Woo boy, I’m behind. But we’re getting to the good stuff now, and I’m only 70% talking about all of the shirtless Rain scenes. The first episode of Please Come Back, Mister teased us with a quick introduction to the main cast, and we’re about to dig a little deeper into their characters. Without further ado, I give you…
Naked Rain! Just kidding. The wonderfully sassy Maya hurries down a hallway towards a locked door, muttering under her breath about troublemakers and ruined vacation plans. Wonder who she’s talking about. After kicking open the door (in a pencil skirt and heels, no less), she enters an old-fashioned, dusty and cobwebbed af office that clearly hasn’t been used in a while.
As soon as she settles down with some files, terrified male screaming fills the air and two bodies fall into the armchairs in front of her. She primly hands them two contracts.
While plenty of people have thrown tantrums, these two are the first to have actually flung themselves off the Train to Heaven and have now won themselves a trip back to the land of the living. The men leap at the chance, disregarding Maya’s vague threats of danger and horrible pain to dissuade them from accepting.
One thing I’m loving about this drama so far is how naturally it slips in seemingly trivial, everyday details to normalize a decidedly NOT normal situation. For example, here’s Gi Tak signing a contract that allows him to return to the human world… until his pen stops working. He looks up sheepishly and says, ‘The pen isn’t working.’ Without missing a beat, Maya politely responds, ‘Just wet it with saliva,’ before grabbing her face in silent outrage. It totally throws you off while adding a subtle layer of humor to the overall tone of the show.
Young Soo wakes up in an apartment that is definitely not his, with a face that is definitely not his, and a body that is MOST DEFINITELY NOT HIS. As Maya snickers on the phone, he takes his sweet, sweet time exploring his new body.
Curse that strategically placed vase!!! This scene has been and will be the most enjoyable, most wonderful scene in the entire series. Calling it now. What could compete with Rain caressing his own biceps and cooing over his jawline, followed by the camera’s gentle adoration of his ripped upper body??
‘This body is a work of art,’ he stutters when Maya asks him how he likes it. Gi Tak, on the other hand, isn’t having as great of a time, given that he’s, uh, missing a few parts. Mainly, one specific part. He’s a woman. A very beautiful woman, but a woman nonetheless.
Maya lays out the rules: 1) Keep your identity a secret. 2) Revenge is strictly prohibited. 3) Do not interfere in the lives of the living. I’ll say what we’re all thinking here: then what’s the point?? One day in purgatory equals one month on earth, and they have exactly two months to finish their business and catch the next train to heaven… or suffer the consequences.
It is so much fun watching Oh Yeon Seo play a man in a woman’s body, especially a tough guy like Gi Tak. The gruffness with which she talks (with perfect ombre lipstick??) and the awkward, unfamiliar way she moves her body is spot on. As Gi Tak struggles to walk in kill heels and a tight dress, I’m torn between cringing at his treatment of the shoes, admiring said shoes (ugh so cute), and lol’ing at how real the struggle is.
Young Soo, on the other hand, is having a GREAT time. Busy adjusting to their bodies, the friends crash into each other in the lobby of their new homes, unaware of each other’s identities. I cannot wait to see how they end up finding each other – a prank by Maya, perhaps? – and Gi Tak’s reaction to Young Soo’s decidedly ~manly~ new body.
Gi Tak releases some of his frustration by smugly kicking the crotch of a lecherous man on the subway (WELCOME TO A WOMAN’S WORLD INDEED), only to be kicked metaphorically by more bad news. First Maya berates him for his behavior and warns him to press his phone’s star button in case of serious emergency, then he finds his beloved restaurant run to the ground by its new owner, rival boss Na Suk Chul.
Misery loves company, and by company I mean Young Soo, who can’t help but return to the department store. Cue an adorable sequence of his repeating his old rounds and greeting his employees, except his new body causes all the girls to swoon confusedly. All except one associate: Da Hye. She’s taken a job at the store again to support the family, to his utter sorrow. Meanwhile, his bizarre behavior raises suspicions among the senior management about his identity. Could he be the new manager the board has been whispering about?
