School 2017: Episode 12 recap

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Life is always better when you have people you can rely on for support and help. Despite all the obstacles and struggles that our each of our characters are facing respectively on their own, they’re ultimately not alone because they have one another to rely on. It’s this reminder as well as these support networks that keeps everyone going. It’s what’s keeping everyone strong. #YouNeverWalkAlone

School 2017 Episode 12: Soar Up, You

The last episode left us with a frustrated and tired Eunho, kindly asking Tae-woon to stop talking to her and to stay away from her. Tae-woon returns home that night torn and heart-broken. He recalls Eunho’s words in their conversation and reflects upon it. Eunho does the same in her bedroom. Her mind traces back to Tae-woon and although she was the one who pushed Tae-woon away, she can’t stop thinking about him.

Tae-woon tries to talk it out with Eunho the next morning at school, but instead things get even worse. They get into another argument. Tae-woon just can’t continue to do things for Eunho and expect her to take it all in every time. It doesn’t work like that. She refuses to accept his laptop and even throws it onto the ground.

Tae-woon then unleashes his feelings of suppression and anger and expresses just how suffocating this has all been for him. He just wanted to do things for her because he liked her and had genuine feelings for her. He was careful around her and made sure to not pressure or scare her in any way. So why did she just play around with his feelings? He walks away after letting his thoughts out and Dae-hwi, who’s not too far away, notices Tae-woon marching away. He senses that something’s wrong.

Whether it’s at school or at work at the convenience store, Tae-woon and Eunho can’t stop thinking about each other. Since Eunho asked for time away from Tae-woon, Tae-woon gives that to her. He avoids her when they see each other on campus.

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But Tae-woon still shows his care and concern for Eunho in other subtle ways. He leaves his laptop in her locker to which she declines. She returns it to Tae-woon while he’s in his hideaway spot, but Tae-woon doesn’t want it back either. He doesn’t need it, she does. Tae-woon just wants Eunho to apologize to him for hurting his pride, but she doesn’t. And she does the opposite. She walks away ignoring his words.

Tae-woon and Dae-hwi attempt to fulfill their cleaning punishment, but it doesn’t go too well. They end up getting into another fight, but unlike before no one stops them. Teacher Koo, who’s waiting outside of the gym where the boys are fighting, is perfectly aware that they’re fighting but decides that maybe letting them fight each other is the best solution to getting the boys back on good terms with each other. He wants to try something different.

Back inside the gym, Dae-hwi and Tae-woon open up about Joong-gi. On the day that Joong-gi’s mother tried to enter the school with his son’s ashes so that her son could visit his high school one last time, instead of supporting Joong-gi’s mother Dae-hwi ended up studying instead. Or on the day that it was just Joong-gi’s funeral, Dae-hwi chose academics over his best friend instead.

But Dae-hwi decided to focus on his studies instead because of the promise that he made with Joong-gi. He promised him that he would study so he could be successful and become an influential person. That’s why Dae-hwi decided to take an exam on the day that it was Joong-gi’s funeral.

Tae-woon shares his side of the story as well. He blamed Dae-hwi for everything because he was a coward. Because he was so powerless and didn’t know how to deal with that. He just blamed Dae-hwi for everything. That was all he could do. But Tae-woon voices that even though he seemed like he didn’t care about Dae-hwi, he did. All along he was worried that Dae-hwi might get into trouble like how he did and that he hoped that Dae-hwi wouldn’t.

The two frenemies end the conversation by talking about their respective girl friends. What is Dae-hwi gonna do with Nam-joo and what is Tae-woon gonna do with Eunho? Lol.

Dae-hwi approaches Nam-joo that day at school, but she ignores him.

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Eunho catches her brother at a convenience store near their house that night. The siblings have a good talk about jobs. Brother just wants to be an officer worker and experience what that life is like but isn’t finding any success with jobs. Eunho cheers her brother up and gives him encouraging words. It’s not the end of the world, there’s still time and hope.

With the financial situation that Eunho’s family’s in, things don’t seem to be going well with the family. They blame one another for the mess they’re in and argue with one another over whose fault it is that they barely have anything to eat. Eunho lays in her bed that night tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep because there is too much on her mind.

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The next morning at school, Hee-chan and Dae-hwi have a talk outside. Hee-chan threatens Dae-hwi when Dae-hwi refuses to listen to Hee-chan like how he used to. Hee-chan knows that Tae-woon is X and has conclusive evidence to prove so. Dae-hwi pretends to be careless about this, but inside he panics. What’s gonna happen to Tae-woon and what will Hee-chan do with this information?

