Episode 6 of Twenty Five Twenty One starts with Yi-Jin bringing her mother to the internet cafe, where she communicates with her husband via webcam. The pair exchange loving messages to one another, with Yi-Jin there, writing down her words.
After, the pair go for a walk up a beautiful beach, reflecting on life and what’s happened this far. She encourages Yi-Jin to find someone he can share his life with, which is enough for him to stand up and decide to do what’s right.
Specifically, that comes from Yi-Jin no longer running from his problems and going back to Seoul after all. This catches us up to Yi-Jin’s message, as he leaves a voicemail for Hee-Do and leaves. In his bag happens to be a written note from Yi-Hyun, telling him to make his life a success.
We then jump forward 5 months later. Yi-Jin is in Seoul and rushing around like a madman to find a landline. He’s a trainee reporter and heads to the pet salon to use their phone. He’s actually there to report on a crash that’s occurred and, specifically, from Hanam Jaeshin Hospital, to give an update on the victims.
Yi-Jin manages to keep the dogs calm for enough time to give the report. Just as he drops the phone, the dogs start barking again. Phew!
When he finishes his broadcast, Yi-Jin walks past a bookstore and notices that Full House Volume 15 has been released.
Hee-Do is actually on an airplane and she’s a national icon, recognized for wining a bronze medal. Of course, as she’s heading back to Korea (on a no-smoking flight, which shocks one of the coaches. Remember smoking flights? Gosh, that feels like a lifetime ago) and given Yi-Jin’s promise, it would appear the pair will meet up soon… or will they?
Anyway, Hee-Do heads back to class where Ji-Woong is still enamored by Yu-Rim and realizes the pair are in the same class. Both Hee-Do and Yu-Rim fall asleep while completing their exam questions. Tellingly, Yu-Rim still gets more answers correct.
However, Yu-Rim is under a lot of pressure from her coach. He berates her for losing to Hee-Do and tells her she needs to make sure she wins gold no matter what. Part of that comes from extra training. However, Hee-Do overhears this and calls out Yu-Rim for training at night, telling her to be quiet when she comes in.
The pair end up fighting that afternoon, with Hee-Do admitting she’s on her way up and has studied all of her fencing matches. She knows her posture and understands how she fights, hence why she wins so much.
Hee-Do also confirms that she’s the one who gave her the umbrella that day. In retaliation, Yu-Rim simply tells her she should have stayed a fan rather than trying to be her rival.
Interestingly, at the UBS offices, Yi-Jin is encouraged to join the boss as they head down to the Asian games. Of course, this could mean he gets a chance to see Hee-Do. UBS only get to report on the fencing, they don’t get to broadcast the soccer or wrestling, which certainly disappoints the boss.
The financial crisis continues to cause havoc across Korea, as protestors take to the street. Yi-Jin is there with the reporters, where he happens to see Yi-Jin down on the streets walking by. He immediately skips out though, determined to catch up with her. And catch up he does.
He hands over Full House Volume 15 and apologizes for his tardiness. The pair have a really touching chat… until Hee-Do introduces him to her boyfriend. Oof. It’s the guy from the plane, Ho-Jin, and they even have matching key-rings. They have nicknames for one another too, with Yi-Jin struggling to hold back his laughter when he finds out they’ve only been dating for 3 days.
When Ho-Jin (aka. sweetie pie) leaves, Hee-Do admits that her heart skipped a beat when she saw him earlier. Yi-Jin admits that it was hard for him too but he has a good-natured reaction to Hee-Do in a relationship. However, for now it’s on to Gyeongju to help report on the games. And of course, Yi-Jin shows up in his flashy sports car.
At the Asian games, the final looks set to be Yu-Rim and Hee-Do squaring off against one another. Only, they’ve got quite the bitter rivalry, with Yu-Rim even telling Hee-Do that she’ll teach her a lesson during their bout. Hee-Do is un-phased and remains determined to make her dream a reality.
However, there’s a mix-up with Hee-Do’s fencing gear, with the Japanese competitor she squared off against happening to have her weapon. She races down to Yeongcheon station, determined to catch up with the girl and get her sword back.
In her absence, Yi-Jin is tasked with interviewing Yu-Rim. She’s not exactly happy about it and brushes off his apology for not being in touch. The fact that Hee-Do knows he’s a trainee reporter and didn’t bother telling her, despite the promise made months back, only fuels her rivalry up more.
Although Hee-Do manages to get her fencing sword back, there are bigger problems afoot. The train she’s supposed to be on is delayed indefinitely and time is of the essence. Hee-Do charges off the train and runs into Yi-Jin who grabs her hand and helps drive her to her match with enough time left on the clock. There’s less than an hour until her game.
Yi-Jin uses his credentials to pass a police blockade, racing up to the stadium to make sure Hee-Do can make it in time. He even tells the senior there that if they don’t let him pass, they’ll be denying a gold medal winner. It’s a tiny bit of dialogue but enough to really hammer home just how much he believes in her.
As they drive together, Hee-Do admits she’s broken up with Sweetie Pie. They only lasted 2 weeks and she wanted to experience a break-up. The thing is, she technically already has, given Yi-Jin leaving town broke her heart.
Eventually Yi-Jin drops off Hee-Do, who prepares for the biggest match of her career. Who will come out on top? Will it be Yu-Rim or Hee-Do? We’ll have to wait for next week’s follow-up!
The Episode Review
It seems Yi-Jin and Hee-Do are destined to be together, with the pair constantly running into one another. With Yi-Jin now following his dreams and going from delivering newspapers to reporting for them, he’s managed to branch out and actually make a life for himself.
Meanwhile, Hee-Do remains determined to win gold and that sees her tempered relationship with Yu-Rim sour even more. The pair have been butting heads for a while but now their rivalry hits a new level, as the duo straight up hate one another.
There’s a lot riding on this match and quite who will come out on top here is actually unclear. While most would probably bank on Hee-Do coming away with the gold, it would also be good for her growth to see Yu-Rim come away with the title, doing so by actually studying Hee-Do’s movements and ability ahead of their clash.
Either way though, this rivalry plays second fiddle to the touching relationship that Yi-Jin and Hee-Do share. This drama has taken a while to get going but now, Twenty Five Twenty One has managed to channel those feel-good vibes with a perfect dose of both drama and romance, making for a really enthralling watch.
The cliffhanger is absolutely agonizing too, with everything left wide open for next week’s follow-up.