A Prison Without Bars
After last week’s emotional case, episode 7 of Tomorrow picks up with Jun-Woong and the gang awaiting their next case. As the lights all start blinking out, they receive error messages. There’s a problem with the system, and we soon learn that the origin stems from a computer virus. This, unfortunately, means every deceased has to be filed manually, including their name and date of birth. It turns out the afterlife mirrors that of the real world, hence the virus.
With a timeframe of 2-3 days until their technology is back up and running, our RM team are forced to head into their next case blindly, with very sparse details available. Specifically, they need to figure out who on the SP Marketing Team is suicidal.
In order to blend in and become part of the team, all three Reapers are forced to interview for them. Ryung-Gu is way too upfront and honest while Jun-Woong is berated for being foolish and arrogant. Ryeon is silent but the three win by default thanks to Ryeon quite literally slapping some sense into the boss and him groggily agreeing to take them on.
Ms Shin shows them around but it’s going to be quite the job to figure out who the crisis member is in all this. They leave it up to Ryung-Gu to break into the system and check the company intranet. Unfortunately, Ryung-Gu is forced to hide under the desk but it’s hell, especially as he almost gets caught by the boss, who just sits at the desk and nonchalantly takes his shoes off.
Anyway, Ryung-Gu does manage to gain the valuable intel and has broken their case down into four possible candidates who are suicidal. Yong-Jun, Bo-Ram, Yong-Jun and Shin Ye-Na. It’s one of these individuals and it’s something made worse by the fact the boss is constantly berating each of these workers.
Naturally, all three of the team are forced to split up, encouraged to do odd-jobs in different departments to get closer to these individuals and learn their stories. Now, it would appear that Bo-Ram is the candidate, given how people in the canteen berate her weight, but then Ms Shin is there too and we’ve seen her in the toilets too.
A hard day for the reapers passes and they reflect back on who the suicidal member could be. They narrow it down to Bo-Ram and Ye-Na. It turns out Shin Ye-Na is actually bulimic, unable to keep anything down and throwing up throughout the day. The cut on her hand appears to be a direct result of her putting her fingers down her throat to throw up.
Unfortunately the next day at work things take a turn for the worse. The boss encourages everyone to go out for a team meal. It’s compulsory too. When Ms Shin is made fun of by the boss, Jun-Woong thankfully steps in and stops the guy from talking. However, the damage is done.
The computer virus for the afterlife is fixed just in time, as Jun-Woong and the others confirm on their phones that it’s definitely Shin Ye-Na who is the suicidal one. She left earlier on after the dinner though and she’s back at her apartment, turning on gas canisters and about to poison herself from carbon monoxide.
Ye-Na admits that back in school she used to be overweight and bullied badly. The others used to call her Cholera and constantly harked pig references to her. Back then she tried to commit suicide (wait, wouldn’t the Reapers have intervened? More on that later…) but instead she became bulimic and started starving herself.
Ye-Na has eaten just enough not to die but every time she felt full, she’s throw up. The face she continues to see see in the mirror was that from her childhood. Ye-Na feels like she’s in a prison she can’t escape from, and it’s a fate that’s only been exacerbated by going through hell all this time.
Ryeon and Ryung-Gu decide to trust Jun-Woong with this case and leave him to try and help her in any way he seems fit. He admits that his sister actually went through an eating disorder too. Jun-Woong encourages her to go to her prison; the metaphorical place she’s kept her older self locked away for so long – and to embrace her true self. Jun-Woong urges her not to be someone she’s not. It seems to work as Ms Shin sees the error of her ways.
Meanwhile up on the roof, the boss speaks to Ryeon and tells her she should wear a pencil skirt to work. She’s not happy and beats him down. Ryeon also puts a curse on him too, admitting that every time he makes fun of someone, he won’t be able to stop going to the toilet. So much for not interfering with human affairs, eh? Ryeon also promises that the rest of his punishment will come after death. And with that, she walks away.
Funnily enough, Ms Shin actually finds comfort in talking to Bo-Ram who admits she loves herself and she’s actually not bothered about being overweight. She hands over a fork to Ye-Na, encouraging the woman to actually taste the food and properly eat this time.
Back in the afterlife offices, chaos ensues as there are more files that need to be signed by the King of Heaven. The reaper team delivers them first hand as she bemoans her luck.
The Episode Review
Episode 7 jumps into slapstick humour and I’m not sure how I feel about that. The show is so wildly inconsistent with its tone that it makes it hard to know who it’s trying to attract.
After the beautiful episode 6, this case is riddled with problems. The most notable comes from Shin Ye-Na and her eating disorder. When talking about the past, she mentions how she tried to commit suicide as a kid. She only failed to do so because the chair tipped over. But hold on, where were the reapers in all of this? Why didn’t they intervene?
If they’re supposed to be stopping suicides, why is it only now that they’re pinging up with news of Ye-Na? Surely she would have been far more suicidal back when she actually tried to hang herself? Why leave her to that fate? It’s something that’s irked me throughout the whole episode and it’s a great example of how sloppy some of the writing is here.
Not only that but someone with an eating disorder like that, having suffered for so many years, should probably be seeing a therapist or gaining help. Eating a cake isn’t going to do anything for her, although I appreciate the emphasis on having a slightly overweight woman there reassuring her. However, when it comes to mental health and handling these cases delicately, this one hits about as subtly as a sledgehammer to the jaw.
The characters themselves are okay, but the show is so hit or miss that it makes it difficult to really recommend it as a must-watch every week. Still, the cases themselves are diverse and interesting, so for that alone it’s worth sticking around to see if this one has any gems like last week’s poignant chapter.