(I started wanting to comment on each week’s episodes only but in the end, it became somewhat like a recap plus commentary accompanying most of the scenes. I hope you will not find it a bore or tedious to go through. Maybe you can drop a comment on what you will like to read^^)
Starts with Yoo Jin’s stare down at Yoon Hoo. I am sure I am enjoying this scene purely because of Joo Won’s face. He got that jealous stare down at Yoon Ho all pat down. It is making me irrational because I don’t particularly enjoy scenes of alpha males posturing.
I laughed out loud when Yoon Ho tells him that they will see each other often, so don’t make that face. All this while, Naeil never moves. Can’t blame the girl, who doesn’t want to bury her face in this man’s chest? Lessons for the Neanderthal man can come later once you wrap him round your little finger.
Although Yoo Jin is thick in the head, Yoon Hoo can see that he will have no easy time if he wishes to pursue Naeil. I think it is not just Naeil’s adoration of Yoo Jin because that was obvious from the day Yoon Hoo met her. Rather Yoon Hoo can see that Naeil is more than a friend to Yoo Jin.
Yoo Jin and a few S Orchestra members are in the practice room. Hilariously, Naeil’s sleeping with her head dropped back. The group is so excited when Yoo Jin announces that they will be playing at his concert with Stresemann. Awww…..they are so over the moon that I dread what’s going to come next. Naeil wakes up blurry eyed and wonders what is going on.
I love Yoo Jin smile when he looked at Naeil. If that’s not tenderness, I don’t know what is. He is all gruff and rough with her but he does this always when she is unaware of it.
Il Rak and Soomin haul Yoo Jin out of the room. I really don’t know how else to describe it but I love that they are always grabbing him. And it’s obvious that Yoo Jin loves it too, he has that happy look on his face as he sees them get on their way.
Then Naeil sneaks up close to him giving him a shock, ha. Turns out that she spent the whole night trying to make sense of his hug. She concludes that Yoo Jin is jealous and of course Yoo Jin denies it.
Stresemann drops the bomb on Yoo Jin. Their performance will be accompanied by A Orchestra and not S Orchestra. I do not know if Stresemann has something up his sleeve because this man is just unpredictable. He has made some progress from being a totally looney pot of a maestro /teacher to someone who occasionally makes sense and has a valuable lesson for his pupil.
Unaware of their fate, the S Orchestra members celebrate at Il Rak’s Dad’s restaurant. Did Dad just give them digestive pills so that they can binge more? Why didn’t I even think of that? What a marvelous idea! Now, I just need the ultra fat burner and I will be happy. Naeil wonders what’s keeping Yoo Jin. The dude is standing there looking in with a grave face. I am sure he would love to join them but he can’t because of he knows the truth. So he walks on.
Yoo Jin’s mom drops by his place on the pretext of bringing him health drinks. I liked immediately how candid they can talk to each other although we know they aren’t close. Mom asks if Yoo Jin is taking revenge on her because he grew up by himself. She says this in the most “unmakjang” way. If you have watched enough Asian dramas, you will know how the typical parent says this kind of lines. It’s also called emotional blackmail so I am glad nothing of that sort here.
Mom notices a note stuck on Yoo Jin’s fridge which is definitely written by Naeil because it is a menu which list her meal requests for the week complete with cute doodling .By the way, Isn’t it telling that Yoo Jin let that memo stick? Mom is definitely amused.
We learn that Yoo Jin’s OCD on cleanliness and tidiness is because his mom hates to clean. More than this we learn a whole lot of things about Yoo Jin in his conversation with his mom more than in the past episodes. Mom guesses that Yoo Jin is dating and she already knows it’s not Do Kyung before Yoo Jin said they have split. From Mom’s words, I gather that Yoo Jin’s relationship with Do Kyung was really one of childhood friends. He practically grew up with her. I don’t know what they did besides him playing the piano to accompany her singing and she contented to have a trophy boyfriend who obviously wasn’t in love with her. I don’t think Yoo Jin even knows what love is. But one thing is clear, Yoo Jin is kind and has the capacity to love, he just doesn’t know how. Mom mentions him taking in a wet stray dog even though he was allergic to fur. Somehow, it reminds me of Naeil, ha.
Mom points out that Yoo Jin formed a barricade around himself and thought only of Viera. She’s glad he has friends now. When Yoo Jin paused, Mom thought that he still feels annoyed at his friends. So Yoo Jin was like this all the while? Wrapped in his music cocoon and unable to make friends, get along with his peers without getting annoyed? Mom also thinks that his friends are genuine. It’s nice to see that Yoo Jin actually remembers the scene where he was rescued from the pool and everyone was fussing over him.
Yoo Jin finds it strange that his friends can show everything without hiding what they really want. Boy, this man really has issues expressing himself. I suspect the key to Yoo Jin’s past is his Dad. We know that their relationship is strained in the least. It’s definitely much worse than his relationship with his Mom. I can tell while he is not close to his Mom, he bears her no bitterness. However, to this day, he has rejected all interviews if it’s about his father.
Yoo Jin was probably scarred by what happened between him and his father. He has problem starting and maintaining relationships. He does not want to make friends because he does not want to abandon or lose them when he goes abroad. But of course, he never did go overseas due to his trauma. Slowly. He just lost that ability to make friends. Yoo Jin loses himself in his world of music because that is the only thing that never changed and never abandoned him since he was a child.
This is the barricade that Mom was talking about. Yoo Jin is unconsciously stopping himself from making friends, so let alone love. Deep down inside, he probably fears that he will get hurt by investing himself wholeheartedly.
Yoo Jin actually tells Stresemann to reconsider S Orchestra as their accompaniment but Stresemann stands his ground. And Yoo Jin says he is not going to perform if that’s the case. That’s a big decision and not an easy one to make but I am proud of Yoo Jin. Shockingly Stresemann agrees to his withdrawal. What?! You know the thing about Stresemann is that I can never read him. Is he crazy or is he up to something. It’s like expecting a madman to pull the rabbit out of a magician’s hat.
