Drama Recaps
Beethoven Virus: Episode 18, Finale
by | June 2, 2009 | 60 Comments

This is how I want to remember Kang mae, I think – working diligently behind the scenes, with his happy dog for company.

I was looking at the dramawiki for Beethoven Virus, and it’s got all these awards. Kind of boggling, but I guess quality is in the eye of the beholder.

In case you don’t remember what’s going on with this series (I don’t blame you, it’s been a long time), here are the previous recaps.

Alright then. Let’s get this finished.

SONG OF THE DAY

Beethoven Virus OST – “사랑은 선율을 타고” (Day by Day) by Girls Generation. [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
Episode 18, finale

Maestro Kang recovers from his bout of sickness and wakes up in time to receive an express package containing the documents for his contract with the Munich Orchestra. It is the same orchestra that Kang’s idol, the famous Celbidache, had also led. Gun-woo, sensing that the maestro is inordinately pleased at receiving a flattering offer from the Munich Orchestra, realizes that his teacher is probably leaving for good this time.

It seems like they’ve both reached an unspoken agreement about their respective paths in life. While Kang relentlessly asserts that they do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to music interpretation, he does agree to acknowledge and teach Gun-woo. However, he has a set of very strict academic conditions (it’s almost like applying for the exclusive Maestro Kang scholarship, except it’s not open to anyone else).

It’s another instance of his bark being much, much worse than his bite. Gun-woo knows this, and jokingly asks for Jung’s number just to lighten the atmosphere.

Later in the day, Kang is reading quietly at home when Beethoven begins to bark and whine at the door. Ru Mi is on the other side, hesitating over whether to ring the doorbell or not. Thanks to his high-tech security system, Kang sees every hesitant move Ru-mi makes. As Beethoven continues to bark, Ru-mi flinches from the door and walks away. Furious, Kang glares at Beethoven. (But he doesn’t run after her. Interesting.)

At night, Hee-yun comes with several boxfuls of Korean food staples and begins packing them away to send via express to Kang’s new address. He’s prickly as ever, but when he sees that she intends to stop playing cello, he tells her about Paul Potts, who was a humble shop clerk before he rose to fame. Though she understands the value of perseverance, Hee-yun also knows that she doesn’t have the skills to excel, and thanks Kang for his kind words.

When Kang comes to drop off some books, ostensibly because has no more use for them, Gun-woo is already asleep. On the bedside table, Gun-woo’s personal calendar notes the cancellation of Mouse’s last performance. Kang sees this and comes to a decision.

He gathers all the orchestra members together and tells them (commands, actually) that they prepare for a concert in two hours, with the same pieces as the canceled one.

Gun-woo arrives and tries to talk Kang out of conducting for them – he’s already done too much for their group. However, the two have come full circle as Kang uses Gun-woo’s words from earlier against him.

Kang: It is when you say things like, “Oh, we are not good enough, it’s no use”, that you are forcing it to become true. I was like you once, I had nothing when I started out. And yet I am famous now. This piece, I, all of you, anything can become famous and gain recognition.

He goes on to compliment the adaptation in a backhanded way, pointing out faults. Kang’s only condition is for no photos to be taken, because officially, the great Maestro Kang does not conduct popular ballads. :P

During the piece, Gun-woo (well, everyone) stare at his beloved mentor and thinks back on all the happy times.

This gradually segues into everyone’s good-bye to their life as a member of the orchestra: Park sells his bass, Ru-mi packs her violin away, Yi-deun breaks down in the middle of cleaning up the warehouse and Bae refuses to leave altogether.

Kang is saying his farewells too, and sits down for a lavish private dinner with the former mayor. The mayor’s bootlicking habits are as strong as ever, and he reads the complimentary portions of Munich orchestra’s invitation for Kang. The words, however, do seem to find a chord within the maestro: his conducting before always had a sense of frustration, but now he is allowing the emotional nuances of the piece show themselves. Kang recognizes that he has the Mouse orchestra to thank for this, but the mayor goes further, comparing his initial attitude towards them (‘You are my instruments’) to now (‘These people are mine’).

It’s an agreeable change, but Kang is embarrassed and snatches the papers out of the mayor’s hands.

The next day, Kang goes to the music complex, where the particularly diehard members are still at their protest tent. Their send-off is much less expensive, but more sincere and well-received. Kang allows himself a few moments to look back at them and the buildings behind them, probably for the last time.

Ru-mi’s professor for her composition classes offers her a chance to continue at a higher level. What cheers her more, though, is a text from Kang: ‘Beethoven wants to see you.’ (Kang mae, you are too cute.)

She takes the chance to sneak up on him with her cameraphone. He gets angry at her, which gives Ru-mi an opportunity to use her puppy face – she won’t have any proof that Kang was really here without even a picture.

Kang gives her the ring he always wears on his pinky, which is gratifying, but Ru-mi thinks it’s not very appropriate since it came from another woman. Using his most potent I’m-with-idiot face, Kang explains that no, he got the ring from Beethoven’s hometown. He’d bought the ring in defiance of the fact that conductors were not allowed to wear jewelry, but now he’s giving it to Ru-mi for her to build up her own strength. (Kangmi shippers may swoon now.)

