Episode 6 of Thirty Nine begins in the past with Mi-Jo admitting she’s cheated on her test. She’s always been determined to tell the truth.
We then cut back to the present, with Seon-u’s overbearing father who has arrived to have dinner with Seon-u. However, he wants So-Won and Mi-Jo to attend as well. Unfortunately it makes So-Won uncomfortable, as she keeps her head down at dinner.
Her father constantly calls her out for making everyone uncomfortable. However, when the conversation tuns to orphans, Mi-Jo speaks up given she knows a thing or two about this. She reveals she used to grow up at an orphanage. Only, this sees her father throw shade at So-Won again, claiming that it’s his failings for not raising her in a good environment. So-Won eventually leaves the dinner table, prompting Mi-Jo to follow. Seon-U isn’t exactly happy, expecially when his dad tells him he needs to go and see a shaman.
With him gone, the group meet up again and decide to go for round 2. After getting drunk, Mi-Jo leaves the pair and heads to the park. Only, Chan-Young happens to show up and notices her friend smells of alcohol. Chan-Young jokes that it’s good she’s making friends, given she’s going to be lonely when she’s gone. This is enough to set Mi-Jo off, as she starts crying uncontrollably. Of course, seeing her friend like this causes Chan-Young to start crying too.
Meanwhile, Joo-Hee broaches the subject of Mi-Jo’s birth parents to her mum. She seems a bit uncomfortable and claims she doesn’t know anything. However, her body language seems to betray her. Is she really hiding something?
Off the back of Mi-Jo’s chat, So-Won heads back to the orphanage she grew up in. Everything looks the same as it was before and she apparently used to laugh all the time. Of course, So-Won isn’t like that now, given what’s happened with her father, and she smiles sadly.
Back at work, Seon-u checks up on M-jo. She thanks him and likens the guy to a rest stop. It’s funny as this analogy could be construed as someone she just uses and then moves on from but I’m sure that’s not what we’re going for here! Anyway, the pair sit together, with Seon-u intending to be by her side through her times of need, as they both colour and draw together.
At the restaurant, Hyeon-Jun is presented a pretty tasty offer. The head manager wants him to show up but Hyeon-Jun refuses, not wanting to see Chief Jeong and happy with his own establishment.
That night, Joo-hee shows up for her usual meet. Joo-Hee vents about her obnoxious customers earlier in the episode, regretting her life choices and even finding it’s starting to hit personally when customers bad mouth the products.
Hyeon-Jun can relate though, talking about how he took a leap of faith and left his job at the hotel. “You’re awesome.” Joo-Hee says, as she admires his courage. Joo-Hee is worried that she’s getting too old but Hyeon-Ju teases her claiming she’s only in her early 30’s and there’s still plenty of time yet. After their meeting, she heads over to see Chan-Young and Mi-Jo, where the trio trade some playful banter with one another.
In the morning, Chan-Young urges Mi-Jo to actually spend some time with Seon-u and do something he wants for a change. Given they’ve been out eating together and even colouring, they haven’t done anything special just them two. Well, that’s good because Seon-u just so happens to ring there and then. What a coincidence! Anyway, he invites her along to go camping and she accepts.
Joo-Hee meanwhile, has enough of customers and gives up her name badge and moves boldly forward to a new chapter of her life. To be fair, the customer she had that pushed her over the edge was absolutely awful so I’m not surprised really!
In their absence, Jin-Seok heads over to Chan-Young’s place but her mum shows up and questions what he’s doing and whether he’s Chan-Young’s boyfriend. It’s pretty awkward and eventually she decides to cook them some food. Naturally, everyone else heads over to join in as well.
Unfortunately, Sun-Joo work out where Chan-Young is living and prepares to bust in and make a massive scene. Mi-Jo realizes what this could mean and grabs the woman before she can do that, taking her outside and pleading with her not to do this.
Mi-Jo wants Chan-Young to have a happy afternoon, including tasting her mother’s cooking. Mi-Jo drops to her knees and pleads, which is enough for her to scoff and leave. When Sun-Joo eventually walks away, Seon-u arrives like a knight in shining armour to help.
The Episode Review
Today’s theme is all about conviction, and that comes from Mi-Jo’s conviction of standing by her friend’s side no matter what. That works really well in the context of the episode and here we actually see less of the poignancy and reflective, depressing drama and a much greater emphasis on trying to make the most of one’s time.
Joo-Hee and Hyeon-Jun’s story is still the best part of this whole show though, and their moments really do resonate, allowing two characters of different ages to bond and find solace with one another.
Beyond that, there’s really not a lot of substance to this one. A lot of the show rests on Chan-Young’s terminal diagnosis and everyone coming to terms with that but merging this in with a light slice of life drama doesn’t work as well as it should.
However, the halfway point hints that things are about to step it up a gear and I’m sure we’ll get a time jump at some point for after the funeral too. Until then, it looks like we’ve got more drama between the characters to tide us over.