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Answer Me 1994: Episode 4

The husband is revealed! Ish. In true Answer Me fashion, a clue comes attached with a bunch of qualifiers that basically negate the clue-iness of that clue, putting us no closer to the truth than we were before. This show is such a tease, and I can’t decide if I like it or want to drop-kick it in aggravation. I suppose the fact that I’m not sure is a sign it’s doing something half-right… or something half-wrong. Ahem. Just sayin’.

SONG OF THE DAY

Shin Hae-chul – “내 마음 깊은 곳에 너” (You’re deep in my heart) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 4: “Lie”

We open in 2013, still watching Na-jung’s wedding video. Haitai scratches his head trying to recall the name of the guy on camera, who jokes onscreen that Na-jung’s husband is the only guy who’d put up with her temper. She swears in response, to which Garbage chides her to speak prettily. She says okay, then immediately automatically swears some more.

Chilbongie sprawls on the couch, and Yoon-jin tells him to go take a nap. Ooh, another tease, since it sounds like she’s saying, “Go to your room,” but it could just as well mean “Use one of the rooms.”

Na-jung gets a call from the security desk about a package, and she confirms that it’s in her husband’s name—a name we don’t hear because of a convenient cut back to the gang’s conversation—before going down to retrieve it.

Finally they remember the guest’s name, and we jump back to 1994 to confirm it: Ki-tae, a batter whose reputation for hitting homeruns gets him into a nightclub (a “rockcafe”). Haitai and Samcheonpo are also waiting in line, looking adorably out of step in their wannabe ’90s fashions (one-strapped overalls! Colored bandanas! Saggy pants!) and are let in, but only to the basement level. Poor bumpkins.

It’s TV night at the boardinghouse, with Na-jung, Dad, and the two cousins Chilbongie and Binggeure. Aw, I love that Chilbongie’s become a fixture at the boardinghouse of outsiders, and that the boys bicker like real cousins. (Binggeure’s never seen this popular gag performance before, Chilbongie jokes that his dad must’ve thrown away the TV ’cause he was so addicted, and Binggeure retorts that SBS doesn’t broadcast in the countryside. Dad remarks that with all three broadcast stations available now, sometimes he’s at a loss with all the choices. HA.) And is it me, or is Chilbongie already looking at Na-jung with moony grins?

Mom serves the melon Chilbonggie brought over, which is a rare treat—you have to watch Na-jung’s silent reaction as she bites into one for the first time—and bought a department store. Eyes widen all around.

Chilbongie tries to play it off modestly, but it gets more awkward when Mom asks how much it cost and the family gasps collectively. I love that Mom chides Na-jung for calling Oppa Garbage, then asks Binggeure, “How does our Garbage act at school?” This family cracks me up; their motto may as well be “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Garbage is Binggeure’s sunbae in med school, and Binggeure says that he’s totally charismatic at school. Na-jung: “What, the charisma of wiping your face with the towel you used on your feet?” Cut to: Garbage emerging from the bathroom, using the floor mat to dry his hair.

Haitai gets in from another night at the club, though he didn’t get in this time. To explain why, Samcheonpo comes in wearing something you’d expect of a middle-aged businessman, and the others crack up.

Chilbongie is sleeping a few nights over in Binggeure’s room while his dad’s on a business trip and his mother’s on her honeymoon. Haitai doesn’t know about the divorce/remarriage and wonders what it means, while Samcheonpo guesses dimly, “His parents must have only now had the formal ceremony.” LOL.

He clarifies about the divorce and fidgets at the pitying look Na-jung and the country boys send his way… except it turns out to be awe as they absorb this added proof that Seoul is bigger, faster, and cooler: “Wow, a divorce! I’ve only ever seen those on TV!”

Garbage joins them and settles next to Na-jung, putting his head in her lap while she gets this “Omgomgomg” look on her face. Then he proceeds to drip melon juice on her leg, and cautiously wipes at it, hoping she won’t notice. But the touch jolts her out of her stupor and she shoves his head away, yelling at him for being a mess. The others silently sliiiide away the melon tray from the bickering duo and continue their grilling of Chilbongie, asking if he’s ever flown abroad or eaten bananas.

Late at night, the core family sits at the kitchen table prepping for the next day. The parents are headed back to their hometown, and I’m guessing the occasion is a sad one from the way Mom is distracted and glum. Still, she makes sure Na-jung is on top of breakfast-making for the morning, since they’ll be leaving at the crack of dawn.

Na-jung assures Mom she’s on top of it as she does the dishes, when out of nowhere Oppa pushes his way to the sink and takes over. Then in the morning when Na-jung makes her sleepy way to the kitchen, she finds the rice already cooking—Oppa took care of it.

Na-jung struggles with the tap on the sink, and just like that Oppa is there to twist it open for her. Then he wraps his arms around her and leans, calling her a nice girl and dropping a kiss on the back of her head. She freezes as he jokes, “Wanna marry me? I’ll treat you well.”

He chatters on in a one-sided conversation as Na-jung struggles to keep her feelings under control, taking over cooking breakfast and telling her to rest. How’s a girl to resist?

Binggeure watches TV while cutting out the programming schedule from the paper—ha, he really is a TV addict. Five bucks says he becomes a PD. On the news is a story of a large fire, and Haitai’s mother is quick to put in a worried call to her son to make sure he’s safe. Aw. He tells her that the city’s big and the fire is nowhere near, but moms will be moms.

The boys sit down to breakfast, and Garbage’s saturi comes out in full force, which is doubly funny because he’s usually the Seoul-to-bumpkin translator of the house, but now he’s the one needing translation. (Garbage growls at Samcheonpo not to translate, saying he looks like a serial killer.)

Chilbongie joins them and thanks Garbage for breakfast, which Na-jung takes issue with since she’s the one serving them. Chilbongie says that with Mom and Dad gone, Garbage is the oldest, and that makes Garbage wonder if everyone thinks they’re blood siblings. Everyone gapes to hear they’re not.

Chilbongie asks why Garbage calls Mom “Mom” if she isn’t his mother, and the country boys inform him that it’s common to call your friend’s mother “Mom.” Highlighting that point is a phone call that Samcheonpo answers, saying, “Yes, Mom? Hold on. Haitai, it’s your mom!” (She’s seen another segment on the news about a college drinking death and has to be assured again that Haitai is fine.) Chilbongie decides he really likes this Mom practice.

