Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 15 recap – “Three Idiots”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 24, 2022
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Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 15 recap - "Three Idiots"


In “Three Idiots”, the core characters learn to face reality and navigate hardship as adults.

This recap of Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 15, “Three Idiots”, contains spoilers.

In some ways, Ji-ung’s life has been defined by an inability to connect with the one person he most wants to. In his early life, and as has been made clear throughout the series and especially here in “Three Idiots”, it was his mother. In the present day and recent past, it was obviously Yeon-su. In both cases, Ung being his best friend only made matters worse. Ung had a strong familial base, and for a long time, he had Yeon-su, too. This is more than just a man being jealous of his best friend and his crush; it’s a man who has been emotionally neglected trying to find his way through a life that is insistent on keeping him at arm’s length.

Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 15 recap

Maybe it’s just me, but with this in mind, Ung and Yeon-su’s relationship becomes less romantic. Their happiness feels unintentionally spiteful. Their problems – Ung deliberates over whether to buy Yeon-su a gift, wondering if she’d scream at him – seem so comparatively minor that they border on pathetic. As they become happier and cuter than ever, Ji-ung buries himself deeper and deeper beneath his work.

Ung’s exhibit forms something of a nexus for several of the show’s ongoing subplots. It’s a success in many ways, but not in others, since Ung wants specific people to be there, and not all of them turn up. NJ does, asking Ung to be friends with her in a way that everyone finds surprising, and Nu-a turns up, but only to criticize and insult. Yeon-su, though, doesn’t make it since her grandmother falls sick, and neither does Ji-ung, whose own mother is dying, though he confesses to Ung that he feels nothing. That deep confession is a nice shared moment between them, putting the importance of the exhibition in perspective.

We predicted that Yeon-su’s grandmother would be taken ill, it being such a common k-drama trope, but it does yield some effective drama in “Three Idiots”. There’s nothing like the stern older woman imploring her granddaughter to live her life as she should have done to pull on the heartstrings, and Our Beloved Summer has always known when to turn the emotion up a notch, even if it can be a little manipulative about it. By the time Ung finds her on his doorstep she’s heartbroken, so much so that his own issues once again pale in comparison. He’s there for her, as he always has been, and she’s receptive to his efforts. Perhaps there’s hope for them yet. It’s just a shame that their being together requires them to navigate so much pain.

You can stream Our Beloved Summer season 1, episode 15, “Three Idiots”, exclusively on Netflix.

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