Episode 14 = cry for an hour
I’ve always been following this series and loving how cute everything was. I love how the leads are so innocent and how everyone grows as a family. But this episode turns everything on its head by being an absolute tearjerker. The acting was beautiful and amazing; so in today’s recaps, it will be full images, recap and my thoughts. (Be warned, this is a super image-heavy recap!! Do let the post load first for maximum enjoyment.)
Overall summary: Everyone cried in this episode.
As Seo Ri cries over Su Mi, Woo Jin finally understands the misunderstanding from 13 years ago. He grabs her tightly in a hug and murmurs, “Her name was Woo Seo Ri. She was alive. You are alive. Thank you for being alive.” Seo Ri doesn’t understand what’s going on, but her tears uncontrollably fall on their own accord.
She pulls back and wipes his tears away. Woo Jin’s guilt hits in that moment and you can tell when his eyes shifted.
Amazing acting right there, Yang Se Jong. This is my first drama of his but I am entirely bought over by his acting.
In school, Ri An removes the banner which celebrates her academic achievement and puts up a banner celebrating Yoo Chan’s. I’m so glad they kept her around, even though she’s a small character. So far, she seems to be quite funny and has good intentions, so I hope they will groom her into a possible love interest for Yoo Chan!
Meanwhile, Yoo Chan is distraught with the news that Woo Jin is Seo Ri’s boyfriend and tries to leave the hospital. His friends hilariously appear not to help him but to tie him down. What’s even funnier is that the doctor is sure that his injury wouldn’t recover so quickly but the X-Ray shows otherwise. Haha, Yoo Chan, are you an alien?
Yoo Chan quickly rushes home, while Hyung Tae calls Jennifer to update her of what has happened.
When the couple returns home, Jennifer holds Seo Ri’s hands gently and tells her that she has cooked porridge for her. Jennifer notices that Woo Jin doesn’t look too well too. She offers her room to Seo Ri and leaves to bring hot towels for her.
It’s so heartbreaking to watch how Woo Jin cannot look at Seo Ri in the eye, which Seo Ri also points out, “Why haven’t you been looking at me when we are talking?”
He goes to his room, closes his door and breaks down. As memories of the accident flash past, and how Seo Ri struggles after waking up from his coma, he murmurs, “It’s because of me. It’s because of me.”
He clutches at his heart, and as classical music plays in the background, we see how he hides his head in his arms, just like the 17-year-old him did.
Meanwhile, Seo Ri sleeps in Jennifer’s room restlessly. Yoo Chan rushes home to ask Woo Jin about Seo Ri and finds Woo Jin in the garage. The moment Woo Jin turns around, Yoo Chan’s face immediately melts into worry and he asks, “What happened?”
Woo Jin doesn’t answer and he hugs his uncle, “What’s going on? Tell me!”
Which honestly touches me because I can see that the moment Yoo Chan sees Woo Jin like this, all his own thoughts and concerns fly out of the window. He sees only his uncle in that moment.
He follows Woo Jin into the room, frantically asking, “What’s wrong? I’m so worried about you.” Woo Jin wants to be alone and sends Yoo Chan away. Yoo Chan hears that Seo Ri is asleep and doesn’t disturb her. He learns that they have gone to Seo Ri’s friend who passed away and wonders why his uncle is so distressed if it’s Seo Ri’s friend.
He digs through Woo Jin’s stuff in the garage and is scared that it has something to do with Woo Jin’s trauma 13 years ago.
He quickly runs to Woo Jin’s room and sees that it’s empty, but turns out Woo Jin was only at the bathroom.
His legs soften in that moment and he slides to the floor.
Back in Woo Jin’s room, he reveals that he suddenly remembered how his uncle cried on the day Woo Jin moved back to live with them. Can I just say though, I’m a little confused about the timeline on when was Woo Jin in Korea and when he was in Germany. Hopefully, this will be made clear in the last two episodes!
The young Yoo Chan found himself crying when he saw how Woo Jin was. He asked if someone stole his food (haha, it’s so endearing to hear that from a young kid) and Woo Jin hugged him. “Oddly, I clearly remembered how you cried.”
He’s scared that Woo Jin will return to how he was and starts distancing himself from everyone. He’s worried that he will leave for months again.
When Woo Jin doesn’t answer, Yoo Chan quickly finds Woo Jin’s passport and rips it apart. Woo Jin raises his voice, “Chan!” but tells him, “Let’s eat.” The fact that Woo Jin is so calm about his passport being ripped apart tells me that the passport has expired.
While eating, Woo Jin gets up, which startles Yoo Chan but he’s merely going to the bathroom. Throughout this episode, I really liked it that we get to see how much Yoo Chan loves his uncle, and just how much he doesn’t want to see him leave.
Jennifer goes to the hospital to pick up Yoo Chan’s belongings, and to meet Hyung Tae as he requested. He asks if Seo Ri was really okay with the family and Jennifer assures him so. He observes regretfully that if only he knew she was so close by, if only he came home that day, if only he wasn’t sent overseas…Jennifer notes that ‘if’ is a very sad word.
