Drama Recaps
School 2013: Episode 6
by | December 18, 2012 | 127 Comments

This drama breaks my heart every episode, but damn it, I always come back for more. It’s because they manage to do that that perfectly hopeful, earnest kind of heartbreak so well—especially in those small moments between characters that you might miss if you blinked. All the characters feel real and fleshed out, and their problems so harsh, but universal all the same.


In study hall, Byun-ki shows off his super-powered go juice, bragging to the class that he’s been awake for 36 hours straight. On energy drinks? Ugh, I cringe at the sugar overload. But Ha-kyung gets this look in her eye that does not bode well.

Suddenly the lights go out, and then we catch up with Nam-soon, who uses that moment to sneak up to the test storage room. He opens the door… Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it

We cut back to the halls teeming with kids playing zombies (hee) and the lights come back on. Did he do it? He didn’t, right? He runs out of school looking mighty suspicious, and jumps the fence.

Jung-ho and his boys are waiting for him, and ask for the test. Nam-soon reaches into his coat… and takes out his cell phone. He tells them he recorded their threats, so if they blow the whistle on the fight, he does the same about the test. Ohthankgod, you didn’t steal it.

He walks away, muttering to himself that he really should’ve recorded it. HA.

It’s D-day, and everyone is a jumble of nerves. Well, except the three boys whose fists are faster than their words. And of course, Mr. Go Juice Byun-ki has been awake for days… but crashes and falls asleep the second the test hits his desk. I don’t know why, but this detail cracks me up: Heung-soo just marks all As all the way down his answer sheet, while Nam-soon marks all Cs. Match made in heaven, these two.

Halfway through midterm day, a few of the students catch Se-chan playing hooky, and he just smiles to himself, wishing everyday were test day. Says the teacher. But by the afternoon, things take a turn for the worse.

The teachers realize that one of the exams is missing from the total count, and the problem is, they have no idea if it went missing after the exam (so just an oversight) or before (theft and a security leak).

Se-chan asks the class if anyone’s seen an extra test, and Nam-soon looks over at In-jae for just a split second. The teachers go over the security footage from the night of the blackout, but find nothing.

The students wonder who might’ve done it, but mostly worry that it’ll mean they have to retake that subject. Of course it turns out to be Se-chan and In-jae’s test, so they’re told to write up a new test that night.

They stay late to rewrite a new exam, and In-jae asks if Se-chan is going to do it all by himself again. He chides her for not even reading the test the first time: “I made it out of both of our exams.”

Her smile at that is so cute. He tells her to hurry up and toss out some new ideas, and it just gives me the warm fuzzies that they’re actually working together on something.

They finally head out when they’re finished, only to find Uhmforce in the parking lot, snooping around Se-chan’s car. It turns out he’s been doing some sleuthing, and found that Se-chan’s car was parked here overnight, and has a black box camera.

They go back to the office to look at the recording at the time of the blackout. One student is seen walking past the car at exactly the right (or wrong, rather) time: Heung-soo. Crap. And also, that’s not who I thought it’d be.

The next day, Uhmforce gets Heung-soo in his office, and assumes the worst: “A troublemaker can’t help but always make trouble. It’s habit.” Aw, don’t be like that. Also, can someone just check his test, where he indiscriminately marked all As? Would a test thief do that?

Heung-soo: “Suspecting a student you’ve already suspected once—that’s habit too.” Nice. I don’t doubt that Heung-soo is capable of some heinous things, but I do think he’s right about that sentiment.

In-jae and Se-chan are standing in the hall, and she asks with this clinging bit of hope, “It’s not Heung-soo, right? It’s not one of our kids, right?” Se-chan just says they’ll find out either way.

The class buzzes with the news that Heung-soo is the thief, and Nam-soon’s face goes white to hear it. He marches down to the office, and In-jae looks up at him in confusion. He just says, “I’m sorry,” and goes inside. Oof, it’s a crushing blow to In-jae.

He tells Uhmforce that it wasn’t Heung-soo. “It was me.” Urg, was kamikaze mission the only way you could think to save him? Heung-soo actually laughs out loud, and Uhmforce looks curiously back and forth between the two boys.

Nam-soon confesses that he was going to steal the test, but didn’t. That gets the reaction you’d imagine, since Uhmforce isn’t about to be forthcoming with the benefit of the doubt.

Nam-soon admits that it’s his fault for planning to steal it, but he sticks to his story that he didn’t actually take it in the end. Meanwhile, Se-chan remembers something. Please tell me you saw the culprit.

Uhmforce recommends handing Nam-soon over to the police, and In-jae can’t argue this time. She just says she’ll follow the principal’s lead. But this time it’s Se-chan who speaks up, and asks for one more day to figure things out. That catches everybody by surprise, including me.

In-jae goes to see Nam-soon and asks if he’s not guilty this time either. “But this time I can’t take your side. I can’t forgive you, for wanting to steal.” But! You’re the only one who trusts him, in the whole wide world! *tears*

Se-chan finds In-jae sitting outside, head buried in her knees. He says that there must’ve been a reason for Nam-soon’s behavior. She vents at Se-chan, demanding to know what reason there could possibly be for this. He jumps, “What’re you getting mad at me for?” Heh.

He calms down and adds, “There are things that might seem like nothing to us, but are to kids like the heavens are crashing down.” Er? Is this… Se-chan… telling In-jae to be more understanding? What bizarro land did I step into?

He tells her about his conversation with Nam-soon that night of the blackout (ah, so this is the thing he remembered)—about his dilemma between doing something bad to protect someone or doing nothing and letting someone get hurt.

In-jae: “WHO? Who’d get hurt?” Se-chan sort of shrugs off the part where he ended the conversation there because he was busy. She gives him a death glare.

Se-chan: “See, see, you’re gonna take his side immediately.” Omg, it’s so cute. She scowls, not wanting to acknowledge it because she’s still mad at Nam-soon.

He actually gets up and says, “Let’s save the kid first.” I can’t believe it—she’s actually rubbing off on him. She’s so mad that he has to drag her along, as they visit tutoring academies one after the other.

Ah, I see, it’s like going through pawn shops to see who’s got the stolen goods, and you can work your way backwards from there. In-jae starts out annoyed, but ends up pretty impressed at him. Does that mean they found the culprit?

They report to the principal in the morning—they found the test being distributed at an academy, and the culprit was a former Seungri High student who was caught in the act stealing a test from another school the next night.

They all sigh in relief that it was an outsider. Did… Se-chan just wink at In-jae? Heh, he did, and the look on her face is priceless.

She asks Nam-soon who needed protecting. No answer. Who did the threatening? Was it Jung-ho? He doesn’t answer that either, but he turns to look at her, and she can tell that it was Jung-ho.

In-jae: “But still…” Nam-soon: “I know. I won’t do it again.” Yay, all is right with the world again. I swear, I can’t take it when these two fight.

She adorably shakes her tiny fist at him, “If you do, you’re dead.” He cracks a smile and bumps his fist with hers, “Look at the size of that fist.” Hee. He walks away, and she scowls, “You little thing.”

In-jae announces Nam-soon’s innocence to the class, and they’re impressed that she proved he was framed. She gives the credit to Se-chan, and they actually oooooh and aaaah that he’d care.

I’m just glad that Nam-soon has a reason to be nice to him now. Hey, grudging obligation combined with the threat of gym cleaning can be the foundation of a lasting friendship. Sometimes.

Nam-soon waits in the hall for Se-chan and awkwardly stands there, shuffling his feet and hanging his head. He starts and stops a few times before he finally gets it out: “Th… thank… you.”

Se-chan purposely pretends he didn’t hear it, because he makes him say it again. I’m just scared that’ll make it go sideways, but Nam-soon manages another “Thanks.” Se-chan just peers at him, “So you know how to say things like that.” Would it kill you not to be snarky?

Teacher Jo comes by to tell Se-chan that he did a good thing, and Se-chan just brushes it off like he tried to ignore the kids, but they won’t stop clinging to him. Pffft. Yes, sure. That’s the trouble.

