Because It’s the First Time ~ Episode 8 Recap ~ END ~ Dramajjang
“Being 20 wasn’t any different from being 19 years old.
As always, it was hard and there was nothing.
But there was one miracle.
The miracle of us being together.
The miracle of being friends.”
Tae Oh contacted Song Yi and asked her to wait for him at the bus terminal. Ji Ahn helped Se Hyun at the elevator and informed her on how hard Tae Oh had worked about the seminar, but soon enough he found out that Tae Oh was absent without Se Hyun investing in further details.
After taking their tickets Tae Oh and Song Yi went to eat before leaving and she informed him on the welcome amount of money she’d been saving throughout the years. She had already started making plans on receiving tutoring and finding a house for her, Song Ah and her mother, but it’s something she can’t accomplish for now. Her greatest dream is to be able to share happiness and a meal with her family instead of living apart like this very moment. Tae Oh was left speechless since he was taking into consideration the truth Song Yi was yet unaware of.
Ji Ahn called him on the phone and Song yi urged Tae Oh to keep her forthcoming meeting with her mother a secret. Ji Ahn wanted to find a new job to buy a ring for Song Yi and asked Tae Oh to keep cleaning up the stairs on his own. Even though Song Yi wanted him to remain silent, Tae Oh informed Ji Ahn that he would leave with her in order for Song Yi to meet her mother.
Tae Oh informed Song Yi that he revealed everything simply because he’s her boyfriend who would do his best to help her. Ji Ahn had rejected her in the first place because he really liked her and needed some time to live up to his own dynamics towards Song Yi.
Ga In was losing herself in the world of models and Choi Hoon informed her that she’s prettier than them! Ji Ahn arrived and informed them that Song Yi had found out her mother’s location. Ga In could easily understand why Song Yi went there with Tae Oh in Ji Ahn’s place since he had always been there for her after her father passed away. Even though Ji Ahn was definitely bothered about everything going on he was hiding it behind his smile. He informed Ga In and Choi Hoon that it’s going to be the same for them if they start dating and a fight related to her feelings about Tae Oh erupted!
Song Yi noticed her mother but Tae Oh prevented her from proceeding and tried to hide the truth from her eyes. Song Yi saw her mother with another man and her world started collapsing. She also became aware of the fact that Tae Oh knew about everything and followed her in order to be able to help her. She couldn’t hold back her tears and Tae Oh held her in his arms to soothe her tension. It’s a secret he had kept to himself and Song Yi urged him to stop covering her eyes even if things become darker.
Song Yi wanted her mother to know that she found out the whole truth and she threw her cellphone at the house’s door. Her mother realized that it was her, but Song Yi informed Tae Oh that her mother won’t be able to reach her on the phone anymore.
Ji Ahn was drinking beers as he was losing himself in Tae Oh’s last words and tried to call him on the phone but he was unable to reach him. Se Hyun was out of her house and nighttime wasn’t flowing well for either.
Song Yi had fallen asleep but Tae Oh wasn’t sure because of her sleep talking habit! Tae Oh recalled the moment he had informed Song Yi that he would move out of his house since his father was getting remarried and Song Yi started talking him about Anna Karenina who had left her husband because she had an affair. She would never approve of such a woman, but she could understand her choices and acknowledged the fact that she hadn’t changed.
At that point Song Yi had helped Tae Oh understand his father and he urged her to do the same in order for her not to hate her mother. Song Yi started sleep talking and she was happy that Tae Oh was there with her. He was the reason why she was able to sleep at ease. She was thankful for Tae Oh covering her eyes and he told her how much he hated seeing her cry. Song Yi urged him to close her eyes the next time in order for her to pretend that nothing happened.
Ji Ahn messaged Tae Oh that even though Song Yi’s cellphone was turned off he won’t worry since she’s with his friend. Ji Ahn’s wish to buy Song Yi a ring and Se Hyun’s words before Tae Oh left echoed anew in his mind and Tae Oh acknowledged that he was pretending he didn’t know how he was feeling about Song Yi, but at this point he couldn’t deny it. Tae Oh’s tears came to the surface as his emotions couldn’t remain on the inside anymore.
Song Yi appeared at the library the next morning and she was apologetic, but she told Ji Ahn that everything went fine with her mother and that she had lost her phone! The seminar had almost reached the end and everyone was amazed by Tae Oh’s editing skills! Tae Oh announced that the curtains would fall with one of Suzuki Seijun’s films!
Ji Ahn urged Song Yi to go with him the next time wherever she has to go and not with Tae Oh who had already told her the same thing. Song Yi emphasized on the fact that Tae Oh has been her friend for the last 15 years and this doesn’t change even though she’s dating Ji Ahn at this point, but he wanted her to start treating Tae Oh in the exact same way she’s treating Choi Hoon. However, the fact that her friendship with Tae Oh was deeper was disturbing Ji Ahn.
