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Youth of May: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread

Well… We knew it was coming. Our characters are thrown into a literal war zone, where there is no reason or mercy. And though our protagonists try time and time again to leave the city, they just keep getting sucked back into the chaos. It’s about as horrific as you can imagine, which begs the question: Is a happy ending even possible?

 
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

Needless to say, these two episodes are hard to watch. I mean, TV is TV, but when you know that it’s based on real events, that the characters represent real suffering, it hits different. We get to witness the Gwangju Uprising through many different perspectives, and it’s both eye-opening and disturbing.

At the start, we have the army being told that North Korea has infiltrated Gwangju, and they’re ordered to round up any suspicious-looking college students. It’s pretty telling that when Kyung-soo asks how to differentiate rebels from innocent students, Kwang-kyu sadly tells him to just follow orders.

The soldiers come barreling into town, brutally beating any and all students in broad daylight. Beating anyone — child, teenager, or adult — that gets in their way. But Kyung-soo can’t bring himself to take part in it. Meanwhile, our main characters don’t know what’s going on yet, but Hee-tae’s instincts are telling him to leave with Myung-hee as soon as possible.

Before they can leave, the couple split up to tie up some loose ends. And all too quickly, things go wrong. Hee-tae runs into Soo-ryun and learns that Hye-gun has gone missing, and we see that Hye-gun is at Ki-nam’s headquarters, being tortured for information he doesn’t have. Hee-tae gets back to Myung-hee just as her bus is raided by soldiers. Seeing a soldier aiming to strike her, he covers her and takes a nasty hit to the head.

Thankfully, they’re able to escape and find refuge at the hospital. Myung-hee insists on Hee-tae getting his injury examined, which gets them stuck at the hospital for the night. Time really isn’t on their side, as the very next morning, the place is overwhelmed with severely injured patients. Myung-hee is adamant on staying to help, and there’s no use arguing with her, so Hee-tae dons a whitecoat and joins in as well.

Out in the streets, Soo-ryun goes around saving as many people as she can, even getting some help from the police officer who arrested her before (and who developed a crush on her). To her horror, the soldiers punish the officer by leaving him terribly beaten in an alley. What’s heartbreaking is that she and the officer barely have time to exchange words; she can only cry as he slumps over, dead.

It’s crazy to me that so many people were inexplicably punished for, essentially, doing the right thing. For one, Soo-chan is beaten and arrested for trying to stop soldiers from bothering a high school girl. Then, Jin-ah and her classmates are attacked after standing up for their teacher. Jin-ah and her friend make it to the hospital, to Hee-tae and Myung-hee, seemingly fine.

However, Hee-tae gets worried after hearing that Jin-ah was struck by a baton. At one point, he’s looking around for her and finds her in an empty hallway — unconscious, with no pulse. Hee-tae feels himself falling into a panic attack, remembering what happened with Seok-chul, but he snaps himself out of it and successfully brings Jin-ah back with chest compressions. Phew.

Later, Hee-tae and Myung-hee have a sweet, quiet moment to themselves, with Hee-tae admitting that he’s glad she made them stay. They agree on leaving Gwangju when the worst is over…

…But what they’ve experienced so far was merely a lightning strike. A warning sign. And the real storm is about to hit. Hee-tae narrates that in the face of the storm, “All we could do was hold each other’s hands so we wouldn’t lose each other.”

The next day, Jung-tae and Myung-soo, who are unaware of what’s happening outside their camp, decide to sneak out to buy comics. The poor boys are thoroughly traumatized when soldiers come into the comic store and start hurting random people. They run out into the streets, where a mass protest is happening. There, protestors of all ages — not just college students — stand before a line of armed soldiers, Kyung-soo included.

The soldiers end the peaceful protest by showering the crowds with bullets. Shots ring out like fireworks, and some fall to the ground while others run for their lives. Those at the hospital hear these shots, and they’re soon receiving more patients than ever. Jin-ah’s dad arrives and, having passed by the protest, tells Myung-hee that he saw her brother at the scene. This scares Myung-hee to death, and she immediately heads out with Hee-tae and a rescue team.

The soldiers are now shooting at ambulances and anyone who tries to retrieve the wounded. But that doesn’t stop Myung-hee. Following a young boy’s cries, she crosses the path of bullets. Hee-tae follows, stopping the soldier going after her, only to freeze when he realizes the soldier is Kyung-soo. The lost friends are shocked to finally be reunited, on completely different sides.

Hee-tae helps Myung-hee and the wounded boy into the ambulance, facing Kyung-soo one last time to say that Seok-chul is alive and in town. Kyung-soo gets scolded by his superior for letting Myung-hee go, and he’s reminded of something Hee-tae once told him: “There’s no such thing as a good person. It’s all about making the best choice for each moment.” That in mind, he firmly tells his superior that he wouldn’t hurt a nurse.

