Twenty Again: Episode 12 Recap

TwentyAgain_12-36

By this episode, the revelations are complete! It’s great the characters were able to figure everything out themselves because they’re just smart people, and were given enough clues to put things together.

Nora wakes up to find Hyun Suk beside her, and to make matters more awkward, he puts his arm around her! She immediately pulls away, and rushes out of the sauna. Thankfully Hyun Suk doesn’t wake up when she makes these movements, as he’s really fast asleep when he put his arm on her. But he does wake up to find no one next to him, and Seung Hyun sleeping quite far away on her own mat.

Worried, he calls up Nora’s cell to check up on her. She’s already home and blames the sauna for being too hot for her to stay any longer. Heh. Hyun Suk doesn’t think too much on it but hopes she’ll explain to her husband where she was. Like she really will: she doesn’t bother telling Woo Chul anything when he wakes up that morning.

Hyun Suk makes sure new steel bars are installed at Seung Hyun’s apartment, and she asks if he likes Nora. She saw them sleeping near each other after she came back from the bathroom and got the idea. He insists they’re just friends, and tells her to just run errands for him instead of paying him back for the steel bars. Meanwhile Nora quits Bounce, as she’s barely making it to the meetings with all her side jobs. She apologizes to Soon Nam, but offers to come if he ever needs help. Soon Nam will really hold her to that, as he’s gonna miss her.

Yi Jin is still feeling uncomfortable after discovering who Woo Chul’s wife is. She decides to confront Hyun Suk head on when he arrives at school and informs him that Woo Chul will no longer be working on “You and Now,” just to gauge his reaction. Hyun Suk agrees and walks off coldly, making Yi Jin even more confused as to why he seems to hate her.

She heads back to her office and starts drawing a relationship chart. Spurred on by Hyun Suk’s comment of telling her to figure out why he’s been acting so strangely, she figures out that Hyun Suk might still like Nora. But then why did he show interest in her? That’s when it clicks – she remembers that he found her fountain pen and asked if she was dating someone on the sly. That means Hyun Suk knew everything from the beginning!

So Yi Jin goes straight to Hyun Suk’s office to clarify everything. She knows why he was “interested” in her, and explains that while she is dating Woo Chul now, she met him when he was technically divorced from his wife. This is news to Hyun Suk, but yay for finally knowing the truth! Of course Yi Jin makes it sound like she hasn’t done anything wrong in being a home wrecker (even though she was) and that it’s all Nora’s fault that she and Woo Chul haven’t gotten a divorce yet. She wants to ensure that Hyun Suk won’t spread unfounded rumors.

Nora’s already at his studio office with Sang Ye working on the final audition list. Sang Ye suggests getting ddukbokki and wonders if Nora knows about the place Dong Chul manages. Nora is surprised to hear this and goes to the store to see for herself. It’s exactly the same name as her grandmother’s place, and somehow Yoon Young shows up too to check it out. Dong Chul invites them in, thinking that Hyun Suk finally told her about the place. But when it turns out that wasn’t the case, he explains what happened…

After Nora’s grandmother’s funeral, Dong Chul and Hyun Suk helped clean out the store. It was going to be transferred to another owner, and while cleaning it out Dong Chul found the secret seasoning that made the ddukbokki so good. Little had anyone realized, Hyun Suk had taken true ownership of the store and had someone else run it in his stead. Years later, when Dong Chul’s acting prospects failed and he found himself in debt, Hyun Suk gave the store to him to manage. So once again, Nora’s past is revived thanks to Hyun Suk.

Hyun Suk has a hard time processing the fact that Nora and Woo Chul are getting a divorce, because it means that all of his efforts were futile. He was trying to fix an already broken couple. He returns to his studio office where he sees Sang Ye wondering where Nora went. She thinks she made another mistake in telling Nora about the ddukbokki place before he had a chance to tell her, but Hyun Suk approves of her decision. He gets a call from Dong Chul about how Nora is still crying at the restaurant, and Hyun Suk orders him to close the place down for the day and he’ll cover the sales. As Nora’s “oppa” he is going to make sure she has time to grieve and deal with things on her own. Sang Ye’s a bit surprised by Hyun Suk’s actions, but Hyun Suk realizes he needs to be a true friend. Nora was alone from the beginning, and he had been mean to her so many times because he misunderstood everything. Now he needs to be supportive.

