Nevertheless is a K-drama about two art students in university navigating the complicated, modern world of dating. This is a recap of episode seven, “I Know There’s No Turning Back.”
Warning! This post contains spoilers!
Please bear with me as we start these weekly recaps in the latter half of the season—I just binged-watched all the released episodes last week—and I’ve become so hooked, I had to do a write up. Before we dive into this week’s episode, let’s recap what’s happened so far:
Yu Na Bi (Han So Hee) and Park Jae Eon (Song Kang) clearly have the hots for each other, have been dating on the low (steamy sleepovers included), but due to failed past relationships and classic lack of communication we’re left with a very realistic look at dating in 2021. Na Bi is a sweet senior, independent and focused on her future, while Jae Eon is the brooding, tall, handsome underclassman notorious for his commitment issues.
So far this show has delivered on great moments that make you yell “YESSS!” at your screen. Let’s start with how Ms. Na Bi stands up for herself and puts her mental health first. She broke it off with her misogynistic ex and put Jae Eon in his place when she found out he was seeing other people. But we also have to give points to Jae Eon for staying by her side when she was sick, even sleeping on the floor next to her bed. That was cute, but it grinds my gears that guys can be so endearing, do the most boyfriend things ever, and still not commit.
Other season highlights include Na Bi getting her period during class and telling viewers in voiceover that it’s nothing for women to be ashamed of. Her face also broke out and she felt embarrassed to see her crush—we’ve all been there.
But the most pleasant surprise so far was when they had the STI talk. The on-screen situationship is relatable on so many levels, and I’m glad the showrunners have included the real ups, downs, and conversations that happen in modern dating.
Also, secondary characters Yoon Sol (Lee Ho-Jung) and Seo Ji-Wan (Yoon Seo-A) have the cutest bestie will-they, won’t-they relationship storyline ever.
With over halfway through the season, we’re still left wondering a number of things. What past trauma has made Jae Eon so emotionally damaged? We finally met his mother in episode six, and it seems like she wasn’t very present in his life, but gives him extravagant gifts (like a Maserati) to make up for things.
Why does his ex, Yeon Seol-A (Lee Yul-em), string him along to every hospital visit for her anemia? She even mentioned in the previous episode she broke up with her boyfriend, Chris, so hello, why wouldn’t you call him? Also, is the butterfly tattoo a symbol of Jae Eon and Seol-A’s relationship?
Episode Seven Recap
I really thought we’d start off this episode where we left off; Jae Eon finally realized his feelings after Na Bi left town, drove out to see her, and found Na Bi with her childhood crush, Yang Do Hyuk (Chae Jong Hyeop). If Jae Eon’s drive out of town isn’t a testament to the old ‘give him space, he’ll come crawling back’ trope then I don’t know what is. Tensions were hot as we saw Na Bi struggle to face her emotions and introduce them in the least awkward way possible. For context, Na Bi left town after bumping into Jae Eon’s jealous ex, Seol-A, on campus and was told they were getting back together.
The episode actually kicked off with secondary characters Oh Bit-Na (Yang Hye-ji) and Nam Gyu-hyun (Kim Min-gwi) trying to figure out their relationship. I’m convinced the lack of communication between crushes is the number one relationship killer. Why can’t we all just say how we feel?!
When our brooding protagonist finally graces the screen, he’s standing in his greenhouse, checking on his pet butterflies. The symbolism is strong with this one, especially considering Na Bi’s name translates to butterfly in Korean. He’s then driving on the freeway in his new Maserati and the scene cuts to Na Bi and Do Hyuk on a date, wandering through markets, and sharing fried sweets from vendors.
Jae Eon makes it to town, stops to ask for directions, and sees Na Bi on her date with Do Hyuk across the street—and here is where I notice they’re even dressed alike in jeans and white t-shirts. Couple culture is strong in South Korea so this is a huge indicator the two have gotten close. These are new developments since last episode, where we didn’t know Jae Eon had already spotted them once before the big cliffhanger.
