Our Beloved Summer: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
The more time our broken-up couple spends together – thanks to their work agreement and the documentary shoot — the more it’s clear that there are unresolved emotions between them. Big emotions. Emotions that sneak out either when they’re upset, threatened… or when they think the other won’t notice.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
As if the drama heard me thinking that we needed to see more inside of Yeon-su, and that Ji-woong was opaque and interesting and needed to be unpacked more — well, that’s exactly what they delivered in this week’s episodes.
For much of Episode 5, we stick around Ji-woong, and what we see of him convinces me that even though I love our OTP, his is the more interesting and complex character. Flashbacks to him and Woong as young boys tells us everything we need to know about Ji-woong’s somewhat strange and passive behavior. As a young boy, he was practically adopted by Woong’s family, who whole-heartedly treated him like their second son. It’s an adorable set of sequences, watching him get pulled into their warm family life as a boy, and watching the two grow up like brothers.
Ji-woong remarks in his narration that Woong was never jealous of him, or at all unwilling to share his family or his life — and Woong’s detachment is indeed one of the most interesting things about him. Ji-woong saw a change in Woong, though, right when Yeon-su came into their lives. Suddenly Woong sprung to life when he started dating Yeon-su.
Present-day Ji-woong is locked behind the camera, watching the lives and romance of his friends play out in front of him. He feels as if his life is merely to act as a foil for them — and now that we’ve got all the backstory on Ji-woong’s childhood, it’s easy to see why.
Woong always shared his life with Ji-woong without much mind, but when it came to Yeon-su, Ji-woong knew that was something that would never be shared. Yeon-su caught both boys’ eyes back in high school, and though Ji-woong seemed even more smitten than Woong (my heart!), he never acted or voiced his feelings, as if he were afraid to walk on ground that wasn’t his. There’s something absolutely tragic and lonely about the character of Ji-woong, watching from the outskirts.
Back in the present day, the Soen opening event is coming up fast, and Woong works himself to the bone for 95 hours (on video) for the project, in advance of the live event. Despite the charged and unpleasant moment that we ended on last week, Woong quickly moves on (or seems to) (or pretends to) from the conflict with Nu-a and the live event they’ll now tag-team on. (However, he makes sure to confirm that Team Leader Jang doesn’t like Yeon-su romantically, hah.)
But Woong and his rather emotional encounters have gotten to Yeon-su. She’s worried about the hurt he felt over Team Leader Jang booking Nu-a without her knowledge, and later she’s worried about him while he does the 95 hours of drawing. This leads her to his house the night before the event with some tea to help him sleep.
As is usual in dramaland, we’re left with the scene hanging, and only snippets of it shown to us — Woong collapsed on the couch, Yeon-su leaning over him, Woong pulling her in close. As the episode progresses, though, we’re shown more, and it’s also made clear that both parties not only remember the encounter, but are greatly affected by it.
This renewed attraction hangs in the air between them as the live event is finally underway. Woong looks adorable (*squishes him*) and despite being nervous, goes into artist-mode even with the crowd and cameras watching him. Compared to the showmanship of Nu-a (omg, I love cheesy Kwak Dong-yeon here), Woong feels like the true oddball hermit artist that he is.
The “debut” of Ko-oh is a success, and leaves its impression on the public — and especially Yeon-su. She’s just seen a side of Woong she never knew before. It affects her deeply, and Ji-woong notices.
At this point in the episode we’ve gotten a bunch of much-needed backstory on Yeon-su, so it’s even easier to feel for her. Before, most of our empathy sat with Woong, the abandoned and petty puppy. But as we learn more about Yeon-su, it’s hard not to feel for her equally.
Though she had a superior attitude all through high school, we learn it was all a mask to hide her deep inferiority complex. She grew up poor, and then her and her grandmother’s situation got worse when they were slapped with debt from her uncle. Though she’s happy with Woong — and they’re so cute when we see flashbacks of them dating — she’s so miserable in her life that she chooses to get rid of the thing (Woong) that makes her happy. And she’s so terrified of him finding out that she’s actually full of carefully-hidden fears and insecurities that she dumps him before her soul can be exposed.
I have to give this drama credit for being much more emotionally and psychologically rich than I first anticipated. I thought we were mostly going to get cute rom-com antics and a bickering couple with predictable character arcs. But Our Beloved Summer has quite a bit more depth than that, from the way it looks at relationships, to the impact our self-perception has on how we live our lives.
Next week is our halfway mark already (how did that happen!), and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to our couple’s continuing story just as much as I’m looking forward to the deeper pockets of this story. Each of our characters has nuances and flaws that make them — and their inner struggles — both unique and easy to relate to. I love a drama that makes me smile while I’m watching, and then gives me something to think about after.