The Liar and His Lover: Episode 15
There are the smiles we know and love. They’ve been severely missed, and thankfully, they’ve returned just in time for finale week. (Augh, it’s almost over… Say it isn’t so!) With all of their insecurities now out on the table, the folks at Sole Music are opening themselves up to change. And even better, they’re finally opting to face that change together. So from now on, no matter what happens, no one will have to walk alone.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
At the sight of So-rim, Han-gyul instantly breaks into gut-wrenching sobs, and he falls into her arms, saying that everything would’ve been fine if only he didn’t exist.
In the hospital, In-ho is tended to by his mom, and her loving words cause him to remember what Han-gyul had said after his confession. Han-gyul had promised not to tell the other boys and then ordered In-ho never to pull something like that again – because he and the boys weren’t the only ones who cared about him.
His emotions crashing back in, In-ho tells his mother that he’s sorry, though he can’t bring himself to say why. He merely surrenders to his tears, silently accepting Mom’s embrace.
Han-gyul cries that he’s made things so much harder for his friends and that it’s killing him, but strangely enough, he still wants to pursue his music. He wonders if he’ll be able to do better from now on. So-rim wipes his tears away and assures him that he will; she reminds him that she’ll always be by his side no matter what happens.
She pulls him into another hug, her own eyes filling with tears as she tells him never to say that everyone would be better off without him, “Because I can’t live without you.” He promises that he won’t and squeezes her even tighter. Jesus, we’re only five minutes in and I’m already a sobbing mess.
Chan-young sits at home, staring at a new song he started for Mush & Co. and thinking back to his conversation with Jin-hyuk. He’d told Jin-hyuk that he couldn’t trust him and that he wouldn’t tolerate being used anymore.
Shi-hyun calls him and Yoon out to reveal what CEO Yoo had said about taking over for Jin-hyuk. For now, they agree not to tell In-ho until he’s out of the hospital.
The next day at Sole, the security guards inform Jin-hyuk that Han-gyul had checked the CCTV footage. After viewing it himself, Jin-hyuk immediately confronts Han-gyul, who lies that he’d been looking for a lost flash drive. Jin-hyuk tries to pry the truth out of him, but Han-gyul ends the conversation there and leaves.
While Mush & Co. are chatting, So-rim gets a text from Han-gyul to meet. As she scurries off to the roof, Gyu-sun compliments Jin-woo for not freaking out. Then he pretends to spot So-rim and Han-gyul hugging, making Jin-woo whirl around and shout, “Kang Han-gyul, that son of a—…” (LOL.) He chides Gyu-sun for messing with him.
So-rim finds Han-gyul and is glad to see that he’s feeling better. He apologizes for showing her that side of him, joking that it was very unboyfriend-like of him. But in all seriousness, he was grateful to have her there. They both smile and start to lean in, only to break into shy giggles.
She invites him to the little get-together she and her friends are holding for their last day at the dorms, and he gladly accepts. Then he sneaks a quick peck on her cheek, making her (and me) squeal in surprise.
Soo-yeon finds Chan-young with Shi-hyun and suggests he go see Mush & Co. since they’ve been worried about him. Chan-young notices Soo-yeon and Shi-hyun suddenly acting veeery close and smiles, saying that he’ll give them some privacy.
He finds Jin-woo and Gyu-sun in the practice room and apologizes for being so MIA lately. The boys are just glad to see that he’s okay, though they are wondering if he’s still their producer. Chan-young frowns in confusion, so they elaborate that they know the company only favors So-rim.
Chan-young admits that he only favored So-rim too, but now things are different. He’d always liked the sound of a band, which is why he joined Crude Play and why he wanted to produce his own band. And then he met Mush & Co., he adds with a smile.
After leaving, Chan-young spots So-rim and Han-gyul in the corridor being all smiley and handsy, and he immediately hides out of view. He laughs sadly to himself as he watches them go.
Meanwhile, CEO Yoo informs Jin-hyuk that it’s been decided that Sole Music will be shut down, meaning he’s out of a job. So she wants him to join Who Entertainment as a director, and his first task is to fix both Crude Play and Mush & Co.’s images. To her surprise, he just quietly accepts her orders.
Soo-yeon drives Mush & Co. back to the dorms for their party. So-rim reveals that she has a surprise guest, and funnily enough, Jin-woo and Gyu-sun invited a surprise guest as well. Ha, I like where this is going.
