Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16 Recap: Goodbye, Na Hee-do and Back Yi-jin!

Twenty-Five Twenty-One (스물다섯 스물하나) is a Korean drama TV series directed by Jung Ji-hyun and starring Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk, Bona and Lee Joo-myung, alongside other cast members. The series has 16 episodes. Twenty Five Twenty One episode 16 has a runtime of 89 minutes.

Netflix describes the series as:

IN A TIME WHEN DREAMS SEEM OUT OF REACH, A TEEN FENCER PURSUES BIG AMBITIONS AND MEETS A HARDWORKING YOUNG MAN WHO SEEKS TO REBUILD HIS LIFE.

– Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16 recap contains major spoilers –

Twenty Five Twenty One episode 16 starts with Yi-jin getting a hang of the disappointment and hopelessness that he feels in the face of the 9/11 disaster. Of course, there are things that still shock him and sadden him but his appointment at the New York office really does startle him. But, telling those close to him will be a chore.

He calls Hee-do that night to let her know everything and it seems like although Hee-do and Yi-jin have a lot of love and commitment towards one another, their relationship is almost over. Hee-do, at least, seems like she knows this and disconnects after asking him to not feel bad for her.

twenty five twenty one episode 16 1
Still From Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

2 months later, in the Twenty Five Twenty One finale, Ji-woong is taking care of a famous website and seems to have quite the fan following. He’s still with Yu-rim, who has come to visit him after so long. She brings him over to her place and they have the usual awkward conversation. Hee-do and Yi-jin, meanwhile, both come back to Korea on the same day and Yi-jin realizes too late that his bag got exchanged with Hee-do. Well, that’s what you get when you buy the same suitcase.

Anyway, Hee-do leaves his bag at the airport and Yi-jin, too, chooses not to get in touch with her to return the bag. Well, that’s what he tells the airline. In actuality, he delivers the suitcase to her home and the two get to meet after months. Hee-do doesn’t blame anyone for their relationship ending. Them blaming each other isn’t helping the situation and it’s only making them grow apart. Yi-jin asks her whether she’s ok with breaking up. Hee-do tells him that they are in the middle of it. That it’s going to be difficult to ignore each other since they have many mutual contacts. If that happens, they should acknowledge each other.

twenty five twenty one episode 16
Still From Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

Either way, Hee-do seems sure about the breakup although she is quite heartbroken about it while Yi-jin doesn’t really want to break up but has to since the other party wants it. Her friends are shocked to learn the truth too and are quite sad but unfortunately, all this sadness results in her accidentally dropping her phone into a bowl of soup. Sadder still, she then has to contact Yi-jin to get the couple’s plan cancelled. The way the phone plan guy makes it seem, it feels like they’re signing divorce papers. Just so over the top.

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.  She tells him about her trauma with her mother and tells her that he does exactly the same thing to her and she doesn’t want a future like that.

Unfortunately, the fight just keeps building and Yi-jin, flustered, mentions that if she’s this disappointed in him, then it’s better that they break up. Hee-do takes him up on his word and walks away. Afterwards, Hee-do’s life goes on as per usual, laughing with friends and practising, but one fine day during practice, she collapses in the gym. When she wakes up in the hospital, no one really knows what’s going on and Jae-kyung looks terrified.

Also Read: Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 15 Recap: Kim Tae-ri, Nam Joo-hyuk Face their Most Formidable Foe Yet

twenty five twenty one episode 16
Still From Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

She tells her mother that she broke up with Yi-jin and Jae-kyung looks like she’s about to rip open a new one. However, Hee-do stops her and tells her that she has to go through with it. It’s just that, she regrets saying everything that she’s said to him. Hee-do, unfortunately, loses the diary on a bus, the last diary that her future daughter tries to find so desperately. Either way, Yi-jin is getting ready to move to New York and packing up all of his things.

He leaves behind the pink pencil case and then dreams about Hee-do that night. The next morning, as he is packing up his things from Seung-wan’s home, someone delivers the diary to his place and he cries reading the entries as they get sadder as the days progress. By the end, Yi-jin is left a sobbing mess.

The next day, the two realise that they cannot leave each other like that and rush to find each other, only to end up at different points. Of course, Hee-do finds his bag at the bus stop and the moment he sees her, he starts crying again. This time around, both of them are able to properly verbalise what they are actually thinking. This time, it really is goodbye.

Also Read: The Last Bus (2022) Review: Robert Sheehan-Tom Basden Starrer Is a Cautionary Tale of Technology

twenty five twenty one episode 16
Still From Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

7 years later, Jae-kyung is looking at retiring and elects Yi-jin to take over her place. I mean, I get where she’s coming from – Yi-jin looks great and seems to be doing great as well as he takes over his new position as an anchor at UBS News. Meanwhile, Hee-do is contemplating retiring since it’s not fun to win anymore. Meanwhile, Ji-woong and Yu-rim are getting married and that’s just so exciting! When Yi-jin comes to visit, Seung-wan and his conversation is so heartwarming to watch. It’s like sitting with your old friends and listening to the stories of your old friends.

