The Liar and His Lover: Episode 12
When you rush something, a lot can go wrong. Jin-hyuk’s love of music might guide his instincts for finding exceptional talents, but his insecurities — periodically fueled by CEO Yoo — have turned him into someone who uses the people he should protect to further his own end. Even if that hurts them irreparably. With Chan-young and Han-gyul’s rivalry reaching a boiling point, Jin-hyuk’s ruthlessness might just break the band that made his label famous.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
In the corridor of the hospital, Chan-young asks Han-gyul why he can’t come between him and So-rim, when Han-gyul makes a habit of getting in his way. Han-gyul looks at him in disbelief.
When So-rim steps out of the room, Chan-young makes it clear that he’s been waiting there for hours, just to see her face. So-rim looks uncomfortably at Han-gyul at this. Soo-yeon arrives with perfect timing to break the tension and sends both boys off.
Yoo-na finds out about So-rim’s grandmother and guesses that Han-gyul must be at the hospital since he’s dating So-rim. Jin-hyuk laughs to realize that she knows about it too. Yoo-na asks nonchalantly if he’s not going to do anything about it. Jin-hyuk sees her interest, but says that while he doesn’t want to, he’ll have to separate the two for the time being to avoid a scandal.
The next morning, Soo-yeon comes into Grandma’s hospital room with an armful of snacks that Han-gyul dropped off before going to work. So-rim smiles to see that he remembered her habit of eating snacks between meals.
After taking the detour to the hospital, Han-gyul arrives a little late to band practice, and Chan-young makes a snide comment about him being distracted lately. Han-gyul asks to speak with him outside, but Chan-young challenges him on wanting to keep his relationship with So-rim a secret. In front of the band, he asks Han-gyul if he’s hiding the truth, so he can bail on So-rim when things go bad.
Han-gyul loses his temper and moves to hit Chan-young, but his band-mates catch both boys and separate them. Chan-young walks off, and In-ho goes after him. He tells Chan-young that he’s just as important to them as Han-gyul, but Chan-young doesn’t believe him, and flashes back to the day the band found out that Han-gyul won’t be performing with them. Shi-hyun had turned to him with anger and asked if he really wanted to debut by stealing someone else’s position. The hurt of that still colors how Chan-young sees them today.
Inside the band room, the boys rib Han-gyul about dating So-rim. In-ho comes in and points out that Chan-young’s reaction is natural given that he’s their producer. But Yoon wonders if Chan-young might like So-rim.
Han-gyul heads to his dad’s bar and catches sight of CEO Yoo dropping In-woo off outside. They talk with a teasing familiarity that is apparent to Han-gyul, even from across the road. After she leaves, he goes into the bar and tries to ask his dad about her. He makes a few aborted attempts, and then leaves when he can’t figure out a way to phrase his question.
Jin-woo asks Soo-yeon for his phone to take part in a live gaming event. When she looks at him suspiciously, Gyu-sun assures her that there is no girl in Jin-woo’s life. Soo-yeon gives all three their phones back temporarily to talk to their families. To So-rim, Soo-yeon says that she’s going to bed reeeally early today, so So-rim can just leave the phone outside her room once she’s done. So-rim smiles gratefully as this gives her a chance to talk to Han-gyul.
After speaking to her grandmother, So-rim calls Han-gyul up. They talk about Mush & Co.’s appearance on Musical Sketchbook, and So-rim admits that she’s worried about people disliking her performance. Han-gyul assures her that she’ll do well, reminding her to trust him. She asks to keep talking for a while, because his voice would help her sleep. So, Han-gyul spends the next few hours telling her stories from his high school days with the band.
Jin-woo finishes his game well past one in the morning and thinks of So-rim. He tries calling her, but her phone is engaged. When he peeks out at her room, the lights behind her window go off. He pouts at the engaged tone and wonders who she can be talking to this late, but So-rim is actually asleep. Han-gyul stops midway through another story to realize that his audience is no longer listening, and smiles at the phone.
