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151

Monstar: Episode 6

Ooh, so much to glean from this episode where strong emotions threaten to act as a wedge to drive our new band apart. We finally learn more about the mysterious Nana, showing us that there’s more to the girl than meets the gangster eye. The show continues to drop hints about the past that leave me wanting more, and yet watching what happens in the present keeps my eyes glued to the screen.

EPISODE 6: “Jealousy Incarnate, Danger of Team Breakup?”

Se-yi confides in the ajusshi with the secret that her mother harbored feelings for another man. Then we see how she had overheard her mother blame herself for her husband and Se-yi’s father’s death—if only she hadn’t met “him” that night. Sobbing, she had confessed that her husband had seen them together and had subsequently died when he chased after her.

Soon afterwards, Se-yi confronted her mother about it and convinced herself into believing that that was why her father was so angry, why he ran out and died that night. She earned a slap for her accusations, and she called her mother an adulteress and a murderer.

The ajusshi is shocked, and he’s still shaking as Se-yi notes how strange it is that she can share her secret with a stranger. After she leaves for practice, he takes out an old high school photo of a trio of friends. Hm, is this him with Se-yi’s parents?

Se-yi sits in her room later that night, miffed to hear that her mother has called yet again. She contemplates whether to return the call before deciding against it, saying this is a part of her mother’s punishment.

 

She thinks back to happier times with her father, who told her that the “Catnap” song was written for her. He’d gotten the inspiration when she was an infant and the melody lulled her back to sleep. Then we see young Se-yi and her father sing the song together, a sweet yet sad memory that still brings tears to her eyes.

She picks up the fallen note on the ground and finds herself laughing over Seol-chan’s heodang tendencies. As she tucks it in a drawer, we see that she’s kept his school uniform button as well.

At school, Seol-chan and Sun-woo overhear the girls muse about how the weather is too nice to be cooped up to practice underground. So when Sun-woo offers up his place, Seol-chan balks in protest but he’s quickly overruled.

Not only that, he’s without a ride since his manager is off on an errand, which means he has to carpool. He sits between Se-yi and Sun-woo and he brushes her off when she complains that it’s cramped. Ha.

They stop to pick up Nana, who initially refuses but changes her mind when a mysterious black car passes by them in the other direction.

Seol-chan’s attempt to make small talk with Nana to break the awkward silence doesn’t work. Then Se-yi remarks that it must be nice for Sun-woo to be driven to and from school, saying how it reminds her of another student she once knew from grade school.

He was smart, handsome, and popular, and although he was in a different class, he visited hers when her father came to play for her class. His singing ability had impressed her father and he wanted to meet the man outside of class, but unfortunately, she wasn’t able to meet him at their appointed time.

When Se-yi struggles to recall the name of the song they sang in class, Sun-woo surprises everyone by answering for her: “Atlantis Princess.”

Se-yi’s eyes grow wide once she makes the connection, and Sun-woo nervously responds that he was worried that she may have never remembered even though he gave her plenty of hints. After all, she didn’t recall who he was at their first meeting.

He cautiously asks why she didn’t show up that night, wondering if he was actually rejected. Her face darkens, and Seol-chan asks to be dropped off.

Although both Seol-chan and Nana appear to be affected by this conversation, Nana doesn’t answer him when he asks why she also got out of the car.

However, it does trigger an earlier memory for Seol-chan when young Sun-woo had tried to persuade his buddy to meet the man together. Little Seol-chan was sharp enough to guess that Sun-woo liked the musician’s daughter and Sun-woo pouted: “Is it that obvious?” Cute.

But like a good friend, he waited outside in the cold with Sun-woo on Christmas night. It cracks me up that little Seol-chan is just as cocky as his older self, and a couple of hours later, he tells his friend that he’s been stood up.

In the present, Seol-chan scoffs, wondering if their childhood connection is the reason why Sun-woo is so confident about his feelings for Se-yi.

Elsewhere, Se-yi explains to Sun-woo why she couldn’t meet him that night: Her father had died the previous night, on Christmas Eve. You lost your dad during the holiday season? That’s just awful.

She slaps on a brave smile, saying that though she’s doing okay now, there are times when she still misses her father. In order to uplift her spirits, Sun-woo suggests they go on a date to make up for that night they missed. Gah, why are you so awesome?

We see Sun-woo and Se-yi enjoy their date, laughing and walking around town while the MIB boys practice their upcoming single about first love.

Afterward, Seol-chan gets called in to see CEO Go, who’s spent some time overseas for the past few episodes. He belatedly lectures Seol-chan about the upcoming music battle, but Seol-chan tells him that it’s too late—it’ll happen anyway.

Outside, Seol-chan talks out loud to himself and finally admits that he’s jealous. He prides himself in being able to put that pesky emotion aside, but sighs in defeat.

As Sun-woo and Se-yi decide what to eat (she hilariously names a slew of foods which momentarily throws him off), they fail to notice Nana emerge from the same alleyway a few steps behind them.

Over dessert, Se-yi quickly changes the subject when Sun-woo asks why she moved to New Zealand. She asks about his strained, hot-and-cold relationship with Seol-chan instead, adding that it’s like they’re having a lovers spat.

Then she pauses in realization and asks: “Is the person you like… Seol-chan?” Puhahaha. Oh, there are times I wish it were.

Sun-woo blubbers that it’s not true, and at Se-yi’s usual indiscernible expression, he quickly adds that he likes girls, really. She deadpans in response: “It’s… just a joke.”

He lets out a relieved sigh and clarifies that although they were once close, there was a misunderstanding their friendship never recovered from. Neither Se-yi nor we are privy to the details, and he feeds a bite to Se-yi… a sight that Nana sees from just outside the cafe. She looks heartbroken.

Nana walks in a daze back to the club, unaware that Do-nam has spotted and followed her here. He stays outside as he overhears a few waiters talk about her.

Inside, Nana storms through the club until she finds the a mysterious waiter in the last room. As he begins to play on his electric guitar, she lifts up the mic and sings. And she’s fantastic.

Ah, so it appears that Nana does like Sun-woo after all as she calls the day she first took notice of him. He’d been standing by the window (as the curtains billowed in the wind, ha) and “Atlantis Princess” was playing when she entered the classroom.

She continues to sing (Jo Kwan-woo’s “Swamp“) as we see the other times she saw him at school, like at orchestra practice or when she saw him shirtless. Girl, I do not blame you.

