Age of Youth 2: Episode 1
Our favorite housemates have reunited for another season, and the premiere makes some promises about our Belle Epoque ladies navigating their next chapter with love, hilarity, and a couple of eerie twists. While this first episode is more of a transition into our next story, it reminds us of how special friendships can be. So even if you piss each other off, get petty revenge, and can’t stand someone’s driving, the truth is that you’ve got each other’s backs no matter what.
EPISODE 1: “I am upset by small things” #us
A plane lands from Beijing, and we see a familiar face returning to Korea. It’s YOON JIN-MYUNG (Han Ye-ri), also known as Yoon sunbae, and she’s bombarded with messages from her Belle Epoque housemates, who eagerly anticipate her return.
As she scrolls through the messages, she reads that her housemates have decided to greet her at the airport, so she looks around for them as she walks out of the gates. She spots them waiting and smiles as she quickens her pace, but she’s met with a lukewarm response. They get up from their hunched positions and merely tell her that they should get going before the sun sets.
Jin-myung looks confused as her grumpy housemates walk out of the airport, and she looks around her. Couples, families, and guests are greeted warmly with hugs and smiles, and she quickly follows her housemates out of the airport.
Jumping back five hours before Jin-myung’s arrival, we resume at 9:30 that morning. An alarm rings at the Belle Epoque house, and JUNG YE-EUN (Han Seung-yeon) checks her phone and messages the group, congratulating Jin-myung’s return. YOO EUN-JAE (Ji-woo) and SONG JI-WON (Park Eun-bin) join the conversation, and they chat in exaggerations about missing her dearly and hoping that she returns with gifts.
Eun-jae simultaneously sends her boyfriend, YOON JONG-YEOL (Shin Hyun-soo), a morning text, and he responds that he’ll only wake up fully with the princess’s kiss. She responds that he’s a “lazy bum” but accidentally sends it to the group, which hardly makes sense because Jin-myung is so hard-working. She tries to cover up her mistake by jokingly calling her a “fatty,” and the housemates go with it since Chinese food is pretty oily (heh).
The string of messages wakes up our last housemate, KANG YI-NA (Ryu Hwa-young), and she sleepily messages that they should all surprise her by showing up at the airport. When she comes to her senses, she sees that everyone in the group has enthusiastically agreed to go to the airport. Yi-na turns to us (breaking the fourth wall) and says that she didn’t really mean it, and now everyone wants to go.
In solo interviews, though, it turns out that she’s not the only one who’s not gung-ho about the idea. Ye-eun tells us that she’s still a little scared to go outside, but she thinks that she shouldn’t be the only one who doesn’t to the airport. Eun-jae says that she planned to meet up with her boyfriend Jong-yeol after class, but she didn’t want her boyfriend to be her excuse. She’s the only one of them to have a boyfriend, and it would come off like she was bragging that she has a boyfriend. Ji-won doesn’t think much of it, and it doesn’t matter to her whether they go or not.
Regardless of their real feelings, the ladies rush out of the house in glee and cheerfully board Yi-na’s new car. All seems well as Yi-na starts driving and Ji-won turns up the tunes, but cars begin to honk at them from behind. They don’t know why until Yi-na takes a dangerous right before checking the oncoming traffic. Ye-eun yells at Yi-na that oncoming traffic has the right of way, but she seems to have no idea that such a traffic rule existed.
Ji-won tries to laugh at their near-death experience, but then she notices that the side mirrors of the car haven’t been unfolded. The girls suddenly go silent, and Yi-na turns around to ask what’s wrong. Ye-eun yells at her to look forward, and Yi-na immediately slams on the breaks in the middle of the road. Ji-won tells her about side mirrors, and Yi-na struggles to figure out how to adjust them. She continues to drive, and the ladies hold on for dear life.
In the interview, Eun-jae wonders how Yi-na got her license, Ye-eun complains that Yi-na should be cautious as a beginner driver, and Ji-won regrets that she didn’t get a talisman to fend off the bad luck. Yi-na claims that she was fine before, but just got nervous because all of them were yelling at her.
As they continue on the road, Yi-na struggles to change lanes for their next turns, almost running into cars on either side of her. So the girls resort to sticking their heads out of the window and desperately waving their hands around, pleading with the adjacent drivers to let their novice driver into the lane.
Luckily their strategy works, and they’re almost at the airport. But now they’ve got a new challenge: the toll gate. Yi-na drives right past the toll booth and stops belatedly in the road ahead. She jumps out of the car and runs back to pay the toll—and the cars behind alert her to the danger ahead. Yi-na has forgotten to park the car, sending it slowly crawling forward with no driver, her housemates stuck in the back, begging her to save them. Yi-na chases after the moving car and jumps back into the driver’s seat to finally get them to the airport.
