Melting Me Softly- Episode 3 Recap
Dong Chan is shocked when he discovers that the current year is 2019. Hyun Gi and Kim run up to him. Dong Chan thinks for a moment after he notices that Hyung Gi has aged. Dong Chan asks is where Ha Young is. Kim says she is the News Bureau Chief.
Meanwhile, at the university, it dawns on Mi-ran that it is 2019.
(Episode 3- The Days We Lost)
Inside the university, Professor Hwang Dong-Hyuk (Byung Sim)- Professor of the Psychology Department walks out of his office. The public address system calls Go Mi-ran from the Chinese Language Department to the broadcasting studio. Byung Sim trips and falls. He thinks out loud that he hasn’t heard that name in a while.
At the studio, Mi-ran’s mother speaks in the mike. She tells Mi-ran that she is her mother. She cries as she says they have been trying to find her.
Hearing this, Nam Tae runs out saying, “Mi-ran!”. His parents run behind him in an attempt to stop him. Nam-tae runs into the campus calling out Mi-ran’s name. He remembers the whistle she had given him and takes it out. He blows the whistle while he searches for her.
Mi-ran gets up hearing the whistle but falls, as she is exhausted. Nam Tae spots Mi-ran and he stops in his tracks. After a moment, Mi-ran recognises him and tears well up in her eyes. She tries to take a step towards him but falls. Nam Tae rushes towards her and she hugs him. She breaks down into tears asking if he is her brother.
He confirms that he is. She cries says he has grown a lot. He offers to carry her. He piggybacks her down the path. (She remembers piggybacking Nam-tae and him saying he will stop growing if she feels he is too heavy for her.)
Nam Tae asks her why she is so late. He says he waited so much for her. She asks him when he grew up this much. He says he ate a lot and grew up to see Mi-ran again.
Back at the hospital, Dong Chan is still trying to grasp the enormity of the situation. He enquires about Go Mi-ran. Kim has a worried look on his face. Dong Chan wonders if she is all right. Just then, his mother rushes over and holds Hyung Gi by his clothes. She accuses him of not trying to find Dong-chan. Dong Chan manages to break them apart and sends his family away.
Dong Chan asks Hyung Gi to find Go Mi-ran’s address. Hyung Gi complains that it was 20 years ago. Dong Chan stares him down. Hyun Gi explains that he had searched far and wide for Dong Chan. He mentions that Hwang Gab Su died suddenly. Dong Chan is shocked to hear this. Hyung Gi says Michael Jackson, Kim Jon Il of North Korea and Whitney Houston died too. He adds that he has two sons now and Kim is the president. Kim mentions that Hyung Gi is divorced now because he had an affair.
Dong Chan wants to make a call. He sees the Hyung Gi’s touch screen phone and it is a mystery to him. Hung Gi says he will make the call. Dong Chan tells the number from memory. Hyung Gi says Dong Chan’s memory is still good.
Just then, Dong Chan’s sister Dong Ju walks up to him. He asks her to call Detective Baek. She says she has divorced him. Dong-chan learns that she has been divorced twice. Dong Chan wonders why everyone is divorced. She gets Baek on the phone and Dong Chan asks him to find Mi-ran’s address. Dong Chan says he feels hot and asks for water but finds Hyung Gi and Kim gone.
Later, Dong Chan visits Mi-ran’s address but finds it empty. He leaves with Hyung Gi.
Dong Chan doesn’t notice Mi-ran and her family walk up the street. Mi-ran is puzzled when her family takes her into a house few buildings before their previous one. Seeing that it is a big house, she asks them if they won a lottery. They explain that it is from the money she got from participating in the experiment. Her mother says they started a business with the money. She is sad as she says that it was a favour from the Gods, in exchange for Mi-ran’s life.
In a flashback before the experiment, Mi-ran gives Dr Jo her bankbook. She asks him to give it to her family if something happens to her.
At present, her family shows her to her room. She sees that it is furnished with her items from the ’90s. She is emotional as she looks at her room. She thanks them for having a good life. Her mother says she is thankful that Mi-ran came back alive.
Meanwhile, Dong Chan is shocked to see that his family runs a restaurant now. His mother says that Dong Shik and Dong Ju wasted away their fortune. They go inside.
