Beethoven Virus: Episode 3
Was asked by random stranger for places to purchase cosmetics. Realized that I actually don’t know. Sevenses = PHAIL at being a girl.
Bae Yong Gi, of cabaret trumpet fame. 😀
SONG OF THE DAY
Persona – “Ending” [ Download ]
Ru Mi gets angry tears when Kang calls the orchestra members ‘trash’. He doesn’t care and gives her a week to arrange practices for the playing to improve. If by that time there is no change, then he will go to the mayor with the truth.
A few others are clumped outside, comforting Hee Yun. Ru Mi tries to convince her to stay, but the housewife and mother of two tearfully explains that she’d joined to relax and have fun, not to be yelled at someone with a forest up where the sun doesn’t shine (err, paraphrase is mine, meaning is hers). She hates being stressed out like this.
The next night, conductor Kang takes Ru Mi to task instead, ordering her to start practicing the violin all over again – from the Do Re Mis (oho i c whut u did thar). He complains along the general lines of “Oh I’m so mighty and fine, why am I stuck with dumb plebes like you, etc etc.”
Gun Woo calls him on using the members of the orchestra to relieve his inner anger.
Gun Woo: Are you feeling better now? Crushing us one by one, does that energize you?
Kang: No. If there was an actual change, it would be different. It’s a waste of energy.
Gun Woo: Then I feel the same way. If you don’t tell us what we’re doing wrong, then it’s also a waste of time.
Kang: Do you also ask your trumpet for permission before playing it? How are your piston movements? Are the tubes blocked anywhere? Do you ask as you play?
Gun Woo: If you would please clarify…
Kang: You are my instruments! I am the one playing upon all these instruments. You are merely accessories to help me play. The old instrument, the young instrument, the cabaret instrument, the drunk instrument, the instrument that likes to talk back –
Gun Woo: I’m a human.
Kang: You are NOT! You are dogs, and I am the master! So shut up and do as I say!
Everyone sits in stunned silence. What an ego. (Also a not so subtle reminder of just why conductor Kang is a crappy human being.) The flautist jumps up happily to leave, having been listening to her mp3 the entire time. Gun Woo takes the opportunity in this break in momentum.
Gun Woo: Are we dogs? Have you ever been bitten by one?
Kang: Never. There was one that tried, and I kicked it aside.
Never let it be said that the man does not have comeback skills. Both the oboist and Gun Woo agree that having everyone tiptoe around the conductor in fear should not continue.
When Kang goes back into his office, presumably to sulk, the cabaret trumpeter walks up to the podium and makes people laugh by imitating the conductor. Gun Woo shamelessly urges him on, and the next night the man gathers enough courage to ask conductor Kang for advice, instead of scolding.
To everyone’s surprise, Kang allows him, and then levels his Phearsome Eyebrow of Disdain at Bae Yong Gi (the cabaret trumpeter). Attempt failed.
After practice, Gun Woo gathers everyone around and asks them to listen to each other, as well as their own part in the piece. Then the security guard gets annoyed at having to stay until midnight – so the entire group relocates to a nearby bay area, which is much nicer anyway. (Btw, this is the scene we saw in the trailers with JGS conducting a group outside.)
There’s a moment of overall harmony, but then Ru Mi starts laughing at Gun Woo’s stiff-armed posture (he’s doing pretty well for a first time conductor with no training), inherited from all those years of directing traffic. The members tease him for his tense expression and jerky movements, and nearly everyone volunteers some sort of comment.
(Ah, team dynamics.)
That night (of course, coming off a midnight practice isn’t enough – night owls, all of them), Gun Woo sneaks to the bookshelves and takes a book on conducting. When caught by Kang, the other fakes insomnia and offers to share his porn, then runs off into his own room.
At home, the old man is doing memory exercises with his impressive CD collection. The flautist comes to the Kim for advice. I have a feeling she’s recounting a sob story to get money from him. (I mean, look at the cellphone, the mp3, the attitude.)
Well, he may have Alzheimer’s, but he’s not dumb. He refuses, and they have a rather ugly fight.
The night practices are paying off, but a difference in opinion on the proper speed of a piece (um, that’s what the number at the beginning of the piece is for). The violins followed the conductor while Gun Woo and Bae Yong Gi play really fast. I wonder which orchestra they tortured to record all this.
Kang raps his stand with the baton, obviously displeased that His Words are being disobeyed. At this point, however, the orchestra is not his anymore, and everyone listens to Gun Woo’s discreet cue to play to a slower beat.
Mr. Kim the oboist cautions Gun Woo to stick to Kang’s beat in the future, even with Ru Mi grumbling that Kang actually hasn’t done anything concrete to make them get better (well, except for the motivating factor of utter terror).
Kim: A maestro is a maestro and has his pride. Conducting is a special talent of men, and is an important position. So we cannot let Kang discover anything.
