When My Love Blooms: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
Fathers and their children are our focus this week. Whether our story takes place in the present, or lingers in the past, we learn how our characters are affected by these relationships — and how our lovers’ past continues to be marked by tragedy.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Last week we closed our episodes with Jae-hyun telling Ji-soo (as they chat at the local convenience store) how he learned about the truth behind his father’s suicide. It’s a sad story to hear — he only learned five years ago the role his father-in-law had to play, and it tore him up after being the man’s “faithful hound” for so many years prior. But, our present-day Jae-hyun makes a lot more sense now — why he accepted the prison sentence, why he let his marriage die, and why he’s got a master plan to take down Hyung Sung.
What’s more heartbreaking than this reveal for Jae-hyun, though, is his father’s death in the past. We continue to move chronologically through the past storyline, so after the department store collapse, we see the devastation that it brought on Ji-soo and her father. She’s in such a terrible place that she “hides” from Jae-hyun, whether he’s looking for her on leave, or after he’s discharged.
My heart really cracks in two when they show the past storyline and the pain our parted pair endured. These two actors are so good at expressing the affection between them, that seeing them torn apart is as painful as if it’s really happening to us. I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the young cast in this show; they haven’t had a weak moment or scene in this entire drama.
A particularly heart-wrenching moment that stood out to me this week was when Jae-hyun paid a visit to Ji-soo’s doorstep. He’s been searching for her all the while and it seems like her family’s house is abandoned, but he sits there on the steps with a song playing. His back is to the gate, so he doesn’t see Ji-soo tiptoe up and sit behind the wall, as close to him as she can get. He senses her presence (at least, that was my reading of the scene), and they’re both in tears. Oh, and so am I. This is the loveliest of Romeo and Juliet scenes; so simple, yet so strong.
After the wrongful death of his father (due to the labor union strike and the corruption of the case) and parting from Ji-soo, Jae-hyun is understandably wrecked. We see him at a critical point in his life where he decides to change his course. “I plan to turn into a different person,” he imagines telling Ji-soo, “but if we meet again, please recognize me.” This turning point adds a lot of meaning to Jae-hyun’s story, and even more punch to their re-meeting at the beginning of the drama, where she recognized him on the train platform.
But Seo-kyung’s father isn’t the only father involved in this part of the story — Ji-soo’s father also plays a big part of the story this week. He reaches out to Jae-hyun during a very lucid day, and the two go on a strange walk up a mountain to a perilous clifftop. But this strange destination was purposeful — Ji-soo’s father wants Jae-hyun to send him to his death. Extreme? Yes. But it’s here to show us just how penitent he is for the harm/wrong/hate he threw at the two of them when they were young and in love. We also learn that he prosecuted Jae-hyun’s father (which played a huge part in undermining him) for the same reason.
The common denominator here is even more conflict for our grown Ji-soo and Jae-hyun. Ji-soo is devastated over the loss of her father (who dies of pneumonia, not a cliff top plunge, mind you!), and goes to Jae-hyun for comfort. This is one of the few times we actually see Ji-soo willing to share her sorrow with him, and it’s refreshing to see. It’s also lovely (and so Jae-hyun-like) that forgiveness is on the table and that rather than rage tearing him apart from Ji-soo, he’s softer than ever towards her.
Seo-kyung continues to try to pull the two apart, this time by telling Ji-soo about her father’s past involvement. Seo-kyung is an interesting character — she’s completely an archetype, but she’s also driven by really complex emotions that are quite interesting to watch. As we see more bits and pieces of her own story with Jae-hyun, we see how he helped her overcome her abandonment trauma (again, how warm and Jae-hyun-like!) back when they first met.
If we could just squint for a second and remove Ji-soo from this story, the relationship between Seo-kyung and Jae-hyun is actually a really interesting one, and could hold its own. But with Ji-soo very much in the story, and how many times we’ve witnessed these two clinging to each other, Seo-kyung’s character becomes an antagonist. One you feel for, yes, but one that can’t really compete with what our leads have. And she knows it, which makes her claw-like battle even more desperate and sad.
One final thought from this week’s episodes is how the theme of fathers and children also carries to our younger generation. First, we see the ill effects of absentee parenting in Jae-hyun’s son (man, this frustrates me to no end because his son should be as magical as he was in his youth!).
We also see the emotional strain that Ji-soo’s son Young-min has had to endure — not only by being bullied over her mother’s past, but his desire to protect her and her happiness and put it above his own. It breaks my heart to see him carrying on her legacy of torching her own happiness in order to protect the one she/he loves. There has to be some kind of middle ground, right? Well, I think we’re on the right track, especially since Ji-soo admitted to Jae-hyun at the end of this week’s episodes that she doesn’t want to repeat her past mistakes. Let’s hope for some greener pastures ahead for everyone.
- Premiere Watch: Born Again, When My Love Blooms
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- Yoo Ji-tae, Lee Bo-young confirmed for tvN’s Most Beautiful Moment in Life along with Jinyoung and Jeon So-ni
- Lee Bo-young, Yoo Ji-tae, Park Shi-yeon courted for upcoming tvN melo