A Secret That Can’t Be Told
Episode 5 of Our Beloved Summer picks up in the year 2000 with Choi Ung and Ji-Ung first meeting in school. Both share the same name but their fates are very different.
Ji-Ung sensed early on that Choi-ung was feeling lonely and ended up befriending him. The thing is, it’s Ji-Ung who’s the one who feels alone, always confined to the shadows while his best friend hogs the spotlight. While Choi-Ung’s family are supportive and loving, Ji-Ung’s are anything but. Despite pangs of jealousy starting to seep in, Choi’s sharing nature and good heart allowed him to (in his own words) “imitate happiness.”
Remember that love triangle that’s been teased this season? Well, it actually comes from Ji-Ung. He’s always been fond of Yeon-Su since school. He also noticed Choi-ung looking at her in the hall and decided not to pursue this, taking a step back.
In the present, Yeon-Su is disappointed in Mr Jang’s decision to essentially manufacture drama by including Nu-a on this line-up without telling Choi-Ung first. Yeon-Su had nothing to do with this of course, but that’s not what Choi-Ung believes.
When he storms out, Ji-Ung takes him home but he has difficulty articulating his true feelings to Ji-Ung. This is, of course, a throwback to moments we’ve seen in the past where Choi-ung has always had an emotionally immature core.
Despite knowing she hasn’t technically done anything wrong, when the cameras start rolling the next day, Yeon-Su tries to make a better image for herself. She rings Choi Ung to apologize but he fails to pick up.
Now, Eun-Ho also catches wind of what happened and hurries over to see Choi Ung. With the cameras off for now, Eun-Ho encourages Choi-Ung to actually be more professional so it doesn’t look like he just sits around and eats all day. So naturally, what better way to spark the flames of inspiration than heading to a museum. Once there, Choi delivers a passionate speech about art… but it turns out Ji-Ung’s camera has run out of battery, cutting him short.
In the absence of the cameras, Ji-Ung does the right thing and sticks up for Yeon-Su, telling Choi he’s being silly and that she would never betray him like that. He also goes on to reveal that he knows Choi still likes Yeon-Su, even after all these years. Ji-Ung doesn’t have to do this, and you can tell it pains him so, but he’s also a very loyal friend too.
Ji-Ung still has a job to do after all, and he turns his attention to NJ instead. She recognizes Ji-ung from four years back and the pair wind up talking.
Elsewhere, Yeon-Su enjoys her day off with best friend Sol-Yi. The cameras are still filming of course, as Sol-Yi constantly calls Yeon-Su a crazy b**ch before turning the attention to her crazy ex who cheated on her. As she calls him out and reveals how well she’s doing, everything goes awry.
The group booking she had phones up and cancels at the last minute. The pub is clearly not doing well and Sol-Yi is despairing. However, the camera crew have an idea and bring in Ji-Ung…and Choi-ung to the pub. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring Yeon-Su and Choi-Ung together and potentially open up the doors for these two to actually talk openly with one another.
Choi-Ung is the one who apologizes first for acting impulsively while Yeon-Su’s apology is cut short by Choi making a big decision. He’s going to work with Nu-A after all. They only have a week until the art opening; Choi apologizes for being childish, deciding to do his best the get the work prepped in time Tellingly, the cameras are rolling the entire time as Yeon-Su feels something is up between them.
When Eun-Ho and Sol-Yi join them at the table, the big elephant in the room is their break-up. The pair stop themselves several times when they mention it, leading to an awkward silence.
With time of the essence, the awkward dinner ends and it’s game time. Choi-ung sets to work drawing relentlessly for 100 hours. That equates out to roughly 19 hours a day, given how close to the event this is. The cameras are rolling the whole time.
The cameras are also filming Yeon-Su too, who does her best to get the paperwork in order for this. A slick montage ensues, skipping between both Yeon-Su and Choi-ung as they work to try and get the project done on time.
Yeon-Su becomes increasingly concerned about Choi Ung’s wellbeing as the time continues to tick by. She heads over to his house with a flask of Jujube tea but when he answers, she can see he looks absolutely exhausted. He’s managed to work for 95 hours, meaning he’ll do the remaining 5 in front of the audience tomorrow. Just before Yeon-Su leaves, Choi-ung holds her arm and asks whether she wants to stay over with him.
During the epilogue, we cut back and see Choi Ung meet Mr Jang and agree to collaborate with Nu-A. As they talk plainly, Mr Jang admits the harsh truth. He knows that Choi-ung has feelings for Yeon-Su but doesn’t want it to jeopardize the project. Mr Jang also reveals that he likes Yeon-Su… but only as a business partner. Right? …Right?
The Episode Review
Our Beloved Summer returns this week with another solid chapter, this time switching the focus and looking a lot more closely at Ji-Un and what’s befallen him in the past. Seeing him acting in the shadows with Choi-ung, along with the intriguing reveal that he actually likes Yeon-Su too, sets up an interesting dynamic going forward.
At the same time, it is a little cliched and it falls into the love triangle angle that so many other k-dramas have adopted and embraced too. In fact, the angle actually feels quite similar to When I Was the Most Beautiful, minus the teacher/student dynamic.
Thankfully there’s enough going on here to overlook that. The decent acting and the back and forth timelines offer up a much-needed burst of flavour, with the school days serving as the sweet side dish against the bitter present day main course.
It’s not perfect, and at times the show does lean a little too hard into its tropes, but Our Beloved Summer has been a fun ride thus far all the same.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|