As we move to the present, we see that she kept her feelings under wraps time and time again, but his date with Se-yi drove the final painful nail in the coffin.

Tears stream down her face as she sings her heart out through the pain. Oof, my heart breaks for you. Overwhelmed by her emotions, her voice breaks until she’s unable to continue singing the words. She finally gives into her tears and sobs with only the guitar riff to comfort her.

Once the song ends, the waiter volunteers to go kick that guy’s ass for her, whoever he is. He suggests that she turn to the boss, her mother, for help, to which Nana threatens him not to say a word.

The group gathers at Sun-woo’s place that evening where a gourmet food spread has been set for them. Seol-chan sends him death glares. HA, I have to laugh over how the boys’ dick-waving contest is expressed through food. It’s these little details that make me giggle.

Nana still hasn’t arrived, so Sun-woo takes the opportunity to pull Seol-chan aside to talk. Once they’re alone, Seol-chan accuses him of being a backstabber like always. Why didn’t he say that Se-yi was the same girl they were waiting for when they were kids?

Sun-woo asks why he should; it’s not like they’re friends anymore, are they? Seol-chan fires back that they aren’t, and you can see the hurt in their eyes as they both swallow that statement. Ack, stop fighting and just hug it out!

Sun-woo continues to provoke him, asking why he should tell Seol-chan anything at all. It works, and Seol-chan yells back: “Because I like her too!” Oh god, finally.

Then we see Se-yi crouch in the bushes nearby, having overheard the confession. She slips away before she’s discovered, and then it’s her turn to talk to Seol-chan alone.

Se-yi starts off with an apology for eavesdropping on their conversation. Seol-chan realizes that this means his secret’s out, and he admits to his feelings. (It’s noteworthy to mention that both the previous conversation and this one don’t contain gender-specific pronouns. Therefore Seol-chan’s confession can refer to a he or a she.)

Thus what follows is a hilarious misunderstanding as Se-yi offers a word of sympathy to Seol-chan’s unrequited love, telling him that Sun-woo feels the same way he does. It doesn’t matter what other people think—just that they care for each other.

Not only do I love that she’s fully supportive of the possibility that the boys are gay, but that their feelings are mutual. It’s pretty awesome of her, albeit the wrong conclusion here. So I feel sorta embarrassed for her when she tells him: “Sun-woo’s one-sided love… that’s you.” Seol-chan’s bewildered What?! expression is priceless since it’s so far from the truth.

Se-yi belatedly realizes her mistake and asks who it is he likes then. Oh honey, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure that one out.

Frustrated, Seol-chan angrily stalks off before turning back to face her again. He marches towards her, asking if she still doesn’t see him as a man. He pushes her against her wall and tells her to stay quiet and pay attention—he’ll prove it to her. He leans in.

Their lips mere inches from each other, he whispers that this is her fault and leans in even closer. Argh, I’m conflicted—a part of me wants them to kiss and the other hates the idea of “proving” one’s sexuality or feelings.

They’re barely a breath apart now as Seol-chan hangs there for a few more seconds… and then pulls back and teases her about her parted lips.

Sun-woo and Eun-ha arrive just after he steps away. Noting the tension-filled atmosphere, Eun-ha wonders if the two fought again.

The almost-kiss leaves Se-yi distracted during practice and she nervously glances at Seol-chan—something that Sun-woo doesn’t miss. Still frustrated, Seol-chan calls off practice early.

Once everyone leaves, a flashback teaches us that Sun-woo had seen their tense exchange from just around the corner.

But before he can think about it any further, Nana finally turns up. She reminds him that he had once told her that he only believes what he sees. So she asks what he sees in her now. When he doesn’t reply right away, she leaves.

As Se-yi recalls the almost-kiss again, her heart begins to race. She clasps her hands over her ears to try to drown out the noise, to no avail.

A montage shows our love square brooding over the day’s events, like how Seol-chan muses over how he should have gotten rid of his feelings for Se-yi. Or Nana, who contemplates in silence as she assembles a fashion design portfolio.

Needless to say things are awkward between Seol-chan and Se-yi the next day at school. I love that Sun-woo takes it upon himself to sit Se-yi next to her seat partner when he finds her loitering outside the classroom.

Seol-chan speaks first and tells her to forget about what happened last night because he was only kidding around. Argh, don’t be that guy. But Se-ri doesn’t shrink back and instead fires back that he should be apologizing to her right now since she found his actions thoroughly unpleasant. She storms out.

Seol-chan follows her outside and asks if she didn’t like their almost-kiss the teensiest bit. He then falls back to his usual spiel about how he has to maintain his idol star image, and she ignores him.

He tries to pull her back to grab her attention, but she wrenches out of his grip and runs ahead of him. Then he’s subsequently surrounded by a throng of fangirls when he calls out to her. Just then Sun-woo appears to take Se-yi back to class.

In gym class, the boys look like they’re two seconds away from a full-on brawl every time they foul each other in basketball and Seol-chan calls Sun-woo out on it once they’re outside. But Sun-woo nods towards some nearby fangirls and asks if he’s willing to give their love up to take Se-yi’s hand.

After a round of stares between the band members during class, Eun-ha remarks about she feels that things are getting increasingly tense within the band, and blames Nana as the cause.

Se-yi is too lost in her own thoughts to notice a group of gossiping girls sneak up from behind to prank her. Thankfully Nana has kept a watchful eye out and she calls out to Se-yi, causing the dirty water to spill onto the girls instead.

Meanwhile, the ajusshi walks out into the deadened courtyard and smiles at the same flower Se-yi noticed before. He runs into Seol-chan outside, who is now armed with an answer to their previous confrontation.

Seol-chan defends that he’s not the type to bode ill on anyone, especially on someone who he considers contributes nothing to the world, like the ajusshi. Ooh.

Then he explains that parents taught him to become someone who does something useful for the world. So he made something of himself, and there are people who thank him for being born. It’s the way that he says this in a somewhat halting voice that suggests there’s more that lies beneath the surface.

When the group reconvenes to practice, the once jovial atmosphere gives way to the mounting tension between the members. I love that we need no dialogue to understand their frustrations at each other and by nightfall, they break into arguments over the littlest things. Unable to stand it any longer, Seol-chan stalks off outside.