Teacher Jo tells him in his wise way that ignoring the kids is not really an option for a teacher.

Ha-kyung and Kang-joo study in the library, and Ha-kyung takes a pill when she starts to get sleepy. Uh-oh. Jesse Spano Alert! Kang-joo asks—those aren’t pills to help keep her awake, are they? Ha-kyung lies that they aren’t. If she starts in on “I’m So Excited,” you need to call the school nurse.

Nam-soon throws some school notes under his pot of ramyun at home, realizing that he still has the notes that Ha-kyung gave him. He calls her up and brings them to her at school, and she asks if he even read them.

He admits he hasn’t, so she hands them back and orders him to follow her into the library. Is this your way of making a study date? They sit on opposite sides of the row of desks, and Nam-soon wakes up from his nap to find Ha-kyung dozing off too.

He smiles, “Even first place gets sleepy.” He leaves her notes by her side and just lets her sleep, and goes home.

The day of the re-test, Ha-kyung looks even more frazzled than before, and some of the other kids snicker that she got an 85 on her math test. At lunch she takes another caffeine pill… combined with Byun-ki’s Go Juice. Agh. She downs the whole bottle.

She barely makes it till the end of the day, and then as she walks out of the classroom with Kang-joo, she collapses in a heap. Se-chan happens to be standing right there in the hallway when it happens, and Kang-joo screams for Teacher to help.

But Se-chan freezes—this isn’t just surprise. He stands there, unable to do anything. Flashback to Se-chan at a different school, carrying a girl on his back in a panic. He tells her to hold on for just a little longer… but her hand goes limp, as he’s carrying her on his back. Did she die?

So he was a real teacher once. This must’ve been the thing that traumatized him and made him leave school.

Back to Ha-kyung, as more and more kids amass in the halls, waiting for Teacher to act. But he doesn’t.

Finally, Nam-soon hears the commotion and comes tearing down the hall, and pushes Se-chan out of the way.

He piggybacks Ha-kyung to the hospital, and looks up at Se-chan on his way out, like WTF are you doing? The kids all murmur the same thing, and he continues to just stand there, shocked.

In-jae rushes to the hospital, and a few of the boys say that they’re disappointed in Se-chan—he just stood there and did nothing, and Nam-soon carried Ha-kyung all the way here. In-jae says he must’ve just been shocked.

Ha-kyung wakes up, and Kang-joo hugs her in relief. Nam-soon smiles to see that she’s okay and walks out without a word. Oh you silent hero types.

The doc comes in and warns her not to mix energy drinks anymore, and both she and Byun-ki hang their heads sheepishly. What about the caffeine pills? Hm, guess this is going to be a long-term conflict for her.

In-jae asks if her parents pressure her, and Ha-kyung says her parents are the type to leave her to study on her own. But their idea of “do well” is to do exactly as everyone else did in her family, and get into Seoul U. She breaks down as she says that she tanked on today’s re-test.

In class the next day Se-chan gets the cold shoulder from the kids, and In-jae calls Jung-ho out of class to confront him about the test stealing. Oh no. Teach, don’t you remember the thing about tattling and making things worse?

Jung-ho knows right away that Nam-soon talked, so then he announces it to the whole class, adding, “But didn’t you really do it for Park Heung-soo?” He outs their friendship, which also outs his age, and the whole class gapes.

Thankfully Heung-soo isn’t there. But d’oh, spoke too soon… he’s standing in the doorway. Nam-soon follows him outside.

Heung-soo asks what he did because of him. Nam-soon: “I didn’t do it because of you. I did it because of me.” Heung-soo: “Are you that afraid of me?”

Nam-soon: “Yeah. I am afraid of you. I’m afraid of you more than anything else in this whole world, you bastard.” But Heung-soo just walks away while he’s still talking.

It’s time for midterm test results to be handed out, and Se-chan doesn’t much want to be the messenger, but In-jae makes him do it (with an evil smile to boot).

There are groans and cries from students who lost points here and there, kids who don’t even look at their scores like Heung-soo and Nam-soon, or those whose hearts crash to their knees, like Min-ki and Ha-kyung.

Min-ki looks especially scared to go home that day, and apologizes to Mom for missing one question. ONE friggin’ question, and you look like your dog died? She says it’s okay—she already knows. (Dude, Mom, you’re freaking me out.)

She says he got a perfect score on the test the first time anyway, and why does that statement make me worry? Min-ki looks at a closed door with a sigh. Hm.

A few of the kids stop Nam-soon to ask if he’s really older than them, not really believing the rumors. He admits that he is, and suddenly it’s stilted jondae and “hyungnim,” heh.

They assume that Heung-soo is the bad guy and that Nam-soon is under his thumb, and adorably tell him that they’re going to protect their hyungnim from the other hyungnim. Why are they so cute?

The next day, Min-ki’s mom marches her army of moms into the school. She’s up in arms about the re-test, and says she took it to be examined by a professor who deemed that there were two questions that were harder on the re-test. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

But that’s not even the half of it. She says the school’s standards are slipping and that she’s worried for her child’s safety, announcing to the other moms that a gangster transferred to this school.

That gets In-jae fired up, and she says that they shouldn’t label a student that way. He’s not causing any trouble or doing any harm.

In the hall, Nam-soon catches up to Heung-soo and hands him another book. I love that he keeps trying. Heung-soo knocks it to the ground and refuses to take it.

Min-ki picks it up and offers it up to Heung-soo, not knowing he just stepped into the middle of an argument. In his defense, it’s not like you two fight with many words.

But Heung-soo’s just pissed at Nam-soon, and knocks Min-ki upside the head, “I said, get rid of it, you bastard.” He doesn’t hit him hard, but he does say it menacingly.

Suddenly there’s a scream from down the hall. Oh shit, it’s Min-ki’s mom. She and a gaggle of teachers just witnessed the worst possible moment.

She comes running up, screaming that she said there was a gangster at this school, and she was right to worry, and hits Heung-soo in the chest. Yeesh. And poor Min-ki just shrinks back, willing himself to disappear.

Heung-soo broods on the roof, and Nam-soon comes to find him. Heung-soo asks, “If I’m a gangster, what does that make you? Will you stop pretending to be nice, to be sorry? It’s not going to change anything. You disgusting bastard.”

Min-ki comes home that day to find Mom caressing that closed door in their house. He gathers up the courage to tell her that he doesn’t like it when she comes to his school, and tries to tell her that it doesn’t matter what Heung-soo is.

Mom argues that he won’t have time to study then, and Min-ki complains, “Stop it! That’s why hyung—” and then she suddenly SLAPS him across the face.

She warns him not to speak of his brother, but it’s too late, and Min-ki says this is why hyung never comes out of that room…. for two years now. What?

A violent scream comes from behind the locked door, and Mom runs to it to cry to her son that she was wrong so please come out now. She collapses in tears. Whoa. This family is fucked up.

Poor Min-ki. And even though he has every right to run right now, he’s such a good kid that he goes over to Mom to say he’s sorry and he’ll do better. Augh.

The next day, In-jae decides to give the kids an anonymous survey about school violence, in the hopes that they’ll alert them to any problems that exist. Se-chan sighs that it’s a waste of energy, and kids aren’t going to tell them anything.

But In-jae says they have to try, so they distribute the surveys. Everyone looks around nervously and hunches over their papers. I wonder if they’ll just collect a bunch of blank pages.

In-jae and Se-chan head back to the office to give them a read. Uh-oh, the looks on their faces start to change… I guess they did write stuff down.

Next thing we know, Jung-ho, Heung-soo, and Nam-soon have been singled out to remain in class.


Eek, the tension between these three is so intense. And can you imagine being teacher to even one of these kids, let alone all three? I suppose it’s a good thing for the story that Jung-ho continues to be such a threat, but I want them to hurry up and establish some kind of hierarchy so I can stop having a nervous breakdown every time they share screen space.

