Nevertheless: Episode 3 Open Thread
As our heroine tries desperately to decide whether our swoony sculptor sees her as a mere plaything, or an actual girl he cares about, she does what every good introvert does under dire circumstances: pull back. Then, when a new suitor sweeps in, she takes advantage of the opportunity, and tries her best to protect her heart from further damage.
EPISODE 3 WEECAP
This drama is like a car accident. I don’t want to see it, but I can’t look away. Maybe that’s a good metaphor for the relationship between Na-bi and Jae-un too, though — she knows better, and she tries to wriggle out of his grasp, but in the end, there’s something that’s too strong and she can’t pull herself away from him. Come what may.
I said it last week, but I’ll say it again — there’s something unsettling and uncomfortable about this drama, and it’s not just because it’s rife with relationship hurts and confusion. There’s something deeper in the world of the story, and the way it’s told, that just leaves me feeling very on-edge. From the background music, to the cinematography, to the essence of the story, it all comes together to create this drama’s unique tone.
After their first kiss, Na-bi pulls away from Jae-un — first from the kiss and then from the relationship. She’s unsure of herself and what just happened between them. Jae-un doesn’t contact her for days, and in the meantime, the cute little hoobae KIM EUN-HAN (Lee Jung-ha) pops up. He’s the sweet, innocent puppy that’s crushing on his noona. He admires her work, is respectful yet clear that he’s interested in her, and the two start texting, hanging out on campus, and soon are on a date.
This drama is cruel, though, and in so many ways. First, that Jae-un sees them together and it starts up his pursual of Na-bi again. Second, that it illustrates Na-bi knows quite clearly the difference between the “safe” Eun-han, and the “dangerous” Jae-un. Third, that it all comes crashing down at her feet.
Eun-han might grab Na-bi in an innocent bear hug, but he knows what’s up. “You know that he only hurts other people,” he says. “Don’t let someone who was never sincere towards you hurt you.” Eun-han’s advice is well-taken, and seems right on the money. Na-bi knows he’s right, but there’s also this part of her that can’t let go of Jae-un. She does all the things she should — like pull away from the constant shoulder touching, and delete his number, but it doesn’t stop the sparks whenever they’re together. In her own words, when she’s around him, she can’t look away.
But the cruelty I mentioned here is that just as Na-bi has determined to keep things going with Eun-han, she attends the school festival only to see another girl hanging on his arm. Oof. It’s as if the message of this drama so far is that love is pain, and that everyone (whether purposefully or inadvertently) tramples on the heart of our delicate, butterfly-esque heroine.
Indeed, the butterfly metaphors continue this week — we see a brief sequence of Jae-un at home working, with a terrace of plants and butterflies, but the darker side of this metaphor is during the appearance of YOON SEOL-AH (Lee Yeol-eum).
Who is this beret-wearing female? We don’t really know yet, but Jae-un is quite open with her, and says that she is his fate. She seems to know all about him — revealed to us by their butterfly dialogue. When Jae-un answers her question and says he does still keep butterflies, he adds that he’s thinking of letting them go. Seol-ah thinks he’s matured, but then she posits that Na-bi is his “new” butterfly. And I’m as worried as ever, thinking about Na-bi as this delicate being about to get destroyed, both spiritually and emotionally.
While Na-bi continues floundering her art and love life, and is sick with a drama fever, we do get a lot of side character stories this week as well.
YOON SOL (Lee Ho-jung), who I love, is utterly clueless that the guy she’s trying to reimburse just wants to get to know her, and is using every excuse to do so. It puts her at odds with the other girl in their friend group, SEO JI-WAN (Yoo Seo-ah), who’s excitedly going on blind dates, yet incredibly hung up on (and jealous of) Sol.
Then there’s the resident crazy girl, Bit-na, whom I like less and less — I can see her pushing Na-bi a bit too far — but maybe that’s my own visceral reaction to wild-hearted extroverts that don’t understand a thing about what it’s like to be introverted.
However, once Bit-na’s storyline with omni-present pal NAM KYU-HYUN (Kim Min-gwi) crossed the line of friendship into romance, I was a little more pleased. Sure, they’re sitting on the street in the middle of the night making out, but it’s been clear for a while that Kyu-hyun cares for her (and he rocks that beanie lol), so I’m all for this pairing.
Getting back to Na-bi and Jae-un and their endless dance around each other — he manages to win Na-bi back over by the end of the episode. His palpable concern for her health (calling 119 to break into her apartment and rescue her), and staying with her all night and nursing her fever, is enough to bring Na-bi back.
She thinks her question is answered: he does care for her as more than a plaything, and they have something that he never had with any other woman. (Uhhh…) They sleep together for real this time, and it feels like a consummation of their relationship — but this show can’t trick me. I know Na-bi’s in for a world of hurt, and that’s the car wreck I can’t look away from.