Liar and His Lover: Episode 13
- Chan-Young gets a break
- Crude Play is outed
- So-Rim faces some anti-fan hate
- I discover new happiness in the word ‘Hyung’
- So-Rim and Han-Kyeol probably make my top 10 OTPs list.
~ ~ ~
Crude Play takes the stage, fans going wild for their favorite band and K’s first public appearance. In the halls, Chan-Young pulls So-Rim into a tight hug, while Han-Kyeol plugs in to play. So-Rim is clearly uncomfortable in Chan-Young’s arms, but I think she knows too that Chan-Young’s going through something a lot bigger than her now, and stays put.
In the wings of Crude Play’s performance, President Yoo remarks that Chan-Young is a much better bassist than our hero. Han-Kyeol looks miserable playing, and I can’t not wonder if he senses So-Rim isn’t there to watch him. She’s still out in the halls, where Chan-Young has decided abscond with her to… he doesn’t know where, but not here. Well, So-Rim still looks uncomfortable. He has something he wants to tell her… even though Han-Kyeol got there first and is better than him. You said it, boy, not me.
So-Rim looks so incredibly at a loss, but rejects the idea she’s scared and just stipulates she gets to decide where they go. ‘Atta girl, So-Rim.
Oooh I haven’t ever listened to the rap part of Crude Play’s song like this before, it’s good! Maybe I just haven’t listened to the OST enough.
In the wings of Crude Play’s performance, Mush’s & Co. worry over their lead singer. She’s turning her awkward situation around, claiming that it’s her turn to cheer up Chan-Young so she’ll do like he did and take her somewhere she likes to go. Well, he looks stunned. But happy. She leads the way onto the elevator, and off they go.
Mmmm Shi-Hyun has a sexy voice. 😉 Crude Play finishes their performance, and as soon as the lights fade they run offstage, ignoring calls for encores and brushing pointedly past CEO Choi. Ha. On the other side of backstage, Gyoo-Sun and Jin-Woo finally get a text from So-Rim and run off. This leaves Choi alone, clapping belatedly for himself. Double ha.
Crude Play’s only thought is Chan-Young, although Han-Kyeol’s a bit more concerned for his girlfriend. Gyoo-Sun shows him the text he got—she’s with Chan-Young Oppa, don’t tell CEO Choi—and that’s all it takes to set our hero running to find her.
Meanwhile CEO Choi is trying to stop a scandal from forming, ensuring it will look like K’s appearance was all as-per-plan, not a last minute switchup. There’s that nasty reporter though, who already found out about Real Crude Play and now has his sights set on another big scoop.
Han-Kyeol checks all the likely places for So-Rim and Chan-Young to be: the practice rooms at the company, the recording rooms, the rooftop… she won’t answer his calls, but we get to know where she is. Bwahahaha she’s taken him back to her house, to grandma’s. (Really, it’s so sweet that’s her happy place). He looks less than thrilled to be there, but can hardly say anything about it as So-Rim introduces her celebrity guest “that producer guy, the handsome one!” says grandma.
After shoving Chan-Young into the washroom (he just has to use it, right?) So-Rim pleads quickly with her grandma to just go along with it, plus food, please. Meanwhile Han-Kyeol, thinking frantically through places So-Rim might go, runs off the rooftop.
Ehehe Grandma doesn’t have a way to know comparing their guest to Han-Kyeol is the last thing we want, but she does it anyway. He’s more handsome than our hero in her eyes, and cooler… and why does So-Rim call him Oppa, huh, and not Han-Kyeol? Does she want to be close to Chan-Young forever, but not our hero? So-Rim doesn’t know quite how to reply, and the rapidly ringing doorbell saves her.
Of course it’s Han-Kyeol, and they finish eating together. Later Chan-Young admires So-Rim’s room, taking in all the posters and Crude Play memorabilia. Han-Kyeol enters and Chan-Young is just like CEO Choi here, so sure he knows how our hero felt playing at last on a stage, with his friends—a chance to find “Real” Crude Play’s music… it takes less than a second for our hero to pipe up asking just what that is: he, for one, always wrote songs thinking of Chan-Young as the bassist. So-Rim looks in on the little bonding moment and Chan-Young decides that’s his cue to leave.
Han-Kyeol’s not far behind, adamant to help his friend, and exchanges a supportive smile with So-Rim as he leaves. But the night’s far from over, and Soo-Yeon arrives to retrieve her wayward charge. Han-Kyeol and Chan-Young are left alone, but Chan-Young doesn’t want to feel condescended to and rejects Han-Kyeol’s offer to “talk between them two” and opts for the full band approach. Oh boy. I’ve done these before, they’re… an adventure.
