‘Fifth Season’: An Honest View of LGBTQIA+ Couples’ Right

Follow the story of a lesbian couple as their relationship is tested by the realities of being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, from unsupportive parents to unequal rights.

(Image: GagaOOLala)

Originally released in 2018, the South Korean movie “The Fifth Season” is a 30-minute, heartfelt drama starring Lee Ga Kyung and Ha Seong Yeon, directed by Yang Kyung Hee, who is also behind popular BL series such as “Love Tractor” and “Kissable Lips”. It tells the story of Eun-Ha and Seo-Woo’s infatuation from adolescence to romantic love in adulthood and finally moving together. Their journey, however, takes a terrible turn when Seowoo has an accident and goes into a coma. Heads up, this is not going to be a tear-free ride!

 

The following includes movie spoilers; proceed with caution.

 

“Fifth Season” starts with Eun-ha trying to find a less populated place in the park to take a couple of photos with girlfriend SeoWoo as they get followed by their hired photographer and a friend. Getting frustrated that Eun-ha can’t seem to settle, SeoWoo attempts to reassure her that everyone around them is simply a stranger, but Eun-ha is still scared someone might recognize her. SeoWoo tells Eun-ha that it is she who wants to do this and walks out; Eun-ha follows her and apologizes. Bitter about the situation, SeoWoo says that Eun-ha’s action makes it look more like what they are doing is not right. The two stand awkwardly as the hired photographer captures the moment. Later, the photo is framed and given to Eun-ha as a gift by the photographer who supports the two.

The next scene shows an agitated Eun-ha running around the hospital, trying to look for SeoWoo, who got into an accident. Eun-ha finds a badly injured and unconscious SeoWoo in the emergency room about to be brought to the care unit, but the hospital staff did not allow Eun-ha to enter since she is not family. Nervous and still in shock, Eun-ha dials SeoWoo’s parents to let them know of the situation.

SeoWoo’s parents arrive at the hospital and find their daughter comatose, with Eun-ha staying with her. SeoWoo’s mother pushes Eun-ha away and sobs over her unconscious daughter while the father signals Eun-ha to come outside with him. Coldly, SeoWoo’s father orders Eun-ha to stop coming, as she is no help at all. He also commands her to pack up SeoWoo’s belongings at the couple’s shared apartment and put them on sale, as they will bring their daughter back home.

The next scene, a flashback, shows us Eun-ha hanging out with friends in a bar, waiting for the last member of the party to arrive, who appears to be SeoWoo, whom everyone admires. Smiling brightly, SeoWoo takes a seat as she gets introduced to Eun-ha, who looks startled and looks away when she notices SeoWoo staring at her. Later, SeoWoo joins Eun-ha outside the bar as the former takes a breather, commenting that the party does not feel great. Eun-ha smiles awkwardly in acknowledgment. SeoWoo hands Eun-ha a chocolate drink from her jacket and tells her it’s good for hangovers. The two are later seen walking away from the bar, grinning at each other as they hold hands.

Still in the flashback, as the two hang out, Eun-ha remembers a moment in their high school days when SeoWoo tried to kiss her. Surprised at the sudden affection, she moved away from SeoWoo. This time, Eun-ha initiated the kiss, and SeoWoo kissed her back. Eun-ha moves in with Seo-woo, and the two share a blissful home together as a couple.

Not everything is roses and butterflies, though. Because Eun-ha is not out with her coworkers, she is frequently asked to go out by the men, even though she has told them she is already dating someone. SeoWoo is introduced as a roommate to a drunk workmate that the two had to take home, and she bitterly asks Eun-ha what’s wrong with telling people about their relationship, to which the latter has no answer. As the two get ready to sleep, Eun-ha shares that she is afraid, and while it seems like a premonition, SeoWoo asks what will happen to them if one of them dies.

Back to the present, Eun-ha finds out that SeoWoo was transferred by her parents to a different room without informing her, and they were able to do so as they are considered legal guardians of the patient. SeoWoo’s parents stop her from staying and tell Eun-ha to take her things back as well.

Eun-ha starts packing their things at the apartment; she sees their photos together and reminisces about the happy memories of when they were taken. Mind made up, she takes the photos back to the hospital, including their favorite framed one. With Seowoo’s parents out for lunch, Eun-ha gets inside the room. She lays their photos on SeoWoo and holds her hand as she breaks down, asking how she can live through this nightmare of their situation. SeoWoo’s parents come back and see her; Eun-ha is reluctant to leave, but SeoWoo’s mother motions for her to come out of the room. Outside, SeoWoo’s mother complains to Eun-ha that her husband is irritated by her presence and that he bothers her every time she comes to visit. She advises Eun-ha to just wait and that she’ll call if anything happens, leaving the latter broken.

An image of SeoWoo kneeling in front of Eun-ha as she cries in one of the hospital’s waiting areas SeoWoo hugs her and tells her not to torture herself; Eun-ha hugs back as the two cry their hearts out. The film ends with Eun-ha caressing their favorite framed photograph together as she awaits.

 

Heart-wrenching film “The Fifth Season” is currently available to stream on GagaOOLala.

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