Liar and His Lover: Episode 16 (마지막)
In the words of the famous doctor: “I don’t want to go.” Or perhaps a better outlook on this closing of a chapter in Cozybooks’ drama life:
It’s ok, I will be here
In the time we spent together
Whenever you miss me
I hope you can smile just like that
It might have been my fate
The brief moment our eyes met
My whole world faded away
All I could see was you, as if it were a lie.
- Everyone says goodbye
- We revisit all the old moments
- In-Woo says it’s too late for them
- Our OTP remains as adorable as ever
~ ~ ~
We begin back at the press conference, cameras flashing wildly while the band bows and prepares themselves for the end. Shi-Hyun gives his confession, and the fingers type out his words wildly. The music is their own—that first song Han-Kyeol and So-Rim met over—and I love how the lyrics once again inform their situation as they file off to a roaring barrage of questions (see above).
Han-Kyeol looks up through the crowd to his support—So-Rim—and nods to her assuredly once before exiting. Now in the halls, they get barely a second to breathe before they’re summoned to face the wrath of President Yoo.
And she is livid, to the point she’s ready to sue for defamation—when Shi-Hyun points out those detrimental “trade secrets” were really more of a whistle blowing on unfair treatment than anything else, President Yoo vows she’ll make it so they can never use the name Crude Play again. After all, the company owns the rights to that title.
Later, CEO Choi tries to reassure them she only meant half of all that… but what half, bro? The band doesn’t know they want to keep trying, if leaving Sole Music means entering the reign of Yoo in WHO entertainment—but in a way of final wisdom, CEO Choi tells them not to focus so much on a comeback, but to regain their good name as Crude Play. After all, the band was more than just a band for them, wasn’t it? Han-Kyeol speaks for them all and says they need some more time to think about it, and we transition.
So-Rim is eating at home with her grandmother, released from the company mandated housing. She’s obviously still worried about Crude Play, but she has a stubborn faith things will turn out ok. Her grandmother asks the hard question: has the company made her do anything below the board? So-Rim gives a truthful (thankfully) no, she’s clean.
That night, Han-Kyeol meets with President Yoo to start the mediation process: his terms are they don’t have to use session musicians again or suffer undue influence in their music—but Yoo still thinks he’s in no position to bargain. Han-Kyeol presses his point, the truth would have come out sooner or later—and rather than using Yoo’s “help” to cover it up, it was better to cut off the rotting bit festering their happiness.
President Yoo scoffs, what right does he have to talk like that when he own a house, a car, everything he could want? Han-Kyeol recalls the anguish each of his friends felt earning such a lifestyle through a lie, and replies that while some people might do anything to get what they want, there are also people who think some things aren’t worth the sacrifice of dignity it would cost them.
Hah, Yoo stands from the table at that, claiming she can’t talk with him since he’s being so childish. As Han-Kyeol turns to leave he makes a last offer—since she doesn’t want to help, how about a deal instead. If she’ll just tell him what she wants, anything she wants, he’ll do his best to make it happen.
We reinforce the dire straits Crude Play has arrived at when So-Rim visits the corner grocery for some snacks with her friends. A pair of girls gossip over the fallen band, certain their fame is gone forever. Soo-Yeon in the company too worries for the band, wondering if they should just take down the message boards when they’re so full of hate.
Mush & Co. gets sat down by Choi in the practice room later that week, where he debriefs them on their options: going to WHO entertainment means disbanding Mush & Co., since So-Rim is already being repossessed for a girl group or solo album in their eyes. The boys wonder if they really have so little potential, but CEO Choi lays out the hard facts: the industry is interested in how they can sell an image, as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
But Mush & Co. doesn’t have to think like that—his only advice is to consider a method allowing them to make music for a long, long time instead of quickly. He has no more advice for them as a producer, but does have some as a manager… what, you’re not going to tell us?
