[RECAP: Reply 1997] Episode 15: “While You Were in Love”
We’re trying to hold back tears.
Not particularly because this episode was sad (although we did have a few moments of heart pangs), but because it’s episode 15, meaning that we’re one episode closer to the end and we are not ready to let this drama go!
(A part of us died when we watched the Thank You video that the cast of Reply 1997 made)
But since there’s still one episode remaining, we’ll keep ourselves together and let the water works flow next week.
It’s July 2005.
We enter Yoon Jae’s office, when he notices a file folder he’s never seen before. Inside are several resumes of ‘A list’ women.
He asks what it’s all about and the secretary informs him that a person he knows is trying to set him up with one of these beautiful ladies. Yoon Jae smiles and dumps them into the bin. He tells his secretary to relay the message that Judge Yoon has a house, a car, and a girlfriend, and to not do something like this again or he’ll press charges for the obstruction of justice.
You go, Judge Yoon!
Just then, Tae Woong calls, asking Yoon Jae to go meet with daughter of a doctor that he really respects. Tae Woong couldn’t decline the offer and begs Yoon Jae to just go see her and give her some tips on getting a job in the judicial field.
He adds, “Who knows, it might turn into something more.”
Yoon Jae tells Tae Woong that he has a girlfriend, which Tae Woong doesn’t buy at all and tells his little brother to just go eat dinner with her then.
Meanwhile, Tae Woong’s still at the hospital, with the ‘fasting’ sign hanging over his bed.
He’s on the phone with Si Won while searching for something she left for him. He opens a drawer and finds a can of whelk, which Si Won says to eat, but in secret.
Tae Woong heads to the stairwells to feast, while Joon Hee comes into the empty hospital room with a tray of food, since Tae Woong’s fast has been lifted.
Joon Hee receives a call from Si Won, as Tae Woong happily sits half a stairwell above Joon Hee in the chair of truth. This is when he overhears that Yoon Jae likes Si Won through Joon Hee’s conversation.
Tae Woong’s face changes quickly - once, when he finds out Yoon Jae likes Si Won, and second, when he hears that they’ve kissed many years before meaning that Yoon Jae′s liked her for awhile now.
Tae Woong’s memories take us back to 2000, 2002, and 2004, when Yoon Jae comes up with all these excuses to not visit Si Won’s house in Busan. Even Si Won already knew Yoon Jae wouldn’t come, but Tae Woong didn’t think anything weird about his brother’s absences over the years…until now.
As Lyn’s We Were in Love plays in the background, Yoon Jae, Si Won, and Tae Woong all trouble over what has happened and what they will do from now on.
Tae Woong receives a phone call from ‘My Little Brother’ and he lets out a deep sigh before silencing the ringing phone.
The sticky love triangle is the least of Si Won’s concerns at the broadcast studio, however, when a featured guest suddenly decided to ditch a lecture to a group of high school seniors about the upcoming soonenung (Korean SATs). The producers and writers are stressed out and they ask if Si Won has anyone that can come – and no, the president of Club H.O.T doesn’t count.
In a hilarious reaction, Si Won’s face falls.
But of course Si Won has a replacement.
It’s none other than the Honorable Yoon Yoon Jae, who the program writer has been trying for a while to cast, only to be met with rejection.
As Yoon Jae heads to the bathroom, the staff members are impressed that he actually came after Si Won’s phone call. Then the show’s host, Yi Sol Ji (cameo as herself) comes out wearing a very skimpy outfit, announcing that she’s going to seduce Yoon Jae in ten minutes.
Si Won asks if Sol Ji’s trying to get in trouble for being sexually suggestive on TV again and finds out that she’s actually trying to get Yoon Jae. She scoffs as if to says, “Yeah, right, that’s going to happen.”
Yoon Jae returns from the bathroom and is introduced to Sol Ji, who straightforwardly gets all friendly around him and links his arms with hers, asking if he could use some pointers over some coffee.