It starts off in the best way though, Crude Play’s first concern obviously for Chan-Young’s welfare. Chan-Young reassures them and they all sit down… where Chan-Young drops the bomb he wants to rest from Crude Play for a bit. It wasn’t a mistake but a conscious decision for him to avoid the stage that night, and while it was the biggest taboo a performer could make it was also freeing for him, who’d always felt like a stand-in.
Shi-Hyun wants to clear the air then: he knows things started rough, but—Chan-Young interrupts and says he knows, and it’s ok. It would’ve been better if they were bad jerks, but even Han-Kyeol doesn’t get that title, and he knows it’s a personal issue. Well, nobody can argue if you put it like that.
The next morning, So-Rim thinks over everything Chan-Young said to her, absentminded as she leaves for practice. Jin-Woo’s feeling the awkward pain of losing a crush and friend, but that’s the least of anyone’s worries: Choi is currently in a meeting dealing with all the bad press regarding So-Rim and K and Chan-Young… and then Chan-Young arrives, asking tiredly for a break. CEO Choi is ready to do whatever it takes to smooth things over, but Chan-Young knows better than to be fooled this time and doesn’t give CEO a chance to argue.
Later in the practice room he retrieves his bass in a frighteningly final way, and Han-Kyeol stops him to ask: if he’d been a composer when they’d first met, and Chan-Young a bassist, would things have been different between them?
Chan-Young: “No. It would have been the same. We would have met So-Rim anyway.” Is that… a roundabout way of saying his only beef left with Han-Kyeol is that they like the same girl? Lol and now Chan-Young’s pouring salt on that wound, since he’s leaving to meet our heroine now.
He begs Soo-Yeon for some time alone and chats with So-Rim, reassuring her he’s feeling better and revealing he knows why she took him to her grandmother’s the night before. She didn’t want him to say what he’d planned, right? Well yeah, I guess you could see that as the ultimate friend zone, too. He nearly takes the chance now to just confess… but doesn’t, although they both know his feelings by now. He tells her it’s not her fault, and leaves. Whyyyy are you leaving like thisss? It feels too final!
At home that night, Han-Kyeol debates trying to reach So-Rim but decides against it, and we leave the night there. The next morning the news breaks on Chan-Young’s sudden “resting” from Crude Play, complete with controversial So-Rim coverage and a graffiti covered wall from irate fans. So-Rim is hurried into the building past the vandalism, but she’ll probably end up reading all the hate comments later, like Yoo-Na is now.
Han-Kyeol arrives at Sole music and runs to ask Soo-Yeon what happened, staring at the insults sprayed on the concrete. Our best unnie sneaks to get our OTP together for a private moment, and Han-Kyeol asks her how she’s doing.
“I’m totally fine. …Well, it’s a lie that I’m totally fine, but I think I’m getting used to it.”
Han-Kyeol takes her by the hand and pulls her close down next to him on the concrete planter, where here head drifts closer and closer to his shoulder. He starts to ask her about Chan-Young too, but then corrects himself: no matter what the man said to her, he’s not letting her go anywhere. Well, good for you, bud. But you needn’t have worried, since he didn’t confess. She grows vulnerable and uncertain when she asks if it’s really not her fault Chan-Young decided to rest, and Han-Kyeol pulls her close into his neck and shoulder, comforting her as she talks through a few more of her worries. She hadn’t known pursuing her dream, together with the people she liked, would be so hard.
Afterwards Han-Kyeol talks over the situation with Shi-Hyun in the recording room, CEO Choi eavesdropping from behind the sound room glass. It seems Chan-Young has left the band’s dorm too, and all the boys are feeling the effects, particularly In-Ho.
Yoo-Na enters, and that’s Choi’s cue to turn up the volume on the sound room (really bro?). She’s open with her offer to leak relationship news with Han-Kyeol, since it might help So-Rim’s bad image and help things blow over… but neither of the boys are biting, although Han-Kyeol’s much more civil than Shi-Hyun. After our hero leaves Shi-Hyun stops Yoo-Na, distancing their relationship from Noona to Sunbae and warning her to stay away from Han-Kyeol, going after her crush on CEO Choi to prove his point. She throws her water bottle at him, calmly furious:
“Don’t look down on me. What I want is neither popularity nor attention. It’s music.” Well, CEO Choi looks schooled behind the glass.
