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A Moment at Eighteen: Episode 9

What does first love feel like? This is the question of the hour, and everyone seems to agree that it’s somewhere between floating euphoria and an icy shower, haha. The budding romance experiences some of the latter as misinformation creates a rift between our transfer student and his first love. And of course our class president is the one orchestrating the whole issue, as he tries to hold on to the one person who actually makes him smile.

  
EPISODE 9: “I’m Sorry”

Joon-woo smiles at his movie date, until he notices Soo-bin’s troubled face in the dark. Soo-bin excuses herself to go to the bathroom, and in the theater lobby she checks her phone again. Hwi-young screencapped a message sent to him supposedly from Joon-woo, promising to steal Soo-bin from him as an act of retribution.

Joon-woo emerges from the theater to check on her, and Soo-bin tells him her mom wants her home. She tells him to stay and finish the movie, but he insists on walking her home. Soo-bin trails behind him on the sidewalk, so Joon-woo checks for a fever and then runs over to a pharmacy for her. It’s Soo-bin’s chance to ditch him and go home alone and yet… she wonders what keeps her there, waiting for him.

Joon-woo makes it all the way to the gate with Soo-bin, but thoughts of encountering her mom send him off on his way. Meanwhile, Soo-bin’s mom spots Hwi-young lurking near their home awaiting Soo-bin.

Once alone, Soo-bin asks Hwi-young if the text from Joon-woo was real. Hwi-young doubles down that Joon-woo must be holding an unfair grudge against him. He says that it’s just a misunderstanding between them, and Soo-bin asks if that’s really true. Hwi-young stands firm, and Soo-bin asks him not to tell anyone else about the text. He asks if she’s doing it to avoid embarrassing Joon-woo, but she says it’s to protect her own pride.

As Soo-bin sits in her room alone, crushed, Joon-woo studies an envelope he intended to give Soo-bin during the date. And Hwi-young heads to the soccer fields to get out some of his pent-up frustration. Oh-je spots him and offers to serve as goalie, but Hwi-young’s kicks are aggressive and way too hard. Oh-je asks if something bad happened, and Hwi-young huffs, “What do you do when you hate yourself?” but then refuses to elaborate.

Oh-je moves on to visit Joon-woo, who is sulking on the rooftop in the sun. Oh-je quizzes him about the aborted date as they wash dishes together, and then they return to the roof to discuss first loves. Oh-je asks if it feels great to be in love, and Joon-woo says that the great is shrouded in heavy and awkward vibes, haha. Joon-woo feels like he tries so hard and yet keeps making mistakes, and Oh-je sighs that at least he can experience liking someone.

Soo-bin’s mom stops in to the new tutor she’s selected for Soo-bin, and that’s when she runs into… is this Soo-bin’s dad? Mom is not happy to see him, especially accompanied by a younger woman, and even more so when he says that his apartment is in the building. She tells him to move because Soo-bin’s tutor is in the building, and he looks super excited at the thought of seeing Soo-bin.

Mom strides away, but slips on the floor and falls, hard (man, that looked like it hurt). She refuses any help Soo-bin’s dad offers and struggles her way to the elevator, holding her arm tucked to her.

Mom returns home with a new cast on her arm. Soo-bin follows her mother around to make sure she’s alright, but Mom provides no details, including seeing her dad. Soo-bin tries to relax in bed, but she receives a text from Joon-woo asking why she’s not responding to him. For his part, Joon-woo starts second-guessing everything that he did, and wonders if it was the too-big popcorn or the warm soda that was the problem.

Soo-bin’s not ready to reply to Joon-woo, so she warms up some milk for Mom and cuddles in bed with her. Mom mutters to her daughter to stay healthy, and she returns the same to her mom as she curls her arms around her.

The weekend is over and the girls are eager to hear about the date from Soo-bin. They note Soo-bin’s glum look and wonder if her mom caught them. Oh-je shows up, and has to apologize again to Da-hwin for ignoring her. Hwi-young’s at the lockers too, and comments that Oh-je and Da-hwin look good together. Oh-je sends a look after Hwi-young, who is looking at Soo-bin. And then there’s Ro-mi, staring at Hwi-young as he ignores her entirely.

Oh-je follows Da-hwin into the classroom. He kneels next to her desk and cutely begs her to forgive him (and who could not? That face!). Meanwhile, Ro-mi manages to corner Hwi-young in the hall and demands entry to his tutoring group, but her grades are sufficient. She begs him to help her out, but Hwi-young doesn’t hand out favors to everyone.

A girl from another class approaches Ro-mi and mentions that her mother still hasn’t deposited a consulting fee to her mom. Ro-mi promises to remind her mom, and then glowers when the girl delivers the news that Soo-bin and Joon-woo were at the movies together.

And where is Joon-woo? The boy’s still in bed. A call from his mom wakes him up and he dashes for school.

