(Recap) “Five Fingers” Episode 11

I guess the Fashion Director finally heard our pleas, because this is one fine-lookin’ Joo Ji Hoon again.  RAWR.

Picking up from Episode 10, Ji-ho is seen strutting down the corridor towards the emergency Board of Directors Meeting that he called.  At the same time, Yeong-rang is racing up the steps at Boosung HQ to head him off from doing whatever it is that he plans on doing.  Ji-ho says that even though Choi Yeong Rang is the President of Boosung Group, Ji-ho is still the largest shareholder and has the authority to call this meeting.  He’s upset over the malicious slandering of him and the Boosung Group, and today he has prima facie evidence of said defamation!  Attorney Choi gets up and objects, the Board Members tell him to shut up again, and Yeong-rang bursts through the conference room doors, yelling ANDWAE!!!

Yeong-rang runs up to the dais but is too late in stopping Ji-ho from pressing the play button.  On the tape, we hear Professor Jang’s voice asking what ‘he’ will give him in exchange for leaving Korea.  We then hear Attorney Choi’s voice calling Professor Jang out on his excessive greed since he’s already received so much cash in return for his false testimony.  Yoo Ji Ho will not give up that easily, so Professor Jang needs to disappear quickly to preserve his dignity and reputation.  Flashing back to their conversation, Professor Jang asks Attorney Choi where it is he should be escaping to. Attorney Choi thinks the best place is NYU, since they have a visiting professor exchange program with Gangil.  Professor Jang doesn’t have to worry, since Attorney Choi will gather up all the documents he needs to stay in the States for at least two years.  Handing Professor Jung a plane ticket, Attorney Choi orders him to get on it tomorrow, if not sooner.  When he returns from the States, the lawsuit that he has against Professor Ha will also be completely taken care of by his Army of Unholy Legal Minions.

Ji-ho stops the tape, and the Board Members go completely mental as Yeong-rang can only stare at Ji-ho.  Tossing the tape recorder on the table, Ji-ho wants Attorney Choi to now explain himself… why step all over Ji-ho in order to achieve what?  TELL HIM NOW!!  Attorney Choi just stands there unable to move, and he finally begins to speak that there is another person behind him pulling his strings… hasn’t Ji-ho even thought Attorney Choi couldn’t be doing this on his own?  Ji-ho is taken aback, and asks possibly who that person might be?  Ji-ho tells him that he needs to reveal who this person is, or else risk being disqualified from his Director position and be kicked out on his ass from Boosung.  The Board Members yell at him to disclose his partner-in-crime, and as he just gets around to saying so, Yeong-rang does a perfect fake-faint onto the conference room floor.

Rushing over to help his mother, Ji-ho yells for an ambulance STAT… but only to take her home, where Ji-ho sits at her bedside watching her sleep.  EvilStep comes in and asks if this all happened because she heard the tape, but Ji-ho tells her they’ll have to talk later because Mom needs her beauty sleep.  EvilStep clucks and notes that the passed-out Yeong-rang still looks so cold, even living in such a nice house as this.  EvilStep orders Ji-ho out of the room, and of course as soon as the door slams shut, Yeong-rang wakes up from her fake-out to continue more evil plotting.

Ji-ho pushes the play button on the recorder again, but this time we hear Yeong-rang’s voice after Attorney Choi’s telling him to take his secret about Ji-ho’s continued support of Professor Ha to his grave.  Ji-ho asks the air why did she do this to me, but Yeong-rang is right there in his room agreeing with him that she shore did do that thing.  Pulling out the In-ha Card again, Yeong-rang tells him that for the first time in his life, she wanted to give something to In-ha as a mother.  Ji-ho tells her that the mom he knows wouldn’t do such a thing, so why?  Yeong-rang tells him that she wanted In-ha to become the Professor’s successor; how can she as a mother ignore that since he became burned because of her?

Ji-ho asks if the stealing of the unfinished composition was also of her doing, and by her silence, Ji-ho concludes that it was.  She didn’t have to take it this far and put Ji-ho Baby in a corner because of In-ha, but she counters with Ji-ho already being the best musician, the best composer and national icon… he already has everything.  He didn’t need to also be the Professor’s successor, because In-ha has nothing after the fire.  He’s lost his piano talent, his fingers, and his trust and belief in his mother… basically he has nothing, so can’t Ji-ho understand?!?  Nopes, Ji-ho doesn’t understand — no matter how pitiful In-ha is, what she did was flat-out WRONG!

Yeong-rang asks why Ji-ho didn’t at least throw In-ha one of his bones — either the successor position or the heir of Boosung Group.  Ji-ho was partially responsible for some of In-ha’s misery… but he didn’t toss a crumb to In-ha at all.  Ji-ho yells that none of those items mean anything to him, so Yeong-rang asks if he can give one of them up.  Let In-ha be the successor and have Ji-ho sign over his shares to him as the true and rightful heir.  Ji-ho can then join Boosung and start anew, but Ji-ho is more devastated over how she deceived him over the last 14 years.  Yeong-rang yells back that she did not deceive him; her heart is the same as it was when he stepped inside their home.  But now she wants to live as In-ha’s mother to ensure that he’s no longer lonely.  Ji-ho and his Dead Burnt-Up Dad better not dare criticize her over that decision.

Turning to leave, Ji-ho wants to ask her one last question:  did she ever regret saving him from the fire?  Yeong-rang waits a few beats, and like the schizophrenic she is, turns and tells him no… why would she regret it?  But now for the rest of Ji-ho’s life, he is fully indebted to her and In-ha.  She leaves the room, but Ji-ho is still questioning… it’s not like that; something has gone wrong.

