Answer Me 1988 Episode 18: Relax (Don’t do it)

Not only is the title to honor the eighties, but it’s a little reminder in face of the finale next week. Episode eighteen was entitled Goodbye, First Love, which is serious punch to the gut. It brings up nagging questions like, Whose first love is ending? Is this a final end, or does it mean first love is changing to true love?

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I’ll venture to give my opinion later in the post, but I will say this. It isn’t over until it’s over.

Hello 1994! It’s good to see you again. The episode begins with a second look at how our cast has grown. The lovely ahjumma’s all keep the same hairstyle but our block crew grew up to be serious hotties.

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I like the overalls, they fit the time.

Not to mention No Eul’s abs. But that wasn’t my episode.

I love how all our characters have stayed true to themselves over the past four years.

Jung Bong is now studying for Law School, but we all know what studying really means for Jung Bong. His latest obsession is being a chat room administrator. Even with his flaws, I’m convinced he’ll make money off his stupid hobbies someday. I mean, he won the lottery once so anything is possible.

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Sure enough, Jung Bong’s luck continues as he’s asking association questions in the chat room. Someone brings up the old Space Flight card he so lovingly gave to Tweedledee in the past, and Jung Bong instantly thinks of her.

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He takes his time worrying about it, then decides the only way to know is to ask. In true Jung Bong style, he doesn’t come right out with it, but instead brings up the memory of their first date.

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Mystery woman on the other end responds correctly, and Jung Bong once again finds himself in the same restaurant, but this time on the right floor.

I’d like to take a moment here to point out what the writer, director, and PD-nim are doing to us. Just like day five years previous, Jung Bong has the same roses. he’s wearing the shirt Tweedledee gave him, and every girl who enters is the wrong girl.

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I bring it up because this has been a consistent pattern I’ve noticed throughout the series. If something bad happens first, something good ends it. If something good happens first, something bad ends it. Remember Jung Bong’s surgery? Remember the cancer scare? Remember No Eul standing in front of his class to sing? It’s happened time and again.

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In this moment, we’re left worrying about who will walk through the door, and if Jung Bong’s true love will show up. It’s something bad we’re anticipating. But something good comes from it in the end.

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I’ll take this concept one step further as I delve into Sun Woo and Bo Ra’s relationship. Sun Woo sees Bo Ra in the street, but he doesn’t talk to her.

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Bo Ra is being set up on a blind date with none other than 1994’s Trash Oppa.

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Of course we know how things ended with Trash, and we’re even given a convenient flashback to one of the best scenes in the 1994 series. But we’re still left wondering if Bo Ra is trying to date other people.

Even when the two meet it seems like disaster is about to strike. Sun Woo doesn’t hesitate to express anger at seeing Bo Ra there to meet his classmate.

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But that was the lead up. Truthfully, Bo Ra never forgot Sun Woo, and never stopped loving him. And now that they’re older, the age gap isn’t such a big deal. Bo Ra had been waiting for her chance. A chance that maybe the blind date was with Sun Woo, or a chance that Sun Woo would hear about the date and go running to her.

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She knew she made a mistake, but she didn’t know how to fix. Fate really did put them together.

Now that I’ve made my case, it’s time to get to the heart of the story. The friendship, of course! I love that even with their busy schedules and separate lives, they always make time for Taek’s birthday.

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Dong Ryong is still irreverent.

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Sun Woo is still sweet.

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Duk Seon is still picked on.

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Taek is still babied.

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Jung Hwan is still too headstrong to be emotional.

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And they make for one beautiful group.

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You didn’t think I was going to avoid talking about the OTP did you? Why do you think I have to remind myself to relax? Honestly, I could go on forever speculating about whether it’s Taek or Jung Hwan.

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I think by this point, ships are firmly in place whether or not we wanted them to be. No matter how much I love Taek, in the back of my mind I’ve been rooting for Jung Hwan. My opinion is going to influence the rest of this recap, but I also hope Taek shippers might see things differently.

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Duk Seon has been dumped for her concert date, and almost doesn’t go until Dong Ryong and Jung Hwan notice her. If she was talking to a boy she doesn’t like, would she care what he thought of her? Instead she pretends she was heading to the concert all along, and the boys give her a ride.

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This, of course, ends up being a lie. Which Jung Hwan discovers the moment he see’s Duk Seon’s boyfriend at the movie theater.

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Taek also hears about the news by eavesdropping on his manager.

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Jung Hwan decides to hold tight until he watches that epic moment in Forest Gump when Jenny runs through the reflecting pool at the Lincoln monument. It’s then he can no longer hold back, and goes rushing to Duk Seon’s side.

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This was the point when I really knew how I felt. If Taek made it there first, my heart would break. Each red light had me banging the steering wheel along with Jung Hwan. I was so worried about the outcome, I was actually late picking my kids from school. I had to know.

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For once the show breaks its pattern, and the bad thing we’re anticipating actually happens.

