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Age of Youth: Episode 11

Going through a breakup is never easy, but one of our housemates finds that ending a longtime relationship is even more difficult and frightening than she could have ever imagined. Thankfully, our trusty Belle Epoque ladies are as amazing as ever, showing up when they’re most needed. It just goes to show that what a girl needs most is not a man (ahem, Ji-won), but girlfriends who are there for you in any kind of situation — good, bad, or ugly.

EPISODE 11: “If you look closely, everyone has their own special circumstances #earrings”

It’s 7 a.m., and Ye-eun is leaning against a couch, a black bag covering her head, and her arms and legs both bound with tape. As she wriggles her body in desperation, she thinks to herself, “Where am I? What happened?”

Rewind back to 5 a.m.: Ye-eun’s at church for early morning prayer; afterwards, she heads back home. She’s just outside of the house when she’s jumped by a masked man — he punches her to stop her screams, then drags her away in his car.

Back in the present, Ye-eun freezes when she hears the front door open. Someone walks over and takes the bag off her head, and Ye-eun’s eyes widen in recognition when she sees her attacker. When he strips off the tape on her mouth, she says, “Oppa?” Doo-young just grins at her, like he didn’t just kidnap his ex, and it’s horrifying.

A little later, Ji-won wakes up and sees Ye-eun’s bed empty. She starts to scream at how late she is and rushes out of the apartment. As Ji-won runs off, the camera lingers on the ground outside the house, focusing on a shiny earring — definitely Ye-eun’s.

The earring goes unnoticed by the rest of the housemates as they leave for the day, even though all three stop just in front of it. Yi-na’s busy tying her hair; Jin-myung gets a text from her pastor about an attorney; and Eun-jae’s on the phone with her mom.

Ye-eun lies on the floor of Doo-young’s living room, her mouth taped shut again. Doo-young returns with food and continues his “everything is normal” routine, asking if Ye-eun’s hungry. When he takes the tape off her mouth, Ye-eun asks Doo-young if he’s doing this because she broke up with him. She doesn’t understand — it’s not like he liked her that much, and he’d even tried multiple times to break up with her.

But Doo-young doesn’t even look like he’s listening as he sits there stuffing his face. It’s only when Ye-eun starts screaming at him to untie her that he reacts, yelling at her to stop, then taping her mouth shut again.

Doo-young then smiles and asks why Ye-eun laughed at him that day when he went to see her at school. He drops his smile and accuses her of looking down on him even when they were dating. Looking menacingly into her eyes, he screams, “Who do you think you are to look down on me?”

Jin-myung visits her mother in jail to bring her food and cash, and tells her that she’s looking into an attorney. Not meeting Jin-myung’s eyes, Mom tells her she shouldn’t do any of that, then stands up and ends the visit. Jin-myung numbly watches her mother walk away and picks at her still-bandaged finger. When she accidentally flicks the band-aid off, she looks surprised to see that her nail has grown back.

Eun-jae and her family are at the cemetery, where authorities are digging up her dad’s remains. Later, Eun-jae’s aunt comes to talk to her, but she completely ignores Eun-jae’s mom, who’s standing right next to her. Eun-jae’s aunt says that the results of the investigation will be available in two weeks and tells Eun-jae to be “careful” in the meantime, while giving her mom some serious side-eye.

At school, Ji-won and Sung-min are covering a student protest for the paper. When the protesters get a little rowdy trying to chase after some university administrators, Ji-won gets caught in the middle. Sung-min manages to stay out the way, and he just watches Ji-won get bumped around with a little grin on his face.

6 p.m.: Doo-young’s annoyed when Ye-eun interrupts his video game because she needs to go to the bathroom, but he carries her there and back. She asks him not to tape her mouth again, promising to be quiet, and he relents.

Yi-na’s in a fashion design class, but she has a terrible time staying awake. She complains about the class to Jin-myung later at home, then notes the emptiness of the house. Jin-myung explains that Eun-jae’s with family and Ji-won’s spending the night at the school newspaper. (Hey, you forgot someone!) Yi-na opens the refrigerator and a bottle of juice marked “Wednesday” falls out, but she puts it back without a thought.

Back at Doo-young’s, Ye-eun sits quietly while Doo-young goes through can after can of beer. He tells Ye-eun that he’s a terrible person, and says he’s sorry. Uh, how about you let her go then?

He sits next to Ye-eun and tells her he treated her badly because he felt uneasy — he thought she’d leave him if he was good to her. In tears now, Doo-young puts his head on Ye-eun’s shoulder and says everything is his mom’s fault, since she died young and left him alone.

Doo-young says he can’t live without her and begs her not to throw him away. When Ye-eun says she won’t leave his side, he kisses her, then lands on top of her, causing her to yelp in pain. Apologizing for hurting her, Doo-young finally unties Ye-eun’s hands. She then puts her arms around him, and he cries into her shoulder.

Meanwhile, a disheveled Ji-won works late into the night while Sung-min sleeps on the floor of the newspaper office. Back at the house, everyone else is in bed, but Jin-myung tosses and turns, unable to sleep. Eun-jae has another nightmare about the deaths of her dad and brother.

It’s 2 a.m. when Ye-eun wakes up on the floor and finds Doo-young next to her, fast asleep. She carefully untangles herself from him and hops over to his desk to grab a box cutter to undo the tape on her ankles, nervously looking over at Doo-young when he moans in his sleep. She cuts herself free and slowly makes her way to the door, but as soon as she unlocks the door, Doo-young’s eyes fly open.

Ye-eun makes a run for it but doesn’t go far before Doo-young catches her and drags her, screaming, back to his apartment. He throws her to the floor, then grabs her by the hair as she begs for forgiveness. With a wild look in his eyes, he starts punching her, punctuating his blows with screams of his own.

