[RECAP: Reply 1997] Episode 5: “Life’s Counterattack”
We’re back with another episode of our beloved drama.
For this week’s episodes, the recurring theme was based on the affection and love shared between families, more so than on the romantic interests between our characters.
Nevertheless, with each story that is introduced, we are given more hints on who will be getting married and whether or not there are more twists coming our way.
Are you excited? Because we certainly are.
We start off with Si Won fighting with Papa Sung, as she begs for a pair of specialized and really expensive jeans, which Papa Sung thinks is unnecessary since she has her school uniform. He tells her to just give up studying and go work at a shoe factory if she’s going to continue the whining.
The family stops by a street cart selling boong-uh bbang (bread in the shape of fish filled with red bean paste), which the village idiot runs (cameo by comedian Lee Yoon Suk).
Si Won tells him to not wear the ‘Bad Boy’ sweater, since it belongs to Sechs Kies and promises to bring him a H.O.T. T-shirt to match his fluffy Candy hat.
He instantly begins to take off his shirt in excitement, which Si Won discourages.
Si Won gets back into the car with the boong-uh bbang bag, which is made out of a missing child advertisement. The fight between Papa Sung and Si Won continue as Mama Sung tells them both to stop and watch the road.
Suddenly, someone rear ends them and Papa and Mama Sung immediately start acting like they’ve broken every bone in their body as the driver (cameo by Kim Jong Min) is startled at the accident and doesn’t know what to do since it’s been a while since he’s been in Korea.
He takes out his gigantic cell phone and asks for the number for 119 (Korea’s 911).
Si Won stays inside the car and listens to the radio program where she submitted her personal story.
The radio broadcaster begins reading and the story by Si Won basically talks about how Yoon Jae was in a tragic accident, where he was burned terribly and bedridden. Si Won asks for the viewers to take pity on Yoon Jae and pray for him.
Yoon Jae lies in the hospital bed with a broken arm and is speechless by Si Won’s lie. The radio broadcaster says they’ll be gifting Si Won with a toothbrush set, making Si Won upset that she couldn’t win the jeans as she wanted. Yoon Jae tells her to be careful since all of her lies may become true later on.
In the emergency room, Papa and Mama Sung are still keeping up with the I’m-injured-from-the-car-accident act as they demand everything from CT scans and MRIs. That’s one way to get a free check-up.
Yoo Jung and Si Won keep Yoon Jae company at the hospital as Si Won examines the boong-uh bbang bag made out of the missing child advertisement. Si Won comments that the child in the picture looks a lot like the village idiot and exclaims that the reward is 100 million won.
Yoon Jae takes this time to ask if Si Won finished her homework and Si Won not surprisingly freaks out that she’s completely forgotten about it.
Yoo Jung worries since it requires Si Won to write four-syllable proverbs 3,000 times, and the teacher is known for seriously hitting students for each proverb they didn’t complete.
Si Won asks if Yoon Jae can write with his left hand and Yoon Jae scowls.
Si Won then talks about how her parents, the conniving couple, will be receiving a full-body check up, just as Papa Sung comes into the hospital room to make sure Yoon Jae gets treated well by the other patients and he passes out health drinks to everyone.
Tae Woong picks up the late night shift at the school as the other teacher insincerely apologizes for dumping the shift on him, especially with his family issue, but Tae Woong doesn’t seem too worried, since he knows that the Sung family will be taking good care of Yoon Jae.
At night, Si Won wears her old glasses from middle school and kicks Yoon Jae off the hospital bed so that she can sleep comfortably. She pushes Yoon Jae to the extra bed near the floor.
Si Won asks if Yoon Jae can sleep since there’s such a pretty girl sleeping right next to him. Yoon Jae tells her to shut it as he begins sleeping peacefully.
But that all turns out to be a façade as we see that Yoon Jae is wide awake and creepily/longingly watching Si Won sleep. “How can she sleep?” he asks.
He turns back to an old memory on the first day of high school.
Si Won is telling her contact lenses to go inside her eyes and celebrates when they do.
Yoon Jae enters the room to go to school with her, when he pauses at the sight of Si Won and you can literally see him falling in love.
“Running into each other on the street, reading the same book together at the library, sharing the same umbrella on a rainy day. I thought falling in love would be something like this. I would have never imagined that I would fall in love over something as simple as this. 1996, spring. My first love started suddenly like this.”
We return to the hospital scene. Yoon Jae smiles to himself.
