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Shooting Stars: Episodes 11-12

It’s the dark night of the soul this week where friendships and relationships are put to the test, as a single rumor spirals into a wildfire that drives our characters to their breaking point.

 
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP

A picture of Eun Si-woo hugging Tae-sung outside his apartment hits the internet, sparking relationship rumors. Thankfully, only her back view appears in the picture and the PR team is able to quell the rumors and threatens legal action – straight out of the playbook of every Korean entertainment agency these days. Lol.

At first, Han-byeol and Yoo-sung think the picture was uploaded by the housekeeper. But then, at the filming location, when Da-hye notes that Tae-sung seems to be having a hard time because of the rumors, Yoo-na’s other manager, KANG MIN-KYU (Lee Han-ik), hides a sinister smile. We recognize him as Tae-sung’s former manager and the guy we saw at the gravesite last week.

But speaking of legal action, Ki-bbeum gets sued for publishing a false article – no thanks to her annoying boss who mistook a singer’s wedding invitation to be that of another actress bearing the same name.

Naturally, Soo-hyuk’s office is Ki-bbeum’s next port of call. There, she finds out the lawsuit was filed by his brother (in a fun cameo by Lee Sang-yub), who just so happens to be the actual fiancé of the actress.

Thankfully, the lawsuit is dropped, and Ki-bbeum gets to score a proper exclusive of the actress’s engagement to a “handsome prosecutor.” And if this is how the drama wants to couple Soo-hyuk and Ki-bbeum, I’m all for it. She has already started meeting his family members anyway. Heh.

Han-byeol visits the housekeeper to return the necklaces she sent to the PR staff, and the housekeeper taunts her for thinking she’ll always be special to Tae-sung. While the housekeeper is delusional, Han-byeol can’t help feeling insecure about her place in Tae-sung’s life. But Tae-sung is quick to pick up on those feelings, and reassures her that he’ll always love her.

Yoo-sung is also quick to pick up on the awkwardness between him and Ho-young, who has been avoiding him since her confession. He tells her he will take his time to think about his feelings, and she promises not to “run away” from him going forward. Phew!

A blurred out picture of a StarForce ID card is uploaded to Tae-sung’s creepy anti-fan site, and Han-byeol mentions to Yoo-sung that the ID could belong to a former employee. Yoo-sung immediately thinks about Min-kyu and goes to confront him.

At the same time, Tae-sung is being mobbed by reporters outside his house demanding to know the relationship between him and Si-woo, whose identity has now been revealed. He has a panic attack and collapses, but Han-byeol and Soo-hyuk arrive just in time to prevent the rabid reporters from harassing him any further.

While Tae-sung recuperates, the agency tries to figure out a plan of action. Si-woo wants to tell the truth about their mother-son relationship, but she holds back for Tae-sung’s sake and wonders if it was wrong of her to return to Korea. Excuse me, ma’am, do you still need to ask?

But as it turns out, Si-woo returned because she’s losing her memories and wants to apologize to Tae-sung before she loses it all. I find this arc quite disappointing and I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel sorry for her, or for Tae-sung, whose life keeps getting more complicated.

At least Tae-sung has people on his side — like Ki-bbeum who writes an article in his support (earning a thumbs up from Soo-hyuk), Da-hye the fangirl who goes guns blazing at the hate comments, and Jung-yeol who catches TaeByeol in the middle of a hug, and pretends to go back to sleep immediately. Lol.

But there are more people against Tae-sung, like the director – and crew – of his drama. They’ve put his shooting schedule on hold in repsonse to hundreds of netizen criticizing Tae-sung and sharing absurd theories about his love triangle with “lawyer D” and Si-woo, who he supposedly has an African kid with. *Facepalm*

At this point, I just want to scream! Aside from the fact that we’ve circled back to this African nonsense, don’t these netizens know basic biology? How can an Asian man have an African kid! To no one’s surprise, though, Ki-bbeum’s boss marinates in all the craziness, and eggs his staff on to write more inciting articles.

It’s refreshing to see Ki-bbeum finally stand up to her boss on the thoughtlessness of the media, and then knock back a few drinks with Soo-hyuk after a stressful day’s work. Make this ship sail, dear drama gods.

