Drama Recaps
School 2013: Episode 5
by | December 17, 2012 | 115 Comments

This show. Aie. Just so many feels. It’s like I can hardly process it. That’s partly because of that keen insight into the sense of being young and adrift and all alone in your uncertainty that cuts just a little extra-deep for its verisimilitude. It’s also partly because of the matter-of-fact tone with which it’s delivered—that it’s not just what happens in a drama, but reflective of a reality at large, one we can identify with. These characters don’t realize they’re in a drama, so there’s none of that heightened drama emoting; it’s the daily little blows that can be so crushing.

Today marks the breaking point for one of our most stalwart characters, and watching In-jae come to this moment is a little unnerving, not just for us but for everyone else in her orbit—they haven’t always obeyed or recognized her authority, but it’s like they’ve come to rely on her steadfastness. And boom, like so many things in life, you don’t know what a gift it was till it’s gone.


Peppertones – “계절의 끝에서” (At the end of the season) [ Download ]

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Nam-soon gets caught red-handed literally wailing on Jung-ho, and from everyone’s shocked looks—Nam-soon’s included—you can tell this wasn’t exactly the configuration they were expecting. Not with him as the seeming aggressor, rather than the victim.

The arrival of the police means we soon relocate to the station, where the four errant schoolkids sit in front of the officer to explain what happened.

And just as I’m literally about to type that I’m really glad these boys have these two teachers here to handle this, Se-chan asks out the side of his mouth, “Who won jjang rights?” Ha. D’you want to take a seat as the fifth kid, Teach?

In-jae shoots him this glare and Se-chan is all, What? I was curious.

Jung-ho says that they’ll all settle this amongst themselves—no need for legalities. But the cop needs to take the report anyway, and starts with Nam-soon. Name? ID number?

Ah, the ID request has both Nam-soon and Heung-soo looking ueasy—since Korean IDs begin with your birth year, this is a dead giveaway that Nam-soon is older. And as Heung-soo taunted the day before, it looks like nobody knows it. Sure enough, the other two guys immediately alert to the detail.

Se-chan excuses himself, since it was In-jae who appointed herself guardian and not him. She asks that he not make mention of this at school—why do I feel like asking Se-chan to be more indifferent isn’t a problem?—since she wants a chance to work this out. Getting the school administration involved would only worsen things.

But it doesn’t mean she can’t use that as leverage, since she tells the foursome that she could alert the school, which would open up a case of school violence and drag in all their parents and administrators. Do they want that? Thought not. Therefore, as of today she’s taken charge over them, and they’d better listen to her.

Awww, yeah. I love this. She orders them to follow and buys them dinner. They complain, but end up eating anyway.

Interestingly, the official report listed Jung-ho as the victim and Heung-soo as the attacker, with the other two as bystanders who got caught up in the mix. In-jae says she trusts that they’ve gotten their pecking order established and tells them not to get into this kind of trouble again: “Sorry to tell you this, but I won’t give up on you. So you guys give up.”

She dismisses them, and they disperse. Heung-soo knows without looking that Nam-soon is following him again, and asks how it feels to use his fists after “retiring” them, or pretending his past doesn’t exist.

Nam-soon says, “Right now, this is who I am.” Heung-soo returns, “Really? Then I don’t know this guy.” Augh, how can these guys pack so much meaning into such spare moments? I just feel so much for them, even though I don’t even know what all the feelings are.

The next day, the other students see their battered faces and guess that the big fight went down. This is cause for relief, since it means the pecking order has been established and they can have some peace; status quo sure is more comfortable than constant jockeying for power. I wonder what they’d think if they know Jung-ho logged victim status, but they are certain Nam-soon didn’t come out the jjang, given his extra-bruised face.

With midterms approaching, the teachers are told have their students participate in mandatory individual study halls. Both Se-chan and In-jae object—this seems more an opportunity for rebellion, considering Class 2’s condition—but Principal Im tells them to monitor the study halls, warning them not to come in last place again for midterms. If they do, the students will have mandatory study halls every day, with Se-chan and In-jae in charge. She frames it as a “promise” but it sure sounds like a threat.

To escape the last-place stigma, the overall class average has to rise 4 points. Yikes. The kids seem to think this is no big deal and boast that they can do it, though it’s likely a lot of this is motivated by the deal not to be stuck in extra study halls. Despite looking unconvinced, In-jae says they don’t have to do it, but they’d better study hard to raise those scores.

Now Jung-ho’s curious about Nam-soon’s past (join the club, buddy) and points out that he was in the same class as Heung-soo, but not a part of the yearbook class photo. Did he not graduate?

Nam-soon is typically avoidant, but Jung-ho got a read on him now and tosses out a nickname that stops him short: “Tsunami.” Well, that sure sounds… destructive. Jung-ho congratulates him on holding it in all this time: “Kyunggi-do’s jjang—that’s you, isn’t it?” He wonders why Tsunami-san would be groveling to Heung-soo—what’s the catch?

In-jae hands back essay evaluations to her class, singling out Kang-joo as the top scorer. This elicits a squeal of joy from her—and shifty looks from ex-president Min-ki and Ha-kyung. Urp. Please don’t tell me this will shake your adorable friendship. But Ha-kyung doesn’t seem like she’d be the type to take being the No. 2…

Ha-kyung takes it up with the teacher, saying she was given the wrong score. In-jae says no, everything’s in order—there was nothing in her essay that spoke of her own thoughts. Ha-kyung says that she was taught that good essays aren’t about the writer’s own thoughts, but about answering the prompt well. “Who’d you learn that from?” In-jae asks. One guess who, and looky who just walked in the door.

Ha-kyung asks Se-chan for a re-score, but In-jae shuts her down: “This time, this is your grade.” She won’t get a high grade by just parroting back what’s on the answer sheet.

But Ha-kyung retorts, “Then why IS there an answer sheet?” Damn. Good one.

In math class, Uhmforce notices that Heung-soo doesn’t have any books and reminds him that they’d agreed not to mess with each other. That involves Heung-soo participating in classwork. Then Uhmforce moves on to Nam-soon, having him read the math problem on the board. Problem is, Nam-soon can’t even read it properly (he stumbles through and can only describe the symbols), which gets him pitying/mocking looks from the others.

After class, Ha-kyung gives him her notes and tells him to study. He declines and wonders if she’s afraid he’ll drag down the class average. She says no, it’s just embarrassing for class prez to be such a dummy, which is cute. Heung-soo walks by to witness the exchange; he betrays no reaction, but I’m nervous already.

The students stay behind at school to study now that it’s exam season, and a few girls gossip about Min-ki being at the beck and call of his managing mother. She presents Min-ki with sample exam questions from the past five years at this school—yeesh, Mom—and piles on the instructions for how to handle exams.

He nods dutifully at all this, though he hesitates when she asks about his essay evaluation.

Nam-soon heads to the bookstore to pick up a stack of texts—literature, math, language. He’s already got a set, so these must be for Heung-soo.

He heads over to a house where a young woman (noona?) hardens at the sight of him. She’s outraged to hear they’re in the same class, and figures this is why Heung-soo started talking about another transfer. She warns Nam-soon not to mess with Heung-soo, because they’ve vowed to get him to graduate from this school.

Nam-soon hands her the bag of books, and her voice breaks: “How could… You two were so close!”

Just then Heung-soo arrives, and noona warns Nam-soon not to “block Heung-soo’s future again.” Then she warns her little brother that if he doesn’t graduate this time, she’s just going to die. No pressure, dude.

Nam-soon offers, teary voice and all, “Heung-soo-ya… I’m sorry.” Heung-soo tells him to shut up and closes the gate in his face. He doesn’t take the books, having come home carrying a bag of them himself.

Min-ki’s mother drops in to have a word about Min-ki’s essay score. Sigh, I knew we weren’t about to hear the last of this. Trust her to have taken the essay to “a specialist” for consultation, and says the prompt itself is the problem, and therefore the students’ true skills cannot be measured by this test.

She “asks” how In-jae would feel about invalidating the score, or readministering the test. Oh, I’ll tell you how I feel about it, lady. Arg, bulldozer moms, I swear. Also, helicopter moms. Hm, does that make her a bullcopter mom?

