The Liar and His Lover: Episode 3
I swear, the cuteness in this drama is unreal. Just as it was music that first got Han-gyul and So-rim to meet, it’s no surprise that it’s music that keeps bringing them back together. The music in their lives is opening up new opportunities for the both of them, whether that be falling into a new friendship (maybe even love?) or falling into a new career, and it looks as if they’re not quite sure how to handle any of that. And with Han-gyul’s lies still hanging in the air, it can only get more complicated from here.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Han-gyul sets his metronome and sits down to give So-rim’s recording of his song a listen. He finds the beginning instrumental messy and moves to turn it off – when suddenly, So-rim’s voice jumps in and makes him pause. His hand shoots out to stop the metronome so he can hear more clearly, and soon he gets so absorbed in her voice that he slowly smiles.
Shocked by his own reaction, he jumps out of his chair, pounding his chest and wondering if he’s gone crazy. Oh, sweetie. He tries to snap himself out of it by yanking out the USB and tossing it in the trash.
Meanwhile, poor So-rim is still crying as she walks home. Someone accidentally bumps into her, knocking her phone to the ground and breaking it again. She hopelessly tries to revive the music she’d been listening to, only to sob even harder over how awful her day is going.
Cut to: Han-gyul wearing headphones and belting out a Crude Play song, practically shaking as he tries to block So-rim’s singing out his head. Ha, and I thought So-rim had it bad. Unable to take it anymore, he screams in frustration and lets his eyes find the trash can again. He finally gives in and retrieves the USB for another listen, his face overwhelmed with emotion the entire time.
When he wakes up the next morning, Han-gyul immediately checks his phone and deflates to see that his messages to So-rim have gone unanswered. He thinks back to the harsh words he left her with last night, now regretting them. He tries calling her, but there’s still no answer.
It turns out her phone is still broken, but when her friends ask about it, So-rim waves it off, saying she no longer has any calls to look forward to. Jin-woo rightfully assumes she’s down because of Han-gyul, so he and Gyu-sun leave her alone to sulk during lunch.
Crude Play – sans Chan-young – come in to the studio for a recording. Shi-hyun notices Han-gyul sitting quietly in the back, totally engrossed in his phone as he searches for… high school uniforms? Shi-hyun gives him an odd look and mutters, “Sure, I guess it’s important to find your taste.”
Then Han-gyul scares the bejeezus out of the room by bolting up, having found So-rim’s uniform design. Yoon finds something on his own phone and calls Han-gyul’s name, but Han-gyul’s already stumbling out the door like a crazy person. Yoon shows the other boys what he found: a video of Han-gyul’s dad singing in the street.
After school, So-rim and Gyu-sun are put on cleaning duty. As So-rim wipes down a window, she spots someone running through the sea of students. She presses herself against the glass, and realizing it’s Han-gyul, she immediately runs out.
Han-gyul finds Jin-woo and desperately asks where So-rim is, but jealous Jin-woo points him in the wrong direction, even following him to keep him off track. So-rim is searching for Han-gyul too, and she tells Gyu-sun that she can’t just wait for another coincidental meeting before running off again… right as Han-gyul approaches the school again and runs past Gyu-sun. Luckily, Gyu-sun points the guy in the right direction and makes sure to hold Jin-woo back this time.
So-rim finds a phone booth and punches in Han-gyul’s number. She hears Han-gyul answer, but she can’t bring herself to speak. He’s about to hang up when she starts singing his song. And just like before, he’s instantly gripped by her voice, tears even filling his eyes. He turns left and right, asking where she is until he sees her just ahead of him, staring right at him in surprise.
He rushes over to her, relief flooding his face. So-rim is delighted to see him, but she asks why he’s been trying to reach her. His gaze drops. “I don’t know,” he starts to say. “I just—…” All of a sudden, it starts raining, so they both squeeze into the phone booth for cover. So-rim gets flustered by their closeness, but Han-gyul just grips her arms to make her look him in the eye.
Han-gyul: “Listening to your song made me angry. Because of your voice, I thought my head was going to explode. That’s why I waited for you to call, why I couldn’t focus on my work, and why I foolishly came all the way here. But now that we’ve met, I can’t say anything. I’m embarrassed for having nothing to say. I’m ashamed, and that makes me angry… But if we didn’t meet, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stand it. That’s why I came. That’s it.”