When a picture of Yoo-sung picking Si-woo up from the airport is sent to Tae-sung, he chooses to trust Yoo-sung, instead of suspect him. But when Yoo-sung tries to convince him that admitting his mother-son relationship with Si-woo is the best way to put an end to all the speculation, Tae-sung feels betrayed. He lashes out at Yoo-sung for being just like the other managers who put business over the feelings and welfare of the celebrities in their care.

Yoo-sung is understandably hurt by this, and for someone who has been such a rock and a Mr. Fix-It for others, this is the first time I’ve seen Yoo-sung look so crushed. But for a change, it’s nice to see Ho-young give him the support he needs and play the part of being a rock he can lean on – both literally and figuratively – and this is my favorite scene of the week!

Min-kyu is not apologetic for plunging Tae-sung into this mess, and he believes Tae-sung deserves every bit of it because he didn’t show up to Yoon-woo’s funeral. He also accuses Han-byeol of not protecting Yoon-woo – something she admits to, and then says they suffered for it. Who are the “they”?

We wrap up this week’s episodes with Eun Si-woo at a press conference about to make a big announcement, but we have to wait till next week to hear what she has to say, alongside the mystery of whatever happened with Yoon-woo.

As if this week wasn’t depressing enough, Jae-hyun and Yoo-na have broken up, Dae-soo is now alone on set, and in an art mirroring life situation, actor Yoo-sung gets offered the role of a man in an unrequited love! Seriously, when will the misery end?

At this point, it feels like the drama has forgotten that it’s supposed to be a rom-com and has dived into melo territory. This isn’t what I signed up for, so can we get back to the light hearted rom-com part, please?

 
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Ah that scene with Yu Na breaking it off (maybe more for his sake because she still is a rich girl not dependent on this career) and then crying made me feel worse than the ML's life.

He is in a bad situation for sure but he is being treated like a child and not a grown up man by all the people surrounding him. (Sadly, he does behave like a child instead of an adult)

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Sorry for being snarky: A grown up man has an entire company vowing to protect him? Why he is still sulking? Ae ya? Is he that fragile? I'm Do Bong-soon then.

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Exactly! He is a public persona and sure enough he should be aware of the price of fame - a few personal sacrifices here and there. What is so bad about letting the public know that she is his deadbeat birth mother? Is he worried they will chatter about his filial duties? What?

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Since we all have seen multiple rom-coms, we know the variations on what I think of as the mom-traum. Tae-Sung's is actually pretty mild. His Mom didn't beat him, she didn't abandon him on the streets, she didn't give him up to adoption to strangers. She just didn't acknowledge him. Okay. That's too bad. But you had a decent upbringing, and now you are really successful So acknowledge her and move on. Your level of Mom-traum shouldn't cause you to break up with your best friend and risk your relationship with your love!

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Hear hear! I was surprised to see how much he is being coddled.

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I had feared that these two episodes would be about revenge and more scandals, but still hoped that the issue would be closed at least this week. Unfortunately, it will drag on until at least episode 13 and Tae-sung will be devastated, thinking that everyone betrayed him.

Up until the middle of episode 12, I would have said that I didn't believe in a (temporary) breakup between Tae-sung and Han-byeol, but after Yoo-na broke up with her colleague, I'm not so sure anymore. Because Yoo-na and Jae-hyun's relationship was always a harbinger of what would happen between Tae-sung and Han-byeol a short time later: fighting, kissing, secretly dating, .... I hope I'm wrong and it just stays a big fight.

But now for the things I enjoyed, and thankfully there were quite a few of those in episode 11.

First, there's the camping scene. Tae-sung and Han-byeol talk openly about their fears and feelings. And who would have thought Tae-sung would be so capable of self-reflection?

Poor Ji-woo, but I had to laugh hysterically when she ran into Yoo-sung in the parking garage and tried to escape by car.

Is there a bromance developing between Tae-sung and the lawyer? I'd love to see more of this!

Since my hopes that the whole drama about the antifans will be over soon have already been destroyed, I hope that at least in the last two episodes there will be sunshine again.

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Your theory about Yoo-Na/Jae-Hyun foreshadowing Tae-Sung/Han-Byeol is too convincing and I don't like it! I've been really happy that we haven't focused on relationship angst, and I loved how the camping scene quickly resolved Han-Byeol's doubts, so I'm going to stay confident in TaeByeol!

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Maybe I'm wrong and my theory is complete nonsense. At least I hope so, because I really don't want to see a break-up.

