Liar and His Lover 14
Disclaimer: my thoughts at the end of these are an accumulation of all aspects of my life, and I can only excuse that a major reason for my recapping is to record my own thoughts while watching, slightly tangential though they may be (you’ll understand when you read it, if you do). I’m sure DB will have a more focused recap, and I look forward to reading their take on this episode. ^^
- Cozybooks has a soap box
- LaHL earns its spot in my hall of favorites (I love our OTP, I love our cast, I love the writing and music.)
- President Yoo does some sneaky sneaky stuff
- In-Ho explains himself
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Han-Kyeol races into the hospital, meeting up with the rest of Crude Play and In-Ho’s mom outside the operating room. Shi-Hyun tries to reassure him it’s not serious, but In-Ho’s is in surgery for a broken arm. The doctor comes out and further explains there was some nerve damage, so they’ll have to see how he does when he wakes up.
It’s clear In-Ho is in no shape to play drums for now—give him six months and he could be back to normal however (phew, at least it’s not a “never” scenario). Crude Play gathers around In-Ho’s mom to support her, and they move to In-Ho’s in-stay? Room, where the man himself finally opens his eyes. He’s listless and disoriented, but the first faces he sees are family and friends, and I’m glad.
In the halls everyone tries to figure out what happened, but it’ll take a police review of the CCTV to know for sure. Crude Play’s manager feels badly he didn’t take better care of his drummer, and Yoon comforts him it wasn’t his fault. They’re just grateful he wasn’t more hurt, and Han-Kyeol looks deep in thought… or in shock.
As the news breaks on television (wow, that really was a serious crash since the car flipped), Soo-Yeon calls Shi-Hyun for reassurance, Mush & Co. gathered around her to listen too. Shi-Hyun tells them it’s not too serious, but dissuades them from visiting for now: there’s all sorts of paparazzi hanging around, and more celebrities would just fan a scandal.
Gyoo-Sun too blames himself for the crash, wishing he’d been more careful with his phone and not leaked the videos of In-Ho playing drums. Neither Jin-Woo nor I can see how this is Gyoo-Sun’s fault, and everyone comforts Gyoo-Sun. They agree to visit in a few days when things have calmed down.
In his room, In-Ho relates the circumstances of the crash for a police officer: he’d been driving tired, possibly dozed off… He hadn’t slept well for over a week and can do nothing but apologize for what happened. CEO Choi walks the officer out, and further asks the man to speak favorably of the incident to the reporters: since In-Ho hadn’t been drunk, hadn’t hurt anybody and wouldn’t be charged with anything that shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Choi’s phone buzzes and he answers to President Yoo, who’s worried In-Ho had been drunk driving and will have to stay in the hospital for long. The six month rehabilitation prognosis seems to upset Yoo the most, since it means cancelling the press conference. She orders CEO Choi and the rest of Crude Play back to the company, and hangs up. Her next call is to a producer, intent on getting the next best thing if she can’t have her press conference.
Once President Yoo has all the boys gathered together, her debriefing has little to do with In-Ho’s welfare and everything to do with the diversion this accident created from the whole “Real Crude Play” fiasco. The boys seem wooden in their goodbyes, and Yoo holds back only their manager as they leave.
Han-Kyeol returns to the hospital later, taking In-Ho’s mother by the arm and inviting her to lunch when he sees her in the halls. He’s so sweet. In-Ho’s mom is worried Han-Kyeol looks worn to the bone as well, and our her impersonates his father’s cross-eyed face to prove he’s well.
In-Ho’s mom (it’s so cute Han-Kyeol also calls her Ommoni) reveals she detests her son’s fame at times like these, when all the supposed adoring fans turn on her hard-working son and his success feels fake. She had tried to stay out of her son’s way since it wouldn’t help him to know she worried, but now she regrets not spending more time with him, since something like this could happen so suddenly.
