Drama Recaps
Answer Me 1997: Episodes 11-12
by | September 2, 2012 | 195 Comments

As high school ends, it’s time to grow up… and say goodbye. Why do I feel like Mom and Dad, not ready to let these characters grow up and leave the nest? As everyone faces the big changes ahead, we take one step closer to Shi-won’s self-discovery, and perhaps even discovering the one who’s in her heart.

[Note: There’s been a change to the broadcast schedule, because the final two episodes 15 and 16 are running long. So 13 and 14 will air as normal back to back this Tuesday; then 15 airs alone on the 11th, and 16 airs alone on the 18th.]


Lee Seung-hwan – “가족 (Family)” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 11: “The Definition of Relationships”

December 1998. Tae-woong gets a call in the middle of preparing dinner (with an adorable little apron on), asking if he wants to continue payment to store his parents’ ashes. The man asks his relation and he says that he’s their son.

He looks over at a family portrait and narrates:

Tae-woong: Since the day of that accident, I lived having completely forgotten the fact that I was someone’s son. A relationship determined before I was born, a relationship that ends against my will – that’s family. And now I only have one family relationship left.

He opens the door to Yoon-jae’s room and wakes Little Bro with a loving foot to the ass. Yoon-jae wakes at the smell of breakfast, and Shi-won comes by with the most giant tub of pickled quail eggs on earth, courtesy of Mom. How much you wanna bet there’s another five of those at home? She grabs Yoon-jae’s spoon to eat from his bowl, and declares she’ll eat here too. Yoon-jae’s mood turns sour.

Tae-woong opens the container and his jaw drops, “Did she leave any for you guys?” Um, do you even have to ask? Sure enough, there she is with two giant containers of her own, making Dad’s eyes bug out.

Tae-woong joins Shi-won in the kitchen to say that he’ll come by to see her tonight, and laughs at the mountain of rice she’s scooping for her breakfast. She argues, “You said you’d still like me if I was fat!”

He brushes the rice-covered hair out of her face and then calls out to Yoon-jae… who’s long gone. Aw, I don’t blame ya.

Yoon-jae sits at the bus stop and takes out that tiny makeshift “S” that Shi-won scrounged up for him as a present before exams, and finally chucks it in the trash. It hits the edge and falls to the ground.

The rest of the boys goof off in class and listen to a new song (Jo Sung-mo’s To Heaven). Sung-jae declares it a flop, convinced the singer hasn’t revealed his face because it’s hideous. Hur.

They decide to make it a bet: Yoon-jae and Joon-hee think it’ll be a hit, and Sung-jae and Hak-chan vote it’ll tank. But what to wager? Sung-jae suggests the losers run into the girls’ class and shout the name of the girl they like three times.

Hak-chan and Yoon-jae thwack him on the head, obviously the two who have a name to shout. Joon-hee wonders what the big fuss is—they just run in and shout Yoo-jung and Shi-won’s names…

And on cue, Shi-won bursts into their classroom: “Kang Joon-hee, Kang Joon-hee, Kang Joon-hee!” Haha.

Yoon-jae immediately puts his headphones on. She asks Joon-hee to borrow his headphones, but he forgot his, and Sung-jae’s are deemed unhygienic. He motions at her to ask Yoon-jae for his, but she looks at him warily and says nevermind, turning back.

Joon-hee looks down and sees that his walkman isn’t even turned on, and presses play. Of course Joon-hee would be the only one who recognizes his pain.

Dad complains that Mom is taking forever, as they prepare to leave the house for their first overseas vacation. Mom hops out in the cutest trying-too-hard-to-look-young outfit that’s probably straight out of Shi-won’s closet, which makes me love her even more.

Dad the worrywart decides he has to call Shi-won one more time to nag her about coming home early while they’re gone, especially with the rash of crimes against young women these days. Shi-won yells into the phone: “How can I sleep with Yoon-jae? HE’S A BOY.” Oh, so you do know?

Yoo-jung laughs and Shi-won complains that her parents think they’re still children. Yoo-jung points out that her relationship with Yoon-jae is unique though—she thought they were dating too, way back when.

But then she adds that Yoon-jae would be crazy to date her over aaaallllll the other girls lined up to be his girlfriend. Shi-won grumps that she’ll tell Hak-chan about Yoo-jung’s junior-year crush on Yoon-jae. I think he’s a step ahead there.

Yoo-jung swoons to hear that Tae-woong is the one sending Mom and Dad on the expensive cruise, wishing she had an oppa like that. She worries about Shi-won’s secret part-time job at the convenience store and her late hours, but she assures her it’ll be fine.

Hak-chan gets an earful from Yoo-jung, nagging him to show up to meet her friends tonight. He’s taken to just putting the phone down until she’s done yelling and then answering yes, and Sung-jae sighs at his plight.

Hak-chan argues that he doesn’t know about the relationship between men and women, but Sung-jae counters that it seems more like a misery-loving hostage relationship to him. Touché.

Tae-woong sees a news report about crimes against women (thefts ending in violence, sometimes murder) on the rise since the IMF crisis, and calls Shi-won to tell her the same thing that Dad did. She sighs that she’ll be fine, and rolls her eyes at his suggestion that she call Yoon-jae: “I’m stronger than Yoon-jae!” Ha.

But Tae-woong calls Yoon-jae to ask if he’ll sleep at Shi-won’s house tonight because she might be scared. He hears the request as she passes by him in the hallway, and they each look away to avoid eye contact. He sighs. Not exactly sleepover friends at the moment.

Yoo-jung is out with her friends and sneak-texts Hak-chan furiously, waiting to introduce her Seoulite boyfriend for the millionth time to her skeptical friends. He finally screws up the nerve to come in… and then turns right back out, too frightened to face four girls at once. Yoo-jung sees him flee and her face falls.

She keeps buying her friends more and more food to appease them, and then they finally give up. She heads to the counter to pay, but the clerk tells her a guy already paid her whole check. Aw.

She runs out and finds him waiting for her, and finally gets to introduce him to her friends. Whew, I was worried there for a second. But then just as he’s made a good impression, his mother chances upon the group and asks what he’s doing there.

He drops Yoo-jung’s hand like a hot potato, and when Mom asks who she is, he just stammers, “a girl I know.” Yiiiiiiiikes. And in front of all her friends too?

Shi-won finishes up her shift and heads home. I don’t like the look of the suspicious guy in the baseball cap who’s eyeing her exit.

Yoon-jae perks up at another news report of the increased crimes, and this story highlights a particular string of similar occurrences in Busan. He sits upright, suddenly all ears.

Shi-won walks home, and it’s not till she’s in a dark alley that she notices someone behind her. Augh, it’s Creepy Baseball Cap. *shivers*

Yoo-jung runs home in tears, and Hak-chan chases after her, apologizing for his mistake—he was just so flustered that it came out wrong. Tears streaming down her face, she asks, “Am I just a girl you know? And here I thought I was your girlfriend.”

He says he’s sorry, but she tells him he needn’t be, to just some girl he knows. He argues that it was just a dumb idiotic moment of mental paralysis, but she says coldly that they’re really over this time, and goes inside.

Yoon-jae sits at home on edge. Why are you still at home?!

He calls Shi-won’s house over and over, but there’s no one home. Shi-won feels someone behind her, and calls Yoon-jae on her cell phone… but his line is busy because he’s calling her. ACK! GET OFF THE PHONE!

He calls, over and over and over, and so does she, her pace quickening.

She finally calls his landline and he races to pick up. She whispers that she’s been calling and that someone is following her. He just asks where she is, and goes tearing out in his t-shirt and slippers, in the freezing dead of winter.

He runs and runs, and Tae-woong calls to check in on him, but he doesn’t have time to explain. He runs so fast he collides with a guy walking his bicycle, and takes a bad fall. But he just scrambles to get up and keep running. All Tae-woong hears is Yoon-jae huffing and puffing, and taking the fall. Shi-won grows increasingly panicked, and Baseball Cap gets unnervingly close to her… He inches closer, now just two paces away…

When Yoon-jae comes racing down the alley, “SUNG SHI-WON!” Ohthankgod. He runs and puts his arms around her, and stares directly at the creep, who turns and walks in the other direction.

