Review and Recaps: Jirisan episode 2 (also known as ‘Cliffhanger’ or ‘Mountain Jiri’)

The episode starts with a glimpse of what happened 65 days ago. A mysterious man removes yellow tags (which seems to be a guide for trekkers) from trees and ties them in the different trees. Yang Geun-tak (who got lost and found dead by Yi-gang at the end of the previous episode) follows the changed yellow tags and the mysterious man.

The Present Day. Yi-gang visits the village police station. A police officer named Kim Eung Soon gets surprised by Yi-gang’s visit. They seem to know each other well. Eung Soon asks when she returned and she asks how is he doing and tells him that she has something to ask him. Eung Soon prepares coffee for them and they settle down to talk.

Yi-gang gives the file of the missing trekker- Yang geun-tak to Eung Soon and asks him if he knows anything about it. Eung Soon says it was closed as an accidental closed death. Yi-gang points to a photo where yellow tags are tangled within Yan geun-tak skeleton and ask him if he knows anything about the tags. Eung Soon asks why is she suspicious of it and says he is a mere low-rank police officer and he wouldn’t know anything about it.

In the Rangers office, our newbie- Lee Da-Won comes office lazily and gets surprised to see the whole office clean and organized. She looks around amused. Gu-Yeong enters the office and praises Yi-gang and tells Da-Won that she is always organized. Da-Won notices all the organized documents and tells Gu-Yeong that Yi-gang has organized all the documents he didn’t for months now. Gu-Yeong protests saying he was busy patrolling to do those things. Da Won ignores him and wonders where Yi-gang is. (Da-Won admires Yi-gang alot)

Yi-gang is busy playing all the CCTV footage where she found the marks to find who is sending her signals. Captain Dae-Jin comes in and asks Yi-gang what is she doing. They then settle down with coffee to talk. Captain asks if she was looking for clues and Yi-gang says yes. Captain wonders why was she looking at all those photos with the marks when she was hospitalized for a year and almost died. He asks her what she and Hyun-Jo were doing in the dangerous icy mountain when they got into the accident. Yi-gang thinks of a glimpse of the accident where she is scared and Hyun-Jo is brutally injured lying in the ground and the red blood covering the pure white snow and she is carried out by the rescue team with a lot of injuries. She then answers the captain that they were trying to protect the mountain which is their job.

We are now taken back to 2018. Hyun Jo prepares to go to the mountain and his roommate (fellow ranger) who is making ramyeon asks why is he going there on his day off. Hyun-Jo says he is going there for some training. His roommate asks him why he chose Mountain Jiri when Mountain Bukhansan is near Seoul where Hyun Jo lives. Hyun Jo asks if he lives near then. Gu-Yeong enters at this point and starts talking about taking care of one’s body and tries to eat some ramyeon. Hyun Jo leaves while the other two quarrel about the ramyeon.

Hyun Jo cheerfully rides his bicycle to the mountain and starts his training. He reaches the top of a mountain and enjoys the view while drinking water ( the view was stunning 😍). He then suddenly drops his water bottle and some scenes flash to him. A foggy palm tree habitat, yellow tags tied here and there among the trees, an injured man trying to survive.

On the other side, Yi-gang is busy running a restaurant near the mountains, in the village, which seems to be mainly for trekkers. It is a busy day and Yi-gang is running here and there while complaining about how her grandmother is nowhere to be seen.

Her grandmother sits with Yi-gang’s fellow rangers and talks about how stubborn Yi-gang is. Other rangers tell her that she is one of the best in the field. Grandma tells a story when Yi-gang was a kid she got hit by a motorcycle and she didn’t even break her finger and never cried but rather ran to the mountain. She says Yi-gang runs to the mountain whenever she used to scold her like a partisan. And everyone laughs happily. She says this one time, she ran to the mountain and didn’t come back for 3 days.

