Age of Youth 2: Episode 6
What would life be without a few complicated relationships? There’s always that urge to step aside and avoid them, but the Belle Epoque girls are starting to realize that that’s simply impossible. People come into their lives and people change their lives—it just happens. Despite how scary that can be, the girls are slowly opening themselves up to let a little change in. And maybe even a little aegyo.
EPISODE 6: “I am a miracle” #insearchoflosttime
Eun-jae comes shuffling out of her room into the living room, a pensive look on her face as she evaluates her housemates. She wants to ask one of them how she can get Jong-yeol back but hesitates, knowing how they might react. So she gravitates toward Ye-eun and quietly asks if they can talk alone.
Of course, Ji-won overhears this and suggests Eun-jae talk to her instead. She correctly guesses that it must be a boy issue, taking Eun-jae off-guard, and Ye-eun supposes that she’s about to ask how to get a guy back after a break-up. (They know her so well!)
Eun-jae asks what Y-eun did to make up with her ex when they’d broken up. Ye-eun frowns at that, recalling the time she’d tried to break up with him, then failed by bursting into tears and apologizing. Rather than admit to that, Ye-eun tells Eun-jae that the best method would be luring Jong-yeol in with some new tactics—something she’s never done before.
Looking at Eun-jae, Ye-eun can guess that she’s never once tried aegyo. She says that even Jin-myung has talked to her boyfriend in a cutesy, nasally tone. Eun looks up at that. “Yoon sunbae!” she exclaims, surprising everyone. “You have a boyfriend?” She never would’ve expected that and it makes her deflate a little.
Eun-jae claims that she can’t act cutesy, but Ye-eun tells her she just needs to practice. She waves all the girls over for one big aegyo session, starting with accentuating the face with the signature “V” hand gesture and winking.
Eun-jae gives it her best shot, but her expressions turn out way too exaggerated. She tries again, and the girls just shake their heads in utter amazement and slink out of the room. Eun-jae returns to her room to practice in front of the mirror, but it seems like a lost cause.
The other girls secretly practice their expressions as well, though Eun gives up after her first try and plops onto her bed with a sigh.
The next day, Ji-won begs Sung-min to join her adventure to discover her past. He doesn’t budge from his work station, so Ji-won has no choice but to put Ye-eun’s aegyo lesson into action. This terrifies Sung-min and he nearly hits her with his chair to make her stop. But the next thing we know, they’re both in his car, Ji-won jamming out to some tunes and Sung-min simmering with annoyance. HAHA. These two, I swear.
At Oh & Park, it’s announced that 82 percent of the company’s vote was in favor of disbanding Asgard. They’ll be keeping the top two members for potential future projects, but the remaining five (including Heimdal) will be let go. The employees are instructed to stay cautious and not let any information leak. Jin-myung looks troubled by this, especially when her sunbae sadly notes that it’ll be tough for the boys.
Ji-won and Sung-min drive out to her old elementary school, and as soon as they step inside, a woman greets them warmly and ushers them inside a classroom, saying that they’re late.
The two glance at each other uncertainly but follow the woman into the classroom anyway. A group of parents are in a group conference, probably about a conflict between their children, and parents introduce themselves one by one, some apologizing tearfully and others glaring at them.
When Ji-won’s turn comes up, she slowly stands up and says, “My name is Song Ji-won and… we came to the wrong place.” Then she makes an awkward exit, Sung-min close behind. However, the teacher up front turns around, recognition on her face, and goes after them.
The teacher calls out to them, having recognized Ji-won’s name; she was the teacher next door when Ji-won was in third grade. She’s curious as to why Ji-won came back, with a boy no less, and asks if they plan to get married.
Ji-won laughs that off, saying she’s still a student at university. Hearing that Ji-won made it to university shocks the teacher immensely, and she calls it the most surprising thing in her entire teaching career. The teacher recalls that Ji-won hardly ever talked—but sometime in third grade, she suddenly started acting out. She became talkative, yelled in class, and made up lies about alligators in the flowerbeds and snakes in the art room.
