What do you do when things don’t go as well as expected or planned? Who do you turn to in times of both joy and sadness? Happiness and heartbreak? During the good and bad times? Yeon-soo and Choi Woong have gone through a lot in their lives individually and there are still bumps and struggles that they face in the present. But unlike the past, they don’t have to endure those moments alone. Unlike the past, they can lean on each other. Yeon-soo and Choi Woong’s limits are put to the test once again, but there’s some hope that things might feel a little bit more optimistic because they have each other now.
Our Beloved Summer Episode 15: Three Idiots
As a little kid, Ji-woong felt like he was always missing a piece in his life. A piece of being a son. A piece of having a mother who was present in his life. He never had a special connection with his mother. He recalled moments of either being alone or befriending a friend who was also alone (AKA Choi Woong). As he grew older, he was curious about why he could never fill his life with that puzzle piece.
On one particular night, Ji-woong came home from school and discovered his mother drinking some soju in their bedroom. He asked her if she could live without him in her life. Unlike what he expected, his mom responded harshly and blamed him for her life circumstances. He was the reason as to why she was in the situation she was in; he was the reason why she felt like she was living a pathetic life. Since then, Ji-woong accepted his new reality and understood that his life was not a work of art. It never was and wouldn’t be. This was merely just one of the episodes to a boring documentary of his life.
While driving back home, Choi Woong stops by a jewelry store and purchases a few gifts for Yeon-soo. He knows she’s not the biggest fans of gifts, but he hopes to surprise her regardless. When he arrives home, he finds Yeon-soo napping on his couch so he wakes her up by presenting her with the new necklace and pair of earrings he got her. Yeon-soo approves of the gifts and is thrilled to be wearing such beautiful jewelry. Instead of going out for the day, the couple agree to stay at home and chill at Choi Woong’s house. So they read a book together, eat some yummy food that Choi Woong cooked, hold a drawing contest of puppy Jjongjjong, and watch some TV together.
That night, Yeon-soo joins Choi Woong on the couch after taking a shower. Sheesh, she sure does enjoy taking showers at his place, haha. They joke about the one time she took a shower at his place when they were going through the “just friends” phase which Yeon-soo admits she did on purpose to seduce Choi Woong, lol. Eventually, Choi Woong dries Yeon-soo’s hair with a hair dryer and Yeon-soo can’t help but enjoy just how peaceful everything feels. A part of her feels paranoid and nervous at how well things are; she’s afraid that things might get ruined again but Choi Woong reassures her that things will be okay this time around. He comes close to making an announcement to Yeon-soo, but holds himself back. The brochure for the school of architecture that he spent extra time focusing on lays not too far away in his house. Nooo.
It’s finally the day of Choi Woong’s night exhibition. He and Eun-ho chat about it while at his house that morning. Yeon-soo isn’t going to attend the exhibition until the last day and Choi Woong has some news he wants to share with Eun-ho. But he’ll wait until the exhibition is over to give the announcement. Eun-ho stops by Sol-yi’s restaurant to hand her tickets to Choi Woong’s exhibition. Sol-yi views Eun-ho in a different light now after the surprise visit by her ex-boyfriend and it’s obvious that she has a one-sided crush on him, haha. So much for not dating younger guys! Eun-ho drops off the tickets to her and then exits.
On the way to her next schedule, NJ checks news articles detailing information about Choi Woong’s night exhibition. She persuades herself that she won’t go and issues an apology to her manager. She’ll take Ji-woong’s advice about living a more normal life. Chae-ran and Writer Lee worry for Ji-woong who’s been acting strangely. They observe as he sits in his seat in the editing room, but they give him his space and grab some coffee by themselves. Ji-woong has a lot on his mind, especially with the abrupt visit by his mom who shared that she’s dying.
While on a coffee break with Writer Lee, Chae-ran learns about Mr. Park’s influence and impact on Ji-woong’s life. Back when Ji-woong was an assistant producer, there was a night where he got scolded by the producer of the documentary for not doing his job properly. It also didn’t help that that night was also Ji-woong’s birthday. Mr. Park was the only one to come to Ji-woong’s defense and protect him. He was also the one who shared the news about Ji-woong’s birthday to the rest of the team. It’s clear that Ji-woong wouldn’t be where he is without Mr. Park.
And so Choi Woong’s night exhibition launches! It’s the first night of the exhibition and there’s quite a lot more people than Go-oh the artist expected. He chats with Yeon-soo for a bit on the phone before heading inside to do some interviews and greetings. He looks forward to the last night of the exhibition when Yeon-soo will visit. For everyone else, they follow their typical schedule and routine. Chae-ran continues to look out for a dejected and indifferent Ji-woong while Yeon-soo goes to work and then tucks grandma in for bed.
