Age of Youth 2: Episode 5
Heartbreak lingers for too long, and Eun-jae is learning to deal with it the hard way. She may be pretending to be fine, but it’s not that easy to pretend the pain doesn’t exist when it decides your every move. She’s not the only one just acting fine, either, as all our housemates play their own game of pretend and hesitate to face their own realities.
EPISODE 5: “My heart is fickle” #firstlove
Eun-jae wakes up screaming, and all the housemates rush into her room in worry. Looking horrified, she shows them the text message she sent to her ex, Jong-yeol: “Are you sleeping?” They all look at her with their mouths agape, and Ye-eun calls her crazy.
Last night, drunk Eun-jae had cried while watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the movie that Jong-yeol had changed his profile picture to, and sleepily texted him. In the present, she dies of mortification.
Jin-myung shows Asgard’s music video to Ye-eun and Eun and asks for their opinion on the group. Eun says that they’re fun, like a comedy group, and Ye-eun almost seems to recognize the group but incorrectly guesses that the group is singing a folk song.
Eun-jae continues to squirm in regret, and Ji-won turns to the camera to explain the definition of “regretful drunken mistakes.” Eun-jae desperately asks if there’s any way to delete the message before Jong-yeol reads it. All the housemates say it’s impossible, except for Ji-won, who proposes a plan to break into Jong-yeol’s house and delete the message before he sees it.
Eun-jae gives up and falls back on the couch while Ji-won turns back to the camera about drunk mistakes, heh. Eun-jae yells at her to stop, so Ji-won retreats to her seat on the couch.
Jin-myung assures her it’s okay to make these drunken mistakes, but of course, she’s never made them. Ye-eun sheepishly admits that she’s made some drunken mistakes before, and Eun-jae asks if she should just send a laughing text to blow this over like a joke. They’re all against the idea except for Ji-won, which just confirms to Eun-jae that it’s a bad idea.
Eun-jae compulsively checks her phone to see if Jong-yeol has read the message. Eun says that he may have seen the notification but purposely avoided opening the message so it looks unread. She says that it’s common when people are dating, and Ji-won asks how Eun would know without dating. Eun explains that she does that to Ye-ji sometimes when she doesn’t want to reply.
Eun-jae glares at her phone again, and Ji-won pretends to flinch from the heat while she taps Eun-jae’s back in sympathy.
As Eun throws out her trash, she finds a crumpled note in another bin. She opens it up, and we see that it’s Eun-jae’s angry letter to Jong-yeol. She pockets the letter and finally responds to a string of ignored texts from Ye-ji.
Leaving the house, Eun makes brief eye contact with Jang-hoon, who’s lifting weights, and he asks if she’s checking him out. She responds with a backhanded comment that bigger muscles will make him look shorter, and they drop the formalities as they bicker.
He asks if she’s going to meet that drunk girl (Ye-ji) and asks if they’re dating. Eun asks if he’s interested in her and tells him to not get his hopes up because Ye-ji likes tall men. He teases her by asking if Ye-ji just likes tall people, and she glares at him as she walks off. Going back to his workout, he gets self-conscious and switches to lighter weights.
Ye-ji compares Eun-jae’s letter to the mysterious one and says that the handwriting does look pretty similar. Eun’s new hypothesis is that the letter was written by (not to) someone in the house. After living with the housemates, she can’t imagine any of them being that horrible.
Ye-ji points out that whoever wrote the letter would be a little strange too, and Eun defends them again by saying that the letter was probably written in a moment of anger. Ye-ji sighs and says that Eun just can’t hate people — she’s just pretending to hate her dad and her housemates.
Ye-eun folds laundry and finds a lacy bra in the mix. She asks Ji-won and Jin-myung (who gets a wink-wink from Ji-won about Chef), but they both deny that it belongs to them. They know it’s not Eun-jae’s style, and Ji-won wonders if it’s Eun’s bra. The others don’t think so, but Ji-won says that anything is possible, especially in a world where Jin-myung makes cutesy talk over the phone.
