The Liar and His Lover: Episode 9
What I’ve always liked about our hero is his refreshing self-awareness. Han-gyul is very much aware of his fatal flaw and will do his best to fix the damage it inevitably causes. It’s a tedious cycle, but he’s unwilling to disrupt the status quo – perhaps because he believes that he doomed himself to this lifestyle the second he took on the name “K.” If only he’d free himself from all of that for the one girl who sees past that name.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
After seeing that he’s made So-rim cry (again) and that Chan-young is already comforting her, Han-gyul lets out a shaky breath before turning away. Once So-rim is all cried out, Chan-young offers to buy a cake to celebrate choosing a debut song. However, in the cake shop, Chan-young gets recognized, and So-rim sneaks outside to wait while he handles his fans.
Yoo-na calls Han-gyul out to meet. She can tell he’s in a dark mood, but she gets his attention when she says that Jin-hyuk sent her his song and that she took a liking to it. She also heard that So-rim refused to sing it. When Han-gyul says that So-rim never even had the chance to listen to his song, Yoo-na lies that So-rim did listen to it.
Stunned, Han-gyul mutters that his song must not be that great then, making Yoo-na smirk. Seeing how lenient he is with So-rim, she figures that this is the one and only girl he’d said he wanted to write songs for.
So-rim takes Chan-young to the school so they can have some peace and quiet, though they have to settle for snacks instead of cake. Still, So-rim says, they should blow out a candle, so she whips out her phone and presents a candle-blowing app. Chan-young notes her phone case sadly, but keeps a smile on his face. They blow the flame out together, and So-rim closes her eyes to make a wish while Chan-young gazes at her.
When he asks what she wished for, she answers that she hopes people like their song. Chan-young nods and then turns to her, saying that’s his wish too – to be liked. Chan-young’s obviously not talking about the song anymore, but So-rim assumes that he is. After they enjoy their snacks, Chan-young walks her home and tells her that he’s decided not to comfort her from now on: “Because it means that I showed up too late.”
Once inside, So-rim eyes the flash drive Han-gyul gave her. She sticks it in her computer and opens his song, but she still can’t bring herself to listen to it because what he said about hurting those who stick by his side still lingers in her mind. Meanwhile, Han-gyul has trouble listening to the song as well, his own mind too clouded from the night’s events.
While in a meeting the next day, Jin-hyuk receives a text from Han-gyul saying that he’s up for working with Yoo-na. He informs CEO Yoo of this, who finds the pairing a bit surprising; she’d thought Han-gyul had fallen for So-rim. And she’d been perfectly fine with that, considering that love like that would prompt great songs. All business, this lady.
Suddenly, Yoo-seok comes storming in, outraged that In-woo is refusing to play in his concert. CEO Yoo shoos Jin-hyuk away and drags Yoo-seok over to her office to continue in private, telling him to stop acting so childish.
Yoo-seok asks if she’s taking In-woo’s side because she still has feelings for him. CEO Yoo doesn’t bat an eyelash and says that she won’t show any shame if she does have feelings. And if he wants to lash out at In-woo so badly, she tells him to take it elsewhere since she’s busy. Damn. Have to admit she can be pretty badass.
Jin-hyuk talks with Yoo-na and Han-gyul and encourages them to work well together. Yoo-na insists that she wants the song Han-gyul wrote for Mush & Co., saying it gives her the feeling that it’ll please people.
Gyu-sun leaves his buddies behind to call Se-jung, making Jin-woo scoff that they’ll be meeting much prettier girls when they debut anyway. So-rim’s face falls and she wonders out loud if meeting a cooler guy would make her forget the one she likes now. Chan-young walks in, breaking her train of thought, and asks them out to lunch.
Yoo-na catches up to Han-gyul and asks him out to lunch as well, just as Chan-young and So-rim appear. They exchange friendly greetings, Yoo-na even trying to keep it casual by linking her arm with Han-gyul’s. But it only makes things awkward, and Han-gyul quickly slips out of her grasp. Yoo-na tries again by suggesting they all eat together. So-rim looks a bit unsure, so Han-gyul gives her a reassuring smile and seconds the idea.
