Entertainer: Episode 15
The flip side of grief is that, once the crying is done and the wound is clean, that’s when healing can finally begin. It’s hard to move through the painful parts of living, and those who have to do it alone don’t always make it to the other side. But when you have someone beside you to share the burden, sometimes you might make it out even stronger than before.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Now that he knows that his old friend Sung-hyun died from committing suicide after having his music stolen, Seok-ho goes on a rampage, looking for CEO Lee. When he finds him, he runs at him and jump-kicks him to the ground, delivering a vicious beating while repeating, “Why did you do it? Why did you do it??”
He starts to choke CEO Lee, demanding to know what he said to Sung-hyun to cause him to kill himself. Lee just brazenly says, “What do you think I said to that crippled kid?” It sends Seok-ho into a further rage, and he remembers another fight he’d been in when Sung-hyun was alive.
The guy had said something hateful about Sung-hyun’s disability, but Sung-hyun had asked Seok-ho to stop. “If you do that, I become pitiful.” Now Seok-ho remembers that his friend had never wanted him to fight on his behalf, and he cries, “I won’t make you pitiful,” as he releases CEO Lee’s throat.
Lee actually has the nerve to say that Seok-ho’s anger is funny, and tells him he has no right to act like this. Seok-ho suddenly remembers that he once did almost the exact same thing — he took an artist’s song without his permission, which led to his suicide.
Seok-ho can’t argue against that, but he tells CEO Lee that he will be punished for what he did, just as Seok-ho will be punished for what he did. CEO Lee just twists the knife, grinning that he wonders what Sung-hyun’s song will sound like, sung by his little brother.
He walks away, and Seok-ho collapses, calling out, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry!” He spends the night at Sung-hyun’s memorial, grieving for his friend all over again. He apologizes that he couldn’t be there for him, wracked with guilt.
He finally gets back to Man-shik’s place in the morning and drags himself to bed. Everyone at the office worries when Man-shik tells them he was out all night, though only Mr. Byun knows why. He’s still in bed when Man-shik gets home that night, but he’s not asleep, and he pushes away Man-shik’s hand.
Ha-neul and Kyle finish their arrangement of the song, but Ha-neul notices that Geu-rin is too preoccupied to be excited. She tells the guys that Seok-ho is sick, so they can’t show him the song today. Too worried to rest, she goes to see Seok-ho that night, and he looks terrible… he barely manages to open his eyes when he hears her voice.
Back home Geu-rin tells Ha-neul that Seok-ho is too weak to eat or drink, and they decide to go ahead and start rehearsing the song without Seok-ho’s approval. Geu-rin notices that Ha-neul is acting like a hovering brother again, and says that it reminds her how happy she was to gain a little brother when they first met. She means it as a compliment, but the words are painful for Ha-neul to hear.
Everyone shows up to listen to the boys practice their new song, and they’re surprised that Seok-ho isn’t there since he apparently told them all to come. When he arrives, looking weak and pale, he sits them all down to talk. He says that he’s been going through something difficult, and apologizes for worrying them.
He tells them about his old friend, who was a great songwriter and singer. Ha-neul seems to know he’s talking about Sung-hyun, especially when Seok-ho says that he introduced his friend to a music agency. He tells them all the story of how he went out of town and his friend died, supposedly of a heart attack, without ever releasing an album.
Seok-ho goes on to say that ten years later, he met that friend’s younger brother, Ha-neul. Shaken, Ha-neul asks why he’s talking about his brother all of a sudden, but Seok-ho just says that they should drop the “Legend Again” performance. “Ha-neul can’t sing ‘Go Ahead, Cry.’”
Man-shik realizes that Mr. Byun is terribly upset, and Mr. Byun offers to finish explaining. He tells everyone that Sung-hyun’s song was on Choi Jun-ha’s album, and Ha-neul reels at the realization that his brother did get a song released, but by someone else.
It’s a lot to process, but Seok-ho isn’t finished — he wants Ha-neul to know everything. Ha-neul almost seems to know what’s coming, but it doesn’t lessen the blow when Seok-ho tells him that Sung-hyun ended his life because his song was stolen. Ha-neul nearly breaks down right there, but he pulls himself together, gives Seok-ho one accusing glare, and leaves.
Having used up all of his strength telling the truth, Seok-ho passes out. He wakes up in the hospital, but the first thing he thinks of is that look that Ha-neul shot at him, and he reels with guilt.
