Age of Youth 2: Episode 14 (Final)

There was never going to be an easy way to say goodbye to these girls, but it really is that much harder the second time around—I don’t want this to be the end! As Ji-won finally puts to rest her ghosts from the past, we’re once again reminded that life is messy and hard, but it’s also joyful and weird and full of laughter. If we’ve learned anything from these girls, it’s that we can get through whatever life throws at you with the best group of friends by your side—so when we get knocked down, we can get right back up and try again, with gusto.

 
EPISODE 14: “They have their own mirror” #goodbyeseeyoutomorrow

Flashback to March 2, 2017: Hyo-jin paid a visit to Teacher Han’s place but stood at the front door, unable to bring herself to ring the doorbell. As she was turning away to leave, the door swung open and Teacher Han and his daughter stepped out.

A startled Hyo-jin greeted Teacher Han, but he didn’t seem to recognize her and asked for her name. Before she could respond, Teacher Han’s ride arrived and he excused himself, telling her to leave her contact information. Teacher Han’s daughter then asked for her name.

In the present, Ji-won writes both her name and Hyo-jin’s in the guestbook at Teacher Han’s appreciation lunch. The event begins with applause for the teacher and his family, so Ji-won joins in, forcing a smile on her face.

Ji-won’s smile quickly fades when she sees Teacher Han hugging his young granddaughter. As Teacher Han begins to address the crowd, Ji-won watches his granddaughter run off to join some other kids at the dessert table, her mind flashing back to her and Hyo-jin playing together as children.

After Teacher Han finishes up his speech, a former student gives laudatory remarks about the teacher. As he’s talking, Ji-won looks up at the sky, recalling images of her and Hyo-jin happily blowing on dandelion flowers.

Ji-won closes her eyes, looking overwhelmed with emotion. After a moment, she opens her eyes and, looking resolute, she raises her hand.

She says that she also has something to say, and though everyone looks a bit confused, they give her the floor. Ji-won begins her story: “It was in the third grade. It was summer, and after classes ended, I played on the fields with a friend.”

We flashback to that day and see that Ji-won was wearing the pretty shoes, while Hyo-jin was wearing worn-out sneakers. Teacher Han had interrupted the two playing outside and asked if one of them could help him, and the two girls smiled back at the teacher.

In the present, Ji-won says that she’d wanted to volunteer, but she’d been timid back then, and could only wish that the teacher would choose her. After glancing down at the girls’ shoes, Teacher Han had picked Hyo-jin; Ji-won tells the crowd that she was envious of her friend, and even hated her for being picked over her.

After Hyo-jin left with Teacher Han, Ji-won joined some kids in a game of hide and seek. She found a hiding place high in a tree, where she overheard Teacher Han’s voice coming from his classroom, telling Hyo-jin, “Come here.” Hyo-jin’s trembling voice pleaded, “I’m sorry.”

Little Ji-won peered into the classroom window, where she saw Hyo-jin backing up in fright, begging Teacher Han to let her go. Teacher Han approached anyway, putting his arms around her and shushing her. As Hyo-jin’s eyes grew wide with panic, she looked toward the window, catching a glimpse of Ji-won’s shoes.

Back in the present, the crowd starts to murmur. Ji-won looks straight at Teacher Han, and with angry tears in her eyes, she presses on, barreling over the MC who tries to move the program along.

“Do you know what you did in that art room that day?” Ji-won cries out. “Do you know what kinds of things happened to that girl after that day? Do you know who that girl is? Moon Hyo-jin. Her name is Moon Hyo-jin.”

Teacher Han finally stands up to intervene, telling the crowd that he has no idea what she’s talking about. He tells Ji-won that the today’s event is special to him, and asks her why she’s doing this.

Now openly weeping, Ji-won wails at Teacher Han to admit what he did and apologize. Instead, Teacher Han apologizes to the crowd for the disturbance, saying that Ji-won had visited him earlier saying strange things: “Either she’s misunderstood something, or she’s sick.”

When two men try to lead Ji-won away, she frees herself and screams that she saw it. “I saw what you did in the art room! And…”

Another flashback: A group of girls walked Hyo-jin out of school, looking sad—it was Hyo-jin’s last day there. As she said goodbye to her friends, Hyo-jin glanced down at Ji-won’s feet and commented that she wasn’t wearing her pretty shoes that day.

In the present, Ji-won screams that Hyo-jin knew: “She’d known that I saw it all!”