EvilStep cuts Yeong-rang off at the bottom of the stairs, asking if she’s finally declared war on Ji-ho?  It shouldn’t have come to that — if she needed money, she could have talked to Ji-ho rationally and calmly into giving it to her.  Yeong-rang is acting like she’s stealing from God, ferchrissakes!!  Yeong-rang says that if she wanted his inheritance, she wouldn’t have waited 14 long years to take it… when she sees Ji-ho’s face, she also sees Yoo Man Se.  And that reminds her that she still has a debt to collect.  Yeong-rang slinks off, leaving EvilStep wondering what the hell it was that she just heard.  How can you collect a debt from a dead man?  Just how far is Yeong-rang going to go with this?

Ji-ho stands in his room flashing back to the time that Professor Ha slapped him across the face and all the other times that Yeong-rang allegedly stood up for him, culminating in the conversation they had earlier in the day.  Taking the picture of the two of them off his desk, he launches it against the wall along with the other contents of the top of his desk, screaming that he doesn’t need anything!!  WHY DID SHE HAVE TO DO THAT TO HIM?!?  Collapsing in fury, Ji-ho says that she could have just ASKED him to give the successor position to his brother, because it means nothing to him.  Pounding the floor with his fist, Ji-ho lets one last gutteral WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAE?!? escape from his mouth.

EvilStep just happens to come into his room at that moment, as Ji-ho picks up the wooden leaf plaque that Dead Burnt-Up Dad gave him at the factory.  Flashing back to their conversation the night before the fire, where Man-se commands Ji-ho to not make In-ha cry (because Appa has already done that in spades), and asks for his promise in return, Ji-ho asks the piece of wood what it is that he should do?  EvilStep tells him that things have already happened; just suck it up and move on, buster.  Have you ever seen pus become flesh?  Let the pus leak out of his mother so she can heal.  (EWWWWWWW!)  Ji-ho weeps that he only has his mother and In-ha; why won’t she let him live a peaceful life?  EvilStep says that Ji-ho is waaaaay too rich for her to believe that.

Using the analogy of draping yourself in wealth while renouncing it at the same time, EvilStep asks if anyone would believe him then?  Yeong-rang is the opposite of Ji-ho, as he asks EvilStep why did his father bring him up to their home?  He already had In-ha around him, so why did Dead Burnt-Up Dad make HIM the heir of Boosung Group?  EvilStep sits on the side of his bed and says she has no freakin’ idea why his Appa did that, but what is certain other than his birth mother, he loved Yeong-rang even more.  She realized it when he brought Ji-ho up from Jebu-do… this man loves his wife terribly… and pitifully.  That last statement sends Ji-ho’s tear ducts into overdrive.

Yeong-rang has come to visit Man-se’s grave, saying that has a major news flash for him — she will no longer live her life serving Ji-ho. If she wants to be angry, she’s gonna be angry… if she wants to hate him, then dammit, she’s gonna hate him.  She will live the rest of her life doing whatever the hell she wants to make that boy’s own life unbearable.  Reminding the hill of grass that she was his and his mother’s slave for over 25 years, that’s over now.  She’s going to take every last bit that Ji-ho owns for herself; he will never stand on his own two feet again… just as long as Man-se doesn’t have a say in her plans.  And oh by the way, the next time she comes to visit will be as the mother of In-ha… the new owner of Boosung Instruments.  (And was I the only one praying for lightning to strike right then and there?  Hm?)

Professor Ha and In-ha are conversing back at Hanguk over coffee about the upcoming UN Peace Concert.  He says it’s a big honkin’ deal; even bigger compared to the other concerts Professor Ha was overseeing in the past.  There’s so many world-reknown musicians and composers participating… so how’s that theme song composition thingy going?  (No pressure or anything…)  In-ha says that he’s diligently working on it, because he wants to do well so as to not embarrass the Great Professor Ha.  The Professor says well of course, ya big dummy — you have to work hard because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!  And then he tells In-ha that the UN Music Committee wants to hear a demo from him before the Big Day — they’re kinda curious how a piece played with only nine fingers will sound, so get one together and bring it to him ASAP.   In-ha says that he will do that, and he will definitely not disappoint the Professor in the long run.

The Professor tells him they should get going now, since In-ha needs to get ready for the concert.  They stand up, but as In-ha walks away, he drops his coffee cup and grabs his left wrist in pain.  Turning around, the Professor asks what he’s doing and hurry up!  In-ha tells him he’s coming, but the look on his face tells us something is horribly wrong.

Da-mi takes the garbage out for collection at Restaurant Louis, but before heading back inside, sees Ji-ho sitting near the curb all forlorn and everything.  When she asks him how long he’s been sitting there, he tells her he came out to get some fresh air, but by the time he was done walking, he’d walked all the way there.  He sees that she’s not done with her shift, and orders her back inside.  But Da-mi being no slouch in the Intuition Department, asks Ji-ho if there’s anything wrong… isn’t he there to actually say something to her?  Tinkly Piano Music tells us that she’s right on the money, but Ji-ho insists that’s not the case and that he just wanted to see her face… even if she is ugly.  Pinching her cheek, he turns to leave but she stops him with the dangling of a sugar lollipop in front of him, saying that one of the kids she waited on gave it to him.  Da-mi says he can have it if he wants, as he gently takes it and they smile at each other for a good long time…

Must be breakfast time at the Yoo Mansion, as Yeong-rang feeds In-ha while a gaggle of housekeepers stand watch… and EvilStep gags upon seeing In-ha get special dispensation from his mother.  She asks him how can he have no consideration for EvilStep by saying that grandmother should have a bite first?  Doesn’t cost him a dime to be nice!  In-ha snidely apologizes and says that EvilStep is already so good at taking care of herself that he didn’t say anything… is that so wrong?  Yeong-rang scolds EvilStep for not being more loving towards In-ha when he was growing up, since all her life with them all she did was spend money on clothes and get dressed up and harass his mother.  Did she expect to receive his heart in return?

