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Thirty But Seventeen: Episodes 29-30

The memories of the young Seo-ri are so fresh and unmarred by the years that have passed since the accident. Seo-ri remembers what was in her heart when her lengthy intermission began and she’s hopeful that she can bring an end to Woo-jin’s nightmare. But his heart isn’t the only one that Seo-ri has to worry about because Chan’s feelings for her have yet to be dealt with. There’s still so much healing that has to happen before anyone gets a happily ever after.

 
EPISODE 29: “La Campanella Part 2”

On the bridge, under the nighttime sky, Seo-ri gazes at a tearful Woo-jin and marvels, “Your name was Gong Woo-jin.” She then asks, “What if what you know isn’t the whole story?”

In a flashback to May, 2005, the young Seo-ri was at Incheon Airport on her way to Germany for her music college audition. She saw a young boy with Pororo stickers on his face (little Chan), who was in tears and looked lost. When she tried to help him find his mother, Seo-ri left her violin unattended.

Crying harder, young Chan pointed to some donuts and his tears disappeared as soon as he had one to eat. His distraught mother found them and thanked Seo-ri profusely for her help. When Seo-ri walked away, she suddenly remembered her violin.

By the time Seo-ri returned to her seat her violin was gone, but a cleaning woman told her that a pretty male student took it to the information desk. Seo-ri reached the information desk just as Woo-jin walked away and they passed by each another.

Seo-ri hugged her violin in relief and asked about the person who returned it, so she could thank him. Seo-ri learned that it was a student in a brown school uniform with a poster tube.

Seo-ri caught a glimpse of the boy in the crowded airport but when he ran to catch up with his family, she lost sight of him. In spite of her best efforts, Seo-ri was forced abandon her search when her aunt called, unaware that the boy, young Woo-jin, was just steps away.

In the present, Seo-ri explains that she glimpsed that the boy’s poster tube was covered in Pororo stickers. Tearfully, Seo-ri reveals to Woo-jin, “The person who returned the precious violin that my mom left me, was you,” and she adds that thanks to him, she passed her college audition.

One day on that very bridge, Seo-ri heard a bicycle bell, which was unusual since she was always preoccupied with her music. She saw a boy with the familiar poster tube ride by and realized that he lived in her neighborhood.

After that day, Seo-ri looked for the boy everywhere and finally saw him on the street while she was inside a convenience store. Woo-jin poured water from his bottle onto a potted plant but before Seo-ri could catch up to him, he ran across the street.

Seo-ri visited a jewelry store to have a copy made of her moon and rabbit keychain as a thank you gift for the boy. In voiceover, Seo-ri explains that she took it with her everywhere in case she ran into him. She confides that she saw the boy a few more times and she even gushed about him to Deok-gu.

Eventually, just the thought of the young Woo-jin caused Seo-ri’s heart to pound louder and louder, like a crescendo. She hoped to meet the mystery boy before she left for Germany and was surprised when she looked up on that fateful day and saw him board the bus.

Seo-ri mustered up her courage and approached Woo-jin with the keychain but all she could do was ask him how to get to the art hall. The two teenagers were both nervous as Woo-jin pointed out the stops closest to the art center.

Seo-ri returned to her seat with the keychain still in her hand and was determined to approach him again when another passenger pressed the bell. Woo-jin jumped up to suggest that she stay on the bus and was about to show her his painting when Soo-mi joined them and he exited the bus in a panic.

Seo-ri dropped to her seat and Soo-mi figured out she had just met the elusive “Crescendo”. The two girls squealed in excitement while rain started to fall outside. Before Seo-ri could share the details of their meeting, she and Soo-mi were thrown apart in the accident.

In the present, Woo-jin insists that Seo-ri’s story changes nothing because he kept her from getting off of the bus. Seo-ri confesses that even though she approached him, she already knew how to get to the art center because she had been there many times.

Woo-jin believes that Seo-ri pressed the bell to get off the bus but she clarifies that it wasn’t her because she always got off at the next stop. A montage of scenes proves that she’s telling the truth as Seo-ri describes her walk to the art center from the bus stop in great detail.

Seo-ri feared that Woo-jin would continue to block people out of his life if she didn’t get the chance to tell him the truth. She looks at him and insists, “It wasn’t your fault. I would have gotten off at the next stop like I always had.”

Seo-ri confesses to Woo-jin, “I noticed you first, I had a crush on you first and I liked you first.” Tearfully, she suggests that she wasn’t the only one stuck at the age of seventeen for thirteen years. Woo-jin pulls Seo-ri into a long kiss on their special bridge and their lost years begin to melt away.

On the walk home, Woo-jin keeps saying Seo-ri’s name, as if he can’t believe that they’re really together. She finally gives him the moon and rabbit keychain and Woo-jin wishes that they had met when they were seventeen. Seo-ri admits that after she woke up, she felt that it might have been better if she had stayed asleep. She recognized that her regret over her past was a waste of time, because nothing could be changed. Her resolve to focus on her future prompts Woo-jin to confess, “I fell for you again,” and when he pulls Seo-ri into a hug, he suggests, “Let’s end this intermission together.”