Not to be outdone, Ru-mi leads Kang to a music studio where she shows him that she’s been emulating Evelyn Glennie and trying to feel the music with her body instead of listening. She offers to repeat back what he says to her using her new technique, though it’s more of an opportunity for the writers to show the progression in their relationship. Kang gives out stinging barbs and is generally his usual grouchy self, but Ru-mi translates his words into praise.

He admits, after a longish pause, that he walked away from Ru-mi because he found himself changing because of her, and adds that he knows escape isn’t the answer. She’s content with that, at least for now. So they both settle for the distant promise of ‘someday’.

Meanwhile, Bae Yong-gi of the snorty laugh and questionable trumpet skills is annoying the life out of Park, who has settled for working as a florist. Somewhere in the interim, the Park family lost their apartment, and now both parents are working to provide for Bora and the new baby girl. Park feels the humiliation at working in a job that was provided by his wife’s family, and doesn’t answer well to Bae’s prodding for a reunion.

Bae, on the other hand, goes on to urge Gun-woo into visiting the city symphony members who are still protesting. There aren’t a lot of them left, and Gun-woo can’t spare a lot of his time as he just got into university. After hanging up on Gun-woo, Bae visits Hee-yun to urge her to join in one last performance.

Hee-yun’s resignation at the state of affairs is echoed by the former city orchestra leader. The musicians have mostly gone their own ways, and the ones who are left are very discouraged. Gun-woo’s sneaky, though, and he rouses them while casually hinting that his group would have to give up on their performance because they lack people. Naturally the city orchestra is all ears, and the two groups agree to cooperate.

At home, Gun-woo enumerates the benefits of the concert to his mentor, but Kang mae ignores all mentions of beneficial publicity and tears into Gun-woo for being stupidly optimistic. Despite pleading and puppy eyes, Kang mae refuses to conduct for them.

The next day, Gun-woo looks like he’d rather have taken Kang mae’s advice and given up when the two groups clash over a simple thing like precedence in the concert title. Everyone holds tightly to pride and refuses to cooperate. The bigger problem, however, is in getting the right amount of instruments in each section.

At the same time, Ru-mi is helping Yi-deun pack up Grandpa Kim’s things. Kang gives a terse call, informing her that Grandpa Kim left a letter to Yi-deun in his CD cabinet. The letter is short but sincere – he wanted to see he become a successful musician, but he’s afraid Alzheimer’s may not let him. However, he wants Yi-deun to know that he knows she’s capable, and to keep on trying at all times. (He’s also leaving half of his property to her, but that doesn’t have the same emotional ring to it.)

The advantage of living with Kang mae is that Gun-woo is free to poke him and hint at him with all the patience in the world. This way Kang mae finds out all the details of the next day’s concert without having to lift a finger, though he’s still pretty grumpy. The performance is certainly a group effort, as everyone from the former mayor to the choir are helping out gratis. Gun-woo mournfully remarks that this is the last performance Ru-mi will give before her operation, and then sighs that Kang mae won’t be there to lend them a hand too.

Unfortunately, Kang mae’s flight coincides with the time of the concert, precluding all possibility of his being there. Ah, cruel fate. And he won’t even let them host a going-away party.

The next morning, Kang mae doesn’t even wait to wake Gun-woo up before leaving. [Insert chorus of 'Aww'.]

It’s not really possible to hide something as big as a concert in a public park, but the former mayor does his best to distract Evilface so everyone can set up. Yi-deun gingerly sets down Grandpa Kim’s clarinet down in his seat. Even Park, who’s getting rather henpecked, is allowed to come for this one performance.

A sizable crowd’s shown up for the concert, and while the playing is painful to watch, the effect is lighthearted and the audience certainly seems to enjoy it.

On his way to the airport, Kang mae seems to have chosen the one road lined by posters and banners promoting the performance. I think we all know what’s going to happen, but in any case, Kang mae is going through some major mental gymnastics.

As Gun-woo waits for a Ru-mi and Park to arrive, he sees Kang mae standing a little bit in front of him, and the effect is everything the melodramatic conductor could have wished for.

Kang tears into Gun-woo for being so stupid and not being able to see that things have already ended, for both the city symphony and Mouse. However, Gun-woo is convinced that this is the beginning, and giving up now would be truly the end of both orchestras.

Looks like Kang still has a few things to learn from Gun-woo.

Kang: Don’t think you can succeed so easily. Classical music was written for the noble, the elegant. How can you aspire to that?
Gun-woo: But as you said, even we can become famous. We’re doing as you did, and we won’t give up.
Kang: If you must walk the thorniest path, then I will conduct for you. But you must all obey me, without conditions.

Kang announces that he will only conduct the 9th Symphony by Beethoven, but this is greeted with screams of wild joy, and he leaves with at least a smile on his face. (Ode to Joy seems particularly appropriate for the moment.)