Han-gyul and Chan-young are about to leave for the party when Jin-hyuk calls them both into his office. The boys eye each other curiously, and Chan-young even mentions that whenever the three of them are together, bad things happen.
Laughing, Jin-hyuk can’t exactly deny that. He tells them about CEO Yoo’s plans of merging Sole Music with Who Entertainment, giving them a fair warning that it’ll be quite chaotic. He asks for Han-gyul to think about where to go with Crude Play from here and for Chan-young to reconsider staying with Mush & Co.
Afterwards, the two boys go their separate ways, both saying they have somewhere to be. Chan-young reaches Mush & Co.’s dorm first, greeting So-rim and asking how she’s been. She replies with the same “joke” Chan-young once told her, saying she hasn’t been well since she couldn’t see her oppa. After an awkward beat, they all burst into laughter. Although, So-rim admits that she really did miss Chan-young.
Just then, the doorbell sounds, and So-rim reveals her own special guest: Han-gyul. And he’s carrying the exact same cake that Chan-young had brought (I guess they really do think alike). Chan-young laughs, “You again?” and everyone breaks into smiles, more than happy to celebrate with two cakes.
As everyone walks home, Han-gyul and Chan-young hang back. Chan-young defends his presence at the party with the producer card, making Han-gyul turn to him – is he willing to be their producer after all? Chan-young is still somewhat uncertain, so Han-gyul tells him to go for it: “Because your songs make your performers happy.”
He knows just by listening to Chan-young’s song that he wrote it with the perfect balance for Mush & Co. as a group. Han-gyul admits that that’s something even he has difficulty with, and he wants to write songs for every member of his band, not just one. “I’m going to do it properly now,” Han-gyul concludes.
Chan-young tells him to do just that, and they smile. So-rim turns around and takes the opportunity to snap a picture of them together, which also snaps them out of their friendly moment. They argue over who gets to walk with So-rim (“I’m her producer!” “Well, I’m her boyfriend!”), and she just grabs the both of them so that they can all go together.
Once at home, Chan-young takes Han-gyul’s encouraging words to heart, remembering all the times Mush & Co. were happy to have him as their producer. He comes to a decision and starts working on his second demo again. Yay!
Chan-young makes sure to tell Jin-hyuk of his decision the next day, promising never to change his mind. He is curious, however, as to why Jin-hyuk changed his mind when he was so obsessed with only making music that sold before. With a sigh, Jin-hyuk says that after taking a step back from it all, he was able to see a little more clearly.
Chan-young wastes no time in announcing that he’ll continue working with Mush & Co., and the trio are just as ecstatic as he is. He promises to keep the band as his top priority and to never leave them alone – the same thing he had promised So-rim when they first got signed. The promise sounds so much different when it’s for the whole group.
Jin-woo and Gyu-sun jump up to buy celebratory drinks, leaving Chan-young and So-rim alone. Feeling giddy, So-rim starts singing “The Road to Me,” triggering Chan-young’s memory of their first meeting.
She doesn’t remember singing the song then, but Chan-young does, and he figures he’ll never be able to forget it. He says that at first, he liked her voice, then he liked her trust in him, and now he just likes that he was able to meet her. He assures her not to feel sorry for him, though – as long as he doesn’t say it’s over, it’s not really over.
All the Crude Play boys join In-ho at the hospital, where the mood is rather light. Chan-young totally puts Shi-hyun in the spotlight by revealing his new relationship with Soo-yeon, getting a big reaction out of everyone but a dazed Han-gyul. When Shi-hyun asks why he’s so out of it, Han-gyul says that he’s been thinking that they should stop using session musicians once In-ho is discharged.
Han-gyul: “I’m being sincere. All this time, I thought I was responsible for all of you. Rather than us walking together, I thought that I had to carry you until you reached the level that I longed for. So I didn’t let you play the music you wanted, thinking that was the right thing for me to do. And you all knew I’d been wrong all along. But you held it in for me. That’s why from now on, I’m going to create music that we can all play together. Instead of the sounds I come up with in my head, I’m going to use songs that all of us can enjoy.”
He assures the boys that he’s serious about this, and they smile, saying that they already know. Despite their joking tone, they all seem moved, particularly In-ho.
Jin-hyuk tells Yoo-na about his new position at Who Entertainment, and she notes that he’s telling her as if he’s asking for her approval. She asks who he’s trying to make excuses for, but he’s unable to answer.