However, things are not going to go Yoo Jin’s way because Teacher Do has an evil plan up his sleeve. He is going to blackmail Yoo Jin into performing in the concert or else he will dissolve S Orchestra using the complaint against them at the music festival as a basis.
Soon Il Rak, Soomin and Mini Minhee get the shocking truth when they overhear A Orchestra speaking loudly about performing in the concert. Naeil gets to know and soon all the S orchestra gathers at the rehearsal room waiting for Yoo Jin. And damn, Yoo Jin confirms their worst fears and said he made a mistake earlier on. He doesn’t explain other than A Orchestra is the best in the country and befitting of Stresemann’s conducting. Aahhh….why are you such a noble idiot? Looking back, I think Yoo Jin did not want to let them on the true reason because S Orchestra members might make trouble with Teacher Do and risk an immediate dissolution. Or maybe not. Yoo Jin could be just a matter of fact guy, sigh. I don’t know but I guess every show needs a misunderstood hero.
The S orchestra members plead for Yoo Jin to stay but Il Rak shouts at them to cut it out. He is most upset by Yoo Jin’s betrayal and he tells him to leave. Before he does, Yoo Jin gives this parting shot to the S Orchestra: “The applause at the last performance was all about your skills.” Wow, I like that, I really do. Is this a test for S Orchestra? The next step in their growth – not to depend on who is leading them but to advance on their own merits?
Naeil runs after Yoo Jin in the most distracting scene ever. Lemme take a break from this recap and write a letter to KBS to appeal for more grey or light color pants in Yoo Jin’s wardrobe.
Done, I am back. Where was I? Oh right, Naeil. She pleads with Yoo Jin to stay and threatens to be his enemy but her pleas cannot change Yoo Jin’s mind. Meanwhile, the S Orchestra is at the bottom of the pit, they start packing their stuff and leave despite Il Rak pleading with them.
Awww….Il Rak waits for Yoo Jin that night to talk him into changing his mind. Gaahh…Go Kyung Po is so good in this scene, I feel so sorry for Il Rak as he makes all sorts of attempts from logic to begging to threatening. It’s made worse because we all know that Yoo Jin is playing the noble idiot and stubbornly keeps silent on the real reason. He even tells Il Rak that only Il Rak thinks they are best friends. This shocks Il Rak and in anger or desperation, he whips out his phone, threatening to delete Yoo Jin’s number. Only that he really does, accidentally. That look on Il Rak’s face! Come here baby, let me give you a hug.
Yoo Jin walks past Naeil’s door and stops. But he changes his mind about ringing her bell and goes back to his unit instead. Aaaarrrghh….so disappointing. As he heaves a sign over his kitchen counter, Naeil suddenly appears from behind, LOL. He looks annoyed but I am sure he is happy to see her. Yoo Jin asks Naeil if she has forgotten about being at war with him. Then Naeil goes into this hilarious words of wisdom passed down by her ancestors – “Do not use separate rooms even if you fight.” Oh….right, I forgot she thinks they are married, ha. Yoo Jin calls her out for getting more and more shameless when she request that he cooks for her. But when she finger tucks at his sleeve, he seems to be moved. So grudgingly , he announces that he is making steak for dinner and smiled to himself when Naeil looks happy at the prospect of a delicious dinner. “Scribbles* down on my ideal type list – cooks and looks delicious.
Yoo Jin practices for his concert with Stresemann. He gets rapped for being boring. Stresemann thinks Yoo Jin has never seduce anyone before because he never needed to. I find myself nodding in agreement. Then Stresemann demonstrates the art of seduction in the most bizarre manner. He reminds me of people doing the Qi Gong(a form of Chinese breathing exercise) and that’s supposed to seduce? I am laughing so hard. No wonder you can’t get Dean Mina, haha. Best part is when Stresemann asks Yoo Jin what does he looks like and Yoo Jin gives it a serious thought and hazards a guess: “Snake. Rat Snake?” pwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh..
Awww…S Orchestra gets locked out of their rehearsal room by the meanie Teacher Do. He even tells them that they have no talent. That’s just so low. Just when they are all dejected and slumped outside the place, Yoon Ho comes and ripped off the “No Entry” sign. Yoo-Hoo! Eh….does that qualify as a pun?
S Orchestra are curious about Yoon Ho and Il Rak asks him to audition. Yoon Ho sweeps them off their feet with his skills. And Il Rak found his new bromance, LOL. S Orchestra also has a new conductor in form of Seung Ho who clearly notices the talent Yoon Ho and remarks to himself that the “leftovers” have come a long way.
I will skip the scenes of Rat Snake charming Dean Mina and others. Let’s cut to Yoo Jin returning home with a bag of groceries. Awww…is that pasta I spot? He passes Il Rak’s Dad’s restaurant and bumps into
Il Rak and gang stop laughing once they see Yoo Jin. Following behind is Naeil who is chatting with Yoon Ho. Naeil runs up to Yoo Jin but Il Rak stops her. He tells her to ignore Yoo Jin because “he doesn’t like us” Nothing can be further from the truth but I don’t blame Il Rak for saying this. They all proceed inside the restaurant and Yoo Jin can only stand there in silence. He throws the bag of groceries into the garbage bins. Did you buy all those for her? Sigh…
Naeil quickly goes to knock on Yoo Jin door after she leaves the party but he does not answer. Turns out he went back to school studio and is venting his pent up emotions on the piano. I just love how the camera catches the reflection of his face on the piano rack. Joo Won is so awesome in this scene. I love how he acts the piano playing. It looks convincing and he has all the movements right. And the look of concentration and intensity on his face are just too marvelous. Coupled with his hair flying and in disarray, he is the epitome of hotness.
It’s the day of the festival and my goodness, doesn’t S Orchestra look totally awesome! Are they pulling the swing jazz look? It looks expensive but I can see how a student can put these pieces together with a little creativity. I am excited already and true to his nature, Il Rak leads his team with a jig in his steps, Go Kyung Po is rocking this.
Unknown to S Orchestra, their conductor is throwing up in the toilet. Gosh, has Seung Oh lost so much confidence since then? Thankfully, Yoon Hoo sees him and assures him that it is normal but Seung Oh asks what about the concert? Is this where Yoo Jin steps in? Can he?
