This recap of My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 15 contains spoilers.
It’s all about change really, isn’t it? Everyone and everything changes, inevitably, but as it has progressed, My Liberation Notes has become about the speed and suddenness of meaningful change, and how challenging it can be to adapt to. When you think about it, this is smart, especially since it began by being about characters who were living the same mundane day-to-day and couldn’t find a way out.
My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 15 recap
Relationships have changed. Time has passed. And in its passing, people have changed. This we see embodied by Gu and Mi-jeong, who reunited in the previous episode after a considerable amount of time, at least if you judge it in terms of how much altered within the period, and the idea is reiterated almost immediately when Gu leaves to handle a matter and returns 90 minutes later more different still.
Mi-jeong’s coping mechanism, while we’re on the subject, is trying to find five minutes of joy a day in the hopes that it’ll add up over time. I see this as another version of the change theme, honestly – a way to snatch and preserve moments, and to accumulate as many worth remembering as possible. What is life other than a multitude of moments?
Gu’s sudden reappearance has the advantage of being both unexpected but ideally timed since it prevented Mi-jeong from hitting rock bottom in regard to her ex and the money he owes her. When they sleep together in the place where Gu has been living, it’s like she’s entering the chilly, booze-soaked depths of his self-loathing and beginning to defrost him.
Another theme: Age. This is related to change too. But it’s explored through the prism of Gi-jeong, who accidentally disrespects her elders and is reminded by them that being 50, or even 60 or 70 or 80, isn’t being dead. Getting closer to death doesn’t inoculate you against life. The problems, anxieties, and fears are still there, perhaps even more so. All the discipline and order in the world can’t really stave off these things, as Chang-hee learns when it becomes clear that Hyeon-a requires a certain amount of toxicity to get by. Like Gu’s car which he found so profound and meaningful, certain things only run on poison.
And the theme of change is reflected in Gu being instructed to kick the drinking, turning to Mi-jeong as a sounding board so that he shake that habit, or at least the state of mind that cultivated it, and in Gi-jeong cutting her hair, which is always a symbolic gesture of some kind, usually of personal reinvention. Ahead of the finale, this puts our familiar characters in somewhat new spaces and scenarios, making the outcome pleasantly difficult to determine.
You can stream My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 15 exclusively on Netflix.