My mind said maybe not, but my heart said yes. After watching the first three episodes to ‘Time’ starring Kim Jung-hyun and Seohyun, I eventually decided to recap the drama despite already currently recapping two other dramas (Let’s Eat 3 and My ID is Gangnam Beauty).
‘Time’ stars Kim Jung-hyun who plays Cheon Soo-ho, son of the chairman to conglomerate W Group and owner of a restaurant. He gets involved in the death of Seol Ji-hyun’s (Seohyun) sister who was found dead at his place. While Ji-hyun attempts to uncover the truth behind her sister’s death, Soo-ho who himself doesn’t have much time to live tries to comfort Ji-hyun with her sister’s passing all the while trying to hide the truth Ji-hyun so desperately seeks.
Time (시간): Episode 1 Recap
The first episode begins with Cheon Soo-ho (Kim Jung-hyun) walking carelessly through the hallway of a club. He reaches a dead end at the end of the hallway and stares at himself in the reflection of the window. He quotes,
Someone once said that all of us die one day..
And yet, we act as if we’ll live forever.
Soo-ho finds himself on his bed after a long night of partying. His house is still as messy and dirty as it was the night before. As he wanders throughout his house, he finds someone floating in the pool. Soo-ho at first screams at the person to get out of the water, but he soon realizes what’s happening. The person in the water is unconscious and possibly dead. After grabbing the person out of the pool and onto the pavement, he’s finally awaken and focused. The person is dead. Shin Min-seok (Kim Joon-han) rushes to the scene and orders his assistant to call the police.
Seol Ji-hyun (Seohyun) runs to the mortuary after finding out about the death of her sister Seol Ji-eun (Yoon Ji-won). She wails and cries as she is shown the face of the lifeless body. Sure enough, it’s her younger sister.
The drama then takes us back to the moments leading up to the tragic night. Ji-eun and Ji-hyun wake up to another morning of daily bickers and Mom asking her two daughters for money. On her way to work, Ji-hyun receives a phone call from her boyfriend Min-seok who wishes her a happy birthday. Ji-hyun is cheerful and happy for the congratulatory phone call.
At her part-time job as a greeter at W Department Store, Ji-hyun and her co-workers greet passing cars and directs them on where to park. On this particular day, she’s unaware that one of the cars they’ve greeted is a VIP guest. The VIP guest is none other than Soo-ho and he gets frustrated and upset. He scolds Ji-hyun for not recognizing him as a VIP guest and he orders her to correctly direct him where to go. Just when he’s about to leave, he overhears Ji-hyun’s co-worker Young-hee make rude remarks about him so he returns. Ahhh! He forces Ji-hyun to apologize to him and she even gets down on her knees to beg for his forgiveness. The situation de-escalates and Soo-ho leaves.
Min-seok works in his office along with many other lawyers. As he’s having a quick conversation with his supervisor Nam Dae-chul (Choi Duk-moon), Dae-chul notices the retirement pension file that Min-seok has opened on his computer. Min-seok is welcomed to retire anytime he wants. There’s plenty of other people willing to take his spot as a lawyer.
Min-seok takes a quick break by grabbing a can of coffee at the soda machine in the lobby. He encounters Eun Chae-Ah (Hwang Seung-un) along the way and she offers him her cup of coffee. At that moment, Dae-chul runs up to Chae-Ah with a document which she signs using Min-seok’s pen. She leaves after expressing interest in wanting to hire Min-seok onto her team. Min-seok finally discovers from Dae-chul who the young lady is: she’s the daughter of Taeyang’s chairman as well as Soo-ho’s fiance.
Soo-ho and Chae-Ah have a birthday dinner at his restaurant to celebrate her birthday. He carelessly gives her a cake and also gifts her with a necklace which he ties around her neck. Not too far away are photographers capturing every moment and move between the couple.
Meanwhile, an eager and determined Ji-hyun enters a cooking competition among many other contestants alongside her.
Soo-ho and Chae-Ah’s birthday dinner ends on a bad note. It’s clear the two are purely in a business relationship where they’re using each other to reap their own benefits. Chae-Ah warns Soo-ho to be more careful with his actions and behaviors or else he’s going to disappoint his mom. Soo-ho is furious and upset with Chae-Ah so she leaves the restaurant shortly afterwards.
