I Am Legend: Episode 5
YIPPEEE!!! Developments! Plot-wise and character-wise. While the performance side didn’t really deliver much in this episode (for plot’s sake), I’m happy the pacing is finally picking up again. I am getting that *feeling* of “I’m-lost-because-I-don’t- understand-a-character’s-intentions,” but I’m hoping it all works out in the end, and I’ll end up wanting to go back and find out how it all started. It’s a similar feeling to one I had while watching Prosecutor Princess.
After getting trampled in court, Soo In and Hwa Ja urge her to find a lawyer. Seol Hee feels downtrodden, so practice is canceled for the day. Ji Wook and Seung Hye spot her as she leaves the courthouse, and Ji Wook has a pang of sadness for his wife. And I mean a very minuscule pang – indicated by the fact that he doesn’t want to go for drinks to celebrate. Seung Hye tells him to toughen up – it’s only the beginning.
That evening, Tae Hyun finds Soo In alone at the studio, practicing on the drums. He scolds her mildly for her bad drumming habits, then wonders where the rest of the band is. (Do I smell a hint of chemistry in the air?) Soo In tells him practice is canceled because Seol Hee can’t make it, and she starts ranting about what a witch Ji Wook’s lawyer is. Tae Hyun gets enough out of it to know that Seung Hye completely trampled over Seol Hee.
He calls Seol Hee – but she’s too busy drowning out her sorrows by blasting rock music in the apartment.
The next day, Seol Hee is more determined than ever to find a lawyer. But it’s a little too late – the lawyers are either too expensive, too hesitant to take on a case where she already lost on the first day, and too unwilling to go up against the Great Cha Ji Wook. Meanwhile, Soo In is already speaking on Seol Hee’s behalf, telling her boss that Seol Hee may not be able to do lead vocals and Ran Hee should take her place for their live performance.
However, Ran Hee and her manager have their own little secret plan: they want Seol Hee on vocals, because then the documentary camera can capture Ran Hee the Star suffering as back up, and her fans would die from heartbreak and cheer her on.
Unfortunately for Ran Hee, Seol Hee shows up. Music is her only outlet in such a tough world. Tae Hyun walks in on her playing the keyboards singing by herself, and he asks if she’s OK. Since she doesn’t think Tae Hyun knows about what happened in the court, she cheerfully replies, “About what?” Of course, Tae Hyun asks cool and pretends his question is nothing important, but he notes that she’s quite cheerful. He then tells her that he knows a lawyer – if she’s looking for one. Seol Hee immediately asks for an introduction.
Meanwhile, Mother of all Evil goes into her usual spa place and overhears a couple of rich ladies gossiping about her and Seol Hee. The two gossipers reckon that Mother of all Evil must have mistreated Seol Hee, because there is no other reason why she’d look for a divorce when everyone “knows” about their “passionate love story.” Embarrassed, she goes to her son and begs him to just give Seol Hee whatever she wants. (HA! You can’t get away with it that easily MoaE) But Ji Wook is a tad too greedy – he wants to completely destroy Seol Hee so that he can emerge as a clean winner, even though their family name is already being dragged out in the mud. He just doesn’t know when to back down and acquiesce…
Tae Hyun drives Seol Hee to the lawyer’s office. She wonders if he’s been divorced as well, based on the pictures in his house and him knowing a divorce lawyer. He confirms that he got divorced because of a clash of personalities. (No kidding.) But he didn’t have to go to trial for it.
They arrive at a dinky building, and greet a penny-pinching, bespectacled old lawyer named Go Jin Bae. (He is most probably the genius veteran hiding in the shadows who will trounce Seung Hye’s ass back to her hometown.) After reviewing Seol Hee’s case file, he asks if she knows how much her husband’s inheritance is worth. Seol Hee has no idea, and so he then asks how much she wants to take from them. Seol Hee insists it’s not about the money. Jin Bae counters, “If you have no goal, you can’t win.”
Seol Hee doesn’t like where this conversation is going. She confronts Tae Hyun: she wanted a “skilled lawyer.” Having worked in a law firm before, she can tell that Jin Bae is not qualified enough to go against the best lawyer in the country. Tae Hyun asks how she could judge a book by its cover, but Seol Hee just leaves.
Tae Hyun goes inside the office to find out what exactly Jin Bae said to her. Apparently, Go Jin Bae doesn’t think too highly of Seol Hee anyways, so why bother being polite? (Heh)
It’s midnight, and Hwa Ja sneaks into the dark studio with her guitar. In the ghostly light, Soo In and Hwa Ja scare the bejeezus out of each other (with Soo In crying “Mommy!!”). Turns out, they’re both too anxious to sleep for the performance the next day. Next thing you know, Ah Reum and Seol Hee appear at the door – seems like everyone had the same anxiety. They decide to all practice one more time together.
