Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thanks for joining in on this group watch of this very special show! ❤️
ZERO SPOILER POLICY
We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.
This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.
The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD.
We need to protect the innocent! 😉
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
E1. Show is really efficient, I have to say. Even before this first episode’s 45 minutes are up, my heart’s in my throat and I’m invested. That’s impressive.
First of all, even though I knew that this show deals with death, I still wasn’t prepared for our opening scene, where we see this episode’s client Kim Seon U getting into that industrial accident.
That was excruciating to watch, because it’s literally disaster in slow motion, with him desperately trying to stop the machine from crushing his foot, and failing, and then just having to wait for contact to be made, as the machine slowly but surely closes in on his foot that’s helplessly stuck.
ACK. I literally almost dropped out of the drama, right then and there, even before the opening title cards showed up.
HOWEVER. I’m really glad that I persevered. I just kept telling myself that this wouldn’t be the point of the show, and it’s necessary set-up, and that once it was over, that would be it.
Because I hadn’t actually read Show’s synopsis before starting on my watch, I hadn’t realized that our key character Geu Ru, is on the autism spectrum.
I’d first noticed Tang Joon Sang as one of Hyun Bin’s puppies in Crash Landing On You, so this is a very different role for him.
I’m impressed with how he inhabits Geu Ru, in that I really do believe that Geu Ru is autistic, and therefore different in the way that he processes the world around him.
Show also does a nice job of showing us things from Geu Ru’s perspective.
I thought that introductory shot, of manta rays flying across the sky, then morphing into them swimming in water, was very poetic and interesting. This scene is also a very efficient introduction to Geu Ru’s amazing memory and eye for detail.
Immediately, I like his friendship with Na Mu, because she clearly accepts him just as he is, and likes him for no other reason than that he’s himself.
I think it’s great that Geu Ru has a friend who loves and accepts him unconditionally, and enjoys spending time with him.
Hong Seung Hee is so different here, than in Navillera, where I just watched her as a much more introverted character. It’s nice to see that the bubbly suits her well too.
I’d had no idea that Ji Jin Hee was in this, and I really do enjoy Ji Jin Hee a great deal, so I was really happy to see him on my screen. I just.. didn’t know ahead of time, that Show was going to kill off his character so soon.
Sob. I wish that didn’t have to be the case, because Dad, whom he plays, is such a great guy.
I love Dad for having such a gentle, patient spirit, as he bears the burden of taking care of Geu Ru as a single parent, while running his Move To Heaven company.
Beyond that, I love how sincerely respectful he is, to the deceased clients, whose things he’s tasked to clear out.
I am moved by the detail, that Dad not only takes the time to greet the deceased upon entering the room, but also teaches Geu Ru the art of understanding the person behind the belongings.
That makes the deceased person come together as a personality, instead of just being represented by a random collection of things that need to be cleared away and disposed of.
This first story is heartbreaking, in that it feels like such a needless death. Kim Seon U could have gone to an ER to get help, instead of going home to bed because all the clinics were closed.
Ack. It was hard to see him curled up in pain on that bed, knowing that his foot had just been crushed in an industrial accident.
Of course sepsis would set in, since it’s left untreated. And of course, that would lead to his death.
It’s awful that Kim Seon U’s company seems to be so shady, that they wouldn’t give him sick leave when he’d told them that he’d hurt himself, and worse, that they’d refuse to acknowledge that this was an industrial accident, when it clearly was.
His foot would’ve never been crushed, if he hadn’t been called back in to work. What is wrong with these people?!? Grrr.
I’m glad that Dad speaks up for Kim Seon U at the funeral wake, but I hope that Show comes back to give Kim Seon U some justice, because, even though Seon U’s mom says that she won’t take a cent for her son’s life, it does mean that the shady company gets away with shirking responsibility for his death, and that just doesn’t feel right, y’know?
I was afraid that the shady company people would come after Dad for interfering, but in the end, Dad dies of a heart attack.
Sobs. That’s so awful; I don’t want to lose Dad as a character, he’s so warm and wonderful. And it’s so heartbreaking, that with his last shred of lucidity, Dad calls Geu Ru, to apologize. 😭
I’m glad that Dad had managed to give Geu Ru one last hug, despite Geu Ru’s general aversion to hugs, before leaving him at that fish tank, because that turned out to be the last time Geu Ru saw Dad alive.
I’m definitely concerned for Geu Ru’s future, because Dad had been his sole guardian and caregiver, and from what we’ve seen, Geu Ru’s absolutely not equipped to live on his own.
Was that why Dad had gone to seek out that lawyer? Did Dad know that his heart was on the verge of giving out, and therefore bequeath his house and company to Lee Je Hoon’s character – listed as Cho Sang Gu – who shows up at the end of our episode?
If Sang Gu is going to be Geu Ru’s new guardian, I anticipate quite a few, er, teething issues, because where Dad had been warm, kind and welcoming, the vibe I get from Sang Gu, just from first impressions, is much more worldly and sardonic.
