At this point in the series I am now Byeong Gun’s biggest fan. I used to be Jae Hun’s, but now it’s Byeong Gun because he never fails to make laugh. I have this internal tally in my head, and Byeong Gun has made me laugh 3x more than Jae Hun. I need MOAR of his voice. MOARRRR.
We finally move on from the Tae Hee-Jae Hun storyline, as it is mostly resolved… for now. We are now getting snippets of the others – a revelation on Sun-Man; Byeong Gun’s family; and solidifying the rivalries as every character now has a relationship towards each other. This episode left me wanting a Do Sung-Soo Bin showdown.
A little flashback shows us that Chae Young told Jae Hun about a hidden area behind a hotel that’s exclusively for one of Min Woo’s friends, who happens to be the son of the owner. When he does reach the hotel, his grungy outfit immediately alerts one of the hoteliers, and he stops Jae Hun from going further. However, Jae Hun insists that he’s been friends with the owner’s son for years, and his haughty manner – and noting of the hotelier’s name – lets him pass.
Tae Hee sits awkwardly at the poker table, and so Min Woo has her blow on his cards for luck. He then goes all in for his bet, relying completely on her blow. That’s when Jae Hun storms into the room, and drags her out of the room. He’s really pissed off with her (probably for being a dolt and following Min Woo), and doesn’t want her to have anything to do with the agency.
But surprisingly, Tae Hee doesn’t want to leave. She can’t leave. It’s not that she wants to be around the chaebol boys or is willing to give herself up. It’s that she wants to be a musical actress.
Before I can smack her on the head for naivete, she says it’s the only thing she’s ever wanted to do in her entire life, because it’s the only thing she’s good at. She is doing all she can right now because she knows Min Woo can help her achieve that dream. She will do as much as she can without compromising herself – and yes, she does realize the sticky situation she is in. She’s not going to quit because things seem difficult, or it looks like they may use her for something sleazy.
She is willing to sacrifice everything to achieve her dream. Kind of like how anyone would put aside their personal life for their professional ambition, or how Kang Hee in The Musical gives up love for the dream of being a bona fide star. Can you really fault Tae Hee for having a dream?
Jae Hun tells her to do whatever she wants and leaves, but stops when she barely grabs hold of his jacket. Tae Hee makes a daring request: can Jae Hun wait for her? She will be going back to that room, but she won’t stay long. (The gall of her!) He tells her to ride the expensive car instead of the cold, uncomfortable back of a motorcycle. Tae Hee: “But you still came to pick me up on something so uncomfortable and cold. Twice.”
Like I said before, Jae Hun is a sucker for her. He can’t deny his feelings for her, and he can’t deny that he wants to make sure she’s alright. When he turns to see her rubbing tears away, he licks his finger and tries to clear off a smudge from her eyeliner. She smiles, telling him to not worry about it; Doo Ri has to usually help her take off her makeup anyways, like a reliable older sis.
He tells her to go. He’ll wait.
(On a completely shallow note – omigod can I please have a guy like Jae Hun!?)
So Tae Hee returns to the room, where the men all wait for her to speak. Min Woo is surprisingly patient for a supposed sleaze-bag who just picks any random pretty girl to promote. Knowing that the men in the room are rich enough to sponsor the musical she will star in, and told that she can sing to them, Tae Hee decides to perform for all of them.
Initially befuddled and indifferent, they all become entranced by her voice. But what’s better is that it ends up being a duet with Byeong Gun, who is singing the same song to an audience of one – the red tracksuit ghost. (I love how haunting the song is – download the episode audio rip.)
Byeong Gun is startled that he actually managed to sing to a person, but then slowly registers that it’s the red tracksuit ghost! He faints. Ghost freaks out, tries to help, realizes he probably can’t touch humans, and runs away. (HEE!) Meanwhile Tae Hee runs back to Jae Hun at the lobby after her performance, and the two of them ride back to school. (They’re friends again!) And at the same night in the privacy of his bathroom, Sun-Man washes off his nosebleed. (EEK!!! Why a nosebleed?! Is he sick!?)
