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Who Are You—School 2015: Episode 15

As the show nears its end, our students and teachers gain perspective on their relationships facilitated through the constant of school. We see children face their parents, friends confronting friends, and rivals supporting each other — all with maturity and compassion. While 18 is an age of rebellion, ambiguity, and urgency, these youths have the capacity to find value, friendship, and wisdom even in a school occasionally inundated with meaningless hierarchy and incompetency.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Looking on with disapproval, Yi-an watches Tae-gwang planting a quick peck on Eun-bi’s cheek. Mortified by his instinctual kiss, Tae-gwang cringes and asks Eun-bi to hit him or go home. He can’t look at her properly, so she takes it as her cue to head home.

After the awkwardest parting ever, Tae-gwang walks away with a spring in his step. Broody Yi-an watches the giddy boy walk away, taking another look at the medal Eun-bi gifted him.

At school the next morning, Yi-an brings Tae-gwang to the roof to admit his feelings for Eun-bi. He doesn’t hate her; in fact, he likes her. Tae-gwang responds that he’s liked Eun-bi from the beginning, but Yi-an doesn’t care who was first. He’s starting now. Last minute love triangle?

Even with Director Gong taking full responsibility for Soo-in’s death, Teacher Kim insists on his resignation. He doesn’t feel confident in teaching his students. The vice principal respects his decision, and Min-joon overhears this information as he drops by the office.

The new English teacher has arrived (cameo by Sam Hammington), and students are entertained by his thorough understanding of Korean and slang. His comic relief juxtaposes the tension between Tae-gwang and Yi-an, both sitting with their arms crossed.

Eun-byul interrupts Tae-gwang’s nap to confirm her suspicions about his interest in Eun-bi. Seeing that he went all the way to Tongyeong, she knows that he likes Eun-bi. But does she like him back?

Eun-bi works at Mom’s shop as she waits to transfer schools. She asks Mom to send her to tutoring to make up for missed time in class, and Mom gladly agrees. As Mom greets a customer, Eun-bi picks up a call from Tae-gwang.

Tae-gwang waits nervously for Eun-bi, his legs trembling. She sits down next to him with an awkward buffer space. He starts to apologize about yesterday, but she stops him. Her mind is racing, so she doesn’t know what to tell him. Tae-gwang smiles at her lack of response — or her lack of rejection — and quickly catches up to Eun-bi, teasing her for blushing. How cute.

During lunch, So-young sit next to Ki-tae and Hae-na. They throw out backhanded compliments about her confidence and shameless attitude. Ki-tae even goes to call her a criminal. So-young merely glares at the group and chokes down her food.

So-young throws up in the bathroom from indigestion, and she runs into Eun-byul. She threatens Eun-byul with more nonsense about revealing the truth about the twins, as if it were still relevant. Eun-byul responds by advising So-young to take a look at herself in the mirror and reflect. “Can you hide your guilt by acting aggressive? I know that feeling of wanting to erase the past and run away from everything.”

Eun-byul’s pointed comment seems to hit home, and So-young stares at herself, brimming with rage. She throws something at the mirror and looks angrily at her broken reflection.

So-young nervously sits with her father and starts to bring up Eun-byul. He stops her and quotes Shakespeare (really?) to make his point: “Weeds spread because the gentle wind. Improper care will result in dense weeds. If you don’t want to get stepped on, there’s only one alternative. Step on them first.”

She shakes her head and asks to transfer, but her father won’t risk his political nomination. He’s already had enough trouble because of her, so she can either step on others or live quietly. She won’t have her way this time.

Yi-an finds Eun-bi on her morning bike ride and asks for her phone. He reminds her that they agreed to be comfortable with each other, and to do that, he needs her number. As he returns her phone, he sees a message from Tae-gwang asking about her search for tutoring academies. Yi-an offers to help her, but she quickly declines, which tells Yi-an that she’s going with Tae-gwang.

Yi-an shrugs it off, saying that he briefly considered skipping practice to accompany her. He adds that Eun-bi needs to keep her promise until he wins his gold medal, which confuses her. What promise?

In class, Min-joon announces Teacher Kim’s leave. Ki-tae suspects that it’s because of Soo-in’s death, and this catches Tae-gwang’s attention. Min-joon suggests that they do something. They can’t just let Teacher Kim leave, right?

Tae-gwang meets with Teacher Kim on the roof and confronts him about his leave. Teacher Kim tells the story about when he decided to become a teacher. In his second year of high school, his homeroom teacher was the kind of person who didn’t keep the expected distance between himself and his students. He struggled overnight in the countryside searching for a student who ran away from home. That teacher was Tae-gwang’s father.

Teacher Kim visited Director Gong at the police station and tells Tae-gwang that his father worries about him. He admits that he doesn’t know if he’s a good teacher, let alone a good person. So he’s taking time off to reflect. Tae-gwang understands but still complains: what about him? Teacher Kim headlocks him and tells him to call whenever.

A rude man accuses Yi-an’s father of causing the dent in his car, and though Dad tries to talk it out, things start to get rough. Yi-an interferes, and as Dad tries to hold Yi-an back from fighting, he gets hit. Beyond all good judgment, Yi-an’s strong sense of loyalty prompts him to throw some punches.

Tae-gwang attempts to his father at the police station, but just as he reaches the cells, he stops. He can’t get himself to go further, and he walks back out.

Dad tries to calm Yi-an’s temper, which continues to be provoked by the rude man. They try to come to a mutual agreement, and Dad uses his extreme patience to get through.

Yi-an walks outside and sees Tae-gwang talking to Detective Park. Tae-gwang asks the detective to take care of his father, and as all the pieces come together, Yi-an realizes that Director Gong is Tae-gwang’s father.

As Yi-an walks out with his father, their paths cross with Tae-gwang. Dad recognizes the school uniform and confirms with Yi-an that Tae-gwang is a friend. Unaware of the rivalry, Dad suggests that Tae-gwang join them to eat and drags the two reluctant boys out for food.

So-young goes to the store to get her cracked phone replaced. The salesperson asks if she needs her data backed up, and she nods. She lists the photos and the videos… then she’s suddenly reminded of something on her phone and asks that every single thing be backed up.

Dad thanks Yi-an for stepping up for him, even though he’s done very little for his on. He reminds Yi-an to take care of his body before jumping in a fight, but Yi-an shakes his head. He’d do the same thing if this happened again. Tae-gwang watches their interaction with a deep longing in his eyes.

Turning to Tae-gwang, Dad asks why he was at the police station. Did he cause trouble? Tae-gwang says that’s usually the case, but this time… He doesn’t finish his sentence and continues to eat.

As they part ways, Yi-an talks with Tae-gwang separately. He asks Tae-gwang if he’s okay, to which Tae-gwang looks back in confusion. Yi-an reminds him that he’s just started, and he doesn’t want his competition to weaken so fast. He tells him to keep his spirits up and leaves with Dad.

At home, Tae-gwang changes his father’s contact name from “Legal Guardian” to “Father.” He says it out loud, with a change of heart.

Mom gives Eun-bi the information for her new school, which concludes her Sekang High School memories on a bittersweet note. Eun-bi talks to her sister in bed and requests that she have one more day at Sekang to apologize to everyone.

Eun-byul agrees to switch out for a day and then apologizes for taking out the bear in the room without her permission. Eun-bi says that it was from Yi-an, before he knew she was Eun-bi. Eun-byul nods, saying that if he knew it was Eun-byul, he would have never bought the furry bear.

So-young goes through her phone’s new data, looking specifically for a video. She seethes that Eun-bi and Eun-byul have yet to find peace. She’s just making this harder on herself.

A girl runs into class with the latest gossip: Director Gong’s son goes to their school. Tae-gwang and Yi-an overhear the conversation as Ki-tae speculates Director Gong’s son as Gong Tae-gwang. They laugh off that possibility, and another girl insults Director Gong’s two-faced nature.

Tae-gwang gets up, and Yi-an quickly follows to ask where he’s going. He nonchalantly answers that he’s going to the bathroom and heads out. Ki-tae and his posse breathe a sigh of relief when Tae-gwang walks out without any confrontation.

In the facility, Director Gong overhears a fellow inmate bragging about a letter from his son, who’s ranked at the top of his class. He thinks back to Tae-gwang’s dilemma about revealing the evidence, regretful of his assumptions about his son.

Eun-byul reads a book, and Yi-an sits by her. He reminds her of their younger days, when they would do the same thing. Eun-byul would read, and Yi-an would bother her while waiting. They reminisce over old times, and Yi-an echoes Eun-byul’s words: “We’ve outgrown their younger days, and a lot has changed.” He hesitates to tell Eun-byul something and decides against it. He ruffles her hair and says he’s headed to practice.

At Soo-in’s grave, Eun-byul apologizes and asks if she can visit her occasionally, since they’re friends. Teacher Kim and Min-young watch from afar. She asks him what he’ll do after leaving his teaching position, and he responds that he’ll work on becoming a person worthy of being a respectable teacher before returning.

Teacher Kim addresses his class about his departure. He first apologizes and gives them a nugget of advice. “The times you are experiencing now are at times lonely, difficult, and uncertain. But it’s all okay because you all are still 18.” He ends the class there and receives one last parting bow from his students.

When Teacher Kim gets to his car, he stops in his tracks. He sees his windshield covered with notes from his students thanking him for instilling wisdom and encouraging them. His students yell out of the window, wishing him the best and begging him to come back. He can’t help but spill some tears of gratitude as he waves back at his students one last time.

Yi-an finally gives Eun-byul his gold medal as promised in their youth, and Eun-byul commends him for remembering after all these years. He tells her that he’s here to break off his 10-year-long one-sided love for Eun-byul. She confesses that she’s been confused about their friendship as well, and Yi-an nods that he knew. It’s one of the reasons why he’s waited so long.

