My Liberation Notes: Episodes 5-6
We get some development on the relationship front this week as our two reticent introverts start growing closer. Meanwhile, our eldest sibling finds herself in the throes of a crush she can’t shake, but that might not be all bad. Things are looking less rosy for our middle child, though, who finds himself struggling at work as frustrations pile up.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
The family is awestruck after Gu’s practically superhuman athletic display. As expected, the rest of the family keeps their curiosity to themselves while Chang-hee pesters Gu about who he is and tells everyone in the neighborhood about Gu’s impressive ability. He guesses Gu must be a former national athlete, but of course, Gu gives nothing away. The fact that he even showed them this much is surprising.
Mi-jung, interestingly, is disappointed because it’s yet another thing he’s holding back. She takes quite an interest in Gu this week in her subtle way, making trips to accidentally-on-purpose run into him. But she tries to take her friend Hyun-ah’s advice and tells herself like a mantra that she’s worth it and won’t beg for love.
Turns out, she doesn’t have to. Gu asks if he’ll truly be different if he worships her. Mi-jung perks up at that and asks if he’s going to do it. His swoon-worthy reply: “I already started.” Mi-jung’s little smile is sweet to see.
Despite this progress, Gu is still
hot lukewarm and cold. He walks past her one moment with barely an acknowledgment, but then he gathers his courage and braves asking her father for her number. It’s adorably awkward.
I don’t know what it is, but I’m all in on this surprisingly cute, weird, yet compelling relationship. Something about these two lonely, introverted people bonding makes me feel all warm inside. Mi-jung and Gu begin to loosen up around each other. They start regularly texting and going on (silent) dinner dates. He even lets her hang out at his place in the evening during his usual solitary drinking time. And most surprising – he starts smiling! Mi-jung even gets a few chuckles out of him with her quips.
Their connection leads to changes in their daily lives. Gu starts to live more like a person and even cleans up his place, sending Mi-jung a picture when he’s done. Mi-jung engages more at work, chatting and smiling with her coworkers.
The Liberation Club starts to make some progress, too. They decide, at the club lady’s suggestion, to each keep a liberation journal. Mi-jung shares her entry, a breakthrough about realizing why she feels so alone: she doesn’t truly like anyone.
She also tells Gu, explaining that she’s felt isolated and apathetic since she was a child, and there’s no one she 100% enjoys being around. Gu relates to her feelings of social exhaustion, saying he often hates having to listen and respond to others.
While Mi-jung’s work life is looking up, Chang-hee struggles. Ironically, he’s driven crazy by his coworker’s constant talking, but it turns out there’s more to it. One of the convenience store owners who leases with their company is selling his location. Chang-hee presents the opportunity to his father, although he knows he’ll refuse. Sure enough, he does, even though it’s a prime location pretty much guaranteed to make money.
Chang-hee doesn’t have enough capital to invest, so he can’t find a way to buy it himself. But then chatty coworker Ah-reum swoops in and secretly gets her father to buy the lease behind her company’s back. Apparently, this isn’t the first time she’s done this. She then throws a tantrum about how they’re acting like she’s done something wrong when she obviously didn’t know her dad would do that after she casually mentioned the store to him. Yeesh.
Chang-hee is so fed up with her antics, he says he’s going to love her as revenge since he ruins the people around him. Pfft. In fact, there’s a woman at work with her eye on him, but Chang-hee is hesitant to start another relationship. He knows he can’t provide the family life and stability most women are looking for and can’t justify another dead-end relationship.
At home, he keeps pestering Gu and trying to befriend him. But then he goes a step too far, as Chang-hee often does. He walks into Gu’s house uninvited when he’s looking for Gu and finds the door unlocked. When he spies an entire room (!!) of empty soju bottles, he calls his friend Du-hwan over to help him clean them up. Dude, boundaries.
Gu arrives home and is NOT happy. He orders them out but surprisingly holds his temper. When Mi-jung learns of Chang-hee’s actions, she angrily calls him arrogant. Even if everyone knows about Gu’s drinking, being caught like that must’ve been embarrassing. Although it does later help spur Gu to clean out the bottles on his own, it certainly wasn’t the right way to go about it.
I have to say, Chang-hee is a lot. Sometimes I find him incredibly frustrating, but he’s also surprisingly endearing at times. I attribute that entirely to Lee Min-ki who makes Chang-hee way more palatable than he has a right to be.
Meanwhile, Ki-jung’s crush on Tae-hoon grows when she has another encounter with him at his older sister’s restaurant. She can’t get him out of her head and is falling hard. She regularly updates her boss Jin-woo on the situation, and their coworkers side-eye their newfound closeness.
I actually kind of like her and her boss together – more than I’m feeling her and Tae-hoon, honestly. Given Ki-jung’s very vocal opinion on single parents and dating, I can’t root for her to start a relationship with him. But she and her boss have a fun budding friendship and get along surprisingly well. Maybe things will take a turn…
Coming home one evening after work, Ki-jung catches Mi-jung and Gu walking home together. She is not for the relationship, but Mi-jung points out the hypocrisy – Ki-jung has said they need to stop being so picky and “practice” dating, which is what Mi-jung is doing.
Mi-jung is sick of being so calculated in relationships. With her runaway sunbae, she liked dating a guy who had his own business but didn’t want him to do too much better than her. From now on, she’ll be entirely supportive of her boyfriends, giving them the support she’s never received from anyone.
I love how Mi-jung has decided to do this relationship for herself, making it about what she’s willing to give and loving how she wants to. She’s dictating what the relationship means to her and being very upfront about it to Gu. Mi-jung gives it to him straight and says she won’t interfere in his life or ask questions. Once she feels whole, she’s out. Gu laughs (!) that she’s cool: “I just worshipped you.”
But of course, when things are going so well, something has to give. Someone texts Gu asking where he is, saying he doesn’t need to hide anymore. That now is the time to make a move. And through these texts, we finally get Gu’s full name: Gu Ja-kyung. (Which is one of the national athlete names Chang-hee threw out!) Gu doesn’t see the text yet as he left his phone at home while he’s in the fields.
We end this week’s episodes with a much less impressive jump from Chang-hee who decides he can totally do that jump too. Gu sighs that it won’t work, but Chang-hee doesn’t listen. I love how impassive Gu is while waiting for Chang-hee’s impending face plant in the ditch, which is exactly what happens.
So what is this “move” that Gu and his friend are supposed to make? And why does he no longer need to hide? Gu has finally started coming out of his shell and even laughing, so I’d say he’s already stopped hiding in a sense. I’m curious to see whether he’ll choose to stay and see his new change through or pack up and head back to whatever he left behind.