A slower episode hones in on its solid character writing, as the final moments add a layer of welcome mystery.
This recap of My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 6 contains spoilers.
In its latest episode, My Liberation Notes slows down a little to split focus primarily between Chang-hee and Mi-jeong’s growing relationship with Mr. Gu. It might not be the most balanced way of doing things, but it allows the sharp character writing to really flourish as, through the gradual drip-feed of information, we begin to learn more about these people, their connection, and their problems.
My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 6 recap
Through this quite vague idea of “worship”, the show is allowing Mi-jeong and Mr. Gu to respectively break through their own insecurities; to ignore the cliquey-ness of work, say, and focus instead on a more meaningful connection.
Chang-hee, meanwhile, continues to focus primarily on money, lamenting that neither he nor his friends have much of it, and trying desperately to earn the favour of his boss. His entrepreneurial idea of recycling the bottles in Mr. Gu’s place backfires, forcing him to pitch to his parents about the necessary 300 million won investment, which his father refuses to front. You can feel the jealousy and resentment building up in Chang-hee, but also see his determined efforts to be a good person, such as allowing a man to jump the queue in the bank, even though he’d rather not. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’ve all thought our parents were worse than someone else’s; we’ve all wanted to tell someone who annoys where to go. This is, in part, the realization that Chang-hee has seeing that man’s floundering bank balance. As much as we’d like to think that our experiences are totally unique, and that we’re the most important people in the world, they’re not and we aren’t.
Everyone deals with all this in different ways. Mr. Gu, for instance, drinks. He’s fed up with everyone, and their milling around, going about their business in front of him annoys him. My Liberation Notes knows it’s important to establish this and how it relates to Mi-jeong’s own feelings, so that Mr. Gu cleaning his place up really resonates. It’s almost a purge, a way to literally clean out the dirt and debris that his informing so much of his perspective. Mi-jeong’s version is paying a bit of effort to her colleagues, being a little nicer, a little happier. It means something to both of them, those small efforts at change. This is becoming a very well-developed and compelling relationship, and it only stands to become more so with the closing scenes casting a looming shadow over Mr. Gu’s background and what he has been hiding from.
Roll on next week, I suppose.