Episode 5 was somewhat of an awkward cram for me; I tried to fit as much as I could that I felt was necessary for the storyline to be understandable. As a result, I felt it came off rather bland and as a simple rehashing. Episode 6 gets past these necessary add-ons, so we get some meat here.
SONG OF THE DAY
God of Study OST – “또르르” (Ddoreureu) by Ji Yeon It’s a really pretty song, and it’s a little different than the rest of the pop soundtrack. This song is like Hyun-jung’s theme. [ Download ]
Episode 6 Recap
The story resumes with the ultimate face-off between Seok-ho and the Kang Choo Wee. Principle and Director suddenly barge into the room as soon as the Gym teacher’s finger is about the press the enter key. The Principle hastily shouts for them to pause, and tries to give something of a code signal -an awkward wink- to Teacher Kwi-nam. But before the Principle has time to say anything, Seok-ho takes his spotlight.
It turns out Seok-ho already knew about the Wong Bong Group’s intentions to do an overhaul of the school. The other teachers are in shock, and Seok-ho proceeds to show them the mysterious USB he received in the last episode.
While Seok-ho begins to explain the Wong Bong Group’s (I’m just going to use WBG from now on) methods, some of the protestors quietly sit down and remove their headbands. What is Seok-ho’s point in all of this? If they protest now instead of letting the WBG take over, the school will look ridiculous to the rest of the board of education.
Meanwhile, in the classroom the kids are having a math session with Teacher Ki-bong. Teacher Ki-bong hands them each a blank sheet of paper. The F5 is confused, but Ki-bong accounces they’re going to practice a new method today; coming up with their own math questions. After the bout of usual complaining, they buckle down and get to work.
At first the F5 (heh, I took this from Dramabeans!) struggle with their questions, but Ki-bong reminds them that all questions are made for a person to be able to answer. The question should lead the answerer to the right path. Pul-ip thinks a little deeper about this, and you can see the gears grinding in her head.
After all the questions are written, each student proceeds to pass them to a potential answerer. Hyun-jung writes about buying new shoes, Bong-goo about weights of meat, and Chan-doo about Pul-ip using her money to buy him a present. She looks at him with surprised and he gives an adorable wink.
In the teachers’ office, the shot-down faculty sits around wondering what would happen if the WBG took over the school. If they are allowed to, they might be able to turn Byung Moon High School into an elite private school like the they have done in the past. But what would happen to the current students? Soo-jung is astounded when the Gym teacher simply says, “We’ll let them graduate, and after that it’ll be great!”
Seok-ho is hard at work in the office-classroom, and Soo-jung hands the manual back to him. She is clearly worried about the condition of the school, but he tells her to be more concerned with her upcoming competition with Anthony. He stops her though, on her way out to ask why she didn’t sign the petition. She pauses to think, but then simply states, “I didn’t get the chance to sign it. I was too busy.”
Ki-bong leaves his class happily, but his mood sours when he runs into Anthony in the hallway. However Anthony enters the classroom happily and bears presents. Each of the F5 excitedly open them, but Baek-hyun stuffs his gift back in the bag and scoffs at Anthony.
Soo-jung and Ki-bong watch from the outside, and Ki-bong tells her not to look so sad. He warns her against losing from that ridiculous Anthony. “Lose to him and see what happens.” Hah. From then on, she becomes even more determined to win.
Soo-jung needed this encouragement. Even though she asked the F5 to believe in her earlier, Seok-ho’s invitation for Anthony made her distraught. Ki-bong was the first teacher not to discourage her per se, but not to..not encourage her. With this newfound purpose, she works hard into the night determined to take Anthony down.
Pul-ip comes home only to see her mom and her mom’s beau giggling around. How can her mom -something of an old spinster- have a new boyfriend who is much younger that her? Pul-ip thoroughly embarrasses her mother by accusing the man of mooching, and her mother throws punches right back mocking Pul-ip for trying to get into a top university. Pul-ip fights tears as she tells her mother, “I know it too. What kind of person I am, with a home and a mother like this. I am very clear about this, even if you hadn’t said so.”
While this drama doesn’t have obvious, traffic siren angst and emotional depth constantly smacking you in the face, it has its moments where it digs a little deeper past the surface story of study-and-get-into-Chun ha, to more of the characters themselves. This moment is sort of a flash of reality to Pul-ip. She has all the credentials of a failing future: her family is broken, her mother runs a shady bar, and her grades before the special class were abysmal. Out of all the students in the special class, Pul-ip seems to be the most sincere about her efforts and the most hopeful about a promising future.
She storms out fighting tears, and Baek-hyun conveniently comes up to her on his moped on one of his deliveries. To lift her spirits he offers her a ride on his bike, and Pul-ip -needing a little escape from reality- happily agrees. He takes off and she gives a little yelp, quickly wrapping her arms around his waist. His little smile gives everything away.
