I think I’ve found a new drinking game! Every time Yeong-rang or Attorney Choi tells someone to find out something “quietly, of course”… suck down TWO shots of soju!! *hic*
And even though we just watched Episode 11 a scant 24 hours prior, the PD-nim still feels the need to repeat the last few minutes in case we all suffer from collective memory loss. So back in Professor Ha’s office, Yeong-rang and In-ha are there heeding the Professor’s command to be there at 2:00 PM to hear the details of the Successor Mission To End All Successor Missions!! BWAHAHAHA!!! (Whoops, sorry. Got a little carried away there.) The Professor asks why Ji-ho is just giving up like that, as In-ha again crabs about having to participate when there’s no competition on the other side. Ji-ho stomps in at exactly the right time and yells like hell he’s giving up — he’s going to do it!!
Professor Ha is besides himself with glee, and tells the boys they should get well-prepared in order to compete properly. And your mission… should you decide to accept it… actually there are TWO missions. The first is being able to play one of the world’s most difficult piano pieces, and the second is to make an ordinary person off the street to enjoy classical music. And that’s it. Yeong-rang disagrees with his Methodology on Successor Deciding through a mere piano recital by performing a most difficult score! Professor Ha declares to her that he’s large and in charge — anyone who complains that this is too unfair can drop out now. Be waiting for your music scores to arrive shortly!
As they walk out of the college, Yeong-rang spins around and asked why Ji-ho done changed up his mind… was being the successor that important to him after all? Ji-ho says no; even though that was his long-time dream, the reason to give up that dream has evaporated now. Yeong-rang says she begged him to give up the successor position, and he couldn’t do this one thing she asked him? In-ha just spits back that it’s just like Ji-ho, always stabbing people in the back. Ji-ho tells them both to suck eggs — the reason he lost the successorship was through their dirty tricks, so in order to prove his innocence, he has to become the successor. Ji-ho is not happy that In-ha is his competition, but such is life, ne? In-ha tells him to shut up; he doesn’t want Ji-ho’s sloppy seconds any way. Just you wait buddy; In-ha will make Ji-ho regret his decision.
Ji-ho stands on the stairs and watches Yeong-rang and In-ha leave the building, all the time voicing over that what happened 14 years ago was a mistake? Because of the pajamas, she accidentally saved Ji-ho instead of In-ha? And even after all that, she deceived him by acting like the Perfect Mother all that time? IT IS ON, WOMAN!!!
Nam-joo does her daily cleaning of Woo-jin’s room, and sees the lunchbox she packed for him still sitting on his desk. Giving him a call, it goes through to voicemail. She ends up calling one of his friends trying to track him down, but then finds out from him that Woo-jin’s dropped out of medical school! Oh the horror.
Back at Boosung, Yeong-rang grills Secretary Oh to find out how Professor Ha is plotting the competition preparation. Secretary Oh tells her that he’s meeting several musical experts, but secretly one at a time in random places so as to not arose suspicion. Yeong-rang deduces that they must be the judges for the competition; she orders Secretary Oh to find out who these people are… discretely and quietly, of course. He leaves to carry out yet another evil deed, as Yeong-rang gets a call saying that the record album she ordered has arrived. Asking where she should go to pick it up…
… she arrives at a very well-appointed antique musical instrument/record store. (VERY impressive; that place must have cost some serious coin to outfit!) Walking around, a clerk comes up and Yeong-rang tells her that her special order must have arrived since she received a phone call about it. She goes off to find the owner, as Yeong-rang flips through the albums on the display table. A gentleman walks out behind her to ask if she’s the one who was looking for the first Dinu Lipatti album, Yeong-rang turns around to confirm that… and stares at the visage of Jung-wook right in front of her. It’s so jarring that she drops her designer bag on the ground in surprise. The look on his face isn’t as surprising as hers, but he tells her to wait while he gets the album, leaving her standing there gasping for breath.
Jung-wook pulls the album off the shelf, and asks her if this is the one she was looking for… just go ahead and take the dang thing since he’s doesn’t have a need for it anymore. Yeong-rang slooooooowly turns around, as Jung-wook tells her she hasn’t changed at all. He was positive he would see her once again before he died; if he’d have known it was going to be today, he would have dressed better. (Hee!) Yeong-rang asks how he has been, and they exchange shy looks at each other for a few seconds.
In-ha paces nervously in the living room waiting for the first part of the competition mission to arrive. When it does, the ahjumma hands him his envelope, and then offers to take Ji-ho’s up to his room as well. Taking both envelopes instead to his room and locking his door, In-ha opens his to find he is ordered to play the Goyescas Piano Suite by Granados. In-ha then carefully opens Ji-ho’s envelope to see he’s been tasked to play the Islamei Oriental Fantasy Piano Etude by Balakirev for his competition piece. (Wow, look at all those bean sprouts!)
In-ha tells himself that the Professor really did send the hardest music to Ji-ho for his competition piece. Suddenly getting a flash of brilliance, In-ha pulls out his Music Trapper Keeper and searches for a score, settling on the Gaspard De La Nuit by Ravel. Sticking that inside Ji-ho’s envelope and resealing it, In-ha tries convincing himself that what he did was not cowardly… because he’s not going to be embarrassed by losing to that Jerkwad Ji Ho!!
