A jam-packed episode syringed with hope, optimism, revelation, and remorse.
This recap of Twenty Five Twenty One season 1, episode 11 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on last week’s episode by clicking these words.
We start in the present, observing Min-chae and Hee-do discussing a chair that is currently being fixed. It’s said to be important to her, and we see through a quick flashback that this was because it was the work of her late father, as well as how the chairs became a meaningful symbol in her life. At that point, we cut back into the past, where Hee-do and Yi-jin are talking candidly on a beach while playing a game. It all ends with a humorous forehead flick, one which gets the young fencer lightheartedly frustrated enough to chase after the journalist with rocks.
Twenty Five Twenty One season 1, episode 11 recap
As Yi-jin emotionally departs his family’s house (complete with a nasty looking injury), he vows to live together again with his mother. Then, when the group assemble to travel back home, they take a group photo, officially marking the end of their eventful trip. The following day in school, Ji-woong requests that the friends label the photos they’d like to keep, and we see Hee-do mark one particular shot of Yi-jin.
After hearing coach Yang discuss the fencing group’s upcoming training at Sanga university, Yu-rim finds herself disappointed. She was meant to watch Ji-woong perform in the school band’s concert, but now is unable to thanks to the abrupt announcement of the new fencing schedule. Meanwhile, Seung-wan weighs up the meaning of studying, dropping her head onto the desk, and then asking Ji-woong if he is happy. There, we hear the musician’s plans to ask Yu-rim out during the encore. But it’s short-lived ambition, as the Olympian herself soon details the fact that she cannot attend.
Back at her house, Hee-do discusses her father’s chairs with Jae-kyung, stating that she wants them to be fixed. However, her mother claims they weren’t well made, and that it’d be a waste of money to fix them, but that a carpenter may be able to put fresh paint over them instead. As her mum then departs the house to leave for work, Hee-do approaches the calendar, circling the anniversary of her dad’s passing.
During fencing training, Ye-ji runs away from the group, and finds herself standing in the middle of the road looking lost. When Hee-do and Yu-rim find her, she gives a somewhat impactful answer, stating that she “fantasises” about the same things the two successful athletes do. Deflated, she then turns back, and heads in to rejoin the rest of the club.
In an editing suite, Yi-jin is watching back footage of the beach trip for the documentary, before his colleague enters the room. We find out that the journalist has been assigned to the sports desk, while his pseudo-mentor is returning to local news (although not by choice, in his words). Asking if he can call his senior when times get tough, his request gets laughed off, and the rookie is told to get through things alone. “I’ll call you,” is the response, however.
As Hee-do and Yu-rim depart school, they gloss over the fact that something may be wrong with Ye-ji, before taking their seats at the bus stop. There, Hee-do asks why her friend was so mean at first, and gets the answer of “you scared me.” Recalling the junior sports festival the two competed in when they were children, Yu-rim derails that she knew who her friend was long before any school transfer, and how upset she was after the defeat. “I’m still scared of you, Hee-do,” Yu-rim says after they continue to talk about their intertwined journeys, a statement which confuses the former prodigy, who confesses to herself that she isn’t afraid of her friend.
Next, Hee-do and Yi-jin eat together at an expensive restaurant to celebrate the journalist’s raise (and official role), discussing the memories they’ll remember from this day. Afterwards, they head to the stationary store, trying the lucky draws in the hopes of proving their good fortunes. And, while most of the cards end up a bust, the pairing do successfully win some hair clips, and a pencil case.
The following day, Yi-jin tells his editor that the editing for the documentary will be completed that week, and so they’ll schedule an internal viewing to get feedback the week after. When his boss needs a pen, we see the fruit of the journalist’s stationary trip, with his bright pink, sticker-filled pencil case getting a comedic outing in front of everyone.
At school, a boy screams and departs the classroom, leaving Seung-wan – the class president – with the task of checking up on him. Instead of that though, she saves three students from punishment, lying about needing help to take the teacher away from those he was chastising. Elsewhere, Hee-do stops a carpenter from closing his shop, saying that her and her mother will be able to come back within the next hour to drop off the chairs that need fixing.
