You Are My Spring: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
So much for normalcy! Our leads might be falling in love more and more by the second (and it’s adorable to watch), but You Are My Spring hasn’t forgotten its backbone of intrigue and mystery. As the plot continues to turn, we get tons of unanswered questions, foreshadowing, and a serious dose of creepy.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Hot damn, Seo Hyun-jin really kicks it out of the park this week with her performance. When we continue with the paper napkin rose cliffhanger from last week, her shock can literally send chills up your spine. We feel that hot wave of panic right along with her — and the same relief when Young-do is right behind her to steady her (literally and figuratively).
It makes sense that this gush of fear triggers the memories from her childhood that have long been haunting her. She and Young-do might couch their conversation in his office as an “if I was your patient/if I was your doctor” scenario, but their interaction here is more real than anything.
Da-jung relives the moment she so dreads, and relates it to Young-do. Her trauma and childlike fear are so palpable in this scene it’s actually hard to watch… but at the same time it’s wonderful, like all of this drama, because its goal is healing and wholeness. Young-do encourages her to address her past self like she would a little seven-year-old, and it’s a proven tactic that’s as effective as it is emotionally affecting.
I love everything about Da-jung and Young-do as a couple, from the silly flirting right down to the genuine way they connect with each other. Watching them dance around each other has been so much fun, as well as really authentic — instead of tropes to keep them apart, the drama has done a great job of showing us hesitations and worries that fit the characters, make sense, and feel entirely realistic.
I think the timing and pace of their relationship has also been really well-played — we have no doubts how they feel about each other, but each wrinkle must be worked out first, or jumped over, which is what we get by the time we reach their rooftop kiss.
Beautifully shot and almost a tad surreal, Young-do relaxes on a chair. The gloaming lighting is exquisite, and he falls into a white sleep. He dreams of Da-jung being hurt by his actions and shutting the door between them, and when he wakes up and she’s hanging over him, he pulls her in for their first kiss. It’s pure magic. I want to marry whoever shot this scene; the lighting is impossibly great.
Keeping much in character, when the two realize they’ve just kissed, they jump apart from each other and are back to full awkwardness. They might not know if their relationship just advanced, but their actions say that it did: the following few days are a flurry of texting that’s absolutely hilarious, adorable, and again, true to life.
Their developing love story is augmented by a cast of supporting characters that just get better each week. The more we get to know them, the more I love them, from the sad sack vet who must get with the boxing instructor, to Ga-young and her amazing drama-within-a-drama, and her adorably clingy friendship with Da-jung and Eun-ha.
It’s the same story with Da-jung’s family — the more we see of them the more we like them… and the more we realize there is still a lot of plot to unfold. Because as usual, the drama is always doing more than one thing. While we’re watching Da-jung and Young-do comfort each other and fall in love, we also have this huge, creepy underlying backstory that keeps bumping its way to the top. That’s why we keep seeing Da-jung’s mother, and even why her little brother Tae-jung is reintroduced into the story. History matters here, and it’s all coming full circle soon, I reckon.
We get a ton of glimmers and hints of things to come — whether it’s the shaman’s creepy foreshadowing, or learning more about Da-jung’s father and the “promise” he made not to seek out the family after they ran away. The more we learn about the backstory, the more I think it will be pulled into the present, and is connected in some way.
If anything is for certain, it’s that there are more questions than answers this week. Not only do we have the hints of backstory coming around (hammered in further by Da-jung’s mother’s worries), but our faithful team of detectives continue to pursue the Choi Jung-min/Ian Chase connection and seek the assailant that stabbed Park Ho.
This is where things start to get really crazy — I’m not even sure I know where we land when it comes to the assailant they think they’ve identified. The “homeless” man with the burned out fingerprints (who we met early on as Choi Jung-min’s pawn) turns out to be a way bigger mystery. His story and connection to Choi Jung-min/Ian Chase goes back to his/their teenage years. He’s also creepy, and I’m not sure what he’s about, how he’s connected, or even what his true role is yet. I had a sinking feeling he might be Da-jung and Tae-jung’s father, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.
His story and actions connect back to Choi Jung-min/Ian Chase, but there are only more questions when we look at this side of the story, too — and lots of them. Ian Chase is cold towards Da-jung, and yet there’s this deep interest in her too that I’m not sure I completely understand yet.
Ian seems more than ever to be Choi Jung-min to me (A.K.A. the guy we knew from early on) who has this sociopathic side, but also this attraction to Da-jung. For a second I wondered if she was indeed his childhood neighbor and perhaps he was avenging her family in some elaborately weird plot… but maybe I’m crazy. And the end of the episodes this week do suggest something that is both bigger and deeper.
But before we get to the ending, there’s that intense moment where Ian corners Da-jung in his room. Previously, he’s given her half a confession, saying he’s curious about her and wants to see her again. When Da-jung politely turns him down, that’s when he gets in her personal space. He’s intense and scary, but he’s also just saved her by literally grabbing the blade of a knife in his bare hands. Ian, what mysteries do you hold?
Then we reach our cliffhanger ending where Ian’s pretty clearly drugged (right!?). When he comes to hours later, there’s a dead woman in his room (right?!). It’s all so vague, so creepy, and so well-done. I don’t usually enjoy getting the creeps, but I love the way You Are My Spring delivers them. Bravo for a really well-paced drama that juggles tones and still feels tight as a ship, and hasn’t lost my interest for a second.