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Twenty Five Twenty One: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread

In the wake of all the lies spun last week, truths come tumbling out all over the place. Bridges are built, olive branches extended, and love starts to bloom in all its beauty and awkwardness.

 
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

Thankfully, Yi-jin immediately clarifies to Hee-do that he’s not her chat friend. He does, however, keep Yoo-rim’s secret, explaining the meeting away as coincidence.

Both Hee-do and Yoo-rim leave the encounter hugely embarrassed – Hee-do because of her “I have to have you” line, and Yoo-rim because it comes crashing over her just how sincerely Hee-do admired her and just how terribly she’s treated Hee-do in return.

Say what you will about Yoo-rim, but to her credit, she fully acknowledges she was in the wrong and bends over backwards to be nice to Hee-do. At one point, when she catches Hee-do in the act of swiping her copy of the final Full House installment right out of her locker (to borrow and read, not keep), she even seems disappointed that Hee-do quickly gives it back and runs away.

But the real breakthrough comes when two classmates badmouth Yoo-rim in the restroom and Hee-do jumps to her defense, unaware that Yoo-rim has overheard everything. Breaking down in tears, Yoo-rim reveals herself as the anonymous chat friend and apologizes for her behavior up to this point.

The girls hug it out, and almost instantly change from enemies to best friends. (This completely weirds Yi-jin out, because he’s volunteered to head up a documentary about them and has expressly told them not to pretend to be all buddy-buddy for the cameras.)

While their little shy smiles and shared lunches are adorable, even better are the quieter moments of understanding that prove the depth of friendship they’ve already forged, both online and (in spite of themselves) in person. Like when Hee-do accepts Yoo-rim’s apology on the condition that she quit risking injury on the high-dive board. Or when Yoo-rim requests they still be as open as possible in their chats, even though it’s no longer anonymous, and they both follow through.

As for Hee-do’s embarrassment, she spends a good amount of time avoiding all contact with Yi-jin so she doesn’t have to face him or her own confusion. Eventually, he corners her and gets her to admit that she feels weird and upset because she doesn’t have a proper label by which to define their relationship.

She suggests they make one up (her preference is “rainbow”), but that’s not enough for him. Instead, he’s ready to call it what it is: love.

Yi-jin doesn’t care if she reciprocates the same level of affection, because it isn’t dependent on her doing or feeling anything in return. It simply is what it is. He tells her this at a beautiful moment, too – while they’re gazing up at a literal rainbow – and the confession fills her with more joy than she seems to know what to do with.

But this week’s confessions don’t stop there. Hee-do’s mom awkwardly gives her the gold medal, finally admitting that she truly believes Hee-do won – and that while she doesn’t approve of Hee-do’s attitude at the press conference, that doesn’t change the fact she deserves her medal.

Meanwhile, another of Yoo-rim’s arcs has to do with learning to accept gifts from her parents instead of hurting their feelings by worrying about the money they’ve spent. And notably, it’s Hee-do’s influence that helps her arrive at a place of better understanding.

The first time Hee-do met Yoo-rim’s mother after the controversial match, Yoo-rim’s mom pulled her into a tender hug and sincerely congratulated her. Hee-do explains to Yoo-rim that that moment helped heal the remainder of her hurt, in turn causing Yoo-rim to realize that expressing one’s feelings (like her parents were through their gifts) can indeed fill gaps that money can’t.

I mentioned that Yi-jin is working on a documentary about the fencers, and that project drives a lot of the action this week, as it forces the trio to be in close proximity until they finally make all of the above confessions. But it also puts Yi-jin under extra stress. He repeatedly butts heads with a senior reporter who wants to sensationalize the story as much as possible.

Eventually, the guy pushes Yoo-rim and Hee-do to (dangerously) reenact their simultaneous touch, resulting in a bruised foot for Hee-do. Yi-jin explodes, only to have to apologize later for the sake of keeping peace – and to be derided for his family’s situation yet again.

As several conflicts start to resolve, Yi-jin decides to take the two girls to the beach for some extra footage. (And so they can do normal high school things for once.) He doesn’t bargain on them bringing Seung-wan and Ji-woong along, but that’s exactly what happens – after Seung-wan craftily convinces him by feeding him her mom’s cooking for a few days and then yanking it out from under him and threatening to tell her mom where all the food has been disappearing to.

That’s right: Seung-wan and Ji-woong finally get a taste of the main action! I’m honestly a little sad it took so long to delve deeper into their characters – especially Seung-wan, because she’s a delight.

In these episodes, we get to see her 1) save Ji-woong from being beaten by a teacher and then angrily rant about the injustice over her pirate radio broadcast, 2) chase after a fun, impulsive weekend with her friends (and even sneak along a bottle of liquor), and 3) admit she finds life mostly boring and likes hanging out with Ji-woong because he makes interesting things happen.

