Liar and His Lover 9
Every episode I have a goal to make this recap a little shorter, to be more concise in how I write—but whether it’s me or the show, I just can’t do it! I’ll blame the show for now, since it seems like so much happens every episode. I love it, since it’s different from your standard Rom-Com, and I hope it doesn’t change for the angst. *fingers crossed as we enter the turbulence zone*
- Han-Kyeol makes good progress personally
- So-Rim talks with In-Woo again
- Mush & Co. Debuts
- I turn into a puddle of smiles
~ ~ ~
We’re dropped back into the thick of things, and Han-Kyeol races back juuuuust too late to get the girl. He watches Chan-Young comfort her for a moment, CEO’s words about how he hurts others with music ringing in his ears, and then walks away, shoulders down. Meanwhile, Chan-Young has taken So-Rim out for cake to cheer her up (or celebrate their debut song, as he ostentatiously reasons).
Han-Kyeol can’t get a break, and his quiet stroll by the canal is interrupted by a call on his mobile, which he takes.
Lol remember that cake Chan-Young was getting? Well, it’s not happening either, since pfffft he’s instantly recognized and swarmed with fans.
Han-Kyeol walks into a considerably more empty shop, where Yoo-Na sits waiting for him. She wants to know how her song is going—wait what?! *gasp* so she doesn’t get So-Rim’s song? Han-Kyeol is apparently just putting this whole picture together now, and asks if she told So-Rim he’d given her the song. Yoo-Na is such a liar pants on fire (aren’t they all?) and say no, but but we totally know So-Rim took it that way. Her excuse: didn’t So-Rim reject the song anyway?
Han-Kyeol denies this but Yoo-Na has a different story: So-Rim got to hear all the demo songs first, and she didn’t end up with his, so… (do neither of you know it was out of her hands entirely?) Han-Kyeol actually suggests that maybe his song wasn’t good enough, then, and Yoo-Na gets confused: why is he always so understanding when it comes to So-Rim? Is it because she’s the one he wants to write songs for? And there we leave them.
That’s because we need to catch up with So-Rim and Cha-Young, who abandoned the cake for bread and drinks in front of So-Rim’s school. So-Rim decides every celebration needs candles and provides a cool phone app to do the job. Chan-Young takes a quick look at her phone—still wearing one half of the couple cases—and gets a funny look on his face, like it’s uncomfortable to see evidence of her crush. Well, at least you know now how you feel about her.
They make wishes through the phone, So-Rim reveals she wished to be liked (i.e. her song to be well received) Chan-Young replies he does too. He wants… to be liked… too. It totally goes over So-Rim’s head, but I actually feel better now that Chan-Young is making serious doe-eyes at our heroine and not just trying to direct her life out of “innocent interest”.
He drops her off later that night and So-Rim thanks him, saying she felt at ease since he didn’t ask any questions. But Chan-Young doesn’t want to console her anymore hereafter: because that’s for the latecomers. (Oh man, declarations of war! Me like-y). So-Rim just thinks it’s another odd line and heads inside.
At her desk, she fingers the USB from Han-Kyeol: to listen or not to listen, that is the question. Whether tis nobler for her to—ok, so she doesn’t listen. Han-Kyeol’s words explaining his dislike for girls who sing ringing in her ears, she makes it all the way to the file itself before pulling out her earbuds and going to bed. Nooo why do I feel like that was important? Han-Kyeol’s listening to the song, though, alone in his house. He can’t stop seeing Chan-Young’s embrace, and hears Yoo-Na’s claim again: So-Rim said no, right?
And that’s how CEO ends up with a text the next morning from Han-Kyeol: they need to meet and discuss Yoo-Na’s song. Choi’s currently in a meeting with some advertisers (ooh So-Rim’s debut might be live?) and after the guests leave Choi talks with President Yoo for a moment: President Yoo is just as confused as he is, how Chan-Young got together with So-Rim and Han-Kyeol is writing for Yoo-Na now when everyone in the know knows Han-Kyeol likes So-Rim. A lot.
