See You in My 19th Life Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – What is wrong with Ae-kyung?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 2, 2023
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See You in My 19th Life Season 1 Episode 5 Recap - What is wrong with Ae-kyung?


Episode 5 uses its premise for maximal emotion and builds to a big cliffhanger.

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama See You in My 19th Life Season 1 Episode 5 contains spoilers.

In its fifth, and easily its most emotionally impactful episode, See You in My 19th Life really turns it fantastical premise in on itself, highlighting the potential pain of being able to recall your past lives.

While the idea of reincarnation is perfectly suited to a more comedic style, this episode really uses it to wring out as much trauma as possible as Ji-eum gets to witness in uncomfortably close proximity how her deaths and rebirths have impacted others.

See You in My 19th Life Season 1 Episode 5 Recap

Picking up where we left off in Episode 4, an inebriated Seo-ha dreams of Ju-won. With his memories intermingling with his growing present-day infatuation with Ji-eum, he confesses to Do-yoon that he is developing feelings for her, though obviously the precise nature of the reason why remains elusive to him.

What did Ji-eum leave in Cho-won’s vacation home?

There’s a bit of a road trip vibe in the early-going here as Seo-ha, Ji-eum, Do-yoon, and Cho-won all take a trip to the beach and stay over at Cho-won’s vacation home. There’s some banter and frivolity, some romance, but also a furthering of that theme of inevitability as Ji-eum can’t help but poke around the house to find the doll she had hidden there in a previous life.

Cho-won witnesses this suspicious behaviour, and the silly excuses don’t hold much water. I much prefer the direction the show is going with Cho-won’s character rather than the love rival she initially seemed to be introduced as. It’s a very specific and unique connection, the idea of a sister tormented by loss, having to deal with the prospect of someone trying to steal or somehow pervert that role in her life.

A lot of the episode’s power, as we’ll see later, results from this dynamic.

What is wrong with Ae-kyung?

Meanwhile, a boy, Min-ji, comes to Ae-kyung’s restaurant looking for a job, but is forced to become a carer for evening when she collapsing complaining of chest pains and is rushed to hospital.

Ae-kyung has apparently been battling an undiagnosed illness for a while and implores Min-ji not to tell Ji-eum. The latter is suspicious of the new employee but at present it’s a little early to decipher his intentions. He seems okay, though.

Elsewhere, when Seo-ha returns from his trip he confronts Ms. Jang about misappropriating funds. She’s infuriated by his accusations and goes to slap him, but Ji-eum gets in-between them.

Similarly, Dong-U, pressured by loan sharks, advises them to kidnap Seo-ha to recoup the money they’re after. Seo-ha is able to fight them off and Ji-eum once again arrives in the nick of time to intervene, repeating the same theme almost back-to-back.

See You in My 19th Life Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained

At the end of the episode, an upset Cho-won calls Ji-eum and accuses her of deliberately impersonating her sister and trying to pry into their lives.

This is the standout emotional moment of the episode. Seeing Cho-won’s grief up close, Ji-eum cannot help but confess who she truly is, revealing that she is Jo-won.

Quite the cliffhanger!

You can stream See You in My 19th Life Season 1 Episode 5 exclusively on Netflix.

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