Twenty-Five Twenty-One Season 2 Review & Ending : What’s Happened ?

Twenty-Five Twenty One is one of those K-Dramas that borrows tropes from romantic K-Dramas. It’s a show about aspirations, puzzles, and more concern with the characters than the story. This is not the romantic, sexy romance and cute moments that are common. We will be discussing on Twenty-Five Twenty-One Season 2 Review & Ending in this article.

By kokodotv

Kim Tae Ri was Hee-Do’s main character. Hee-Do was both funny and mature at times. He is both joyful and serious about his ambition. This makes her an interesting character. Baek Yi Jin could have had more background. We have heard about his role many times, and he is the male leader. We have not met him yet.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One Season 2 Review

Twenty-Five Twenty-One  Season 2 Review

Despite being funny and charming, the ending of this K-drama is inconsistent. There is enough brilliance to warrant a watch of Twenty Five Twenty One. The lack of detail and realisation in the last chapters is alarming.

Soon after Twenty Five Twenty One started airing, keen-eyed viewers saw that Netflix had changed the title of the K-drama. Either from “romantic humor” to “melodrama”.

It should have been classified as “suspense”. Kwon Doeun, the writer, kept viewers riveted for 16 episodes.

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How could this photo have appeared in a bedroom of a character? What made her so upset when she heard the name of her ex-boyfriend? Is that a baby gurgling behind her? Does it make sense for mothers and daughters not to coordinate colonoscopies together? Kim Min-chae’s dad?

Twenty-Five Twenty-One  Season 2 Review

Kim Min-chae (Choi Myungbin) is the daughter a former fencing champion Na Hee–do. Present day: Min-chae finds the journals that her mother kept between 18 and 21 years ago. Min-chae discovers through the diaries how Hee-do became a Korean fencing star as the audience travels back to 1998. Young Hee-do (Kim Taeri) and Ko Yu-rim, (Bona), are seen developing a rivalry. Hee-do meets Seung-wan (Lee Joomyung), who is the top of his class. Ji-woong (Choi Hyunwook), the school idol, has a crush upon Yu-rim and is Ji-woong.

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Their gang expands to include Yijin (Nam Joohyuk), an older member of the group who has been struggling financially after his father’s collapse. We have a little nostalgia as Hee-do and his friends deal with the bad and good sides of growing up. Mobile phones with no caller ID A crash course in fencing, and a love letter for working mothers.

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Twenty Five Twenty One One’s star is Hee-do, a young woman brought up by Kim Tae Ri to an incandescent existence. Tae-ri captures the nerve energy and emotional turmoil that young adults experience in a hilarious, heartbreaking, and endearing way.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One  Season 2 Review

Twenty Five Twenty One is a perfect series at 14.5 episodes. It balances multiple storylines and gives you hope for the future. Kwon excels in writing, particularly when it comes to the Yu-rim and Hee-do relationship. Yi-jin, Hee-do, and Yi-jin may be the official couple, but it is the true love story between the fencers. Kwon uses the enemies-lovers trope to his advantage and shows a love that is more important than traditional romance.

This is why, halfway through Episode 15, Twenty Five Twenty One’s writing starts to deteriorate, the audience feels the pain just as much as the characters.

The 9/11 terrorist attack started the downward slide. Yi-jin used to feel the tug of heartstrings and increase his stature. As if Korea reporting wasn’t enough for him to be a hero or a serious journalist. It is absurd for a network that sends a reporter from Seoul City, Korea to New York to report on the aftermath of 9/11. Nam Joo-hyuk is charming and a good reporter. But he is also a talented journalist who has struggled with trauma and is now addicted to his job. Poor writing is not a good sign.

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Twenty-Five Twenty-One  Season 2 Review

The ending of Twenty Five Twenty One is more detailed than a fringed gown and doesn’t resolve most of the mysteries it was supposed to solve. Instead, it stumbles to an incoherent and disjointed ending.

A show can rarely claim to be both a masterclass on songwriting and an education in how to not write a scene. This dubious merit can be claimed by Twenty-five Twenty One.

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Twenty-Five Twenty-One Season 2 ending explained

Twenty-Five Twenty-One  Season 2 ending explained

Heedo and Yejin are confronted by one another during the last episode of Twenty-Five Twenty One. They both regret their anger and emotions and decide to end their relationship. Hee-do wrote in her diary that she regrets the ending and said that she wished it hadn’t. Hee-do accidentally left her diary on a bus. She requests that the driver contact him if the diary is discovered. The diary is eventually sent to Ye-jin because it contained a card with his contact details. He reads the diary, which documents several years of their relationship, and is moved to tears by how much Heedo loved him. They reunite and weep together, but Ye-jin is moving to America for work so they are still apart.

