The Liar and His Lover: Episode 14
When this show breaks your heart, you can be sure that it’ll heal it again with hugs and kisses. After the most conflicted characters in the story hit rock bottom, there was nowhere to go but up. However, the journey is both painful and poignant. While Chan-young and Jin-hyuk deal with the fallout of their actions, Han-gyul finds out exactly how badly his years of passive compliance have hurt his friends. So-rim reaches her own point of realization as the music she loves threatens to separate her from her friends. Ultimately though, both bands have ties of friendship than run deeper than any amount of anger or resentment, and that’s exactly why we love them.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Han-gyul rushes to the hospital and finds that In-ho is in surgery. Shi-hyun tells him that while In-ho’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, he fractured his arm. Later, the doctor tells them that In-ho won’t be able to play drums for the next six months.
When In-ho regains consciousness, he sees the whole band in his room watching him with concern. The boys and Jin-hyuk sit in the waiting area and wonder how the accident happened. The band’s manager apologizes for not taking better care of In-ho, though he knew he was operating on very little sleep.
Yoon feels guilty for letting In-ho drive back alone last night, saying that he had been uncharacteristically stubborn about it. Chan-young points out that they should just be grateful that In-ho is still with them.
As the news breaks on TV the next morning, Soo-yeon calls up Shi-hyun to ask about In-ho. Mush & Co. listen over her shoulder, asking if they can come visit. Shi-hyun tells them not to, since reporters were hovering in the lobby. Gyu-sun feels awful that a video leaked from his phone caused all this trouble.
When the police come to take In-ho’s statement about the accident, he says that he must have dozed off for a moment due to lack of sleep. This matches the evidence already gathered by the police, and since In-ho didn’t injure anyone, they reassure Jin-hyuk that no charges will be pressed.
CEO Yoo calls up Jin-hyuk and asks if In-ho had been driving drunk. She’s astonished to hear that In-ho had been suffering from stress-induced insomnia for the past week and tells Jin-hyuk to cancel the press conference and bring the boys to her office.
Once off the phone, she thinks over the matter and immediately makes a call to a reporter she knows. She spins a tale of malicious rumors hurting the pride of musicians and causing them so much stress that they lost sleep for days.
At her office, CEO Yoo tells Jin-hyuk to release a statement after In-ho feels better and says with relief that the incident takes the focus off their scandal. To the boys, she says that they no longer have to explain themselves, and they look at her with bewilderment. When everyone gets up to leave, CEO Yoo asks Crude Play’s manager to stay behind. What is she cooking up now?
Han-gyul finds In-ho’s mother outside his hospital room and coaxes her into having lunch with him. Over food, she admits that she hadn’t called In-ho often so that he wouldn’t sense her concern, but now she regrets that she hadn’t asked to see him. Han-gyul is taken aback at this, since In-ho had told him that his mother had wanted to see him the night before.
Mush & Co. sit listlessly in the practice room, wondering what will happen next for them. With Chan-young gone and no one talking to them, they feel powerless over their own futures. So-rim tells her friends to focus on practice for now.
As Shi-hyun, Yoon, and Chan-young head out to the hospital, they see Mush & Co. practicing, and Shi-hyun suggests they stop by to update them on In-ho. Chan-young makes up an excuse to avoid going in with them.
At the hospital, all the Crude Play boys gather around In-ho’s bed, refusing to leave his side. They tell In-ho that the press conference was canceled and that they won’t have to perform live anymore. When they turn on the news, a reporter talks about the band, adding that In-ho’s insomnia was caused by the scandal.
The report includes an interview with their band’s manager, who confirms that In-ho hadn’t been sleeping for days. Yoon wonders when he had time to give that interview, surprised at this turn of events. But In-ho just looks calmly at the TV and says that maybe this will make the public more sympathetic to them. Everyone looks at him in surprise, while Han-gyul watches In-ho with a blank face.
Just like In-ho said, the public turns favorable, and the next batch of articles written about the band are a lot less critical. CEO Yoo shows these to Jin-hyuk and says that this isn’t the first time she’s cleaned up after him. She announces that she’ll be personally speaking to all the artists he manages at Sole Music. At his protestation, she asks if he wants to stay in his position after everything that has happened.
