Drama Recaps
A Star’s Lover: Episode 13
by | January 25, 2009 | 42 Comments

Okay, so here’s Episode 13 in a nutshell:

  1. Tae-seok: “Give up Mari!”
    Chul-soo: “You can’t make me!”
  2. Eun-young to Chul-soo: “I just want you to be happy. And published.”
  3. Fans and Anti-fans: “OMG it’s the big movie star! We love you! Also we hate you! You guys are horrible human beings! Can I have your autograph?”
  4. Chul-soo: “I’d never break up with you.”
    Mari: “This is hard.”
    Chul-soo: “Should we break up?”
  5. Tae-seok: “Time to use the ace in my pocket. Old bygone lover, come back!”


Sung Shi-kyung – “사랑하는 일” (“Act of loving,” or just “Loving”) [ Download ]

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Sometimes I get rankled comments that I’m nitpicking a drama or a scene too much and should just sit back and enjoy. The thing is, when you’re doing recaps of a series, you can’t skip the boring scenes or fast-forward to the good stuff — I have to watch every scene and pretty much listen to every line of dialogue, because if I didn’t, I might make a huge error or jump to the wrong conclusions. And when you’re watching every single scene closely, well, the flaws are pretty hard to ignore.

I mentioned tiring of the drama, but I do want to see it through the end. To offset my growing weariness with the plot, however, I’m going to try making shorter recaps. Since making that decision, watching Episode 13 was much less tedious than it would have otherwise been.


Although the article is pretty bad, neither Chul-soo nor Mari (nor Eun-young) believes that Byung-joon actually wrote it. Mari suspects Tae-seok. On the other hand, Woo-jin warns that everyone will see it as truth — it’s close enough to reality to be believable. Meanwhile, The Idiot vows to uncover the person who put his name on the slanderous piece.

Eun-young overhears Tae-seok making a “proposal” to Chul-soo. Warning that he has the power to make things better or worse for Mari, Tae-seok attempts to strongarm Chul-soo into some sort of noble sacrifice by identifying himself as a mercenary gold-digger: He is to announce that he doesn’t love Mari, used her, and demanded money for the ghostwriting. Afterward, he can disappear overseas.

That threat doesn’t scare him off, but when Chul-soo finds Mari, she’s badly shaken, feeling guilty that it’s her fault Chul-soo is being made into the bad guy and fearing that he’ll want to break up with her. He assures her that he never had that thought: “Why would we quit just because it’s hard?” Mari: “So it is hard?”

Chul-soo tells her he won’t leave her: “It’s because we won’t break up that things are so difficult.”

Next, Mari officially cuts ties with Tae-seok, giving him a stack of bills (hundreds of millions of won) as payment for breaching their contract. With this clean break, she will also be retiring.

Tae-seok goes to Woo-jin thinking they can work together. On the other hand, Woo-jin doesn’t want to be the person who splits up the lovebirds, and tells Tae-seok that he isn’t interested in working with TS Entertainment if Mari isn’t a part of it.

Mari asks Chul-soo’s family to accept her, but even though they like her as a person, everyone opposes the relationship. The eldest aunt tells Mari regretfully that they can’t easily accept her and would prefer the couple split up. Mari doesn’t back down, and gets on her knees in a supplicating gesture, saying she won’t give up. Chul-soo’s family is all he has, and she has no family, so it’s important that they accept her.

Chul-soo arrives to see Mari humbling herself before his unsympathetic family. Disliking the scene, he takes her upstairs, where she makes herself at home, saying, “It feels like this is mine.”

When Mari tells him of her intent to retire, Chul-soo bristles — it sounds like she’s giving up. He refuses to give up in the face of difficulty and doesn’t want her to do so, either.

Yuri’s loyalties lie with Eun-young so she asks Mari to break up with her brother and not come by anymore. She knows Mari isn’t a bad person but she just can’t bear to see her. Mari answers ruefully that she can’t promise that, because she cares for Chul-soo and will probably be coming back.

Eun-young meets with Mari for two reasons: (1) To give her Chul-soo’s novel, which is very good — it would be a pity if Chul-soo could never be published again, and (2) To tell her what she overheard between Tae-seok and Chul-soo. Mari acts like she’s surprised that Tae-seok would stoop to this, although really, shouldn’t she know better by now?

Chul-soo’s senior professor tells him that his writer friend (Eun-young’s father) is compiling a short-story collection. Lest he think this is a pity gesture, the professor says he’s read Chul-soo’s work before and thinks he’d be suitable. Chul-soo thinks melodramatically, “I haven’t got the right to write anymore,” but his professor answers that anyone has the right.