In-jae stands by her evaluation, just as Min-ki appears in the doorway unseen. His face falls to see Mom there, who snits that there’s no point trying to talk to In-jae.

Teacher Yoo tells In-jae to buck up, saying that Min-ki’s mother was always like this; it’s how she sent his older brother to a top school. Teacher Yoo’s learned to accept things like this, and In-jae asks, “Is this normal?” Teacher Yoo assures her that it’s abnormal. And yet, that doesn’t mean In-jae can do anything about it.

The teachers are to hand in their midterm questions to the school, but Se-chan tells In-jae she doesn’t have to—he’ll submit all the questions for their exams. It’s Principal Im’s particular request and I’ll bet everything it’s because Min-ki’s mom complained about In-jae, although the reason given is that they want Se-chan’s college-entrance-exam format. (Compared to In-jae’s traditional methods where you teach the fundamentals, then use those skills to answer the questions.)

Principal Im isn’t surprised that In-jae has objections, but she tells her that her efforts are better directed at handling the inevitable aftermath of the exams, and that the parents have a lot of faith in Se-chan. Parents plural, or just one really nosy, loud one?

She hands Se-chan some problems to work into his test questions, since she made sure to include it in her lessons. He scoffs at her choices, saying she’s out of the loop on testing trends. She retorts that they’re called basics, not trends. Ha. He tells her to bring him some “good” questions, saying there’s a science to constructing them that his academy’s got a separate team devoted to.

The days tick down as Midterm D-Day approaches. The school launches into test prep mode and stress mounts all around, although I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of actual studying going on in Class 2.

In-jae loses even more ground with her class when they hear that she won’t even be the one writing their exam. To them, that means there’s even less reason to pay attention to her lessons, and some just ignore her to treat class like study hall anyway.

Despite her urgings, there are only two students in the after-school session—Nam-soon and Young-woo, which, aw. She teaches them what a dilemma is, using the example of needing to choose between killing somebody or letting someone else die. Although it doesn’t seem to sink in with them, she adds that if they’re ever in a dilemma, they’d better come to her with it.

It’s strange to see Jung-ho in the position of the bullied, but there ya have it: He apparently owes money to a “hyungnim,” and until he pays up the hyungnim gets to ride around his motorbike. Jung-ho can’t argue back, but he does stop when the hyungnim asks if he’d like a part-time job.

His posse waits for Nam-soon after school that night and asks for Heung-soo’s address. He warns them not to mess with Heung-soo, which goes over about as well as you’d expect.

At school, in a brief moment of distraction Teacher Yoo turns her back on her books and an opportunistic student swipes the USB flash drive from her laptop. She doesn’t notice till he’s gone and has to resubmit her exam prompts, but the idea of reporting this clearly freaks her out—it would blow up into a Thing and point to her incompetence—so she asks the other teachers to keep it quiet.

She wonders which class the culprit is in, though—could it be Class 2? In-jae points out that those kids aren’t interested in studying. She has a point.

And yet, the text that circulates amongst the students includes comments like “Gotta raise the class average!” Post-its containing the answers are circulated.

Ha-kyung finds the lock on her locker broken and all her books soaking wet. In-jae confronts her class angrily, only to be told that this happens every test period. And then, Se-chan intercepts a Post-It pass, and the teachers immediately know what this is.

In-jae demands to know why the ethics exam answers are circulating. One red-handed student hangs his head and admits that it’s only going around Class 2, which means one of them is the thief.

In-jae orders the culprit to confess. Naturally, she gets no response. It’s just one outrage after another, and she exclaims, “Are you really going to behave like this? It’s fine if you don’t study and you can get into accidents. But drenching a locker to interfere with a student’s studying, stealing an answer sheet, and passing it around? Are you really going to stoop this low?!”

A student says with annoyance that the teacher’s just gonna make up a new answer, so they’re useless anyway. In-jae: “So you’re saying that the theft is meaningless?” How apropos, for an ethics test.

You can practically see the blinders fall from In-jae’s eyes, and in a low shaking voice she orders the president to grab the broom and lock all doors. Uh… wow.

She slams the broom onto a desk and orders everybody forward and to hold out their hands. She holds the broom threateningly but drops it in the end, though she delivers the slaps anyway, hand to hand.

Quite tellingly she’s the one most hurt by this, both physically (her hand is tiny! It must pain her more than the kids) and mentally (she’s barely hanging on to her composure).

She’s amassed an audience by this point, with other classes and teachers watching from outside, through the windows. Mostly they look sad, and her own students are somber in the way you get when you’ve pushed your parent over the edge and have to watch them fall apart. Finally, Se-chan steps forward to intercept her, at which point her hand is swollen and red, and he orders the class to stay quiet as he takes her out.

Principal Im comes rushing up, alarmed that they’d engage in corporal punishment. Se-chan holds up In-jae’s red hand and says, “The teacher is the one who has been hit, Principal.”

Se-chan pulls her to an empty corridor and calls her idiotic. In-jae counters, in tears, “What wrong have the kids committed? You and I have taught them that way, and their parents too, while the school lets them go because they can’t do anything about it. What fault do they have?”

Se-chan heads back to the empty teachers’ room with a sigh, and sees In-jae’s notebook on her desk. Flipping through, he comes to her message to herself: “It’s not yet time to let go of the kids’ hands.” It makes him smile and say, “You sure dream big.”

And then, he picks up her exam. Ohhh, are you about to do what I think you’re about to do? Yessssss.

Class 2 is subdued as they wonder what now. That snooty girl sniffs that it’s the teacher who went overboard all on her own, and Nam-soon just shoots her this look. I wish I could send her the same. Well, I AM sending mine her way, but it’s nice to know she can feel Nam-soon’s.

Min-ki urges his classmates not to cause any more trouble, and offers to help cover the essentials. He’s a good kid, though I’m thinking right now he’s motivated more by guilt over his mother causing yet more problems.

Se-chan notes In-jae’s absence the next morning, but Gym Teacher Jo assures him not to worry ’cause she’ll show. It’s sweet that Se-chan is worried, but even more than that I love that Teacher Jo can tell despite Se-chan protesting.

Min-ki offers Ha-kyung his notes, since hers are gone. Aw, it’s cute. But even better: She finds a bag of books on her desk.

She figures it was Nam-soon, who says he didn’t buy it for her. He asks how she knew it was him, and she points out that they’re on Book 1 in math, not 2: “Who else wouldn’t even know what we’re learning?” Cute.

It’s in gym period that the kids notice In-jae’s arrival, and they perk up to tell her cheerily that they’re definitely going to study today, and shout out, “We love you!” Oof, hold on, I have something in my eye.

Se-chan jumps up too, though he just as quickly sits back down and pretends he’s totally not thrilled to see her. He starts in on the nagging, since that appears to be the safest way of denying actual concern, ha.

Se-chan finds his class in study session as promised, with Min-ki teaching. That’s so cute. While he leads them out, In-jae sits with a smaller group (her remedials?) which include the bullies, Nam-soon, and Heung-soo, and Se-chan invites them all to join in.

That turns out to be a stress-relieving session of dodgeball in the gym. All but Heung-soo, who turns away refusing to join.

In walks Min-ki’s mother, who says sarcastically that In-jae sure is working hard. He freezes up so much I feel a terrible pang for him, and as they leave he finally says something: “Mom, aren’t you tired of living like this? I am.”

Mom has this way of sounding so kind and thoughtful even as she’s being completely domineering, and she urges her poor sweet boy just to hang in there till he gets into Seoul U. He cuts her off: “I wish we were born at twenty years old, since life doesn’t matter before then.”

Heung-soo still doesn’t have books in math class, and Uhmforce says he’s giving him his last chance. Nam-soon wonders at it, until Jung-ho shoots him a smirk—while flaunting a math book. Oh no, did he steal it?

Nam-soon tells him not to mess with Heung-soo, and Jung-ho said that’s why he did it—to see whether Nam-soon would react. Jung-ho is thinking of kicking up a little school fighting, because as the victim on the police report, he’ll come out of it fine. While the attacker, Heung-soo, ought to get expelled for it.

