Answer Me 1997: Episode 12

I thought it couldn’t get any better than Episode 11.  But lo and behold, Episode 12.

Episode 12: The Meaning of a Hand

Busan, January 1999: Tae-woong has a gorgeous ring… Oh noooes.  Give that to me!  Don’t give it to Shi-won!!  Yoon-jae narrates, “Hyung always said that if you won someone’s hand, you won them.”

Yoo-jung and Shi-won look at hair accessories and talk about S.E.S. and Fin.K.L.  They exclaim that they can’t imagine S.E.S. being married.  Hahahaa.  They unfortunately spot Hak-chan with Dan-ji and Hak-chan’s evasive response sets Yoo-jung on edge.

Shi-won packs her entire room and she and Daddy have their usual spat about Monkey Tony.  Daddy then yells at her for giving no thought to her parents’ breaking hearts – she’s all packed, a full month before she’s even to leave.  Ha!  As Daddy swears he’s ready to cut emotional ties with her, he lovingly and longingly smooths his hands over Shi-won’s desk.  Awww, I love these two.

The guys are over at Yoon-jae’s house and stare slack-jawed at Lee Hyori and Sung Yuri.  Heheeeee!  We see that the coming Saturday (tomorrow) is marked as Shi-won’s birthday.  Hak-chan is being sent to study abroad in Hawaii but he hasn’t broken the news yet to Yoo-jung.  The guys urge him to tell her.

Yoon-jae goes into the kitchen to grab a bottle of soju and tells Joon-hee not to pop the yolk of the egg(s) in the ramen.  When Joon-hee doesn’t respond, Yoon-jae lifts one side of Joon-hee’s headphones and whispers in his ear, “Don’t break the yolk.”  Joon-hee stares after him wistfully.

The guys dig into the ramen and Sung-jae exclaims that Yoon-jae’s lucky to live with Joon-hee next year.  (They’re going to the same college and rooming together.)  Poor Hak-chan just keeps fiddling with his phone.  Joon-hee tells Yoon-jae that Shi-won is going up to Seoul next week – she’s already packed her bags.  Yoon-jae’s face predictably clouds over and he mumbles that he doesn’t care.  Sung-jae ridicules Shi-won’s fangirling and how she got into college via fan fiction.  Yoon-jae snarls back that Shi-won is a good writer, unlike the grammar- and syntax-dummy Sung-jae.  Awww, you cutie.

Tae-woong drops off his friend/co-worker, who sees the ring box.  Tae-woong wants to give it to Shi-won for her birthday but is worried that it’s a bit too much.  The friend confirms that the maginormous rock is way too much and would be burdensome, especially to someone so young.  He suggests, instead, a nice and simple couple ring if Tae-woong is really set on giving a ring.  No no no no noooo!

Shi-won heads out to meet Tae-woong and sees her mom packing a maginormous box of food and supplies.  Hehehe, the standard Korean momma response.  When quizzed by her dad, Shi-won says she’s going out to see Yoon-jae…  Sigh.  Girlfriend, don’t use him like that.

Yoon-jae tells Joon-hee not to worry about the dishes but Joon-hee does them anyway.  Joon-hee asks if Yoon-jae’s coming to Shi-won’s birthday party tomorrow and Yoon-jae sullenly responds that he doesn’t know.  It’s a bday + farewell party rolled in one and Joon-hee urges Yoon-jae to come.  Our sullen cutie helps with the dishes and when prompted says he got “something cheap” for Shi-won’s present – but he’s not gonna give it to her.  Nooo, give it to her!

Tae-woong arrives at home and gives Shi-won fish-shaped pastries (filled with sweet red bean).  She surprises him with a nice red necktie, saying that it’s supposed to bring good luck.  He’s pleased and puts it on, asking if she knows what it means when a girl gets her boyfriend a tie: “It means you want to have that person.”  This is news to Shi-won, who’s flabbergasted and frantically denies any such intentions.  Tae-woong half-jokingly says he’s disappointed, leaning in for a hug and kiss on her forehead – all of which is seen by Yoon-jae and Joon-hee.  Aaack – not in a good way.

Hak-chan apologizes to Yoo-jung about earlier (meeting with Dan-ji) and things blow up into a full-scale argument.  In the heat of the moment Hak-chan finally drops the bomb: “I’m going to study abroad.  I swallowed the embarrassment and asked Dan-ji to borrow her restaurant after-hours.  I was going to tell you I have to leave and ask you to wait for me since I like you a lot.”  Yoo-jung slaps him and says, “How am I supposed to know how you feel if you don’t tell me?”  Poor babies.

