- Everyone gets on the same page.
- Our OTP inches closer together, and then gets pushed apart.
- We hear some more of Chan-Young’s song for So-Rim.
- Real Crude Play pops in.
- Han-Kyeol gets the prenup.
Liar and His Lover Episode 5
After a quick replay through the show we’re dropped back into the moment: Han-Kyeol races up the stairs as Chan-Young make’s some serious commitment to So-Rim. It sounds an awful lot like a confession, but everything about him says it’s so much more than that. Han-Kyeol gives us a brief heartbroken look and we transition—back to the lighthearted, which is nice.
It’s Jin-Woo and Gyoo-Sun, getting on the same page about this whole Han-Kyeol, K, Crude play business. So-Rim barely walks in before Gyoo-Sun nearly tells her everything—but Jin-Woo has a vested interested in hiding that So-Rim’s crush is also her treasured writer for her favorite band. So-Rim looks a bit under the weather, but then remembers something and rushes out (was it the mention of Han-Kyeol? I’m betting so.)
It’s gotta be him, because now we’re following our hero on a walk by the canal as he reflects on recent events. Chan-Young wouldn’t tell him about the new rookie singer… So-Rim didn’t want to sing his song… they have to be connected (lol I love you. Only in a kdrama). He gets a call from—yes!—So-Rim, and they meet up at a café.
So-Rim comes clean about her casting, and I’m proud of her for telling Han-Kyeol even when she thinks he doesn’t like singers. He’s surprised at her hesitation and congratulates her—she’s obviously relieved. He starts digging about “oh, that’s why you won’t sing my song…” and she’s quick to correct him—he said he didn’t like girls who sang, that’s why. There’s my honest heroine. I think Han-Kyeol keeps forgetting how much sway he has over her, because he looks really flattered and surprised at that. He wonders how she could hesitate—obviously an opportunity in music is more important than he is—and she interrupts, asking if she has to choose. After all, music and Han-Kyeol have the same place in her heart. Han-Kyeol looks stunned (I like that) but I like his answer less, which seems a bit condescending as he mentions how she was scouted by luck and doesn’t realize how cutthroat the industry is. She should always just focus on music. Why does it seem like you’re convincing yourself as much as her? He gets a bit worked up, saying: “if you had told me you’d been scouted just a little bit earlier, I too would have—” what? Come clean about being K? Why not now?
He never finishes, storming out into the
storm rain, instead. Eventually he ends up at a bus stop, contemplating deleting the song he made for So-Rim (no!). Yoo-Na sees him from her car as she’s passing and stops to offer him a ride—or at least an umbrella—and he rejects both, pushing the proffered umbrella from her hands to the wet sidewalk. She doesn’t give up, however, and Han-Kyeol finally gives in.
So-Rim’s still walking, though, lonely along the canal that evening. She meets up with Jin-Woo, who’s been worried sick about her and asks if it’s that Han-Kyeol jerk again. Oh dear—she asks him how he’d feel if she told him “something very important, a little late”. Of course Jin-Woo thinks she knows about K and Han-Kyeol and replies it’s the worst, hoping to change her mind about her crush. It doesn’t help her any, though, and she explains about the scouting through her tears. Welp, now he’s kicking himself.
He texts Han-Kyeol demanding to meet, and sure enough our hero is in Yoo-Na’s car. He closes his messenger to look at So-Rim’s song again (don’t delete it!), and Yoo-Na remarks he can never stop working. It’s not for Crude Play, but any person with a great voice. Heh, or So-Rim. Yoo-Na willfully decides she wants to drop him off at his house instead, and that’s how we end up with a three way eyesdrop (like eavesdropping but with your eyes) between Han-Kyeol, Yoo-Na and Jin-Woo. The latter has arrived frustrated Han-Kyeol wouldn’t reply and sees our hero being dropped off by the famous singer. Jin-Woo flies at Han-Kyeol, angry, and Yoo-Na starts to get out… but there’s Crude Play’s van, and the band piles out to defend their friend–or keep tease him about being embarrassed by a high-schooler, in Shi-Hyun’s case. Lol, you two. Han-Kyeol breaks away from the group and runs off, which is Crude Play’s cue to leave Jin-Woo alone as well.
