20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 23-24
We finally get a glimpse into what makes Anthony tick, and what he’s really thinking about Jin-jin and Ji-won. He’s been a hard nut to crack, but this episode tells us a lot about who Anthony is and what’s really important to him. As trouble looms closer and closer, threatening those he loves, Anthony makes a decision that could change everything.
EPISODE 23: “I love you, I’m sorry, thank you”
Worried when Anthony sounds sick over the phone, Ji-won rushes to his apartment to check on him. He finds Anthony laid up in bed, only partially conscious and thinking back to all the times he’s seen Jin-jin and Ji-won acting comfortable together. But Anthony rouses enough to find Ji-won’s concern amusing, and he weakly asks why he’s here.
It reminds Ji-won of the time he found his fiancee with another man, and he’d tried to drink away the pain. Anthony had traveled all the way to Hong Kong to stop Ji-won from drinking himself to death, even though it meant missing his drama shoot.
Seeing his brother, Ji-won had heaved a big sigh and said that he was okay now that Anthony was there. Looking like his heart was breaking as much as Ji-won’s, Anthony had told him that he’d feel better after suffering as much as he wanted, and that next time he’d pray it wouldn’t hurt so much. Ji-won had broken down sobbing.
Now Ji-won spends the night by Anthony’s side, having run to help him like Anthony once did for him. But he thinks to himself that he can’t tell Anthony to suffer as much as he needs to, because he’s the one who caused the suffering.
In the morning, they share Jin-jin’s mother’s soup for breakfast, and Anthony is feeling much better. Anthony tells Ji-won where he got the food, and how it had originally been meant for Ji-won. He grows thoughtful, and he tells Ji-won that the soup must be special because he can’t stop thinking about it.
He continues, “I felt like it was warming me up from the inside. I kept wanting more. It was meant for you. I was eating what’s yours, but it was so good. If I was able to, I wanted to have some more.” I don’t think he’s talking about the soup anymore.
Anthony tells Ji-won, a little sadly, that he needs some time.
Back at home, Min-ho calls Ji-won up to breakfast on the intercom. Ji-won says he already ate, but when Mom takes the phone to ask him why he doesn’t want to eat, he can’t say no to her.
She dotes on him as usual, and she notes how happy he looks lately. She asks if something good happened to him, and when he stalls out, Jin-jin answers that nothing’s happened. Mom keeps digging for information, having seen Ji-won cooing over Jin-jin, but when he doesn’t give anything up, she settles for telling him to cherish the relationships he has now.
In the elevator, Jin-jin and Ji-won nestle into the corner where they can hold hands without the CCTV camera seeing it. Jin-jin offers to take Ji-won to work, but he says he’d rather she pick him up tonight.
He heads to work with a spring in his step, never noticing the reporter in the lobby. The reporter’s figured out that Ji-won is Anthony’s brother, and that he lives in Jin-jin’s building.
A little while later, on their way to a meeting with a producer, Anthony and Manager Choi find themselves in an elevator with that same reporter. They know Reporter Jung, and it’s obvious that Anthony doesn’t like him very much.
Reporter Jung says pointedly for Anthony to keep rowing while he still has water, and to be careful of the water disappearing as fast as it came. He mentions an article he wrote about it being Anthony’s primary job to be Jin-jin’s husband, and earns a death glare from Anthony.
Mom complains to Jin-jin about some skin toner that’s not working as she expected, but when Jin-jin looks at the bottle, she informs her mother that it’s not toner, but cleansing oil. Annoyed, she tells her mother to get some glasses if she can’t read the label.
After their meeting, Manager Choi reads Reporter Jung’s latest article, which calls Anthony a “star for ajummas.” She’s livid, but Anthony tells her to calm down and let it go. She’s on her way to see a friend, someone she thinks of when times are tough, and she snaps at Anthony that times are tough now because of him.
While she waits for her friend, she hears from the landlord of her office space that she’s used up her entire deposit, so he’s kicking her out. She asks her friend for a loan when she arrives, but her friend doesn’t have anything to spare, and Manager Choi acts like it’s no big deal.
She doesn’t realize that CEO Jang happens to be at a nearby table, and he’s heard their conversation. He slinks out of the coffee shop, and once Manager Choi is alone, he re-enters and pretends to be surprised to see her.
He takes her to his office, pretending that he brought her there to pass off some of the fan gifts sent for Jin-jin and Anthony. Manager Choi notices how huge and fancy his office is, and he says it’s all due to Jin-jin’s hard work.
