Tag Archives: You’ve Fallen For Me
Okay, so I had a relapse and went through the screenshots I took of YFFM episodes, recalling the good ol’ days when around this time I would be writing up a recap of the day’s episode. If you’re as nostalgic as I am… enjoy 😀
As Heartstrings has come to an end and we are scraping to pick ourselves up and deal with the reality of the situation, one always has to have a back-up plan. Here’s a little guide I put together to make the transition easier:
We’ll Always Have Paris. In this case Paris being the music. And the music being the Heartstrings OST.
Feature film – it. Starting a new drama right away may feel a little tedious, since it takes a while to get invested, and you need your fix now. Try something like Cyrano Agency or the Japanese film Linda, Linda, Linda. They’re bound to turn your frown upside down.
Run in the opposite direction to find your way back home. Try something non-Korean, such as the awesome little French film Love Me If You Dare. It’s a story about being in love with your best friend and everything that means to the two characters, from childhood, to their teens and into their adulthood. The two stars were the first on-screen couple I shipped in real life and my wish came true. Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet became a real couple, two years or so after the film(and are still going strong, having welcomed their first child this year). She also went on to win an Oscar for her portrayal of Edith Piaf and he went on to successfully direct and star in other projects, but no matter how many times I’ve seen them in other films, I could never forget this first instant of absolute magic. The chemistry between the leads is so intense you might need protection goggles during the kiss scenes. The whole film is such a passionate, beautiful, warm, joyful, insanely mischievous(some might even call it perverted, though not in the sexual sense) ride, and the playful tone hides so many layers of metaphors, that it will make you fall in love irrevocably. Or you might hate it, there’s always that possibility, but hey, you won’t know until you try. The “Better than…” scene (you’ll know what I mean when and if you watch the film) is one of my favorite scenes ever.
Start an online petition asking MBC to release the bears. Make sure to mention that it’s not a PETA-related action, and that in fact you are referring to the releasing of the bear key chains shown in the drama Heartstrings. Might want to wait a day or two before making that clarification though, just in case the controversy and ensuing buzz will make MBC release them sooner.
Learn to play the gayageum. Sure, it may not be easy, but it’s the most surefire way of securing a Shin of your own.
Fangirl to your heart’s content.
Whether it’s this
Something will surely distract you from the pain in yer heart.
Find a rebound. Admit it, we all need it sometimes. Flirting with a drama that makes you feel good about yourself with no intention of settling down is good for the soul. Got some guilty pleasure dramas stashed away? Now’s the time to dig in.
Spend some time with a friend. Sure, you may no longer share the sizzling passion of yore, but we all have a drama or two we can always go back to for comfort. Goong or Coffee Prince might be a good (and tonally similar) option, as would be a part of the Hong Sisters oeuvre (I’d avoid YAB though because it’ll make you even more melancholic – Delightful Girl Choon Hyang is the one I’d go with right now).
Date other dramas. It will be awkward at first and you might be in for some excruciating hours and annoying dialogue, but the best way to get back in the game is to… get back in the game. Besides, you never know who your next true love might be
Fall in love again. Whether it’s going to be Scent of a Woman, Protect the Boss, Birdie Buddy, Can’t Lose or another one of the currently airing/soon-to-be-airing dramas, one is sure to meet some of your expectations. It may not be the same as what you are currently missing, but who’s to say different is bad? My best bet? The Musical, the Gu Hye Sun drama that is finally set to air. A med student that wants to be a musical actress and a song writer with connections to Broadway? Did they have Heartstrings fans in mind when they finally decided to air it? Sign me right up! I think I found my next recapping project. Well, at least one of them anyway.
*Disclaimer: The above guide is intended for humorous purposes. No dramas were harmed during its production.
Wow, I never thought writing the recap for the final episode of YFFM would be this hard. I’ve been here before, that is, feeling the pangs of saying goodbye to a drama I love, feeling the giddiness and sadness of the last episode and the odd emptiness the ending eventually leaves behind. But having to recap a final episode of such beloved drama feels very different. To be honest, I dislike final episodes on principle(or rather based on experiences with many dramas). With a very few exceptions, they are usually rushed, at best, or, at worst – well, the last episode of Damo comes to mind(it ran a stampede over my wee soul and I have yet to fully recover). So in short, I was keeping my expectations limited for the last episode of Heartstrings and hoping for a quick and relatively painless resolution of conflict and many, many hints at a happily ever after. For someone who has thrived on a steady diet of cute interactions, youthful energy and lovable characters, the fulfillment of those hopes seemed like a pretty sweet deal. Now that it’s done and I am yet to collect my thoughts fully, I couldn’t really say the ending was what I expected. Well, not entirely anyway. But I’d have to say I’m overall satisfied with it, aside from one qualm, namely Shin’s situation. I mean seriously, I don’t know what this boy did to deserve being dealt the “life sometimes sucks” cards all throughout the show, but I’m less than pleased with how they handled his injury. I get that his hand still needs time to recover and that he will keep playing guitar, singing and writing songs, but still, something about taking THAT away from him(even if not completely, even if just for a while), the thing that makes him magical and makes the audience fall for him, well… sucks. On the other hand, I am overjoyed that Kyu Won has become a successful singer, it’s something I was hoping for from the moment I saw her get up on that stage to play with Stupid back when everything began. I also love that we finally got our kiss and reciprocated hug and that we got to see Shin and Kyu Won on stage together, so… all’s well that ends well?
We’re still at Catharsis, where Shin’s wrist has caused him to stop playing and fall to his knees in pain, to everyone, and especially Kyu Won’s alarm. But when they ask him what’s the matter he brushes it off, claiming it has nothing to do with his hand and refuses Kyu Won’s offer to go to the hospital, starting to play again. After the performance, we see Shin in the bathroom, holding his hand under cold water to reduce the pain. Back at the table, Kyu Won remembers the fall and the patch on Shin’s wrist the other day and shares her concerns with Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo, also confronting Shin about it when he returns. However, he puts on the brave act once again and denies having any problems with his hand whatsoever.
As they walk home, Yoon Soo and Suk Hyun talk about Shin’s problem. Yoon Soo is worried, thinking about what happened to her in the past, but Suk Hyun tries to look on the bright side of things, such as the way Yoon Soo’s return brought them back together. I’m all for optimism and everything but I’m not sure how well Suk Hyun would be able to handle having his directing abilities taken away from him in the blink of an eye. This storyline, aside from digging a hole through my heart because of what’s happening to Shin, is really making me feel for Yoon Soo, in retrospect. Back when the show began and we knew little to nothing about her back story, she contrasted a lot with the rest of the cast’s cheerfulness and let’s face it, was a total downer, to an annoying extent, but she was the only one at the time who had lost something incredibly precious, who had had a big chunk of who she was, of who she liked being taken away from her. So basically, as my heart breaks for Shin and I look back, I pretty much get why she was like that. Hell, I’m not sure how many people wouldn’t be that way after what happened to her. So in that sense, I would say job well done tying loose ends, show.
The next day, Kyu Won meets with the manager and finds out that she’s set to leave for England very soon. She’s to spend six months there and receive intensive training, from singing lessons to jazz-dancing, as well as getting to watch musicals. He also tells her that she should take a year off from school for this purpose, and that she might consider giving it up altogether, since she was majoring in gugak anyway. But Kyu Won says she plans to return to school after her year off because she doesn’t want to let go of gugak completely.
The other half of the couple however, isn’t faring so well. It turns out that his hand needs surgery, and fast. The doctor wants to schedule it as soon as possible to avoid any further complications, but Shin insists that they postpone it for a while, for fear Kyu Won would find out. Shin also asks what the chances of recovery are after surgery, and the doctor says it depends on several things, and that some patients never regain full use. A disheartened Shin leaves the doctor’s office and sits down on the stairs thinking about what he’s just heard. Wow, show. Is this how far you are willing to go? Is my becoming a blubbering mess that important to you that you’d be willing to sacrifice Shin’s hand to get me to do it? Bah, I hope you’re happy.
Back at her house, Kyu Won fills grandpa in on her plans to take a year off school to study abroad. Gramps doesn’t dignify her with his interest, saying she can do whatever she pleases because he doesn’t care. Now that Shin’s sister is his new apprentice, gramps seems to have gotten over the disappointment that Kyu Won isn’t following in his gugak footsteps, but like the old baby that he is, he’s not about to actually be civilized about it.
Kyu Won calls Shin and asks that they meet. She shows him her passport picture and he asks her to give it to him so he can study it in detail. Kyu Won talks about the departure plans, saying that she’s happy and excited to be going but at the same time sad to be separated from him. He cheers her up, saying that they can always keep in touch and see each other online, joking about the fact that she seems to like him too much to be able to be away from him. I know this is supposed to be funny, but what’s a girl to do if what you say is true? Have you met you? If you were her, would you be able to stay away? Pah.
Kyu Won is already packing her things when her father drops in. They talk about Shin and the father is curious whether he’ll be able to let Kyu Won go, but she complains that it’s quite the opposite and that he seems eager to send her away. The dad interprets this as Shin not wanting her to know he is affected by her leaving, and then, seeing that Shin isn’t doing the clingy thing he gives it a half ass attempt himself, saying something along the lines of them not being meant to live together since she’s going away just as he moved in. I love seeing Kyu Won’s eyes sparkle with excitement and I’m really happy that she is getting the chance, but at the same time I feel guilty being happy for her and knowing what poor Shin is going through. Come to think about it, if I feel this way, Kyu Won would feel a gazillion times worse, so I (reluctantly) get why Shin isn’t telling her.
Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo talk about their own travel plans to the chairman and it turns out they’ll be gone for about a year as well. Time jump, here we come! But not yet.
Kyu Won is meeting the girls who gush about her good fortune and tell her they are jealous of all the things she will get to do and see, but Kyu Won tempers their enthusiasm saying she’s seen her schedule and basically she’ll barely have time to breathe. This leads the girls to conclude that Shin has quit Catharsis in order to make the most of the time they still have together, except this comes as a total surprise to Kyu Won. She thinks it a bit suspicious, but the girls say he probably wants to surprise her with the news later, and she lets herself be convinced because it’s the last episode and following the suspicion trail would not advance the story as quickly it needs to be advanced at this point.
Well, at least one couple is making the most out of the Catharsis time out, with Joon Hee and Hee Joo meeting for coffee and Joon Hee being super attentive and caring to Hee Joo, thus showing that Shin’s not the only Stupid boy to be a great boyfriend. We knew that already, Joon Hee, but as cute as you are, we still like Shin better.
Shin meets his doctor to schedule the surgery. The doctor suggests that they set it soon, but Shin asks that they schedule it after Kyu Won’s departure date. The doctor warns him that chances of recovery worsen as time passes, but Shin is adamant about needing the time he asked for. NO! This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, it’s not supposed to be your future for Kyu Won’s, you’re both supposed to have it, together. PD-nim, this is pissing me off more and more.
It appears that of all people, Suk Hyun has caught on to the fact that something’s up with Shin so he asks to meet him. When Shin says he’s fine, he grabs his hand rather harshly, causing Shin to shriek in pain and give himself away as a result. Shin asks Suk Hyun that he doesn’t tell Kyu Won, fearing that she would drop everything and stay behind. Suk Hyun understands his reasoning, and after offering some words of encouragement, they part ways.
Shin goes to meet Kyu Won, who shows him her plane ticket, to which he replies that her going away seems real now. Their order is up and he offers to get it, but drops the tray because of his painful wrist. Okay, Mr. Indestructible and Stealthy, if you’re really going to keep it from her, best try not putting yourself in a position where your cover will get blown, m’kay? Or better yet, just tell her and put me out of my misery, eh? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Of course, Kyu Won thinks his dropping the tray is weird and asks him again what’s wrong, if his hand is hurt and if that’s the reason he stopped playing at Catharsis. He denies it again and the conversation ends there, except Kyu Won isn’t about to let it go quite as easily. That night she keeps thinking about the various incidents involving Shin and pieces things together.
The next morning she goes and tells the manager she won’t be using that plane ticket after all and that she’ll refund them for the costs, because she’s decided to stay behind and be by someone’s side. When the manager asks her if she won’t regret it, she confidently says she won’t. And that right there, that confidence is what makes me realize she has to go. Because she is willing to wave away a brilliant opportunity as if it’s nothing, just like she always has in the past. Maybe if I’d seen more regret on her face rejecting the chance of a lifetime, I would have been inclined to think that staying behind wouldn’t be so bad since she’d fight for her chance anyway, but like this, with her happily stepping behind the curtain again… well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be her if she didn’t offer like this, but I would be twice as heartbroken if she did stay behind. I mean, at this point, Shin’s hand is busted anyway, and while it would be great to have her next to him through the thick of it all, it would be doubly tragic if both were to miss out on opportunities because of it.
After speaking to the manager, she goes to meet Shin and tells him that she’s decided not to go anywhere but that she will stay and be there for him because he is injured. His reaction is to reply, rather coldly, that he is fine, but that he wants to break up as he doesn’t see himself pulling off a long distance relationship. Nooo! I knew this had to happen, but… why does it really have to happen, why? Why, PD-nim!? On the other hand, this is the same spot where she told him a while back that she would stop liking him, and look how well that turned out.