That’s when Teacher Han’s daughter slaps Ji-won across the face, stunning her and the rest of the crowd into silence. She insists, “No one here believes your words. Why? Because everyone here knows my father.” She asks someone to call the cops.

At the police station, an officer takes down Ji-won’s statement but is visibly frustrated that Ji-won doesn’t have any other evidence for her claims besides her memories. She points out that that Teacher Han lied about not knowing who Hyo-jin was when she in fact visited him this past March, but the officer says according to his daughter, Teacher Han wasn’t even home that day.

Ji-won protests that it’s a lie, but the officer says it doesn’t matter, since the visit doesn’t count as evidence. Ji-won mentions that Hyo-jin left Teacher Han with Ji-won’s name and address so she could be invited to the lunch—and died the very next day after visiting the teacher.

Exasperated, the officer reminds Ji-won that Hyo-jin was depressed. He asks her to think about the situation rationally, asking her how she thinks it looks to others.

As the rest of the housemates pull up outside of the station, the officer takes a call from Teacher Han. Afterward, the officer asks Ji-won if she’s received psychiatric treatment in the past. She looks at him in surprise, and the officer continues, “You were treated for a sleep disorder and anxiety, right?” Whoa.

Ji-won stammers that it was way back in elementary school. The officer says that Teacher Han won’t press charges if she promises to undergo treatment again and apologizes formally. He advises Ji-won to take the deal, saying that she has too much to lose as a journalism student at a top school.

Just then, the housemates burst in and rush over to Ji-won. The officer asks them to convince Ji-won to do the right thing, saying she’s too young to have a record. The girls look at Ji-won in shock, but all she does is smile and try to make small talk.

When the officer looks to her for an answer, Ji-won tells him she’s sorry. Looking down at her hands, she says she won’t—and can’t—apologize: “I don’t know what I did wrong, so how can I apologize?”

On their way out, Ye-eun wonders if Ji-won will really be sued. Eun-jae says that even if you tell the truth, you can still be found guilty of defamation. Ji-won responds in typical fashion, saying, “Aren’t I amazing? I’m the first person you know who’s gotten sued, right? That’s who I am!”

As they step outside, Ji-won’s surprised to see Sung-min pulling up to the building. His face filled with concern, he races to Ji-won and scolds her for not saying something before acting. Ji-won interrupts with an amused look on her face to say that he would have stopped her if she’d said anything.

Sighing, Sung-min tells her to get in the car, but Ji-won asks how many people it can fit. It’s only then that Sung-min notices the other housemates, and he awkwardly exchanges greetings with the girls.

He ends up driving back alone while the girls take the bus. When Ji-won passes out on the ride home, the housemates marvel at Ji-won’s ability to sleep so soundly. Brushing a hair off Ji-won’s face, Ye-eun explains that Ji-won hasn’t been sleeping well lately.

On their walk home, the girls ask about Sung-min. Ji-won casually answers that he’s a friend from the school newspaper, and when they ask if he’s just a friend, she thinks for a moment. The girls smile expectantly when Ji-won answers that he isn’t just a friend—but then she adds that he’s also her servant. Pfft.

On campus, the newsroom is buzzing with activity: A timeline of Teacher Han’s career decorates a big whiteboard, while student journalists are busy doing research and making calls. Wow, are they all working on Ji-won and Hyo-jin’s story?

Eun-jae walks into the chaos, clutching a bag of snacks and looking for Ji-won. One of the journalists—the same guy that she went on the blind date with a while back—greets her and says that Ji-won stepped out to meet with her lawyer.

Eun-jae’s been asked to write a statement to support Ji-won in court, and the guy provides Eun-jae with some direction, telling her to write about how the Hyo-jin incident may have affected Ji-won (like triggering Ji-won’s tendency to lie). Eun-jae takes notes diligently, but pauses to ask how he knows her name.

He blinks at her, then reminds her that they met on a blind date. Eun-jae looks embarrassed for a second, but then laughs and apologizes, saying that she wasn’t in her right state of mind that day. He laughs too, and reintroduces himself as Jo Choong-wan.

Ji-won’s lawyer says that the case isn’t favorable for Ji-won: With Hyo-jin dead, Ji-won’s the only witness, and Teacher Han’s lawyers will likely try to use Ji-won’s medical history against her.

Ji-won protests that the incident with Teacher Han was the very reason she had to get treatment in the first place. The lawyer says she knows, and asks Ji-won if she’s willing to see this through to the end.

Putting on a brave face, Ji-won says she is. At that, the lawyer says the first thing they need to do is to publicize the case, and the best way to do that is to talk to the press.

