‘Thirty Nine’ Episode 1 & 2: Recap & Ending – Who Among Them Is Going To Die?

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“Thirty Nine” captures the lives of three best friends who have known each other for 20 years. They have been with each other in their teens, their 20s, and now in their 30s. Featuring Son Ye Jin, Jeon Mi Do, and Kim Ji Hyun, “Thirty Nine” brings a story of three 39-year-old women who experience life-changing events, both happy and sad, just before entering their 40s.


‘Thirty Nine’ Characters Introduction

Cha Mi Jo is a dermatologist and runs her own clinic in Gangnam. She is an adopted child and is loved by her family. Her parents are wealthy, and her older sister works at her clinic as well. Mi Jo has just paid off her debt and wants to take a sabbatical. She wants to go and play golf in the USA. Her older sister is worried about why Mi Jo would leave her flourishing career to play golf when she is still young. However, it is later revealed that Mi Jo has been having panic attacks. She wants to take a break to get mentally fit. She hasn’t told her parents about her decision yet because she is worried about their reaction.

Jeong Chan Young is an acting teacher and runs her own studio. She met Mi Jo in the subway when they were both in 11th grade. Mi Jo had lost her wallet, and they became friends while Chan Young helped her out. Chan Young lives by her own rules. She is the boldest of the three friends. She is also single, like the rest of her friends, but she is still in love with a man whom she met years ago through Mi Jo. He is now married with a kid, but Chan Young has not been able to get over him.

Jang Joo Hee is a cosmetic shop manager. She is the most innocent of them all and still believes that a romantic encounter will happen in her life by chance. She doesn’t know or understand how flirting or dating works. She met Mi Jo and Chan Young when they came to her mother’s restaurant searching for Mi Jo’s biological mother. Mi Jo had mistaken Joo Hee’s mom as her birth mother. This happened on the same day Chan Young met Mi Jo. Ever since that day, the three of them became best friends.


Is Chan Young Having An Affair?

Even after 20 years, Mi Jo, Chan Young, and Joo Hee’s friendship haven’t changed at all. They still eat tteokbokki and drink soju together like they have been doing since they met. Chan Young and Joo Hee are going to get a free cosmetic treatment from Mi Jo, which would cost them a hefty sum of money otherwise. At Mi Jo’s clinic, a group of women suddenly barge in and start abusing Mi Jo for allegedly having an affair with the husband of one of the women. The abuse turns into an assault, leading all of them to the police station. The misunderstandings between them are cleared up, but before that, Mi Jo and Joo Hee had wondered if the women were talking about Chan Young.

Chan Young often goes on dates with Jin Seok, who is married and has a son. Jin Seok is also there for Chan Young when she needs him. He comes to pick her up from the police station after hearing about the incident. Chan Young claims that they do not have an affair, but her friends don’t believe her. She gets angry whenever Mi Jo calls it an affair, but Mi Jo says it’s her responsibility as a friend to tell her friend what’s wrong. Despite the differences, they love each other all the same.

Every year, the three of them visit Mi Jo’s orphanage to spend time with the children. This time, they have a new guest at the orphanage, Kim Seon Woo, the new English teacher for the kids. Joo Hee tries to impress Seon Woo, but someone else has caught his eyes, Mi Jo. Fate works in their favor, and he gets to meet Mi Jo on the same night, to return her watch that she forgot at the orphanage. They accidentally meet again at a musical show and end up sleeping together. When Seon Woo asks Mi Jo if they can meet again, she tells her it isn’t a good idea because she is leaving Korea soon. Nevertheless, he convinces her to meet once before leaving.


Will Mi Jo Cancel Her US Trip?

