The Musical: Episode 15 (Final)
Wow. I thought I was disappointed with the ending in I Am Legend. This ending tops that on my “disappointment list.” The Musical started out so strongly, and was interesting for the first half. But it flagged, and it was evident in the writing, the editing, and even the acting. I think Park Ki Woong did his best with his character, but everyone else fell flat – more so by the end. Perhaps again the fault lies in the lazier writing.
But I’ll save the rest of my anger in the final comments. Here goes… (and no, unfortunately this will be a sober recap. Champagne and other bubblies were consumed over the holiday weekend before I watched this episode. I have no more left. Sob*)
So Yoo Jin thwarted Kang Hee’s plans. And to further cut the angst short, “Gumiho” wins first place in the contest. The company cheers and they celebrate their win on the stage. Joon Hyuk immediately shares the good news with Ra Kyung, who’s changed her hairstyle. (New man, new hair?)
While on stage, Kang Hee purposely walks by, pauses in front of them, and continues walking off. Bitter much? But it’s all good – Gu Jak suggests they all go for some drinking and partying at the “hotel,” meaning “sauna.” Yoo Jin comes out with the other investors and judges, who thank him for letting go of the rights for the musical. Of course, Eun Bi and Jae Hee overhear this, and they’re both thankful towards him. Jae Hee puts his arm around Eun Bi as well, a clear sign of “She’s mine; stop staring at her.”
The battle is not over for Kang Hee just yet. In her car, she calls up Grandfather and immediately reports to him what Yoo Jin has done. Grandfather is not a happy camper. What’s worse is that Jae Joon is in the same room and overhears the call. He lets slip that Yoo Jin probably made that decision because of “the girl” from Gu Jak’s company, who probably also caused the breakup between Yoo Jin and Ra Kyung.
Eun Bi goes running in the park, and finds Jae Hee there, waiting with a warm cup of coffee for the both of them. She wonders how he knew she was there, and he replies, “My lips woke me up, because they wanted to see her.” EWWW – and I agree with Eun Bi on this one – that is one hell of a cheesy line. Despite knowing that they’re facing some obstacles (for her, it’s Kang Hee’s wrath, and for him it’s the money issue), both of them still smile together. Eun Bi is finally at peace that she knows what she wants, and the people she cares for. (Yep – people – even though Jae Hee insists there should only be one person that she cares for.)
But while they’re happy, Yoo Jin gets some bad news: he’s being transferred. It appears that he’s no longer going to head Amour Fund – that is going back under his witless cousin’s rule – and he will be heading the China project.
A brief interlude has Eun Bi visiting her grandmother at a computer center. The grandmother decided to take some classes, but since Yoo Jin’s father gave her some more advanced tips, she’s been teaching others some computer tricks. She tells Eun Bi that her father’s sort of come to peace with her new chosen career, quietly proud that his daughter is the lead of a musical.
Joon Hyuk, Gu Jak, and Jae Hee start planning out which theaters they can put their show in. Joon Hyuk compiles a list of small venues with canceled shows, but the thing is they still don’t have enough money for even those. But Gu Jak isn’t too worried – they’ll have sponsors – for sure! Wow Gu Jak – I hope you learned your lesson though on not spending all your sponsors’ money at once.
Yoo Jin meets with his Grandfather, who tells him that he’s doing this transfer for his grandson’s benefit. He won’t know that he’ll regret helping the “Gumiho” project until much later down the road. But Yoo Jin doesn’t want to follow; even if Grandfather may eventually be right about the regret, he can’t follow this change. And so, he resigns.
Already, Jae Joon is accepting bribes from directors and playing games in his office. Yoo Jin’s secretary comes in with documents for the transition, and all of Yoo Jin’s projects. Jae Joon only wants the documents relating to “Chungdamdong Gumiho,” because he wants to know everything that has to do with the project. And what does the secretary do instead? He hands over his resignation letter too!
