Only the one episode this week, due to a soccer game on Wednesday. The good news is that the ratings broke 20%.
Alas, that this shiny, happy couple is no more. (On the other hand, this does break the trend of having Kang Mae here and weakening some people’s resolve. )
SONG OF THE DAY
Rie Fu – “Negaigoto”[ Download ]
Oooh, the angst, it hits like a bullet train. Kang stops Gun Woo from going after Ru Mi, which rings all sorts of bells in Junior’s head – finally, someone puts the pieces together.
Away from the party, Hee Yun and the violins sisters are comforting Ru Mi. Gun Woo arrives, fresh from his revelation just from looking at Kang, and has a private talk with his soon-to-be ex. He’s actually quite decent about it and apologizes for obstinately holding onto Ru Mi when her heart was with someone else. (There should be a complex named for nice guys who are cast aside for outwardly cold but charismatic dudes – the Prince Yul Complex?)
Gun Woo doesn’t get angry – he feels stupid, and way out of his league. He doesn’t even blame her and walks away. (Ru Mi, I’m blaming this on you. No, seriously, you have no right to play with someone else’s affections when you know you like a different person.)
At least she’s decent enough to want to try to make it up to Junior, who’d much rather she just stop talking. (But his gentle personality will guarantee more sacrifice for her in the future, just watch.)
Kang waits at home deep into the night for Gun Woo to celebrate the concert with him. His already gloomy mood takes a dive when Junior texts to tell him that he needs to meet up with someone from the choir. (Lies, all lies!)
Early morning meetings with the mayor totally spell indigestion, especially when he’s trying to scapegoat Ru Mi to save his own behind. Kang is understandably annoyed and does not allow the mayor to interfere with his orchestra members, but it’s not like the other man has stayed as mayor by sheer effort of stupidity. The mayor will sue Ru Mi first no matter what (or else his opponent will get the advantage).
Relations between Junior and Kang are a little bit awkward, not strained as I feared. At the hospital, they sit one chair apart and rationally discuss the situation. (Wow, I am amazed.) Kang is quite considerate towards Gun Woo, who is also careful not to say anything too extreme.
During his check-up, Kang looks outside to Gun Woo’s dejected figure, and tells the nurse that his arm still hurts a lot. (Transference, much?)
Err, Ru Mi jogs around a park trying not to think about Kang – thus succeeding in replaying all of his insults to her in her mind. (Btw, she runs like it’s all in the flailing of limbs.) She lies down on the grass and indulges in a bit of moping. (I just love how actresses can work out, sleep, or cry and still have perfect makeup.)
While walking Beethoven, Kang sees Ru Mi striding purposefully forward with her bike in hand. Having just gotten another call from the mayor’s secretary urging him to agree to the drastic measures, Kang is slightly more conciliatory than usual. Ru Mi, on the other hand, lashes out at him for being such an asshat to her, and tells him that she’s moving away. Also, she’s already sent out her resignation.
As she cycles away, Kang goes all kicked-puppy face at Beethoven, though he tries to hide it. (I love this man!)
To force Kang’s hand, the mayor is going for some rather underhanded ways. To wit, he is laying off the members of Kang’s old orchestra, one by one, to threaten the conductor. Park is the first to go, and because he doesn’t understand what’s going on, he blames it all on Kang.
Practice is cut short, for obvious reasons. At home, Kang despairs about the plan to sue Ru Mi. He feels that she will definitely get sent to jail and lose her hearing there. Gun Woo only listens, because he doesn’t really know what to do either.
(Hmm, maybe Gun Woo should have stayed on as a policeman.)
Junior goes to his room and angsts there, while Kang plays on the piano and tries to exorcise his worries through music. (An excerpt of one of Chopin’s Fantaisies, I believe.) It doesn’t work.
Through a night of introspection, Kang has decided to go for extreme confrontation. He books both the mayor and his dastardly opponent for a friendly meal at a Japanese restaurant, and then delivers his smackdown: the mayor’s rival happened to have embezzled 4,200 million from a school he was in charge of. (Which is 14 times more than the amount Ru Mi was swindled out of.)
