Episode 13 of Tomorrow starts with Joong-Gil learning that his file is locked to anyone other than the Director. It turns out Ryeon also has the same locks against her memories, confirming tat they are entwined together and whatever happened, they need to be kept separate.
Just then, a new recruit shows up to work, Jeon Bo-Yun. She admits she admires Joong-Gil more than anyone else and hurries off for her new task. So too does Ryeon, who learns that she’s going to be working alongside the Escort team.
Their case this time around is a woman named Bok-Hui, a 91 year old who doesn’t seem to have any initial reason why she’d be suicidal. In order to get her level down, they believe the key may lie with a woman called Lee Jeong-Mun.
When the Reapers appear, they learn that Bok-Hui’s issues stem from a woman called Yun-I whom she feels guilty about. She died in the past and it soon becomes clear what happened.
Before we get there, Jun-Woong and Bo-Yun stay behind to clean the graffiti off the statue. As they do, Bo-Yun speaks fondly of Joong-Gil, and when she first met him.
It was way back during the Japanese Colonial period and since he helped out back then, warding off a couple of soldiers and helping to transport her soul. She’s been admiring him ever since.
Bok-Hui is brought to the hospital where she ends up having a teary meeting with Jeong-Mun.
As she tells her story, Bok-Hui admits that Yun-I was a friend who was like a sister to her. They were a year apart and grew up with very different familial fortunes.
Yun-I’s father became ill and couldn’t work anymore. Bok-Hui noticed an ad in the newspaper for a factory job in Japan, believing that would be a great opportunity for her friend. They even provided accommodation too.
Bok-Hui convinced Yun-I to go, hugging and saying goodbye as she left for Japan… just as war plagued both countries.
Since then, Bok-Hui has been blaming herself for what happened. She was in denial for the longest time until she found out about her being put in a camp, suffering brutal punishment and the route cause being because of Bok-Hui. At least, that’s her perception anyway. Yeong-Mun has a different story.
Jeong-Mun speaks fondly of Yun-I, including how she was the one person back then who had a smile on her face and managed to instil hope in others.
That hope though was almost in danger of being extinguished when the girls were forced to serve as prostitutes. This only makes the story that much more harrowing, especially as Jeong-Mun has “Joseon wh*re” inked up her arm.
Jeong-Mun almost commit suicide back then too, until Yun-I managed to stop her. She run her hand through the girl’s hair, urging her to have hope. Given Yun-I was struggling to even look after herself, Yeong-Mun was uncomfortable by this gesture.
Later on, Yun-I even had her arm broken but remained positive and upbeat about Bok-Hui. Thanks to her, Yeong-Mun managed to find some of that positivity. The pair found comfort in one another, believing that a brighter tomorrow is coming.
With everything becoming precarious, the girls all decide to flee the camp, Given Yun-I is the only one who can speak Japanese, she decides to buy the rest of them time, claiming she got lost out in the woods.
Yeong-Mun watches helplessly as Yun-I heads off to greet the guards. She was beaten badly, but that beating was enough for the others to get away.
When Yeong-Mun returned home, she found the place abandoned. In her absence, her parents had fallen ill and died.
Yeong-Mun ended up with contempt from her fellow villagers, eventually going on to live isolated. That is, until news broke online and people joined protests to force the Japanese to apologize.
That explains the statue, its importance and why Jeong-Mun has been maintaining it all this time. As long as she’s alive, Yeong-Mun remains dead-set on forcing the Japanese to apologize – which they still haven’t done.
With Bok-Hui in tears and struggling to hold it together, Yeong-Mun admits that if Yun-I was really here, she’d be proud and give her a warm hug- she wouldn’t feel resentment toward Bok-Hui.
As this heart-breaking story ends, Bo-Yun reveals herself to actually be Yun-I. Back then, she was among those souls escorted by Joong-Gil. She remained loyal to Bok-Hui all this time and dead-set on becoming a Reaper just so she could see her old friends again.
It’s an incredibly emotional encounter, and together, they decide to head in and see Yeong-Mun.
Whilst there, Jun-Woong is encouraged to join them in the room. It turns out his previous incarnation was actually one of the rebels that helped Yun-I and the other women.
As Jun-Woong lets the tears fall, Yun-i steps up and helps Yeong-Mun pass, allowing her to be escorted across to the warm embrace of spring.
Bok-hu’s suicide level decreases completely, having finally overcome the burden of the past. Jun-Woong heads back to the statue, dropping to his knees and leaving a sunflower there. He promises never to forget their sacrifice, as the episode comes to a close.
During the epilogue, the King of Heaven meets Jeong-Mun and thanks her for everything she’s don in her life. She also organizes for Jeong-Mun to see all her friends again and visit their hometown together, just as it was before the horrors of the Japanese.
The Episode Review
Another beautiful episode of Tomorrow shows where this story is at its strongest – and that’s in the individual, emotionally charged cases.
This is easily one of the best episodes of the whole season and having read a fair amount about the Japanese occupation, along with the horrors of those in North Korea, this episode does a really good job showing the harrowing ordeal these women had to endure.
Tomorrow has been a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to its lore and general ideas (why did this show introduce time travel only to never bother using it again?) but as an emotionally charged drama, this one definitely hits all the right notes at the right time.
It’s not perfect, but this is another very good episode and an emotionally charged one at that. Let’s hope tomorrow’s episode is just as good!