On the ride back, Sung-min asks if Ji-won’s okay going public—she knows better than anyone else what will happen if the press picks up her case. Ji-won agrees that it’ll likely be bad for her, her family, and her friends—including Sung-min. She says that if she’s being honest, she’s scared to death, despite what she told her lawyer.

She thinks back to her pretty shoes and tells Sung-min that it was the first and only time she ever wore them. Scared at the thought that it could have been her, she had tossed the shoes into a lake.

Back home, Eun asks Ye-eun how girls typically send their boyfriends off to the military. Ye-eun says her friends have put together care packages, then mentions that girls also tend to plan special events or go on a trip.

When Eun fixates on the trip, Ye-eun grins slyly and asks if they haven’t gone that far yet. Eun looks down in response, leading Ye-eun to wonder if they’ve at least kissed. Eun shakes her head with a pout, but Eun-jae cheers Eun up by telling her not to worry—there’s no set formula for dating.

Ji-won arrives home and finds Eun-jae working on her statement for court. She asks about meeting Choong-wan earlier and notes how he’d talked about how different Eun-jae seemed today, and seemed quite interested in her.

Ji-won asks if Eun-jae wants to be set up again, but Eun-jae declines—she’s still not over Jong-yeol. When Ji-won reminds her that the best way to forget a guy is with another guy, Eun-jae says it seems weird to try so hard to forget, since it’ll happen naturally anyway.

On a walk with Jang-hoon, Eun can’t help but notice all the other couples being affectionate—and that Jang-hoon is noticeably not. When a biker passes from behind, Jang-hoon gently moves Eun out of the way but lets go of her immediately.

Now disgruntled, Eun stops short and tells him that she doesn’t want to talk to him. When he asks what’s going on, Eun shoots back, “Why haven’t you made a move? Do you not see me as a woman?”

Jang-hoon says definitively that it’s not true: “You’re totally a woman to me.” But he reminds her what he said before—that engaging in skinship before going to the military seems rushed, and that she might regret it later.

Eun grumbles that he shouldn’t be worried about something that she might regret. She adds that going to the military these days isn’t a big deal—she can call and visit. But Jang-hoon turns away from her, saying she doesn’t understand his feelings.

She asks if he’s anxious about ensliting, to which Jang-hoon replies that he can’t even sleep. Eun looks thoughtful for a minute, then approaches Jang-hoon from behind with a smile before breaking out into the 1990 Kim Min-woo song “In the Enlistment Train.”

She sings, “I didn’t want to show you my awkward short hair. I don’t want to leave you behind in the crowd of waving people. Will you forget me for three years? I told you not to wait for me because I felt sorry…” Ack, so adorable.

Jang-hoon tells her to stop, but Eun keeps singing cheekily and making her way up the stairs. Jang-hoon whirls her around and plants a kiss on her, then pulls away quickly, looking guilty. But HA, Eun just keeps singing, sneaking glances at him—so Jang-hoon pulls her in for a deeper kiss.

Jin-myung arrives home, and hears music coming from Jang-hoon’s apartment. Creeping downstairs, she’s horrified to see Asgard practicing, and even more horrified when Heimdal drags her inside to gush about their upcoming farewell performance tomorrow.

He asks Jin-myung why she won’t tell them where they’ll be performing, but before Jin-myung can figure out what to say, Heimdal guesses that it’s a surprise, and the whole group gets emotional. Heimdal tearfully says that Jin-myung’s going to make him cry, and Jin-myung helplessly tells him she feels the same way, hee.

Heimdal says they’re planning on dedicating their song to her, and as they all sing her a line, with a hand gesture to match, Jin-myung stumbles backwards and tells them not to do that.

When Jin-myung gets home, she tentatively enters Ji-won’s room and hems and haws for a minute, then asks Ji-won if she has an update on the location of Asgard’s farewell performance.

Ji-won stares blankly at Jin-myung, and then is pulled away by another phone call. Ji-won whispers to Jin-myung not to worry, telling her that she’ll take care of things, and Jin-myung lets herself out looking totally stressed.

That night, Jin-myung has a nightmare about telling Asgard that they’ll be performing at a noraebang and startles awake the next morning. She bursts into Ji-won’s room soon afterward, but Ji-won’s already gone for the day.

When Jin-myung numbly tells the other housemates about the ongoing misunderstanding with Asgard, they’re aghast that Jin-myung let things get this far. Jin-myung meekly says that Ji-won had said she’d take care of it, and that she didn’t want to bother her, given all that Ji-won has going on.