Theirs is a refreshing, comfortable dynamic, because where Seung-wan receives constant praise from adults, Ji-woong receives constant criticism – but instead of resenting each other, she finds freedom in his carefree attitude, and he finds acceptance in her candor.

While the teens are having fun, Yi-jin quickly realizes what it means to be the only chaperone. Namely, a lot of eyerolls and facepalms at their over-the-top outfits and cluelessness about preparing food. But the ocean has a way of making people sentimental, and it’s not long before the whole group are baring their hearts to each other in turn.

A moment of hyper-closeness with Yi-jin while listening to the waves makes Hee-do’s heart flutter more than ever before. And later, as they all watch the sunset together, they bask in the beauty of a moment that feels as though it could, and should, last forever.

But I’m afraid we really are in for heartbreak from here on out, because adult Hee-do doesn’t even remember that beach trip when Min-chae asks about it. With a sad smile, she adds that nothing really lasts forever – but that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

 
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this show makes me my heart swell with happiness and ache in acute pain in equal measures. it's doing something that feels new and fresh but in a way that preserves all the intangible things that make kdramas so special. idk where we are headed, but i have trust in the writer to do right by this poignant coming of age story.

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One of my favorite moments in these episodes was when Yoo-rim's mom hugged Hee-do and comforted her. All the feels.

Yi-Jin's confession was so sweet and heartfelt. Although I ship them, I appreciate his restraint and tenderness, given the age gap. The present-day framing definitely suggests that we're being set up for heartbreak. I hope not!

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Because of the title, I think there's going to be a time-gap of two years later.

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I thought ep 9 was pure perfection, but then the beach trip happened. Hee-do's heart was not the only one fluttering during that whispering scene between she and Yi-jin. So, how could adult Hee-do not remember the beach trip? It seemed like one of those rare moments you don't ever forget, no matter how old. Like everyone else, I'm bracing myself for heartbreak.

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As I age, I don't remember the specifics like some drama flashback, but I would remember how much I loved hanging out with my friends and the warm, happy feeling. Adult Na Heedo's reaction felt like "yeah...those people [her friends] existed once upon a time"

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So many favorite moments this week- the confession, the hug from Yoo-rim's mom, Yi-jin's conversation with his dad, Seung-wan's radio show. This show is just so endearing ❤ I have no idea where the story is taking us, with such a contrast in the present day scenes, but whatever the outcome, I'm absolutely loving spending time with these characters

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I have so so much love for this kdrama. every episode I am literally squirming in my seat, laughing like crazy and falling off my chair because of how great the chemistry is, not only between our two main leads, but between all the characters. These episodes felt so great and happy that I feel like we are in for some challenges in the coming episodes. I really want the two leads to have their happy ending but at the same time, it really doesn't feel like we are headed in that direction and I'm doing my best to wrap my head around that. I am holding out hope that she does end up with Yi-Jin but given that mom Hee-do doesn't even remember this summer trip makes me feel anxious. I thought that when Min-Chae got that gift from her dad, it would make sense that it would be Yi-Jin cause of the fact that he travels for work which seems in line with what he could be doing as a present-day reporter. It's very likely that they're still together but she just doesn't remember the beginning of their relationship... totally reasonable if you've been with someone for so long. right? ugh, I hate waiting for episodes..

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what you said at the end gives me hope!! *crossing fingers*
and ditto to everything else you said too i'm going crazy because of this drama and i'm so sad we only have 3 more weeks

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Will adult Na Hee-do kindly shut up? She is ruining my drama.

I started crying like Ji-woong from Hee-do's nonchalant confession that her dad died and she missed him and wished she could talk about him to her mom, then couldn't stop crying when Seung-wan sighed that she found no joy in life. I was sobbing by the time ​Hee-do hoped for this moment to last forever as they watched the sunset with their "With" OST playing in the background. This show is so wistful, and our friends sharing family stories over watermelon is my favorite scene. I wished Yi-jin had shared his, but if showering together made ​them become close (how to be Ji-woong), then their talk made them even closer.

Yi-jin is such a mood every time he rolls his eyes at stupid things they say. Lmao when he drove off and waved back at them. These kids have zero survival skills, ​and he giving away their liquor was sweet revenge.

I cried when Yi-jin told Dad that this was his punishment for being happy since he knew the trash PD would belittle him before apologizing. When he blew up at him and carried Hee-do out, ​I was relieved his co-workers didn't start a rumor of them dating. I just want Yi-jin to be happy -- for him to go back to college, finish his degree, and work for NASA.

