives a call from Ji-hyun’s mom with the news that Ji-hyun has woken up. Kang immediately heads over to the hospital, and tells Ji-hyun’s parents that his father has agreed to invest in the Haemido project and will send his lawyer to Korea to work out the details.
The two men in Ji-hyun’s life meet with her doctor, who tells them that Ji-hyun waking up is nothing short of a miracle. Fortunately, tests showed that everything was normal with Ji-hyun, although she would have to go through some physical therapy before being able to walk again because her muscles have weakened.
Back in her hospital room, Ji-hyun is back to her normal, cheerful self and delights in being able to eat food and hear her mom’s nagging again. She asks for another hug from her mom, and Seo-woo asks Ji-hyun for a hug too. Interestingly, Ji-hyun then thanks Seo-woo for “being born as her friend.”
Kang walks in at that moment, looking excited to join all the hugging action. But instead of the warm welcome he expected, Ji-hyun greets him with, “It’s been a while. What are you doing here?”
And with that, you can just hear his heart drop as he realizes that Ji-hyun doesn’t remember the events of the past 47 days. She continues to pierce a nail deeper into his heart by asking about Min-ho and In-jung’s whereabouts, when after all “even Kang has come” to visit her.
Ji-hyun’s mom lies that she hasn’t gotten around to contacting them yet. Then when she’s alone outside with Kang and Seo-woo, they agree upon keeping what is going on with Min-ho and In-jung, the company, and her dad’s surgery a secret from Ji-hyun just a little longer until she’s fully recovered.
Apparently, the news of what Min-ho did to his fiancee’s father’s company must have spread throughout the company because Min-ho has now become an outsider who everyone talks about behind his back. He gets a shock when he learns from his co-workers that Ji-hyun has woken up.
And where does this “I’m so confused who I’m in love with” man head to upon hearing the news? Right to Yi-kyung’s house, where he runs into its resident herself. To his credit, he says that he didn’t expect her to be there. (Then why did you go?!)
Yi-kyung returns the contract for the house and tells him that she won’t be staying here much longer. Until then, she asks him for his key to her house (i.e., Don’t come opening the door to my house while I’m here!).
Kang is sitting next to Ji-hyun’s bedside along with her parents, when Ji-hyun gives him a “What are you still doing here?” treatment. Her parents tell her how Kang has been so worried over her and has even taken good care of them. Ji-hyun thanks him, but remarks that when a person changes too much too suddenly, it means he’ll die. (It is a common Korean saying, by the way.)
Back at home, Kang tells Manager Oh about how Ji-hyun doesn’t remember the past 47 days with him. Manager Oh is worried that Kang will have to start his unrequited love once again, and Kang admits that he feels hurt. Manager Oh tells Kang that it’s only natural that he would feel hurt, but Kang says he’s the weird one to feel hurt when he should just be glad that Ji-hyun has come back alive. Aww, my Kang! (Was I the only one who half-expected Kang to lean his head on Manager Oh’s shoulder during this scene?)
As he sits alone at the restaurant patio, Kang broods as he thinks back to his recent memories with Ji-hyun (in Yi-kyung’s body) and wonders aloud how she could have forgotten everything.
In another part of town, Yi-kyung too broods alone as she wonders when her Yi-soo will come to her, not knowing that his soul/spirit is sitting right next to her as he looks longingly at her.
The next morning, Kang visits Yi-kyung and informs her that Ji-hyun has woken up. Yi-kyung expresses relief, but then Kang also shares that Ji-hyun doesn’t remember any of what has happened to her since her accident. Since Ji-hyun doesn’t remember and can’t thank Yi-kyung herself, Kang thanks Yi-kyung on Ji-hyun’s behalf for everything she’s done for her. And since she had to quit her job at the coffee shop because of Ji-hyun, he offers her a job at his restaurant. Yi-kyung declines the offer, merely saying that she’s waiting for someone.
