Trips and vacations can be fun, but they can also be tiring. With Choi Woong and Yeon-soo on a trip far far away, their limits are tested and so are their feelings. Content and footages for the documentary are expected to evolve, but will anything else come out of this rare and unexpected trip?
Our Beloved Summer Episode 8: Before Sunset
Choi Woong isn’t so thrilled to be on the trip and couldn’t be any more enthusiastic during his solo interview for the documentary. Ji-woong struggles to get answers for his questions, but there’s one specifically that triggers Choi Woong to take a trip down memory lane. When asked if he has any memorable trips that he’s gone on, Choi Woong is reminded of one in particular. One that involves none other than Yeon-soo.
It’s two days before Choi Woong’s departure for a study abroad program. Yeon-soo stops by his house and suggests that they go on a trip together. That day. Right at that moment. She leaves him with little choice (or heads notice) and they get on the bus to their destination. Choi Woong grows suspicious and can’t help but think that they’re going to break up. This must be their final trip together. The concern and paranoia distracts him from enjoying the trip and he questions Yeon-soo every time he does something alone. All photos she takes of him are of him alone. Choi Woong finds it impossible to read Yeon-soo and he grows frustrated. What exactly is she planning or thinking? Why did they go on such a last minute trip? What does all of this mean?
Choi Woong’s also worried about their future together and the trip doesn’t help him alleviate any doubts or concerns he has. While waiting at the bus station to head back home for the day, Yeon-soo catches Choi Woong dozing off in his seat. She gently presses his glabella to wake him up and adds for them to go on a much longer trip next time. She barely has time at the moment with all her part-time jobs so they can aim for a longer and further trip away next time. Choi Woong is shocked at Yeon-soo’s words, but there’s a sense of relief that also washes over him. She doesn’t want to break up with him. He’s still in her future.
However, Choi Woong is still a bit upset at how anxious she made him feel all day. It’s already hard enough since she’s so hard to read sometimes. She’d feel distant with him one day and then pull him close the next. Yeon-soo prepares to snap another photo of Choi Woong for memories. She’ll have adorable photos of him to look at while he’s gone on his trip. But Yeon-soo pauses for a second to let out a confession: she thinks she loves Choi Woong. Choi Woong wasn’t aware of how she felt like she loved him, but he didn’t mind. It’s a perfect opportunity for her to remind him every time.
Back in the present, Choi Woong lies that there hasn’t been any memorable trips that he’s been on. Internally, he admits that these trips can be deceiving. They’re a bunch of lies. Yeon-soo overhears Choi Woong’s answer to the question and she turns her head to peek down at Choi Woong. It’s Eun-ho and Sol-yi’s turns for their solo interviews and they explain the odd situation when Choi Woong and Yeon-soo both disappeared. Sol-yi notes that both haven’t changed much; they’re still a nuisance to others, lol.
Yeon-soo and Choi Woong run into each other in the middle of a rest spot in the forest. She brings up his comment about how he was sick of her. If he was so sick of her, then how exactly did they end up going on this trip together? Why is he still doing the documentary? Choi Woong’s reminded of Yeon-soo’s comment on their first trip and is in disbelief that the things she mentioned then came true. Here they are on a trip that’s further away and much longer just like she said last time. The big difference is that it’s just not exactly the kind of trip they both envisioned it to be.
But what about Yeon-soo? Isn’t she sick of the situation they’re stuck in too? The way they both fight, avoid each other, and then run away? Yeon-soo is hurt by Choi Woong’s words, but she has nothing to say and pretends to be fine. She leaves Choi Woong alone for some privacy.
Ji-woong is busy both filming and taking care of Imtern Tae-hoon. Tae-hoon praises Ji-woong and his skills and abilities and leadership, but Ji-woong doesn’t really have the time for such things. There’s two things Imtern Tae-hoon is responsible for: being of assistance and help to Chae-ran with whatever she needs and not getting in the way of Ji-woong’s view when he’s filming. Ji-woong and Tae-hoon move to another spot to continue filming and Tae-hoon makes sure to not be a burden to Ji-woong. He stays out of Ji-woong’s way so that he doesn’t block Ji-woong’s view at all. Lol. This is way too funny and cute. Tae-hoon can’t stop rambling about how grateful he feels for the opportunity and how heart-fluttering filming can be sometimes. Ji-woong can’t seem to quite understand Tae-hoon’s comment about the heart-flutters until he begins to film Yeon-soo from far away. Ommgggg, whose heart is fluttering now? *blushes*
Back in town, Chang-sik notices that Choi Woong’s success and popularity is skyrocketing. He’s been receiving visits to his hardware store thanks to Choi Woong’s drawing of the building. He stops by Mom and Dad’s restaurant to bring the news to their attention, but Mom and Dad are already well aware of their son’s popularity. They’ve been experiencing it firsthand themselves with the increase in customers that they’ve been getting, lol.