Yoon Jae declines, untangling his arm from his. He hates coffee and he’s perfectly capable of handling the lecture, although he won’t be as good as his brother. Si Won gives him a proud smile.
Yoon Jae takes a sip from Si Won’s coffee and asks if Si Won will be sitting in the front. She nods. “I’m just going to be looking at you during the lecture.”
The staff members ask what the relationship between Yoon Jae and Si Won is, especially since Yoon Jae postponed a court case to show up for the program.
Si Won begins to explain that they’re childhood friends, when Yoon Jae interrupts and boldly states that he’s her boyfriend. He repeats it many times as Si Won bursts into awkward laughter, as the staff and Sol Ji look at each other in surprise.
Yoon Jae notices a pen mark on Si Won’s face and licks his finger to smudge it off. Si Won laughs awkwardly again and pulls Yoon Jae away from the staff.
Sol Ji’s pride is completely shattered that someone like Si Won took Yoon Jae away from her, and she stomps off to change.
In Busan, Yoo Jung and Hak Chan are enjoying a cute café date, when Hak Chan asks if her friends are coming, thinking back on the traumatic experience he went through many, many years ago. Yoo Jung re-lives the mortification she went through that day and says she doesn’t expect him to be nice to every girl, but to just act normal around them.
While Yoo Jung excuses herself to the ladies’ room, Hak Chan waits outside – only to meet his mother AGAIN, in front of the same café again.
She greets him and Hak Chan’s startled, asking where she’s keeps popping up from.
Just then, Yoo Jung comes and links arms with Hak Chan, ready to go to the movies, when she notices Hak Chan’s mother. She slowly takes her arm away.
Come on, Hak Chan… Don’t mess up this time…
Hak Chan’s mom asks who Yoo Jung is, and Hak Chan takes Yoo Jung’s hand and puts it on his arm again.
“This is my girlfriend,” he boldly introduces, putting a surprised but bright smile on Yoo Jung’s face. Aw, so proud of you, Hak Chan.
At the Sung residence in Busan, a memorial service is being set up for Papa Sung’s father (So, Grandpa Sung).
As usual, Mama Sung prepared way too much food for the table, saying that her father-in-law’s spirit deserves to eat all this food to last another year. She tells him that she married Papa Sung because of his father, so he should be thankful.
Papa Sung then decides to end the service early, since his father understands their hearts and won’t mind if the service cuts short, especially since they need to go to the fireworks festival by the beach.
Mama Sung laughs, but worries that Si Won’s Great Uncle might stop by. Papa Sung says he won’t since he’s now old and it’s harder for him to travel all the way to Busan. Mama Sung agrees.
The couple quickly goes about the service and starts packing up some food from the table to take the festival, including some of the giant octopus legs.
Just then, a man boldly enters through the door with triumphant music as Papa Sung bows.
It’s Si Won’s great uncle. We’ll call him Uncle Sung.
The couple is shocked to see Uncle Sung, who believes they haven’t done the service yet and is still in preparation. Uncle Sung says they should hurry up and finish the service so that they can catch part of the fireworks festival because his brother will understand their hearts.
Papa Sung whispers to Mama to hurry and reset the table, before cursing under his breath.
Yoon Jae drops Si Won off at her house in his Onata and tries to head inside. Si Won pulls him back, asking what he’s doing and where he’s going. Yoon Jae, guilty of wanting to do other things with Si Won, starts over reacting, stuttering an explanation with his Busan accent suddenly popping out.
Si Won tells him to forget about coming into her house and that she doesn’t trust him once they’re inside the house.
When he realizes that he’s not going to win, Yoon Jae puckers up for a good-night kiss, gently closing his eyes. Si Won cups his face, then leans in to give him a hug before going inside. She heads inside, leaving Yoon Jae hanging.
What a tease.
Yoon Jae returns home to see Joon Hee packing his stuff, ready to move out. Sitting next to him, Yoon Jae suddenly becomes sad, trying to think about living alone without Joon Hee.
