*URP* Geez, I’d better stop eating those double anchovy-and-bacon pizzas before bedtime if THESE are the nightmares I’m gonna have!!!
A long, dark hallway with a bright light at the other end. Someone’s heavy breathing (and for once, not mine). We see In-ha’s shadowy face looking back over his shoulder like he’s running away from something… The Blair Witch-y camera work continues, as the nightmare owner flashes back to the time when Dead Burnt-Up Dad tossed In-ha into the family pool saying that he was embarrassed to have In-ha as a son, In-ha pleading for his Dead Burnt-Up Dad to forgive him for his transgressions, the fish tank bath, escaping from the fire… all the while trying to run away from whatever (or whoever) is chasing him.
Daylight, and In-ha bursts through the same door at the hospital where he threatened to jump off the balcony 14 years before. Right behind him is Yeong-rang, who sees In-ha hanging over the edge and yells out to him to stop! Yelling ANDWAAAAAAE!, she pleads with him not to jump. But with tears in his eyes and a vacant look on his face, In-ha flies over the balcony railing anyway. Yeong-rang bolts upright in bed, gasping for air. (Wait… that WASN’T In-ha’s nightmare? OR WAS IT?!?)
Yeong-rang flies out of her room into In-ha’s. Seeing only rumpled bedsheets and an open window, she hysterically pleads for him to show himself and tells him over and over she’s sorry. In-ha comes out from his bathroom damp from a shower with his hair all askew, and asks her what’s wrong. (Thank you for the fanservice, PD-nim!!) Crushing him in a most inappropriate bear hug, she thanks him for being alive and that she’ll never lose him again… but In-ha peels her off him and asks if she has a nightmare that he died? He whispers that will never happen; it would be too unfair if he did. Yeong-rang pleads with him to not go anywhere; what she couldn’t do for him over the last 14 years, she is going to do them all now, even if she has to go to hell and back. In-ha hugs her back and tells her not to cry… but you can see in his eyes that he’s already got something scheme-y up his sleeves.
Yeong-rang multitasks like the rest of us Little People — reading the papers and watching the evening news, where in voiceover we hear that Professor Ha is close to naming his successor for his wordly position and all his composition swag. All sources say that the likely winner of such a crown will be Hanguk University’s Yoo Ji Ho. Yeong-rang jumps up from the couch and paces until the proverbial light bulb goes off over her head. *bing*
Ji-ho is feverishly working on his composition by noodling around in the G-minor world, when he gets a text from Professor Ha telling him to come by his office 30 minutes earlier than they scheduled. He mutters that the Professor is always so impatient, and goes back to his work. Meanwhile, Yeong-rang is on the phone with someone, telling them to do it quietly and don’t get caught, since Ji-ho will be there around 4:00 PM. Hanging up quickly, Ji-ho enters her room to say that he’s off to have dinner with Professor Ha, as she tells her she’s glad the whole kerfuffle with the Professor cleared up quickly and not having it hanging over his head.
Ji-ho playfully accuses her of always being the mom while he remains the little kid, so hopefully he’ll have the chance to turn those roles around soon. Yeong-rang tells him that she’s already living a great life by having a genius musician as a son, as Ji-ho takes her hand to makes sure that she knows he loves and respects her, and doesn’t she know that? Yeong-rang looks a bit uncomfortable, as Ji-ho keeps laying it on thick, demanding that she should never get sick and never get old. Swallowing hard, she promises him she will do that… oh and by the way, did Ji-ho know that a recording offer from the States is being prepared for him? It’s a great opportunity for Ji-ho; should she continue to look into it for him? Wouldn’t that be a feather in his cap to record such an album with a world-class orchestra as a tribute to Professor Ha?
Back in the living room, EvilStep is thumbing through a fashion magazine. As he calls out to his halmeoni that he’s leaving, she yells at him to not call her that! Where else in the world will he find a grandma as pretty and young as she? Ji-ho calls her on her bluff, and asks if she should be called ‘Madame Na’ from now on? So Madame Na, he’s leaving for school and will bring back some of her favorite cookies if she can wait up for him. Ji-ho departs, as EvilStep looks after him lovingly and proclaims Ji-ho is the only one at that house who adores her… at least like a pet. [snerk]
Outside the restaurant, Louis and Da-mi are staring at the Girly Bike, totally astonished that it was (1) returned, and (b) that it came back in better condition that when he lent it to Da-mi. She mutters sotto voce that ‘he doesn’t seem like that type of person,’ as Louis asks if she might know the person that fixed his bicycle? Repeating what she just said, Louis gets all flustered and wonders if ‘that person’ may come back and ask him for the repair money… so lie and say that he shouldn’t have fixed it in the first place! Da-mi just blankly stares at him and says she doesn’t want to get involved with him again at all costs, but Louis says she needs to return this bike STAT. Da-mi uses that as an excuse to ask if she was truly fired, as Louis puts the blame on Headquarters confirming it’s a done deal. Saying she should just focus on her piano studies, he hops on to the Girly Bike and rides off down the hill.
EvilStep chastizes Yeong-rang for not going into the office and instead lurking around Ji-ho’s room all morning. Yeong-rang fibs and says she felt sick, but is much better and will head over to the HQ right now. EvilStep turns to her and asks if Yeong-rang has finally decided to put all of her enemies inside a football stadium and strike them dead with lightning? It’s such a waste of time; she’s still young and rich… why not find a nice man to settle down with? Yeong-rang tells her she’s not interested in men anymore (say!), but EvilStep wonders if it isn’t why she’s still hung up on Jung-wook (J.W.) or because she’s still feeling guilty over Man-se’s untimely demise?
Almost suffering whiplash from turning around so fast, she orders EvilStep to shut the hell up or pack her bags and leave RIGHT. NOW. Why waste all her efforts hating Ji-ho so much; for chrissakes, he’s one of her children! If she’s not planning on going to hell with him, then Yeong-rang needs to stop this foolishness. She reminds EvilStep that the minute Ji-ho walked into their house, her life was over anyway. She was no longer considered a mother, a wife or a daughter-in-law… just another servant in that household that happened to be on the family register. EvilStep asks her so why does Young-rang think everything is unfair; you got the lion’s share of the estate, didn’t she? Yeong-rang lashes back and asks if EvilStep has had to love and care for someone else’s child while her own flesh-and-blood was suffering? EvilStep never even hugged her just once in her life, so don’t make her out to be the Evil Stepmother (because that title’s already taken). EvilStep retorts that at least SHE doesn’t live a double life; she hated Yeong-rang when she married her father, and she still hates her to this day. Yeong-rang threatens that if EvilStep wants to continue living the good life, sit down and shut up for the time she has left on this earth. Stomping off, EvilStep closes out their conversation by saying that even President Yoo couldn’t contain EvilStep; does Yeong-rang think that she can tame her now? BWAHAHAHAHA!! *coughcough*
In-ha stares at an abstract painting in a local art gallery, but in actuality he’s put his Stalking Hat on, as he sees Professor Ha out of the corner of his eye. Professor Ha notices In-ha and comes over to say hello, as In-ha does the ‘fancy meeting you here’ tap dance with him. When the Professor asks, In-ha tells him that he’s there to clear his head and think about some things since he hasn’t had the chance to do so since returning from the States. He continues the charade by telling the Professor that they have a lot in common with their music and the arts. Attempting to play Art Critic, In-ha pontificates that he sees in himself the loneliness that the painting in front of them is trying to portray, but then stops and apologizes for being so blunt. Professor Ha just brushes it off, and they move on to the next painting… as I reach for my hipwaders. It’s getting DEEP in here!
Ji-ho runs up the steps to the Professor’s office, but plows into a delivery man leaving at the same time. *BAM* and the packages in the delivery guy’s hands all go flying, but Ji-ho being the conssumate gentleman, apologizes and stoops over to pick them up. The delivery guy hurries to grab the packages away from Ji-ho, but not before he notices some sheet music peeking out from one of the envelopes. Delivery Guy wanders off by pulling out his phone to make a call, as Ji-ho notices that it must be a really old model for it to make some strange tones like that…
Entering the office, Ji-finds the Professor gone but the door to his safe open, with documents spread all over the floor. Saying that the old guy must have been too busy to clean up, Ji-ho starts stacking up the documents when one of the teaching assistants pops in to tell Ji-ho he’s needed in another room (all the while taking a long look at Ji-ho placing the papers back into the Professor’s safe). A little bit of covert activity ensues, with a security guard ejecting the surveillance tape and handing it off to… the same Delivery Guy in a darkened stairway. (THE HELL? They think they’re playing ‘Mission Impossible’ or something?)
Must be the monthly meeting of the Snooty Chaebol Wives Club (in actuality, a school reunion), as we see Yeong-rang sitting with another three women having tea. One of them suggests they have a couples’ meeting for their next get-together; oh dear, what will Yeong-rang do then? It is suggested that she bring her eldest son, but that is rebuffed by Yeong-rang saying he has too busy a schedule to even suggest it. Snooty Woman #1 bluntly asks how it is that Yeong-rang can even have a good relationship with a son born from her husband’s affair, but she brushes that off by saying bloodline, schmoodline. Who really cares in this day and age; she was young herself when she started raising him so it almost feels like she gave birth to him herself. President Yoo must have know that he was going to leave them first for him to bring Ji-ho into their lives… but the Snooties aren’t buying it one bit.
Saying that she’ll pick up the tab, Yeong-rang goes over to the cashier, which gives the Snooties fair game to discuss her spending habits. Since she didn’t inherit any stock from Dead Burnt-Up Dad, is she nothing more than a lackey at the Company by sucking up to Ji-ho while completely ignoring In-ha. They have a nice giggle fit, as Yeong-rang overhears every piece of their gossipy conversation. Leaving the restaurant, Yeong-rang tells herself that she is Boosung Group’s Chairman, Choi Yeong Rang… and the mother of the Best Composer, Yoo In Ha. And those women DARE to look down on her, as they have basically wasted their lives showing off all the bling that their husbands have gifted them over the years? Time to add these women to her Evil Death Plan List as well!
Walking out of the building, she sees In-ha leaning (oh so nicely) against the side of his Porsche Roadster, again admiring Da-mi’s dolphin keychain. She calls out, wondering why he’s there and not at the Art Museum sucking up to Professor Ha? In-ha says that he’s already met the Professor and dropped by afterwards to be her driver for the day. Yeong-rang looks genuinely touched, as In-ha explains he’s doing his best to become closer to her. But In-ha sees something in her face that makes him ask if her class reunion didn’t go well; doesn’t she enjoy these meetings? Yeong-rang lies and says it’s not that… she’s glad that she has such a filial son and soon he will become a world-class musician and inherit Boosung Group and RULE THE WORLD!!!
Da-mi arrives at Hanguk University, wondering if she’s going to be cursed at again today by His Royal Poutyness. Running into the same teaching assistant as earlier, she asks where she could find the infamous Yoo Ji Ho… who must be so super-busy that she is instructed to hang out on one of the campus’s grassy knolls. As she waits, a couple of Snippy Students are asking each other how many piano concerti (NOT CONCERTOS, subbers!!) Rachmaninoff wrote, as the other student says there were three. Da-mi gets a self-satisfied grin on her face and says he wrote four. When they look at her with contempt, she continues on that Rachmaninoff wrote four concerti in total; the 2nd (C-minor) and 3rd (in D-minor) in are more famous than the 4th (in G-minor), but it’s a good listen as well.
Snippy Student #1 asks Da-mi if she’s a student there, to which she says she isn’t; she’s there to meet someone. Snippy Student #2 says that if she’s not a student, she shouldn’t be butting into their conversation since only students are allowed onto the grounds! Da-mi apologizes for actually knowing what she’s talking about, as Ji-ho watches from a distance. He flashes back to their meeting at the Snooty Restaurant, where he accused her of being a fake graduate. Ji-ho calls out to her, thanks her for returning his bicycle because he knows how busy she is, and asks that hopefully she didn’t wait long for him. As the Snippy Students look on in horror, Ji-ho puts his arm around her and tells them she’s like a sister to him, so he’s really sorry for letting ‘just anyone’ into this expensive school that both the Snippy Students pay good money for. Suitably chastized, they scurry off with apologies towards their sunbaenim. Ji-ho turns to Da-mi and asks her if she wants to eat with him; he has a dinner appointment with Professor Ha.
And that where they end up next, as the Professor tells Ji-ho that he’s officially announcing him as his successor in the morning. Complaining again that he’s getting too old, he wants to continue teaching the poor children and that he’s also leaving Ji-ho the exclusive rights to publish his music after he steps down. Ji-ho looks stunned, but promises to do his best, even though he still has a long way to go to rise to the same level and reputation as the Professor currently holds. The Professor says that he can finally rest now, since Ji-ho must have received his talent so that he could minister to so many lost souls.
The Professor turns to Da-mi and says that he found out (from her little escapade at the Snooty Restaurant) that she was never properly taught piano. So would she like to learn if a good teacher was assigned to her? Da-mi asks why would she, when she has no plans to go to college. The Professor insists that whether or not she ever attends college, she should learn properly this time around… and orders Ji-ho to be her official piano instructor. Both of them let out a DEH?!?!?! at that piece of news.
Meanwhile, at Geundam HQ, Assistant Guy has just notified Jung-wook that they’ve finally purchased over half the land over near the Port of Incheon. Jung-wook smirks and asks if Boosung Construction has contacted them yet, to which he is told that Attorney Choi has requested an urgent meeting with them. Jung Wook tells him to not make a move just yet; let them come begging and then maybe… just maybe he’ll meet them then because Chairman Choi needs to learn how to be patient. Jung-wook then wants to know how the new employee interviews are progressing, with Assistant Guy saying they’ve culled the herd into the final three candidates. Jung-wook will be the one to conduct the final interviews himself, and hopes that they’ve found someone quite useful. If they’re going to take on Boosung Group, Geundam needs another Kim Jung Wook in their employ…
And as expected, Yeong-rang complains to Attorney Choi that they can’t set up a meeting with the Geumdan President — they were just incorporated, so what do they know about doing business?!? Attorney Choi tells her to stand down for now; he’s requested a meeting and is still awaiting a response. Yeong-rang basically calls Attorney Choi a lazy sack of shit; is he going to wait for them to come to him? He needs to strike now while the iron is hot, so get your butt over to Geumdan and meet with their President, dammit!! Attorney Choi tells her that he’s got a bad feeling about their proposed meeting, since he cannot find out any information on the owner of Geumdan Construction other than he grew up in the States and has a boatload of money to throw around. They can’t even find out what his Korean name is after that strange introduction at the Alumni Concert. Yeong-rang says none of that matters since they have enough capital to buy over half the apartment land in Incheon; they obviously must be a force to be reckoned with. Regardless, they must purchase that land no matter what… and no matter how much it costs. This is Yeong-rang’s last chance, as the Board of Directors will vote her out if she cannot complete this deal.
Nam-joo decides to be productive and cleans Woo-jin’s room. Putting some random papers in his desk drawer, she comes across THE ENVELOPE. Wondering what’s inside, she sees the official receipt for the piano, dated the day of the fire. Woo-jin walks in, saying he’ll take care of the cleaning but then sees Nam-joo staring at the piano receipt. She demands to know how he came into possession of it, and he says even though the envelope was addressed to him, he has no clue as to who sent it. But the only thing he recognizes are the numbers: 0807. 7 August. The day that Soo-pyo died. Nam-joo rips him a new one, saying that why is he hiding something so important — he should have told her right away that he held the delivery receipt!!! Woo-jin apologizes and says he was going to say something after he investigated further and actually had some concrete evidence.
Nam-joo says that now they can prove that Yeong-rang sent them the piano, then she’s going down for ever disparaging their Dead Deaf Dad! Woo-jin pleads with her to wait a bit longer, because they need to prove this as a fact and not a falsity. Saying that it should be that way, Nam-joo retreats from her Holy Vengeance Against the Yoo Family… for five whole seconds, as we see her pulling out her phone to call the cops. (OH MY GOD, WILL THIS WOMAN EVER LEARN?!?!?) She tells them she’s calling about a case from 14 years ago — wouldn’t a reinvestigation of the case be available if new evidence suddenly appeared? The statute of limitations will be up soon, so there’s no time to lose.
At yet another Swanky Restaurant, wine glasses are clinked in a toast. Yeong-rang, In-ha and So-yeol are there celebrating So-yeol’s first day as the Boosung Manager of Research and Development. she says she likes it, since the company is much more solid than she thought. Yeong-rang says they still have a long way to go, but with So-yeol on board, they can finally move forward. In-ha pipes up saying he’s pleased to meet her, since his mom spoke often of her. And since she’s Professor Ha’s daughter, she also brings to the table the piano-making skills she honed while studying in Italy. So-yeol tells him she’s looking forward to working with Boosung too, since she’s on ‘very friendly’ terms with Ji-ho as well. Yeong-rang says that gee, you two have so much in common that you should meet up more often to ‘get to know each other better.’
And right on cue, she suddenly remembers she has to attend an important meeting, and bolts from the table saying a proper welcoming party is in the works so stay tuned. So-yeol pouts that Yeong-rang is leaving too early; it’s been so long since they’ve had a drink together. Turning to In-ha, she tells So-yeol that he will stay and drink with her instead. (Awkward!) Not missing a beat, So-yeol tells him that this is obviously a set-up to have them ‘get to know each other better.’ When In-ha inquires what she means by that, So-yeol says that she’s been hired as the Piano Maker, and In-ha must be the Diplomatic Representative. It would be most advantageous for them to become friends if In-ha wants to end up as her father’s protege.
In-ha is curious, though… does So-yeol always think that chance encounters work the same as business meetings? So-yeol says sure; a person has nothing to lose by being on her side, because she can help that person by all means. Is In-ha having any problems with her father, by any chance? In-ha looks pained and says that it might be better to have a meal at another time… he’s not about to kiss her ass in order to become her father’s student. So-yeol tells him he’s misunderstanding her statement, but he gets up any way and basically says “don’t call me; I’ll call you” and stomps out, leaving So-yeol to wonder why In-ha has such a stick up his butt. Now all this yummy wine IS MINE!!!
Later that evening, Ji-ho is driving Da-mi to her house… or so he thinks, saying that Ji-ho must be a tired little puppy and she can be let out in front of a music store instead. He reminds her that her first lesson is at 2:00 PM tomorrow, so don’t be late. Reaching around to back up the car, he sees a bag in the backseat that contains Da-mi’s textbooks. But instead of her hiking up the hill towards home, she ducks into the music store to ogle over another kinda butt-ugly piano. She chats up the manager to find out if no one has made an offer on that piano yet, because he promised to only sell it to her. The Store Manager says that they cannot guarantee it; it’s first-come, first-served with their store.
Da-mi could put a down payment on it, but she’d have to do so fast because it’s a limited edition. (And good, because I wouldn’t want to see Seoul littered with pianos like that one.) She strokes the top of the beast and says it’s so lovely that it must make a lovely sound as well. Whatever. Ji-ho wanders up with the textbooks in hand to see that scene unfolding in front of him. Of course, he immediately flashes back to the time he and Da-mi had their first meeting in front of one of the Boosung music stores (with a dirge-like version of “Heart and Soul” playing underneath the dialogue).
Yeong-rang is grilling Secretary Oh about the nomination of Professor Ha’s successor. Secretary Oh says that something will come about tomorrow, as the Professor has an interview with a major classical music periodical and that he will most likely make the announcement through them. Yeong-rang asks if he found out which reporter and which magazine, and of course he did. You think he’s some idiot? Yeong-rang sits and steams for a bit, and then tells Secretary Oh to go ahead and pull the trigger at 8:00 AM… process that music score at that time. He heads off to do that very thing… as we see our Favorite Eavesdropper listening in on the entire conversation. (EvilStep sure does love her tomato juice — all she needs is some vodka and a celery stick.)
Doodley doodley doodley it’s the next day, as Professor Ha is walking through a sculpture garden and talking with the reporter from Classical Monthly. The reporter mentions that there was a bit of a dust-up with Yoo Ji Ho recently; what’s the deal with that? Professor Ha just laughs it off, saying that composers only compete with themselves — there is no way that his protege could be an opponent. Ji-ho is his favorite student EVAH. The reporter then asks if that was the reason to release a new composition right after the Alumni Concert; was it with Ji-ho in mind? Professor Ha looks confused, as he asks her what she means by releasing a new piece of what again? He’s never released anything through media other than concerts or recordings. The reporter pulls some sheet music out of her bag and shows it to the Professor, saying it was going to be released by their magazine today. Taking it from her, he gets all frowny and asks what the heck?
Ji-ho is seen giving an interview to the American press, and in his best Engrish, says that the album he wants to take part in the production of is dedicated to his mentor, Professor Ha Yoon Mo, to commemorate his retirement, and is honoured to include the New York Philharmonic in this recording. Ji-ho gets a phone call from the irate Professor while he talks to the reporter, but fails to pick it up. Attorney Choi and Yeong-rang are leaving the Boosung HQ, when In-ha runs up to ask if they’ve heard the news about Ji-ho leaking one of Professor Ha’s compositions to the press. The whole Hanguk University is in shock! Yeong-rang says that she just found out, and they’re on their way over. In-ha just can’t believe that Ji-ho would do something like this. Even if he had conflicts with the Professor in the past, there’s no way he could have done something as stupid as this.
Yeong-rang says oh yeah, buddy? She thinks it IS something Ji-ho is capable of doing… once Ji-ho sets his mind on something, he’s not above stepping on others to realize that task. In-ha states that since he’s now set himself up as an enemy right before the successor nomination, then he must be evil personified. Yeong-rang just smirks back at In-ha, saying that Professor Ha was just a mountain in Ji-ho’s way. Now that mountain has been crossed, and In-ha needs to focus on being the owner of the next mountain. In-ha just takes this all in, but you can see that he’s having trouble processing the news. Attorney Choi just stands there and smirks as usual.
Ji-ho runs through the building to arrive at Professor Ha’s office, where he finds him and Yeong-rang already there. The Professor stands up and demands that Ji-ho tell him it wasn’t him that released the sheet music. Ji-ho vehemently denies it, as Professor Ha says the sheet music was in his safe and no one else knows the password. But he ain’t done yet — Professor Ha also learned that Ji-ho just met with a producer from the Golden Record Company, and that he wanted the recording contract to be awarded to him instead of the Professor. The Professor is wondering if all this sudden fame has gone to Ji-ho’s head, as Yeong-rang stands up and complains that here’s yet another mess that Ji-ho has gotten himself into. Go out and find the proof that this is another misunderstanding, because it hard for his mom to handle these accusations any longer. Ji-ho looks at her and says that he would rather face death than ever lie to her, so why doesn’t anyone believe him?
Attorney Choi then arrives on the scene and says he found a witness… as the teaching assistant comes in and says he saw Ji-ho rooting around in the safe last night, and that he shut the safe door quickly after he was caught. Ji-ho calls the TA a liar; he wasn’t digging around in the safe — he picked up the papers and put them back in the safe when the TA arrived in the room. Professor Ha yells back that he never touched the safe nor scattered the sheet music all over the floor, but Ji-ho is adamant that’s exactly the scene he came upon. Yeong-rang says that they should go check the CCTV tapes from the hallways first before making any rash judgments — maybe there was another intruder?
So they go do that very thing. We see various shots of the hallways around the Professor’s office, with one view showing Ji-ho arriving at the Professor’s office at the time he was requested to do so. The security guard in charge says that they’ve reviewed all the tapes of that timeframe when the theft was alleged to have occurred, but the only person in that area was Ji-ho alone. Professor Ha turns around and slaps Ji-ho HARD, calling him an ungrateful bastard for releasing a unfinished piece just to humiliate him? All Ji-ho can do in this situation is drop to his knees and beg for forgiveness – why can’t the Professor trust him? The Professor says that he must have been bat-shit crazy to even think about nominating Ji-ho as his successor, and he will ensure that Ji-ho is shunned from the Music World so he can never show his face in public ever again. Yeong-rang leans down, and in a (way too calm) voice, tells him not to worry. If this proves to be false, all will be resolved and he will be forgiven. She then orders Attorney Choi to do an IP address search on the person who uploaded the score onto the Internet. As Ji-ho breaks down into a puddle, Yeong-rang tells him in voiceover to not cry any longer; he needs to save his bloody tears for when he really needs to shed them.
The other students at Hanguk mass around Ji-ho and Yeong-rang as they leave the building, angrily asking how he could betray the Professor just like that? If you have no tears to shed over this travesity, then he must have no soul and no right to become his successor. Just about at that time, Da-mi arrives for her first piano lesson and sees the commotion. Ji-ho tells them to move; they have no right to pile such hatred upon him. Lead Angry Student asks if he’s still not admitting his wrongdoings, then fine — he tells Ji-ho that he’d better not touch a piano again with such dirty hands, because not even dogs or pigs will listen to any music that Ji-ho ever composes again. (What about wildebeests? I betcha they’d listen!) Lead Angry Student tears up the allegedly-leaked sheet music and throws it in Ji-ho’s face. Ji-ho stands there like a statue, glaring at his (now ex-) students, as Yeong-rang pulls him away away saying they don’t need to put up with this. Da-mi lets this all sink in and blankly looks away.
Woo-jin is in his final interview with Geumdan Construction, as Jung-wook is conducting it himself. He asks why Woo-jin just suddenly dropped out of medical school, as he answers that the desire to become a doctor has left him. When Jung-wook presses further, Woo-jin states that if he joined Geumdan, he could do something far more greater than save people’s lives… and by doing that, he could pay back a favor to someone. Jung-wook smirks, saying this person must have helped Woo-jin greatly for him to basically throw his life away like that, but they’re not looking for workers who have their own personal axes to grind. Woo-jin turns out not to be the best hire for Geumdan, so he is dismissed. I said… GOOD DAY!
Gripping the table and sloooooowly rising to his feet, Woo-jin demands that he be chosen to work there; he will sacrifice himself to the death for Geumdan. If you pass him over, they will be nothing but second-runs all their lives; pick him, and he will change the destiny of Jung-wook and Geumdan Construction. Assistant Guy orders his thugs to toss Woo-jin out, but he throws them off all the while Death Glaring at Jung-wook. Then finally playing his trump card, he asks Jung-wook if they really want to beat Boosung Construction… he hears both firms are competing for the same plot of land in Incheon. Woo-jin is just the right guy to help them beat Boosung, because he knows how and will assist Geumdan in achieving their goal of stomping Boosung into the ground. We definitely see Jung-wook’s wheels turning now.
A business card is slid across a cafe table, as we pan back to see Nam-joo sitting across from a rough-looking gentleman… who tells her that he’s Investigator Park Sung Ming. Thanking him for his time and pulling the piano delivery receipt from her bag, Nam-joo proceeds to spill her guts about the incident and hands it over to Mr. Park saying that she must prove that Choi Yeong Rang was lying and she MUST prove that her husband was not a thief. Mr. Park looks at it and says this should be enough evidence to reopen the investigation, so please wait and he will arrange a meeting shortly. Taking the receipt, he bids her farewell. (And that earthquakey sound you just heard was from the collective Korean population all hitting their heads against their desks at the same time…)
As expected, Yeong-rang inspects the delivery receipt, asking Secretary Oh that Nam-joo contacted the police about this? Why the hell hasn’t that woman given up yet… and has he checked the nursing home where CrazyGran is staying for any other breaches of security? Secretary Oh says there is nothing to worry about; she’s locked up tighter than a drum. Yeong-rang reminds him that nothing must go wrong this time around, since it is important for In-ha’s livelihood… and then she sticks the delivery receipt into her personal shredder. *thunk*
Back at the restaurant, Nam-joo is hustling butt to serve and greet and cook, while Louis, Bitchy Manager Girl and Do-ri all sit back and watch her in amazement. Louis wonders why Da-mi didn’t tell her that her mother was Wonder Woman when it comes to working like that, as Do-ri agrees saying that’s where Da-mi gained her impressive work ethics as well. Bitchy Manager Girl further solidifies her nickname by saying it’s distracting seeing Nam-joo do all that work at once; for god’s sake, look at how old she is!! Louis brushes that off, saying that she is way better than any younger employee by far — her nursing home food preparation experience must have taught her kindness and patience. Bitchy Manager Girl wonders if Louis is going to hire her permanently after all that, as Louis backs down a tad and says he won’t if Bitchy Manager Girl doesn’t like her — uncomfortably stammering that he wants all his employees to get along. Seeing a customer enter, he jumps up to greet them (obviously relieved to be not part of that conversation anymore). Bitchy Manager Girl continues crabbing that by Nam-joo showing that she’s an all-around team player, that’s proof positive that she wants to take over Bitchy Manager Girl’s position. With a look of contempt on that Botox-ed face, she orders Nam-joo to go take out the trash.
And she does just that, giving a little cough along the way as she wanders to the trash pickup area. (Wait… they’re not going THERE, are they?!?) Turning around, Nam-joo finds Da-mi staring at her and asking what the heck she’s doing there. Nam-joo turns it back on Da-mi, asking why she’s at the restaurant instead of studying at her piano lessons. The lightbulb finally goes off in Da-mi’s head, and she accuses Nam-joo of working at the restaurant (and at a bar at night?) instead of her so she can be sent to piano lessons? Her mom’s more of an idiot than she imagined!! Saying that she’s healthy as a horse, Nam-joo tells her it’s nothing to be working two jobs, just as long as Da-mi gets the chance to go to college now.
Da-mi says it ain’t worth it if her mother is going to act like a pack mule and lose sleep over such a measly thing as sending her to college. Nam-joo yells back that it’s her fault Da-mi couldn’t go on to college because she wasted all her tuition money on bailing her out of jail; there’s no way she can ever sleep with such a debt hanging over her head. Da-mi says yeah, so what? Can’t a mother use their child’s money — she lived up until now on her mom and dad’s money, so why is such being such a fool about this? Hearing this commotion outside the restaurant brings the workers out to see what’s going on. Nam-joo’s heard enough, and orders Da-mi to go back to school in the weirdest way — by hitting her repeatedly about her upper body. Da-mi tells her to go ahead and hit her, because she’d rather be hit than obey her right now. DO YOUR WORST!! Da-mi still refuses, while Nam-joo wails away on her in the middle of the street.
Finally investing in a thorn-stripper for her roses, Yeong-rang is arranging flowers again as EvilStep barges into her room and asks why she has to do that while all the Ji-ho Mess is swirling about. Lord knows if it was In-ha in that same situation, she’d be screaming bloody murder from the rooftops! Yeong-rang calmly says that there is no need to panic; the truth will eventually make itself known. EvilStep tells her that before Man-se comes out of his grave, she’d better stop this charade immediately. Ruining Ji-ho and deceiving so many people will eventually come back to bite her in the butt; if Yeong-rang doesn’t stop her Mission From Hell, EvilStep will be sure to nip it in the bud herself (no pun intended). Saying that she has done nothing wrong and that she’s not to blame for all of Ji-ho’s problems, EvilStep tells her that she’s trying to destroy a person through the media… like ‘that woman’ who Man-se fell in love with first.
That statement makes Yeong-rang stop dead in her stem-stripping tracks, as EvilStep reminds her that Yeong-rang also started rumours of ‘that woman’s’ alleged affair with a music department professor and she was blackballed for life. All the music journals and gossip rags had a field day with that news for quite awhile; doesn’t Yeong-rang think it strange that history may repeat itself? Lastly saying that obvious tricks are meant to be found out, EvilStep attempts to leave the room, but not before being grabbed (*drink*) by Yeong-rang asking how much she really knows about her… did EvilStep have her investigated or something? EvilStep just looks at her and says that she feels sorry for Yeong-rang because she’s grasping at straws to get what she wants. Yes, the world takes the side of the person with money… and bitch, Ji-ho has waaaaay more than Yeong-rang does now. (BURN!!!)
Walking home later that evening, Da-mi keeps a respectable three paces behind Nam-joo. Signing to her that he mom must be strong like an ox, because she has bruises everywhere now. That rattles Nam-joo enough to run over and asks Da-mi where it hurts; where are the bruises? She pulls Nam-joo off her, as Nam-joo apologizes for beating her up like that. Da-mi says that her behavior wasn’t the best either because she yelled at her too. Saying that their Dead Deaf Dad would be rolling over in his urn if he saw them now, hitting and rebelling like that. Both of them looking up to the sky, they both wonder if it was him who stepped in from the heavens to make them stop fighting. Woo-jin wanders up behind them, and asks why they’re staring so intently at the streetlight. Da-mi asks where he’s coming from all dressed up in a suit like that, to which he lies and says he’s returning from a sunbae’s wedding. They should hurry up and get inside, because it looks like it’s going to rain. Nam-joo, remembering that the laundry is still hanging outside, challenges her kids to a race back to the house; first one there gets to use the bathroom!
Geez, it doesn’t ‘just rain’ in Korea… it pours CGI buckets instead! Yet another thunderstorm rolls through the area, as we see Ji-ho struggling to sleep through it. But we all know of his fear of thunder and lightning, as he flashes back to the time have gave the matches to CrazyGran and then seeing his Dead Burnt-Up Dad being carried out on a stretcher. That last image jolts Ji-ho awake, as Yeong-rang enters his room bearing a candle and saying that the power has gone out in their neighborhood. Asking if Ji-ho had another nightmare, he mutters that he should not have given the matches to CrazyGran… if he had refused, the fire would never have started and his father would not have died. Saying it’s all his fault… it’s all his fault… Yeong-rang says when she meets his father in the next life, she will make sure that he knows the fire was not Ji-ho’s fault. Collapsing into sobs, she pulls him to her shoulder to cry it out… and in a voiceover, she says that it was his father’s time to leave anyway; whether he knows it or not, Ji-ho and CrazyGran and Yeong-rang were all in on the plot to make that happen. (So was he stupid for telling her or WHAT?!?)
The next day, EvilStep brings breakfast to Ji-ho, saying that he needs to eat and keep up his strength in order to take on the Big Bads that want to derail his career. EvilStep grills him on whether or not he can think of someone that would pull such a stunt, and Ji-ho cannot for the life of him. EvilStep goes one touch further, by telling him the old saying of ‘the most obvious is the least suspected.’ Maybe the clues he is looking for may be closer than he thinks; trust no one but yourself. EvilStep sits back all satisfied, as Ji-ho lets that sink in for awhile…
Da-mi is reading the blogosphere’s take on the purloined sheet music; as expected, the netizens have taken Ji-ho to the woodshed for his role in the posting of the Professor’s unfinished composition. She flashes back to one of his students throwing the sheet music in his face outside the music department. Picking up her phone… Ji-ho lounges across his bed, as a text arrives. It’s Da-mi all bright and chipper, asking if they are still scheduled for her lesson today. He tossed the phone onto the bed and goes back to rest. Another text arrives; this time, she entices him with a free meal if he responds within 30 minutes. Not having any of that, he tosses the phone back onto the bed and curls up in a fetal position. Yet another text arrives; Ji-ho is clearly pissed off, but looks at it anyway. Da-mi suggests they walk along the Han River since it’s so pretty out today. This time, Ji-ho just throws the phone across the room and lays back down.
Waiting on the bike path near the river where they collided a few days ago, Da-mi is waiting and waiting and waiting. Thinking that he’s blown her off, she gets ready to leave until Ji-ho pulls up alongside her claiming that the Han River doesn’t look pretty today… all he sees are old ladies out and about. She chides him for twisting her words, as he chides her for speaking banmal to him; he is her teacher, by the way. Da-mi asks if he’s so annoyed over that, then he needs to catch her, as she hops on her bike and rides off. With a sigh of resignation, Ji-ho follows her down the path. Meanwhile (and for once), In-ha is not throwing a tantrum or crying hie eyes out. He sits on the couch admiring the dolphin keychain and gets giddy-kissy all over thinking about meeting up with Da-mi again. *sigh*
Ji-ho and Da-mi sit along the path, as Da-mi calls out Professor Ha for being such a crankypants. When Ji-ho disagrees, Da-mi says that he’s being totally two-faced; one day he’s claiming Ji-ho is his best pupil, and the next day he’s labelling him a thief? That’s not what a REAL professor does to his students. Ji-ho snips back that Professor Ha isn’t like that; he’s just acting that way because of the misunderstanding and things will fix themselves soon. Da-mi needles him and says he’s a liar — deep inside, Ji-ho knows it’s unfair and that he wants to quit, so why isn’t he cursing the heavens right now? Ji-ho yells at her to quit; if she’s gonna talk like that, then she should just go home. Da-mi says that he has no problem letting out his anger on her, so why can’t he voice his opinions to anyone else? Hiding in his room all the time is not going to solve things; Ji-ho respects the Professor too much to pull such a childish stunt by leaking the unfinished composition, so he needs to show his anger and prove that he was framed!!
A meeting of the minds between Yeong-rang, Ji-ho, In-ha and Attorney Choi, where the findings of the Hanguk University Disciplinary Commission are being discussed. And that decision is… Ji-ho has disrupted the university’s charter so much, that expulsion from the school has been decided. Yeong-rang asks what happened with trying to find out the IP address of the uploader, and Attorney Choi states that they could only find that the IP originated in China and it’s going to be impossible to trace the transaction. Yeong-rang gets all haughty by asking that Ji-ho must bear these false accusations, as In-ha actually looks pained to see his hyung going through such a mess. Attorney Choi starts spouting his legalese by saying a false charge will be hard to defend, as they cannot prove that Ji-ho wasn’t the only one near the Professor’s office at the time of the alleged theft.
But wait! Ji-ho suddenly remembers about the delivery man he plowed into on his way to the Professor’s office. Yeong-rang feigns ignorance, saying that if a courier was in the building, he should have been caught on the CCTV. Ji-ho deduces that the tape must have been edited, and as Yeong-rang lets that sink in, Ji-ho says that he remembers the delivery man had sheet music in his possession, and thought it weird. So that must be the real criminal in all this! Attorney Choi diffuses that by saying they cannot move on mere speculation; was there anything else that caught Ji-ho’s eyes that day? Ji-ho mentions that he heard the delivery man make a call after their collision, but that the phone was set up in a pentatonic sequence that he couldn’t place. He remembers the keytones, but he cannot remember the numbers. Remembering the delivery man’s uniform said that he worked for Seoul Delivery Service, Ji-ho stands up and says that he needs to find that particular brand of cell phone first. Everyone else sits there with extra-extra-guilty looks on their faces.
So it’s off to the mobile phone store for Ji-ho, with about 30 different makes and models strewn about on the counter. He goes through each one and tests the keypads for the right tones… and on the last one he picks up, finds the perfect match. Meanwhile, Yeong-rang tells Secretary Oh that Ji-ho figured out about the editing of the CCTV tapes, so that employee needs to be fired, the tapes need to be removed from storage, the delivery man needs to change his phone and needs to keep out of sight for awhile, all ASAP!!! Secretary Oh mentions that the delivery man wants to meet with her in person to exchange the CCTV tapes and pick up his cash prize for the ruse. He tells her that it may be a trick to extort more money out of her, as she doesn’t understand why meeting her in person makes any sense. Secretary Oh says that he’s tried to resolve this with a simple conversation, but that the guy is just being uncooperative. No matter what he is told, delivery guy ain’t buying it. Yeong-rang tells him okay fine… go ahead and set up an appointment for today to get this over with.
Ji-ho runs like a bat out of hell towards the Administration Building. In the Security Department, the tapes and other items are being boxed up by the security guard who lied in the first place after the CCTV viewing. He runs out the door with the box two seconds before Ji-ho runs inside. Another security guard unlocks the door to the CCTV tape room, as we see Ji-ho hiding around the corner listening to the keypad tone sequence. Security Guard #1 runs up to the Seoul Delivery Guy and throws the box onto his scooter and he peels outta there.
As expected, Ji-ho remembers the keypad tones and uses that to get inside the CCTV tape storage room. Being all super-sleuthy and such, he combs through the stack of tapes from that time period, and as we have already figured out, there seems to be a two-tape gap on the shelf. Only the tapes for September 6th are missing! Ji-ho looks like he wants to facepalm himself right now.
The Professor stares at a picture of himself and Ji-ho, as So-yeol comes up and asks him if he’s regretting his decision to expulse Ji-ho. Both he and she know that Ji-ho is not that type of person, so withdraw the lawsuit before this issue blows up out of control. The Professor just sighs and hands her a magazine with the Ji-ho interview which says that he wants to surpass his mentor in every way. So-yeol tells anyone that will hear her that his comments are not true!
Ji-ho and So-yeol meet later, where he tells her that the Security Office Manager resigned today and completely disappeared off the face of the earth. So-yeol is convinced that was the person who stole the tapes and the unfinished composition for sure… but is there possibly anything else that Ji-ho can remember? Flashing back to the run-in with the delivery guy, Ji-ho suddenly remembers the cellphone in his pocket. Pulling it out and dialing the numbers he thought he heard, he at least now has a phone number that he can reference back to his own phone. Dialing the numbers again, Ji-ho is aghast to find that they match the cell phone number of Secretary Oh… but why did that guy call Secretary Oh?
Ji-ho arrives at Boosung HQ and sees Secretary Oh, but not his mother. Asking why he arrived without calling first, Ji-ho lies to say that he is having dinner with her, but Secretary Oh heads that off and tells him that she just left for a very important appointment. Ji-ho that’s too bad; maybe he should have called first and turns to leave… but then turns back around and wonders why Secretary Oh is at the office and not with Yeong-rang. He’s pretty much his mother’s shadow, is he not? Secretary Oh stammers that he had some work to do at home and that’s why he didn’t accompany her this time around. Ji-ho just smiles and tells him he’s working hard enough — why doesn’t he knock off early tonight instead? As Ji-ho heads for the door, an assistant comes in with a metal suitcase, and handing it to Secretary Oh, tells him here’s the $200M won he requested.
Obviously calling Yeong-rang on his way to said very important appointment, Secretary Oh tells her he has the money and will be leaving soon. Ji-ho watches from his car and then follows Secretary Oh up to the meeting place. There we see Yeong-rang, Secretary Oh and the Delivery Guy conducting a nice little clandestine swap of goods: the money for Delivery Guy, and the box of tapes and other sundry items from the Security Office for Yeong-rang. Just then, Ji-ho pulls up to see Secretary Oh’s car… and oh look, it’s the Seoul Delivery Company’s scooter parked out front as well. Ji-ho takes a picture of the license plate for good measure.
Stomping inside the restaurant, Ji-ho pulls open every door to the private dining rooms while flashing back to what EvilStep had told him earlier in the day about the closest clue being the easiest to miss. Ji-ho gets to the last room in the restaurant, and sees a pair of designer heels waiting at the entrance. With a shaky hand, he pulls open the sliding screen to see his mother sitting there. With Ji-ho barely croaking out ‘eomma,’ they stare at each other incredulously… and that’s where we end Episode 7!
Air Date: 8 September 2012
Ratings: AGB Nielsen: Nationwide 10.8% (8th) / Seoul 11.0% (9th)
TmNs: Nationwide 10.7% (12th) / Seoul 11.6% (8th)
Flowers and Brickbats
Boy, the Show hardly wasted any time in getting to the meat of the storyline. And since I’m watching these live at 5:50 AM, I’m just not coherent enough and really missing a lot of the little bits that can only be picked up on the rewatches. One would think on a first viewing that Our Boys look pretty one-dimensional: Good versus Evil; Hero versus Villain; Coke versus Pepsi. But aneyo, that is not the case. We’ve seen Ji-ho be his own version of Brat Boy, and In-ha turn into Mr. Gallant Gentleman in these few scenes so far. They each have such foilbles that the lines have been blurred right off the bat, so you’re not sure which hottie to root for…
But much more time was spent on the development of the secondary characters (Woo-jin, Jung-wook, EvilStep, So-yeol) that the mains were sorta relegated to back-burner status throughout. This was the first episode in which I wanted to reach inside my monitor and slap the smirk off Yeong-rang’s face, which means that Chae Si Ra is doing an exceptional portrayal there. There is just no end to the skullduggery she and her minions have been able to produce just to ensure her True Son will be the heir apparent. (The jury’s still out in my mind if In-ha is really a True Yoo, though… the writers are dangling just enough ‘reasonable doubt’ in front of me to question the parentage of BOTH boys.) Nam-joo is really getting on my nerves as the stereotypical ‘clueless parent;’ all Korean dramas have to have a least one, but she takes it beyond the pale. Jung Eun Woo (Woo-jin) has already proven through previous projects that he can bring the mega-angst to the table, and here is no exception. It is Lee Hae In (So-yeol, the Professor’s daughter) who really surprised me the most with her understated yet impressive acting chops. I do not remember offhand the other dramas she’s been in before, but as a member of the girl group GangKiz, naturally I was hesitant over yet another flippin’ idol casting. So now that all the noted characters have had their turn around the dance floor, the plot should now pick up the pace exponentially.
And as timely as today’s headlines, the scriptwriters had added a little wink-and-a-nod to the prevalent winds blowing in Korea at that time with mentioning Yeong-rang’s trying to destroy a person’s character through the media. The Show’s abrupt change in casting discussions had yet to die down (and it still hasn’t to this day), and I bet that was their way of thumbing their collective noses at the netizens (and there’s a even better piss-off storyline in a later episode. Hee!).
Music Nerd Ramblings: Not much in the way of new classical pieces to discuss, but I must call out that Da-mi was wrong in her statement that Rachmaninoff wrote four piano concerti. He actually wrote a 5th, which was an adaptation from one of the movements of his Second Symphony. The score was found in a wine cellar in Switzerland, but never released for a wide audience. Parts of that 5th Concerto ended up being incorporated into his “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” and most people are more familiar with that work instead. I guess the production team spent all their money on sets and clothes, and not enough on researchers and fact-checkers. I humbly offer my services to Yein E/I accordingly — I’m all packed, so send me the plane ticket already!
Taking a quick break, and it’s on to Episode 8 and more of our Ridiculously Pretty People. Stay tuned!