The rival claims not to know anything about this, and snarls that Kang won’t get away with hiring a team of incompetents on the citizen’s dime either. Kang smiles (a bit evilly, I think) and tells him that the problem has already been solved.
Which brings us back to the orchestra – Yi Deun gives grandpa Kim a notebook for his memory exercises, and writes his medical condition, address and her cell phone number on the back. The moment of aww is interrupted when the secretary uncomfortably tells the ‘temporary’ members that they are fired. The room explodes in speculative whispers and dismay, while Gun Woo chases after the secretary.(So that’s what the conductor meant when he asked Junior if he trusted himself.)
The secretary tells Gun Woo that Kang has commanded him to coach the members to give a good performance at a music festival in two month’s time. If they receive recognition, then they can come back.
Back at the restaurant, the mayor is trying to make sure he’s on Kang’s good side too. Now he’s willing to let the matter of the embezzled money go, though he muses that their images will take a hit when the so-called incompetents do well at the music festival. Kang doesn’t care, and even offers cuts on his own salary to accommodate the members when they become permanent members.
Kang is working so hard to keep them because they’re his in a way that other orchestra members were not in the past. (Cue mass fangirl reaction of ‘aww’ here.)
The newly fired temporary instrumentalists all mope at a nearby cafe. They’re still split in two groups, Kim willing to let Kang have the benefit of the doubt, while the rest mope. (Though it’s cute how Yi Deun is totally willing to help once she sees grandpa isolated.)
Their lack of faith is highlighted when Kang visits practice halls all across the city, trying to find the perfect one for his protegés. He’s not satisfied with even the best the city. His actions are mirrored by Gun Woo, who asks at the church they used to practice in but is refused.
Angsty MV of Gun Woo missing Ru Mi follows as he looks around.
What Kang doesn’t really realize is that Gun Woo is also quite set in his own ways. That night, in his office, Junior tells Kang to trust him with conducting, since he’s left it in his hands. It’s not that he won’t consult the conductor, rather, Junior wants to prove himself.
Kang’s not quite sure how to handle this newly independent Gun Woo. (And he misses Ru Mi, but he won’t say.)
When he gets home, Kim, Hee Yun and Bae are waiting for him. Despite Kim and Hee Yun’s sugarcoating efforts, Bae blurts out that they’ve decided against participating in the festival. (Why do I have the feeling we’ve seen this before? Why? Recycling is good, but not this way, writers.)
Once again, Kang wounds them with his harsh speech. (All this time, and it was just anger management issues.) Kim goes back in, because he’s convinced that there’s something else bothering their conductor.
Kang’s not exactly welcoming, so Kim sits down and talks to Kang through Beethoven.
Kim: Your master seems to be in a bad mood today. I think he’s afraid. You see, the human heart is a tricky thing – it changes from liking to disappointment to expectation quickly. Sometimes it scares you, the way it’s so unpredictable. That’s why your master only deals with dead people, like Mozart, or Beethoven – he only has to face the finished music scores. But he’s wrong. They were all written when those men were alive, and the emotion in them is very obvious. If you’re afraid of emotion, how can you understand the music? Your master is only imitating the music. In life, you must be truthful, not only to us, but also with himself. Your master doesn’t even want to face his own feelings…
Beethoven barks his approval. This rather long monologue stays with Kang, and, just in the nick of time, he gets a call from Ru Mi. True to his word, he doesn’t pick up.
The next day, Bae is still licking his wounds and refuses to go to dinner with Kang (the conductor’s invited everyone else too). Park also refuses, staying at home to do stretches with his very pregnant wife, who still doesn’t know that he’s been fired. Meanwhile, Hee Yun drives her husband to distraction with her endless conversations on the phone.
End result: Kang sits all alone at the restaurant, and no one shows up.
He goes to the lake and thinks about Ru Mi, who was the most supportive person he’d ever met, even while he was being a class-A jerk. (And she probably would have whipped all the members into coming, for that matter).
To torture himself, Kang listens to all the voicemails from Ru Mi. They’re lighthearted and cheery, which makes him miss her that much more.
