[RECAP: Reply 1997] Episode 12: The Meaning of Hands
If you haven’t read our recap for episode 11, go here. NOW!
We’re back in 2012, where everyone around Si Won is drinking and having a good ol’ time, while pregnant Si Won bitterly sips her orange juice.
Not wanting to be left out in the fun, she declares to her friends that she’s going to get a cup of coffee, so nobody stop her.
No one does as she gets up to go to the café - instead, they all ask for iced Americanos, delivery service courtesy of the pregnant chick. Nice.
At the café, she orders her friends’ Americanos and adds a large caramel mocha with lots of whipped cream.
While her drinks are being made, she goes to the bathroom to wash her hands, carefully placing her ring by the sink counter.
But when she’s done, she forgets and leaves the ring sitting there. A close-up shows a small gold ring, with small stones pegged inside.
At the reunion, the friends are all staring at Yoo Jung’s engagement ring, as she lets out an exasperated sight and Hak Chan awkwardly waits for a reaction.
It turns out the rings were gifted to the couple by Hak Chan’s mom, who is a strong Buddhist. SO the rings naturally turn out to be gigantic Buddhist rings. No diamonds. No nothing, but a whole lot of...ugly.
Si Won returns to the bathroom and giggles at Yoo Jung, who comments that she’s just going to have to wear her couple ring like Si Won does. Si Won smiles to look at her couple ring, when she notices it missing and runs out to the bathroom.
Yoon Jae sneers that it’s a miracle that she hasn’t lost it in forever and Tae Woong adds that she can’t, considering the type of ring it is.
The others chirp in about how Si Won wears her couple ring rather than her wedding ring, since she enjoys being comfortable, must like her husband.
Just then, a hand wearing the same ring as Si Won’s, reaches for the cup of caramel mocha with lots of whipped cream on top.
Rewind to January 1999.
Tae Woong stands inside a meeting room (his company must be doing superb) as he looks at a small ring box… with a diamond ring inside! Already?
“To get the heart, you need to get the hand, Hyung always said,” narrates Yoon Jae as Tae Woong stares out the window, his mind full of thoughts.
We skip to a hair accessory store, where Si Won and Yoo Jung picking out hairclips while singing along to S.E.S’ Dreams Come True.
They chat about Eugene’s large forehead and how pretty Fin.K.L’s Hyori is.
Yoo Jung asks if Si Won can imagine any of the S.E.S members getting married and Si Won tells her to shut her mouth since that’ll never happen to the nation’s fairies (Fun fact: Two out of three S.E.S members are happily married today!).
Just then, Si Won spots Hak Chan outside of the store with Dan Ji. She adds that she’s heard that Dan Ji actually might have a crush on Hak Chan, and before Si Won can add another word, Yoo Jung is right in front of Hak Chan and Dan Ji, confronting the two.
Hak Chan tries to explain that he’s asking Dan Ji for a favor, but Yoo Jung isn′t having it. Dan Ji leaves, telling the lovebirds to sort out the situation, and Hak Chan reassures Yoo Jung that it’s nothing serious before heading towards a meeting with the guys, leaving Yoo Jung (for once) speechless.
At home, Si Won is packing up all her things for college. She tells her H.O.T oppas that it’ll be a bit suffocating as she puts all of her posters and pictures into a box.
She takes out a picture of Tony and thanks him for helping her get into college. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Just then, Papa Sung enters the room and bickers about her taking all her fangirl stuff to college. Si Won says she can’t imagine what her dad will do if she leaves them at home. Papa Sung finally admits that he does need to thank Tony for sending her to college.
When Si Won shows excitement for going to Seoul, Papa Sung gets angry and scolds her for not knowing how upset her parents are about their only remaining daughter leaving. Si Won promises to visit Busan often as Papa Sung continues to comment on the emptiness of her already packed up room.
That’s one way to guilt trip your child.
The boys are at Yoon Jae’s house. Joon Hee’s in the kitchen making ramen, while listening to music in his headphones, while the rest of them are watching Fin.K.L sing Ruby on television.
At first it sees like Yoon Jae is ogling Hyori on the television set, but we see that he’s actually looking at the calendar above the set. The upcoming Saturday is marked with Si Won’s birthday.
Sung Jae thoughtlessly sings out the lyrics “I can’t cry, I can’t cry. I’ll let you go now,” to Hak Chan who asks if Sung Jae has a death wish.
Sung Jae worries that Yoo Jung is going to freak out and we soon find out that Hak Chan will be studying abroad in a week or so to Hawaii (Fun Fact: Eun Ji Won actually studied abroad in Hawaii for many years and ended up meeting his first love and future wife there!)
Hak Chan’s pretty sad about the whole thing, especially because he hasn’t told Yoo Jung about it yet. Like an idiot, Sung Jae remarks that Yoo Jung’s wish of breaking up will finally come true, and as expected, Sung Jae receives a beating.