Yoon-jae’s limping, covered in sweat, and shaking like a leaf. But the first thing he says? “I’m sorry I’m late.” And I immediately burst into tears.

She looks down. He only has one shoe. Up. He has blood on his face. He just limps along with his arms firmly around her, yelling at her for being out so late.

They reach her house, and then he finally lets go of her. She walks up to her door and stops to look back at him.

She doesn’t say anything, so he asks if she’s scared—does she want him to stay a while with her? But it’s his arm she’s fixated on: “You’re bleeding a lot.” He says he won’t die from it and brushes it off.

She turns to him and takes his bleeding hand in hers, but he pulls away on contact. He tells her to go to bed and leaves. She watches him limp away.

She sits in her room, still reeling in the aftermath. She narrates:

Shi-won: There are relationships of differing levels of difficulty. To me, Yoon-jae was the easiest of them, to explain or to maintain: that of childhood playmates. But on this day, contrary to everything I knew, I discovered… that there might be the possibility that we’d be the most difficult kind of relationship in the world. The relationship with the highest level of difficulty: that of a man and a woman.

Yoon-jae tends to his cuts and scrapes, and adds his narration:

Yoon-jae: Each expecting different things, each looking at different places, each dreaming different dreams… everything that happens between one man and one woman, is just continuous love and war. You sulk, you pacify, you fight, you make up, you hurt, you embrace. A relationship like a manic-depressive patient who can’t make up his mind. But the hardest thing about the relationship between a man and a woman is the timing—if the love doesn’t begin at the same time, it’s unlikely to ever begin at all.

He sighs that it’s the most fussy, annoying type of relationship, and then sighs that there is one other kind that’s just as messed up…

…as Tae-woong arrives home in a panic, shouting his name. Ha.

He gasps in relief that Yoon-jae is okay, having called a million times, not knowing what had happened. Yoon-jae just says he fell. Tae-woong rushes over to check on his scrapes, and that’s when Yoon-jae looks at hyung and notices that he’s rushed over here so fast his sweatshirt is on inside-out. AW.

Yoon-jae finishes off in voiceover: “The one relationship you can’t ever shake, no matter how sick and tired you get, that leads to a lifetime of tears: Family.”

He narrates it in the most annoyed tone (I love that the voiceovers have attitude), while Tae-woong bandages his cuts and bruises, and blows on the owies like mom. It’s freaking adorable.

Sung-jae and Hak-chan watch the big reaveal of Jo Sung-mo… and collapse in shock. Hak-chan screams accusingly, “He’s good looking!” And three weeks later, he’s still at number one, of course. Just wait till the epic music video explodes. Hak-chan’ll kill you.

This means that there’s the matter of a little bet to settle…

The four guys crouch outside the girls’ classroom, and finally Yoon-jae tells just one of them to do it before the teacher comes. Sung-jae gets up and says he’ll do it, and bursts into the room.

He stares at Eun Gak-ha and goes mute, and then takes a deep breath… when Hak-chan steals the moment and shouts: “Mo Yoo-jung! Mo Yoo-jung! Mo Yoo-jung!” Aw. She beams.

Hak-chan (voiceover): “The one benefit to that top-degree-of-difficulty relationship between a man and a woman is… one word can overturn its mood at any time.”

He makes a tiny embarrassing hand-heart at her, and narrates a big Phew, return to status quo.

Reunion, 2012. Shi-won sighs at everyone drinking beer but her, and finally gets up to stage a big rebellion… by declaring that she will drink coffee tonight. She’s so cute. The others call out drink orders after her.

She runs to the coffeeshop and stops in the bathroom, where she accidentally leaves her ring behind. Meanwhile back at the reunion, everyone’s gaping at the hideous wedding rings Hak-chan’s mother picked out for them.

Shi-won laughs to see it, and Yoo-jung sighs that she wishes hers could be a simple couple ring like Shi-won’s… which makes her remember that she left it on the sink.

Yoon-jae sighs that it’s a miracle she hasn’t lost it till now, and Tae-woong reinforces how special the ring is. Yoon-jae sort of half-smiles, cryptically.

Joon-hee says she never even wears her wedding ring, and always wears that one—the couple ring.

Sung-jae: “She likes comfort more than anything. Just like her husband.” Hm… The be-ringed finger returns and reaches for the extra-whip iced caramel mocha…

EPISODE 12: “The Meaning of a Hand”


Sa Joon – “Memories” [ Download ]

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January 1999. Tae-woong looks out his fancy new apartment window, and opens a tiny little box… with a diamond engagement ring inside.

Yoon-jae narrates: “Hyung always said that earning someone’s hand means you get to have their heart.”

At the same time, Shi-won is shopping for bows to clip in her hair, which says a lot about where these two are at in life. Yoo-jung tries on her best Hyori look, and then says she saw an interview where S.E.S. said they’d make each other their future wedding dresses.

Yoo-jung: “Can you imagine S.E.S. ever getting married?!” Funny how that seemed like such an impossibility at the time. Shi-won says that’s crazy. Yoo-jung tells her to pick out more stuff—she’ll spring for an early birthday present, and Shi-won beams.

But they spot Hak-chan across the street with Dan-ji… looking awfully chummy. They note that she’s expressed interest in Hak-chan on more than one occasion. But before Shi-won can even say a word of comfort, Yoo-jung is out the door and across the street. Whoa, did you teleport?

She confronts them and Hak-chan swears that Dan-ji is just helping him with “something,” and leaves to go meet the guys.

Shi-won packs up her room for college (awwwww), taking care to roll up all her H.O.T. posters and reassure them it’ll only be for a short trip. She kisses Tony oppa to say this was all thanks to him, and Dad interrupts with his usual pleasantries, picking at her nerves.

He does concede that he ought to buy the monkey a meal, since his daughter did get into college because of him (hilariously true). But mostly Dad’s annoyed that she’s so excited to go to Seoul, with no regard for how sad Mom and Dad might feel.

He takes issue with her packing up her room with a month left to go, thinking she can’t wait to get out of here. He sighs that it’s true what they say about kids growing up to become strangers, and decides he’s going to grow unattached to her from now on. Aw, I totally remember my dad doing this passive-aggressive pre-college freakout. Poor papa. Shi-won just sits in silence, watching Dad mutter to himself bitterly.

The boys hang out at Yoon-jae’s place, and Joon-hee makes ramyun while the other guys watch FinkL. Well, Yoon-jae’s mostly staring at the calendar above the tv that has “our Shi-won’s birthday” marked on it.

And Hak-chan is mostly staring at his cell phone. Sung-jae makes fun of his predicament, which turns out to be a biggie: his parents are forcing him to study abroad in Hawaii. How Eun-Ji-won-esque of him.

Yoon-jae says he has to tell Yoo-jung, and fast—she still thinks he’s going to remain in Busan. Hak-chan’s answer, as usual, is to ask for soju.

Yoon-jae grabs a bottle and tells Joon-hee not to pop the eggs in the ramyun, but he doesn’t hear him, with his headphones on.

So Yoon-jae sneaks right up to his ear, pulls back his headphones, and whispers, “Don’t pop the eggs.” But… did you have to whisper it in your sexy bedroom voice? Joon-hee just about has a heart attack.

Sung-jae ooohs jealously that Yoon-jae’s got it made—living with Joon-hee means lots of tasty ramyun like this. Omo, are they gonna be roomies?

Hak-chan asks if they aren’t sick of each other, heading off to the same school and living together too. Sung-jae says that’s silly, calling Yoon-jae the dad and Joon-hee the mom—what’s there to fight about? He snaps at Yoon-jae not to take Joon-hee for granted.

Aw, a sensitive moment from Sung-jae? Though of course he turns right around to call Hak-chan a moron for not being able to call his girlfriend and gets a beating for it.

Joon-hee says that Shi-won’s all packed and ready to head up to Seoul next week, and Yoon-jae just pretends to be disinterested at the news. Sung-jae jokes that if Shi-won could get herself into college with fanfic, he should’ve tried his hand at some girl group fanfic too.