Even in his grief, sweet Ha-neul is worried about Seok-ho and how hard this must be on him. He keeps thinking about the “what ifs” — what if Seok-ho and his brother never met, would his family still be alive now? Geu-rin agrees that if not for Sung-hyun’s death, his parents wouldn’t have objected to Ha-neul’s music, and wouldn’t have gotten into that accident trying to stop him.
But she also reminds him that, when he got out of jail and they were struggling, and he gave up on music, it was Seok-ho who gave them hope, cleared Ha-neul’s name, and put together a band for him. Ha-neul worries that he won’t be able to look Seok-ho in the face again, that he’ll only see Sung-hyun when he does.
He says that nobody was there for Sung-hyun, and that he died alone and miserable. He breaks down and cries, and Geu-rin can only sit with him.
Ha-neul visits Sung-hyun’s memorial, and with shaking hands, puts a copy of Ddanddara Band’s album next to his picture. He tells his brother that he wishes they hadn’t been so far apart in age, so that he could have been there for Sung-hyun when he needed someone, and maybe he wouldn’t have left.
He says that he hates the fact that Seok-ho is in his life, but when he opens the Nirvana album that Seok-ho left for Sung-hyun, he finds something inside. It’s the original sheet music for “Go Ahead, Cry,” and Ha-neul cries again as the full impact of his brother’s death hits him hard.
He’s quiet on the way home, which worries Geu-rin. He asks to go see CEO Lee, and tells Geu-rin to wait — he won’t be long. CEO Lee eagerly lets him in, almost as if he plans to enjoy the altercation.
But Ha-neul says that he doesn’t want to hear a word out of CEO Lee’s filthy mouth, which actually puts Lee off-balance. Ha-neul says that after his brother died because of what Lee said, his family grieved for years. He just has one thing to say: “I’ll kill you quietly. No, I’ll make you die like you did to my brother.”
The band worries about Ha-neul, and whether or not he’ll be able to sing again. Kyle rips up his arrangement of “Go Ahead, Cry” and says they don’t need it, because Ha-neul won’t be able to sing it anyway. He thinks they should drop the Legend Again appearance, and Jae-hoon agrees.
They all look up in surprise when they hear Ha-neul’s voice: “I’ll sing it.” Kyle says that if Sung-hyun was Ha-neul’s brother, that make him their brother too, and they’d be crazy to sing it after learning about the song’s tragic history. But Ha-neul is determined, and Geu-rin backs him up, promising to handle their show appearance if Seok-ho refuses.
Ha-neul heads to the hospital to talk to Seok-ho, but he’s gone, and Min-joo, Man-shik, and Mr. Byun are also looking for him. Ha-neul has a horrible thought, and he asks Mr. Byun which bridge his brother jumped from.
Sure enough, Seok-ho is there, looking out and thinking of Sung-hyun. He had assured his friend that Mr. Byun and CEO Lee were good people, and Sung-hyun had teased him for being a sweet-talker, but had ultimately trusted him. Seok-ho can hardly stand the thought of his friend being tricked the way he was without Seok-ho there, and how cold and lonely he must have felt when he died.
Ha-neul finds Seok-ho crying and talking to Sung-hyun, and asks if he’s planning to kill himself, too. “Are you going after Sung-hyun? Are you going to leave me all by myself?”
Seok-ho doesn’t deny that he was thinking about it, saying, “It hurts. It hurts my heart just to breathe.” He can hardly even bear to look Ha-neul in the face, and Ha-neul joins him at the railing. They scream Sung-hyun’s name out over the water, both crying, but at least they aren’t alone.
Mr. Byun sees them but stays at a distance, as his own tears roll down his face. Eventually the three make it back to the hospital, and Ha-neul tells Seok-ho that he remembers how Sung-hyun never wanted to go anywhere because of his limp, that his family never went out to eat even once.
But when he made friends with Seok-ho, he changed. Seok-ho would come on his days off and take Sung-hyun and little Ha-neul out, into the world. After Sung-hyun died, Ha-neul thought he’d never see Seok-ho again. But he smiles now, remembering how Seok-ho came, and took his side, and let him sing.
He tells Seok-ho that it’s time to stop being sad. If he and Sung-hyun had never met, he doesn’t know what life would be like. But if Seok-ho hadn’t come back, he also doesn’t know what would have happened to him.