Yi-kyung then remembers about Ji-hyun’s bracelet and goes to fetch it. As she hands it over to Kang, she explains that it was his mom’s and that Ji-hyun had asked her to get it back to him. Kang wants to know how Ji-hyun got it, but Yi-kyung shares that she doesn’t know further detail and that he should ask Ji-hyun herself. Yi-kyung also tells Kang that Ji-hyun asked her to tell him that she was thankful and would not have been able to bear withstanding this period if it wasn’t for him.
Min-ho learns from his accomplice-in-crime that Ji-hyun’s dad came up with enough fund to prevent the bankruptcy of his company. He meets with the spy waiter from Heaven and asks if he has heard anything from Kang. His “spy” tells him that Kang got investment capital from his dad in America. When Min-ho asks why he wasn’t told, the waiter merely tells him that he’s not someone to sell his conscience for money. Booyah!
To make things worse, Min-ho then gets a phone call from the prosecutor office that a complaint was filed against him, and he must come in tomorrow for some questioning.
With her text to come join her to eat ignored by Min-ho, In-jung goes alone to the restaurant loved by Min-ho and his mom. Siting alone, In-jung gets her own special K-drama moment as she cries over her food.
Not willing to be beat, Min-ho has his own little K-drama moment as he drinks his misery away at a bar. Like a true villain, he shares with his lackey that he, Kang Min-ho, won’t be going down like this.
The next day, In-jung stops by Min-ho’s apartment. He shouts at her not to show up in front of his face, but she tells him that she came to say bye before leaving Seoul. She apologizes to him, and tells him to call her if he ever needs her. At this, he responds that she makes it impossible for him to even say he’s sorry. (And nope, I agree that he doesn’t make any sense at all.)
Ji-hyun insists on seeing In-jung, even if it means that her mom has to go to In-jung’s house herself to bring her over. Kang shows up at the hospital with a bouquet of pink roses and a cake, and tells Ji-hyun that he’ll be visiting her at the hospital everyday so she might as well get used to it. This causes Ji-hyun to make this face…
Ji-hyun’s mom asks Ji-hyun if she remembers her friend, Jung-eun… I mean Song Yi-kyung. To my surprise, she answers in the affirmative, saying that she’s her special interest group friend. (But Ji-hyun should know that Jung-eun is dead, whereas she shouldn’t recall the name, Song Yi-kyung.) However, Ji-hyun says she doesn’t recall entrusting her seal with her.
Kang takes Ji-hyun to her therapy, and looks toward her as she goes through her therapy. During a stroll outside, she tells him that he’s making her uncomfortable. They quickly change the subject, and Kang asks how it feels to be back alive again. She says it feel really great, while giving him (what I think is) a pretty mysterious look, and he says he feels really great too that she’s back alive. (Ahh, these two are killing me!)
Kang asks her what she did during those 47 days. Did she just sleep, or perhaps she might have had a dream… with him in it? Ji-hyun retorts back, “Why would you [appear in my dream]?”
And how hilarious is it that we would have our resident stalker (Min-ho, that is!) looking upon those two as they have their moment together? I mean, by now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I still love it when the camera zooms out and shows Min-ho somewhere in those scenes.
At Ji-hyun’s insistence on seeing In-jung, Ji-hyun’s mom and Seo-woo come to drag In-jung over to see her, even though In-jung begs that she be excused. They tell her to pretend and act like how she’s done for the past two years when she deceived them.
Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Ji-hyun wonders if Kang will continue to visit her everyday like this. Looking at some model that Kang made for her, Ji-hyun shares that she would like to see him work harder at his architecture job because he has talent that others don’t have and she doesn’t want to see it go to waste. He answers, “I have nobody to show it to, or to share it with. If I worked diligently at it, would you look at it/me?”
Just then, Ji-hyun’s mom arrives with In-jung. Ji-hyun asks to be alone with In-jung, and so Kang escorts her mom out to give the two some privacy.
Ji-hyun shares with In-jung that she had a dream during her long sleep. She kept dreaming about her engagement day when In-jung took off her own shoes for her and ran barefoot after Ji-hyun’s shoe broke. They say that a woman’s shoes are her pride, and at that moment, In-jung even threw aside her own pride for a friend. Ji-hyun explains: “Even forgetting about the engagement, you thought of me first. Because I was your friend.”
