A Moment at Eighteen: Episode 8
His parents’ influence keeps the class president on top but his academic rival is the one who deserves that spot and he’s not willing to be second best anymore. While the class president is distracted, his crush gets closer to the transfer student. But the new couple’s budding relationship may never get off the ground thanks to a certain girl who wants everything that her friend has.
EPISODE 8: “The Moment of Your First Love”
Joon-woo’s attempt to speak with Soo-bin doesn’t go as planned when she informs him that Chan-yeol already turned in the research for their assignment. Her mother doesn’t understand why Joon-woo came to their house just for an assignment and he pretends that he was already in the area.
When Soo-bin and her mother leave, Joon-woo finds Ro-mi waiting for him. Soo-bin’s mother sees them together and decides that they must be dating. She can’t understand why Ro-mi would date Joon-woo when he’s not even good enough to be on Soo-bin’s assessment team.
Ro-mi wants to know if Joon-woo intended to ask Soo-bin on a date. She’s amused by the thought of Soo-bin’s mom’s reaction until Joon-woo tells her, “See you.” As Joon-woo walks away, Ro-mi gets the last word, “Why like someone if you can’t even tell her confidently? You don’t even have the courage.”
Soo-bin sighs during a visit to another tutoring academy, her mind on Joon-woo’s surprise visit while Joon-woo is at the convenience store mulling over her less than enthusiastic response. Joon-woo pulls out his phone but he isn’t sure what to do and wonders, “Why is it so complicated to like someone?”
Mr. Oh sits at his desk, still annoyed by Hwi-young’s mother’s demand for an open class and mutters, “You can’t trust me, can you?” When he gets an idea, Mr. Oh pays Joon-woo a visit at the convenience store.
The next day, Mr. Oh ducks into the empty gymnasium for a last minute pep talk before the parents arrive for the open class. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath but when he opens his eyes, he sees Soo-bin’s mother glaring at him. When she’s replaced by Hwi-young’s scowling mother, Mr. Oh takes some medicine which delivers a jolt.
The parents of Class 3 arrive at school and even though Joon-woo’s mother makes an effort to introduce herself to the Mom Squad, they ignore her. When she finds the classroom, Oh-je’s father readily introduces himself.
Joon-woo expresses surprise that his mother found out about the open class and Oh-je cringes when Da-hwin waves to his father. Ro-mi explains to the girls that her mother is in Stockholm for a conference. Mr. Oh enters and the students are embarrassed when he’s more hyper than usual and Chan-yeol groans, “Gosh, Mr. Oh. Just teach us the way you usually do.”
Even though the bell just rang, Sang-hoon finishes solving the controversial question from the mid-term and shows it to the math teacher. When the teacher explains that Hwi-young’s answer is correct too, Sang-hoon suggests, “Sir. Just say that you’re sorry. Admit that you’re ashamed.”
For the open class, Ki-tae summarizes an article that suggests that society is led by the high achievers with top grades. Hwi-young shares his opinion in English, “It’s the top one percent of the population that leads society. And we need to make an effort to be part of that one percent.”
Mr. Oh urges Hwi-young to speak in Korean but Soo-bin’s mother announces in English, “Even we can understand what’s going on.” Hwi-young ignores Mr. Oh’s request and finishes his point in English, “If we don’t become a part of the ruling class, we will end up leading a sad little life.”
Soo-bin’s mother whispers that Mr. Oh isn’t as good as his students. Mr. Oh proves her wrong when he talks to Hwi-young in English, “…this class is not a stage for you to show off how great you are…Since we have parents as our guests here, it’s better that everyone participates equally in class.”
Mr. Oh invites other opinions and calls on Joon-woo, who he introduces as the new class vice-president. Joon-woo jumps to his feet and starts off, “I disagree with that opinion.” Joon-woo argues that education offers everyone an equal chance to discover their talents so that they can contribute to society in their own way. Joon-woo’s classmates murmur approvingly and Oh-je teases that Joon-woo sounded as if he followed a script.
In a flashback, we see that when Mr. Oh visited Joon-woo at the convenience store, he had a sheet of paper with an answer that he wanted memorized. Joon-woo read, “I disagree with Hwi-young’s opinion,” but he wasn’t comfortable with Mr. Oh’s scheme. Mr. Oh pointed out that the mothers would probably gossip about him and argued that his plan could help Joon-woo make a good impression.
After the open class, Ro-mi brushes past Pil-sang but his elegant-looking mother stops her, “So you’re Pil-sang’s girlfriend?” Pil-sang’s mother thinks that they’re well matched since Ro-mi’s father owns a clinic and their family owns a huge leasing business. When Pil-sang’s mother explains that she wants her son to marry as soon as he graduates from high school, Ro-mi chases Pil-sang down the hallway.