In a flashback, we see Jennifer clutching onto a music box as a doctor told her that she couldn’t keep the baby. Jennifer then walked in the rain and told herself, if only she took better care of herself, if only she was able to deal with her emotions, if I didn’t break down like that. ‘If’ is somehow a word that is necessary to cope with the difficult things.
Jennifer leaves and Hyung Tae’s friend apologises for dropping the bomb on Seo Ri. If only he knew beforehand. Hyung Tae murmurs that no wonder, the word ‘if’ is such a sad word. Oh I definitely agree. If onlys and what ifs are very sad things to hear. I do feel bad for Hyung Tae though. Hyung Tae is a situation of mis-timing and he knows it. And this scene’s purpose is to tell us just that; you cannot turn back the time and you cannot control those things which have passed.
Yoo Chan hilariously keeps watch outside Woo Jin’s room and jumps up to interrogate whenever he steps out. Woo Jin is about to knock on Jennifer’s door when she opens it and says that she’s going to get a change of clothes for Seo Ri because she has been sweating. Woo Jin offers to take it instead.
Later, Woo Jin leaves his room becuase Jennifer wants to speak to him and asks Yoo Chan if he wants some hot chocolate. Yoo Chan wonders if he’s really okay and lets his guard down since he has Woo Jin’s ripped passport.
In the early morning, Seo Ri wakes up and wonders if everything has been a dream. Yoo Chan also stirs awake and quickly opens Woo Jin’s door to find his room empty. The bathroom is also empty. Seo Ri sits outside in the garden with Deok Gu and hears a phone ringing. She traces it to the garage and picks it up; it’s Yoo Chan calling Woo Jin.
She incidentally notices the painting on the floor and immmediately realises that it’s her. “Why am I on this?”
As Yoo Chan quickly runs down the stairs, Seo Ri also appears in a frenzy asking about the painting. They very quickly put together important pieces of information – this was before her accident, “It was a huge accident. Everyone knows about the Cheongan junction 12-car crash.”
In that moment, Jennifer reels a little and through a flashback, we see that while young Hyung Tae dashed past Jennifer and into the hospital, Jennifer was also waiting for her husband’s surgery results. Which turned out unsuccessful.
In a further flashback, we see Jennifer’s husband touching a card Go away, morning sickness. Honey, I love you, before taking his last breath. Jennifer cried as she went through his belongings, including the card. I also cried – while my brain appreciates how everything came together in this episode. We always knew there were two deaths from the accident, and now we know who the other death belongs to.
Back to the present, Jennifer unconsciously tears, much to Yoo Chan’s and Seo Ri’s surprise.
Yoo Chan then realises that Jennifer didn’t ask to talk to Woo Jin and they rush up to his room. Chan opens his closet and his art tube falls out. Seo Ri requests for an old photo of Woo Jin and finally pieces it together – Woo Jin was the one who told her not to get off at that bus stop, and he felt guilty for it ever since.
“I think it’s because of me. Because of me, he left.”
Yoo Chan tries to comfort her and brings out the passport, but Jennifer notes that it has expired. We then see Woo Jin at the airport, buying a ticket which is the earliest and to the furthest place.
As he walks away, he puts his earphones into his ears and tucks it into an empty pocket. This action is always so sad, because it’s Woo Jin telling himself not to interfere in other people’s lives.
Seo Ri and Yoo Chan dash out and in the cab, Seo Ri cries, “It wasn’t a dream.” In another flashback, we see that in the early morning, Woo Jin sat by her bed, touched her face tenderly and kissed her on the forehead.
Seo Ri woke up momentarily but fell back asleep.
On the airplane, Woo Jin clutches at his passport, his face lonely and sad. Deok Gu waits at home, and we see Woo Jin biding farewell to him through his dog-eyes.
He then croons and waits patiently at the window.
Yoo Chan receives a call from Jennifer and tells the cab to turn around. There’s no use going to the airport now; there’s a note that Woo Jin left for Seo Ri in her room. Meanwhile, the mysterious man finally appears at the hospital, wanting to speak to Seo Ri. A random neighbour also picks up a flyer which was distributed for Seo Ri to find her uncle and aunt.
Back at home, Seo Ri rushes into her room and closes the door behind her. Yoo Chan quiety returns to his own room, sits on the steps and murmurs, “You said you would bring me hot chocolate.” A tear escapes from his eye as he leans his head down in dejection.
Seo Ri opens the letter and we hear Woo Jin narrates how he met her. While he narrates, we see the young Seo Ri and young Woo Jin again.
He first saw her at the overhead bridge when he heard a strange tinkling, but afterwards, he got interested in her, “What is she thinking that she get drenched with water? Why does she wear mismatched shoes? Which school does she go to?”
He kept hoping he would meet her again and wanted to be her friend. One day, he finally found out her name, No Su Mi.