I’m so relieved Nam-soon didn’t steal the test—we would’ve forgiven him eventually, but it would’ve crossed a line, and especially one that In-jae would have a hard time recovering from. It sort of breaks my heart the way her hopes literally rise and fall with the kids, but that’s what’s so great about her. She just tries and tries and puts her hopes in them time and again, even when she gets crushed. I just love her friendship with Nam-soon, because I can feel her hoping and wishing for him to be a good kid, just as badly as we do. And it’s no wonder that she’s the one person he wants to do right by—she’s the only one who bothers to put that much trust in him.

Their exchange where he teases her about her tiny fist and then she calls him a little thing (like you would to any kid) just got me in the heart. How fitting that they each see the other as tiny and needing to be protected. It kills me. He’s bigger in size, and she’s bigger in age, they take turns shielding each other from the bad stuff. Is there anything sweeter? Can she adopt him?

Se-chan’s arc is starting to take an interesting turn—I think he’s one step forward and two steps back, but we’re starting to understand him a little more. I like that In-jae’s optimism just will not be shut down, and so she sort of wins that battle with Se-chan because in the end his jadedness is less dogged than her sunny optimism. So we start to see signs of him letting her in little by little, and bothering to lift a finger when it comes to the students, and even convincing her to buck up when Nam-soon’s almost-thievery breaks her down. Clearing Nam-soon’s name felt like a huge step forward for him, but then it seems like he sort of retreated back into his shell after Ha-kyung’s collapse.

I like that he’s as much of a mystery as the students are, and that’s something I’m really enjoying on this show. It’s not mystery like cloak-and-dagger melodramatic stuff, but an approach that’s kind of like a stand-in for school and real life—you think you know people, but you never really know. We’re put in the same position as In-jae, who desperately wants to know these kids, but she only gets glimpses, makes tiny scratches at the surface, because each kid is a mystery.

It keeps the drama’s narrative like a constantly moving puzzle, because in every episode we discover something new that changes the score, whether it’s Min-ki’s crazy stressful home life or Se-chan’s trauma, which might explain why he tries so hard to keep students at arm’s length. It’s a great way to set up a world, because no matter whose story we move in and out of, I’m always invested and I’m dying to know more. They really make us feel like each character lives a full life outside the classroom, and we’re only getting the very tip of the iceberg with the version of them that we see at school, that they’re willing to show us. And that’s just real, no matter what school or what classroom you walk into, and why I love this drama.


127 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jane

    thank you!!!

  2. Ivoire

    Thank you!

  3. coconutjuice

    omg ..

  4. rainbow


  5. rainbow


    • 5.1 rainbow

      in jae and nam soon are so cute together…. 🙂

      • 5.1.1 Angelalala

        AGREED. <#

  6. nomu nomu nomu

    This show is continuing to provide a wide range of emotions for me. ❤❤❤
    Last episode it was In-jae that got my sympathy with her semi nervous breakdown with hand slapping of the entire class. This episode it’s the students. Ha-kyung studying herself to unhealthy level. Min-ki and his obsessive mother. Nam-soon with… well, everything. All these Feels, it hurts, yet somehow I welcome it every episode. Dammit, ‘School’ made me a masochist.

    It’s starting to get annoying how ‘School’ is piling on the mystery between Nam-soon and Heung-soo without revealing anything why Nam-soon is acting that way. Yes, mystery is good narrative-wise and builds curiosity from viewers but after awhile it feels like ‘School’ is just dragging it heels and you’re left with thinking “Holy f**k, just tell us already”

    I’m liking the reluctant-cooperation-bickering-colleague with a light touch of romantic undertone between In-jae and Se-chan. It feels like a natural progression with these two. ‘School’ is not forcing anything on these complete opposite characters and I’m always a fan of realism.

    Speaking of In-jae and Se-chan. Folks, their class is year 2, class 2 (Junior high). The actor playing Nam-soon maybe 23 in real life but his character is a junior highschool student. I’m only mentioning this because every episode I keep seeing comments regarding In-jae and Nam-soon romantic-wise. Se-chan and In-jae on the other hand… hint hint nudge nudge 😉 , you two bickering fools. Oh, and Se-chan is getting more layers and I always welcome more layers and it looks like he is starting to show signs of… gasp, caring. and looks like he has some kind of PTSD. Hey, Nam-soon can’t be the only one with hidden mystery, right?

    My past teachers would be shocked to hear me say this but… I can’t wait for School next week 😛

    • 6.1 funkypicklez

      junior high? you mean like middle school?

      these kids are second year of their high school. so in the american school system, these kids would be juniors.

      • 6.1.1 nomu nomu nomu

        I wasn’t exactly sure of the terminology but yes I did mean second year of high school (year 2 = 2nd year of HS)

        Where I’m from its just high School from grade 9 to 12 (no different names for various stages)

        • funkypicklez

          just checking in because in the u.s. junior high means middle school from grade (6-8) and i was worried because if you were thinking that, this drama would suddenly be a WHOLE different story. lol

          • nomu nomu nomu

            LOL, that would be a VERY different story.

            For us, everything from Kindergarten to grade 8 is Elementary school.

      • 6.1.2 selina

        Nope. Here in America is this is their second year of high school they would be sophomores. If it were their third year then they would juniors. Our system goes like this:

        1st year/9th grade:Freshmen

        2nd year/10th grade: Sophomores

        3rd year/11th grade: Juniors

        4th year/12th grade: Seniors.

        If Korean system is akin to this, these kids are younger than i thought and more worked/pressed/stressed than all four years of my high school education

        • anais

          The second year of high school in Korea is equivalent to junior year in the U.S. It’s the year when you really need to kick it into gear.

        • shepo

          you can say they are equally in the same level with Junior..Year 2 means they are in 11th grade..

          and about Class 2, it’s just their ‘group’,,because in Korea (generally in Asia), the education system here doesn’t run in credit-system.where you can pick your own subjects or classes to attend.
          In here, schools have already “picked” the classes and subjects for you. You have to stick with bunch of 30 other kids in one class/group for whole one year to learn all of the subjects that have been decided.

          generally in asia. high school only have 3 grades.
          – 1st year/Year 1/10th grade
          – 2nd year/Year 2/11th grade
          – 3rd year/Year 3/12th grade
          then,,they will graduate with high school’s diploma

          (how about 9th grade ==> it’s in middle school/junior high school NOT elementary school)

          • bjharm

            As he got held back a year he would be 19 to 20 but you take off a year again i guess as the korean count is always 1 year ahead of the western count, either way he certainly old enough to go kissy face with teacher. of course it not going to happen that way its clear she 100% doesn’t think of him as a man or adult, even if she could get past the simple fate she is his teacher [sam]
            As I understand it by the time you done the highschool thing you normally also turned 20 and become an adult.

          • flour

            20?! 20 is me and im in 3rd year of college lol, def not highschool age. he mentioned he was born in 94, the rest are in 95. so he would be 18 while the rest of class 2-2 is 17 i think. korean age he would be 19.

          • bjharm

            wonder if we getting names mixed in my country college is pretty much highschool for Korea and korean college is what we call universities. I never know any uni student 20 year of age and already in their third year! unless they have a genius lev IQ.

          • febe

            If he’s born in 1994, I think he’s actually 19 (korean age 20) in the show, cos’ the drama’s called School 2013!

          • JoAnne

            it’s not just the naming of the schools but the ages that are different too. Here in the states most kids graduate from high school between 16 (very young) and 18 or just about to turn 18. In Korea it appears that ‘high school’ runs from about 17 – 20, vs our 14-18.

          • flour

            omg true, sorry i didnt notice its school 2013, i kept thinking its 2012. by college i mean uni. theres this blog on tumblr its school2013.tumblr, where the admin explains the system difs on american vs korean highschool. jic anyone is as confused as i am, you should check it.