Soon enough S Orchestra learns that their conductor has taken ill. Naeil quickly takes Mini-Minhee with her and tells her to text Yoo Jin while she changes into her mascot costume. Naeil sounds confident that Yoo Jin will come and that it will also help to get him back in the good books of his friends.
Yoo Jin is preparing for his concert when he gets a text from Naeil’s handphone that they are unable to perform without a conductor. Yoo Jin seems to swipe away the message with annoyance but we soon see that it eats into him so much that he dashes out of the studio and rushes to the rehearsal room. So, he was going to stand in after all but he was too late.
Yoo Jin steps into the concert hall just in time to see Naeil playing the melodica dressed up as a raccoon. I enjoyed Shim Eun Kyung’s performance here. She conveyed the childlike playfulness and was adorable as a mascot. It was magical to see her standing there in the spotlight and the audience is enjoying this unexpected introduction.
Then the lights come on, they actually kind of flicker on and off. The effect is good because it heightens the mood of anticipation and we see Yoon Hoo all poised there with his eyes closed and hands raised.
They start playing Bernstein’s Mambo and it was just so fun to watch. The violinists wave their bows, the cellists spin their cellos and the oboe and clarinet players wave their instruments. Naeil is prancing below the stage joyfully . Yoon Hoo is in his element here, Park Bo Gum is impressive as he does the conducting well and he seems to be having a whale of a time. I know many of the S Orchestra members are real life music students who audition for a role in this drama. Somehow, looking at everyone’s faces, they don’t seem to be acting. They are performing for real and enjoying every moment.
The exuberance, the youthful energy and the catchy music infects the whole audience. Yoo Jin marvels at their performance, how did they become so good in a short time? Stresemann shouts “Bravo” and Yoo Jin is surprised to see him. Stresemann says that Yoon Hoo knows how to capture people’s hearts. He already has the members on his side. Eh….is Stresemann telling Yoo JIn that he has to buck up?
Yoo Jin sees Yoon Ho shaking Naeil’s hand and I am not sure if that together with Stresemann’s praise of Yoon Hoo made him say this “It is great but the star of the day is me.”
We get to see behind the scenes following up to S orchestra’s amazing performance. Yoon Ho had actually told S Orchestra to give him a chance because it is a song he has practiced and knows well. After the performance, the members praised Yoon Hoo who tells them that it was because he performed the piece before. He also praises them for playing well. I really hope that Yoon Hoo is a guy who is genuinely generous with his praises. Not that S Orchestra played anything short of wonderful but rather the memory of him praising Teacher Yoon stuck in my mind. Perhaps she has some redeeming qualities which made him not insincere in his lavish praises. Well, maybe Yoon Hoo just contrast so much with Yoo Jin’s style. Yoo Jin does not say much but I never doubt his good words. Well, let’s hope not because I am happy with Yoon Hoo character right now.
Yoon Hoo looks for Naeil but is kind of disappointed when he hears that she has rushed off to look for Yoo Jin. Meanwhile Naeil manages to see the back of Yoo Jin as he walks away from the concert hall. She asks excitedly if he has watched their performance and starts about Yoon Hoo. Right there, Yoo Jin cuts her off. Boy, you are so obvious. Yoo Jin tells Naeil that he didn’t come and see her perform though. Naeil replies that he could have just let her believe so. Awww….Yoo Jin then tells her to watch his performance closely from beginning to end. Eh….is he going to play to seduce her? Just like how Stresemann plans to “seduce” Dean Mina? Okay, I am all ears or rather eyes, I mean.
Yoo Jin cannot get the image of Yoon Hoo shaking Naeil’s hand and Naeil smiling sweetly at Yoon Hoo. The green eyed monster is rearing, isn’t it. He shakes his head to rid the mental picture and ends up messing his slicked hair. Stresemann walks in and remarks that Yoo Jin looks wild and sexy. I agree, I agree, I agree!
Yoo Jin tells Stresemann to stop with the odd comments, hahaha, he is way too serious. Stresemann tells Yoo Jin that when he possesses a range of emotions, his music will become richer. He goes on further to tell Yoo Jin not to be embarrassed about his emotions. Oh, did you just hit the nail on its head, Stresemann? Yoo Jin insists that emotions aren’t important but Stresemann tells him that he cannot grow without the emotions. Stresemann takes another angle and tells Yoo Jin to make use of the concert and show what he possesses. He adds to have fun too. Yoo Jin tells him in the most serious manner that he would have fun alright. Hmmm…challenge accepted.
Yoo Jin and Stresemann take to stage and the concert begins. Joo Won is awesome beyond words in his piano playing. If I didn’t know Joo Won or that this was a drama, I would have thought he played for real. Apart from his superb acting on playing the piano(actually I kind of wonder if he actually plays it, ha.) he captures the face of a pianist very well. That look of concentration, that intensity are just so powerful. As Yoo Jin plays, Stresemann’s words rang in his mind about having to attract the audience, about putting in the passion so that his performance will steal the ears and eyes of the audience. Yoo Jin does exactly that. Joo Won stole my eyes and heart. Completely.
Naeil steps in and watches from the back of the concert hall and she gapes at Yoo Jin’s playing. She looks like she is in a trance, she drops her mascot head and her fingers mimics playing the piano. It’s clear that she is captivated by his performance.
Yoo Jin finishes, shakes Stresemann’s hand with considerable emotion, bows and leave. The crowd is totally stunned by the fantastic performance and soon the whole hall breaks into applause. Yoon Hoo just sit there in his seat clutching his hand with tears brimming in his eyes. Is he sad that he can never play the cello as marvelously as Yoo Jin did on the piano because of his condition? He is saddened further when he notices the mascot head on the floor, looks up and see Naeil standing there in awe of Yoo Jin’s performance.
