20th Century Boy and Girl: Episodes 27-28
A family who loses a loved one is never whole again, and Jin-jin’s family still feels the loss of their eldest keenly after all these years. They’ve never given up hope that she’s still out there somewhere, and will come home someday. But in the meantime, they have more immediate concerns to tackle, and they’ve never been stronger as they come together to support one of their own.
EPISODE 27: “Before sunrise”
After their car breaks down, Jin-jin and Ji-won spend the night in an older couple’s home. When they wake, Ji-won goes in for a good-morning kiss but Jin-jin shrinks away shyly, so he settles for a peck on her forehead. Noticing her eyes are swollen, he makes her pinky-swear that she won’t cry anymore.
They find the couple has made them a nice breakfast, which they thoroughly enjoy. Later Jin-jin takes a walk with the wife, who tells Jin-jin how worried Ji-won was when he showed up at their place last night, begging for a place for his “wife” to sleep.
The wife tells Jin-jin that she’s very lucky to have found a man with such a big heart. We see that when the couple woke up in the wee hours of the morning, Ji-won had gotten up and asked to borrow their truck to go into town.
He’d come back with fresh light bulbs, which he changed, and new shoes and thermal underwear for the couple. Then he’d sneaked back into bed so he’d be there when Jin-jin woke up. Awww, he’s the sweetest.
They visit the school where they believe Ho-sung has received packages, but the teacher they speak to has never heard of her or her business name, nor does she know of any tangerines having been sent to the school. Ji-won leaves his card, and he looks on sadly as Jin-jin obliges the teacher with pictures and tries to smile.
They decide to ask around the village, but they’re told that there’s only one young woman who lives here, and her name is Lee Soo-hyun. Ji-won takes herbal drinks to the senior center, but none of the people there have heard of Ho-sung, either. One man mentions the young woman who lives behind the sacred tree, but it’s just Lee Soo-hyun again.
Anthony and Manager Choi go to the meeting that CEO Jang set up with the director of Jin-jin’s new sageuk project, but Manager Choi has a bad feeling about it and wants to leave. Anthony tells her that there’s no point to turning down work, and he heads to the meeting room, determined.
But he stops outside the door when he overhears the director complaining about the meeting with Anthony, calling him a has-been and a bad actor, and mentioning that they’ve already recast the role. His assistant apologizes, saying that he had to agree to this meeting because he couldn’t think of an excuse not to. Anthony turns and walks away.
After asking everyone they can find, Ji-won runs out of ideas. He and Jin-jin head back to Seoul, and he apologizes for getting her hopes up, but she says sadly that she’s sorry he missed work for nothing.
At the village school, the teacher shows off her selfies with Jin-jin to a fellow teacher, who just happens to be snacking on tangerines sent to the school by Lee Soo-hyun. The first teacher asks who that is, and her friend says she’s the art teacher who moved here from Jeju Island.
As Ji-won drives and Jin-jin naps, Ji-won thinks about how everyone in town mentioned Lee Soo-hyun, and he suddenly remembers where he’s seen the name. When he found Jin-jin’s box of keepsakes, there had been a letter in the box, so he calls Min-ho to check it for him.
Min-ho finds the box and the letter, which was addressed to Ho-sung from someone named Lee Soo-hyun. It confirms Ji-won’s suspicions so he turns back to the village, and after they hang up, Min-ho remembers that it was a love letter.
At the village store, a woman looks at the autograph that Jin-jin signed for the shop owner. She doesn’t seem happy to hear that Jin-jin was here looking for someone named Ho-sung. As she walks home, she hears someone call out, “Noona.”
She turns to see Ji-won standing nearby, and Jin-jin in the car. Jin-jin gets out, looking furious.
They go to Ho-sung’s house, where Jin-jin tells her curtly to get packed, because they’re going home. Ho-sung (guest appearance by Kim Jung-hwa) stubbornly refuses, saying that this is her home now. Spotting a photo of Ho-sung with a man (who looks sick), Jin-jin asks why she’s using the name Lee Soo-hyun now, scoffing that her love must be important.
Back home, Jin-jin’s mother finds the box that Min-ho left out in Jin-jin’s room. She starts to put it away, but she pauses when she sees the letter addressed to Ho-sung.
Jin-jin continues berating Ho-sung, asking how much she must have loved Soo-hyun to abandon her family for him. She says that Ho-sung should have at least lived a good life after throwing them way and changing her name, and Ho-sung finally speaks, saying simply, “I’m happy. Why?”