Time passes, and Jae Hun bumps into Sun-Man in the dormitory laundry rooms. Sun-Man doesn’t have his own washer-dryer; Jae Hun’s punishment for taking out the motorcycle is twice a week for two months, he has to wash the upperclassmen’s laundry. Sun-Man laughs – this is like the “running up and down the stairs” punishment round two huh? Jae Hun gets along so! well! with them!
They take a break together in a common room while waiting for the laundry, and Jae Hun is impressed to see Sun-Man drinking water instead of it’s clear liquid cousin, soju. Sun-Man: “I quit alcohol.” Jae Hun: “Did Doo Ri tell you to stop drinking?” Sun-Man: *WHACK* on the head with the water bottle.
Sun-Man wants gossip – what happened with Tae Hee’s contract and their broken friendship? Jae Hun is impressed with his knowledge – did Doo Ri tell him all that too? HEE. Sun-Man wants Tae Hee to bring the contract over to him, so he can take a look at it. (Being a good uncle now, eh?) Jae Hun and Sun-Man both agree that Tae Hee is a bit ditzy, and totally tiny, but Jae Hun can’t get over the fact that she knows what she wants to do with her life. And he… well, he doesn’t. He thought coming to college would solve everything for him. He wants to know how he can see what his life will be like in the future, which Sun-Man laughs at. Jae Hun wants to try to control a future that is unpredictable? Ha! Good luck with that.
Jae Hun wonders what Sun-Man is trying to change in his future by drinking water and being healthy. “I want to live long,” he replies. (DOUBLE EEK! Why are you saying this?!)
In class, Myung Hwan has everyone singing “Seasons of Love,” with Tae Hee and Do Sung taking solo parts, and everyone else harmonizing. Except… they’re not really harmonizing. Myung Hwan singles out some of the students who aren’t really singing and just coasting on others’ voices and scolds them. He gets to Byeong Gun, who’s as pale as a ghost and totally not singing. This time it’s not because of stage fright, but because he feels cursed for life!
Prof. Yang’s two assistants are putting up two different posters on the school walls, and they listen to Byeong Gun bemoan about meeting a ghost. They know about the ghost too, and thought that the ghost had gone away because they haven’t seen him in a while. Byeong Gun is super scared – is he now cursed? should he be exorcised? will he be possessed? Actually, Byeong Gun wouldn’t mind a demon-possession if it means he can get over his fear of stage fright. HAHA!
The assistants just stare at him. Didn’t Byeong Gun faint when he saw the ghost? Byeong Gun corrects them – he didn’t faint, the ghost made him faint. They tell him that he lost out on a great opportunity. The ghost is known as “Jackpot Midas” because whomever he appears to ends up succeeding in the musical world. Not many know this secret, and not many know how “Jackpot Midas” blesses them with luck.
Byeong Gun wells up in tears: “I wish you told me this earlier!” The assistants snicker; it’s fun teasing Byeong Gun.
Now on to the posters – one is for Team Yang, where Jeong Dae and Chae Young are with Prof. Yang, and one is for Team Sunwoo, where the other assistant helps Sun-Man out. Prof. Yang finds auditions a mere formality, as she’s already decided who will play what role in her musical. Freshmen need not apply, but Chae Young is a freshman. Chae Young points out that if they want to make sure Sun-Man’s team never gets through, they’ll need to gather up all the possible talent that could go to Sun-Man’s audition – including the freshmen. If Sun-Man has no team, then he can’t enter. And then the judges can’t favor him over Prof. Yang in the preliminaries.
The other assistant explains to Sun-Man how the NYMF festival works. Once passing the preliminaries, the judges will go around the schools and theater troupes, and pick 8 teams total. Sun-Man is impressed that Prof. Yang managed to get through the preliminaries and become runner up, but she clarifies that Prof. Yang was runner-up to the preliminaries. Snerk*
Suddenly Doo Ri appears, giving the assistant a dark look. She doesn’t want Sun-Man talking to any other woman! Pos-ses-sive! Doo Ri also wants to audition for Sun-Man’s musical, and he redirects her to sign up with the assistant.
I guess it’s exam time or homework time – either way Do Sung is very annoyed that Jae Hun keeps looking over his shoulder because he thinks Jae Hun is trying to copy his homework. He will not allow Jae Hun copy word for word – again. HAHA – I love that it hasalready happened. Anyways – homework is the last thing on Jae Hun’s mind. He kinda sorta just wanted to get Do Sung’s blessing to go on a date with Tae Hee.
