Eighteen Again: Episodes 13-14
As we near the end of this unusual love story, it’s clear there will be a lot more tears before this is all over. For us and for our beloved, weird little family. A secret can’t be kept forever, but the truth can bring its own kind of pain. Hopefully there’s enough love to heal the hurts and leave behind old heartbreaks.
EPISODE 13 : “The man that makes my heart flutter”
Three years ago, Ae-rin told Da-jung that she’d gotten a proposal but declined it because the guy didn’t give her butterflies. Da-jung had told her that you stop having butterflies after you get married anyway.
In the present, at Duk-jin’s party, Dae-young is overcome by old memories and kisses Da-jung, but she shoves him away and slaps him. She leaves and tries to hail a taxi, but Ji-hoon offers her a ride home. Dae-young tries to follow her, but Ae-rin catches up to him, having seen the whole thing.
He tells Ae-rin that he’s going to tell Da-jung who he really is. She asks why he suddenly wants to tell the truth now, and he says simply, “Because I love Da-jung.”
Da-jung has Ji-hoon drop her off so she can walk the rest of the way home. Dae-young catches up to her and begs her to listen, but Ji-hoon interrupts them. Dae-young tells Ji-hoon to stay out of this, but Da-jung snaps at him not to talk to her boyfriend that way and walks away with Ji-hoon hand-in-hand. On her doorstep, Da-jung apologizes to Ji-hoon for putting him on the spot, but he says he’s happy to be her boyfriend whenever Dae-young is around.
In the morning Da-jung arranges to meet with Duk-jin, so Duk-jin calls Dae-young, who runs out of school to head there, too. Da-jung apologizes to Duk-jin for last night, and her kiss with his “son.” While she’s talking, Duk-jin gets yet another This is inappropriate because I’m a teacher and you’re a parent rejection text from Teacher Ok, and he starts to sob at Da-jung, who naturally thinks he’s overreacting to her kissing Woo-young, hee.
Da-jung goes to Ae-rin’s office in the same building, where she confesses that her heart fluttered when Woo-young kissed her. Ae-rin starts to tell her who Woo-young really is, but Da-jung decides it’s time to draw a firm line for Woo-young and storms out determinedly.
She runs into Dae-young in the elevator and they both shuffle awkwardly, and every time Da-jung tries to tell Dae-young that it can’t happen again, she hiccups. They end up squished together when the elevator suddenly fills, increasing their discomfort., but once they’re outside, Da-jung makes it clear that she doesn’t want to see Dae-young again.
The students fill out a form on their career goals, and Ji-ho, thinking of Shi-ah’s admiration of the doctors when she was in the hospital, decides on the spot that he wants to be a doctor. Cute. Many of the students give Teacher Ok concern with their unrealistic (or nonexistent) future goals.
But Shi-ah already has her future planned… she wants to be a makeup artist. She hasn’t yet told her parents that she doesn’t plan to go to college, but Dae-young happens to be in the hallway waiting his turn. He approaches her later, and he really listens as she explains how many different paths a makeup artist can take and how much she enjoys it.
In the elevator on the way to lunch, Da-jung witnesses a man taking an upskirt video of Yu-mi. Da-jung yanks his arm back and takes his phone, but Yu-mi’s sunbae Ji-na yells at her — the guy is one of the producers who will decide the interns’ final grade.
Da-jung stops Yu-mi from apologizing to him and shows her the video. The guy goes at Yu-mi, so Da-jung flips him to the ground and holds him there until the cops come to lead him away. Da-jung tells Yu-mi that she did it because it’s what she would have done for her daughter, and Yu-mi looks chastened, but she follows Ji-na without thanking Da-jung.
That night, Da-jung is informed by her new show’s PD that they’re continuing the show, but with a different (read: younger and more popular) MC, just as the commercial announcement is played on television. Da-jung takes the news with grace, but she chides the PD for not telling her in advance, as a professional courtesy.