We’re not sure of the outcome yet, as the next scene sees Yi-jin approach Jae-kyung outside of a restaurant. They greet each other, and we see that Hee-do’s mother is rather drunk. Gifting her a hangover drink, Yi-jin hangs around briefly, and the two discuss their dreams, with the sports reporter gaining a new understanding of his superior. This respect is then cemented by the fact that, in spite of being drunk, Jae-kyung seamlessly presents an impromptu news flash about a Sin Chang-won, a criminal who was finally caught.
Disappointed by the absence of her mother, Hee-do goes to drop the chairs off alone, only to upset the returning reporter when she sees the failed attempts to do so. It all leads to another confrontation between the two, one which seems to centre around the fencer’s lack of maturity, who says she is stuck at 13 due to the fact Jae-kyung couldn’t attend the funeral of Hee-do’s father because of a news flash. In a flashback, we see what happened, and how the anchor rejected the idea of going to the hospital in favour of proving why she belonged at a company which was threatening to stunt her career. Of course, we see the emotion behind both sides too, and how neither enjoyed the outcome. “You always avoid talking about him,” Hee-do says, continuing her outpouring over the funeral situation to her mother. Jae-kyung then claims to be full of resentment, turning around to say that she will no longer seek understanding, but requests that there will be no criticism of how she chooses to endure what happened.
Gifting Ji-woong flowers, Yu-rim pretends that she has already seen the musician on stage at the concert. “My heart will be there,” she says, enthusing the youngster who then redeems the coins he stole from a phone box to call Yi-jin. However, the journalist abruptly ends the phone call as the youngster opens up about his disappointment, claiming high school drama is for high schoolers, and that he is tired too. He then stumbles on a distraught Hee-do, who cries heavily over the fact that her father’s chairs may have been thrown out. Hugging her, he then says that they will look for them together.
After giving up on the search for the chairs, Hee-do jokingly says that she only cried when she saw Yi-jin, and that it’s his fault. The two then talk about the mother-daughter fight which was “big enough to be named something,” and Yi-jin smartly says “behind her professionalism are your heartaches” about his conflicting feelings for the anchor he admires. A successful solution is put forward, though, as Hee-do takes her friend’s advice in learning how to make the chairs herself.
After a day of fencing training, Yi-jin enters the university, lying about backup interviews so that he can take Hee-do and Yu-rim to Ji-woong’s concert. It pleases the two girls, who excitedly rush to attend. Now able to spot his crush in the crowd, Ji-woong suddenly becomes more impassioned, putting his all into the performance while looking at the person he admires. When the encore arrives, though, some drama does too, as the band’s guitarist leaves to chase after his upset girlfriend. Fortunately, Yi-jin is on hand to help, filling in with the performance of “Starlight” despite his obvious nerves.
As the acoustic guitar strums during the final song, Ji-woong begins a speech about becoming special to one particular person. Then, as he seemingly goes to ask Yu-rim out, the microphone cuts out, leaving the volume muted. It doesn’t deter the confident musician, though, as he confesses, and asks her out, silently, receiving a grateful nod in response. Elsewhere, Hee-do drags Yi-jin into the broadcasting studio, only to find Seung-wan sat studying there. With peer pressure, the journalist ends up doing a reading of an old, inspirational bulletin, something which ends up broadcast to the students who remain in their classes. On the rooftop, the trio from the studio gaze at the colourful fireworks, and are greeted by a happy Yu-rim and Ji-woong, who share the news that they are dating. As the whole group then gather at a vantage point, they witness a beautiful spectacle, basking in the moment together.
While learning carpentry, Hee-do finds the chairs she believed to be discarded. Soon, it’s confirmed that they are indeed the ones she treasured, and that her mother had dropped them off along with plenty of requests. Thus, when the fencer returns home, she goes to talk to Jae-kyung about it, but is cut off by a swift reminder that they are due to visit the cemetery that day. When there, Hee-do’s mother breaks down in tears, confessing just how much she misses her husband, and that she planned to tell Hee-do once she was grown up. They hug each other, and the episode ends with a picture montage of their confrontations, in addition to a shared scene of the two in hospital beds after their colonoscopies. “Stay with me,” the present day Hee-do says, before the two hold hands in a warm embrace.