He thinks of her fear for the performance ahead and how it’s been giving her nightmares and decides not to hang up. The next morning, So-rim wakes up to find him still on the line. When she calls out his name, he jerks awake from a light sleep to answer her. She asks why he didn’t disconnect, and he tells her that he planned on waking her if she had another nightmare. Gah, this boy. So-rim melts back into her pillow with a smile on her face.
When Mush & Co. reach Sole Music, So-rim gets out first and asks Gyu-sun to pull out her guitar for her. He hands it to Jin-woo with a meaningful look, clearly telling him to use the moment to be chivalrous to So-rim. But instead, So-rim and Jin-woo get into a tug-of-war over the guitar, because he refuses to hand it over to her. Then, he ends up barking at her to take his guitar too. She eyes him warily and heads inside.
But Jin-woo’s tryst with chivalry continues as he battles to open her bottles for her, then says things like, “Helping you makes me happy,” complete with a hair flip and a wink. This sends So-rim into peals of laughter, which is maybe not what he intended. Lol.
Yoo-na and Han-gyul have a meeting to decide what she’ll be singing at Musical Sketchbook. When So-rim and her friends walk by the office, it catches Han-gyul’s attention, and he stops mid-sentence to stare after her. Yoo-na knocks on the table to get him to focus again.
CEO Yoo visits Sole and watches So-rim practice. She asks her secretary to fix a lunch with Han-gyul the next day. Han-gyul is a little surprised, but when he arrives at the restaurant, CEO Yoo refuses to get to the point immediately. She just says that there’ll be another guest joining them.
She asks about his experience writing for someone outside Crude Play and comments that it’s time he was independent. Han-gyul can’t get the thought of his dad with CEO Yoo out of his head and blurts out that he doesn’t intend to keep living with his dad. Ha! Does he think she’s sounding him out as a possible stepmom?
Just then, CEO Yoo’s other guest arrives, and Han-gyul turns around to see So-rim. They eye each other with surprise, and CEO Yoo smiles to herself in satisfaction.
Jin-hyuk talks to Crude Play about the song they’ll be performing and assigns Chan-young to lead the live performance. When Chan-young says he’ll join the band during practice, Jin-hyuk tells everyone not to bother Chan-young too much, since he’ll be the only one playing live. Chan-young needs to be expressive — not accurate — in his performance, he says.
After he leaves, Chan-young tells the band sincerely that he’s never found it boring to practice with them. The other three look at each other and clearly find him adorable. Yoon pulls his cheek and tells him that though he’s cranky most of the time, he has his cute moments too. Then, the boys tease him about paying too much attention to Mush & Co. and making them jealous. (Sigh. Why can’t you guys always be like this?)
CEO Yoo observes that So-rim and Han-gyul make a pretty couple. They laugh awkwardly, but she follows that up with: “I heard that you two are a good fit musically too.” She offers them a chance to work together, explaining that she’s thinking of a collaboration between a band with her label and So-rim, for which Han-gyul can write the song.
So-rim says that she’ll have to talk to Jin-woo and Gyu-sun, but CEO Yoo asks why her friends’ opinions are important in something related to work. Han-gyul comes to her rescue by pointing out that Mush & Co. is still new, but CEO Yoo says that he knows she’ll have to make a choice one day. Her cryptic remark goes over So-rim’s head, but Han-gyul gets a thoughtful look on his face.
The two of them get back to Sole, and So-rim asks Han-gyul if CEO Yoo was serious. He tells her that if she seriously wants to stay with Mush & Co. then she should do so fearlessly, and Jin-hyuk will protect her. She asks what CEO Yoo meant by the choice she’ll have to make, and Han-gyul hesitates. Unable to tell her the truth, he says the “choice” is probably between him and Chan-young.