His blackmail: Nam-soon had better steal the answer sheet for the exam. He concludes, “So Park Heung-soo is your Achilles heel.”

Ah. That’s pretty smart for an almost-dropout, in an evil genius sort of way.

Nam-soon mulls this over, then heads to the teachers’ room looking for In-jae. She’s at the hospital for her hand, so it’s Se-chan or nothin’. What he does next just makes me love him more: “If I do nothing somebody will get hurt. If I do something bad, nobody will get hurt.” Aww, he was listening when she taught him about dilemmas!

Se-chan just assumes this is homework and he tells Nam-soon to study on his own. Damn. Nam-soon heads off with a heavy heart.

He finds Jung-ho to ask: “Do you know how to do it without getting caught?”

So that night, Nam-soon lurks in the hallway while Jung-ho & Co. cut the power so the security cameras will stop recording. He waits nervously.

A teacher is let into the carefully locked storeroom, but she and the custodian dash out when the lights go down. Nam-soon makes his move and heads for the door, left unlocked.

He’s all nerves as he reaches for the knob. It opens.


Oh no! Nam-soon, don’t slip down that path, not when you’ve been working so hard to stay out of trouble!

I felt so gratified when he went to Se-chan with his dilemma, not least because he started off on such the wrong foot with him, that makes his slip even more upsetting, because he’s trying so hard. I can’t even be upset with Se-chan for not reading between the lines, since he couldn’t know what was up the way In-jae would have, but I’m hoping that he plays a key role in whatever happens next since we saw him in the office as the lights were cut. It would be the best way to bring around this arc after he left the police station early, disavowing responsibility in the incident. He has to step in, right? Because the alternative does not bear contemplating.

It’s in cases like this that I feel the setup really works to the show’s best benefit, with the two teachers with opposing views coming together to be better than either one individually. I worried initially whether this straight opposites-are-forced-together scenario would get too neat—you know, she’s traditional, he’s trendy, she’s earnest, he’s cynical. Perfect diametric opposites in every way. That would be helpful from a symbolism standpoint, but rather too pat for a show this nicely layered.

So I’m happy to see that what’s emerging isn’t quite so simple. The dynamic reminds me of parenting, actually (inasmuch as I know anything about parenting, which is to say very little)—both parties make mistakes and tread on each other’s toes and bring opposing styles to the table, but when they step up to collaborate is when they’re best.

As for Nam-soon’s hidden past, the show sure is building up our curiosity, isn’t it? I’m kind of dying to just OUT WITH IT already, but that’s more for my curiosity than anything. I wondered how quickly the show would “reveal” Heung-soo’s character once the big secret was out, but I like how mysterious they’re keeping him. We’re seeing him through Nam-soon’s eyes, and our understanding of him mirror’s Nam-soon’s—gradual, questioning, loaded with pathos.


115 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kbap

    Thank you so much for the recap. This show is seriously going to be the END OF MEEEE

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      I think I’m already at the end! MY DAMN FEELSSSSS. It hurts in a good way…

      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        Also forgot to mention. The scene where In-jae breaks down and loses it with her class…omg, I choked up so much. Jang Na-ra killed it. I was so swept up in her emotions at that moment I couldn’t stop myself. T_T

        • Rossa E

          Yeah I cried a lot seeing her like that

  2. Smile134

    Was refreshing DB page every 10 minutes since I knew you would post recap of School 2013 tonight. I love this episode, it has some nice moments of every character.
    I like the scene where 4 fighting “kids” and In Jae eating the noodle together. That was the first scene where I saw Jung-ho and his peer as actual high school kids and did not hate him (although later on I wanted to punch his face again when he tried to use Heung Soo to control Nam Soon).
    I also love the interaction between Nam Soon and Ha Kyung (it doesn’t mean anything romantic here). The two seem to live in 2 separated worlds but share the same lonely feeling. That’s why they can trust each other and naturally care about each other, without being judgmental or jealous.
    The episode didn’t shed any light on Heung Soo & Nam Soon past, as well as Se Chan past. I just guess that Se Chan was also left by somebody important to him, which built up the cool and do-not-care attitude he has right now to hide his insecurity. I like his interaction between him and In Jae, too. He is drawn to her sincere and caring towards the students and gradually opens up to her. Another reason that I like them together is because the cute chemistry between Jang Na Ra and Choi Daniel (I still cannot forget how cute they were in Baby-faced Beauty 😀 ).
    The thing that first connects In Jae to me was her lesson that “you need to have a dream in life” last episode. It reminds me that I was lucky to meet a teacher like her and learnt that lesson in secondary school, thanks to that lesson and a lot of effort that I become the one I am today. I cried when watching her helplessly cried for not being able to care for her students. It’s sad but true that in real life, many schools only want to keep their “good” students, and leave out the average or trouble ones. Sometimes even parents judge their children solely by their temporary behaviors and achievement. That’s why I appreciate In Jae more for “not letting go of the kids’ hands” even when every other teacher does. She always tries her best to reach out for her students no matter who they are – the “good” or the “bad”, no matter what trouble they create (even though sometimes the situations seem to be out of her hands).

    • 2.1 srkambbs

      Ikr .. I used to know this family, with a troublemaker son. His marks were so low and dint show interest in anything at all and caused a lot of troubles for his parents. He got held back a year in college and started communicating with his dad properly, which made him reflect. Now he is a neurosurgeon. Yup. Kids just require the right amount of motivation and push. If not, then the society is missing out on talented individuals.

  3. sol

    thank you for the recap!

  4. rainbow

    Thanks a lot 🙂
    I’ll watch the ep first and then read your complete recap…..just read the intro 😀

  5. Nobodysoppa

    i just read on tumblr that the production crew is thinking of removing the love line. ): Seriously, school is where most people develop first loves and romancy stuff like that

    • 5.1 anna

      Good, imo. It’s true what you say about first loves and high school, but this isn’t Answer Me 1997. If they decide on subtle romance and some cute flirting back and forth, that’s fine too. I just hope they don’t go full on because I’m actually enjoying this drama without the romance.

      Oh wait, did they mean to remove all the possible love lines? Or just the students? The teachers are getting there.

      • 5.1.1 venasera

        Well, they haven’t been going full blown with the romance either way. It’s been subtle straight from the start but I think it is needed because Nam Soon needs some sort of “hope” in his life right now, something to give him an uplifting feeling you know?

        I don’t think it’s ever been full blown romance. It’s definitely been one of those light romances that kind of creep on you slowly and then you realize it’s actually there and I think that’s needed. As long there’s something, it’s fine but if they got rid of the whole romance, I’d be a little upset because I think it’s something nice in Nam Soon’s life.

      • 5.1.2 009

        Their romance wasn’t full blown to begin with. It was a good balance with all the other rough situations that Nam-soon has been in. I thought it was something to look forward to after shit constantly gets thrown at him left and right. Plus I feel like Ha-kyung is that one person that is a lot more similar to him than he, or the audience even, realizes. And that’s why they can find that peaceful bliss with each other’s company. I also really enjoy how we get more emotions, that aren’t negative, from Nam-soon because of Ha-kyung. It’s cute. Their subtle flirting is something that sticks out in a field of rough and rowdy. And they complement each other well.

        And, I believe they are going to take away all love lines. Even the teachers. There’s a new relationship chart floating around the ‘net that’s got the love-lines completely wiped out; apparently the official site was edited with it.

      • 5.1.3 pogo

        I really hope they’re not removing ALL the possible love lines, I can take the idea of Nam-soon finding hope in something other than a romance (his friendship with Heung-soo would be a nice start) but they shouldn’t cut the teachers 🙁 Or the potential for Kang-joo/Heung-soo (she’s the only student who treats him like a normal person, and I love their chemistry)

    • 5.2 eternalfive

      Oh, I heard about that too. Please tell me it isn’t true. D: They can’t just ditch a romance once it’s already started! Especially one as cute as Nam-soon/Ha-kyung. I mean, I agree, it’s high school – there’s got to be at least a little romance, along with all the friendship and bromance and exams! And it’s not like the love lines are the main storyline atm anyway. 🙁

    • 5.3 cheekbones

      Hmm…… I’m quite okay if Nam-soon and Ha-kyung stay as good friends until the end of the drama (we can still imagine them having a romantic inclination toward each other further along their lives).

