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A Moment at Eighteen: Episode 14

Embroiled in an academic scandal, the class president’s secure future is suddenly in jeopardy. As he waits to learn just how the scandal will affect him, the class president has to face the fact that he’s more like his father than he ever wanted to be. The transfer student experiences father issues of his own which make him determined to become someone who’s dependable. That resolve threatens to torpedo his first love’s efforts to celebrate his birthday when he does his best to keep his promise not to see her.

EPISODE 14: “Happy Birthday to You”

Soo-bin jumps out of her taxi and runs to Joon-woo, asking if he’s all right. Joon-woo shakes his head at her and walks away, his dad’s rejection still ringing in his ears.

Soo-bin gets home and escapes to her room. Hwi-young’s phone rings with a call from his panicked mother, which Soo-bin ignores. She grabs her backpack and asks her escort for a ride to Chan-yeol’s place.

Joon-woo pauses near his bike once he’s gets home and then sets back out on foot. When Joon-woo reaches his destination, he instinctively catches a wayward soccer ball and comes face-to-face with his half-brother. When the boy remembers Joon-woo as the delivery man that he met once before, he explains it’s because he’s good-looking. Joon-woo tells the boy, “I hope you grow up to become a brave man,” and he’s surprised when a woman calls out, “Joon-woo,” and the young boy runs to her.

Joon-woo’s father sends his wife and son inside and once he’s alone with his firstborn son, Joon-woo demands to know why the boy has his name. Joon-woo’s father explains, “It was my way of making atonement.” His father’s betrayal makes it easier for Joon-woo to say what he couldn’t express earlier โ€” he longed to meet his father because he grew up hearing from his mother that he was a kind person who loved him very much. Now that they’ve met, Joon-woo promises, “I will never come to see you again.”

After bowing deeply, Joon-woo tells his dad, “Stay healthy,” and he walks away. As the distance grows between them, Joon-woo remembers stopping strangers as a boy in his search for his father. Joon-woo even drew a picture on his birthday with a message for his dad, “…I miss you. Let’s make sure we meet again, whenever that may be.”

Joon-woo recalls what he wrote in the letter that he left under his father’s door, “I’ll watch you from afar only once in a while. And please remember that I’m Choi Joon-woo.” Faced with the reality that his father replaced him with another son who was given his name, Joon-woo tells himself, “The feeling of missing him. That’s all I should remember.”

When Hwi-young gets home, his father angrily accuses him of missing the test questions on purpose. Hwi-young taunts his parents with the suggestion that they can just take care of his grades like before, until he remembers that Mr. Oh doesn’t accept bribes.

Hwi-young’s father is about to strike him but Hwi-young’s mother begs him to hit her instead. Blaming his wife’s drinking for their family’s woes, he raises his hand but Hwi-young grabs it. Hwi-young’s father calls him an insolent punk and Hwi-young figures that’s because he grew up to be just like him, a monster.

When Hwi-young’s mother tries to keep her husband from hitting Hwi-young, she gets knocked to the ground. Hwi-young shoves his father away and warns, “If you hit Mom one more time, I won’t let it slide.” Hwi-young’s mother pushes her son towards the front door and tells him to run.

In Chan-yeol’s room, Soo-bin sits quietly while her friends watch Chan-yeol search online for Mr. Oh’s girlfriend. Soo-bin borrows Chan-yeol’s phone and texts Joon-woo to check the spot outside of the convenience store where he parks his bike.

While Soo-bin writes a letter, her friends choose an outfit for her to change into. When Soo-bin is ready, Chan-yeol and So-ye distract her escort while Ro-mi and Da-hwin sneak out with Soo-bin, who’s hidden under a baggy top with a hood. When Soo-bin reaches the convenience store, she shoves her letter between the light poles where Joon-woo parks his bike.

Soo-bin gets home in time to overhear her mother screaming at Soo-bin’s father over the phone, ordering him to stay away from their daughter. When she sees that Soo-bin is home, her mom brightly asks why she never mentioned that she met with her father.