We’re finally back to the scene and the tension is wild. The dramatic music, the long shots on their faces… the producers really know what they’re doing. The tension is cut abruptly when their friends suddenly show up and then invite Do Hyuk to the carnival with them. Seeing Jae Eon’s sad face makes me sad—sometimes his handsome looks makes me forget he’s playing the bad boy in the show!
Somehow everyone else leaves first and they tell Jae Eon to drive Na Bi. She sits in the back (girl?!) and lets him know her new man is coming along too. Do Hyuk can definitely tell something is up because the chemistry and intense looks between Na Bi and Jae Eon is sizzling through the screen. Then, not to make the completely silent car ride even more awkward, Jae Eon point blank says, “I heard you met Seol-A on campus. She said you were attractive.” GUY! Read the room!
This love triangle reminds me of Gilmore Girls with Rory caught between Jess and Dean. Jae Eon is definitely Jess—for reference I am team Jess/Jae Eon.
The crew is at the carnival, the majority coupled up, playing games, and winning prizes for one another. Do Hyuk also has his camera with him and has the lens focused on Na Bi, taking cute candid shots of her. As fate has it, somehow Na Bi and Jae Eon end up together on the ferris wheel. They sit in sad silence until Na Bi mentions how pretty the view is and Jae Eon leans forward looking straight at her and says, “Right, so pretty.” I CANNOT TAKE THE TENSION! I desperately want Na Bi to lean in and give him another chance, but remember he’s just a charming player and heartbreaker. Na Bi is clearly stronger than me against the playboy charms.
Next thing we know he’s kneeling in front of her on the ferris wheel admitting how sad he is she ignored his birthday. In the thought voiceover, Na Bi tells viewers how his familiar smells haunt her.
Fam, the intensity has me on the edge of my seat here! Jae Eon, you’re clearly in love with her—stop lying to yourself! Na Bi is a strong woman and not going to give in until you can admit your own feelings to yourself first! And your ex told her you’re back together, so Na Bi doesn’t know you’re actually single and pining for her. What did I tell you? Lack of communication is the number one relationship killer.
Sadly, we don’t see the end of the ride and the scene cuts back to the house where Do Hyuk’s cousin Yang Do-Yeon (Lee Hye Won) sets her eyes on Jae Eon. Uh oh. As they sit in the yard grilling and drinking, Na Bi can’t keep her eyes off Jae Eon and Do Hyuk can’t keep his eyes off Na Bi, noticing her longing looks towards the former.
Interestingly we finally get a sweet Ji-wan and Sol moment here where Ji-wan drunkenly admits to Sol she only wants Sol to like her and no boys. WE SHIP A SOLWIN END GAME SO HARD!
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Later during a drinking game, Do-Yeon asks Jae Eon who he wants to kiss and says Na Bi. Tensions rise as their friends keep teasing them. Eventually the group heads to the beach to watch fireworks, but Na Bi stays behind. Lo and behold, our favorite bad boy also decides to stay behind and approaches her sitting alone. He notices a cut on her arm (of course he does, he’s overly attentive because he loves her!) and helps mend it up. Meanwhile, Na Bi speaks her thoughts out loud again through voiceover, trying really hard to suppress her feelings.
Jae Eon refuses to give this chance up and looking intensely into her eyes, let’s her know how much he’s missed her and can’t stop thinking about her. Na Bi can’t refuse him even after he says he’ll stop if she wants and they finally kiss. The make out sesh gets interrupted by Do Hyuk calling Na Bi, but she doesn’t pick up. The episode ends with Jae Eon telling her if they continue he won’t be able to stop, leaving me wondering if that means he’s ready to pursue their relationship officially or not. Stay tuned for next week’s recap!
Catch new episodes of Nevertheless every Saturday on Netflix at 11 PM KST, 10 AM EST.
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Thumbnail courtesy of Netflix.