And a tear drops. I think that just pretty much proves it that Ji-hyun at least recalls seeing In-jung and Min-ho cheating together before the accident, don’t you?
Ji-hyun sends In-jung away, and the backstabbing friend cries her heart out at her own home.
The Scheduler grows impatient about having to wait out his one week penalty duty as he watches Yi-kyung pacing back and forth in her room. His Sunbae Scheduler pages him to meet her, and informs him that he can meet Yi-kyung tomorrow since his 5-year tenure ends today. At his confusion, his sunbae explains that he has one week left of his scheduler duty, but she has never said he has to wait out on meeting Yi-kyung. (Ahh, this drama and its constant bending of the rules!)
As Yi-kyung looks through the old cards written to her by Yi-soo, an invitation to meet Yi-soo floats down from heaven… (or her ceiling).
Yi-kyung gets up the next morning and pretties herself up for her meeting with Yi-soo, even using the beauty products given to her by Ji-hyun.
Yi-soo and Yi-kyung meet each other at their meeting place, and they slowly approach each other. When they’re standing face-to-face, he tells her: “Song Yi-kyung. It’s been a long time. You haven’t changed one bit.”
She gently touches his face. Once confirmed that he’s indeed real, she throws herself into his arms and cries as she asks him why he came only now. He answers, “Because now was my time to come.”
Yi-soo asks her to do as he wishes for the day, and whisks her away to their first destination- the site of his accident.
He explains that back then, music presented new excitement for him and he felt constrained by his life up until then. They were both so young. But even though he hung out with girls while doing his music, he explains that Yi-kyung was like his hometown. He wanted to show her how he really felt in his heart, and so bought a proposal ring.
Yi-soo retrieves the rings from a location nearby, and puts the rings on their fingers.
Then he whisks her away to their next destination- an amusement park.
Back then, they didn’t have the money to come here, and he had promised her to bring her on her birthday. So they spend the night doing their amusement park activities together- going on rides and taking photos of themselves wearing silly bunny ears.
He then brings her back to her place, and asks her to go grocery shopping because he wants to eat a meal that she makes. Yi-kyung is reluctant to go alone, but Yi-soo assures her that he won’t go anywhere without telling her first.
While she is away, he gets right to work renovating her entire room. Hilariously, Dr. Noh stops by at that moment and wonders if the tenant has moved. Yi-soo tells him that is not the case, but not to come by for the next two days. After the doctor leaves, Yi-soo comments that the doctor has good taste (ha!), but despite being a doctor, a widower won’t do for his precious Yi-kyung.
When Yi-kyung comes back, she panics at seeing her newly renovated room but no Yi-soo in sight. But just then, Yi-soo comes out of the bathroom. She wonders why he has bothered doing this to her room when she plans to follow him anyway, but Yi-soo merely says that he wants to stay at a clean place while he’s here.
That night, the two lovers lie in bed together. While Yi-kyung is asleep, he looks over her and softly caresses her face, waking her.
In the morning, they go for a walk. Yi-kyung looks happily to Yi-soo, amazed at being able to see and touch him again like this. But Yi-soo, looking much more somber, reminds her that he’s still a dead person.
Then Yi-soo finally explains his reason for coming to see him: “I’ve waited five years to meet you. I wanted to tell you while giving you this ring that I loved you, that not for one moment did I ever hold someone else in my heart, and to say ‘Let’s get married.’ But not anymore. The things I want to tell you have now changed.”
He lets go of her hand as he continues: “I’ve loved you until then. Starting from now, I won’t love you. Because I didn’t want to leave after only giving you pain, I waited for five years in hopes that you’d forget me and be happy.”
As Yi-kyung starts to protest and insists on going with him, he tells her they can’t go together. Even if she chooses death to be with him, they’d be apart because that’s what death is.
