- So-Rim’s band does have a name.
- Han-Kyeol’s chasing So-Rim now, hee!
- President Yoo takes an interest in So-Rim
- Different takes on performing are discussed
Liar and His Lover Episode 6
We begin right where we left off, in the courtyard of Sole Music. The title song comes on in the background just as Chan-Young enters the scene, and So-Rim asks why Han-Kyeol lied. He tries to apologize and So-Rim cuts him off, asking why he’d apologize. It’s nothing bad, she loves K’s music—it was her dream to meet him and now she has. She starts to cry, saying she ought to be happy, but: “why do I feel sad?” After So-Rim cuts off Han-Kyeol’s attempts to explain, Chan-Young steps in. (really dude? Not your place.) He tells Han-Kyeol to stop playing around with So-Rim—of all things!—and takes her away, leaving Han-Kyeol heartbroken.
In the car Chan-Young buckles So-Rim’s seatbelt; any girl who flinches when you get close isn’t interested. He asks where she wants to go, and they end up at one of Chan-Young’s favorite haunts. They talk through the events earlier, and she explains she was scared of hearing what Han-Kyeol would say to her: that maybe he couldn’t trust her (with his secret—remember Jin-Woo’s words? Aaaargh that idiot!). Chan-Young validates her uneasy feelings, even throwing in some token repentance for telling her about K like that. Selfishly. He was scared too, he says, of her choosing Han-Kyeol over his song. Which, she kinda did, bud. Or at least she didn’t choose you.
He gets up and explains his musical background, but So-Rim already knows: she’s a fan, remember? He’s flattered and grabs a guitar, bursting that they should have a duet, right here. It’s eerily similar to her personal performance by Han-Kyeol, but waaaay more awkward. They finally settle on one of their mutual favorite songs, and So-Rim smiles instantly as they start to sing.
Later that night Chan-Young drops So-Rim off at her house—where Han-Kyeol had just left. He watches Chan-Young drop our heroine off, apparently smiling happily, and approaches the man after So-Rim’s gone.
Awww that’s so sweet! Han-Kyeol’s only worry is that So-Rim is alright. Nobody (including myself) is sure, although she was smiling on the outside. Chan-Young further tells Han-Kyeol enough is enough—Han-Kyeol must have just been courteous knowing So-Rim likes him, but hasn’t he thought about how it makes her feel? Bro, you don’t know nothing about them.
Han-Kyeol tells him to butt out, and Chan-young clarifies himself: unless he’s sincere, Han-Kyeol needs to stay faaar away from So-Rim and her feelings. He’s so smiley and nice about it, I’m curling my hands and toes.
Inside, So-Rim thinks through her relationship with Han-Kyeol, listening to the newly released title recording. K’s masked face stares at her from every corner of her room (#fangirl) and she buries her face in her pillow.
The song has topped the charts, and Choi even says it was a good idea to switch the title last minute. Han-Kyeol sits at home listless amidst the celebration however, ignoring all the texts he’s gotten. He sees So-Rim’s tear streaked face in his mind and makes a call, asking for the trainees’ schedule. Yes! Fix this! Fix this!
At the company, Shi-Hyun races into the hallway to stop Su-Ae, who gives him a chilly reception. He knows she knows he’s been putting up the “Real Crude Play” videos, and she wants them down stat. I don’t know if it’s chemistry or history between them, but I’m guessing both because she asks if Han-Kyeol knows, and that sobers Shi-Hyun right up.
So-Rim’s band is in a much better mood, joking around on the bus. Gyoo-sun is the first to notice So-Rim’s dull energy, and asks what’s wrong. She asks if they knew about Han-Kyeol being K—ah, of course they did. She was the only fool, then. Bless Jin-Woo, but he can only ask if this means she’s moved on from her crush. Which of course not, she totally still likes him. She’s certain Han-Kyeol had his reasons. Yes?
They arrive at the company to face down their mothers and guardians: So-Rim’s grandma swoops in for a hug, but those poor boys get yelled at by their mothers for not being told. What’s this all about? They’re here to watch the level test, to see who’s “good enough but not brilliant” enough to pit against President Yoo’s trainees in a survival show. Choi tells her to “do well, but not too well”, utterly confusing So-Rim before he walks off.