The title of this drama is a lie. It's Episode 10, and they're ​still in high school. We waiting for Hee-do to graduate so they can date is as gross as adults waiting for minors to grow up. However, I ​don't believe Yi-jin's ​confession was romantic love but love for a friend or family. Nevertheless, ​​this premise should've changed, and ​for Yi-jin's sake, I wish he were never put in this situation.

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while i do believe yijin loves her romantically, i think the love he expressed was for her as a human being. it transcends any sort of labeling. the writers toe the line in their relationship quite closely but always land on the side of right, and i appreciate that.

the talk over the watermelon was one of the best scenes in this show. it replicated that quiet comfort we slip into with people who are becoming important to us, and then, the easy admissions about why a core part of them was broken was just *chefs kiss*. this is how lifelong friends are made. seungwan broke my heart casually admitting to being depressed, and how jiwoong is the only light in her life. i don't think she loves him romantically, but they are best friends, and if either one of them starts dating someone else, the other is bound to feel some sort of loss. i also got the sense that seungwan and yijin were sort of like kindred spirits. i hope we get to see more of their blossoming friendship. they're absolutely hilarious together, but now there's this potential for something deeper too.

yeah, i'm not sure what is up with the choice to name the drama twenty five, twenty one lol i kept saying well, NEXT week there will be a time jump but at this point, i won't be surprised if there's none! it's a testament to the quality of the writing that even so, i feel the story is in safe hands.

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Seung-wan's confession hit me hard because it was so relatable. Yi-jin seems to be depressed too, but I wished he had offered her words of comfort. I've always thought they'd make great friends because she is wise beyond her years. Seung-wan's behavior around Ji-woong in Episode 10 worried me when she dropped the furniture and got angry over the teacher hitting him. Please don't be what I think it is, but she knows he likes Yu-rim. Special shout-out to Yu-rim for volunteering her story in our sentimental watermelon scene.

I agree that Yi-jin meant "I love you as a person." I do love the romance because Kim Tae-ri and Nam Joo-hyuk have amazing chemistry and Yi-jin gives me butterflies, but I wish I could LOVE it. As someone who believes he liked Hee-do romantically since the water sprinklers in Episode 2, I believe if they like each other, then they should date, not have to wait until she's older.

I blame the writer for making their age gap a Big Deal since the day they met. In Episode 1, Hee-do gasped at his age, "I thought you were at most 20" (Why couldn't his character be 20?), then in Episode 2, Yi-jin rolled his eyes at being asked if he was dating Yu-rim and told Hee-do that high schoolers should date high schoolers and adults should date adults. In Episode 8, she kept calling him a grown-up and yelled to stop treating her like a kid, but today at the beach, he treated the four of them like children.

If only we had a timeskip or aged Hee-do up or Yi-jin down because I genuinely want to love it.

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I agree that he loves her as a fellow human and he's mature and openminded enough that love can be for two people not romantically involved and not related to each other. Kdramas do such a great job with romantic and family love, it's hard to imagine a different kind of love. I feel like they're platonic soulmates? Who may end up liking each other romantically. But sadly won't be lovers in the future.

I feel like rainbow was a very apt description of their relationship as it is beautiful, but not quite tangible. They're there for each other in bad times and welcome each other after the bad times.

I loved Heedo's reaction to his declaration of love. Like "yeah I'm not there in terms of my feelings for you" And then they sort of continued as they are.

I'm really interested in seeing Seung-wan in 2022. Has she sought therapy? Is she an activist? Maybe she has a podcast? Maybe married to Yi-jin's little brother?

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I hate to say it but I think 25 and 21 are the ages they will be when the bad thing happens that drives them apart. It will be the climax of their story.

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>>I was sobbing by the time ​Hee-do hoped for this moment to last forever as they watched the sunset with their "With" OST playing in the background.<<

Ah, yes, I too was crying silent, inconsolable tears by that point! 25-21 is honestly a love-letter to youth! That moment when Hee-do wishes for the moment to last forever, and Yi-Jin replies 'Maybe, it will'... I was shocked at a Korean story capturing the Japanese ethos of Mono no Aware so perfectly! <3

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Will adult Na Hee-do kindly shut up? She is ruining my drama.

Yes to this!!! Can't stand those scenes!

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Seung-wan and Ji-woong's friendship is a dynamic we should see more rather than the present timeline, seriously.

Hee-do & Yoo-rim -- I understand the flow and what's going on, I guess I wanted more from YR. The cries felt like a kid was wronged rather than a regret sort of tears, if that makes sense.

OTP - That "confession" was different in a lot of ways. Idk if it makes any difference but Yi-jin said 'I'm loving you' instead of the usual 'I love you'. One of my fave outcomes from that was that it did not end up being them romantically involve, yet. It did not become a defining moment of their relationship. But I looooove the friendship, the 'rainbow' and all this build-up. All the feels, the understanding, the honest communication and Baek Yi-jin's stares! xD

Show, please continue to be good.

