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A Moment at Eighteen: Episode 7

What an ominous episode title! Though the show is invoking the most infamous star-crossed lovers in this installment, I’m glad to see that it seems to be channeling the first part of the play, when Romeo is just super awkward. Because that’s definitely what our sweet transfer student and his love interest are dealing with as they try to just find a moment to talk to one another. After both confessing, the two can’t seem to move on to the next stage. Meanwhile, our class president faces the consequences of a tiny slip-up on his own.

  
EPISODE 7: “Romeo and Juliet”

In the nurse’s station, Joon-woo finally gets the courage and confesses that he likes Soo-bin not once, not twice, but four times he says the words. Soo-bin is so thrown off, she scalds her hand at the water cooler. Joon-woo gets a wet cloth to cool it, holding her hand and staring into her eyes… and then the door swings open, and Joon-woo and Soo-bin both scatter as Hwi-young marches in.

Hwi-young is first concerned about Soo-bin’s test, but he’s also here to say that he wanted to take her to the nurse’s office himself, if it weren’t for the test. Soo-bin laughs that his mother would kill him if he got a question wrong because of her, and while Hwi-young looks hurt, he also knows it’s true.

Hwi-young gestures for Joon-woo to leave so that he can take over, and in response, Joon-woo very deliberately takes a seat to hold his ground. The disagreement is interrupted by the nurse this time, and both Joon-woo and Soo-bin blurt out each other’s injuries to her.

They sit side by side as the nurse treats Soo-bin’s burn and Joon-woo’s cut from carrying Soo-bin. Now it’s Soo-bin’s mother’s turn to bust in on the moment, and she loudly laments that this had to happen during the exam, and praises Hwi-young when she hears that he stayed to finish his test while Joon-woo was the one who took Soo-bin to the nurse.

And finally Mr. Oh manages to slip away after supervising the test to check on his students. Soo-bin’s mother is on him immediately about any accommodations that can be made due to the circumstances. They take the conversation to the hall. Mr. Oh is surprised to hear that Mom already has a doctor’s appointment for Soo-bin (one of her doctor friends from school), while Mom wants Mr. Oh to go over the test answers before they leave so that she knows the results. Mr. Oh would prefer to do that later, but Hwi-young volunteers to use his own answers to check with the class.

Soo-bin returns to class, while Hwi-young takes his favorite spot at the front and begins to go through the questions. Joon-woo takes one look at his own paper, and instead retreats to the hall to take care of the recycling. On his way, he spots Mr. Oh and Soo-bin’s mom still talking. He passes them by, but lingers long enough to hear Soo-bin’s mom ask his teacher to keep him away from her daughter.

After all the answers are tallied, it seems that Soo-bin didn’t manage top tier as hoped. But she was still able to best Ro-mi, even after all of the efforts to get her into the tutor’s class. Their friends make fun of Ro-mi and all the fuss that she put up, until Pil-sang yells at them to knock it off.

Joon-woo’s lost in thought at the recycling shed, thinking about Soo-bin’s mom’s reaction to him in the nurse’s station. Then he spots Soo-bin leaving school with her mom, and he watches and Mom berates Soo-bin for her mistakes on the exam. “It’s not like you have a terminal illness,” Mom retorts when Soo-bin tries to point out that Mom’s more worried about the exam than her feeling ill. Mom then moves on to the topic of Joon-woo, and tells her daughter to stay away from the attractive troublemaker. Joon-woo overhears Soo-bin as she protests that they’re just classmates.

Hwi-young holds court in his study group, smugly smiling as he promises to help everyone understand the ones they got wrong. His grin falters when Sang-hoon turns up and promptly demonstrates that for one problem in particular, the math teacher set up a trap, and Hwi-young fell for it. Sang-hoon shows the way to find the real answer, proving Hwi-young wrong in front of the group.

Hwi-young bursts into the hall and out to call his math tutor. He demands that the tutor solve the problem for him, right now, and the guy pulls his car over to provide the solution. He demonstrates that Hwi-young did get it wrong, and Hwi-young smashes his phone into the ground.

Meanwhile, poor Soo-bin can’t stop thinking about Joon-woo, especially since she hasn’t heard from him since his confession. She even asks the doctor if it’s possible that she hallucinated the whole thing, haha. The doctor’s response haunts her even after Mom has tucked her into bed at home with some porridge, because the doctor indicated that yes, under extreme stress it’s possible to imagine things or get situations mixed up.

Hidden under the covers, Soo-bin tries to imagine what Joon-woo “really” said: “You felt so heavy, I totally thought I was going to break my back.” But her burn certainly proves that something happened, right? But poor Soo-bin, she yanks off the bandage to reveal no visible marks from it. It doesn’t help that there’s no message from Joon-woo, though she does get an invite to join her friends for karaoke.

The ladies are carefree in the karaoke room after their exam, and Soo-bin joins them fully invested. That is, until she hears that Oh-je and Joon-woo are coming too. The door swings open, and there’s Joon-woo with a bouquet of flowers for her. “I like you, did you think it was your imagination?” the apparition asks, and then Soo-bin blinks and finds Oh-je, not Joon-woo, standing in front of her looking perplexed. Alas, Oh-je shares that Joon-woo had to go to work and couldn’t come.

Soo-bin’s mood declines considerably after karaoke, and her friends wonder if she’s still sick. Meanwhile, Joon-woo has the exact same moody expression on his face as he wipes down the windows at the convenience store. Ji-min complains about how much more work she had to do to cover Joon-woo’s mom’s efforts, and Joon-woo defends Mom, until Ji-min playfully threatens to call their boss and let him know what’s been going on. Joon-woo switches to compliance and offers to organize storage, and Ji-min smiles and sends him to eat some ramyun first.

