This episode, we return to being stuffed with lots of reveals, but still having good and classic scenes at the same time.
Through flashbacks, we finally get the full picture of what happened 13 years ago – because it felt so recent to Seo Ri, she can remember everything clearly.
In 2005 at the Incheon Airport, Seo Ri was waiting to board the plane for Germany when she saw a kid crying alone at the airport. It was Chan (omygoodness, does that boy know that he would meet his crush 13 years later?). After Seo Ri soothed Chan with a donut and reunited him with his mother, she realised that she left her violin behind. When she ran back, it was gone but a cleaner told her that a cute boy brought it to the information counter.
Seo Ri immediately ran there to retrieve her violin and wanted to find the boy to thank him. She heard from the receptionist that the boy was in uniform and had a drawing tube with Poporo stickers, and saw someone in the distance like that. By the time she gave chase however, Woo Jin was gone and she had to board the plane for Germany.
The violin she lost was her mother’s and she was so grateful Woo Jin found it. When she was back in Korea, she ran into Woo Jin again but she lost him as he was on his bicycle. Thereafter, she constantly looked out for him but kept missing chances to talk to him. One day, she made the same key ring as the one she had and carried it with her so that she could give him when they met. Every time she saw him, her heart beat a bit faster, just like a crescendo.
That fateful day, it was Seo Ri who saw Woo Jin on the bus first and approached him to ask for directions. She wanted to give him the key ring but got nervous and sat back down after getting directions. But Woo Jin thought she was going to get off the bus and immediately told her to get off at the next station instead. We saw this part of the exchange before, till when Su Mi got onto the bus and Woo Jin ran off.
But what we didn’t know was that after Woo Jin alighted, Seo Ri was delighted to hear that Woo Jin actually knew her. Just as she was about to share the story with Su Mi, that was when the accident happened.
Back to the present, Woo Jin murmurs that that still doesn’t change anything; he was the one who held her back. But Seo Ri expalins that she could get to the practice room with her eyes closed. She always got off at Cheongan Junction, instead of Cheongnan Station, crossed the road, walked past the playground with pretty flowers and entered the Art Hall. “It wasn’t your fault. Like always, I would have gotten off at the next stop. It’s unfortunate, but the accident would still have happened.”
She looks at him with tears in her eyes, “Gong Woo Jin. Your name is Gong Woo Jin. It wasn’t just me…for 13 years, you have been stuck at the age of 17.”
At that moment, Woo Jin grabs her and kisses her deeply. Whoosh!! Didn’t expect that!! But loveeed it. Also love that they finally draw the link back to the title – that she wasn’t the only being still 17.
On a side note, I’m glad they made it such that Seo Ri was already on the bus before Woo Jin got on, because before the reveal, I thought it would have been a bit sad if Seo Ri only got on to the bus to talk to Woo Jin.
As the couple walks back home, Woo Jin walks backwards, all the while holding onto Seo Ri’s hands and calling out her name repeatedly. He reaches out to touch her hair gently. Seo Ri finally gets to give him the key ring as a gift and Woo Jin wonders where they would be now if he managed to receive this 13 years ago. Seo Ri tells him that she had similarly gotten upset when she looked back. She sometimes had wished that she didn’t wake up from her coma. But if she keeps looking back, she will be the only one stuck behind. Now, they can change everything.
I loveee how this entire scene was wrapped up – from the reveal of what happened 13 years ago, to understanding Seo Ri’s narrative (when all we saw the past 14 episodes was Woo Jin’s) to just how much Woo Jin is in love with Seo Ri now.
Woo Jin smiles, “I’m falling in love again,” and hugs her. “Let’s finish this intermission together.” When they reach home, Deok Gu rushes to greet him. He hugs Deok Gu and apologises to Jennifer for making her worry.
Chan comes down from upstairs and gives his uncle a tight hug, “I’m glad you’re back. I’m okay. That’s all I need.” They finally get to drink that hot chocolate Woo Jin promised outside at the patio. Woo Jin wants to explain what happened but Chan stops him, saying that it doesn’t matter so long as he’s back. He jokes that Woo Jin has taken a few years off him and that he would look like Deok Su. Hahaha. Woo Jin wonders when did his cute nephew grow up so big. Time really flies, doesn’t it?
Back in his room, Chan looks at his motto, Don’t think, Feel.
The next morning, Woo Jin wakes up happily and realises in shock that it’s 11. He rushes down before running back up to wash his face and splatter himself with some cologne. He finally smoothens his hair and brings his hand up to knock on Seo Ri’s door, when Jennifer appears from behind to tell him that Seo Ri has already left with Chan. Ah, Woo Jin remembers, yes Chan did ask the last night whether he could spend some time with Seo Ri. Hahaha, Woo Jin ahhh.
