Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You’ve Fallen For Me: Episode 13

To my massive relief, things finally sort themselves out in this episode. The underdog-theme in this drama is especially emphasized in this episode. You become so invested in this group of students that it doesn’t matter what craziness and power-manipulations are going on around them – all you care about is seeing this group succeed.

And that’s probably why underdog dramas get to me, because it makes me that much more excited to see the final act, when the character puts it all out there and does his/her best.

Also, of all things, Kang Min Hyuk – you’re cute, but not in this episode.

The students are shell-shocked. After all their hard work and their bonding, the performance is now canceled?! Like, what the heck!? Seok-hyun orders everyone to assemble in the rehearsal room as planned, and beelines for the Chancellor’s office.

The Chancellor has no words to say; all Seok-hyun can do now is catch Hee-joo’s mother and convince her to change her mind. When he does find her, Seok-hyun wonders why on earth the mother is so against the performance. 1) She asked him to come back to work on the performance, and 2) Hee-joo is the lead! Isn’t that all she wants!? However, Hee-joo’s mother LOVES the game “Hot and Cold” and this time blames it on all the controversies and rumors that have beset the production in recent weeks.

Seok-hyun catches Tae-joon and blames him for sabotage, even though Tae-joon plays the “I’m innocent!” card, citing that he too is a department head and equally disappointed at the outcome. He calls Seok-hyun’s hot-headedness the reason why Seok-hyun will never succeed.

(Um – forgive me Tae-joon, but didn’t Seok-hyun go to Broadway while you were stuck as a measly department head in a college, never trusted to direct a performance as important as the 100th Anniversary one? Who’s the successful one now, huh?)

Jun-hee can’t get in contact with Hee-joo, which puts all the other students in further despair. They all know Hee-joo had something to do with this, and they break down in tears when Seok-hyun confirms that he can’t save the production. Jun-hee takes matters into his own hands; he heads over to Hee-joo’s place and calls for her to come out.

He wants to know if she really didn’t want to do the performance, and thus perhaps had something to do with it getting canceled. Hee-joo says she didn’t want to perform, which Jun-hee knows is a lie. He chooses to believe in her – he will wait for her every day until she comes back to the performance. She must come back.

Really Jun-hee? Are you going to do this for her? She ruined all your friends’ chances to perform onstage; she hangs out with you and then pushes you away; she’s an annoying attention-seeker who doesn’t play fair; and she doesn’t deserve all these chances! Sure – you can go blame her mom for pulling all the strings, but Hee-joo isn’t doing anything to stop her mother. She wants her mother to pull these strings. So Jun-hee, stop sending her love poems about your “Natasha” and giving her chocolate gifts.

Actually – give her the chocolate gifts – she needs to gain weight anyways.

Shin suggests to Kyu-won some activities where she can cry without hiding, but Kyu-won is in no mood for that. Even if they could participate in next year’s performance, she feels like she gained nothing out of this one because they left it unfinished. Shin corrects her: “You gained the hottest guy in Arts University.” BAH! True. But so ridiculously self-centered!

Seok-hyun wants some time alone to grieve over this loss, but he isn’t given a moment’s rest. A producer named Kim Ho Jin (but with a business card that says “Grace Han”) wants Seok-hyun to direct a successful Korean musical in Broadway. He’s giving Seok-hyun an opportunity to go back to the States, especially now that Seok-hyun is no longer tied to the school performance.

Madame Goo of Catharsis eavesdrops gleefully, and later spills the beans to Yoon-su.

Meanwhile, Shin and Kyu-won break the bad news respectively to their families. However Ji-young tells Shin that when it happened to her in school, she and her classmates performed it anyways in front of the school, and later got in trouble. It gives Shin an idea, and he goes over to Kyu-won’s to discuss: How about they perform it anyways? It doesn’t matter if there’s an audience or not – at least their hard work will be paid off.

Grandpa is in his room, listening in: “Now they realize that art requires no audience?” Heh.

The Stupid and the Windflowers manage to convince Ki-young to come on board; after all, he’s got the most influence in convincing Seok-hyun. However, Soo-myung crashes the party – Seok-hyun is leaving for Broadway.

All the performers race out of the classroom and catch Seok-hyun with his things, and Yoon-su. They beg him to stay – to at least help them for their performance. They’ve worked so hard, and they’ve told everyone they knew about it. The Three Angry Girls adorably get down on their knees and beg, and Yoon-su adds that if it were her, she would have stayed for the performance. Since they’re laying the guilt on thick, Seok-hyun finally puts down his things: if the performance fails, he’s going to sue every single one of them for obstructing his path to Broadway fame again.

Yay! Performance is back on, and this time they’re not going to label it as “100th Anniversary Performance.” It’ll just be a regular show. They inform the Chancellor, Tae-joon, and Young-min of their plans of going ahead, with or without the school’s support. Everyone can’t help but feel somewhat inspired – even Stubborn-Butt Tae-joon. (Yes, I caught you giving a glimmer of a smile there!)

With no money for the performance, Kyu-won suggests hosting fundraisers. Shin pools in his pay from his part-time job, and Sa-rang adds all her money that she saved up for a nose job. It’s sad and touching to see her want a nose job in the first place, and to give up her dream for this. Soo-myung adds that her nose is the prettiest of them all. That’s it – Sa-rang dashes to hug him, and we just have another pairing to go “AWWWW” at.

Seok-hyun formally rejects Kim Ho Jin of the offer, who’s incredulous that Seok-hyun would stay for a measly performance. It’s not about the stage, Seok-hyun says, but about the performance, the art. Madame Goo eavesdrops again, and he hugs and kisses Seok-hyun for staying for the students. Gosh – everyone just wants to hug this guy, eh?