    • 6.2 nomaden

      Does anyone know how many episodes this show is to run? The way this show shows complication of every character, the more I thought…”this might be the only show I’d invest if it’s more than 24 episodes…”

  7. funkypicklez

    gah. the preview for next week looks AMAZING. seriously. show. can we get some flashbacks? i want more heungsoo and nam soon! i see all these bts pics of woobin smiling but nothing in the actual show! ><

    and btw, i love how the other students automatically assumed that heungsoo has been bothering namsoon since middle school since it's obvious to us that namsoon is tsunami. haha <3 it's exactly that rumors that would have spread in my high school too!

  8. funkypicklez

    the last picture. i love how they all wear their uniforms so differently. who says that uniforms cramp style? haha. so sexy <3

  9. verte

    thank you! =D

  10. 10 KZ

    Haha. I was so into the show when Jung-Ho, Heung-Soo, and Nam-Soo were sitting there all tension high that when the ending song came on, I literally roared in rage. Was like NUUUUUU!

    • 10.1 Ruth

      I was the same way. I did NOT want this episode to end.

  11. 11 Jo

    Minki’s family is seriously effed up. D:

    • 11.1 super

      no, it’s the mother who’s the perp….

      • 11.1.1 bjharm

        I am guessing Min-ki brother a ‘stay home’. It pretty common in japan, kids just lock themselves in their room and do not come out, it can be a mix of stress from study and bullying or a mix of both. A form of depression if you like.

        • anais

          The thing is she’s lying to everyone about Minki’s older brother. She’s told everyone that he’s off at Yale! Which is partly why she has so much clout amongst the other mothers. Totally misguided.

  12. 12 Abbie

    I love this show so much. That was a great cliffhanger ending. I can’t believe I have to wait for next Monday! Why, show, why?!

    I love all the characters. Nam-soon and Heung-soo especially because they are so freaking complex, more so than anyone else, I think, and because I just love the actors. I love their interactions especially because they are just loaded with history and emotion and you just want to know more.

    I am so glad we got a look into Se-chan’s past. If a student of his really did die, then whoa. The show actually went there. Poor Se-chan. I bet he blames himself.

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

  13. 13 raky

    awesomeness!!! luv this show – always waiting for your recap even though I watched the show already. tnx. ^_^

  14. 14 news

    I LOVE this drama. I love how all the stories are unfolding and how the characters are being revealed to us one layer at a time; it’s complex just like life…BUT whaddya know..it all makes SENSE.

    School 2013 is really raising the bar to what a drama can and should be like, but aw, I just checked the ratings and it’s not so high.

    If it continues to deliver til the very end, I’ll have to crown it my favorite K-drama of all time.

    • 14.1 Tanya B!

      WHAT?? It’s not doing well rating wise? I think this drama is a masterpiece, agh hate when quality things get unnoticed…

  15. 15 stellar

    so glad namsoon didn’t do it! augh my heart. this show is seriously so good.;___;

  16. 16 Rica

    Men I am really liking this drama. Most of the characters have some type of problem with in their lives and i really want to see so bad, even though i like how this drama is not rushing to reveal those problems and conflicts. It feels like they are taking forever on telling us what really happened between Nam soon and Heung soo when they were in middle school. I am really exctied to see the reaction of the student when they figure out that nam sooon is tsunami. :):) And thank you girlfriday for awesome recap as always.

  17. 17 crazedlu

    was totally planning on capping that fist pump. heh.

    i don’t think we’ll have to worry much that the namsoon-heongsoo story will remain a mystery for too much longer. like gf, i like it. i like that so many of the characters have us that much invested to keep us watching. i, for one, am hooked.

    and on a very side note.. the lover-of-cliches in me wants namsoon and/or heongsoo to save jungho from someone/something at some point somehow someway. ha. not like he’ll bow down at their feet or love them or even like them, i just want them to do it. = D

  18. 18 Isabella

    I have a special love for this show, I really do.

    I love the interactions between the characters, be it minor characters or the lead ones, because they are real and the show is not afraid to go “there”.

    I am dying to know what really happened between Heung Soo and Nam Soon and I have a feeling that we are going to find out next week. It’s obvious that Nam Soon ran away from something and Heung Soo ended up taking the fall… but for WHAT?

    Even if Nam Soon is the lead, everyone has a story of their own and it is certainly refreshing seeing the drama not being focused in only ONE person or an OTP because that way we get emotionally involved with each and every person in that classroom.

    A lot of things happened in this episode and Se Chan’s flashback was telling; at least we have an inkling of why he doesn’t want to care. Who knows, perhaps once, he was just like In Jae.

    Ha Kyung and Min Ki’s back stories are wonderfully done. We can see why Ha Kyung is the way she is, she probably doesn’t think that she has time to have any friends because everything has to have a purpose and Min Ki just wants to have a normal life but his mom just keeps him on a leash that’s tighter than an emo guy’s pants.

    Ufff, anyways, I’ll definitely be tuning in, even if it looks like we are headed for heartbreak.

    • 18.1 funkypicklez

      i really agree with you on minki. minki’s case always seemed a little odd to me. for a guy who was so smart and obsessed with getting good grades, he’s too nice, you know? he made an extra set of notes for hakyung, we saw a glimpse of him teaching class after school, and the kids always go to him for last minute answers.

      but today i found out where he was coming from and all the sudden it fit. poor guy. he really needs to act a little more selfish and live for himself now.

  19. 19 pigtookie

    I like the pacing of this show- the conflicts heighten the drama (and don’t seem forced), the tension between Nam Soon and Heung Soo is killing me but I do think the moments we get before the reveal is worthwhile in showing their reactions, and I like the gradually budding friendships growing between teacher and class (and she hasn’t had much effect on them yet but each trial gains an ounce more of respect), Ha Kyung and Nam Soon, and the two teachers.

  20. 20 dtp_jnr

    Nam Soon’s character is beginning to annoy me cos i seriously dislike people like him……Heung Soo wants to be left alone but Nam Soon has to keep on hanging around him and making it seem like he is being bullied by Heung Soo behind closed doors and when their classmates come up to him and tell him they’ll make Heung Soo an outcast in the class because of him he didn’t tell them anything to stop them just playing the pity look…….He’s basically trying to save himself and clean his concience towards Heung Soo at the same time by sacrificing Heung Soo in their class and maing him out to be a bad person…

    So far for me he has the worst character in the drama cos all he really cares about is saving his face yet he pretends like he’s actually doing something right and everyone just falls for his sad, loner & pitiable look…

    This new developments puts him higher than In Jae in the annoying characters list….

    • 20.1 crazedlu

      wow. this might not be the drama for you.

      heungsoo is not all that. okay fine, he’s cool and extremely good looking, but look a little closer? heungsoo is in total denial that whoever he knew as the old namsoon has changed, and for the better. and for whatever reason (maybe his beef with namsoon fuels him? keeps him going?), he won’t accept it. i mean, maybe there is good reason to hate namsoon, but give namsoon some credit for wanting to make amends. at least wait for the big reveal to decide if you really do hate him. or drop it?

      i like namsoon, injae, everyone, even if i find myself questioning their words and actions often, because its more than just surface. hope you enjoy the next two eps a little more. ~

      • 20.1.1 dtp_jnr

        Who said anything about looks? I don’t watch drama’s for looks or what not but for the plot, character development and such…..

        Yes, Heung Soo doesn’t want to believe the Nam Soon he knew is a ifferent person now but that doesn’t change the fact that Nam Soon doesn’t want to leave the dude alone…He keeps going to do things for him out of guilt and feelling sorry for his past but he fails to realize that what he’s doing is hurting Heung Soo more esp. after the boy has made it clear he just wants to graduate from school…… But Nam Soon thinks he’s doing him a good thing by always trying to be around him but sometimes people don’t realize that there are things that are done with good intentions but end up making it worst….Actually Nam Soon is only doing that for himself and his conscience, it’s not even about doing a good thing for someone else anymore.