The next morning, Jin-myung notices the row of juices in the refrigerator and asks Yi-na why Ye-eun’s Wednesday juice is still there — it’s Thursday now. Before she can think more about it though, Jin-myung gets a text from the hospital asking her to pick up her mom’s personal belongings.

Jin-myung picks up the box of her mom’s things and begins to go through it. She lingers over a poetry book, then pauses when she finds an unopened lipstick box, looking at it curiously before tucking it into her bag.

Ji-won wakes up at the newspaper office to see Sung-min crouched down next to her, and the two resume their usual teasing almost immediately. Later, Sung-min asks Ji-won if she’s confessed to her roommates about her ghost lie, and she says she will after the paper’s deadline has passed.

Day Two of Ye-eun’s kidnapping. As Doo-young leaves for the day, Ye-eun lies on the couch, bound, taped, and now sporting a fresh bruise on her face.

Jin-myung returns to visit her mom and tells her she’s met with the attorney, who said Mom can attend her brother’s funeral. She also tells Mom about picking up her things from the hospital, including the lipstick. At that, Mom looks up at Jin-myung, and tells her the lipstick is for her.

Shocked, Jin-myung raises her eyes to meet Mom’s gaze, and the two just look at each other, the air thick with emotion. But the guard announces that time’s up on Jin-myung’s visit, and Mom has to go. Before she leaves though, Mom says she bought the lipstick as a birthday gift for Jin-myung last year. She apologizes, and Jin-myung struggles to hold back her tears.

When she gets home, she heads straight to her room and takes out the lipstick from her bag. She opens the box and looks at the lipstick, and this time, she can’t stop her tears.

Yi-na’s hard at work at her new retail job when a well-dressed young woman enters the store. A few beats later, the girl is joined by an older man: It’s Yi-na’s former Boyfriend #1. Yi-na’s mortified and looks like she wants to disappear, but she does her job, helping the girl try on a hat.

Later that evening, Doo-young returns home and finds that Ye-eun’s soiled herself. He makes a face and sprays air freshener around her.

Back at school, the newspaper articles are approved, and Ji-won’s finally able to go home. She’s exhausted and hungry when she gets there, so she opens the refrigerator — and Ye-eun’s Wednesday juice falls out again. Ji-won doesn’t think much of it and puts it back, then decides to text Ye-eun about getting some food.

Doo-young responds to Ji-won’s texts as Ye-eun, writing that she’s not planning on coming home tonight. Ji-won guesses that she’s with “that bastard” and Doo-young affirms it, causing Ji-won to react with dismay.

Ye-eun squeals until Doo-young takes off the tape on her mouth, then asks how much longer he’s planning to keep her — her housemates are going to look for her soon enough. But Doo-young’s not worried, as he’s already texted Ji-won saying that the two are going away on a celebratory getting-back-together trip. Ye-eun asks what happens after that, and Doo-young says, “This will be over when you like me again, like you used to.”

As Ji-won ponders over her texts with Ye-eun, Eun-jae looks over and notes that something about Ye-eun’s texts are off: Ye-eun normally uses “hehehe,” not “kekeke.” She also tends to use a lot of emojis, but she hasn’t used any in her recent texts.

The housemates look at one another — but then they burst out laughing. Ji-won jokingly wonders if Ye-eun could have been kidnapped, and Yi-na says that anything’s possible with Doo-young. But Jin-myung sits up and seriously asks the girls: When was the last time they saw Ye-eun?

None of the three remember exactly. Jin-myung mentions that Ye-eun hasn’t had her daily juice since Wednesday — so that would mean she hasn’t been home for two days. Ji-won checks their room for clues, but Jin-myung has another idea. Using Ji-won’s phone, she texts Ye-eun that she should be jealous because they’re having fried shrimp — a dish they know Ye-eun doesn’t like.

The response from Ye-eun: “I’m totally jealous.”

The four immediately freak out, now convinced that Ye-eun’s in trouble. They start going through Ye-eun’s things to look for Doo-young’s address, and Ji-won breaks open a drawer to find Ye-eun’s diary. Ye-eun’s latest entries are super upbeat about her newly-single status, reaffirming Ji-won’s suspicions that Ye-eun wasn’t looking to get back together with Doo-young.

Back at Doo-young’s apartment of terror, the doorbell rings. Ye-eun perks up, but it’s just the jjajangmyun delivery guy. Doo-young explains away Ye-eun’s muffled squealing as his dog acting up, and when he returns to Ye-eun, he threatens to punish her by pouring jjamppong over her head.

While the housemates continue searching Ye-eun’s room, Yi-na spots a familiar hotel in the background of Ye-eun’s laptop wallpaper and identifies the neighborhood. Ji-won snaps a photo of the wallpaper (smart girl!) before the roommates cab it to the area, where they do a little sleuthing to figure out Doo-young’s building.

Strangely, Eun-jae lags a bit behind the group as they run over to the building, and she looks over her shoulder as if someone’s following her.

In the building, they go through the mailboxes to find out Doo-young’s apartment number. The elevator ride up to Doo-young’s floor is quiet and tense, each girl lost in their own worries over Ye-eun.

When they finally get to Doo-young’s door, the four don’t quite know what to do — they hear Doo-young laughing inside, and they wonder if they’re making a mistake. Just then, the jjajangmyun delivery guy interrupts them — he’s here to pick up the bowls outside Doo-young’s door. At that, a smile spreads across Yi-na’s face. Someone’s got a plan!