So-rim teases that she’s torn about that, which makes Han-gyul play at outrage. He’s waiting for the day she’ll sing his song, and she’s torn? So-rim smiles and clarifies that she’s waiting for the day he’ll write a song for just her and not Mush & Co.
When Han-gyul gets home, he gives Jin-hyuk a call. Whatever he says sends Jin-hyuk to CEO YOO, to ask why she’s interfering with a newly debuted band. CEO Yoo says that it makes no sense for a small label like Sole to handle a big band like Crude Play. She points out that her father will retire soon, and a new head will be chosen for the company. She makes it clear that he has to prove the worth of his label to her, or she’ll take it away from him.
Jin-hyuk goes straight to Han-gyul to offer him Mush & Co.’s production for a second time. Han-gyul is tempted but he remembers that So-rim said she wanted him to someday compose a song for her and not her band. He tells Jin-hyuk that he isn’t familiar enough with Mush & Co.’s style to compose for them. Jin-hyuk takes it to mean that Jin-woo and Gyu-sun aren’t good enough for him, and warns Han-gyul of playing into CEO Yoo’s hands.
He tells Han-gyul about CEO Yoo’s album offer to his father. This sends Han-gyul to the bar, where he confronts his dad about CEO Yoo. He asks why he refused to let Jin-hyuk publish the article that would reveal the truth about his stolen music. His father says that it would end up hurting a lot of people, but Han-gyul insists that his son is hurting already. His father’s songs were the first he listened to and loved. He asks In-woo to be the father he needs.
Jin-hyuk calls Soo-yeon and tells her to prepare Mush & Co. to learn a new song. The band gathers in the practice room, and Soo-yeon plays Han-Gyul’s “Waiting For You.” Soo-yeon tells them to learn the song for now, assuring them that Jin-hyuk has a plan. (But what kind of plan?)
Chan-young works on Mush & Co.’s next song, but Jin-hyuk’s words about his last composition ring in his ears: “It’s nothing special or unique.”
The trio practice the new song, and later, Jin-hyuk listens to the results in the studio. So-rim has picked up the song already, but Jin-woo and Gyu-sun still have a long way to go. Jin-hyuk comes into the recording room and assures the boys that it’s normal for them to make mistakes since there’s been too little time for them to practice.
Jin-hyuk tells them that they’ll be performing both “Shiny Boy” and “Waiting For You” on Musical Sketchbook, and lies that Han-gyul and Chan-young agreed to it. At their nervous objection that the show is just around the corner, he tells them that only So-rim will be performing live, while the boys can hand-sync to pre-recorded music.
None of them likes the idea, and So-rim says that it’s deceitful to do that. But Jin-hyuk shuts her up by pointing out that her favorite band Crude Play does the same thing. So-rim takes this hard, and when Gyu-sun says it’s too bad she can’t talk to Han-gyul, she says that it’s better this way, since she doesn’t know how to bring it up.
Jin-woo wonders if the Crude Play members feel any guilt for faking their performances, and Gyu-sun points out that they likely do it because of Jin-hyuk too. Jin-woo wonders if they’ll have to keep doing things this way.
Yoo-na visits Jin-hyuk and finds him stressed out. She asks that he try to act less tired and worried when he’s with her, and Jin-hyuk scoffs that her jealousy over Han-gyul’s new relationship causes him stress too. Yoo-na says that this must be a bad time and leaves.
As she walks out of the building, she meets Han-gyul and offers him a ride home. He tells her that he can’t ride with her and will take a cab home. Yoo-na asks if it’s because of So-rim, and Han-gyul is taken aback that she knows about them too. Ha. Yoo-na wonders if Han-gyul was always this sweet and considerate of women, and if maybe their breakup was her fault.
Han-gyul says that it wasn’t her fault; So-rim just managed to change him. He used to hide his feelings whenever he liked someone, afraid of being hurt, and pretended that music was all he needed. But So-rim brought him out of hiding. He smiles as he bids Yoo-na goodnight, and she smiles back.