Shots of the orchestra performing fades out to a shot of Kang walking away. He goes through a tunnel into the coming light, to the accompaniment of his orchestra, Beethoven trotting faithfully alongside him.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Okay, a few things to clean out of the closet, and then I’ll shut up. :D

– I love the open ending. When I finished the show, I had the ‘wait, what happens to everyone’ reaction – but then I realized that the point is not whether or not they went on to make lots of money and get famous, but that this love of music brought all these people together. And they’ll keep in touch, maybe form another orchestra once Evilface is replaced. The mature, somewhat nostalgic feeling this drama brought at the end balanced the fluctuations in tone in the middle. The loose ends that it leaves aren’t loose ends at all – that’s how life works. As Gun-woo says, it’s just the beginning.

– And now for shipping – to be quite honest, I interpret his giving the ring to Ru-mi as a promise that he’ll come back – after all, he says that this time he ran away from wavering, but when the desire to waver comes again, he may not be able to escape it. (I’m slightly annoyed by the implication that he can’t love a woman and still conduct properly, but I’m not artistic, so I guess the influence of a muse is acceptable.)

– BV’s had its share of bumps along the way, but this is the drama that introduced me to Kim Myung-min, so it gets an overall plus, I think. Lee Jia continues to improve (really) and Jang Geun-seok also. I don’t think Beethoven Virus was ever meant to rival Nodame in terms of sheer erudition/passion about classical music – it focused (as kdramas will) on interpersonal relationships. To be quite honest, if I hadn’t been recapping the show, I would have enjoyed Beethoven Virus. But it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

– Thanks to everyone for reading and being such good sports about my agrammatical and procrastinatory ways! I couldn’t have done it without all the encouragement you gave.

Sevenses

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60 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. javabeans

    THANK YOU, babe! I know these things are time-consuming to write, but it’s so satisfying to wrap up a series, isn’t it? ;)

    And I liked the ending too. I only watched this drama in patches, so I had no objections to the ending (I know some wanted a more definite wrap-up), and I thought the image of Kang-mae walking off in the distance was pretty fitting.

    • 1.1 luvs

      I finished watching this drama – i fast forwarded the non-musical parts.. the music is wonderful! and both characters – older and younger conductors were spot on..
      It is a sad commentary on society when the music video like Gangnam Style ( nothing against Psy) is garnering 1 B hits on Youtube. musical tastes going down the tube….

      It is nice to watch a drama like Beethoven Virus to remind us of the beauty of classical music. Good Job Beethoven Virus !!!!! like a rainbow we rarely see in the sky.

      • 1.1.1 Wendilynn

        Keep in mind, Mozart and Beethoven were the Justin B and Psy of their generations. They were the pop icons of that time. They were considered irreverent for their time. Music is ever changing and if you listen carefully, the classics are still in every line of music being produced today.

        • 1.1.1.1 True2U

          Please tell me you did not just write Mozart and Beethoven name in the same sentence as Justin B and Psy!! That was disrespectful the Mozart and Beethoven. Two world renowned composers who spent most their lives making classic master piece. Master pieces that today music cannot compare.

  2. vis

    Heheh, thanks for the recap! I have to catch up on Beethoven virus this summer~

  3. dot

    thanks for recap!! one of my fave dramas of all times!!

  4. Iris

    As a drama, I really enjoyed Beethoven Virus. It had it’s (major?) flaws but it was enjoyable how it was, provided one didn’t look too hard ;)

    As an ending, I was very satisfied and, like you said, I liked how it wasn’t about how they all went on to become successful, rich, married, whatever, but the show was about a group of people who loved music. Different to a lot of other dramas.

  5. lenrasoon

    Thanks for your recaps Sevenses!
    I really loved Beethoven Virus but mostly because of Kim Myung-min (Kang mae), i always thought that if Myung min wasn’t in this drama i may had to give up watching. The drama itself had a lot of flaws and unnecessary angst but it was good at entertainment level.

  6. thunderbolt

    Well done, sweetie! *claps*

  7. Marres77

    oh yay!! thanks muchly~!

  8. innocec3

    thanks for the recap! I’m once more reminded of the series that I loved the most in 2008.
    BV forever. Although Gun Woo (young Gun Woo!) and Ru Mi didn’t get together, I still thoroughly enjoyed BV.

  9. Nonbirira

    Yes, this drama made me yell at the screen every now and then but despite the flaws I loved it as well. The final scene made me a little teary – it was PERFECT! Loved the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thanks so much for the recaps!

  10. 10 thistle12

    Thank you for the recaps! This drama was my introduction to Kim Myung Min, too, and having seen Bad Family and begun watching White Tower, I just might try Yi Soon Shin. (omo, so many episodes.)

  11. 11 cookie

    Thanks Sevenes for the recap.

    One of my fav dramas, Kim Myung-min was really great in it.

  12. 12 chajjye

    THANK YOU Sevenses! I have never stop loving this drama. It’s seriously Kim Myung Min’s magic.

    I love the ending also. at first i was like. “neh?” but then reflecting back, it’s really a very beautiful ending. it gives the kind of hope that music and the musicians’ dreams still lives on and on….which was articulated more properly with the special.

    and i love how subtle the love story between kang mae and rumi is. i think this is a very well-developed albeit not very conclusive love story.

    yes, it’s definitely a drama i’d watch again. never mind if the middle was “huh”, KANG MAE…totally love.