But Jae Joon is not completely lost of sources – he calls up a buddy and gets the 411 on Gu Jak’s company. Next thing everyone knows, all the small theaters Gu Jak was considering are booked. They know that someone must be behind this, and Bok Ja voices that it must be Kang Hee.
Jae Hee quickly goes to make a phone call, but Eun Bi holds him back. What if it’s not Kang Hee’s fault? And if it is, then shouldn’t they try to convince her and beg for her help? Jae Hee’s shocked – before, Eun Bi would have said “Oh, it’s not working out. It’s my fault. I quit.” (HAHA – so true.) Now, she’s “grown up” a bit and will work to overcome an obstacle rather than run away/around it.
Joon Hyuk goes to meet Ra Kyung outside her office, and he shows her a magic trick inside her car (just to cheer her up). However she can tell that something’s bothering him, and he admits that “Chungdamdong Gumiho” is lacking a theater. If they don’t secure a theater soon, the contract with the cast and crew will end. If that ends, they’ll lose the sponsorship from the contest they just won.
Ra Kyung suddenly gets an idea; she calls up her mother for her uncle’s contact info. Apparently he had a theater built last month! How convenient!
Yoo Jin’s assistant goes to Yoo Jin’s home with an update on Gu Jak’s company. They managed to secure a theater, but they lack funds for production and marketing costs. They’re in need of a CFO – *hint hint.*
He gets a visit from Gu Jak and Jae Hee, and gives them a quick proposal on their financial situation. Since they are in need of $30,000 for production cost, he suggests that he be the CFO for their production. In return, all he asks for is 3% of the profits over the next 10 years, priorities in selling the musical overseas, and a 5% cut from the sale. Jae Hee is skeptical about all this, but Yoo Jin assures him that he can get $20,000 right away from a wine company, as long as their wine bottle is featured in the musical.
As for Kang Hee, she’s obsessed with social media, loving how thousands of fans just follow everything she says, likes, or does. Sang Won tells her about Jae Joon is the new head of Amour Fund, but she’s not worried. She’s such a big name that with her, Sang Won can get any funding he needs and wants. It’s crazy how she objectifies herself as a money-making commodity to her husband rather than a wife, because Sang Won clearly loves her as a wife and a woman.
Joon Hyuk visits Ra Kyung again, this time with a gift. He thanks her for helping solve their theater-problem, and hands her a new watch: “I hope that every second in your life is sweet.” Ra Kyung gives him a peck on the forehead. Collective AWWW please as these two blush.
Posters come out on the streets of “Count Monte” and “Chungdamdong Gumiho” side by side. “Count Monte” posters feature Kang Hee prominently, while “Chungdamdong Gumiho” posters bring out an antiquated vibe. Turns out Ra Kyung is also helping in the marketing for “Gumiho.”
Ra Kyung and Yoo Jin meet. Both were a little worried they might cross paths while working on the same project, and that it would be a painful experience. But Ra Kyung has completely moved on, and is actually happier now. She wonders if Yoo Jin can deal with seeing Eun Bi and Jae Hee, and also Joon Hyuk around herself. Yoo Jin is ok with it if she’s ok with it. Peaceful ending for this long-term couple.
And then we see some clips from the “Count Monte” production! It’s pretty cool as we watch the sword fights, the women singing, and how Mercedes confronts Edmond Dantes about their past. We even see Kang Hee all dressed up in her gowns, belting ballads and duets.
After one particular performance, Kang Hee cleans up in her dressing room, practicing singing. But then, her voice fades out. She coughs a little, and tries again. Her voice goes out – and she can’t even hit the high notes. Her voice comes out in whispers…
Her rival Eun Bi is practicing one more time at Jae Hee’s home, their first performance being the following day. When the song ends, Jae Hee immediately rattles on a list of things she needs to do to preserve her voice: turn on the humidifier; get a good night’s rest; eat, but don’t eat too much. He gets more nervous than she, that he even suggests she stay over the night so that he can make sure she’s doing everything properly. Ha – like Eun Bi can’t see right through him. She knows he just wants to pounce her (rawr). He hugs her, and then leans in for a kiss, but she backs off quickly. Is this the proper behavior of a teacher to his student-actress? Jae Hee: “Um, well, if certain things happen, shouldn’t we just go along with it? And then move on to the next base?” Heehee – cheeky boy.