Eun-young assures Chul-soo that she didn’t ask her father to take special consideration with him. Also: “I don’t ask for more, but please consider yourself first, and don’t sacrifice yourself for someone else.”

Mari arrives on campus, worried because Chul-soo hasn’t been answering her phone calls. He’s merely been unable to hear them with his phone in his bag, but he sees how anxious Mari is and guesses, belatedly, that she must have been scared he’d disappear like her first love.

With nowhere to go, Chul-soo suggests a date. He feels like going out and doing normal-people things, like shopping and eating on the street and seeing a movie. Yes, the public is tearing us apart, so let’s go out in public! I thought Chul-soo was supposed to be the smart one.

They manage to avoid being accosted for most of the day, but the tone turns ugly when they’re spotted browsing a streetside stall. The response is a mix of curiosity (“Look, it’s the star!”) and finger-pointing (“God, that guy is such a jerk”).

Chul-soo and Mari speed away to avoid the mob, taking temporary refuge in a cheap motel. (You know it’s kinda seedy because the clerk asks if they’re going to be renting by the night or by the hour, although the question is asked euphemistically as, “Will you be sleeping here, or just resting?”)

Tae-seok turns to Seung-yeon for help: Woo-jin wants to merge their companies, but only if Mari’s part of it. Tae-seok thinks with his brand of bullheaded, empty confidence that this is possible, but Seung-yeon warns that Mari’s different now, and Chul-soo’s different from Mari’s first love, Seo Woo-jin.

But Tae-seok has one last card up his sleeve, which he puts into play by calling Seo Woo-jin back from abroad. And look! It’s a Yonsama-wannabe!

In their motel room, Mari insists through her tears that she’s fine, but Chul-soo can’t bear to see her crying. He asks, “Do you want to break up?”


  • The Idiot continues his crush on Ye-rin, who looks at him in disgust but enjoys the attention. Like the spoiled princess she is.
  • Jang-soo makes an idiot of himself while filming his movie, ad-libbing a ridiculous use of nunchaku into a serious moment. Do we have an Idiot No. 2 in the making?
  • Ye-rin bristles every time Jang-soo worries about Mari, because while she treats him with disgust too, it’s like she’s jealous of his attention being diverted elsewhere. Seriously: princess.
  • Yuri’s mother swipes the money gathered by the Three Aunts meant for Yuri’s operation, insisting that she will use the money to take Yuri to the States for the surgery.

    I don’t think there’s anything blatantly wrong with A Star’s Lover, per se. The directing is fine, the acting remains solid, the music is still well-chosen and appropriate. The problem is that this drama does not get to the point.

    I was thinking as I watched Episode 13 that this would have been such a great series had it been ten episodes long, because I remember some really wonderful scenes from earlier. (Like, say, the boat-jumping scene in Episode 4. That sequence — and its music, filming, ambiance — sticks out for me as the most memorable thus far.) Back then, I felt the slow pacing was part of the charm, because the story still felt like it was moving steadily toward a goal.

    Now, however, the point is obvious to all of us and yet they aren’t actually making it. It’s so clear what’s going to happen that it’s a little odd that the characters are surprised at what occurs. I doubt the plot is surprising to those of us still watching, and when a drama has lost all sense of dramatic suspense, it makes it very dull to watch, even when the acting and aesthetics are still strong.


    42 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
    1. jb

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…I love yr ‘Ep 13 in a nutshell’…

    2. kismetx7

      *yawn* its getting boring

    3. julie

      Thank for the recaps. I followed A Star’s Lover until episode 7, but your reviews are the only thing I have time for!!

      Do you have more stuff by Sung Shi Kyung? He is fantastic, and I’ve been looking this song called “on the street” for ages.

    4. Leappad

      Now that you’ve shortened your recap, I don’t enjoy reading this episode as much as before with all the details. Having said that, I understand your predicament and appreciate your great work. Thanks!

    5. 12Dose12

      Big thanks for the recaps! Thank you for seeing it through the end. I’ll also continue to watch it out of respect to the great actors… Though at times, it seems that their excellent acting are wasted due to poor story. I’m still hoping it improves. Hope I’ll never get tired of hoping.

    6. leappad

      You do know why the drama isn’t 10 episode long, right? it’s all about MONEY. The actors are paid by the episode, the sale of the drama to other countries is based on the number of episodes. Many of K-dramas would have been a LOT better had it been only a fewer episodes less.

    7. Anonymous

      so there are two people named woo jin?