  13. 13 cosmopolite

    I completely forgot about this! lol

  14. 14 algelic

    I loved the KangMi moments!! *_* so sweet!

    Of course I would have prefered a more romantic ending… like a KangMi wedding or something (unrealistic much?). But I liked the open ending!

    I don’t think this drama has such a good quality that it deserved so many awards, except for the leading actor who was awesome.

    Anyways… an enjoyable drama that should be watched without thinking too much about what’s happening! XD

  15. 15 e2wen~*

    I stumbled upon this site 2 weeks ago ’cause I only managed to watch it then. Unlike all the other kdrama I’ve seen (not much, I have to admit), BV is definitely very different from the rest.

    I totally love your recaps! Even though I’ve watched the whole series, it still excites me to read what you have written. Mainly because of your witty words. Heh~ Thumbs up for you!.

    Like what “thistle12″ said, this drama was my introduction to Kim Myung Min too. I’m starting on Bad Family and can’t help falling more and more in love with KMM, in an almost asexual manner. ;)

    I can’t put in words how much joy BV brought to me. I really really hope they would produce a part 2 or something. Kangmi!

  16. 16 ilovekangmae

    Thank you for the recaps, Sevenses!
    I’ve totally enjoyed BV last year. I was waiting for your recaps even though I’ve watched BV already. Totally fell in love with Kang Mae and Kim Myung Min!
    As for the ending, I was kinda disappointed at first but I eventually liked the open ending. I think it was kinda sweet with how Kang Mae and Rumi’s relationship progressed and that promise of “someday.” Totally loved it! :D

    Thanks again. :D

  17. 17 kangmae!!!

    omg thank you SO much for the final recap. i’ve been waiting for it for such a long time.

    i wish kangmae and rumi had a more romantic ending like kangmae hugging rumi or something but… oh well.

    I LOVE YOU KANGMAE!!!! :D

  18. 18 ilovethisdrama

    thanks for the recap ^^

    i wish they had a season two for beethoven virus. haha

  19. 19 michi

    thanks so much for this, sevenses!
    BV will remain as one of my top most favorite dramas of all time :)
    love KMM and Kang Mae :)

  20. 20 mydramadream

    i love the song is this episode what his name pleaze sorry for my bad english i’am french !!

  21. 21 maisy

    waaaiiiit! did anyone notice that Ru Mi wore Kang mae’s ring on her RING FINGER?! i mean, hint hint!
    love the KangMi moments! i sincerely wish they’d make a season 2 just to see what happens to kang Mae and Ru Mi XD

    • 21.1 Susan

      Yeah I noticed that too ;)

      And i second the wish for a Season 2!

  22. 22 vinegar

    Thank you very much for your detail episode synopsis.
    This show has recently broadcasted on the tv in where I stay now… I can’t wait to know the stories, so I came here.
    Now that I know the stories already, I don’t need to beat the crazy traffic to rush home for the show on time. :p At least I know where to catch up when the next episode is on air.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your effort.

  23. 23 zafirah_flute

    hi maisy,

    I’m totally agree with you. I need to see myself how maestro Kang proposed, their beautiful wedding day and of course their first kiss. ohhh, really hope they make the sequel.

    I’m from Malaysia and I’m coming to Korea next February. I pray hard so that I’ll get a chance to accidentally meet KMM. dowh, i’m such an idiot.

    Love KangMi always…

  24. 24 Kim from Malaysia

    Thanks a lot for the summary of the last episode which I miss. Now, I know how the drama ends. Watching Beethoven Virus has definitely make me appreciate classical music. I use to take it for granted. Now I know how hard it is for an orchestra to perform well. So much effort from the members. Listening to classical music will never be the same anymore, no longer just listen… but feels……

  25. 25 Jacque

    who does she end up with????? JANG GEUN SUK or the the old guy?

    pls tell me :DD

  26. 26 Ophelia

    What a great effort in putting up all this!

    The ending is perfect. I can’t imagine if Kang mae marries DuRumi and becomes a family man, with children running around him, disturbing him when he is working etc…

    He is born to be a lone ranger.

  27. 27 May from Malaysia

    Love KMM & Kang Mae.
    am now attacked by BV & still down with Kang Mae syndrome!!
    crazy …crazy …. crazy … wish to see a BV2 soon …. and long to see KangMi moment & someday to come ….
    thanks to BV where I am now enjoy & appreciate classic music more …..

  28. 28 miss java

    thank you …:)
    i love this drama too much ..

  29. 29 coconut

    kim myung min ♥
    hehe… i have succumbed to the KMM virus :]

  30. 30 ditto

    AHHHH BV2
    PLEASE MAKE A BV2
    i need to see more KangMi moments ♥

  31. 31 aixuan

    It is so sad that Ru Mi and Kang cannot be together… Kang is so selfish. Once Kang leaves Ru Mi, Ru Mi is lonely… Why Kang want to suppress his emotion…. With feelings, his music is still nice…I still believe that Kang gives Ru Mi the ring as a promise that he will be back… He is always at her side. I hope there will be Beethoven Virus II…..