He says that he and the band have decided to perform on Legend Again, and shows Seok-ho the sheet music he found. “I’m going to sing my brother’s song. We decided, so we need you to get back up. Get yourself together, and restore my brother’s song.”
Back at the Mango office, Seok-ho still looks fragile, but he’s decided that if there’s one thing he has to do before he dies, it’s this. Min-joo promises to help however she can, and Seok-ho says that there’s something they need to make this right — Choi Jun-ha. Before the performance, they need to find him and make him confess the truth.
Geu-rin went to a meeting for Legend Again today, and says that the show has been trying to find him to have him on, but they can’t locate him. Min-joo knows a woman named Yeon-kyung who was close to Jun-ha before he went into hiding, so Seok-ho looks her up.
Yeon-kyung says that lots of people have been asking her about Jun-ha, but she hasn’t heard from him in years and doesn’t think he’s even in Korea. She believes he comes back once a year to visit his father who’s in a nursing home, but that’s all she knows.
She’s not sure which one, but a clue leads Seok-ho to a particular nursing home. He finds Jun-ha’s father, but he’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, and the nurse slips that he doesn’t even recognize his son when he visits from Australia. Bingo.
While Seok-ho is searching for Choi Jun-ha, the band starts practicing Sung-hyun’s song, but Ha-neul finds it more difficult than he expected. He asks Kyle if he minds if they use his brother’s arrangement instead, and as Kyle reads the music, he pronounces it pure art. They all agree that they would be honored to play the original version.
Joo-han calls Seok-ho to talk, and when they meet, he looks like seven kinds of Hell. He admits that he’s working for CEO Lee again, but only to make sure Lee is punished, then he’ll quit. He says that he’s been looking for Choi Jun-ha too, and that he’s not in Australia at the moment — he’s in Korea.
Joo-han seems sincerely sorry for what he did to Seok-ho, forgetting friendship and loyalty for ambition, but Seok-ho calls them even since he was the same way. Joo-han wants to try to make up for what he did to Ha-neul, though he knows he’ll never really be able to.
Seok-ho mobilizes the team to search all the hotels where Choi Jun-ha might be, telling them to camp out in the lobbies and wait for him to come out. Meanwhile, he’ll hang out at the nursing home in hopes of catching him there.
Right now Jun-ha isn’t at his hotel or the nursing home — he’s at Sung-hyun’s memorial. He says that it’s almost time for the anniversary of Sung-hyun’s death, which he always comes back for, promising himself every year that it’s the last time. He tells Sung-hyun that even in Australia where it’s wide open, he can’t breathe. “No matter where I go, I live in prison.”
The hotel stakeouts are a bust, so Geu-rin decides to join Seok-ho at the nursing home. Min-joo takes offense for some reason, getting stern with Geu-rin and saying that they all have known Seok-ho for years and they worry about him too, but it’s not right for her to go all that way this late at night.
She visits her father to ask him a favor — to go out with his hotel chairman friend, in hopes of getting some information on Choi Jun-ha’s whereabouts. In return she offers to visit her dad twice a month, and he tacks on one blind date and calls it a deal. Heh, he’s so cute.
Somehow CEO Lee finds Jun-ha first, but Min-joo also gets his location from her father. She sends Seok-ho to find him before CEO Lee can get his claws into him, but Lee has time to tell Jun-ha that Ddanddara Band, whose lead singer is Sung-hyun’s younger brother, will be singing his song on Legend Again.
He says that Seok-ho and the band know everything that happened, up to and including their theft of the song and Sung-hyun’s suicide. He tells Jun-ha that Seok-ho is looking for him, but that they should keep things as they are, even aiming a not-so-veiled threat at Jun-ha’s kids.
He gets Jun-ha all worked up that Seok-ho could tell the world what happened and Jun-ha could be vilified, “Especially since you stole the song from someone who was disabled.” Oh, how very dare you.
Seok-ho runs to the hotel, but CEO Lee has convinced Jun-ha to leave the country immediately, and he slinks past while Seok-ho is talking to the concierge. She offers to leave a message for Jun-ha, expecting to hear from him since he left something in the hotel safe.
Two days later, Seok-ho sits in the same restaurant where he last saw Sung-hyun, and thinks about the message he left for Jun-ha. He’d written that he understands why Jun-ha went into hiding, and that he doesn’t resent him for what happened, because he once did the exact same thing which also led to a songwriter’s death.
