Another emotional episode...and my heart breaks a little more.We have our musical showdown this episode and while it was fun to watch, you get the sense that it's not really the main focus of this episode. She is the focus this episode. At least, when the episode ended, only Doo-ri is etched into my mind...*Big hugs*
Tae-hee reads aloud the address on the note and looks at Jae-hun expectantly. Haunted, Jae-hun explains that it’s an amulet, the kind to psyche him up, to be read from time to time. Sensing that it means a lot to him, Tae-hee returns him the note and the “love-letter”, without reading it. He is looking so down she just wants to cheer him up somehow, especially since she knows he’d smiled reading the “love-letter”, so that would be his second amulet.
Jae-hun is surprised at her gesture but frowns when he remembers that the letter is supposed to be part of their deal. Tae-hee cheekily demands that he sings instead! Jae-hun scoffs at that and turns her down flat, willing to forgo the deal. She pesters him to sing at least a verse but he’s not entertaining her one bit. Ha. Is he a bad singer? Me wonders.
When Team B meets for practice, everyone is singing to the music, and willing Jae-hun to join in but Jae-hun would not or could not do so. Oh? Hmm…he’s either gonna be very good or very bad isn’t he.
In contrast to their light-hearted atmosphere, practice is a particularly nerve-wrecking affair for Team A. Soo-bin demands to know where the Director, Chae-young is.
Miss Director is trying to recruit a bunch of seniors for her musical. The seniors are pissed at the presumptuous Chae-young for treating them like her underlings who are supposed to jump to do her bidding. Chae-young requests to speak to the leader of the bunch privately, using Lee Soo-bin’s name as bait. Chae-young plays her cards well, offering the senior, who happens to be president of Lee Soo-bin fanclub, a chance to work with famous Stage Director Wu Jang Han who is in charge of Soo-bin’s next piano recital. Hook, line and sinker.
Jae-hun is practicing alone at the Friendship Stairs, singing and dancing by himself. Oh he doesn’t sound half so bad. Must be a matter of confidence after all. But wait…holy cow, it’s that “ghost” again! The “ghost” is imitating Jae-hun’s moves and while Jae-hun did not exactly see it, he cannot shake off that uneasy feeling that he’s not alone. Ok now I’m confused…the ghost thing is interesting but how does it fit into the story? Is this a haunted school or something? They better be some kind of good explanation for that…or else it feels kind of random.
Team A is celebrating, most likely already very well-prepared thanks to their “efficient” Diva director, who is at the moment making sure that their costumes are ready. Oh dear, it’s going to be a landslide win isn’t it? Please tell me it isn’t so!
It’s D-day. The stage is set. Showdown!
Team B is all nerves, mostly because everyone is worried about their weakest link – Jae hun! Everyone gets even more jittery when they learn that the stage is crowded with Prof Yang also present. Doo-ri helpfully points out that the media is here too, for Chae-young or Sun. Err…why is she here? LOL.
Just then, everyone stares open-mouthed as Team A saunters into the dressing room to the song Vogue (Madonna), their groomed star-like appearance a stark contrast to the simplistic costume designs of Team B.
Sun flips the coin to determine the order of performance – Team B goes first.
Next we see a familiar looking reporter wandering in the campus, looking for the musical stage. It’s *gasp” that reporter, the one who caught Hades on camera! Uh-oh.
Showtime. Despite the early awkwardness, especially Jae-hun, they gave a rather good performance – with Chae-young’s roomie, Tae-hee and Do-sung as the main vocals and one of the boys rapping in the middle. Do-sung just manages to evade the eyes of that reporter…phew. Even Sun looks impressed, but tampers his enthusiasm before the expressionless Yang and the barrage of reporters. Diva director looks upset – what? Can’t you beat that…with all the resources at your disposal?
Meanwhile, Doo-ri’s mum is slowly making her way to the musical venue too…
In the dressing room, bitchy-diva-director instructs a nervous Byung-gun to give up trying so hard because he can’t do it. Byung-gun could only nod in acquiescence. Next, manipulative-bitchy-diva-director tells Ji-Eun to sing her solo in the shadows – apparently for dramatic purpose.