    8. Bee

      The Nutshell was hilarious. 🙂 The inner movie it created made me laugh loud. 🙂

    9. jiwoofan

      Don’t you think your nutshell recap is a bit disingenuous? You just as well could have summarized this (and most other episodes/dramas) as:

      1. man and woman meet
      2. turmoil ensures
      3. turmoil resolved/set up for next episode.

      The point of any drama isn’t just the plot, it’s also the characters and their development. There may be repetition, low points and flaws, but if you love the characters these are irritants, not show stoppers.

      I live in the wilds of Alaska and so still depend upon dial-up – you can imagine how long it takes to down load one of your graphics laden pages at 54k, let alone an episode. I will buy the DVD when it comes out, but until then, I depend on your recaps. It is your blog and your time, but please don’t short change us.

    10. 10 lola

      “Disingenuous”? “Short change”?

      For somebody who depends on someone else’s hard work and time for his/her own entertainment, you sure are ungrateful. We readers have no right to demand anything, much less more commitment, more work, or more time from the blogger! Learn to be thankful for what you get is what I say.

    11. 11 azzuri

      At #9,

      Damn right It’s HER blog and HER time…..which you have been mooching off from Alaska.

      So she gets to write whatever she wants.

      You can disagree with her views or offer constructive comments, but do not belittle the time-consuming efforts exerted by Dramabeans to produce this blog. She isn’t legally bound to recap for us. She does so out of altruism and a shared love for Kdramas.

    12. 12 Anonymous

      yes, two men named Woo Jin, one is Lee Ki Woo and the other is the first love guy.

    13. 13 Beth

      Hi! This is my first time to write. Actually this is my 2nd Korean Drama, First was Yi San. Got my sister a gift for her bday last year and this was what she picked out. We knew she loves Korean Drama and lovingly teased her about it as we are not Koreans. But except for a few episodes, I was quite impressed with Yi San. My sister offered me some of her DVD’s to watch but just can’t get into it. So I thought Yi san would be the first and last. Until this one. I do share some of your comments about the soap, especically the sense of repsonsibilty, wrongly placed , to the peope around them, at the expense of their happiness. But I guess that is what is soap drama. Just need help/enlightenment on a few things: how many episodes are there ( i’ve seen sites that said 16, others 20). What is the best site to watch (am in CA )and the subtitles I feel at times are indadequare….just because they speak a lot of words, then the translation is just two words. Not sure if the transalators are taking liberty in telling the story. I also read you saying that the audience all know where this is heading? I just watched the first episode again (I tend to skip and watch other episiodes to peek my interest). I have a feeling Mari is going to die at the end and Chul Soo writes a book about her. I hope not! OR do Korean dramas really always end with a sad note. Just as it did in YiSan. If that’s the case, then, this might be last. I prefer a haoppy ending!

    14. 14 nixxochick

      I agree the drama is lagging a bit or better yet a whole lot but I still LOVES it

    15. 15 K-drama fan


      There should be 20 episodes. You can watch it with eng sub at Viikii http://www.viikii.net/videos/watch/6589/0/star-s-lover-episode-14-part-7.html
      You can also visit Star’s Lover soompi forum, you may find summary written by the fans. Of course, we also rely on javabeans great recaps to fill in the blanks.

    16. 16 Bolt

      Thank you Javabeans and Happy Lunar New Year.

      Agreed that it should been shorten and written more tightly. But, it is a K-drama and return on investment is a must.

      Olive 9 is not profitable, and their anchor is CJW. I guess we just have to endure a 20-episode series (Bolt received confirmation from reliable source that it is a 20-episode, instead of 16).

      Having said that, I do like Episode 14 better than 13, epecially the last scene. I especially like the subtle changes of emotions by YJT and CJW.

      The last scene seems to be a Deja vu. After recalling hard, I seemed to remember vaguely that CJW did act in this similar scene in Winter Sonata. Managed to dig out the similar scene from WS; am very please to see the vast improvement of CJW’s acting skill. But, at the same time, it also shows how young CJW used to be….:(

      The PD and scriptwritter appears to have planned the series 2 episodes at the time, albeit with a big storyline. The theme which I think is “Love conquers all”. Nevertheless, if the ending is an open or sad one, I do not have any qualms. It is merely a drama….no worries, be happy.

      Don’t get too caught up with win/loose, goal-oriented American culture. Life is a process, every step can be enjoyment depends on how you see it. Happiness is a choice. Even a slow dial-up could be a test of patience and your choice of happiness.

      Happy Lunar Year everyone!!

