There’s No Such Thing As Fate
Episode 1 of Nevertheless begins with snow falling and a woman carrying red roses through the streets. She makes her way to an art exhibit where she marvels at a beautiful statue called Nabi.
As she looks at this statue, she eventually turns and walks away. It turns out her name is Na-Bi. Her pained expression and thee reason she’s walked away soon becomes clear.
We then cut across to see Na-Bi’s world come crashing down. Her boyfriend Hyeon-U has been cheating on her. When he finally shows up at the bar after she watched him flirting and getting cozy with another girl, she curses him out and ends their relationship.
The day of her break-up, a suave stranger shows up and sits with her at the bar. “There’s no such thing as fate” indeed! He thinks her name is So-Ri and completely mistakes her for someone else. Only, fireworks clearly spark when they lock eyes.
He eventually cancels on his blind date, intending to stay with Na-Bi for the night instead. The two hit it off too, with talk of Jae-Eon’s butterfly tattoo and playing virtual darts.
This encounter sticks with Na-Bi, as she recalls further moments together throughout the episode. Cut around this though is Na-Bi’s intent to try and move on and forget her unfaithful ex.
An inked marking of a butterfly on her forearm helps. Or, well, it does to begin with. During her date she decided to leave after overhearing Jae-Eon on a call with someone, telling them he misses them.
Na-Bi finds herself caught up on this, which she carries with her back at the studio, Her and Yun-Sol are tasked with raising their GDP scores but have very different ways of going about it. While the latter continues to drink and have a good time, Na-Bi gets stuck in to her work and tries to find inspiration.
That inspiration eventually appears that evening when Na-Bi heads out and learns Jae-Eon is the new junior on the team. He specifically asked for her to show and drink as well. Those drinks then turn to games and laughter.
The pair keep their feelings in-check though, at least until the topic of cheating comes up. Na-Bi is visibly uncomfortable and Jae-Eon takes the opportunity to encourage her to join him in ditching the group. They intend to ditch the group and pick up where they left off from their last encounter.
Now, it’s worth bearing in mind that Jae-Eon is pretty touchy-feely, taking all the opportunities he can to touch Na-Bi. In Western culture this is, of course, normal flirting behaviour. In reserved Korea however, it’s pretty taboo.
After their evening together though, Na-Bi finds herself thinking about him a lot. “What am I doing?” She sighs.
You know that feeling when you get those butterflies and nervous energy, desperate to see your crush and hopefully strike up a conversation? Well, Na-Bi is experiencing that here, and doing an excellent job portraying it too.
She heads up to the smoking terrace in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Jae-Eon at the workshop across the way. She even constantly checks her phone and group messages too. This comes at the expense of neglecting her sculpting work though.
Well, that evening Jae-Eon stays late with Na-Bi and after some light flirting, winds up sketching while she does the intimate sculpting work on her piece. Afterwards, in the dead of night, thee two exchange numbers while the petals fall from the trees above. The pair get on really well but as Jae-Eon leans forward to give her a kiss, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
The editing in this episode, and the way it cuts back and forth from the past to the present, is beautifully done. It actually suits this series perfectly and the extreme close-ups of different body parts is really artistic. It seems like a stylistic tick to begin with until you remember Na-Bi is a sculptor. It makes sense for her to examine different body parts with a laser focus.
The minimalist score and the dreamy visuals make this a real delight to watch too. And that soundtrack? Spot on so far.
The chemistry between our two leads is fantastic too, which helps a lot to really allow fireworks to fly between them. It’s still early days of course but Nevertheless is turning into a real romantic scorcher. The one-episode-a-week is going to be absolutely excruciating to wait for off the back of this.
Still, that ending sets everything up nicely for the season ahead.