In the dressing room, Yoo Jin is exhausted from putting in everything into his performance, Stresemann takes a swipe at him for tiring so easily with a youthful body. All I know is that Joo Won looks crazily hot hot when he sat there, looking exhausted with his hair falling over his forehead. Yoo Jin returns the swipe saying that Stresemann should also express his emotions freely because dating life is so boring, ha. Well, I can’t agree more. He says he will express his emotions as Stresemann advised in the next performance. He doesn’t get to finished because Stresemann cuts him off. Stresemann says there won’t be another because two conductors cannot stand on the same stage. Awww…has Yoo Jin met Stresemann’s standard? Hmmm… why do I think I will miss Stresemann? Just when I started liking these two together. In a way, Stresemann is a good teacher for Yoo Jin despite all his nonsense. Yoo Jin has indeed learnt so much from him and his lessons did not even seem like one. Stresemann is unconventional but I can’t deny his methods work.
Stresemann stands up, shakes Yoo Jin’s hand and say he is a bit…bit proud of Yoo Jin. Then he pinches Yoo Jin’s face. Those who watched Secret Love Affair will know it’s a parody. Anyway, I laughed because Yoo Jin remains so stiff throughout that pinch, haha. So it was unexpected that Yoo Jin returns the compliment by parroting Stresemann’s words, saying he is quite a bit proud of Stresemann. What? You do have a sense of humor, don’t you? Stresemann calls him cheeky, pinches him more and says that his pupil is fittingly rude, just like him. I am definitely going to miss these two.
Teacher Do appears at the door to call Yoo Jin out for the press photos. Stresemann knows Yoo Jin does not like these things but advices him that this is necessary for such occasion and for him to grow.
The chairwoman is the first to take a photo with Yoo Jin, glad to be in the limelight. Teacher Do hilariously opens his fan when he poses next. Mom comes up and Yoo Jin remarks that she hates these things, she does not deny but says it is necessary and she should help to market him. She adds “that man” will see the photos and article. And he doesn’t even know that Yoo Jin debuted as a conductor. Yoo Jin says don’t talk about Dad.
Do Kyung appears to give a bouquet to Yoo Jin. He looks surprised but the reporters are all snapping away. Teacher Do loses no opportunity to market them as the face of Han Eum. People comment that they look good together. Then the female reporter asks Mom to join in. Seriously, this woman is annoying me to no end. Mom joins in again and Mini Minhee pushes her way to the front. She is shocked to find out that Yoo Jin is her boss’s son. Oops…and Naeil see it too, the seemingly perfect family with her beloved Orabang. I hate this. She is totally shocked and Mini Minhee drags her out before she makes a scene.
Mini Minhee gets a call from Il Rak asking them to hurry to the celebration party and Naeil slips away. Meanwhile, Il Rak sees Shi Won walking up his way and actually turns back, ha. Shi Won praised his performance and Il Rak looks totally flustered but manages to compliment her back. Shi Won holds up her hand for a fist bump and Il Rak is so stunned. He does the fist bump and after Shi Won leaves, he looks at his hand and exclaimed “we touched.” Cute.
Yoon Hoo is at the doctor’s, it appears that his condition is very bad and needs surgery. This is not new to Yoon Hoo because he immediately asks for medication to alleviate the pain. He tells the doctor he has one last performance to do. Hmm…I wonder what this last performance is he referring to.
Meanwhile, Naeil is playing furiously at the piano, she is playing Yoo Jin’s concert piece Grieg. Eh..Did she just played through the night? Gosh, that look on her face! She is totally lost in her own world.
Stresemann is finally confessing his love to Dean Mina but a German woman suddenly appears and 4 burly bodyguards pick Stresemann up by his limbs and bring him away. She mentions something about him having to live up to his part of the contract. Did he ran away from one before he came to Korea? Why do I have no problem believing? Turns out that Stresemann has to appear in a concert and he ran away, LOL. Dean Mina tells Yoo Jin about Stresemann’s leaving. She feels bad to leave him in the lurch after announcing him as Stresemann’s pupil. She knows that Yoo Jin has been forced by Teacher Do to perform with A Orchestra and is not misunderstood by S Orchestra. She feels bad for Yoo Jin but Yoo Jin says he has to take responsibility for his action. Yes, yes but can you at least tell your friends? Well, maybe he can’t.
While the S Orchestra members discussed about Stresemann being hauled away, Mini-Minhee comes running to them that Naeil has disappeared. They hurries to Naeil’s apartment and hears piano playing inside. Isn’t that Grieg? Mini Minhee says she has been hearing this music for 2 days and concludes that Naeil must have left her music player on. Uh-oh did Naeil just played 2 days straight of Grieg?
Yoo Jin meets Do Kyung over coffee and she actually has the cheek to asks if they can get back together. Yoo Jin keeps silent and upon more prodding from Do Kyung, he says it is not because he doesn’t want to but he was surprised at her suggestion.
What? You know I always wanted Yoo Jin to tell Do Kyung that he doesn’t love her and basically tells her off. I am surprised that he almost never shouts and when I think of it. It is because she was his one and only friend he had and they practically grew up together. She wasn’t just another girl or ex-girlfriend. He may have never loved her but that doesn’t mean he has to be hurtful towards her. I think that’s the difference between the way he behaves with Naeil and the way he behaves with Do Kyung. He is totally placid with Do Kyung whereas Naeil invokes more reactions and emotions in him. Although he was annoyed on several occasions, there were many where he enjoyed her presence.
S Orchestra gang finds Yoo Jin and asks him if he has seen Naeil. He says he hasn’t seen her since the concert. Mini Minhee adds that Naeil was upset because she saw Yoo Jin with Do Kyung. Yoo Jin asks why. Gawwwd, you block head! I love it when even Il Rak rolls his eyes when Yoo Jin said that. Still, Yoo Jin runs off like a wind to find Naeil.
Yoo Jin gets into Naeil’s apartment and finds her lying on the floor, oh no! He rushes over and lifts her up. She winces in pain, holding her arm. Yoo Jin immediately knows the cause and shouts in anger “Have you been playing for days?” Oh, that look in his eyes! Joo Won is perfect for this kind of scenes. He is going to nail it like no other. Do Kyung tells Yoo Jin to stop it and get some hot compress. But when Yoo Jin steps away to prepare the hot towels, Do Kyung sweeps in like a hawk onto a prey. She says sorry to Naeil for seeing her together with Yoo Jin but I am sure she means nothing of the sort. She bluffs that they are getting back together and that Yoo Jin and her are soul mates. I feel like throwing her out manga style.
