First Choi Woong, then Ji-woong, and now Yeon-soo. What exactly unfolded in the moments leading up to the break-up five years ago? Why was Yeon-soo the one to bring up the topic of breaking up and how did she cope with the heartbreak and pain? How does she feel about it five years later? We finally get to hear things from Yeon-soo’s point of view in her complicated love story with Choi Woong.
Our Beloved Summer Episode 6: Pride and Prejudice
It’s November 2008. Yeon-soo overhears her high school friends talking about her behind her back while she hides behind a pole with a bottle of banana milk in her hands. Growing up poor restricted her from buying gifts for other people and being generous. Not having money made hanging out with friends increasingly uncomfortable and soon enough, becoming self-centered and selfish was the only way to protect herself from the evil in the world. The only person she cared about was Grandma and that was enough for her.
Yeon-soo thought she was okay with all of it until she met Choi Woong, that is. He was the only person who allowed her to escape from reality. He was always there for her. He was there with her through it all. From high school to university, they studied together and attended the same school. During her part-time shifts, Choi Woong would visit and bring her food. He was that comfort that allowed her to take a break from reality.
Yeon-soo worked extra hard so that she could continue to protect and take care of Grandma. While applying for some job applications, Yeon-soo was encouraged by Choi Woong to study a bit more to earn even more money. But Yeon-soo was in a rush to get a full-time job and save money so that she could support Grandma. She always thought her dream was to live a normal, average life, but maybe this wasn’t what she exactly envisioned for herself after all. As for Choi Woong, he never really had any plans for his life. He just wished to live a simple, peaceful life as he already was satisfied with his life the way it was. But things for Yeon-soo were different. She never had a choice to begin with.
Things only got more difficult for Yeon-soo. She and Grandma had to move after being unable to pay back some family debt. One day, Yeon-soo had to leave her part-time job at the convenience store and rush to the hospital to check up on an ill Grandma. Reality was starting to hit Yeon-soo all over again. While walking through the hallways of the university one day, Yeon-soo overheard a conversation between Choi Woong and his art professor inside of a classroom. Choi Woong turned down a great opportunity by the professor that could have been amazing for his drawing aspirations. After the meeting, Choi Woong and Yeon-soo headed out for some food together, but little did Choi Woong know what would come for them later on that night.
Yeon-soo and Choi Woong lived two very different realities and that was why she broke up with him. Her reality was pathetic. The only thing she could afford to throw away was Choi Woong. Life alone was a burden for her; she was afraid that Choi Woong would sense her inferiority complex. These were all reasons as to why Yeon-soo chose to break up with Choi Woong. Reasons that he never received or knew about.
Back in the present, Choi Woong awakens to find himself laying on the sofa in his living room. He can’t exactly recall how he ended up inside of his house with the jujube tea on his coffee table. He discovers Eun-ho in his house and the two catch up. Choi Woong was alone over night since Eun-ho arrived at his house early that morning. He presents their plans for the day to Choi Woong, but all Choi Woong can focus on is uncovering the mystery from the night before. This is the best sleep he’s had in a while and he doesn’t exactly know why or how it happened.
During some breakfast with Grandma, Yeon-soo discovers that Grandma’s thinking about applying for a job at the welfare center nearby. She enjoys staying home free all day, but she wants to be busy again. Yeon-soo’s worried that things might get too demanding and exhausting for Grandma, but she slowly warms up to the idea. She’ll only allow it if it’s for just a few hours a day. She wants to be careful with Grandma to prevent her from collapsing and getting sick again.
Mom and Dad get ready for the live drawing show with Soen Shop and chat with customer Chang-shik as well as Ji-woong before heading to the location. They’re excited for the grand day and take huge pride in how big and successful their son is. Yeon-soo and her team go over the logistics for the day while munching on some Subway sandwiches (NOOOOO, not the return of the Subway sandwiches! I’m speechless). When asked about Choi Woong’s arrival time, Yeon-soo is suddenly reminded of the night before and gets distracted. She remembers how Choi Woong fell asleep on her shoulders outside his house and how she leaned over him while he was laying down on the sofa. Yeon-soo snaps back to reality and she heads to the second floor to continue with work.
Choi Woong prepares for a solo interview for the documentary before the event. Before leaving, Ji-woong asks for Choi Woong to explain how he started drawing and what made him do it. Eventually, Choi Woong and Eun-ho head out to Soen Shop together. Eun-ho’s quite happy with how things are going for Choi Woong and hopes he keep up the good work. Choi Woong heads to his green room on the second floor first while Eun-ho stays behind to park the car. When he arrives at the room, he discovers a sleeping Yeon-soo inside on the couch.
