20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 25-26
There’s romance in the air, but love isn’t all hearts and flowers—it’s also hard work and compromise and sometimes even disappointment. Jin-jin and her friends are learning that the good things in life never come for free, and that they have to do some hard work to make them happen. The way to a solid relationship isn’t easy, but then if it were, would it even be worth having?
EPISODE 25: “While you are in love”
Jin-jin reveals to CEO Jang that she’s seeing Ji-won. She says that she’s already talked to Anthony, and she offers to break the news to the show’s PD that they’ve decided to quit the show.
They go right away, and luckily for everyone, the PD is not only understanding about the situation, but he thanks Jin-jin for telling him instead of getting caught in a scandal and creating a problem for the show. In fact, he says that Anthony already spoke to him, citing health issues and chivalrously taking the blame.
The PD decides that since the honeymoon episode hasn’t aired yet, they can just turn it into a farewell trip. He says they’ll need to film another interview in the meantime, and warns Jin-jin to beware of reporters until the final episode airs.
Meanwhile, Anthony is on his knees in front of Reporter Jung, begging him not to publish the photo of Jin-jin kissing Ji-won. Reporter Jung can’t understand why, since if the picture gets out, the viewers will sympathize with Anthony.
But he figures out that this is about Anthony’s worry for Jin-jin and Ji-won, and he scoffs that Anthony is a saint. He tells him that the entertainment industry isn’t child’s play, and yells at him to think up something romantic to say when the news breaks.
When Jin-jin arrives home, she finds Ji-won outside her door, having just heard her mother talking to her missing daughter Ho-sung on the phone. He stops Jin-jin from going inside, taking her to his place for hot cocoa instead.
Jin-jin is suspicious, having caught Ji-won’s distraught expression at her parents’ door. She tells him that her bamboo died, trying to make eye contact, but Ji-won looks the other way every time to keep her from seeing his expression again. Cute.
Jin-jin tells Ji-won that she and Anthony quit We Got Married, and she fishes for praise. Ji-won does his best to look pleased, though in truth he seems upset. Later, Jin-jin shows Ji-won the reading glasses she bought for her mother, sighing that she seems to be aging lately. She tells him that her mother hates taking pictures because she thinks she looks old in them.
She says that her favorite photo of her mother was taken when she was little, with herself, her mother, and her sister Ho-sung outside her grandmother’s house. Her mother wore a dress with a cosmos flower brooch, and Jin-jin thought her mother looked pretty and young. She realizes that her mother was ten years younger in that picture than she herself is now.
Dad tries to get Mom to eat something, but she’s still upset after the phone call. Dad tells her to stop, and that it’s been over ten years, but Mom says that she can’t stop because it’s her daughter. She sighs heavily, wishing that she could see Ho-sung eat a hot meal just once, and her husband urges her to eat so she has the strength to wait.
Ji-won and Jin-jin arrive at their hideout below the chicken restaurant, but Ji-won gets a call from Anthony. Jin-jin tells him to go see his brother, and when when Ji-won asks if she’ll miss him, she says that she will, but that Anthony can borrow him today.
So it’s just the three girlfriends, and Ah-reum thinks that Ji-won must have changed his mind about Jin-jin if he went to see his brother while they’re still in their honeymoon phase. She says that Ji-won should be carrying Jin-jin around at this stage, and Young-shim asks if Woo-sung acts that way with Ah-reum.
She says he does, but that it’s uncomfortable, then squeals that he’s totally handsome. Jin-jin and Young-shim get the giggles, all, “The Woo-sung we know?” HAHA.
They ask what she means by uncomfortable, and Ah-reum explains that she’s fine before she sees Woo-sung, but then it gets awkward when they’re together. Young-shim suggests that she bring him around and let her friends size him up, and Ah-reum agrees but only if they each call someone, too.
Ji-won is with Anthony, and Young-shim argues that she doesn’t have anyone to call. Ah-reum tells her to call Kyung-seok (and they do hilarious impressions of him drunkenly slurring at Young-shim not to be late), but Young-shim refuses, saying that he yelled at her today.
Ah-reum texts Woo-sung, inviting him to come by for chicken. Jin-jin texts someone too, and Young-shim sits there looking uncomfortable, though she tentatively pulls up Kyung-seok’s number on her phone.
While she’s still trying to decide, Ah-reum grabs the phone and dials, then shoves it at Young-shim when Kyung-seok answers. Young-shim looks panicked as she squeaks a hello, then freezes up.
