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Thirty But Seventeen: Episodes 13-14

Woo-jin is aware that somehow, Seo-ri has managed to pierce his heart. She’s brought out feelings that he’s never had, including jealousy, but he manages to get under her skin when he misbehaves. Seo-ri pushes back, evidence of how much she’s grown up and it turns out that she’s not the only one who’s changing. In fact, change is in the air for everyone as Seo-ri’s promised month in the secret room is about to come to an end.

 
EPISODE 13: “One Clear Day”

Woo-jin watches the rain fall on his skylight as he tries to think of a happy and comfortable experience. All his thoughts are of Seo-ri because his scariest and happiest moments are somehow tied to her.

In a flashback, we see that Woo-jin confessed this conflict to his doctor. As he remembered Seo-ri’s many comments about his emotional distance, he admitted that somehow, she managed to make him care.

In the present, Woo-jin stares at the skylight and recalls the sunny day when Seo-ri opened that window. He stares at her photo on his camera and recalls that he told his doctor, “Strangely, I can’t seem to block her out. She keeps calling me out of my comfort zone.”

Woo-jin walks downstairs and finds Seo-ri in tears as she peels onions. He thinks of his final words to his doctor, “She makes me want to break out of it. She makes me want to stop living like this.”

Seo-ri is about to wipe her eyes when Woo-jin grabs her hand and warns, “I don’t think you should wipe with that hand.” She denies that she’s crying and turns away but Woo-jin gently turns her face towards his and tenderly wipes away her tears. As they gaze at one another, Woo-jin inches closer as if to kiss Seo-ri until he knocks over a bowl of onions.

The spell broken, Woo-jin and Seo-ri clean up the mess but when he rubs his eyes, he falls down in blind agony. Seo-ri scolds, “I told you not to touch your eyes with your onion-covered hands,” and manages to rub her own eyes in the process. Deok-gu watches from his doghouse as Seo-ri and Woo-jin stumble around blindly and knock over more onions.

After rinsing out their eyes, Seo-ri and Woo-jin return to the living room and laugh. Woo-jin reminds her that fresh air helps so they move to the garden. Seo-ri asks why Woo-jin came downstairs and he admits that he wanted to thank her properly since her idea to use the rosin rescued the company.

Woo-jin’s admission gives Seo-ri the courage to confess that she lied about her tears, they had nothing to do with the onions. Tae-rin’s concert reminded her that if nothing had happened, she could have had been on a stage like that.

Woo-jin tries to ask what she means but he’s rattled when Seo-ri steps very close to him. He starts to close his eyes as if to kiss but Seo-ri stops when she pulls a blossom from his hair. She then wanders over to a tree and marvels, “It got so big.”

Seo-ri finds a rock that’s covered with painted numbers and explains that she planted that tree with her father on her seventh birthday. He recorded their heights on the rock and every year after that he measured not only her, but the tree as well.

Seo-ri stares up at the mature tree and tells Woo-jin, “It was twenty-three years ago. It grew so much in that time. I didn’t grow at all.” Together, they watch as the tree’s blossoms are carried away by a breeze.

In the morning, Jennifer calls Chan to breakfast but his room is empty. She can’t believe that he left without food and as she turns to leave, something on the wall catches her eye. She grabs a marker and lightning flashes as she approaches Chan’s wall.

There’s lightning in the sky over Hae-bum and Deok-soo, who watch from shore as Chan practices in the rain. Chan rows alone and recalls that he showed Chick Junior a sign with his motto, “Don’t think, feel,” and shared his plan to confess to Seo-ri.

Chan’s friends agree that these days he’s like a different person. They worry that he’ll get sick if he continues with such intense training.

Chan isn’t the only one acting unusual because when Hyun winds up for a “dab” outside of the offices, he’s surprised when Woo-jin joins in. Hee-soo witnesses Woo-jin’s move and asks herself, “He’s gone crazy, right?”

Already at work misting the plants, Seo-ri blushes when Woo-jin walks in, the memory of their “almost kiss” fresh in her mind. Once Woo-jin is safely in his office, she aims the spray bottle at her face to cool off.

Hee-soo barges in on Woo-jin while he brews some coffee and demands to know if he won the lottery. She points out that his “dab” is so unlike him that she’s convinced he no longer needs to work and already booked a flight to Croatia.