The band walks out later, a bit under the weather, and So-Rim tackles both boys around the neck: “Let’s go play!” They goof off at an arcade, playing games and dancing wildly in a karaoke room. Later they walk by the river, and Jin-Woo asks So-Rim to tell them straight: does she want to leave the band? He explains he started music to spend time with So-Rim and Gyoo-Sun, but while he now loves the guitar for its own merits, he doesn’t want to let his lack of skill hold back So-Rim. Gyoo-Sun feels the same way, and tells So-Rim to do whatever she wants.
It takes our heroine all of five seconds to burst out laughing at their good intentions, and she says freely she only has a single goal in music: to sing happily and have fun doing. And for that, she needs her friends. She repeats CEO Choi’s advice to seeks a long term career rather than a hotshot one… and we get to hear his advice as a manager, too: he’d scouted them to continue as a band outside of WHO entertainment, if they decided not to renew. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as prestigious, but it’d pay the bills. Plus, she’d never make it as a member of a girl group—she can’t dance! (Lol, meta-pun).
At home, Han-Kyeol and his father sit down for a meal, joking over the once-troublesome truffle In-Woo had cooked with last time. In-Woo takes a serious moment and compliments his son, asserting that regardless of what other people will tell him later, he’s here to disagree: Han-Kyeol did the right thing. He did good. (I love this man).
Han-Kyeol thinks he understands now, why his father never worked to reclaim his stolen album—and admits to having found something he wants to protect more than his music himself. Later that night, he opens a new music file: Crude Play_New Title.
President Yoo is still working her hardest, trying to bring Yoo-Na over to WHO Entertainment. She knows CEO Choi’s absence will make things hard… but what if she said she has K? Well, now we know what that deal with Han-Kyeol entailed. But Yoo holds further information until So-Rim arrives, the final guest to their work lunch.
Yoo acts like everything’s already decided, that So-Rim and Yoo-Na will of course be glad to settle in at WHO as things quiet down… and So-Rim especially has a lot to look forward to, as an artist without an image yet. So-Rim asks President Yoo what her vision is: does it include Mush & Co.? That’s a no, and when So-Rim looks put out Yoo brings up Han-Kyeol.
Our hero indeed took the hit for his band: he’s resigned with WHO entertainment, and this means So-Rim can’t “sing his songs” unless she’s there too. Lol you mean produce his songs for money, right? You do realize they’re dating. Thankfully Yoo-Na points this out, and that it’s childish of Yoo to resort to petty love-tactics to manipulate her singers.
So-Rim gulps some juice and takes the plunge: she doesn’t want to sing if she can’t do it with Mush & Co., so thanks for the offer, but…
As they see president Yoo off, we learn Yoo-Na decided to sign with WHO after all, and while So-Rim did not (lol President Yoo is ticked), Yoo-Na still offers her a ride home. Lol Yoo-Na is brutally honest with her: she didn’t stand up for So-Rim earlier because she liked the girl, but because she’d been threatened in a similar manner herself many times before. And for the record, she doesn’t like So-Rim. Hehe, she finds it annoying So-Rim managed to change Han-Kyeol like that, and makes her feel like Yoo-Na had a “failed love”. Our heroine is such an honest soul, and doesn’t know what Yoo-Na means—Yoo-Na just marvels at So-Rim’s sincerity again and drops her off.
So-Rim’s first order of business is to text Han-Kyeol for a meetup, and our hero drops his work on the new title (he’s still doing that?!) to head over. He stands outside her window like had so long ago, but this time the heavens break and he ducks into the shop while it pours.
So-Rim reminisces about her childhood with Han-Kyeol, although her boyfriend doesn’t need any help to guess she spent her days running around the shop and singing. He tells her she’ll probably age like that, too—and adds he ought to take notes now so he can compare later. O-ho, planning on being around for a while, eh? ^^
So-Rim asks him if he regrets the press conference, and while he does admit it’s hard when people talk so ill of them now, he’s still going to make music. And that’s all that’s really important, right?
So-Rim gets a little morose then, and reveals she decided to stay in her band… and not renew her contract. She knows switching to another agency means she can’t sing his songs… but he takes her hand and tells her suddenly he doesn’t want her to sing his songs:
“I want you to sing a good song. Like you told me before. Something that’s fun and enjoyable. I want you to sing to be happy.”