    17. 17 Louie

      For blogger#13, I, too, am not Korean but got hooked up with Kdramas 2 years ago. There are a number of wholesome Kdramas out there which have happy endings….Winter Sonata, Lovers in Paris, Jewel in the Palace, Coffee Prince,Lawyers of Korea… I could go on and on… which I have enjoyed watching. After watching these dramas, if you are one who would be interested in independant (but shocking endings) (like some at Sundance), you may try to watch some unconventional Kfilms like Old Boy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

    18. 18 katie

      the only reason i’ve kept up with this drama is because of Yoo Ji Tae’s and Choi Ji Woo’s characters and their chemistry. other than that…it did get a bit boring, which is such a disappointment since i really liked it when it started. thanks for the recap. it gives me some idea about wanting to spend time watching the drama through…or fast forwarding through it.

    19. 19 Liv

      Chul-soo: “I’d never break up with you.”
      Mari: “This is hard.”
      Chul-soo: “Should we break up?”

      HA! That cracked me up. Brings up a good point though – I am often frustrated with the dramatic aboutfaces characters will make, that completely contradict earlier behaviour. Its bad enough when it happens over the course of a drama (I’ll often notice a contradiction and pause my viewing to go back and review earlier episodes so I can howl in anger, because if a mere viewer can pick up on this, why can’t the screenwriters/PDs/actors – or do they just not care??). But over the course of a single episode? Too annoying.

    20. 20 Anna

      I’ve said it before- A Star’s Lover is not worth the watch but it is worth reading your comments. Even though I haven’t seen anything after episode 2, reading your recaps of all the episodes makes me tired just THINKING about slowness. The Idiot should just be killed off the show or the actor could have enough gusto to understand how horrible this role is to quit. No matter how cute Philip Choi is (Soulmate anyone?) he can’t save this already sunken ship.

    21. 21 Suyonee

      When you look at the text (4 in nutshel) alone, these dialogues don’t make sense, but when these lines are spoken by the two, it works,- rather wonderfully, shows how love makes people not always logical not even Chulsoo who later says to Mali, ” I can’t think when I’m with you”, but as saying these words, you see his face, he is completely torn, barely suppressing his urging emotions that almost make him say the offosite again. It is awsome how Choi Ji-woo and Yoo Ji-tae together make their every scene emortionally work.

    22. 22 christina

      yeah, i’m over this drama now. it was fun while it lasted, though. yoo ji tae is absolute love.

    23. 23 Rev Road

      I don’t think you can judge how good a drama is by only watching 2 episodes or just reading recaps. What it takes to make an outstanding drama is more than just a good plot. Sure this drama doesn’t possess the greatest plot or twistiest plot. However, this drama has a decent plot, quality characters, exceptional acting by everyone (not to mention electrifying chemistry between lead actors), lively dialogue (this one can’t be fully captured in a recap), and beautiful scenes and music. All these great attributes more than enough make up for the flaws in the plot.
      Most importantly, I love to watch a movie/drama that touch my feelings. this drama has the capacity to teach, inspire, and provoke us emotionally!
      If you are a sucker for a romance like I am, you must not miss watching a Star’s Lover!

    24. 24 BB

      You OBVIOUSLY haven’t watched the drama. You took this dialogue out of context.

      Chul-soo: “I’d never break up with you.”
      Mari: “This is hard.”
      Chul-soo: “Should we break up?”

      Liv said “HA! That cracked me up. Brings up a good point though – I am often frustrated with the dramatic aboutfaces characters will make, that completely contradict earlier behaviour”.

      The above dialogue is not contradicting at all. In prior episode, Chul Soo said that he wouldn’t break up with Mari unless she can’t handle anymore (or tired) then he will let her go. it’s so not contradicting! You should make sure that you check your source or know what you are talking about before posting a comment. It annoys me when people write comments like they know what they are talking about where in fact, they haven’t watched the drama.

    25. 25 javabeans

      Hm, I wouldn’t be too harsh on Liv here. Chul-soo tells her he will absolutely not break up with Mari in this episode, and then about forty minutes later, he suggests breaking up. Yes, there are reasons driving his change of heart, but I think it’s funny too.

    26. 26 Bolt

      Haha…the conversations, thinking, actions were all illogical, but we all are still kept watching and discussing about those “idiots”. Are we stupid or what?

      ^__________^ Relax!! Through simple observations, rahter than merely see/look can deepens resolve. I find that I was able to feel the anguish, grief and sorrows of each of “them” better by just keep the mind still and observe. I guess, this is called mindfulness.

      My new year resolution for 2009 is to observe more, and be less judgmental, and of course use more of the heart, rather than logical thinking!! Have been too logical, and life is really getting very boring!! Let’s see it works. The study of emotions is a new discipline for me, and find it incredibly intriguing!!