Woo-jin assures Hee-soo that he’s not going anywhere but offers no explanation for his good mood. After Woo-jin walks away, Hee-soo wonders, “What’s with him?”

A man in a flamboyant suit sashays into Hee-soo’s offices. He snaps his fingers in Hyun’s face to request a coffee and then sits to discuss a fashion show with Hee-soo. MR. PARK tosses a bag on his seat onto the floor but it belongs to Seo-ri so she rushes over to retrieve it. Up close, she confuses a mole on Mr. Park’s face for a piece of dried seaweed.

Hee-soo and Hyun cringe when Mr. Park mistakes the word seaweed for a similar word that means “handsome” and acts like she just paid him a compliment. The designer finds Seo-ri charming and after he takes in her lithe, model-like figure, he announces, “I’d be interested in using you.”

Hee-soo steps in front of Seo-ri protectively and invites Mr. Park to leave with a promise to send him her concept. She rejects his request to kiss like the French and ends their meeting with a proper bow. Mr. Park promises to email some samples on his way out but not before he deliberately leaves his phone behind.

Once Mr. Park is gone, Hee–soo explodes, “That jerk!” Hyun chimes in, “I hate him so much. I hate him more every time I see him.” Seo-ri sees the report that she prepared for the music festival and presents it to Hee-soo.

Woo-jin has a follow-up meeting with his clients but a reference book that he shows them is actually about female pop idols. He calls Hyun, who rushes out and leaves Seo-ri alone with two bowls of ramen. Alone in the office when Mr. Park’s phone rings, Seo-ri is the one who answers it.

After the meeting, Hyun begs Woo-jin not to tell Hee-soo about the mix-up. When he gets the email from Mr. Park, it’s missing the promised attachments and Hyun complains the mistake adds to the designer’s already terrible reputation. Worried about Hyun’s unprofessional attitude, Woo-jin offers to take over the project.

Woo-jin calls Mr. Park to ask for the missing files, surprised when Seo-ri answers. She explains that she’s on her way to return the designer’s phone and he overhears her ask for the location of a bar before she hangs up.

Woo-jin grows concerned when Hyun confides that Hee-soo got angry when Mr. Park claimed Seo-ri looked like a model and asked for a goodbye kiss. Without a word, he jumps out of the car and heads for the bar that Seo-ri mentioned.

As soon as Hae-bum and Deok-su step off their bus, Ri-an shoves certificates for a buffet into their hands so that she can be alone with Chan. Ri-an reminds Chan that he promised her a meal for helping Seo-ri but he completely forgot. She sees how tired he looks and sends him home but determined to keep his promise, Chan offers to treat Ri-an to anything she wants.

Seo-ri returns Mr. Park’s phone and informs him that Woo-jin called. He invites her to join him for dinner to talk about work and when she protests, Mr. Park calls Hee-soo for permission.

When Seo-ri asks to speak with Hee-soo herself, Mr. Park waves her away and hangs up. He relays a message from Hee-soo, “She says you can get off work right after you eat,” and snaps his fingers at the waiter for service.

Seo-ri digs in to her meal but Mr. Park wants her to have some wine. He raises his glass and announces, “Cheers,” surprised when Woo-jin clinks his glass. Woo-jin explains that he came for the missing files and gulps down the wine.

At their own dinner, Chan’s pasta reminds him of a cream-colored dress that Ri-an gave to Seo-ri. Her happiness over having Chan all to herself wanes as he lists Seo-ri’s most flattering outfits and wonders, “How did you manage to choose outfits that look so good on her?”

Back at the bar, Mr. Park tries to get Seo-ri to drink some wine but she admits that the only alcohol she’s ever had is soju. Woo-jin empties her glass while Mr. Park suggests visiting Seo-ri’s favorite bar for soju the next time they meet.

Woo-jin suddenly notices the mark on Mr. Park’s face and Seo-ri explains that it’s a mole. Woo-jin thought it was a booger and Mr Park tries to hide his irritation as he laughs, “Why would I put a booger there?”

When Mr. Park takes a bathroom break, Woo-jin asks Seo-ri why she didn’t leave once she returned the phone. She admits that was her plan until Hee-soo told her to stay for dinner.

A call to Hee-soo confirms Mr. Park’s deception but Woo-jin hangs up before she can ask why he’s with their client. Hyun informs her that Woo-jin took over the project when he learned how much they dislike Mr. Park.

