What’s Up: Episode 19
Episode 19 and 20 are really two halves of a whole. It sends the entire series hurtling towards the end, and wraps up the Tae Hee and Jae Hun storyline into a neat little bow. I actually don’t like that it’s a neat bow, but more on that later. What we do get is a nice moment with Chae Young, who shows no indication of changing her manipulative ways… or will she?
I was most disappointed by the lack of music in this episode. Boo.
After the joyous performance by our wonderful Doo Ri, we’re back in the hospital. Seems like Sun-Man got more of a leave of absence for a one-day excursion, rather than a full discharge from the hospital. Hooked up to his IV, his first visitor is Jang Jae Hun, who was just released from jail. Jae Hun hasn’t been back at school yet, still too scared at the possibility of seeing Tae Hee. He isn’t ready to ask for forgiveness from her just yet. Sun-Man teaches him a trick: just say the word “forgive” a hundred times and sooner or later, the meaning of the word will be lost on him.
Despite his feeble appearance, Sun-Man manages to pull Jae Hun close by the collar – his last wish is to see Jae Hun direct a musical performed by his students. Well, when you say something like that with the words “my last wish,” do you think anyone will really be able to say no?
Outside the room, Doo Ri is waiting. Jae Hun tries to cheer her up by saying that Sun-Man is still the same crabby teacher as ever, but she only breaks down into tears. He offers her his shoulder willingly. *Swoon.*Sob.*
Back at school, Chae Young is dealing with some unexpected issues of her own. Director Oh is having some financial issues, which is going to affect her team’s ability to perform at the competition. Unfortunately – she has this conversation with the Pesky Reporter within earshot. Now she can’t shake him off until he gets a story out of her.
He wants to make a deal – if she doesn’t do what he asks, he will expose the story about her planning a coup d’etat with Director Oh against Kang Min Woo. And that would be bad because all of the investors in her project will drop off like flies.
Chae Young heads into the practice room and witnesses the effect of the “financial issues” her agency is having. None of the choreographers or the professional dancers that they’ve hired have shown up, and so all the students are lazing around playing card games and chatting. Chang Jin can’t allow for practice to go on because they actually rely on these professionals to supervise, constantly correct them, and constantly teach them. He’s incredibly angry towards Chae Young and Professor Yang, who fortuitously appears at the right moment to hear his frustrations.
This calls for a private meeting in the seating area, away from the students. (It’s not that private, because both her assistants hide around the corner to eavesdrop and recount word for word on the school’s message boards.) Chang Jin wants to resign as director because he’s not really directing, and it hurts his pride to retain that title. He’s also annoyed at the fact that the professionals are doing it for the money – with no money, they won’t help. Professor Yang wants a truthful explanation on what is going on with Chae Young’s agency, but her mind starts wandering to her talk with the Pesky Reporter from before…
The reporter had given her a photo of Do Sung, and pointed out that he’s Hades. He knows it’s Hades, but Chae Young laughed right in his face. The reporter insisted that there must be something more behind Hades/Do Sung because he was bribed to keep silent, and he wanted to know what that secret was. Chae Young still didn’t believe him, but she then thought about the time she went for her audition, and the guy who went in after her had a voice eerily similar to Hades. The reporter suggested that if she could give him an interview and drop a line about Do Sung being Hades, it would then give him enough proof to write up another article. As an act of faith, he even handed her a copy of his article about her plans of overthrowing Kang Min Woo.
“Your ten-year contract is nearly up. Do you think other agencies will sign you on after this article goes out?” he threatened.
At that moment, she gets called back to the present by Prof. Yang. Chae Young has no explanation for her agency’s actions, other than the fact that no one can ever really be trusted. If her agency suddenly thinks that their investment is not going anywhere, they will just leave it, however unfinished. With a disgusting smile, she says that she can’t ask them for anything, as it would put her in an uncomfortable position.
I’ll teach you what an uncomfortable position is, you little sneak!
Back in the practice room, Byeong Gun is trying to set up the choreography for one of his dance numbers, but it’s overly complicated with its turns and cartwheels and flying jumps. His female partner is totally resistant, and Sung Jae and his rapper friend think the whole thing is a joke. They show off their cooler, hip-hop moves, which are simpler and…. well, cooler. On the other side of the room, Doo Ri is fighting with Soo Bin over the music. He’s trying to create a ballad, but the lyrics she put is a rap. Soo Bin’s reaction is all, “A rap!? You want to put a rap in here?!”
He makes her sing the song, but she can’t sing that high, so Ji Eun comes in to help with a few lines. The others join in, seeing that singing around the piano is more fun than trying to learn Byeong Gun’s ridiculous choreography.
Suddenly – someone sings over them lyrics from “You and I.” They all turn around – IT’S JAE HUN! Everyone stares, and Byeong Gun says quite coolly, “Hey, it’s Jae Hun.”