But when Joon Hee points out that he will be alone with Si Won when she visits, Yoon Jae tells Joon Hee to hurry and leave. Joon Hee threatens to stay forever, before suggesting that Yoon Jae should just settle down.
Yoon Jae replies that he wants to, but there’s something he must do before then.
Si Won washes up for the night, when she receives a text message from Tae Woong, asking if she’s sleeping. She calls him back and Tae Woong asks if she’s free tomorrow night. He suggests meeting up for dinner and Si Won agrees, saying she also has something to say. He tells her to come to his favorite Japanese restaurant, where the reservation’s under his name.
“And don’t forget to come looking pretty.”
Back in Busan, the family’s still preparing the service table, when Uncle Sung notices that boiled octopus, which is part of the Busan culture, is missing. He adds that his older brother loved the octopus and that having children means nothing when you’re old, especially if they′re going to be cheap about buying an expensive octopus.
Papa Sung tells Uncle Sung not to fret, because they bought a huge octopus that’s just taking a long time to cook.
In the kitchen, Mama Sung is staring at the cut-up pieces of octopus, when Papa Sung comes in and tooth picks the legs together with the body, saying that it’s okay since Uncle Sung has bad eyesight and won′t know the difference.
We somehow think this is not going to work.
Later on the table, just the octopus legs are set up in the table, partially hidden by the other food.
Uncle Sung is fairly satisfied with the presentation.
Then from his bag, he takes out a loaf of Castella cake, which he brings every year to his brother’s memorial service. He gently sets it up right in front of the table.
When Yoon Jae shows up in Tae Woong’s classroom, the two brothers head out to get coffee.
Tae Woong asks why Yoon Jae came, and Yoon Jae replies that he just wanted to see his older brother. Tae Woong asks again, and Yoo Jae’s face falls and he answers negative.
“I have something to say.”
Yoon Jae nervously takes a sip of his coffee and lets out a sigh before saying, “Hyung…”
He can’t get the words out so Tae Woong says it for him, “You like Si Won, right?”
He confesses that he recently found out that Yoon Jae likes Si Won. Also that he’s liked Si Won for a really long time before Tae Woong. He asks why Yoon Jae didn’t tell him.
“If I told you, would you have given her up?” asks Yoon Jae, “Would you have given up Si Won like I did?”
Tae Wong doesn’t answer immediately, but says, “No. I wouldn’t have given her up.”
Yoon Jae looks like he’s about to cry, as if being told he can′t have anything from the toy aisle.
Tae Woong continues.
Tae Woong permits Yoon Jae to make fun of him if he gets rejected, but it may even just happen the other way around.
He gets up from the table with Yoon Jae still shocked at what happened. Tae Woong asks that Yoon Jae still go to the dinner, since the person he respects the most asked him for this.
As soon as Tae Woong leaves, Yoon Jae breathes, devastated about what he’s heard and that he has to compete against his brother for the woman he loves.
He stays at the café, soaking in shock, when Si Won texts him that she has dinner plans with Tae Woong.
Slowly boiling in anger, Yoon Jae throws his phone to the ground.
The poor phone lies, broken.
Papa Sung is at the bus terminal with Uncle Sung to send him back home.
As they sip on coffee, Uncle Sung reminisces about his older brother, who also loved coffee.
Papa Sung mentions that Uncle Sung is always thinking about his father. He adds that when his father passed away, Uncle Sung caused more problems at the funeral, because Uncle Sung was crying harder and causing a bigger scene than Papa Sung.
He asks if Uncle Sung really liked his brother. Uncle Sung smiles and surprisingly reveals that he actually hated Grandpa Sung. Papa Sung is confused.
Yoon Jae sits, still angrily processing over what happened. He looks at the post-it note about his blind date. He snatches it off the computer screen and gets up.