(Yah. I object. Women can so totally conduct too. Thank you for that piece of sexism. It’s sadly true that gender equality has a long way to go in classical music, but what a way to hit people over the head with it.)
Gun Woo scuffs the floor with his sneaker, and agrees with the old man, even if it means being humbler than he wants to be.
Just as everything is going okayish and the orchestra looks like it has a fighting chance, flautist Ha Yi Deun’s father bursts into the music hall. Ha is angry that his daughter quit school, and even more enraged for all his hard work, she is on her way to becoming a bit of a hoodlum.
Apparently someone called him. Well, the only possible candidate at the moment would be Kim, and that bit about blackmailing senior citizens fits. On the other hand, it just doesn’t seem to be the old man’s style.
Anyway, Ha yells at Kang, misunderstanding the situation, he demands that Kang tell him why he forced Yi Deun to quit music school. Kang, on the other hand, is at his worst and insults the old man – that they are both lazy shirkers. He also sneers at the father’s inadequate education of his daughter, leading to such a shocking lack of manners, etc.
Hmm. Yi Deun follows her parents out (it’s a case of having too much pride that makes her so confrontational). She refuses to go to school even if she does have talent, because she knows her father doesn’t have the means to support her.
The parents, on the other hand, share a mentality that I will vouch for, having seen it with many (Asian) parents here – they’re willing to do anything, as long as Yi Deun will be successful in the future. However, Yi Deun tells them the full amount of school fees, which they know they cannot afford. The father limps away, back turned on his daughter. (I’m guessing they don’t live together, or the dad would have realized beforehand.)
Ru Mi and Kim watch the scene, and Kim maintains that he didn’t reveal any of this, that he only made a phone call. (Um, yeah, explain that one to Yi Deun.)
Now, at least Kim knows Yi Deun wasn’t lying. Unfortunately, she’s also super mad at him. She walks back to demand money from Ru Mi, but as someone who’s responsible for managing the entire orchestra, Ru Mi can’t pay her – she’s always the last one to arrive and the first to leave, she texts during the practice, doesn’t bring the partitions, and is generally insincere.
Yi Deun blames the both of them – as apparently the old man had taken the registration money from her (but unless I’m forgetting something, he didn’t). She had intended to borrow some from Ru Mi and some from Kim to pay for the school fees, but was unable to make ends meet. She flounces away, promising to ruin them all.
Kang comes early to the concert hall and sees the Kim sisters as well as Bae Yong Gi consulting Gun Woo. Jealousy rears its ugly head – Kang picks on Gun Woo during the practice, with unusual results. The young man is forced to admit that he cannot actually read music, and had been playing by ear all along.
Well, Gun Woo shows himself completely able to memorize pieces of music just from one repetition, gathering awed noises from everyone in the room (except for Park, who just likes being contrary). Kang sits thunderstruck, though he also looks capable of generating some flashes of lightning himself.
Kang concedes this battle, though he does tell Gun Woo to go and learn how to read music.
At home, Kang confronts Gun Woo about not knowing how lucky he is to be so gifted (apparently he’s able to memorize entire orchestral movements, not just his own part). Well, he’s also jealous that he himself doesn’t possess such talent, but he’s hardly going to say that to someone who ‘is only worth a stinkbug’.
Anyhoo, Gun Woo leaves for late-night practice, complete with junk-food takeout, while Kang remains at home to mope.
All this is probably not good for Kang’s inferiority complex.
Bae Yong Gi seems to be flirting with Joo Hee (one of the violin playing sisters) and the general atmosphere is super light and happy as everyone cheers each others’ talents on.
Kang followed Gun Woo to the music hall, and arrives just in time to hear Bae Yong Gi’s insanely large mouth heap praise on Gun Woo while criticizing Kang. The conductor pretends to be all jovial, but calls Ru Mi outside.
Gun Woo’s a decent and considerate kid at heart, and agrees to do whatever Kang says to rectify the situation. The conductor tells him to leave, and Gun Woo acquiesces. Ru Mi is appalled but Gun Woo takes responsibility. He tells her that the orchestra cannot do without its conductor and also promises to find another trumpeter for her.
(You know, Kang isn’t using his leadership skills at all – it’s a common saying that you should never give orders that won’t be obeyed, and his order came pretty close.)
Ru Mi, however, sees it from a different light. Gathering up the instrumentalists, helping everyone practice and generally lighting up the mood, Gun Woo has actually become indispensable for the orchestra. In a choice between Kang and Gun Woo (as Ru Mi is forced to consider now), she knows everyone would rather choose Gun Woo.
Both men are shocked. Gun Woo tries to stop Ru Mi – and when have you ever known that to work?
Ru Mi: We’ll be able to cover up the change in conductors. He’s learning to conduct already, and the performance should be fine.
Kang: Is this a circus? Do you only care about covering up?
