The Losing Side
When My Love Blooms returns this weekend and the show is really starting to settle into a good grove as we discover a little more about the past. The story carries on building the characters up quite well with the usual tropes found in Korean Dramas, but there is still enough mystery to keep things intriguing.
Episode 3 of When My Love Blooms picks up where the last one ended with Ji-Soo kneeling down, begging for forgiveness to Seo-Kyeong. Jae-Hyun arrives and picks her up which annoys Seo-Kyeong. After the headmaster takes Ji-Soo out, Seo-Kyeong asks who the woman is and if it has been about her all along. He replies that she is a university friend and to drop the committee or he will make sure Se-Hwi, the man she has been seeing, will never model again. He then heads outside to speak to the headmaster and tells him to not go against him again or he will take his son out of the school.
As they head home, Jae-Hyun gives her a lift home after her heel break. While driving she explains that she will do anything to make sure her son doesn’t cry. He then reveals that he cancelled the committee not only for her, but because he believes his son is bullying hers.
Before leaving her, Jae-Hyun insists that she take a pair of his shoes to walk home. As she heads back, Ji-Soo remembers a day she was following him in 1994 as he asked he to follow his footsteps in the snow. In his car, Jae-Hyun reminisces about that same night when he drunk too much and Ji-Soo carried him to his bed. The next day, he woke up and found both their names written by her in the snow.
In the present, Jae-Hyun returns home to his wife who wants to know more about Ji-Soo. Seo-Kyeong first tells him that he needs to pay more attention to their son then asks him if he wants to know why she has been seeing Se-Hwi. He tells her that he understands that he is partly at fault as he was in prison for 4 years and working a lot before that.
In the evening, Jae-Hyun has drinks with Dong-Jin and hears the familiar tunes again played on the piano. This time, he is able to catch a glimpse of the woman in a mask playing and after seeing a scar on her thumb, recognizes Ji-Soo. He waits for her outside and offers to take her home, which she refuses. As the car pulls over, he gives her his umbrella and like his shoes, tells her to keep it.
On her way home, she meets Young-Woo and the two have drinks together. They discuss her finding Jae again before we flashback to 1993 where we see both of them looking at Jae-Hyun playing football. Young-Woo comments that he doesn’t understand what she finds in him and that she is not just in love, but has a disease. As we cut back to the present, Young-Woo says goodbye to Ji-Soo and after she goes in, repeats the same words to himself this time; he has a terminal disease.
At school, Young-Min comes face to face with Jae-Hyun, who sees that he’s troubled. He tells him he’s sorry about his son then asks if he is troubled because Jun-Seo is bullying him. He replies that there is something else; his grades have gone down. Suddenly, Ji-Soo arrives to take him home. Young-Min starts crying and tells her that she is on her own and has to work so he doesn’t want to make it worse for her or be sent to his dad. She reassures him and tells him that it will never happen.
Jae-Hyun meets with his father-in-law who wants to know why he met with the head of Seoul bank instead of getting rid of the female protesters. We then see a flashback of him on the phone talking about his father-in-law tailing him and asking for a list of all the fired employees.
Back at the protest, Ji-Soon says goodbye to all her friends who thank her for her help. She then receives a text from Jae-Hyun who asks to meet as he believes it’s going to rain and needs his umbrella back. As they meet, Jae-Hyun reveals that he knows she was fired by the supermarket. He tells her he is the Vice President and explains that she shouldn’t protest as the company is about to take legal action against the protesters. She stubbornly refuses and tells him that she learned from him that the losing side “is our side”.
As we flashback to 1994, Ji-Soo remembers when they both helped a lot of poor people, which is the day he told her to side with the people who are losing. This is when she promised to always be on his side, but he rejected her again and told her to go home. After waiting for him fruitlessly at his house, Jae-Hyun then followed her to the bus stop where she convinces him to agree to them officially dating.
Back in the present, Jae-Hyun has a meeting in his office to discuss what is going to happen with the protesters, as he wants to try negotiating first. This angers his wife though, while Ji-Soo meets with Sun-Hee to discuss what is going to happen. The latter doesn’t think they are going to win but Ji-Soo promises to be on her side no matter what.
Seo-Kyeong looks at the book of poems her husband was reading and sees a note from Ji-Soo in it. She realizes who the woman is then rings her father. While out walking by the building, Ji-Soo sees a coach full of police men arriving and arresting all the protesters. Jae-Hyun comes out and looks shocked as she sees Ji-Soo there. Remembering his words about being on the losing side, she rushes into the middle of the commotion to try stopping the police. Jae-Hyun watches on, frustrated as he is unable to do anything to help her as the episode ends.
What TVN’s latest drama manages to convey really well is the contrast between the two main characters in the past and present. When both met in 1993, Ji-Soo was the one rich and pursuing Jae-Hyun who kept rejecting her. In the present, we see the complete opposite with Jae-Hyun being the kind and rich one but Ji-Soo being cold with him. While we still don’t know exactly why, whatever happened between them was probably emotional and dramatic and I’m sure the truth will be revealed soon.
When My Love Blooms is quite the slow burn but the story is enjoyable enough to see you stick with this one. It features some likable characters too and this weekend Korean drama is certainly worth watching.