Han-Kyeol recalls his strange conversation with In-Ho late last night (eaaaarly that morning?) and asks if she hadn’t called to request he visit her yesterday. That’s a negative, and Han-Kyeol tries to pass it off as nothing just in case it turns out to be something big. But his eyes are still brooding, and I know he suspects something.
At the company, Mush & Co. can’t focus for their worry over In-Ho, but they attempt to practice anyway, since it’s all they can do.
Yoon, Shi-Hyun and Chan-Young pass by outside M&C’s practice room, debating going in to say hi (“they have to be worried,” says Yoon), but all eyes focus on Chan-Young, and they decide against it, ha.
Crude Play gathers all together in In-Ho’s hospital room that night, informing In-Ho their press conference has been cancelled and joking about the relative quality of chips and tv in a hospital (what?) The program on gives a summary of all the recent Crude Play scandals, attributing all the odd happenings to the stress placed on the members. Their manager must have agreed to an interview during his talk with President Yoo, because he’s relating how anxious and sleepless In-Ho had been prior to his accident.
In-Ho is cynically approving of the company’s sympathy tactics, wondering if it will get them any leeway with the public. Crude Play just looks at him with concern, and we leave the band for the night.
President Yoo has a private meeting with CEO Choi over recent affairs, ridiculously pleased with herself for turning the situation around so nicely. She adds it’s not anything she hasn’t had to do before, and turns steely as she declares she intends to have a personal chat with every artist at Sole Music. Never one to waste an opportunity, she presses her point he’s not fit for his position, and after the meeting we watch Choi leave disheartened. It’s not Yoo’s words but all the memories and hints of Crude Play’s unrest that plague his thoughts, though, and he looks ready to punch something.
Yoo-Na’s notified of her impending meeting with President Yoo, but Mush & Co. is first up to bat, and the woman herself waits in the sound room while the band finishes practice for their debut “Shiny Boy”. President Yoo asks they perform their other song as well, and when Soo-Yeon protests their not ready Yoo bulldozes right through, telling the boys they can leave momentarily since So-Rim can still sing it, at least. Ouch.
So-Rim looks at her bandmates and then back to Yoo before asking if Jin-Woo and Gyoo-Sun can’t stay and perform anyway, remembering suddenly Yoo’s earlier words she’d have to decide someday. Mush’s & Co. obviously feel unconfident, and So-Rim guides them carefully through the song (how do the lyrics always match the situation?!)
President Yoo doesn’t listen for long before stopping the performance to talk with them seriously, obviously favoring So-rim over the others. In a powwow outside they discuss as much, although all the chatter stops when Soo-Yeon arrives… with a gift of cellphones in tow. They have phone privileges restored and only a week left in the dorms, orders of President Yoo. This is definitely more ominous than relieving at this point.
In the hospital, Han-Kyeol visits In-Ho by himself, and our injured drummer seems to be in good spirits, joking with his friend a bit. He’s less enthusiastic about his arm, which is “about the same, whatever” and needs more time to heal. He’s relieved it’s just his arm though, and almost happy since it means no live performances until it’s better.
Han-Kyeol doesn’t like the sound of that, and presses a moment later for more information about the circumstances surrounding the crash. In-Ho’s eyes dance a bit as he avoids, but all is forgotten with the arrival of Han-Kyeol’s father, complete with fabulous sunglasses and a gift of… expensive alcohol for In-Woo? Lol Han-Kyeol is appalled his father would give that to a patient, and practically chases his father around the room trying to get it back. In-Woo finally agrees, but In-Ho doesn’t look ready to part with his precious gift.
After their visit Han-Kyeol walks his father to the elevators (sans alcohol, I notice), and In-Woo asks his son if he’s ok. Han-Kyeol blows that off, since it’s In-Ho who’s the hurt one… but In-Ho means more in the guilt-tripping department, where Han-Kyeol has to admit he blames himself for letting Crude Play use session musicians in the first place.