Soo-bin’s mother laughs off whatever Soo-bin’s dad may have told her and insists, “Your dad and I don’t have any problems.” Soo-bin plays along but once she’s in her room, her mother looks worried.

Hwi-young wanders past some shops, stopping to stare at some roasting chicken. Oh-je runs into him and when asked why he’s in the neighborhood, Hwi-young chuckles that in spite of everything, he’s hungry.

When a numb Joon-woo reaches the convenience store, he remembers Soo-bin’s text and finds her letter. Joon-woo reads how Soo-bin used Hwi-young’s phone to call him which made it possible for her to hear Joon-woo’s meeting with his father.

As we watch Soo-bin write her letter, Joon-woo can hear her wish that it will comfort him just as he comforted her after she met with her father. Soo-bin writes, “I’m always rooting for you…So, let’s try our best to stay strong. I miss you, and I like you. A lot.”

After work, Joon-woo rides his bike to Soo-bin’s place to gaze at her dark window. He’s about to leave when Soo-bin’s light goes on and then off. Soo-bin stares at her light while under her window, Joon-woo pledges, “I’ll try harder to become someone you can depend on.”

Oh-je sits with Hwi-young by the river, some takeout food between them. Hwi-young assumes that Oh-je won’t eat with him because he’s dieting like his girlfriend, Da-hwin, and Oh-je doesn’t correct him.

In the morning, Joon-woo meets Oh-je by the bike rack and they find a place to talk. Oh-je apologizes for not confiding in him and asks, “I’m weird, right?” Joon-woo doesn’t think of his friend that way, “Not really. It’s just how you feel.” Oh-je confesses that he’s been confused and he was trying to sort out his feelings when his secret was revealed.

At school, Soo-bin returns Hwi-young’s phone and he asks if she made a call. Joon-woo overhears them and confesses that he didn’t answer Soo-bin’s call because he thought it was Hwi-young. Joon-woo smiles at Soo-bin when he tells her that he got her letter while Oh-je steals a glance at Hwi-young.

In the classroom, the students follow the online discussion about Oh-je. One of Pil-sang’s friends calls it weird and when Pil-sang asks, “Why is it weird? He just likes another person,” a tiny smile flickers across Ro-mi’s face. When Hwi-young arrives, Shim-bok shows him that he’s been named as Oh-je’s crush.

During a break from class, the girl responsible for the rumor about Oh-je is overheard sharing what she heard in the nurse’s office. Ro-mi yells at her to shut up but Da-hwin stops her. When Oh-je walks by, Da-hwin makes it look as if they’re still together when she announces, “I thought we were meeting this morning.”

Da-hwin pulls Oh-je away under the pretense that she needs his help in the gardening room, but when they’re alone, she tells him, “Stop feeling bad because of me.” When Oh-je walks away, Da-hwin realizes that he still makes her heart flutter.

Joon-woo finds Mr. Oh at his desk and when they meet in the teachers’ lounge, Joon-woo tells him about his visit to the art academy. Mr. Oh is overjoyed when he realizes that Joon-woo has decided to pursue art and shouts, “Hooray!” Joon-woo has to remind Mr. Oh that his school record could pose a challenge but he remembers an army buddy who gets students ready for art school and offers to get in touch with him.

When Joon-woo runs into Soo-bin outside, he tells her how much her letter meant to him and compliments the way that she communicated with him.

Excited about his future, Joon-woo shares with Soo-bin his plan to study art, crediting her for inspiring him to want a better life. Joon-woo suddenly remembers his promise to stay away from Soo-bin and he urges her to leave, but first she tells him, “You are a really good person.”

So-ye meets with Ki-tae, who wanted to thank her for coming to his defense in front of Sang-hoon. Ki-tae announces, “I’m trying really hard. To become a person you won’t be ashamed of,” and he asks So-ye for another chance.

Hwi-young arrives at his locker just as Oh-je leaves a potted plant behind. When Oh-je returns for it, Hwi-young tells him, “You’re free to like whomever you want, but don’t get me involved in it.” Oh-je assures Hwi-young, “Don’t worry, that won’t happen.”