Deok-gu runs up excitedly when Seo-ri and Woo-jin walk in the door. Woo-jin promises Jennifer that he won’t worry her ever again just as Chan comes down the stairs. The pain in Chan’s eyes is evident as he makes his way to Woo-jin but he just wraps his arms around his uncle. Woo-jin quietly apologizes but Chan assures him, “I’m fine as long as you’re back,” even though it’s clear that the poor boy has suffered.

Woo-jin finally gives Chan that promised cup of hot chocolate out in the garden. Woo-jin wants to explain what happened but Chan cuts him off, just thankful to know that his uncle will never leave again. Chan lightens the mood when he scolds Woo-jin, “You’re such a handful, Mr. Gong. You’re making me age faster. I’ll look as old as Deok-soo.”

When Chan returns to his room, he stares at his motto and the card for the professional rowing team with pained eyes and a lump in his throat.

The next morning, Woo-jin jumps out of bed when he sees that it’s late. He’s halfway down the stairs when he remembers to wash his face and he takes great care with his appearance before he approaches Seo-ri’s door. He’s about to knock when Jennifer announces that she’s with Chan.

Woo-jin remembers that Chan asked to spend time with Seo-ri and regrets that he didn’t wake up earlier. Jennifer argues that he was finally able to sleep well, now that he’s free of his worries. She has a bundle of boxes in her hands and Woo-jin asks if he can have them. He takes the boxes into the storage shed and gets to work.

Chan and Seo-ri are at the lake where he practices and he promises to explain why they’re there after a tour. First, they enjoy the view of a nearby mountain at an outside table, piled with snacks. Their next stop is the gym, where Chan teaches Seo-ri how to use a rowing machine but it turns out that she’s a natural.

Chan and Seo-ri ride on a bicycle for two and she explains that it’s a first for her. She was never allowed to ride bikes because she could hurt her hands and when she yells out happily, Chan joins in.

Jennifer gives Woo-jin a thumb’s up when she sees the progress in the shed. She returns a business card that she found in Chan’s room and correctly guesses that it belongs to Seo-ri’s aunt. Before he can explain, Woo-jin gets a call from his doctor.

Woo-jin meets his doctor and learns that his music therapy group has a concert planned. Woo-jin offers to design a stage as thanks for all of the doctor’s help, but he’s not sure that he deserves that credit. The doctor figures that Seo-ri must be very special since Woo-jin fell for her all over again. Woo-jin gushes, “She makes every little thing seem really special, and I think that’s why she’s special,” and the doctor can’t help but laugh.

Later, Woo-jin is at a bookstore when he gets a call from Hyung-tae.

Chan and Seo-ri walk together as he finally explains why he brought her to such a familiar place. Rather than choosing a nice restaurant that doesn’t suit him, Chan decided to bring Seo-ri to a place where he can speak comfortably and sincerely. Seo-ri stops in her tracks when Chan finally confesses, “I like you a lot.”

EPISODE 30: “You’re my first love”

Chan faces Seo-ri to explain that he doesn’t like her as a friend. When he thinks about her, his chest itches — when she cries, his heart breaks. Chan tells Seo-ri that he wants to comfort her and protect her and shares his plans to join the professional rowing team so that he can do just that.

Before Seo-ri can respond, Chan adds, “That’s what I was going to say, on the day of my win. But you don’t have to worry now. Because that’s all in the past.” With a smile, Chan confesses, “You’re my first love. I want my first love to have a proper ending. That’s why I’m telling you everything. So I can be okay.” Seo-ri has tears in her eyes as he continues, “I wanted to protect you because you were like a seventeen-year-old. But now, you’re a real grown up.”

Chan proves how unselfish he is when he adds, “Oh, and thank you for turning our Mr. Gong back into his old self. Let’s continue to be good friends and as for my uncle, please keep liking him just as much as you do now. I’m begging you.”

Chan teases Seo-ri about her tears and insists that he’s the one who should be crying. He reminds her how quickly his ankle healed and promises that he’ll soon be fine. He holds up his hands and explains that he now has calluses on his heart as well.

Chan asks Seo-ri to leave without him so that he can exercise and when she hesitates, he explains that’s his way of asking to be alone so that he can cry. Chan gives Seo-ri a smile and a wave but once she’s far enough away, he stops pretending to be all right.

Chan walks sadly as he’s flooded with happy memories of his special friendship with Seo-ri. He remembers how he watched over her when she walked home drunk and starts to cry when he recalls the many times that they chanted, “Don’t think. Feel!” Chan sits and remembers how his friends teased him about the gloves that were a gift from Seo-ri.

Chan’s decision to take down his poster the night before was his acceptance that his feelings for Seo-ri could never lead to anything. With a deep breath, Chan stands up and walks away, leaving the gloves from Seo-ri on the bench.

Hyung-tae meets with Woo-jin to let him know that the man who paid Seo-ri’s hospital bills searched for him to request a meeting with her. He’s worried that once they meet, she’ll realize that her aunt and uncle abandoned her, but Woo-jin shares that Seo-ri has already guessed the truth. Hyung-tae asks Woo-jin to tell her about the man’s request and gives him the contact information for KIM SANG-SHIK.