He then adds that no matter how much you think about it, your heart already knows. Eun-byul admits that she may look back and regret this in retrospect. She may belatedly realize that she liked Yi-an, especially without him by her side after 10 years with each other. But she’ll deal with the consequences of her decision. This is his decision, his feelings.

Yi-an reminds her that they’re not breaking up forever, he’s just breaking off his one-sided love. Of course they’ll still see each other. Eun-byul agrees and jokingly asks why she would cut ties with a friend who’s willing to work hard for her. They poke and tease, both relieved that their friendship remains intact.

Tae-gwang dresses up to visit his father and adds the one missing element to his outfit: the tie gifted by his mother. Father and son exchange smiles when they see each other, and Tae-gwang tries to lift the mood by reporting his good behavior at school. Dad nods and apologizes for excessively intervening when Tae-gwang would have done fine if left alone.

Dad compliments Tae-gwang’s tie, and Tae-gwang tells him that it’s from Mom. Tae-gwang admits that the house without Dad feels empty and that he doesn’t feel embarrassed by him. Dad elaborates on his apology, “I used to think that I had a lot to protect. But in the end, I only needed to protect one thing. That was you, Tae-gwang.”

The visiting time runs out, and Tae-gwang wonders where all the time went. He promises Dad that he’ll visit again and calls him “Father.” On the car ride home, Tae-gwang cries thinking back to Dad’s words.

Yi-an sees Eun-bi on the bus and jumps on to accompany her. Their friendly rapport is back, and Yi-an seems adamant about spending more time with Eun-bi. On their walk home, Eun-bi tells Yi-an that she’ll be going to school one last time as Eun-byul tomorrow to say goodbye. She says that under her sister’s name she’s gained Mom, a teacher, and loving friends so effortlessly. She even gained Yi-an’s admiration as Eun-byul.

Looking around, Yi-an asks if Eun-bi remembers where they are. She nods, since they’ve visited this park quite often. But Yi-an clarifies that it’s the first time he’s here with Lee Eun-bi. He says that there will be many firsts with Eun-bi to come and asks that she stay. Or he could go to her. Yi-an walks towards her and hugs her.

Eun-bi arrives on her last day at Sekang, and Tae-gwang does a double take. To make sure that it’s Eun-bi, he pokes her forehead and quickly shields himself. When he doesn’t get a smack, he happily greets Eun-bi. Ha, is that how you distinguish the two?

So-young watches their interaction from afar, and having confirmed Eun-bi’s identity, she calls Eun-byul. She tempts Eun-byul with a “fun” video from Tongyeong and claims to have an event planned to reveal it today. Eun-byul immediately rushes out to grab a cab to school.

Eun-bi steps up to the podium and asks for the class’s attention. She nervously begins, and So-young watches intently, waiting for Eun-byul’s appearance. “The truth is…”

Eun-byul bursts into the classroom, and all eyes shift from one twin to the other. They’ve been played. So-young steps up to the front and announces to the class that she was right. Lee Eun-bi from Tongyeong is alive.

 
COMMENTS

I’m completely done with So-young. She’s our one source of pure evil and lacks complexity to convince me that she has a chance at redemption. No one cares for her antics anymore, and she’s come to the point of sad irrelevance. Anything you do will mean nothing. Do you hear me? No one cares! The only reason I want her to continue on with her mad behavior is so that Eun-bi can get a chance to crush her. It was satisfying to see Eun-byul look into So-young’s soul and call her out, but again, I wish Eun-bi would do something. I know Eun-byul has the personality and experience to deal with So-young, and maybe she is the best person for the job. But if this series ends without proper closure with Eun-bi and her notorious bully, I will be sorely disappointed.

As for our other source of evil, Director Gong, I’ll just let him pass. I do agree that the turnaround was way too fast to be convincing and that Director Gong’s redemption came too late to be believable. I’ll take Teacher Kim’s word for it, but I actually don’t believe that Director Gong could have been that dedicated teacher he described in the past. Maybe a few flashbacks or more cracks in his character may have convinced me, but alas, all we got was a stoic Director Gong who prioritized his school’s prestige over all. I’m just letting that slide for the sake of Tae-gwang’s solace. After a lifetime’s worth of misunderstanding and resentment, Tae-gwang deserves some parental love and support. Although I’d like to say that Eun-bi’s support and possible growing affection may make up for it, there’s nothing like sincere apology and acknowledging your wrongs to make amends.

I was such a fan of Yi-an’s character in the beginning, and I was so hopeful for his performance. But the character just fell flat. It seemed like Tae-gwang’s character grew and developed at the expense of Yi-an’s arc. He finally decides to speak in today’s episode, and while he makes his position pretty clear, I still feel like I’m in the dark about his reversal. Like Director Gong’s reversal, I think it came too late in the game for it to be really believable.

I did think that Yi-an’s candid conversation with Eun-byul was poignant and mature. Eun-byul is a winning character, and I was blown away by how she handled Yi-an’s confession about his expired feelings for her. She’s self-aware and knows she’s responsible for her own decision to retreat from a romantic relationship with Yi-an. Every decision will have its consequences, and she’s aware (not necessarily prepared, but aware) of her responsibilities. Now, why can’t ever damsel in distress have this awareness? I would totally watch a drama with Eun-byul as the main character, or better yet, I would watch Eun-byul and Yi-an be friends forever and then suddenly realize one day that they’re actually the ones for each other. Or maybe if they remain BFFs for 17 more years they’ll be stars of another drama.

I’m left longing for more Teacher Kim. His run was too short and condensed in the latter third of this drama, and I can only imagine how much better the series would have been with more of his wisdom and struggles. I like how he brings it full circle by reminding the students that they’re only 18. Their struggles are real, but with some perspective, they need not wallow in their current misery. The lessons Teacher Kim taught Eun-byul and Min-joon were particularly impactful, and you can see these lessons manifested in the student’s decisions. It’s not embarrassing to make mistakes, but it’s wrong not to acknowledge your mistakes. It’s better to take the right way than the easier way. It’s rewarding to see the students really understand the meaning behind his advice and thank him for his guidance. It’s a shining moment in this series. I only wish there were more opportunities for Teacher Kim to shine because when he does, he shines bright like a diamond.

Heading into the finale, I find this School installment lackluster in comparison to its previous ones. If we’re going to compare this to its immediate predecessor, there was significantly less teacher involvement, teen angst, and bromance. It’s difficult to live up to previous installments, especially with the expectations that come as baggage — it’s just the nature of this series. The show did have flaws in its swift acknowledgement of details (like Tae-gwang’s mother gifting the tie: too late and too fast to have it register) and belated plot developments; however, as an individual drama, the twin set-up was compelling, and the budding relationships were heartwarming to watch. Kim So-hyun delivered convincing performances as both Eun-bi and Eun-byul, having a clear understanding of both characters. For a show that’s always one step behind where it should be, I hope that the finale will catch us up and leave us with uplifted spirits amidst the darkness of high school.

 
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I just wished this series was 24 episodes. So many loose ends and underdeveloped characters. I like TaeKwang, but they underutilized the rest of the cast.

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Agree!

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I'm on board that so much is underdeveloped and there are so many loose ends, but I think 24 is way too much--rather I wish they better used these 16. The show started off pretty strong, but it really went down these past few episodes. :/

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Agree with this. It was clear around half way through that the writers didn't know how to use their time well. I wish they'd been able to bounce back before the end.

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I, for one, am glad this series is only 16 episodes. The writers would have just dragged out the love triangle, and the neverending shipping wars made this drama unbearable.

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you and me both!

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They wouldn't do it anything with any of the characters, they'd just drag the love triangle out until episode 23

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When i think abt it, the show was weak. And I'm speaking with the second half of the show in mind. The writer spent wayyy to much time on the love triangle. At least 4 eps went w/o proper development. The show had everything going for it early on and I was invested.

If u check the ratings online, the show did very disappointingly til ep 6. And I suspect that the love triangle was drawn out to keep viewers interested. But they milked one actor's popularity over the other and left the main lead's arc underdeveloped. Its bad when u feel nothing seeing the leads together. And I say this as someone who was unfamiliar with Sung Jae and more familiar with the actor who played Yi An. The writer(s) stoked the shipping wars and it became tiring. If all ppl can talk abt is shipping then the show is pretty weak. We couldn't discuss plot cuz there really wasn't that much to discuss.

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Honestly, I got to ep 15 but I have no interest in watching ep 16. How can this happen when there is only one ep left? Maybe because all that is left is who Eun Bi will choose. And I have a feeling I will be dissapointed either way.

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I feel exactly the same way. There was so much more going on in the show that was much more interesting than the standard love triangle, and everything lost steam--but they're jerking us around with the whole triangle thing every ten minutes.

Eun-bi's confrontation with So-young is like third on the list of priorities here, which is crazy. I wish so much they did more on that front.

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Of all the "School" series dramas, this was the worst. So many loose ends, unexplained things, just plain dumb things. And so few people that I care about, Like zero.

I thought I might care what happens to So-Young, but it became obvious a few episodes that she was just playing a standard trope with no real depth at all.

Meh.

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I remember we already discussed this when the show was announced: The premise of the twin-swapping is simply incompatible with the "School" franchise.

Twin-swapping is a rather tumorous trope, it takes over so much of a possible story and drags in a whole bunch of subsequent tropes. And that just doesn't work in an ensemble/slice-of-lifey show.

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I think the twin-swapping could have worked as part of the School franchise if it had only involved Eun-bi losing her memories and adopting Eun-byul's identity because of that but only until she remembers who she is. Then, the swap should have been done with and the drama could have dealt with her figuring out her life/ adjusting to her new life with mom/at another school as Eun-bi. And: Eun-byul should have actually died. That's a story that could have played out realistically. Probably, there would have been less to explore, but the show could have then actually filled in the details on the stories of some of the other students.