      But, I want In-jae and Se-chan to becoming a couple, at least toward the end.

      • 5.3.1 pogo

        My thoughts exactly, only apply that to Kang-joo/Heung-soo as well (I like my beta couples, can’t quit ’em)

      • 5.3.2 mrmz


        As high schoolers maybe romance isn’t what they need at this point but I like the teachers going at each other, so getting subtle romance from them is interesting

  6. stellar


  7. Banjak

    This show has totally and quietly crept up on me. I didn’t think I was going to be interested in it at all initially, but wow, have they managed to create some amazing characters and storylines in just a few episodes. Loving it!

  8. MiMi

    Can someone either confirm or deny the latest news about the writers deciding to drop Nam Soon/Ha Kyung love line? Is this news coming from the official source?


    • 8.1 srkambbs

      Maybe they are going for Heung So/ Nam Soon line. One can only hope 😛

      • 8.1.1 anna

        LOL YES PLS! That’s fine with me too. Doesn’t their story kind of remind you of Jung-woo and Zoe from Missing You? One “ran away” and the other one now hold grudges.

        • pogo

          Hopefully without the same separation event, though.

      • 8.1.2 Smile134

        LOL, I’m all for this HS-NS line 😀

      • 8.1.3 Carole McDonnell

        yes, that bromance has my hurt aching for their old friendship…whatever it was.

    • 8.2 crazedlu

      to this i say.. seeds have been planted! i guess they just won’t water them?

      actually, i don’t think i’d mind it much.

      if they stick to delivering heart, i’ll be fine. at the same time, you can’t erase the obvious flirting, right? RIGHT? high school crush status is good enough for me! keep that, at least.

    • 8.3 tapioca pearl

      God, why should the viewers’ opinion matter so much? I know they give ratings, but why sacrifice integrity? A romance story line is inappropriate for a school story? Um, HELLO! High school is the breeding ground for romance! Or do people just kiss and make love after high school? Please note that I want this romance for the sake of making our Nam-soon happy. I realize that he can be happy in other ways, but to see him with a girlfriend would be cute. And also, I like Ha-kyung, and I feel like she might just become useless if that happens.

      • 8.3.1 venasera

        RIGHT. I want Ha-Kyung and him to have romance so that he can have a little happiness in his life, something to give him an uplifting feeling. Otherwise, his life is just too bleak for me. I also think Ha-Kyung would be kind of useless. I mean, she serves as a nice side character with the whole “lonely, studying is my life” thing but it wouldn’t make sense for her to be a lead if she wasn’t some sort of comfort to Nam Soon.

        I’ve really liked the subtle romance so far between them and I want that to stay. No full blown romance is needed, just some cute moments turned into something.

        • eternalfive

          Definitely, I completely agree. If they get rid of the romance between them, I’m afraid that Ha-kyung’s just going to be…there, and not really have any more, or as much, meaning as a character. Besides, she’s so closed-off and uptight at the moment, so I don’t think it’s just Nam-soon who’d benefit from a little romance. 😀

        • tapioca pearl

          The thing is, it’s been subtle so far, which is great, but they’ve already gone kind of far in saying that this is the girl he likes. He likes her, they have this connection, it’s cute, and then to suddenly take it away as if it never existed would be dumb. To make it exist and never have him act on it would be dumber, because it would go against Nam-soon’s growth from a passive person to someone who takes charge of his life in a mature manner. Sigh.

      • 8.3.2 MiMi

        You point out the two main reasons why if this news indeed turns out to be true my blood would start boiling over. My respect for the writers, who have so far done a fantastic job creating this completely realistic and believable world, will slip a little bit if they start acting like slaves to viewers’ opinions and preferences. It’s important to take note of what the audience is receptive to and what they’re not receptive to but to completely drop an intended story line because of what seems a rather impractical thought to begin with would be quite ridiculous. And what kind of school drama does not “need” romance?! What does that even mean? That teenagers don’t have the ability to be attracted to other teenagers?! I just really hope this news is bogus.

        • bjharm

          it is all Anthony’s fault!

        • tapioca pearl

          Maybe because I’ve been watching King of Dramas, but I’m under the impression just now that the writer may not have had any say in the matter. As someone who loves to write, I can’t imagine ever sacrificing my story to make others happy unless I was forced to. It’s such a pity. Like you said, a little respect is lost for the people behind the scenes when they start catering (they actually used that word in the article) to viewers. As a viewer myself, I LOVE what I am seeing and getting, and I’ve been trusting the people behind the show to keep delivering. So, yeah, it’s disappointment more than anything else.

    • 8.4 Carole McDonnell

      As long as they’re true to the story. I can see friendships and love in this class. On the one hand, I don’t like forcing romance into a story when it obviously doesn’t belong but it does seem a bit weird to think of all these hormone-ravaged teens and near-adults only having rivalries and angst among themselves.

      I wouldn’t mind a bad boy and a good girl hooking up, but I also like the bromance between the erstwhile friends. IF the romance they had planned was gonna go all weird and have all sorts of flaky stuff like jealous girlfriends and pregnancy scares, then I’m glad they might tone all that down. But if there’s a sweet easy friendship or even a little love between them I could deal.

  9. crazedlu

    like it. even more.

    i’m so incredibly curious about namsoon and heungsoo’s past. i’m glad they showed us heungsoo’s sister because i was starting to think the kid was just some neglected loner, jumping from school to school, still rolling with a bunch of misfits on the side. glad that’s not the case.. i hope. but then i’m back to being curious again. WHAT’S THEIR STORY!? ha. a lot of heartbreak up in there, it seems. i like that we get less of the menacing smile heungsoo and more of the quiet, uncertain, even sad heungsoo. whatever namsoon did to him (or didn’t do), i like that he’s finding it hard to accept that maybe the namsoon of the past really is gone and the namsoon of the present would actually be a good (better) friend.

    and injae, oh man. and sechan. i find myself thinking, WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?, when it comes to the both of them. intense episode for the two. they balance each other out well and i’m liking where the team teach is taking them and where they will eventually take their students.

    as for the end of this episode, oh, namsoon. ~

  10. 10 srkambbs

    Such a huge leap for the teacher’s characters. In jae left such a huge impression on me in this episode. I just so love everyone in this drama. They ALL are so realistic and layered, unlike the simpletons in usual dramas. And I found out Nam Soon did all those stunts from the previous episodes like getting down from four floor by himself, but with ropes. It still amazing how hard everyone is working on this drama, which really makes it full of quality.

  11. 11 news

    I’m really impressed with Jang Na Ra and Choi Daniel’s acting. This is the first drama I’ve seen them in and I just love their understated and realistic performances.

    I feel like they could’ve chosen a better actress than Park Se Young though.

    • 11.1 flour

      i think park se young is great, she has that ice princess aura that i like. maybe the acting could be improved, but she fits her character well, imo.

      • 11.1.1 news

        I’m sure she’s trying her best, but I can’t help thinking that other actors are in character while she’s trying really hard to act. I don’t think it’s difficult to act like an ice princess but she comes off rather emotionless in certain scenes that requires a bit more umph. She’s like another Jin Se Yun to me.

    • 11.2 flour

      the only drama i enjoy watching after reply 1997. i watch kdramas for its cliches but reply 1997 and school 2013 is really something. i enjoy its quality. i like how slow and subtle the romance is, i hope they keep it this way til the end. more to the school system, not the romance. lots of it is very real, even though i dont live in korea, i can relate! im hoping for less fights, but more to “what the fights could bring” thing, i hope namsoon and heungsoo history is something significant, not just heungsoo being petty bcs namsoon decided to grow up and be a good student.