EvilStep counters with saying Ji-ho isn’t like that.  Even though he was treated as badly as Jang-hwa and Hong-ryun (from the famous movie “Memories of Murder and the Tale of Two Sisters”), he still found the time to treat EvilStep like family?  Yeong-rang puts down her golden spoon and asks EvilStep if she knows who is the most scariest person in this world?  It’s someone with no enemies; because everyone is on his side, the machinations behind the scene are immense.  So put that in your pipe and smoke it, EvilStep!  Yeong-rang stands up and demands that a table for her and In-ha be set up outside in the garden; bring the food out there and leave EvilStep inside.

In-ha gets up to join her, but is stopped by EvilStep asking if he even knows (or cares) that Ji-ho has gone missing from the house since early this morning; why isn’t he out looking for him?  Did he at last look in and ask him to eat with them?  In-ha turns around and asks since when did EvilStep start caring for Ji-ho so much?  When she doesn’t get what he’s saying, In-ha continues by saying that EvilStep seems to think that taking sides with Ji-ho is gonna be her ‘insurance policy’ for her old age… because remember, In-ha has just as much money as Ji-ho does.  As he steps out, EvilStep omo omo omos and says that In-ha’s such a showoff with his money… just like his father, that boy!!

Must be Grave Visiting Week, as Ji-ho makes a soju offering to Dead Burnt-Up Dad’s grave himself.  He tells him that he knows he shouldn’t, but he’s really scared of his mom know.  He can’t forgive her that easily this time, but he will do his darndest to be nice to her.  He will continue to look after In-ha as well.  But before he leaves, Ji-ho cryptically tells him that apparently it is time for him to keep his promise to his Appa, right?  You trust Big Boy Ji-ho, right?!?

Professor Ha is reviewing several scores in advance of the UN Peace concert, when So-yeol rushes in and tells him the news of Attorney Choi’s blackmailing of Ji-ho and bribing Professor Jang as well.  Slowly raising his head at this news, So-yeol continues that it was probably Attorney Choi who stole his unfinished composition and blamed Ji-ho on it.  She swears on a stack of bibles!  Professor Ha kinda calls no way on all that news, but So-yeol says that it’s because he wanted to turn Ji-ho into such a laughing stock to drive him out!  Professor Ha wonders even if that news was true, how can someone do that to someone else?  So-yeol goes in for the kill, and tells him that Professor Jang confessed everything and gave Ji-ho a tape recorder with all the evidence that Oppa played at the Board of Directors Meeting!

He asks if that’s really true, and she is crazy over why he won’t believe anything she says, hunh?!?  Ji-ho has way too much respect for the Professor to go and steal his score like that!!  How can he not think of appointing In-ha as his successor now with all these revelations, as Professor Ha says that nothing can be changed now.  In-ha is very talented and a nice young man, so his decision stands.  So-yeol tells him he’s not making any sense; if the score theft never took place, then he was going to appoint Ji-ho as his successor.  Professor Ha gives up, and says that chance has been left to fate and walks out of the room, leaving So-yeol fuming…

At the coffeeshop around the corner, Ji-ho signs off on some stock transfer paperwork.  The attorney asks if Ji-ho is really giving 30% of his shares to In-ha, because then his position as the largest Boosung shareholder might be in danger.  Ji-ho tells him it doesn’t endanger him being the owner of the Boosung Group, since his Dead Burnt-Up Dad left him a gazillion-billon shares anyway.  So keep this under your hat and don’t tell anyone… ESPECIALLY sunbae Attorney Choi, arraso?  The Other Attorney says that if Attorney Choi is his sunbae, Other Attorney should be stopping him from doing this.

In Real Life Marathon Runner Ji Chang Wook… erm, In-ha is hitting the treadmill at the Boosung Fitness Center, when Ji-ho walks up and hands him a bottle of water.  (And PD-nim, you can hide all the clothing labels, but we still know he’s wearing an Under Armour coverlet there.)  Sitting down to chat, In-ha asks where Ji-ho scurried off to so early in the morning.  Ji-ho said that he came to see In-ha; he knows that In-ha was up all night practicing, so how’s the demo progressing?  In-ha says there’s no reason for him to fail… he’s working harder because Professor Ha has high hopes for him.  Ji-ho tells him it will go well are high; he believes in his dongsaeng because he’s been acknowledged as the best composer.  Ji-ho wonders if maybe he should start getting worried now?  In-ha asks Ji-ho what it is exactly that he is going to do in the future?  He’s quit college and it’s gonna take awhile before everyone believes that he’s not a traitor… won’t he get tired of composing in his room? Ji-ho tells him he’s going to go work at Boosung now, and only concentrate on the company for the time being.  It’s time for Ji-ho to regain Appa’s spot in the company.

Ji-ho returns home to find Yeong-rang asking for his whereabouts.  He looks away and says he went to work out, as she asks if he’s still uncomfortable for him to look her in the eyes?  He affirms, as Yeong-rang says she can wait a little longer for him to come around.  And now that Attorney Choi has been disgraced, why doesn’t he assume the Director position at the Cultural Foundation?  There are people lined up out the door for the appointment, but she thinks Ji-ho would be the right fit for it… think about it, okay?  Ji-ho finally lifts his head and tells Yeong-rang that he has thought about it, but he’d rather join up as Boosung’s Research and Development Director instead.  It was something he promised Dead Burnt-Up Dad that he would enter the company, and now he would like to keep that promise.  He begins to walk away, but Yeong-rang stops him by saying there’s nothing she can do about him hating her and not forgiving her… but she plays the Guilt Card and reminds him that it was HER that saved him from the fire, and not his dad.

