Twenty Again: Episode 8 Recap

TwentyAgain_08-32

If I had to pinpoint my favorite part about this episode, it’s that our usual hip-hop boy Soon Nam wears a suit. It’s amazing to see everyone around Nora change, while highlighting just how stupid Woo Chul can be. That man is easily manipulated by the women in his life. It’s a bit pathetic, but not enough to make me feel any sympathy for him.

Nora tears up the college drop-out form that Woo Chul gave to her. She is not quitting school and wants to go through with the divorce. Woo Chul reminds her that if they do divorce, he could easily take Min Soo away too. “Are you sure you can take Min Soo with you?” Nora asks confidently. “Is that woman prepared to accept Min Soo too?” Hah! It is out! She confronts Woo Chul about the affair, pointing out all the details that signify he was on a date to watch the Massa Maren show, and not with a fellow symposium member.

Woo Chul keeps making excuses until he realizes there are no more; his actions were damning enough. He never offered to help Nora carry the diaper bag when they were in Germany, and yet he carries a “fellow colleague’s” handbag when she goes to the bathroom? Hogwash. So he pretends that he started the relationship only two months ago, when they already separated and agreed to a divorce. Nora doesn’t care, and leaves him to board a bus. She has a part-time job to go to where she needs to earn enough money for tuition.

Meanwhile, Hyun Suk agonizes over what Nora and Woo Chul may be talking about, his curiosity overtaking any concern for his friend. Sang Ye is more worried that Woo Chul might be blaming Nora for his failed partnership with Hyun Suk, but he doesn’t care about that.

Woo Chul can’t figure out Nora’s deal – he thinks she’s plotting something behind his back (because only he, with his tendency to overthink, would think like that). He figures that Nora doesn’t know about Yi Jin, so when Nora returns that night after her shift at the convenience store, he proposes that they go back to their initial agreement of divorcing by June 2. He admits not being considerate to her need for extra time before leaving the house. If she were to break the promise, then she won’t have access to her grandmother’s store – which right now seems to be under Hyun Suk and Dong Chul’s ownership if we’re referring to the same store.

The following day, Hyun Suk approaches Nora first. She wants nothing to do with him and his rudeness, but he fishes for information about her “date” with her husband. Nora pretends everything is fine; she does have her pride so she isn’t going to admit about her divorce or Woo Chul’s affair. She makes the excuse that the part-time job is for her to gain experience and really live like a college student. Hyun Suk then adds that he won’t be working with Woo Chul on “You & Now,” just to see how she’d react. Instead, Nora asks, “You sent me the flowers didn’t you? It must have cost you a fortune.”

Hyun Suk: “Why would I send you roses?”

Nora: “I never said they were roses.” HA! She caught him in a lie too and then adds to his guilt by saying she lost a chance for a really good part-time job because he stole her phone.

The Bounce Club’s practice intensifies as the teams prepare for the upcoming festival. Nora helps bring cold water and snacks for the team, but can’t help herself from tapping her feet along with the music. Soon Nam suggests she join in, but Nora doesn’t want to get in the way. She compliments Soon Nam for his choreography, thinking that he might become a choreographer post-college. Sadly, Soon Nam will prepare to be a public servant since he knows being a choreographer makes very little money.

Suddenly, one of the female soloists, Kim Jung Eun, sprains her ankle during a move. The team rushes to her side and Soon Nam orders someone to get heat pads. Nora pushes her way in with a towel and cold water: it’s best to douse a sprain with a cold compress first. Her expertise on dance injuries shines forth as she cools down the ankle and then bandages it up tightly. Everyone’s quite impressed, and quite thankful that Nora knows so much.

Hyun Suk startles Yi Jin in the office with an unannounced visit to apologize about the project. It’s enough to make Yi Jin think that he might be interested in her. Ha, that poor naive girl. He is equally surprised to hear that Woo Chul didn’t give Yi Jin the script for “You & Now” to see, or told her that he was quitting being a consultant. Woo Chul never really got a chance to complain to her when he asked her out on a date to the gallery; he at least acknowledged that making Yi Jin feel valued as a woman was more important than him griping about work and Hyun Suk.

Sang Ye stops by at Dong Chul’s store to pick up an order of ddukbokki for Hyun Suk. Clearly she’s still in love with him, and Dong Chul reminds her of the one time she admitted it. Sang Ye insists that she really just respects Hyun Suk, but her inability to own up to her feelings may prove to be her downfall. Though Hyun Suk appreciates her gesture in buying him ddukbokki, he comes up with a brilliant idea to give it to Nora without her suspecting his motives.

Yeah right – though a great producer, Hyun Suk is the worst actor ever.

