20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 29-30
Dating was never going to be easy for a celebrity heroine, and this episode brings home exactly how complicated it can be. It’s a bad time for the past to rear its ugly head and demand attention, adding to the stress and anxiety everyone is feeling. But the pressure prods some to begin taking steps to change the status quo, which means that Jin-jin and her friends will be doing a lot of soul-searching in the near future.
EPISODE 29: “Begin again”
Ji-won asks Jin-jin if she remembers the meaning that her sister came up with for the cosmos flower. She answers, “I love you,” and Ji-won kisses her. It reminds them of their first kiss as teenagers, which happened in this very same elevator. Back then, the elevator door had opened to reveal Jin-jin’s dad standing there, HAHA. He’d grabbed Ji-won by the ear, then made Jin-jin write Ji-won a breakup letter while he’d waited, unmoved by her tears.
Back in the present, Ji-won gets a call from his ex-fiancee, Bella, saying that she’s in Korea and wants to see him. He’s not interested, and even though she says she has something he wants, he hangs up on her.
Tae-hyun comes to tell Ji-won that Bella is in town, but Ji-won already knows. But it’s news to him to hear that Bella broke up with the man she cheated with.
Meanwhile, Anthony arrives at the office and is introduced as their new office tenant (along with Manager Choi) and Jin-jin’s bodyguard in her upcoming drama. Apparently Anthony was given the role when he promised the PD to “treat this as my last project and give it my all.”
We see the rest of Manager Choi and Anthony’s conversation at the fishery, when he’d said he wanted to quit acting. She’d asked if he’d ever given his all to his career, working so hard that he could die from trying. When he’d objected that Jin-jin is in the drama, she’d asked if Anthony had feelings for her, and he’d looked sad but said no. Manager Choi told Anthony to think of himself first, and he’d stayed there for a long time thinking.
Then he’d called her and asked her to promise that this would the last drama the two of them would do together. She’d agreed, but told him to get a thicker skin. Now Jin-jin notices that Anthony seems more comfortable with himself, and he says that he’s decided not to worry so much.
Manager Choi awkwardly thanks CEO Jang for the office, who insists that she did him the favor. Hong-hee says that Manager Choi and CEO Jang would make a good couple, nearly getting himself smacked. After Manager Choi wanders off, Hong-hee and CEO Jang exchange thumbs-ups, lol.
Ah-reum is living with her mom again, but she begins shopping for a house. Suspicious, her mom asks if Woo-sung asked her to marry him or meet his parents. Ah-reum says he hasn’t, so Mom tells her to let her know the moment he does, but also warns her not to be too obvious, or she’ll look foolish.
At the end of the workday, Young-shim tells Kyung-seok that she’s going to meet up with her friends. He says that he was so surprised that Jin-jin is her friend that he forgot to ask for an autograph when he met her, then asks if he can get one in person. He grins and says that was a joke… but then actually tags along to their hideout and really does ask for an autograph.
Ji-won is there too, and Kyung-seok notes that it’s odd that three women and one man are best friends. Ah-reum says they don’t care about gender, and Kyung-seok notes that friends can still fall for each other, which makes Ji-won nervously say that they can’t. Jin-jin looks a bit crestfallen, so Ah-reum changes the subject, offering Kyung-seok some soda. He suggests soju instead, making Young-shim look a bit panicked.
They pour soju shots, and when Ji-won toasts to their new lawyer friend, Kyung-seok also toasts to Young-shim. BWAHAHA, Kyung-seok drinks his soju in teeny-tiny sips just like he drinks beer.
He says he likes the atmosphere in their hideout, and the fact that they don’t let messy feelings ruin their friendships. Annoyed, Jin-jin finally speaks up and says that actually, she and Ji-won are dating, making Ji-won stare at her in shock. Kyung-seok thinks it’s just awesome and raises another toast.
Soon Kyung-seok is three sheets to the wind, though he’s still working on his first soju shot. Ji-won tries to get him to go home, but he insists on finishing his drink, and repeats for about the eightieth time how great it is that they’re good friends with no messy feelings to ruin their relationships.
Young-shim and Ah-reum end up dragging Kyung-seok out to the street, where he cheerfully grabs a taxi. He leans out the window, startling them by yelling, “Young-shim-ie, goodbye!” Ah-reum laughs that he’s weird, and Young-shim jumps to his defense, saying that he’s only weird when he drinks.
Ah-reum thinks it’s strange that Kyung-seok followed Young-shim all the way here, and she doesn’t buy the excuse that he just wanted Jin-jin’s autograph. She tells Young-shim to wake up, and Young-shim denies that he might like her, though she seems kind of tickled by the idea.