Yoon Jae heads to the kitchen to get Hak Chan some soju.
He tells Joon Hee not to break the egg in the ramen, but Joon Hee doesn’t hear because of his headphones. Then Yoon Jae lifts one earpiece up and whispers closely into Joon Hee’s ear, “Don’t break the egg,” catching Joon Hee completely off-guard.
This couple is too cute.
Sung Jae is jealous that Yoon Jae and Joon Hee will be living together in Seoul and tells Yoon Jae not to take advantage of poor sweet Joon Hee. What Yoon Jae really needs is Si Won, who’s there to beat him up when he acts up.
Yoon Jae tells Sung Jae to worry about himself with his low sooneung (Korean S.A.T.) scores and Sung Jae throws a fit at Hak Chan, who’s probably texting Yoo Jung. Of course, Hak Chan beats Sung Jae up again. We would say poor Sung Jae, but he kind of deserves it.
Joon Hee announces that Si Won will be heading to Seoul later this week.
Sung Jae says it’s to chase after Tony and fight with Sechs Kies fans. He regrets not following around Baby V.O.X if it meant he could go to college. Yoon Jae defends Si Won, saying that she got into college because of her writing skills and not to compare himself with her.
Outside, Tae Woong is dropping of his employee, who notices the ring case in the car. He looks at it and comments that it might be burdensome for Si Won, since she’s so young.
Tae Woong, who really wants to gift a ring, asks for advice and the employee suggests just buying her a very simple couple ring.
Si Won’s on her way to meet with Tae Woong when she sees her parents in the kitchen, packing up food for Si Won to take to college with her.
Mama Sung worries about how Si Won will probably starve herself and not do any laundry when she’s living by herself. Si Won reassures her parents that she’ll live well and will visit Busan at least once a month.
Soon after, she lies to her parents say that she’s going to meet Yoon Jae and her parents quickly allow her to go. (they trust him so much.) Mama Sung tells her to come home early, since she needs to learn how to run a laundry machine.
Joon Hee is washing the dishes, when he asks Yoon Jae if he’s coming to Si Won’s birthday party the next day. Without a word, Yoon Jae begins to wash the dishes with Joon Hee, who asks if Yoon Jae bought her a birthday present.
Yoon Jae slowly replies that he bought her something cheap, but isn’t going to give it to her.
After Tae Woong gives Si Won some red-bean filled bread, Si Won returns with a gift of her own, a red tie. She says it’s to wish him good luck in his business, but when Tae Woong sees it, he smiles.
As he puts it around his neck, Tae Woong replies, “That’s what it means between regular people, but with couples, there’s another meaning.”
“It means, I want to have you.”
Si Won freezes up and fervently denies buying it with that meaning in mind, which kind of disappoints Tae Woong. He steps up close to her.
“I wish it was that meaning,” says Tae Woong, as he gently kisses Si Won on the forehead.
At the exact time, Yoon Jae and Joon Hee come out and witness the entire event.
Disappointed, Yoon Jae turns around and walks away with Joon Hee following after him.
Tae Woong tells Si Won to anticipate her birthday present tomorrow, since it has a deep meaning between couples.
Meanwhile, Hak Chan waits for Yoo Jung in front of her house. She’s still very upset about what happened with Dan Ji and demands that she knows why the two met earlier in the day.
Hak Chan asks for her to trust him, for once blowing up at his girlfriend. Yoo Jung takes this the wrong way and asks if his feelings for her have changed. She tells him again that she just wants to know what′s going on and asks why it’s so difficult for him to just tell her.
Giving up, Hak Chan finally reveals that he’s leaving to study abroad and that because he likes her so much, he was going to have a surprise event where he borrowed Dan Ji’s restaurant to ask if Yoo Jung can wait for him for just a year.
“I was going to tell you everything, but you couldn’t even wait a couple of days? You really just can’t trust me?” asks Hak Chan, and suddenly Yoo Jung slaps him on the face.
She starts bawling and asks how she’s supposed to know how he feels if he doesn’t tell her. Fair point, but whining about it doesn′t help either.
Snuggled in her bed, Si Won replays the forehead kiss in her head.
Something’s bothering her about it.
Someone knocks at the door and her parents silently walk in. Si Won closes her eyes and pretends to sleep.
Her parents sit at her side and worry about sending their only daughter to Seoul, where there will be scarier people.
Papa Sung is especially apologetic for not being the father from Seoul, who gives his daughter an easier life. He then looks around the empty room again and sighs deeply several times.
As they leave, Si Won opens her eyes.
It’s the day of Si Won’s birthday party held at the local karaoke room.
Si Won, Sung Jae, and Joon Hee happily sing Happy Birthday, while Yoo Jung, Hak Chan, and Joon Hee sulk, not really wanting to be there, but there out of obligation.
