Trot Lovers: Episode 15
Soo-in’s mother isn’t ready to give up on her plans for her daughter, though Soo-in wallows in defeat (or does she?). Luckily, pretty much everyone is onto them, though there are still things that threaten to break up the happy couple. At least we still get plenty of cuteness and skinship between Joon-hyun and Chun-hee to balance out the drama, giving us hope that they can weather the approaching storm.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Soo-in waits nervously onstage, after realizing that Chun-hee knows Joon-hyun has his memory back. Joon-hyun says from behind her, “You came, Soo-in-ah,” and she turns in shock. He yanks the MJ necklace from her neck and tells her it’s not hers, and she immediately stammers that there’s been a misunderstanding – she hasn’t done anything wrong.
Joon-hyun asks what, exactly, he’s misunderstood: Chun-hee’s destroyed dress, or the accident, or Soo-in pretending they were engaged? Was it a misunderstanding that he saw her release that set piece to fall on Chun-hee with his own eyes? He asks if she was trying to hurt Chun-hee because Geon-woo likes her. Soo-in cries that she hates Chun-hee because she’s stolen everything Soo-in should have herself.
Joon-hyun’s expression saddens as he says that he’s liked Soo-in for a long time, that she used to be such a hard worker as a trainee. She was never one to play tricks. Tears well up in his eyes as he tells her to turn herself in. Soo-in cries that she’ll never step down off the stage on her own, so Joon-hyun just sadly tells her she’s made her choice, and leaves.
Soo-in panics and chases after him, begging him not to turn her in. She tells him she’ll do it herself but asks for some time to wrap up things. Joon-hyun holds up a small recorder and tells her he’s recorded their whole conversation, and gives her three days.
He gives her several things to take care of in those three days, and first on the list is to sincerely apologize to Chun-hee. She does, and even confesses that she caused the stage accident, but Chun-hee is stunned and not in a forgiving mood. Soo-in pleads for time to turn herself in, saying her mom will be shocked. But in the bathroom later, Soo-in repeats to the mirror that she needs time to wrap things up, and this time her words carry an ominous tone.
Joon-hyun drives Chun-hee home, and she pouts that he didn’t tell her the truth about the accident. He teases that with her temper, she’d have caused a scene, and that he didn’t want to risk her getting in trouble for making claims without proof. She softens and holds his face, telling him he did a good job, and he does the same while telling her she did even better for trusting him.
Soo-in’s mother calls Chun-hee’s dad to her office, and slides him the familiar Envelope O’ Cash, but he slides it right back. He denies that Chun-hee would have caused the theater accident, even when Director Yang insists she saw her on the CCTV video.
Geon-woo tells Joon-hyun that he did some investigating, and thinks Director Yang stole the CCTV recording. Joon-hyun jokes that Geon-woo actually did some work, and Geon-woo deadpans that he’s got a great dad. He says he’s pretty sure Director Yang is also responsible for the photo of him and Chun-hee living together, and Joon-hyun asks if he can meet with the photographer.
Soo-in takes Joon-hyun’s mother shopping, still keeping up the ruse that she and Joon-hyun are engaged, and asks for her help getting proof that Joon-hyun cheated on her (with Chun-hee). His mom agrees and looks through his room, not realizing that Joon-hyun is watching her.
Geon-woo asks his father how far he thinks Director Yang and Soo-in will go. President Jo says that the most important thing he’s learned in this business is people. Even if people act badly, he still recognizes their effort and talent. He thinks maybe if he and Geon-woo had done that more for Soo-in and her mother, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad. Geon-woo just cutely whines that this is all too complicated.
Joon-hyun and Tae-song arrive at the studio for a performance to find the hall filled with trainees, and Joon-hyun freezes to see Chun-hee there too. It’s hot, and Joon-hyun tells Tae-song to bring Chun-hee into their air-conditioned room. But that would look like favoritism, so he decides to have everyone come in.
But Chun-hee gets a call and has to leave, and Joon-hyun and Tae-song reluctantly sit in a roomful of unwanted people. They bear it (though without much grace) until one of the trainees grabs Joon-hyun’s familiar thermos of balloon flower tea, and he barks at her to drop it and kicks them all out.
Chun-hee comes back and hears the trainees complaining, and tells Joon-hyun that she doesn’t like hearing people talk badly about him. She asks him to treat people nicely for her sake.
Apparently Joon-hyun’s mother found the recorder, and she sends it to Soo-in. But instead of the recording of Soo-in confessing to the theater accident, it’s Joon-hyun talking to the photographer about how Director Yang ordered him to follow Chun-hee and take incriminating pictures of her.