Walking out of her office building, Jin-hyuk thinks back to every hurtful word he’s said to Crude Play. He remembers how he cut them down when they tried to talk to him about playing their own music, and then thinks of In-ho saying that he couldn’t sleep for a week. He rests against a pillar, emotions welling up inside him.
CEO Yoo arrives at Sole Music to talk to Mush & Co. She listens to them perform “Shiny Boy,” then asks for another song. Soo-yeon says that they haven’t been able to practice “Waiting For You” enough, so CEO Yoo asks the boys to come out, and for So-rim to sing.
At that moment, So-rim realizes that she’s at a crossroads. CEO Yoo’s own words ring in her ears: “You’ll have to make a choice.” So, she insists that the boys be allowed to play, even though they’re imperfect. Giving her friends an encouraging nod, she sings Han-gyul’s song.
CEO Yoo compliments them on the song and smilingly tells So-rim that they’ll be talking soon. On her way out, she asks to speak to Soo-yeon. Sitting on the roof together, Jin-woo observes that CEO Yoo had been angry at them. So-rim tries to reassure them, but Gyu-sun interrupts that she was annoyed by their playing.
Soo-yeon comes out with their phones and tells them that they only have to live together for another week. They look at each other with concern and ask why. Soo-yeon just says that it’s CEO Yoo’s orders, but she’s clearly uncomfortable with this development.
Han-gyul visits In-ho at the hospital, and finding him alone, he offers to peel some fruit for him. They joke around, until In-ho says that so long as his hand stays out of commission, they won’t have to perform to prove themselves. He tries to laugh it away at Han-gyul’s serious expression, but Han-gyul asks him not to make light of this again.
He also asks In-ho about his plans to visit his mother on the night of the accident. In-ho laughs that he must have been really tired, since he can’t remember what he told Han-gyul. Han-gyul doesn’t look like he believes him, but his dad arrives just then to lighten their mood.
Later, as In-woo and Han-gyul walk down the hallway, he asks Han-gyul if he’s all right. He’s talking about the proxy musician scandal, and Han-gyul asks how he could be all right when he had been using his friends to get his music out, just like his dad had once told him. In-woo tries to say that he hadn’t meant his words as a criticism, but Han-gyul asks him not to say anything more for now, since he has a lot on his mind.
At the end of their break, when Mush & Co. heads back in to practice, So-rim excuses herself to make a call. Jin-woo follows her to listen in, while Han-gyul stands on the hospital’s roof and thinks about the puzzle pieces around In-ho that were creating a disturbing picture in his head. When So-rim calls, he tells her the truth — that he suspects In-ho of having orchestrated the accident.
At her confusion, Han-gyul starts to apologize for talking nonsense, but So-rim stops him and says that he can tell her anything. “Even if I can’t give you answers, I can be by your side,” she tells him, promising to be with him no matter what. Jin-woo hears this with a grave face, then turns and leaves.
When So-rim gets to the practice room, Jin-woo asks who she called. At her hesitation, he berates her for keeping secrets. When she asks if she doesn’t have secrets of his own, he looks at her and says that he keeps a secret so that they can stay friends, while she keeps a secret for someone else’s sake.
Jin-woo’s frustrations coalesce as he yells that he started to play the guitar for her, but now, no one wants to hear him play, and she’s drifting away from him. He storms out of the room just as Soo-yeon arrives, and So-rim can only watch, unable to follow him.
Back at their dorm that night, So-rim asks Gyu-sun what was going on with Jin-woo. Gyu-sun doesn’t want to tell her, so he just says that she’s being very thick. Jin-woo ignores her as he leaves the house to take a walk, but thinking of his agonized outburst from the morning, So-rim follows.
Hearing her call out, Jin-woo starts running, but her voice reminds him of the first time they met. It was at their school’s playground. So-rim and Gyu-sun had come up to him to ask him to play with them. (Omo! Little Gyu-sun is a tiny replica of older Gyu-sun!) He had been reluctant, but So-rim had smiled and called out his name.
In the present, as So-rim calls him again, Jin-woo slows down and turns to face her. While present-day So-rim looks up at him with remorse, Jin-woo thinks of the laughing younger So-rim who had coaxed him into playing with them.
So-rim asks if he’s very angry with her and admits that he’s right. She kept her relationship with Han-gyul a secret because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to see him otherwise. She pleads with him to understand, because she really likes Han-gyul.
