20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 17-18
It’s never a good idea to keep secrets from the people you care about the most. And it’s futile anyway, especially when those people know you so well that they can practically read your thoughts. Ji-won and Jin-jin are wound up so tight that sooner or later, something’s gonna blow — but who will be the first to break down and admit to their true feelings?
EPISODE 17: “Ten reasons why I can’t love you”
A woman who’s been known to stalk Anthony goes to Jin-jin’s signing event and gives her a tainted drink. Alone in her building, Jin-jin unknowingly drinks it, and as the effects hit, she tries to call Ji-won, although he doesn’t pick up. She keeps trying but soon passes out in the hallway. Luckily, a tenant in her building finds her and calls for help.
The stalker fan finds Anthony and asks for a photo, and he sees a message pop up on her phone asking if Stalker gave Jin-jin the tainted drink. Stalker and her friends run off, and Anthony calls Jin-jin. Someone answers her phone and tells him what happened, and he makes it to the hospital just as Jin-jin is being wheeled inside.
Somehow, Ji-won also learns of Jin-jin’s emergency, but when he arrives at the hospital, he sees Anthony there by Jin-jin’s side. Stunned, he listens as the doctor tells Anthony that Jin-jin will be okay. He can’t bring himself to go to her, not with Anthony there, so instead he turns and leaves.
Ji-jin’s family rushes to the hospital, all three of them freezing when they find Anthony with her. Anthony, who was on his way to a radio show before he rushed off, heads back there and makes it barely in time, and as Ji-won drives home, he listens as his brother talks about how to protect someone special to you.
Jin-jin wakes to find her family hovering over her bed, worried but relieved that she’s not badly hurt. She croaks an apology that they had to cut their trip short on her behalf, and they tell her that Anthony was here but had to leave. They think that Jin-jin called Anthony for help, and she doesn’t tell them that in the midst of her crisis, the person she tried to call was actually Ji-won.
Later, during a music break on Anthony’s radio show, he apologizes to Manager Choi and the show’s PD. Manager Choi yells at him for disappearing and not answering his phone, but the PD laughs it off as the excitement of live entertainment. Manager Choi asks Anthony privately what happened, but he just asks her to call CEO Jang and says he’ll explain later.
CEO Jang and Hong-hee visit Jin-jin at the hospital and inform her that she’s the victim of a well-known sasaeng fan who’s been stalking Anthony for years. Jin-jin argues weakly that no true fan would harass Anthony, and CEO Jang agrees that instead of them getting off easy because nobody wants to upset their fans, they should be locked up.
He tells her that Anthony said that very thing, but that just makes Jin-jin worry that she burdened him with her problems. Poor Hong-hee looks like he might cry as he apologizes for not checking the drinks more carefully, then CEO Jang tries to take the blame for being more interested in food than his star.
Once they’re alone, Manager Choi asks Anthony why he’s suddenly speaking out against his stalker, when he never said a word back when she was harassing him. He just says that she has to pay for what she did and apologizes for nearly missing his radio engagement.
Manager Choi insinuates that Anthony has feelings for Jin-jin by throwing a little finger-heart at him, annoying him. But she notices when he gets a text from Jin-jin thanking him for coming to the hospital and asking him not to worry about her.
That night, Jin-jin is upset that Ji-won hasn’t tried to call her. He does call Anthony, who tells him that he was only at the hospital long enough to meet Jin-jin’s parents before he had to leave. He says that they were nice, and Ji-won looks a little jealous.
Anthony admits that he feels terrible about what happened, and wonders if Jin-jin would feel uncomfortable to know that he’s worried. Ji-won supposes that she would.
When Jin-jin finally gets to go home, she texts with Ah-reum and Young-shim, making plans for the Four Bongos to meet up at their headquarters that evening. Mention of Ji-won has her practicing reading him the riot act for not showing up or even texting her when she was sick.
She waffles over whether to show him how upset she is, and her curiosity over what he’s been doing wins out. She decides to go give him a piece of her mind, but when she gets down to her old room, Min-ho tells her that Ji-won moved back into his own apartment.
She ends up just not speaking at all when the Bongos get together later, even when Ji-won offers the weak excuse that he had to work as the reason for not calling. Young-shim says that Anthony was the first one at the hospital, and when Jin-jin starts to tell him what happened, he interrupts to congratulate her for getting Anthony to act as her guardian.