CEO puts it down to a difference between work and personal life—something Han Yoo-Seok might not have, since he just stormed up angry over how In-Woo has been acting up. President Yoo sends off CEO (who eyesdrops for a moment curiously) and sits Han Yoo-Seok down to talk in her office. They dance around the subject, and when In-Woo’s divorce and President Yoo’s old flame are brought up in the same sentence I’m 99.999% sure Yoo is Han-Kyeol’s mom (I think they actually said it in an earlier episode and I just forgot). President Yoo shuts that line down and sends the irate artist away, informing him to file a law suit if he’s so upset.
Choi’s meeting with Han-Kyeol and Yoo-Na is going better, at least. They agree to work together from now on, and although Yoo-Na wants So-Rim’s song (y’know, she just… whatever… likes it.), Han-Kyeol looks incredulous at her reasoning. We don’t see the outcome, though, since we’re transitioned to our other musical group: Mush & Co. just finishing practice for the day.
Gyoo-Sun runs off imediately—to call Se-Jeong—and Jin-Woo says they ought to wait for the even prettier girls once they debut. So-Rim is curious: when you meet someone cooler does that automatically mean you stop liking your crush? But there’s no answer as Chan-Young enters the scene and offers to buy lunch. He’s made time just for So-Rim, out of his busy schedule, and off they go.
Poor Gyoo-Sun doesn’t get the same treatment, though, as Se-Jeong silences his call and focuses in on her cellphone hack instead. She watches from afar as Gyoo-Sun gets a text: Chan-Young is buying lunch—and ha! I bet she regrets not taking that call now.
Yoo-Na invites Han-Kyeol to lunch after the meeting and is just turned down when they run into So-Rim and Co. … so Yoo-Na grabs for Han-Kyeol’s arm, heh, and he slips it easily away. Good man for not letting that become any bigger than it needs to be. They all discuss lunch, and while So-Rim looks uncomfortable Han-Kyeol pipes up: it’s not like they’re strangers, so why not?
And that’s how we end up on an awkward non-date between So-Rim, Chan-Young, Han-Kyeol and Yoo-Na… with the other two boys fifth and six-wheeling it bravely. Yoo-Na keeps trying to feed Han-Kyeol, but our hero has eyes only for So-Rim… who is also being taken care of by Chan-Young. This shouldn’t be hilarious, but it totally is. It’s also rather petty: Yoo-Na “clears up” the misunderstanding over So-Rim’s potential demo, and So-Rim remembers this and other barbs as she washes up in the restroom later.
Yoo-Na stops her just outside, too, for more working over the nails: So-Rim ought to just say something if she wants to, not stare. Our heroine takes that at face value and asks why she wants her song, but Yoo-Na shoots her down and tells So-Rim she’s unexpectedly greedy. She didn’t want to sing it, but Yoo-Na can’t have it? Songs wear out, apparently, even when the public has never heard it.
Back at the company, Se-Jeong is the front desk’s worst nightmare as she throws a calm fit trying to get in. Gyoo-Sun meets her and she drags him away, suddenly perky. She wants a tour of the company—he was with Chan-Young before, right? But Gyoo-Sun stands firm in the face of her whining, stating company policy.
So-Rim, Jin-Woo and Han-Kyeol see off Chan-Young outside (heh, Se-Jeong missed him) and then So-Rim sends off her friend: she has private things to discuss with Han-Kyeol. Yes, please.
The first thing out of her mouth is an apology (she’s an angel), and she’s really done her best to consider Yoo-Na’s words that it might be greedy of her to keep the song even when she won’t sing it. Han-Kyeol just asks if she’s ok, then, if he gives it to Yoo-Na. So-Rim puts on a brave face (songs wear out, remember?) and says of course, smiling. Han-Kyeol looks a bit humbled, if you ask me.
Inside words are flying hot and high, although Se-Jeong drops the argument like a hot potato when she sees So-Rim standing with a man outside. She gives Gyoo-Sun an out and he takes it, running inside with Jin-Woo ‘to find her cellphone’. Se-Jeong only eyesdrops on our couple, but we get to hear:
“You must not have liked the song—that must be why you’re okay even if I give it to someone else.”
