Entertainer: Episode 8
Being a band is more than just about making music – you need trust, and dignity, and mutual respect. There are many ways to give that to each other, and Ddanddara Band is learning to form bonds that will carry them through anything if they manage to make it big. They’ll need those bonds, because they’re beginning to meet hardships and enemies already, so they’ll have to be willing to fight for each other if they want to make it.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Though Seok-ho has fired her, Geu-rin stands in front of his desk with tears streaming down her face. When he finally lets her speak, she confesses that she was only thinking what was best for Ha-neul, and apologizes for letting the rest of the band down by trying to pressure Kyle into asking his old schoolmate for a favor.
Seok-ho says that’s not why she was fired — she’s simply not qualified. He doesn’t want to hear her promises to do better, and orders her out of his office.
Ha-neul follows her out and sits with her while she cries, attempting to aegyo her out of her tears. Seok-ho’s words that she’s not qualified really stung, but she asks if Ha-neul’s hungry since he keeps offering to buy her food.
He finally slings her up on his back for a piggyback ride, swearing not to let her down until she stops crying. He teases her not to wipe her snotty nose on his back, and seriously can’t these two get together? They’re so cute.
Ha-neul carries Geu-rin all over while she talks out her disappointment, and she says there’s one thing she’s good at — taking care of him. That makes him happy, and he teasingly offers to beat up Seok-ho for her, then he’ll get fired and they can open a street food stand.
Later, having picked up on some clues, Kyle asks Ha-neul if Geu-rin was adopted. Ha, Yeon-soo thought they were cousins. Kyle gets a little touchy when Ha-neul objects to the idea of Geu-rin being adopted… interesting, was Kyle adopted?
Anyway, Kyle and Yeon-soo guessed Ha-neul and Geu-rin aren’t really related by the way Ha-neul looks at her, and Ha-neul explains that his and Geu-rin’s fathers were friends. Her parents died when she was in middle school and she came to live with Ha-neul’s family. He asks them not to let her know that they know, and they swear to keep the secret
Kyle heads off to his part-time job, which he told everyone was playing music at a jazz cafe. But Ha-neul finds his business card on the floor of his room, and discovers the truth — he’s working as a designated driver.
Seok-ho, Min-joo, and Man-shik (again in the tiger suit, adorable) discuss the day’s events over drinks,and Min-joo says that Geu-rin’s idea really wasn’t bad. Seok-ho says that Geu-rin needs to learn to follow the rules, but he doesn’t want to tell her the rules — she should learn from her own mistakes. So much for being a great mentor.
The first thing Jae-hoon says to Ha-neul when he sees him next is that he heard he and Geu-rin aren’t real siblings, and Ha-neul grimaces at Kyle for not keeping the secret like he promised. Jae-hoon thinks it’s just awesome, their band even has a birth secret!
Seok-ho brings lunch, but Kyle whines about ddukbokki again, while Jae-hoon stuffs his face. He says his mom only cooks healthy food, and he always has to eat alone, so he loves eating with the band. He admits he never even had any friends to eat with, and Kyle says he and Ha-neul can be friends since they’re both outcasts.
Ha-neul retorts that Kyle doesn’t have friends either, but he swears he has tons of them in the States. But the guys realize he never gets calls or texts, and they’ve never heard him actually speak English… even little Chan-hee pipes up that Uncle Kyle has no friends because he’s so mean, hee.
Chan-hee saves a kimbap for Geu-rin, saying innocently that she hasn’t eaten in the last few days. That makes Seok-ho look worried, and Jae-hoon asks if he’s looking for a new manager.
Jinu is informed that he’ll be shooting a commercial with Ji-young, but he tries to refuse — she makes him sick. Joo-han says he doesn’t know what she’ll do if she doesn’t get her way, and Jinu asks why he’s still letting her call all the shots when “it” happened over a year ago.
Joo-han tells Jinu, for the first time, that Ji-young has the whole incident on video. She pretty much gets whatever she wants. Jinu asks who filmed it, but Joo-han doesn’t know. He shows Jinu the video, which does look pretty bad, and Joo-han wheedles for him to do the commercial.
