On Christmas day, Seo Yi Gang (Gianna Jun) and Kang Hyun Jo (Ju Ji Hoon) patrol the mountain. It’s been two months and no sign of poison yogurt / potato bomb Lee Se Wook. Hyun Jo confirms he hasn’t had a vision since Se Wook disappeared. Recall Se Wook is dead (killed by his mystery partner in crime) but apparently no one has found his body or where it is buried.
At the Jiri Mountain National Park Ranger Station, Ranger Jung Goo Young snaps photos of everyone in their snowsuits. He invites Ranger Lee Yang Sun to spend part of the day with him. She declines. Branch Chief Jo encourages the team enjoy the day.
Ranger Jung begs Hyun Jo to take his shift so he can watch a movie with Yang Sun. He points out that Yi Gang is already working and could use company.
Team Lead Ranger Park is pleased when Yi Gang and Hyun Jo arrive to take over at the remote shelter. Yi Gang shows Hyun Jo around. They clean to Yi Gang’s exacting standards. Team Lead Ranger Park calls to inform them someone will stop by to pick up a lost article. The note in the lost and found log shows the owner is Yim Cheol Gyeong. That gets Yi Gang’s attention. Hyun Jo asks who it is. Yi Gang shrugs and says no one. They watch the snow fall. Yi Gang points out snow is their enemy – poor visibility, hyperthermia, etc. Hyun Jo points out snow is pretty and makes people happy.
Ranger Jung anxiously waits for Yang Sun at the movie theater. She stands outside the theater and wonders if she should go in.
Roads are closed on the mountain due to snow. One man parks his cars and breaches the gate to the shelter. One man arrives by taxi and breaches the gate. A woman calls the visitor center but has no cell signal.
Branch Chief Jo watches a news report about Detective Yim Cheol Gyeong arrested for aiding and abetting drug dealers.
Yi Gang’s grandmother tells her friends about the time she sent Yi Gang to a camp for unruly kids.
The military style camp starts the bonding with a hike up the mountain. Teenage Yi Gang passes everyone with ease. But there’s a teenage boy that is her equal. He offers his hand at one point. Yi Gang declines. Because of that, she arrives first. Then the other campers arrive. Helping the last camper is the boy. He reveals he has no parents. When Yi Gang and the boy stand at the bus stop, her grandmother arrives to take her home. Before the boy gets on the bus Yi Gang hits in the back then runs away. He watches her go.
Hyun Jo notices Yi Gang is distracted. They receive an SOS about an injured person coming to the shelter. Yi Gang offers to go alone to retrieve the man. Hyun Jo doesn’t like it but agrees someone has to stay in the shelter. Yi Gang tells him to listen to the radio if she calls from help.
Yi Gang makes her way down the mountain.
Two police arrive and find the deserted car. It is a wanted car. Police officer Kim hears a shot ring out. Hyun Jo hears something and calls Yi Gang. She assures him she’s okay and heard nothing.
Someone knocks at the shelter. It’s Ranger Jung with fried chicken (now ice cold)! The frozen ranger pours out his woes to Hyun Jo. He shares Yang Sun stood him up.
Flashback…Ranger Jung waits at the theatre but Yang Sun never arrives.
Ranger Jung claims he has no where else to go. He starts to sneeze. He sees the note on the lost and found log. He is surprised and explains Yim Cheol Gyeong is Yi Gang’s first love. He notes Yi Gang shared the story during one of her drunken ramblings. Yi Gang met him at a camp then met him again when she ran away to Seoul.
Yi Gang makes money by wearing a soccer ball costume and handing out flyers. Yim Cheol Gyeong recognizes her. He guesses she might have run away. He gives her a flyer for a cheap eatery. Yi Gang asks how much the eatery owner pays. The work is hard and Yi Gang makes her way to her room each night and studies for the college entry test.
After she takes the test, Yi Gang trudges to her room. Yim Cheol Gyeong is waiting for her and invites her to the beach. He drives her on his motorcycle. They sit and watch the water. Yi Gang admits she didn’t excel during the college entry test. Yim Cheol Gyeong asks why she hit him at the bus stop. Yi Gang admits she was jealous of him for having somewhere to go while she was stuck in the village. As the sand blows in their faces, Yi Gang declares she’s not a fan of the beach.