In-ho is released from the hospital the following morning, and he gets ambushed by Crude Play and Mush & Co. the second he returns to Sole. With an amused grin, In-ho pulls Soo-yeon toward Shi-hyun, and Mush & Co. gasp to discover that they’re dating.
Unfortunately, they can’t goof off for too long. Crude Play is sent in to CEO Yoo’s office, where they learn that they’re still holding a press conference this week. Seeing their shocked faces, she assures them that they won’t have to play live.
To Han-gyul, it seems like a bad time, but Yoo sees it as a good time, especially since their fans’ focus has shifted due to In-ho’s accident. That may be so, Han-gyul answers, but what are they supposed to do if another scandal breaks out later on?
Yoo believes it’ll all be fine as long as they’re careful, but Han-gyul disagrees – as long as they use the session musicians, there’s no guarantee that this kind of incident won’t happen again. Either way, he’s decided that he won’t create music this way anymore.
When Yoo points out that the quality of the music will be made obvious, he says they’ll just have to wait until they’re ready then. As for the press conference, they’ll have to think about it. Yoo is taken aback by his firm tone and can only glance at Jin-hyuk in disbelief.
After the meeting, In-ho pulls Han-gyul aside to ask if his sudden outburst is because of him. Han-gyul merely says that they can only go so far when it comes to covering up their lies.
He gives In-ho a warm smile, reminding him that he’d said he’d take care of this. Just above them, Jin-hyuk listens intently from a balcony.
That night in his office, Jin-hyuk can’t shake off Han-gyul’s words. Remembering the CCTV footage of In-ho, he heads over to Han-gyul’s place for some answers. Han-gyul figures that the both of them might as well know, so he reveals the truth of In-ho’s sleeping pills and what In-ho had intended to do with them.
Han-gyul is close to tears as he continues that his friend was so afraid of playing live – of destroying the band – that he’d actually considered getting into an accident. Jin-hyuk is completely floored to hear this. Han-gyul turns to him, stating that they should never forget that this happened and that they’re the ones who need to take responsibility.
By the time he retreats to his car, Jin-hyuk is drained from this sudden discovery. He thinks back to the very first time he approached Crude Play and had them shouting in delight at the sight of his business card.
After he’d gotten Chan-young on board, he’d told the boys to fake their playing so they could get Han-gyul’s song out into the world – they could improve their skills later on, he said. In-ho had asked if they would really get to play in the future, and he’d promised that they would, making the boys look awfully hopeful.
The memory gets Jin-hyuk choked up, but he quickly pulls himself back together and drives over to Yoo-na’s place next.
Jin-hyuk notices that Yoo-na took down her very first album cover, and she just shrugs, saying she looked like such a baby during those days. Jin-hyuk, on the other hand, says that he found her very pretty.
But he saw the potential for her to be prettier. To be a better singer. To be a better star. He saw that potential in her, Crude Play, and Mush & Co., which is why he started all of this. “I didn’t start it to ruin you guys,” he says, his voice filled with regret.
Tired of waiting, CEO Yoo decides to take matters into her own hands and announces to the public that Crude Play will indeed hold a press conference.
The Crude Play boys gather at the bar, feeling as if they’ve been trapped by their superiors yet again. Han-gyul sees this as their chance to come clean and start over, though the others are still a bit wary.
So Yoon speaks up, saying he’s worked so hard up until now, but because of their lies, it hasn’t felt worth it. But if they reveal the truth, he’ll be able to put his mind at ease.
With that said, they all place their hands on the table in agreement. In-ho would prefer that Chan-young stay out of it since he plays his own music, but Chan-young just slams his own hand on top of theirs, unwilling to step away. Yes. No one’s getting left out this time.
Later, Han-gyul meets up with So-rim, and they take a stroll outside. He tells her that he and the boys are going to acknowledge the accusations. With a strained smile, he says that it might be a long time before they’re able to perform again. So-rim sweetly back-hugs him, not caring if anyone sees. So-rim: “You’ll still write songs, right?” Han-gyul: “Of course.”
The boys inform CEO Yoo of their plan the next day, but she just scoffs, thinking they’re being completely irrational. Han-gyul insists that they can’t just cover a lie with another lie. Yoo heaves a big sigh and gives them one last warning – they can do whatever they want, but it will surely cost them their chances of ever playing again.
One by one, the boys wander up to the roof to brood, only to laugh when they see that they’ve all ended up in the same place. Together, they silently gaze out at the view.
Han-gyul joins his father at the bar (and I love that they have similar thinking positions here). He starts to wonder if revealing the truth is really the right thing, especially since In-woo was the one who had said the truth could hurt people.