Ji-hyun too is celebrating her birthday on the same day with her boyfriend Min-seok. He also gifts her with a cake and a necklace, but unlike Soo-Ah and Soo-ho, Min-seok doesn’t plan on getting married to Ji-hyun anytime soon. He suggests that they take things slowly and get married at a time when they’re more financially stable. At her birthday dinner, Ji-hyun receives a notification from a friend about an article discussing the incident that happened earlier at work that day with Soo-ho.
Soo-ho gets reprimanded by his dad for causing trouble at the department incident. Dad warns him to never get involved in anything similar again or else he’ll get kicked out. As Soo-ho walks to his room, he comes across his stepmom and step brother Cheon Soo-chul. They too make jabs at him for the department incident and remind him to be more considerate of his actions and behaviors. There’s a lot at risk.
Ji-hyun is frustrated and irritated at all the news articles of the department incident. To appease the attention and turmoil resulting from the incident, Min-seok is ordered by Dae-chul to meet with Ji-hyun and make amends with her. Whether it’s money or another demand, they have to do whatever they can to stop the posts from getting bigger and more known.
Ji-hyun receives a phone call from Soo-ho that night to discuss about the incident. He proposes to settle with her by offering her some money, but she refuses to take it. Soo-ho warns that failure to accept the money could result in similar incidents like the one that happened earlier that day. Ji-hyun questions the reasons behind how he makes use of time; she comments that he acts as if he’ll live forever when in reality he’ll die one day. It’s at that moment when Soo-ho starts to feel sick and faints in front of Ji-hyun.
He’s transported to the hospital and undergoes a treatment to get a CT scan of his brain. Ji-hyun remains at the hospital with him until she receives a phone call from Ji-eun to hurry home. There’s trouble.
Ji-hyun returns home to find two loan sharks at their apartment, searching through Mom’s piggy banks for money. She owes her former ex-boyfriend Geum Tae-sung (Kim Jung-tae) $100 million dollars after using his money to buy some stocks which eventually became delisted. He gives them one week to pay back the money or else.
Exhausted and fed up, Ji-hyun runs away from the house. She’s had enough of Mom’s financial issues and she wants to do things for herself for once. As she sits outside on the stairs in front of her house, she contacts Min-seok for his whereabouts.
When Soo-ho awakens the next morning at the hospital, he meets with a doctor. He’s informed that he’s suffering from cancer and the longest he has left to live is six months. Surgery won’t be as helpful and there’s really nothing much Soo-ho can do to live longer. Soo-ho’s in disbelief of the news and gets angry. While exiting out of the hospital, Ji-hyun runs up to him and checks in on him. She also has the money that he had offered her the night before which she promises to give back to him once she finds it. Soo-ho storms out of the hospital without listening or paying attention to Ji-hyun. All he can focus on is the news about his cancer.
Soo-ho’s reminded of how much time he has left in the smallest ways possible. Whether it’s researching for more information about the specific cancer type he’s suffering from or tasting sample foods that his restaurant plans on implementing the next year, he remains in heavy disbelief that he only has six more months to live. He cries at the thought of death and even confronts the same doctor again about the results. Why did it have to be him out of all people? The only words of encouragement that the doctor has for Soo-ho is for him to make the most out of the limited time he has left.
Ji-eun finds Soo-ho’s money hidden in one of Ji-hyun’s jackets at home. Mom witnesses the load of cash in Ji-eun’s hand and fights her daughter for it. Ji-hyun confronts Ji-eun on letting Mom take the $10,000 dollars. Mom promises to return the money back to Ji-hyun, but in case she doesn’t, Ji-eun will be responsible in returning the money. Ji-eun also hands Ji-hyun a late birthday gift, but Ji-hyun is exasperated and irritated. She’ll accept the gift when they return home that night.
Min-seok drops by W Department Store to observe Ji-hyun work. During her short break, she and Min-seok sit down to have a small talk. He suggests that she work a different job, but Ji-hyun disagrees. Finding even just part-time jobs are difficult nowadays and plus, the job isn’t as bad as he thinks. She also updates him on the department incident and how Soo-ho apologized to her. Everything is okay now.
