Who Are You–School 2015: Episode 3
I really love Kim So-hyun in this. I’m already a fan of the School franchise for its super earnest stories about friendship and teen angst, but she grounds everything with an emotional center that completely sucks me in. What a great project for her to spread her wings in.
To say that Eun-bi’s had a rough couple of weeks would be an understatement, but her life’s about to take another unexpected turn. Oh, and just as a reminder: At this point in the story, everyone, including Eun-bi herself, thinks that she’s Eun-byul. We’re sticking to original names since otherwise it’s even more confusing than twins switching lives without knowing it, but thankfully Kim So-hyun plays the two characters so differently that in the moment it’s not hard to keep track of at all.
SONG OF THE DAY
Baechigi – “바람에 날려” (Throw it to the Wind) for the School 2015 OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
In a flashback to one week after Eun-byul has gone missing, her best friend Song-joo walks into class and finds a memorial flower wrapped nicely and sitting on Eun-byul’s empty desk. She whips around and demands to know who put it there, but the class is unresponsive.
They don’t seem to care much about Eun-byul’s disappearance (or the prank implying that she died, for that matter), and some of her classmates suggest that the point might’ve been to rile Song-joo up. She smashes the flower underfoot and tells them they’ve gone too far.
In another to-camera interview, the bullied girl in their class, Seo Yeong-eun, says that nowadays there aren’t gangsters and bullies in school—students are simply indifferent towards each other. When asked about Eun-byul, she shifts her gaze downward and says that they were friends once but they’re not close, and then she trails off and says she’d rather not talk about her.
And then we return to the scene that closed out the last episode, with Yeong-eun accusing Eun-bi of stealing her mother’s necklace. Eun-bi is more shocked than anyone when said necklace is found in her locker, and when the teachers demand her presence in the office, Yi-an suddenly wrist-grabs her out of there.
Eun-bi yanks free when they’re outside and asks what he’s doing. He doesn’t really have a plan or a reason for dragging her out here, but he sighs in exasperation that he was just frustrated seeing her so scared and meek, so unlike her.
Eun-bi yells back in frustration that she doesn’t know what’s like her and what isn’t, and Yi-an adopts a more reassuring approach. He puts his hands on her shoulders and says that people might tell her all sort of conflicting things, “But the only person you need to trust is you, Go Eun-byul.”
He adds that she’s often rude and insufferable, but she’d never do something so petty like steal someone else’s stuff. Eun-bi’s eyes widen at that, desperate to cling to his assessment: “Really? Can I trust you?” He nods.
Teacher Kim gets Yeong-eun’s side of the story: Eun-byul demanded money, so Yeong-eun stole her mother’s necklace, only to have it stolen from her own locker. She isn’t interested making a fuss now that the necklace has been returned, and Teacher Kim says that they can’t really take the next step with her amnesia and all.
Yeong-eun asks if it’s because he can’t imagine the star pupil being a bully, but he insists it isn’t that. He lets Eun-bi off the hook for now, since she can’t exactly do any explaining in her condition. Song-joo wonders why it blew over so quickly, suddenly remembering that flower from last week.
The girls see Yeong-eun walk by with her mother, who stomps into the school and demands a formal hearing into the theft. Yeong-eun asks if she wants to advertise to the world that she’s the pathetic loser outcast at school, and asks what’s with her sudden good mother cosplay.
When the dean of students yells at Yeong-eun not to speak to her mother that way, Mom in turn yells at the dean and tells him to apologize to her daughter. Ugh. Thankfully Yeong-eun just storms out, leaving both teachers at a loss for how to deal with her.
Yeong-eun ignores Eun-bi’s calls asking to talk, and later that night Teacher Kim shares a drink with the dean (I have a really hard time not thinking of Pinocchio when these guys are together).
Teacher Kim is the realist and tells him to sometimes just let things go because teachers have to make a living, while the dean wants to make a difference and sighs that his hands are tied when teachers have no say.
When Teacher Ahn walks into the pojangmacha to order her usual, she’s horrified to see her crush Teacher Kim sitting there, and refuses to join them for a drink. She leaves so abruptly and awkwardly that the dean ponders it for a moment and comes up with: “Do you think she likes me?”
Yeong-eun is torn when Eun-bi keeps trying to contact her, and she remembers Eun-byul coming over to introduce herself at the beginning of the school year. They were friendly then, but Yeong-eun ignores the call now.
Eun-bi heads to Mom’s store to pick her up, and runs into a woman who recognizes her. She says that she’s Soo-in’s mom, our Mystery Girl who was texting Eun-byul before she went missing. Mom visibly stiffens when she sees Soo-in’s mom, and when Eun-bi asks about Soo-in, Mom says a little too quickly that they were briefly friends in grade school and nothing more.