In between bites of food, Joon-woo pauses to consider the bandage on his hand and remembers what happened earlier. So he turns to Ji-min and asks what someone should do after they confess that they like them. But of course, he’s not asking for himself, but for his friend Oh-je. Ji-min says that the next step is obviously to kiss the girl.

Back to Soo-bin and the girls, who are also trying to work through what happened to Soo-bin’s “friend.” They are scandalized to hear that the guy confessed and then hasn’t called, texted, or made any plans post-confession, even as Soo-bin tries to find any excuse to cover for his actions. But, definitely not someone who likes her. No way. Haha.

They manage to turn the subject to Ro-mi, who was absent from karaoke. Ro-mi told them all that she was headed to a spa with her mom. But we soon see that this was a lie, and that Ro-mi is at a new tutoring center trying to find another tutor. The price is way too high for her though, and she’s in an even worse mood when her dad calls to say that he can’t come pick her up.

Back at school, Mr. Oh finds Hwi-young still hunched over his exam at a desk. Mr. Oh breezily tells Hwi-young not to obsess and take a small mistake so seriously, and continues to dismiss Hwi-young’s reaction when Hwi-young says that this mistake could change his whole life. Hwi-young leaves, but not before getting a dig in that Mr. Oh didn’t even go to university in Seoul, so what would he know? On the way home, Hwi-young gets a message from mom asking to strategize how they’ll handle the math exam issue.

Soo-bin returns home just long enough to rally some courage, and heads out again to find Joon-woo. Joon-woo, meanwhile, tries to take Ji-min’s advice, who suggested a text if kissing was a little too much. But several aborted drafts later, Joon-woo is distracted by Ro-mi, who pops out of a phone booth next to his bike to ask for a ride home. Joon-woo says that he’s got a flat, so she then demands to borrow his bus card. Joon-woo uses a pass on his phone, so Ro-mi drags him, along with the phone, to the bus.

At the stop, Ro-mi badgers Joon-woo with questions–does he like her or Soo-bin? Is it because he thought Ro-mi wasn’t interested, so he was just willing to accept anyone? Joon-woo gets Ro-mi’s name wrong again as he tries to explain things to her, but she pushes him towards the bus. At the same time, Soo-bin exits that same bus, and spots Ro-mi and Joon-woo together. She doesn’t notice that Joon-woo asks the bus driver to stop and let him off, and Joon-woo doesn’t notice that’s he’s dropped his phone until he’s on the sidewalk. Ro-mi spots the phone, but it’s locked (thank goodness).

At a bar, Mr. Oh drowns his sorrows in some soju. Apparently Hwi-young’s comment about his non-Seoul academic background hit hard, especially since it’s just what his mom used to say. Across the counter, Ji-min is also deep into her soju sorrows, having received another interview rejection notice. Ji-min doesn’t like Mr. Oh’s competing sobs, and bellows across the counter for him to stop, teehee.

Soo-bin’s back home again, but she still doesn’t have an answer from Joon-woo. With one last burst of courage, she calls Joon-woo. But it’s Ro-mi who sees the phone light up with a call from someone called “it’s okay” in Joon-woo’s phone. Ro-mi answers and stays quiet while Soo-bin rambles. Soo-bin is confused by the silence, and startled when the phone call ends without anyone saying anything.

Joon-woo paces around his room, trying to figure out a way to contact Soo-bin without his phone. He tries to login to messaging on his computer, but two-factor authentication blocks him. He goes to Bumbi for a ride, but he realizes that he doesn’t know where Soo-bin lives. Instead, the two of them stay home, wondering what the other is thinking.

Another morning, another school day. Da-hwin chases after Oh-je to ask why he didn’t call, and he tells her that he had to work. Joon-woo arrives and tries to speak to Soo-bin at the locker, but Soo-bin bulldozes him over, fast-talking through both her efforts to contact him and also trying to seem like nothing happened between them.

Joon-woo watches her walk away, as Ro-mi slides up to return his phone. She watches him watch Soo-bin with puppy dog eyes, while Pil-sang watches Ro-mi. He stands agape, surprised that Ro-mi has a crush on the new kid.

Hwi-young’s mother is also at school to discuss the math problem with the vice-principal and the math teacher. The VP laughs nervously as he promises that the math teacher won’t ask bad questions like that again, ignoring the teacher’s protests. Mr. Oh interrupts their meeting, and after a quick introduction, Hwi-young’s mom sits to have a one-on-one with her son’s new homeroom teacher.

Mom asks for an open class to allow her to come observe Mr. Oh’s class to confirm his qualifications. Mr. Oh holds up against her and says that he doesn’t need her quality check, but that he’s planning on having a meeting with parents to introduce himself. Mom isn’t quite discouraged yet, and says that she’s heard that Mr. Oh has been “putting the brakes” on her son’s study plans. She says that the reason the class does so well is because Hwi-young is allowed to develop his own study plans, and asks that Mr. Oh respect that. In response, Mr. Oh gives a small nod.

Sang-hoon tracks down the math teacher as soon as he hears that all answers to the math problem in question will be considered correct, and the math teacher pulls him into his office to explain. Mr. Oh finds his classroom abuzz with the news that Hwi-young is again top student.

Mr. Oh then asks the class to elect a vice-president of their class, since the role is currently empty. It’s clear that it’s been left that way so that Hwi-young could have control, but Mr. Oh keeps pushing for it. Several of the girls self-elect, and Pil-sang’s offer to volunteer is quickly shot down by nearly everyone. Mr. Oh keeps looking at Joon-woo, until Joon-woo finally raises his hand. He says that he wants to recommend someone, and Oh-je protests that he’s not interested. But then Joon-woo recommends himself, Ro-mi quickly seconds it, and he receives several additional votes, to Hwi-young’s chagrin. Mr. Oh calls Joon-woo’s mom right away to let her know that her son volunteered for the position, and Mom smiles broadly.