That day on the bus, it was him who told her to get off at the next bus stop. But because her key ring got stuck on his poster tube, he suddenly had the courage again. He ran after the bus and that was when the accident happened. “I made you stay on the bus, and that bus got into an accident.”
“It hurt so much that I wanted to die.” Through an interjection of flashbacks, we see the present Woo Jin breaking down in Seo Ri’s room when he went to take her clothes for Jennifer.
“I found out way too late, but I want to thank you for being alive.”
As Seo Ri sobs, we see Woo Jin crying as he wrote the letter.
Apologising for ruining her life, for making her lose her uncle and aunt, for causing her not to be able to play the violin again.
Towards the end, he clutched his head and sobbed. Finally, he placed the letter, together with her key ring, on the the floor.
I’m sorry for liking you. I’m sorry…for wanting to be your friend.
I’m sorry…for taking away your precious time.
(Damn it, my tears were just free-falling at this point. Yang Se Jong’s gentle voice which broke at the end just hit all the right places.)
Hyung Tae goes to the hospital and finally meets the mysterious man who has been paying for Seo Ri’s hospital bills. It’s the truck driver!
At night, Yoo Chan gets up from his bed and goes to find Seo Ri. He doesn’t realise that Woo Jin did leave a note for him, promising to call him soon. Seo Ri isn’t her room but at the overhead pass, where she remembers Woo Jin promising not to leave again. As she crumbles to the floor in tears, a voice sounds out, “I won’t leave.” And woohoo, there is Woo Jin in flesh.
Turns out, Woo Jin had been in agony ever since he found out the truth.
He kept thinking about how he could console her. When he said he was going to the bathroom during the meal, he actually threw up. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do. It would have been much easier for him to leave if he hadn’t fallen in love with her.
“But now, I can’t seem to leave you. I can’t imagine my life without you. I love you too much now.”
And in a flashback, we see Woo Jin remembering Seo Ri’s fear of him leaving. He remembers how Seo Ri comforted him in his times of agony and he ran off the airplane.
He knows he has no right, after having taken away her life and time.
As he cries, he grabs Seo Ri’s hands and asks for permission to protect her. “You can call me selfish and crazy.
You can hate me and push me away all you want, still I want to be with you. So…please…”
Seo Ri murmurs, “Gong Woo Jin. His name was…Gong Woo Jin.”
“What if that’s not all? What if…what you knew wasn’t everything?”
As they continue to hold onto each other’s hands, a final flashback of this episode shows us that Seo Ri also had a crush on Woo Jin.
She saw him while being out with Deok Gu. “He’s the crescendo I told you about.”
And when Su Mi saw her drawing something on the bus window, she answered shyly, “It’s a crescendo.”
Wow. I expected to be writing mostly brief summaries in what was meant to be a image-heavy recap, but somehow, I just ended up writing down the dialogues too. This episode is amazing in all sorts of ways – although you could say nothing much happened here, it’s perhaps more accurate to say everything has happened here. We have almost all the reveals to the ‘mysteries’ of the show – who paid for Seo Ri’s hospital bills, who were Jennifer’s husband and her backstory, who was the other death, and importantly, Seo Ri’s crush on Woo Jin. This would probably be very important as she probably didn’t ask him for directions because she really needed them but because she just wanted to talk to Woo Jin. There’s something soo adorable about the fact that they were each other first loves!
The acting all-round today from our leads – Yang Se Jeon, Shin Hye Sun, Ahn Hyo Seop and Ye Ji Won have been nothing but fantastic. It’s rare that I watch an episode with many people crying and not get bored of the sobfest. But this episode, I found myself crying along almost for the entire thing. Even though they were crying most of the time, each scene carries its own meaning and poignancy. From each scene, we can really sense each character’s heartbreak, yearning and regret. Each crying scene is needed and special. My top favourite line though is when Woo Jin’s voice broke as he said, “I’m sorry…for wanting to be your friend.” Oh the feels.
For time-sake, I’m very glad that Woo Jin came back at the end; I wouldn’t want to watch a dragged-out chasing around the globe conflict. But for plot-sake, I think it was also important that we watch Woo Jin actually running away initially, before picking up the courage to come back out of his love for Seo Ri. In every sense, this episode furthers the characterisation of Woo Jin, who has finally come full circle in facing his trauma and learning not to run away.
I read some complaints about the reveal having come too late in Episode 13 rather than earlier. I felt that the progression was just right though, in the big picture. The reveal couldn’t have come sooner precisely because of what Woo Jin said – from the writers’ perspective, there would be a lot more impact if Woo Jin saw for himself how hard life was for Seo Ri after she woke up, and how he fell in love with her. If the reveal was early, then he could easily cut her off, or even just feel glad that she’s actually alive.
I will keep my thoughts on the entire drama as a whole for the end! But really liking where this drama is going.
You can watch Thirty but Seventeen/Still 17 here on Viki!