Moved by his sincerity, So-rim clutches onto Han-gyul’s sleeves, pulling him even closer. She nervously shuts her eyes, as does Han-gyul, and he sloooowly leans in.
Their lips are merely a few inches apart when he opens his eyes and stops himself, releasing his hold on her. Whoa, I think I stopped breathing for a minute there.
As So-rim tries to recompose herself, Han-gyul gets a text from the boys saying that they found his dad. Han-gyul watches the video attached to confirm, and his face lights up with hope.
He looks at So-rim again and tells her he has to go. She panics and asks him not to – she doesn’t want him to leave after saying things she doesn’t quite understand. So Han-gyul gives her his phone and promises to call within an hour before running back out into the rain. So-rim watches him go, clutching his phone with a smile.
So-rim opens the phone’s camera to check how she looks and accidentally takes a picture of herself. Before she can figure out how to delete it, she gets an incoming call. It’s Yoo-na, and the singer quickly hangs up after hearing a girl’s voice answer Han-gyul’s phone.
Han-gyul gets to the same spot shown in the video, but to his disappointment, his dad is nowhere in sight. He does, however, run into Chan-young, whose phone he borrows to call So-rim. He tells her he’s too busy to meet again today, which she understands. Instead, she asks if Han-gyul is still mad about yesterday. Han-gyul’s about to bring up an excuse, but his expression softens when So-rim mentions how hurt she’d felt.
“I’m sorry about that day,” he says, explaining that he was mad about something else and that he ended up taking it all out on her. He asks if So-rim is angry with him, and she says yes. “As punishment, you have to meet with me,” she elaborates. She tells him to come to the Han River tomorrow, and Han-gyul laughs at the cuteness in her tone. Behind him in his car, Chan-young squints in disbelief at Han-gyul’s sudden mood change.
Back at Sole Music, Jin-hyuk notifies CEO Yoo that they’ve changed Crude Play’s title track. Realizing this is all Han-gyul’s doing, CEO Yoo sighs that it’s the talented kids that are exhausting to work with. Upon learning that Han-gyul snapped at CEO Yoo over his father’s songs, Jin-hyuk apologizes on Han-gyul’s behalf. And later, Jin-hyuk tells his department head that they should start looking for a new artist – someone attractive, but flawed in a likable way.
Jin-hyuk then finds Shi-hyun, Yoon, and In-ho hard at work as they practice their new song. Shi-hyun requests a schedule change for more practice time, but Jin-hyuk would rather have them take it easy and rely on the pre-recording. He tells the boys that performing is no big deal when they’re already big stars. “But we still want to perform,” In-ho says. “That’s why we got together.” Jin-hyuk asks if they want to reveal to the public that they haven’t been playing all this time then, making them all go silent. Meanwhile, their entire conversation is recorded by a cell phone.
With students stressing over exams the next day, So-rim is given a song request to lighten the atmosphere. She happily complies and sings Crude Play’s “Peter Pan,” getting the whole class up and dancing. However, the mean teacher who likes to pick on So-rim bursts into the room and crashes the party. So-rim tries to explain herself, but Teacher Jerkface orders her out of the class, saying that her songs aren’t needed.
Teacher Bong witnesses this and confronts Teacher Jerkface later, asking him not to judge the students so harshly. But it’s no use – he’s unable to get through to this teacher. So Teacher Bong comes up with another idea. Eyeing So-rim from a distance, he calls a friend to ask if their old buddy Choi Jin-hyuk is attending their upcoming reunion. Aw, what a guy.
Han-gyul spots Jin-hyuk and Yoo-na as he goes into work, and he purposely ignores them and just tries to walk past. Jin-hyuk grabs his arm, wanting to talk, but Han-gyul’s not in the mood.
“That day was the first time,” Jin-hyuk says, making Han-gyul freeze. “My going to Yoo-na’s house. So don’t feel betrayed.” If that was supposed to make Han-gyul feel better, it certainly doesn’t work. Han-gyul whirls around and grabs Jin-hyuk, yelling that he’s shameless for acting this way when he doesn’t even care how he’s feeling.