In the morning, Yi-an takes his usual jogging route past Eun-bi’s house, and she arrives after her bike ride just in time to see him jog past and then jog backward to linger some more. How cute.
She tries to go in but he yanks her by the hoodie and insists that she needs another lap, so they take a walk by the river. She thanks him for the stuff he said to her the other day, though she admits that the more she thought about it, it pissed her off that he called her rude and insufferable.
He notices that the wound on her neck healed quickly and didn’t even leave a scar, and Eun-bi says that she doesn’t remember having a cut on her neck. Yi-an brushes it off thinking it must not have been that deep, but it seems to niggle at him.
Yeong-eun’s mother gets the school hearing that she wants, and because Eun-bi has no memory of the events, Teacher Kim is tasked with questioning the students to get the full story. Eun-bi overhears a group of girls gossiping about her in the bathroom, wondering if she really stole the necklace and if she’s faking her amnesia too.
She comes out of the stall more confused than ever about what kind of girl she was before her accident, and asks into the mirror: “Go Eun-byul, just what kind of person are you?” Eun-byul smirks back at her from inside the mirror.
She goes out to the roof to brood, where she runs into troublemaker Tae-gwang playing with a remote-control car. She sighs that she’d like to swing down on a rope like he did at the hospital, and he asks teasingly if she’s going to do it in that skirt. Boys.
She asks if they were friends, and he says no, then lies that she used to like him and follow him around all the time. He sees his father arriving down below and confesses that he’s the school board director’s troubled son, and Eun-bi assumes that they’re all lies and that he’s making fun of her.
As she walks away, he calls out to her that he broke her locker door back in the day, but she cursed at him and he took it, and that was the one and only time they spoke to each other. When she rolls her eyes and spins around without acknowledging him, he shouts that that’s exactly what their interactions were always like—her ignoring him.
One by one, the students involved in the noraebang incident get questioned about their relationship to Yeong-eun, and they all swear that they don’t bully her into paying—she just always offers to take them out and often buys them gifts. Song-joo insists that Eun-byul wouldn’t be involved with the necklace, because she never once accepted any of Yeong-eun’s presents.
Class bully Doo-shik stomps up to the rooftop to threaten Tae-gwang some more. It’s amusing that he says they should stay out of each other’s way, when he’s the one who came up here. He stomps on Tae-gwang’s toy car for good measure, and that’s the thing that really pains him.
The Mommy Mafia meets for coffee, where their leader announces that Eun-bi did score the highest on the midterms, but she’s also about to be involved in a disciplinary hearing, so she’s making an exception.
Shi-jin’s mother lights up to hear that her daughter might have a chance to join their coveted study group, though the leader makes sure to add as a warning that Shi-jin was spotted at the police station the other night. Mom gets snubbed once again when she joins them, and doesn’t understand the barb about giving Eun-bi more of her attention during this difficult time.
The popular girls convene in the hallway, and Shi-jin lets it slip that they did use Yeong-eun like a free ATM, which confirms Eun-bi’s suspicions that something wasn’t right about the scenario.
She feels bad when she notices that Yeong-eun overheard them, and spends all of lunch feeling bad. To make matters worse, two other girls start gossiping about her at the next table over, and Song-joo flips their trays and warns them to keep their mouths shut.
The moment triggers a flash of memory, and Eun-bi suddenly remembers being the victim in a very similar scenario. It shakes her up, but she doesn’t know what to make of it.
At home, Eun-bi and Mom make cucumber face masks and Mom notes that it’s been a really long time since they laughed with each other like this. She heard about the necklace incident and Eun-bi confesses that she didn’t want to disappoint Mom, just in case she’s guilty and can’t remember. Mom has faith in her though, and tells her to face things head-on.
Yeong-eun dreads going to school in the morning, and meanwhile Song-joo overhears another girl saying that Yeong-eun was the one who put the memorial flower on Eun-byul’s desk.
The teachers discuss how to proceed with the hearing, since in Yeong-eun’s case, no one demanded outright that she pay for things, but she voluntarily did so knowing that it would solve her bullying issues. It’s a difficult situation to prove, but they proceed with the hearing for Eun-bi, and the announcement puts Yeong-eun on edge more than anyone.
Song-joo and the other popular girls (minus Eun-bi) corner her in the library to ask why she’s taking it this far when she’s the one who offers to pay for things when they go out.
Yeong-eun scoffs at their obvious refusal to admit the truth, and tells them that she knows what’s implied when they ask her to hang out—they’re not friends, and she knows her money is the only reason they ever ask her to go anywhere.
As tears stream down her face, she admits that she did it anyway because she was that desperate for friends, and that she worked so hard to be asked to join them at all. But now, she’s changed her mind and thinks they should be punished after all.
