[RECAP: Reply 1997] Episode 4: “Fair play”
If you haven’t read our recap for Episode 3, go here!
We continue on with the 2012 high school reunion.
Si Won is not digesting properly and asks Yoon Jae to hit her back, as the group talks about the upcoming presidential elections.
Joon Hee remarks that since the president doesn’t do anything anyways, they should at least pick someone who looks good. Yoo Jung agrees, nominating Kim Soo Hyun to the position. Si Won disagrees since Kim Soo Hyun is too young, and instead pegs Han Seok Gyu, who played the ruler of Korea in A Tree with Deep Roots.
As the girls fangirl about Han Seok Gyu, Yoon Jae narrates, “Even 15 years ago, Han Seok Gyu was by our side.”
Flashback to 1997.
Si Won and Joon Hee are watching the hit movie The Contact, starring Han Seok Gyu and Jeon Do Yeon. After the movie, Si Won comments that Han Seok Gyu was extra fantastic in the movie, while Joon Hee thinks Jeon Do Yeon was exceptionally amazing.
Si Won replies that Jeon Do Yeon was just okay, but Joon Hee is certain that she will win many awards because of this movie.
And Joon Hee is right, as Jeon Do Yeon went on to win four awards in 1997 for her role in The Contact.
Si Won raves on about how the warm and passionate Han Seok Gyu cannot compare to cold and stingy Busan men like Yoon Jae.
Joon Hee laughs and says, “You know, every time you talk, it always ends with insulting Yoon Jae.”
Tae Woong is in Seoul when he walks by a street cart selling cassettes. His eyes fall on the OST for The Contact as A Lover’s Concerto triggers a distant memory.
Flashback even further to 1991.
Tae Woong is sitting with a girl (cameo by Jewelry’s Han Ye Won), who explains that this song was created as a confession. She wonders if any man would write a song for her and Tae Woong breaks her fantasy and tells her she needs to study to go to college where she can date guys.
The girl momentarily sneers, but quickly says, “Oppa! Marry to me!”
Tae Woong hits her on the head, going all grammar Nazi on her and telling her the correct form is ‘Marry me.’
The girl tells him that if he takes her, he’s lucky since she has a glamorous B-cup body. She then steals his mechanical pencil. “Give this to me! I’m going to solve problems with it.”
Tae Woong bickers with his tutor student, as she continues to flirt with him.
Returning back to 1997, Tae Woong asks for a tape with A Lover’s Concerto in it. He graciously gives the cassette cart owner his cigarettes and lighters. The owner asks, “Are you going to give me everything I want?”
Tae Woong replies no and thinks back on the past again.
The student goes ahead and steals Tae Woong’s chapstick, along with his sweater, which she forcefully pulls off of his body. She even claims the seat cushion Tae Woong sits on while watching TV.
When she finds out that she got accepted into college, she points to his lips and says, “Oppa. Give this to me!” and she steals a quick peck. She wraps her arms around him and says, “Marry to me!”
Tae Woong corrects her grammar but warmly embraces her with his arms.
Back in the Sung household, Si Won returns from the movies for dinner.
Yoon Jae asks where she went if she skipped night study hall, and Si Won replies that she went to watch The Contact.
Yoon Jae gets momentarily upset since she was supposed to go watch it with him, but Si Won completely forgot about it. He asks who she watched it with, and when Si Won says with Joon Hee, Mama Sung asks if she’s dating.
Si Won denies it saying Joon Hee’s only a friend. Mama Sung lays it down for her daughter, saying there’s no such thing as friendship between a boy and a girl.
Si Won scoffs and says, of course there is, as she points to Yoon Jae.
And Yoon Jae is completely friend-zoned, as a serious and half hurt expression takes over his face.
Mama Sung then says she completely approves of Joon Hee, because he’s smart and thoughtful and urges Si Won to just marry him. With each compliment, Yoon Jae’s face falls in sadness.
Getting distracted, he ends up pouring soy sauce instead of Coke into a cup.
It’s nighttime and internet chatting time for Si Won as she connects through her dial-up internet (We remember the nostalgic sounds and the terror we felt when the internet failed to connect).
Si Won enters a chat room and inserts the ID ‘Lady 2”
She moves onto ‘Lady 3.’
Ferociously determined to chat, she types away, moving from one number to another.
Time passes, she’s finally at ‘Lady 65342’ when the chat room allows her ID.
She smiles in triumph.
Also in the chat room is ID “Happy End 12186,’ and Si Won acknowledges the hard work it took to get to that number. They begin chatting, starting with the chatting introduction of ‘A/S/L’ (Age/Sex/Location) and Si Won finds out that her chatting partner is a male college student who lives in Seoul and is part of the ROTC.