Mr. Oh interrupts Joon-woo as he and his mother visit with Oh-je and his dad. In the teachers’ office, Mr. Oh asks Joon-woo about his colleague at the convenience store and he assumes that he’s talking about the night clerk who posed as his dad.
Mr. Oh doesn’t correct him but after Joon-woo leaves, he recalls passing Ji-min outside of the convenience store. They remembered each other from the bar and Ji-min pointed at Mr. Oh and exclaimed, “The loser.” When he learned that Ji-min worked at the convenience store, Mr. Oh introduced himself as Joon-woo’s teacher. In the office, Mr. Oh wonders, “Why is she so cute,” while Ji-min is at the convenience store and scoffs, “So that loser is a teacher? Totally not my type.”
Joon-woo finds Soo-bin in the lunch line and asks to talk. Hwi-young slams down his spoon when Soo-bin follows Joon-woo out of the lunch room.
Outside, Joon-woo walks past Ro-mi but Soo-bin stops to explain that Joon-woo wants to talk. When Soo-bin joins Joon-woo near the athletic field, he apologizes for “that day” but she thinks that he’s talking about the day that he visited her place. Joon-woo explains, “I’m sorry I didn’t call you after telling you that I like you in the nurse’s office.” Joon-woo adds that since this is his first crush, he didn’t know what he was expected to do.
Joon-woo is surprised to find Soo-bin sitting on the ground behind the table. Soo-bin stutters, “Sit down. Right now. Turn around.” When she adds, “Look over there,” Joon-woo looks up in time to wave to his mother as the parents leave the school. Joon-woo’s mother bows to Oh-je’s father and runs to catch up to the other mothers.
Soo-bin is about to sneak away when Joon-woo asks, “Do you want to go to a movie?” Soo-bin turns around in surprise while Joon-woo continues, “This Saturday. Let me know if there’s a movie you want to watch. I’ll book the tickets.”
Soo-bin asks Joon-woo, “What about Ro-mi? Isn’t she your girlfriend?” Joon-woo crouches down and assures Soo-bin, “She’s not my girlfriend…There’s only one person that I like.” On her way back from the field, Soo-bin’s happiness is short-lived when Ro-mi finds her and asks to meet after school.
Over dessert, Joon-woo’s mother listens as the other moms visit. When Hwi-young’s mother asks when she graduated, Joon-woo’s mother confesses that she didn’t go to a university, “I ended up giving birth to Joon-woo a bit early.”
Ki-tae’s mother comments that she was reckless and Hwi-young’s mother announces that parents need a qualification test, “It’s not like we can be parents just by giving birth to a kid.” Joon-woo’s mother wants to know, “Are you saying I’m unqualified as a mom or something,” but the moms have gone back to ignoring her.
Hwi-young’s mother points out how accomplished both of Soo-bin’s parents are (her father is a professor) but her mother complains about Soo-bin’s disappointing grades. Hwi-young’s mother quotes an old saying, “After you become forty, your whole life depends on how your child turns out,” and Soo-bin’s mother silently seethes over the presumed insult.
Sang-hoon approaches the group and asks to speak with Hwi-young’s mother. They move to a corner where Sang-hoon accuses Hwi-young’s parents of pressuring the math teacher to accept Hwi-young’s wrong answer.
Sang-hoon wants to make a deal — change everything back and he won’t disclose that Hwi-young stole Tutor Sohn’s watch and then framed Joon-woo. Sang-hoon reminds Hwi-young’s mother that there have been other incidents and claims that he has evidence.
Back at school, Hwi-young meets Ki-tae to inform him that Sang-hoon met with his mother. Ki-tae guesses that it must had something to do with the math test.
Hwi-young’s mother slams the door when she gets home and heads for her closet to pull out a hidden bottle. She calls her husband and insists, “Hear me out, even if you’re busy. It’s about Hwi-young.”
After school, Ro-mi and Soo-bin meet at a cafe and Soo-bin is speechless when Ro-mi blurts out, “I like Joon-woo.” Ro-mi claims that her family has been having a difficult time but seeing Joon-woo somehow makes everything easier. Ro-mi knows that Joon-woo likes someone else and asks Soo-bin if she has any idea who it is. Uneasy, Soo-bin answers, “I’m not sure,” and as she focuses on the dessert menu, Chan-yeol appears in the window to recommend the brownies.
Ro-mi walks off in a huff while Soo-bin asks her friend how much she heard. Chan-yeol chuckles that she heard everything and soon, Soo-bin is surrounded by her friends in Chan-yeol’s room. They scold Soo-bin for not telling them sooner about Joon-woo but they’re still excited for her even though Soo-bin is consumed by guilt because of Ro-mi.