Ki-tae continues to serve Hwi-young, and So-ye scowls as she spots him carrying the guy’s books for him. And Mr. Oh arrives at school to a visit from Hwi-young’s mom, who isn’t satisfied with Hwi-young’s less-than-perfect score in his latest English test. When Mr. Oh doesn’t budge on his fair assessment of Hwi-young, Mom starts to laugh and says that she realizes now that they haven’t “properly taken care of” Mr. Oh. She clearly means a bribe, though it seems to go right over Mr. Oh’s head.

Joon-woo arrives at school just in time to overhear Ro-mi confront Soo-bin about the movie date. Soo-bin tells Ro-mi that she knows that Joon-woo rejected her, and then finally admits that she likes Joon-woo too, though she uses the past tense, “liked.” Ro-mi latches on to that detail, while Soo-bin walks away. Joon-woo walks past Ro-mi without a word, while a Pil-sang lackey lurks nearby, having witnessed it all.

In class, Joon-woo and Hwi-young both watch Soo-bin, Oh-je watches Hwi-young, and Ki-tae notices that So-ye doesn’t seem so happy with him. But only Pil-sang causes a class disruption with his feelings as he calls Joon-woo a jerk. As class lets out for a break, Pil-sang charges forward into Joon-woo and Oh-je, but they easily sidestep his “attack.”

Ki-tae takes this moment to confront So-ye, who says she hates watching him be Hwi-young’s butler. The comment stings, but Ki-tae just lists all of the things he gets by staying by Hwi-young’s side. So-ye then offers an ultimatum: be her boyfriend or Hwi-young’s servant.

The next class is art, and everyone must draw the person sitting across from them. Pil-sang forces his way into the seat across from Ro-mi, while Joon-woo just blatantly disregards instructions and sketches Soo-bin. Hwi-young sees him craning his head to get a good look at Soo-bin for reference.

While the kids are at school, Joon-woo’s mom goes to meet someone for a job, and that person turns out to be Soo-bin’s mom. Soo-bin’s mom is looking for a driver while she’s injured, but both women agree that it would be awkward to work together. That is, until Soo-bin’s mom realizes that she’s blocked in by another car, and Joon-woo’s mom solves it by pushing the car out of the way by herself.

Soo-bin’s mom needs to make it to a meeting, so Joon-woo’s mom shows off her excellent driving skills and arrives ten minutes early to their destination. The moms are both reluctantly warming up to one another, shooting glances back at each other and smiling as they part.

Classes end and Joon-woo waits at the bottom of the hill to talk to Soo-bin. Her friends leave them alone and Joon-woo asks what he did wrong. His guess is that he avoided Soo-bin’s mom when he walked her home. Soo-bin says that she suddenly felt awkward to be dating someone. Joon-woo has nothing to argue with or apologize for with that response, so he hands over the envelope he wanted to give her and leaves. Soo-bin opens it and finds a drawing of the two of them when they first met.

Joon-woo’s mood lifts a little when he discovers that Mom is staying with him for a little while. She’s sorting through some old things, and smiles when she finds the dress that she wore on her first date with Joon-woo’s dad.

Meanwhile, Mr. Oh is accosted by one of Hwi-young’s mom’s staff, who hands over a bag with an expensive “gift.” Mr. Oh promptly returns it and asks if this is how Hwi-young’s mom handled the previous teacher too. He says that it’s a serious problem if that’s the case. Mom asks him to just keep quiet until Hwi-young is accepted at SNU.

Mr. Oh goes out drinking again after a meeting like that, and Ji-min shows up again as well. This time the two drink companionably, but also maybe a little too much. Mr. Oh stumbles around, and Ji-min manages to get him safely into a cab, though she’s still holding his bag as the car drives away.

Soo-bin’s mom dwells on her encounter with Soo-bin’s dad, but pushes the thoughts away when Soo-bin checks in. Soo-bin leans into sign her mom’s cast, and draws a peapod. She mentions a kid in her class who draws them, and Mom says the kid should go to art school. Mom also asks if Soo-bin’s still in a group with the transfer student, and Soo-bin reassures her that she’s not.

Joon-woo also spends time with his mom, and he asks about her first love experience with his dad. Mom likens it to having a bucket of water dumped on you, and remarks that you aren’t the same person afterwards. Mom laments that they broke up because they were too immature, but that she doesn’t regret those times at all. Joon-woo thinks about his first meeting with Soo-bin, and admits to himself that he’s not the same person that he was before their meeting.

The next morning, Mr. Oh realizes that he’s left his bag with Ji-min. Meanwhile, Soo-bin’s excited to walk to school instead of her usual ride, and Joon-woo’s mom hides until Soo-bin is gone. She’s got two huge bags of radish kimchi, and asks to put them in Soo-bin’s mom’s kimchi fridge (the look Mrs. Yoon delivers makes it clear she is not the type of person who has a kimchi fridge).

In class, Oh-je notes that Joon-woo is still mopey. They lean in to examine Joon-woo’s bag, which has been torn by a wire in the bottom. Pil-sang watches on, satisfied with his mischief. And as Joon-woo tries to take care of recycling, Pil-sang and co. jump out to dump additional recyclables on him. Joon-woo lists all of Pil-sang’s pranks for the day: hidden math book, the wire in his bag, a ladybug on his food tray, and now this. Joon-woo tells him to just work harder to win over Ro-mi, and he laughs as Pil-sang growls angrily back at him.