Dong Shik’s daughter asks how her uncle is younger than her father is. Dong Shik introduces Dong Chan to his wife and daughter. Dong Chan’s mother asks Dong Ju to sleep along with her so that Dong Chan can sleep in Dong Ju’s room. She explains that Dong Chan has no place to sleep. Dong Chan still uses honorific when he refers to his siblings.
Dong Chan notices the flyers that they used to search for him. He asks where his father is and his mother cries. Dong Chan notices his father’s photo on the wall and realises his father is no more.
Meanwhile, Byung Sim comes home. His wife (Seo Jung-Yeon) says she was worried he wouldn’t come. He says he went on a trip. The wedding photo is in their bedroom shows the younger version of the couple- Oh Young Sun (Mi-ran’s best friend) and Byung Sim. They sleep in separate beds.
Byung Sim asks if Young Sun has heard from Mi-ran. Young Sun doesn’t seem to remember who Mi-ran is. She then asks why he is suddenly remembering Mi-ran. He wonders out loud if Mi-ran has a family too. She says that is all her father can do to prevent him from being fired. She tells him to stop living like a parasite and start going to seminars. She calls him a fool. Byung Sim wonders when his life went so wrong. Young Sun blames it on Mi-ran. She says if not for Mi-ran, Byung Sin wouldn’t have gotten drunk and made that mistake. They both turn away to sleep. Young Sun curses Mi-ran while Byung Sim says he misses Mi-ran.
At Kim’s office, Kim is worried as he tells Hyung Gi that both of them will be fired when Dong Chan finds out that they kept quiet after his disappearance. He says they have silenced everyone but they have to keep Dong Chan quiet. Hyung gi says that is not possible as Dong Chan is insane. Kim asks where Mi-ran is. Hyung Gi says she is crazier than Dong Chan. They wonder if she is alive. Kim asks who woke them and Hyung Gi asks where were they all this while.
Dong Chan’s family is puzzled because he still looks young. Dong Ju wonders if it is him. She says they found a text in Dong Chan’s phone saying he will succeed in his experiment. She says she is sure Dong Chan was involved in an experiment. She says it must be cloning. Their mother tells them not to ask Dong Chan anything before he starts speaking first.
Dong Chan looks through their family photo album. He apologises to his father for not being there in his last moments. He looks up to see his father standing there smiling serenely. Dong Chan calls out to his father. Dong Shik starts talking and Dong Chan is annoyed.
In her room, Mi-ran reads the diaries that Nam Tae had written to her all these years. She cries as she reads the entries.
Dong Chan’s old phone is charged and he goes through the messages. He reads the messages from Ha-Young asking when he is coming back.
The next day, Mi-ran eats tasty breakfast. She refuses to go to the hospital. She says she wants to go to school. Her mother says they had filed a leave of absence every year and kept her number active. Mi-ran says she has to graduate and get a job. She says there is something she has to take before that.
Meanwhile, Dong Chan visits the abandoned lab. He runs into Dr Jo. Jo Says Hwang got into an accident 2 hours before the experiment ended. Dong Chan asks how they woke up now.
Jo walks over and turns a wall light. It acts as a lever and opens a secret door. Dong Chan follows Jo into the room. He is shocked to see Professor Hwang sleeping on the bed. The doctor says Hwang has Dissociative Amnesia and he woke up after being in a coma for 20 years. He says Hwang woke them up with his subconscious tenacity. He says Hwang’s body reacted faster than his brain and he lost consciousness again. He says it is similar to a sleep disorder.
Dong Chan asks why everyone thinks Hwang is dead. Jo says Hwang’s car exploded as someone tried to kill him. Jo explains that if word gets out that Hwang is alive, they might again try to kill him. The doctor says that he and Hwang went to the same medical school. Right before the accident, Hwang had called him asked him to handle things if anything happened to him. They say they haven’t found the culprit yet.
Dong Chan says they can’t go to the cops as the statute of limitations has expired. He says it must be due to the experiment. Dong Chan says he hasn’t been able to locate Mi-ran. Jo says he informed Mi-ran’s mother regarding the experiment. He says he didn’t inform Dong Chan’s family because he was worried the experiment might be exposed and Hwang’s life might be put in danger.
Dong Chan goes to the broadcasting station and Hyung gi spots him. Dong Chan asks to meet Ha Young.