He takes her bear off his phone and gives it back to her, but when she refuses to take it, he leaves it next to her on the bench, says he’s sorry and gets up to walk away. She goes after him and grabs his hand but he doesn’t let her hold on to him and leaves. Seeing him walk away from her, the distance between them growing with every step is just so painful to watch. On one hand I know it’s just a stage of this whole final episode thing, but on the other hand, I really, really didn’t want to see this happen. And sure, she could have fought it more, but when you think about it, with the changes going on in her life, friends acting just a tad differently around her, everything feeling strange and new all of the sudden, being hit with this after your boyfriend has been acting strange for a while… well, it’s not like it couldn’t happen. I can actually see it happen to a couple. It’s just that it’s not supposed to be happening to them.
That night, they both cry, Kyu Won holding their bears and Shin looking at her picture. Aw damn. As if it wasn’t enough with me tearing up over here.
Next thing we know, it’s a year later.
Kyu Won is already a star and I’m loving that they went all out with this and didn’t leave it at a possible maybe in the future if this or that. She’s an established artist, popular enough to be holding press conferences and giving interviews to music magazines (Shin’s mom’s magazine, for one) and having her albums selling well in stores. So, you know, pretty cool. I love seeing her confident and in her element at that press conference(I’ve been waiting two shows long for this) and having the press fawn over her. A year ago she was the girl deemed unfit to date the campus idol and now she’s a star in her own right. Also, the longer hair? Awesome. Not only does it make her look more mature and gives her an air of confidence as opposed to the playful/youthful hairstyle she’s had throughout the show, she looks absolutely gorgeous wearing it like that.
Shin’s mom and Kyu Won’s dad meet up to talk about the kids. She praises Kyu Won and makes him a job offer, granted, one that pays less than his current one but that offers more satisfaction. I’m betting he would have done it for free, but like this, how could he not accept? We also find out that Shin is doing better, recovering slowly, and constantly practicing guitar, but the mom adds that Kyu Won should still be kept in the dark about the surgery. Why the need for secrecy now, I wonder? Should I suspect a small case of manly manliness and of “I don’t want you to see me when I’m weak and vulnerable” on top of Shin’s selflessness? Hmm. You can take the narcissistic prince out of Catharsis, but you can’t take the narcissism out of the prince. No, that doesn’t sound right to me either.
Over at Shin’s house, his sister is bugging him about resuming his Catharsis performances but he says it will take a while longer, to which the sister retorts that he always says that. I’m guessing little sis has figured out that money don’t grow on gugak trees and that grandpa is a stingy old bugger(just ask Kyu Won) so her finances would really need that extra push only having a campus idol brother could give. Especially since his relationship status would now ensure the return of his entire fan base. Speaking of grandpa, though, he seems to have met his match, and then some in Jung Hyun. Not only has she memorized his entire life story(an impressive feat), but she will take none of his nagging and is not afraid to send him away when he is interrupting her lessons. Poor grandpa and his disciple from hell.
Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo return home to find that everything is the same as they had left it and completely different at the same time. For instance, Soo Myung’s crapmobile is still the same, but his love life seems to have blossomed since he is dating the head Scene Stealer and even bragging about it. Catharsis also seems to have suffered a change in administration in the name of… love, or at least that’s what we suspect Gu went in search of on the other side of the globe.
On the other hand, Hee Joo’s mother is still her scheming self, except this time she’s trying to make her younger daughter into the next diva. The only problem is the girl is about as much of a diva as… well, her mother is, really. That’s not a problem though, in the world of Model Mom, since she has already instructed Frsutrato-guy to make her daughter a star. Tae Joon and his minion talk about the matter, lamenting daughter no.2’s lack of talent and saying they have to find a part for her regardless, especially since this year Suk Hyun won’t be there to bother them about casting those pesky talented people instead of those who need to be cast. That moment, Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo show up, sending both members of the production team into a panic. But not to worry, Suk Hyun is not there to foil their plans, he just came to escort Yoon Soo and say hello to the chairman. Suk Hyun is in fact preparing his own show, and on hearing the news about Kyu Won’s success, he goes to find her.
Kyu Won is practicing at the studio and showing some awesome dance moves. I’m glad ShinHye got to show off her dance skills at least a little bit, because she really does move very well. The director goes in and applauds her performance and both of them are glad to see each other again. Suk Hyun asks Kyu Won how she is doing and how things are going with Shin. She tells him about the breakup a while ago and he asks for details, realizing what was behind it. Kyu Won however seems to think it was for completely different reasons and even says something about how she understood where he came from when she got to England. Bah, if only you knew, Lee Kyu Won, if only you knew. Suk Hyun scolds her for not telling him earlier and she excuses herself saying it wasn’t happy news so she didn’t think to report it. Suk Hyun hands her the script for the new show he’s working on and wants to know what she thinks. He points out that if she likes it, she will have to audition for the part like everybody else. Darn this Suk Hyun and his work ethics. Why can’t he be more like Tae Joon and just give her the part? Juuuuuuust kidding. Love you, Suk Hyun! *waves* The director also tells Kyu Won that he’s thinking about asking Shin to work on the music for the show. Kyu Won is surprised but says she’s okay with it and he can go right ahead.
Not one to waste time, Suk Hyun goes to meet Shin to tell him about the project and ask him about his hand. Shin tells him that his hand is still not 100% but that he’s working hard to get there. Suk Hyun asks Shin to create the music for his show, telling him to take a look at the script and to show him whatever songs he might have that fit the story. I have to say, Suk Hyun has a really bad case of art-imitating-life-itis. First it was a show about him and Yoon Soo, now it’s about Shin and Kyu Won(obviously). That’s the thing about being friends with artists, you never know when your life will end up in a novel or a play. That being said, I would so TOTALLY watch Heartstrings II – Theater Days or Heartstrings II – The Show Does Go On or Heartstrings II – Fan Service. Either is fine with me. Just don’t end, show! *ahem*
Over at Catharsis, the gang is welcoming Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo, with Suk Hyun being his old wise ass self and wondering why the reception hadn’t been more impressive. After a bit more banter, talk of the musical comes up and Hee Joo asks whether the director had already assigned the part to Kyu Won. The director asks if Hee Joo wants to compete for the part as well and she admits that she does, but then the conversation turns to Shin making the music for the show and as such his and Kyu Won’s possible collaboration, which pretty much brings on the melancholy.
Kyu Won looks for something in her book case and finds Shin’s dad’s disc that he had given her. Since the circumstances had changed dramatically since then, she decides to return it to him. She waits for him outside his front door, hesitating, just as Shin happens to come up behind her. They share an awkward moment before she blurts out that she hasn’t had a chance to return it before and that she’s sorry about that, to which he simply tells her to go back inside. Wow, this reunion, seeing them distant and hurt is more painful than the breakup scene, especially since she is returning the disc that pretty much held the promise of their relationship… *gulp* You better make it up to me soon, show, you’re running out of time!
Suk Hyun and Shin meet up the next day to discuss the musical. Shin likes the idea of the show and offers the songs he’s been working on but refuses to participate in the actual production because he doesn’t want Kyu Won to know that his playing still isn’t up to snuff. Suk Hyun, do me a favor, will you? Slap some sense into that boy? Kthx.
On the other hand, Kyu Won is delighted by the idea of being in the show and playing the lead, and she’s even up for the audition, not one to be intimidated by the likes of Hee Joo. Kyu Won really has changed and I am loving it. However, when she hears about Shin not partaking in the musical she assumes it’s because of her and she decides to give Shin a call to set things straight. Shin is in Stupid’s practice studio, working hard on his guitar but with less than satisfying results when he receives her call. He asks her what it’s about but she insists that they meet in person. Ouch, I can tell by the tone in their voices this isn’t going to go down well.
Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo talk about Kyu Won and Shin’s situation(and do some last minute product placement), comparing their own experiences of having been in an accident/finding out their loved one was in pain and weighing in on which would be better, for Kyu Won to know or not to know.
Shin and Kyu Won meet and she asks him why he doesn’t want to take part in the show and says she’ll make sure they don’t run into each other if that’s what it takes, but he rebukes her every attempt and eventually tells her to leave him alone. Yep, it didn’t go down well.
In this situation, what’s a girl to do? Go to Catharsis and get really drunk. Wow, you can tell she’s been to England. Not knowing what to do with a passed out Kyu Won, Bo Woon calls Shin to ask him to take her home. Shin doesn’t know what to do, or rather, what he wants to do isn’t the same as what he thinks he should do, so eventually calls Kyu Won’s father and tells him about the situation. He still worries about what might happen so he waits for them outside their house and the dad sees him. After depositing Kyu Won in her bed, he comes back out and talks to Shin, telling him that he should make an attempt at patching things up with Kyu Won since they obviously still have feelings for each other and gives Shin’s mother and himself as an example of something that might have worked had they insisted a little and that he ended up regretting letting go.
The next day Kyu Won wakes up to grandpa’s fury of having raised a drunk. Kyu Won doesn’t really know what’s going on, but her dad fills in the gaps and she realizes she does have reasons to be embarrassed. The dad also tells her it was Shin who called him to pick her up after Bo Woon had called him, and Kyu Won is a little disappointed, thinking for a moment that Shin could have taken her home himself.
Suk Hyun listens to the songs Shin had written and realizes he has to step in and force some sense into the two. He meets Kyu Won the next day and tells her to listen to the songs, saying that a fool had written them. As she listens, Kyu Won flashes back to how she and Shin had met and built their relationship over time, and eventually realizes that it was he who had written the song. By golly! We have progress!
The next time she meets Suk Hyun she questions him about the author of the song and he confesses that it’s Shin, at the same time filling her in on the whole situation with his hand, his over-protectiveness and his pride. Kyu Won is furious and as a result goes to find Shin to give her a piece of her mind. She tells him that she had tried hating him all this time but that now she will hate him for real. Ha, we’ll see about that. Finally, it’s out in the open. And not a minute too soon, in fact, some 40 minutes too late, but oh well.
Kyu Won leaves Shin in the practice room and then wanders around campus, retracing the steps of their relationship, the coffee spot, the place where they took shelter from the rain together, the park where they walked hand in hand. After his meeting with Kyu Won, Shin leaves the studio as well, and is retracing their same steps, until they find themselves face to face in the park. Seeing each other in that place really leaves little room for explanations, especially in light of the day’s occurrences, so they just smile and Shin runs to Kyu Won and holds her in his arms, telling her that he missed her. She replies that he missed him as well, and he tells her that he loves her, and then leans in to kiss her. Wow, we’ve waited all series long for this kiss and it really is… well, a lot of what we’d hoped for. I love that she finally puts her hands around him when they kiss, and that there’s movement and not just a simple peck-type static thing. And I also love that their reunion is marked by a declaration and a kiss and not much else, because, really, what else could there have been to say? I’m still a little bummed that last episode’s kiss didn’t happen because the setup for it was perfect, but I’ll take this and be thankful for it.
The final scene finds everyone at Catharsis, where Kyu Won takes the stage with her newfound confidence, followed by Shin. They sing the songs that show what they mean to one another. Aside from the fact that I love ending on a musical note(uuh, pun!)I’ll take this to mean that Shin’s hand is back in working condition and that he has in fact returned to the stage and is playing guitar again, and of course, that they keep being in love, with one another and with music, which is the very best that we could wish for.
Hmmm… what to say? I was going to love this show no matter what, but I just happened to fall in love with it on its own merit. I’m not sure how much time will go by until a new drama that has the ability to reach its viewers on so many levels will come along, but I’m thankful that this one did get made and that we had a chance to watch it because it’s a very special bit of television.
If you think about it, the structure of the storylines has been fairly concentric, with elements that had been set up in the first episode reappearing in the last, while other storylines that appeared mid-show got resolved almost immediately. The time jump closes the circle with the beginning of the show, with Kyu Won returning after succeeding in her career, like Suk Hyun did in the first episode, only to find a wounded/recovering Shin, not unlike Yoon Soo was. Now, if Yoon Soo’s trajectory throughout the show is any indication of the message they were trying to send(as the earlier dialogue with Suk Hyun pointed out), then it’s a lot about getting up even when life knocks you down. And about taking chances and believing that your dreams are worth it, and that more than that, you are worthy of your dreams.
I was going to talk more about how tightly wrapped the storylines were in the end, but in all fairness, even with this ending, I could see this go on for another season or two. In fact, one of my greatest regrets about this drama is that it’s not going to have any more seasons, any more episodes. I would have loved to spend more time with the Dooleys but it’s not just them. It’s all the other characters that I would have liked to get to know or get to know better. You could build a show around Ki Young, or even around Hee Joo and Joon Hee. And thinking about it, maybe the story would have been better served if this had been one of those 50-something episode dramas that gives all of the characters a chance to develop, instead of packing everything into a 16 episode-turned 15 episode typical weekday format. But like I said, I am thankful that I got to experience all the wonderful moments this show had to offer and I look forward to getting my greedy paws on the DVD and hopefully on the loads of goodies and extras that will come with it.
