What a really fun episode – more so because Nora and Min Soo go clubbing! I hope Nora can pull off some more than just basic moves though, later in the series. Until then, I’ll just say she’s a bit rusty as a dancer.
Nora witnesses Woo Chul adjusting his mistress’ scarf, and just as she steps forward for a closer look, Hyun Suk appears behind her and covers her eyes. Nora doesn’t seem to realize that Hyun Suk is there and pushes him away, going back to the hall to get a closer look. And a closer look she gets as Woo Chul puts his arm around his girl’s waist.
Woo Chul realizes they need to get a parking pass and turns around, and Nora quickly whips around the corner and bumps into Hyun Suk. Again, she doesn’t realize he’s there as she rushes out of the theater until he calls after her. He makes up the excuse that he’s there to watch the show too, but she’s too caught up in her own troubles to talk to him.
Nora thinks back to 2011 when Woo Chul first suggested divorce. He had claimed that it’s too difficult for him to live with her because they’re so different, so he wants to break up. She doesn’t understand why he’d be so unhappy with her (and to her credit, he’s the one who doesn’t communicate well with her at all), but she knows she has no choice. She did wonder if Woo Chul was cheating on her but he was always at work when she called and came home by midnight. So Nora believed that it was because they were incompatible, rather than an affair, that drove them apart.
Hyun Suk is obviously concerned for her and he follows her in his car as she walks down the block. Going through the stages of grief, Nora starts laughing maniacally but tears up when she gets Yoon Young’s call. The two best friends skip the show to talk at the park, and Yoon Young is curious why Nora didn’t just confront them at the theater. Nora was too scared though, because she’s already at the brink of losing everything. Ever since she was 18 she only had Min Soo and Woo Chul, and she can’t imagine a life alone without them. She finally breaks down and cries, and Hyun Suk witnesses this from afar.
It’s no surprise that when he returns to his office, Sang Ye knows she’s in big trouble. She realized quite belatedly (based on his actions) that giving the tickets to Woo Chul was a big mistake because he has another woman. Hyun Suk feels even worse now because he really doesn’t want Nora to die a pathetic woman.
Nora returns home and cleans up Min Soo’s room. Woo Chul returns not too long after and says they need to talk. He gives an incredibly unbelievable explanation on why she must quit school and divorce him, which boils down to the fact that he can’t stand being with her in the same house and same school. Nora points out that Woo Chul has never made an effort to improve communication and that’s why their lives were so boring. Woo Chul also refuses to pay for her tuition; if she thought she could delay the divorce so he’d pay her tuition, then she’s got another think coming. And she better quit or else she’ll make the next four years a living hell for him and Min Soo.
He’ll give her until June 2 to make a decision about getting a divorce and quitting school, and Nora coldly says she’ll think about it. She’s been insulted enough: that she’s not worthy to go to school, unwelcome, and too stupid to save her own marriage. She goes to the kitchen and starts beating at dried pollack. Woo Chul thinks that she’s taking out her anger and tells her to let go of the past. Nora: “Are you cheating on me?” Hah! “Men who cheat suddenly become kind and make excuses for everything.” Woo Chul sputters a denial and so Nora dismisses him from the kitchen; she’s got pollack soup to make.
The following day, Hyun Suk waits in his car looking for Nora, hoping she’ll come to school. He sees Woo Chul first arriving in his car and so Hyun Suk decides to approach him. “I heard you got some special tickets from Sang Ye,” he opens. Woo Chul: “Oh I had to go to a funeral so I gave the tickets to a student. I can see them next time.” Hyun Suk balls his hand into a fist; an outright liar totally deserves to be punched, but Hyun Suk restrains himself. He then enters the building to see Nora putting her books away. She is in no mood to talk, but attributes it to being really busy – like cleaning the club’s practice room since she is a rookie member. Hyun Suk worries over how she works so hard when she’s supposed to be suffering from cancer, but cleaning the mirrors is like Nora’s way of erasing her past.
Hyun Suk calls up Yi Jin to check in on where she is, and is quite glad to hear that she’s coming to the school with her father because of a board meeting. Yi Jin wonders if he’s interested in her, but her father disapproves of Hyun Suk’s family background. He wants her to start dating another son of a chaebol, but Yi Jin begs for some time until the end of the year.
They drive up to the school’s entrance, and Chairman Kim is quite flattered to meet Hyun Suk when the famous producer is usually too busy for social calls. Chairman Kim cuts to the chase when he asks whether Hyun Suk would be interested in marrying his daughter. Hyun Suk says his ideal woman though is Kim Woo Chul’s wife. This is news for Chairman Kim, who now knows that Woo Chul has a wife, and for Yi Jin, who didn’t realize that Hyun Suk and Woo Chul’s wife were best friends. (She still doesn’t know it’s Nora.) It’s quite a smart maneuver on Hyun Suk’s part because now he’s painted Woo Chul as a married man; if Yi Jin presents Woo Chul to her father as a boyfriend, Chairman Kim will surely disapprove and think his daughter is a home wrecker.
