The Name Badge
After last night’s emotionally charged episode, Hi Bye, Mama returns with a slightly slower episode but still has quite a few heartbreaking scenes as Yu-Ri is finally able to communicate with her daughter. The show has been building to those moments quite well and with Gang-Hwa finally seeing his late wife, there is plenty more drama and twists to come ahead.
Episode 2 of Hi, Bye Mama starts in the past as Gang-Hwa begs his parents-in-law to look after his daughter. The mother refuses and tells him to do what he can to raise his child. As he starts crying, she asks him if he is going to try ending his life again. He replies that he can’t live another day without Yu-Ri and struggles to breathe, so she tells him to get busy and live one day at the time. We then see a montage of him walking around through the seasons until he starts walking with Seo-Woo and Min-Jung. Cutting back to the present, we pick up where we left off as Gang-Hwa sees Yu-Ri in the street.
As they walk away, Yu-Ri realizes everyone can see her and that she’s a human. After dancing around in the street, she wonders why she suddenly changed and starts feeling hungry and cold. Mi-Dong finds her and takes her back to her place. They discuss her predicament as Mi-Dong tells her that she’s being judged on Earth and has 49 days to find the place she is supposed to be in if she wants to stay alive. Yu-Ri is confused as her husband has remarried and isn’t sure what to do.
Meanwhile, Min-Jung looks at divorce papers while Seo-Woo continues seeing ghosts. In the shower, Gang-Hwa keeps thinking of Yu-Ri. The latter heads to Hyun-Jung’s place, despairing at her situation and decides to move her friends’ pictures around on her memory board. When Hyun-Jung comes back, she thinks someone has arrived to rob her. Yu-Ri heads off to eat some food at a street vendor and almost runs into Gang-Hwa, who’s heading to work and still very distracted.
In the the hospital, Gang-Hwa speaks to his colleagues at lunch about the possibility of finding a doppelganger. Geun-Sang goes to see him in his office to find out what’s up with him. He reveals that he saw someone in the street who looks like Yu-Ri, while we see her trying to get used to her newfound humanity. She decides to bring Gang-Hwa’s badge back to the hospital and winds up recognized by Geun-Sang. Suddenly, three of the ghosts in Pil-Seung’s family find Yu-Ri and realise that she is able to see them. This prompts them to go after her, wanting to know how she became human.
Back in the hospital, Gang-Hwa gets his badge back and is surprised to see some funny doodles on it. He then gets called in to surgery for an emergency patient. Reluctant at first, he finally accepts but as he starts remembering the day his wife died, he’s unable to do anything.
Meanwhile, Min-Jung has coffee with the other mothers who tell her they are concerned about Seo-Woo after the freezer incident and mention that she’s often seen talking to herself. Min-Jung tells them she knows what’s good for her child and to mind their own business.
Yu-Ri decides to go and check on her daughter at school. She sees her running around with the little boy ghost again and as she runs towards her, Yu-Ri gives her a hug. This is the first time she’s able to hold her daughter after yearning to do it after all these years. The teacher lets her take Seo-Woo back home as they think she’s the pick-up helper.
In the hospital, Professor Jang berates Gang-Hwa for leaving the patient surgery and tells him to give up his licence. Geun-Sang explains to the Professor that Gang-Hwa has a phobia of operating rooms, which is why he was unable to perform. The professor gets angry as he would have tried to treat him. Geun-Sang explains that he has tried to but Gang-Hwa has always refused any treatment.
Gang-Hwi decides to go to the funeral home to visit Yu-Ri’s remains and sees a picture of the two of them with the same kind of doodles, while Yu-Ri walks home with Seo-Woo. As the little girl asks to go in a playground, Gang-Hwa and his wife realize that Seo-Woo is missing and frantically look for her everywhere.
After pushing her too hard on a swing, Seo-Woo falls to the floor and starts crying. Yu-Ri is terrified and rushes over, apologizing and comforting her. Gang-Hwa finds them together and is shocked with what he’s seeing as the episode ends.
In the epilogue, we see the past again as Gang-Hwa walks and kneels down as he starts crying. Yu-Ri as a ghost tries to comfort him but is unable to. She then watches him walk that same path over the years, leading to her seeing him with his new wife.
After two episodes, Hi Bye Mama has managed to build uo to this fateful moment really well as Gang-Hwa realizes that his wife is alive. There were quite a few powerful scenes here too as we see him walk through each of the seasons, leading to his life changing after getting married. Poor Yu-Ri had to watch, helplessly missing out on her daughter growing up. The scene where she is finally able to hold her daughter was really touching and also really well acted by Kim Tae-Hee.
There are still a lot of untold plot points at this point; how did Gang-Hwa and Min-Jung meet and get married? Yu-Ri’s mother has been very cold towards her ex-son in law too and it will be interesting to see what happened between them. I am sure we will find out soon how these events have transpired and I’m looking forward to see it unfold in the weeks to come.