Yeong-eun doesn’t return to class until late that night when it’s dark, and Eun-bi catches her at the lockers. She tells Yeong-eun that the door to hers was broken long before, then asks if they didn’t switch lockers before the class trip.
Yeong-eun is shocked, thinking that Eun-bi has gotten her memories back, and Eun-bi opens up Yeong-eun’s locker to find her own books stashed inside.
Eun-bi asks if framing her was something she did in the moment because of the locker mix-up, or if she did it on purpose because she doesn’t like her. Yeong-eun admits that she doesn’t like her, and wanted to ruin her record and her pride, and let her know what it feels like to be embarrassed in front of others.
Eun-bi asks why, and all she answers is, “I thought you got your memories back.”
As she waits for the bus, Yeong-eun remembers Eun-byul stopping her at the movies once, where she insisted on paying for her own ticket. Eun-byul asks what it is that Yeong-eun is buying—movies, dinner, friends, or time?
Yeong-eun is embarrassed to have it laid out so baldly like that, when Eun-byul says that she’s buying the time to have other people by her side. But she refuses to sell even ten minutes of her time to Yeong-eun, and goes to rejoin her friends. Back in the present, Yeong-eun breaks down in tears.
Eun-bi hangs out by the pool with Yi-an and tells him that he was right about her being mean and cold, but worries about the disciplinary hearing since apologizing with no memory seems hollow and pointless.
He starts splashing her with water to make her feel better, and it breaks into an all-out water war with hoses. They laugh and play and fight, and it’s adorable.
She trips as she’s backing up though, and it sends her flying into the deep end of the pool. Sinking in the water triggers another wave of memories, but this time they’re sharp and clear: Eun-bi getting bullied day in and day out, her tears as she stood on that bridge before deciding to jump, and then… a second figure in the water diving in after her.
It WAS Eun-byul who saved her! Eun-bi’s eyes dart open in the present, as the memories flood back. Yi-an dives into the pool and carries her out, and she’s okay and breathing, but traumatized from the things she’s just discovered.
Yi-an has to chase her down to wrap a jacket around her as she leaves the school, and she looks up at him as giant tears roll down her face.
She comes home still in a daze and takes a look around the room like it’s foreign to her. How much does she remember? Some of it? All? She starts ransacking the room until she finds the notebook that was in her luggage, and flips through it until she finds the picture of the orphanage. There she is, as Eun-bi, smiling in the picture.
The truth—not only her identity but all of the pain of being bullied—hits her hard, and she sends one of the wooden block towers crashing down in shock. Ugh, it was terrible enough to live through it the first time; now she has to re-live all the things that drove her to suicide?
Mom comes in and is so used to getting the cold shoulder from Eun-byul that she doesn’t think much of Eun-bi’s silence. She apologizes for intruding and turns to go, but Eun-bi backhugs her, clinging desperately to Mom as she cries.
Eun-bi contemplates her nametag at school, and when she gets called to the office for her disciplinary hearing, she tells them that she got her memories back. At the same time, Yeong-eun tells Teacher Kim that she lied because she panicked, and they head to the hearing to tell the truth.
But when they open the door, Eun-bi is telling the teachers that she remembers everything, and she’s guilty. She admits to bullying Yeong-eun, and when asked what she said, Eun-bi gets a faraway look in her eyes: “The scariest words I know: I’m not going to be friends with you anymore.”
Yeong-eun is utterly floored to hear Eun-bi describing exactly how she feels. She says that there’s nothing worse than feeling like everyone hates you, and that it doesn’t take much: “Just one person. But why won’t anyone come be by my side?”
The hearing ends with compromise on both sides, and Yeong-eun is greeted out in the hall by Tae-gwang’s remote-control car, bandaged up from all the beatings it took and wearing a “follow me” sign.
She follows the car to her locker, and opens it up to find a card from Eun-bi inside. She writes that the only one who can take the thorns out of your heart is a friend, and asks if Yeong-eun will hold her hand. Inside is a pillow with their class picture on it.
Yeong-eun is overcome with emotion at the gesture, and from across the way, Eun-bi watches with Tae-gwang by her side. He’s upset that his toy car died, and she says it did a good deed on its way to the grave.
At home, Yeong-eun stops locking her door and gives Mom her credit card back. She says that she wants to transfer schools and have a clean start, and make friends the right way.
Eun-bi leaves the house for school, and curiously leaves her phone behind. On her desk is a diary, and a letter for Mom, “From Lee Eun-bi.” Oh no! Is she planning to leave?