Mommy and Daddy worry about sending Shi-won off to college…

Next day: The crew holds a birthday party for Shi-won at a no-rae-bang (karaoke). Sung-jae, Joon-hee, and Shi-won are the only ones excitedly singing and dancing.  At Sung-jae’s request Yoon-jae takes the mic… and blows everyone away with his SuperstarK-winning skills.  Hee!  Everyone leaves the room for one reason or another until it’s just The Cuties in the room.

Shi-won asks if he isn’t giving her a birthday present.  “I think I told you last year on my birthday…”

Flashback to Shi-won’s birthday last year: Yoon-jae gives Shi-won coupons for her birthday and she complains that they’re lame.  He replies that she’s given him the same thing the past 10 consecutive years, too.  As she flips through them, she realizes they’re all activities to do together and asks if these are for her or for him.  Yoon-jae cheekily answers that they’re for the both of them.   Heee!  Shi-won tells him she wants something – but not from him, anyone but him: a ring.  She wants a ring for her birthday next year.

Back to the…uh…present aka 1999.  Shi-won: “You forgot, didn’t you?”  Yoon-jae responds, “Get it from my brother.  That present, it just has to be from someone other than me, doesn’t it?”  Aaack dying here.  She’s shocked and confused.

And then the BEST.  SCENE.  EVER.

Yoonjae:  “You’re really cruel.  How can you ask me for that present?”

Shi-won: “Why?  I’m dumb so I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.  Why don’t you explain?”

Yoon-jae: “I like you.  I really like you a lot.  From the moment I was born you were beside me.  There wasn’t a day I didn’t see you.  I remember the first day you got your period.  But despite all this, you were still a woman to me.  On the first day of high school, I thought you were pretty for the first time in my life.  And since then, I’ve stayed beside you – showing that I like you.  Asking you to like me.  But you didn’t seem to know.  We’ve been friends for so long, I figured it was understandable you didn’t know.  So I decided to confess my feelings to you.  That’s why I asked you to meet me at 8 pm at the school field the day of our National College Entrance Exam.  That day was my D-Day.  But Hyung confessed 10 minutes earlier… to me… that he liked you.  What should I do?  There are two people I love the most in the world.  One is my hyung, who sacrificed everything for me.  And the other person is you.  It’s you, but my hyung says he likes you… a lot… like I do.  What should I do?  What do you want me to do?  What should I do, gashina?!”

AAAAACCCCCKKKKKKKK somebody kill me now.

Sung-jae comes in and sings one last song: aptly titled “Farewell”.  Outside, Yoo-jung tells Hak-chan she just wanted to know one thing: “What everyone else knows.  What you confess to all your friends [about me].  Just do that for me.”  Just tell her you like her!

Sung-jae leaves after singing the song and The Cuties are left alone again.

Shi-won: “Yoon-jae, can’t we go back to being comfortable friends again?  Like you said, we’ve been together since we’ve been born.  I’m kinda dumb.  You know, too, right?  But I do know that you’re my most precious friend in the whole world.  You’ll still be my friend, right?”

Nooooo, don’t use that friend line!

Sung-jae: “When a man reveals everything in his heart to the woman he loves one-sidedly – it means he’s not intending to see her ever again.”

AAAAAAAAAAACCCCCKKKKKKK!  He hands her a box and says, “You throw it away.”  And in the doorway as he’s leaving: “Friends?  Bullshit.”

Shi-won opens the box and inside is a ring.  Eeeeee!!  Poor Yoon-jae cries outside…

Shi-won comes home shell-shocked and Tae-woong is waiting outside the door with her birthday present.  He’s so endearing I can’t dislike him.  *wail*  His gift: a key to her new home in Seoul and a simple ring (not the huge rock he’d bought earlier).  She hesitantly says she has something to tell him…

Shi-won comes inside to hear her parents arguing over how to use her room, now that it’s empty.  Hahahaa!  The next morning they all bid each other a tearful farewell as Shi-won heads off to Seoul.  She waves goodbye from inside the bus, and she’s wearing a ring…

Shi-won narrates:

“If our teenage years are filled with wild emotional fluctuations, it’s because we don’t know the answer.  We don’t know what it is we truly want, who it is that truly loves me, whom it is I truly love.  Here and there, we search for that answer, undergoing much trial and error.  And in that last moment, when we’ve miraculously found the answer to everything, we had already become adults, enduring small and big farewells/separations.  In that manner, that winter was full of partings.”

As the years literally pass – yes, numbers literally move across the screen – she continues to narrate the various domestic and international events that occurred.  Shi-won: “And with the dawn of the 21st century, I thought my 1990s were forever finished.”

2005, Seoul: She’s in the entertainment industry and lo and behold, Monkey Tony is the guest of the show she’s working on!  Shi-won: “And thus my 1990s started once again.”