Yeon-soo’s project with Soen Shop is a huge success and the entire team congratulates one another on the collaboration. But wait, that’s not the only thing that’s been getting attention. Go-oh has also been a hot trending topic and Yeon-soo visits the articles about Go-oh that are shared in her group chat with her staff. One of them includes details about Go-oh’s special relationship with NJ which irritates Yeon-soo. Choi Woong’s relationship with NJ can’t be that special.. right?
Ji-woong chats with Yeon-soo about the trip. What are some things that she’d want to do? Since they’re already at the destination, she should relax a little. Chae-ran attempts to get in contact with Ji-woong, but she stops when she discovers him conversing with Yeon-soo not too far away. Meanwhile, NJ attempts to get in contact with Choi Woong herself, but falls short. She grows a bit embarrassed after sharing to her staff about her confession to Choi Woong. She assumes he might just need some more time to think about things. Lol.
Yeon-soo and Choi Woong transition to filming more content for the documentary individually. Ji-woong decides to switch things up and assigns Chae-ran to go with Choi Woong while he sticks with Yeon-soo. While Choi Woong prepares his drawing materials for a visit to the mountains, Yeon-soo calls out Ji-woong’s name casually and refers to him using the same nickname that she used to call Choi Woong. Choi Woong totalllllly isn’t jealous (pssst, he is).
On their way to the village, Yeon-soo rambles on about how she’s never really been on trips and vacation before. She’s really only been on one trip, but of course, she stops herself from elaborating any further. Since they’re on a trip, they should take advantage of the opportunity. She wants to have some fun by going bike-riding. It’s a little challenging for Ji-woong to get good shots of Yeon-soo on a bike, but he tries his best.
Chae-ran accompanies Choi Woong to his relaxation time: drawing. It’s not the most interesting or entertaining, but Chae-ran is used to it. She already tempered her expectations after watching the high school documentary with Choi Woong from ten years ago, lol. Speaking of the high school documentary, what did Chae-ran think about it? Chae-ran admits that she would have re-edited everything a little differently; there were many fun clips that they didn’t use in the final cut. Clips that demonstrated to her exactly when Choi Woong started to develop feelings for Yeon-soo. Haha. So what about now? How do things look with the new documentary? Chae-ran sets professional boundaries with Choi Woong. She shouldn’t get involved when she’s behind the camera. Choi Woong jokes around and reminds Chae-ran not to spend too much time with Ji-woong. She sure does sound like him a lot.
Ji-woong and Yeon-soo take a break from their bike rides at a small table in the village. She recites yet another small detail about Ji-woong that impresses him: his participation in the track and field team. That could explain for why he has such great energy and stamina. Eventually, Yeon-soo closes her eyes for a short nap while Ji-woong is approached by two Ahjumma ladies in the village. He chats with them for a bit and is recommended to visit a nearby hill that has amazing scenery during sunset. He can go with his girlfriend (laying down next to him). Ji-woong plays along with the two ladies and doesn’t correct them about Yeon-soo. It’s not until Yeon-soo wakes up right afterwards that she checks up on the whole girlfriend thing. Yeon-soo isn’t bothered by how Ji-woong stayed silent. He didn’t feel the need to correct them and she was okay with that.
When Choi Woong returns to their lodging, he finds that Ji-woong and Yeon-soo has yet to return. He was hoping they’d be back already, but they’re still out and about. He grows a bit worried and paranoid. While everyone else gets dinner ready outside, Choi Woong asks Ji-woong about the trip he embarked on to the village with Yeon-soo. He must have had a lot of content to film. Eventually, the two guys reunite with the rest of the crew for dinner outside.