At least Eun-ha realizes that they all need a break, and she asks Sun-woo to play something soothing for them. He complies and plays a soft acoustic melody (Zoo’s “I’ll Love You“) which brings Seol-chan back inside.

Neither Seol-chan nor Nana miss how Sun-woo glances at Se-yi as he sings about how he’ll love her more than anyone else in the world.

 
COMMENTS

There’s something about these quiet endings that always leaves me wanting more even though the show hits an average 80 minutes each week. Each episode leaves me with a feeling that lingers long afterwards, as if we left off in a moment that still continues after the director yells “Cut!” It’s a mark of how these richly developed characters carry enough heart where their experiences feel real and genuine to the audience, a quality I appreciate and find thoroughly enjoyable.

Nana’s character has remained much of an enigma ever since the beginning of this show, and I love that we got to learn more about her in this episode, though I’m sure it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Her vocal talent is simply amazing, and I’m left in awe of how talented these students are as the show teaches us yet again that you can’t judge a book by its gangster cover. Her unrequited crush for Sun-woo and subsequent heartbreaking ballad is something so many can relate to. Who can blame her for falling for the nice guy who pays her the attention that no one else will care to give? And the abs? Well, that’s just a plus.

The portrayal of our side characters’ backstories makes me think of the boys in Shut Up Flower Boy Band where even the tiniest clues were enough to breathe life into them so that they wouldn’t feel like two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. There’s always so much more that I can wish to learn about Nana (like her passion in fashion design or her relationship with her mother) and our other side characters that I fear we may never come to know. So I’m preparing myself to be satisfied with these small tidbits just as long as you provide answers to my other burning questions, Show. Like what shattered two cherished bromantic friendships or the history behind Seol-chan and his family.

I love how the glimpse into Seol-chan and Sun-woo’s childhood friendship shows us a peek into how close they once were. Their hot-and-cold relationship with their tension-filled interactions really do resemble a lovers’ quarrel, which of course leads to Se-yi’s misunderstanding about the boys’s sexual orientation. If we went down that road, we’d all be watching a different kind of drama, but who hasn’t wished for a bromance to turn real sometimes?

We see that all it takes is one jealous boy to start a domino effect to spark frustration and reveal underlying problems within the group. Then we were able to see how quickly constructed teamwork can fall apart over the course of a few short days in one episode. The newly-formed band already stands on a delicate balance, and what started off with one cohesive group working together ended up with seven differences sniping at each other. This group was bound to encounter conflict at some point, and yet I’m biting my nails over the idea that they only have a matter of days to resolve the situation or overcome their differences so that they’re a united front to face All for One.

It makes me wonder if jealousy was the reason behind the parents’ rift and complicated past. Even with Mom’s confession that clued us into how her husband and Se-yi’s father died, we’re still left without a full picture of what happened between the once happy trio we saw in the old photo. Will history repeat itself or will the group be able to find a new resolution for themselves?

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awesome....makes my heart beats so fast when seol chan almost kiss scene ;)

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I'm a little confused about the timing of Se-yi's father's death. So he died when she was a kid, but overheard her mother when she was a teen, left for NZ when she was a teen and then came back this year, right?

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Me too, I'm also confused about this.

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I think he died when she was in 5th grade, about 11-12. That's when she also overheard her mom and left immediately.

Around 5 years have passed, so she's 16-17 now.

That's how I understood it.

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Died around 11-12, left for New Zealand immediately. (Although in the flash backs that girl looks younger than that. 9-10 or a big 8, I'd say. The boys didn't look 11-12, either, but then again - who would let kids that young or younger head off downtown by themselves at night ANYWAY?)

The scene she overhears with her mother and uncle looked like a Memorial Day setting and she left at some point after that; one can assume it was relatively soon after, and thus in the immediate past for the series.

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The letting kids head off downtown at night... wouldn't that depend on where you are in the world? As far as I know, there are pretty wide-ranging practices regarding these kind of things.

You know, like Scandinavian parents that leave their babies unattended in their buggies in front of cafés... or kids in many parts of Europe that walk/cycle to school by themselves from age 6 onwards.

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Might, but I was assuming that was downtown Seoul?

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Parents in Seoul let their kids wander all the time. I've seen little kids run around by themselves at night too. Seoul's really safe, plus some students don't even get out of school till 9-10.

Just a different culture I suppose. My parents let my brother and I wander around by ourselves pretty much everywhere we went (I'm Asian American). I think it's a weird concept for Americans to think of though.

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she was her high school SY self when she overheard her Mom talk about cheating on her father, maybe Show made a mistake?

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whoa i didn't even realize

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I think her father died when she was 11-12-13. I think she moved to NZ with her mom shortly afterward, because she lost her speech. She stayed there for around 5 years (I think this was mentioned in episode 1?)

Then recently, she starts to talk again. And maybe at the last memorial day of her father, she overheard her mother's talk with her uncle. Then, she moved back to South Korea.

Correct me if I am wrong.

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Eh I don't think so. Her mom was crying too hard for it just to be a memorial day. It seemed like it was the actual funeral to me. I was pretty confused about this too. I just assumed it was an editing lapse.

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Qua Trang's timeline seems about right.
She may have bottled the confession about being the cause of Dad's death and suffered from guilt all these years that she finally let it to out to her brother (?) During the memorial day.

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@ Qua Trang
"I think her father died when she was 11-12-13. I think she moved to NZ with her mom shortly afterward, because she lost her speech. She stayed there for around 5 years (I think this was mentioned in episode 1?)
Then recently, she starts to talk again. And maybe at the last memorial day of her father, she overheard her mother’s talk with her uncle. Then, she moved back to South Korea."

I think you are absolutely correct in regards to the timeline.
The setting was more like a memorial than a funeral. (There were no flowers around the photo, no formal bouquets and only one other guest was present.)

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She didn't move with her mom, she moved to leave her mom. I think she said she was with the sheep on her uncle's farm.

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I thought she moved to SK to leave her mom, not NZ. Otherwise, I don't think episode 1 makes sense :/ but not too sure.

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I'm starting to get confused..... but I have no time to rewatch and clarify the details.

I thought she just decided to come back and everyone was asking her if she had called her Mom now that she's back in Korea. I had the impression her Mom is in Korea, since people were asking why she wasn't living with her...

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Qua Trang's interpretation sounds right.