So-Rim: “It’s not like that. You know I haven’t listened to your song. I didn’t listen to the file in the memory stick.”
“You haven’t? […] You can tell lies now.” So-Rim is confused and I have my suspicions, but we leave them there.
Meanwhile, from a distance, Se-Jeong takes her first paparazzi photo, capturing Han-Kyeol’s hand on our heroine’s shoulder. (Seriously, she’s tabloid gold with all her snooping).
Some time later, President Yoo walks into a bar (that sounds like a joke), and listens as In-Woo strums relaxedly on his guitar. The song fits him, but he switches in the middle to sing a conversation to President Yoo (he’s so funny, seriously).
President Yoo came to discuss Han Yoo-Seok, but she seems to be on In-Woo’s side in the matter until the man says he’s the one who broke the contract, so it can’t be helped. Then President Yoo’s on the warpath, wondering why he hasn’t changed and is still so irresponsible.
“Is that a problem?” He wonders.
Ahahahaha I think I know what’s really on Yoo’s mind: In-Woo’s ex has remarried and moved on, so why can’t he do the same? (Be a responsible man and date, she means… preferably herself, she means… come on!) Well, I guess she’s not Han-Kyeol’s mom.
In-Woo is surprised she knows so much about his life, but points out there are things about him she doesn’t want him to change, either… right? Yoo shoots back that she just doesn’t want a huge kerfuffle at the company, tells him to take care of it and leave.
The next morning Mush and Co. are at the company, where Soo-Yeon reveals the details for their live showcase: at their school, with Chan-Young accompanying, with footage to be used in a commercial later. It pretty much can’t get better than that, and So-Rim and the boys jump on Chan-Young in a hug. Soo-Yeon reminds them this is all strictly confidential, and the band nods their understanding.
Yoon and In-Ho of Crude Play are trying to get some understanding at the moment, too, and drag Shi-Hyun into a practice room to talk with Han-Kyeol. (*Please go well pleasegowell!)
Han-Kyeol is the first to take the blame, admitting he’d been harsh on them and attributing it to nerves (don’t pass it off, bro!) Luckily Shi-Hyun won’t just accept that for an answer, and asks why Han-Kyeol would be nervous—Crude Play would be the only ones to suffer, after all. Han-Kyeol doesn’t like being treated as separate, but Shi-Hyun has a point: aren’t they, now? Han-Kyeol left when he couldn’t play for himself and didn’t even debut with his friends.
We flash back to Han-Kyeol’s decision to leave, and learn CEO was a snake even back then: he’d been ready to shut down Crude Play’s entire debut when Han-Kyeol bowed out, and our hero offered to just write songs for them then, since that’s what CEO really wanted. Just let Crude Play debut. So that’s how K was born, eh? Of course the rest of the band knows none of this, and Shi-Hyun just feels below average compared to Han-Kyeol. Just as Chan-Young and Mush & Co. file into the room Shi-Hyun yells at Han-Kyeol: he should have stayed with band until the end, instead of running away!
It’s silent for a moment, and everyone is there to hear his reply:
“Shi-Hyun. You’re right.I have run away. However, I never ran away from you guys. I always… I always wanted to make music for you.” And as the others choke up around him, he leaves.
Bless So-Rim’s ever loving heart. It takes her all of five seconds to run out after him, the first words out of her mouth being: are you ok? She’s certain the “little fight” was all on Shi-Hyun, and Han-Kyeol laughs the band should hear that—since it’s really Han-Kyeol himself that’s always at fault. To them, and her too. Oh, don’t say that.
So-Rim takes a step closer, promising if he brings any nay-sayers to her, she’ll take them on. She might be small, but she’ll protect him: “I’m on your side no matter what.”
Han-Kyeol stares at her, conflicted. “I lied to you so many times, made you upset. I was never good to you. Why?”