Sol-yi does her share of questioning and checks in with Yeon-soo on her visit to the village. Yeon-soo answers that they simply went on a bike ride and took a nap outside. Choi Woong, of course, doesn’t take this news so positively and grows upset. Wait, Yeon-soo didn’t like people who took naps. Plus, she usually liked her trips to be packed with schedules and activities. This isn’t like how she used to be. The bickering between the two is interrupted with a sudden video call from Dad so Choi Woong greets his parents. They ask about Ji-woong (their other son) as well as Yeon-soo, but that’s not all that they have to say. They share that NJ is at the restaurant with them and she shows up in the video call. Yeon-soo’s face immediately darkens with the appearance of NJ. Girl knows she has competition.
Later on that night, Yeon-soo and Choi Woong run into each other inside of their lodge, but she quickly avoids him by heading to her room upstairs, lol. She calls her grandma to check up on her. Meanwhile, Choi Woong is joined by Ji-woong afterwards for a brief conversation about the documentary. He explains that they’ve decided to change the angle of the documentary to focus more on Choi Woong and Yeon-soo’s emotions towards each other. But the more Ji-woong films and observes, the more he gets confused. He’s unsure if it’s because of Choi Woong and Yeon-soo’s relationship with each other or if because of another reason.
Choi Woong responds to Ji-woong with one of Chae-ran’s comments back during their filming earlier that day. People behind the camera aren’t supposed to get involved, but Ji-woong counteracts Choi Woong’s statement with his own. That only applies when he’s actually filming (OHHHHH!! Ji-woong isn’t playing around!). So with that, Ji-woong bids farewell with Choi Woong for the night and prepares to get some sleep. Yeon-soo has a hard time sleeping that night. She tosses and turns and she can’t stop thinking about everything and anything Choi Woong related. She acknowledges that some of the things he said earlier that day hurt.
Choi Woong himself also relives all the moments from that day as well as memories from his first trip with Yeon-soo. He’s reminded of how she said she loved him or how she told him he could always come back to her after every fight or break-up. Even though these memories happened in the past, they’re still so vivid for Choi Woong (omg, I’M GONNA CRY. Just tell her you love her, you idiot!).
The next morning, Yeon-soo and Choi Woong are allowed to sleep in and stay inside for a tad bit longer. It’s been a while since either of them have been able to get as good of a sleep. When Yeon-soo awakens, she discovers the empty and silent house. No one’s inside except for Choi Woong who’s still asleep in his room. She tiptoes inside his room to take a peek at his latest drawing of their lodge. She also takes a peek at Choi Woong himself whose eyes are still closed. Just like she did on their first trip, she gently presses his glabella, but he doesn’t react. Or at least not with his eyes. He motions his hand slightly over Yeon-soo’s hand and for a second, their hands touch. But Yeon-soo panics and she removes her hand shortly afterwards and leaves. It’s not until she’s gone that Choi Woong opens his eyes. He was awake the whole time.
Yeon-soo prepares for her solo interview with Chae-ran and they agree to finish the interview by the hill with the beautiful sunset view. Meanwhile, Ji-woong is stuck with Imtern Tae-hoon for Choi Woong’s interview and they receive a quick visit by the same lady who approached Ji-woong the day before. She asks him about his girlfriend which catches Choi Woong’s attention and warns that she not go to the hill that day. The weather isn’t looking so great and it seems like it’s going to rain. Uh-oh.
Yeon-soo and Chae-ran are unaware of the weather conditions and they proceed to filming at the hill. Chae-ran leaves for a bit to grab more batteries and better lighting so Yeon-soo is left alone for herself under a small shed. The rain picks up faster than expected and even Sol-yi and Eun-ho rush inside the house for some cover. The rain reminds Yeon-soo of that day when she and Choi Woong were stuck together in the shed while waiting to film for the documentary. It’s like deja vu. And maybe Yeon-soo spoke a little too soon for she catches someone from far away approaching her.
The figure is blurry at first, but the sight eventually clears and it becomes more and more vivid who the person is. It’s none other than Choi Woong (I’M SERIOUSLY GOING TO CRY. I CAN’T HANDLE THIS RIGHT NOW). He approaches her with an umbrella covering his head and for a moment the two stand in silence. But Yeon-soo is in disbelief that he really came for him and he himself can’t seem to explain why either. Here he goes again. It’s another situation in which Choi Woong finds himself going to her. It’s Yeon-soo. It’s always been Yeon-soo. He’s sick of the same thing happening every time, but he can’t help it (SOMEONE HOLD ME. I’M SO EMOTIONAL RIGHT NOW).