A worried vice-principal finds Mr. Oh in the hallway, “People from the Ministry of Education are here.” Pil-sang walks into the classroom and announces that Hwi-young is the subject of the investigation.

Sang-hoon joins some other students outside of the teachers’ lounge to witness Hwi-young’s comeuppance. The coach sends them back to class just as Hwi-young is asked if he knew that his grades were changed the previous year. Mr. Oh tries to speak up on Hwi-young’s behalf but he’s silenced when the investigator produces a copy of Hwi-young’s altered answer sheet.

When Hwi-young admits that he just learned the truth recently, the investigator explains that everyone involved will be punished and Hwi-young might be given a zero for that subject. The meeting is over by the time Joon-woo peers into the office and sees Hwi-young sitting by himself.

When Joon-woo walks away, Sang-hoon is waiting to ask if he’s relieved. Joon-woo wonders if Sang-hoon was the informant but he swears it wasn’t him. While not happy about Hwi-young’s situation, Joon-woo tells Sang-hoon, “He should be punished for what he did.”

When Sang-hoon returns to his locker, he calls his father and he’s caught off guard by what he hears. Hwi-young eventually emerges from the teachers’ lounge, the rash on his arm raw and covering most of his forearm.

Mr. Oh approaches the vice-principal, who confesses, “I really didn’t see this coming.” While the vice-principal worries that he’ll be fired, Mr. Oh urges, “Let’s cooperate with the investigation and sort things out.”

When Mr. Oh gets back to his desk, Chan-yeol texts him asking for a consultation. Chan-yeol arranges to meet off campus and sends Mr. Oh to the restaurant where Ji-min works. When Mr. Oh sits down with Ji-min, she tells him that she doesn’t want to see him again and asks him to leave.

Mr. Oh agrees to leave once they talk and Ji-min explains that since she can’t get a full-time job, she has to work several part-time jobs to support her family. Even though she likes Mr. Oh and would like to date him, Ji-min doesn’t think that she’s good enough for him and she runs back to work before he can argue.

After their meeting, Mr. Oh texts Chan-yeol with his thanks. Chan-yeol rubs away her tears while Mr. Oh takes shelter from a sudden rainstorm and sighs, “Why does it have to be so complicated?”

At work, Joon-woo can’t forget the image of Hwi-young sitting alone in the teachers’ lounge. An uneasy Sang-hoon walks in and tells Joon-woo, “The informant. It was me.” Sang-hoon explains that it was his father who revealed the academic fraud after he quit his job.

Sang-hoon insists that he’s relieved that the truth finally came out but Joon-woo can tell that’s not true. Ki-tae interrupts them to ask if they’ve seen Hwi-young, he’s worried because Hwi-young texted him an apology and then skipped the academy.

Joon-woo tries to shrug off any worries about Hwi-young but he joins the others to look for him, including Oh-je, who was close by.

The boys find a rain-soaked Hwi-young gazing out at the river and when he lashes out at Ki-tae, Sang-hoon concludes that he’s fine. When Hwi-young shouts, “Just let a piece of trash like me be smashed to bits,” Joon-woo calls him a coward. Joon-woo urges Hwi-young to stop running away from his mistakes so that he can put things right before it’s too late.

At school the next morning, a check of Soo-bin’s calendar reminds her that it’s Joon-woo’s real birthday. Joon-woo’s had explained to Soo-bin that his official birthdate was later because his mother registered his birth late. They made plans to celebrate his real birthday together.

Before Mr. Oh arrives for class, Hwi-young announces that he’s stepping down as class president. A worried Soo-bin catches up to him outside of class and Hwi-young suggests that they should stop pretending that they’re close. Soo-bin’s eyes fall on Hwi-young’s spreading rash as he thanks her for her concern and walks away.

Later, Soo-bin’s friends urge her not to worry about Hwi-young and Da-hwin reminds her, “Focus on protecting your love.” That reminds Soo-bin that it’s Joon-woo’s birthday and she asks her friends to deliver his present but they agree that’s something she should do herself.