In his taxi, Kyung-seok tells the driver where he lives, and the driver exclaims that he’s really far from home. Kyung-seok tells him that that’s a secret and sits back with a satisfied smile. Aww.
Ji-won trails behind Jin-jin on their walk home, a giant grin on his face. She asks grumpily why they can’t tell everyone they’re dating, and Ji-won says that she can’t because she’s a celebrity, and he’s trying to protect her.
At her place, Jin-jin gives Ji-won a gift she got him (for their 22nd-day anniversary) and tells him to open it at home. She offers to wake him up in the morning for a business trip, then makes a face when he says he has to leave super early.
Ji-won opens his gift to find a pair of beautiful dress shoes, but the sight of them seems to upset him. He recalls the day he came home to find his fiancee in bed with another man, and he’d been so distraught that he’d ruined his own dress shoes as he’d shuffled, dazed, through the busy streets.
He gets a call from an unknown number but doesn’t answer it, and puts the shoes back in their box.
When Young-shim’s mother sent lunch to Kyung-seok, he’d sent back the containers filled with chocolates as thanks. She shows Young-shim that she’s displayed them in a jar, looking happier than she’s looked in a long time. She tells Young-shim that she’s thinking of divorcing her father, and Young-shim urges her to do it.
Ji-won leaves for his trip to find Jin-jin waiting to drive him to the airport. She’s even brought food, and on the way they stop for gas. While Ji-won works the pump, a text message pops up on his phone, and Jin-jin reads it.
It’s Bella, asking why Ji-won is avoiding her calls and asking him to meet her tomorrow night. She says she’ll bring the thing he wants back and wait until he shows up.
As they drive on, Jin-jin asks if Ji-won opened her gift. He says he did, so she asks why he’s not wearing the shoes, and he thinks quick and says he didn’t want to wear them out. Jin-jin doesn’t look convinced.
Once at the airport, Ji-won reads the message from Bella and tells Tae-hyun that he’s not going to see her.
At her office, Young-shim sits with a middle-aged client whose husband is refusing to give her anything in their divorce, saying that she didn’t contribute to the marriage because she didn’t work. The woman laments that she’s spent thirty years hoping things would get better, but has finally realized that there’s no point when tomorrow is unhappier than today. Young-shim agrees, and says encouragingly that she’s rooting for her. Kyung-seok watches her, an enigmatic expression on his face.
Later, Kyung-seok says it’s time for lunch, but Young-shim reminds him that it’s not their day to eat together. Kyung-seok says that they have to eat together because the dish he’s craving serves two people, so Young-shim follows him out. She acts odd later when he offers his help in fixing a poster and she insists that she doesn’t need it, as though afraid he’ll get too close, only to have him give her a weird look and walk on.
CEO Jang calls Jin-jin while she’s going over her drama script, worried that the director seems to be living up to her crazy reputation. She’s known to be a vicious perfectionist, dictating which way leaves should blow and insisting on blooming flowerbeds in the middle of winter. Even Manager Choi warns Anthony about her, telling him to work his hardest.
Woo-sung takes Ah-reum out for sashimi, and with marriage on her mind, she tells him that a fortuneteller told her she would hit a big jackpot this year. Oblivious, he gets excited that she may be getting a promotion, heh. She tries again, bringing up the subject of houses, but Woo-sung just says that he’s against her moving out again. Ah-reum asks if his parents know they’re dating, and he says he hasn’t told them because they’ll be all over her once he does.
Ah-reum insists she wants to meet them, but he says it’s not time. Then he drops his chopsticks and says he won’t have to bring her home, because all four of his sisters have just walked in the door. HAHA.
When Ji-won and Tae-hyun get back from Jeju, Tae-hyun complains that his clothes are uncomfortable and tells Ji-won to follow him. At the same time, Mi-dal lures Jin-jin out with the lame excuse that they need to make sure the costumes for her drama are warm enough.
She stalls until Tae-hyun shows up with Ji-won, having obviously concocted an elaborate double date scheme so that Ji-won and Jin-jin can do something together in public. That is so sweet.
EPISODE 30 RECAP
While on their “date,” Jin-jin asks Mi-dal what’s going on with Tae-hyun, and Mi-dal says cheekily that he promised to give her an item in the game they both play. Ji-won also assumes something is up between the two, but Tae-hyun mischievously avoids the subject.
Woo-sung’s sisters all seem to like Ah-reum, and they thank her for dating him since he’s so miserable at it. In fact, they’re so relieved that he has a girlfriend that they assure her they won’t meddle, and excuse themselves so the couple can be alone. Yet Ah-reum finds herself insisting they eat with them, even as she wonders to herself why.