Frustrated, Jin-jin sneers that she can see that, but still tells Ho-sung to come home. She even tries to physically drag her, yelling that Mom is sick from waiting for Ho-sung to come home. She pounds Ho-sung’s shoulder and screams at her to just die so that Mom can stop waiting.
That night, Anthony sits alone at a fishery, and refuses a call from Manager Choi, making her worry about him. She takes a call from CEO Jang, who’s set up another meeting for Anthony in two days, and he asks when she’s moving into his office.
After a flight, Ah-reum’s friend Ji-hye asks if Ah-reum wants to hang out with her on Christmas. Ah-reum is surprised that she doesn’t have a date, but Ji-hye says that while there’s no date, but there is a wedding.
Excited for her, Ah-reum asks why they’re getting married so fast. Ji-hye puts her hands on her tummy and says they have everything they need for their marriage. Awww, cute. She invites Ah-reum to the bridal shop with her, smirking that it looks like Ah-reum will need her own dress soon as Woo-sung arrives to pick her up.
On the drive home, Ah-reum tells Woo-sung that Ji-hye is getting married on Christmas. He seems taken aback that they won’t be together on Christmas, but Ah-reum says they will be, so he asks if she wants anything from him.
She says she doesn’t, but he does have a Christmas wish—a heartfelt, handwritten letter from Ah-reum. He means a love letter, but she misunderstands and writes him a note right then, simply saying, “Merry Christmas, you worked hard.” She slips it in his glove box and he grumbles in disappointment.
Instead of taking her to her place, Woo-sung drives Ah-reum to her mom’s apartment. He butters her up by saying that she’s pretty, then tells her to move back home because he doesn’t like her living in her tiny scary apartment. She pouts, but she lets him pull her out of the car and send her inside.
Upstairs, her mother happens to see them in the parking lot being silly as Ha-reum pretends to try to get back in the car and Woo-sung keeps spinning her back to face the building. She’s right there at the door when Ah-reum comes in, demanding to know who that was downstairs.
Ah-reum says casually, “My boyfriend,” and her mother nearly has a heart attack. She drags Ah-reum to the couch and demands information, getting more excited when Ah-reum says that he’s a doctor.
But she doesn’t know anything else about him, so her mother lectures her that she needs to find out everything about a man to know if he’s marriage material. Ah-reum asks when her mother knew that she wanted to marry her dad, and Mom says that it was when she was a little crazy. HA.
Ji-won takes an exhausted Jin-jin home and tucks her into bed, stroking her hair until she falls asleep. He promises that everything will be okay tomorrow, then goes downstairs and tells her father that he needs to talk to him.
In the morning, Mom repeatedly issues cooking and housekeeping instructions, worried that they’ll starve and destroy the place while she has eye surgery. Ji-won tells her to just rest and not to worry.
When the meal is finished, Jin-jin enlists Ji-won’s help doing the dishes while Mom sits at the table behind them. When they’re almost done, Ji-won whispers to Jin-jin to go upstairs first, and she stops to give him a few playful tickles before she leaves. As she goes, Mom smiles to herself, totally aware of what’s going on.
Ji-won finishes, then follows Jin-jin up the hidden staircase between the apartments. Jin-jin’s dad sees him go, and he follows Ji-won up the stairs and into Jin-jin’s place. He smacks Ji-won hard in the back, yelling, “I knew it!”
EPISODE 28 RECAP
But then Dad sees Jin-jin, Ah-reum, and Young-shim also in the living room staring at him. LOL, whoops. He rubs Ji-won’s back apologetically and makes an awkward exit.
He takes a bus to Hadong, and finds the address of Ho-sung’s house that Ji-won gave to him. He doesn’t knock, but he leaves a bag by her front door and leaves, giving the house a longing look.
Ji-won rolls all three girls up in blankets on the floor, saying how lucky Jin-jin is to have friends who will bring snacks and be kimbap rolls to make her feel better. Jin-jin beams happily, feeling much better, and her friends ask if Ho-sung is still scary.
They remind Jin-jin that she used to idolize Ho-sung, liking the same things she liked (like Anthony and books) and wearing her clothes. Jin-jin pouts that it was the other way around, but Ji-won confirms that it was Jin-jin copying Ho-sung, earning himself a peevish kick in the shin.
Manager Choi finds Anthony still at the fishery and joins him. She tells him to stop thinking so much, but he says he likes the silence, and asks if she thinks he’s in the wrong profession. He tells her that he thinks it’s time that his acting career ended and they parted ways.
