The Shoes That Fit Me
Episode 2 of Youth of May begins with Myung-Hee hurrying to meet her date. As she sits opposite him, Myung-Hee tries to remember the rules Soo-Ryeon told her to follow.
Myung-Hee is pretty eccentric and decides to choose beer as a starter. Hee-Tae follows her lead though and drinks from the bottle. Funnily enough, everything Myung-Hee does to try and dissuade him backfires, with both of them following the other’s lead. Only, this façade is quickly shattered when Myung-Hee finds out she’s talking to Hee-Tae, known for finishing with top marks at university.
The two have a surprisingly good date, with Myung-Hee doing her best to dissuade Hee-Tae but failing every which way. Even shopping doesn’t go to plan, with Hee-Tae seeing through her act given she’s struggling while wearing heels.
Anyway, Hee-Tae eventually escorts her home in a taxi. In a really touching move, he actually gets her some new shoes too without her knowing. They’re a perfect fit but Soo-Ryeon worries he could be a pervert. After all, how would he know her shoe size?!
In the morning, Hee-Tae is confronted by his Father at breakfast. He encourages him to ask Soo-Ryeon (who’s actually Myung-Hee) out for a second date. Later that day though he runs into her in the street. He grabs the girl, saving her from being hit by traffic. Myung-Hee tries rushing onto a bus but Hee-Tae follows, embarrassing her infront of everyone and bagging himself another date in the process.
Myung-Hee hurries off to watch her brother Myeong-Soo running in Gwangju. Through pure determination and grit, he manages to finish second and get himself a place on the team.
When their father Hyun-Chul shows up, things are tense to say the least. Still, he takes Myeong-Soo into the store in order to buy new running shoes. The ones Myeong-Soo chooses just so happen to be the same ones Jung-Tae was wearing.
Back home, Myeong-Soo talks to her sister and questions whether she really hates it at home. Given Hyun-Chul doesn’t know she’s leaving, he reflects on the times they used to be happy. In the morning, Myeong-Soo shows up and prepares for training. Unfortunately Jung-Tae takes offense to the boy’s shoes and starts bullying him, calling him a beggar.
Meanwhile, Soo-Ryeon returns to the dorms where all of her fellow protestors sit waiting for her. They’re suspicious about how she was released first and believe she’s getting preferential treatment. Soo-Ryeon reminds them about the factory and eventually walks away, unhappy that her perceived friends believe she’s in a different class to them.
At the hospital, Soo-Chan shows up and sees Myung-Hee working. Given she has a date later on, she rejects him and dances around the truth. She tentatively says goodbye and hurries off on her rounds.
The evening rolls round and Myung-Hee and Hee-Tae prepare for their second date. This time though Hee-Tae is very real with her and tells Myung-Hee that she’s special to him and that she makes him laugh.
The only trouble is, Byeong-Cheol, Myung-Hee’s colleague from work, happens to be there too. He talks loudly to his friend, badmouthing Myung-Hee and calling her cold. Hee-Te sees her visibly uncomfortable and walks over, dumping cold water on the boy’s head. He tells the boy to be careful with what he says from now on/
Myung-Hee hurries off, eventually slipping down the stairs. Not taking no for an answer, Hee-Tae scoops her up and carries the girl down to the shore. There, he wraps up her sprained ankle as they both marvel at the flower petals floating lazily to the ground.
As they talk, Hee-Tae confirms he’s entering the University Song Festival. He wants her there and she agrees to watch him. They both agree to another date before all the petals wither. The two are clearly starting to hit it off, and now Myung-Hee feels bad for lying about her true identity.
When she heads downstairs with Soo-Ryeon, there’s a gift waiting for her. It’s Hee-Tae and now he sees both Soo-Ryeon and Myung-Hee together. Not looking to blow her cover, he greets Soo-Ryeon while shooting a glance over at Myung-Hee.
The Episode Review
Hee-Tae and Myung-Hee make a great pair and their chemistry is off the charts. They both absolutely crackle with every scene they share, with the early date and taxi ride the highlight of this. However, the moments near the end are equally as endearing, with Myung-Hee now starting to grow affectionate toward Hee-Tae. And what about that for a gorgeously shot scene? The lazily floating petals, the calm water; it’s perfect romantic fodder.
The entwined families and supporting characters obviously make this a little more complicated than it first appears, and the show does a great job balancing out these various different subplots too.
It seems Soo-Chan may well get mixed up with Myung-Hee at some point, while the perceived marriage between Soo-Ryeon and Hee-Tae will almost certainly end in tears.
Either way, the opening scene with the man at the train station las episode is definitely something worth paying attention to. Could this be Hee-Tae some time in the future? We’ll have to wait and see of course, but our 1980’s story is just starting to crackle and shimmer to life. Roll on the next episode!