Showtime. Team A’s performance is much much more polished. They have impressive backdrops, props, violinists, Soo-bin at the piano, confetti and bubbles. Although Doo-ri leaves mid-performance when she spots her mum coming in and Ji-Eun realizes belatedly she’s been used, everyone in the audience, which conveniently consists of the seniors including the infatuated Tian-ji applauds their impressive performance. Even Prof Yang manages a stingy smile.
Doo-ri and Do-sung bumps into each other hiding backstage. Doo-ri wondering straight-faced if there is a teleportal in there. Poor Do-sung is confused.
Results. Team A wins. No surprises there. Ji-Eun looking glum. No surprises there too. Shameless-manipulative-bitchy-diva-director holds a mini interview for the press alongside Prof Yang, totally taking credit for the performance. Grr…she makes my skin crawl. Prof Yang shares the limelight with her by taking advantage of the fact that Chae-young is her student.
However, they were upstaged when the reporters are more interested in Sun Woo-young – he is the protégé of the school’s President, Go Min-young. And together, Go Minyoung – Sun Wooyoung – Eun Chaeyoung, would supposedly form three generations of musical giants! Hah. Serves you right.
Byung-gun brags good-naturedly in front of the Team B gang…and they fool around a bit. Aww…I love how they’re not jealous of the other team and genuinely enjoyed themselves.
But they run into Ji-Eun confronting Chae-young about what happened. Not bothering to explain, she turns away only to see the gang looking at her and Ji-eun. She immediately makes Byung-gun the fall-guy, blaming him for not conveying her message to the lighting director. And being the clueless dork that he is, Byung-gun could not explain himself. Turning back to Ji-eun, she has the audacity to demand an apology from Ji-eun for daring to doubt her. Wth! I’m running out of adjectives to describe her already. The poor girl honestly thought she’s misunderstood Chae-young and apologizes. Sigh. Where’s Doo-ri when we need her most?
Oops. Doo-ri has problems of her own. She’s loitering in the hallways, still trying to avoid mum. Mr. Ahjussi guard finds her and tells her that mum is waiting for her in her room.
Tae-hee is sharing her vinyl records with Doo-ri’s Mum, who’s impressed with her collection. They discover that Mum is actually a singer who had collaborated with Tae-hee’s dad in the past.
Doo-ri finally shows herself. Tae-hee is too excited to notice the strained atmosphere. Doo-ri tells her to leave the room. Once alone, Mum asks Doo-ri to remove her wig, because her obedient Doo-ri would never cut her hair behind her back.
Tae-hee has another of her imaginary conversation with dad. She marvels that Dad was once popular and all. She wonders if Doo-ri’s mum and her mum know each other. Imaginary dad is quiet, playing his guitar. We learn that Dad doesn’t like to speak of mum very much. Tae-hee tells dad that Doo-ri and her mum look like they’re gonna have a fight and she’s envious. Her own mum left when she was three years old so she hardly has any memories of her. She asks dad what he was doing the day he was in the accident. He had been acting strangely, disappearing on his own several times. Was he in Seoul? Was he looking for mum? Because she asks him to? So was it because of her that he…..Tae-hee turns to dad but he vanished.
Tae-hee’s conversations with her imaginary dad are a reflection of her thoughts. When dad answers, it’s because she knows how dad would answer and when she doesn’t, imaginary dad just stays silent…
Meanwhile, Doo-ri’s mum is still in denial, ignoring the hair and the wardrobe, desperately willing Doo-ri to yield to to her, even if it’s in pretense. Doo-ri presses on, determine to talk things out once and for all but mum pretends not to hear her…
DR: Can I not do this anymore?
M: What is it you want to stop doing, Doo-ri?
DR: Your puppet…it’s been 20 years…can’t you let me go?
M: These rubbish needs to be separated…where should clothes go?
DR: You knew, didn’t you? I came here because of the hostel. I wanted to escape from you. I can’t do this anymore.