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Jung Hwan, heart broken, tries to make excuses at first. If only those lights weren’t red. But there’s a deeper truth and he knows it. If he hadn’t hesitated, he would’ve made it to her on time.

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But see, it’s still not the end. If our bad-ending-in-good theme continues, then there’s a spark of hope left.

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The crew gets together for drinks, with the prospect of Taek coming late due to a baduk match. Duk Seon keeps glancing at the door, but Taek never shows.

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Dong Ryong, being the person he is, asks Jung Hwan if he still has the fiance ring (a ring he was given for some military thing) and says it’s his dying wish to see Jung Hwan confess to someone.

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Jung Hwan pulls out the ring, and I can already hear his thoughts without him needing to voice anything. He hesitated once and missed out, will he do it again? My heart stops as he tells Duk Seon he likes her.

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Now, I was spoiled about how this would end. It was my own fault because DramaGeek warned me it would be a spoiler, but I read on like an idiot. Even being spoiled, I couldn’t help but hold my breath as Jung Hwan kept talking.

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He details everything he’s done for Duk Seon. Waiting to walk her to school. Being with her on the bus. Getting excited for the pink shirt he hated. He confesses he actually loves her. It’s so real even Sun Woo and Dong Ryong believe it.

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Duk Seon doesn’t look too upset either. How I wish she would say something, but she sits there and hears him out.

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Then, in a heart-wrenching moment of indecision, Jung Hwan plays it off. He asks Dong Ryong if he’s satisfied with having seen him confess. They all leave laughing. The ring still on the table.

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Thoughts:

I want to take a second to talk about everyone’s speculation on future husband. We got a short glimpse into 2016, and suddenly the husband is acting very Taek-like. Or is he?

Let’s break this down, shall we? Future husband says he likes interviews. Taek only interviewed once, and he about had a nervous break.

Future husband reads comic books. Not something we really saw Taek doing.

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Lastly, future husband has THE EXACT SAME HAIRDO as 1994 Jung Hwan. I’ll rest my case.

Now, the preview is very Taek-heavy. I’ll admit that. However, I think Dramageek said it best when she said – “Don’t forget who edited that preview. The PD for this show wants to drag out the mystery as long as possible. So this preview gives me hope because it’s still pointing to Taek which makes me think it’s Jungpal ah. I have a feeling Taek is going to break our hearts by playing Cupid.”

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And that, friends, is all I have to say about that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Answer Me 1988 Episode 18: Relax (Don’t do it)

  1. Um, I guess I don’t really need to leave a comment since you quoted me already. LOL. I will say that people have pointed out that 2016 husband parts his hair to the same side Taek does and Jung Hwan parts it to the other side. Not that I give any weight to anything they show in the 2016 clips. Seriously, almost every clue in 1994’s present day clips pointed to the wrong husband. I do have to admit that until this episode I was lying to myself that I’d be happy with whoever she ended up with. The same scenes that proved your Team JH status are the same ones that confirmed it for me. I just really, really want them to complete this serious and allow me to keep my undying love for it in tact. If they manage to do that with Taek the husband they’ll get a huge back hug from me. Now I’m off to stalk the internet to see if someone accidentally leaks a photo of who the real hubby is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Again with people really not understanding what happened in Reply 1994. The writers HAD planned out that drama well – gave us proper clues, blah blah blah. BUT then the producers decided to send the choice of husband (ALREADY MADE by the writers) out to the public – at episode 14? really late in the day. SO nothing you say about misleading clues in Reply 1994 has any bearing on this one since I REALLY trust they won’t do that same horrible thing.
    The writers confirmed this, BTW.
    So, I saw the Taek-like behavior & thought, good – they now really want to make you wonder. We’ve seen future husband act Jung Hwan-like – now we see him being Taek-like. So it is totally up in the air. I waver constantly about which one I’d like to see her with. My worry? That they might kill one of them off!!! That would truly break my heart 😦

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    • Glad to know I’m not the only worrying that someone is going to make a permanent exit. It’s all that talk about Taek’s sleeping pill use and his poor driving skills. They are making jokes now, but that’s a bad combination. I’ve been #TeamJungHwan for a while (mostly because, brilliant as Taek is, he’s exhaustingly needy IMO) and I’m still hopeful that his confession — which he treated as a joke because he thought it was a moot point anyhow — is really going to shake things up. I’d bet my $4 Powerplay winnings that he starts dating like crazy now that he’s decided to let DS go — and maybe starts smoking.

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  3. JH should have left quicker during Forest Gump. I know it’s a good movie, but dude waited like an hour go decide to go. I can’t help but agree with Junghwan when he says that Taek just wanted her more.

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  4. it is official that the husband is taek. the last episode title was letting go of the first love which means JH let go though l was rooting for him. Taek is boring so these 2 last episodes better be good . l hope the writer don’t change the original husband just becoz they want to please the viewers

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  5. Pingback: ANSWER ME 1988. TVN. | IKurate

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