Han-Kyeol runs through the streets, all the way to So-Rim’s house. She looks uncertain, but they end up on a park bench anyway and I’m glad she still trusts him. He can’t get two words out before So-Rim’s confessing, however, and I think I love that his eyes flick down to her lips.
Han-Kyeol explains she was right—they shouldn’t have to choose between music and people, stating he was foolish and hadn’t been able to manage both, hurting people with his music. Perhaps that’s why he’d been upset earlier (she wanted to do something he hadn’t been able to do). He finishes it off, stating now he’ll do anything for her. Anything? I have a few ideas. Lol she just wants to hear him sing, the song when they first met. I think almost anything would have been easier for him than that. Han-Kyeol hasn’t performed for someone for a long time, I think.
Still, he takes her to his dad’s old club (“it’s a friend’s”) and pulls out a chair for So-Rim… even though she can sit wherever she like, heh. This is a once only performance, he tells her, and starts to play. Aaaaah I like his voice too. It just fits him so well. She mouths the words with him, and he looks at her so intently… she even starts tearing up.
The next morning So-Rim’s at school… saying goodbye? Is she leaving school forever? At least going to a recording, and she thanks Teacher Bong for all his support. He sends her off with a ‘fighting’! And she’s off to work! (PS Se-Jeong eaves and eyesdropped this whole exchange. Well, someone knows she was scouted now).
So-rim stops outside the company to buy some phone cases before work, and Han-Kyeol spots her from behind. He freezes, unwilling to get caught working at Sole Music. Ha, she senses something behind herself but he’s gone, hiding behind a passing man with a ladder.
Chan-Young and CEO are inside, arguing again over the possibility of Chan-Young’s song making it into So-Rim’s debut. So-Rim interrupts them—during school hours? Shame!—but So-Rim assures CEO Choi she’s nicknamed the human vegetable she falls asleep in class so often. This is a much better decision, obviously. CEO Choi excuses himself and the two get going, So-Rim encouraging Chan-Young to keep working on her song. Since she liked it. Nooo I want you to just like Han-Kyeol’s songs!
I think our hero feels the same way, when he finds out Chan-Young’s made a title track for So-Rim. He’d met up with CEO Choi in the company and gotten talking (about So-Rim, obviously) and I think Han-Kyeol’s now more anxious than ever to get So-Rim singing his song.
So-Rim’s recording goes well, and Su-Ae spots the phone cases in her bag after they finish. Chan-Young approves to, and So-Rim is anxious to get a guy’s validation… *cricket, cricket*. He asks if it’s a gift and she admits it, hoping they’re not too childish. Chan-Young realizes it must be for the guy she likes, but his next words are an invitation to eat, and I’m shaking my head at him. She’s not interested! Go away!
Pffft Han-Kyeol sees them (So-Rim and Chan-Young) leave together and dives for the stairwell in the hall. Is he more concerned she’ll see him or that she’s with another man? No time to find out, since Crude Play catches him eyesdropping and drag him away for an explanation. Lolz this is hilarious—Shi-Hyun’s coolly playing foosball as the others hoot over their friend’s hard fall… for a high school girl. Suuuure it’s not like that, and eeeeverything makes sense now. Hah. Yoon’s jealous of Han-Kyeol’s anonymity (he can’t even hold a girl’s hand in public), In-ho hopes he didn’t make a move that would bring the police after him… and Shi-Hyun’s just loving this, plopping himself in his friend’s lap and making fun of his woman-catching skills. I think it’s sweet Han-Kyeol doesn’t want them badmouthing her, and he stalks off (you’re so cuuuute!)
