Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Recap of Twenty Again 10: Just How Have You Been Living Your Life?
(heads up - there won't be pretty, pretty pictures in this post - the reason why explained at the end)
Back at the Ranch
Okay, so it isn't a ranch, but.... We start our episode back at the overnight trip that No Ra unintentionally crashed. You know, the one where her old friend, her husband, and his mistress are all hanging out? That Sang Ye chick has some explaining to do. Our two fellas are facing off, fighting over who has the right to assist and caress a No Ra with indigestion. Cheater Pants is doing that thing that lousy Kdrama guys tend to do - treating his woman like crap until he realizes that someone is showing an interest in her then suddenly she's this wonderful prize to hold onto. I like to call it the "Playground Mentality" - a kid gets bored with a toy and sets it down, only to scream bloody murder when another child dares to go near it. That toy, just moments ago so odious and dull, suddenly becomes the end-all must-have and they are willing to go to war for it. And Hyun Suk is trying his hardest to remind himself that he's supposed to be helping his friend stay with her stupid husband because he, wrongfully, assumes that that's what she wants. Very gallant of him. Stupid, but it's not his fault - he just doesn't know better...yet. Can we please get to the "yet" like soon, dear writers? Please? I don't know how much more of him trying to push her towards the lousy cheat I can handle. It's high time that chapter of her life closes and a new, happier, Hyun Suk chapter begins.
Playing Woo Chul
I'm not a big "game" person, but this here is a game I can get behind - playing Woo Cheol. Hyun Suk is definitely our star player in this game. In his exchange (ie face off ie pissing contest) with Woo Cheol, he throws down the gauntlet and tells Woo Cheol to man up and take care of his woman or he, HS will. He then proceeds to take care of her right in front of him and there isn't a darn thing that Woo Cheol can do about it because his mistress is sitting right there, completely oblivious that this is the dreaded wife she's so keen he dump. It really is a beautiful thing to watch as WC squirms and sits there powerless and gape-faced.
Nothing Fuels Love Like a Little Competition
The fun continues when HS suggests a fun little activity - a tandem bike ride. He gets the women on board right away and there is nothing WC can do about it. I mean, to be fair, he is given the option of going back to Seoul while the three of them play, but for some reason, that doesn't seem to appeal to him either. *giggle* I adore HS right here as he so expertly messes with WC. HS challenges them to a bet - loser pays for lunch - then quickly grabs No Ra and takes off, leaving WC and mistress to scramble to catch up. This race was awesome in showing the difference between our cool and fun HS/NR team and the uptight, frigid, personality-bereft WC/Mistress team. HS and NR are of course the victors in the end, but, the celebration doesn't last as HS suddenly switches gears. He must have been having fun which must have reminded him that his ultimate mission was to get NR back into her "loving" husband's (cold) embrace, because he suddenly decides that there's no time for lunch and that they should get back to town. Instead of grabbing No Ra to accompany him in his car, he takes Frigid B*mistress with him, leaving No Ra to go with Woo Cheol. Gah! Maybe if Hyun Suk would just spend less time self-sabotaging and "saving", he and No Ra could actually talk and he could learn the truth. It's like he's jumped into the water to save someone that isn't even drowning...and he's not a swimmer and starts drowning himself.
The drive home is noteworthy in that, first, HS lets Frigid B* think that he likes her. Then, in the "fun" car with Woo Cheol and No Ra, we get lots of laughs. First, WC shows just how petty he can be when he dangerously passes HS's car. Then he, the pot, starts calling the kettle black by launching into HS and how he's playing with multiple women, to which No Ra comes back with a "you have no right to talk, you adulterer", reminding him that HS is an unmarried bachelor and has the right to date whoever he darn well pleases. Ha! Yes! That's shuts his face. I love how she has been standing up to him and not falling victim to his crap anymore. Even when he tries to play nice and buys her flowers (jealous that HS gave her a bouquet), she still remains cold to him. She's finally seeing the light and it's glorious! His response to her suddenly growing a backbone? "What happened to you? You used to be so quiet". Her response to that? "This is my true personality". YES YES YES and YES!!!! As she says those words, she starts to really feel those words and how true they are. Oh yeah! We've got her back! No more No Ra doormat for Woo Cheol to wipe his dirty rat feet on.
