Liar and His Lover 7
- I apologize to the universe for getting Soo-Yeon’s name wrong (Soo-Yeon, not Su-Ae)
- Our OTP reconciles
- So-Rim reiterates her promise to Chan-Young
- Our trio band gets a new name (seriously?!) and some big news.
~ ~ ~
So-Rim and Bong Trio stand on camera, waiting nervously for their music. Or their recording, rather. I understand now what CEO Choi did! And I’m a super fan of this. Without a recording, So-Rim’s band has to sing. Really sing. Live. She looks to the side—at Han-Kyeol—and he nods to her, telling our heroine quietly to sing.
Her voice is shaky and unsure, and CEO Choi yells in the sound room she needs the floor mic turned on. Yes! Her voice gains confidence and spark, and she takes the microphone from the stand. I like this arrangement so much better. It’s sweet and melancholy at the beginning, and then picks up to a wonderful youthful beat. I love the lyrics too, about growing up and leaving behind the bad and smiling.
“It won’t be easy, becoming an adult. Everyone feels the same as you, let’s cheer up! Go back to who you are. Let’s sing a song of hope again.”
Yup, that’s just what So-Rim needs right now. Remember who she is, and move forward.
Everyone is amazed by So-Rim’s performance: from President Yoo (uh-oh) to her teacher and classmates (“Is that Chan-Young?!” Se-Jeong stands up), to her grandma watching from the shop—to Han-Kyeol and So-Rim themselves, who share a look as the performance ends.
CEO Choi talks to them afterwards, and we learn the show ended as expected: they got cut. But they knew that already, so they shouldn’t worry about it. Han-Kyeol arrives (with one arm around Chan-Young’s shoulders, hee) and looks a bit flabbergasted when So-Rim seems so close to the man (double hee). Chan-Young takes his leave—he still has work—and the rest of them head out for a celebratory meal.
Han-Kyeol drops the Bong Trio off later, and Gyoo-Sun drags Jin-Woo off for an early exit (do they look… buzzed to anyone else?) leaving So-Rim and Han-Kyeol to walk together. Han-Kyeol says she must have been nervous but So-Rim denies it—she had faith she could sing his songs, because he said he’d always been sincere in that regard at least. Aw. He apologizes again for lying and says he’ll tell her anything in return. Anything she wants to know about. Oh, really? But So-Rim doesn’t want that, since she’ll just want to know everything about useless things anyway—what kind of woman was the one he’d loved before? Was his first love like hers? Stuff like that. So-Rim, you are so mature for your age.
He still wants to make it up to her still, though, and she decides to ask just one question: does he express his current feelings in the songs he writes?
“No. It’s not like that.” Hm… really? I’ll take it for now, though.
So-Rim’s satisfied too, and heads into her house smiling.
Ooooh boy the survival show PD isn’t smiling, though. He’s livid and yelling CEO Choi, who tries to pass off the “no sound” incident earlier as an equipment failure. Ok sure, but then what about Chan-Young and the Han-Kyeol, there ready to perform a song different from their rehearsed one! Well, ahem, you never know how coincidences occur? *blinks innocently*
CEO Choi doesn’t have time to diffuse the situation, because President Yoo arrives looing impressed-but-not with what happened. She wants to know who arranged the song for So-Rim and uh-oh, she thinks this was Chan-Young’s doing. She demands CEO Choi find out what’s going on between Chan-Young and So-Rim… lol you’ve got it wrong… and leaves.
Bwahahahaha this is the cutest thing ever! Han-Kyeol is skipping home, over the moon, when Crude Play and the whole band (yes, Chan-Young included) pull up behind him. Shi-Hyun practically kidnaps his friend and they head off to celebrate at Shi-Hyun’s restaurant… with lots of alcohol and games and what sounds like the national anthem. There’s an article out about Chan-Young’s astonishing performance with a rookie band, and I can already tell So-Rim’s headed for stardom.