He finds Nora emerging from her literature class and sends her on an errand to “get rid of the ddukbokki.” It’s a waste of course, and Nora is confused as to why he’d want to have her throw it away. Does he possibly view her as a garbage can!? He doesn’t care what she makes of it, but warns her to eat it or she’ll regret it. What a confusing guy.

So Nora goes to her usual lunch spot and starts eating it. Immediately she recognizes it as her grandmother’s ddukbokki. She calls Hyun Suk to find out where he got it, but he belligerently doesn’t want to tell her. He also tells Sang Ye not to tell her. Urgh! So frustrating! But Hyun Suk has a bit of a possessiveness around Nora’s grandmother; back in the day, he used to hang out at the grandmother’s store every Sunday to listen to her stories about the rural countryside and have her ddukbokki. He was really attached to the grandmother and stayed with her while Nora was gone in Germany.

Nora barges into Hyun Suk’s office, demanding an answer to where he got her grandmother’s dish. He suggests she search throughout Seoul for it. It’s quite unreasonable for Nora, and torturous, since she really missed her grandmother’s cooking and it was on her bucket list to try it again. Hyun Suk replies, “Do you even have a right to miss it when you missed your own grandmother’s funeral?” Ouch, and with that he leaves.

A little confused, Nora goes to Yoon Young for answers. It turns out when her grandmother died, Hyun Suk stayed the entire three days for the funeral. Even Yoon Young, who was tasked to take care of it with Dong Chul, couldn’t attend all three days. Nora feels terrible, and now understands why Hyun Suk holds such a deep grudge against her. He thinks she abandoned her grandmother after she got married, but it seems like that’s not the full story. It’s possible she couldn’t leave Germany because Woo Chul didn’t let her, though that’s just my speculation.

The following day, Min Soo goes to meet his girlfriend by the benches, only to see another student hand her an energy drink as a way to hit on her. He immediately gets jealous, and Hye Mi sees him before she gets a chance to explain to her suitor that she already has a boyfriend. It’s a bit of a problem these days because she’s quite an attractive girl, but can’t do obviously-couple-things with Min Soo on campus.

Just then, Woo Chul calls his son to have lunch, so he’s forced to leave Hye Mi alone again. Woo Chul informs his son that he can’t convince Nora to quit school, so it’s his turn now to try. Min Soo: “Well… I’m okay with it.” Haha! Yes! Woo Chul is taken aback – since when did Min Soo change his mind?! We know that it’s ever since Nora found out about Hye Mi but didn’t snitch on him, but Woo Chul never finds out because he’s called away with an urgent text from Yi Jin. When she texts about Kopi Luwak, it’s serious.

At their private apartment, Yi Jin confronts Woo Chul about the play and why he’s no longer a consultant. Woo Chul feels like he no longer has anything to consult upon because it’s a totally made-up situation in the script. (Personally, I don’t think that makes sense. Just because it’s made up doesn’t mean it has a psychological foundation and depicts how humans think.) Yi Jin presses him to get back on the project; Woo Chul has nothing to show for himself in front of her father to make it seem like he’s a suitable match for her, so having his name attached to a high profile project is the only way to make him look good. Woo Chul is a bit hurt that she said he’s lacking in many ways, but Yi Jin smoothes it over: she doesn’t care, but her father does.

Woo Chul has no choice but to try to make peace with Hyun Suk. He is seriously losing control of his life, but it’s funny how he thinks Yi Jin is still better than Nora, who doesn’t have a family to judge him. So the only way he can regain some dignity is to revise the project proposal; he changes the sub-title from “Woocheon University Global Project” to “Seongsam Group National Healing Project” – perhaps giving the attribution to another group, or he plans to give the proposal to someone else. After all, Woo Chul doesn’t want to work with someone who makes him feel so unwelcome.

Min Soo goes clubbing with Hye Mi that night, as he sort of got a blanket permission from his mother and he wants to learn how to dance better. Hye Mi asks about his relationships with his parents, as he seems afraid of his father all the time. Min Soo admits that Woo Chul was a no-nonsense father who took care of his studies and tutoring, and never wasted time on unnecessary things. That’s why he respects and also fears his father. His mother on the other hand used to be frustrating, but he admits that she has changed quite a bit recently. I hope this means he’s going to be more accepting of her situation in life.

At home, Nora checks off things from her bucket list, realizing that Hyun Suk has played a role in fulfilling every single one of her wishes. Instead of being suspicious of how he knew about it (and I’m sure she figured out how he knew), she finds herself feeling very grateful. So when she sees him the next day walking down his usual path, she yells from one of the open skyways between campus buildings, “Hey Cha Hyun Suk, thank you for taking me to a midnight showing of a movie!” She starts listing out every single thing he’s done, which would be quite embarrassing if more people were passing by. She acknowledges why he must hate her, but thanks him for everything he’s done. From now on she will only treat him like a professor, not a friend.