First assignment for the new class vice-president? Dodgeball team selection. Joon-woo wins first pick of teams and chooses Soo-bin, and the class is soon split and enthusiastically hurling the ball at one another. Joon-woo and Hwi-young have a brief stand-off, each catching the other’s throw over and over again until everyone else complains. Hwi-young insists on dominating for his side, jumping in front of even Oh-je. Joon-woo watches out for Soo-bin the whole time, and then finally gets his chance as a ball hurtles her way. He stands in front of her, his arms out, and takes the hit in the back. The other students watch, looking a little unimpressed with his demonstration of chivalry, haha.

The girls gossip in the locker room afterwards, noting Joon-woo’s efforts. Soo-bin is definitely thinking about it, and what it might mean.

Meanwhile, Hwi-young waits until everyone else leaves the locker room before undressing. He doesn’t realize that Joon-woo’s still in there. Hidden behind a curtain, Joon-woo spots the mottled bruises all over Hwi-young’s shoulders. As Hwi-young stands before the mirror, we flashback to the night before, when his dad learned about the math problem. Dad stepped forward to strike, golf club in hand, and Hwi-young’s mom jumped in front to protect her son. Hwi-young wrapped his arms around her, taking the hits.

Outside the locker room, Sang-hoon waits to catch Joon-woo. He offers to finally clear Joon-woo’s name regarding the watch incident. Around the corner, Hwi-young hears them talking and stays put to listen in. Joon-woo turns down Sang-hoon’s offer, telling him that he’s not interested in being used for Sang-hoon’s own revenge.

Sang-hoon finds Hwi-young next, calling Hwi-young his parents’ pet. Sang-hoon leans in to Hwi-young, grabbing at his shoulders, as he promises that Hwi-young will get what’s coming to him. Once Sang-hoon leaves, the pain becomes unbearable and Hwi-young finds a spot to cower with his wounds. He sits alone, tears coming to his eyes.

Joon-woo waits for Soo-bin at the bike rack, but her friends whisk her away to her house for the afternoon. Not to be stopped, Joon-woo heads to Oh-je’s dad’s restaurant to ask for Soo-bin’s address. The delivery requests are coming in like crazy though, and Oh-je is also taking care of his infant brother. Joon-woo offers to take on the deliveries, but ends up with a baby strapped to the front of him instead.

Women coo after the baby in the park, saying that he looks just like Joon-woo (Did someone just have a spare baby on set? I love how silly this is). Oh-je finally returns from deliveries, and Joon-woo asks for Soo-bin’s address. Before he heads over, Joon-woo practices what he’ll say to a stray kitten, and Ro-mi spots him.

She’s on her way to Soo-bin’s as well, but Joon-woo asks if he can go first because he has something important to say. Ro-mi takes her chance though, and tells Joon-woo that she is willing to date him. Joon-woo looks at her, stunned, and then does his best to gently explain that he doesn’t have feelings for her, but for Soo-bin. He apologizes for any confusion, but then leaves her behind when he spots Soo-bin and her mom walking away from the house.

He jogs over, Soo-bin flashing him looks begging him not to say anything in front of Mom, but he’s waited long enough. He bows deeply to Mom, and then asks if he can have a moment to talk to Soo-bin.

  
COMMENTS

These two are both so brave. Joon-woo is so brave in this final moment, knowing fully what Soo-bin’s mom thinks of him but not caring about it. But Soo-bin showed several moments of courage in this hour as well, rising up again and again to try to get an answer from Joon-woo, even as she began to doubt that the confession didn’t even happen. It felt like circumstances, rather than any silliness on their ends, that kept them apart for the whole day. So now I’m hoping that this goes well, and that Soo-bin’s mom doesn’t get too much in the way for now.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering if Oh-je’s situation is just that he’s too damn busy. He has to help out at home, he plays basketball, and he’s just not interested in spending time developing a romantic relationship in his spare time. The poor guy just wants to be the best Sports Oppa, and Hwi-young won’t even let him have that.

I understand why Mr. Oh would dismiss Hwi-young’s concerns about his grades. It sounds so overblown and dramatic when you don’t know the full situation, the kind of thing you might hear from a young person who doesn’t understand yet how small school can be in the scheme of things. Mr. Oh doesn’t realize the kind of home life Hwi-young is dealing with and the severe consequences for small mistakes he faces.

The stress is building rapidly for Hwi-young. He’s a target for Sang-hoon, he’s constantly challenged by Mr. Oh and Joon-woo, and he’s starting to see his friendship with Soo-bin slip as he prioritizes his own survival over helping her (and who can blame him?). Things are going to get intense really soon, and I fear that Hwi-young will lash out before he seeks help from others.

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And now we know why he likes to draw peas.

Now that it is in my head that Oh-je might be gay I'm thinking that it could be HY he has a crush on.
Or because he so easily says yes to girls the baby is his, lol.
I kind of hate that I know that part of his description is that he has a secret.

HY crying like that in the alley got to me. He is still just a teen boy without a lot of power over his own life or safety. He needs to be seen just as much as Joon-woo.

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Yup, I was thinking earlier that Oh-je has a crush on Joon-woo but now I think its Hwi-young. OR the kid is Oh-je's. Maybe its both! Oh-je, what's your deal?!!

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It is because we were told he has a secret and now we have a need to figure it out.

We are very nosey.