President Yoo is on her way down, and she runs into Han-Kyeol: also on his way to the level test. He says it’s just to check the fresh blood, but we know better. President Yoo takes it on the surface and makes a few subtle digs that he should be moving on with his career. He looks a bit put upon, like she’s nagged about this before—and it is nagging, as she asks first about his living situation and then how his relationship with Yoo-Na is. He gives her the bad news, and she gives the most halfhearted condolences I’m laughing inside.
So-Rim can’t stand listening to the other newbies gossip about them, and leaves the waiting area… headed right for President Yoo, Han-Kyeol and now Yoo-Na, who has met up with them. And I think… I think President Yoo is passive aggressively punishing Yoo-Na for her breakup with Han-Kyeol, reinforcing there will be no more concert and any musical collaborations between her and Han-Kyeol have been effectively terminated.
The president goes on ahead, passing So-Rim, and so our heroine is left eavesdropping on Han-Kyeol and his ex. Yoo-Na is ticked off and wants to know what Han-Kyeol said about her, but our hero doesn’t want to talk. “Is that why you made a song about me?” Nooooooo!
Han-Kyeol is quick to refute this, but Yoo-Na claims if she was the inspiration the it’s hers. She repeats what Chan-Young told her episodes ago, about his hit songs coming from his breakups. It seems like Yoo-Na feels justified in her cheating, since his losses always mean he gains music—just like this time. So-Rim’s crying now and ducks out of the way so they won’t see her. Oh, no. Not right now. You have to perform!
Everyone is being seated for the level test, and President Yoo takes the time to heckle CEO Choi, reminding him he can’t be putting aside the good talent for himself. Oh and by the way, she heard a reporter with an interesting story… CEO Choi assumes it’s Yoo-Na and nearly reveals they’re together, but it’s not that scandal, it’s the fired session musician from the first episode. Is this going to turn into a big deal? I hope not.
So-Rim’s friends are looking for her frantically, and rush her onto the stage just as President Yoo gets fidgety. The threesome searches the crowd for their family members, and So-Rim takes a calming breath before launching into her song. I’ve actually never looked up the lyrics before, and I love the symbolism of So-Rim as the very small, struggling larvae-to-butterfly she sings of. She’s totally rocking this. Until, that is, she spots Han-Kyeol watching her from the back and quiets—falters—stops singing. CEO Choi caught this little interplay, and watches as Han-Kyeol exits out the back soon after So-Rim runs off stage.
Han-Kyeol chases her down in the halls, asking if she’s feeling ok. So-Rim must not be ready to hear his explanations yet, because she lashes out at him again, this time about his supposed shame over his song. Oof, I’d forgotten about that. Han-Kyeol admits it was a lie, and So-Rim looks heartbroken again as she explains how devastated she’d felt when he had put himself and his song down. Aaagh my heart! Han-Kyeol tries to apologize again but So-Rim claims there’s no need, trivializing their relationship and everything that’s happened. It was nothing serious.
Say something, dang you Han-Kyeol! NO, don’t agree with her. Hug her! But he doesn’t, and she heads for the biggest hurt: the song she loved, their song, was made for another woman. She’s crying openly now, gasping that she feels so small, and runs off. Han-Kyeol has nothing to say, one more person now hurt by his music.
Back at the performance, President Yoo decides to “go easy” on CEO Choi: she won’t take this super talented girl idol group now performing and snatch up the terrible band from earlier instead. CEO Choi didn’t want to protect them, right? Right? This woman, she be crafty. And now I think So-Rim is headed for the survival show stage.
Or insanity, perhaps? So-Rim shakes up a white out marker vigorously that night and draws all over a poster of K on her wall, smiling and laughing crazily at it. It’s all just for show, though, and she later eyes the clothes Yoo-Na gave her, sick now to even look at them. She tries to sing away her sadness but even that won’t work: “This is the first time I’ve wanted a song to disappear from my heart. I’m going to sing other songs over and over to forget this song.” And she cries on her bed, head in her hands.
Han-Kyeol’s still thinking about So-Rim, too, and replays her words over and over in his head: the song she loved was made for another woman.
The next day, So-Rim returns the outfit Yoo-Na gave her, adamant she won’t be keeping it. Yoo-Na’s a bit confused, more so when So-Rim leaves with some cryptic words: she feels so small next to Yoo-Na. Yoo-Na watches her leave and finally recognizes So-Rim as the girl who left with Han-Kyeol that day.
