'When the Weather is Fine': With just one episode left, is the breakup the end for Eun-seop and Hae-won?
In the penultimate episode of 'When the Weather is Fine' Hae-won (Park Min-young) and Eun-seop (Kang Seo-joon) find themselves torn apart because of circumstances that were not in either of their control. The episode packs an emotional punch with Hae-won and her aunt Myeong-yu finally speaking about the incident many years ago which resulted in Hae-won's father's death and the resulting turmoil in the family.
While we saw how angry Hae-won was with her mother Myeong-ju for hiding the truth from her, after spending some time with Eun-seop to calm down, Hae-won comes to the conclusion that it is time for her to talk to her aunt. After all, she had only read the manuscript that her aunt had passed to Eun-seop, so Hae-won has no idea what her aunt is thinking. The one burning question that Hae-won wants to be answered is why her aunt is confessing to murdering her father after all these years. Until this moment, even Hae-won had believed that it was her mother who had killed her father, because of domestic abuse.
During a vulnerable moment, Hae-won confesses to Eun-seop that she is unable to see people for who they really are after being betrayed by her own family members. Hae-won is unable to understand why they would keep secrets only from her and it takes her time to understand that what they did was something that they thought was in Hae-won's best interest.
Just as she contemplates everything that her aunt tells her about the incident, and her intentions to turn herself in over a drink, Hae-won passes out. She is taken to Bo-yeong's house, after the latter finds her at the soju bar. So the next morning when Hae-won wakes up with a hangover and rain pounding on the roof, Hae-won learns another lesson from someone who used to be a friend. It is a moment of enlightenment for Hae-won who until then had believed that relationships had to be flawless for them to be cherished. One of the reasons why she is unable to strike a friendship with Bo-yeong even after the latter apologized was because Hae-won believed that the relationship couldn't be fixed.
Bo-yeong, on the other hand, explains to Hae-won that there is no relationship that is perfect because there is no one person who is perfect. The flaws of people will be reflected in their relationship and to refuse to being in a relationship because of flaws is like refusing to eat at a table just because there are some scratches. There is a fine balance between understanding human flaws and discounting certain mistakes and enabling abusive relationship and the show smoothly draws a line between the two by presenting a parallel conversation between sisters Myeong-yu and Myeong-ju about how to live with the guilt of having killed someone.
In an emotionally charged scene, Myeong-yu tells her sister that she cannot hold on anymore because she believes that she should be punished for her action. She adds that she has been having nightmares where her brother-in-law appears every day and in response her sister asks in a sarcastic tone, "Does he blame you for killing him?" This is a dark and morbid reference to all the times that he had abused Myeong-ju. However, Myeong-yu tells her that in the nightmares, he had always been nice to her. This is exactly what aggravates the guilt that Myeong-yu feels and is a reflection of how women or men in abusive relationships hesitate when it comes to calling out their partner on the abuse that is being inflicted. The good times are used to excuse the abuse.
The flaws in the relationship between Myeong-ju and her husband is not something that can be excused and the conversation about being in such relationships are more complex, indeed, but the show uses Myeong-yu to explain a tiny percentage about why such flawed relationships exist even today despite abuse playing a huge part.
Hae-won comes to a conclusion after her conversation with Bo-yeong and decides to partly forgive her aunt for lying to her. However, she says that she won't be able to look in her aunt's eye ever again the same way if she doesn't gain some distance and perspective for which she has to leave Hyecheon. She also tells Eun-seop about this and leaves him heartbroken. He had expected her to leave since the beginning, and yet, Hae-won manages to break his heart. He doesn't blame her for deciding to do what's right for her and instead concentrates on gaining his footing back while Hae-won returns to Seoul. Is this really the end for this beautiful love story? If it is, then this is the kind of acceptance that one can dream of having in a relationship. If it isn't, then we cannot wait to see what life has in store for them.
New episodes of 'When the Weather is Fine' will air on Mondays and Tuesdays on JTBC.