P.S. I am deliberately forgetting the present timeline because it feels like a different show.

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My first thought when YR cried was that it really paled in comparison to the beautiful crying scenes we've had from He-doo and especially from Yi-jin. The acting just isn't on the same level, so I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be sincere or over the top or what.

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Yes. In my case, the emotion wasn't enough as we've seen from HD and YJ.

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Am I the only one who is not feeling adult Hee Do. There is something off about her. I know having kids changes a person, but something feels off. Especially after her not remembering that she went on that beach trip with her friends.

That being said, I am loving the growth of each of the teens. Some people say that Hee Do is too childish, but I feel that she has fire and is incredibly driven. She has been hit with some adversity, but she hasn't been burnt out by life yet. YiJin has and you can tell by how he has matured to the point that I forget he is like 23 years old. He seems older than his actual age.

The confession though, I like that even though she confessed, she was not the one to immediately jump into wanting to be with him. That isn't realistic for me. I am worried with how they will eventually get together though. We only have 6 episodes left.

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Everyone is not feeling adult Hee Do...

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Kim Tae-ri is doing an amazing job as Hee-do that it's hard to picture another actress playing her.

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I feel like Adult Heedo should at least try to match up some of young Heedo talking rhythm or something to make the connection. Yeah, people change...get more serious, get more responsible, but a bit of the original spirit should still be there.

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You're not alone. It would appear the majority of us are not feeling adult Hee Do! Several have commented that KTR should have played adult Hee Do given her excellent range -- after all, Hee Do's mum is played by one actress who plays both of her "selves".

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Yes! I mean I get it that she has a youthful appearance, but they could have done something or at least got someone else. I am just not feeling her right now or maybe it's how she is being written at this point.

I do feel like the present time isn't flowing very well. They are trying to be suspenseful.

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These episodes were pretty much perfect (Pretty much because present day Hee-do is nothing like Hee-do, and I've separated them into two different characters in my head).

That was an absolutely lovely confession. I loved Hee-do’s reaction too: I don’t think my feelings for you are that big.

I know there is controversy out there about Hee-do and Yi-jin since Hee-do is still in high school, but I think they've toed the line. One of the things I really love about their relationship is that I believe they love each other as friends, family, soulmates, etc. Rainbow was actually a good word for it, as there love has all the colors.

I’m glad the Injeolmi reveal wasn’t dragged out. I was unsure about Hee-do and Yoo-rim becoming friends after how Yoo-rim treated her, but the documentary montage was funny as was Yi-jin’s reaction. They were so awkward and sweet, just like a new couple.

The beach trip was fun. I liked learning more about Ji-woong and Seung-wan. Seung-wan is quite the effective briber and blackmailer. Yi-jin’s brother meeting his idol was sweet.

Yi-yin’s running gag of putting his hands over his mouth when surprised cracks me up.

Yoo-rim's mom hugging Hee-do was such a touching scene, as was Yi-jin's conversation with his dad.

Between Hee-do’s mom’s warning, Yi-jin promising Hee-do they wouldn’t show the documentary if she didn’t approve and the PD’s interference, there was all kinds of foreshadowing that this documentary is going to go wrong.

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It sure didn't help that Hee Do briefly mentioned going to a club to the hair stylist prepping her for her interview with Yi-jin. It really isn't looking good. Hee Do was a minor in one of the private rooms at the club with a face full of makeup and drinks everywhere. To make matters worse, Yi-jin was with her that night and the network might press him to reveal it.
The guy that kept trying to get Hee Doo to stay and drink (even though he knew she was a minor) just might spell trouble for them. The one thing in their favor is camera phones were non existent at the time. Between the club and that street fight, the network might make her out to be some iljin.

Yi-jin is feeling the burden of doing well so future candidates without college degrees can continue to receive employment at the network. If he fails, that could spell the end of the network choosing any candidate without a college degree going forward. He might have to make the choice between protecting Hee Do or bowing down to the network's demands in order to protect those future candidates. As if things weren't bad enough, there's still the reveal that Hee Doo is the daughter of a top network news announcer.

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Hee-do and Yi-Jin not being together in the future makes perfect sense... she's 17 in this show, she's a kid and he's her first crush, I know KDramas all love the unrealistic "fated since children" trope, but some realism that you grow up and grow apart from people would be fine.
That she doesn't remember the beach.... a bit less likely, and the way she reacted was very weird, it worries me that it ties into some fatalistic stuff throughout the show with death flags for other characters, that there is going to be a sad end for at least one of them.