Soo-yeon takes out an external hard drive from her bag and smiles as she thinks of Shi-hyun’s words to her: “It’s our music, so what’s wrong about posting it online?” She’s sitting alone in the office, and Shi-hyun uses this opportunity to come surprise her. She tries to hide the hard drive but he sees it.
Soo-yeon admits that it has all the “Real Crude Play” files that they’d uploaded to their account. She tells him that she’s been their fan since high school because they always sounded so happy when they played together. She gives him the hard drive and tells him not to give up; they’ll get to play live one day.
Shi-hyun goes home and plugs in the drive to watch the clips. He grins widely at the first video, then pauses it to go grab a drink. Chan-young comes down to the living area and sees the paused video on the laptop. He switches it on and smiles to hear his band-mates play “Peter Pan.”
But soon his smile vanishes, as his mind flashes to thoughts of Han-gyul playing with them, of Han-gyul composing and recording the song for them. When Shi-hyun gets back, Chan-young walks past him blindly, his expression lost and pained.
During stage rehearsals for Musical Sketchbook, Soo-yeon asks how a rookie band like Mush & Co. is being allowed to perform two songs, and Jin-hyuk tells her that they aren’t. They’ll only be performing one song: “Waiting For You” by Han-gyul.
The Crude Play boys head over to the TV studio where the show is recorded, and In-ho observes in the car that Chan-young looks sickly. Chan-young asks if Han-gyul will be present during the show, and they confirm that he will since Yoo-na is also performing. As his band-mates rest on the way to the show, Chan-young looks at them with an odd mix of affection and regret.
At the TV studio, Mush & Co. are informed that they’ll only be performing Han-gyul’s song. They object, saying that if they can sing one song, it should be Chan-young’s, but the producer of the show waves away their concerns. So-rim tries to protest again, but catches Jin-hyuk’s eyes and falls silent.
Crude Play arrives, and Chan-young heads over to say hello to So-rim and the boys. They notice immediately that he looks off, and he jokes that it’s because he couldn’t see her face for a while. After an awkward beat, he asks if it was a bad joke. So-rim asks again if he’s all right, reminding him that Mush & Co. is a band he’s raising.
I think she’s trying to ask him why he agreed to them singing Han-gyul’s song, but Crude Play gets called backstage, and Chan-young leaves after wishing them luck.
Yoo-na spots Han-gyul as soon as he arrives, and accompanies him to Mush & Co.’s dressing room. Han-gyul takes So-rim’s hand and asks if she’s feeling all right. Jin-woo sees this and becomes frozen with shock. Poor boy. What a time to find out that your crush is in a relationship.
So-rim is about to ask him about the song, but Jin-hyuk enters just then and sends Han-gyul off. Yoo-na wishes So-rim luck and tells her to watch her performance, since she’ll be singing Han-gyul’s song tonight. So-rim smiles awkwardly.
As Mush & Co. is announced on stage, Chan-young stands beside Han-gyul and tells him to look forward to their performance. And then, the host of the show announces the song they’ll be playing: “Waiting For You.”
As the first strains of Han-gyul’s song play, the boys look at each other. At the look of betrayal in Chan-young’s eyes, Han-gyul swears that he knew nothing about this. Chan-young turns and walks away.
CEO Yoo enters Crude Play’s dressing room and asks Jin-hyuk if he’s confident. He says that he prepared an entertaining evening. As Mush & Co.’s song starts, he tells her that Han-gyul will be managing the band from now. She’s surprised, but tempers her reaction by saying they’ll have to see how the audience reacts to the song. Jin-hyuk says confidently that it’ll be a hit.
As she turns to leave, Chan-young bursts in and rounds on Jin-hyuk. He asks why he wasn’t told, and why Jin-woo and Gyu-sun are being made to hand-sync. Jin-hyuk asks if it isn’t good for the band to sing a better song. When Chan-young protests that their debut song was his, and that it was chosen over Han-gyul’s, Jin-hyuk cuts him short.
