This is an episode of empowerment and realization for No-ra. She's experiencing what it's like to be a appreciated woman, a friend, and mother. She has always coasted through life in the background and has been undervalued by her family. But now she's changing that herself and proving herself a strong, viable woman.
As she opens up, Hyeon-seok, Woo-cheol, and her son, Min-soo, all respond differently. Hyeon-seok remembers the girl he fell in love with, Woo-cheol wonders what happened to his doormat wife, and Min-soo starts to appreciate how much of herself No-ra gave to her family, and to him. I'm glad to see Min-soo join the older men in receiving character growth because watching him stagnate in a whiny romantic relationship has been more annoying than interesting. In this episode he receives information about his mother and makes a logical, empathy-fueled deduction that brought him closer to the woman he'd previously disdained. It also allows him to realize that his dad had a hand in mom's behavior all these years and that dad isn't the pillar of infallibility he once thought him to be.
No-ra's newfound confidence fuels jealousy between Hyeon-seok and Woo-cheol as they both find themselves drawn to her. The emotion is a surprise to Woo-cheol, who would be an otherwise dull character save for the fact that Choi Won-young can manage to portray several emotions at a time so that the viewer can see he is conflicted despite his chauvinistic, narcissistic ways. He saw her as his property and now she's forcing him to reevaluate. When she asks for a divorce, I fistpumped. It's the ultimate declaration of her independence. The divorce contract is what Woo-cheol was holding over her, and she rid herself of that shackle. It wasn't the lack of education that Woo-cheol found infuriating about her, it was that she didn't exercise the intelligence that lay latent within her. She was a doormat and provided no stimulation, which is both his fault for putting her down, and her fault for accepting it. This show teaches us not to be idle with our lives.
Hyeon-seok is forced to reckon with his youthful love for No-ra and the fact that it hasn't faded. He has to deal with these feelings now as an adult, with a career, and twenty years of bitterness in his heart. I like that "Twenty Again" shows the struggle of re-accepting a love that was difficult the first time around.
"Twenty Again" is about people who are met with circumstances of their youth later in life and how they handle it. It's not always easy being a grownup. Sometimes it hurts a lot. And sometimes you get to goof off with a childhood friend who you love.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Twenty Again" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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