First things first, Lee Jung Hyun, consider yourself blacklisted. Now go stand in the corner and reflect on your actions! Secondly *lips quivers* this was the episode before last and that means there’s not nearly enough Heartstrings left for all the Heartstrings I still want to watch!
The episodes opens mid-centennial performance. We flash back to the meeting between Kyu Won and Hee Joo, where the former had convinced the latter to take the stage. We then get to see what goes through Hee Joo’s mind, memories of all the hard work she’d invested into the performance and her career in general, which is meant to show us it’s an emotional moment for her as well. In the audience, Kyu Won’s dad realizes that she’s the one doing the singing, and points it out to grumpy gramps. Behind the curtain, Kyu Won is giving it her best, mesmerizing everyone in the audience with her singing. Next to her, Shin is proud but also sad that she couldn’t shine on stage like she deserved to. After the performance is over, he goes and congratulates her, saying she was a great leading lady, then pulls her in for a hug. Shin Hye’s acting in this scene is absolutely amazing. There are countless emotions visible on her face from sadness to disappointment to relief and joy, it’s all there, and it really shows the full weight of the gesture Kyu Won made.
After the show, everyone’s partying at Cathrsis. The Scene Stealers join the rest of Heartstrings’ female viewership in fangirling over Ki Young. They commend him for his… dedication to his craft, making Soo Myung jealous and leading him to say Ki Young’s got nothin’ on him. I bet you weren’t so jealous when you were out partying it up and he was putting in long hours at the gym… I mean taking singing lessons, were you, Soo Myung-sshi?
The director rejoices in the fact that he now has two leading ladies whose hair he can muss up and proceeds to do so to the discontentment of both. This attack on the integrity of their hairstyles gives the girls a new chance to bond, that is, until Joon Hee comes by and takes Hee Joo away. Finding Kyu Won by herself, Shin too attempts a hair mussing but that gets her to confuse him with the director. Naturally, this makes him jealous, but hey, this is what happens when you steal another man’s moves.
Suddenly, Hee Joo’s mother shows up with a bunch of reporters, praising her daughter’s performance and hoping to extract some good press out of everything. See, it never occurred to her that she could force someone to sing instead of Hee Joo, but now that it’s happened, why not take advantage of it, right? Except Hee Joo has since grown a conscience and tells the reporters that in fact it was Kyu Won singing and not her. This sends the reporters in Kyu Won’s direction and makes Hee Joo’s mother give her the “you’re no daughter of mine!” look before dashing off. It was about damn time, if you ask me. But that’s okay because unbeknownst to us, Hee Joo has a younger sister who has just been promoted to Joo-bot-in-training because of her older sister’s… forfeiting? Poor girl.
Shin is walking Kyu Won home, with Kyu Won still worrying about what might happen to Hee Joo now that she’s gone against mommy dearest. As they get to her front door, Shin takes the bear accessory off his phone and hands it to Kyu Won. She’s less than pleased, thinking he’s sick of using it, but he grabs her phone and says he now wants to use her accessory instead. Awwww! I love that these little things have a chance to build up, step by step. In most dramas, characters are so busy bickering or angsting over breakups and misunderstandings that couple stuff like this either doesn’t get a chance to happen, or when it does it has to carry tons of weight to make it worth their while. But here, we get to see all the silliness and the hide and seek and the teasing, with each episode bringing a new layer of depth to the relationship.
Hee Joo is in the hospital, waiting for her operation and worrying about its outcome. Joon Hee is there to cheer her up, with her mother tolerating his presence and ending up being amused by his antics. I guess your kid undergoing surgery is enough to make even Model Mom soften up a bit. That, or now that she seems to have given up on Hee Joo as a vehicle for realizing her own ambitions, allowing the girl to be a person is no longer a problem.
The manager that wanted to get Suk Hyun back to Broadway has now returned with a record proposal, a Stupid and Windflowers collaboration, with Kyu Won as the singer.
Elsewhere, Kyu Won is in the Windflowers’ practice room with Bo Woon, and just as Bo Woon is about to leave, Shin walks in. She rapidly excuses herself, saying she has no intention of interrupting and that she was on her way out anyway. Haha, as much as Shin has a Bo Woon interruption phobia, it seems like Bo Woon has a Shin’s reaction to interruptions-phobia as well. Don’t worry Bo Woon-ah, you’re not the Interruption Queen THIS episode. Not by a long shot.
Shin and Kyu Won go on another ice-cream date. Shin playfully smears some cream on Kyu Won’s nose and then laughs at how silly she looks (Now see, if Shin had watched Secret Garden, he would know that he just missed a great opportunity, or rather, he wouldn’t have missed it in the first place). As revenge, she takes some cream as well, wanting to smear him, but he dodges and the cream lands on his shirt. She apologizes, he demands that she buy him a new shirt and she agrees. No, no, no, NO! You don’t offer to BUY him a new shirt, you offer to WASH it. You know, at home? Obviously, Kyu Won never watched City Hunter(or any other drama for that matter). Pfft. Okay, fine, I’ll let the missed opportunities slide this time because I actually love the clothes buying that follows, it’s such a couple-y thing to do. They also don’t get to shop for very long because they get a phone call requesting them to return to school. Come to think of it, if my above-hinted-at scenarios would have come to pass, this phone call would have probably interrupted those too, so whatever.
They find out the reason for the emergency meeting when the director shows up introducing them to the manager. Everyone’s happy about the offer, except for Kyu Won who is seeing this as yet another thing grandpa will oppose. They start practicing for their studio test, just as grandpa is wondering what is taking Kyu Won so long to get home to her gayageum practice. He calls her and she semi-dodges his inquiries so they can keep practicing, but grandpa wises up to her cover attempt and shows up to drag her back to the world of gugak.
In the meanwhile, Suk Hyun has other plans that involve Yoon Soo and require some help from Ki Young and Soo Myung. Suk Hyun goes ring shopping as the guys, with the help of Suk Hyun’s credit card, are supposed to set up the “stage” for the big proposal. He probably should have sprung for a new set of wheels for Soo Myung because his car breaks down before they reach Yoon Soo’s place. Suk Hyun’s call reaches the two bromantics just as they are in the middle of bickering over who gets to (not) push the car.
Obviously, this means the mission is aborted, but this leaves Suk Hyun in a bind since he had promised Yoon Soo he would take care of everything that evening. She’s a little confused when he says the plans he’d hinted at are canceled, but offers dinner in the form of some ramen. Disappointed that his plan fell through, he sits down and looks at the ring, thinking better luck next time. But next time happens to be now because he forgets the ring on the chair and Yoon Soo finds it.
I love that it turned out like this because it’s so in tune with Suk Hyun’s character. He’s a brilliant director and artist, but aside from that he’s just such a childish goof. So as to not let things be completely ruined, he decides to sing Yoon Soo a song to go with his proposal. The answer is YES! I will marry you, Suk Hyun! Yoon Soo agrees to it too I guess. After finishing his song and popping the question, Suk Hyun goes in for the kiss. And that, my friends, is how it’s done. It’s not a kiss that will go down in television history, but it’s tender, intimate, sweet and fitting the moment. What more could one ask for? Oh yes, that it happen between the main couple of the show?
Shin receives a call saying that the studio test has had a change of date and calls Kyu Won to let her know. Grandpa answers the phone and tells him to stop bothering her. Fortunately, Shin is a smart cookie, so he calls his mom to get in touch with Kyu Won’s dad. Shin and the dad meet up and Shin tells him all about the opportunity and the way grandpa is blocking it and asks for his help, which dad promises to give. However, when the dad gets home, he gets into an argument with grandpa, forcing Kyu Won to once again choose the solution that brings peace to the household, i.e. do what grandpa says. The next day she tells the gang that she’s out of the record test.
After Hee Joo’s surgery, the Scene Stealers along with Ki Young and Soo Myung visit her in the hospital. Joon Hee is there, tending to her every need, to the visitors’ comedic shock. They ask Joon Hee how come he’s doing it and he answers he’s used to taking care of his mother(who had been sick) this way. Bah, never mind that I (still) don’t like Hee Joo. He’s cute enough for the both of them.
The Scene Stealers’ leader whines about being boyfriendless and pathetic, so Soo Myung asks her to go to a show with him. She wonders if he really means it, just in time for the other two to invite themselves to the show as well. He tries to say there are only two tickets, but buying their own doesn’t seem to inconvenience them. Wow, and we thought Kyu Won and Bo Woon were a package deal. Poor Soo Myung, just you try getting some action with ALL of the Scene Stealers hovering over you. I don’t care how lonely it gets, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone(especially with the show ending and thus not getting to witness the hilarity).
Kyu Won is getting ready for her Gayageum competition, all prettied up in her hanbok, but her mind wanders to the enjoyment of being in the musical. Grandpa is watching her like a hawk but she excuses herself to go to the bathroom, and on her way there, she runs into Shin who has come to take her to the test. At first she doesn’t know how to react, but decides to go with him and calls her dad and grandpa to apologize. On their way out, she trips on her hanbok and falls down, along with Shin who had tried to help her. Shin lands pretty badly on his hand, injuring it. NOOO! Not Shin’s hand. God, the producers are evil. They know how to throw the punch in the exact spot where it would hurt the most. He brushes it off as nothing and says he is okay when Kyu Won asks, but he is obviously in a lot of pain. They get to the studio and as they start playing, everyone notices that something’s wrong with the way Shin is performing. Aaaah, this kills me. I know it’s the episode before-last conflict that is meant to create the final episode conflict and also to hopefully get resolved, but still, this is the one thing that could have shaken Shin to his foundation, threatening the very thing he identifies himself with. I hate that he has to go through this kind of pain. Gaaaah!
After the test the gang goes out to celebrate but Kyu Won says she’d rather change out of the hanbok before making further public appearances. She asks Shin if he’s sure he’s alright, especially since his hand looks swollen and he repeats that he is, except, he’s not. I’m not sure if it’s macho “I’m invulnerable” pride or him not wanting her to think it’s her fault(although she didn’t exactly take a baseball bat to his wrist), but it’s really annoying that he’s playing the “I’m okay” card. Then again, so has she, all episode(s) long, so I guess maybe it’s a couple thing?
Kyu Won gets home to find out that she doesn’t live there anymore. The punishment for skipping the competition and betraying the gayageum is, it seems, exclusion from the sanctuary. Kyu Won finds herself needing a place to stay, and her dad figures that no place is better than the home of his ol’ chum, Shin’s mom. Ooooh, I like where this is going. I like it lots! Shin’s mom welcomes her to her home but then excuses herself because of some engagements and leaves Kyu Won home alone. You know how I said I liked the situation? I’m actually loving it!
Shin comes home (after making a stop at a drug store to get a patch for the pain in his wrist, the same wrist that was, like, totally fine earlier) to find Kyu Won there. She greets him, all “honey, you’re home” – like and I’m so loving the domestic look of the scene.
Much like the shirt buying scene earlier, this is totally belonging to a new stage in the couple’s development, even if it is just coincidental, not unlike the shirt buying was. She sees the patch on his hand but he decides to say the elephant in the room is in fact not there and once again claims to be a-ok. She reluctantly lets it go and they proceed to cook, eat and bicker about ramen. Awh, I love me a good ramen eating scene. Scratch that, a good food-sharing scene. Unknowingly, I’ve been wanting for these two to have ramen together all show long. And no, ramen is not another word for kiss.
After the ramen, they both go to Shin’s room, and I rub my hands together in anticipation like a cartoon bear in front of a big jar of honey. She looks around his room and comments that it’s nice. Yes, it’s nice, now stop fussing around and just kiss already! He shows her his father’s record and she puts it next to his face saying they look alike. Yes, they do, now stop fussing around and just kiss already! He plays his father’s record for her and it’s a very touching moment for them both. He talks about how special the record is to him, how he had wanted to listen to it with her, his music and that of his dad. Then he gives her the record, and asks her to give it back to him when he will one day become a great guitarist. Forget rings and necklaces and all the other stuff usually given as promises of faith or whatever. This is better than anything. Because with this gesture it’s like he is giving her a huge part of who he is, as well as his hopes and dreams for the future and saying that he still wants her to be next to him when they get to the other side of what their dreams are now. And that just… *lip quivers*… just… OOOH! He’s going for the kiss! The atmosphere is perfect. They’ve had kisses before(ish), be it on the lips or the cheek or the forehead, but this, well, they are IN the moment. There’s palpable tension there. BUT it doesn’t happen because Shin’s sister walks in and ruins it. And that, in case you were wondering, Lee Jung Hyun, is why you were blacklisted.
Kyu Won runs off and Shin goes after her. They get to a park and sit down on a bench. Hey, maybe all is not lost after all, I mean, the night sky, a romantic setting… but no, unfortunately the moment is ruined. The do get to talk a little bit about Kyu Won and her plans for the future, gayageum vs. musicals, and she admits that she wants to give musicals a try now. Well, at least that’s a small consolation. The voyeur in me isn’t pleased by the lack of kissage, but I am glad Kyu Won finally admitted to herself that she does in fact wants to be in musicals.
