You Are My Spring: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
In the aftermath of a disturbing and tragic event, our heroine tries to get back her equanimity. With the help of her kind-hearted psychiatrist neighbor, friends, and family, she slowly gets back on her feet. But it’s not as simple as it sounds, because this drama has a pocket full of twists at the ready, and it’s not afraid to use ’em!
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Two weeks in and I think it’s safe to say You Are My Spring has its recipe already perfected: a slow and thoughtfully-paced plot that works its way up to a hair-raising twist at the end of each episode. To put it bluntly, I can’t get enough. I wait eagerly for the build-up of each twist, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
At the end of last week’s cliffhanger twist extraordinaire, we saw Chae Joon jump to his death from an eerie, abandoned parking garage. Both Young-do and Da-jung were nearby, and both are shocked, but really only one of them truly surprised: Da-jung. While Young-do knew that Joon was a sociopath, Da-jung was just starting to enjoy her “some” relationship with him.
Seo Hyun-jin lives up to her name this week and gives such a nuanced performance as we follow Da-jung through her sea of emotions. From grief to fear to humiliation to horror — it’s all really well-depicted. The shared experience brings Da-jung and Young-do closer, and though there’s a bit of hesitation between them, there’s also a bond that can’t be denied (and a cute road trip to the sea!).
I’m beginning to see why they cast Kim Dong-wook here. His safe, steady, straight vibes are running strong, and he’s a great foil to the chaos that Da-jung feels, as well as to the danger of Chae Joon’s character.
Speaking of danger, the letter Joon left for Da-jung (alongside the childhood photograph) was both a confession and a suicide note. It detailed all the murders he committed, and as Young-do’s team of police friends investigate, everything adds up perfectly. But maybe too perfectly? It’s thanks to Young-do’s intuition that they start to realize something is wrong.
As the police re-investigate the Chae Joon (real name Choi Jung-min) case, Da-jung attempts to settle back in at work. However, things don’t even out for long. Da-jung meets one of their new VIP guests in the hallway. She’s hurrying along and doesn’t react until a beat after she registers what she’s just seen: he’s the spitting image of Joon.
As Da-jung rushes to the elevator bank to confront him, we get the first of our spine-tingling and episode-ending twists. It’s IAN NORMAN CHASE (Yoon Park again!), a doctor raised in the U.S. who’s ostensibly back in Korea for the first time in many years. Or so we are told.
But this shocking moment of recognition isn’t enough — the show goes even a step beyond. Da-jung looks like she’s seen a ghost, but tries to remain professional around the guests. It’s not until Ian is on the elevator that we see him shoot a glance at Da-jung just as the doors are closing. Ahhh! Delicious. Rewind and rewatch. Did she see it? Did he want her to see it? What is happening!
Da-jung is rightly spooked, and goes straight to Young-do’s police friend GO JIN-BOK (Lee Hae-young) who’s been earnestly investigating the “church” that was connected to the photograph, but is all but a creepy cult situation filled with abuse and worse (“not all churches are real churches”).
All of this drama forces Da-jung to go back to her childhood more than I think she would like to, and often that means talking to her younger brother KANG TAE-JUNG (Kang Hoon). He seems to remember more than she does, and sheds some light on moments she has forgotten or repressed.
On a side note, I do hope we see more of these two together — I’m a sucker for strong sibling relationships in stories, and I really liked what we saw of Tae-jung this week, and how close the two are. We saw him do everything from lend clothes to Young-do (after Mom pushed him into the ocean) to protect and comfort Da-jung after her second (and equally creepy) encounter with Ian.
This confrontation scene is a callback to Da-jung and Joon’s earlier scene together in the snow, being filmed very similarly — but this one is entirely different in tone. Ian is angry and gets in Da-jung’s face about how she mistook him for someone else. Her brother and Ian’s colleague defuse the situation, but it still leaves us (and Da-jung) unsettled.
Interspersed with all the unknowns and creepy question marks, we have a whole lot of cuteness, though. Da-jung and Young-do come to this really sweet understanding that starts with gratefulness and friendship (what they want to define as neighborliness), but is clearly already heading towards something more.
Da-jung is determined to give him this little bobble head toy that represents a superhero with a super heart, and spends way too much time and money at the vending machine to secure it for him. Likewise, Young-do keeps it in his office with his other doodads, but it clearly holds a special significance for him. In fact, he doesn’t try to hide from the fact that he’s starting to like Da-jung, and he admits it to himself. His famous actress ex-wife AHN GA-YOUNG (Nam Gyuri) also senses something is up with her ex’s affections, and is already playing the mischievous puck by stealing toys and being petty.
I’ve already raved at how well You Are My Spring builds towards its twists, and throws in all this introspection and sweetness in between, but another thing the drama does well is find a way to connect the two.
We see this really well-played with the toy machine. Da-jung and Young-do are absolutely ridiculous here (I laughed out loud!), but while being totally embarrassing, cute, and entertaining, it also sneaks in some themes: the twin toys in Da-jung’s hand spur a conversation about doppelgängers, and it works in such a way that builds tension towards those reveals.
The final twist for this week is another doozy, and confirms what we hoped wasn’t true: that Ian (or whoever he is!) does know something, and is already deeply embedded in this murderous mess. Young-do heads back to the abandoned parking garage to investigate (not recommended!) and as our OST kicks in and some hanging sheets of plastic blow in the wind, we see Joon, or Jung-min, or Ian — or whoever this doppelgänger truly is — come out of the shadows to confront Young-do. *goosebumps*