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Thhiiisss...
What's with the look, Jung Ohje? I was replaying that scene so many time wondering wth is they try to show me. And Ohje basketball scene afterward...
*in denial mode*
*crazy fangirl mode*
Ohje~ Can you get a better taste please~? Of all people....
I'm making a prayer circle that Oh Dong actually his son, that is Ohje's secret
Not him crushing on HW

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But there's chemistry between HY and OJ. Actually, a part of me is imagining could HY actually like OJ too? Is it possible that he's too eager to please his dad because he has some gender issues of his own? OJ's basketball scene didn't look like a one sided affair. It looked like HY noticed it too. Perhaps. Could there have been a past between them? I have always found it odd that HY was so overt about saying he is Soo Bin's boyfriend when he is not. Perhaps. Could he be hiding something in his closet? Perhaps a past with OJ? I really do hope this won't just be a one sided love for OJ. Give him a partner juseyo! MHY is a tormented little kid but the saving grace could be somewhere.

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If it is Ohje's secret I really wish it wasnt one sided too. He is such a sweet kid I dont want to see him hurt.

I'm not sure I see the chem from HY's side, but maybe. Most of his emotions are so full of anger and fear it he hard to read anything else about him.

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Agreed. I rather have partnerless cool sport oppa than Ohje getting hurt by one side love

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Yes, it was very deliberate how the director wanted is to notice the dodge ball scene. I couldn't figure out if it was to highlight how competitive HY is, but then Oh je thinking about it afterwards....

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The parts that stood out to me is how teach is prepping a second person to lead the class. I think it will really help if Jw learns some life lessons from him. I am beginning to appreciate more and more the relationship they are developing, I look forward to where this goes.

Also about the awkward romance, i only have one comment. deep sigh. I have been there and I have done that. It is a frustrating to watch others go through it but being in it is a huge roller coaster ride. i think, we need to leave the couple alone till such time they can resolve their issues.

I do feel bad how subin's mom judges jw and his mother. I actually had a lot of respect for that chacter but I do continue to have respect because all she wants is her daughter is in a safe environment. But I am hoping that the key moths stop judging him by the end of the semester.

More tomorrow..

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Ah really ? i love Oh teacher, but i feel like he's pushing a bit too much Junwoo ? Like I understand that his intention are good, it's both good for him and Junwoo. But i feel like he's asking too much from a boy who was just an anonymous boy in first episode, that didn't even wish for his name to be known. Junwoo changed a lot, but i don't see him wanting to become a leader neither, nor the teacher's "right arm" as he's calling him (or maybe that was only in the following episode ? not sure...)
Still, i love their relationship. I just hope he will know when to stop. I'm afraid he's asking too much from a kid.

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I understand what you mean. I was a little uncomfortable with Mr. Oh pushing a script. It was sweet so I guess I can let it slide once but I don't think it should be a regular affair. I see JW as a student with tremendous potential. His future is ahead of him. He could get into art school, be an artist, or a graphics designer. Or he could run a marathon and be an athlete or a coach or even a teacher when he grows up. It seems to me Mr. Oh sees himself in JW and it is rather hopeful.

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I didn't see Teacher Oh's attitude as being pushy. He wants the best for Jun Woo. He also wants balance. Hwi Young has a tight reign on the class and so far Jun Woo is the only one that doesn't go with the flow. And if you noticed after Jun Woo states his disagreement on any issue the others voice theirs too. So Jun Woo is the best for the job.
And seriously Jun Woo needs the PR to save his reputation.

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I mean I think you're right... But I just hope, as @riarallahssi said, that it won't be too much of a regular affair. I know he's doing it for Junwoo, but I think Junwoo looked a bit uncomfortable with Mr Oh's request. It's ok right now because it's mainly for JunWoo but i'm not sure if it's where the drama is planning to take us. We'll see.

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@zitless and @megane Yes, all that is true but, as we have all seen, getting in the way of Hwi Young can be downright dangerous. (remember Jun Woos best friend) If teacher Oh wants to protect Jun Woo, then pitting them against each other seems rather risky.

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I think at this stage I am more afraid of Hwi-Young's parents than him. That family is just toxic. For Hwi-Young's sake I hope he gets out of there before it's too late.

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Soo Bin’s mom is painfully realistic, but is going too far. I know she cares about Soo Bin, but being worried about the exam rather than her daughter’s health is brutal. We learned from the doctor that Soo Bin’s mom was tough at university. The way I see it, she is a high achiever and expects the same from her daughter. I understand that, though I don’t approve of it.

Also. Where is Soo Bin’s dad????

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Hes a professor, at some point soo-bins mom mentions he' ll be back after the term id over.

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Yeah. Isn't it weird that Soobin's dad is not shown?

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that charged moment between HY and OJ makes me wonder if maybe OJ is gay, and HY knows, and reacted badly when he learned about it- or perhaps OJ confessed to HY in the past. Maybe I'm just reaching for gay rep after being burned by WWW, though.

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I fee really sad about Hwi's home situation. If you have grownup like this with no exposure to anything good till you are 18, perhaps this is the age our mind can process things independently. So, may be he is perceiving things now and recognizing them. I have hopes for him. Lots of work to go but we hav 16 more ep.

Also guys - a caution to all those who watch - do not see the preview for ep 9. Ep 8 is wonderful. So many wonderful things happening but the preview for ep kills the mood.. So, just early heads-up.

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And his parents really don't mind him, he is like a pawn to be moved by them.

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I pity his parents above all. It's people like this that makes society and the world such a spiteful place.

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I can't find it in me to pity his parents, abuse on that scale... he got his desire to save face in spite of everything from his mom the way she treats people who dont have her money is disgusting and the dad is a monster

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There are not to be pity but despised, they are ruining their son's and other kids lives just to keep up appearances.

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This was such a sweet and sad episode. Watching JW and SB trying to confess to each other was so well done and sweet but I think I enjoyed more watch JW being accepted by his class, and being active, he was always an outsider. And on reverse HY seeming to be slipping out of his perfect student persona and alienating slowly his classmates, he was really pitiful this episode, sitting in dark classroom, afraid to go home, and the worst of it, his parents don't wield their influence to help him, they help themself, his father to stroke his ego and image, and his mother out of self preservation.
And Sang Hoon anger not be have his accomplishments acknowledged for so many years , it's seems it'll be straw that finally break the camel back and he explode.