“Do you really think you beat Han-gyul at a fair fight?” asks Jin-hyuk. “Wake up, Chan-young. You’re a bassist. You can only beat Han-gyul with your bass.” Chan-young stands, shaken, as Jin-hyuk tells him to go back to his place.
“Where is my place? Have I ever belonged anywhere?” Chan-young says as he turns and leaves, and all the Crude Play boys follow him out. CEO Yoo scoffs that that was some show, and tells him that rushing things can sometimes make him sick.
The boys catch up to Chan-young, but he begs them not to say another word. He promises to be around but wants to be left alone for now. The boys understand, but Han-gyul goes after him anyway and explains that he didn’t know about the song switch, and that he didn’t want this.
Chan-young laughs painfully and asks whose fault it is. His, for always filling in for Han-gyul? Han-gyul dismisses that as nonsense and admits that he left Crude Play because his own skills with a bass could never match up to Chan-young’s.
But the confession just angers Chan-young, as he points out that this has nothing to do with Han-gyul’s level of expertise. He asks if Han-gyul ever watched any of the “Real Crude Play” videos. The bass track they used in all the songs were all Han-gyul’s. Han-gyul looks stunned as Chan-young explains that the band didn’t use Chan-young’s bass, but the less professional one Han-gyul recorded as a guide during his composition.
“Think about what Crude Play really wants. Think about who Shi-hyun hyung, Yoon hyung, and In-ho hyung really want as their bass guitarist! Think about it.” With a defeated sigh, Chan-young turns and leaves.
When Han-gyul gets back, Yoo-na’s performance is about to start. He only has time to smile at So-rim before leaving to do a stage check. She sends Chan-young a text asking if he’s all right. As Yoo-na begins to sing, So-rim comes out to watch and looks at Han-gyul across the studio with questions in her eyes. Back in the dressing room, Crude Play’s manager runs in and announces that he can’t find Chan-young and his keys are gone.
Chan-young stands at a stairwell in the studio, ignoring calls from his band-mates. He calls So-rim, who rushes out to meet him. The producer of the show gets angry that the last performance of the night is about to be spoiled because of a missing member. That’s when CEO Yoo suggests that “K” takes Chan-young’s place on stage.
When Han-gyul protests, she tells him that a canceled performance can do a lot of damage and open the band up to scrutiny. Han-gyul gives in, but before the four boys go out on stage, he asks Jin-hyuk why he’s in such a rush. “How much do we have to give up to satisfy you?” Jin-hyuk can’t meet his eyes.
The host announces that during the final performance of the night, “K” will be filling in as bassist for Crude Play. This is received with a mix of excitement and confusion from the live audience. On stage, the boys take their places, and Han-gyul looks at his band-mates before plugging in his bass and facing the audience for his first live performance in years.
So-rim finds Chan-young and tries to take him back so he can make it to the stage. But Chan-young guesses that Han-gyul is up there already, and says that he was never meant to be Crude Play’s bassist. As the first strains of “It’s Okay” starts to play overhead, Chan-young smiles ruefully and pulls So-rim into his arms.
So-rim instinctively pushes back, but he doesn’t let go. “I wish…that at least you would choose me,” he says. On stage, the original Crude Play is reunited again.
Jin-hyuk achieved a lot tonight. With one masterstroke of asinine proportions, he managed to hurt pretty much everyone involved with Crude Play and Mush & Co. Han-gyul finally returned to the stage to play with his friends… but his friends aren’t really playing, thanks to Jin-hyuk. And the way in which Han-gyul got his place ruined something his friends had looked forward to for years. Jin-hyuk also managed to take another anticipated moment away from Han-gyul, when he made So-rim sing his song under the worst circumstances. He hurt Mush & Co. too, stripping them of choice or joy in their performance, and taking away their respect for a band they all looked up to. But he delivered the cruelest hurt to Chan-young.
