The Musical: Episode 5
It sometimes stuns me when I think that we’re only in episode 5 and so many things seem to happen. And yet in perspective, the series is probably chugging along at just the right pace for a once-a-week drama. In this episode, I found myself spewing forth venomous hate for some characters, and sympathy for others.
For Yoo Jin, I just feel so ready to unzip that cold exterior of his and discard it like a sweater!
So what is the decision!?
Bok Ja waits in the auditorium with Eun Bi and doesn’t make her feel any better about the situation. She argues that Kang Hee probably still wants Jae Hee back, and so even if Eun Bi makes it, Kang Hee will still make her life a living hell.
The winners are announced, and Bok Ja runs off outside to see if she can find out the results. No need to leave the room though – Yoo Jin strides in moments later and goes straight up to Choo Jung Won. Eun Bi immediately has a sinking feeling, but she doesn’t seem too depressed about it. If only she had heard Yoo Jin say, “Thanks for coming out today but we’ll work with you next time.”
…!!! Eun Bi won! And she’s so shell-shocked that she leaves Yoo Jin hanging, his hand outstretched for a shake, when he informs her of the role.
Jung Won leaves the auditorium and bumps into Kang Hee, who’s holding out a coffee cup as a means for an apology. These two go way back, having started auditioning around the same time. Thing is, Kang Hee managed to get a meteoric rise to fame while Jung Won is still stuck auditioning for roles. Jung Won isn’t too bitter though; she notes that Eun Bi is just like Kang Hee. When they started out, Kang Hee was quite a terrible singer, but she slowly improved and was passionate about musicals.
(Heh. As long as Eun Bi doesn’t grow into a mega-*itch when she becomes famous, I think we can safely say that these two are different.)
Kang Hee smiles ruefully – was she really like that? Jung Won holds her hands up in surrender. She lost fair and square; she knows that Eun Bi is better suited for the part because she is Do Hwa, the gumiho.
Eun Bi, Jae Hee, and company all celebrate at Gu Jak’s restaurant with some drinks, snacks, and acappella singing. Later when they all walk home drunk and happy, Eun Bi and Jae Hee fall behind, being the only sober ones in the group. He finds her amusing – like a little pet dog – and grabs her into a hug, congratulating her on a job well done.
The world needs more men who can say their feelings out loud!!
Meanwhile Yoo Jin reviews the footage from the audition so that he can prepare any necessary contracts for getting the show on TV. Ra Kyung teases him for being such a workaholic and following every rule to a tee. When Eun Bi comes on for her interview segment, Ra Kyung can’t help but be impressed by her. All the other hopefuls talked about the scope of the production, of how famous they might become. Only Eun Bi talked about the role, wanting to understand and be Do Hwa as she sings Jae Hee’s song.
The next morning, Eun Bi delivers milk as usual. We finally see what she writes on the strawberry milk carton she delivers to Kang Hee’s home: “Sunbae! Have a great day today!” It’s a bright message that lifts Sang Won’s mood as he wonders who on earth delivers their milk. Kang Hee is less impressed, and she feeds the strawberry milk to her cat while drinking regular milk. While it is a bit insulting to feed Eun Bi’s heartfelt delivery to a cat, I also notice that the cat is probably the only thing Kang Hee loves in that house, and she gives it preferential treatment with the milk delivered to her with preferential treatment.
Kang Hee opts to join the three-day workshop with the rest of the musical company, which is surprising to Sang Won as she’s never gone before. While everyone else rides the bus together to the workshop cabin, Kang Hee, Sang Won, Ra Kyung, and Yoo Jin squeeze into one car.
It’s going to be an interesting trip with the Diva around.
Jang Joon Hyuk, the assistant director, greets them all at the workshop dorms and gives them room assignments. Of course, Bok Ja and Eun Bi get to room together. Kang Hee gets a special VIP room to herself, which is unprecedented as Sang Won never got such a nice room despite being president of the musical company. They have a nice view of the yard, and observe the cast playing a game with Jae Hee in the fold.
