Moorim School: Episode 4
The boys continue their quest, which only grows more dangerous as they go on. There are important lessons to be learned on Moorim Peak, and even more important ones once they come down from the mountain. They both must face their true reasons for being there, and whether they have what it takes to stick it out until the end.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Shi-woo finds himself face-to-face with a wolf-beast, which chases and knocks him over. But a ray of sunlight glints off the jewel in his pendant and into the beast’s eyes, infuriating it, but also stopping it in its tracks.
Following the beast’s growls, Chi-ang finds Shi-woo and distracts it, then goes after it with a flimsy stick like he’s fencing. That’s pretty brave. He yells at Shi-woo to get a move on, so Shi-woo climbs a nearby tree, and Chi-ang clambers up right behind him.
Sun-ah is determined to go up the mountain to help the boys, but the only one willing to go with her is Soon-deok (who even thinks to pack Chi-ang’s sneakers). Before they go, Soon-deok says there’s something they must do.
Up in the tree, Shi-woo reluctantly thanks Chi-ang for his rescue, and Chi-ang calls them even. Shi-woo is all Yeah I know, don’t make a big deal over it, but there’s no heat in his voice this time, and he even cracks a tiny smile. Of course Chi-ang teases him for smiling, but betrays a little grin of his own.
They seem to have come to a tentative truce, and even have a splash-fight at the stream where they stop to drink. Okay, this bromance is going to be my new favorite thing.
Later they lay on a rock to dry out, and Shi-woo shushes Chi-ang, wanting to just listen to the sounds of the forest. He asks if they can really make it to Moorim Peak, and Chi-ang says they’ll be lucky if they just make it off their little rock alive. Truer words, my friend.
Chi-ang’s leather-wallet-shoe is falling apart, and Shi-woo just wordlessly tosses him his own wallet to use. Awww, I love this.
With the benefit of a map, the girls realize that the boys probably took the most dangerous path up to Moorim Peak. The whole school is unsettled at Sun-ah and Soon-deok’s decision to look for Chi-ang and Shi-woo, but Dean Hwang takes the news calmly.
Professor Oh walks in just as Professor Daniel beats Professor Kim in another sparring match — poor Professor Kim wonders why he can’t win against anyone today, ha. He’s annoyed that none of the kids are here to practice, but Professor Oh reminds him that their minds are all on Moorim Peak.
Chi-ang tries to start a fire with two sticks, but Shi-woo just pulls out his phone and uses a heat source (cigarette lighter?) on the back to ignite some leaves. Chi-ang throws money on the fire to help it get going, and jokes that this is a pretty expensive fire, ha.
Shi-woo asks if Chi-ang is really a Boy Scout as he claims, then laughs when Chi-ang gets the motto all wrong. Chi-ang’s convoluted explanation of what he meant makes a weird sort of sense, even to Shi-woo. He asks how Chi-ang learned to fence, referring to how he fended off the wolf with a stick, and Chi-ang says he studies self-defense because he’s been kidnapped so many times.
He says that his father even kidnapped him here, but at least he got to meet his Ariel. He shares his one snack with Shi-woo, congratulating himself on how selfless he is. Later he asks Shi-woo why he’s here at Moorim when he doesn’t have to be, and he hits the nail on the head by asking if it’s because of Shi-woo’s ear.
He asks if that’s what happened at the concert too, when Shi-woo was the only one who didn’t run from the falling lights. Shi-woo admits that Chi-ang is right, and that the doctors don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it. He came to Moorim, hoping that Dean Hwang could help him. He says sadly that he has no family or anyone in the world, just music, so if he can’t hear…
But Chi-ang cuts him off with a smile and tells him not to worry. He’ll make a huge comeback — his Ariel will make sure of that. Shi-woo doesn’t respond, but his face relaxes and he seems a bit more peaceful than before.
Apparently, the thing Soon-deok and Sun-ah needed to do before they go was to make a video of Soon-deok explaining what happened the night of Shi-woo’s scandal, and post it online. The Moorim students watch it and wonder why Shi-woo never defended himself, and Nadet says they wouldn’t have believed him, anyway. He’s not wrong.
They post comments on the video, backing up Soon-deok’s honesty and apologizing to Shi-woo for not believing him. Even Teacher Samuel gets into the act, and Dean Hwang visits the boys’ empty room.
The makeshift shoes aren’t cutting it anymore, and Chi-ang’s foot is cut up and bleeding. But for once he doesn’t whine, and just admits he’s spoiled and soft, asking for a rest. Rather than take advantage, Shi-woo hangs back with him, bringing him nuts to eat and helping him walk.
When they stop for another break, Chi-ang reminds Shi-woo that only one of them can win this race and stay at Moorim. He tells Shi-woo to go on without him, which frankly angers Shi-woo, but Chi-ang is serious. He can’t go any further, and one of them may as well win.