Ha Young finishes with her broadcast as she receives a call. Her eyes widen as she listens.
Dong Chan waits at the cafe. Ha Young walks into the cafe and sits at the table beside Dong Chan’s. They don’t recognise each other. A woman walks up and asks for Ha Young’s autograph. Dong Chan turns around. She looks at him and she is shocked. As he walks towards her she says, “Dong Chan”.
Dong Chan asks if she has been well. He says he is late. He says he should’ve listened to her and not taken part in the experiment. Ha Young says it is all in his past and she has forgotten about it. Dong Chan apologises for not being able to keep his promise. She cries as she tells him she had warned him against participating in the experiment. She says he told her he won’t regret it. He says he is sorry. She says she regretted it. She says she is thankful he is still alive. She says she has to go to work and walks away saying they will talk later.
Ha Young gets into her car and bursts into tears.
Dong Chan is deep in thought as he sits in the cafe.
At the lab, Jo tells the doctor that they haven’t found a way to cure the hypothermia in the people who woke up. Jo says that the dolphin died in the first experiment because they couldn’t cure the hypothermia. He says Hwang had found the cure and he is the only person who can help the two people.
Meanwhile, Dong Chan splashes water on his face, as he feels hot. Ha Young is teary-eyed as she watches him walk across the lobby.
Mi-ran clenches her fists as she charges into the building with a promissory note. Hyung-gi recognises her as she walks towards him. He is terrified, as she looks menacing. Mi-ran doesn’t recognise him and she walks past him.
Meanwhile, a photographer recognises Dong Chan and clicks his photos candidly. Hyung-gi watches Mi-ran walk up to Dong Chan. Ha Young watches from afar.
Dong Chan sees Mi-ran and says he has been looking for her. He asks if she is okay but he stops mid-sentence as she slaps him across his face. She is furious as she asks him to give her 20 years back. The entire lobby looks at them. Dong Chan takes her hand and says they will talk elsewhere.
After they leave, Hyung Gi manages the situation by saying that they were rehearsing. Ha Young asks Hyung Gi if that girl took part in the experiment too. Hyung gi confirms it.
Elsewhere, Mi-ran asks Dong Chan if he lied to her. He says he also woke up with her. Dong Chan says he is sorry but says he is a victim too. She says that is his problem and asks him how he is going to pay her back for the 20 years. He tells her he knows how she feels and explains what he learnt from Jo.
Mi-ran asks how she is going to live her life now after skipping 20 years. She says she couldn’t see her brother grow up. She says she doesn’t have a job or couldn’t get married. She starts wailing saying she slept in the capsule for 20 years. Dong Chan joins in, wailing that he is 52-years-old now.
Dong Chan suddenly straightens up. He says the experiment was a success and they are alive. He says they are the first to survive the cryonics experiment and says that is amazing. Mi-ran stops crying. He holds her hand and says they should remember that while living the rest of their lives. He says they should overcome the hardship together. She grabs her hand away and starts bawling even louder saying, “NO!”.
Hyung-gi runs into Kim’s office saying Mi-ran is here. Hyung Gi wonders if they should hold hands and run away together.
Dong Chan walks Mi-ran out. She tells him not to run away as she will contact him soon. He says his passport has expired so he can’t run. She asks him how he can joke at this time. He says he isn’t joking and he doesn’t intend on running away. She calls him a jerk and walks away before he can respond.
Dong Chan runs into Ha Young on his way back. She says she is glad. She says she is glad the woman from the experiment is all right. As she walks away, Dong Chan calls out to her. He asks if they can meet tomorrow at the restaurant that they last met.
Ha Young says the restaurant closed down 15 years back. She says they are having a team dinner the next day so she can’t come. She turns around and walks away holding back her tears.
Mi-ran feels dizzy as she walks into her school to register for classes.
Meanwhile, Byung Sim receives a letter from the alumni association. His colleague asks him if he has changed his name because he goes by a different name now. As he walks down the hall, he spots Mi-ran. He follows her stealthily. She doesn’t recognise him as she walks past him a while later.
Mi-ran checks her phone and reads the old messages from her friends. She finds that her friends’ numbers are not in service. She also finds many messages from Byung Sim asking for her forgiveness. She is annoyed as she reads through the messages.
