The Netflix K-drama Tomorrow is close to its grand finale. Fans finally know the full backstory behind Goo Ryeon’s tragic past and how she is connected to Joong-gil. Throughout the K-drama, fans have had their theories, from the two characters being married in their past lives to why she took her own life. Tomorrow Episode 14 tells Goo Ryeon’s full story that broke fans’ hearts.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Tomorrow.]
Goo Ryeon met Joong-gil as a young girl and fell in love in ‘Tomorrow’
Tomorrow’s Goo Ryeon is a young teenage girl born into the high class four hundred years into the past. One afternoon, she is practicing her threading work while her young court maid keeps a watchful eye. Using her court maid’s tired state, she sneaks away to the forest to hunt with a bow and arrow. Fans also meet a young Joong-gil. When a young peasant boy disrupts his hunt, Joong-gil is ready to take his head along with his father’s.
Goo Ryeon stops him from committing the atrocity based on social status. Later on, Goo Ryeon visits a local village to see its herbalist and learns of a beautiful flower with poisoned roots. She hunts local birds for the villagers as thanks for saving her from a poisonous snake bite.
It just happens that Goo Ryeon meets Joong-gil in the forest again. This time she saves him from the same snake bite. The same man Joong-gil almost killed also helps save him. Joong-gil learns more about the common people and their worries about politics and the weakened army forces.
Sometime later, Goo Ryeon’s father informs her she is betrothed to marry someone, but she refuses. She goes to visit the suitor and learns it is Joong-gil. This is where fans see the market scene with the pink eyeshadow and their ensuing marriage parade.
Barbarians pillage the town and take women as prisoners
Now into adulthood in Tomorrow, Goo Ryeon and Joong-gil are happily married. They visit the local market until soldiers come to deliver a message to Joong-gil, the Chief Officer. Barbarians are infiltrating nearby villages, and Joong-gil deploys to fight. While at home, Goo Ryeon is visited by her mother-in-law while her court maid goes to the market. The mother-in-law shows ill feelings toward Goo Ryeon for not having children and believes she swayed her son to become a soldier.
The scene changes as barbarians infiltrate the town. Goo Ryeon saves her mother-in-law by using her archery and combat skills. Realizing her court maid is in danger, she ventures to the market to save her. But the barbarians capture them both and take them as prisoners. Joong-gil returns from battle to find Goo Ryeon gone.
While at a campsite, Goo Ryeon urges her court maid that they must survive and sees the poisonous flower she learns of as a young girl. She adds it to the barbarians’ food, killing a majority. She leads the women to escape and manage to return to their homes.
But upon arrival, a soldier warns them of death over the possibility of being spies. As Goo Ryeon is ready to die, Joong-gil saves her, and they reunite. A year has passed, according to Joong-gil, when he soothes her from nightmares. But the village has changed. The townspeople gossip about her and make snide remarks.
The townpeople in ‘Tomorrow’ ridicule Goo Ryeon for being a ‘Returning Lady’
Despite being why the women were saved, the townspeople turn against Goo Ryeon in Tomorrow. They gossip that she is a sullied woman or a ‘Returning Lady’ who was used sexually by the barbarians. The townspeople believe they sold themselves for their freedom. Joong-gil’s mother suggests divorcing Goo Ryeon, but he wants no part of it and will stay by her side.
Rumors circulate that Goo Ryeon is also pregnant with a barbarian’s child. Angered by the people’s betrayal, Joong-gil is willing to kill, but Goo Ryeon stops him. In a later scene, Joong-gil’s mother has Goo Ryeon decide if she will die by her own hand or someone else will. She claims her life is not more valuable than family honor.
In town, Goo Ryeon is assaulted by the people for being a ‘Returning Lady,’ and they throw rocks at her. Goo Ryeon’s court maid uses her body to protect her and dies in the process. Stricken with grief, she tries to take her life with a broken vase, but Joong-gil stops her. Feeling his wife’s pain, he begins to kill men who spread rumors.
Goo Ryeon stops him and starts to believe she is a hindrance in his life. In the finale of Tomorrow Episode 14, Goo Ryeon takes her own life.
Tomorrow is available to stream on Netflix.
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