Eun-jae runs out her room to report that her message has finally been read. They all hover over the phone, and sure enough, the “1” indicator has disappeared. They wait a moment for a reply, and when none comes, they tell Eun-jae that she got blown off.
When Eun-jae worries that he’ll think that she’s not over him, Ye-eun and Jin-myung note that it seems like she’s not. Ji-won also teases her that she’s not, and gets the brunt of Eun-jae’s anger as she storms back to her room.
Eun-jae stares at the message and punches her stuffed monkey in anger. Meanwhile, Jong-yeol (who also has a stuffed monkey) tries drafting a couple of responses: “Why?” “Is something up?” But he eventually gives up and doesn’t send a message at all.
The next day, Eun-jae practices her explanation the whole way to school: “Yesterday was a mistake. I meant to send the text to my mom.” She repeats it aloud over and over, and when she runs into Jong-yeol, she says her rehearsed explanation overzealously with a manic smile. He responds curtly that it seemed like a mistake, and goes on his way.
At home, Eun-jae rocks back and forth in a patio chair, fluctuating from laughing and crumbling in embarrassment. The housemates watch her curiously, and Ji-won adopts her reporter mode: “Here in the field, we are seeing a crazy girl experiencing oscillations. We’ve brought in an expert opinion on this matter.” She “interviews” Ye-eun, who agrees and says that it usually takes half the length of the relationship to get over its break-up.
Ji-won calculates that they will witness nine months of crazy girl oscillations, and that’s when Eun-jae turns around and gives them a look. Ji-won gets the message and concludes the segment: “We will take a quick break. JTBC.” Ha!
Ye-eun receives a call from an unknown number and she cautiously picks up. Ji-won tries to eavesdrop, but Ye-eun pushes her away when she realizes it’s Kwon Ho-chang, the glasses boy from the cafe, and agrees to meet him. Ye-eun denies that it’s a date, but Ji-won asks if he’s good-looking, and Ye-eun scurries away, avoiding the question by saying that she doesn’t know what her standards are.
Jin-myung thinks about Chef and smiles, saying to herself that he’s a pretty good standard of good-looking. Eun-jae thinks of Jong-yeol and thinks the same thing. Eun thinks of a manhwa character first, which then morphs into Jang-hoon, and she quickly shakes the thought out of her head. Ji-won looks to the sky waiting for her ideal guy to appear, but no image appears, and she’s left waiting, heh.
Dressed in pink, Ye-eun shows up at the cafe to meet up Ho-chang, and she looks disappointed that he’s so engrossed by his work. He stands up and stiffly waves when he notices that she’s arrived, and Ye-eun asks what he wanted to talk about. He says that he wanted to continue where they left off and starts babbling on about his lie detector app that can identify lies with solely your voice.
Ye-eun interrupts him and asks if this was really the reason he wanted to meet up. He nods innocently and belatedly realizes that he must have made a mistake, although he doesn’t know what. Ye-eun comments that he’s slow to catch on, and he laughs that people have told him that a lot.
She confirms again that he really only called her to talk about his app, then dully asks if she can leave. Ho-chang tells her yes and even bows as a farewell gesture, polite but confused.
Frustrated Ye-eun surprises Ji-won and Eun by returning home so early, and Ji-won wonders if the guy asked to go to the motel on their first date. She starts reporting to us again, but she’s quickly cut off by Eun-jae, who slams her door and tells them that Jong-yeol is going on a blind date. She asks Ye-eun and Eun to introduce her to a guy, since they all say that you get over a guy with another guy.
Ji-won asks for Eun-jae’s qualifications, and Eun-jae says any man will do, but it has to be by Thursday because she needs to have this date before Jong-yeol, which is strangely competitive. So Ji-won looks through her male juniors and picks one for the blind date.
At work, Jin-myung hesitates to rate the Asgard members, and her co-worker asks why she’s stalling. Jin-myung says that it’s difficult and looks up the group’s next performance at a rock festival, then heads there in person. She arrives as the Asgard members angrily leave the venue, and Heimdal recognizes her from afar.