Woo-jin parks in front of the house just as Seo-ri returns. He jumps out and exclaims, “Hey! It’s my girlfriend,” but her expression tells him that she didn’t have a good time with Chan. When she asks about his whereabouts, Woo-jin tells her about his meeting with Hyung-tae.

Woo-jin sits with Seo-ri in the garden as the truth about her aunt and uncle sinks in. Woo-jin finally shares that he met her aunt and shows her the florist’s card as proof. Seo-ri wonders why he didn’t tell her right away and then realizes that her aunt didn’t want to see her.

Seo-ri asks if her uncle refused to see her as well but Woo-jin still doesn’t have any information about him. Seo-ri is determined to find her uncle but when she calls the number on her aunt’s business card, she learns that it’s been turned off.

Seo-ri tells Woo-jin that the photo in her notebook must have disappeared because her aunt saw it. Woo-jin comforts Seo-ri with a hug when she starts to cry, “She’s mean. She’s ignoring me even after finding out that I’m awake.”

Seo-ri sits with Deok-gu in her room as she stares at her aunt’s card but when her phone rings with a call from Woo-jin, who appears as “Crescendo”, she promises to come right out.

Woo-jin stands outside with the man who paid Seo-ri’s hospital bills. When Seo-ri demands to know if he caused the accident, Kim Sang-shik kneels and utters, “I’m sorry.” He thanks her for waking up and shares his plan to turn himself in.

Seo-ri angrily reminds him that an apology won’t bring back her friend or restore the years that she lost. Seo-ri is horrified when Kim Sang-shik confesses that he was drunk on the day of the accident and that he wasn’t capable of tying down the tires properly. He didn’t realize that he was responsible for the accident until he saw the news.

Kim Sang-shik went to the hospital and saw for himself what he had done, but he was too scared to turn himself in. He overheard that one of the injured students was in a coma and in a flashback we see Seo-ri’s uncle beg the doctors to save her.

Seo-ri asks if she was abandoned by her family before Kim Sang-shik took over her hospital bills. He admits that he never saw her aunt and uncle after she was transferred to a different hospital. Kim Sang-shik heard the staff discuss her unpaid bills and decided that taking financial responsibility for Seo-ri was the least that he could do.

Seo-ri screams at Kim Sang-shik that he was wrong to drink and drive. Woo-jin tries to calm her as Kim Sang-shik continues to mumble how sorry he is. A bag of groceries hits the ground as Jennifer arrives and she pulls Kim Sang-shik to his feet by his shirt. She speaks a name, “Kim Tae-jin,” and recognition flashes in the man’s eyes.

Jennifer tells Kim Sang-shik, “You killed my husband,” and she pounds him on the chest as she tells him about their lost child. Woo-jin runs to Jennifer’s side when she collapses as Kim Sang-shik apologizes to her.

Seo-ri hugs Jennifer as sobs wrack the housekeeper’s body. In a flashback, the music box plays its lullaby for her husband, Kim Tae-jin, who was thrilled to learn that he was going to become a father. The happy scene was displaced by one of the new widow as she sobbed over her husband’s funeral portrait, in the very same room where she told him the good news.

In her room, Jennifer explains to Woo-jin and Seo-ri that her husband was the second victim in the bus accident. Because of her profound grief, she lost her baby as well. Another flashback returns us to the day that Jennifer wandered in the rain and bumped into Seo-ri’s uncle. It was then that she discovered the library and she explains that she lost herself in books to deal with her loss.

Jennifer insists that she’s always fine but Seo-ri gives her permission to not be fine for one day. Seo-ri and Jennifer, two people who lost so much in the bus accident, grieve together as Kim Sang-shik keeps his promise and turns himself in to the police.

Woo-jin joins Jennifer in the garden, where she offered him counsel many times, to remind her of the advice that she once gave him, “I heard even the most painful emotions pass with time. I heard we can choose to turn away from them and leave them as regret or make them into a memory that we’ll want to revisit.”

Woo-jin admits that he lived with his heart closed for too long, but credits Jennifer with helping him to change. In spite of her stiffness, Woo-jin recognized Jennifer’s innate warmth and tells her that he’s thankful that they met. Before he leaves, Woo-jin shares his wish for her, “I hope you smile when you’re happy and cry when you’re sad from now on. I hope you don’t live with your eyes closed anymore.”

In her room, Seo-ri stares at her aunt’s card and the Euros that her uncle gave her and remembers his promise that with that money, she could afford a taxi to rejoin them. Seo-ri throws them away, only to fish the card and the money out immediately. When Woo-jin walks in from the garden, he sees Seo-ri dusting them off, so she explains that she tried to throw them away so that she would give up on meeting her aunt and uncle again, but she couldn’t do it.

The next morning, Chan runs into Seo-ri as he’s about to leave for school, but she can’t look him in the eye. He good-naturedly confronts her, “Are you really going to make a big deal out of this?” When Seo-ri finally manages to look at Chan, she relaxes and they mostly return to normal.

Chan has another race on the horizon and when Seo-ri teases him about his first place win, he confesses that he wants to be the best in the country. Chan plans to follow his instincts and spells out “feel” correctly, “It’s F, E, E, L.” As he walks out the door, Chan and Seo-ri chant, “Don’t think. Feel,” together like old times.