Soo-in heads to Joon-hyun’s place to look for the real recorder herself, and finds a laptop cued up to the video of her, just as she released the set piece to fall on Chun-hee. Joon-hyun walks into the room and holds up the recorder she’s looking for. He sends a file of the recording to the TV stations, and tells her she’s still got enough time to turn herself in before it hits the news.
Soo-in walks down the street in a daze, and stops to see Geon-woo in the window of a restaurant. She keeps walking, but he sees her and follows, which is good because he’s just in time to stop her from deliberately walking into traffic. She shakes him off and tries again, and he grabs her and tells her to get a grip on herself.
Soo-in stops struggling and bleakly asks if she’ll be able to sing again. Geon-woo just smiles and says, “Let’s go.” Hilariously, he takes her to a park and completely ignores her while he plays a game on his phone. They listen to a band of street musicians, and Geon-woo is so adorkable that soon even Soo-in can’t help but enjoy herself.
Afterwards, Geon-woo asks her if she was ever happy when she sang, and it’s sad that Soo-in looks like that possibility never even occurred to her. Geon-woo tells her that she’s lost that happiness, and should find it again. He jokes that he liked her better when she was famous and made money for Shine Star, and tells her to hurry up and come back so he can make more money off her. He says he’ll wait for her, his words seeming to carry multiple meanings, and leaves her to make her decision.
Loan shark Chul-man gives Coach Bang a note containing the contact information of her first love that she’s been looking for. Before she opens it, he tells her that this person may be her first love, but that Coach will always be his last love. Awww. He dramatically wishes her happiness and runs out, leaving her looking stunned.
Chun-hee shares a practice room with some trainees, and Joon-hyun randomly drops by with some “extra” chocolate (sorry, no such thing) as an excuse. He has Chun-hee take pictures while posing closely with the trainees, proud of himself for doing as she asked and being nice, not picking up that he’s being too nice for her liking.
In the hall he asks Chun-hee if he’s doing well by being nice, and asks for his head-pat. He gets a forehead-thump instead, and a lecture in moderation. HAHA.
Director Yang yells at Soo-in’s manager for losing her, but the manager insists she doesn’t know anything when asked about Joon-hyun. Later, Soo-in sends her mom a text not to look for her for a while.
Joon-hyun pulls some strings and gets Chun-hee a spot on a radio program, but pretends to be thrilled for her when she tells him about it. He promises to come and cheer her on, and gives her their cute finger-guns.
Chun-hee arrives at the radio station to find that her fellow guest is none other than Hyo-yeol. It’s so awkward. Joon-hyun enters the studio and surprises everyone by announcing that he’s guest-DJing the show, which scares Hyo-yeol into his very best behavior.
They’re doing a sort of love advice show, and Chun-hee reads the first scenario about a woman trying to decide between two men. Joon-hyun watches her like the twitterpated fool that he is, but when Hyo-yeol acts out the man’s role a little too enthusiastically, Joon-hyun yanks him away from Chun-hee by the hair. Hee. The story involves a kiss and Hyo-yeol leans in for a real one, but Joon-hyun yells, “STOP!” and yanks his hair again.
After the show, Hyo-yeol does some major butt-kissing, getting on his knees and even calling Joon-hyun “hyungnim,” but Joon-hyun isn’t appeased. Hyo-yeol swears he wasn’t really going to kiss Chun-hee, and Joon-hyun tells him if he doesn’t cut it out he’ll never get on the air again.
Joon-hyun takes Chun-hee home where she tells him she knows he got her on the show. He tries to deny it but she knows it’s too much of a coincidence, to get her first show in ages and he’s the DJ. She sweetly asks him not to do it again, because she wants her manage her own comeback. He asks for his pat on the head, and she offers a kiss on the cheek, only to have him turn at the last second and get a real one. Cute.
Chun-hee skips inside all giggly, and Joon-hyun sees her father just arriving home. I love how genuinely happy he always looks to see Dad. He asks if Dad is getting surgery soon, but Dad doesn’t want to spend his last days in the hospital and asks Joon-hyun to keep his secret. Joon-hyun looks unhappy but agrees, though he’s more than happy to agree to Dad’s other request: to stay by Chun-hee’s side.
Tae-song and Pil-nyeo cry at Coach Bang’s restaurant. When Joon-hyun and Chun-hee ask what’s wrong, Coach explains that Tae-song entered a “Voice of Trot” radio competition and lost.