He’d asked to meet with Jun-ha once, and said he’d be waiting at Sung-hyun’s favorite restaurant on the anniversary of his death. Seok-ho waits until nearly closing time, but Jun-ha never shows. Seok-ho gets up to leave, but the front door opens, and Seok-ho finds himself face-to-face with Choi Jun-ha.
For weeks I’ve been trying to figure out a way to articulate why I like Seok-ho in a way that I don’t normally like drama heroes, and I think I’ve finally figured it out — he’s a man who feels things very deeply, and doesn’t try to fight his feelings. He wears his emotions right on his sleeve, never bottling things up or pretending he’s not feeling anything. It can be an impediment to him sometimes, such as when his life fell apart and he withdrew from everything for months because he couldn’t face anyone, but it’s also what makes him such a great friend and manager. He cares about the ones he loves every bit as much, if not more than, they care about him, and he lets those feelings guide his actions. He’s not scared to show how much he loves, or to let himself be vulnerable to, and connect strongly with, others. So many drama heroes spend a lot of time denying or fighting their feelings, so it’s refreshing to have a character who, for once, allows himself to feel everything and doesn’t shy away from his emotions. For me, his character is what takes this show from a simple uncomplicated story about the music industry, to one that keeps me coming back every week, invested in what happens. Because Seok-ho cares so much, it makes me care about him, and I give all the credit to Ji Sung for imbuing Seok-ho with so much humanity.
But that connection to his feelings is what also makes Seok-ho terribly vulnerable, which we’ve seen before but which hit home particularly hard in this episode. I think that he shut off that part of himself for a while when he was climbing the corporate ladder, but when he had to start from scratch that sensitivity came rushing back full-force. He was able to overcome it when Ha-neul found him the last time he hid, but learning that his old friend died as a direct result of Seok-ho pushing him to approach KTOP with his song, almost takes him out permanently. Of course Sung-hyun’s death is not Seok-ho’s fault, but I can see how he would interpret it that way — Sung-hyun was content with the way he was living, and Seok-ho pressured him to reach for more. That pressure got Seok-ho recognized as a musical prodigy, but it also put him in the path of a man who was willing to take advantage of him because of his disability. Seok-ho’s guilt for facilitating that is understandable.
I really loved Ha-neul in this episode as well, seeing him navigate through the emotions of learning that his brother’s death wasn’t a heart attack, and what it all means. Poor kid, he really did lose his whole family because his brother and Seok-ho were friends — everything just snowballed, and it’s heartbreaking to think how different his life would be if the two had never met. But Geu-rin was right, that Ha-neul still would have run afoul of Ji-young and KTOP, and without Seok-ho’s intervention he’d still be a convict without a future, much less a musical career.
So although Seok-ho’s role in Ha-neul’s life brought pain, it also brings healing now, for both of them. They are the only two people in the world still alive who loved Sung-hyun, and remember him as a brother and a friend. For that reason they need each other, and seeing their relationship ultimately strengthened now that they both know the truth is a powerful testament to how much they loved Sung-hyun when he was alive, and how much they love each other now. They need each other in a very interesting way, because they’re chosen brothers, which came about because of their love for Sung-hyun.
It’s tragic to realize how many people one death can touch — Ha-neul’s parents and his brother, his best friend, Mr. Byun, and even Choi Jun-ha, who never even met him yet finds himself suffering because of Sung-hyun’s death. It’s so sad that Jun-ha felt so violated by the fact that the song was stolen from Sung-hyun that he gave up a promising career, went into hiding, left his country, and comes back every year to pay his respects. But this show is all about healing, and that it’s possible to learn from your mistakes and grow into a better person because of what they’ve taught you. Sung-hyun never got to live his life, but his death is a positive lesson to so many people that it’s never too late to change for the better.
- Entertainer: Episode 14
- Entertainer: Episode 13
- Entertainer: Episode 12
- Entertainer: Episode 11
- Entertainer: Episode 10
- Entertainer: Episode 9
- Entertainer: Episode 8
- Entertainer: Episode 7
- Entertainer: Episode 6
- Entertainer: Episode 5
- Entertainer: Episode 4
- Entertainer: Episode 3
- Entertainer: Episode 2
- Entertainer: Episode 1