Mr. Byun brings Ddanddara Band a van, though it’s kind of a piece of crap. Not only that, but they also have to make the payments on it, heh. Ha-neul pointedly asks who’s going to drive it, and Seok-ho hilariously acts like he didn’t hear anything.
Min-joo brings food to the boys’ house, and sees that Geu-rin’s been studying tirelessly about how to be a manager. She invites Geu-rin out for a girls’ night, and while she’s waiting for her to get ready, Chan-hee tries to play matchmaker between his daddy and Min-joo. Heh, Yeon-soo thinks she’s puuurty.
Seok-ho calls out Kyle and takes him to see a huge poster of his old school nemesis, Sang-won. He promises that someday, it will be Kyle’s face on a poster that big… but in the meantime, he needs to work on having a bigger heart.
Kyle hides behind Seok-ho when Sang-won himself walks out of the building, and they watch as he refuses a bigger hotel room and greets a group of fans warmly. He seems like a nice guy.
Seok-ho watches with Kyle, then says that if you fill up a garbage bag, you throw it out. So if Kyle wants to be jealous, he can be jealous, but then when he’s full up on jealousy, throw it out. They head home, and awww, Seok-ho says Kyle is more handsome than that guy anyway.
Geu-rin admits to Min-joo that she’s upset, but not at Seok-ho — she’s mad at herself. Min-joo tells her that when she met Seok-ho they fought all the time, because he demanded special treatment for his clients that cost her company a lot of money. But she’d been swayed when he called her gorgeous.
She says that Seok-ho is still awful most of the time, but Geu-rin smiles and says she just wants to learn from him. Min-joo warns her that he always looks out for himself first, using every sneaky tactic he can to get his way. But she says he does have one really wonderful quality — he never lets anyone insult his artists.
She takes Geu-rin to see Seok-ho, so she can tell him that she understands now why he fired her. She realizes that she betrayed Kyle by blaming him for letting the band down by not asking his old classmate to let them be in his concert. She begs for her job back, but Seok-ho asks if she plans to be Ddanddara Band’s manager, or just Ha-neul’s.
She promises enthusiastically to be the band’s manager, and not to stress Seok-ho out anymore. He’s annoyed, but he relents.
Ha-neul borrows a waitress’s phone to call the number on Kyle’s business card and order a designated driver. He requests Kyle, but learns that Kyle’s real name is Lee Bang-geul. He gives Kyle the cheesiest grin ever when he shows up, and cheerfully threatens to tell everyone Kyle’s secret.
Kyle sighs that driving is all he knows how to do besides pay guitar, and he wanted to help contribute to the house expenses. Ha-neul is so touched he’s embarrassed to tell Kyle the real reason he wanted to talk, but he braces himself anyway.
He reminds Kyle of the day he came all the way to Busan to see him and tell him he liked Ha-neul’s voice, saying that he was moved by the fact that a Juilliard-trained musician approved of him. He’d kept distance between them because the whole Juilliard thing intimidated him, but then Kyle came for him. Awww, warm fuzzies.
Jinu gives it some serious thought, then tells Joo-han that he thinks the incriminating video is doctored. He doesn’t remember much of that night, but he wouldn’t attack a girl that way right after being involved in his dating scandal. Joo-han has him watch the video again, and this time he sees something new — the camera pans down to a pair of sneakers that Jinu seems to recognize.
Ah, that would be because he gave someone those sneakers as a gift, and they’re limited edition so they’re very distinctive. It’s no surprise that the person he gave the shoes to was Joo-han. Shaken, Jinu chooses not to tip his hand yet, and tells Joo-han that he overreacted.
Geu-rin is reinstated as Ddanddara Band’s manager, but Kyle has something weighing on his mind. He takes Seok-ho to the hotel where Sang-won is staying, and Seok-ho guesses that he’s decided to let his resentment go. He encourages Kyle with a heartfelt, “You are so annoying,” (ha, I love their weird relationship) and sends him to talk to his old classmate.
It’s interesting that Sang-won looks just as nervous as Kyle — looks like the tension goes both ways. Kyle looks like he’s fighting tears before they even say hello, and Sang-won wordlessly pulls him into a hug.
