Twenty Again: Episode 7 Recap

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Nora just keeps getting stronger! Go Nora! A lot of perceptions people have of Nora are changing, and it’s for the better. She’s helping them rethink their own lives and how they treat others by simply being herself. It’s fitting as we reach the midway point of the series.

Hyun Suk is overjoyed and relieved that Nora is going to live. She is curious to know how he found out, but before he can reveal the source, her coworker hurries her to come back to the convenience store. Nora nearly gets in trouble with the manager on her first day, but rushes to man the cashier. It’s a little tough standing the whole time, and not being able to use her phone even when the store isn’t busy, but she overcomes it!

Meanwhile Hyun Suk meets a producer who wants to follow him for a day and shoot the behind the scenes for the play. He’s usually averse to being followed by a camera, but today he’s in such a good mood that he agrees to it. Sang Ye notes the difference in his demeanor too, but Hyun Suk delays telling her because he’s so happy he’s tired. But just when he goes to take a nap, he’s disturbed by another thought: if Nora isn’t dying, then why is she putting up with her husband’s affair?

The following day Nora wakes up early to make some homemade kimbap. Woo Chul thinks it’s for Min Soo, but she says it’s for Hyun Suk because she’s very thankful to him. Woo Chul snappishly reminds her that she ought to be careful with her actions because she’s attending the school he works at and Min Soo attends. Pfft – he should be the one to talk since he’s the one with the affair! He wonders if one of the packs is his, but Nora says no: “You don’t even eat homemade food.”

She goes to get ready for school, and Woo Chul sneaks a bite from the spare ends of the roll. It’s good! And the way he eats it is like he’s rediscovering how good his wife’s food is. So he steals a couple more pieces.

Min Soo’s already at the library, and he can’t stop thinking about how his mother drew out a map to expressly avoid him. It’s a good thing, because it means that if he meets with Hye Mi, they won’t run into his mom. Meanwhile Nora reaches the school campus and gets a text from Seung Hyun to meet up with Soon Nam so they can all discuss their group project. Nora sees Hyun Suk bike his way in, and when she calls for him he totally ignores her.

Guess we’re back to the “hate” part of the love-hate relationship!

First stop – Nora wants to give Min Soo two of the kimbap boxes, but realizes she also promised to not know him at all in school. So she goes to find the next best thing – Hye Mi! She gives Hye Mi the lunch, pretending that she had extra made, and tells the girl to share it with a “friend.” Of course Hye Mi then gives it to Min Soo as they eat lunch at a secluded spot, and pretends that she and her mother made it. Oh well – it’s stolen credit, but Nora feels good knowing that her son got to eat her food.

She sneaks away, forcing herself to stop spying on her son, but then sees her Woo Chul on his way. He’s gunning for the same secluded spot that’s been nicknamed “Under the Wisteria Tree” because that’s his usual meeting place with Yi Jin! Nora quickly runs over to her son and Hye Mi and grabs Hye Mi’s hand. They rush off in the opposite direction while Min Soo stands there, lost and wondering why his mom took Hye Mi. Suddenly, Woo Chul appears!

Thank goodness Nora took Hye Mi away! And when Yi Jin sees Woo Chul talking to her son, she quickly makes an about-face and walks away! When Nora and Hye Mi finally stop running, she makes up the excuse that Hye Mi’s dress was unbuttoned and thought she’d be embarrassed in front of her boyfriend! Hye Mi returns to Min Soo (once the coast is already clear), quite amused by Nora’s antics. And Min Soo is surprised that Nora didn’t reveal herself to be his mom.

Nora then heads off to meet Seung Hyun and Soon Nam, who are way more interested in eating than talking about their project of re-enacting a famous scene. The kimbap is so good and they haven’t had homemade food in a while! It’s kinda cute. Just then, Nora gets a text from Min Soo – he wants to meet!

