This episode is so intense it left me breathless half the time. I love how the teachers are the catalysts for all the emotional outbursts. All in all, this is a rather depressing episode for the most part, with many threads building slowly and closer to what could only be a catastrophic bang.
All the musical freshies rush out, dressed in their tracksuits, presumably to “bond” with our sunbaes again. Even Jae-hun is up and ready, surprise surprise. But Do-sung is hiding under his blankets, unwilling to show himself, allegedly down with flu. Jae-hun is worried because Do-sung refuses to visit the school’s physician or his offer to get him medicines. Just when I thought Jae-hun has mellowed considerably, he says, “If you spread your cold to me, you’re dead!” Ha. Same ol’ same ol’.
Once alone, Do-sung immediately makes a call to his uncle.
It’s the morning exercise again (Pumped-up kicks by Foster the People playing in the background – I love this song!). The freshies are paired up for some stretching exercise. Tian-ji switches the guy who is paired with Chae-young with Chae-young’s roomie when he notices him applying too much pressure on her. More signs of interest. Ok you two are made for each other – because you guys definitely have something in common – I don’t like either of you. Heh.
Meanwhile, Tae-hee is having fun forcing Jae-hun to bend his so-very-stiff body. When it’s time to reverse their roles, Jae-hun takes pleasure in exacting revenge but she pranks him by collapsing totally. They laugh it off, joking and totally at ease with each other. Well, until their next routine that is…which is reminiscent of the routine made famous by Ha Ji-won and Hyun-bin in Secret Garden…because it brings them within close proximity of each other again and it’s totally awkward – Jae-hun is uncharacteristically speechless and they avoided each other’s eyes. The attraction is there, and it’s definitely mutual!
A flashy red car shows up on campus, a well-dressed man gets out to some sexy-sounding Spanish music which …fizzles away when the dowdy Sun rushes out and without bothering with any niceties, practically drags him into the building, claiming that they’re late for class. @@
Sun introduces our bespectacled new guy as Prof Jang Myung-hak, here to teach them the basics of singing. He’s a junior of Sun, who left for a Germany University after graduation to further in Opera. It’s all Sun talking because we see that Jang has no chance of interrupting even as Sun launches into more embarrassing details of his “credentials”. Sun excuses himself and leaves the class in Jang’s hand before Jang has the chance to absorb the situation. Jang does eventually runs after him and they have a tug-of-war with the door where Sun wins after threatening to reveal so-called “incriminating” photos of Jang to his fiancé.
Frustrated, Jang reluctantly attends to the class, all of whom are staring at him with interest, while Sun effectively locks him in by stuffing a broom stick against the handle. Juvenile but effective. Ha.
He begins by asking the class if they have any questions regarding the basics of singing. Jae-hun asks if it’s possible to learn to sing if one has no singing experience whatsoever. Jang is incredulous, as is well, everyone. He tampers his reaction though when he notices his crestfallen look and tries to be encouraging. Jae-hun elaborates that his only singing experience dates right back to his kindergarten years and he wants to learn because well, he’s majoring in musical and musical is music and song. Chae-young keeps shooting him funny looks, well at least she’s no longer rolling her eyes, perhaps cutting him some slack ever since their midnight talk previously.
Sun calls up the school director, pleading her to tell him which among the students is the niece/nephew. She says he’s not in the right state of mind to meet him/her – he needs to be a good teacher first, one without bias. Her forthright judgment of his current downtrodden condition hurts and he complains she’s rather cruel. She insists that truths hurts and he’s been evading the truth for the past 5 years…
Back to the class, Jang lectures that even if you can’t sing, surely you can speak.
He instructs Jae-hun to say the following:
“That woman is telling me now..
I am a good man…
Then, Jang sings the following with piano accompaniment…with Jae-hun following uncertainly at first, stopping at one point, and continuing as Jang probes him patiently…
I was once blissfully happy
Is this all I can offer you…
That woman is telling me now…
I am a good man…that’s why she hates
Because this is all I can offer…
That is why…."
When Jae-hun successfully follows his lead right to the end, he tells Jae-hun, “What we did just now – that is singing”. Just a simple observation but oh-so-touching. Jae-hun is overwhelmed by what would be his first real attempt at singing, smiling to himself as others applaud him. Indeed, this is such a simple scene but the moment is so nicely done, that the emotional significance left me feeling breathless too.
Jae-hun and Tae-hee make their way back to their dorm. Tae-hee passes him some herbal mixture and tangerines – meant for Do-sung only! Jae-hun mutters a curse at Do-sung under his breath. Oo…is that jealousy I detect? Cute. Haha.