So-Rim and Chan-Young are eating in one of those super fancy restaurants, the ones with divided rooms and quiet classical music playing in the background. She wonders if it’s ok them eating alone like this, and he… says he likes it? Oh, this is so awkward. And she knows it, but Chan-Young says he just wants to get to know her a loooot better. Thankfully the food makes things less weird, and the conversation slowly shifts to K: a incredibly ugly, stuck up, oblivious, really annoying guy, according to Chan-Younh. Lol hint much? So-Rim doesn’t want to hear that, though, and Chan-Young is totally fishing for information. So-Rim gives it, too: she thinks K makes great songs. Way to kick a man where it counts, So-Rim. Chan-Young practically admits he feels inferior, saying that standing next to people who make great songs can make a person feel small.
Speaking of confidence in music, Crude Play is still struggling with theirs as they set up to record another faceless video. The comments are bad… really bad, and they look a bit disheartened (side note: Su-Ae does some more eyesdropping on this, and I love the little eyebrow quirk Shi-Hyun gives in return).
So-Rim talks to herself over breakfast the next morning, staring happily at her phone case for Han-Kyeol and setting up a meeting with him for later. Han-Kyeol agrees and we stick with him as he pulls up a demo of Chan-Young’s song at home. In flashback we see CEO Choi sent him the clip, but Han-Kyeol feels integrity bound not to listen to another man’s unfinished song—especially without permission (remember Yoo-Na from last episode?) He resists and sets his phone back on the table.
Yoo-Na’s got a busier day than her ex at the moment, with an interview and shoot set up with the president and CEO Choi. Lol he asks if she’s dating anybody—CEO Choi’s super good looking—and I really just want her come clean, right there. No such luck, but President makes a great marketing opportunity out of CEO Choi’s redirect: Yoo-Na’s going to take the reporter on a tour of the facilities.
I’m betting they’ll run into So-Rim and Chan-Young then, as he gives her a walkaround. He’s showing So-Rim a potential debut room when Crude Play pops up (cue fangirling from So-Rim) and I’m suuuper down for this, ‘cause they all know who she is. They grin at her flirtatiously, enjoying their inside joke until Chan-Young shoos them away… and Shi-Hyun slings an arm around Jin-Woo instead, asking if he got home alright the other night. He says K was in the wrong and Jin-Woo goes off on it, elaborating he shouldn’t lead So-Rim on like that when she likes him so much… lol Shi-Hyun likes his honesty, but focuses in on the attention Chan-Young is still giving So-Rim.
Chan-Young wants her to sing, since who knows when she’ll be here next, and I’m all for a mini performance. Nooot so much in front of Yoo-Na and the reporter though, and they just stopped by on their tour. Yoo-Na tries to hurry them along but the reporter wants to stay for a Crude Play rehearsal, and Yoo-Na has to ask Yu-Ae for help to get the man to leave.
Ooooh it’s a worst case scenario! So-Rim sees Yoo-Na and thinks of the woman she saw Han-Kyeol with—the one who made him sad—and starts coughing, surprised. Chan-Young’s concerned, and I don’t know if the performance is still on.
We transition first, however, to CEO and President, who are still discussing business: Yoo-Na is dating Han-Kyeol, right? And So-Rim’s debut, and how that will work. I get lost momentarily when it appears CEO and President Yoo belong to different companies, but it’s just that Sole Music is a subsidiary, and President needs to remind the man he’s not really the boss. He has to bend to her every whim, and he complies without a word. That’s a bitter smile, though.
Back with So-Rim, it turns out there’s no impromptu performance. So-Rim explains her difficulty earlier wasn’t illness—she used to get anxious on stage sometimes. She worries this will affect her debut, and Chan-Young reassures her… but still wants to keep it a secret from Choi. Good choice. So-Rim then bows out early for some “plans” of hers (Han-Kyeol, anyone?) and then literally runs into Yoo-Na on the elevator. Laaaame. She’s got coffee all down her shirt and Yoo-Na takes her to get changed, the perfect unnie. Does she recognize So-Rim out of uniform?
I guess not, since she wants to know if they’ve met before. So-Rim says something about seeing Yoo-Na on tv every day and makes her escape, thanking her for the clothing. Both women are thoughtful after the encounter, figuring out who the other is. They’re both insecure for different reasons: So-Rim since Yoo-Na’s so pretty and Yoo-Na from the President’s terrible nagging: Yoo-Na’s not getting any younger. Aaagh that woman.
