Oh, what a rollercoaster of contradictory emotions, how intensely cute parts of this episode were, and how heartbreakingly frustrating others. But most importantly, it was gooooood! Weather forecast? Stormy. Necessary supplies? Pillow, for punching, tissue for mild tearing up, ice cream for comfort. I’m sure that as tormented as this episode was, the ones to follow will be even more so. But for now, it’s a mixed bag of happiness and angst, tenderness and anger, honesty and dishonesty. And at the center of it all, Kyu Won, as if in the eye of the storm, partially protected but more vulnerable than anyone, the unsuspecting cause and the innocent victim of the scandal.
Shin and Kyu Won show us what a great couple they are (as if we didn’t know already), the evil conspirators’ plan starts to unfold creating trouble for Suk Hyun and Kyu Won, Shin gets jealous, Hee Joo loses the few sympathy points she gained in episode 10 by using the one person that has showed her nothing but kindness and support, the Scene Stealers get to prove that we hate them for a reason, and eventually Shin and Suk Hyun get to be heroes, both of them trying their hardest to protect Kyu Won from what team Hee Joo is throwing her way. Oh also, Shin’s sister is growing on me. I mean, I call her a brat but she’s hilarious. As far as I’ve seen, if Shin never wants to become a starving musician, all he has to do is hire his sister as manager. With that girl’s knack for making money and his ability to secure fans, they’d be an invincible duo. Funny moments aside though, for most of the episode, it’s shit vs. fan and all the good guys are victims.
The episode opens on the kiss we were left with last time. We get to see the reaction of the audience, complete with disbelief, anger and cursing from the fans of Shin and joy from Kyu Won’s friends. Then Shin starts playing another song. You know how I complained about last episode’s choice of pre-kiss music? I withdraw my objection, your honor. The post-kiss song? “You’ve Fallen for Me” Perfection!
After the show, Shin walks Kyu Won home. In front of her gate, they do the little “you go in first” “no, you go” “No, YOU go” lovey dovey dance, but eventually Kyu Won decides to enter. Shin stops her and plants a kiss on her forehead. She’s a little embarrassed so she rushes inside. When Shin gets home, his mother gives him two tickets for a giant interactive painting exhibit, which he gladly accepts seeing as it means spending time with Kyu Won. He calls her to invite her, all excited, and it’s hilarious to see her trying to play it cool while having a hard time containing her own excitement. The end of the phone call sends her into that oh, so familiar I’ve got NOTHING TO WEAR! Panic. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. The only solution, after the contents of your closet are lying pitifully on the floor is a shopping spree. Or, in cases of extreme brokenness, a raid through a friend’s closet. For Kyu Won, shopping it is. Happy with her purchase, she goes to meet Shin, unaware that she forgot to remove the label off her top. Eagle-eye Shin notices and doesn’t fail to point it out in his usual embarrassment-maximizing way. It’s okay, Shin dear, she will get you for this. And get him she does, by way of a hilariously compromising picture involving a cherub pointing at his rear end. It’s funnier than I’m describing it, I swear! Warm, playful cuteness and sparkling chemistry abound and I wish we had something like that exhibit they visited near where I live. Or something like Shin. Or, you know, both. Together. With me. *ahem* I did not just say that.
Later in school, a rumor starts to circulate about how the director, in his attempt to favor Kyu Won had intentionally left Hee Joo out of the loop about the show preview so that Kyu Won could perform in front of the sponsors. At practice, everyone, lead by the Scene Stealers show hostility towards Kyu Won, except Ki Young and the other members of Suk Hyun’s team who are fully aware of what’s going on. Shin is bothered by the negativity surrounding Kyu Won, and worried about her, he tries to talk to Kyu Won about the situation. But what started as worry soon turns into jealousy, which causes Kyu Won to get angry and walk away.