        In Jae so far is a bad teacher and all the criticism she’s been faced with in the drama, i think are right..Hopefully they wouldn’t make Se-Chan be the only one to change by the end of the drama…

        Sorry, i’m the kind of person that looks at the depth of characters and not just the surface…if one were to take an in-depth look at Nam Soon’s character, you would easily see what i’m pointing at and also same with In Jae cos if i were in high school i would hate to have a teacher like her.

        • crazedlu


        • Mic

          You said it yourself. Nam-soon has good intentions. For me, that’s enough.

    • 20.2 ravens_nest

      Uhhh, Nam Soon is not making Heung Soo seem like the bad guy. Everyone is just assuming it based on gangster stereotypes and they don’t listen to Nam Soon when he says it’s not like that. You’ll notice every time someone says Heung Soo is bullying him, he denies it patiently and kindly.

      Could he be more aggressive in his defense? Sure. But he is scared of his past and that is a real fear. Ignoring that would be a disservice to his well rounded character. But he does need to come clean. So the story is building up the stakes, putting Nam Soon in a position where he really has to choose between keeping his secret or protecting the friend he lost.

    • 20.3 XX

      I get where you’re coming from even though I don’t necessarily agree. I feel bad for Heungsoo because he just wants to graduate piece but he keeps getting caught in all these misunderstood situations. And it’s frustrating when Namsoo doesn’t say that Heungsoo isn’t bullying him. But you can’t act like Namsoo is making Heungsoo look like a bad guy on purpose to make himself look good. Heungsoo’s also at fault for his own reputation he got because he’s not doing anything to fix it.

      He and Heungsoo used to be best friends so Namsoo prob still really cares for him. He only hangs around him and talks to him when they’re in private like after that fight or on the rooftop so no one even sees those. The only time they interacted publicly was when Heungsoo first transferred and he was giving him stuff like food. I think that was his way of apologizing and trying to make peace. However when Heungsoo made it clear that he still hated him, they haven’t publicly interacted. You gotta blame Heungsoo for the only other interaction they had publicly that made him look bad which was this episode. He doesn’t have a book and Uhmforce was gonna expel him. So Namsoo gave him a book so that he could avoid getting expelled since Heungsoo was obviously not gonna do anything about it. However Heungsoo was too stubborn and rejected it. And then he lashed out in Minki. You can only blame Heungsoo for that.

      You gotta think from their point of views. They both probably don’t even realize or care what other people think of them and both would rather just be left alone. So I think you saying Namsoo only pretending to be right and trying to win people’s sympathy so that he looks good is waaaaaaayyyyyy wrong. He prob doesn’t even care what his classmates think of him and I believe he is sincerely cares Heungsoo. It’s Heungsoo’s own damn fault that Namsoo is even trying to help him graduate because Heungsoo isn’t doing anything to try and graduate. He wants to graduate but he hasn’t shown in earnest in trying to achieve that goal.

      • 20.3.1 dtp_jnr

        I ddin’t say he was making Heung Soo look like the bad guy on purpose, he does things that can easily be translated to Heung Soo being bad to his classmate and he doesn’t bother to clear up those misunderstandings and just let’s them think what they like which ends up being bad for Heung Soo who isn’t doing anything…..

        It’s not really a matter of caring in their relationship, he gave Heung Soo, his food and then left, he bought snacks for him, he carried his backpack and also because of him people think Heung Soo made him try to steal the test….All he has to do is deny it boldly, he doesn’t have to reveal his past but he doesn’t. With most Asian schools who wouldn’t translate it to being bullied esp. when they tell you they would make him the outcast and you just stand there and say & do nothing…… Yes, Heung Soo has his own faults being his really bad past, hitting Junho which provoked a fight and him shoving Min Ki but 2 out of 3 are somewhat due to Nam Soon….If Nam Soon just leaves him alone and not bother the last two would probably not happen.

        Nam Soon is a sympathy player at the moment cos he’s riding on it unintentionally at the detriment of Heung Soo…He has a mouth and he can use it but he chooses not to, that right there is whipping out the sympathy card…..If he didn’t care what his classmates think of him he would have spilled the truth by now wouldn’t he? Hence he cares. He does care for Heung Soo but some people don’t get that sometimes the best thing others need is to be left alone…..If you actually watch the drama again, you would know that it’s not Heung Soo’s fault that Nam Soon is trying to help him, Heung Soo can take care of himself but when Nam Soon got involved that’s what provoke more drama for Heung Soo. And i guess you didn’t watch the draam closely, cos if you did you would have noticed that Heung Soo did buy his books after the first day that Uhm force asked him about it, he didn’t need Nam Soon to do that. He didn’t have a book the second time cos Junho stole it to get at “Nam Soon”…..If Nam Soon just left him alone on campus and around their school mates that would not have happened. So yes he has shown earnest interest on working towards graduating peacefully, he even went for the extra tutoring classes with In Jae…..

        In conclusion watch the drama and the characters closely……

        • misskiti

          Haha yes I have to agree. All I wanted to say was:

          Nam Soon, SAY SOMETHING! SPEAK! UP!

      • 20.3.2 selina

        i gotta defend my boy Heung-soo here. I agree with the original poster. The road to hell is paved on good iterations. While you and I and Nam-sson know that the things he does towards Heung-soo is done with the best intentions and to somehow repair their broken friendship, and let’s be real here because he is only human, absolve his own guilty conscious; hung-soo right now is not here for that, and he needs to respect the boys feelings and leave him alone. hung-soo is not ready to make amends, he has expressed that to nam-soo many times. and as much as admire that he keeps trying and want my bromance LEAVE HIM ALONE. for who knows how long the boy has been loathing him, resenting him, and pretending he doesn’t exist. now he is thrust back into his orbit and all those emotions are tenfold. since it seems nam-soo was in the wrong and he ran away, he doesn’t get to choose to magically repair things, especially when he still running from/keep his faults under wraps. also although he doesn’t intend it to, his sincere gestures looks like heung-soo is bullying him. the boy must hear the rumors ad since he won’t be aggressively vocal in stopping them. he needs to stop making things worse and leave the boy alone like the OP said.

        heung-soo right now basically has the same problems that nam-soon has with him (and which umforce showed with his habits comments and the mother with gangsters) once a person has made up their mind about you try as you may it takes a lot and sadly in some cases nothing, you do will change their mind about you. The boy has had to transfer to 5 different schools because of this issue and i will be my last dollar that it is because of the thins we saw in this ep and shall see in the upcoming ones. no matter how quiet stays, how he keeps his head down and behave the same as nam-soon towards graduating…whatever happened and the scars and labels it left catches up. i think it is safe to say at some point he gave because no matter how hard he tried it always came back to that. think people like reformed murders, thieves, rapist, or any kind of criminal/shady past. no matter how much you make amends and atone for those sins; once people find out who you used to be or what you used to do. that one dirty secret erases years of goodness. it is this basic fear that drives nam-soo to keep things hidden. if we can understand and sympathize with nam-soo we should do the same with hung-soo.

        • TS

          I agree. Plus, Heung-soo is seriously depressed. It shows in the way he sometimes looks scared and almost close to tears at times (Episode 5, dinner with In-jae, and she saw it). But he’s trying, and so I’m rooting for him to heal.

    • 20.4 dramafiend

      I agree with op, the more you study the characters the more you understand where op is coming from. I gotta say I’m kinda deputized that someone else came up with same feeling and thought that I did when watching this drama and I can tell it’s an unpopular opinion.
      I like In Jae tho, wonder why you don’t like her

  21. 21 yumi

    Thanks for the recap.

    The more the series drag out the mystery between Nam Soon and Heung Soo the more terrible I think it is.

    Right now I thinking that someone was was seriously injured or died at Nam Soon hand/fist (perhaps with an assist from Heung Soo) and somehow Heung Soo ended taking the blame.

    Okay, that doesn’t make much sense. Certainly it would result in more than being left back for a year. Even if it doesn’t make sense that’s what I’m thinking.