He’s trying too hard to seem casual, making Young-shim and Ah-reum exchange a look that says they can see that something is off. Later, instead of walking home with Jin-jin as usual, Ji-won leaves with Ah-reum and Young-shim. This is definitely fishy, so they decide that it’s time for a little chat.
They sit Ji-won down and ask him right out if he likes Jin-jin. He evades the question, and he denies that they had a fight or anything when asked why he didn’t visit her in the hospital. He lies that he’s not concerned about her being on We Got Married with Anthony, but when Ah-reum asks if he would be upset if Anthony said he liked Jin-jin, Ji-won can’t hide his crestfallen expression.
Young-shim tells Ji-won that she supports his first love, then asks why he’s suddenly acting as if he’s trying to draw a line between himself and Jin-jin. He insists that he’s not drawing any lines, that he and Jin-jin are really just friends, but he’s not fooling anyone.
The following day, Jin-jin goes around distracted and preoccupied, thinking about Ji-won and how he still hasn’t contacted her. That night she imagines that he’s lying in bed beside her, smiling lovingly as he gently strokes her hair until she falls asleep.
Young-shim’s boss, Kyung-seok, talks to her about her upcoming trial and suggests that she attend some other trials to see what it’s like. He goes out for lunch alone, and when Young-shim also decides to eat, the restaurant she chooses is packed full. She’s asked to share a table with another single diner — Kyung-seok.
They eat in silence until Young-shim breaks the ice with some small talk. But they seem much more comfortable with each other these days, and Young-shim takes a chance and asks if Kyung-seok would like to eat together occasionally. He suggests they have lunch twice a week, and he lets loose an adorable smile when Young-shim isn’t looking.
That evening Jin-jin refuses to come down for dinner, until Min-ho tells her that Mom made all of Ji-won’s favorites and she leaps out of bed in a blur. But downstairs, she frowns at Ji-won’s empty chair as Mom packs Ji-won some food. Mom tells Min-ho to take it to Ji-won, but Jin-jin snatches the food and is gone before anyone knows what happened.
It’s super awkward as Jin-jin hands over the food to Ji-won, then just stands there in his entryway refusing to look at him. She thinks of an excuse to stay and says that she’s supposed to bring the pot home, and she gets a good look at Ji-won’s place as he cleans the pot.
Ji-won barely speaks to Jin-jin, and when she offers to help him wash her mom’s pot, he turns her down. It looks like it’s killing him to be so distant, and he keeps his back to her, as if to keep her from seeing his face.
In the morning, Jin-jin’s mom sighs over Ji-won’s empty chair at the breakfast table, worried that he’s not eating well. Ji-won spends the morning exercising in his building’s stairwell, then suits up for a big presentation.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
It’s time for Ah-reum to move into the new apartment she’s rented, sight-unseen. Her mother sighs that she doesn’t have much to take with her, trying to think of everything at the last minute, but Ah-reum says she can just buy anything she needs. Her mom asks why she’s moving out instead of getting married, so Ah-reum reminds her mother of her vow never to marry.
The new place is a pigsty, but Ah-reum tries to stay positive about it. She’s brought Woo-sung with her, and he looks like he’s trying not to cry about the filth as he advises her to go back home.
Manager Choi is ecstatic about Anthony’s rise in popularity, and she tells him that they’ve even gotten an offer for a commercial. He frowns when he sees that it’s for cleaning gloves and learns that the commercial is for him and Jin-jin as a married couple and mutters that Jin-jin can’t do a commercial for lowly rubber gloves.
They’re on the way to a photo shoot with Jin-jin, and despite Jin-jin’s lingering nerves around Anthony, they manage to look like a real couple in the pictures. After the photo shoot, Manager Choi goes to talk to Jin-jin about the commercial, which Jin-jin hasn’t heard about. Anthony guesses what his manager means to do and interrupts before she can, changing the subject.
Woo-sung stays to help Ah-reum clean her new place, and Young-shim and Ji-won come by later. Ji-won and Woo-sung are excited to see each other after all these years, then Woo-sung gets kicked out before Jin-jin shows up for their little housewarming party.
The instant he’s gone, Young-shim and Ji-won round on Ah-reum to ask if there’s something going on between her and Woo-sung. Ah-reum barks, “Hey, would you kiss him?” Young-shim recoils in horror at the thought and accepts the answer, but Ji-won looks like he ain’t buying it.