Woo Jin takes the empty carton boxes which Jennifer is about to throw out and brings them to the garage.
Chan brings Seo Ri to his training place and gives her a tour around the canteen and his training area. They are so cute, as Seo Ri teases Chan for his lack of geographical knowledge, when he bites his tongue and when Chan is amazed at how Seo Ri is quite good at rowing. She hilariously keeps yelling, “Catch!” even when she’s riding a bike, not rowing. Hahaha.
Meanwhile, Woo Jin finally clears out the garage. Jennifer observes, “If you know what you have, you know what to throw away.” She gives him a thumbs up, “I’m very proud of you.” Somehow, receiving a compliment from Jennifer seems even more satisfying. She laughs a little on the inside when she sees a dirty smudge on Woo Jin’s face, but passes a namecard to Woo Jin. It’s the namecard Woo Jin left in Chan’s room when he ran away.
At that moment, Woo Jin received a call from his therapy doctor who wanted him to design a stage for a music therapy session. The doctor commented that Seo Ri must be someone very special – Woo Jin didn’t know she was the same person, but fell in love with her again. Woo Jin smiles and his love shines through his eyes as he explains that the sun is brighter with her and he laughs at all the smallest things with her. “She makes every little thing seem really special.” The doctor laughs and calls Woo Jin pretty.
Chan and Seo Ri take a stroll around the waters as he finally explains that he brought her here to a place he’s the most comfortable in, rather than renting a scooter and bringing her to a restaurant. “I like you a lot.” Seo Ri stops walking and Chan turns back, “When you cry, my heart breaks.” When she’s sad, he wants to protect her.
“I want to protect you. I’ll be an adult soon. You can trust me, I’ll protect you.” Seo Ri looks down awkwardly and helplessly, but Chan continues that this is what he would ordinarily have said on the day he won his competition. Yet, he still feels like he should say these words so that he can fully get over his crush. “You’re my first love. I want my first love to have a proper ending.” He wanted to protect her because she’s like a 17 year old, but now she’s an adult.
“Let’s be good friends now…and please continue to like my uncle.” Seo Ri tears and Chan tells her with a smile that just like his hands, his heart just have some calluses but he will recover really quickly. He sends Seo Ri away so that he can cry alone and as he continues walking, he recalls all the times he spent with Seo Ri and how happy he was. And finally, he walks away, leaving his gloves behind. The gloves Seo Ri gave him.
Hyung Tae meets with Woo Jin to inform him that the person who paid for Seo Ri’s bills wants to meet her. But if Seo Ri meets him, she would know that her uncle and aunt left her behind. Woo Jin comments that Seo Ri has already guessed somewhat. Nevertheless, Hyung Tae knows that if this information comes from him, Seo Ri will just be more confused. “I don’t want Seo Ri to be confused anymore…as a friend.” He passes the information to Woo Jin instead.
I somehow wish that Hyung Tae wasn’t developed as crush kind of guy. It would have been great if Hyung Tae simply looked out for Seo Ri as a friend/first crush, rather than being emotionally involved for 13 years. But I guess the script wanted to dump all the what-ifs on him and to trigger some sort of sympathies. I think his reaction when he finally meets Seo Ri is totally understandable, and it made me feel for him. But at the end of the day, his character feels very two-sided and slightly unimportant, when he could be so much more.
Woo Jin returns home and is delighted to see Seo Ri right outside, “Hey! It’s my girlfriend!” He notices Seo Ri’s downcasted face and observes that she must not have had a good time with Chan. So….he is still clueless about Chan’s first love?
Woo Jin tells her about his meeting with Hyung Tae, and passes her the namecard of the flower shop. They call the number to no avail, and later, Woo Jin calls Seo Ri out of the house.
It’s the driver waiting for her. The moment she sees him, he kneels on the floor. He cries as he thanks her for waking up. He was going to turn himself in after she woke up but wanted to apologise to her first. Seo Ri is angry for his apology will not bring back her years and her friend. The driver sobs as he reveals that he drank that day and was too out of it to realise his tires weren’t secured. He only knew what happened after he saw the news coverage and was so scared he didn’t dare to confess.
He heard that one of the victims was a high school girl in a coma and only knew that after she was transferred to the rehabilitative center, her guardians didn’t come for two months.
Seo Ri cries, “You shouldn’t drink and drive. Why did you do that? Why? Why? Why?” Woo Jin holds her hand to comfort her, but at the same time, Jennifer who overhears everything rushes forward and hits the driver. If he hadn’t done that, she wouldn’t have lost her husband and her child. She collapses on the floor and Seo Ri rushes to comfort her.