However, lunch is only made more awkward by Yoo-na purposely doting on Han-gyul as they eat. Feeling So-rim’s eyes on her, Yoo-na then turns to her and says that Han-gyul didn’t offer up his song and that she’s the one begging for it, so she doesn’t want So-rim to misunderstand. Even so, as So-rim heads to the bathroom, she’s still feeling uneasy. When she walks out, she runs into Yoo-na, who stops her and tells her to just speak her mind.
“Why does it have to be that song?” So-rim blurts out. She rambles on that Yoo-na has everything from looks to talent, so she could have any song she wanted. Yoo-na just scoffs that So-rim is greedier than she looks. Songs grow old as time goes on, so Yoo-na wonders why So-rim would just want to let Han-gyul’s song go to waste. So-rim has no response to that.
Se-jung freaks out when she reads Gyu-sun’s group chat and learns that they’re with Chan-young (Did you seriously hack into his phone?). She runs straight to the restaurant they’re in, making sure to activate girlfriend mode when she sees Gyu-sun.
After seeing Chan-young off, Han-gyul starts to leave too, but So-rim holds him back and asks if they can talk. She apologizes for refusing his song and for wanting him to keep it from other singers as well.
He asks if it’s really okay if he gives the song to Yoo-na then. Yoo-na’s words now heavy on her mind, So-rim smiles that it is. But Han-gyul gets the wrong message and says that she must’ve disliked his song if she’s okay with giving it away.
So-rim insists that she still hasn’t listened to it, which confuses Han-gyul further. “You’re lying now too?” he asks, hurt. She starts to ask what he means, but he places a hand on her arm and urges her to head back into Sole.
From inside, Se-jung’s eyes widen when she spots So-rim with Han-gyul. She sends Gyu-sun away with an excuse and then snaps a few pictures of the two outside, a devious smile on her face. Ugh.
CEO Yoo wanders into Crude Play’s bar, where In-woo is playing. When In-woo notices her, he asks what she’s doing here (while still singing, heh). She chides him for angering Yoo-seok, saying his insufferable love for music hasn’t changed.
Even when his ex-wife remarried, she brings up, he didn’t change. In-woo leans in close and says that she hasn’t changed either – she’s still seeking him out, a part of her hoping that he hasn’t changed.
The next day, Soo-yeon announces that Mush & Co. will be holding a special showcase at their school – their first live performance. She reminds the trio that this is for their commercial contract with another company, so they absolutely must keep it a secret. They’re overjoyed to hear this news, along with the fact that Chan-young will also be there to play the bass. They tackle him with an adorable group hug.
Yoon and In-ho drag Shi-hyun all the way to the practice room so he can hash things out with Han-gyul. Han-gyul looks up at his friend with pleading eyes and admits that he’d acted harshly before because he was anxious. Shi-hyun asks why he would be anxious since he and the others are the ones who’d suffer for being fake.
“Don’t talk like that,” Han-gyul says. “Don’t talk as if we’re on different paths.” Shi-hyun demands to know how they’re on the same path when he wouldn’t even debut with them. He ran away, Shi-hyun continues, because he didn’t want to have someone else play for him.
Han-gyul recalls telling Jin-hyuk the same thing when he’d dropped out before Crude Play’s debut. Jin-hyuk had said it was Han-gyul’s songs he’d wanted, so he’d have to tell the other boys that their time was up too. Panicking, Han-gyul told him to take his songs, even if he didn’t play. “Even if that works for now, what will you do after that?” Jin-hyuk asked. “Without being a member, you think you can take responsibility for the rest of your life?”
Shi-hyun says that they’ve never been good enough for him, but Han-gyul swears that he’s never thought that way before. “Then why did you run away by yourself? You should’ve stayed with the band until the end!” Shi-hyun shouts. Chan-young and Mush & Co. freeze by the door, having just walked in. They stare in shock as Shi-hyun turns to leave.