Jae-hun asks Tae-hee about her father whom he had assumed would turn up at the musical but is shocked to learn that her father had passed away. Tae-hee explains that dad was with her all the way, his picture on the front seat during their performance, in her bag during the audition. She and dad were always together since she was young, because mum left them when she was three. Dad died in an accident, hit by a truck. By now, Tae-hee could hardly speak, tears flowing freely. Jae-hun is sorry to have asked and offer to be hit to cheer her up. She smiles, ruffles his hair and tells him she would bring dad picture the next day, so he could greet him properly. T.T It’s adorable how Jae-hun wants to cheer her up but I can’t help feeling dreadful for the moment he’d discover the truth…I swear all these characters are taking turns making me cry.
Jae-hun does not immediately link everything together yet but he’s disturbed enough to have a nightmare of the accident.
Jang is complaining to Sun about having to teach for a whole semester when they find Byung-gun waiting anxiously outside the office. Sun chucks Byung-gun unceremoniously into Jang’s care and leaves. Byung-gun confesses to Jang that he’s got a problem singing before an audience – he sees only darkness, his mind blanks out, he feels like a rock is stuck in his throat and his legs tremble. Even if he tries to sing in a recording studio, just the thought that someone would hear him eventually, scares him. Still, he declares that he loves singing leaving Jang speechless. Byung-gun is such an odd amalgamation of cute and earnest you can’t help but feel sorry and admiration for him. *Hugs*
Chae-young and Prof Yang are posing for a photoshoot with that creepy photographer/reporter when he remarks that Sun Woo-young appears to have gotten over his first love since he’s in a relationship with a student. What? He even asks for a list of the students’ names to find a certain student. Hades? Doo-ri? Or the nephew/niece?
Sun goes to his secret hideout, looking for his secret stash of booze….which is not no secret anymore considering Doo-ri has already drunk a lot of it because she is pretty far gone when he found her. Even a drunk Doo-ri is pretty assertive, so Sun could only let her have her way. She says, “I…I think I may have fallen in love with you!” …What?! She repeats, “I think I love you, is that ok?” Omo!
Sun responds by dragging her to the washroom where he dips her head into the basin…trying to clear her mind. He asks her mathematical questions, when she got the second one wrong, he wonders if she’s still drunk or actually sucks at maths. He’s totally ignoring her confession, attributing it as a moment of madness from the soju influence and tells her to leave, since they’re in the men’s washroom. Doo-ri tells him she did not confess because she was drunk; she drank because she wanted to confess. Doo-ri is not backing down even as he basically rubbishes her talk on love. Like the rebel that she is, she insists on experiencing love herself, and not just listening to others’ opinion. Sun sighs in frustration.
Byung-gun and Prof Yang’s secretary spots Doo-ri leaving the washroom and calls her out. But she’s in no mood to answer and leaves abruptly. Just then, Sun also leaves the washroom…Byung-gun and secretary realize in horror that the both of them just exited the men’s washroom together! Oh dear, here is a scandal waiting to explode.
Do-sung’s uncle meets up with him on campus, trying to convince him to leave the campus less he turns up on the news and jeopardizes mum’s political ambition. Do-sung is reluctant to leave because he loves it here – he has friends for the very first time. He asks for one more day…oh no! He’s leaving?
Prof Yang prepares the students list and passes it to her secretary, thinking that there might be somebody outstanding among the students in whom the reporter is interested, which will in turn produce money-generating opportunities for the school. She finally notices that the Secretary looks distracted but she quickly denies it and leaves abruptly. Almost immediately, Assistant lecturer An Jung Tae comes in to report that there is some problem regarding Sun - he’s drunk and not answering his door!
Do-sung attends class, Tae-hee and Jae-hun teasing him of pretending to be sick.
Meanwhile, Sun’s alarm is off, beeping incessantly, while he fidgets in his sleep – dreaming of a girl, Eun-hye knocked down by a car as she rushes towards him from across the road. Oh dear, what is it about this show and accidents.
Byung-gun and classmates while away time by impersonating Sun and Jang.
Prof Yang shows up before Sun, demanding to know why he is not in class. Sun is unrepentant, and admits he’s been drinking. He even asks her for a favor – to replace him for class tomorrow because he needs to be somewhere far. Prof Yang plays hardball, daring him to skip class for whatever reason and she will personally see to it that he’s fired, reminding him that she too has a strong back-up.
Sun shows up for class, stinking of alcohol. He selects two students and pitches them against each other to display their theme of the day – Anger.
Prof Yang finally catches on the suspiciously anxious secretary and finds her searching the net for information on ban against teacher-student relationship. Err…why is it such a shock? Granted it’s not quite the moral thing to do, but googling it seems rather stupid.