Ji-won asks the teacher if she remembers Moon Hyo-jin, and while she doesn’t, she does help them find out where Hyo-jin transferred. It’s in an entirely different county and Sung-min has had just about enough for today, telling Ji-won to take the bus. Ji-won pulls out another cutesy expression, which again makes him angry.
Meanwhile, Ye-ji shows Eun how aegyo is really done as they walk to the Belle Epoque house. She then asks Eun how all the undercover work is going—does she still plan on getting revenge? Eun insists that she is, but Ye-ji doesn’t buy it.
They run into Jang-hoon and sit outside the house with some drinks. Ye-ji starts firing off questions about when Eun and Jang-hoon started dating, and despite suspiciously answering differently at first, he smoothly covers and answers the questions satisfactorily.
Ye-ji asks where they go on dates, and although Eun cuts her off, Ye-ji asks suspiciously if they do their “dates” at home. She warns them darkly not to.
At school, Ye-eun eats lunch with her friends when she notices Ho-chang watching her from a few tables away. Her friends ask how things went with him, but Ye-eun merely says that he’s not her style.
It’s late by the time Ye-eun gets back and she runs as fast as she can inside the house, her phone ringing as she puts her hair up in a messy bun to look like she’s been relaxing at home. Eun and Eun-jae watch in confusion as Ye-eun answers a video call from her mom, acting as if she got home much earlier.
When she hangs up, Ye-eun drops her smile and trudges down to her room (letting Eun-jae get back to studying videos on more aegyo).
Ji-won and Sung-min arrive at the other school just minutes after they’ve closed up for the day. Rather than go home and come back all this way another day, they decide to wait out the night and try again the next day.
They try to stick it out by sleeping in the car, but Ji-won complains of being attacked by mosquitoes and begs to go to motel instead. Sung-min refuses, saying he has no money, and even when Ji-won assures him that she has enough, he sticks to his no. Ji-won raises her hands solemnly to swear with wide eyes that she won’t seduce him, lol.
But one look at the motel room and Ji-won gets a sly glint in her eye, and when Sung-min offers to let her shower first, she revels in the line, imagining it said in sexier circumstances. Though she does sigh that it doesn’t inspire any feeling when he’s the one saying it.
Sung-min leaves her alone to wash up so he can get them some food. Once they eat their snacks and recap what they know about Hyo-jin, Ji-won moves on to the bed, though he protests, telling her to sleep on the floor since he’s the one who had to drive all day.
She shakes her head and sprawls across the bed, refusing to move. If he really wants the bed, she says with a smile, they should just sleep together.
“Okay,” he says. “We might as well.” (*record scratch*) Ji-won’s suggestive leer suddenly drops and she goes wide-eyed when he starts to unbutton his shirt and joins her on the bed. He gets reeeal close, telling her, “You know, there are times when you cross the line…”
And then pushes her off the side. She scowls at him for being so petty but seeing that she’s lost the fight, she tries to get comfortable on the floor. Later, when she’s asleep, Sung-min peeks over to see her face. His expression is unreadable as he sinks back into his pillow.
Back at the house, Eun comes outside and finds Jang-hoon fixing his bike and trying futilely to scratch an itch on his back. She acts nonchalant as she asks if he can hang out tomorrow per Ye-ji’s request. He pretends that he’ll be busy, but Eun scoffs that he just naps all day. He looks at her with a smirk, teasing that she must always be watching him. Then he asks her to scratch his back for him, and despite her grumbling, she does, though she gets it over with as quickly as she can.
The following morning, Ji-won and Sung-min head straight back to Hyo-jin’s old school. Sung-min waits outside while Ji-won heads into the teachers’ office and asks if she can look into one of their former students. However, one stern-faced teacher firmly tells her that they can’t release students’ information without their permission. Ji-won tries to wheedle for Hyo-jin’s address anyway, and ends up staying in the teachers’ office all morning, agitating the teacher and whining that she misses her friend soooo much, lol.
