Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 5 recap - intensity, comedy and character development (2023)



A seamlessly written episode that combines vehemence with flurries of comedy and character development to create a uniquely entertaining cocktail.

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This recap of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 5 recap

We begin with the tender parting scene of Hee-do and Yi-jin, one laced with well wishes and happy thoughts of what had occurred in the fencing gym that night. Yi-jin wishes his friend luck for the fencing tryout she has, and encourages the athlete to remember the words that managed to touch her. “I’m going to take in all of your support,” Hee-do replies, smiling as she states that the pairing should become great together. After stating that she is one of a kind, Yi-jin recomposes himself, sees his friend off, and even manages to collect the sword he used earlier as a souvenir of their memory-filled occasion.

When Hee-do heads up to her house, she is greeted outside the door by her mother, who begins to poke around for information on Yi-jin. However, it’s far from a cute scene, as the tensions around the parent’s lack of faith in her daughter re-emerge, particularly around the student’s national team tryouts. At that moment, we jump back to the present, where we see Min-chae’s newfound respect for Hee-do’s work ethic appear, as well as her mother’s training log. It threads nicely into the backdrop for the national team tryouts, where Hee-do vows to coach Yang that she will not lose.

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Elsewhere, Yi-hyun confronts his bullies after he is hit by a baseball, evidently enjoying his current power over his former tormentors. Happy because of his luck, he calls his older brother, wishing for him to have the same fortunes. Following that, Yi-jin stares at the sword he was gifted, and verbalises his wishes for Hee-do to have a lucky day too.

Back to the Hwaseong national team tryouts, Hee-do trusts that she has worked harder than her opposition, and that it will only be natural for her to soon be able to represent her country. It’s an optimistic tale, which only makes the interwoven scenes of Yi-hyun being antagonised by the people looking for their debts to be settled, and judged by his peers, appear all the more harsh. As Hee-do bests her opponent, we’re left with a lingering question of what comes of the debt collector’s quest for repayment, with the last shot one that sees Yi-jin barge into one of the men in the hopes of protecting his younger sibling.

Meanwhile, Jae-kyung hears of her daughter’s success in the bustling newsroom, walking away with tempered pride thanks to the knowledge she’s gained that Hee-do is in the tryout final. Then, we cut to a coach Yang pep talk, where she reminds her student not to get flustered, and that once again her inexperience may come in handy. The ensuing bout is gripping, with her adversaries’s pre-warned underhanded tactics feeling genuinely enraging, and the eventual win for the protagonist something that is inarguably a feel-good moment. With that being said, the expressionless Yu-rim, who appeared concerned by her contemporaries’ performance whenever the camera cut towards her, is clearly something to keep an eye on.

Next, we see flashes of celebrations from several angles. First, the restrained joy of Jae-kyung, then of the youthful pride present in Ji-woong and Seung-wan (made complete with an enthused mother who couldn’t quite believe two members of the fencing national team were catching loaches in her house not long ago), before we’re shown the excitement of coach Yang and Hee-do herself. In the midst of this, Hee-do does try and share her news with Yi-jin, but she realises that she doesn’t know his page number, and so just leaves a vacant message on the payphone and skips into the restaurant to eat. Here, Yu-rim is cold once more to the new national team member, which only results in the latter confidently waving away the delayed bathroom congratulations.

The next day, Hee-do sprints to the rental store, hoping to catch Yi-jin and share the good news with him. However, he has quit his job there, and can’t be found at his house either. Even a worried Yu-rim can’t track the former student down, but her frantic actions appear to negatively impact Ji-woong, who seems upset that he may harbour deep, potentially one-sided feelings for the gold medalist. Shortly after, we discover that Yi-jin had moved out that morning because of something “urgent,” with everyone from Seung-wan to Hee-do left deflated. Outside, some faint signs of bonding between Yu-rim and Hee-do appear to form, with the former forgetting her prickliness when she gives her rival the page number for the missing Yi-jin.

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At her house, we see that Yi-jin had gifted Hee-do her desired blue fencing sword, whilst we also become privy to the knowledge that he was aware of her success. Then, we cut to Yi-jin himself, who is travelling in a cramped van on the way to Pohang with his brother and another man. We then get the context about his situation; that his father is a financial criminal who set up a profitless company in Yi-hyun’s name, that his younger sibling was told not to contact anyone from Seoul anymore, and that the pair must return home to avoid the creditors.

When the siblings do greet their mother, she immediately cries, distraught over missing her husband, and grateful that she can see her children again. Over dinner, a proposal that Yi-hyun will finish high-school at the alleged “hick town,” and that Yi-jin will stay at the house for the time being is put forward, and is swiftly agreed upon.