Mum still ignores the topic, resolutely talking about the clothes and heading for the door. Doo-ri stops her, desperately begging mum to save her. Mum finally caves, telling her to stop it, shouting at her to stop –“why are you doing this to me? What about me?!”
Mum leaves, but forgets her handbag. Doo-ri brings it to her, asking in concern if she’s fine enough to drive. Mum admits she knew all along, how Doo-ri and the rest of the world think of her. She’s about to drive away when Doo-ri sings, the song from her musical, claiming she’s supposed to be the star if not for that Eun Chae-young. Eh? She’s switching back to obedient daughter mode out of concern for her mum – complaining how’s she’s more talented and deserving than Chae-young, how mum should buy her new clothes and finally sending her off with a smile….Sob.sob. Why is it I find it more heartbreaking when she’s in pretense mode than when she’s lashing out…?
It’s time for Jae-hun’s nightly run on the Friendship Stairs. He practices singing alone, but freaks out when he finds Chae-young sitting silently right behind him, accusing her of scaring him like a ghost. Er…you were with a real ghost ! Chae-young tries to make him leave but Jae-hun is curious why Diva Chae-young is crying…why she’s miserable even though she’s won. Any normal person would rejoice with a win, why isn’t she? She shoots back at him, “So why aren’t you upset? Any normal person would be upset if they lose, why aren’t you?”
JH: Normal Jang Jae-hun is not the kind to care about win or lose. Yah! This is art we’re talking about. There’s no win or lose in art. All that matters is to give it your best shot. That’s the spirit of art….oh….I’m so eloquent today!
Chae-young is pissed at his attitude, she who has spent sleepless nights fretting over the musical, just so she could produce her best side on a stage. The fact that she defeated such an undeserving team makes her ashamed.
Doo-ri releases her frustration by playing the drums, which she sort of “borrowed” from a senior.
She relives memories of her younger self and her mum, in which mum is obviously living her life through Doo-ri. Doo-ri is trapped, unable to break free of mum’s shackles because she doesn’t want to hurt her, but desperately wants to be true to herself. She breaks the drumsticks which is picked up by….Sun!
DR : Once there was a star who gave up her dreams for marriage and gave birth to a child. She should’ve been blissfully happy. But dad cheated, with another woman who’s an even younger and bigger star. In this story, where did it go wrong? What is the main point of this story?
SWY: What is your name?
DR: Musical department, 11th batch, Oh Doo-ri.
SWY: Oh Doo-ri! In that story, one thing is obvious…shall I tell you? That girl’s daughter…she’s innocent. She’s not guilty of anything…
DR: Can…can you repeat that?
SWY: That child is not guilty of anything. That is why…she’s allowed to cry.
Doo-ri breaks down and cries in earnest. Oh show, are you planning to break my heart every episode. This is the most vulnerable we’ve seen of Doo-ri. To witness her breakdown and cry... So bloody heartbreaking. I’m only glad that Sun is there to comfort her somewhat.
There’s another short footage after the preview which shows Doo-ri’s mum excitedly boasting to dad on the phone that Doo-ri’s been accepted to the school…and she will make sure Doo-ri is a star before she graduates! Meanwhile, Doo-ri is playing her RPG game indifferently in her very feminine room…
I'm glad the show gives a chance for all this characters to shine. And shine they did. Again, tears were shed. Another strong performance...this time between Doo-ri and Mum. Even though the issue was not resolved, but we are allowed a deeper insight into the actual relationship between mother and daughter. And my heart bleeds for Doo-ri. Nothing is resolved but then again, it's not the kind of problem you can overcome easily. For the moment, it would be enough that Doo-ri has her friends and now perhaps a sympathetic adult figure in her life.
I was surprised however to see the interaction between Jae-hun and Chae-young. That was something I didn't see coming. For all the negative adjectives I piled on her, it's heartening to see that she's actually pretty committed to her dreams, even though she's approaching it all wrong. Hers is a character which is difficult to like, but I'm seeing some signs that maybe, she would learn to curb her insecurities and be more likeable in the future.
Lastly, what is it about that ghost! "It" has a recurring appearance for several episodes now and it's puzzling because I can't figure out what role he serves in this story!