It’s confession time in What’s Up as everyone takes turns facing their past.
The episode begins cheerily enough as we rewind a little to the moments before their fateful date.
Tae-hee enthusiastically primps herself for the big date. Satisfied with her final look, she asks dad if she’d overdone it. She admits shyly that she’d wanted to introduce him sooner, but was unsure of her feelings. She’s confident Jae-hun won’t find her weird – because she wants to introduce him to a photo. She confides shyly that she likes Jae-hun…squealing in embarrassment. J
Meanwhile, Jae-hun is all nerves too, preparing his greetings. Tae-hee shows up and waste no time in introducing Jae-hun to dad. Jae-hun gets cold feet when he sees Tae-hee slowly removing the photo frame from her bag – asking if it’s possible if yunno, he says it in his heart. Tae-hee can’t hear him then – he chides her for wanting to listen to men’s talk. Heh. Tae-hee sees through his ploy and he concedes…but rrrrring. Oooof. Tae-hee’s phone rings and the moment is interrupted.
The caller is none other than Director Kang, who needs her presence immediately. Tae-hee tries to refuse, arguing she’s got a prior engagement. But Director Kang shows himself before her – ack, he’s here! – and explains he wants to show her, his “product” to his Chairman daddy, who’s like reeeeeeeeeeeally busy. It’s imperative to impress daddy or else the Musical will be scrapped. Why else would he pick her up personally? Uh-huh…
Tae-hee looks at him apologetically but Jae-hun understands her predicament. With a heavy sigh, he lets her go, asking to be repaid threefold next time. Aww… Turning to Director Kang, he says, “I’m letting her go because it’s an important engagement. Please take good care of my friend tonight. Curfew is at 10pm. I’ll be watching you…” (Hihi. You probably know this Jae-hun, but I’d like to say, “You're really cool! ”) Tae-hee smiles at his cheek and leaves with Kang.
Jae-hun braces himself to face dad, embarrassed to be doing it in the first place. He stares at the photo of Tae-hee’s dad, shook to the core, as memories of previous conversations with Tae-hee floats to mind, further confirming that Tae-hee’s dad is the same man in the accident. And what’s more – he’s DEAD! Jae-hun had thought he was saved… Fear and regret overwhelms him as he tries to digest this shocking news. He drops the photo frame and the glass breaks. Still in disbelief, he backs away from the photo and crumples to the floor…T.T
More trouble. Creepy reporter manages to tail Do-sung and uncle right back to their apartment before being picked out by their security. Do-sung and Uncle return to the apartment to find Mum already waiting for them. Uncle tries to play it cool and Do-sung follows his lead, explaining that he’s just back from school.
Mum notes that Do-sung is looking well – school must be agreeable to him. Do-sung nervously asks about her health politely but she claims to be unwell. Why did he lie to her - musical department, local university, living in a hostel? BUSTED! Did uncle, Dong-joo put him up to this? So Do-sung can earn money for him as a musical actor? Uncle denies. Mum shows them a photo of the pesky reporter who has been digging on their family registry. Uncle explains that the reporter’s interest stems from the knowledge that Do-sung is Hades. But it shouldn’t be a problem, since Do-sung is registered as their brother, and not her son. *Gasp.
Anyway, Mum found out about Do-sung’s lies because she was investigating why the reporter was probing into their affairs – the name of his school cropped up! Do-sung apologizes but Mum continues to reprimand him, well if you could call it that, she’s using the gentlest of tone but her disappointment and disapproval is unmistakable. Actually, I find her pretty scary – that’s some great politicking mask.
Mum is disappointed that Do-sung chose to pursue Musical, because that will eventually lead to fame, which will ultimately link him to her. Why is he doing this to her? Wow…Mum is practically guilt-ing him, if there is such a word. Do-sung promises to stay out of the limelight – he just wants to sing and dance with his friends…but Mum is having none of it. She tells them to move out, to overseas. The money from the sale of the house will be enough for them to settle anywhere in the world. They can look for another school then, just don’t dream of studying musical or acting….