Back at the Music Shoppe/Antique Store/Tea Shop, Yeong-rang and Jung-wook are conversing over tea. She asks him when he returned to Seoul, as he tells her awhile back. He wandered around for a long time after she left him, but then eventually settled down, married someone else, and opened this store to have something to do. Yeong-rang looks stung by hearing Jung-wook got married, but asks if his wife works with him at the store. He explains that she died a couple years prior, after suffering for two years with some unnamed disease. He feels responsible for hastening her death because he was never fully in love with her. Abruptly changing the subject, he asks why is she looking for this album — didn’t he give her a copy of the same while they were living in New York? Yeong-rang fibs and tells him she forgot all about that gift ages ago, but she’s picking it up for her son who also plays the piano.
Excusing herself for taking up way too much of his time, she stumbles to her feet to leave, but is stopped by Jung-wook telling her to wait. He grabs a slip of paper, and whips out the Fountain Pen Of Death to write down his contact information. He gently asks that if it’s not too much trouble, can she call him once in awhile so they can chat? Yeong-rang says nuh-uh… we won’t be meeting again. She grabs the record and beats cheeks outta there. Jung-wook sits back with a satisfied smile and tells her she will be back; not just now, but soon. Yeong-rang runs up the stairs, but has to stop halfway up and compose herself before entering the bright light of day again. Flashing back to when Woo-jin/Denny Hong pulled out his own Fountain Pen of Death at their meeting the other day, she wonders how there can be two-of-the-same one-of-a-kind fountain pens?
Ji-ho arrives home, as EvilStep wonders why Important Person Yoo Ji Ho is home so early. He tells her that the competition score has arrived from Professor Ha, but EvilStep wonders why he’s going forward with the competition and sticking himself into the eye of a hurricane again. Ji-ho says it’s too late to give up now; no matter what the outcome, Ji-ho will be hurt nonetheless. But there’s one thing he wants to check first… as he rushes to his room and opens the envelope to find the Gaspard De La Nuit residing inside. Ji-ho looks confused over the Professor’s choice of this score for him, as In-ha arrives to tell him he was sent the Goyescas for his show piece. Crabbing that it’s just like the Professor to pick the hardest pieces, it is a disadvantage for In-ha and his widdle pinky finger.
Ji-ho tells him it’s also a test for a composer as well, because the Professor will not be looking at just piano techniques — if one follows the intent of the composer, then there should be no over/under for both boys. In-ha says he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any of that, because a true performer doesn’t question the piece given to them. Oh and by the way, Ji-ho shouldn’t even think about throwing the game for him and needs to BRING IT ON!!! Ji-ho says he wouldn’t have entered the competition if he wasn’t going to take it seriously… while In-ha snorts that this is getting fun now. Have fun stormin’ the Practice Castle, hyung!
As In-ha gets his hands massaged by the maid staff (WUT?!?), Yeong-rang tells him that the Gaspare piece is difficult, but not for someone of Ji-ho’s stature… but why is the Professor even considering such a contest? In-ha sits back with a smug little smirk on his face, but Yeong-rang doesn’t want to let it go and will complain about the competition piece assigned to In-ha since it will be too difficult for his nine fingers. In-ha tells her not to do that; the pinky finger which cannot move will instead move the hearts of the judges and he will not go down that easily. Yeong-rang brightens up and has a present for In-ha, and she pulls out the Dinu Lipetti album she picked up earlier in the day, giving it to her confident son in advance of him becoming the Professor’s successor. Ji-ho walks by In-ha’s room and overhears the entire conversation through the partially-open door, but when Yeong-rang sees him, she nods to one of the maids to shut it on his face.
Looks like late afternoon, but Nam-joo is already 9/10ths through a bottle of Jinro. (And not sharing any with me? Hmpf.) Woo-jin stops her from pouring yet another shot and asks her if there’s anything wrong for her to be drinking so much? She slams the glass down and rips him a new one over quitting medical school — how can he face his Dead Deaf Dad like that?!? Woo-jin asks when did she find out, but it’s all Nam-joo can do is order him back to school; if he disobeys, she refuses to see him even after she dies! Woo-jin refuses to go back because he doesn’t find it all that important to become a lousy stinkin’ doctor, dammit! I need to clear Dead Deaf Dad of all the false charges, and then he’ll go back. Nam-joo slaps him hard and tells him she doesn’t want her children to suffer any more hardships… she’d rather die instead!!
Woo-jin says there’s no turning back now; it’s time to exact his own version of Holy Evil Revenge because he’s tired of being a coward. He’s the head of the household now, so he’ll take all the responsibility for her and Da-mi, get it? He’s already got a job that pays enough for the three of them to comfortably live on, so he will never give up until Choi Yeong Rang gets on her knees to beg for forgiveness. Nam-joo reminds him that Yeong-rang is an evil scary person and what if Woo-jin gets hurt? He tells her not to worry because that ain’t gonna happen… apologizing for not telling her sooner, he wants his dad to rest better since someone is looking after his wellbeing now.