Mi Jo has been preparing for her sabbatical, and Jin Seok is going to introduce her to a doctor who can run her clinic while she is away. Jin Seok tells Mi Jo to meet the doctor by herself because he has to meet Chan Young urgently. Kim Seon Woo turns out to be that doctor, and both of them are surprised by such a coincidence. Destiny is working in their favor for sure. On the other hand, Jin Seok meets Chan Young, leaving behind his meeting with Mi Jo and Seon Woo. Chan Young sounded sad on the call, and she was more important than a business meeting to him. She tells him that they should break up and stop meeting. What they have is more than a friendship and less than a relationship. They haven’t slept together since Jin Seok got married. While Jin Seok lives a happy life with his family and also with Chan Young, she is yearning for him. She can’t keep on living like this for the rest of her life.

Joo Hee has a sudden encounter with a new Chinese restaurant owner in her neighborhood, who she thinks is hitting on her. He changes his restaurant’s closing time so it can fit her schedule. He has been requesting her to visit his restaurant, so to check him out, Joo Hee and her friends visit his restaurant together. They are disappointed when they see a girl with him who seems close to him. However, their disappointment doesn’t last long when Seon Woo comes inside. Cupid might not be in favor of Joo Hee and Chan Young, but he is undoubtedly supporting Mi Jo. He is the restaurant owner’s friend, but since he has come alone, he joins Mi Jo and her friends.

Due to the clinic, Mi Jo and Seon Woo have been spending more time together, and they like it. Seon Woo cannot stop her, but he doesn’t want Mi Jo to go to the USA when they’ve just met. This has got Mi Jo in a dilemma as well, but she is adamant about her decision. However, something tragic has happened, and it could make her change her decision. Mi Jo receives a call from her and her friends’ regular doctor. He gives her negative news about Chan Young. She is terminally ill and has a really short time to live. This breaks Mi Jo’s heart, and instead of visiting Chan Young, she goes and blames Jin Seok for Chan Young’s condition. Chan Young hasn’t told anyone yet because she is still in denial herself.


Is Chan Young Going To Die Before Completing Her ‘Thirty Nine’?

Mi Jo, Chan Young, and Joo Hee are three best friends with distinctly different personalities. Mi Jo likes to have everything in balance. She has a career and has had her share of romance in her life. Her life looks perfect, but she suffers from anxiety and has recently started getting panic attacks. She cannot sleep without sleeping pills.

Chan Young wanted to become an actor, but she got lost in Jin Seok’s love and ended up becoming an acting teacher. She is addicted to smoking, which has been her coping mechanism for a long time. She hopelessly asks Jin Seok if he can get a divorce even though she knows the answer. She flaunts a smile on her face while carrying the pain in her heart.

Joo Hee is a simple person, with the least complex life among her friends. She works diligently at her workplace, and after work, she enjoys watching Kdramas in bed at home. If she’s not doing that, she’s hanging out with Mi Jo and Chan Young. She is close to her mother and lives with her. Joo Hee is still a virgin, unlike her friends. She is too shy and flustered to go out and interact with people romantically.

The death of one of them was hinted at the beginning of “Thirty Nine,” but unlike most stories where the dying character is revealed at the end, it is revealed earlier that Chan Young is the one who is going to die. The three friends have been spending a long time with each other, almost like a family. Now, they are on the edge of turning 40 years old. Well, except for Chan Young. This has come unexpectedly, and it is going to shake their lives for some time to come.

To be honest, Chan Young has been living an unfulfilling life, with her dream lost and constantly chasing a love that was never hers. Now, her friends have one last chance to make her life as happy as possible. More than that, Chan Young’s reaction to this is going to matter the most. Will she finally take off her bold mask and break down? Or will she continue living as she has always been? Let’s find out in the upcoming episodes of “Thirty Nine.”


See More: ‘Thirty Nine’ Episode 3 & 4: Recap And Ending – What Choice Does Chang Young Make?


“Thirty Nine” is a 2022 South Korean romantic drama series streaming on Netflix.

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Neha Bhondve
Neha Bhondve
Neha is an entertainment writer who enjoys exploring people, culture, and places through travel, books, and cinema.

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