During a visit to the broadcasting club, Hee-do borrows some of Yi-jin’s recordings for motivation at the national team camp, and shares with Seung-wan her faith that Yi-jin will have made the right choice in moving away. Elsewhere, Hee-do gets a new picture taken, and moans at her mother for scolding her in spite of her success. “I’m here to make other people congratulate you,” Jae-kyung says back, before they humorously reject a joint picture.

Now, Hee-do is tasked with sharing a room with Yu-rim at the national team camp, with the gold medalist resuming her abruptness. However, there is some comedy amongst the two, particularly revolving around snoring. Meanwhile, we discover that Yi-jin had been left a touching, encouraging message from Hee-do at a payphone, leaving him teary-eyed and moved.

The next day, Ji-woong ignores Yu-rim in a bid to get revenge over her actions when she did the same to him, but the fencer soon apologises and looks to patch things up with her crush. There, she also explains why she cares about Yi-jin so much to Ji-woong, who soon realises the error of his ways, and decides to share embarrassing secrets to get even.

Three months later, we observe Hee-do’s training progress. It’s made her somewhat unwell, the intensity of it all, and she is subsequently hospitalised. The coach, rather than caring, favours warning her about passing on her cold toYu-rim first.

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Sadly, Yi-hyun pretends not to know Yi-jin when out with his friends, even going to the extreme length of buying food from him as if they were strangers. It understandably depresses the older sibling, who later asks whether Yi-hyun is ashamed of the fact that he moves fish now, rather than drives a sports car. “You’re embarrassing,” the high-school student says tearily, putting down the hard labour that his brother does, and the poverty they live in. The two get frank with each other, and both evidently end up upset by their confrontation.

The ending

After the fight, Yi-jin and his uncle have a heart-to-heart, with the former student admitting that he wanted to run away because of his repeated failures, and that he may have used his brother as an excuse. “I’m a real loser,” he says, staring at his empty soju glass. In a bid to receive comfort, Yi-jin heads towards a payphone, and listens to Hee-do’s message of encouragement again and again.

Following another hard shift, Yi-jin fixates on the TV, learning of Yu-rim’s victory at the Presidential Cup Fencing Competition, but feeling the most emotional sort of pride at Hee-do’s third-place finish. In a callback to their faucet hijinks, he then heads towards a remote place to repeat it alone, sentimentally recalling his friend’s happy-go-lucky attitude. In that moment, we see Hee-do is doing the exact same where she is, with the exact same wishfulness too. With shared frames, a dream sequence of the two running away from the authorities interlocked, and a return message from Yi-jin to Hee-do confessing how he has missed her and will soon return (before Full House volume 15 to be precise), the episode ends, seamlessly emotional in its understated resonance.

What did you think of the K-Drama Netflix series Twenty-Five Twenty-One season 1, episode 5? Comment below!

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.


What we learned from Twenty Five Twenty One? ›

Learn to let go sometimes.

No one should feel like they have to hold onto a relationship they've outgrown, or really anything else that brings them more pain than joy. “Looking back, every day was a practice,” the adult Hee-do says in the last episode as she reflects on her high school years.

What is the summary of Twenty Five Twenty One? ›

Plot. In 1998, Na Hee-do (Kim Tae-ri) is a member of the school fencing team at Seonjung Girls' High School, but due to the IMF crisis, the team is disbanded. To continue pursuing her passion, she transfers to Taeyang High School and later manages to become a member of the National Fencing Team.

Does twenty one twenty five have a sad ending? ›

The ending

Na Hee Do and Baek Yi Jin break up, looking out for each other until the end. Their happiest time, which gave the show its name, Twenty-Five Twenty-One, had come to a painful end. Now, at crossroads they break up, leaving the fans of the show disappointed.

Why is Twenty Five Twenty One so good? ›

Twenty Five Twenty One could have been the perfect coming of age k-drama, but its ending definitely puts a dent in that 10/10 score. That aside, this series features a solid story, excellent characterisation and one of the best soundtracks seen in any Korean drama for quite some time.

Why did Na Hee break up? ›

He doesn't know how to face Hee Do and talk to her. To solve his problem, their couple bags finally come into play. Hee Do returns from her tournament on the same day, and their bags get interchanged at the airport. They had to meet to get their own bags, and that's when they broke up.

Who is the husband of Na Hee Do? ›

Maybe because Yi-Jin is Hee-Do's husband and the couple want to be together without being wrapped up in controversy, which is why it's possible they've chosen to keep their relationship a secret.