Min Soo is once again at the library, and he discovers a map in one of his books. It’s the one Nora used to avoid her son’s routine so that they won’t ever have to bump into each other. She texts him right then to tell him not to feel burdened, as she’s doing her best to avoid him. It’s a good thing Nora leaves the ‘Marriage and Family’ class just in time though, as Min Soo ends up rushing in late to pick up Hye Mi from her class.
Nora passes by the lounge where she sees Seung Hyun looking for another part time job. This girl is so resourceful, as she works three part-time jobs and is looking for another to fill up her Sundays so that she can save up for living expenses. It gives Nora an idea – she wants a part time job too! After all, she too doesn’t want to rely on her husband’s pity and take the allowance he gives her.
Hyun Suk calls up Yoon Young for a favor, as he wants to do something for Nora. He admits that he was in possession of Nora’s diary – but gave it back! – and saw her bucket list. Yoon Young realizes that Hyun Suk thinks Nora is dying of cancer, and doesn’t bother clarifying the truth for him! Instead she scolds him for torturing Nora’s first days in school, and then lets him feel guilty while planning out his surprise for Nora.
The next thing we know, it’s April 1. Nora finds herself going to school with a bunch of students dressed in their high school uniforms, as it’s a tradition for some on April Fool’s day. And standing right by the entrance is none other than Yoon Young, dressed in their old school uniform too! Like two conspiratorial ahjummas that they are, the two of them sneak off giggling to the bathroom so Nora can change into the uniform too! After all, she is a college student and should do it too!
They go outside and find Cha Hyun Suk waiting – also in his school uniform and wearing very cool sunglasses! Eee! It’s too funny how hard he tries to act cool. Nora isn’t used to Hyun Suk being this funny, and he takes them away to the next location. (No way in hell are they all going to walk around WCU like this! They’re going to play hooky!) As they walk out of WCU, they pass by Woo Chul in his car, who’s shocked to see his wife acting like a twenty-year old with her friends. Hyun Suk notices him staring and especially puts his arms around the girls and leads them away. Yeah Woo Chul! You go feel jealous!
Yoon Young, Hyun Suk, and Nora head to their old school’s neighborhood where they bump into Dong Chul, the kid who always finished Yoon Young’s rice cakes back at school. Nora’s surprised to see him again, and he reveals that Hyun Suk expressly invited him for today’s outing. They all head to their old high school, which is empty but still looks the same. All the memories come flooding back, with Nora tearing up about her former life and Hyun Suk feeling emotional while watching Nora. Only Yoon Young is amused, as she knows Hyun Suk is being a sucker right now.
They go outside to the small clearing where Nora and Yoon Young first fought, and we discover in a flashback that Hyun Suk had witnessed the entire fight. It was also the day he began to respect and admire Nora. We also find out that Hyun Suk visited Nora’s grandmother’s shop almost every weekend; it explains his attachment towards her grandmother, and his initial bitterness with Nora in the beginning of the series for not being around when her grandmother died. When he snaps out of his reverie, Nora quickly pulls some old tricks on Hyun Suk: making him bow his head when he looks at an invisible stain, or poking his cheek when he turns his head. It’s simple tricks that delight Nora and the rest, and then they even take some selfies with funny faces. I have to say, it’s the first time I thought Choi Ji Woo was cute.
Nora walks down the old street leading to her grandmother’s shop and sees that it’s been taken over by a large business building. There’s a storefront there where Dong Chul now runs a ddukbokki business but neither Hyun Suk or Dong Chul tell her about it. In fact, they’re keeping it a secret from her that they revived the grandmother’s business with her secret recipe, and that Hyun Suk paid for the funeral.
Nora tears up as she remembers her grandmother warning her not to reveal her family at school. Grandma didn’t want Nora to be looked down by the other students who came from richer families, so she forbade Nora from ever acknowledging her in front of other students. And to think Nora’s doing that now with Min Soo… But never mind all that – they have to head to the highlight of the day! Clubbing at a local college bar!
Min Soo and Hye Mi are also dressed in their high school clothes as they enter the club, showing off their ID’s that they’re old enough to get in. (It’s all part of the fun – to dress underage when you’re really of age.) Little do they realize that Nora is with her friends just further back in the line, trying to get in too! Hyun Suk tries to convince the bouncer that Nora really is a college student, and that they should be cool enough to let in. But the bouncer’s got a “standard” to keep and won’t let them in. Nora is puzzled as to why Hyun Suk’s trying so hard to get into a club, and Yoon Young replies, “It’s because apparently you wanted to go.” Whoops! Yoon Young quickly recovers, saying it’s just a hot spot, and thankfully Nora doesn’t question it further.
Now they’re forced to switch to Plan B – go to a bar where they play more classic songs and is more suitable for their crowd. It takes little prodding for the four friends to find their groove and to start dancing to all the songs they grew up with.
Meanwhile, Min Soo has a hard time dancing, as he’s not as talented as his girlfriend. When Hye Mi tries to get him to groove with her, he runs off to the bar for a drink. Unfortunately that leaves her open to dance with other single guys who’ve got more moves than him. Min Soo doesn’t know how to take Hye Mi back as his partner, so he drinks bottle after bottle of beer.