Also, I am sorry. But Ji-woong proposing to Yu-rim is the cutest thing ever and they are the end-goal couple that we didn’t know we needed.

Anyway, we’re back to the moment Yi-jin interviews Hee-do on air. The moment we get to know about her marriage. The interview is quite formal, but you know that there is history there. Even when they are thousands of miles apart, there’s still that familiarity and comfort that they share that time and distance couldn’t take away. As she delivers her last press conference after winning the gold medal and her retirement, Yu-rim surprises her and they share the sweetest moment together.

Also Read: Tomorrow Episode 2 Recap: Rowoon, Kim Hee-seon Make a Great Team

twenty five twenty one episode 16
Still From Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

As the rental bookstore guy closes down his store, he finally finds the old diary that Yi-jin had given her to deliver. Min-chae is ecstatic about finding it and later tells her mother that she wants to take up ballet again. Hee-do is proud of her daughter and happy that her story had an effect on her. Min-chae then gives her mother the diary and she is surprised and happy to find it again, along with a note from Yi-jin in the last page that she’s seeing too many years later.

An adult Hee-do finally puts an end to the regret she has felt for so many years and the ending is full of hope and happiness. Although we didn’t get the perfect ending, it still leaves a wonderful effect.

In the epilogue, Yi-jin tries to log in to a website that he cannot remember the password to. The security question asks him the name of his first love. The episode ends with him typing in Hee-do’s name and the website letting him know that a new password has been sent to his email address.

Final Thoughts: Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

Ah, what a heartfelt end to a great show! It wraps everything up great and ends everything on a high. You watch everything come together as easily as everything else. It’s so easy and lightweight, yet so heavy with emotions. I think I was just a tad bit bored in between and disappointed that they didn’t showcase whom Hee-do married. I also wonder why they didn’t show Hee-do’s life in the present more.

I feel like they beat around the bush with her present life and I am truly confused about the why of it all. That made me a bit confused which is a shame because the last few episodes have been so good! I kind of feel disappointed that the last episode, the one that had the potential to truly leave a mark… didn’t. I mean, it’s an ok episode, but they did definitely rush through it.

twenty five twenty one episode 16
Still From Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16

Ah, oh! Kim Tae-ri and Nam Joo-hyuk have my entire heart! They were so good and I wouldn’t enjoy the series as much as I did without them being in the middle of it. I will also add that I am a bit disappointed that they didn’t show Yu-rim and Ji-woong years after their marriage in the present since I was waiting for a glimpse. Neither did they mention Seung-wan anymore. I understand that this isn’t about them. But at this point, these characters feel like friends and I really want to know what happened to them and whether they found happiness.

That’s the thing though – they didn’t showcase the present at all. Just glimpses of Hee-do and her daughter in their house where Hee-do is constantly making furniture. I mean, I get hobbies. But don’t fans deserve a better-wrapped box?

Either way, I enjoyed this series thoroughly. It feels like yesterday we started watching the loud-mouthed Hee-do arguing with her mother about continuing fencing. I guess I feel a bit nostalgic. Either way, it’s been a good run and I’m going to miss it terribly.

Twenty-Five Twenty-One is streaming on Netflix.

Liked the Twenty Five Twenty One episode 16 recap? Check out our other Twenty Five Twenty One recaps here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Twenty Five Twenty One episode 16 ends on a high, albeit a bit disappointing one at that.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I expected this ending…..if Hee Do marries Yijin her life will be the same life living with her mother……she deserves a better life with a great husband who comes home from work every night and spends time with her and their children…. which I believed she has done!

    • I liked that they didn’t end up together – no qualms on that. I think they would’ve hated each other if that happened. But they really could’ve brought all the strings together better. Personally, I felt it was a bit rushed.

  2. I really am so sad over the ending. While I agree that Hee-do would have ended up disappointed in Yijin , like she was with her mother, and large part of me really wanted a happy ending with the two of them! I think the writers didn’t show much of Hee-do’s present life because it appears her husband is not in the picture much either, which is all the more sad she ended up with someone who she’s not in love with it seems.

    Side note! I’m so done with Netflix and the k-dramas with these open, unresolved, and/or unhappy endings!! I watch drama for a happy endings since there is enough sadness and regret in real life! This type of ending keeps happening like in Crash Landing Into You, Run-On, Record of Youth, The King:The Eternal Monarch, etc.

    • I am a little confused with Hee-do’s present life and that’s probably the only gripe I had with the ending. I think we deserved to know their present lives since we grew so attached to them as characters. And for some reason, I thought Hee-do’s husband was… dead? I realise now that that’s probably not the case, which confuses me even more.

