What do you do when you have too much going on in your life and you don’t want to deal with it? Everyone’s coping mechanisms are different, but for Choi Woong and Yeon-soo, they both deal with it the same way. Sometimes, it’s easier to run than to talk things out. But as Choi Woong and Yeon-soo will come to learn, you can run away as much as you want, but you can’t hide.
Our Beloved Summer Episode 7: Catch Me If You Can
Choi Woong is a runner. He likes to run away from his problems. From his elementary school teacher to Ji-woong and Dad in high school to Yeon-soo in college, he always ran away for both his sake as well as the chaser’s sake. He believes the time spent running will help everyone involved gather their thoughts and calm down for a more civil conversation. But Choi Woong never always ran away. There were moments where he ran towards something, such as a marathon in hopes of earning matching couple rings with Yeon-soo.
Of course, it was a lot easier said than done and he failed to train for the marathon with Ji-woong. It was too exhausting and demanding. He failed to keep up. Forget the couple rings with Yeon-soo, he’ll just wear a friendship with Ji-woong, lol. In the present, Choi Woong wakes up from his sleep and beats himself up over his conversation with Yeon-soo from the night before. There goes another memory that he’d like to run away from.
Ji-woong attends a meeting with his team and the new writer who will be assisting with the documentary, Lee Min-kyung. She’s switched over to writing scripts for dramas, but likes to help out with documentaries for a change of scenery. Ji-woong isn’t thrilled at the sight of Writer Lee nor is he excited at the thought of working with her. However, since they are in desperate need of her help, Ji-woong has no choice but to work with her for the documentary. Writer Lee is quick to point out how Ji-woong didn’t seem to take advantage of Yeon-soo and Choi Woong’s relationship for the documentary. It seems as if there’s something going on between them which could have been the focal point. Ji-woong defends himself over his decisions, but Writer Lee lets it go. She’ll draw up something for the documentary based off of what they have so far.
Eun-ho’s excited for the debut anniversary party he’s put together for Choi Woong. Ji-woong will be over as well as Yeon-soo for some filming. Upon hearing Yeon-soo’s name, Choi Woong’s flight syndrome activates and he escapes out of his house without Eun-ho’s knowledge. Runner Choi Woong running away from his problems again, eh? Yeon-soo claims that she’s not a runner; that’s only for cowards and she doesn’t run away from her issues. However, her response to Choi Woong the night before proved otherwise. Instead of talking things out with him, she retreated back inside her house still buzzed from all the drinking earlier that evening.
Ji-woong and team host a meeting with Writer Lee. Ji-woong is quick to break the news that they won’t be able to film for the documentary at the celebration party since both Yeon-soo and Choi Woong have disappeared. So we’re taken back to an hour before the meeting as to how everything unfolded. Ji-woong and Chae-ran arrived at Choi Woong’s house only to find Eun-ho and Sol-yi there. There are no hints of Choi Woong or Yeon-soo anywhere. The only person who does get some kind of message is Sol-yi who receives a text from Yeon-soo asking her not to bother Grandma for her whereabouts. She just needs some time away to think. There’s no chance something happened between Yeon-soo and Choi Woong, right?
Choi Woong spends his alone time at the park. He peels off the outside layer to a banana with every question, pondering what he did the night before. Was he drunk last night? Did he take pills the night before? Did he cry in front of Yeon-soo? Just when he’s about to take a bite of his banana, it falls down onto the ground. Lol. There could be a chance Yeon-soo doesn’t remember anything since she was drunk. Choi Woong just can’t seem to catch a break; Eun-ho bombards him with constant text messages. Yeon-soo is stuck in the same situation. She also hangs out at the same park where Choi Woong is located and takes a walk on the trail since she has no other friends other than Sol-yi to hang out with.
Writer Lee is excited at the thought of a missing Choi Woong and Yeon-soo. Maybe something is going on between them. Better yet, once Ji-woong finds them again, he should capture them to a secluded place and film for 3 days. They’ll have plenty of content and footage to work with for the documentary. Ji-woong gives the idea some thought.
Sol-yi and Eun-ho are left behind at Choi Woong’s house alone. Since it’s just the two of them and there are no signs of Choi Woong and Yeon-soo returning anytime soon, they celebrate at the party with some wine. Lol. Even when they’re running away, Yeon-soo and Choi Woong continue to run into each other. They coincidentally meet at the public library so they have no choice but to acknowledge the other and exchange some greetings. Choi Woong’s a bit awkward and surprised by the unexpected encounter, all he can voice is the single word “hi.” Too funny. A few sentences and small talk later and Yeon-soo pretends as if she doesn’t feel awkward around Choi Woong, but she’s pressured into being honest with him. Yes, she does feel awkward. She was drunk and cried in front of her ex-boyfriend the night before, of course, she feels awkward.
With that, Choi Woong suggests that he and Yeon-soo go grab some food together. Yeon-soo puts her book away and follows him out of the library. Who knew a simple phrase of “let’s eat” would drive me insane. I’m going crazy over here.