Inside, Doo-young is annoyed to find the delivery guy at the door again, claiming that the bowls aren’t outside. Glancing at Ye-eun, he opens the door a crack… only to come face-to-face with Ji-won and the rest of the girls. Doo-young claims Ye-eun’s not there and tries to close the door, but Ji-won spots Ye-eun’s shoes in the entryway. As the girls start screaming Ye-eun’s name, Ji-won and Doo-young engage in a struggle. Yi-na delivers a two-fingered eye poke to push Doo-young back, allowing the girls to storm into the apartment.

But Doo-young rushes to his desk and picks up the box cutter, warning the girls to stay back. He grabs Ye-eun as a hostage, and says he’ll kill her if the girls come any closer. The girls are frozen in place, freaked out and unsure what to do, when Eun-jae steps to the front with an odd, blank look on her face.

As she inches forward, Eun-jae starts seeing and hearing things in slow motion. She turns to look back at her roommates, who try to stop her, and then thinks to herself: “This is weird. It’s been weird since a while back. Why doesn’t this feel real? Why does it feel like it’s happening to someone else? There must be something wrong with me. Why am I not scared?”

She steps closer to Doo-young and says out loud, “I won’t die even if you stab me. Stab me. Kill me.” She keeps getting closer, and Doo-young, shaking, swipes the box cutter at Eun-jae, making contact. Holy crap.

The rest of the housemates scream in horror, and Doo-young freezes for a moment. Ye-eun takes this opportunity to knock him backwards, and the rest of the girls spring into action, attacking him with gusto.

Eun-jae, blood splattered on her face, falls down and loses consciousness. She narrates: “Maybe… I wanted this to happen, since a long time ago.”

Cut to Doo-young being escorted out of the building by police, followed by Eun-jae being wheeled out in a stretcher, surrounded by her hysterical roommates. The girls try to follow Eun-jae into the ambulance, then plead with the EMT to save Eun-jae’s life. The EMT, looking exasperated, tells them that she won’t die — not with an injury to the palm of her hand. HA.

The girls watch the ambulance drive away, all of them still sobbing, but relieved that Eun-jae has only hurt her hand. Ye-eun’s next to be taken away to be treated for her injuries.

Elsewhere, an unkempt Jong-yeol stumbles into the living room, where the TV is blaring the news about Ye-eun’s kidnapping, complete with footage of Eun-jae being wheeled into the ambulance. Jong-yeol’s eyes go wide when he realizes what he’s seeing, and he quickly runs out of the house.

In a hospital room, Eun-jae’s hand gets bandaged, but she looks fine otherwise. Her roommates wonder why Eun-jae did what she did; Yi-na marvels at her courage, while the others laugh at Ji-won for being so scared. It’s nice to see the girls laugh after such an awful experience, but they’re interrupted by the police, who take Ye-eun for questioning.

The girls return to their conversation — only to be interrupted again when Jong-yeol bursts through the door, panic written across his face. Eun-jae looks adorably surprised by her visitor, and her roommates tactfully leave the room so the two can talk.

Jong-yeol sits down next to Eun-jae and asks her if she’s hurt badly. With tears in her eyes, she shakes her head, then asks him why he hasn’t been in school lately. He says that he’s been drinking a lot because of her, and she starts crying in earnest. She pulls a blanket over her head before apologizing to him, but then pulls her head out to squeak out that she’s missed him. His voice wavering, he tells her that he missed her, too.

Ji-won stands outside the room with her ear to the door, eavesdropping. But she’s soon distracted by someone calling out Jin-myung’s name — it’s Jae-wan! He runs over to Jin-myung and checks to see if she’s hurt anywhere, while Ji-won and Yi-na stare wide-eyed at the two.

Jin-myung quickly pulls Jae-wan away for a more private conversation. Then, it’s Yi-na’s turn: Dong-joo calls her name and runs up to her, all out of breath. He pretty much does to Yi-na exactly what Jae-wan did to Jin-myung, and poor Ji-won just looks from one couple to the other before walking away, dejected.

She ends up calling Sung-min in the stairwell, but he’s at home in bed. She asks him to come to meet her, saying she’s never been so lonely in her entire life. Sung-min just sighs and hangs up on her, leaving Ji-won to flail about in frustration.

When the five roommates all return home, they take celebratory group selfies, all of the girls smiling brightly.

Sometime later, Eun-jae’s bandages are off, and she walks with Ji-won eating ice cream. Ji-won asks Eun-jae a serious question: Why did Eun-jae do it? Ji-won says that it looked like Eun-jae purposely put her hand on the blade, instead of Doo-young cutting her. Not only that, but Eun-jae’s been acting strange lately, being extra quiet and staring at things blankly.

Eun-jae doesn’t answer, instead thinking to herself that there’s no use in saying anything — Ji-won wouldn’t understand. But she’s conflicted about it, and she looks up at the sun, then at Ji-won. After a moment, Eun-jae tells Ji-won that the ghost in their house is her dad, and it was she who killed him.

In a flashback, we finally see the events leading to the death of Eun-jae’s dad. Eun-jae watched from behind a cracked door while her dad filled two thermoses — one pink and one blue — and put a packet of medicine in the blue one. He left the blue one with Eun-jae’s mom, but before he could leave with the pink one, Eun-jae switched out the contents of the two.

Back in the present, Eun-jae tells Ji-won she might have made a mistake; her father may have put the sleeping meds in her mom’s drink simply because she was having a hard time sleeping. But Eun-jae mentions other suspicious things that had happened — the house fire, and her dad acting “like that” when her brother died — and says she’s not sure of anything.