At the convenience store, Joon-woo sketches Soo-bin while Chan-yeol reads Soo-bin’s future. When Soo-bin gets a text, Chan-yeol predicts that it’s Joon-woo and the girls are impressed when she’s right.
Joon-woo notices a man sitting alone in the convenience store and he stays out of sight when Sang-hoon walks in. He overhears Sang-hoon ask his dad, “Pretend nothing happened? Did Hwi-young’s dad tell you that?”
Sang-hoon’s father explains that he may lose his job and begs his son, “Let it slide just this one time. Please?” Sang-hoon erupts, “I can’t do that,” and he sees Joon-woo as he storms out.
When Sang-hoon gets to the academy, he learns that he’s no longer in Tutor Sohn’s class. Sang-hoon tells his tutor, “Hwi-young’s mom is so fast. And your reaction is even faster.” Sang-hoon quits and warns that he’ll sue Tutor Sohn if he includes his name on his list of students who get accepted to Seoul National University.
At school the next day, Hwi-young learns that Sang-hoon entered an upcoming math competition. Mr. Oh overhears the math teacher tell Hwi-young, “Just compete fair and square, okay?”
Sang-hoon’s father visits Hwi-young’s parents at home to ask for forgiveness. Hwi-young walks in just as Sang-hoon’s father falls to his knees and begs, “Please have mercy, sir. Please help us out.”
Hwi-young speeds along a running path while Sang-hoon’s father waits for his son. When Sang-hoon sees his father, he’s urged to apologize to Hwi-young but he protests that he should have been named the top student.
Sang-hoon’s father insists that it wasn’t right to be rude to Hwi-young’s parents and Sang-hoon pleads, “Dad, do you have no pride?” Sang-hoon is practically in tears when his father apologizes for his incompetence. Unable to run any farther, Hwi-young stops and falls to the ground, exhausted.
Joon-woo meets with Mr. Oh before class to go over his responsibilities as vice-president. When Sang-hoon walks into the office, the coach congratulations him because his father was just promoted to branch manager — in Singapore. Mr. Oh and Joon-woo are surprised to learn that it’s Sang-hoon’s last day at school.
The students in Class 3 gossip about Sang-hoon’s move and when everyone leaves for lunch, Hwi-young stays behind.
Joon-woo finds Sang-hoon at his locker and admits, “I didn’t think you’d ever give up.” When Sang-hoon reminds Joon-woo that he was forced to transfer, Joon-woo confesses, “I considered running away back then too…I would’ve regretted it forever.” Sang-hoon insists that he’s fine with his decision but as he walks away, Joon-woo suggests, “Then how about a showdown before you leave? With the newbie that was forced to transfer here.”
On the athletic field, Joon-woo and Sang-hoon get ready to race. Joon-woo suggests starting when the plane overhead disappears and Sang-hoon shouts, “Hey, where are you going,” and then mutters, “Singapore…Darn it.” Sang-hoon starts without any warning but Joon-woo catches up and as they run, we’re reminded of the first time that they ran together. As they run, Sang-hoon asks Joon-woo, “Did it feel unfair back then?”
Hwi-young and Mr. Oh stop to watch Joon-woo and Sang-hoon. Mr. Oh notices that Hwi-young’s rash is bothering him and follows him to the nurse’s office. The nurse isn’t in so Mr. Oh treats Hwi-young’s rash and uses the opportunity to ask him, “Are you doing okay?”
Mr. Oh hasn’t forgotten Hwi-young’s words and explains, “Even though I didn’t graduate from a university in Seoul, I have some experience in counseling others.” Hwi-young brightly answers that nothing is bothering him but when he’s outside, Mr. Oh’s question haunts him. Sang-hoon walks by and when Hwi-young looks at him, he waves good-bye.
Joon-woo runs to help Soo-bin carry a stack of notebooks and he reminds her about the movie. When Ro-mi walks by, Soo-bin tells Joon-woo to hide and as they crouch behind the giant heart, he asks, “Why are we hiding?” Soo-bin confesses that she’s not sure and when Joon-woo carries the notebooks to the classroom, she looks conflicted.
After school, Chan-yeol is ready to call Ro-mi but Soo-bin stops her because Ro-mi’s family is struggling. Chan-yeol reminds Soo-bin that Ro-mi lies all the time and it seems that the girls only befriended her at Soo-bin’s request. Soo-bin begs her friends not to say anything to Ro-mi and they agree, as long as Soo-bin goes to the movies with Joon-woo.
After work, Joon-woo is on his way home when Oh-je brings him some food. They say good-bye but Oh-je runs back to ask, “Are you and Soo-bin going out?”