- Se-yi's father dies = same night Se-yi and her dad were supposed to meet Sun Woo (~11)
- Se-yi and her mother move to NZ soon after (~11)
- Se-yi finds out at 5 year memorial that her mother in a sense caused her father's death (~16)
- Se-yi moves back to SK to get away from her mother (~16)

I dunno if the mother has also moved back.

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I also think Qua Trang is correct.

When Se Yi confronted her mom, she has gotten back her speech, and she seemed older (i.e., her recent self). Her father's death happened when all 3 were still children. They refer to the time when they were in 5th grade, so that would be when they were 10 or 11. And that was 5 years ago, which means they are all now in 10th grade, or 16-17 years old.

She was living with her mom and uncle in NZ, and recently moved back to SK after overhearing her mom's confession.

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@ Qua Trang,

Yes I think you are right.

Based on what has revealed so far, Seyi's dad died on Xmas eve (24 Dec) when they were Grade 5 (~11). Then Seyi was in a coma (when she woke up, the funeral was over) and lost her ability for speech. After much consideration, her mum decided to bring her to NZ to stay with her brother (Seyi's brother). I presume given some time for coma and preparation to leave, Seyi left for NZ the next year at age ~12 (hmm... I wonder if it links to the boys fallout since Sunwoo mentioned that they quarrelled at Grade 6).

5 years later (~17?), Seyi overheard her mum's conversation with uncle at the memorial day. In the fit of hurt and betrayal, she left NZ and her mum, and returned to Korea.

Hahaha... I feel more at ease imagining them as 17 now than as 16. Although it's just 1 year difference, they look and behave more like 17 y/o. 16 y/o.... hmmm...kinda too young?

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Off topic buuuut, I'm feeling some Kiwi Pride right now with the amount of times 'NZ' has been mentioned lol.
I can assure you we're a pretty developed country, sheep farms do exist, I've just never seen or been to one in my life lol.
And yay for Nana! Her voice is amazing

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I'm watching it now, and I'm just laughing at Se-yi and Seol-chan's scene at Sun-woo's house.

More later after watching and reading recaps....

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Awesome love triangle. I'm in Seol-chan's camp but I'm pulled into Sun-woo's direction too. I wish all kdramas had an effective triangle like this one.

Seol-chan sometimes reminds me of Dokko Jin! Didn't expect him to admit that he likes Se-yi.

Yay! A song by Nana. It felt a little bit like a music video when I watched it raw, but I liked it better when I watched with subs. She was also great that she stopped the prank on Se-yi even though I would've understood if she let it be. Happy that they showed more of her and what she does outside school in this episode.

Love the stares & death glares (mostly from Seol-chan to Sun-woo) in this episode! Kyu-dong was the only one left out of the stare off.

Haha! I think Eun-ha gets the feeling that there's love in the air involving her idol, but is in total denial so she's matchmaking and nudges Se-yi towards Sun-woo. *Sigh* at Sun-woo's ballad.

Even if this drama only has 12 episodes, after some calculations at the end it will seem like a 16-episode drama (1hr/ep) or 24 episodes (40min/ep). Can't believe we're at the middle.

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I totally was seeing the Dokko Jin similarities as well! Particularly in the scene where he's at his company building and admits he's jealous...and then starts laughing. It's just like Jin...xD

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Yup he was channeling dokko Jin there for sure!

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I knew that maniacal laugh sounded familiar...

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Yeh right! It sounded so familiar xD thanks for noticing, I wondered why a shiver went down my spine...

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I knew there had to be a reason I couldn't sleep. I'm just gonna say it was this lol.

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Hmm, I wonder if Eunha will end up having a secret talent but thus far I can't see it. I'd have thought if she could play an instrument we'd already know by now. Or if she sings she's awfully shy about bringing it up. Not all of us can be powerhouse voices and I'm wondering if we're setting Eunha up to be the "ordinary" one and if so what her redeeming quality will be.

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I was wondering too how Eun-ha would react when (I hope it's when not if!) Nana displays her talent. Would she feel left out if she doesn't have her own musical talent?

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I remember in a previous episode where she had that fantasy about singing in front of Seol Chan ten years earlier. On one hand it's true that she's a good friend and that she should be proud of that, but I find her urges to feel "special" like the other kids understandable.

Seol Chan, Seyi, Sun Woo all play instruments and have solid voices.

Do Nam beatboxes

Gyudong dances and sings

They don't know Nana can sing yet but she has her own aura of mystery.

I honestly don't think she has her own special talent because even in the trailer she's playing the tambourine. Maybe her fanfiction writing talents will blossom at some point?

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Good observations. Maybe she'll end up writing a song for the group?

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Or she will write a drama of their story of friendship and make a musical out of it and then she might recite some really funny poems to the audience which eventually will lead her to becoming a rap icon famous for her fast paced talking and ironic texts about nude boys...

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i love that nana's connection with sunwoo isn't due to some grand setup. she's just a normal girl with a crush.

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Precisely. And why i also think her hardcore crying isn't quite justified? I mean, the crush seemed minor/recent and she wasn't even rejected yet. Is it normal for a girl to cry this much and to this extent for a high school crush? She cried as if her lover had died or something. On the other hand, her sorta- tantrum is more reasonable for a teenager. Just my two-cents anyways.
Though the almost kiss is quite a disappointment since they were literally THISCLOSE (might as well already!) But it served the purpose of making Se Yi more aware of her own feeling. Yay!

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what if that "misunderstanding" between Seol-chan and Sun-woo in the past was Kim Nana herself. could it be that they were once almost an item, but Seol-chan came into the picture that caused a rift in their friendship?

Seol-chan called Sun-woo a backstabber as always ... and
when Na-na approached Sun-woo, she reminded him that he had once told her that he only believes what he sees. So she asks what he sees in her now.

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You're a really conspiracy-loving mind ;)

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I think the crush has been going on for a while. It was definitely before they became a band.

When it comes to the crying, I've cried that much for a crush before. It's not just the crush not working out but it brings a whole barrel of feelings and emotions and issues to the surface (like my self-esteem is down in the pits so it made me feel that nobody would ever like me/notice me).

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So true. I remember sobbing over some of my crushes in my teens AND my early twenties. Because you are right when you say that it is bigger than the crush itself. There are so many emotions that get invested in one's time "crushing", hopes and dreams built up, feelings not just invested in liking the person, but that build up how you see yourself and what you think your future could be. Those crushes can mean everything in the moment.