Ji-won looks supremely uncomfortable and haltingly asks Eun-jae why she’s telling her all of this. Eun-jae reminds Ji-won of the words she said a while back: that everyone has their own circumstances that drive their actions. Eun-jae says that she felt Ji-won of all people would understand her situation — that what she did was a product of circumstance.

Eun-jae asks Ji-won if the color of the ghost has changed at all — or does her dad hate her? Ji-won looks back at Eun-jae, unsure of what to say, then tells her no.

Ye-eun sits in her room with her friends, looking at the earring she was wearing when she was kidnapped by Doo-young. She ends up tossing the earring out of the window and meeting her friends out in the common area. Eun-jae and Ji-won are there too, unloading groceries.

One of Ye-eun’s friends keeps looking at Ji-won, then finally says to her, “You’re Liar Song, right?” She says that Ji-won was famous for lying about seeing a UFO back in middle school — she even scammed a broadcasting network. She asks Ji-won if she’s still telling lies, and Ye-eun jumps in to ask if that means Ji-won’s been lying about her ghost-seeing abilities all this time.

Ji-won stands frozen, unable to say anything. She turns and looks at Eun-jae, and as the two stare at each other, we hear Ji-won’s words to Eun-jae from before: “Everyone has their own circumstances — something about you that others can’t understand, but you can’t help.”

Epilogue. Doo-young is dragged out by the police for the interview. He says he kidnapped Ye-eun out of love, and admits to being unsure as to how he was going to end what he’d started. As for his future? He expects his rich dad to get him probation instead of jail time. His final words words for Ye-eun: “Don’t ever date a bastard like me again.”

COMMENTS

Out of all the questions I had at the end of last week about how our roommates’ stories would wrap up, not one of them had to do with Ye-eun and the state of her relationship with Doo-young. I just had assumed that it was the end of their story — her finally breaking it off with him and staying away. But alas, it was not, and for better or worse, most of this episode was devoted to telling this pretty bizarre story of how Doo-young lost his mind and turned into a criminal psychopath.

I appreciate the show wanting to deal with the difficult and unfortunately common problem of dating violence, but I’m not sure if this was necessarily the best way to go about it. We’ve seen glimpses of Doo-young’s abuse: him pushing Ye-eun out of the car, his verbal abuse throughout their relationship, and the ways he manipulated her. So if the show wanted to tackle this subject in depth, it could have gone down the path of showing us the buildup of these seemingly “small” acts of abuse, and how Ye-eun dealt with it.

But instead, we got this very serious, very intense kidnapping storyline. With all the references to dating violence peppered throughout the episode, the whole thing felt very after-school special-y to me. I’m not sure why the show sometimes feels the need to hammer home the theme with such a heavy hand, when elsewhere it does such a beautiful job of capturing subtle moments and character beats.

Regardless, all that Doo-young craziness may have been worth it for the housemate rescue scenes alone. Sure, it may have taken two days for them to notice Ye-eun was gone (I blame this on Ji-won’s absence), but I loved everything about that whole part — from the initial moment of realization that Ye-eun might be in trouble, to the scenes of the girls sobbing hysterically in the aftermath, losing it over their concerns about Eun-jae. It was great to see the girls being smart about the whole situation, thinking through ways they could find Ye-eun as quickly as possible. But above all, the friendship that the five girls have slowly developed across the span of eleven episodes was so clearly on display throughout, and the characters continue to be consistent in who we know them as, even in the smallest moments — and that’s no easy feat.

I thought the confrontation scene with Doo-young was also well done — it touched on Eun-jae’s issues (while highlighting the need for that girl to get some therapy, stat!), allowed Ye-eun to take some active part in her rescue by being the one to push Doo-young away from her, and the girls dished out a bit of well-deserved ass-kicking for Doo-young. After all that, it was icing on the cake to get that sweet moment between our maknae couple at the hospital, along with the other two surprise visitors for Jin-myung and Yi-na. But ack, my heart goes out to Ji-won — not to perpetuate this myth that you need a man to be happy, but I can understand why she felt so lonely in that moment.

The kidnapping plot, as out of left field as it felt, hasn’t diminished my love for the show at all. But there really were so many other things I’d rather have spent time on this episode, like getting more into the details of Ji-won and Sung-min’s relationship (which, by the way, is totally heading for romance — shippers rejoice!), or going deeper into Eun-jae’s story with her dad and her family, or giving us more info on what Ji-won’s hiding and who this Hyo-jin is. Seriously, we have ONE more episode to go. How are we going to fit in our answers, plus the requisite awesome roommate moments, plus more cute romantic moments with our already established couples? The answer: We need more episodes, JTBC!

 
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I didn't mind the kidnapping, although it did feel out of place a little. Maybe if there were more episodes it would be fine. I just wish we could have more dramas like this.

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I'm with you chocolatte in thinking that we already closed on Ye-eun part and focus on the other girls. Not just that but everything you said in the comment section. ??⭐️

One last thing: THAT cab driver was AWESOME!

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Oh yeah I forgot about the taxi driver :D "kick their ass" XD

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Blame it on dramas for cab drivers to assume that any frantic hailing means there's a b*stard that needs to learn a lesson.

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I was ok with the kidnapping because it didn't last too long and I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to highlight the perils of domestic violence.

But I do agree we could have had more time for Ji Won. Her story is still the least fleshed out and yet seems to have so much potential! The ringing in the ears, this compulsion to lie to create "excitement", her insightfulness and her friendship with Sung Min...

I also vote for Season 2 please! ? Please drama gods and JTBC!

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I want to know more about Song too...to the end, my least favorite person is Ye Eun. The other four girls though, really awesome!!