Han-Kyeol’s half asleep already, and as the others goof off Shi-Hyun asks our hero if he and So-Rim have made up again—or at reached a ceasefire. Well… sort of, he replies. But why is this a war? If the opponent doesn’t want to win, Han-Kyeol says, then he can’t either. Good man. That is the right way to think about an argument and hard feelings. I think Chan-Young heard all this, too, and I hope it helps him think about his own stance on his relationship with Han-Kyeol… and So-Rim.
Our heroine is greeted with a crowd of cheering classmates the next day, and—bleergh—even the formerly mean teacher showers her with praise. Well, I guess that’s life, and when So-Rim’s band teacher arrives they take some cute class photos.
Later So-Rim buys PPL snacks with Se-Jeong, who wants to know how So-Rim knows Chan-Young… are they close? So-Rim gets a call and is saved answering… although Se-Jeong wants to know who it is and gets all inquisitive. Is she trying to be cute? It just seems rude. She grabs the phone and looks awkward when she sees it’s just Grandma. I’d like to think she’s embarrassed, and she shoves the rest of the snacks at So-Rim before walking off.
CEO Choi and his team are still celebrating So-Rim’s big performance—the article is trending, the video is going viral, and Chan-Young’s appearance made it that much bigger. The program wants to know who arranged the song—his assistants say it’s K, right? RIGHT? But CEO Choi is thinking back to the President’s words about Chan-Young… and So-Rim’s relationship. They’re… related. No, tell me you’re not gonna.
But we don’t find out, since Han-Kyeol and the band are suuuuper hung over the next morning. Han-Kyeol makes them hangover soup in his snazzy apron, and dang if a man cooking is not the hottest thing since sliced bread. He gets a call from Jun-Seok (Crude Play’s manager I assume) and arranges for the man to pick up the band for practice. Lol Han-Kyeol looks like such a mother hen right now, I can’t even.
The bell rings and Han-Kyeol opens the door to CEO Choi—not who they were expecting. Our hero looks wary but they let him in.
President Yoo meanwhile is looking over the Bong Trio articles in her office, and she doesn’t look happy to hear that Han-Kyeol arranged the song for them. This is insider news, however, because the station (OH NO YOU DIDN’T CEO!) is saying the music was arranged by Chan-Young. This is not good.
I wonder what CEO has in mind, too, as he powwows with Han-Kyeol and Chan-Young over at the band’s house. He wants Chan-Young to take the credit for K’s work, since “it’ll look too planned if it was K.” Right, I’m sure that’s your only reason. Chan-Young is immediately opposed to it, but Han-Kyeol doesn’t really care—he didn’t arrange the song for selfish reasons, after all. It’s like the Crude Play replacement all over again, only in reverse—Han-Kyeol is the skilled musician this time, and Chan-Young is the front man. Well, our second lead doesn’t like that and refuses again, saying it feels like stealing… but CEO didn’t come to ask his opinion but to rather inform them, and Chan-Young marches off. Han-Kyeol chases after him, trying to diffuse the situation, but Chan-Young only feels used and offended—with good reason, as Shi-Hyun points out in a minute.
Han-Kyeol talks through it with Crude play as they walk down the street, the band upset at CEO Choi more than anything. Han-Kyeol’s still okay with giving up the recognition, however—it would help out So-Rim more to have Chan-Young’s name associated with hers. Oh-ho, the band picks up on that little caring tidbit, and Han-Kyeol admits she makes him want to be a better person. He’s so head over heels.
So-Rim is singing his song that night at home, remembering her performance and giggling to herself. She gives Han-Kyeol a call—he’s walking around her neighborhood—and he flusters that no, he totally wasn’t waiting for her…
They banter back and forth cutely, talking about the speed of sound and barriers and—oh ok, and her feelings. So-Rim is just such a boss at relationships, revealing she wants to nurture this since she can’t just cut off her heart. And yippee!! Han-Kyeol takes the lead, asking if she wants to meet up this weekend. Date! Date! (Ok, yes graduate. But Date! Date!)
