A powerful, emotionally charged episode that deals with a delicate subject matter sublimely.
This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Our Blues season 1, episode 5, “Yeong-ju and Hyeon,” contains spoilers.
Our Blues season 1, episode 5 recap
We begin with In-gwon stopping off to deliver ingredients to Ms. Kang, who gratefully proclaims that he will become blessed, and that his son will do well in life. Then, the father echoes those sentiments, expressing his wishes for Hyun not to become a thug like he has. Later on, the elderly Ms. Kang decides to call her son, Dong-seok, who ignores the ring in favour of continuing with his manual labour.
Eventually, Dong-seok does respond to Ms. Kang’s call, but when she emotionally asks whether he has eaten, it only evokes rage. “Are you senile?”, the angry labourer asks, before continuing to antagonise her to the point the conversation comes to an abrupt end. Following that, as elderly women quell Dong-seok’s anger with gifts, apologising for their usage of another truck, we see a feeble Ms. Kang’s cancer is only getting more aggressive, and that she is refusing chemotherapy.
Clearing her mind from the woes of potential pregnancy, Young-joo runs to the end of Jeju, soaking in the atmosphere of a place she is forced to stop at. However, the tranquillity doesn’t last, as a bird defecates on her coat, and a bus full of students ruin her fun at the “dull countryside.” So, she walks back towards her home, greeting everyone she passes with a forced civility but internally expressing her interest in wanting to run away from the mundane life of endless small talk and repetition she lives. With that being said, a couple of the elderly market sellers do understand her, even if the likes of Eun-hui do not.
Turning up to the market, an agitated Dong-seok wishes to know why his mother called him earlier. He ignores the verbalised questions of mistreatment from others in search of an answer, spitefully wondering why she decided to contact him for “no reason” when they are anything but close. Once more dismissing the rest of the market, he asks for her to never call again as it works him up. Of course, this riles Eun-hui up, who takes him outside for a stern talking to. “Good for you, but I’m an ungrateful b*****d,” is the response of Dong-seok, who clearly has no interest in those who are trying to coax him into patching things up. With a sinister verbalisation of what it will take for the angry son to regret what he’s doing, Eun-hui then departs.
When we return to Young-joo, she takes some mild abuse from In-gwon on the chin prior to bumping into Hyun, who she states is the only thing that excites her. However, she does admit that this excitement may have went too far. Meanwhile, Hyun takes money from his father’s money jar, surviving In-gwon’s constant efforts to impress others via bragging to get away with the cash scot free.
Back at her house, Young-joo hears her father, who is dressed in tattered clothes, sing about his affection for the island he cannot wait to be able to live freely and fish on. The warm, if not slightly teenage angst-filled family dynamic is made clearer here, with the underlying affection on both sides evident. When a silence falls, though, some bad news arrives, as it turns out that the young student’s fears of pregnancy have came true, and come with the potential to tie her down to Jeju for longer than she planned.
At school, Hyun notices that there is something peculiar going on with Young-joo, even considering her usual prickliness. He confronts her later, and discovers the bombshell news which leaves him noticeably shocked. Then, Hyun gifts her money, along with a valuable ring, to help with the cost of the abortion. It’s clear that the father-to-be may want his partner to reconsider, though, and despite a statement of “It’s my body, my choice,” he still leaves the option of birth on the table. Such a comment is ill afforded the time of day by Young-joo, who instead debates whether they are even that much in love, and ponders what would happen to their prospects of heading to Seoul for college. Then, with a warning about their respective father’s potential behaviour upon finding out about the pregnancy, the students go their separate ways.
Now, with more money in their pockets following the sale of the ring, the high school couple sit down to talk. Or at least they plan to, but when Young-joo delivers abortion pills, and suggests that the pairing spend time together, Young-joo heads off, explaining that she still has a life to live. Then, she turns round, hitting her boyfriend with a bag while angrily wondering if he used a cheap condom, and threatening to kill him if she does really turn out to be pregnant. More sadness presents itself too, as Hyun cannot even attend the academy anymore due to spending that money on her impending abortion.
After beginning to experience pain, Young-joo is granted the ability to go home, tailed by a worried Hyun. The two discuss the impending procedure candidly, with Young-joo set to head to the hospital to get her abortion, and the anxious partner worried that they should spend time selecting a good one, instead of “just going anywhere.” After they debate with each other, an unacceptable comment from a classmate sparks a physical reaction from Hyun, causing palpable tension.
Fortunately for Young-joo, she manages to avoid being accompanied by Eun-hui to her appointment after meeting the businesswoman in the lobby, with the excuse of irregular periods proving to be a believable one. It doesn’t help in the consultation with the doctor, though, which seems outwardly tense, especially when the news of her being pregnant for six months arises. Due to the duration of the pregnancy, the induced-labour procedure would be a risky one for the student, with plenty of bleeding guaranteed. So, with a passive doctor who believes he has already done his part, a request for parental consent, and a number for crisis counselling, Young-joo leaves the hospital, but not before a desperate plea.
Recalling past conversations with Young-joo, Hyun reminisces about the time they went back-and-forth over whether love, and their relationship, are lasting things. He is concerned about his partner, and is desperate to know if she is safe. Elsewhere, a chirpy Ho-sik navigates through the market with his ice, stumbling across Eun-hui, who tells the father about her meeting with his daughter, while he does so.
Upon finding out about the situation, Hyun calls Young-joo, and explains that their baby is his too. However, these words don’t get through, as the pregnant student rejects that title for the foetus, wanting to evade becoming a bad person, or feeling guilt. She then hangs up, stares down at her growing waist, and has to face a curious father as her boyfriend stares at a children’s shop. As expected, Ho-sik does not end up finding out about the pregnancy, and is left to continue his concern for his daughter privately.
As we watch morning sickness become an issue for Young-joo, we also flit between scenes of Hyun, amidst tears, writing every question imaginable about the induced-labour procedure on a message board. He is desperate for advice, but obviously worn down by the situation too, something proven by his visible upset when his girlfriend informs him that she is trying to force a miscarriage through golf ball massaging of the foot. “I just want the baby to disappear without anyone finding out,” she says, drawing out tears from her partner who cannot even bring himself to speak. That is until he gains the courage to offer comfort, allowing for the two to let their emotions run free.
The next day, before Young-joo undergoes the operation, Hyun runs after her, ignoring his father’s request for him to cook in an attempt to accompany his love. Hoping to find her, he sprints, with scenes of the two in love placed in between his commitment to arriving by his girlfriend’s side. However, even a taxi is little use, as it’s the youngster’s legs which ultimately lead him to her, and allow him to be her guardian.
Holding her hand, the pair look at the monitor to see the healthy baby during the ultrasound, and even listen to the heartbeat too. It causes panic though, and Young-joo immediately expresses the fact she is scared while crying, holding her partner, and begging the doctor to stop what she is doing. With tears present in both students, the episode ends.
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