He finishes a delivery in a familiar building, and he recognizes it as Seok-ho’s old office. But the building has a new user, and Baek-hyun wonders what happened to Seok-ho.
After the delivery, the two sit in a park and Pul-ip begins to open up to him. Her past with her mom was anything but extraordinary and she’s ready to leave the house and go to college. She knows Chun ha is a bit of a stretch for her, but she is thankful for the special class, and she believes there is still hope in her working hard.
Baek-hyun knows they all need help, but he still can’t accept that Seok-ho is the one who is helping them to stand on their own to achieve something like getting accepted into a university. He blatantly tells Pul-ip to stop being so trusting of Seok-ho. She’s been tricked into thinking she has a chance; a chance to change her life by just studying hard. This proves to be too much for Pul-ip, so she stands up and angrily leaves.
Hope has been Pul-ip’s main struggle throughout the drama so far, and will be into the future. She wants to believe that just studying will help her become a successful person, and she wants to believe that she can escape the life she lives now. Her mother probably never encouraged her as a child, but to have someone close to her like Baek-hyun to dash her dreams with reality, it hurts.
T-3 days until battle time. Soo-jung and Anthony prepare for the competition, Soo-jung buckling down in books with her kids while Anthony continues teaching all the kids the way he was already doing. But today he brought his secret weapon, a magical USB. He opens it to reveal 100 magical English phrases. If they memorize these, they’ll be set for life. “There’s always loud music…Come from the room upstairs..” Hahaha…
In Soo-jung’s class the atmosphere is different. She carefully teaches how she thinks it should be done, and the kids appear to be listening. But at a closer glance, Sang-hoon is working on his math homework. She asks him to focus on English, but he arrogantly announces he already knows everything she is teaching. Instead of wasting her time with him, she ought to focus her attention on Ye-ji.
Outside, Ye-ji finds Pul-ip hard at work trying to memorize the magical phrases. The Brat knows Pul-ip’s efforts are worthless so she might as well give up. Pul-ip’s past has shown a series of failures, so why should anything else be new? Jerk. The reoccurring junior-senior lack of respect ruffles Pul-ip’s feathers, but Chan-doo’s timely appearance causes Ye-ji to excitedly scamper off with her Oppa. Pul-ip watches them go, and her eyes meet with Baek-hyun’s who witnessed the entire event. She glares at him and leaves.
Seok-ho had called for another teachers’ meeting, and here he reveals the students’ real feelings about their school. Each student wishes to have better academic results, but because of the lack of resources and skills their scores are poor. As a result, they have just accepted their bleak futures. This is what Seok-ho needs to change. Byung Moon High School is to have a real education program with each teacher giving his or her own heart. Director Ma-ri is clearly touched by his efforts but the other teachers show little emotion.
We move to Chan-doo’s house after school, and the telephone is ringing. He’s about the answer it, but his mother pushes him out of the way and tells him to be quiet. It seems to be no one important to Chan-doo so he walks off, but abruptly stops when his mom tells the person on the phone that he is studying abroad in Boston with his brother and sister. Chan-doo can’t believe his mom just lied to her friend, but his dad responds by telling him not to answer the phones, and not to wander listlessly through the streets where he might be seen. He has become an invisible person.
In the Korean culture, saving face is incredibly important. It appears that Chan-doo’s family is well-off by the size and arrangement of their house, their clothing, and two siblings studying in America. His parents’ friends most likely have children in famous universities, and expect nothing less for Chan-doo’s family. As it was revealed in an earlier episode, Chan-doo’s parents seemed embarrassed about him, so Chan-doo joined the special class to save them from that embarrassment. But even though this may seem devastating for Chan-doo, he seems to accept it without much of a fight. He knows why they are hiding him, and respects his parents’ wishes like a dutiful son, even though he doesn’t like it.
Next we go to a nearly opposite living situation. Baek-hyun is cleaning up by himself; Grandma still at work. He stops to think of his bike ride with Pul-ip and he smiles, but immediately recounts the conversation at the park with her, and he’s left feeling uncomfortable. Before he can think too long about it, Hyun-jung pops up behind him and presents a good luck box of chocolates. She attempts to feed him one, but Grandma sticks her head in the window and catches her. She chastises Hyun-jung for coming to a boy’s house at night, and sends her home. Hyun-jung starts to walk out with the chocolates, but Grandma tells her to leave them. I love his Grandma.
Meanwhile at a bar Seok-ho is meeting with a mysterious lady. She is a potential teacher that Seok-ho is trying to recruit; she agrees to do it. Welcome to the party, Teacher Lee Eun Yoo.
It is finally the day of the big competition, and Pul-ip is clearly worried. (Rerax). The non-participating portion of the class prepared a cute little song for them. “I have a dream…A song to sing…” They put a little T-ARA “Bo Peep Bo Peep” spin to it, which makes even Baek-hyun smile.