I’m feeling a little nervous for Geu Ru, who’s almost certainly going to have adjustment issues, but I’m curious to see how this goes.
E2. I honestly wasn’t super sure how things would unfold after where we’d left off last episode, but now, I feel like this show is likely to be equal parts poignant, moving, bittersweet, and even educational.
Of course, there is also a teething period, with Sang Gu stepping in as Geu Ru’s reluctant guardian, and right now, that is rather uncomfortable to watch, for me.
We still don’t know much about Sang Gu’s backstory, so I don’t know if there are sympathetic reasons behind his behavior, but I will say that it’s hard to watch him treat Geu Ru’s home – which is technically his new home – with such a lack of regard and respect.
I mean, I get that some people are just not wired to be naturally tidy, but the way he managed to get rubbish everywhere in such a short period of time, is quite startling.
Plus, the way he tends to put out his cigarettes on the floor or furniture, comes across as extremely rude.
Also, it’s clear that his intention behind agreeing to the guardian thing in the first place, has nothing to do with any good feelings for his late half-brother, and everything to do with the money &/or assets he might stand to gain.
This feels harsh and cold, but again, I acknowledge that Sang Gu’s circumstances might be such that he really is desperate for any kind of income. After all, he’s just come out of prison, and doesn’t have a job.
I just feel really sorry for Geu Ru, because this is all so overwhelming for him, and he doesn’t have the tools with which to understand and adjust; at least, not very well.
In fact, I’m surprised that Lawyer Oh doesn’t appear to have briefed Sang Gu more thoroughly about Geu Ru’s challenges.
I’d have expected him to have at least told Sang Gu, that Geu Ru suffers from Asperger’s, and what that means, when it comes to how Geu Ru interacts with the world.
I do appreciate that we still get touches of Dad in our story, even though he’s no longer around. For example, I find it touching, when Geu Ru recites what Dad used to say about his name.
“..it means a tree. He wanted me to contribute to the world as a tree does because it gives us oxygen, fruits, firewood, and a stump we can sit on and rest. It’s the second-best living thing in the world.” … “The best living thing in the world is Han Jeong-u’s son, Han Geu Ru. Dad said that.”
That’s so poignant, honestly. ❤️
Also, how cute, that Geu Ru’s best friend’s name is Na Mu, because that also means “tree.”
I feel like there must a deeper meaning here, like maybe the two of them stand together in solidarity against the rest of the world? Or like, they are both the type of people who provide oxygen and rest to others?
On that note, I love how fiercely protective Na Mu is, over Geu Ru, and how she strives to look out for him, from her house across the street.
I like the idea of her maybe working for Move To Heaven, which she mentions to Sang Gu this episode. That would be pretty awesome, I feel. She already has her heart in the right place.
How poignant, that Geu Ru continues to honor Dad. The way he refuses to let Sang Gu use Dad’s cup, or sleep in Dad’s room, is so bittersweet. He really wants to keep Dad’s memory alive.
And then, the way he visualizes Dad standing next to him, as he prepares to start on cleaning the deceased’s room this episode, is so poignant as well.
When he got to the part where he had to correct himself, and say only his own name, instead of his name together with Dad’s, my heart broke for him. This must have felt like reality sinking in, that Dad’s not there with him anymore. 💔
It does feel to me, like Geu Ru is beginning to communicate with Sang Gu, in his own way.
For a start, I like how he decides to put on his clean-up gear, and make the house completely spotless again, before informing Sang Gu of the house rules that he’s expected to keep.
I just hope Sang Gu does take this to heart, and doesn’t take advantage of Geu Ru’s cleaning abilities.
I am equal parts impressed with and proud of Geu Ru, because he demonstrates that he knows the ins and outs of his job very well.
He knows what to do, and when the client asks about cleaning the dirty bills, Geu Ru knows exactly what can be done, to have the bills cleaned and exchanged at the bank.
I also love how matter-of-fact Geu Ru is, even when it comes to things like confronting the difficult task of cleaning up rotten bodily fluids.
When Sang Gu asks Geu Ru how he can be so calm about it, I love the compassion that is inherent in Geu Ru’s answer, “..the scenes are homes of the deceased. They request us to clean theirs because they can’t do it. So, I’m okay with it. I can make them clean for them.”
I am so sure that this is something Geu Ru learned from Dad, because this sounds just like something Dad would say. Augh. Dad. You’ve taught Geu Ru well. 😭❤️
I love that Geu Ru continues the tradition of compassion and kindness that Dad started. The way he handles the deceased’s personal belongings so carefully, says so much, about the respect and care that he gives the deceased, in carrying out the clean-up.
The deceased lady’s son and daughter-in-law appear to be awful people with no care for their mother who died. I can’t believe that a son would seriously say that his mother’s family photos are worthless and should be thrown out. That just blows my mind.
I’m glad that Geu Ru’s there to be the voice of the deceased, and judging from the way he lays out the bills after he’s cleaned them, it seems that he’s found a message hidden in them, and is determined to bring that message to light.