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Twin-swapping can be done "right", no doubt about that. (Kästner for example did a great job in Double Lottie, and that was a children's book written 70 years ago.)

But there is twin-swapping, and then there is the twin-swapping trope, which has been enriched with all the "great" ideas of previous installments of the trope.

If twin-swapping is used in a K-drama, you KNOW there will be a person who misdirects his love towards the wrong person (and 90% probability that he/she will fall for the "new" twin), for example.

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Das doppelte Lottchen. Ha, I do remember that. My dad read quite a few of Erich Kästner books to my sister and me, although even when I was a child they were already quite old and old-fashioned! But still charming.

I'm trying to think of other k-dramas with twin-swapping? I'm drawing a blank? (Other than the unconvincing fraternal twin-confusion in Hogu's Love recently?)

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@alua - what about Sirius? It has only 4 eps but twins switch places and it's a thriller/action sort of story.

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So true. It basically just had the label, but it doesn't feel like part of the franchise.

I kinda wish it knew that more too, so it wouldn't have occasionally tried to echo its predecessors. The storyline with Min-Joon was kinda unnecessary to this story, and didn't have any of the emotional impact that the School 2013 line did (which was like almost exactly the same storyline, only developed and done well). I think Who are you/School 2015 tried to do the Min-Ki storyline and also tried to echo Se-Chan's story. But it didn't do either well.

It really didn't have the focus or the ability to do these stories well, so I wish it wouldn't have tried. They're so close to the school 2013 stories, but the comparison just makes these already undeveloped scenes/stories look even worse. I feel like they included some of those stories to be part of the franchise, but it was a half-assed effort that made everything worse. They should've just stuck to what they were doing.

That said, I loved how they did Shi-jin and Song-joo. Both were great in their roles, and their side stories were actually effective--a lot more than the teacher and min-joon. Shi-jin especially had great scenes. Back when they existed. (And she's such a cute character! I loved her. Still do.)

But they ended up heaped on the show's piles of dropped gems and loose ends. So many regrets. :(

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I actually think they did a good job with So-Young. Better than with a lot of others, for sure.

So-Young was one of my favorite parts of the series. It was great to hate her, and I always genuinely, actively wanted to see her downfall.

She behaved a bit cartoonishly at points, but I thought the way they created her family life was on point--the cold unforgiving father, and unscrupulous backer of a mother. It was so toxic, but in an interesting way. I could really believe they nurtured her to be as terrible as she is, but I can also see where she gets her strength and resilience. The way they showed the way her father mistreats her was well done. That family is so many shades of messed up, but it was fascinating and also believable.

Plus the hint we get at an eating disorder this episode (could be from stress/being shunned so resolutely now, but I feel like it might've been going on longer) was great for her. It just worked with her character and was the right touch of dimension.

I honestly think that this show would've been so much better if it had concentrated on her more, since the writers had a good grasp of her personality. I think that would've been really interesting. I think this show could've used some closer focus. Staying closer to Eun-Bi and So-Young more would've done it I think.

Alas, too late now.

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They crafted a really good villain, no doubt. But they simply didn't craft the plot to use that villain in a meaningful way. Which is a shame, considering how very rare well-designed villains are in K-dramaland.

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So-young was mean and easy to hate but her threats never made sense to me. Everything she had to reveal about the twins ultimately implicated her – as a bully, as a lier, as a manipulator. Not because she would have been the one revealing the truth, but because she was the one involved in the 'death'/disappearance. It seemed like she thought she'd get cheered for bullying someone so much that the other person would try to commit suicide. But why would anyone cheer for that, unless you're equally a psycho or one of the people under SY's power (which none of her new classmates were)?

Plus, the bullying scenario totally deflates in the final episode (no spoilers)....

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Well that's why she kept her mouth shut in the beginning right? She wouldn't have revealed her role, if it was up to her, just that Eun-Bi is lying about being Eun-byul. The threat that they would reveal her role in bullying was what made her quiet down--until it was found out anyway, so then nothing was stopping her.

Btw, forgot to note earlier but really wanted to say again, that I think So-Young's actress is killing it. I really loved her performance in this one. Totally gonna be looking out for her future stuff.

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Everyone is praising the actress that plays So-young, but I've noticed no one actually seems to know her name!

It's JO SOO-HYANG.

:-)

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It was not the acting I had issues with, it was that after the first few episodes she seemed to become more and more superficial to the whole circular love quadrangle.

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I honestly believe that the show should've been called "Who Do You Like: School 2015".

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Oh... Its the end....cant wait... I want Tae Kwang and Eun Bi to end up together.... Something about Yi An feels off... Tae Kwang really has grown up and shines as a character.... Please Be TK and EB

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Eunbyul's mom chose Seungri High School for Eunbi, isn't that the high school in School 2013? lol it'd be great if the previous cast could cameo and we'd see eunbi together with them :)

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Unless Nam Soon and Heung Soo flunked their senior year, all of our School 2013 kids should have already graduated by the time Eun Bi transfers.

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"Unless Nam Soon and Heung Soo flunked their senior year"

Let's face it, though...they probably did!

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i was seriously just going to say this LMAO.

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Yes it is!

But going by the ages of the students in School 2013, Nam-soon, Heung-soo & Co. would have graduated in 2014.

(would be nice to see the teachers though, even if Jang Nara stars in the drama right after this one/is probably too busy for a cameo)

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I'm so done with So Young as well. The momentum with hervstorybjust fizzled and every time she comes on the screen I think "Ih yeah, I guess that's still going on". This series started off very strongly for me but resolutions and consistency of character all seem to be a weakness for the writer. Some really good stories got rushed and others got really stretched out. The romance stuff is driving me batty. I want to like Yi An but his constant flip flip between nice and angry just leaves me cold. I still think he's the end game but I can't be excited over it at all. I think he should really be focusing on getting his own life back together (really, picking fights when you're injured and were so depressed over possibly never being a great swimmer again?...but hey, it makes him a great son). I think I'm a bit bitter at which storylines were shafted and which ones came to the forefront. I still enjoy much if the acting and actors but I also feel disappointed in what I think this could have been.

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The first few episodes were so promising. I wished they had made the bullying element the centre of the plot. Like the Young eun girl's story was impactful

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True. And when they said this series will focus on friendship between girls instead of bromance like the previous series, I thought there will be eleborated stories between the girls. But instead we only get a glimpse of them in each episode and half or more of the screen time is spent for the love triangle.
I thought I was watching a melo.

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Great recap.
Honestly after this episode I don't really want to want the finale. I may be done with the love triangle, but it's clear the writers aren't.

From the reveal of the Joo Sun in case this drama is starting to go off the rail and is now heading into the river. It has amnesia about what made it good (mystery, student stories) and it's worst point (love triangle)

The trouble I have with Yian's character is that he very much a checklist of what a teenage romantic interest boy should be and not a person.

Sure he supposed to be kind, athletic and a hard-worker and all the other characters seem to think he's awesome, but it's all telling and little showing.

Instead the drama seems to show him bolting twice from important races and he doesn't even appear to have a harsh schedule that athletes need to have. It reminds me of the CEO characters that are never in the office! But at least the CEO's have underlings that can take care of their business.

His whole romance story doesn't fit the tone. A lot of cross-dressing stories are played for romantic farce and if this was a romantic farce it might work. But this story's more dramatic. There should be more conflict with him about like the identical sister of his crush. Would he like just any girl with that face? It needs almost a treatment like Choi Han-kyul's conflict in Coffee Prince (That actually played cross-dressing dramatically).

His character is one of the biggest problems about this drama.

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Completely agree with you, @onion!
So much potential to end as a love triangle drama.

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Honestly Eunbi has NEVER show and interest in Taekwang beyond friendship; and Eun Byul has made clear that she only has a friendship with Yi An. The only viable relationship is Eunbi and Yi An but the whole dramatic shipping business and fighting made a lot of it annoying.

Eun Byul has basically been the best part of the show and Kang So Hyun has been awesome

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I mean Kim So Hyun...I wonder when Kang came from in my head lol

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Probably "Kang So" Young. Jo Soo Hyang owned her role. Made me a fan.

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+1 lol wish there is a "like" button.

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Shipping is part of the fun in watching a drama. In the case of this drama, the writers fuels our hopes at every turn they can. Also TK is a great character, and Sung Jae plays his character well; and he and EBi have good chemistry; so, it's impossible NOT to root for this ship. Even if we know that he is not the lead and that EBi doesn't have feelings for him.

In this episode too, the writers didn't let EBi punch him after the kiss or talk it out in the park. Those things are done to boost ratings and keep us on the edge. It's like playing with viewers' feelings unnecessarily. If fans are mad, I understand it. I am not saying that they should bash actors (and/or characters) because of the plot lines; that is wrong. But I can understand why they are enraged. This writer should have wrapped this love triangle like six episodes ago.

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*I am not saying that they should bash actors because of the plot lines; I think that is wrong. (They can criticize characters all they want. Actors too to some extent, without hate.) But I can understand why they are enraged.*

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all of this. I can't muster any feelings about shipping now beyond a mild 'eh' and annoyance that it's taking up valuable screen time (seriously, 2013 did great without any love triangles or love lines at all!)

but the viewers are, without a question, being played.

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Ikr? if I have to compare these two, 2013 wins with very high margin. Like 90:10

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@pogo, aigoooo, bil -

+1

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A good punch might have made the rejection stick for the fifth time...but that's not Eunbi

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In this instance, Tae Kwang is clearly the more fleshed out character and the actor (and his character) has become the favorite of a lot of viewers, therefore, people are more invested in his happiness and part of that is getting the girl even though the plot, logic, etc. says otherwise.