Tae Oh was thankful towards Se Hyun for postponing the seminar until his return. He started enjoying this subject because of Se Hyun in the first place. Since they started it together Se Hyun wanted to end it together and she repeated a line from the movie on the end’s greater importance over the impact of a beginning. She emphasized on the fact that just because one may like someone else it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy to keep liking that person, but if something like that happens it would feel like a miracle.
Se Hyun wanted to walk with Tae Oh and shortly after he saved her from a passing scooter! Their mood was playful with their hands forming animals in their very own shadow play and both of them were soothed as soon as they stopped by a bridge!
Tae Oh returned Se Hyun back home and Tae Oh was about to confess his feelings for Song Yi, but Se Hyun could foresee that he had realized how he finally feels. They broke a record, it was the first time she had to walk for three and a half hours while holding hands before breaking up with someone. Tae Oh had been her first time in many aspects of a relationship from waiting for him outside of his classroom to folding hearts and being curious about his friends to their recent walking experience. Just like Tae Oh wanted to feel like being someone else, Se Hyun treasured this feeling and felt like she was someone else while being with him even though he was someone who didn’t even know his own heart! However, Se Hyun didn’t fulfill the crying part, she will keep it for whenever she meets a guy better than Tae Oh. Behind her door though she couldn’t prevent her tears from coming to the surface.
Tae Oh returned back home and headed for the beers right away instead of the food Song Yi had prepared for dinner and shortly after he informed her that he had broken up with Se Hyun. He didn’t mention the reason why and he wanted to be all alone.
Tae Oh erupted on the rooftop because of the way he treated everyone and he noticed a few beers. It was the moment he found out that Ji Ahn had passed by the previous night.
He got informed by Choi Hoon that Ji Ahn wasn’t devastated then, on the contrary! Once Tae Oh found out that it’s Choi Hoon’s audition day he bought him some clothes in order for him to leave a good impression! Choi Hoon was already believing that he didn’t make it since the others were better than him and he was eager to do just anything! His honesty was rewarded!
Ga In was heading towards the model agency and she was curious to find out if she could move on with her life despite the fact that Choi Hoon was concerned. The concept of the agency is about young pregnant women and she decided to do it right away!
Tae Oh bought a cellphone for Song Yi and recognized that it was easier when he didn’t know that he really liked her. Tae Oh wanted Ga In to cut his hair. Tae Oh was concerned when it comes to liking a person and everything that follows, along with the greed for more, but Ga In was minimal on her approach, if she likes someone she simply likes him and that’s all. However, she didn’t enjoy listening to Tae Oh’s monologue about someone else since she likes him!
Song Yi informed Ji Ahn that Tae Oh wasn’t at his finest after breaking up with Se Hyun and once Se Hyun appeared things got a bit more awkward. Song Yi wanted to talk to her, but Ji Ahn prevented her from proceeding and he put the blame on Tae Oh. Ji Ahn intends to talk about everything with Tae Oh during one of their renowned basketball matches.
Song Yi found the cellphone Tae Oh had bought for her and she started realizing that Tae Oh was feeling differently about her. Once he appeared she tried to ask him directly if he likes her and he couldn’t offer her an answer since she couldn’t present the question. Even if she wanted to know the whole truth Tae Oh couldn’t unveil anything since his heart was breaking apart and he couldn’t bear watching her cry. On top of that, he was taking Ji Ahn’s feelings into consideration and he wanted a direct question in order to give a direct answer.
Tae Oh found Ji Ahn on the rooftop and it was basketball time. Ji Ahn was more aggressive this time. They ended up getting hurt and tension arose.
After fighting Choi Hoon arrived and Ji Ahn left. This time it wasn’t about his father raising the rent, but Tae Oh couldn’t say anything. His fear of losing Song Yi and Ji Ahn was there, but Ga In informed everyone that she got the job in her own “pregnant” way! Choi Hoon thought that Tae Oh had left Ga In pregnant, but logic prevailed!
Song Yi went to meet Ji Ahn who didn’t put the blame on her since none of them was aware of what was going on with Tae Oh’s feelings, not even Tae Oh himself. He asked her if she can break up with him and the answer could only be negative. Ji Ahn reassured her that nothing will happen in the future since Tae Oh didn’t say anything.
Ga In invited everyone to treat them and if even if Tae Oh didn’t want to go he eventually followed! There was a quirky post-fighting awkwardness in the air and Ga In took care of Tae Oh’s wounds. She was well aware that Tae Oh would never intend to win over Ji Ahn, it’s something that would go against his nature.