Attorney Choi is just about to have a stroke over hearing the news that Ji-ho is coming in as Managing Director (which was the position he was supposed to be appointed).  Yeong-rang reminds him that because of the whole Professor Jang incident, the Board is now siding with Ji-ho instead.  They also need to clean up that mess with the Directors, since they also suspect Yeong-rang as the puppeteer behind Attorney Choi.  If he would have shut his trap about having someone behind all his evil deeds, she wouldn’t be in deep shit like she is now.  Attorney Choi spits back at Yeong-rang that it’s all her fault for turning him into a betrayer, as she tells him they should stop fighting between themselves.  Attorney Choi reminds her that he’s given up everything for her, and bringing Ji-ho is is just gonna make it worse.  Yeong-rang leans back and tells him that if they are to survive a fire, they have to handle the smoke as well.  (Bad analogy!  BAD!  BAD!!)  She reminds him that in order to recover their losses, they need to bring Ji-ho into the company.  They’ve already got the tiger by the tail; now all they need to do is not let go of the tail.  (What is this… Cliche City all of a sudden?)

Ji-ho walks up the steps of the Boosung offices, flanked on both sides by company toadies.  At the top of the stairs await Yeong-rang and Attorney Choi — she smiles at him and he glares back; Attorney Choi nod-bows to him and he glares back even harder and heads off to his office.  As soon as he’s out of sight, she drops the pretense and sighs.  Rice wreaths at the ready and the press conference announcing his appointment as R&D Director in full swing, Ji-ho tells the crowd that it was because of his father Yoo Man Se’s passion for music that made him put his all into forming Boosung, and now it is a world-reknowned company because of that.  But the next incident that causes any blemish to its reputation, he will not forgive the transgressor… but looking over at Yeong-rang and Attorney Choi in the front row, Ji-ho has decided to forget all about the troubles that occurred prior to his assuming the R&D Director position.  Once… just once.

Entering his brand-new office to see the usual crystal nameplate on his desk, Yeong-rang knocks and enters to find out if he likes how she kitted out his office.  He says it doesn’t matter to him, since all he needs is a desk.  (And this stapler… and this pen… )  Yeong-rang thanks Ji-ho for sweeping the whole Attorney Choi mess under the rug, and for easing his mom’s mind a bit.  She tells him that the string between a parent and a child cannot be cut in just one day.  Still not able to look at her, she tells Ji-ho to take it slow to get used to the work.  At that moment, Ji-ho’s underlings arrive with a bunch of boxes and place them in the room, with labels on them that say “Boosung Documents Regarding the Masterpiece Piano 2012.”

Yeong-rang asks him what’s in the boxes, as he explains they’re all the reports to date concerning the reproduction of the Butt-Ugly Piano — he’s going to go through them with a fine-toothed comb to find out the piano’s secrets.  Yeong-rang scolds him for taking on more than he can chew on his first day, but Ji-ho reminds her that she had promised to get another Butt-Ugly Piano to manufacturing state within six months of her being appointed as Chairman, or she would forfeit her control over the company.  If that’s not gonna happen, then he needs to start burning the midnight oil now.

In the studio, In-ha is playing away on the demo he promised to Professor Ha.  He’s doing an admirable job with a very florid piece, but reaching for a full octave bass chord makes In-ha’s left hand cramp up big time.  Obviously in lots of pain, he apologizes and says he’ll just start over from the beginning.

Da-mi’s working away, gathering supplies in the storeroom, as she reaches for something on an upper shelf and almost falls over in the process… but In-ha is there to catch her.  She’s flabbergasted to see him and asks how he got in, he puts away his stalker hat and says he’s there to see her.  (That face…. ungh!)

Ji-ho and So-yeol are plowing through stacks and stacks of blueprints and schematics of all the pianos Boosung has ever produced.  She asks if he may possibly be hungry from working so hard on his first day, as Ji-ho asks if it’s really lunchtime already?  So-yeol promises him a luxurious spread for lunch, so he says he’s already picked the place he wants to go.  And they end up at… the Imo’s noodle stand in the park!  So-yeol picks at her bowl, as Ji-ho tells her that the anchovy noodles are really good here.  Ji-ho flashes back to the time that he and Da-mi ate there, and he gets all goofy-faced thinking about that day.  Ji-ho snaps out of it, as So-yeol tells him she’s glad to see him smile again; is he that happy to be there with her?  Ji-ho shoves a wad of noodles in his face and tells her he’s so happy he could die.

Later that night, In-ha and Da-mi are on a walkway overlooking downtown Seoul.  She didn’t realize there was such a place, as In-ha turns to her and says that he lied to her about something.  Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out the dolphin keychain that was meant for Ji-ho.  She recognizes it, as In-ha goes on to say that he never gave it to him that day, because he didn’t want Ji-ho to remember her at all.  He doesn’t like her being in Ji-ho’s heart, and it drives him crazy that Ji-ho is in Da-mi’s heart.  She looks uncomfortable, as he says this is not about when they were all 10 years old (plot point!!), he’s telling her how he feels right now.  She was his first love and he was so happy to see her again; he wants to keep seeing her again, because he likes her more and more he sees her. (Got that?)

In-ha finally stops by saying that if he didn’t tell her now how he felt, then he might have to wait another 14 years… and he doesn’t wanna do that again.  Da-mi sighs and says that she’d rather they stayed as comfortable good friends, but In-ha wants to know if it’s because of Ji-ho… does she like Ji-ho?  Da-mi stammers a bit and doesn’t answer, and then In-ha goes in for the kill — if she doesn’t like him, doesn’t that mean he might have a chance with her?  You don’t have to push him aside then, because he has no plans on being ‘just friends’… Da-mi was always long-term material in his eyes from the get-go.

