A quietly optimistic episode finds the characters on the other side of their issues, finding value and meaning in their connections.
This recap of My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 11 contains spoilers.
In their focus on Mr. Gu and the idea of our past catching up to us, the last few episodes of My Liberation Notes have felt like a big cloud looming over everyone. If that was the case, then this latest episode is that cloud beginning to move away; the first rays of light breaking through the smog. Shared struggles begin to bring people together, and those people begin to discover the thing or the person they find true comfort in. They’re realizing that they don’t have to shoulder their problems alone.
My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 11 recap
Consider the power of the Rolls Royce when it comes to Chang-hee. In the last episode, we saw his enthusiasm for it; in this one, we see the odd peace it brings him. There’s a distinct pleasure in seeing him giving rides to everyone, in seeing a thing mean so much to someone.
It’s the same with Gu and Mi-jeong. In him, she sees a confidante, someone to unload on, but also a close companion with whom she can share not just her woes and annoyances but also deep aspects of herself. Their first kiss feels like the exclamation point of a long and winding sentence.
Gu was very much the focus of last week’s double-bill, and he certainly isn’t neglected here, but we’re clearly on the other side of his personal dilemma somewhat. The end of this episode makes it clear that he’s choosing Mi-jeong over any other obligations he might have. He might be wanted back in Seoul, but he’s wanted here, now, and he’s willing to be needed.
And then there’s Gi-jeong and Tae-hun, and Gi-jeong’s boss. There’s a nice angle here in the idea that Gi-jeong isn’t following textbook ideas like “playing hard to get”, but simply sharing her feelings and, finally, finding them reciprocated. There’s some real earnest joy in all this, and the knock-on effect is that even Gi-jeong’s boss benefits from it. Think of that idea, of playing hard to get. It’s deliberately making someone anxious, confused, and uncomfortable. It shouldn’t be the foundation of a romantic connection.
In pushing us to consider these ideas and connections, My Liberation Notes is really continuing to excel as a low-key slice-of-life drama with an abundance of authenticity and intelligence.
You can stream My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 11 exclusively on Netflix.