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I agree that the kidnapping arc did feel out of place but it was worth it for the rescue scenes and all. I was laughing when they realized only her palm was injured and how they went from hysterical crying to confusion. I feel like we did get some kind of clues about him that because of his trauma as a child he had this sort of detachment issues but it still doesn't justify the fact that he kidnapped her and beat her up. I was hoping the same guy from the last prologue to scream "Crazy Bastard" I know I would have. But damn the fact that it took them two days to notice, but then again everybody had their own problems to deal with. The PPL of the tape though didn't they use the same tape to tape the butler of CAT4K to the roof? What great advertisement. "Look how strong our tape is you can tape your butler to the roof, need to kidnap your ex-girlfriend? No problem" No but in all seriousness that arc was terrifying the way it escalated that guy is crazy, thank God and the writer that she had those girls to save her sadly in real life it doesn't always end with a "happy ending" (add the trauma :/) I like that this drama addressed that. Also the fact that looks can be deceiving. Thanks for the recap chocolatte :)

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Apart from the epic detective work and rescue mission, I think the kidnapping showed just how dangerous dating violence can get and therefore should not be taken lightly. Also, given that Yi-na had near-death experience and psycho ahjussi, Jin-myung had creeeeepy boss and euthanasia, Eun-jae having a dark past related to her dad and brother, it seems like Ye-eun fell behind on the "traumatic experience with men" category...until this episode.

But I'm still in the dark with Ji-won's deal. Was the ringing in her ears just a creative execution of how her lie haunts her? What about when she mentioned "Hyo-jin"? I was dying to know more about her and what made her into what she was.

And I just wanted a full episode on their love lines. Each. If not a full Season 2, can they do special episodes then?

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Ji-won really is a mystery, I also thought that it could be some kind of disease. You remember the time when she said she is bored of her life and her journalist friend got all scared that she is gonna "pull a stunt like last year" where she left a will and just disappeared? Was was her exact reaction to that again? I think she said smth like: It's too late for that now? Or something ominous like that. Plus the weird dreams, compulsive lying, ringing of the ears (wasn't her dizziness in the hallway this episode -tho not without reason- also weirdly unsettling?) and the name she uttered during the interview. It's all rather dubious and certainly intriguing enough for another season.

Also, the previous tenant - the ballerina. We did get an explanation for why she left but didn't anyone else also think at the time that there must be more behind it? Their attitude seems still even in retrospect curiously unnatural.

[SPOILERS]

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who else wants another season?

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Me!

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Count me in!!

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Yes please.

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*signs a hundred times in different names*

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Me, please!!

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me!!

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I didn't find This kidnapping out of place at all. Time and again Doo-Young displayed such tendencies. Also Writer cleverly tied Ye Eun with Eun Jae. Which makes more sense because In all episodes Girls are pit against each other or parallel is made to make their life experience count and it worked all the time.

As earlier mentioned above most of the males having some authority actually abused it.

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I agree, a lot pf people are saying it felt like it came out of the left field but wasn't that the point? If people had "I'm a kidnapper" written across their forehead then people wouldn't be surprised when someone kidnaps them.

I just think the show wanted to blindside the viewers since this show is all about relating to the girls in some ways themselves. But they still dropped minor hints here and there so it wouldn't seem like his character did a 180.

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While I was taken aback when the episode started with the kidnapping, I realised that it actually made a lot of sense considering the show is not shy of dealing with death, murder etc. They had already been hinting at the abusive behaviour of the boyfriend and though it made for some difficult viewing (I had to fast forward some of the scenes when he was lashing out at her the first time I watched it!), I'm actually rather impressed with the show that it went there.

I think we all get distracted by the beautiful friendship between the girls which remains the core element of the show. But that's the point isn't it? Life isn't just merry and full of happy days doing fun things with your girlfriends. What makes this show A+ for me is the way the girls deal with the traumas affecting their lives together. It seriously makes me day, seeing such different personalities come together and provide comfort and support to each other!

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When the policemen caught them laughing by Eun-jae's bed and they had to pipe down and ask themselves, "Those men probably think we're weird, right?"

These roommates are the most awesome support system ever!

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The thing is...I went through a violent experience at college. It did feel like it came out of left field and I didn't know how to reconcile it with other aspects of my life at that time. Everything was going so well, until all of a sudden it wasn't. In this case, I didn't know the people involved & the experience was so dramatic that I didn't want to tell anyone, lest it become something that defined me. And, in all honesty, I ended up transferring after my second year was up.

So, while at first I was concerned by the dramatic turn this episode took, it affected me because it touched a bit on the reality of my college experience, even if we didn't go through exactly the same thing. I just really appreciated seeing how the experience played out for Ye-eun, with all her roomies coming to support her. Unfortunately, I had been living in a single during my second year because I wanted to have a space where I could focus. The year before I had lived in a quad and was really close with my roommates, but because 2 of them had a falling out with the other (for good reason- she was difficult), I was trying to branch out a bit more in my 2nd year. I would go around campus, hanging out with various different people, & no single group of friends was ever fazed when I didn't show up for a while. Which meant that when I hid away in my single for 2 weeks after the attack, no one really came to find me & I realized that I didn't really feel all that close to anyone anymore. That may seem dark, but it was how I felt at my lowest point.

All these characters have felt like friends over the course of this show so I felt strangely comforted by their rescue & support & love. It made me realize that there are plenty of people in my life who would have done the same for me, had my circumstances been different and I hadn't been so cut-off from people at that time. I'm really thankful to the writer for taking experiences that don't ever really feel 'normal' and having these girls face them head-on as a part of life you just have to get through. It made me feel just a little more at peace.

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@chandler
Thank you for sharing- I was touched by your story.