“Back then, she was pretty because she got rid of her glasses, but now she looks pretty because she has them.”
He gently pulls the glasses away from the sleeping Si Won and pushes her hair out of her face He peers into her face, before leaning in and giving a short loving peck on her cheek.
He smiles as he watches over Si Won.
It’s pouring rain outside and Papa Sung is wearing a white raincoat as he throws away the trash.
Uh oh. That white raincoat looks very familiar.
As if on cue, Si Won runs out of the house crying out that he’s wearing her Club H.O.T official raincoat and whines that it was a limited edition. Papa Sung says he’ll take it off inside, but Si Won demands he take it off right away as she accidentally pulls on the sleeves and the entire raincoat falls apart.
Papa Sung hurriedly walks inside the house, trying to avoid the situation, as Si Won cries on the wet ground, throwing her destroyed H.O.T raincoat around.
At the hospital, Yoon Jae is visited by the three musketeers. Sung Jae heads straight for the snack cabinet as Joon Hee and Hak Chan sit by Yoon Jae’s bedside, passing him a bag of ice cream.
Yoon Jae sneers that ice cream is the only thing they brought him, and Hak Chan quietly slips him a racy magazine, which Yoon Jae quickly hides under his pillow.
Joon Hee gives him a notebook from history class that day and says he doesn’t need it since he’s already read it.
Yoon Jae, touched by the gesture, gives Joon Hee a hug and says, “Do you know that I love you?” and Joon Hee nervously pushes him away but puts on a bright smile.
Sung Jae points out that Yoon Jae is lucky for hurting his arm, since all the students are having a rough time writing out the 3,000 proverbs, and Yoon Jae comments that if his arm wasn’t broken, he probably would have written them 6,000 times because of Si Won.
At the same time, Si Won is crying about how she can’t write out 3,000 proverbs. Perhaps feeling a bit guilt-ridden about ruining her prized H.O.T raincoat, Papa Sung comes into ask how the homework is going and Si Won says that it’s her dad’s fault for not buying her jeans as she wasted all that time begging for them instead of doing her homework.
Papa Sung turns weak and asks how much the jeans cost. Si Won replies 290,000 won (~269 USD) and Papa Sung immediately rejects it saying that she’s absolutely crazy and angrily blames her obsessions with the monkey for making her this way.
Tae Woong is speaking with Mama Sung on the phone at the hospital. She sent Si Won to deliver food for Yoon Jae and tells Tae Woong that Papa Sung took care of the hospital bills. As Tae Woong protests, she insists that it will make the couple feel a lot better about the situation. She suggests that Tae Woong go and buy the computer that he wanted instead of worrying about the bills.
Si Won arrives at the hospital wearing her torn-up H.O.T raincoat, still sneering after her latest fight with her dad. She tells Tae Woong that all of her parents’ aching in pain is an act to get free checkups and tells him not to even bother asking about their health.
Just then, the TV reports that the village idiot ended up being the lost son of a huge conglomerate and Si Won and Yoon Jae regret that they didn’t treat the village idiot better.
Tae Woong warns them that life is completely unpredictable.
“That’s right. Life…is something you can’t be inattentive to,” narrates Si Won.
She returns home to a phone ringing off the hook, but instead of answering it like always, she pauses.
“It wasn’t a sound. It was instead a terrible air that chilled the insides of my body.”
Si Won picks up the phone to Mama Sung’s shallow voice.
She asks if Si Won has taxi fare and tells her not to be shocked.
“Humans have special powers. The phone ringing with the terrible feeling was the alarming signal.”
Mama Sung breaks down as she tells Si Won, “Your father has stomach cancer.”
Si Won falls to the ground as Mama Sung tells her not to cry in front of her father or Papa Sung will break down as well.
Si Won begins to bawl as her mother tells her to stop crying.
Si Won weeps for her dad as she rides the taxi to the hospital. The taxi driver asks if everything’s all right and she shakes her head no.
He turns on the radio and the program where Si Won sent in her dishonest stories is reading another one of Si Won’s.
The radio broadcast reads that Si Won’s father had suddenly received the sad news of cancer and is struggling with chemotherapy. Si Won wrote for all the listeners to pray for her father’s health.
As her lies become true, Si Won weeps even more sorrowfully, as the radio broadcaster announces that she will be sending Si Won the pair of jeans that she longingly wished for.
The Cranberries’ Ode To My Family begins playing on the radio, as Yoon Jae laughs that Si Won is finally getting the prize that she hoped for.
