Twenty Again: Episode 10 Recap

TwentyAgain_10-13

Ahhh we’re ten episodes in! That also means changes-galore in people’s perceptions of things. And change is good in this series. It’s transformative for Nora.

So, is Woo Chul actually getting jealous right now over Hyun Suk and Nora’s closeness? Hyun Suk thought he wouldn’t care since he thinks it’s a one-sided love and Nora only cares for Woo Chul. If Woo Chul’s really that bothered by it though, he might as well talk to his wife about it instead of confronting him. Or, he could at least show some concern for her current condition instead of ignoring her and letting Hyun Suk step in.

Just then Woo Chul gets a text – but it’s from Yi Jin wondering where he is. Hyun Suk also gets a call – but it’s from Sang Ye. She justifies her rash decision in sending Nora up to the country house by assuming that Nora would use the opportunity to get closer to her husband. Tch.

Woo Chul heads to a hidden pathway to a garden, where Yi Jin is waiting for him. He’s uncomfortable to meet like this, but Yi Jin thought this is what they agreed on – and isn’t it just thrilling? Little do they realize Hyun Suk followed Woo Chul and sees them on their date. Displeased by this, he calls Nora out of her room and suggests they go for a walk to help with her indigestion.

Yep – it’s a walk along the perimeter of the house that runs parallel to Woo Chul and Yi Jin’s secret garden path.

They spot Nora and Hyun Suk together and hide behind the bushes to observe. Yi Jin is interested because she thinks Hyun Suk is interested in her student; Woo Chul is interested because he wants to see how far this flirtation will go. And quite “far” indeed, as Hyun Suk zips Nora up into Sang Ye’s spare jacket that he found in his car. But their conversation is quite genial: Nora is impressed that Hyun Suk knew white tea is good for indigestion, and he admits that her grandmother taught him that. She never knew that they were close, but is happily surprised by this revelation and that he treated her so well like an older brother tonight.

She just hopes he doesn’t switch up his personalities on her again, or else she will kill him. Woohoo! Glad she called him out on it, so this should be end of the flip-flopping personalities!

They all return to the house for their late night meeting (where I don’t understand how any work could be done). Woo Chul and Yi Jin separately sneak back into the house, while Nora and Hyun Suk walk through the front door. In front of Woo Chul, Hyun Suk also hands Nora a spare set of pajamas – and yes, they’re his clothes. Hehehe. Woo Chul can’t say anything in front of the other professors in that room!

Meanwhile back home, Min Soo is grappling with the notarized contract he found of his parents’ divorce. He then gets a text from his mom that she won’t be home tonight because her part time job required an overnight shift. It really makes Min Soo think about why she has a part time job to begin with.

The following morning everyone’s getting ready to head back to Seoul. I don’t get what kind of retreat this is as I don’t think they did any work, but in any case Hyun Suk suggests they all do what they want before heading back to the city. Professors Choi and Jung can go golfing, and he suggests Yi Jin and him go cycling. It’s fun and the bike path can be quite… romantic. Yi Jin is all flustered, because she thinks Hyun Suk is totally flirting with her and neither she nor Woo Chul can say anything. Hyun Suk invites Nora and Woo Chul along too, to make it a “double date.” But if Woo Chul doesn’t want to join, then he’ll escort both ladies back to the city.

Not wanting to lose on this, Woo Chul agrees to cycling. The rental place for the tandem bikes offers to take their cars to the restaurant, which is their final destination. Hyun Suk suggests a race – loser pays for the meal. Before anyone can answer, he grabs Nora’s backpack and prods her to get on the bike. He’s starting in three! And before Woo Chul and Yi Jin can get on properly, he bikes off with Nora!

Nora and Hyun Suk clearly have the upper hand, enjoying both the bike ride and being more competitively in sync than the other couple. Woo Chul’s only focus is to beat Hyun Suk, and he bikes a bit too fast for Yi Jin to catch up, it seems. Of course Nora and Hyun Suk win, and at least Woo Chul is a gracious enough loser. But Hyun Suk has second thoughts – maybe they should do the meal another time. He hands Nora back her backpack and grabs Yi Jin by the wrist – they’re going back to Seoul together, and Woo Chul can take Nora back. It’s his way of letting Nora spend some quality time with her husband (since he thinks the two are still in love), but Yi Jin and Woo Chul misunderstand and think that Hyun Suk is a player and actually interested in Yi Jin.