Later, Ji-hoon drives Da-jung to the shoe store, to repair the shoe which broke in the altercation with the pervert. While she’s inside, Ji-hoon catches that weaselly reporter taking pictures of them. He confiscates the weasel’s photo card and warns that if he publishes one word about Da-jung, he’ll sue him for defamation.
When Da-jung comes back out, she’s surprised to learn that the shoes weren’t from Ji-hoon as she’d always assumed. They go for a walk on the same path where Ji-hoon made his secret cherry-blossom wish, where he gives her a small ring and confesses that he likes her. He says that he wants to be the first person she thinks of when she needs someone, but to Da-jung, that person is still Dae-young. She gently turns him down and gives back the ring.
At her bus stop, Dae-young follows Da-jung across the street, unseen. He calls her and asks if she’s okay about her show, but she blows up at him. She tells him that he’s never been by her side when she or the kids needed him, and that she knows he’s not in Busan.
She says that for half of her life, whenever anything happened to her, Dae-young was always the first person she thought of. But she doesn’t believe he felt the same way, because he was never there for her. Dae-young insists that he was always on her side, but Da-jung snaps that she’s tired of being disappointed in him.
Da-jung gets another call and hurries to the convenience store, where Shi-ah is being accused of stealing from the register. Da-jung calms down the owner by asking him to investigate further and promises to pay the money back if Shi-ah really took it.
Outside, Da-jung says she knows Shi-ah didn’t steal — she’s angry that Shi-ah lied about having a job. Shi-ah confesses about her makeup classes, and Da-jung is upset that she’s been working instead of studying for college. Shi-ah says she’s not going to college, which makes Da-jung yell even louder.
Shi-ah yells back that she’s done all her research and made the right decision for herself. She tells Da-jung not to interfere, and that she knows she was a mistake, so she’s trying not to burden her parents any more than she already does.
She leaves in a huff, and for a moment, Da-jung lets herself fantasize that Dae-young is there, promising to take care of everything and giving her a comforting hug. She doesn’t know that Dae-young is watching her and dying to give her that hug, but he can’t.
When Shi-ah gets home, Da-jung tells Shi-ah that she’s not an accident, but the biggest blessing of her life. She promises to always listen to Shi-ah from now on, and explains that she was scared when Shi-ah said she wasn’t going to college because she was so limited by her lack of education. But Shi-ah has thought everything through, so Da-jung promises to support her.
Da-jung’s mom returns home and invites Shi-ah to have a beer with them. Shi-ah toasts, wishing for her mom and grandma to be her daughters’ in their next lives. But the three decide that instead, they’ll just do everything they want to do in this life.
That night, Ji-hoon gets a call from an investigator he’s hired. The investigator says that he’s finally found the person Ji-hoon is searching for, and that his name is Hong Dae-young. Wait, what?
At school, Dae-young gives Shi-ah a bank book that he says is from her father. She takes it to the bank to transfer the money to her account, and the teller returns the book, saying that she’ll probably want to keep it. Shi-ah looks at it closely, and awww, her parents had made a note for each deposit.
All of the deposits were made on days when Shi-ah did something for the first time — being born, sleeping through the night, taking her first steps, saying “Daddy,” etc. The deposits continue through Shi-ah’s first bike ride at age 11, to the time she made a scarf for Dae-young last year. Each deposit is small, but over the years they’ve added up to a tidy sum.
Shi-ah tells her boss that she’s quitting, then calls her dad. Dae-young says he’s still in Busan, and Shi-ah sobs that she misses him. Hearing her cry looks like it’s killing Dae-young, and he says he’s sorry and promises to return to her soon.
After they hang up, he calls Da-jung to say that he’s near the house and wants to talk to her. Annoyed, she goes outside and calls him back. She turns to watch a motorcycle drive by, and sees Dae-young standing behind her. He tells her, “Da-jung, I’m Dae-young. I’m not Go Woo-young, I’m Hong Dae-young.”