He says that she would do well as the manager of a great actor, and then she wouldn’t have to drag him everywhere when he has no desire, ambition, or ability. Manager Choi calls him an idiot and says he should be yelling at her for not getting him better roles, but Anthony just says that he’s tired and doesn’t want her to suffer anymore.
Manager Choi warns him that he’ll regret this, adding that they’ve been down rocky roads together before. She says that this one will end, too, but Anthony tells her to forget the rocky roads and find a paved one. She agrees to let him quit, but not until he does one last drama, telling him to consider it their retirement fund.
Ho-sung finds the bag that her father left, which contains fried chicken from his restaurant. The familiar taste makes her cry as she eats, as well as the note he left saying simply, “Daughter, next time let’s eat it while it’s still hot.” On the wall behind her, we see that she has the photo of herself and Jin-jin with their mother, the one Jin-jin remembers from her childhood.
That night, as she’s packing for her hospital stay, Mom finds the labels that Jin-jin made for her skincare products so that she can read them. She sighs that Jin-jin is all grown up, wishing she’d grown up more slowly.
The next morning, Young-shim’s father complains about leftovers for breakfast. When Young-shim leaves for work, her mother sneaks her two lunchboxes and says that she packed all the good food for her and Kyung-seok to share.
Jin-jin’s mom is prepped for eye surgery, and reassures the crying Min-ho that she’ll be fine. She’s wheeled into surgery, and Min-ho is still wibbly later as they wait for Mom’s surgery to be finished. Jin-jin affectionately calls him a baby, then smiles as she reads the supportive texts that the Bongos sent her.
She finds Dad, who looks like a nervous wreck, and tells him to look at her if he’s worried. She tells him not to wait (referring to Ho-sung), but he mutters that he’s not waiting for anyone.
Kyung-seok is impressed by the mountains of food that Young-shim’s mother sent for lunch. He cutely pouts a bit when Young-shim gets a call and has to leave, but she says she’ll eat when she gets back.
Mom’s surgery goes well, but both of her eyes are bandaged so that she can’t strain them while she’s recuperating. She quips that she can still see her children that she gave birth to, and Min-ho bursts into tears again. Aww, he’s so squishy. Jin-jin notices that Dad is watching the hotel room door, and she reminds him to look at her, but he keeps a hopeful lookout.
Mom sends Dad and Min-ho home, saying that she just needs her daughter to take care of her. Jin-jin helps Mom eat and reads her messages, and Mom is disappointed when there are no messages from an unknown number.
Kyung-seok is at the courthouse when Young-shim returns to the office, so she settles in to eat. But as soon as she tries a bite, she spits it right back out again, and realizes that her mother drastically over-salted everything.
When Kyung-seok returns, she apologizes for the bad taste, explaining that her mother has difficulty seasoning food since menopause. But Kyung-seok smiles and says that he doesn’t care about taste, he just eats what he’s given, and that he enjoyed the food.
Jin-jin steps out to get some things at the store, but she realizes that she left her wallet in her mother’s room. Mom’s door opens and she calls out for Jin-jin to get her a glass of water, but when someone presses the glass into her hand, she knows instinctively that it’s not Jin-jin.
She grabs the hand and says, “Ho-sung.” She knows it’s her long-lost daughter, and after a long moment, Ho-sung breathes shakily, “Mom.” They both start crying as Mom laments that she can’t cook for her daughter, and tells her that her surgery went well. Mom says she wishes she could see Ho-sung, and they hug each other tight.
In the hallway, Jin-jin stands listening to her mother and sister sobbing. Ji-won joins her and figures out what’s happening, and Jin-jin leans against his chest for comfort.
At the bridal shop with Ji-hye, Ah-reum complains about being here until she sees Ji-hye in her wedding dress. She imagines herself in the dress, standing in front of Woo-sung, who’s gone slack-jawed at her beauty.
The next time she sees Woo-sung isn’t quite so romantic, as he complains of a bad stomachache while he’s driving. Ah-reum tells him to find a restroom or even a bush, but he groans that he can only poop at home in his own bathroom.
They finally find a place to stop, and while she’s waiting, Ah-reum sees a familiar piece of paper sticking out of Woo-sung’s wallet. She finds the note she wrote for him and smiles, touched. When Woo-sung comes back, he stops to make cute little finger-hearts at her through the windshield.