I’m rooting so hard for Geu Ru, to be a successful voice of the voiceless. Geu Ru himself is less than fully able, which makes him a bit of a wounded healer, in this context. And wounded healers just get me right in the heart.
E3. The more I see of this show, the more I feel like Geu Ru is quite perfect, for the job that he’s doing.
His strengths really come into play, and I feel like without his involvement, this episode’s case wouldn’t have been unveiled so thoroughly.
He literally peels back the layers, with painstaking effort and in meticulous detail, to get to understand the heart of the deceased. This feels like a calling, of sorts.
I know it’s an effect of his Asperger’s, that Geu Ru is as singleminded and focused as he is, but it still really gives me a thrill, to see him apply that quality of his, in unearthing the truth behind the 50,000 won bills.
He’s so determined, even when everyone else around him – the deceased’s relatives, and Sang Gu – keeps tell him that it’s not important and nobody cares.
I love how, for Geu Ru, respect for the heart of the deceased takes precedence over everything and everyone else.
Dad really has taught Geu Ru well, and I’m sure Dad would be proud to see the way Geu Ru makes sure that Grandma Lee Yeong Sun’s heart is shared with her son.
I’d already gotten a sense of Na Mu’s unwavering support for Geu Ru, but it hits home even more this episode, when she decides that she will join Move To Heaven, at least for a while, just so that she can make sure that Geu Ru’s ok.
This, despite the vehement disapproval from her mom.
I mean, I do understand Mom’s concern. We find out this episode that Na Mu’s dropped out of college, which in itself would be a cause of parental concern, and now, while she’s searching for direction in life, Na Mu’s decided to get into trauma cleaning.
As a parent, particularly a parent who worries about things like financial security and pension availability, it’s easy to become anxious at the idea of Na Mu getting involved in an occupation that exists on the very periphery of society.
There’s little security and definitely no pension here, and I can understand Mom’s fear that Na Mu wouldn’t just do this for a while, like she says, but develop a desire to do this long term.
Na Mu’s dad is so sweetly supportive, though. He’s got such an affable, kindly air about him; I’m not at all surprised that he would keep Na Mu’s secret for her.
What I hadn’t expected, is how Dad secretly creates a backup cover story for Na Mu, ready to be busted out when needed, in the form of that civil service exam preparation book that he sneaks into her backpack. Yay Dad!
The entire arc, of how Grandma Lee Yeong Sun had withdrawn money from the bank every day, and visited the tailor shop every day, because she’d so dearly wanted to get a suit for her son, is so heartachingly poignant.
That flashback, to when her son had given her that gift of thermal underwear with his first paycheck (it is a tradition for Koreans to honor their parents using their first paycheck, by buying them underwear), is so bittersweet to watch.
How lovely, that Mom had marveled at her son’s gift with such joy, and how touching, that she’d treated it so preciously all these years that she’d never worn it, and how heartbreaking, to realize that somehow, somewhere along the way, the relationship between mother and son had grown so distant and so cold, that her son would have left her without care in her fading years, and even instructed Sang Gu and Geu Ru to throw her mementos away. 💔
I’m glad that Geu Ru’s determination to communicated Grandma Lee Yeong Sun’s heart pays off, and that her son comes to appreciate how dearly his mother loved him, even though she’s now gone. 😭
I feel like little by little, we can see Sang Gu’s sardonic attitude towards the work that Move To Heaven does, melting into something a little more appreciative.
It’s not super obvious right now, but I feel that there are little hints of him coming around.
For example, the tone in which he speaks to Geu Ru is a lot less harsh, and also, when Grandma Lee Yeong Sun’s son raises his hand towards Geu Ru, Sang Gu immediately steps in to block him.
Generally speaking, Sang Gu doesn’t come across as angry and irate anymore; just exasperated and bewildered. That’s progress!
We get a little bit of Sang Gu’s backstory this episode, and it seems like he’d been some kind of MMA fighter, and had landed in jail because his opponent had gotten seriously injured in a fight. This mini arc gives me two thoughts.
1, I’m kind of thrown that Lee Je Hoon is this ripped. I’ve.. never thought of him as ripped before, for some reason, and it’s rather startling to see the hulk-like vibe from him.
2, He doesn’t seem to want to get back into fighting, at all, and yet, Madam Jung seems intent on getting him back into the ring.
It seems that she has a hold over him; she appears to be the one keeping his injured opponent alive (perhaps by paying his hospital bills?), and so Sang Gu can’t say no to her.
It’s quite bizarre, the way he resignedly goes back into the ring, and then just doesn’t fight back. That’s gotta be painful. And also, would that be enough to satisfy Madam Jung, I wonder?
This episode’s new case, which is a domestic violence-related death is quite gruesome, with Geu Ru having a bloodied floor to clean up. He’s such a trooper, though. He simply readies himself for it, just like he’s always done, with Dad. Dad would be so proud of him.
I can’t help wondering whether the fighting couple that Sang Gu had seen while out jogging that night, is the couple involved in this new case..
It’s too soon to say, but if so, Sang Gu might have been the last person to see the lady alive, which means that his testimony might turn out to be very important, in the police’s investigation.