The party starts but it’s only fun for half of them.
Sung Jae tells Yoon Jae to stop being a party pooper and sing a song.
He reluctantly grabs the microphone and sings Sa Joon’s Memories, and when Sung Jae realizes Yoon Jae sings really well, he leaves the room disgusted at how perfect Yoon Jae is.
Hoya gets a call that his sister’s at the police station and leaves the room.
Just as Yoon Jae sings, “I’m okay, you can leave me / Hiding my tears, I’m sending you away / I’ll continue to look over you,” Yoo Jung can’t control her emotions and she dashes out of the room. Hak Chan quickly follows, leaving only Si Won and Yoon Jae in the room.
Si Won asks for her birthday present, which she’s hinted to him about at her last birthday.
We go back to 1998 when Yoon Jae had created coupons for her – the ‘Together’ series (Eat tteokboki together, Go to a H.O.T concert together). Si Won asks who this is really for, and Yoon Jae replies, “It’s for the both of us.”
Si Won smirks, saying that she’s not a baby anymore and wants something new. She wants something, but just not from him - she wants it from anyone BUT him.
She reveals that she wants a ring, and Yoon Jae has an ah-ha moment with the ring. Si Won tells Yoon Jae to spread rumors so that boys who like her will get her one by next year, not even noticing Yoon Jae’s feelings.
Back in the karaoke room, Si Won asks for her present again, claiming that he forgot even though she’s constantly reminded him. Yoon Jae tells her to get that present from her brother, since it’s a present that she wants, just not from Yoon Jae.
Si Won’s face falls as Yoon Jae takes a gulp from his beer.
Then he lets out a deep sigh and calls Si Won cruel.
“How can you ask me to get that for you?”
Si Won asks why, saying she doesn’t understand since she’s stupid. She asks for an explanation.
After a few moments of silence, Yoon Jae finally builds up the courage and says, “I like you. I like you a lot.”
Si Won face turns surprised, but she doesn’t say anything.
Yoon Jae talks about he was with her since birth, saw her every day, and was even present to experience Si Won’s first time getting her period.
“Even with all that, I still saw you as a girl.”
He talks about the first time he thought she was pretty on the first day of high school and ever since then, he’s been leaving hints, asking her to like him back, but she remained clueless.
Yoon Jae continues to explain that he planned to tell her his feelings on D-Day, the day of the Sooneung, but how his plans failed when Tae Woong told him 10 minutes before that he likes Si Won.
“I only have two people that I love the most in the world,” says Yoo Jae. “One is my brother, who’s given up everything for me, and the other is you. You, who my brother likes…a lot…like I do.”
He asks SI Won what he should, but she doesn′t respond.
Yoon Jae′s ready to leave when Sung Jae pops back into the room. He scolds the two for wasting the karaoke time and inserts one last song.
It’s O15B’s Now Good Bye.
Outside, Yoo Jung and Hak Chan are fighting again.
Hak Chan demands why she’s so upset and Yoo Jung replies that it’s not because he’s leaving, it’s because every single person knew about it before her.
Before she leaves, Yoo Jung cries, “What I want from you is how you tell your friends everything – do that with me!”
Hak Chan stands, speechless and sorrowful over the entire thing.
Sung Jae leaves the room again, leaving Si Won and Yoon Jae behind.
Si Won brings up the courage to ask Yoon Jae if they can just be close friends like before. (Oh no, she’s friend-zoning him.)
“I’m not very smart, but I know that you are the most special friend in the entire world. You’ll continue being my friend, right?”
Yoon Jae is dumbfounded at what Si Won’s requesting and lets out a small scoff before saying, “When a man pathetically confesses all of his feelings from his heart to a girl he likes, it means he’s prepared to not see her again.”
Si Won slightly drops her jaw in shock as she begins to cry.
Yoon Jae gets up from his seat and puts down a small box in front of her.
He tells her to throw it away herself and opens the door to leave.
Before exiting, he pauses and whispers, “A friend? You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Si Won, whimpering back tears, gets the box and opens it.
Inside is a small gold ring. She cries by herself on her birthday, as Yoon Jae stands outside the door, also holding back tears as his one-sided love comes to a close.
With nothing to celebrate anymore, Si Won walks home, only to be surprised by Tae Woong.
He hands her birthday present to her. It’s a key for her new room in Seoul, but the real present isn’t the key, but the ring that hangs from the ring hole.
It’s a gold ring.
Tae Woong tells her not to be burdened by it as he smiles.
But instead of the response Tae Woong is hoping for, Si Won tells Tae Woong that she has something to say to him, and Tae Woong’s smile fades away.
We never hear what they talked about as Si Won enters her house, with the sound of her parents arguing again. Wondering if it’s over their only daughter leaving for college, Si Won heads to her room.