So-Rim doesn’t have the answer to that either, just that she is: “I can’t explain it, I’m just on your side. I’ll like you no matter what and I’ll stay by your side. That’s all. ”
And now Han-Kyeol lowers his head, quiver in his voice solidifying into a lump in his throat. He ducks away from So-Rim, unwilling to cry, and makes a quick exit down the stairs. What a morning.
It’s not over yet, either, as rumors have appeared concerning Mush & Co.’s “surprise” live show—even information Chan-Young might perform has been leaked. How?! That’s not the worst of it, though: there’s a picture of So-Rim with Han-Kyeol together, letting loose they’re in a relationship already. It’s the same photo Se-Jeong took, and suddenly this all makes a lot of sense.
Han-Kyeol’s gone home for now, listening to the different songs he’s made for So-Rim and replaying her supportive words in his head. He turns down the music for a call from Choi, though, who pesters him to hurry up on Yoo-Na’s song. He’s looking at So-Rim’s dating scandal as they talk, and confronts Han-Kyeol about his feelings for So-Rim. He doesn’t give Han-Kyeol a chance to deny it, just rambles himself about how annoying it is that his best producer isn’t focused on work, and his new hit singer’s heart is taken before she even debuts.
And now the talk turns deadly: all CEO has to do is shut one of them down, then, since he won’t scold them… and we already know who CEO would choose to keep. He’s done it before with Crude Play, remember? Han-Kyeol’s phone drops from his hands and he takes a shuddering breath, teeth clenched.
It looks like Mush & Co. are getting their scolding anyway, Soo-Yeon does her best to lay out the seriousness of the situation. None of the members know how it happened, however, since they only talked about it among themselves. So-Rim nods her agreement but she isn’t really paying attention: she’s still worrying over Han-Kyeol.
It’s like just the thought summons CEO Choi, and he enters the scene to steal So-Rim away… for a private chat over lunch. Bad news always comes after a meal, and this is big bad news: he knows she has a crush on Han-Kyeol—it’s a big problem for her commercial value—and since she can’t lie well enough she’s just not allowed to like him anymore. CEO will make it easy on her: she’ll never even have time to meet him.
So-Rim wants to beat the deadline, then, and calls our hero in a quivering voice to arrange a meetup. He arrives running, and they sit by the Han river together (this is just their spot, isn’t it) that night. He wants to know what’s wrong, and So-Rim explains:
“He told me that I’m not allowed to like you. He said that I’d need to sell my image, become a commercial product and learn how to lie once I debut. He said that’s why I cannot like you. He’s wrong, right?”
But Han-Kyeol just gets that old look in his eyes: CEO is right. It’s a ruthless world out there, and it’ll be easy to lock away her feelings for him. She’ll be busy, and they can meet again after she debuts.
So-Rim interrupts at this point. When? When exactly can they meet again? He doesn’t want to say but she presses—it’s something just as important as debuting to her: she doesn’t want a greetings-only relationship, hello-how’ve you been-annyeong in the halls, so stop pushing her away! But now Han-Kyeol almost looks a bit emotional himself.
“Even if you say that you won’t do it, it’s what I want”. Yoo-Na will sing the song I was going to give to you anyway. I just finished making a new arrangement and sent it. So regardless of how you feel, I no longer have any reason to see you again.”
When it looks like she’s ready to accept him regardless, that she doesn’t want his music but him, he keeps going—and this face looks intently at her, his eyes too glazed with tears.
“You make me uncomfortable,” he says. “Whenever I’m with you I feel as though I’m full of flaws. I’m selfish, mean, and self-centered. I feel like I’ll keep hurting you emotionally. It makes my chest uncomfortable. And that,” he ends, “isn’t a lie.”
Woof. But as much as it hurts for So-Rim, who’s crying openly now, I think those were incredibly brave, healthy words in the long run. And after similar miserable, solitary walks home they both arrive at places of comfort: So-Rim is greeted by Grandma, who pulls our heroine into a hug, and Han-Kyeol trudges into Shi-Hyun’s restaurant, where his friend is playing by himself on the stage.