Do-sung is barely listening, as he flashes back to a similar situation when he was a child. Mum was telling him he would be living as his grandparents’ son, which is for his own good. Mum cannot live with them – she has passed a talent show and if she were to succeed she needs to hide him. Can he understand that only if mum lives, he’d live? Little Do-sung asks mum where she’s going, mum just tells him they’re going to be apart for a while. Little Do-sung asks when she’d be back, mum has no answer and walks away from him…
Another flashback shows Uncle bringing a slightly older Do-sung to catch a glimpse Mum leaving a mansion with a man from afar. Mum is now wife to a famous politician, therefore they need to be extra careful not to be found out. Uncle tries to comfort him by reminding him of the expensive gifts mum bought him, but Do-sung is not listening. He runs to the gate of Mum’s mansion, caressing the same spot Mum was holding onto when she slipped….T.T Poor Do-sung only wanted to have some contact with mum, ANY contact… Uncle had to pry him away…
Back to the present, Do-sung snaps out of his reverie. Mum is confident Do-sung will follow her instructions, after all mum made the decision she thinks is best for him. Uh-huh. As a final touch, Mum tells him she loves him the most…which probably worked countless times in the past. But…Do-sung says softly –“Mum doesn’t really love him…” Uncle and Mum are surprised, but Mum thinks he’s just in a rebellious phase. Do-sung refuses to be taken lightly, for once he wants to be heard, since Mum’s been doing all the talking all these time.
DS: There’s a girl I like in school, but she likes another…He’s my roommate, but it’s good thing – he’s really not bad. It’s really a good thing she likes him…unlike me, he doesn’t need to live a hidden life. If it’s him, he can surely offer her happiness. It’s really a good thing, that’s how I feel…
M: What are you trying to say?
DS: That’s how I knew…”Ah…I have fallen for her.” More than myself, I wish that she is happy. That’s why I know you don’t love me. Because you never place my happiness first.
M: You’ve got it wrong-
DS: Even so, I love you Mum. I will do anything to preserve your happiness. So, please don’t worry and let me be.
M: You have become rather strange…What’s happened to my son? (Lady, YOU are the strange one!)
DS: I’ve been learning how to convey my true feelings in school.
The pesky reporter is still loitering in the whereabouts and catches Do-sung’s mum on camera as she leaves the apartment. He’s got a hunch there’s more than meet the eye. Well, I hate hate hate him now just because he’s making Do-sung’s life miserable.
Back in the campus, Byung-gun runs to the Department of Electronic Data Processing (oopss sorry I made a mistake in the previous episode), and begs the assistant to lie for him…but it’s too late! Brother hears the whole exchange from the door. Hah. Busted.
The brothers sit down for a talk. Surprisingly, big bro is not here to find fault with him, he doesn’t sound patronizing even as Byung-gun informs him he’s studying musical. In contrast, Byung-gun goes all offensive - it’s weird that big bro is even visiting him – a busy prosecutor, on a weekday, and not even his birthday at that or even if it was his birthday, bro has never celebrated with him before. With his prosecutor skills, bro immediately catches on the criminal psyche - offense is the best defense. Hah.
Properly chastised, Byung-gun asks if bro is gonna tell on him. Bro is just curious how he’s going to make it as a musical actor if he can’t sing – it’s like an artist who can’t draw. Anyway, bro is here to stay – he plans on spending the night in his place.
Byung-gun shows bro around the school…until he’s reminded by his classmates that he has private lessons with Prof Jang. He tells bro to head to the cafeteria by himself and runs off to class. Prof Jang and Sun devise various methods to help Byung-gun overcome his irrational fear of singing in public, but he always falters at the last hurdle, exasperating Jang and Sun. Bro sees the whole process with a complicated expression on his face…Ee?
Jae-hun asks the Soo-bin fanclub president, Yoo-jin for a piece of glass and a class cutter. Well she is in charge of the props. When he’s done cutting, he asks that she places the photo into the frame and returns it to room 218. Senior is miffed to be ordered about, but Jae-hun’s entire demeanor has changed. He looks haunted and withdrawn, a shadow of his old self. He admits to being afraid of the photo, promises to return the favor in future and leaves before she has a chance to refuse. Curious, senior flips the facedown photo of Tae-hee and dad….