To be perfectly honest, Han Yi Ahn (and the actor playing him) felt flat on delivering the emotional beats. I feel like sometimes I can see in the actor's eyes that he is waiting for the other person to finish saying their lines so he can jump in with his dialogue. I am not trying to bash the actor but giving him food for thought.

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yes, that s why it s easier for YA to be together with Ebi, because without her, his character is useless. TK is a great character who can continue his life after rejections. That swimlad would cry and has depression if her cant get the girl.

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agree! feels like the writer's intention from the start is eunbi with yi an, but after seeing compliment about tae kwang - eunbi friendship, about their chemistry, even fans shipping them hard to be couple, the writer confused, he/she keeps make tae-kwang eun bi together and they had more scenes than eun bi - yian, but of course k-dramaland always stuck to their nature, 2nd lead never win against main lead. he/she just made fans had high expectation.

and for yi an characters, I like him, but the writer make his character not consistent, h's tooooo late to realize he likes eun bi, it should be in ep 9/10 so he can fight his feeling with tae kwang

but overall, kim so hyun is daebaaak! i'm waiting her next project

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Yeah I actually laughed when Yi An was like 'the fight is on', and I sad just sitting there going, um, it's episode 15! There's no time for this lol, it will be the weakest fight ever.

The bromance also felt too rushed as well though.

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True words @4D. When he said 'the fight is on', I was like, "its been on for awhile tho, dude. Where have u been?" Yi An's romantic feelings for Eun Bi were a little too late in my book. I try to stay away from second lead syndrome bc I knw my heart wll be broken. But I couldn't help liking TG. The actor played him quite well and he was such an interesting character. But that's the writer's fault. They should've made the main lead someone we could really connect w and root for. Thy should've focused more on him but maybe he was always 1D from the beginning so there was nothing much to be done for him.

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The writer just ignored YA all together and gave TK every scene related to Eun Bi. They should have seriously spread those scenes out among the two male main characters so both guys were seen as helping her. Them not doing that makes YA appear like he doesn't try and Eun Bi to appear heartless.

I know TK/SJ was popular, but even a chance YA could have been better liked. NJH is not unpopular either and YA was well liked in the beginning.

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When the drama started, I always thought Sungjae is the lead beside Kim So hyun, so Ive been shipping this two without doubt. But turns out its Nam Joohyuk as the main otp, its already too late for me to change my mind because Sungjae and Kim So hyun's chemistry is just...WOW! I even ship Taekwang with Eunbyul!
Halfway of the drama, I realized Eunbi has feelings for Yi Anh, her gaze towards YiAnh, no matter how much I want to hide it, its apparent so I realized my ship has sunk. But the writer keeps giving hope with TaeBi moments, its kinda hard to let it go.
Too bad this drama couldve done better with no love triangle and focused more on the students and teacher. Oh well.....

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People are saying many different things about who is the lead. I read one that said that KSH is the lead and Sung Jae and Joo Hyuk both are second leads or at the same level. I think YA was supposed to be the male lead and TK the second lead.

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This. It's pointless, which is why it's so annoying. Give YA/EB cute moments like they used to. They can actually be adorable, they were in the beginning. Let TK move on. The OTP is set and has been since the beginning.

Eun Byul coming back like she did told me she liked the guy, but not in some everlasting love sort of way.

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I agree completely.

In the beginning, I was never rooting for one character over the other, despite Eun-bi's feelings being pretty transparent (I liked both boys, and could see her ending up with either one). But then the crazy fan-wars started, and if anything, it actually made me *more* invested in Yi-an, since the poor guy/actor totally got the short end of the stick, despite doing nothing wrong. Frankly, he was no better or worse than Tae-kwang, who I enjoyed, but wasn't insanely drawn to like the rest of the internet. Plus, I happened to ADORE Eun-byul, even though most people were busy criticizing her existence because it didn't play out the way they had planned (aka, taking Yi-an out of the love triangle).

Because of that, I really had a hard time listening to people complain and criticize, because sometimes it just felt like we were all watching a different drama. Even now, I can't help but think that if the love triangle had settled itself "properly" (Eun-byul & Yi-An, Eun-bi & Tae-kwang), nobody would've complained, and all we'd be hearing now are praises and fan-girling.

So in the end, the only thing School 2015 taught me, is that shipping is a terrible and frightening thing! Yet I'll continue to do it, lol.

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I'm really sad about what they did to Yi An. He was such a good person and is clearly a loyal son and friend capable of being kind to even his rival, and they totally wasted any substantial development they set up for him initially on Tae Kwang for no reason. Regardless, I like his relationship with both girls so I'll take it.

They wasted a lot of time on stupid romance and totally neglected all of the students really. And screw bromance, I would have been happy with an entire episode of just the girls hanging out. They were the most charming part of the show.

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I'm with you about screwing the bromance. I can't seem to buy the sudden Yian's attentiveness and reaching out to TK. He strangled him, meanly refused the boy when he gave him foods, ignored his legitimate concerned question over Ebi, etc. To be fair, TK is not so warm to YA either.

They put the scene of YA overreacting to the car guy and hitting him just to bring him to the police station and meet TK there so that the two can have the first conversation ever not related to EB, which does not make sense to me. I really think the two can never be friends.

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+1

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you are right, and this so called 'Bromance' is totally out of the blue, an attempt to make yi ans character likeable and also to justify his relationship with eunbi in a way. I expected Yi an to never like tae kwang because of that "kiss on the cheek"

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Somebody needs to have a little talk with the writer and/or the people who did the subtitles on the version I watched.

The very first line of dialogue about a way to make the time go faster when you're alone. I know a way to make the time go fast when you're alone, but it's not suitable for a kdrama, especially not one about high school kids.

Then theres the line on the bus "shall we get off together". (!) Not really helped by the alternative that they could go farther :)

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I was like...are we going full melo now? when Yi An put his hand on Eun Bi's and said the cheesy mushy "shall we go further together" line.

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You know what would be a great ending for this show,a truck of doom slamming right into Soo young, THAT, would be a satisfactory ending.
All in favour say aye?

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And, 15 episodes in, we still don't know why Soo Young hates Eun Bi so much.

I wish the writer had used the twin switch as a way for Eun Bi to watch and make Soo Young feel and understand what it feels like to be the outsider, the victim, the tormented in her new school. It might have been a better story.

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SY picked on EBi because she stood up for another bullied girl. Also EBi is an orphan and looked down upon (I think); being an orphan makes her an easy target because she has no parents, family, or friends to support her.

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Nor do we have any clue about who the girl was that actually did die. I wish both the twins had just gone off to Jejudo Island and started a lady divers school.

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Ya, that bugs me more than anything. It's not like dead bodies wash up all the time (I hope). And are the police so incompetent that they won't notice when person they thought was dead turns up alive and gets her identity restored ???
(Actually, they are that incompetent -- read of on Yoo Byung-eun, owner of the Sewol, how he died and how long it took to find/identify them).

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that is one of those unrealistic moments in K dramas, the only method the police use to identify a dead body is only to check their personal belongings (the badge) and not DNA. And what about that poor girls family? I guess everyone's selfish in a way.

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SY absolutely HAD to be top dog, because of pressure from her father, so she had to crush Eun-bi for standing up to her to protect the other girl.

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But even So-young's father makes no sense.

He doesn't want her to transfer because it might affect his nomination, but he would rather she crush the girl... What kind of plan is that? If he said "You're staying put and focus on your studies, not other people" it would make sense, instead he's telling her to cause problems.... It seems exactly like the sort of thing that could easily get out of hand (in whatever way) and would endanger his nomination.

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Well, I took it that he isn't just your stock corrupt father guy, instead he is strongly principled in a Darwinian way. He believes in the survival of the fittest.

His daughter being able to face her challenges herself may be more important to him than some additional hurdles on his own way.

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He might believe in survival of the fittest, but it just doesn't make sense that if you want nothing to threaten your nomination to tell your daughter to essentially throw oil into the fire.

He's been specifically saying "don't endanger my nomination", so to me he's contradicting himself.

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From a reasonable point of view, it makes no sense of course.

The only explanation I came up with: He mentions the nomination simply to add pressure on So-young. To tell her that he will not accept a transferal. He burns that bridge for her so that she has to take a stand and fight on her own, for her place at the school.

Of course, there is not much "textual" evidence for this.

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you people hear and see only what you will, the man clearly gave her two options, play dead or attack first... point is he wasnt gonna transfer her. he never pressured her to go after eun bi.

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seriously side-eyeing the writers for keeping Han Yi Ahn in the backburner for the last 5 episodes and stopping any character development.

The first half of this series was so great and fleshed out in terms of the various characters. It just felt that in the last few weeks only EBi, EByul and TK got a decent storyline/arch, which on one side is fair enough because they're main characters (where was the YA focus though?) but on the other that's not how the School installment usually goes about. They just ironically forgot the real 'school' part.

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Literally, as the only two characters who mutually like each other, I can't understand why people can't be happy for them. Eun Bi never liked Tae Gwang; she just didn't have the heart to reject him (for the third time). And as we learned today, Eun Byul never liked Yi An, try as she might. Everyone seems to be hung up on the ten years, but Yi An thought Eun Byul was dead. He grieved and ultimately accepted her death. You can't expect him to wait forever for a ghost, can you? Then when she miraculously rose from the grave, he sorted out his feelings and came to the realization that Eun Byul would never return his feelings. You can't expect him to wait forever for an unrequited love, can you? But most importantly, he was able to admit to himself that "I like the New Go Eun Byul better" was his subconscious telling him he liked someone else. Tae Gwang's one-sided love for Eun Bi is no different from Yi An's one-sided love for Eun Byul. Rather than wishing for Eun Bi to reciprocate Tae Gwang's love, shouldn't we wish for Tae Gwang to like a girl who will actually like him back just as much as he does? I love both boys and wanted happy endings for both of them, but you can't choose whom you love just because that person is in love with you. I feel Yi An gets so much undeserved hate for simply liking someone who likes him back and moving on from someone who doesn't like him back.

