Youth of May: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
As spring brings our couple new possibilities, feelings grow stronger and hopes get higher. They want to be together, no matter how short a time, but one lie threatens to end things before they’ve even started. And it’s not just their relationship — their very lives could be on the line.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Going into our second week, Hee-tae and Myung-hee’s sweet romance continues to blossom despite being tangled in Soo-ryun’s fake dating scheme. Everyone thinks Hee-tae and Soo-ryun are the ones happily dating, when in reality, they can’t stand each other. They bicker like annoyed siblings, Soo-ryun even warning Hee-tae not to pursue Myung-hee. She has no idea, however, that Hee-tae and Myung-hee genuinely like each other.
After an awkward family dinner at Soo-ryun’s, Hee-tae and Myung-hee secretly meet to clear things up. Myung-hee apologizes for lying, saying he wouldn’t want to be with her anyway since she’s poor. To that, Hee-tae replies that he was born out of wedlock — so what? It’s because of their pasts, he says, that they grew up to be strong people. He’s making it really hard for her not to completely fall for him, but she’s still hesitant.
Eventually, Myung-hee has to tell Hee-tae that she’s going away to Germany in a month and that she plans to stay there permanently. So she wants them to stop now, before things get serious between them; she’s just happy to have met him at all. Hee-tae is, of course, heartbroken, and this only makes him hate the fake dating scheme even more.
One day, everyone gathers to celebrate Soo-chan’s new pharmaceutical business, and Hee-tae’s father Ki-nam notices Hee-tae eyeing Myung-hee. Ki-nam remembers seeing Myung-hee years before — in his interrogation room, desperately claiming her innocence to her father. This in mind, Ki-nam orders his men to spy on Hee-tae. He also visits Myung-hee’s dad and threatens him to keep Myung-hee in line.
Though Ki-nam put me on edge, our couple’s scenes still manage to send me directly to swoon city. Myung-hee is surprised to have Hee-tae show up at her boarding house, and her nervousness causes her to fall on top of him. Heartbeats go wild, including mine. It turns out Hee-tae is there because he agreed to tutor her landlord’s daughter Jin-ah (who develops a huge crush on him).
After the tutoring session, Hee-tae ventures outside and fiddles with Jin-ah’s guitar, earning Myung-hee’s attention. He plays her a song — the one he wrote after their first date — and the way he hums along makes me melt. It’s like he’s singing his feelings, and as Myung-hee thinks over their time together, it seems like those feelings coincide with her own.
When he’s done, he admits that her leaving Korea will be hard on him. Even so, he asks if she’d at least like to date him for the remainder of May. She’s more tempted than ever, and she promises to give him an answer when she’s ready. It’s super cute because the next day, while she’s at work, the thought of last night makes her blush.
Myung-hee finds Hee-tae at the hospital getting agitated as he tries to finalize his friend’s transfer. She’s taken aback by this, especially when he switches back to happy mode the second he sees her. She’s always enjoyed his bright personality, but it seems like she’s starting to realize that he often overcompensates with humor.
Meanwhile, there’s tension in the Hwang household, as Hee-tae’s stepmother keeps his half brother Jung-tae’s athletic training a secret from Ki-nam. Though Hee-tae isn’t all that close with this side of the family, he still covers for them. And at the training camp, there’s some progress with Jung-tae and Myung-hee’s brother Myung-soo.
One kid mocks Myung-soo’s dad’s limp, and Jung-tae punches him, having experienced his mom getting similar treatment for being a mistress. (I’m assuming Ki-nam was married to a completely different woman and had an affair with Hee-tae and Jung-tae’s moms at different times.) Jung-tae and Myung-soo don’t become instant besties over this, but the hostility between them does disappear.
Elsewhere, Soo-ryun gets caught for trying to help a protester on the run. She does her best to stay cool and collected, but Ki-nam is just too good at his job. He reminds her that they’re going to be in-laws soon and that her family is gonna need his help. When she’s released, her dad pretty much says the same thing, that he doesn’t care if she doesn’t want to get married; they need the Hwangs’ support for his failing business.
Though Myung-hee hasn’t given him an answer yet, Hee-tae still wants to spend as much time with her as possible. He tags along with her to volunteer at an orphanage, hesitantly agreeing to do check-ups on the kids. However, he accidentally gets a young girl sick, having given her food she wasn’t supposed to eat. And he’s brought right back to that awful day…
We learn that a while back, Hee-tae’s university buddy Kyung-soo used to bring injured protestors to his dorm (since it wasn’t safe to get treated at the hospital). They were relatively minor injuries until the day Kyung-soo brought Seok-chul, the friend that’s currently hospitalized. Hee-tae struggled to resuscitate her, and to make things worse, Kyung-soo got arrested when he went out to seek more help.
Hee-tae finally reveals all of this to Myung-hee, saying he doesn’t deserve to be a doctor. But Myung-hee disagrees. She wisely states that they’re all doing the best they can and that certain things are just out of their control. That night, when he walks her back home, she says she’ll give him her answer tomorrow, after she takes care of something.
The drama does a good job of really reeling you in, making you feel that hope of Yes, they’re going to get together and they’re going to be happy, dating scheme be damned. I want that so bad for them… but alas, outside forces must keep them apart. Soo-ryun meets with Hee-tae, requesting that they keep up the act until her dad’s business is stable. Hee-tae refuses. After all, their parents are talking about marriage here. They need to back out before it’s too late.
Hee-tae is firm with his decision, as he later states in a letter to Kyung-soo. We see that Kyung-soo was sent to the army after his arrest, and Hee-tae has been writing to him ever since. This time, he writes that Seok-chul will be in Gwangju soon and that he’s ready to move forward. (Unbeknownst to him, Kyung-soo is unable to write back because of his abusive superiors.)
With flowers at the ready, Hee-tae excitedly heads out to see Myung-hee. And oof, seeing the look on Myung-hee’s face, you just know she talked to Soo-ryun. The first thing that comes out of her mouth is, “Can you get engaged to Soo-ryun?” His excitement crumbles, that being the last thing he wanted to hear. I’m feeling some fear creep in, knowing their innocent love is only going to intensify as this pretense goes on. Knowing their love makes them more vulnerable to the danger ahead.