It’s just the two of them alone and he takes some time to enjoy this precious moment with Yeon-soo. Choi Woong watches as she sleeps peacefully on the couch and feels as if he views her in a different light now. She used to always look so mad at him, but things are different now. Now, he feels as if he can appreciate her who she fully is. Ji-woong and Chae-ran prepare for the final touches to their documentary. All they need left is Yeon-soo’s solo interview which Ji-woong volunteers himself for. He’ll take care of it.
Back at the green room, Yeon-soo wakes up from her nap so Choi Woong plays it off as if he wasn’t already in the room staring at her sleep, lol. He brings up moments from the night before and can’t seem to recall if Yeon-soo came over or not. Yeon-soo assumes he must not have remembered anything and answers that she did stop by to drop something off at his place. But their conversation comes to an abrupt close when Yeon-soo panics and rushes to leave. However, she wishes Choi Woong good luck before heading out. She can still do that much.
As it gets closer to the event, Yeon-soo continues to solidify the small details of the event. A video of Choi Woong working on his drawing appears on the big screen in the building and she watches in fascination at the video. She’s never seen this side of Choi Woong before. While Choi Woong ponders in the green room just how exactly he slept so well the night before, Mom and Dad arrive at the show. They sit towards the back in anticipation and nervousness. Additional guests also begin to arrive and Nu-Ah does a short introduction before he starts. Choi Woong doesn’t say much for his portion and he goes straight to work. So the two artists concentrate during the live drawing show and Yeon-soo can’t help but watch in awe at how focused and different Choi Woong looks.
She heads with Ji-woong for her solo interview for the documentary and rambles on about Choi Woong. She nitpicks about the things he’d do or say that would irritate her in the past, but she feels as if she’s discovered a new side of him through this entire process. He seems as if he’s changed which amazes her because she originally thought that he’d never change. Towards the end of the interview, Yeon-soo catches herself rambling about Choi Woong and apologizes for the mishap. Ji-woong watches as Yeon-soo talk endlessly about Choi Woong and pretends to remain indifferent.
After her interview, Yeon-soo catches up with Eun-ho and suggests that he check in with Choi Woong on how he’s doing. It’s been a few hours since he’s been sitting up on the stage and drawing. On the way out of the building, Mom and Dad come across Yeon-soo and exchange friendly greetings with her. They encourage her to come over to the restaurant for a meal, but Mom exchanges some extra words with Yeon-soo before leaving. She notes that Choi Woong had a hard time after the break-up and assumes that Yeon-soo must have to. Mom reminds Yeon-soo to visit them again some time before being pulled away by Dad.
After the honest conversation with Mom, Yeon-soo steals a glance at Choi Woong only for him to meet her eyes at the same time. AHHHHH. She quickly runs away to the green room to gather herself. She revisits the moments that unfolded from the night before, involving Choi Woong dozing off on her outside as well as him falling asleep on the couch in the living room. Yeon-soo grew worried with how Choi Woong’s sleeping habits and conditions. Before she could chat with him any further, she discovered Choi Woong asleep on the couch.
Eventually, the live drawing ceremony comes to an end. Choi Woong takes the chance to formally introduce himself at the end of his 99 hour work shift. His eyes search for Yeon-soo and he heads straight to her after finding her hidden in the back amongst a group. But not so fast. NJ is present at the event and she congratulates Choi Woong with some flowers. Photographers and guests alike all gather around NJ and Choi Woong, but Choi Woong has eyes only for Yeon-soo. While Yeon-soo focuses on Choi Woong, Ji-woong stands nearby and steals a glance at Yeon-soo. Wow, the love triangle is real.
Yeon-soo bids farewell with her team for the night while Choi Woong and Eun-ho say a few words to NJ before she leaves. She reassures Choi Woong that he won’t be involved in any rumors with her; she’s already communicated to all the reporters that she and Choi Woong are just good friends. With that, Choi Woong denies NJ’s offer for a ride home and both he and Eun-ho get ready to go home. Today was a good day.
Rather than going to the after-party, Yeon-soo stops by Sol-yi’s restaurant to hang out. Compared to Choi Woong who seems like he enjoys his work, Yeon-soo feels indifferent about her current job. It’s much better compared to the ones she had in the past, but she can’t say that it’s also demanding nor fun. Work is just work for her. Yeon-soo is quite jealous of Choi Woong; she wishes that she too could be as passionate about her work and not live such a pathetic life. Sol-yi gives her best friend a small pep talk. Yeon-soo’s worked hard to get to where she is and she should be proud of herself.
Eun-ho heads home for the night so Choi Woong is left alone at his house. Ji-woong stops by Sol-yi’s restaurant to take an intoxicated Yeon-soo home. They stop by a convenience store first to get Yeon-soo to sober up. When informed about the get-together that Ji-woong was attending prior to picking her up, Yeon-soo impresses Ji-woong with her great memory. He’s a lightweight — a small detail that Ji-woong was not expecting Yeon-soo to pick up on and remember. It’s small moments like these that explain why Ji-woong views Yeon-soo so endearingly.