Enough of the angst though, let’s on to Crude Play! It seems like forever since I’ve seen Chan-Young with the rest of the band, I almost don’t associate him with them anymore. Lol and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be together long this time, either: the rest of the band wants to stay for extra practice, but Chan-Young’s already so good they don’t think he needs to stick around. Man, this dynamic between them is nothing like what I thought it would be at the beginning.
Chan Young gets a video of So-Rim’s performance on his way out—just the second, failed half—and heads to CEO Choi’s office to fix things. Choi wants to know if she has stage fright and suggests Chan-Young forget about producing for now. Just stick with Crude Play. Of course you’d say that. It seems like Chan-Young is under a similar contract as So-Rim: the music must come first. Always, before anything. Chan-Young swallows his objections and walks out, downhearted.
The rest of Crude play has just finished their practice, burned out on the floor of the stage. Shi-Hyun is checking comments online as the other two chat, but stands for one last run through when Yoon suggests it. They’re tired of being represented by session artists, and want to play their own music on stage. I don’t blame them. You go, Crude Play! “Let’s Love! Let’s Kill! Let’s Die! Let’s Go!” Aja! 😉
Next thing we know it’s their showcase, and So-Rim doesn’t look too torn up as she watches her favorite band perform the song she used to love. Loves. Her smile falters and disappears when she spots Han-Kyeol standing in the wings.
At the celebration party later So-Rim’s trio band (do they have a name, seriously?) is relegated to the non-alcoholic sector, and So-Rim makes awkward eye contact with Han-Kyeol a few times down the long table of people. Yoo-Na arrives, and Han-Kyeol immediately stands to leave. (but he stood… before he saw her… what?) And aw, Shi-Hyun gets up after his friend, making Yoo-Na feel uncomfortable but winning the man serious brownie points from me (#theyareapackage).
Why is Han-Kyeol so cute when he’s druuuunk?! He’s listening to a Crude Play song and playing a phone game, which Shi-Hyuns snatches away adorably. Shi-Hyun asks if Han-Kyeol left because of Yoo-na—pfffft no—then So-Rim? Ah, there’s the sheepish smile. Shi-Hyun says he understands why So-Rim is upset: Han-Kyeol made the song for Yoo-Na after all. Well, there you go pushing buttons, I guess. Han-Kyeol is frustrated that everyone is so focused on the song, since it’s such a momentary thing: “a song is just a song. It’s not a documentary.” And yes, Shi-Hyun is right! You should just go tell that to So-Rim.
Han-Kyeol is still gun-shy about that, though, since it is still his story. Because he wrote it because he loved Yoo-Na? Shi-Hyun asks. Han-Kyeol just sighs. I have a feeling…
But we’re back inside at the party, and So-Rim’s friends are putting their feet in their mouths. They gape over Yoo-Na and ask So-Rim to talk to her for them, but So-Rim just shares an awkward eye exchange with her now rival in love.
And aha! We missed whatever Han-Kyeol said, but I think it was something about So-Rim. I bet he made that song thinking about her, too. It’s a sticky situation and Shi-Hyun advises him to just leave out the bad parts, but Han-Kyeol refuses. He’s done lying, even the little ones. And he won’t give up, either: he wants to make up with So-Rim no matter what. Well, that finishes Shi-Hyun’s work there, and he starts up the game again (PS. I love that Crude Play song, Peter Pan ^^)
We transition to an undetermined time later, and President Yoo practically chases down Han-Kyeol’s father in the company (he’s there to be a session artist for the man who stole his music), begging to spend time with him. It’s Han-Kyeol’s new song playing on the overhead and Crude Play’s performance on the big tv in front of them, and President Yoo asks if In-Woo’s told his son he’s moved back to Seoul. That’s a negativiso, capitainne, since he’s the most scared of his son. President Yoo points out Han-Kyeol is the biggest talent the company has and In-Woo is holding him back.
Han-Kyeol doesn’t look too bad to me, though (mm-mmm he’s fine) as he drops off a reconciliation bribe at So-Rim’s practice. Gyoo-Sun calls him Hyung (aww) but Jin-woo is still standoffish, which earns him a faceful of frosting. He wants to help them practice (did Su-Ae just say he’s their producer now?) but Jin-Woo objects… and so does So-Rim.
