Yeong-Ok, Jeong-Jun and… 2
Episode 15 of Our Blues stars with us back on Jeju Island with Dong-Seok and Jeong-Jun together eating food. Seon-A is still keeping in touch with Dong-Seok, sending videos over to him of her daily life. Dong-Seok hasn’t sent anything back though, which Jun teases him about, asking if he’s playing hard to get.
Dong-Seok gives him some good advice to the guy, encouraging Jeong-Jun to be bullheaded about the whole Down Syndrome situation. Now, Jeong-Jun himself is absolutely fine with it but isn’t sure how to broach that subject with his parents and sister.
For now though, it’s onto a lovely evening with the Jeju gang joined together, drinking with Yeong-Hui and checking out the stars.
It’s a great way of Jeong-Jun and Yeong-Hui to get closer together too but Yeong-Ok is worried about him being too nice to her sister. After all, it’s going to make it harder for Yeong-Hui to say goodbye when she inevitably goes back to the care facility. It’s also why Yeong-Ok as been a bit standoffish with her sister all this time; she doesn’t want to hurt her.
Unfortunately a big fight breaks out that night. Yeong-Hui is drunk, stumbling about and trying to take photos on her phone. Yeong-Ok stops her in an impatient fit of frustration, but Yeong-Hui is adamant that she needs this for her drawings.
As they argue, Yeong-Ok tells her sister that she can’t draw and should give up. Yeong-Hui refuses though, convinced that she’s an artist like their mum and dad.
Now, Yeong-Ok wants to see her sister’s drawings, as their parents apparently taught her how to draw as a baby. In fact, she holds onto her sketchbook tightly and refuses to let up. In the middle of the night though, Yeong-Hui wakes up while her sister is asleep and sketches her.
In the morning, Jeong-Jun spends time with Yeong-Hui, where he learns more about her life. She mentions working at the cafe while Jeong-Jun offers to pay for things like her. The conversation soon turns to relationships, with Yeong-Hui lamenting how she doesn’t have a boyfriend. She wants one though, and is quick to point out the differences between herself and Yeong-Ok. This conversation also helps her warm up to him too, admitting that Jeong-Jun is a really nice guy.
In the middle of this though, Yeong-Ok head out for some ice cream with Jeong-Jun. She explains that he needs to be careful if they ever break up as he’ll be vilified for it. Jeong-Jun’s reply? To flick ice-cream on her. She does the same to him and the whole conversation is lightened as he tells her not to say things like that again.
Yeong-Hui continues to snap photos and paint at night. She has a real eye for what makes a good photo to be honest, but Yeong-Ok isn’t in the mood to share those good vibes. She dodges her sister’s questions when asked if she likes being on her own because of her.
When they head out for food together, one of the children at the table opposite starts making fun of Yeong-Hui. Although they’re scolded, the parents continue to whisper and cause a scene. Naturally, everything escalates, with Jeong-Jun demanding the dad settle down.
As the scene closes, Yeong-Hui speaks to the boy outside the toilets alone, telling him it’s rude to stare and he should be careful in the future.
Back home, Yeong-Ok points out how the restaurant just a taste of what people are actually like around Yeong-Hui. This is something she’s grown up with her whole life, and partly why she left Yeong-Hui on the subway.
Not only that but society in general looks down on those with disabilities, which Yeong-Ok points out is hard for her as she’s endured a lot. Jeong-Jun hugs Yeong-Ok after hearing all this, a tear falling down his cheek. He tells her she can’t be kinder than she currently is.
That night, Jeong-Jun takes Yeong-Hui back to his place where he sees her paintings first hand. He’s shocked and can hardly contain his shock. “They’re incredible.” He says eventually, looking through each of the paintings. Jeong-Jun is quick to point out that artists need a seal and a signature, which Jeong-Jun suggests should be a chick.
In the morning, Yeong-Ok starts preparing everything for her sister, ready to leave and get her flight. However, she’s already outside waiting to go to the care facility. Yeong-Ok is certainly taken aback. Jeong-Jun is there to see her off too and they promise to see Yeong-Hui again in the winter.
In her absence, Yeong-Ok heads over to Jeong-Jun’s place and sees all the drawings her sister has done, all hanging up like an exhibit. There are numerous pictures of Yeong-Ok through the years, from age 12 all the way through to present day. And what’s amazing is the progression of artistic technique; the facial expressions, the definition around the eyes and the detail is so good.
The pièce de résistance happens to be a colour painting labelled “Yeong-Ok and Jeong-Jun in love” right next to “Yeong-Hui and Yeong-Ok love each other.”
The thing is, these paintings and drawings are a bittersweet reminder of the past, especially given Yeong-Hui only really drew her sister when she was feeling lonely or missing her. As she begins sobbing, we cut to Jeong-Jun outside, who listens reflectively.
The Episode Review
Our Blues returns with a really solid episode, one that tops off this emotional Yeong-Ok and Yeong-Hui reunion with a look at all her drawings.
It’s such a beautiful way to crescendo the drama we’ve seen over the past few episodes and honestly, Jeong-Jun is such a great guy. He genuinely cares for Yeong-Ok and wants to try and make an effort with Yeong-Hui. He’s not in it for the short-haul and you can tell that, especially from the little moments like asking Dong-Seok for advice and actually researching Down Syndrome online. I can also appreciate why Yeong-Ok has been so standoffish with Jeong-Jun.
The episode itself is both topical and important, and it’s something I’ve been saying a lot recently about this drama to my friends; this is a really important, inclusive series that manages to touch on a lot of different topics that K-dramas don’t usually look at.
This alone has made these past three chapters almost essential viewing this year, even if the anthological nature of Our Blues hasn’t always been on the money. This episode though, absolutely delivers.