20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 15-16
People always say that love will make you crazy, and if that’s true then Jin-jin has a double helping of crazy on her plate these days. It’s no wonder she’s confused, between her feelings for Ji-won and her celebrity-crush-turned-TV-husband. When the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, what kind of relationship will Jin-jin end up in?
EPISODE 15: “Stand By Me”
Jin-jin sends off her parents and brother on their trip, and the moment the door closes, Jin-jin trips and falls right on Ji-won’s face. Their lips lock and they freeze, blinking at each other, until they hear someone coming back in the front door.
In a move worthy of the ballet, they spin around and manage to look casual by the time Mom comes back in for her forgotten phone. Jin-jin is even eating as Mom leaves again, but when she’s gone and Ji-won turns back, Jin-jin has escaped up to her apartment.
She gets a text from Ji-won asking her to have dinner together, and downstairs, Ji-won waits for approximately a thousand years until Jin-jin finally responds. A giant smile breaks over his face to see her happy-dance emoji.
Young-shim is late to work again, but as usual, Kyung-seok doesn’t mention it. In fact, he informs her that she’ll be handling a case alone, defending a bus driver who was fired when he couldn’t account for an amount of money equaling less than a cup of coffee. He gives Young-shim some pointers in forming her defense on his way out for lunch, and she stays back to write her opening statement.
Ah-reum’s mother laughs at her when she finds her daughter exercising, but still begs her to lose weight and move out. Ah-reum agrees that getting her own place is a good idea, so she asks for the money she’s given to her mother over the years, intended for her wedding. Her mom tells her to move out if she wants, but that she won’t give her any money because she doesn’t trust her not to spend it.
CEO Jang takes a call from the PD of the variety program I Live Alone, who wants Jin-jin on his show, but CEO Jang says that they’re looking for a drama for her next project. He says that she lives with her parents, can’t cook, and that she’s boring anyway, but the PD says that Jin-jin’s looks are enough to get her on his show.
CEO Jang wasn’t lying about her nonexistent cooking skills, as we cut to Jin-jin destroying a fried egg. But she’s determined to make dinner for Ji-won, so she looks up a recipe and heads to the store. HAHA, she’s in full movie star mode, which draws a crowd of little kids who recognize her.
Ah-reum wastes no time beginning her apartment search, but she doesn’t have much savings and the places she’s interested in are pretty expensive. The ones in her price range are snapped up quickly, but that doesn’t dampen her fantasies of throwing fancy parties in a swanky apartment. She finds one that seems okay, and the price is right, so she agrees to wire over the deposit without looking at the place first.
She takes a call from Woo-sung, who tries to be smooth about inviting her to dinner after her flight today. But he’s a bit too casual, making her think that he’s only asking her to dinner because he’s bored, so she turns him down. Awww, he’s so pitiful.
Still shopping, Jin-jin finally acknowledges the small army of children trailing after her, and they beg for her autograph. They call her by name, so she gives them a little lesson on addressing adults properly. She’s very nice about it and agrees to their autographs, only to end up childishly defending herself when the kids ask why she’s not married, hee.
Meanwhile, Anthony gets a call from a novelist friend, who can’t make a signing event today due to a family emergency. Anthony agrees to stand in for him, and the event just happens to be at the same store where Jin-jin is currently shopping. She hears the announcement that Anthony is here doing a fan meeting, and she sends the kids back to their moms.
Over lunch with his sister, Ha-ram, Ji-won has to laugh at how serious she is when she says that she’s disowning Anthony for going on We Got Married with Jin-jin. She’s still resentful that her idol oppa is a fan of Jin-jin’s, and now both of her brothers are calling Jin-jin pretty, launching Ha-ram into the sort of snit that only a teenage fangirl can muster.
She sneers that We Got Married is all scripted and fake anyway, so Ji-won asks why she hates it so much that Anthony is on the show. Ha-ram wails that Anthony is her brother, and she can’t stand seeing him with Jin-jin even if it isn’t real.
While waiting for Ha-ram to buy flowers for her idol oppa, Ji-won looks around the flower shop, and a lucky bamboo plant catches his eye. The salesperson tells him that it looks like it will bloom soon, which signifies good luck.