Mr. Oh announces that it’s time to plan their class trip, and literally the only one excited is Da-hwin, haha. Mr. Oh leaves Hwi-young and Joon-woo in charge, and of course Hwi-young wants to put forth minimal effort so that they can focus on exams. But Joon-woo offers the option of planning something fun to anyone who wants to, and most of the class stays with him. Soo-bin gets up initially to follow Hwi-young, but Joon-woo thanks her for staying, and she returns to her seat. So-ye gives Ki-tae a look, but Ki-tae can’t abandon Hwi-young and leaves for their study group.

The class wants a group outfit theme, and Joon-woo gets the idea to wear retro outfits like their parents, inspired by his mom and her fond memories.

Mr. Oh heads to the convenience store after school to retrieve his bag and get a chance to talk with Ji-min. But Joon-woo has already started his shift, so Mr. Oh pretends that he’s there to congratulate him on his excellent leadership planning the trip. He even leans in for an awkward hug, aww.

Hwi-young finds Soo-bin sitting alone after class, and she asks him to participate in the trip. He says that he’ll agree only if she’ll grant him a wish. This leads them to an old arcade, one they used to sneak off to after private lessons as kids. As they play, Hwi-young recalls once when a young Soo-bin sat next to him as he goofed off. She could tell that he was in a bad mood, and promised to sit next to him in silence to share their troubles.

Hwi-young smiles genuinely for once, until his mood is busted on the walk home. Soo-bin mentions the text, and says that she understands that he must have had a moment of jealousy, and that’s why he showed her even though he knew it would hurt her. She hammers home that they’re friends, and then turns to leave once they’ve reached Hwi-young’s house.

But Hwi-young can’t leave it at that, and so he turns and walks her home. As they arrive at her gate, Hwi-young starts to confess the truth about the text. Joon-woo’s been thinking about Soo-bin’s response earlier though, and he can’t help but think that he’s missing something. So when Soo-bin arrives home, he’s there waiting to talk.

Soo-bin doesn’t want to talk at first, but Joon-woo gently grabs at her elbow to stop her. Finally Soo-bin offers up her phone with the text. Joon-woo asks, “Did you believe this? More than you believe me?” Hwi-young jumps in to defend his actions, as Soo-bin watches Joon-woo walk away, unable to see the tears in his eyes.

  
COMMENTS

I’m so grateful that this misunderstanding didn’t stretch more than an episode. I can only scream, “Just tell him!” at my television for so many hours.

Joon-woo is disappointed that Soo-bin even believed the text for a moment, but I can completely understand why she handled things like she did. She’s been Hwi-young’s friend for a long time. It’s hard to tell if she just knows about all his general bad behavior and kind of sweeps it all aside because she knows how bad his life can get, or if she’s genuinely unaware of it. But she’s suspected his involvement in Joon-woo’s troubles for a while, and Hwi-young only made her more suspicious when he denied it completely. But it takes a while to consider that your childhood best friend may have lied to you and hurt you. Soo-bin took her time, gave everything full consideration, and in the end did finally communicate the problem with Joon-woo. He’s hurt, and has a right to be, but I feel like this can be forgiven.

Besides looking forward to our main couple’s eventual reunion, I’m pretty excited for the school trip and the retro theme they’ve decided on. We got more and more hints about the kids’ parents in this episode, and I’m excited to see what reflects back when the students raid their closets. I’m especially interested in seeing a younger side of Soo-bin’s mom. We know that she’s been tough as nails since at least college, but I am certain that circumstances in her past made her that way, instead of just blind parental pride alone. Her reaction to running into Soo-bin’s dad also makes me think that she’s dealing with some disappointments regarding how her life turned out, and I can’t wait to see the full complexity of what drives her character.

And if I don’t get it from the school trip, at least I can enjoy her growing affection for Joon-woo’s mom. These two are so cute! Joon-woo’s mom is just the energy this woman needs.

What’s perhaps most significant in this episode is that Joon-woo is a different person than he was before he met Soo-bin. Even as Soo-bin pulls away, Joon-woo keeps making efforts at school. He encourages his classmates to plan a school trip theme that they’ll all enjoy, even as he’s struggling to understand what’s gone wrong in his love life. Old Joon-woo would have retreated right away, while the new Joon-woo smiles proudly when Mr. Oh tells him he’s done a good job.

I also appreciate how Pil-sang acts out with pretty harmless ways. He can probably be pretty annoying, but the students mostly tolerate and ignore him in a benign kind of way. I remember students like that in my own classes. I hope nothing changes as Ro-mi continues to ignore his interest.

And now, I definitely suspect that Oh-je is crushing on Hwi-young, and probably has been for a while. He had his eyes on him all episode long, and though his concern could just be that as a long-time classmate, I think Oh-je’s conversation with Joon-woo on the roof suggests otherwise. Oh-je seemed wistful and maybe a little jealous that Joon-woo gets to have a crush. It’s a strange thought for someone supposedly going out with Da-hwin, and it seems to suggest that he believes that he can’t entertain his own actual feelings.