Kang Hee wonders if she’s ever laughed as freely and carelessly as Eun Bi does. Sang Won says no – she was always the “cool, elegant, diva” Kang Hee. HA – I kind of pity her.
Joon Hyuk calls everyone to the practice hall by marching up and down the dorm halls like a drill sergeant. He bumps into Ra Kyung, who’s carrying a heavy bag full of energy drinks. Ra Kyung is the sweetest girlfriend ever – she joins the trip not only as a marketing director, but as a photographer and an extra staff hand. She hands Joon Hyuk a can, and kindly rejects his offer to help. Joon Hyuk is smitten.
Jae Hee sneaks down to Eun Bi’s room and knocks, whispering that he’s brought coffee to share. Imagine his surprise when Kang Hee opens the door. She came to teach Eun Bi and Bok Ja some yoga moves, which they’ve promptly begun to practice.
Jae Hee makes the coffee, but remains suspicious of why Kang Hee is being oh-so helpful towards Eun Bi. Only Bok Ja enjoys her cup of coffee; she finds this whole triangle more interesting drama than… any old TV drama.
Jae Hee conducts practice and warm up. He has everyone start doing harmonies and then split off into pairs of two. Bok Ja immediately latches on to Eun Bi to be a pair, but suddenly Kang Hee calls out: Would Eun Bi like to pair up with her?
With such a public request, Eun Bi goes over to Kang Hee. Everyone watches as Kang Hee orders Eun Bi to sing the higher tone and she’ll support with the lower tone, even though Eun Bi sucks at higher tones. Eun Bi struggles, and Kang Hee continues to correct Eun Bi’s stance, making her keep her shoulders back and chin up.
Sang Mi is surprised to see that Kang Hee isn’t as cold as her reputation suggests, but Bok Ja remains skeptical. If Kang Hee really were always so nice, then why is her husband watching this scenario with great interest, as if he’s never seen it before? I swear, suddenly Bok Ja has become our wise narrator for this episode.
Suffice to say, Jae Hee is miffed to see Kang Hee doing such “nice things” and threatening his position as Eun Bi’s mentor. That evening at the barbecue, she feeds Eun Bi with lettuce-wrapped meat. Egh – I’ve got shivers up my spine…
Next day, new practice. Eun Bi sings the solo, once again performing like she did at the audition with the long pause. Jae Hee and the rest of the cast clearly approve, but then Kang Hee offers her own version. Of course, she belts out the lyrics with plenty of emotion, but no sweet/innocent pause in the middle. Everyone claps for her performance too, because it is quite amazing. But their faces also say, “Meh. Typical diva.”
Eun Bi claps enthusiastically and agrees with Kang Hee’s interpretation. That annoys Jae Hee, since he waaay prefers Eun Bi’s interpretation. He even calls her outside late at night about it, telling her to keep to her own opinions and convictions rather than be swayed by Kang Hee.
She explains that she’s not just letting Kang Hee have her way. Kang Hee was her inspiration, her idol, and to receive a lesson from her – even if it requires her to change her interpretation of a song – is an honor. As much as Eun Bi is Jae Hee’s muse, Kang Hee is Eun Bi’s muse and source of inspiration.
Jae Hee takes Eun Bi’s hand and tries to tell her that Kang Hee isn’t like her. Of course, Eun Bi takes that quite literally, so she doesn’t get Jae Hee’s hidden meaning – Kang Hee doesn’t have the same soul and innocence as Eun Bi, and the difference between them is what makes Eun Bi so valuable to this production. It’s not “Kang Hee’s show;” this musical could very well be “Eun Bi’s show” – if Eun Bi would allow herself to shine.
