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18 Again: Episodes 11-12 Review

These two episodes blow in with a slightly different tang to previous weeks, and while the plot somewhat slows down, there are a lot of great moments for secondary characters to shine and grow…or sing and make sweet yet horribly embarrassing idiots of themselves—take your pick! While I watched like a shallow fangirl, Saner and Anisa have some more thoughtful critique to offer on some of the dodgier paths the show trod this week, and set out to make me see the light. (The real cure is to stop watching dramas after midnight and go the eff to sleep.)

 

Saya: Well!!! That wasn’t the Episode 12 crisis I was expecting!

Saner: I…well. Sigh. I was frustrated with Dae-young these two episodes. Also, the dating issues we spoke about last week popped up and my brow is unadorably crinkled in confusion. I mean, if I am upset and crying, I need some ice cream/brownies/CAKE, not a snog.

Anisa: Yeah, I have… a lot of thoughts. And I’m not super happy with where we ended in either 11 or 12, even if both episodes had a bunch of great character moments outside the main plot progression.

Saya: I feel like I watched this week pretty differently compared to you! Those are legit criticisms, and one half of me agrees…but the other half doesn’t want to think too hard about it, especially if we’re looking at it from Dae-young’s perspective, where he’s still fully in the headspace of being himself, which he still identifies with being her husband. It was hardly a snog, though! (I hate that word, why does anyone use it?) And why am I being defensive? 😂

Saner: Okay. A peck. It was still weird. And I use it deliberately about kisses I find unappealing. I’m childish like that 😂

Anisa: But Saya, this isn’t week one, when Dae-young was still getting used to his younger body and going off like an ajusshi on everyone, with zero awareness of how he’s perceived. He’s pretty much adjusted to being Woo-young by now. I definitely understand his weariness at having to continue the facade, and how it grows more upsetting with time that his family don’t know him, but literally all he has to do to counter that is not continue the facade. Kisses are no substitute for truth! (And to clarify—he is no longer her husband. So even if he was himself, still no unsolicited kissy-face. And never any of the drunken kind.)

Saya: Oh wait, I forgot about that. I spent way too long studying Da-jung’s face for signs that she wasn’t fully alert and present, but she looked like she was—so when it was finally confirmed that she was, in fact, drunk, I forgot to adjust my opinion. YES kissing someone who is drunk is definitely not okay. Just so we all know where I stand on that. 😂 I also apparently promptly wiped these parts from my mind, so don’t mind me, I am NOT defending it, I have just already expunged the drama’s dubious choices from my mind. 😅 I’m also deep into willing the story to move on and bring Ajusshi Dae-young back proper.

Saner: *shakes pompoms behind Anisa’s head in rabid support* Even if we hadn’t had Ajusshi Dae-young back proper, an explanation would have sufficed. After all the Da-jung fake outs, a simple “Da-jung. It’s me. I’m here” would have been enough narratively to lift that moment for me. But to kiss her and then be like, “Oh, why isn’t she suddenly into me and enjoying these romantic moments with my 17-year old doppelganger?”

Anisa: Exactly! Saner gets me. Come over to the light side, Saya 😂

Saya: Why do I feel attacked!!!!

Saner: It’s the pompoms. They’re rather intimidating.

Anisa: I also really don’t appreciate the position this all puts Da-jung in. On one hand, I don’t get Dae-young’s behaviour, but on the other, after all the regret, all the talk of what they lost due to their quick divorce and lack of communication—which was beautifully done, even if I hate the MC who made Da-jung talk about it on live television—now he’s doing something that can only make her uncomfortable and potentially lose faith in her own judgement? This is why I don’t like it when one lead is lying to another for the majority of a drama. We always end up here eventually.

Saya: Does that mean that neither of you really enjoyed this week? (Also, in that light: it was an Episode 12 crisis properly done then, if cheaply?)

Saner: I mean, I cringed a lot. And I mean that in the most loving, respectful way possible. From the beginning of Episode 11, to Episode 12 when we opened with Ja-sung’s singing—which was beautiful but even everyone in the drama admitted it was cringe.

Anisa: There was SO MUCH awkward public and semi-public one-sided affection this week! Why, writer-nim? You were doing so well. But there were a lot of small moments I loved, which I will happily list in highlights.

Saya: I’m waiting for that part 😅 I actually didn’t have a lot else on my mind this week except a whole lot of 3am howling because it was still a pretty big cliffhanger.

Saner: Okay *inhales* Dae-young did Ja-sung dirrrrrrrrty with that suggestion that he knew would ick Shi-ah out and embarrass Ja-sung but I was so impressed with the way Shi-ah handled it and allowed Ja-sung to keep his pride whilst being honest with him.

Anisa: Shi-ah is clearly more mature than her dad, who should really trust her judgement more. Maybe the explanation is that even 37-year-old Dae-young is subject to the teenage hormones in his 18-year-old body?

Saya: Actually, that was a thing I really enjoyed this week between Shi-ah and Da-jung, how we’re shown—and have been shown since the start—just how similar mother and daughter are, but also how they are so very much their own people.

It’s surprisingly refreshing to have this girl in the middle of so much love geometry be totally uninterested in any of them. I feel like she has the freedom to be that character partly because the high school love story has already been played out with Da-jung and Dae-young. It would be boring to simply repeat the same thing just with different characters.