So-Rim agrees, and they argue cutely about who should hang up first, both wanting to stay on the line, and then both celebrate giddily after the call ends.
Yoo-Na’s in a meeting for contract renewals, but the company doesn’t seem so certain they want her again… they want Crude Play. And Yoo-Na speaks up: how about a collaboration? With Crude Play, of course. Later, the company head speaks with CEO Choi—he’s actually in talks with another company. What company you ask? WHO entertainment, the parent conglomerate for Sole Music. In other words, President Yoo.
CEO Choi heads to her office for a confrontation, and the conversation quickly turns to So-Rim. President Yoo will make sure Yoo-Na gets her contract renewed… if CEO Choi gives her So-Rim. CEO looks like he’s considering it, but has a question: will President Yoo let So-Rim debut, then? President thinks this is preposterous (I’m… not sure why) and seems flabbergasted that CEO Choi would consider choosing So-Rim over Yoo-Na.
So-Rim, meanwhile, is prepping for her date with grandma, swapping out outfits and wondering if wearing blue (Han-Kyeol’s favorite color) will make him like her more. Grandma is the best, trying to act as if he’s not that great… while she compliments his looks and personality and musicality, hah. She tells So-Rim she always looks pretty, and off our heroine goes.
So-Rim catches Han-Kyeol at their meeting spot fussing with his hair in the window reflection and steps to the side, matching his movements. They look absolutely stunning together as So-Rim asks what they’re going to do… but Han-Kyeol didn’t really think that far in advance, heh. So-Rim feigns disappointment but quickly smiles again, saying she wants to do something Han-Kyeol likes to do.
Ha! They end up on the bus he likes to ride, one I didn’t realize he rides just for fun, not just to go places. (You’re Beautiful feeeeeeels anyone?) He’s a bit embarrassed as he explains he likes people watching (or listening rather) on this bus… and So-Rim points out playfully they’re the only ones on the bus. They are, heh, but she loves it anyway.
So-Rim hums to herself, eyeing Han-Kyeol’s shoulder. She touches her head to it briefly, moving immediately when he startles. But Han-Kyeol doesn’t seem opposed to it. He shifts, tilting his shoulder towards her a bit more as an invitation. She stares at it, wondering aloud if it’s ok and leaning forward playfully—and then back. And forward again! And now they’re cuddled together, riding the empty bus across the bridge. My heart. ❤️
Meanwhile Crude Play is at a press conference, answering questions from reporters. Everything seems to go well, until a hard one arises: Did they play their own instruments for the latest album? How do they find the time, with everything they do? Shi-Hyun evades as best he can and gets called out on it, so the mic goes to Chan-Young… who lies they all play their own instruments. Of course. And as the others fidget awkwardly we transition back to So-Rim’s date.
They’re eating in a café now when Crude Play comes on the tv. Han-Kyeol’s mild interest turns jealous when So-Rim wants to watch “Chan-Young Oppa” who’s “so cool”. He tells her Crude Play’s not all that, really—their name came because they weren’t so good. So-Rim is mostly just pleased to hear about when he was a part of the band.
They must have spent the whole afternoon together, because that evening he protects her from a wild bicycler and then ties her shoes when he notices they’re undone (lol, kdramas). She scoots closer, playing with the ends of his hair. He lifts his head to look at her, and—ohmygoodness what just happened?! He looked up, and LOL his face practically was buried in her skirt (total accident) so she acted like every sensible girl would and should: kneed him in the face, potentially kicked him in the crotch and ran off. Pfffffft I’m dying here. He crawls… stumbles… chases after her, but then his phone buzzes, and I’m guessing the date is effectively over.
President Yoo and CEO Choi are on a dinner date of thier own: a meeting with Yoo’s father, played by this guy who never plays a good man ever. He seems to be of the same ilk as CEO Yoo and Choi, although he recognizes that people are what the industry lives and breathes on.