Haitai is headed for the rock cafe again tonight, though he sighs that he doesn’t know if he’ll get in. Samcheonpo emerges from their room spiffed up in a full suit and tie, and the minute Haitai threatens not to take him dressed like that, he whirls around silently to go change. Ha. Poor Haitai is still deluding himself into thinking the only reason they didn’t get in was because they didn’t go early enough to wait—you know, 6 p.m. The blank look Na-jung gives him is priceless.

Binggeure finds his cousin smiling to himself and asks why, to which Chilbongie answers that he finds the people in this house really fun—he’d like to be reborn as a country boy in his next life. So cute. Binggeure seems determined to flunk out of his major and lies down for a nap to skip yet another day of classes. But today Garbage orders him out of bed and won’t be shaken off.

Chilbongie is the last to leave for the day, and Na-jung offers him lunch first (and then makes him cook the ramyun, haha). While he cooks, she gets a call from her fangirl friend, tipping her off on Sang-min Oppa going on an MT with his department. She makes note of where he’ll be leaving.

Chilbongie laughs to himself over the exchange, and then continues to laugh all through lunch—she’s not being particularly funny, but he seems to find everything about her interesting and hilarious. She looks at him blankly, half-convinced he’s making fun of her, though he assures her he’s not.

Na-jung spends the entire day cleaning the house from inside out. She accepts a package that Oppa has been waiting for, and the show teases us with the glimpse of his last name: Kim. That’s all we get for now, folks.

Haitai and Samcheonpo spend all their class time primping for the club, determined to make it in today. Haitai pauses for yet another worried-mom call (she saw something on the news about an accident), saying whatever answers will get her off the phone quickest.

They arrive at the club extra-early… only to get told that they are again too late. Haitai’s not having it and glowers at the usher, who gulps under the scrutiny but sticks to his line. Haitai warns that he’d best not be lying, then turns to go dejectedly. Samcheonpo has been watching the whole thing with a look of resignation, and seems to have caught on. He tells Haitai decisively, “I think this is a case of… needing to get here earlier.” Ha. Good ol’ Samcheonpo, always on hand to miss the point.

Na-jung catches a news report on TV, this time about a gas explosion in a Suncheon apartment that seriously injured a middle-aged woman. Oh noes, not Mom! On the off-chance that it could be Haitai-related, Na-jung leaves him a message telling him to call home, just in case.

Unfortunately, he misses seeing the pager message since he and Samcheonpo are busy watching a movie in a DVD room. (Ah, remember those?)

Then Na-jung sees a framed photo of her family of four, picking it up with a teary eye. Ohhh, is today the memorial of her brother’s death? That would explain her mood and her obsession with cleaning. The photo reminds her of something, and she goes on a hunt looking for it. (Song: “You’re Deep in My Heart,” posted above.)

Haitai and Samcheonpo are shocked to see Ki-tae (the hotshot batter) here instead of the rock cafe. Ki-tae says he’s headed there later, flabbergasting our bumpkins, who are aghast at the idea that he’d jeopardize his chances of getting in. And then the ball drops as they realize what’s really been going on. Better late than never?

So they enlist Ki-tae’s help in getting past the gatekeeper tonight: Ki-tae stands in line and gets his party waved inside, at which point they step forward. The dismayed doorman is eager to avoid a confrontation and offers them free snacks, which gets Haitai to proceed inside, where he and Samcheonpo automatically head for the basement. Ki-tae’s girlfriend has to correct them, saying that the basement is the worst floor and that they’re headed to the top.

At that, Haitai flips his lid and seizes the doorman by the shirtfront, giving him what-for for his discrimination. Samcheonpo just moseys along, suggesting that they head upstairs, letting Haitai carry on. Hee.

There are only four at the dinner table tonight, and Chilbongie urges Na-jung to sit and eat with them, but she keeps getting up to serve and check on dishes. Her face is obscured by the brim of a hat the whole time, I’m thinking to cover her eyes, and she declines to eat. All through dinner, she sits dully in her seat, picking at her food.

Her melancholy mood is reflected in her parents’ demeanors as they take a taxi through the city. Mom sighs that their boy would’ve been just like those kids had he lived, going on dates and studying at college. She breaks down as she says it would’ve been so nice if today were his birthday and not his deathday, crying that time just makes her miss him more.

The clubbing boys get home, still seething at the idea of being shafted all this time. Na-jung asks Haitai about calling his mother, and he only now hears about the Suncheon explosion. In alarm, he bolts for the phone and calls home, only to get a busy signal over and over. His panic mounts as he redials, and finally she picks up with a cheery voice, having been chatting with a neighbor. His relief and worry mix as he barks that he was worried sick, and she chuckles back at him, using his own words about how the city is a big place and the accident site was allllll the way across town.

Haitai gets choked up as Mom promises to send up more of his favorite jam (which he’d told her in an earlier call that he’d finished, just to get her off the line), and then we see why: The big jar is still on the shelf, unopened. He opens it up and starts eating, blinking back tears.

Garbage shows up just as Samcheonpo is making a dig at him and gives him a whack on the head. It’s hilarious how Samcheonpo then gives Garbage a respectful bow goodnight, only to shoot him a dirty look when he’s not looking.

Oppa’s been at home less than a minute before he catches on to Na-jung’s unusual demeanor, and he watches closely as she gets up to serve him soup. He takes off the cap blocking her face and checks her temperature, noting that she’s not well and sending her to bed. She lies in bed crying, and Oppa stops by to tuck a pillow under her head.

Dad stops on the way home to pick up fried chicken, since “our son” eats a lot. Heartsick Mom heads for bed upon arriving home, and Dad gives her a massage to make her feel better. Chilbongie knocks on their door to invite them to eat the chicken, but the parents decline and tell him to eat up. He pauses to wish them good night, tacking on a cautious “M…other. Mother? Mother.” He attempts his best approximation of a saturi accent, which may be the cutest thing ever.

Mom cuddles with Na-jung, both of them shedding tears. Na-jung asks if Mom knows where her stuffed seal doll went—the one she used to carry around as a kid that she’s been looking for all day. Mom reminds her that she’d given it to her brother on his last day.