Jin-jin takes a peek at Anthony at his signing event, but there are only a few people there. She posts a message on his fan club page, asking any nearby “Candies” (the name of his band’s fans) to come and see him. She lurks around the store, trying to stay out of Anthony’s sight, and ends up setting off the theft alarm, lol.
Anthony hears the noise, but just as he looks in Jin-jin’s direction, a stampede of women comes running in, screaming Anthony’s name and carrying signs with his picture on them. The Candies surround Anthony, as excited as schoolgirls to see their favorite idol.
It’s so cute how they fawn all over him as if he’s still at the height of his popularity, even though many of them are now mothers with children in tow. Anthony is kept busy signing autographs and taking pictures with his fans, while Jin-jin watches happily from a safe distance.
After the event, the store manager thanks Anthony for coming today. He says that the store sales increased by fifty percent, between Anthony’s event and Jin-jin coming shopping today. Anthony looks thoughtful, possibly wondering if he saw her there earlier.
Jin-jin’s dad is uncharacteristically grouchy on their trip, grumbling about everything from their to-do list to the pictures that Min-ho and Mom want to take. He perks up a bit when it’s time to eat, but Mom and Min-ho override him when he wants to eat at a certain market, insisting that they go to a nice restaurant instead.
Kyung-seok leaves for the day, and Young-shim stays late to practice her speech. Kyung-seok walks back in just as she’s rehearsing her big finish, making Young-shim stammer that even though it’s just a civil case, she still wanted to be prepared in case she needed to make a statement. Kyung-seok just says that it’s a good idea and leaves again, breaking into an adorable amused grin as he leaves the office.
That evening, Jin-jin pouts at her kitchen, where it looks like she just chopped everything she bought into tiny, unusable pieces. Ji-won is already heading home, and on the way, he takes a call from Anthony.
He arrives at Jin-jin’s place for dinner, and when she greets him, he says he has a gift for her. Jin-jin opens the door even wider to find Anthony standing there, waiting to be invited inside.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Jin-jin is so flustered to see Anthony at her door that she slams it closed, leaving the brothers standing outside. She opens the door again to shoot Ji-won a “What did you do?” glare, and he grins sheepishly.
The guys come inside and sit at the table, and Ji-won tells Jin-jin that bringing Anthony was all his idea, expecting her to thank him. Jin-jin apologizes for the food, having been forced to order takeout after her failed attempt to cook, and she thanks Anthony for the gift of the lucky bamboo.
Awww, Ji-won gave the bamboo to Anthony so he wouldn’t show up empty-handed. Anthony looks uncomfortable about the lie, but Ji-won’s hand on his arm stops him from telling the truth. Jin-jin offers to share her luck when the bamboo blooms, and Anthony tells her to keep it all for herself, until Ji-won scoffs at their silliness.
Growing jealous when Jin-jin fawns over Anthony, Ji-won prompts Jin-jin to ask him anything. He beams when she says she does have a question for him, but his face falls when she asks, “Why do you keep wearing that color?” Pfft. She says that men should wear burgundy in the autumn, citing celebrities who wear it well. When Anthony asks about himself, she gets bashful and says that Anthony in burgundy looks best of all, making Anthony smile and Ji-won go into a full-on pout.
Dad is still in a crabby mood at the restaurant, where he criticizes the food and calls the entire trip a waste of money. Min-ho looks disappointed, and he gets up from the table, claiming that he’s going to check on their meal.
Mom turns on Dad, accusing him of acting like a toddler when Min-ho is doing his best to give them a nice trip. She asks Dad what upset him so much that he’s taking it out on his son, but he refuses to admit that he’s being childish.
After dinner, Jin-jin shows Anthony her pictures of the two of them in their idol days. She silently squees at Ji-won when Anthony calls her cute, and she recalls a particular music show they were both on. She remembers that Anthony left right after his performance, and he and Ji-won both stop smiling.
In flashback, we see a younger Jin-jin with her idol group, waiting in the green room for their turn onstage. A PD had come in, frantically looking for Anthony, and Jin-jin’s bandmates had gossiped that he’d gone off looking for the girl who’d just broken up with him.
Jin-jin admits that she’s curious about what really happened that day. Instead of explaining, Anthony asks to use her restroom, but she runs in first, so fast that she’s just a blur. She panics, like it never occurred to her that Anthony uses the restroom, then her mind goes wild as she imagines him undressing. Awww, that scene was much too short.
