Episode 3 of Twenty Five Twenty One starts with Min-Chae being woken up by her mother, demanding she show up at manual therapy. It’s 11am and she still isn’t out of bed. Eventually Min-Chae does show up therapy, after some initial hostility between Hee-Do and her mum.
The subject of ballet is a point of contention here, and as they head out for some food, Hee-Do admits she didn’t quit fencing because it constantly made her heart flutter.
As she smiles, we jump back to our 1998 timeline, with Yi-Jin dropping off the newspaper at Hee-Do’s place, but with an attached note telling her the new code for the door.
Back at Tae Yang, Coach Yang grills the girls over their prospects in the fencing team, telling them they need to study hard and work to increase their rankings if they have any hope of qualifying. Of course, Yu-Rim is still the top dog here but when it comes to studying, she too has issues. She’s told to stand outside class when she forgets her textbook, kneeling with her hands up in the air.
Ji-Woong senses an opportunity,, throwing his textbook toward Hee-Do and heading out into the hallway so he can talk to her. He certainly does well to woo her, even sorting out so they don’t have to kneel anymore.
Inside the classroom though, Hee-Do remains determined to make the national team, despite the odds. When news about Full House Volume 12 is released, Hee-Do and Yu-Rim both charge out separately to grab a copy. And that brings them both to the bookshop.
This causes a big rivalry between the two, especially when Hee-Do is the one who gets the volume first. Yu-Rim is not happy when she finds out and questions Yi-Jin’s motives. After all, he was Yu-Rim’s first love.
This love though ultimately stemmed from Yi-Jin’s riches, rather than his personality. She fell in love with his sports car when he arrived to pick her up one more and Yi-Jin is very quick to remind her of that.
Meanwhile, Yi-Jin takes Yi-Hyun out for a burger but unfortunately the latter’s bullies show up. They begin pushing him around until Yi-Jin steps in and stops them. He threatens the trio, ripping off their name badges and promising to kill them if they mess with his brother.
When they finally leave, Yi-Jin tries to offer some advice to his brother, who eventually admits that he misses his mum and dad.
At school the next day, Coach Yang offers Hee-Do a big opportunity. She’s going to compete in the nationals given two competitors above her pulled out. Hee-Do is ecstatic – but obviously Yu-Rim is not.
However, that night a creditor arrives, looking for Yi-Jin. Hee-Do notices him and hurries back to the bookstore, urging Yi-Jin to hide round the corner while she pretends to work there.
However, back home Yi-Jin shows up and notices a note in his letterbox. He reads it and races off, shocked.
The creditor was actually Yi-Jin’s father and as he hurries off to try and catch up with his dad, Hee-Do realizes the mistake she’s made and tries to help him find the guy. However, he’s left on the bus already.
Yi-Jin manages to race after the bus and catch up, as the pair have an emotional reunion in the bus station. He’s not sick, thankfully, and Yi-Jin continues to keep working, promising his dad that he’s going to make things right.
Yi-Jin heads on the bus home but on the way, finds Hee-Do running around looking for Yi-Jin’s father. She’s broken her slipper and admits that she was worried about him.
Eventually the pair find their way home together, whee Hee-Do communicates with her mystery person on chat, who continues to pedal the idea of them meeting.
At school the next day, Coach Yang tests Hee-Do’s credentials and how serious she is about training. Sh wants her to run to Yang’s house with weights on, do 1000 fentes everyday, along with running up and down the mountain with spring water. She’s also tasked with remembering choreography for dances too.
Hee-Do even gets after-hour training, working on her lunges. Unfortunately, this riles up Yu-Rim, who calls out Hee-Do for interjecting when a senior shows and demands they listen when spoken to.
Yu-Rim is apathetic and even questions Hee-Do’s tenacity for standing up for herself, telling her she needs to just take it. Hearing such a defeatist attitude from someone she initially idolized and liked is just too much and she eventually leaves, telling Yu-Rim to clean the floors herself.
When Hee-Do heads home – after being disappointed by Yi-jin’s attitude to all this too- she makes a bold decision and rips off all the pictures and newspaper clippings of Yu-Rim from the walls.
Hee-Do also communicates with her online friend, who admits that Yu-Rim was in the wrong. She promises to always be on her side… as we pan across and learn that the person Hee-Do is speaking to online is actually Yu-Rim!
The Episode Review
A lovely little twist at the end reveals who the mystery girl is that Hee-Do has been communicating with all this time. The reveal that it’s actually Yu-Rim sets up a really nice power play and it’ll be interesting to see how Hee-Do handles this when it’s revealed who she’s talking to.
For now though, most of this chapter works on the growing rivalry between the two girls, and their very different attitude toward training and work.
Seeing spunky Hee-Do refuse to be pushed around by seniors is a far cry from Yu-Rim’s attitude. Despite winning a gold medal. it’s clear she doesn’t have quite the same hunger and fiery tenacity that Hee-Do has. Hopefully though it’s enough for her to find that motivation to press on and do better.
Overall, Twenty Five Twenty One delivers another decent episode, leaving the door wide open for where the next chapter may go.