Deeper into the rabbit hole they go, as the boys start to clean up their act and do as they’re told, to get their music out in the world. But as friction turns to fracture, they start to wonder one by one: At what cost?
EPISODE 10 RECAP
The boys win the playground fight to defend Woo-kyung’s honor (it’s literally in a playground, as if the metaphor needed any help). But there’s little time to celebrate their victory, because cops come rolling in. Crapcakes.
Meanwhile Su-ah sits in her emptied rooftop room, huddled with a blanket, and calls Ji-hyuk over and over. There’s a knock at the door and she runs to it, calling, “Ji-hyuk?” But no, it’s Seung-hoon.
He takes her out for coffee, and suggests she come stay at his noona’s officetel like he asked before. But she says she’ll manage somehow. He gets frustrated and asks if she’s just going to sit there and wait for Ji-hyuk.
“He’s the one in your heart, isn’t he?” She looks down and fidgets, but to her credit, she answers yes. I like this girl.
Seung-hoon finally blows up at her for stupidly waiting for Ji-hyuk, for defending him, wondering why he’s letting himself get so angry when she’s nothing to him now. Aw, it’s sad to see this friendship go down, but I’m glad that Seung-hoon found some pride and started to act like a normal person who gets rejected.
Noona chews the boys out for risking it all at such a crucial time, and their manager puts them on lockdown for the foreseeable future. He confiscates their phones, all but Ji-hyuk, who swears he lost his and trudges to his room.
Hyun-soo mumbles under his breath that Ji-hyuk suuuure is acting like a leader. But! It’s not HIS fault! I smell trouble a-brewin’…
Woo-kyung comes to apologize by way of snacks, and everyone but Hyun-soo receives her warmly. Kyung-jong says there’s no one who thinks of them more, and Hyun-soo snaps back, wondering how someone who cares about them so much could call them out to a fight.
It makes her feel terrible and she tries to smooth things over, but Hyun-soo’s in no mood to be civil, and requests that she stop coming by and breaking even more rules for them. The other boys try to talk him off the ledge and finally Ji-hyuk tells him to stop… which is exactly the fight Hyun-soo’s been angling for.
Hyun-soo: “I think that this is exactly the kind of situation a leader should set straight.” Arrrgh, I hate it when you two fight!
He storms out and Woo-kyung awkwardly says she’ll stop coming by for a while. Do-il sighs, the one who’s actually heartbroken over it.
Seung-hoon tells Ye-rim that he has someone in mind for her to do her duet song with, and she asks if he’s done a lot of unrequited loving, since the song isn’t like other duets—the boy’s in love, but the girl isn’t. He just awkwardly changes the subject.
She comes upon Hyun-soo practicing by himself, and gets the typical icy greeting. She promises not to bother him and asks to just watch him play, and he tosses out, “Are you interested in me or something?” totally not expecting her to say yes.
Except she says yes, like it’s totally obvious, throwing him off his game. Heh. He goes back to practicing, and when he looks back up, she’s gone.
He gets an urgent call from Mom that his little sister is back in the hospital, and rushes off. By the time he comes back into the dorm it’s 4am, and Ji-hyuk asks if he was practicing till now. Hyun-soo just walks past him with no answer.
Su-ah lights up when her phone rings, running out of yet another part-time job to answer the call from Ji-hyuk… only it’s the convenience store clerk who found Ji-hyuk’s phone. Way to ruin a girl’s lunch break, dude. She deflates, wondering if something’s wrong.
It’s time for Eye Candy’s debut, idol-style, as the manager carts them around to introduce to music show PDs who make fun of their name and laugh at the idea of selling rock.
To their horror, he has them watch variety shows, and announces that they’ll be guests, and to each prepare something funny. Oh man, I’m having awesome flashbacks to Hwang Tae-kyung and the radish. This is SO not up Eye Candy’s alley. They look back at him like he just said he’s an alien vampire who wears women’s underwear.