Papa Sung tries to reassure the two women in his life that everything will be okay, as they both cry in his arms. Tae Woong tells them not to worry since the doctor is the best in Korea.
Papa Sung tells Si Won that if she continues to cry, his surgery won’t go well because he’ll be too worried. Si Won falls into her father’s embrace and she cries apologetically. Papa Sung remarks that his daughter has finally matured and promises that he’s going to be fine.
He gets taken to the operation room as Tae Woong follows instead of Mama Sung and Si Won. Papa Sung thanks Tae Woong for everything and holds his hand. “Tae Woong, you’re our family’s oldest son.”
Papa Sung sits at a sanctuary, talking to Jesus and apologizing that this is his first time coming to Him, but know that since Jesus has a big heart, it’ll be okay.
Papa Sung worries about what will happen to his wife and daughter if something goes wrong and he is taken away too soon.
“If I’m not there, who will hold her hand into the wedding ceremony?” asks Papa Sung, “Just imagining her walk in alone just tears my heart to pieces. So I know that I shouldn’t be asking for favors at our first meeting, but please just let me be able to walk her into her wedding.”
He promises that if he can do that, he’ll join his older daughter Song Joo with no question.
As Papa Sung gets rolled into the operation room, Mama Sung and Si Won sit tight on the hospital bed.
Si Won refuses to leave and even tries to miss school, but Mama Sung takes out a small notebook from the drawer and hands it to her.
“Even though you always fought, I guess he didn’t want you to be an idiot. Your dad did your homework for you.”
Si Won opens the notebook, and neatly written inside are the 3,000 proverbs that Si Won was supposed to do. Tears start to fall again as Mama Sung tells her that she’s all there is in her father’s life.
“Life always comes out unexpectedly and hits you square in the back of the head. There can be sadness and even torturous fear. At times like these, the only things we can do are to just straightforwardly address the situation and admit our faults.”
Si Won and Mama Sung rush to the doctor who comes out of the surgery room. The doctor takes off his mask and reveals himself as the man who caused the car accident earlier.
Mama Sung is shocked and becomes immediately regretful of her actions as she falls on her knees and begs for forgiveness.
The doctor kindheartedly takes the action and lifts Mama Sung off the ground. Then he announces that the surgery was a success and the tumor was completely removed.
“This unpredictable life that’s ready to jump at any time. There’s no point in trying to ignore or avoid it. The only solution is to face it and get beat up by it. But at times, life gives us presents that make our hearts flutter, and makes sure that when we experience pain, it exchanges with happiness.”
A television report announces the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, where the economies of a good majority of Asian countries fell and created a rough period of time for its citizens.
“There’s no way to tell where life will take you. So we have to use all of our senses to live.”
Back at the 2012 high school reunion, Sung Jae asks everyone to clink their glasses for the couple-to-be, as a narration announces that a couple at the table will announce their wedding plans.
Dan Ji asks if they will get married in Seoul or Busan, overlapping with Sung Jae’s comments of wanting to visit Busan. Joon Hee talks about how it’s hard to buy a house with the economy somewhat worse than during the IMF. Hak Chan remarks that having his own house is better than paying rent. Tae Woong comments that his students must have matured since they’re talking about real estate.
Dan Ji, annoyed that her question didn’t get answered, asks again where they’re getting married: Seoul or Busan.
Equally annoyed, Si Won and Yoo Jung both turn to Dan Ji and reply, “Busan!”
The last scene at the end helped cut down the candidates for our marrying couple. It’s kind of like solving an Agatha Christie mystery and finding who isn’t the murderer in the novel…except no one dies in this drama… (or not yet.)
We now know for sure that Sung Jae and Dan Ji are out of the running, since they asked about the couple’s wedding plans.
The bride is likely to be Si Won or Yoo Jung with their answers at the end, but the groom still remains a question mark.
Since Si Won and Yoo Jung did answer, that takes Joon Hee out (unless he decided to be bisexual, but that just seems like a crazy headache of a story to create within the limited amount of episodes left). Yoon Jae, Hak Chan, and Tae Woong are still in the pool.
From Yoon Jae’s confession of when he fell in love, Yoon Jae seems like the strongest candidate, but at the same time, Papa Sung telling Tae Woong that he’s the oldest son of their family could have a double meaning. Perhaps the mystery groom is a battle between the brothers?
If so, is Si Won then the bride? Or is the drama going to take a completely different turn and mix and match our characters in the most random way ever?
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