Chan meets Hae-bum and Deok-soo outside and they sense that he seems relieved. He teases them about the ever present bronze medals around their necks and suggests that they win another one. Determined to make the most of what’s left of their school year, all three boys run off shouting, “Medal! Medal! Medal!”

Back at work, Woo-jin proposes the project for the hospital concert and gets Hee-soo’s support. Hyun teases Woo-jin when he drinks out of the same water bottle as Seo-ri, but he shrugs it off since she’s his girlfriend. Hyun thinks it’s a joke until Seo-ri bashfully confirms that they’re a couple.

Hee-soo calls Hyun clueless when he confesses that he thought that Seo-ri liked him. Hee-soo looks surprised when Hyun shares that he thought that she would end up with Woo-jin. When Hyun insists that Seo-ri acted like she liked him, Woo-jin makes it clear, “She likes me.”

Seo-ri jumps up when she gets a text in response to her flyer. She and Woo-jin meet with a woman who saw her aunt regularly when she lived in the neighborhood. The last thing the woman heard was that Seo-ri’s aunt went to the courthouse to get a divorce.

That makes no sense to Woo-jin, who remembers that Seo-ri’s aunt sold the house, impossible if she had divorced her husband. Seo-ri insists that her aunt and uncle had a good relationship but Woo-jin reveals that he has information that she needs to see. He shows Seo-ri the documents that prove that her uncle’s company went bankrupt and that her aunt sold her house.

Seo-ri blames herself for the failure of her uncle’s business and marriage until Woo-jin reminds her not to jump to conclusions without proof. Seo-ri reasons that since her aunt wasn’t a blood relation, she felt no responsibility towards her. Seo-ri’s focus shifts to her uncle, who she fears is all alone.

Seo-ri decides that she has to speak with her aunt to find her uncle but when she and Woo-jin visit the flower shop, it’s closed. They ask around at neighboring businesses but can’t find out anything about the shop’s closure.

It’s late when they pull up in front of the house and a discouraged Seo-ri wishes that her aunt had told her about her uncle before she closed the shop. Woo-jin takes her hand and promises that they’ll continue their search.

Woo-jin and Seo-ri are about to go inside when her aunt approaches and calls out her name. As they look at one another, her aunt’s eyes fill with tears as she looks at Seo-ri and says, “You woke up.”

 
COMMENTS

This beginning of this hour was heavy on the backstory of the younger versions of Seo-ri and Woo-jin and I enjoyed the opportunity to see the young actors again before Thirty But Seventeen ends. I’ve seen Yoon Chan-young many times and I always look forward to his performances but this was the first time that I saw Park Si-eun and I was really impressed with her portrayal of the young Seo-ri. Performances of the younger versions of adult characters can add so much to the story, and that was especially true for Thirty But Seventeen because in order to convince us that Woo-jin and Seo-ri were fated to be together, we have to feel their connection as teenagers, even though they only met one time. And the young actors managed to convince me that they had a connection strong enough to survive all that separated them for over thirteen years.

Once they cleared up all of the misunderstandings, Seo-ri and Woo-jin became a real team. Together, they confronted the man who triggered the horrific accident and managed to help Jennifer along the way. The continued to search for Seo-ri’s aunt and uncle, prepared to deal with whatever they discovered. Hyung-tae accepted their relationship and took a step back, as did Chan, so no lingering triangles. This drama was so focused on healing without any prolonged, forced crises to contend with. There were no life threatening conditions or bitter romantic entanglements, instead we witnessed an untangling of a huge, complicated knot that allowed everything and everybody to fall into place, and it was a refreshing approach.

After Seo-ri managed to convince the very doubtful Woo-jin of her teenaged crush, the guilt finally left him but it gave him the insight to help Jennifer through her crisis. Seo-ri was able to understand how one man’s irresponsibility could completely devastate her and it helped Jennifer take her first step out of her self imposed prison. She faced the man responsible for her husband’s death and the loss of her baby and once she shared her pain, the walls that Jennifer had carefully built started to come down.

Chan had his own suffering to work through and it was hard to witness his broken heart, especially after he was hurt so deeply when Woo-jin abandoned him yet again. Chan accepted the reality that Seo-ri was in love with Woo-jin and he did what he had to do to move on. That included telling Seo-ri the truth and I had to respect that he wasn’t going to just stuff his feelings. His confession was the equivalent of ripping off a band-aid, it was quick, painful and then over. Chan quickly made Seo-ri a part of his past and chose to move on rather than wallow. It was commendable though not very believable, especially for a teenager.

Maybe Chan’s quick recovery can be attributed to the fact that he’s an athlete who’s been trained to be a team player. There’s a bigger picture that he’s used to thinking about and that training may have helped him to cope with such a bitter disappointment. Or maybe he’s been influenced by Woo-jin, who couldn’t move past his pain and worried everyone who loved him for years, especially Chan. Whatever influenced him, Chan made a decision to move on from his first love and make the most of his already pretty awesome life.