The next day, the manager comes in with the verdict on the test. They decided to pass on the group, but they want Kyu Won to sign with them because they love her voice. Everyone is surprised by the decision, but they all end up being happy for Kyu Won. Shin and Kyu Won discuss how this might impact their future, seeing as it would mean her becoming very busy and traveling abroad, but he is totally supportive of her plans, which, let’s face it, is expected but rather swoon-worthy none the less, especially since she just got something he has been wanting as well.
All that’s left is convincing gramps that leaving the gayageum does not mean she is betraying him. Unexpectedly, all he asks is that she doesn’t do anything that would shame her grandfather and allows her to come home.
Kyu Won shares the good news with Suk Hyun and Yoon Soo and they all make happy plans of future collaborations that will include Shin. They decide to go see Shin perform at Catharsis, just as Shin asks Joon Hee to perform without him that day. When he sees Kyu Won enter however, he changes his mind and gets on stage.
The band begins performing, but Shin has to stop because of intense pain in his wrist.
AAAAH! I hate what they are doing to Shin! Hate, hate, hate it! And I hate what this is doing to Kyu Won’s chances for the future. The situation is impossible, whichever way you look at it. If she is to stay true to everything that she’s been built up to be throughout the show, she isn’t going to take the offer to go after all, even if Shin does break up with her to get her to do it. In ways, I want that to be the case because I don’t want Shin to suffer through this alone, especially since he’s been so supportive to her all this time. In other ways, I don’t want Kyu Won to keep up this self-sacrificing streak because, well, she deserves to do what she wants and be happy instead of continually trying to accommodate other people’s wishes or needs. Having her wings cut off now that she’s just gotten them is too cruel. So maybe she’ll stay behind with Shin, star in the 101 Anniversary performance, get an offer again and THEN go and realize her dreams? Maybe? I hate you, PD-nim. Almost as much as I hate Shin’s sister. But more than anything, I hate that tomorrow is the last episode of the show.
First off, I HATE MBC right now for depriving us of episode 16. Secondly, wow, that was a whole lot of lovely, tender, awesome and (in the second part of the episode)crazy. Good crazy, and some hard to believe crazy and some Eureka! – inducing crazy. Thirdly, despite the obvious obstacles, this episode was one of the best ones yet. It was fast paced by any standard, but for a show that likes to linger on (lovely, cute and character enhancing) details and revels in its atmosphere, it almost felt lightning-paced. Episode 13 is bursting with energy. Youthful, vivacious, talented-people-doing-their-thing-energy, that left me with an earnest “WOW, so THAT is where they were going with this”, as well as the by now expected laugh out louds, swoons, giggles and squeals in triple dose. Oh, and Ki Young? Why that boy ever wears a shirt is beyond me. If I were him, I’d wear minimal clothing and just exist in that Grecian god-like state of grace, simply being… gorgeous, as people gasped and swooned wherever I went. Okay, so maybe the only crazy element in this whole thing is me, but I do love me a show that makes good use of an awesome set o’abs.
Everyone is shocked that the centennial was canceled, and naturally, Kyu Won blames herself, but Shin is there to comfort her. Suk Hyun goes to ask whadda hell is going on and finds out that mommy has done it again in taking the route that makes the least sense and the most victims. Luckily by now we know that obstacles in Heartstrings land are short lived, and as we watch our characters go through a rather painful reaction to hearing that all their hard work had been in vain, we know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and that it isn’t, you know, a train.
Joon Hee keeps trying to contact Hee Joo to no avail, since mommy seems to have semi-sequestered her again. No wonder this girl has no friends, since this girl’s idea of motherly love is akin to being sent to the solitary.
Yoon Soo and Suk Hyun look more and more like a couple (actually, it was after episode 12 that I finally got to a point where I could see them together and not wonder why they were still a couple), with Yoon Soo showing genuine support and affection, even though Suk Hyun still seems a tad too wrapped up in his own world to truly notice her. And I find myself feeling for Yoon Soo instead of the director, which is HUGE, as anyone who has ever read anything I’ve written about this show can attest to.
Suk Hyun gets a phone call and heads over to Catharsis where he meets a guy who gives him a business card and an offer to return to Broadway. Elsewhere, Shin comes up with the idea of holding the centennial on their own terms and barges in on Kyu Won and grandpa’s dinner to share his plan. Haha, I love that whenever he sees Shin grandpa assumes he’s returned for more of his life’s story. At first Kyu Won is reluctant to agree, but once they make up their minds, they start to rally the support of everyone involved, even making Ki Young join their project and eventually detouring Suk Hyun from his return to Broadway. Everyone’s happy and eager to get to work, even pitching in with their own cash to help the production. Such is the dedication of the team that the leader of the Scene Stealers even donates her plastic surgery funds, which makes Soo Myung tell her that she’s pretty anyway, which makes her hug him, which makes him regret saying anything in the first place.
Joon Hee keeps insisting to meet Hee Joo, even sending her a letter and chocolate (which her mother shockingly delivers to her instead of throwing them away) and posting himself in front of her house. Well, having buried all my hopes for him and Bo Woon ending up together, I can only say that what he lacks in partner choice sense, he makes up for in determination, and it is rather sweet to watch him giving it his all for his “star”, despite her being a less than perfect individual (understatement of the year).
The girls and Shin are making promotional posters in the boys’ practice room. At one point, two of the girls get the message and step outside, but Bo Woon is hilariously oblivious of the fact that when two people have just started dating, they appreciate alone time. Shin takes it upon himself to inform her of the situation via some amusing grimaces, and she takes the hint, exiting the room. But just as the two are getting cozy, Bo Woon lives up to her reputation and comes back inside, saying she went out to be polite but really has nowhere else to go. And we wonder why there’s been a suspicious lack of kissage on our couple’s part.
Kyu Won practices for her stage appearance with the help of Yoon Soo, and at the end of practice they have a heart to heart about life choices and dream chasing, which really is something Yoon Soo knows a lot about, having sacrificed the love of her life to follow a dream. I am glad we finally get to see the two female leads interact in such a way. We got a glimpse of what their relationship could be back when Kyu Won started practicing for the musical, but then the situation tensed up because of Shin chasing after the ballerina so Kyu Won-Yoon Soo relationship pretty much faded into the background.
Shin and an exhausted and sore Kyu Won are heading home at the same time as her dad and his mom, only from different directions. Kyu Won sits down on a bench and Shin begins massaging her leg muscles to ease the pain from her intensive workout. If there was a “best boyfriend” award out there, Shin’d surely be one of the winners. Kyu Won realizes this little detail, leans and kisses his hair/forehead, much to his delight and surprise.
Of course, afterwards she is too embarrassed to stay in the moment and give way to the long awaited real kiss, but certainly not as embarrassed as she is when she finds herself face to face with her dad and Shin’s mom, who incidentally are holding hands(because the mom had hurt her leg, and for no other reason, but the preview editing people are eeeeevihl and have led us to believe something more was going on). I don’t know what’s worse, having your dad see your boyfriend groping your legs, or to see your dad holding hands with your boyfriend’s mom, but my vote would definitely go for both at the same time. Sheesh. Talk about lousy timing.
Everyone’s baffled and discombobulated so they each head home for some ‘splainin. The dad confesses to Kyu Won Shin’s mother had been his first love (apparently an affinity for people in that family is hereditary) and Shin’s mom tells him that she and Kyu Won’s dad were supposed to get married, which leads Shin to realize that he’s the guy his dad had snatched his mom from. Talk about tangled histories. Obviously, it is not easy news to digest, but our two favorite characters decide to face it together, talking about it over the phone, and later Shin sings his comfort song to her as she falls asleep. I’m beyond ecstatic that our couple is not going the traditional drama angst couple separation route (at least so far) and instead are staying together, helping each other out and keeping each other strong. If you think about it, they haven’t really separated once (for very long) ever since they met. First, it was Kyu Won that stood by Shin through some horrible times and at great personal cost, and now it’s Shin’s turn to be by her side and help her through the difficulties she is facing. My heart, it fills with joy.
The boys and girls perform together at Catharsis(and boy, do they look good on stage together!) to raise money for the centennial, but aside from the performance, money raising entails quite a bit of fan service, especially from Shin, which makes Kyu Won jealous and sends her into over(flirting)drive. Her zealous flirting makes Shin jealous (look mom, I’m rhyming!), which makes him up the ante on the fan service and basically gets them both making neener neener faces at each other all night long. Immaturity for the win!
Shin walks her home and they bicker all the way there, having me hoping that the bickering will lead to some steamy kissing. But no, even if Bo Woon isn’t around, the kissing still isn’t happening. Come on guys, if saliva exchange is out of the question(and I’m sure it is), can’t you at least spare us a measly pucker’n press? Please, for the sake of our vicarious living hearts!
That night, Kyu Won gives her dad and granpa tickets to the centennial. The reluctant gramps plays hard-to-attend, but Kyu Won uses the cutesy card to get him to do it.
The next morning, our resident adorable stalker is waiting in front of Hee Joo’s house, when he sees her and her mother heading out. He tells Hee Joo that he will wait for her, which gives way to crazy#1: Hee Joo asking Joon Hee to bust her out of the hospital (again) and going to rehearsal to reclaim her position as leading lady. The shamelessness of that gesture is shocking to me but not quite as shocking as what follows. Shin and the crew are as shocked as I am, but Hee Joo asks Kyu Won to decide if she’d rather stay on as leading lady and have Hee Joo step down or go on as originally planned. Not surprisingly, but none the less gulling, Kyu Won agrees to let Hee Joo reprise her role. *que Crazy#2* Don’t get me wrong, I get why it has to be this way, but I seriously wish Kyu Won kicked Hee Joo out instead of giving the girl that slandered her the chance to star in the performance that she raised the money to hold. Ugh.
Shin is a little disappointed by Kyu Won’s response, but still figures she must be in pain, so he goes after her and gives her a hug despite the brave face she’s putting on. Awww, I love that he’s so attentive to how she must be feeling.
Then follows Crazy#3, which is Hee Joo giving Kyu Won honest tips and helping her train. I get that they are trying to redeem Hee Joo and that they are running out of time to do so, but I still can’t help but get some chills down my spine remembering her previous 12 episodes worth of bitchiness. Don’t get me wrong, I like the patching up and mild bonding, I just don’t fully buy it. Minor point, but still. But I don’t get a chance to feel too bad about it because Hee Joo’s mother finds out she’s back in the performance and comes to tell people she can’t use her voice to sing, so she’s back out again.
Aaand, it’s showtime! Everyone gets ready and even Frustrato-guy gives them some money in support of the performance. Crazy#4 – am I actually supposed to believe this could happen? Fine then. *pout*
All the cast looks exceptional, but Shin REALLY stands out in his rock god outfit. I mean seriously, the boy is pretty whatever he wears, but dress him in stage gear and he shines like a star – which is kind of the point but I am too dumbstruck by how good he looks to think of a better comparison. We have a cute role reversal here, with Kyu Won helping Shin get over some pre-stage jitters by telling him what he had told her the day of her first performance, to tell the audience “you’ve fallen for me.”
The parents of all the members are in attendance and the show starts, but instead of Kyu Won, the stage is taken by Hee Joo, to everyone’s surprise, including that of her mother. Everyone is doing great, and Hee Joo even shares a (rather hot, albeit short) kiss with Ki Young. Come to think of it, with him taking his shirt off, that’s almost like getting to second base. Oh, did I mention Ki Young takes his shirt off? And that he looks gorgeous(Eureka! moment#1)? Oh, I didn’t? Well he totally does, see for yourself:
Watching Shin and Kyu Won perform together makes me giddy, but knowing that Hee Joo of all people is up on the stage taking credit for it is frustrating as all hell. And seeing Kyu Won’s tears as she hides behind the curtain, aw man, pass the tissue, will yah?
Crazy #5 and Eureka! moment#2! I now know why things had to go like this. I get the bigger picture, the big point of it all, it was in front of my eyes all along, right from the beginning of the show, and as Kyu Won cries behind the curtain and her voice resonates to another person’s behalf, I realize this was never about the centennial, that was only a mobile for Kyu Won to realize what she really wants. It’s about a young girl who has always only been allowed to want to play the gayageum beginning to want something else; something that belongs to a world that collides with what her own has been until now. The tears she is crying are about her realizing she wants that something, to be a part of musicals, to perform on stage, and she couldn’t have realized it to that extent if she had gotten it, she couldn’t have realized it if it had been her in front of that curtain, because then she would have had a sense of closure, something to justify letting go of that want. We hoped for her to be on that stage, but if she had taken that away from someone whose dream it had been all along, if she had been the lead through a series of coincidences, then it wouldn’t have been the Kyu Won we’d gotten to know. So now it’s her turn to make a choice, and work to become an actress and feel as if she’s earned being on that stage (something that she had never felt, really, which is why she gave the part back to Hee Joo). So the dad moving in, the parents’ entanglement, the show, it all goes back to the initial issue of old vs. new, traditional vs. modern, grandpa vs. granddaughter. The next couple of episodes are going to be one helluva ride.
