A heartfelt episode that poignantly highlights and makes smart use of the newly formed character dynamics.
This recap of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 10 contains spoilers.
Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 10 recap
Beginning in the present, Min-chae observes photos of her mother’s trip to the beach, stumbling on a picture of Yi-jin only to stare at it for a short while. She does stop though, as Hee-do interrupts her snooping to fuss over a bruised toe. After the two squabble, we go right back to the past, and see Hee-do reassure Yu-rim over the injuries that occurred in the documentary shoot.
After that, we cut back to Yi-jin’s confession, and see that Hee-do, flustered as she may be, doesn’t concede that she reciprocates any of these romantic feelings. Yet the journalist doesn’t care, and only wishes to make his friend happy by sharing the news of his love for her. It works, and the two continue to stare out into the expansive skyline.
Believing she has filled the missing pieces in her life, Hee-do says she is no longer afraid, and that she thinks anything is possible with Yi-jin in her life. Now back at the studio, the interview footage of the fencers is watched over, but it only leads into Yi-jin being antagonised by his colleague over his behaviour in lashing out at the documentary producer. He’s instructed to make an apology, and told that in the real world, society doesn’t care about finding peace. As such, the rookie reporter does so, yet this is used as an excuse for the producer to confront Yi-jin, mocking his education level and bankrupt family. It’s a wake-up call of the power dynamics that exist, and just how unfair the industry can be. The staff get-together later that night confirms such hierarchical, almost political work structures, as well as Yi-jin’s desires to ensure high school graduates still have a chance to gain meaningful work.
When back at his home, Yi-jin receives a phone call from his father, which comes as some comfort. They discuss work, and his tough current experience, detailing the hardships the two have gone through, and how life has turned out. It’s meaningful stuff, with the gratitude they both share feeling both genuine and important. Elsewhere, Yu-rim gets a visit from her own father, and expresses her thanks over a gifted CD player in a nice character development moment.
Whilst at what appears to be a breakdancing meet-up, Ji-woong gets paged by an upset Yu-rim, who wants him to come to her and provide comfort. Of course, he greets her in due time, and they talk openly about the Olympian’s minor guilt that’s risen due to the gifts given by her parents. They bond further, and Ji-woong gains the courage to ask for permission to ask her out, a request which is happily accepted. As they playfully discuss an impending relationship, they stumble across Seung-wan, who is attempting to pack the hangout with more furniture to fill a self-confessed empty void inside of herself.
When the trio arrive at the school with the furniture, they come across cushion thieves from a different high school. Ji-woong humorously stunts their flee at first, before Yu-rim utilises her fencing sword, and Seung-wan deploys a disgusting story of an unwashed cushion full of saliva to scare them away. The following day, the juvenile breakdancer gives the items back to their rightful owners in exchange for snacks, only to be physically scolded by a staff member. Seung-wan fortunately intervenes, but the harsh reality of Ji-woong’s actions remain.
At a documentary filming, Yi-jin outlines his intentions to do a “school trip” themed shoot on the beach, something that would allow the full foursome of friends to unwind together in an experience they’d never had before. Excited, the group bounce around together in joy at the hopes they can all attend. That night, Seung-wan explains the reasoning for why her and Ji-woong should be able to tag along, and hands her neighbour a drink, but Yi-jin sees through the initial bribe, and rejects the idea. It doesn’t stop him tucking into hearty meals prepared by his neighbour’s mum, though, with the journalist evidently softening through the consistent attempts at convincing. Eventually, and through some blackmailing, Seung-wan gets her wish.
When the day arrives for the foursome of college friends to head to the beach, they arrive donned in streetwear, outfits which embarrass Yi-jin. But the spirits are high, and the quintet head off cheering and screaming. They soon arrive, meeting Yi-jin’s mother and uncle in the process, the former of which is eager to meet everyone and appears extremely happy. In the midst of everything, there’s a sweet scene with Seung-wan and Yi-hyun which occurs after the 16-year-old recognises the student as being the online radio presenter he is a huge fan of.
At the beach itself, the four friends play around in the water, enjoying their youthful freedom as Yi-jin happily sets up his equipment in the background. He is quickly brought into the fray though, joining in with the playfulness after being thrown into the shallow waves. Afterwards, the journalist takes in the natural sounds, relaxing as he films the group playing around. It fascinates Hee-do, who observes him before asking what’s happening, but then comes to find out that the recording is ongoing, and that they shouldn’t be conversing.
In one moment, it looks as though Yi-jin is going to kiss Hee-do after they whisper for a while, an act which completely flusters her. As it turns out, he just wanted to get something to drink. A short while later, everyone bonds over cooking, showers and mishaps, becoming closer and closer as the day continues.
As the trip unwinds, everyone begins to open up to each other. Ji-woong does over his parent’s divorce, Yu-rim over her family’s debt, and Hee-do over the passing of her dad, the fact that she misses him, and her regrets that her mother doesn’t talk to her about the passing. Yi-jin asks why Seung-wan didn’t join in the conversation, and the grade A student confesses that she finds life boring, and has to come up with things to keep it interesting. At that moment, everyone decides to go to watch the sunset, armed with sparklers.
Watching the sun as they wish to be masters of the summer, Hee-do talks about how she hopes that this moment can last forever, which draws the reply of “maybe it will” from Yi-jin. As we then sift through a montage of pictures from the trip, we arrive back in the present. Min-chae asks her mother if they can also go on a trip, only for Hee-do to say that it’s impossible due to the current COVID cases. Things soon turn sober though, as the present day Hee-do cannot recall the beach trip, looking completely confused when it’s brought up. Then, when reminded of the sentiment of a memory lasting forever, the older incarnation of the fencer states: “everything is momentary.” On that impactful statement, the episode ends.
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