Han-Kyeol looks up at him, eyes tired, and says: “I feel the same way as you, Shi-hyun. There’s a person for whom I’m not good enough.”
I will forever love Shi-Hyun. He doesn’t say anything, just invites him up to play keyboard onstage—it’s no fun doing this alone. And they end the night singing about stars, which burn so brightly they’re blinding but all they can wish for is that they’ll stay there.
We montage through an undetermined amount of time, watching each of our key players record music, produce music, put in a pair of contacts and start photoshoots with Mush & Co.
Everyone seems busy and holding on well, but even a glance through the glass of practice rooms is enough to make So-Rim’s smile falter. Soon enough it’s D-day, though, and So-Rim handles her phone nervously as CEO gives them a pep talk.
Ahahaha and Chan-Young has a present for his little band, too: unable to stand So-Rim’s cute couple case, he’s brought them PPL cellphones as gifts. And yup, the case doesn’t fit. He’ll get her a new one, of course, and wants them to change their numbers, too, since who knows who’ll try to call them once they’re famous. And we leave with some sage advice from our now lovestruck second lead: “Just throw it. I’ll get you a new one. That one does fit. Good advice, bro. Ha.
Yoo-Na’s singing to herself in a practice room, hard at work on her song when CEO Choi comes to visit. He asks how it feels to sing Han-Kyeol’s song, but she’s still not quite satisfied… since it’s not the song she wanted. (What? She didn’t end up with So-Rim’s?) Just to make sure we get to hear it ourselves, this one much slower and centered on fond memories… not current love. Yes! Choi’s making some fond eyes at her as she sings, and I wonder…
But first things first, our OTP can’t angst forever! In the halls, So-Rim and Soo-Yeon chat with another worker in the hallway: So-Rim has her performance today, and Yoo-Na’s recording… Soo-Yeon comments she loves the song, since it’s odd for a girl to sing a ballad. A ballad? So-Rim breaks away from the group, unsure what to think, and runs to find a computer.
Has she kept that USB on her this entire time without listening to it? That’s really sweet. She listens to it now, and it’s the original arrangement he made for her. The one he… sang for her, alone in Shi-Hyun’s joint if the screen isn’t lying. It sounds for the world like a confession of love, lyrics wondering if he’s hurt her by being too slow, and So-Rim takes off running (as his other song for her plays in the background, heh). She says in voiceover: “everyone says my life will change when I debut… but it’s not my debut that changed my life.”
And she runs all the way to Shi-Hyun’s joint, looking for our hero. But he’s not there, and the voice calling repeatedly that they’re closed is none other than Han-Kyeol’s dad. They’re floored to see each other, and So-Rim pulls at his face for a second… is he a fairy or something? I love these two together.
So-Rim says she’s just… here coincidentally to meet someone, even when In-Woo points out this place isn’t open for business any longer. I think they’re going to come to an understanding soon, hehe. So-Rim says she wants to meet someone… coincidentally, and In-Woo asks her: what does she want to say to him?
Well, she’ll have to wait a bit to say it, because Han-Kyeol’s still at work. They’re waiting for Yoo-Na to start recording her song, and Han-Kyeol finds out from a worker that So-Rim has her debut today, too. He takes that news to the rooftop, wondering what to do, and gets a call from his father. Mwahahahahaha his dad asks if Han-Kyeol is planning on going to So-Rim’s showcase today, and tells him to go if he was considering not.
Han-Kyeol’s face is priceless, and he stands up straighter to know In-Woo is acquainted with his crush. In-Woo is firmly on So-Rim’s side in the whole matter (as he should be, imo) and Han-Kyeol blusters: how does everyone he knows know So-Rim?!
In-Woo continues that So-Rim told him she knows Han-Kyeol’s a liar… but that he wouldn’t lie to hurt others, even if nobody realizes that but her. In-Woo’s ready to hang up, but Han-Kyeol isn’t ready—isn’t there anything else? I can’t tell if he wants another message from So-Rim, or some more fatherly advice from his dad. Probably both, but there’s no more of either: In-Woo knows it’s So-Rim that’s been changing his son (so he’d better get his butt over to her showcase).