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This show definitely ranks up in my top 10 faves of all time. I love how the OTPs are just so raw and straight forward with each other---they both wear their hearts on their sleeves and say what's on their mind. For me, that's the most refreshing thing about the show---there are no masks, no airs, no barriers between NHD and BYJ.

BYJ's confession gave me all kind of feels. It was a confession of love, with no response expected in return. All he wanted was NHD to be happy in knowing that she was loved. Bottle that up and sell it---you'd make a killing. There seems to be a lot of controversy over the age gap here---and honestly, I just don't get it. This was about as pure of a confession as I had seen in kdrama-land. Perhaps you can just chalk it up to being brought up in the States---the age gap is not a big deal. The show handled it well as they did not push the romance as it is evident that NHD hasn't wrapped her head around their relationship yet (and the fact that she and the squad are still "critters" :))

I also saw one of the posts by @missh discussing the foreshadowing of issues with the documentary, which I couldn't agree more with this comment. BHJ has asked NHD to trust him multiple times during this process and I know that he has every intention to protect NHD with all of the power he has. The issue is that he's a rookie journalist with no power that just had a scuffle with his slimy sunbae over the documentary---I can see bad joo-joo happening with this. Perhaps this is what drives a wedge for the time being between NHD and BYJ?

Lastly, the epilogue of ep 10 w/ grown NHD really did suck. The writers have really gone full tilt in suggesting and warning us throughout the last 10 eps that it would be unwise to believe that there is a happy ending for our two lovebirds---I've seen various (and sometimes crazy) theories online about all of the possible endings from NHD having amnesia..to BYJ not being alive..to them somehow reuniting as adults. I think for me, the themes of the show have always been so positive and hopeful, so I'm just going to trust in the writers that they give our cutie pies a well-deserved ending, but also plausible and true to the parameters and the facts that they've revealed throughout the show.

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Yes, a wedge driven by the documentary Gond wrong wouldn’t be surprising, it has also been foreshadowed by the relationship between Mom and the coach.
Yi Jin’s professional relationship with Hee Do as an athlete has always bothered me, he should never have been covering fencing. I keep waiting for someone to expose that and blow it up into a scandal. Especially the thing with the referee.

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I just melted at the way Yijin looks at Heedo.

Is it a Nam Joo Hyuk's thing to convey surprise by covering his mouth? Lol. Coz I saw it in Weightlifting Fairy too.

The food preparation part was hilarious! Good to know that Seungwan is not smart all the time!

Honestly, I didn't understand it when Heedo said she didn't know how to define the relationship with Yijin. I thought they are friends. I suppose maybe because she hasn't shared with him about her family, that's why she didn't consider him as a friend?

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seungwan and jiwoong are her friends, and now yurim too. but she feels *more* for yijin. she's basically just learning what it means to have a crush on someone.

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No wonder Yi-Jin was grinning his big, toothy smile!!!! Imagine the person you love, actually having a crush on you, and liking you back! <3 (I could never) T_T :P

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I think she saw him as a friend AND a crush. You could see how clueless she was when she picked up a "boyfriend" and yet it was Yi Jin who she waited for and really NEEDED in her life. But this is her first time. She reads Full House, lol, but she doesn't understand real life and real relationships quite yet. She doesn't know what to call him, but he is her person (and vice versa).

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I liked after the big "breakup" with her 3 day boyfriend, she learns that you have to love someone before being apart from them can hurt. At that, she flashed back to the phone booth and the pain of being apart form Yi-jin. She's just starting to put the pieces together.

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Even in the ivies and colleges where the top students go, you will find quite a few with little cooking/housekeeping life skills. I also had some odd life-skills knowledge gaps, too, at that age. I guess that's what college and dorming is for, especially during a time when we didn't have google right in the palm of our hands.

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Episode 9 was SHEER PERFECTION, if that hyperbole can ever be said of a Kdrama episode, lol. Ice mom finally showing a teensy tiny speck of tenderness towards Heedo; reconciliation betw the girls (yes a bit too quickly as some have commented - but totally in line with Heedo’s character you could say, that girl has such a big heart! Esp “in spite” of having such an awful + absent mom..); all the frank n open moments betw Yijin & Heedo, building up to that beautiful awesome climax at the end…….. 🌈🥲 [and how I wish Kdramaland wld give us more of such “real” writing and characters - more Our Beloved Summer and 2521 please, less Penthouse and psychotic criminals! 😂]

So Ep 10 was actually a bit of a letdown for me - definitely loved the havoc camaraderie of the 5 together etc, but I selfishly just wanted to see more of “only” YJ and HD magic moments…! Lol

And yes, the stinky bummer of Ep 10’s epilogue… I really don’t feel as hopeful as some others are in the comments, to “trust” that this writer has it all under control, so it’s def driving me crazy!! Sigh, well, only 3 more weeks left to the crazy chaos of laughter n tears… let’s hope the heartbreak won’t be too intense!! 😭

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More OBS and 2521, please and thank you! I think the two share so many tonal similarities!