Eun Bi leaves anyways; if she spends the night, she knows she may do something naughty…
Kang Hee grows even more scared when she gets home and still can’t sing. She gets a check-up with the doctor, and the diagnosis is acute vocal chord damage. There’s no telling how long it will last, so her substitute may have to come in until the end of the show’s run. Kang Hee is not allowed to use her voice for six months, and the news stuns her so completely that she cannot walk out of the hospital without her husband’s help.
Once back home, Kang Hee composes a letter to Sang Won. She admits that she’s thought many times of how their marriage would end, but she never expected it would be over the loss of her voice. Because she’s no longer useful to him, she’s decided to leave. Ugh – this is the worst execution of the Noble Idiot storyline.
Sang Won reads the note and grabs Kang Hee before she can go out the door. (P.S. – you’re supposed to make sure the recipient gets the letter when you’re already out of the house, on the way to the airport, and ready to board the plane.) He is willing to end the love between Han Sang Won the musical producer, and Bae Kang Hee the actress. But now, he wants them to begin the love of Han Sang Won the man and Bae Kang Hee the woman.
She resists his hold, but he won’t let her go without knowing that he’s always loved her – just her. He doesn’t care if she can’t sing or speak onstage anymore; he is just waiting to hear one thing from her, and so he doesn’t want her to lose hope and lose her voice just yet. (Methinks it’s a, “Thank you,” or an “I love you.”) And with that, Kang Hee stops fighting against him.
The next morning, she goes out and picks up the milk for the first time. She sees the handwritten message, and Eun Bi riding her bike away without a look back. Small smile on Kang Hee’s face, and this time, she drinks a little from that milk carton instead of giving it to her cat.
Beware the following segments – there is no connectivity whatsoever:
Grandfather is on the call with Jin Young, who’s now back at the company since his wife has died, and his son has resigned. Jin Young is handling the company’s business in China now. However, another company official informs Grandfather that they’re losing money; if they can’t get $100 million by next month, they’ll lose everything. Suddenly, Yoo Jin is back – and he’s willing to help his father in China. He also proposes they get another fund from a company in America.
Ra Kyung and Joon Hyuk drive up to a new housing complex. Since her family built it, it might be under her name. And they end up kissing on the stairs. Woohoo!
Joon Hyuk and Gu Jak carry home a drunk Jae Hee, with Eun Bi close behind. Joon Hyuk has to head out to help Ra Kyung unpack, and Eun Bi sends off Gu Jak as well, saying he ought to go to Sang Mi. Joon Hyuk has to drag Gu Jak out, understanding that the actress and the songwriter need their little private time.
On the sofa, Eun Bi sits close to the drunken Jae Hee. Shyly, she kisses his forehead. No response. Kisses his cheek; no response. Kisses his lips; still no response. Eun Bi is so flustered that she doesn’t realize Jae Hee’s actually awake. He pretends she’s still asleep, waiting for her to kiss again, and when she goes for the lips again, he sits up and grabs her for more. Eun Bi is so shy she can’t stop giggling as he kisses her.
They end up in bed (fully clothed by the way!) and Jae Hee looks into her eyes. “I love you,” he says. She smiles, and replies, “I love you…I think.” And they hold hands.
What?! That’s the ending? No performance? Just random segments of closure?! I’m not even 1% satisfied with any of the closing segments! It’s such a rushed ending, and clearly it’s because of the flagging ratings and the episode cut. This drama is the perfect example of choppy editing, because it has segments that are vague and don’t relate all next to each other. I’m confused by the timeline and sequence of events. It feels like everything happened over several months, but it’s so rushed that I initially thought it all happened within a week.