But man, why does it have to be Hwi-young? I can’t imagine anyone less prepared to handle an eventual confession gracefully.

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I don't feel sorry for Soo-bin when she was the one who believed the text and let Ro-mi walk all over her. I love how even though everyone was surprised at So-ye's outburst, "Lee Ki-tae! Gajima," because their relationship is a secret, Oh-je and Joon-woo jumped right in to help convince him. Will Soo-bin's mom come around to Joon-woo because of Joon-woo's mom?

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Hwi Young, the cause of discord in the relationship between Jun Woo-Soo Bin, Oh Je-Da Hwin and Ki Tae-So Ye couple. A real antagonist 🤣

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True 😂

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To be fair to him, he is only really trying in one of the relationships, 🤣🤣

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I didn't see that adorable almost-friendship between the moms coming, but I love it. I mean, who could not respect a woman who single-handedly pushes a car out of the way? That's a friendship-making moment right there.

Is it really that hard to just leave Joon-woo alone? Come on, Hwi-young. I wish he would realize he's making everything harder on himself. If he'd just chill, he'd be so much better off. He really needs to get out of that house and get therapy. I hope Mr. Oh notices something is wrong with Hwi-young's home life soon, because someone needs to try to help that kid. As frustrating as he is and as inexcusable as his behavior is, he's still an abused kid who can't handle the stress of his life.

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@ash27
It's more than the friendship that I am enjoying. The drama keeps revealing parallel lives mothers face and what decisions lead to their diversions.

JW's mother is the sliding doors version of HY's. Now we see that JW & SB's mothers have faced similar choices but SB's mother has chosen to keep to social expectations.

When you enforce rigid stereotypes, everyone just has something to hide. The only one that doesn't (apparently) is JW's mother - and she still has a price to pay.

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I solidly agree. I found myself in a uncomfortable state when suddenly jw's mother is SB's mom's driver but it thrilled me to to see what conflicts it can generates and all the parallels.

It also reminds me of Romi's dad being a driver himself.

I am curious where writer is taking this now..

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Suddenly I’m more interested in the parents. The kids’ story has sort of stagnated with the focus on romance. Soo Bin even regressed in not trusting Joon-Woo and being unable to say what bothered her (thankfully that only lasted one episode). I find it hard to believe she trusted Hwi-young’s suspiciously-timed message more than Joon-woo’s words and behaviour. We’re supposed to think they are best friends, but is Soo Bin really blind to his scheming ways?

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I agree that the parents are more interesting now. The romance is cute and all, but that's not what got me invested in this show. I hope the rest of the show doesn't just focus on the romance but goes back to dealing with the other issues in the kids' lives.

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Also JW's mother is such a good soul. There is no pretense around her. I hope SB's mother becomes a better person for the friendship.

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I need to put this in 2 parts:

1- Does anyone think this drama has been lazy?

2 - If not, why did it choose the song "A LOVER'S CONCERTO" for the JW & SB's mothers meeting. I can think of 3 readings for it but none are particularly strong.

JW's mother pushing the SUV was hilarious...I was wondering if this was an overt nod to Greek Mythology.

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where did you watch? the MOM bonding song is diff in original version and on Viki versions.

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there's a difference ??? why ? how ? why ?

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ah well, due to copy rights issues, Viki changes the songs from original and edits these. It is quite jarring. So, it helps to watch the original. Only OST can stay as is. But if any other song is used - especially western musicians, looks like they have to change it!!!

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I don't find it lazy at all...it IS slow but the slow pace is NEEDED for the storytelling...And again it Is slow but there isn't even one filler scene or junk sequence in it...every little act of every characters is necessary for the development of the drama ...they are giving us details about the characterizations and different sides of the characters...not just what they say or what they choose....I mean the smallest ACT ...the directing and writing is so smart .

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In answer to #2, I think they've been putting a comedic spin on the interactions of JW and SB's moms. They are playing it like a shy flirtation, with side glances and little smiles. SB's mom is acting like someone with a crush. I think the music is just there to accentuate that for comedic effect. :)

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Even though Chan-Yeol has the least focus of the girls storylines...I have started to notice that of all the girls, she is the one that would most change our connection to this lively group if she wasn't there.

She seams to be our proxy - constantly her lines sum up situations and she regularly says what is in our own heads. Its like we get to yell at the TV and a character actually says it for us. I wish every drama had one of these.

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She is the chorus in an old Greek tragedy.

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@kafiyah-bello

SNAP! Did you read my post last ep on this being the Second Labor of Heracles and Iolaus?

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I didn't, but I can, lol, can you tag me on it?

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@kafiyah-bello
Unregistered beans don't get the functionality to see post links.

Ep08 - Comment 19 - first reply.

I am starting to fall into conformation bias and think I am seeing hints everywhere...even JW's mother's superhuman strength.

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Yes. I really enjoy Chan-yeol's presence as well.