Yoo Jin comes back with the hot towels, unaware of what transpired. Yoo Jin asks Naeil which arm hurts but Naeil ignores his question. She grabs him arms and besieged him not to leave her. I see Yoo Jin looking at her hands on his arms and fear that he might shake her off. Thankfully he did nothing of the sort. Naeil tells him that she wants to play Grieg just like Yoo Jin – intense, vivid and splendid. Yoo Jin realizes it is his music that causes Naeil to be like this. He then looks at her with the most loving eyes. Yes, I will it loving because there’s no other way to describe it. By the way, is that tears brimming in his eyes? Oh and the way, he looks into her with tenderness and says “Jeongmal(really)” Gaahhh….Joo Won completely nails this scene. As fans we know how great he is acting as a man full of tenderness and concern for his love.
While Yoo Jin is doing the hot towels, Do Kyung tells him to leave but he does not even hear her. He keeps smiling to himself and blowing onto the towels. He says “You’re driving me nuts, Seol Naeil.” And “I didn’t know you’d get me excited.” Oh oh oh…this is something new. I think Yoo Jin is starting to see Naeil in a different way. Do Kyung exclaims “What?!” and this time Yoo Jin answers or rather asks her “Have you heard of such genuine compliment?” He goes on to say, all the while smiling, that Naeil is a very special girl, she memorizes everything she hears and that she is possessed by his music. Do Kyung does not get it, I don’t blame her. Yoo Jin and Naeil are 2 music geniuses that are meant for each other. They touch and excite each other through a common language that only they can understand. And that language is music.
Naeil plays once she got better and Yoo Jin conducts her. They are simply spell-binding, both moving in perfect synchronization. You can see how immersed, how lost they are in their world. Naeil envisions Yoo Jin standing on the stairs and holding out his hand for hers. Besides the fact that he is reaching out for her and drawing her to him, I think there might be a deeper meaning. Yoo Jin is further up the stairs with Naeil a few steps down. Could it be symbolic of Naeil’s thinking that Yoo Jin is beckoning her to step up and be with him at the same level?
In any case, the air is so electrifying that Do Kyung cannot take it anymore and leaves. Just then Il Rak, Soomin and Mini Minhee arrive. They are astonished by the sight of Yoo Jin conducting Naeil but more shocked by how good Naeil’s playing is.
Do Kyung calls her mother to cry and burst into how she hated studying in Italy because the kids were “playing a game only they knew, using words only they understand.” She says this looking both angry and sad towards Naeil’s door. Yes, it does suck, doesn’t it? It is a world where only Yoo Jin and Naeil can understand.
Yoo Jin watches Naeil sleeps, that’s just so sweet. He looks at her intently and pulls the cover up but he seems to catch himself at something because he suddenly stands up and leaves the apartment. I will take that he caught himself feeling more than just a friend towards Naeil, perhaps even a physical stirring like wanting to kiss her. Well, he stands outside the door for a while as if thinking hard, cocks his head in slight bewilderment and walks back to his own unit. Is it so hard to figure out your feelings Yoo Jin? I guess for a person who has bottled up his thoughts and emotions for years, it is not easy.
I am not sure if Naeil is dreaming or it’s a flashback but she has a conversation with Stresemann before the concert. Stresemann asks Naeil what her dreams are. She tells him she wants to be a kindergarten teacher and then she giggles and adds that she wants to be Yoo Jin’s wife. I just love that Stresemann does not put her down or tells her the reality straightaway. He just sits there, smiles and tells her to watch Yoo Jin’s performance because it is going to be the best. Naeil says she knows that, Yoo Jin has always been great but Stresemann stresses that Yoo Jin is going to be above and beyond what Naeil has seen of Yoo Jin. He will fly far and away to a place where Naeil’s eyes and hands can’t touch. Naeil’s face falls. Stresemann continues that at the rate at which she is going, she can’t be with Yoo Jin. If she wants to be Yoo Jin, she will have to go head-to-head with him in music. I love how Stresemann lets Naeil articulate her dream and let her see for herself why she has to confront the thing that’s stopping her from progressing. I don’t think it is as much as using Yoo Jin to motivate Naeil but that Stresemann was simply stating the truth. And Naeil understands it. She wakes up the following morning and takes out a pocket watch which Stresemann gave her. His words rang through her head “Time and Cha Yoo JIn won’t wait for you.”
Naeil returns to school and her friends all fuss around her. To celebrate Naeil’s safe return, Yoon Hoo buys them lunch to at what else. Next scene is product placement as the girls wonder the kind of bread they should choose. I half expect them to go through the entire menu and wax lyrical about the freshness and ingredients. Naeil suddenly remarks that Yoon Hoo’s hands reminds her of the one who saved Yoo Jin’s. She regrets not having the chance to thank him because she did not take a look at his face. Yoon Hoo does not tell them but feels comforted.
Naeil post her picture of her eating the sandwich which Yoon Hoo sunbae bought. Yoo Jin sees it on his phone and retorts “You were possessed by this and followed him after I fed you.” LOL. First possessed by his music and then by the sandwich, he must think this girl is easy. Of course, it’s just his green eyed monster provoked. Even more hilarious is that he thinks Naeil post it in order to show him and he proudly declares he isn’t going to look at this garbage and get agitated. This is so funny.
Do Kyung joins Yoo Jin at his table. Yoo JIn starts to tell her about his decision on getting back together, I can tell that he is going to turn her down but she does not give him a chance. She cuts him off and tells him she is going abroad to study, Yoo Jin tells Do Kyung that he always liked her voice and she acknowledges it as the reason why he likes her. Then she asks what is it about Seol Naeil that Yoo Jin likes? He asks why he would like Naeil and Do Kyung points out that she might be mistaken. However, Naeil looks neither like his younger sister nor girlfriend. Then she stands up and offer him a handshake. Yoo Jin takes her hand and she takes leave. He goes straight back, checks his phone and smile. Ha, is he smiling at a picture of Naeil. I think so. Gosh, you are hooked line and sinker, aren’t you?
