Shaman, Suhbingo (Lee Jung Eun) cleans her house to distract herself from the impending departure of ghost, Soon Ae (Kim Seul Gi). Since three years have passed since her death, Soon Ae’s time is up, but even though her grudge is resolved, she still has some lingering attachments to the world of the living. Suhbingo tries not to cry as they hug, and instead, tells Soon Ae to take care.
Soon Ae’s father, Myeong Ho (Lee Dae Yeon) is preparing for Soon Ae’s memorial with her brother, Gyeong Ho (Lee Hak Joo) when he gets a phone call from the police. At the station, Myeong Ho gets the belated news that Soon Ae did not commit suicide. Rather, age was murdered by Sung Jae (Im Joo Hwan) to cover up his crimes. Horrified at Soon Ae’s suffering, and the fact that he’d been serving food to her murderer all these years, Myeong Ho collapses on the steps outside of the police station.
Meanwhile, a chatty Bong Sun (Park Bo Young) brags to chef, Sun Woo (Jo Jung Seok) about how changed she is, to the point where her own grandmother insisted that she prove she wasn’t possessed by a ghost. Sun Woo, meanwhile, insists that he’s feeling better, now that he has to think of his mother, Hye Young (Shin Eun Kyung) and sister, Eun Hee (Shin Hye Sun), given everything that’s happened. Their flirtation is interrupted by a phone call from Gyeong Mo.
Back at Myeong Ho’s restaurant, Soon Ae arrives to find the place empty, but overhears some neighbours talking about Myeong Ho’s collapse. Soon Ae arrives at the hospital, to find Bong Sun and Sun Woo comforting Gyeong Mo about the news that Myeong Ho likely will not make it.
As Soon Ae goes in to see Myeong Ho and apologize to him for the pain she caused him, Myeong Ho’s pulse stops. The doctors come running, but as they try to save him, Soon Ae chases her father as he’s walking towards the light, and sends him back, telling him that he can’t leave Gyeong Mo alone. Myeong Ho returns to the hospital bed, and his eyes open.
Gyeong Mo refuses to leave his father’s side to even eat. Gyeong Mo admits that when he thought Myeong Ho was dying, he resented Soon Ae for taking him away, but Myeong Ho sets him straight: it was Soon Ae who sent him back. As Soon Ae looks on fondly, Gyeong Mo promises to work really hard from now on. Bong Sun comes in for a visit, but when she spots Soon Ae, the two of them sit down for a talk. Bong Sun believes that it was fate that led Soon Ae to her, since Soon Ae’s grudge was resolved, Bong Sun was able to get closer to Sun Woo, and Sun Woo discovered the truth of his sister’s accident. When Soon Ae points out how much Bong Sun has changed, Bong Sun promises to live diligently. In the meantime, Bong Sun decides to allow Soon Ae to possess her one last time so that she can say goodbye to Sun Woo. Soon Ae rejects the offer, but it’s Bong Sun who forces the issue.
Sun Woo is at the restaurant, talking on the phone with his friend, PD So Hyeong (Park Jung Ah), about his intentions to reopen the restaurant and send Hye Young and Eun Hee to the States. He greets Bong Sun when she comes in, but when he takes her hand, he figures out that it’s Soon Ae.
Soon Ae thanks Sun Woo for letting her experience the feelings she was never able to experience when she was alive, but it’s Sun Woo who is both grateful and sorry, that Soon Ae had to die thanks to Eun Hee’s accident. Sun Woo takes Soon Ae’s hand, then draws her into an awkward hug. Soon Ae steps away from Bong Sun’s body, and Bong Sun watches as Soon Ae walks away into the light.
By the side of the river, Suhbingo watches Soon Ae’s spirit leaving, as her necklace of bells appears on the bench behind her. Tears in her eyes, Suhbingo bids Soon Ae farewell, telling her that she lived harder than anyone else. Lucky for her, she gets a phone call from Hye Young, who wants to meet up for soju since she’s not feeling great. Suhbingo is also ready for a drink, and agrees to meet up at a pojangmacha.
