Ah, youth. Freedom. Innocence. Making one stupid mistake after another. As we age, the freedom and innocence flee but the mistakes stay. It would almost seem unfair if time didn’t give us the perspective and patients to laugh about the past.
That’s the great thing about the Answer Me series, not only do we get to live in the character’s past, we get to remember our own. And I defiantly remember when I thought mom jeans were cool.
Never mind that I still wear them. Now that I’m a mom, it’s okay.
1988 was a golden year for Korea. The spotlight of the world was on them as they hosted the summer Olympics. Answer Me painstakingly reminds us of this every chance they get–creating their own Olympics for our characters. So why not play along?
This is my first ever recap, but I’m planning on following Amber’s lead, and sticking to the highlights. Who really watches all of the Olympics anyway? If it’s not a sport your country has a chance of winning, it’s not that interesting. Trust me, I attended such an event in person.
Event One: Videography
Sung Kyun is our judge for this event, trying to find out how well his family can hold up under the pressure of a giant brick camera. First he heads to his oldest son’s room, only to find him missing. He assumes, like any good father would, that his son is finally studying so he can enter college after six years of trying.
Cut to: Jung Bong. Turns out his Olympic foray isn’t books, but video games. Heh. He still gets the silver medal.
Next Sung Kyun tries his younger son Jung Hwan who *surprise!* is actually studying… And he gets the door promptly shut in his face…Bronze for him!
His wife is next up to the spotlight, but he’s slammed down with an instant hit to the camera. Major fail. Doesn’t even make it to the podium.
In comes our heroine Duk Seon. Not only does she have a gift, but she plays along with Sung Kyun’s singing entrance joke. Without even being on camera, she gets the gold.
Event Two: The Husband Game
And now it’s time for the main event! Taek is finally home from his Baduk competition, and the neighborhood ahjummas waste no time claiming him as the future husband of their daughters. Too bad only one of them is his age.
Cut to: Duk Seon getting ready for school. She grabs her sister’s jacket and heads out, knowing she might be in trouble for wearing it. After unsuccessfully showing it to Jung Hwan and Sun Woo (1.5 points a piece) she comes face to face with Taek.
Her initial greeting includes a butt grab and a hair ruffle wherein she tells him to grow up quickly so they can get married. 10 points for Taek. I ain’t gonna hide it, the boy is perfection. So what if I’m still carrying over my feelings for Chilbongie? Surely they won’t break our hearts twice…
Round one in the husband game is over with Taek clearly in the lead and Dong Ryong not even in the running.
Event Three: Fortune Telling
I can’t tell you how many of those dumb games I played as a teenager trying to figure out who would be my future husband, or if my love would come true. Gold medals to every girl in the universe, ever. Do you think they have apps to play MASH?
Event Four: Jean Jacket Relay
Remember that jacket Duk Seon took earlier? As predicted, the moment she thinks she’s safe, her sister comes home early and wants it. Oh, they are good at playing us. The mom knows she’s in trouble because she saw Duk Seon taking the jacket and didn’t stop her. Tension between the two siblings is bad enough. Why ruin it with the 9/11 of jacket incidents?
The second Bo Ra asks for the garment, the mom comes up with an excuse. She rushes to the living room and calls her son’s school. But that’s only because Dong Ryong’s dad is the dean and will put No Eul on the phone.
No Eul recognizes a ticking time bomb when he hears about one and rushes to get Duk Seon from school. At the same time, a major olympic running event is on television, but not even the fastest runners in the world can compare to Duk Seon’s epic dash to get home before her sister explodes.
With seconds to spare, the jacket is handed off to mom who promptly throws water on it and pretends it was in the washer the whole time. Nice save mom! Gold medal for you!
Scratch that. Medal retracted due to sisters fighting anyway.
Event Five: The Husband Game, Round II
Finally the whole gang is gathered together, happy to welcome Taek home. Jung Hwan’s parents introduce themselves as Taek’s future in-laws even though they have no girls. Hummm…what does this mean for the future of the show? Are we going to have another Joon Hee on our hands?
After Taek has left the room, the adults start asking Taek’s dad how much he won at his last Baduk competition. Turns out it was 50,000,000 won, about 500,000 USD. Holy moley. Another perfect 10 for Taek with the other boys scoring 0.
Event Six: Soccer and naughty movies
“There’s no such thing as rock hard abs”
It’s time for the boys to participate in physical fitness and the game of choice is soccer. It wouldn’t be a teen-boy game if it wasn’t played skins vs. shirts, and our heros are on the bare-chested team.