After cleaning her restroom in a blind panic, Jin-jin lets Anthony in. Then she rounds on Ji-won, who looks at her angry face with complete innocence. Oh, he has no idea how much trouble he’s in.
Jin-jin fusses at Ji-won for bringing Anthony over without asking her first, but he thinks it was no big deal to have a third person at dinner. Jin-jin whines that she had no time to prepare mentally to have her lifelong crush in her house, where she never even imagined she would see him. Poor confused Ji-won just doesn’t get it.
Min-ho joins his dad on a walk that evening, and he convinces Dad to stop at exactly the kind of place he wanted to go for dinner. Over a beer, Min-ho tells his dad that he hasn’t gotten any of the good jobs he’s applied for, hanging his head at his failure.
Dad says that he promised Mom that he would work at their restaurant frying chicken until Jin-jin gets married and Min-ho finds a job. That seems to make Min-ho feel even worse, but Dad tells him that he always has his parents’ support, chuckling that he’s even a bit jealous of his son. Min-ho smiles again, and teases his dad into doing a love shot. So cute.
When it’s time for Anthony to leave, Ji-won offers to walk him to the taxi stand, but Jin-jin insists that he drive Anthony home. While Jin-jin and Anthony shove Ji-won back and forth, Ah-reum and Young-shim let themselves in, then skid to a halt when they see Anthony not three feet away.
Once the ladies are alone, Ah-reum and Young-shim tease Jin-jin mercilessly about Anthony. They think he likes Jin-jin, but she says that there’s no way, and besides, he deserves a really great woman from a happy family. Young-shim points out that she just described herself, ha.
Ah-reum thinks it’s obvious that Jin-jin likes Anthony as a man, but Jin-jin refutes this. She looks a bit shifty-eyed as her friends remember times that she threatened the women he dated, but she says primly that as his fan, she was concerned about the scandals, not that he was dating.
As Ji-won drives Anthony home, Anthony turns the radio up, but the upbeat song (a cover of Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”), throws Ji-won into an unwelcome memory. He’d gone to visit his fiancee, and the song had been playing on the radio in her house. He’d turned it off, only to hear her voice coming from the bedroom, flirtatiously asking someone to stay the night.
Ji-won asks Anthony if he thinks he’ll ever be able to date again. Anthony says gently that he suffered for a while, but he’ll be fine.
The next morning, Ji-won and Jin-jin take the same elevator, and she rattles off her plans for the day. Ji-won just nods distractedly, feeling a bit uncomfortable, and Jin-jin picks up the awkward vibe. They go their separate ways in the parking lot, but suddenly Ji-won stops and turns back to Jin-jin.
He asks her to have dinner after he gets home from work. She says that Ah-reum and Young-shim have plans tonight, but Ji-won interrupts: “Just us two.” He gives her a look that makes it clear exactly what he means, and Jin-jin nods agreement.
Anthony has a radio interview today, and Manager Choi brings him a suit and tells him that she’ll be a little late since she needs to go check on her sick mother. Meanwhile, Jin-jin has a fan meeting, and one fan gushes about how much her mother loves Jin-jin and brings her fresh juice from her family’s orchard. She’s a little too insistent that Jin-jin drink the juice herself, and even though hers isn’t the only drink given by a fan, it makes Hong-hee and Mi-dal suspicious.
In the van on the way home, Mi-dal confiscates the juice and refuses to let Jin-jin drink it, though Jin-jin thinks she’s being overly cautious. They drop Jin-jin at home, and she grabs another drink from a fan, this one in a sealed can. She texts Ji-won to ask what he wants for dinner as she waits for the elevator.
Anthony calls Manager Choi when he arrives at the radio station, and they both mention that they feel strangely uneasy. Manager Choi tells Anthony to be careful, since she thought she saw someone today who looked like a previous stalker of his. Anthony has never seen her, so Manager Choi warns him to just run if anyone he doesn’t know approaches him.
He waves away her concern, and when a trio of young women ask for a picture with him, he agrees. He holds the fan’s phone to take the picture, and as they’re posing, a text pops up on her screen asking, “Sa Jin-jin’s death day? When will she die today?”