Then he goes running, jumping into Jae Hun’s arms. Everyone crowds around, celebrating his return, and he gives a high-five-in-the-air to Doo Ri. Even Soo Bin manages a small smile – which is a lot coming from this boy. The director is officially back!
But first, he has some issues to take care of. He waits outside the dorms for Tae Hee to return, and when she finally does, she’s being driven back by Kang Min Woo.
Min Woo urges her to get out of the car and greet her “boyfriend,” but Tae Hee doesn’t move. Sensing an issue, he goes over to Jae Hun. He may have forgotten Jae Hun’s name, but he’d like to give him some advice as an older guy: though it can be difficult if the girl becomes more successful and famous than he, it’s best to still support her. Tae Hee has a lot of talent, and he hopes that Jae Hun can continue to be patient and cheer her along.
Kind words, buddy. Totally not the issue here.
Min Woo opens the door for Tae Hee to get out of his car, and offers to send people to help her pack her stuff. She declines, and without so much as a peep, she walks right past Jae Hun towards the dorms.
Jae Hun calls after her. He had gotten out because of her petition, but is she really leaving now? Tae Hee hasn’t practiced much for the agency, so she wants to take time off of school and move out of the dorms. Jae Hun grows desperate – he’ll quit school for her then, so she doesn’t have to see him. It’s a gracious offer that Tae Hee must decline; if she remains at the school, she’ll only be reminded of Jae Hun. Which will then remind her of her father. Which will remind her of the accident.
Tae Hee doesn’t blame him for her father’s death though, knowing full well it was an accident. But she doesn’t say that she forgives him aloud. All she asks is that he stay in school and direct Sun-Man’s musical. She turns to go in again, and Jae Hun rushes up to stop the door from opening. If she leaves like this, will he never be able to see her again? Is there any way for them to work out, possibly?!
Tae Hee hopes that it can happen – someday. One day. Until then, she needs time to heal, and with that she leaves.
Quite an abrupt ending for the saga of Jae Hun and Tae Hee.
Of course, Doo Ri then reports about Tae Hee’s departure to Sun-Man while bringing him clothes for his discharge. (He’s shocked she even brought his underwear, like she has no shame in touching his things.) He’s OK with it, as it might turn out better for Tae Hee in many ways.
Doo Ri wonders if it’s OK for Sun-Man to be discharged considering his condition. He insists it is, and then sends her out so that he can change. Pfft – like she’ll leave when she has the chance to see Sun-Man/Her Future Husband half-naked… Sun-Man freaks out, “There isn’t much to see!! Or anything good to see at least…” HAHA!
So she goes outside and tracks down the doctor. As Sun-Man’s guardian, student, and future wife, she wants to know if it’s really OK for him to leave the hospital. The doctor smiles, but not mockingly. If Doo Ri is to be Sun-Man’s guardian, then she is going to have to be strong. At this point, the doctor can no longer do anything to help him but prescribe painkillers. As his guardian, Doo Ri must make sure he is comfortable and gets to do everything he wants to do. He doesn’t have much time left.
As she wheels Sun-Man back to campus, all his freshmen students come running up to him, welcoming him back to campus. Jae Hun takes hold of his wheelchair, and they race down the school paths, with the rest of the students running after them.
Facing the freshmen Musical class in the classroom where they practice, Sun-Man addresses Director Jae Hun: “From what I remember, we only had five people in the musical. Why are there so many people here?” One by one, each student raises his or her hand; one is in charge of choreography, another for costume, another for rapping (ha!), and another for overall coordinating. Sun-Man’s conclusion: so everyone’s in charge of something, but no one is performing?
Amused, he awaits a status report for Director/General Jae Hun.
Jae Hun: Well, we have a title. Our musical is called “What’s Up.” The definition of “what’s up” is “Hey, how are you doing? Are you well?” So, as if we were responding to that question, we brought together the story of us freshmen from the past year into life. With that, we finally got our script. (Applause for Doo Ri.) And we got our music together too. (Applause for Soo Bin. Where’s Do Sung!?) And choreography is on its way.
Sure, they’re missing a few things like the set design and props, but they’re working on ways to get noticed by the judges despite their small size.
Sun-Man raises his hand, as if he were in class. “Why should you try to get noticed by the judges?” Answer: well… wasn’t that the point? To win the competition? Sun-Man begs to differ. With Jae Hun’s help, he rises from his wheelchair and writes two words on the whiteboard: “Show stopper.”
Trust Walking Musical Encyclopedia Kim Byeong Gun to know the definition of that word: “a situation where the audience continues to clap so hard that the performance cannot continue.”
Sun-Man reminds them that the goal of their musical should be something where they act passionately and truthfully, so that their audience can be touched by their words and emotions. He asks everyone to touch their heart. Inside is a little hole that needs to be filled. For some, they fill it with money, thinking it will buy them happiness. (Cough*Chae Young*Cough) For others, they fill it up with love, even though they may get hurt later and the hole would become bigger. (Cough*Doo Ri*Cough) And for a few others, they are so afraid of that empty hole that they drink their lives away. (Cough*Sun-Man*Cough).