Aaaand we’re back with the cute! This episode had a lot going on, perhaps a bit too much for its sake, but there was a lot of lovey dovey adorableness and a lot of forward movement for our OTP so who am I to complain? Unfortunately the episode cut is obviously affecting the flow of the show, and felt a little anticlimactic in view of last week’s dramatic setup. But considering everything, I am guessing this was the lesser of two evils, and I am glad they decided to sacrifice the development of the moderate-level dramatic obstacle in (I hope) favor of the biggie, because rushing the resolution of the big issue(and it seems like they will be going with the parents vs. kids hooking up angle for this one) that is usually resolved in or prior to the finale would give the drama no closure. Like this, I am more than willing to take one for the team and not mind the fact that the great conspiracy pretty much fizzled and had the two evil doers jump at each other’s necks, allowing our heroes to mope and go fishing instead of, say, kicking some drama professor ass.
After Shin holds Kyu Won in his arms for the first time and pleads with her not to go, she ends up accepting and staying with him. She is still concerned about everything going on back at school and asks Shin how come he isn’t, but Shin replies that he does in fact care; it’s just that he cares about her more. I love that he’s becoming more and more vocal about how he feels about her. Kyu Won perks up upon hearing about his motives and since the day was young and they still had some time to lose, she goes into a store that sells many a random thing but most especially, some phone accessories that just so happen to be musician bears. They catch Kyu Won’s eye, and after some teasing about couple accessories and couple t-shirts(which Shin still claims he doesn’t do), they each get one that plays their respective instruments. Aww, so cute. If the last scene of this drama is Shin and Kyu Won walking hand in hand wearing couple tees, I will declare myself happy (and amused). Also, are the little bears the same as the big bear that Kyu Won has in her room and was punching thinking of Shin?
Back at school, talk of the director’s resignation makes Joon Hee feel more and more guilty and miserable, while Suk Hyun decides to drown his sorrows at Catharsis. Joon Hee shows up just in time to watch Suk Hyun get drunk, and Shin shows up just in time to help carry him home, which levels things between them in a “you took my first love away from me but I helped carry you when you were drunk” sort of way. No, that doesn’t sound like it would work to me either, but regardless, Shin seems to have stopped feeling so competitive towards Suk Hyun, which helps matters. Then again, the lessened tension might simply be a result of them not meeting all that much this episode, so we might yet see these two battle it out. The next morning, Yoon Soo tries to get Suk Hyun to go back but he refuses and instead goes fishing while I go and cry in a corner, realizing that sending him fishing is probably a way to give him something to do in lieu of the scenes that belonged to a more logical resolution of episode 11’s conflict that had to be sacrificed because of the episode cut.
The next morning, Shin waits for Kyu Won in front of her house only to find out from grandpa that she had already left for school. Kyu Won tries finding the director only to find a locked door, but then bumps into Yoon Soo, who initially indirectly blames Kyu Won for Suk Hyun’s resignation but then decides to not be a monumental bitch and says doing something like that is just a part of who he is. Whew, I was afraid I’d have to go back to disliking Yoon Soo if she’d actually made Kyu Won feel bad about the whole thing.
Shin eventually meets Kyu Won, just in time to help fend away the Scene Stealers, but unfortunately he can’t prevent Frustrato-guy from abusing his newly gained power and telling her she won’t be needed as understudy anymore, along with a few other nasty things he seems to have wanted to be able to say in forever. Kyu Won pretends to be unaffected and sends Shin to practice, but ends up on the roof, crying by herself. Shin suspects something’s amiss and begins to look for her, but unable to find her, he puts the fact that he’s an awesome musician (and boyfriend) and the school’s broadcasting system to good use and sings a comfort song for Kyu Won. I knew having a musician boyfriend had its perks, and this is not the first time he sang to her, but…but…show, have mercy on me ‘sploding heart! Shin, dear, if it doesn’t work out with Kyu Won, call me, okay?
She hears the song and stops crying. I mean, how could anyone cry hearing that voice? And to know he’s singing just for her? *squeal* On her way down from the roof, Kyu Won runs into Shin, who asks if his song comforted her, and hugs her for good measure. And by now I am sure the show’s true conspiracy is to try and send me into a giggle’n squeal frenzy. It’s fine, show, I don’t mind. Bring it on! I can squeal and giggle with the best of them!
Later on, the two bands practice the awesomely sounding song Shin rearranged. I love how their mid- practice stares have become confident now, and it makes me think back at the tentative stolen glances and mixed feelings of episodes past. And what I loved even more was the fact that after the song was finished and everyone was telling Shin how good it was, he looked at her, wanting to know what she thought, and his face lit up when she gave him the thumbs up. Wee!
In the meanwhile, Shin’s sister, not one to be pushed out of a business she so painstakingly built up, tries to stir up trouble for the two and goes to grandpa to tell him about the rumors involving Kyu Won and the director. Grandpa is not pleased, so he calls Kyu Won and scolds her about it, as the whole gang can hear her attempts to explain. Seeing Kyu Won is even in trouble with her grandfather now, Joon Hee can’t stand it any longer and gets down on his knees to beg Kyu Won’s forgiveness and confess to his lie. Everyone in the gang is shocked and angry with Joon Hee, but Bo Woon stands by him and comforts him. First thing: awww, could this boy be any more adorable? And second: how can he not notice how awesome Bo Woon would be for him?! Please, drama gods, powers that be, random guy in the scriptwriters room, make them a couple, I beg of you! I will be a good girl, eat all my cereal, watch dramas regularly and fangirl, squeal and giggle in moderation, but please don’t let our poor drummer end up with Hee Joo!
Hearing that the wrath of gramps is upon Kyu Won, Shin offers to go with her and explain the situation but when they get there and try to explain, Shin ends up being sentenced to hear grandpa’s life story on a regular basis. But of course, Shin wouldn’t be Shin if he didn’t think of a mischievous way out of the sticky situation, and begins thinking of substitutes for his lessons, the candidates being Bo Woon and Joon Hee. Finally he decides on Joon Hee because he has to pay for lying to them about Hee Joo. Haha, I love Shin’s sense of retribution. But more than that, I love the idea of Joon Hee-gramps interaction, because it’s either going to be catastrophically hilarious, or the beginning of an age gap-defying bromance, both of which would be fantastic.
As it turns out, the sponsors don’t like the idea of a show without Suk Hyun, so he is asked to return. This works in Hee Joo and her mom’s favor, since they weren’t happy with the director’s departure from the show even though they had orchestrated it. It also seems that they are fine with Kyu Won being in the show, since after all, she’s just an understudy and Hee Joo is the real leading lady. All valid points, but wasn’t that the case BEFORE the whole scandal? It also appears that Hee Joo’s voice loss problem isn’t as temporary or as easily treated as she thought it would be, so this means more evil to come to cover this up from our least favorite duo and a valid reason for Kyu Won to take the stage without looking like a back stabbing part stealer who is favored by the director. It all works out for the best, don’t you think? Also, Model Mom and Frustrato-guy are more and more at odds with each other, which I would care about more, except I don’t since a good chunk of conflict has been cut out, so I’ll just let them play in their sand box like good (bad) little kiddies and go back to my swooning over how awesome Shin is.
So yes, Shin. He realizes by looking at the pictures he took on Jeju Island that the girl who had caught his eye back then had been none other than Kyu Won. The next morning, he helps her get her still wheel-less travel bag up on the bus, which makes her flash back to the time he helped her the same way on Jeju. They talk about it and about how they were fated to be, only to be interrupted by an expectedly inopportune Kyu Won. I love the running jokes in this drama, like Bo Woon’s interruptions, grandpa likening Shin to himself, Joon Hee’s little quirks, it gives everything such a warm feel, a cohesion and a level of complicity and closeness to the viewer not many dramas have.
Suk Hyun’s return to the directorial chair is welcomed by all members of the cast, and is cause for a slumber party-like training workshop for the entire team. They all tell ghost stories, the guys even dress up as ghosts for girl-frightening purposes, and we find out that Shin is too cool for mask-wearing, too cool for sports(as shown the morning after) and too cool not to be embarrassed by his adorable phone accessory. Oh, Shin, you big geek, do you actually think there’s anyone left who isn’t on to you? But that’s okay, pretending not to be a geek is sho cuuuuute! Eventually the girls and boys all meet up and get scared at each other, which causes them to run away. Shin and Kyu Won however have better things to do, and after Shin finds Kyu Won wandering the hallways, he “kidnaps” her and takes her to the roof, where he shows her the necklace he had gotten Yoon Soo and then throws it away. I am so glad he did this. I was secretly hoping she would somehow find out he had discarded it, but him actually making the gesture in front of her, and in this established context? Total heart melt! Because he did it so unceremoniously and just threw it away, and because he did so after realizing she had been the girl at Jeju Island, so it’s like saying he knows it was meant to be her all along. And that… would almost be enough, but he also goes and back-hugs her, which makes the moment perfect times 100. I LOVE the back hug because he feels so comfortable doing it, much like the stares in the practice room earlier, that have a certain sense of entitlement to them because they have grown more comfortable with each other and their relationship. *sigh**swoon**wide eyed dreaming*
The episode ends on the news that the show has been canceled. I know this is supposed to be a shock, but right now I am more bothered by the looming threat of the parents getting together and messing things up for our perfect couple. Meh, I’m not too excited at the parents love becoming a main issue, but I trust the production team to handle it well, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Oh Episode 10, how I love your sugary goodness. It’s like eating cotton candy and taking a walk in the park on a warm summer day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and love is in the air. Our couple is finally a couple, and what a beautiful, happy couple they are. I could sit and watch these two be cute together all day long.
As the episode begins we can see that where Shin is concerned, the second time is a charm in getting his point across about wanting Kyu Won to like him again. We cut to Kyu Won preparing to go to school the morning after returning from the MT and grandpa, along with dad (who apparently has some business in Seoul) are fussing over her and worrying about her health. A similar sort of agitation is going on at Shin’s house. Shin’s mother is looking for him but the sister tells her he’s already left for the morning. What, without his bike, the mother asks. Well, if we are to be technical about it, Shin hadn’t exactly left; he was standing in front of Kyu Won’s house. And the reason he hadn’t taken his bike was because it would have cramped his hand-holding style. But more on that later.
Kyu Won is surprised to see Shin waiting for her and they share a moment of sweet awkwardness that I just want to frame and put on a wall somewhere (yes, my finger went berserk with the screencapping). Trying to ease the tension or just being Lee Shin, Shin extends his hand to Kyu Won. Kyu Won goes all girly and reaches with her hand for his, the moment in which Shin pulls his hand to the side, saying he just wanted to carry her backpack. Lee Shin, you Machiavellian being, if I didn’t love you so much, I think I’d hate you!
Kyu Won asks where Shin’s bike is and he answers that he couldn’t take it because she’s hurt. Forget what I said before, Shin dear, okay? Shin and Kyu Won walk next to one another, and being bothered by the fact their hands keep touching, he decides it’s best just to hold hands and be done with it. You know, for comfort’s sake. Now you see what he was doing leaving his bike at home? That’s what I call preemptive thinking.
As he is leaving grandpa’s house, Kyu Won’s dad bumps into Shin’s mother and they decide to get a coffee together. They talk about Shin and Kyu Won and finally figure out that the kids like each other. Kyu Won’s father thinks to himself that maybe he should tell his daughter to like someone else, and when Shin’s mother asks what that is about, he replies that he actually came back to Seoul because of his interest in her. Shin’s mother mentions something about how he should come over for dinner sometimes but then switches to singing Kyu Won’s praises and likening her to her mother, to which the dad only nods in agreement, realizing that his lady not-love had dodged his declaration. Or is it something about the mention of Kyu Won’s mother that made dad react this way? In any case, it’s probably the first time I have heard anyone mention Kyu Won’s mother in any way. I’m not sure what that’s about, but considering that the parents’ relationships have been presented in quite a bit of detail, leaving Kyu Won’s mother out always seemed a little strange. That might be explored in later episodes though. I’m glad the air was cleared about Shin and Kyu Won liking each other and also that dad finally professed his feelings, even if I don’t much like the implications of the latter.
Elsewhere, Shin and Kyu Won get some ice cream together but are spied on by the Scene Stealers. Shin sees them through the store window but when Kyu Won asks him what’s wrong, he doesn’t tell her. The Scene Stealers leave, dismissing what they saw as a neighborly outing instead of a date. I mean, what else would Shin be doing with Kyu Won of all people? Oh, you poor deluded souls. After the girls leave, Shin breathes a sigh of relief and tells Kyu Won he had acted that way because people were watching and that it would be unpleasant if rumors were to spread. You know, Shin, if you are going to keep doing that, you best get acquainted with the dog house. You should probably make some measurements, see what furniture you can fit in there, maybe even a small fridge, because you’ll be staying in it for a very long time. He later tries to explain that it’s not pleasant to have everyone talk about you and that it can get very lonely, but you see, you can’t un-step in it once it’s already on your shoes, so Kyu Won tells him that next time they shouldn’t go out together if he doesn’t like being seen by other people that way.