It befuddles Hyun Suk as to why she’s not more irritated with him, as if he wanted her to be irritated with him. He can’t believe she’s so calm about everything, even with her husband cheating on her, that he insulted her because he thought her weak. But in reality, he is in “debt” to her for predicting that he’ll be the best producer in Korea and believing in him. Now he feels guilty. We’re back in the “love” part of the love-hate relationship cycle!

That evening, as Nora picks up the new supplies for the convenience store, Hyun Suk intercepts a carton and brings it all the way to the storage area. He introduces himself as Nora’s friend and tells the manager that she’ll be quitting as of today! Nora drags him outside to talk – just what does he think he’s doing?! Hyun Suk offers her a part-time job at his office again, except this time he’ll pay her. What?! He attributes it to his guilt for making her lose another job offer, and thinks it’s unreasonable that Nora would never want to see him again just because they fought.

Nora is seriously confused, but she asks if he really needs her. Not out of sympathy or pity, but really needs her to help him finish the project. Hyun Suk does, and he doesn’t want to rehash why he’s suddenly okay with her again because he’s too embarrassed to say that he’s just an overdramatic fellow. So Nora and Hyun Suk shake hands on it – she will be his part-time employee!

Nora’s manager worries that she’ll quit just when she started, but Nora assures him she’ll work both jobs. She needs the money!

Sang Ye isn’t too pleased to hear that Hyun Suk offered Nora a job without consulting her, and feels really awkward at the idea of ordering someone who is older than her around. But I bet she also doesn’t like the fact that a potential rival could be coming into the workplace. Hyun Suk asks for this one-time favor though, to accept Nora as a part-timer, and Sang Ye can’t say no to him.

Meanwhile Seung Hyun is having her own problems with her part-time job. While meeting with Nora for their theater project, she tells her about how she sprained her wrist working at the bar and had to quit. The bar manager then took 76,500 won from her paycheck too. Nora is outraged at the injustice, but Seung Hyun feels like she can’t get the money back because the bar manager is known for cheating his student employees of their money by changing their hours in the log book.

When Soon Nam arrives five minutes late for their group project meeting, Nora’s already got an idea to help her friend. First, Soon Nam needs to wear his best suit. Next, she goes to Hyun Suk to borrow his car and assures him she’s a good driver and will bring it back in mint condition. In reality, she has Soon Nam drive the car while she sits in the backseat with Seung Hyun!

Woo Chul happens to be driving to the studio while Nora and her friends leave, and he assumes that Hyun Suk has another woman. He’s making an unannounced visit to convince Hyun Suk to take him back on the project; it’s mainly because the school wants him to consult that he will agree to consult on the project the best way he can. So fine, Hyun Suk doesn’t care if he wants to rejoin the project – as long as Woo Chul no longer makes unannounced visits like this.

Soon Nam drives the girls up to the bar. It’s technically closed but the staff is already getting ready for open. Nora waltzes in, wearing a shimmery black dress and big shades, acting like she owns the place. When a waitress says they’re not open yet, Nora replies, “Even if you were open, do you think I’d come to a place like this to drink? Driver Na, go find the owner.” BAM! If only Hyun Suk could see her now!

The manager comes up to her and asks what he can do to help. Nora orders Soon Nam to check on the status of the lawyer and reporter she hired, then insists that the bar manager pay Seung Hyun the 76,500 won he owes her. If he doesn’t, she will show his log book to the reporter and lawyer, who, according to Soon Nam, are on their way. The manager tries to brush it off as a calculation error, but Nora cuts him off: “Do you steal money from young students, and then raise your kids with that money?”

Next thing we know, Nora is leaving the bar with her crew, with Seung Hyun clutching her money tightly. When they’re a safe distance away, they all start high fiving and cheering! Soon Nam and Seung Hyun are quite impressed with her acting, and Nora admits that she watched a lot of TV dramas in her day, so she learned a trick or two from them on how to get revenge. Seung Hyun thanks her profusely, offering to treat her in the future, and then she and Soon Nam head back to school while Nora returns the car.

But before he leaves, Soon Nam turns back to Nora: “Noona! Nora noona! See you at school!” Aww… it just melts my heart!

School continues, and exams pass by. Next thing we know, it’s the time of the festival! There are food stalls and games all in place for the students to enjoy. Min Soo and Hye Mi sign up for a couples’ competition as a way to show to more students that they’re a couple, and people should stop hitting on them! Min Soo thinks it’ll be okay since he doesn’t think his parents will show up. Little does he realize, Nora is floating around helping her club set up, and Woo Chul walks around the festival grounds with Yi Jin and other professors!