In-Woo tries to clarify he just wanted to know if Han-Kyeol was doing ok, but his son isn’t quite ready to confide in him yet and the two part awkwardly (but looking closer than ever, yay!)
At the company, So-Rim excuses herself from her friends to make a call with her newfound phone privileges (boyfriend! Boyfriend!) and Jin-Woo is quick to follow her.
It is indeed to Han-Kyeol, who’s on the hospital roof thinking over the inconsistencies in In-Ho’s accident, including a remark by Yoon earlier that In-Ho had been strangely insistent on driving himself that night. His burdened face lightens immediately to hear So-Rim’s voice, excited she has phone privileges again. So-Rim asks if In-Ho is alright, but Han-Kyeol can’t reassure her, replying he can’t tell if In-Ho’s good apparent well-being extends any below the surface. He admits to having ridiculous thoughts about it all… like In-Ho know he’d get in an accident.
When So-Rim gets worried he backs off that line of thought, although So-Rim still states he can tell her anything, even if she can’t offer any advice in return. This relieves Han-Kyeol considerably, but Jin-Woo, who watches the conversation from behind, looks troubled—he heads back indoors and stands in front of a poser of their band, blank-faced.
Gyoo-Sun asks him what’s wrong and Jin-Woo replies: why do you think I’m here? Aww, poor guy.
So-Rim returns, and Jin-Woo asks her suddenly who she called. So-Rim tries to avoid answering, but Jin-Woo just tells her to forget about it and grabs his instrument, frustrated. So-Rim tries to defend herself, saying even friends don’t have to tell each other everything, doesn’t Jin-Woo have secrets? That’s a yes (he likes her), but it’s only a secret to help ensure they stay friends—it’s not for someone else (like her relationship with Han-Kyeol). He shouts in frustration, stating nobody seems to want his guitar—the skill he started learning because of So-Rim. He stalks out of the practice room, but Soo-Yeon stops So-Rim from following.
That night, So-Rim tries to pressure some answers out of Gyoo-Sun, but that doesn’t work. Jin-Woo emerges from his man cave to take a walk outside and blow off steam, and So-Rim runs after him, recalling his words they were drifting apart as friends.
We see the cutest snippets from their childhood, how So-Rim had reached out to him from the beginning and been his friend. Now in the present, So-Rim admits she was keeping secrets for herself… but she doesn’t want them to drift apart.
“Do you like Han-Kyeol that much?”
“yes. I really like him. I like him too, too much.”
Jin-Woo looks heartbroken, remembering their carefree High School days, but agrees to forgive her, since he wants to see her smile. So-Rim walks and talks with him for a while, but Jin-Woo still sends her inside alone at the end of it all, excusing himself “to buy milk”. Later Gyoo-Sun finds his friend wandering the streets teary eyed, and they take off for a park to drown their sorrows together. Milk, my foot. They’re adorable, and arrive back at the dorms a few sheets to the wind.
The next day President Yoo has her chat with Shi-Hyun, and reveals she still wants Crude Play to do a personal conference as soon as In-Ho is better. Shi-Hyun obviously doesn’t want to personally lie to the public himself, but not even CEO Choi can help him now, as he’s been displaced for the moment.
Shi-Hyun leaves the meeting and collapses onto a breakroom beanbag, thinking things over when Soo-Yeon enters the room. He claims hastily he has a fever, and after she checks his forehead with her hand and reports a negative he quickly suggests a another take. She admits he does feel a little warm… but as expected he was only joshing her (and getting an excuse for skinship 😉).
He admits it’s no fever, just anger, and quickly says he’s fine-he’s Crude Play’s leader, after all. Their talk quickly turns to reminiscing, during their high school years. Soo-Yeon remembers it differently though—she’d slipped a note into his jacket pocket then, presumably a love note… and if it was never returned, now we know why she’s so hot-and cold with Shi-Hyun. He asks her as much, wondering desperately what he can do to make her like him (I bet a kiss would do wonders, hint hint ^^). Soo-Yeon’s frustrated, saying she liked him so much in highschool, but he’d ignored her feelings and the note she’d given him to confess.