But he complains that it’s too big, and that he’s having trouble finding someone to take over the extra space. He asks Manager Choi if she knows anyone who’d like to use an office rent-free. Okay, could this man be any sweeter?
Young-shim watches as Kyung-seok gives a consultation to a woman whose husband was fired for having an accident while making scooter deliveries. He promises to see what he can do, and when she asks what she owes him, he says there’s no consultation fee.
Worried after the call from the loan department at the bank, and concerned about the general shabbiness of the office, Young-shim decides to do something. She puts up posters stating that they require a fee for consultations, and some time later she walks into the office to find Kyung-seok holding a poster and glaring at her. He raises his voice at her, asking who told her to put those posters up, then throws it down and storms out.
Jin-jin gives Mi-dal a ride in her car, and she hesitates when a call comes in from Ji-won. She decides to answer, only to stammer that she’s not alone when he croons in a baby voice, “My Jiiin!” LOL. She quickly hangs up, but Mi-dal is no idiot, and after they park she teases Jin-jin for having such a cute boyfriend.
Jin-jin hurriedly shushes Mi-dal as she mocks Ji-won’s voice, and she denies everything, not that Mi-dal believes her for one second. They don’t notice that Anthony is in his car next to them, listening to their conversation, and he looks troubled. Later he texts Jin-jin to ask her to see him tomorrow.
She picks up Ji-won and they head to the Bongos’ meeting place. Jin-jin worries how Young-shim and Ah-reum will react when they find out that she and Ji-won are together, but Ji-won isn’t too concerned.
When they tell them, the girls cheer loudly, then abruptly stop and ask, “Is that how you thought we’d react? We already know.” LOL, the looks on Ji-won and Jin-jin’s faces. Ah-reum asks if they’re getting married, but they both just look sheepish.
She says she guesses that exceptions to their “no marriage” pact could always be made, which sends up red flags for everyone. They all peer at her closely, and she coquettishly asks what they think of Woo-sung.
She even confesses that she kissed him, making Young-shim cringe and Jin-jin crack up laughing. As proof, Ah-reum shows them the text from Woo-sung asking her out on their first date.
When they all split up to go home, Ji-won wishes Ah-reum good luck on her date, making her and Young-shim run away screaming. They’re so cute. Ji-won walks just ahead of Jin-jin, wiggling his fingers at her behind his back, luring her forward to hold hands as they walk home. They don’t notice Reporter Jung taking pictures of their cuddles.
EPISODE 24 RECAP
The following morning, Young-shim finally manages to be at the office before Kyung-seok, and he still seems uncomfortable about their argument. She tries to talk to him about it, but he cuts her off and just asks for some files. He does it again later when she tries to broach the subject a second time, practically running out of the office to avoid the conversation.
It’s the day of Ah-reum and Woo-sung’s first date, and Ah-reum spends a lot of time picking the perfect outfit and doing her makeup. He picks her up in his car, and she worries about how uncomfortable she’s feeling once they’re together. Woo-sung holds out a hand expectantly, but Ah-reum misunderstands and instead of holding his hand, she gives him a mint. HA.
While going over scripts with CEO Jang, Jin-jin picks one that particularly interests her. Hong-hee tells CEO Jang that it’s about a princess whose mummy is found 500 years after death, buried with her love. The man is either the son of a powerful minister or her loyal bodyguard. The story is about which man became the princess’s husband.
Romantic Hong-hee hopes it’s the bodyguard, but practical CEO Jang thinks it’s the minister’s son, while Jin-jin just says that her love is constant and refuses to give any details. She decides to do the drama and heads out to her meeting with Anthony.
He’s sitting at the Subway where they first met on We Got Married, remembering the moment when he saw Jin-jin here for the first time. This time it’s Anthony who’s sitting at the window when Jin-jin walks up, and they smile to see each other.
As they eat, Anthony says that Jin-jin seems to know everything about him, but he knows nothing about her. She tells him how she used to wait here every day to see him, and ended up eating so many sandwiches that she vowed to never eat a sandwich again unless it was with Anthony.
Ji-won runs into Jin-jin’s mom on her way back from shopping and carries her bags upstairs, fussing at her for going out in the cold weather instead of calling him for a ride. He notices when she has trouble finding the right key for her door, and he starts to look worried for her.
