Episode 9 of Twenty Five Twenty One starts with Hee-Do believing that Yi-Jin is the one she’s been speaking to online. Yi-Jin is quick to point out he’s not Injeolmi and is about to mention how it’s Yu-Rim but her blank stare and urgent “X” with her arms from afar sees him backtrack and claim it’s all just a big coincidence.
When she shows up back home, Hee-Do communicates with Yu-Rim online again, with the latter claiming she couldn’t make it. Hee-Do is still in the dark over who she’s speaking to off course, screaming into her pillow and bemoaning her luck.
Hee-Do’s mother, Jae-Kyung, apologizes to her daughter for the comments she made on-air. She claims she only made those as an anchor and not as Hee-Do’s mother. With the gold medal from the Olympics in hand, she makes a peace offering to her, which goes some way to mend the broken bridges between them.
In the morning, Yu-Rim sets out to try and make amends for her horrible behaviour. She asks Yi-jin for help with this and, specifically, to keep lying for the next week or so. However, Hee-Do is avoiding Yi-Jin following what’s happened,embarrassed over confessing her feelings. Yu-Rim though, feeling guilty about the whole Injeolmi gig, doing her best to be nice to Hee-Do.
Coach Yang is worried about Yu-Rim’s family, who are still struggling following the loan incident. She encourages the whole team to show up with her for some food – including Hee-Do. The latter is a little hesitant given what happened with the final but she gets a warm embrace from Yu-Rim’s mother all the same, and a reassuring pat on the back for her troubles. She’s not mad after all.
Meanwhile, Yi-Jin volunteers himself for an important job at UBS. The boss intends to showcase an Asian games special and wants someone to organize doing a documentary on this. Everyone is silent but Yi-Jin speaks up, volunteering himself for this. While his career is going strong, he’s still struggling to get through to Hee-Do. So naturally, he decides to combine the two together.
Yi-Jin appears with his film crew the next day and decides to do some test-shoots. He’s intending to do a three-part docu-series on the games and two of the three competitors he’s interviewing are Hee-Do and Yu-Rim. This also means the pair will spend more time together too, with a very frazzled Hee-Do admitting the truth to Yi-Jin in private.
Hee-Do admits she likes him and is confused about it… eventually admitting she hates him too. Well, that clears that up then!
At school the next day, the students actively await their rankings on the bulletin board. Remember Yi-Jin being ranked 320? Well it turns out Ji-Woong and Yu-Rim are ranked 321 and 322. As they’re in last place but on a completely different sheet of paper together, Ji-Woong looks on the bright side and claims it’s romantic.
Back home, Yu-Rim’s mum tries to give her daughter a gift in the form of a mobile phone. She’s uncomfortable, pointing out their dire financial situation and imploring her mother to return it. After all, that’s not going to help them pay back their debts.
That night, Hee-Do helps Yi-Jin out of a tight situation. She lets him into her place to do his radio broadcast, given there’s no one in. After saving his broadcast, the pair end up talking and as they discuss the nature of their relationship, Yi-Jin holds her arm…just as Jae-Kyung returns home.
Yi-Jin is shocked when he realizes his boss is also Hee-Do’s mother, which brings up a conflict of interest. The thing is, Jae-Kyung also points out how close he is to her daughter, which is in itself a conflict of interest too. She worries that it could affect Yi-Jin’s decision making. After all, if it wasn’t for Hee-Do then he never would have approached the referee like he did.
The next day at school, several kids start badmouthing Yu-Rim in the toilets. They discuss her family finances and claim she only made the gold medal plea to try and get compensation for her family. Hee-Do overhears and lashes out at the girls, sticking up for Yu-Rim. When the pair do talk outside, Yu-Rim confesses the truth and tells Hee-Do that she is Injeolmi.
Yu-Rim apologizes for being mean to her, admitting she didn’t know she was Ryder37 and lashed out at her. As they talk, Hee-Do makes her promise never to do diving again, given how dangerous it is. The pair patch up their differences, apologizing to each other and hugging it out.
Off the back of this, any conflict between Hee-Do and YuRim is gone and instead, the pair get along like a house on fire. Yi-Jin is certainly taken aback and given he’s under pressure to try and spice up the show, he’s surprised and tries to make the most of this.
Eventually it comes time for the pair to do their shoots. Unfortunately, the director wants them to focus on the simultaneous touch as that’s going to be the dramatic angle that they run with. The pair are a little uncomfortable about it and after numerous takes of them both being cautious, Hee-Do hurts her ankle.
Yi-Jin is furious when he finds out and confronts the Director, pointing out that these sort of bouts result in the most amount of injuries. The Director just wants the ratings to improve but for Yi-Jin, it’s more about the well-being of the athletes… and Hee-Do of course.
As Yi-Jin scoops up Hee-Do and then drives her on to the hospital, on the way they end up seeing a rainbow on the horizon. This is, of course, a sign linking back to how Hee-Do viewed their relationship; something pretty and unique.
As the pair talk about how they’d define their relationship, Yi-Jin turns to Hee-Do and tells her he doesn’t need a rainbow. What they have is love. “I love you Hee-Do.”
The Episode Review
This week’s episode slows down slightly to allow Hee-Do and Yu-Rim to patch up their differences. It seems like we’re no longer going to get their intense rivalry anymore and I’d imagine that side of this show has now been finished. Still, it doesn’t excuse what Yu-Rim has done but it seems Twenty Five Twenty One has figured out that the show excels more with its slice of life drama.
The key to this, of course, stems from the crackling chemistry brewing between Hee-Do and Yi-Jin. Seeing him confess his love to Hee-Do is a definite highlight of the entire show and it comes at the absolute perfect moment too.
This has been a really wonderful k-drama this year and while some of the others in this time-slot have slipped a little into mediocrity, Twenty Five Twenty One continues to burn brightly and deliver the goods. Another great episode marks the halfway point on a high; roll on the next one!