Pffft it turns out Shi-Hyun had actually lost his jacket that day before the festival, hah. He’s laughing but Soo-Yeon’s not amused, and starts to leave again…. But Shi-Hyun grabs her wrist again and yes ohmygosh I’ve been waiting for that all series. ❤️*replays*
President Yoo’s still making the rounds with the singers, turning Yoo-Na’s into a shopping trip. She’s more brazen with the experienced singer, blatantly trying to bring her over to her company. She uses In-Woo’s shoe metaphor again and perhaps it unsettles her, as she takes a pit stop at his old joint on her way back.
She wants him to make an album with her still, and he just sings her a ditty about shoes that don’t fit, and if they hurt then take them off. This metaphor’s gotten a lot of use, but President Yoo speaks plainly and tells In-Woo if he’s refusing because of Han-Kyeol, stop. His son isn’t a child but rather a man more devious than his father, for using Crude Play the way he is. In-Woo just recalls Han-Kyeol’s words at the hospital, that he couldn’t be okay when he’s doing this to his friends, and replies it’s different: the boys still have their sense of shame, at least.
Han-Kyeol’s not even thinking about work, however, his mind filled at the moment with thoughts of In-Ho, replaying their last conversation before the crash over and over in his head. He thinks back to moment he first sent in the demo for their debut, and he hadn’t been able to send the email, and In-Ho had pressed down on his finger instead. His positive attitude then was a 180 turn from his listless cynicism in the hospital, and he hurries there to visit.
So-Rim is there with Mush & Co., but Han-Kyeol rejects the offer of a seat. Everyone can tell he’s in a bad mood, and when In-ho tells him not to worry Han-Kyeol tips his hand a bit, asking why In-Ho looks so ok when he’s not. Our hero leaves frustrated, and So-Rim follows to talk with him. He mentions he’s having weird thoughts again but doesn’t get to explain before Crude Play’s Manager drives up, sent by In-Ho to give Han-Kyeol a ride. On the way, they get to talking about the manager’s interview, and we learn In-Ho had been given sleep inducers to help with his insomnia, as close as the day of the accident.
Han-Kyeol remembers In-Ho’s refusal to give him a ride, and asks if they can make a stop at the company. Detect, please detect! In-Ho may need help.
President Yoo’s at the company too, frustrated with his work, and ignores a call from Yoo-Na. Instead he gives Chan-Young a ring, interrupting his music composing session to chat. Chan-Young is naturally wary, but CEO Choi has something important to say: President Yoo wants to break down Mush & Co. to train So-Rim separately, and he wants Chan-Young to support the band. Chan-Young is confused that he’s suddenly being trusted with the rookies, but CEO Choi seems sincere when he says Chan-Young is the only manager who can help them without breaking them.
Han-Kyeol meanwhile is in the security room, telling the guard a white lie to gain access to the tapes from that night. He sees In-Ho hunched over the water machine, and jump out of his skin when Han-Kyeol enters. That’s enough, and he races to the room itself to check for evidence. Sure enough, there’s an opened package of sedatives on the floor.
In-Ho’s in his room thinking over his earlier conversation with Han-Kyeol when his friend bursts into the room, surprising him. Han-Kyeol starts lightly, saying he just missed In-Ho, stating too he’s never had a fight with In-Ho. But Han-Kyeol continues that might not be a good thing: if In-Ho suppresses himself so much then the others have no way to consider how he feels—they won’t even know. In-Ho tries to brush it off, face a bit tense as he asks Han-Kyeol if there’s anything wrong.
Han-Kyeol’s look is direct and caring as he asks why In-Ho did it: why did he drive under the influence of medication like that?