Oh no. Anthony stares at the three women, and they all look very guilty. He gets away from them and tries calling Jin-jin, but doesn’t get through.
Jin-jin pops open the drink she got from a fan and downs it, and at the same time, Hong-hee hesitantly tastes the juice that Mi-dal was scared of. But it’s Jin-jin who suddenly begins to feel ill, while Hong-hee is perfectly fine—there was a poisoned drink all right, just not the one they thought.
Whatever was in Jin-jin’s drink works fast, and she slumps against the wall. She manages to get her phone out and dial Ji-won’s number, but he doesn’t pick up and a few seconds later, she collapses. A tenant finds her lying there unconscious and screams for help.
Ji-won is still at his office, preoccupied by an offer from a business associate to take over the National Chemical company. His assistant has to tell him that his phone was ringing, and when he sees the missed calls from Jin-jin, he instinctively feels that something is wrong.
He somehow learns that Jin-jin has been rushed to the hospital and makes this way there in a near panic. He gasps to the receptionist that he’s her guardian, and he’s told where to find her. He makes his way to the emergency room, where he sees Jin-jin lying on a gurney, still unconscious.
He barely has time to process what’s happening before he sees that Anthony is sitting next to her bed. He hears Anthony tell the doctor that he’s Jin-jin’s guardian, and instead of going to her, Ji-won turns away.
Even knowing that it was coming, it was SO HARD to watch Ji-won standing aside in favor of Anthony. Even a small thing like letting Jin-jin think the lucky bamboo was from Anthony just made my heart ache for Ji-won, because he was so excited to buy it for her. It’s very much in Ji-won’s nature to sacrifice something he wants to make someone else happy, and he even said that getting the gift from Anthony would make Jin-jin happy, and that was what was important.
But I also understand why Ji-won’s first instinct isn’t to fight for Jin-jin. Even if their lifelong friendship wasn’t muddying their understanding of their feelings for each other, Ji-won has been hurt in the worst way possible. Finding your fiancee with another man not a week before your wedding must be one of the worst feelings, and I can see why Ji-won would shy away from a situation where the woman he loves may have feelings for another man. In his mind, he’s probably thinking that he would rather not fight and at least keep Jin-jin’s friendship than fight and risk losing her from his life entirely.
As much as Jin-jin still fangirls over Anthony, I was glad to see her conversation with her friends, when they accused her of liking him as a man. I believed her when she said it wasn’t true, it’s just that she’s been his fan for so long that her reactions to him are on that level. She hasn’t done anything that I can interpret as real romantic interest on her part, and although she clearly loves Anthony as a true fan of his, I think that she’s well aware that what she feels for Ji-won is more genuine.
It’s still difficult to tell what Anthony is thinking or feeling, and I can’t help but wonder what’s made him so closed-off. Maybe his idol days made him suspicious of people’s motives, never knowing if they liked him or just likes his idol persona. I think that’s why he’s so stand-offish with Jin-jin (though he’s always so polite, never rude), because she still sees him as an idol and not as himself. Compound that with the fact that she herself is a celebrity, so I’m guessing that he’s just keeping a respectful distance so as not to be seen as riding on her coattails. But there are moments when I think that Anthony sees Jin-jin as a person and not Celebrity Jin-jin or Fangirl Jin-jin, and I wonder if he isn’t starting to fall for her just a little bit—it didn’t escape me that in the hospital, both Anthony and Ji-won were wearing burgundy, after Jin-jin told them that men look best in burgundy in the autumn.
I actually like that the characters in this drama don’t just out and say what they’re feeling, and that it takes a little digging to figure them out. In all other ways this is a pretty standard rom-com, albeit with extra-cute characters, so I appreciate that the show tells its story through the players’ actions and doesn’t just spoon-feed us the answers. A good example was Dad’s behavior on the trip and his subsequent talk with Min-ho. Dad never explained exactly why he was being such a grump, and Min-ho didn’t come out and say in so many words that he wanted to do something nice for his parents because he rarely gets the chance to make them proud. But they understood each other just the same, and were able to re-establish their bond without talking it to death. Compared to some shows where the characters do nothing but talk (I’m side-eyeing you so hard, Temperature of Love), it’s refreshing to see people who know feel secure in their love for each other, without needing to discuss everything to death.
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