      Either way, thank you for your comment 🙂

  3. The ending sucked !!! Their genuine love and bond was so strong during the whole time and the cold bucket water to stop the relationship was so real life … we don’t want real life – we want happy ending … it was a huge LET DOWN … I’m upset 😭.,,

    • In an ideal world, they probably would’ve ended up together. I hoped that Min-chae was their love baby. But, well. It’s ok to not have happy endings. At least they are on the same page with their relationship and the breakup.

      But I get your frustration totally. Thank you for your response 🙂

  4. This is just trying to be different for the sake of being different. I just don’t think kdramas are meant for many other cultures. This sad stuff is a regular occurrence in the shows I’ve seen. Of course it happens everywhere in each region’s tv and movies. But, it seems the exception and not the rule. Like I said, deferent for the sake of being different. Only problem is that when everyone is trying to be different isn’t everyone really just the same. You’re not being exceptionally artistic. You’re not being intellectual. You’re blazing a new trail, or holding a mirror to society. People already know that life is hard. When I sit down to watch a show, I want to be entertained, not by heartache or tragedy, but to suspend my disbelief for a moment and feel that love can conquer all. Or, that happiness is attainable for everyone. Perhaps that’s just a romantic way of looking at things. But, the world is going to be full of setbacks for most. So, why do we have to be depressed constantly by our so called entertainment? Kdrama, I’m taping out here. You may continue to depress your many viewers who could actually use something uplifting in their lives.

    • I mean, there are Korean dramas that give you happy endings. Actually, most are like that. But if every show flows the same, it’d just be a repetition of the same thing, just with different actors. But I get your frustration. Thanks for your response 🙂

  5. Wasted 8 weeks for this disaster ending. Hee Do breaking up with Yijin because she doesn’t want to liver her life waiting for someone who can’t be there always, yet marrying a guy who is always Overseas with no contact to his daughter whatsoever! LOGIC PLEASE! #NeverAgainTVN

    It’s a Bad Ending. No resolution, another ending to add to the list of Game of Thrones disaster. We watch KDramas to escape the already harsh reality. From Coming of Age to Melodrama — people switching personalities.
    #TwentyFiveTwentyOne #NeverAgainTVN #TwentyFiveTwentyOneEp16

  6. This ending has two reactions from the audience – one happy with it, the other no, but more of the latter. I say, let’s have a follow-up season. Let’s have this couple get back together. As one commenter here said it, to have the audience believe in their love so strong, so bonded, so believable, and yet, to throw cold water on it just like that. It’s unrealistic. It’s cruel.

    • Personally, I feel that the relationship ending was quite realistic since Hee-do wants something that Yi-jin cannot give. Love isn’t everything in a relationship and that’s ok. I just wish that they had ended it better.

  7. Even I was disappointed over the ep 16 yesterday simply becoz I felt emotionally connected to them.But today as I’m thinking this over in a calm way,I think the ending was much valid.I’ve never been in a long distance relationship before so I feel that I shouldn’t judge the decision of this couple who were actually facing it.I think it really must have been tough.
    Both were grown ups at 26-22 .Hence, they might have realised what they need the most.At their stage,their careers were more important.Our priorities change at every particular stage of life.
    But now coming to the point,they should have focused on the present lives of every character,too.
    I think we atleast deserve a special ep showcasing everyone’s present lives.
    Yes,the ending was really heartbreaking n unbearable at one point.And I know that the writers could have changed it n it would have still been realistic cuz this ending also seemed similar to La la land. But at some point, it was inevitable.
    This drama truly pulled my heartstrings n it happened for the first time.I’m gonna cherish this process forever.All the characters especially Heedo n Yijin’s personalities have left an indelible mark on my heart n mind🥰🥰🥰🥰

  8. I would have been okay with the ending if present day Hee do didn’t sound and look as though she never really moved on. And she married a man who did the same thing she left yijin for. And Min chae doesn’t seem to have a close connection with her dad at all. If they had convinced me Hee do was in love with her husband and truly happy I would have been okay with them breaking up.

  9. At the end, the writer could have shown that they remains friends and not like they became foreign to each other then even the good memories will eventually died. When old friends meet they recollect their memories of the good times they shared with each other and how it shaped their life. Then all my broken-hearted for Baek Yijin will not remained with me today

  10. I didn’t watch it ’cause of the following reasons:

    1. Nam Joo may be taller than Tae Ri, but Nam Joo looks like a younger brother of Tae Ri. So, kissing scenes are pretty cringe (to my liking).
    2. It seems that Tae Ri was pretty attach to her character and to his leading man. I’m not used to seeing her that way. Or maybe I’m really admiring her from afar.
    3. She should’ve been paired with a real matured guy, rather than Nam Joo. There are a lot of korean actors that would fit the leading man role aside from Nam Joo.

    I don’t hate Nam Joo. I just hate the fact that they Netflix don’t line up their characters according to their chemistry.

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Twenty Five Twenty One episode 16 ends on a high, albeit a bit disappointing one at that.Twenty Five Twenty One Episode 16 Recap: Goodbye, Na Hee-do and Back Yi-jin!