In-Ho shrugs it off, saying he doesn’t know what Han-Kyeol is saying. But his face is frozen, and Han-Kyeol conjectures he’d just taken his pills when they spoke that night, right? But In-Ho tries to evade again, denying he knows anything of the sort. So Han-Kyeol lets loose he already knows, and he has the pills, and saw the footage. Why did he do it, then, and please, don’t lie.
He sounds so desperate, but In-Ho looks equally sincere—though tired—when he protests it wasn’t like that. His calm front quick dissolves as he explains Han-Kyeol’s right—he’d tried to take the pills. He had been planning on doing something drastic, but Han-Kyeol had come. And the accident… truly was a mistake. The stress and sleepless nights had set his mind drifting, and the memories of terror and bright lights come rushing back to In-Ho.
Han-Kyeol persists, In-Ho had initially planned to drive on sedatives, and In-Ho tries one last time to avoid the implications—but Han-Kyeol cares too much to just let this go, and won’t gloss over In-Ho’s intent, no matter that things turned out well in the end. He’s hurt, and ends up shouting—and In-Ho matches his tone, yelling what else he could have done to stop the live performance.
Han-Kyeol stops like the wind’s been knocked out of him, and In-Ho continues if they’d performed, everything would’ve crumbled for their band: the public would know they’d not played live even once, and In-Ho’s terror he’s not good enough had gotten the better of him.
Han-Kyeol can’t agree with that, that such a dangerous plan, a self-harming plan, would be concocted for the sake of mere success. But in In-Ho’s mind he was doing it for the band, and unable to face ruining them with his unskilled performance he’d rather have incapacitated himself—killed himself, even.
Han-Kyeol reaches for In-Ho as they cry, voice shaking as he comforts him, wrapping his friend in a tight embrace, face buried against his neck.
“…I’m sorry. I did wrong (It was me who didn’t do right). Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. I’ll be responsible. And so, don’t worry.”
So-Rim is at the company, but receives a call—it can only be Han-Kyeol from the way she smiles at first. But her entire countenance fades quickly and she races from the room. What is it? What’s wrong now?!
It is Han-Kyeol, and I think it was his trembling voice that sent her running. He’s in the sound room of one of Crude Play’s early recording studios, thinking of how the happiness his friends once had has changed. He breaks down the moment he sees So-Rim, pulling her against him tightly, face crumpled in pain.
“So-Rim… It’s all because of me,” he says. “If it hadn’t been for me, this wouldn’t have happened. It’s my fault. If only I wasn’t there, it would have been ok. I hurt everyone. It wouldn’t have been like this now… It’s all my fault.”
He clutches her a little tighter, sobbing, and we scene for the week.
Mm. Mmhm. Mm. I don’t think I can talk for a minute, I’m too busy feeling everything. But I know one thing for sure, this episode—and that ending—just shot Liar and His Lover into my top 10 shows. I don’t know what it’ll replace, or if it will fall from grace with the ending (Good endings are… Yes. Good endings, hm.) But let me give us all a moment of silence for the feels, and then we’ll talk.
Some Short Thoughts:
- Oh, Jin-Woo. I try to never overlook anybody, even and perhaps especially those who you might not think of, but still you slipped by. I’d forgotten to consider how really deeply you feel about So-Rim, as a friend and crush and bandmate. That moment, when he stared at the band’s picture in the hall, is when I’d start wondering if this was all worth it. If I really wanted to give up so much, watch my friendship drift apart for the sake of music and a dream. If you have to give up what your motivation for something in order to attain it, is it really worth it?
- In-Woo still feels incredibly perceptive to me, both in the way he spoke to In-Ho and Han-Kyeol during his hospital visit. I got the feeling he knew exactly what In-Ho thought of the accident, and wanted to cheer him up anyway, let him know in his own way it was still ok. And again with Han-Kyeol, where he’s trying so hard now to be a good dad, but still himself too. I like him.