The Professor is listening to the demo disk that In-ha has sent him with the UN Peace Concert theme on it.  So-yeol comes over and asks if there is still no hope for Ji-ho Oppa in his eyes, as he crabs to her that his mouth is tired from having to repeat himself so often.  She stomped off, as the CD spools up and we hear the theme that In-ha was playing earlier.  Suddenly the Professor’s eyebrows shoot up and he bends over to listen more carefully…

Ji-ho returns home that evening and picks up the picture of he, In-ha and Yeong-rang sitting on the sideboard (Man-se being so obviously cut out of it).  Giving it a good long stare and then putting it back down, he heads upstairs… as we see Yeong-rang hiding around the corner possibly having a bit of a conscience crisis at that time.

In the morning, EvilStep brings in a glass of juice to Ji-ho’s room to find it empty.  She wonders why he’s working from dawn to dawn again, and heads back downstairs.  In-ha is being fussed over by Yeong-rang with some new clothes she bought; now that he’s going to get more recognition in the world, he should pay more attention to his wardrobe from now on.  *headdesk*  EvilStep yells that isn’t this a nice little tableau, as Yeong-rang crabs back over what she wants now?!?  EvilStep says that no one in this room cares that Ji-ho hasn’t eaten breakfast in days; he comes home and then turns around for work again only after a few hours of sleep?  Yeong-rang says there’s nothing to be concerned about; he’s just figuring out the learning curve is steep.

EvilStep’s had enough and sweeps the shopping bags off the table and tells her so instead she’s putting on a fashion show for In-ha?  Is Yeong-rang also putting on a show to send a message to her stepmother that she’s Mother of the Year again?  In-ha stands up and yells at her to stop — what has she done so wrong for EvilStep to constantly berate her every move?  EvilStep tells In-ha to shut his piehole and not talk back, but In-ha says that he wouldn’t be surprised if no one came to her aid ever again.  SHE didn’t give birth to his mother or even give her any love, so why is she acting all high and mighty?  EvilStep gives him A BIG SLAP right across the face (having to jump on her tippy-toes first) and calls him a brat for daring to reprimand an adult?  THE HORRORS!!!  Yeong-rang jumps in between them and demands why EvilStep has the right to hit him; she’s never hit him once in his life.  EvilStep says she should be thanking her then, because if Man-se was alive, he would have slapped him more for being such a spolied brat.  Just be glad it was her that hit him and no one else.

Yeong-rang yells for the maid to hurry up and clean out EvilStep’s room, as she’s appalled that Yeong-rang would even think of such a thing.  Yeong-rang reminds her that it’s her house and her rules… and if she convenient forgot, she’s living with a stepdaughter who was treated badly all her life and that she has no blood relations with.  EvilStep asks if she should be bowing in gratitude to that, but Yeong-rang tells her she should remember her place and act sensibly instead.  The next time she even thinks about hitting In-ha, she’s gonna be thrown out so fast it will make her head spin.  And will that parting comment, they get up to go see Professor Ha.  EvilStep says that this is how it’s gonna be, hunh?  Well then… she’ll just take the shopping bags up to In-ha’s room herself, dammit!!

At the recording studio, Professor Ha tells In-ha that he listened to his demo CD and In-ha asks if it’s been sent it off to the Music Committee yet.  The Professor tells him he should do that now, but before he does, he’d really like In-ha to play it live for him right now.  Pulling up the bench, In-ha jumps into the first movement until Professor Ha slams his hand down on the keyboard and orders him to STOP!!  In-ha looks at him with a WTF? on his face, as the Professor demands to know if this is a joke (while holding out the CD in its case).  Did In-ha think the Professor was that naive to believe that In-ha was the pianist on that disk?  In-ha flashes back to earlier when he couldn’t get through the piece without severe pain, and then to an In-ha look-alike playing his composition (after being handed the White Bribe Envelope by In-ha, of course)

In-ha drops to his knees to beg for mercy.  He apologizes because his fingers were overtaxed because of all the practicing he did for the Charity Concert.  It is a song that they need to send overseas, and In-ha didn’t want to sully the Professor’s reputation… the Professor cuts him off, asking if it made more sense to hire a stand-in pianist because he was worried about the Professor’s honour?!?  The main reason he made In-ha the successor was because of that dead little finger that was silently helping his other fingers — the unique harmony made by In-ha’s left hand was his strength!!  It’s all In-ha can do except apologize over and over; it was wrong of him to do what he did, so could he give him just one more chance?  The Professor snorts and says give someone who fakes music another chance?  He must have been out of his mind when he made In-ha his successor… he’s going to null and void that decision RIGHT NOW!!  In-ha grabs on to the Professor’s arm for dear life (*drink*), and pleads for him to think about not nullifying his decision, because if he does, then the Professor’s reputation will go to hell in a handbasket.  Professor Ha says that he’ll take that chance, instead of having a rotten musician in his stead.  In-ha is left to beat the stage with his fist.

Woo-jin… um, I mean Denny Hong is taking his sweet time getting dressed in his new fancy clothes.  (And I don’t mind one bit.  RAWR.)  Jung-wook comes in and tells him he looks cool enough to catch Madame Choi’s attention; does he have all his ammunition packed… especially the info on the Butt-Ugly Piano?  Woo-jin says he’s good to go and will do everything to ensure that she recognizes him as a valuable player at Geumdan Construction.  Jung-wook warns him about Yeong-rang, since she is not to be trusted and doesn’t give up that easily when confronted.  But before Woo-jin takes off, Jung-wook hands him a fountain pen that he says always brings him good luck.

When Woo-jin asks why he’s handing over one of his most prized possessions, Jung-wook tells him that he resembles Jung-wook a lot when he was a much younger pup — especially seeing his eyes filled with hate.  Jung-wook wonders if he can ask Woo-jin now why he hates Yeong-rang so much?  Woo-jin tears up and tells Jung-wook that she played with his father… messed around with him when he couldn’t even shout out for help.  Even if he dies a thousand deaths, until Woo-jin sees her busted and broken, he will never be allowed to die.  Jung-wook looks pleased and tells him he thinks he has chosen the right employee for sure… so good luck.

