Awfully sorry for the delay, folks. Will try and finish as soon as I can.
For a certain Thundie, who really likes her Kim Myung Min.
SONG OF THE DAY
As One – “To Heart” [ Download ]
So the new mayor, Jung Evilface, is moving to fire Kang as the official city orchestra conductor. Kang doesn’t really care and takes this news in stride and continues with his usual activities. I suppose he’s still confident that the city council won’t pass the measure.
The old mayor is there too. Kang figures that he doesn’t want to stay anymore (escaping from Gun Woo and Ru Mi) and intends to hand in his resignation. He also insults Evilface while he’s at it, which is hilarious, because he says something along the lines of ‘I only converse with humans’.
When Park hears this, he is disappointed that Kang is thinking only of himself (again), since the city orchestra will no doubt dissolve without its conductor.
Meanwhile, Hee Yun spends an entire morning following her husband around, but she manages to lose him and goes off to practice. She buys a bit of bread for lunch, but is caught embarrassingly short by a stranger, who pays for her. Hee Yun helps the other woman carry her groceries in return, since she has a pronounced limp and the stuff is heavy.
They have a friendly chat, but it just so happens that that woman’s ‘husband’ is Hee Yun’s. Ooh.
During practice with Mouse, Hee Yun is out of sorts and plays badly. It appears that Gun Woo has adopted Kang’s bad temper, and he chews her out for being absentminded during practice (he also scolds a number of other people). It’s no use divorcing yourself from Kang if you’re going to turn into him, yo.
Gun Woo’s harsh tone provokes a fight with Bae, though before this one starts, Hee Yun bursts into tears at her husband’s confirmed infidelity. (Third time Bae’s almost gotten into a fight, isn’t it?) Ru Mi comforts Hee Yun.
Before leaving for school, Ru Mi talks to Gun Woo about his increasing tendency to imitate Kang while conducting. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but she’s disturbed at his own loss of identity. It’s like his exorcism of Kang’s influence is doing the opposite, and now it’s taking over – he used to be patient and used his musical gift to help everyone. (This was why people flock to him as opposed to Kang. I say was, because it looks like Mouse Orchestra has reached their endurance limit.)
At least he’s willing to listen to her. To Gun Woo, this performance is too important to do badly on. And he’s still following Kang’s advice to be decisive.
Fittingly, in composition class, the prof is expounding away at countermelodies, which is different from the the main melody but complements it at the same time. The class listens to an excerpt from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier and try to find a good countermelody for it.
Ru Mi gets called up first, because she is the oldest (in the class). Improv countermelody formulation ensues. Ru Mi thinks of the time she looked back to find Kang Mae following her, and does a pretty good job. The prof jokes about how the tone of her countermelody has such a masculine stubbornness to it. Hee.
Then Ru Mi hears from Park that Kang is planning to resign and dissolve the orchestra. She goes to his office and confronts him for being selfish. He tells her that the new mayor doesn’t care about arts or culture – and Ru Mi calls him on this self-indulgent excuse. She is perfectly okay with his leaving her for the sake of his music, but she doesn’t want to see him lying to himself in order to escape.
The thing is, she doesn’t want to see him oppose the new mayor and get humiliated as a consequence, but she thinks running away isn’t a solution either. Ru Mi echoes Kim’s request from earlier episodes for Kang Mae to face himself honestly in the mirror.
The next morning, Kang Mae goes to see the mayor, who offers monetary incentives – the musician’s delayed salary – for the orchestra to perform at his reception as mayor. Of course, this means that in the future, Kang would have to listen to everything the mayor demands. (The other one was just incompetent, I think, whereas we get a very solid vibe of Machiavelli from this guy.)
Kang’s face screams ‘Do Not Want’, but he agrees to Jung Evilface’s request. (That second screencap has such good wacky captioning potential.) When Kang announces this to the city orchestra, everyone thinks the fever from a few days ago must have damaged Kang’s brain.
Worried, Park chases after Kang Mae, who announces that the only way to keep everyone together is if he continues his job – which means that they have to play three pieces at Evilface’s reception. *sigh* Kang Mae also adds with his usual bitterness that this time he’s going to fight dirty, and continue until every last bone in his body is exhausted. (Paraphrasing, but you get the gist.)
When this news travels to Mouse Orchestra (via the eternal Park grapevine), everyone is uber shocked. Gun Woo, still on the outs with Bae, listens while he notates partitions. Junior shows his disappointment by ranting (again) about Kang’s asshat ways. (I swear, it’s like one of those bitter tabloid breakups.)
Not satisfied with just hearing bits and pieces, Gun Woo calls Park to get the whole story. We know that Kang Mae is only trying to get the delayed salaries for the musicians, but Junior waxes outraged that his ex-mentor would do such an abrupt volte-face.
And so he goes to pick up Kang from the restaurant. I think the translator’s trying to mess with my brain, because the lines are so shippy (wah, brain, stop):
It’s okay for you to hate me, and goodness knows I was annoying as a student. I had decided to just watch you from afar, but how much disappointment do you want me to feel? I can’t bring myself to see you continue this way – are you sure you can conduct without regretting your decisions this time?
Kang surprises him with a negative, and when Junior digs deeper Kang tells him that Ru Mi was the one who forced him to do it. Gun Woo tells Kang to stop it, since he doesn’t like what he’s doing, but Kang calls him a child and walks away.