Yes, sometimes we feel really alone because of what we perceive the circumstances to be, but when we are able to step away and look at it from someone else's point of view, suddenly we realize it is a lot better than we thought it was.

I had a misunderstanding with my girlfriends recently and I had thought that nobody cared anymore because I was the only one not in the same country and missing out. But when I finally gathered the courage to reach out and clarify I realized all of it was in my head and actually nobody meant to isolate me either.

I'm glad you realise that you are important to lots of people and that the show helped you find peace. And also that your violent incident in college didn't end badly. Have a good week ahead and hope you stay safe always! ❤️

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You know this is what is special in this show... I never really jelled up with girls throughout my college, I had a very thick bunch of girls group from my high school which I felt fulfilled my life but after watching this show now I'm really upset that I never got the proper chance in college as I din't stay at hostel, din't go for proper outings (rushing to-fro home-college which were 1.5 hours apart)... I wish I stayed at hostel but its too late, so at least from now I'm going to try to gel up with my college girls via sns

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I agree. I think two of the main themes in this drama are that everyone has a reason for what they do, no matter how drastic and even unforgivable their actions are, and that things you don't think would happen to anyone can, and do, happen to anyone. In light of that, the kidnapping felt like another stomach-dropping twist along the lines of Yi-na's accident, Jin-myung and her mother's decision to end her brother's life, or the hints dropped here and there about Eun-jae's past. In this case, we're seeing what was festering below Ye-eun's surface. What we see in the beginning is a seemingly normal girl working very hard to maintain the facade of a "normal" relationship; throughout the show, we dig deeper and begin to realize that he's not only not a good boyfriend, he's not a good person, and this week the bottom finally opened up beneath our feet.

It's also true that as much as we praise how real the girls and their emotions seem, I don't think the writer's ultimate goal is to be realistic, at least in the mundane sense. I think she's searching for emotional truth, and if these character's problems take her in an extreme direction, she's willing to follow.

Sorry, this reply is getting kind of long. tl;dr: I totally agree with you haha :)

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Thought it was maybe a bit over-the-top.

Doo-young went from a self-centered cad w/ mommy issues to a psychopath and really dumb criminal (OK, the latter was more believable).

But regardless, that plot-line did a great job in showing how the other girls were engrossed in their own lives/problems, Eun-jae's "deathwish" and the contrast btwn Ji-won and 3 of the girls when it came guys caring for them.

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In the subbed version I watched they mentioned that Doo-young was charged with rape, is the show's implication that Ye-eun was kidnapped and sexually assaulted? Eugh I'm so uncomfortable with that being left up in the air.

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Ditto. This element sheds a peculiar light on this episode and I was looking forward to reading any feedback on the matter, when the most horrific aspect of dating violence was deliberately not shown to the audience. Alas.

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If anything, the aftermath of the kidnapping which was shown in ep 12 made it worth the while. I was impressed with how realistic it was.

That's the beauty of this show. So often while I am watching it, I'd catch myself thinking that another drama would have dish out a trope in a similar scene but not this drama.

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Agree. The aftermath is jarringly real.

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The kidnapping might not have felt out of place if the drama was longer and and Yeeun's arc, which only covered her relationship with a guy, get too much time compared to the others'. There are other less drastic ways to address abuse in relationships in such a short time frame. The bright side is that the girls got to act awesomely as a collective.

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A lot of domestic abuse begins with the abuser slowly testing out how far they can go before the victim says no. Doo-young had already been using verbal/mental abuse on Ye-eun and I don't think (given how he threw her out of the car) it would be a far reach for us to think that his abuse would have soon become violent.

I know a lot of people had issues with Ye-eun but I think her situation is (unfortunately) more common than you think. Domestic abuse can be a hard situation for people to wrap their mind around because the solution seems so easy outside of the relationship. Why doesn't she see how he treats her? Why doesn't she see she is worth more than this? Why can't she leave him? We didn't see the beginning of the relationship or how Ye-eun changed throughout it. Who knows who Ye-eun was before she met Doo-young? I'm just glad she had people in her life who were able to help her.

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Yes this is so true. A lot of times we can't understand why the victim feels this way, and we can't understand why they don't just pack up and leave forever once the signs start appearing, but it's a very complicated thing, especially when love and hope is involved- we tend to ignore warning signs until it's too late, like in Ye Eun's case.

one of the reasons why a second season would be great would be so that we can see truly how Ye Eun moves on from this experience. And I think it would also help others understand and be more sympathetic/emphatic to her character.

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Agree 1,000%.

I don't think the kidnapping came out of left field either. Like you said, we have seen that his character is quick to anger, hypersensitive about perceived inadequacies, and that he has been physical with Ye-eun before. I can definitely see his character working himself into a rabid froth after she broke up with him; when she brushed him off when she was with her friends, that could have easily been the last straw for someone as abusive as he is.

My armchair diagnosis of this guy? He is a narcissist. The worst thing you can do to a narcissist is give them reason to think that you don't care about them or that you think you are better than they are. When "provoked" in this way, narcissists can be really dangerous.

Real talk: my best friend recently broke up with her emotionally-, verbally-, and sexually-abusive boyfriend. Much of what she encountered in that relationship mirrored Ye-eun's experiences while dating. This episode was incredibly uncomfortable to watch, because I can't say with 100% certainty that something like this won't happen to my friend. I was so glad that the show addressed dating violence, and so thankful that this arc has shown how domestic violence escalates from small things to intense violence. I hope that this show helps at least one person re-evaluate their unhealthy relationship and get themselves safe.

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....And along the lines of helping people get out of abusive relationships, if you are in the US, here is the contact info for the National Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.thehotline.org/about-us/contact/. You can call or live-chat them from that page. (If your abuser has access to your computer, you may want to put your browser in private mode before going to the page.)