And there he is at Boosung HQ, meeting with Yeong-rang and Attorney Choi.  He hands his card over to her, as she asks if he’s even Korean.  Woo-jin says that if she’s curious, go ahead and check him out if she wants; his personal information should already be sitting in her secretary’s office.  Yeong-rang tells him it’s quite interesting to see such a young executive being sent over on such an important business transaction.  Does Geumdan not think highly of Boosung, as Woo-jin counters and says that isn’t the case… their company is putting all in on this purported deal.  That’s why he’s there, not to sell the Incheon land to Boosung, but to propose a joint venture with them instead.  Yeong-rang wonders if Geumdan is having trouble with the deal, but Woo-jin dangles the bait that the project Boosung proposes is impossible for them to handle alone.  For one thing, they’re going to have trouble with relocating the current residents.

Pulling out a binder, he places it in front of Attorney Choi and states that this is the contract between Boosung and Geumdan; if they don’t look proper to them, they can just walk away with no hard feelings.  Woo-jin then pulls out the Fountain Pen With A Story and places it on top of the contract.  That gets Yeong-rang’s full attention, as Woo-jin explains it was a gift to him from his President.  And by the way, Woo-jin hears that Boosung is planning on recreating the Butt-Ugly Piano, as Yeong-rang asks that he knows this why again?  Woo-jin knows this because he has an interest in classical music and he may be able to help with that aspect as well. Yeong-rang wants to know how a lowly corporate lackey could do that, as Woo-jin tells her he’ll give out that information piecemeal as they work together… after he’s gained her trust on the issues.

They make their goodbyes, as Attorney Choi checks out Woo-jin’s backside (say!) and Woo-jin wonders why Yeong-rang is so curious about his personage.  He’ll make sure she’s more shocked to see the grief coming from such a high place.  Yeong-rang herself is wondering where on earth did Denny Hong get that fountain pen… who exactly is Alvin Kim?  And right on cue, Secretary Oh arrives with the dossier on Denny Hong.  Rattling off his accomplishments, she’s more concerned about and interested in President Kim’s background instead — find out more on him and do it on the downlow, okay?

In-ha has arrived at his mom’s office to ask what he should do now, and gives her the shocking news that Professor Ha has cancelled In-ha’s successor appointment.  Yeong-rang gives him a maleulhaneungeo?!? and looks like she’s gonna pass out.

Nam-joo takes the restaurant trash to the curb while thinking that the tape recorder with all the incriminating evidence must be in Attorney Choi’s safe.  But how does she get into it not knowing the combination?  Pulling out her phone, she calls Saejin Locksmiths for some advice.  (Why she has a safe-cracker in her speed dial boggles my mind.)  We see the locksmith examining said safe, as Nam-joo tells him she’s been very forgetful and doesn’t remember the combination; can it still be opened?  Locksmith Guy says it will be quite difficult because it’s a custom installation, but that doesn’t deter Nam-joo because she’s willing to pay him whatever it takes to open it.  Locksmith Guy says that if she doesn’t mind it getting ruined in the process, he can drill into it instead.  Which he does, as Nam-joo nervously watches the front door for signs of Attorney Choi.

Louis rushes into the restaurant with a package for Da-mi that was just couriered over.  Da-mi feigns nonchalantness, as Do-ri orders her to open it.  Could it be from her regular customer who has a crush on her?  Bitchy Manager Girl calls no way, but Da-mi opens the box anyway.  Inside are four perfect miniature pianos… with no note, so Da-mi doesn’t know who sent these to her… AT FIRST.  The crystal miniature sports a tag that says “Hong Da Mi’s Piano,” as she flashes back to the confrontation with Ji-ho at the music store.  Bitchy Manager Girl says whomever sent these to her instead of bringing them by personally must be a big showoff.  (Ha.  Jealous much?)  Da-mi says that she doesn’t think he is showing off, but he is sure doing as he pleases!  She winds up the crystal piano, and the same song that Da-mi played at the restaurant and got busted by Ji-ho for plays in the background…

Back to the safecracking!  Locksmith Guy has finished his drilling and tells Nam-joo she can open it now.  (Like that big hole is not going to be noticeable at all.)  She does that and is gobsmacked to see that the safe is empty!!  (Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing…)  She voicesover that something has gone wrong… as Attorney Choi visits the safe deposit box at his local bank to further hide the tape recorder and bloody blouse.

At Professor Ha’s office, Yeong-rang is apologizing/making excuses for In-ha’s apparent stupidity.  She pleads with him to reinstate him as successor; it was just one freakin’ mistake and the Professor is being a bit harsh on In-ha.  Professor Ha just wants one question answered: Was it Attorney Choi who deliberately framed Ji-ho?  In-ha looks confused and Yeong-rang asks where he heard that from, as Professor Ha goes on wanting confirmation that it was him who stole the unfinished composition and bribed Professor Jang… AND NOT JI-HO!!  Yeong-rang starts to stammer something, but then a knock at the door.  IT’S JI-HO!

Ji-ho asks why Yeong-rang and In-ha are there, as Professor Ha tells him that he’s called everyone together to get full confirmation that Ji-ho was totally framed.  The Professor then asks Ji-ho it he brought the tape recorder from the Board Meeting, as Yeong-rang asks what tape recorder?  (Denial much?)  The Professor says that if because of Attorney Choi’s actions Ji-ho was unjustly accused of his crimes, then he plans to return everything to the way it was before the troubles started.  The Professor demands again to hear that it was a Boosung employee who plotted all of this, but Yeong-rang and In-ha stay stragely silent.  The Professor takes that as an admission of guilt — how can she allow such corrupt employees to live, as In-ha looks like he’s going to pass out at any second.