Tae-hyun proudly announces to Ji-won that he found out who the cosmos artist is, then wilts when he realizes he’s too late. He stops himself from asking something, and when Ji-won asks if he wants an excuse to see Mi-dal again, he admits that he does.
Mom’s surgery is a success, but it doesn’t stop Dad from hovering over her after she gets home. He’s drying her hair for her when a call comes in, and Mom answers, but the caller stays silent.
Mom knows it’s Ho-sung calling again, and this time, when she says her daughter’s name, Ho-sung tentatively answers. She asks how Mom is doing, and Mom says that she’s fine now, chattering at Ho-sung to eat well and not get sick.
In the elevator, Jin-jin asks Ji-won if he knows the first flower that he universe created. He answers that it was the cosmos, and she says that it was imperfect because it was the first, but that it was also the most loved. Jin-jin tells Ji-won that that’s why Ho-sung always called herself their mom’s cosmos.
Ji-won asks if Jin-jin knows the meaning of the cosmos flower: “Not just any meaning, the one your sister made.” Jin-jin looks him in the eyes and answers dreamily, “I love you,” and Ji-won leans in and kisses her.
A little later, Jin-jin meets with CEO Jang and Hong-hee about her drama schedule. They discuss her wardrobe and hair, then Hong-hee asks what Jin-jin meant when they asked if she prefers the minister’s son or the bodyguard and she’d said it was a secret.
She tells him that she’s devoted, which means that she likes the bodyguard more. She’s confused when CEO Jang says that the bodyguard will be arriving soon, and she asks who it is.
While working at his office, Ji-won gets a call, and he freezes when a woman’s voice says, “It’s me, it’s Bella. I’m in Korea. Let’s meet.”
At the same time, Anthony walks into CEO Jang’s office, and CEO Jang announces that the bodyguard is here. Jin-jin is glad to see him, and he smiles at her tentatively.
Well, I can honestly say that I did not expect Ji-won’s ex-fiancee to make an appearance, especially not at this late stage. I’m not really worried about her being a threat to Ji-won and Jin-jin’s relationship, but I am scared that she’s going to try to cause trouble. Or worse, that we’ll find out that it was Anthony she was cheating with—it’s occurred to me before, that Anthony was the one with Ji-won’s fiancee that night, and that that’s how he got to Ji-won so fast. If he’s betrayed Ji-won before and has been beating himself up over it, it would make sense that he would shy away from Jin-jin now, scared it might happen again. It’s just a theory, but it would explain Anthony’s deep-seated guilt over liking Jin-jin, and why he always seems vaguely uncomfortable around Ji-won.
I’ll confess that I still don’t fully understand why Ho-sung left her family and spent so many years in hiding. It seems as though there was a man she loved, and that she ran away to be with him, but I can’t figure out why she would let her parents think she was dead. It seems such a drastic thing to do when the worst thing I can figure out about her childhood is that she and Jin-jin never got along. But plenty of people don’t get along with their siblings, and they don’t run away from home and put their parents through hell. There must be more to the story, and I suspect that Ho-sung’s parents didn’t approve of the man she loved because he was ill, because Mom seemed to recognize the name on the love letter. That could create a deep rift, and Ho-sung sounds like she’s always been a very angry and stubborn person, so that might explain why she ran away.
On a more positive note, I just love CEO Jang so much. He’s been so dedicated to Jin-jin all these years, and he’s taken her from a not-well-known idol to a top star. Now he’s taken a liking to Manager Choi and is doing everything he can to help her, giving her office space and setting up meetings for Anthony. If anyone can get Anthony’s career jump-started again, it’s CEO Jang, with his dogged determination and huge generous heart. It sounds as though he even managed to get Anthony that part in Jin-jin’s drama, which gives me hope that Anthony won’t have to quit the business altogether.
Anthony is such a sweet guy, but after so many years, if he had any real acting ability it would have been discovered by now. I think that he’s stayed in the business because he didn’t know what else to do as a former idol, but he said himself that he’s not a good actor nor does he enjoy it. He seems to just be walking through his life marking time, so I’d love to see him find something that he does want to do. And now that Manager Choi is settled into CEO Jang’s office, CEO Jang can help her find some new clients and use her enthusiasm to be successful, because if she can keep Anthony’s career even slightly afloat for all these years, imagine what she could do with an actor with real talent. But if he did get the role in Jin-jin’s drama, I hope that something happens to allow Anthony to rekindle his love for performing.
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