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so true, those things immediately came to mind as well. Never forget how you felt as a teenager and that whole pain that comes along with it!
I hope it'll help me to remember this when I have children.

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Just repeating what the others have said. She's a teenager so the overdramatic crying is totally right. I remember many times when the guy I liked started dating someone else. It really felt like my world was going to end ( I was a bit of a drama queen). The worse was when they dated someone nice, because you really could not hate the girl, even when you wanted to. Anyhow, I was crying along with Nana..

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She has no friends and a family that she tries to hide. Sun Woo is the ONE thing. And now she doesn't even have that, can't even pretend to have it anymore. I completely understand her level of despair and pain.

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She started to like him after seeing him standing by the window (and that is how every high school crush started, it must involve some kinda brezze or halo, lol, loved it) and when she walked into the class he gave her a little smile remember. She’s a goner after that momment. SW became the only good thing in her suck life. But now she knew that he was not smiling at her but he smiled because of the song. The song that remained him to another girl. I will cry my eyes out too.

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Considering in this plot they are "teenagers" with lots of hormonal imbalances and that Kim Nana's affection started way back sure justifies her crying. What it seems here is that there's more to Nana's story than what could be packed in one episode. She's a girl that keeps everything to herself, she has no friends makes this one sided love so hard on her.

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I agree with your assessment of Kim Nana, and I felt her pain while she was singing. I suspect she may also have been a student back in the grade five music class, so her love for Sun Woo is longstanding.

I am loving this drama, and gummimochi's wonderful recaps make it that much more enjoyable. Thank you!

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haha, high school means raging hormones. i remember when my crush in high school had a crush on my other classmate i cried like that (mind you, i like him for 3 years in my HS life, then on our 3rd year, he fall in love with this girl who only hurt him yet he stay in love with her, it make me want to punch him for not considering my feeling. heh, they still in relationships though it's 8 years already, way to stab my heart deeper).

u don't have to be in relationship first for allowed to cry like that. she know how long sun woo have a crush in se-yi, it make her lose hope. that means zero opportunity to get his attention. it's the same as rejected you know,
i have that experience, so i understand.

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I hope sunwoo and nana end up together, they make such a cute couple...I watch the show mostly for their scenes.

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I wonder if Sun-woo really does like Se-yi. I know that sounds strange, because it certainly seems like he likes her now but something in the childhood scenes made me think that Sun-woo wanted to meet Se-yi's father not for himself but for Seol-chan (so he'd get the praise for his talent). He certainly insisted that Seol-chan come along....

And now, well, he could just be pushing Seol-chan's buttons, because he certainly showed him that with all the fangirls around Seol-chan can never get the girl he actually likes unless he gets off his high horse.

I don't think he likes Seol-chan that way, but he may care for him more as a friend (he once had and wish he could have again) than for Se-yi as a girlfriend.

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Nice theory. Haha.

I think he still thinks of them as friends and secretly so does SC since its hard to get rid of the bonds (they must have been really close) but I also think he does like SY. He's just a lot uncertain of himself since he was rejected once. He's actually pretty timid. SC is the rash hotheaded one and he's the cool levelheaded one. They are perfect complements!

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That's exactly what I kept thinking for the last few episodes. Especially when Se-yi joked it during their "date" and he took it way too seriously :P

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I've been wondering for a while if the jokey misdirect on Seol Chan/Sun Woo leads us to a reveal that that is actually the issue with Gyu Dong and Do Nam?

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I'm curious too...

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I LOVE HOW MIN SE YI STARTS TO BECOME AWARE OF SEOL CHAN NOW. OHGOD. OH MY FEELS.

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Watch the episodes simply is not the same as reading with your comments!

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I'm already getting sad that Seyi will end up driving Sun-Woo and Seol-Chan further apart. I want their friendship to be fixed so badly but I know that with both of them feeling the same thing for the same girl it's just gonna be a painful journey. Even more so when she figures out she is the one they both like. Ya know Show it would all be so much easier if she ended up have feelings for someone else so we could save the bromance! How about Kyu Dong? or the douche leader of All for One? She could be the one to make him less of a douche!

WHY SHOW WHY MUST YOU MAKE ME CHOOSE BETWEEN BROMANCE AND ROMANCE! WHY!

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I don't think she'll drive them further apart, certainly not permanently.

Plus, Nana will come to the rescue and steal Sun-woo's heart! :-D

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I need Nana NOT to get an Eponine-ish ending; Unrequited Love does not need another poster child.

But Sun Woo does care about her.... Right?

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I love your comment! :)

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Thank you. :D

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I had to like this for the les miserables reference. Totally agreed - Nana better get a happy(ish) ending or I will have Words with you Show! It doesn't have to be rainbows and puppies happy ending but I hate the noble sacrifice route so there better be none of that here. I would like it if she just discovered herself and maybe learns that she likes singing or whatever.

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I was so worried that nobody will get that Les Mis reference. (Absolutely adores Les Mis).

I think I prefer Nana to Se Yi. Se Yi is cute in her own way, but Nana's wounded cat persona has totally got me rooting in her corner. Face it, what are the chances of SW getting together with SY? Maybe they won't get together, but I need SW to acknowledge Nana's talents, if not her feelings. Because SW's opinion obviously matters to her.

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I googled it. :-)

Then I felt like an idiot because I did read Les Mis ages ago. (Haven't watched the film.)

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You should TOTALLY watch it. I cried like a baby at the cinema.

Its definitely a different experience from watching the live performance.

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thank you!

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Am I the only one who saw that Arnold (SCs idol/fanfic buddy) took, after SC left the practrice room, a sip of SCs water?
(sorry bad English)

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I totally noticed that sip too, but I didn't know that Arnold was his fanfic partner! That adds so much.

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I ship them so hard

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aaaahhahahaha, I saw it but didn't get the fanfic reference.

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I love this episode, from Seol Chan convincing himself that he's too grand to feel jealous, to the re-acquaintance of a pair of cute friends, Se Yi's misjudgement of who's who in the lovers spat (I laughed so hard), Seol Chan trying not to be the back-stabber, Nana's heartbreak, Se Yi's realisation of her feelings towards Seol Chan, the basketball court fight that had me in stitches (strangely funny! Love the energy!) and Eun Ha seeing her good friend's budding crush on her star.