Han-Kyeol returns to the recording room conflicted, as So-Rim sits distracted at school. She probably only has a few classes left before go-time, and she spends the time looking out the window, reminiscing over some of the *incredibly* cute moments she’s had with Han-Kyeol. She pulls out her new phone and sends off a text.
Han-Kyeol, zoned out at the recording, receives it: Even if you don’t come, she says, I’ll go to you. Han-Kyeol’s response—to find out when her showcase is that afternoon. It’s at 3 o’clock, and that gives him three hours to finish everything here and run over there. As Yoo-Na arrives, he checks his watch. Will he make it? Please make it.
So-Rim is pulled from class to prepare, and receives a few honors from her principle and a few tears from her beloved band teacher. We’ve started the race to the finish, now.
I’m sure Han-Kyeol wants to finish the recording as quickly as possible, but I am proud of his work ethic that he silences his phone and focuses on his singer: true to form he doesn’t let anything slide and asks her to sing it again, and again, and again.
But this is killing me! We switch quickly between the two as So-Rim finishes rehearsal, checks her phone for a reply from Han-Kyeol and our hero keeps recording. T-less than 20 minutes now, as the school announces an earthquake drill to gather everyone in the auditorium. Backstage, Chan-Young arrives in uniform (the school’s), ready to perform with the band. They do a little “Fighting!” cheer and please HAN-KYEOL FINISH!
And he does. The last notes fade away and Yoo-Na looks to him nervously for approval—and Han-Kyeol smiles, satisfied. It takes him all of two seconds to check his watch, grab his jacket and book it out the door. Run! Run!
So-Rim steps up to the mic as a video introduction of her band plays, and then the curtain drops to reveal her to the crowd. They’re all familiar faces, but not the one she wants to see—until yes! Han-Kyeol races in just as the music starts. From the back of the crowd he urges to sing, and I am so grateful we’ve still got five minutes left.
The crowd goes wild when Chan-Young turns around, and his song takes new meaning in this performance, and So-Rim stares right at Han-Kyeol as she sings:
I didn’t know at first that it was love
I had no idea I’m a fool
I liked you first and fell for you so deeply
Still, a man should say so first.
If you know already, don’t act oblivious
You’re not the type of man I had hoped for right now
Don’t look at me with those eyes
You still don’t know if you’re going to confess—be confident!
Don’t be shy and tell me like a man.
What are you looking at, Shining boy? Only look at me.
Look at how nervous I am in front of you.
Where are you going, misty boy? I keep falling into you
Take me into a sweet dream.
Han-Kyeol has the biggest grin on his face, and he nods at her supportively before leaving the auditorium.
After the performance, So-Rim runs off the stage. She’s intent on finding him and nearly leaves without her phone. Chan-Young, meanwhile, is stopped from following by a reporter.
So-Rim traces his footsteps around the city, running past the telephone booth and calling Han-Kyeol multiple times. His phone is on silent however, and it’s not until he stops on the bridge that he checks it. Ha, his mouth drops open to see the missed calls, and he answers immediately when she calls around. She doesn’t need to ask where he is twice, however, since she’s found him. Out of breath, she calls out that it’s not a coincidence—she ran fast to catch him here.
She wants to know why he lied again: he didn’t give her song to Yoo-Na! He replies he was trying to help her feel less burdened, and So-Rim replies she hates it. She hates it—she out to hate him! But Han-Kyeol tells her she can’t: she’s helped him so much. Slowly closing the distance between them, he says:
“Thanks to you I realized that I have a lot to learn. Music isn’t everything, and I’m full of flaws. I need something else in life. I need… you, by my side. I like you, Yoon So-Rim.”
He repeats it, and takes another step forward. And another. If I thought he’d been smiling before it’s nothing compared to now, and he runs to close the gap between them, wrapping her up in a hug.
And that’s a wrap!
