Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 9 recap – defining a relationship

By Nathan Sartain
Published: March 12, 2022
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K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 9


A fast-paced episode that stylishly changes character dynamics.

This recap of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 9 contains spoilers. 

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 9 recap

We start where we left off, with Hee-do’s bold confession to Yi-jin, who drops his flowers in shock. The fencer then continues her speech, excited by the idea of her close friend being Injeolmi, only to then be told that it is indeed not Yi-jin behind the persona. After trying to feel out the situation, Hee-do eventually concedes that it is a coincidence, and runs away embarrassed given she had not long ago said the words “I have to have you.”

Flustered and upset, Hee-do returns to the chat room, while Yu-rim contemplates the fact that her rival has always been her online source of comfort. Flitting between scenes of the two in a state of juvenile panic and embarrassment, we hear screaming, and see beds kicked. However, Jae-kyung returns proceedings to a state of calm, subtly apologizing (without actually doing so), and stating that she doesn’t believe that the gold medal was stolen when returning it to her daughter.

In the newsroom, Yi-jin smiles over the “I have to have you” incident, before we skip forward to Yu-rim confronting him over the situation, anxious that the truth may have been revealed. Here, it’s clear there’s some regret over her face-to-face actions, so much so that she even hides from Hee-do when she appears suddenly. In the school’s fencing gym, the two awkwardly seem to get along, something Hee-do herself picks up on before becoming fixated over Full House volume 16 being released.

Later on, and following a further clumsy confrontation between Hee-do and Yu-rim, the former is called over by coach Yang. There, she asks for information on Yu-rim’s situation and decides they’ll eat at the snack shop to help them out during the unfortunate situation. The fencer’s mother does appear to notice this, thanking the coach, before she hugs Hee-do warmly too, comforting her over the scandal she faced regarding the gold medal victory. In the background, Yu-rim looks mildly touched.

Back in the newsroom, Yi-jin signs up to do a documentary on the Asian Games, then calls his brother to check up on the youngster. When he stumbles on Hee-do, she acknowledges him, but runs away shortly after, still embarrassed over everything. “Why won’t he leave me alone?” Hee-do asks herself when faced with an answer machine message telling her to pick up.

At the fencing gym the following day, Hee-do is forced to interact with the friend she is ignoring, as they are set up to shoot footage there for the documentary. Yi-jin then explains the goal of the series to Hee-do, and sternly asks for some faith to be put in him after the fencer “disappoints” him over her comments. “Too bad you can’t avoid me now,” the journalist says afterward, and pries for an answer over the reasoning for her behavior. When Hee-do responds, she unloads her humiliation, explaining everything and stating that because of the uncertainty she feels whenever she thinks of Yi-jin, she “hates” him. Of course, this only makes Yi-jin laugh, with the journalist shocked over her honesty. Exhaling, he then leaves, asking the school’s principal for cooperation in the documentary, and scouring the student’s grades.

At school, Seung-wan is shocked over Ji-woong’s sudden attempts to study but then goes back to being apathetic when realizing it’s nothing to do with grades, but rather a driving test. When the pseudo-rebel then checks the exam results, he finds himself in last place, a position he’s perfectly content with, as is Yu-rim, who extends her gratefulness that she only clocks in at 321st.

Emotionally rejecting a gift of a phone from her mother, Yu-rim explains that feelings can’t pay off their debt. At that moment, we go back to the newsroom, where Yi-jin tries to argue against the inclusion of the fencing final controversy being included in the documentary. He appears to be winning out, but we can’t be certain. That night, he finds himself in a rush though, once again needing to find a phone to report the news over. Fortunately, Hee-do is in his path, and she invites him up to her house so he can use the one they have. He accepts, reporting over the small table while the fencer observes him with a marked keenness.

After wrapping up, Hee-do explains that no invented word can describe the relationship she has with Yi-jin, and that they should make up their own. The journalist likes the word rainbow, she likes scissors, but the fluffiness disappears when the older of the two explains just how much he hated how she avoided him. A tension then rises, and when interrogated on his feelings, Yi-jin says that their relationship is not a rainbow, and seemingly goes to confess to her. He doesn’t get a chance though, as Jae-kyung returns home, just as shocked over his appearance in her house as he is over the fact that his strict colleague is Hee-do’s mother.

When they sit down together and discuss the broken statue, Jae-kyung quickly shifts topic, asking if Yi-jin is going out with her daughter. It’s a notion that is rejected, and despite some ensuing comedy, Hee-do’s mother instructs the journalist to not apply for a sports assignment and warns him that if he does, the pairing will only lose each other. Contemplatively, Yi-jin walks and reflects on everything.

In a school toilet, Hee-do angrily defends Yu-rim over childish gossip, something that results in them teaming together against the bullies, and then another confrontation between the rivals. Crying over the hardships she faces because of Hee-do, Yu-rim then confesses to being Injeolmi, and quickly departs the scene as the news sinks in. Catching up to her to ask for a repetition of the fact, Yu-rim deeply apologizes to Hee-do, an apology which gets accepted as the two then cry and hug together.

Frustrating the producer again, Yi-jin rejects the idea of a grand opening for the documentary, settling for the “boring” footage he currently has. When shooting that day, the journalist is in for quite a shock though, as he bears witness to the sudden closeness between the two new friends. Eventually antagonizing the pairing over what he perceives to be acting, Yi-jin realizes what has happened, and finds himself on the receiving end of humorous frustration over his yellow rose lie.

That night, Yu-rim and Hee-do return to the chat rooms and agree to talk openly as they have done previously. First, Hee-do admits that she wasn’t disappointed over the fact it was her rival that she had spoken to all this time online, while Yu-rim apologizes for the Asian Games. In return, the gold medalist explains that Yu-rim’s mother’s hug helped melt away the pain, which seems to trigger a realization in the Olympian on the importance of feelings. As such, she uses the mobile she was gifted to call her mum, apologize, and also thank her.

Once getting past her awe of seeing Yi-jin doing his work, Hee-do asks if some of the people can leave during the interview, as she finds the idea of everyone watching her nerve-wracking. The journalist says they can be alone before the interview commences. Later on, her and Yu-rim look in dismay at the producer, who wishes for them to repeat a simultaneous touch simulation for the angle of the documentary. The shot is reluctantly agreed upon, and repeated several times as the angsty worker wishes for more power. When we do get to footage that may be deemed acceptable, Hee-do picks up an ankle injury. It leads to a heated confrontation between Yi-jin and the producer, prior to the journalist picking up the injured fencer and taking her to the hospital.

The ending

In the car, the two talk sweetly, but Hee-do interrupts their journey to the hospital to look at a rainbow. Smiling at the sight, the two take in the moment, while Yi-jin says “you have a knack for taking me to the right place,” and opens up over his care for the fencer. He repeats himself, and Hee-do explains that this is her definition of their relationship. However, she confronts Yi-jin over the fact that he doesn’t agree that their relationship is a rainbow, and wants to know what he believes. “It’s love,” he says, before adding: “I love you, Na Hee-do.” As the two smile at each other, the episode ends.

What did you think of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 9? Comment below!

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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