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She's a breath of fresh air.

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I really hope that Oh-je doesn't have feelings for Hwiyoung because he went too far with Da-hwin. For me, it looks more OJ and HY were friends in the past and now they fell apart. If it's really love feelings, I'm not sure that Hwiyoug is in a state to understand and accept them...

I understand the reaction of SB after the text. She trusted the one she know since the childhood. She could confront JW but nobody wants to hear that she was just a tool in their game.

I'm happy that Hwiyoung's facade begins to crack, he really needs help.

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I do think OJ has feelings for HWi. I also think OJ has not come out of the closet for himself. He may be confused at the moment. I feel his arc is going to have some emtional impact to all. I hope the writer will handle it with delicately. More towards 'this is how you handle it ' vs ' this is not how you handle it'

I am thinking before hwi because a complicated dude, he perhaps was a good boy. That is why he has enough people who loved or cared for him. Things may have changed for him when he realized he is stuck in a horrible situation at home....I am looking forward to his arc.

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I'm equally nervous for Oh Je's arc. I'm guessing it will probably highlight societal povs on homosexuality.

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I was one of those who thought that text diversion was lazy writing. But writer resolved it very quickly and in a way, it forced a conversation between Sobin and Hwi that they would had had to have at some point. Hwi is yet not clear what he wants but at least Subin knows he can't be fully trusted going forward.

For Subin, she had every reason to believe Hwi. They have grown up together and there is a bond there. I am sure Subin is not privy to other bad things hwi might have done to JW because it was not made pulic. Only 4 people in the school know about bully issue. Kitae, his GF, Sanhoon, and teacher. So, we can forgive Subin her brief moment of doubt.

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I can forgive this bit. To me, it's a good way of exposing the depth of HY's attachments to SB and how even that is something he is willing to destroy for the sake of greed. Or is it desperation? His desperate competition against Sang Hoon for his brains, and JW for his emotional quotient are good indicators of what HY lacks and perhaps wants. In a way, he truly is his mother's son.

The school trip on the other hand bothers me. It is so out of the blue although I can't say I don't like JW stepping up. It's probably just me, but I didn't like how he imposed on Soo Bin's decision to join HY's study group and force her to join her friends instead. It was comforting that he is probably preventing her from making a bad decision he knows she wouldn't have made if she wasn't clouded by his presence but still, it scared me a bit that he had that part of himself in him too: capacity to influence decisions. JW is actually also slightly manipulative although he does it in a stern way that is more like for the good of everyone rather than greed. It's a good contrasts of leadership styles: autocracy (HY) vs stern democracy (JW) and yet interestingly it is both somewhat autocratic. Truly Confucianist culturally.

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You bring up a really valid point. I think, JW's confidence to deal with trouble himself probably comes from him knowing his own nature. At any point of time, they have never really shown him scared. Running away, escaping but mostly with the intent of "i don't want to deal with this, I can't be bothered, adults are xxxx" etc. Even those bullies from old school showed some respect. In fact jw described all that was about "who was the jjang".

Sometimes, his tone with Soobin is very firm. In the episode when he wanted to confess, he was very firm with her to "I want to talk now". Same thing happened when he wanted to clear the misunderstanding. He was firm "I am also busy but I want to talk".

I am glad he is using that tone for good. But you kind of implies that he is not what he looks like... I am sure he is a survivor and quite possibly a fighter.

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Ong Seong Wu though, his expressions are so spot on. When he asks Subin "you believed that instead of me", the disappointment he shows was done so well. I some days can not believe he is a rookie actor. He is doing a fabulous job.

Also, the whole part where Sobin perceives hwi might have lied but not sure yet, when she was asking him 'we are best friends right?" etc. she was crazy good.

And Hwi's guilt and fear. Ah. We have a great cast in this drama.

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@dramafan100
SO AGREE! That moment stood out for me.

I would also add this to Ong Seong Wu's end of ep04...OMG!. I have not seen a K-actor capture that visceral emotion that you get when you see someone actually snapping as well as he did in that moment. IRL it chills you to the bone and makes you freeze momentarily - just as HY did.

This script has allowed the young cast to play it restrained rather than have to over emote just to try and carry scenes (up to this point of the drama). I wish more dramas would give the actors so much to work with.

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I agree. Both the writer and director have given each of the young cast storylines and moments where they really shine that you start caring for all of them. There are no black or white characters. They all have flaws that make them human. This is probably one of the best youth dramas I've come across.

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They are all doing a great job playing their characters. We expected Kim Hyanggi to be great but Ong Seongwu and Shin Seungho are so impressive. Especially Ong Seongwu who is actually keeping up with Kim Hyanggi on his first drama. I was expecting some gap in skills in their scenes together but he doesn't come across as a rookie.

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A rather frustrating episode for me, except for the unexpected mom bonding. I liked seeing Soo Bin’s tough mother reach out to Joon-woo’s loving one. I hope they can become friends.