Na-jung heads back to her own bed and lies down… and her hand notices something odd about the pillow lying under her head, which isn’t a pillow at all but a seal doll that looks just like the one in the family photo.

She barges into Garbage’s room and asks if he bought that doll, and he confirms that he did—that was the package that came earlier today. Ooof. He advises her to take it easy, noting how she worked herself ragged today, and tucks her into bed with some medicine.

Na-jung has something to say, though, and takes a moment mustering up her nerve. Garbage waits expectantly, and finally she manages to say, “I… like you oppa.” Then she repeats it for good measure, adding, “I like you. I love you.”

He looks stunned. He stares for long moments, and raises a shaking hand up to her cheek… and pinches. He laughs, taking the whole thing as a joke and saying she really had him for a second.

Na-jung’s voiceover: “Of all days, it had to be April Fool’s Day. The death that seemed like a lie, and the confession that turned into a lie—both had to be on that day. Nobody had told a lie and so nobody had been fooled. But more than the fool who’s tricked by April Fool’s, a thousand times worse was the terrible April Fool’s Day itself. Sometimes reality is crueler than lies.”

And there it is, circled on the calendar: April Fool’s Day, and under that, “Tae-hoon’s death anniversary.”

Outside, the others dig into the piles of fried chicken, and we get another name tease with Haitai asking about the cousins’ names, only to get cut off by Dad barking at Yoon-jin to cut her hair. The name conversation resumes with the cousins about to reveal their last name, and then Dad jumps in with hair complaints for Samcheonpo. Dad sniffs that Samcheonpo’s (real) name is such a mismatch for his face, and Samcheonpo protests that it’s not—his name is fine. It’s Kim—

—and again we get cut off, because we’re going to be coy about this forevah. Chilbongie gets caught up laughing at the bickering session and misses hearing his cousin calling him, so Binggeure switches to his name: “Hey, Joon-ah!” (But we already knew his name from yesterday!)

Back to 2013. Na-jung picks up her packages from the front desk, and the security guard squints to read the name: “It’s Kim…”

She cuts him off to say that yes, that’s her husband all right. She takes the boxes up to her apartment, where Chilbong joins the others after his nap, which means all five guys are sitting next to each other on the couch when Na-jung looks over and calls, “Yeobo!” (Used only with spouses.) Nobody reacts, so she says sharply, “Hey, Kim Jae-joon!”

Five heads swivel in her direction.

“Among these five men, there is my husband,” she narrates. “And my husband’s name is Kim Jae-joon.”

Back to 1994, jumping back earlier that day to Na-jung’s call about where to catch Sang-miin oppa when he goes on his MT. The caller hangs up thinking Na-jung bought the joke, but her friend scoffs that nobody would be dumb enough to fall for that, and that Na-jung was just humoring her: “She can seem uneducated, but she’s not an idiot.”

The next day, Na-jung dutifully waits in front of the station, approaching the group of students that is curiously Sang-min-less. She asks about him and gets confused looks as the students depart, but still she hangs around, hopeful as always.

 
COMMENTS

There were some really moving scenes in this episode, but I’ll say this: There is no reason this had to be an hour and 15 minutes long. Zero. If this extra-long running time continues, I’m going to be a grouchypants shooting curses at the writers—they’re taking a sharp, witty thing and dulling all its edges and thinning out the good stuff. I don’t mean the show isn’t good anymore, because it is, but it could be really amazing and instead it’s shooting itself in the foot. Which makes my heart sad and my back hurt. I really feel the excess fat when slogging through the scenes for recaps, and when “slogging” becomes a word you use to describe a show, that’s not a good thing. I’m hoping this is a one-off deal, and we’re back to one-hour episodes next week (which is already about 15 minutes too long, in my book).

Haitai’s story was one of those moving scenes of one of those scenarios we’ve all experienced—not appreciating your mother and then feeling the weight of that guilt when you realize it. It’s also an example of this drama doing what it does best, weaving in its sense of humor and the theme of the day into a heart-tugging moment. And there’s that universal truth of how sometimes the best way to show momma your love is to eat what she makes you.

On to the big reveal, which isn’t so big after all: Kim Jae-joon. Which could be annnnnybody. Let’s see what we’ve got so far: Oppa’s last name is Kim, Samcheonpo is also a Kim, Haitai is unnamed and therefore still in the running, Chilbongie is “Joon” and thus potentially Jae-joon, and Binggeure both shares last names with Chilbongie and a character in his first name, which means he could also be a Joon.

How like this show to give us a huge clue and then obscure the whole thing anyway, because nobody’s going to reveal his name until the end anyway, are they? This is still a clear two-way race between Garbage and Chilbongie, but they’ve kept the others around just for funsies, and at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if we finally hear that Garbage is named Kim Jae-joon, only to have Chilbongie chime in, “Oh, me too!”

Still, if this series does one thing better than the original, it has to be in the question of who the husband is, which feels a lot more like a real question this time around. We all have our suspicions, but I suspect that if we had to poll ourselves the numbers would be pretty neck-and-neck.

Well there’s a thought. Let’s do this thing:

For some reason I feel like it has to be Chilbongie, even if I think so based more on meta information than the plot itself. The plot thus far has been leaning heavily toward Oppa, with the way he reads Na-jung so well and is there for her without her even asking for it, and even with zero romantic strings attached it would be enough to make me cry a little at the sweetness. What kills me more about his seal doll gift isn’t just that he knew she’d need the comfort, but the way he presents it silently, without fanfare or drawing attention to himself. You know he’s got to feel his best friend’s loss too, but he’s not in the inner circle of the family grief and therefore steps up to ease their burden on their tough day.

But it’s like watching a mystery where the clues all lead in one direction, and that pings your suspicion radar because it’s too simple. Plus, the failed confession is such a gut-punching moment for Na-jung that feels so true to life about that love that went unrealized. Maybe I’m wrong and the story will turn back around, but that achy unrequited feeling will always be associated with Oppa. We haven’t had the time to get to know Chilbongie, and he’s clearly not wearing a wedding ring in the 2013 scenes, which ought to take him out of the running right away. But instead it feels like the show is setting us up for a misdirect—only time will tell… and I suspect it will take a loooot of time.