Eun Bi heads back first. She runs past Yoo Jin, who’s outside making a call. He watches her leave, and then watches Jae Hee walk after her. Then he sees Jae Hee freeze on his way back to his room and look up at a balcony, where Kang Hee is looking down at him. Yoo Jin just watches this triangle merry-go-round before heading back to his own room.
Jae Joon meets with the director friend for lunch, wanting to know if there are any hot new actresses who can give him a good time. The director is more business minded, and notes that Yoo Jin just might succeed with the new musical he’s investing 3 million in. (“Chungdamdong Gumiho” is getting a total of 5.5 million for a budget, more than Gu Jak ever expected. Plenty of lives are at stake for the success of this musical.) If Yoo Jin succeeds, Jae Joon can say bye-bye to his post on the board of directors.
The director friend wants Jae Joon to stir up some fear in the investors, raise issue about such a big budget for a rookie actress to star with Bae Kang Hee. Maybe then the investors will lose faith in Yoo Jin and oust him, and then Jae Joon can come back and head the musical fund for the company. That would be favorable to both their interests.
Last day of the workshop – Jae Hee plays a sample of the musical’s score for the entire company. Everyone is excited, but Jae Hee is quite dispirited. On his way out of the auditorium, he bumps into Yoo Jin, who observes that Jae Hee should stop favoring Eun Bi so much. He leaves Jae Hee with some food for thought: so many lives and money are being invested into this musical that it would be great if Jae Hee could focus on the project, and not just one person.
Ra Kyung films a short interview of Kang Hee in her room, with Eun Bi watching. They admire how composed and wise Kang Hee comes across, and she advises Eun Bi to be careful of what she says in an interview. Things can easily get skewed, and information that she may think is off-record may actually be on record.
Then it’s Eun Bi’s turn for an interview, and Kang Hee has a bright idea. Makeover time!
Everyone’s gathered in the airy lobby doing their own thing, but they stop and ogle at the sight of Eun Bi dressed in a tight, little black dress with make-up and heels. Catcalls fill the air as they marvel at how different she looks, but Jae Hee is the only one who can smell Troublesome Kang Hee all over this…
He confronts Kang Hee in her room right away – why is she being so nice to Eun Bi? Well, simply put, she wants to replace Jae Hee as a mentor. She wants to spend as much time as possible with Eun Bi so that the rookie will learn how Kang Hee truly feels about Jae Hee. Kang Hee posits that Jae Hee just wants Eun Bi to fall in love with him, and so she will be the true guide to stardom instead. However, she’s more likely to just torture Eun Bi and make her see what Kang Hee really is like.
In the interview, Ra Kyung asks Eun Bi why she went to med school in the first place. Eun Bi had promised to find a cure for her grandmother’s lung condition, and so she has been on that track ever since. However, her grandmother also recognized that Eun Bi’s heart lied somewhere else. She gave Eun Bi her blessing to go and pursue her dreams; a promise to find a cure isn’t worth sacrificing her happiness.
Yoo Jin comes upon this part of the interview, and he clearly doesn’t think much of Eun Bi’s heartfelt history. He rudely interrupts, asking Ra Kyung out for coffee. Eun Bi isn’t stupid about this slight, and runs after Yoo Jin to confront him. Does he hate her or something?
Yoo Jin smiles his emotionless, toothy smile, and says he doesn’t hate her at all. He doesn’t love her either, but he doesn’t hate her. Or so he says! Ra Kyung catches them in this conversation and gives him her two-cents later: Eun Bi is like Yoo Jin’s father, and therefore he’s transferring his anger and vulnerability towards Eun Bi instead.
Yoo Jin insists he doesn’t feel that way, but I’m pretty sure he’s an idiot to his own feelings so…
Standing from his balcony, he watches the cast members jump on a trampoline one by one, and is taken back to a memory in his childhood. His father, Jin Young, was riding a jetski boat towards him, going to pick him up for a ride around the lake. However his mother, Sun Hee, had stepped in, wanting them to head back home because Grandfather (and the company) was expecting them.
