“Wind Flower” finally delves into Ryeon’s backstory in an emotionally powerful episode.
This recap of Tomorrow season 1, episode 14, “Wind Flower”, contains spoilers.
It’s probably about time. “Wind Flower” finally, after weeks of hints and suggestions, focuses on the shared backstory of Ryeon and Joong-gil. It’s almost entirely a flashback to the lavishly costumed and detailed past, where Ryeon, a highborn lady, meets, falls for and experiences profound tragedy alongside Jung-gil. It’s a very good and very sad episode that fills in some important character details.
Tomorrow season 1, episode 14 recap
It’s only the opening that really takes place in the present day, with Ryeon taking a day off, as is customary for Reapers to do on their death day. It’s Jun-woong who notices her negative energy level skyrocketing, and takes the matter to the director. And thus, we have our backstory, cycling back hundreds of years for the context.
Ryeon and Jung-gil meet by chance a couple of times. They fall in love. They marry and grow. Inevitably, tragedy strikes. Barbarians cross the border, and Jung-gil is forced to leave. In his absence, Ryeon fights bravely to defend their home and people.
By the time Jung-gil returns, Ryeon has been taken by the barbarians. Eventually, she escapes by poisoning her captors, but she narrowly misses Jung-gil, and they take a while to reunite. Even after, Ryeon is haunted by her experiences, and Joseon’s people have turned against her and other survivors. Her reputation is in ruins, and Jung-gil can’t tolerate her torture. Even his own mother suggests she commits suicide to spare the family’s honor.
When Ryeon first tries to take her own life, Jung-gil stops her. But he’s so incensed by what she has been driven to that he kills two men who badmouthed her. Seeing what he has become, Ryeon commits suicide, and Jung-gil is torn apart with grief over his inability to save her.
This is… bleak, obviously. But it’s a more stirring and mature picture of trauma and loss than many of the previous episodes have been able to manage, and like yesterday’s episode, it uses the historical context to powerful effect. And the fact that this backstory is long-awaited, revealing a lot about two characters we’re very familiar with, only adds to the episode’s value.