Yoon-jae speaks up to defend her—it might’ve been fanfic, but her writing was good. That just leads Sung-jae to the obvious question: You mean you read the stories? With the guys and the unzipping of pants? Yoon-jae denies it a little too vehemently, almost leading to fisticuffs.

Tae-woong drops off his coworker, who catches a glimpse of the ring box sitting in his car. Tae-woong asks him for his opinion: is it too much to give to Shi-won for her birthday? He opens it, sees the diamond, and nods YES. Heh. He advises Tae-woong take it down a notch, like maybe a pair of simple couple rings. Omo! As in The Ring?

Mom is busy packing up the entire friggin’ kitchen for Shi-won to take to college, and Dad nags in his usual manner, Do you think they don’t have food in Seoul? But Mom, being Mom, packs like she’s feeding a hundred daughters.

Shi-won peeks in and watches them with a loving look, as Mom starts to worry that Shi-won doesn’t know how to use the rice cooker or do the laundry, and sighs, “I should’ve held onto her a little longer before letting her go…”

Shi-won speaks up to reassure them that she knows how to do those things, and Mom insists they go over it again before she goes. Dad takes issue with her going out this late at night and gets huffy, but softens when she uses Yoon-jae as an excuse (though she’s heading out to meet Tae-woong).

Joon-hee stays behind to do the dishes, and asks Yoon-jae if he’s going to Shi-won’s birthday party. No answer. He says it’s turned into a farewell party for all of them—Hak-chan, and the three of them going to Seoul—so he has to go.

He asks if he bought Shi-won a birthday present. After a long pause, Yoon-jae says, “Something cheap.” Cheap… rings? Say it’s cheap rings!

But he adds in a defeated voice that he’s probably not going to give it to her.

Shi-won runs up to meet Tae-woong as he arrives and hands him a present, saying that she feels like she’s always on the receiving end, so she bought him something with the money she earned from her part-time job.

It’s a red tie, and she says it’s for good luck and everything to go smoothly at work. He asks if she knows what giving a tie means between lovers. She shakes her head no.

He puts it on and tells her the meaning: “I want you.” She gapes and swears that’s really really really really not what she meant, and he pouts, saying that he’s disappointed then.

He takes a step closer and put his hands on her shoulders, and admits that it’s what he wishes she meant.

It’s that moment that Yoon-jae and Joon-hee walk out of the house. Oh noes.

And then Tae-woong goes in for a hug. It’s perhaps the most awkward hug ever. Like one of them is a porcupine and the other is a balloon.

But man is it enough to send Yoon-jae reeling. And Joon-hee too, because no one else knew about this relationship besides Yoon-jae.

Tae-woong kisses her on the forehead. And then there’s this great four-way meaningful lookathon: Joon-hee looks at Yoon-jae, who looks at Shi-won, who looks up at Tae-woong. Everybody’s brain explodes.

Yoon-jae finally can’t take it anymore and stalks off, and Joon-hee takes off after him.

Tae-woong tells Shi-won to expect a good birthday present tomorrow: “It has as deep a meaning as the necktie… between lovers.” I actually feel sorry for Tae-woong in this situation, because everything about Shi-won’s body language says I love you like a brother.

Hak-chan stops by to see Yoo-jung, who’s still upset about Dan-ji. She asks again what’s going on with him, and he swears it’s nothing and asks her to let it go. But she’s growing more nervous by the second, saying that he’s being so distant, not answering her calls, being evasive, and demands to know what’s going on right now.

He finally explodes and tells her the truth, that his mom is sending him abroad to become a human being, and he asked Dan-ji to borrow her family’s restaurant after hours so he could confess to Yoo-jung and ask her to wait a year for him, because he’ll do whatever it takes to get back here in a year.

But now his lid is flipped and he screams at her for making him say it like this and not trusting him and waiting a few more days. Seriously, dude? He screams, “Do you still not know my heart?”

She slaps him and says through her tears, “How could I know your heart? You don’t tell me! How could I know your heart?!” She crumples in sobs.

Shi-won tosses and turns in bed, and Mom and Dad sneak in to watch her sleep. It’s maybe the sweetest little family moment ever. They don’t know that Shi-won isn’t asleep, and sit down on her bed, worrying that she might have a hard time up there with all those uppity people in the big city.

Mom worries that she’ll cave and come running home, while Dad sighs that if she had met a Seoulite father instead of him, she might not have had to suffer such a rough transition, and pets her on the head lovingly.

Mom walks out and Dad lingers a little longer, clinging to her empty desk like it’s a piece of his droopy soul.

The gang gets together at a noraebang for Shi-won’s birthday and everyone’s farewell party, though the mood in the room is no party. Yoo-jung and Hak-chan sit silently stewing, and Yoon-jae glowers. Well, glowers more than usual.

Shi-won blows out her birthday candles and Sung-jae MCs send-offs for Seoul-U-bound Joon-hee and Yoon-jae, and Hawaii-bound Hak-chan. He says if they come back for break with uppity Seoul accents, they’re all dead.

But then even jokey Sung-jae’s voice falters as he tells everyone to raise their contraband beers for a toast, “To our… last night…”

It’s really only a party for Sung-jae, Shi-won, and Joon-hee, who sing and dance while the other three sit in silence. Finally Sung-jae calls Yoon-jae out, saying they’ve never heard him sing—is that perhaps the perfect boy’s one weakness? So he takes the mic to sing “Memories” and is awesome, of course. Sung-jae siiiighs, “I hate him… that bastard.” Hee.

As Yoon-jae sings, one by one they start to leave—Sung-jae and Joon-hee because they get calls, and Yoo-jung because she starts to cry. Hak-chan runs out after her. That leaves Shi-won in there with him alone, and she looks up him, singing with such heartfelt emotion about hiding his true feelings and pleading for someone “to return to me.” This song is so perfect for him.

After an awkward silence, she asks if he doesn’t have a birthday present for her. She mentions having asked for something on her birthday last year…

Flashback to last birthday, when he gave her a book of coupons. The theme was “together” and she complained that she’d outgrown coupon books. He asked if there was something she wanted, and she said, “Yes, but from anyone but you.”

She slipped the little key ring on her finger and said she wanted a ring from a boy who likes her.

Oh my gaaaah, she asked for a ring? You had better have a ring in your pocket right now. I love that when she asked for one, she said it would have to be from anyone but him to count, but now he’s the person she’s asking it from.

He finally confronts her about it all, by saying that that’s a present she should get from Tae-woong. “You’re really cruel, you know that? How could you ask me for that right now?”

She just asks why, not getting it, and tells him to explain it to her. He sighs and finally says the words: “I like you. I like you a lot.” HE SAID IT!

He says they’ve been together since they were born, and there hasn’t been a single day of his life that he hasn’t seen her, but… “I still see you as a woman.” He confesses that the first day of high school was when he first thought she was pretty, and ever since then, he was always around her, giving her signs: “that I like you. And for you to like me back.”

He understood that maybe she wouldn’t know because they were such good friends, and so planned to confess on his D-Day. But then Hyung beat him by ten minutes, and told him that he liked Shi-won.

Yoon-jae: “What should I do? There are two people I love the most in the entire world. One is my hyung, who gave up everything because of me. And the other is you. It’s you… and Hyung says he likes you. A lot. Like I do.”

He asks over and over what he should do, erupting in a yell, when Sung-jae comes back in to say they only have a minute left. He picks up the mic and starts to sing “And Now Goodbye,” while Yoon-jae and Shi-won sit in the worst awkward silence.

Hak-chan doesn’t know how else to deal with Yoo-jung’s sea of tears, and yells at her, asking what she wants from him. She asks if he really thought she wouldn’t be able to understand that he has to go abroad, and more importantly, it’s that he told all his friends, but not her.

He finally gets a clue, and she stalks off, leaving him feeling like a heel.

Sung-jae finishes singing his moment-appropriate goodbye ballad and then runs out to get their tape. Ah, good old days.

Shi-won speaks up at last, “Yoon-jae-ya, can’t we just be comfortable friends, like we were before? Like you said, we’ve always been together, from the day we were born. I’m not so smart… you know that… but I do know that you are the most important friend I have in the world. You’ll still be my friend, right?”

