Twenty Five Twenty One: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
Time is moving faster, and our characters are starting to grow up little by little. A painful separation is in store, but so is the satisfaction of seeing hard work and dedication finally pay off.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
A big theme this week is about the importance of a strong support system. When Hee-do heads into the national team trials, she’s armed with both self-confidence rooted in her own hard work, and words of confidence from Yi-jin and Coach Yang.
The final match, which determines whether she makes the national team, is a psychological battle as much as a physical one. Hee-do’s opponent does her best to psych Hee-do out, and it almost works. But drawing on Yi-jin’s and Coach Yang’s words in place of her own wavering assurance, Hee-do ultimately wins the match, securing her spot on the team.
In stark contrast, after talking with her mother about her fencing plans the night before the competition, Hee-do has to do all the work to bolster her own confidence, as her mother has only criticism instead of encouragement to offer.
Hee-do is bursting to tell Yi-jin about her victory, but when she returns home, Yi-jin has packed up and vanished without a word to anyone. Hee-do is devastated – even more so when she finds he returned the sword she gave him, the inside of the handle painted blue (which she’d told him would be her choice of color) and “National Team Member Na Hee-do” written on the handle.
But life goes on, and she moves into the dorm at the national team’s training center, where (wouldn’t you know it) she and Yoo-rim are roommates.
In some ways, getting a spot on the national team turns out to have been the easy part. Once there, Hee-do throws her all into training, but the coach has a clear bias toward Yoo-rim. He constantly nags at Hee-do to accommodate Yoo-rim’s every need, and simultaneously puts intense pressure on Yoo-rim not to lose to Hee-do in actual competitions, as that would tarnish her reputation.
Naturally, all that pressure makes things worse between the two girls, who bicker and snipe at each other every chance they get, eventually getting into a full-on brawl in their dorm.
But what happened to Yi-jin? Backing up to the same day Hee-do makes the national team, Yi-jin hits a breaking point when creditors track down his younger brother, Yi-hyun, at school. After racing to Yi-hyun’s rescue, Yi-jin moves them both to a seaside village where their mother is living with their uncle. He also throws out both of their pagers, which is why Hee-do (and Yoo-rim) can’t contact him.
Yi-jin gets a job selling fish, and while he does a lot of good there (even helping his parents reconnect online), he’s just trudging through each day. To make matters worse, Yi-hyun seems ashamed of their current status, and pretends not to know Yi-jin when he and his new friends stop by the fish market. Yi-jin, kind soul that he is, plays along, though the pain is evident on his face.
He does, however, call Yi-hyun out on it later when they’re alone. In return, Yi-hyun points out that Yi-jin was the one who uprooted their lives and ran away – not for Yi-hyun’s sake as he keeps saying, but to escape his own failures and disappointments. Which, ouch, but he’s not wrong, and Yi-jin knows it.
Three months have passed since Hee-do and Yi-jin last saw each other, but they’ve continued gaining strength from each other all the same. Hee-do borrows some of Yi-jin’s old high school broadcast tapes to listen to at night, and Yi-jin breaks my heart by using a payphone to listen to the message Hee-do left on his pager over and over whenever he’s feeling beaten down.
Eventually, Yi-jin makes up his mind to go back to Seoul, and leaves Hee-do a message of her own, promising to return before the next edition of Full House comes out. Just as he did with her message, she listens to it again and again.
Five more months pass. Hee-do continues to excel, winning silver and bronze medals at multiple international competitions. Meanwhile, Yi-jin works as a reporter at the broadcast station where Hee-do’s mom is a news anchor.
He’s out reporting on a protest when he happens to spot her in the crowd, and runs to catch up with her. Just when it seems he’s lost her, she calls out to him, and the world around them slows. Their reunion is awkward and jubilant and sentimental all at the same time, and then she invites him to join her for lunch… with her boyfriend (cameo by Choi Tae-joon).
At first, Yi-jin is taken aback, but then he’s fighting not to die laughing at their constant, cringey aegyo. The relationship is only three days in at this point, and it only lasts a total of about two weeks. When Hee-do later explains to Yi-jin that she only dated the guy because she wanted to experience a breakup like so many songs talk about, he informs her you have to be in love for a breakup to hurt like that – and that stops her cold, her mind immediately flashing back to the night he vanished.
The next big international competition arrives, and as luck would have it, Yi-jin is assigned to cover it. Tensions are higher than ever before, the gold medal match coming down to Hee-do vs. Yoo-rim.
But just a few hours before the match is set to begin, Hee-do discovers that her equipment was mixed up with that of another athlete, who’s now 20 minutes away by train. Hee-do panics at the thought of competing with a sword that isn’t the one Yi-jin painted for her, and jumps on a train herself to get it back.
Meanwhile, Yi-jin interviews Yoo-rim, who’s not at all pleased he hasn’t contacted her before now. It’s such a striking difference from his reunion with Hee-do, whose only hope while he was gone was that he was doing whatever was best for himself.
Then Yi-jin learns that Hee-do’s train has been delayed, so he rushes to the station to meet her, calm her down, and heroically whisk her back to the competition. To ensure they make it on time, he talks their way through a police barrier, earning them a special police escort (since she’s a national team representative). Hee-do couldn’t be more touched or impressed, but there isn’t much time to dwell on it.
Finally, after dreaming about this moment for so many years, Hee-do steps out to face Yoo-rim as her rival.
- Premiere Watch: Forecasting Love and Weather, Twenty Five Twenty One
- Watching dramas with Kim Tae-ri in new promos for Twenty Five Twenty One
- Kim Tae-ri and Nam Joo-hyuk reminisce about summer in Twenty Five Twenty One
- Looking back on 1998 with Kim Tae-ri and Nam Joo-hyuk in Twenty-Five Twenty-One
- Casting lineup complete for youth drama Twenty-Five, Twenty-One