Woo Chul starts peppering Nora with questions about why she’s working with Hyun Suk again, but she just tells him to watch the road. He sees Hyun Suk’s car ahead and dangerously speeds up and cuts in front of him, planning to beat him in this “race” to Seoul. All I can wonder is where are their luggages and would it have been put in the right cars? Anyways Woo Chul gets interested in Hyun Suk’s personal life, thinking that he’s a playboy, but Nora scolds him for being too nosy: didn’t he once say that to be nosy about others’ private life is a vulgar form of voyeurism? Besides, what’s wrong with Hyun Suk dating around if he’s single? It’s not like he’s an adulterer like Woo Chul!

Dayum! Even Woo Chul can’t believe in this change in her, and she fires back that it’s her true personality to be such a spitfire. But then as soon as she says it, she starts wondering – what is her true personality? Woo Chul stops the car in front of a row of small restaurants by the road and suggests they grab some food. But Nora doesn’t want any flour-based dishes as her stomach is still getting over its cramps. “Didn’t you see Hyun Suk bring me porridge this morning?” Man, she just keeps firing bullets his way. She doesn’t want to eat, opting to return to Seoul as quickly as possible. That’s when Woo Chul notices some old ladies selling flowers by the curb. He surprises Nora with a bouquet but pretends he’s just doing it to help the old woman. Nora’s surprised that he’d help out that woman, and accepts it without a word.

Woo Chul thinks he’s gotten on her good side and once again suggests she stop working at Hyun Suk’s place. But Nora doesn’t want to. She doesn’t mind helping a friend, she’s getting paid, and they’re practically divorced so he shouldn’t care about what she does anyways. Woo Chul realizes it’s all because he said he wouldn’t give her living expenses after May, and quickly backtracks by offering her some. But Nora doesn’t want it – she’ll just use the money he gives her on Min Soo and the house. She’ll pay her own tuition too. Nora then ends the conversation by saying she’ll take a nap.

They get home late at night, and don’t notice Hyun Suk watching from afar. Noticing the bouquet and Woo Chul’s small smile, he thinks that his efforts in pushing them together in one car weren’t in vain. Min Soo is confused to see his parents come home together when he has their divorce agreement in his hand, and Woo Chul is all, “Is it that weird for your parents to return home together?” Nora explains that they just saw each other on the way back from their respective trips, but Min Soo still doesn’t know if his parents are reconciling or what.

Hyun Suk returns to his studio to find Sang Ye apologetic for not going on the trip. She defends her decision in sending Nora in her stead by saying she wanted to help Nora get back with her husband. It was also a way for her to tell Hyun Suk to stop being pathetic and get his act together. He can’t have Nora, so Sang Ye didn’t want him to get hurt. She slips up and admits she did it out of her own greed, but covers it up by saying she just didn’t want him to act so foolishly. Hyun Suk understands where she’s coming from, and proceeds to the roof to burn his mix tape and card that he was going to give Nora. However, he can’t bring himself to light it. Even though he knows he’s got feelings for Nora, he knows they will pass. But those two keepsakes are part of his precious memories of the past, and he’s not ready to give those up yet.

The following morning, Nora finally puts Woo Chul’s flowers in a vase. Technically the flowers have done nothing wrong so she shouldn’t just leave them to die for no reason. Woo Chul orders her to get him coffee, but she has no time to help him since she’s got to go to Hyun Suk’s office today. Also, she’s going on a “date” with Dan as part of their assignment from Kim Yi Jin’s class. She remembers Hyun Suk telling her to get a new outfit and dress up since that’s what most girls do for dates anyways. Keeping that in mind, Nora emerges from her bedroom wearing a new dress, and Woo Chul stares at her for so long that he spills coffee on his hand. Nora hands him some tissue and tells him to buck up; it’s not like his coffee is that hot since he likes it with cold water anyways. Ha!

Woo Chul stops her from leaving once more because he’s curious about something: why doesn’t Nora ever ask about his new romance? Who he’s dating, what she does, or when they met? Nora muses, “Hmm… Why do you think that is?” and then leaves. Honestly, she doesn’t care, and Woo Chul is unsettled by that.

When Nora arrives at Hyun Suk’s studio, he too can’t stop staring at her new clothes and pours way too much water into his coffee filter. (I personally don’t think her dress is that great, and I’m a bit confused by it, but she is dressing a lot younger than her age and can somehow pull it off.) Nora teases him about dashing off with Yi Jin the other day, thinking that he likes her. Hyun Suk vehemently denies it; he only took Yi Jin because it would have been weird to take Nora in front of her husband. Nora is a bit deflated that that’s the reason, as if she forgot she was even married to Woo Chul. Meanwhile Yi Jin scolds Woo Chul for acting too obviously jealous when Hyun Suk took her in his car to Seoul. She does brag that he is interested in her though because he implied it through his actions; she is in definite need of affirmation that she is a desirable woman.