They leave the ice cream store in pretty bad moods, but Bo Woon shows up and takes Kyu Won away, not giving Shin a chance to explain himself further. STUHHHRIIIKE ONE! The girls walk ahead as Shin follows, frustrated with Bo Woon’s presence. In turn Bo Woon asks what Kyu Won was doing with Shin and if perhaps they had gotten closer during the MT, but Kyu Won denies all “accusations” and eventually they catch up to another friend, giving way to a topic shift. If you think about it, if Shin hadn’t said what he said, Kyu Won could have told Bo Woon that they were dating and he would have been spared some misery. And some unfortunate interruptions. I can’t feel sorry for him however, because I selfishly enjoyed watching him work for a chance to spend time with Kyu Won.
Joon Hee receives some fan-baked cookies just as Hee Joo is passing by. He catches up to her and generously offers them to her. This would be a sweet gesture even if we didn’t know what food means to him but like this, awww tenfold. Unfortunately the sweet gesture is wasted on the Queen of Sour, who motions the offering away, making it land on the ground. She feels a little bad about it but you know, not bad enough to apologize or anything. But we’ll take her saying it’s his fault for coming at her with food when she has to maintain her figure for the show as an apology. Bleh.
The nefarious duo comprised of the Bespectacled Conspirator and the Villainous Ahjumma meet again. Like any self respecting evil doers, they decide that this will be the last time they will meet in public so as to keep people from wising up to their schemes. The drama professor tells Hee Joo’s mother that they should proceed with the plan to slander Suk Hyun but Villainous Ahjumma says that she has something else in mind and that thinking about it, since Hee Joo would go up on stage anyway, it would benefit her more if it was under the direction of a Broadway director. Oh my god, these two, they amuse me to no end. In a sad way, but still. Each is aware of the other’s shortcomings. I mean the drama professor KNOWS Kyu Won is better than Hee Joo and Villainous Ahjumma KNOWS Suk Hyun is a better director than Frustrato-guy. They know the other knows, cause… duh. And still, they support each other, one out of selfish ambition (because at this point I can’t really call it motherly love) and the other to nurse his inferiority complex.
Frustrato-guy then stretches his stalking muscles and lurks around Yoon Soo some, under the pretense of wanting to fill her in on Suk Hyun’s time on Broadway and what allegedly happened there. You know, as any good friend would do. It doesn’t really work on Yoon Soo and she gives the mature reply that neither of them are children and she’s well aware he might have met other people in their six years apart. Of course, logic only seems to motivate this guy more, and he keeps claiming that he doesn’t want Yoon Soo to feel betrayed when she finds out the truth about Suk Hyun. What about what you are doing, oh righteous one? How betrayed would people feel if they knew what you were up to? Yoon Soo replies that it would be okay, since she betrayed Suk Hyun first anyway and then unceremoniously sends the “friendly” informer on his merry way. Oh man, she’s on to you and you keep coming back for more. And you wonder why she chose Suk Hyun. On the other hand, the ballerina is growing on me by the episode. Yep, I never thought it could happen either, but once she stopped casting a wet blanket over everything and everyone within a 5 mile radius of her, it turned out she’s a pretty decent person.
Over at practice, Kyu Won is talking to the girls, completely ignoring Shin. His response, after spending some time staring at her to no avail, is to show off his guitar skills in hopes for some attention. He does get the attention from pretty much everyone that isn’t Kyu Won, who continues to keep her back turned to him. I love that she doesn’t let him off the hook easily, forcing him to resort to new tricks, one more childishly extreme than the other. Suk Hyun walks in and stops Shin’s impromptu recital, poking a little fun at him while he’s at it.
The director tells them that with the show date nearing, it’s time for everyone to up their game. He instructs Kyu Won to join Hee Joo for the practice instead of staying in the back just because she’s the understudy. Hee Joo responds with her usual eye-roll, followed by her ever-preset I-just-ate-a-lemon face. Kyu Won is obviously uncomfortable with this situation and Shin looks at her with a worried look.
After practice, Suk Hyun takes Hee Joo and Kyu Won out for coffee. Kyu Won orders the ice mocha with a mountain of whipped cream on top while Hee Joo orders ice Americano. Hee Joo cringes watching Kyu Won enjoy her tasty beverage, as the director asks her if she wants any sugar in hers and she promptly refuses. Oh, poor girl. When she isn’t being particularly irritating to other people, she really is a sad sight and makes one feel bad for her.
Suk Hyun tells Kyu Won to take example from Hee Joo and the way she takes care of her body (while my mind screams NOOOO! DON’TTTT!!!). Hee Joo tells the director to leave her be, since her chances of being on stage are practically zero. But Kyu Won snaps back saying that since she’s her understudy, she has to work hard, otherwise she would feel bad to have the show ruined because of her. HA! HA! HA! As this exchange goes on, Suk Hyun keeps observing the two. When Hee Joo asks him what he wanted to tell them, he says the two of them had already said it all, and that he had wanted them to fight it out since there was too much tension at rehearsal. Sneaky. Then he proceeds to lecture them about the importance of each and of team work. That they should take care of one another and pray for each other’s good health. Oh director, and you’re supposed to have worked with actresses for a long time now. It’s cute how dense you can be sometimes. Kyu Won and Hee Joo speak kindly to each other as their eyes throw daggers and smile forcedly as Suk Hyun looks at them contently.
Shin waits for Kyu Won after practice and is intercepted by Seo Won (Suk Hyun’s assistant) who asks him if he’s waiting for someone. Shin denies, just as Kyu Won shows up. Seo Won says he’d heard about them working on the ending song together, but she corrects him and says she’s only helping Shin with the traditional music aspects of the piece. As Seo Won leaves, Shin asks Kyu Won if she has time to talk and she tells him to go ahead. He starts talking about the misunderstanding earlier, just as Bo Woon makes her second mistimed/perfectly timed appearance and takes Kyu Won away. STRIIIIIIKE TWO! At first, Shin is annoyed by the constant interruptions, but then comes up with a plan and his face lights up.
The girls ask Kyu Won about having had ice cream with Shin, saying the Scene Stealers had spread the rumour all around school. Fortunately for Kyu Won, they had figured the ice cream was just a neighbor thing (yes, I go out for ice cream with my neighbor all the time, just the two of us) and had let it slide. If they had thought it was more, the girls tell a horrified Kyu Won, they probably would have tried to pull her hair out. They then go into a store and Kyu Won checks out some couple t-shirts. Bo Woon asks why she’s looking at something like that, putting Kyu Won on the spot. She replies she wants to give her grandfather a gift. The girls are confused, since grandpa only wears hanboks, but Kyu Won insists that grandpa is very cool and hip. Aw, I always knew grandpa was a closeted fashionista. Moved by Kyu Won’s accounts of how sweet her grandpa really is, Bo Woon gets the urge to go greet him.
Meanwhile, Shin puts his brilliant plan into action. He shows up on grandpa’s doorstep, claiming an intense thirst of the knowledge only grandpa can impart. A brilliant and valiant plan, I dare say, but by no means bulletproof, as our hero is soon to find out. Oh god, the look on grandpa’s face when he hears Shin is interested in his gugak teachings/life story! I can actually see Shin moving up the son in law list in his mind as he is inviting him in. Shin enters, confident that there is no way Cha Bo Woon, his nemesis for the day will follow Kyu Won there. Grandpa tells Shin that in his youth he looked just like him, and asks if he can see the resemblance. Oh grandpa, you adorable old geezer, do you even have to ask? Who WOULDN’T see the resemblance? Shin endures the boredom and leg cramps with a brand of hopeful stoicism that can only be spawn by love, but when the time comes to receive his reward, guess who follows Kyu Won into the house? Bo Woon, set on greeting grandpa and taking a picture of him wearing the shirt Kyu Won just bought. STUHRAAAAIK THREE!!!
The hilariousness of the situation that follows is hard to describe. Kyu Won trying to explain having bought a pair of couple t-shirts to wear with her hanbok-only wearing grandpa, while her secret boyfriend whom the shirt was secretly intended for is in the room, all the while trying to convince Bo Woon that Shin has a legitimate reason for being there and grandpa that she isn’t crazy had me in stitches. When grandpa finally concedes that since it was a gift, he should try it on and kicks everyone out so he can change, Shin’s leg cramps and he almost falls down. Kyu Won helps him walk and Bo Woon is more and more intrigued by the degree of closeness these two are exhibiting. I would be too, my dear girl, I would be too.
Never mind the nagging suspicions; grandpa comes out sporting the couple tee and looking spiffy, while Shin comes up with a new idea. He asks Bo Woon if she had ever heard grandpa’s story, and when she says she hasn’t, he replies that as a traditional music major, it would be a rare opportunity not to be missed and offers to let her take his place, you know, out of the goodness of his heart. Grandpa asks if he wouldn’t mind not hearing the rest, but Shin assures him that it’s okay since he lives next door and can hear his stories any time. An ecstatic Bo Woon follows grandpa into the living room as a mischievously-smiling Shin closes the door behind her, repeating how fortunate she must be feeling. Kyu Won feels bad for her friend but can’t help being amused by Shin’s misdeeds.
Once outside, Shin quickly says he’s sorry, as if worried someone (Cha Bo Woon) will interrupt them again, but Kyu Won says that it’s okay and that she agrees with keeping the secrecy of their dating since she doesn’t want to have all her hair pulled out. Nothing like a threat on a girl’s hair to put things in perspective. Shin asks if the t-shirt she had bought was for him and she denies fervently. He replies that it’s a relief, since it wasn’t his style anyway. Hah! How much are you willing to bet that you’d have worn it anyway, goofy smile plastered across your face to boot, if you had received it? Guess we’ll never know. Or will we?
They go to a park and Shin shows her the song he’s been writing. The product placement in this scene is hilariously obvious but other than that, the scene is adorable. Shin asks what Kyu Won thinks of the song and she replies that she loves it, saying that she wouldn’t have let him off the hook if it hadn’t been good. Shin asks Kyu Won if she feels bad about only being the understudy, having sensed some weird vibes during practice. Kyu Won puts his mind at ease, saying she never planned on becoming the lead anyway. She confesses that she started participating in the show because of him but that now she enjoys it for the singing, dancing and new experiences. The two continue to listen to music and steal glances at each other, which makes the evil Shin tell Kyu Won to not just look at his face but to listen to the music as well. Pah, once a narcissistic prince, always a narcissistic prince.
Kyu Won returns home just as Bo Woon is about to break down under grandpa’s boredom torture. As Kyu Won escorts her outside, she wonders what she did to Shin to make him push her into something like that. Kyu Won sheepishly replies: “you didn’t enjoy grandpa’s stories?” Oh Kyu Won, you’ve been hanging out with Shin for too long.
The next morning, Shin is waiting in front of Kyu Won’s house, ready to take her to school. He has set up his bike with a little passenger accessory that is just too cute for words. Seeing Shin’s silly smile as he fiddles with the little cushion is utterly adorable. And here I thought Shin WASN’T the couple t-shirt kind of guy. Well, I have to admit he isn’t. He’s on a whole different (higher) level of geekiness. I love it! Kyu Won loves it too, but let’s face it, who wouldn’t? You’d have to be lacking a soul. Okay, maybe Hee Joo wouldn’t.
Once at school, Kyu Won goes in prepared to keep the relationship a secret. At this rate, I’m not sure how this could be possible because short of getting tattoos of each other’s names, they’ve pretty much declared coupledom to whomever was paying even the slightest bit of attention. As any guy will tell you, once you alter your ride to accommodate a particular girl, it’s pretty much game over. Or so I hear, seeing as I am not a guy. Regardless of such trivial details, Shin grabs Kyu Won’s hand, ready to face the masses and make his relationship known to the world. Kyu Won resists at first, fearing for her hair, but Shin’s assuredness reassures her as well, and off they go, to the sound of gaping mouths and breaking hearts. Fans university-wide wail and vow revenge.
Somewhere on campus, an unsuspecting Suk Hyun is working just as Yoon Soo drops by with the news that Shin and Kyu Won are a couple. Suk Hyun is far from pleased, and while he claims it’s because he thinks it will interfere with the show, well, director, do you actually expect us to believe you?
All the while, Hee Joo’s mother is planning to bring the sponsors of the show for a preview, in order to once and for all establish Hee Joo as the leading lady. When Suk Hyun hears the news that he’s supposed to put on a preview of his show on zero notice, he feels offended and his first impulse is to refuse, but Yoon Soo convinces him to play along.
In the band’s studio, Shin is teaching Kyu Won to play guitar. I have to say, I’ve been waiting for this to happen ever since I found out they were both musicians, because it’s such a natural and expected thing for him to teach his girlfriend to play guitar, but I can only imagine the experience to be all the more meaningful since they are both so into music, and both into instruments that are at the same time similar and very different. Now I’m not sure Shin is thinking about the deeper meanings of that lesson, or who knows, maybe he was, because he leans in and tries to kiss Kyu Won. But to Shin’s disbelief, Cha Bo Woon completes her impeccable streak of inopportune interruptions by coming to announce that Kyu Won has to take the stage as understudy for a missing Hee Joo.