Yeon-soo and her team members, Ji-woon and Myung-ho, visit a library for an upcoming event they’re planning to host for their client. While on a coffee break, they chat about Go-oh’s exhibition and Myung-ho expresses his wish of visiting the exhibition. If only he had someone he could go with, like a girlfriend. Yeon-soo is distracted by two high school students playing chase in the library and she smiles upon recalling how she and Choi Woong did the same exact thing back when they were in high school. It’s a little surprising for Myung-ho and Ji-woon to witness. Yeon-soo? Happy and smiley? What is going on? Could her change in behavior be because she’s possibly dating someone? Before leaving, Yeon-soo encourages Myung-ho to stop by the exhibition with Ye-in. Her boyfriend’s exhibition, to be exact. Hahaha. I love it!
Chae-ran joins Ji-woong at their work cafeteria and sits herself down to talk with him. She’s worried about his odd behavior. He’s been working overtime and extra hard and doing things that he usually doesn’t do. She at first assumes it must be because of his heartbreak from Yeon-soo, but Ji-woong’s response indicates that it has to do with something else. There’s a reason for why he’s not going home. Even though Ji-woong doesn’t open up to her about his situation, he appreciates her concern for him. Ji-woong reassures Chae-ran that there’s no need to be worried.
While driving to Choi Woong’s exhibition, Yeon-soo receives a surprise phone call and changes her plans. Oh noooo. Instead of Yeon-soo, it’s NJ who shows up to the exhibition. Choi Woong’s caught off guard by her appearance, but he accepts her congratulatory flowers and makes small talk with him. She proposes that they now be friends. Like friends friends. She’s following Ji-woong’s advice and wants to live a normal life and make friends. So she and Choi Woong exchange handshakes to come to an agreement on their mutual friendship. Back at the office, Ji-woong finally heads back home for the night. Mr. Park is quite relieved to see Ji-woong not stay late at the office, but he also can’t help but notice Ji-woong’s strange behavior. He checks in with Ji-woong, but doesn’t get much out of his hoobae. Ji-woong doesn’t show any emotions. He pretends as if everything’s fine. Mr. Park is a real one.
It’s almost time to close the exhibition so Eun-ho prepares to conclude the night. Choi Woong steps aside for a bit only to be accompanied by his competitor and enemy, Nu-Ah (Kwak Dong-yeon). He admits that the drawings are beautiful but they’re still the same. Not much has changed, just like how nothing’s changed since that day that he stole Choi Woong’s drawing back when they were classmates in college. Nu-Ah admits that he stole Choi Woong’s drawing, but was never punished for it since Choi Woong let him go so easily. He felt bad for Choi Woong for not doing anything about it. He pitied Choi Woong for letting it go so easily. He should live life a bit more passionately; as nice as his drawings are, they feel a bit boring and empty.
Yeon-soo stops by the hospital where Grandma is resting and recovering. Grandma prepares Yeon-soo for the new reality that they will both have to live with. As much as Yeon-soo wants to stay and live with Grandma forever, it won’t be possible. So Yeon-soo must move forward, do all that she wants to do, and live her own life. Grandma encourages her to not live a life like hers. Yeon-soo breaks down into tears upon hearing Grandma’s words. It’s not what either of them wants, but it’s something they have to prepare for.
Eun-ho comes across Sol-yi in the neighborhood after Choi Woong’s exhibition finishes. He seems a bit down and sad. It seems like something is bothering him. Choi Woong joins Ji-woong for some drinks at a street vendor and they catch up with each other. It’s been a while since they’ve sat down and enjoyed each other’s company. After some small talk, Ji-woong breaks the surprising news to Choi Woong about his mother. She’s dying. The smile on Choi Woong’s face immediately disappears and he’s unsure as to how to react. Ji-woong is as well as he doesn’t feel sad about the news even though he feels like he should be. He’s not sad at all. All Choi Woong can think and feel is how pitiful the situation is. Everyone and everything feels pitiful.
Yeon-soo steps out of Grandma’s room in the hospital to give Choi Woong a call. Meanwhile, Mr. Park assists a lady on his way out of the building. The lady is none other than Ji-woong’s mom. When Choi Woong gets back home, he discovers Yeon-soo outside in the front of his house. She apologizes to him and panics at how she feels as if she ruined everything. She’s scared. She thought she committed the same mistakes and ruined everything. But Choi Woong reassures her that she didn’t. She didn’t do anything wrong. With the snow falling down on them, Yeon-soo cries into Choi Woong’s shoulder. She’s in so much pain. Choi Woong pats her on the back softly while embracing her.
Eun-ho shares with Sol-yi the bad news that had been bothering him. Go-oh’s exhibition did not go as well as they had thought. A famous critic wrote some harsh words about Go-oh’s drawings and described them as childish drawings where Go-oh seems like a child trapped in his own world. Reading the article didn’t make Choi Woong feel so good either. At the end of the day, both he and Yeon-soo are in pain. They’re both going through a lot. But they have each other. That’s all that they need. That’s all that they wanted. They head inside his house together.
