True Beauty: Episodes 13-14 Open Thread
The moment has come for our heroine to face her demons. After her long-kept secret is revealed in the worst way possible, she has to decide how to react, and really, how she’s going to be known. And for a drama that has been a lot about inner character (and true beauty), it’s lovely to see things like courage, grit, loyalty, and true friendship win in the end.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
After the absolutely cruel reveal of Joo-kyung’s bare face (and her most humiliating moment) to the entire school, she’s rightfully shattered. It’s painful to see her holed up against the world, but it’s such an understandable reaction to the betrayal, fear, and mortification she’s dealing with.
But the Joo-kyung we know is resilient and strong, and sure enough, she is able to find the courage to return to school, face her friends (and enemies), and continue on with her life. And she emerges a lot stronger on the other side.
A lot of this is thanks to the support she gets from those around her — her little brother jumps to her aid, Soo-ho literally scours the city to find her, Seo-joon plays a big part in confronting the bad actors, and even the adorkable homeroom teacher supports Joo-kyung, calling out her classmates’ behavior.
While Soo-ho is busy being Joo-kyung’s rock and emotional support, Seo-joon turns up with the tactical support: he confronts Soo-jin over what she’s done, and uses his connections (and looks lol) to get the video pulled off of the school portal.
I love both of these boys and how loyal and true-hearted they are, but honestly, nothing topped the interaction between Joo-kyung and her mother for me. This has long been a sore point in the story, but I was never 100% clear on whether it was going to be addressed adequately. But it was, and what a nice job they did with it.
Joo-kyung’s mother flips out about her desire to study cosmetology (as expected), but eventually her hysteria causes her to reveal the root cause: she doesn’t want her daughter to struggle like she has. Between this honest moment — and the homeroom teacher revealing Joo-kyung’s bullied past — Mama Im becomes the best mother hen around. The understanding that she and her daughter reach is a long time coming, and it’s truly precious.
After that wonderful closure, everything else felt like the icing on the cake to me: Soo-jin getting ostracized for her horrible behavior, Soo-ah reconciling with Joo-kyung, and the two of them not only rescuing Hye-min, but standing up against the bullies. The girls’ fight scenes (intercut with Soo-ho and his friends playing video games) was hilarious — but I love how all the silliness in True Beauty is so often grounded by values like standing up for the downtrodden, being loyal to your friends, and being a good person.
The drama also makes a really nice statement about how having someone as awesome as Soo-ho at your side is such a blessing — we see again and again how his love for Joo-kyung gives her strength and courage. They’ve announced their dating to the world, and though it at first causes Joo-kyung to second-guess herself, there’s really no denying the earnest heart of Soo-ho.
Finally, we have a little wrap-up for Seo-joon, too. He swept in to help Joo-kyung like the best of heroes, but he also kept a respectful distance, knowing that she’s dating his friend. Having these boys friends again is possibly the best thing ever, and it leads to hints of Seo-joon returning to music (and he should — what a beautiful voice!).
Their friendship also means honestly, and there’s a great moment where Seo-joon asks Soo-ho if it’s okay for him to come clean to Joo-kyung, in order to move on. I love their pretty mature take on this, from Soo-ho’s official okay, to Seo-joon’s oblique (and lost on Joo-kyung) confession.
As we can see for all of this, True Beauty does a great job of wrapping up all of our conflicts both cutely and satisfyingly. But wait, this is not our final week — so why does it feel like it is? Uh oh. *Gets wave of Do Do Sol Sol PTSD*
This is where the last few minutes of Episode 14 come in. We almost feel as though we’ve reached the end of our tale, with the conflicts dealt with, and Soo-ho and Joo-kyung on a seaside trip, drinking in each other’s company. But, Soo-ho’s father has a sudden stroke, which sends him flying off the scene (literally). So far, I’m buying this — perhaps Soo-ho’s reconciliation with his father is the final conflict to resolve?
But no, things go a bit haywire. First, we’re met with a sudden two-year time jump. We see our same crew (minus Soo-jin), cute as ever and gathered over a meal and drinks. Joo-kyung is passed out from over-drinking, and who comes in to look after her? Seo-joon. He calls her name informally, she greets him like one would a boyfriend, and then leans on him half asleep.
I… I am not sure what to say. Honestly, earlier on in the drama I was game for something like this, where Joo-kyung was pulled a little more between two very worthy beaus. But we never went there; Joo-kyung’s heart was always so clearly Soo-ho’s. So why are we doing this now? It seems like a cheap trick.
There’s about a 0.0005% chance the OTP will change, so what we’re most likely looking at is a final two episodes of explaining their split, enjoying some Seo-joon swoons, and then watching our OTP get back together (and Seo-joon having to give her up again). Personally, I think True Beauty owes us better than this, but I’ll hold my judgment till we see how things shake out next week.
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- Moon Ga-young primps and preens for tvN’s True Beauty
- First script reading for tvN’s True Beauty with Moon Ga-young, Cha Eun-woo, Hwang In-yub
- Cha Eun-woo, Moon Ga-young youth rom-com drama in the works