Yeon-soo pushes Choi Woong away and rejects his help. If he’s sick of the situation, she will gladly get out of his way. But Choi Woong doesn’t let Yeon-soo go. He stands in her way and hovers the umbrella over her head to protect her from the rain. With a serious look on her face, Yeon-soo asks Choi Woong twice whether she should leave or stay. Does he want her to leave or to stay? It doesn’t take long for Choi Woong to give her his answer. He pulls her in for a kiss and their lips meet. Memories of all their kisses dating from that rainy day in high school all the way to their current one flashes in their minds. It’s as if Choi Woong knew that this exact moment would happen from the moment they reunited.
Back in the bus station, Yeon-soo adds how Choi Woong can always come to her if they were to fight or break up again. She won’t go anywhere. So what happens after that? Yeon-soo then leans towards Choi Woong and whispers into his ear how she’ll hold onto him tight and never let him go. It was the kind of response that Choi Woong had been waiting to hear for years. It wasn’t easy, but it sure was worth it.
Okay, first things first, I need to get this off my chest and make this very clear. The ending to this episode has to be, hands down, my favorite ending so far out of all the episodes for this drama. This ending was everything. This ending was beautiful. This ending was one of the most emotional and heart-fluttering endings I can remember watching in K-dramaland. This ending hit me in all the right spots with the way that it used music to deliver that impact (credits to my lovely V for singing such a beautiful OST track!). It’s as if everything that we’ve seen from Choi Woong and Yeon-soo that had been boiling up until this point finally came crashing down and lead us to this very moment.
It was so emotional because we witnessed and watched the two go back and forth so many times. We watched them fight, argue, break up, and bicker, but we also watched them fall in love, love each other, be there through the ups and downs, and secretly long for each other. Everything came down to that exact moment and they let it out by holding onto each other for a kiss. I was wondering why the drama kept on cutting out all the previous kissing scenes and now I understand why. It was to lead us up to this kiss. This is the hill that Choi Woong and Yeon-soo (and I) will die on.
I think another part in the ending scene that really stood out to me was Choi Woong’s reaction to it all. He didn’t look the happiest standing there in the rain with the umbrella for a variety of reasons. I think he just sort of gave in to the idea that he’ll never change. His feelings for Yeon-soo will never change. He will always come back to her. He will always look for her and find his way back to her. He will always go to her because she told him on their first trip that he can do so after a fight or break-up. Choi Woong took that comment to heart and he showed up in front of Yeon-soo at the hill even if he didn’t want to. He couldn’t help himself. He’s sick of it. He hates how much he cares about her and how much he wants to be with her, but it’s something that he can’t do anything about. That’s why I felt like he gave in to his reality and to his feelings in that moment. He just accepted it all for what it was. Choi Woong will always care for Yeon-soo and he’ll always come back to her. No matter what happens, no matter what under what circumstances. Situations may change, but he hasn’t. He never will.
I wasn’t so sure how episode 8 was going to fare given how lackluster and underwhelming episode 7 felt. I described in my recap for the previous episode how I felt like it was a filler episode and was only used as a set-up to the trip we saw in this episode. I love when characters go on trips and vacations and some place far away. It gives dramas a reason to do something new, to be refreshing, to be creative and innovative, and to be fun. While there were a few things in this episode that I wished was executed differently, I generally enjoyed this episode and the little trip that our crew went on. They were there to still work, but it wasn’t just for the documentary. Along with filming, Yeon-soo and Choi Woong worked on their feelings for each other as well as their relationship.
I felt like the trip was the perfect opportunity for Yeon-soo to let some parts of her go. To not shy away from Choi Woong, and, rather to be honest with him. She’s jealous when he interacts with NJ. She’s scared to lose him to someone else. She’s afraid that his feelings for her might have changed and that things will never go back to like how they used to be. She cares about him just as much has he cares for her.
As selfish as this may sound, I wanted more from her in this episode. It seemed like Yeon-soo made some small progress in the last few episodes only to take a few steps back in this one. She avoided a chance to interact with Choi Woong when they ran into each other in the lodge, but the one scene that hurt me the most was when she removed her hand under Choi Woong’s. I wanted her to keep her hand there or, even better yet, to put her hand on top of his to let him know that she was there. That she was changing little by little. That she’s not going anywhere this time. That she cared. Even if it was just for a few seconds. But instead, she retreated again back into her own little shell. Yeon-soo was so close to taking yet another step forward, but she panicked and she ran away. Yeon-soo mentioned in her first trip with Choi Woong that she’d like to go on another trip with him that’s a bit longer and further away. Though not the situation or kind of trip they expected, this was that second trip. Yeon-soo should take advantage of opportunities like this when it’s in her grasp. Don’t let it slip away.
I guess what made up for these small disappointments was her reaction in the ending scene. I’m glad that Yeon-soo didn’t run away from Choi Woong in that moment. I think the old Yeon-soo would have ran away in the rain and left Choi Woong alone. She wouldn’t have even hesitated. She would have stormed off that hill. But she stayed instead. And in her decision to stay, she asked Choi Woong not once but twice what he wanted. If he’s so sick of her and their situation, does he want her to stay or to leave?
I like that she sort of indirectly communicated on her feelings by reiterating her question. In case he was still a little slow and didn’t understand her, she repeated her question twice so he would pick up on what she wanted and how she felt. In asking her question twice, Yeon-soo was admitting that she wanted to stay with him. She didn’t want to run away and she was hoping that he wouldn’t want her to either. Again, that ending scene was magical in so many ways and was proof of Choi Woong and Yeon-soo’s relationship development. They always find themselves coming back to each other even through the ups and downs and everything in between. They can’t seem to give up on each other.
Even with all that being said, I was really hoping for more development between Choi Woong and Yeon-soo in this episode, but I think the ending sort of made up for it. We had been getting some progress between them in the last few episodes and then things came to a halt with episode 7 when Choi Woong arrived at his realization. I think it might just be the impatient side in me who really wants to see Choi Woong and Yeon-soo make up with each other bit by bit, but I have to slow down sometimes and remind myself that it’s not going to be a linear trajectory. Choi Woong and Yeon-soo are finally catching up with each other after a break-up that ended five years ago on a bad note. They didn’t bid farewell on good terms so, of course, it’s not going to be an easy journey for the two of them to fall back in love with each other.
If anything, I’m actually glad that the drama went this direction with episodes 7 and 8. Again, not what I wanted personally, but I get why the drama went with this angle. It’s going to take a new side of Choi Woong that Yeon-soo’s never seen before to get her out of her comfort zone. To get her to start showing and expressing how she feels. She was so used to Choi Woong’s actions and expressions of affection for her that she became lost, scared, and clueless when he began to act coldly towards her. Yeon-soo’s also going to have to do the fighting if she’s serious and genuine about all of this too.
The same thing could be said about Choi Woong. His part in the relationship repairing is more of a battle against himself and not so much against Yeon-soo. He has such a soft spot for her and he prioritized her over himself both in the past and in the present. It didn’t help that it took a while for him to finally realize this. Therefore, It wasn’t so surprising to see Choi Woong show up at the end of this episode to get Yeon-soo because we know just how much he loved her and cared for her. But at the same time, I think my personal expectations for his personal development will be to learn how to balance his love for Yeon-soo with his love for himself (if that makes any sense). He can still do all the things for and with Yeon-soo like how he did in the past without mortgaging and sacrificing everything. Choi Woong doesn’t have to give everything up to be with Yeon-soo. His biggest challenge will probably be to learn how to better balance all the aspects in his life and not revolve everything around Yeon-soo.
This episode gives me hope that the kiss might just be the turning point that impacts Choi Woong and Yeon-soo’s relationship. They just needed some kind of sign to know how the other person felt. We saw with their first trip that they weren’t always necessarily on the same page. That communication wasn’t always a priority when it should have been and should be. Maybe the kiss will make things a little bit more clear to both Choi Woong and Yeon-soo that their feelings are aligned and that they can relax a little bit more. They feel the same way about each other and there’s no need to be afraid. The sunset looks beautiful from the position on the hill, but so do Yeon-soo and Choi Woong. Not all hope is lost for the two. With every sunset comes a sunrise the next day.
Extra photos from the episode~