  32. 32 amber

    Hoping, praying, and begging for a Beethoven Virus Season 2… I want to be able to see Kang Mae face his emotions head on one day. Someone should smack some sense into that guy in the next season (I’d like to assume there’ll be one, since the very open ending still leaves a lot of room for another story). I want to see him understand that there wouldn’t be music if Beethoven or Mozart or whoever hadn’t felt strong emotions in the first place. Heck, when I was first learning how to play the piano, my mother would always scold me on how I lacked emotion when I played.

    Ack, oh well… I have to agree with you with the whole angst-thing and the manufactured conflict. I hope if the day comes that there would be indeed, a second season for BV, I hope they do away with too much angst and allow a variety of emotions to bloom.

    Yay for Kim Myung Min, Lee Ji Ah and Jang Geun Seuk. <3

  33. 33 kay_26

    Hhhhmmmm, how I wish it never ended that way… I hope there’s Part 2! hahahah!!!

    I really enjoy the scenes, the music and the most of all, the CHARACTERS! Whenever i see them playing music, I, am warping to another place… hahaha!! I feel so relaxed…. And seeing KangMae conducting, little by little, I’m falling in love with him! harhar! to the author, I hope, he’ll make Beethoven Virus season II…. I feel, uhm! uHmmFtt! I can’t say it! haha!

    I’m not satisfied with the ending…. I want to see more KangMae and Ru Mi scene!!! I really missed them a lot! Sometimes, I imagine KangMae and Ru Mi will have kids, see their children grow and encourage them to learn classical music! tada!! A family playing classics! Maybe, there’ll be a slight change in KangMae’s attitude!! But still, he’s attitude will exist; the one who has a foul tongue, arrogant, selfish,etc.. kind of man! Eventhough he’s like that way, I love HIM so MUCH!! hahaha!!

    i’m really hoping for BV II…..

  34. 34 abby

    did they lived together?? (kangMae and Ru Mi)

  35. 35 miyoko ichijo

    hey . . . do you know where can i get dvd copy of beethoven virus ?

  36. 36 missStarz

    i really love this drama..yeah i hope kang mae with du ru mi too…hope there part2…LOVE KANG MAE..@ KMM

  37. 37 kimsanya

    my friend download this drama coz his fan of jgs, well in the beginning, I wanted to watch this drama coz jgs too.

    LAst night I just wanted to see first epi and after that I planed to did my home work, but…

    I totally falled into kang mae!!! couldn,t stop since 7 pm until 3 am and totally got hooked by kang mae!

    I am 20 years old and can’t deny that I am now totally love him!!!

    kang mae totally ruled this drama!

    my friend at least love him more than jgs too..
    well, I thinks everyone who have been finished to watch this drama, would falled him too…

    for me, this drama is great, love music and casting mostly…

    thanks for your recaps…

  38. 38 lady

    love this drama so much, especially KANG MAE!!!

    really hope more skinship between kang mae and rumi, min a kiss?!

  39. 39 Frans

    I hope there will be a season 2.

    and in this season, Mouse Orchestra will be headed by Kang-mae and the story will be focused on the battle between Mouse orchestra and an orchestra that Jung Myung Hwan will be creating!

    :D that would be fun

  40. 40 Me

    thanks for this!!

    i agree to all! hope there’ll be a BV season 2!! urrghhs!! Kang Mae’s so good ..i first saw him in Bad Family and since then, i was totally into him..=) though his hairstyle bothers me in BV..haha

    anyone knows where i can watch white tower?

  41. 41 helena

    because of this drama, i was encouraged to continue and love music more. I’m even starting to plan to be a conductor someday

    really hoping for a part 2. really inspiring….. I’m really hoping a part 2

  42. 42 helena

    really love kim myung min. very good actor, really amazing

    and so as the others………… excellent

    as I was watching the drama, I,ve predicted that this drama would really earn a lot of awards, and i was not mistaken

    really wonderful, words can’t express

    i,ve always been scolded by my parents for ignoring other things just to watch BV again again

    hehehe this is my fifth time

    still lacking i’m planning to watch again..

  43. 43 Michael

    What a great series. I just did a couple Hulu marathon sessions, watched all 18 episodes in two days. Far better than any American drama show on now, certainly better than any reality show.

    One of the great points of K-drama is the ability to resolve a series without completely closing all threads. In conventional drama, one of the reasons is for repeat seasons. But K-drama doesn’t really lend itself to extending itself more than one season. However, it does have an annoying habit of not lending itself to consistent ending points, for instance extending 2 episodes, or curtailing one, which can lead to inconsistent closures.

    Having said that, Beethoven Virus ended nicely. Without intruding on many people’s own interpretations on the disposition of the characters, I’d like to add my 20 wong (~2 cents) on my views.

    And let’s face it: I love happy endings, or technically, spiritually lifting endings. Mush isn’t just for Iditerod doggies, you know.

    Spoiler alert, obviously. In addition, I assume everyone has seen the whole series, particularly the last episode.