In her room, Eun contemplates what she should wear and even considers a long skirt. But when she comes out to meet Jang-hoon, she’s wearing her usual casual wear. Jang-hoon notes that it’s not exactly date attire, and Eun fires back that he didn’t exactly dress up either. In fact, something about him is off…
Her gaze drops down to see that Jang-hoon is wearing shoes that make him taller. (It kills me that even with the shoes, he’s still shorter than her.) He averts his eyes, embarrassed, making Eun smile ever so slightly. Ye-ji walks up just then, satisfied to see what Eun is wearing. “I was going to kill you if you came out for a date looking pretty,” she says in that sweet tone of hers.
Ye-ji takes the happy “couple” to a water park for their date, and the three of them actually have a great time laughing and splashing in the water. Eun leaves for a bit go to the bathroom and when she gets back, she stops at the sight of Jang-hoon and Ye-ji still playing in the pool together.
In the middle of their fun, Ye-ji asks Jang-hoon if Eun mentioned her father yet. She can tell by his expression that she didn’t, and gloats that they must not be that close yet. Jang-hoon crosses his arms and says that Ye-ji must not have a lot of dating experience, telling her that girls only want to show their best side to guys.
It’s not clear if Eun heard their conversation, but something in her face changes as she continues to watch them, as if she’s afraid of something.
In class, Jong-yeol is concentrating on the lecture until his friend urges him to look over at Eun-jae. Oh lord… The girl is testing out her aegyo right then and there. She bats her eyelashes at him, trying to look as flirty as possible, but he just stares at her incredulously.
Once the lecture is over, Jong-yeol heads over to where she’s sitting. She smiles with hope, thinking her plan has worked. But he has that same confused look on his face as he hands her some eye drops. “It seems serious,” he says, referring to her eye condition. “You should go to the hospital.” He walks away, leaving her disappointed.
Ji-won stays at the teachers’ office until it’s time to go home, and even then, the stern teacher ignores her requests. She walks out, defeated, when one of the older teachers passes by and mentions casually that Hyo-jin’s mother’s surname was Namgoong, and that there are some Namgoongs in their town. Ji-won thanks her, but the teacher pretends she never said anything.
Now that she has something to go with, Ji-won heads out and finds Sung-min playing soccer with some schoolkids. She tells him that they should start with locating any Namgoongs in the town and seeing if they know Hyo-jin.
Ji-won is so preoccupied with how to go about finding a Namgoong that she barely registers a girl piping up, “He’s a Namgoong.” She waves the child aside and suggests that she and Sung-min head into town and ask any passerby if they know any Namgoongs. “He’s a Namgoong!” another kid chirps. Finally Ji-won hears the words, and brightens to have a lead. She offers the boy a ride home, but he tells her he was taught not to ride in cars with strangers.
So Ji-won and Sung-min drive sloooowly behind the boy as he walks home. When he arrives home, he brings out his grandmother, who comes out to talk to them.
Ji-won asks if the grandma knows Moon Hyo-jin, and the name immediately puts grandma in a defensive mood. She’s surprised to hear that name, asking if Hyo-jin caused any trouble, then insists that whatever it was, it has nothing to do with them.
Grandma claims she hasn’t seen Hyo-jin since she left home in middle school after her mother passed away. Ji-won asks how the mother died and Grandma barks that the mother just didn’t want to live anymore.
Ji-won asks for Hyo-jin’s address, but Grandma spits out that she wouldn’t know the address of someone who left in middle school. She grabs her grandson and returns inside, slamming the door.
As Jin-myung makes her way through the company, she comes across Asgard dancing in their practice room. She watches from afar, her eyes staying on a focused Heimdal. She thinks back to what her sunbae had said about the boys—what would they do after discovering it was the end of the road for them?
Heimdal catches her reflection in the room’s mirror as she turns away. He runs out to call out to her, but today he hesitates. Sometime later, Jin-myung returns to her desk and finds a memo: “First Fan Noona, rooftop at 7 o’clock.”
Jin-myung finds Heimdal waiting on the rooftop, and he asks if something is bothering her, though she doesn’t have an answer. He urges her to cheer up, telling her that he’s had his fair share of worries and has even come here to release frustrations. He starts to let out a yell to demonstrate, but stops when a crowd of young fangirls below look up at them.
He panics and crouches down, urging Jin-myung to do the same. But not even ten seconds later, Heimdal peeks over the side and sees that the girls aren’t paying attention anymore, so he and Jin-myung stand back up.