They trudge back home, and Ji-hyuk is the first to say aloud, “What are we DOING?” Hyun-soo, ever the realist, reminds them that they made a promise to see it through. The boys wonder if they’ll ever actually get to play onstage, and why putting out a single is such hard work. Ji-hyuk gets up to leave to clear his head, promising not to get into any trouble while he’s out. Hyun-soo glares.
Rock Kim hangs out watching tv in Noona’s office, and asks about “the punks.” She says they’ve quieted down lately, perhaps because they’re kids after all, and got scared straight. Rock Kim: “Quieted down, eh? Well that’s no fun.” Right? Let’s get on that, Rock Kim!
Noona fields a call and groans at the loss of yet another manager who couldn’t take it anymore. HA. I love that no one can handle them. Without a word, Rock Kim picks up his phone and calls someone, “Hey, you just got fired so you have lots of time, right?” Awwwww yeah! Are you calling Teacher Drummer Man?
Ji-hyuk arrives on Su-ah’s rooftop to find all her stuff outside. He checks inside and finds nothing but her blanket, and no Su-ah anywhere. He makes his way over to his own rooftop, wondering where she could have gone, when the lights go on in his room.
He jumps back with a start, “Who’s there, turning lights on in other people’s rooms?” Su-ah opens the door wrapped in his blanket, rubbing her eyes. Aw, it was just a homeless puppy.
He pretends to be all put out by it, as if you’re somehow upset that your girlfriend wants to sleep in your bed? Pfft. She tells him what happened, and that she’s lucky she has a neighbor who’s careless enough to leave his spare key hidden in such obvious places.
They cute-bicker about who’s going to pay rent—she argues that she’s living there, while he argues that it’s still his place—and sit there making googly eyes at each other. She gives him back his phone, which seriously, we’re just going to get surgically attached somewhere.
The next morning, an ominous pair of feet enters the boys’ dorm, surveying the wanton laziness. They fixate on the first target: Ha-jin. A hand creeps up to pat his behind… is this going to a naughty place?
Alas no, but it IS going to an awesome place, because Ha-jin opens his eyes… to this:
Aack! That’s no way to wake up sleeping beauty. One by one, Teacher Kim greets the boys with that look of evil glee, as they jump out of their skin.
They sit slackjawed as Rock Kim explains that Teach is indeed their new manager. They ask if he got fired from school, but he insists it’s just a six-month break, which he’ll spend being their personal manager. More staring.
They argue that “not just anyone” can be a manager, and Rock Kim turns to Teach: “Do they not know we were in a band together?” The boys practically go catatonic.
Cut to: Teach displaying his prowess on the drums, as the boys slowly begin to smile. Aw. I Love. This.
They’re forced to sit there as Teach and Rock Kim take a trip down memory lane, bickering about that girl they both liked, Teach still upset that Rock Kim stole her, and Rock Kim insisting it wouldn’t have happened if Teach had just admitted he liked her from the get-go. Keh.
It turns to talk over the different directions they wanted for the band, and who sold out and who wanted to be treated like a real artist, and ends with the lesson in a nutshell: The things that’ll break up a band? “Money. And girls.”
Rock Kim warns them not to hide things from each other, because these things will eventually tear them apart if they’re not honest. Once they’re alone, Rock Kim tells Teach he did a great job of matching his verbal sparring, and Teach just goes, “Huh?” clearly having meant every word. Ha.
The school buzzes with fangirl activity over Eye Candy. Su-ah carries a bouquet of red roses, giddy with anticipation, (are they for Ji-hyuk?) and even Deo-mi has jumped on the bandwagon, sheep that she is.
Pyo-joo overhears them gushing, and purposely pushes someone right into Su-ah, knocking her and her vase of flowers crashing to the ground. Ugh. You douchecanoe.
But Su-ah’s no damsel in distress, and gets up in his face, telling him to apologize if he did something wrong. Deo-mi sees Seung-hoon watching the whole exchange and runs up, asking him to do something. He averts his gaze.