The cast gets ready for the performance, with Ki Young feeling very anxious about it back in the dressing room. Kyu Won notices he is having a hard time and comforts him, telling him she’ll be out there on stage with him and that they should think about it as rehearsal. A visibly calmer Ki Young leaves the room to give Kyu Won and Shin (who had just entered) some privacy. After Ki Young leaves, Kyu Won has a freak out of her own, telling Shin she had been holding it together for Ki Young’s sake but that she is terrified of performing as well. Shin supportively tells her that he is nervous before performing too, and shares his stage secret with her, looking at the audience and thinking: “you’ve fallen for me”. I love, love, LOVE this for more than one reason. The first one, of course, is Shin and the awesomeness of a boyfriend he is. The other is how beautifully this ties into the title of the drama, because “you’ve fallen for me” isn’t just what a playful narcissistic prince or a spunky gayageum player would say, it’s an artist’s mantra, an expression of that volatile and magical connection between an artist performing his craft and his audience. And that? SO cool.
The showcase is an absolute success, with Ki Young being his impressively talented self and Kyu Won making everyone in the audience (except, of course, the villains) fall for her. I like that the sponsors, excited by Kyu Won’s performance, look at mommy and say that if the understudy is this great, the main actress must be even better. She nods with an expression akin to gulping down a mug ‘o vinegar. Wound, have you met my good friend salt over here?
After the show, the director congratulates Kyu Won and Ki Young for the performance, and when Ki Young says his appearance on stage was to Kyu Won’s credit, Suk Hyun can’t help himself and starts affectionately playing with her hair. This prompts Shin to take Kyu Won by the hand and take her away, in a “She’s my woman now” kind of gesture, not before warning the director that she’s not a child to have her hair played with in that way. The director doesn’t like this one iota, but what can he do in front of such youthful exuberance? I’m curious, director. What WILL you do?
Hee Joo is not quite as fortunate, and receives a consolation slap from mommy. See, lady, I don’t really see what the problem is. I mean, sure, the sponsors got to see an understudy, but as a mother, you do have enough faith in your daughter’s ability not to have to worry about that, right? Right? Oh, never mind then.
In the meanwhile, it appears that Shin’s fans have decided to do something about his recently announced relationship with Kyu Won. The Scene Stealers have even organized a rally of sorts, asking students to vote for or against the new couple. Naturally, Kyu Won is affected by the situation and takes Shin’s amusement as lack of consideration for her situation. Shin realizes eventually (with the help of Kyu Won’s friends) that Kyu Won does have a point and goes to put a stop to the Scene Stealers’ campaign.
As Kyu Won is walking down the hallway lost in thoughts of hair pulling and celebrity dating, she runs into the director, who tells her that if anyone is bothering her, including Shin, she should send them to him, and that she has the special talent of moving people’s hearts, which he can see very clearly. I know I’m shipping Shin and Kyu Won, but I’m having a hard time not swooning right about now. Kyu Won perks up after their discussion and leaves for gayageum practice as the director follows her with his eyes, smiling to himself. Suddenly he realizes he’s feeling something he shouldn’t be, and tries to shake it off, as if thinking to himself “Get a hold of yourself, man, you’re a Broadway director!”
Shin looks for Kyu Won, trying to patch things up and even risks it by going to her house. Grandpa shows up in the doorway and asks him if he’d come to hear more stories. Shin hurriedly replies that he can’t that day because of his part-time job. I have a feeling with all the grandpa dodging he’ll have to do, he’ll be running for (imaginary) employee of the year. The trip is not exactly useless because he does get the information that Kyu Won isn’t home yet from grandpa.
He tries texting her that he’s sorry, but doesn’t bring himself to press send. His sister confronts him about dating Kyu Won, and she’s not pleased when he confirms it, since it imperils her successful autograph business. Eventually she concedes that it’s fine for him to date her, but he must never ever kiss her, since his autographs would devalue too much in such a case. And really, how could anyone put their love lives ahead of their sister’s financial security?
Over at Catharsis, the director, Yoon Soo and the owner whose name I forgot are discussing the effect of Shin’s new relationship on the business. Seriously, who knew that these two getting together would mean the downfall of not one but two flourishing businesses? Suk Hyun tells Shin not to make Kyu Won cry, to which Shin basically tells the director to mind his own business. Wow, easy does it, fellows.
Kyu Won is at home, wondering why she hadn’t heard a thing from Shin since the hallway incident and calling him a fool, when a text arrives, summoning her to Catharsis. She decides to ignore it, but a second text asking her to leave Bo Woon out of it makes her realize that she does want to go after all. I guess she was regretting the studio interruption as well.
Hee Joo is lying on her bed, lost in thought when her mother comes in to tell her that she will take care of Kyu Won and Suk Hyun and get them out of her way. At first she doesn’t say anything but then she replies that she’s grateful to her mother since the two were beginning to bother her. I guess this evening marks Hee Joo’s official transition to the dark side. Careful, Hee Joo, the dark side? They have cookies. And cookies make you fat.
When Kyu Won arrives at Catharsis, the concert is already under way. Shin sees her come in and smiles to her from the stage. As she approaches, he begins singing “Because I miss you” looking right at her. At the end of the song, he motions her to approach the stage and as she does, he kneels down and kisses her. It’s such a cute kiss, if not the most passionate one, but it’s meant more as a declaration to the world than as a purely romantic gesture, and as we all know(since watching Best Love), when it comes to PR, there are a multitude of things you have to keep in mind. Still, I rather loved it because of everything it meant and because, really, could there have been a better way to quell her fears and tell her, I chose you, the rest of the world be damned?
This was such a warm, playful, pretty episode. Satisfying in many ways because there was a lot of story advancement, or rather, a lot of the things we’ve been promised throughout the series have come to fruition. I loved seeing Ki Young and Kyu Won finally interact and sing together on stage, I love that Yoon Soo put the drama professor in his place, I even love that Suk Hyun is starting to realize he has some feelings for Kyu Won and is antagonizing Shin as a result, but most of all, I love Shin and Kyu Won together as well as interacting with their friends. The whole situation with Bo Woon was hilarious and sweet, and it’s this kind of youthful shenanigans that fill my heart with joy whenever I watch this show. This episode was what the heart of the show is all about, that youthful exuberance, that love for music and acting, that friendship, that warmth, that discovery of feelings, that playfulness. This is the place we were hoping to get to all along, and the place we hope for them to always return to, no matter what difficulties lay ahead.
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.
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.
To me, episode 10 was satisfying with a capital S. Everything I’d hoped for and feared wouldn’t happen, has happened. My own soundtrack for the episode was an uninterrupted giggle with the occasional squeal. I have officially deserted team Suk Hyun (well, at least where his pairing with Kyu Won is concerned, I still hold hopes for he and I, you see) and I have officially jumped aboard the Lee Shin express. Shin was dashing, Kyu Won was charming, Hee Joo actually made me feel something warm towards her and Ki Young interacted with Kyu Won/performed with her on stage. Happy camper, I am.
The episode opens where it left off, with Shin’s wish and moves swiftly away. I actually thought the show would stay there and reveal what else happened that night (I mean, was that not a perfect set-up for kissage to occur?) but instead we move swiftly away and back into the city. Never mind the heartbreak because we get to see Kyu Won and Shin’s first morning walk to school as a couple. Oh, these two are SO adorable together. They hold hands, get ice cream, get spied on by the Scene Stealers and have a misunderstanding that causes them not to talk for most of the day.
If I thought the biggest obstacle in Shin and Kyu Won’s way would be grandpa, his mom, her dad, Hee Joo or the director, I was wrong. At least for the first part of the episode, an unknowing and well-intentioned Bo Oon manages to interrupt the two new lovebirds on every occasion. Shin thinks to bypass this new obstacle by using grandpa, and throws himself into the fire hopeful that the restful arms of his beloved will be awaiting on the other side. In other words, he goes to Kyu Won’s house and volunteers to hear grandpa’s tales just so that he could be there when Kyu Won arrives. Surprise, surprise though, despite employing considerable patience and enduring leg numbness, Kyu Won shows up with Bo Oon, causing Shin’s efforts to crumble like a sand castle hit by a vigorous wave. Not being one to give up so easily (and without taking some revenge on the way), Shin sets Bo Oon up to listen to grandpa, to which she happily and naively agrees. Don’t worry Bo Oon, your sacrifice will not be in vain!
While grandpa tortures Bo Oon, Shin and Kyu Won get a chance to go on an actual date in the park. *squeal* They look so cute together! They play some music (and endorse a tab and smart phone in the process), then listen to music sharing one set of headphones and generally have fun, relax and act cute. Aw shucks. I melt. Melt, I say!
The next day, Shin waits for Kyu Won in front of her house with his bike ready for girlfriend use. He has added a little frog-shaped cushion on the “back seat” to make her rides more comfortable. And all the me that hadn’t melted before can now be considered slush. They ride to school together and as they walk in, Shin grabs her hand. *swoon* Shin is confident and Kyu Won is embarrassed as the crowds on the corridors part like the red sea to let the couple pass.
Their pairing does not go unnoticed and pretty soon the whole school is buzzing with the news. Kyu Won’s friends find out and congratulate her, while the director finds out from (a pleased) Yoon Soo and is far less pleased than his girlfriend. In fact, he cites organizational issues as reasons for the two not to have gotten together at this juncture. I think, director-nim, it’s fair to say, you snooze, you lose.
All this time, Hee Joo’s mother, whom I shall deem Villainous Ahjumma, is gathering what I suspect ( I watched it raw and my Korean is way limited) to be the board of administration, either way, some dudes with a word to say, in an attempt to gain support for Hee Joo. The plan backfires majestically, because at that very moment, Joon Hee had decided it was time for Hee Joo to sit back and relax. They share some wonderful, sweet moments together up on the roof, away from a world that is fidgeting to… um… let’s just leave it at fidgeting. But as the female star of the show is nowhere to be found and since Villainous Ahjumma has arranged for a preview of the show, the understudy has to replace her. Bo Oon comes to the studio where Shin is teaching Kyu Won guitar/working on gathering the nerve for their first kiss and interrupts them just as they are about to… Cha Bo Oon! You’ve done it again! Ack!
Kyu Won gets ready to take the stage, comforts Ki Young who was dealing with some pretty heavy pre-stage fright in their dressing room and is in turn comforted by a loving and day-saving Shin. Everyone rocks the performance and the panel of administration dudes who were supposed to be impressed by Hee Joo give Kyu Won a standing ovation. Oh, life.
Hee Joo gets to the preview venue too late to perform but not too late to have some “sense” slapped into her by her mother. This is the first time I actually felt bad for Hee Joo, but not the last this episode. This scene was really heartbreaking especially in view of the progress she had made to open up as a person.
After the show, the director and Ki Young congratulate Kyu Won on the performance and Ki Young thanks her, saying she was the one who helped him get on stage. The director goes for his trademark Kyu Won hair-mussing, but is stopped short by a jealous and possessive Shin who grabs his hand and mutters something that sounds like “Keep your greedy paws off my woman!” How very macho of him. The director, he likes it naught. Shin takes an apologetic yet happy Kyu Won away, as the director looks at them with the dissatisfaction of having his favorite toy yanked away and as Ki Young looks at the director with amusement at his reaction.
Shin and Kyu Won find out that the Scene Stealers had set up a campaign where people got to vote what they liked best, Shin/Kyu Won together or separate. The votes are overwhelmingly in favor of the separation (no duh!) and Kyu Won takes it to heart. A new misunderstanding ensues and Kyu Won walks away, leaving Shin in a cloud of confusion. Or something like that, I’m sure her reaction was more justified than what it just sounded like. Shin mans up after being advised to do so by the girls and goes to put a stop to the Scene Stealers’ shenanigans. Elsewhere, Kyu Won runs into the director and he in turn tells her to (wo)man up and deal with the situation.
Shin and Kyu Won keep missing each other, with Kyu Won at practice and Shin risking an encounter with gramps and going by her house. Gramps asks if he’s come back for more stories, but Shin manages to somehow dodge storypalooza, if only for the day.
The evening sets in and the two still haven’t found a way to see each other and sort out their difficulties. Eventually, a text comes from Shin summoning Kyu Won to Catharsis. She’s reluctant to go but an additional text seals the deal and she is trying out different outfits within seconds. She shows up at Catharsis just as the guys were finishing up a song, giving Shin a chance to sing his “Because I Miss You” to Kyu Won. I appreciate that it is a nice song and all, but I somehow wish he’d chosen something else. I mean this is the “I love the dance teacher and she doesn’t love me” song and the “My daddy was an alcoholic and he died” song, so singing something new would have worked better for me here. But I don’t have time to think about this because Shin finishes the song and motions Kyu Won to get closer to the stage. As she does, he kneels down and KISSES HER!! IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY! *SQUEEEAAAAAALLL*
It wasn’t a perfect kiss as far as kisses go, but as far as what it meant, context, implications, save-the-day-ness? Perfect. Love. Sigh.
