Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 12 recap – “Begin Again”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 11, 2022
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Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 12 recap - "Begin Again"


“Begin Again” sees Ung and Yeon-su try and navigate their new status, while Ji-ung and NJ find each other.

This recap of Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 12, “Begin Again”, contains spoilers.

The past has always had a close relationship with the present in Our Beloved Summer. The documentary that frames it is a redo of an old one; the relationship at its core a rekindling of a past romance. “Begin Again”, in its opening scenes, winds back to those halcyon early days and lets them catch up to the present, and when Yeon-su and Ung kiss, it becomes a confusing medley of many they’ve shared over the years. The point is clear — history is repeating itself. This time, perhaps, things will be different.

Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 12 recap

After the clear turning point of the previous episode, Ung and Yeon-su continue to discuss his nightmares of abandonment, his early life, and his gratefulness at having been adopted by such good parents, who don’t know that he knows the truth since there’s really no point given how little it would change. Their closeness isn’t new, but it feels it after so long apart, and that feeling is very strong in the aptly-titled “Begin Again”. As Yeon-su says at one point when Ung confirms that they’re dating again, “I hope we get along.”

The possibility of a do-over is a welcome idea for both of them. It’s charming to watch them fumble their way through encounters, getting anxious about having said or done the wrong thing, worrying that perhaps they’ve ruined this opportunity they’ve both been yearning for. Everything is a reminder of the past, everything the same but slightly different. It gives the episode a nice, romantic vibe as both Yeon-su and Ung cautiously navigate their dynamic, getting more confident and comfortable as the episode progresses.

Of course, Yeon-su and Ung’s relationship has never quite involved just the two of them. After burning the candle at both ends to his physical detriment, Ji-ung is laid up for most of the episode feeling sorry for himself, at least until he runs into NJ. Since the two of them are in the same position, having crushes on someone who loves someone other than them, they can relate to one another. NJ gets very drunk, while Ji-ung gives her as much advice as he can about shouldering the burden of jealousy. It’s a touching, quietly tragic conversation, for Ji-ung especially, who has lived his entire life feeling this way.

So, then, how are we supposed to feel about Ung and Yeon-su? Are we supposed to be as happy for them as they are for themselves? Or are we supposed to consider the people who’re being hurt by their reunion? It’s difficult to say. And the feeling lends Our Beloved Summer an odd tone, sometimes, as if Yeon-su and Ung are villains in their own story, hurting other people as well as each other. “Begin Again” has its charms, but for whatever reason, I found myself drifting to the idea that perhaps the pain that they both felt for so long is as likely to be rekindled as the romance.

You can stream Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 12, “Begin Again”, exclusively on Netflix.

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