She looks up at him so nervously. He gives her a piercing glare and puts his hand to his heart. “A guy emptying out what’s in here, to the girl he likes? It means I have no intention of seeing you ever again.”

Oof. Sock to the gut.

They each hold back their tears, and he gets up. He puts a box down on the table, “You throw it away.” She looks down. It’s a ring box.

He opens the door and says bitterly, “Friends? The hell…” and walks out.

She picks up the box and cries as she opens it… to find a little ring inside. It’s The Ring! It’s The Ring! He fights back his tears outside the room.

Shi-won walks home in a daze, and Tae-woong waits for her outside her door. He holds out his hand to give her a present…

Whatisit, whatisit, whatisit…

It’s a key to his new apartment in Seoul… with a little couple ring attached. OMO. It’s the SAME FRIGGIN’ RING. Aaaaaaaaack. Do you brothers only have like one goddamn jewelry store in town? Was there a two-for-one sale? What the bloody hell!

She looks down at it and then up at Tae-woong, “Oppa… I have something to say to you…” Aw, my heart sinks for Tae-woong. I don’t think it’s good news. But whatever it is, we don’t get to hear it.

Shi-won comes home to find Mom and Dad screaming at each other… over what to turn her room into. HA. Daaaaad! He wants to turn it into a putting green, and Mom’s like, “Where will Shi-won sleep when she comes to visit?” I love that twelve hours ago he was a blubbering mess, and now he’s like, she can sleep on the floor!

She interrupts them screaming, “Should I just pack up and leave NOW?!” They hang their heads and rush out. Pfft.

And then it’s time for Shi-won to leave for college. She tells them to go, and Dad grabs her bags and ticket and climbs onto the bus, sniping all the while just to keep from crying.

Mom cries, and Shi-won wipes her tears away, like the adult in the relationship. It’s so very sweet.

And then she gets on the bus, where Dad is fidgeting over every little thing. He tells her to call as soon as she arrives and then lingers to make sure she wears her seatbelt, and then shows her how to use the footrest…

She tells him to go and keeps saying he will but he can’t bring himself to get off the bus. It’s killing me. He finally turns to go, turns back to reach out for an almost-hug and then stops himself, and just gets off.

I’m crying and laughing at the same time. How can he be so funny while so clearly on the verge of total meltdown?

She waves down at them through the window, and Dad mime-nags her till the very end, as they wave their goodbyes. She starts to cry, and then we see that she’s wearing someone’s gift ring on her finger… Shi-won narrates:

Shi-won: The reason my teen years are like a rushing wind is because I don’t yet know the answers: what it is I really want, who really loves me, who is it that I love. The time of life when I tumble here and there, searching for the answers. And then in the end, the moment when I figure out the answers to everything like a miracle… we had already become adults, and been doing big and small things. And like that, that winter was full of goodbyes.

As the bus heads from Busan to Seoul, the journey marks years that pass and how much the world changes from 1999 to early 2000s. Sechkies breaks up. So does H.O.T. “and the heavens collapse.”

September 11 happens, Incheon airport opens, the World Cup, and then the invention of the KTX, that takes her from Seoul to Busan in two hours. “This is how the 21st century began, and our ’90s disappeared into history. And I thought that my ’90s had ended forever that way…”

We catch up to Shi-won in 2005, sleeping on a bus. Someone calls out for her, “Maknae!” We’ve skipped ahead to after college, when she’s already a maknae writer on staff.

The PD yells at her to hurry up, and she gets on set to find that the star she’s putting a mic on today… is Tony oppa. Aw. She goes weak in the knees and falls to the ground in a stupor, just mouthing “OPPA” over and over.

She narrates that she had lived mostly ignoring her ’90s, but like sense-memory, “My body remembered my ’90s. The moment I saw the person I had once been crazy about, I immediately returned to that ’90s fangirl, and my ’90s, which I thought were over, began all over again…”

A little later, she heads into a coffee shop to pick up drinks for the staff, and a man in a suit steps up next to her, and orders an extra-whip iced caramel mocha. Eep!

At the order, she turns around, stunned, and there’s Yoon-jae, looking all grown up, in a suit.

He turns to her, and they lock eyes, and stand there, completely stunned.

Tae-woong finishes his lecture, now a college professor. Three students plead with him to chat over coffee and offer him his choice of drinks. He picks…

The whipped-cream-topped iced caramel mocha. AAAaaaaaAAAAAaaaahhhh! Must you two have the same taste in everything?! You’re killing me here!

They ask if it isn’t too sweet, and he smiles, “Nope, I like sweet things.”


Just when we think the ring might finally be a definitive clue… it’s another squirrely mislead, along with that iced caramel mocha business. I find it funny that the brothers’ similar taste in girls actually extends to their EXACT same taste in everything, just throwing us for loop after infuriating loop.

But more than those clues, it’s Shi-won’s reactions that inform where she stands, even if that’s in a murky I-don’t-know place. We don’t know what’ll happen in 2005, but at least in 1999, she’s not anywhere close to being in love with Tae-woong or ready for a real relationship, and tellingly, her tacit rejection of both guys is a choice about her, not either of them.

Yoon-jae thinks it absurd that she could hear his confession and then ask if they can remain friends because he’s so far gone in one version of their relationship—a pained one-sided love—that he can’t go back. But she’s still very much at that first realization when her feelings are starting to make her question what their relationship is, and it makes sense that she’d want to hold onto what feels familiar and comfortable. Everything is changing in her life, and Yoon-jae is the one thing that’s supposed to remain the same. He’s her constant. I completely understand her desperation to cling to that, as much as I understand how impossible that is for him. It’s their crossroads, and I appreciate how organically we come to that point with both characters, facing their first real foray into adulthood.

I was grateful for a pair of episodes that stuck closer to our core characters and the shifts in their relationships, as well as a simpler chronology that just focused on that pivotal time before moving away from home. Mom and Dad slay me every time—with the laughter and the tears—but they really blew me away with that perfect balance of mundane-yet-epic as they prepared to send Shi-won to school. They are so mind-blowingly realistic. Dad’s not-a-goodbye in the bus just turned me into a puddle.

The emphasis on family was really touching, especially for Tae-woong and Yoon-jae, whose relationship (in a different drama) could go any number of warped, melodramatic, angsty ways. But at the core, they’re all they have left of their family, and that comes first. We see Tae-woong being both mom and dad to Yoon-jae, and then in Yoon-jae’s confession to Shi-won, we get to hear how much he loves his brother, and that he knows what Tae-woong sacrificed to raise him.

Yoon-jae’s big heroic rescue was amazing, not because it was heroic, but because of his single-minded all-consuming worry for Shi-won. He puts her first, to the point that he’s not even aware of what’s happened to him on the way to get to her. But then when it’s bookended by Tae-woong doing the same to get to Yoon-jae? That blew me away. It’s so simple and yet speaks volumes about how much love there is, in all these relationships, and what they all sacrifice to preserve their friendships and families despite life hurtling them towards change.


195 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lezzy

    Thanks for the recap! 🙂

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Thank you for the recap! These two episodes sound very interesting, quite moving.

      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        Incredibly moving! I kept laughing, then crying, then laughing, then crying. This show is awesome. 대박.

  2. stellar

    AHHH! I have been waiting for this. Thank you so, so, so much!<3

    • 2.1 stellar

      I desperately hope and pray that the endgame will be Yoonjae & Shiwon. Please, please, pleeeease.><

      Gahh, Yoonjae killed me in these episodes. I really want to give him a hug. Actually, I want to give ALL of them a big hug. They're just all so darn endearing and lovable. I want all of them to be happy.<3

      • 2.1.1 Miss D

        I agree! If they don’t end up together I just might throw my computer across the room….something I really hope doesn’t happen….

        I officially have PROOF that Answer Me 1997 might just be the best show ever:

        My best friend and I ingeniously made plans so that we could watch the newly released episodes 11  and 12 of the drama BEFORE our other NOT-kdrama-addicted (she likes to call herself normal, we call her deprived) friend came over. As faith would have it, or course she shows up waaaaaaay earlier than expected. My friend and I quickly made up our minds….and told her that she had no choice but to watch the show with us….and that’s how we claimed our first kdrama victim! During the first five minutes, she was complaining about not being able to tell the boys apart (siiiiiigh…..) …but by the end of the two episodes she was screaming along with us : “NOOOOOOO! JUST PICK YOON-JAE!” I think the show is so good that it managed to convert a non-believer into a soon to become drama lover! Success!

