Drama Recaps
Beethoven Virus: Episode 13
by | October 30, 2008 | 28 Comments

Today in class we were asked to vote for Obama… I wonder if the student speaker realizes we’re in Canada? 😀

Screencap credit to Luv and sayroo.

Isn’t she cute?


[email protected] / [email protected] – “蝶恋花” (The Flower that Loves a Butterfly), by a Chinese indie group. Someone recently reminded me of the song (discussing the repeat butterfly motif in Painter) and I thought it would be nice to put it up. [ Download ]

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Episode 13

We begin with that confrontation from last episode, with Junior asserting his own independence.

Gun Woo goes back inside, and this is one of the differences right here – instead of just ploughing ahead, he actually tells the orchestra what he intends to do, making them part of the decision-making process. He also changes the piece to Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto. Kang listens in from the outside, conflicting emotions apparent just from the frozen way he stands. (In case you missed it the first ten times, I love KMM.)

Then again, this is Kang Mae we’re talking about, so he walks stiffly away in anger.

The next day, Ru Mi is late to practice.

She wakes up in bed, blissfully happy, and then realizes that she’s missed her alarm clock by several hours. As she dashes from her answering machine to her stereo system, Ru Mi realizes what we’ve known from the moment she’s picked up the clock – she’s lost her hearing.

It’s a bad day for almost everyone, as Kang torments his orchestra simply by being in a bad mood. During a break, Ru Mi requests to see him, but he’s busy. When Kang looks outside for her, she’s gone already.

Not wanting to use his own cell, Gun Woo asks Park to text (the very late) Ru Mi. She replies that she’s gone to see her mother, which Gun Woo realizes is false, as her mother went on a trip last week. The man has his own problems, as his daughter calls him, assuming that her father is at work.

At the clinic, Ru Mi receives a call from Gun Woo, though she doesn’t hear the ringtone and fumbles through the conversation. He knows something’s up just through her voice, but as the conductor, he has to start practice.

The check up reveals that the loss of hearing will become permanent in a while, even with the use of medication (anti-inflammatory, and thus only holds off the deafness temporarily). She wanders around and finds the children’s choir singing, and her hearing comes back for the moment. Ru Mi crumbles to the floor in relief, though there’s a fair bit of sadness mixed in there too.

When she gets home, Gun Woo is waiting outside her house, and tests her by making her repeat what he said. She reveals that the meds are doing their work at the moment, then lies about having told Kang Mae.

Comforted if not exactly reassured, Gun Woo comes home and does various chores for Kang, who intersperses terse criticisms about his conducting between barked demands for various things. As if he hasn’t heard anything, Junior asks Kang Mae to take good care of Ru Mi.

The next day, Gun Woo hands in the sample of Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto.

This episode seems to be one for hospitals, as Yi Deun brings in grandpa Kim for a checkup. It’s ostensibly for his ongoing cold, but in fact the doctor is checking for dementia. Kim becomes angry when he realizes this, though Yi Deun chases after him and explains that this is the first time he’s been lucid in a week’s time.

We learn that his daughter Young Joo died in a traffic accident when she was Yi Deun’s age, and that she also played the flute. In fact, he’d forced her to play and register for the contest. Young Joo refused to participate and died after running away from home. Upon finding out that she’s very similar to his long-dead daughter, Yi Deun demands that he remember her name, a simple concession after so many months spent together.

They go back inside to continue the checkup.

A week later, every other member of the orchestra take turns calling at the office, and the registration personnel is always ‘out for coffee’. (Ru Mi is getting a hearing aid here.) The undersecretary, now Kang’s chauffeur, tells Kang that the selection committee probably doesn’t take the newbie Mouse Orchestra seriously. This is totally proven true when Kang visits and sees the demo CD in the trash bin as the cleaning lady rolls by.

Kang’s so cute! He’s at the music centre to see the reporter and a member of the selection committee, who’s also compiling pieces played by the city orchestra. When asked if he has a recording of any pieces, since Kang Mae is infamous for hating studios, he ‘accidentally’ gives the Mouse Orchestra CD instead. Both the listeners remark that the style is a refreshing departure of the traditional style Kang Mae favours.

The maestro asks to change the CD, but the member of the selection committee is impressed at the skill of the unknown orchestra. The reporter knowingly asks, off to the side, whether this is the same group of people he was warning Kang Mae about, and receives a tirade on how useless and annoying they are. (But we see through you, Kang Mae, we totally do.)

Even when they know about the particular ‘faults’ of the musicians, both men still love the rough, unpolished sound for its energy and life. Kang’s face changes from peeved to satisfied during the course of their conversation, which shows that he still cares if people criticize his Irregulars.

Kang keeps insisting that the Irregular orchestra is useless, though the men think otherwise, especially after they hear that the conductor didn’t even go to music school. (The reporter dude looks suspicious, but he’s amused.)

During practice, everyone stares at Gun Woo’s phone. During their second run through a slow piece, Ru Mi stops playing and points at the phone. We can afford to sit back and relax when they’re so tense because we know that they’re in – Gun Woo pretends to be unhappy but then tells them that their orchestra qualified.

