Summer of Seventeen and Sol-I and Ha-Young are suffering. Episode 4 of A Love So Beautiful begins with both keen to buy gifts but low on funds. Heon’s birthday is impending and Ha-Young is after a treat for her Dad. Jin-Hwan contributes what looks to be the equivalent of lunch money and Ha-Young laughs at him.
Field Day is coming up and Se-Hyeong says he’s overheard the prize is a 1,500,000 won gift certificate – about 1000 GBP or 1300 USD – which would mean about 50,000 per classmate (34 GBP/46 USD). Collective intake of breath – daebak!
Hui-Ji requests volunteers for the relay which includes 50m hurdles, a sack race and eating a hotdog while hula hooping. Brilliant. Of course, Ha-Young and Sol-I volunteer, joined by desk-mate Mi-Nyeo.
The three begin training with assistance from their classmates. I’ve never seen such hula hooping. Jin-Hwan brings a pallet of heart-covered hardboiled eggs for Ha-Young so she can pump her protein. He offers her all his eggs and notes he’d like to devote his life to her too. She cracks an egg on his head to decline.
Sol-I preps for the hurdles but runs through them rather than over. She joins her friends on the stands and as the fate of their prize money lies in her hands, Dae-Sung volunteers to train her. She wants to see his stuff before agreeing but he’s an athlete – of course, he’ll be good. He manages to jump the hurdles but knocks over every single one. Oh dear. Perhaps he should stick to water.
They head to the library and Dae-Sung consults a book on the theory of track and field. Sol-I happily flicks though a romance instead. Heon spots her and can’t help but smile at her cheerful face. He walks by and she follows, noting he’d done hurdles in middle school. Heon won’t help and she’s not surprised, giving up easily.
Dae-Sung helps Sol-I practice, reading tips that he’d scribbled on his arm. She runs through the hurdles again, straight into him. Whether she knocks the wind out of him or he’s just stunned by the contact remains to be seen. Bit of both?
Ha-Young is practicing for the sack race and Se-Hyeong knocks her over by mistake, injuring her ankle. Jin-Hwan fails to lift her himself, but Sol-I and Dae-Sung each take a side, carrying her to the medical office.
Mr Lee recommends a trip to the hospital, as the ankle is pretty swollen. Jin-Hwan pledges to be her hands and feet until she’s better. Queue eyeroll.
That evening, Sol-I calls Heon to meet up. He’s busy studying but listens by phone as she updates him on the details of Ha-Young’s incident, focusing on the funny parts. He doesn’t respond much but smiles as he listens.
Ha-Young is on crutches but she and Jin-Hwan gather to support Sol-I at hurdle practice. Heon is there studying. As Sol-I pushes through the hurdles (again), Ha-Young indicates that Sol-I is desperate to win so she can get Heon a birthday present. He takes that in.
Dae-Sung arrives and Ha-Young suggests he teach her again, but he’s already given all he’s got. Jin-Hwan suggests her stature is the issue and Dae-Sung quickly defends his ‘brother.’ They force Jin-Hwan to cheer for her (as penance) but in his effort, he knocks Ha-Young in the injured leg.
Sol-I is looking tired when Heon appears to help, instantly re-energizing her. Meanwhile, at swim practice, Dae-Sung is scolded for spending time at the track instead of the pool. He’s told Field Day has nothing to do with him.
On Field Day every class is cheering for their own. Class 7 is wearing cute headband in solidarity, including Heon. He tells Sol-I not to be nervous. The relay starts and class 7 seems to be doing well, but Mi-Nyeo stops to eat extra corndogs. Se-Hyeong moves her along with the promise of a whole handful.
Sol-I runs her length, knocking over hurdles, but all the other girls have too. A bear mascot runs beside her, cheering her on and she picks up speed, winning the race. The whole class cheers and Heon gives a thumbs up. Dae-Sung discreetly returns the mascot costume.
Class 7 wins the prize – but it’s 150,000 won (100 GBP/140 USD) for the whole class to split. Se-Hyeong chuckles at his mistake but the rest shake their heads. Ha-Young says she must duck out to meet her Dad, as she won’t see him for a few months if she misses the chance.
It’s Heon who suggests the best gate to jump and everyone looks shocked. They all head out to help her. The Dean spots them and they run in different directions to distract him. Jin-Hwan pretends he’s afraid of a tiny dog to keep him away from the gate.
Ha-Young makes it over but Mr Lee spots her and offers his cardigan to cover the rip in her pants leg. He lets her go as long as she’s not doing something bad and tells her not to get caught.
Time for the rewind: Sol-I convinces Heon to wear a silly headband by saying how nervous she is about hurdling. He finally lets her put it on his head. Happy? Of course she is!
The Episode Review
It’s hard to resist someone who’s persistently trying her best and it looks like Heon’s sealed exterior is starting to crack. He still treats Sol-I like a younger sister, offering an occasional benevolent smile. And she’s just happy to be within his line of vision – at least for now.
Dae-Sung can’t resist Sol-I’s sunny determination and passes time chatting and offering support when he should be in the pool training for his next match. It must be frustrating and a little lonely to miss out on hanging out with school friends, now that he’s had a taste of their infectious silliness and fun.
We don’t see whether Ha-Young makes it to meet her father in time, but the team put in a lot of effort to help her, including a save by Mr Lee. The real surprise was Heon – wow. Mr School. Perhaps the mention of not being able to see her father moved him, as we’ve seen how much he misses his own Dad.
While Jin-Hwan is the perfect Duckie to Ha-Young’s Andie, a la the high school classic of classics, Pretty in Pink – ‘Did you ever have one of these?’ It’s his over-the-top-ness that is only mildly defeated by his absolute sincerity. Will she continue to resist? It’s feeling pretty friend zone at the moment, but let’s see – we’ve still got 20 episodes for Jin-Hwan to make his case.
If you’re enjoying ALSB, you might also like Live On (Viki) an eight-episode high school drama starring Jung Da-Bin (Extracurricular) and Hwang Min-Hyun (MinHyun from K-pop group NU’EST). It focuses on a secret about the most popular girl in school. You can read more about it and catch the trailer, just click the red hot-link!