[RECAP: Reply 1997] Episode 13: “Next Time… No, Now”
What a fantastic start to the week.
We thought that we’d experienced enough free falls from this rollercoaster of a ride that Reply 1997 has turned out to be, but as always, the drama has surprised us with the biggest drop in episode 13 and 14.
And judging by how things are working out, we might have to prepare ourselves for an even bigger fall, but at the moment, we’re still trying to recuperate and catch our breaths from what happened in this week’s episodes…because THEY WERE AMAZING.
Episode 13 opens up in 2005 at the court building in Seoul, where Yoon Yoon Jae, wearing a nice business suit, is heading out for the day. He’s talking to Joon Hee on the phone about how he’s not going to yet another school reunion, when his college sunbae stops him.
The sunbae introduces Yoon Jae to one of his colleagues, a lawyer who works at his firm. The lawyer friend seems to know a lot about Yoon Jae, especially since Tae Woong the CEO is so popular, not just for his innovative thoughts, but for also giving away all of his stocks to charity.
The two men chitchat about how Tae Woong had done that on purpose and became a college professor, so he as not to burden Yoon Jae. Yoon Jae just smiles awkwardly and remarks that they know everything about him and the lawyer friend replies that the life of a judge is transparent.
Yoon Jae heads to the parking lot and heads to a luxurious car. Just then a fancily dressed girl runs into him and gives him a nasty glare. Yoon Jae apologizes for something that’s not even his fault but continues to his car.
It turns out the luxurious car belongs to the b*tchy girl, and as she pulls away, we see Yoon Jae’s car…all old and battered up. Yes. It’s Tae Woong’s car from 1997 – the Sonata without the S, after Si Won pulled it off to wish Yoon Jae good luck on his college entrance exams.
The car is a dump as the doors don’t even open properly. When he starts the engines, the wipers go off along with the heat. You would think as a pretty popular judge, he would buy himself a new car, but no, he drives the Onata around.
He narrates that Tae Woong did not leave anything for Yoon Jae, except for the crummy car. Six years ago, Tae Woong hit it big again with a new creation following ‘I Like School.’
This time, it’s a personal mini blog that people can use and decorate to their fitting. It’s called ‘Cyland’ (aka Cyworld. Haha). But Tae Woong decided to take up a new challenge and went on to teach at Seoul National University.
In the six years that passed, each of our characters has challenged him or herself.
Hak Chan, who promised to come back in a year, ended up studying films (We question what kind of films he’s actually studying) and Sung Jae remained in the countryside to work as a public service worker at a town office. Yoo Jung finally found what she was good at and became a kindergarten teacher (we think it’s perfect), while Joon Hee is currently a second year intern at a hospital.
He knows about all of his friends, except one: Si Won.
It turns out that he’s avoided her for the past six years and no longer even wants to know how she is - psh, like we believe that.
“Until I ran into her randomly today.”
He stops by at a café before heading home, cueing us back to the ending scene of Episode 12. He orders an iced caramel mocha with lots of whipped cream and Si Won recognizes him right off the bat, and feeling her presence, he turns to her and the two freeze, gazing into each other’s eyes.
They sit down to drink their coffees, and it’s Si Won who starts the conversation, speaking to him as if nothing has changed. Yoon Jae stiffly responds back as a shade of awkwardness falls on top of him, especially because he’s speaking with a Seoul dialect now, while Si Won has kept her Busan accent.
Out of nowhere, she asks if he has a girlfriend and he replies ‘yes,’ creating this whole story about how she’s a colleague and they’ve just started dating. Si Won nods her head, then nonchalantly picks up her phone and calls Joon Hee.
Yoon Jae freezes up at Joon Hee’s name and starts fidgeting in his seat, knowing that his lie is going to be exposed at any second.
When she hangs up, Yoon Jae blurts out, “Friends! Like when a girl or a boy is your friend.”
Si Won repeats, “Friend? Friend? You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Yoon Jae’s heart drops as he remembers back to what he said to Si Won on her birthday in 1998.
Yoon Jae narrates:
Sung Si Won, you b*tch.
Everything went back to the first day of high school in 1996. Our first kiss by the water fountain in 1997, the time when I cried like a maniac that one winter in 1998 – I went back to all that.