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The anxiety after the confession on both sides feels so painfully true to life.

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Oh-je just busy and sad he isn't sports oppa? What? They are 100% implying OJ is gay with a crush on HY. If not, why make a point to show multiple times how they brushed against each other in dodge ball. The way OJ's dad remarked in surprise and happiness about him actually having a GF, his absolute indifference to his GF. There was a whole montage of him eying a sweaty HY and collapsing in frustration at his feelings. They may as well have come out and said it. I don't know how else they could make it more obvious.

I think there either is no mom or something is going on with the mom. We've never seen her. No idea where baby bro came from.

Shin seung ho is doing an absolutely fantastic job with HY. He keeps making me hate him one second, feel sorry for the next, and root for him the next. I love that JW got to see even more the pressure he is under. JW's compassionate heart will allow him to help HY in a way he can't seem to help himself.

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@ultramafic
Too early to say...but it is defiantly not to be the "Best Sports Oppa".

Sure, it could be latent feelings - or - given the systemic brutality of HY's family, we could be looking a the evidence of past conflict. After the end of ep04, this show has shown that it will dangle it out there only to swap it in the script later.

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yeah, i mean this, plus the fact that Oh-Je was said to have a big secret, as his character description...

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I agree on Shin Seung Ho. He has been phenomenal so far as HY. He's starting to annoy me a little by getting in the way of JW and SB but there's a big part of me that is still very protective of him.

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I think there is interesting comparison in relationships with their mothers between JW and HY, there is certain similarity as both are more than sons, more like partners and protectors to their mothers.

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Agreed. There's also an intriguing dynamic between HY's mom and SB's mom. Soo Bin's mom is supposed to be the more knowledgeable one but it seems HY's mom is the prettier type who married a freak that's why she has advantage. All in all, it looks like HY's family is trashy. Poor mom having to protect herself

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@shach
This observation deserves so much more love. Just wanted to let you know it is brilliant.

Thank you.

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@shach
FYI. I didn't add my comment below to yours as I didn't want to pollute your beautiful observation.

Mine was a bit darker and usually not to many beanies tastes and I have seen in the past how those can kill threads.

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I thought that my comment is a bit dark to, it's not healthy for a child development to be treated this way even if the outcome is mostly seen as positive as in JW case. I think no child should feel the responsibility for his/her parent at such an early age.

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@shach
That is so strange that you think it was dark - as I was taken by the warmth in your comment.

It was beautifully framed to reflect the best in each. That is often not my natural starting position...but I do try to get there in the end.

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SadKDramaLama, maybe because of different perspective? For a mother such a relationship can be very strenghtening but for a kid in long term it could be suffocating?

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I cried when Hwi-young cried while holding his ribs T__T

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I was sad for SB when mom comes running and fussing over her math test and didn't ask how was she. It was Mr. Oh who ask about it. I thought after they makeup, she at least tries but mom is still mom.

It was funny and frustrating watching JW and SB try to do something with each other's confession~ lol
I'm glad JW trying to be assertive with regards to SB and in class. Sure, he probably volunteers because he tries to shake HW but it takes courage to volunteer. And that final scene, I'm so happy for him.

HW is..pitiful in this episode. Seeing him crying alone like that, he just look like a kid, like everyone else. I guessed as much seeing how alarmed he was when mom did not wait for him in the previous ep but the beating scene just...hard to watch. HW keep getting push to a corner by SH and JW. SH is mad and I understand his anger. To make your parent interfere and fix the test just to become no.1 is OTT tbh. I feel like HW about to lose control and explodes. If that happens, I hope he didn't something that will make him regret in the future.

Now into my favorite part, Ohje... Oh my Jung Ohje.. What is your plot exactly...? When he comes out with the baby, I was all 'yep, that's Ohje's secret. He is a teen dad!' But the dodgeball and basketball scenes though... what's with the look Ohje, to HW? Is this how they indirectly tell us that Ohje might be gay? And instead of crushing on JW as I thought, it is (was?) HW? Really Ohje? Hwi Young...
ah~ menboong

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Oh, i was so sure he was gay i didn't even think his secret could be being a teen-dad. I still doubt it, but that would be great too.

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We've all been at a point in our teenage lives where our imagination runs wild and we try to distinguish between what is real and what is not, just like Soo-bin. It was pretty funny and adorable how she and Joon-woo try to figure out what to do after confessing their feelings for each other.

Oh-je and Joon-woo are clearly best friends but does/did he have a thing for Hwi-young? Omo omo

And I am not really sure who the real baby is: Oh-je's brother or Joon-woo because both are adorable!

#ScrewYouRomiJoonwooDoesn'tLikeYou

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Ro-mi has issues. Pil-Sang don’t fall into her clutches! I actually skipped to the end of this episode to make sure Ro-mi didn’t get in between Joon-Woo and Soo Bin and drag on a misunderstanding into next episode.
#seentoomanydramas

This is where MO18 avoided the cliche pitfalls: Thank goodness Joon-Woo had his phone locked, and wow, he told Ro-mi clearly that he was not interested in her! *throws confetti* (I might have been less gentle if I were him). So there is no misunderstanding, she’s still delulu but that is not the leads’ fault.

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Hope they avoid clichéd second leads too ehem @/mahwiyoung.

Ro-mi is delulu but I hope someone slaps reality on her face.

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Ep 07 has been the cutest so far. JW and SB acting all confused and awkward are just so adorable. Kim Hyang Gi registers well onscreen and somewhat reminds me of a young Song Hye Kyo.

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It is the cutest episode!

I see a young Moon Geun-Young in Kim Hyang-gi hahaha.