Teacher Kim tells the class that Yeong-eun transferred schools by choice, and that she already said her goodbyes, which is news to them. He asks if any of them knew that Yeong-eun was a really talented artist, and then one by one the kids open their lockers to find hand-drawn portraits of each of them as a goodbye from Yeong-eun. Tae-gwang: “Does my face look messed up like this?”
We see her slaving away over the drawings the night before, and Eun-bi smiles to see that hers has a little note at the bottom, hoping that someday they can make up and become true friends. Yeong-eun’s mom asks if she wants to stop and say goodbye to her friends one last time, but Yeong-eun only takes a moment to look at the school wistfully before brightly asking to move forward.
Yi-an walks with Eun-bi after school and brags about breaking an unofficial record during training today. She congratulates him happily, and he says he still can’t get used to it—pre-amnesia Eun-byul would’ve told him that unofficial records don’t count in her book, and to come back when it’s the real deal.
He joshes her for finally listening to him about being less mean, but that brings Eun-bi’s mood down. She says she has someplace to be and wants to say goodbye here, and then admits quietly, “I was so frustrated that I tried so hard to get my memories back… I shouldn’t have…”
He wonders why, and she says with forced lightness in her tone that she thinks she’ll just miss the days when she couldn’t remember a thing. She holds out her hand in a very formal goodbye handshake, and he just laughs it off as silly as he shakes her hand. She turns to go and he waves goodbye with a big smile, completely unaware of the tears streaming down her face as she walks away for good.
Don’t go, Eun-bi! I really need her to stay at this school, not just because the plot dictates it, but because her real life was too horrifying to even think about returning to. And it’s also partly because I’m so fascinated by Eun-byul and the kind of person she was that I want Eun-bi to stick around and peel back more of her twin’s past. Eun-byul is such an interesting enigma, all pride and porcupine needles, brutally honest to the point of being mean, but sharp as a tack and well-intentioned, if abrasive. The more we find out about her, the more I want to know, and I enjoy that it’s not just what happened to her that’s the mystery at the center of the story, but also who she was.
I can’t believe Eun-bi recovered her memories so quickly, since I expected her to spend half the drama in the dark about her own past. We’re going at a refreshingly brisk pace, though I wouldn’t mind slowing it down a little. It was nice for Eun-bi to have a moment of solace with a mom and classmates who aren’t making her life a living hell, though I have to concede that it’s far more dramatically intense to make Eun-bi aware that she isn’t Eun-byul. I don’t know that I want her to actively choose to live someone else’s life, since I want her to eventually overcome her horrible experiences as Eun-bi. But for a girl who just recently attempted suicide, an escape into Eun-byul’s life might be just the thing to heal her.
I already love her cute friendship with Yi-an and her budding bickering one with Tae-gwang—one’s all sweetness and boy-next-door comfort, while the other is intriguing and broody and misunderstood. I’m already conflicted about Yi-an because I find Eun-bi’s connection with him to be genuine, but he has no idea that she isn’t Eun-byul, and he’s clearly had a crush on her forever and a day.
I was hoping we’d find out that Eun-byul was responsible for saving Eun-bi—it’s fitting, given that Eun-byul got the fairytale life by chance and was probably feeling immensely guilty about being adopted. Eun-bi needed saving more than anyone, and even Yeong-eun’s pain in this episode paled next to the kind of daily torture Eun-bi endured. I know it’s probably too coincidental that Eun-byul happened by just in time to save Eun-bi the day that she jumped off the bridge, but the fact that her sister was the one person who stuck her hand out to literally save her when she hit rock bottom is the perfect point of connection between them.
I need for Eun-bi to heal and have a nice normal life with real friends so badly it hurts. The raw emotion that came spilling out when she regained her memories was so heartbreaking, like she wished more than anything that her life was nothing more than a terrible nightmare. That’s the emotional center that really keeps me engaged no matter what the Teen Problem of the Week is, because Eun-bi’s pain runs deeper than they’ll ever know. But we saw with Yeong-eun that so much of what lets the awful cycle of bullying continue is fear and self-loathing, and spending time as Eun-byul gives Eun-bi the one thing she never had at her old school—people to unequivocally take her side no matter what. Here she feels loved and valued, and it might take a while for Eun-bi to catch up and think that she’s worthwhile, but I have a feeling that the people around her won’t give up on her so easily this time.
- Who Are You–School 2015: Episode 2
- Who Are You–School 2015: Episode 1
- Pretty, sentimental posters for School 2015
- Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the first day of School
- Flour, eggs, and tears in Who Are You—School 2015
- Script reads for new KBS spring dramas Producer and School 2015
- News bites: April 5, 2015
- School 2015 still without leading man, courts Yook Sung-jae to star
- Nam Joo-hyuk up for first starring role in School 2015
- School 2015: Lee Yubi out, Kim So-hyun in?
- School 2015 in the works at KBS