Soo-bin’s friends find her escort and try everything that they can think of to convince her to allow Soo-bin to see Joon-woo on his birthday, and she eventually agrees. Soon, Soo-bin is at Chan-yeol’s place where her friends work on her hair and makeup. Just as the girls wonder what happened to Ro-mi, she walks in with the perfect dress for Soo-bin.

Soo-bin’s friends decorate Joon-woo’s rooftop and Oh-je brings a cake while Soo-bin’s escort waits downstairs. Inside, Joon-woo grabs a flyer for an art school prep class just as his mother calls to wish him a happy birthday. Joon-woo promises to call her later because he needs to make a stop on his way to work.

When Joon-woo steps outside, his friends sing “Happy Birthday” and present him with the cake. Da-hwin explains that they all contributed to his gift and Joon-woo gasps in appreciation when a glowing Soo-bin joins the celebration.

Soo-bin hands Joon-woo a wrapped gift, surprised when he tells her, “You shouldn’t be here.” Their friends leave so that Joon-woo and Soo-bin can have a few minutes together and they discover that Soo-bin’s escort is gone.

Upstairs, Joon-woo thanks Soo-bin for her gift and offers to walk her home. Soo-bin wants to see him open it but Joon-woo reminds her that she promised that she wouldn’t visit his place again and he takes her unopened present inside.

Joon-woo guides a disappointed Soo-bin down the stairs until she stops to tell him that even though she’s afraid too, she still risked everything to see him on his birthday. When Joon-woo repeats that he’ll take Soo-bin home, she decides to get home on her own.

Joon-woo tries to explain his dilemma to Soo-bin, “Do you know how much I’m holding back and enduring this situation right now?” Soo-bin throws her arms around Joon-woo’s neck but when he doesn’t hug her back, she pulls away. Joon-woo tells Soo-bin, “I’m sorry,” and then he takes her face in his hands and kisses her.

COMMENTS

Was I the only one who was nervous once Soo-bin’s escort disappeared? Even though Joon-woo was finally able to kiss Soo-bin, I was distracted, worried that her mother would make another one of her traumatic appearances. I’m sure that possibility weighed heavily on Joon-woo as well, which is why he was so anxious to get Soo-bin home. In the end, Joon-woo couldn’t resist Soo-bin’s charms, especially when her friends made sure that she looked her best for his birthday. Joon-woo will never forget his eighteenth birthday thanks to his first kiss.

Perhaps that kiss means that things will finally start to look up for Joon-woo, who’s been plagued by one heartbreaking setback after another. It wasn’t enough that his father rejected him to his face, no, he actually replaced him with another son named Joon-woo. But that fact helped Joon-woo to turn his back on his father once and for all, with no regrets. His little brother better not ever have a health crisis that requires the need of a sibling.

Faced with the consequences of his parent’s grade tampering, Hwi-young goes back to isolating himself from the only people who don’t care whether or not he’s the number one student. Joon-woo, Sang-hoon, Oh-je, Ki-tae and Soo-bin, they just want to see Hwi-young be a decent human being. But for now, Hwi-young is like an injured animal, lashing out at those who can help him. He even goes so far as to tell Soo-bin that they can stop pretending to be close. Considering the pressure that Hwi-young is under, I was surprised by his relatively calm confrontation with Oh-je. He just wanted to be clear that he doesn’t want to get mixed up in Oh-je’s issues because obviously, Hwi-young already has plenty to deal with.


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Hwi-young wasn’t the only one who surprised with his reaction to the rumor about Oh-je. Pil-sang offered some unexpected support which wasn’t lost on Ro-mi. Is she actually warming up to Pil-sang? Ro-mi has certainly mellowed now that her secret is out, she’s not rich and her father doesn’t have a hospital. Not only do her friends not care, neither it seems does Pil-sang, he’s still just as crazy about her. Freed from her lies, Ro-mi practically sparkles when she’s with Soo-bin and her friends. How unexpected.