Yi-gang comes out to see her grandma having fun with them and scolds them while they ask for extra pancakes and asks her grandmother to help her. At this point, Captain comes to join the rangers group and says he would like to eat pancakes. Everyone looks at Yi-gang and she without any other choice clenches her teeth and asks if 2 plates would be enough😂. (Yi-gang seems to respect the Captain a lot).

She then makes pancakes. She gets a call from “Crazy Guy” which is Hyun-Jo and attends the call to say she is busy. He asks her if there is any foggy pine tree habitat with some yellow tags. Yi-gang says yellow tags are the ones used by the illegal hikers and the pine tree habitat can be the place 4km from Mujin Valley. She asks him why is he patrolling the illegal hikers on his day off to which Hyun-Jo doesn’t reply.

Hyun-Jo goes to the place Yo-gang mentioned and finds a man. The man asks Hyun-Jo why is he following him and guesses that it is Hyun-Jo’s day off as Hyun-Jo is not wearing any uniform and has no partner with him. Hyun-Jo guesses he is regular as he knows that much and asks if he is illegal harvesting or poaching. The man lets Hyun-Jo check his backpack and tells him that he is there for his father who went missing a year ago and tells him that he wants to find his remains.

Hyun-Jo goes to meet Yi-gang but her restaurant is closed so he tries to call her. A ranger who is passing by Hyun-Jo in his car stops his car and asks if Hyun-Jo is headed for the town hall. Confused Hyun-Jo goes with him to the town hall. There seems to be an ancestral rite happening. The ranger explains that Mount Jiri’s air current is blocked by the tall, rugged topographs so it is prone to local torrential rainfall. In the year 1995, there was such rainfall where downpour exceeded 200mm overnight and so many villagers, rangers died or went missing. It was in the summer so many tourists also died. There was a funeral in every other house and they lost over 100 people in a day. And we are flashed back to that day – so many people crying over their dead loved ones and there stands young Yi-gang trying to process what happened while her grandma crying over 2 dead bodies. Yi-gang lost her parents in the accident it seems.

All the village people, friends, families of the lost ones gathered in the town hall drinking, eating and honouring them with candles.

Hyun-Jo notices that Yi-gang is not there and her grandma tells him where she would be. Hyun-Jo goes to Yi-gang who is sitting in the mountain with a beautiful view. Hyun-Jo tells her that everyone is in the town hall and he also says that she must have been lonely as a kid for her to come to the mountain often. Yi-gang asks him what is the use of remembering them? Once you are dead, it’s an end and she says that she wants to be alone even now and asks him to leave.

Hyun-Jo says remembering someone is not a bad thing and tells about the man he met in the mountain and he gives her the file of the man’s father – Hong Sang-Gyu. Apparently, this case was closed by the police and the ranger’s team as there was no evidence of Sang-Gyu going to the mountain. Yi-gang tells him that Police were not stupid to close the case and they need to know the purpose of Sang-Gyu to go to the mountain and there was no evidence so tells him to give up. Hyun-Jo says he must have used the restricted path and that’s why he was not on any CCTV footage. Hyun-Jo tells her about the things that got flashed to him and tells her that’s how he found out about the palm tree habitat. Yi-gang obviously doesn’t believe him and asks him to give up before leaving. Hyun-Jo understands her for not being able to believe him and leaves.

The next day, Hyun-Jo meets up with the man and tells him that he will search for his father but he needs to know why his father went to the mountain. The man says that his father loves to do landscaping and that’s what he did his whole life. Though the pine habitat is restricted to citizens, the man convinces Hyun-Jo to go with him to search for his father.

On the other side, a tourist girl loses her winning lottery ticket worth 1.4 billion in the mountains. The situation goes out of control when all the tourists enter the restricted area to search for the lottery ticket. All the rangers gather to handle it. Yi-gang smartly finds a bill from the ground and tells everyone that she found the ticket and will give it to the owner and asks everyone to give their ids as they trespassed the restricted area. While filling complaints, Yi-gang notices that Hyun-Jo is nowhere to be seen and asks about him. Team leader Gu-Yeong says he is not reachable.