Hong-hee drives Jin-jin to a spot near Ah-reum’s new place, reluctantly leaving her only at Jin-jin’s insistence. Ji-won offers to meet her in front of a store, but Jin-jin gets impatient and decides to find the place on her own.
She wanders through the confusing maze of alleys, getting more and more lost, while Ji-won starts to worry when she’s not waiting for him like she said. He tries to call her, but her phone battery has died, so he goes looking for her. Jin-jin begins to get scared when she realizes that a strange man is following her.
Ji-won is on the verge of panic by the time he finally spots Jin-jin heading his way. She’s happy and relieved to see him, but he gets angry at her for wandering off. He almost seems to be talking about something else as he yells, “You should have stayed there. Don’t go wandering off. I’ll come to you, just wait. Why don’t you ever listen, why?!”
The walk to Ah-reum’s place is awful, with a chastised Jin-jin trailing behind Ji-won, who feels terrible for his outburst. He eventually slows enough for her to catch up, and by the time they get to the apartment, Ah-reum and Young-shim are asleep on the floor. They tuck the sleeping friends under a blanket and leave.
As soon as they’re gone, Ah-reum and Young-shim pop up — HA, they were faking it. Ah-reum says that they’ve done what they can and it’s up to Ji-won and Jin-jin now, then sends Young-shim home.
Once she’s alone, she opens the box that her mom gave her earlier. Awww, it’s a care package of the little things you need for a new home but never think about until you need them. Ah-reum calls her mother to thank her for the package, and after they hang up she cries a little, homesick for her mom.
Ji-won and Jin-jin continue their silence all the way home, until Ji-won gets off the elevator at his floor. Jin-jin mutters softly, “I hate it,” which makes him turn around. She says, “I hate seeing your back.”
Jin-jin goes on, saying that she hates him being angry, hates that he didn’t care when she was sick, hates that he disappeared on her. Getting louder and louder, she exclaims, “I hate that you don’t care!” before pounding the elevator button until the doors shut in Ji-won’s face.
She finally lets herself cry, saying that she hates herself the most. She sobs, “I hate myself so much for being in this mess because of you.”
In his apartment that night, Jin-jin’s angry words echo in Ji-won’s mind as he packs a suitcase. He finds himself in the elevator with Jin-jin’s mom the next morning, and she lovingly fusses at him for not eating with them lately. She sees his suitcase, so he tells her that he’s going on a work trip, and to see his brother.
He’s going to Jeju Island for a buyer’s meeting, and Anthony will be there too, to meet with a director about a role. Manager Choi is excited about this prime role, saying it’ll take him to Cannes. She reminds Anthony that the director is brilliant but has a terrible personality, advising him to just agree to anything the man suggests. She decides that this opportunity is a gift from Anthony’s mother, since it’s his birthday.
In Jeju, the brothers meet up at Anthony’s mother’s grave to hold her memorial rites. Anthony half-jokes that he wishes he were born in the spring (because of the chilly weather), but Ji-won says that autumn is a romantic season.
As they sit enjoying the day, Ji-won sighs happily that because of Anthony’s mother, he gets to take a vacation to Jeju every year, and not worry about getting Anthony a gift because he doesn’t allow anyone to celebrate. But he tells Anthony seriously that he should start celebrating his birthday, because it would upset his mother to know that he doesn’t.
With a smile, Anthony says that all he needs is Ji-won, because he’s his biggest gift. Awww. He asks if he’s Ji-won’s gift, and Ji-won quips, “Of course you aren’t.” HA.
Hong-hee and Mi-dal accompany Jin-jin on a dress-shopping excursion. Hong-hee obviously loves every dress, but Mi-dal is extra-picky and prods him into agreeing with her on the ones she doesn’t like. Those two should just date already. Eventually they settle on a gorgeous black dress, the one that makes their jaws drop.
On the drive back to their hotel, Ji-won tentatively asks Anthony what he thinks about Jin-jin. Anthony says that she’s nice and pretty, describing her as lingering like the moonlight. Anthony asks what Jin-jin is like as a childhood friend, and Ji-won says she’s nic, and pretty, and that she twinkles like the starlight. Oh, these two.
Ji-won goes straight to his presentation, which is about his company’s involvement in products made of the minerals from the hot springs. After the meeting, he and Tae-hyun decide to get some coffee and relax after their difficult afternoon.
