Episode 10 of My Liberation Notes starts with us in the past, with Mr Gu (Ja-Gyeong) exhausted from his constant plight with the chairman and his subordinates. He hangs the phone up and collapses against the phone booth.
Back in the present, Mi-Jeong finds Gu stumbling about drunk. Several wild dogs look set to attack him but Mi-Jeong steps up and stops them. Gu is not happy, pointing out that misfortunes are coming for him and with every one she’s stopping, an even larger one is going to rear its ugly head. One that’s made Gu fearful.
However, not as fearful as a woman with sharp instincts, which is how he views Mi-Jeong of course.
When Gu collapses on the bench, depressed, Chang-Hee shows and lies opposite him, deciding to snap a photo to show them looking at the stars together like besties. Mi-jeong watches all of this and tells him to get up.
At Alpha Retail, A-Reum and Chang-Hee’s hostility leads to their supervisor deciding they should be broken up. They have a whole bunch of new employees and he believes this is the best thing for them both.
Funnily enough though, at the team dinner they instinctively sit next to each other, although there are definite signs of awkwardness. After what his friends have said to him, Chang-Hee is actually making an effort and trying to be more civil with A-Reum… much to the shock of his boss.
The root cause of Chang-Hee’s behaviour is made clear later on when Chang-Hee can’t believe that Gu has a Royce and a bidet. He believes Gu is a man who has has fallen from grace and is actually incredibly rich.
In fact, since the encounter late at night, Chang-Hee has been he decides to use his toilet every morning and night so he can check on the key, as a way of essentially being “beyond” his thoughts of hating A-Reum.
Meanwhile, Gi-Jeong is encouraged to show up and have some octopus with Tae-Hun. What’s particularly sweet here is that Jin-U, her boss, gives Gi-Jeong some words of encouragement outside. He tells her to calmly head over and take her time.
When she arrives, those butterflies come back as she nervously smiles and is encouraged to sit down. There’s some definite nervousness though as they sit and drink together. They even toast too, clinking glasses and having their soju bombs.
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worst when Gyeong-Seon shows up at the table furious. It turns out it’s actually Yu-Rim’s birthday and this was a play to make sure Gi-Jeong doesn’t date Tae-Hun. It’s hard to watch, especially when Gi-Jeong has to explain to the sisters that she was rejected by him.
To make matters worse, Gi-Jeong is confronted by Mr Park’s girlfriend at work, who admits she’s uncomfortable with her talking to him, especially for dating advice.
She urges Gi-Jeong not to talk to him anymore and to focus on her girl friends instead. Tae-Hun does help her mood though, messaging a picture of the album cover for Nirvana’s record and admitting that it reminds him of her now. He also wants to buy her two meals to apologize.
Mi-Jeong is given the free alcohol from Chang-Hee and hands it over to Gu. She’s not happy though and lets him know exactly how she feels.
When Mi-Jeong leaves, Gu laughs incredulously after telling her he doesn’t owe her anything. After pushing Mi-Jeong away, Gu shows up to see Mr Baek. Gu admits that he was a dead man walking in his old life, constantly working and listening to drunk people and drifting through life.
Gu wants to make a decision on his own time whether he’s going to come back to this life and “conquer the world” or he’s going to stay making sinks and drift into obscurity. He tells Mr Baek he needs some time to mull that over, and leaves.
When he does, Gu meets Mi-Jeong who races up to get a lift home from Mr Gu. On the way, they stop and eat together. Given Mi-Jeong messaged him earlier, wanting to carry on with what they had before.
After a nice meal, the gang head home. Chang-Hee drops by Gu’s place and is on his knees, wanting to know more about his past and, specifically, the car.
Gu drives him all he way to a parking lot where his car has been parked this whole time. Chang-Hee is shocked and drops to his knees, incredulous to what he’s seen. He even lets him drive it home.
The ending to the episode appears to jump forward in time. It’s the new year celebrations at the casino and Mr Gu is there, overseeing proceedings.
As everything counts down to 0, Mr Gu heads outside as snow floats lazily to the ground. He reflects on Mi-Jeong’s words about her always dating assholes, as the chapter comes to a close.
The Episode Review
My Liberation Notes deliver another excellent episode, one that manages to develop each of these characters further, extending the work done with yesterday’s chapter.
Understanding more about Gu’s past is certainly welcome, and here we see a lot more context to all of this.
However, each of the siblings get a good amount of screen time too, with Chang-Hee’s hilarious outburst working surprisingly well to add context to his plight but doing so in a rather humorous way.
The way he approached that car in the parking lot, along with nonchalantly snapping a pic with Gu, were great moments of levity, and something that really helps break up what’s otherwise a pretty somber episode.
As we learned from the last chapter, Gu’s guilt stems from the fact he believes he killed his roommate and her brother is out for blood.
So Gu is basically drowning himself in sorrow – but also attached to Mi-Jeong given she has, in essence, saved his life given it was her voice that got him off the train.
Either way, this is a deeply rich and layered drama that’s worked beautifully to build up these characters over the weeks.
Quite what next week has in store for us though is anyone’s guess but based on this showing, it should be something quite special!