The photo is back in Tae-hee’s room as we see Ji-eun and Doo-ri bonding over what looks suspiciously like pork feet. Which is banned. Hah. Tae-hee returns and looks eagerly at the dish, salivating. But she can’t eat after 6pm, company rules. Doo-ri asks where she’s been, all dressed up. Tae-hee explains she’s been singing for the chairman. Doo-ri notes she looks down. Tae-hee is finding it harder to enjoy singing. She’s been singing to a bunch of people who seemed more preoccupied with other matters, which probably zapped her zest. She loses confidence in herself, thinking her singing is not good enough…
Tae-hee spots dad’s photo in the room. Doo-ri explains that Yoo-jin sunbae returned the photo, per request from Jae-hun. Tae-hee leaves the room abruptly as Ji-eun catches on that Jae-hun and Tae-hee may be dating. Doo-ri asks her which is it – 1. To tell the world those two are dating, making up 12 different reasons why they fought and break up OR 2. Just eat the pork feet. Ji-eun chooses the later. Haha.
Byung-gun brings bro back to his messed-up room. Bro comments that he’s changed much. Byung-gun is too lazy to defend himself and admits to that, but they disturbed the sleeping Soo-bin who wakes up long enough to throw pillows at them. LOL.
The next scene is rather quirky and funny. Byung-gun finds Tae-hee in the lobby, waiting for Jae-hun, who is not picking up her calls. Tae-hee asks what he’s doing, Byung-gun informs her he’s meditating, because he needs to. LOL. Do-sung returns at that moment too. Tae-hee chides him for not picking up his calls, just like Jae-hun. Do-sung asks about the musical, Tae-hee explains she stood Jae-hun up, which is why she’s waiting for him right now…to apologize. But he’s nowhere to be found. Byung-gun tells Do-sung to join him in meditation, he’d teach him. LOL. Where did that come from, can Byung-gun sense Do-sung is troubled, much like himself?
Jae-hun shows up at Sun’s door, drunk!
Meanwhile, Byung-gun tells Tae-hee and Do-sung about his family – Father is Head of a hospital, Mother a University professor, Eldest brother a famous surgeon in Dad’s hospital, Second brother is studying Law. Do-sung thought his family is opposing his choice, but in truth Byung-gun admits that he doesn’t know how to face them – he’s afraid of being ridiculed. How can someone who can’t sing be a musical actor? Tae-hee and Do-sung sympathizes with him but Byung-gun claims they can’t understand how he feels – they who can sing whenever they want.
At Sun’s home, Jae-hun starts to talk…much to the exasperation of Sun, who thinks it’s beyond his responsibility as a teacher to listen to a drunk rave. Hah.
JH: I’ve not committed many mistakes. Just stole some money from drunkards...but I’ve always mail those back untouched. “Borrowed” some cars too, but I’ve always returned those too, the owners usually manage to find them. But that…that was an accident. I couldn’t have prevented it…
And the confessions keep coming. Do-sung confides he has trouble expressing himself – he can’t speak his mind even if he practiced hundreds of times before bed, and in the end, he’d give up altogether, thinking maybe it’s best he says nothing after all. Tae-hee tries to encourage Byung-gun to sing in a relax way…and attempts to demonstrate for him but….omo…she CAN’T! Tae-hee can’t sing too! Just like Byung-gun…Oh dear!
Sun advises Jae-hun to confess in a church…but Jae-hun is too engrossed or drunk to care.
JH: Why treat me like this? It’s too much. There are millions of people in Korea, half of which are women. Why is that girl in front of me? It’s really too much…
Looking at his tear-streaked face, Sun finally asks : “What did you do?” Dun dun!
The angst has begun. The plot moves forward nicely as Jae-hun, Do-sung and Byung-gun takes turns to face the ghost of their past. Secrets are unveiled. And at the moment, everyone is stuck in a limbo.
You know, when I think of it, this is really a depressing drama. The problems keep piling up as if the writer is tightening the noose around the necks of our protagonists slowly but surely. This is one drama in which conflicts are not lacking, in fact it’s so overloaded with them I wonder if 18 episodes are sufficient to tie up all loose ends. Even so, I appreciate that the writer does not take the easy way out…because the problems that they face are not something that can be overcome simply. I’m usually wary of the angsty part of a drama, but there’s just enough humour interspersed in the episode that made all the angst tolerable. Phew.
Right now, Sun is laden with a bunch of students, all incapacitated psychologically. LOL. I’m so curious how he plans to sort them out. Hah.