Dad is such a matchmaker. How sweet of Yi An to cheer his romantic rival up. "School" is not "School" without bromance. "School" is also not "School" without crying students and quitting teachers. Saem better be back for the last day of school tomorrow. If even Satan thinks you're evil, then So Young's father really must be the devil. Not one member in her family understands the meaning of conscience. I know Eun Byul is Elsa reincarnated whom doesn't need a man to save her sister, but half of our problems could have been avoided if these kids had just called each other. If Yi An had called, he could have avoided sitting out a whole year; if Eun Byul had called, she could have avoided walking right into So Young's plan. My only solace in revealing the twins' secret is Eun Bi can join Eun Byul, Song Joo, and Shi Jin's circle of friends and all four of them can go on vacation together. Why are there cameos in the second to last episode? I don't have time for you, Sam Hammington. A big thanks for the recap, dramallama!

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The ideal ending for TK is the resolution of his family issues. And we are getting there. I'm very happy about that. But at the same time, I also want him with EBi. It's hard not to ship him with her, knowing how much he loves/likes her and the show giving us all their cute scenes together. To me, YA was never there for majority of the time. He didn't find out anything important about EBi or interact with people in her circle, not even with his own classmates. (Apart from their feelings (which are very important), there is nothing much that makes a foundation for YA- EBi relationship. If those feelings fade one day, they are over.) So it's kinda hard to cheer him and EBi on. Plus TK is successful in selling his character and making viewers relate to him.

TK should be with someone who loves him as much as he loves her. As a viewer, I want to see it in the drama, but there is no such person here. We can only imagine that he may meet someone in the future.

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"Literally, as the only two characters who mutually like each other, I can’t understand why people can’t be happy for them."

Eh, it's not the problem of the couple, it's just that the relationship felt very mechanical. It felt written, instead of real. I feel like the writing would've benefited from picking up the chemistry and following it -- isn't that what every writer says? At some point, a character makes their own decisions, regardless of what you as a writer want.

In this show, it felt like the writer was forcing the characters into things that went against their nature or makeup -- or indeed, the actors' rapport -- and that made it feel empty. If you go that route, then at least you need to pick the right actor for the job. Sure, girl can like the boy that is easier to like, but I need the show to SELL it to me. With or without Tae-kwang, the Yi-an x Eun-bi relationship is flat. Cute and sweet at times, sure, but there's undeniably (to me) something missing.

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although that said, I was really happy with how they treated Yi-an's character this episode, compared to the razing he got last week. I was fully expecting him to out Tae-kwang as the director's son, so that little moment of unexpected sympathy and bromance (with the forced meal etc) was really well done.

And that's why it's more disappointing -- see THAT relationship, it would have been great to have a bigger reluctant bromance angle. I think Tae-kwang's character brings out more complexity in others', so he has a good effect on making Yi-an deeper.

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Totally agree with the 'mechanical' comment. I didn't even know that Yi-An and Eun Bi was suppose to be the end game from the start. Based off character chemistry, i felt that Eun Bi liked Tae Kwang. And she felt sorry to Yi An because of his crush on Eun Byul and knowing that his love was being directed at the wrong girl.

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I think you nailed it when you said it felt mechanical. I'd happily buy the love line if they'd just developed it more, but it just feels so insipid and perfunctory.

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Yup. In fact almost every character just felt to me like they were just filling robotic roles, and kept repeating those same roles for the past 6 episodes.

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that's because the writer and the director throw in excessive fanservice (so-name Taekwang Eunbi) scene on the expense of developing others' story arc (the one that you called 'mechanical' Yi ahn Eunbi) for a simple reason of hooking the viewer and to boost viewer rating. But Sungjae slay his character down to the bone, so who cares for the lack of development of the other male lead. We can all just call him out for being flat generic with no actual impact. But that's what dissapointing about this drama. The writer could have fairly play the games but still fleshed out Yi ahn character with a bang. And yeah the actor couldn't act with real emotion but that was never really a problem because if the writer wrote his character and story arc with more heart then acting skill isnt a necessities. (remember the ever generic acting from L of Infinite? He's labelled as idol who cannot act but look at his character from Shut Up Flowerboy Band. He nailed the character. not because of his acting skill but because of the strong writing). but not in this case coz the writer just seem like she don't care about Yi ahn arc anymore but she still want to stick on the original idea of him as male lead and hey! let'sjust throwa lot of Taekwang Eunbi scene to catch up the rating. we all have been played into this shipping wat by the writer. and i'm out. tq.

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^this. Eunbi can like yian all she wants but SELL if to me!! Because i don't feel it with them. Just let the characters take over. That was what I liked in The Host... *spoilers ahead if you havent read the book*

Wanda was supposed to be in love with Jared until the very end and ian was initially a very minor character but ian, as a character, refused to be sidelined and smeyer went where the characters were taking her instead of smeyer forcing her plans on the characters. So wanda and ian happened, so beautifully and naturally, despite her initial outline. That made the story 10000x better.

I was hoping around ep 6 that the writer in this drama would do the same thing because it is so obvious that taekwang and eunbi were the ones who unexpectedly connected. But the writer still forced what she initially planned and the magic disappeared. Now i'm just stuck wondering what could've been.

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Me too. Me too. Is there something so wrong about diverging from the original script to go where it feels is natural? Is there not supposed to be fluidity in script writing?? Because I would say there is because of the apparent fanservice for taekwang's character..which I guess got out of control so they tried to rein it back in at the last minute so that the ending could be what they had been planning from the beginning.. Now I'm also just sad for what could have been and not even the romance angle but with the school and students..this love triangle became a disease that, in my opinion, ruined it. I wouldn't be so upset if they had made me believe in their otp and not fall for one character so that everything else besides his happiness was really unimportant..the premise was sooo intriguing but they really messed this one up..

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The relationship felt mechanical and Yi-an was never anything other than a plot device in a love triangle.

Tae-kwang had a story of his own, Yi-an is just a flat character. His whole back story was underdeveloped and not believable (a high profile swimmer on track for greater success but spent all his time on everything but swimming and training), and really only ever used to service the love line.

Sadly, his confession to Eun-bi continued to make her into the passive damsel.

They dragged out the triangle so so long – Eun-bi should have said something after the cheek kiss, should have said something after she meets Tae-kwang at the fountain (not again "I don't know"), should have said something after Yi-an confesses. But she just stands and says nothing. Or vaguely smiles. I actually find her reactions strange – she has two boys confessing to her and she just blinks and treats them like she did before. No awkwardness, no embarrassment. I remember being a teenager and everything in relation to the person you like (or someone liking you) sends you into confusion because you don't know how to handle it. I remember ignoring the person I had my first kiss with for days despite the fact that we liked each other! But with Eun-bi, it's like nothing ever happened between her and either boy.

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You really hit the "Nail on the head," so to speak about why HanYian and Eun Bi just don't work for me as a couple. I think the "mechanicalness" started to really seep into other areas of this drama as well. I find it weird that Soo In's sister didn't face any repercussions from her vigilantism, especially from the people she hurt most. They seemed to irrationally forgive her, as if her reason justified her actions. Not to mention the other numerous characters that seem to do things due to the invisible hand of the author.

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<I find it weird that Soo In’s sister didn’t face any repercussions from her vigilantism

Agreed, but this always happens in kdramas so it didn't even surprise me anymore.

<due to the invisible hand of the author

I wish it were invisible! To me, too much feels like so obviously fabricated by the author. So many actions are obviously pure plot device serving something else in the story.

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I wish the authors hands was invisible too! It is too bad I can't edit that comment (or can I?)

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@hannasj - 'acting skill is not a necessity', you say? Please keep in mind L was a supporting character in SUFBB, he had much less screen time than Yi An here who is supposed to be the main male lead.

Writers can really help a lot but they can't bring out a good leading performance from actors who lack talent. Even Park Hye Ryun, Kang Eun Kyung and Lee Kyung Hee can't make people like Suzy or Taecyeon into good actors. Or Nam Joo Hyuk here, who is not hopeless like the others but simply lacks in emoting ability. A crutch can only support weak legs, not no legs.

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Yes I understand but still, your argument is only valid IF the writer have excellent or even consistent writing skill to even begin with which sadly she don't. And yes again a writer cannot make a character work if the actor itself couldn't act their part up. But since you mention Park Hye Ryun and Taecyeon Suzy, here's my take on that particular situation to explain how a good writer could still make the character work even if the actors suck to the bone. In Dream High sure Suzy's acting got condemned so much by viewer but did that stop the viewer from loving and understanding her struggle? Nope. Did that stop the viewer from tuning in each episode? Nope. Instead after receiving such critic the writer turn it as one of Suzy's character trait which is Hye Mi is indeed one deadpan-face girl with robotic emotion and move. And they even make a joke out of it in the drama itself which definitely intriguing as a viewer. And she put so much heart to the show and each character that make the viewers love and care for each character regardless of the bad acting from the actors part. See? That's what a good writer do. As I have stated again and again it's the writer lack of interest in developing Yi Ahn chararacter that is dissapointing to me because he IS supposed to be male lead also the unequal distribution of scene. Because lately even Eunbi seems like she have grown tired as a character itself and remain painfully stagnant and zupp Eunbyul and Taekwang have splendidly take the center of the story. Because their are more real what's with dad-conflict and take-down-my-sister-bully conflict. Which isn't how it supposed to be because everyone deserve some growth by the end of the drama and not to mention the main lead.

Anyway, just cheer up and let's head off to see the cuteness of SungJoy couple. Woohooot~~

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@hannasj - it's true that the writing here is not very good, and you are absolutely right about the Dream High writer and how hard she worked to make sure that the actor's lack of skills did not prevent her from telling a good story. It's just that ur earlier comment sounded like an actor bears no responsibility for their performance and it's all down to the writer, which I disagreed with. Anyway good that that misunderstanding is settled. There are after all actors who even with mediocre writing, do quite well.