        Now about the show (SPOILER….hum….but hopefully you already read the recap but just in case…)

        OMOMOMOMO! My heart went through several heart-attacks when Yoon-Jae  finally confessed out loud to Shi-won! His rhetoric laid down the tragic fate of his first love: he had to let go of the girl he loved to make way for his brother who just happened to be the last member of his family. Why must you do this drama gods?! After she asked him if they could just be friends (at which point I was seriously pissed at her because how could she ONLY be friend with such a sexy guy?), I just about died at his response! I was screaming at her to please jump him en and there and never let him leave e karaoke room.

        To top it all off, however, was the fact that I consoled myself by saying “it’s all going to be okay because Yoon-Jae gave her the couple ring” AND THEN THE BROTHER HAD TO GIVE HER ONE TOO! I don’t approve! (Funniest thing: my friend firmly believes that the creepy stalker that was following Shi-won around was actually Tae-woong lol)

        I still remain adamant that Yoon-Jae and Shi-won are meant to be, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens now after college!

      • 2.1.2 lotsofsunshine

        I hope so, too! But…I’m worried…’cause in one of the first few episodes, Yoon-jae walks in and tells Shi-Won that she got fat – alluding to her pregnancy, but if he’s been seeing her every day, I don’t think, he would say that?

        Or maybe I’m remembering incorrectly. I sure hope so.

        • Chelz

          You, got that right he did say she gained weight! Sigh!!! I’ll be so pissed if they don’t end up together.

          Best drama of the year! Unless, they kill the ending.

        • stellar

          I’m hoping that it was just a cheeky remark from YJ, given the nature of their relationship. Otherwise……….T_T

  3. Ally

    THANK YOU!!!!!!

    • 3.1 Ally

      I am a K-drama addict so I have seen as many K-dramas as I can get my hands on.Form the main stream popular ones(BOF /You’re Beautiful) to ones which are not as popular (Bottom of the 9th with 2 Outs/The Last Scandal of My Life ). But this drama is different.I am not Korean so I miss a lot of the culture references in this show (that why I read your recaps) and I don’t get the crazy fan of a K-pop group thing because I am not a fan.And while it is a reused plot in K-drama and the Indian dramas i personally don’t like the whole two brothers in love with the same girl deal. But I what I do love about this show is the little moments that make it so much more special. I also love to see that some relationships and life moments that are universal no matter where you are from…

      • 3.1.1 Ally

        Also are we allowed to post video links on here??

        Cause I found this and wanted to share it…cause I think it ends all the guessing.

        Episode 13 and 14 teaser-


  4. Roggy


  5. dangerousgoods

    Girlfriday, thank you! You’ve made my Monday complete.
    I can’t wait to read your thoughts and insights! I just want it to be Tuesday already!

    • 5.1 dangerousgoods

      Yeah, completely with you there, GF. The familial interactions in this drama are so poignant and realistically mirror life. I love Shi Won’s ‘rents – masters of hospital fraud and guilt-tripping! I think it’s safe to say pretty much everyone has experienced the farewell bus scene, or some sort of equivalent. I remember my dad virtually miming the same actions when I went on various school camps; don’t get me started on the airport departures!

      I love how the writer’s have flawlessly set up the character’s POVs and connections. You’ve already mentioned the four-square of Joon Hee > Yoon Jae > Shi Won > Tae Woong; but I just want to reiterate how awesome it is to see how the writers add subtle layers -like in Shi Won and Yoon Jae’s instance, friendship comes in different guises (old, comforting / unrequited love, heartbreak) and where Yoon Jae without hesitation would go after Shi Won, and get hurt in the process, Tae Woong would instantly do the same for Yoon Jae, and patch him up.

      Ugh, the writers (whom I love) are such trolls! Whose ring is it? haha, I read somewhere that maybe those rings were inherited from Yoon Jae/Tae Woong’s parents? Either that or there was a sad ring shortage/massive ring stocktake sale in Busan. Anyways, it has to be Yoon Jae’s right? We never did get a clear glimpse in the noraebang room …(Which is what I keep telling myself XD)

      Great point about Shi Won’s refusal of both guys, it’s true she’s not ready for a relationship, so I’m hoping the timeskip has seen Shi Won journey into a more, let’s say, “mature” headspace; not that I wasn’t a fan of her fangirl days! I hope the next episodes delve into, or at least show a bit of Yoon Jae and Jun Hee’s college roomie days (a girl can wish!), Shi Won’s early escapades as maknae writer and cover what’s been going on in Yoo Jung and Sung Jae’s lives once everybody else went off to Seoul or studied abroad. Hmm, they haven’t yet mentioned Hak Chan’s, Yoo Jung’s or Sung Jae’s current occupations right? Wonder what they’re doing in 2012. On the other hand, woo~ thank you, Show, for we get to see Dr Jun Hee in scrubs and Lawyer/Judge Yoon Jae all suited up *saves a ton of pictures*

      I can’t wait to see Hak Chan’s and Yoo Jung’s reunion, the upcoming hike scene they have together looks adorable ^^ Finally, I have to mention how I love (And laughed) that Junhee had to leave because he had to bail out his sister from the police station, he’s just all straight-faced like, “Off to bail noona, again.” XD

      • 5.1.1 Ariel

        Yep, as heartrending as Yoon-jae’s confession, Shiwon is not there yet emotionally. I’m glad she finally clued in to the fact that although Tae-woong is an awesome boyfriend what he wants (intimacy) and what she wants (food) is not on the same level lol. I love everyone in this drama and I do agree that the writers elevated trolling into a higher art form, keeping us guessing on the husband identity. I read somewhere that even the cast have no idea on the identity of the husband, see epic trolling.
        Jun-hee, oh boy please, he should have someone special just because those looks kill me. How the hell could he convey all this longing with just a look.
        Sung-jae sorry honey i know your life sucks right now with all your friends going away and you left in Busan and no one seems to notice how depress you are with you running your mouth off with inappropriate observations.

  6. b1

    Finally!!!! yeiiy .. been crazily waiting for this — i think i could already work well after i gotta read this .. ———>shoots!

  7. Rachel

    Why, Why WhyWhyWhyWhy Yoonjae is not in my life?!………………………..OTL

    • 7.1 Ivoire

      Hi Rachel, what does OTL stand for here, please? Thanks!

      • 7.1.1 pereleal1

        Hey Ivoire,

        OTL is a Korean emoticon for desperation or disappointment. Look at it like the O is the head, the T is the arms with the hands on the ground, and the L is the legs bent at the knee. So it’s like someone is so upset that they’re kneeling on all fours.

  8. stars4u

    Another recap filled with awesome!!!
    I really don’t want this to end!

    • 8.1 Kelinci Biru

      me too! i’m torn between half screaming for it not to end and for it to end already.

      • 8.1.1 eternalfive

        OMG, I feel exactly the same way! T_T

  9. Sheryl

    Thank you for the recaps – I frickin’ LOOOOVVEEEE this show!!!!

  10. 10 Seli

    I am simply amazed by all of the singer’s acting. Amazed and awed. Yoonjae’s confession slayed me. Literally. I hadn’t cried like that since My Sister’s Keeper. I love this show and I’m going to be so sad to see it end. Seo In Guk made himself a new fan.

  11. 11 KTV

    Thank you for the recap. This show is the only show that really makes me feel both warm and excited for the next episode. I got me to be hooked on the 90s music. It’s interesting to see how much things have changed over the years.
    On another note, it’s just too cruel to not have 15 and 16 aired in the same week. Though it prolongs our time with the serie, it’s gonna drive me crazy to wait for the identity of our main couple. T_T

  12. 12 MsB

    I am going to focus on the rings! I swear when I looked at them, there was a slight difference in markings! If my predictions are right, I plan on tweeting the images! I want to see if I am right and see which ring she was wearing in the bathroom! This is the most fantastic whodunit I’ve ever watched! It’s killing me and I know we won’t find out until ep 15 is my guess!

