Twenty Again: Episode 11 Recap

TwentyAgain_11-27

There’s only one thing that frustrated me in this episode: there weren’t enough cute scenes. We have most definitely reached the “drama” of the series where things are moving a little more slowly. Feelings are felt, truths are realized… draaamaaaa. 

Woo Chul just got served! With divorce papers. He’s confused – if she’s so willing to divorce now, why did she request for the extension of three months? Nora admits that she needed time to get on her own two feet, to prepare living on her own. She had seen him with her own eyes with another woman, and yet has not been curious as to who the woman is or how his new romance is going. She just felt sad about her life and how she led it. Since they no longer act like a married couple and she’s come to terms with her future, they might as well get the divorce done now.

Woo Chul is stunned – since when did Nora become so eloquent? Seriously, it’s sad how he has never realized this of his wife before. He wonders if she’s suddenly like this because Min Soo is okay with their divorce.

Flashback to the night before, when Nora is explaining to her son about her divorce. She asks Min Soo how much longer he needs his parents to be together. If he no longer needs his parents because he’s now old enough, then she would like his blessing to live out her life as a proper adult. Min Soo smiles, because he now admires his mom for trying to stand on her own two feet. Plus, she was freaking awesome onstage.

So Nora knows that Min Soo will understand if they get a divorce. Woo Chul need not delay it any longer, since he’s been wanting this divorce since Min Soo was in high school. But suddenly Woo Chul says he can’t – he can’t go to court today! He has another engagement, and they can maybe go tomorrow… if he finds time in his schedule. Pushing their chat to that night, he quickly makes his exit.

Nora receives a call from Yoon Young, who’s heading to the school to meet her. As both she and Woo Chul emerge from the cafe, Hyun Suk happens to pass by in his car. He initially thinks things are going well since they seemed to have a meal together but is confused as to why Woo Chul isn’t driving Nora to school. He picks her up, so she doesn’t have to take the bus, and immediately Woo Chul gets suspicious over why they’re so close. Hyun Suk assumes that things are going well between Nora and her husband, so she jokes that he oughta marry too!

Yoon Young is surprised to see Hyun Suk escorting Nora to school, but he makes his quick exit since he’s got class to teach. Nora tells her best friend that she finally was ready to finalize the divorce, and that she realized why she truly never told Woo Chul about her terminal cancer: she was afraid that even if she told him, he wouldn’t care. Realizing that the love has been lost between them, it would have been better just to move on and experience the life she had lost. And thanks to Hyun Suk lately, she’s been able to do just that.

Yi Jin receives a surprise bouquet from “someone special” in front of her class, which elicits a bunch of “OOOOOHs!” because we’re all still stuck in second grade mentally. Unfortunately the card is missing because the delivery guy bumped into Min Soo on the way to the classroom, and no one noticed that the card fell out. At least it wasn’t signed, but we know it’s from Woo Chul. Smart move on his part to send her a bouquet apologizing for making a mistake (assuming that the mistake has to do with the “You and Now” project), especially since she’s been jealous of Nora’s huge rose bouquet.

Unfortunately, without a card, Yi Jin assumes the bouquet is from Hyun Suk!

Hyun Suk is already at the office, and Sang Ye hands him Nora’s pay. She thinks it’s awkward if she gives someone older money, so it’s best if it comes from Hyun Suk. He sees that it’s older bills, so he goes to the bank to exchange it for fresh currency. Aw… On his way back, he sees Nora buying apples. Just then, Yi Jin also passes by in her car as she wants to talk to Hyun Suk, but before she can get his attention he calls out to Nora. Nora’s left her wallet at the grocery storefront! The two of them talk good-naturedly without any honorifics, and walk together back to Hyun Suk’s office.

Yi Jin is left confused, sitting in her car. What’s going on with their relationship that they speak so informally to each other? Suddenly she remembers Hyun Suk mentioning that he’s friends with Woo Chul’s wife. Could it be?!

As they’re walking back to the office, Hyun Suk asks why Nora bought apples. Nora just has something to apologize for, since “sa-gwa” means both apple and to apologize. Hyun Suk rolls his eyes – they’re not in high school anymore. Speaking of high school, Nora wonders why he left for Russia for college rather than going to National University of the Arts as they had discussed. Obviously it’s because Nora had moved to Germany by then so there was no reason for him to stick around in Korea for college – but he’s not going to tell her that.

They get to the office, and Nora gives Sang Ye the apples to apologize for borrowing her clothes. The two want to sit down for a snack, but Hyun Suk calls them to order – work first, food later. Sang Ye remembers back to an earlier conversation she had with Hyun Suk. Cue another flashback!

It turns out Sang Ye had overheard Hyun Suk’s argument with Woo Chul about why he took Yi Jin in his car back to Seoul. Sang Ye is aghast and ashamed that she sent Nora to the very place where Woo Chul and his mistress were at, but Hyun Suk tells her it’s fine. At the end of the day, he was able to get over his lingering feelings for her and Woo Chul and Nora have seemingly made up. All that’s left is for Yi Jin to give up on the relationship.