It’s the same thing she told him right when they first met, and Han-Kyeol tells her no matter what she choses, he’ll be right there with her. So-Rim leans against his shoulder and they watch the rain.
Our hero’s father has a date with a woman that night too, although his takes on a much different flavor. He and President Yoo sip drinks at a bar, and President Yoo takes no time in defending her actions of late. In-Woo stands up for his son, and when President Yoo asks him if he really wants Han-Kyeol to turn out like him, In-Woo gives her a sideways look. What does she mean “like him”?
She means that nobody listens to his music, and he doesn’t care—so long as he’s content, it’s fine. Well, that sounds brilliant to me. In-Woo advises her not to always consider herself to be right, and even if she is to respect other’s decisions. She takes that to mean nobody is allowed to disagree with her, and In-Woo just laughs they can never seem to meet in the middle.
President Yoo stands to leave, saying it’s late… and In-Woo agrees, it’s too late for them. Oof wait what?!
Bwhahahahahahaha! I love Shi-Hyun!! He uses his best friend privileges the next morning to trespass on Han-Kyeol’s house, belting out Crude Play’s Peter Pan and generally annoying his friend awake. It’s not just Shi-Hyun, either—the whole band is there, rifling through his fridge and playing around with his stuff. They’re not come without a cause, though, and tell Han-Kyeol to wash up: CEO Choi wants to meet them one more time.
It’s good news: President Yoo has accepted the demands, and they’ve earned themselves a break and good PR while they prepare for their next album. They stand to leave and practice, but Choi has a few extra words to say to Han-Kyeol, and our hero lags behind.
Shi-Hyun finds himself taken aside as well, but in a much sweeter way: Soo-Yeon interrupts him when he stops to study a crumpled pile of Crude Play memorabilia being thrown out in the move, and draws him aside for some comfort. She hugs him and he draws her closer, calling her Noona. She squirms at that, pleased she’s graduated from Sunbae, and he swoops in for a quick kiss (you’re hot). It’s a given that she’s Noona, he says, since he’s her boyfriend now.
In the practice room, Yoon’s making up ad-libs In-Woo style, all about how much he doesn’t want to go home. It is a rather bleak picture he paints, with no tv or internet (for their own self esteem’s sake) and hordes of reporters keeping them locked indoors. Chan-Young says they’d better get used to it, adding that it’s better to be going through this together than alone (lol he sounds so cheesy). The other two start teasing him then, calling him maknae and putting on the most cringeworthy aegyeo (oh my gosh I love them).
Outside, Choi is still chatting with Han-Kyeol: he knows the producer gave up song rights and signed a long contract with WHO entertainment in order to give Crude Play another chance. But Han-Kyeol’s more concerned for his old manager, who’s lost his job over it all. But Choi isn’t too beat up over it—after all, he’s taking Mush and Co. with him. President Yoo even let Chan-Young continue as a producer for the band, however that works out. (Seriously, what?)
In his office later, Yoo-Na drops by to visit while he packs up his things. We already know she’s signed on with WHO entertainment, but she still asks him to take her with him. Choi, ever the businessman, replies this is a crucial moment of her career, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to rest now.
Yoo-Na is emotional and wants to leave with him, and Choi draws her close in a hug. He recalls her words to Shi-Hyun, that she wanted music more than anything, and tells her she’s too expensive for him to just take. Wait, so are you confessing or giving her up?!
Outside that night, our hero surprises So-Rim in the company courtyard. She’s reminiscing about everything that’s happened to her at Sole Music, scared that all the happiness she feels now is a fantasy she’ll lose one day—she won’t lose Han-Kyeol, right?
He understands the feeling, but reassures her he’s not going anywhere: he’s by her side for better or for worse, like the song says.
And that’s where we leave them, to return a year later.
~ ~ ~
So-Rim is working outside the vegetable shop, but don’t let that fool you—a pair of passerbys recognize her as a member of Mush & Co., identifying themselves as huge fans and asking for autographs. Han-Kyeol arrives while she’s distracted, and has a great time looking jealous while So-Rim enjoys the attention from the two guys, mouth dropping when she shakes their hands. So… still dating and in love, I see.
