Directed by Kim Tae-Yoon and Sung Chi-Wook, “Tomorrow” is based on the webtoon “Naeil” created by Ra Ma. It has an intriguing concept of a team of Grim Reapers, set up by the director of Jumadeung to go on missions assigned to them to save humans from committing suicide and living out their designated lifetimes. The series deals with suicide, violence, sexual assault, and other grim topics. It deals with mental health issues and makes sure people take them seriously.
‘Tomorrow’ Season 1: Plotline
Choi Jun-Woong is an unemployed Korean citizen taking interviews to secure a job unsuccessfully. His helpful nature winds him up in a coma in the hospital. He had come across a man ready to commit suicide by jumping into the Han River. While trying to save him, he meets Lim Ryung-Gu and Koo Ryeon. They were on a mission to save the man. However, Choi Jun-Woong accidentally fell into the river with the man. This led him to Jumadeung, where he was offered a deal by the director. Choi Jun-Woong accepts the deal and ends up working in the same team as Lim Ryung-Gu and Koo Ryeon. The main task of the team is to save people from committing suicide. The series follows them through their journey and also their pasts as well.
What Deal Did Choi Jun-Woong Make With The Jade Emperor?
After the incident in the Han River, it’s revealed that Choi Jun-Woong is actually in a coma in the hospital. Koo Ryeon takes responsibility for him and escorts him to Jumadeung. The first two episodes of “Tomorrow” show how Choi Jun-Woong makes a deal with the Jade Emperor, the director of Jumadeung. She offers Jun-Woong two choices: either he could work for six months in the Jumadeung and wake up early, or he would have to exist in a void for three years and then wake up. At first, Jun-Woong thought she was joking. To sweeten the deal, the director added the clause that he would be able to work in any company he wanted and pass through the interviews without a problem. He would also be able to reap the benefits of his work and not be unemployed like he currently was if he chose to work for Jumadeung. Jun-Woong agreed to it, and he started observing the different departments in Jumadeung to find out where he wanted to work best.
At the end of “Tomorrow” Episode 2, he chose the editing team, but he could not keep his place there and ended up storming out of the team. The editing team seemed to be proficient in badmouthing the Risk Management team, where Lim Ryung-Gu and Koo Ryeon seemed to work. Even the righteous lad, Choi Jun-Woong, did not like the insults, as he had seen up close how emotionally and physically taxing the missions that the Risk Management Team took were. He lectured them and stormed out to the director’s office to accept his fate. During the ending, the director had a meeting with all the teams to figure out where Jun-Woong could work. However, Koo Ryeon ended up accepting him back due to the other teams voicing their disinterest in accepting a human. Choi Jun-Woong was officially welcomed to the team of Risk Management by Lim Ryung-Gu and Koo Ryeon.
What Was The Reason Behind Lim Ryung-Gu’s Short Working Hours?
Lim Ryung-Gu seemed mysterious from the very beginning of the series. He only worked for 8 hours and spent the rest of his time searching for something. Although later on in the series, it was revealed that it was not something, but rather someone, that Lim Ryung-Gu seemed to be searching for. Even though Ryung-Gu tried his best, he could not find the person he was looking for.
In “Tomorrow,” Episode 10, it is finally revealed that the person Ryung-Gu was looking for is his own mother. For the past few decades, Ryung-Gu had been focused on finding her and keeping her safe, but to no avail. The mission the team had undertaken hit close to home for Ryung-Gu. They were dealing with twins. Both of them were on the verge of committing suicide over the injustice dealt out in the trials faced by the twins. They were fraternal twins. The female twin was sexually assaulted. When she tried to fight her case, she was mentally harassed by the lawyer defending the perp. She was blamed by society, her parents, and also her twin brother. This case was personal to Ryung-Gu because his mother was sexually assaulted in the past and had committed suicide from not being able to bear the brunt of the pain.
Ryung-Gu lost his cool when he saw the perp smiling and rained his fists down on him while Jun-Woong, who had arrived to stop him, was held back by his twin brother. Koo Ryeon, after talking sense into Ryung-Gu, headed the prosecution and was successful in dealing out the just punishment. However, back in Jumadeung, Ryung-Gu was suspended for reacting violently and meddling in human affairs.
Ryung-Gu’s past is revealed in “Tomorrow” Episode 11. Choi Jun-Woong learns the lamentable tale behind Ryung-Gu’s past after coming across a disturbing rumor about him. Koo Ryeon tells him that she had escorted both Ryung-Gu and his mother, who was a fallen noblewoman sold to the brothel by her father for money. She had been kicked out of the brothel when she found out that she was pregnant with Ryung-Gu. She raised him preciously; however, a general had his predatory glance over her and had ruined her after locating her down. Ryung-Gu, after learning the truth behind his mother’s suicide, had taken it on him to kill each person responsible. His death was due to an overdose of drugs after he lost his mind due to grief. He then followed Koo Ryeon and sincerely wanted to be under her tutelage while he searched for his mother’s reincarnation. Koo Ryeon accepted him and also helped him by assigning 8 hours of work to him. He eventually found his mother, and with the help of both Koo Ryeon and Choi Jun-Woong, helped her regain her happiness when she was assigned to them. He also took a moment to finally say goodbye to her and apologized for hurting her. After a tearful reunion, Ryung-Gu bids his last adieu.