Eun-jae and Ye-eun mutter about how frustrating Jin-myung can be, and Eun sighs, “It seems you’re human, too.” Meanwhile, Ye-eun gets Ji-won on the phone and demands the truth, asking if she forgot about the performance.

But Ye-eun’s expression changes at Ji-won’s response, and she puts Ji-won on speakerphone, telling her to repeat herself. Ji-won says where the performance will take place, and though we don’t hear where it is, everyone’s jaws drop open.

Cut to: a giant stadium filled with screaming and cheering fans—it’s Yonsei University’s big music festival. Backstage, Asgard members pace nervously when Jin-myung pops by to ask if they’re ready—they’re going on last, finishing out the program.

Shaking, Heimdal abruptly tells Jin-myung that he can’t do it—this is all he’s made of, and he was expecting a smaller stage. He thinks he’ll ruin the whole performance, but Jin-myung cuts him off and tells him to shut up, adding that she suffered so much for this.

She gets teary as she tells him it doesn’t matter if he messes up, as it’s his last performance, and that whatever he does, he should give it his all. Heimdal nods at her, and Jin-myung gives the group a little “fighting” before heading out. She’s the best.

Jin-myung waits outside the stadium for someone, then starts running toward a figure at full speed—it’s Chef Jae-wan! He greets her with a giant bear hug and a kiss, and holding hands, they head inside.

The two join the rest of the gang (including Sung-min!) in the stadium, and adorably, every single one of them is wearing a yellow sweatshirt in support of Asgard. Soon, Asgard takes the stage, and though they’re treated to wild cheering from the housemates, they receive a tepid response from the rest of the crowd.

As Asgard’s performance begins, everyone starts filing out of the stadium. The housemates could care less though, and they continue cheering their hearts out for the group. Onstage, Heimdal locks eyes with Jin-myung and puts his all into the performance, just as she told him to do.

After they finish, Heimdal takes mic to say a few words of thanks and starts to cry. He saves his final thanks for last, calling out, “Special thanks to… Yoon Jin-myung!” All the housemates freak out at the shout-out, and Jin-myung hides her face bashfully. And with that, Asgard takes a final bow.

The whole crew ends up at Belle Epoque after the concert for drinks and food, and it’s a beautiful, happy moment for all of our housemates and the men they’ve grown to love.

The next day, the housemates are surprised to see Eun back so early after sending Jang-hoon off to basic training. Eun says they said goodbye at the bus station because Jang-hoon was about to cry. Looking concerned, Ye-eun asks, “What about you? Aren’t you sad?” But Eun just smiles and shrugs nonchalantly.

Ever the mood-setter, Ji-won starts belting out “In the Enlistment Train,” then dances over to Ye-eun and Eun-jae as they join in for a dramatic rendition. Eun gets in on the action too, singing a verse before disappearing into her room, smiling at her housemates’ antics.

On his bus ride, Jang-hoon scrolls through photos of him and Eun. When the guy next to him asks who’s with Jang-hoon in the photo, he answers, “My girlfriend,” then zooms in on Eun’s face, looking wistfully at the screen.

Back at Belle Epoque, Ji-won sings the enlistment song to herself while Eun stands by the stove. The next thing we know, Eun starts to cry, then crumples to the floor in sobs. Ye-eun yells at Ji-won to stop singing, mouthing to her that she made Eun cry.

Sometime later, Ji-won makes her first appearance in court. As she walks out after the proceedings, a woman sitting in the courtroom watches her closely, looking nervous.

When Ji-won stops by the restroom, she runs into Teacher Han’s daughter, who has some questions for her: “Do you not have even 1 percent of doubt? Are you 100 percent confident that you’re right?”

Ji-won turns the question around and asks if she’s 100 percent confident. Without missing a beat, the daughter says she is, giving Ji-won pause. Looking coldly at Ji-won, she says, “You shouldn’t have done what you did.”

As Ji-won’s about to get into Sung-min’s car, the woman from the courtroom calls out to her. She ends up at a café with Ji-won and Sung-min, and though we don’t hear their conversation in full, the woman says she’s also a victim of Teacher Han’s. Well, damn.

When Ji-won and Sung-min return to the car, Ji-won tells Sung-min that she wants to hear the recording again. In it, the woman explains that back then, she didn’t have anyone to ask for help, and that she couldn’t trust any other adult.