    1. First, my significant change that I would have loved to have seen in the Ep. 18 final.

    During the final song, Du Ru Mi’s hearing goes completely out. Startled, with initial panic, she stutters her bowing. Mae Kang looks at her, immediately realizes what is happening, and does his mind-meld scene with Ru Mi. She gains confidence, and even though she doesn’t hear the music, she senses it by playing according to Kang’s direction. In the meantime, she smiles, knowing that though she will never hear again, she is playing her ultimate finish as a player, and she smiles peacefully. Kang’s eyes lock with hers, as perhaps the ultimate consummation of their relationship happens right there. In that moment, Kang realizes the significance of what just happened to Ru-Mi, and though he remains just as comfortably authoritive, he realizes that if he had been conducting, she may not have recovered in time to savor the moment (as Gun-woo would not have yet had the ability to project that communication), this is probably the key moment in Kang’s life where he gains his complete humility. Gun Woo notices all of this; his emotions are fully seen through his trumpet playing, yet he understands what is going on. How powerful a scene would THAT have been?

    2. These are the outcomes I would love to have imagined for the characters. I will save the RumiKangGun triangle for last. In short, here is the “Where are they now?” file:

    -Mayor Choi’s (Evilface) embezzlement comes to the forefront, and he has to resign in disgrace, perhaps to undergo an investigation (by the Prosecutor Princess? ha ha). The new mayor, who saw the Last Concert, immediately starts the new Philharmonic up again, and the new emblem contains a picture of a flower and, of course, a mouse, which becomes the unofficial name for the philharmonic. Due in large part to the efforts of the new administration in promoting as well as the main characters, The Sungnan-Mouse Philharmonic (hereby known as SMP) becomes the music center of not just Korea, but all of Asia.

    -Kim Gab Yong (old Oboeist): While on a nursing home bench in a picturesque garden, he dreams of flying into a cloud, where he sees a beautiful picture of Ha Yi Deun (Hayden/Eden), the flautist, playing a beautiful melody, but she morphs into his actual (deceased) daughter, also playing the flute. He plays his oboe with her in a loving duet, and they both fade into the heavens; on earth Gab Yong smiles peacefully, passed away.

    -Ha Yi Deun (flautist): She excels in her gifted music school, turning out to be one of the top graduates. She returns to be the top guest player in the new Sungnan-Mouse Philharmonic, as she tours the world as the “Yoyo Ma” of flautists. Financially, it is revealed that Gab Yong was actually quite well off as he had been frugal since his daughter passed away. Yi Deun uses a significant portion of her half of this inheritance to start a foundation for sending poor children to music schools. One of her recipients is the son of the poor Korean who saw the concert during the flood times. Of course, as she became a world class phenomenon, she became the most financially successful of the “irregulars,” and was easily able to financially support a complete children’s music fund, appropriately named in Kim Gab Yong’s honor. One of those directors is the dad of the boy in the flood victim segment.

    -Kim Joo Yeon and Kim Joo Hee, the Vanessa Mae-ish electronic violin twins: They become main players for the orchestra. Joo Yeon (or was it Joo Hee? Never mind) marries Bae Yong Gi, the comic relief trumpeter.

    -Bae Yong Gi, the trumpeter with a breathing issue: Another main SMP player, but plays cabaret on the side, as frankly, he really enjoys the atmosphere there. Marries one of the electric violin sisters. Never solves his breathing issues.

    -Park Hyuk Kwon, contra-bass: Another charter SMP player, as well as one of its initial managers or directors. With a nice salary, he, Jin Man and the kiddies move into the house that the Kangs stayed in, as the original owner stayed in California for so long he was elected Governor. (OK, not really, but it does seem strange that one would leave a house for ~7 months, which was the time frame for BV)

    -Jung Hee Yun: Another charter SMP player. She and her husband worked at remaining close and loving, and even invited the chess club woman to family events. (Her kids remain pains in the ass, though; can’t have everything LOL)

    And now for the main triangle players. First, their careers:

    -Kang Gun-woo, the younger: Became the first conductor for SMP. Studied like a big dog for years as per Mae Kang’s recommendations. Got an A in everything while building SMP (along with Park, Ru-mi, and the new mayor) to its world-class status as the premier Asian philharmonic. Guest-conducted around the world. He would take two or three tours later on, including one with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Helped arraign some of Du Ru-mi’s compositions (see below). He would become one of the world’s greatest conductors of the 21st Century, having a spirited but completely respectful rivalry with Mae Kang. Each time he did his infrequent tours, Mae Kang would come back to conduct SMP, which has become THE plum guest conductor job when Gun-woo is gone.

    -Du Ru-mi: The last sounds she hears on Earth was the last part of the symphony in the park. But she maintains her inner desire for music, and now deaf, she imagines music in its greatest glory, thanks to Mae Kang’s own passions and memories. Indeed, she has acquired “Beethoven’s Virus”, the illness that made her lose her hearing. But she keeps on studying and ultimately becomes a composer. While most classical compositions are now done to score movie soundtracks, Ru-mi’s music maintains a much higher level of classical nuance; and with significant input and collaboration in the arraignments by Gun-woo, she becomes the greatest composer of the 21st Century, and her legacy would be measured by historians along with the greatest composers of all time; certainly the greatest woman composer. She is unaminously voted as an honorary charter member of SMP.

    (Side note: aural surgery may likely cure most “deafness” by 2030, but I will assume that no cure will be available in Ru-Mi’s lifetime).

