No Day But Today
It is a complicated episode with scenes that take place after the crash, scenes that take place in the present where Bong Hee is back in Korea, and yet other scenes through Bong Hee’s story as her memory begins to come back in bits and pieces. Chairwoman Jo is persistent in wanting to get Bong Hee to recall the four months in China and has Investigator Oh stick to Bong Hee like gum. The chairwoman will go to whatever lengths it takes to dig up Bong Hee’s memory, but what she wants to find out so badly and why is still a mystery. One has to wonder what her motive is in all this.
Unconscious submerged floating bodies in the ocean blue.
Flashback: Bong Hee swims freely in a diver’s suit. “I don’t have to be a diver just because you are,” she tells her mother as they sort through their catch on the shore. Mother understands and says she should do what she wants to in life. Her mother has taught her how to make a living to survive at least. But she encourages her daughter to do what she wants. It is a sweet moment.
As she sinks in the water Bong Hee comes to with a startle and surfaces for air. There is wreckage floating everywhere. She dives under and grabs Joon Oh by the clothes and drags him on shore. “Joon Oh, wake up!” she cries over and over. He stirs, opens his eyes, and asks, “Where is everyone?” then blacks out again.
Sometime later he gains consciousness and shakily walks over to a carefully stacked pile of water bottles and food. Bong Hee calls out not to drink that, it’s for later. She busily runs off to explore and find out more about their location.
Joon Oh is unstable as he gets his bearings, walking slowly in disbelief around burning wreckage strewn all over the beach. With a sharp, mental flash of the crash he suddenly calls out the others’ names. “Ji Ah! Yeol!”
Bong Hee walks to the edge of a cliff and overlooks the vast ocean. There is nothing in sight but water. “Oh no. My goodness!” she utters in desperation at their situation.
Present: Ms. Jo and Investigator Oh observe Bong Hee from their car. She is standing at the water’s edge at the mudflat. Ms. Jo thinks Bong Hee is too calm and doesn’t act like someone who has been through a trauma. Investigator Oh reports that the doctors say Bong Hee’s memory loss is due to meningitis. Ms. Jo tells Investigator Oh to do something to spark her memory – medication, hypnosis – whatever it takes.
Bong Hee stands on the sand; her memories are jumbled and unclear. She recalls the day she first met Joon Oh; it is as if she is watching herself run back and forth with outfits and Joon Oh being impossibly difficult. Then her mind flashes to a very different scene with Joon Oh. It is raining. She is sobbing and lays her head on Joon Oh’s shoulder. He holds her. Then she remembers him saying, “Hurry up and go.”
Three men in suits approach Bong Hee. She struggles as they try to coax her to go with them. Investigator Oh runs to her aid and asks what they are doing. At that moment Bong Hee takes off running over the bridge, past barrels and motorbikes, down a town street as they chase her. Stands of fruit and fish tumble over.
She trips and falls. Investigator Oh catches up to her and asks if she is okay. Her memory is jogged again.
Flashback: It is a dark night on the beach, there is a bonfire and people, someone gets slapped, a necklace dangles. The ocean waters violently churn, Joon Oh is turning, turning underwater.
Bong Hee’s story: Joon Oh lets out his rage, yelling and asking out loud why the plane he was on had to go down. Like a child who can’t control his emotions or deal with the situation at hand, Joon Oh gorges himself on the stockpile of food that Bong Hee has carefully saved. When she finds him she is beside herself and tells him to give the food back, scolding, “We’re on a deserted island. Everyone else is dead and this is all the food we have.” He acts like he doesn’t know what she means and that what she is saying couldn’t possibly be true. Hasn’t she looked for the others? Why hasn’t she found anything? Joon Oh runs back and forth on the beach and climbs the rocks looking for clues. He is illogical, accusing her of being part of a prank. “Where are the cameras?” he asks. “Where are the others?” Bong Hee doesn’t respond or look at him. Joon Oh begins to grasp the reality and severity of their situation.
Present: President Jang appears on television to address the ongoing rumors that Legend Entertainment fabricated the crash for attention and profit. With the appearance of Ra Bong Hee, the families of the missing artists have demanded reopening the investigation. Fans of Dreamers have new hope that their idols survived and demand answers from the agency. As Chairman Jo watches the newscast, Investigator Oh calls with some information that Bong Hee finally remembers something: a deserted island. Chairman Jo tells him to bring her to headquarters.
It seems as if Bong Hee is cooperating with Investigator Oh and Chairman Jo because she’s been told it is her duty to remember the information as the only survivor and that she is the key to information about why the plane crashed and what happened to everyone else. Bong Hee sits in a room facing Investigator Oh who asks her questions while recording her. Chairman Jo and committee members sit in another room listening. Chairman Jo prompts Investigator Oh with questions to ask her.