Ah-reum is extremely solicitous during their meal, while Woo-sung looks like he wants to crawl under the table. She even offers to play with Woo-sung’s young nephew so the others can eat in peace, overriding Woo-sung’s objection since she doesn’t want to look bad in front of his sisters.
Getting a moment alone with Mi-dal at Namsan Tower, Tae-hyun asks her name, only knowing the handle she goes by in their game. She says it’s Mi-dal, but he asks her real name. She’s actually startled at the question, saying that it’s been a long time since anyone asked her that.
Ji-won puts a lock with his and Jin-jin’s initials on it onto the tower. He says he’ll throw the key into the river so that if they want to break up, they have to find the key first. They both joke that they’re good swimmers, hee.
Someone accidentally knocks Jin-jin off her feet, hurting her ankle, so that Ji-won has to piggyback her home. As they walk, Ji-won admits that it made him sad to see her hide her face and tell the person who bumped her that she was fine so that they wouldn’t realize who she is.
Tentatively, Jin-jin asks who Bella is, apologizing for having read Ji-won’s text. He says it’s okay and confirms that Bella was his fiancee. He explains that he didn’t tell Jin-jin that he heard from Bella because he didn’t want her to worry.
Jin-jin says that when she said she likes Ji-won, it also meant that she accepts his past. She admits she’s a bit jealous and scared to learn about his past, but adds that she has no right to get rid of his past, nor would she want to.
She tells Ji-won again that the harder the problem, the closer the solution. She asks him to shake off the crumbs of his feelings and come back to her. Ji-won smiles and says he will.
It all sounds great while she’s saying it, but at home, Jin-jin kicks herself for encouraging Ji-won to see his ex-fiancee. She wonders if she should follow him when he goes to see Bella, then collapses in frustration.
When he gets home, Ji-won looks at the shoes Jin-jin gave him, still in the box, and sighs. He wakes early the next morning to hear someone ringing his doorbell, and opens the door to find a perky Jin-jin bringing him breakfast.
He’s a bit nonplussed when her breakfast sandwiches turn out to be jelly on plain bread, and she sheepishly says that she made a light breakfast because she didn’t want him to be late. But he says they’re his favorite and eats enthusiastically, because he’s the sweetest boyfriend ever.
As Ji-won heads to work, he tells Jin-jin that he’ll be late getting home today. She asks him to come see her when he gets back, even if it’s late, and he gives her a kiss before going.
Young-shim’s mother makes her husband a nice breakfast to soften him up, then asks if her mother can visit for a night. He blows up at her, yelling that he can’t even rest in his own home. On her way out, Young-shim tells her mother that she’ll pay for a hotel room for her grandmother, adding, “… and divorce Dad!”
Jin-jin spends some time with her mother while her father does the cooking, and she offers to take Mom to the hospital today for her checkup. Mom says that Ho-sung is going with her, and Min-ho quips that he probably wouldn’t even recognize Ho-sung if he saw her on the street.
Jin-jin asks when Ho-sung will move back home, but Mom just says she’s waited this long, so she can wait a bit longer. She says she considers them lucky to have even found Ho-sung again, and Dad agrees with her.
They wonder where Ji-won is eating this morning, and Jin-jin says casually that he already ate, making her parents stare and wonder how she knows. She just stammers unconvincingly that Ji-won told her, ha.
During the day, Ji-won gets another text from Bella reminding him to meet her tonight. Jin-jin is just as anxious about it as she texts her friends, who ask what she was thinking by telling Ji-won to go.
Anthony and Jin-jin meet at the office to practice their drama scenes together. Anthony can’t help but grow emotional when the romantic scene they’re reading hits a little close to home as he says that he’s only allowed to serve her as her shadow and protector, and he ad-libs, “That’s enough for me.”
Jin-jin loves it, and wants to ask the writer to include it in the script. Anthony shakes his head, but the sincere feeling behind his words bodes well for his performance in the drama.
As the time nears for Ji-won to meet with Bella, he begins to grow nervous. He checks his phone and sees that she’s sent him a text saying that she’s waiting for him. He checks to see if Jin-jin has called, sees that she hasn’t, and resolutely gets out of his car.
Nervous, and knowing that Ji-won is probably with Bella right now, Jin-jin texts her friends again. Young-shim responds that her mother is gone, having left a note not to look for her. Ah-reum is listening as Woo-sung performs at an open mic night, and although he has a nice voice, she cringes in embarrassment.