“Fine, you’re right,” Han-gyul gets out, stopping Shi-hyun. “I might’ve run away. But I’ve never run away from you guys. I’ve always… I’ve always wanted to write songs for you.” The room falls into a dead silence, absorbing his words, as he walks past everyone. So-rim automatically goes after him, chasing him down the stairwell.
She worriedly asks if Shi-hyun was treating him badly. Han-gyul laughs, saying the others would find that funny since everything is always his fault. So-rim steps down closer with a smile and says it’s okay – if anyone messes with him, she’ll come protect him because she’s on his side. Oh, that look he gives her. He doesn’t understand why she’d do that when he’s done nothing but lie and upset her.
So-rim can’t exactly explain why herself. Beaming with certainty, she just says that she’ll like him and stay by his side no matter what. Han-gyul weakly warns her not to say that. “If I hear you say that, I’ll get too—…” He starts to get emotional and turns away, embarrassed. Before she gets a good look at his face, he quickly excuses himself.
The section chief calls Soo-yeon over to his desk, alarmed by all the comments online about Mush & Co.’s supposedly secret showcase. He scrolls down, and they both gasp at a photo of So-rim and Han-gyul with the caption: “Yoon So-rim’s boyfriend.”
Han-gyul is working on a different song for Yoo-na (oh, phew), and procrastinates by listening to “Waiting For You.” He receives a call from Jin-hyuk, who’s just seen the leaked photo. He’s annoyed that his top producer and his promising rookie are hung up on each other, but since he likes them both, he can’t do anything about it.
But if he had to choose, he’d only choose one of them – just like when Crude Play debuted. Han-gyul drops his phone, the frustration overwhelming. He struggles to hold his tears back as he finds himself falling back into this vicious cycle.
The trio get reprimanded by Soo-yeon, though they swear they didn’t tell a soul about the showcase. Jin-hyuk comes in and takes So-rim aside so they can talk privately. He asks her outright if she likes Han-gyul and upon seeing her nervous smile, he jokes that she’s in trouble if she doesn’t know how to lie about this kind of stuff.
But he’s serious when he says that he can’t allow this. So-rim blinks in surprise – she has to get his permission to feel a certain way? According to Jin-hyuk, yes. If she wants to maintain a positive image, she has to let go of everything but singing. So he orders her to clean up her feelings right away.
Sometime later, Han-gyul gets a call from So-rim, and by the sound of her voice, he can tell that’s something’s wrong. He rushes over to where she is (it kills me that he always comes running at the thought of her crying) and asks what’s going on. She repeats what Jin-hyuk told her and begs him to say it’s not true.
He looks as if he wishes he could, but instead, he says that Jin-hyuk is right. He reminds her that the music industry is tough, even if you’re willing to throw away everything that’s important to you.
For now, he tells her to let him go and focus on her debut and establishing her career. But So-rim refuses to do that – she doesn’t want their relationship to dissolve into simple greetings and passing glances in Sole.
Han-gyul sadly shakes his head, saying that it’s what he wants. Besides, he continues, since he’s giving his song to Yoo-na, they have no reason to meet anymore. Her voice desperate, So-rim says it’s okay. She wants him, not his music.
But this only seems to make him feel worse. He looks up at her intently and says, “You’re a burden to me.” He stuns her into silence as he explains how terrible and selfish he feels around her and how he hates that he keeps hurting her. He finishes by saying that this isn’t a lie, causing So-rim’s tears to fall.
So-rim trudges back home, and unable to hide her sadness, she just falls into Grandma’s arms. Han-gyul finds himself at the bar and walks in on Shi-hyun playing. He blankly says that he’s the same as Shi-hyun – he has someone who makes him feel insignificant, but he just pretended that wasn’t so. Shi-hyun merely gestures to the keyboard and says for Han-gyul to join him. Han-gyul musters a weak smile and does just that.
It’s straight back to work the next day. Han-gyul is busy recording with Yoo-na while So-rim is busy preparing for her upcoming showcase. Jin-hyuk tells Mush & Co. that their music will be available the day after the show, so this is their real debut. He tells them to give it their all. Jin-woo and Gyu-sun are ecstatic, but Chan-young notices So-rim frown and fiddle with her phone.