    • 12.1 a_diva


  13. 13 inggg

    Thank you! 😀
    Been waiting for this over the weekend :p

    “15 airs alone on the 11th, and 16 airs alone on the 18th”
    dont think we can wait 7 days between 15 and 16!!!!

    • 13.1 Seli

      Are they at least going to be an hour long each? This is going to be torture. Plain and simple.

  14. 14 Maru


    I still think (hope) her husband is Yoon Jae!

  15. 15 a_diva

    i’m going to be so sad when this show ends . . . *sigh*

  16. 16 mary



    *foams at the mouth*

    • 16.1 Miss D

      Hahahaha that’s what I’ve been saying ever since their fountain kiss in episode 2!

  17. 17 Czak

    This show really has got me hooked… Lined… Amd sunk..!

  18. 18 mysterious

    Side note: Shi-won wasn’t wearing a ring in the previous episodes. Neither was Tae-woong or Yoon-jae so have no clue who the mysterious iced-caramel-mocha hand belongs to.

    • 18.1 Chica

      no, the boys weren’t wearing rings but Shi-won definitely was. You can see it in the very beginning of ep 1 when she sits outside to talk on the phone.

  19. 19 starmytotoro

    OMGOMGOMG ive been waiting for this for like FOREVER! i hate this freaking drama sooooo much. just when i think i got it all in the bag, the writers decide to troll me and prove me wrong. i cant even sleep on a tuesday knowing this will come out. gahhh my sleep and feels!! wish the next 3 tuesdays will come faster >.<

  20. 20 sunshine

    OMG I can’t believe the finale episode 16 gets pushed back a week. I love this show. I love that there’s more of it, but I can’t handle not knowing who she ends up with an extra week!

    • 20.1 YChase007

      I think they will kill the doubt this week – I believe there is a contest going on about whos the dad and its supposed to be cleared up this week. Atleast that is what I read in a couple of message boards.

      I am definitely on the Yoonjae & Shiwon ship. I truly believe she told Taewong – thanks but I just cant do this now and 2005 embarks her pursuing Mr. Yoonjae =) Lets all hang in there even if the ending is extended to the September 18th, its such a great story I am glad it gets to stick around for just a little bit more

  21. 21 kelinci biru

    I love the moment Tae Woong came for Yoon Jae, so good. This show has soo many hearts, just reading the recap (after re-watching the episodes whole weekend) is bringing me to tears.

    I also love the way dad sneakily measure Shi Won’s table everytime he goes into her room. Cute.

    Then, the epic heroic rescue is epic. I keep screaming at them, for someone to put the phone for a while so they can call each other but, no, they made me almost have a heart attack instead.

    the moment Yoon Jae whisper to Joon Hee, my heart breaks again for him, drama, if you don’t pair him with anyone (preferably L) I’ll give you minus point.

    But now, you passed all my dramas requirements with flying colors and also one week extension is very much welcome, I really love you, Answer Me, 1997, in a year with so many good dramas.

  22. 22 Chica

    Ok, am I the only one who went back to check on all the 2012 clips for rings-wearing? I see Shi-Won wearing her ring in the very beginning of ep 1, when she sits outside to talk on the phone. But I don’t see Yoon-jae wearing any rings when he does the back massage for Shi-won. Aaaaackk!!!! this is killing me!!!!!

    • 22.1 Stardust

      I did the SAME THING!! LOL I want them to be the OTP!! It HAS TO BE right??! Tae Woong is a lovely guy but his screen time is like… 10% of the two eps? hahahah

      Thanks for the recap gf!!

  23. 23 latebloomer

    I’ve been obsessively waiting for this review since Friday, so nice to finally have a thread to talk about it!

    There two episodes were ridiculously so good – both for the plot advancement — though the whole “who’s the daddy” question is still up for grabs — and the feels. This show has so much heart, with all characters endearing in their own way.

    And OMOOMG this Shiwon-Yoon Jae/Taewoo-Shiwon/Yoon Jae-Joon-hee thing is just killing me and throwing my feels all over the place. I FEEL FOR ALL OF THEM, but, at this point, (personally) Shiwon/Yoon Jae has to be endgame. It just has to happen. The part where Yoon Jae rushes to Shiwon’s rescue, Yoon Jae’s scene with hyung, then fast-forward to Yoon Jae’s confession — show, you kill me.

  24. 24 Rong

    I refuse to watch these two episodes as I felt so sad just watching YJ “saving” for SW in the beginning. I can totally identify with those feelings. And, i have lived through those feelings. I will wait for the happier moments to happen first, then continue with the show. I rather read read recap and spoiler now… I do have a weak heart.

    • 24.1 Hana

      Me too… watching only the recaps already made my heartbreak….. and this curiosity is killing me….. X)

  25. 25 Rashell

    I love pretty much every single thing about this drama. All of the relationships are so heartfelt and real. And maybe that’s why, even though I’m mostly sure of the end couple, there is still room for a little doubt. Such a great drama. Thanks for the recap!

  26. 26 djes

    both of you are amazing recappers.
    Answer 1997’s recaps always make me cry.
    Watching the real ep doesn’t always make me cry.

    thank you. thank you.

    this ep reminds me when I left my hometown for high school, and how my mom said she waited me every lunch hour to come back from school, and to realize that now I lived in other city…*sobs*

    • 26.1 coby

      Thanks for the recaps! I’ve been waiting for this the whole day yesterday and ended up re-reading previous episodes recaps.

      Glad to hear that some episodes will be longer.

      I will boycott the whole kdramaland if Shi-won marries hyung!

  27. 27 aramint

    These brothers, I swear. Why must you guys have the same taste for like, EVERYTHING? *sigh* Can’t you fall in love with other girl? Well, for example, hey, I’m here, still single and available!

    Okay, this show has successfully made me go nuts. If you don’t have a good ending for everyone, I’m gonna sue you, Show! See you in court!

  28. 28 tinysunbl

    Does anyone know the background music after the rescue scene?

    • 28.1 Reena

      It’s a song from the movie The Classic (it was played in the Art Gallery scene), but I don’t know the title… 🙁

    • 28.2 beauty0fparting

      It’s 고백 (Confession) by Delispice. = )

      • 28.2.1 tinysunbl

        Oh that’s right. Thank you! I’ve recently heard this song in You’ve Fallen for Me. The show also features another Delispice’s Song, Chow chow. Good stuff

    • 28.3 Rinie

      Deli Spice – Confession



  29. 29 Moony

    I think its obvious to who Shi Won chose..Its Yoon Jae for sure..Its not something new that they fought each other a lot..Take a look at Shi Won`s parents..They fights, but they`re still a lovey-dovey couple..And the way the author wrote the script as if trying to install Tae Woong`s part in the couple further proved to me that its Yoon Jae that she was married to..Its like reverse pschology or something..
    Thanks for the recaps~

  30. 30 mars

    This drama is killer!

    Tae-woong is seriously making me uncomfortable. The necktie exchange characterized their relationship as it stands. As in gag-worthy! Shi-won was obviously unaware of intimate meaning behind the necktie and then obviously uncomfortable with the implications. Instead of stepping back and realizing “maybe this isn’t right, she’s not ready for this” he goes in for the kill. Absolutely disgusting.

    I do enjoy Tae-woong generally and his scenes with Yoon-jae are really well-realized. So, no, I don’t think he’s necessarily a bad person. Still, I’m not going to excuse his behavior with Shi-won because he looks cute in an apron.

    Also, episode 12 was Boys Be Mucking Up. Hak-chan mucks it up with Yoo-jung. I know his heart was in the right place but come on man! Being open about things is always the best policy especially with less-than-stellar news. I just have to say that Yoo-jung has the absolute best facial expressions, her smile! It’s the best thing. The funniest thing about Hak-chan and Yoo-jung falling apart this episode is that it actually sucked, but they’ll be together in the end. We know this and yet it still was hard to watch. Kudos, writers, kudos.

    Yoon-jae I think mucked it up with Shi-won during his confession. I felt for him I really did but it was also very selfish. She’s not ready to accept his feelings and that’s entirely understandable? I guess you can be top of your class and still be entirely unreasonable when it comes to your expectations of others.