Han-Kyeol heads for the break room, head against his hands, looking terribly defeated. Su-Ae arrives with a drink to cheer him up… and to get the scoop on him and So-Rim. Hehe I’ll never get old of Han-Kyeol’s reactions whenever So-Rim comes up. He flusters they’re just whatever… I mean, yeah, they know each other—and they did have a fight—but it’s not like that… and why is she speaking formally all of a sudden? (Su-Ae totally knew the band pre-debut, especially Shi-Hyun. I’m certain). Han-Kyeol asks Su-Ae more seriously if everything is going well for So-Rim’s debut, and learns they’ve been selected by President Yoo for the survival show instead: winner gets the debut. Although, isn’t being on tv a debut in and of itself?
Han-Kyeol’s not happy, and heads to confront CEO Choi about the changeup. So-Rim’s group was promised a debut, not just some tv program with a predetermined winner and loser. CEO Choi passes the blame to President Yoo, but that doesn’t redirect Han-Kyeol at all: he wants CEO Choi to go talk it over with her again. Wow, bud, that’s a rather commanding tone to use with your boss. CEO Choi shuts him down and reminds him he’s not producing for So-Rim, and Han-Kyeol storms out.
So-Rim and the band are prepping for the show, making a mini m/v in their classroom while all the students acts as extras and gossip about their friends’ new fame. Se-Jeong has done her best to get close to Gyoo-Sun, and I can only hope she has some real feelings for him. Also included in the preparations are more recordings… lip syncs for the live performance. Han-Kyeol inevitably crashes this with more reconciliation gifts (just talk already!!), and I… don’t think he’s pleased with the proceedings. CEO Choi asks So-Rim again and again to redo the song, first because she’s too good (what’s with him?!) and then because she was doing it right. Han-Kyeol asks CEO Choi what he thinks he’s doing: this song is unoriginal and doesn’t highlight So-Rim. Why would they compete like this?
CEO Choi asks the other employees to leave the sound studio, and So-Rim and the boys watch anxiously from the other side of the glass as Han-Kyeol and the CEO have the calmest fight ever. (I want a punch! Throw one, Han-Kyeol!)
Han-Kyeol wants to arrange the song, certain he can do better for So-Rim. Choi finds this ridiculous, however: Crude Play’s K arranging for a newbie? But Han-Kyeol doesn’t want any recognition, which clues CEO Choi in to their relationship again. He asks what’s up, and Han-Kyeol admits he doesn’t want to hurt So-Rim. He wants to help her and her band grow—unlike him and his, ouch. CEO Choi’s speaking to both groups when he says it’s a process, but Han-Kyeol knows better: lip-syncing on a live survival program? I mean come on.
We know Han-Kyeol’s standing up for our heroine and her musical future, but she and the band just feel anxious things aren’t going smoothly, and So-Rim runs out after Han-Kyeol leaves the sound studio.
Yes!! Oh my goodness, I love our heroine. She whirls Han-Kyeol around, asking what he’s been doing lately—why does he keep following her schedule, bringing her things, the advice? He says it’s the only way he has left to get close to her—even if everything else was a lie, they’re still connected through music. But So-Rim can’t even accept that: it hurts now, whenever she listens to that song, and she can’t help thinking she was delusional through it all, even when he promised to support her and her music.
Poor Han-Kyeol can’t think of any other way to fix this than through his music, and he promises to make her another song: one just for her, for her voice. But the song’s not the problem, and So-Rim knows that.
“That song hurts me so much, but I’m unable to push it away… just like I’m unable to push away my feelings for you.”
Woof. Han-Kyeol looks floored as So-Rim runs off after her confession. What do you do when anything you could do hurts? But I hope he takes some hope from this, because dude. She just admitted she still likes you.
CEO Choi is listening to So-Rim’s lip-sync that night, frustrated, when Chan-Young calls from the van. He’s been awfully faithful in this whole “forget about producing for now” business, and I feel bad he’s so out of the loop now. He wants stop by for the show tomorrow, and CEO Choi asks him to consider letting the band sing live. Yes! Listen to Han-Kyeol! Wait. Was this whole lip-sync Chan-Young’s doing?!