To be exact, I was reset back to the Yoon Yoon Jae of the 90s.
Finally back at home, Yoon Jae is replaying every moment of his encounter with Si Won and agonizing over every detail to Joon Hee, who just flips through a magazine.
Yoon Jae is shocked that Si Won even thought about calling Joon Hee, then blames Joon Hee for telling Si Won that he doesn’t have a girlfriend and curses him.
Joon Hee scoffs and wonders how Yoon Jae became a judge, since Joon Hee told Si Won that he did have a girlfriend. “Are you an idiot? You tripped on your own feet.”
Yoon Jae is shocked at his own stupidity and tells himself that he needs to die.
Si Won is at her house, laughing over what really went on and probably how she still has control over her little puppy, when her cell phone rings. Si Won’s smile fades as she picks up the phone.
Likewise, Yoon Jae comes out of the shower to see Joon Hee dressed up in all black. He announces that Yoo Jung’s father has passed away.
At the funeral home, Sung Jae looks after everything, while Yoo Jung and her mother are exhausted and grieving.
Sung Jae prepares a meal for Yoo Jung to eat since she needs energy to greet guests for the next two days. He encourages her, saying that her father must have done something good, with so many people coming to visit him.
Then he beams when he sees Yoon Jae, Si Won, and Joon Hee, who have all come down to Busan to support Yoo Jung during this time.
The four of them sit around a table and eat as Sung Jae comments that it’s been awhile since Si Won and Yoon Jae have been together and how it would have been perfect if Hak Chan was here. Awkward.
Yoo Jung insists it’s fine since they’ve broken up a long time ago. Sung Jae adds that he did send Hak Chan a text message about the funeral, although he’s unsure if it went all the way to Hawaii.
When Yoon Jae starts talking with a Seoul dialect, Sung Jae calls him a traitor. Yoon Jae says Joon Hee and Yoo Jung both speak with it, and Sung Jae says Yoon Jae speaks it the best. Yoo Jung scolds Si Won for not even trying despite living in Seoul, and Si Won explains that she’s just never had the opportunity to learn it.
Flashback to 1999, Si Won’s college years, when she meets a group of girls, who all happen to be from the same region as her, hence the reason why Si Won still holds on to her Busan accent.
Yoo Jung tells Si Won to go visit her parents, and to take care of them while they’re still around.
Then Yoo Jung laments about how she wasn’t able to be a good daughter to her parents because she was too busy with her job and living her life. She cries, regretting that she didn’t even know her dad’s worries about his daughter and how she just thought of his concern as annoying.
“You know what he said to me the day before he passed away? He couldn’t even breathe properly and was huffing and puffing as he told me to go. Hurry and go back to work, since he was okay. He worried that I would get fired from my job.”
Yoon Jae, Si Won, and Joon Hee are headed home, thinking about their own fathers. Yoon Jae says that he’s jealous that Yoo Jung even had that kind of relationship since he wasn’t able to with his own father, let alone, have any memories of his father.
Joon Hee gets a ride home from Sung Jae and tells Si Won and Yoon Jae to talk things over, since they are, after all, friends.
As soon as the car drives away, Yoon Jae takes out a cigarette, but right before he can light it, Si Won snatches the box of cigarettes out of his hand and puts them into her pocket.
Mama and Papa Sung come to pick the two kids up and Si Won notices that her dad has a new car. It turns out Yoon Jae bought Papa Sung a nice new car with his first salary.
Seeing that he’s a bit intoxicated from his team winning, Si Won starts scolding him and passes over her jacket when he says it’s cold. Yoon Jae smiles at their interaction, as if it was something he missed over the past six years.
Papa Sung worries about Yoon Jae’s job and how he’s doing in society, since he was never the social one who picked up hints very well. Yoon Jae beams at the concern.
Just then, Si Won’s phone rings from inside her jacket pocket. Papa Sung searches for the phone when he freezes.
“Is this the new cell phone these days?” Papa Sung holds up Yoon Jae’s box of cigarettes. Si Won and Yoon Jae freeze, and Papa Sung is the first to act as he gets a good grip on her hair and starts shouting curses at her. Si Won says they’re Yoon Jae’s and Yoon Jae quickly confesses that they are his.
