Liar and His Lover Episode 8
- Everyone takes two steps forward, one step back
- So-Rim’s debut song is decided
- Crude Play is put to the test
~ ~ ~
We’re back in the meeting, where President Yoo has just thrown down the news of “Real Crude” Play. CEO Choi is left alone to think about it in his office after she storms out. At the same time, Han-Kyeol returns home dejected to find his father sitting on his metaphorical doorstep. He invites him in, and In-Woo is amazed at his son’s specialized music-studio-house.
Lol the first thing on dad’s mind is food, and he goes through the fridge, trying to make light of his sudden reappearance. Han-Kyeol looks displeased and wants to know where he’s been, how long he’s been in Seoul… if he’s enjoyed playing the streets. But he doesn’t turn his father out, and redirects him to an empty room.
Lest we forget the real musical emergencies though, we transition back to Crude Play’s ride home. Chan-Young pulls up an article revealing So-Rim’s debut, and Shi-Hyun barely has time to look at the Real Crude Play video before Soo-Yeon calls. He’s happy it’s her, but then she tells him they’re outed just as the driver gets a call from CEO… and back they head to the company.
Choi is understandably upset, bringing up a breach of contract: they’ve acted in a way harmful for business. (ouch! Is their playing really that bad?) He tells them it’s hypocritical to think they’re doing something other than selling themselves for money, but Yoon speaks up against that: aren’t they hypocrites already? Fakes on a stage, not playing for themselves?
CEO Choi doesn’t even consider it. “Fake music? Then what about the staff that support you?Are they giving up their lives to make fake music? Don’t bother differentiating real music and fake music. Don’t you know how much money and effort is put into you? Don’t make the company see a loss because of your feelings!”
He’s frustrated and blunt, but I almost think he’s more disappointed than angry. And wow, his eyes look a little red-rimmed now. You do care, don’t you.
His next question puts me on edge, though: does Han-Kyeol know? Not yet, and Shi-Hyun doesn’t want him to know.
Aaaand yep, that made Chan-Young smirk bitterly. He’d been quiet for the entirety of the meeting, but he has a few things to say to the band once they leave. He’s known them for how long? Five years and he’s still not really included or considered. He says they’re the same as CEO Choi, not even considering his feelings. And even though In-Ho admits they have no excuse, I think Chan-Young feels a bridge has been crossed. He pushes past the band and heads for his car.
In a meeting with a reporter later, CEO Choi tries to keep the story from breaking big. President Yoo sits quietly looking on, until she sees an out. And ooooooh it’s bad. The reporter says he might pass on the band news for something bigger… like a love scandal between CEO and Yoo-Na, how about it? (How did you knoooooooow?!) And that’s when President Yoo pipes up: not just a scandal, how about a full page exclusive on their wedding?
Welp. That went from zero to a hundred reaaal quick.
CEO doesn’t say anything, and President Yoo says it’s already settled: she’d contacted his editor in advance. Um… ok then.
And CEO thanks her for this?! Thanks her?! President Yoo kicks him while he’s down, telling him this should serve as a reminder of what he really needs to be working on.
The others are doing their best to resolve things, too: Shi-Hyun stands alone in a hallway looking ashamed and conflicted as he pulls up Han-Kyeol’s contact. And aaaaalmost presses call, but ha! Our hero beat him to it and Shi-Hyun collapses against the wall deciding if he should pick up. It looks like that’s a no, since Han-Kyeol can’t get a connection. Everybody wants him tonight, though, and he rejects So-Rim’s call with a message. Why don’t you want to talk to her?
Well, maybe he just has bigger things on his mind. His dad is certainly driving him nuts with his incessant calls and happy-go-lucky personality. He’s used up all the truffles, which he didn’t know were expensive (thought they were moldy, lol) and made dinner. The table is set, and So-Rim’s second call goes unanswered as well.
She’s sitting at home, thinking over her rejection of Han-Kyeol’s song. She looks excited when she gets a call—but it’s just Chan-Young, and her face falls. He’s right outside, and she agrees to meet him for a minute.