(And here Gun Woo finally realizes that he and Ru Mi no longer see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues. But they’re both right to some degree.)
Mouse Orchestra gets some flyers about the concert – which is enough to provoke Bae into planning something stupid, from the sounds of it. Both Ru Mi and Gun Woo, due to their proximity to Kang (imagined at this point, but okay), are excluded from the whispering session.
Interesting. 30 minutes to the beginning of the concert, Evilface is greeting his guests, but no one has received any partitions. (My inner saboteur lols.) Kang Mae also receives an express package from Mouse Orchestra – it’s a bulletin board full of humourous post-its that encourage him not to bow down to Evilface. Kang smiles, and gives the partitions to the various musicians.
OMG THEY’RE PLAYING 4’33”. HEE. I ♥ KANG MAE. (4’33” is a rather famous performance piece written by John Cage, and it’s a piece that consists of sounds taken entirely from the audience. Which means the orchestra doesn’t play for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, the usual length of the piece. Seriously, it’s awesome, and such a departure for the traditionalist Kang.)
All over the city, various members of the Irregulars sit down and watch the performance. Gun Woo actually takes the trouble to go to the concert hall and watch. The really awesome thing is that the program has already been handed to the mayor, who doesn’t recognize the title of 4’33” (but the undersecretary does, and makes a constipated face).
This piece comes before both the national anthem and ‘My Way’, a piece selected by the mayor.
As anticipated, very few people in the audience actually understand what’s going on. The undersecretary looks like he’s going to die of stress, the poor man. Kang Mae is still concentratedly ‘conducting’, eyes closed, when Evilface walks up to the stage, fully intending to confront Kang.
Evilface is incensed, but Kang talks right over him, and announces to everyone to enjoy the music around them. He then asks what Jung Evilface felt during those 4 minutes and 33 seconds, because that is the heart’s music. Evidently Jung’s rage is demonstrative of his true personality – which Kang exposes, at a certain detriment to himself.
Ru Mi watches and cries, because she knows she’s asked Kang to fight for something he can’t win.
Pensive and a little petulant, Gun Woo is late to his own orchestra practice. Ru Mi meets him at the door, where they have their regular, episode discussion of ‘What’s Kang Mae Doing To Mess With Your Head’. Basically Gun Woo’s hurt that Kang Mae never tells him anything, while he’s completely open to him. (Again, reading too much into this will cause headaches of the shipping kind.)
Ru Mi laughingly tells Junior that he really is a child, though when he states his desire to become old, she says he’s in the process of growing up too.
Good news for Mouse Orchestra, Gun Woo has gone back to his normal, friendly self. Lol, but he’s not completely declawed, as he now has Ru Mi cooperating with him to manipulate everyone into practicing more. Sneaky.
Yay for being a happy unit again. I had no idea of how much I missed seeing the boy smile until now.
In the morning, Hee Yun confronts her husband about his infidelity, starting out calm (which is good) but then quickly descends into tears. It turns out that her husband has stopped seeing the other ajumma, but that’s not the root of the problem, is it? Both of them have massive communication problems, to say the least. They do reach a tentative understanding.
Bae and Yi Deun go to check on grandpa Kim, but he left his house in fury after being unable to play the oboe. Yi Deun resolves not to go to the performance until she finds the wayward grandpa. (It’s obvious she knows him much better than his son and daughter-in-law, since they’ve been gone for so long.)
Obviously this makes them late. Gun Woo is about to pop a vein, and I say – all this has to happen right before the audition/performance… dudes, melodrama much?
At the performance hall, Kang resignedly awaits his fate from the city council, which has once again been convinced by Evilface to let him go. The maestro is more worried about Mouse Orchestra’s absence, there being only 40 minutes left until their turn onstage.
Hee Yun remembers in time (or not so in time) that she still has a performance to go to, and her husband drives her. At the performance hall, Kang has arranged things so that Mouse goes last, and also to supplement their missing members. Mouse has to leave right away, though, if they want to show up on time.
I wonder if Gun Woo has any idea how much Kang is helping them – and this time he does accept the help. Ironically, the entire conversation takes place between Park and Ru Mi, and not the people who really need to talk.
The problem is that people who don’t show up at the audition/performance won’t be included in the orchestra – but if they stay and are late, everyone’s doomed. Gun Woo is the one to make the final decision.
Ru Mi watches Gun Woo give the okay for departure, knowing that this can’t possibly easy for him.
Yi Deun is successful in locating grandpa Kim at last, playing his oboe in an underground corridor. (35 minutes until the performance!) She and Bae catch up with the group, with 15 minutes to spare. Unfortunately (say it with me, folks) there’s a traffic jam.
Park is frustrated at why they would sacrifice the whole for just three people, but Kang remarks, a little enviously, that this is who Gun Woo is. It’s his weakness and strength at the same time.
Everyone gets off the bus and runs to the performance hall. Gun Woo, shouldering his aunt’s cello, runs behind the entire group, making sure that each and every one of them stays with the group.
- Gun Woo, Ru Mi and Kang form this unholy triumvirate of really confused signals, I’m just saying as someone who reads too much into things, okay? (*gets stoned*)
- If this turns out to be about how much Kang Mae sacrifices himself for the two people he loves, I … I may throw a fit. *facepalm*
- Aaaaaaaand Ru Mi assumes a mothering role to everyone in the drama. It kind of suits her.
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