Unfazed, Heimdal tells her that he’ll let her in on a secret since she’s his first fan. He admits that when he’d messed up his debut performance, he’d thought about killing himself. Jin-myung looks up at him with worry, but he reassures her that the thought didn’t last long. He quips that if he died, however, it wouldn’t get reported on the entertainment news, and it would have felt so unfair to die and have no one even know. (That… Oof. This kid breaks my heart.)
Smiling at her, he says that he’ll tell this story on an entertainment program when he’s famous and that he’ll be sure to mention Jin-myung. She asks if he really thinks he’ll succeed and he chides her for thinking that way. “Don’t worry,” he says. “I’ll definitely succeed. The reason I haven’t succeeded yet is because I haven’t tried hard enough.”
Heimdal realizes how good that sounds and takes out a notebook to jot it down. He explains that he collects sayings, and reads some of them to her: “Dreamers don’t age” and “The sweat of exertion does not betray you.”
Jin-myung turns away, feeling worse. Heimdal tucks his notebook away and says that he should go. But first, he hands her a lollipop and tells her again to cheer up. He gives her one last encouraging “Fighting!” before running off, while Jin-myung stares after him, more conflicted than ever.
After the water park, Eun, Ye-ji, and Jang-hoon eat dinner together and then see Ye-ji off as she gets on her bus. Jang-hoon grumpily notes that the girls left him with the dinner bill, and Eun starts to pull out her wallet to pay him back. But Jang-hoon stops her and suggests she just treat him next time.
Eun mentions how cute Ye-ji can be, making Jang-hoon look up at her. “You’re cute too,” he says, his voice serious. Eun returns his gaze, surprised, but the moment is cut short when their bus arrives. Jang-hoon urges her to take the one empty seat, but she shrugs him off and lets another girl take it. As he scowls in annoyance, Eun sneaks another look at him.
On campus, Ye-eun notices Ho-chang again as he finds a seat near hers. She’s uneasy with his constant presence and tries to occupy herself on her phone when her friends arrive to pick her up. Her friends notice Ho-chang as well and offer to confront him, but Ye-eun insists that she’ll handle it. She heads over to Ho-chang’s table, keeping her eyes lowered. Ho-chang instinctively stands up as she approaches, his own gaze wavering.
Ye-eun asks why he keeps watching her—was he offended from their last meeting? Ho-chang can’t seem to find the words to answer her, so she starts to turn away. Panicking, he calls her back, making her whirl around nervously. Finally, he tells her to be careful, to not go to deserted places, or walk around alone. Then he picks up his stuff and hurries out of there.
Ye-eun’s friends ask if she’s okay, and she puts her hand up to her racing heart. She smiles and admits that while her heart might be going crazy, she’s okay.
That night, Ji-won and Sung-min make the long drive back home. Sung-min glances over at Ji-won, who’s been quiet the whole time. Still looking at her photo of her and Hyo-jin, she wonders aloud if this is the end to her big mystery. Will she ever find out what “pretty shoes” had meant?
Sung-min tells her that it might not be all that significant—maybe Hyo-jin really had just seen some pretty shoes. If it was something she really needs to remember, he continues, she’d remember it. So he suggests she just forget it.
Ji-won agrees to that and even starts to hum, but Sung-min can tell that it’s still bothering her. She looks out the window, narrating that she’s actually afraid. The two girls in the picture look so similar, but one of them experienced something she shouldn’t have, which caused rumors and forced her to move away.
And that probably caused her to lose her mother and move in with relatives who treated her badly. Even now, Ji-won thinks, that girl could be living a difficult life—while the other girl went on to live an ordinary, easy life.
In flashback, the two girls in the photo play, looking like the best of friends. Ji-won’s narration continues:
“These two similar girls. The same time, different lives—what is the difference between them? What is the reason their fates diverged? I don’t know what that reason is, but the thought came to me that it was something very small. Something very, very trifling. For some very small reason that nobody could see, my life could have spun off into a completely different place than it is now, and that thought scared me. And I’m also relieved—that it’s fortunate that that small reason was not mine. And, while feeling relieved, I felt sorry to that other girl.”