With his eyes fixed on her face, Jin-woo asks what’s so great about him, and So-rim just says that being with him makes her happy and makes her smile. He nods and says that he forgives her then. Memories of So-rim laughing as she sped down the road on her cycle flood him, and he says: “Because, I… I like your smiling face.” (Oof. Right in the heart!)
Grinning at her relief, he tells her not to make that ugly face, since he’s only friends with her because of her smile. She lightly punches his chest, and he laughs. Gyu-sun watches them from afar, shaking his head at the sudden maturity in his friend.
Jin-woo walks So-rim back to their dorm, then tells her that he’ll be back after buying some milk. Out of her sight, Jin-woo wipes away his tears. Gyu-sun catches up with him and compliments his friend on being awesome. Jin-woo just cries about how much he likes So-rim though, and the two friends end up sitting at a park.
Jin-woo declares that now that he’s a man, he’ll become unemotional. Gyu-sun says that there are other women in the world besides Se-jung and So-rim, but Jin-woo cries out, “Not for me,” which embarrasses Gyu-sun. Hahaha. He turns to Gyu-sun and says that he’s the only friend he has in the world. Gyu-sun sniffs that it’s the same for him, and the boys hug it out. (Is it just me, or did they almost kiss? Hee.)
When they get back to the dorm, the boys refuse to talk to So-rim and shut her out of their room. Pfft.
CEO Yoo meets Shi-hyun and talks to him about holding a press conference, so reporters can see In-ho’s injury for themselves. He asks why they’re talking in the absence of Jin-hyuk, and CEO Yoo tells him that Jin-hyuk will be stepping away—she’ll be handling Crude Play from now on.
He gets back to Sole Music in a thoughtful mood and collapses on a beanbag. When Soo-yeon comes in, he tells her that he might have a fever. As she checks his temperature against hers with concern, he laughs at her for being gullible. Soo-yeon about his teasing, and he confesses that he’s just furious.
When she asks if he’s all right, Shi-hyun says that the leader of Crude Play has to be all right. Soo-yeon points out that she didn’t ask the leader of Crude Play, and Shi-hyun smiles sweetly at her. Then his brows furrow as he remembers a similar moment in their past. He says that they were preparing for a festival together, and when he was lying down, Soo-yeon had come up and asked if he was all right.
Soo-yeon remembers that day too. Shi-hyun had been lying on a table with his eyes closed when Soo-yeon came into the room. She had touched his forehead, smiled, and slipped a note into his jacket pocket. She looks at him now with hurt in her eyes.
As he begins to speak, she gets up to leave. He catches her arm and tells her with frustration that she’s confusing him. “Sometimes you look so pretty, and sometimes you just look cold. I don’t know what I can do to make you love me!”
Soo-yeon looks at him in surprise, but he says that she was like this in high school too. “I thought you liked me, but then you turned so cold that I couldn’t even talk to you.” Soo-yeon is completely taken aback. She argues that he was the one to reject her feelings by throwing her letter in a trash can.
Shi-hyun clearly doesn’t know anything about a letter, and when she says that she’d put it in his jacket, he says that he’d lost it on the day of the festival. (Is that the proposal meant for Shi-hyun that Yoon received? Did Yoon take Shi-hyun’s jacket by mistake?!)
Shi-hyun starts laughing at the utter silliness of their misunderstanding, but Soo-yeon is just hurt. She thinks of all the wasted years and turns to leave in embarrassment. Shi-hyun catches her hand again and pulls her close. Cupping the back of her head, he pulls her into a kiss. Eeeeeee!
CEO Yoo takes Yoo-na to a shoe store and buys her everything she likes. She talks about Yoo-na joining Who Entertainment, and when Yoo-na brings up Jin-hyuk, says that there will be a change in management, and Yoo-na should think about what shoes she’ll be most comfortable in.
On a roll now, CEO Yoo visits In-woo at his music bar to ask him to start working on the album. He plays out an impromptu song in answer: “If you squeeze your feet into shoes that don’t fit/Your feet will hurt/Why not just take them off?/Am I supposed to stand the pain?” (Pfft. These two and their shoe metaphors.)
