Episode 17 of A Love So Beautiful begins with Heon and Sol-I finishing their college entrance exam tests and ready to celebrate. Ha-Young visits Jin-Hwan in the hospital and shyly says that he can tell people that she’s his girlfriend.
The students get their results back and Sol-I is ecstatic to have achieved the highest score she’s ever gotten.
Sol-I and Heon have ice cream together and he gives her his milkshake – she pleased about the indirect kiss from drinking out of his straw. She asks when he’ll sign the relay letter and he says that’s for those who will be parting ways.
Heon, Ha-Young and Jin-Hwan all get into the same college, but Sol-I isn’t accepted. She hides under the covers as her parents talk about having her manage one of their trotter shops. Heon visits to cheer her up.
He buys her treats and she cries on his sleeve about not getting in. Heon offers to help her study for the following year’s test and is confident she can get into the art school at his university. He feeds her some cake and that shuts her up.
Dae-Sung plans his strategy with Coach then calls Sol-I for luck. She tells him she’ll be taking the test again the following year.
Dae-Sung wins a gold medal for the 400m freestyle. Sol-I and her Dad watch the race on TV, cheering for him all the way. During his interview, he cheerfully wishes Sol-I luck on retaking the CSAT. Dad cheers at Sol-I’s TV mention. Sol-I shrivels that the whole country knows she has to retake the test.
Graduation Day is (interestingly) February 2009. Swap to June, Summer of Twenty and Sol-I is taking art classes. She’s told those who eat the still-life props won’t get accepted into university – oops.
Heon studies in class and Sol-I works into the night on her art. Heon calls her at home but she’s now studying textbooks and wonders if he got the wrong number, quickly ringing off.
December 2009 – Winter of Twenty and the gang visit Sol-I at her studio. Even Dae-Sung is there having flown in, but none of the guys will let him hugs the girls. Cold. They all wish her luck on her test the following day.
Delighted, Sol-I wins a place at the university. Everyone heads out for a celebratory drink, ready to party all night. A bit later they’re all drunk and Se-Hyeong tries to make a move on Mi-Nyeo but Jin-Hwan makes a save. He then takes a tipsy Ha-Young home. A drunk Sol-I slaps Dae-Sung saying, ‘Heon, you prick’ and Heon takes her out.
Flashforward to Sol-I drunk-walking home in the middle of the road with Heon. He asks if she’ll remember the night and kisses her.
The Episode Review
Seriously? They tucked the long-awaited first kiss – the title of this episode – into the throw-away section? Instead of being the most salubrious, this chapter wasted time on eating dessert, preparing for tests and checking online results. Dullsville.
The transition from the graduation minute to jumping into taking courses made it seem like things were moving along decently. Graduations are pretty same-y. But now it feels like the pace is all off.
Same with Jin-Hwan and Ha-Young getting together – didn’t that deserve a little more something? It’s like she’s taken a job that she didn’t particularly want, but it’s tough times and she needs an income. Where’s the love?
Why is Sol-I calling Heon a prick? There’s likely a story to be told. Maybe we’ll find out during the next episode. Surely that could have been the thing to sneak into a flashback? Something curious, but not essential to the progression of the narrative.
This episode missed the point, taking time to flow through the seasons but not giving ample commemoration to the important human stuff. By completely glossing over the relationships of both new couples, it makes them feel matter-of-fact. I’m as surprised as Dae-Sung in the change of attitude and lack of appreciation.