He steps in close to surprise her, and jokingly tells her to leave off working here—she draws too much attention. And if he can’t help out himself, he’ll just buy out the shop! But Grandma arrives and tells him off, although she still lets them close for the day to go and play.
Ahahahahaha it’s finally time: now that Mush & Co. have become real adults, their Crude Play sunbaes (oppas and hyungs?) have organized a drinking party, PPL camera included.
They have a great time playing drinking games (the real fun starts when Han-Kyeol falls asleep) and Jin-Woo ends up challenging Han-Kyeol to a drinking contest. Lol they’re so many sheets to the wind. The band takes fun pictures with their passed out friends while Soo-Yeon mixes her deadly cocktail… which So-Rim downs and proclaims delicious, to the amazement of the guys. And we have another hard drinker, I see.
So-Rim starts talking about the restaurant, explaining how she met In-Woo before she knew his relationship to Han-Kyeol, and that she was thrown together wither her boyfriend—twice—before anything really happened. The band wants to know how they met (trade secret on Han-Kyeol’s part), but So-Rim plays coy and goes for another drink. If they’re too drunk, maybe they just won’t remember.
Aaaand sure enough we skip to the next morning, where everyone sits around hungover while Han-Kyeol makes them breakfast. He’s such a mother hen. He makes fun of Shi-Hyun for his cutesy texting with Soo-Yeon, but can’t say much better for himself, who hasn’t even tacked a term of endearment onto So-Rim’s contact. Lol and then you blatantly leave your phone on the table while you wash up? That’s gonna end well.
Chan-Young meanwhile is meeting Mush & Co. to showcase their next song—he’s obviously nervous, but the band loves it. Looks like So-Rim’s musical career is looking up!
Sure enough, the Crude Play boys changed Han-Kyeol’s contact to something fun—during his meeting with Yoo-Na he gets a call from “my girlfriend, Ddo Ri Mi” (this funny, but I don’t know if it’s because 또림 means tingle or 또리미 sounds like Do Re Mi, a la Sound of Music). Either way he’s embarrassed.
So-Rim finishes the call and sneaks into the practice room, trying to surprise Chan-Young… who pulls a fast one and scares her instead, heh. They reminisce about his young musician days, and Chan-Young reveals he likes working with bands because all the instruments are equal: unlike a specialist musician, they don’t have to compete with others.
After practice, Han-Kyeol picks So-Rim up in his car for a date—wait what you can drive? Chan-Young tells him to be careful with their precious vocalist, and off goes our OTP! (I’m crying inside, I don’t want this to eeeeend they’re so cuuuuute).
They arrive at a grassy park for a picnic, and Han-Kyeol’s made the cutest bento lunches for them both. True to form Han-Kyeol’s gone out of his way to make the spot a private one, since moments like this will be rare when they’re famous. It turns out he’s going to play with Crude Play now—as a guest member, who has the best of both worlds and can leave or play depending on what he wants. Heh, So-Rim just talks it up to Chan-Young being too good a player, and keeps calling her producer Oppa until her boyfriend can’t stand it anymore—can’t she just call him “Producer Seo” and be done with it? Moreover, why is she using banmal with Chan-Young but still tacks ssi onto her boyfriend’s name?
So-Rim turns the formal speech into a gesture of love, saying she’s never spoken to anyone like that before, and likes letting Han-Kyeol be the first for that and so many other things. Still, she wonders if she should switch, and drops her speech long enough to offer if she can feed him some fruit. Aaaaah they’re so cute. He tells her he loves her and swoops in for a long, sweet kiss (the kind that makes my insides melt), and we leave them.
Yoo-Na’s career has taken off too, and she chats with president Yoo after finishing an interview. President Yoo reveals CEO Choi has a new office, and asks Yoo-Na if she wants the man’s number… but Yoo-Na’s ok without it, she says. Aw.