Thank goodness So-Rim got clean clothes, since Han-Kyeol is waiting for her in a café. He does a double take when he sees So-Rim, giving her a stunned once over. She totally rocks the more mature outfit, even for how unused to it she seems.
Lol he’s excited for his “present” (the phone case), but So-Rim says she just wanted to see him. Don’t tease! He laughs, and she pulls it out. What, you’re not going to tell him about the other one? He knows something’s up though and demands to see her phone. Caught, So-Rim extracts her cell and keeps the back hidden until he snatches it from her. Dangit he doesn’t want the couple cases (I know you totally do, bud) and he interestingly tells her not to get ahead of herself, mentioning the outfit. She says it doesn’t suit her, but he hardly gets to refute that before learning it’s Yoo-Na’s and how she got it. Well, this is awkward.
But! He totally turns into a sweet moment, telling So-Rim not to compare herself: she’s as pretty as Yoo-Na is. And that’s a gorgeous smile.
Yoo-Na’s having lunch too, with CEO Choi. She wants to know more about the new trainee (she just looks soooo familiar) and CEO Choi reveals that Han-Kyeol and Chan-Young are fighting over her voice. Well, that gets her attention. She wonders if Han-Kyeol is like the CEO, only liking “genius voices” and brings up an idea CEO mentioned the other day: have Han-Kyeol produce for her, since there’s bound to be some leftover attachment. Well, it looks like she’s not so full of integrity after all. She says, “I realized you can only stand on pride depending on the situation. In any case, Han-Kyeol is a composer. He might want to give the song to a voice he likes.”
I think Han-Kyeol only has one other voice he wants to write for, and he’s walking next to her on the riverside now. He keeps glancing at her, remembering her self-conscious words from earlier. Ooooor maybe she’s remembering his compliments. Either way, she’s flustered by his current attention and they’re super cute together, checking her forehead for fever until—Ya! It’s grandma, lol! She does not look pleased to see her granddaughter dressed so maturely walking with an unknown man down a romantic riverbank.
They take Han-Kyeol home for an interreogation some food, and he tries to weasel his way out of being labeled a perverted, unemployed man trying to seduce her granddaughter. Grandma stalks over to the standing piano and flings open the lid: play it, she demands: something that represents her. Hahaha I’m thinking of Beethoven’s fifth, but that’s doubtful. He tries to follow So-Rim’s not subtle suggestions and gets it wrong at first, but soon enough he’s playing grandma’s favorite song and So-Rim tries to smooth things over valiantly. She dances with her grandma to Han-Kyeol’s accompaniment while he studies the photos on the piano: mostly So-Rim and her grandmother, just one of her parents. Her father is wearing a uniform, but I thought they’d died in a subway accident? Perhaps there’s more there.
Grandma’s definitely a fan of Han-Kyeol now, who reveals he too was raised by his grandmother as his mother was too busy with work. And Han-Kyeol’s considerate of grandma, too: after dinner he even makes sure the door to So-Rim’s room is open as they talk: it’s only natural grandma would worry, after all. That is so sweet!
So-Rim’s certain he’s wondering about her parents, as there are no pictures of them around. She nervously comes clean, explaining they died when she was sick and she can only really remember one thing: her mother’s voice. She says her mother feels like music to her, and that could be why she loves music so much.
Aaaaah I knew it wouldn’t be long before he spotted the poster of K on her wall! He only looks uncomfortable about it though, and next thing we know he’s on the bus ride home. Ah so he took the phone case… but he takes it off and sets it aside, lame. Aaaand gives in to temptation and listens to Chan-Young’s unfinished song.
At the company Chan-Young and CEO are discussing it, Chan-Young pressing for an answer about making it So-Rim’s title. He braces himself for Choi’s hard words and is at first only met with compliments: it highlights So-Rim’s voice perfectly. But… it’s boring. Chan-Young says basically all songs have the same chords—but according to CEO that’s how we discern talent (fade Chan-Young) from the ordinary. That was a cruel exposition, show. Without a clear identity or personality, this song would doom them to obscurity after an initial burst of popularity.