Chan-Young shuts down this idea, saying it’s better to let them become forgotten fools with a lip-sync than try their hardest and be left with a bad image. Well, Crude Play just straightened up at that—that’s not going to fly with the band that wants to play for themselves even now.
So-Rim’s still thinking about Han-Kyeol, unable to get the song out of her head. And Han-Kyeol’s furiously thinking to his metronome, trying to figure a way out of this mess. On go the headphones, out comes the guitar (bass?) and oooh that sounds good.
It’s D-Day, and So-Rim’s band is waiting in a room filled with the other contestants. CEO and the President arrive at the same time, and they have an interesting interplay about success: President Yoo is certain So-Rim will fail but “it’s not bad to start from the bottom”. CEO Choi makes a dig at that—would President be willing to start from the bottom? After all, we just learned she inherited her position and made Sole Music through family connections. President Yoo evades answering nicely and stalks off.
Chan-Young is here to check in on the band as promised, although it doesn’t appear he’s who So-Rim is still looking for anxiously. That’s probably Han-Kyeol, who just ran out the door with a USB stick in hand. Run boy, run!
CEO Choi arrives just moments before Han-Kyeol, who bursts in out of breath and clutching the USB. What is it? A new arrangement? Oh boy. We have literally 30 minutes to showtime. But Han-Kyeol is passionate, certain that if he plays the keyboard, Gyoo-Sun focuses on the easier drum rhythm and they get Chan-Young to play bass, So-Rim and her good ear can pull it off. You really like working under pressure, don’t you.
Han-Kyeol tries to talk them into it, saying it’s better to give this everything they have—change the song. Chan-Young’s response is biting, that Han-Kyeol is only shaking their confidence. But it’s CEO Choi, surprisingly, who gives So-Rim the choice: they all know her band isn’t ready, and they’ll be fools no matter what, so which song does she want to sing? Chan-Young’s way and just get laughed at, or Han-Kyeol’s—and meet this head on before the end? Ooh, nice climax.
So-Rim looks to Han-Kyeol as she thinks it over, and I am so excited for this. We don’t see what she chose, and next thing we know our band is readying to go onstage. CEO Choi is watching from the tech room while the band waits in the wings, and I love the classic pop ballad performing in the background as Han-Kyeol pulls So-Rim aside. He wants to get a few final words in before they perform.
“You were wrong. Yes, I lied to you. Still, if you think everything that happened between us wasn’t real, you’re wrong.” He pulls in close to her. “I’ve changed so much since I got to know you. I’m not going to give up. I’ll try as hard as you did. Even if you try to push me away, just like you tried to get close to me, I won’t move. I’ll prove to you that you and I are not a lie. You’ll do great today. You definitely will.”
That probably wasn’t the best timing for such a game-changing declaration, and So-Rim is frozen, still processing his words. But believe in yourself, and him! Own it!
Han-Kyeol’s taking the jacket off (so hot, seriously) and meets up with Chan-Young on the other side of the stage… who promptly curses him out as they adjust their stage wires. Wait—does this mean they’re going with Han-Kyeol’s song? It does! Chan-Young’s worried, but Han-Kyeol slings an arm around his rival and says everything will be fine. Han-Kyeol knows So-Rim, and So-Rim knows his music. Heh, mild territory marking there, anyone? Chan-Young returns that one day So-Rim will sing his song, and that’s our cue for the current performance to end.
The announcer introduces So-Rim and her band, Bong Trio (they do have a name!), but… no! What?! Aaaagh CEO Choi is fiddling with some sound equipment that looks awfully important. I don’t know what he just unplugged, but I’m worried.
So-Rim and the others file onto the stage, but something’s wrong: the instruments’ sound has stopped working. No music. No accompaniment. Just So-Rim’s voice. Ooh I see what you did there, Choi. She looks to Han-Kyeol nervously but her nods, speaking quietly to her from the sidelines.
“Sing,” he says. “Sing, Yoon So-Rim.”
…And that’s a wrap.
