In the second episode of Twenty Five Twenty One, Hee-do’s online friend turns out to be someone familiar and her relationship turns sweeter with Yi-jin, at least for a small while.
The third episode of ‘Twenty Five Twenty One’ starts with Min-chae being sent to therapy for her injuries and underlying insecurities. Her question to her mum, Hee-do- “Why didn’t you give up?” takes the viewers back to 1998.
Yi-jin’s landlady’s daughter finds out the fact that Yi-jin isn’t just a poor boy- he is a decorated alumnus of their school. She switches to a politer tone with him. She also turns out to be Hee-do’s class monitor. She later calls Hee-do for lunch, where she talks about the latter’s relationship with Yi-jin. We realize that she’s the number one in their school (a thing she’s proud of!).
In the morning discussion with the coach, we find that Hee-do is ranked 26th, just 2 ranks short of participating in the nationals. Meanwhile, Yurim turns out to be in the same class as her- adding to her woes. Ji Woong tries to make a move on his crush (Yurim).
Yi-jin witnesses his younger brother getting bullied by his peers, and decides to get into the ‘big brother’ mode- scaring them away. They probably had never even imagined that their victim had an elder brother too. To say that they were scared would be an understatement. We later get an emotional scene with him too- his reunion with his father.
Hee-do makes a new friend in the fencing team- Ye-Ji. After a spar, they decide to have a deep talk on their aspirations to make it to the nationals. With a flick of luck, Hee-do makes it to the nationals after two girls with a higher rank opt out of the tournament.
Hee-do and Yurim have similar tastes it seems (‘Full House’ is the popular comic). Hee-do proceeds to defend Yurim against an upperclassman- who seems to think that it’s her juniors that are undermining her authority, not her pity self. We get another big twist- Yurim turns out to be Hee-do’s online chat friend. And none of them knows!
- The writers have done great work portraying Yi-jin as a mature 21 year old boy. Him trying to help Yurim sort her own feelings when she claimed he was her first love was worth applauding in this episode of ‘Twenty Five Twenty One’.
- The coach seems to get a lot more depth in this episode, making her likeable and cool to the viewers.
- The continuous rivalry between the girls (Hee-do and Yu-rim) kept this episode alive, making the viewers eager for their sparse but exciting interactions.
- We get glimpses of the ‘high-school drama’ trope, with Ji Woong trying to be smooth with Yurim, and the usual rush among the girls for ‘Full House’, a popular romantic comic.
- It was a bit unrealistic that exactly 2 girls dropped out of the tournament to make space for Hee-do, but whatever keeps this ship sailing.