The first one talks about how she’s biked for hours but is still in Seoul; the second talks about how beautiful the scenery is, and wishes he was there with her; the thrid complains about a blister on her foot – but she’s still more worried about silence from his side of things; the next one lets him know that she’s almost at the park Kang suggested, and promises that she will always remember everything about him (yep, even the attitude).
At the end of all the voicemails, Kang begins to smile.
She tells him that she’s listening to Liszt’s Liebestraum (no. 3), and so he puts it on and listens, as if he really was there with her.
Kang remembers Kim’s advice about facing his own emotions. Upstairs, Gun Woo is remembering happier times with Ru Mi, when she was coaching him in English (wherein they both show us that it’s possible to not have Engrish). Ahh, happier times.
In the morning, Ru Mi walks her bike up one hill after another, finally reaching the one from which one can watch the sun. Then she receives a phone call from the ‘nice Gun Woo’ – not being one to shirk from unpleasant things, she picks up the phone. Imagine her surprise when Gun Woo tells her straight out that Kang actually really likes her, and didn’t say anything because he’d wanted to make Junior happy.
Gun Woo tears up as he tells Ru Mi about how tired Kang is, and tells her to take good care of her – thereby giving her permission to go ahead. (Can you die from having the Prince Yul syndrome? Poor baby.) Note the contrast of light and dark.
On top of the mountain, Ru Mi stands shocked for a few moments, and then bikes through hell and high water to get back. (Well, she’s actually biking downhill, but for this humble viewer, who has a fear of heights, it might as well as be hell.)
Junior gives himself a pep-talk and goes off to practice with the people he’s in charge of. They complain at practicing in a smelly warehouse/barn, but Gun Woo gives his radiant smile and begins practice.
Biking through very pretty pastoral hills (which seem to need a bit of water, just saying), Ru Mi suddenly drops her bike and decides to call Kang first to let him know she’s coming. She’s interrupted mid-call by the conductor himself, who sounds more than a bit annoyed (but it’s the worry talking) that she still hasn’t reached the mountain yet.
Ru Mi turns and runs uphill, to see Kang outlined on the top of the hill, searching for her. Awww. Ru Mi leaps to him, crying with happiness. (She’s abandoned her bike, but I’m worried about her violin.) He scolds her for being late, but she just runs up and hugs him, effectively silencing him.
Kang hesitantly reaches up to hug her back.
Team Kangmi: + 10^1829380247 points.
- Screencap credit to Luv, as usual. ♥
- Preview indicates that this change in relationship status does not sit well with the others, especially Hee Yun, who is Gun Woo’s aunt. And Gun Woo doesn’t look that happy either. In short: MOAR ANGST.
- Superficiality, but it’s been bothering me: what on earth is happening to Jang Geun Suk’s face? I miss the flawless skin of yore (say, early HGD or Hwang Jini).
- I know a lot of people are fed up with the show – and there are a plethora of things to get annoyed at (bad syncing of music with visual, bad acting from one of the leads, overuse of love triangle etc), but it’s actually a decent show. The plot moves, the side characters have their own lives, and the cinematography is thoughtful.
Also, Kim Myung Min! I had no idea who he was before this show, but seriously, where the heck was I?? Here’s an actor who has the ability to carry the entire series on his shoulders. It really does help that I didn’t expect much from the actors I knew about (JGS and LJA) when I started the show, and was pleasantly surprised to find that Jang Geun Suk was able to reach out from his Chang Hui-ness.
On the topic of Lee Jia, I think we should step back from the auto-gag reflex when she pulls her I’m-so-cute-don’t-you-love-me faces, and remember that this is only her second drama. (As compared with JGS, who has been in 7; 3 had acting-intensive roles.) She is improving, even if her emote level is stuck at 1/6.
It’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, that’s fine – just don’t let it give you headaches either.
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 10
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 9
- An extension pending for Beethoven Virus
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 8
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 7
- The Current Drama Landscape: An Overview
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 6
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 5
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 4
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 3
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 2
- Beethoven Virus: Episode 1
- “Wind” and “Virus” off to a neck-and-neck start
- Beethoven Virus takes its opening bow
- Beethoven Virus, not the DDR song