Koo Ryeon’s Past With Park Joong-Gil
Koo Ryeon always had a bit of a history with Park Joong-Gil from the very beginning of the series. She seemed to listen to him and also seemed to feel a lot of guilt whenever he was around. In “Tomorrow,” Episode 8, Koo Ryeon and Park Joong-Gil are shown in a conversation about nightmares. At the end of this episode, Park Joong-Gil confronts Koo Ryeon about his nightmares. The recurring nightmares about his past life seem to feature her. Glimpses of Koo Ryeon’s past have been shown throughout the series. They feature her life with her lover and then distinctly shift to her trying to kill herself and then walking an endless path in hell before the Jade King offers her to work as an escort to the Grim Reaper. Koo Ryeon accepts her proposition. In “Tomorrow,” episode 14, it comes to light that Park Joong-Gil is, in fact, Koo Ryeon’s lover. During the Joseon era, Koo Ryeon, a nobleman’s daughter, fell in love with Park Joong-Gil, a nobleman’s son, and showed him the sorrows of the common man and how the villages were being plundered. After witnessing the common man’s plight, Park Joong-Gil had made up his mind to be a military official and help the common people from the ground level. He had to leave his beloved wife, Koo Ryeon, on a long expedition. During one such expedition, Koo Ryeon and her beloved maid, Gop Dan, along with other girls, were abducted by the barbarians of the Qing Army. With a present sense of mind, Koo Ryeon and Gop Dan poisoned the army, and all of the girls escaped. However, on returning to Joseon, they faced a lot of humiliation from their townsfolk and were termed as “Returning Ladies.” Most of the girls thought it’d be better to die than go through this inhuman mental harassment.
Park Joong-Gil had rushed home and spent every waking hour finding Koo Ryeon. He saved her from the soldiers and the townsfolk, though when he was not present, the rumors agitated the townsfolk, and Gop Dan lost her life trying to save Koo Ryeon from the stones thrown by the villagers at them. Koo Ryeon’s mother-in-law offered her the choice of killing her or committing suicide to restore their honor. Park Joong-Gil, offended by his mother, raised his voice at her and went on to kill the people responsible for the offensive rumors. Koo Ryeon, not wanting her husband to turn into a killer no better than the invaders, went to stop him. She chose to commit suicide so that her honor would be restored. Because of this, the threads of fate connecting her and the ones she loved were severed forever. Park Joong-Gil, overwhelmed by sorrow, decided to lock the memories and reincarnate. He later became the head Grim Reaper in Jumadeung, and Koo Ryeon worked under him.
While dealing with the mission to save a reincarnated Gop Dan, Choi Jun-Woong, who was informed about Koo Ryeon’s circumstances, chose to show the memories to Park Joong-Gil to convince him to save Koo Ryeon. She was to be arrested for violating the rules of Jumadeung and appearing on human television while taking revenge for her precious Gop Dan. Park Joong-Gil realized his mistakes and offered to shoulder the blame. He was later saved by the director and was given a month of suspension. He was demoted to a mere employee for six months. He accepted the terms without batting an eyelid and had a talk with Koo Ryeon to settle their differences.
‘Tomorrow’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Did Choi Jun-Woong Wake Up?
After Park Joong-Gil, Lim Ryung-Gu, and Koo Ryeon had finally found peace with the help of Choi Jun-Woong, it was time for him to return to the living world. With an affectionate goodbye, Jun-Woong woke up in his mother’s arms in the hospital. As the director had promised, Jun-Woong got into his preferred company and had passed the interview round with flying colors. As an empath and righteous person, our beloved protagonist could not ignore his gut feeling about a fellow colleague’s plight. He acted on his gut and found out that his colleague was going to commit suicide. Jun-Woong offered a shoulder to his new friend and asked him to talk to him. The Risk Management team had rushed over to their assigned case only to find Choi Jun-Woong, who had already saved him. He had forgotten all about his time in Jumadeung and was surprised to find them. With indignation, he protested about how they were not employees, and Park Joong-Gil dropped by to observe the scene. The team shared an affectionate smile and decided to wait 50 more years for their teammate to rejoin them.
Though Lim Ryung-Gu offered to shorten the wait period, listing how direly they needed more teammates, they decided to wait for Choi Jun-Woong to live his life out. The series really teaches how to appreciate life as a whole. It teaches us to offer a helping hand, a shoulder, or even an ear to those in need. Little gestures to show a person some care may simply change their lives. It would not affect the person helping, but it might just change another person’s life. A few words can deter anybody from giving up their lives after they have reached rock bottom. The series really teaches how communication is very important for humans to live healthy lives. It focuses and brings empathy and sympathy to light, the two emotions that help a person get through a life where they are barely holding on. The series sheds light on the emotional and physical plight of humans. A beautiful concept that elucidates the mental capacity of a human being and how important mental health is. Mental health is as important as the physical health and fitness of the body.
The Korean drama series, “Tomorrow” (Season 1), is a wonderful mix of grief, comedy, and action with a dose of fiction. A box of tissues is also recommended to be kept nearby while watching the series. It will tickle your tear glands, and viewers will find themselves shedding tears of joy along with grief while watching the series.