Once she’s back at the house, Ji-won displays the photo on her desk.
The next morning, Ye-eun returns to the house with a bag of groceries in cheerful spirits, and calls everyone to the kitchen. They’re all shocked to see that she went to the market all by herself, and Ye-eun announces that she plans on going by herself all the time from now on.
She smiles and says that she’s going to make them a special meal—she’s so grateful for all that they’ve done for her all this time. At that, the girls gather her into a big, warm bear hug, ecstatic that Ye-eun has come so far. Ye-eun gets them all to sit down so she can cook, but stops when her phone chimes with a text message. She reads the message and the energy instantly drains from her body. Oh no.
Ji-won goes over and grabs Ye-eun’s phone to see what’s wrong. Once she reads the message, her eyes widen. Ye-eun slowly turns to the rest of the girls with the same horrified look on her face.
We see all the girls during their elementary school days, as well as their school reports. Jin-myung happily participates in class as her report states, “Outstanding grades, has talent in arts and music.”
Eun has the boys flocking to her with compliments and chocolates as her report states, “Bright and cheerful, gets along well with others.” Meanwhile, Ji-won plays with a puppy in her backyard as hers states, “Very shy, not talkative, has problems making friends.”
Ye-eun stuffs her face with cake, her mother yelling at her to stop, as her report states, “Overweight, request guidance at home.” And last but not least, Eun-jae can barely look up when her teacher calls her name for roll call. Her report states, “Shows no drive in anything. Very little interaction with friends.”
No, no, no—I was not ready for this. The douchey ex-boyfriend was released from prison, wasn’t he? And just when Ye-eun was ready to start a new life for herself too. There’s honestly no telling what he’ll do once he’s free, but just knowing that’s he’s out there is going to send her into another spiral of anxiety and fear, and I’m not looking forward to that. It’s taken her a long time to feel safe again and that was only because she was surrounding herself with good people. She knew that things were okay again. But that look she gave the girls at the end tells me that this news knocked all her confidence down like it was nothing.
I wasn’t sure what to think about the ex when we left him last season—in an epilogue, he seemed genuinely pained with his actions. He seemed genuine when he said that he wanted better for Ye-eun. And for a split second, I actually believed him. But in his very last scene, he was clearly annoyed, maybe even angry, as he was forced to write kind, encouraging letters to Ye-eun while he was in prison. That one scene left me with such a bad feeling. He had a reputation for saying things to receive pity, only to mess it all up with his attitude and his actions. There’s no telling what he will do now. Will he try to contact her? Try to apologize? Or try to get his revenge? All I can say is that I’m dreading his next appearance just as much as Ye-eun.
Ye-eun might’ve been afraid of getting close to strangers, but I think to a certain degree, all the girls feel that way. They don’t want to get too close to anything or anyone new. Everyone is scared for their own reasons, but now that the people they’ve been trying to avoid are slowly getting past their barriers, they’re starting to crack. Jin-myung seems to warm up to Heimdal every day (and not just because of pity) and Eun seems to be accepting that she’s attracted to Jang-hoon. Still, the girls insist on keeping the boys at arm’s length. But Ji-won is the exact opposite. She’ll put herself out there and make friends with anyone that comes her way. You’d think it’d be nice to know that a quiet kid like her grew up to be so outgoing, but I think even she finds her transformation unsettling. Something happened that made her the way she is today. Something that changed both her life and Hyo-jin’s life.
On a lighter note, our maknae’s storyline just got ten times better. Now that Eun-jae (maybe) knows what she wants and wants to try to get her man back, her newfound feistiness is set in the right place. I think she’ll have a lot of work to do, though—Jong-yeol never could read her that easily; they always had to talk things out to come to an understanding. I always liked that about them, but it may make this rekindling of their relationship a bit difficult. First, Jong-yeol will be a little slow on catching up to what she’s trying to do. And second, he still seems extremely hurt from her breaking it off. It hasn’t been said yet, but I take it that Eun-jae didn’t exactly give him a clear reason for their separation. But Eun-jae took a big step this week and I’m proud of her. She might’ve failed on her first try, but you know what they say: Practice makes perfect.
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