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Jirisan -- Episodes 5 & 6: What the Mountain Hides

Jirisan continues to surprise me with the direction it chooses to take as the story and mysteries within Mt. Jirisan slowly but surely start to unfold. I didn't expect the killer's identity, Lee Se Wook (Yoon Ji On), Yang Sun's cousin to be revealed already, but more that he had an accomplice. Despite not knowing much about Lee Se Wook, other than he was shy and kept to himself. I could tell from his behavior that he was a follower and not a leader. I was not surprised that someone was directing him. It made total sense. That said, I can't stop wondering what would make anyone go to the lengths these two have, but then I realize serial killers don't necessarily need a reason to act on their compulsions.

I wasn't truly relieved when Yi Kang and Hyun Jo figured out where Yang Sun was, and saved her before the potato bomb exploded on her, but more that she didn't touch it. My worst fear since finding out we were working with two timelines was that she was somehow killed by this serial killer. I'm still not sure what happened to her, since we have yet to encounter her in 2020. I only hope it isn't what I'm thinking. I knew that once Lee Se Wook's cover was blown, the dominant partner would get rid of him. At least it stopped him from killing more people, at least for the time being.

In any other drama, I probably would not have liked the paranormal aspect, but it works well for Jirisan, and it speaks to the heart of the story -- rangers dedicating their lives to rescuing others in a sacred space, as Mt. Jirisan is believed to be, even as a roaming spirit speaks of how strongly Hyun Jo feels about the mountain and the people who visit it. It reminds me of the opening narration, especially the part where Jirisan is considered a land for those lingering between life and death.

Jirisan makes me appreciate park rangers more and more with every episode. Hats off to them all wherever they may be, much respect. I liked that we got an insight into what made Yi Kang into the person she became. It's so true when they say, out of adversity comes opportunity, and there is nothing nobler than saving lives, even at the risk of one's own. It was so good to see Son Seok Koo as Yi Kang's first love. He is such a fantastic actor, even in a guest role. I wish it was for the duration he fit perfectly with everyone. The many lost opportunities between them saddened me, but then I realized it probably never happened because they weren't meant to be together as much as help direct each other's lives to becoming the best versions of themselves.

My best moment was Goo Young finally getting with Yang Sun, which makes not having her and the team lead in the 2020 timeline much more disturbing. I know I keep saying this, but I am truly disturbed by it. I continue to be skeptical of the policeman and that volunteer guy with the camera, but we shall see. There is a lot to like about Jirisan, as I keep saying, but the angle I like most is the bond between Yi Sang and Hyun Jo, have even before she believed in his visions, she trusted his instincts, and now that she does it makes them a formidable team. And now looking back to how things were between them in 2018, I believe it's that bond that makes Yi Sang return to the mountain after their horrific accident to help save lives and in a way save Hyun Jo. I love this drama.

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