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I didn't think I could love this show any more than I already do but dammit, it just keeps getting better! Beware, gushfest ahead:

- Yu Rim's apology. My disapproval of Yu Rim's bitchiness toward Hee Do is well-known but then the screenwriter went and shot me straight in the heart with a sincere apology. No attempts to justify, just genuine repentance. I am duly appeased. Go forth and be BFF with Hee Do, Yu Rim! Hwaiting!
- Seung Wan's pirate broadcast rant. Man, did I tell you how much I like this screenwriter?? Again, no circumnavigation, just one concise tirade against capital punishment and the hypocrisy of the adults in authority over them. Seung Wan, let's be friends.
- The humor. The nighttime confrontation with the cushion thieves! Baek Ho's mum smirking over whether she'd caught her youngest son watching something "inappropriate"! Seung Wan's beach trip bribery! The useless teen cooks!
- The camaraderie. What a gorgeous portrayal of the best that friendship can be. That beach trip sent me right back to my late teens. So thankful they didn't insert Seung Wan into a love triangle among the second leads (though have I already mentioned how much I love her?) I have always maintained K-dramas do friendship like no other -- and this show sticks to this wonderful stereotype in the best way. I can't wait to see the quartet (plus Yi Jin!) in the post-high school eps.

I am having all kinds of anticipatory grief at this drama's end. Can it just...not end? Especially because all of the present-day scenes with adult Hee Do and her daughter (who has a different last name from any of the male characters in the show!!!) is just not good for my anxiety levels. They're trolling us, right? Do they really want this phenomenal show to go down in flames?! We are deeply invested here! Don't break our hearts!

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I love Seung Wan and how she is such a high achiever and school leader while actually suffering from depression. It’s a great portrayal of depression irl, it’s not just tears and sadness by any means, and even your friends can be fooled.

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the moment she said life is boring, i felt my heart sink. completely unexpected, but somehow makes sense. depression can take many forms, most are very difficult to notice, and when you do, it's bc you are specifically looking for it.

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Exactly, my heart sank as well. I wanted to reach into the screen and hug her so bad.

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Exactly! I JUST went with someone to the doctor so they could get a prescription for antidepressants, and when I heard that, I was like, noooo. She needs help. But having a posse of friends (while they can't really cure clinical depression) can certainly be people to lean on as you're finding your way. I hope her arc ends happily.

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Good on you for going with your friend 👍🏼

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She's my favourite 😭

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This drama ranks ranks pretty much near the top of the list of "dramas that make your heart feel full". (The OST! The characterization! The acting -- with the exception of a few heavy-handed moments in Ep 7-8 which made me despair that Show was losing its magic -- but redeemed in Ep 9)

Could Dramabeans do a post on this theme? I wonder if people could weigh in on your favorites? (This is advance planning to fill in the hole that will appear in 3 weeks' time...)

OBS?
Rain or Shine?
My Mister?

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Oh, I like this very much, Dramas That Make Your Heart Feel Full. Nothing can ever top Kim Sam Soon for me but 25-21 is right up there.

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Suggestions @dbstaff , pls & thanks!

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Episode 9- One of the bestest episodes of this show. So many good moments and I can still remember the scenes so vividly. The confessions of both of them. I love how brutally honest both of them are with each other. I do like the contrast between both confessions starting from Hee Do's confession of her blurting all what was going on her head and she was confused of what she even felt to how Yi Jin just calmly accepted and told it was LOVE from his side and nothing more. I squealed so hard when Yi Jin confessed that it was LOVE. He doesnt need to define it any other way.Like he just knew it all along in his heart and he didnt push himself towards Hee Do on this emotion which he has been bearing all along in his heart. For him she was his ray of hope and the person who stood with him all his struggling time and he accepted her wholeheartedly for who she is. Baek Yi Jin is the standard.

Episode 10- I did like the shift from the main leads story to the other characters life and we got to see a closer look into each of them. Being 19 and the family issues in each of their life. The trip was fun , and we got to see a good bonding between all of them. The sharing headphone scene was super swoony. It made me blush when Yi Jin got closer to her ear and said to get some drinks. Hee Do's expression and her heartbeat was on point.
It was quite strange that the older Hee Do doesnt want to remember the school trip, because 19 year old Hee Do definitely enjoyed and it was really memorable. Bad feeling for the next episodes and the ending with it.

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The only reason I can imagine her saying she doesn't remember it would be if the whole thing takes a dark "I know what you did last summer" turn and they killed a person during the trip and covered it up. They go their separate ways in order to forget about that fateful night.