In-woo suggests he give his son some fatherly advice – if he talks as if he knows everything, it’s because he’s scared to admit he’s wrong. He’s been acting this way for years and he’s still scared to change, so he believes that Han-gyul should make his own choice.
Later, the boys mentally prepare for the press conference in their separate spaces, an obvious sense of dread and sadness in the air.
And before we now it, Sole’s team is setting up for the reporters. CEO Yoo calls Jin-hyuk to make sure the boys won’t misbehave, and he vaguely replies that he’ll make sure they say what needs to be said (I hope you mean what I think you mean).
He finds the boys waiting out in the hall and hands Shi-hyun the scripted apology. Before Shi-hyun can get a word out, Jin-hyuk encourages them to say what they want to say.
The boys are surprised by Jin-hyuk’s words, but they’re able to walk into the room with a little more ease. The five of them take their seats and face the reporters, while Jin-hyuk and CEO Yoo watch from the back. Soo-yeon and Mush & Co. are in the back as well, here to support their boys.
As practiced, Shi-hyun takes the mic and speaks for the band. But to Yoo’s utter horror, he completely dismisses his lines and admits that the accusations toward everyone but Chan-young are true. The room erupts into a series of camera flashes and astonished murmurs.
Shi-hyun continues that they are deeply sorry for their actions and that for the time being, the band will be going on hiatus.
CEO Yoo turns to Jin-hyuk and fires him right on the spot before storming out. He merely brings his gaze back to the boys, clearly having already accepted his fate.
The boys file out of the room, ignoring the various questions being thrown at them. As Han-gyul sees them out, he looks past the sea of reporters and straight at So-rim, who gives him a small, encouraging smile.
I must admit that every time I leave an episode of Liar, I’m rendered speechless. Each episode has seemed to top the last, and this one was no exception. There’s something very special about this drama in that it knows exactly how to package those key moments and deliver them perfectly for us viewers. We came to know every character so well that we could understand their actions – whatever they said or did fit incredibly well with how their personality was supposed to be. That’s some phenomenal writing right there.
When Jin-hyuk’s whole world started crashing down on him, the way he dealt with it made so much sense with who he was. In a way, he was almost like a teacher having to accept that perhaps his students knew better than he did. But once he came to his much-awaited realization, he didn’t scoff and roll his eyes like an adult who couldn’t bear losing to a bunch of kids. He was never that kind of guy, which is why it was always so difficult to straight up hate him.
It was always hinted that he truly cared for these kids, and we got to see his true feelings for them when he made the heartbreaking confession that he never intended to ruin them. And in true Jin-hyuk fashion, he didn’t let this realization hinder him in any way. At the end of the day, he is a businessman, but it feels like he’s finally found the right balance of business and passion. I’m not sure what will become of him now that he’s jobless, but I trust that this writer has him – and everyone else – covered. I’m feeling just as tense as Jin-hyuk looked during the aftermath of the boys’ press conference, but I think Han-gyul was right: This was the direction they all had to go.
This has most definitely been a writer’s piece, but I can’t exactly say that the drama would be as enjoyable without everything else it’s offered. I didn’t think I could love these characters any more than I already did, but each episode kept building them into such wonderful people. The writing, the chemistry, and the overall feel all came together to make it just right for me. I have my favorite characters, but honestly, everyone is the heart of this show. I can’t imagine the drama without any of them.
I carry a lot of praise for the more experienced actors like Lee Hyun-woo and Lee Jung-jin, but I must also applaud the rookie actors. While they weren’t anything spectacular, they were able to bring so much heart to the show. They all had very natural chemistry with each other, making it a super easy and enjoyable watch. I hope to see this entire cast in many more projects in the future – preferably together again, but hey, I won’t be too greedy. I loved that this little rom-com was so much more than a romance (though that was arguably my favorite part). It explored various ideas of friendship, partnership, confidence, self-worth, and hard work, just to name a few. It started off very cute and bubbly, but I didn’t expect it to touch me on such a deeply emotional level. It wasn’t perfect, and the characters certainly weren’t perfect, but that was part of the reason why we loved them so much.
Lastly, I feel like I can’t sign off without thanking every one of you beanies for showering the drama with so much love. The sheer positivity that continued to radiate from the comments only increased my love for the drama tenfold. Let’s hope that this precious gem closes happily and gives every one of these characters a proper send-off. Crude Play, love, kill, die, aja!
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