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Seven years later, Heedo’s mother is still a respected news anchor and is searching for a replacement. She chooses Yejin, a well-respected journalist, to take her place. He then returns to Korea. We learn that Hee-do has been married. We already know that her daughter is a teenager. And we find out that a local bookstore owner gave her Heedo’s diary while she was at her grandmother’s. Ye-jin asked the shop owner for protection and to return it to Heedo. However, it was stored and forgotten about for many years. Hee-do’s daughter takes the diary to Heedo and reads it. She reminisces over their relationship and discovers that the last page has an entry she didn’t make. Ye-jin had the book and he wrote a note to express his regret at the ending.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One  Season 2 ending explained

Hee-do goes back to the place where they split up, but instead of reliving the angrily fought out moment, she imagines all the things that they never said to one another. She wishes each other well, and tells each other how much it means to her. As a playback of their most memorable moments, she recalls their first summer together. The season is over. Although nothing has been definitively confirmed, Hee-do & Ye-jin will never be together again. There’s always more to be told if there are additional seasons of Twenty-Five Twenty One.

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John W. Purdie
John W. Purdie
5 months ago

Twenty Five Twenty One

Analysis and Speculation about a possible sequel TFTO-2

Spoiler Alert: Do not read this article if you havn’t watched TFTO, or if you are patiently awaiting TFTO Series 2.

Like many viewers, I was initially disappointed with the ending of TFTO but eventually I realized there is more to the Hee-do, Yi-jin tale than has been presented. There were many anomalies and indicators that pointed to a continuation of their relationship. For example, Min-chae is 15 years old during the Covid19 crises indicating that she was born in 2006 or 2007 at the latest. Why did Yi-jin congratulate her on her marriage in the 2009 interview when she won the gold medal in LA?  The question 5 that he deleted from the list, with obvious embarrassment, may have revealed a secret connection between them.

TFTO provides many clues, and probably some misleading ones, about the future of Na Hee-do and Back Yi-jin after their break-up. They still had strong feelings for each other as displayed in the very emotional scene where they cried and embraced just before he left to take up the position in New York. Nevertheless, based on an analysis of the available information, and a little bit of imagination, their relationship could have a rather eventful future along the following lines.

When news of their breakup travels through the Korean fencing team several male members hit on Hee-do, an attractive and talented female who is suddenly free. She may have been reluctant to get involved in romantic relations because of the bitter breakup with Yi-jin, but over time she probably puts her concerns aside and becomes attached to one of them but apparently not Jong Ho-jin, ‘sweetie pie’. A steamy relationship likely follows as the fencing teams travel together with regular contact between them. Assuming the partner is Kim Eun-su, who is mentioned later in connection with her diary, they likely share travel, meals and, perhaps secretly, rooms. Unlike the love affair with Yi-jin, where timing was difficult and he was often late or missed rendezvous, regular and frequent contacts come with their positions.

Dates are critical to understanding this tale. Hee-do and Yi-jin broke up in 2002 when he left for the NY to take up the position. Therefore, Hee-do may have become involved in a serious relationship a year or two later, say 2003 or 2004. It could have proceeded to the point of marriage by 2005, at the time of her gold medal victory at Prague. However, as she commented later, “You never know till you actually walk down the aisle” so the marriage appears to have been a deep disappointment to her. Perhaps fond memories of her love affair with Yi-jin still haunted her. 

Renewed contact with Yi-jin may have resulted from her gold medal victory in 2005. Did he interview her on that occasion and congratulate her on her wedding?  A celebration dinner with her mother and Yi-jin possibly follows providing an opportunity for them to catch up on their respective situations including her separation and pending divorce.  Hee-do’s mother, Jae-kyung, has always had a soft spot for Yi-jin and encourages their renewed relationship by conveniently being out when he visits, which he does with increasing frequency.  They must keep their new relationship secret because of the reporter-subject problem and her divorce proceedings. Nevertheless, the affair may have blossomed into a new romance. One can speculate that Ye-jin suggests that they go on trip, compensation for the one they missed in 2001, and to give them more time together. As mentioned earlier, Hee-do has never been to Jeju and wants to go there, so it is the perfect destination. A volcanic island about 30min from Seoul by air, it is popular for romantic getaways. Yi-jin takes care of the booking, with separate rooms as insisted by Hee-do. Famous and easily recognizable, she doesn’t want a scandal while she is seeking a divorce.