Once Hee-tae and Myung-hee return to the hospital, they learn that Myung-soo called from his camp — he and Jung-tae made it back safely. They’re relieved, but Hee-tae doesn’t want Myung-hee risking her life like that again. He asks that she leave the dangerous tasks to him, and gahhh, this is foreshadowing, isn’t it?

All this time, Ki-nam has had a feeling Hee-tae was back in town. He gets Soo-chan released from the soldiers’ custody, mostly just to confirm Soo-ryun’s location. When Soo-chan starts to ask that he release the others imprisoned, Ki-nam grabs him in a chokehold and seethes that he won’t be helping him again.

Just when Hee-tae and Myung-hee are finally ready to leave Gwangju together, Myung-hee’s father arrives, wanting to take her back home. Hee-tae gives them some time alone, leaving with a doctor to gather supplies. But on the dark road, we see an armored Truck of Doom speeding towards them.

I’ve been worried over how our characters would get hurt during the Uprising, and somehow, Hee-tae falling into the clutches of his father feels like the worst scenario. We already know that Ki-nam doesn’t give a shit about Hee-tae, and that Ki-nam is done giving people warnings. With only two episodes left, I’m scared. I’m scared for Hee-tae, for Myung-hee, and for all the innocent lives that will be lost.

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Oh my lord, this week was so intense and just filled to the brim with so much emotion and turmoil. I'm so glad YOM didn't shy away or try to gloss over the severity of things. To think that everything shown is only a watered-down version of the events that panned out because of tv rating restrictions...
If the writer does end up going down the expected route of the skeleton being MH and the man at the train station being HT, would it be disappointing or understandable? How would you guys feel?

My fav moments from this week:
- Anything and everything MH and HT do together. Honestly, they own me right now. Their conversations are always so intimate and they're so honest and open with each other. The mutual understanding and consideration these two have for each other, sharing their concerns and guilt, the occasional bickering, everything!!
- SR and SC doing what they think is right and protecting young kids, even if it means putting themselves in harm's way
- Mr. police officer sacrificing himself to save SR and everyone else. Despite the little screen time he had, it was still very much impactful
- JT being super brave and looking out for MS instead of running away! These two boys and their precious friendship ;;;;
- HT encountering KS and letting him know SC is alive, what an absolute gut wrenching meeting
- The catch hug/embrace that totally screamed "I'm here, it's okay, I've got you." ashdgashgdfashgda, my hearttttttttt
- HT encouraging MH to talk it out with her dad just like how she helped him when it came to reaching out to JT
- The show perfectly balancing the political side of things while also keeping us connected with each character that we've come to know
- How we've also gotten this far into the show and still don't have a clear answer as to who's going to actually die. It could literally be anyone and there are a lot of plausible theories going around

With two episodes left, it really feels like anything can still happen. I'm just hoping YOM ends on a high note next week and doesn't throw in a last minute twist because everything up until this point has made sense. It really feels like the writer/director knows where they're going with this, and I pray that it's not just me and my wishful thinking.

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Those are some of my favorite moments too~ Just too many to count 😖

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I'll be disappointed if the show ended the way it appears it will from the introductory scene, only because that would be poor writing and anticlimactic. If I discover that the show already told me the ending right from the beginning, I'll wonder why I bothered to watch it.

I'm still looking for that watch that was found with the skeleton; the old man recognizes that watch and knows who it is they found. I haven't seen it on any of our characters, that I can recall.

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I think it's Myung-hee's father's watch.

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I don't want either MH or HT to die, but I don't want the skeleton to be a minor character either. That would feel like a bit of a copout to me. Put me in the understandable camp though I don't think MH or HT is the skeleton.

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Same here. The story will have much more dramatic impact if the skeleton belongs to one of the main characters, but I still don't want it to be MH or HT.

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The PD said “Set in Gwangju in 1980, it’s about the universal stories of love, sadness, and hate among young people at the time. It’s not about a specific incident. It’s about the stories of the people who lived during that time." (Soompi) I think it's more than a background, in these episodes we got killing, torturing, beating.. I'm surprised how the majority of the soldiers are happy with that. The most of them should be students too.

I always find HT's distancing from reality a little bit weird. I was hoping he will change for him and not because of MH. But their moments were cute.

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This week was SO hard to watch. I had to brace myself to press play. Ever since the preview last week, I was fretting all week that Jin-ah would die, especially because Hee-tae already has PTSD from failing to save Seok-chul. Then today's preview scared me to death that Myung-soo and Jung-tae would be shot.

When Myung-hee ran toward the boy's cries and Hee-tae spun her around and yelled "Kim Myung-hee!!" he was so worried about her. I love Dr. Yoo for trying to persuade the staff to go out there and pick up the victims despite knowing their ambulance would get shot. I admire all the protestors protesting, arming themselves with guns to fight back against the soldiers, and not afraid to die. RIP to the police officer who freed the civilians. I knew he wouldn't be okay despite reassuring Soo-ryun.