CEO Choi recognizes his chance at that: he wants to debut a new group. President Yoo has no choice but to admit So-Rim’s ability, and I’m back to rooting for our devious CEO.
And yes, the OTP date is definitely over. Han-Kyeol meets up with Yoo-Na (the caller from earlier) and she asks for a collaboration: Crude Play, Han-Kyeol and her. Han-Kyeol turns her down flat, saying she can collaborate with Crude Play, but he won’t be composing for them. Yoo-Na isn’t happy with that:
“You said you liked it, my voice. […]”
“Yes, I did. But it’s different now.”
“Is it because my voice was damaged? That’s why you won’t give me a song.”
“It’s not like that,” he says. He thinks of So-Rim, her performance. “I only want one woman to sing my song. I don’t have the time to think about a song for someone else. I’m sorry.”
President Yoo and CEO Choi share a car later that night, discussing CEO’s dirty tricks to debut So-Rim no matter what. He reveals he would have done so anyway: the old President gave him full ability to scout his own talent, and all his kowtowing until now was out of respect for her. Well. She gives in at that, but still wants her fingers in the debut: they’ll cancel Yoo-Na’s contract and made a two part new deal with the company. Her group… and his. CEO gives her a look and they drive on.
So-Rim fiddles with her shoelaces at home that night, upset that she’d kicked him (don’t be) but still on cloud nine over the date.
Han-Kyeol’s making good on his promise to let her sing his music, too, and listens to the old song he’d made for So-Rim. It’s nowhere near good enough for him now and on go the headphones—back to work on her song.
Lolz I’ll never get this straight: So-Rim and her friends are having a meeting with CEO Choi to make up a new name. Not Bong Trio, now they’re Mush and Co. built off the concepts they thought up for themselves: So-Rim is Mush, short for mushroom (her hair and look), Gyoo-Sun is rice, a staple of Korean society and Jin-Woo is a handsome guy. So how’d So-Rim get the spotlight?
Rock-paper-scissors, course. It’s childish, but CEO thinks it’s a great band concept: total newbies to the stage, a bit clueless. Welp, if you say so. We only find out after he leaves that he’s really serious: the news they’re debuting will break later this week, but he’s not telling them “as a surprise”. Nobody will know until then, not even Chan-Young (who will be out of the country).
Speaking of whom, the man himself is travelling with the band after their day, and he gives So-Rim a call. She answers on the first ring, and they chat: it’s a late day of practice for So-Rim, but Chan-Young considers it early as he’ll be flying overseas for a photoshoot the next day. When Chan-Young learns she’s still at the company they arrange to meet up, and next thing we know they’re in a company auditorium.
So-Rim’s never been in one empty before and enjoys looking around, talking with Chan-Young relaxedly and joking around. She wonders why it she’s doesn’t feel alone when it’s empty, but gets so anxious and scared when it’s full of people and Chan-Young replies:
“We realize that we’re alone when we’re among people. When you feel that no one among all those people is on your side, loneliness can surge up, and it’s more terrifying than anything else.”
He continues he’s scared of it too, performing alone on that stage… but So-Rim interject here, reminding him that he’s a part of Crude Play, right?
Wrong. We flash back to the moment he joined, a lone young man sitting powerless between the CEO and the disbelieving members of Crude Play—of course they couldn’t do it without Chan-Young! Shi-Hyun had been vocal disagreeing, and we see an early performance with a very left out looking Chan-Young, and the others waving to Han-Kyeol in the crowd. Oh, this is heartbreaking.
He says a stand-in is just a stand-in, and he wants his own band. People who trust him and his music… and he thinks So-Rim fits the bill. He holds out his hand reminiscent of their conversation episodes earlier—that she focus only on music. So-Rim is obviously hesitant for more than one reason, but he’s waiting and she takes his hand.
The rest of Mush and Co. is still around the company, apparently, and we watch for a bit as Gyoo-Sun absolutely rocks out on the drums. That was super awesome. In-Ho, the drummer for Crude Play, walks in on the jam session and compliments him for practicing so hard—but Gyoo-Sun is quick to correct him. This is just for fun. Hyung plays for fun too sometimes, right? Riiight?
