My Liberation Notes: Episodes 3-4
Our siblings are at their wit’s end and the sisters, in particular, realize it’s time for a change. While the eldest takes steps to better understand herself and what she wants, the youngest steps up at work to carve out a space for herself. It’s not easy to enact change, but small steps can sometimes make all the difference.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
After Mi-jung’s surprising offer, Gu skips out on family meals and seems to try to avoid her. We backtrack and hear his response where he logically pointed out that Mi-jung knows nothing about him or why he’s living namelessly in a remote place. He advises her not to run away from her problems, guessing that she lent money to some jerk. He also brings up a good counterpoint: has she ever made someone else feel whole either?
Mi-jung is angry at first at his rejection, and her mood doesn’t improve when she finally hears back from her sunbae. This dude has the gall to berate her for being petty after he missed just one payment. He even threatens not to pay the money back at all if she asks around anymore for his girlfriend’s number. Wow. Isn’t he a gem?
Mi-jung isn’t the only angry person this week as Chang-hee is still struggling after his breakup, and Ki-jung goes on bad blind dates. Although all the siblings express their anger in different ways, it’s based on the same insecurity of not being good enough.
Chang-hee broke up with his girlfriend preemptively since he “knew” she was looking at him like he’s a loser, but it’s obvious he’s the one who finds himself pathetic. In fact, his ex seems pretty upset about their breakup and even came all the way out to their train stop in tears. The siblings, especially Chang-hee and Ki-jung, seem to self-sabotage due to their own fears. But Mi-jung, at least, starts to make a little headway.
At work, that persistent club lady just won’t stop, so outcasts Mi-jung, Tae-hoon, and Sang-min decide to form their own club: the liberation club. Mi-jung came up with the idea which appealed to all of them since they each feel trapped in their own way.
I love this little club which basically ends up being a support group as they struggle to define liberation for themselves. Their first meeting consists of each of them sitting at a window bar in a café, facing outside so they don’t have to be face-to-face which feels “aggressive.” Mi-jung seems legitimately happy to be a part of something and looks so much lighter after doing something proactive.
Ki-jung also takes action and confronts her boss over feeling left out. He always gives these lottery tickets to employees (and dates lots of the women in the office), but he’s always passed her over. He actually gives her some good advice. Rather than trying to force herself to have a “melo” genre romance, find the genre that fits. He helps her figure out what matters to her and concludes she’s more a slice-of-life woman who wants a steadfast, good man without the drama.
So, of course, she ends up bumping into Tae-hoon again. It turns out, he and his sisters spent their teenage years in Sanpo. His older sister KYUNG-SEON (Jung Soo-young) was even Ki-jung’s classmate in high school. Ki-jung apologizes to Tae-hoon for her insensitive comments that day, and he’s very gracious about it all. And now, Ki-jung is developing a crush. She even gives him one of the lottery tickets her boss finally gifted her.
Meanwhile, Gu continues his almost non-existence, despite Chang-hee’s attempts to get to know him. Chang-hee even goes to his place uninvited to try to drink with Gu, but that doesn’t go well. Gu doesn’t kick him out, but it’s obvious he does not want chatty Chang-hee there.
Chang-hee does apologize later for being invasive, but he’s still determined to make friends with Gu and talks his ear off when he sees him. When Chang-hee asks how Gu ended up in Sanpo, Gu reluctantly says he got off at the wrong stop. We get a brief flashback to a much more kempt Gu rushing off a train as a woman yells, “Get off!” Interesting …
Gu seems markedly less annoyed with Mi-jung’s quiet presence than that of her siblings who are a tad chaotic. There’s this moment where Chang-hee and Ki-jung are loudly fighting per usual, and Ki-jung goes to throw a slipper at his head. Instead, it conks Mi-jung on the head. The siblings go tense, not daring to speak. Mi-jung silently walks over, takes the slipper, and hurls it into the yard. Chang-hee later tells Gu that Mi-jung is the most frightening when she’s angry because she has no limits.
Mi-jung definitely has a dark side which we get a peek into this week. She makes these casual statements about how she likes thunderstorms because it looks like the world could end or how strange it is that people get excited in life when they’re only going to die eventually. Pleasant stuff like that.
The one person who seems to genuinely lift Mi-jung’s spirits is her childhood friend HYUN-AH (Jeon Hye-jin) who’s her opposite – bold and assured. They’re obviously close and complement each other well, both respecting and liking each other for their differences.
I enjoy that Mi-jung frequently takes Gu off guard and gets a rare reaction. Like when she casually tells him to let her know if he’d like to be worshipped too. He seems genuinely curious about her and one day asks why she lets people walk over her. Why is she being “nice” to that guy who owes her money? Mi-jung argues she finds it more difficult to stoop to their level.
One night, Mi-jung sees lightning strike a powerline right in front of where Gu is sitting outside, drinking. She rushes out into the storm and physically ushers him inside his house. Gu has this look, like he’s surprised someone cares that much about his safety.
The next day, he wakes up from another drunken night where he somehow hurt himself. Je-ho takes him to the pharmacy… and then invites him for a beer. (Seriously?! Your first thought is to take an alcoholic out for beer after an alcohol-related injury?)
That weekend, while the family works in the fields, Mi-jung’s hat is caught in the wind and blows across what looks like an irrigation ditch. Gu hops up and says he’s got it, but he walks the opposite direction. He then takes off at an insane run and LEAPS across like a freakin’ professional hurdle jumper to land perfectly on the other side. Then he just casually picks up her hat. WHAT. Who is this dude?!
The episode ends with a voiceover dialogue between him and Mi-jung where he asks what it means to worship someone. “To cheer them on,” she replies, “to tell them they can do anything.” Then, Gu once again goes hurtling through the air back to the family on the other side. And that’s how we end this week.
I am so curious as to who Gu is now and what happened to him. He looked so different on that train. How did his life fall apart, and how did he end up in Sanpo? It seems he was telling the truth when he said he got off at the wrong stop. I’m looking forward to unfurling his complicated story. And learning why the heck he can leap like a gazelle.