He congratulates her on debuting, adding that he knows Han-Kyeol will want to make her song. You can tell it’s more himself on his mind than her, and So-Rim ends up assuaging his fears: she already rejected the opportunity, so don’t worry about it. Chan-Young looks stunned, and a bit humbled, and remembers Han-Kyeol’s words from a few nights ago—that in a battle, if the opponent doesn’t want to win or even fight, then he can’t either.
Her steps closer to her, asking if she thinks there’s winning or losing in music. The one who wants to win is the loser then, right? Still—and this is where he takes her hand— “No matter what kind of obstacles come my way I’m ready to go for it with you. I won’t let you go as long as you trust me.”
So-Rim just laughs nervously (ya think?), and we transition.
It’s Yoo-Na walking into Sole Music to confront CEO Choi, yelling that he must have known about the advertising contract switch, and how it being taken from her isn’t even the biggest problem—they gave the contract to a bunch of kids! It’s salt in an open wound, since she knows the public already considers her a has-been. She’s sick of being bought and sold, and exits stage left to cry in her car. And you don’t even know about your “engagement” yet. Woof.
Life goes on, however, and Han-Kyeol leaves eaaaarly the next morning for work… even though it’s the weekend. His dad asks if Han-Kyeol’s leaving because he’s uncomfortable, but Han-Kyeol shoots back that should be In-Woo: he’s been trying to play the nice dad, and Han-Kyeol tells him there’s no need. So you think he’s being a good dad now, eh? There’s always a silver lining, bud.
So-Rim might be hard pressed to find one later that morning at the vegetable shop though: Han-Kyeol still hasn’t answered any texts or calls. And this time, she opts not to call again. She steps outside for a moment to help a customer who—yessssss!—it’s Han-Kyeol’s dad, and they recognize each other from the street performance weeks ago.
She asks if he lives around here but no, he’s just visiting someone: he really likes them but they don’t return the feelings. Why does she ask?
So-Rim doesn’t say, but reveals there’s someone like that in her life as well. Hah, this is gold. They discuss Han-Kyeol without names, although his dad calls him a bad punk a few times. So-Rim defends our hero, saying he’s just busy—not bad.
She wonders why she expects so much more from him now, and awwww I think I’m gonna cry: Han-Kyeol’s dad gives So-Rim some fatherly advice, speculating she wants to rely on him (Han-Kyeol) more—trust him completely—and hoping they become like that can be tiring. And then it’s time for him to go… if he can remember what he was there to buy. So-Rim suggests the mushrooms, and aha! That’s the right answer: his son absolutely loves mushrooms, has a stash of them worth thousands of dollars. Lol I hope this comes up later.
Our mushroom loving man is in fact at work, advising a few musicians on their playing. Shi-Hyun pops in with a smile, but Han-Kyeol can tell it’s forced: he doesn’t look good. Shi-Hyun doesn’t want to talk about Real Crude Play, though, so he brushes it off. A call from So-Rim comes in, and he tells Han-Kyeol he should answer it.
Han-Kyeol sticks his phone back in his jacket though (whyyyy?) and says it’s not because of Shi-Hyun that he’s not answering. Well that just begs the question. Thank you, Shi-Hyun for asking. His answer: he’s angry. Angry?!
Ahahahaha I’d say his pride is hurt, rather. She’s refused to sing his song twice now and he’s questioning all the work he’s done and her feelings and the universe at large (and his abilities?). Brother, I think you still have a bit of an ego there. Shi-Hyun practically spoon feeds it, too: if So-Rim had listened to his song this time, she’d want to sing it. I think you’re right. Han-Kyeol’s ready force her to listen, but Shi-Hyun’s shuts down that and leaves moodily.