The final mystery that remains to be solved has to do with Set-ri’s uncle. Unlike when she first woke up, I think that now that she has Woo-jin and is surrounded by friends who care about her, Seo-ri can endure whatever her sleuthing uncovers. Chan’s right, Seo-ri no longer seems like a seventeen-year-old, she’s an adult who’s ready to make the most of the miracle that brought her back to life.

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I think the next couple of episodes would be spent on back story since they love each other now

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only 1 episode is remaining now. They have cut short the drama for some unknown reason from 20(40) episodes to 16(32) episodes.

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Still wondering why they did that. Really no official statement from SBS about the reason for it?

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I think it is because of holidays next week. so they can air special program, and also not having dip in ratings...

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Honestly, I think they made the right call to shorten the drama (I'm sure it was due to the holiday and special programming) because I feel like this story was already reaching it's natural conclusion. If it had been stretched out for 4 more hours, I feel like it would have become draggy. As it stands now, I feel like it was the perfect length.

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But 4 or maybe 2 additional hours could have been good to explore the reasons why she was abandoned.

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This episoide was amazing and full of so many ups and downs.
The kiss and confession at the beginning.
The driver's apology.
Jennifer's confession.
Chan's confession
And finally when the aunt came.
I love the whole cast their acting feels so real.
So, it all started because of Chan was crying for doughnut 😂
They handled Chan's confession and heartbreak beautifully.
Wow! if only most teenage first loves were wrapped up so nicely.
Chan has got to be one of the most adorable, sweet, cute and loving characters ever.
PS: Mr. Gong is he really clueless?
For me the best moment today was when he was walking backwards, holding her hand and calling out her name over and over again "Woo Seo-Ri, Woo Seo-Ri, Woo Seo-Ri..." . Such a poignant moment. Not only had he believed this woman was dead but all that time he had thought her name was No Su-Mi so no wonder he wanted to call her by her real name over and over again.
Jennifer will forever be in my heart.
DOC:"You seem so laid back and pretty"
ME: I agree with you doc! He is sooo prettyy. *__*

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Chan is the most resilient and sunshine filled character I've seen. I'm going to miss him the most.

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The way Woo-jin said Seo-ri's name over and over: it sounded so beautiful. Made me want to fall in love. The way Seo-ri says Woo-jin's name was also beautiful too.

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Hum the bus accident... When we see the childreen in the bus, the weather is sunny and shiny but when we saw the accident from the outside, it's rainning...

I think it's nice to see a drama without a villain but only human characters with their flaws and strength.

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OMG I don't realise it until you mention it! But I agree with you that the characters in this drama all just a human beings.

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Pacing, pacing, pacing, oh I don't care. This drama is just so damn nice. Even with all the damn crying. Those who know, know I have a heart of stone and it takes a lot to give me the feels but this show genuinely made me cry this hour. My poor puppies and my giant chicken! Please don't cry, it'll be alright.

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Somehow it managed to be sweet without being sappy.

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YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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So sad to be leaving this happy family, including cute Deok Gu, who really brings a smile when the going gets heavy.
The whole cast is so awesome, I can't name my favourite character !
This feels like a weekend drama, I wouldn't mind watching 50 episodes of this charming drama.

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Yoo chan! Why are you such a good guy? How could you forgive your uncle so quickly? You should've let him grovel for a bit. I felt angry in your stead. Then again, you're much more mature than I am even though I'm older than you.
Also , why did you throw away the gloves? Those poor things have got nothing to do with your heartbreak. She gave them to you to protect your hands.

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I gasped when he left the gloves. But then again... maybe they reminded of Seo-ri too much?

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I can understand that. But he still has to keep seeing her. Is it so difficult to detach the gift from the person? Maybe it is. I wouldn't know.

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Oh, the symbolic language of dramas :) But, yeah, I'm really good at detaching things from people and as a frugal and rational person, I was like: the gloves! Keep them! They're good for you!

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I know what you mean, but all I could think was keep those gloves - they probably cost a LOT if they are good ones!

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I said to the screen, "Chan! You litterbug!"

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TV logic. I had the same reaction. Why throw out a perfectly good pair of gloves?

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I think the same thing when people throw their engagement rings into the river. Sell it in a pawn shop! The ring's still gone, just now you have some money.

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Young Seo-ri: orders the keychain to be made for Woo-jin.
My heart: melts.

Actually, that's what my heart has been doing all throughout this drama – melting.

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I'm so proud of you Chan 😍😍. Let me hug you.
This show consistence to show the healing part of each other person.

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I usually hate childhood connection/teenage love trope but 30b17 made it feel so rewarding and precious.

Kudos to two young actors playing teenage SR and WJ, they made my heart flutter and feel like I transported back the my teens 😊

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I hate it too and usually I'd be rolling my eyes over it. For some reason I wasn't (although maybe the keyring a little....)

Maybe it's because they lived in the same neighbourhood and so running into each other again wasn't as far fetched as it often is when she went to that neighbourhood to find her family.