That night, Nora finishes up her work by handing over to Hyun Suk and Sang Ye the list of actors that made it through the second round. Sang Ye heads out first for a meeting, and then Hyun Suk sends Nora home with her pay. He’s sending her home not because it’s late, but because he needs quiet time for himself. Oookay.

When Nora gets home, Woo Chul is waiting for her to talk. He doesn’t want to do the divorce yet — not even tomorrow! His reasoning is that since they have the three-month contract there is no need to rush it. Nora doesn’t get it, especially since he’s been pushing for this divorce for so long. She even tears up the three-month extension contract so it is no longer valid. But Woo Chul claims that he has a staff meeting at the end of July where he’s going to have to submit family information, and a divorce would be bad for his image. On top of that he needs to settle things with Min Soo, since his son won’t look him in the eye. Nora is willing to hold off the divorce for Min Soo’s sake. Looks like Woo Chul’s priority really isn’t to marry Yi Jin.

Nora sees her son return home and excitedly shares her first pay from Hyun Suk with him, giving it to him as allowance. She’s never been able to give him an allowance, so it delights her greatly that she now can. And Min Soo is very grateful for it.

The following day, Yi Jin has someone get a copy of Woo Chul’s family register for her. She is shocked to see that Ha Nora is listed as the wife – is it the same one she knows!? She confronts Woo Chul and he has no choice but to admit it’s true. And yes, even Hyun Suk knew about his wife, but he doesn’t know who the mistress is – at least, that’s what Woo Chul believes. On top of this, Woo Chul’s position is in flux because of the competing projects between WCU’s “You & Now” and his project proposal to Seongsam Group.

Woo Chul extracts himself from this awkward situation by saying he’s got a class to get to, leaving Yi Jin to deal with the fact that she’s in a really awkward love square.

At school, Hye Mi is trying to be a supportive girlfriend in joining Min Soo at the library, but she quickly tired of the silence. She texts him, saying she wants to go shopping with her friend since it’s such nice weather. Min Soo decides to join too, as he wants to enjoy time with his girlfriend… And he doesn’t exactly trust her. Heh. As they leave the library, he spots his mom working at one of the computers. He tells Hye Mi he will meet her outside, because “he forgot his book”, and then goes over to check in on his mom. She’s having trouble figuring out how to make her PowerPoint presentation look nice like her classmates’. Min Soo jumps in and shows her how to change the backgrounds, and Nora replies with a wink, “Thanks, fellow student.”

Instead of shopping, Hye Mi and Min Soo spend some time in the park drinking beer on a blanket. It makes him feel like he’s an adult, and yet he acknowledges that he’s not quite an adult. Cue another flashback to a conversation he had with his father, where he told his father outright that he thinks it’s unfair for Woo Chul to divorce Nora just because she ended up being a young mother. It wasn’t entirely her fault, you know. Woo Chul defends himself by saying he took responsibility of her til the end, but then brushes it all aside with the blanket excuse: “You don’t understand. You’re an adult but you’re not a grown-up yet.”

Nora leaves the library with her newly printed PowerPoint slides, but she drops them while checking her phone. Woo Chul happens to pass by and picks up the papers for her. Guess who’s also passing by? Yep – Yi Jin. The mistress watches the husband give the papers back to the wife, and then tuck it into a textbook for her so that she won’t lose them again. And then the wife says goodbye, as if they don’t know each other, and the husband continues to watch her retreating figure. Wonder what’s going through the mistress’s head now?!

Yi Jin decides to follow Nora, curious as to why she is acting so coldly to Woo Chul. Nora isn’t an idiot though, and senses someone following her. She sees Yi Jin’s reflection off a safety mirror on the sidewalk and wonders why her professor is acting so weird. They both end up at a bathroom, and at this point Yi Jin can’t hide from Nora any longer. She wants to ask a question – probably a personal one – but before she can ask it, she gets a call from her “Cousin” – code name for Woo Chul. Welp.

Nora then gets a call from Sang Ye for help. They need her to organize all the stage designs and then shred a few papers. As she starts fixing things, she notices other papers and mess around the house. She sees a throw pillow with a stain on it and puts it in a laundry basket – but then sees more pieces of clothing hanging about the office. After all, the place is also Hyun Suk’s home, and while he does keep a clean place he still has old clothes hanging on the railings. Nora goes up to his room to pick up after him, not noticing his little treasure box of his mix tape for her or the fact that he just got back.

They bump into each other and Nora falls backwards, screaming, “Grandma (save me)!” Hyun Suk grabs her before she could fall, and pulls her so strongly that she falls against him. DUN DUN. DUN DUN. Their faces inches from each other, her arm over his shoulder, one cannot deny the tension between them. But once they get their bearings, Hyun Suk scolds her for acting like a maid (picking up the laundry) and for coming up to his private room. In reality though, both of their hearts are beating so fast from the proximity.

