‘See You In My 19th Life’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending, Explained: Does Ji Eum Meet Seo Ha?


There was a song that was wildly popular on Indian Instagram reels a few months ago where a little boy was literally begging his girlfriend to not forget their childhood love. For some reason, See You in My 19th Life reminds us of that. A being (we are not assigning gender to them since they have been on all sides of the spectrum through the centuries) who is currently living their 19th life is looking for a child that they fell in love with in their 18th life. This situation also reminds us of the argument that people were having regarding whether Damon and Stefan Salvatore were pedophiles for having a relationship with 17-year-old Elena. In the recap of Episode 1, we are going to be extremely judgy since a centuries-old person was so obsessed with a child. That might change going forward; however, we must admit that Korean drama land has really taken their obsession with first love to a whole new level. We want them to question whether falling in love only once in so many centuries is romantic or embarrassing. Regardless, here is a recap of Episode 1 of See You in My 19th Life

Spoilers Alert

Why Is Ban Ji Eum Looking For Mun Seo Ha?

Ban Ji Eum is currently living her 19th life, and she usually remembers the memories of her previous life around the age of 8–14 years old. This 19th life of hers is not great, with an alcoholic father and a mother who leaves them, unable to bear her life anymore. Ban Ji Eum fends for her family with the talents she has accumulated over her past lives. She becomes a flamenco dancer and is known as the Girl of Many Trades. However, her father takes away most of her money, and therefore, Ji Eum is left without any resources. She is not dependent on her father, nor is she a helpless child who cannot take care of herself, but she desperately needs money to fulfill a mission of hers, which is to look for her first love from her past life. Therefore, Ban Ji Eum packs her bags and runs away from home. She goes to meet Ae Gyeong, a snack shop owner whom Ji Eum knew in her 17th life. Back then, Ji Eum had been Jung Ho, Ae Gyeong’s uncle, and she had raised her after her parents passed away. Ae Gyeong has a hard time believing Ji Eum, but she knows facts about her life that only Jung Ho could know. Ji Eum asks Ae Gyeong to adopt her and promises that she will take care of herself with the money she earns. But Ae Gyeong finds it all very amusing. However, right now, Ji Eum needs money so that she can check on Seo Ha, and that is when she narrates her story to Ae Gyeong.

In her 18th life, Ji Eum was born Yoon Ju Won, and she had already recollected her memories of her past lives two years before. Since she carried the weight of that knowledge, she no longer acted like a child. But all that changed when she met Mun Seo Ha. He was the son of her mother’s friend, and it looked like the two women had reconnected after a long time. We might get more clarity on this in the upcoming episodes of “See You in My 19th Life”. Regardless, Seo Ha was certainly younger than Ju Won, and he hated being treated like a child. Both the “children” were intrigued by each other, and it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Ju Won was already in love. We are trying very hard to look past the optics of physical age and have come up with an explanation that is probably what the writers were thinking for this story.

Instead of love, we should start by calling it a special connection. Ju Won had lived for centuries, in a way. We often talk about how age sharpens our intuition and our aura, as well as affects the kind of people we like and attract into our lives. Ju Won certainly had plenty of that. It had to be that soul connection that she felt with Seo Ha. She did not need documents of proof, and years of dating to know that she liked Seo Ha. Had Ju Won continued with her 18th life, she may have chosen to pursue Seo Ha once he grew up. In the brief time they spent together, Ju Won said that it was the first time in decades that she had any fun. We suppose that when life is endless, nothing is new anymore, and what passes for fun loses its luster. But Ju Won was having fun with Seo Ha, and that was reason enough for her to stick around. She was there for the boy and was shockingly honest with him regarding her past lives. A grown-up Seo Ha may think of them as the tales of another child, but for Ju Won, she was being honest with the person she hoped to spend at least one lifetime with.

We are sure that the future episodes of See You in My 19th Life will further reveal the complexities of Ju Won and Seo Ha’s relationship, but for now, we know that Ji Eum is looking for Seo Ha. Her 18th life had ended in a car crash, right after she had gifted a box to Seo Ha and was giving him hints as to where its key would be. Ju Won had died in that accident, and Seo Ha had acquired a hearing disability. In her 19th life, Ju Won, aka Ji Eum, wanted to see Seo Ha again, who is a grown-up high schooler now. Upon hearing her story, Ae Gyeong decides to take a chance and gives Ji Eum the money she was asking for. Ji Eum doesn’t waste time and immediately goes to Seo Ha’s house, where she sees him. But unknown to her, Seo Ha is a troubled teenager, and he hates that his father is already moving on by disrespecting the memory of his mother.

Ji Eum starts living with Ae Gyeong, who becomes her legal guardian from the looks of it. Ji Eum regularly follows Seo Ha wherever he goes, until the day he disappears. He has moved to Germany, and Ji Eum works hard, or easy considering she already has a lot of accumulated knowledge, and gets into KAIST, a German university. She also starts working at Seo Ha’s father’s company. But Seo Ha is in Germany, and Ji Eum is looking for ways to go there, either as a transfer or just like that. While she is still considering which route to take, she learns that Seo Ha is back in Korea and is at his mother’s hotel.

Does Ji Eum Meet Seo Ha?

Ji Eum immediately goes to the hotel to meet Seo Ha, and she finds him near the fish tank, looking at the turtles, just like in his childhood. She later approaches him the way Ju Won had met him near the pool, but maybe Seo Ha did not connect the dots, so he showed no interest. He is back in Korea with the single purpose of restoring his mother’s hotel and her legacy, much to his father’s anger, who wants him to work for his company. Seo Ha and his father’s relationship looks non-existent, with Seo Ha not even bothering to put in his hearing aids when his dad is talking. He is simply going to follow his heart and work to restore the memory of his mother. Ji Eum catches on to that and sends in her resume and cover letter to be a part of the renovation team for the hotel. Her resume raises eyebrows since she is way too overqualified for the job and is clearly a little wacky, going by the skills she has mentioned in it. However, since it is a good resume, she is called in for an interview.

Ji Eum is excited, but when she enters Seo Ha’s cabin and calls him, he doesn’t respond, and she figures out that the accident must have hurt his ears. He confirms her doubts by putting in his hearing device. Seo Ha clearly finds Ji Eum very dicey, and he mentions that they may not need her at the hotel. But Ji Eum did not wait for him for so long only to be bogged down so easily. At the end of See You in My 19th Life Episode 1, Ji Eum immediately proposes that they start dating. Seo Ha is horrified, thinking that he misheard her, but when she clearly repeats it for him, he doesn’t know what to do anymore. Right now, Seo Ha is confused, but we can guess that Ji Eum is going to start reminding him of Ju Won soon enough, and that would shake up his heart, if we may say so in K-Drama terms.

Final Thoughts

There is certainly a lot more of Seo Ha and Ju Won’s past to uncover. We also got a glimpse of Ye Jin of The Good Bad Mother with Ju Won, and we believe that she may have been her sister in her 18th life. This means that we still need to find out what happened to Ju Won’s family after her death. Ji Eum completely forgot about them, so there may be some guilt about that. In her 18th life, Ju Won was clearly older than Seo Ha, but now, Seo Ha must have at least a decade on Ji Eum. We know that these are perfectly acceptable ages for people to “follow their hearts,” but there is an ick factor that we can’t get rid of. Hopefully, the writers have predicted that some viewers may have these complicated feelings and have introduced some subplots or discussions to resolve them. We only have to wait and watch until then.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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