PRO-TIP: If you are in a bad relationship, but you think your situation isn't "bad enough" to warrant a domestic violence hotline, call anyway. Many times when a person is in the thick of an abusive relationship, they don't realize just how bad it is. Your abuser doesn't have to hit you for you to need help. The people manning the hotline want to talk to you no matter what your situation. This is the sort of situation where if you have ever seriously thought about "your relationship" and "domestic violence hotline" in the same thought, then the service is for you.

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The whole kidnapping part threw me off guard. I was not expecting that at all.

I don't hate it because I find it quite realistic. EunJae's approach is kinda worrying me a lot.. I wonder what pushed her.

I find it bit odd that she choose psychology.. even the girls noted how odd it would be for her to counsel others when she is very timid.

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Guys I still cannot bring myself to watch the last two episodes simply because it is very hard to say goodbye to this drama. ??? Thinking to marathon 12 episodes at once (rewatching epi 1-10) to satisfy myself.

It is time to say goodbye to the Belle Epoque and the girls, the landlady and the guys too.??? After Liar Game,I never ever want to wish for season 2 for any drama as it is very hard to happen. But I sincerely wish there will season 2 for this drama provided he same casts, writer and PD. 12 episodes is too short...

Good bye my awesome
and coolest Bella Epoque girls.
Till we meet again.
I'll never forget all of you.

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The kidnapping scene may feel out of place compared to the 'slices of life' that we'd been getting much of, but we did have Yina being chased through the fields by a stalker-victim-just got out of jail-father, too, so.

I was actually really glad that they worked it through the various plots, because you could see the way the girls have been growing in relating and communicating with each other, it began the 'end' of Eunjae's plot line (in terms of these twelve episodes, anyway), but most of all - yeah, that creep could totally do something like this.

I've been most protective of Yeeun throughout this drama. It's easiest to hate her, grumble at her, and think her problems are 'petty' compared to the situations of the others (well, other than Jiwon, but she didn't rub on the viewers the wrong way like she did). But I think people react negatively to her because we know so many people like her, and it grates our nerves. But the problem is /so/ real, and so terrifying, and is a huge factor on the loss of self esteem, trust and a true sense of what love is.

I also really like how Jinmyung has learnt to care for the other girls. Obviously, her storyline was heartwrenching, but I liked how whenever the other girls in the house were having problems, she always linked it back to herself. 'I wish I could cry', 'I wish I could be this', 'Why can't I be like her'. She wasn't really seeing the other girls as they were, but as a dreamy ideal, something that she wouldn't let herself even consider most of the time, for it felt too ~normal~. In a way, it's actually very selfish. And realistically, nothing in her situation changed. But the way she started dealing with it, was. And the girls really helped her get through each revelation, and she was able to open her heart wider to embrace each of them even in the midst of her difficulties.

Yina and Jiwon are also super a+, and I /love/ their boy puppies. Hee hee hee.

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I actually liked the kidnapping scene part - it brought our girls to another level of friendship. Some people might think the kidnapping came out of no where but hints have been given throughout the show. I think it was necessary for this scene to be shown because I think alot of people often ignore the subtle messages and don't realize that things could go worse. It's a lesson on how to always be aware of those subtleties that is sometimes ignored. I think Ye-eun just always thought Doo-young was a jerk and horrible boyfriend but not a crazy person because like its so often common, she had missed those subtle craziness that he had exhibited. We ( meaning in the US) have conversations about dating violence or gender violence but I wonder how often that conversation takes place in Korea - if any knows please let me know.
I'm so sad this showing is ending - it was so good - I felt connected to each character and I felt like I was part of the crew- I was the person in the cupboard wishing I could be part of such great friendship

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jTBC, please make male version and season 2 just like 'Reply'.
jTBC don't know what is better, they make Mirror Of The Witch too long when they can end it 12-14 eps. They waste too much money for bad projects.

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For the first time ever I really felt bad for Ji won. I Ed do wish Sung min would pay her some more attention! As we all know he might be into her!

FUN FACT: The actor that plays Ye Eun's boyfriend, and the actor that plays Ji won's love interest acted as best friends in Healer. Neither one of them had big roles in that production either so here's hoping to bigger and better things for their future.

I do agree that the kidnapping arc this episode felt totally last minute and left field but I enjoyed it. Anything to see those girls in action and working as a unit.

FAVORITE SCENE THIS EPISODE: All of them sighing at their morbid thoughts at meal time and looking embarrassed and as guilty as h*ll for do in so, lol.

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I felt bad for her. She was so lonely! :'( Like, someone, a mom? Dad? Come run to her and comfort her, please.

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Re : FUN FACT
Omg yes! I kept racking my brain whenever I saw the two guys, because I'm so sure I've seen their faces before. And when I realised they're both from Healer, I was so so happy! It's interesting to see how different their characters are in this drama compared to Healer, but I think that goes to show how much talent there is within themselves to mine from & hone. So yes, here's hoping to bigger and better things for their future! :)

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The thing about Yeeun's story that hits so hard is that it's so incredibly common. Not the kidnapping necessarily, but a significant other turning violent? It happens so often and a lot of the time we miss the signs. None of the girls would have even considered that a possibility for Yeeun's life, esxcept maybe Yi Na who witnessed an act of violence. Scary stuff.

