See You in My 19th Life – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Agony Of Parting With The One You Love

See You in My 19th Life episode 3 picks up where we left off with Seo-ha visiting Ju-won’s grave and Ji-Eum unknowingly tagging along. After the visit, Ji-Eum asks Seo-ha to stand under a few cherry blossoms and watch as the petals fall. She asks him to think of it as a happy memory when things get tough.

Once again, Seo-ha is moved yet perplexed by her kindness towards him. He calls her strange and she admits to it. She remarks that it will be a strange charm that will make him fall for her but Seo-ha argues that will never happen. She continues to flirt with him even when he tries to get to know her likes and dislikes. Seo-ha tells her she is not his style but Ji-Eum is not going to give up.

On their way back, they nearly get into an accident with a lorry which triggers Seo-ha’s trauma. He has a panic attack and quickly gets out of the car. Ji-Eum rushes to him and helps him through the  attack. All Seo-ha can think about is Ju-won’s lifeless body on top of him.

Later, Cho-Won and her family hold a rite to honour Ju-won. Ji-Eum narrates how she is beginning to understand how her death has affected those close to her. She has died 18 times and this is simply a passage to the next life. She only thought about her pain but that has changed in her 19th life.

As she sits with Ae-Gyeong, she starts to reminisce about her 17th life when she was Ae-Gyeong’s beloved uncle. They had some great moments singing and dancing together. Even though he was sick, a young Ae-Gyeong took care of him and brightened his last days. He was all Ae-Gyeong had so he promised her that he will be born again and come back to protect her.

As she thinks about it, Ji-Eum becomes curious about how Ae-Gyeong was able to live on. Ae-Gyeong explains that she had no choice, life goes on! Ji-Eum thanks her for soldiering on and Ae-Gyeong thanks her for coming back. They hug, smile and cry it out. Ae-Gyeong reminds Ji-Eum that it is actually Seo-ha’s birthday and she runs in the rain to get a cab and see Seo-ha.

Meanwhile, Seo-ha is at home reminiscing about Ju-won as he plays the piano. He is playing a song Ju-won taught him about a man yearning for a loved one. Ju-won had asked him to play it when he misses someone to feel better. Throughout the years, Seo-ha has always linked his birthdays to the day Ju-won died.

Finally, Ji-Eum makes her way to Seo-ha’s house and confesses her undying love for him. It was part of their past; she had promised him as Ju-won to give him an answer to his proposal on his birthday. Unfortunately, her life was cut short before she could say yes. Now, she is living her new life in YOLO gear and confessing every chance she gets.

However, she is late because Seo-ha has another guest who happens to be Cho-won. He sends Ji-Eum off without so much as an acknowledgement of her confession. This really throws Ji-Eum off.

Seo-ha heads back in and asks Cho-won to leave too. Cho-won gets upset, knowing that Seo-ha is going through it and is trying to be there for him but he keeps pushing her away. Nonetheless, she leaves and runs into Ji-Eum outside.

Cho-won asks what brought her to Seo-ha’s house but the latter doesn’t answer. Cho-won gives her the birthday cake she made for Seo-ha and is surprised when Ji-Eum asks if she also likes Seo-ha. Cho-won doesn’t directly answer but asks if Ji-Eum is willing to give up on Seo-ha for her.

Ji-Eum heads home and shares her frustration with Ae-Gyeong. She is worried that she will have to compete with Cho-won (technically her sister) for Seo-ha’s love. She laments that this is a complication that comes with reincarnating too soon. Ae-Gyeong asks what changed this time and Ji-Eum theorizes that perhaps it means she was murdered in her 18th life.

The scene cuts to Ban Hak-Soo making his way home to see his son Ban Dong-U. Hak-soo is drunk and talking gibberish, asking about Ji-Eum. Dong-U is frustrated with him and angrily walks away.

The next morning, Do-yun watches Cho-won from a distance as she takes care of her gardens. He heads out to pick up Seo-ha who can’t stop thinking about Ji-Eum once he sees cherry blossom petals. He later runs into her as they head to the office and remembers her confession. He asks if she got home safely and denies that he was thinking about her. She apologizes for being too forward and continues to tease him.