Min Soo confronts his mom about Hye Mi: How long did she know? Why didn’t she tell dad? Why didn’t he use it against her when he told his dad that she was attending school? Nora calmly replies that she found out when they had a fight and thought it would be best for Min Soo to experience all aspects of college life. After all, she can say from experience that you’ll never get this time back. And, if she told Woo Chul he’d have to go to the army right away. Min Soo is flabbergasted; it seems he only knows how to tattle tale and thought that his mom would use his girlfriend against him at home. He never thought about what his mom was thinking, or saw her as an individual eloquent person.

I hope he now regrets telling Woo Chul about his mom attending school, because she has done nothing so far to intrude in his way of life.

Nora finally heads to Hyun Suk’s studio to give him his kimbap, but he’s totally unwelcome. She only wanted to give him food because she was sorry for not helping him the night before, but he no longer wants her help. Hyun Suk basically admits that he was only helping her because he thought she was dying. Now that she isn’t, he’s going back to treating her coldly like before. He kicks her out, as he’s preparing a dinner party for his “true” friends.

Nora stomps out, but then rethinks just leaving and barges back in. (At this point, Sang Ye is already at the studio and awkwardly listening to the fight.) Nora thought they had reconciled and become good friends like they were in the past again. She never asked him for help to go to school secretly or to do things for her, like the movie and going back to Haekwang High. He made all these assumptions on his own and never bothered asking her for confirmation. So she thinks he’s gone mad! And if he doesn’t want to acknowledge her anymore outside of school, then fine!

I love how hot-headed Nora is around Hyun Suk, which frustrates him endlessly because he wonders why she can’t be like that with Woo Chul. As for Sang Ye, she’s relieved that Nora isn’t sick, but a little disappointed because she was already planning their next surprise.

We find out in a flashback that the night before, after Hyun Suk found out she wasn’t dying, he went to Yoon Young’s studio to confront her. She’s bemused that he only just found out, but also defends herself for not saying anything; she too wanted Nora to experience everything on her bucket list because they were so simple and so easy to fulfill. Nora never had a normal youth because she became a mother and had to take care of the household. Hyun Suk doesn’t understand why Nora would stay with a man who mistreats her, but Yoon Young points out that Woo Chul and Min Soo are her world. While the couple has its own problems (and Yoon Young doesn’t talk about the impending divorce), she defends Nora’s decision to stay with her husband because it’s all she’s ever known for twenty years. It’s hard to leave that life right away.

So back in the present, Hyun Suk is acting all petty and angry that he did all these nice things to someone who didn’t deserve it. Sang Ye points out that he’s acting quite immature, which makes Hyun Suk even more annoyed – why does Nora make him act so immaturely?! In any case, he gives Sang Ye the finished manuscript to deliver to Woo Chul and calms himself down in time for the party, where he rounds up his usual production crew so they can all celebrate the start of “You & Now.”

The following day, Hyun Suk hurries to school because it’s class time again. He heads straight for his locker and sees Nora there, filling up her bag. Hyun Suk demands that Nora empty out the locker as she can never use it again. “Can’t you see I’m already doing that?!” Nora yells back. Well that took the wind out of Hyun Suk’s sails – she totally beat him to the punch! She grabs all of her books as quickly as possible and storms off, not wanting to deal with Hyun Suk anymore. Unfortunately that means she leaves her cellphone in the locker. To spite her, Hyun Suk just locks up the phone in the locker. So petty!!

Nora heads to practice with Bounce, and Soon Nam watches as she catches up, learning all the moves to a basic dance. He then gathers all the team leaders to discuss what they’ll perform at the school’s festival. While they have a concept in place, they don’t know what to do with Nora. They had pre-made the teams, and putting her just anywhere may disrupt the flow of each team. The president of the club suggests putting her as part of the set-up crew, but Soon Nam worries she’ll be offended.

“I will join the set-up crew!” Nora interrupts, as she enters the club room with all of her books and bag. Soon Nam immediately goes to her aid to put her stuff down, and she willingly volunteers to do simple set-up since she doesn’t want to perform onstage. Besides, being on the set-up crew means more time to spend at the festival grounds! With that settled, all the team leaders leave the room and she enthusiastically says goodbye to her seniors. It makes the president feel awkward, but Soon Nam kind of finds it cute now.

