True Beauty: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
We’ve reached a major turning point in our story, and while some relationships are on the mend, others grow quickly toxic, and create dire circumstances for our heroine. Her sweet and guileless personality leaves her blindsided when both her dreams — and her nightmares — start to come true.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Thank the drama gods that the boys’ car accident wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Though it looked like they might, no one received any life-threatening injuries. Instead, there are a few broken bones between them (a leg for Soo-ho and an arm or two for Seo-joon), and the opportunity for hijinks — and healing.
Yay, even though they’re bruised and upset, this little plot arc serves to mend the rift between them. Seo-joon (and Joo-kyung) witness Soo-ho’s anger against his father, and the misunderstandings around Se-yeon’s death are cleared up. Seo-joon no longer holds Soo-ho responsible; instead, they’re able to talk things through, clear the air, and even mourn together, like they so badly needed to do. It’s adorable, feel-good, and I love it.
And then there’s the comedy, which balances out the drama’s heavier themes between the boys (suicide, anxiety, loss of parents, etc). We’re treated to multiple hilarious piggyback scenes, feeding-each-other scenes, and all the cuteness we could ever want between these two. Even their schoolmates notice they’re no longer at odds.
But the car accident, and the mending of this bromance, also has repercussions on the show’s love triangle. Seo-joon is still struggling to get over Joo-kyung (adorably holding onto his arm cast because of the message she wrote on it) — but he’s also pretty noble about it. When Soo-ho asks if he’ll confess to Joo-kyung, Seo-joon baulks that there’s no way he can, since he knows they’re happily dating. Sigh, I like him even more for his manners.
The romance between Joo-kyung and Soo-ho is also stepped up this week. Their devotion to each other is clear, their quarrels put aside, and there’s a lot of swoony meetups (that goodbye/hello kiss at her house!) and silly hijinks at the hospital.
But this is dramaland, and things can’t stay purely cute for long. So if Soo-ho and Joo-kyung are more solid than ever, Soo-jin has continued in parallel down her new baddie path. And wow, she can really throw an evil eye around!
As much as I don’t like this direction for Soo-jin, I can accept it. This girl’s home life is so toxic and upsetting, I can understand why her broken heart causes her to act so cruelly to Joo-kyung — after all, the one person she thought was going to protect her (Soo-ho) has been pretty painfully blunt about not thinking of her as more than a friend.
I think what makes the betrayal between the girls so painful is the fact that Joo-kyung has been so honest and kind towards Soo-jin, and values their friendship so much. We’ve seen Joo-kyung tormented over her dating secret, and this week she calls up the courage to tell Soo-jin about Soo-ho. Agh, this scene hurt — Soo-jin seems so earnest and kind, playing dumb, and playing supportive. She lies so well.
The bullies at Joo-kyung’s old school keep coming back like a nightmare, but now that Soo-jin is so antagonistic towards Joo-kyung, she’s paying attention to this dynamic in a whole new way. When the other bullied girl (who sold out Joo-kyung) turns up at Saebom High, it doesn’t take long for Soo-jin to stitch the whole thing together: from Joo-kyung’s old “ugly” persona, to her humiliation by the bullies, to the photographic evidence to prove it.
I hate that this is happening, although I know we had to get to this point in the drama eventually. Poor Joo-kyung has been feeling the weight of “hiding” her true self ever since she took on her new goddess persona, and even though I hate seeing her suffer, she does need to learn how to value herself. I just wish the path there wasn’t so cruel.
It’s certainly a case of Joo-kyung’s most terrible nightmares coming true, because when her old face is revealed, it’s revealed to the entire school, and there’s whispering, mockery, laughter, and friends that act betrayed. I’m not sure why finding out that a lovely young girl who has bad skin and covers it with makeup is something that needs to blow up into quite this big of a scandal, but it does, nonetheless.
Thankfully, we know Soo-ho already knows the truth and adores her regardless; also, this week, Seo-joon is shown pictures of “ugly” Joo-kyung by the lead bully, and I was happy to see his total lack of reaction too (we were hinted that he wouldn’t care either, thanks to Go-woon’s parallel storyline). But the rest of Joo-kyung’s friends? Can we even call them that? To me, they seem more like betrayers than the betrayed.
Painful though it is, I’m glad we got to this crashing point in our story — it means that it’s only up from here for Joo-kyung. We’ve seen her rise above her fear and face the bullies, and though she did it meekly, she did it. And I hope there’s more of that to come. Joo-kyung is brave and kind, and there’s no way she’s not going to win in the end. Roar!
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