I mean, forget KSH here, even the actress Jo Soo Hyang, who plays So Young, has been underwritten for several eps now and still acting really well. No wonder we praise her even if we hate her character and she is just pure evil with no redeeming quality at all.

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Right. If YA/NJH couldn't emote what he was feeling well, he should have said it aloud or let his actions speak for what he was feeling. NJH is not hopeless and was super cute in the beginning as YA. The writer did just not even try giving him anything to do. TK IS better written and acted, the acting is natural but the writing is something the show did to let TK shine while ignoring YA and to lesser extent EB.

Yes, the audience like TK more but who wouldn't given the fact the other male lead gets to do something but brood in the corner and never help.

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Yes! Finally! Someone who understands! I totally agree with you on this!! 1,000,000,000,000%

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Thank you for this. I agree whole-heartedly. I still don't understand why shipping always seems to devolve into war, when it's nothing but a personal preference. I mean, since when did it become alright to tear one character down in order to elevate another? I personally thought both characters/actors were great, and that each one of them brought something distinct and interesting to the show . . . so I really didn't understand all the Yi-an hate.

I'm so glad I wasn't alone.

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Thank you dramallama for the recap!

Yook Sung Jae is the best thing I found from watching this drama. Thumbs up to him for all his hard work, portraying his character well, and making us fall in love with him :)

Kim So Hyun's acting is great too! I have always liked her.

I agree that this School series pales in comparison to its predecessor. School 2013 explored more of (heartfelt) student issues when this series explored a love line. Love line was fine but they should have kept it short and focused more on minor characters and student issues. While I'm very happy that TK is reconciling with his father, his father's change of heat is abrupt. If there was more time, writer could have shown this transition smoothly.

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Change of heart*

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Same here, I was drawn into the show by Yoon Sung Jae acting. Never saw or heard about him before this but I'm sure he'll become a popular actor in the near future. This boy have talent and charisma.

Also kudos to KSH for wonderfully displaying the twins. She's becoming more beautiful and did a terrific job with her first lead role.

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+1000

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This series wasted most of its storyline to romance, love triangle.. when it could had focus on school issues. I was a huge fan of the 2013 that it pained me when this could not catch up to the expectation... Oh my, I hope they get a better writer next time ?

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thanks for the recap and all your hard work and insights, dramallama! YES more Teacher Kim :(

I just watched 16, not sure I can talk about 15 anymore, lol.

One thing I really can't get straight is what kind of personality exactly eun-bi is meant to be showing. In Tongeyeong, she's tough enough to stand up to bullying but not tough enough not to be bullied? I get that she needed peer support, but she didn't need that when she was doing the defending, so why couldn't she defend herself?

I also understand that she was worn down over a long time to the suicidal girl she became, but I just felt like she was really...stuck in the middle? Once she came back (at Sekang), she just sort of stood up for herself to Satan -- she'd just start stands she never finished, never went all the way, and I really really didn't get that. And it is SO frustrating, because the contradiction of it made you never get a proper read on her character. So which is she? If Eun-byul isn't there, is she forever fated to rise halfway and shrink again?

It says something about the show's characterisations that the most touching/memorable characters are min-joon, tae-kwang, and...eun-byul. Who's set the show on fire in the two or three eps she's in. I really wish that fire had been eun-bi's, though, and I really don't see why they couldn't give it to her.

I accept (and agree) that not every girl is going to be an alpha, but you've got to let your main character FINISH. As in, pass the finishing line, not ditch her 70% of the way and let her twin take over. It's not that it's not gratifying to see said twin being kickass, but...this ain't a relay race, you don't pass the baton to your twin and let them finish your throughline. Gah.

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I completely agree.

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Exactly. It's frustrating to see your heroine being so passive. At least her big sister defending her is better than boys fighting over her, but I want Eun Bi to DO something other than look distressed and hide.

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<One thing I really can’t get straight is what kind of personality exactly eun-bi is meant to be showing.

Agree with you. Eun-bi, at the beginning, seemed like a sensitive, bullied girl who had some guts somewhere (which you could see when she initially stood up to the bullies, as well as when she was interacting with the kids at the home). This Eun-bi pretty much disappeared. It's disappointing that she never stood up to So-young, something which would have been very satisfying in terms of the narrative and character development. But Eun-bi, as a character, didn't grow at all, if anything she regressed. She became totally passive, with lots of things happening around her and to her, but her DOING NOTHING. She's a damsel in distress, constantly being saved, and, for some reason, also the object of affection for two boys (who pursue her though she barely does anything for them). Not sure I've ever seen a lead character as passive as this...

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@fishfingers_fb, here's my 2-cents:

Eun-bi can stand-up to protect others, especially the ones she cared about. Start with Oh Jung-ah and Ra-jin, then when So-young starts to work her way to Song-joo and Yi-an. When it comes to herself, she doesn’t have such forceful spirit. She stands her ground as much as she can and she would point out when something is not right. Remember when she was being forced to admit her wrongdoing at her former school; she refused to budge in the face of all those adults and authority figure. Though in the end she was powerless from their combined authority. Those things can break your spirit.

I would attribute it also to her upbringing and environment from the orphanage. She’d live her whole life there until she’d max-ed the age limit to stay. No one came for her, or tried to adopt her, basically, no one wanted her… I think when you grew up like that it’s possible to develop a diminish sense of self. On the other hand, every little piece of kindness she experiences becomes precious. She doesn’t develop hate, she always tries to endure the pains she experiences because she’d always been alone. She’s got no one to turn to, it’s kind of a habit. When So-young throw insults or jeers to get a rise from her, the most she would do is point out that So-young is wrong and should change her ways. With added support of her newfound friends, even with Tae-gwang there to back her up when So-young bullies her again, she could almost go head-to-toe with her, but you can see it is almost taxing for her to keep that show of strength. This is all because she hadn’t really developed that strength internally; it is all borrowed.

But we’ll get to see that she would eventually nurture that strength in the future. Such change would be quite evident in her voice and demeanour.

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Maybe it is a trait of her character that she can't stand up for herself, but can for others, but I'm more tempted to put it down to weak writing.

All her standing-up is within the first few episodes, so it almost seems like her "guts" were forgotten by the writer at some point. Like we were told there was some strength there, but then it never turns into anything, for herself. Which feels like a big letdown.

Because the things is that Eun-bi is the central point of the drama, so it's not unreasonable to expect a character arch –that's what you get in dramas unless they are pure slice of life (this isn't slice of life).

You don't get it with Eun-bi at all. She doesn't change, just the situation around her changes (her school, she gets a mom, she gets a sister, she gets some friends, she gets boys who are interested in her romantically etc.) – indeed, at the end of 16 episodes, (MINIMAL SPOILER) all that seems to have changed with her is her surname and that she hits Tae-kwang once. As you say, she gets the support of her new friends, but that support ultimately doesn't change her: if there were a character arch, we'd expect her to gain strength from it, but in the end it's still only everyone else that does the fighting for her or that pursue her as an object of love.

To me the absence of a character arch is perplexing because with no pay-off I get no satisfaction out of Eun-bi as a character. It makes me question why she's at the centre of the drama, it makes me wonder what the writer was trying to do.

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@alua, I will add my thoughts though they may prove to be too convoluted...

Eun-bi’s character arc involves a lot of internal turmoils. From experiencing the edge of helplessness (suicide), uncertainty of knowing your own personality (amnesia), and with the return of memories, she had to struggle with fresh fear, guilt, loss, and hard choices. And then with her choice, she had to live to live-up to the memory of someone else. That gets extra confusing in all sense. For someone who already broke once, rather than piecing together her broken pieces, there is an innate problem to knowing which would be the right pieces to pick up. Even as she tried hard to live a comfortable life, she’s still living tensely, because it’s nagging at her that she’s still living a lie, and a lie that can be outed at any moment. I don’t expect someone who is struggling with all these emotions to become outwardly aggressive. What she would actually be feeling is that she maybe don’t deserve this comfortable life. Besides all these internal struggles, she also has to deal with specific aspects of her sister’s life that she’d inherited. The controversies, the threats, and her relationships… At the end of her journey, really all I wanted to see realized is that she’d comfortably live her life. In her case, the only way for it to happen would be if she became fully confident in her forged relationships. That’s the way her support system can empower her. Her journey itself tethers the other characters and her presence serves as motivations for the other characters. That’s why she’s the central character. It was because of her that Eun-byeol was forced to re-evaluate her own life. It was because of her that Yi-an was forced to re-evaluate his one-sided love. It was because of her that Tae-gwang was forced to re-evaluate how much he can handle an emotional investment again after the disappointment from both his parents. It was because of her upstanding attitude that So-yeong was forced to continuously reiterate her “I’m an alpha girl” image.

When I take a second look to her bullying at Tongyeong, she wasn’t afraid of So-yeong and her meanie gang; yes, she endures the humiliation and embarrassment, that if she’d had any choice she would really just take all in and forget it the next day until they just get bored and stop. That was how she’d been handling it so far, until she was push on edge by the school itself, the teachers who barely cared, the very institution she’s placed her dream on, since she has nowhere to go from the orphanage. So the expectation of getting back or standing up to So-yeong was maybe never in the game for her. If this is the kind of character development that most had been looking forward to, as a manifestation of Eun-bi developing some spine, I get that would be cause for disappointment.

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< Eun-bi’s character arc involves a lot of internal turmoils. From experiencing the edge of helplessness (suicide), uncertainty of knowing your own personality (amnesia), and with the return of memories, she had to struggle with fresh fear, guilt, loss, and hard choices. And then with her choice, she had to live to live-up to the memory of someone else.