I like the attention that was given to Kang Hee’s character by the end, although it was quite a pathetic way to make her character sort of “die.” Kang Hee lost all her bite and vengeance by the end of the series; once intriguing, she became weak and gave up too quickly. I am glad that she took a sip of Eun Bi’s milk, because that was finally her way of accepting Eun Bi as a person. Still – kind of a weak, and pathetic, ending for a woman once so manipulative.
I think this series belatedly realized that Yoo Jin was the most compelling character in the group. However, the writers shouldn’t have suddenly turned the focus on him because it made no sense. When episode 13 turned back to the romance, I found myself wanting them to turn back to the musical more. I wanted more of Kang Hee being a mentor, or being a saboteur, to Eun Bi’s career. I wanted more of the rehearsals and the drama that goes on backstage. I don’t care as much for the mother with the brain tumor and how her death will send everyone else to a tizzy. That storyline should have been downplayed a bit more.
I will give a couple of things to the series’ credit – the beginning was fun, the music and audition process were nice, I loved listening to Ock Joo Hyun sing, Sung Ha was fun until she started seeing herself as Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” and Park Ki Woong was the winner of this series, having had the most growth and also ending up doing things the way he wanted on his own terms.
Now on to the scathing part:
Gu Hye Sun does not emote properly, nor does she have chemistry with Daniel Choi. I think I know where she’s coming from when she makes her grimaces and squirmy faces that look like she’s smiling when she’s actually trying to channel awkwardness. But when I look at her, all I can see is Gu Hye Sun – I can’t lose myself in the character of Eun Bi. Some actors are good at portraying someone else, and some are good at presenting expressions that have to do with the emotion, but none of them look so offbeat or juvenile while doing it. You may argue that this is Gu’s unique acting style, but that acting style isn’t sincere. Rather, I feel like she just coasts along in her character, not trying too hard to let the audience empathize with the awkwardness she feels around Yoo Jin and Jae Hee. She just acts like a little kid that is too shy to take the lollipop from the ahjussi. You’re a grown woman – act like one, even if you’re a bit naive on love.
I was not impressed with her at all, and I was doubly not impressed with her character in general. (That fault lies within the writer though.) I don’t find her a compelling lead because though she claims to have a drive to be a musical actress, she waffles around too much. Sure it’s because she doesn’t want to compromise her morals for the sake of ambition, but I question her morals as well. Does she not realize she’s leading on two men? Does she not realize that she’s a coward and that her method is to give up rather than work hard? What if a dying patient were on the line – would she have given up, or would she have tried to find a cure? Does she not realize earlier that her actions may have an impact on others that may not necessarily be good for them? She doesn’t get this epiphany until episode 12, when it’s a bit too late because Yoo Jin has fallen for her, Jae Hee has been hurt by her, and she just turned the Yoo family’s life upside down.
Gu Hye Sun + the character Eun Bi were a terrible combination. She does not make Eun Bi sympathetic enough to me that I would want Eun Bi to succeed. What’s worse is, by the end of this episode I don’t even see Eun Bi really succeeding; I don’t get the satisfaction of seeing her onstage, in front of a live audience, with the cast behind her.
It’s truly unfortunate that this series was cut down, and I will say that is part of the reason why the ending was so unsatisfying. But the writing was slowing down as well, and so I don’t have much hope that a full 16-episode run would have done that much better either.
- The Musical: Episode 14
- The Musical: Episode 13
- The Musical: Episode 12
- The Musical: Episode 11
- The Musical: Episode 10
- The Musical: Episode 9
- The Musical: Episode 8
- The Musical: Episode 7
- The Musical: Episode 6
- The Musical: Episode 5
- The Musical: Episode 4
- The Musical: Episode 3
- The Musical: Episodes 1-2