Soo-ho walks out and about in the public drinking some alcohol. The news about the cancer is really getting to him and he wonders what things will be like once he dies. Will he turn into a star? To relieve himself of his pain and misery, he calls his assistant to host a party that night.
Mom admits to Ji-eun that she’s spent the entire $10,000 that originally belonged to Soo-ho and will be unable to pay it back. Ji-eun storms out of the house and heads to her former supervisor to continue her former part-time gig.
At the party, Soo-ho gets into a fight with step brother Soo-chul. Unlike Soo-chul, Soo-ho is illegitimate and shouldn’t even think about receiving some money from Dad once Dad passes away. Soo-chul will take over the company and then get rid of Soo-ho. Furious, Soo-ho fights his brother and even comes close to killing him, but he holds himself back. He lets Soo-chul go with a warning. If Soo-ho is going to die, he’s not the only one going down.
Later on that night in his room, Soo-ho contacts Chae-Ah and invites him over to her place so they can discuss about their marriage. While he waits for Chae-Ah, Soo-ho is accompanied by Ji-eun who will serve as his personal source of entertainment for the night (nooooo).
Ji-hyun returns home to find a note taped onto a jar filled with some money. The note is an apology written by Mom for not being able to pay back the money she had borrowed. She’s run away and she pleads for Ji-hyun and Ji-eun not to search for her.
When Chae-Ah arrives at Soo-ho’s place, she’s greeted by a drunk Ji-eun dressed in lingerie opening the door for her. Immediately, Chae-ah becomes anxious and upset at the sight of Ji-eun and enters the place in search of Soo-ho who’s on his bed asleep. Ji-eun heads back into the pool room to grab her belongings and confesses to Chae-Ah that contrary to what she thinks, Ji-eun and Soo-ho didn’t actually do anything that night. She only dressed up because he would pay her if she did, hence, why she’s dressed in the red lingerie outfit.
Furious, Chae-Ah knocks Ji-eun down onto the ground with her purse and orders Ji-eun to grab it after she throws it a few feet away. Ji-eun does as she is told and hands the purse back to Chae-Ah. Chae-Ah then throws a bunch of bills out onto the pool of water and suggests that Ji-eun collect them since she’s so desperate for money. Chae-Ah leaves after throwing the money into the pool, but it’s not only money that she throws away. She finds blood on her hands and her purse so she also throws her purse away in a hotel trashcan.
Ji-hyun attempts to contact Ji-eun to notify her about Mom’s escape. Meanwhile, Ji-eun dives into the pool of water to collect the bills floating on the surface. Eventually, Ji-eun gives up and she lays lifeless in the water.
The next morning, Min-seok is given an assignment by his supervisor to find out the reason behind Soo-ho and Soo-chul’s fight the night at the party. As he arrives at Soo-ho’s place, he discovers Soo-ho standing next to Ji-eun’s body in shock. He tries to revive Ji-eun, but it’s of no use. She’s dead.
As Soo-ho hides in the mortuary building not too far away from where Ji-eun’s body lays, Ji-hyun runs into the room to check the body. She falls onto the floor in tears after confirming the death of her sister. She’s consoled by a conflicted Min-seok who holds her in his arms.
While trying to comfort a heart-broken Ji-hyun, Min-seok is reminded of the moment he discovered his pen in the pool room that Chae-Ah had originally used and taken from him to sign some documents. He reaches the conclusion that Chae-Ah must have been somewhat involved in the incident. Meanwhile, Soo-ho is arrested and taken by the police that morning.
Oof, this drama was a really nice surprise. I actually wasn’t expecting the cancer arc so that was a sad and depressing but nice surprise. It adds in a little flavor to an already complicated and complex narrative. Also, this is going to sound super mean and bad (but hear me out on this), I like that Soo-ho suffers from cancer and has a limited amount of time to live. It’s what will serve as his reason and motivation to finally change to become a better person and to appreciate the remaining time he has left. I think the next few months of his life will be an interesting journey where he will finally change his toxic and negative ways and become the better person that he wants to be but struggles to become. It’s only because he thinks he still has many more years to live that he treats everyone badly the way he does, but now that he only has so much more time to live, it’s changed everything. He’s going to have to devise a plan as to how to spend the next few months of his life carefully and wisely.
