* This review contains spoilers for Episode 2 of A Time Called You
After the attention-grabbing first episode, we’re ready for some answers. Who is the mystery man that send Jun-Hee the photograph? How will the relationship between Si-Heon, Min-Ju and In-Gyu develop? Is Jun-Hee correct in believing that Yeon-Jun is alive?
Search for the truth
Jun-Hee searches for the record store in the photo, but learns that it closed down several years ago. She looks at the girl in the photo and says “I want to know who she is.”
Back in 1998, Min-Ju is woken up by an alarm clock from her brother’s room. She tries to wake him up but he yells at her. She then prepares breakfast, disturbing her mother who is sleeping on the couch. Her brother later rushes down and accuses her of not waking him. It appears as though the shy Min-Ju does most of the work around the house.
In school, Si-Heon and In-Gyu greet her and they walk to class. The other students glance at Min-Ju in surprise. At PE class, a pretty classmate points out the “close relationship” Min-Ju has with Si-Heon. A male classmate asks why Si-Heon and In-Gyu are friendly with the “gloomy girl”. In-Gyu says they are just friends, and the boy comments that Min-Ju seems to be ‘easy’. In-Gyu tries to fight him, but Si-Heon manages to defuse the situation.
The classmate later insults In-Gyu in front of Si-Heon, and Si-Heon beats him up. He adds that if anyone says a bad word about either Min-Ju or In-Gyu, he would knock them out.
Back in the present, Jun-Hee comments that the girl in the picture looks “cuter” than her. Jun-Hee wonders if the reason Yeon-Jun loved her was because she looked like his ‘first love’. Her colleague then reveals that the record store owner opened a café with a similar name, and asks Jun-Hee if she wants to visit it.
Making a new friend
We cut back to the past, and find Si-Heon encouraging In-Gyu and Min-Ju to hang out together after school. The two take a walk together, feeling awkward. In-Gyu tries to break the ice by saying that Si-Heon is actually a nice guy, and that they have been friends since elementary school. Min-Ju notes that the two are each other’s best friends, and says that she wishes she had one as well.
In-Gyu then reveals that he is wearing a hearing aid in his right ear. He says that as a child, he was teased by other children for wearing it. However, Si-Heon befriended him and defended him from bullies. He then says that Min-Ju is now his friend as well.
Jun-Hee and her friend visit the café, but discover it is closed. Disappointed, Jun-Hee decides to take a subway train home, and sees the mystery man across the tracks. Shocked, she rushes to the other side, but he disappears by the time she reaches it. We later see the man looking at her as she walks away, and see that it is in fact Yeon-Jun.
A difficult decision
Jun-Hee returns home and sees a vision of Yeon-Jun. He asks if she really thinks that he fell for her because she looked like the girl in the picture. He then tells her that if that were true, she would have a reason to forget him and move on with her life. A tearful Jun-Hee says that she cannot move on, and accuses Yeon-Jun of abandoning her.
Back in the past, Min-Ju ponders about why the boys decided to befriend her. However, her happy thoughts are interrupted by an argument between her parents downstairs. They threaten to split up, and both want to take her brother. Min-Ju cries out that neither of them care about her and runs out of the house.
Si-Heon later comes across a crying Min-Ju, and keeps her company. Min-Ju reveals that her parents have always preferred her brother over her, and that she is hurt by how people ignore her. Si-Heon then confesses that he is moving to America soon, and asks her to keep it a secret. He tells Min-Ju that he wants her to be In-Gyu’s friend so that he will not be lonely once Si-Heon moves away.
The next day, the record store owner tells Min-Ju that the Seo-Ji-Won cassette album Si-Heon ordered has arrived. Min-Ju decides to give it to Si-Heon in school. However, she loses her nerve and walks away.
We then cut to Jun-Hee in the present day. She receives a gift box at her office, but before she can open it, her colleague tells her the café is open that day. The two then head there after work, and the stunned owner calls Jun-hee by Min-Ju’s name.
He reveals that Min-Ju was his niece. Jun-Hee and her colleague ask if they can speak to Min-Ju, but the owner reveals that “Min-Ju died a long time ago”.
Back in the past, Si-Heon and In-Gyu surprise Min-Ju with a cake for her birthday. The three of them spend the evening in the park, and In-Gyu gives Min-Ju a cassette player as a birthday gift. However, when In-Gyu notices that she actually likes Si-Heon, he leaves, telling Si-Heon to give her a ride home.
She finally gives him the album, and he notices that she wrote a message to him on the inside. He realizes that she has feelings for him instead of In-Gyu. When Min-Ju thanks him for the birthday party, he says that it was all In-Gyu’s idea.
A self-conscious Min-Ju reveals that her birthday wish was to become the kind of girl that Si-Heon would like. But he says that he will “never like her in that way”. He tells her to never let In-Gyu find out, and leaves a heartbroken Min-Ju behind.
The power of music
Jun-Hee and her colleague walk away from the café, and we learn that Min-Ju died in 1998. The colleague remarks that Yeon-Jun would have been only 11 years old at the time, making it impossible for him to be the boy in the picture. Jun-Hee seems unsatisfied with that explanation.
She rides the bus home, and opens the package from earlier. It contains a cassette player, as well as the album Min-Ju gave Si-Heon. She reads the inscription inside: “I hope this music transports you to your happiest moment.”
In the past, Min-Ju discovers her house in disarray and her family gone. She calls her uncle in tears, saying her mother must have run away and taken her brother. Her uncle tells her to wait there for him. Instead, a desperate Min-Ju runs outside.
Jun-Hee plays the cassette on the bus. She also writes another text message to Yeon-Jun, telling him that her birthday wish for this year is to see him once again. In the past, we see that Min-Ju is struck by a car, and at the same time, Jun-Hee’s message to Yeon-Jun is listed as “read”.
Events from the two timelines are suddenly played back, and we see Min-Ju lying asleep in a hospital bed, with Si-Heon visiting her. He plays the cassette tape, and she begins to wake up.
Si-Heon calls out Min-Ju’s name, but she bursts into tears at the sight of him, calling him “Yeon-Jun”. Somehow, Jun-Hee is now in Min-Ju’s body, and she hugs a bewildered Si-Heon as the scene ends.
The story finally gets going with this episode. We finally know the identity of the mystery man, although that leads to even more questions. We saw the heartbreak that resulted from the love triangle between the teenagers. But how will things play out now that Jun-Hee is back in the past, and in Min-Ju’s place?
Join us as we explore the next episode of A Time Called You!