The Professor yells back that doesn’t Yeong-rang know how hurt Ji-ho was because of the accusations he put upon Ji-ho because of this situation?  In-ha finally comes to his senses and demands to know if the Professor is kicking him out because of Ji-ho?  THAT’S NOT FAIR WAAAAAAAH!!!  Professor Ha yells back that HE is the one making the decisions.  And his next decision to to give both Ji-ho and In-ha an equal opportunity to become his successor; he will draft up a mission, so be ready to present arms in 10 days.  Yeong-rang asks if the Professor really has to go that far, and he shuts her up by saying anyone else that says another word will be automatically disqualified!!!  Glares all the way around the room!!

Ji-ho and the Professor take a walk along the campus lake, as Ji-ho is told that the Professor feels like his ears are failing in his old age by first believing was is told to him and not verifying the truth.  The Professor apologizes to Ji-ho for not believing him to the end.  Ji-ho tells the Professor that he also misunderstood him, and apologizes for causing him such heartache.  The Professor says that Ji-ho still has a chance at the successor position, so don’t even think about it twice and go for it!  Ji-ho says thanks, but no thanks… he’s quite content with having the misunderstanding between them cleared up first.  Ji-ho wants to concentrate on Boosung from now on.  Professor Ha looks dejected, but Ji-ho asks for him to forgive In-ha, for he knew not what he was doing, but the Professor says he will wait for Ji-ho to come around and participate.

In-ha is not content with competing by himself, as he rails into Ji-ho by asking if he thought he was being unfairly treated by losing the successor position?  In-ha demands for Ji-ho to stop harassing him; is it a huge freakin’ deal to just let In-ha have one thing and Ji-ho keep the other 99?  Ji-ho reiterates that he has no plan to enter the competition; he doesn’t want to steal In-ha’s position as successor.  In-ha ain’t buying that for a second, as he tells Ji-ho that if the Professor asks him to jump, Ji-ho will ask in return how high?  Ji-ho can never turn down a request from his Beloved Professor Ha, so In-ha orders him to stop acting all high and mighty and stop plotting behind his back!!  Ji-ho has had enough, and asks In-ha what it is that he has to do to make In-ha believe that he is sincere, huh?  Tell him exactly with Ji-ho needs to do — he doesn’t want to hurt mom and In-ha any longer… please at least believe him there.  Ji-ho leaves In-ha alone for him to take out his excessive anger on his poor shirt buttons.

Ji-ho wanders downstairs to think.  EvilStep joins him and says that Ji-ho should have gone through all this pain and suffering when he came to their house 14 years ago.  When he was still alive, Man-se acted as his shield so Ji-ho didn’t bear the brunt of it.  He should be glad that he’s an adult now and can experience it now, as Ji-ho tells her he’s okay.  He thinks that he grew up all this time being loved too much… he doesn’t know how to reciprocate with his own love. (*headdesk*)  Ji-ho’s phone rings with Da-mi calling, and he takes off to talk to her.  EvilStep just sighs and wishes Man-se was still alive… did he become deaf in the Afterlife World that he can’t take care of his son?  TCH!!

Ji-ho and Da-mi meet at the same riverside restaurant we saw earlier, as she’s still admiring the crystal piano he gifted her earlier.  Singing its praises for the tone being so clean, Ji-ho asks if it was okay that he gave it to her — if she’s gonna get mad, she’d better do so now.  Da-mi snorts and thanks him anyway, and then tells him her dream since she was a wee tyke of making pianos from scratch.  Ji-ho wonders how many dreams this girl has, because wasn’t she also wanting to become the best pianist?  Da-mi tells him that she would consider it an honour to help someone shine quietly from the background if they ever played one of the pianos she built.

Ji-ho asks why, as she recounts the scene from when she was at her dad’s funeral… she cried so much because she was sad, but then she heard somebody playing the piano in the chapel.  Which of course, was Ji-ho after his own dad’s funeral… she walked towards the music, but Nam-joo came to take her away instead.  He thinks back to that time as well, as Da-mi tells him she tried to remember the tune, but cannot to this day.  All in all, she believes it was something her father wanted her to hear, so he sent it down from heaven instead.  She turns and looks up at the sky, saying she wants to see her dad again, as Ji-ho does the very same thing.

Yeong-rang and In-ha are back to plotting holy evilicious revenge again.  In-ha asks her if she thinks he’s really giving up on the successor position, and she tells him not to worry.  In-ha will not lose to Ji-ho anymore… not anymore.  This time, In-ha finds some balls and tells her that even if Ji-ho does come to the competition, he is confident this time he will not lose — you can go to the bank with that!!!

Ah, what’s this?  A new tune is played underneath a riverside restaurant where Da-mi and Ji-ho have ended up.  Apparently this place has glass insets in the floor so you can see the water below, but Da-mi is having a hard time stepping on the glass to walk with Ji-ho.  He asks her if she’s scared, but she doesn’t answer.  Sticking out his hand to help her across, he ends up pulling her to him for a hug, as the first song for the OST plays underneath their clinch.  Takes awhile for Da-mi to hug back, but it’s oh so sweet seeing them finally get together.  *sob*

The next day, Ji-ho is still remembering the hug when he gets a text from Professor Ha.  He has figured out the mission for the upcoming successor competition, so arrive at his office by 2 PM today.  In-ha gets the same message as well.  In-ha’s Plotting Wheels go into full overdrive, as Ji-ho just deletes the text from his phone instead.  EvilStep comes in to intercept him before he leaves, and bring him a little ‘present’ for Ji-ho to wear while he works out later… it’s the hoodie that Yeong-rang had bought for In-ha during their little fashion show the day before.