CEO Yoo offers to have Han-gyul examine their contract if he can’t trust her, but In-woo says that that’s not what Han-gyul wants. Yoo argues that Han-gyul is more worldly than his father thinks: “Look at Crude Play. A truth that can hurt a lot of people should be kept silent. Your son is taking advantage of that too.”
In-woo doesn’t look up from his guitar, but he disagrees. “Those guys still have a sense of shame… sunlike us.” CEO Yoo looks away, unable to argue.
Han-gyul can’t stop thinking about the night of In-ho’s accident. He remembers how In-ho used to be in school before they debuted. When the gang was huddled over a laptop, second-guessing themselves before sending a demo of their song to an agency, In-ho had clicked “send” while the others were distracted.
Clearly nervous himself, he had still told Han-gyul that when you’re uncertain, you should stay positive. The boys had clasped their hands in prayer then (while Shi-hyun muttered the lyrics of song, ha).
Present day In-ho had a different philosophy though: “Who knows? They might feel sorry for us and cut us some slack.” Han-gyul recalls this, along with how shifty he looked when Jin-hyuk had asked him if he dozed off.
Han-gyul visits In-ho in the hospital and finds Mush & Co. visiting. So-rim instantly brightens up, and In-ho teases her about it. Everyone notices how tense Han-gyul looks, and when In-ho says that there’s no need for him to be worried, he snaps. “Why do you look so okay?” he asks In-ho, pointing out that there is plenty to be worried about, not the least of which is his injury.
Han-gyul leaves, and So-rim follows him out. In-ho asks their manager to give Han-gyul a ride. Outside the hospital, So-rim catches up with Han-gyul and asks what happened. He tells her that he can’t get certain thoughts out of his mind.
Before he can say more, their manager arrives with the car, and Han-gyul agrees to take the lift. During the car ride, he finds out that CEO Yoo had arranged the interview with the reporters that had swung public sympathy their way. He also finds out that the manager had bought him sleeping pills on the day of the accident. With mounting worry, Han-gyul asks his manager to take him to Sole Music.
Jin-hyuk sits in his office thinking about CEO Yoo’s intentions towards Mush & Co. It’s clear that she’s only interested in So-rim and doesn’t want “another Crude Play” on her hands. It’s then that he gets a call from Yoo-na, but he doesn’t pick up. She looks at her phone and thinks back to Jin-hyuk telling her that he has too much on his mind having to try to protect what he thought was already his.
Chan-young is working on “Shiny Boy” at home when he gets a call from Jin-hyuk. When he reaches Sole Music, he’s reluctant to sit down, but Jin-hyuk promises that the conversation is important. He explains that CEO Yoo wants to disband Mush & Co. and train So-rim separately. When Chan-young asks why he’s telling him this, Jin-hyuk says: “I think you’re the only producer who can lead Mush & Co. without breaking them up.”
Han-gyul visits the security control room in Sole and asks to see the CCTV footage of the night of In-ho’s accident. He finds what he’s looking for — the moment when, by the vending machines, In-ho had thrown something away to hide it from Han-gyul as he approached.
Han-gyul dashes to the room with the machines and finds a strip of sleeping pills exactly where In-ho had thrown them. He heads back to In-ho and tells him that he just wanted to see him. With a sad smile, Han-gyul says that he just realizes that he’d never had a fight with In-ho. Because In-ho suppressed his feelings, none of them ever gave a thought to how he’s dealing with things.
In-ho tries to shrug it off, but Han-gyul asks why he did it. “Why did you drive while on pills?” In-ho denies it, but Han-gyul pulls out the strip he found and tells him that it was captured on CCTV.
As Han-gyul gets angry, In-ho finally yells back that he didn’t take the pills. He admits that he thought about it, tried to do it, but Han-gyul had come in at the right time. He didn’t go through with it, but the accident happened anyway because he was so distracted.
Han-gyul isn’t satisfied, wanting to know why he would consider taking the pills at all. In-ho says again that Han-gyul should forget everything, since it all worked out in the end. This frustrates Han-gyul as he shouts that driving on pills could have killed him, but In-ho shouts back that it was the only way he could stop the live performance.
Han-gyul is stunned that In-ho would go to this extreme because of the press conference, but In-ho says that they would have been exposed since he can never play as well as his proxy drummer. Han-gyul argues that they would have just paid the price for lying, but In-ho cries that he didn’t have the courage to ruin his friends with his own hands.