Turns out Sun Woo is the star player, and scores the most goals. This pisses off the school bully. Not because he lost, but because he was on the same team and didn’t score any goals. Twisted anyone?
After a long day of playing, the boys decide it would be a good night to see a 19+ movie, as long as there are no cops. Of course, it wouldn’t be so easy. The cops are everywhere.
The boys regroup and go to the theater dressed in military uniform. It’s a good plan until Dong Ryong’s father catches them (What was he doing there?) along with the school bullies.
Once again, Sun Woo saves them all just by keeping his mouth shut. Anyone else starting think Sun Woo is too good? He’s nice to his little sister, he eats his mom’s disgusting food, and he even wears the necklace he received after his father died.
When the bullies confront the boys after they’re released, Sun Woo keeps his angel-like appearance and doesn’t fight back. Not even when the bully takes his treasured necklace. Jung Hwan, however, isn’t as kind, and punches the bully in the face. FINALLY.
Event Seven: The Husband Game — Final Round!
Taek has returned after another Baduk win in China. The first person he runs into is Duk Seon’s dad who invites him out for a drink. Dong Il is heartbroken after losing his mom earlier in the episode, and asks Taek how often he misses losing his own mother. I’m going to let my poor puppy do the rest of the talking.
Another perfect 10, which leaves Taek with a total of 30 points and the other guys with…well…almost nothing.
Flashback to when Taek first moved to their block. He just lost his mother, and somehow found himself roped up with the four other crazy, loud, trouble making kids. He always stayed quiet, but spent his time with them anyway. Because of that, there would be no separating the five of them in the future. (Awe!)
Taek, the triumphant winner, has brought the gang some alcohol and the boys immediately get drunk. Duk Seon has one sip and runs out the room gagging.
Now it’s time for everyone to sprint to the finish line.
The boys start talking about girls they like, and Dong Ryong brings up Duk Seon (alright, 5 points for him) and asks the other guys what they think of her. Sun Woo hesitantly agrees, having not really thought about it much (2 points) Taek immediately nods yes like it’s all he’s thought about for a long time (I think we know how many points he’s getting here) and Jung Hwan curses them all and calls them crazy.
That’s it. I’m calling it. Taek wins, no question. Game over. It was fun watching you 1988, but I have it all figured out.
Just kidding! In true Answer Me fashion, they throw out a mega clue that might be the end to the husband guessing game (don’t we wish?)
Suprise! Duk Seon’s husband of the future is sitting right next to her. Since he’s a new actor we still have no clue who the husband really is, but it feels like they’re about to tell us.
Duk Seon had a crush in 1988, and she even gave him chocolate. She swears to her husband she gave it to him, but he doesn’t remember receiving any.
Cut to: Taek’s 1988 coming home party. Duk Seon sneaks a chocolate bar into the bag of one of the boys. Sitting next to the bags is Sun Woo’s little sister–a happy muncher who will eat anything in sight.
The chocolate bar doesn’t last, but the bags stay, and we watch as one by one all the boys pick up their packs, leaving the secret admirer’s for last. And it belongs too… Sun Woo??? Really. We’re going to play the Trash game again?
First of all let’s get this nasty husband business out of the way. I couldn’t help but notice Taek didn’t have a pack, so there’s no way the chocolate was meant for him. Since I’m pretty sure Jung Hwan is gay and Dong Ryong is too nerdy, that leaves Sun Woo.
I can’t say my heart isn’t completely shattered even after two episodes. I have a feeling I’m going to be watching the rest of this drama with ground teeth, begging them to convince me Sun Woo is really the one. Right now, I’m not seeing it, even from a million miles away.
Writer-nim please, please don’t screw this up by making Sun Woo too perfect. And please, please, don’t play around with our hearts! One boy is plenty for one girl. I’m already hurting enough.
The Husband Game aside, there were some classic nod-to-the-past moments in this episode that brought a smile to my heart. I love the parents more and more, and find their story more compelling than the kids.
Although, I have experienced sibling rivalry (I have four brothers and one sister) and I definitely know what it’s like to be treated as one of the guys. (Again, four brothers. Not to mention one of my guy friends actually told me I was one of the guys to my face in high school.)
Then there’s loss. I didn’t touch much on the grandmother’s funeral, but I know all too well what it’s like to try and put on a brave face in front of your kids. That dad is BOSS.
Mostly, I’ll enjoy this show for how true to families it has been and always will be. And in the end, aren’t those the relationships that matter most?