Comin’ Out Of My Shell, And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine
Episode 12 of At A Distance, Spring is Green begins this finale with Yeo-Joon speaking to Hye-Joon about their PR video. Well, Yeo-Joon is challenged by Soo-Hyun and the others, who suggest that this task should reflect reality and not just positive aspects. They also remind him that they need to do well on this task.
The kids eventually decide to blend the concepts together, using both light and dark to help them. These two states essentially represent the highs and lows of youth.
Going around the room, each of the kids open up about their fears and dark times in school. When it turns to Yeo-Joon, he admits that he lived many years in darkness after what happened with his Father. It’s a big moment, and one that Soo-Hyun shows concern for. In private, he reminds Yeo-Joon that these wounds don’t always heal so quickly.
Hilariously, the kids decide to use Soo-Hyun as the character of Darkness. To counteract that, they choose Yeo-Joon as the character of Light. Together, they film their PR video in time for the presentation.
Yeo-Joon stands up and greets the class, showing off the video and explaining more about the concept. He talks about youth and how it’s a brave time in your life. After all, you end up befriending just about anyone and despite the regrets, big emotions take center stage during this time, including love, comradeship and regret.
After, So-Bin plays another video. This one shows off the true nature of friendship as the team enjoy the process of making their video. On the back of this and their tightknit display of teamwork, they win the project with the highest marks.
After class, Professor Park and Song get talking. Song finally plucks up the courage to ask him out for dinner. Although he shrugs his shoulders and says he doesn’t know, it’s safe to assume they probably will. Elsewhere, the other kids all go out and celebrate over dinner.
While sat around the table, the kids decide to reveal who all their secret Santa’s are. Soo-Hyun’s happens to be Yeo-Joon! As the alcohol gets flowing, Jung-Ho admits he only bullied and gave Soo-Hyun a hard time because of his inferiority complex.
On the way home, So-in runs into Chan-Ki. He’s decided to leave and enlist in the military. While they talk, Young-Ran opens up and talks to Soo-Hyun about her feelings for him. Her affection for Soo-Hyun is bordering on a habit and she’s dead-set on breaking that. She still wants to be friends but for now she’s going to break contact with him.
Earlier in the episode Yeo-Joon met up with his brother Gu-Hyun, who handed over his Father’s journal. It turns out there are excerpts in this echoing how Soo-Hyun is feeling. Much like his semester at school, his Father also worried and struggled a lot in his life. Soo-Hyun had big plans to become a police officer like his father but he had to give up his dream due to his hardships.
Yeo-Joon listens to his friend and encourages him to take it back up again in the near future. With the semester ending Soo-Hyun decides to go back to his Uncle’s. Despite leaving, Yeo-Joon and Soo-Hyun remain deadest on continuing their friendship. For now, they need to get through school.
We then skip forward 2 months. Soo-Hyun drops an iced coffee over Yeo-Joon’s shoes – a throwback to the early moments of the season where the roles were reversed. They’re onto their second semester and this time Professor Song is their teacher. She’s eased up a little on her hard exterior but tasks them with making their own portfolio. It’s an essay of self-expression.
As we finish the episode with some narration, the show’s title becomes clearer. As Soo-Hyun himself says, at a distance spring is green but if you look at it closely, you’ll see that it’s more dazzling than that.
The Episode Review
At A Distance, Spring is Green comes to a close with a pretty standard episode, one that closes out all the big plot points but also leaves the nature of this Soo-Hyun/Young-Ran relationship in ambiguous waters. I get that this is just part of youth and that some relationships don’t work out, but it’s also a little disappointing given Mi-Joo left school completely over this whole situation.
However, the real winner here is the Soo-Hyun and Yeo-Joon bond. The pair have done a great job in helping each other better themselves as people while simultaneously coming out of their shell. This has easily been the highlight of the whole show.
Less impressive however, is the attempt to crowbar in some redemption for the bullies. I personally don’t think it works that well and it felt forced – especially with them resting their head on Soo-Hyun’s shoulder and apologizing. Still, it’s a nitpick in what’s otherwise an enjoyable finale.
It’s not been perfect but the show has had some good character writing and the themes around youth and how unique this period of life is certainly resonates.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!