More misery, this time from Song Yi Yeon. The girl can’t catch a break – after excitedly signing a contract with a new entertainment company, she’s horrified to discover that her boss is Na Suk Chul. Who, it turns out, was one of the dudes in the fight that ended with Gi Tak in jail all those years ago. Welp, she’s trapped with him now, effectively losing her freedom at the risk of damaging her career (and her ability to financially support her child) even further. He hints at a debt to her dearly departed father, making this mess even more complicated. As she sobs in her bedroom, we see Seung Jae keeping guard at the door, one of Suk Chul’s new hires.
Let’s have a moment of silence here for the utter shock we all felt at Seung Jae’s betrayal ಥ_ಥ
Walnut Interpreter Lady (WIL) informs President Cha that the chairman is disgusted with his plan to sell the department store to the highest bidder instead of thinking up a creative business solution. Leave it up to ‘him,’ he says.
Lee Hae Joon. A wizard of management consulting, the chairman’s bastard, and President Cha’s half-brother. He looks a hell of a lot like Rain… oh. I see what they’re doing here.
After a tense phone call with her ex-husband, who has the gall to use their son as a tool in his blackmail plans, Yi Yeon finds release by slapping Seung Jae, who’s awkwardly heard the whole thing, and curses him out. ‘I can’t believe he trusted a guy who turned into someone else’s bitch overnight as his righthand man.’
The hurt is written all over his face, but he merely responds, ‘Is it a crime to look out for my own survival?’ But he doesn’t stop there. ‘Isn’t the word betrayal better suited for a man who broke his word to his family for a woman not even worth his tears?’
I KNEW IT. Seung Jae isn’t a traitor!! He’s deeply hurt by the loss of his boss, and whether it’s out of respect for Gi Tak’s love or his own need for closure, it has to be one of the reasons why he chose to become Yi Yeon’s bodyguard.
As they glare at each other, Gi Tak breaks their standstill. ‘That’s enough,’ he murmurs… again forgetting that he looks like a random woman barging into their conversation.
And another dramatic scene switches to sudden, unexpected, but highly welcome humor. Yi Yeon and Seung Jae are now allies as they stare suspiciously at Gi Tak, who makes up a terrible story about being his secretly hidden away sister.
OMG SEUNG JAE TAKES OFF HIS SHIRT to reveal a dragon tattoo — something everyone in Gi Tak’s clan has, presumably — to discredit Gi Tak’s pathetic attempt to prove his fake identity. Okay that wasn’t a major plot point but I couldn’t resist. As he’s dragged out Yi Yeon’s door, he finally drops the bomb about the blackmail photos under the bridge. No more playtime. He’s here to find out who’s behind all this, and he knows he’s the only one who can help her.
Da Hye takes a sad break in the stock warehouse, where cute junior manager (aka Section Chief Jung) breaks into her reminiscing with a well-timed coffee. Do I sense some sexual tension here? He could just be a nice guy, looking out for his boss’ widow, but given this is a k-drama it’s probably going to be one leg of a very confusing love triangle.
Classic k-drama trope of boxes falling, Young Soo appearing magically at the last second to protect Da Hye, gazing dramatically into each other’s eyes yadda yadda the writers poke a little fun at this dramatic scene by cutting to Maya reacting equally dramatically when she realizes that the ~wizard of management consulting~ looks exactly like the new body she gave Young Soo.
Rain is so. freaking. cute. Which helps you realize just how cute Young Soo is, as well. All of his mannerisms, his outbreaks of anger and silliness — all of it stems from a kind heart and the deep love he has for his wife. This is a man who literally worked himself to death because he was so dedicated to doing a good job.
Before the couple’s awkward encounter gets too k-drama-y, humor carries us away. Chief Jung rushes over to make sure everything is okay, but wait a second… say, mister, what are you doing here? Young Soo quickly scuttles off, blaming it on a wrong turn, but his behavior only deepens Jung’s suspicions about his identity.
Maya has the unfortunate job of explaining that Sunjin Group’s chairman Cha Man Seok’s other son looks exactly like him. And is on his way from the States. To run the department store. Uh oh!
And there we have it! Another plot-heavy episode to finish the setup, with plenty of juicy little hints at what’s to come. In a perfectly unnecessary but totally hilarious epilogue, we see Maya conducting a massive thunderstorm to delay Lee Hae Joon’s plane from landing. Bless you, Maya. So, will Lee Hae Joon arrive safely in Korea? How will Young Soo find his way back into the department store? Can Gi Tak find a way to protect Yi Yeon without violence?
Most importantly, will Rain take his shirt off again?