Just like the BU, this webtoon is bleak right from the start.
WARNING: Like the BU, SAVE ME deals with heavy themes such as suicide and abuse, some of which is depicted much less ambiguously than its parent series and is discussed here. Proceed with caution.
Spoilers are unmarked!
- When Jin meets Namjoon to talk, Namjoon is in a detention center. Why? Because while he was working at the gas station, a complete Jerkass of a client started pestering and humiliating him into giving his money back until Namjoon snapped and beat him up. And at the police station, said client had the gall to mock him for not having money to afford on a settlement.
"It was meant to happen. I'm broke, aren't I?"
- He sounds completely defeated during his conversation with Jin. That he so casually informs Jin about Jungkook and Yoongi's deaths shows just how numb he is.
- He also has no idea of where's Taehyung, as they lost touch. If you've seen any of the material from the BU, you'll know that Taehyung was the closest to him.
- Jin comes back to Korea after 2 years, and while he manages to see Jungkook and Namjoon, he only ends up watching them from a far. When he finally meets Namjoon a month later, Namjoon (in jail) bluntly tells him that two of his friends are dead, one is in the hospital, and the remaining two's whereabouts are unknown. Jin is left completely shaken, and somberly realizes that he could have prevented Namjoon's arrest. And then he meets Taehyung...
- After a flashback to the boys being happy together at the beach, we cut to Jin alone at that same shore, wondering where it all went wrong, and sitting down to cry.
- Even though Taehyung's father was abusive with his children, Taehyung is utterly haunted by his death at his hands. When Jin calls out to him, Taehyung's expression as he looks back shakes him to the core.
- When Jin first sees Jungkook after returning to Korea, Jungkook is walking out of school with a neutral expression. Even though he's surrounded by classmates, he never interacts with any of them, nor do they attempt to interact with him. As we find out later, he throws himself off a building that night. That he's the youngest of the main characters (and seemingly the only one who's a minor) makes this even more upsetting.
- He never changes his expression, even when he sees Jin as he's falling to his death. He simply doesn't seem to care about any of it all, which is Truth in Television for how some people with depression act once they've crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
- In two of the time rewinds, Jin is right there when Jungkook dies. In one of them, Jungkook dies right in front of him. One thing is finding out your friends are dead, another is watching them die, and more than once.
- After Jin manages to drag Jungkook to safety, he hugs him in tears, asking the younger where he had been. Considering he still remembers Jungkook dying in previous loops...
- Jin's Anger Born of Worry only makes Jungkook feel worse, however, as it reminds him of his family. We get a flashback to his mother telling him similar words, but it's implied it's not out of real worry, with a panel showing his family laughing while watching TV without him as he looks from the side.
- After being saved from falling, Jungkook just smiles, tries to joke around and dodges any questions Namjoon and Jin try to ask about what he was doing, saying that his bruises on his face were from a bump from a door, and that there's no way he would have fallen. Jin - who knows what would have happened -, just gestures at Namjoon to drop it, as Jungkook clearly doesn't want to talk.
- He also doesn't want to talk about his family, not answering when Jin asks him if his parents will be worried.
- While the three are still standing around in the rooftop, Jungkook receives a call from Yoongi's number. They get to a hospital, were Yoongi is being resuscitated, covered in burns. While the boys watch helplessly, Yoongi dies. Rewind.
- Jungkook is visibly distraught during the whole thing, and breaks down after Yoongi's death.
- While in previous rewinds Jin woke up in panic, here he wakes up in tears. However, after a moment, he just puts on a determined expression, gets up and keeps going.
- When Jungkook is asked if he's still in touch with Yoongi, his expression just falls.
- We learn that Jungkook has seen Yoongi recently in a flashback. However, the flashback shows Yoongi just lying on a bed, only acknowledging Jungkook to tell him to leave. Jungkook hurt expression has even more weight considering that before the whole time-travel thing came along, Yoongi was the only one from the group who still kept in touch with him.
- In a rush to find Yoongi, Jin appears early in the morning to collect Jungkook, Namjoon and Taehyung. While Jin's thinking about which hotel Yoongi is in, however, a truck suddenly goes off rails, and Jin's vehicle collides with it. We then cut to the aftermath, with Taehyung and Jungkook dead or unconscious, and Jin, half-conscious, slowly turning towards Namjoon, whose face is obscured but clearly got the worst of the impact. Jin's expression turns anguished, as he realizes that all of this happened because he jumped in and changed things. Namjoon was alive and well in the original timeline, after all.
- We see Yoongi at a bar, clearly trying to drink his problems away. We get a flash of (presumably) his father's words, dismissing his dreams of working on music and telling him to better no pursue it "unless [Yoongi wants to] go crazy and kill [himself]] like [his] mom did". This memory causes Yoongi to make a scene at the bar and nearly get himself kicked out.
- The scene also implies that he's also really poor and, given his tendency to stay at motels, homeless.
- Yoongi, still drunk, looks at a sheet with an original composition of his and burns it, thinking it's worthless. After he drops it, it falls on spilled alcohol, setting the room on fire. Yoongi smiles.