Celebrations all around, and the group goes for drinks after practice. Hee Yun is still annoyed at Ru Mi, but Gun Woo is friendly and gains the admiration of the others, who universally consider him a cool guy. Ru Mi sneaks out and texts Kang Mae, encouraging a reconciliation as well as telling him that they qualified. (Her mom is just being used as an excuse for all sorts of things, like sneaking out.)

After the celebration, which must have run pretty late, Gun Woo returns home, where Senior is doing a really bad job of trying to get him to talk. Fortunately, Gun Woo takes the first step and asks for a game of poker, for rather higher stakes than the two should. Oh well, they can take it.

In between adding more money and flipping the cards, they have a conversation. Kang doesn’t remember meeting Gun Woo ten years ago at all, though he does keep harping Junior about seeking perfection. Then he bets his conductor’s baton.

Gun Woo wins. (Being a poker n00b, I have no idea how a king, queen and a nine wins two aces and a four, but okay.) He also admits that he’s listened to and remembered every single word Kang’s said. Kang probably lost on purpose so he could give the conductor’s baton to Gun Woo (it’s the one he started out with, which makes it more significant).

Before going to bed, Gun Woo stops and asks the same question Ru Mi did earlier in the day – Did Kang help them out?

The next day everyone’s busy setting up the outdoor venue. Both Hee Yun and Park have trouble at home, with Hee Yun’s daughter angry at being neglected and Park’s wife not knowing he’s been laid off.

Park rushes to the concert hall, to at least appear to be part of the orchestra. Outside, during a squabble between Park’s daughter and another girl, the truth comes out. Kang appears at the last minute and apologizes for the situation, and tells Park’s dismayed wife that her husband’s performing with the city orchestra tonight. (That was nice of him.)

Of course, Park isn’t off the hook. She’s more angry about the not telling than the actual fact of his being laid off.

Up in the safety of his office, the mayor is freaking out about Mouse Orchestra’s qualification. He isn’t completely powerless to sabotage them, however, and sends construction workers to the area where Mouse is performing.

Right before the concert, Kim goes through another episode, and this time Yi Deun goes through with the charade of being his daughter, and smoothes things over. Things just don’t seem destined to go well, however, as the organizer of the music festival calls Gun Woo aside to joke about how supportive Kang Mae is.

None of the news sits well with Gun Woo, who goes to see Kang right before both of their concerts. Junior is disappointed, because he always thought that Kang Mae had their best interests at heart (he does, but Gun Woo’s just not hearing it). As Kang Mae goes on to say how useless they all are, Gun Woo asks him if he said this to Ru Mi too, if he was this harsh when Ru Mi lost her hearing.

Now it’s Kang’s turn to be puzzled and shocked. Gun Woo announces that he dislikes Ru Mi for choosing to like Kang, and decides to fight against Kang Mae for real this time. He also gives back the baton and walks away.

End episode.


– LJA did well in this episode, especially during the scene when she realizes that she’s deaf. And I was all worried. 😀

– I get the feeling that i’ve seen this plot device before. It really seems like they’re manufacturing conflict, because to me, Kang helping them out wasn’t such a huge deal – they were going to be binned, okay? Also, wishing for a bit of subtlety, though all this shouting does have its upsides.

– People have wanted to know what Kang Mae’s ringtone was – it’s a violin version of the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8, the Pathétique (thanks, Evange!). Gun Woo’s is a more modern version of the Winter motif from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.



28 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jen

    i like how you posted a chinese song, diff
    and the obama comment LOL; im canadian but i’m in the states for school and the presidential elections are @[email protected] me

    thx for the recap!

  2. javabeans

    Great song 😉

    (Oh, and trust me, us Amurrikans sure wish Canadians could vote too. Especially since a good number of us are looking to join you should all hell break loose next Tuesday.)

  3. pabo ceo reom

    LOL ^I am so with javabeans. Canadians should be allowed to vote in this one. 😀

  4. raahmose

    “Today in class we were asked to vote for Obama… I wonder if the student speaker realizes we’re in Canada?”


  5. Evange

    I believe Kang Mae’s ringtone is Beethoven Virus, a popular piece of music that is played by electric violin. It is based on Beethoven’s piano sonata #8, “Pathétique”, 3rd movement in C minor.

  6. Sevenses

    I’m crossing my fingers for next Tuesday! 😀

    Evange: You’re probably right, I’ll go check. I have basically no ear for music, Passions just happened to sound like the ringtone. Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Jie

    Wah! Totally random, but [email protected]!!!! YAY!! >U<
    So excited to hear another song from them!! Hard to find =(
    I love “Across the Coral Sea~” :3

    Thanks lots for the recap! =] <333

  8. ed

    LOL we do need every canadian vote for obama we can get, if not to make up for the bible-belters 😛