In a flashback, we see Jennifer telling her husband that she had a child and how happy he was. Jennifer tells Seo Ri, “Other than your friend, there was someone else who died. My husband.” Although losing her husband was an accident, losing her child was her fault. She doesn’t have the right to have a family and to be happy. Seo Ri pats her shoulder and hugs her – for today, just cry and don’t pretend to be okay. Later, the driver turns himself in at the police station.
At night, Woo Jin realises that he had a lot of conversations with Jennifer and was able to find courage through her words. He can see and feel that she’s a warm person, “Thank you for being by my side.” He hopes that she will no longer hide her feelings, “You deserve to be happy and cry when you are sad.” He leaves and Jennifer wipes a tear away as she looks quietly at the myrtle tree.
Seo Ri throws away her $200 US bill that her uncle gave her but picks it out from the trash again. Ya girl, that’s money! She’s sad and bitter that they left her behind, but Woo Jin holds her hands reassuringly and she is a bit more comforted.
In the morning, Seo Ri runs into Chan who is going out for training and can’t bring herself to look at him in the eyes. Chan teases her a little and she finally goes back to normal, such as being excited for Chan’s rowing future. Chan yells, “Don’t think, feel! F-E-E-L.” Seo Ri is amazed that he finally knows how to spell it now (HAHA) and Chan looks away shiftily. Right before he steps out of the house, the two of them yell again, “Don’t think, FEEL!”
Chan leaves the house and his two friends are there to pick him up. They note that he looks happy like he just pooped. Idea of poop is hilariously quite accurate, because Chan finally gets something off his chest! The trio then decides that since senior year isn’t over, they shall go for another medal!
At work, Hyun teases Woo Jin for drinking out of the same bottle as Seo Ri and Woo Jin’s all like, “What’s wrong with drinking my girlfriend’s water?” Hyun doesn’t believe Woo Jin until Seo Ri murmurs coyly that he isn’t kidding. Hee Su is taken aback at how slow Hyun is but notes, “Wait, I am the one who hired him.” Hyun is shocked because he thought that Seo Ri liked him and that Hee Su would end up with Woo Jin. Hee Su raises her voice, “Why would I date Woo Jin??” but looks at Seo Ri, “Uh. I don’t mean your boyfriend is weird or anything.” Cute. I loveee a good female friend/camarade who doesn’t interfere with the love interest.
As Hyun mutters once again that he thought Seo Ri liked him, Woo Jin mutters back, “She likes me.” What an adorable man. There’s something so cute and innocent when Woo Jin declares that Seo Ri is his girlfriend; none of that shy and coyness or beating around the bush for Gong Woo Jin.
At this point, the lady in the previous episode who picked up the flyer contacts Seo Ri and meets up with the couple. She remembers the aunt because she came every 2 to 3 days to buy groceries and had them delivered to the house. The last thing she heard about them was that they had a divorce.
Woo Jin also showed Seo Ri the information that the uncle’s company went bankrupt, but that it was the aunt who sold the house. Seo Ri goes into a panic thinking that they might have gone bankrupt and gotten a divorce because of her. She understands that her aunt, who isn’t related by blood to her, doesn’t want anything to do with her but worries about her uncle.
Woo Jin is concerned about her getting hurt but she doesn’t care. They head over to the flower shop but finds that it’s closed. They search the whole day for information and Seo Ri comments that her aunt must have closed the shop on the day of the competition, so as to avoid seeing her. They are about to step in to the house, when someone comes up from behind them, calling tentatively, “Seo Ri ah.”
They turn around and it’s Seo Ri’s aunt, “You’ve woken up.”
I don’t know but I feel a bit more disjointed from this episode than the others. Episode 13 was good because there were so many reveals and it was just all-round exciting to watch. Episode 14 was the aftermath of Woo Jin knowing that Seo Ri is alive – the entire episode mostly just centers around that, so it was set at a good pace and it was amazing to watch everyone crying. This episode however, the going back and forth between emotional scenes and reveals kept me a little restless. I guess it can’t be helped because the emotional scenes are kinda still the aftermath from Episode 13 (that was one packed episode).
Nonetheless, plot-wise, I think they handled Chan’s crush expertly. He would ordinarily have been incredibly jealous and angry, but they timed the reveal of Seo Ri being attached cleverly to coincide with Woo Jin’s emotional crisis. This leads to Chan immediately realising how precious his uncle is to him. This is also why I think he is able to let go of Seo Ri so much more easily, because he understands that his uncle comes first to him and if Seo Ri completes his uncle, he will graciously step back.
I also love how everyone’s first loves here are pretty much innocent, sweet and just all-round supportive. Eager to see how they tie everything up at the end!
You can watch Still 17 here on Viki!
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