The Liar and His Lover: Episode 13
These kids just can’t catch a break. When scandals break out, they’re usually nothing but online articles that we can exit out of. But for those involved, it’s not something they can simply escape. It completely consumes them and makes them feel as if it’s the end of the world. As Crude Play and Mush & Co. face what seems like the worst possible situation, we have certain friends come together and, as expected, certain friends shrink farther away – perhaps a little too far.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Han-gyul turns to the audience, completely unmasked and vulnerable, as the orginial Crude Play performs for the very first time. Outside, Chan-young and So-rim hear them start playing “It’s Okay.” So-rim moves to walk back when Chan-young grabs her into a tight hug and asks her if she could just choose him. Unsure of what else to do, So-rim just stands there as he holds her.
The audience seems to be responding to the performance well, but the boys seem completely sapped of energy. From backstage, CEO Yoo mutters to Jin-hyuk that she can see why Han-gyul left the band – when it comes to the bass, Chan-young truly is superior. Jin-hyuk gives her the exact same look of annoyance that’s on my face right now.
Chan-young releases So-rim, only to pull her away so they can talk. So-rim finally speaks up and says that if they’re going to talk, she’s going to take them to her favorite place, just as he took her to his favorite place before. As she gets into the elevator, Chan-young smiles with hope.
After the performance, the boys immediately get back to trying to reach Chan-young. Han-gyul numbly walks by them and asks Gyu-sun and Jin-woo where So-rim went. Gyu-sun hesitates at first, but decides to show him the text he just received from So-rim saying that she’s with Chan-young.
Thrown into a sudden panic, Han-gyul flies out of there and takes the first taxi he sees to Sole Music. He goes crazy running all over the company and calling So-rim’s phone, but to no avail.
Back at the Musical Sketchbook venue, the sly Reporter Choi eavesdrops on Jin-hyuk’s conversation with the team leader and deducts that K wasn’t originally supposed to perform. The reporter calls his boss to confirm that he has a new story. Gah! Too many things are happening at once, I can’t take this.
It turns out that So-rim’s special place was Grandma’s house. Grandma is delighted to have her back home and surprised to see that she’s also brought a celebrity. Chan-young seems a bit uncomfortable at first, but he complies when So-rim and Grandma insist that he stay for dinner.
So-rim notices her missed calls from Han-gyul and softly says “I’m sorry” before throwing another worried look toward Chan-young’s direction. But it looks like Han-gyul has already figured out where she must be as he runs out of Sole.
Once dinner is set, So-rim keeps the compliments for Chan-young coming, subtly urging Grandma to do the same. But when Grandma asks why she calls him “Chan-young Oppa” and Han-gyul “Han-gyul-ssi” (the former being the more affectionate term), So-rim notices Chan-young tense up.
“Because Chan-young Oppa is my idol,” she responds carefully. “He’s someone I’ve always respected and someone I’m happy to be next to.” Awww. That’s sweet, but I’m pretty sure she just idol-zoned him.
Grandma asks about Han-gyul, and So-rim starts to say something but stops herself and instead says that he’s just a guy. But Chan-young smiles to himself, knowing better.
Just then, the doorbell rings, and they’re all surprised to see Han-gyul, out of breath. Before Chan-young can try to leave, Han-gyul quickly feigns hunger and sits them all back down. He looks at Chan-young from across the table, a quiet apology in his eyes.
Afterward, Han-gyul finds Chan-young in So-rim’s room, messing with her Chan-young plushie. He asks Han-gyul if being on stage was exactly how he’d imagined it and if he’d finally found the real Crude Play’s sound. Behind them, So-rim listens in.
“You said that Crude Play was my band,” Han-gyul says, placing a hand on Chan-young’s arm. “But when making our music, you were always there. I wrote it with the sound of your bass in mind.” Chan-young finally cracks a genuine smile and sadly places his plushie on So-rim’s bed.