Seol Hee gives a mini pep talk (and already goosebumps are rising in my arms.) Like a true leader, she says:
“Now, there’s no need to be afraid. Let’s just do it the way we practiced. Hwa Ja, Kang (Soo In), and Yang Ah Reum – at our performance tomorrow, like the time we learned the C chord, it is the day that we’ve been waiting for, you know? Like we’ve dreamed, it’s the real debut! Hwa Ja – I know that it’s hard making time when you have work and house chores. Kang – you practiced so hard that your wrists hurt. Yang Ah Reum – you must be embarrassed to do this with middle-aged ladies, so we’re thankful that you’re here. All this time that we’ve been practicing until our blood dried up… let’s pour it all out tomorrow at the debut.”
The next day, they drive up to Live Cafe and see huge banners prominently featuring Ran Hee and the Madonna Band. The four girls freak out as if they’re the biggest thing ever, even though their picture takes up only a small portion of the banner. Just goes to show how happy these “ahjummas” are with the idea of performing.
Backstage everyone has the jitters. They have the camera crew filming them, and Min Kyu and Duk Soo are in the audience to support their ladies. Just then, Ran Hee’s manager takes the diva aside for a little secret planning (and you know the performance is not going to go well). Ran Hee bursts out, “What are you going to do if that ruins the debut?” but her manager reassures her – no one outside of that room is going to know, since it’s not going to be broadcast live on TV.
Tae Hyun comes in to give the girls his own pep talk. To Ah Reum: “Don’t try to stand out so much.” To Soo In: “Take some strength out of your wrists.” To Hwa Ja: “Even if those fake eyelashes come off, continue til the end!” To Seol Hee: “When you sing, just think about singing. Don’t think about anything else.”
The audience cheers as Ran Hee and the band take the stage. They’re an enthusiastic crowd, and Seol Hee smiles as she strums the first note… but no sound comes out. She tries again, but her guitar isn’t working. Ah Reum tries her guitar and it’s not working either. As they stand there in the increasingly awkward and restless silence, Ran Hee takes the chance to push Seol Hee aside from the microphone. She apologizes to the audience for the band being such amateurs, and she discreetly kicks them off the stage to sing her solo.
Embarrassed and angry, the Madonna Band have no choice but to trudge backstage. Tae Hyun is angry because if they could give up the stage so easily, why do it in the first place? He leaves them with the scathing remark that the Madonna Band isn’t skilled enough to perform at all. The girls start wondering how the hell the guitars – which were working a few minutes ago – could have suddenly not worked when they got onstage. They start speculating on who could have pulled this prank when Seol Hee tells them to stop. They’ll have another chance to perform – if the annoyed owner of the cafe would let them.
After the performance, Ran Hee and her manager invite Tae Hyun for drinks. In the van, Ran Hee feigns pity for her band mates, and her manager says it’s a shame that the guitar hook up was broken. Tae Hyun questions how the manager could have known that. The manager has no reply. He thinks that it’s not a big deal but Tae Hyun feels the injustice strongly, and threatens to break their contract. Hmmm – looks like he’s either a) falling for Seol Hee or b) liking the Madonna Band’s style, even if they’re amateurs.
He texts Seol Hee, who’s sitting outside the cafe, and apologizes for his harsh words. He also tells her to leave her broken guitar in the practice room. How sweet. Just then a mysterious guy with a cap covering most of his face approaches her. He’s uneasy, even though Seol Hee is willing to help him (in case he’s lost), and runs off when Soo In and Ah Reum approach. Bye bye mysterious guy… for now…
The next day, Seol Hee dresses up in a flirty outfit and enters the building of her husband’s apartment. Why? Well to seduce the security guard of course! She works her charms and gets the security guy to let her check all the parking lot footage for her husband’s car (and feed her with burgers and soda when it gets late).
Tae Hyun goes to a guitar shop and finds Jin Bae playing around with an antique. (Aha – so the lawyer is not only a crabby genius, but a guitar lover too. No wonder Tae Hyun likes this guy.) Jin Bae notices that the repaired guitar Tae Hyun picked up is not his own (because it Seol Hee’s) and tries to pry, but Tae Hyun won’t tell him whom it belongs to. (Ah – keeping secrets from a mentor now, eh? *wink wink nudge nudge*)
He calls Seol Hee, who’s in the middle of her investigation, and asks to meet her wherever she is. She goes down to the parking lot to wait for him, but a sleek black car pulls up. It’s Ji Wook. He sees the screen shots from the parking lot cameras and figures out that she’s checking up on him. Ji Wook blames her for causing more trouble for him – now a bunch of lawyers he’s never heard of have been calling him because she’s been bringing her case around. He warns her she’s just digging a deeper hole for herself, but Seol Hee retorts that she’s ready to fight til the end.
She turns around to leave and he grabs her wrist (because that’s the symbol for all “alpha Korean males”). Just then, they hear, “What are you doing right now?” It’s Tae Hyun to the rescue! Seol Hee is not a young “agashi” so Ji Wook should let go. (The implication being that because Seol Hee is dressed like a young tramp, a perverted businessman is trying to pick her up wrongly.)