Choi Woong shows Yeon-soo the brochure to the school of architecture that he had been eyeing for a while. He shares that he wants to go with Yeon-soo. He wants this dream of his to come true.
Wow, so much happened within the last 10 minutes of this episode. It felt chaotic. There was so much to catch up on. From Yeon-soo and Grandma to Choi Woong’s exhibition to Ji-woong and then Mr. Park with Ji-woong’s mom, it was a bit overwhelming. But at the same time, the constant back and forth between all these sub-plots and plot lines was a wonderful way for the episode to convey its message: everyone was in pain.
Yeon-soo admitted at the end of the episode to Choi Woong how she was in so much pain. She was hurting. Her heart was breaking. She was worried for Grandma. She was concerned about what life would be like without Grandma. And then she was also concerned because she didn’t attend Choi Woong’s exhibition like how she said she would which she was scared would impact her relationship with him. She knew just how much the exhibition meant to him so she was afraid that her not going might have changed something about their relationship. The ending scene between Yeon-soo and Choi Woong was so beautiful and intimate and served as evidence of just how much the two have grown. I loved the character and relationship development that the two showcased in that moment.
Yeon-soo cried her heart out and she expressed how she was feeling in that moment. She admitted that she was in pain and that she was not okay. In the past, Choi Woong asked that Yeon-soo be honest with her and tell her how she really felt. That they not hold anything back or hide how they’re really feeling. In that moment, Yeon-soo put down her walls, felt safe and comfortable enough to be vulnerable, and showed a new side of herself to Choi Woong that he had never seen before. He’s so used to seeing the stubborn, haughty, confident, and tough side of Yeon-soo. Has he ever been in a situation like this where Yeon-soo cried in his arms and wanted to be in his comfort? It’s unfamiliar territory for the both of them, but that’s also what makes their relationship so beautiful. They have grown drastically over the years and continue to prove to each other that they want each other now more than ever.
Another scene in this episode that really got to me included scenes involving Ji-woong and his complicated relationship with his mother. The first being when Choi Woong joined Ji-woong for some drinks and he shared the devastating news about his mother’s death to Choi Woong. Similar to what Choi Woong noted, it had been a while since the two spent some time together. In between this hiatus was some unrequited love angst and mommy issues that Ji-woong had been keeping to himself. Just like how he was when he was little, he found himself lonely again as an adult. He had no one he could go to for situations like these. Because of that, it was relieving and bittersweet to see him and Choi Woong meet up and just chat as friends. Just like the old times.
Because no matter how much the two have gone through with each other or the tricky situation they were involved in relating to Yeon-soo, they knew they will always be friends at the end of the day. They didn’t fight each other over Yeon-soo; they remained mature and civil about it. Ji-woong accepted his fate and then relied on Choi Woong for some support and comfort when it came to his situation with his mother. Ji-woong has always gone to Choi Woong as a young kid for that support, company, and comfort and it’s nice to see the same still be true in the present. I missed seeing this side of Choi Woong and Ji-woong’s friendship. I didn’t know how much I missed seeing the two be friends with each other until we got that scene of them in this episode. They’ve been that source of support and glimmer of hope for each other since they were little kids and I want to think things will stay that way for a long time. Just like all the other times, Choi Woong was there to listen to Ji-woong and be by his side.
The other scene in this episode related to Ji-woong and his mom had to be the brief scene in the office where Mr. Park checked in on Ji-woong. He noticed that something was off about Ji-woong and quickly asked him if he was good. Mr. Park is a real one for the way that he’s always been there for Ji-woong as not only a Sunbae and team leader and mentor but also just a friend. He was the one who inspired Ji-woong to become a producer and stood up for him in times of difficulty and hardships. He never once gave up on Ji-woong and always believed in him when no one else did. Mr. Park is a wonderful colleague, mentor, and friend to Ji-woong and I have a feeling he will continue to do so after he discovers Ji-woong’s somber situation with his mom. Ji-woong may have another person he can go to as an outlet.
I had been preparing myself for this moment, but it was still sad when the moment arrived. I’m not so sure what a world without Grandma is going to look like and that isn’t a world that Yeon-soo wants either. It makes sense that she has this fear of being alone because it’s only been her and Grandma for so long. How is she going to fare when the day comes? What is she going to do when Grandma is no longer here? It’s not going to be the same and my heart will cry for Yeon-soo. But at the same time, there’s a sense of comfort in knowing that she won’t be alone. There’s no knowing how much longer Yeon-soo will have with Grandma and there’s hope that Grandma and Yeon-soo will still have more time together, but when the time comes, Yeon-soo will have Choi Woong with her. She won’t be alone. She will never be alone.
Extra photos from the episode~