Soo-yeon comes by to bring So-rim back to the dorms. She’s upset that So-rim took Chan-young home whilst in the middle of a scandal, but So-rim murmurs that she had no choice – she didn’t want to hear what Chan-young had tried to say earlier. Meanwhile, Chan-young gets the rest of the boys to the bar to apologize for bailing and to make an announcement: “I want to take a break from Crude Play.”
The boys try to convince him that he made a simple mistake, but Chan-young shakes his head, saying it was completely intentional. And for the first time in his career, it felt like he was able to make his own choice. Smiling at Han-gyul, he admits that he’s always felt like a replacement. Shi-hyun cuts in that they’ve never thought of him that way, and Chan-young says that he knows. He’d stuck around all this time because all of them – including Han-gyul – weren’t actually bad guys.
However, Chan-young says, that just made him greedier. If anything, it only deepened his desire for his position in the band to feel more real. But now, he’s decided that he doesn’t want his feelings to ruin the band or their music, so he begs them to let him go. Oh, that hurts. But I’m so proud of this boy right now.
The next day, Jin-hyuk is overcome with stress as he looks over all the new articles about the performance. The public has figured out that K is the same boy in the pictures that Se-jung leaked, and it’s only made So-rim’s so-called love triangle scandal worse. If that wasn’t already enough, Chan-young comes in to tell Jin-hyuk about his plans to take a break.
Surprisingly, Jin-hyuk’s entire business façade fades away. He apologizes to Chan-young, admitting that he’d been impatient because CEO Yoo had threatened to steal So-rim away.
Chan-young reminds Jin-hyuk that he was “impatient” back when he pushed him into Crude Play as well – because he’d been in a hurry to release Han-gyul’s music. Chan-young had understood him back then, but he asks what his excuse is now. “I don’t think it’s because of music,” he says pointedly. As Chan-young walks out, Jin-hyuk remembers Han-gyul asking how much they had to give up for him to be satisfied.
Han-gyul stops Chan-young as he tries to head out with his bass guitar. He’s reluctant to let Chan-young leave, but he’s unsure of what to say.
Finally, he asks if things might’ve been different between them if they’d met when he was already a producer and Chan-young was already a bassist. (Gah. Come on, don’t make me cry!) “No,” Chan-young answers. “It would’ve been the same. Because either way, we both would’ve met So-rim.” As a matter of fact, he continues, he’s off to see So-rim right now to tell her something.
It’s late by the time Chan-young reaches So-rim’s dorm, though So-rim is glad to see that he’s okay. Getting straight to the point, he guesses that she brought him to her house last night to keep his mouth shut. He starts to say that he likes her, only to pause at her discomfort. He smiles and decides that if she really doesn’t want to hear it, he won’t say anything. Instead, he tells her that it’s not her fault. She doesn’t understand what he’s referring to, but he doesn’t elaborate.
However, So-rim does find out the next day when news of Chan-young’s break from band activities comes out. She remembers his words last night, but the guilt is still written all over her face.
When Mush & Co. head over to Sole, they freeze at the sight of the company’s outer wall – it’s completely covered with death threats from fans, who are blaming So-rim for Chan-young’s break.
Soo-yeon urges the trio inside so she and other crew members can take care of the wall. Han-gyul comes up in the middle of their cleaning, horrified by all the harsh comments. Taking in his expression, Soo-yeon grabs So-rim again so that she and Han-gyul can have a few moments alone.
When Han-gyul asks if she’s okay, So-rim starts to lie and then admits that she’s not. But she’s starting to get used to it. He takes her hand and changes the subject to Chan-young – what did he tell her at her dorm? When she hesitates, Han-gyul tells her not to worry, since he has no intentions of ever letting her go.
She smiles and says that it’s not that: “He told me that it isn’t my fault… But I’m not so sure it isn’t.” Realizing what she means, Han-gyul lowers her head to his shoulder and assures her that it really isn’t her fault. She accepts his comfort, but she wonders why everything has to be so hard. She thought that if she could just pursue her dreams with her friends, she’d be happy.