Seol Hee: We should go.
Tae Hyun: (eyes her outfit) What kind of clothes are you wearing? I can’t tell if you’re wearing clothes or not. That’s why anyone and everyone is confronting you!
Ji Wook: *death-glare-becomes-glare-of-curiosity*
Seol Hee: I said let’s go.
Tae Hyun: (to Ji Wook) Be careful.
Oooohooo – hisss…
Tae Hyun is shocked though when he is told that he just confronted Seol Hee’s husband. Big Woops. He apologizes for getting involved, and Seol Hee brushes it off. He returns her guitar – which is now equipped with strings that are better for a left-handed strummer. She’s touched!
But first an obstacle! The girls are getting kicked out of the studio. The landlady wants them to move out without giving prior notice, and brought movers with her. Seol Hee immediately takes charge of the situation and starts showing off her law-smarts. She tells the landlady that it’s illegal to kick out tenants without prior notice, and if the landlady doesn’t stop now, they will fight it out at the police station. Leader Seol Hee wins the day!
They decide to move into an old, cluttered attic. Soo In is sorry that they couldn’t keep the studio, since it’s such a great space, but Seol Hee is the face of optimism. She gives Ah Reum a hearty slap on the back and they start cleaning the place up.
Ji Wook returns to Seung Hye’s office. He wants to know if she knew about Tae Hyun and Seol Hee. A look of fear and worry flash across her face, and she lies, “No…” Ji Wook says, with a calculative look, that the two of them seem close. Seung Hye is all, “Oh really? Ha..ha..ha….will look into it…”
And that means confronting Tae Hyun. Seung Hye rails against him for still meeting Seol Hee, but he says that it’s his personal life. She has no right to control who he sees or meets. Seung Hye says (quite arrogantly), “It’s all for your sake so listen to me. There was a time when you were really important to me, so I’m doing this because of that.” If Tae Hyun doesn’t heed her words, she will easily declare war against him too. Ugh – if she said that to me I’d definitely rebel.
It’s late at night, and considering Seol Hee’s state of dress, it’s not all too safe for her. As she walks home, the mysterious guy appears behind her, stalking her. She becomes aware of his presence and stops walking, thus (forcing him, and) letting him pass her. She sighs a relief, and goes up the stairs to her apartment. Suddenly, she hears, “You’re Jun Seol Hee, right?”
It’s the mysterious guy – and she recognizes him as the guy outside the cafe.
Man: You’re in the middle of filing for a divorce right now, right? I have information that you’ve been looking for that would allow you to win the case.
I’m disappointed that the divorce case is getting dragged out, but now it’s done at a better pace. Revelations are being made, and it looks like it will be an all out war for Seol Hee, both professionally and personally. She has to deal with evils in the form of her husband and Ran Hee, and find a way to live happily. She’s also smartened up in looking for a lawyer, but her little interaction with the landlady indicates that she’s not entirely ignorant about law. She knows how to take command of the situation (if given the chance to), and she knows a thing or two about law. Therefore, she thought she could handle herself well enough in court. However, she’s also quite optimistic and relied too heavily on the truth being revealed in court. Little did she realize that in court, it’s all about who can speak and argue better, not about the truth.
The character developments – Seung Hye is nearly as ruthless and as arrogant as Ji Wook. She has a very tiny heart left, but she’s also ordering her ex around, similar to Ji Wook. I also love the interactions between Hwa Ja and her husband; when she complains about their performance – or lack of – he takes it all calmly. She asks him a loaded question: who’s prettier, her or Ran Hee? And her husband can’t answer. She stomps off, and Duk Soo follows her meekly, as though this isn’t the first time they’ve had this “fight.” It’s so sweet, because even though they fight, their marriage is so grounded in love. As for Tae hyun and Soo In, was I the only one who noticed a hint of a possible attraction between the two? After all, they do hate each other, and they do have to work together. But I’m sure Soo In will stay in loyal-best-friend-territory. Nevertheless, I can dream…right?
I think it is way too early to have other characters pairing Tae Hyun and Seol Hee up because they don’t seem like a believable pair yet. They don’t dislike each other enough, but they don’t seem to like each other enough. Ji Wook misunderstanding their relationship makes sense though, because I’m sure he’s constantly searching for ways to paint Seol Hee in a worse light. But for the manager to immediately leap to the conclusion that Tae Hyun likes Seol Hee? I don’t think so… I also don’t understand why Tae Hyun’s being so nice to her. Is it because he found out about her being his fan? Or is it because she’s going against his ex-wife?
But yay for stalker guy! Although he can never beat Seo In Woo in terms of legit stalker skills, at least he confronts Seol Hee quickly enough. And seriously – expand Ah Reum’s role! Hyuni is so underused… tsk tsk.