Ji-won sits at a table across from an empty chair. He calls the number that Bella has been contacting him from, and when she answers, he tells her that he’s not coming to meet with her. She says she’ll wait and that she has the shoes that he wanted back, but Ji-won tells her to throw them away.
He continues: “I wanted to throw them out, because they reminded me of myself. I didn’t want to be treated like worn-out shoes to the end, so I thought it would make me feel better. But I realize that’s part of me, too. Accepting that made me feel better.”
Bella asks to meet in person, but he gently refuses, saying that he doesn’t want to hate her more, because then he’d regret having loved her. He tells Bella that there’s someone who even loves the times he loved her, and that he has to go to her. He hangs up, and when the server brings the cake he’s been waiting for, he smiles and leaves.
Jin-jin waits at home, growing more and more anxious the longer she doesn’t hear from Ji-won. Her face lights up when he finally arrives, and her smile grows even bigger when he shows her that he’s wearing the shoes she got for him. He gives her a big hug and pretends not to know what she’s talking about when she asks how it went.
Meanwhile, CEO Jang works late, and he runs across an article on the internet about Jin-jin. It’s a picture of Jin-jin and Ji-won together on their “date” night, the headline asking if Jin-jin is dating Anthony’s younger brother.
Oblivious to the breaking scandal, Ji-son has Jin-jin open the cake he brought for her. She takes in the decoration, and her eyes go wide when she sees that it’s a man on one knee, offering a ring to a woman.
Ji-won turns to Jin-jin and says, “Jin-jin, let’s get married. I want to marry you.”
EEEEE, Jin-jin, say yes! What a sweet proposal, and such perfect timing, because now Jin-jin will know that Ji-won wasn’t with his ex tonight at all, but planning to spend the rest of his life with her. I’m so proud of Ji-won for refusing to meet with Bella, because her insistence on seeing him in person one last time was worrying me. It’s no coincidence that she just happened to be in Korea right after a breakup, and that she just happened to have Ji-won’s shoes to return to him. I have no doubt that Bella was planning to get Ji-won back, so for him to just shut her down without even seeing her was perfect. And I love that he made a point to tell her that there’s someone who loves him, all of him, even his messy past.
So often when a couple finally gets together in a drama, they stop being interesting and I get a little bored with them. But Jin-jin and Ji-won are so sweet together that I could just watch them do nothing together for hours. I love how human they are, like when Jin-jin gave in to temptation and read Ji-won’s text, but she didn’t get mad at him for not telling her that his ex was contacting him. Then later she confessed and apologized, and Ji-won didn’t get angry with her for being curious. Ji-won knows better than anyone that Jin-jin would never snoop maliciously, and she knows he wouldn’t keep things from her because he was trying to hide anything. They’ve known each other their whole lives, so when things like that happen, they don’t lose their trust in each other. There’s a lot to be said for being in love with your best friend.
Thank goodness at least that my (admittedly far-fetched) theory about Anthony and Ji-won’s ex wasn’t true! I was hoping he wasn’t keeping such a horrible secret, and I never really thought he was that kind of person, because according to Ji-won, Anthony has been a caring and loyal brother from the very beginning. Anthony has just been so hard to figure out because he holds his thoughts and feelings very close, so I got concerned that he was harboring a dark secret. It took me forever to even figure out that he had feelings for Jin-jin, but I don’t think this is a fault in Lee Sang-woo’s acting, because even the teenage Anthony seemed very introspective and quiet. But it’s definitely made it hard to determine what, exactly, Anthony wants from life.
It actually really bothers me that Manager Choi talked Anthony into doing the drama with Jin-jin. Even she said that Anthony has never seemed to care for acting much, and he flat-out told her that he feels he has no talent and doesn’t even enjoy it. I don’t know why she would want to keep pushing an actor who has been doing side parts for decades, shows little talent, and confesses that he doesn’t like acting. Plus, he just seems so miserable every time they discuss possible future work. And now he has to perform romantically across from Jin-jin, who not only doesn’t return his feelings, but is in love with his brother. Why are we torturing this guy into this show, when he clearly doesn’t want to do it?
I actually find this the most interesting Anthony has been this entire series, and I wish we’d addressed his feelings towards acting sooner and had a chance to explore them more deeply. Instead of being confused about what he was feeling for Jin-jin for several weeks, I would rather have watched Anthony struggle with the decision of what to do about his career, because that’s much more compelling to me than seeing him pine uselessly for Jin-jin. He was never even a real threat for her affections, so I’m disappointed for the lost opportunity of witnessing Anthony either decide to quit graciously, or fight for one last chance at an acting career. As it is, I just feel like he still doesn’t know what he wants.
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