top of page

18 Again: Episodes 13-14 Review

Saner and I are without our Saya today, because she’s off doing important and busy things, but we have plenty to say about the penultimate week of 18 Again between the two of us. We’ve got revelations, long-awaited conversations, and confessions galore. Much of it was lovely, but there were aspects that drove us to make lists of things that upset us (me) or things we wished to see instead (Saner). But we have faith that Dae-young will clean up his messes in finale week, and we’ll get all the cuteness and squee that we know this show can deliver! And as always, 18 Again never fails to get us in the heart and make us cry happy tears. Also Da-jung ❤

Anisa: I really was hoping I would LOVE these episodes but I’m sad to say this is not the total reversal from last week I was hoping for. Although we did get some much-needed forward movement! What did you think, Saner?

Saner: This week was muuuuuuch better than last week since we got Dae-young cooling his 18-year-old heels in the hot pursuit of a woman who saw him purely as her son’s friend… but my wishlist had two things on it for this week: More Yoon Sang-Hyun and (you’ll never hear me say this again) more basketball.

Anisa: Oh you know I didn’t even think about basketball, but you’re so right. I am happy that Dae-young finally confessed to Da-jung, but I spent the entirety of Episode 13—which had some great moments otherwise—with the sinking realization, They’re going to drag this reveal to the end of the hour, aren’t they. And then they did the same thing in 14 with her not believing him until the very end. My sister popped in to start watching with me and my mom on Episode 13, and she was throwing pillows in frustration. 

Saner: Part of the problem (and again, this is a rare complaint in K-drama world) is that they’ve made Da-jung SO dang awesome that seeing her go through the wringer at work and in other ways makes me think, “Er, Dae-young, you really need to step your game up.” Umbrellas and kisses are good ‘n’ all but that’s not the reason your marriage failed. Would have been nice to see him work on some of those, I dunno, other issues? 😅

Anisa: 100%. In fact, umbrellas and kisses are actively working against him at this point, because he’s making the woman he loves doubt her own instincts and morality, and kind of hate herself… for what? Because you’re too chicken to tell her the truth?

Saner: YES! I felt that her apologising at the beginning of Episode 13 was like watching one of your best friends get gaslit—she was apologising for the kiss he initiated and anything she might’ve done (what, like exist?!) to lead him on to make him think his actions were okay.

I literally made this face 😱

Anisa: SAME. I haaaaaated that. Him putting the moves on her without revealing his identity puts them in this really icky power dynamic that both makes her feel like she’s abusing him, and weirdly puts all the power in his hands. It hurts even more to see Da-jung gaslit because she is always so forthright with everyone. It’s the most basic level of respect for her.

Besides, at this point Dae-young’s lie is hurting not just Da-jung, but:

  1. Shi-ah, who really just wants to see and hug her dad—that bankbook should have come from Dae-young, not Woo-young

  2. Shi-woo, who is being warned away from playing with his only friend

  3. Deok-jin, who had almost won Hye-in’s heart and now has apparently been driven to mad Iron Man-breaking raptures

  4. Ae-rin, who is put in the awful position of keeping one friend’s secret at the expense of another friend

I’m sorry, Saner. This show has driven me to list-making.

Saner: Ahhhhhh! List away. When Shi-woo admitted that Woo-young is his only friend, I nearly wept. What’s he going to do when Dae-young goes back?! 😭

Anisa: Both kids making me cry this week 😭

Saner: I know. And Deok-jin—totally forgot to comment on the fact he gave Hye-in the reality stone which allows the user to distort and manipulate the fabric of reality to their will and the geeky romance levels between that gift and him encouraging Hye-in’s self-acceptance make me SQUEE.

Anisa: They were SO CUTE in that moment at the end of Episodes 12! I love how unapologetically nerdy this show lets them be. And then Dae-young ruined it with Creepy No-Consent Kiss #2.

Saner: CNCKs—killing all your hopes and dreams since Avengers: Endgame

Anisa: 😂 😂 😂

Saner: Ae-rin was SUCH a good friend at the reunion—I’m starting to get fed up of people ratting on Da-jung for stupid reasons that are twenty years old so that felt like catharrrrsis.

Anisa: YES! I cheered when she yelled at them and threw her business cards in their faces, for when they’ll inevitably need divorce lawyers HAHA.

Saner: “You said you wouldn’t have married him if he didn’t have money, with his dumpster-like face!” #dead #WhereCanIGetMeAFriendLikeThat? 😂

Anisa: Ae-rin is serious friend goals. The relationship between her and Da-jung is one of the best in the drama.

Saner: I love how much Ae-rin and Da-jung love each other. When Ae-rin suggested they go paragliding, I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted Da-jung to accept because…otherwise, what else is different about her since we started this drama!? Live a little Da-jung-ssi!

Anisa: Totally. She’s come a long way in achieving her dream, but she’s still busting her butt as hard as she has since we first met her. She needs some fun and lightness!

All the relationships and characters have honestly been so good up until this point, but this week I really felt the stretch on the writer’s part to make this drama last sixteen hours, even more than last week. And that makes me sad, because there were still some really great character moments (saving those for highlights!). But it did a disservice to Dae-young as we’ve known him so far to see him acting in ways that hurt his family, solely to drag out the reveal. I’m a broken record at this point, but: twelves episodes would have been the perfect length.

Saner: To be fair, I could happily watch Ae-rin strut around looking glorious in various shades of colour for sixteen episodes. I just felt that narratively, the angst was always: “Will he choose basketball, his third love, over his (ex)-wife?” because that’s the big kicker and the chance he’s been given. Unfortunately, someone has mistaken this for “How can he woo his (ex)-wife in his 18-year-old body?”