Bong Hee becomes very emotional as she begins to remember things and tells the story to the best of her recollection. She tearfully begs them to send rescuers and says she will do her best to find her memories if they promise to save the others. “Don’t leave them abandoned there,” she pleads. Chairman Jo seems impatient as if she doesn’t believe Bong Hee; not that she thinks she is lying necessarily but that such recollections may not necessarily be reliable and could be imagination and facts mixed.
Bong Hee’s story:
Some days were really hard and filled with despair. The realization that people had died was hard on both her and Joon Oh and they found themselves lonely and crying at times. Another day she felt grateful to be alive.
Once Joon Oh spotted a ship on the horizon. Bong Hee ran into the ocean and began swimming, swimming, until the ship was out of sight. Day-to-day was hard on them both with scrapes and cuts as they looked for food and gathered wood, but there was nothing they could do but live for the moment. Then one day she saw something that gave them new hope: a name written in white chalk on a rock, ALDEN IS HERE, and 25 hatch marks. They concluded that he was rescued and that someone would come for them, too.
“We can live, too!” they shouted. Joon Oh and Bong Hee did a happy dance on the beach that day. With a new ray of hope, Bong Hee determined that she must survive.
Skeptical Chairwoman Jo feeds questions to Investigator Oh. “Ask her how they survived.”
Bong Hee’s story: She and Joon Oh work together and bicker like an old married couple to construct a shelter. Not surprising, Joon Oh does most of the complaining. Bong Hee is resourceful and gains his admiration although he barely lets himself admit it to her. She even knows how to tap water from plants and gather it into bottles. In the end, they both pitch in to make a place to sleep and a fire for cooking and warmth. Bong Hee forms the word HELP in giant letters out of seaweed on the sand. (Help in kelp.)
When Bong Hee’s story proves to be consistent over several days, Chairman Jo tells an investigator to call China. They find out there are 143 islands in the region where Bong Hee was found and 97 of them are uninhabited. It will take three months to search those islands – a time frame and expense that Chairman Jo realizes is nearly impossible.
Meanwhile, we learn that lawyer Yoon Tae Young is actress Yoon So Hee’s brother. With the appearance of survivor Ra Bong Hee, he has hope that his sister is still alive somehow. Now we know how he recognized the necklace around Bong Hee’s throat as belonging to his sister, So Hee. But his hope is short-lived: a call from Prosecutor Cho confirms that his sister has been found in Huizhou, China. Sadly, however, the rest of the news is that she did not survive.
For now, Bong Hee stays in her hometown with her mother. Chairwoman Jo makes sure Bong Hee has bodyguards to keep reporters and others from bothering her and tells Investigator Oh to continue to talk with her and record everything.
Joon Oh’s daydream: Joon Oh dozes off after working all day. He dreams that he is lounging on a beach as island women fan him with palms and place a colorful lei around his neck. There is a buffet just for him that is overflowing with fruits, pizza, pork, seafood, breads. Even Byeong Joo, his assistant, is there serving him. Bong Hee stands there with a flower in her hair, calling to him…
But it’s the real Bong Hee who wakes him from his paradise daydream during which he’s eaten almost all of the snacks. “How could he eat all the food? Are you crazy?” she yells. His defense is that she can’t blame him for eating in his dreams. Joon Oh pulls rank and tells her that he will fire her. When they get rescued, she better watch out, because he will fire her. But for now, he has eaten all of their rations. What will they do?
Bong Hee tells him to start a fire while she gets food. Joon Oh is so useless, complaining that he doesn’t know how to start a fire and leaving the food search to Bong Hee who dives into the sea with ease and retrieves clams and fish. Afterwards, she gets a blazing fire going to Joon Oh’s admiration although he doesn’t readily admit it to her. She is determined to stay alive until they are rescued. When the lovely fish is cooked she offers some to Joon Oh who is still acting like a spoiled prince and won’t debone the fish. Childhood trauma, he claims – got a bone stuck in his throat. There she goes, doing everything herself, like the little red hen. Find the food, cook the food, prepare the food, eat the food, and feed the spoiled prince. He does compliment her on her survival instincts and makes sure she has a bite or two in between feeding him.
That night as they sleep Bong Hee hears noise and wakes up Joon Oh. There is something in the trees coming toward them. Just as they plan to throw a rock its way, who should appear but Yeol. He collapses, injured and worn out. They carry him to the shelter, set his injured arm with a board, and Joon Oh carefully gives him sips of water. When Yeol wakes up Bong Hee makes him some porridge. She asks how he managed to survive and how he found them.
Yeol’s story: After the plane crashed he woke up on the rocks with a badly injured arm. He thought he was the only survivor and waited a few days for a rescue team. Then he saw light – and came toward it. That’s how he found Bong Hee and Joon Oh. “Do you think someone will rescue us?” he asks Bong Hee. She excitedly tells him about the message written by Alden, a person who must have been here long before them. It seems like he was rescued after 25 days. “That’s what I think,” she says.
