Episode 5 of Tomorrow begins with a look at Na-Young and Woo-Jin through the years. A slick opening sequence sees the pair grow closer together. Eventually Na-Young presents a set of relationship rings and asks if she can “be the one to make the flowers on his tree bloom.” It’s a big commitment, and she promises not to waver. As the pair hug it out, they begin their happy romance.
Time passes and Woo-Jin remains determined to make it in music. Unfortunately, a driver of a white truck (because of course it is!) falls asleep at the wheel and hits their car. This is the root cause of Woo-Jin’s guilt, believing he’s the one who killed his lover.
Woo-Jin’s guilt also stems from his childhood too, with his birthday mired in misery. Not only did his mother die during childbirth, but his father resents him for it. Before long he too commits suicide, leaving Woo-Jin to go and stay with his uncle and aunt. The family is far more loving and attend to his needs but that too has its own problems.
Unfortunately a car accident takes the life of his aunt and uncle, leaving him alone with no one else in the world. Woo-Jin blames himself, drinking himself into a drunken stupor and contemplating using a Stanley knife on his wrists. A song on he radio saves him though, with the lyrics hitting close to home.
Giving him something to hold onto, Woo-Jin starts guitar lessons, using music as a way of channelling his emotions. With his hand now wounded, his last hope appears to be gone.
Woo-Jun teeters on the edge of suicide, Ryeon returns to the team (including ghost Na-Young) with the latter promising that she can save him. However, outside Mr Lim and his goons stand ready to take the runaway in custody. Ryung-Gu is there though and through some stylish comic book cutaways, manages to thwart all the reapers and allow the others to slip away.
It’s here we learn a little more about Woo-Jin, including how Na-Young’s parents didn’t approve of their daughter’s choice in man. They see it as an embarrassment, given there’s no money in what he’s doing. Because of this, Woo-Jin pushes Na-Young away and even breaks up with her too.
However, Na-Young can’t live without him. Despite his attempts to push her away, he realizes how much Na-Young truly does care for him and embraces these feelings instead.
The hunt for Na-Young is on, and with Ryeon and Jun-Woong hurrying away with the ghost, Joong-Gil is hot on their heels. Thankfully Ryung-Gu shows up and manages to stop him, buying Na-Young some time.
Just prior to this though, Joong-Gil mentions how he saved Ryeon from back in the Joseon period. This confirms that the opening glimmers of the episode flashback we saw is actually from Ryung-Gu’s past. Could the woman with red eyeshade be Ryeon? Yes, is the answer to that, as we find out later on in the episode.
Anyway, Ryeon quickly enacts the Reapers Guarantee of Responsibility, which happens to be a contract that both she and Joong-Gil sign. This essentially buys them some time but it’s outside the realm of responsibility for the company. All of this rests on the RM team finding Woo-Jin and stopping him before he commits suicide.
That’s easier said than done though when this poor guy has had an absolutely torrid time. Every part of his life, every step (echoing those he’s taking up to the rooftop here) have been mired in misery and bitter regret at what’s befallen his life. So why has this car accident pushed him over the edge? Well, it turns out Na-Young actually turned the wheel of the car, sacrificing herself to save Woo-Jin. As a result, her father blamed him at the funeral and even struck him across the face as a result.
Woo-Jin jumps off the balcony, prompting Ryeon to get involved and stop him. As she holds on, Na-Young inexplicably manages to stop Woo-Jin and pull him into a surreal space where they can both be together again. This meeting is just what Woo-Jin needed, as he re-examines his life again and doubles down on the music. He cleans up his apartment and sings for Na-Young, especially knowing that he’s not to fault for what happened.
However, the important thing here is that the case has been resolved and all wrapped up. Joong-Gil isn’t happy with how this was obstructed originally though, calling out the RM team.
Ryeon is still haunted by the ghosts of her own past too, given how painful her past times back in the Joseon period were. However, even now she hates to see people in pain and torn up, which she tells Jun-Woong in the office later on.
During the epilogue, Woo-Jin heads out and sings a big old song as a beautiful montage for Na-Young sees her show up, as a ghost, and revel in his singing.
The Episode Review
Shows like Tomorrow give me a headache. I love the aesthetic, the ideas and the general set-up but the execution is so shaky. We’ve established that these reapers aren’t allowed to get involved in human affairs but then that’s a bit difficult when the RM team are quite literally putting their own bodies and powers on the line to prevent people from committing suicide.
The introduction of time travel as a deus ex machina device last episode opens a whole can of worms too. Why can some cases be solved by jumping back through time but not others? couldn’t the Woo-Jin case be solved by, oh I dunno, going back and stopping the car crash like Jun-Woong’s best friend in episode 3/4? After all, this is the catalyst for his misery, just like Jun-Woong’s best friend who lost his father. Why do they get different treatment?
These sort of questions are immersion breaking, and they destroy the world built up that’s actually quite interesting. I just can’t get invested in this knowing the team could royally mess up a case and just reverse time and solve everything. But then that in itself raises its own set of problems doesn’t it? What happens if the timeline is changed? What happens if they accidentally raise the suicide rate for someone else by stopping someone from dying? What happens if they run into their own past selves by repeating a timeline again?
Maybe I’m just thinking too critically here but given the crazy ideas Tomorrow is pedaling, these really need to be established for the world to work because right now, the execution of this show leaves a lot to be desired.