In class, Doo-ri volunteers for the task, claiming she has a lot of unexpressed anger. Oh dear, this can’t be good. Sun tells her to imagine her conversation partner, finally settling on her father when she couldn’t decide.
She launches into a one-sided conversation with imaginary dad:
“Dad, you might not remember me, but I’m your daughter, Doo-ri. You come home like 4x a year, greeted by this scene – Grandmother, grandfather and your wife by your side. If you look closer, you’d notice I’m right there too. I’m your daughter.”
She says all that rather matter-of-factly, and suggests that they change another conversation partner because she cannot muster any anger against dad. She harbours no expectation and therefore no disappointment towards dad.
Sun sends her to face the wall and tells her to remove that “blanket” she’s pulled over herself and reevaluate dad’s existence after that. Well, despite his disheveled look, he sure is perceptive. He basically wants her to tear down her emotional wall and release her repressed anger towards dad.
Prof Yang finally hears the entire story from secretary and they conclude that 1. The two of them must have been “playing” together or 2. One party must have force himself on the other. Not very bright these two. Sigh. Busybody creepy reporter joins in with an “I told you!” out of nowhere…and deduces that it might be a “hobby” instead of a love relationship…Gawd. The three stooges.
Meanwhile, Tae-hee is picked next and she conducts a conversation with her dad. Jae-hun even turning her dad’s photograph towards her !! But Tae-hee speaks to dad like she always does, in a playful banter, instead of erm… in anger. Sun is pissed, remarks that she’s speaking to dad as though a kindergarden kid. He leads her, creating the scenario that dad is refusing to look her in the eye, refusing to answer her questions. Tae-hee is lost in the moment, remembers that dad once treated her this way, when her aunt passed away, she understands what death is even though she was a high school student…and wants him to tell her directly –Sun’s ears perk at that but he presses her to continue.
“What I mean is, you can’t do this to me again this time around. If you have to go, just let me know. Tell me we will never meet again…tell me not to wait and that you’re sorry. You should have told me.”
Sun gets flashbacks of a similar situation, Eun-hye uttering similar words. His own anger taking over, he continues to press Tae-hee relentlessly, asking her what is it her father should be sorry for. When Tae-hee finally blurts that Dad shouldn’t have died on her…Sun is again tortured by memories of Eun-hye – she is unwilling to settle down as a teaching lecturer because she believes she’s talented enough to pick up where she’s left off, and she’s doing it for him…
Sun continues to push Tae-hee, asking her why she’s mad at dad for dying on her…telling her off for crying when what he wanted was for her to be angry, shouting at her for failing to differentiate between anger and tears. Jae-hun has had enough. He thinks that Sun has gone too far and he’s confused whether Sun is actually teaching them or indulging in his hobby of making girls cry.
Sun kneels before Tae-hee and asks if she’s reach her limit, he sends her to the wall to think over what she’s said…what she really means…
Sun picks Jae-hun next. Jae-hun refuses. But it isn’t hard to raise Jae-hun’s ire. Sun speaks of his mum, the man accompanying her does not seem like his dad, a woman who works that hard for her son is sure to have been dumped by her husband. @@ Jae-hun clenches his fist, trying to restraint his anger. Sun tells him not to be mad at him, but to speak to his imaginary mum. Jae-hun slams the chair warning him, “Do not speak of my mother again. I will no longer be obsessed with this school. Just you try!” Sun walks closer to his face…
Prof Yang looking for Sun Woo-young in his god-forsaken hut, up some remote hill.
I’m not sure how I feel about Doo-ri’s crush on Sun. I’m not exactly against teacher-student relationships (though it has to be said that this theme is rather popular nowadays), but it was kind of a shocker to me…as in I totally didn’t see it coming. Doo-ri being the rebel that she is, is sure to challenge Sun’s feelings every step of the way and while I want Sun to come out from his shell, I’m not sure how Doo-ri’s gonna be able to do that. Actually, to be honest, I’d rather theirs is a loveline that wouldn’t work, so that everyone can catch their breath and get a break. Their own personal life is complicated enough without all these extra burden.
There’s prevailing sense of dread throughout the episode – Do-sung dropping out, Doo-ri and Sun’s impending scandal, Jae-hun on the brink of discovering Tae-hee’s dad’s identity, Do-sung's impending heartbreak and now Sun seems hell-bent of igniting the short-fused Jae-hun! It’s like a bloody Armageddon here.
The only truly inspiring moment was when Jae-hun learns to sing – too bad the feel-good moment is kind of eclipsed by everything else…