Sarang meets her mother on campus and has a talk with her mom. Turns out Sarang failed the civil servant exam, but her mother isn’t too bummed out. If anything she can just study to get into college like the rest of her friends and then get a good job. Sarang’s mom encourages her daughter to just focus on her dreams and to do what she wants, but Sarang can’t afford to have dreams — especially not in the difficult financial situation that her and her mother is in right now. She sheds some tears of frustration and sadness in front of her mother which surprises her mother.

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Kyung-woo finds Sarang crying inside their school cafeteria. He encourages her to be honest with her mom by having a talk with her like how Sarang did with Eunho. Maybe things will work out better this way (aww, they’re so cute).

Tae-woon helps Eunho out with her part-time jobs. He’s trying to “protect her dreams” by supporting her so she has less stress and can spend time focusing on drawing. So he helps her pass out flyers and then re-stock items at the convenience store. Afterwards they reward themselves with some juice at a coffee shop. Eunho explains to Tae-woon why she stopped drawing. Even though her family situation is a reason, she also stopped because of the intense competition. She wasn’t going to get anywhere so she decided to just give up. No matter how much Tae-woon encourages Eunho to continue her webtoon series, she refuses to. She doesn’t have the confidence.

Some students talk about Issue’s departure from his idol group. They ask Sarang (aka Issue’s biggest fangirl) if she’s heard the news or not yet to which Sarang sadly replies that yes, she has heard. Issue enters the room only to hear the girls talking negatively about him. He acts as if he didn’t hear anything even though inside he’s hurt.

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He heads outside for some fresh air when Teacher Jung joins him. Teacher Jung cheers him up and encourages him to move forward. Issue may be scared and doubtful right now because he feels as if it’s the end of the world but there is always hope — just like how there was hope for Teacher Jung after he had to quit baseball after an injury. Now he’s doing much better and the same thing will happen to Issue.

Sarang’s mother scolds Sarang for not signing up for a field study, but Sarang makes up excuses as to why she didn’t sign up. But Sarang’s mother can read through her and knows it’s because of money that Sarang didn’t go. That night, they head out to an expensive restaurant to have dinner together. Sarang’s mom is dedicated to giving Sarang all that she wants. She’ll make more money in the future to provide for the both of them so Sarang should stop worrying about her. Everything will be okay. Sarang breaks down into tears upon hearing this from her mother, grateful to have such a loving mother.

Sarang visits Eunho that night at her house. They agree on studying for the college entrance exam together and encourage each other to do their best. Best friends indeed.

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Officer Soo-ji catches the 3 bullies smoking off campus. She catches them in time before they can even begin and walks away with their cigarettes. Bully leader takes responsibility for what happened, but just when Officer Soo-ji is about to respond back to her a sudden cry about a thief alerts them both. Officer Soo-ji tries to stop the thief at first, but it isn’t until bully leader helps her that the thief is taken down. Seeing the potential in bully leader, Officer Soo-ji offers her an opportunity to work part-time with her as an assistant. Bully leader isn’t opened to the idea, but Officer Soo-ji asks her to consider it.

Eunho receives her paycheck but instead of spending it on food she decides to give her hard-earned money to her brother instead. She encourages him to keep going to job interviews and to keep working hard. All of this will one day pay off.

Vice principal and ex-principal engage in a little not-that-friendly conversation with each other. Meanwhile, Tae-woon’s father aka Director of the school catches Tae-woon and Eunho walking with each other on campus. He then is reminded of what ex-principal said to him in their last meeting: Eunho’s drawing a webtoon series about X which means she personally has to know X herself in order to be able to dedicate a whole webtoon series on it. Tae-woon’s father grows suspicious.

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Ex-principal browses through Eunho’s webtoon series and attempts to leave a comment asking about how she knows about X, but it’s too difficult for him. The generation gap is too huge between him and his students and he doesn’t know how to make a comment without sounding older so he stops trying, lol. Just then Tae-woon’s dad walks into the ex-principal’s office. Ex-principal is now re-instated as principal.

He announces to the entire school his position as principal again. He also vows to find X within the next week so everyone should just stay put. Whoever is discovered to be X will face several criminal charges and school punishment.