    • 21.1 anais

      Yeah, I’m inclined to agree that Heung Soo took the fall for something horrid that Nam Soon did.

      • 21.1.1 cherrrrrriiiiiiiiiieee

        ahh! totally agree- thats probably why Namsoon is constantly saying sorry to Heungsoo.

    • 21.2 Pepper Fish

      When I try to guess at their backstory, I always come back to Heung soo’s injury. Maybe their old crew got into a tight situation where HS was injured, and Nam soon wasn’t there or ran away.

  22. 22 connie

    Thanks! Can’t wait for your recap next week! 🙂

  23. 23 varms

    That part about the hyung refusing to come out of his room reminds me of episode 3 of Yankee-kun To Megane-chan where a student never came back to school after constant bullying by his ‘friends’. That’s another great high school drama with gangster kids and Japanese dramas do them so well.

    I can never get enough of this genre though. I want Heung Soo and Nam Soon to be BFFs foreva!

  24. 24 Mic

    Only this drama would give dimension to the K-drama stereotype of a controlling mother. Love it.

    Even if I still hate Min-ki’s mom. 😛

    Can’t wait for next week. The previews made it look like we might learn more about Heung-soo and Nam-soon’s history.

    • 24.1 trixicopper

      What is up with that woman? You would think that if you had already pushed one of your children over the edge, it might be a good reason to lay off of the other one. Sheesh! 🙁

  25. 25 Noelle

    oh no’s. why did she do a survey? love heung soo. he’s awesome and i know nam soon probably backstabbed him. there would be nothing worse among bros.

    i feel bad for that kid min ki. his mom should get the clue that she sucks as a mom and change or else she’ll have two son’s locking themselves in their rooms or worse, a dead son and one refusing to come out of his room.

  26. 26 DHM

    Since the second episode where he showed up, Heung-soo has been breaking my heart even more than Nam-Soon.

    I think Nam-Soon is further ahead in recovering from whatever trauma destroyed their friendship and caused them to drop out of Middle School, and Heung-Soo is hiding a lot more anguish beneath that austere, loner figure.

    • 26.1 selina

      yes to all of this. i feel for empathize with, and i’m way more interested in heung-soo than nam-soon (whom i also love).

  27. 27 anna

    He never left the room for 2 years…? The heck, I’m having all sort of nasty thoughts right now. How does that even work? Wow, that is some kind of crazy stressful behavior. She’s going to bring down Min-ki too. Why doesn’t she just think about that for second? It’s common sense.. wtf?!

  28. 28 anais

    So I’m a tutor who’s remained a tutor despite urging from people for me to become an actual high school teacher. I remain a tutor because I dread something like Se Chan’s experience. Even as a tutor, I find myself becoming so invested in my students that I don’t know how I’d manage to maintain any boundaries. It’s incredibly thrilling when students and I connect. Totally devastating and heartbreaking to realize that I might have been the first to show faith in certain students who’ve been told that they’re stupid, worthless, etc. I’ve cried so many frustrated or worried tears trying to figure out how to get through to a disaffected student, beat myself up repeatedly trying to figure out how to help them learn better or make them feel they have intrinsic worth despite everything. I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot more successes than failures, but it takes everything out of me. I can’t imagine doing this at an actual high school. So, yeah, this drama speaks to me.

  29. 29 San

    This school scared me.
    Is school life really feels like this from troublekid point of view?
    So complicated they are.

    Note: I don’t want mom like minki’s. Horrible.

    • 29.1 bjharm

      lol you see in most films or tv dramas about school in korea it’s pretty much Hell, I think the idea to toughen them up and get them used to fact that if you not top dog then you going to get treated like sh*t when you leave school and move into world and become the maknae of where you work, if you lucky enough to kind work that is.

  30. 30 anais

    Oh, and Minki’s mom. I want to kill her. Granted, the situation in Korea is very different. However, in my experience, Korean American (and maybe generally Asian American) mothers generally don’t realize that they’re hurting their own kids’ chances at success. They have such a narrow understanding of what success is and how to reach their goals. They don’t realize great grades, near-perfect SAT scores, hours of “meaningful” volunteer work, etc. don’t necessarily translate into rewarding lives, especially because these kids grow up with all sorts of neuroses. In contrast, I’ve a student who has ADD but whose Brown-educated parents are super cool. They didn’t pressure her to go to Brown, even though her older brother did. Instead, they wanted her to find a place where she could find her own happiness and success. She loves plays, so they take her to just about every play they can. She loves to write, so they send her to a writing camp. She loves psychology, so they send her to a summer course on psychology. They wanted her to do well on the SAT but didn’t go crazy about it. She scored in the 2000s, which most of my Korean American parents would sneer at as insufficient. But she got into her first choice school with 60k in merit scholarship, for which she didn’t even apply. She is a quirky young adult, marching very much to her own drumbeat, and I know for sure that she will have a richly rewarding life.

    That said, even amongst Korean-/Asian-American parents, this model may be changing as Korean-/Asian-Americans who’d been subject to helicoptor-parenting come of age and reject such parenting. I only hope that the situation in Korea will change as well, but any change is bound to come more slowly since that change will need to happen on a systemic and societal level.

  31. 31 kilmenyanne

    I was a top scorer all the way top college – I’m working as a journalist now, it’s so much more fun than school.

    But OMG Min-ki and Ha-kyung, are 88 and 85 really ‘tanking’? Are you kidding? I only got freaked when I scored in the 70s.

    Crazy shit. Does this reflect on actual Korean nerds?

    • 31.1 boholAnna

      sad to say – this is true. Had to score perfect or else… having been from an Asian high school 88 and 85 is low – 90’s is okay but 100% is always preferred…

  32. 32 Laeah

    Man I want to punch Min Ki’s mother. That is not the way to raise a child properly.

    Of course Korean culture: status = power. And the easiest way for the lower classes to get status is through education which leads to a good job which leads to money all of which are needed for status.

    But that system is so effed up and does nothing to actually help raise a human being. Makes me sick to my stomach really. She should know better than placing all her happiness and attention on the shoulders of a young boy who doesn’t even know what he wants in life yet.

    I had a parent similar to this and it gutted me when he said “there is no life before 20”. I felt that way so many times.

    I’m glad we are starting to know Se Chan more and I hope that progresses. Both In Jae and Se Chan have a lot to learn from each other!

    Anyway, still loving this drama. Keep it up!

  33. 33 dayoldbagel

    I don’t understand what the problem with the test retake was…why does it matter that the retake had 2 more “hard” problems than the previous test had. With grades, a grade by itself doesn’t matter much (unless maybe if they are curved)…what matters is how you did relative to your pears/fellow test takers. It’s like if you got an 80% on a test where the average was 50% that is likely “better” than getting a 90% on a test where the average was 80%. Difficulty varies from high school to high school and that’s why colleges (in america at least) care more about your class ranking (and how competitive the school is) than they do about your actual % grade. Of course, this is all based on how i understand things to be having grown up and gone to school in the USA. But i always thought that other countries were similar to this.

  34. 34 dany

    I am a teacher too so I can relate to the story. Great show, thanks for the recap!

  35. 35 Esther

    This drama’s getting more and more amazing..
    i just loved the way this time namsoon’s name was cleared and i’m impressed by injae’s forte to recognise the students feelings without having them speak up unlike the math teacher,uhmforce who forces it out of them.I am very excited to see how she does the same with heung soo.
    From the previews,I feel like whatever happened between namsoon and heungsoo,was a misunderstanding and namsoon was in a dilemma that time and made a wrong choice unlike today.I hope its some kind of misunderstanding,rather than a serious crime by namsoon on heungsoo’s part.Well, whatever it was I hope its forgivable by us too.
    And that se chan flashback was seriously horrifying.There was a hint from the start there was something mysterious about se chan’s past but i was taken aback to know it was something like this irrepairable and traumatizing.
    Ah ha kyung,damn she studied till she dropped dead.Like that she’ll become a robot one day…some body needs to give her a heart and minki’s omma seriously crossed the line..when her own son has become like that…why is she expecting the same from her other child?Are children mere objects of reputation?I hope she gets a good lesson from in jae one day and realise her mistake
    Anyways,next episode..totally looking forward to it…Heung soo’s finally in pissy mode…but it was surprising to see that he would go on a rampage mode too..hitting anyone around him..why’d he have to hit poor minki?
    Seriously he was holding it in all this time just for the sake of not causing trouble,but if it were not so…then he’s a real scary person and incomparable to jung ho’s petty actions…..Hopefully we are coming closer to knowing what is “more to him than just that” .

