You Are My Spring: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
As life settles back to normal, our leads find they’ve gotten used to each other’s company, and begin to seek each other out. Though unanswered questions remain around the mysterious death and the new stranger in town, the story quiets down. But are our characters getting lured into a false sense of security?
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
We open with the delicious twisty moment we ended on last week — Young-do meeting Ian Chase at the site of his doppelgänger’s death. It might be creepy and odd, but Ian is able to explain it away and doesn’t give Young-do an inch. But Ian is clearly more invested in things than he wants to let on, and this week we see a lot of flashbacks to his and Choi Jung-min’s childhood and teenage years. The flashbacks all but guarantee us that they were twins, were brutalized by the cult, were sold off as orphans, and one (or both?) of them were involved in violence.
In between sections of Ian being dark, creepy, and digging into his and Choi Jung-min’s past, this week’s episodes mostly focus on Young-do and Da-jung, and feel a bit lighter. The dialogue and moments between these two continue to impress, and it’s as fun to watch the actors play off each other (Seo Hyun-jin in mock horror when asked if she wants ramyeon!), as it is watching the characters grow closer.
Their relationship goes from happenstance and unvoiced interest in each other, to something much more intentional — and even verbalized. Da-jung says she feels “a strange closeness” to Young-do, and as for Young-do, he goes out on a limb that reveals his growing feelings for her.
When they get a freak snowstorm, rather than go home, Young-do runs up to the roof to meet up with Da-jung. It’s a direct reference to their prior conversation, and Da-jung’s idea that snow let’s you excuse crazy things. His running to meet her, and asking what crazy thing she wants to do, is such a Moment. Their bond only grows from there, whether they are running around late at night in hanbok drag, teasing each other, or having deep talks.
One thing I really like about this drama is its moments of detail and psychological insight. We see so much how actions and circumstances affect our characters’ psyches — even all of our supporting characters.
For instance, we take a nice dive into Ga-young’s character this week. She can’t deal with her idol boyfriend’s confession, and she runs and hides. Quite literally. She gloms onto Da-jung of all people, demanding a ride, and then a place to stay, finally crashing at her apartment.
It’s a light and silly part of the drama, and it’s hard not to like the ditzy, wispy way Nam Gyuri is leaning into this character (it reminds me of Yoo Inna in Reach of Sincerity). But there’s also lots of subtext and a meatiness, if you will, that makes the story feel rich. We see Ga-young as vulnerable, too, and witness how her experiences have shaped her.
The same goes for even more supporting characters. Ga-young’s boyfriend PATRICK (Park Sang-nam) seeks out Young-do, and we learn about him with more depth than I certainly expected from this storyline.
Then there’s Da-jung’s bestie PARK EUN-HA (Kim Ye-won), who’s been mostly a foil for Da-jung’s romantic entanglements thus far. But this week, we see into her soul as well, and learn about the breakup that’s scarred her, and how she’s still fighting to heal from it.
We even get the same psychologically-themed insight when it comes to PARK HO (yay, Yoon Ji-on, one of my fave up-and-comers!). Ho has been faithfully tailing Ian Chase for the last few episodes, and he’s stabbed by a yet-unknown assailant. The story takes care even in this minor storyline. It’s as much an opportunity for us to see Young-do at work, as it is to explore how violence impacts our minds, and how we hold on to trauma so automatically.
If we look at all of these storylines from a bird’s eye view, it’s clear that our story is most interested in exploring the way experiences (especially traumatic ones) shape us — for better or worse. And the care that You Are My Spring is taking to draw this idea out via each of its characters, makes it something special.
The supporting characters feel less like plot devices, and more like puzzle pieces that complete the big picture. The story is interested in everyone, and that makes me interested too.
Our drama abandoned the spine-chilling twists in both of its episodes this week, but that doesn’t mean we end without any intrigue. Ian Chase has remained quite a troubling character. We don’t know how much he knows versus how much he reveals, but our cliffhanger this week makes me think that he, too, is trying to come to terms with his traumatic past.
As our episode ends, we see Ian take a handful of pills with some alcohol, and then we enter his mind as he goes on this weird psychological journey. The drama’s bendy takes and weird editing really help out here — we feel like we are lost in the mire of his mind with him, trying to piece things together.
Whether he was trying to commit suicide, or just going on a psychotropic trip, is left to be seen, but what we do know is that he’s unconscious in his hotel room when Da-jung appears trying to wake him. He’s clearly not in his right mind when he lunges for her throat. It’s a cliffhanger if ever there was one, and I imagine next week’s episodes will darken as we deal with the aftermath.