This is the weary state that Jin-myung finds her housemates in at the airport. As they walk back to the car, Jin-myung asks Ji-won what happened, though Ji-won tiredly waves it off. Ye-eun suggests that they hire a driver to take them back home, but Yi-na yells that they don’t have enough seats in the car.
They explain to Jin-myung that Yi-na is a seriously novice driver, but Jin-myung doesn’t seem worried and says that novice drivers rarely get into serious accidents. As they all pile into the car, Yi-na yells at the girls to help her back out of the parking spot.
Another fiasco ensues, with Yi-na jerkily backing up as Ji-won, Ye-eun, and Eun-jae run around trying to guide her safely out without getting run over. When Yi-na finally backs out correctly, the girls silently pile back into the car and get on their way.
The drive is smoother now, and Ji-won realizes that she’s sitting in the uncomfortable middle spot. She looks to Eun-jae disapprovingly and tells us in her interview that usually the maknae would offer to take this spot. Eun-jae, however, looks blankly back at Ji-won, not seeing her annoyance.
Eun-jae asks Jin-myung about China, but Ye-eun interrupts her every sentence to ask about the food. In her interview, Eun-jae says that she’s resentful that Ye-eun only ever cuts her off, and not the others. So to get revenge, Eun-jae tries cutting Ye-eun off, but she barely even notices.
Eun-jae passes out tangerines, and as Jin-myung peels and eats hers tangerine, Yi-na opens her mouth, anticipating a piece. But Jin-myung doesn’t share, and Yi-na complains in her interview that she was very thirsty because she was so nervous. She expected Jin-myung to take care of the driver, since she’s in the passenger seat.
Ji-won asks about souvenirs from China, and Jin-myung says that she brought a small gift for them. They laugh that they hope it’s not something like keychains, and Jin-myung’s face falls. In her interview, she holds the key chains in her hands and sighs.
Ye-eun asks to stop at the rest stop because she needs to use the bathroom. An irritated Yi-na yells at her to hold it, complaining that she only has to go because she ate so many tangerines. Ye-eun says that she’s on her period and needs to use the bathroom, but Yi-na can’t change lanes in time and misses the exit.
They catch the next exit, and the man in the car next to them directs them to the closest gas station. He even lets them cut in front of him to take the left turn, and they marvel at his kindness. The girls run out of the car, and Yi-na gets gas for the car. Except she doesn’t know how to open the fuel door, so the gas station worker, who we’ll later know as SEO JANG-HOON (Kim Min-seok), gives her a hand.
The girls pile back into the car, and Ji-won stalls so that she won’t need to sit in the middle seat. She strategically gets into the car to make Eun-jae sit in the middle, but Eun-jae runs out of the car after noticing a mistake on their receipt. Then she realizes there’s no mistake and returns to the car, making Ji-won take the middle seat once again. Ji-won is not pleased.
They continue onwards, and Yi-na yells at the chatty housemates to be quiet so that she can hear the GPS navigate their way home. As they listen in, her phone dies, and they fall into chaos once more. They take the exit and make multiple trips around the roundabout before remembering the last direction the GPS told them to go. They seemingly head in the right direction and sigh in relief.
The road becomes windier and denser with trees, and Ji-won wonders if this is the right direction. As night falls, they all become anxious that they’re headed in the wrong direction, but they continue on anyway because Yi-na can’t turn around. Jin-myung tries turning on Yi-na’s charged phone, but they have no service. So they continue on the dark road with warning signs about the road surface and mines.
As they turn, Ji-won spots a person standing and holding a sign, but none of the other girls notice it. They slowly approach a well-lit house, and they celebrate the discovery of a vacation house. Yi-na says that she can’t drive anymore and assertively walks to the front door to request a place to sleep for the night, even if the place is way out of their budget.
After a few aggressive knocks, a familiar man comes to the door. It’s the man who let them cut in front to go to the gas station earlier that day. They ask for a place to stay, and the man hesitates because he’s not ready to open for business right now, but at their pleading looks, he eventually agrees to let them stay for one night.
Jin-myung asks for the price, and he offers them the place for 50,000 won because the place isn’t properly ready for guests yet. It’s a total steal for the ladies, and they quickly hand him the money before he changes his mind. He needs to be instructed to give them the key, but his clueless behavior goes unnoticed, especially when the girls see how spacious and luxurious the place is.
The man walks through the main house, and we see that he’s held the real owners of the place—a middle-aged couple—hostage, hands tied and mouths taped shut. He casually grabs an apple from the fridge and saunters over to his briefcase of knives, pulling one out while the couple cowers fearfully.