Han-gyul and Shi-hyun head to the studio to talk – not realizing that Jin-hyuk is listening in the back – since both of them are concerned now that Chan-young has decided to leave Crude Play’s dorm as well. Yoo-na comes in to interrupt, having just seen the online comments about So-rim. She suggests to Han-gyul that if he wants the scandal to go away, they could tell the press that they’re dating instead. Laughing at his bewilderment, she insists she’s just trying to help him.
At that, Shi-hyun smirks and figures that she’s trying to use him. Han-gyul stops him there and tells Yoo-na that he doesn’t want to cover up the scandal like that, not when he knows So-rim wouldn’t like it. Hoping she understands, he takes his leave.
However, Shi-hyun holds Yoo-na back, sarcastically saying that if she wants to be on the news so badly, she could just ask a certain handsome vocalist. When she scoffs in his face, he says that that would be better than telling the press she’s dating a much older CEO. (Oh snap! Shots fired.) Yoo-na fumes that she’s doing this for music – making Jin-hyuk flinch in the back – but Shi-hyun merely tells her to stop bothering Han-gyul.
While at her desk, a certain headline catches Soo-yeon’s eye. She clicks on it to reveal an entire post comparing the leaked video of In-ho playing to the anonymous “Real Crude Play” videos. The fan who posted this is blatantly outing the band for using session musicians, and everyone – including Mush & Co. – see it all over the internet.
Crude Play is immediately brought in to Sole Music (and we see that their van is covered with markings like “Traitors” and “Get lost”). Inside, CEO Yoo has them watch the news report analyzing the details of the videos, making In-ho in particular look away in shame. She then declares that they’re going to deny the accusations.
Yoon argues that it wouldn’t be right since they’d just have to continue lying about their performances. But CEO Yoo shuts him up by asking why he debuted in the first place then – they could’ve declined their offer and started over on their own.
“Yes, I know,” Yoo turns to the rest of them. “You want to blame the adults here. You want to ask why we made you do all these things. But think carefully. Aren’t you the ones who made this choice?”
She’s sure that the boys thought they could figure it all out after they hit it big, but she tells them point-blank that they debuted the wrong way. And now it’s too late to regret it. She says this staring right at Han-gyul and Jin-hyuk, who both look absolutely crushed by her words.
Jin-hyuk goes after CEO Yoo as she leaves, telling her that she didn’t have to be so harsh on the boys. Yoo sighs in frustration, reminding him that he often switches between acting like a musician and a businessman. If he doesn’t stick to one route, she says, he could destroy the boys.
Back inside, the boys reassure Chan-young that he won’t be affected like the rest of them. They were afraid something like this might happen, so they made sure to keep his bass out of the anonymous videos. Wait. What??
Chan-young and Han-gyul look up in surprise, both of them realizing that Chan-young’s assumptions about the videos had been wrong all along. In-ho wonders if their fans will ever trust them again, but none of them are able to respond.
The next morning, Jin-hyuk meets with some reporters to make a statement. He says that the boys in the video are Crude Play and that the performance was different because they were doing a sound check. But he’s thrown back when one reporter suggests that the band play live at their upcoming press conference. CEO Yoo takes the reins on this one and smiles that the band will do just that.
The boys are obviously apprehensive about the idea, but Jin-hyuk promises to have them covered. And thankfully, Chan-young agrees to perform with them. Han-gyul says that he’ll be there too, but Shi-hyun doesn’t want that since it only concerns the band.
“That doesn’t matter,” Han-gyul persists. “I don’t want you guys taking the responsibility alone.” Before an argument ensues, Chan-young pulls Han-gyul out and tells him to let the boys do what they want.
Han-gyul insists that he can’t run away again, but Chan-young agrees with Shi-hyun – he’s not a part of this. Han-gyul and Chan-young never faked anything, so neither of them can truly understand what the others are going through. If Han-gyul said he did, it would only be a lie.