    Also, in the wake of Joon-hee’s confession Yoon-jae does that playful whisper thing? I’ve been there. Being on the cusp of accepting that it’ll never work out, and then a small intimate gesture reels you back in. Maybe it’s only for a moment but it still hurts. Gah, Joon-hee needs a happy ending. I am suffering there with you buddy!

    ….Long comment. I really love this show. Haha.

    • 30.1 lizzie

      you act as if he threw SW in the bed and forced her to do something.

      Calm down, he just hugged her and kissed her forehead.

      • 30.1.1 mars

        Um, okay. First, nowhere did I imply that Tae-woong’s actions were equivalent to sexual assault. Second, please don’t tell me or anyone else to calm down. I’m within my right to be bothered by Tae-woong’s attitudes and actions (and do so as loudly or as quietly as I please), just as you are within your right to not be bothered.

        • bd

          Don’t worry, Lizzy just can’t get over the fact that others may find Tae-woong’s romantic interest in Shi-won a bit creepy (as well as not being quite believable).

          Even SW was clearly uncomfortable w/ where TW was going (not only was that an awkward hug, but a really awkward kiss to the forehead).

          And TW is thinking about engagement? Really?

          Not only is there the whole age thing, former teacher at her school thing and the older brother/uncle relationship thing, they probably really haven’t even held hands.

          Funny how SW couldn’t overlook the whole siblings of the same age thing w/ Yoon-jae, but then could overlook the whole older brother/uncle thing w/ TW, but did she really?

          SW is clearly not comfortable w/ the “relationship” that she repeatedly lies to her parents about whom she is meeting and evidently, TW didn’t find it fit to tell Mom and Dad that he is now “dating” their other daughter.

          SW seems to be in the “relationship” for the food and the attention/boost to her ego (that an older guy like TW likes her) and not really into it for romantic reasons.

          TW, otoh, seems to be hell-bent on this relationship, trying to accelerate it way beyond normal and what SW is ready for.

          Don’t know if he truly has romantic feeling for SW or if this is something he feels obligated to do (mixed in w/ confusion over his still strong feelings for the deceased fiance/sister).

          I agree about the actress playing Yoo-jung, Shin So-yool.

          She is great at emoting w/ her facial expressions w/o overdoing it.

          As good Jung Eun-ji has been, of the 2, Shin So Yool steals the scenes.

          Shin So-yool kinda reminds me of Jo Eun-ji (9 End 2 Outs) in both looks and acting talent.

      • 30.1.2 Aasa

        And completely overlooked/ignored how uncomfortable she was. But hey, Tae-woong can’t do no wrong amirite.

        • lizzie

          Okay people. Is not he cannot do wrong.

          He must know deep down she doesn’t feel the same, and I feel bad for him.

          They are dating, it isn’t like they are stranges, and they dated for what, months now.

          He just hugged her, you guys make it look like something worse. I didn’t see SW pushing him to you make it look like so forced.

          I also felt SW does not feel the same, and that was the moment she realized it. TW hugged her, must have been the first time? He could think she is only nervous about skinship…. I mean see how others leading ladies act all nervous in the first skinship between the male leads.

          And I like Tae Woong character and find the hating on his character too much just because people are obesessed with SW/YJ.

          You guys complain about SW not picking him, but guess what, just because YJ likes her doesn’t mean she has to like him back and end up with him.

          She chooses who she wants. And that is why I’m okay if she ends with TW or YJ.

          But this episode showed us she isn’t ready for a relationship, not even with YJ.

          See Yi Soo all ”don’t touch me” to the le

          • lizzie

            forget the last line I forgot to delete it.

          • mars

            @bd: You pointed out some things that I overlooked. I re-watched and I missed it the first time around but her parents are completely unaware of her meeting with Tae-woong. That is really telling!

            Another thing was Shi-won getting an ego boost from the attention, now that’s something I hadn’t considered. It’s very true to her character and her age.

            Shin So-yool is so delight in her role and definitely a scene stealer. She does look like Jo Eun-ji, wow, that’s pretty eerie!

            @Aasa: Yes! That’s exactly what I meant! I wish I could get my ideas across in such a sentence. Alas, I cannot! So, definitely kudos. I can’t get behind a dude who doesn’t recognize (or chooses not to recognize) how the object of his attention is reacting to that attention.

            @Lizzie: I’m not sure that I agree that they are dating, at least I don’t think that Shi-won thought they were dating. I think that bd brings up some excellent points about how Shi-won was interpreting the relationship. The evidence I would cite for not dating is that Shi-won vehemently denied that her necktie gift was given to him in the couple context. If they were dating for months I wouldn’t really see anyone having an issue with the gift being read that way. But there was an issue.

            Some Things…

            – I am rooting for a YJ/SW endgame. However, I did also criticize YJ for being a selfish dick in his confession. I agree SW does not owe him a relationship because he put himself out there. Shi-won owes nothing to no one.
            – Shi-won getting in a relationship when she’s ready and with who she chooses is what I’m all about. So, I agree with you there as well.
            – I don’t actually hate Tae-woong! I stated that I liked his character or the most part. My issue is with the way he’s acting with Shi-won. I do enjoy him with in scenes with YJ.
            – Criticizing a character’s actions/attitudes is not hate. You can love a character and point out when you believe s/he is doing something problematic. I think there’s often confusion between criticism and character bashing.

    • 30.2 JoAnne

      Yoon Jae took Jae Hee confession as a joke so he doesnt understand that a gesture like that could hurt – also he doesnt expect Shi Won to accept his feelings EVER – I do not think he intended to say anything but she HURT him and he just came out with it – all that pent up emotion of years now and he would never want Tae Woong to know about it

      • 30.2.1 JoAnne

        oh and of course they cannot be friends it would be too painful – she should not have even asked

  31. 31 DMKO

    Wow, I am crying over reading your recaps and I haven’t even seen the show! Thank you, girlfriday, you’re the best.

  32. 32 whatis

    SO GOOD! Sly sly drama!!! Just stringing me along! But I’m gladly being played… heheheh!

  33. 33 Daisy

    I cried this episode not cause of Yoon Jaes confession but because of how they’re growing up and everything is changing. It’s realistic that it’s depressing since I’m about to go through it. Leaving your parents and everyone is going separate ways! Now I know why I rarely watch coming of age stories LOLOLOL!

  34. 34 minhoswife

    I have been waiting for your recap on this!!!!!!!!!!!

    I haven’t LOVED a drama THIS MUCH in a loooooong time!!

    Yoon Yoon Jae is love *heart fluttering* #dying

  35. 35 kit

    I have never seen a better time transition, ever. Or the best use of a time skip either. And then tony oppa being the segue for her run in into Yoonjae seven years later. It blows me away that sych best friends could have kept away from each other for so long, but its also so realistic becsuse the closest of relationships when suddenlu cut off become this empty whole in your chest you dont get rid of (and dont want to) but is the hardest to go back to. Crossing my fingers that we get to see a flashback of angst in their college years – yoonjae drowning his sorrows in ramyun every night until he snaps out of it and does nothing but study, junhee being in the worst position as he sees his best friend killing himself every night and then being killed every time he swys something like ‘i only have you’, shiwon realising how much she misses, and potentially loves, him. Ha i bet on campus yoonjae is rymoured to be gay because he rejects all blind dates even with so many girls completely in love with him.

    That confession in the karaoke room solidified this drama as my favourite drama ever instead of hovering in the top five, made even worse when taewoong gives her the same damn ring. Says a lot about the brothers too doesnt it. Its crazy to think that oif shiwons sister hadnt died – their families eould have actually been parents in laws both ways twice. Im so impatient for wednesday i feel like im going to burst.

    Thankyou for the recaps!!!

    • 35.1 DarknessEyesq

      haha the whole campus flashbacs would be ingenious! But i don’t think that they will have many of those, if any, cuz i feel like there isn’t enough time for those TT_TT. Sometimes i really wish this was converted into a longer drama… it would have been great. Really, this should have aired on one of the main tv channels i think, bc even tho it is getting a lolt of recognition, i just feel like it would get more that way…

      • 35.1.1 Seli

        I wish it was longer, but I would never wish for it be aired on the main channels. It was lose it’s flair and what makes it great. The main channels are to restrictive and so…..meh. It seems like every almost every drama that I’ve loved this year has come out on cable.

