Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 8 recap – fun and impactful

By Nathan Sartain
Published: March 6, 2022
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K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 8


A fun, impactful episode that ditches sports for character development and emotional depth.

This recap of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers. 

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 8 recap

In the present, Min-chae watches Yi-jin’s broadcast regarding the Asian Games, only to be interrupted by her grandmother. They talk openly about the news situation during the controversy, with Jae-kyung saying that having to attack her daughter was the first time she regretted her career as a broadcaster. When she exchanges an “I love you” with her granddaughter, we head back into the past and pick up where we left off, with Hee-do disappointed by the radio broadcast of Yi-jin heard in the hideout.

After storming off to the men’s toilet by mistake, Hee-do gets startled by Yi-jin, who then follows her out and gives her a handkerchief to dry up with. The two then share a somewhat awkward conversation, which includes a thank you over the journalist’s interview with Mr Smith, but is laced with the pairing being unsure of where they stand with each other. Following that, Ji-woong shares a story of the “toilet ghost” to Seung-wan, something that ultimately ends up scaring all four of the people based in the school for a brief moment.

The next day, Hee-do conducts research on the identity of Park Da-eun, Yi-jin’s former love, finding her identity in an old yearbook, and ending up annoying herself. Thus, she vents in a diary, hearing the words on the radio broadcast repeat themselves over and over in her head. When she does scurry off to bed, her mother checks up on her, and silently leaves the room when under the illusion that Hee-do is asleep.

Elsewhere, Yi-jin attempts to partially pay back one of the people who is owed money and receives a heartfelt apology from the man in return. He requests for Yi-jin to find happiness before we cut to a gifting of beef to Yu-rim’s mother. There, she states that Yi-jin’s dad must miss him, prior to Yu-rim herself arriving to coldly dismiss the journalist. Her anger doesn’t last too long though, as Yi-jin and Yu-rim end up talking about the Asian Games, and taking responsibility, together, where it’s revealed that the athlete feels some level of guilt for the hostile response to Hee-do’s gold medal triumph.

A little later on, we find out that Yi-jin is moving back into the neighbouring house to Seung-wan, which seems to upset both the student and her friend Ji-woong. When they confide in each other, the latter discusses his intentions to ask out Yu-rim, and the constant mind tricks he plays on himself about crying in his room in the case of any potential rejection. They then meet Hee-do, share the information about the move-in with her, and plan to help him on that Saturday.

When the day arrives, the trio greets Yi-jin warmly outside the gate, but Hee-do takes issue with the arrival of Yu-rim. Despite threatening that one of the two would have to depart, neither actually do leave, and the foursome continues to help unpack their friend’s belongings. At that point, they discover Min-young too, another ex of Yi-jin, thanks to the uncovering of a photo reel made into tape. Jealous, the fencer then confronts the journalist about being a “ladies man,” an allegation that is swiftly laughed off.

At UBS, coach Yang is spotted by Jae-kyung when she comes in to get paid for her commentary work, with the former friends then going off to talk. Before we find out any more, we cut back to the move-in, and bear further witness to the animosity between Yu-rim and Hee-do. In the midst of the tension, though, there’s a rather sweet scene that involves Yi-jin holding Hee-do after a window ends up breaking due to the athlete’s carelessness in using an arm exerciser.

After the cleanup, the group sit down for a meal, only for it to be noticed that Hee-do is absentminded. She denies anything is wrong, but it’s clear how flustered she is when we see the student fanning herself when back at home. In that moment, Jae-kyung interrupts, asking whether Hee-do had reflected on her actions in the press conference. It only starts an argument, however, one which reaches a conclusion that the two should stay out of each other’s business. Afterwards, we see that coach Yang delivered the medal to Jae-kyung when they met, requesting that she give it to her daughter to make up for how she reported on the news. Some more context over why the two friends have fallen out is then given, with Jae-kyung’s relentless news report over financial fraud shown.

Later on, we see Yi-jin’s progress in being prepared for the news, as he had access to a phone that others may not have thanks to booking a hotel room, which handily also allows him to comfortably set himself for a news report on the government building fire. However, it doesn’t all go to plan, as his laptop crashes when he begins to read his script, causing him to stutter, shake, and then hang up live on TV. Upset by the ordeal, he rejects phone calls, and hides under a quilt to scream. When he does arrive at the station, he accepts a scolding from Jae-kyung, who is furious over the ordeal, and questions his credentials as a reporter. Solemnly, Yi-jin then walks home, embarrassed by the gifts left by Hee-do at his gate entrance.

Due to an investment scam, Yu-rim’s mother stands to lose a hefty sum, causing their family’s financial situation to be drawn into question. The upset is shown harshly before we cut to the fencing disciplinary hearing, which sees both Yu-rim and Hee-do end up suspended for three months. Again, the favouritism towards the Olympic gold medalist is shown as Hee-do eavesdrops, but the dire financial straits she is in is also made clear as Yu-rim requests an advance on her pension.

When they pack up to leave the training camp, Hee-do notices Yu-rim leave abruptly and follows the sound of music to find her rival perched on the edge of a diving board. She cries from the vantage point, recalling the pain her mother was in, before standing up and falling into the water. When Yu-rim does re-emerge, she weeps, evidently in pain over her unenviable situation. It allows for Hee-do to feel some compassion for the woman she hated, which then leads to confusion over her feelings towards her. Of course, this leads to the two anonymously connecting on a chat board again, and another request is made for them to meet up.

Before long, coach Yang discusses the lessons the two must have learnt, instructing them to train as usual for the next three months before they’re reintegrated into the national team. Yang then keeps Hee-do behind and tells her to keep a distance from Yi-jin, as in her mind, it’s not a good idea for fencers and reporters to mix due to her own circumstances. On a bus, Hee-do then ignores her friend, spotting him being “such a grown-up.” When they do end up meeting, Yi-jin gives the stickers he collected for her to the athlete and confesses that he had been thinking of her. There’s a humorous reason why, as it’s because of a lack of spelling skill for chat board addicts, and she cannot entirely hide her happiness to see him. It doesn’t completely persist, though, as Hee-do attempts to leave of her own accord, as well as payback her debt to Yi-jin, the words of coach Yang having made their mark. But, as appears to be almost fateful, Yi-jin helps his friend escape danger, softly confronting her about her behaviour and seemingly getting the fencer back on side. That doesn’t work persist either, as Hee-do angrily asks to not be treated like a dumb child after Yi-jin plays a prank involving leftover ice cream on her face, and storms into her house.

Upset, Hee-do considers the situation she and Yi-jin face, confessing she is jealous of him, and the fact that she seems to be lagging behind. Meanwhile, Yi-jin apologises over the phone for going too far and looks longingly at the defaced newspaper bikini model.

Now, Ji-woong has converted into a hip-hop super fan to impress Yu-rim (he had previously claimed to exclusively like rock), dancing confidently around donned in flashy clothes. When bumping into Yu-rim, they talk about music for a bit, exposing their similar tastes outside of the genre he professes to suddenly like.

The ending

After collecting a camera from Yi-jin, Yu-rim gets ready to meet her online friend, only for the journalist to insist on coming with her to ensure safety. Hee-do, meanwhile, travels alone. True identities are unable to be revealed, as Yu-rim thrusts the yellow rose into Yi-jin and flees, leaving Hee-do to believe that her online friend has been the journalist all this time. It makes sense in the fencer’s head, as she approaches him to confidently say “I have to have you.” With that, the episode ends.

What did you think of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 8? Comment below!

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