Outside, Han-Kyeol spends a few minutes frantically tearing down more malicious notes, but stops when he sees a picture of Crude Play in the mix.
The next morning President too is on damage control, and she has Soo-Yeon read out the trending forums trashing So-Rim. Of course she lays this all at the feet of CEO Cho, and everybody’s too frustrated for the moment to notice another headline: Crude Play proxy musicians.
It’s as bad we could guess, and the article has “picture evidence” that Crude Play doesn’t play for themselves. Han-Kyeol gets the news just as the rest of the band does, and the boys look at each other soberly. So-Rim sees the news and the intense music starts as Crude Play is rushed into the company, their van having now trashed as well, giant matching characters of death on the back windows.
In Shi-Hyun’s restaurant, In-Woo watches the same broadcast our band is watching: it covers the suspected session musicians, Real Crude Play, everything. In the briefing President Yoo’s solution is to simply deny everything, and come up with a solution later—but Yoon in particular is sick of being a puppet musician. President Yoo takes it back to the debut, that they shouldn’t have stepped onto the stage at all if they didn’t now have the courage to take responsibility for all the livelihoods caught up in their success.
And so deny it they will. CEO Choi walks President Yoo to her car after the meeting, and while CEO Choi tries to defend his band (why do you always do that behind their back?), President Yoo is of his same philosophy: isn’t this what’s best for them? Would he rather she step back and watch the young men fall from grace? She asks him again to just choose whether he’s going to act like a musician or a businessman, and leaves.
Inside, Crude Play has already decided it’s the end, relieved Chan-Young at least will make it out okay: he’s talented, after all. Yoon pipes in that they didn’t use Chan-Young’s bass on purpose—just in case they got found out, it wasn’t fair Chan-Young take the hit too. Awwww Chan-Young and Han-Kyeol exchange a glance, knowing what they’d assumed earlier was wrong.
The next morning Choi and Yoo hold another meeting—this time with the reporters. They do their best to smooth things over with the press, but one persistent woman suggests they have a live performance at the press conference. Just, y’know, to confirm it. President Yoo calmly accepts, and CEO Choi breaks the news to the boys, and it’s hard to gauge their reactions: they’ve wanted this for a long time, but gracious this is terrifying.
CEO Choi asks Chan-Young to play bass even if he’s on break, and our boy readily agrees. Han-Kyeol’s prepared to join the conference bit at least—but Shi-Hyun flatly rejects this idea, hoping to protect at least one of his friends. Chan-Young asks him for a moment and they step into the hall to talk.
He asks our hero to just go along with Shi-Hyun’s request. Han-Kyeol’s ready to fight for his right to take responsibility, but Chan-Young says it won’t lighten the load any—for Chan-Young himself, or for Hyun. Han-Kyeol hyung. Kyaaaaaa Ohmygosh this entire conversation has nothing to do with what they’re talking about. ❤️ He calls Han-Kyeol hyung again and keeps talking about “the other hyungs”, telling Han-Kyeol (hyung) to just go along with it. You guys are adorable. Has he called Han-Kyeol that before? It seemed very purposeful right here. Now alone, Han-Kyeol thinks over his friends’ words—and So-Rim’s—before quickly pulling out his phone to call Soo-Yeon. Hehe, wanna see our heroine, do you? (You’re adorable).
He walks into the empty auditorium where she sits on the steps, just as she walks over to the standing mic. She sees him, but opens her mouth to sing anyway, the lyrics of our first song now suddenly more meaningful:
It’s ok, I’ll be here (promising form)
Just like when we were together.
Whenever you miss me,
You’ll be able to smile.
Han-Kyeol drops his head to his chest, voice and eyes heavy with tears. He apologizes to So-Rim, knowing how much she loves his music and how it would hurt that he’d been a part of this entire façade. She’s not condemning at all, understanding how overriding their desires to play his music must have seemed like a kind of protection, allowing them to enter the industry at all. So long as they stuck with Han-Kyeol, they were fine. Just like Mush & Co., attached to her voice.
Han-Kyeol asks brokenly what he should do: So-Rim has never failed to put him on the right path before. But So-Rim doesn’t know herself, and can only stand gently before him, pulling his head against her chest and stroking his hair as he clutches her waist and cries. I think I’m going to cry. I love you guys.
We’re taken from them to a President Yoo, who welcomes In-Woo into her office surprised to see him at the company. Apparently they’d had plans she’d forgotten, since Han-Kyeol has been causing trouble like an immature kid. In-Woo suggests she’s at fault for hiring the session musicians, but she doesn’t like that. I think it’s cost her the album she wanted to produce with In-Woo, who says if anyone’s the king of immaturity, it’s him. He keeps it short and leaves, carefree as ever.