Yes ––– but these things were some of the most unexplored parts of the drama. She takes on a whole other identity but this is minimally explored, when it should have been a huge, huge inner conflict. But she accepted Mom (very very twisted) proposal to pretend to be Eun-byul very quickl. The main concern seemed to be about being found out, while her own identity conflict inside of her was minimal, also in regards to shedding her own identity – including her younger 'siblings' that she was close to. One phone call where she's shaken for a moment. And about ten episodes later when she reunites with them, all fine pretty much instantly.

I commented on this in recaps of earlier episodes that these things barely played out (also: how grief was handled – they all seemed to get over Eun-byul's death in an instant, as if they knew that she was going to come alive later on!).

Incidentally, the same happens with Eun-byul. By episode 16 everyone seems to have forgotten that this girl DISAPPEARED and PRETENDED TO BE DEAD for WEEKS. This is not normal. However, no one ever questions this, instead Mom thinks it's a good idea [SPOILER] to let go off abroad on some adventure...

So yeah.... maybe Eun-bi's 'growth' could have been something other than her growing a spine and standing up to So-young – but I just feel I barely saw anything happened with and in her, just things that were happening around her.

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You mentioned the Mom and the lack of mourning for Eun-byeol, but her twisted request is actually one manifestation of her grief. People do get crazy with grief. Mentally, she couldn’t let go of her daughter, that’s why she couldn’t bear to call Eun-bi her real name. Then she looks at photo album in bed which I think is a given that she may be doing these on several nights. These scenes don’t really need expanding, otherwise, there won’t be room to show side stories from other characters. But they are telling that she is still mourning everyday. I don’t expect mourning from Eun-bi, she didn’t have a relationship with her sister; it’s more of guilt and loss. Eun-bi’s noble dream was to be a teacher, the type who can support and listen to her students, even for those things they cannot say and tries to hide. She wanted to be a kind of teacher who will care for someone like her, and even the likes of So-yeong. This is another telling characteristic of her trait; that she cannot turn away from those who are hurting. The Mom who made that request to her was one such. Though she tried to refuse, she was emotionally weak to really say no. Plus she’d already had a taste of having someone to call Mom. In other ways, she maybe thinking it’s one way of paying back her sister’s sacrifice for her, as she understood it to be the reason being alive. That it was a hard choice for Eun-bi turning her back from her younger siblings at the orphanage was manifested in small beats. I may have also intuited that she’s not the type to prioritize herself nor her wants.

Technically, Eun-byeol did not pretend to be dead. She just decided to hide away. That she ignored the obvious fact that her family and friends would be desperately looking for her, over the choice of misguided penance, is debatable at the least. Part of her was pushing the logic that Mom gets Eun-bi in her place so she wouldn’t be left lonely. Over her friends at least she tends to prioritize herself, so that’s her. I’m pretty sure that while she was staying away at her old orphanage, she was unaware that they mistook her dead or that Eun-bi was mistakenly reported dead. Only when she was checking her school’s intranet site, and came upon Teacher Kim’s article on Soo-in’s death, she would have also found the article posted regarding the suicide of a student who was bullied at Tongyeong. That’s when she decided she was taking her penance wrongly. When she came back, she explained her way to her disappearance. She expects unconditional support and understanding from her family, and that’s what she did get in return. At the time Eun-byeol came back her Mom & Yi-an already reached the point of moving on stage. It’s almost unnecessary for both to stay angry for long towards her.

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yeah..im sad mostly because they wasted their potential..ah the could have beens..anyway my takeaway for this show: kim so hyun please do another project..

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It's such a shame because School 2015 has so many interesting characters, but only TaeKwang seems to be the most consistent and fleshed one. Despite loving EunByul, EunBi and Yian, they sometimes feel lacking, mostly YiAn.

So even though I thoroughly enjoyed the series and hang on to every episode, it's been quite a let down that we approach the end with half-cooked turn around.

YiAn has been perfect from the first episodes and has been annoying in the recent ones. His return to his usual self in episode 15 is very much welcome, although a bit late.

I am hoping that we'll get a satisfying resolution between the EunBi and SoYoung feud, because as much as EunByul has been amazing, it's EunBi's battle to win.

I'm off to watch the last episode and my only wish now is for every kid to be happy. In the world of Kdramaland, that seems pretty difficult to ask.

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Tae-kwang's note to Saem: 'now I can call you hyung, right?'

YES RIGHT NOWWWW

please show, please. BEG.

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Yes! This is the bromance I ship!

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Thanks for the recap, dramallama!

I was particularly touched by the scene of all the post-its for Teacher Kim. I even teared up. Really appreciated the wisdom he imparted and what he did for his students.

I'm glad Taekwang was able to reconcile with his dad. Being able to call him Father was a turning point in their relationship. At least Director Gong finally realized his son's importance to him.

I love Yian's dad and the meal they shared. Interesting enough, while Taekwang always noticed what was happening to Eunbi, it's Yian who noticed what was going on with Taekwang and even showed concern for him.

Good to see Yian finally being honest with his feelings and doing something about them.

Soyoung's so evil. Just wanna get Eunbyul to show up at school so that the twins will out themselves. Soyoung's dad is a lost cause.

Off to watch the finale!

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Oh, one more thing... Sam's cameo was a pleasant surprise! ^^

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This was like reading my own reactions, lol.

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honestly, i expected more depth to come from Shi Jin and Song Joo (is that her name?) and I REALLY wanted a bro-mance btwn Yi An and Tae Kwang like in School 2013 and the teacher, good lord, for the love of God, the teach needed more time to shine.

Everyone kept saying how Tae Kwang needed Eun Bi to be a friend not a gf. Honestly, I think Tae Kwang needed Yi An. They're both opposites that could bring out the best in each other. If there was anyone's friendship I was looking the most forward to, it was Tae and Yi. I think the fundamental flaw in this drama was that they focused more on this weird love triangle than ACTUAL school issues. Soo Young's rivalry became irrelevant and sometimes I even forgot about her. At the end of ep 15 i didn't even understand what stakes she had. People will find out that the two are twins, at most her friends will be upset, but then what? She'll still be the girl who bullied someone into commiting suicide. I honestly wished we got to see more depth in Soo Yong's family life so that we could sympathize with her, but now I feel like she was thrown in just to 'spice' things up. And she never really did anything sucessful other than threaten Eun Bi without actually doing anything herself.

This was a show that sacrificed the possibility of some talented, tear jerking acting about the struggles of students but instead wasted time with a cheesy love triangle. It lost the importance of the School series and I hope that if they made a new one, they don't try to add a mystery element bc for 16 episodes, there were just too many elements and not enough time to flesh them out

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I had watched the last ep. How can the writer do this to us? I mean if the script show the lovey dovey between tae kwang n eun bi, they should end together. Why with Yi ahn? I cant accept the situation. Its too ridiculous. And eun byul studying at abroad? Like seriously? Why twist this plot n making us like wtf. Why end like like this?ahhh. Im strees like the hell

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spoiler

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Because she never liked TK. She said so herself enough times.

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Yes, she never liked him, or was even interested in him. And yet, this silly writer has her saying "I don't really know" to Tae-kwang in this episode.....

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Yeah and EBi didn't say anything after the kiss. From her face, I read that she was shaken by the kiss. The scene was tense and awkward. If she didn't like the kiss or was not affected by it, that is not the expression that should have been on her face. Or she could have given him a push or something to show her discomfort. But no, she just stood there looking at him (almost) dreamily. At the fountain too, I thought that maybe she is feeling something towards TK. Also when she hugged YA, her eyes didn't show any emotion, though she hugged him back. Made me kinda hope that there may have been a turn in the story at the last minute!!

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That's not her in character. She can clearly seen she didn't like it though. She's not disgusting by it, but she flinched and grabbed her bag. She wasn't moved romantically.

As for YA, she still thinks he's her sister's man.

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In some ways it reminds me of Mirae's Choice lol. The female lead kept saying no until she just didn't say anything at all so it was open ended. Like she gave up the will to say no anymore. In EB's case I think she just can't exactly tell him no again, well not yet.

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yeah, So-young is fantastically played but now rather toothless, and I STILL feel more about her storyline than I do about this dragged-out love triangle.

There's so much that didn't deliver about this instalment of School - the underwhelming mystery, the equally underwhelming love triangle, basically forgetting that EB2 needs to stand up to her bully herself and not just let the boys do it for her, the total neglect of the other students' stories in favour of said underwhelming love triangle......thank god for Kim So-hyun though, and to a lesser extent Yook Sung-jae (who makes what could have been your stock sensitive-bad-boy into a watchable and even rather rootable character).

But on the bright side: I LOVE YOU GO EUN-BYUL. (seriously, can she please be the lead of every kdrama from here on out?). She's practically a unicorn, I can't think of a single other drama heroine who's openly said that losing her bff/possible crush and realising her feelings later is something she'll deal with as her own problem. That'd be pretty mature even from someone ten years older, lol. Kudos to Kim So-hyun for making the two characters so different that even without makeup, I can instantaneously tell them apart - it's something in the way she holds her face.

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You know what's annoying about School 2015 is? They make a real solid love triangle then just when the answer comes (Eunbyul coming back) it goes right into another unrealistic and unreasonable love triangle.

The shipping was on because they made Taekwang this poor looking puppy who needs love and actually, Eunbyul did like Yian. But omfg I was a rooting for Yian's character for 9 or more episode. But I stopped, there's something that we couldn't follow about him "breaking-off his 10-years-long one sided crush" for a girl he just, JUST threw a bottle at in another episode

I was all on board for School 2015 but nah, never gonna watch ep 15 & 16. Too frustrating.

Anyway thanks for the recaps!!