They transition to chatting about the documentary and Yeon-soo brings it back to Choi Woong. She’s curious as to how his interviews have been like and if he’s said anything bad about her. Ji-woong can’t help but pose a very important question to Yeon-soo since she keeps talking about the artist. He questions if she still has feelings for Choi Woong.
Speaking of Choi Woong, he waits outside near Yeon-soo’s place for her. She’s surprised to find him at her house, but it explains for why they kept on running into each other in the neighborhood. She’s quick to avoid Choi Woong, but a slight fall into his arms causes her to relive the moments from the night before. She stayed with a half-asleep, half-awake Choi Woong inside his house and quietly brushed at his eyebrows as he laid asleep on the couch. Of course, Choi Woong wasn’t completely asleep and he grabbed at both of her wrists to pull her towards him. He assumed then that it must just be a dream, but just in case it wasn’t, he added that he’s been having a hard time.
Yeon-soo can’t seem to stop thinking about this moment, but Choi Woong also can’t stop thinking about the night before. He attempts to put the pieces to the puzzle together and asks Yeon-soo for some answers to the mystery. She’s a bit relieved that he’s unable to remember anything and doesn’t spill much on what unraveled the night before. She gives him brief, general, and shortened responses before heading inside her house. She’ll keep this memory to herself.
But everything isn’t always as it seems. Unlike how Choi Woong acted and what Yeon-soo thought, Choi Woong already knew it wasn’t a dream. He already knew what happened the night before. This memory that Yeon-soo thought she could keep hidden in her heart and mind is also one that Choi Woong has kept with him. Why did Yeon-soo lie about it? Why did she not tell him the truth? Choi Woong calls out her name twice, but is met with only silence and tears in Yeon-soo’s eyes.
Choi Woong questions their current situation and relationship with each other. They used to be lovers. They used to be in love with each other. They used to have it so good with each other. With how things are for them at the moment, is this what they both truly want? Do they want things to keep being this way? It was hard for the both of them. Now that they’ve reunited, why can’t they just be honest with each other about their break-up and check in on they really feel? Choi Woong wishes for things to change. He hates that things are this way between them. So with that, he takes the first step in what will hopefully be the first of many. He asks Yeon-soo how she’s been after everything that they’ve gone through in the past and present.
For Yeon-soo, all she can think about is why she broke up with Choi Woong five years ago. She let her pride get in the way; she thought she could live without Choi Woong. However, it’s more clear than ever that – whether five years ago or on this gloomy night – she couldn’t. She couldn’t live without him. They couldn’t live without each other. They were both hurting.
On the day when Yeon-soo was applying for job applications, Choi Woong quickly took over her laptop to search for some jobs for design majors while she stepped away. What originally was just a thought eventually transformed into more 4 months after their break-up. One night, Choi Woong made a decision that would change his life. He locked himself inside of his bedroom and began to draw on his sketch paper. That was the night that changed it all. It was the start of a new beginning and chapter for him.
I feel like I say it every episode, but this episode was so good. I really do mean it. Every episode is so lovable and great in its own way. Episode 5 changed things up by offering Ji-woong’s point of view. Episodes 3 and 4 gave us more insight and context on Yeon-soo and Choi Woong’s complicated relationship. This episode was told from Yeon-soo’s perspective, proving once again that the drama knows how to change things up just enough to keep you engaged and interested.
I was curious about Yeon-soo’s side of the story and her reasons for being the one to break up with Choi Woong. We’ve seen so many sides to her that only Choi Woong knew or that no one knew existed, but we also saw just how nonchalant and stand-offish she was sometimes. That’s just how she is. But we never really knew why she acted the way that she did or why she was the way that she was until this episode. Growing up poor affected her life and she strived to get a full-time job to support her and Grandma. Growing up poor also limited her choices in life and she wasn’t left with much to decide on.
Unlike Choi Woong who was comfortable and satisfied with his life and didn’t really have any plans, Yeon-soo was determined to go big and succeed so that she wouldn’t continue to live a poor life that she couldn’t handle. She’s been through all of that and she saw school and Choi Woong as a way to escape from that reality (I almost cried when Yeon-soo pointed out what Choi Woong meant to her in her life). It does cause you to pause and wonder if she really did love Choi Woong or if she was only with him because he served as some sort of distraction in her life and then broke up with him when things got too much and too hard for her.
Regardless, I think it was so interesting to watch the contrast between her and Choi Woong and their outlook in life. While Choi Woong was sort of cruising in life and going with the waves, Yeon-soo was struggling to stay afloat and just survive. He seemed a bit more laid back with what he wanted in life while Yeon-soo thought she knew what she was going to do. Now that she has a job and she’s able to support Grandma, she realizes that maybe it’s not all like how she thought it was going to be. Like Sol-yi mentioned, Yeon-soo should be proud of herself for what she’s accomplished and how far she’s come, but she also wants more. Yeon-soo has so much potential. Sometimes, your environment and the situation you are in affects that.