Two years ago, Da-jung and Dae-young were at a wedding, and Dae-young had noticed Da-jung looking wistfully at the bride. Afterward, he’d asked if she wanted a wedding, but she’d said she would rather go on a family trip with the money.
It had been raining, so Dae-young had gone to buy an umbrella, and when he’d returned, he’d brought her back some flowers. Awww. Suddenly moved by her beauty, Dae-young had pulled Da-jung into his arms and told her that to him, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
We go back to Da-jung’s talk with Ae-rin where she’d admitted feeling butterflies when Woo-young kissed her. She’d said that she wasn’t sure if she got the butterflies because it was Woo-young, or because he looks and sounds, and even acts, like Dae-young. After she’d flounced out to confront Dae-young, Ae-rin had remembered that Da-jung had told her that Dae-young didn’t give her butterflies anymore.
EPISODE 14 : “I miss you”
Two years ago, Dae-young had picked Da-jung up at the bus station after a work trip. She’d whined cutely that she’d missed him, but he’d only talked about his own work trip coming up soon. Da-jung complained that he didn’t say he missed her, but Da-jung said that after being married for so long, missing her would be weird. Ouch, dude.
In the present, Ji-hoon finds out Dae-young’s name and address from an investigator, for a still-unknown reason. He’s surprised when Shi-ah answers the door, and she confirms that Hong Dae-young is her father.
Meanwhile, Dae-young calls Da-jung as himself and asks her to come out to talk. When she arrives, he tells her that he’s really Dae-young. Da-jung assumes Woo-young somehow got hold of Dae-young’s phone and orders him to return it, so he quickly explains how he found himself in his younger body. Naturally, Da-jung doesn’t believe him, and she warns him to stay away from her and her children.
The next day at JBC, Woong-ki gives Director Moon the current intern rankings. He sees that either Yu-mi or Da-jung will be dropped, and he reminds Woong-ki of what he said at the beginning — to make sure Da-jung quits during their trial period.
At school, Shi-ah tells Ji-ho about her bankbook, and he says that he’s always known her dad is a good man. Then he frowns when Shi-ah waves at Dae-young and growls that he hates that guy, hee. Shi-ah laughs at the idea that she likes Dae-young, then asks why he cares, so Ji-ho tells her bluntly, “Because I like you.”
Dae-young helps Da-jung’s mother carry in some groceries and she insists on making braised ribs for him. Dae-young recalls her doing the same thing when he and Da-jung were first married, and how she had proposed that they consider each other mother and son from then on. The memory makes him tear up, and Mom notes that he even eats just like Dae-young.
Later Dae-young finds Duk-jin at a cafe, moping over his latest rejection by Teacher Ok. Dae-young tells Duk-jin not to give up (I disagree… how many times does she have to say NO?), so Duk-jin takes his words to heart. He goes home, thinking of Teacher Ok’s love of Iron Man, and he takes a hammer to his life-sized Iron Man statue.
Ae-rin shows up at a class reunion alone, and their classmates take advantage of Da-jung’s absence to insult her teen pregnancy and her divorce. Ae-rin explodes at them and storms out, leaving behind her business card for their inevitable divorces, ha! She goes for a drink with Da-jung instead, and invites her to go on a paragliding trip. Da-jung says she’s always wanted to paraglide, but that she shouldn’t because her kids need her.
While walking home, Shi-ah ignores a call from Ji-ho, too embarrassed after his confession to talk to him. A couple of girls recognize her and make snide comments about how she rejected Ja-sung, and that she’s just like her trashy mother. Shi-ah twists one girl’s arm and orders her to apologize for insulting her mother, and the girl does.
But as Shi-ah leaves, she’s confronted by a group of boys from the same school. Their leader grabs Shi-ah’s wrist but Shi-ah refuses to apologize. Suddenly Ji-ho leaps in with a flying kick, knocking the boy over, and Shi-ah takes his hand and they run.
