There’s a potentially darker turn here that throws the future into some doubt and My Liberation Notes continues to impress with its writing.
This recap of My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 12 contains spoilers.
If yesterday’s episode felt like many of the characters finally beginning to see the rays of sunlight peeking through a dark cloud, then today’s feels like almost the opposite. While there are positive developments, especially regarding burgeoning relationships and the potential of forming new ones, the crux of the episode is Mr. Gu’s departure back to Seoul, and the implications that has for Mi-jeong.
My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 12 recap
Gi-jeong and Tae-hun feel as though they’re at the beginning of their journey, while Chang-hee and Da-yeon might have one to look forward to, but Mi-jeong is left adrift. Gu smiling and chuckling over the death of Baek should be a cause for some concern. There’s that dark cloud again. It isn’t going anywhere.
And yet My Liberation Notes never feels dour. It balances its drama with levity and light and also splits its focus evenly enough that Mi-jeong and Gu’s relationship doesn’t feel overwhelming. This episode spares some time for Hyang-gi admitting she isn’t as happy as she seems and joining the Liberation Club, and there’s a slapstick quality to Chang-hee and Da-yeon’s misadventures.
In many shows, this would seem like poor tonal balance, but here it just feels right; there’s a sophistication to the script, pacing, and development that can’t be mentioned enough. Stuff like Je-ho’s displeasure at Chang-hee driving around in Gu’s car is meaty thematic subtext; the battle between personal pride and in-the-moment pleasure. Can’t one enjoy something that they technically haven’t earned? Or is the toil the entire point?
We’re not right on the cusp of the ending yet, but we’re definitely moving in that direction, and while all the characters have come a long way, it’s still difficult to predict where they might end up, especially with recent developments. However, it’ll probably be very enjoyable finding out.