And I find Soon Nam cute for being so nice to Nora now.

Nora then realizes that she doesn’t have her phone! She retraces her steps back to the locker, and despairs to find it locked. She borrows a phone to call her cell, and hears it ringing inside the locker! Now she needs to talk to Hyun Suk again! She goes to his office on campus but it’s already locked. Another T.A. tells her that Hyun Suk left already, so she hurries outside to see him walking determinedly to his car. He ignores her calls and gets into his car. She chases after the car, and he stops every time she stops running to take a breath. When she runs again, he drives again. WHAT A LITTLE KID.

Finally he lets her catch up and Nora asks whether he saw her phone. He denies seeing it (that jerk) and then says he put the locker key in his office, and he won’t give her his office key. He won’t spend another five minutes helping her either because he has a meeting, so she asks if he can bring it to class. Ha! Like he would do that. So Nora kicks his car as he drives off! Hee.

Hyun Suk’s meeting is with Woo Chul, who’s displeased with the script. Everything he suggested, especially about loss from a disaster, wasn’t in the script! Hyun Suk points out that they never agreed on that detail, and that Woo Chul is merely a consultant, but that he doesn’t have to take the consultant’s advice. After all, he never wanted the consultation, but the school forced it upon him. Woo Chul senses that Hyun Suk doesn’t like him because he’s Nora’s husband, and asks if the professor is interested in his wife. Hyun Suk admits he was, but no longer is interested. Besides, Nora would pick Woo Chul over him any day since she clearly loves him more. That gives Woo Chul something to think about, as he always took his wife for granted before.

It’s time for Hyun Suk’s theater class, and one of the teams presents a modern retelling of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for their project. It’s kinda funny how Juliet rejects Romeo for not being able to afford a better apartment… Anyways – it’s not yet Nora’s team’s turn to present, but Hyun Suk does make a pointed remark at her about how he’s looking forward to the other teams’ presentations.

After class, Nora chases after him yelling “Cha Hyun Suk!” but immediately switching to “Professor!” once she has his attention. He pretends he forgot his keys again. Nora wants to ask Sang Ye for help, but Hyun Suk won’t let her see Sang Ye or even go near his offices. He’s so mean to her now, and Nora ends up crying in the bathroom stall. She doesn’t understand why he’s torturing her like this when she thought they were friends again.

Yi Jin happens to overhear Nora’s sobbing, and wonders if a break-up just happened. Just then Nora emerges from the stall, and both ladies quickly turn away to hide their faces, embarrassed for having intruded on a private moment. In the rush, Yi Jin leaves her phone behind on the sink. Nora notices that a “Cousin” is calling and runs after Yi Jin to give the phone back. “Cousin” is actually Woo Chul, and he was just on his way towards Yi Jin when he sees his wife and mistress together, and quickly hangs up.

Just then, a flower delivery guy shows up with a huge bouquet of flowers for Nora! Yi Jin is quite curious to see who would be giving her oldest student flowers, but the card only says, “To the person I wanted to watch over.” Nora isn’t quite sure who would send her these, but she knows it’s not her husband. Woo Chul is the most insincere husband when it comes to her birthday anyways, giving her a red envelope of money as if it’s an obligation every year.

Of course, the flower giver is Hyun Suk, and he flips out when he realizes he never canceled the flower delivery order after he decided to be mean to Nora. Sang Ye shrugs, as she thinks it’s still a nice gesture because Nora probably never received flowers in her life. But Hyun Suk is all, “She doesn’t deserve flowers! Why did I write that?!”

Yi Jin follows Nora from a distance, musing jealously over why she never gets flowers herself. And Woo Chul watches them from afar, wondering why his mistress is following his wife. Worried about what relationship they may have, he calls Yi Jin to meet at the gallery where they first met.