Having a glass of wine and flashing back to happier days when she was with Jung-wook in New York, Yeong-rang sits and contemplates what might have been… until she shakes herself coherent and reminds herself she is just now In-ha’s eomma. But you can tell she’s rather disturbed realizing that fact.
Ji-ho returns to his teaching studio to practice the Gaspard De La Nuit in advance of the competition. Before striking a single key, Da-mi shows up with a lunchbox after hearing that the successor competition was on again. He could have at least told her he’s in it to win it, after all the events of the past few weeks. *pout* Ji-ho apologizes for not broadcasting every little news flash about himself to her, but he thought that she was friends with In-ha so can she diss him behind his back like that? Ji-ho tells her that she should be In-ha’s supporter instead since he’s going through such a hard time. Da-mi tells him that he’s going through a rough patch as well — she’d rather be on Team Ji-ho instead.
But dude, you need to eat in order to keep up your strength, so Da-mi has brought over three tins of foods from the restaurant for dinner. Ji-ho complains that there’s too much to eat for just one person. *wink* Da-mi offers up herself for ‘special service’ and will eat with him tonight. *wink wink*
In-ha takes the Professor’s Magic Composing Pen out of its slipcase and stares at it. Getting an idea, he pulls out his phone… Ji-ho asks Da-mi what her favorite song is; what’s her #18 from the noraebang? Da-mi has to think about that for a bit, since she hasn’t been to sing in awhile. But the last time she went with her mom, they sang “Omona” together, so that must be it. Ji-ho has no clue as to what she’s talking about, when she crabs that he calls himself a musician when he doesn’t know such a famous song like that one? Ji-ho still looks confused, as Da-mi says that her mother likes the song, so she likes it too… but why does he ask? Ji-ho says there’s no particular reason; he was just ascertaining her tastes. Ji-ho being the Super Genius that he is, starts playing “Omona” in a minor key, as Da-mi’s phone starts ringing with In-ha calling.
She excuses herself to take the call, all the while Ji-ho plays away on “Omona.” He asks if she’s at home and Da-mi gets mildly evasive with her answer. In-ha tells her he’s got an important competition coming up in a few days and wanted to be strenghtened by hearing her voice. Finally hearing the music in the background, he asks if she’s with Ji-ho by any chance? Da-mi confirms that yes, they are together right now. Taking a deep breath, In-ha tells her that he is confident he will win the successor competition… mostly for a single reason. But he’s hanging up now, so byeeee! Da-mi stares at her phone, while In-ha tells her to wait and see — when he beats Ji-ho, she will finally come to him with proper congratulations. Our little boy then has another one of his patented desk-clearing, book-throwing tantrums we’ve all come to know and love.
EvilStep comes down for lunch to see Yeong-rang hand-feeding In-ha. Trying to keep her stomach from turning over, she attempts to sit down but is turned away by the maid saying that Yeong-rang has ordered her to sit at the Kids’ Table instead for her meal. Growing ever indignant, she wonders why they have to eat separately when there’s only the three of them! Totally ignoring EvilStep, Yeong-rang asks In-ha if he’d like to practice the competition piece with her that afternoon, as EvilStep stomps off and Yeong-rang just glares back at her.
Ji-ho comes downstairs to find EvilStep and her spartan breakfast of only toast and eggs (compared to the 17-course meal the others were tucking into). She tells him why else would she be there — being on Team Ji-ho has earned her banishment from the dining room. Yeong-rang comes in and tells EvilStep to not say anything unflattering towards In-ha since he’s in such a sensitive condition with the competition coming up. EvilStep spits back that she’s being starved to death because of her Precious Widdle Son’s FEELINGS? Turning to Ji-ho, Yeong-rang reminds him that he’s the Executive Manager at Boosung now; hopefully the competition will not get in the way of his properly managing the company. EvilStep tchtches and says she’s scared now that Yeong-rang will go around telling everyone that she learned to be that way from her!
In-ha starts in on the andante movement of the Goyescas, but Yeong-rang is not happy with his interpretation. He’s merely playing through the music and not with the music; his accents are off and there’s no richness in his tone. Sensing a slight adjustment in his fingering, she finally smiles over the results. Ji-ho is at his teaching studio practicing the Gaspard de la Nuit, with Da-mi visiting from time to time, just to smile at him I guess. A nice little montage of Our Boys and their respective cheering sections ensues, until we fade to black…
Yeong-rang tells In-ha over tea that it seems Ji-ho gets stronger with every passing day towards the competition. She orders him to work all night, but he doesn’t miss a day of practicing; she’s getting worried now. In-ha smirks and says to tell him to practice more and more, from dusk until dawn… it’s all in vain anyway. And then he spills the beans by saying he’s practicing the wrong piece anyway… his was supposed to be the Islamei. Yeong-rang looks astounded, as In-ha asks if Ji-ho isn’t a genius who can play any piece by just once looking at the score? (Well actually, no he can’t. He admitted it so himself 14 years ago, ya doofus.) Yeong-rang presses him for an explanation, as he only nods and says that Ji-ho will become a laughing stock in front of the Professor if he even breathes that he received the wrong score. Yeong-rang looks impressed that her Widdle Boy cooked up his own evil plot all by his lonesome — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, ne?
