The Y2K bug is real!
We're going to say what everyone else is thinking right now: episode 14 of Netflix’s Twenty Five Twenty One assaulted our emotions and expectations — and we don’t even know where to file a police report. If only the end of episode 13 was the show's actual ending, none of us would be crying right now.
Episode 13 gave us everything we've been hoping for ever since the show started — BaekDo finally becoming an official couple as the heavens dropped snowflakes over them with their perfect timing. You screamed, we screamed, and our neighbors yelled at us for being too loud at 11 pm KST. But none of that mattered, because #BaekDo finally happened — and that was all that mattered. Baek Yi Jin (Nam Joo Huk) finally chose Na Hee Do (Kim Tae Ri) regardless of all his (unnecessary) hesitations.
But then again, seriously, what was he so hesitant about anyway? In the first place, he was the one who said "I love you, Na Hee Do" back in episode 9. Baek Yi Jin told Na Hee Do first that he loves her — and it was even on a dreamy bridge against a backdrop of a breathtaking rainbow for crying out loud! Why was he suddenly avoiding her just because she *attacked* him with an NYE's kiss?
We all know it had a lot to do with his job as a fencing reporter and needing to "keep a distance" from the athletes. It's Baek Yi Jin's darn job as a reporter that literally ruins everything in episode 14.
Google is a Friend
If you haven't watched ep. 14 yet, this is a spoiler alert: All your expectations (and your fragile heart) are about to be crushed.
Episode 14 kicks off with Kim Min Chae, Na Hee Do’s daughter, desperately looking for the next volume of her mother’s diary to find out what happened after the BaekDo kiss in the snow. (Same, girl. Same.) She searches the entire house for the continuation of the diary, but doesn't find anything. Instead, she turns to everyone's best friend, Google, to look for any news articles involving Na Hee Do and Baek Yi Jin. She finds an old UBS News video on the internet containing an interview with Na Hee Do, which is held by Baek Yi Jin after she wins an international gold medal in 2009.
After watching the video, it's easy to tell that, in 2009, Baek Yi Jin and Na Hee Do did not see each other for a long time (or are they simply pretending to avoid gossip in the fencing industry? #Sus) Soon after, we're taken to another timeline that reveals Na Hee Do represents Korea at the 2001 Olympics in Madrid in a fencing match versus *gasp* Ko Yu Rim! But that's not even why we fell off our chairs, people.
Why We Fell Off Our Chairs
We fell off our chairs because Ko Yu Rim is representing *gasp* Russia. In a nutshell, it's revealed in episode 14 that South Korea’s gold medalist has changed her nationality to Russian because of their fantastic contract offer to the talented fencer.
We know what you're thinking: how fantastic could it possibly be for someone to leave everything they have behind (her loving family, her supportive squad, pretty boyfriend Moon Ji Wong, and her prestigious career as a Korean national fencer) to live alone in a completely unfamiliar country?
Here's how that happens: unfortunately, Ko Yu Rim's hardworking dad gets involved in a tragic car accident. Thankfully, he only suffers a broken arm. However, the other party in the accident ends up in a critical condition. The Ko family is forced to look for settlement money and to cover the bills for the patient's medical expenses. Because of this, Ko Yu Rim, being the mature, considerate, and overly-practical daughter that she is, decides to officially represent Russia as a fencer to earn more money.
The Betrayal of Y2K
At Yu Rim's send-off party at Seung Wan's house, the squad (minus Baek Yi Jin) gifts her with a Korean-to-Russian dictionary and a laminated poster containing heartwarming phrases and translations of how she should introduce herself. At this point, we cried about 2,521 liters of tears (see what we did there?) If you thought you could put your tissues down after this tearful goodbye, you are so wrong. To end the party with a bang, the squad turns on the TV and sees Baek Yi Jin reporting on a UBS exclusive about Ko Yu Rim.
If you're hoping that his news exclusive is heartfelt like the reporter's previous stories, that's where you're so wrong, again. Instead, Yu Rim is depicted as a traitor who traded her country for money and is nothing but a disappointment to Korea. Because of this Yu Rim ends up being harassed by tons of reporters at school. She's even denied a bowl of jajangmyeon by the owner of a restaurant she used to frequent because he "refuses to serve traitors." (Geez, ahjussi, that was very melodramatic of you.)