Flashback to four years ago and Woo Chul was a hard-working, naive professor then. His friend had recommended him to join this elite network of famous people so that he’d develop good connections. Yi Jin was part of this group, and when she observes a red painting, she nearly faints. Woo Chul catches her in time and observes that she might have Stendhal Syndrome (a case where one suffers from fainting and dizzying spells while in awe at artwork). Yi Jin is attracted to him right away, and they end up talking the night away without a care for anyone else. And now it’s been four years and Yi Jin’s been forced to hide and pretend they aren’t in a relationship. At least they have the contract to look forward to, where Woo Chul will finally be able to terminate his marriage. But Yi Jin is jealous that others can receive flowers.

That’s when she reveals that Nora is her student in class, and it makes Woo Chul visibly uncomfortable. At least Yi Jin thinks that Nora is single and just attending school late because she had to take care of her family first. That evening, Woo Chul tries to hypnotize Nora while she’s asleep by suggesting that she quit school. Of course that doesn’t exactly work…

The following day, Hyun Suk and Sang Ye start filtering through actors’ resumes in his studio office. Nora’s phone, which he did retrieve from the locker, is ringing off the hook. It’s Woo Chul, and he wants to meet Nora for lunch. Hyun Suk believes that the couple might be on the verge of reconciliation, but that he’s standing in the way of that because he won’t give Nora’s phone back! (This leads to Sang Ye tsking over his immaturity.) He runs out of the studio and crashes into Nora, who came by to see if she can get her phone. Hyun Suk quickly hands it over, and Nora calls her husband back, curious as to why he suddenly wants to meet in the middle of the day.

The husband and wife meet at an Italian restaurant for lunch, where Woo Chul’s ordered the specials for the both of them. He wants to talk about the contract. Woo Chul wants to surrender now – he never realized how strong Nora’s feelings for him were until now and admires the fact that she’s going to college to match his intelligence level. However, he wants her to quit college and in return, he will cancel the divorce agreement.

Eh?!

Thank God Nora is skeptical about that, especially since she knows about his affair. So she completely rejects his proposal. Go ahead with the divorce – she will continue going to school! Woohoo!

Some Thoughts

Go Nora! I thought it was weird Woo Chul would give up divorce as long as she quits school because it’s obvious he’d find some other scheme to make sure they go through with the divorce. There’s also no way that Hyun Suk’s words about Nora loving him more could have moved Woo Chul to appreciate his wife more. So I’m glad we cut through that weird, gray area and Nora just asks to proceed with the divorce. It’s also a moment of empowerment for her in front of her husband, as she doesn’t have many opportunities to talk back to him.

On the other hand, it’s a lot easier for her to talk back at Hyun Suk because he’s not her world. He’s just a friend, and it’s easier for her to call him out on his immaturity. And my goodness, Hyun Suk is crazy immature here. He can’t handle her dying and now can’t handle her living. I would dedicate Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” to him, really. His over-dramatics are kind of entertaining, and I feel par for the course for such a talented producer. He’s got a wild imagination. However his actions are very self-centered. It’s all about how Nora affects him and how he would feel. He doesn’t do the bucket list to make her happy per se, but also to alleviate his guilt. It’s also why he acts so annoying and petty in this episode. One would wish that there would be one less selfish person in Nora’s life, but so far all the men in her life are. They think about themselves and their feelings first, and then treat Nora in such a way to alleviate any discomfort or guilt.

For all the pathetic-ness Nora used to be in the series, she is really the only sane person in this show. She may not know how to completely live for herself, by herself just yet. But she is learning and seeing things with a more open and pragmatic view. I’d even venture to say that the women in this show are more sane than the men in this show, who make up various scenarios to cover up their tracks. Nora and Yoon Young are straight shooters who say things like it is, while Yi Jin and Hye Mi – even though Yi Jin is a bit of a paradox – at least know what they want and have expectations just like any woman to be treated well and acknowledged by her respective boyfriend.

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