They go to the police station to report what happened. Gu-Yeong, Yi-gang and Kim Eung Soon (the Police) seems to have a good relationship. Gu-Yeong, Kim Eung Soon both crack jokes among themselves while Yi-gang gets curious and asks Eung Soon about the Hong Sang-Gyu case. That’s when she finds out that Sang-Gyu has only one daughter and to our notice, on the notice board the man who is with Hyun-Jo is on the wanted list as fraud.

Yi-gang decides to go to Sang-Gyu’s house. She meets his daughter there and sees a pine tree in their house. Yi-gang says pine trees can’t be grown on a plain surface like that. The pine trees need to be on the cliff and should endure immense wind for a long time to have their branches bend like that. So it’s been cut down from the cliff and 100s of trees were cut down to make it’s the path down. Nature takes years and years to be healed but the illegal trekkers don’t care about it. The daughter agrees that her father went for the pine tree but says he was there because of a loan shark. She then says his name is Kim Gi-chang and he used to use her father and pay very little. She seems to be scared of Gi-chang.

On the other side, Hyun-Jo and the man reaches a point where they can see the Wusong Cliff. Hyun-Jo discovers that a fall in the Cliff changed its water from a year ago. The man realises that’s why he could not find him as he was searching in the new path of the water. Hyun-Jo suggests that he should check somewhere else and he will check the cliff as it is dangerous. As the man leaves, Hyun-Jo asks about what he was wearing and the man describes that he was wearing a green windbreaker and black backpack.

Hyun-Jo then searches in the cliff and finds a bag. They both then meet up and searches together. After some time, Hyun-Jo tells the man that should call off for the day. The man disagrees and asks him why he made him round the mountain and asks him if he is going to call the police. Hyun-Jo tells him that he will if it is needed and says that nobody in the police or ranger knew that Sang-Gyu went missing in the Wusong cliff and it was 39°c on the day he went missing so he must have worn a half sleeve shirt while leaving the house and might have worn the green windbreaker after climbing up but the man knew exactly what he was wearing when he fell. Hyun-Jo asks him whether he committed suicide. The man loses it and takes a knife from his pocket and we are shown a glimpse of what happened in the past.

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Kim Gi-Chang (the man) uses Sang-Gyu to cut off a fine pine tree. On the day, a guy looks at the pine tree on the cliff and gives 50 million won to Gi-Chang and tells him that it is for his boss’s new beach house. Sang-Gyu forcefully takes the money from Gi-Chang and tries to escape but unfortunately in their fight, Gi-Chang pushes Sang-Gyu down the cliff and that is where he loses his bag. So he is been searching for the money this whole time.

Gi-Chang tells Hyun-Jo that it was he who pushed Sang-Gyu. He then stabs Hyun-Jo and takes the GPS from him and walks towards the cliff. Hyun-Jo tries to follow him with all his might but after some point, he is lost and sees the yellow tag and his hand exactly like the scenes he foresaw. He then builds a partisan kind of mark and falls unconscious.

The man in the mountain searches for his bag desperately. Suddenly he sees someone flashing a light at him. Of course, it is our Yi-gang. The man tries to cover up but Yi-gang seems to know about him and she wonders how Hyun-Jo could not see a crook like him. He then threatens her asking how she alone is going to take him down and Yi-gang replies that she is not a rookie like Hyun-Jo and tells him that she carries a radio. The light flashes from all the directions at the man and all the village policies, rangers gather there to catch him.

4 hours ago. Yi-gang senses that Hyun-Jo got tricked so she prepares everyone to go after him and finds and saves him before catching the man.

The next day, in the hospital, Yi-gang shows Hyun-Jo an award given by the police to the rangers for his work.

She tells him that his mark helped which was exactly like the waterway under the Wusong cliff.