Ji-won shows up at Anthony’s place with more ox bone soup from Jin-jin’s mother, but Anthony tells him to take it right back home with him. He says he thinks it was the soup that made him sick, because he was too excited and ate too much, too fast. He says he’s decided not to eat ox bone soup anymore, and he asks Ji-won if he likes ox bone soup.
Seeming to understand that Anthony is really referring to Jin-jin, Ji-won says that he does, so Anthony tells him to have his serving as well. He adds that Ji-won would anyway, because he likes the soup as much as he does.
They both have something to say, so Ji-won goes first. He tells Anthony that he and Jin-jin are dating, and that she’s his first love. He apologizes for not telling Anthony sooner, and Anthony looks wistful for a moment before saying that it’s his turn.
He says that he’s dropping out of We Got Married, but he’s quick to add that it’s not because of Ji-won, but because he’s just not cut out for it. He warns Ji-won to be careful until the show ends, since there’s already been some talk among reporters.
The girls wait for the guys they contacted to show up, and soon a man lets himself into the restaurant and goes downstairs. The ladies turn to see… Kyung-seok. EEK, he came! He joins them, taking in the room filled with memorabilia from the three friends’ lives.
Jin-jin offers him a beer, but he says that he recently drank with Young-shim, so he’ll stick to soda. Jin-jin and Ah-reum fire questions at him, squealing with every answer that Young-shim is the same way, excited to hear that he’s not married or dating anyone.
Woo-sung shows up as well, and at the end of the evening, everyone files out into the street together. They see a man walking towards them—it’s Min-ho, here to walk Jin-jin home and to collect the money she promised, ha.
As he drives Ah-reum home, Woo-sung chatters about classical music and tries not to have a panic attack watching Ah-reum pick lint off her coat. He finally yells at her to stop, so Ah-reum tells him to pull over.
She says that she hates classical music and is really messy, pouting that they’re not compatible. She asks Woo-sung if he feels awkward around her, and he says he does, a little. Ah-reum suggests they go back to just being friends, and Woo-sung asks nervously if he just got dumped.
Looking at his pitiful face, Ah-reum says they should just be themselves and stop trying to live up to the other’s taste. Woo-sung emphatically agrees, and they drive off again, both feeling much better.
Kyung-seok walks Young-shim home, and on the way, he makes her laugh when he says that his dream is to be rich. But he continues that you can’t become something just because you want it, and Young-shim agrees.
She’s surprised when he says that his other dream is to win a writing contest, and that he originally studied literature in college. But then his father died in a medical accident when he was in his first year, so he gave it up and began studying law, to help people like his family.
Young-shim tells Kyung-seok that her father is a security guard, and that he’s been poor all his life, and always will be. She says that if anything bad happened to her father, there would be no lawyer to stand up for him. She tells Kyung-seok that she hopes he works a long time and never gets tired of it.
At their building, Jin-jin sends Min-ho in first and looks up to see if Ji-won’s light is on. She goes up to see him and tells him everything that happened tonight, including the amusing fact that Kyung-seok doesn’t drink much because he once got drunk and threw up on the girl he liked. She asks about Ji-won’s evening with Anthony, and all he says is that they had a nice time.
The next morning, Reporter Jung’s article is published, saying that Jin-jin was dating while filming her We Got Married honeymoon with Anthony. But instead of the story about her kissing Ji-won, it’s a cute article about Jin-jin “dating” Anthony. We see that Reporter Jung called Anthony yesterday, offering to change his story in return for a bribe.
Anthony had cleaned out his bank account to pay off the reporter, who made it clear that this deal only lasts until the show ends. He’d also said that if another paper breaks the story about Jin-jin dating Ji-won, he’ll release his original picture.
At the breakfast table, Mom complains that Dad keeps requesting certain foods, and Min-ho casually mentions that all the foods Dad asks for are good for the eyes. Awww, Dad. It reminds Jin-jin about the glasses she bought for her mother, and she gives them to her. She offers to take Mom to the eye doctor and get her proper glasses, but Mom refuses.
During a product meeting, Ji-won’s company discusses a new skincare product they’re selling. The product concept and packaging features the cosmos flower, which reminds Ji-won of Jin-jin telling him that her sister used to say that the cosmos flower means “I love you.”
After the meeting, Tae-hyun tells Ji-won that he had to track down the artist who illustrated the packaging on social media, because nobody knows anything about them and they don’t even have an email address. He says their online handle is LOV_COSMOS, and Ji-won instructs Tae-hyun to find out everything he can about the illustrator.