Yeong-rang is seen leaving the house at the same time Ji-ho is with the new hoodie pulled up around his head and not paying attention while coming down the stairs.  A wrongly-placed planter sits in his way, as Ji-ho falls over it and crashes to the floor in pain.  Yeong-rang runs over to who she thinks is In-ha to make sure that he’s okay, but when the person in the hoodie turns around, Ji-ho tells her that he’s okay.  Yeong-rang is stunned to see that it’s Ji-ho inside the hoodie, and asks why he’s wearing In-ha’s workout clothes?  All of a sudden, Ji-flashes back to when Young In-ha gave him the bunny pajamas, the fire, Yeong-rang rescuing him instead of In-ha, etc. etc. etc.  Ji-ho suddenly realizes that Yeong-rang mistook him for In-ha at that time!  (DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!)

Off running to clear his head (and still wearing the hoodie), the camera goes all ‘Blair Witch’ again, as Ji-ho flashes back to him at Man-se’s funeral thanking Yeong-rang for saving him but her telling him his FATHER would be happy he lived.  Other flashbacks to him asking her if she ever regretted saving him, as she repeats herself saying it was her last gift to his FATHER.  Ji-ho holds his head as the camera swirls around him…

It’s 2:00 PM at Professor Ha’s office, where In-ha and Yeong-rang sit.  She tells the Professor that Ji-ho says he will forfeit the competition after all.  The Professor is stunned to hear this, as In-ha asks that since Ji-ho is not participating, should there even be a competition at all?  As soon as those words leave his lips, Ji-ho stomps into the Professor’s office and says he will never give up!  In-ha pounds the table and jumps up to glare at him, as Ji-ho says he’s not giving up the competition!!!  Professor Ha looks smugly satisfied, as both boys give each other their best BRING IT!!! faces, and we end Episode 11 right there!

Air Date:  22 September 2012

Ratings:   AGB Nielsen Nationwide 11.7% (6th) / Seoul 12.6% (6th); TmNS Nationwide 10.9% (7th) / Seoul 11.9% (7th)

Flowers and Brickbats

We’ve finally slid head-first into the middle third of this production.  Sorry it took so long to get this one in the can… I found it rather excruciating to watch again the couple times I needed to get the plot summarized and screencaps grabbed.  (Didn’t help that I’ve been running at 10% after picking up the Creeping Crud this week too.)  Geez, Ji-ho’s Martyr Complex rises to the top in this episode, and I hope the Korean viewing public doesn’t get tired of seeing him act like such a weenie all the time.  But some flashes of evil revenge brilliance finally arose in that boy’s body, and I didn’t throw as many items at my TV screen as I did during Episode 10.  Yeah, I’m funny that way.

But the ratings were pretty darn decent for the weekend leading up to Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).  My chingus in Daejeon say that there are people starting out watching (because they spend their Monday lunches discussing the weekend’s offerings), but it seems people are tuning out in the flagging middle of the episodes, only to return for the cliffhanger/previews.  The two ratings companies take all the viewership into consideration when aggregating the statistics.  I hope those beginnings and endings are saving this show from a premature death, but SBS has too much invested in this production to pull the plug early.

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but in those last two screencaps, you can really see the exhaustion in Our Boys’ eyes.  Samsonite should give them both an endorsement contract for the luggage residing there.  Again, the live-shoot system takes its toll on our actors, as I could feel that some of them just plodded through their scenes in order to get a nap in between.  JCW’s good-night tweets at 1:00 AM, and his good-morning tweets at 4:30 AM are proof that the system will never ever change unless someone dies.  HA.  I said it.  Bite me if you don’t agree.

I have become very impressed with Lee Hae In (So-yeol, Professor Ha’s daughter) and her character development, having initially dismissed her as just another idol who turned to acting.  Born in 1986, she’s currently a member of the recently-formed GangKiz girl group under Core Content’s management umbrella, but was under CCM’s contract as an actress first before being conscripted as a singer.  Now here’s some trivia for yas:  She was also in the T-ara “Lovey Dovey” long-format video, where she acted along side Eun-jung and Ji Chang Wook.  Six Degrees of Separation, anyone?  Anyway, she’s doing a bang-up job in her limited role… I like her feisty nature in standing up to such a fuddy-duddy Crazy Professor of a dad and I’m sure we will be seeing more out of her character in future episodes.

And even more trivia:  The Fake In-ha in that one scene where the Real In-ha pays his to perform his UN Peace Concert Theme is the show’s actual piano instructor and In-ha’s stand-in for performance shots.  That’s why JCW actually looks like he’s playing all those pieces perfectly in all his shots from his backside.  Regardless, he said he’s still practicing his little heart out when time allows during filming.  (Argh.  He should be sleeping instead!!)

Music Nerd Ramblings:  Not one single classical piece to expound upon in Episode 11, mostly because the PD-nim was more interested in pushing through more character development.  The little tune that Young Ji-ho plays in the hospital chapel sounded so familiar the first time I heard it in Episode 4, and again in this one.  It almost sounds like a hymn in its tone and timbre, so hopefully someday the title will jump out of my feeble brain and onto this recap accordingly.

But we finally get the reveal of the first song for the OST:  “Please Don’t Love Me” by Lim Jeong Hee, who is very well-known for her soundtrack offerings (hereinafter referred to as “Ji-ho and Da-mi’s Love Theme”).  Most recently, she sang several tunes for KBS’s “Wild Romance” drama (with Lee Dong Wook and Lee Si Young).  It was discussed way before the whole T-ara Kerfuffle of which singers were very interested in providing OST songs when 5F was first being pitched — Baek Ji Young and Shin Shi Kyung being two of them — but unfortunately that nightmare scared several management agencies away from letting their artists participate at all because of all the dirt circulating.  Now with three songs in the can (as of this writing) and the ‘troubles’ (such as they were) have pretty much faded into distant memory, I’m hoping that the ‘5F Jinx’ may finally be over and we’ll see some big-names join in before the Finale rolls its credits. *crossing fingers*

So now that I can finally leave my apartment for the first time in five days, I need to run some errands.  Episode 12 is in the on-deck circle, so stay tuned.  AND GO YOU SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS!!!!

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