They speed right past Ja-sung and his friends, and Ja-sung doesn’t miss that they’re holding hands. He stops their pursuers and tells them darkly that they’re never to bother Shi-ah, or Ji-ho, again. Awww, he really is a good guy.
Eventually Ji-ho and Shi-ah stop running, and Shi-ah pulls away when Ji-ho tries to check her wrist. He thinks he’s made her uncomfortable so he gives her permission to forget his confession for the sake of their friendship. But Shi-ah takes his hand again and gives him an encouraging smile, and they walk home together hand-in-hand.
While waiting for a taxi, Da-jung tells Ae-rin that Woo-young claimed to be Dae-young. Ae-rin tries to tell Da-jung that it’s actually true, but Da-jung just thinks she’s drunk and bundles her into the taxi. Dae-young is outside talking to Shi-woo when Da-jung arrives home, and she forbids Shi-woo to play basketball so late.
Inside, Da-jung tells Shi-woo not to hang out with Woo-young anymore, though she can’t tell him clearly why. Shi-woo says that before meeting Woo-young, he was being bullied and had no friends, but that Woo-young was a good friend to him and even got him back into basketball.
In the morning, Dae-young skips school to help Da-jung’s mother to the bus station for her trip home. He accompanies her to the station but then disappears, so she gets on the bus alone. But he surprises her again by coming to her bus and giving her some red bean bread to eat on the trip, something that she remembers Dae-young used to always do for her.
In the meantime, Director Moon receives the final decision on which intern won’t be offered a permanent job at JBC. Angry, he delivers the news that the cut intern is Da-jung, then he stomps to the office of the man in charge of the variety show department, who told his producers to give Da-jung low scores. Director Moon pitches a huge fit on Da-jung’s behalf and threatens that none of his anchors will be allowed to MC for the variety shows again.
He tells Woong-ki that he feels horrible that Da-jung has been working so hard, but he’d never told her how much she’d impressed him. He says that he forgot people should be judged solely on the quality of their work, and he’s wracked with guilt over his own behavior.
At the end of the day, Da-jung leaves the JBC building to find it pouring down rain outside. Someone bumps into her and she drops her employee ID, but someone else picks it up… Dae-young. He says that he came because he missed her, and Da-jung scoffs that he can’t be Dae-young because Dae-young would never say that.
She thanks him for taking care of her and the kids, but says that if he keeps doing this she’ll be worried for the kids, so she wants to forget what happened at the party and everything he said afterward. Dae-young presses an umbrella into Da-jung’s hand and says that she must have had a long day: “It’s fine. You’ve been doing well all along.” He leaves, but Da-jung is haunted by his words, which Dae-young used to always say to her when she had a difficult day.
Ji-hoon meets with his investigator, who’s found a black box video recording from a car near “the accident” — oh, so this is about his brother’s death. Ji-hoon watches the footage, and Dae-young can be seen checking Ji-hoon’s brother’s car after the accident, then running back to his company vehicle. Ji-hoon calls Dae-young and asks if he’ll meet to talk about “why you did that,” but Dae-young just says he’s sorry.
Once she’s off the bus, Da-jung’s mom calls Da-jung and tells her that Woo-young saw her off safely. She says that he reminds her so much of Dae-young, flustering Da-jung. She’s at the show store picking up her shoes, and the employee asks for her autograph and says she became a fan because of the guy who bought the shoes and the way he spoke about Da-jung.
Da-jung asks if he was in his late 30s, but the woman says that he was a student. It’s still raining when Da-jung leaves the show store, which just reminds her even more of all the times Woo-young treated her like Dae-young used to.
She calls Dae-young and asks where he is now. She finds him on an overlook and calls him by name, “Hong Dae-young!” Angry, she says that he should have kept lying to her and lived his own life, instead of hanging around her. She repeats his words about regretting meeting her and ruining his life, and says that she divorced him so he could be free.
Crying now, she tells Dae-young that him always being around made her miss him, and Dae-young pulls her close to whisper, “I missed you, too.” He kisses her, and this time she kisses him back. After a moment, Dae-young pulls back to look into Da-jung’s eyes, and what he sees there has him kissing her again.