Hyun Suk dismisses her from the office because he has a few calls he wants to make, and Nora gets a frantic call from Seung Hyun. Someone tried to get into her apartment! Nora goes all the way to wear Seung Hyun lives, which is a basement room with pathetic, old steel bars covering the window. Someone’s bent the bars open, so Seung Hyun is too scared to go in by herself. With no relatives in Seoul, she turned to Nora for help, and Nora grabs a few stray wooden sticks to arm themselves.

There’s no one inside, but now they have to fix the bars. Nora doesn’t want Seung Hyun to call Hyun Suk, even though he had told Seung Hyun to call him if she ever needed help, because she thought he was kind of mean before. They call up Soon Nam for help instead, but he can’t fix it because one of the bars is actually nearly sawed off. Since they can’t stay at Seung Hyun’s for the night, and neither Soon Nam and Nora can put her up in their place, they all decide to go to the sauna!

Nora texts Min Soo that she won’t be coming home for the night because she’s staying with her friend, which makes him smile. But she doesn’t bother telling Woo Chul – even though he’s the one actually worrying over where she is right now. He starts pacing back and forth outside the apartment building, mistaking another student for his wife at one point. Nervous as to where Nora went, he mistakenly assumes that she’s having a romantic evening with Hyun Suk.

Next thing we know, he’s barreling down Hyun Suk’s door, insisting to know where Nora is. She’s not there though, and Hyun Suk honestly gets worried and calls up Yoon Young if she knows. It’s enough for Woo Chul to know that Nora’s not with his sworn enemy, so he goes back home, somewhat at peace. Min Soo mistakes him for his mom when he comes through the front door, and Woo Chul is all, “You know where your mom is!? Why didn’t she tell me?”

Min Soo: “Since when did you care where mom is?”

Nora, Soon Nam, and Seung Hyun hang out at the sauna, talking about their futures. Soon Nam can only wish there is a huge corporation that would hire him as a dancer, while Seung Hyun hasn’t figured out her life yet. They both envy Nora because they think she doesn’t need to think about a career, but she does. Nora just hasn’t figured out what she needs to do yet.

Seung Hyun gets a call from Hyun Suk; he had the brilliant idea to check in with Nora’s college friends (of whom Woo Chul wouldn’t know about) to see if they know where she could be. And of course Seung Hyun does! So imagine Nora’s shock when she sees Hyun Suk there, in the sauna!

Hyun Suk relieves Soon Nam of his gentlemanly duty to stay with the women and pretends that he was looking for Nora because she forgot to send him a file. Which, of course, she did send.

Seung Hyun chases after Soon Nam to give him his locker key, and that’s when Hyun Suk pushes Nora to go back home. There’s no reason for a housewife to stay out so late! But Nora says it’s none of his business whether she tells her family where she is, and she doesn’t trust him to stay at the sauna with a pretty girl like Seung Hyun! So when Seung Hyun returns she immediately lies down and tells everyone to go to sleep.

Nora and Seung Hyun fall asleep next to each other, and that’s when Hyun Suk gets a good look at Nora’s sleeping face. He’s totally in love. He lays beside Seung Hyun, watching Nora until he too falls asleep.

In the middle of the night, Seung Hyun gets up to go to the bathroom. Still asleep, Nora steals Seung Hyun’s headrest and inches closer to Hyun Suk. She grabs Seung Hyun’s towel from underneath her body, and then slowly opens her eyes.

She’s inches from Hyun Suk’s face. Cue pounding hearts.

Some Thoughts

It’s interesting that they bring on the romance in this episode. While we’ve always known Hyun Suk’s feelings, we’ve never been truly aware of Nora’s feelings. It was inevitable that she was to fall in love with him, but for some reason I held out hope that she wouldn’t fall in love with Hyun Suk until the 15th or 16th episode. I had hoped that she would become a woman who was self-sufficient and independent to the end, and would only realize once she’s been completely free of Woo Chul that she loves Hyun Suk. In a way, you could say that seeing her have feelings for Hyun Suk at episode 11 is kind of early for me. I know she knows she no longer loves Woo Chul, but I still wanted her to be a completely independent single woman. In any case, this is a romantic comedy and the romance between the OTP needs to be settled by the end of the series.

This episode had a lot of flashbacks to conversations that we never knew were happening at the current timeline. While it’s not a new thing coming from So Hyun Kyung (as she did this numerous times with Two Weeks) it felt like it was cheating a little bit. Revelations were made when it was convenient to reveal them, and yet they weren’t huge “bombs” that totally changed the story line. So it made me wonder, why couldn’t they just do it in chronological order? If we had known the conversations with Min Soo in chronological order as it had happened, it wouldn’t have changed the story at all. Sang Ye’s flashback also felt oddly placed based on when it was revealed. We could have found out earlier when she overheard about Woo Chul’s affair, and it wouldn’t have changed anything. I hope there are less of these surprising flashbacks because they only work in thrillers to provide a sudden twist; they have no place in a straight-up romantic comedy.

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