For now, I’m going to enjoy watching him try to puzzle out Na-jung like she’s a quirky alien creature; his fascination with her every move is adorable, especially when she’s not doing anything special. And that’s what gets me, more than his longing for a family life or calling Mom “Mother”—the fact that he finds her special just for being normal ol’ her.

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Ahhh! finally, thank you so much! Ever since I watched the episode I have been waiiitiinng for your recap. I just had to know what you had to say!

and how much is everyone loving Go ara in her deglorified role!!

great job with recap guys! As always much appreciated! Xoxo

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"and how much is everyone loving Go ara in her deglorified role!!" A lot!! Even if it's just me.

I loved, LOVED that scene when she was eating the ramyun. Her cheeks were so puffy and squirrel-like and that face she gave ChilBongie when she thought he was dissing her, OMG, SO CUTE!! I burst out laughing.

Go Ara really needed a role like this and I'm glad she got it in AM 1994.

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"and how much is everyone loving Go ara in her deglorified role!!"

I certainly am first time I've ever enjoyed her as an actress, also first time I've ever found her attractive.

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I love love this episode. I realllllyyyy want bong gi to be the husband. Even though trash is the best oppppaaa ya ever!!

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yeahh me too i like oppah yah but i still want chilbonge to be the husband

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I heard this episode recorded 4.2 ratings with a 5.6 peak? That’s pretty amazing for tVN, considering Medical Top Team is on one of the Big 3 and recorded a dismal 5.8. Isn’t this basically their highest rated drama yet, (when they don’t combine the ratings from other cable channels?)

I think episode 4 was really the episode that sort of solidified by love for this show; it really struck an emotional cord. I’ll take it as a slow burn, and as some of you call it, in a slice-of-life kind of show. It’s 20 episodes, we’re at 4, and i already feel like i know so much about this family. I really wonder how the writer is going to fill up these next 16 episodes -- i’m sure we’ll get sick and tired of that ONE seoul scene in her living room like we did in 1997 at the restaurant.

Okay. I love Jung Woo. Seriously. He has this impeccable comedic timing that is so natural and rare even in actors that you would call seasoned. That’s raw talent. He is perfect playing this role, it fits his acting style to a tee. You don’t get that he’s forcing the humour, and you don’t feel cheesy when he does sweet things for Na Jung. Again, that’s where the absent-mindedness comes in. I don’t think he realizes how much he has an effect on Na Jung(and us) doing all these things without really expecting a pat on the shoulder. For example, walking up early, driving mom and dad to the terminal, cooking the rice, helping out. We all know he likes to sleep in -- so it’s not like it’s nothing. And yet he plays it off like it’s nothing. Sigh, oppaya. Why do you do this to us? I swear if Jung Woo doesn’t get lead roles after this i will cry injustice!

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No, Answer Me 1997 is their chart-topper at 7.5% (real-time high of 9.4%). This show has a pretty good shot at beating that, but it hasn't yet.

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But isn't it because it was combined ratings of tvN, OCN, Mnet, and O'live simultaneously?
Answer me 1994 (so far) has only been broadcast on tVN.

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I thought Jung Woo was outstanding in You're The Best, Whatever Her Name Was but he continues to astound me here. Such subtle nuances and attention to detail in his acting that it comes across completely natural and endearing. That awkward giggle of his is also ridiculously infectious ... LOL.

I think he has not gotten lead roles because he may not be considered that attractive? I mean, he's not ugly by you know, any means but compared to the pretty flower boy idols type?

He certainly can act the pants off those wannabes though.

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Chilbongie is so adorable, boy needs a hug! I sooo want him to be N Jeong's Hubby but Oppa seems to be making more of an impression. I fear Chilbongie is going to be my next Kang Joon Hee:both just need hugs!

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Is it wrong that I want Oppa to be the husband, and Chilbongie to be the son-in-law? That poor boy looks so starved for affection when he watches the country hicks with their parents. I want him to have a mom and dad like Na-jung has, but I still want Na-jung to be with Oppa. *Sigh* So confusing.

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Maybe I'm seeing things, but I think Garbage must like Na-Jung because of the way he looks at her when she's not looking.
Also, I thought he was REALLY shook by her confession and tried (in a very artificial way) to ease the tension with a joke.

For me it looks like he's too invested in protecting her and trying to be her brother after her real oppa died and don't allow himself to express other feelings for her.

I love bonggi as well, but oppa is the one for me. I know a lot of things will happen, but I find it difficult to see another guy as her husband. It has to be Oppa-ya~!

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God, I hope you are right!

Someone said they thought his reaction to her confession was a cover:
"You scared me" can be interpreted as
"Oh sh^t, I have been trying to deny it/hide it from myself. If you were serioius, I would have to face these feelings that so far I have passed over as brotherly love."

I don't think either of them are ready to lose their closeness for "benefits." I am not sure the trade off would be worth it in the long run after everything they have been through together, but in the future? When they both are out on their own? YES!

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Oh he totally played that off. He knew she wasn't kidding. I'm not sure he returns it, though, because if he DID I don't think he'd be so free and easy with his hands on her all the time. Not that he wouldn't want to, just...their situation would make that awkward.

Right now I'm thinking it's Chil Bong, but the reality is the best answer to the question is that it's one of the OTHER three, since we dismissed them out of hand. Universally, I might add.

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How much do you guys wanna bet Garbage knew she wasn't kidding with that confession?
He knows her better than anyone else and can read her within seconds. If he didn't see that heartbreak and seriousness behind her confession, then what convenient timing to have him overlook her feelings.

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He had tears in his eyes when he was laughing. He even shook his head to clear his eyes. His laugh was SO artificial and uncomfortable. I can't be crazy, he was totally pretending.

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YES!!! He was.
We are going to be heart broken later, aren't we?

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I agree with you! Garbage oppa is definitely hiding his feelings for her. He notices things like Na Jeung's mood but won't notice his girlfriends suddenly blond hair-- I can understand a guy not noticing painted nails, or a slight change in hairstyle or even clothes but something totally obvious like haircolor ? why doesn't he notice? because he definitely cares for NJ and not a whit for the girlfriend. And he's totally jealous of Sang Min who Na Jeong adores which is why he had to retaliate with her undies...

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Not to mention the time he dissed the Sang-min poster in Ep. 1. I was like, "Chet, why is her oppa so petty against someone his sister likes?" Turns out he's the other kind of oppa.