Ya’see, Jae Hun had gotten a part time job over the summer just so he could buy tickets to the hottest musical in town. Do Sung is miffed because 1) Jae Hun isn’t going to take him and 2) Jae Hun wants to take Tae Hee. Do Sung’s widest smile turns upside down, and so Jae Hun quickly adds that he’ll just buy another ticket for Do Sung.
Do Sung gets the hint, and tells him to go. Jae Hun tries to act all “I can’t possibly go with just her!” but Do Sung just turns to his computer and raises the volume all the way in his headphones. Aw, poor Do Sung… it’s no wonder he’s in a crappy mood when he picks up his ringing phone.
He meets Chae Young and Soo Bin in an open area, and like a good student Do Sung does his obligatory greetings – which actually annoys Soo Bin. Chae Young just wanted Do Sung to audition for Prof. Yang’s musical for NYMF because he’s suuuuuch a wonderful singer. Do Sung thanks her, and rejects her, even when she dangles the idea of fame before him. Soo Bin smiles; “I told you Chae Young, not everyone is like you.”
Chae Young tries one more tactic: Do Sung’s voice sounds like her favorite singer (lemme guess, Hades?), and so she doesn’t want to give up on him. She can introduce him to people at her agency, and he’ll get to sing all of Soo Bin’s songs! Soo Bin tries to stop her from saying more, as he thinks she’s revealing a tad too much. Do Sung still says no – he doesn’t like Soo Bin’s songs anyways because they’re too safe!
Chae Young is annoyed, and all the more determined to get him since she can’t get him. Soo Bin is surprised – someone called his music “too safe”!! SHOWDOWN PLEASE!
Meanwhile Tae Hee is at a school cafe, meeting with Director Oh. He gives her a new guidebook that lists her daily caloric intake, and a new phone that she is to use. He will also take her for a checkup with a trainer to see if she needs to lose more weight, and then to a plastic surgeon to see if there’s any “fixes” needed. Tae Hee tries to decline, stating that she has no money. However Director Oh reminds her that the agency always spends a lot of money, investing in their new artists.
He then notices Jae Hun coming in, who signals to her that he’ll wait on the side. Realizing this might become troublesome, Director Oh confiscates Tae Hee’s phone. She’s reluctant to hand it over – it has her mobile diary!! – but Director Oh reminds her again that in the contract she signed, the agency is responsible for controlling their artists’ private lives as well in order to “protect them.” She really should have read that contract a little more carefully – or brought it to Sun-Man to go over.
With no choice, she hands it over. Director Oh also tells her that she can’t give her phone number out to anyone – especially male friends.
This puts Tae Hee in a sour mood, but she puts on a fake smile for Jae Hun since she can’t exactly tell him what just happened at that meeting. Jae Hun awkwardly fixes her vest, and then asks, “Do you have time after 5pm this Friday?” (Hehe – I love that he tries to replicate what he sees drama heroes do when they try to show caring for their heroines.) He takes out tickets to the musical “Hero.” Tae Hee cries out and grabs for it, but Jae Hun just holds it high above his head.
Ugh – the disadvantage of being short.
Of course she accepts, and then notes that this must be a date. “He told me not to give out my number, but never said I can’t date. HMPH!” she says, with her nose in the air. She also has one request; she promised that she’d take the guy to meet her father before her first date. (And yes, this would be her first date ever.) She imitates her father saying that he will be watching Jae Hun and that Tae Hee must be home by 10pm.
But what to do? The musical ends at 10. Jae Hun notes that he should cut his hair then, to look good. Tae Hee: “Blegh.” I guess she likes Jae Hun just the way he is, and doesn’t want him to cut his hair. Jae Hun suggests wearing a suit; Tae Hee cries, “BLEARGH!” Aww, what a cute couple they’d make, continually grossing each other out.
A man comes up to Detective Cho in the police station. He was the truck driver during the accident of Tae Hee’s father, Mr. Park, where the case was settled with the driver being blamed for dozing off at the wheel. The driver insists that he wasn’t asleep, and he begs Detective Cho to reopen the case because he’s finally found a witness who saw everything that happened. Uh-oh.