The Crude Play boys see this exchange and rush in, prying Han-gyul off of Jin-hyuk and holding him back. He struggles to get free but stops when Yoo-na screams, “Where have you been all this time?! Why are you doing this now?!” She seethes that he’s always been the one to neglect her, so he has no right the play the victim card now. Yoo-na then gets pulled away, with Han-gyul still staring after her in shock.
Jin-hyuk gets Yoo-na alone and says they’re in trouble now – he’d been meaning to ask Han-gyul to work on Yoo-na’s next album. In order to get Han-gyul’s cooperation, Jin-hyuk suggests she lie and say that they didn’t get together until after she broke up with Han-gyul.
Yoo-na scoffs that she knew Jin-hyuk couldn’t be trusted. Jin-hyuk merely smiles and says that he may lie to others, but he wouldn’t do that to her. Uh-huh.
Meanwhile, the boys are stunned to learn about Jin-hyuk and Yoo-na’s relationship and ask why Han-gyul kept it from them. “I just felt bad,” he responds. “Yoo-na told me that I make the people around me feel miserable. But I couldn’t deny that. I do that to you guys too.” The boys just smile and joke that all this talk is because he got dumped, making them all burst into laughter.
Just then, So-rim’s voice pops into Han-gyul’s head as he remembers that they were supposed to meet today. He jumps up to leave, telling the guys that he has somewhere to be. He takes a cab to the Han River, thinking back to Yoo-na’s outburst the entire way. He narrates that he couldn’t deny what she said about him not being the victim. Because when it comes to music, he knows he always becomes the assailant.
Han-gyul searches the area for So-rim and finds her in a park leading a group of children as they sing a happy tune. When she notices him watching her, she smiles and waves him over to join in on the fun. Before we know it, Han-gyul is conducting a remix of the tune and looking like he’s having an absolute blast.
Later, as Han-gyul and So-rim take a walk by the river, So-rim giggles that he tried awfully hard to impress the kids. She says this because she’s glad the two of them have their love for music as their one thing in common. Without music, she says, she’s just useless: “I’m not good at anything.”
Han-gyul asks about her singing – if she goes to all these auditions, doesn’t that mean she wishes to pursue a career in music? So-rim admits that her fear of auditions is the problem. She’s afraid that no one will be warm enough to care about her singing.
Han-gyul steps in front of So-rim to face her, reminding her that she sang at the audition the second time they met. So-rim blushes and explains that that was because she wanted him to turn around and look at her. She wanted him to look at her so badly that it was all she could think about at the time.
He smiles and says that she has nothing to be afraid of then – now she knows that her singing made someone turn around and come find her. His face now serious, he says he finally realized the reason why he was dying to see her: “I fell for [it] at first sight. Your voice.” So he tells her not to doubt herself. So-rim breaks into a huge grin and asks if he’ll root for her then, and he readily agrees that he will.
They talk all throughout the night, with So-rim pelting him with questions about his favorite things. When she asks what type of girl he likes, Han-gyul playfully bonks her on the head and tells her to forget it. But she won’t leave it alone and asks if his type is someone like idol Chae Yoo-na. Han-gyul’s smile drops and he turns to look at her, saying he has no interest in celebrities, much less singers. “I hate girls who sing the most.” What? No! Why would you say that?
Once at home, Han-gyul takes a silly selca for kicks, which is when he notices the picture So-rim accidentally left on his phone. He laughs at the picture before lifting a finger to delete it. Thinking better of it, he just drops his phone on the counter, the picture still on it.
Teacher Bong attends his college reunion and makes sure to plant himself at Jin-hyuk’s table. He greets Jin-hyuk like they’re old pals, but Jin-hyuk doesn’t seem to recognize him. Either way, Teacher Bong leads the conversation into Jin-hyuk’s success and suggests he check out one of his students. But Jin-hyuk gets asked this question more than he’d like, so he kindly rejects the offer, and Teacher Bong merely shrugs and gets up to leave.
Barely even five seconds later, the phone he’d left on the table starts ringing, with So-rim’s voice as the ringtone. (Best. Teacher. Ever.) Jin-hyuk smirks and grabs the phone to return it to Teacher Bong, whom he calls out by name (aha, so you do remember him). He asks Teacher Bong which school he works at.
