Oh this is really fun. The first two episodes hit you like a rock, but it helps set so many things up for the rest of the series. And then episode 3 pushes you right into the evolving story for the rest of the series. It’s so fun to see Rain and Oh Yeon Seo channel Kim In Kwon and Kim Soo Ro right off the bat and show off their comedic chops.
At this point I’ve seen episodes 1-3 now. I was going to write up something for the first two episodes but I was also really afraid that my excitement would wither away. I’m so happy to say it has not.
Kim In Kwon plays an overworked team leader at a department store in the women’s section, Kim Young Soo. He has a beautiful wife Shin Da Hye (Lee Min Jung) and an adorable daughter Han Na. However, he gets embroiled in a bribery scandal because of his boss Manager Ma (Park Chul Min), who is ordered from above by the president Cha Jae Kook (Choi Won Young in another deliciously comical evil role).
President Cha is quite the greedy son, and his father (Ahn Suk Hwan in a non-speaking role) is disappointed that he wants to sell the department store when he built it from the ground up. It’s hilarious that CEO Cha speaks through his personal secretary, who even relays his messages with the exact tone that he would want it in – all by interpreting his facial expressions and how he clinks his walnuts together. (That is not a pun.) It doesn’t help that President Cha is in a bitter feud with his ex-wife Song Yi Yeon (Honey Lee), framing her as an adulterer as well. So now the department store name is being dragged through the tabloids.
Yi Yeon used to be gangster Han Gi Tak (Kim Soo Ro)’s first love back in high school, but after a massive fight involving her kidnapping, she has pretty much stayed away from him since then. However she revisits him when he’s a reformed gangster and restaurant owner, and asks for his help in dealing with her husband and her supposed “lover.” Gi Tak wants nothing to do with her, but he also can’t set aside his feelings for her. So he helps by trying to get a confession out of the “lover.”
Meanwhile Young Soo is in danger of losing a huge account for the department store, and he even ruins his relationship with his wife by missing out on their wedding anniversary. He will do anything he can for his company and to make it look good, but a stupid decision to fix a hanging banner from the roof leads him to fall to his death.
As for Gi Tak, President Cha’s men are on to him and they start a deadly car chase that leads to Gi Tak flipping his car and then getting rammed by the chaser’s car.
Both Gi Tak and Young Soo meet in heaven, with Young Soo unable to deal with his fate. He is sentenced to hell (because he technically committed suicide) and Gi Tak to heaven (because he did repent for his sins of the past). However Young Soo pleads passionately that he was sorry and didn’t mean to commit suicide. He is granted a reprieve and sent to heaven with Gi Tak, and they ride a Hogwarts Express-like train to the heavens.
As they pass through a Field of Memories, Young Soo realizes he’s not ready to let go just yet. He tries to get off the train as it soars up to the skies, and Gi Tak comes to his defense, as he isn’t ready to leave earth either. They are no match for the guards though, and they end up running all the way to the end of the train and jumping back down to earth. What’s the worst that could happen anyways? They’ve already died once!
They end up waking in two different bodies – Young Soo as Lee Hae Joon (Rain) and Gi Tak as Han Hong Nan (Oh Yeon Seo). Whee!
They spend some time exploring their new bodies – Young Soo is definitely pleased with his new appearance while Gi Tak struggles with heels and having to pee sitting down. They go back to visit the people they left behind. It’s been a month since they’ve passed, and Young Soo is sad to see that Da Hye is now working at the department store and struggling financially while Gi Tak is sad to see his restaurant has been taken over by a rival gang member and Yi Yeon is still a ruined woman.
In order to get close to their loved ones, “Hae Joon” pretends that he’s Young Soo’s best friend and creditor, and “Hong Nan” pretends to be Gi Tak’s younger sister. However, a mix up occurs when it’s discovered that there’s a real Lee Hae Joon… and he’s CEO Cha’s illegitimate son! And he’s coming back to Korea to run the department store! (It becomes a competition between Hae Joon and President Cha on who will succeed CEO Cha.) But because Hae-Young has presented himself in the department store already, people think he’s the real Lee Hae Joon.
So Maya, the heaven secretary if you will, does everything she can to stop the real Hae Joon from landing in Seol. I hate her methods though because every single time she stops him from arriving it’s to basically crash land him or stop him from boarding a plane. Not. Cool. Why? Because I already hate planes and it’s like watching my worst fears realized!!!
It’s hilarious when Hae-Young meets Hong-Gi and they realize who the other person is. It’s really cute when you see it intercut with scenes between Kim In Kwon and Kim Soo Ro, and Rain and Oh Yeon Seo. The way they act is perfect, and I love that Rain has taken on some of Kim In Kwon’s mannerisms (like the ugly crying) while Oh Yeon Seo really tries her hardest to be a man. It’s not easy, but it’s also funny when Gi Tak starts feeling womanly feelings (like, an attraction and need to kiss Rain).
This drama is not meant to be cerebral or even make too much sense. There are some plot holes that exist in this show, such as how Hong-Gi and Hae-Young are working together to help Yi Yeon while Young Soo has still not come to terms with the fact that he’s Lee Hae Joon. But in any case, it’s more forgivable in this case because you’re not here for those details. You’re here for the bigger picture: how will Gi Tak and Young Soo help their family and friends in order to move on to the next life? And – how many times is Rain going to keep touching his abs in awe?
Come Back Mister is way more fun and silly than Neighborhood Hero, and I feel that Neighborhood Hero could have been just like Come Back Mister. If only it didn’t try to take itself so seriously.
Best line of episode 1: “I have to go back and delete my porn collection!” Yeah – because that’s really going to get you to go back home.