I shall not ask why Pil-sang’s lackey was hiding outside the school with a toilet paper roll. Lol what was that. 😂

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haha @wishfultoki - I was thinking the same thing about that roll of tp? what was that random shot? lol 😂

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Lol. While I was watching, I totally just went with it and didn’t think much of it. Now that you mention it, that is rather odd 😂.

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@WishfulToki
The away shooting this week seemed to really stretch the production crew. I noticed a number of moments in these episodes where the editing didn't feel as tight as previous.

This may have been one of those truncated story threads they just couldn't finish.

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Isn't he that kid in the next ep who was having a bout with diarrhea??? 🤣

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Your last question is what I've been asking since last week. Why Ohje? Why? Of all people, why HW? sigh~ being young and dumb and has no taste is what teenager do but still........ whyyyy....
But seeing JW and Ohje washing dishes together kinda cute, also that shoulder is distracting
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ok.. I maybe should stop commenting about Ohje, my fangirl self is showing too much~ lol

While I'm glad it didn't get too draggy, I wish SB just outright ask JW about the text the way she asked about the watch. I understand that she trust HW since they were friends for so long and it hurt her pride but she is hurting herself more that way. SB also need to put RM in her place really. Why is she letting RM bother her that much?

Well, at least HW does have a conscience for like.. a second before doubling down on his lie. And then being miserable and on the edge the whole episode. smh

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This episode was a bit frustrating but at least they were able to communicate at the last part. I wish Soobin would have just talked with Joonwoo, but I know that high school me had too much pride to be able to confront someone, and I think I would have also trust my childhood friend...
I loved the interactions between the moms ! I'm hoping for more development of this relationship.

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Thanks @abirdword
I'm thinking Ro Mi and Hwi Young have a similar 'dog in the manger' disease... ie 'If I can't have it then I'll make sure so-and-so can't as well!'

The only reason Ro Mi started 'stalking' Joon Woo was because she suspected that Soo Bin and Joon Woo had a bond. I doubt if she'd ever have given him the time of day if not for that.

I imagine that Hwi Young, although he did like SB, is also somewhat similar to Ro Mi. JW has become a threat to him therefore he will block JW's efforts and path to success, in the same way that he locked the school door to keep JW from entering the class, in Ep 2 I think it was. If it was jealousy then jealousy has trumped loyalty and friendship with Soo Bin. However I feel it is more than just jealousy. There is a kind of malice in how he targets JW.

It's lovely to see the JW's mum has never been embittered by her bad experiences. She's so positive and life-giving. I applaud her frequent trips to see her son. It sounds like her workplace is pretty out of the way but she comes to him at a any time.

She'd be a great foil for SB's mum's fixations on getting SB to Seoul Uni, and also would be a great friend to have, if only SB's mum can lay aside class distinction prejudices.

Show is so well done in a quiet understated way. There are no bells and whistles, but this is just a solid show, done right.

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I though that this episode was so adorable, teens talking about love and relationship, moms awkward bonding, teacher Oh having crush on JiMin, nothing happened really but acting and dialogues were so good, it was real pleasure to watch.
What I found weird, is that OhJe is not that into Daein but he goes out of his way to pleased her. And I started to wonder if HY's dad isn't responsible for former teacher hospital stay.
And JW mom approach to life? How heatlhy it is, cherish good memories and don't dwell over bad ones.

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I totally agree about Oh Je. I'm curious as to why too? I think we all know he is probably gay and based on next episode, he seems aware too, so I'm curious as to why he tries so hard to please her?

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I think part of it is that is just Ohje's personality. If he hurts someone he will make it right and he is her boyfriend. It is just he is hurting her more in the long run. I hope one of them ends it soon.

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Ack I never thought about how OJ may like HW and I hope it isn't true. What I got is that OJ had never liked anyone before, even though he has been dating DH. From the start you could tell he was never really into her.. :/

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Does this show give anyone else anxiety? I am so invested in their fictional lives. This whole episode, all I could say was be still my heart. The only joy I got was from Pil Sang's silly shenanigans.

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Me, me, and may I add how I liked that Pil Sang was mostly petty and didn't cross any lines when acting out his broken heart :)

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Junwoo's drawing of when he first met Soobin is just so cute. I actually can't remember how much I've replayed that scene from the first ep.

Re. Oh Je, I'm curious as to when he started having feelings for Hwiyoung. HY is prickly and acts like a jerk so I want to know what Oh Je saw in him. Poor Daheen, as Oh Je has been nothing but a sweetheart towards her.

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I already guessed before that his secret is his orientation from the beginning. And i honestly suspected Oh Je liking Junwoo. Never i thought he will like hwiyoung. Maybe coz Hwi is a top student, confident, good leader and sporty, mostly. Oh Je likes basketball/sports.

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Is it just me or the actor playing Lee Ki Tae looks like Actress Chae Soo Bin's younger brother? And Even Shin Seung Ho kind of looks and acts(almost) like Lee Min Ho? Anyways All these actors are doing such a great job! I love the drama so much. Can't wait for the next episode!