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Man what a good week for this show. A lot of payoff that’s been building and building since early on. Episode 9 especially was just drama bomb after bomb with relationships changing and evolving. The scene at the snack shop with Yu Rim’s mom and Hee Do got me right in the feels, and just led right into the Injeolmi reveal after the bathroom.

Na Hee Do is just such a great character you can really root for. Always trying to do the right thing even when no one’s watching. Loveably awkward and honest and just adorable when she’s hanging out with her friends. I really do just gush about this show every week, and my only real complaint is that episode 10 wasn’t quite up to the heights of 9…but was still great. What a problem to have when an episode is just great, instead of amazing.

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Ah, another week of wholesome storeytelling, and my heart is so full!! ^^ At this point NHD might as well be labelled 'Sunshine' and BYJ as 'Sunshine Protector', except, he's a ray of sunshine too, when life isn't being a b*tch to him! :'D Why do we have only 3 weeks of this beautiful show left? T_T

Just when I think the show's getting serious, I end up giggling like a teenager! Ep. 10 in my head will forever be known as the Nam Joo Hyuk ASMR and Mukbang Show! xD and 'You are still critters' lives rent-free in my head! xD

25-21 has some of the most heartwarming relationships of Asian dramaland (still lol-ing at the Mom sliding in the medal Tsundere-style)... and this is why I do not mind if the leads don't end up together. Because Yi-Jin and Hee-Do shaped voids in their life can ONLY be filled by the other person, and nobody can replace that special little bond! <3

The show's ending in 3 weeks, and that makes me sad for NJH's impending departure for his MS by the end of 2022. Never thought that would happen! </3

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'You are still critters' and no one except seungwan knowing what "critters" even means was the perfect way to top off that entire sequence of the taeyang 4 not knowing head from tail in the kitchen lol we talk about the emotional aspects of this show more often, but the comedy never misses a single beat either. every episode has had laugh out loud funny moments, and i can say that about only a handful of dramas i've watched in all my years of watching kdramas.

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Honestly, the dramas that can effortlessly make you switch from tearfully smiling at the screen, to next minute rolling around in hysterical laughter without missing a single beat... are some of my personal favorites! :')
So far among k-dramas, this has been the third, [after 18 Again and CLOY]. Suffice to say, I see 25-21 become one of the highest rated shows ever, and not just by me! ^^

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I wonder how the past and the present will meet. I like the present scenes but the actress playing the mother is suffering from the comparison with Kim Tae-Ri.

For the love story, personaly, I don't have issue with their love story, but Yi-Jin had a different speech at the beginning. I hope he knows what he's doing and overall he will follow Hee-Do's mother advice. For now, I guess he doesn't have the luxe to choose where he works, but I don't want him or Hee-Do to be hurt by his job later.

Seung-Wan and Ji-Woong have a deeper relationship than they showed until now. It was really interesting to see how they rely on each other.

I'm so happy to see Hee-Do and Yoo-Rim to be finally friend! They have so much in common after all.

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Finally my YiJin-HeeDo-Yurim ship has sailed, along with the crewmates Ji Woong & Seung Wan. Ep 9 was perfection and my favorite of the lot, ep 10 is a close second. I think the best thing about 2521 is how it perfectly balances all the humor and feelings.. SO MUCH FEELS in this drama y'all!

Yi Jin & Hee Do's relationship is one that i can only strive for at the moment - they not only build each other up, but they're ready to catch each other too without expecting anything in return. I absolutely adore these two!

Oh my Yi Jin! The writer created a character that ticks all the right boxes here. To be able to turn a time of difficulty into an exercise of gratitude and kindness is a testament to what a wonderfully written character YJ is. I already loved him before, but the phone call with Dad just solidified the love even more..if that's possible.

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That conversation was the highlight of the episode for me. Yijin's strength and patience is so inspiring. But it also makes me so sad for him.

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For me it’s sad cos it seems he’s the kind of person who will turn it inwards if anything happens..like it’s his fault cos he wasn’t good enough or a punishment of sorts.

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This wonderful drama has me completely absorbed in the growth of all these relationships. The acting of all the characters is simply amazing and really heart-warming. The only thing I am struggling with is that Hee Do's character at 20 could have gone out of the window and allowed her to become such a dreary adult.

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HD Mom makes me wonder (with dread) what happened to Hee Do to damage her younger spirit.

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These were a couple of good episodes and it seems like there will be no time jump. One of the highlight's was Yu rim's mom hugging Hee Do and I remember thinking she better give her a hug and she did, lol. I also don't think Yi Jin confessed to Hee Do so much as explaining to her that he loves her whole being. He doesn't love her like a sibling but he does love her existence. The show has kept on the right side of the law and ickiness so far and I adore the writers for that.