Dong Chan is in Kim’s office demanding his job back. Hyung Gi and Kim say he isn’t fresh. Kim suggests that he should join the programming department for a few months. Dong Chan says he takes his job seriously and almost died working. He asks for his job back. Dong Chan says he wants to finish his program that he couldn’t finish 20 years back.
Dong Chan asks if they are scared that people will find out that they covered up his disappearance. Hyung-gi and Kim maintain that they didn’t cover up anything. Dong Chan threatens to go to another station of they don’t take him in. They immediately stop him from leaving.
At the lab, Hwang wakes up with a jolt.
In his house, Dong Shik is dyeing his hair in the bathroom when his daughter runs in. She asks for privacy and doesn’t take no for an answer. He walks out and runs into Dong Chan. He asks Dong Chan to help with dye his hair. Dong Chan is still struggling with the fact that everyone has aged by 20 years.
During breakfast, Dong Shik’s daughter tells her grandmother that she wants them to move to a house with two bathrooms. Dong Chan’s mother agrees, saying she will work hard from now on. Dong Shik says their mother gave up on everything after Dong Chan disappeared. Dong Shik’s daughter asks Dong Chan where he was all this time and suddenly there is silence. She says he is young enough to be her father’s son but her father refers to him as his elder brother.
She asks Dong Chan if he is a vampire. She then goes on about a YouTube channel. She suggests he should start his own YouTube channel. Dong Shik and his wife explain that they were busy and so their daughter grew up watching dramas. She asks him to broadcast their restaurant on TV. She says she keeps up with trends. Dong Chan chokes on his food when she says she knows that the shows are scripted.
They, later on, say that Dong Ju stayed out again and she is rarely home. Just then, Dong Ju stumbles into the house reeking of alcohol. She hugs Dong Chan and says he is the reason she drinks. Their mother goes over and hits her saying she missed 3 days of treatment at the rehabilitation clinic.
Later, Dong Chan visits his father’s memorial. He apologises to his father.
Meanwhile, Mi-ran looks at 3 girls taking a selfie. She remembers doing the same and misses her friends. She goes shopping and asks for Leslie Cheung’s latest album. The salesperson says the album she was holding is the one they released to commemorate Leslie’s death. She learns Leslie Cheung died 16 years ago. She is shocked to hear this. She feels left out as she walks out. She looks up and yells, “Leslie Cheung!”. The people around her stare at her.
Dong Chan smiles as he takes his ID from Hyung Gi. He comments that Hyung Gu has aged a lot. Just then, a few of the subordinates greet them. Hyung Gi, who is chief now, says that sincerity comes before broadcasting (Dong Chan’s words). Dong Chang looks at him in disbelief.
Meanwhile, Ha Young looks at her reflection in the mirror. She remembers Kim offering her the 9 o’clock news anchor job in exchange for her silence.
In a flashback at the hospital’s parking lot, Ha Young says they should check and see if Dong Chan is alive. Kim says Dong Chan is probably already dead.
At present, Ha Young thinks that there was nothing she could do and that she had no choice.
Meanwhile, Mi-ran walks past Byung Sim’s office and he follows her. Outside, she turns around suddenly. It looks like she recognises him after a moment.
Dong Chan walks down the corridor. Ha Young calls out to him and says she is free on Friday. She asks if they can meet.
Byung Sim stares at Mi-ran open-mouthed as she walks towards him and stops in front of him.
Image Courtesy- TVN
This episode showed how the families have been coping after Mi-ran and Dong Chan’s disappearance. Both families handled it in totally different ways.
It also showed how everything has changed while they were asleep. Dong Chan seems to be taking the entire situation in his stride. He seems to be coming to terms with what is going on quite fast.
The dolphin from the first experiment died because they couldn’t figure out a cure for the hypothermia. Professor Hwang has woken up meanwhile. This plotline makes the viewer curious.
The scene with Nam Tae and Mi-ran was well made. The scene with Dong Chan’s niece was hilarious.
What was good about this episode is that the leads have somewhat found their footing in their new life. The storyline is slow to develop. Currently, the leads are showing no interest in each other. The plot also doesn’t show even a hint of a romance brewing between them. I’m interested to see how the plot will bring the leads closer.