They fly to Jeju city and drive to a secluded resort on the south coast of the island. ‘Far from the maddening crowd’, they have a delightful holiday, visiting many of the unique sites on the island by day and enjoying sunset dinners in the evenings. The volcanic origin of the island is clearly visible with walls of volcanic rock enclosing fields and paths paved with the same material. Hee-do’s superior level of fitness soon becomes evident. There are long stairs down into the huge Mahjang lava tube that had carried lava during the last volcanic eruption. Also, Mount Hallasan is a comfortable walk for her, but Yi-jin comes puffing and panting behind. Nonetheless, Hee-do is supremely happy. She can finally enjoy the deep heartfelt pleasure of spending day and night with the man she loves, the one who first penetrated her heart.   Before leaving Jeju, they take out forms to register their marriage and return to Seoul with a stronger bond than ever. Hee-do is also joyful a few weeks later when it is confirmed that she has a baby on board. She informs the coach and takes a year off from competitive fencing.

 However, they are now in an exceptionally delicate situation; Hee-do is seeking an uncontested divorce and her connection with Yi-jin must be kept secret because of his work at UBS. Her estranged husband soon gets word of her condition and refuses to sign the divorce agreement. Eventually he relents but not before the baby is born and named Kim after him rather than the father. Thus, Min-chae appears in the series as Kim, not Back.

After a year off for maternity, Hee-do finds it difficult to recover her competitive form. When she confides her concerns to Yu-rim during an online chat she volunteers to help and goes to the training centre regularly with her. Yu-rim is still in excellent shape because of her fencing school and easily defeats Hee-do.  In a short practice bout, the score ends at eight to zero. Hee-do is devastated but Yu-rim is delighted, sweet revenge for an old sore. However, losing to Yu-rim frequently riles Hee-do and arouses her competitive spirit. She works furiously to get back into shape for competitions including the LA games. Regular bouts with Yu-rim enable her to monitor progress. Eventually they reach parity and Yu-rim declares that Hee-do is ready to take on the world, which she does winning gold in LA.

Concurrent with these activities, Ji Seung-wan bonds with Yi-jin’s brother, Yi-hyun, leading to a passionate and adventuresome relationship. Yi-jin frowns on their activities but can’t say too much as they are both aware of his secret connection with Hee-do. A beautiful wedding for Moon Ji-ung and Yu-rim with some special effects courtesy of the groom. He designs custom made clothes for his close friends attending the wedding.
Hee-do and Yi-jin continue to maintain absolute secrecy about their close relationship. They are both well-known public figures and register their marriage secretly in Jeju. She sometimes wears a wedding ring to indicate her marital status but refuses to reveal the identity of her partner. This situation continues through 2009 when she wins gold in LA.  Question No. 5 that Yi-jin deleted from the list prepared for the interview was probably about her spouse. However, her unspoken comment during the interview reflected the reality of their relationship: ‘Wherever you are, I’ll make sure my support reaches you. I’ll take care of everything. See you then.’  That certainly sounds more like a statement from a life-partner than an old girlfriend from almost a decade earlier.

Hee-do’s daughter, Kim Min-chae is an important factor and her birth date can be deduced from indirect pieces of information. She is 15 and mentions that her school trip was cancelled this year because of Covid-19 restrictions. Thus, she must have been born in 2006 or 2007 at the latest. That would have given Hee-do just time to get back to the level of fitness and competitiveness required for the LA games in 2009.

We also learn that Min-chae is anxious to have her father back home. He is unable to come for short visits because of covid-19 quarantine rules in Korea and the country where he is posted. That gives a small clue to who and where her father is. Her online search also provides clues to his situation. She finds that there is an undefined connection between Yi-jin and Hee-do at the time of the LA games and there is a mention of ‘diplomatic tensions’ in his connection. This suggests that he may have become involved in diplomatic work. This could have led to an overseas posting at a time when Min-chae was too young to remember him and would explain why she doesn’t recognize him in a photo from 1998. Covid rules restricted travel to Korea from 2019 to early 2022. The quarantine rules have been relaxed so it is now possible for Yi-jin turn up as the father of Min-chae, reuniting the family and everyone, including many fans, will be happy.

With congratulations to all the performers in Twenty Five Twenty One, Series 1. 
Beautifully executed.

JWP, August 14, 2022

Marie
5 months ago
Reply to  John W. Purdie

Wow ! Awesome your theories

John W. Purdie
John W. Purdie
3 months ago
Reply to  Marie

Thanks Marie. I enjoy writing story lines such as this. Have you seen CLOY-2 which is on my Facebook group CLOY?