The most heartbreaking moment for me in this episode was when Chan-young told Han-gyul about his friends using his bass to record their videos. That killed me. Chan-young’s isolation isn’t imagined. The band does want Han-gyul to play for them. Over time, they may have accepted Chan-young as one of them, but they never stopped wanting Han-gyul back. It takes supreme self confidence to live with that knowledge and not let deep resentment build up inside you. And, as we’ve seen by now, Jin-hyuk likes to keep his artists low on self-esteem. Chan-young never had a chance.
It’s also telling that he began to watch that video with a smile on his face. He genuinely enjoyed watching his band-mates play. It was when he recognized Han-gyul’s bass that the color drained from his face. I believe that Chan-young admires the boys in his band, and given half a chance, would have become a friend to them, instead of just a co-worker. He kept that distance because he knew he hadn’t been wanted. And while the boys had since grown up and learned to care for Chan-young, he never got over that first sting of rejection. His jealousy of Han-gyul is unreasonable, but his almost manic need to belong to something or someone isn’t something logic alone can battle.
To Han-gyul’s refined musical ear, it makes sense for the most proficient to get the job. It’s what Jin-hyuk had taught him, when he questioned the decision to have professional musicians play in place of the band. So, he hadn’t really appreciated what it meant when Chan-young repeatedly told him that he was just filling in for Han-gyul. The position of a bassist in Crude Play is more than a musical spot, it’s an emotional place, filled with the love and friendship of the other boys. And Chan-young knew that he was never enough. This bitterness inside him has warped his perception of himself and his own worth, until every obstacle in the path he wants to walk down makes him feel like he’s being pitted against and compared to Han-gyul repeatedly. And in a way he is.
Jin-hyuk only allowed Chan-young to take over Mush & Co.’s production when he couldn’t get Han-gyul to do it. It was clear at the time that he was hoping that letting Chan-young take over would make Han-gyul want to do it. I’m starting to realize that Jin-hyuk isn’t a people person. When he isn’t playing the puppet-master, he has the persuasion skills of a sulky toddler. He throws tantrums, argues, and tattles. I can see why CEO Yoo has no trust in his abilities. Jin-hyuk doesn’t trust his artists or his own instincts. He hurried Crude Play’s debut and made it impossible for them to get good enough to play for their first album. Thereafter, a pattern was set. He’s doing much the same to Mush & Co. While his instincts are insightful, he often ignores them, preferring short-term wins. He crippled the growth of his best asset — Crude Play — with his need to hurry, and now he’s ended up with a band breakup that can potentially ruin his label. How blind did he have to be, not to anticipate Chan-young’s reaction?
While this episode did a really good job of pulling me back into Camp Chan-young, the boy still needs to stop acting like he can convince So-rim to like him by virtue of being insistent. She admires him, cares for him, and feels a deep loyalty towards him, but she’s also made her discomfort with his advances pretty clear. Any time he’s said or done anything that hints at romantic interest, So-rim’s lost her usual ease with him. Ignoring the evidence of her feelings, Chan-young has continued to act as if Han-gyul is somehow manipulating her emotions. I understand his wish to be chosen over Han-gyul, I do. But when a girl makes it clear that she doesn’t want your hug, Chan-young, you let her go.
- The Liar and His Lover: Episode 1
- Misunderstanding leads to inspiration in The Liar and His Lover
- Detectives, spies, liars, and new hires in poster parade for spring dramas
- Busking with the boyfriend’s father in The Liar and His Lover
- Joy enchants Lee Hyun-woo with her voice in the Liar and His Lover
- Dashing to meet Lee Hyun-woo in The Liar and His Lover
- Smiling shyly and hiding feelings in The Liar and His Lover
- Lee Jung-jin joins tvN youth romance The Liar and His Lover
- Lee Hyun-woo, Red Velvet’s Joy confirmed to play The Liar and His Lover
- tvN remakes popular Japanese manga The Liar and His Lover