Meanwhile, Il Rak is barely concentrating in his class. He keeps his googly eyes at Shi Won and gets flustered when she catches him. The teacher tells them to pick a partner for a duet. Il Rak just sits there and sulk when all the students clamor after Shi Won to partner them. Surprise, surprise! Shi Won tells them she has already someone she wants to partner and it’s Il Rak. She then turns back with smile and asks him if he wants to do it together? Il Rak looks as if he is going to cry with joy and can only nod his head in agreement. Then he runs back to his father and announces that everything is beautiful, he hugs Dad and thanks him for bringing him to this wonderful world. Hahaha…and Dad doesn’t get the reason but surmised that this is exactly the same as the way he responded before his first date with Il Rak’s Mom. It does run in the family, doesn’t it?
Teacher Do catches Do Kyung in school and says it’s a pity that she is leaving for abroad. He thought things were going well between her and Yoo Jin who he refers as the rude one, Do Kyung says Yoo Jin will end up with Naeil because they are in the same category. Teacher is about to protest before he suddenly remembers Stresemann revealing Naeil as the pianist Teacher Do is looking for. He runs to Dean Mina and asks angrily if Dean Mina has known of Naeil’s gift all this while. We also learn that Naeil was admitted as a special student. Teacher Do says Mina is wasting Naeil’s talent by letting her play fart songs but Mina replies that they need to give her time to want to learn. Teacher Do vehemently disagrees saying the student must be forced.
He then tells Dean Mina gleefully that S Orchestra has to be disbanded. Soon the students know and A Orchestra troublemaker duo tells Soomin that Yoo Jin must have known and jumped ship. Awww…more misunderstanding? Il Rak and Mini Minhee get more upset and peeved.
Yoo Jin finds out and talks to Dean Mina. He asks if there is no other way because they are his friends. Man, why don’t you just let them know what you are doing for them? Must a hero always suffer in silence or be misunderstood? Dean Mina tells him there is only one way but it would impose a heavy burden on Yoo JIn. I know, I know. He is going to suffer more extreme noble idiocy and I am going to suffer more extreme head banging from all the crying and shouting.
Naeil is deep in thoughts over coffee and Yoon Hoo joins her. By the way, the scenery outside this café is so beautiful. I wish I had a chance to go there. Yoon Hoo asks Naeil why she likes Yoo Jin – is it his looks or his talent? She says she likes both but recently she wishes that Yoo Jin is ugly and talentless. I think Naeil knows that in order to be with Yoo Jin, she must step up her game and follow Stresemann’s advice. However to do that, it means the thing she fears most. It means practicing for hours on end, being forced to read music, being scolded and beaten by teachers. It is something she does not want to face and if Yoo Jin was ugly and talentless, it would be easier for her to give him up and go on with life as it is. But he is making this very hard for her because we all know he is devastatingly handsome and wonderfully talented.
Yoon Hoo asks further what is Cha Yoo Jin to Naeil? I love Naeil’s answer. To her, he is just Cha Yoo Jin, the only Cha Yoo Jin in the world. Speaks volume, isn’t it. Yoon Ho then asks what is Naeil to Yoo Jin. Naeil says sheepishly she doesn’t know. At the corner of his eyes, Yoon Ho spots Yoo JIn presence and tells Naeil mischievously that she should ask Yoo Jin. Naeil follows his eyes and turns back to see Yoo Jin walking up looking pissed. Yoo Jin was already pissed when he saw Yoon Hoo sitting there with Naeil.
To make trouble, Yoon Hoo asks Naeil if he should ask Yoo Jin for her and Naeil is alarmed and whispers to him to keep it a secret. As intended, Yoo Jin overhears and is more pissed when it looks like Naeil and Yoon Ho are keeping a secret behind his back. Yoo Jin asks Naeil to spill it but of course she doesn’t and it makes him more riled up. Yoon Hoo tells him to doing something about that intimidating tone of speech and then Yoo Jin tells him off before telling Naeil to leave,
He takes her coat and bag and leads her out by her wrist. Yoon Ho grabs the hand of Yoo Jin which is holding on to Naeil and tells him to mind his manners with women. Yoo Jin stares him down before pushing his hand away with much force. Yoon Hoo slumps back into his chair, clutching his hand in great agony. Naeil notices that Yoon Hoo is really hurting. Yoo JIn however thinks Yoon Hoo is putting up a show and grabs Naeil again to leave. She shakes him off and tends to Yoon Hoo instead. Yoo Jin looks a bit taken aback.
Il Rak and gang come along and immediately rushes over when they see Yoon Hoo doubled up in pain. Il Rak literally pushes Yoo Jin aside to get to Yoon Ho, Yoo Jin looks stunned. Il Rak checks Yoon Hoo and asks Yoo Jin what he has done with an accusing look. Yoo Jin said he only shook his hand away. Il Rak does not believe such a simple action could have caused so much pain and then goes into a spiel about not trusting Yoo Jin because he left them in a lurch. Yoo Jin stares at them while they fuss over Yoon Hoo, he looks hurt and disappointed as he walks off. Only Naeil notes his leaving.
Yoo Jin takes his frustration out at the whac-a-mole machine, hitting each mole as if they are Il Rak and gang. He is angry that they chose to believe Yoon Hoo and not him. He shouts out their name one by one as he hits each mole but stops when at Seol Naeil. Aw… he hesitates for a while before hitting it anyway. It’s very telling that Naeil is special, isn’t it. He can’t even bring himself to do it even though it’s just the mole actually.
Naeil goes and find Yoo Jin at his apartment. She kicks into a box containing her belongings outside his door. Oh no. She keys in the door code but finds that he has changed it. Naeil calls out to Yoo Jin and he tells her he got rid of all her stuff and don’t think of coming back. She says she still has lots more and she isn’t leaving till he returns her everything. And we get to see how crazy he went looking for her stuff which was tucked into every nook and cranny in his place. It’s hilarious to see him going nuts finding more and more stuff. He wonders why there are so many things and that there are traces of Seol Naeil everywhere. I wish I could tell him that he allowed her to do all these and more. He allowed her to creep into his heart without realizing it.