Oh-je reads what Da-hwin texted, “Soo-bin said this was a secret but…Joon-woo and Soo-bin are our class’s couple number two.” Oh-je wonders, “Are we really best friends,” and Joon-woo squirms when Oh-je teases him for keeping his budding relationship with Soo-bin a secret.
Hwi-young is studying at home when he thinks of Sang-hoon’s good-bye. He gets a text from Ki-tae, “Soo-bin and Joon-woo are watching a movie together tomorrow. They’re going out now.”
In her room, Soo-bin preps her skin with a face mask while she tries to decide what to wear for her date with Joon-woo. At his place, Joon-woo laments that all of his clothes look the same.
Eventually it’s bedtime but both Soo-bin and Joon-woo toss and turn all night long. In the morning, Soo-bin panics when her face is swollen from lack of sleep.
Soo-bin realizes that she’s way too early after leaving her house and she stops at some stores on her way to the movies. She’s still early when she arrives at the theater but Joon-woo already has the tickets, some popcorn and a drink with two straws. So cute! Soo-bin offers to hold the drink and wonders why it isn’t cold. Joon-woo confesses that it’s been a while since he bought it and Soo-bin smiles as she thinks, “You came early too.”
Joon-woo and Soo-bin find their seats inside the theater and once they’re seated, Soo-bin tells herself that it’s just like in the dramas. Soo-bin imagines reaching for popcorn at the same time as Joon-woo and touching hands but realizes that the large bag of popcorn that he bought makes that unlikely.
Joon-woo silences his phone but when Soo-bin takes out her phone, she’s distracted. Joon-woo asks what’s wrong but Soo-bin shakes her head and says that it’s nothing.
When the movie begins, Joon-woo smiles happily but Soo-bin looks upset. Joon-woo’s smile disappears when he glances at Soo-bin and he whispers, “What’s wrong,” but this time she just stares at him.
I have to admit, I have been so impressed by the performances of the young cast. Ong Sung-woo and Shin Seung-ho have delivered strong performances throughout but the rest of the cast gets their chance to shine as well, especially in this episode.
Poor Sang-hoon is let down by everyone who should have had his back — the math teacher, Tutor Sohn and especially, his father. As if that’s not bad enough, his father makes a deal with the devil, Hwi-young’s dad, and agrees to move to Singapore to guarantee that Sang-hoon won’t threaten Hwi-young’s claim as the #1 student ever again. Kim Do-wan stole my heart as the carefree Sang-hoon who suddenly cares very much about his ranking. His prickly relationship with Joon-woo turned into one of consolation as Sang-hoon struggled with the unfairness of his situation. In the end, Sang-hoon was man enough to wave good-bye to Hwi-young as he left the school for the last time. I’m going to miss you, Sang-hoon.
As Oh-je, Moon Bin gives Joon-woo’s new best friend a playful quality that complements Joon-woo’s seriousness. I just loved the way that he wouldn’t let Joon-woo off the hook after Da-hwin informed him that Joon-woo and Soo-bin are the newest class couple. And even though Oh-je was teasing, how could he suspect that Joon-woo’s answer in the open class was scripted? There’s still much we have to learn about Oh-je but I’m confident that Moon Bin will handle the challenge well.
Ro-mi is a lot like Hwi-young, her situation stirs up sympathy but she’s determined to get her way and she doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. Han Sung-min somehow manages to make the lying, pretty Ro-mi seem vulnerable, even as she does her best to steal Joon-woo from under Soo-bin’s nose. There’s a lot about Ro-mi that we don’t know, mostly because she lies about everything. It’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out but I get the feeling that will just give Ro-mi an excuse to re-invent herself.
As much as I enjoyed the supporting characters in this episode, Joon-woo couldn’t have been cuter as he planned his first, and perhaps only, date with Soo-bin. Joon-woo’s perseverance is admirable and it gets Soo-bin into the movie theater in spite of Ro-mi’s sob story. But what caused the change in Soo-bin’s mood at the movies and who’s responsible? There’s a growing list of people to choose from but no matter who’s behind it, Joon-woo won’t give up on Soo-bin without a fight.
- Premiere Watch: A Moment at Eighteen
- Shin Seung-ho plays the piano for A Moment at Eighteen
- Throwing away the old and bringing in the new in A Moment at Eighteen
- A warm encounter begins a first love story in A Moment at Eighteen
- New posters from youth drama A Moment at Eighteen
- Kim Hyang-gi, Ong Sung-woo, and more attend A Moment at Eighteen script read
- Kang Ki-young, Moon Bin join Kim Hyang-gi, Ong Sung-woo in JTBC youth drama