In a hilarious turn of events, it’s not about her parents weeping over Si Won leaving, but whether to turn Si Won’s room into a golf putting room, or a room to dry peppers in.
After listening to her parents ready to see her go, Si Won confronts them and her parents sheepishly push the desk to where it was and leave the room.
It’s finally the day when Si Won leaves for college.
At the bus stop, Si Won tells her parents to go home, but they’re dragging their feet. Papa Sung goes to the bus to load her bags, while Mama Sung begins to cry. Si Won tells her not to cry and not to worry since she’s not going somewhere to die.
On the bus, Papa Sung tells her to fasten her seatbelts and to eat the snacks her parents prepared. He tells her to call as soon as she arrives in Seoul. He lingers, wanting to do something for her before she leaves. He tries to give her a hug, but is embarrassed and regretfully leaves the bus.
1TYM’s Without You starts playing (OMG, we love this drama even more!) in the background, and as she waves at her parents, we see a small gold ring on her fourth finger.
“The reason why the teenage years are a stressful period is because we don’t know the answers yet. What I really want. Who really loves me. Who I really love. A period when we go here and there and repeatedly lament to find the right answers. And at the final moment, when we miraculously find the answers to all of our questions, we’ve already become adults giving small and big farewells. So that year’s winter, the entire world was full of farewells.”
As bus begins to drive away, Si Won looks at her ring and sighs.
And in the best time transition ever, the bus goes down the road, passing by the different years printed on the highway.
With each year, Si Won talks about the different events that happened such as Sechs Kies and H.O.T breaking up, the September 11 terrorist attacks, the inauguration of President Noh Moo Hyun, and the creation of the KTX that takes you from Seoul to Busan in only two hours.
“As the 21st century started, our 1990’s disappeared into history. I thought that was how my 90’s would end forever.”
The screen fades out and back into Si Won, sleeping on the bus.
It turns out, she’s now a broadcast writer, but still fairly new.
Her co-worker assigns her to explain how the microphone works and to strap it on the celebrity….who turns out to be Tony.
Si Won’s eyes go round at the sight of him and she collapses to the floor in shock.
“It’s not that I’ve forgotten it all, just ignored it a little bit, but it wasn’t my heart that remembered the 90’s, but my body that did.”
She breaks into a dazed smile and whispers, “Oppa.”
“The moment I met him, whom I was so obsessed with at one point, I returned to the same fangirl from the 90’s, and my 90’s that I thought was over, restarted again.”
At a café, she’s about order some drinks when she gets distracted by the baked goods and steps aside. The woman at the cashier asks for the person behind to step forward.
A man, dressed in a clean black business suit orders an iced caramel mocha with lots of whipped cream, and Si Won freezes at the familiar voice.
Her instinct tells her to look at him and she does.
Then the man, feeling the same way, turns to look back.
It’s Yoon Jae!
They stare at each other in surprise, making us assume that this is the first time in years since they′ve seen each other.
Meanwhile, Tae Woong finishes up a lecture at a university when three students ask him to drink coffee with them.
He announces that he doesn’t have money since he’s sold all of his stocks.
The students knew he would respond this way and has drinks prepared. Among the choices is a caramel mocha, which Tae Woong conveniently chooses, saying that he likes sweet things.
Who is the Baby Daddy?
Excuse us as we hyperventilate.
What was up with this episode? Why was it so epic? Why is Seo In Guk such a good actor??
This episode had us on the freakiest roller coaster ride ever, completely playing with our emotions and mentality.
From Si Won’s ring in the beginning to Yoon Jae’s to Tae Woong’s, our hearts were thumping the entire time.
We can’t count how many times we went back to see what kind of rings everyone had.
From our observation, the ring on Si Won’s finger is definitely the same as Tae Woong’s with the small stones inside, but we’re not ready to believe that Tae Woong is the baby daddy, since when Yoon Jae’s ring was shown it was in a dark room and not seen closely enough for us to inspect. (Do we sound like completely obsessed psychopaths in denial?)
Our prediction is that the rings that both Tae Woong and Yoon Jae gave to Si Won could be matching rings, like rings that their parents gave to the two brothers. Tae Woong’s employee did say give something simple but meaningful, and if it’s a ring from their parents, then it’s definitely contains meaning.
We don’t think the staff would blatantly make it so obvious that Tae Woong is Si Won’s husband, which is why they made it so hard to see the ring Yoon Jae gave. Unless, this is a trick within a trick, and that’s exactly what the staff wanted us to think. Ahh! So confused!
Either way, there are only four more episodes left in this amazing drama and we are already loathing the moment when it ends. We hope the last four episodes just blow us minds even more and wrap up everything with a nice little bow (and make Si Won and Yoon Jae live happily ever after. Just saying).
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