Episode 12 of Twenty Five Twenty One starts with Hee-Do and her mum heading back from visiting their father. The pair are getting along a lot better now… until Hee-Do reveals she’s not going to college. Well, Jae-Kyung won’t stand for that and demands she go, otherwise how else is she going to get a scholarship?
As Yu-Rim and Hee-Do discuss this very notion, they overhear Coach Yang berating one of the players, Ye-Ji. She’s not happy about fencing and just not passionate about it like she used to be.
Ye-Ji wants to explore other options and see what she can do. So she broaches the subject of just not showing up the following day after Coach Yang refuses to let her quit. He-Do and Yu-Rim decide to stick up for their teammate, making a bold decision not to train until Yang relinquishes her idea and allows Ye-Ji to quit.
Meanwhile, Ji-Woong shows up to see Yi-Jin at the station while he’s working. After exchanging pleasantries, he hands over one of the photos he took on holiday, the one Yi-Jin wanted of Hee-Do.
At school, the teacher, Seo, continues his abusive stance on assaulting students as Seung-Wan stands up for Ji-Woong. She decides to ring the police and report him, not taking her eyes off Seo as officers show up to talk to him.
Seung-Wan has seen enough of this abuse, and given Ji-Woong has a bleeding lip thanks to his stiff jab, Yu-Rim takes him to the infirmary while Seung-Wan joins the police as they discuss Seo’s record. Unfortunately the police take Seo’s side, pointing out they don’t have the power to enforce the no-corporal-punishment rule and even reassure the teacher, claiming that teaching students is hard work.
This news gets across to UBS HQ, as a new reporter called Yun-Seong is sent to the school grounds to report on what happened. He wants to do an interview with Seung-Wan about the corporal punishment but Yi-Jin is having none of it. He knows the reporter is going to be biased and not report all the facts. He tells Yun-Seong that Seung-Wan is his cousin and takes off with her.
Back at school, Coach Yang refuses to let Ye-Ji quit unless she makes it to the quarter finals of Nationals. She’s not sure if she’ll be able to make it but Yu-Rim and Hee-Do decide to help her. They allow the girl to train after-hours, they take her out for runs, and they even do practice matches too.
Eventually they make it to the stadium, intending to support Ye-Ji no matter what. Yi-Jin is there too, reporting on the baseball, and he ends up spending time with Hee-Do that night. Its’ incredibly cute, with Hee-Do making excuses so they can spend longer together and also stand under the umbrella despite it not actually raining.
Just after they part ways, Hee-Do’s ex, Ho-Jin, shows up to talk. He admits that he still cares about Hee-Do and calls her cutie pie again. The thing is he knows Yi-Jin is the reason they’ve broken up given she admitted to him that she was thinking of someone more than her boyfriend.
Ho-Jin continues on, claiming it’s getting in the way but for Yi-Jin, he sticks up for Hee-Do. Little does he know, she’s actually waiting around the corner listening to every word.
In the morning, Ye-jI’s final match takes place and she manages to win her game. Hee-Do and Yu-Rim are over the moon and hurriedly hug her as they learn she’s made it. Coach Yang approaches, asking if she’s willing to compete in the quarter finals. She’s not, wanting to quit and pursue something different. Ye-Ji actually wants to be a baker. Coach Yang shakes her hand and stands by her original promise, allowing her to leave.
At school, Seung-Wan does her best to try and spread the word about Seo’s abuse. Seung-Wan brings up school terms about being abusive but in reply, Seo wants her to write a letter of apology. She refuses to and also refuses to accept the school’s ridiculous code of conduct that’s not being upheld. So given she’s the best student at school, she decides to quit and study at home instead.
Seung-Wan’s mother talks to her daughter that night and decides to support her daughter, allowing her to quit. Before that though, she marches up to Seo, telling him he needs to apologize to Ji-Woong or she’ll go straight to the Parent’s Association. The other kids are incredibly proud of Seung-Wan and what she’s done, and they even see her off with a celebratory cake too.
Time passes and the characters we’ve grown to love gather as they prepare for the millennium. With news of the millennium bug starting to do the rounds (anyone else remember this?), they all share food and drinks. The time is 11.55pm and eventually everyone leaves to celebrate in their own way. Hee-Do and Yi0Jin are the only two left. Convinced that the world is going to end, as it hits midnight, Hee-Do leans over and kisses Yi-Jin.
The Episode Review
Seung-Wan takes center stage in this episode, as does Ye-Ji, as we see more of these different kids and their values in life. Seeing Seung-Wan stick up for her own values and even drop out of school to protest against an abusive teacher is incredibly courageous and it’s great to see her mum actually take her side too. Seeing everyone else take the teacher’s side appears to be indicative of a larger problem that we won’t get into here!
Meanwhile, Ye-Ji manages to work hard with Yu-Rim and Hee-Do’s help, getting into the quarter final just as she promised Coach Yang. Of course, she then drops out after which is perhaps obvious but still garners a lot of respect to see her take this stance and stand by her values.
The rest of the episode though sets up the new year taking over and with it, new challenges and issues for our characters to deal with. Given there are only four episodes left, I’m guessing we’re going to start seeing how these guys turned away from one another and stopped talking after all these years.
For now though, Twenty Five Twenty one bows out with another very good episode.