Reunited Worlds: Episodes 25-26
The friendship between Hae-sung, Jung-won, and Min-joon is growing by leaps and bounds, and watching them being silly together makes my heart happy. They’re starting to count on each other, not just professionally, but also personally, which is just the cutest thing ever. But as Hae-sung moves ever closer to the truth about his death, the truth about his life becomes a problem that needs to be dealt with, if he wants to keep the relationships he cherishes.
EPISODE 25 RECAP
Ho-bang gets a call from someone who claims to have information about the night that Hae-sung died, and Hae-sung and Jung-won lean close to listen in. The caller says that the student who was murdered in the school was there to meet with a teacher, but he says that he’d prefer to meet with Ho-bang in person before he reveals any more.
He hangs up without making meeting arrangements, but Hae-sung is elated to know that someone may know what happened that night. He and Jung-won think that it’s possible that the teacher killed the bully, and not Young-joon.
The following day, as Hae-sung and Min-joon are setting up the Cha Pasta food truck, they’re approached by representatives from Chungho Department Store. Unaware of Min-joon’s connection to CEO Cha, they invite the food truck to participate in a street food festival and contest that’s being held in honor of the department store’s fifteenth anniversary.
Min-joon turns them down flat, but Hae-sung is excited to hear that CEO Cha will be attending the festival. He talks to Min-joon about participating, but Min-joon tells him that it was Chungho Department Store’s CEO Cha who caused him to lose his restaurant.
It’s news to Hae-sung that CEO Cha is the father who abandoned Min-joon as a child. He’s further shocked as he puts the pieces together and realizes that his friend Tae-hoon must be the younger brother that Min-joon barely knows. But after thinking about it, he tells Min-joon that this is even more reason why they should enter the contest — to prove to CEO Cha that they’ll succeed no matter what he does to them.
Ho-bang gets another call from the informant, who asks to meet him at the police station. The man reveals himself as the brother of the bully, Kyung-chul (I’ve been mistakenly calling him Jung-chul, apologies!), who was killed at the school.
Kyung-chul’s brother says that Kyung-chul got a call from one of the art teachers that night, asking him to come to the school. He says that Kyung-chul thought it was strange, and had said, “Why would the art teacher want to see me when she doesn’t even know me?” He says that he never got a chance to tell the police, because the very next day, Hae-sung was blamed for Kyung-chul’s murder and the case was closed.
He continues, saying that he was confused when he saw the banner asking for information. The police had told him that Kyung-chul’s time of death was between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., but he remembers that Kyung-chul left the house at 7:30 p.m., and that it only took him twenty minutes to walk to the school.
Ho-bang takes the information home to Jung-won and Hae-sung, and they find the two art teachers in an old yearbook. Jung-won remembers that Kyung-chul never set foot in the art room, so they wonder which teacher called him and why.
Ho-bang finds one of the teachers, Teacher Woo, who immediately looks wary when Kyung-chul’s name is mentioned. She claims not to have known Kyung-chul personally, only that he died in her art room, but when Ho-bang asks if she called Kyung-chul that night, she threatens to get a lawyer if he asks her anything else.
At a nearby art gallery, Grandmother oversees the display of a new artist’s work. Later, she and her assistant, Miss Kang, visit the food truck and are dismayed to find the boys without any customers. Grandmother sighs that it’s a sad waste of her truck, until Min-joon blandly informs her that they had to close because they’ve been so busy, they ran out of food. HA.
Of course, then she just fusses at them for being unprepared, but Min-joon fires back they can only store so much with such a small kitchen. Determined to be negative, Grandmother complains about their cartoon dog mascot, saying that she could draw better with her foot… only to realize that Jung-won is standing right there, glaring at her. LOL.
Jung-won says defiantly that she drew the dog, and that she plans to make a career from her drawings. She pouts that Grandmother doesn’t know anything about art, so Grandmother offers to show her later what she knows.
Jung-won makes a show of storming off, only to trip over her own feet and crash to the pavement. Embarrassed, she looks back to see that nobody is paying any attention to her, and in fact, Grandmother is ordering the boys to get rid of the dog mascot. Awww.