At school the next day, Teacher Jerkface reprimands So-rim for being in his class when he kicked her out. He tells her to leave, so she gets up and heads for the door… only to pause as she remembers what Han-gyul said about not doubting her voice. So-rim turns around and sits right back down, much to the teacher’s displeasure. But So-rim firmly states that she isn’t just some useless kid, and she wants to stay in class.
Teacher Jerkface taunts her by asking her to sing if she truly believes she’s not useless. So-rim stares him down, and thinking he’s won, the teacher scoffs and turns away. He stops when So-rim finally opens her mouth and begins singing (YB’s “Flying Butterfly”). She sings the song loud and clear, radiating confidence, as the rest of the class joins in. Teacher Jerkface yells at them to quit it when they all hear someone clapping by the hall window – it’s Jin-hyuk, smiling right at So-rim.
Jin-hyuk invites So-rim to the studio for an audition, which just about makes her burst from happiness. She asks if she can bring her bandmates as well, and though Jin-hyuk noticeably hesitates, he gives her the okay.
So our excited trio makes their way to Sole Music, where Jin-hyuk has them record the song So-rim sang in class. Chan-young walks in on the session, wanting to talk to Jin-hyuk, when he glances over to the other side of the glass where So-rim is singing. A smile forms on his face as he watches her.
However, Jin-hyuk halts the session and sends everyone out except for So-rim. Chan-young reluctantly leaves as well, going unseen by So-rim. Once they’re alone, Jin-hyuk asks if she really didn’t notice that her friends’ lousy playing was messing with her singing. She blinks in surprise, but Jin-hyuk tells her to sing again, giving her one last try.
That only worsens So-rim’s nerves and she struggles to find her voice again. But then she hears Han-gyul’s voice in her head promising to root for her, and she’s able to ease into a soft ballad (Sung Shi-kyung’s “The Road to Me”). And this time, Jin-hyuk appears much more satisfied.
In another part of the building, a female employer peeks in on Crude Play practicing, hearts in her eyes as she watches Shi-hyun sing. She jumps when she’s caught by a passing Han-gyul and scurries away before he can say anything.
He joins his friends in the practice room and compliments them on being so close to mastering the song with their hectic schedules. The boys gesture at Chan-young’s bass guitar and urge him to play with them until Chan-young returns. Han-gyul wavers, so the boys chant his name until he finally smiles and straps on the guitar.
Back in the recording studio, Jin-hyuk tells So-rim that he’s taken a liking to her and he wants to sign her – but only her, and not her friends. So-rim’s face instantly falls.
Chan-young makes it to the practice room, surprised to see Han-gyul playing along with the others. Han-gyul notices Chan-young walk in and immediately stops playing. Chan-young notes that Han-gyul’s playing isn’t too bad and urges him to continue, as do the others. But Han-gyul would rather stop here and let Chan-young take over.
“I guess my staying here is interrupting,” Chan-young says. He smiles and leaves them alone again. The boys ask Han-gyul why he resisted so strongly in front of Chan-young and, propping the guitar up, he merely says it’s because he’s embarrassed before leaving as well.
To Han-gyul’s dismay, he runs into Jin-hyuk, who has a favor to ask. Jin-hyuk takes them up to the roof, where he reveals that he wants to sign a new act. The problem is, he explains, he only likes one member of the group. He thinks it might be difficult to market them, so he came to Han-gyul for his opinion – specifically because this person reminds him of Han-gyul.
“What would you do?” Jin-hyuk asks. “Would you want to leave the others out? Or would you want to keep them together for now?” Han-gyul says that it’s sure to be difficult, but if they want to do it together, then they should just do it. Jin-hyuk nods approvingly and asks Han-gyul to produce this new singer, saying he can’t stick with only Crude Play for the rest of his career. Han-gyul looks up and replies that he doesn’t want to.
And on a different part of the roof, So-rim tries singing to lift her mood. Still feeling conflicted over Jin-hyuk’s offer, she turns to go back and finds herself facing Chan-young, who’s gazing at her curiously. She gasps, “Seo Chan-young!”