At the hospital, Joon Hee’s ready to pass out since he pooled all his shifts together to have the weekend off to move. He tells Si Won that he doesn’t get yelled at in the hospital as much anymore though. Si Won smiles, and says Yoon Jae’s the one who’s cursed at all the time for his cold characteristic.
The two move onto talking about Hak Chan, Yoo Jung, and Sung Jae, who will visit Seoul. They’ll all probably be staying at Joon Hee’s house.
Si Won takes this chance to joke that they’re probably going to stay up all night…with the Russian ladies.
Joon Hee stares in shock and asks immediately if Yoo Jung knows about Hak Chan′s hobby. Si Won replies that Yoo Jung still thinks Hak Chan is as innocent as the day he was born. She then acts cool saying a little porn doesn’t hurt.
While he personally doesn’t like it, Joon Hee says there’s actually another person who’s crazily in love with porn. Si Won isn’t surprised that Sung Jae would, since it’s written on his face, but Joon Hee adds that there’s someone worse than Sung Jae.
Si Won looks at Joon Hee, as her face slowly falls.
Then she picks up her phone and calls Yoon Jae, cursing his name in the process.
Yoon Jae doesn’t answer, because he’s angrily driving to the blind date that he doesn’t want to go to but has to go to save the face of his brother, who’s also in love with the woman he loves. His poor broken phone is duct taped up.
Joon Hee asks why Si Won is meeting with Tae Woong and she said she has something to tell him, although she doesn’t know how to say it. She doesn’t want to just pretend it doesn’t exist since Tae Woong is still a very special person in her life.
Joon Hee starts to say, “The teacher that I know…” But he doesn’t complete his sentence, leaving Si Won hanging. When she asks about it, he doesn’t answer and tells her that she should go meet him.
As soon as Si Won leave, Joon Hee finishes his sentence. “…isn’t just a regular person,” Even Joon Hee knows that Tae Woong won′t give up easily.
At the bus terminal, Uncle Sung is explaining what happened in the past.
After their father pasted, the oldest son in the family was put on the pedestal, leaving Uncle Sung in the dark shadows.
“One day, Mother brought a loaf of Castella cake and gave it to my brother,” said Uncle Sung. “I begged him for a piece, but he didn’t even bat an eye and ate it all himself. After that, I hated my brother so much. I promised myself that I’m going to succeed and get rich and get revenge on all those people who ignored me in the past.”
Uncle Sung ended up becoming a CEO of a tire factory, while his older brother became a humble public service worker. Uncle Sung was ecstatic that he was richer and more powerful than his brother.
But the happiness only lasted a month when he was swindled out of his money and swamped in so much death that he was even ready to commit suicide. He ended up in a detention center, when one day, his older brother came to visit him. Grandpa Sung asked Uncle Sung to live together after his sentence is done.
Although Grandpa Sung sold his own house to pay back his little brother’s debts, Uncle Sung was not happy or thankful at all and ended up saying things that shouldn’t be said to his brother.
“But even after hearing all of that, do you know what he said?”
One by one, Tae Woong, Yoon Jae, and Si Won all head towards their destinations, ready to face what they were trying to avoid.
Si Won waits at the restaurant, while at another place, the daughter of the respected doctor (cameo by G.Na) is nervously waiting for Yoon Jae’s arrival.
Yoon Jae hesitates in going into the room and ends up coming out.
He calls Tae Woong.
“I’m not going to give up either. I’m not going to give up,” says Yoon Jae. “I gave up because of you.”
Yoon Jae talks about when Tae Woong said he liked Si Won during the day of the sooneung, Yoon Jae gave up Si Won at that instant.
“But now I can’t… I couldn’t do it. So I kept pushing her out. Telling her not to come. Even though you’ve broken up…that my brother isn’t someone who will give up so easily, because I know him so well. So I gave up.”
Tae Woong asks, "So what."
I like Si Won. I truthfully want to marry her. You might be my older brother that I love the most in the world that I’m willing to sacrifice everything for, but I can’t give Si Won up.