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Last week I really wanted a good reason for Soo bin to shut out Joon woo, but now realize this is much more realistic. I dont think it has to do with trust for either of the boys as much as self doubt. At that age it is so easy to lose all your confidence. Even Joon woo did this. Soo bin told him she was not dating HY but if he saw them together or his co worker said thay were he was right back to believing it.

Ohje. Sweet Ohje. Trying to be a good boyfriend but you are hurting her so much. Break up.

I didn't even think about it till pointed out by abirdword, but Joo woon did stay involved. He is so much more confident.

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I also didn't read Soo-bin's retreat as mistrusting Joon-woo but as a self-confidence issue. From the beginning, she couldn't believe that Joon-woo liked her, so she was never confident in the relationship. With the tight reign her mom keeps on her, I don't think she's used to making her own decisions and trusting herself. I think her instincts have always told her Joon-woo is a sincere person, but her lack of self-confidence makes it easier to believe he is using her than that he genuinely likes her.

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So, there were frustrations this episode, but overall I did not become as frustrated as I thought I might going in. It would take a serious misstep to turn me off this show…I love it too much. Really, the person who annoyed me the most this episode was Ro-mi 😆. I’ve definitely had my moments of, “Why must we put up with a character like her?” Hwi-young is more than enough in the interfering second lead department. I was glad to see that Soo-bin didn’t cave into her though. She is managing to still be sensitive and caring without sinking down to Ro-mi’s level.

I was a bit disappointed in Soo-bin for not trusting Joon-woo, especially after trusting him so much in the beginning. One of the biggest reasons they became close in the first place was because she saw past his label as the delinquent transfer student. But still, it wasn’t entirely unrelatable. At that age, it doesn’t take much for doubts and confusion to begin to swirl. All the hesitation, confusion, and lack of communication…I think I was mainly frustrated because I saw too much of myself and not because it felt unrealistic.

I think Hwi-young smiling with Soo-bin at the arcade was the first time I’ve seen him look happy which made me sad.

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Soo Bin had a lot of things to sort out: her mother, Romi, Hwi Young, and perhaps even her own insecurities. As frustrating it all was for the romance, it's realistic. The episode ending gave me comfort. The drama has a good grasp on pushing and pulling.

As for Hwi Young, I like how the drama set him up as someone seemingly harmless, and then someone to fear and ultimately want to destroy, and now he's just a harmless little kid to me just as Soo Bin sees him, perhaps. I have a feeling JW will begin to see this much about HY eventually. Hey, maybe they would all be friends.

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I would love them to all be friends by the end!

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The drama has been a good show for mother and women, so far. I like how the episodes have so far explored the case of a woman in an abusive marriage, a woman bitterly going through Divorce, and a woman who dedicated her life and love to her first love. I wonder if JWs dad will also be making any cameo in the forthcoming episodes. As for SBs mom, I think the woman needs to let go of a man she has also deeply injured. It's not healthy.

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@riarallahssi I'm hoping we will get the dad arc for Joonwoo. It will be a nice closure for him and I hope we won't just have romance-related conflicts for Joonwoo for the remaining episodes.

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In earlier episodes, someone spoke about systematic corruption and how any one person could get so much power. Based on what transpired between Hwi's mom and teacher, this systematic corruption was all about money and special gifts. It appeared like the school principal is getting gifts too. And the old home teacher.

What if it is not systemic corruption but targeted corruption? May be some teachers are getting money to make minor adjustments in marks. May be ambitious but poor students need favors for free lessons from Hwi.

Some of this reminds me of the whole college admissions scandal in the US.

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@dramafan100
I suspect you have underestimated the number of people already involved.

It would probably include each of his subject teachers. That may be a fair number, given he is in 11 and has been going on for at least 2 years at this school. (even the maths teacher is scared of them). We already know about the previous HR teacher and suspect the VP.
Then we have the hagwons and tutors who follow their commands regarding students.
The students all appear to be either complicit, or aware/afraid.

I think these payments aren't just to raise HY to perfect scores, it probably also covers lowering any challengers. Hence this is not a "no hurt - no foul" corruption. His future is bought at the expense of others.

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Just a shout out to @abirdword

I do not know how to get that linky thingy.

Your comments and summary were really really great! Thank you for recapping.

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Thanks for the recap @abirdword :)

The episode was slightly frustrating to me but it had more to do with the way that preview was edited. The actual episode, while still frustrating, but was not as frustrating as I thought it would be.

I was not fond of how Soobin reacted to the text message and how she did not even ask Joonwoo about it, it's inconsistent from how she trusted Joonwoo during the stolen watch fiasco when she barely knew him. That said, the part where she had the internal monologue saying how she's afraid to continue liking Joonwoo even if that text message is true is pretty heartbreaking so I can give her a pass.

Joonwoo and Ohje's friendship is so precious, it's now my second favorite Joonwoo relationship after Joonwoo and Teacher Oh. I hope Ohje at least can be honest to Joonwoo about his feelings for Hwiyoung (it's pretty obvious to me that it's Hwiyoung - why Ohje why?).

