The Red Beans
Episode 5 of Hi Bye, Mama continues to tug on your heartstrings as we see a struggling Yu-Ri doing her best to help her daughter have a better life. Unfortunately, she slips a few times this episode by almost revealing herself to everyone. Each chapter also gives us more information on the past for our characters, which gives us some good characterisation while the story continues to advance at a decent speed.
We start the episode with another flashback of Gang-Hwa, this time almost falling asleep in the subway. This is where he meets Min-Jong as she chases after him when she realises he forgot his bag. She instantly takes a liking to him but quickly, and sadly, realises that he already has a girlfriend. As we jump forward a little to the birth of Seo-Woo, we see that Min-Jong was one of the nurses in the hospital.
In the present, we return to where we left off with Hyeong-Jeong getting the shock of her life when she sees her best friend right in front of her, alive and kicking. She takes her back to her husband’s restaurant who has also just discovered her return. Both women start sobbing in each other’s arms while Gang-Hwa receives a text from Geun-Sang about Yu-Ri being alive. He heads over there and they start talking about her resurrection. They ask about her mother too but Yu-Ri is not sure she could handle this with her weak heart and wants to wait 49 days.
On their way back to the hotel, Gang-Hwa tells Yu-Ri that he is grateful she came back as we see a flashback from the night before where he kept asking the reception to check on Yu-Ri. She later decides to walk by her parents’ house but doesn’t go inside.
The next morning, Min-Jong asks her husband where the picture of Yu-Ri is. He doesn’t really know what to say so she just brushes it off before taking Seo-Woo to kindergarten, where we see Yu-Ri hard at work to get rid of all the ghosts who have been lingering there. However, this causes the rest of the staff to become a little suspicious of her.
After buying more red beans, she decides to go inside an arcade and play a claw machine to get a pink doll for Seo-Woo. As she is unable to succeed, she seeks the help of a young guy who is constantly winning. Suddenly the trio of family ghosts enter the place as it turns out that the young man is their son, Pil-Seung. They ask her for one favour – to cook a meal for him. She tries to offer to cook for him but he refuses. Fed up with the ghosts being so demanding, she decides to storm out with the doll but hits her head on the door in the process.
After leaving Pil-Seung, the ghost family threatens to hang around Seo-Woo if Yu-Ri doesn’t help them. This causes her to use Mi-Dong’s shaman stick, which in turn brings her back to the charnel house. She talks to the ghosts about Yu-Ri’s situation, which causes some uproar and questions.
Meanwhile, Min-Dong takes Seo-Woo to a specialist who tells her she needs to talk to her more to develop her speaking skills as she is not talking enough for her age. At the same time, Yu-Ri and Hyeong-Jeong have dinner at a convenience store. They discuss Min-Jong, who Yu-Ri thinks is a good person. Suddenly, the latter arrives to buy some alcohol which causes Yu-Ri to hide. Min-Jong decides to sit with Hyeon-Jeong and asks her if she thinks Seo-Woo is really that odd.
The next day, Gang-Hwa tries to pretend Seo-Woo has a stomachache to stop her going to school as it is parents day, but it doesn’t work. All the parents arrive at the school including Geun-Sang who comes with a matching outfit to his son. Yu-Ri tries hiding in the kitchen but later cause a commotion with red beans when one of the mothers gets annoyed at Seo-Woo when her daughter is bitten by another child. This causes Min-Jong to look at her suspiciously.
In the evening, Yu-Ri laments Hyeong-Jeong about the way she acted, while we see Min-Jong looking at a picture of Yu-Ri and Gang-Hwa together. She decides to head to the restaurant and comes face to face with the two friends, before we see a flashback to 2015 when Min-Jong first came to work in the hospital. She was sent to tend to an emergency, which turned out to be Yu-Ri and her baby. As Min-Jong holds Seo-Woo, we see Yu-Ri’s ghost walking towards her daughter, crying as she realises she is not able to hold her baby as the episode ends.
The latest episode finally shows us how Min-Jong met Gang-Hwa and her connection to Seo-Woo. She was the first one to properly hold the baby which was quite touching to see and we are left to wonder just what she is going to decide when it comes to the divorce. We can assume that she has realised that her husband doesn’t love her enough and she’s torn about whether she should stay for Seo-Woo’ sake.
While Min-Jong deals with her dilemma, Yu-Ri had quite the emotional day too at the nursery. Unable to control herself around her daughter, she intervened a few times which was quite sa,d especially when she realises that she didn’t know her daughter was allergic to strawberries. While she has for now decided against revealing herself, I am sure their reunion will eventually happen, which will be another tear-jerking moment.
So far Hi Bye, Mama has been quite enjoyable and emotional, with some very good performances from the actors too. While for now it may not be as not as strong a drama as Hotel Del Luna or Crash Landing on You, it is still worth a watch nonetheless, thanks to its intriguing and touching premise.