Sneaking back into Ji-ho’s room, In-ha replaces the Gaspard de la Nuit with the Islamei sheet music and sneaks back out, only to be intercepted by Ji-ho returning from his workout. With a slight sneer and a big glare, In-ha retreats back into his own room, leaving Ji-ho to wonder what that was all about.
It’s the day of the competition, as Ji-ho arrives and runs into Yeong-rang and In-ha heading into the auditorium as well. Yeong-rang gets one last dig in, saying she was hoping it wouldn’t come down to this between the brothers, but there’s nothing that can be done about it now. Ji-ho tells them that instead of hiding like a coward, he’s there to honestly compete face-to-face. And there shouldn’t be any secrets in a family anyway, right? (Oh you poor, delusional soul…) Ji-ho tells In-ha to do well, as In-ha tells him to worry about himself instead. Ji-ho retorts back that he told him to DO WELL… he didn’t tell him to win… because he hates to lose.
The judges all take their seats next to Professor Ha, as Our Boys take their seats to the right of the piano on stage. A little bit of good-natured glaring between the boys, as Ji-ho gets a text message from Da-mi telling him not to be nervous and do well because she’s by his side. Fighting!!
Professor Ha starts out by saying the road to his successorship was fraught with problems, but this competition should finally decide who it will be. First up, Yoo Ji Ho will play the Islamei… as Ji-ho goes pale and tears open the envelope to find the proper score inside. Flashing back to when he caught him coming out of Ji-ho’s bedroom, he hisses at In-ha, who tells him he’d better get started now.
Taking the keyboard, Ji-ho kinda fumbles his way through a score he’d never seen before, as In-ha sits and smirks with glee. Yeong-rang smiles, the Professor looks uncomfortable, and Ji-ho shoots Evil Death Darts at In-ha. In-ha takes his place at the bench, and (his double) does an admirable job on the Goyescas, to much nodding of approval from the judges and the Professor.
The Professor explains that the reason he chose such difficult pieces was to make sure each of them was not too wrapped up in the technique of their pieces, and to let the emotions shine through (kinda like what Yeong-rang had previously told In-ha at their practice sessions). You may be a genius, but you won’t get far by not practicing — the first round goes to Yoo In Ha. Smirks all around!
Taking a break in between rounds, Ji-ho throws In-ha up against the wall and screams at his down-and-dirty tactics; why should In-ha compete if he lacked the confidence to do so? Pulling his hands off his collar, In-ha asks why he’s getting all worked up? Ji-ho lost that round because of his lack of talent, so don’t be blaming In-ha for his troubles. Yeong-rang runs out of the auditorium and tells them both to quit fighting in front of everyone, as Ji-ho tells In-ha what he’s done is vile and dirty and disgusts him. Yeong-rang tells Ji-ho that he has no right to say that after the lousy performance he just gave in there; he’s embarrassed her and embarrassed Boosung Instruments as well. Pulling In-ha back into the auditorium with her, Ji-ho stands there to stew for a bit longer.
Nam-joo has just placed dishes of stir-fried kimchi pasta in front of the restaurant staff for them to give her honest feedback about. Louis pronounces it GUUUD and wants to make a suggestion to HQ to put it on their menu! Bitchy Manager Girl says that the whole restaurant will then stink like kimchi — no way, dude. Besides, he labels *everything* that Nam-joo makes delicious, as Louis looks sheepish. Da-mi is just picking at her plate, when Do-ri asks if she’s thinking about the piano competition instead. Nam-joo asks what piano competition, when Do-ri pipes up that this competition features her boy-… And with a well-placed shut the hell up, Da-mi nips that conversation in the bud right away.
The second round starts, in which Our Boys are to make an ordinary person who doesn’t know classical music from shinola to enjoy it anyway. Professor Ha excuses himself from judging this round, and brings in a special judging panel instead… come on out, people!! Five ordinary folks from the street wander out onto the stage, looking and pointing and such. The Professor explains that in addition to the five experts he hand-picked for the competition, he also hand-picked five ordinary folks and both groups will judge the second round.
Yeong-rang stands up and tells Professor Ha that what he’s done doesn’t make sense. How can he ask ordinary joes-off-the-street to make such an important judgment; doesn’t one need to be objective to criticize classical music? The Professor says that’s the mission exactly — and here are the ordinary people. So sit down and shut up, lady!
In-ha starts in on a tune that sounds familiar, but I cannot place the title. (I like it so much, I’m going to put it up on SoundCloud soon.) It is truly a beautiful piece he plays, touching Yeong-rang in the heart and seems ‘moving’ to everyone else… except the ordinary folks sitting in the second row who all look confused. At that moment, Da-mi arrives and gives Ji-ho a fist-pump fighting from her seat. In-ha looks over at her interaction with Ji-ho, and then turns back to the keyboard with tears forming. He gets through the piece, but as he sounds the last few notes, you can see it in his face that he knows he’s lost this round big time.
Ji-ho starts in on the opening chords to “Omona” as the ordinary folks recognize it immediately, and the Professor’s eyebrows shoot up in amazement. Da-mi smiles, and Ji-ho goofy smiles right back at her, as In-ha and Yeong-rang sit there totally confused. Ji-ho ends with a trill flourish, and the crowd goes wild — meaning he gets applause from the peanut gallery, unlike In-ha’s piece.