Hyun praises Woo-jin’s professionalism and points out, “He never neglects work because of women. And he never causes trouble by getting too drunk.” But that’s exactly what’s happening as Woo-jin empties a bottle of hot sauce into Mr. Park’s wine glass.

Mr. Park runs into Seo-ri outside of the bathroom and approaches her with a private suggestion, “How about we…”

When Mr. Park returns to the table, Woo-jin announces, “Bottoms-up,” and the men empty their glasses. Seo-ri returns as Mr. Park chokes on his drink and she snaps her fingers in his face. Woo-jin chuckles when she reminds Mr. Park that he did that earlier and she assumed it was a new trend.

Seo-ri drops a bag of ramen on the table and with Mr. Park unable to interrupt, she explains to Woo-jin, “Mr. Park asked, ‘Do you want to eat some ramen together?’” He knows exactly what that means and there’s not a shred of professionalism left as Woo-jin fumes, “This son of a bitch.”

The rising tension dissipates when Woo-jin and Mr. Park hear what sounds like a curse coming from Seo-ri, “Oh, Sibelius.” She informs them it’s the name of the composer of the music coming from the bar’s speakers.

Mr. Park invites Woo-jin and Seo-ri to finish dinner without him and he leaves without the ramen. Seo-ri wonders what she did wrong but Woo-jin explains that she did something right because men who ask about ramen are up to no good and she’s to ignore them.

Seo-ri announces it’s time to leave and Woo-jin follows her out, but not before he stops at the bar to ask a woman if he can borrow her umbrella. Out on the sidewalk, Woo-jin joins Seo-ri and opens a tiny drink umbrella over his head, in case it snows.

EPISODE 14: “I Want My Time Back”

His cheeks bright, Woo-jin hold the tiny umbrella over his head and wanders off. At the office, Hee-soo corrects Hyun’s mistaken impression that Woo-jin never causes trouble when he’s drunk because she knows alcohol makes him weirder than usual.

Woo-jin hides behind a tree trunk until Seo-ri catches him but when he manages to get loose, he runs away at top speed. It matches what Hee-soo tells Hyun, “When he gets drunk, he hides like crazy and runs away with all his might.”

Seo-ri has a hold of Woo-jin’s cuff even though he denies that he’s drunk. He promises not to run away again but Seo-ri has no intention of letting him go until they’re home. Woo-jin manages to slip out of his shirt and runs away with Seo-ri in pursuit.

Woo-jin runs all the way to a park and enters a soccer enclosure that he calls home. He plops himself on the ground and when Seo-ri tries to help him up, Woo-jin wonders why she’s in his room. He asks, “Did you drink again,” and repeats what he said the night she slept in his bed, “This was your room until thirteen years ago,” and then he passes out.

Seo-ri considers leaving Woo-jin there all night but instead she stretches out next to him and stares at his flushed face. The music that comes through on the park’s speakers is the piece that she played for the competition when her aunt and uncle cheered from the audience. As the music plays, Seo-ri breathes to herself, “I want to turn back time.”

At the grocery store, Jennifer notices a husband fuss over his very pregnant wife and it triggers a flashback. The year was 2005 as a pregnant and distraught Jennifer walked alone in the rain while the ballerina music box fell from her hand.

A man with an umbrella ran to her and exclaimed, “Goodness, you’re drenched. Please take my umbrella.” With tears in her eyes, Jennifer started to walk away from Seo-ri’s uncle but he led her to a shelter. He returned the music box to her hand, urged Jennifer to rest and left his umbrella behind as he ran into the rain. When a young man bumped into her, Jennifer looked up at the Hyein Library.

In the store, Jennifer’s eyes well with tears until she hears an announcement for a half price watermelon. She and another woman reach it at the same time but the woman is no match for Jennifer, who stares her down and walks away with the discounted melon.

Seo-ri leaves a note at the park, “I’ll return it soon,” and hauls Woo-jin home in a cart. She huffs and puffs and complains about everything that Woo-jin has put her through. She gets home at the same time as Jennifer, who sniffs the air and realizes that Woo-jin is wasted.

Jennifer approaches the cart as Seo-ri lists her many complaints — he kept running away, he won’t move and she doesn’t know his phone’s passcode. Seo-ri watches in amazement as Jennifer takes a deep breath and approaches the unconscious Woo-jin.