Jin-myung asks why they’re leaving, and Heimdal says that their performance got unfairly cut because the group after them was short on time. He’s sad that he couldn’t show her his performance and thanks her for the porridge and medicine she bought him from the convenience store last time. He admits that it’s the first time he’s ever received a gift from a fan and tell her that she’s his first fan, making hammy faces at Jin-myung, who smiles uncomfortably to be mistaken for a fan.
Sung-min wakes a sleeping Ji-won in the library and motions to meet outside. As soon as she steps out of the library, he drags her to his office and orders her to tell the others the truth. She admits that she lied about him being exempt from military service because of his obesity and tries to lighten the situation by saying it was a joke.
One of the juniors says that she heard differently, and doesn’t get Ji-won’s hint to stop talking, saying that she heard that Sung-min was exempt for mental health reasons. Fuming, Sung-min tells them that he had a knee injury from playing soccer (Ji-won quips that he fell while missing the ball) and insists on showing the scar on his leg. His pant leg is too tight to yank up, so he almost pulls down his pants before catching himself.
Ji-won cheers for him to take off his pants, and Sung-min angrily grabs her in a headlock. A pretty junior asks if the two are dating, and they stop bickering and stare at her blankly. Ji-won assures her that they’re not, and Pretty Junior says that she just wanted to make sure. Ji-won smiles as she catches on that Pretty Junior is harboring a little crush and looks suspiciously at Sung-min.
Ji-won teases Sung-min about Pretty Junior, wondering what his charms are. She asks if he’s going to accept her crush, but he doesn’t seem interested. Ji-won prefaces her next question by making him promise not to report or sue him, then looks down at his pants and asks how he fulfills his lust, suggesting that he go to the hospital.
Sung-min tells Ji-won that she should go to the hospital because she’s been acting strangely recently. She quips that she’s always a little weird, but he means that it’s worse than usual, noting that she’s been looking anxious recently.
He asks what’s been going on, and Ji-won gets more serious as she reveals that she’s learned more about the mysterious Moon Hyo-jin. She shares what she heard about Hyo-jin transferring schools because of weird rumors about child abuse with the art teacher.
Sung-min asks if it was sexual abuse, and she confirms this. He asks how this relates to her, but Ji-won doesn’t know. But she admits that she’s scared that it might relate to her, and Sung-min watches Ji-won with a worried look.
The next morning, Eun-jae gets ready for her date and turns her stuffed monkey to face the wall. She walks out with a determined look, and when Eun hears that she’s going on a date, she comments that it looks more like she’s going to war.
At the date, the guy tries to start conversation, but Eun-jae replies with one-word responses. Conversation is stilted, but out of the blue, Eun-jae asks about how guys can meet other girls so quickly after their break-ups. She asks if guys look for similar girls to their recent exes or if they want complete opposites, and the poor guy is completely taken aback by her questions.
The date comments that Eun-jae is very different from how Ji-won described her, and after an awkward and silent date, they go their separate ways.
While reading her manhwa, Eun receives multiple text messages from Ye-ji asking what she’s doing and sharing funny video clips. Eun goes to the living room and asks Ye-eun and Ji-won if they receive a lot of texts from their girlfriends, and if it’s normal to be upset if they don’t reply. They see nothing strange about the texts, though they don’t get upset about non-responses.
Eun then asks if their girlfriends ask to meet every weekend and watch movies together, and if the friends get made if a third person is invited. Ye-eun doesn’t find the movie-going odd, but thinks that it’s more fun with more people.
Eun-jae comes back from her date, and Ye-eun asks how it was. Eun-jae says that it wasn’t good because the guy was short, had a small face, knew too much, and was too polite. (Ha, so Jong-yeol’s the opposite?) A short while later, Ji-won talks to the guy on the phone, and Eun-jae asks her to tell him that he’s probably a good guy but just wasn’t a match for her. Ji-won tells her that he said the same thing — that she’s a nice person, just not his style.
Suddenly Eun-jae looks stricken, and she asks why she wasn’t his style. Ji-won tries to point out that Eun-jae literally did the same thing, but she’s too hurt at the rejection to notice.