Something nags at Jung-won’s memory all evening, but she doesn’t remember what it is until an hour before midnight. Panicking that she only has an hour, she fetches Hae-sung, who teases her for rushing him by popping up with his shirt half on.
Meanwhile, Min-joon can’t sleep, which is a good thing, since Jung-won and Hae-sung show up at his door in the middle of the night. They hurry him to the couch and quickly light the candles on a cake, singing the birthday song at top speed and finishing right as the clock strikes midnight. Aw, it’s his birthday!
Touched, Min-joon pretends to cry, and Jung-won notes that he’s a lot funnier since working at the food truck. They stay up late playing Jenga, discovering that Min-joon is vicious when it comes to punishing forehead-flicks. He makes up weird games and keeps winning, dispensing painful flicks and having the time of his life at Hae-sung and Jung-won’s expense, hee.
When they finally get free and head home, they decide it was worth it to give Min-joon a good birthday. But they both admit to feeling guilty because they’re lying to him about their real relationship, so they decide that Jung-won will tell Min-joon the truth tomorrow.
But in the morning, Min-joon comes by with Jung-won’s wallet that she left at his place, and he sees Jung-won talking to Ho-bang on the landing. He’s surprised that Jung-won knows the detective that’s reinvestigating his uncle’s case, and hides from them in his car.
As he’s driving home, Jung-won calls him and asks if they can talk. Min-joon says he’s busy and that he’ll call her later. He goes to the police station and asks Ho-bang if he gave the hair ribbon back to the family of the accident victim, remembering that Jung-won was wearing it recently.
He finally connects all the dots, and realizes that Jung-won’s boyfriend, the one who died in high school, must have been the accident victim in his uncle’s case. Watching Jung-won at her part-time waitressing job that afternoon, Min-joon feels guilty that the boy his father killed was her high school sweetheart.
EPISODE 26 RECAP
Jung-won decides to see if Teacher Woo will talk to her, but she doesn’t ask about Kyung-chul — instead, she asks about the other art teacher, Teacher Hyun. All Teacher Woo knows is that she quit right after that terrible night and moved out of the country.
Ho-bang says that he’ll look up Teacher Hyun’s travel records, but things don’t look good. With one teacher gone and the other refusing to speak, this tip seems to have led them to a dead end.
Tae-hoon takes Young-in to dinner at a fancy restaurant, and he looks so nervous that Young-in asks him if he has something to say to her. He says that he wants to tell Hae-sung about their relationship, and tell him how he feels about Young-in. Since Hae-sung is like a father figure to her, Tae-hoon wants his permission to see Young-in.
At the same time, CEO Cha wraps up a dinner with a group of businessmen in the same restaurant. He sees Tae-hoon having dinner with a pretty young lady and looking very cozy, but he doesn’t approach them. He takes the news home to Tae-hoon’s mother that their son is dating someone, and that he liked what he saw of her.
Min-joon and Hae-sung participate in the street food festival after all, and their food truck is a big hit with the customers. A winner is chosen, and CEO Cha decides to try the food before their victory is announced. He’s led to the Cha Pasta food truck, where he’s unhappy to see both his son, Min-joon, and his nemesis, Hae-sung.
Nevertheless, they’re named the winners, and they go onstage to accept their prize. They pose for a photo with CEO Cha, and as Min-joon shakes his father’s hand, he says under his breath that he’ll never forgive him.
Min-joon finally returns Jung-won’s wallet, but he doesn’t stay to talk. After he drives away, Jung-won sighs to herself that she chickened out on telling him the truth about her and Hae-sung.
Grandmother stops by the Cha Pasta food truck again, in a better mood this time. Her mood evaporates when Hae-sung tells her that they’ve had some offers from investors to open a restaurant. She yells at the boys for using her truck to make money then taking some other investor’s deal, forbidding them to accept any of the offers.
She even threatens to put them in jail, and when Min-joon asks why, she snaps, “I don’t know!” Ha. She orders them to give her truck back immediately, drives them to her art gallery, and informs them that if they’re going to open a restaurant anywhere, it will be here.