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lol, i feel you so hard. scool 2015 started out so strong and good i'm still confused as to when everything went to shit? probs around ep. 8ish that's when i stopped watching and just decided to read the recaps.

i was also initially fine with eunbi/TK or eunbi/YA but the whole love triangle thing got way played out and i just didn't give anymore. like, she could've ended up with a dog and i wouldn't care.

YA's character is definitely the most frustrating for me. his indecisiveness makes me want to strangle him i swear, wrghh. the flatness of his characterization (poor deliverance? bad writing? idk) just really make me not care about him which really sucks because i really did want to care, like and root for his character.

i won't watch the last ep. but will look forward to reading the recap lol.

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Alternate endings game:
1: Eun-byul was playing detective during her absence and discredits So-young with the expanded version of the video that SY used to frame Eun-bi.
2: Eun-byul destroys So-young and her father with video of SY murdering a student who wanted to expose the bullying, followed by the family project of covering up the absence of the dead student, who turns out to be the one in the urn.
3: We all vow to quit k-dramas forever if they don't explain who is in the bleeping urn.

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They could make a whole new drama series with just the loose ends in this one.

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And of KSH is in it, I'd watch.

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Siiiigh, drama. Loved Eun-byul's response to Yi-an. Love Love Love. Siigh. Mmm, writers... missed the mark with that bromance. THAT they should've worked on, wow. Coulda been something better.

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NO SPOILERS
I just watched the final episode, and while it's true that in comparison to the other School installments, this one's lacking; the finale still has something. Some of the loose ends are somehow fixed up,and towards the end there are some great ideologies.

As a 17-to-turn-18 beanie, I can't say enough how this drama has affected me in a good way. The end lines had me tear up. Please don't give up now, pleaaase :(
Watch EP 16!!

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DON'T WATCH THE 2 LAST EPISODES!!! ITS BAD!!! KBS IS EVIL BAITING TAEBI SHIPPERS TO WATCH!!!!!!! #OST8 #UMBRELLA_SCENE #KBSisEVIL

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likewise, i would love to watch a drama with eunbyul as the lead. in the short time that she's been on screen, i like her way more than eunbi. she's complex & strong (which is what i love in my female leads) in comparison to eunbi's sweetness--which is nice but i personally prefer a tougher more badass female lead to root for.

i would gladly watch a drama with eunbyul/yian as leads. perhaps they remain bffs for a long time until they realize that they actually DO like one another.

similarly, i would happily watch a drama with an eunbyul/TK pairing. their relationship is hilarious and how great would a be to see their hate relationship turn to one of love? LOL, i would die & ship so hard.

regardless, eunbyul is beast and she and TK are definitely my fav characters.

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Teacher Kim's moment reminded me a lot of Dead Poet's Society. It was such a nice moment.

That's all I have to say about this, really. School 2015 was not as flawless as its predecessor, but it was one of the most compelling drama this year.

I'll leave the ship wars to those who are still keen on fighting. Bless you.

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I think Teacher Kim was a wonderful character, but I wish I could have felt more about his leaving and the students' sweet gesture.

But the problem of this season was that there was hardly any focus on the students' stories and the teacher assisting them to earn the kind of emotional goodbye the writer gives us. But it was really only Min-joo and Tae-kwang that had a deeper kind of connection with Teacher Kim. There were glimpses of other stories that could have been explored and could have highlighted how appreciative the students ultimately felt, but they never played out. In fact, even So-young's story is a waste in this way: Teacher Kim leaves without ever dealing with it – indeed it hardly seems he was ever aware of what was going on. A pity, given that this is exactly what the School's series should be focusing on.

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Exactly. I thought about how lovely and emotional that farewell sequence could have been ... if only we had seen the teacher's connection to his students.
In 2013, the equivalent situation (homeroom teacher leaving) wasn't put in this over-emotional setting, but it worked much, much better because I didn't have to read post-its to know what was at stake.

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Truly! I wanted for arc for Teacher Kim's involvement for each student :(

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The main annoying this with this love triangle is that Eun Bi's feelings never change. She doesn't like TK regardless of what he does and how great he is. She's repeated it and it never change. She does however like YA, so since he finally said something he's going to get her. Which pisses off the audience since he didn't have to do much to get her. But again, she can't help who she likes either.

That being said, this episode had a lot of what I wanted, especially TK and YA being semi-friendly. Such a nice change of pace and something that should have happened earlier. I love that TK and his dad are also making up. A reconciled family end is still what I want for him and I feel that's what he truly needs.

Eun Byul and YA are wonderful together, but I still like them as friends more than anything else. I love how she took the news and how cool everything was. High school love comes and goes, but BFFs are forever. I still have no real issue with him moving, he's a teenager that's what they do. And he always knew she wasn't quite as into him as he was into her. They'll still have the longest lasting relationship in the end.

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I ONLY found out that Yi An is the main guy a few days ago! I've been shipping for the second lead throughout the show (again) FML, this time round without knowing TaeGwang is a second lead.

I don't understand why EunBi likes Yi Ahn, did I miss out anything? When did she started liking him? Also, I can't forgive Yi Ahn for ignoring her through her stalking periods when he got injured. And all they do recently is brood about each other, there's no chemistry. Yi Ahn seems to brood for like half of his screen time.

I thought it's only natural for her to end up with TaeGwang, I feel like they have more screen time together and he's the one that actually likes her first and protect her and is her first friend and ACTUALLY BOTHER TO SEE HER.

Oh well I'm sad, My ship's sinking

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i kinda agree with you! i feel that YA didnt have much acting to do. i felt that eun bi was just trying to fit in her sister's shoes and hence be close to YA. and YA had all along treated her as eunbyul until he found out that she wasnt eunbyul. YA character was also flawed. he became violent and shook eunbi when he found out that 'eunbyul' wasnt THE eunbyul, that's when TK came and saved her. He was always the one there for eunbi. i just dont see how eunbi can fall for YA. to me, she seemed like she was just obligated to do something for her sister's bestfriend. anyway....... sungjae did a brilliant job as TK and i love his singing (seriously, btob is rather underrated). School 2015 would have been better without a love triangle....

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I guess I'm an a mean old geezer. Now I have been demanding more elaboration on Yi-an's relation to Eun-byul and Eun-bi, because that part had been missing in a really bad way of dishonest story-telling so far.

And now they give me that, a scene of Eun-byul and Yi-an being all mature and explicit and open, and I hated it. Not because I hated the scene per se, or the idea of a scene like that, or the approach of characters being direct and open and stuff. Not at all.
It's mostly because it felt so very much character-breaking for me.
So far, Eun-byul was the kind of person who did never talk about the important stuff, not even to the people closest to her. And she never made mature decisions.
Same goes for Yi-an. He is still in this teenage egocentric period where he believes that just wanting something is enough to get it. And if he doesn't, he reacts like a defiant child. The actor made a rather remarkable effort to highlight Yi-an's constantly angry and immature reaction to everything.

And suddenly, these two sit down and have a conversation rife with nostalgia and world wisdom that seems to be perfectly suited for a 25 year school reunion. There may be some teenagers who think and talk like that, but I have to ignore the previous 15 episodes of the show to believe one second that Eun-byul and Yi-an are among them.

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Idk. I agree that it seems odd for Eunbyul to talk out loud her feelings, but considering that it's Yian- who she values as her bff - and the seriousness of the topic, I think she would feel the need to share how she feels. We also know the girl is a bookworm, so I'm not really surprised by the maturity in her speech.
About Yian, I totally agree with you. He's been built up too flatly to convince me that he is capable of such eloquence.

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<but considering that it’s Yian- who she values as her bff – and the seriousness of the topic, I think she would feel the need to share how she feels

I don't know. Just a little while ago she disappeared for weeks and pretended to be dead, showing little maturity, little consideration for even her closest and longest friend, little effort to even give people an inkling of what she was feeling. And that situation was way more serious.

For me that conversation seemed way strange. Strange b/c Yi-an had to announce his "breaking up" at all – it again only seemed to serve so that the drama could pave his way for being with Eun-bi.

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After so many years of watching K-drama, I can't believe I'm still bothered by this: Yi-an's father's "Well done, son!" after Yi-an violently attacked the rude guy.

Virtually the same scene happened in "High Society" (only the violent kid being significantly younger).

Well, I understand that violence to protect your family's honour is a very deep-seated instinct in tribal societies. But is it really a good idea to use this to frame the action of a young male as pure and filial? And to frame the parent's positive attitude by "You should have held back, but I'm really proud of you!"

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Honestly, I don't even understand how the situation escalated into a fight or so little (give us a real conflict! like YA's father actually damaging another car or something) and why Yi-an attacked the guy. Why deoesn't Yi-an pull his father away, rather than dive in to to hit someone? Also, he's again forgetting that he's an athlete with a shoulder injury. He really wants to get hurt again it seems. He doesn't this time, I guess because nothing in the plot called for an injury now. Instead it's the plot twist that lands him at the police station, to ensure him running into Tae-kwang. In other words, the whole situation is fabricated yet again as a way to show other things (tentative friendship between YA/TK; TK's longing for a father).

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It was a rather random encounter, for sure.
On the one hand, I thought it was kind of a nice touch. Yi-an's primary emotion so far has been that of held-back aggression (even though I'm still not sure where that comes from). And finally we see him to give in to that.

But, as you said, it leads to almost nothing.
I would add, however, that the writers tried to contrast YA's and TK's relationship towards their fathers.
YA is this perfect conflict-free filial son, who immediately attacks anyone who frowns at his father (and, in K-drama, that is a good thing).
TK has much more conflicted about his father and even lets him rot in jail for a few minutes.

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I liked the contrasting of the father-son relationship, though it could have come several episodes earlier (and then we maybe could have seen a friendship develop between the boys!).

I just wish the scenario that got us to the contrasting wouldn't have been so obviously a plot device to land everyone at the police station. Or, as I said, actually an actual conflict where it would make sense of Yi-an getting violent.

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