As In-Woo exits the company he calls his son, but Han-Kyeol is taking a therapeutic bus ride and doesn’t pick up. That’s no problem, however, since In-Woo spots So-Rim at a table and sneaks up behind her for a chat. I love these two together. He sees she’s spaced out in deep thought, and asks if it’s because of that bad jerk boyfriend of hers again. So she doesn’t know he’s his father? I thought that’d come out when she revealed the guy’s name.
So-Rim protests as always that he’s not a bad guy, but yeah, it is about Han-Kyeol. Not because of him, but she doesn’t know what to do to help him, and he’s in trouble. In-Woo smiles pixie like and asks if she wants to see a picture of his son. Hehe, yes, the mushroom and music loving one. He pulls a photo up on his phone and shows So-Rim, whose face totally blanks to see Han-Kyeol. She’s not angry, and they end up laughing over it.
He asks her if she trusts Han-Kyeol, which is a yes, and she trusts In-Woo as well… so everything’s going to be ok.
Before we know can blink it’s T-1 day to the press conference, and the band is given personal lessons and a speech to memorize for the press conference. Shi-Hyun hesitates over the words, a baldfaced lie they play their own music, live, and have never… done… anything they feel ashamed of. Except everything about their career, including this moment now. It’s only the thought they’re the keystone to a lot of careers that keeps him going, and after the band files out of the rehearsal Han-Kyeol takes Choi aside for a private chat.
“Do you remember what you said to me when we were starting out? You said being a musician… is not about having good skills.”
We flashback, now, to when the band was first told they’d been replaced by session musicians for their recordings. Choi had told the band:
“Don’t worry. You guys will become stars. Being a musician isn’t about having good skills.”
Young Han-Kyeol: “Then what is it about? If it’s not about having good skills, tell me what it’s about.”
“You’ll figure it out along the way.”
Now years later and famous, Han-Kyeol still doesn’t understand what Choi meant. CEO tries to explain himself, that making money with music is—but Han-Kyeol doesn’t want to hear that.
“We’re not talking about making money. We’re talking about living as a musician.”
He walks away, and I feel like cheering. Even more so we transition to Shi-Hyun who sits down by Chan-Young outside, apologizing for the way he’d treated the bassist when he’d first joined Crude Play. He hadn’t deserved it, and although it’s late he still wants to apologize. Chan-Young returns this won’t make him join the band again, but Shi-Hyun just wants to know why he left.
Chan-young replies he was curious… what does Crude Play really sound like, and isn’t it a shame they don’t get to be heard unless he’s gone. And I don’t think he means anything about Han-Kyeol being the real member—I think he means the session musicians and façade itself.
Han-Kyeol stays late at Sole Music that night, wondering what he can do to help the band, and remembering Shi-Hyun’s almost panicked face at the rehearsal. He listens through the song for tomorrow—ostensibly the one Crude Play debuted to—and gets to work.
In a practice room In-Ho fingers the drums, face burdened. Yoon enters with his guitar and offers to practice with him if he wants. In-Ho’s anxious for tomorrow, but Yoon overrides his worries, stating he’ll never let someone else play for him again after this, even if Han-Kyeol or anybody else gets mad at him. He forces a promise from In-Ho to do the same, and they start a final run through of tomorrow’s performance.
We montage through the night, listening to Crude Play’s debut (it’s so good!) but it stops when Han-Kyeol does, and 1:30 that morning. He leaves the sound room to take a break, and surprises In-Ho b he water cooler. Something’s crinkling and I’m suddenly very worried about the way he’s stumbling over his words. Han-Kyeol asks for a ride home, but In-Ho refuses, excusing himself by saying he’s driving to Incheon that night… to see his mom. Right.
Han-Kyeol thinks it’s weird but accepts it, telling him to be careful. In-Ho stops his friend on the way out, asking him again if things will be alright tomorrow. I’m so worried.
Han-Kyeol tosses and turns in his sleep that night, the music forming a nightmare behind his closed eyes, and he wakes in a cold sweat. His phone rings no ten seconds later and Shi-Hyun overrides any greetings to call Han-Kyeol to hospital, fast. Oh no.
It is—In-Ho got in an accident on his way home, and as Crude Play races to the hospital we scene.