At that moment, Si Won and Yoon Jae meet eyes and Papa Sung doesn’t believe their story and proceeds to grabbing both of their heads and wailing. Mama Sung returns from the bathroom and sees the situation, accepts everything that’s going on, and begins to drive home, just as Papa Sung continues to grab some hair.
Sung Jae is going about the work day at the town office, where he’s used for every job that no one else wants to do.
By the end of the day, Sung Jae’s burned out and about to go home, when a friendly looking grandma asks if Sung Jae can replace a light bulb. He tells her to come the next day when he’s working again. He bows politely to the grandmother and leaves.
Back in Seoul, Si Won is looking over some questions that Tae Woong created for her part-time. He tells her that nothing comes for free and asks her to open the door.
He wants ramen with fried egg on top.
As she gets ready, she notes that the aide who gave Tae Woong a cake must be flirting with him. He replies that she’s not as cute as Si Won and Si Won tells him to stop because people will misunderstand. She asks if he’ll take responsibility for it and Tae Woong replies that he will. Si Won then goes and hits him, telling him not to joke.
Tae Woong says it’s all because of her, because he’s still not over her and wants to make her his girlfriend still.
Si Won replies that Tae Woong is her Daddy-Long-Legs, who is always around to take care of her. It’s been like that since six years ago.
We go back to 1999, when Si Won tells Tae Woong that she has something to say to him. She admits that she likes Tae Woong a lot, but not in the heart-fluttery, nervous way.
“Maybe it’s because I’m young and don’t know what it means to like someone, but I think my heart is beating faster in a different direction.”
Without a word, Tae Woong hugs Si Won. He tells her that he doesn’t need an answer and that he’ll wait until she really likes him. “I’ll be your Daddy-Long-Legs.”
Back to 2005, Tae Woong asks if Si Won knows the ending of Daddy-Long-Legs.
Still being everyone’s scrub, Sung Jae gets excited when his superior tells him to drive somewhere, which means he won’t be in the office to do little errands. Just as he goes to get the car, the friendly old grandma comes to him, and asks about replacing her light bulb.
He tells her that he’s busy today, so he promises to do it tomorrow. The grandma looks away sadly.
Si Won sits in front of a pile of papers but her mind is somewhere else.
She thinks back to their trip down to Busan, where Yoon Jae slept over at their house for the night.
She and Yoon Jae drank some beer together and talked about getting their hair ripped out by Papa Sung. Yoon Jae adds that he’s thankful for Papa Sung’s scolding, since as an orphan, people are always nice and considerate of him. He’s thankful to her parents for raising him like their own, cursing and not pitying him.
Si Won says because of him, it has become that much harder for her to become a good daughter. He replies, “That’s why I disappeared.” Si Won sneers back, “Then you should have disappeared forever.”
Silence falls in between them, and Si Won hesitantly breaks it.
Yoon Jae is startled but finally says they’ll talk about it another time and calls it a night.
It’s another day at the town office and Sung Jae greets the grandma saying that he’s emptied out the entire day for her. They get on a bus to go to Grandma’s house….but the bus keeps going…and going…and going Sung Jae wakes up from a nap, and he’s still on the bus. Apparently, Grandma lives at the edge of town.
Si Won and Yoon Jae are waiting for Joon Hee to take another trip down to Busan for Yoo Jung, but Joon Hee comes running in his hot doctor gown and says he can’t make it.
So it’s just Si Won and Yoon Jae.
…and Si Won is shocked at the condition of his Onata. The doors don’t open and close when they need to, and the windshield wipers have a mind of their own.
Si Won freaks out and says she doesn’t want to ride the poop-mobile, but the doors won’t open.
Yoon Jae reassures her that once they start driving, everything will be fine.
Meanwhile, Sung Jae and Grandma get off the bus. Grandma lives in the middle of a forest and the walk to her house is as far as the bus ride itself. The sun has already set and they’re not even close.
Grandma asks to take a rest, and Sung Jae looks at her with sorrowful eyes, realizing that Grandma had visited him for three days, walking all that distance, just so he can fix her light bulb.