So-Rim is also at the company, getting ready for her first concept shoot. They dress her up in a billion outfits and Crude Play’s “Peter Pan” montages us through the photos (that song is my favorite). She comes out in a particularly stunning dress and Jin-Woo can’t even keep his mouth closed, but So-Rim still feels inadequate next to the beautiful musician posters (is that Yoo-Na?)
Thankfully, it’s unnie to rescue and Soo-Yeon preps a full makeover.
Aaaiiie I think this is my favorite play on the trope, and So-Rim finally calls Han-Kyeol again once she’s prettied up… she’s right outside his practice room and wants to know if it’s ok to come in. Well, he can’t say no to that, but he’s not prepared for how she floors him in the new getup.
Bwahahaha he has such a hard time complimenting her, since the whole effect makes her seem older and more mature. So-Rim starts explaining she knows he’s upset she won’t sing his song, but he hastily denies that. I think everything really is forgotten for now. So-Rim spots a bass and asks if he was just playing… and if so, can he play for her? Han-Kyeol says not unless he has the rest of the band (aww), and So-Rim grabs for it herself then. He can teach her though, right? Right? *blink-blink* *blink-blink* 💕
This is why I watch kdramas, guys. They are too cute, as Han-Kyeol swings around to teach her the chords… and closer to show her how to hold her hands… and closer to position her shoulder… And now they’re face to face, So-Rim’s eyes rapidly glancing down to his lips and back in anticipation. I’m kicking my legs girlishly, and if I wasn’t in a public space filled with people, there would be squeals. ^^
Her eyes even drift closed, and I swear Han-Kyeol was gonna go for it—until Chan-Young interrupts. Will I never get my kiss?! *rewinds to watch the scene again without writing while I watch*
Okay, and we’re back. Chan-Young had been eyesdropping on them for a while, and interrupts to call them cheesy. Well yeah, but it’s still cute! It’s just awkward until Chan-Young starts complimenting So-Rim, and then Han-Kyeol’s jealous (that’s an I’m-so-sure face right there). So-Rim is happy she looks pretty, but I don’t think Chan-Young gives her any butterflies, and she lets him go when he says he’s busy (if you were busy, why did you interrupt?!)
Chan-Young brings Han-Kyeol out with him to “talk”, and this isn’t a conversation of fun and games. He’s begging for a fight, and he asks if Han-Kyeol made So-Rim a song. Well, yes… but it wasn’t for her debut. Han-Kyeol’s reading into things now, sure CEO wants K to produce. Apparently, the press don’t know So-Rim’s producer is Chan-Young yet. He tells Han-Kyeol to butt out, and walks off. Oooookay CEO Choi eavesdropped that whole thing. Interesting (lol, kdramas).
Han-Kyeol returns to the practice room and watches So-Rim hum to herself (Chan-Young’s song), remembering again how he felt when he was first replaced with a session musician. Wow, CEO Choi basically told him he wasn’t a good musician. That’s harsh. Han-Kyeol walks over to So-Rim, pulling out her earbuds (hey!) and asking her not to sing. What?
“Don’t sing that song. […] It’s ok if you don’t want to sing my song, but… please don’t sing his song, either.”
They leave the scene hanging, and we catch up to Han-Kyeol that night… where Yoo-Na is waiting for him outside his house. She wants him to write her a song and looks like this is her last resort. Han-Kyeol doesn’t give, saying she ought to have asked while they were together, when he was blind (harsh, man).
Yoo-Na has an explanation though: if she’d asked then, she was afraid he’d think she wasn’t talented enough to sing his song and lose his love. Like how Crude Play isn’t talented enough to play. Now that she has nothing to lose but her pride however, she can asks shamelessly. (I’m getting Marriage Contract throwbacks now). She’s crying, and Han-Kyeol seems really concerned.
The next morning Han-Kyeol stands on the company rooftop, contemplative before he confronts CEO Choi about it all. He’s worried Yoo-Na’s unstable, and flabbergasted that CEO would pull the advertising contract like that and give it to Mush & Co.