Suddenly, the hungry girls arrive at the door asking for the barbecue course advertised in the flyer they found in the house. The burglar hesitates, then agrees to feed them and sends them outside to wait while he prepares the food. He even rips off the duct tape from the hostage husband (apologizing after hilariously waxing off the man’s mustache) to ask where the charcoal is.
The burglar sets up the barbecue outside, and ducks out of the shot when Ji-won takes pictures for her blog. When he overhears Ji-won’s plans to promote the place on her blog, he decides that won’t be okay.
Burglar man picks out an expensive bottle of alcohol from the owners’ cabinet, which he offers to the girls, saying that it was a gift but he’s quit drinking. Yi-na recognizes the bottle as a super expensive spirit, and Eun-jae suddenly wonders…
Burglar man tenses, in case he’s been caught. But Eun-jae simply supposes the man doesn’t know how expensive the spirit is. Jin-myung suggests that they sell the bottle instead, but Ji-won has already opened it for their enjoyment. Burglar man watches the girls indulge in the expensive alcohol and heads back indoors, where he casually watches the news about a fatal car accident caused by the driver sleeping at the wheel.
After the barbecue party, the housemates call it a night, retiring to their rooms to sleep. It begins to rain, and burglar man walks toward the guest house with an ax in hand. Just as he’s about to key into the door, the light turns on inside.
It’s Jin-myung, and she heads upstairs looking for Ji-won. Jin-myung drunkenly marches into Ji-won’s room and tosses the keychains she bought from China. She says that she brought back the dreaded keychain souvenirs from China and also hands them to Ye-eun and Eun-jae, as if daring them to complain about them.
She asks if they have anything to tell her, but the girls just meekly thank her for the gift. That’s it for her business, and she tells them all to go back to bed. She starts to leave Ji-won’s room, but turns back to turn off the light. Ji-won seems amused by Jin-myung’s timid nature and goes back to sleep.
Still lurking outside the front door, burglar man sees that the lights have turned off, and tries to break in again. But this time, Ji-won wakes up and turns on the light, making him lurch back again.
Ji-won walks over to Eun-jae’s bedroom and nudges her awake with her foot. She tells her that the middle seat is reserved for the maknae, and Eun-jae sleepily agrees not to defy this hierarchy, even though she has no idea what Ji-won is talking about.
The house goes dark again, and burglar man sees his chance again… until the lights once again turn back on inside the house. Ha!
It’s Eun-jae’s turn to get revenge, and she squeezes and pulls on Ye-eun’s cheek, asking why she keeps cutting her off. Ye-eun groggily apologizes, and Eun-jae tells her to be careful.
Burglar man gives up trying to break in and huddles by the door, falling asleep there. Ye-eun wakes up next to go to the bathroom and wonders why her cheek hurts so much. Noticing Yi-na on her way upstairs, Ye-eun crouches down next to her, but we don’t see what happens next…
The next morning, burglar man wakes up on the steps outside, and he’s frustrated that he didn’t get his job done. He’s missed his chance, so he improvises and looks through the medicine cabinets to find zolpidem, a sedative.
When Yi-na wakes up in the morning, she finds Ye-eun sleeping next to her and tells her, “Live well.” In the car, she hangs Jin-myung’s keychain on her rearview mirror, and burglar man approaches her with a cup of coffee that he drugged. He watches her intently, but walks away when he realizes that he’s being suspicious.
Just before Yi-na takes a sip of the coffee, she notices Jin-myung in her rearview mirror. She hands the coffee to Jin-myung, saying that it’s repayment for the keychain.
Jin-myung starts to take a sip, but just as she raises the cup, she remembers her drunken state from last night and how she’d picked a fight with Ji-won. She seeks her out, but luckily Ji-won isn’t mad and says that Jin-myung’s drunken actions made her seem more human. Jin-myung offers the coffee to Ji-won, who tries to drink it lying down but spills a bit on her shirt.
Eun-jae runs in to rush Ji-won, who’s jumped in the shower. Eun-jae warns Ji-won that she’ll have to take the middle seat if she’s too late, and Ji-won offers her the coffee that’s sitting there.
Eun-jae watches Ye-eun pat on her makeup and comment on her sore cheek. Apologetic about the cheek-grabbing, Eun-jae offers the coffee to Ye-eun, who takes the coffee but notices that it’s no longer hot.
Ye-eun transfers the coffee from the mug into a glass with ice, and before she can take a sip, Yi-na yells at her to hurry up. So Ye-eun leaves the iced coffee behind on the table, and Yi-na grabs the original coffee cup to return to burglar man.