I loved this episode because it totally delivered on our expectations about the OTP and the rest of the characters. Grandpa stayed hilarious, Bo Oon was featured more prominently (which I had wanted since forever because I love that girl, I think she just lights up the screen every time she’s in a scene), Ki Young and Kyu Won established a relationship, sang and kicked ass together, Hee Joo gained some humanity, and Shin and Kyu Won… well, Shin and Kyu Won did what I hope they will be doing for all episodes to come, i.e show genuine affection for one another. I LOVED the fact that it was all so natural, the sweet awkwardness of the first hand holding/public appearance, the small misunderstandings that crush you and then build you back up when they get resolved, the sneaking around behind friends’ back, the friends’ reactions when they find out about the new relationship, all these elements were so beautifully and tenderly portrayed that it just made my heart feel full both because of what I was watching and because of the memories they triggered. The first love, this really is what it feels like. And capturing such a feeling so well and so completely is NOT easy.
I fear tomorrow’s episode because of what the preview teased. I don’t want Shin to think Kyu Won lied to him. Scratch that, I don’t want Kyu Won to lie to Shin. And because of the director, no less, because I don’t want to dislike the director but I can’t say my love for him won’t waver if he gets between Kyu Won and Shin in that way. I don’t want the angst to kick in just yet, even though I know every high is followed by a low and even though this episode was a pretty damn big high. But I want more of the honeymoon, at least one or two more episodes, let’s enjoy the butterflies in the stomach and the pretty and the misunderstandings that don’t last, eh? Whaddya say?
Last week’s episodes of Heartstrings were all about Shin getting there and Kyu Won staying there. The there being “in like” with one another. It’s been fun watching Shin thwarting all of Kyu Won’s attempts to stay away from him, all the while pretending it was all perfectly natural and casual and not at all him seeking her out and wanting to spend time with her. The chase and budding of feelings added some warm, playful goofiness to Shin’s character and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Also, grandpa? Totally my hero. When he said Shin reminded him of himself when he was young, he wasn’t kidding. He takes the same pleasure in torturing people for his own amusement as his younger counterpart. Grandpa intentionally boring Shin and Suk Hyun to death? Absolutely priceless. Grandpa inviting himself as a traditional music consultant (once a week only because of his busy schedule, HA!) had me worrying I’d bust a rib laughing (instead of falling down a flight of stairs). But grandpa wanting to tag along on the field trip and then grumbling about how Suk Hyun didn’t get the message? Well, that had me wonder why THIS version of grandpa didn’t have more screen time so far in the drama because he is utterly hilarious. Oh, and he also asked Suk Hyun whether he’s seeing anybody. All hail grandpa, king of the awkward!
I was curious to see how they’d incorporate PSH’s accident into the show and I like that they chose to go with something as banal as tripping and falling down a few stairs and not something more contrived. I also like the fact that this accident made Kyu Won a little fragile – physically, which gave Shin a chance to be all manly and protective of her while her spirit and spunky disposition remained more or less intact.
When last week’s episode ended, I thought Kyu Won would leave with the director, letting Shin steam in his own (bitter) stew for a while, but it seems like Shin was way ahead of me (us, them) and managed to get a ride from the director as well. HA! Gotta hand it to Shin, it was well played. That doesn’t save the trip home from a healthy dose of awkwardness, so much so that it even makes the director ask if anything is going on between them. On the other hand, the director is taking Kyu Won home at the cost of not making it in time to see a show with his ballerina girlfriend. Yes, that just screams healthy relationship, right?
When Kyu Won gets home, grandpa is shockingly calm and understanding, maybe because Kyu Won tells him from the start that she lost to someone better and also that she really wants to do the show, promising that she will practice the gayageum extra hard from now on if he just lets her. Grandpa’s reply is asking for the director’s phone number. I have to say, I think grandpa is a little intrigued by this whole show thing, considering that after the way he’s been portrayed so far, no amount of begging would have sufficed if there wasn’t something in it for him.
The director asks the ballerina (I think I will call this couple Direina, mostly because naming it Dire-ballerina would defy the rules of couple name amalgamation, much as I would like it) why she supports Hee Joo so much, calling the latter a doll who lacks the talent to move people. Ouch. Later in the episode, he goes further and says Yoon Soo is supporting Hee Joo because she reminds her of her younger self. Double ouch, especially in light of the ballerina’s earlier confession to the drama professor – that what she had always wanted was to be acknowledged by the director. I know it’s wrong to hit someone when they’re down (and the point that she is down has been made ad nauseam throughout the show) but that felt oh, soooo good.
Back at his house, Shin’s sister asks him about the pumpkin’s audition and how it went, and Shin considerately tells her not to call Kyu Won a pumpkin anymore, to the brat’s dissatisfaction. He goes further and waits for Kyu Won in front of her house the next day, checking to see if everything had gone well with grumpy gramps the previous evening. Kyu Won assures him things were fine and they both head to school, but when Kyu Won asks him why he is following her, he snaps back into “I’m so cool” mode and says he left his bike at school because of her. Yes, because she forced you to catch a ride home with the director. Shin darling, if you’re going to keep up with the cool act much longer, you should probably restock that transparent excuses supply.
He keeps following her at the bus stop and around the school, making her extremely relieved when their roads finally separate. Turns out Shin didn’t even have to go to school that day. But, you know, he’s SO not into her.
Elsewhere, the bespectacled conspirator’s minions (now there are two of them) are talking about Kyu Won being featured in the newspaper and singing her praises. Wow, that can’t feel good, having the apple of yer eye seen as rotten by everybody else, even your own acolytes. Instead of giving him a reality check, this only motivates the drama professor further, making him go to Yoon Soo to ask her to join his team.
Hee Joo takes a chance to ask Kyu Won to withdraw from the show now that she hasn’t been cast as the lead because her presence apparently bothers the great diva. Of course, we all know why Kyu Won’s presence bothers Hee Joo but instead of earning her some sympathy points, that makes it all the more irritating. I really don’t think the whole “I’m an aggressive bitch because I’m insecure” thing is in any way redeeming, if anything, it’s the worst possible way to deal with her insecurities.
Kyu Won takes it seriously though and goes to ask the director to let her rehearse with the musicians instead of the actors, which pisses the director off, more or less justifiably. What I LOVE about this scene is that before Kyu Won enters, Ki Young is rehearsing and having trouble finding the right emotion. He reaches out with his hand and at that very moment the door opens behind him and Kyu Won walks in. I don’t know if they intended it to be symbolic like that but I thought it was rather neat. On the other hand, while I do want Kyu Won and Ki Young to get closer and develop warmer feelings, I’m thinking that if they were going to go that way, they might have done it already. Meaning that if they don’t start getting closer by next episode, it’s either not going to happen or will have no credibility when it does.
Hee Joo learns that a lot of people, including the journalists present at the audition don’t think she was the best person to get the part. The Scene Stealers wait for her at school and make it a point of reading one of those articles loudly so she can hear it. I’m not sure about everybody else, but as far as the Scene Stealers are concerned, I’m pretty sure if Kyu Won had gotten the part, they would have said Hee Joo had been better because that’s pretty much how they operate. Regardless, Hee Joo runs off crying and Joon Hee runs after her to console her. I get it, he likes her, though heaven help me, I still don’t know why, and she is warming up to him or at least is hurt enough to accept his help, but now that the parallel between Hee Joo and the ballerina has been clearly drawn, I can’t help but see a trainwreck in the making whenever I Hee Joo and Joon Hee together. I mean look at how Direina are faring. She feels unappreciated and insecure and he’s crushing on a (livelier and 1000 times better for him) student. So Joon Hee who is all heart and loves food with the emotionless doll with an eating disorder? I get that opposites attract but… I just want to reach through the screen and slap some sense into that little drummer. And then maybe point him towards Bo Oon, who, by the way, is ADORABLE.
The girls have to perform in a show for the elderly, which causes Kyu Won to tell Shin she won’t be able to work with him for the day. Shin, of course, gets all flustered (I love it) and storms off. But then he finds out he gets to go too, as suggested by his music teacher, to learn about traditional music and carry the girls’ instruments – HA! (is she trying to play matchmaker for Shin and Kyu Won by the way, or just likes the mixture of modern and traditional music? Either way, mission accomplished). The event is a mix of awkward and weird from a viewer’s standpoint, but the girls seem to be having fun and so does the audience, and even Shin seems to be quite taken with what is going on, though that’s mostly to Kyu Won’s credit. They get accosted by senior citizens and coerced into traditional dancing. Watching Shin’s awkward/sour/forced expression here is priceless. What? Am I praising Jung Yong Hwa’s acting and loving a scene based on his performance? Well, stranger things have happened. To the boy’s credit, his acting has been considerably improving throughout the show and more so these past episodes. Might it be because of the director change?
At the post-performance party, Kyu Won drinks a tad too much, gets an offer to marry a 12-year old, which she only half-way declines, falls asleep on the stairs and on Shin’s shoulder (which he doesn’t mind at all) and ends up piggybacked home by the same Shin. This offers the opportunity for the traditional drunken piggyback ride love confession/cursing of the object of one’s affections that is present in like every drama ever but still manages to somehow remain cute.
The next day, he waits for her again in front of her house, to make sure she’s okay and to let her know he had to wear three patches to treat his back, sore from carrying her. He walks away with a satisfied grin as she is left feeling embarrassed.
The drama professor meets with Hee Joo’s mother to discuss their evil plan. Mommy’s plan seems to have changed. She now deems the formation of the two teams useless, since all the focus is on Kyu Won anyway, and she asks the professor to get rid of Kyu Won if he cares about his job. This just goes to show that no matter how bad a baddie is, there will always be a badder badass just waiting to out-bad them. The plot, it thickens!
Shin asks Kyu Won to summarize all the traditional music books she had piled on him claiming he couldn’t understand them even after reading them (revenge reversed?). She claims it’s impossible but he pulls the “I piggybacked you home when you were drunk and THAT seemed impossible” card so she can’t not accept. Fair enough, Shin, my dear, but then, why were you smiling as you were carrying her, eh?
They are both early for practice (or all the rest are late) and he takes the opportunity to ask her about the gayageum. She starts explaining and it’s a really great moment because it kind of encompasses what this show or at least the OTP is all about, two young people, both passionate about music being inspired by one another and learning from one another. The moment is cut short by the arrival of the rest of the gang and the groups start playing. It’s the fusion version of Habanera that we’ve heard in the beginning of the series, and I find it a nice touch that back then they were singing it separately, showing us their potential if they joined forces and now they are actually singing it together. It’s got a nice, full circle feeling to it. Unknown to them, grandpa and the director are watching, which I find hilarious, and grandpa already picks up something he’d like to improve. He then talks to the director, telling him his life story/bragging about his greatness/applying boredom torture. Grandpa also offers to assist the kids in arranging the song and mixing up the modern and traditional instruments. Thinking about the comedic potential of unleashing grandpa onto our gang is making me giddy with anticipation.
While the director and grandpa talk, the kids are surprise-celebrating Kyu Won’s birthday. All except for Shin who is standing on the side, wearing poopy-pants face. When he finally decides to congratulate her on her birthday, they are already on their way out and she is standing at the top of the stairs. His happy birthday literally knocks her off her feet, causing her to fall down a flight of stairs. Well, not really, she actually stumbles all on her own, but you know. She ends up in the hospital with a cracked rib and a twisted ankle.
Funnily enough, within a matter or days both Shin and the director have been in Kyu Won’s room, first Shin when he deposited her drunken self there after piggybacking her home and now the director who is helping grandpa pack her bags for the hospital stay. The director takes a peek around at all her diplomas and stops to look at a goofy picture of Kyu Won, which makes him smile. Why don’t you smile like that for your ballerina, eh? EH? It’s okay, you don’t have to answer that.
The hospital stay gives the two guys a chance to hover over Kyu Won and neither mind very much. When it’s time to see who gets to keep watch over night, both try to push each other out. The director tells Shin pretty soon it will be too late for him to take the bus (in other words, go home you little car-less kid) but in the end the dispute is resolved with both guys getting kicked out of the ward by a nurse. See? This is why in situations like this, you lie and say you are in fact related to the patient. Pah.
The two guys talk outside about Kyu Won and the show, and the director says Kyu Won will heal fast because she is very strong, something Shin doesn’t agree with and replies that she might not be as strong as the director thinks. I love that we get to see a crack in the director’s shell of perfection this episode. Does this make me love him less? No way. So far we have seen that he is ambitious and driven but now we get clued in on the fact that his focus makes him oblivious to some of the feelings of the women in his life. It happened with the ballerina and it is happening with Kyu Won. Shin on the other hand seems very receptive to that very fragility the director seems unable to detect. Guess being the only guy in a family of women has its perks.
The next day, mr. Smooth Operator, aka Shin visits Kyu Won in the hospital. If we needed more proof that he is in love, just check out that outfit. Nobody in his right mind would think those sneakers and that top make a good match.
However, prince charming is still trying to convince people he is still mr. Cool, so he claims he came by the hospital to be tutored on traditional music. Yeah, that’s what they call it these days. He claims not to get it so Kyu Won explains over and over again, to her exasperation and his sadistic delight. Eventually he falls asleep, but his study nap is interrupted by the arrival of the rest of the gang. Everyone goes to the hospital balcony to light firecrackers but the fun is interrupted by a meddlesome security guard who causes everyone to scamper off. Shin thinks fast on his feet and grabs Kyu Won’s chair, wheeling her to safety.