Nora goes to meet Dan outside of a subway station, and he spots her immediately because she’s so attractive (in all senses of the word). He asks where she wants to eat and what she wants to do, but Nora is pretty easy going and is willing to follow wherever he goes. Dan is very attentive though, so he helps her narrow some choices and then they settle on Indian because she’s never had it before. The menu is overwhelming, and Dan once again helps her figure out what she wants to try. It’s a huge change from her time with Woo Chul, and she thinks that it’s because Dan is from the States. He’s very open-minded, and curious as to why she came to school so late in her life. He felt bad for her when she was humiliated and had a tough time during her first week, but is really excited that they’re now project partners.

Knowing that she has to return to her part time job after their date, he suggests a “chill” date in the park, where they set up a blanket and watch “Groundhog Day” on his iPad. Nora notices that a lot of young couples around her are doing that too because it’s cheaper and just as fun. When it’s time to go, Dan even escorts Nora to the bus stop and waits for her to get on before leaving. All these simple gestures we’d take for granted are magnified for Nora because Woo Chul never did this for her. He was never considerate enough to give her a break and take care of Min Soo; instead she had to always tiptoe around him. So when Nora relays how much fun she had on her “date” with Dan to Hyun Suk, he wonders just how she must have been living her life if she’s just excited that a guy opens the door for her or considerately explains the things on the menu.

Meanwhile Hye Mi is having an unsatisfying date with Min Soo because he’s too distracted about his parents’ divorce. He poses a hypothetical question to Hye Mi to see what she would do, and she says she’d do everything in her power to stop it. But it’d be important to hear from the parents first as to why they’re divorcing, because trying to stop them might be futile.

Back at school, Nora’s group presents their version of Hamlet to Hyun Suk’s class. Soon Nam is Hamlet, and Nora is the grim reaper who tells him to stop worrying and ask useless questions of “To be or not to be” when he’s about to die. They provide him choices where Soon Nam’s Hamlet eventually chooses to live, and the lesson that Hyun Suk imparts is that people who choose to die ultimately plea for help and to be saved at the end. He congratulates them with red pencils and they pass the project.

Woo Chul gets notified that his project has been approved by Seongsam Group, which is actually the company Yi Jin’s father is in charge of. (I somehow forgot about this detail in earlier episodes, but think that he’s also a board member of WCU.) He settles the project details with them and calls up Hyun Suk to deliver the news that he will no longer be working with him on “You and Now.” Hyun Suk is so thrilled that he records Woo Chul saying it for good measure.

The second thing Woo Chul wants to discuss is that he doesn’t want his wife working at Hyun Suk’s office again. He doesn’t want him taking advantage of his wife, and then asks, “Why did you take Professor Kim Yi Jin when you pretend to like Nora? And you sent Nora to me!” The way Woo Chul says it is so obvious that he cares more about Yi Jin than his wife. Hyun Suk can’t take it anymore and reveals that he sent Nora to him because he knows that all she wants is her family. Hyun Suk was just trying to help them work things out, because he knows that Yi Jin is Woo Chul’s mistress!

Woo Chul can’t even deny it at this point since Hyun Suk saw everything at the theater. He warns Woo Chul to end everything and not let Yi Jin know about Nora since she’s her professor. If Woo Chul makes her life at school even a little uncomfortable, he won’t stand for it. As long as the affair ends, Hyun Suk will not reveal Woo Chul’s relationship with Yi Jin to anyone.

At the same time, Yi Jin learns that Seongsam Group is sponsoring a project similar to “You and Now” and calls Woo Chul to her office. He tries to convince her that if he works with Seongsam Group, it’ll be a project in a bigger scope and will make it easier for her father to accept him as a son-in-law. He also already told Hyun Suk he wouldn’t consult on “You and Now.” Yi Jin can’t understand why he’d do this aside from “appearances’ sake,” whereas he thought she would want what’s best for him. She desperately asks: “Is marrying me your first priority or not?” And Woo Chul doesn’t have a quick answer.

Min Soo visits Yoon Young’s studio to ask a few questions about his parents. He figures that she would know what’s going on with the divorce since Nora would tell her. Yoon Young promises to say only the facts that she’s aware of but urges him to talk to his parents for the full picture. So Min Soo storms into Woo Chul’s office later (amidst his internal debate on the pros and cons between Yi Jin and Nora – and to be fair, the only winning point Yi Jin has is her powerful father) and asks bluntly, “How could you tell her you want a divorce because she’s ignorant? Is she going to college because of you?” Woo Chul tries to dismiss this conversation by saying that Min Soo hated his mom too, and a lack of communication can sever any relationship. But Min Soo cries, “But she’s my mom! No matter what, she’s my mom!” He leaves before Woo Chul can say he’s too busy for this conversation. For a psychologist, Woo Chul really doesn’t understand his son’s state of mind, nor does he know he know the best way to deal with all this deceit.