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I wonder if the proposal was also a red herring, because he seemed serious about it, but then seemed to be like, but you'd never see me that way. And she thought he was playing around and joking.

Maybe he saw it as retaliation for the proposal and this is new territory for him.

It did say that he became unfamiliar... so... I'm putting down Oppa for the win.

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Havent you guys stayed for the preview?There was a voice over by oppa saying "some words are best left unsaid... seeing the love in your eyes are enough" then cut to oppa looking at NJ and covering her head with ajacket

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Previews aren't supposed to be discussed on Dramabeans according to recent official policy.

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And here I took it as Chilbongie like for real-gotta brush up on my comprehension skills. Am pretty much resigned to the fact that oppa prolly wont be the one but am just hoping they wont be any divorce business, I mean they all look buddy buddy now so I hope atleast she wasnt married to one of them-who knows, maybe Sung Min oppa?!!

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I'm on team Garbage all the way but I do feel hesitant that in the end he will be the husband. We have seen a lot of Garbage and NJ and how well they know each other, as well as how much they care for each other. I'm expecting that they will do a switch on us where clues lead us to believe that Garbage is her husband but in the end it's not him but Chilbongie. Plus, we really know very little about Chilbongie and he has had a lot less scenes with NJ.
Mind you I hope I'm wrong. I just love Garbage. I'm happy to see the actor get this type of opportunity after You're the Best...because I loved him and his character on that show.
Thank you for the recap. I've been looking forward to reading it. :)

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Cant imagine anyone else for her other than Trash Oppa.....

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I want it to be chilbongie!!!!
he seems like the husband and my only reason is because in the future, he's the only one looking reallll comfortable (clothing) at Na Jung's home.
keke

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I'm sure it's chil since oppa and her have pretty much the same relationship as 1997 so I doubt the writers would do that twice and I agree about the misdirect but I find it seriously sad because I love her and trash together and he seems way way too perfect

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Nadoo. The others wear suit, but Bong Yi wear the comfortable one. We only wear something comfortable when we are in our house right, but the guess should wear something nice. xD

I AM ON BONG YI TEAM.. he is toooooooo cuteeeee.... but Oppa is cute too..

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i noticed that too.i'm for chilbongi !!!

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And only after Chilbongie come after his nap, that Na Jung said honey, the package delivered. My gut feeling said, its Chilbongie.

But until now, its oppa that keep doing a nice thing to Na Jung. It's confused me so.

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Hm, I want it to be oppa, but I think it's going to be Chilbongie.

But I like Chilbongie, too - we just need to see more of him, and I'm sure we will; we have 20 episodes to fill, after all. (20! Much as I like the show, the thought of all this back-and-forthing for 16 more hours is just exhausting.)

Thanks for the recap, Javabeans.

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I am liking this show more than 1997 so far

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I don't even have words to explain how impatiently I was waiting for this recap! Thank you!

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it still feels like oppa is the husband but i do hope the show surprise us dat it'll be chilbongie in the end, i jus hope its different

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I just love Na Jung's relationship with Garbage as it is. They already have such a strong bond that I don't really want it to become romantic. In Answer me 1997, it worked really well when the 2 leads had a kind of best friend relationship where their feelings of familiarity suddenly shifted into romantic feelings as soon as they became aware and matured. Thats why with 1994 I want them to do something different where the boy she meets later on becomes the one she wants to be with. Even though Garbage is her oppa I still feel like he's more like the Yoon Jae character in this scenario. Obviously the character setups are completely different, but still I'd like if the latecomer has a chance at Na Jung's heart. We've still barely seen Na Jung and Chilbongi together so I'd rather see how they end up before making any decisions.

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I'm completely with you javabeans. Way too long. And I don't mean the pace - it's just that the scenes are often too long... and often we get too much info/scenes which kill the intended punch and dilute the strengths of a story point. Take for example the memorial day. I cried with the first scene when the inner family was preparing for the next day...the unspoken sadness of everybody... really well done, it touched me so deeply. ... And then they milk it too much in the other scenes which follow... and I lose the connection - I for example didn't feel anything when the taxi scene with the parents arrived.
I really don't need to be told everything explicitly. Sigh.
Start editing, please, because the show is good and can be much better with a pair of "scissors".

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Thank you so much for your words and thoughts.
Outstanding again.

I totally agree that there is too much of Show, but still, I love dwelling in it. I can't explain how powerfully it has been affecting me. The OST is unfamiliar, but it feels perfect.

I agree with this totally:

"Haitai’s story was one of those moving scenes of one of those scenarios we’ve all experienced—not appreciating your mother and then feeling the weight of that guilt when you realize it."

This show does a great job with the delicate parent/sibling dance we do - too much caring is too much, but you sometimes can't help it.

After watching this with tears dripping down my face, I had such longing for my daughter away at college - whom I hadn't talked to in almost a week. I was surprised when she called me at midnight, and even more surprised that we talked for almost two hours! She was confused about some things, and still negotiating all the personal relationships of roomies and colleagues. It is nice to be needed even when you feel like they will admit it.

Mostly, I adore the unspoken love and caring between Garbage and NY. And even though it would be awesome if they could marry, it is also awesome that they will have each other in their lives no matter whom they each marry.

The adopted parents happened in 1997. It is very much like a Dickens story where a group of unrelateds form fast and loving bonds. I EAT THIS STUFF UP!!

I know, why doesn't she marry ALL of them!

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I'm with Jomo. I whole heartedly enjoy the long-ness of the story. Honestly it's been so long since I laugh as hard as I do watching the show, I can only compare that laugh to watching the best shows of Running Man (such as the first super power one). When the story tugs the heart string, it hits deep and universal. Long after this show is finished, I know I'll still relish it and go back to it when I can...

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Omg, Jomo, for me it was the same situation, except I'm the daugther and right now I'm an exchange student in Argentina, and seeing that scene...god, it made me shed tears because I feel like Haitai whenever I think about my mom and how much I miss her and how much I know she needs and misses me. I'm sure your daughter is infinitely grateful for having you in her life :D

And I would love for Garbage and NJ to marry, I love their relationship.

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I voted for Bingguerre just because I think it would be the best misdirect ever. Especially if it's a neck and neck contest between the two front-runners for 18 or 19 episodes and then he is the last-minute winner.