    • 35.2 lizzie

      If SW’s sister didn’t die it would make YJ and SW in laws and in Korea they are against in-law’s getting together.

      I don’t know why but it is a big deal.

      • 35.2.1 lizzie

        **If SW’s sister didn’t die and married Tae Woong, YJ and SW would be in laws

        • Jessica

          Well it seems like it’s just some families that are against it. But seeing how SW’s parents are, I think they wouldn’t care and would actually be happy about it.

  36. 36 Pam

    I think it should be yoonjae, I rewatched all the bits that were in 2012, (Yes i am THAT obsessed) And during ep 9, they are looking at the sonogram and they hand it to the husband. The husband uses his left hand to pick the picture up. Before hand taewoong was on his phone and after the picture is taken taewoong puts something into his right trouser pocket with his right hand… so the left hand must be yoonjae! 🙂 hopefully my deduction skills are correct!

    • 36.1 DarknessEyesq

      oh my gosh really??? I am going to go check that right now!!!!! Oh, what is this show doing to me…

    • 36.2 DarknessEyesq

      no, i looked at it closely, and while you are right about the picture being picked up with a left hang, check again about Taewoong. He uses his right hand to lean over and put something in his left pocket, but the object could have easily been in his right or left hand…. T_T

  37. 37 Miss D

    Oooooh and is there anywhere I could find the English translation of Sa Joon’s Memories, the song Yoon-Jae sang in the karaoke room? Songs always have some symbolic meaning and I feel like my lack of Korean fluency is keeping me from further feeling his pain. So help please!

  38. 38 DarknessEyesq

    Well hey, its telling. When the creep is following her, she calls Yoon Jae first and not Tae Woong. Please please tell me that implies that Yoon Jae’s the one?

    • 38.1 iammt2

      I agree. Tae Woong is 1 on speed dial and even if he is working she should know that he’d come running (or driving…) if she called. Instead it’s Yoon Jae which, for me, indicates that she trusts in him the most.

      • 38.1.1 JoAnne

        rather it was who was nearest to her in proximity probably

        • DarknessEyes

          well a girl can hope, right? 🙂

          • kfan13

            Agree with @iammt2 , think about it- when you’re in trouble (extreme case), do you think who’s the closest who can help me ? If it were me, I’d be like who do I trust will come for me quick (and note that her parents are out of town).

  39. 39 LSQ

    Thank you for the recaps! have been refreshing non stop ever since i watched ep 11 and 12!

    2 scenes that keep playing in my mind:

    I replayed the scene of Yoonjae rescuing Shi Won countless times – I couldn’t agree more that despite wearing only one slippers, wearing so little, with his hands and face bleeding, all he cares about was Shi Won and feeling sorry that he was late the moment he saw her. My heart dropped.

    Nobody here talks about the song that Yoon-Jae sang in noreabang? He sang it so full of feeling and the song fits his feeling / situation so well.. its so heartbreaking

    and really! if these two are not together i will not believe in love again!!! Cant wait for the next episode tomorrow!

  40. 40 sueteller

    That farewell bus scene came straight out of when Dad and Mom was sending me off to college. The nagging, the crying …everything.

    Mom confessed years later that Dad was a complete mess the minute they got home. Poor Dad.

    I am completely shipping the Shiwon/Yoon Jae coupling. If that doesn’t happen I will throw something at my computer. I’ve literally burnt through most of my brain cells trying to figure out who ends up in couple-dom and what do you know? Bloody writers TROLL US! *slow clap goes here*

    We are going to need a support group when this show ends… Any takers?

    • 40.1 Shiku

      I love this show and I don’t want it to end. I will need the support group too! LOL!

      • 40.1.1 DarknessEyesq

        count me in too lol. I don’t know what i will do without this show, and especially with Gaksital ending next week, i am going to be dying T_T

    • 40.2 b1

      another one here — this ending and gaksital too .. awwww what’s gonna happen to me ;;;;

      • 40.2.1 Ariel

        Where do I sign up? I need all the help I can get… because this show is just killing me.

    • 40.3 Hafy

      I personally think dad have more difficulties than mom when it come to their daughters.. I mean my dad would not go to bed until I come home and stayed up all night until I do. Then, once he sees me at home, he will went straight to bed. Mom is different tho, where they usually nag but as for dad, they just silently waiting for us. hehehe it is from my personal experience with both my parents.

  41. 41 whoa

    wow, just wow. i applaud the acting of these young actors, they feel so real.
    esp seo in guk in that noraebang scene, his hurtful stare making my eyes watery
    at this point i just completely skip the whole hak chan-yoojung scene

  42. 42 Enz

    This is the best show this year so far. Love it soooo much. So realistic emotionally in all aspects. In a lot of ways it feels like reliving my past. Thanks for the recaps.. I get to ‘see’ things that were not fully subbed 🙂

  43. 43 minhoswife

    This show rocks!! I feel every single character. From the parents to Joon Hee to Sung Jae! It’s not just the main leads that I look forward to.

    And Yoon Jae? Smart, brooding, shy around the love of his life, can’t get to confess his love for his best friend. Gosh, that’s like my childhood idea of a perfect guy. Yoon Jae is LOVE.

    I love you, Answer Me 1997!! Please don’t ever end!!!

  44. 44 Lemon

    Ohmygod thank you for the recapppppp!

    I watched these 2 episodes last week and LOVED THEM. Couldn’t wait for your thoughts on this.

    • 44.1 Lemon

      One thing I don’t really get though.

      The year before, Shiwon said she wanted a ring for her next birthday, from a guy that likes her, but it could be “anyone but you (Yoon Jae)”.

      So why is it on her next birthday, she expects Yoon Jae to get her a ring??

      Does she have an inkling that Yoon Jae likes her, or is she just a little dense and couldn’t remember excluding Yoon Jae previously HA. Because if it was the former, that is just cruel. And if it is the latter, and she really had forgotten telling him “anyone but you”…then I have nothing to say, har.

  45. 45 NN

    Thanks for the recaps. I love this show to bits, been pretty obsessed about it. Love the beautiful duet by Jung Eun-ji and Seo In-gook.

  46. 46 whimsicalnet

    ur recaps are making me put this show on my must-watch list when it ends… thank you for a wonderful recap as usual.

  47. 47 sheza

    I wonder why Si Won has to lie that she is meeting Yoon Jae to her parents. Surely her parents would be alright for her to paper meeting Tae Woong too?

  48. 48 crazedlu

    wow. shall i punch myself in the face? whyyyyyy?!! seriously, brothers?!! ha. gonna drive me crazy here, but i looove it.

    yoonjae! yoonjae! yoonjae!

  49. 49 Shiku

    I just really love the show and the characters just resonate with me so much even though am not Korean or was a crazy fangirl though I used to love BSB and Immature.

    I really love the parents, they are crazy but they have so much love for their daughter. I love the fact that her mom always cooks in large quantities and her dad loves her but always act grumpy. I cried watching their goodbye scene and I cried again reading the recap as it’s similar to my mother sending me to college half-way round the world, being scared for me yet not wanting to hold me back. I miss my mum so much.

    I loved Younjae in this 2 episodes. I loved the fact that he didn’t care whether he had a jacket or not when he ran to help Shiwon. I also loved the fact his brother ran home to check on him as he was very worried.

    I loved his confession to Shiwon and I felt like slapping her when she said ‘can we go back to being friends like we used to.’ Now I understand where she is coming from but at that moment I was pissed off at her.

    I still think Shiwon and Younjae will be the end game but this drama is so confusing. They just had to have the same taste in rings, coffee and girls. They are not giving us any easy clues to figure out who she end up marries (I would be pretty pissed of if its someone new). I liked that Taewoong knew she wanted a ring without being told. I also like the fact Yoonjae bought her a ring even though she is kinda going out with big brother.

  50. 50 mary

    I identify with Joon Hee the most. Haha


    • 50.1 DarknessEyes

      like a smexy panda? LOL

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