The eatery owner accuses Yim Cheol Gyeong of stealing money. He didn’t do it. Yi Gang adds her voice that he didn’t do it. He fires them and tosses their pay in coins in the street. While collecting coins, Yi Gang ask if he stole the money. Yim Cheol Gyeong declares he won’t live a life of drudgery. He walks away. Yi Gang watching him go. Drunk guys arrive and start picking up the coins. It is Christmas Day.
Ranger Jung shares that Yi Gang hates Christmas because of that day. The police call and report they found a deserted car and assume the wanted man, Yim Cheol Gyeong, is nearby. Hyun Jo stares at the lost and found log in shock. The electricity goes out. Ranger Jung and Hyun Jo don’t know how to fix the generator. Hyun Jo decides to go after Yim Cheol Gyeong. Ranger Jung points out he’s a wanted man and could have a gun. Hyun Jo shares he heard a noise earlier that could be a gun shot. Hyun Jo points out Yi Gang could be in danger.
On the mountain, Yi Gang makes her way up the trail calling to the injured person. She finds the woman with the injured foot. The woman asks if Yim Cheol Gyeong came to the shelter to retrieve a lost article. Yi Gang says he didn’t come to the shelter. The woman shows her ID revealing she’s a fellow officer who believes Yim Cheol Gyeong was wrongly accused. Whatever is in the shelter supposedly will prove that. The officer explains an undercover Yim Cheol Gyeong and the drug dealer would meet on the mountain for privacy.
Ranger Jung finds a cable has been cut when examining the generator. He sees the door shut on the shelter.
The drug team unit arrives at the police station and demands to know if they can talk to the rangers at the shelter. Police officer Kim reports no one is answering the phone at the shelter. They demand to be escorted to the shelter by a ranger. Police officer Kim calls the ranger station.
Yi Gang can’t raise anyone at the shelter when sees radios them. She offers to take the woman to the shelter. She reveals a blue backpack was the item Yim Cheol Gyeong was coming to retrieve.
Wanna bet this officer isn’t innocent?
Hyun Jo searches and finds a downed man.
Yi Gang leads the woman to the shelter. She finds the door open to the generator shed. She enters the shelter by herself to checkout the situation. She finds Ranger Jung bleeding on the ground. A man puts a gun to her head when she tries to call for help. She gets the upper hand and calls the police. Then he gets the upper hand and knocks Yi Gang out. The woman and man search the shelter. She says it is the blue backpack. The man says there isn’t anything of importance in the backpack. The man says there isn’t proof they took bribes. They wonder if there was ever any evidence.
Someone enters the shelter. The man pulls his gun. Hyun Jo and the man grapple. Yim Cheol Gyeong (who was wearing a bullet proof vest) gets the woman. The drug team arrives. The leader declares the real criminal showed up at the shelter. Yim Cheol Gyeong locks eyes with Yi Gang.
Flashback…2006…Yi Gang cries as she rides the bus back to the village. She finds her playing cards with her cronies, not sick like she purported. Her grandmother takes her to the ranger station and says this job doesn’t require a college degree. Yi Gang says she hates the mountains. Her grandmother insists.
Branch Chief Jo interviews Yi Gang. He asks why she wants the job. She says she hates mountains. He asks if she’s afraid of mountains. He notes it is better to have a healthy respect for mountains. He urges her to take the job. He asks if she still blames him for her parents’ death. Yi Gang says nothing. He admits he couldn’t save her parents, but she has a chance to save lives before they die, if she takes the job. Yi Gang says nothing.
Ranger Jung and Yi Gang work together at the shelter. One day Yim Cheol Gyeong arrives at the shelter looking for a lost item. Neither can believe they are seeing the other. He watches while she looks thought the lost and found items. She returns his items. He’s impressed at the strict management of lost items. When she asks, he confirms he’s a brand-new police officer. He says the mountain suits her. Just as he’s about to share his feelings, Ranger Jung dashes out with an emergency call. Yi Gang takes off after him. She stops and looks back at him. He says he’ll visit again. Ranger Jung and Yi Gang find the victim who is airlifted off the mountain. They are relieved the victim lived. Ranger Jung knows Yi Gang is bothered. He suggests they quit. Yi Gang says she won’t quit. She’s going to stay with the mountain.