    -Kang Gun-woo, the elder: Maestro Kang greatly filled in one major piece missing from his stature with his stint in Korea, and particularly with his association with Ru-mi and Gun-woo: humility. That’s probably the simplest way to summarize his far more complex persona. With that key issue, Kang is now able to stay more patient, and allows him to maintain his composure while still demanding the best, and then some, from every musician he associates with. He makes sure that Gun-woo maintains his GPA, knowing that he (Gun-woo) is more talented than himself. In a way, he is not just helping Gun-woo out of pure philanthropy; he is actually helping create a sole rival to help HIMSELF stay his best, and to maintain his humility. This relationship is beyond that of a teacher-student or father-son, as both men are driven, are talented, and without peers.

    Finally, as to the love triangle:

    I cannot in good conscience imagine who ends up with whom from a romantic standpoint. Both Ru-mi and Gun-woo have a strong, under the surface relationship with Mae Kang that is not romantic, but is actually stronger in their own merits. Yet those same bonds can never be severed and replaced with the other person. In other words, the peace that Ru-mi experiences with Mae Kang because of his brilliance and lonliness cannot be replaced by Gun-woo; conversely, the conductive passions and the brilliance that Gun-woo shares with Kang cannot be replaced by Ru-mi. Finally, I got the overall feeling that Ru-mi and Gun-woo never “clicked” romantically. Yes, there were moments, but given their levels of phenomenal talent as described above, I’d like to think that their actual bond is stronger than that of most lovers as it exists. And that bond is also stronger than their desire to meet others for marriage. Finally, I admit: this allows the triangle to exist on a permanent, yet non-jealous scale, as all three need the other two’s unique bonding levels to become as great as they all will become. Indeed, Ru-mi and Gun-woo will most probably remain the closest physically, but never consummate to marriage because of Maestro Kang’s influence.

    And that’s the best answer I can give. Yes, I have a vivid imagination, but I’d like to think that such an ending would exist. If they come out with BV2 (or perhaps a theatrical production sequel), though, then all bets are off. But hopefully, I’ve satisfied a few cravings with my own remunerations.

    Now, to be fair: the creators of the show may have wanted the last performance of the last episode to be just that: the last one, before everyone disperses to their common lives. I really can’t belie that vision with my own meanderings above, and perhaps it is best. But for now, I’ll leave the following as a finish.

    Throughout the years, Ru-mi occasionally sends Kang a voicemail, video file, or whatever improved communication technology will exist, of her playing the violin (deaf). In her mind, the music is sweet and passionate; in reality, the sound that actually emanates, though technically all right, is noticeably off pitch and slighly off beat, as it would be impossible for a deaf person to know if the music played is in pitch (without external guages). Yet when Kang listens on his end, he smiles, and hears the same sweet, passionate music that Ru-mi played because of their shared, unmatched passion, and includes those recordings with his most precious musical possessions, especially those of the mind.

    • 43.1 Susan

      you are a genius! I LOVE IT!!

      Except one thing i would change in your vision is for Kang Mae to return to marry Du Ru Mi. I do think they had something special between them that she did not have with the younger Gun Woo. The latter relationship had more of a platonic affection to it, but certainly not the “mind-meld” of Kang Mae and Ru Mi that you had also mentioned.

  44. 44 Febenela Malo

    I love this one because it tackles about classical musics. I also want to be a musician in the future and I learned alot from this drama. I love you Kang-Mae, but whom I love the most is Du-Ru-Mi ! =))

  45. 45 Intel

    Thank you sevenses … great recap …
    I love and enjoy watching Beethoven virus much as well as reading your recap, like your side comments, Luv it!!! … I’m already infected with Kang mae virus ♥♥♥
    Check out their bloopers on youtube, their really funny though i haven’t understand what their saying (no eng sub.. errrr)
    I’m looking forward for your others reviews and recap sevenses :D

  46. 46 Lisa

    As a cellist, I watched Beethoven Virus in hopes of a more realistic portrayal of the lives of working musicians in comparison to other shows. I have to say, it was actually pretty decent. However, if an amateur orchestra could get funding, advertisement, players, rehearsal space and a venue as quickly as this one did, I would die of shock.

    To speak about love between musicians in general is to say that playing together most DEFINITELY arouses all kinds of crazy emotions. Music, although analyzed and methodically picked apart, is emotionally driven. Often times its hard to pick apart emotions built by musical cooperation and and those that come from genuine affection. The love triangle was something I think could actually happen…well, at least how it began. It got k-drama’d somewhere in the middle…

    Character comments in the eyes of a musician:

    Gun Woo the elder, not even Toscanini got away with the crap you pulled, there is NO WAY Gun Woo would’ve actually been able to do so many of the things he did in the real world. FORGET THAT! I’ve been under conductors like that and it really does make life miserable no matter how genius their conducting is. Oh K-drama land…(however, the character’s portrayal was masterful. I love that sneer.)