EPISODE 26 RECAP
Manager Choi picks up her belongings after being evicted from her office space, so she’s feeling down when CEO Jang asks her to come to his office to talk about We Got Married. Manager Choi asks if he’s heard any gossip lately, and he gasps that she’s heard the news already.
She’s talking about Jin-jin and Ji-won’s scandal, but CEO Jang is talking about the fact that Jin-jin’s costar in her new sageuk drama fell off a horse and has to quit the show. He suggests that Anthony take the role, which would be sure to be a huge boost to his career, and says he’s already recommended him to the production team.
Manager Choi sniffs that they’re not interested in working with Jin-jin again, but she agrees to at least have a meeting about it, clearly tempted. CEO Jang asks if she knows anyone who can use his office space, and when Manager Choi hesitates, he huffs that she has to take responsibility and occupy the space herself.
Tae-hyun doesn’t have any luck finding the cosmos artist, but he does discover that the sample they sent came from a convenience store on Jeju Island. He also has the name of a school where they sent something back to the artist, which is not in Jeju, but Hadong.
Woo-sung picks up Ah-reum for lunch, and he tries to reach for her seat belt when she gets in the car, only to be elbowed in the sternum when she does it herself, lol. She reminds him they’re just friends now, and he watches in horror as she spits her gum into a wrapper and stuffs it into her purse.
When they arrive at a restaurant, Woo-sung starts to use a hanky to open the door for Ah-reum, but she opens the door herself, bare-handed. When their food is served, Ah-reum stirs the messy noodles, accidentally splashing sauce onto Woo-sung’s clothes, struggling with the dish while Woo-sung tries to act like it doesn’t bother him.
She gets an idea and calls the server for some scissors, then cuts the noodles into easily served portions. She points out that she’s a considerate friend, and Woo-sung beams happily.
At the office, Young-shim listens in as Kyung-seok gives a consultation to a man whose brother neglected their ailing mother but is demanding half of the inheritance now that she’s gone. Kyung-seok says he may have a case, and when the man asks about the consultation fee, Kyung-seok asks for a very reasonable amount.
He gives the money to Young-shim, who looks pleased at his change of heart. Behind her, the poster is back on the wall, only now it says: “You may or may not pay to receive legal advice.”
After work, Kyung-seok asks Young-shim out for chicken and beer. Remembering how drunk he got last time, she suggests dinner instead. But he says he likes the atmosphere when people are drinking, so Young-shim agrees to beer.
On an after-dinner walk, Ah-reum offers to play her favorite song for Woo-sung, and she shares her earbuds with him. She nearly blows out his eardrum with the chorus to BTS’s “Fire,” and Woo-sung does his best to appreciate her musical taste.
While Ji-won tries to work out the connection between Jeju Island and Hadong, Anthony gets a call from the Jeju local that he and Jin-jin spoke to on their date. She tells him that the woman they called “Gong-ju” ordered tangerines from her neighbor and had them delivered to an address in Hadong.
Anthony gets the address from the lady, then starts to call Jin-jin. But at the last second he calls Ji-won instead, and provides him with the missing piece to his puzzle.
Jin-jin asks her mother for a ride that night, and Mom reluctantly agrees. But when they get in the car she hesitates, her eyes blurry, and she decides to tell Jin-jin that she has glaucoma.
She says her eyes will get worse, and Jin-jin asks why she didn’t tell her sooner. Mom says that what she fears most is her own children, even though she gave birth to them and raised them. But she adds that now she’s found something that scares her more—not being able to see their beautiful faces. She promises Jin-jin that she’ll get treatment and do everything she can.
Distraught, Jin-jin goes to her mother’s room and looks at the bottle of makeup remover, remembering that she yelled at her mother for not being able to read the label. She spends a long time making handwritten labels for all of her mother’s products, so that Mom will be able to read everything.
Ji-won finds her there later, still crying, and she asks accusingly why he didn’t tell her about her mother’s eyesight. He just hugs her and apologizes while she sobs that there’s nothing she can do for her mother. But Ji-won says that there is something she can do: “Let’s go find your sister. Let’s find Ho-sung.”
He shows Jin-jin the cosmos art while he drives, and Jin-jin feels sure that it’s Ho-sung’s drawing. Ji-won explains that Anthony was given the address of a school in Hadong, which they can reach by morning if they drive all night. Jin-jin says, half to herself, “So she’s alive. I’ll make her pay.”