But instead of taking the opportunity, Shi-woo sits down with Chi-ang and claims to be tired, too. Chi-ang blusters that as soon as he’s rested, he’s going to win this thing, but his tiny little smile shows that he’s glad Shi-woo is staying. Awww.
Meanwhile, Soon-deok’s video is working — all the news media sites are reporting the story and video, and public opinion swings back in his favor.
Tonight the boys find a cave for shelter, and Shi-woo starts a fire then starts to go looking for something to eat. By now, Chi-ang seems actually upset that Shi-woo refuses to go on and complete the task without him.
The wolf-beast has tracked them to the cave, so Shi-woo runs back to help Chi-ang escape. This time both boys are armed with sticks, but the wolf-beast has brought his whole pack. The wolves attack, and one of them manages to clamp down on Chi-ang’s arm.
Thank goodness, the girls find them just in time, and with Soon-deok’s sling and Sun-ah’s whip, they chase off the wolves. But one wolf-beast turns back and heads straight for Chi-ang — Shi-woo screams, and everything seems to slow down in that moment. In the instant that the wolf hangs in the air, Shi-woo shoves Chi-ang out of its path, so that when things move normally again, he takes the brunt of its attack.
He gets a nasty bite too, but they manage to chase off the last wolf and Soon-deok doctors everyone up. Her bravery has done nothing to dampen Chi-ang’s feelings, and he stares at her with hearts in his eyes as she puts on the shoes she brought for him.
Shi-woo notices, and looks annoyed. When she gives the same attention to a scratch on his face, he’s not unaffected by her proximity. Soon-deok jokes that his fans will be devastated if he comes back with a scar on his face, and assures him that there will be fans who care about him again.
Interesting how, out of the two boys, it’s Shi-woo who notices that Soon-deok is injured as well.
At the exact moment that Chi-ang was injured, his mother had seemed to sense something, and broken a vase in her shock. She goes shopping for a new one, and runs into Aunty outside the shop. She does seem happy to see Aunty at first, but quickly schools her expression.
They end up at Chi-ang’s mother’s house, and now she has someone she can ask about the school without being shut down. She tells Aunty that she’s been having terrible dreams for two nights and she can’t reach her son, but Aunty assures her that Soon-deok is there and can watch over him.
Aunty makes a comment about Chi-ang’s mother being the wife of the chairman of Sanghae Group, and Mom doesn’t correct her, but looks nervous about it. She jumps up to get refreshments and steps on a serving fork on the floor, and complains about how hard it is to get good help these days. Aunty gets an idea, and asks if possibly she’s thinking of hiring a new housekeeper.
Even with his sneakers, Chi-ang’s injured foot makes it difficult to walk, but he powers through “since my Ariel vitamin is next to me.” Soon-deok snarls at him when he wants to hold her hand, and Shi-woo doesn’t look too happy about it either.
As night falls, Chi-ang asks for a break, and Shi-woo notices that his wolf-bitten arm is bleeding. Soon-deok wants to take him back to the school now, but he insists that he can’t stop here, after coming this far. He’s the one who has to stay, to be near her and his mother.
Shi-woo steps in to suggest they rest for an hour, but even Sun-ah is against it. She gives Chi-ang credit for getting this far with a hurt foot and after what they’ve been through, but even she thinks it’s time for him to turn back. She offers to take him back to the school, and Soon-deok can go on with Shi-woo.
Shi-woo wants Soon-deok to take him back if he has to go, and Sun-ah barks that of course she wants to stay with Shi-woo (earning her stares all around), but she’s stronger and can help Chi-ang walk. Chi-ang is forced to admit defeat, and he tells Shi-woo to go on without him — at least one of them can succeed.
On the walk back, Sun-ah recommends that Chi-ang ask Dean Hwang if he can stay anyway, since he didn’t give up, but had to turn back because of injuries. But Chi-ang isn’t hopeful, calling Hwang a monster, small-minded and stubborn. He even wants to fight the dean, but his show of bravado doesn’t impress Sun-ah one bit.
Shi-woo is distracted as Soon-deok leads him up the mountain, and soon he stops altogether. Out of nowhere, he says to her, “I don’t want to be like the members of Mobius.” They only do whatever benefits them, and he doesn’t want to live like that.
Chi-ang talks a big game about how he’s going to make Dean Hwang sorry for how he treated him. Finally, Sun-ah informs him that that’s her father he’s insulting. At least Chi-ang looks chastened and apologizes.
“Did he mess up again?” they hear from behind them, and turn to see Shi-woo and Soon-deok. Soon-deok simply says that Shi-woo wanted to quit, but he doesn’t give any more explanation that that he’s afraid of the wolf, without Chi-ang with him. Okay, awwww.