I just hope their love is not a replay of the elders which turn the ahjussi into a wasted person.

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There's some weird timeline going on - grown up Seyi in the flashbacks when she should have been a kid at the funeral if her dad died the same season the boys were waiting for her haha. Lapse in editing perhaps?

Anyway I wish they would stop teasing us with SW and SC's shared history and show us already! I'm dying to know what's up with SC's idol complex. Did his family abuse him? Is he adopted? What is it??

Love Nana's voice - I wish she belted this out in front of the other kids so their jaws would drop but it seems fitting that such a loner character would get a solo scene like that. Am hoping they find out STAT that she has such a gorgeous voice!! And can't wait to find out what EH's hidden talent is. Also I wish they would have more people actually playing instruments than just being vocally powerful. I mean seriously almost everyone in this group can sing except DN and EH! Can't someone, like, play a violin or sexaphone or something?

This show is growing on me and I wish it had more than one episode a week but I suppose this is the right way to film because the cast gets enough rest and the production crew can spend some time editing instead of rushing like mad to get it out (haha KOD).

Thanks Gummi!

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As discussed upthread, the confession scene (of the mother to the uncle about her role in the dad's death) happened during the latest memorial for Se-Yi's father which occurred in NZ, and which precipitated Se-Yi's departure from NZ back to Korea. Which is why Se-Yi is no longer a 5th-grader kid in that scene and it happened when she already had her voice back.

Recall that she could not speak after waking up from a coma after the accident that killed the dad. That flashback definitely was not of the funeral, but happened several years after.

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the lovelines between seolchan, seyi and sunwoo, like her parents' and ahjussi?

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This episode was fantastic - such a range of emotion for them and for the viewers! I did everything from belly laugh to sob to feel intensely...interested in that not-kiss. These kids (well, they're early 20s right? These adults, I guess.) are doing a fabulous job - hands down the best 'school' drama I've seen so far. Yep, better than What's Up, better than SUFBB, better than School 2013, better than DH. Better than Answer Me 1997. Yes, I said it.

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As characters, they've got to be 17-18... being that they are in school.

Unless you mean in real life – they'll be in the early 20s mostly I guess.

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Dahee (Nana) I believe is actually 19 and the youngest of the group. The others are as you say, in their 20s. The guy who plays Jae Rok the bully is in fact nearly 29.

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Whatttt! Really? I thought he looked younger than them.

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I think Monstar has stand-out moments that far beat the other dramas but as a whole I still like SUFBB better. Though that might change with a few more episodes...

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I like Monstar and School 2013 equally well, but for rather different reasons.

SUFBB had fabulous, heartwarming bromance and I liked the bromance too but that whole storyline with the music producers (particularly the lady who was only looking for a product and had no clue about what made those boys such a charming band) I found annoying as well as boring.

What's Up and Dream High were good, but majorly flawed in many aspects. They did have some endearing characters and the latter a couple of songs that I still can't get out of my system.

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I agree. I think SUFBB was tighter, better plotted and better acted, mainly coz of sung joon. But monstar has an intangible quality to it that draws you in and has a few stand out moments that linger in your consciousness after the episode is over.

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I really didnt like the lead girl in SUFBB though.. I didnt want her to end up with anyone... SUFBB was all that cos of its bromance..... XD

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I love this episode so much. My feels.. the love triangle or should I say rectangle is in full gear in this episode. :)

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Well this drama continues to be awesome and it just rocks my world <3

And how I hate it when the second lead is as great as the lead... I love Seol Chan and Sun Woo but have no idea whom I should root for.... Although I wouldn''t mind if they end up together xD

It's nice to finally see some more of Nana and the scene where she sings just broke my heart :(

I am curious on how the kids will manage to pull themselves together and compete against All for One but I guess we'll have to wait at least until Friday^^

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I don't know why, but I found this episode a bit boring in certain parts... maybe I was expecting too much?
On the other hand, I love Dahee and I'm so glad they made her sing, she's got an awesome voice and she portrays Kim Nana quite well.

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I agree, I found this episode slow too. It was great for building arcs/providing info but I tend to like the comedic and subtle friendship/group moments instead of the misunderstandings and love square angst. I recognize that it's necessary for the plot so it doesn't decrease my like for the show (unless it drags) but it's not an episode I would re-watch.

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Agree on the love square angst. Monstar at the core has more heart in the friendships between these students than the actual love-lines, so this episode was a bit of a let down. This doesn't take away from my overall enjoyment of Monstar, however.

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The way I see the time line:

1) They mention being in 5th grade - making them around 9/10 years old.

2) She overheard her mom and uncle at her dad's memorial when she was around 12/13 years old (she's not shown as the younger child, but an older one. Plus, she'll return to Korea 5 years later. 17/18 minus 5 equals 12/13).

3) Then, after that memorial (either immediately or very soon after), she left to NZ with her uncle (I base this on the fact that her character is very strong willed and stubborn. Once she sets her mind on something, it'll take dynamite to change it. Plus, I don't think her mother would allow a younger child to leave).

4) Then 5 years later, at 17/18 years old, she has returned to Korea.

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What age do kids start school in South Korea?

Where I'm originally from, 5th grade = 11 years.

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Your timeline totally makes sense. But I'm still not certain if her mom is in NZ or not.

I think Se-yi said her mom was still in NZ, but I could be wrong about this. Also, Sun woo remembered Se-yi's current residence as the place she lived when she was a kid. If her mom is in South Korea, wouldn't she have stayed in the same place? Or did the mom instead move back to her family's place (just a guess) and rent the residence to her friend the Se-yi's teacher?

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I am nearly positive she has said that she and her mother moved to NZ to live with the uncle on his sheep farm. The apt. she is staying in now with Teach is actually her family's apt that Teach is just staying in (long-time friend of the mother), which is why the adult couldn't make her leave and was unhappy to hear that she would be staying there permanently. The mother is still in NZ, accordingly - if I have it right.

One thing I keep wondering is if Teach is friend of Mother, does she know any of the story and would she recognize Ahjussi?

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Episode 4 - SY talking to Adam - Her dad died in a car accident, SY was with him, but can’t remember anything. When she woke up her dad’s funeral was over and because of the shock, she couldn’t speak or cry. She kept being like that so her mom took her to NZ.

So, if she was 10 when he died, maybe they moved to NZ when she was 13. Since she’s now 17/18, she must have just heard her mother and returned to Korea.