At some point during the drive Ji-won gets a bit lost, then his car battery dies on a remote road. There’s no phone service, so Ji-won says he’ll go for help, promising Jin-jin that he’ll be back before she can count to 100 giraffes.
When she gets to a hundred, Jin-jin looks up to see Ji-won running back to the car, just like he promised. He says he found a house, and they set out on foot. The homeowners are happy to host them for the night, but the heat is broken in their spare room, so they have to sleep in the couple’s room.
Ji-won and Jin-jin share a pallet on the couple’s bedroom floor, and Ji-won watches Jin-jin fondly and caresses her hair. He pulls her close to him, and she settles in to sleep.
We see Anthony’s new farewell interview for We Got Married, where he describes Jin-jin as sincere, kind, wise, and warm. All of the times she took care of him when he barely noticed flash across the screen, as Anthony says, “It didn’t last long, but I’m grateful for the time I spent as her husband. I was happy.”
He looks wistful for a moment, then he brightens his expression and says that from now on, he’ll be her fan.
During Jin-jin’s interview, she recalls their first meeting, and how it was a dream coming true. She says that she’d spent twenty years smiling and crying with Anthony, and that he comforted her and gave her courage. She adds, “Every second we spent together meant a lot to me. From now on? I’ll cheer him on, as I always did.”
I just love seeing the three girlfriends all falling in love at the same time, and how very different their romances are. Jin-jin and Ji-won’s relationship is all about their history and shared past, and how it has always bound them together as a family. Ah-reum and Woo-sung’s new dating status seems to be about pure chemistry to me, because they like each other even though they’re polar opposites. And Young-shim and Kyung-seok’s attraction is based on their getting to know each other as people, learning to respect what’s important to each other and discovering that they may both be very private people, but they have a lot in common.
It was cute to see Ah-reum and Woo-sung also coming to a compromise, because as someone who is more like Ah-reum, I was bracing myself for Woo-sung to be mean and judgmental about her differing approach to cleanliness. But instead, he impressed me with how hard he tried to accept her as she is. I think that when Ah-reum saw that Woo-sung wasn’t looking down on her for not liking fancy food or music, or wanting everything to be perfectly clean all the time, she was able to feel safe meeting him in the middle. This bodes very well for a happy romance for them.
I especially enjoyed seeing Young-shim and Kyung-seok growing closer in this episode, because it was the first time they’ve really taken the time to talk about themselves, and it was nice to see them looking at each other a bit differently. They’re both intensely private people who don’t easily reveal much about themselves, so for them to open up and talk about their personal lives felt like a big step. I appreciated that they were able to settle their argument about the fees without needing to explicitly discuss what happened, because once Kyung-seok explained that he wants to help people, and Young-shim told him about her father being poor all his life, they just seemed to understand where the other was coming from. I loved that they came up with a solution that made both of them happy and fulfilled their reasons for becoming lawyers without compromising their individual principles.
I wish we’d gotten to know Anthony sooner, because I really like him a lot now that we understand him and his priorities in life. His whole analogy about Mom’s soup, and how he felt like he was eating something that belonged to Ji-won, is very poetic, because we know that he’s really talking about his feelings for Jin-jin. Anthony knows that jin-jin belongs to Ji-won and always has, and it’s so sweet that he feels like even their fake TV marriage is something he’s not entitled to, as Ji-won’s brother. Ji-won is a very lucky man to have someone like Anthony, who loves him so much that he won’t let his feelings for a woman come between them.
Until now, I’ve agreed with Anthony’s decision not to work with Jin-jin again, because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s using her to recover some of his old fame. But this is also one of those situations where I feel like Anthony’s heart is so in the right place, that I hope he does take the part in Jin-jin’s next drama, because I don’t have a single drop of fear that he’s taking advantage of her. It’s almost like the simple fact that Anthony feels he doesn’t deserve it is the exact thing that makes him deserving of the chance.
This show does a great job of being sweet and light, which I really like about it, but I can’t help but feel like it could be a bit more serious at times. It sounds morbid, but I almost welcome the inevitable angst of Jin-jin’s mother possibly going blind, and discovering what happened to Ho-sung and where she’s been all these years. The only bad thing about light and sweet is that there’s nothing at stake—there was never any real threat to Jin-jin and Ji-won’s romance, and even the possible dating scandal seems to have fizzled out. So I’m ready for a bit of drama, even if it took us almost to the end to get it.