Nora finally returns to the office, but before she can thank Hyun Suk for what he did with her grandmother’s store, he suggests they all brainstorm for the play’s title outside. To get out of the office, Hyun Suk sometimes has these sessions in a nearby campground where they set up a tent and cook outside. He assigns Nora the task of reading his script, so that she may know fully what the play is about, and Sang Ye the task of going through the audition lines. And then he will cook dinner for them!

Nora can’t help but watch Hyun Suk expertly cook up budaejjigae and some barbecue, attracted to his ease around cooking and his awesome dimples. She approves of his food, noting that it might be better than hers! She’s eager to also get started on work, but Hyun Suk tells her to eat first, work later. It’s becoming obvious that they’re only doing this exercise to cheer Nora up, and it’s even more apparent when they play Go-Stop to decide who will wash the dishes. Hyun Suk purposely cheats the cards so that Nora will always get the winning hand and won’t have to do any work.

Nora does feel bad that he cooked and is washing the dishes, so she offers to help Hyun Suk out. She thanks him, regarding her grandma’s store, and isn’t sure how to repay him for all this. He simply replies, “Why don’t you say ‘Thank you oppa’?” After all, he’s taller than her (like that’s a real metric for ‘oppa-ness!’) and figures that he’s bigger too and might have an earlier birthday. So Nora acquiesces: “Okay… oppa.” Aww.

The following morning Yi Jin calls up Woo Chul because she wants to know what he’s going to do about their “problem.” You know, the fact that his ex-wife is a student at their school, and he’s no longer working on the project that would establish his image at WCU. Woo Chul tries to assure her that he’s thinking of the best possible solution, but wonders if Yi Jin has always asked so many questions like this. It’s like he’s seeing Yi Jin in a different light, although she’s only acting like this because she no longer trusts him to tell her the truth. He hangs up on her because he has to join his K Society luncheon, the same society through which he met Yi Jin at the gallery.

One of the members congratulates Woo Chul on his successful paper that got published in a prestigious psychology magazine, and then tells him that there might be an opening soon at Jacheon University, a more prestigious university than WCU. If only Woo Chul had not gone to WCU! This gets Woo Chul thinking… After all, Jacheon U would be a fresh start and bring him far from his wife, mistress, son, and his wife’s best friend.

Min Soo and Hye Mi go on an evening date where they try to locate a dessert place. They pass by the convenience store where Nora works, and Min Soo is shocked to see his mom doing such manual labor. He knew she had a part time job – just not this part time job! Without giving a very good reason, he cancels on Hye Mi and rushes home to confront his father. Did his dad know his mom had a part time job?

Woo Chul acknowledges that she’s working at Hyun Suk’s office, but is shocked to hear that she’s working at a convenience store. He really takes the news hard, as if he can’t believe his precious wife is doing manual labor. Woo Chul rushes to the store where he overhears the manager giving Nora some leftover rice balls. Suddenly he’s all offended that his wife, a wife of a professor, is being treated so poorly. He yells at the manager, but the manager can’t believe he’s a professor. If Nora is working this hard for an hourly wage, surely she’s married to a good-for-nothing husband who can’t bring in enough money!

Woo Chul gets really mad and he lunges for the manager. However the manager quickly ducks and Woo Chul ends up bringing a whole display of drinks down to the floor. How embarrassing! Of course this gets Nora fired and Woo Chul has to pay up for destruction of property. Nora is really annoyed at him now, and Woo Chul insists that he’ll take care of her until the end. Besides, taking on this job would make him look bad! Nora doesn’t understand why he’d meddle in her affairs when they’re already not really married. She wouldn’t be sullying his image in any way. She walks to a subway station by herself, refusing to return home with Woo Chul.

At the subway station, Nora passes by a boyfriend surprising his girlfriend by covering her eyes from behind. She smiles at the cute couple but is then reminded of when she saw Woo Chul with another woman for the first time and how her eyes had been covered. She remembered pushing that person away as she tried to flee the scene too, and then seeing Hyun Suk outside the theater almost immediately. Nora figures out quite quickly then that Hyun Suk had covered her eyes… which means he knew about the affair before she did if he was trying to stop her from witnessing it.