Outside, Yi-na returns the cup and thanks him for the stay. Ye-eun follows her out with the iced coffee and hands him the cup, claiming to have made it herself. The housemates drive out, and burglar man happily waves goodbye. Then, he proceeds to down the whole iced coffee drink—the same coffee that he spiked with sedatives.
The housemates are amazed at their luck with their overnight stay, completely unaware of the burglar man’s real intentions. Meanwhile, the burglar man sharpens a knife and hums about falling asleep at the wheel. He begins to yawn as he sharpens the knife, and the hostage couple prepares for their impending death. But as the burglar man walks toward the couple, his eyelids become heavy and his gait becomes unstable. He collapses in front of the couple and falls into a deep sleep, and the hostage husband grabs the knife with his feet.
The housemates return to Belle Epoque, where they’ve set up decorations for Jin-myung’s return. They pop balloons with confetti to celebrate, and Yi-na brings out a surprise cake from the fridge. Excited to be all together, they celebrate the reunion of the five of them, but their excitement is short-lived.
Yi-na shares that they’re about to break up again and reveals that she’s been offered to run a store down in Suwon, and she was supposed to head down this morning. It’s shocking news for all of them, and they all become emotional at the thought of Yi-na no longer living with them.
The housemates help Yi-na load her luggage into the car, and Eun-jae begins to cry. Yi-na insists that this isn’t goodbye forever, but Eun-jae knows that it won’t be the same as living together. She knows that the occasional visits will eventually stop, and that’s how they all will separate eventually.
They all embrace, and Yi-na thanks Jin-myung for teaching her so much. Crying uncontrollably, Yi-na gets into the driver’s seat, and Jin-myung tells her, “I love you.” Yi-na responds through her tears, “I love you, too. I really love you. Don’t forget me.”
They wave goodbye, telling her not to die and to eat well. Yi-na tries to turn on the engine, but nothing happens and the car doesn’t budge. She tries again as her former housemates continue to wave and cry, but the car refuses to start (and the camera pans over to show us that it was left in drive, haha). The girls finally realize that there’s a problem with the car, which puts a pause on their farewells.
Yi-na calls for car maintenance, and Eun-jae shares a news story about a serial killer who was caught because he overdosed on sedatives. They all agree that the serial killer was dumb, and they laugh about wasting all their tears, completely unaware of their encounter with the serial killer.
And then, we skip ahead to ten months later.
An unfamiliar face walks down the street and stops at the Belle Epoque House. Sporting a short haircut and dressed in all black, she nervously takes a deep breath before ringing the doorbell.
While I think the rest of this season may be watchable without too much of the first season’s background, this season premiere definitely felt more like an homage to the previous season. It’s not a bad thing at all—as a fan of the first season, I enjoyed this transition into the new season. I loved how we were introduced our original housemates with the small things that bother one another. Like who’s obligated to take that middle seat, or the expectation that someone can read my mind and know that I am thirsty. Little things and tiny details make these friendships seem more genuine, and it’s funny that the pettiest things make our housemates’ relationship appear stronger.
I loved how Yi-na’s driving became so central to this first episode, and I was so amused by how many things could go wrong. I didn’t expect to be so entertained by terrible driving, but these housemates really executed some great comedy. On top of that, the eerie vacation house and serial killer storyline made the first episode particularly bizarre, though there were plenty of enjoyable hijinks, like the incredible passing of the coffee cup, which came full circle on the killer and marked his own undoing. That was a nice touch to wrap up a short plotline effectively, without making it something too dramatic. This episode was so unexpectedly funny, and I loved how it turned out.
I was wary that the transitioning out of Yi-na could be clunky and forced, but I thought it was done rather seamlessly. Instead of focusing on how to make her exit, the story focused on the dynamics of the five housemates, who’ve essentially become family through their growing pains and self-discoveries. It’s hard to let go of people who’ve been so central to your growth, but letting go is also a part of growing and changing. Though I wish our core five members could continue together, I am looking forward to some new faces to shake up the story with some baggage to unload. With a new member of the house (and a new Eun-jae), I’m excited to see mysteries and trials and tribulations of our new Belle Epoque crew.
- Age of Youth webtoon connects two seasons for fans
- Premiere Watch: Age of Youth 2
- Chills and thrills in latest teaser for Age of Youth 2
- Onew leaves Age of Youth 2, last-minute replacement sought
- A new housemate and a new mystery for Age of Youth 2
- Spot the odd one out in character posters for Age of Youth 2
- The Tall One stares down naked Kim Min-seok in Age of Youth 2 teaser
- The housemates of Belle Epoque pair up with their partners for a dance