It was sad watching Soo-ho come to terms with the sudden news. A part of me feels guilty for even feeling pitiful for him because clearly he’s not the greatest or nicest guy ever and he’s very mean and toxic to everyone around him. He complains if he doesn’t get what he wants; in a way, he’s like a spoiled child. However, the way he cried upon hearing the results or the ways he’s reminded of his slow painful death in the smallest ways possible was depressing to watch. He’s well aware that he’s going to die, but he has the most difficult time accepting it and processing the news. I expect to see Soo-ho not only change as he lives the last few months of his life, but also witness him continue to struggle accepting the news that he so desperately wants to believe is false.
Ji-hyun plays your typical hard-working, innocent, and strong female lead. Her character isn’t something that we haven’t seen before so there wasn’t much in her character to play off of. I think most of her storytelling and characterization will show when she tries to discover the hidden truth about her sister’s sudden death as well as through her future interactions with Soo-ho. She faces many challenges including a greedy mother, a desperate sister, and a distant boyfriend. Things are falling apart for her and as much as she’s holding on, the passing of Ji-eun could potentially be her breaking point.
Min-seok is such an interesting character who will face many conflicted thoughts and feelings as the investigation behind Ji-eun’s death progresses. He has to choose between his girlfriend of six years who he dearly loves and cares for but is already feeling distant from or his employers who fails to appreciate him for his work. It’s going to be hard to watch him lie to Ji-hyun in order to save himself and his career. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t feel as close to Ji-hyun as he used to anymore and might not feel the same way for her as she does for him. I’m curious as to what he chooses to do in the future though and what decisions he’ll make regarding the investigation.
Chae-Ah too remains mysterious because a part of me feels like she actually does have feelings for Soo-ho which is why she got angry when Ji-eun was at his place, but another part of me feels like she’s well aware that their relationship is all for show. Why was she so invested in her relationship with Soo-ho to the point where she beat Ji-eun up at the pool room? Did she beat her up because she was angry that there was another woman at her fiance’s house or was it because she was angry that this could ruin their business relationship and therefore her reputation? I’m a little confused on how she truly feels about Soo-ho and if her contribution into Ji-eun’s death was out of jealousy or fear for her future.
I already mentioned this in my earlier posts about this drama, but I actually find the cast to be doing a good job so far. I’ve already watched up to episode three and even Seohyun has surprised me with how decent she is in this drama (compared to her former ones). She is a little green at times, but I think the director is able to work around her flaws and showcase her strengths instead of her weaknesses (which is great because it’s not something that every director can do or is willing to do). It could also be that Seohyun has also just improved her acting skills and are finally showcasing them in this drama. I’ve watched Hwang Seung-un in I’m Not a Robot and she was charming in there so I actually like her as an actress. This is my first time watching anything with Kim Joon-han before and prior to this drama, I had absolutely no idea who he was. I still don’t to this day, but hopefully that’ll change with this drama. Last but not least, Kim Jung-hyun continues to remain the strong and talented actor that he is. He’s played tsundere and wacky characters in his past projects, but here he’s much more serious and dramatic. I actually like him as Soo-ho a lot more and I find that he suits these kind of characters. He’s really going to carry this drama with his portrayal of Soo-ho and it’ll be interesting to watch him in future episodes. I do hope he will tone down his acting a little bit because I feel like at times he overacts and overreacts a little bit, but overall he’s doing a nice job.
The highlight of this drama will definitely have to be the directing though. The filming and cinematography was just absolutely amazing and beautiful and I really appreciated all the different shots of each scene. My favorite in particular was the scene when Soo-ho and Ji-hyun were leaving the hospital after he was informed of having cancer. The way that the camera shot the two going down the stairs and out in the front of the building was sooo so nice, interactive, and pleasing. I’m really liking the directing so far and find it to be one of the biggest strengths in this episode alone so far.
Things are going to get complicated as Soo-ho plays around with limited time and Ji-hyun discovers the truth behind her sister’s death. Of course, the hardest thing will be when the two interact and meet with each other halfway to solve these respective mysteries in their own lives. Maybe Soo-ho and Ji-hyun will help and support the other reach the closure and conclusion that they each so desperately seek and want at the end of the day.