  36. 36 Torisangel

    I adore this drama so much. I haven’t been so into a drama in such a long long time. Also, starting on Gakistal (Bridal Mask), and I’m the same exact way.

    Min-ki, oh, Min-ki..I didn’t think I would really care for your character, but I do. I also care for Se-chan now. Come on Show, make me care about Ha-Kyung too! I was worried about her today, but that was because how it would affect the other characters, not so much as worried about her. I feel bad for even saying that. I could connect to her today though, as a student, I would practically slave over my homework/projects/tests and then I would come home and have to help take care of my nephew..I remember many times I would fall asleep doing my homework and could barely complete it. I would stress over my grades, I just put all that pressure on myself. I wanted good grades. I wanted to go to a good college. Eventually, I knew I had to let go of striving to be “perfect” though. Still, I’m not completely invested in her character.

    Jung-oh, I feel sympathy for him, but at the same time he annoys me. I keep thinking, “These students would be better off without someone like you. You aren’t the only one with problems.” I have to stop myself from thinking those thoughts, because to be honest, there are a lot of Jung-ohs out there. Just because you make someone feel like they’re lower than dog poop, it doesn’t make your life any better. It might make you feel better about yourself, but it won’t change the life you were born into. Only you can change that.

    Nam-soon, he isn’t purposely making Heung-soo look like a bully/gangster and I can tell he’s earnest about his intentions. Heung-soo just needs to see that. He keeps thinking that Nam-soon is pretending so his past isn’t revealed and he doesn’t rat him out. He doesn’t bother looking at anything else besides that, because he doesn’t want to forgive him really. I don’t think Nam-soon is looking for forgiveness though. I think he’s just constantly worried about Heung-soo, he just wants to look out for him and make up to the best that he can what he had done to him. Not abandon him again for starters. That’s why he’s “hanging on” to him. I do agree, I think Nam-soon should be a little more aggressive about his intentions though. The only thing that has bothered me about him was that he DOESN’T speak up. He barely fights a fight. Basically, he’s just tired of fighting things sometimes. Everyone would believe that Heung-soo is a bully anyways though. Once you’ve made your mind up about someone or once your view of someone changes, it rarely changes back. That’s why I’m glad that Nam-soon didn’t steal that test. It would’ve crossed a line like Girlfriday said. In-jae wouldn’t be just mad. Nam-soon would change in her mind, she has certain lines she doesn’t want crossed and if he had crossed that, it was clear..She probably wouldn’t help him out. Everyone has a limit. Everyone can only be pushed so far. I had no doubt in Nam-soon when he didn’t turn in the test to Jung-oh at first after he got back. They just had to clear him.

    I really personally, did not like Se-chan. His trauma has gave me a better outlook and view on him now though. It made sense why he would hold kids at an arm length, especially if the show had killed that girl. She certainly looked dead though. Limp hand was kind of pointing to that. Now, like I said in my earlier post, I’m invested in his character. I want him to be able to embrace the students again, to care for them again. I just hope nothing like what happened to that girl happens again.

    In-jae just keeps shining brightly to me, especially in her scenes with Nam-soon, it reminds me so much of my own experience. I just feel like there’s a line you should put out in front of you when it comes to a student/teacher relationship. An invisible line in your mind that reminds you of your relationship with them and that it probably should just remain student/teacher. Anything more might cause heartache. That’s why I’ve never really been a big supporter on the Nam-soon/In-Jae line and probably never will be. Any romance might take away the beautiful things we already have in this drama. Honestly, I don’t think she should’ve mentioned that to Jung-oh though. That was the only flaw that I was really really irritated about. That should’ve been kept to herself and should’ve been noted for the future in case things went wrong again, that’s just my opinion.

    I cannot stand over-bearing parents like Min-ki’s though..I can relate to WHY they’re so over-bearing, but that’s as far as I can go with that. Min-ki himself is just too darn nice though! Take control of your life, I know you love mom and want to do what she wants you to do, but in the end, it’s your life. It’s just too much pressure for a kid his age and it points as to why his brother may be like he is now. Too. much. pressure. Yale? He won’t even leave his room now! He most likely did not get into Yale and his mom had already spread that around, now he feels like he has to live up to the expectations or he just gave up. I remember when my own dad would spread around, she’s an A plus student, she does so well in school..I felt I had to live up to that and if I didn’t, I would be devastated..I know he was only proud of me, but it still put a lot of pressure on me. A little pressure is good, but not that much. Not to where you have to feel like you’ve got to get perfect scores each time. Min-ki and Ha-Kyung, my heart goes out to you now and I really hope Min-ki’s mom changes soon. I know she means well though.

    Heung-soo..You are really shrouded in mystery my friend and even though you didn’t really hit Min-ki, you just made yourself out as bully then by lashing out. One mistake in front of people like that does not easily get by, at all. Granted, Nam-soon shouldn’t have really bothered him and granted, Heung-soo shouldn’t have reacted that way. I bet Heung-soo is just extremely frustrated at this point. Everything he seems to do, whether it be nothing at all, looks bad. Nam-soon isn’t helping that situation, but at least he’s trying to help it..I give him that. I’m partially seeing that when Heung-soo is looking at Nam-soon that it isn’t really anger anymore like at first, but more like..hurt. When he looks at him it’s more like, “Why are you still torturing me like this?! Haven’t you done enough already?!” Which really makes my heart ache for him. I’ve given those looks to some of my friends just like that. I hope they can become friends again though or at least make amends with what Nam-soon has done to him, because it’s clear to me, Nam-soon regrets it everyday. Hence, as to why he just doesn’t want to fight anymore. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone and potentially ruin someone’s life like he probably ruined Heung-soo’s.

    Anyways, I’ve babbled on long enough like all of my posts, love this drama..it only gets more interesting as it goes on, which I love about it. Fighting! <3

    • 36.1 Carole McDonnell

      Loved your babbling! Great insights. What I really like is how this drama shows a friendship between folks of different ages: Namsoon and Injae. Usually, that isn’t generally possible in Korean drama/society…and it only shows up as passionate boyfriend/girlfriend love matches. But here..a real friendship. Maybe that’s when intergenerational friendships are allowed..in school between teachers and students. (although Teach and Student troubled hottie are not really so apart in age.)

  37. 37 queencircles

    What happened in heungsoo and namsoon’s pastttt!!!!! I neeeeed to knoooow! Lol. Can’t wait a week.

  38. 38 San

    It’s make me sad. Thinking i live my school life very comfort without too much burden like them and have such understandable mommy(thanks for be the way you are now, mommy, my love). All very different compared to them. But in the other side, i seem doooododo understand their way. Looks at their country that have high standart almost in everything. Everyone have no choice but to workhard, so can be at the same level with their senior, matching with the standart.

    I have no words again.
    Just… Oh my god!, thanks for my life now.

    Honestly, if i am minki, they maybe found me already die in my room while in coldwar with mommy by locked myself, then forced myself sleeping allday in order to repair the braindamage cause by my mom+all school stuff. The police write that I die because haven’t eaten and have too much emotional question to handle. My heart get attacked and then the brain explode!!