Yi Gang and Yim Cheol Gyeong stand outside the shelter. Hyun Jo tends Ranger Jung’s head wound. He wonders what’s going on outside. Yim Cheol Gyeong apologizes for bringing danger to the shelter. He admits he thought she’d quit because when he returned to the shelter, she wasn’t there. Yi Gang points out he could have called her. He says he has a confession to make. He says he stole the money from the eatery owner to buy the motorcycle to take her to the beach. Later he paid the eatery owner back. He apologizes for lying to her. They both laugh. He says he’ll call her next time he hikes and his wife loves the mountains too. They laugh again. She warns him to bring proper gear.
Sweet but sad too, they missed their chance.
The criminals are taken away the next day. Yim Cheol Gyeong thanks Hyun Jo for his help and states he may need to be a witness. He tells Yi Gang he’ll call her. He leaves with the police. Ranger Jung teases Yi Gang. She hits him. Yang Sun rushes to Ranger Jung upset that he was hurt. He’s surprised she’s upset. She asks why he didn’t meet her outside the movie theatre per their plan.
Flashback…Yang Sun waits for him. She doesn’t text or call.
Ranger Jung says he waited inside the movie theatre. Hyun Jo asks the obvious question, why didn’t they call each other. Yang Sun and Ranger Jung admit they didn’t want to pressure the other if they’d changed their minds. They both smile. Then they chuckle. They can’t stop looking at each other. Hyun Jo tells Yi Gang the lovebirds need privacy.
The next day, Ranger Jung and Yang Sun manage to meet as promised. They chuckle. They enjoy the movie.
Team Lead Ranger Park rushes the window and views his newborn baby.
Hyun Jo and Yi Gang decide to drink on this Christmas day. Hyun Jo asks why Yi Gang stays on the mountain while claiming to hate the mountain. She drinks the alcohol that leads to confessions. She asks if he wants to know why she became a ranger. She says she was 6 years old when she climbed the mountain for the first time.
Hyun Jo brings a passed-out Yi Gang home to her grandmother. He puts her on the bed. Grandmother declares she’ll make tea. Hyun Jo enters the main living room and looks at the photos of Yi Gang and her parents. Yi Gang’s voiceover “I reached the peak for the first time when I was 7. At 8 I went alone. Then I started walking the ridges.” Hyun Jo murmurs that Yi Gang loves the mountain, that’s why she stays. He smiles.
Hyun Jo has a vision of a wildfire ripping through the mountain.
A break from murder to learn about Yi Gang’s first love. Writer Kim Eun Hee crafted an episode that focused on love; Yi Gang’s first love, Yim Cheol Gyeong, and among rangers Ranger Jung and Yang Sun. I can’t believe they didn’t call or text each other while they waited in vain for each other to show inside or outside the movie theatre. So close but so far. It was sweet to see Yang Sun concerned about Ranger Jun and his dawning realization that his feelings weren’t one sided. The foundation love story of Yi Gang was satisfying. I enjoyed learning more about our lead.
Seo Yi Gang (Gianna Jun) loves the mountain though she doesn’t want to admit it. Hitting Yim Cheol Gyeong before he left was exactly what Yi Gang would do to show she liked him. He didn’t understand what the hit meant. The motorcycle ride to the beach was sweet. So was his subsequent confession that he stole the money to buy the motorcycle with the intent to take her to the beach. I had to chuckle when the sand in the face didn’t endear the beach to Yi Gang. It wasn’t clear when Yim Cheol Gyeong met and married his wife. After he saw Yi Gang at the shelter when she was a young ranger or before?
Kang Hyun Jo (Ju Ji Hoon) had a long spell without a vision, but ended the episode seeing a wildfire. It must have been pleasant to have a window of time without visions. Hyun Jo is a good guy. He’s maintained a professional relationship with Yi Gang though his feelings are growing. He was worried about her alone in the woods. His dismay when Yi Gang drank the alcohol that would cause her to confess and pass out made me smile.
The fourth song of the OST is “Yours” sung by Jin of BTS, his first solo OST song.
I rank this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.