In-Ho is floored and the band wonders what’s wrong, but Gyoo-Sun’s made his exit anyway and te band sets up for their next Real Crude Play performance. In-Ho’s performance is lackluster, though, and he keeps remembering the press conference from earlier: they all play their own instruments, right? Right?
He drops a drumstick and the others stop, concerned. In-Ho suggests stopping, mentioning all the negative comments their videos get—but Yoon finds those liberating. And so In-Ho brings up the brand, their good name and everything they are now—they should stop. Shi-Hyun agrees reluctantly, and they make this time—their new song—the last time.
After their done Shi-Hyun wanders through the company, hearing Soo-Yeon’s muttered words about the bad comments on Real Crude Play. She’s about to send back a passionate response when Shi-Hyun yells “what’re you doing!” and holds out his hands to catch her phone from the stairwell. Smooth, brother. Smooth.
She fights to get her phone back and pretend like nothing’s happening when some people pass, which leads to a more serious discussion: they’re deleting Real Crude Play, so can she stop leaving mean comments? He’s joking with her, but he’s also very honest about how he’s feeling: Crude Play’s a fake except for their images, and that’s humiliating. As he leaves Soo-Yeon calls out to correct him: she didn’t write any bad comments. But Shi-Hyun already knows—he recognized her email address as being the only one to post good comments.
We montage through Han-Kyeol’s song production, a mixture of him singing and his memories with So-Rim. He said he doesn’t write his current heart into his songs, but…
The song finished, Han-Kyeol wonders how to give it to her—until he gets a text from CEO: search Mush and Co. now. So-Rim and her friends get the same text, and they find an article: they’re going debuting. So fast! Gyoo-Sun wants to call home and their classmates are all incredibly excited, but So-Rim doesn’t know how to react.
Han-Kyeol calls CEO Choi, worried for So-Rim: debuting this fast will only make the public expectant, and he’s worried they might be set up for failure. CEO Choi is sure that won’t happen, however—especially if they have a song written by a real genius (hint, hint Han-Kyeol?)
Han-Kyeol’s face closes up, and I don’t even know what to think of it all now.
Yoo-Na doesn’t either, seeing the news too that So-Rim will be taking her modeling contract. Ouch. Is this the first she’s heard of that, too?
Han-Kyeol gets a call and meets So-rim by the river, where she’s been going over her own doubts. Lol listen to this:
“Our single will cost 12 dollars. The same price as 1Kg of mushrooms. I’m not sure I’ll be able to singa song that’s worth that much.” Hee, great metaphor.
Han-Kyeol says she can. She definitely can, and he can ensure it: he’s written a song for her and wants it to be her debut. Oh, honey!
She accepts the earbuds hesitantly and puts them in, but I can tell she doesn’t want to listen. Yup, out they come, and she says she can’t do it. She promised Chan-Young she’d work with his music, come when he called—and even though it’s not a contract in writing she doesn’t want to break her promise. As much as I want her to sing Han-Kyeol’s music, I admire her decision. A promise is a promise, and that’s that.
Ahahaha we catch up to Se-Jeong and Gyoo-Sun at a café, and we can see on her phone she’s the mean commenter Soo-Yeon was warring with earlier online. Se-Jeong’s watching Chan-Young sing on the tv, and I can just watch the wheels roll behind those eyes as she bursts out: Gyoo-Sun, we should date! Why? Because I like you, of course. Aaaand welcome to the life, Gyoo-Sun.
Some time later, President Yoo bursts in on CEO Choi at the end of a meeting. You’d think she was upset about So-Rim, but no—it’s Real Crude Play. The netizens have discovered those videos are the real thing, and they’re not happy. President Yoo demands to know what happens now, and we leave before Choi answers.