As she’s listening, Ji-won breaks down in tears and tells Sung-min that she felt so anxious that she thought she was going to die: “I was more nervous about the fact that I could have been mistaken than about losing in court. But, listening to that woman’s story just now, I actually felt really glad, even though I shouldn’t be. I just felt so relieved.”

Sung-min watches Ji-won with a soft expression on his face. He sighs, then asks if she’s done crying before pointing out that her nose is running.

Ho-chang brings Ye-eun home to introduce her to his family. His mom is super friendly towards Ye-eun, telling her how pretty she is and trying to make her feel comfortable. Though Ye-eun smiles brightly, her smile falters when his mom returns to the kitchen, and she sighs nervously.

Just as Ye-eun notices that there are multiple place settings at the table, the doorbell rings, and Ho-chang’s mom calls out that Ho-chang’s big sisters must be here. Ye-eun’s eyes widen in horror, the words “big sisters” echoing in her ears, but she quickly pastes on a smile to greet the three older women, who don’t look friendly at all.

As they sit down to eat, Ho-chang’s sisters loosen up, and they ask Ye-eun to take good care of Ho-chang, earning a genuine smile out of Ye-eun. But her smile quickly fades when the sisters start making fun of Ho-chang’s new style and ask her to do something about his hair. Ho-chang starts to mention that his makeover was Ye-eun’s idea, but she pinches his leg to stop him from talking.

Later that night, Jin-myung receives a photo of Heimdal in front of his family’s renovated inn along with an invite to come visit. She suggests that the housemates take a trip, and everyone’s onboard. Ji-won’s the only one to mention that the inn looks familiar, but Ye-eun says that all inns look alike, ha.

The next day, Eun’s mom gives her specific directions on visiting her dad at the hospital, instructing her to look in on her dad even if a nurse happens to be in the room and not to let anyone come inside. Eun looks surprised by her mom’s concern, but doesn’t say anything to her.

At the hospital, Eun stops outside her dad’s room when she sees that his other family’s inside with him. After watching for a moment, she quickly turns and walks away when she sees dad’s mistress make her way toward the door.

Later, Eun runs into Ye-ji at school, and the two exchange awkward greetings while Ye-ji stares in disbelief at Eun’s skirt. Ye-ji’s friend pulls her away, and Eun watches sadly as she leaves. In voiceover, Ye-ji narrates: “We said that we wouldn’t change. We swore that we wouldn’t change until we died.”

Choong-wan catches up to Eun-jae and strikes up a conversation with her, but she completely spaces out on him when she sees Jong-yeol walking by. “We thought we wouldn’t change. We thought we were enough for each other. Who’s the bad one here? Is the one who changed the bad one? Or the one who couldn’t change?”

As Ye-ji scrolls through old photos of her and Eun, her narration continues: “You and I are like puzzle pieces that don’t fit. If we force the pieces together, we end up hurting each other. If I make myself smaller because I’m scared of hurting someone I like, the jagged parts stab me. When I get closer, it hurts, and when we grow farther apart I feel like dying.”

Sung-min gets ready to sleep in the newsroom when he’s joined by Choong-wan. As Choong-wan gets settled in, he asks Sung-min, “You like Ji-won sunbae, right?” When he wonders why the two aren’t dating, Sung-min asks if a lover is better than a friend, which makes Choong-wan scoff.

Choong-wan asks what Sung-min will do if Ji-won ends up dating someone else, then encourages him to confess. Sung-min sighs and says it’s okay: “I like things the way they are.” Sung-min turns over to sleep, but then pops back up to yell at Choong-wan for bringing up the subject.

It’s cleaning day at the Belle Epoque, and Eun-jae happily calls out, “Kang unni!” upon spying Yi-na at the door. Yi-na bounces in with food, as usual, then sprawls out on the couch, commenting on how comfortable the house is before drifting to sleep.

Each of our housemates say a final goodbye. When the camera catches Eun just before she heads out, she simply says that she’ll be back, and to make sure to eat. As Ye-eun’s eating jam out of the jar, she mumbles that she’s happy to have met, then tears up, adding that it would be good to meet again.

Ji-won wonders why she’s being instructed to say goodbye, then looks at the camera to give an overly cheerful farewell. She says she was thankful and happy, then bids adieu, blowing us a kiss.

Jin-myung’s stopped as she’s rushing out of the house, but she sits on the couch to remind us to eat well, and to be happy every day. Eun-jae acknowledges that her personality’s changed a lot, but she says that both love and people are supposed to change. She bows and says, “Thank you.”