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With HY and his family we are looking at self perpetuating cycles. Its weirdly pavlovian and constantly fed by both the school who reward it and tragically his mother who has made the saddest Faustian bargain of tolerating and covering it up for status and money.

HY is clearly at the limit his capabilities (or more likely beyond). At that point, to keep propping up HY, only embeds more and more pain as HY keeps getting further and further extended beyond his abilities. He looks to have been on that tight rope for a number of years...and to save himself, he has been willing to make other suffer without consequences.

I love how this writer gets to the heart of power and corruption and how the tangled web of sympathy blurs liability. To date, this family is only doing what everyone has shown them is acceptable - by allowing their actions and rewarding their behaviour.

As @shach notes, the writer has deliberately paralleled HY and JW's mothers...Its fascinating how if she had not made that bargain, her life would probably mirror JW's mother.

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Good note on the tight rope. HY is bursting at the seams. I'm waiting on what his story arc would turn into but the boy is truly at the verge of insanity. He's already burdened with so much trauma he is easily the most pitiful of all characters.

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And his father demands results and doesn't care at what cost or method, he take part in fixing it for HY to be number one, so it seems to me that he doesn't really care about HY efforts or progress, just the image of no.1 student.

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And HY's mother feeds his abusive behaviour. Sure she is also a victim...but also and an enabler.

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I really felt for Hwi Young this episode, my God, his father is a psychopath. His breakdown in the corner was heartbreaking. Unfortunately, eventhough he knows some of the things he does is wrong, in order in many cases, but not all to help himself he has to do underhanded things in order to survive. However that is where my empathy ends, the negative consequences of his actions affect others as well. They get hurt too. They are just as undeserving of the pain as Hwi Young is.

As for Oh Je, I don't think his mother is around. I think that is the secret. He and his dad are trying to keep it under wraps so that keeps him busy. Poor Oh Je.

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Yeah. HY is fast inheriting the psychopathy, too. Unless he's not really the biological son?

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I’m with you on Oh-je.

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I was just holding my voice not to squee when I watched Joon Woo confessing to Soo Bin, how many times did he say that he likes her?
Oh Je’s gay, I think. His big secret would be being gay rather than being a father of Oh Dongie, considering his reaction after dodgeball interaction with Hwi Young.

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He said it FOUR times! I thought I was imagining things too. Can’t blame Soo Bin 😂

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I was always wondering why JW walked to school the next day. Did Bumbi really have a flat tire? I thought it was just a flimsy excuse to Romi.

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I think he walked to school because he left his bike at the shop to (albeit forced) help RoMi get on the bus.
At least that is the only reason I could think of why he was walking.

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Right right. Good point. Thanks!

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Oh and RoMi is such a liar. She knew it was Soo Bin calling. How dare she so flippantly act as if she didn't know who "it's okay" was. It's very characteristic of Romi to lie so much that I'm convinced at this point that she's not as rich as she portrays herself to be.

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Her whole life is a lie, it’s tragic. And the girls know she’s grumpy and a liar and just tolerate her saying that’s how she is. I’ve been at that point where you feel sorry for ”a friend” so don’t want to hurt their feelings, but it’s not good in the long run. Somebody has to call her out for being such a liar! 🤯

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@wishfultoki
It is possible that the writer has included her arc as partly a parallel to HY?...only with out the power to back it up.

As we get further into the drama, the interweaving of the script is starting to become visible. Its full of parallels that test our own reactions...why do we feel one way about a behaviour but happy to permit it/excuse it/keep quite about it for others.

Again, nothing is singular in this drama and that is probably the thing I enjoy most about it.

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Yes, I love how they showing as that this kids are not inherently evil, they are products of their environment. And I truly hope they will follow with the earlier message "No one life is ruined at 18" till the end.

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@shach - This murkiness of good/evil while never shying away from calling it out appears to be a hallmark of this writer's work. Seriously impressive, 2 works in the school genre yet they don't feel like a rehash. Our writer just crafts rich characters and well structured scripts...."It's elephants all the way down"

That murkiness, rather than the West's more typical dichotomy, is also what makes Ghibli work so compelling.

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I find it so sweet that JW saved SB's number on his phone as "gwenchana". It is as if he is comforted by the sight of her and it makes things alright.

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Also I think he mentions it once, that she's always asking if he's okay. Because one time he asks her, and mentions that it's weird that he's asking her instead of the other way around.

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Thanks for reminding me of this! I thought it was cute that he saved her as that, but it didn't quite register why. Makes more sense now :)

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Aha and another thing. The romance is cute and all, I'm all for it but I hope the drama won't forego tackling the serious issues it has already set up. The tragedy of JH's death still needs justice and even though JW is a bit distracted right now because of being all lovey dovey, he still lost a friend. That's hard.

Just as Misaeng had such a tough ride, I really do hope for better things to come for JW and all the other losers the society has portrayed.

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Same. Ep. 7-8 focused on the Romeo&Juliet story, and I did melt into a puddle of goo, but I’m here for the serious issues and the students’ growth.

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I wonder if we will get ‘revenge’ based resolution. I think JW is going to simply show Hwi, by teaching one lesson ata a time, that way and one day, Hwi will come to him and say sorry. And hopefully do something about his house. After all he is 18 now. He does not have to cover anymore.

Plus I don’t think Hwi feels anything romantic for Soonin. It is friendship and it is possible with her he does not pretend.

He may be gay for all we know.

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Yes. The drama is good at dropping subtle hints here and there. Hwi being gay is still a possibility.

I hope for a redemption arc as well. For everyone. I think I need Hwi Young to do a complete turnaround the most and I want punishment for his dad. The mother shall suffer differently. It's one of those the child should not be chastised for the fault of the parents stuff.

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Did someone just have a spare baby on set?

I had a really good laugh when I read that.