After his declaration, Yoon Jae says he’ll continue with the dinner since it was a promise, but asks Tae Woong not to make dinner plans like this again.
The brothers both hang up their phones, and with a grim expression, head into their individual rooms.
Tae Woong and Yoon Jae both slide their doors open, and Si Won and the blind date both look up.
Uncle Sung is still telling his story.
“After hearing all that, my older brother… what he said was…” Uncle Sung scoffs, “He said that he’s sorry. ‘I’m sorry.’ He said.”
Uncle Sung starts to tear up, asking what his brother was sorry for. Papa Sung lets out a deep sigh, touched by his father’s actions.
Si Won looks up as the door slides open.
Yoon Jae also opens the door, only to see Si Won sitting in front of him.
Tae Woong enters his room as well, with the blind date surprised to see him and not Yoon Jae.
Yoon Jae sits in front of Si Won, appearing as if he’s done something terrible.
A text message arrives and he looks at it with his broken phone.
“Hyung is sorry…”
Oh, Tae Woong….
As soon as he reads it, the walls break down and Yoon Jae starts crying, his shoulders shaking. Si Won is alarmed but doesn’t understand what’s going on.
Tae Woong explains to the blind date that Yoon Jae had something sudden that came up and that he’ll treat her tonight instead.
Uncle Sung continues his story, that after the apology, his older brother took out a loaf of Castella cake from his worn out leather bag and gave it to him. His older brother apologized for eating it all by himself.
“I didn’t realize it then, but my big brother really liked me. I was the only one who hated him.”
Fast-forwarding to March of 2013 (EEK!!!).
Mama and Papa Sung are nervously walking in circles in front of the operation room.
“She was always quick tempered, but what’s going to happen if she’s delivers already?”
A surgical staff comes out of the room and asks where the husband is, since Si Won keeps asking for him.
All of the sudden, Tae Woong jumps out from around the corner, huffing and puffing.
Mama and Papa Sung signal him to hurry and come.
Just then, Yoon Jae pops out, also huffing and puffing.
Who is the Baby Daddy?
Oh these SNEAKY WRITERS.
Just when we think it’s completely confirmed, they throw us another distraction to play with for another week. WHYYYYYYY.
But we’re pretty sure that Yoon Jae is the father.
Tae Woong already gave up, when he sent Yoon Jae to Si Won’s room instead of the blind date’s.
The last scene at the hospital felt just a teensy bit forced, since we were almost certain that Yoon Jae would be the father, but to be honest, we were still pretty shocked when it was Tae Woong who came first, as if the writers were saying, “Nothing’s written in concrete yet!”
And they’re right. Anything can happen in the last episode.
But the father’s Yoon Jae.
It will be. It has to be.
Although, if it turns out to be Tae Woong, we will be quite surprised and speechless….and may have to give up watching dramas for a little while to get over the shock.
Episode 15 ran a little longer than our usual episodes, since the director didn’t want to edit any important details out just to make it fit within the time slot. That’s also why the last two episodes were split into two weeks.
When we first watched it, we were quite bored and unsure of why Uncle Sung came into the picture. But the ending scene kind of tied everything together and made us realize that every single scene in this drama is important
Uncle Sung’s story about his older brother played a big part in Yoon Jae and Tae Woong’s situation as both had the selfish older brother, who was unwilling to share the cake or give up the girl, but in the end, they end up sacrificing all that they have so that their little brothers can have everything that’s worthwhile.
Our hearts broke when Yoon Jae reads the text message and that huge wave of emotions just comes crashing down on him, feeling relieved, guilty, happy, and thankful all at the same time.
How lucky Yoon Jae must feel to have a brother who’s literally willing to give up everything for him, despite Tae Woong’s own greed.
Everything’s wrapping up so nicely, but still realistic and unforced, that it’s starting to dawn on us that the show is really ending.
Now it’s not just one more week of waiting, it’s an entire week of preparing ourselves to say good-bye to this wonderful drama.
We′re not ready...
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