Chilbongie was so adorable calling Mom "Omoni." Somebody, please adopt that boy.

Najung Confession Debacle is the exact reason why I never had the guts to tell a crush that I liked him, even if I was reasonably certain that he liked me too. I bet that poor girl wanted to die right there and then.

I was not a fan of the Hubby mystery at first but I love it now. In '97, I didn't even realize for several episodes that it was supposed to be a mystery and it was never really a contest. She didn't even like Hyung... I never figured out why she "dated" him at all (if you can call that dating. It was more him running after her and her letting him run after her). In '94, I'm totally invested in the mystery and trying to pick up the clues, even though I'm pretty sure they are all misdirects. The fun of the trying to figure things out makes up for having to sit through the extra half-hour of excessive talking.

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Three-quarters way into the episode I decided that I'd be okaaaaay if NJ ends up w/ oppa then Chilbong goes ahead while shuffling outside the door call the mum, "Omoni!" HAAAAATE the writers for making me go back and forth since both of them are just wonderful! :/

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Right? I don't really have a preference and I wont even try to choose between these two. Sometimes I think it should be Oppa because he is so sweet and charismatic but then I think also think it should be Chilbong because I want everyone to love him and hug him so he'll never be lonely again.

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The more I see Chilbongie, the more I realize I really connect with him as a character. He's endearing and simple and seriously adorably sweet. I'm in this ship only because I feel he deserves the love. Not only from NJ but also her mom. I mean - oppa has that - all his life. Chilbongie doesn't and maybe it's sympathy or empathy all at once but he gets me right at the gut.

I too love how the whole who's-the-husband is more mysterious this time. I just can't tell and even if that makes me really frustrated, it definitely is motivation to tune in.

Also - interesting statistics about how well his drama is doing and how well 1997 did. Does anyone know if a cable drama/variety show (ie GoF) ever surpassed 10%? Not real time but actual ratings average for an episode? I'm just curious...

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Childless Good Fortune hit 10.7% - weekend family series with 40 episodes on JTBC.

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Omg really?!? I knew it has rated high but I didn't know it surpassed 10. That's crazy for cable tv. It was definitely not popular online. Maybe lack of hype/well known faces? Or maybe just that it's a family drama lol. I'm gonna google it right now!

Thanks for the reply JB =)

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I absolutely agree with you. I really love Oppa but somehow he seems be more of a brother than a husband to Na Jung. Plus in the scene where he said "Marry me, I 'll treat you well", that kinda make me doubt all the more with Oppa being the husband.
I already had the feeling that Chilbong is gonna be the husband from episode 0 and this epsode just makes me secure that thought even more. Chilbong totally deserves the love from Na Jung and her parents. Him and NJ just seem to have a better romantic connection than Oppa and NJ. And usually when I watch dramas, if the 2 main characters are close together from the start like NJ and oppa then I doubt they'll be together, since I know directors want an unpredictable plot twist right? Either way, I'm happy if NJ ends up with Oppa or Chilbong, they are both great!

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I love this show SO MUCH. Thank you for recapping it! As much as I love the show, I always enjoy reading your thoughts and comments as well.

I really hope it's oppa! Their relationship kills me.

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OMG, it's totally Oppa!

THE PACKAGE PARALLEL. He got a package in 1994...her husband gets one in present day.

Obviously I'm desperately grasping for for some kind of confirmation here.

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THIS! the package thing in one episode, I also think about this one.

And Bing Geu Re, I think he will end up with Yoon Jin, they wore the same unique slop while they are in the living room. Can we please call that as a hint? xD

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voted for Chilbongie because i root for him, though it feels like its gonna be oppa.... a close race, well done. Plus, in 1997 I had this feeling that oppa was replacing her sister with her, and Inguk loved her so much more, but with these two... they both feel right.

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I had a feeling mom was showing symptoms of being depressed.
In previous episodes sometimes it would cut to her and she would stare longingly into space.

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The five are named Kim Jae-joon.

Why?

Why would every head turn at the mention of the name Kim Jae-joon? Unless they're bluffing, I'm betting every non-existent money I have on my deduction.

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I think everyone turned because of the way she yelled out all loud. I wouldn't be surprised if more than one of them was Jae-joon, though. I don't think it could be all five because they already established that Chilbong and Binguerre have similar names but not identical.

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That was my immediate thought, too. Then I realized it was because Na-jung was yelling. I wouldn't be surprised if Garbage and Chil-bong both happen to have similar names just so the show can tease and mess with us. It actually took me until this episode to realize that we've never heard any of their full, real names.

I'm probably in the minority, but I'm really enjoying the mystery husband schtick and any sort of running mystery-gag in a sitcom. I love to see the various silly ways they try to hide the info.

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Seriously was I the only one who was a crying mess while reading the recap. This is what I love about the answer me series is that they do a good job in blending comedy with the emotional theme of the day. I am definitely in team oppa garbage.

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i am betting with all my kdrama experiences that the "yobo" is trash (jung woo) and definitely not chilbong (yoo yeon seuk)... waenya hamyeon, if you've noticed in the 1st ep, (first clue) na jung directs her yobo to easier route going home, which she doesn't need to instruct IF its chilbong coz he's a seoul guy. arasso?... and usually in kdrama, the 1st guy you see, usually and mostly, is the leading man. AND just like in reply 1997, they're trying to divert your attention to the other guy, so you wouldn't guess it. that is definitely my over-all opinion. kamsahamnidaaaaaa....

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Trash oppa had been living in Seoul five years prior to when Na Jung moved in. And Na Jung and her husband has been living in Seoul for 19 years. So, based on that alone (her directing the way), it's not bringing us any closer to who Na Jung's hubby is.

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I'm with you in this line of thinking. Chilbonggie definitely knows his way around Seoul, as we saw with him trying to give directions to Dad. Garbage is the one who is always bumbling around looking to Na Jung for help with everything.

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I live in Atlanta, Ga, which is a good sized city and, with the exception of College, I've been here since I was 8 (I'm 32 now). I know my way around pretty well for the places I have to go. But, if you send me to a part of the city I don't frequent, I'm going to need directions.