It turns out that Sang-hoon is responsible for Hwi-young’s downfall, in an indirect way. His father is the informant who brought Hwi-young’s grade fixing to light and he’s just as surprised as Joon-woo that witnessing Hwi-young’s downfall isn’t as satisfying as expected. In the case of his altered answer sheet, Hwi-young wasn’t an active participant, unlike his parents and Mr. Kim, who’s MIA again. Joon-woo in particular, just wants to see Hwi-young take responsibility for his own mistakes, like framing him for stealing Tutor Sohn’s watch.

Faced with the possibility that he’s just as ruthless as his father, Hwi-young has to decide how much of his “perfect” image he can shed. Some of it may get stripped away in the aftermath of the scandal but as Joon-woo explained, some of it Hwi-young has to willingly accept to atone for his mistakes. Like Joon-woo, Hwi-young has to find his own path, independent of his father, if he wants to avoid becoming a monster like him.

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Thanks @teriyaki

Shows getting better and better. All the kids are coming around to becoming better versions of themselves. I was surprised by Ro Mi too. This episode she's actually sitting together with the girls, helping in the ruse to get Soo Bin past her escort, nonchalantly considering herself in with everyone.

What I like about the whole bunch of kids in this show is that there are no melodramatic scenes of ostracism or bullying.

They talk among themselves, but in the end, they accept each other without too much issue. They took in Joon Woo despite the doubt over how Teaher Sohn's watch got into his locker, they accepted his leadership as vice-president, they don't make a very big deal when rumours first come out about Hwi Young and it looks like Oh Je's secret too will pan out the same way, with quiet acceptance and moving on.

Hwi Young's case is still going to get big until the adults take the responsibility that they should. It was a great, though painful epiphany for HY to realise that he's turning into the person he hates. That was so much more mature of him than we've been shown so far.

I was afraid that he'd lost so much self-respect or was too full of self-loathing, plus that he'd lost confidence because of his real grades, that he might hurt himself seriously. It was heart-warming that despite their aversion, JW and Sang Hoon joined in the search for HY.

I like JW's integrity. He wants to keep his promises and be someone that both SB and her mum can depend on. He does not want to break his word, so SB was really making it hard for him. Still, she gets that kiss. Girl should go all out and tell him that she loves him too ... she's still at the "I like you very much" stage, when he's already telling her that he loves her.

The mum and mum side-story had better have some developments next episode. We can't have only the kids growing without some forward motion from the adults too!!!

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I also like that he's determined to keep his promise to SB's mom but he's being too hard on himself. He deserves a ๐Ÿค— and ๐Ÿ˜˜ esp from what he's been going through and it's also his birthday.

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I really appreciate JWโ€™s integrity and maturity as well. Despite SBโ€™s mom being out of line, he is choosing to respect her instead of defying her and going behind her back. SB, keep him forever!

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Joo Won and Soo Bin: Awwwwwwwwww๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฉ

Pil Sang: Silly and finally getting a chance at love. I have no idea why Ro Mi changed her mind, I guess the truth set her free.

Da Heen: such a sweet girl and her adorable little crush. I really felt for her. Oh Je, why don't you have a crush on someone more deserving? I kind of wish he was Bi, or that some other nice boy pops up for him, because he certainly deserves better than Hwi Young.

Chan Yeol continues to be the friend we all need and don't deserve. However, I want her to be a star in her life and not a side character. I just adore her.

A special shootout to my favorite teacher Mr. Oh, he is just the greatest.

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Yes, Chan Yeol ... such a giving soul. She deserves to be cherished by her friends.

I wonder why Ro Mi decided to coach Pil Sang. Maybe it occurred to her that no one else considered her all that special so she might as well keep one follower. LOL.

I'm thinking Ji Min is not giving all or the true reasons why she does not want to date Mr Oh. It's true that she's supporting many family members, but in the earlier episode she said to herself that Mr Oh was not her type or that she was going for someone richer or something like that. I think she does like him, but she is giving some other considerations a higher priority.