But for performers, that hole gets filled up when they’re on the stage and perform a show stopper. When they receive the loudest applause and the biggest cheers, that’s when their hearts get filled up. Sun-Man asks that they all trust him, and try to achieve that goal, instead of trying to win a competition.
Exhausted, he sits down in his wheelchair again.
This performance you guys are preparing, I will see it no matter what. So work hard, so I can give you guys a standing ovation, and show off to the people next to me, “These are my students!” In order to do that, I don’t think you can achieve it with a normal mindset. You’ll have to literally go crazy. Everyone should go crazy once in their life at least once, right? Let’s all go crazy together.
Through the classroom door, Chae Young witnesses Sun-Man’s greatness. As she turns to leave, she finds Prof. Yang standing right there behind her. She heard it too, and wordlessly, she beckons to Chae Young that they leave.
They bump into Director Oh, who has some good news. The professionals are coming back to teach, but Prof. Yang dismisses them. She is planning to break up the team and allow the members to do whatever they want to do. Chae Young thinks this means Prof. Yang wants to combine teams with Sun-Man, but Prof. Yang glares at her for even entertaining that thought. She?! Combine forces with the drunkard Sun-Man!? Nooooo.
She’s letting the kids do what they want. If they happen to join Sun-Man’s team, oh well…
Director Oh is a little desperate now, and Prof. Yang dares him to sue her for breach of contract. She doesn’t care. Heh. Yay!?
When Chae Young turns around, she finds Sun-Man wheeling up to her. He’s afraid she may nag him too, as he just ran away from a bunch of naggers in the other room. (Ha!) He struggles to open a pack of painkillers, and Chae Young, growing a heart, grabs a cup of water from the water fountain for him. He’s in a great deal of pain, but begs Chae Young to not tell Doo Ri. That girl would have sent him off packing for the hospital if she hears it.
I love how he’s so scared of his own student.
Having the moment to speak to him privately, Chae Young asks if he hated her from the start. After all, she’s a B-list star with no talent and a manipulative personality. She’s curious which of her bad traits he disliked the most. Sun-Man laughs – is she trying to change and be on the “good side” now? What’s more important than choosing the right side is having fun in life. She should live her life the way she wants to, rather than act a certain way because she wants to appear a certain way.
So screw purity and innocence. It’s better that Chae Young is calculative and wretched, and knows it. That way, she can own it. At least, that’s better than people who live their lives being ignorant and not knowing a thing about manipulating people.
(What is with people and letting Sun-Man talk until he’s so exhausted he can barely keep his eyes open!?) “Eun Chae Young,” he feebly continues. “You’re a good kid. So live your life confidently, and with swag. The most important thing is that you like yourself.”
And with that, he allows his head to hang down to his chest, and he passes out.
I only have two things to say about this episode:
First off, Tae Hee disappears for most of this episode (and barely shows up in episode 20). While I didn’t mind it so much for the sake of the story, I did feel her absence keenly. I felt that the way they resolved her issue with Jae Hun was much too rushed. After all their trials and tribulations, we’re just going to have them go their separate ways? It’s understandable that both need time to heal, and it’s reminiscent of how I felt when Tae Kyung and Mi Nam separated in You’re Beautiful. The separation had to happen, but this whole scene was resolved in ten minutes. Forgive me for thinking, “Wait – that’s it!?”
I did enjoy how Chae Young had her moment to grapple with her own conscience. We never really saw her back story during the series, getting glimpses here and there as she rationalized her decisions. She finally took a moment to think about whether what she was doing was the right thing. I think having the reporter put it so plainly helped her confront her growing doubts. What’s even more fun is that she chooses not to change. She comes to terms with her usual, manipulative self. She embraces it, and decides to funnel that talent into something else – star management.
Our final mini story occurs at the end of episode 19: The class is practicing a routine with one of their dance professors. Jae Hun is so bad, and so out of rhythm, that when he falls down the teacher grabs him by the shirt collar and drags him to the side away from the others! Chagrined, he slowly gets up, finds his spot, and tries to catch up again with the dance. Hehe. The point? That the “What’s Up” director doesn’t even know how to dance.
- What’s Up: Episodes 17-18
- What’s Up: Episode 16
- What’s Up: Episode 15
- What’s Up: Episode 14
- What’s Up: Episode 13
- What’s Up: Episode 12
- What’s Up: Episode 11
- What’s Up: Episode 10
- What’s Up: Episode 9
- What’s Up: Episodes 7-8
- What’s Up: Episodes 5-6
- What’s Up: Episode 4
- What’s Up: Episode 3
- What’s Up: Episodes 1-2