How old is Nam Heedo? ›

How Old Is Kim Tae-Ri, aka Na Hee-Do? 31. Kim Tae-Ri's birthday is April 24, 1990, making her 31 years old — 15 years older than her character Hee-Do at the start of "Twenty-Five Twenty-One."

Who is the father of Min Chae? ›

Watch out! This post contains spoilers.

What is the age gap between twenty five twenty ones? ›

Following the recent conclusion of the tvN and Netflix K-drama Twenty Five Twenty One, Kim spoke to Newsen about her role as Na Hee-do and her thoughts on the high school athlete's romantic relationship with journalist Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-hyuk), who is four years older.

Why did Hee-Do and Yi-Jin break up? ›

The two get into a sad fight under the bridge where Yi-jin tells her how he used to feel in New York and tells her that he didn't want to burden her with his problems. Hee-do tearfully tells him that this is why they are breaking up – they are only lovers during the good times and a burden during the bad.

Why did they break up in 25 21? ›

Why Do Baek Yi-jin and Na Hee-do Break Up? The last episode started off with Ye-jin bagging a Correspondent's job in New York months after he covered the 9/11 attack. A heartbroken Hee-do accepted his decision, suggesting that they should break up.

Will there be season 2 of Twenty-Five Twenty-One? ›

As we mentioned earlier, the K-Drama has not been renewed for a second season. However, if there were to be a second season, our best release date prediction would be Q1 2023.

What is the highest rated Kdrama on Netflix? ›

Probably the most popular Korean drama on Netflix to date is a love story between a North Korean soldier and an heiress from South Korea called Crash Landing on You.

What is the climax of Twenty Five Twenty One? ›

Kim Tae-ri (left) and Bona in a still from Twenty-Five Twenty-One. The close battle ends after several simultaneous strikes, but rather than being greeted by shouts of victory the pair give each other a long hug that's enough to move the stoniest heart.

What is the meaning of five and twenty? ›

Five-and-twenty is used by some older speakers instead of twenty-five when referring to that many minutes before or after the hour, as in five-and-twenty past six.

What is the age gap between Na Hee-Do and Baek Yi-Jin? ›

Following the recent conclusion of the tvN and Netflix K-drama Twenty Five Twenty One, Kim spoke to Newsen about her role as Na Hee-do and her thoughts on the high school athlete's romantic relationship with journalist Baek Yi-jin (Nam Joo-hyuk), who is four years older.

Who was Hee-Do boyfriend? ›

Since Hee-Do is competing in the event, the two finally reunite. Hee-Do invites Yi-Jin to get lunch with her, and he finds out Hee-Do has a boyfriend named Jung Ho-Jin, who Hee-Do has been dating for only three days.

Who does hee-do have a kid with? ›

Many started to question if Hee-do and Yi-jin make it as a couple and are married, resulting in Min-chae being their daughter. There were too many errors to consider the theories true. As the K-drama went on and fans watched Hee-do and Yi-jin's relationship, the answer became clear.

Who is the father of Mo Seok Hee? ›

Mo Seok-hee (Im Soo-hyang) is the only daughter of the MC Group, a large chaebol (conglomerate). Her grandfather is the founder and majority shareholder of the chaebol and her father, Mo Cheol-hee, is the President.

What is the relationship between Yu Rim and Yi Jin? ›

She made lifelong friends; her rival, Yu Rim, became her best friend, and she experienced true love for the first time.

How old is Yi Jin in twenty five twenty one? ›

The series depicts a sweet friendship between Hee-do and Yi-jin (Nam Joo-Hyuk). But Yi-jin isn't a high school classmate – he's a 22 year old former engineering major, who had to quit college after his family filed for bankruptcy.

Does Na Hee Do have memory loss? ›

However, as the story returns to the present day, Na Hee-do leaves fans in shock when she tells her daughter that she doesn't remember the trip to the beach. While she seems to be trying hard to act as though she doesn't remember, it seems like she is getting emotional as she fights the memory.

Is Baek Yi Jin Min Chae's father? ›

Min Chae: The child of Na Hee Do that sort of built the story around her discovery of her mother's diary. She was always curious about the proceedings and never referred to Baek Yi Jin as her father even once, making us believe very early on that she was not their child.

Is Baek Jin adopted? ›

THEORY 2: Baek Yi Jin is Adopted

Considering he was 23 years old at the time of the conversation, it could mean that he was adopted and became part of the Baek family 10 years ago.

What is the biggest age gap ever? ›

Gertrude Grubb Janeway (USA, b. 3 July 1909), was 18 when she married 81-year-old Union Civil War veteran, John Janeway on 9 June 1927 – an age difference of 63 years.