He finally completes his task and falls into his armchair exhausted. Just when he thinks he has cleared all traces of Naeil, he spots her mood doll wedged between lid of his piano. Outside, Naeil pleads with Yoo Jin to open the door. She tells him that she can do a better job. She will clear everything, clean up and leave. I don’t know if it’s a ruse to get inside but she looks so serious. When Yoo Jin does not respond, her face looks so sad when she asks “Did I do something really wrong? If not, do you really hate me that much?” Awww….he doesn’t. But I don’t blame her for getting confused. Inside, he hears everything but says “It’s not you..It’s me.” Darn! What is this? Another level of noble idiocy?
In school, Teacher Do runs into Yoo Jin and something transpired. Waiting in the piano studio for her teacher, Naeil is talking through her mood doll. She makes it apologize to Teacher Ahn for missing lessons and asking for fun ones today. Just then, Teacher Do walks in and sits down. Naeil does not believe and continues talking through her mood doll, saying that her teacher is Teacher Ahn. Teacher Do’s patience runs out, he walks over, takes the doll out of Naeil’s hand and throws it to the floor. While Naeil is shocked at the sight of her doll lying on the floor, Teacher Do makes it worse by stepping over it. He continues on why he is the best teacher for her and that she can become the greatest pianist under him. Naeil hardly moves, she sits there staring at her doll.
Teacher Do strikes his fan on his palm like he usually does but this time, it reminds Naeil of the stick that her teacher used on her when she was a child. True enough, she looks up and sees her former teacher instead. That teacher also wanted to groom her to become the world famous pianist. More telling is the fact that she said she will then become the teacher who trained a world famous pianist. This is what it is all about, isn’t it. Underlying that talk about not wasting talent, these teachers are also going for personal glory. I think Naeil being a child prodigy was recognized for her special gift in her early years. She had all these teachers who knew how special she was . The problem was that they saw not just a bright future for her but more for themselves. So they pushed her to achieve their own ambitions without caring for her welfare. I am more certain of this because I see that Teacher Do has the same faraway look on his face, smiling at the prospect of being known as the teacher of the great pianist Seol Naeil. By now, Naeil has tears streaming down her face, she cries out that she will not be a pianist and bolts off.
Naeil goes and find Yoo Jin. The first thing she does is to hold his hand. Somehow, holding his hand has become a great source of comfort for her and it calms her down a lot. And you know she has changed a lot because now, she actually asks him to let her hold his hand for just a while. I feel for her, I really do. It is like she thinks Yoo Jin doesn’t like her and that she has no reason to hold his hand but she is so traumatized now that she needs to do it despite knowing she has no right to. I am thankful Yoo Jin did not take away his hand like he did at the Music festival. This time, he puts away what he was doing and asks her gently what happened.
She tells him that Teacher Do became her teacher instead of Teacher Ahn but Yoo Jin says Teacher Do is a best teacher for piano majors although he does not have a good personality. He tells her though Teacher Ahn is nice, she needs a strict teacher. She disagrees but Yoo Jin insists in the gentlest way that she does. It also turns out that Teacher Do had asked Yoo Jin and he told Teacher Do Naeil needs a change of teacher. Uh-h. Just then, Yoo Jin receives a call from Teacher Do asking him to bring Naeil back to class. Yoo Jin tells Teacher Do he will do so, not realizing how Naeil is reacting to it all. Yoo Jin tells Naeil he will take her back to her lesson and takes her hand. However, she pulls away and Yoo Jin is shocked.
Tears are now rolling down her cheeks and she is crying so much that she can barely speak. She says she doesn’t want to go, she doesn’t need any good opportunity. “Crying, getting hit, being in pain and getting hurt everyday..to be a great pianist..You have to do that!” That’s what she was told and she doesn’t want to do that. She asks why does he keep forcing her? I think that was directed to everyone who wanted her to take the lessons. Then, she looks up at him with damning eyes and cries:” Sunbae, you are the same. You are the same as those people.”
I hope Naeil’s outburst will finally make Yoo Jin realize that there is a bigger problem that Naeil is facing. Many people felt that Yoo Jin should have seen it because Naeil wears her heart on her sleeve. However, I think that merely masks the truth. Yoo Jin recognizes Naeil’s special ability and talent but he also knows her flaws. He thinks she loves to play however she wants and very often in a haphazard manner. She is also not keen on reading music sheets. These are all problems which are associated with lack of discipline. Her biting of his hand and her running from Teacher Yoon’s class at the music festival are just extensions of her childlike behavior and unwillingness to follow the routine. Of course he is wrong but I don’t blame him for not seeing past it. It seems like no one knows except Dean Mina and I have no idea why she must keep it a secret.
Having said this, I am not very optimistic that Yoo Jin will pick up how distressed Naeil is let alone understand her trauma. From what I have seen so far, he seems to be particularly bad at reading people. His isolation since childhood made him incredibly stunted in this area. So if Naeil does not verbalize what is troubling her in the next episode. So if his outburst flies over Yoo Jin completely. I won’t be shocked. He is this dense. The only space he can read people is in music.
Even in Yoo Jin’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend Do Kyung, I don’t think he ever loved her. They grew up together and she was probably the only friend he had. The only thing I got was that he loved her voice so I am wondering if their dates were all him playing the piano and her singing, lol. Like Naeil, Do Kyung is a lot more perceptive than Yoo Jin, All this time, she knew what she wanted out of her relationship with Yoo Jin and I think that’s why they stuck together. When she witnessed that scene where Yoo Jin and Naeil were lost in their own world, she knew she would never be part of it and Yoo Jin will never be hers.
