Do You Like Brahms: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
With summer break nearing a close, change is in the air for all of our characters. Whether it’s the end of an internship, the end of a long-term relationship, or major (and minor) confessions and realizations — there’s no lack of conflicted developments this week.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
So much happened this week! And yet… it’s all so understated. I continue to really enjoy how this drama can balance being melancholy and dramatic while also being subtle and realistic. Why is this? Because all the emotions we encounter with our characters are so pure — meaning, at their core, they are things we can all relate to. Hope. Friendship. Connection. Alienation. Loneliness. The list goes on!
This week we begin where we left off: at Joon-young’s talk concert, with Jung-kyung suddenly turning up, and causing him to change the piece he planned to play. Joon-young is determined to not encourage Jung-kyung, choosing Chopin over their meaningful Schumann piece — but it doesn’t do much to hold her back. After the concert, she confesses that she loves him, and says she’ll break up with Hyun-ho.
Jung-kyung really has a fire under her this week, and is responsible for much of our plot development. I’m not sure if it’s because she’s been holding herself back for so long, or because the pressures from her family and the foundation are finally getting to her, but she’s no longer sitting in the wings.
I’m trying to understand her, but also struggling to sympathize. While it’s nice that she’s decided not to be willfully miserable anymore, and to spare Hyun-ho from the world she lives in, she’s also beyond cruel to him. This poor guy endures not one but two extremely painful break-up scenes (Young-in’s horrified observer’s face was my exact horrified observer’s face, seeing Jung-kyung’s cruelty in action).
I don’t think I gave Hyun-ho enough credit earlier in the drama — I’m now seeing he’s just as nuanced a character as the rest, he just had a layer of showmanship to him, pretending to ignore what he knew was happening around him. Kim Sung-chul has found a new fan in me — his performance during the pocha and recital hall scenes quite blew me away.
The break-up of Jung-kyung and Hyun-ho impacts all of our other characters, but of course it’s not as simple as the obstacle between Joon-young and Jung-kyung being cleared. Nothing is that simple here — and that’s what makes it so good. Well, Jung-kyung might think it’s that simple, as she openly approaches Joon-young, and also (importantly!) senses that Song-ah is a threat. I never expected green pastures between these two very different women, but I think we have a lot more angst ahead of us as the story advances.
Dear little Song-ah has a lot to face this week too, but she continues to be the gentle and soft-spoken heroine that she is. There were so many fantastic moments for her this week, but one of my favorites was when she lent her shoes to the bratty violin prodigy. Song-ah wearing the slippers, staring down at her feet, and feeling shabby because she hasn’t painted her toes — what an authentic scene that was. In fact, this drama does a great job overall at capturing these moments in life that can make you feel shabby, useless, or even tangential. Much to our collective heartbreak, these emotions also start to extend to Song-ah’s relationship with Joon-young.
Joon-young’s been in the literal thick of it this week, so I can’t exactly blame him for drawing away from Song-ah a bit (even though I hate it). Between all the reveals around his family’s finances, the support from the foundation, the harshness of the director (like grandmother like granddaughter?), and Jung-kyung coming on to him — the boy is in a bit of a whirlpool.
Still, that doesn’t mean we are without some wonderful, swoony moments — like when Joon-young was at the recital and noticed Song-ah backstage, or when he delivered his belated autograph to her and wrote it as, “to violinist Song-ah.” (Extra points for later learning how long he practiced what he was going to write before he actually did it in marker, sigh!) And of course, the winning moment of the week: that lovely pinky promise at the palace wall.
I don’t think there’s anyone that can blame Song-ah for falling for Joon-young, and her hesitations and confusion around his behavior were as adorable as they were authentic. I also found her quite brave. She knows full well that Joon-young has a lot of unresolved feelings for Jung-kyung, and she also knows that there’s a chance they will now get together, but still she’s honest with him about her own feelings. Her soft-spoken confession at the end of our episodes this week was enough to crack my heart in two.
Before we wrap up, a word on themes, because this drama works thematically within each episode (with the clever musical phrase to guide it), and also with some important overarching themes as well. This week, we looked a lot at this developing dichotomy of love versus talent. It’s explored with many of our musicians, and each seems to have one or the other. They might have loved their art early on, but it quickly became monetized or even worse, became a kind of burden for them — and we see this in the careers of Jung-kyung, Joon-young, and Dong-yoon.
To contrast the natural talent, though, there’s the pure and genuine love that Song-ah has for her music. People might deride her lack of talent again and again, but the joy that she gets from playing is more powerful than the “You’re not good enough” sentiment that seems to run strong through this drama. Song-ah, in my opinion, is more than good enough — not just as a musician, but as a delightful person, and I’m hoping our drama will also be about her finding the confidence that she has every right to. You might be a bit heart-broken right now, but keep your sweetness and joy, Song-ah! We’re all rooting for you.
- Premiere Watch: Do You Like Brahms, Lies of Lies
- Bittersweet love triangles and heartbreaking first love in Do You Like Brahms?
- Script reading for classical music youth drama Do You Like Brahms?
- Kim Sung-chul joins Park Eun-bin, Kim Min-jae in SBS’s Do You Like Brahms?
- Park Eun-bin, Kim Min-jae up for new SBS drama, Do You Like Brahms?