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I'm weeping when seeing that Jennifer who often act as support system and wearing her mask, crumbling in front of Seo Ri and Woo Jin when she confronted her past, as for my Chanshine who lighted up everyone's world, crying alone to let her go and be happy with his uncle, as well as trying to become the real adult :(

I also feel the warmth when seeing Seo Ri and Woo Jin together. The plot definitely makes sense that the truths unfold when all of the characters being honest with each other. Also both of them moving at the same tempo, and they never overdo anything, just stay at each other's side and provide the support that each others need. And this is what put Woo Jin, Chan, and Hyung Tae in different placesof Seo Ri's heart.

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Chanshine!!!

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Auww... the young versions are so cute, and I am glad I am invested with them as much as I am invested with the adults. It makes this drama even more special because it feels like we are watching our kids growing (not that I have any).

I am so glad that Woo Jin able to heal his heart, because not everyone gets that luxury (in this case, its Jennifer). She could only accepted the fact that the accident happened, she lost his husband and child, and all she can do is to move forward. Woo Jin on the other hand gets to know that the accident wasn't his fault and he can stop feeling guilty because it was Seo Ri that made her choice to use her usual route. I am glad he is finally able to move forward now and I hope Jennifer too can move forward.

Chan looks so matured in this episode. He able to understand the situation and the way he handle his first love so admiringly...our nephew-nim has grown up...I was hoping Chan would throw some tantrum towards his uncle but I guess I am the childish one here 😅

I cannot believe this drama ia about to end....I miss them already 😢

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Thanks for your recap, TeriYaki! The last thing I was expecting to see was little Chan playing Cupid. He was the first to meet Seo-ri back when they were all in school, and the first to meet her after she awakened and escaped from the hospital.
And even as a little kid, he had a hollow leg. LOL! I was glad to see his Mom again, too. On the other hand, Chan has often seemed very mature for his age, and I ascribe that to his witnessing Mr. Gong going through hell for so many years. While it was painful to watch, I'm glad he directly told Seo-ri he was ending his impossible first love. That took guts. My hat is off to Chan. Before the final curtain falls, I hope he levels with Mr. Gong, too. They both need to clear the air.

I truly did not guess the identity of the man who paid Seo-ri's hospital bills. Talk about coming out of left field. But now we know it wasn't Uncle -- so there's still that mystery to unravel. As painful as it was to see Seo-ri's reaction to his apology, Jenniferrrr's was even more distressing.

I was glad that Seo-ri went into so much detail when she told Woo-jin about her crush on him back in the day, and that she always got off at the second stop en route to her music practice. I'm glad she was able to get through to him that it had never been his fault that she stayed on the bus. Well done, show!

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The way woojin was walking backwards calling out, “woo seori!”....reminded me so much of what teenage woojin could have done if they had been friends when younger. I’m so impressed by the childhood actors and how well they provide seamless connection and insight into their adult counterparts.

I rarely watch dramas live bc I fall deeply into their spells... and when it gets angsty it really affects me. I told my husband earlier on that this drama was lighthearted and sweet, an easy watch on my eyes and my heart... but these characters and their story recently have sucked me innnnnnn.

Also, seori is usually also so positive and sweet, that it was shocking to see her show such anger and bitterness toward the truck driver. Not that she didn’t have that right- I gasped when he said he had drunk before driving- but she felt more human and real when she was like that.

I love these characters and am so sad to bye soon, but this episode felt a teeny bit slow. Maybe bc it dealt with hard things? Maybe bc I felt like I saw woojin’s hand more than face? Either way... I really really need some cute and sweet from the last episode, show!!!!

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The scene of Woo-jin walking backwards with Seo-ri made me smile so hard I almost broke my face. I would have given everything to see the child actors doing that.

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@hanyuja,

It occurs to me that these episodes of THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN, indeed the entire show, could be considered an extended PSA against drunk driving. Or the drinking that leads to the slippery slope of addiction -- by which point all the warnings in the world will have no effect on someone in the throes of alcoholism. It graphically depicts the unpredictable consequences of such actions and their effect on innocent bystanders, including future generations.

Seo-ri's rage at the driver who caused the accident is shocking in its ferocity because she has only had cause to express sadness, fear, joy, trepidation, her innate sunniness, etc., in the course of her recovery and catching up to her chronological age. She has been completely in the dark as to the true cause of the accident that robbed her of her youth, family, and intended profession, killed her best friend, and also caused another family to lose its son/brother/uncle. Seo-ri fully expresses her feelings and agency in this scene. It is truly a case of "Don't think. Feel." There are some circumstances in life for which unfettered, towering anger is the only appropriate response, and this was one of them.

We've seen Seo-ri timidly apologizing during much of the show. In my book, she reclaims her full emotional spectrum and personhood in this scene. It is refreshing to see her not give a damn what anyone else thinks in that moment, not even her nearest and dearest. As someone who grew up back in the dark ages when "Good girls don't get angry" was a stifling social expectation in my part of the world, I can only applaud that scene, and Jenniferrrr's salvo that followed.

I'll also point out that the Gong household's acceptance of, and loving support for, Seo-ri was instrumental in her finding and uninhibitedly expressing her voice.

Finally Jenniferrrr's secret is out of the bag. Now her empathy for Seo-ri and Mr. Gong becomes more understandable, even if the details were unknown earlier. The walking wounded recognize each other's pain in ways that others are unable to.