 
COMMENTS

I was reluctant to start watching this episode, because it meant that I would actually have to acknowledge and accept that this gem of a show is really over (this is a familiar feeling, having experienced this in the first season). But after I made it through, I can say that in no uncertain terms, Age of Youth 2 was a beautifully crafted show from beginning to end. It’s been astounding to see how the writer picked up on the carefully laid groundwork from last season to deliver on deeper narratives for each of our girls, and I’m just so happy to have taken part in their lives as they grew and changed—both as individuals, and as a group of housemates.

Though each of the Belle Epoque ladies had equally important stories to tell, Ji-won’s arc this season stands out the most, for reasons that I probably don’t have to explain. Given the lack of focus on her story in the first season, I was hopeful that this second season would spend a good chunk of time addressing both her back story and her love life—and for the most part, I got what I wanted. I’m so glad that we got the full explanation of Ji-won’s ghost (as well as an explanation for her abrupt personality shift as a child), and I thought the resolution of Ji-won and Hyo-jin’s story was beautifully done, with Ji-won taking it upon herself to seek out closure on Hyo-jin’s behalf. This idea of memory and how tricky it is to rely upon is a theme that the show has played with in the past, and seeing Ji-won struggle with her decision to move forward with her accusation until the very end felt so real, and then validating once the other victim stepped up.

Of course, I absolutely adored that Sung-min was with Ji-won throughout all of that, demonstrating so clearly what we all know to be true: They are supposed to be together. And yet, how infuriating is it that after all the dropped hints and teasers, we didn’t get any romance between the two? Did anyone else’s heart sink further and further as the last minutes of this hour ticked by, with no hint of a confession in sight? I fully understand that with all Ji-won’s been through, it might not be the right moment (yet!) for her to embark on a relationship with the person she trusts the most. But still, I wanted something—anything—that showed that Ji-won wasn’t completely oblivious about the nature of their relationship, or Sung-min’s feelings towards her. Also, what about that damn epilogue with the kid? How can the writer just throw out something like that into the universe and not provide any kind of answer? The only explanation I have for this is that there’s got to be a Season 3 in the mix… because otherwise, that would just be cruel.

Despite this, I still can’t be mad at the writer (at least, not too mad), because by the end of this hour, I felt satisfied with where each of our girls landed. Though it took me a while to warm up to Heimdal and Jin-myung’s random friendship, I was surprisingly moved by all that Jin-myung went through to ensure a proper farewell performance for him, as well as the emotional thank-you he delivered to her on stage. Because we know of the scars that Jin-myung carries, watching her open up to others has been a treat to watch, and I especially loved seeing her as the caring head of the Belle Epoque household and a loving girlfriend to her Chef. In the same way, though I initially wasn’t happy about the fact that a majority of Eun-jae’s storyline this season revolved around her breakup with Jong-yeol, it’s been cathartic to see Eun-jae pick herself up from the mess she was in and take baby steps towards healing, even if she’s not all that far in her journey just yet.

Eun and Jang-hoon might have replaced the “maknae couple”-shaped hole in my heart this season—they are simply adorable, and I’m so glad that Eun found not only her housemates, but someone like Jang-hoon to dote on her like she deserves. At the same time, I also liked the way the show highlighted the trade-offs that happen in life as you grow up—Eun’s now defunct friendship with Ye-ji is a prime example of that, as are Ye-eun’s broken relationships with her two friends. Ye-eun’s story is another that surprised me throughout the series—her recovery was portrayed with such nuance and grace, and I really appreciate that though she’s come a long way, it’s nowhere near the end for her. There’s so much more that Ye-eun still needs to tackle, from her eating disorder to her constant need for approval, to truly be okay, and I can only hope that she’ll get there with Ho-chang by her side, slowly but surely.

Overall, I thought Age of Youth 2 was even better than its predecessor—I found this installment to be tighter and funnier, but I also preferred it because it wasn’t as dark or murder-mystery focused (though that’s probably largely because we only had Ji-won’s ghost left to uncover this time around). There’s so much that I can pinpoint as having made this show so special: the attention to detail that went into every interaction between our characters, the stellar performance from each and every member of the cast, the hilarious epilogues, the cameos from some of our beloved characters from last season, the list goes on and on. But the best part, as always, comes down to the deep friendships that I watched develop between our girls, which reminded me of my own closest friendships, and how I felt like I was right there, as a part of their little family. I guess with that, there’s nothing left to do but toast to our girls (and perhaps, a third season). To Belle Epoque!

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