NJ is busy with a volunteer event that she’s hosting. Unlike what it seems, the group of people who are doing the volunteer work are NJ’s anti-fans who she’s pressed charges against. The expectation is that if they attend the event and help volunteer, NJ will drop the charges on them. Four individuals in particular gossip about NJ and criticize her for a variety of reasons. From sponsor rumors to the purpose of the volunteer event, it’s obvious that these people aren’t taking the volunteer work seriously nor have they learned their lesson. NJ overhears the conversation nearby and listens in disappointment.
Choi Woong leads Yeon-soo over to Dad and Mom’s restaurant and his parents are delighted to see her. She’s finally over for a meal like how they asked her in the last episode. Meanwhile, Mr. Park visits Ji-woong in the editing room for a conversation about Choi Woong and Yeon-soo. He’s not so surprised at the news of the two disappearing. It’s like deja vu all over again; they did the same thing back when they filmed for the high school documentary only to return on their own shortly afterwards. Mr. Park assumes the same thing will happen again for this documentary. Ji-woong encourages Chae-ran and Intern Tae-hoon (who he calls Imtern lol) to go home and pack for the upcoming trip. It’s going to be a long day.
It’s a bit awkward at Mom and Dad’s restaurant, especially since the two keeps their eyes on the former couple. Eventually, Choi Woong receives the answer to the question that he asked Yeon-soo the night before. How has she been? Yeon-soo answers in a nonchalant fashion: she hasn’t been up to much. After graduating from university, she started working. That’s pretty much it. So what about the night before? She doesn’t think much about what happened last night either. She was drunk and stressed from work so she’d like to forget about that interaction. Yeon-soo eventually excuses herself from the restaurant and is handed some side dishes from Mom before leaving. Choi Woong walks with Yeon-soo back to her house, but stops halfway to let out his emotions.
While Yeon-soo rambles on about Choi Woong’s parents as well as the documentary, Choi Woong comes to a sudden realization. This is how it’s always been; this is what it’s always felt like. He always waited for her like an idiot while she was walking away step by step. He always felt like he was the one who had to put in more effort; he always felt like he was the one who had to accept things for what they were. He put up with Yeon-soo’s behavior without anything in return. It got tiring for him and he’s sick of it. With that, it’s his turn to walk away from Yeon-soo and to run away from his issues with her. He doesn’t turn back or stop along the way.
NJ’s volunteer event with her anti-fans come to an end, but NJ decides not to end anything. She refuses to drop the charges on the individuals at the event and decides to stop her annual volunteer event once and for all. These people clearly haven’t learned their lessons and still chose to talk bad about NJ while there. NJ remembers the wrongdoings of certain anti-fans and has no problem in pointing them out in front of everybody. The anti-fans aren’t so happy with NJ’s decision and grow upset and frustrated at her decision. They plead for second chances and claim NJ of conning them, but NJ doesn’t go easy on them.
Choi Woong beats himself up again over his conversation with Yeon-soo. He receives a video from Eun-ho and Sol-yi who might have gone too hard on the wine and acts deliriously in the video. Choi Woong is unsure of how to react. All he knows is he just wants to take a break and rest (same, Choi Woong, same). Yeon-soo arrives home, but is still bothered by what happened between her and Choi Woong. She hands over the side dishes to Grandma before leaving again.
NJ runs away from her problems by meeting up with Choi Woong who’s also running away from his problems. The two meet up on the swings of a nearby playground and catch up with each other. A few seconds into their conversation and the two are interrupted by two of NJ’s young fans. She generously gives them her autograph, but pleads that they not tell anyone that she’s at the playground. Choi Woong watches in fascination at how popular she is with such a young age group, but hey, he’s also experienced some level of fame himself.
Since the two have met, NJ suggests that they go out for some lunch. Dissatisfied with Choi Woong’s rejection, NJ lists out all the reasons why Choi Woong owes her back for all the things she’s done for him. How much more does she need to tell him for him to get it? How dense and clueless can Choi Woong be? NJ eventually confesses to Choi Woong and admits that she likes him. Both his presence and his drawings make her feel comfortable and peaceful. Choi Woong is shocked with the confession and uncertain as to what to say or do. Eventually, the conversation comes to a close when a bunch of little kids run towards the playground for their shot at an autograph by NJ.
While walking through the neighborhood, Yeon-soo catches NJ and Choi Woong spending time together on the swings at at the playground. She grows shocked at the sight, but she also seems a bit heart-broken. Ji-woong arrives just in time to distract her and take her away so the two go for a walk. Even though Ji-woong was aware of what Yeon-soo saw at the playground and also saw the same thing she did, he remains quiet about it. Instead, they chat about Yeon-soo and then eventually Choi Woong who Yeon-soo notes is angry at her. The conversation loops back to Ji-woong who Yeon-soo claims isn’t as much of a dating expert as he thinks he is. Haha. Ji-woong and Yeon-soo are distracted by an intoxicated Sol-yi stumbling in the neighborhood so they go to their friend’s rescue.