CEO Choi asks if Han-Kyeol will write Yoo-Na a song like she’d asked, adding he knows So-Rim refused his song. He wants Han-Kyeol to send the unused song to him: CEO will give it to Yoo-Na, and then give So-Rim’s production to Han-Kyeol. CEO, I have such! Mixed! Feelings!
In a parting shot Choi says he never knows what Chan-Young might do, steal So-Rim away? And then he’s gone, leaving Han-Kyeol again on the roof top, contemplative. Oh boy I can sense the angst. It’s coming.
Theirs isn’t the only problem, however, and we transition to In-Woo’s dilemma: he’s agreed to be a session artist for Han Yoo-Seok (who stole his music) but he’s not pleased with it. Especially when Yoo-Seok shows up and starts criticizing the other men’s work. In-Woo’s not having it, however, and he stands to leave “because he’s not in the mood to practice”. Heh.
This means Han-Kyeol and his dad are in the same building—confront!—but first our hero gets a text from CEO Choi. And bless his everloving soul! Choi’s not actually giving So-Rim’s song to Yoo-Na, he wants Han-Kyeol to write her another one. But he does have So-Rim’s, now.
Yup, confrontation happening—but President Yoo is there too, having just met up with In-Woo herself. They take it to her office and Han-Kyeol starts yelling, upset that his father would even consider doing this for the man who’d stolen his father’s music. President Yoo is upset he can still act like this after all she’s done… covering up Crude Play’s scandal… but Han-Kyeol still doesn’t know about that. Whoops. Thankfully, Dad takes Han-Kyeol outside to explain it in private.
Han-Kyeol looks like he’s been kicked in the stomach at the news, not caring that it’s resolved and determined to find out why they did it. But In-Woo is wise, and advises Han-Kyeol against talking with them when he’s this angry. What are they going to say? That they’re talentless, hopeless? That they’re dolls the company moves around, a front for their business to make money. In-woo thinks that’s the industry, but Han-Kyeol has something different to say:
“You’re not free. You don’t have the confidence to be responsible for your music, just like how you left mother and me. I’m sick of you dropping in and acting like a father when you feel like it—I’m different from you. Even if I become the bad guy, I’ll be responsible for what I should be.”
Bam. That was intense. But I don’t think he’s entirely wrong, either. Han-Kyeol shakes his head and walks off, leaving his father quiet behind him.
Later, Crude Play gathers at Shi-Hyun’s joint at Han-Kyeol’s request, unaware that Han-Kyeol is on the warpath. And he is: he when he storms in and asks them why they did it he freely admits he’s not trying to understand them—he’s trying to break them so they won’t do it again. Not cool.
Shi-Hyun stands up for the band, asking what was so wrong. Had Han-Kyeol even seen the videos? I’m seriously disappointed in Han-Kyeol, who asks if that even matters. Although, I can see what he means, too: he’s played with them for 10 years and knows their playing sounds different. Shi-Hyun reads that as “badly” and the series long tension breaks: they all feel inadequate next to Han-Kyeol, the musical genius.
Well, no more. They might have started Crude Play because they were friends, but now it’s just business and money, and Shi-Hyun takes the plunge: he doesn’t want to sing Han-Kyeol’s songs anymore. And so he leaves. The others follow suit, brushing past our hero and leaving him alone in the very place their band began.
He thinks back to the early, pre-debut days, when they wondered if anybody would even show up. They dreamed of being top stars and goofed off on their instruments, determined to go as far as they could. Han-Kyeol stares at the empty stage now and blinks back tears.
Yoo-Na couldn’t leave the company, I guess, since CEO Choi is now driving her home. She’s miserable, but CEO Choi has some news hoping to cheer her up: Han-Kyeol will write her a song, and she can duet perform it with Shi-Hyun. It will kick-start her career again… no matter it happened since CEO “took someone hostage”.
Yoo-Na knows the hostage is So-Rim and wonders what kind of person she is. Who could mesmerize Han-Kyeol, and Chan-Young and CEO so much?