Her eyes light up upon learning he’s located in Seoul and types away that she’s a high school student in Busan.
‘Happy End 12186’ asks if she has a boat, eats fresh sushi all the time, or knows his friend since she lives in Busan. Si Won is immediately turned off by the stereotype-laden questions and retorts that just because you live in Busan doesn’t mean she has a boat or eats fresh fish or knows everyone in the city.
Angry by the ignorant remarks, she tells ‘Happy End 12186’ that her mom needs to use the phone and gets off the internet. (FYI, back in those days, the internet and the phone couldn’t be used together, and every time the phone rang, the internet would cut off. We experienced a lot of trauma over this.)
It’s September 28, 1997.
The day that’ll determine whether or not Korea will advance into the 1998 FIFA World Cup against Japan, who just so happens to be Korea’s biggest rival.
Yoon Jae and Papa Sung, who are waiting for the game to start, ask if the fried chicken has been ordered. Si Won, who was in charge of the call, realizes that she completely forgot and asks Yoo Jung what she should do.
Yoon Jung says if she orders the chicken now, it won’t arrive until the next World Cup, since the chicken shop is probably already drowning with orders.
Si Won worries for a bit before getting up and addressing her dad.
She straightforwardly says she forgot, and apologizes to her Mom, who is making salad to go with the chicken, to her Dad, who didn’t even eat lunch because he wanted chicken, and to Yoon Jae, who goes goo-goo-ga-ga over fried chicken.
“I wholeheartedly apologize and promise this will never happen again. I’m really sorry,” says Si Won as she closes her room door.
Papa Sung shakes his head in amazement, commenting on how straightforward and shameless she is about her mistakes. He applauds her fair play.
Si Won explains to Yoon Jung that this method definitely works, since spitting out the truth when they expected a lie catches them off guard and surprises them, leaving them speechless.
They flip through the music entertainment magazine, where they lament on Yangpa’s excerpt. They worry about Yangpa trying to flirt and hit on their H.O.T oppas and Yoo Jung is upset that she’s in Busan, because if she was in Seoul, she would immediately be picked up by entertainment companies.
Si Won then tells Yoo Jung about her bad chatting experience with ‘Happy End 12186,’ who saw Busan as a rundown city in the countryside.
One by one, Si Won’s friends enter the house to watch the game. Yoon Jae introduces them to Papa Sung.
Papa Sung likes Hak Chan, who is honored to meet with the baseball coach, and Joon Hee, who looks manly and pretty at the same time. But when Sung Jae enters and immediately talks up a storm, Papa Sung appears a bit irritated as his hopes of watching a game quietly are quickly dashed.
It also doesn’t help that Sung Jae rubs salt on the constant losses of Papa Sung’s baseball team.
Papa Sung bets his baseball star’s bat if Sung Jae can keep his mouth shut for the entire game. Sung Jae’s eye light up at the bet and asks if he can get a glove, frustrating Papa Sung.
Joon Hee and Mama Sung are in the kitchen making salad.
Joon Hee asks if Mama Sung used a face mask, because her skin is absolutely glowing. He continues to compliment her, making Mama Sung burst into smiles, saying that Si Won needs to meet someone like Joon Hee.
Yoon Jae’s attention perks up at the last comment and he jealously flips through his book.
Si Won and Yoo Jung are on the computer when Joon Hee comes in.
Apparently, ‘Happy End 12186’ had left an apology message for being rude and asked Si Won to meet him in a chat room at 2 p.m.
The three get excited over the fact that maybe Si Won can date a man from Seoul and Joon Hee cups his hands over face, telling her to do well.
At that moment, Yoon Jae walks in and flashes of green cover his eyes.
“If you’re on the computer for too long, your sperm die and you can have difficulty giving birth. Hurry up and come out,” says Yoon Jae as he angrily leaves the room.
Si Won and Joon Hee enter the chat room and ‘Happy End 12186’ apologizes again and explains that he’s a college student in the ROTC. Joon Hee remarks that Si Won’s dream is to date a man in uniform, and Si Won smiles.
In front of the television set, Yoo Jung asks Yoon Jae about soccer, who indifferently and carelessly answers her questions. When Yoo Jung tells him about Si Won’s ROTC college student, Yoon Jae rolls his eyes in jealousy once more.
At the same time, Sung Jae decides to take on the challenge of staying mum.
Si Won is still chatting with ‘Happy End 12186,’ who wishes to hear her voice, so Si Won gives him her number.
The soccer game begins and Sung Jae’s challenge begins.
