All That We Loved: Episodes 3-4
Organ donation, buckets of backstory, and a possible snag in the bromance — that’s what we’re in for this week, as we exchange one mystery in the future for another. The love triangle is in full effect and even halfway through our story I seriously have no idea which way it’ll swing — although, I’m not totally sure that’s a good thing.
Nobody died! That’s the good news this week as we see how the surgery plays out for our leads. This means we still don’t know who Dr. Go is, but now — instead of worrying ourselves silly that he’s the sole survivor — we have a new mystery to contend with.
In the 2023 timeline, we learn that Dr. Go has been searching for his high school bestie, unsure if he’s dead or alive. So, the question is: what happened to their friendship and how did they lose touch so long ago?
This question is all the more perplexing when we learn that Yoo and Joon-hee aren’t just friends from childhood, they were raised like brothers. In a long flashback, we see that after Joon-hee’s hyung died at an early age, his parents were killed in a car crash. This is how he ended up living with his halmeoni from the age of eight.
Last week, we also learned that Yoo’s parents have been basically absent his whole life, since they can’t be pried away from their duties as doctors. Now, we see that after Yoo and Joon-hee met as children, Yoo started hanging around the house with Joon-hee and his grandma and she decided to take him in and raise the two boys together.
Back in the 2006 timeline, we re-enter our story after Joon-hee is brutally beaten by a bully. He goes to the hospital, where it’s discovered that he has kidney failure (just like his brother had). Joon-hee has known something was very wrong with him, but was hiding it from everyone in his life. Now that they know, they’re all upset and worried he won’t last long enough to receive a kidney transplant from a random donor.
In steps Yoo, who decides that he’ll give up his all-star athlete status if it means saving Joon-hee’s life. Given their past, he can’t imagine it any other way, and he fights with his parents until they allow him to donate his kidney. From there, we see the surgery scene again, but learn that everyone lives and, in the end, it only costs them a month away from school.
All the time they’re gone, So-yeon doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but she appears to be moping around and missing them. She still has Yoo’s gym clothes, which she gives to their friend, AHN SOON-TAK (Jeon Yeong-in), to deliver to Yoo.
The moment when Soon-tak gets to the hospital and returns the clothes to Yoo is actually one of my favorites in these episodes. Yoo goes from totally worried about his dying friend to totally worried about “uri So-yeon” — and it just encapsulates the teenage boy-brain so well.
When Yoo and Joon-hee are back at school after the transplant, their only real interest appears to be So-yeon. Yoo is out of practice with shooting hoops but, even so, he can’t stop thinking about his crush for long enough to focus on sports.
Joon-hee is having a hard time focusing on his studies, too — partly because he’s daydreaming about So-yeon and partly because weird things are starting to happen. For one, he seems to be writing with the opposite hand than he did before the surgery. And for two, he’s now terrified of pigeons — which was always Yoo’s big fear. From this, I think we’re dipping our toes into cellular memory territory, which I guess we’ll get fully submerged in next week.
So-yeon, for her part, is hanging out with both boys and laughing at their jokes, but giving us some indications that she’s into Yoo. But also, her interest might be because Yoo is actively pursuing her, while Joon-hee is not.
Yoo asks So-yeon on a date of sorts when he, Joon-hee, and Soon-tak are scheduled to attend a makgeolli-making (and drinking) event, hosted at their school. I don’t mean it’s a class or anything, but these brave teenagers have decided that the best place to do illicit things is right under the nose of authority.
Yoo and So-yeon arrive to the school party together and there’s some wrist-holding and fence-climbing to show us how much Joon-hee is coveting his best friend’s date. Every time Yoo and So-yeon seem like they’re getting close, Joon-hee has a look of… dismay? Sadness? Envy? I can’t totally tell, but in any case, I don’t think it’s because he’s worried that So-yeon is about to take Yoo away from him — it’s the other way around.
The party is pretty tame (or lame?) with everyone sitting around reciting deep, existential poetry as they drink their self-made spirits. When Yoo and So-yeon step outside to have a conversation on their own, it’s the first time we hear anything new from So-yeon in these episodes. She tells Yoo that to get to know a person, you have to know their secrets — and I feel like we’ll finally start to delve into hers next week.
But before these two cute kids can get any closer, security breaks up the party and everyone goes running in all directions. Yoo is holding hands with So-yeon, but when Soon-tak falls, he gives her hand over to Joon-hee and tells them to run on, so he can help Soon-tak.
Joon-hee and So-yeon sequester themselves in an alley, gasping for breath, and it’s clear that Joon-hee has something he wants to say. He calls her name, and as they look at each other, we end our episodes with a possible betrayal on the horizon.
The drama is a little slow moving and seems like it’s not exactly sure where to focus its attention. I’m really interested in So-yeon — both in 2006 and in 2023 — and I wish the drama would give us more of her. I think that’s where we’ll go next week, but I could have done with a little less childhood backstory (which didn’t hit so hard emotionally) and a little more crushing and flirting in the present.
I know that they’re hiding So-yeon’s perspective because otherwise it would give away the mystery of who she likes and, possibly, which one is Dr. Go. But still, the scene about secrets would have been nice to see extended, giving us a more solid connection between Yoo and So-yeon. That way, it would twist the knife a little deeper when Joon-hee makes a play at her. Although, for Yoo, it’s going to hurt either way — like, seriously, I gave you my kidney! Ugh, I really hope So-yeon isn’t the reason they’re not friends anymore in the future.
Tags: All That We Loved, Jo Joon-young, Jung Yoo-jin, Sehun, Song Jae-rim
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May 14, 2023 at 12:02 AM
Thanks for the weecap @dramaddictally. I had missed the change in his favoured hand and the pigeons, good catch. I also thought it odd they could store a massive pot of alcohol in a school especially a shower room that would be cleaned daily.
I am intrigued about how they lost touch as they are basically brothers so would meet at family events and the way Yoo is very physical in his contact and has always been the one to be openly protective it would be odd for him to have disappeared without a trace. It also didn't look like Soyeon had kept in contact with either of the Go boys post school so a break up in their friendship over a short term relationship doesn't make sense. I may have misread the nature of the relationship she had with one of them. A complete disappearance off the grid seems odd as parents/grandmother depending on which of the two is Dr Go would be unlikely to keep the info on whether he was alive or dead secret even if there was a strict don't give him my contact details stipulation.
I look forward to finding out more as I feel Soyeon wants to say something and I wonder about the timing of appearance.
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June 7, 2023 at 1:11 PM
The thing is, I am not at all interested in So-yeon. I mean she is written as mysterious but she is coming across as wooden. She is not the only one though. The boys also are very green but we have spent more time with them and know much more about them which offsets it.
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