Also, by this point, they've all lived in the Seoul for at least 19 years so they are all probably equally familiar with it. I think the Seoul accent she used was the bigger clue but I don't get why she would bother switching accents for any of the boys at this point. It does make the most sense that she would switch it for Chilbong, though.

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I fully agree with your last two paragraphs. When the show started I was sure the husband would be Oppa but now I'm not sure. I even think it's Chilbongie for the win.

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i was waiting for this review. a show hasn't made me giggle, laugh and swoon like this in a long time. i am loving it so much so maybe that's why it doesn't really drag for me. right now i really want oppa to be her hubby but i'm not so sure that he will. i haven't watched him in anything before so when i saw that he was paired as a possible love interest i had zero interest in him. but he has really stolen my heart with his thoughtfulness and and tenderness. in fact his qualities make him quite the sexy man at times imo. i think he has always liked her deep inside, you can see a spark of it at the rarest of times, but maybe his duty as her guardian, to the family and his best mate have stopped him from ever really allowing himself to have those feelings. i am rooting for them though. and i admit, chilbongie' fascination with her is the most adorable thing ever.

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Omg only one LOLed on Kim Jae Joong because of Kim Jae joong of JYJ?

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curious who was casted first garbage or chilbong?

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I have a feeling they take the title card of Answer Me 1997's last episode, "The reason why first loves don't last" and make it literal for this drama. Oppa is her first love, but Chilbongie is her last. They already have that pre-couple bickering going on and he seems smitten with her.

That's okay tho. I'll take Oppa! Gimmee!

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If thats the case with the first love won' t last, something is off. Because in 1997 eun ji was in gooks first love-and he got her in the end!

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This is one of the few oppa-dongsaeng relationship that I don't want to evolve into something more. Its just that what they have right now, just seems so right that I dare not mess with it. Usually I'm one of those people who would want to see one-sided love especially with 2 people who genuinely care for each other, realize the potential of a different side of their relationship, but this Trash-Na jung relationship, I just want them to stay as is. :)

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My thoughts exactly!

Actually, though I support Oppa getting a shot at hubby-dom, I was really disappointed when they revealed he was not her blood brother. :( It would have been so fresh and unique if one of the two main guys (I don't think you can call only one of the five main though) was not linked romantically to the heroine.

They're just so comfortable, as you say, I don't want that broken, but I'm guessing it's going to, especially if Oppa starts to distance himself because he fears for their current relationship.

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They have plenty of episodes to cover a distancing and reconnecting, though. I wouldn't mind that at all.

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"We haven’t had the time to get to know Chilbongie, and he’s clearly not wearing a wedding ring in the 2013 scenes"

I think I remember reading/hearing somewhere that a lot of Koreans don't where their wedding rings because they're afraid of losing it. So they end up putting their rings into a box for safekeeping.

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I believe even Oppa isn't wearing a ring in the 2013 scenes. In E3 when he gestures to NJ that he's stepping out for a smoke... yup, no ring!

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wear*

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thank you for your recap.

for some reason, the left hand of garbage oppa is purposely hidden or blurred out in this episode. i have tried zooming in and looking with my extra clear bionic eyes but i really cant tell whether he has a wedding ring or not.

however, it was clearly shown that there is no wedding ring for chibongie

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Lack of a wedding ring doesn't tell anything for sure. I'm married and don't wear mine, for a variety of reasons.

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very interesting drama :) loving the mystery of the husband.

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No! Garbage ain't wearing a wedding ring either.So doesn't Haiti and we all know he is Yoon Ji's hubby.

Even in Reply 1997 it wasn't until the very last episode that Seo In Guk started wearing a ring.

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Haitai is going to end up with Yoon Jin.

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The moment Chilbongie took his shirt off to go and take a nap I was like ugh the hatred and love I have for these writers is ridiculous.

Seriously, there are lots of good moments but I don't want to be skipping half of it to get there. Today wasn't as bad though. Oppa yah kills me. The way he carries on conversation at dinner but is actually just staring at Najung the whole time and the boys are like um? Calling her at the booth about the randomest things just to check up on her throughout the day. The seal doll. TAKING HER PARENTS TO THE STATION AND THEN DOING THE RICE and just being at his desk being all yo studying my med textbooks bc perfect genius (when he usually oversleeps ;___;) How could someone not fall for that. ._.

I don't believe someone has to get married to another because they've known them for the longest, and i do believe Chilbongie will get a lot of screen time and be fleshed out as a character. Yet I'm still leaning for Oppa yah because of the cliche she'll date someone else but the whole time she won't be 100% invested because of the first love. And people seem to be pushing that he has no feelings for her, but I feel like he must have? Like he just doesn't want to accept it? Eg staring at the Basketball posters in ep 1 and being all 'How is this guy better than me' (which sounded really off when I thought he was her real brother haha), how he froze when she went in for the bite ... I can just imagine Chilbongie asking him respectfully before he asks Najung out and Oppa starting to get a jealous streak.

Tighter episodes please. I want this to be a fantastic drama instead of an okay one.

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Omo, I'm dying when the time comes for Chilbongie to ask Oppa for permission to date her, hohoho let the jealousy games begin! but I agree, even though I love the show and the characters and situation make laugh I'd prefer if it moved faster, specially taking in consideration the fact that's gonna be 20 episodes...way too much for me

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yes ı agree with you . oppa was jealous of from sang min oppan when he was na jungs room . so he also loves na jung. ı hope na jung will marry track .

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I'm rooting for Chilbongie or maybe Binggeure. I just think that Oppa is going to be her her first love, my not her only. Also I know a lot of people are saying that he must love her because of how he looks at her. I agree, but I think he's looking at her like a little sister who he adores.

I almost feel likw its impossible for Oppa to look at her as a lover. He's spent the better part of his life taking care of her as a sister. If he DOES begin to look at her differently it might take him a while to let himself accept it.

Also imagine if he doesn't reciprocate her feelings? When she confesses again he's going to be a wreck in the after math. He's already shown that she is the most important person to him and wants to protect her from hurt. Imagine his his turmoil if he becomes the one hurting her?

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If its not Garbage oppa I'm going to cry.

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Me too. If it's not Oppa I'm just gonna go into a deep dark downward spiral of depression. I'm a sucker for characters like that.

