Calm Before The Storm
Episode 9 of Youth Of May begins with Ki-Nam handing out a list of people to round up and arrest. Martial law is now. Soldiers race up and arrest various people, beating them down to the ground. For Hee-Tae and Myung-Hee, it’s the calm before the storm.
Soo-Ryeon heads into the police station desperate to find Hye-Gun, who’s gone missing. Only, she overhears the news about martial law and bolts. She refuses to pick up Soo-Chan’s calls, who’s sitting at home and worried about her.
Meanwhile, Hee-Tae finds the hideout ransacked. As he sneaks inside, he notices a figure in the distance – it’s Soo-Ryeon. Eventually the pair discuss the enforced martial law, prompting Hee-Tae to admit he’s leaving with Myung-Hee later in the day. However, a bloodied Sun-Min suddenly bursts in through the front door.
While this is going on, Myung-Hee visits Myung-Soo and reveals that she’s leaving for a while. He’s crushed, but she does agree to see him during the Nationals. As she gets on the bus, soldiers suddenly storm on and begin grabbing different people, including Myung-Hee whom he believes is a college student. Hee-Tae jumps in though and takes the blow for her.
Although they manage to thwart the threat, Hee-Tae starts bleeding which prompts Myung-Hee to take him into the hospital. It’s going to take some time for the CT scan though – time they really don’t have. In fact, they’re caught up in the curfew and forced to hold tight for the night.
The kidnapped Hye-Gun is tortured by the soldiers, with Ki-Nam watching coldly from afar. This extends to out in the street too, as people are dragged away. This riles up the different people standing in the wings, especially as these beatings extend across to the school too. It’s anarchy, and these power-drunk soldiers are causing serious injuries.
In fact, this affects Myung-Hee and Hee-Tae too, who argue about whether to stay or go. Eventually Hee-Tae agrees to leave at 7pm but for now, will help out with the sick and injured.
Among those injured is Soo-Ryeon, who finds herself part of a group of students forced to keep her head down in the streets. That is, until the smitten police officer from before shows up and saves her and the others. He encourages them all to bolt, managing to move the soldiers away from their current location.
As Soo-Ryeon runs, she charges straight into Soo-Chan. He grabs her by the wrist and implores her to go home and hide out until things calm down. Soo-Ryeon refuses though, believing she can still help out. She’s going to do everything she can to do just that.
Just before leaving, Soo-Chan promises that if she goes then he won’t think of her as family anymore. After some deliberation, she leaves.
In the hospital, Hee-Tae finds a beaten Jin-A show up needing attention. Hee-Tae stitches her up before telling her friend she too needs medical attention after she starts bleeding from the nose.
Jin-A collapses out in the hallway later that evening though and she’s not breathing. Flashes to Seok-Chul come flooding back as Hee-Tae pushes through his anxiety and begins CPR.
Myung-Hee eventually shows up, hurrying off to get help as Hee-Tae does enough to help her stabilize and survive through surgery. He saved her life.
Meanwhile, the soldier who helped Soo-Ryeon is found in an alleyway beaten and bruised. When he sees Soo-Ryeon, he weakly asks for her name before passing away. Soo-Chan however, is beaten down too after trying to help a young student.
As day turns to night, Ki-Nam’s superior arrives as the lights in the hospital are turned off in the hope that they can remain undetected and come out of this alive.
The Episode Review
Youth of May returns this week with a pulsating episode, a tense, dramatic and shocking display of martial law being implemented. The Gwanju Uprisings are a pretty prolific part of Korean history and anyone who knows what happened then, knows that Hee-Tae’s utterance about the coming storm absolutely rings true. This is going to make for some very dramatic and tense scenes to come.
With the attention turning away from the romance and more toward character values, the martial law engulfs all four of our central characters.
Soo-Ryeon heads out and starts helping protestors, Soo-Chan finds himself beaten down for trying to help a student, while Hee-Tae dons his doctor’s coat once more.
The scenes featuring Jin-A were incredibly tense too and the way this echoes what happened in his past helps add some gravitas to the situation.
Youth of May has been a really good drama and Korea has been on fire recently with its k-drama selections. Will this one have a happy ending? Or are we on-course for a poignant and upsetting conclusion? We’ll have to wait and see but this was a very, very good episode.