I don’t know if Han-Kyeol is editing his song or Chan-Young’s when he gets Shi-Hyun’s text (so. Cute!) but he drops it to meet up with Crude Play at his father’s bar. The band has a great time working him over the coals about So-Rim: he’s unmasking for their comeback anyway (oh really? Good! Yay!) so he should just tell her. Well that Han-Kyeol grabbing for the beer to everyone’s dismay. He’s fading fast to drunkland, but manages to expose how scared he is to tell her and how hard he’s fallen… for her voice. He barely promises to tell her everything and off he goes. The boys take such good care of him, hee.
Chan-Young never really was a part of Crude Play, I guess, and he wanders around a recording room, thinking back to how he joined the band. Nobody had even asked how he’d felt, and it was clear the decision was really about Han-Kyeol. Chan-Young cries among the instruments, and that’s how we end the night. Sad.
The next day So-Rim is in for singing lessons, and Chan-Young watches her, remembering CEO’s words. Han-Kyeol arrives, and I think he’s about to go tell her—but he spots Chan-Young leaving and decides to follow him instead. There’s unfinished business there, it seems. He catches up on the rooftop and comes clean about listening to Chan-Young’s song. Could he maybe help with the arrangement? Ouch, that’s gotta sting. Chan-Young asks who he is to critique Chan-Young’s work, jumping to jealousy that Chan-Young is producing for the new band. He starts really laying out his feelings after Han-Kyeol apologizes: he’s done cleaning up for Han-Kyeol and won’t let… Han-Kyeol… take anything else away from him? In a last bitter comment he says he has to go—So-rim is practicing, and only stops on the stairs to look up at Han-Kyeol.
Chan-Young arrives back at So-Rim’s practice room just as she receives a call (from Han-Kyeol), and Chan-Young reminds her she promised to focus just on music for the next three years, and forbids her from even checking who it is. This is my face, making a not pleased expression. I’m. so. sure. ☹
So-Rim wonders what’s wrong and Chan-young asks if she really wants to sing his song. Of course she does she replies. She never lies about music.
“What if K writes you a song? You said you’re his fan. Will you sing this one (mine)?”
“Of course. The song you wrote for us means a lot more to me.”
“… What about that guy’s song? What if the guy you like writes a song for you? Would you still choose my song?” Oh, don’t do that to her. That’s not fair!
So-Rim hesitance totally answers the question for me, though. She finally evades the question, saying that’s not going to happen anyway (except it already has and she knows it) and she doesn’t want to think about it now. That’s when her phone buzzes again, and they both glance at it awkwardly. Will he let her answer this time? … Nope. Instead, he suggests they listen to his new song. What? No, sorry, Crude Play’s new song. The title song. NOOOOOOO! He’s knows what that would do! She’s excited to be “the first to hear it” and the call on her phone goes to voicemail.
Up top, Han-Kyeol zeroes in on the statement I thought was weird, that Chan-Young wasn’t letting anything else of his get taken. He has a biiiiig realization zoom (lol, kdramas) and rushes off to the practice room—but he’s too late. And now the song’s being played, although it’s not recognizable at first. The first words floor So-Rim, and she wonders how Han-Kyeol’s song could be there. No! This isn’t how this was supposed to happen! Chan-Young outs our hero (who was going to tell anyway!), and—excuse my untimely laughter—the first thing out of So-Rim’s mouth is: you said he was fat! She lists off all the other bad things Chan-Young said, and Chan-Young says he lied. But that’s nothing compared to what Han-Kyeol did, right? Her response is immediate, although faltering: she’s sure he didn’t mean to. That it just happened, and he missed the timing. Exactly what she said about her recruitment earlier. Oh, bless you. Sometimes I wonder if you’re too good for Han-Kyeol, darling. She stands and excuses herself hastily, and I sure hope Chan-Young is kicking himself because he didn’t even get the reaction he wanted.