Saying to Mr Oh that she's not good enough for him, sounds like an excuse. Then she runs off so that she does not have to elaborate, because an excuse is more like a lie and there's nothing more to add.

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I was wondering if maybe she has a child that she is supporting. I probably read to much into it, but during the phone call to Mr. Oh she is clutching a little stuffed animal. But then a lot of characters in k dramas have stuffed animals.

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I've said this before but I'm saying it again, Pil-sang is a kind, pure, and open-minded kid and he deserves all the love this world! โค๏ธ

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He has changed a bit too. At first I didnt like him much. Even if it was low key he was still pestering JW and making his day just that little bit harder.
But he is really maturing.

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I believe Ro-mi's rejection made him change in a good way. I think Pil-sang was reaaaally childish at first but I realized that the guy just take things at face value and rolls with it because that's how people perceive him (when he was told to behave in class although he was sleeping and when he was the one who took the blame on the school trip when Joon-woo turned on the lights in their room). Really glad that he's changing for the better.

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His character is also a good lesson on not taking people at face value, because he does have this lovely sweetness too.

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The only thing I want to say...the name. That is Jun Woo's identity. Giving his name to his step-brother only reinforces the fact that you don't want him in the world. You are not atoning for anything just making it worse.
That name issue is what would even make me stay away even if I am wanted, if I was Jun Woo.

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OMG, I totally agree. His father was another kind of messed up and disturbingly creepy for that.

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Truer word were never said.

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Yes. Justโ€ฆ.why? Who does that?

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AWFUL. His father makes me sick. I mean, I didn't feel anything for him when he rejected Jun Woo. I was like okay, he wasn't the first father in the drama who didn't want a kid. But to name your second child after your first???? That is so sick, it makes my stomach churn just thinking about it again. I hope we never see him again. I don't want redemption for this pathetic excuse for a human being.

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I can't help but think somewhere in this drama's future the father will come back. Then what? What is Jun Woo supposed to do? It will be even worse if there is a legal issue and they impose or suggest he change his name for the sake of his 'little' brother.
I can't help but think about these infuriating and unfair circumstances that can arise in the future because let's face it, they will happen...that is life. Ugh! I am angry again. Poor Jun Woo.

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Thanks @teriyaki

I loved that all the boys come together to look for him. He needed a good talking to and JW gave it to him. Hopefully, something sticks.

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Such a great scene. I ship this friend group.

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I loved the worried face of Sang-hoon too. He is trying so hard to conceal that he doesn't care about Hwi-young but it's obvious. Such good boys...โ™ฅ

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Kids were so sweet in this one, I love how they all matured throughout this time and were there for each other. That scenes where boys come together to look for HY and girls and OJ preparing surprise party for JW were my favourite

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This show has so much heart.

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Those were some of my favorite scenes as well. I like how that in spite of everything HY has done to them, JW and SH canโ€™t help but care about him.
The girl friend group continues to be awesome. Where can I join?

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LOL I cracked up at that part where the girls still expected Ro Mi to ditch them and she heard them talked sh.t about her. But anyways she ended up bringing such a cute dress for Soo Bin.

Also did you guys see Oh Je sort of teared up during the surprise birthday party? He was wiping something away from his eyes. Aww, this bb. I`m so glad all of them were there for Jun Woo celebrating his birthday.

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Ro-mi for the win!โ™ฅ Oh-je will always be the sweet friend that you want to keep forever. He is selfless, he listens and will be there if you need someone to listen.