Their rooftop picnic was at its peak, but nobody wanted to follow Choi Hoon’s toast! He informed everyone on their progress with Choi Hoon working on something similar to what he had in mind, Ga In becoming a part of a new work environment, Tae Oh finding something he likes and Ji Ahn and Song Yi being in love! Even though being 20 years old isn’t perfect, that’s where the magic derives from and Choi Hoon was curious about how everyone would be throughout the passing of years and if they’ll still be friends! Tae Oh and Ji Ahn renewed their friendship vows and all of them toasted to being 20 years old!
Later on that night there was awkwardness in the air between Tae Oh and Song Yi. He closed her eyes and urged her to just listen to him. He told her that he never liked her and that he hated everything about her. Tae Oh put a proper closure to his own feelings and soon enough he bid farewell his friends in his own way in order to join the army. One after the other, his friends took an kept Tae Oh in their hearts in their own way.
Afterwards he intends to do film studies and he informed Ji Ahn that his stepmother can’t do anything to Song Yi who will keep living at his apartment which belonged to Tae Oh’s mother. Tae Oh was glad that Ji Ahn was the one Song Yi liked and this is what he wanted him to tell her. Tae Oh took a picture of all of them together with him and once the bus started leaving Song Yi, Choi Hoon and Ga In joined Ji Ahn and said farewell to him.
Tae Oh will definitely be missed from their daily activities and the empty space he left behind couldn’t go unnoticed. Song Yi wrote a letter she won’t probably send to Tae Oh, but she was thankful for him being her first love! She was grateful for Tae Oh having been a great friend of hers at the dawn of her 20s and this is what she was intending to write. Right before leaving, Tae Oh got off the bus and urged his friends to meet him anew when all of them will be 23 years old!
~ Thoughts ~
All the beautiful journeys drop their curtains at some point and Because It’s the First Time’s swansong/destination was highly representative of everything we witnessed during the previous 7 episodes. I wish there were a few more episodes simply because the drama was way too addictive to let go at this point, but i shouldn’t be ungrateful.
Tae Oh and Song Yi had a one of a kind relationship that kept progressing throughout the years in a twofold way as it was being seen through two different prisms that exchanged points of view in the process. As we witnessed during the end of the 8th episode, Tae Oh was Song Yi’s first love, it’s a secret she will keep to herself since it’s bound to remain a letter without a recipient.
As years were passing by and while she was gradually leaning towards Ji Ahn her friendship with Tae Oh was forging a deeper bond and Song Yi started transforming herself in Tae Oh’s first love. Love has a sense of timing embedded in its abstract algorithm and Song Yi and Tae Oh had found themselves in a crossroad where her feelings started melting away while his own were blossoming in everyone’s unawareness, including himself.
Song Yi’s dream was to be together with her family and that’s why she was working hard to earn money that would fulfill her heartfelt wish. Tae Oh is someone who doesn’t keep secrets, but the ones which were bound to drown in silence because they would hurt his loved ones were remaining hidden deep within. He neither wanted to shatter her dreams in a blink of an eye nor he wanted to see her devastated in front of the truth she was unaware of.
He tried to hide the truth from her eyes but the disclosure was inevitable and Tae Oh couldn’t tell her that almost everyone in the neighborhood knew about it except for her. Throwing her cellphone at the house her mother was living in was a closure Song Yi needed at that point and it was pointing towards the fact that she was intending to cut ties with her. If i have a complaint about Song Yi’s background story is that we didn’t get to see her relationship with Song Ah to a slightly wider extent.
Song Yi’s most sincere moments are while sleep talking and that specific sleep talking session was a moment when Tae Oh could be a bit more honest with her. He has personal experience on how it feels to hate a parent, but Song Yi was by his side in times like these and Tae Oh could hold back his negative feelings towards his father for ostracizing his own son in order to live his life with his second wife. Tae Oh knew how Song Yi was feeling and he recalled the Anna Karenina story in order to prevent her from hating her mother in the long run. Even though she had told him that closing her eyes wasn’t something she wanted it was what she was craving for since she wasn’t prepared to face the truth as she was filled with dreams seconds before losing the world underneath her feet.
Tae Oh was finally embracing his own truth, his feelings were there and they were more alive than ever before. His nighttime realization brought tears to his eyes as he was well aware how much harm his own feelings could cause at the present. His tears were the extension of his unrequited emotions, but he wasn’t the only one passing the night in despair. Se Hyun was realizing the forthcoming end’s arrival while Ji Ahn was trying to hide his own discomfort behind his bright smile in front of Ga In and Choi Hoon, but his beers in solitude were reflecting how he was feeling.
After Song Yi came back, Ji Ahn was still under the influence of excessive jealousy, but he had also become aware that Tae Oh’s feelings were far from friendly towards Song Yi. Tae Oh had already told Song Yi to stop asking for his help every and he had urged her to start discussing everything that was bothering her with Ji Ahn whose feelings were pure about her. This is what Ji Ahn wanted as well, but jealousy wouldn’t let him acknowledge that Song Yi and Tae Oh’s friendship was deeper than her friendship with Choi Hoon for example. It was a stupid demand on his behalf, but it was understandable and his tension wouldn’t surrender before the completion of one of their renowned basketball matches where they would resolve everything.