She heads into a café and orders 5 iced Americanos.  The guest behind her orders a large iced caramel mocha with LOTS of whipped cream.  Sound familiar?!?!  Shi-won recognizes the voice and turns to see… someone who feels a prickle – okay, maybe a SHOCK! – of awareness and also turns to see her…  Aack, grown-up Yoon-jae!!!

Tae-woong is now a professor, and three flirty students bring him coffee, asking him to spend time with them.  He relents and picks out the iced caramel mocha with whipped cream, saying he likes sweet things…



33 responses to “Answer Me 1997: Episode 12

  1. Thank you sooooooooo muchhhhh!
    I could understand almost everything in Korean but reading your recaps in English was just awesomeeeee!!!\
    This is like the best episode ever…. Yoon-jae’s earnest and heartbreaking confession was just too much for me to bear ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ
    Anw, I was a little off by Siwon’s reaction to his confession at first. I mean, whatt??? asking him to remain her friend??? was she really dumb or smt? I thought at that time, she already felt smt for him romantically (the whole rescue event, her pondering over that afterwards, the way she stared at him while he’s singing, she even asked him for a ring as a birthday present…)…seriously, did she really mean it when she said that to him???
    what do you think? 🙂
    thanks again for the amazing recap!!!

    • Nah… I think it’s an expected response from Shi Won. When you’re slapped with a huge realisation your teenage life is ending, stepping out of your comfort zone, it is only normal that you want to carry something you’re comfortable with.
      I’ve been in her shoes (not about getting a love confession from you childhood friend). Realising your life is about to have a huge change right in front of your face: moving out of your hometown, leaving your parents, best friends scattering, maturing up, is one hell of a scary ride you would wanna have your most comfortable friend to hold onto, something stable and unchanged that you know will always be around. That’s Yoonjae for Shiwon. It’s very selfish of her for sure. But at that time, you just want something that isn’t spinning around. Put in another word: Shiwon isn’t ready to take their relationship to a new level.

    • The fact that she expected him to provide her the ring – even though she told him “not to” speaks volumes in and of itself. There is a part of her that wants his ring, however was un-prepared to have any more changes in her life. Basically timing was off for both of them, even though you desire something doesnt mean you area ready for it. =)

  2. Aaaaaaaah thank you so much!!!! I was tearing up yesterday watching The raws and now that I know what yoon jae said to Shi won I’m crying again. Love this show and Love your recap of it!!!!!

  3. Finally in front of a pc and not the smartphone!!
    I expected Shi Won to react like that. It is as Yoon Jae said, they were friends for so long and even if she did have a small idea of how another different relationship between them could be possible, she does not want to loose this friendship that they have. As she said he is precious to her, she doesn’t want to loose him even if it means that she has to reject his feelings for the moment.
    I have a small question: Shi Won goes to Seoul for her studies, but weren’t Yoon Jae and Joon Hee both acceptet at Seoul University? So where is their University? I thought they would meet often or from time to time, but it seems they really only meet after 6 years of separation and per chance?! But gosh how I love their reunion….can’t it be next Tuesday again??? please 🙂

    • Remember, he told her after confessing his heart. That he would not see her again – that boy kept his word. But as I posted before absence makes the heart grow fonder. She was to close to the project – it happens to everyone. Now, she has had a breather and will be able to reassess the situation from a clear point of view. Cant wait till Tuesday too.

  4. OMG! I knew it… time skip and what a skip. I love that the first person she see’s is Yoonjae. For sure she broke up with the brother & lo and behold the same amount of time between her sisters passing and her getting with the brother passes by (92-98). For sure the couple ring she puts on is the Yoonjae – the preview shows her asking Yoonjae if he still likes her – adult shiwon is going to confess!!!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. I adore this drama with such a passion – exceeding my expectations but developing so beautifully… the right way, the correct way. Absence makes the heart grow fonder – he decided not to see her again and after being stuck to the hip from day one thats gotta hurt. I cannot wait for next TUESDAY.

  5. Hak Chan sent abroad to Hawaii to study? Isn’t that so much like Eun Ji Won? Hahaha… I love this drama!

  6. Thank you so much. My job has been put up on hold since last night, searching for a kind soul to reveal what the heck they were talking about. God bless you. Great recaps. So both bothers like sweet things, and gave similar couple rings, but hey who fixed her shirt to cover her bra-strap, and exchanged that flirtatious smile. No way they’re in-laws.

    • I love the production team but seriously its so obvious that its Yoonjae ….they might as well let the cat out of the bag already. Love this story =)

      • The way they smiled and looked at each other after he fixed her shirt was a dead giveaway for me. That brief smile is so full of sexual tension, especially his 😉 Loved it!