With that heartbreaking confession, In-ho gives in to tears, and Han-gyul envelops his friend in a hug. Han-gyul apologizes and promises to take care of it: “I’ll take responsibility, so don’t worry anymore.”
So-rim sits in her practice room thinking of Han-gyul’s tense face at the hospital. She gets a call and immediately leaves to meet Han-gyul in the recording room. He’s sitting there alone, thinking of his friends when they first started out. At So-rim’s arrival, he completely breaks down.
Instinctively, So-rim hugs him as tears pour down his face. Holding her tightly, Han-gyul cries that everything is his fault. “I hurt everyone.”
How does this show do this to me? I want to hug every character here — even the ones whose actions have caused the most misery. It’s not a drama I would scream from the rooftops about, yet I don’t remember the last time a show made me feel this happy and content. It’s the people that populate the story, I suppose. They are horrid and wonderful, helpless and powerful. And every one of them has a journey I want to be a part of.
We’ve been told repeatedly that Han-gyul’s decision to go along with Jin-hyuk’s methods has hurt the band, yet the truth of that has never hit harder than today. Han-gyul spent the entire episode worrying that In-ho was suicidal, but the truth of the matter is that In-ho has lost all confidence in his ability to play the instrument he loves, and Han-gyul is directly responsible for that. For years, he told his bandmates that they aren’t good enough, that all they have to do is hand-sync, because their own music isn’t worth listening to. When he didn’t say it in words, he said it in his actions.
We can blame Jin-hyuk for being money-minded and shortsighted, but he was never friends with the Crude Play boys. Han-gyul was. Yet, just like Jin-hyuk, he only thought of how to cover up their flaws, not how to encourage them to be better. The heartbreaking part is that Han-gyul did it while believing that it was the only way he could debut with his friends. But it’s an excuse a green musician in the industry could use, not an experienced composer who knows the ins and outs of how this world works. Before today, I don’t think Han-gyul ever really understood how badly his silence had hurt his friends.
Which brings me to CEO Yoo’s sneering comment to In-woo about Han-gyul being worldly. When Yoon had protested against lying to their fans, CEO Yoo had silenced him by pointing out how many people their “truth” could end up hurting. It was the same argument that Jin-hyuk used to shut the boys up when he’d found out about their “Real Crude Play” videos. It’s an effective argument, and one that has merit. But it’s also a clever distraction from the boys’ real questions: Is it right to take credit for skills they don’t possess? Is it right to lie to those who admire and support them?
It’s clear that CEO Yoo understands this well. She also knows that her emotional blackmail on the boys would not work unless some of them wanted the status quo to remain. Han-gyul is particularly guilty of it because he only saw the scandal that could harm his friends, not the danger of a lie that was already eating away at them. CEO Yoo may think that Han-gyul went along with their plans of denying the lie because he was jaded, but I think he did it for the same reason he has done it before — he thinks it’s the best that he can do for his friends.
Those friends have had enough now, though. And I was glad to see that Chan-young isn’t the only one done with the way things have been until now. Yoon and Shi-hyun have both clearly reached their own turning points. And while In-ho is scared now, I believe that he just needs the support of his friends and a chance to show what he can really do. That’s the way Han-gyul can really help his friends, and now he finally understands them well enough to have their back in the fight to come.
This episode was chock-full of beautiful moments that warmed my heart. A long-awaited one was Shi-hyun and Soo-yeon’s confession. How characteristic for these two to have loved each other for years, all the time believing that the other doesn’t reciprocate. I’m convinced that this is the confession story Han-gyul was telling So-rim about, and someone needs to box Yoon’s ears for delaying that kiss for five whole years!
The other one, of course, was when Jin-woo realized that he likes So-rim too much to make her sad. That boy is seriously bad for this noona’s heart. For all my initial whining about this show’s editing, Jin-woo’s memories of a laughing So-rim intercutting with the sadness of present-day So-rim was beautifully done. And that walk with Gyu-sun, when all of Jin-woo’s maturity fell away, and he wept like a little boy! The end of a puppy love has never been shown in a drama with more sympathy, I think. Even as the two boys cried over their failed first loves, I never loved them more.
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