- So-Rim, you and Han-Kyeol are definitely in my top ten OTPs. Moments like these aren’t easily come by in television, where two characters really need each other and reach out so raw for comfort. At least, it’s rare for me to really feel those moments. And with you guys I can, because I’ve seen step by step how you’ve inched towards each other. And I love it.
A Longer Thought: A Mini-Rant on 13 Reasons Why
This episode brought a lot of thoughts to mind, about the lies we tell every day, and not for an image or performance but just to protect ourselves. It takes all kinds to build a village (or a society, or whatever that metaphor is), and I at times run similar to In-Ho: if everyone will just leave me alone, I’m sure I can handle my problems myself. I don’t like asking for help, and that can lead to a lie in how you undervalue a situation or your own feelings on something.
I’m not blind to the fact some people might take issue with how Han-Kyeol reacted to In-Ho’s face: they might see it as overriding or shutting down In-Ho’s feelings. But especially in situations like these, I would say never just agree with their glossing over it. At least offer that you’re ok with them confiding in you, if they want. To brush it off would seem to me like the worst kind of validation, that it was ok to go to act like In-Ho did and take extreme measures–and it would seem that I was alone in my pain, that it really might not be a big deal after all. And if his logic seems broken regarding why he considered driving on sedatives—fear of performing live and ruining the band—I’d say it feels all the more realistic for it, because when you’re feeling anxious and depressed you don’t always think logically.
Really, I just appreciate how the show handled In-Ho’s accident in its entirety. There are no similarities I’m aware of between this episode and the currently popular show “13 Reasons Why” other than that In-Ho tried harm himself—kill himself—to reach a goal and make a point… but if I can draw the connection they both did themselves harm (or intended to), I’d like to compare the reactions of those around them.
From the trailer alone, 13 Reasons Why treated life as a “game of survival”. A game. And More than that it showed no regret on the part of those around her. When someone takes their own life you don’t further blame the dead and claim they were being dramatic. You don’t lay it at their feet. You break down and wonder what you could have done differently, what action you could have taken or words you might’ve said or left alone to have kept them there with you. Kids don’t fight in the halls after a classmate dies, they choose a day to wear their Sunday best and honor their classmate. It’s not a spectacle, it’s a tragedy. It’s something to take seriously, not glorify. And there’s no need for tapes or hype to incur guilt upon the survivors—they create it themselves. And that’s what Liar and His Lover showed, every time Gyoo-Sun wondered how he could’ve been more careful, and the manager wished he’d done more, and Han-Kyeol replayed that night over and over and over again in his head.
None of this ought to devalue what Hannah or In-Ho felt or went through. While vastly different in extremity and specifics, they both felt alone in their pain and did experience incredibly hard things. I will be forever grateful to people who don’t overlook others, and work hard to include them and genuinely take interest. But harming yourself isn’t a way out, it’s a way to end. And it’s final. The show 13 Reasons Why gave a gruesome, dare I say “statement” death but in the book she took pills like In-Ho, and I can’t stress enough that regardless of how you do it self harm is still harmful. It will still kill you, and that’s not something that can be reversed. A healthy belief in an afterlife doesn’t change the fact you’re gone from this life. There’s no talking to the living any more, no mysteries–just everyone else left to pick up the pieces. In-Ho thankfully wasn’t able to actually finish his plan (I hesitate to call it a suicide attempt because there was no specific mention of that intention, and I don’t know if he’d thought that far ahead), but I think it certainly runs in the same vein and I’m grateful Han-Kyeol talked with him about it, because this is one of those things that simply shouldn’t be covered up, or lied about.
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I apologize again for my rant, but if you want another good post on 13 Reasons Why—a very well written one—check out Beauty Beyond Bones’ “the Negligence of 13 Reasons Why”.
PS for Cozybooks: It would also be interesting to juxtapose this episode with A Monster Calls. The one centers around stories–and lies–as well.