    Ru Mi: Her character drove me BONKERS. Make up your mind, open your mouth and make a choice. But, her deafness struck home for me. My number one fear is to go deaf. I would lose every other sense before I would want to lose my hearing. In terms of being able to play, even if I have water in my ears my pitch and tone quality suffers. She would’ve been out of the game much earlier. To be a performing musician is to have EXQUISITE hearing. I thought her choice to compose, however, was a good one and realistic.

    Gun Woo the younger: As a forever Jang Geun Seok fan its my duty to say I loved him in this. However, bias aside, I really did enjoy his performance . I thought it was much more nuanced than his other work. The facial expressions finally deviated from the monochromatic (like in Hong Gil Dong where he improved only in the last few episodes). Working directly with the music (IMHO) brought out the emotion. I rather like the open-ending. In our world, even if you’re immensely talented, if you don’t get the right opportunities and/or really hustle for work and exposure, you get washed away. Our careers, timewise, are 80% hustle and 20% music making (unfortunately). I spend more time making phone calls, driving to gigs/teaching/rehearsal, schmoozing (the kind NECESSARY to make contacts), answering emails, scheduling and rescheduling (and rescheduling and rescheduling), working out time conflicts …etc… etc… etc… than I do practicing cello and actually making some damn music!

    The music: Great selection of music but OMG the cuts they made were ATROCIOUS. HOWEVER, I do like that it exposed the k-drama masses to classical music and not just Baroque or Classical era things, but Romantic and 20th century works too. CLASSICAL MUSIC IS COOL PEOPLE! Hooray for shows that focus on our lives.

    Anyway, there was my long winded partial analysis of the series at large.

    Thanks again for your recaps and commentary.

  47. 47 Cynn

    I am 36 and BV is the first korean drama I watched by accident and it is the best drama I’ve ever watched. Love Maestro Kang.. really hope to see BV 2.

  48. 48 Dunya

    I really love BV! It’s great dorams! Very unusual because of ends. And I also hope to see BV 2))
    Maestro is brilliant! I love him veeeery much!!!
    I play flute.. and study in musical college now. After this doram, I love music more! So now, I know, I will be one of the best flutist in the world)))

  49. 49 anne

    wow thank you for the recap!!

    just finished the series exactly 10pm last night and my first impression with the ending is…. huh? that’s it? or is there another episode to watch? i keep on looking at the file i have and it says FINAL EPI 18. but my mind speaks there must be a secret epi lols.

    i really enjoy the series and decided to read recaps along. i am not a very technical person and i usually note more of the things i like, not that i neglect to see flaws but if they are bearable i’ll bear with it.

    your so called “manufactured conflicts” aren’t that manufactured to me at all. since this is a music industry there is in great need of a concert to showcase the main theme of the show. and also, those conflicts were to give details on kang mae and gun woo’s relationship as teacher and student. without those conflicts we’ll ain’t see how rebellious gun woo is and how kang mae will try his best to make an unknown to all help.

    waking up this morning means more time to think about the ending. and yeah, it doesn’t pissed me at all now. with an open ending i can freely think of kang mae not leaving the orchestra.

    the concert they did went well, the advise to close them down been trashed and they’re back on their track again – now much passionate, stronger and able to battle things that will come their way.

    gun woo – studied at the university as per kang mae’s advise. there someone’s eyeing at him for love.

    ru mi – undergone surgery and it went well in the part taking out the tumor. but her hearing isn’t back to normal after the operation that she needed to still wear a hearing aid.

    kang mae – though not leaving the orchestra, he temporarily flew abroad to accept a one-time concert conducting for the munich orchestra. he comes back to korea having much confidence with himself.

    he checked ru mi on her classroom, sees her playing her own compose melody and the professor noted once again that her melody tells about really loving an ill-tempered man. ru mi blushed and got surprise seeing kang mae in the room. the professor was as surprise as ru mi and greeted kang mae – saying
    “maestro, it is you, how kind of you to drop in”.
    kang mae relied with “am i kind? but just now you said about me being an i’ll tempered man”. the prof trows in a confused look but understand it all when kang mae nod and looked at ru mi.

    after class, kang mae discussed few things with the prof while waiting for ru mi. when ru mi comes out, he bid goodbye to the prof and hold ru mi’s hand. together they walk holding each other’s hand. on their way, they bumped in with other members of the orchestra who noticed their gesture and is now teasing them. ru mi shyly tried to slip away her fingers from his hand but he hold on them firmly and look at her in a “why, are you being ashamed of me?” way. ru mi smiled and they’re hands are twined with ease.

    they continue walking till they reach the park and there they sat down looking at the lake. kang mae talks about the munich orchestra but is not receiving a comment from ru mi so he face her, just then ru mi commented and admire kang mae for his superb skill then she lifted her head, looking awkward to see kang mae’s face inches from her. kang mae barks in “why?” which du ru mi responded with a smile. kang mae’s face shifts back looking at the lake again, but ru mi heads on for a cheek-kiss. stunned kang mae looked at ru mi as if he’s going to scold her but then he smiled a bit and boyishly trying to fight back another smile.

    ooooohhh were am i? shoot i’m here in the office. :D

  50. 50 anne

    and uhmmm…about the last part.

    kang mae is walking in a tunnel heading on to a lighted exit with a view of a lake. a lake which pretty much signifies lots of memories.

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