(It took me this much time to understand properly about the marks. They actually used to make those marks to indicate a place to the others to tell them where they should look into and I know this was explained in the 1st episode but after seeing this incident made it clear to me)

She then asks about the scenes he foresees and asks if he is a psychic. Hyun-Jo asks if she believes him and she brushes off saying she won’t believe someone like he did.

Hyun-Jo says he narrowed down where Sang-Gyu would be but that’s all he could do. He says maybe Yi-gang thinks that it ends after the death but he and the family of Sang-Gyu thinks differently. She then leaves as if she couldn’t care less.

Yi-gang goes to the restricted area and thinks of what Sang-Gyu’s daughter said: “if I had told the truth back then, would I have found my father?”. She then searches day after day to find Sang-Gyu’s remains. One day, she hears a sound of a girl crying. The girl who lost her lottery ticket is actually searching for it and she says she has to buy a house for her mother and need money for her tuition. Yi-gang says many people come here searching for something.

Yi-gang finally finds the remains of Sang-Gyu in the middle of the mountain and burns some incense and keeps a glass of soju to pay respect to him. Recuse team arrives to take him. His daughter cries her heart out and this makes Yi-gang remember the day she lost her parents.

The present-day, the year 2020. Yi-gang is looking into the CCTV footage. Da-Won comes to her to give her food and nonchalantly talks. She then decides to leave after realising Yi-gang is not enjoying her presence. Yi-gang calls Da-Won before she could leave and asks her if she is going for the special patrol to Dowon Valley and Da-Won says yes. Yi-gang draws a mark and asks her to make that mark near an old oak tree which is behind Mang-bawi rock, 4km away from Dowon valley. Da-Won agrees.

After Da-won and Gu-Yeong leave for the patrol, Yi-gang, in the office, looks at the yellow tags that are tangled in the skull of Yan geun-tak.

Captain comes to her to say that he has found a spot in Wonju headquarters and asks her to leave. He ensure that if he finds anything about the mark he will tell her first.

Helpless Yi-gang again looks at the pictures and remembers something from the past and we are taken to the flashback.

This one time, Hyun-Jo and Yi-gang are after the illegal hikers. As soon as they are midway, Yi-gang finds red tags among the trees. She then reports to the other team that hikers are already been there so it would be best to find them from the top and requests another team. Poor Hyun-Jo is trying to catch up with Yi-gang and when she says they can go down, Hyun-Jo who has no energy begs her to take some rest before going down. After some rest, Hyun-Jo notices the red tags in the trees and asks her about them. She says illegal hikers use these tags if someone is falling behind without waiting and says it is the lifeline for the hiker who is fallen behind. The tags lead to the top. Hyun-Jo says the last time he got injured there he saw yellow tags and says the tags were not leading to the top and says it was as if it was misleading.

In the present, Yi-gang thinks of this and stares at those photos with yellow tags. She then gets a call from Jeonbuk regional office. The man on the other side seems to know Yi-gang and asks her to send a report to him as it is urgent.

Yi-gang then searches for the report in the captain’s place. She finds a cover of yellow tags below a pile of files which has some blood on them. Confused Yi-gang looks at them.

On the other side, in the mountain, Da-won successfully places the mark as Yi-gang mentioned while Gu-Yeong is resting. They also take pictures of black bear paw print as the black bear was seen in that area. While hiking, Da-Won gets fascinated by some flowers and goes to take pictures of them. Suddenly a man with muddy shoes and a hoodie which seems like years old comes in front of her. She is shocked to see him and only his eyes is glowing behind that hoodie. The episode ends here.

I felt like so many things happened in this episode. What do you guys think? What does the captain have to do with the yellow? Is he scared that Yi-gang might uncover her secret or is he protecting her from the secret? And who the hell Da-Won is faced with? Will she be alright? I have loads of questions guys😂 let’s see if we get answers in the next episodes.

I like how they are unfolding the past along with the present but I can’t watch the whole series like this. Let’s see how long it goes!.

Let me know in the comment section how you felt about this episode😊 I would love to read them.

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