Ru Mi: Yeah, I can’t plan ahead, I don’t care about the quality of the performance as long as we can play. I’m not dumb. It’s more dangerous for us to have you anyway. You humiliate us, look down on us, and we can take that. But…
Kang: But what? You can’t take it anymore?
Ru Mi: I can endure it, because I started everything, and even if you step on me and spit on me, I won’t say a word against you. But I can’t watch you do that to the others. We need someone who will encourage us and cheer us on the most. We need a conductor like that. And it’s Gun Woo, not you.
Kang leaves, truly hurt.
Somewhere else, Hee Yun apologizes to her family for being so absent of late, while her (caricature) family stomp all over her feelings by being callous and uncaring. While shopping, she is nudged aside for another customer, which causes her to break down in tears.
You know, her feeling of being neglected probably mirrors Kang’s.
Ru Mi and Gun Woo make a late entrance to midnight practice only to see Kang standing there. Tonight’s session will be his last, and he shows off his classical education (and proves his own quality) by first giving them a history on the background of the piece (‘Gabriel’s Oboe’, from The Mission), and then going into the various nuances necessary for the piece.
His actions scream for a comparison between the two conductors the orchestra’s had, but it’s a pity it takes so long to get him civil.
He asks them to listen to the piece with their eyes closed, and to feel the mood of the piece. The members find themselves transported to a beautifully pastoral outdoor scene. (For ze awesome magic of ze conductor!)
This is, appropriately, one of the better sounding renditions. (Also, do not watch them playing.) Ru Mi and Gun Woo are both watching Kang, and not their own partitions – I’m guessing they like what they see.
(See, this is what happens when you conduct properly, his attitude says.)
Kang demands a first-class ticket and announces his intention to leave the orchestra. Gun Woo understands that they’re both in deep trouble. The rest of the orchestra mills about, disturbed that Kang is leaving just as he shows the true depth of his skill.
At home, Kang is already packed up and ready to go.
Gun Woo: You’ve always annoyed me.
Kang: As a farewell, that one has particular impact. But you didn’t need to come all this way to say it. I think everyone already knows that.
Gun Woo: Using sarcasm to put people down, praising yourself until everyone else is uncomfortable, if even slightly offended, you strike back with almost savage intensity – that’s too lowly of you. All that, and your personality annoy me a lot.
Kang counters that at least he is not pretending to befriend while aiming to hurt, and the general idea is that they should be kissing the ground in thanks that he is not another bloodsucker. (Um. Sure.) Well, Kang closes the door on his career in Korea. But wait! Gun Woo speaks!
Gun Woo: But I admit to your skill. You are truly the best. This kind of thing is embarrassing, but it’s the first time since I was little that music has felt so wonderful. Maybe you don’t believe me, but I’m telling the truth.
Kang: What’s wrong with you? Did you forget that you’re the one waving a baton like a maniac on my podium? Such a change, you shock me.
Gun Woo: Please stay as our conductor. And I want to learn from you.
(All this through a closed door. Symbolism!)
Kang snarks back that he hopes Gun Woo isn’t expecting a ‘yes’ under the circumstances. (The inner fangirl, she jumps and whoops and does cartwheels.) Gun Woo continues to make humble, while Kang takes this chance to tear him apart as much as he can.
Awww. Gun Woo is really sincere about having recognized his own deficiency – and this touches Kang – however, Kang is determined to punish the orchestra members for not knowing what was in front of their eyes.
Kang stays up all night thinking about what Ru Mi said to him on the subject of his not being good enough. He’s really actually holding out for an apology, from which vantage point he can graciously forgive Ru Mi and return to conducting for their orchestra. (It’s cute that his ringtone is the title theme.) Alas, that Ru Mi has gone and taken him seriously. She has bought his return ticket.
Meanwhile, Yi Deun risks certain death to flag down the mayor’s car and to tell him the truth about what’s happening over at the orchestra.
Ru Mi hands the envelope with tickets inside – and severely annoys him with her refusal to back down and apologize. Well, she does apologize, but she thinks that she isn’t able to keep him here, which is TOTES NOT THE CASE, RU MI, WAKE UP.
Lol, both Ru Mi and Kang get a phone call at the same time – Ru Mi from the mayor’s assistant, and Kang, presumably from the mayor himself. The mayor’s found out about the truth.
– Come on, hands up, who admits to liking Kang Gun Woo the elder despite his asshattery (esp after the preview of ep4, zomg)? There were many moments of squee. 😀 😀 😀 If I flail or fangirl too much, let me know. I tend to get carried away.
– It occurs to me that if JGS’s or KMM’s character had been a girl, doing this whole living in a house, working in the same orchestra thing, plus all this tension over musical talents and what not would have led in a strictly romantic direction. Nonetheless, I look forward to what they’re going to do.
– I hate to say this, but LJA seems to be the weak link in this acting triumvirate.