Se Hyun maintained her maturity of character up to the very end of the drama, she didn’t only postpone the seminar in order for Tae Oh to be able to attend, she also wanted to unveil her very own truth up to the extent that was emotionally bearable in front of Tae Oh. The miracle had already started fading away. I loved the shadow play parallelism to their relationship which was an emotional hide and seek on Tae Oh’s behalf whereas Se Hyun was unveiling her heart throughout the episodes. Tae Oh didn’t have to say anything in front of her since Se Hyun was already aware of everything.
Tae Oh gave life to many seemingly simplistic yet powerful first times to Se Hyun and the fact that they walked hand in hand for many hours felt like she was trying to bring herself to the point when she would finally be able to bid Tae Oh farewell. Tae Oh’s words during that phone call when he was by the beach became Se Hyun’s own emotional world in their short-lived relationship and if Tae Oh didn’t feel like becoming someone else by her side, Se Hyun did. Her tears in silence, another first time for her when it comes to someone she liked, were highly representative of how difficult it was for her. I loved her character all along the way and it was sad seeing her heartbroken as the drama was gradually reaching the end. Tae Oh’s silence in front of Se Hyun’s monologue could only lead to an emotional eruption at the rooftop.
Tae Oh had already proven how caring he is towards his friends from always being there for Song Yi in multifaceted ways to always being concerned about Ji Ahn’s struggles and feelings and from pacing with Ga In’s flow before she accepted the truth that her father passed away to buying clothes for Choi Hoon in order to leave a good impression at his audition. His first emotional confrontation both with himself and Song Yi was unavoidable, especially after Song Yi started realizing what was going on. The emotional shock was immense and even at the thought of Tae Oh having feelings for her she couldn’t ask him directly and Tae Oh couldn’t offer a proper answer to an incomplete question either, especially since Ji Ahn was right in the middle.
Tae Oh and Ji Ahn could only resolve everything through basketball and Ji Ahn’s offensive approach was already a given since we had already witnessed it in the past. But like we had already witnessed Ji Ahn’s temper, Tae Oh wouldn’t try to emerge victorious neither in the basketball match nor while he was fighting with Ji Ahn. It’s a part of his considerate nature towards his friends and Ji Ahn more specifically in that occasion.
After Ji Ahn’s tension had subsided and Song Yi reassured him that breaking up would never be an option the rooftop company met anew. Everything they achieved throughout the drama’s journey was just a brave step ahead on the pathway of adulthood and all of them had realized that the magic of being 20 years old lies in the imperfection that surrounds that age.
While everyone else had their own problems Tae Oh had yet to find himself. During the 8th episode Tae Oh greeted himself, the one bidding farewell the past he couldn’t keep nurturing at the present in order for him to embrace the future. Tae Oh welcomed maturity with open arms by bringing emotional closure to his feelings for Song Yi. Tae Oh uttered lies, they were lies both of them needed at that point and he closed her eyes in order for Song Yi to pretend that it never happened.
Tae Oh had to leave behind his feelings in order to be able to remain Song Yi’s friend and Song Yi needed to know that he didn’t have deeper feelings for her in order to be able to keep him by her side as the precious friend he already was. Entering the army was a brave choice for Tae Oh, but he would have all the time he needed to chase away the shadows of his feelings and focus on his film studies afterwards since he had found something he liked. He also kept Song Yi safe from his stepmother’s ill-natured thoughts since the house he was living in belonged to his mother. The fact that Ji Ahn was the first one to see him off at the bus terminal was of utter importance, their friendship had left behind its problematic aspects and Tae Oh sealed their renewal by being glad that Ji Ahn was the one Song Yi likes. It would had been awesome if Se Hyun was there along with the rooftop company, but her absence was easy to understand since she needed to move on as well.
I loved the way everyone said farewell to Tae Oh the night he took an imaginary picture of his friends’ places. Quoting another drama without mentioning its title:
“The back view is nice,
Because you’re seeing the person off.
It gives you a warm and assuring feeling.”
At the end of the day, Because It’s the First Time was a captivating and heartfelt drama due to its cinematography’s certain warmth being accompanied by the natural acting and the pragmatic storyline. The narrative tone of the drama through which the characters could reveal their actual thoughts and feelings left its own impact as well in this journey of friendship and love. I would easily welcome a sequel after Tae Oh finishes his military service and see how the rooftop company will keep evolving when they’ll be 23 years old! Because It’s the First Time was a hidden yet sparkling gem of emotional beauty and realism through our characters’ daily lives and interactions at the dawn of their 20s.
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