Min Soo gets home in time to see his mom put on the new bedding she got him with her own money. “Why do you care that my old blanket was shabby when you had decided to die all alone?” Nora is taken aback by his sudden statement, and discovers that he had spoken to Yoon Young and found out (almost) everything. Min Soo is most hurt about the fact that Nora was diagnosed with terminal cancer and didn’t tell anyone at all. Even though he was a jerk to her, he thought that she would at least tell him, her only son. Nora gently also points out that she’s not dying but Min Soo doesn’t care. He knows she’s not, but that’s not the point. It’s the fact that she thought she was and still withheld it that is sad.

He apologizes – for everything really – and embraces his mom. Aww… it’s really sad and touching to see Min Soo show real appreciation for his mom, and Woo Chul comes home to see this scene, and knows that it is not his place to intrude right now. It’s a huge mess, all thanks to him. But Woo Chul has realized a solution!

He wants to call up Nora the next morning to talk to her about his new plot (where he’ll get to keep everything he wants), but she beats him to it and asks to meet in a cafe. Against the morning light, Woo Chul is momentarily dazed by Nora’s beauty, but he takes a seat and gripes about her ordering coffee without asking. Nora: “You like cold coffee.” Heh.

She allows him to talk to her first about what he wants, and he suggests that she transfer to a new university. If she does, he will support her going to college, and he will get his personal space. On top of that, to his advantage, Nora will be far from Hyun Suk, and he can lie to Hyun Suk that he broke up with Yi Jin while getting a divorce from Nora. Doesn’t that sound great?

Except… that entire conversation just happened in his head. He hasn’t even said a single word. Nora gets his attention and announces her reason for the meeting: she wants to go to court and file for divorce now. She has the form already half-filled out. He just needs to do his part, and they’ll go to court now.

Dun dun dun!

Some Thoughts

Nora totally reversed the situation from last week! I think she’s realized that she’s something without Woo Chul, and everyone’s comments have made her rethink why she actually is hanging on to this marriage. She doesn’t care about his affair, and she doesn’t really want to spend more time with him. She has also realized that she’s become more like her true self thanks to Hyun Suk, and she values him more than her own husband. So really – why is she delaying the divorce process any longer? I think it’s her way of finally standing on her own two feet, and I’m really proud of her wanting to get this over with. It’s the exact opposite of Woo Chul, whose selfishness is also making him more scared of a different future where he doesn’t have a wife, mistress, and prominent career. He thought that all he wanted was a divorce, but what he really wants is a woman to take care of him at home and a woman to take care of his mind and body outside of the home. And honestly, Hyun Suk’s forcing him to realize that he can’t do that.

I enjoyed seeing Woo Chul weigh the pros and cons of the two women, and get asked if his main priority is to marry Yi Jin. Weeks ago it would have been, but now he’s really wondering if he needs to marry her. It’s quite pathetic to see that he’s actually relying on a woman to get ahead when he’s trying to shed a woman who is dependent on him; he’s becoming “Nora” and I wonder if he realizes that. And when he’s actually forced to list the qualities between both, in his mind Yi Jin and Nora are actually equal. I liked seeing him realize this because it’s just like Yi Jin’s lesson from the previous episode: one needs to recognize their partner’s good qualities or else the few negative qualities will spoil the relationship. When he saw the strengths in Nora, he probably realized that she wasn’t a terrible wife to begin with. I don’t think he’s realized yet, though, that his horrible domineering attitude towards her made her the “terrible wife” he thinks she is. I don’t want him begging to go back to Nora, but it was nice seeing him try to be nice to her.

I felt that Nora and Woo Chul were so obviously not a true couple in this episode that Hyun Suk and Yi Jin should have noticed something was up. Nora was clearly disinterested in her husband at the retreat, while Woo Chul acted far too concerned about where Yi Jin was going at all times. It felt a bit obvious about who liked whom and how they were all connected to each other, but it could also be that as a viewer we know everything and so we read more into it than the characters would. Also, I felt that Min Soo needs to improve on his crying-acting a bit, though it did not entirely diminish his touching scene with his mother since I ended up crying too. As a kid, you tend to think the world centers around you, and you forget that your parents are humans too. They’re not impervious to marital issues and have their own desires as well. And so him apologizing for being an inconsiderate kid makes me hopeful that he won’t be like his father at all and delighted that he’s going to be supportive of his mother.

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