How ironic and interesting is it that Choi Woong never really had any plans for his life until the break-up with Yeon-soo? She was the one who drove him to start drawing. She was the reason he became passionate about it and transformed it to just more than a hobby. When he was with her, he didn’t really have any idea as to what he wanted to do for work. But when he lost her in his life, he was also lost in life and took on a whole new chapter of drawing to fill that void. I think drawing for Choi Woong became his sense of closure to their relationship that he never received from Yeon-soo per se. She never told him why she wanted to break up; she didn’t give him any reasons or excuses. She just ended things on a whim and that was difficult for him.
It wasn’t only the aspect of breaking up that was hard for Choi Woong, but also the uncertainty of it all. The not knowing. The endless questions of why as well as if he wasn’t good enough. Did he do something that Yeon-soo didn’t like? Did she fall out of love with him because she found someone else? I think there were so many questions he might have had and no answers for any of them that the only way he could cope with the loss was through drawing. Obviously, it’s taken Choi Woong to new heights and success that he never envisioned for himself. Life can be unexpected sometimes, just like the break-up with Yeon-soo was for him.
It’s becoming more and more clear to everyone that Yeon-soo and Choi Woong still have feelings for each other. That soft spot is still definitely there. People are just becoming more blunt with the questions as seen with Mr. Jang and Ji-woong. Yeon-soo and Choi Woong know it themselves as well, but just can’t seem to say it outright. If there’s anything that I realized and loved the most after watching this episode, it’d be the way that Yeon-soo and Choi Woong express themselves. Choi Woong loved Yeon-soo with his entire heart. He was never shy in showing her his love and he always gave in to her. He was always there for her. Although they were both in love with each other, I felt as if he loved her more than she loved him at times.
Choi Woong has always been someone who wears his heart on his sleeves. He was never embarrassed or afraid to be honest with Yeon-soo about about their reunion. I loved that he could be emotional and vulnerable and honest and truthful with her without worrying about how it made him look. I loved that in this drama, it’s he who is the more outspoken and emotional one. He’s the one who shows that he cares. He doesn’t play any games nor does he pretend to be someone he’s not. He doesn’t suppress his emotions and feelings. He lets it all out and the conversation with Yeon-soo at the end of this episode was evidence of that. Why can’t they just be honest with each other? Choi Woong knows that it was as hard on Yeon-soo as it was for him. They both had it rough after the break-up. Why can’t they just confront their past and work towards building a more healthy and better future? It’s so interesting to see that he’s always the one who speaks up first about them and their relationship.
That’s not to say that Yeon-soo doesn’t care about him or their relationship just because she carried herself with a nonchalant attitude. We know that she does care about Choi Woong and still loves him. She’s a bit more reserved, she’s a bit more quiet, she’s a bit more tough. But Yeon-soo has her moments as well. Unlike other dramas where the female lead might be seen as the more outspoken and emotional character while the male lead is portrayed as more careless and indifferent, the roles are switched in ‘Our Beloved Summer.’ I think it’s such a refreshing take and I think it’s a much more effective storytelling technique. If Yeon-soo acted like Choi Woong and vice versa, I’m not so sure the impact would have been the same.
That leads me to my next point which is that I’m not so sure the drama would have been the same if you had any other actors portraying the roles of Choi Woong and Yeon-soo, respectively. It wasn’t until I finished watching this episode that I realized just how magical Choi Woo-shik and Kim Da-mi has been in this drama. They’ve done a phenomenal job playing the ex-lovers who still have a secret yearning for each other engaged in a push-and-pull relationship. They have amazing chemistry with each other that helps with the storytelling tremendously as well. Choi Woong and Yeon-soo used to be a couple and the primary point of this drama is to sell viewers on their relationship. If any other actors with limited chemistry and acting were selected for this drama, things could have turned out differently and the drama could have been a frustrating and irritating watch. Why can’t these two characters just work things out and communicate? Why can’t they just talk things out? Why are they playing pretend and acting as if everything’s ok when it’s clearly not?
But I don’t feel any of this frustration when I’m watching this drama simply because Kim Da-mi and Choi Woo-shik has been doing an amazing job with their respective characters and with portraying all the highs and lows in the relationship. You’re engaged in watching their past, their present, the documentary, the break-up, and so much more. You want to know more and watch more, not turn away and watch less. Things could have been very different with ‘Our Beloved Summer’ if it was with any two actors, but it remains such an endearing and charming watch thanks to Choi Woo-shik and Kim Da-mi. There’s so much more to this story than meets the eye and this drama is largely character-driven. That’s why the drama is as good as it is. It remains beloved.
Extra photos from the episode~