The next day, back at the restaurant, sous chef, Min Soo (Kang Ki Young) is so excited to be back at work that he jumps on chef, Dong Chul (Choi Min Chul), and kisses chef, Ji Woong (Oh Eui Sik). For once, he’s in agreement with chef, Joon (Kwak Si Yang), who is so cute in this scene that my head explodes into hearts and flowers. Bong Sun is also happy to be back at work, but when Sun Woo comes in with a new vacuum cleaner for Bong Sun, Min Soo admits to being jealous, and chases Sun Woo around the restaurant, taking his clothes off as he goes. That night, during dinner service, Sun Woo gives Bong Sun the opportunity to make a dish, and the four chefs salute her as the customer pronounces it delicious.
Later on, when Sun Woo gets a call to judge a cooking competition, he turns it down, but signs up Bong Sun as a competitor instead. She’s nervous when he tells her, but he overrides her protests by giving her a brand new chef knife engraved with her initials and a heart. Awwwww.
On the day of the competition, the chefs see Bong Sun off with candy to calm her (and Sun Woo’s) nerves, and a song of encouragement. At the competition, Sun Woo is a nervous wreck, but Bong Sun is not nervous, and even confidently explains her dish to the judge. When she unexpectedly wins third place, Bong Sun and Sun Woo are so cute together that my head explodes into hearts and flowers again.
Back at the restaurant, the other chefs are so excited at her win that Sun Woo gets jealous over the amount of touching. In the end, though, Ji Woong is the one who points out that part of the prize for third place includes a scholarship for studying abroad. Later that night, Bong Sun and Sun Woo talk over her decision, and Sun Woo tells her that he’ll support her going away if she wants to. It turns out that Bong Sun does want to go away, to gain the experience of studying and working in a different environment. Sun Woo’s cool slips at this, and he gives her the necklace that she returned to him before, so that she’ll feel bad every time she looks at another man. Sun Woo ends up crying into her shoulder at the thought of Bong Sun being away.
2 Years Later:
Stalker the corgi is married with kids (puppies). Suhbingo, meanwhile, is at the top of her game, upselling a customer from a single talisman all the way to an exorcism. She turns on the TV to watch her own show as her fans follow her every move.
Back at the restaurant, Min Soo is the new chef, and he’s waiting on his new sous chef, someone who studied abroad like Joon. Edward Seo, the new sous chef, bears a startling resemblance to Seo In Guk, and he isn’t impressed with Min Soo, the restaurant, or the other chefs. Edward turns out to be so cool that his cooking skills are only matched by how good he looks doing it. In the end, it’s Joon who puts a stop to Edward ordering Min Soo around, then takes Min Soo out for a cigarette to commiserate over missing Sun Woo.
Sun Woo, meanwhile, has opened a new restaurant, where he’s reluctantly training the resistant Gyeong Mo. What sounds like their customary squabble is cut short by the arrival of So Hyeong, who has brought along her new boyfriend. Sun Woo does a double take when he sees him, thanks to the guy’s uncanny resemblance to her deceased boyfriend (and Sun Woo’s friend), Chang Kyu (okay, that’s creepy). When So Hyeong asks after Bong Sun, Sun Woo tells her that he’s tired of taking her constant phone calls.
Eun Hee has also started a new venture, a flower shop, and she gets a visit from Hye Young. Hye Young immediately starts complaining about her latest boyfriend, Professor Park, since she finds him overly considerate, like Sung Jae. Hye Young stops short when she says his name, but Eun Hee is sanguine, more interested in her flowers than anything else. She shows Hye Young a flower in her bouquet that symbolizes eternal love.