The poor guy just wants to be the best Sports Oppa

dear @abirdword , your humour is definitely my kind of humour. Thank you for that.

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Finally, I think I am all caught up with this show, only ep 8 to go.

The early scene of HY telling JW to now leave as his job was done from the nurse room, has happened exactly like that to one of my friends, where he was told by the girl's not really a boyfriend, to go out after he spent the whole night taking care of her at the hospital as he was really upset as well. And it was his exam the next day, poor friend of mine. The other not really boyfriend slept peacefully the whole night and then wrote his exam and came... these people... tsk...tsk..

On the other hand, I hate HY but I pity him as well, he has just been raised by monsters and this is what he has become. It will be hard to unlearn all the things he has seen as not being human and bad. He has never learnt what is good or bad, just learnt self-preservation and violence and control via manipulation as a means of self-preservation. This is why abuse is bad... because in most cases victims of abuse just learn up how to be perpetrators of abuse and violence around them. HY is a text book example and I am worried about Sang Hoon a lot. He has all his frustration built in him and he is not taking it very well not that any one can take it very well. Its hard to see how class divide carries on to next generation, and how it wrecks with kids.
This show is written very well and directed very well. Also that background music when JW confess was amazing.

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In every episode of this drama, some moments stand out to me, may be because I have personally experienced it or witnessed it.

But then there are other moments that stand out because Ong has a very good face, very cute smile and very expressive body language and eyes.

It is a pleasure to watch him do his thing.

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OSW is delightful here. Such a cute baby boy. His mother must be so proud.

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I have for some time believed that there is some backstory to soobim and romi interations. Soobin is extraordinarily sensitive to Romi and we do not know why. She is not getting bullied by her. She allowing herself to be bulled. I hope we get some background that.

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I think Soo Bin knows about her ruse and feels sorry for her.

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The whole parent bullying that happened when they were having lunch...that bothered me significantly...

I mean, how mean can you be to talk about ‘giving birth does not make you a parent ‘ ...I was like ‘have you seen you son? JW has beeen parented with right and wrong. You boy has only learned fear!

I was livid. All that kissing up is so strange.

I felt bad for my flowerchild mom.

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@dramafan100
This is where JW's mother being the "sliding doors' version of HY's mother is so interesting.

Not only is HY's mother openly maligning JW's mother - she is also re-afirming what she sees as the "correctness" of her Faustian bargain.

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I hope at some point she gets her own education. All that ‘after 40, children define you’ made me want to go into the screen and gave her two tight slaps.

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In a way, I can see why the Husband is so quick on the slapping.

Tsktsk. HY.

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That was pretty disgusting comment, no one "deserve" to be abused.

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I thought that scene was reminiscences of SKY Castle, and there was that moment when Yum Jung Ah read a bunch of books about uni exams preparations and one had a title to the effect that child academical success in 95% depends on mother.

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And yes juwoonuya... kiss does come next. But after 3 dates. Hold hands first. Then, let your stomachs have all sorts acids..your heartbeat increases...the body temperature goes up. Do nothing except hold hands and sitting real close. At some time, a kiss will happen...it will be glorious!!

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Hang on!! Viki cut the whole Karaoke bits with girls.

Sigh..

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What. Why. That was gold, especially Soo Bin’s imagination.

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What there was more in the show than I watched! I will not forgive you Viki for this...

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Really. Viki actually cut scenes.

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I'm really thankful Viki exists, but they need to not do things like this :(

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Felt pretty bad for HY in this ep, reminded me of that scene in SKY Castle when Ye Suh's younger sister steals food from the convenience store and later reveals that she is upset that her mom never asked why. While his situation doesn't necessarily justify his actions, it makes him more understandable. He also seems pretty isolated from others as a whole, and SB seems to be the closest thing he has to a friend which would explain why he's so possessive of her. It also seems that SB is the only one that can really make him realize how awful he is (when he was walking her home in the prev ep he thinks "she doesn't know what a jerk i am") which maybe suggests that he has a redemption arc coming eventually, if SB and maybe even JW (who seems to have noticed his situation when he was changing in the dressing room) can help him out with that when he's ready to face the consequences his and his parents' dishonesty and manipulation.

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A bit unpopular opinion here.

I don't think Ohje had a crush on Hwiyoung, he disagreed with Hwiyoung decisions many times though. For now, I'll take what @abirdword said that Hwiyoung didn't want him to be Best Sports Oppa--moreover Ohje was Junwu closest friend atm so... yeah, he just simply didn't like Ohje.

But whether Ohje was gay or not, I cannot decide yet 😅

And I'm sooooo happy with Junwu's development here, not only in romantic relationship aspect, but also he's starting to get more recognition as someone meaningful in society, not a loser.

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I thought that Hwi-Young shied away during dodgeball because Oh-je bumped into his bruised torso. So I guess we all have different takes on this 😂

From the start I‘ve suspected that there is some kind of history between Oh-Je and Hwi-Young... but not the romantic kind. They seemed to ignore each other more than anything. I am still wondering about the student who used to sit next to Oh-Je, and why he left (was the name Tae Ho? I can’t remember).

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Aaah now that you explain it, this could be true. Hwiyoung didn't want anyone to find out his bruised torso.

Ohje might be gay but he didn't crush on Hwiyoung. Either Junwu or... Tae Ho?

Ohje's side story must be interesting xD

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@wishfultoki
This story is so full of unexploded mines.

The obvious ones are:
- The previous student
- The previous HomeRoom teacher
- Ki-Tae paying for the beating of Jung-hoo
- The study book Ki-Tae gave So Ye
- Sang-Hoon - how many skeletons does he actually know

Then we have all the personal mysteries
- Soo-Bin's father
- JW's father
- Ro-Mi's fake persona
- O-Je...just about everything

It could be a wild ride to the end.