Joon-hyun doesn’t even try to hide his laughter as the ladies attempt to bolster Tae-song’s ego. Tae-song asks Joon-hyun to tell him honestly, as the God of Music, if he has a future in singing. Joon-hyun starts to tell him the truth, but Chun-hee pinches his knee until he smiles the most awkward smile ever and says that of course he has a future, he just needs a good concept and demo tape. Joon-hyun is roped into filming said demo, and Tae-song and Pil-nyeo sing and perform a trot song. They start out awkwardly, but get better and hilariously mug for the camera. These two are a match made in heaven.
Chun-hee apparently decides to compete on the show, and calls in her song from home. The DJ asks why she entered the competition, and Chun-hee says she became a singer without even knowing it. It came so easily that she wanted to go back to the beginning, and this is a good way to start. Geon-woo recognizes her voice on the radio and smiles to himself as he drives, impressed by her initiative.
At Shine Star, Geon-woo casually mentions that he knows Chun-hee was MJ on the show, and she asks him to keep it a secret until after the next round. Joon-hyun shows up and Geon-woo can’t help poke at him by slyly offering to keep her secret.
Joon-hyun follows Geon-woo to a restaurant and goes overboard complimenting Geon-woo’s tie and new hairstyle. Geon-Woo dryly says, “I’ve had this style for six years,” HAHA, and Joon-hyun finally just asks what secret he’s keeping with Chun-hee. The poor guy looks like asking just kills him.
Geon-woo makes a big deal out of knowing something about Chun-hee that Joon-hyun doesn’t know, and Joon-hyun calls him immature and gets up to leave. Geon-woo calls him back and say he’ll tell… if Joon-hyun wins a game. They play party games, taking turns winning and losing and accusing each other of cheating. I love how this bromance is shaping up.
Director Yang makes her next move by talking to the press, telling them that Chun-hee caused the theater accident out of jealousy. The reporter admits it’s an interesting story, but he can’t put it on TV with just her word. She gives him a USB drive with the video that Joon-hyun made of his and Chun-hee’s day together as “proof.”
The two in question sit with Chun-hee’s dad and assure him that Director Yang’s claims of Chun-hee’s guilt are false. He says he doesn’t need assurance, as he trusts his daughter. Joon-hyun thinks that Director Yang doesn’t know he has the recording of Soo-in’s confession, and promises to take care of everything.
His plan is to hold a press conference, where he simply plays the recording for the press to hear for themselves. One reporter asks why he’s doing this, and he says it’s because after his accident, he couldn’t even remember the woman he loves. He announces, for all the world to hear, that he loves Choi Chun-hee.
The next day when Director Yang shows up for work, reporters are there to pepper her with questions about her lies. She seeks refuge in her office but is met by Joon-hyun’s mother, who’s spitting mad. She says her son got lucky not to be tied down by a woman who would attempt to murder someone for a man, and suggests she send Soo-in to a psychiatrist. Director Yang warns her not to provoke her, since she’s not so innocent herself.
Chun-hee competes in the “Voice of Trot” audition, where the contestants sing live in front of the blindfolded judges. She’s surprised to recognize one of the judges as the trot singer who schemed with Soo-in’s mother to keep her off the stage when her scandal first broke. Chun-hee sings beautifully and the judge comments that her voice was the most truthful and gifted. It’s only after she’s chosen as winner that the judge realize who she praised.
Chun-hee thanks the judge after the radio show, and the woman haughtily tells her not to get cocky just because she paid her a compliment. Chun-hee just thanks her sincerely, and the judge leaves without a word, but smiles once Chun-hee can’t see her.
Joon-hyun presents Chun-hee with a list of three things he swore to do when he got a girlfriend, and promises to take her on a real date. Item One is to hold hands on a busy street, which they do in adorable couple outfits complete with hats and sunglasses to hide their faces. Item Two is to eat street food, and Item Three is to see a movie, where they lift the armrest between the seats for maximum skinship. So cute.
After the movie they sit in the park, where Joon-hyun plays Chun-hee’s song on his guitar for her, and she joins in with a pretty harmony. He points out that the God of Music wrote that song, then says that when he gives her something, she should give something back. Chun-hee agrees to make whatever wish he has come true, and he surprises her with a matter-of-fact, “Let’s get married.” He tells her that he can’t make it without her, and finally puts the MJ necklace in it’s rightful place around Chun-hee’s neck, sealing the deal with a long kiss.
Later, Chun-hee’s dad tells her that he recently saw the person who caused her mother’s accident, confirming that it was one of her mother’s colleagues. He says that he has to find her and take care of things, then he wants to see Chun-hee married. Chun-hee notes that he’s talking like he’s going away somewhere.
Joon-hyun, his mother, and Chun-hee meet for the official meeting of the families, but Chun-hee’s father is running late. Mom shoots barbed glares at Chun-hee and asks whether she’ll buy her a house as a wedding gift, since Soo-in said she’d buy her a house, and Joon-hyun hushes her. She excuses herself to the restroom and Joon-hyun sweetly tells Chun-hee not to worry.
