Nevertheless: Episode 6 Open Thread
As our hero and heroine spend some time apart, it leads to a lot of introspection. A change of scenery, time spent around others, and a good dose of maternal wisdom, lead both of our characters to do a lot of thinking. And slowly, that thinking leads to action.
EPISODE 6 WEECAP
More disturbed by her interaction with Seol-ah than we were led to believe, Na-bi goes AWOL. No one at school knows where she is, her phone is turned off, and her friends are left to speculate. She’s headed to the seaside village where she grew up, and stays with her artist aunt for the length of the episode, and this does a lot of things for our story.
The more we learn about Na-bi’s family and past, the more we understand why she’s resistant to dating, and reacted so strongly to her relationship with Jae-un. Na-bi and her aunt have several important exchanges, but all of them basically lead Na-bi to the same conclusion: that love takes courage.
In one example, Na-bi claims she never wanted to date after seeing her mother’s ways, but her aunt counters that her mother is brave because she is willing to love passionately again and again even after being hurt. Then there’s also the reveal about the true meaning behind Na-bi’s name. The story she was told previously was made up; the real reason is this.
Your mom says she named you that so your life would be sweet as honey. But butterflies don’t always eat honey. Insects and poop are all nutrients for them too. Everything you’re going through in your life right now are your nutrients. So what is there to fear?”
Na-bi gains a different, and possibly shifting perspective on her relationship with Jae-un, and it’s all thanks to this mid-point scenery change — a storytelling mechanism that is used to varying degrees of effectiveness, but is somehow always refreshing. Did we know we also felt suffocated by only being at the art studio and apartments and bars that our characters frequent? Once the scenery changes and the expanse opens up, it’s reinvigorating to be in nature, at the sea, and around people we trust.
It also sets up a good dichotomy. Not only to we get an even stronger sense of the innocent country girl flung into the city, but we get this polarity of “earthy” and trustworthy people from the country (Na-bi’s aunt, Do-hyuk) versus the more slick, sexy, and not-as-trustworthy people Na-bi gets involved with in the city (Jae-un, her gross ex, etc).
But above all, the time at the seaside village is time for Do-hyuk, our Potato Boy, to shine! He’s in his element here, sleepily walking around the hanok where he lives, prepping his noodle shop for its grand opening, and taking Na-bi around to the sea, to the market, and bike-riding around town.
I knew I loved his character from the start, but when he pulled up in my dream vehicle I knew it was all over for me. Jae-un, who? I expect to be in a lot of pain in the next few episodes. Do-hyuk is all smiles and sweetness, and after a gulp of soju, tells Na-bi that she’s his first love. But his confession isn’t in words only — it’s also in actions that he takes to make sure she is comfortable, safe, and happy. It’s as if Do-hyuk is doing everything Na-bi wished Jae-un would. No wonder she’s looking so confused lately.
Speaking of Jae-un, he is feeling Na-bi’s absence, and learns about the root of it from Seol-ah. After some possible philandering with a girl he meets at a bar (yay, Go Won-hee cameo!), he, too, gains some perspective while apart from Na-bi — and in the end, it comes directly from his mother (another great cameo by the ever-wonderful Seo Jung-yeon).
They’re estranged for sure, and while she hasn’t been able to give him love and attention, what she leaves with him this time (on his birthday, no less), is a brand new Maserati, and some maternal wisdom (it’s a theme this week): how can you expect anyone to love you if you don’t love yourself?
In one of the more interesting scenes this week, Jae-un also has a heart-to-heart to Kyu-hyun. Kyu-hyun opens up about how Bit-na doesn’t want to change her ways even though they’re “dating now” and he even relates that to Jae-un’s relationship with Na-bi. Kyu-hyun may be quiet, but he seems to see right to the heart of things. “Can’t you treat her sincerely?” he asks Jae-un. It’s the same thing he’s asking of Bit-na, and it’s what most of our characters are aching for. More than stability or certainty, what they yearn for is sincerity.
Eventually Jae-un can’t take Na-bi’s silence anymore, and takes his new Maserati straight to Do-hyuk’s house, where our episode ends. It’s a slow, silent stand-off between the two boys, and the moment suggests our love triangle is about to get real. And when I say real, I mean real painful.
The drama has done everything this week to show Na-bi that there’s nothing to fear and love doesn’t have to be safe, and to show Jae-un the value of sincerity. I don’t pretend to know what’s going to happen next, but I’ll eat my hat if these two don’t get together again, and get back on their rollercoaster.