Frustrato-guy goes to meet Suk Hyun and gets a chance to further his plan when Suk Hyun leaves his phone unattended. Really, director, do you never watch TV? Dramas? Movies? Anything? But my revolt at Suk Hyun’s drama villain un-savvyness aside, Frustrato-guy sends Kyu Won a text asking her to meet him at a hotel bar. Oh man, this is going to be bad. He leaves Suk Hyun and calls his partner in crime, the Villainous Ahjumma, who in turn calls Suk Hyun to set up a meeting and discuss her daughter’s wronging, where else but at the hotel bar Kyu Won is headed to.
Heartbreakingly enough, all this time, Kyu Won is having lunch with her father, telling him how much she is enjoying taking part in the musical and how exhilarating it was for her to perform. She gets the message and heads out, but meets Shin on the way out. They semi-make up and he asks her where she is going. She answers that she is going to meet a friend, but doesn’t say who so as to not re-trigger his earlier jealousy. Gah, this makes my blood freeze. It’s like watching a horrible accident in slow motion, unable to stop it.
We watch Kyu Won walk into the hotel lobby and I get a strange feeling I am watching two shows pasted together. She doesn’t belong here. She belongs in the clean, airy environment of the school, in the peacefully classic neighborhood she lives in, at Catharsis, surrounded by good friends and positive energy. This feels foreign, unnatural, dirty. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly respectable hotel, nothing sordid or cheap in any way, but I know the implications of her going there, I know what it will be twisted into, and I know what this will mean for all involved. Suk Hyun is confused to see Kyu Won there, but she cheerfully comes over and greets him, telling him she’s here to meet him, as per his text. He doesn’t know what to make of it but when she shows him the text in question, he realizes something is wrong and tells her they have to quickly get out of there. They leave, but not quickly enough, because someone has already photographed them together.
Shin calls her while she’s in the director’s car. She doesn’t know what to say so she tells him she’s with her friend and that they will talk later. Shin is restlessly awaiting her return so he goes outside, just as she arrives with the director. Oh. My. God. No. I think to myself it’s too early for this to happen. You can’t create this beautiful couple and then pick them aside so cruelly the next moment. Kyu Won goes inside and texts Shin that she’s returned. He replies curtly, she answers back and that’s the end of their discussion for the night. Kyu Won is confused and the next frame shows Shin still standing outside her door. HEART BREAAAAAAK!
But they don’t get to dwell on this issue for very long because the next day the whole school is talking about Kyu Won’s alleged affair with the director, with pictures of the two of them leaving the hotel populating every phone and computer on campus. When Shin finds out about this, he forgets all about the petty jealousy of yesterday and his primary concern is Kyu Won’s wellbeing. I love that he’s like this. Because this is what separates the hero from the rest of the crowd, and being able to put his own issues aside and run to the rescue of the person he cares about – so heroic. I’d swoon more if it weren’t for the pesky waterworks I’m trying to fight back.
Shin runs to meet the director and gets permission to use his car in order to find Kyu Won. The exchange they have showcases how these two have evolved throughout the series. The director asking Shin to take care of Kyu Won echoes Shin’s gesture of concession, when he asked the director to take care of Yoon Soo. Back then, it was about the woman they both loved. Right now, it’s about the woman they both love, and it’s Kyu Won. Shin’s snappy reply, asking the director to worry about his own girlfriend means that this time it won’t be so easy, that this time it’s not going to be resolved without a fight. I’d love this whole exchange way more if it weren’t for the extreme circumstances it was happening in and if it weren’t for the ominous cloud hovering over all of my beloved characters. Sigh.
Both guys head their own ways, Shin to find and shelter Kyu Won, Suk Hyun to take care of the source of the issue. Watching Suk Hyun grabbing the drama professor by the collar and threatening him was very satisfying, and despite my strong non-violent stance, for a second I hoped he’d throw a few punches. Oh well, there’s always next time.