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🎓Genius for noticing the foretelling element. I loved the beach scene too and the fact they were talking rather than allowing assumptions to become facts to act on.
The lawyer gained brownie points for his intervention in the fainting incident. Now if he can get in with the reporter then his bitterness can be averted and they can become a great double date couple. It would be good if the reporter could branch out and get a better job/boss otherwise she will need a lawyer on retainer.
Let’s hope the alternative drama the writer is trying to squeeze in is finally pushed out and we can resume normal proceedings.

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Although it was a tough watch and all the villains are 2-dimensional, I liked the angle of the scandal spiralling out of control and how it affects Tae-sung and puts Han-byeol in a tough spot professionally. I was expecting the hurdles to be all about insecurities dating a top star so in some ways I was pleasantly surprised…? Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I so sympathise with Tae-sung. The way the fans turned on him so quickly - I felt genuinely scared for him. Kudos for the acting. (Also 10/10 for girlfriend reassurance, man!)

I’m on the reporter /lawyer ship. And also rofl at Ho-young driving off with the windscreen wipers going!

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I liked the reintroduction of Luca, because of the implication that the 'paternity scandal' (I thought Han-byeol's eye-roll made clear that the show understands the ridiculousness of this rumour) puts Tae-sung under pressure to disown Luca and so perpetuate what his mother did to him - and he has treated Luca lightly until now, really.

I thought Yoo-na and Jae-hyun's breakup was hilarious, sorry.

Also, in Ep 11 I was really glad the show faced up to Tae-sung's behaviour to Han-byeol - I mean, as Han-byeol implies, it's a feeble and unconvincing explanation, but at least one was given, unlike, say, in Hometown Cha Cha Cha.

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Did Yoo-Na just do something selfless? K-Drama character development for the win!

I really hope Si-woo has some selfless solution to help her son, but my hopes aren't high.

Moral of this story: I don't know why anyone would ever want to be famous!

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Tae-Sung sees himself as immature. He says so to Han-byeol at the start of episode 10--that he didn't have a chance to do what kids do. He knows he was babyish to tease the person he liked for so many years. He does need protection--he's fragile, and by agreeing to be a public person, he's putting himself at risk from the public. It's the reason the people around him are always trying to protect him. One of the weird things about this show is that Tae-Sung is smart, rich, talented and physically strong, but he's also suffering from trauma, incredibly vulnerable and liable to collapse. Remember the scene when Han-byeol smells his hair and tells him to stop freaking out that someone said his hair smells bad? He's a paradox.

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I actually appreciate that the writers decided to incorporate the fact that TS knew he was acting like a child in his treated of HB all these years. He acknowledged he was petty and I found that refreshing.

I so so wish I could still see a bit of chemistry between the two leads though. Ugh! Am I the only one? They are just pretty people sharing a screen to me. Much like my dismay in Hometown Chachacha

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I want to go live at that camping site, so beautiful 🏖

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Loved the cameo by Lee Sang-yub! I’m also shipping the lawyer and reporter and the Tae-sung-lawyer bromance.Good thing the lawyer doesn’t work past 6 pm! He’s suddenly got a busy social life. But seriously, I like the advice he gave Tae-sung about anti-fans: the worst thing they do is cause anxiety. The anti-fans plant seeds of doubt and insecurities and that is the worst.
While I don’t care for this anti-fan/crazy netizen storyline, it’s probably reflective of a celebrity’s real life. Fame usually comes with a price. But as others have stated, I hope they wrap it up soon - including the mama drama - and get back to the romcom. I was really beginning to enjoy the blossoming romance between Tae-sung and Han-byeol.
The one thing I did not appreciate this week was Tae-sung’s snarky, “You’re a great liar. Maybe it’s because you’re a lawyer.” Et tu, Tae-sung?

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Lol, I just realized I forgot to add I was kidding about TS teasing Soo-Hyuk about being a good liar. I actually thought it was hilarious and had to rewind and watch it twice. 😂

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Thank,you @unit for your rapid recap. As has been the case throughout these episodes I agree with your assessment. Just as previous episodes were a lot of fun, so episode 12 overloaded on the negative. But I kind of knew that would be the case. The epilogue was exactly what I was worried about.

As I wrote last week, why bring in the revenge sub-plot when you already had Internet anti-fans and the Mom-traum? I'd just like to give the writer a good talking to! What were you thinking, that this is some sort of artistic cinematic drama with 3 siblings stuck in dead end jobs having to commute to Seoul? Stick with the fun!