Meanwhile, in a totally different drama, EvilStep is practicing her golf swing at a local driving range and not doing a very good job of it. On her last backstroke, the club actually leaves her hands and nearly hits a gentleman passing nearby. Omo omo omo’ing her way over to him to apologize, he picks up her club and she is amazed to see it’s Jung-wook!!! He says hello and she says she seems to be meeting him in such embarrassing situations (and also sotto voce saying she should give up golf). Jung-wook asks if it’s not too forward of him, may he help her with her swing? That gets a WHAT?!? outta her… but in the next scene, he’s doing that very thing. Being the patient soul that he is, he shows her how to loosen her grip and her shoulders at the same time, as she looks increasingly uncomfortable with him standing so close to her.
Jung-wook speaks with the concierge at the driving range and thanks her for the nice time; he’ll be sure to return tomorrow at the same time. Seeing EvilStep checking out, he nods to her and leaves with Assistant Guy. EvilStep runs over to the concierge and asks if that gentleman comes here often, as the concierge says that yes, PRESIDENT Kim is a member there. Temper rising but quickly tampered down, the concierge explains that President Kim is so well-mannered and good-looking, so he’s VERY popular among the female members. EvilStep gives her crap about one or two presidents being a member of their club. Big freakin’ hairy deal that he’s so good-looking, as the concierge makes her escape. Saying that she went through hell to separate those two, he sure has become successful. And he’s remained alive longer than Chairman Yoo… did she pick the wrong old age insurance or what?!?
The Professor says that both boys performed admirably in bringing classical music to the masses, but the second round is won by Yoo Ji Ho hands down. So since the score is now 1:1, the Professor needs to announce the next mission… but he’ll need Yeong-rang’s help with the tiebreaker. The last mission is to move their mother’s heart with their piano playing — eomma will make an evaluation after listening to both her sons play, and the final winner will be determined by this decision. Yeong-rang looks stunned, as In-ha says the gods must be on his side, because how could Mother NOT recognize his playing, hunh? Ji-ho asks if In-ha forgot that their mother is a just person… like how she saved him and not In-ha from the fire. More glares all around!
Yeong-rang sits on the stage all alone, as a piano is being played out of sight but we see two hands take on the allegro movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C major. That set of hands is wearing a pinky ring, so Young-rang thinks that it must be In-ha playing as it lacks the fancy technique that Ji-ho enjoys so well. She’s sure it must be him because In-ha so often played this song when he was younger.
We see another set of hands play the same Mozart piece, only this time Yeong-rang detects a slight misstep in the left hand, as if it’s being played with only four fingers. So THIS must be In-ha’s playing … she’s sure of it! The Professor asks for her decision, as Yeong-rang tries not to play favorites — both pieces were great performances that moved her deeply. But if she really has to make a choice out of the two, the one that moved her the most was… the second performance. Professor Ha declares that his successor has been decided… so Mr. Second Performer, come out and sign in please!!
Yeong-rang stands up in triumph, expecting to greet In-ha, but just about has a coronary when she sees that it’s JI-HO INSTEAD!!! She’s besides herself, thinking something went wrong… the second performer’s left-hand pinky finger was definitely not working properly! Ji-ho looks over at her, voicing over that never once has she been sincere in her life — it’s time for eomma to abandon In-ha again by her own actions. Professor Ha has declared that Ji-ho will receive lessons as his successor going forward. In-ha comes out from the wings and says that something is wrong; he cannot accept the Professor’s decision. The Professor reminds him that there are a few witnesses here, buddy… is In-ha going to be a coward until the end?
The Professor and the judges all stand up and leave, as Ji-ho heads out into the seats and over towards Da-mi, who stands up to greet him. In-ha watches them with eyes full of murderous rage, as Yeong-rang comes over and says she’s really sorry. In-ha gets all up in her face and demands to know how she could not recognize his performance — wasn’t it a piece he played with her a million times as a kid? Yeong-rang reminds him that Ji-ho also performed a piece that he played many times when he was younger; she didn’t realize that Ji-ho would play a trick like that!!!
In-ha’s heard enough, and tells her it wasn’t an honest mistake… she mistook Ji-ho for him in the fire, and now she mistook Ji-ho’s performance with his. How can a mother do that — who is your real son?!? He stomps off-stage, as she wheels around and stares down Ji-ho standing there with Da-mi, asking if Ji-ho thinks he will be safe after doing such a thing to his dongsaeng? Ji-ho voices back to her that he’s surprised she got caught like that, but no matter… Ji-ho will not be taken for a fool ever again. He grabs Da-mi’s arm (*drink*) and pulls her out of the auditorium, but she looks back over her shoulder at the stage.
And now its MEGA TANTRUM TIME back in In-ha’s bedroom. Screaming at the top of his lungs, nothing is spared from his wrath: pictures, books, even the nice Takamine acoustic guitar he keeps in the corner by his bed. Yeong-rang pounds on the door, pleading for him to stop and let her in. Of course EvilStep is there with some words of wisdom — just let him rant and rave and act like she doesn’t know anything about it. But EvilStep also wonders why all this trouble because of the Nutty Professor? Aigoo… Not finding anything more to bust up, In-ha finally collapses into what Ji Chang Wook is so famous for: big heaving guttural rip-your-heart-out painful sobs. BABY!!!