When Eun arrives at home, she sees Jang-hoon changing the porch light and notices his exposed belly. She quickly turns away, and Jang-hoon asks if she went to an all-girls high school. She asks how he knew, and he says that he had a feeling.
Eun asks if she and Ye-ji really look like they’re dating, and Jang-hoon says that they do. Eun says that they’re just friends, and Jang-hoon asks if Ye-ji thinks the same way. He tells her to just ask Ye-ji, but Eun says that Ye-ji’s too sensitive. Jang-hoon says that Eun seems more sensitive, not being able to ask what she wants to ask.
Jang-hoon asks if she’s dated guys before, meaning Eun. But Eun thinks he’s asking about Ye-ji and replies that Ye-ji’s always been popular with guys, but she’s never been interested. Then Eun teases Jang-hoon for showing interest in Ye-ji and offers to introduce him to her, and he looks amused. He agrees, since he doesn’t have much to do anyway.
Eun brings Ye-ji to a cafe and looks around expectedly, admitting that she’s waiting for someone to join them. Then Jang-hoon arrives and sits next to Eun, stealing her drink and casually putting his arm on her chair.
Suddenly alarmed, Ye-ji asks who this is. Eun hesitates to introduce him, and to make matters more suspicious, Jang-hoon touches Eun’s face in a familiar gesture. She swats his hand away, and he tells Ye-ji that Eun gets embarrassed easily and ruffles her hair.
Ye-ji abruptly stands up and excuses herself to go to the bathroom, so dazed that she even takes her drink with her. When she’s gone, Eun asks Jang-hoon what’s gotten into him. He explains that showing Ye-ji that Eun likes men will clarify matters in their friendship — whether or not Ye-ji is lesbian, she’ll treat Eun like a friend.
Eun timidly asks how he figured out her dilemma, and he says that he could just read her. She asks if he feels bad about being used, and he asks if she’s going to apologize. She grumpily refuses and gets even more grumpy when he says she’s cute.
They notice that Ye-ji has been gone for a while, and Eun checks the bathroom, only to find Ye-ji’s drink thrown in the trash. Eun worriedly calls Ye-ji and blames Jang-hoon for hurting her feelings. She says that she doesn’t like hurting people, especially people who like her. Shrewdly, he asks if she’s been hurt by someone she likes, but she simply glares at him and walks out.
As they walk out, Jang-hoon offers to carry her bag but she refuses. He asks if she doesn’t worry about him getting hurt, reminding her that she doesn’t like hurting people who like her. Then he grabs her bag and runs away, smiling like a small child.
Jin-myung tries to disguise herself in a hat and sunglasses as she watches Asgard perform at a small event for a crowd of elders. Heimdal notices Jin-myung in the back and sends her some finger-guns in recognition. As soon as their performance ends, Jin-myung walks away, but Heimdal catches up to her, telling her that it’s okay to be an idol fan.
Jin-myung notices that Heimdal is sweating profusely. He says that he’s not tired as long as he can perform and says that his sweat is actually just his passion turned into water. He tells Jin-myung to wait for him to get big someday, as hopeful as ever that he’ll get his big break. Jin-myung asks what he’ll do if that day never comes, but he’s convinced that it must happen.
Before he leaves, he asks for Jin-myung’s name to give her a shout-out onstage. She insists it’s not necessary, but he insists on it, seeming convinced that she’s just embarrassed. He runs off on his way, and Jin-myung tries to shake off her guilt.
Eun-jae runs into Jong-yeol and his buddies in the hall, and greets them brightly. Jong-yeol heads off without acknowledging her, and as soon as she turns the corner, Eun-jae watches them leave and stalks Jong-yeol’s social media to find out his evening plans.
To cover up her stalking, Eun-jae offers to treat Ji-won to drinks and takes her to a specific bar. At the front desk, she finds the room reservation under Jong-yeol’s friend’s name and asks for the room next to it. The owner tells them that they need more people, and Eun-jae assures him that more people are coming and calls the rest of the housemates.