Mom comes face-to-face with Chun-hee’s father in the hall, and they both look horrified to realize the full meaning of the situation. Dad drags Joon-hyun’s mom outside and confronts her about hitting his wife with her car and running away. He gets angry as he says he’s waited all these years to see her, and to ask her why.
Joon-hyun’s mother cries and swears that, though it was her car in the accident, it had been stolen. He doesn’t believe her story, since she went to the U.S. soon after, and she says that the car was a gift from a sponsor and she only left to avoid a scandal. Neither of them notice that Chun-hee has come to see what’s wrong, and is listening to every word.
Dad works himself into a frenzy, yelling that she just hit his wife and left her, and that she would have lived if she’d been taken to the hospital right away. Joon-hyun’s mother frantically repeats over and over that she’s innocent, but he’s beyond listening and he insists they go to the police right now.
She falls to her knees and begs him to think of Joon-hyun, whose career will be over if this gets out. She sobs, “Please, please Oppa, please,” but his face betrays no compassion, as Chun-hee looks on in shock.
I’m finding myself less frustrated with the show now that the amnesia mess is over and done with, and we get back to the heart of the matter — the relationships and the music. It’s not even that I dislike the amnesia plot line in and of itself, as long as it’s used well. I just didn’t feel that in this show, it was used well. It felt less like a necessary part of the story, and more of a way to squeeze a few episodes of drama out of the show when it really should have stuck to it’s strengths.
So now that we’re getting more of what I love about the show, which is music and friendship and love, I’m a bit more interested in seeing how this all turns out than I was for the last couple of weeks. I do think this episode felt rushed, which is a side effect of dragging the amnesia plot on for so long. It felt a bit like, “Oh crap, we have to wrap this up and we still don’t have all the pieces in place for the finale, let’s cram as much as we can into this episode,” and it suffered because some things we wanted to see got left out entirely. For example, I wanted to see things like Dad and Byul rejoicing that Chun-hee and Joon-hyun are getting married.
But seeing Joon-hyun and Chun-hee as a happy, healthy couple in love is so great, and seeing them work together as a team is even better. I love their snuggling, I adore their bickering, and I feel like, if the show had focused more on them together and less on keeping them apart by increasingly artificial means, we all would have been a lot more forgiving when the show went slightly off the rails.
I’m frustrated that we have one episode left and we’re still dealing with Soo-in and her psycho mother. If Soo-in just disappears and lets her mother take the fall for everything (and let’s face it, her mom is terrible, but attempted murder is pretty much a thousand times worse), and gets to come back and just go back to Shine Star like nothing ever happened, I’m going to be pretty upset. Especially if Geon-woo really does wait for her like he seemed to imply. The only way I’ll accept that as an ending for Soo-in is if she does some real jail time first.
As for Psycho Mom, while I think she’s a reprehensible person, the most she’s done is scheme and plot and try to hurt people’s careers. She’s never actually tried to hurt someone, unless of course we find out in the final hour that she was driving the car that hit Chun-hee’s mother. In that case, jail time for her too, please.
As my last recap for the show, I don’t really have a lot to say that I haven’t said already, which is really not usually a problem of mine (haha). For a show that I was so looking forward to as a fun romp in the history of Korean music, I feel like I got instead a show that wasn’t bad, but didn’t stand out as anything more than “okay,” either. I admit that part of that is a bit of pouting on my part, because I didn’t get what I wanted. But I do give credit where it’s due, and we did get a lot of good things from Trot Lovers: Jung Eun-ji’s voice, Ji Hyun-woo’s gorgeous dimpled smile (though not his post-army abs, unless the finale decides to give us a little goodbye present), the cutest drama duo ever in Joon-hyun and Byul, and even something none of us ever expected — Shin Sung-rok in a character so quirky and weird, he stole our hearts before we even realized what was happening. If nothing else, for that I’ll always be grateful.
- Trot Lovers: Episode 14
- Trot Lovers: Episode 13
- Trot Lovers: Episode 12
- Trot Lovers: Episode 11
- Kolorful Palette: Second first kiss [Trot Lovers]
- Trot Lovers: Episode 10
- Trot Lovers: Episode 9
- Trot Lovers: Episode 8
- Trot Lovers: Episode 7
- Trot Lovers: Episode 6
- Trot Lovers: Episode 5
- Kolorful Palette: Loving Trot Lovers
- Trot Lovers: Episode 4
- Trot Lovers: Episode 3
- Trot Lovers: Episode 2
- Trot Lovers: Episode 1