Shin manages to intercept Kyu Won before she finds out about the new developments and he takes her away, using more or less transparent excuses. He stops her from taking a call from Bo Oon, claiming she had interrupted them enough and takes her telephone away under the same pretences. The scene that follows is what made me think of the eye of the storm analogy I made at the beginning of this post. Because Kyu Won is happy and carefree and Shin plays along. They goof around, have lunch and a meaningful conversation about their parents and their respective situations. Everything we love about this couple is paraded right in front of us, except it carries this huge warning sign that says: “careful, all this is in danger of being crushed”. Because this beauty, this innocence, this closeness, is what we stand to lose in the shitstorm that Hee Joo and her supporters are stirring up. And that upsets me, but more than anything, it pisses me off. By the way, props to Jung Yong Hwa, who NAILS this scene. It’s not easy to act carefree and relaxed while all the while showing the audience that inside you are worried and heartbroken, but that’s exactly what he did.
And the end, the end… it kills! Me. Shin steps away for a while and Kyu Won thinks to look at her phone in case she missed something important. She sees the multitude of missed calls and texts from Bo Oon and calls her back, finding out about everything that happened. She wants to go back but Shin stops her, worried about what it would do to her. She doesn’t desist and insists on returning, so desperate to keep her there, he says: “if you go, it’s over between us!” NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not that! Never that! Shin, you fool, what have you done? As if realizing what he had done or at least its implications, he pulls her to him and holds her tightly as the episode ends.
Oh show, kill me right here, will you? I mean, seriously, you do this to me and then expect me to keep my sanity? AAACK!
Okay, calming down. Firstly, I don’t think what Shin said will stick, well, not in the sense where they will be completely separated anyway. Now, I’ve been proven wrong before, but I don’t think he will mean it, even if she will take him up on it. And really, how could she not? She’s as involved in the scandal as the director is and I don’t think the Kyu Won we know and love would stay cuddled up in the arms of a boy while people she cares about are dragged down and splattered with mud. My hope is that Shin will understand it and stand by her anyway, but on the other hand, I’m masochistically hoping he will not. I mean a temporary break-up would give way to a lot of opportunities for Shin to stalk Kyu Won and act like a lovelorn fool, which, let’s face it, would be entertaining to watch. Not to mention the fact that it would finally cause Kyu Won to flat out reject Shin, making him chase after her the way she chased after him in episodes 5 and 6. Or the way HE chased after the ballerina. Either way, keeping in mind that this is a story about growing up, it’ll probably hurt a little before it gets better, because otherwise, how would they learn? And Shin does have a lot to learn about love, as does Suk Hyun, that big baby, as does Kyu Won, and even Yoon Soo, so I’m guessing it will take a while for that to happen. I also think that the fact they intentionally left out Shin’s declaration illustrates that he still has miles to go before we can fully say he deserves our Kyu Won. If him being temporarily dumped for his insecurity and jealousy does the trick then, hey, I’m in. He’ll be a better boyfriend once things settle down. Besides, even if they do break up, if he’s this jealous, how far away can he stray, right?
What I liked and at the same time disliked about this episode was the sense that something dear to me was being taken away and messed with, dirtied, abused. It’s good because it means the production team of the show and the cast are doing their job and have been doing it for a while since I’ve become so invested in these characters so as to care to this extent. It’s bad because it’s an unpleasant feeling, most of all because it’s so realistic. Show me someone who hasn’t been slandered or knows someone who has been a victim of malicious rumors and I will shake my head in disbelief, because it’s something so pervasive in our world, something that we have gotten so used to and something that can be extremely damaging to anyone. The beauty of You’ve Fallen for Me is its realism. Sure, it’s wrapped in a dreamy package, with beautiful and talented people prancing around wearing nice clothes, tied up with the bow of the summery backdrop and gorgeous cinematography, but the feelings, the occurrences, for most part, are realistic, relatable and honest, and as such, all the more affecting.