I really enjoyed these two episodes much more than those from the past two weeks. Writer is pulling out all the stops to shift the final leg of the story into high gear. All the action is back again, with barely enough time for my heart to take a rest. The father-daughter relationship also advances to a new level, and these scenes continue to wrangle tears out of me.
The first 15 minutes of episode 13 really kept me on the edge of my scene worrying for Taesan, even though I knew very well that it wasn’t time for him to die yet. This is something that the show constantly succeeds in doing — making you fear uncontrollably for your favourite character’s life even though your rational mind tells you that nothing bad is going to happen. These first few minutes of episode 13 alone really covered a lot of ground in terms of the story. Firstly, I really liked this outcome to the cliffhanger in episode 12. I’ve read many speculations about how Moon Ilseok came to be in the house in that cliffhanger — from Moon Ilseok having a twin, to Teacher Kim wearing a mask to look like Moon Ilseok, and I’m really impressed that no one really managed to make a completely accurate guess. Goes to show that this writer is really unpredictable and is one level above the viewers. The scene where Taesan started grovelling at Moon’s feet to beg for mercy really pained me in the heart. All this while, Taesan had been fighting so hard to stand up against the villains, but he is now reduced to being so helpless and weak when he’s cornered.
The relationship between Teacher Kim and Chairman Han did not come as a surprise to me, since the writer had been dropping clues in the beginning. I just hope that the writer doesn’t give us a last-minute revelation that Moon Ilseok or Seungwoo’s police dad is Taesan’s birth father. That would have been really out-of-the-blue, so I’d rather she keep the identity of Taesan’s father a mystery. We also have a prime suspect now as to who might be the spy in the police force. I’m banking my money on the the Chief prosecutor (Jaekyung’s boss), seeing how the prosecutors have also gotten more wary in sharing information with him. As for the spy in Seungwoo’s team, I think it might be that old squad chief.
What I liked most in these two episodes are the real-life encounters that Taesan has with his daughter. Previously, we always saw him talking to and confiding with his imaginary Soojin, but now that he actually gets to talk to her in real life, he’s all awkward and ashamed at the same time. I really appreciate that the writer sought to emphasize this difference between reality and Taesan’s imagination. It is even more heart-warming to see that after the initial awkwardness, real-life Soojin loved her dad as much as imaginary Soojin did, and she’s also the second person after her mum to express thanks and appreciation for Taesan’s existence. I hope this will motivate Taesan into thinking of living an actual life beyond these two weeks. All these while, he has only thought of living for two weeks and then dying after that, but I really want him to realise that there is a place for him on this earth as a husband and father, and not just a bone marrow donor who will serve no purpose after the surgery.
Also, how satisfying is it to see Taesan whack his enemies? Outsmarting them at mind games is satisfying enough, but this is a different kind of comeuppance for his enemies as it shows that Taesan is now no longer the worm that gets trampled on, but a strong and worthy opponent. I wonder what plans do Taesan and Jaekyung have up their sleeves to form an alliance with Jo Seohee. I was honestly surprised when Jo Seohee showed some emotion that revealed some crack in her cold merciless façade when Jaekyung told her that Taesan had a sick daughter. I guess Jo is now able to empathise with Taesan, which could be why she was willing to accept his proposal for an alliance. Or, she could be faking it also. Who knows what surprises we will get in the final week.
I can’t believe this show is already ending. As I look back at the earlier episodes, our hero has indeed come a long way, and as a viewer, it feels like I have been making this same harrowing journey with him also. That’s why I really hope he gets his happy ending. I think he has earned it, and isn’t life about giving second chances? I’m sure both the law and his family are willing to give him a second shot at life, but I wonder if the heavens (ehem, the writer in this case) are as forgiving? 49 Days could have been my number 1 favourite kdrama if not for the ending that just ruined everything else. I hope this show doesn’t suffer from the same fate. If any of you want to write a complaint letter at the end (if there’s a need to), count me in, LOL.