CEO Choi still has a soft spot for his singer, though, and takes care of a little plant with her picture attached to the pot.
Crude Play too is re-entering the music arena, and Soo-Yeon finishes reserving them a hall for their mini-concert. When the man recalls they’re a four member group, Soo-Yeon corrects him: with the second bassist, it’ll be five. Yay!!
Both Mush & Co. and Crude Play are hanging out in Shi-Hyun’s restaurant, and Han-Kyeol’s counting the days until he can take Chan-Young’s spot as the rookie band’s producer. They discuss plans for the upcoming concert, calling back to their early claims that it was Shi-Hyun’s looks that drew in the crowds. And Yoon’s charms, and In-Ho’s manners, and… Chan-Young’s sexiness, lol. The two bands face off with band cheers and shoot finger hearts at each other, crowding onto the stage as they all perform together.
It really is a perfect moment, when Soo-Yeon shows up and they jam altogether. But the show isn’t done just yet, and later Han-Kyeol walks in on the rest of Crude Play laughing hilariously over some secret. It’s “the Love Story of Producer K and Yoon So-Rim”, and they recount So-Rim’s story they met two times by chance: according to So-Rim, once more would’ve made it fate. But Han-Kyeol corrects them all: they had met three times by chance—we see their first meeting in the rain that day—and he swears the boys to secrecy. As he leaves we focus in on the yellow umbrella he’d given her the first time they’d met, and then flash back to when she’d returned it to him, the night it had rained.
And then we revisit all their special places: the bridge where he confessed, the river bridge where he broke her heart, the river where she’d stuck by him, the streets they’d walked on their first date—the riverside where he’d first stolen her phone. Han-Kyeol says in voiceover:
“Every moment you ran to me…”
“Sometimes we got closer, sometimes we drifted apart.”
“We sometimes misunderstood and hurt each other”
“Every step we’ve taken towards each other…”
On a date now, they stop in that very spot and sing together, So-Rim pretending to ride by on a bike and offer him her phone. And Han-Kyeol finishes:
“To say it was predetermined would be boring.”
And that’s where we scene.
As the credits roll, we’re given a montage of all the songs they’ve sung, each one special in its own way. Finally, we return to that special moment in Shi-Hyun’s restaurant, and the cast turns to us, smiling, and waves goodbye.
… Now that we’ve reached the end, I almost find that I don’t know what to say, all of my emotions fluctuating between giddy grins at our bands and sadness that I won’t get to look forward to Mondays in the same way again. It definitely wasn’t perfect, and this episode was more of a wrap up than anything else, but I expected that so I’ll give some wrap up thoughts instead. ^^
Some Last Words:
- President Yoo: With Yoo, it really seemed like an issue of pride more than anything else at the end: a hurt ego that these young men wanted to live on the straight and narrow in a way she hadn’t been. My final words to you are: buy some slippers, they’re comfier.
- Yoo-Na: She was an interesting character, and for one that didn’t get much screen time I appreciated that she felt both fleshed out different from the normal second lead. My final words: don’t forget to enjoy yourself, darling.
- Soo-Yeon: Hers is a story I’d like to hear told, how she met Shi-Hyun and fell for her lowerclassmen, then proceeded to follow him into the industry even when she thought he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. My final words to her: can you be my unnie too?
- CEO Choi: I loved the arc his character took throughout the series, but at times I felt the show focused a little bit too much on him (or maybe I just liked thinking about him way too much). Either way, my final words for you are: Take good care of Mush & Co., please.
- Shi-Hyun: Mmm Shi-Hyun was one sexy, sexy man. I don’t have any words for you, just a suede suede look with a lot of eyebrow. ^^
- Yoon: What a fun character! He didn’t get a lot of individual screentime, but I loved the personality her brought to the band. For you: I think I’d fall for your charms, too.
- In-Ho: I admire the emotion and depth given to this character without many words. He was able to convey a lot with a look, and that’s a great skill to have. My last words to you: I love listening to you play the drums. Thank you.
- In-Woo: I think you’ll always be my favorite, there’s just something about that smile. My last words to you: Could I request “Pinocchio” one more time? I loved that song.