What is the biggest age gap you can have? ›

"Half-your-age-plus-seven" rule

An often-asserted rule of thumb to determine whether an age difference is socially acceptable holds that a person should never date someone whose age is less than half their own plus seven years.

What is an acceptable age gap for a 20 year old? ›

Dating Age Rule. The dating age rule to determining a socially acceptable age difference in partners goes something like this: half your age plus seven (40 = 20 +7 = 27) to define the minimum age of a partner and your age minus seven times two (40 = 33 * 2 = 60) to define the maximum age of a partner.

Did Yi Jin and Hee Do kiss? ›

What is this? However, the episode was impactful enough to send fans swooning over Hee-do and Yi-jin kiss on Twitter and Seung-wan getting possibly one of the best character developments in the show.

Why did Yu Rim go to Russia? ›

This is the beginning of Yu-Rim's move, exacerbated as a result of the accident. She's going to change her nationality to Russia, earning the gold medal and the money to release the burden hanging over her family.

Why did the couple break up? ›

Conclusion. Why do people break up? There are many reasons why couples break up. The most common reasons people break up usually involve a lack of emotional intimacy, sexual incompatibility, differences in life goals, and poor communication and conflict resolution skills.

How old is Nam Joo Hyuk? ›

Did 24 end or cancel? ›

The show premiered on November 6, 2001, and spanned 204 episodes over nine seasons, with the series finale broadcast on July 14, 2014. In addition, the television film 24: Redemption aired between seasons six and seven, on November 23, 2008.
24 (TV series)
Related24: Legacy
23 more rows

Why was season 2 Cancelled? ›

Netflix Canceled The Society Due To COVID-19

While season 2 was meant to begin filming again in the fall of 2020, Netflix canceled The Society because of the COVID-19 pandemic (via Deadline).

Will there be a twenty somethings season 2? ›

Twentysomethings: Austin Season 2 Release Date

They'll need some time to film and produce a Season 2, so if there is one, fans can mostly likely expect to see it sometime in late 2022.

What is the number 1 Kdrama in the world? ›

1. The World of the Married (2020)

Why did Netflix remove so many Kdramas? ›

However, this also means that all of these exclusive k-dramas are marketed as “Netflix Originals.” The reason why these k-dramas are leaving is that the streaming rights Netflix paid for were only for a limited amount of time. Typically ranging anywhere between five to ten years depending on the deal.

What was the climax and resolution? ›

Climax: when the conflict ends or is suspended (the animal is disposed of). Resolution: when the characters begin to experience the impact of the climax and their deeds.

What are 3 main events from the story before the climax? ›

1) Exposition (introduction) - Beginning of the story; characters, background, and setting revealed. 2) Rising Action - Events in the story become complicated; the conflict is revealed. These are events between the introduction and climax. 3) Climax - Turning point of the story.

What is the climax plot elements? ›

Another element of the PLOT is the CLIMAX. The CLIMAX of the story is when the CONFLICT of the PLOT is resolved.It is often the most exciting part of the story: when the hero saves the princess, discovers the buried treasure, or slays the dragon. Imagine when you read a story that you are climbing up a mountainside.

Why is it called twenty? ›

Etymology. From Middle English twenty, twenti, from Old English twēntiġ (“twenty”, literally “two tens”), from Proto-Germanic *twaintigiwiz, *twai tigiwiz, an old compound of *twain- (“two”) +‎ *-tigaz (“group of ten”), equivalent to two + -ty, or twain + -ty.

What does the Ty mean in twenty? ›

-ty in American English

suffix. a suffix of numerals denoting multiples of ten. twenty. thirty.

Why did they say 6 and 20? ›

So what exactly did Kate mean when she told Lady Danbury she was six and twenty? Six and twenty is an archaic way of saying 26 — which is how old Kate is in the season when we meet her. It's a unique way of saying one's age; however, the method was a common way of saying one's age during the regency era.

Will there be season 2 of Twenty Five Twenty One? ›

As we mentioned earlier, the K-Drama has not been renewed for a second season. However, if there were to be a second season, our best release date prediction would be Q1 2023.

Why is it called Twenty Five Twenty One? ›

(The title, Twenty Five Twenty One, is a reference to the main couple's ages at the time that they begin their romance.)

Who was the father of Na Hee Do's daughter? ›

Many started to question if Hee-do and Yi-jin make it as a couple and are married, resulting in Min-chae being their daughter. There were too many errors to consider the theories true. As the K-drama went on and fans watched Hee-do and Yi-jin's relationship, the answer became clear.


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