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I certainly thought Ye Eun's arc ended with her being the one with the less drama in her life... being as judgemental as she is/was, to be in an abusive relationship but denying it so vehemently and then realizing it was wrong thanks to the person she judged the most, sounded like a good predicament for her. The kidnapping took me by surprise! I seriously rolled my eyes when DY went on and on about his childhood... SO WHAT? like having a troubled childhood justified his actions.
The good part of it was the girls -even tied up Ye Eun- beating the crap out of DY! The situation was tense but I loled when i watched her all tied up beating him. I continued laughing when they were crying, got on the ambulance and the guy was like:'you need to get off'.
One thing im stillcurious is the ballerina... Now that we know Jiwon is 'Liar Song', I doubt the ballerina left because she got pregnant. And about that, are we ever gonna address Jiwon's lying issues?? Theres one ep. And we have too much to cover!

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Ye Eun is the most relatable and common person to me. Whiny, Judgmental, Crazy..admit it girls, we're all like this at some point of our lives.

Although the kidnapping felt out if place when i first saw it on preview. I slowly realized that yes, DY have tendencies.

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Agree on both your statements. :')

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Twelve episodes for this drama is way too short, there are so much more left to tell.

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I think the kidnapping part felt that it came out of left field because it was supposed to come out of left field. We'd never know when incidents like that would happen. We were given Yeeun's perspective in this show, not Doyoung's, and I think it just hammers home the fact that there's actually something bigger festering under the little things that people do.

And aww, Jiwon. I'd like to revise my earlier opinion on why she wanted a boyfriend--she was just lonely. Aww bb. It's gonna be fine. You're already on the right track; you know whom to call. Only if dude'll be less sleepy and recognize you're being real and realize what a great catch you are.

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I can really relate with Jiwon. Even though you have great friends, you can still feel really lonely, especially when they all seem to have significant others.

I also think that one of the obstacles for Jiwon and Sungmin are the jokes. I don't think he's sure whether or not she really likes him. Haha.

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Haha, yes! I remember that scene when she asked him to date her, and he stuttered. It was only when he knew that she was asking for a 'scandalous melo' type of romance when he realized it was a joke and reacted as he always did. Ah what to do with these two.

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I have so much love for this show!

This show gave us a really good depiction of a psychopath in DY; charming, manipulative, narcissistic, calculating, incapable of love, and capable of great evil, with no real sense of guilt or remorse. I like how the writer gave us the contrast between Yi Na's immediately despising him, and Ye-eun's blindly loving him. Yi Na knew what was up with him right away, and called him on his BS. Her cynicism protected her from his manipulation, but Ye-eun's "rose-colored glasses" attitude and willingness to subvert her own needs made her vulnerable. Learning to distinguish people who are good from those who would do you harm is an essential part of growing up. Yet, none of us would wish to go through an experience like Ye-eun's just to learn that. One of the reasons I love K drama is that it is just a new medium for the age-old use of storytelling to impart wisdom from one generation to another; in this case, a cautionary tale about protecting one's self emotionally and physically in romantic entanglements. Sometimes the cautionary part can feel a little heavy-handed, but I felt it was necessary to drive the message home to its intended audience, especially one accustomed to seeing its romances packaged in syrupy, Candy-chaebol packages.

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Why is it that bland, cheesy shows like Doctors get 20 episodes and this beautiful, rare gem gets only 12!? I'm seriously thinking of making an Age of Youth fanfic just so I can satisfy my inner thirst for more girl friendships and a juicy romance between Sung-min and Ji-won. WHO'S WITH ME! *battle cry*

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If any show deserved an extension, it would be this one.

Really needed another 3-4 eps.

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I do not think Ye-eun's kidnapping was necessary at all. Since the start, we know of Doo-young's abusiveness and manipulative behavior: how he pushed her out of the car, presses Ye-eun for sex, forgets important anniversaries and reaching out to Ye-eun's friend romantically. We didn't need more in-your-face proof that Doo-young's insane (we already know that, and God, do I hate him) so I fail to see the point of the kidnapping. It would've been more appropriate to give Ye-eun's story closure (tbh, I care about Ye-eun but she's my least favorite housemate) by letting her wounds heal, and giving her time to adjust, forgive and grow stronger. I am a strong advocate against any sort of harassment including domestic and relationship abuse, of course, just in case my words were misinterpreted.

I just am so incredibly frustated at how long the girls' secrets were drawn out. Eun-jae's finally came to light here, but Ji-won's secret was only introduced last episode. The pacing for the mysteries could be more steady, but at least we'll still get answers. Also, we never did get an entire Ji-won centered episode like we did with the rest of the girls. JTBC, why are you letting a gold mine like Ji-won leave, well, unmined!? This is the only legit protest I have. I love Song Ji-won too much, way way too much. She's my spirit animal. I aspire to be her. WOMAN CRUSH EVERYDAY!

BTW: hell yeah cab driver, kick their ass! I love her character! HAHA.

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Have mixed feelings on the kidnapping story-line.

(Last week I stated that Ye-eun's problems were superficial compared to the other girls, but the writer pulled a good one.)

Thought it was maybe a bit over-the-top.

Doo-young went from a self-centered cad w/ mommy issues to a psychopath and really dumb criminal (OK, the latter was more believable).

But regardless, that plot-line did a great job in showing how the other girls were engrossed in their own lives/problems, Eun-jae’s “deathwish” and the contrast btwn Ji-won and 3 of the girls when it came to guys caring for them.

But it would have been more realistic if DY had slapped Ye-eun around (but not kidnapping her) or got his revenge by posting a video of them copulating (didn't exactly buy the whole desperate to get back w/ Ye-eun thing as it didn't fit his persona, regardless of his mommy issues).

And yes, a box-cutter can be lethal (can slice open a major artery/vein).

About time Yi-na starts to pick up on Dong-joo liking her.

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Almost cried when only Jiwon didn't have anyone running to the hospital for her. I felt so alone too.

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