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Me three. T.T

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me tooo :((

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I don't think i'll be able to handle it :( Trash oppa is such a sweetheart </3

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After reading your shared comments I finally get an idea about how this show's gonna lead us through out the 16 episodes. Since Reply 1997's known for being so shrewd in the way they turn things out till the end I think Reply 1994 gonna end up with a different twist but with the same mechanizations used in 1997. Perhaps they might show us how sweet and caring Trash is towards Na jung only to find out that they stayed as friends with each other in the end while Chilbong marrying najung. But, you see one clue I found out too that may be useful is the package Trash asked najung to pick up for him when it arrives, could it be the same guy in the year 2013?

What I like about Trash is that he may not be that good looking and viable to viewers but his charismatic personality and effortlessness on screen makes him stand out and makes me root for him to end up with najung. I can only hope for now though cause god knows how much of a roller coaster ride it is to watch any of reply '90s tv series from start to end. Not to mention the notoriety of misdirection it does to its viewers, even if it's too obvious we still get confused or most of the time the other way around.

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So everyone rooting for oppa thinks Chilbongie is the husband and everyone rooting for Chilbongie thinks oppa is the husband?!
Oh show....

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we're all trying to save ourselves the hurt.

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Preach!

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GOLD.

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This line is basically the byline for the Answer Me series omg. A+

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My thoughts exactly!!!!

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THIS. This comment for sure! We're all trying to save ourselves heartbreak by investing too much in our faves ;)

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I vote for Chilbongie to be her husband because I find it cute that he find the country accent amazing & also the attachment toward the word mother. I've been wondering but does Najung even go to school at all?there hasn't been any scene of her in school at all when Yoojin even went to school

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I voted for Garbage Oppa in the poll, but that's because I want it to be him so, so badly. But, I think it's all a misdirection for the audience. I think it will end up being Chilbongie. I don't mind that, I like the actor, but I love Garbage. I like Chilbongie too, and I feel for him so much, but he has a bit of his own story going, while Garbage doesn't. Garbage is just there, helping Na-jung, annoying her, being everyone's hyung/oppa/son, but not really doing much of anything else. He doesn't have his own storyline that is outside of the boarding house and away from the rest of the characters. At least, we're not getting one. So, that's why I think it will be Chilbongie.

I love all the characters, and really felt for Haitai this episode. I totally understood him and his mom.

I hope Yoon-jin gets more scenes soon.

Also, I think the boy from the beginning of the first episode will end up being Na-jung's younger brother. I think he'll be an un-planned baby for her parents. But a good surprise for them too. I think.

Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

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Ohhh i think garbage's back story will come later... and will probably hit us like a ton of rocks...

I also voted for chilbongie but i want oppa to be the one...sigh...can't na jung have both?:P

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My first post ever on dramabeans yaaay!

Anywho I think Oppa's the husband, but that less based on clues and more so just because I really want him to be. I know a lot of people don't think he'd be the husband because it would be a similar set up to 1997 with yoon jae and Siwon, and that the writers wouldn't do that, but I disagree. Just because they did it before doesn't mean they wont do it again. They are doing the whole mystery husband thin again.

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The whole divorce conversation seems significant. Maybe she will marry baseball player b/c of unplanned pregnancy(kid from first episode), divorce, and rekindle love with Trash in 2002.

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Didn't think of that! It could be possible, but I somehow don't think so. Seeing Mom and Dad so upset over their son's death, made me wish that the boy from the first episode was their second son and third child. I thought so at the end of episode 2, but now I really think so.

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If you can't fight it, embrace it. I have grown to love the length; to dwell in the little heart-tugging moments and silent exchanges that leave me wanting even more after each episode.
I love anticipation of waiting to find out who the husband will be. This show does this so welling with little clues woven into the plot. I'm rooting for Garbage Oppa at the moment (how can you not love him) but Chilbongie is slowing inching in and making a little nest of sunshine in my heart with his smiles.
I'm addicted and so invested in this show. Honestly, I think I'm sick with 90s fever. Love love loove both series.

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Chilbongie <--- the force is strong with this one. :D

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Question: what is the name of the song when Haitai grabs the jar of fig jam after his convo w/ mum? Thanks, in advance!

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Roy Kim - Seoul here :)

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Lovely! Thanks! <3

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Wouldn't it be really awkward if NJ's husband is not Trash oppa? They're so close and know each other so well. How would a man be able to stand someone who's not related to his wife be so close to her?

I'm team oppa all the way :)

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yes yes yes. they are so close each other and ı think track also loves na jung but he cant say this because of parents. but next episode when he see ba jung and chil bongie together, he wonder about na jung. ı hope najung will marry with him ( TRACK!)

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sorry . TRASH OPPA FİGHTİNG!

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Voted for Trash Oppa, and I hope and want the husband to be him haha.

Of course, I won't base anything on the 2013 scenes because we all know the director/writer are trying to misdirect and mislead us. Although, I think she used her Seoul accent to piss off her husband (Trash Oppa) because why would Chilbong need directions in Seoul, being from Seoul? I don't think he'd get her humor haha.

I'm going based on airtime. I don't think Chilbong has had enough airtime, particularly with Na Jung. Even if it's a slow burning type of love (and looking from previews it is), I still don't see how that can compare to Oppa's love haha. Also, I think Chilbong finds her antics cute, but I don't see how she can ever be herself around him...unlike Trash Oppa who makes her heart flutter but she can yell at him haha.

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About the Seoul accent and the directions, because of your theory now I think the husband is Chilbong (though I prefer oppa), and the "pretending to be from Seoul and showing Seoul knowledge could be a joke from the days (1994) when he "laughed" at her because she was fron the countryside and found her funny. There's no reason for changing the accent, and also, afer twety years neither of the guys should need directions.

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Oh my... now I'm thinking that 4 people with the surname Kim out of 5 guys is quite unlikely, right? (I want the husband to be oppa so so badly).

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I think I know. Of the five heads turned her way only four have amused looks while one has a slightly amused but at the same time a "yes?" face. That my friends is Chilbongie. Freakin Sherlocked that piece! FTW. But I might just be blowing smoke which I tend to do more often than not. IGNORE>.<

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LOVE THIS, haha. This show drives me crazy in the best of ways!

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Yeah, i kinda feel that Chilbongie gotta be the husband. Oh well, who knows?
I

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