Min Soo and Hye Mi pass the first couples’ challenge of eating one churro stick and trying to make it as small as possible without kissing. The second one is popping the balloons in between their bodies, requiring them to hug each other. Min Soo and Hye Mi are ahead of the other couple, but he gets distracted when he sees his father in the distance, and they lose. (They’re second place though, and get matching backpacks instead.) Min Soo quickly spins Hye Mi out as if they’re doing a dance to hide their faces from Woo Chul. Awkward…

Once the set up is done, Nora walks around the festival grounds and sees Seung Hyun’s cooking club trying to prepare a few dishes. However the guys in the club didn’t read the recipe properly, and Nora jumps in behind the booth to help them fry some food and make egg rolls. Hyun Suk, Sang Ye, and their little production crew pass by, and Seung Hyun immediately jumps in front of them, begging them to be their first customer. Well, since Nora is cooking – why not?

They stay till quite late, in the early evening. Nora continues to cook while Bouce club goes through one more round of practice. Suddenly Kim Jung Eun falls, and Soon Nam sees that she tried to go onstage even with a swollen ankle. He runs to Seung Hyun’s booth and pulls Nora out: he needs her to go onstage! Nora quickly rejects the idea, even though she is the only one who memorized Jung Eun’s routine. Nora doesn’t want to go onstage because she’s too scared to, and she doesn’t feel she has a place there.

Hyun Suk overhears the entire conversation and pushes Nora to do it. It was on her bucket list to perform onstage just once, so why won’t she do it now? Nora’s not ready for it, so Hyun Suk tells her to dance for him. He’s never seen her dance on the public stage; he never saw that beach concert he choreographed while in high school because his father had suddenly fainted. Nora still has doubts, but he guides her right back to the backstage tent.

Guess what – Min Soo and Hye Mi are on their way to watch the concert, as Min Soo is very interested in hip-hop now. And Woo Chul, Yi Jin, and the other committee directors stand in the back to observe the performance because they’re curious!

The performance starts, and Nora is in the back. She manages to be in sync with the rest of them, and finally the rest of the crew drops on the floor surrounding Nora. She gestures the crowd to come closer, and slowly goes towards the front. Hye Mi: “Oh… that’s the older student in my department major!” Min Soo: *stares unbelievingly that his mom is onstage*

Yi Jin: “This is so cool! Wait a minute – that’s the older student in my class!” Woo Chul: *Jaw, meet floor.* I don’t think he’s seen his wife in this light in over 20 years, not since he first fell in love with her on the stage at that beach concert.

And Hyun Suk smiles as he sees Nora perform for the very first time. He’s in loooooooove.

Some Thoughts

I’m a tad disappointed with the final performance. I love that it’s Nora’s coming-out-of-her-shell moment, and that she even gets to toss her cap back to reveal her face. However, I kind of hoped that Choi Ji Woo would dance a little more instead of some awkward shots of her popping up and then down. There’s a lot of well-placed lighting and smoke too that would shield the actress from doing a lot of moves. But… the dancing was never the drama’s forte, as not a lot of dances were very impressive in any of the episodes.

In any case – this was such a victory for Nora. She really got to fulfill her bucket list, and each and every single one of it is because of Hyun Suk, even though he constantly flip-flops between caring for her and not caring for her. Hopefully now he’s firmly in the “love” part of the relationship, because he’s definitely in awe in seeing her onstage.

Woo Chul comes off more pathetic in this episode than in the past because it’s really clear how he’s being manipulated by his mistress. He’s pushed to doing the psychological consulting for the play because Yi Jin thinks her father will never accept him otherwise. It’s kind of sad that he thinks Yi Jin is the better wife; I can see superficially that she is because she’s from a more powerful family, but at the same time a powerful family doesn’t make life any easier. Because he doesn’t have much control over his career at WCU, it seems he tries to also control more of what happens at home. And it’s great to see that Nora and Min Soo are spiraling out of his control: Nora unpredictably wants to go through with the divorce, and Min Soo suddenly doesn’t care that his mom is attending the same college as him.

I’m glad Min Soo now sees his mother in a different light at this festival. Maybe he’ll join Bounce and learn how to dance with her, and appreciate that his mother is also a human with her own skills and smarts rather than a woman constantly controlled by her husband.

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4 thoughts on “Twenty Again: Episode 8 Recap

    • BWAHAHA! Sorry – fixed! It was bound to happen… I’d write paragraphs saying Woo Jin before realizing I had to change it to Hyun Suk. I think I still think Lee Sang Yoon is his character from ‘Liar Game’…

  1. @Kaede Jun .. hahhahah.. tat’s ok. I do also feel that Ha Woo JIn was such a phenomenal character that it is hard to peel it away from Lee Sang Yoon.
    Aaaand.. I also agree with what you said about Choi Ji Woo’s awkward dance. But maybe the crew didn’t have much time to truly train her do some actual dance move, so they settled with random cuts of her ‘dancing’.
    Stiill.. I loved the music and wish there’s actual song that I can download.

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