Eun-ho returns home to find his house a complete mess and a passed out Eun-ho. Lol. He gets busy and cleans his house by himself. Yeon-soo and Ji-woong take Sol-yi back to Yeon-soo’s house. Grandma is happy to reunite with Ji-woong and the two catch up with each other. Yeon-soo smiles at the sight of the two chatting in the living room, but quickly lets out a sigh shortly afterwards. What will she do next?
The next morning, Yeon-soo is greeted by a pushy Ji-woong sitting inside of his car. He urges her to get inside of his car and leaves her with little choice. Hmm, I wonder what they could be up to, hehe. Choi Woong also has no idea as to what Eun-ho is up to. While watering his plants outside, Choi Woong gets abducted into a van with Eun-ho, Chae-ran, and Imtern Tae-hoon inside. They all keep their mouths shut and say nothing to a confused and flustered Choi Woong.
Let the fun begin! Both vehicles arrive at the lodging destination and the best part of it all? Our two main characters won’t be able to run away this time! They’ll need to take the car if they wish to go anywhere and that’s not really an option. Choi Woong feels as if he’s in a movie. Not the romance kind, but a horror-thriller instead. Choi Woong is in disbelief upon seeing Yeon-soo exit out of Ji-woong’s car. Is this really happening? How will this movie end?
We find out what happened on the day where Choi Woong and Yeon-soo disappeared before filming for the high school documentary. Choi Woong was absent from school and Yeon-soo asked to leave early. After running away from school, the two happened to run into each other at the library. After engaging in some small talk over a book that Choi Woong picked out, Yeon-soo awkwardly invites Choi Woong to go eat with her. Deja vu.
Nooooo, we’ve reached our first filler episode. Well, filler-ish episode. Not much happened in this episode and I knew we were bound to get this type of episode sooner than later. It was way too good to be true that we got consecutive episodes of great content and storytelling. It was a little disappointing and this episode did feel a bit underwhelming compared to all the prior episodes leading up to this one. Most of it involved our characters running away from one another and their issues and then NJ’s confrontation with her anti-fans. This episode felt a little slower and stagnant.
There were still a few components in this episode that stood out to me. The parallels with the disappearances and Yeon-soo and Choi Woong running away on the same day only to run into each other at the library. It happened both in the present and then back in high school. I love, love, love these parallels and similar experiences. It’s as if Yeon-soo and Choi Woong can run from almost anything and anyone but each other. It’s as if fate is on their side and the universe continues to string them back to each other. The other part in this episode that I really enjoyed was the first library scene when Choi Woong invited Yeon-soo to eat with him. I was going crazy because I thought it was so cute and adorable how nonchalantly he said it. But I also was gushing with happiness because Yeon-soo showed growth in that scene and Choi Woong got what he wanted. He wanted her to be honest with him so she admitted that she did feel awkward between them. Once Yeon-soo gave in, Choi Woong realized that maybe – just maybe – she was changing little by little. Maybe she did take away something from their interaction the night before.
I didn’t take away too much from this episode, but if there was one thing that stood out to me, it’d definitely have to be the character of NJ and the actress who portrays her. I spoke about this in an earlier recap, but I’m not completely sure that NJ was necessary for this drama. I think the drama felt the need to have a traditional four character set-up (2 leads and 2 second leads) so it thought adding in NJ as an idol singer would make for a decent idea. I don’t think the impact is there and I can’t seem to get myself on the train that NJ’s presence in this drama was needed. I get what the drama is trying to do by adding her in and I get that she’s mainly used as a device to get Yeon-soo to be jealous and question her feelings for Choi Woong. However, I still feel a bit iffy about it.
NJ never really had any connections to Choi Woong or Yeon-soo dating back to high school. She didn’t really have any connections to Ji-woong either. At least Ji-woong’s relationship with Choi Woong started back when they were little kids and he met Yeon-soo back in high school. I get why Ji-woong is a necessary second lead character in this drama and he’s the producer of the documentary, but NJ sort of feels like an outsider looking in. Especially since this drama is centered around Choi Woong and Yeon-soo in the first place, we didn’t need an NJ to exist. ‘Our Beloved Summer’ is supposed to be about Choi Woong and Yeon-soo sorting their painful past and complicated history with each other. Maybe rediscover new sides to each other that they didn’t know about. Potentially develop new feelings and appreciation for each other that they didn’t necessarily have five years ago. I want to watch Yeon-soo and Choi Woong figure each other and their relationship out without an NJ (and Ji-woong) intervening.
This drama should be about the ex-lovers and should be primarily about them (I also don’t think the actress portraying NJ certainly helps either. I’m sure she’s fine in other projects, but I do think NJ could have been a little bit more lovable if a more charming actress played the role). So far, the drama has been doing a fine job in primarily focusing on Yeon-soo and Choi Woong without letting the unrequited love from the second leads take over. I hope things stay this way. I don’t want to have to watch Choi Woong and Yeon-soo run away from each other, forever.
Extra photos from the episode~