But, despite all that is going right between Woo Cheol and No Ra right now, Hyun Suk is still there on the sidelines misreading everything. He sees them walking into their home together, her with a bouquet of flowers in hand, and of course, assumes that his actions have been effective and correct in getting the two of them back together and mending the broken marriage. Oh, if only he knew.... Hey, writers - when can he know? Soon, please, right?
Sang Ye's Almost Confession and Hyun Suk's Almost Purging
When he comes back from the trip all bummed that he's been successful in getting his first love back together with her cheating rat husband, Sang Ye nearly confesses that she likes him and wants No Ra back in her marriage and Hyun Suk's heart freed up. She covers it, but it's almost there. She sent No Ra in her place with that express hope that by doing so, the marriage would be rekindled and she'd get Hyun Suk back for herself. Obviously she's in the dark that what she actually did was send No Ra crashing a party with her husband and her husband's mistress. Of course, even No Ra doesn't know that she did that, at least not the mistress part. It's hard to be entirely angry at her since really what she did ended up resulting in a furthering of the gap between husband and wife, but yeah, her intentions were the opposite. Though, can you blame a girl? Wouldn't you want HS too?
Depressed and figuring that he did the right thing and has lost as intended, Hyun Suk goes to burn his first love mementos - a mixed tape and an undelivered note where he confessed to No Ra 20 years ago. Thankfully, in the end, he is unable to do it, unable to let go (ha! take that Sang Ye!). Don't give up hope yet Hyun Suk! She's closer to you than you think!
No Ra Has Her First Date
It's wild to think how, despite 20 years of marriage and a child in college, our leading lady has never been on a date, a fact that she reveals to Hyun Suk. But it's true. Woo Cheol clearly knocked her up before they even had a chance to date. Which really makes me want to know just what happened there because she doesn't strike me as the casual sex with a boy she just met type. I hope that someday we'll have that answered. For now, all we know is that she's never been on a date. Well, there's a first time for everything. She and her new relationship class partner are heading out for an assigned date. Does an assignment count as a real first date? For now, yes, but when she goes out on her first date with Hyun Suk, then no. ;) She gets all dressed up in "date clothes", shocking her husband in the process. Loved how after spilling coffee at the sight of her all dolled up he demands she gets him ice and she refuses. He's such an ass to her and now that she is standing up to him and he's constantly flumoxed by her sudden backbone I want to cheer! But Woo Cheol isn't the only one that reacts when he sees her. When she stops by Hyun Suk's office, he's so blown away by how she looks that he stands there staring, forgetting that he's pouring water into his coffee maker. She thinks he's playing and putting on a show, he lets her think that, but we all know that he wasn't pretending. They banter, he playing off like she looks silly in order to cover his real feelings (you know, since he's working so hard to push her back towards where he thinks she wants to be in Woo Cheol's cold embrace) and she heads out for her date.