The two women leave the store, and at their destination, Eun Hee is walking slowly on crutches (woot!). She tells Hye Young that she’ll go in alone this time, and it turns out that she’s there to visit Sung Jae. He lived through his fall, but his memories are gone, and it’s a heart-rending glimpse into the Sung Jae that should have been, as he smiles wholeheartedly to see her. Later, when Sung Jae expresses his frustration at not being able to remember his time with her, Eun Hee tells him she likes him as he is now.
Sun Woo, meanwhile, is having a full-on tearful breakdown in his apartment, bemoaning the fact that Bong Sun has stopped contacting him. In the Sun Restaurant kitchen, Min Soo and the other chefs are whining about how crappy the work ethic of the new sous chef, Edward, is, just as Bong Sun arrives. All the food burns as the chefs run over to hug Bong Sun.
Bong Sun’s next stop is to Myeong Ho at his restaurant, where she’s pleased to find him in good health and promises to return soon. Her last stop, of course, is Sun Woo’s new restaurant, where Gyeong Mo has just quit for the umpteenth time. Before he can go back inside and beg for his job back, to his surprise and joy, Bong Sun shows up. Gyeong Mo hugs her, but makes himself scarce when Sun Woo comes outside to take him back.
Sun Woo is shocked to see Bong Sun, and is standoffish when they go back into the restaurant. He gives her one of his dishes to try, and is impressed with her evaluation, though still antsy and distant, stating that he had no time to get in touch with her either. It’s not until Bong Sun explains that she didn’t contact him, because she missed him too much that Sun Woo finally breaks and hugs her. He picks her up and the two of them kiss, grinning from ear to ear. My head explodes into hearts and flowers for the third time at how happy they both are.
The two of them go back to Sun Woo’s apartment, where she greets Stalker with such enthusiasm that Sun Woo gets jealous. Bong Sun finds it so cute that, in classic Soon Ae style, she announces that she wants to do it with him. When Sun Woo confirms that he’s talking to the real Bong Sun, he picks her up and carries her to his bedroom.
In a postscript, we see the chefs at Sun Restaurant hard at work, while Myeong Ho’s restaurant is packed full as Bong Sun helps out. Meanwhile, Sun Woo and Gyeong Mo are working at his new restaurant, as well. Bong Sun and Sun Woo go for a bike ride, and in voiceover, Bong Sun remembers how a visit from a ghost taught her to love herself fully, and to love Sun Woo, too.
Show, what are you doing? I do not cry over TV, but damn it, you’re bringing me very close. I had to blink rapidly a few times, when Soon Ae stopped her dad from leaving, and again when Suhbingo said goodbye to Soon Ae by the riverside. Lucky for me, Sun Woo is such a sap that even my teary eyes look cool by comparison.
I usually hate the last minute time skip, but in this case, it wasn’t so bad. Rather than some big transformation happening in the intervening two years, we just checked in with the characters a couple of years later, and found them happy and doing well. Even Eun Hee is doing better in some sense, now that she’s able to walk a little and with the man she loves, for better or for worse. At least she now has Sung Jae as he was meant to be, as sad as it is to see him that way.
But, let’s talk about Bong Sun and Sun Woo. There was a point at which I wouldn’t have been able to see Sun Woo and Bong Sun together, given how much she put him on a pedestal. But, they progressed so steadily throughout the series that by this episode, the two of them looked completely natural, and I loved seeing how happy they are together. I love their dynamic, with Sun Woo trying to be cool, while actually being kind and caring and uncertain all the time, and Bong Sun having the confidence to like all the different sides of both him and herself.
The great thing about the team behind “Oh My Ghost” is how well they handle the emotional beats, without delving into overblown sentiment or cheese. Soon Ae’s leaving was as sad as it should have been, but it also felt like what it was: the natural progression for her, rather than something thrown in to wring tears out of the audience. We didn’t mention them at all in our recaps, but keep your eye out for the next K-drama by writer, Yang Hee Seung and director, Yoo Je Won. They did great things in “King of High School”, too.
Speaking of “King of High School”, how funny was Seo In Guk? Wasn’t he cute while cooking? No? Just me?