An exhausted Chan walks home but when he sees Seo-ri he runs up to ask, “Why are you pulling a cart in the middle of the night.” She explains that she used it to get Woo-jin home and the next thing you know, Chan is pulling the cart as he sympathizes that Seo-ri couldn’t know that his uncle can’t drink.

Chan offers Seo-ri a ride and when she protests, he lies that it would give him a chance to make up for a missed workout. Once she’s in the cart, Chan begins to run and this time it’s Seo-ri who suffers. When she yells that she’s about to throw up, Chan thinks she wants to go faster and speeds up.

In the morning, Woo-jin pulls out his car key along with the drink umbrella. Suddenly, he remembers his drunken escapades and wonders how he got home. Seo-ri slips into the passenger seat and angrily informs him that he owes her a ride.

Woo-jin smells a pain patch so Seo-ri explains that she smells like a pain patch and is late to work because of him. The bicker back and forth and when Woo-jin asks why she’s switched to banmal, she orders, “Let’s go.”

Hee-soo sets a bag on Seo-ri’s desk and then overhears Mr. Park scream over the phone to Hyun that he’ll never work with them again. She yells back, “Okay, then. Don’t,” and hangs up while Hyun concludes that even Woo-jin can’t deal with a man like Mr. Park.

Still worried about Woo-jin’s behavior, Hee-soo gets a call about a new project that he just accepted. Woo-jin confirms the new project when he arrives with Seo-ri and confesses that it’s to make up for Mr. Park’s cancelled fashion show.

Hyun smells a pain patch and wonders why it’s so strong. Seo-ri confesses that it’s hers and stares at Woo-jin. He leaves to meet with the new client and Hyun wonders why he didn’t go there directly. Hee-soo watches them attentively and after she recalls how Woo-jin reacted when she hired Seo-ri, she realizes that there’s something going on between them.

Seo-ri notices the bag on her desk and Hee-soo explains that it’s a thank you gift from an handbag designer. She offers it to an overjoyed Seo-ri while Hyun tries to remember when they worked with a handbag designer.

Hee-soo contacts Tae-rin with a better understanding of the festival thanks to Seo-ri’s report. She offers to have Seo-ri discuss music with her but Tae-rin declines. After they hang up, Tae-rin recalls her first meeting with Seo-ri. Tae-rin admitted that she’d seen Seo-ri at competitions but was stunned that Seo-ri didn’t even know that she was a violinist.

On the drive home, her mother insisted that if Tae-rin had been perfect the conductor would never have given special attention to a regular high school student like Seo-ri. The poor girl nervously picked at her thumb, a habit that the grown-up Tae-rin still has. Her phone chirps with a text from her mother who compliments her recent performance and tells her how proud she is.

After their meet, Chan’s friends ask to visit because they miss Mr. Gong, Deok-gu and Jennifer’s food. Chan sends them to his house without him because he’s on his way to workout. They protest that they never see him anymore and insist that he’s already good enough for first place. Chan won’t be dissuaded and as he walks away, Deok-soo wonders when he became so mature.

Chan sees Seo-ri across the street and runs across the bridge to her. He pretends that he was just walking by even though he’s sweating and breathing heavily.

Chan explains that he’s on his way to practice and Seo-ri comments on his intense schedule. He confides that he has something important to do after he places first in the nationals. Seo-ri tells him that she’s certain he’ll achieve his goal and Chan runs off to practice after they cheer, “Don’t think, feel!”

Seo-ri notices that the banner for a missing elderly woman is still up. She tries to ignore what she heard about abandoned patients at her hospital and jots down a number for a banner company.

Seo-ri gets home just as the potential buyers of the house are escorted out by Jennifer and the housekeeper notices her disappointment. In her room, Seo-ri holds Deok-gu while she stares at a calendar and sees that her month is almost over, even though she’s no closer to finding her aunt and uncle.

Hyung-tae struggles to stay awake while on duty when he gets a call from Seo-ri’s hospital. He’s told that her donor continues to send money and is asked if he knows who it could be. The only thing Hyung-tae knows for sure is that the donor isn’t her uncle.

Chan’s alarm wakes him early, even though it’s the weekend. He confesses to his chick that he wants to sleep another ten minutes but wakes up when he notices that Jennifer corrected the spelling on his sign, “Don’t think, feel!”