I know who she is, and I want her help about now. Han-Kyeol arrived to an empty house, his father cleared out of the spare room. He curls up on the couch with the lights off, thinking to himself: of course it’s like this.
The next day Se-Jeong and Gyoo-Sun are at a café, talking about their debut song: Gyoo-Sun seems sure he knows which song they’ll choose (whose?!) but nothing’s certain. They stand to go and—mmhmmm she’s sly—Se-Jeong slips Gyoo-Sun’s phone into her bag.
Gyoo-Sun arrive at the company for practice and realizes immediately his phone is missing. He almost leaves to find it, but just then Soo-Yeon (sorry Soo-Yeon!) arrives, potential debut songs in tow. Well, let’s sit down and have a look-see, eh?
CEO and So-Rim listen to the choices at the same time, from their respective rooms: first is Chan-Young’s, who smiles as he enters CEO’s office… and then Han-Kyeol’s, which makes Chan-Young pause, worried. He asks CEO who’s song that was: K’s, of course. And yes, it is a candidate for So-Rim’s debut. Chan-Young doesn’t say a word, just walks out. There are 5 songs in total though, so maybe the executive team will choose neither for the band? Oh no, except CEO just moved one of them to the trash. Which one?! I couldn’t read it! CEO takes the new USB drive of four songs to Soo-Yeon, who takes it to the meeting. Fireworks, start.
Meanwhile Han-Kyeol is at home in his studio, making Yoo-Na a song as promised. He doesn’t look very inspired, however, and turns to the door when an alarm goes off. It’s Chan-Young, here to (confront!) speak with Han-Kyeol about the song he sent in. Han-Kyeol plays it cool, telling Chan-Young he knew So-Rim first. He discovered her voice first, so he gets to be involved too. Excuse me, I believe it was So-Rim’s teacher who got her discovered, thank-you-very-much. Why don’t we let him produce?
Chan-Young “skips— to the end” (Princess Bride, anyone?) and jumps right into his personal beef with Han-Kyeol: he uses people for his music (we know; he’s working on it!) and now he’s playing with So-Rim’s feelings for him, right? You’re one to talk.
Ooooooooooooooooooh boy and now crap’s going down. Han-Kyeol refutes the idea that he’s playing with So-Rim: what if he’s serious? Oh boy, oh boy! *replays*
“What if I’m serious? What if I really mean it? If I want to be with her and do everything with her including music, what will you do?”
Chan-Young hasn’t thought about that possibility I guess, since he’s been blind enough not to see it until now. He still tells Han-Kyeol to give up, though, throwing out a low blow: he’s incapable of making anyone happy. Sound like his worst fear, anyone?
Han-Kyeol admits it might be true, but it’s still So-Rim’s choice whether she’ll be with him or not. (thank you for recognizing that). Chan-Young’s on a slippery slope, bringing Crude Play into this—but he does and gives a final example: if CEO Choi hadn’t wanted to debut them so fast, Crude Play could have practiced Han-Kyeol’s geeeenius songs more… and they wouldn’t have been a sham. Chan-Young lets our hero stew on this, and leaves. Now alone, they both receive the news from the company: the debut song has been decided.
I’m dying to know what it is—who’s song did CEO Choi throw away?—and with his call to Han-Kyeol we find out. So-Rim will be singing Chan-Young’s song. CEO, you *cuss redacted* *cuss redacted*. Han-Kyeol doesn’t even sit up at the news, saying listlessly Chan-Young’s song is good too: it’s easy, and highlights her voice.
CEO Choi asks him if he’s done with Yoo-Na’s song then, Han-Kyeol scoffs. That’s all he wanted, huh? He gets angry now, asking if CEO thinks he’s a song making machine. CEO Choi admits it—he’s a very efficient machine. … … 😠
Han-Kyeol stands up now, realizing something important: every aspect of his life—work, friends, his ex—anything the music touches, CEO has touched too. And that’s not ok. Choi tells him fine, don’t renew your contract if you want me gone… but he knows Han-Kyeol will be back: “because the thing that yo value the most is musicYou’ll only meet people through music. You’ll love and hurt people all your life… through music.“
The call ends, and Han-Kyeol lets a tear fall as he drops back into his chair, hand over his face.