Her only condition is that they make her whatever she wants to eat, any time she wants it. Min-joon drives a hard bargain and negotiates a good deal for everyone, and they shake on it. Done!
Ho-bang isn’t having such a good day — his inquiries into Teacher Hyun turn up nothing, not even which country she supposedly moved to. He concludes that she must still be in Korea.
Jin-ju finds Ho-bang in the station commissary, and she complains that someone stole her phone, so she’s here to file a report. You can practically see the steam coming out of his ears as she says her phone was stolen at a club, but that she was too drunk to remember clearly, and he roars at her for being so irresponsible.
Jin-ju switches from hotheaded screaming to sweetness-and-light in about two seconds when two of Ho-bang’s sunbaes come over to see what the commotion is about. Ho-bang drags her outside and says he’ll call her about her phone, warning her not to go to another club.
Back inside, his sunbaes ask if that was his girlfriend, and Ho-bang denies it. One of them asks if Jin-ju has a boyfriend, so Ho-bang goes overboard saying that of course she doesn’t, because she’s got such a hot temper and wears too much makeup. His laughter dies in an instant when he sees Jin-ju in the doorway giving him the evil eye, hee.
Tae-hoon visits the food truck to talk to Hae-sung, but Min-joon tells him curtly that Hae-sung went to buy ingredients. Some customers arrive, and when Tae-hoon sees Min-joon struggling to run the food truck himself, he jumps in and starts taking orders, even throwing on an apron.
Needing the help, Min-joon watches his estranged younger brother warily, but he doesn’t object. By the time Hae-sung returns, Min-joon is almost cracking a smile as he watches Tae-hoon work.
Tae-hoon takes Hae-sung aside and tells him nervously that he’s dating Young-in. Hae-sung is so shocked that he can barely speak, so Tae-hoon adds that he thinks Young-in is very pretty and that he likes her a lot. It’s Tae-hoon’s turn to be shocked when Hae-sung finally ekes out, “Tae-hoon, thank you! Thank you for liking Young-in.”
Later, Hae-sung takes some meals from Cha Pasta to Hae-chul and Soo-ji, who are incredibly impressed both by the food and by Cha Pasta’s growing popularity. Hae-sung tells them about Tae-hoon and Young-in, though only Hae-chul is surprised.
Soo-ji tells Hae-sung that Young-in hasn’t looked so happy in years, and that she’s supportive of their relationship. Hae-chul also loves the idea, though he worries that their family isn’t fancy enough for Tae-hoon’s parents. Hae-sung says that he’s happy for them, though he also seems concerned.
Grandmother summons Jung-won to her gallery, asking her to bring her drawings with her. She not very complimentary of Jung-won’s art, and she notes that Jung-won seems upset by her harsh criticisms. She tells Jung-won that if she gets offended so easily, then she’s not ready to be an artist.
She tells Jung-won that she knows she was rejected by every design firm she applied to, though Jung-won insists that she plans to keep trying to make a career of her drawing. Grandmother offers Jung-won a raise to work in her gallery, making it clear that she’s not going to let Jung-won be in charge of anything important, heh.
Tae-hoon’s mother takes a call from an old friend, though she doesn’t seem happy to hear from her, and she reluctantly agrees to meet the following day. She finds CEO Cha in his home office and begs off for a couple’s golf date tomorrow, fibbing that a friend’s mother passed away.
Jung-won accepts the job offer from Grandmother, and Hae-sung buys her a cute new purse for her first day of work. Awww, for once he got her something she likes. He wishes her luck dealing with Grandmother, only half joking. But Jung-won does well on her first day, even earning Grandmother’s approval (“Don’t smile like that, I’ll get attached to you!”).
Tae-hoon’s mother meets with her friend, who takes her to the art gallery so they can talk. The friend is entranced by a certain painting, though when she asks what Tae-hoon’s mother thinks, she says that there’s not much about art that she can say to an art teacher. Wait, art teacher?