How adorable was her date? True, he's no Mr Beats Headphones guy, but he's still adorable and sweet in his own right. He's the perfect first date. He compliments her, tells her she looks very pretty and that he's excited to go out with her. She's constantly explaining his kindness away, saying things like how he must not be as awkward around her because he spent time in the States. Their interactions tell us a lot about what her marriage was like. For example, he says nice things and she explains them away, not being able to take the compliments. He lists places for them to go and asks her where she wants to start to which her reply is, "whatever you want". He asks what she wants to eat and her response is, "wherever you want to eat". This is a woman not used to having an opinion (or personality for that matter) for the past 20 years. He's a wonderful guy because, instead of just dictating what they do, he gives her choices. Like with the food. He narrows it down, listing off different cuisines. When she says she has never tried Indian food, they decide to go there. At the restaurant, she's a bit overwhelmed by the many unfamiliar options, and, sensing her mood, he sends the hovering waitress off so that No Ra can take her time. Then he helps her figure out the menu and makes a suggestion. He's patient. He's helpful. He's attentive. He's a regular Prince Charming. And his kindness doesn't go unnoticed. After dinner, they go to the park for a "chill date" where they watch Groundhog Day on his tablet, sharing ear buds. She looks around and watches the other couples in the park on that Sunday afternoon. She sees boyfriends being kind and considerate. She sees a husband take a fussy child so that his wife could sleep. Flashback to the past - a baby Min Soo is crying and his father is clearly annoyed, causing a flustered young No Ra to take the baby out so that Dad could study. We get the picture here - Woo Cheol was never the supportive husband or father. No Ra was the one to bend to his every demand, spoken or not. The light is starting to shine on the darkness of her life and she's beginning to see things and how they really were a bit more clearly.
At the end of the date, her partner insists on properly seeing her off despite her protestations that she is fine. He's a true gentleman to the very end. He's the perfect first date and she's elated afterwards.
Just How Have You Been Living Your Life?
The question that rings out and stabs us all in the heart, including the one it was directed at - No Ra. When she comes back to the office after her fabulous first date, she excitedly tells Hyun Suk all about it and just what it was that made it so special. He's shocked by how easily impressed she was. The young man showed her basic courtesies and she's on cloud nine because of it. You can see the shock and heartache register on his face as it becomes even clearer to him just how rotten her 20 years with Woo Cheol has been. In exasperation he asks her just how she has been living her life all of these years. Well, honestly, as we can all see, not well. Not well at all. But, we already knew that. Who really needs to realize it is finally starting to - No Ra herself. The more she gets out into the world, the more she realizes just how lame her life with Woo Cheol has been. Hyun Suk's words echo deep with her and she ponders on them later after a heartbreaking conversation with her son. But more on that part in a minute.
Min Soo Learns it All
Having found the divorce agreement, Min Soo has been derailed and distracted and looking for answers. His girlfriend calls him out on his being distracted and he responds by asking her what she would do if her parents were getting a divorce. I had to laugh when he spun it off as his friend's parents' impending divorce and her all like, "what the heck dude? You're checked out because your friend's parents are divorcing?". At first she says that she would try to stop them, which he says he's going to advise his friend to do, but then she comes back with saying that it is important to know the reason behind the divorce. Maybe there's a good reason and maybe trying to keep them together would be wrong. This sets Min Soo off on a fact finding mission. First stop? Go find Mom's BFF and ask her. Okay, so how sad is it that this was Min Soo and Yoo Young's first meeting since he was in grade school? This right there said so much about how No Ra had been living her life, that her own best friend and her son didn't even know each other. So sad.
They sit down and Min Soo tells her how he found the divorce contract and now he wants answers. And apparently, it's answers that he gets. Next thing we know, he's showing up in front of his father asking him how it's okay for him to divorce his mother because she is ignorant. Woo Cheol's answer is to blow off his son, telling him he's busy and they'll talk later. You think that this is going to help fix the son's growing discontent with his father? Yeah, me neither. While it is hard to watch him go through this, it is, at the same time, satisfying to watch him start to see his parents for who they truly are.
Right before Min Soo came into his office to confront him about the divorce, Woo Cheol had been sitting there weighing his options. Like, literally. He was envisioning his wife and his lover on the scales on his desk. Interestingly enough, at first, his wife was tipping the scales in her own favor. How about that? He's starting to see that he is actually married to the superior woman. So, what tips things back to the mistress? Her position at the university and her father. Ouch! It's all about positioning himself at this point. Gaining a better advantage professionally. He's willing to throw away 20 years of marriage and his child's mother in order to be the chairman's son-in-law. This folks, is our "leading man" (yeah, I know, he's not actually our leading man. Thank goodness).