Woo-sung nearly bores Ah-reum to tears with a long speech about Chopin as they drive. He complains when she takes him to eat at a pork belly restaurant, thinking they should go somewhere more romantic for their first date, so she says that all he needs to know are her three favorite things: cow, pig, and chicken.
Woo-sung asks, “What about me?” and Ah-reum fidgets and changes the subject. He makes a valiant effort to curb his perfectionist germophobe tendencies, and even tries to feed Ah-reum a piece of meat from the grill, but he only succeeds in burning her tongue. He’s trying so hard, but it just makes Ah-reum even more uncomfortable.
Over a beer with Anthony, Jin-jin sighs happily that another of her wishes, to have a drink with him, is coming true. He asks about her other wishes, but she says she’ll only tell him if and when they come true.
She says that it was only after becoming a celebrity herself that she understood what Anthony went through, how people misunderstand you and don’t listen when you try to explain the truth. Anthony asks if he can listen to her secrets for her, but she says shyly that they’re nothing special. He settles for asking if they can always be honest with each other.
As soon as Jin-jin agrees, he asks if there’s someone she likes. She says there is, and that she was planning to tell him. He says the guy must be a good person, but before Jin-jin can say who it is, Anthony interrupts and says that he feels as though they’ve gotten close, because he knew before she said it.
She starts to mention We Got Married, but again Anthony interrupts to suggest that they quit the show. He says they can’t do it right away because there are a lot of other people to think about. He acknowledges that waiting will be difficult for her, but he suggests that they both do their best until they drop out. He holds out a hand, and Jin-jin shakes it.
Jin-jin and Ji-won are both preoccupied later that night as they watch TV together. Earlier, Ji-won had asked Jin-jin’s mother if her eyes are failing and urged her to see a doctor. She’d agreed, but she’d asked him not to say anything to Jin-jin about this.
He can tell that Jin-jin is also thinking too hard about something that’s bothering her. But instead of asking about it, Ji-won makes bibimbap and tells dumb jokes to make her laugh. Best friend ever.
The next day, Jin-jin gets a drink of water while in her parents’ kitchen, and she frowns at the streaks on her glass. She fusses at her mother to wash the glasses properly, and Mom is dismayed at how dirty she left the dishes.
Back upstairs, Jin-jin checks her two lucky bamboo plants. The second one, the one from Ji-won, is thriving, but the leaves on the first bamboo from Anthony are beginning to wilt and turn brown.
Ji-won leaves work early to take Jin-jin’s mother to her eye doctor appointment, and she complains that growing old is hard on the body. He reassures her that the doctor will just run some simple tests, and Mom looks at him lovingly, marveling at how thoughtful and kind he is.
Reporter Jung cackles as he works on his latest scandal article, which gets the attention of one of his coworkers. She frowns at his computer when he steps away, then takes a picture of the screen with her phone.
She just happens to be the friend that Manager Choi met with previously, and she sends Manager Choi the photo of Reporter Jung’s screen. It was the picture of Ji-won kissing Jin-jin on Jeju Island, and as soon as she sees it, Manager Choi calls Anthony.
She has difficulty telling him about the picture, feeling betrayed by Jin-jin and Ji-won. Anthony just tells her to calm down, and she sends him the picture so that he can see it before the article is printed.
Ji-won waits anxiously while Mom undergoes a series of vision tests. The results show that her optic nerves are damaged from glaucoma. The doctor tells Mom that there are some things she can do to slow or halt the progression of the disease, but there’s a chance she may go completely blind.
On the drive home, Mom tells Ji-won that she wants to be the one to tell her family. She thanks him for making her go to the doctor, otherwise she would have just gotten some reading glasses and gone slowly blind. He reassures Mom that she’ll get treatment, but he’s worried by the way she looks at things as if it could be the last time she ever sees them.
After seeing the picture of Ji-won kissing Jin-jin, Anthony goes to Reporter Jung’s office to confront him. He looks thunderous, and when Reporter Jung angrily pokes his shoulder, demanding to know how he found out about the article, Anthony grabs his arm and orders him outside to talk.
Reporter Jung taunts Anthony, asking if he knew about his brother’s romance with Jin-jin and kept it a secret because of We Got Married, or if he feels like his brother stole his wife.
Anthony doesn’t speak until Reporter Jung asks what he expects him to do about this. Looking both determined and resigned, Anthony gets down on his knees and begs.