Tae-woon and Eunho have an emergency meeting that day at his hideaway spot. Meanwhile, Hee-chan shares with Principal that he knows where X’s hideaway spot is. Together, all the staff and faculty rush out of the teacher’s office room and follow Hee-chan outside to the warehouse. But just right when they’re about to open the warehouse, X comes running out and catches everyone’s attention. Everyone else but Principal and Hee-chan chase after X while the two decide to check the warehouse. But it’s not what they expected at all.

Inside the warehouse, Principal and Hee-chan find Eunho, Dae-hwi, Tae-woon, and Bo-ra “studying.” AHHHHHHHHHH. Dumbfounded, Principal leaves the warehouse while Hee-chan stays inside for a few seconds longer furious. Someone’s plan backfired. Puahaha.

X manages to escape from the staff and faculty… or least he thinks he did. But Officer Soo-ji isn’t foolish. She finds him hiding under a ramp and not only catches him but also knows who he is. It’s Teacher Shim! (AHHHHHHHHH WTH WOWOWOW. THIS IS THE BIGGEST PLOT TWIST EVER).

Officer Soo-ji interrogates Teacher Shim for more information. He must not have caught X on purpose this whole time since he’s pretending to be X. And plus, he must also know who X is. But Teacher Shim hesitates to spill anything — especially since if he tells her who X is she’ll arrest X and get him in trouble. That’ll be too risky and he doesn’t want his students to be in danger.

Hee-chan has a hard time studying because he’s still angry over what happened earlier that day. Meanwhile, the quartets rejoice over their plan in tricking Hee-chan. Turns out Tae-woon and Dae-hwi worked together in coming up the plan since Tae-woon had been noticing that Hee-chan’s been lurking around his hideaway spot recently. He informed Dae-hwi about this and together they came up with a plan. OOH YEAH. Teamwork baby!

During that time, Bo-ra takes the time to compliment Eunho on her webtoon series. Eunho’s curiosity is piqued and she heads home to take a look at what Bo-ra’s talking about.

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Turns out that Tae-woon had been taking the time to draw all the scenes that Eunho originally drew but threw out that she thought wasn’t good enough. She’s worked so hard in drawing all of this and he believed that it deserves to be seen. So he drew her original drawings out into a webtoon series. He had also been collecting all her original drawings because they didn’t deserve to be thrown out. Tae-woon hands them back to her in a box. Eunho takes a look at all the drawings that night in her bedroom. Meanwhile, Tae-woon takes a look at her webtoon series that night and notices that he got a comment from Eunho. It’s not so much the comment that he gushes over, but it’s the fact that she put a heart emoji along with her comment that he’s excited over.

He confronts this with Eunho the next morning at school to which she grows embarrassed about. She walks out of the classroom and tries to hide from Tae-woon but it’s of no use. Dae-hwi exposes her to Tae-woon and even when she’s drawing on the rooftop of a school building he manages to find her there too.

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Once Tae-woon finds Eunho he confesses to her once again. He misses her all the time, he wants to stay with her all the time, and he thinks about her all the time.

The drama then takes us on a walk down memory lane, showing scenes of our characters comforting each other and cheering the other person up. While this is happening, we get a voice over from Tae-woon:

They say Hellen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” You should just walk confidently towards your dream. What we find at the end of the road will not be a fancy destination, but beautiful footsteps we made along the way.

Teacher Shim hands students their grade reports. Dae-hwi ends up ranking in first (YESSSS!) while Hee-chan ends up in 5th. Hee-chan’s mother isn’t too happy with the results, but Hee-chan can care less what his mom thinks (ooh someone’s starting to become rebellious).

While walking on campus, Eunho encounters Tae-woon. He jokingly asks her if she misses him and at first blatantly rejects it, but then changes her mind. She stops fighting her feelings and gives in, confessing to Tae-woon that yes, in fact she does miss him (OMG SOMEONE HOLD ME. I WAS NOT READY FOR THIS).

Although Eunho tried to hide her feelings at first, it’s become too hard for her to do it anymore. Tae-woon, excited at Eunho’s confession abruptly grabs her hand and holds it. Their fingers interlock and he pulls her in closer to him.

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“Starting from today, we’re dating,” he articulates as they stare each other in the eyes. Smiles appear on the both of their faces as they both rejoice in happiness.

My Thoughts:

MY HEAAAAAAART. MY HEARRTTTTTTTTTTTT.

