Nevertheless: Episode 5 Open Thread
As our heroine tries to extricate herself from her complicated relationship, she takes a step back, and it turns out to be the best thing for her. But their breakup has also caused internal turmoil for our butterfly-loving hero, and it doesn’t look like he’s willing to let her go.
EPISODE 5 WEECAP
As predicted, the attack on Jae-un at the end of last week’s episode was from an angry oppa — Jae-un was “seeing” his little sister. The situation rightly freaks Na-bi out, as does the warning from this protective older brother that she should stop seeing Jae-un before her life is ruined. Little does everyone know that’s exactly what she was trying to do.
The fight, and the aftermath of it, actually work to Na-bi’s advantage, and she and Jae-un have an emotional exchange where Na-bi ends their relationship. The difficulty she has in defining what their relationship even is, or if it was a thing that could be ended, exemplifies the problem completely: “What are we?”
Jae-un is moody at home, hanging out with his butterflies, and leaving his hair (i.e., bangs) down the next day, since Na-bi liked the look on him. As for Na-bi, she throws herself into her artwork, ideating a new piece, and working on the figures that we’ve seen her laboring over since Episode 1.
Na-bi misses him, but tries to move on; Jae-un, however, continues to exercise his power over her. He gets to her emotions while ignoring her in the stairwell, and then the next day, switches back to his touchy-feely self, even pulling her hair back into a quick ponytail with his hands.
Hair is indeed the theme of this episode. Jae-un wears his down, and people notice. Na-bi goes back and forth between her hair down and the ponytail Jae-un prefers, and is often seen switching modes/mindsets by putting it up, or ripping it out (more on that later). Finally, we even have Bit-na changing her hair in this episode as well as a consequence of her emotions, exchanging the magenta streaks for blonde.
Bit-na is in her own world of turmoil over Kyu-hyun. She might have huffed and puffed and pushed him away, but she’s clearly hung up on him. He’s cold and ignores her, but when she’s drunk in the streets (again) he’s the first one to come to her aid, confess that he’s not sleeping because of her, and piggyback her home. These two continue to be my favorite couple in the show — well, Kyu-hyun to be exact, but I do like the way they balance each other. He’s quiet and firm and steady; she’s emphatic and emotional and wild. I hope we get more of their story in the second half of the drama.
Hair isn’t the only mechanism for showing people undergoing relationship stress, though. Jae-un even goes as far as to change his number, giving the excuse that he’s “sick of things.” However, he and Na-bi are soon pulled back together like two magnets. He volunteers as an assistant for her next project, and the two spend countless hours in the shop as he teaches her how to work with metal.
Na-bi finally warms up to him again. At first she takes what he says with a grain of salt, but his words seem to win her over. He says she was right about keeping her at a distance; he says he wants to change. They’re not sure what that means yet, but the two find ease with each other again, and for the first time I don’t feel squicky watching them.
What we have a sore lack of in this episode, though, is Do-hyuk (better known as Team Potato, as has been exploding on the interwebs this past week). After that great intro last week, I’m waiting for him to play a bigger part in this story, but he only had one scene in this week’s episode. He makes Na-bi his gook-su, compliments her work, and shows genuine interest in her artistic vision (and her food critic skills lol). He even buys her lipstick. Everyone but Na-bi can see he’s head over heels.
The final bit of trouble lurking in the distance is Seol-ah. Her true relationship to Jae-un has yet to be explained. To be honest, I’ve been taking advantage of the mystery and hoping they would turn out to be drama siblings — but the final scene of our episode pretty much destroy that hope.
Seol-ah is well aware of who and what Na-bi is to Jae-un, but she plays dumb — until she drops his butterfly lighter right at Na-bi’s feet. This prompts a pretty fierce exchange between the two (made so mostly because of the subtext), where Seol-ah says she and Jae-un used to date, “and are dating again.” Although it’s just a few sentences, she knows how hard it hits Na-bi.
Our girl Na-bi, though? She’s done being played. She may have found some comfort in her new relationship with Jae-un, but the exchange with Seol-ah seems to effectively wreck whatever was just built. She listens to Seol-ah after claiming to be only Jae-un’s friend, but as she walks away, she tells Seol-ah not to cut her hair “because Jae-un likes doing it with your hair up.” Umm!
As Na-bi turns on her heel to leave, she whips her hair out of her ponytail, which is effectively the same thing as renouncing Jae-un. At least for now.
We’re only at the halfway point of our drama, and we still have a whole heap of characters and emotions and past secrets to wade through. After finding a more “healthy” and solid starting ground for their relationship, I’m curious when and if our drama will take that darker, heavier turn in Jae-un and Na-bi’s relationship again. We’ve had buckets of foreshadowing dumped on us in every single episode, so it can’t all be for naught. In fact, I’ve got a hunch we’re only getting started.