Considering that Baek Yi Jin has always been the oppa that Yu Rim relied on since they were kids and that she's the dongsaeng he's always been so protective of, how on earth could he report on such horrible news about her? When Hee Do confronted Baek Yi Jin about his news report, he didn't seem apologetic about it at all and even had the guts to say “Should I have turned a blind eye to it since we are close?”, "Do you think you can keep seeing me?" and “Who knows, I might even exploit your misfortune.”
At this very moment, viewers felt one thing and one thing only. Let's all say it together, Twenty One Twenty Five-ers, "Baek Yi Jin is canceled."
Maybe the World Did End…for Baek Yi Jin
Towards the end of episode 14, we see Baek Yi Jin break down in tears in the middle of a tunnel of their neighborhood after he sees "Ko Yu Rim is a traitor" vandalized on the wall. (We wonder whose fault that is, Yi Jin oppa) Suddenly, Na Hee Do appears in front of him carrying a ladder and some paint, which she'll clearly use to cover up the vandalism. If there's someone who deserves the gold medal for "Bestest Best Friend in the World," it's definitely Na Hee Do (Maybe you should ask her to give you some tips on how to actually be a friend, Baek Yi Jin.)
Na Hee Do Is Married To?
Then, viewers are transported back to the old 2009 UBS interview that Kim Min Chae is watching on her laptop. Baek Yi Jin and Na Hee Do manage to warm our hearts once again. On air, he tells her, "We are very grateful for your achievement. Ever since the beginning, I give you my unwavering support to root for you, Ms. Na Hee Do."
In reply, Na Hee Do says, "Same here. Wherever I am, I will give you my unwavering support, Mr. Baek." Then, her inner thoughts are taken back to an iconic line she said early on in the show: "Wherever you are, I'll make sure my support reaches you. I'll take care of everything. See you then."
At this very moment, we all felt a cascade of nostalgia that brought us back to their younger days of #BaekDo calling each other from the phone booth. Our BaekDo hearts were suddenly filled with hope, happiness, and excitement!
Then, an almost-teary-eyed and regretful-looking Baek Yi Jin replies and says, "Thank you. And I know it's a little late, but congratulations on your wedding," to which an equally teary-eyed Na Hee Do simply says "Thank you."
*HOLD OUR BANANA MILK!*
What do you mean, “congratulations on your wedding?”
You mean you weren't there, Baek Yi Jin? Standing at the altar? Next to Na Hee Do? You weren't the groom?
For months, we stayed up until 3 am every Saturday and Sunday, formulating theories like a mad scientist. Filled with anxiety and denial, we convinced ourselves that Baek Yi Jin and Na Hee Do must end up together — despite it being clear that the daughter, Kim Min Chae, does not even know who Baek Yi Jin is (Yes, were that desperate/invested/emotionally tortured.)
And just when we were filled with hope after #BaekDo becoming official at the end of ep. 13, it is revealed that Na Hee Do married someone who isn't Baek Yi Jin?
Girl, not on our watch. We know we canceled him earlier in this review, but that was just us playing hard to get because we thought BaekDo still had a chance.
Now, viewers have to wait till April 2 & 3, 2022 at 11 pm KST, before we can discover what kind of madness and lack of consideration for the BaekDo shippers led to this unfortunate, unnecessary wedding the two speak of in 2009. (Sorry, groom.)
Was Na Hee Do forced to marry someone else by her controlling mother? Will she divorce that dude later on and end up with Baek Yi Jin anyway? Did Baek Yi Jin and Na Hee Do actually marry each other in 2009 and are now just pretending that she's married to someone else to protect their reputations?
What are your theories?
Overall, like we said earlier, episode 14 assaulted our emotions and expectations. How will this show really end? Until next week arrives, we'll be right here coming up with more mad scientist theories. Netflix’s Twenty Five Twenty One has until April 3, 2022, to redeem itself and give fans the real ending we want — a happy #Baekdo ending.
In the meantime, let’s just form an orderly circle and manifest that the K-drama deities grant our wish.