Talking to Shi-ah about her dad makes Ji-ho remember a school field day when they were little, and his mom hadn’t been able to run with him in a parent/child race because she’d injured her leg. Shi-ah’s dad had volunteered, and they had won the race together.
Ji-ho goes home and finds a box with an old video from that day. He watches Shi-ah run that race with her dad, and as the camera focuses on his face, he recognizes his nemesis, Woo-young.
WHEW, I’m so glad that Da-jung now knows who “Woo-young” really is and that although she thought he’d abandoned her, Dae-young has been there all along. I was starting to get annoyed that Dae-young was letting Da-jung think there was something wrong with her for catching feelings for her son’s friend, so at least now she knows that it’s because he’s the only man she’s ever loved, just in a younger body. Plus, his repeated unwanted kisses were verging on not-okay (I’m so glad he got slapped) because even though he knows he’s kissing his wife, she doesn’t know, and he should have remembered that. But this kiss was very consensual and very wanted on both their parts, thank goodness.
Plus, they’ve done all the healing they can while apart, although the separation has helped the whole family see how they’re suffering by being apart. I’m happy that Da-jung And Dae-young are together again, at least as much as they can be while he still looks like a kid, but I’m ready for Shi-ah and Shi-woo to also be in on the secret. They need to know that their father can be a friend to them, and in fact has been for a while now.
There were so many smaller, beautiful moments in this episode that I don’t have time to get into, but want to highlight… Shi-woo finally telling his mother about his bullying and how much Woo-young has helped him. Ja-sung accepting Shi-ah’s rejection and wishing for her happiness with Ji-ho enough to put out the word that nobody is to mess with them (can I just hug him please??). Director Moon realizing how badly he screwed up in making sure Da-jung was given fair treatment. Ji-ho and Shi-ah finally together! Ji-ho finding out that his hero-crush, Shi-ah’s dad, may somehow be the guy he’s mistaken for a love rival (I can’t wait to see the fallout of that). And was Dae-young involved in the accident that killed Ji-hoon’s brother? If he was, my guess is that he tried to help, not that he was the driver who hit Ji-hoon’s brother.
We’ve spent so much time watching Dae-young do what he can to be closer to his family, it’s nice to see them starting to miss him and want him back. From my calculations he’s been in his younger body for several months now, so I’m surprised it’s taken this long, which tells me how much Da-jung and the twins felt he’d already emotionally abandoned them. We know that Dae-young never did such a thing, but that he alienated them by not showing his love more openly, so now he’s doing that the best he can while “absent.” I appreciate, though, that Shi-ah is now missing him and telling him so (and guys, not gonna lie, after watching their phone call scene I called my own dad to tell him I love him).
My one complaint, and it’s a small one, about this week’s episodes is that while Dae-young admitted that he originally wanted to try to pursue basketball again when he got his young body back, and that now he knows better, we’ve never seen a definitive moment when he realized that his future wasn’t sports, but his family. The whole basketball angle seems to have just been dropped ever since they got rid of Il-kwon. Yes, Dae-young is seeing the value of his wife and children in a way he never has before, and that’s awesome. Great character growth, no problem there. But I kind of want to see a big scene where Dae-young gets an offer to go to college on a basketball scholarship, but he declines it because he realizes that choosing Da-jung and his family was the right choice in the first place. Maybe we’ll get that in this final week — it would be nice to see that the drama hasn’t forgotten Dae-young’s original reason for turning the clock back.
- Premiere Watch: Zombie Detective, Eighteen Again, More Than Friends, The School Nurse Files
- Kim Haneul gets a confession of love from Yoon Sang-hyun, Lee Do-hyun in latest 18 Again teaser
- JTBC’s 18 Again holds first script reading with Kim Haneul, Yoon Sang-hyun, Lee Do-hyun
- Casting confirmations for JTBC body-switch drama 18 Again