Tae-hoon’s mother buys the painting for her friend, calling her by her full name: Hyun Kyung-eun. As in, Teacher Hyun. The ladies see Jung-won upstairs, and Teacher Hyun recognizes her. Tae-hoon’s mother also remembers Jung-won from the time they met at the restaurant, where Tae-hoon introduced Jung-won as his friend.
Teacher Hyun suddenly remembers that Jung-won was one of her students in Chungho. Tae-hoon’s mother rushes out of the gallery, seeming nervous and upset, but not before Teacher Hyun and Jung-won exchange a long look.
Jung-won recognizes Teacher Hyun, too, and follows her outside. But Teacher Hyun jumps into Tae-hoon’s mother’s car and they speed away. Jung-won quickly calls Ho-bang and tells him the car’s license plate, and when Ho-bang runs the plate number, what he learns makes his eyes go wide in disbelief.
Jung-won goes back to work, where Hae-sung soon joins her, here on restaurant business. Jung-won tells him that she just saw the missing art teacher, and they go outside to wait for Ho-bang. When he arrives, he informs them that the owner of the car that Teacher Hyun drove away in belongs to Tae-hoon’s mother.
So many different threads, and they’re all starting to come together, in ways that are much more convoluted and confusing than I ever anticipated. It’s particularly worrying that Teacher Hyun is suddenly showing up as a friend of CEO Cha’s wife. She’s evidently been in hiding since the night that Kyung-chul and Hae-sung died twelve years ago, so why would she suddenly pop back up like nothing ever happened? And why did Tae-hoon’s mother look so unsettled to see her, and feel the need to lie to her husband about it?
I’ve been assuming that Tae-hoon’s mother was just an empty-headed society lady, but apparently I was very wrong, and she knows something important about that night. Most likely Tae-hoon’s mother knows that Teacher Hyun is a witness to the true events of the night when the two boys died, which I think we still know very little about. And it brings me back to a worry I keep circling around — was Tae-hoon somehow involved?
When I first heard about this drama and its premise, I had these expectations that it would be very deep and introspective, about one boy’s journey of discovery of what it meant to be human and alive, what love means, etc. And in a way it is, but as far as the tone of the show goes, it’s not at all what I expected. For the first few weeks after realizing that Reunited Worlds was going to be very different from what I thought, I was a bit disappointed and confused as to some of the choices the characters were making (the big one being, why is nobody questioning how Hae-sung came back from the dead?). But in the past week or so I’ve come to accept the show for what it is, and once I stopped expecting something I wasn’t going to get, I find that I really like it a lot more than I thought.
Yes, the world that Hae-sung and Jung-won live in is simplistic and convenient, with solutions to their problems showing up right when they need them. But other than that, I’m enjoying their story a lot. In particular I appreciate how the show balances the romance and the mystery angles well, never getting bogged down in one at the expense of the other. I also like that the mysteries of the night that Hae-sung died aren’t glaringly obvious, and that the clues Hae-sung receives are just enough to further his investigation without either giving away too much or being too vague. Each hint opens up a whole new set of possibilities of what really happened that night.
Speaking of mysteries, I’m glad that Min-joon finally connected all of the loose ends. Now he knows that Jung-won knew the boy who died in the accident, the one his uncle took the blame for. He’s kind of a doofus socially, but he’s also smart and observant, so I like that he figured it out on his own. I’m also glad that Jung-won and Hae-sung are growing closer to Min-joon and starting to feel guilty about lying to him, and that they feel like they can tell him the truth (though I’m unclear whether that just means coming clean about their relationship, or if they also intend to tell him that Hae-sung came back from the dead).
But I’m getting worried that they’re putting it off for too long, and that Min-joon is going to figure it out on his own. As sweet as he is and as much as he’s enjoying having friends, Min-joon also holds a grudge like nobody’s business. I’m afraid that if Jung-won and Hae-sung don’t speak up first, Min-joon will be so hurt by their lies that he’ll cut them off completely. And I love their three-way friendship so much — I don’t want to see Min-joon hurt, or the trio split up out of hurt feelings.
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- Premiere Watch: School 2017, The King Loves, Man Who Dies to Live, Reunited Worlds
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