Oh dear, Han-gyul is so going to regret that. I’m excited for this love triangle to start, but I hope its arrival doesn’t mean we’ll lose Cute and Awkward Han-gyul – we just got him! From what we’ve seen of Han-gyul so far, he’s not in a particularly happy chapter of his life or his career, but even so, it’s safe to say that his carefree personality from high school hasn’t gone anywhere. He can still be sweet and he can still be playful with his friends, which is why I took an instant liking to him.
But it was this episode where he completely won me over. He just brought out so many pleasant surprises, starting with the opening scene. I think hearing So-rim’s singing for the first time automatically turned him into a bumbling fool, and I love that. I want more of that. His face when he was listening! Augh, so, so good. Other than it being downright adorable, his reaction was also profoundly touching. We knew how important his work is to him, but the fact that the song affected him that strongly suggests that his relationship with music goes way deeper than a simple paycheck. It’s not something he hears; it’s something he feels. And there was something in So-rim’s voice that made him feel something he’s clearly afraid of… but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Han-gyul continued to surprise me with his reaction to seeing his father again. Because of the indifference he’d shown previously, I’d assumed Han-gyul had carried ill feelings and wanted nothing to do with him. It was only shown in one short scene, but I think it’s clear that Han-gyul’s been missing his dad for a long time and he just hasn’t been able to find him. I can’t wait to see more of Dad and what really happened between the two that got them to where they are now. Speaking of side characters, I’m glad that Han-gyul and his friends made up so quickly. I was expecting that fight from last week to last a while – at least a few episodes – so I found it rather refreshing to have them fall back into normalcy without much trouble.
It’s also refreshing to have this many characters feel like more than your average batch of secondary characters. The guys in Crude Play don’t fall into the label of “Han-gyul’s friends” – they feel like their own people who are dealing with their own inner struggles, like wanting so much to play their own instruments for the sake of playing. It’s very admirable, especially since they’re idols who have been in the entertainment business for quite some time. Then there’s Chan-young – a character I like but remain wary of. It’s been established that there’s a hint of hostility in his relationship with Han-gyul, but they do manage to get along most of the time. Still, Chan-young’s long looks at Han-gyul have me questioning his true motives.
It makes me nervous that innocent So-rim is being thrown to the wolves with what’s looking to be a promising record deal, but there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll have some great people around to support her. She already had her grandmother and friends as sturdy shoulders to lean on, and now she’s even got Han-gyul gravitating towards her side. I would say she’s lucky, but that’s just who So-rim is as a character – she’s a warmhearted person who people feel the need to protect. What makes her stand out, however, is the fact that she tries to take care of business on her own — all she needs is a little push. With a few words of encouragement from Han-gyul, she was able to take pride in her singing and totally throw the mean teacher off guard. It was extremely satisfying to watch since it reassured me that Han-gyul can help So-rim in the same way she wants to help him.
Which leads me to the phone booth scene. Because, ohmygah, that scene. As expected of her character, So-rim has been completely honest with Han-gyul about her crush on him since their first meeting. She knew blurting out her ideas of love at first sight was a bit impulsive, but her feelings were so strong that she had to let it out. And unbeknownst to Han-gyul, that sincerity of hers has affected him just as much as her voice did. After listening to her song, he was caught up in so many emotions that he couldn’t find relief until he found her and told her how he felt. So while he may be an expert at bottling everything up, it looks as if being around So-rim is proving to make that difficult for him. Oh, and what was with that almost-kiss, Kang Han-gyul? I mean, granted, it made my heart pound (good lord, did it make my heart pound), but it also made me worry that he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing.
I wonder if that’s why he hesitated. Because the second he stopped was the second her school uniform registered for me. It was a nice parallel with the elevator scene from Episode 2 where they were stuck in the exact same position. There he smiled in amusement, whereas here, it got way too real for him. However, something tells me he’s not just hesitating because she’s a high school student. I think on some level, he’s aware of where his feelings are going, and he’s afraid that they all root from his love for music, just as Yoo-na pointed out. That fear, along with his lingering emotions towards Yoo-na, is what’s holding him back and, therefore, bringing him back to his tendency of lying. He seems to genuinely like So-rim – past her voice, I would hope – but it may take a while before he ever allows himself to open up again.
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