* This review contains spoilers for Episode 8 of A Time Called You
The last episode delivered some shocks, in the form of a murder at the school, and the revelation that Yeon-Jun was actually Si-Heon all this while. Will we get closer to finding out the reason for all the time travelling?
A new beginning
We see a flashback of Yeon-Jun in cram class waiting for his friend Tae-Ha (Destined With You star Rowoon in a cameo). Later, he tries to work up the courage to tell Tae-Ha something, but fails. The next day, the two boys take a drive in Tae-Ha’s car. As they look for a CD in the glove compartment, their hands touch, causing them both to pause. Yeon-Jun then holds Tae-Ha’s hand, and the two boys stare meaningfully at each other. The tender moment is destroyed as their car crashes into another vehicle, killing Tae-Ha and leaving Yeon-Jun in a coma.
We then return to Si-Heon, now in Yeon-Jun’s body, having seen Jun-Hee for the ‘first time’. He decides not to speak to her just yet, and lets her walk away. He later paints the drawing of her running down the tree-lined path, and makes the decision to live as Yeon-Jun and move to Seoul.
There, he meets up with Min-Ju’s uncle at his new café, and tells him he is attending an art academy in the city, intending to enroll in the same college as Jun-Hee. He says he has realized he can’t be “Nam Si-Heon” in this life, and decides to become the Yeon-Jun she remembers in 2023. He also hopes that he will be able to change the past and “reverse what happened on Oct 13, 1998”.
Love is not easy
The uncle gives him a box of Min-Ju’s possessions, which include photos of Si-Heon, In-Gyu and ‘Min-Ju’ back in 1998. ‘Yeon-Jun’ cries as looks back at their happy memories. He later studies hard and makes it into the college, running into Jun-Hee on his first day.
He confesses his feelings to her within seconds of meeting her, telling her that he “has loved her for a long time”. She immediately rejects him, telling him that she has a boyfriend. A confused ‘Yeon-Jun’ heads to his art class, where he runs into Chan-Yeong, who says it is “good to see him again”. When ‘Yeon-Jun’ asks how they know each other, Chan-Yeong claims they sat next to each other during exams.
Chan-Yeong invites ‘Yeon-Jun’ to join him on a group date with girls from the same faculty as Jun-Hee. At the restaurant, it turns out that Jun-Hee is their waitress. She is wary of ‘Yeon-Jun’, and he later looks on in despair as Jun-Hee goes on a date with her boyfriend. He meets up with Min-Ju’s uncle to vent his frustrations, and the uncle tries to reassure him that he will eventually win her over.
‘Yeon-Jun’ is heartbroken that all his memories of Jun-Hee no longer have the same meaning for her, as they have not fallen in love yet. He remembers what Jun-Hee said about Yeon-Jun in the past, and decides to slowly move himself into her life. He joins several of her college classes, as well as her part-time job at the restaurant.
Blast from the past?
We then see Min-Ju’s uncle talking to someone on the phone and telling them that “their plan worked”. ‘Yeon-Jun’ has met Jun-Hee and the two are getting closer. The uncle tells the other person that “there is nothing to worry about”, and we see that the other person is the mystery man with the scar on his face!
The mystery man, who turns out to be Si-Heon, looks at the photo of the trio taken outside the record store in 1998. He then has a flashback to 2006, when In-Gyu is released from prison. Si-Heon there to greet him, and takes him to meet his grandmother. In-Gyu laments at the trouble he has caused her, but Si-Heon says that she was able to stay strong because of him.
In-Gyu and Si-Heon later have a talk. Si-Heon tells him that he was in an accident a few years ago, which left him comatose and crippled his leg. He says that since then, he has managed to get his life back on track. In-Gyu then asks him how he can speak like nothing ever happened. He says: “I killed Min-Ju. You know I did.”
Si-Heon replies that he knows In-Gyu didn’t do it, as they both loved her back then. In-Gyu insists that he did, and says that Si-Heon must really want to believe otherwise.
We later see that Si-Heon has been conducting his own investigation into a murder. He stares at a wall filled with newspaper clippings, before looking at a board with a written message: “Stop In-Gyu’s death no matter what.”
Happy birthday, Jun-Hee
Meanwhile, ‘Yeon-Jun’ continues his efforts to befriend Jun-Hee. One night at their restaurant job, a colleague complains about a message from a friend who is heartbroken about a break-up. The colleague doesn’t want to go, but ‘Yeon-Jun’ insists that she should be there for her friend during a hard time. He says that if anything happens, she will regret not being there for her, and that she could lose that friend forever.
‘Yeon-Jun’ excuses himself and recalls a conversation with Min-Ju’s uncle. He had asked about In-Gyu, and was told that shortly after being paroled, In-Gyu killed himself at the spot where Min-Ju died. ‘Yeon-Jun’ cries at the memory. Later, Jun-Hee – who was moved by his earnest words – shares a story about her family, and the two begin to bond.
The next day, ‘Yeon-Jun’ offers to cover for Jun-Hee at the restaurant so she can attend her birthday party. However, she shows up at the restaurant for work, claiming that her boyfriend stood her up. ‘Yeon-Jun’ rushes out to buy her a cake when their shift ends, but she has gone by the time he returns.
Jun-Hee later has a huge break-up with her boyfriend after she discovers he was cheating on her, and returns to the restaurant. She gets a call from ‘Yeon-Jun’ and finds him lighting her birthday cake for her. He tells her she should blow out her candle, and she asks him to join her in making a wish. He tells her his wish already came true: to spend her birthday with her.
This episode had us both laughing and crying. The unexpected BL storyline at the beginning adds another layer of tragedy to the life of the real Yeon-Jun, and serves to emphasize how different he is from Si-Heon. Ahn Hyo-Seop does an excellent job portraying the two different characters, and has great chemistry with Rowoon, despite their limited shared screen time.
We cheered on ‘Yeon-Jun’ in his efforts to make Jun-Hee fall for him, while at the same time our heart broke for him as he tried to come to terms with how much his life had changed. Both Ahn Hyo-Seop and Jeon Yeo-Been really proved themselves the perfect rom-com couple with this episode.
We were also shocked by the fact that there is a second Si-Heon in the timeline. What impact will he have on the future of ‘Yeon-Jun’ and Jun-Hee?
Join us as we explore the next episode of A Time Called You!