My Liberation Notes – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Liberation Club

Episode 3 of My Liberation Notes returns to find Mr Gu still reeling over Mi-Jeong’s words about his life. She wants him to worship her, turning away from drink and to give his life purpose. Instead though, he turns and walks away, pointing out that she knows nothing about him. Mr Gu is seemingly content with living life out in the countryside alone. He doesn’t want anything but to live a peaceful life.

Because of what’s happened, Mi-Jeong is reluctant to head home. Instead, she spends some time with her work colleagues, who are surprised to find her reluctant to go home. She even misses the last train too, succumbing to peer pressure. Unfortunately, in her desire not to go, she finds herself all alone and walking past intimidating guys by their parked car late at night.

They don’t hurt her though thankfully, getting in their car and driving off. This is also helped somewhat by Mr Gu arriving, clinking past her with a bag full of alcohol.

At work the next day, Mi-Jeong finds herself pressured to join a club. She just sees this as another route to disappointment though, admitting that she doesn’t really find anything fun, given she’s stuck in the humdrum of life.

Unfortunately that humdrum is made all the worse by the long, hot summer days and the horrid commute. Honestly there is nothing worse than getting on public transport in the summer with no aircon. Yuck.

Meanwhile, Gi-Jeong heads out on a blind date where she admits her commute times are long and she’s struggling to find someone she really connects with. It doesn’t help that Jeong-Su had her saved in his phone as “pick up girl.”

Gi-Jeong goes on a big old scathing and brutal monologue about her ex, leaving her date a confounded mute. Gi-Yeong’s open nature of chatting about anything is something Chang-Hee is shocked to hear that night. He calls her out for being way too forward and suggests she just stay single from now on.

In the middle of this disagreement, Mi-Jeong is encouraged to head over and see Mr Gu, given he always has alcohol and they can have some booze together. Now, Du-Hwan actually has been over to Mr Gu’s place and admits that the man always drinks alone but changes where he sits (and his shot glass given he drinks with two or three alone) throughout the night.

Upon hearing all this, Gi-Jeong decides to turn in for the night while Chang-Hee heads over to Gu’s place to drink with him. Only, when he tries to open one of the cupboards (the one with Gi-Yeong’s note in) he slams it shut and asks if he seems pathetic. The night is one big dud and Chang-Hee heads home alone.

Meanwhile, Gi-Yeong finally plucks up the courage and speaks to her boss, pointing out that she’s never actually been given a lottery ticket or any sort of affection from him at all – not like the others in the office. He apologizes and eventually takes her out to have a drink.

While there, Gi-Yeong speaks openly about everything she’s feeling, including how everyone in her life seems to skip over her, shattering the poor woman’s pride.

The pair have a really interesting chat, discussing what sort of drama they’re like, with her boss eventually realizing that she’s akin to slice of life dramas. After a mixed evening, he prepares to head home but of course, this only exacerbates Gi-Yeong’s feelings, given she believes he’s only doing this out of guilt and can’t wait to go home. Gi-Yeong is desperate to find someone who genuinely wants to be with her.

On the train home, Gi-Yeong scoffs at a billboard reading: “Something good will happen to you today.” However, on the train happens to be Chang-Hee’s ex, who decided to come to Dangmi Station. Only, she realizes that it’s nothing special and gets the last train back to Seoul.

Gi-Yeong grills Chang-Hee that night over what happened with Ye-Rin, wanting to know all the details. Chang-hee believes the reason stems from the fact she realized “what a pathetic loser he is.” He’s sure she wants better and doesn’t want to be held back by her. Only, her little trip to Dangmi station was actually as a result of curiosity.

As we cut across to her on the train back, she thinks to herself how every time she’ll pass this station, she’ll think of Chang-hee now.

Chang-Hee meanwhile, heads over to Mr Gu’s place and apologizes for his attitude last time they met. He decides to just call him Gu and admits he’s not usually that rude. The man is silent, as per the norm, and eventually shuts the door on him as Chang-Hee heads outside and uses the buckets of water to wash himself.

When their parents arrive home from the funeral they’ve attended, they’re livid over the guys only just heading home. The thing is, the pair don’t seem to realize how hard their kids work and how brutal this commute actually is.

The funny thing is, at work Mi-Jeong finds herself about to make some new friends. Genuine friends this time, not the cliquey girls who are only interested in her gossip. Still without a club, Mi-Jeong settles on the name “The Liberation Club” because they want to be liberated given how trapped they feel.

It’s actually a really fitting name, something that Sang-Min clings to. As they leave work, the faint wisps of a smile can be seen on Mi-Jeong’s face – is she starting to find a purpose and enjoy her life?

Back home, she speaks to Mr Gu and asks whether he wants her to worship him instead, given he’s never felt whole either. He doesn’t reply, but it is something that he thinks about overnight. Anyway, Mi-Jeong suggests they should at least say hi to one another in the morning, as Gu starts to converse with her. Baby steps and all that! Mi-Jeong hurries for the bus and makes it just in time.

The Episode Review

My Liberation Notes is really starting to grow on me. The characters are really well written and there’s a lot of depth to these guys. Those quiet moments of reflection are far more spaced out around bites of meaningful dialogue, and there’s a consistency now; a rhythm to let us see Chang-Hee, Gi-Yeong and Mi-Jeong’s lives.

All three siblings are very relatable too, with Gi-Jeong desperate for love and just rambling on, wanting to be herself at every opportunity, but finding herself alienating everyone around her in the process. It’s heartbreaking to see but also something that shows she has a big heart and just wants to be loved.

Likewise, Chang-Hee doesn’t think he’s good enough and is paranoid, almost ashamed really that he lives the way he does. While him asking for a car is partly to help them all move and commute faster, it’s also something of a status symbol too, allowing him to show his girlfriend that he has aspirations and is moving on.

Then there’s Mi-Jeong. She’s the one whom we’ve been following the most and perhaps the one who’s the easiest to empathize with. They say misery loves company and although I’m not saying Gu and Mi-Jeong are complete downers, they almost complete one another in what they want. Both want companionship but are so hurt and broken from heir lives that they’re not sure how to go about doing that, which is where the abrupt “worship me” comes into it.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that this episode feels far more focused compared to last week’s double-bill, especially as there’s a much more consistent rhythm to this one. The juxtaposition between the tranquil countryside and the bustling metropolis is far more prevalent here, and it adds up to one solid slice of life drama. And what about that Liberation Club at work? Genius. Roll on episode 4!

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You can read our full season review for My Liberation Notes Season 1 here!


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