I can’t remember an emotionally draining drama where I did not cry, but “Tomorrow With You” really knocked my heart out, because I was hoping for the best that can happen to So Joon and Ma Rin’s love story given the arduous time-bending road they had to overcome to finally get a tomorrow with each other.
Lee Je Hoon oppa was so cool with the time-bending walkie/talkie sleeper hit “Signal” last year so I never pictured myself swooning over him because he is known for his poignant character portrayals. “Tomorrow With You” caught me easily with its time-traveling hero and his quest to prevent his eventual death in the future. We uncovered layers of mystery to another as we were presented with the future focal conflict of the love couple’s death that can be saved only if our hero can work on the circumstances happening at his present life, which of course he does not know about, but us viewers have already fathomed. Working out the strenuous hitch was no easy task if you have a perceptive wife who wanted everything in her married life done together.
I was thrilled watching the scenes unravel, and yet I was also frustrated trying to decipher the hindered rules as So Joon travels to the future. I like the sudden marriage plot. I like the back story. I like that he was forced to confront the main problem not with his initial urge to survive, but because he slowly but surely felt that his future involved Ma Rin because she crept in his heart without him realizing it… that he cannot picture a future without her anymore.
The way the story withheld the future twist by furtively hiding the key turning points and yet presenting well the essence of the time-traveling plot on the romantic premise, has made me on the edge of my seat trying to decipher the puzzle pieces that will help So Joon in case I bump with him in one of his sojourns. I like the laid-back-we-will-not- be-rushing here tone, so I was surprised that the big reveal to Ma Rin that she married a time-traveler came sooner than I expected. It was most of the time maintaining the wistful sphere thanks to our caught in between time wrinkling love couple. I can understand the urgency on So Joon’s end trying to protect Ma Rin, but how the latter responded after learning the truth was understandably confusing if So Joon keeps on hiding what their full story was about. In a way the narrative was sort of intermittently detaching on its own accord, but it finds a way to wake me up and entice me again.
That’s what it did when it crossed the middle part when we have established the villain and his wrongdoings.
Then we got to the conflict of So Joon conflicted between leaving Ma Rin of the present because of a warning from Ma Rin of the future, but true love always prevails so we got past that hurdle and they compromised to work on the repercussions of their actions that could make an impact to their supposed future fall out.
What I cannot understand sometimes, because we have so much going on in the future was how So Joon stubbornly overlooked the present moment. And whenever he goes to the future, it’s like he was getting bits of information that was not able to back up the premise of the integral conflict which was the future that won’t happen in two years time for them anymore. True that it started smoothly at the first half and every episode since then was problem stricken and gave a half-baked resolution. The villain conflict was resolved and he got jailed, but he still ended up vanishing in the subway. Ma Rin who could meet So Joon of the past decided not to and told Ki Doong to tell her husband a lie in a futile hope that his life will change for the better if she will not happen to his life at all.
On the finale episode, I was hoping for a glimmer of hope that he was still alive because hey dokpang is a time-traveler, goblin braved and endured that frozen limbo for 10 years to be with his bride so give me a time-traveler who could do as much for Ma Rin who patiently waited for him writing those future emails all those times. Someone from kdramagods haven heard my plea and gave me answers. But not after pushing deep the invisible knife piercing my heart as it gave those minutes of So Joon recovering from coma and waking up to the knowledge that his wife died 3 years ago, and she has a few days left to see and save her at her present living moment. I mean man that was so mean. It’s really a must for writers to be at their happiest moment when they are writing. I was tired worrying and hoping and going back to the past and future and living their present lives as well. So I was resolved to failing the drama for real.
But the drama literally saved the best for last. The frames of So Joon’s future escapades started to make sense as explained in the finale episode. Along with how Ma Rin chose to lie about their supposed failed marriage so that past So Joon can be reprieved of his fate.
The scenes that marked in me most were first, that scene when Ma Rin told So Joon how she got through those lonely days by stalking his time traveling past self who would constantly leave food and even send video messages for her. The other one was how when they survived their inevitable tragedy and lived as a normal married couple bickering with the usual wife’s nagging and the husband’s stubbornness, Ma Rin’s future emails would pop up to remind him of how much he was loved by her during those tumultuous times. I knew that ajussi will do the sacrifice when the camera panned at the scene when So Joon visited Ma Rin’s year 2022 graveyard so I was not surprised as their fate has been intertwined since the Namyeong station accident.
Since time-warping is a complex plot where the writer of the imagined world is the boss, I am okay with how he gave us the answer to how present time So Joon survived the fatal injury by skipping the year he was supposed to die, in exchange of losing his powers temporarily the moment he recovered from coma. It was a pertinent move to propel the climax of whether he can save his wife with all his might and yearning to her looming demise. So yes, I heaved a sigh when after all his attempts he successfully arrived to the present time where he belonged, to give everything he has for the last chance of saving himself and his wife to their imminent misfortune.
Unrequited and patient love was the binding tangible that cushioned So Joon and Ma Rin’s tale as it was a tough job to unlace the intricate connections of the characters’ present, past and future. But all those hints So Joon discovered were key points to how they eventually freed themselves from the initial burden.
“Tomorrow with You” tested my fortitude as together with the heroine I serenely calm myself and focus on the love promise dokpang gave to her. Although it was a sad ending for ajussi, it was a heartfelt gesture of a father’s love… to make sure that his daughter will be showered the love she deserved which he has failed to give.
This drama felt like a roller-coaster as I hiked on the twists and turns and got lost in time and space continuum. It might even give a frustrating ride so consider you are forewarned if you are not used to a story that you have to analyze from start to finish. Nevertheless I got my closure even if they fit it in less than 60 minutes. So Joon and Ma Rin’s road to ever after was definitely something I would not dare to have, but they gave me lessons on how compromise, patience and love are essentials that secure an unwavering relationship. -jediprincess