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JW's dad definitely left them and started a new family. I dont think he is coming back. The only thing left is for mom to admit it

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@hanie
That's 1 option...but I can think of about 10 others.

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Didnt he just moves to a different seat though?
I need a wide-angle to see all of their faces
lol

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Hmmm I also am a bit skeptical about OJ with Hwi theories. Unless it has happened and that is why there was that specific moment. Plus hwi does not bother him for some reason.

The thing about Hwi is; he is pressured by his Dad mostly to stay #1. Clearly his dad is a bad dude and in earlier episode, they also implied there was spousal rape. In that scene, the mother had a photo of her two sons next to her....it is directors's way of telling us that "Mom is there only for her children". Now her pressures are moving to children and her joy comes from her children and she will do whatever possible to protect that. She is not going to be any helpful for Hwi's growth. He will have to grow in school. Hopefully the teach and JW's presence will help him stand up for himself.

That house is a very sad house.

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Now that I think of it, Hwiyoung's family were definitely toxic. Hwiyoung himself was problematic enough. Meanwhile Subin's mom was being two-faced by kneeling for Hwiyoung's mom but loathing inside, without knowing that Hwiyoung's mom literally living a more pathetic life than hers :(

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'Romeo and Juliet' somewhat gives me idea that there will be a tragedy that might happen in the drama, aside from JH dying from a car accident, anyone of the main leads but I hope I'm wrong. They are just 18 years old and they've got a lot ahead in their future.

Also JW and SB never fail to be awkwardly cute to each other hahahah gosh! I scream when he confessed to her 4 times and then laugh when HW arrived. Their reaction was just priceless.

I hope that Romi will eventually stop lying for anything, I don't know what's up with her and what's going on with her family that made her to lie.

And HW yes I get annoyed and hate him but I pity him. Hope that he will redeem himself before it's too late and I really hate his parents especially his dad! Makes me thankful that I didn't have the same dad like him. So scary!

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Joon-woo and Soo-bin are teenage awkwardness in all its glory. Which is something way more fun to watch than experience 😆. Soo-bin’s doubts and fantasizing were so relatable!

Soo-bin’s mom is really getting on the nerves. I know she has her reasons, but there has got to be a better way to go about it.
To the viewer, her opinion of Joon-woo is very frustrating, but I do see her perspective. I know my mom would not want me hanging around someone who is supposedly delinquent. But this is of course very unfair to Joon-woo who is not like that at all.
I was worried for a minute that Joon-woo was going to internalize Soo-bin’s mom’s words, but it looks like he’s taking it in stride. Proud of him!

I’m not sure how Hwi-young’s phone survived to see another day? By the way, these appear to be iPHONES that they’re using. This may be my first time seeing K-drama characters use anything other than a Samsung.

Also, I was really feeling Joon-woo’s black and white striped shirt 👍

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He was born rich head to toe, just got a new one as long as the SIMcard did not broke then everything is ok 😂

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This is unpopular opinion - just what if - I have been a bit upset about Sobin's whole 'is this crush, is this love' 'lets run' ' lets hide' etc situations. She has had very good reasons but hear me out.

What if in a very irritating way, Romi becomes a observer of what is going on and starts sympathizing with JW and they become closer?

She lies about her life but looks like everyone knows her lies. They are letting her lie. May be JW sees the real her because she has not had to pretend in front of him. So, she can actually develop a fun 18 year old 'annoying friend' relationship with him over time.

Won't that be cute

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@dramafan100
In a different parallel universe, I so want to watch that drama.

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Best moments:

Our brave female lead being decisive and actively trying to clarify things - such a rarity in kdramas and makes Soo-bin really stand out over the typical females in kdramaland.

Jun-woo being so decisive with Ro Mi (I am so glad this drama didn't make him a wishy washy lead who creates more misunderstanding) - I was literally going 'YOU TELL HER BOI' and his wording was firm, direct but at the same time not mean. In most dramas it tends to be either overly vague or overly mean on the part of the lead and it's so refreshing to see them nip this so quickly in the bud.

OSW is really an amazing actor and the portrayals of healthy and unhealthy relationships (be it romantic, familial or friendly) are really so good. Am enjoying this drama more and more as the plot and acting are all great.

The characters are all fleshed out so well, you really can't help both loving and hating Hwi Young. He has done many bad things and needs to face the consequences but remember he is so young, only 18 and has such a powerful father who controls every aspect of his life. Him protecting his mother and taking the hits for her made my heart ache. He is just a child and just imagine him growing up to 18 years of this, how can you not feel sorry for him?

I also understand Soo-bin's mom, it's easy for outsiders to say she should just let go and stop controlling but we all know parents find it hard to let their children grow up. From her pov, I can understand her actions. But of course I'm still rooting for our lead couple though so sorry momma you gotta let it go ~

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@BubbleTe3
Beautiful comment.
....except the bit about Soo-Bin's mother.

Soo-Bin's mother's issue is that she is still offering the same advice that she dished out to Soo-Bin as a 10 year old. She doesn't need to let go, that's a false dichotomy - you either get one message or none.

Soo-Bin is no longer 10, and needs different guidance now. Not the simplistic (and potentially dangerous/unrealistic) SNU is the only way. Soo-Bin needs her mother to be a mentor about how to succeed in a nepotistic and class oriented SK if you she can't go to the very best Uni.

Soo-Bin's only logical choice is to pull away from her mother if she won't listen or can't help her in the next challenges she faces. The problem for SB's mother is the next stage is so much harder - to guide your child about how to take on adult battles and how/when to fight them. That struggle never ends.

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😂😂😂 on Oh Je...
"The poor guy just wants to be the best Sports Oppa, and Hwi-young won’t even let him have that."

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I'm kinda hoping there will be a cute bromance in the end for HY and JW just like School 2013 with KWB and LJS hihi but first, the angst.

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