Ji-won takes Mom home and makes a cup of tea for her, then goes to make himself a cup as she answers the phone. Whoever is on the other line doesn’t speak a single word, but Mom sinks to the floor where she stands and breathes a name: “Ho-sung.”
Mom talks to the person she’s sure is her long-lost daughter. She asks Ho-sung why she didn’t call last month, saying how worried she was and telling her to take care of her health. The person hangs up, and Mom sits there for a long time, softly talking to Ho-sung as if she’s still listening.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you, day and night. Ho-sung, don’t you miss me? I went to the hospital today, and the doctor said I’m very sick. He said I might not be able to see my daughter anymore. That can’t be. I want to see my daughter. Ho-sung-ah, what if we never see each other again? Let’s make sure we meet before that happens.”
At some point, Ji-won slips out the door to give Mom some privacy. He stands in the hall, shaken by the news. Jin-jin arrives home and invites Ji-won in, but when she reaches for the doorknob, he stops her hand. She looks closely at his face and can see that something is terribly wrong.
Oh, my heart is breaking for Mom. No wonder she’s never given up hope for Ho-sung all these years. It sounds as if Mom gets these calls about once a month (and it suddenly occurs to me why she’s never changed the locks in all these years — it’s in the hope that Ho-sung comes home), and that although the person on the other end doesn’t speak, Mom knows instinctively that it’s her long-lost daughter. I’m still so curious why Ho-sung would just disappear into thin air when her family seems so loving, but it’s even more mysterious if she’s been calling home regularly all this time. And now there’s a deadline looming — if Mom is going blind, she may never see her daughter again even if Ho-sung does come home. Someone needs to find her and bring her home before it’s too late.
On the subject of Mom, how great is she? She’s becoming one of my favorite drama moms of all time, because she always thinks of others (but never in a martyr sort of way), and because of how much she loves and relies on Ji-won. I think it’s adorable how she takes care of him since his own mother isn’t nearby, and how she obviously likes the idea of Ji-won with Jin-jin. It’s going to be so painful if we have to watch her go blind, though I’m glad at least that it’s nothing life-threatening.
I’m happy to see Young-shim and Kyung-woo’s little romances starting to go somewhere, though they both took a step back in this episode. I was actually glad to see Kyung-seok lose his temper, because he’s adorable, but he’s also frustratingly closed off about unpleasant things. He never brought up Young-shim’s tendency to be late until he got drunk, and even when he corrected her to think about her client more, he did it in a really vague, roundabout way. He knows she’s worried about their finances, yet he doesn’t say anything to reassure her, so while she was wrong to make a decision about his business without talking to him, I can understand that she thought she was helping. Young-shim is very direct and she says what she thinks, as soon as she thinks it. Kyung-seok is going to have to meet her in the middle, and start communicating with her.
And I felt so bad for Ah-reum on her date with Woo-sung, and it was even worse to see Woo-sung trying to hard to overcome his desire to run screaming from the (he thinks) dirty restaurant, just to make Ah-reum happy. They seem to be crossing signals now that they’re dating, in a way they didn’t when they were friends, and hopefully they’ll work their way out of this stage.
I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that the conflict I keep seeing on Anthony’s face when he looks at Jin-jin isn’t because he has feelings for her, but because he feels guilty for having feelings for her. Of course he knows full well that Ji-won has feelings for Jin-jin, but it wasn’t until he talked about how guilty he felt eating the soup that was meant for Ji-won that it hit me what’s really going on with him. He’s having feelings for Jin-jin, but he knows that if he pursued her, then he’d be taking something that belongs to Ji-won. And I don’t just mean Jin-jin herself, although Anthony understands better than anyone how devastated Ji-won was when another man stole his fiancee.
I think that more than his own feelings for Jin-jin, Anthony doesn’t want to see Ji-won broken over a lost love again, or to be the person who puts Ji-won through that kind of misery. So he’s choosing to step away from Jin-jin so as not to even give Ji-won a reason to hurt. I was touched when Anthony got on his knees to beg Reporter Jung not to print his article, because that showed more than anything else what kind of a person Anthony really is. The most important thing in the world to him are the people he loves, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they’re happy, even if it means sacrificing his pride, and even his career, to do it. I hope that Anthony gets a break soon, whether it’s landing a drama role that isn’t connected to Jin-jin, or finding a woman to love him the way he deserves to be loved. He deserves to be happy, too.