But his father wanted to have more fun, being the more free-spirited one in the couple. He had worked hard for this vacation! Of course, Jin manages to get on the jetski as well.
Why this happy memory? What happened that soured his relationship with his father?
Back at the company, Uncle reports to Grandfather that they should expand their business to China. Though he had submitted a report supporting increased investments to the States, he wants to go to China because of a government official there who will help them in the Chinese market. Grandfather: “What happens if that one guy gets sick or dies? You want us to make a big investment based on one man’s promise, and throw away all the hard work of your employees?”
Embarrassing Uncle at the meeting, Grandfather orders him to keep up the good relations with that one man, but to create new plans for investment in two days. Uncle is angered that Grandfather won’t even trust him – the CEO of the company – with matters like this, always giving him problems to solve but then secretly holding the answers behind his back. Jin Young isn’t coming back to the company, so Grandfather might as well start trusting him and Jae Joon a little more.
Grandfather scoffs – Jae Joon run his company? Uncle thinks that if Jae Joon gets the right position, he will learn how to be more responsible. (HA! Where’s the sense in that logic?! Especially with that skirt-chaser of a son!)
That evening, everyone gathers together for a team bonding game. Gu Jak, Sang Won, and Yoo Jin gather to watch as the entire cast get into a circle and hold hands. The game is for one outsider to do his best to get into the circle, while everyone else who forms it has to do their best to keep them out. It’s a game that requires teamwork, but it also reveals people’s true natures.
Social people get in easily because they get along with everyone. But people who are aloof or distant don’t get in because others end up being meaner towards them. They make it harder for them to get in, and in that action, reveal what they truly think about that person.
Kang Hee volunteers to be outside the circle. Of course, she immediately goes towards Jae Hee, hoping that he’ll let her in, but he pushes her away, unrelenting. She tries other people, but can’t get in; another member reassures Sang Won that Kang Hee will get in right away because she’s so famous, but he doesn’t seem to really believe him. Kang Hee finally gets in – through none other than Eun Bi, the one person in the group who probably loves her.
Next up is Eun Bi as the outsider. Eun Bi tries her luck with getting in through Kang Hee, but Kang Hee pushes her away quite violently. That act is not lost on Jae Hee, Sang Won, or Yoo Jin; actions speak louder than words, and they never lie.
Eun Bi finally gets in, and another team member – I’ll call him Yellow – volunteers. He gets pushy – all in good fun – but it makes the circle topple sideways and trip Ra Kyung, who is filming on the sidelines. She stumbles backwards, and ends up falling into the fire that was made in the middle of the field.
Joon Hyuk rushes to her aid, putting out the fire on her sleeve. Yoo Jin only stands from the picnic table and watches in shock.
A lot in this episode focuses on character growth, which is what we need when the plot has been firmly set in motion. The ending scene about “actions speak louder than words” was a little expository and preachy for me, but I do enjoy how it summarized everything up. It reminds us that Kang Hee still hates Eun Bi no matter what she says, that Jae Hee still hates Kang Hee, that Sang Won can see through Kang Hee, that Joon Hyuk has a crush on Ra Kyung, and that most importantly Yoo Jin may not really love Ra Kyung.
Huzzah! I knew it! He couldn’t possibly be perfect with the perfect girlfriend! I just can’t wait to see the aftermath of this, because even though others may brush it off, you can never forget the fact that a stranger helped Ra Kyung, and her own boyfriend stood and watched.
And yet, I do feel a great deal of sympathy for Yoo Jin. His flashback to that memory of a summer day was quite nostalgic, and it really raised questions for me about what his deal is. What are his secret motivations? What issue estranged him from his parents? What happened that made him close himself off to the world?
Yoo Jin was probably the singularly most interesting character in this episode. After that, it’s Kang Hee – her jealousies are peeking through, and I enjoy watching Sang Won watch his own wife with fresh new eyes. His eyes say a thousand words, and I applaud him for that.