“You’ve got dirt on your nose, by the way. Did you know? Just there.”
Episode 8 of Twenty Five Twenty One picks up right where we left off, with the awkward tape showing Yi-Jin expressing his love for Da-Eun. Hee-Do finds it hard to listen to this, so she leaves. On the way though Yi-Jin stops and hands over a handkerchief for Hee-Do, following her splashing her face with water in the bathroom. Eventually she calms down enough to thank Yi-Jin for helping with the referee situation.
While they talk, Ji-Woong and Seung-Wan run through the hallways, scaring themselves with talk of a toilet ghost. However, in the commotion, as they fly past Hee-Do and Yi-Jin, he holds her arm.
Hee-Do is naturally hung up over the Da-Eun situation and immediately starts looking through the class photos to figure out who she is. With their actual portraits cut out, she tries to figure out who it is but unfortunately the girl in the photo has her hair down over her face. Well, that’s a no-go then!
In the morning, Yi-Jin shows up before one of the workers whom his father wronged. He hands over an envelope of money and tells him to put it toward his daughter’s tuition. He smiles appreciatively, revealing his daughter has a scholarship and urges him not to follow through with his earlier promise of being miserable. He admits that Yi-Jin deserves happiness and confesses that he actually regretted saying that before. Off the back of this, Yi-Jin remains determined to try and bring his family together.
Part of that mission stems from Yi-Jin moving back to Seung-Wan’s like before. Hee-Do is ecstatic and in fact, she shows with Ji-Woong to surprise him when he appears, complete with a gift. Yu-Rim shows up too, leading to hostility with Hee-Do. At least initially anyway. They do set their rivalry aside – just like the loach catching – to help put his things away. In doing so, Yu-Rim points out that Yi-Jin only dated Da-Eun for a little while, which only further annoys Hee-Do.
However, that soon dissipates when Yi-Jin carries Hee-Do across the room. Why? Well, she ends up messing about with an arm exerciser and when Yi-Jin shows up, she realizes that he’s watching and ends up smashing the window.
Back home, Jae-Kyung appears with the gold medal Hee-Do left behind. After calling it a “stolen” medal, Coach Yang actually picked this up and offered it to her, something to actually reach out and mend the bridges she’s burned with Hee-Do. It’s a particularly bittersweet moment, given Jae-Kyung reflects on how she investigated Coach Yang and threw her under the bus 8 years ago.
Meanwhile, Yi-Jin ends up having computer trouble just as he’s about to go on-air to report about a fire breaking out. Given he doesn’t have a paper copy to hand, and he hasn’t memorized the details, he hangs up on Jae-Kyung who’s back in the studio.
Yi-Jin is distraught and eventually buries his head under the covers and screams. Yi-jin does appear at the studio but Jae-Kyung hits him and points out what a clumsy mistake he made. In secret though, she actually tells Hee-Do he did the right thing rather than fumbling through the broadcast, coming out of his mistake with his head held high.
Things in town take an awful turn when Yu-Rim’s mother learns the owners of the rice cake shop have left in the middle of the night. It’s completely empty and they’ve taken off with as much money as they can get. This appears to have been their plan all along, leaving Yu-Rim’s mum sobbing in her room.
In the morning, Yu-Rim and Hee-Do both face the disciplinary committee. They decide to suspend them both for 3 months, meaning they need to move out of the NTC immediately.
Outside though, Hee-Do overhears Yu-Rim asking about her pension and whether she can get an advance on it. When the official refuses, being clear to point out there’s only room for one star fencer, the pressure continues to build for her. Yu-Rim ends up breaking down into tears after diving in the swimming pool later that evening. Hee-Do sees all of this take place, and can hardly contain her own sadness.
While Hee-Do continues her online chat with mystery girl (aka. Yu-Rim), Hee-Do heads back to the center and speaks to Coach Yang, who debriefs her and Yu-Rim. She tells them both to train like normal for 3 months and urges Hee-Do not to get too close to reporters, given this could affect her career.
Hee-Do and Yi-Jin continue to grow closer together that evening, with the latter flirting with Hee-So and even going for ice-cream and wiping it off her face. Of course, he leaves a patch by her nose just to tease her but she doesn’t realize.
At least until she heads inside and sees it for herself. So naturally, she rushes outside, as Yi-Jin smirks. Hee-Do isn’t a fan of pranks though and tells him to stop treating her like a dumb, funny girl. Before he can get a chance to explain himself, Hee-Do heads inside, reflecting on how they both make mistakes… but Yi-Jin manages to come out on top with his, despite them being more serious.
In the morning, Hee-Do and Yu-Rim both agree to meet their online partners.They’re both to show up at Marronnier Park at 11am with a yellow rose. Only Yu-Rim suddenly throws the yellow rose over to Yi-Jin making it seem as if her online friend is actually him. Despite the misunderstanding, she tells Yi-Jin that she “has to have him”
The Episode Review
So Twenty Five Twenty One skips out on the fencing situation but certainly doesn’t skimp out on the drama, which continues to deliver across the episode.
With Yu-Rim now aware of who her online friend is, but Hee-Do convinced that it’s actually Yi-Jin, this is going to cause all sorts of issues going forward. It’s the typical misunderstanding trope but it’s actually quite interesting the way it’s been framed here.
The whole episode instead centers on Yi-Jin and Hee-Do’s relationship and their differing roles in life. With Coach Yang imploring Hee-Do not to get involved with Yi-Jin, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a story echoing the drama involving Yang and Jae-Kyung in the past. That’s just a thought at this point but it does seem like it could be probable.
Despite all that though, Twenty Give Twenty One is fast becoming the must-watch drama of the weekend. And what about that soundtrack eh? Easily one of the best OSTs this year so far!