      • 11.2.1 happyiminlove

        Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure that Nam Soon and Heung Soo’s history is not because of some utterly petty reasons. If that were the case, I’m sure as hell that the writers wouldn’t have made the “mystery of their history” drag on. 😉


        I’m verryyyyy curious about Seung Hoo’s past life. He always looks so sad despite acting “tough” and “indifferent” to the people around him. AND! OMGGG that face he made after Nam Soon said he was sorry TOTALLY BROKE MY HEARTTTT! :'(

  12. 12 coby

    can’t wait to see tonight! thanks for the recap 🙂

  13. 13 Dita

    It’s like seeing my daily school life… as a teacher.
    By the way, thanks a lot for the recap. Nice job 🙂

    • 13.1 ilovedramas

      is it that bad? life as a teacher?, in our high school teachers can REALLY control kids well.

  14. 14 connie

    thanks for the great recap, DB! I have been faithfully refreshing your website every 5 minutes for this recap (and now waits for King of Dramas recap!!:). Kamsa Hamnida!

    Love the Jang Na-Ra and Daniel Choi in Baby-faced beauty. And now, Lee Jong Seok/ Nam Soon too.

    Glad to see it’s not just me who can’t understand the casting of that actress as Ha Kyung.

  15. 15 Tanya B!

    Ahhh my emotions! I can’t even. I totally feel for In Jae, man, that teacher. MY teacher’s heart ached with her 🙁 I looove the chemistry the teachers have both as characters complementing each other so well and as actors (seriously, how cute can they be??)
    As for the love lines, although I’m sad they are taking them away, if it gives a deeper treatment of the plot, I’m all for it. I mean, the couples look cute and I’d be mad that they are just erasing them because of the viewers and trying to pour with random school problems. I hope they keep it realistic enough.

  16. 16 tapioca pearl

    This is so good. I work at a high school, and there are days when I wish I could just slap some of the boys there, but I know I would feel just as bad as In-jae because I care about them a lot and know that’s not what they need. I can totally relate to In-jae, which is a first for me with any K-drama character. I want what’s best for my students, I want to be the one that they listen to, the one they come to with problems. I want to assert my authority, but be their friend too. My experience working with high schoolers (I’m a T.A., by the way) mirrors In-jae’s, what with the cheating and frustrations and mouthing off and arguing and earnestness of wanting to change lives–that’s what gets me. At the end of the day, no matter how many students pissed me off, my heart is with their every fear and dream. I want to see them graduate and go off into the world as capable adults. This all sounds so cheesy, but I really love what I do. This drama was made for me. (Seeing my husband, Daniel Choi, doesn’t hurt either.)

    Oh, and if anyone could please answer this question: Is school in Korea year-round, and would students born in the same year be in the same grade?

    Unlike here in the United States, say, where students who celebrate a 16th birthday any day between Sept. 1, 2012 and Aug. 29, 2013 would be a tenth grader. Just wondering how they can tell if Nam-soon shouldn’t be in their grade based on his birth year.

    • 16.1 tapioca pearl

      I mean Aug. 31, not 29.

    • 16.2 Dita

      Totally agree… I feel the same as you too…
      Thinking back to what I’ve done this entire semester as a (new) teacher, gah! In Jae represents what I feel so much… >.<

    • 16.3 pogo

      I think the school year in Korea begins in April? So if they’re in the equivalent of eleventh grade, that would mean anyone who had a 17th birthday between April 2012 and March 2013 would be in that class, i.e. kids born in 1995/96. But if Nam-soon has a ’94 date of birth, that’s a dead giveaway that he’s a year older than the rest of his classmates.

  17. 17 ilovedramas

    i’m dying to know what happened between heung soo and nam soon.

    • 17.1 news

      Yeah, it better be epic, right?

      • 17.1.1 queencircles

        I hope so!!! I want to know so bad!

  18. 18 Opal

    I guess I’m the minority here but I can’t relate to this drama at all though I’ve tried. I don’t think it portrays the school drama realistically. A bit OTT to my opinion.

    Well good luck forvthose who enjoyit.

    • 18.1 bjharm

      You never find a mainstream Korean Tv drama showing the real real world, not with the government controls they have to operate under, this is about as close as you going to get in realism for a korean drama. This drama is one of those not really made totally for ratings, it a lesson or moral drama, with links to the government education departments and school in general..so..what you see is about as far as they going to show in regards to what happens in real korean schools.

    • 18.2 ilovedramas

      maybe high school- goers like me, can relate to this drama only.

  19. 19 GYUTE

    LOVE Ha Kyung and Se-Chan..
    Park Se Young unnie.. HWATTING!!

  20. 20 kaeseorin

    i was literally a sobbing mess when injae was hitting the students’ palms. :'( every palm she hit, it was like she was punishing herself for being ~incompetent~ and ugh.


    • 20.1 swui

      yup me too sobbing my heart out when In-jae was hitting the kids,,,

  21. 21 eternalfive

    I loved this episode, gah. It’s so amazing to find a drama with so many layered and realistic characters with realistic problems. Like Ha-kyung for example, who’s so closed-off and way too prickly sometimes, but still vulnerable and relateable. And Min-ki, and his wish that he was born at 20 years old because life before then didn’t matter – I don’t know how many times I’ve thought like that before during high school. At least I didn’t have a mum like his. O.o And I LOVE Se-chan and In-jae’s relationship – both have completely different beliefs, but it’s near impossible to completely side with only one, because it’s only when they come together that they work the best. And I am DYING to know what the hell is up between Nam-soon and Heung-soo, because I’m already hurting from their destroyed bromance, and I don’t even know HOW it got destroyed. Omg, when Nam-soon apologised to Heung-soo with that tiiiiny little tremble in his voice and that tiiiiiny little glimmer of tears in his eyes, I just wanted to hug him. DDD: Heartbreaking. </3

    Can't wait for tomorrow's ep. And thanks for the recap, javabeans! 😀

    • 21.1 pogo

      . And Min-ki, and his wish that he was born at 20 years old because life before then didn’t matter – I don’t know how many times I’ve thought like that before during high school.

      I could so relate to him just then, I had no illusions that the reason for working as hard as I did in school was so I could get myself to a decent college that was as far from my parents as possible.

      I love that there’s a whole cast of kids you can feel for, not just the main leads.

  22. 22 Saima

    Watched this episode raw and cried at In-Jae’s very raw emotional breakdown when she’s slapping the students. Very beautifully acted!

  23. 23 Antic

    Meh. A bit irked with the way In-jae’s punishing the students was handled. I don’t recall mine or any other classmate’s reaction to a group punishment being to think, ‘oh, we were so bad, look what the teacher was driven to~’. The troublemakers blew it off, and everyone else was upset about being unfairly punished. The dramatic music swells when In-jae comes back (or when Se-chan is worrying about her) didn’t help…

    • 23.1 dayoldbagel

      I think i can see where you’re coming from. But the thing for me is that she didn’t really “punish” them…so if i were in the class i wouldn’t have felt unfairly punished. She slapped their hands 5 or so times each…they’ll all be fine 5 minutes later but she ended up having to get her hand bandaged/treated along with having a mini emotional breakdown. So if i was in that class i would have had some sympathy for the teacher…given how much she clearly cares for her students and what lengths she goes to to help them. Now, whether this reaction is consistent with the types of people in that class, i don’t know – obviously not the 3 bullies, and i have my doubts about a few of the girls being anything but indifferent to the teachers struggles and efforts. But i’m not too bothered by it.

      • 23.1.1 Antic

        Its really the way it was handled that irritated me. Sure, she’s not doing them serious harm, I’m not so bugged about that part. It’s particularly the whole ‘If you don’t confess, I’ll have to punish everybody!’ part. I have never seen that work; it’s ineffective and unfair. Further, everyone is practically tripping over themselves to forgive her (and this is portrayed as unambiguously a poor-her-look-what-they-made-her-do thing), but the principle remains – someone (or more) stole the USB drive, and someone sabotaged Ha-kyung’s books aaaand… neither of those issues has been resolved.

        • Dita

          Then, you’ll know what In-jae feels if you’re a teacher too..
          Coz I am ever in that position too. So I know what it feels like.

