The Toy Car
With less flashbacks and more stories surrounding the ghosts, Hi Bye Mama returns with quite the emotional episode as we see Yu-Ri helping the little boy while still trying to be in her daughter’s life. Each episode advances at a decent speed with more and more characters finding out about her return; each of these moments have been built up quite smoothly, adding depth and touching moments as each episode goes by.
We begin episode 4 of Hi Bye Mamma with another flashback as Gang-Hwa leaves to go to work and tells his wife to be careful since she is heavily pregnant. On the news we see that a building fire killed many people on that same day. Yu-Ri then walks down the street and as a man runs down the road without looking at the traffic, a car swerves to avoid him and plunges into Yu-Ri. She is rushed into hospital barely conscious and heads straight in surgery where a caesarean is performed. Unfortunately, just as she catches a glimpse of her baby daughter she lets out her last breath and passes away.
Back in the present where the last episode ended, our three characters face each other in the nursery. Yu-Ri heads in the office for her interview while Min-Jong remains speechless. She walks home with Seo-Woo and her husband where they speak about his dismissal then Min-Jong mentions how the woman looks like Yu-Ri. Gang-Hwa acts surprised though and quickly changes the subject.
Yu-Ri is successful with her job application and as she returns to her hotel, she remembers a day where her husband vowed to never remarry if she passed away. As she sees Gang-Hwa waiting for her in the lobby, she asks him why he married again. He replies that it just happened and apologises. She quickly dismisses his apology though, telling him he did nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, Yu-Ri’s mum secretly looks at pictures of Seo-Woo on Min-Jong’s Instagram and her father despairs that he can’t be a grandfather to his grand-daughter while Geun-Sang carries on talking to his wife about Yu-Ri. We then see a flashback of the day of the funeral where Hyeon-Jeong fought with her mother-in-law about attending it.
In her room, Yu-Ri switches the smartphone Gang-Hwa gave her and accidentally likes one of Hyeon’s post she posted after she died. Her best friend gets a notification and is very shocked when she sees who liked her post. Yu-Ri then panics and quickly unlikes it, hoping that Hyeon-Jeong didn’t see.
In the charnel house, one of the ghosts, Geum-Jae, is annoyed as many fans come to pay their respects to Sang-Bong. After Gwi-Soon speaks to Mi-Dong about seeing her daughter before moving on, Geun-Jae, who was a loan shark, wants Mi-Dong to tell his mum where his ledger is but she refuses. After dealing with more troublesome ghosts, Mi-Dong sees Yu-Ri outside, who asks her for a talisman to chase away the ghosts around her daughter and vows to move on once she has.
Min-Jong comes out of a child psychotherapy with Seo-Woo and makes her promise to keep it a secret. As they’re about to walk away, they come face to face with Hyeon-Jeong, who tries talking to Min-Jong but she remains stoic.
At the nursery, Yu-Ri decides to use her talisman on the boy ghost, Hyeok-Jin. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work and she wonders if it is because he is a young ghost. Meanwhile we see his mother visiting his remains at the temple. Yu-Ri’s mum is also there praying and speaks about her grief to other mothers who have lost their children.
Back in the school, Yu-Ri is angry when she finds out a mother made a fuss when Seo-Woo was very quiet and didn’t fit in a few months ago. We also learn that Hyeok-Jin used to attend the nursery. Yu-Ri watches him as he sadly looks at all the kids being picked up by their mothers and hopes everyday that his would come too as he may not understand that he has died.
Yu-Ri finds out that young ghosts ascend as soon as they get what they want so she decides to get the head teacher to call Hyeok-Jin’s mother in order to get a picture. As she arrives the little boy rushes to her, followed by Seo-Woo who gives her a toy car her son used to play with. She starts crying and leaves the school with the ghost of her son following her. She passes by Min-Jong and apologises to her for everything as we find out she is the one who made a fuss and tells her to thank Seo-Woo.
The episode ends with Yu-Ri leaving the nursery and coming face to face with Hyeon-Jeong who is shocked to see her best friend alive.
In the epilogue, we see a flashback of Yu-Ri and Gang-Hwa visiting Hyeon-Jeong who just had her baby. After listening to Geun-Sang making a speech about how emotional he became when he first saw his child, the future parents talk about their reaction before we jump a little way forward to Gang-Hwa sadly looking at his newborn in the hospital nursery.
Hi Bye, Mama has so far managed to develop the story and its characters effectively enough to make it very emotional and interesting at the same time. With each flashback it shows us a little more about Yu-Ri’s life, which gives her more depth as she reveals herself to someone else. This time, it’s her life long best friend who gets the shock of her life at the end of the episode. The day she sees her parents, and in particular her mum, also promises to be quite emotional and I’ll make sure I some tissue at the ready for that instance!
Seeing more about the different ghosts’ past was quite intriguing too. This episode concentrated on the young boy and his mother which was extremely sad. Mi-Dong gave us quite the powerful quote when she said that there is no word to describe a parent who has lost a child and that much is absolutely true. Fellow parents will almost certainly understand and empathise with this statement.
Hi Bye, Mama is slowly becoming one of my favourite dramas and does remind me a little of Hotel Del Luna, as we see that each ghost has to achieve what they desire before moving on. Whether it reaches the same heights as Hotel Del Luna remains to be seen but for now, Hi Bye, Mama is a strong Korean drama and a bright spark to add to 2020’s line-up.