I'm happy to see real character growth for Joonwoo, he's now more involved in class and he's actually doing well 'without' Soobin. It's such a departure from Joonwoo from episode 1 who didn't care about anything or anyone. Ong Seongwu is so impressive in showcasing this. Joonwoo is slowly more smiley, even though still reserved. I like how the growth in character is palpable but still believable. He is a very talented young actor.

The part where Joonwoo slightly 'forced' Soobin to join his group was interesting, it almost feels out of character to me. But then again we do get glimpses of stern Joonwoo from time to time with how the way he delivered his line when he wants something, the change in tone is palpable. The way he also 'forced' Soobin to talk to him was an example of this as well. Joonwoo shows an unexpected side when he wants something. He also orchestrated the whole Hwiyoung stealing Sanghoon's shoes out of rage, starting from how Joonwoo got the junior student to call Hwiyoung to the teacher's office when Sanghoon was there. Joonwoo is not as angelic as how he comes across and it's interesting. I wonder if the writer will let out this 'dark' side of Joonwoo in the future.

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Gosh, it is almost like we were thinking the same thing at the same time!!! You can express it better than I can. Ha ha ha. Yes, he is interestingly firm sometimes. It always go 'hmmm' at those moments. Is writer going to explore that at all? That would be awesome!

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@dramafan100 *high fives*
I find those moments interesting because Joonwoo is just so nice and a bit subdued most of the time so those ooc moments really jumped out. I was actually hoping for a 'darker' Joonwoo after his friend's death but it went the other way. Possibly because it's not that kind of drama haha.

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Yes! I was also surprised when Joon-Woo manipulated Hwi-Young into stealing Sang-hoon’s shoes.
If Hwi-Young had done it we would have condemned it, but because it’s Joon-Woo going up against the top schemer we gave it a pass.

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It's too bad we didn't get the aftermath of that scene. Did Hwiyoung or Kitae return Sanghoon's shoes because Joonwoo found out about it? I think they probably did to save Hwiyoung's reputation.

I think not a lot of people realized that it was Joonwoo who orchestrated the whole thing, it was kind of blink and you'll miss it. There are also people who thought that entire thing was orchestrated by Sanghoon but it was definitely Joonwoo. Perhaps some audience think Joonwoo is too good to scheme all that but underneath the quiet exterior he is actually very astute and is slightly manipulative.

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i dont watch a lot of kdramas but i feel like this one's giving us a lot of mini arcs on top of the main story arcs (Junwoo x Subin x Hwiyoung)... which gives a lot of points of interests for different types of viewers. A lot of scenes were relatable and close to what/how it were when we were on the stage of life. I also love the PD/writer for raising conflicts and quickly resolving them. Resolutions that are not necessarily beautiful/ happy, but mostly close to reality. Like things will always be never bright and rosy (e.g., acceptance of a loved ones' death, non-existent closure with the father, abuse in the family, the wealthy and powerful forever in control of society, contentment in plain & simple life). A few dramas that i watched had so much focus on 2-3 characters that it gets very 2-dimensional. And some have like conflicts in EP1 that are resolved in the last few episodes. It's dragging. 'At Eighteen' i think gave me that variety that is simple and straightforward for a non-consistent drama fan like me. I think the main 3 characters are pretty strong and compelling for the PD/writer to insert so much mini arcs around them without taking away the viewers' interests to the leads' story line.

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@vanillasky

I think the main 3 characters are pretty strong and compelling for the PD/writer to insert so much mini arcs around them without taking away the viewers' interests to the leads' story line.

So far the writer have been doing this fairly well, with a little more focus on Joonwoo. I still feel like the pivot of the drama is Joonwoo and how he influenced the other two leads, the teacher and their classmates.

I hope the writer is able to raise more conflicts for Joonwoo and Soobin that are separate from their romance though, I think those 2 characters (even though their romance is sweet) shine more when they're dealing with their own personal issues/growth. The slice-of-life elements are what got me interested in the drama in the first place. I hope the writer can focus on those more in the remaining episodes.

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This. Joon-woo’s dream is still to sleep without the lights on, and Soo-Bin still wants to escape from Mom. They still need to grow and find their path. If romance helps them develop into adults it’s ok (and yes we’ve seen Joon-Woo become more confident) but it can’t all be about romance. What about the exams, the rat race to get into SNU, finances, missing parents, and corruption at school?

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Yes their dreams! I keep going back to those as well even until now. I feel like they still have more growing to do to achieve those dreams. The show also needs to address their absent fathers as well. I hope the remaining 6 episodes can address them.

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Thank you for the recap @abirdword. I like it when you point out Junwoo's transformation after he is appointed as class VP. His life is starting to have direction as compared to the beginning of the series. I wonder if he'll go to art school by end of drama. An Art school abroad or scholarship grant will be a great ending for Junwoo.

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I agree that Oh-je has a crush on HY...he is probably the only one that noticed HY being injured while they played dodge ball during PE classes. I think he knows that HY's dad can be violent sometimes. Oh-je's secret is not being a baby daddy but being gay.
SB's reluctancy to be honest with JW was a bit annoying. I understand that she does not know him long, but girl needs to be honest.

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