Week after week I watch "Please Come Back, Mister" mostly just feeling a little puzzled about the way the story progresses. Yeong-soo romancing his wife shortly after his death in a new man's body. That's pretty unaccountably weird, and most of the early part of this episode is just dedicated to that rather unusual and somewhat unsettling prompt. As a romantic comedy, "Please Come Back, Mister" is consistently more funny strange than it is funny ha-ha.
The relationship can't go anywhere since sooner or later Yeong-soo will have to go the afterlife. That leaves the villains for making dynamic conflict, and they're hamstrung in this effort by their unusually passive personalities. Jae-gook seems perplexed every time the main characters undermine his plans. I find it rather odd how he started "Please Come Back, Mister" out as a blackmailer yet ever since then he's just been a generally unlikable person who's trying to do a good job. Measured in profits, anyway, which is all department stores generally care about, but even so he's more goal-oriented than focused on vendettas.
Ji-hoon also comes off unintentionally sympathetic, bad attitude notwithstanding. He pieces together the various inconsistencies regarding Jae-hoon, Hong-nan, and the way these two characters relate to the lifes of Yeong-soo and Gi-tak. I was actually expecting writer Noh Hye-yeong to go the route of "what happens if an unrelated person discovers that Yeong-soo and Gi-tak have reincarnated into new bodies" and the storyline we get instead ends up being even weirder than that.
The big secret reveal is strange less because it's bizarre (technically I think it was foreshadowed a few times) and more because I have no idea what purpose it's supposed to serve in the context of the narrative. This knowledge does not change anyone's outlook on currently ongoing schemes except to the extent it makes some of the main characters appear dishonest. The relationships between the principals are mostly unaffected, as is their overall motivation.
That much, admittedly, is a bit of an iffy statement mainly because the motivation in "Please Come Back, Mister" has never really been pointed in the direction of a single significantly well-driven overall conflict. This is especially true since at some point Yeong-soo and Gi-tak are going to have to disappear without explanation. Unless...actually, several implausible scenarios do come to mind. Scenarios I would not have previously considered seriously except that, well, the production team seems willing to try just about anything at this point.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 11"
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