He piggybacks her and asks if she has any family.
She has a daughter, who’s living a hard life as it is, and Grandma doesn’t want to burden her by asking her to come. She says she’s even burdening Sung Jae, and Sung Jae scolds Grandma and says she’s not a burden at all and they continue down the path.
At the hospital, Joon Hee sits quietly at his desk. His senior comes into the room and asks why Joon Hee is here on his day off.
Joon Hee then asks his senior about wanting a roommate and his senior is completely open to the idea of having Joon Hee as a roommate. Joon Hee thinks about it carefully.
During the drive down to Busan, Si Won stares at the car stereo as music plays. Yoon Jae asks her if he should play H.O.T, except Si Won wasn’t looking at the stereo, but Yoon Jae’s keychain, which had the S from the Sonata that Si Won had given him in high school (the same one we thought he threw out!!)
As Yoon Jae searches for something H.O.T, Si Won asks Yoon Jae to answer her question: “Do you still like me?”
Yoon Jae falls silent, and finally asks, “What about you? Why do you want to know that answer? Do you even like me?”
Si Won looks forward and nods her head.
“Yeah. I like you.”
Yoon Jae is completely shocked by her answer and stares at her for the longest three seconds in the world (we were afraid they were going to get into an accident or something).
Si Won adds that she doesn’t like him as a friend but as a man.
Yoon Jae is completely thrown off by her sudden confession and pulls over to the side. (Good.)
They sit in silence and Yoon Jae tries to recover.
“I gave you my answer. So what’s yours?” asks Si Won. “Do you still like me?”
When Yoon Jae doesn’t reply, Si Won’s patience runs dry and she stubbornly asks for his answer, as Kim Dong Ryu’s Shall I Say I Love You Again plays. (YES YOON JAE. LISTEN TO THE SONG!)
Instead, Yoon Jae narrates,
In the middle of the woods, Sung Jae and Grandma celebrate the light bulb being replaced and the two eat dinner out on the porch.
It’s the day of Yoo Jung’s father’s burial.
All of her family and friends are on the bus to take them to the burial site. Yoo Jung painfully staggers off to the back of the bus, where she begins to weep.
The bus doors close and starts driving off, when someone starts banging on the side of the bus. It stops and lets the man inside.
Si Won, Sung Jae, and Yoon Jae are all shocked but have smiles on their faces.
It’s Hak Chan, making his way to the back of the bus. When Yoo Jung finally sees who comes to sit down next to him, all the tears that she’s held in start pouring down sorrowfully and Hak Chan puts his arm around her, consoling her.
Si Won receives a delivery made out to Judy from Jervis, the main characters of the novel, Daddy-Long-Legs. Inside the package is a copy of the book. She reads through it and when she gets to the end, she looks shocked and looks out, dazed and confused.
For those of you who don’t know, Daddy-Long-Legs is about an orphan girl who receives help from an anonymous rich sponsor. She later ends up falling in love with him and finding out who he is.
Who’s the Baby Daddy
All signs point to Yoon Jae at this point, especially because Si Won has rejected Tae Woong in 1998 and confessed to Yoon Jae that she likes him in 2005. So Yoon Jae must be the husband and the father of her child, right?
But more than focusing on the romance and the uncovering of Si Won’s husband, Episode 13 focused a lot on family and how we take them for granted, only to regret quickly later on.
The whole premise of not procrastinating and building up that courage to do something now – whether it’s being good children to our parents or taking a chance and being there for that special someone, shot straight through our hearts, since it is such an easy and replayed lesson that we all know but forget way too much over the course of our lives.
We have to thank the drama for reminding us once again.
We felt that this episode was especially nice, because we got to see Sung Jae in a different light.
We knew he was a good kid – a dimwitted one, but still good - but his relationship with that grandma really made Sung Jae stand out from the other characters, as he regrets not helping that grandma early on and making her go through so much pain and energy just for a stinking light bulb.
It was through his story that made us really appreciate this episode’s lesson.
So the next time you see your parents, a friend in need, or an opportunity, appreciate their efforts, help your friends, and build up the courage to take it, because the drama says we should, and we think it′s safe to obey.
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