When the housemates arrive, Eun-jae has her ear to the wall, trying to listen to the room next door. Eun-jae lies that she wanted to have an official welcome for their new housemate, and as the girls pour drinks and toast, Eun-jae remains distracted by the other room.
It’s not long before the others notice, although Eun-jae denies anything being up. Ji-won makes the connection and offers to “accidentally” stumble into the other room to figure out what they’re doing, and runs up against the wall yelling Jong-yeol’s name. Instinctively, Eun-jae pushes Ji-won away to stop her, using more force than intended.
They all realize the ex is in the next room with a date, and Eun-jae says that she wanted to know who he was meeting. Eun points out that she also went on a date, but Eun-jae says that she just did it because he was, too.
In turn, each housemate tries to offer up consoling words, only to have them backfire. Ye-eun comments on Eun-jae’s attachment, and Eun-jae snaps back that Ye-eun was worse last year. Ye-eun takes a drink.
Ji-won blames love, but Eun-jae mutters that Ji-won wouldn’t know because she’s never dated. At that, Ji-won takes a drink. Jin-myung tries to sympathize, saying that the first break-up is hard. Ji-won retorts that it must be nice that things are so clear-cut for Jin-myung. Jin-myung also takes a drink.
It’s Eun’s turn now, and she asks what Jong-yeol looks like, and whether he’s good-looking. The girls try to take their cues from Eun-jae, and first say that they wouldn’t call him handsome. But Eun-jae takes offense to that, so they quickly backpedal and compliment his tall height and good personality, only to have Eun-jae scoff again.
Exasperated, Ji-won tells Eun-jae to pick whether she wants to hear insults or compliments. Eun-jae admits that she doesn’t know and apologizes, starting to cry as she says she feels inferior and foolish. The air clears as they nod understandingly, and they raise a glass to Eun-jae.
A bit later, Eun-jae sits in a bathroom stall and looks through her photos with Jong-yeol. She wonders, “What does my heart want? First love, first break-up. Is everyone this confused? Will I forget when time passes? Will I be happy when I forget?”
Walking back to the room, Eun-jae asks herself, “Do I want to forget or not forget?” She sits down somberly, and then a guy’s voice calls out her name. She looks up and realizes that she’s walked into the wrong room—this is the next-door room with the blind dates. Horrified, Eun-jae apologizes and rushes out.
She runs into her actual room and starts freaking out. She flails incoherently, gesturing to next door, and her housemates look at her with confused looks.
Eun-jae walks home in a daze, her housemate entourage walking behind and eyeing her in concern.
Once they’re home, Ji-won tells her that tomorrow is a new day, but Eun-jae wishes for the world to end instead. She drags her feet into the bathroom, and the housemates cringe on her behalf, since Jong-yeol has to have known she went to the bar to spy on him. Eun even says she’d take leave from school if something that embarrassing happened to her.
Suddenly, Eun-jae peeks out of the bathroom with a goofy smile and toothpaste all over her face. Ji-won wonders if she’s gone mad, but Eun-jae says that he wasn’t there. In a flashback, we see that Jong-yeol wasn’t one of the guys on the date.
Ye-eun guesses that Eun-jae thinks he didn’t go on the date because he still has feelings for her. Ji-won rattles off a list of reasons why he might not have been there (all having to do with inflamed intestines, ha), and Eun says that Jong-yeol still having feelings for Eun-jae could be one of those reasons.
When Eun sees Ye-ji at school the next day, she asks what happened at the cafe. Ye-ji admits that she was mad, but only because Eun hadn’t told her about her boyfriend. Before Eun can explain much, Ye-ji cuts her off and congratulates her. But as class starts, Eun notices Ye-ji’s fingers fidgeting. Ji-won says in voiceover: “I pretend not to know. Because if I’m found out that I know, I can no longer pretend.”
Ye-eun walks with her friends at school and notices Ho-chang walking by in the opposite direction. She slows down to watch him. Ji-won continues, “I only see what I want to see. If I see too much, I lose my way.”