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Yeah, ya'll are right - Duh - I totally forgot about the mother not being in Korea. So, maybe after SY overheard her mom and uncle, causing her to be traumatized into not speaking, they moved to NZ OR maybe they were already in NZ when she overheard. It's all kinda fuzzy. The ONLY things I'm sure of is that her dad died when she was in 5th grade, and she's been away from Korea for 5 years.

In the states, kids start 1st grade at or about 6 years old.

And I bet the teacher DOES know the backstory - she may have been a classmate and that's why the writer hasn't had them meeting yet.

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WOW - it took me some time to warm up to this show (I've only been reading recaps) but now I'm really invested and want to watch it :D

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Did anyone else catch the bit where sun woo asked seol chan if he has forgotten where THEY lived? Am I reading too much into it? Does that mean that they were once together as a family?

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I think he meant "we" as in "we, the Jung family"

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Ahhh.. Ok thanks hamster! :)

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i caught that too.

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Yeah, me too. :)

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Hmmm, generational history repeating itself, interesting gummi~
love/hate the non-kiss, too
love the spread in the backyard scene
love the bushes scene where the other two show up at the end to drww their own conclusions
everything about this show -the present, the spoken past scenes, the visual past scenes, the dynamics - is so great. Love this drama!
Love Seyi's hair and lips

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this ep was too angsty, i could only watch the raw through once and didn't bother to go back for subs. ha. thanks for the recap! can't wait for the tension to move on out of there and for the story to continue to grow. please tell me that's where we're headed, writer! less angst, continued growth, please.

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The musical numbers in Monstar is starting to get a bit much for me. I noticed that in the first few episodes they were shorter(which i appreciate), and with each episode increasingly longer. If i were to put all the songs together in this ep. it may just be half of the episode already.
On the upside, im glad nana finally got a moment to shine, considering her character was a bit of a one note up until now. I'm gong to admit that I couldn't connect much with her character while she was crying because we only got some flashbacks to all the times she swooned because of sun-woo in this episode instead of something that was built up over time.
However, i will say this. I re-watched nana's performance in the karaoke room and judged only how dahee portrayed her character in that moment without thinking of anything that might have caused it, and boy was i compelled and captivated. I was curious and empathetic, for a reason i didn't know.
If i were to base it on performances(acting-wise), Dahee(nana) and Kang ui-sik(radio) are the strongest in terms of being able to portray their characters with such charm and gravitas. And this is pretty much their first outing in k-dramaland, so kudos to them.

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I agree that the musical sequences were way to long in this episode.One reason i didn't really enjoy it. Nana's scene was and okay length since that was the only time we actually saw her by herself. But seol chan dance/idol group practice so unnecessarily long didn't add anything to the story. This episode felt like music over story. Another was almost no time with the side characters GARRR, come on show can we find out there stories,maybe even tidbits of them.

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Teenage hormones and angst done pretty well.

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First time, I didn't totally love the entire episode.

Starting to see some cracks in the acting which is to be expected from newbie actors.

Loved, loved, loved Nana's song. Dahee has by far the best voice of the cast, and I quite liked her acting in the song.

The progression I see from here is that, like Seyi's parents and Adam, there will be the choice for Seol Chan about whether to pursue fame and fortune or to go with the woman whom he loves and who loves him. I think that with Adam's advice, he will choose love over fame and fortune.

I do love that we're getting bits and pieces of the group slowly, but steadily. I also agree with others that it does sometimes leave a disconnect because it's thrown too suddenly on us (but that might be more of an editing issue or an only-12-episodes issue).

Although there are a lot of mysteries still, I'm most curious about who the dead woman in Adam's accident was the most. Every other mystery seems congruent with the storyline, but I can't figure how that fits into the story.

Every other mystery seems like it fits into the story
- Seol-chan's home problems (orphan trying to be too perfect so that he doesn't get sent back?)
- Seol-chan vs. Sun-Woo's broken friendship
- Radio vs. Do Nam's broken friendship
- Se-yi's parents love triangle and Se-yi's home problems
- Nana's home problems

Ok, I guess there's another mystery that doesn't fit. Sun-Woo's relationship with Ha Reum, but I'm guessing it's related to the rift with Seol-chan?

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One thing that really grates me was the almost kiss just garr, why did he have to be so forceful, why did he use that to try to prove his non-crush on sunwoo just BlAH. Se-yi is probably gonna start having feeling for seol chan after that BUT WHY? It wasn't cute AT ALL. I just wish that the writers had gone about seyi discovering her feeling for him another way. This way just seems so forced and unnatural.

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I am also bothered that the actions of Seol-chan's towards Se-yi is bordering on harassment already. When he followed Se-yi in the dark streets and he put his hand on her mouth to keep her from screaming, when she was "kidnapped" from the classroom by Seol-chan, when she was picked up from the street and thrown on top of him in the car with manager/driver just watching and now she was again pushed hard against a wall and given a near kiss. I was hopefully waiting for Se-yi to slap his face for what he did to her. I don't wish to see these kind of scenes since the story, characters and soundtrack can stand on its own.

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SC has always physically yanked her around way too much but in this episode it was really out of hand. IRL, Top 5 Clue of how to know the guy is not right for you?!?

I keep thinking that the bloody woman in Adam's car is the mom who we saw walk away while toddler-SC sobbed. She abandoned him and then Adam (the baby's father) killed her for doing it? Yes, this would make Adam SC's father. That doesn't quite work with Adam being SY's mom's "other man"- we can't have our OTP the children of parents who committed adultery with each other, or can we? but it might have put Adam in jail for a while (not too long, just ask IHYV) so it's faintly understandable that even if he is the other man, he wouldn't already have known SY and her dad's story. Phew, that just tired me out!

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I've been meaning to start this show for a while now and finally started it Saturday. Needless to say, I marathoned all the available episodes :) There were mixed reactions of "How could I have waited so long?" to "Yay, delayed gratification means I get 6 episodes all at once!" to "Dang it, now I'm stuck waiting for a new episode every week..."

Oh well. I'm in and loving it :) This and IHYV are my new reason to ask "Is it (insert day of week) yet?" Haven't been like this over a drama since FBND. Thanks so much for recapping Gummi! Sometimes I think getting to read the recaps makes dramas complete.