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I shall call this episode:
Jun Woo's Convenience Store Counseling
~~~
Free on Demand for all your School Yard Confessions. How To Turn Over a New Leaf and Listen To your Conscious classes starting next term on Wednesdays.

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I still love the characters in this show- the boys, in particular the ones from three separate parties, grouping together to find HY, and Sang Hoon grumbling the whole time was just precious bromance to the max.
Ro Mi and Da Hwin bickering but ultimately having the same values when it comes to friendship- like what a pair, I love them.
And ofc Jun Woo and his unwavering integrity meaning that now EVERYONE in the class, and beyond comes to HIM for advice lmao love that development.
However, I feel like the pacing of the second half of this show is a bit off. HY coming to the conclusion to face his parents, KT changing his tune, and the behind the scenes with Sang Hoon and the threats to HY And his father... Idk if I'm missing something but it just felt like I didn't get all the pieces to the developments of this episode... the only problem is, it is justifiable, the sort of abruptness to these developments: people wind up like a spring and then they snap. However I think only HY in this case would that make sense. KT and Sang Hoon not so much.
I don't know how exactly but I guess I would've just paced it differently. Spent more time on the inner workings and turmoil of these three characters, and their lives, and less time on the romance of our leads.
Because we spent a lot of time on the romance last week, and while it's cute and all, the reason I like this show is not for the romance, it's for the angsty team drama and well written characters who cover the whole spectrum of human likability and flaws, making them interesting and complex, and me wish they all had equal development.
This almost seems to be this writer's Achilles Heel though, because she did it in Lingerie Girl's Generation 79 too; she spent too much time on the teen romance and not enough time on the rich and honestly quite dark subplots around it.
It's a minor quibble, but it was pretty telling these last four episodes. Here's to the finale concluding everything well?

There's also the odd cut scene that is just JARRING. To go automatically from HY screaming in the rain to SB at the lockers in half a second was almost whiplashy. It's a very tiny detail to point out but just how they shift from very emotional scenes that I think need a bit more time spent on them, to filler or the rest of the subplots can be quite frustrating. Those darker, emotional scenes were what made the first half of the show so compelling. They're important! Treat them as such!

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Well put. I wish we could have seen more of HY, KT, and SHโ€™s inner workings as well.

What exactly was HYโ€™s turning point? I feel like if heโ€™d learned this new information about his parents earlier in the show, he would have just went along with it. But a lot has happened since then, and with everything that has built up, he was bound to snap at some point. Itโ€™s not too hard to imagine how he reached this point and what went on behind the scenes. We just didnโ€™t get to see the details and explore it. We also didnโ€™t see what made him back off SB after vowing not to let JW take her away from him (though Iโ€™m certainly not complaining he dropped that). Iโ€™m glad heโ€™s reached a point where heโ€™s having to take a hard look at himself in the mirror, and his own faults are not being glossed over which I had started to fear might happen.

At the beginning of the show, KT was so desparate to maintain his ties to HY for the academic benefits he received from it. Initially, even the guilt over what happened to JWโ€™s friend wasnโ€™t enough to make him let it go, but I guess heโ€™s finally reached that point (with the help of So-yeโ€™s wake up call)? I appreciate that he does genuinely care for HY as a friend and not just for what he can get from him.

I guess SHโ€™s dad quit his job and exposed the fraud out of guilt towards his son for not standing up for him earlier. And Iโ€™m assuming SHโ€™s threat towards HYโ€™s parents is what let him stay at the school instead of going to Singapore. I did expect to see a little bit more of SH after we learned he was sticking around.

So yeah, I agree the execution could have been better with these things. We have to fill in the blanks a little. Iโ€™m glad these two episodes spent more time on these characters, but Iโ€™m not sure if there is enough time left to flesh them out quite as much as I would have liked. That being said, I still really love this show. Like you said, the characters and all their relationship dynamics are so great. Iโ€™m going to be really sad when this ends next week.

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"We just didnโ€™t get to see the details and explore it"
Yes exactly. All of this.
I thought we'd get more Sang Hoon too, and then we didn't. I thought we'd see more of Hwi Young's turning point, and then we didn't.
And unfortunately because they didn't spend previous time on them I'm always going to be left wanting a but more from this show despite how good Jun Woo's arc in particular is.