Kyle tries to do the small talk thing but soon turns upset, and asks, out of the whole world, why did Sang-won have to come here to hold a concert? Kyle came all the way to Korea to get some distance, and he’s in a band now because he realized he enjoys this kind of music more than classical guitar.
Now he is crying, and Sang-won just listens patiently as Kyle goes on that he can’t even sleep, worrying that he ran away because he felt inferior. He says that he’s going crazy because of Sang-won, but Sang-won only says in response, “I missed you.”
He says that he can’t even go to their favorite burger place anymore because it makes him miss Kyle so much. This concert was supposed to be in England, but he asked that it be changed to Korea, just on the chance he might see Kyle. And it worked; Kyle found him.
Kyle calls him names, but finally starts to laugh wryly through his tears. Seok-ho wanders over to introduce himself, and he asks Sang-won about a guest appearance at his concert for Ddanddara Band. Ha, Kyle looks like he wants to crawl under the table.
Geu-rin is furious when she hears that she got fired for asking Kyle to talk to Sang-won, then Seok-ho turned around and did that exact thing. Seok-ho argues that Kyle made the decision on his own, and all he did was ask while they were there. And it worked!
Seok-ho treats Kyle and his managers to dinner at his parents’ restaurant, and HAHA, he offers to pay then stiffs his dad on the bill. In return he humbly asks Sang-won to take Kyle along on one of his interviews, and Sang-won is more than happy to agree.
The interview goes great, and Sang-won is so gracious, letting Kyle and Ddanddara Band get lots of the interviewer’s time. He even says that he’s worried about letting them play at his concert, because Kyle is so talented. Awww, bromance.
The two of them do a special duet at the concert, which leads into Ddanddara Band’s debut song. From the giant smiles all around, it looks like the conflict between Kyle and Sang-won is truly mended.
This time there are plenty of mentions of Ddanddara Band online the next day, in articles about Sang-won’s concert. Kyle is especially bubbly, hee.
Suddenly a woman walks into the band’s studio, and demands to know what Jae-hoon is doing here. Oh no, his mom found out. Jae-hoon wilts at the sound of her voice and trudges out without saying a word, all the bounce and energy gone right out of him.
It turns out that a friend of his mother’s saw him at Sang-won’s concert, and he says that she always pushed him to learn instruments, but they were all boring except the drums. His mother says that the only reason she made him learn instruments was to pad his school applications — he doesn’t have the time to play in a band.
Jae-hoon argues respectfully that his grades aren’t suffering, but his mother refuses to listen to reason. She takes him home, unaware that they had an audience for her little tirade… Mr. Byun saw the whole thing.
Seok-ho runs across an article stating that Jinu has been hospitalized, probably for stress. Joo-han visits him and sneers that he’s letting this whole thing affect him too much, loudly demanding to know why he ran out in the middle of a live show. Jinu just shuts down and refuses to talk.
He gets a text from Seok-ho saying simply Take care of yourself, and lies in his hospital bed, crying.
Seok-ho doesn’t have time to worry about Jinu, because he’s called in for questioning regarding Jackson’s artificial ratings. He remembers promising his hacker friend that he wouldn’t drag him into this if he were ever caught, and knows he’s on his own.
Min-joo reminds him that a few others were questioned for this very thing, but it’s difficult to get proof and they were acquitted. But Seok-ho knows exactly why he’s being targeted now: CEO Lee. He’s willing to get KTOP in trouble if it means getting rid of Seok-ho permanently.
Seok-ho hasn’t even heard about Jae-hoon’s mom dragging him home, and Geu-rin worries about how to tell him and add to his stress. She stops him outside the studio and manages to make him smile with a terrible joke, and they don’t notice Ha-neul watching them jealously.
Once Seok-ho is smiling, Geu-rin gives him the news about Jae-hoon, and he runs back to the Mango office to look for Jae-hoon’s address. Mr. Byun tells him that Jae-hoon’s mom is scary, and Seok-ho explains to Min-joo that he never got a chance to talk to her because Jae-hoon kept putting him off.
That night, Ha-neul packs a bag and tells Geu-rin that he’s running away, because she keeps smiling at some other guy. She’s completely oblivious, so Ha-neul gets right up in her personal space, but all he does is gently thumb the toothpaste from the corner of her mouth. Then he wipes it on her shirt, hee.