- We get a flashback to two years earlier. Yoongi is alone playing the piano in the boys' secret hideout, and Jungkook enters and moves a few desks to lie down and listen to the music. Suddenly, a teacher looms over him and hits him, sending him to the floor. Jungkook covers himself and shuts his eyes, until he realizes that Yoongi has stepped in between, menacingly holding the teacher from his shirt. The teacher, however, smiles. We then see a notice: Yoongi's attempt to protect Jungkook has resulted in Yoongi's expulsion.
- Jungkook's helpless reaction implies that he's used to being hit, and can't do anything about it.
- Jin finally manages to rescue Yoongi. However, after Yoongi wakes up, he isn't pleased. He wanted to die so he could finally find peace, but then Jin appeared to "drag him back to hell". He then looks at Jin with a dead expression, and says, "you should have just left me to die".
- One month after April 11th, Taehyung has been having nightmares about Jimin drowning and Yoongi being trapped in a fire, and he's very distraught about it. The dream with Jimin in particular is very similar to Jin's dream in Episode 1, with Taehyung being unable to reach for Jimin as he sinks.
- Jimin is alone at the hospital, until he encounters Hoseok. As we see in a flashback, the last time they saw each other was on the hospital after Jimin suffered a seizure, and Jimin's been there ever since - that is, for two years. And Jimin has lost count of the time there, not knowing if he'll ever go out.
- We get another flashback to the arboretum incident. We only see vague hints, leading to Jimin running away in panic while crying, followed by present Jimin turning around with the same expression. We get a Nightmare Sequence of a shadowy figure dragging Jimin down the water - and Jimin coming back to reality, hunching over the sink in anguish.
- After Namjoon offers Taehyung to go see Hoseok to cheer him up, Taehyung rushes forward in excitement. His hood slips a little, revealing bruises on the back of his neck. Namjoon looks at them with a somber expression.
- Hoseok overhears a doctor and a couple of nurses talking about Jimin in concern. Apparently, Jimin's parents forced him to stay in the hospital.
- After what happened with Yoongi, Jin is left wondering what's the point, and if there's anything he can even do for them after saving them from immediate danger.
- Jimin refuses to go see the others, and asks a worried Hoseok not to tell Namjoon he's also in the hospital. Hoseok only seems to agree because Jimin looks genuinely scared.
- The next day, Hoseok sulks in the stairs - until he sees a woman with a child. He starts running towards her. Why? Because he believes she's his mother. And then he trips and falls down the stairs. We later see him being carried by nurses while he screams in pain.
- After Jin sees Hoseok being carried away, we get the usual transition of reality breaking like glass. Except that this time, we also see Hoseok and Jin breaking, with a large panel focusing on Jin's reaching arm breaking - implying all of this is also eating away at him.
- After waking up in April 11th again after an almost 1 month-long loop, we start to really see that this whole thing is taking a toll on Seokjin. Even then, he refuses to give up.
- Seokjin asks Hoseok if he knows what's causing his narcolepsy. Hoseok just smiles to himself sadly, and doesn't answer.
- Hoseok notices Jin's notes pinpointing the locations of the rest of the boys. Unnerved, he asks Jin if everything's okay, to which Jin just smiles. Later, while riding a scooter, Hoseok sees Seokjin alone in his car, now with a far more somber expression. Seokjin is really trying not to let the others know about his self-imposed mission, which also means not let them know how much it's affecting him.
- We see Yoongi wandering the streets depressed before entering the motel room, which Jin just barely misses.
- Being confronted by an increasingly unnerved Hoseok for his strange behavior and knowledge of future events, Seokjin can only quietly beg him to leave that for later. The "Groundhog Day" Loop is slowly but surely wearing him down.
- We get this webtoon's version of the scene where Hoseok's mother abandons him when he's still a child. This version adds shots of Hoseok's blissfully ignorant expression as he looks at the amusement park's attractions in wonder, down to showing us his happy expression as he finishes counting to ten - right as he starts to look for his mother in what he thinks is a hide-and-seek game not knowing she left him forever.
- Seokjin has lost count of how many times he has been here, watching Yoongi recovering hours after he rescued him from his suicide attempt.
- He now also has to constantly think in terms of how much control he has over his friends' lives to avoid something worse happening, so he feels forced to stop his friends from sneaking Jimin out of the hospital. This, as he realizes here, also heavily restricts his knowledge about the circumstances surrounding each of his friends, and ends up earning him his friends' distrust.
- We learn more about Jimin's situation. His parents (or his mother, at least) think of him as a burden, locking him up in the hospital for no less than 2 years just so they don't have to be in charge of him anymore until he "gets better". Jimin's loneliness in the hospital only traps him with his mental illness, which makes it even worse.
- After Jimin's mother foils his friends' attempts to get him out, he tries to confront her, and we see the extent of the emotional abuse he's suffered from her. Turns out she doesn't even care what Jimin's illness actually is or how he's doing, is openly dismissive towards him, blames him for his condition, slaps him after being confronted, and leaves while victimizing herself.
- "Who were they?" "My friends." "Friends? Since when did you have friends?" Ouch.
- After she leaves, Jimin is left alone in tears, saying that he's spent 2 years doing nothing and that this was the first time anyone had ever visited him in all that time.
- The last scene of the chapter is grim: Seokjin sees nurses urging Jimin to open the door to his room's bathroom, and they manage to open the door only to find Jimin unconscious, underwater inside an overflowing bathtub.