CEO Choi does nothing but send an email to Yoo-Na, cool as the frozen fires of hell. Later he watches from the sound room as Mush & Co. sit in with headphones on, ready to hear their debut song. Are they excited? Of course. So far as our heroine knows, Han-Kyeol’s song was in the mix. It’s Chan-Young’s song, of course, and Jin-Woo asks if So-Rim isn’t excited. Well, she doesn’t quite look it.
Back in the sound room, Soo-Yeon asks why K’s song was excluded, and CEO replies So-Rim needed an easy song. One she can “trample on”. If it sounds odd, that’s because it’s another helpful but devious ploy: CEO thinks So-Rim could write music, and Chan-Young’s mediocre efforts will give her ideas, ways to improve upon the music.
Han-Kyeol sits at home, thinking over all the things people have said about him and his music. Among them, only So-Rim stands with a bright smile, determined to love his song no matter what. And then she’s calling him, and Han-Kyeol gives the shakiest “Yeobosaeyo?” I’ve ever heard. So-Rim “breaks the news” to him and asks if he’s ok, adding his voice doesn’t sound so hot. He asks if they can meet up, and then downloads a song from his computer to a USB: not the final song for So-Rim, but the first one.
At the company, Gyoo-Sun and Jin-Woo finally gets ahold of Se-Jeong, who says she’ll give back his phone tomorrow at school. And this is so sketchy! Se-Jeong has Gyoo-Sun’s phone open, and she’s reading his Kakaotalk.
So-Rim is headed out from Sole Music, and runs into Yoo-Na in the hall. Yoo-Na wants to talk, though, and wish them both luck on their debut/comebacks: after all, Chan-Young’s never produced before… and Han-Kyeol’s only ever written for Crude Play. Please, say it isn’t so. Yup, Han-Kyeol’s composing her new album, and if that wasn’t bad enough she says it was his idea. She offers to let So-Rim listen to the song, and… now we know where So-Rim’s song went. So-Rim hears it and her face shuts down.
She cries later in the bathroom, washing her face so it doesn’t show when she meets up with Han-Kyeol. Oh, bless you for still meeting him. Her efforts to hide her earlier cry are apparently unsuccessful, because Han-Kyeol can tell and asks why—and who made her sad? Him?
So-Rim asks him why it had to be that song—why did he give it to Yoo-Na? Han-Kyeol’s completely in the dark, of course, but catches on fast. And asks if she doesn’t like it, him “giving it” to Yoo-Na. So-Rim, ever honest, says yes. And then Han-Kyeol asks again if she’ll sing it: but the answer’s the same: no, she promised Chan-Young. But Han-Kyeol is desperate for validation at this point: someone, anyone to stand by him and say they’ll sing for him… so he brings up the idea of leaving again. If it was sing or never see him again, would she sing it? So-Rim is about to cry again, unwilling to answer.
And now we return to what Han-Kyeol said episodes ago: this is why he doesn’t like girls who sing. Because he’ll always end up hurting them, after all. Anybody he’s connected to through music. He pulls out the USB, saying he’d brought it because he wanted to change… “but it still ended the same.” He gives it to her, certain she won’t listen to it, and leaves. Oh, my heart.
The day is hazy as he crosses the Han River bridge, walking slowing… stopping… RUNNING BACK YES PLEASE FIND HER! KISS HER! SOMETHING!
My feelings are breaking, I swear. So-Rim has started walking herself, and now she’s run into Chan-Young, there “to see the face of the person he likes but… she looks sad.” NO! This is not the right time for this! But it’s happening, and Chan-Young wraps So-Rim up in a hug as she cries.
Which is how Han-Kyeol finds them, words ringing through his mind of how he hurts people with music… and we call it a night.