Chan-young presents the trio with the latest phones, insisting they’ll have to change their numbers when they become famous. So-rim reaches for her old phone to switch phone covers and deflates to see it won’t fit. Chan-young suggests she just throw it away: “Don’t focus on things that aren’t meant to fit.” Uh, dude? Changing her phone won’t change her feelings.
Jin-hyuk pops in as Yoo-na is practicing, impressed with how well the new song suits her. Still, he can tell she’s disappointed – not because she wasn’t given the song she originally wanted, but because she wasn’t able to steal the song away.
Word gets around about Yoo-na’s new song, though when So-rim hears that this new song is a ballad, it hits her that it couldn’t be the same song Han-gyul gave her. She runs over to her laptop to finally listen to the file on the flash drive.
Han-gyul’s voice reaches her ears, the lyrics pouring out all of his unsaid feelings, his unsaid fears, and how sorry he feels for being so slow as she continuously waits for him. So-rim breaks into a huge grin, his words filling her with hope again. She yanks her earphones out and hightails it out of the building. As she runs farther away from Sole, she thinks about how everyone’s been telling her that her life would change after her debut. She knows, however, that the reason her life began to change isn’t because of her debut.
She runs all the way to Crude Play’s bar hoping to find Han-gyul but winds up finding In-woo there instead. She’s amazed that they’ve been having so many coincidental encounters, but In-woo seems to think it may not be so coincidental after all. He guesses that if she knew to come to this bar, she knows the owner. When So-rim admits that she is waiting for someone, In-woo asks what she’d want to say to that person.
Han-gyul hears from the section chief that Mush & Co.’s showcase is today. He goes out to collect his thoughts when he gets a call from Dad. In-woo cuts straight to the chase and asks if he’s going to showcase. “Just go,” In-woo says. “From what she told me yesterday, you’ve upset her enough, huh?” Han-gyul can’t even answer – he’s still reeling from the fact that everyone around him seems to be connected to So-rim somehow, lol.
In-woo points out that it must be fate. But that aside, he relays what So-rim had told him last night: That Han-gyul may be a liar, but that he doesn’t lie to hurt people. Others may not know this about him, but So-rim had said that she does, which is why she likes him so much. Taking in Han-gyul’s silence, In-woo assumes his Cupid mission is complete and hangs up.
At school, So-rim spaces out and watches the cherry blossoms flutter in the wind outside. The image reminds her of Han-gyul standing beneath similar blossoms when he’d spotted her in the phone booth. She sends him a text, only one sentence long: “Even if you don’t come, I’ll be there.”
After seeing this text, Han-gyul catches the section chief and learns that So-rim’s show starts in three hours. He has to do a recording with Yoo-na and though he’s mindful of his watch, he takes his sweet time with Yoo-na until he gets the best take out of her. Once he’s satisfied, he tells Yoo-na she worked hard before running right past her and out the door. Yes! Go, go, go!
The students all file into the auditorium unaware of what’s going on, while Chan-young and Mush & Co. ready themselves on stage. So-rim is feeling her usual set of nerves, though when the curtain covering them drops and her classmates erupt into cheers, it doesn’t seem like stage fright. It’s more like she’s waiting for someone…
And in comes Han-gyul, bursting through the doors. He locks eyes with her and smiles the most relieved smile, washing away any and all fear in So-rim’s mind. She sees his lips form the word “Sing” and jumps into Mush & Co.’s upbeat debut song, “Shiny Boy.”
Oh, I love this. The lyrics are almost like a response to Han-gyul’s lyrics, telling him not to shrink away and to just confess his feelings confidently. Chan-young turns, revealing himself to the crowd, and makes the students – particularly Se-jung – go absolutely nuts. And still, throughout all the craziness, So-rim and Han-gyul only have eyes for each other.
In the back, Jin-hyuk watches the two incredulously and leaves without a word.