Han-Kyeol finally gets her to pick up her phone, but she’s behind him, and he worries over her red rimmed eyes. Chan-Young enters the scene just as Crude Play’s rehearsal turns on the massive screen behind them, and Han-Kyeol definitely knows what the problem is now. So-Rim looks at him, asking why he lied… and that’s a wrap.
Wow, what a show! It’s definitely a standard youthful kdrama, but so much happens every episode and we move along so quickly it’s refreshing. I thought the initial premise would last longer, but I have confidence the show has more lies up its sleeves for us to untangle. I also hope this means we’ll get through the serious angst quickly as well, because I know it’s coming later and I’m super not a fan of angst.
As the shine of “new kdrama” dies down, I found myself worried I’d be less enthralled with the premise of the story—but I haven’t, and even if I had been that’s fine by me, because our cast has really taken my heart and run with it. I love Crude Play, I love our OTP, I love So-Rim’s friends and her teacher, Han-Kyeol’s dad and the rest. I’m even interested in Se-Jeong and Yoo-Na and Chan-Young and want them to find their way to better places, for what it’s worth. So long as they don’t mess with my OTP.
Some Quick Thoughts:
- I was sad when So-Rim gave up her honesty policy so quickly last episode, not explaining right away why she couldn’t sing his song. I’m glad, however, that this show is so quick to resolve things like that and they’re back on the same page.
- Interesting note: I’ve heard from many a drama watcher that “apparently, even stepping out in the rain causes pneumonia, or at least a cold.” I’ve also met several people from Taiwan or elsewhere who wouldn’t go out in the rain, for fear of getting sick. No, this isn’t a superstition: I’ve also heard from multiple sources that due to Asia’s severe pollution problems, going out in the rain can actually be potentially dangerous, hence the myths (or due cautions?)
- I’m glad Han-Kyeol is getting to know himself better as we get to know him: he realizes he tried and failed to balance his music and relationships, and is working actively to correct that. It’s always good to be conscious of changes you’re making in your life and character, and the effects they have.
- I think Chan-Young sees where Han-Kyeol is as his rightful place: that was his dream, his goal before he was swapped out in Crude Play. And now he wants it back, even though it was never really his.
- Grandma totally rocks her scenes, even when she only gets a voiceover line. I hope they give her an episode later, though, to really flesh out her relationship with So-Rim. Maybe when we learn more about the deaths of So-Rim’s parents?
Some Longer Thoughts:
There’s an incredibly interesting interplay in this show that I haven’t really touched on before: that of the performers to their management. In most of the other musical shows I’ve seen (I’m really thinking of Entertainer here), the management too has a vested interest in their talent and seeing them succeed. They love music as well and feel the call to the stage in a different way. But here, we really get the sense that it’s a job for them: they know how to play it, how to make money, and how to manage people.
It’s a scary concept, managing people, even for how prevalent it is in the world today. It relies on perception and personal views, and there’s no rulebook to how you do it (depending on the industry. I think unions try, but that’s a whooole ‘nother can of worms). Depending on the profession you get a lot of objectification, and I don’t think it’s surprising President Yoo is so successful, even for how she disgusts me. I’ve always had an interest in perceptions and reputations, especially since everyone sees a universal truth through a personal lense, which makes things complicated. Other’s perceptions are very close to lies in my eyes—if you didn’t hear and understand it correctly from the horse’s mouth, it ain’t true.
If you think about it that way, I think it has a lot to say about the title of the show and where we’re headed as we get into the thick of things: lies and misconceptions, a person’s perception of the world and how they use that to their advantage, or not. Our OTP has had misconceptions galore already, but have quickly realized they shouldn’t use the other’s views of them against them. CEO Choi has admitted he plays with words and works dirty, using his perceptions to get ahead. Chan-Young has some interesting misconceptions about himself and Han-Kyeol, and Yoo-Na is dealing with some severe objectification. It makes me realize the title of the show—the Liar and his Lover—can apply to this show in so many ways. A common love of music ties them all together, and I wonder what would happen if you thought of the Liar as the industry—what does that make of them all as his lovers?