    27. 27 Jen

      I loved your episode in a nutshell. Thanks for making me laugh. =)

    28. 28 Fansubber Fan

      Loved the episode in a nutshell. Thanks for the recap.

    29. 29 aew

      i really love this drama. CJW and YJT are superb!!! ….def. my fav jiwoo drama!!!…no mattter what you said…hee hee

    30. 30 merl

      Kung Hei Fat Choi! I posted the comments below on the wrong page…oops! Anyway, Dramabeans…we do not fault you for your critical reviews, they are well-taken and the recaps are well appreciated. Still…

      I am enjoying this drama…it is much better than most Korean dramas the past year…it is realistic and closer to the truth than many of us realize. I think the cast and writers and directors are doing well…the flaws of the drama are negligible and does not damage the over-all story line. So in this site many people may rant and rave about why it sucks but on the other hand there are as much if not more people loving it…maybe not in Korea ( because frankly, this is not a very typical K-drama) but the rest of the world (if you believe the different translations in Vikii) is watching. Most viewers are not script writers or critics, so they really don’t focus on the style of acting or how inane some of the scenes can be…it’s the over-all message of the drama that matters, and here it says that nothing is impossible if we are brave enough to love and fight for that love.

    31. 31 amy

      I stopped watching this drama altogether 2 weeks ago cuz it became boring and repetitive, so thanks for your episode summary in a netshell. It sure saves my time.

    32. 32 jO jO

      This drama is hard to watch so boring. I can’t pin-point it but something is desperately missing in the writing. Acting is okay but there is no chemistry between the two main leads. First time in a K Drama I am considering to stop watching it.

    33. 33 Chemistry

      “there is no chemistry between the two main leads”

      Wow. Someone’s gotta retake his/her “chemistry” lessons.

    34. 34 lola

      There is a lot of condescension here. People, if you are so offended at critiquing of your beloved drama, don’t read. Some people see chemistry, some people don’t. There’s no reason for you to get insulted if someone disagrees with your opinion.

    35. 35 randomness

      i’m sorry this is really random but who’s the middle girl on the top of your banner?

    36. 36 cosmopolite

      Too predictable? Cheeeeeeck. 🙁

    37. 37 Anonymous


      I like the drama. Although it’s disappointing that the scriptwriter seemed to be lack of exciting ideas in the later part, it’s still enjoyable to watch. It made me start to read/re-read some books mentioned in the story. That’s a bonus for watching it.

    38. 38 gracias


      Thanks dramabeans for your review. This is a drama not to be missed. I really wonder why some find it boring. It’s pretty fast-paced except for those scenes with the reporter friend of CS. I’ve watched many K-dramas and have actually no ‘zeal’ or no ‘pull’ to continue with a couple of dramas including ‘On Air’, ‘Four Kings’, ‘World Within’ and a few others. I love BYJ and SHK but I still can’t bring myself to go beyond ep 2. I supposed people watch drama or enjoy them according to their own depends of what satisfy them. I choose dramas based on the lead, that’s all, not ‘storyline’ etc and watching SL, makes me so anxious for the next episode and can’t wait for Wed & Thurs to come and make sure nothing comes up during that time slot. All I can say, it’s addictive….I watch online without understanding it. Download it to rewatch and watch at viikii just to get to understand a little more and rely on summaries and reviews……love SL.
      The best drama for me so far.

    39. 39 chajjye

      well. plot is overused. but hey. we are suckers still for things like this. well, at least, i am. haha.

      thank you javabeans for being so patient with this drama even if the story stales. but the soundtrack and the acting are still fine. so i’ll stick with it too…


    40. 40 cheremaman

      Choi Ji Woo and Yoo Ji Tae please my eyes and my heart and hence, I will continue to watch until the end. This is actually a good role for CJW given her sometimes one dimensional acting. Her cutesy poo, child-like postures work in this role and when she shows a more determined and assertive self, I like her character even more. I love Chul Soo’s strength of character, integrity and commitment and how unhesitatingly he loves Lee Mari. His strength brings out her strength. I love a good romance and CJW and YJT fulfill my fantasies about love and the obstacles that must be overcome to be together.

    41. 41 CJW and BYJ fan

      i love star lover… i love the character of lead actor it reminds me of my husband they dont understand their feelings and not to mention when they go get mad they don’t care what coming out from their mouth and a bit naive sometimes…
      but still they know how to love unconditionally and that’s the meaning of true love… what i don’t really understand do they have to get BYJ look alike it’s funny at first sought of him i thought it was BYJ..hahaha

    42. 42 Mary

      I think I’ll watch this because of Lee Ki-Woo. Hehe.

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