At Boosung HQ, Attorney Choi runs out the front door to see Nam-joo standing there. Attorney Choi’s more worried about Yeong-rang catching her there than him getting busted, as she demands they chat. NOW. He asks her what happened to her coming to work at his apartment; she hasn’t been there for days and she hasn’t called once. Nam-joo asks if he still considers it a coinkydink that she came to work for him, as Attorney Choi still doesn’t get it. She tells him that he knew that Yeong-rang killed Chairman Yoo, but he hasn’t said a single thing in over 14 years? He asks for clarification of what she’s saying, as she rubs it in by asking what he’s going to do if Yeong-rang finds out he knows?
He dismisses her for being rock stupid and gets up to leave, but is stopped dead in his tracks with Nam-joo saying she saw the tape recorder… the same day that he met up with Dong-yi. He yells that she doesn’t know anything, but she knows everything… she went into his home especially to grab that recorder. Nam-joo stands and deduces that the recorder must be a big-ticket item for Attorney Choi to trade his life for it, but for her, it will absolve her dead husband’s unfair treatment. So is he going to help her out… if not, he’s going to get hurt too.
Attorney Choi paces on the Balcony of Regrets, flashing back to the rest of their conversation. Telling Nam-joo that she’s obviously after a wad of cash money by making up a story that doesn’t make any sense, she’s obviously delusional that tactic will work on him. She counters that if he continues to deny his knowledge, she has no choice but to meet Yeong-rang herself and tell the whole truth. Grabbing her by the shoulders (*drink*), he hisses that there’s no way Yeong-rang will believe her, since they have a 20-year relationship between themselves. Whose story do you think she’s gonna believe, hunh? Throwing him off her, Nam-joo says yeah, there’s some truth in that statement… but about Attorney Choi plotting with a girl named Dong-yi and putting the Yeoksam Building into his hands, she’s sure Yeong-rang will be very interested in what Nam-joo has to say. Dontcha think?
Da-mi and Ji-ho are having dinner, ostensibly to celebrate his becoming Professor Ha’s successor for reals this time around. Even though he wasn’t expecting her to arrive, he thanks her for coming to see him perform. She asks if he’s okay after all that, with him not understanding what she’s saying — didn’t she see him win? Downing another cup of makgeolli, she warns him not to drink too fast, but Ji-ho just doesn’t care because he feels good. He was chosen by his mother, he won against his brother, and now he’s the successor… how could he not be happy on a day like today? In-ha, being such a smart-ass and all that… a good thing, because he bets In-ha must be pouting away over his loss. As Ji-ho tears up, he says it’s not his problem anymore.
Da-mi tells him that if he wants to cry, he should. Tears can be rather cathartic, so why does he hold his in all the time? Ji-ho asks why should he cry — his mother loves him so, he had such a good family, and everyone is jealous of him. He’s so freakin’ happy he can’t stand it. That was enough for Da-mi to move over to his side of the table and ask if the reason his heart hurts is because of his dongsaeng In-ha? Quit acting like a stupid idiot then, as she cradles his head while Ji-ho weeps away…
Later they’re walking through a playground on their respective ways home, when Da-mi asks if he’s feeling better now? He should hurry home because his mother will start worrying about him. (NOT.) He asks he to stay a bit longer, and apologizes for always being in a rotten mood around her. Da-mi dismisses that by telling him it’s actually a good thing that he can share his moods with her now. He needs to promise that if he gets distressed ever again, he needs to come find her first and makes him pinky-swear to that promise. Ji-ho instead tells Da-mi on that fateful day 14 years ago, he had recorded a piano solo to give her, but didn’t give it to her because In-ha gave her a better present.
She calls him a complete idiot, but she still kept thinking about him and still wanted to see him after that day. Ji-ho fibs and tells her he didn’t, as she calls bullshit on him. Ji-ho tells her he would still remember her, because that song on the tape? He didn’t just play it once, because he would then want to see her even more. Stepping closer to Da-mi, as she looks away uncomfortably, he finally confesses to her that he thinks he likes her. That gets her attention, as she finally lifts her head long enough for Ji-ho to place a sweet little kiss on her forehead. And then a big ol’ smacker on the lips. (AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!)
Jung-wook and Woo-jin are having a drink, when Jung-wook says it looks like Yeong-rang is doing a huge investigative workup on them both. Woo-jin says he knows that, so they need to place the bait ever so carefully now. Jung-wook is impressed on how much Woo-jin’s found out about her, but is there anything that stuck out from all his digging around? Woo-jin isn’t sure it’s worth mentioning, but Yeong-rang had a lover before she got married to Chairman Yoo… a pianist named Kim Jung Wook. Jung-wook tells him there’s no need to look into that gossip any longer’ isn’t it all in the past? Woo-jin says he’s not in the past; he’s truly in the present, because that person is the guy sitting next to Woo-jin!