In the hotel elevator, Ji-won is recognized as Anthony’s brother by a trio of ladies. They giggle at how handsome Ji-won is, but they don’t approach him directly.
At the same time, Anthony arrives at the same resort for his meeting with the director. The director has some of his team with him, another man and a woman, and they’re all three well on their way to being falling-down drunk by the time Anthony joins them.
The woman practically undresses Anthony with her eyes, eyeing him up and down like a prime piece of meat and commenting on his nice body. She tells the director that Anthony was an idol, which is news to him, and he complains that idols make terrible actors. Anthony is clearly uncomfortable, but he does as Manager Choi instructed and keeps his mouth shut.
The subject of Jin-jin comes up as they discuss We Got Married, and the director grumbles that Jin-jin refused to sleep with him when he worked with her. He makes progressively disgusting comments as he leers and asks if Anthony slept with her, and whether she was a good lay.
Anthony loses his temper and lunges across the tabl e to grab the director by his lapels. He doesn’t say a word, though by the expression on his face, he’s seconds from pummeling the lech into the carpet. He throws the man spluttering back into his chair, and the director asks indignantly if he knows who he is. Anthony just says that he doesn’t, nor does he want to know.
Anthony makes his way back to the lobby, where he unexpectedly finds Jin-jin standing there, wearing her new black dress. Across the lobby, Ji-won exits the elevator and sees Anthony, and calls out to his brother.
But Anthony doesn’t hear him — instead, he strides purposefully towards Jin-jin, grabbing her in a tight hug. Ji-won can only stand there, stunned, watching the two people he loves most in the world in what looks like a lover’s embrace.
I just love Jin-jin so much, she’s such a great character and Han Ye-seul plays her perfectly — she’s truly a sweet person and she always thinks of others before herself, but she never comes across as boring or goody-goody. It was so typical of Jin-jin that, seconds after waking up from an actual murder attempt, the first thing she thinks about is how her family lost out on their vacation because of her. It’s no wonder that Ji-won and Anthony are both drawn to her, with her genuinely pure heart and her way of making people feel special. It’s frankly a miracle that she’s never dated, but again, it’s because of the kind of person she is, one who puts her love for her friends before anything else.
And those friends are absolutely worth it. They are all three (all four, really) loyal to a fault, and they obviously love each other deeply. It was so awesome the way Ah-reum and Young-shim just straight-out asked Ji-won all the questions that nobody ever just asks each other in a rom-com… Does he like Jin-jin? What’s stopping him from making a move? Is he worried about her TV marriage to Anthony? What if Anthony started liking Jin-jin? There’s something to be said for the fact that these people have literally known each other their whole lives, so they can be honest, both with their questions and with their answers.
Ji-won is every bit as good a person as Jin-jin, and he also tends to place the needs of those he loves above his own wishes. As much as he loves Jin-jin, and has since childhood, he still considers backing down when the brother he loves expresses an interest in her. In part it’s pity, though it’s a pity borne of love, because he feels badly that Anthony never knew his mother and has apparently never had a significant, adult relationship.
This episode reminded us of how close Ji-won and Anthony are, how they’ve both lost someone they loved and found a new family in each other. And now I’m not so much afraid that Anthony will come between Jin-jin and Ji-won, but that Jin-jin will come between Ji-won and Anthony. Of course I want to see Ji-won and Jin-jin together, and Anthony is going to be a major stumbling block getting in the way of that happening. But I don’t want to see anything or anyone threaten the close relationship between the two men, who may not be brothers by blood, but they’re brothers by choice, which is even more special.
I still don’t think that Anthony is feeling anything truly romantic towards Jin-jin… it feels more like protectiveness, as if he genuinely likes and respects her as a person and wants to make sure she’s safe. But I don’t get any vibes from him that he wants more from her. And despite the fact that he’s very quiet and doesn’t give much away in regards to his thoughts and feelings, he’s also very perceptive and observant. There’s no way that Anthony hasn’t noticed how Ji-won feels about Jin-jin. I suspect that any conflict over her will be more of a misunderstanding than a true rivalry, but hopefully Ji-won learned a lesson in this episode that it’s not healthy to lie to himself or Jin-jin. I hope that whatever happens next will propel Ji-won to tell Jin-jin how he feels, rather than pull away from her again.
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