Jin-myung finally goes through her ratings for Asgard, and she gives them all the low score of 1, including Heimdal. As Jin-myung walks out of work, Heimdal happily recognizes her, but she ignores him. Ji-won: “I don’t invest my interest. Because even if I do, it’s no use.”
Eun-jae lies in bed and happily hugs her stuffed monkey. “I only believe what I want to believe so I can be little bit happier.”
Ji-won looks at her childhood photo with Moon Hyo-jin, then puts the photo in her drawer. “I only remember what I want to remember. Because I need to protect myself.”
At a park, Ji-won reads on a bench while kids play in the field. As she reads, a girl approaches and, in reference to the book she’s reading — Things I Wish I Knew Then — the girl asks what she didn’t know then. It’s young Ji-won, and adult Ji-won smiles and asks, “You don’t know me, right?” The girl says yes and runs back to her friends.
Then a voice next to her says, “Pretty shoes.” Ji-won turns to the voice, and it’s young Moon Hyo-jin. In that moment, Ji-won wakes up from her nap as her book falls to the ground. She gets up from the bench and looks pensive as she watches the kids playing hide-and-seek in the field.
Each housemate sits through a drinking interview as the film crew asks questions. Jin-myung explains that being employed hasn’t changed her financial situation, because she has student debt and her mother’s debt to pay off. She drinks more as the interview goes on and denies that Heimdal reminds her of her younger brother, and eventually passes out.
Eun gets sensitive about her height, downplaying the number. She sips on soju and gets embarrassed when she’s asked if she thinks meeting Jang-hoon was fate, acting shy and cute as she responds.
The interviewer asks about Ye-eun’s standards for comfort, and she ranks them: Most comfortable is being with trustworthy people in a familiar place, then being alone in a familiar place, then being with trustworthy people in an unfamiliar place, then being alone in an unfamiliar place. If she had anything to tell her ex, she would tell him reflect on his actions and not to show up in front of her again.
Eun-jae denies that she’s smiling about her ex not going on the blind date, and the interviewer notes that she’s changed a lot in a year, like her face and personality. When asked about if she’s still hung up on her ex, she order another bottle of soju.
Last but not least, Ji-won starts her interview by wilding swinging her hair and drumming on the table. The interviewer apologizes for being late and notes that she must have had a lot to drink while waiting. But she hasn’t had a single drop, since she was waiting for their interview to start, and asks for a clean shot glass.
Ha, I love how the show is so cheeky! Of course, Ji-won is last and doesn’t even get an interview because she’s always been disregarded — for her love advice and as a character in Season 1. I loved her additions to this episode, not explicitly breaking the fourth wall but effectively doing so as a reporter of heartbreak. Even when she’s not deep in her own story, she finds a way to steal the limelight for a few moments, and I love it. She’s my absolute favorite from the show, and I think she brings so many weird crazy antics to spice up everyone’s life. While I do enjoy Ji-won’s strange self, I’m more invested in Ji-won’s full story. That eerie ending left me wanting more, and I hope we’ll get a hefty load of her story soon. I really trust the writing of this show, and I really hope that this build-up will be worth it.
Despite my frustrations with Eun-jae’s oscillating heart, I enjoyed watching the process of her learning to come to terms with her feelings. Her fickle heart can’t handle the break-up just yet, and I think she manifests a lot of the conflicting feelings that we’re unable to act upon, lest we appear to look like crazy people. She expresses the realistic conflict in love/hate/longing/jealousy post-break-up, and it definitely makes her seem crazy. But I find some purity in that. She’s so true to the raw emotions of heartbreak, and that’s admirable and endearing in a way.
I’m a fan of Jang-hoon and Eun and their bickering relationship, and I see so much potential for fun. I thought his roundabout confession was so cute, and I found Eun’s response even cuter. She has such a big heart, but she’s unable to accept love the way she cares for other people. It’s so funny that her current method of accepting love is to complain and grumble about everything, and I hope that she’ll maybe learn another way to accept compliments. But for now, grumbling fits her, and honestly, if I were her, I would continue to be grumpy and grumble to get Jang-hoon to work extra hard for my affection. Grumble grumble grumble…
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