Motivated, Chan drops to the floor for push-ups but he falls in shock when his chick emerges looking more like a teenager. He gushes that he’s proud of his chick and promises that he’ll be great as well.

Jennifer catches Woo-jin before he leaves for work and informs him that the realtor spoke with his father and the house will soon be sold. Woo-jin admits that he only asked for a one month delay and looks over at Seo-ri’s room. Jennifer follows his gaze and is about to ask a question before she announces it’s none of her business.

Woo-jin informs Jennifer that they’ll move to Chan’s house nearby. She asks if she needs to pack the storage room but Woo-jin promises to take care of it himself.

Woo-jin approaches the storage room and in spite of his fears, he manages to go inside. He opens some boxes and when he looks at some old awards, the charm from Seo-ri’s backpack falls to the floor. Before he can retrieve it (or suffer from another flashback), Hee-soo calls to remind him about his meeting.

Woo-jin walks out and closes the door, which sends a box from a top shelf tumbling to the floor. His painting of Seo-ri spills out as the door opens a crack.

Woo-jin arrives for his meeting and as he waits for his client, he notices that the music in the restaurant is the same as the music from the soccer enclosure. Even though he was drunk, Woo-jin opened his eyes and heard Seo-ri’s confession, “I want to turn back time.”

Seo-ri runs out to the tree that she planted with her father and retrieves the rock to take with her. Deuk-gu runs into the open storage room and when Seo-ri follows him, she sees her painting covered in muddy paw prints. While she stares at it, Woo-jin puzzles over why Seo-ri would want to turn back time.

COMMENTS

As Seo-ri’s month in her secret room winds down, I want to know what’s going to happen to Deok-gu, or is it Fang? That little dog got a new lease in life when Seo-ri returned and I can’t bear to think of him enduring a doggie depression if she’s forced to strike out on her own. In fact, Woo-jin’s entire household will never be the same if the house is sold and she’s forced to leave. Chan is in the middle of training for the nationals and Woo-jin is slowly, but surely, loosening up. This is a case where the sum is greater than the parts, they all bring out the best in one another. Most of the time.

Woo-jin’s drunken antics certainly brought out the bear in Seo-ri, who unfortunately has no idea that he saved her from a predatory peacock by the name of Mr. Park. Woo-jin served as her black knight and drank all of that wine so that Seo-ri couldn’t, because getting her drunk was what that slimy designer was going for. As much as Seo-ri has grown-up, she’s still incredibly naive, a perfect target for someone who wants to take advantage of her. Instead of complaining about all of the trouble that Woo-jin caused, and boy did he run her around, Seo-ri should thank him profusely.

The plot is taking it’s time to unfold but it hasn’t felt at all slow thanks to all of the side plots and characters. That said, I’m more that ready for Woo-jin to discover that Seo-ri was the girl who caught his eye all those years ago. It’s time, and I hope that little furry matchmaker, Deok-gu, manages to be the one to bring his two favorite people together. It certainly looks that way thanks to his detour into the storage shed, but as promising as that plot development could be, I’ve been disappointed before. There’s been one close call after another in Thirty But Seventeen so I know better than to get my hopes up.

The clues in these episodes had to do with Seo-ri’s uncle and we learned not only that he has a connection to Jennifer (who doesn’t at this point?) but that he isn’t Seo-ri’s secret donor. That fact came from Seo-ri’s old schoolfriend/now neurosurgeon, Hyung-Tae, who seems to be the one person who knows what happened to her uncle. At first I imagined that her uncle was involved in something shady but most of the glimpses of the man have been positive. I’m beginning to wonder if he died while Seo-ri was in her coma or maybe he ended up in prison, because he was mixed up in something when he faked that business trip to Japan.

Jennifer is the one thread that seems to tie everyone together. She was pregnant before Seo-ri’s accident but it looks as if something went terribly wrong. Did she gravitate to the library while she worked through a loss and is that why she’s a walking encyclopedia? Her connection definitely has something to do with Seo-ri’s friends and family but what I can’t figure out is why hasn’t Jennifer managed to bring Seo-ri and Hyung-tae together? She seems to know so much so surely she knows that Hyung-tae could be one to answer all of Seo-ri’s questions. It’s time to get some answers before Seo-ri is forced to leave the house that she grew up in, the only place in the world that feels like home.

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