I agree that the child actors do a terrific job that seamlessly portrays the characters in their formative years. While it might have been cute to see their younger selves walking down the street that way, it's even better to see them do it as adults whose inner children are now at peace after long, dark nights of the soul.

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Chan is an amazing human being. His capacity to love knows no bounds. 😊
Why am i happy to see WJ give Chan his hot choco?! 😅

I really love how the young actors sold their connection so convincingly!

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2 & half eps of big reveals which for some reason were not that big to me.
The big secrets were kind of obvious but for me that was never the focus of my attention.
What they did up til now in the "present" rather than the "past" matters more.
And the same thing applies to these big reveals as well, what happened is in the past, how they deal with it & move on, what decisions they take is so much more important & I have to say, the show did a splendid job in making sure that the present of each character is what matters the most 🙂

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The characters of the house are so lovable. ^^

This show dealt with so many dark elements yet ended up making me happy, always.
The characters were really strong in their own way, they were each struggling with personal problems but they still made it so far, & will keep on moving forward.

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Am I the only person it bothers that people feel the need to confess their feelings to people they know aren't available? How is that fair to the person being confessed too, especially because it will make them uncomfortable. It's a big thing in kdramas and it drives me bananas. I love Chan, but his confession may have been necessary for him to say, but not necessary for Seo Ri to hear. It just made her uncomfortable. I don't like it.

One other thing, I've noticed Seo Ri never gets to fully complete her grief without someone else's sadness capturing the moment. She always gets cut off.

That being said I enjoyed the flashback and the episode generally.

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I once read in a book that when cheaters confess, their significant others think it means they are sorry and won't do it any more, but it is actually only to make their own consciense easy and put the burden on their SO's shoulder.

Now I know this is absolutely not on the same level as confessing to feelings, but I can't help thinking it every time it happens in a drama. Why would you put such a burden on someone you presumably love only to help yourself move on easier?

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I think in this case if Chan doesn’t confess and find closure to his feelings, he can’t see or treat her as friend or family. It will do more harm if his feelings don’t get resolved at an early point. However sometimes kdrama makes a person confess their love before they walk out of the picture, that I don’t understand.

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How is Seo Ri able to see or treat him as close family and friend afterwards? This is exactly what I'm saying. It is only shifting the burden.

I have to add right here that I haven't watched this drama yet. I saw @kafiyah-bello 's comment on the recent page and I answered because this is something that I have felt many times. So if there are details that I haven't taken into consideration I beg pardon. I hope I haven't offended.

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Thank you, I find it really annoying. This is not particular to Chan, but I've noticed it and just figure out how to let go without burdening the other person. No one is required to like you.

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Crushing on someone is not easy if you have to keep seeing that person day in and out. And that’s why I think Chan needs to clear the air. If he held it in miserably he probably would have left her circle eventually. Then Seori would lose her new best friend forever. I don’t think he burdened her too much and said very clearly his love is changing to kinship. It actually gives her a clear warning not act too cuddly around him. She, being held back 13 years of maturity, is clueless of some gender rules.

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Also, his confession is consistent with the theme of emotional healing in this drama. All the characters suffered from bottling up their emotional struggles. They (WooJin and Jennifer particularly) think they can endure the pain alone, eventually found that healing only starts when they are able to scream their pain out loud at the person who caused it (well, WooJin wasn’t screamed AT Seo Ri, just being emotional and loud). So again, I just see the reason for this case. Not saying all cases are reasonable.

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I completely agree. This is not the first time I've seen this in a drama and it's not the first time I've wondered if it's a cultural thing. Because, to me, Chan's confession served no purpose other than to make Seo-Ri feel like she's done something wrong by falling in love with his Uncle. It's utterly unfair on her. Also, she now has something she can't share with Woo-jin out of concern of coming between them when they're so close.

So Chan can breathe a sigh of relief at unburdening himself but now she's left wondering if she's been selfish in pursuing her own relationship. I mean, all she did through the whole 'confession' is cry.

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And as @ronilena wrote below, Chan's innate sunny resilence, and his youth imo, will help him get over this soon, but Seo Ri will probably be left feeling guilty for a long time to come.

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I'll give Chan a pass for his youth and inexperience. As for the writers...

There were three things they did in these final episodes I did not like. This was one of them. The show does get a standard rom-com pass and another because it's mostly just so delightful. But sometimes I think rom-com writers don't think things through.

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I agree with you completely about these "I feel/felt this way but now I will walk away" confessions. Most of the time they just seem like a way to try to dump the emotional responsibility on the other party. Although I understood that in this case it was the drama giving us his reasoning and showing his emotions without making him stand around and do a lot of awkward exposition. And I also knew that IRL there would have been at least a few weeks of Chan behaving sadly and out of character which may or may not have been noticed by Seo Ri and Woo Jin because of all that was going on, and then his innate sunny resilence would have kicked in and SR and WJ would have never know anything about it.

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I liked your final IRL conclusion and I totally agree.

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Yes, I solo agree.