Yes!! Sing, So-Rim! I love the episodal arcs in this show: they started with a choice for So-Rim, between Han-Kyeol’s songs and Chan-Young’s. And then even after everything that happened in between, she was left with the same choice: knowing who Han-Kyeol is, how he lied to her and what the implications were this time. And she chose him, although Choi intervened. The circumstances are wildly imperfect, and if this goes down the way I’m thinking you won’t be singing either man’s song, but I think that’s just perfect for her at the moment—to help her find herself. I and the show haven’t forgotten So-Rim still needs to graduate High School before anything else happens, so as much as I enjoy squeeing over our OTP I’m glad this episode slowed things down on that front. But more on that in a minute!
Some Quick Thoughts:
- I’m so flipping sure. While I totally sympathize with Chan-Young’s personal musical plight, everything he said and did in the first 15 minutes is so hypocritical. Never mind that he’s using So-Rim to make his dreams come true, or that he admittedly broke her heart to help his ego. Now he thinks he has the right to tell off Han-Kyeol for trying to be sincere? And then he’s so nice and polite about it, like he’s totally in the right. I have a suuuper hard with people like that. Too much subterfuge for me.
- Keeping with this idea that the industry is the liar and they’re its lovers, I find that showmanship plays an interesting role in music. So-Rim is learning how to fake a smile for the audience (like her jam session with Chan-Young), but quickly abandons the pretense when she’s alone. And it was repeatedly mentioned her showmanship isn’t fantastic—in part because of her stage fright, but I think showmanship also comes dangerously close to lying at times: In an industry that’s all about image, So-Rim wants to touch hearts—much like Yoo-Na wants to get away from the untrue, risque concepts President Yoo’s planned for her until now. It’s always an interesting balance, being true to yourself while still appealing to an audience. I do it every day, running a blog. There’s the things I find interesting, that I love to talk about. But there’s also a constant desire to pull in more views, what do I actually publish and how to I promote it?
- Real Crude Play suddenly makes much more sense, knowing their performances are almost constantly replaced by more talented session musicians (even live?). So “Real Crude Play” is really them, just them. More than seeing if they’re more than a brand, they want to know if their playing is any good. It makes the rift between the boys and Chan-Young much more serious, because Chan-Young is 1) “more talented” and 2) doesn’t mind the session musicians or lip syncing, it seems. It’s all a part of the job for him. So I think it’s not just Chan-Young that doesn’t really want to bond. The band’s obviously still wary of Chan-Young, and it makes me sad to feel that strain.
- Why is it that Chan-Young cursing out Han-Kyeol right before the performance feels more like a gesture of friendship and reconciliation than anything else?
Some Longer Thoughts:
What happens when your passion becomes a burden, or something you dislike? I really resonated with that scene when So-Rim tried to sing away her blue mood after learning about K and Yoo-Na and everything. It’s a fine line between love and hate, if K-dramas can teach you anything. And that’s so true for real life as well, where passions burn out and we may end detesting our hard work and commitment to something, like how So-Rim felt betrayed and could no longer hear Han-Kyeol’s song without feeling hurt. I’m glad we’re not just brushing over this, because she is young and these aren’t things you just move on from.
If I can wax personal, I have a bit of experience with this. I’m a writer by nature: I love words and shaping phrases. But my biggest project, the novel I’ve worked on for the longest and love the most, is also the one I have the harshest feelings for. I’m never satisfied with the characters, the plot. I recycle ideas, rewrite chapters and scenes until—200,000+ words later—I’ve put it back on the shelf again. It hurts me to see so much work and passion just sitting there, unfinished and unpolished. But I can’t bring myself to really hate it, because there was a reason I loved it in the first place: it’s still a wonderful story, more rich and well developed now. I find myself drawn to it again and again, even knowing I’ll hit a wall down the road and get frustrated.
I think love is like that between people sometimes. Not speaking of an abusive relationship, we do get frustrated and hurt by the people we love. We put a lot of work into relationships and then hit a wall. Perhaps we want to just throw it away, burn it and leave. But like So-Rim with Han-Kyeol, I never can bring myself to abandon something I loved so diligently—something that still brings me happiness. It’s a hard crossroads to reach, where you have to decide whether or not a relationship is still able to and worth being saved (I’m thinking of Introverted Boss now, and how Woo-Il shouldn’t have been redeemed). I’m glad however that So-Rim decided to give Han-Kyeol one more chance by singing his arrangement, and even happier it’s his turn now to chase her—to prove to her that he has changed, that he doesn’t want his music to hurt people and that she has a special place in his heart.