As the day progresses, Do-yun calls Cho-won, whom he thinks is Emily, to discuss the landscaping contract. They agree to meet the next day and Cho-won is excited to see she has a shot at getting the contract. He also informs Seo-ha about the meeting and Ms Jang’s move to reject the hotel renovation budget. Seo-ha is not too worried about it because he has a plan to negotiate and get what he needs.

He meets with his uncle, Lee Sang-Hyuk and expresses his concerns about the hotel. His uncle sets up a meeting with a few investors. Unfortunately, Do-yun is spotted by an old classmate he has beef with and they get into it. Seo-ha steps in and puts the rich brat in his place but Do-yun stops him from punching the rude jerk. Do-yun acts like he is angry at Seo-ha for stepping in but he lets it go once Seo-ha apologizes.

The next morning, Cho-won prepares some flowers at the hotel and Seo-ha is surprised that someone changed them before he did. He asks Ji-Eum about it but she says she didn’t do it and asks why it is important. Seo-ha explains that someone he loved used to love the gladiolus and Ji-Eum is shocked to hear he loved someone else. Cho-won interrupts their talk and explains that she is Emily from landscaping.

Seo-ha calls Do-yun aside and scolds him for missing the fact that Cho-won applied under an alias. Cho-won overhears everything and leaves in a rush. Ji-Eum sees her crying and feels sad for her. Cho-won was hoping to help Seo-ha and Do-yun to revive the hotel and is disappointed. Ji-Eum feels for her and invites her to dinner. She has been yearning to connect with her little sister.

They have a nice dinner and even talk about Seo-ha. Cho-won explains that she fell in love with Do-yun at first sight. She continues to state some of Do-yun’s habits she likes and the things she has noticed about him. Ji-Eum is happy that Cho-won is in love with Do-yun and not Seo-ha. Cho-won brings up Ju-won and warns Ji-Eum that Seo-ha is not over Ju-won. As Cho-won talks about Ju-won, Ji-Eum realizes that her little sister has been suffering her loss secretly.

Seo-ha washes the dishes at his home while thinking about his argument with Cho-won about his birthday. He calls Do-yun who tells him he should stop worrying about Cho-won. Do-yun has other things to take care of such as the rite for his late father who died in the fatal accident that led to Ju-won’s demise. (He was the driver)

Through a flashback, we learn that Do-yun and Seo-ha started getting close when they were in high school. One day, out of the blue, Seo-ha approached Do-yun and asked him for a favour. The favor was to give Cho-won an umbrella and that was when they fell for each other.

After dinner, Ji-Eum makes sure Cho-won gets home safely. Seo-ha is on his way to apologize to Cho-won but he changes his mind. Ji-Eum drops Cho-won home and watches from a distance. She is flustered after seeing Cho Yu-Seon (her mom) and starts imagining what it would be like if she confessed and embraced her.

Seo-ha decides to come back and finds Ji-Eum crying as she hugs herself, calling out for her mom. Upon seeing Seo-ha, she calls him out in a tone only Ju-won used. Seo-ha is so flustered, he refers to her as noona, a term he used for Ju-won.

The Episode Review

I am relieved that Cho-won likes Do-yun and we are not going to go through a love triangle in this show. It was also bittersweet to see Cho-won and Ji-Eum get close. It’s sad yet beautiful that Ju-won is there for her small sister even though she doesn’t know it. However, my heart broke during that scene where Ji-Eum was calling out for her mom. A mother’s love is everything, she is so close to her yet so far away.

As for Seo-ha, he is going through a lot but at least he has Do-yun. I wish Ji-Eum could simply tell him the truth but where is the fun in that? With that said, their interactions do feel a bit awkward; Ji-Eum is coming in too hard. Hopefully, she will dial it back a notch but either way, everything here is left wide open for tomorrow’s follow-up!

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Expect a full-season review when this season concludes!


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