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The name of the piano composition played in ep 5 (I think) was written by Yiruma - a South Korean composer. Here is the link of him playing and singing "A river flows in you". Enjoy!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXeValS-RMM

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Finally, we get to know more about Nana...sad no one in the group knows that she can sing so beautifully.

Love her awesome singing voice so much better than Se Yi. Enough of Se Yi's singing. I want to hear MORE of Nana singing! Bring it on, Nana!

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of course nana (dahee) sound better than seyi (han yeo seo), dahee is a K-pop idol who trained for singing you know (i just realized who she is when a poster in here give the link to "glam", her group. LOL, i like Glam's songs just didn't bother to remember all the members, too much new Kpop idols)

and somehow i rotting for some nana-seonwoo more than seyi-seolchan Lmao

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So Nana can sing, eh? Dahee has some set of pipes. I also found it interesting that her voice sounded so different when telling off the guitar player about beating up Sun Woo, nothing like the gutteral tone she uses in public. Front, or Dahee breaking character? And her room is unexpectedly cutesy.

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Also, it would be a heinous crime if Nana doesn't break out the vocals for the group at some point.

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I'm hoping that at the beginning of the next episode Nana steals SeYi's thunder by suddenly singing the song that SW was singing to SeYi ('I'll Love You').
Everybody's reactions would be daebak..

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me too! I was expecting it but nah.. it will be nice to see that on the next episode.

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Nana's song was the best part of the episode for me. I really want to see the whole group making music together. It seems like they're always finding excuses to not practice.

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if they show you the music practice now, you wouldn't feel excited when the D-day battle comes. it's on purpose i guess

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Yeah. it's kind of like practicing/rehearsing a song or performance several times. It kind of loses its magic (for those practicing) from when you first thought up the idea or saw it being performed.

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Located on brachium; the part of the upper limb from the shoulder to the elbow:

Yong Joon-Hyung role as Yoon Sul-Chan.
What is does Yong Joon-Hyung’s tattoo say?

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"If i die tomorrow i would never regret"

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Theres also one on his other forearm that says "Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”
Which you can translate as seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.

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Wow, Ilikemangos, that's some eye you've got there. I've been wanting to know but could never read it. Thanks!

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Woah, thank you for this one.
Been replaying the video (all episode) just for his right arm tattoo...lol
Btw, in which episode you see this?

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His motto seems to say that he's very driven in real life. I like this type of people. They are serious with most things, want to give their best in everything they do & live, love & proud of every moment of it.

Either that or he could be totally the opposite that he tattooed to remind himself...

I think he's great, I can't believe he does all those little expressions as well that makes him like a pro. Also credit goes to the director who knows how to capture the best, even with the one-word always Nana.

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he had another one at collarbone that says "born again still your son". he asked his mom to pick for him when he started to have one. Such a filial son.

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google does wonders!

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Ae those really his tattoos or only as the character of seol chan?

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I thought she told him that he couldn't see clearly/ was blind/ wasn't looking closely enough

And I seriously wonder if one or both boys spent time in that orphanage that SC's mother donated to.

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Thanks for the good recap and for providing the links to the original versions of the songs used in the episode. Appreciate it much!!

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Awesome episode! I give Nana a big hug.
I love the almost kiss scene, if its me, my face will totally be red!

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Poor Na Na.

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such a bittersweet episode...it keeps me wanting for more. I'm enjoying all the characters. For some reason, despite his narcissistic prickly and cocky attitude, I still love Seol-chan. I can feel his hurt, his confusion for his first love, the jealousy, everything!!! He is such a good actor. Hope Monstar will have a part 2 just like in School and Dreamhigh. They are not seniors, right? well I hope not =)

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Oh noooooooo i am so in love with kang ha neul.. What do i do? Someone tell me how i can take him home? Omg i think im going bonkers!

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My new addiction...and I thought I am too old for a high school drama...lol Blown away by Nana...I hope she can show it off to the others like the way DoNam did. One episode per week is not enough....

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Oh and im going to guess that SC and SW swapped mothers. OR share the same mother..SC's 'mom' seems devistated when he mentions he doesn't want to concern her with his mates coming over. Only SW seems like he has an alright relationship with his mom. This is confusingly interesting.

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I really wish sun woo would realize nana's feelings for him. Poor nana. I felt so bad for her. It'll be a happy happy ending for everyone then with two pretty love stories. Oh except for eun na. Can't do anything about that though...

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Monstar Part 2 can cover when SW brings the daughter of a hostess bar home to his rich family, let's see how that goes :)

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I love sunwoo. I love this drama.

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Question!
When does this drama air? It's not listed above...or is my eyesight that bad? Could it be that there is only ONE episode per week??? ...oh no...if I would have known this...I wouldn't have started....

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...no I would have started it anyways!

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It runs on Fridays, and for some reason it's not listed. And yes, it's only one episode a week. Though to be fair, they're longer than normal episodes; each one is about an hour and a half.

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" The Person Seon Woo likes is... YOU'' Se yi to Seol chan... ROFLOL... :D

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I knew Nana liked Sun-woo. He's the only person she really supports in the group because most everyone else is afraid of her or indifferent. Part of that is her own fault, because she doesn't try to make herself apart of the group. I mean, she's apart of it, but not at the same time. I like her though. Her quiet, enigmatic nature is very compelling and I just want to know more about her. I mean, I never would have guessed she liked fashion design. She doesn't seem the type, but you can't judge someone by their looks. That's the whole point of this show, I guess. It really teaches people that there is more to someone than what can be seen on the surface. I like that.

Se-yi's misunderstanding about the sexual nature of Sun-woo and Seol-chan was freaking hilarious. I just felt bad for both boys, but it was still funny. I really wish she wasn't so dense. I'm still kind of rooting for Sun-woo, but if he ends up with Nana, I'll still be happy.

One character we haven't really seen much of is Eun-ah. I'd like to delve more into her backstory. I'd like to delve into all of their backstories, and I hope this show answers the myriad of questions I have regarding these kids and adults.

This show is great, and I'm looking forward to the next episode. Thanks for the recap, Gummimochi!

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is there a version of catnap by her father available to download? I love his voice

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omg i can't believe you left out the mysterious waiter's saturi. it was so unexpected i swear i burst out laughing. and nana's girl, high-pitched accent, as well... omg. i luff her so much after this episode.

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*girly

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thank you!

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