Shi-woo assures Chi-ang that he’s not doing this because he feels sorry for Chi-ang. It’s that, when he thought about it, he realized that Chi-ang wouldn’t have gone on without him, either. Chi-ang is too touched to speak, and Shi-woo simply slings his arm over his shoulders and starts walking him back down the mountain.
They get back to school and head straight for the dean’s office, heads bowed. They tell the dean what happened, for once speaking as a team instead of arguing. Chi-ang especially makes sure Dean Hwang knows that Shi-woo could have gotten the banner, but he didn’t for Chi-ang’s sake. In his turn, Shi-woo says he only got as far as he did because of Chi-ang, and that he was afraid to go on without him. Chi-ang tells the dean that he should still let one of them stay, since the school values life lessons, and they both learned while on that mountain.
The dean hasn’t said a word until now, but that last comment makes him smile. He even nearly laughs when Chi-ang calls him on it, covering it with a cough, and just tells them to get their injuries treated and be on time for class tomorrow. I knew it — they were never meant to get the banner, they were meant to learn to work together.
The rest of the students celebrate to hear that both boys get to stay. They’re all thrilled, with the obvious exception of Jeong. He refuses to admit they earned the right to stay considering they didn’t finish the task, or that he cares that he’s alienated all of his former friends.
It’s a similar story for the teachers — they’re all glad the boys are staying, though Professor Kim says he’s not happy about it. That could have more to do with Professor Oh prodding him though, as he doesn’t actually seem that upset.
Up in their room, Chi-ang asks Shi-woo if he thinks the other students will treat them differently now. Shi-woo just offers to clean the bathrooms until Chi-ang’s arm heals, then threatens to rescind his offer when Chi-ang gloats about how he fought off that wolf. Cute.
Shi-woo finally gets to see Soon-deok’s video defending him against the unfair accusations, recalling how she promised him on the mountain that everything would go back to how it was for him. Both boys see other videos of Shi-woo’s fans, now on his side again and begging him to come back.
Shi-woo shoots Chi-ang a pointed look when he comments on fickle fans, and Chi-ang defends himself that it’s not like Shi-woo told him the truth, so of course he believed it, too. Shi-woo just tells him to rest, and leaves.
Dean Hwang does explain his decision to Professor Beop — instead of one boy being successful, both failed. And in life, people learn more from failure than success. Professor Beop isn’t so sure about Chi-ang, and he thinks that Shi-woo will probably leave on his own.
The man in the coma lays in his hospital bed, reliving his last few moments of lucidity. There’s a fire, and he’s fighitng someone whose face we don’t see. Chairman Wang’s assistant gets a report that his vital signs seem to be improving, which he says the chairman will be happy to hear.
Shi-woo stays up late thinking, and in the morning he slips out of his room with his bag packed. Chi-ang wakes to see Shi-woo’s bed stripped, and knows what it means. In town, Shi-woo is recognized by shrieking fangirls, but right beside them is a poster of him that was defaced with hateful comments. Fickle fans, indeed. As he walks on, he hears Soon-deok on her scooter behind him, delivering chicken, but he doesn’t turn to look.
Shi-woo is here for a reason, and he meets with a representative from his agency’s rival, DS Entertainment. They want to offer him a contract, and to help him make a huge comeback as a solo act after clearing his name. Shi-woo tells the rep that he’s dealing with a problem right now, but the rep already knows about his ear. He says that Shi-woo can just take some time off and write songs, get his ear treated, then come back.
Back at Moorim, Sun-ah is horrified to hear about Shi-woo leaving, and begs her father to help him get his hearing back. Chi-ang just sits alone in their room, staring at Shi-woo’s empty bed.
The rep asks Shi-woo if he’s been staying with family in this area, and Shi-woo reluctantly admits that he has no family. The rep comments on Shi-woo’s reputation for never talking about how he feels, which Shi-woo also admits. The car arrives, and at the same time, Shi-woo gets a call from Chi-ang.
Shi-woo stands, unsure what to do, and then he gets a text from Sun-ah asking him not to leave. Chi-ang calls again, and the rep jokes that Shi-woo is popular wherever he goes. Yes, but these people care about you for you — make the right choice!
Soon-deok drives by again, and this time she sees Shi-woo standing with the agency rep. She runs to him and asks where he’s going, and the rep recognizes her from the video she posted. He takes a call and leaves them to talk, and Shi-woo thanks Soon-deok for posting that video. Because of her, he can go back to his music life, and Soon-eok congratulates him.
The rep is ready to go, and suddenly Soon-deok doesn’t look so happy. But she shakes it off and wishes Shi-woo good luck, and invites him to visit any time. Shi-woo watches her drive away with a lonely expression on his face.