        And if I remember one thing from reading a detective novels when you stumble so many obstacles to find the killer, go back again to the first suspect lol. I need to stop thinking about this drama.

        • Exactly. Its the butler with a candlestick in the library lol – its always the closest person to the subject. I’am sharing the sentiment with you about this drama – it has totally taken over my mind with its awesomeness. =) Hey are all you fine folks on twitter?

  7. This drama is too cute! In my heart I know it must be Yoon Jae- I sure hope it is, and if it ISN’T him, I’m gonna be like wtf lol- but still, the wait is tantalizing. They sure know how to keep us on our toes!! Haha. I do hope that, before the end, we get to see all the scenes that were like cut-off. Like the circumstances that lead to the kiss in the 2nd episode, for instance :3

    • why such a difficult question?! hahahahaa for seriously, it’s a very difficult word to translate… first off, it’s a word that’s from the kyung-sang-do dialect, which is what our characters use. hak-chan is the only who speaks the “standard” or “seoul” dialect… anyhoo, “gashina” is what you would call a girl, but the connotation’s got a bit of a kick to it. kind of like “bi–h” but minus the profane meaning carried in english. kind of like girls who call their girlfriends “bit—es” i guess… it’s not necessarily a mean word. a similar word might be “sekki” for guys. but with both words, i think it ultimately depends on what the person saying it intends. “sekki” can be a term of endearment but also a good way of getting your lights punched out LOL 😀
      here yoon-jae has some bitterness to his “gashina-ya!” but it’s just so laden with love and frustration and heart-wrenching pain. when he said the part about never seeing her again, he called himself “a namja sekki” (namja = male) so you can see there’s just a lot of emotions swirling here~ xDDD

      • I noticed that nearly all characters -except Hak Chan use the word Gashina – at least that’s what I heard. For example Shi Won and her dad fighting in one scene and he says gashina to her. when Shi Won and Yoo-Jung and their hairclip shopping spree I heard Shi Won saying Gashina to Yoo-Jung.

        • hello again, kerstin! thanks for your definition from blue — i’m a big fan of their blog as well! 😀
          yes, “gashina” is defs used a lot. it’s tossed around quite a bit because it’s almost used instead of “girl” in kyung-sang-do. a similar word in “standard” dialect might be “ki-ji-bae” which i’m sure you’ve heard a lot, too ^^

  8. Love love this show and love love your recaps. I knew these episodes were epic but since I cannot speak-understand korean, I could not tell the extent of emotions that were being displayed.

  9. a big THANK YOU to everyone who has kindly visited our blog and left such kind, wonderful comments 🙂 without all of you, this journey wouldn’t be half as fun! happy speculating and shipping your various OTPs! 😀 squeee! ^^

  10. This episodes almost drove me crazy that I am 90% certain that the baby daddy is Yoon-Jae. I mean Tae-Won would’ve given Shi-won the flashy ring if it weren’t for his co-worker telling him to get a couple ring instead. Yoon-Jae doesn’t seem to be the kind to buy something that was over-the-top, impractical, or uncomfortable. He knows and understands Shi-won more than anyone else. I am just so excited and sad at the same time for the last 2 weeks it airs….

  11. i’m wondering when siwon started liking yoonjae… she realized they could have a deeper relationship other than just friends after he came to rescue her, right? but not until his confession had she acknowledged that she liked him too, and hence wearing his ring heading to Seoul ..

  12. I’ve just been going back and forth the screen caps from episode 11 and this episode, and I was a little troubled by the fact that the photo of the hand that grabs the iced caramel drink with lots of whipped cream is the same hand that is holding the really pretty ring at the very beginning. And those hands seem to be of Tae-woong. I hope I’m so totally wrong on this. This is so frustrating.

    Thanks for all the hard work on recapping this drama!

    • The coffee drink is the last ditch effort to drive the viewers nuts lol the father, husband, confidante & lover is the best friend Yoonjae 🙂 no doubt about it. She definitely broke up with the brother before heading to Seoul.

      • Oh, that’s great news! I tried looking for close-up photos of Seo In Guk’s hands for a while there just to convince myself I was mistaken. You’re probably right. They’re just trying to confuse everyone and keep everything in suspense. There will be a lot of irate viewers if Yoon-jae and Shi-won don’t end up together, and I will probably be one of them.

        If Shi-won broke up with Tae-woong before she went to Seoul then she really did do the right thing. I think she was just flattered that Tae-woong liked her more than anything. Deep in her heart, Tae-woong was the easy route and Yoon-jae would be the more difficult road to travel. But that’s the beauty of real love. The harder it is, the more worthwhile it’ll be in the end. Thanks for the insight! 🙂

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s