It’s now time for the kids who are not taking the test to go into the hallway, and they try to send good vibes Pul-ip and Baek-hyun’s way. The test papers are handed out and the test begins. The students are to write the Korean folktale of “Hung-bu” in English according to the pictures. Brat and Sang-hoon start writing right away while Baek-hyun and Pul-ip begin to struggle.
Right when Pul-ip is about to give up, she imagines Anthony’s voice telling her she already knows everything she needs to. Just remember the magical phrases Pul-ip! *Cue inspirational music. With that, she begins to confidently write.
Sang-hoon quickly finishes his story and begins to edit it, replacing simple elementary level words for more complex higher-level vocabulary. He thinks with a smirk on his face, “I need to squash these idiots.” Brat girl, singling out Pul-ip, does the same.
The papers are turned in, and the four students nervously watch the two teachers grade each other’s student’s papers. Both Soo-jung and Anthony make corrections, and whichever has the least number of mistakes will win. After they finish grading, the total number wrong for Ye-ji and Sang-hoon is only eight. So they get a 92.
Soo-jung grades Baek-hyun and Pul-ip’s papers, and realizes how much improvement is possible. She’s put in her place as she proudly announces their score: 93. Pul-ip and Baek-hyun are in disbelief, as are Ye-ji and Sang-hoon. Sang-hoon angrily storms off and Ye-ji pathetically gives her congrats.
Ye-ji angrily tells Soo-jung in the hallway how ridiculous the test was. They truly go to a toilet school. A school that can’t recognize true talent. Chan-doo, Hyun-jung, and Bong-goo watch this, and they see Teacher Soo-jung hurt by the stinging truth of Ye-ji’s comment. But now Soo-jung knows now that she will have to leave the Special Class, and even though she is immensely proud of the kids, her eyes start to water.
Anthony speaks to Soo-jung after the contest, and he reveals to her that the kids asked him to leave. But even though they asked, can she not see how much they improved with him? Anthony knows the kids can’t focus on their studies with her around, so he kindly implies that he wants her to leave. Ouch.
Ma-ri is acting as her usual self as she enters her office, and she spots a white envelope on her desk. It is Soo-jung’s resignation letter.
Ma-ri rushes to Ki-bong and Seok-ho barely spitting out the news. Anthony playfully says that he was intending to leave, but now that the situation has changed, he’ll teach until she comes back. If she does. Ki-bong angrily storms out and Seok-ho gives Anthony a cold, long stare warning him not to try and pull any more tricks. Anthony is left alone, and he answers his cell phone telling the other person on the line to put a new math teacher on standby, and to start the “thing” they had discussed earlier. Suspicious!
For the time being, Seok-ho asks Ma-ri to act as the substitute homeroom teacher. She clearly has no idea what she’s dong as she tells them to start working before she handed out the worksheets. They still are hard at work, oblivious to all the drama that is happening.
Soo-jung is wandering around on the street with no purpose anymore. She reminisces about when she first became a teacher and how happy she was. A few clips show her past, and she smiles about her memories while sitting by herself outside a convenience store sipping coffee. Seok-ho goes out to look for Ki-bong and Soo-jung. A lady answers Soo-jung’s phone and Seok-ho finds her, drunk.
Ma-ri exits the classroom and angrily calls Soo-jung after seeing her tired eyes. Soo-jung doesn’t answer her phone so Ma-ri leaves a message demanding how she could so easily resign.
And of course, as soon as she says that, someone walks out the door. “Teacher Soo-jung…resigned?!?!” The other kids step outside to see what all the commotion is about, and Baek-hyun’s insides begin to boil with his all-too-familiar anger issues.
Soo-jung wakes up the next morning to a nurse telling her to go home and stop drinking alcohol. Seok-ho left a bag with her, and she opens it to find a camcorder. She turns it on, and her message plays. “Puppy, go ahead and bark. The train will leave anyway.” Whatever decision he makes, she said she would just do whatever task she is assigned. Attached to the camcorder is a note.
“Why isn’t the train moving? Was the train this pathetic?”
Another notes says, ”It’s your responsibility to bring Cha Ki-bong back. Because of you, he quit.”
Seok-ho steps into the classroom the next day to find a message for him: “Special Class disbanded”.
Principle comes in and tells him the kids quit the class. Oh dear…
Like I said before, I thought his episode had more substance than previous ones. We dive deeper into the character’s backgrounds, first with Baek-hyun and Chan-doo, and now with Pul-ip.
I’m glad the kids are aware that their chances of achieving Chun ha are actually quite small. (The watcher, however knows that some positive outcome HAS to come out, I mean, it is called God of Study for a reason.) Pul-ip didn’t join to simply get accepted to Chun ha. She joined to change the way she was living; living with constant failures.
Last week Teacher Anthony was introduced with grand pomp and circumstance. Now a new teacher was introdiced with a slightly less colorful show. She looks interesting, no? Actually, my first thought was that she REALLY reminds of singing group MBLAQ’s Mir. Haha. Forgive me for doing this but: