This week’s episodes are probably two of the best episodes! Erm, I like all the episodes, so… Anyway, episode 14 remains one of my most favourite! Joowon shows what a great actor he can be with his gazillion face expression, and Shim Eunkyung just made me fall in love with her awesome acting ability.
This week, it is quite hard for me to separate Yoojin and Naeil’s parts. Both of them are deeply conjoined in the storyline and each other’s growth that to speak of Yoojin will be to speak of Naeil too.
(pictures are credited to Joowon Cutie International FC)
Recent episodes focus on Naeil’s progress. I love watching her struggles with her inner feelings during the competition’s rounds. One moment she’s confident and next moment she loses faith in herself. But in all those moments, our Yoojin is there to support her. She looks for him in the audience before she starts playing or go on stage, her source of comfort. And he never disappoints her to provide the support when she needs it the most.
Naeil’s problem has never been with other competitors; her biggest competitor is HERSELF. I love the look of triumph on Naeil’s face when she completed playing the preliminary round. She’s confident that she can do it, but she surprised herself that she can manage it well. Throughout this week’s episodes, we see Naeil coming across barrier after barrier, from stage fright up to her childhood teacher. But she has proven to everyone and to herself, that she is now a new person who will try her absolute best despite her insecurity.
The show was right to show that Naeil was not able to win the competition due to her not following rules. Despite playing amazingly, it is still a competition that requires the competitors to follow the set rules, and they are not supposed to make adaptations to the music piece. Naeil did this. If they award her as the winner, the future contestants will use this as a means for them to be able to adapt the piece also. So it is better not to start the floodgates. However, she has definitely carved a place in the judges’ hearts. I’m sure she will receive offers in the future.
I care for Naeil a lot, so it is upsetting that she didn’t win because we know how hard the journey is for her. But I know that once she breaks through the first few barriers, she will excel in her career. This is why I’m not too worried about her, because I know there are lots of other competitions and she will succeed in competitions which require her amazing skills as a composer and in music adaptation. She injects emotion and uniqueness in her playing which definitely grabs the audience’s attention. Franz Stresmann has taught her this much.
Another important aspect of Naeil’s growth is her willingness to let go of Yoojin by helping him overcome his fear. Naeil knows that she alone holds the key to help him. At one point, she hesitates to help because the thought of losing Yoojin once he goes abroad is too overwhelming to her. We have seen throughout the drama, that Naeil wants to physically be by Yoojin’s side, performing with him. She was ecstatic at the idea of both of them going abroad together before the final performance. But once she didn’t win, she starts to have second thoughts again.
But she loves him so much that she researched on hypnosis because she wants him to succeed in his career, to not be treated unfairly by office politics. Naeil’s ‘conversation’ with Yoojin while he’s still hypnotized is one of Shim Eunkyung’s BEST acting performances in the series. It is really difficult to let go of your loved one when you don’t know when he will return or if you will ever see him again or if he will still remain faithful over such long separation. Things will just not be the same anymore in the relationship.
She wanted to help out, thus she did the trial hypnosis with “our Naeil”. Upon knowing that if she did help out, then Yoojin will leave her as soon as the following month. So she re-thinks her decision, she wants to postpone the possible-treatment. This is a selfish thing to do, but I don’t blame her in the slightest. Naeil is still very young; it’s only natural for her to feel protective/possessive over her loved one. So to have her finally help him in the end of episode 14 after seeing how unfairly treated Yoojin is facing… she made me feel her struggles in letting go. I was cheering for her as much as I was cheering for Yoojin.
Yoojin & Naeil
Yoojin is in love with Naeil. This much is obvious now. Even people around Yoojin know she’s special to him, though he may not admit it. He often responds like he’s ‘annoyed’ with her, he even flatly say she’s annoying, but he responds to whatever she tells him to do. He’s annoyed that she sends him a text message when he’s about to study, but rushes off to be there for her performance. He said she’s annoying when she asks him to sit next to her, but he does it anyway. He scoffs when she tries to hypnotize him, but he looks at the watch thus gets hypnotized.
They have so much sweet moments in the drama~ I especially love it that Yoojin knows Naeil well enough to know she’s creeping up behind him, knows what she wants, her behaviour, her actions and reactions… practically everything about her. He opens up to no one else but Naeil which made him trust her implicitly despite his denial. Yoojin pulls back enough to not let Naeil get too stuck up with her glory in the preliminary round. He is proud of yet, he didn’t praise her too much because he knows the real fight has yet to come.
Earlier in episode 13 (and also during the phone call with Stresmann a few episodes back), Yoojin mentioned that he wants to show Naeil to the world. But he understands her fear, thus he gives her time to heal knowing that certain fears can never be cured. He encourages her, but didn’t force her. In episode 14 when he caught Naeil running away from finale, Yoojin mentioned that it is disappointing that Naeil has come this far in the competition, only to think of giving up. He still didn’t force her and is still willing to let her gain enough confidence on her own.
Which is why it is very satisfying for the show to let Naeil realize herself that Yoojin will not wait for her forever. Regardless of how long he waits, if she didn’t learn to fly on her own, no one else can help her. This is a journey that she needs to overcome herself, with his patience and guidance.
Naeil’s fear is different from Yoojin. Naeil’s fear is related to her performances and abilitywhich in turn affects her growth and career. For instance, bringing in other strict teachers will not diminish her fear if she refuses to change her mind-set. Yoojin’s fear on the other hand, is related to his path for future education, which doesn’t affect his talent and skills. However, like Naeil, it does limit his ability to expand his career.
Yoojin and Naeil complete each other in so many ways; personality, talent, skills, and passion. Whenever they’re upset, they don’t need anyone else but each other. Both speak their own language in music, and each tolerates one another when the others fall behind in understanding them. Both wants each other to succeed and go study abroad, but in these two episodes, sometimes I see a trace of Yoojin and Naeil not wanting to let each other go because each believe himself/herself unable to go. However, Naeil manages to compose herself enough to help Yoojin.
Yoon Ho & Yoojin
Yoon Ho still remains a unique character to me. This is the first time I’ve ever felt this way about a character. I like him yet he annoys me. I used to empathize with his character when he was depressed about Cello, but now I’m a tad bit upset that he is Yoojin’s rival. He still has a long way to go before he becomes as good as Yoojin though.
Yoon Ho’s thinking is actually along the same line as Yoojin. But the problem with Yoon Ho is that his actions are not the right ones for his friends because he didn’t know the full problem. For instance, he didn’t know what’s bothering Naeil about her past, so he could not provide the support that she needs. He was there for her, but under the wrong conditions. However, it was really good of Yoon Ho to ask the strict-judge to watch Naeil’s first performance. Yoon Ho was right that she may have had a bad judgement on her. After seeing how good she is, she helps out Naeil in the competition.
Yoon Ho also didn’t know the A-oke members well enough to solve RS-oke’s problems, having not worked with them. I don’t know what he would have done if given the chance, but I think that he will definitely not do what Yoojin did. He has the intention to help out, but he’s always a few steps behind Yoojin. He did mention that he agreed to join RS-oke because of his S-oke friends as opposed to really wanting to learn conducting. However, I know that once Yoon Ho is properly educated to conduct, he will do his utmost best effort to help out the team when he leads RS-oke after Yoojin’s departure.
Yoon Ho is a really good person. He can be annoying to Yoojin (and to me) because of his feelings for Naeil, but he has the talent and has a good heart. Both Yoon Ho and Yoojin have sort of ‘swapped places’ in mindset. In the beginning, we see Yoojin referring to Naeil as ‘this thing’. But now, Yoon Ho referred to Naeil as a ‘treasure’ which is almost equivalent to an object.
I love it that he was the one who approaches Yoojin to discuss about Naeil rejecting him. Yoojin should be the last person he should discuss it with, but he’s so desperate for a friend that he’s willing to open up to his ‘enemy’. I do feel sorry for Yoon Ho when he’s rejected by Naeil~ But I love Yoojin’s look of triumph upon knowing it. There were times when I think Yoon Ho is very sincere in wanting to be friends with Yoojin, but the latter refuses due to his feelings for Naeil. If only they met under different circumstances, these two would be the best of buds.
I also love it when Yoojin points out that Yoon Ho has not had many friends before, and that he grows up with rivals as opposed to friends. Yoon Ho in turn points out that Yoojin was talking based on his own experience. It was moments like these that made me realize both are so much alike in terms of personality. They’re two very outspoken people with different methods of communication yet similar thinking. Both of them can be good friends if they open up to each other more, but it will be difficult for them to lead a team together. As Stresmann said, no two conductors (leaders) can stand on the same stage. Their paths are different, but each could still learn from one another in order to improve themselves.
Yoojin & RS-oke
I like the feud between the RS-oke members, but I think they’re not being professionals. The best person for a soloist is definitely Shiwon, she is the concertmaster after all. I dislike that R-oke didn’t choose Shiwon whereas A-oke chose Ilrak. Didn’t they realize that the final outcome will be towards them as a team? If Ilrak performs badly, it will be RS-oke’s name as a whole that gets negative feedbacks, not an individual.
I was as upset as Yoojin that A-oke chooses Ilrak because they look down on him, to let him give up his position to Shiwon. When the A-oke members complain about accompanying Ilrak’s bad playing, I was like “Serves you right! You chose him!”
I understand both teams’ feelings on wanting to be soloists but their method is wrong. Everyone in RS-oke are qualified to be soloists too. With sufficient practice, Ilrak has proven that he can be as good if not better than Shiwon. He just lacks confidence in his ability, just like Naeil. I’m glad that Yoojin is there to firmly advice Ilrak though the latter takes matters into his own hands after knowing that Shiwon will be leaving abroad without having the chance to be a soloist. I love it that someone of great musical ability like Yoojin praises Ilrak’s talent for he knows Ilrak has what it takes to excel, but just lacks practice and confidence.
Yoon Ho knows that RS-oke is divided, having grown up feeling competitive towards other people, but he is still feeling biased towards S-oke members. He’s still uncomfortable with RS-oke as a whole for he didn’t know the strengths of each member, musically and personally. Yoon Ho knows that someone will get hurt in the process and he indicates that he intends to help out his friends. It is a very biased statement that made me wonder at times about his ability to lead an orchestra. I do believe he will be a good conductor, but he still has so much to learn.
Yoojin on the other hand, knows both orchestras well and knows the best way to deal with them. His actions with the broadcasting camera can be seen as harsh, as also scolding them often (in the beginning), blind auditions, etc., but these actions are necessary. Yoojin’s actions mirror what Franz Stresmann did to Yoojin which was to let the members learn the hard way, to let them see that being divided will not do anyone good in the end. Yoojin knows he will face dire consequences as the leader, but he’s more concerned on letting his members grow. If RS-oke did go on broadcast, they may look good to viewers. But with more offers in the future, the members will be more divided when fame gets to their head. So Yoojin wants to let them learn teamwork now, a harsher method, as opposed to solving the problem temporarily.