See! I knew he’d come around quickly! I knew it! Or rather, I should credit the directorial hand and writer for montaging us nicely through most of the angst. It’s happened multiple times, and I love it. I’d also like to make another quick mention of brilliant camerawork: that moment at the end, while So-Rim is singing Chan-Young’s song. So-Rim is clearly singing to Han-Kyeol, and the lyrics fit perfectly. But the camera focuses into the side on Chan-Young, and I felt all the beautiful irony that she used his song for her to confess once more to our hero (or rather, urge him to).
Some Quick Thoughts:
- I am so incredibly happy the noble idiocy didn’t last long. I’m sure it’ll come back in little bouts as our OTP navigates the rest of the challenges facing them (she needs to graduate, and dating a celebrity is a whole ‘nother bucket of worms), but I’m glad they have each other now.
- I think everyone reached a turning point in their feelings this episode: Chan-Young realized what he was feeling for So-Rim, CEO Choi started making eyes at Yoo-Na again, In-Woo and President Yoo are starting to crack, and I wonder how long Gyoo-Sun will remain in the dark about se-Jeong’s real intentions. We’re basically just missing Soo-Yeon and Shi-Hyun, but I’m sure that will come.
- I love that Han-Kyeol hasn’t given up on his dad. Last episode felt as self condemning as anything else, and I’m glad they’re starting to inch closer together. Being left alone for years isn’t something that we can just pretend never happened, but it would be more tragedy to me than anything if they kept apart because of it now, when they both obviously love each other and want to rebuild that relationship.
A Longer Thought:
Every OTP has their highlights, of course, but I must say I love the direction Joy and Lee Hyun-Woo have taken their characters. As characters, So-Rim feels more finished in her emotional development personally, but I think that could just be the effect of her mindset towards problems—she doesn’t let anything get her down for long and manages to think clearly and function under stress. Her honesty also makes her feel more mature in an industry of liars. She always sees the best in people, and has a balance I envy when it comes to music: between work and passion for the art, between music and people, and keeping things in perspective. But let me come back to that.
Switching gears, I love the way Han-Kyeol handled this situation as well. Putting aside the fact that he said he’d given Yoo-Na her song (which took some thinking, but I can see how he’d believe pushing her away would make So-Rim feel less burdened, since CEO already told her no and she worries), I’m incredibly impressed with our hero for understanding himself so well now.
When he said he wanted a “hallway greetings relationship” with her, he gave two reasons: he was afraid he’d hurt her again, and she made him feel flawed. To the first I disagree: of course you should never set the bar so low that it’s ok to hurt the ones you love and then just move on, so I would caution there. But I would hate to not love because of that, afraid that I since I might hurt them, it’s best to stay away and not love at all. It’s better to set a standard of love and then strive for it, knowing we will fall short occasionally and determined not to let that stop us from loving.
Han-Kyeol’s second reason I understand completely, though: it’s a terrible feeling to think you’re never good enough next to another person. On some level you understand we all have strengths and weaknesses, but that never seems to matter when your neighbor is that much better than you at something. It’s how Crude Play and Yoo-Na and I think everyone but So-Rim feels standing next to Han-Kyeol the composer, and now that Han-Kyeol has had a taste of that himself I think he knows just how terrible it is. I could never trust myself to keep loving, not letting those feelings turn to hate, when I felt so truly unworthy. There’s only one exception to that, and that’s my relationship with God. I know I’m utterly unworthy there, flawed beyond belief standing next to Him, and yet I am so grateful He continues to love me. But Han-Kyeol isn’t God, and neither is So-Rim. They’re human, and it would be wrong to push feelings like that down and push ahead for a relationship until they’ve been resolved.
Thankfully, Han-Kyeol did work through them—and So-Rim recognized his faults, too, which is something she hasn’t really done to this point I think. She’s still completely starry eyed for him but no longer looks at our hero through rose-colored glasses, which I think is a great place to be. It’s a step forward for her, and now that she can see the best in our hero but also recognize his flaws I’m ready for them to take another step forward together. *hint, hint I want my kiss!*