Episode 5 of Youth of May begins back outside in the street as Myung-Hee tells Hee-Tae to get married. He’s obviously not happy but eventually agrees to do just this, walking away from a heartbroken Myung-Hee.
We then cut back in time and understand why Myung-Hee made this decision. Soo-Yeon showed up at the hospital sobbing, wondering just what to do and pleading with her to break things off for the good of her family.
Determined to make things right, Hee-Tae heads up and visits Chang-Keun the following day. He mentions the engagement and tells him they’re gong to proceed with it. Myung-Hee is crushed, of course, but she tries to keep it together when she runs into him that evening.
Myung-Hee brushes their encounter aside though, claiming she’s going to leave town soon so it doesn’t really matter.
Back home, Hee-Tae sits with his father and hands over the cigarettes for him. He praises Hee-Tae for doing the right thing, claiming not to get caught up in “petty emotions” with Myung-Hee. Well, our little star is heading up to Seoul (or at least trying to, her passport is going to take a while), while Hee-Tae and Soo-Ryeon smile painfully as they’re encouraged to try on jewelry.
Unfortunately this engagement announcement causes problems at the protest hideout, as the kids all notice this in the newspaper. They immediately come to blows, torn between whether Soo-Ryeon is actually a mole or not. A few of them even head out into the street and confront her. Unfortunately this whole ordeal is only made worse when Hee-Tae arrives.
Well, everything blows up that evening when Hee-Tae learns that Myung-Hee has gone to Seoul without him. Symbolically, the flowers up on his desk back home are withered and dying; a reflection of Hee-Tae and Myung-Hee’s relationship.
That evening, Myung-Hee heads home and finds her Father there, holding the letter she’s written. He rips it up and tells her to see sense after what they’ve been through. It turns out she too used to be a protestor back in the day, before her Father demanded she “just say yes” and to live quietly. This explains why their relationship is so estranged.
With Soo-Ryeon’s engagement coming up, Myung-Hee arrives with the ripped letter from Hye-Gun. He wants her to see the result of her hard work for the protestors. Before that though, it’s time for the engagement ceremony as both Soo-Ryeon and Hee-Tae head outside to rapturous applause.
Neither of them look very happy and Myung-Hee tellingly is not clapping either. In fact, she sits and holds back tears. In the bathroom things are made worse when she overhears the women talking about how handsome the groom is.
This all leads to Myung-Hee seeing Hee-Tae outside smoking after the festivities. It’s tense, and eventually leads to Hee-Tae bemoaning his luck and telling her the grasshoppers aren’t helping her out.
Finally Myung-Hee admits the truth and tells Hee-Tae she doesn’t want this May to pass without him. She’s wearing the shoes he bought her too but this confession also comes with an air of uneasiness. After all, it’s arrived right on the day of Hee-Tae’s engagement. Well, he heads over and holds her hand, smiling warmly as the pair make a bold choice and run out the estate together.
The Episode Review
With a slightly slower pace this time around, Youth of May revels in the growing discontent between Hee-Tae and Soo-Ryeon. Neither of them want to get married and they don’t have feelings for each other either. However, their families are obviously pressuring them to do this.
The fact that neither Soo-Ryeon nor Hee-Tae smiled when they were presented at the engagement ceremony is testament to what a massive deal this is for them both -and how important it is for the families and not them.
Myung-Hee continues to go through the motions here too and Soo-Chan’s reveal that he sees her as a sister rather than a girlfriend is actually quite surprising and definitely caught me off-guard.
Either way though ,the slower pace works well to flesh out the characters and allow for a more melodramatic and poignant tone to bleed through. The ending certainly leaves things wide open for tomorrow’s follow-up.