She goes to his office that evening with one question: did he go to the Massa Maren show and see Min Soo’s dad with another woman? Hyun Suk is so taken aback that he can’t bring himself to admit it, especially since he’s taken on this role of not knowing about Woo Chul’s affair in front of her. Nora feels pretty hurt that he knew about the affair but didn’t tell her a thing, and embarrassed that she thought Hyun Suk was actually being a good friend when in reality he was probably just pitying her. Without listening to his side of the story, she runs off into the night. Hyun Suk chases after her but quickly loses her in the dark streets.

The following morning, Nora calls up Sang Ye to quit. She doesn’t give much of a reason but Hyun Suk knows it’s because of him. He tracks her down at the campus, seeing her looking for a new part-time job at the computer lab. He knows the shortcuts of the school just as well as she does, so he intercepts her while she’s trying to avoid him. He tries to convince her to come back just for today to help Sang Ye with the auditions, since there is much to be done. He also says that he never told her about the affair because he was her friend, and didn’t want to hurt her.

Just then Nora gets a call from Yi Jin, who’s found a part time job for her at a gallery. Nora goes to meet her professor, leaving Hyun Suk alone on the path way. He overhears Min Soo and Hye Mi arguing about why Min Soo won’t tell his girlfriend what’s troubling him. She wants to help, whereas Min Soo doesn’t want to involve her since it’s not her problem. Just as the fight heats up Hyun Suk interrupts and translates the miscommunication that’s happening between a man and woman: to Hye Mi, he tells her that men tend to crawl into a cave when dealing with issues so she needs to be patient and wait for him to reveal things on his own when he’s ready; to Min Soo, he tells him that if he doesn’t share his troubles women will think the worst and he could lose his girlfriend along the way. Good advice, and Hyun Suk goes on his un-merry way.

Nora meets with Yi Jin, who pries into why she works part-time jobs anyways. Is it for money? Independence? Nora tells her she doesn’t need to do this: “What kind of person I am, why I’m working jobs, or why I’m attending college – it’s not important. You can have Kim Woo Chul.” Jaw, meet floor. How the hell did Nora know!?

It was pretty simple – when they had run into each other in the bathroom before and Yi Jin’s “cousin” had called, Nora saw the phone number. She recognized it as Woo Chul’s, and then she remembers Yi Jin’s unique bag that had a scarf tied around one of the handles. So Nora understands that Yi Jin knows about her and wants to help her get settled so she can quickly “go away,” so to speak. She reassures Yi Jin that she’s already decided to go to court for the divorce, but they have to wait until July 31st after Woo Chul submits his family information during a personnel committee meeting for new professors.

Yi Jin’s eyebrows narrow – what personnel committee meeting? HMMMM…

Next thing we know, Nora barges into Woo Chul’s office with the news that she just spoke with Yi Jin (and knows who she is) and knows that there’s no personnel committee meeting. Woo Chul tries to come up with an excuse right away that he used this fake meeting because he thought Nora needed time to think things through. (HAH!) Nora shouts, “Give it a rest! You have narcissistic personality disorder! I learned about it in psychology class.” YAY – proof that she’s actually attending a class that she fought so hard to get into in the beginning of the series. “You think everything revolves around you, you rationalize to make things about you, and you alter situations. So stop!”

Woo! Go Nora! Woo Chul is left dumbfounded at how all this happened, and true to his narcissism he’s still hung up on the fact that Nora knows who Yi Jin is. His mind brings him to Hyun Suk – only he could have told his wife because he knew about Yi Jin! There’s no way Nora figured it out on her own! So Woo Chul storms into Hyun Suk’s office and accuses him of coaching Nora on how to give him the divorce papers and telling her about Yi Jin. Hyun Suk’s completely confused, and his expression proves that he knew nothing of Nora’s plans and was not involved in any way. That actually hurts Woo Chul more than if Hyun Suk had been involved, because he now realizes that Hyun Suk was sincerely trying to get them back together. And so, when he gets home, he rips up the divorce agreement. ACK!