Oh, I really hope this ends well. I didn’t know how to write it, but Show was hinting all episode something medical was going to happen—In-Ho being hit particularly hard by Chan-Young’s departure, the unnaturally high stress levels, Yoon’s joke about fainting and In-Ho’s secretive wrapper crinkle. I’m worried it wasn’t just an accident but something In-Ho planned for, given that last scene and his secretive crinkly wrapper. In-Ho has always seemed the most sensitive of the group, and I can easily see how other’s reassurances (like Yoon, claiming the press conference is not biggie) could seem just like an override of his concerns. He was the one who had trouble with Real Crude Play episodes ago, and went after Chan-Young, and reached out to Gyoo-Sun. A lot goes on behind his quieter, calmer face, and I worry for him.
Some Quick Thoughts:
- We’re going to ignore for the moment that Chan-Young arrived last episode at the filming in the van with Crude Play… and left in his sweet red ride.
- I had forgotten in my excitement to see Crude Play perform with Han-Kyeol to remember that Han-Kyeol was the only one really playing live at the beginning. He was taking Chan-Young’s place, with no recording… but the others had no such freedom. Definitely not how they had wanted this to go down. Now him plugging in the bass at the beginning means so much more, since it’s a signal it’s live.
- I absolutely love the newly firmed bromance that has emerged since Crude Play sat down and talked. Mostly, I just love Han-Kyeol’s face when Chan-Young calls him Hyung and means it.
- I love how much our OTP has become a consistent source of strength for each other over the course of the show. Han-Kyeol has constantly led So-Rim through the music industry, but she’s also been a light for him personally, and it was the highlight of this episode to see him need her so simply, so desperately.
- There’s been a real stress in the show the last few weeks that it’s not good to rush when producing music—that speed often leads to imperfection and later trouble. I’m not certain if it relates to the philosophical theme of perceptions and lies other than letting the audience fill in the gaps or using others to create an image, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Truly great things do take time, and while it’s still a group effort it’s a healthier one, where the teamwork is acknowledged and openly appreciated.
A Longer Thought:
I’m going to deviate for a bit here, and talk about the sit-down chat Crude Play had, where Chan-Young decided to take a break. I’ve never been happier to see a serious talk happen in my life. I’m glad Chan-Young was immediate in wanting to work through things with Crude Play, and I’m especially grateful it turned out the way it did. I’ve actually done one of those myself—the whole ‘”something done gone wrong in this group and we need to discuss it”—and it’s not fun. It’s scary. Terrifying is a better word. For myself, I was anxious the problem would just be blown over and dismissed when it was really something that shouldn’t be—but more than that I was worried for the others involved in the “group council”: I didn’t want to lose the girls who had become friends—family—for me, over something that was hard but not insurmountable.
It’s really lent me a different perspective on Crude Play and their problems, since it was really a recent thing (remember when I had a bit of real life interrupt my posting? Yeah that was this). Thankfully, I think we handled it much like Crude Play did, with love first and foremost and a determination that we weren’t giving up on each other personally, whatever new outward form our little sisterhood took. And that’s just the right thing to do for a personal relationship, I think. Because making music, like Han-Kyeol said, is about having good skills, and that’s to some extent unrelated to a personal relationship.
So if we can transition here, I’d like to discuss again the divide between professional and personal—something similar but not the same as industry and soul for music, or perception vs. reality. There have been some good examples of the different relationships in Show, like how In-Woo has been friendly with Yoo, but ultimately decided against making an album with her. Or how Chan-Young said episodes ago that he doesn’t find it tiresome to practice with the band, even though they’re on different levels. Or even the agreement Han-Kyeol and Chan-Young made regarding Mush & Co. vs. So-Rim as a girlfriend.
I think I understand now what the show is really trying to say. A final piece of the puzzle has been set in place (I’ll probably make a list of what I’ve learned at the end). But for now, it’s important to remember that while making connections with others is important and a part of music, it must at its heart be built around a personal desire to make music—and the skill and work ethic to do so, if you’re to make a living at it. In reality, it’s an entire inversion of what CEO Choi and the industry have stood for: they sell images, letting the skill and music come from where it needs to. Han-Kyeol and our cast are in it to sell music, to work like crazy to get good at what they love and offer it to the public, hoping to make a real connection over something they both love. (Chicago Typewriter vibes, anyone?)
It’s tempting at this point to take this the wrong way, lump this idea into In-Woo’s concept that image doesn’t matter at all—but that’s not any more true than it was at the beginning, and performance is still a vital part of music. But performance needs to be based in skill, not image, and without that foundation neither Crude Play nor Mush & Co. will last long.