Feigning ignorance, Jung-wook stares into space as Woo-jin tells him that he found it strange that the fountain pen would have been recognized by Yeong-rang. So he looked up Kim Jung Wook’s high school graduation picture, and it all clicked into place. So he demands to be told why he’s living as Alvin Kim — if this fight against Boosung Construction has generated itself because of a woman… Jung-wook throws his glass across the room and yells at Woo-jin to shut his mouth!!! Does Woo-jin think he lived with blood in his eyes to get revenge against a woman who betrayed the President of Geumdan Construction? If Woo-jin hadn’t saved his life at the bar the other day, he would have died by his hands today.
Woo-jin reminds him that they’re in the same boat; if they don’t share their secrets, they can’t fight the enemy together. Jung-wook spits out that Yeong-rang used him… even tried to kill him in order to marry another man. He gave her everything, and she ran away with it. He could possibly forgive her for leaving him, but no way in hell for trying to kill him… he will make it his life’s work to pay her back, even if he loses everything all over again. Woo-jin smiles and says that he’s happy to have met a good partner… Mr. President.
The maid brings down an untouched tray of food, as Yeong-rang asks if In-ha didn’t eat again today? Grabbing the tray, she stomps upstairs and bangs on In-ha’s door demanding that he open up right now! He hasn’t had even a sip of water for days (completely forgetting that he has a bathroom attached to his bedroom), she asks if this is the way he wants to die? Does In-ha want to see her die along side him? Ji-ho comes out of his own room and tells Yeong-rang that he has to leave now for a conference, as she rips into him for being so nonchalant. His brother is in the state he’s in, and all he can think about is gallivanting around their house? Ji-ho says that shucks, he’ll be fine in a few days… In-ha will not die. Yeong-rang throws the tray of food at his feet, and orders him to leave the house immediately, but he reminds her that this is HIS house… he will not leave HIS house no matter what. Because no matter how much she hates him, he is still her son. As he turns to leave, Yeong-rang has a mini-hissy fit at the foot of In-ha’s door.
Da-mi is back working at the restaurant, thinking back to their kiss the night before, and absently chews on her bottom lip. She pulls out her phone to call Ji-ho, but a call from In-ha arrives instead. Asking what he wants, In-ha says he was waiting for her to call… was it difficult to comfort him in his time of need? She apologizes for her manners, as he demands that they have a meal together; he has something he needs to say to her, but hangs up before she has the chance to turn him down.
EvilStep is in the kitchen, still railing about why having that successor position is such a huge honkin’ deal anyway? If you become the successor, does a building fall from the sky? Do you suddenly acquire several hundred million won in exchange? Why are her grandchildren risking their lives over this? Suddenly, Yeong-rang calls out asking where In-ha is going. Stopping him from leaving by asking that they talk first, he throws her hands off him and says he doesn’t want to see her face right now. Yeong-rang still continues to apologize and asks him to stop being such a brat, as he tells her he knows she didn’t do it on purpose, but that’s what pisses him off the most. When she saved him 14 years ago, and when she picked his performance over In-ha’s, she surely didn’t do that on purpose… that’s what driving him crazy.
He stomps out with her calling after him, but EvilStep butts in to tell her to get a grip first. If she continues on her current path, she’s gonna be the one that dies first. Take all the hate that she’s using against Ji-ho to channel into the energy to take care of herself first. Only then will Yeong-rang have the wherewithall to eat him up, stir-fry him, or do whatever. Yelling at EvilStep to call Secretary Oh, Yeong-rang rushes off to continue her evil scheming ways.
Ji-ho is meeting with Professor Ha, where he drops the bomb that he’s scheduled a retirement ceremony already. The Professor says he’s already chosen a successor; he wants to live the rest of his life just by being a father now. Handing over a stack of books, he explains to Ji-ho that these are all his notes from his composing days. Ji-ho gets all humble, as the Professor says he didn’t feel good about making two brothers compete against one another… he especially feels guilty to In-ha, because everything came about because he wasn’t thinking clearly. The Professor wants to know why he didn’t properly practice the ‘Islamei’ score he was sent… was it because he wanted to give the successor position to In-ha? Ji-ho doesn’t answer, but enough of that. Pulling out a sheet of paper, it says that there is a composing competition coming up soon; he should enter as his first great act as his successor. Ji-ho just sighs and tells him he will think about it.
Da-mi leaves the restaurant, as Ji-ho walks up and surprises her. When she asks what brings him by, Ji-ho pouts and says he came over thinking she’d be happy to see him. But it doesn’t look like she is, as she nervously looks around for something. Ji-ho continues to pout, when she finally says she is happy to see him, but… Ji-ho announces that they’re going on a proper date today, and he takes her hand to leave. In-ha comes up behind them and announces that Da-mi already has plans today, and demands that Ji-ho let go of her hand. Grabbing it away from Ji-ho, he says he’s there because there’s something that he needs to say to HIS GIRL. Ji-ho asks what the hell did In-ha just say, and Da-mi asks In-ha why he’s acting that way — they’re just friends, remember? In-ha denies that very fact, because he told her that he likes her and that he had no plans on being her friend from the get-go. Where her heart lives right now… he doesn’t care about things like that anymore.