He smiles and says he’s just going to Busan to give a copy of Ddanddara band’s album to the juvenile hall director. He declines Geu-rin’s offer to join him, and promises to be back in time for practice tomorrow.
Seok-ho nervously lurks outside Jae-hoon’s house, unable to reach him by phone. He wonders how he can rescue the princess in the castle.
Now that Jinu knows it’s Joo-han who really recorded him with Ji-young, he goes down to Busan to check out the house where it happened for clues. He remembers flashes of that night, and recalls how Ji-young seemed to know there was someone else in the house.
He notices a large cabinet in the room and moves to inspect it, but he startles when he hears a voice: “We meet again.” He whirls around, and in the room with him is Ha-neul.
I think that for me, what’s redeeming this show from its rough start is the thread of life-lessons weaving through the story itself, as the characters learn about life and reality in the music industry. This episode was heavily about Geu-rin learning how to be a good manager, and how she needs to think of not just Ha-neul, but the band as a whole. She can’t just support Ha-neul at the exclusion of the other boys, and by actually attempting to pressure Kyle into doing something he was uncomfortable with by saying it would be beneficial to Ha-neul, she was showing that she was actually willing to hurt one band member if it helped her friend. That’s not okay on so many levels, but it’s particularly unacceptable for a manager, and Seok-ho was one hundred percent right to fire her for it.
Ddanddara Band has enough against them — a convicted felon lead singer, a bass player who’s a single father, Seok-ho as their agent — that they will need to stick together that much more if they are going to succeed in the cutthroat musical industry. They can’t just play well together, they must truly bond and be willing to face the world together, as one unit, and never let a member fall. At that point in time, if Kyle had been made to approach his old schoolmate before he was ready on his own, it would have damaged his trust in the rest of the members even if it was a good promotion idea. They don’t have the wiggle room for anyone to pull a stunt like Geu-rin tried to pull, even if she was innocently well-intentioned. They can’t afford to let a member lose his sense of security, or the whole thing could come down like a house of cards before it even starts.
To that end, I loved seeing Ha-neul and Kyle grow a little closer in this episode, and how Ha-neul admitted to being intimidated by Kyle and his musical education. Kyle has been so gruff and hard to like (he’s adorable, but I wouldn’t want to live with him), but now that we’ve seen his love/hate relationship with Sang-won, his prickly personality makes a lot more sense. The last time he got close to someone it backfired on him, and he let his jealousy get the better of him, so to let his guard down and actually respect and admire Ha-neul has got to be difficult for him. But it’s good that he’s trying, and I loved how Ha-neul just let him in with open arms the moment he saw a crack in that armor. They were both able to admit that they admire the other’s talent, which is a really great start.
And is it just me, or is anyone else starting to get really worried about Jae-hoon? His mother is so controlling, it’s amazing he’s been able to get out of her sight long enough to practice and perform. It was only a matter of time before he was discovered, and I’m terrified that his mother is going to crack down on him so hard that he does something desperate. He seems to live in his own imagination a lot — he seems to relate to life is through movies and dramas and music, so everything seems larger-than-life to him. I’m scared he’ll do something overly dramatic, and hurt himself in the process.
But I’m even more worried about Jinu… if anyone in this show needs saving, it’s him. He’s on the verge of disaster, and we don’t even really need to know much about his past to know that he desperately needs a hero. He can’t get out on his own, he’s only a kid, and he’s already acting out in dangerous ways. I would love to see Seok-ho come to his rescue and get him out of KTOP, and Joo-han’s clutches, before something tragic happens. This could even be Seok-ho’s chance to redeem himself for Ha-neul’s brother’s death — I have a sick feeling that he somehow got involved in KTOP, probably pressured there by Seok-ho, which is why Seok-ho is so adamantly against anyone pressuring his clients. I’m guessing that Sung-hyun was in an accident, or even pushed to kill himself by KTOP’s greedy manipulations, and that Seok-ho blames himself because he got Sung-hyun involved with KTOP in the first place (it would also explain why Seok-ho took that songwriter’s suicide so hard). Saving Jinu could be Seok-ho’s redemption, and a way to save himself in the process.