- Chan-Young: I started out really not so hot on his character. I didn’t like the way he tried to draw others personal connections into his work anguish, and I didn’t like the way he approached So-Rim. But after he sorted that out, I really came to love this prickly tsundere. I think I’d rather give him a hug than any last words, just to see him squirm. ^^
- Han-Kyeol: This isn’t a character I’m going to forget easily. He was flawed without being a jerk, he was imperfect without being irredeemable. I love that he loved music so much, and that he didn’t just forget his passion when he found a girl—rather he worked to find a way for both of them to stay in his life. My last words for you: Could I get a song written for me, too?
- So-Rim: I’m so glad I was pleasantly surprised by Joy in this role. While not an experienced actor, she really shined as the honest, bubbly, simplistic So-Rim: the girl who didn’t want to make things any more complicated than “singing good songs happily, and having fun while doing so.” I appreciate that she was so true to herself and her goals even when everyone pulled her in a million different directions, and my last words to her are: Sing, So-Rim. Sing! (also, you made my list of “characters to emulate”. Good job!)
A List of Lessons From the Show:
- Music has a lot of different sides to it, from those who pursue it as purely a means for money to those who only want to spend a few hours jamming with their friends.
- Priorities are important, and nothing should come before another person. A passion or a job or anything else can’t compare to the relationships we have with those close to us. In the words of Barbara Johnson (and then President Thomas S. Monson): “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
- This does not mean a fan is a real personal connection. Real connections are built around real personal time spent, and you shouldn’t have to feel beholden to an image of yourself in the public eye.
- Your passions can be valuable ways to express yourself, but don’t let them define the entirety of yourself. You are more than your interests and abilities, and your value as a person does not depend on how well you perform.
- Don’t forget, when managing people, that they are more than their abilities.
- People aren’t one dimensional, and there’s often a multitude of reasons behind any one decision. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know everything that went on behind someone else’s eyes, even when you think you do know.
- Remember there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place. Workplace rivalries don’t authorize you to go after someone else’s girlfriend, and unrequited love doesn’t mean you can’t work together (although I understand it’s hard to actualize each of these ideas).
- Even when things are sad, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to smile. No one problem can occupy the entirety of our existence if we don’t let it, however overwhelming that problem might seem.
- In everything, balance really is best—and it’s ok to complicate a passion with material benefits so long as it doesn’t taint the motivations themselves.
- Women’s shoulder pads are a crime of fashion, and I should be wary of buying any skirt that reminds me of a half finished hula skirt.
- It’s always better to realize a mistake quickly, and work to correct it. Don’t be fooled that since you made the mistake, you are not qualified to make things better. No matter how hard it is, it’s always worth it to try really listening to someone else and then really try to understand them. If things don’t get better after that, at least you know it’s not for your lack of trying.
- Even when the rest of the world seems like it’s going crazy—and perhaps especially then—it’s important to remember that you might deserve a break every now and again. It might seem like the world will fall if you leave for a day or two, but maybe a trip to the seaside is the key to making everything seem better.
- Remember, good food and sleep make any problem 78% less scary.
- Also, it’s a good rule to skip one day of class for any course. It helps you keep a good perspective on things.
- Hugs help, too.
- Everyone deserves a second chance, because half of the time the one who needs that mercy is ourselves. I like to think I’ll act rationally and that I’m always right, but I’m really not—and there’s wisdom to admitting that, and more wisdom to allowing others that same freedom: “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too” ~If
- Having someone you can rely on is important, but more so is having someone who you know will always be on your side. The best relationships are those that always have each others backs—not to tell each other they’re always right, but to admit frankly to them when they’re wrong and then commit to stand by them anyway, since they trust they’ll make things right again.
- If you’re depressed or anxious, you don’t always think clearly. It’s always best to get help, and it’s always best to have a friend closeby.
- Lies can only be maintained for so long, and sometimes it’s harder to live high knowing you’ve earned this unjustly than to scrape a living knowing you’ve done so honestly.