The group talks about a famous Busan soccer player, who was well-known for his handsome looks.
It nicely transitions to Tae Woong, whose friends are saying the same thing about him.
Tae Woong’s friends tell him to get over the past and get married and move to Seoul instead of rotting in Busan after so many years.
Tae Woong says he′ll leave after Yoon Jae goes to college.
As they walk, they pass by an artist drawing portraits and Tae Woong looks up.
We’re in 1992, as Tae Woong and his student-turned-girlfriend are posing quite intimately in front of the portrait drawing artist.
Tae Woong asks who’ll take the original copy, and the girlfriend says she will since the person who likes the other takes the original. Tae Woong then smiles and says, “If that’s so, I’ll take the original and give you the copy.”
Girlfriend is delighted by his answer and gives him a kiss on the cheek.
When the drawing is finished, Tae Woong asks for a pencil.
Girlfriend reads what he wrote: “Song Joo. Marry to me.”
Song Joo smiles, then corrects his grammar, telling him it’s ‘Marry me.’
She cheers excitedly, repeatedly punching the air.
Returning to the soccer game in 1997, Yoon Jae yells for Si Won and Joon Hee to come out of the room and watch the game.
Mama Sung brings a large tub of salad and begins distributing it to her guests. She asks about Sung Jae and Papa Sung tells her not to talk to him, since a baseball bat is on the line.
Mama Sung then yells at Yoon Jae to stop picking out the cucumbers.
(What a cute moment, since she really acts like his mother and knows so much about him).
Si Won is constantly looking at the phone, as Yoo Jung and Joon Hee wonder if ‘‘Happy End 12186’ will really call.
Yoon Jae bitterly tells Yoo Jung and Joon Hee to move over since he can’t see, and when they do, Yoo Jung freaks out Hak Chan in the process by getting too close to him. Him and his gynophobia…
The game begins and the spectators are nervously watching.
Yoon Jae has his hand around Joon Hee’s neck, while Yoo Jung anxiously strums her fingers on Hak Chan’s head.
Joon Hee gulps and tries to keep staring at the screen, and Hak Chan just looks like he’s about to faint from the close encounter (who else died from Eun Ji Won′s facial expressions?).
Just then, Japan scores a goal, putting everyone in agony.
Mama and Papa Sung then start talking about this and that, and with each name they mention, Sung Jae opens his mouth to correct them, but forcefully closes it, wanting to win the bet. He twists and turns in pain with each error that comes out of their mouths.
At the same time, Yoo Jung scares Hak Chan by reaching over for some food, touching him in the process.
Papa Sung comments that eating chicken is a must when watching a soccer game and asks if they should just order. Mama Sung says it’ll get delivered by the time he’s 60, when the door bell rings to announce that the chicken is here.
Everyone looks at each other as they realize the delivery man got the wrong address.
Yoon Jae is about to tell the delivery man that he’s at the wrong house, when Si Won shuts him up and Mama Sung gets the wallet, saying that sometimes you have to cheat to get ahead in life.
Yoon Jae worries that the chicken shop owner will call, since it’s a place they order from a lot.
Mama Sung says not to worry, since they can just ignore the call.
Si Won whispers that her Seoul oppa might call.
As they eat, Sung Jae continues to be bothered by all the wrong information Si Won’s parents are exchanging and Yoo Jung freaks out Hak Chan again by leaning over him to grab tissues.
With only 15 minutes left in the game, the group hopes for a goal for Korea, but is disappointed three times.
Papa Sung becomes frustrated and gives up on the game, telling everyone to go about their business - Korea won’t win. He tells Sung Jae that he’ll just give him the baseball bat.
Everyone leaves except for Sung Jae, who continues to watch the game.
Then slowly, the Korean soccer players go towards the Japanese goal, and shoot a last minute goal.
Sung Jae screams “Goooooooooooooooooooooal~” and almost immediately, everyone comes back to the living and celebrates.
In the middle of celebrations, Papa Sung mentions that Sung Jae lost the bet, since he talked. Sung Jae says he doesn’t care because Korea tied and Papa Sung agrees, promising to give him the bat anyway.
Sung Jae uses this opportunity to correct every single wrong fact from Mama and Papa Sung’s previous conversations, satisfying his need to talk.
Then Korea makes another goal and the group explodes in celebration, hugging each other.
Hak Chan is about to have a downright heart attack as Yoo Jung back hugs him.
Yoon Jae turns to hug Si Won, when he sees her already holding Joon Hee.