Yi-kyung cries that it’s too hard alone and she can’t endure it, but he asks her to endure it for his sake. He needs to let her go for him to be happy in his next life. If Yi-kyung is miserable, he won’t be able to be at peace and will live miserably in his next life as well.
Yi-soo tells Yi-kyung to throw away the ring for it no longer has any meaning. It merely existed to clear up their misunderstanding. He takes his own ring off, and throws it into the water despite her pleas not to do so.
He tells her that she now knows what a precious person she was to him. She wasn’t abandoned by him, but on the contrary, she was the most important person to him. An incredible person. And so he knows that she’ll be an incredibly precious person to someone else as well. He asks her to promise him to be happy for his sake.
And with that, he takes off the ring on her finger and throws it into the water.
Yi-soo continues that he was thankful and happy to have met her. She cries that she hasn’t paid him back for all he’s done, and she has just received. He tells her to pay it back to the person who loves her.
He kisses her and then turns to walk away, as Yi-kyung watches him go before completely fading away.
Min-ho visits his mom at the hospital, saying to himself as he watches her through the window that he meant to come get her after finding success for himself. Just then, two police officers arrive to arrest him. He pleads with them that he may briefly see his mother before they take him away.
When he’s alone with his mother, he tells her whether she has the documents his friend brought her. He tells her not to give them to anyone else until he comes back for it himself. But she doesn’t recognize her son, merely asking him who he is.
Just then, her memory returns and she begins to warmly greet her son. She asks him whether he’s back after having received his MBA, and remarks that she’s always known that he would become an important person. But it is when she starts thanking him for not having turned out like his father that he loses it and sobs uncontrollably in his mother’s arms.
Min-ho is led away by the police, and as he see his mom look out at them through the window, he hides her handcuffs from her view.
And as he gets interrogated, he denies that In-jung played any role as an informant for the company.
Yi-kyung lies in bed, thinking back to Yi-soo’s words to her. Then she remembers Ji-hyun’s words to think of her in times of difficulty and live on.
Yi-kyung walks up to Ji-hyun’s hospital room, but turns back around as she recalls Kang’s words that Ji-hyun has no memory of what had happened to her during her 47 days and probably wouldn’t remember Yi-kyung either. Just then, Ji-hyun comes out of her room and seeing Yi-kyung, calls out, “Unni.”
Yi-kyung is further confused when Ji-hyun clearly calls out her name and asks, “Yi-kyung unni, did you come to see me?” Ji-hyun then walks up to Yi-kyung and hugs her.
When they’re sitting outside in the courtyard, Yi-kyung asks Ji-hyun why she remembers her, but not Han Kang. But Ji-hyun’s reaction indicates otherwise, and Yi-kyung realizes that Ji-hyun does remember everything. She asks Ji-hyun why she’s pretending not to remember, and Ji-hyun answers, “Because I’m going to die again soon.”
What a great series 49 Days has turned out to be! It has continued to turn my expectation over its head… again and again.
The penultimate episode has mainly focused on bringing a closure for Yi-soo and Yi-kyung, and although I may be in the minority here, I thought it was the best and the inevitable ending for this ill-fated couple. It still feels bittersweet knowing what could have been, but I don’t think the message of this drama is that you must always be together with your lover even in death. Yi-kyung so desperately needed a closure after Yi-soo was so suddenly taken away from her while they still had their misunderstanding, and how amazing is it that he was able to confirm to her once again how much she had been loved.
I don’t think a true testament to a person’s love is in doing everything to be with that person, but in truly wishing for that person’s happiness. Even in death, Yi-soo did not settle until he was able to lead Yi-kyung to the road of being happy again… and he knew that that road was only in helping Yi-kyung return to living once again.
And as for Ji-hyun’s last statement, should we be glad that she at least has kept the memories of her 49 (minus two) days? I do think that she has just come to the conclusion of her impending death simply by the fact that she has retained her memories when she was clearly not supposed to. Knowing this series so far, I’m sure there is a loophole somewhere, but perhaps that’s just my blind faith in this writer speaking.
Oh, I just can’t wait to find out!