In my opinion, too much time spent on these subplots are undermining chances to develop the lead relationship further. I actually do think there is some chemistry between the leads--the camping scene was great. But that was one of the few scenes (except for the hospital) where they were depicted together.

On the bright side, there still were some fun scenes in episode 11. I liked the development of Soo-Hyuk and Ki-bbeum's relationship. I hope there is a lot more of that! And actually, I also like the love triangle involving Ho-Young. I found the role assigned to the underwear model (sadly) amusing.

And finally, I'm glad that they dealt a little bit with the "Africa" tone-deafness of the first episode, by having the hateful editor try to push a related racist story onto Ki-bbeum, and then him calling her a "social justice warrior" when she objected. (Far right-wingers in the U.S. always phrase to attack well-meaning people). It shows some awareness, at least!

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I agree re the namesake actors new role it’s sad that he knows how to act this role. Such a contrast after having so many girls and women flocking to him now he knows he doesn’t stand a chance with the one he likes. I do think proximity can lead to mistaking platonic professional relationships for something more especially as the actors are relatively isolated so have a less opportunity to interact generally.

I also want to spend the air time on how you do relationships in the business and wondered if it was going to be a transition issue for Han byeol like it was for the secretary in What’s wrong with secretary Kim.

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Thanks for reading.

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Thanks @unit for a great recap. I am not happy with the dark side stories either, we could have had enough drama with the main couple maintaining their relationship in the midst of busyness and lack of privacy, and the usual agency drama. Even if the writer felt the need to add one drama like the death of a friend or the mum abandonment that would have been enough and left space for the rom com elements. Not sure why they decided to go all out with nasty characters on all fronts.

My favourite scene was the beach scene when he said she would be his first and last love. I am hopeful this will play out to the last episode despite the challenges they are facing.

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You're always welcome.

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I found episode 12 oddly affecting. 'Oddly' because up until this episode I wasn't feeling the 'drama' storyline at all. It seemed like the actors sold the 'drama' in this episode through sheer force of willpower. Their *acting* made it not hokey so, in this episode, it wasn't hokey.

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What happened to my frothy rom com? Bring it back please! I need TS to haul himself out of his mom issues and look at the bigger picture and how this is affecting the people around him. Enjoying Lawyer Do and KB, I hope they pair up those two.
I feel sorry for YS, but hopefully it'll bring him closer to HY.
Finally, I was surprised at Yu Na, taking one for the team, there's character growth!😄

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Just wanted to say every time I read your name I hear a Jeeves style voiceover🤣

One day I was walking in the wonderful countryside near my home in the Shires and an older man greeted me with ‘What ho!’ I was so close to saying ‘ Malvolio’ (shocking how things we learnt in school come in handy after all!) Like we were spies completing the secret code greeting before exchanging an envelope 🤣🤣

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Lol!🤣 For some reason I had the phrase 'Toodlepip sweeties' in my head when I was setting up this account😂, but I'm a big Jeeves fan too...

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Love it!

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Wow! Coming across Jeeves fans on a K-drama website! Life is worth it!

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That’s so funny the world is small. How much of a coincidence is it that people from around the world who like K dramas would also appreciate a fictional British character circa mid 1920’s!

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I am into P.G. Wodehouse generally- Jeeves and Wooster included.

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Jin Ki Joo cameo ♥

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I loved both the cameos in this week.

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Lee Sang-yeob too ❤❤ so perfectly him ha ha

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Can my ship sail already? The show is about to end! Yu Sung and Ho Young are perfect for each other, why aren't they together?

Tae Sung telling Yu Sung he's like any other manager was awful. He has no right to treat my boy like that! Tae Sung's such an ungrateful kid. He better apologize.

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Watching Si Woo preparing to talk at the press conference, I cried silently with Tae Sung... Ottokke.., it must've been hard for him...

This drama made me wonder if maintaining one star is this hard, imagine how hard it is for an agency to take care of 7 or more idols in the kpop world. There are so many untold stories and wounds that we as the public didn't know... Omo, it's a hard life for them... I prayed all the best for them...

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I agree with Unit- a little too much melodrama this week and not enough romance and comedy.

Exception: Our lawyer and our favorite reporter make such a great couple. I am cheering for them.

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