Hee-tae is Husband Material. Aww when he pouted, "The one who loves more always loses" but still gave in to stay and work. Aww when he offered to go get Myung-soo and bring him to the hospital. Omg when he said, "I'm not telling you what to do. I'm asking you." Hee-tae has told her he loves her twice; Myung-hee needs to say it back.

After asking her to leave the dangerous tasks to him, Hee-tae would be relieved that Myung-hee was not hit by Truck of Doom with them. Thanks a bunch for the weecap, @SailorJumun!

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This drama. I think I know who the skeleton is, but it is possible that the skeleton is one of the random characters introduced, and the sad looking man is someone we haven't met yet. I don't think that is the case, but who knows. Our couple are going through it and to think they have known each other all of 3 weeks.

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That bully soldier has got to go!! Like someone just shoot him dead!
Now for the ending, I have this theory which if the show actually turns to, will be more than devastating.
So..I think Myung-hee's dad will kill Hee-tae. Hear me out! So we saw that the old man in the train station had a limp, right? Who else has a limp? Myung-hee's dad. Last episode, he asked MH about HT's family but she didn't tell anything. Now what I think will happen is somehow HT will get out fine from his father's cluthes but in the meanwhile, MH's dad will come to know about HT being KN's son. Now we know KN has previously threatened him with MH. And that's why he might misunderstand HT's motives and might actually kill him thinking he's protecting his daughter. But then later he finds out the truth and leaves home for good and that is why that skeleton has his (presumably MH's dad) watch. If this happens....I don't have words to describe how painful that would be to watch. Like we all consider KN to be the villain but in the end if it's the other loving father who does the ultimate evil in the name of protecting his daughter, that'll be a terrifying turn. I really hope this doesn't happen though! 🤞

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The Gwangju Uprising was 40 years ago so MH's dad would have to be at least in his late 80's in the present day. The man at the train station looked younger than that to me so I don't think it's MH's dad.

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The age factor did make me rethink that but.....my brain can't seem to stop making worse and worse scenarios!

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Interesting theory. But I don't think that the man at the station looked old enough to have been Myung-hee's father. As for the limp...that could be the result of an injury that occurs later in the story. Although, I don't recall seeing a limp...I just re-watched the opening scene.

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Did I recall wrong then? Maybe. I thought I remembered a drag there. Also, contrary to my theory, I did once thought maybe HT will make it out as he seems to be narrating the story so far (as someone mentioned down in the comments). I forgot about that as ep 10 neared it's end. 😅

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Hee Tae is doing a voiceover...Does that mean that he will live but MH will die and leave HT heartbroken for the rest of his life? Or is he narrating from the afterlife? I dread next week's episodes, yet I must know what is going to happen. I will never listen to Chopin's Waltz the same way again...

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This was such a difficult watch. Knowing that this is history makes it even more painful.
Ah my heart broke when I saw Ji Ah in the corridor. I feared the worst. And then our sweet smiling cop.
Goodness. I was holding on to my heart watching this episode.
Two more episodes. We can do this.

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All caught up with this drama and prepared for the last episodes.

I think some people forget that we're watching a kdrama about our leads and a cast of fictional characters set within a tragedy in history, not a documentary. It's a reminder for myself honestly as I found the coincidences and connections too dramatic in ep10, while I have been fine with the rest of the writing for the series. See, I suddenly lost a lot of interest and investment in the two romantic leads (despite them being my favorites) as well as the two brothers in ep10 because of everything else happening, and I had to remind myself that this is their story and this is a drama's portrayal of the event. I understand character flaws and I understand enough of our two leads character qualities, who I think are quite dimensional within a 12 ep drama, and about HT's self-reliant personality that prefers to run away as well as stay detached, as its how he's been able to cope being his father's son and losing his mom, but I hope to see a lot more character growth in our two leads especially MH towards her father in the last two episodes.

Also I'm in the minority that would prefer a sad ending for our leads. But whatever ending it is, I just hope it is written well. I hope the last two episodes don't disappoint. The cast has been amazing so far.

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Based on the preview of HT possibly dying, I'm pretty sure he'll survive. Kdramas like to scare viewers but don't usually give away the true death in a drama. There'll be twist and the death of a diferent character, possibly MH or SR or SC.

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I wanted to binge watch this fully, but each episode is hard to watch so it's one episode per day.. seeing the series starts with discovering a person was buried, then the old man at the train station gives me this feeling of gloom as i watch episode after episode.. the pacing itself is painful to watch.. after each episode, i needed something to shake this feeling of doom.. but i love the story plot wise . It really gives you the feel of each character's struggles and choices.. myung hee and hee tae.. dang these two should live happily.. please?

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