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I honestly couldn't care less about the romance in this show. It just seems to be dragging on and doesn't have close to the same emotional impact as any of the other storylines. I'd rather see more development in our side characters than watch two 16 year olds stumble awkwardly through a conversation and deal with multiple 'contrived' attempts to keep them apart. I'm hoping the final two episodes focus less on Junwoo and Soobin as a couple and more on them as individuals.

I also don't understand the hate for Hwiyoung. He has made a few bad choices, but based off of what this kid is dealing with, it's not surprising. He's got an alcoholic mother, a verbally and physically abusive father (who is violent to the point where Hwiyoung has dreamt of being strangled by him) and an absent brother who I have a feeling may have committed suicide or has cut himself of from the family completely (why else would Hwiyoung be talking to his picture instead of messaging or calling him?) His sudden calm attitude and withdrawl from friends are both warning signs of suicide. I doubt the writers will go in that direction after they've already killed a minor character, but someone help him please. He needs to be removed from that home and taken to a safe place immediately.

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THIS! I've been worried about him for weeks now. I really, really, REALLY hope somebody steps in. Kids who've been abused almost never can get themselves to a safe place all by themselves so someone needs to step in and help Hwi Young before something serious happens.

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Are people still hating on HY? Awww. I've felt so much for him from the very beginning, because his motivations were so clear and every time he switched from school to home he became a different person entirely.
I too wish we'd spent more time on individuals instead of the romance.

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I think Soobin is so pitiful. She has so much potential if her mom not pressing her too much. The way her mom keep saying she will disown soobin, but happy when she get great grades is dissapointing. Soobin's position is so suffocating i wish her mom stop being so harsh to her

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I know! Like this girl isn't even academically challenged which sets her different from the usual highschool female leads. She's smart and independent, but this mom. auugh. She's draining me.

I`m really hoping for an ending where she's finally freed from her mom, which has been her goal from the start. I need to see her goal to the end.

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Overall, I was happy with what this weekโ€™s episodes gave us. On episode 12 recap, I made a list of the things I wanted this show to address before it finishes, and Iโ€™m happy to report that it started work on most of them!

Hereโ€™s to a satisfying finale week for this lovely show! (though I am so not ready to let it go ๐Ÿ˜ญ)

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This episode was a bit slow or maybe not as cohesive as the others? Atleast for me... but still loved it!

--- Ro-mi IS warming up to Pil-sang and happy to she is a good friend inspite of her past antics.
--- Da-Hwin and Oh Je... Will become BFFs ๐Ÿ˜Š
--- Am I the only one that found Joon Woo's reaction when Hwi Young is missing at the Convenience Store a bit out of character? Not because he chose to look for him, but because he showed more emotion than usual ๐Ÿ˜œ

Overall, I love that Joon Woo has found a home with Soo Bin and Oh Je and the rest of the class. It seems he triggered a change (for the better) in most of his friends... becoming more mature and finally facing their problems perhaps? His consistency and integrity (as others have pointed out) and confidence seem to have made the others to rethink how they deal with their own situations.

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I honestly did not ever think this drama was going to make me cry too much. The promise was light summary drama that is healing and how when a new student comes into the school, he has impact.

The drama has been healing for sure, it has had it lightness but to me, I have cried every episode since ep 4.

Sometimes, because JW is going through yet another hurt but other times, simply watching other students and their struggles.

Last episode, when Chaenyol was sharing how she loves her teach, I was crying and smiling at the same time.

I cried for different reason when Subin came to wish jW happy birthday. Everytime, Junwoo looks happy, i feel like crying mom tears.

I hope the drama gives some kind of growth to Soobin though. I have been looking forward to that. I know she learnt some stuff about herself with the divorce thing but I am more curious about her now. With romance, it feels like there has been a bit of a break in that character development.

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I want this drama to continue for another 10 episodes, following perhaps each student to their stories and even each parent to their story but we have two ep left and I am a bit sad.

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It's just sad that this drama is about to end. Like, why? I can watch this for a bit long... like a year more. LOL. I don't think I will get tired of how they act cute, hurt, and strong momentarily. I love how the actors are evolving and growing every episode.

Special mention to their acting skills... superb!โ™ฅ

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