Chi-ang is still trying to call him, but Shi-woo ignores his calls as he rides away with the agency rep. He listens to the man plan his future with other people, and he gets a series of texts from Chi-ang, first joking that he’s just trying to get out of cleaning the bathrooms himself like he promised, then saying that they’ll do them together.
Chi-ang is increasingly upset, complaining out loud that Shi-woo is just a runaway idol after all, and that he didn’t even say goodbye. He tells himself he’s glad, and flops down on Shi-woo’s bed, but no matter how he tries to bluster through, in the end he looks extremely lonely himself.
We see that Shi-woo did tell Dean Hwang that he was leaving, and the dean had said that once he was like Shi-woo and Chi-ang, holding onto his courage and stubbornness. But a friend had saved him, and is the reason he’s here today. Shi-woo is lost in his thoughts when the rep speaks, and the rep assumes he didn’t hear him. Shi-woo says, “True. I need to fix my ears first.”
That evening, Soon-deok is too distracted to work, and Chi-ang can’t sleep comfortably in Shi-woo’s bed. Both of them think of Shi-woo, and how much he changed in just the few days he was at Moorim School. Soon-deok begs off work, and when she gets to her scooter, Shi-woo is waiting for her. Eeee, he stayed!
He breezily claims that he’s soooo popular here, he didn’t want to upset people by leaving. Soon-deok crows happily when he says he plans to stay, but when she prepares to drive them back to school, her injured wrist hurts too much to drive anymore.
Shi-woo wraps her cut in a bandanna, fussing at her for not taking care of herself. He offers to drive and let her rest, and Soon-deok is too taken aback to argue. She gets on behind him and her tells her to hang on tight in case she falls asleep, pulling her arms securely around his waist. It’s Soon-deok’s turn to be flustered by the close contact, but she leans her head on his back and they take off.
Sure enough, she falls asleep right away, and Shi-woo smiles to himself. She wakes a few minutes later and now she smiles, and the two of them head back to Moorim School.
Romance and bromance are both in full bloom, and I couldn’t be happier. it almost hurt to see Shi-woo and Chi-ang at odds with each other, because they are so much alike in their insecurities and fears for their future, and both of them could use a friend who truly understands them. I love that, once they stopped fighting and start accepting each other, they seemed to instantly “get” one another without even trying. Like Shi-woo said, he didn’t go on because he knew that Chi-ang wouldn’t have, if their positions were reversed. He was right, and nobody had to tell him that –he knew it because he just gets Chi-ang.
And he’s absolutely right — Chi-ang isn’t a bad guy, or even as selfish as he first seemed. In fact, he was the first to show concern for Shi-woo when he had an attack right in front of him, which just proves that he’s a pretty empathetic and caring person. He’s just had to keep up a facade of bravado and bluster, because as it turns out, his place in his family is pretty precarious. He’s illegitimate, so while he may be the only son, he’s not the legal heir to his father’s company. This puts him in a frightening position where he has a lot of money and power, but that could all be taken away at any moment. But his first move towards maturity was realizing that he has to stay at Moorim in order to be allowed to live with his mother, and I suspect the whole thing about being there because of Soon-deok is as much a red herring than his real reason. It’s obvious that Chi-ang’s first priority is his mother.
And whatever their relationship, which we’re still being kept in the dark about, they do have some sort of unusually strong connection. Chi-ang’s mother has an almost otherwordly connection to Chi-ang, and she definitely feels that something is wrong, because she starts having nightmares the moment her son steps foot on that mountain. She seems flighty and shallow, but I suspect that’s as much a defense mechanism for her in the face of her very strong-willed partner, Chi-ang’s father, as Chi-ang’s swagger is for him. They’ve both had to present a face to the world that’s not who they really are, just to survive.
And Shi-woo has had some pretty insightful moments as well, like how the other Mobius members were just hangers-on, there to ride his coattails to fame. He was always the true talent, and he knows it. With the knowledge we now have of him and his past, suddenly his refusal to act as part of the group, and keeping himself separate from them, makes a lot more sense. Instead of the snooty idol he first seemed, now it feels like he was just protecting himself from those who were out to use him. Again, he’s had to cultivate a persona that’s not really who he is, to keep himself safe from those around him.
It’s this kind of slow reveal that I really like about Moorim School, and I hope it keeps up. As a viewer, I love that moment of realization that everything we thought we knew about a character turns out to be wrong, and you realize that they’re not who they seemed, in a good way. It’s certainly not a perfect show, and has a lot of flaws (I want to know more about the other students!), but there’s still a lot to recommend it. The characters of the main four kids, the mystery of Shi-woo’s past and his potential mystical abilities, the man in the coma and the dean and the school and how they all fit together, I find very compelling. I definitely think the show is getting its footing in the second week, and feels a lot more focused, and more like it knows where it’s going. My initial worries are certainly being calmed, and I’ll be able to relax and really enjoy the story from here on out.