Chan-young heads back inside, leaving Han-gyul looking more lost than ever. He thinks back to things the boys have said, starting to think that he might not understand their feelings after all.
He then thinks of So-rim and gets the sudden urge to see her. He finds her in the empty concert hall, sitting by herself. When she sees him, she stands up to take the microphone and starts singing “It’s Okay” for him.
He takes a seat in front of her and tries to smile at her comforting gesture, but instead, it makes his eyes well up with tears.
So-rim immediately stops and sits down next to him, making him face her. Knowing she’s seen the news by now, he apologizes for keeping yet another secret from her. She asks if Jin-hyuk forced the boys to fake their playing, and Han-gyul is ashamed to say that they did it because he thought they could achieve their dreams that way.
He thought he could take care of his friends by writing them good songs, but in the end, he only hindered them from practicing and doing the thing they love. “I thought that was my way of being responsible for my friends,” he says, his voice shaking. “What should I have done, So-rim-ah? You’ve always caught me when I did something foolish. What is it that I can do for them now?”
So-rim doesn’t know what to say. She stands up to hold him as he cries, looking as if she so wishes she could somehow find the right words.
In-woo finds CEO Yoo still stressing over the many scandals she now has over her head. For once, In-woo skips his sarcastic comments and says that she should’ve never made the boys fake their playing. She’s taken aback by this, so she changes the subject to his new album.
But that’s the reason why In-woo is here: He’s decided that he doesn’t want to release an album after all. Yoo assumes that he’s rejecting the offer because of Han-gyul, but In-woo insists that he’s rejecting because it’s what he wants.
After he leaves, In-woo tries and fails to reach Han-gyul. He is happy, however, to see So-rim sitting outside. He’s amused by her surprise to be running into him “coincidentally” again, saying that it’s starting to become their thing. When he asks why she looks so down, she answers that the boy she likes had something bad happen to him and that she had no idea what to say to him.
In-woo smiles before asking if she wants to see his son’s photo. When he hands over his phone, So-rim’s eyes are as big as saucers. She stares at the photo of Han-gyul completely shell-shocked, especially since they don’t resemble each other. In-woo’s glad to see that she’s not mad. He explains that he just had so much fun making his son jealous, hee.
Crude Play practices “In Your Eyes” (since it’s the song they all know best), as well as the speech that they’ll be giving at the press conference. Shi-hyun gets through most of the lines, but pauses when he reaches the line that says they did nothing that they’re ashamed of. Sensing the boys’ uneasiness, Jin-hyuk calls it a day. Before they leave, he tells them not to worry since it’ll all pass. Shi-hyun gives him one last incredulous look.
Han-gyul stays behind to ask Jin-hyuk if he remembers what he said when they first met – that if they live their lives making music, skills don’t matter. Back then, Han-gyul had asked what does matter, to which Jin-hyuk replied for him to figure it out. Han-gyul admits that even now, he hasn’t quite figured it out. Jin-hyuk starts to say that it’s the money, but Han-gyul disagrees. He thinks that what matters is just living a life making music.
Shi-hyun joins Chan-young outside and sincerely apologizes for the things he said when Chan-young became a part of the band. Chan-young smiles and teases him for suddenly getting all emotional on him.
Han-gyul broods in the studio, remembering Shi-hyun’s face as he struggled to read the apology statement. He puts his headphones on and opens up “In Your Eyes,” the song bringing back memories to when they were just four carefree high school boys.
In the practice room, In-ho is also brooding as he sits in front of his drum set. Yoon comes in and suggests they practice together.
In-ho is curious if Yoon is nervous about the press conference. Yoon says he isn’t, but he did decide that after the press conference, he’s going to play for himself. He doesn’t care if it takes forever for them to release another album. Smiling, he tells In-ho that as a friend, he has to follow suit. They grin at each other and get to practicing.