Back to the school – a lot of people are lining up to audition for Prof. Yang, including the freshmen. Prof. Yang looks bored by this whole process – talk about favoritism and prejudice. On the other hand, no one is appearing at Sun-Man’s auditions, and Sun-Man is falling asleep.
The assistant goes outside and sees Doo Ri standing outside. Making small talk, she wonders if Jeong Dae can handle all the students coming in for the auditions at Prof. Yang’s side. Doo Ri jumps at this opportunity – she’ll take over helping Sun-Man! He’s her man after all.
She finds him asleep on the seats, and wraps a sweater around him. He’s not really asleep though, and asks what she’s doing here. She’s here to audition, and to help. So Sun-Man sends her on to the stage, but Doo Ri would rather sit beside him a little longer. He tries to be as frank as possible: he still loves Eun Hye, and tried to kill himself to join her in the afterlife. The only reason he came back to this school was because of Tae Hee, because she’s Eun Hye’s niece. He is only going to look after Tae Hee as a way to do right by Eun Hye. There is no room in his heart or life for Doo Ri.
That’s not enough to drive Doo Ri away though, and she tells him to find a stronger reason to convince her to move on.
Suddenly, a student enters for an audition – it’s Jae Hun! And this time – he has a CD for his song! He notes the tension between Doo Ri and Sun-Man, and wonders if he’s interrupting anything. Sun-Man throws the water bottle at him, and the water splashes Jae Hun in the face.
A spiffed up young man arrives at the dorms, and asks Do Sung for where he may find a student in the computer science department. Do Sung asks which particular student, and he replies “Kim Byeong Gun.” Do Sung is confused – he knows a guy with the exact same name, but different major. DUN DUN DUN! But before he can reveal more, Do Sung is called outside by his uncle. His mother is making a surprise trip to his home, and he needs to get there ASAP!
As the class sings “Seasons of Love” (this time loads better), we get snippets of others’ lives: Byeong Gun hides from his older brother waiting in the lobby and refuses to answer his phone; Tae Hee trains with a musical director at the agency, but she’s not singing quite as well as she does in class; we see Sung Jae taking over a solo part of “Seasons of Love”; and Detective Cho reads through the case file for Mr. Park’s death, noticing that a scooter found at the scene of the crime matches the one he saw Jae Hun stole while running away. AIIEEE! (download episode audio rip)
It’s finally the day Tae Hee is going to introduce Jae Hun to her father, who’s looking all nervous but handsome in a suit. The photo of her and her father is in her bag, and Tae Hee shyly says, “This is my friend, Jang Jae Hun.”
And she slowly pulls the photo frame out, while Jae Hun looks at it expectantly…
YIPES! The truth is coming out! It’s about time for it to come out, but it’s making me all squirmy inside with anticipation and worry. I’m glad Detective Cho is making his reappearance sooner than later; if he showed up nearer the end of the series I would have been more annoyed because it would have felt like a last-minute obstacle. The truck driver finally showing up with a witness already felt a little contrived and sudden.
Detective Cho is also one of those very minor characters that I enjoy because he belongs in that group of “Very Threatening Foes” – along with the reporter, Do Sung’s mother, Professor Yang, and Chae Young, they provide viable threats to the success of our heroes. It’s not just petty jealousy or rivalry that’s creating obstacles for our heroes, but it’s our antagonists’ own ambitions that happen to go against our protagonists.
This episode had a lot of small moments that I can’t bear to disregard in a recap, and I tried to include as much as possible. When a drama is full of these comedic, touching moments, it wins my heart because they help propel the drama forward, and never make the hour boring. However, it’s got its foreboding moments too. Sun-Man with a nosebleed, saying he wants to live long, and drinking only water? Something must have happened over the summer, and it’s more likely that he’s the one the students are mourning in the beginning of the series. I fear he’s the one who dies, but if he is, then I’m glad it’s set up in this way. Right now they’re just vague hints, but if it keeps building up, then I won’t feel like I got cheated by a “sudden twist.”
Anyways, I will now stop talking about what will happen at the end – or avoid it as much as possible. I have never wanted a drama to end just yet so much!! Let’s all swear NOT to do a countdown of how many remaining episodes, yeah? *WAIL!*
BONUS - Jang Jae Hun in Ep 12
BONUS - Jang Jae Hun in Ep 12