One Day Off – K-drama Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Back to Gyeongju

This episode begins with a teenage Ha-kyung eating a mouthful of her mother’s homemade kimbap before she goes on a school trip.

Who is Jin Sol?

In Gyeongju, Ha-kyung sits on a bench, bored, while her best-friend Jin-sol points out the positive things about traveling and the place they are in. Ha-kyung remains negative all the while. Jin-sol tries to get Ha-kyung to take a picture with the group, but Ha-kyung refuses.

In the present, Ha-kyung visits Gyeongju and recalls how Jin-sol is now dead, and remembers another trip. This time, she and Jin-sol visit Gyeongju in their 20s. They sit on the same bench and chat about how time passes. Jin-sol says that she is craving the kimbap that Ha-kyung’s mom made for their school trip so long ago and asks Ha-kyung to make her some. Ha-kyung says that she won’t.

Will Ha-kyung ruin their trip?

Later, Ha-kyung snaps some photos of Jin-sol in front of Cheomseongdae (an ancient observatory), and Jin-sol makes Ha-kyung take some photos with her, but Ha-kyung quickly puts an end to it.

In the present, Ha-kyung walks on a stretch of road and remembers walking with Jin-sol there on their last trip. Jin-sol calls Ha-kyung to hurry to the next tourist spot, the Emile Jong Bell. Jin-sol wants to hear it ring. But Ha-kyung gets annoyed with her and turns back, leaving Jin-sol in the dust.

Will Ha-kyung see Jin-sol again?

In the present, Ha-kyung visits the bell. The tour guide says that they stopped ringing the bell in 2003 to preserve it. Ha-kyung sits on the same bench that sat on with Jin-sol on both of her prior trips. She takes out a box of kimbap, and a ghost Jin-sol comes by and eats some. Ha-kyung tells her that she made it for her.

The two walk (or rather, Ha-kyung walks and Jin-sol skips) and listen to music together. Ha-kyung ponders, “Where do people go when they die in Seoul?”

Later, Jin-sol says that Ha-kyung has changed a lot. The two talk about normal things, and then Jin-sol asks how Ha-kyung felt when she died. Ha-kyung tells her that she cried a lot, but then she laughed, remembering their first trip as novice drivers. The two had gotten lost and become stranded. Ha-kyung had started to cry, but Jin-sol tried to stay positive. When they heard weird shrieking sounds, Jin-sol started to cry too, leaving them both in tears.

How does One Day Off end?

After chuckling over that memory, they talk about how life comes in stages, and Ha-kyung says that life has become more interesting now that she has gotten older. She thinks about how she wanted to see “Grandma Jin-sol.” Ha-kyung tells Jin-sol that she’ll see her again and goes back to the bench to eat some kimbap before she leaves.

Ha-kyung wanders through a crowded market and finds herself caught in a student group photo, but instead of walking away, she stands and smiles. She concludes that if you can walk, eat, and let your mind wander, then you’ll be fine anywhere.

The Episode Review

This episode is a very fitting ending to this series and a great follow-up to the previous episode. The story of their friendship, though a bit sparse on some of the details, is told beautifully. It is also reassuring to know that Ha-kyung had a friend like Jin-sol.

When Ha-kyung wonders, “Where do people go when they die in Seoul?” it seems to be a hint that Jin-sol died in Gyeongju. Could it be that Jin-sol died after Ha-kyung left her in Gyeongju that day when they were in their 20s? If that is the case, there is no indication of guilt on Ha-kyung’s part. Regardless of where and when Jin-sol died, and given Ha-kyung’s adult character, she likely would have still felt bad for her actions that day. She still would have remembered Jin-sol and brought her Kimbap which she said she would not make for her.

What are your thoughts on this ending? Let us know in the comments.

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