Eventually Min Soo gets back on the dance floor, quite tipsy. Hye Mi suggests they leave, but he refuses to. He studies the guy who was dancing with Nora, looking at his fancy footwork. It takes a few stumbles, but Min Soo finally gets it – and he’s light on his feet and bouncing to the music with his girlfriend. Yay! Looks like Min Soo got some of his mother’s dancing genes after all!
It’s finally time to go home, and Dong Chul and Yoon Young take the first bus headed in their direction. Nora and Hyun Suk take the next one together; it’s a bit embarrassing to be dressed in their high school uniforms at their age, but Nora really appreciates the day that they had together. It’s memories she’d never forget, and she’s really grateful to Hyun Suk for planning this special day and being a really good friend.
It’s past midnight already and Woo Chul is home, wondering where on earth she is since she dressed like a high school student that morning. He’s been distracted all day, even though he tried to hang out with Yi Jin in the afternoon. Heh – I love how he can’t fathom his wife having a real life without him.
Nora bumps into Min Soo at the elevator to their apartment. He’s shocked that his mother also dressed in her uniform while she’s shocked that her son managed to find it! Nora worries that they’ll get in trouble with Woo Chul now, as Min Soo should have changed back to normal clothes first because Woo Chul thinks he went to class, not clubbing! They quietly sneak into the apartment, but Woo Chul turns on the lights.
Woo Chul: “What’s this? How come you two are coming in together? Kim Min Soo, aren’t you supposed to be going to English class today?”
Min Soo: *head down*
Nora: “Today was April Fool’s, uniform day.”
Woo Chul: “So, are you not even a mother anymore? What are you doing going around like that?”
Nora: (matter-of-factly) “I went clubbing.”
Min Soo and Woo Chul: “What!?”
Nora: “Where did you go, Min Soo? You should go clubbing. It’s really fun!”
Woo Chul: “Should you be saying that to your son?”
Nora: “Playing for one day isn’t going to make one year go to waste. There’s always a time for playing.”
Bam! Nora then heads off to her bedroom, where she tells Woo Chul she’s too tired to talk. And yes, she’s still thinking about his proposition of quitting school and divorcing, so he need not bug her.
The following day, Hyun Suk tells Nora to come by his office by 7pm as he has some more work for her to do. In reality he wants to treat her to a humble dinner consisting of her grandmother’s special ddukbokki. It’s probably one more thing on her bucket list, and it’s something that he plans to tell Nora about when the time is right. However later that day, Seung Hyun finds Nora a part time job at a convenience store! So Nora ends up really late for her meeting with Hyun Suk.
He rushes over to her new job, where she’s still training, and pulls her out from behind the counter to talk. Getting really angry and emotional, he questions why she has to work so hard when she’s dying! She has only six months and already it’s sad that she doesn’t have time to do everything she wants. But on top of that she has to work!? While suffering from pancreatic cancer?!
Nora pulls the brakes – he knew about her cancer? Hyun Suk admits he did, but that’s not the point right now! Nora: “I’m not dying. It was an error…” Hyun Suk’s face contorts from anger to relief – is she really not dying?! She’s really not going to die!?
And he pulls her into a hug. Yay!
I’m glad that’s also sorted out! Now Hyun Suk won’t ever have to worry about having too little time to spend with Nora. I wonder if he’ll get angry at some point because he feels betrayed, but I think he’s also fallen in love with her again, so it doesn’t matter. Too bad we’ll never get to guilt Woo Chul about Nora dying though, just so he could treat his wife a little better.
I thought this episode was quite cute, where Nora got to relive some of her teenage years. I was really hoping Nora got into the same club as her son though, and he would realize just how cool his mother is. He could then perhaps learn some moves from her and join Bounce Club to impress Hye Mi further. I’m glad Min Soo wasn’t insufferable in this episode as he was in the last. He at least realized that he and Nora were in the same boat for coming home late from clubbing, and that his mom of all people defended their night out. I can only hope his respect for her grows before she leaves him after the divorce.
I really wonder what Woo Chul’s appeal is – in both the past and the present. I guess in the past it didn’t matter because he knocked up Nora and they stuck together to do right by their son. However, he seems like he was always a jerk, and I wonder if there was ever a point in the past when he actually was trying to be a good husband. So far none of the flashbacks show him making any effort towards Nora. It’s annoying that he acts like he knows how to be a good husband, when in reality he doesn’t. I don’t know what made him so appealing to Yi Jin either.
The best part of this episode for me was when Hyun Suk made it even more awkward for Yi Jin and Woo Chul to go public about their relationship. He’s slowly spreading the word that Woo Chul is a taken man, so if he were to end up with Yi Jin then something naughty must have been happening behind the scenes. It’s a better revenge then outright revealing to everyone their affair. As for Nora, I know she’d never use the affair against Woo Chul or reveal that she knows, but I am glad that it’s emboldened her when interacting with Woo Chul.
- Twenty Again: Episode 5 Recap
- Twenty Again: Episode 4 Recap
- Twenty Again: Episode 3 Recap
- Twenty Again: Episode 2 Recap
- Twenty Again: Episode 1 Recap