Pyo-joo snickers that she’s no longer Seung-hoon’s girlfriend, right? He asks if she wants him to introduce her to some guys, basically treating her like a golddigger. She tells him to move, but he grabs her hair and leans in menacingly, “You thought you WERE something, didn’t you? You’re nothing without Seung-hoon, you worthless…”
She finishes the sentence for him with a giant SLAP right across his face. Goddamn that’s so satisfying. DO IT AGAIN!
But he goes livid and pushes her to the ground by her head. What? Did you just fucking push her? *vomit*
He actually goes over there, ready to kick or hit her again, and finally Seung-hoon grabs his arm to stop him, knowing that this is about him, not Su-ah. Pyo-joo happily turns his rage towards Seung-hoon, asking if that girl is worth more to him than his friends, as he hits him over and over.
Not that I’m expecting the psycho’s logic to be, er… logical, but I’m pretty sure Seung-hoon made it clear that he thinks more of cockroaches than his friends, so that’s neither here nor there, Ted Bundy.
Maro finally steps in to break it up, and drags Pyo-joo away. Su-ah tamps down her tears and asks Seung-hoon if he’s okay, but he just coldly turns and walks away from her without a word.
Meanwhile Eye Candy gets ready for their first tv interview, where Noona makes sure they memorize and recite the backstories that she’s created for them. She also announces their first tv performance on a live broadcast this weekend, where they insist that they can perform live.
The tv interview goes terribly awry, or mostly just falls really really flat, because every time the host asks a question, she gets gets a noncommittal “No, not really,” “Yeah, yunno,” from the boys.
I love that when she asks them to name their favorite female idols, they’re like, “Huh? I don’t know,” “Don’t have one,” and Kyung-jong answers, “That rapper… the tiger… his wife…” HA. I’m pretty sure you can’t call dibs on Yoon Mirae and not lose a finger, piano man.
As expected, Hyun-soo is the only one who takes to the interview well, outshining the others. It’s not on purpose, but he’s the only one who takes it seriously and actually plays the game. Noona takes note, and tells Teach that Hyun-soo’s gonna have a full plate of solo activities coming his way. Oh noes, I knew this would happen!
Ha-jin finds Ye-rim in the hallway and thanks her for the free publicity, totally oblivious to her reasons why. He asks if he can take her out for a meal to thank her, with Kyung-jong along, and she agrees since they’re in the same agency family, and because she’s curious about Eye Candy.
Aw, poor Ha-jin, just a stepping stone to get to Hyun-soo. He triumphantly shows off her digits to the rest of the boys, who aren’t surprised in the least.
Su-ah searches the halls for Seung-hoon, worried that his behavior of late is so uncharacteristic. Listen, you just have to let the boy be emo for a while. You can’t be both the girl to reject him AND the friend who picks up the pieces. Doesn’t work that way.
She finally finds him brooding in the spot where he first gave her his song. She tries to wipe the blood from his lip, but he pushes her hand away.
Su-ah: “When I look at you lately, you’re not the Seung-hoon I knew.” He counters, “Where’s the Im Su-ah that I knew?” She says she’s sorry and turns to go, realizing that he doesn’t want her help.
The boys return to the dorm where Teach tosses them a magazine interview about Seung-hoon, where he calls them out by name, saying that Eye Candy isn’t real music, but a happening, basically calling them a gimmick more than a band.
They get all fired up, but Teach asks what they’re planning to do about it, with their empty bravado and thoughtless antics. Hyun-soo’s the only one who admits that he’s right about that—they are here without any inkling of why or a plan for the future.
Noona asks Seung-hoon if he really had to take it that far with the interview, and asks what it is he really wants. Seung-hoon: “To step on them.” Eep, he says it super intensely. Taken aback, she asks if he means it, and he takes it down a notch and lies that he’s kidding.
But he’s not, of course, because his next request is to have Hyun-soo sing the duet with Ye-rim. Pot stirrers. Grar.