“That’s when I realized it,” narrates Yoon Jae. “When you like someone, the doors toward her appear in the side and the back. But if you don’t knock, they won’t open. If you stay still, you’ll never get what you want. Now, there is no such thing as fair play.”
Just then, the phone begins ringing and everyone freezes, believing that it’s the owner of the chicken shop.
Si Won gets up to answer it, perhaps hoping it was her Seoul oppa, but she’s quickly discouraged.
Yoon Jae then stands up and walks confidently to the phone.
He picks up and straight forwardly apologizes to the chicken shop owner, that he is blame for taking the fried chicken. He admits his fault and apologizes again, before hanging up.
Everyone compliments Yoon Jae on his honesty and his bold admittance of mistakes. They even all applaud for him.
But Yoon Jae doesn’t smile.
Inside a phone booth, a young man (cameo by ZE:A’s Im Si Wan!) wearing a ROTC uniform, asks if it’s Sung Si Won’s house. When he realizes the other line has hung up, he stares out, quite confused of what just happened.
“Now, there is no such thing as fair play.”
We’re taken back to 1992, where Song Joo is whining to Tae Woong to go on the school club’s trip with her. Tae Woong explains that he needs to go to Papa Sung’s baseball game, since this match is an especially important one.
Song Joo pouts saying she’s sick of baseball and threatens that if he doesn’t go, she won’t either.
Tae Woong then hands her his cassette player, which is his father’s last gift to him. He tells her to have a good trip and he’ll soon join her and Song Joo cheerfully sets off.
Cut to a few hours later, and Si Won’s dad’s team has won the game. Papa Sung cheerfully calls his wife, announcing the victory, when horror suddenly takes over his face.
On the television, news of a tragic accident is aired, repeating the names of five college students who died.
The name Sung Song Joo is announced and Papa Sung drops his phone, as Mama Sung cries, grief-stricken, “What should we do about our Song Joo?”
Still ignorant of the news, Tae Woong cheerfully asks Papa Sung to come out of the locker room and greet everyone.
Papa Sung begins telling him about Song Joo when he loses his words.
Tae Woong turns to the television set and his face crumples.
In 1997, Papa Sung tells Sung Jae to bring his wallet from his room as the celebratory dinner is on him.
Sung Jae enters a room, only to be re-directed by Yoo Jung, since he‘s going into Si Won’s older sister’s room.
Inside the room is the hand-drawn portrait of Song Joo and Tae Woong.
Tae Woong is returning home from Seoul when Si Won runs into him.
Tae Woong tells her not to stay out so late, since someone will steal her away.
Si Won’s eyes fall on Tae Woong’s new CD player and asks if she can listen to it.
She loves the sound, and she says, “Oppa, please give this to me.”
Tae Woong is momentarily caught in his memory with Song Joo, and smiles at Si Won, telling her to have it.
Si Won’s face lights up as she punches her fist in the air, just like her older sister used to do.
Tae Woong smiles as Si Won skips away. Then suddenly the smile wipes from his face and he stares towards Si Won’s way with an unreadable expression.
Seo Ji Won’s I Miss You plays in the background, singing the lyrics, “First I thought it was you, because she was everything you were. I no longer understand my shaking heart. Feeling sorry before being scared. Feeling like I was with you, I mistakenly called out your name…”
At the high school reunion, Tae Woong arrives to all of his students’ greetings, except for Si Won, who is excitedly punching her first in the air since her paycheck has come into her account.
Tae Woong pats Si Won gently on the hand with a smile.
Yoon Jae narrates, “Today at this reunion, at this table, one couple will announce their marriage.”
Mystery Couple: Tae Woong and Si Won
We said it before, but we’re going to say it again.
We’re literally hyperventilating at the addition of a completely unexpected character to the pool of who will get married at the end.
It was already a surprise that Si Won had an older sister, who dated Tae Woong before she passed away, but to imply a romantic relationship between Tae Woong and Si Won?? Oh my goodness, we’re getting goose bumps just thinking about it.
The end scene was just shockingly amazing with Tae Woong seeing a bit of Song Joo in Si Won as he realizes that perhaps he’s feeling a thing or two towards Si Won, falling perfectly in place with the lyrics of Seo Ji Won’s I Miss You.
Because so far, we’ve been all about Si Won and Yoon Jae getting together, then along came Joon Hee with his crush on Yoon Jae and now Tae Woong maybe having a thing for Si Won.
And the craziest part of all this is that everything has happened within two weeks.
We have six more weeks to go and if we’re already blown away by the first four episodes, then what’s going to happen with the next 12?
We’re almost scared but totally excited to see what other twists and turns the authors of this brilliant drama will throw at us.
Oh man, oh man, oh man.
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