In-ha turns to Ji-ho and says that he will not lose Da-mi to a guy like him, who has so much and he needs even more? Why does Ji-ho continue to mess up his life time after time?!? With a Yoo In Ha spit back at him, In-ha has had enough and gives Ji-ho a right uppercut to his chin… but it barely fazes Ji-ho (fist pump!!). And this entire interaction is being witnessed by Yeong-rang from the comfort of her town car. As the Stare-Offs to End All Stare-Offs continues, Yeong-rang asks if this is why In-ha is acting so strangely? And there we end Episode 12!
Air Date: 23 September 2012
Ratings: AGB Nielsen Nationwide 10.0% (12th) / Seoul 10.2% (13th); TmNS Nationwide 10.5% (11th) / Seoul 11.6% (8th)
Flowers and Brickbats
I FREAKIN’ LOVED THIS EPISODE!!! Compared to yesterday’s bore-fest, this one finally brought me back into the fold. Yannow, wasn’t this drama about music at one time? It started getting bogged down with all the revenge and double-crossing and triple-crossing… and then Episode 10 not having a single classical piece in it (OST Part.1 notwithstanding)? LAME. I was sharpening up my NastyGram Pencil to voice my opinions to SBS accordingly, but I feel so much better now. Ji-ho finally discovers that bony thing running down his gorgeous backside is actually a spine; In-ha delves deeper into hazel-eyed jealousy and a better wardrobe; Yeong-rang still wants her Paris Baguette cake and eat it too (washed down with Dom Perignon); and EvilStep continues to be one hellacious woman and one chica that I would want sitting in the car seat next to me if I ever was to recreate “Thelma and Louise Go To Korea.” The supporting cast shines in so many ways during their little additions, and these actors work so well together that there are moments where I don’t care about the holes in the plot that one could drive an 18-wheeler through. I’m still reserving judgment on Da-mi, though; she’s going to have to step it up in the next episode or two as to not make me want to throw something at my monitor. And they finally fixed Ji-hoon’s hair!!! The Wardrobe Gods heard our plaintive cries!! W00t!!
Music Nerd Ramblings: In addition to the theme and variation that In-ha played as part of his ‘classical to the masses’ work, I was also intrigued by the incidental music that played underneath Yeong-rang and Jung-wook when they were meeting again after so many years. Sounds like it’s written in D-minor, it’s very plaintive and beautiful in its simplicity. I hope this piece will also be included on the full OST disk when it drops at the end of this show’s airing. And for those of you who were wondering what Yeong-rang was referring to by In-ha having a “mist’s touch” during his performance of the Mozart piece, the term refers to a finger that has a light, rhapsodic touch against the keys; hence, a ‘misting’ effect almost to the point of barely striking the key at all during that passage.
BUT FINALLY WE GET SOME SERIOUS CLASSICAL PIECES AGAIN!!! *dance* The Nutty Professor wasn’t kidding when he was going to assign Our Boys two of the world’s most difficult pieces to master. In-ha received the Goyescas (Los majos enamorados) [The Gallants in Love] piano suite, written in 1911 by Enrique Granados. This piece is so technically involved and requires a lot of dexterity with its fingering that I can see how In-ha would have been intimidated to approach that work with a dead pinky finger. Ji-ho received the Islamei Oriental Fantasy, written in 1869 by Mily Balakirev. It has been written that the Islamei was a favorite of both the composer Franz Lizst and reknowned pianists Nikolai Rubenstein and Vladimir Horowitz. (I just happen to have Horowitz’s version on a 33RPM album pressed in 1950 that is one of my treasured possessions.) Even a virtuoso such as Balakirev himself wrote that he couldn’t get through all the passages because it was just too technical for his level, but as Yeong-rang said when she discussed the mission with In-ha, it’s a difficult piece but not too difficult for someone of Ji-ho’s talent. WORD.
The piece that In-ha substituted for Ji-ho’s score is the Gaspard De La Nuit, written in 1908 by Maurice Ravel, who based the movements of the work on three poems written by Aloysius Bertrand (Ondine, Le gibet, and Scarbo). Again, another difficult work to perform without mega-amounts of practicing, as Ravel intended the last movement (la Scarbo) to be even more difficult to play than the Islamei noted above. Somehow I believe In-ha knew exactly what he was doing when he swapped out the sheet music, because since both these pieces are similar in their composition, they’re usually performed in tandem at pretty much any music college senior piano recitals. Granted, I picked something a little less taxing for my own senior recital… which after hearing it played in Episode 19, I’ll wait to discuss it in that recap. Just sit on your hands until then. 🙂
The last piece played was the Piano Sonata No. 15 in C-major, written in 1788 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I’m sure everyone recognized that tune right away — for those of you who grew up watching Bugs Bunny cartoons like I did heard this as the theme that played when the cartoon characters were frolicking in a field… or when ol’ Bugs himself decided to do a little cross-dressing. [snerk] All in all, the Music Director for this show really knows what he’s talking about when the works discussed above were selected. Each piece belongs in every serious pianist’s repertoire if they’re going to be anything more than two-bit hacks playing in a piano bar for tips and drinks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… *cough*
Phew! That was exciting! Now how is the production going to top this episode, hm? I guess we’ll just have to move on to Episode 13 to find out. See you on the other side!!