Yeol listens with a somber expression. He asks her, “Have you ever thought about the possibility that we might die here?” She asks why he is so pessimistic, but Yeol says that he saw that Alden guy. A skeleton with a tag around his neck that said, No day but today and on the back, J. Alden. Yeol reasons that if anyone had ever come to this island they would have at least taken the corpse, wouldn’t they?
It is as if Bong Hee gets the air knocked out of her. The hope and optimism she mustered all this time turns to despair. Joon Oh hasn’t heard their conversation and stirs from sleep. When he talks casually and teases her about firing her again, she goes crazy on him. “Fine. Fire me. Go ahead and fire me, you jerk…neither of us will be able to get off this island. You psycho. Make your own food. Catch your own fish, you jerk.” Yeol has to pull her off Joon Oh.
But something more important, more startling catches Yeol’s eye – a distinct light.
Bong Hee takes off running, “It must be people.” Yeol thinks there are more survivors like them – people they know – and catches up to Bong Hee. Joon Oh makes a torch and follows. Bong Hee and Yeol split up, but moments later Bong Hee loses her footing and falls into quicksand. Yeol hears her cry out, but it is Joon Oh who reaches her first and pulls her out. Someone else is running in the woods – it’s a woman – running towards them, looking for them as much as they are looking for her.
Investigator Oh encourages Bong Hee to think hard and remember who exactly it was that they found. Bong Hee’s mind flashes to a dark scene where there is screaming, a woman, feet at the edge of a rock, someone falling…
But what she remembers is this: The light is from a cell phone. That person who appears is Ji Ah. In spite of her needy personality she has survived but she is terribly shaken. She cries out, “Where have you been? Why did you leave me alone?” But she isn’t alone, she is with someone else. That person isn’t doing well, however. Ji Ah tells them that this person tried to kill herself a few days ago saying she wants to die and is miserable living here.
Ji Ah takes them to the cave where they’ve been staying. They carefully approach a pitiful, huddled figure. It’s So Hee. She looks up, distant and terrified. Joon Oh asks, “Are you okay, So Hee?”
Present: Yoon Tae Young flies to China to identify the body of his sister at the morgue. He is told that she was found near the seashore. There is more information: it wasn’t the crash that killed her. It seems that she was murdered. Yoon Tae Young sobs over So Hee’s dead body.
Bong Hee is in the hospital for a scan. The doctor tells Investigator Oh that medically speaking, Bong Hee should be able to remember. Investigator Oh asks if she could be pretending not to remember, then?
- I liked how this episode went back and forth between the present investigation and the actual story on the island as it took place. There were a lot of rich details in how Joon Oh and Bong Hee survived. I felt such despair when the hope that kept Bong Hee going disappeared when Yeol said he came across Alden’s skeleton. No rescuers, no previous survivors, no hope.
- Maybe Joon Oh is learning to be the one to lend a hand. Maybe his heart which has been hidden behind walls is opening up. He cared so dearly for injured Yeol, rescued Bong Hee from the quicksand and lovingly scolded her for not being careful, and gently reached out to So Hee in the cave and asked if she was okay. The Joon Oh behind the spoiled fallen star is a pretty tender-hearted guy who doesn’t like seeing others hurting.
- Chairwoman Jo is pushing her agenda, whatever it is – maybe she just wants to get the facts in order to do her job as committee chair well. But she has an innate distrust of Bong Hee’s truthfulness for some reason. Is it that she is desperate for information and understands that Bong Hee is the only one who can provide clues? And, it seems as if the chairwoman wants to protect Bong Hee (well, the information) from reporters and others who might want information for other reasons (like President Jang, fans and the resulting gossip that pseudo reporters would spread). Also, why is Investigator Oh so involved? Wouldn’t you think that Chairwoman Jo would want to ask the questions herself?
- I feel sorry that Yoon Tae Young had to go to China to identify the body of his sister, So Hee. We are left hanging concerning her story knowing that she was alive at one point with the other survivors but somehow died. That’s creepy.
- That’s where Bong Hee seems stuck in her memories – or doesn’t want to remember, as the doctor is suggesting.
- At first I thought the story of Bong Hee and Joon Oh was silly, the way they survived, the bickering and lack of cooperation on Joon Oh’s part, but then it grew on me. Or maybe Joon Oh and Bong Hee together grew on me and I liked how they interacted and developed a reliance on one another. I also think Bong Hee’s optimism and self-reliance feels genuine, as if the things that she learned from her mother kicked in naturally in a “survive trying or die” situation. That spunk is what has caught Joon Oh’s attention and he looks at her differently, admiringly; although he can’t quite admit his shortcomings, he defers to her ability to survive and her common sense.
- We are left to wonder if something sinister may have taken place among the survivors, or is it that unstable So Hee caused her own death?