I used to think that the story made much ado about a child being traumatized by her piano teacher. Well, we know how piano teachers are legendary for being strict and it’s common place for the old school ones to rap their students on the knuckles. Many children gave up playing the piano thanks to such teachers. In real life. Joo Won also said that he gave up piano when he was young because his teacher would hit him with a stick whenever he made a mistake. He wishes he had continued. I think for a child prodigy like Naeil, it must be 100 times worse. The moment her ability was discovered, she probably had scores of teachers wanting to groom her into the best pianist. No doubt, many were thinking of themselves than they were for her. For a young child, to be subject to all these ambition crazy people must be scary. And when they tell you that you have to accept “crying”, “beatings, “hurting” and ‘being in pain’ everyday of your life in order to become a pianist, who can blame the child for not wanting to be one? Yet, Naeil manages to not give up on music entirely because deep down, she really loves music. She just does not want to be a great pianist.
Thankfully, she does not fall through the gap due to a few good people who recognizes her talent but want the best for her. People like Dean Mina and Stresemann, they were biding their time for her to progress. Stresemann is a good example of a teacher who knows how to motivate his students. He has unorthodox methods but they worked so far. He manages to inspire the underdogs by giving them a chance and inspire them to be great. His methods are not telling his pupils what to do but by demonstrating or be letting them experience it. He forms a special orchestra and makes them believe they can be great. Best of all, he often show the pupils to work together as a team but yet be independent enough to stand on their own. Like taking Yoo Jin away from A Orchestra in the beginning to get Yoo Jin out of his comfort zone and then taking Yoo Jin from S Orchestra later to teach them not to just depend on one conductor.
Despite his lackluster dating results with Mina, Stresemann is also a great advocator of playing with your heart and passion. A musician must lay his emotions and soul bare to the audience, only then can he touch and bewitch them. Thanks to him, Yoo Jin is finally imbuing this into his music but his next step is to express his emotions in other aspects of his life.
I can’t help feeling frustrated by the so called mixed-signals that Yoo Jin is sending to Naeil. It does look at if he is blowing hot and cold. He cooks for her but dumps her stuff out without notice. It’s easy to slam him and I do at times. However, I think this erratic behavior only goes to show how conflicted Yoo Jin is in his relationship with Naeil. See, he actually likes her company and I lost count of the number of times he looked for her. The small little things he does for her like cooking the dish she request. And that scene where he found her collapsed and looks at her with worry and tenderness shows she is really more than a dongsaeng. But, Yoo Jin does not see this himself. When Do Kyung asked Yoo Jin what Naeil means to him, I can see that he was genuinely taken aback.
On the other hand, he is lacking in his attention towards her feelings and in how he treats her like throwing her stuff out of his house. The former, I can explain that Yoo Jin is not the most intuitive person. Actually he really sucks at it. I laughed so hard that even Il Rak sneers at his lack of awareness . Naeil for all her whacky and nonsense is a far more perceptive person. As for shaking Naeil off and shutting her off from him, I can only conclude that Yoo Jin is afraid to let Naeil into his life. That barricade that he constructed around himself has already been broken into. By letting S Orchestra into his life and making them his friends, Yoo Jin is doing something he has never done before. But at this moment, he does not feel better for it because he is hurt by them and how they switched their loyalty from him to Yoon Hoo. Of course, he is blind to the fact that he should have let them know why he left them for A Orchestra but he doesn’t. Necessary noble idiocy aside, it probably never occurred to Yoo Jin that he has to tell people his thoughts, his motives and feelings.
When it comes to Naeil. Yoo Jin is confused and startled at how she has entered his life, what she means to him and that he might even be attracted to her. So, while he can still prevent the inevitable or so he thinks from happening, he is erecting that barricade again. Her friendship with Yoon Hoo is already making him react in a way where he can’t say Naeil is just his dongsaeng. He thinks he has to stop her before she has the chance to abandon him and hurt him just like all the others before her.
Every week, I get more and more emotionally invested in the characters and their story. I am glad Yoon Hoo is a far more interesting character than I expected. Park Bo Gem does this character wonderfully. I am still out on his motives though, I just hope he won’t morphed into some annoying rival. He is as jealous as Yoo Jin is except that he is much better with his social skills and how to talk and treat a woman. Yoo Jin fails miserably in all these departments but what we know Yoo Jin has a pure heart.
Shim Eun Kyung gets better and better. I find her quiet and introspective scenes as good as her dramatic ones. I felt hurt and sad for Naeil when she pleads with him to let her in after he locked her out. Her immersion into the piano playing binge was also utterly believable. She looks as if the whole world can collapse around her and she would move nary an inch from that piano chair. Then that final scene, it was heartbreaking to see that hurt in her eyes when Naeil thinks even her beloved orabang is just like everyone else.
Sometimes I think I need to invent a whole new set of adjectives to describe how awesome Joo Won is. Let’s start with the technical like piano playing. I rewind and freeze screen but I just cannot spot the double. I think with the exception of close up shots of the fingers on the keyboard, Joo Won does everything else. His body movements is so spot on. I would imagine that to achieve such fluidity and accuracy, he would need to study all the details of the pianist playing. And the most crazy thing is that he has to do it with each piece. His finger position, his arms position, his shoulders, his upper torso and even how he shifts on every part of his body. Next the pretty. Joo Won cuts an drop dead smexy figure in that tux. He looks handsome and gorgeous beyond words. It already stuns me when he just stands there but the moment he moves on the piano, with his hair strands coming loose. I am slayed.
Like what one blogger said, Joo Won has an amazing array of expressions, that little upturn at the corner of his lips, the lowering of the eyelids, the narrowing of his eyes and I can go on forever. These aren’t dramatic but perfectly nuanced and spot on. This is why his scenes cannot be watched one time, you can’t help but watch again and again and you will spot all these little details he puts into his acting. On the whole, what the viewer gets is that he draws you into his character so that you feel acutely the mood, the emotions and that tug at your heart.
I shall end off by saying again what an enjoyable drama Tomorrow Cantabile is. When S Orchestra played the Mambo piece, I felt like going up stage and join them. It was absolutely riveting and infectious. Like what good music does, this drama makes you clap for joy or feel heavy with forlorn. If that is not good drama, I don’t know what is.