    • 23.2 flour

      actually it happened in my school, the teacher didnt hit but she sort of cry-screamed. the troublemakers ended up writing sorry letters after the class (after a long arguments aka swearing at each other) forced them to. so yeah, sometimes “miracles” happen in highschool. although it wasnt as dramatic and the bad boys were insincere lol. that was so long ago omg 🙁

    • 23.3 Antic

      I think I may have wound up emphasizing the wrong things and what I was getting at got muddled. One last shot before bed…

      People make mistakes, act in the heat of the moment, regret it later all the time. I think it is plausible and understandable that In-jae reacted in the way she did. What I mean to criticize is the way the show handled the event, which is to say, uncritically. School 2013 has generally been pretty solid on considering multiple sides and perspectives on the issues it addresses – e.g. Se-chan may be an ass and his views on education completely antithetical to In-jae’s, but he’s allowed to have fair points and considered arguments. Or we got a range of views on how the chair thrown out the window situation ought to be dealt with. But this scenario was portrayed unilaterally – there are no reactions other than “Oh no, look what In-jae was led to do!” which is irritating to me as I think there are aspects of the situation which warrant criticism (namely, that it was unfair, didn’t solve the problem, and according to school policy, she shouldn’t have acted in that manner) or at least some sort of alternate (preferably student) perspective.

  24. 24 AuntieMame

    Thank you for the recap. Every time I see Jung Ho, I think of John Mayer of K2H.

    • 24.1 ilovedramas

      haha, he’s not SO bad.

  25. 25 Dbfan

    Thank you!! Off to read~

  26. 26 Bengbeng

    I think Namsoon needed more the friendship of Ha-kyung, than lovelife that could create further gap between him and HS. It doesn’t necessarily a romance, but wouldn’t it be niced if Ha-kyung will be the one protective of Namsoon because of their friendships? Just like the kind of friendship between Sanada and Hashiba in Princess Toyotomi =)

    NM and HS’s friendships seems to need a lot of healing. I wonder what really broke thier friendship. I hope it will be resolved so that we can see and experience their bromance already =).

  27. 27 jude

    Watching this drama really gives me a pang in the heart. Just like what JB said, It’s just too real. I feel like I am no longer watching a drama, but a potrayal of real life. I feel like watching a Truman Show, taking place in real time.

    And the thing is I know that every issue that they talk about are real. Violence, bullying, isolated teens, broken friendship, parents’ pressure, academic pressure… Everything.

    Watching this drama hurts. So much.

  28. 28 Torisangel

    Woo, this episode..I’ve got so much to comment..So, let’s begin..

    First things first..This episode really hit me in the heart. Being a student myself, it tore me to pieces to see a teacher care so much about her students. Some may say that she’s “too involved”, but I really appreciate her heart and genuine concern for these kids. Even if the kids themselves don’t appreciate it. I’ve personally experienced a teacher like her. She was constantly bullied and pushed around by her students, but she always cared for them and about them. Whenever they needed her, she was always there. Sometimes, after class, I would find her crying in her classroom..I would stop and comfort her..I looked up to her and she is one teacher I will never forget. She is really a blessing to students who can appreciate her. So, to see In-jae just completely lose control and breakdown in tears like that..really got to me. Like Javabeans said, it’s like seeing a parent that has been pushed over the edge and is falling apart now. It’s just heartbreaking. I really commend the acting in that part.

    Next thing..I’m really curious as to what happened between Nam-soon and Heung-soo..just like everyone. I like how they have kept it in the dark though. It creates mystery and intrigue around this character. It spices things up really. Things are usually revealed quite fast in K-Dramas..Not that I mind! Just, it’s a refreshing change. This whole drama is a refreshing change for me. It reminds me a lot of Shut Up Flower Boy Band. In the teaching aspect part of the drama. Both of these dramas teach life lessons and everyday dilemmas that happen all. the. time. It’s easy to say you’ll do the right thing in a situation like Nam-soon’s, but what really IS the right thing? Right and wrong are tricky when it comes to things like this. Right now though, I think Nam-soon must have done something almost unforgivable..I nearly lost it when he said that tear-felt sorry..It was obvious he meant it, but Heung-soo just didn’t want to hear it.

    Also, it’s easy for the schools to want to toss out all the bad students, or the troublesome ones and keep the good and semi-good. Why bother when you think someone is a lost cause? That’s many of the people’s attitudes on the subject. You rarely get someone like In-jae who refuses to give up, more than likely, you’ll get Se-chan. Not that Se-chan is bad teacher, but he really doesn’t care enough about anything besides grades, academic accomplishments, and achievements. He sent Nam-soon outside because he wouldn’t work. He came to school didn’t he? That’s got to count for something. Some don’t even bother showing up. Yet, Se-chan didn’t think that way. I’m not blaming people, sometimes I used to think, “Just toss out the bad students, I want to study!” It’s easy not to get “too involved”. You look at the surface and don’t even bother looking underneath. Even the students that are pretty average, don’t get much attention or help. People just favor you more if you got good grades usually, that’s really how it works now a days. Or, that’s how in my opinion, it works. That’s why I would love to see the transaction that Se-chan takes and that In-jae takes to combine their teaching skills..You get the best of both worlds if that happens. Just if they would stop that cute, but sometimes irritating, bickering long enough then it might happen.

    Last, but not least, I love how this show is so realistic and touches on so many things that could really happen..It definitely scored points for me for not taking the bullying in this series lightly. It scored even bigger points for me, by using simple plot lines..and making them interesting. Even though it’s already been done before, even though we have definitely see it done over and over..like, someone destroying Ha-Kyung’s stuff..or someone getting blamed for theft even though they didn’t do it..This show made it interesting and entertaining. Some even fail at using NEW material and can’t make it interesting. It just happens and the delivery of it, makes all the difference. And to address the romance issue thing, really..I’m on either side of the fence with that one. Full-blown or just friends..I think this story could benefit from either one if used correctly and delivered correctly. Why does there have to be romance? There really doesn’t at the same time. Both Ha-Kyung and Nam-soon need someone in their lives to help them open up a little though, and I think them together either as friends or as more than friends..could do just that. Really, the writer should not sacrifice his or her story just to make us happy though. I really wouldn’t her to change anything about this story or anything she had planned in the future to fit some people’s needs. You really cannot please everyone. There will always be someone that will be unhappy or displeased. And that’s their fault. Just drop the story if you are really that displeased by it. Don’t force your opinions on the writer and expect them to change it to fit to your own needs. That’s extremely selfish and childish in my opinion. You’re not the only one that matters.

    Done for now! Going to comment more on this drama in the future! Fighting! <3

    • 28.1 Laeah

      I think HS’s leg was injured because of NS. Probably an accident, but it has something to do with that. That’s why NS feels guilty to HS. He probably left HS’s side after doing so, so HS felt abandoned when NS tried to make a better left. He probably felt like he was thrown out to the trash. I think that’s also why NS doesn’t want to fight anymore.

      • 28.1.1 DHM

        I think so, too.
        I even wonder if what happened between Nam-soon and Heung-soo is that Nam-Soon betrayed him or abandoned him in a fight and that’s when his leg was hurt.

        I knew it was going to turn out that Nam Soon was the Tsunami when, in a previous episode, he was telling Jung-Ho to go ahead and hit him, that all that beating up of other people and hitting them felt so delicious, but in reality, it was only himself that Jung-Ho was tearing up- the words and delivery shrieked of first hand experience and self-knowledge to me.

  29. 29 owl

    Wow, I’d almost forgotten how much of high school is a major waste –

    It’s like time didn’t go by this episode, but a lot happened, especially in terms of trust and protection and relationship dynamics. How adorable was it when the upside down kid saw In jae coming to school – tardy – and the whole class waved and greeted her – she cared about them and they care about her~

    I can’t give Se-Chan a pass for not reading bwtween the lines when Nam-soon wanted to confide and let him know something was up “in code.’ Se-chan’s style is to just teach to the test and not get involved with the teachers (In-jae) or students. But of course, that is impossible. On the other hand, In-jae is WAY to involved in her students’ lives, but she knows that if she doesn’t care, then who will? She is so idealistic and so admirable, but it is so a recipe for potential disaster. With the small chance that maybe a break through could happen, and even thougt the stakes are high, she is willing to take a risk for her students , even if it’s because she is niave.