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Seo-ri and Chan's relationship is one that can heal, despite Chan's confession. We see that the day after Chan confesses, Seo-ri feels uncomfortable at first but she warms up to him again. Both Chan and Seo-ri's youthfulness and maturity will allow them to overcome misunderstandings or awkwardness.
Also, Chan had been looking forward to telling Seo-ri his feelings all drama long. He had to tell her so he wouldn't become depressed or regretful in the end. The way he was confessing didn't put any pressure on Seo-ri, and he was completely understanding. Communication and reconciliation is always important.

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As I haven't watched the drama yet, and I started commenting more as a general complaint against this trope, I'm gonna take your word for it. I hope I will like it when I watch it soon.

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Oh I saw both episodes and agree. The complaint wasn't against Chan specifically, just the idea that it is necessary to tell someone unavailable to you, your feelings about them. It accomplishes nothing and just makes the receiving party momentarily or otherwise uncomfortable for no reason, just like with Seo Ri

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I was surprisingly okay with the recent angst episodes, but when Jennifer broke down I sobbed and had to pause the episode. The way she growls her husband’s name and then just lets go and even falls down…followed by that heartwarming pregnancy reveal and reaction from her husband, god. I cannot blame her, I fell in love with him too when I read “go away morning sickness!” in his card.

Hyung-Tae backed off as I hoped he would, and I loved how he added “as a friend” after giving Woo-Jin the information about the driver. He respects both Seo-Ri’s wish for time and Woo-jin’s position as her boyfriend. At the same time Woo-Jin respected Hyung-Tae’s concern and wish to rekindle the friendship with Seo-Ri. It is so refreshing to not see a jealous boyfriend in such circumstances. Amazing how much they conveyed in such a small scene.

I understand that some beanies might think that Chan went too easy on his uncle, or that it is hard to believe that he would get over his first love that quickly, but we all forget that Chan has been perfect since episode 1 ;)

Joking aside, he did scold his uncle during the hot cocoa scene. Chan is very positive and mature for his age, and very close with his uncle. I think the disappointment and fear on Chan’s face and the strong bond they have already got the message across, so why bother getting angry? He also explicitly told Seo-Ri that he had to confess first and cry after in order to get over her, which sounds a lot more rational than we would expect. He also had known all along deep down, so I think that helped him to snap out of it.

Our two teen lovebirds were so cute! Part of me wishes for an if only montage of them being a couple, simply because they had such good chemistry!

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One of the things that makes Chan (and Ahn Hyo-seop's wonderful performance) so beautiful is that there is no guile in him. "What you see is what you get" (credit Flip Wilson) which is very unusual in kdramas.

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I haven't started this yet, but your description reminded me of Peong in Wok of Love. That is exactly what I thought about his character, and I loved it.

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Hi @midnight do watch 30B17. I finished WOK OF LOVE after about a month's hiatus after watching until about half way through. For awhile I thought it would wind up dropped.
Of course Peong is supposed to be age 31 with much more life experience than the teenage Chan who is 18-19 years old so it is hard to compare them. I would agree that there is a lack of guile in Peong also and he is very true to his core beliefs. From what I remember Peong's childhood situation was not so good but he turned into straight shooter if you will.
With Chan it has been much different. He (from what I saw of Uncle/Mom/Dad/Grandad) grew up in a loving family and it is there that he has become a virtuous person at a young age.

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Thank you. Yes, I have every intention of starting it soon. It is rom-com draught and I will take whatever I can!

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Thanks for all the lovely recaps, TeriYaki!

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Are they hinting that the house is still legally Seori's? They keep mentioning how weird it is that the aunt sold the house since she wasn't Seori's legal guardian. Then they mention how she got a divorce from the uncle who was the legal guardian. So either way she legally never should have been able to sign her name to sell the house since she didn't own it.

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My understanding is the uncle divorced the aunt and gave her the house to prevent it from being seize by creditors. WooJin and SeoRi didn’t know this when they were discussing and thought she sold it without consent.

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The show is doing an excellent job in wrapping up all of its storylines and bringing closure to all the wonderful characters in this drama. And while the "fated to be" teenagers trope is nothing new, the show did a good job in presenting it.

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I already posted this on fanwall, but the child actors for this drama (Yoon Chan-young and Park Si-eun) were also the child actors for the Byun Yo-han and Jung Yoo-mi couple in Six Flying Dragons . Their characters also had a fated love as teens but were separated and then reunited later in life. But in SFD, Park Si-eun's character tragically dies in Yoon Chan-young's character's arms and they can never truly express their love. This is super significant because the child actors have come together again in 30 But 17 , losing each other a second time but ultimately loving each other eternally. It's like carrying on the SFD characters from the past into the present and giving them a happy ending!

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- nobody does “childhood fated encounters” AS GOOD AS THIS SHOW! i mean we usually get sick of that trope, but this drama just does it so well.

- i wanted to squish our OTP faces the first 15 mins of this episode

- so cute how he fell for her twice. so funny how 2nd time he fell for her, she was helping him heal his wounds from their first encounter lol

- also +100 for chan to confess his feelings. i really feel like he had to do that to end that chapter in his life :'(

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I loved how Yoo Chan had basically the same shirt on both times he had doughnut sugar all over his face. Perfect parallel there. So cute!

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