Han-Kyeol’s not having a much better night, walking home after So-Rim’s confession—but it’s about to get a whole lot more interesting as we focus in on the musician playing on the side of the road: In-Woo, Han-Kyeol’s father. Our hero hears the playing, starts over towards him and—
“Kang Han-Kyeol,” his dad says. “Long time no see.”
And that’s a wrap!
Wow, am I ever drained. A lot of things happened in real life for me between the start of this recap and the end, and it ended up touching a lot of now-raw places for me. Bear with me for tomorrow, since it might not get out on time.
I absolutely loved the episode, though, and thought it was a perfect follow up to last week. So-Rim constantly impresses me with her maturity with musical and personal life, and I aspire to be like her in that regard.
Some Quick Thoughts:
- It was small and subtle, but this episode marked the beginning of a friendship between Han-Kyeol and Chan-Young. Han-Kyeol’s trying really hard to see things from the other man’s point of view, and I can only hope Chan-Young sees this and responds soon.
- Ladies’ shoulder pads went out of style for a reason. President, your fashion is now a menace to society.
- When the mean teacher changed his tune (heh, pun) at So-Rim’s fame I almost said “that’s celebrity life” but I didn’t. Because I think that’s all life, and people do act differently when they realize you’ve been dealt a good hand.
- So-Rim is really such a wonderful character: she’s honest and up front about her feelings, which might not feel so new in dramaland anymore… but she’s also young and vulnerable, and the show recognizes that. She needs guidance, but I love that she doesn’t just rely on Han-Kyeol for that: she has her grandmother, and CEO and her own sense of what’s right that guides her. She has a strong sense of integrity that makes it impossible for her to break a promise to someone else, and isn’t afraid to follow that while still being frank about her feelings for Han-Kyeol. That’s where she deviates for me from everyone else—she just has such a balanced view of the world. She has both eyes open to her feelings and what others want from her, but doesn’t let any of it stop her from going for what she wants.
- I love that Crude Play is getting individual characterization. Shi-Hyun’s has been building slowly, and with In-Ho this episode I feel I can reasonably expect Yoon to get some more soon.
Some Longer Thoughts:
Oh, Liar and His Lover. You make me think so much. I realized a few things this episode about presentation and showmanship, if I can run off of last episode: they’re everything in the industry. Everything. From the singer’s image (Yoo-Na) to whether or not a band can play for themselves (Crude Play) to the way a song is arranged (So-Rim). If any one of those things falls short, the magic just doesn’t happen. That’s why Real Crude Play is so important: they have all the wonderful sincerity in the world, but if they’re not as good they’re not as good. That’s a fact.
And so it complicates the relationship between our liar and his lovers: they might have reservations about different aspects of what they’re doing, but can’t really hate it when it allows them to touch people and perform (like In-Ho pointed out at their last practice). In that regard even entering the industry at all brings a relationship like that between me and my writing: something you both love and hate at the same time. It’s no wonder In-Ho finds it hard to just play for fun anymore.
All of these feelings, too, seem perfectly wrapped up in my feelings for CEO Choi as a character. He’s crafty and business wise and unafraid to use people, but he also does things that benefit our OTP greatly. One minute I hate him for smoothing Chan-Young’s dreams, the next I’m rooting for him to stand up against President Yoo and let So-Rim debut like he so badly seems to want to.
If I can go here, I’d suggest CEO Choi represents the industry in its entirety. To call him and the Industry outright liars is perhaps an exaggeration at times: they know how to find talent, and how to use it for maximum effect. That makes him the bad guy in everybody’s eyes at times, since it appears he’s only in it for himself—but a lot of what he does actually helps the different players of this musical world, and I hope they can recognize that too.
I’d like to end with this, though: I said CEO will use that talent for maximum benefit, but then the only question remaining is: who’s benefit? CEO Choi seems to have a vested interest in Han-Kyeol, but I still don’t know his motivations for really working so hard in his line of work. I sense, however, that he has in his heart a love for music as deep as the rest of theirs, and I hope that’s his real motivation—and that our liar isn’t such a bad person after all.