    Not enough Heung-soo this round – his story seems slow in coming . . .

    • 29.1 pogo

      That scene with them waving at her from gym class was beyond adorable. It’s nice for her to have some acknowledgement that everything she does isn’t pointless, and that on some level they’ve come to care about her too.

      Heung-soo, now, I badly want to know what’s up with him. (and more HS/Kang-joo interactions would be a bonus)

  30. 30 Esther

    That was great acting on jang nara’s part…you could just feel injae’s pain…im amazed by how deeply she cares for the students..i feel later she would be the one responsible for changing jung ho’s path to path of righteousness.
    also im getting more and more curious as to what namsoon actually did to this heung soo that they went from so close to so far away…..and the fact that his sister said she’ll die if he does not graduate….i was like woah..hey!!…..just what the hell happened between both of them…
    i also felt sad for min ki,to have such pressure on him.Both hakyung and him are in it for reputation.
    As for stealing the answer sheet is concerned,i think namsoon wouldnt do it and stop being jungho’s puppet…so im not really excited for it rather im interested in the new events of the next episode..regarding ha kyung
    I heard that they are doing away with the romance…thats sad..
    I wanted to see more of kang joo/ heung soo than namsoon/hakyung….they are just so amusing when they confront each other…i just love them..but even if the romance part is removed…i would like kang joo to teach heung soo to smile atleast and help him get him out of despair eventually
    Woah…Great expectations from this drama…and as far the events have unfolded it has been living up to it.

  31. 31 Faranak

    O0o0o0o0oh! Why namsoon always has to be in trouble and dificult situations? Poor boy,i love him 😀

  32. 32 Almontel

    Awesome show…i too am curious to know what the show will reveal about the two close buddies…
    makes me wonder how deep the scar is for them to break up and be like mortal enemies…

    InJae did a great job tonight in portraying her role as a teacher who is too involved and too caring to her students. My hats off to her and i’m sure there’s only a few left in this world in someone like her…

    i do hope that the class turns around and do good on their midterms just so it can serve as proof as to how much InJae’s love for her students is progressing…

    i can’t wait for tomorrow to see what will unravel…

    thanks for the recap!!!

  33. 33 topper

    It’s a bit weird for me that for a realistic portrayal of a problematic high school, there aren’t any sex related problems. Or maybe it’s still early yet?
    Those 3 ganging up bullies always looks like potential gang raping dudes to me, considering how they slap around that slow learner classmate.

    • 33.1 pogo

      It’s a high school drama, I think they don’t want to ruffle censor feathers with anything sex-related for the students.

    • 33.2 Mic

      There might be later in the drama.

      I don’t think the issue is quite as big in Korea as it is internationally. That’s not to say it’s not an issue, but the problems the show has been tackling so far are a lot more pressing in South Korea.

  34. 34 Fangy

    I <3 School 2013 ~~~~

    Christmas wish list:
    1) Namsoon is able to overcome the many obstacles ahead of him easily and have a purpose in life. (Since he is the main lead, he is not going to have a peaceful year; so no point wishing him a smooth sailing year.)
    2) Namsoon doesn't get beaten up again. (Poor boy, up till ep 5, I've not seen him once without injury.)
    3) Namsoon and Heungsoo to reconcile and graduate together.
    4) Namsoon and Hakyung to be each other's pillar of support and listening ear (not necessary romantically. To be honest, with the many difficult situations Namsoon is in all the time, where does he find time for romance?)
    5) Jungho to stop antagonising Namsoon (actually what is this boy's issue with Namsoon that he keeps picking on him? Because Namsoon stood up for others whom he tried to bully? Because Namsoon refuses to be submissive to him? Because he is jealous of Namsoon? Or he just cannot stand the sight of Namsoon?)
    6) Minki finally able to stand up against his domineering mother
    7) Hakyung to find time for other stuff rather than just studying and studying.
    8) Youngwoo to overcome his learning difficulties and be a confident young man.
    9) Injae and Sechan will work together and help Class 2 to pass with flying colours and be a better person. (This should cover for the rest of the class whose issues I've yet to know.)

    Okay, okay, I know my wish list is Namsoon-bias but …. this noona's protective instinct for her dongsaeng is deep. ^^

  35. 35 Kwhat?!

    This show has me hooked. I loved the tear in Se Chan’s eye as he watched In Jae slap the kids’ hands. I love that he’s coming to really respect her, along with his growing feelings for her. They do make a great pair when they work together.

    I have to say that I’m so impressed with Lee Jong Suk’s incredible acting. I mean, most of his scenes in this episode were him just looking (and not in a Kim Jong Il/Un kind of way), and yet there was such intensity and depth to those looks that you get most of what he’s feeling. Of course, there are still layers of meaning that we don’t understand yet, and those are clearly there too. So young, yet so talented.

  36. 36 verte

    I think Minki’s going to end up committing suicide D;

    • 36.1 Mic

      Oh shit, that could happen! D:

  37. 37 Nallali

    I think ‘balding teacher’ deserves a special shout out, i know JN’s character is getting all the love and what not but if he wasn’t there, protecting her from behind the scenes the poor girl might have lost it ages ago! And thats why am not worried about NS cuz as long as he’s there(balding teach) he’ll somehow sort it out…

    • 37.1 pogo

      Yeah, he’s sort of like a surrogate dad to her and also to Se-chan, and nothing but awesome <3

      • 37.1.1 bjharm

        wasn’t he indeed the pairs dad in baby faced? I saw him in King of Drama too and new he was for the chop in that series beacuse he was in this one..lol

  38. 38 boholAnna

    Is this a high school K drama? Yes, the students and teachers are cute and the lighting is very bright. But the story seems very dark and is getting darker.

    I feel I’ve stumbled into Japanese dorama territory. NO complaints, though. I’m already already hooked into this show and I don’t know if my heart can take any more of this but I’m at a point where I can’t stop watching.

    Reading your recaps makes me breathe again until the next episode.

  39. 39 Christy

    Amazing episode. Everything in this show is so layered and packed with emotion, and the plot flows so organically without seeming like there is a higher being shifting the characters through a series of machinations. Originally, I was surprised that this series was heading into such serious/dark territory, but I’m definitely like the fact that they’re discussing realistic issues, reminiscent of those 90’s high school drama series that aired in the states.

  40. 40 Stephanie

    It got me in the gut when he wrote keun yang on his “about me” Like he’s living just because.

    It’s normal for a teenager not to know his place in this world. But it makes me wonder, if life should be lived, can be lived, “just because”.

    I know this is 2 episodes too late, but I’m still thinkin’ about it.

  41. 41 bellebyul

    This show – it is truly more like watching some students live their lives than a drama. It has such a real element that I feel like I’m living in the ‘same’ world as them – where this is happening somewhere around the world.

    And truthfully, I think this drama does hit on events that probably do happen in school. Bullying, fights, friendship, trust, truly genuine teachers, stress from parents. I think that just makes me more invested in it, since problems like such don’t have a simple one-track answer, and they are never resolved with simple glue and ribbon.

    I hope that Namsoo and Heungsoo are able to mend their friendship. I know that even with having arguments and fights, sometimes some people are able to make it up to one another if they truly were friends before. So I hope they are able to at least come to the same level with each other. Another thing was that Heungsoo’s sister was just as deeply invested in their friendship – which is so true as a sibling or parent. It is the ‘Why would you hurt my brother/sister/daughter/son – especially when you have been best of friends?!’

    I don’t really have a say about the romantic line for Namsoo and Hakyung. For now at least, I am happy with them just being there for each other – as friends. I don’t mind having a light romantic line if so, but having a full out love line I think might take away the main point this drama has been pinning from day 1. My biggest worry is that this romantic line probably will come between Heungsoo and Namsoo. I just hope that it wasn’t the reason they broke up being friends. I hope there is more of a substance to why they are not on the best terms! I feel there is so much behind their single glance at each other or how they stand/sit/move when around one another.

    Minki – My dear boy, I hope he finds what he wants to do through all the stress and spoon feeding his mom wants to do. I just hope it doesn’t throw him over the edge with how much his mom is trying to manage his life.