The mood is dampened during practice, and Ji-hyuk stops to ask what’s up with everybody. Hyun-soo walks out, and Ha-jin and Kyung-jong go trailing off too. Do-il wonders if things haven’t gotten a little too big for them to control—they started out wanting to show Byung-hee’s music to the world, but are they just going to break up the band in trying to put out a single?
Su-ah packs the shoes she made for Ji-hyuk in excitement for the big day. The boys wait nervously in their dressing room, all guylinered up and ready to go… when Noona comes in to tell them that there was a sudden amp issue and they can’t go live after all. Right. Amp issue. Guh.
Ji-hyuk is not happy about lip-syncing onstage, but Hyun-soo argues that it might be better in the long run, because it’s their first performance—what happens if they make a mistake? Ji-hyuk reminds him the number of times they’ve performed live, but Hyun-soo sees this as a whole new scale. They’re both right, which is always the problem with these two.
Backing up a little to when they arrived, Su-ah waits in the sea of screaming fangirls, and can’t even get close to Ji-hyuk, who walks right by without seeing her. Aw, sadness. But she does manage to catch Teacher Kim’s attention, who tells her that he’s managing the boys while on leave from school.
She asks him to give Ji-hyuk the shoes, which always makes me nervous, messages and presents changing hands and getting lost, but he hands it to Ji-hyuk inside, saying that it’s “From a fan.”
Ji-hyuk opens it up to find a card: “Congratulations on Eye Candy’s first broadcast performance. Go up there and fly. –Su-ah.” He runs outside to see if she’s still out there, but she’s gone.
Minutes before airtime, Teach gets a call to hand over the MR file to the techs… after which he takes out the little USB drive and promptly drops it in the sink. Ha. Whoops. He runs into the dressing room to tell them what happened.
Noona scrambles to try and get another copy, but Ji-hyuk steps up to say that they can do it live. They’re out of options so she okays it, and they take to the stage, passing Seung-hoon and Ye-rim on the way.
Ji-hyuk puts on his new shoes from Su-ah and they start the performance. Su-ah watches the live broadcast from Ji-hyuk’s apartment with a huge smile.
Everything goes smoothly… that is, until Ha-jin’s bass amp goes wonky, throwing them off, and then one of Do-il’s drumsticks goes flying out of his hand. Panic. Mayhem.
Urg, can we please let these guys get through ONE performance without making my heart stop? I swear, I’m prematurely aging. I do think I’m done with this particular plot device though, because there’s only so many times you can dramatically interfere with a performance before I start to call you out for redressing the same plot device a different way. I think we’re mining some really good territory here with the fracturing of the band in the face of success and the idol machine, so I hope the drama can figure out different ways to capture that conflict after this.
I really like the two worlds, so at odds—the carefree boys and their garage band suddenly thrown into the shiny idol factory—and it effectively does break my heart to see them get morphed more and more into some squeaky-clean fashion-rock version of a band. The slow progression, one concession at a time, the questioning of what they’re doing but not enough to stop… it’s a nice buildup towards that moment when they’ll look at themselves and realize it’s not them staring back in the mirror anymore.
It’s a refreshing take on the music industry, because it’s questioning the factory-made process as a catch-all. Obviously that machine exists and it’s the established avenue to fame and fortune. But it’s not the only road, and more importantly, not everyone can or should be conformed in that cookie-cutter mold. I like the extension of our boys as outsiders – in school, in life, in the fringes of society – that carries over into the music world too.
They don’t fit, and that’s what’s problematic—and awesome—about them. Based on what this drama has said about the way of the world in championing characters like Su-ah who don’t fit on either side of the social divide, I trust that we’ll go somewhere great with the boys, in exploring what it means to be a true bohemian, and true to themselves. I just know we’re going to go through a lot of heartache to get to the other side…
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 9
- Sung Joon goes from scruffy rocker to prepster
- Shut Up: Lyrics edition
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 8
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 7
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 6
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 5
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 4
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 3
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 2
- Shut Up: Flower Boy Band: Episode 1