  39. 39 San

    Even from just a story i can feel heavy pressure.
    No doubt korean students are very strong. I mean their heart and brain especially then their body.
    But again, in the other side, i can slightly understand their way. They have such high standart forthemself. They need to do that so they can match the environment they dream about and get their high goals. Have no word if the student themself want to be “a star stay at sky”. All of that are just fair and fine for the result. But if it’s not fulfilled, then fair and fine too to called that hell because the dissappointment will hurts just like being tortured in war era.
    It’s like “i give everything but it nothing i get then”. Ohft god, i cry.

    Then, last time, i have no words anymore.
    Just thanks god, thanks mom. I am happy.
    And I am sorry minki. I suggest you bring your mom to mentalhospital. She got some emotional illness.
    Just two option. Bring her for treatment or you go yourself to treat yourownbrain. Seriously, you need to release pressure, so go get treatment in order to be strong or go throw away your source of problem called ‘mom’.

    Note: i tired. I spent most energy trying to hold myalmostexplodebrain.

  40. 40 San

    Even from just a story i can feel heavy pressure.
    No doubt korean students are very strong. I mean their heart and brain especially then their body.
    But again, in the other side, i can slightly understand their way. They have such high standart forthemself. They need to do that so they can match the environment they dream about and get their high goals. Have no word if the student themself want to be “a star stay at sky”. All of that are just fair and fine for the result. But if it’s not fulfilled, then fair and fine too to called that hell because the dissappointment will hurts just like being tortured in war era.
    It’s like “i give everything but it nothing i get then”. Ohft god, i cry.

    Then, last time, i have no words anymore.
    Just thanks god, thanks mom. I am happy.
    And I am sorry minki. I suggest you bring your mom to mentalhospital. She got some emotional illness.
    Just two option. Bring her for treatment or you go yourself to treat yourownbrain. Seriously, you need to release pressure, so go get treatment in order to be strong or go throw away your source of problem called ‘mom’.

    Note: i tired. I spent most energy trying to hold myalmostexplodebrain.

  41. 41 San

    Even from just a story i can feel heavy pressure.
    No doubt korean students are very strong. I mean their heart and brain especially then their body.
    Thought i dont like this situation but again, in the other side, i can slightly understand their way. They have such high standart forthemself. They need to do that so they can match the environment they dream about and get their high goals. Have no word if the student themself want to be “a star stay at sky”. All of that are just fair and fine for the result. But if it’s not fulfilled, then fair and fine too to called that hell because the dissappointment will hurts just like being tortured in war era.
    It’s like “i give everything but it nothing i get then”. Ohft god, i cry.

    Then, last time, i have no words anymore.
    Just thanks god, thanks mom. I am happy.
    And I am sorry minki. I suggest you bring your mom to mentalhospital. She got some emotional illness.
    Just two option. Bring her for treatment or you go yourself to treat yourownbrain. Seriously, you need to release pressure if still willing to handle mom. so go get treatment in order to be strong or the other way are go throw away your source of problem called ‘mom’ to mentalhospital.

    Note: i tired. I spend most energy trying to hold myalmostexplodebrain.

  42. 42 Liana

    I can’t even bring myself to watch this drama ;_; I think the damage will be irreversible. Gaksital already was a harrowing experience for me, and that was several realities removed. This… this just cuts too close to home, and dregs up too many exam-student memories ;___; SOBS, ON MY BED. Maybe I will watch this when I can marathon it so the wounds don’t fester. Or maybe I’m just waiting for the catharsis to kick in. I keep thinking Namsoon’s life can go no lower, and somehow I AM ALWAYS WRONG. Namsoon-ah!!!!

    • 42.1 Ruth

      I hope that, after you recover from Gaksital, you give this drama a chance. Before it started, I thought it’d be “another high school” drama. Then, when it started and I’d seen the first episode, I thought it was going to be roller coaster ride through angst land. Neither of those descriptions does it justice though. I’ve been consistently impressed, and although there are some very tough issues, there are also so many heartwarming moments.

      There’s no doubt that bullying and violence and administrative apathy and etc. etc. are all themes, but so is friendship and redemption and compassion.

  43. 43 latrskss

    I know it’s not as important as the main plot, but am I the only just waiting for Heung Soo to fall in love with Kang Joo? Sorry, I’m such a romance-holic, the child in me can’t help but squeal at the thought of all the adorableness that might come out of that. I remember girlfriday commenting on their several encounters, and how it’d be only fair if she were the one to kick away his heart when he develops a crush on her.

    Anyway, love this drama. A fairly realistic portrayal of what school is like in Korea these days…

    • 43.1 TS

      Umm, he’s already in love with Nam-soon…

      • 43.1.1 Mic

        Lol, win! XD

      • 43.1.2 Ruth

        haha! funny!

      • 43.1.3 Jenn

        Totally agree – I have been seeing the way that they look at each other and react towards each other and I think they had a relationship in the past… maybe that’s how/why his leg was injured (their secret got out and some people attacked him) and it could be the reason Nam-Soon feels guilty?

        • TS

          Remember how they looked at each other after Nam-soon was jumped into the gang?

  44. 44 Carole McDonnell

    I am so glad these kids have good adult hearts to rest on. I would hate a story where there is no respite anywhere for wounded children. So glad Nam Soon and In Jae have each other. Kudos to good optimistic insightful teachers!

    Thanks for the recap.

  45. 45 TS

    What exactly is wrong with Min-Ki’s brother?

    And Ha-Kyung: she studies non-stop, but surely the information should’ve stuck in her head by now, especially since she’s gotten all the shortcuts?

    • 45.1 Sajen

      And Ha-Kyung: she studies non-stop, but surely the information should’ve stuck in her head by now, especially since she’s gotten all the shortcuts?

      not when Se Chan has been her teacher nothing sticks if you do things his way

      • 45.1.1 bjharm

        Yeah the kind of study Ha-Kyung does and Se Chen teachers isnt the kind that you ‘learn’ the subject, you only learn the answers that he as tutor would guess will be in the actual test, it is a short cut but really teachers nothing in the long run. Thus if you end up with a test like In-jae would give, that is she looking for more than just answers she after understanding of the subject, Ha-Kyung would have trouble.

  46. 46 JoAnne

    Seriously – with a fist bump between teacher and student, my heart is overcome.

    I watched through Ep 6 of CDDA and declared it my crack but now…

    Between IMY, CDDA, and School2013…I cannot choose. They’re all so different and I love them all deeply.

    Thank God they aren’t men. When would I REST?

  47. 47 Vicky

    just a little more romance, and it would be perfect 🙂

  48. 48 TS

    Is Min-Ki’s brother a hikikomori?


    • 48.1 Carole McDonnell

      seems like it, doesn’t it? Although this seems to be blamed on Mommy Dearest, not on society in general….although one does wonder about all the stress-to-succeed those kids are under.

      • 48.1.1 TS

        I dunno bout that. It’s not all tricks: you have to know a subject.

  49. 49 cruthy333

    This drama reminds me of everything I hated about high school, and yet I still love it. I was one of those messed up kids with the crazy home life who was still just trying to be good, and that’s why Nam-soon just kills me, every time. I guess I relate to all the kids, in some way, and that’s why I’m loving this drama so much. It’s real.

    • 49.1 TS

      Right now, I’m feeling more sorry for Min-ki. And Heung-soo. But especially Min-ki.

      Okay, I have to finally sleep after watching eps 5 & 6 in a row.

  50. 50 owl

    Loved the episode, recap, and comments! So many “dittos” on what many said. I am really glad In-jae and Se-chan are more or less working together instead of against each other, and for the good of the kids.A little flirty too? Can’t hurt 😀

    so much administrative red tape! And poor poor Min-ki “I have looked to being 20 since I was born. It is not living.” Lighten up, oma! Frustrating.

    Nam-soon and Heung-soo’s story goes back and we still don’t know the down low. The protection that NS offers and how HS rejects it makes it seem like something that was so bad it maybe can’t be fixed. Oh no, a la IMY – big brokens.

    Such gorgeous, pouty lips,(both NS and HS) and those eyes under the hair- gah! – can’t we just go have some fun? Let me make you some raymen and go karaoke-ing – can’t we just?

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