    Youngwoo -this kid is adorable, but I hope he grows into a man he is proud of being. His self esteem is low, and I think the drama really hit on that.

    Injae and Sechan – These two. God they made me get tears in my eyes every god darn time. Sechan is finally opening his eyes – and isn’t being ignorant. Sometimes you just need that extra push to get a character to grow up, but this time I really like that it is coming from Injae. Dramas tend to over emphasize why a character changes – like due to a person or their actions. But here, I think I am growing up with Sechan too, and starting to appreciate Injae. He has the chops to be a good teacher, he is just finding out that caring for the students is another part as well. Injae – wow. The scene where she is punishing the children by giving them slaps on their palms was such a moving scene. It made me feel bad as well – to see that instead of the students getting punished, the teach is getting punished for her inability to manage the class and keep the students in line. Teachers like these give students the reason to keep at it. I have been lucky to have some teachers who put their mind and soul into teaching us, and have been the most memorable professor – even if their classes were difficult. I like that this drama keeps at its soul goal- showing what it means to be a student and that not all teachers don’t care. In actuality, you don’t realize the value of a great teacher until you have finished the class/or the teacher left.

    For what I can say – Drama writers – you got me on this drama. Even if it is a little hook, I’m holding on with two hands because I am totally in for this ride. ps dramabeans – thanks! 🙂

  42. 42 Lilian

    So many interesting characters in one show. I am glad we saw more of Min Ki in this episode! So much stress, I can so understand hw he wants to just be 20 immediately…. however, at the end of the day Nam Soon is the bomb. I am guessing in a fight he accidentally hurt Heung Soo seriously. and the guilt changed him when he realised how violence brings trouble. A guess! =D

  43. 43 dtp_jnr

    Am i the only one who thinks In Jae is a bad teacher in general? Yes she cares but she cares to much and doesn’t really know when to draw the line between teacher and student…..Yes it’s nice to have a push over teacher but if you’re thinking of going to college that’s the worst teacher possible…..Who writes exams to the level of their students abilities? By doing that there is no challenge for those who are above the average hence she starts grading with her own set of principles which should not be cos when you’re writing your college entry exams NO ONE is writing an exam to meet the ability of the less than average students….Now i get why Ha Kyung doesn’t want to be in the school cos if the teachers are teaching like that, how do they expect their students to get into good colleges. Also i see why they In Jae was surprised that Min Ki’s older brother was able to go to Yale from their school cos she teaches them with low expectations…..

    If i had to chose a high school teacher i would chose Se-Chan…..I had a fun economics teacher in high school but he wasn’t a push over no matter how friendly and nice he was.

    Also the scene were the students were exercising and the teacher cam and the started having a love fest was cringe worthy to me, i remember seeing a gaga concert skit about high school scenes like that and how it’s unrealistic….Since i’m not Korean or living there, i wouldn’t know if that’s what actually goes on……

    The drama is quite solid when i remove those parts from it and i hope by the end of the drama, the wouldn’t make Se-Chan’s character into the completely changed man and In-Jae would still be an over bearing bad teacher…….

    • 43.1 bjharm

      you missing the point really, half her class had no intention of even going on the college the rest but for a few would just fail to make the grade, that why it is the ‘drop out’ class the school expects them to fail and has given up on them. So yes if it was the top class in the school then yes she maybe the wrong kind of teacher but with this class she likely their only and last chance for most to even get into a college. First she has to get them ‘thinking’ of college before teaching them what they need to know and that was the idea of the test she made

    • 43.2 asianromance

      A lot of the kids in that class seem to be remedial students, and you don’t really try to throw remedial students into regular level material until they’ve built some foundations. In-jae is trying to instill the sense of learning for learning’s sake and to get the students to think critically and creatively. Sure learning calculus formulas is important, but it’s also important to learn ethics and philosophy.

      I think this whole In-jae versus Se-chan’s teaching philosophy is pretty interesting and timely in that I feel like a lot of teachers are struggle to maintain that balance of trying to teach students the foundations of learning and how to think critically and creatively and trying to get the students to learn the test and pass it – both of which is important.

    • 43.3 Mic

      She’s the only one in the kids’ lives trying to help them. Especially considering how much of their lives revolve around school, I think it’s important to have a teacher like In-jae.

      Personally, I like the balance between Se-chan and In-jae. I like that they have different teaching styles. If all my teachers were like In-jae, it would be a little overbearing. If all of them were like Se-chan, I would feel more stressed and disconnected from school and work.

  44. 44 Carole McDonnell

    I seriously wish Jung Ho would just chill. As for Minki’s Mom..dang! She reminds me of my friend’s evil mother-in-law. (note: I said, “My *friend’s*” Evil mother-in-law. I suppose there will always be pain-in-the-neck troublemakers..and the pretty troublemaking girl is subtle about her evil….but still..the world would be so much better without folks like these three baddies in it.

    Are we gonna end with everyone being enlightened and palsy? With everyone redeemed and seeing the light? ::sigh:: I’m thinking, yes. Although I think Bullcopting Mom might not go down so easy.

    The red swollen hand! Wow!!!! I’ll attest to the fact that dealing with other folks’ troublemaking kids can definitely be a problem. I once got so mad at a class that I threw my computer keyboard on the ground. Better than actually throwing the kid down on the ground…or getting swollen hands.

    Thanks for the recap.

  45. 45 TS

    I’ve a suspicion Heung-soo is going to use Ha-kyung to cheat, and probably by threatening to expose Nam-soon in some way.

  46. 46 Angelalala

    … Does this mean i can hope for a nam soon/in jae loveline? Lol (i know, sounds wrong but their cute.) 😛

    • 46.1 Carole McDonnell

      Would be so good, but i can’t see the writers doing it. Since they’re all “realistic” and all.

    • 46.2 LOVE

      I want too… namsoon & injae Love line. 🙂

  47. 47 skillz

    We never did get to find out who stole that USB and who watered Ha Kyung’s locker. I was really curious.

    I actually wouldn’t mind it if there’s no romance between Nam Soon and Ha Kyung. I’m pretty sick of romance to be honest and this show is really good without it so it wouldn’t be ruined for me or anything. But if they do end up together I hope it’s not too over the top.

  48. 48 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! I’m really hooked on this show and it has edged out King of Dramas in my must-watch-first-when-I-get-home schedule. I’m so invested in those kids, even that m—— f——-, Jung-ho.

    Totally got teary-eyed when In-jae hit those kids’ hands – even before then- the look of betrayal, heartbreak, and the desperation to give these kids a future they can be proud of.

    I really want to know more about Heung-soo and Namsoon’s past!!

  49. 49 Abbie

    Gah! This show! Seriously! It’s so addicting and loaded with just so much emotion. I love it so much and just want more of it.

    Poor In-jae. My heart broke for her when she was hitting the kids’ hands. That took so much out of her. I’m proud of her, but at the same time I’m cringing that she had to stoop to that level. Her poor hand, too!

    I like the way the show is slowly building Heung-soo’s character. I am so freaking curious about him and want to know what his deal is exactly. What happened between him and Nam-soon? Why did Nam-soon leave and become the way he is now? And why is Heung-soo basically doing the same? I really love Kim Woo-bin and Lee Jong-seok in these rolls. Both are phenomenal young actors, and I can’t wait to see where this leads.

    I’m also curious about Jung-ho. I like it when the “villain” (can he be called that) is shown in a sympathetic light. Especially when the “villain” is a teenager. I want to know why he is the way is and what’s up with that hyungnim?

    Another thing I am curious about is the rapport building between Nam-soon and Ha-kyung. I want more of it!

    Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

  50. 50 Sajen

    “It’s strange to see Jung-ho in the position of the bullied”

    not really where there’s a bully there’s a stronger bully around somewhere usually more than one

    I think I felt a few tears drop when In-jae hit her students hands, also her hand really is tiny.

    I think I know what happened between Nam-soon and Heung-soo they’ve dropped some hints and I think Nam-soon did something big really big and then ran away and let Heung-soo take the fall for it.

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