Happy to see her finally thriving up on stage, Han-gyul decides it’s time for him to leave. After the show ends, So-rim instantly jumps off stage and heads out to find him. She tries calling, but Han-gyul is too lost in thought as he walks along a bridge. Not too far behind, So-rim runs along the same bridge and tries his cell again.
He finally answers, apologizing, but So-rim shuts him up and tells him to just turn around. When he does, she asks why he lied about Yoo-na’s song. He apologizes again, saying he thought it’d make things easier on her. Frustrated, So-rim cries that she hates him, making him laugh. He asks her not to hate him.
“Because of you, I realized I’m lacking as a person. That my music isn’t enough and that I’m really lacking. That I need more. That you… need to stay by my side.” So-rim’s eyes widen, still craving those final words. So Han-gyul looks her in the eye and declares, “I like you, Yoon So-rim.” And that’s all she needs to hear – they meet halfway and she flies into his waiting arms.
Well, I’d say that deserves a collective Awwwww. As well as one big hallelujah! The pure bliss on their faces during that hug was well worth all the pain and frustration of the last few episodes. Han-gyul really pissed me off last week when he tried to give her an ultimatum, but much like So-rim, I just can’t stay mad at this boy for too long. I understand why she keeps coming back to him despite all the tears she’s shed over him. He may lie to her and he may even lie to himself, but So-rim has always been able to see through him. And while I still think Chan-young would understand Han-gyul the most, it’s So-rim who wants to understand him the most. Which is why I think this romance works so well.
The only problem was that Han-gyul was so determined to sit in his own little pity party, refusing to let anyone pull him out. Because of his love for music, he’s been able to build some beautiful connections with the people around him, but there was always this detachment involved somehow – he was with them, but cut off. And he almost seemed okay with that as long as the people he loved were successful. To put it simply, he’s been the very epitome of a Noble Idiot. I admire how much he cares for everyone’s well-being, but it’s such a destructive way to handle his relationships.
Jin-hyuk has his good moments throughout the drama, but it’s been exhausting watching him stuff Han-gyul’s head with needless fear and paranoia. Sure, the man is good at his job, but after seeing another flashback to Crude Play’s pre-debut, I’m starting to realize just how much Jin-hyuk screwed Han-gyul over. He knew Han-gyul would’ve done anything to have his friends reach their dreams, and Jin-hyuk blatantly took advantage of that. When, really, what Han-gyul should’ve done was discuss the matter with the boys. He should’ve let them choose their future path together instead of shouldering all the responsibility for them. Because, frankly, he wasn’t handling that responsibility too well. He’s just one guy, after all.
Jin-hyuk’s words about his passion for hurting people has been haunting Han-gyul for some time now, so it was a major relief to have In-woo and So-rim contradict those words and encourage him to stop being so afraid and just go after what he wants. He missed his chance of holding So-rim in the beginning, but I’m glad we didn’t get that moment until the very end. Han-gyul finally had her in his arms — only this time, she cried tears of happiness rather than grief. I can’t say enough how satisfying that was. Han-gyul and So-rim have been taking baby steps this whole time – giving us a nice, slow buildup that we could savor. The big “I like you” declaration is certainly one huge step forward, but starting a real relationship while in the music industry will prove to be a challenge. As long as Han-gyul strives to be that better man he’d said he wanted to be for her, I believe they’ll make it through. He’s already off to a great start by simply accepting her heart.
- The Liar and His Lover: Episode 1
- Misunderstanding leads to inspiration in The Liar and His Lover
- Detectives, spies, liars, and new hires in poster parade for spring dramas
- Busking with the boyfriend’s father in The Liar and His Lover
- Joy enchants Lee Hyun-woo with her voice in the Liar and His Lover
- Dashing to meet Lee Hyun-woo in The Liar and His Lover
- Smiling shyly and hiding feelings in The Liar and His Lover
- Lee Jung-jin joins tvN youth romance The Liar and His Lover
- Lee Hyun-woo, Red Velvet’s Joy confirmed to play The Liar and His Lover
- tvN remakes popular Japanese manga The Liar and His Lover