At the same time, Han-gyul starts messing around with the track on his computer. He gives it a rest well after dark and when he heads out, he notices that In-ho is still in Sole. He calls out to him and In-ho quickly hides away what looks like… medicine? Boy, what are you doing?
In-ho says that he’s going out for a drive, so Han-gyul asks if they can go together and talk like they always used to. “Sorry,” In-ho says eerily. “I don’t think I can do that.” He makes up an excuse that he’s going to see his mother in Incheon. Han-gyul nods and starts to leave when In-ho reaches out to grasp onto his arm. “Han-gyul-ah, it’ll all turn out okay, right?” he asks.
Han-gyul assures him that of course it will. But the question seems to follow Han-gyul home; he tosses and turns in bed, whimpering, “I’m sorry, you guys” in his sleep. He wakes up in a cold sweat, only to get a frantic call from Shi-hyun. He tells Han-gyul to get to the hospital right away – In-ho has been in a car accident.
In-ho, nooo! Augh, it’s like these kids are purposely trying to make my blood pressure shoot sky-high. The easygoing drummer has shown signs of an increase in stress and anxiety, so I guess it wasn’t long before we saw him crack too. As was established, everyone here has their own problems, and they instinctively repress them, thinking their issues are small compared to those around them. But at the same time, they feel it so much that it’s all they can focus on.
I love that Liar has continued to make Sole Music the sole (har) entity that connects all of these characters while still giving us so much variety as to what bothers them. The drama doesn’t hold back on hurting them, and though it’s hard to watch, I appreciate how far it’s willing to go to represent the harsh reality of being a celebrity. Last week, I wanted to give everyone a hug, and now this week, I want to throw them all in a bubble and protect them from the outside world. If only it could be that easy.
I was genuinely nervous for Chan-young when he left the Musical Sketchbook performance – for a second, I thought he was contemplating suicide – but then it dawned on me what he was trying to do for Han-gyul and the boys, and my heart broke for about the hundredth time. When Han-gyul had his turnaround in Episode 9, it was like releasing the biggest sigh of relief, and I love that we had a very similar yet very different payoff with Chan-young here. Both boys needed little pushes of encouragement here and there from those around them, but when it came to making that final decision, they had to make it on their own. And I’m proud of Chan-young for finally deciding to take So-rim’s feelings into account and not make her uncomfortable by confessing. I feel like he’s finally respecting the fact that she has a boyfriend, and for that, I can finally respect him.
I think Chan-young will be working on his self-confidence for a while – it’s a process, as it is with everyone – but it was so great to see him start by opening up to the boys and releasing what must’ve been years’ worth of pent-up anger. I think it’s clear that he’s always liked Han-gyul, but all of his negative feelings toward him just happened to outweigh the positive. At least now, I see a chance for Chan-young to let the positive back in.
We’ve had Han-gyul’s turnaround and Chan-young’s turnaround thus far, so it’s about time we also get Jin-hyuk’s. All three have been equally frustrating, but we’ve held on to all of them throughout the entire drama because they showed a vulnerability and an endearing ignorance that grounded them into reality. It’s even more interesting with Jin-hyuk, since he’s the bigshot CEO. In this episode, he was truly surprised to see what this business has done to him. Surely, he must’ve been as passionate about music as Han-gyul and his friends when he was their age. But like Chan-young mentioned, Jin-hyuk has seemed to have lost that passion. Once you enter the industry, “working for the music” and “working for the money” start to blur together, as we’ve seen with people like In-woo. I wonder if Han-gyul’s last words to Jin-hyuk will help him see a little more clearly.
Our Crude Play boys have dealt with many years of manipulation, but things are about to change now that that’s led to someone actually getting hurt. Whether or not it was intentional on In-ho’s part, things have to change before it gets any worse. Han-gyul has made so much progress up until now, but I can see him start to bottle up that guilt again. He took responsibility for the band when they got signed, and it saddens me that he feels like he has to continue doing that now. I don’t think he’s regressing, per se; his past experiences have just wired him to think that way. It’s another ongoing process is all.
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