No-ra's journey thus far has been about growing up, exploring her independence, and rediscovering her passion from her youth. Although Hyeon-seok has had eyes only for her, it has not been the same for her. She's had the changes in her life, but her difficulties at home to deal with. Only now does a bright new romance occur to her as she discovers her burgeoning attraction for puppy-faced Hyeon-seok.
It comes as a surprise to her when physical attraction hits her over the head. With her newfound courage she has stood up to her domineering husband, gone to school, made friends, and begun to enjoy her life. That newfound freedom opened her up to Hyeon-seok and his efforts to impress her. Whether or not she is actually impressed by his buffoonery or just his devotion just plain ol' made an impression on her, we don't know. What we do know is that the romance is about to make a clear statement. Until now, it has laid in the undercurrent, biding its time. Now it inspires action, including jealousy from Woo-cheol.
The action Woo-cheol takes is of the stalker variety, and of the shaming variety. He also demeans both No-ra and his son in order to retain power in his quickly crumbling social hierarchy. At some point in the episode he actually pauses to question, "Why am I doing this?" It's the most enlightenment his character has shown ever. Because self-reflection is rare in him, it's a stand out moment. It may mean some character development is in his future of which he is in desperate need.
Woo-cheol and No-ra are reversing roles from the start of the show. He began as a powerful adult with control over his life, and hers. She was weak, timid, and needed guidance because she had no opinions of her own. As she takes control, she grows up and Woo-cheol reverts to childhood. It's an interesting switch, one that has not escaped the clever, cheat Woo-cheol.
As for their son, Min-soo, he is also learning to stand up to his father, calling him out on his lies and complete disregard of No-ra in the past. Their strained relationship causes Min-soo to contemplate his first steps into adulthood. The entire family is now exploring what it means to be an adult while in separate situations. Adulthood isn't a black and white concept. It constantly evolves in the lives of each individual.
All of this has been the focus of the story until now. But with No-ra beginning to reciprocate Hyeon-seok's feelings, we truly have the "rom" in "rom com" coming into play.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Twenty Again" Episode 11"
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