Hyun Suk calls Nora several times, desperately asking for her help during the chaotic auditions. Hearing Sang Ye frantically running back and forth is enough to make Nora feel bad. She goes back to the office and assists in managing the queue of actors and sending each person in for each audition. It’s a lot of work, and at the end of it Nora’s body is all sore.

Hyun Suk thanks Nora and leaves the office the same time she does, walking in the same direction that she goes to take the bus. Nora makes sure he understands that she’s not coming back the next day and pretends that she has a new part time job. But Hyun Suk knows she doesn’t have one; Seung Hyun told him so. Haha. He clarifies that he never pitied her and doesn’t help people out just because he sympathizes with their plight. He helped her because she’s an important person to him, and he likes her. EEEEE! Confession! He hands her his treasure box, the one with all his precious memories in it. He didn’t want to give it to her ever, but it’s the only thing that could possibly convince her that his feelings are sincere. And he hopes it will remind her of who she once was.

At a park near her home, Nora opens the box while alone. She sees a mix tape full of all her favorite old songs and then a card from young Cha Hyun Suk: “At first, I was happy being your friend, but that’s not the case anymore. Ha No Ra, I like you.”

And then Nora hears Hyun Suk’s grown voice: “Ha No Ra, I like you.”

End scene.

Some Thoughts

So – was that the real Hyun Suk or not? It’s possible he actually followed her home to ensure that she would see his sincerity and he could confess to her. My personal opinion is that he wasn’t there, and Nora just heard his voice from her memory. Either way, confession time!! Nora just has to realize that she likes him too, because right now she doesn’t know what to do with her pounding heart every time she’s in close proximity to him.

I love that Woo Chul’s plans are all unraveling because of himself. The more he tries to separate his lives the more they get tangled together, and his lies don’t hold up. It’s not because of Hyun Suk or Yoon Young revealing the truth to Yi Jin or Nora; the ladies and Min Soo figured everything out on their own, and it’s partly because of his lack of communication. I think it’s kind of ironic that he complains he can’t communicate with Nora because of their difference in education, and yet is also terrible at communicating with Yi Jin who is of his same “level,” so to speak. Really the problem lies in him, and if he’s with Yi Jin in the future it will not make his home life any better because he is so unwilling to talk to her about his problems or what he’s working on. I’m glad that Nora confronted with his narcissism, because it was getting overbearing. Unfortunately he’s so into himself that he probably will have a hard time coming to terms with his own flaws.

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  1. mary of bethany 8 October, 2015 at 22:14 Reply

    The whole confession was not done to proof himself, to gain something finally for himself, or to make his feeling known…. Even while saying “I like you”, it’s not because he wants her to like him back. It’s merely to justify that whatever he did, the “the caring, the bucket lists… buying granny shop, the secret sneaking around, job offered…. Has nothing whatsoever to do with chivalry out of empathy towards her plight, nor should she feel burdened by his sacrifice, as its certainly not out of responsibilities towards an old friend. His “fairy god-oppa” act over Bucket list even if done out of sympathy for her, is borne from the “heartbreaking” pity over a treasured one’s seeming soon departure. The fact that he stated that he meant to keep the Treasure Box as a secret forever, but revealed it now, wasn’t meant for the sake of grabbing a chance to use it to win her affection. It’s not a nonsensical whining he feared, but her retreating to wallowed in contrite over a wasted life, furthered succumbed to fate in her prolonged indignity, ultimately mortified by allowing someone she started to treasured to see her demoralized state, to let her have some raising hope of finding true love, then smashed it is even more cruel than not giving her any hope. To erase even the last speck of doubts, he let her know that he loved her, not so much as want her love back, but to remind her, because she was such an awesome person worthy to be loved for 20 good years.
    talking about selfless unrequited love, HS’s portrayed rise above the rest of drama’s hunk’s display of unrequited loves, when he chose to remain secret and not letting Nora knew of his ardent affection. its one thing to choose to love someone when she is not loving you back, its another to love her secretly and not demand her loving her back and not stress her into feel sorry and indebted to you.

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