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This episode was a solid one with better pacing and editing which allowed for greater consistency. We’re back on track with the X investigation case and this episode did a great job in providing progress and content with that. I thought we weren’t gonna get anywhere much with it, but I absolutely loved the two plot twists that the drama showed us in episode 12. Just when you think Tae-woon and Eunho are about to get caught as X and X-accomplice, they manage to outsmart everyone every single time. Granted they have to be smart and quick or else they would have already gotten caught but I like how they’re playing this game so creatively and simply. They’re never really afraid of getting caught because they know that they won’t anytime soon. As long as they stay on top of their game and take some precautions here and there they’ll come out on top and that’s what they’ve been doing — prevailing as winners every time.

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I’m liking that Tae-woon and Eunho are winners every time and that they now have the support of additional members Bo-ra and Dae-hwi. They’re not alone in this and it was so great and refreshing seeing the 4 of them work together to trick everyone and to save themselves. There are a lot more risks now because there’s 4 of them, Principal is set on finding X (but I doubt he’ll get anywhere much), and there are major consequences in store for our quartets, but I like how we’re getting some fun for a little bit. It’s funny watching them ruin everyone’s plan and outsmart everyone every single time because you’re not really sure what they have up their sleeves next but then when you do see what their plans are you just get so excited because it’s nothing like what you expected. You think when you’ve seen it all you actually haven’t and you just go crazy at seeing how smart and creative they are every time. I’m just dreading for the day when they do get caught and are punished for their behavior. I hope it never comes, but I do think the drama is going to go that route so it makes me concerned not knowing what’s gonna happen to our characters. I don’t even want to think about it.

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With the second plot twist, I would have never imagined that Teacher Shim would pretend to act as X in order to save his students. I’m not really sure why I never thought about that though because it makes so much sense. He loves and supports his students and always wants to protect them so of course he’ll do whatever he can in order to ensure their safety. I think that it was just that during that moment of this episode I was so caught up in Tae-woon and Eunho possibly getting caught by Hee-chan, staff, and faculty that I got nervous and didn’t even think about the possibility of Teacher Shim being X. But then things got confusing when Tae-woon and Dae-hwi were both inside the warehouse at the same time because you didn’t know who was running as X. If the drama had made both boys acting as X this entire time but the both of them were in the same room then who was the new person as X? That’s when we find out that Teacher Shim sacrificed himself for his students and while I was definitely shocked upon this reveal (and shocked that Officer Soo-ji finally caught X), I wasn’t surprised given the stance and thoughts that Teacher Shim has regarding his students. These two scenes were brilliantly thought out though (like I was legit on the edge of my seat) and well executed by the characters and production team. Editing was good so that you were interested in what was gonna happen and if Tae-woon and Eunho was going to get caught. And then seeing the quartet inside the storage room and then Teacher Shim revealed as X made things even more worth it. By far my most favorite scene in all of the drama so far. Well played, well played.

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The strongest link of this episode yet would be the pacing. Even though the episode started out showing Eunho and Tae-woon on bad terms, they transitioned into an official couple by the end of this episode and usually these type of transitions aren’t well executed but I actually didn’t have a problem with how much things shifted between our lovebirds in this episode. It all made sense to me and because the drama actually showed us scenes of Tae-woon’s sincerity and kindness towards Eunho (such as helping her with her part-time jobs so she could be one step closer to achieving her dreams or finishing the rest of her drawings for her webtoon series), you understand why Eunho would warm back up to Tae-woon and eventually let him back into her life. His actions for her were so subtle but meaningful and together made a huge impact on Eunho. She was afraid of falling for him and tried to suppress and avoid her feelings for him, but eventually she understood that maybe Tae-woon isn’t playing around with her and actually means everything he says or he does. I’m glad that Tae-woon is helping Eunho support her dreams and being a supportive friend, but I’m also hoping for some character development on his side as well. So far, he’s been really focused on Eunho and his life has been revolving around her, but I want him to take some time for himself as well to figure out what his dreams are and what it is in life that he likes or wants to do. Hopefully Eunho will help support him in this process or be the catalyst to get him thinking. Either way, I want our couple to find their dreams and be able to achieve them respectively while supporting each other along the way.

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I’m glad that Tae-woon and Eunho are together and can maybe start anew given the difficult situation they were in earlier. Here’s to hoping they can forget about their past mistakes while learn from them and move forward while still doing the same exact thing they’ve been doing to each other the past few months: be best friends and serve as each other’s support network.

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