The Part Where I Cried...Twice
I sobbed through this part the first and even the second time watching it. Min Soo's confrontation with his mother. At first you think that he's all bent out of shape because she's in his room and you may start to wonder where the new Min Soo has gone and why he's back to his old, crappy bratty son ways. But no, no, his problem is that he just found out, amongst other things, that his mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and not said a word to him about it. He's realizing just how horrible of a son he had been to her in the past but is still hurt that she wouldn't say anything to anyone and would choose instead to die alone. He apologizes for not being a better son and for making her feel like she was all alone in this world. This exchange between mother and son was so touching and heartrending and wayyy overdue. I'm so happy to see Min Soo put all the pieces together.
The Problem Is...
You! The problem is you, Woo Cheol! Always trying to pass the blame on everyone and everything else when it is YOU that is the issue! Not Hyun Suk. Not No Ra. Not the university. YOU! Y-O-U. He cleverly comes up with the idea that having No Ra switch schools will solve all of the issues he is facing as he is "stuck between a rock and a hard place". It will get Hyun Suk off his back and free him up to have his cake and eat it too. Can I please throat punch him now?! Oh wait, no. Not necessary. Looks like No Ra's got this one. Just as he is about to present his grand and wonderful plan, No Ra hits him with going to get a divorce right there and then. She is ready to head to the court and be rid of him...today. Yes!!! Better than a throat punch, though, we could still throw one of those in as a bonus and I doubt anyone would mind.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I, like Kmuse, and probably many of you, am ready for this Woo Cheol divorce to be finalized and for the Hyun Suk and No Ra story to pick up where it left off before they were so rudely interrupted by a little teenage pregnancy. Oh, and, it wasn't mentioned before, so I'll bring it up now...in regards to the time capsules they put together - did you see how No Ra scratched something out on hers and then rewrote something? Was it her name? Did she change her name? It looked like that to me, but I'm not 100% sure on that. I am dying of curiosity as to what she wrote! It's gotta be something good. Could she possibly have had feelings for him too way back then? She hasn't given that indication really, not as clearly as he did, but maybe, just maybe.... Anyway, I'm so excited that she has so decidedly finished her ongoing business with Woo Cheol and is prepping to be free and clear of him once and for all. I'm proud of her and honestly a little shocked that she didn't let Min Soo's breakdown make her second guess splitting up the marriage. That would have really been too much for me to handle. They better not just be playing me with this whole immediate divorce thing either. These last 6 episodes have better be Woo Cheol spouse-free. The next episode better be a judge or clerk or whoever declaring that the divorce is final and that they are now pronounced NOT husband and wife and he MAY NOT kiss the un-bride. For now though, I will just relish in the fact that No Ra is a changed woman, a woman fighting for her right to be herself, her long-lost, true self. A woman no longer being dragged down by an incompetent partner. A woman allowing herself to live, and, hopefully soon, to be truly loved.
Until we meet again, dear readers, thank you.
Back hugs and fish kisses to you all.
***EDITOR'S NOTE*** Please forgive this recap for its lack of screencaps. We're having issues with all of our posts being flagged right now and taken down and I'll be honest, it sucks. Nothing like pouring all these hours in to trying to promote these dramas for free and getting flagged for it. Actually, no. I take that back. We don't just not make money on what we do here, we lose money. It costs us money out of our own pockets and hours from our lives to keep this blog running. This is a pure labor of love that gives us the chance to connect with others that love what we love since we know the pain that is loving dramas in a world where no one physically around us does. Where we want to talk Ha No Ra and Cha Hyun Suk while everyone else sits around talking about bachelors or girls with big butts or whatever drivel is popular these days. We certainly don't want to do anything untowards though or infringe on anyone else's rights/material. That's definitely not our intention. So, we could throw a huge temper tantrum or we can just try to play nice and see if not using pictures makes whoever we pissed off happy. So yes, for now, this post will be just my words alone. MY WORDS! You can't friggin flag those, now can you?? (sorry, maybe just a little temper tantrum)****