I think I’ve stopped breathing. Why show! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I have so many conflicting feelings at this point, and I know all the angst is temporary and our OTP will probably end up together (99.9% sure, 100% if we pretend Hirunaka no Ryuusei doesn’t exist), but oh. The angst. I don’t know if I can handle it. Let’s see if I can still think coherently, though, and figure this all out. Sorry if it’s long!
Edit: it took me a second watch through the second half, but I think I understand now where everything is headed, and what the implications are. Let’s go!
Some Quick Thoughts:
- Chan-Young: he’s still incredibly selfish, but I can really see his insecurities now. It’s something he and Han-Kyeol share, that nobody wants to listen to their music. Still, Chan-Young is actively looking out for himself and his music only, and that’s not ok. I think he’s beginning to realize a few things, though: 1) his interest in So-Rim musical future isn’t totally innocent and 2) he has feelings for her (if the ending is any indication). I don’t like the bitterness between him and Han-Kyeol, but I appreciate that it’s not built around interest in the same girl, as kdramas so often do. Their problems run much deeper, and So-Rim is only a part of it—which makes them so much more interesting. And complicated. And heartbreaking.
- Yoo-Na: For the most part I really sympathize with her, as she’s been shunted to the side in favor of a newer “product”. But I don’t hope that her interest in So-Rim isn’t purely malevolent, because that feels a bit like shallow writing to me.
- In-Woo: If CEO Choi represents the industry and giving your entire life over to the performance and perception side of music, then I’d like to think In-Woo represents the exact foil for this: all he wants is to play, to meet people down to earth—no recognition needed. Only I can see exactly where Han-Kyeol is coming from: at some point that turns into an avoidance of responsibility, and that’s not ok.
- So-Rim: oh, So-Rim. First of all, I am so happy that she has a father figure in In-Woo. As much as I love grandma there’s something to having a dad that makes everything ok again, and I loved her conversation with him. I also love I love that she knew she looked pretty and wasn’t afraid to flirt with Han-Kyeol. I love that she’s still so honest, and doesn’t shy away from confronting hard things. You go, girl!
Some Longer Thoughts:
Let’s talk about CEO Choi, shall we? Before I try and redact everything I said last episode about him potentially being a good person, I want to understand why I instinctively hate him so much. On the surface that’s easy: he uses people shamelessly, goes back on his word and basically cuts off the free choice of everyone he’s involved with. But besides all that, what has he done? He shot Crude Play to face, recruited So-Rim, put Chan-Young in a position where he shines as a performer… and I think that’s the key.
He sees people’s talent and uses it. Which means he’s done a looot of good things, tbh—like helping So-Rim discover herself as a songwriter. The way he talked about it made him sound like a bad word, but it was a good end goal. Same with revitalizing Yoo-Na’s career using Han-Kyeol’s song: that sort of collaboration is better than any advertisement renewal. Of course he’d think she’d be pleased.
But that’s the key: he acts off of his own perceptions (lies?) of other people, using them for his own ideas of what music is and not giving them a choice.
Putting it like that, it seems CEO is merely an extension of Han-Kyeol, twenty years down the road. Our hero like it or not is headed towards the position CEO is in right now: I did not like his confrontation with the band at all. But I don’t think Han-Kyeol was comfortable with it either, and when he lay on the couch that night I took his “of course it’s like this” in as much a self-condemning manner as anything else. I think he recognizes now what affect CEO (the industry) has on him, and he wants to break away and find a balance where he’s connecting—not using—people through his music.
That perhaps is why I’m still very upset with how he treated So-Rim at the end. It’s not right to ask somebody you like to make a choice like that, because it’s still usery—just in a different way. I’m happy he stayed to form, however, and ran right back when he realized. If there’s one thing I love about Han-Kyeol, it’s that he’s quick to recognize his mistakes, quick to apologize, and unafraid to better himself. And for all his faults and potential to “make people miserable”, that characteristic makes him a worthy man in my eyes, and I can root for our OTP without reserve.