    “I get the feeling that i’ve seen this plot device before.. It really seems like they’re manufacturing conflict”

    does it ever! 🙂 it seems the series took great care to beguile us with the (near mythical) power of transformation in classical music, through gunwoo’s long and treacherous road of apprenticeship — even it wasn’t a technical one like in kung fu, medical or even foodie movie/dramas. they hook us through personality and charisma first, in case the musical profession doesn’t. so followed the endless personality clash, a long dance of “love/hate” courtship. then we had love triangle, municipal politics…and suddenly they SPLIT!

    gunwoo growing a backbone over a few seconds may be IMMENSELY satisfying, but don’t you feel it was so sudden? the long winding path they took to become uneasy allies was good character portrait (IQ vs. EQ or summat), yet it became lax for a while when they became romantic rivals. now it’s back to square one, though it feels the romantic tension wasn’t sustained at high enough a pitch to warrant gun woo’s “big outburst”.

    it does seem familiar arriving at this split, as there are bits of of freudian & greek conflicts adapted to trendy career drama? (actually some intense scenes in EPS 14 are directed like opera, at the risk of bad manners to get ahead :P) electra complex for ru mi (pretty much mothering an orchestra of “unruly kids” at the beginning), patricide for gunwoo (kinda half-hearted surrogate father/son development tho.)

    & some of us picky viewers may think they’re kinda left as 2 separate strands (musical or romantic rivals) in close proximity, not as intertwined as possible (due to all the side issues like hearing loss, checking in with dementia ajussi, mortgage guy waiting on new baby, etc. once in a while.) sorry to have rambled…

  9. dreamraine

    Kang Mae’s ringtone is a violin version of Beethoven – Sonata No. 8 “Pathétique” 3rd Movement….actually am trying to find a good mp3 now…hmm, I really didn’t like this episode because Guwoo was such a meanie to his teacher….KAAAAAAANG MAAAAEEEE! But anyhow when Kang Mae betted and lost his baton I almost wept. Hope things get better and this freud won’t last for generations and generations….

  10. 10 chajjye

    love this episode!

    but i would think that rumi would be able to detect once she started talking to herself, no? but that’s just dramaworks.

    at least rumi had a bit more character presence here. the two kangs are proud men and i feel that rumi is sort of like the scale of balance that keeps gun woo in his niceness yet pushes the kang mae to be more kind, (kinda like making them both “behave”), and after watching 14 episodes, i think she needs to be stronger in character, cause many times she looks as if she can disappear for one episode and no one will notice, but can’t really blame lja for her newbie-ness.

    i love yi deun and grandpa, their relationship is bittersweet yet tender in contrast to the “harsh” relationships of others, esp that of the main love triangle.

    i just hope gun woo really retains his niceness by the end of the show, kang would regret for life if gun woo ends up like him…it’s almost like devil wears prada movie version.

    just my two cents. 🙂

  11. 11 eclipse

    Love the song!!!

  12. 12 Bradamante

    Thank you, Sevenses.
    The song “The Flower that Loves a Butterfly” is wonderful.
    It has opened my heart to tears and sincere love.

  13. 13 xoxo_03

    i agree with you =) LJA did great in this episode keke~ now she knows the feeling of becoming deaf. this drama is really addictive waha.

  14. 14 kw02

    “蝶恋花” should be translated as “The Butterfly that loves a flower” =)

  15. 15 Sevenses

    ^ I thought that too, but then I looked at the lyrics and it’s all about the flower, so I translated it the other way. (Insanely enough, NQMM has 花恋蝶 – I’m thinking the Chinese artists need to figure out more original song titles.)

    If someone could point me to where Kang Mae’s ringtone gets played, that would be great – I don’t have the time to rifle through all the episodes atm.

  16. 16 kw02

    ^ I see =) “蝶戀花” was a common title in ancient Chinese poems. Examples include poems by 蘇軾 and 歐陽修 of the Song dynasty (960-1279 AD).

  17. 17 Evange

    One scene where Kang Mae’s ringtone gets played: Ep11 around 13mins 35s

  18. 18 Wenn

    Something interesting to share. While I was searching for the definition to IT terms like RPO and RTO on wiki, I found this, “The Really Terrible Orchestra”.

    Reminds me of the characters in Du Ru Mi’s orchestra :p

  19. 19 Sevenses

    @Evange – indeed, you are most correct, and I shall go off and correct my assumption right away. 😀

  20. 20 Evange

    Gun Woo cos he had a spade flush and do anyone here watch Hong Kong movies? The theme music of “God of Gamblers” was played during that scene! 😀

  21. 21 Evange

    Gun Woo won cos he had a spade flush and do anyone here watch Hong Kong movies? The theme music of “God of Gamblers” was played during that scene! 😀

  22. 24 ikeuchi

    HERE YOU GO! Kang Mae’s ringtone:


  23. 26 Mya

    Hey ^^

    Do you know where I could get the song played in this episode at 59:29 ? It’s not in the OST and I can’t find it… Thank you !

  24. 27 Tal

    Does anyone know the name of the song that always plays when Rumi goes deaf? It occurs in the episode where she jumps in the lake and sees an orchestra underwater. This song also appears in the episode where she really does go deaf while standing in front of Mae Kang hearing him ramble.

  25. 28 buy neopoints

    I was just searching for this info for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

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