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I don’t think we’ll get a long time jump. Looks like Ep11-12 will be angst episodes.

I was about to jump YR mom if she didn’t hug her. 😅

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And such a slap in the face to the viewer as a reminder that her own mom NEVER hugs her. I felt that.

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I have lost my faith in HD's mom from ep1 xD

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IKR? She better have some helluva back story to justify why she gets to turn into the warm and fuzzy granny while HD becomes the one who’s emotionless 😒

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@bbstl Can we all agree and deny the present timeline??? Bcs our Hee-do can’t be that emotionless 😭

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Baek Yi-jin has a knack for saying the most swoony/heart-fluttering things in a casual /almost nonchalant way! Pheww

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I loved these episodes. The emotions all landed perfectly. I was so impressed that Yi Jin actually said what their relationship was--and without any pressure on her. She still has some catching up to do, you could tell it was a bit overwhelming for her. But I think he's prepared to wait.

Also loved the resolution to the two girls' love-hate situation. And was glad that Yi Jin immediately said the chat friend wasn't him. (No Startup part 2, lol). Really, everything was awesome in these episodes, which makes me very nervous for the six episodes to come...especially when adult Hee Do said she didn't even remember the trip to the beach. What?!

Adult Hee-Do and her mom are like completely different people than the ones in the past. At this point it's a little hard to connect them, so I'm curious how they will do that. Also, what happened to Yi Jin?? I feel like they have laid foreshadowing for a breakup (well, this is a Kdrama, of course there is a breakup coming!), and they've always warned several times of the dangers of getting too close to a reporter. So my prediction is something along those lines. But I swear if Hee Do really does push him away and never talk to him again...I'm going to find a foil and whack her. Lol.

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I feel like it would be weird to have Yi-jin and Hee-do fall into the same fallout and non-resolution-for-20-years like Hee-do's mom and the coach. Something should be different this time around.

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I've never watched a show that makes me so emotional! The stories are so finely drawn and acted, with an air of nostalgia and wistfulness that makes me think heartbreak is waiting around the corner. I'm going to be a blubbering mess...

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What more is there even left to say about this drama? God, it’s perfect. It’s absolutely pitch perfect and I’m loving every moment of it. It’s so perfect at the moment that I’m dreading for when the angst and heartbreak inevitably hits. I do wish we get a proper time-skip and Yi-jin/Hee-do being an actual couple beforehand sh-t hits the fan. That confession…Baek Yi-jin is *the* blueprint. The perfect man. How is it possible for a man to be this swoony? I was positively melting while watching it. That said, I’m so relieved that Hee-do didn’t immediately reciprocate romantically. She definitely has a crush on him, but it would be extremely inappropriate and creepy if they were in a relationship while she’s still a high schooler. It feels weird to be, in a sense, “waiting” for Hee-do to grow up - like it’s some gross groomer tactic, but there’s no other way to describe it. Ugh, where is a convenient time-skip when you need it?

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sighh everything points t this show breaking our hearts in the end but the nostalgia of youth is so amazingly portrayed here. summers you thought you swear you won't ever forget is forgotten as years go by and more "important" things happen.

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With all the major conflicts resolved by episode 10 I’m very worried what downfall we are headed for next.

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We guessed Hee-Do ranked last at school based on the report Yi-Jin saw when he met the teacher and Yu-Rim expected it ought to be herself. But it was Ji Woong who made a correct guess about him that would be at the bottom of class (or school).

Lesson of the day : Ji Woong is the smartest of us all.

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Adult Hee Do not being able to recall that summer trip was troubling and made me think about when she told Yi Jin something about how she handled her losses by learning how to laugh it off. She said you had to laugh to forget, and forget to be able to move on. Her coach said something similar.

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wish this drama was more about this group of teens growing up and less abou the romance but I only have me to blame. dont feel the chemistry, still cant get over the fact that she;s a teenager - and the drama makes an effort to always reminds us how much they are in different moments of their lives. I can see that to a certain degree yijin is living the young life he had to stop through them. but at the end of the day, its a grown up, who is a TV reporter, hanging out and falling in love with high school juniors/seniors. I tried but it does nothing to me - at best. I would love it if heedo had a crush on him but he had only saw her as a little sister and THEN, in a later moment in life, developed other feelings for her, as she always grows up, is more mature, etc. they would be in a more even field, it would make more sense. but this would be a totally drama. once again, I only have myself to blame lol

with that being said: everything else about this drama.. I love it. the fencing drama, the girls rivalry and friendship, their backstories, the juxtaposition of the daughters - moms relationships, the found group of friends, taeri performance.

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