The Windflowers and Shin all make posters for the fundraiser performance, and two of the girls leave to buy some snacks. Shin gives Bo-woon a meaningful glance, and suddenly, like a robot, Bo-woon announces that she needs to use the bathroom. Heehee. Of course, Kyu-won and Shin’s private moment doesn’t last very long as Bo-woon really has nowhere else to go. She pokes her head back in and asks Shin for permission to reenter.

With the performance date nearing, Yoon-su sets up private lessons with Kyu-won on dancing and adjusts the choreography for her, as she is the weaker dancer. During a break, Kyu-won finally asks Yoon-su what’s been on her mind ever since she joined the performance – what does Yoon-su think about the play being based on her and and Seok-hyun’s life? Yoon-su is OK with it – though she left Seok-hyun, she didn’t regret trying new frontiers, seeing how far she could fly, because she was young then.

She asks what Kyu-won would do if she got an offer to Broadway after the show. Kyu-won is more pragmatic, and also quite unimaginative. She’s never imagined doing anything other than gayageum, and says she’d reject the Broadway offer. After all, it took a lot of effort to convince Grandpa to let her participate. It’s this limited outlook on herself that Seok-hyun later admits to finding most frustrating; Kyu-won is talented but no one seems to acknowledge it, least of all herself. He wants to nurture that talent within her, but his concern gets misconstrued into all sorts of scandalous things.

That evening, Ji-young and Sun-ki walk home, Sun-ki dragging his heavy luggage like a poor kid kicked out to the curb. She offers to help him carry it, but sprains her ankle in her heels. Excuse to hold hands time! Sun-ki supports Ji-young on the walk home.

Shin also walks Kyu-won home, and when she complains about her legs being tired, he has her sit on a bench and massages her legs for her. Moment is made doubly sweeter when she kisses him on the forehead for it – and then changes the subject about the stars in the sky. Kyu-won then spots her father and Ji-young. Holding hands. The parents immediately drop hands, and clearly, everyone needs to have “the talk.”

Sun-ki tells Kyu-won that Ji-young was his first love. Ji-young tells Shin that no matter what, the kids are more important, and therefore they won’t get in the way of their kids’ relationship. Besides, their time has passed. Whew! Well, I’m glad we got that over with in a jiffy.

The next day, The Stupid and the Windflowers perform at Catharsis for the fundraiser, playing their repertoire of a fusion “Carmen” and “You’ve Fallen for Me.” The fundraiser is a success, and Shin takes some pictures with some female fans after the performance. Of course, Kyu-won becomes jealous, and when a male classmate invites her to sit and drink with them, she happily accepts.

She cheerfully flirts with the male classmate as Shin shoots daggers across the room. So he goes and starts offering to take pictures and videos with any other girl in the room. Oh my God – can you two be any more juvenile!? But Shin lets her slide this once, only because she’s looking particularly pretty tonight, and forbids her to hang out with any other guys in the future because he’s jealous. Gah – how did you learn all these smooth words, Lee Shin?!

Kyu-won goes home and gives her father and Grandpa tickets to the show. Grandpa refuses to go, because if Kyu-won’s the lead actress, then he’s missing nothing at all. Of course Papa will go and watch his daughter shine. Kyu-won threatens her Grandpa – if he doesn’t go, then she won’t bring a single classmate to listen to his life story again!

Jun-hee has been spending every single day outside Hee-joo’s house for hours, waiting for her to change her mind. The mother is irritated with him already, but he finally gets to see Hee-joo when she leaves the house to go for her surgery. He begs with her one more time; the performance is tomorrow, and he really hopes she’d come.

Hee-joo doesn’t answer, and heads to the hospital. However, she can’t get Jun-hee’s words out of her mind. She recollects all those times Jun-hee’s helped her, fed her, followed her around. He’s the only one who seems to have any faith in her as a person. When her mother goes to fill out some forms, she quickly texts Jun-hee to come pick her up!

The team is in the middle of practice, and Kyu-won has clearly improved. Hee-joo comes in, much to everyone’s shock. She wants to come back – after all, the performance can’t be without its lead actress right? Immediately, Shin yells at her – who does she think she is to just come waltzing back in? Besides, Kyu-won is perfectly fine as the lead role.

So Hee-joo directs the question at Kyu-won: if Kyu-won wants her out, she’ll stay out. Everyone looks at her, waiting for her answer. (I hate when they pressure her like this – there’s no way she can come out of this unscathed. Say “stay out” and she’ll look mean to the rest of her peers; say “come back” and she loses her role.)

Kyu-won wishes Hee-joo luck, and congratulates her for coming back at the right moment. (GAHHHH!) Everyone protests but can’t do anything about it. Shin chases after her; how could she let the role slip past her fingers? Though Kyu-won really wanted to be in the play too, she notes that everyone has had to make sacrifices for this performance. Seok-hyun gave up Broadway; Sa-rang gave up her savings; Ki-young is giving his all despite his severe stage fright. The play isn’t about her, it’s about who can give the best performance. But Shin is proud of her.

Seok-hyun makes no effort to hide his hatred for Hee-joo, but Hee-joo feels likewise. She notes that Kyu-won was off by a beat in her dancing, and so she promises to teach Kyu-won. After all, didn’t Seok-hyun say that the lead and the understudy need to take care of her until the end?

Off to the dancing room they go! Kyu-won doesn’t get why Hee-joo is training her so hard, especially since Hee-joo is the one performing. Hee-joo: “Shut up and do it again.” Hehe. You can’t ever do a half-ass job in front of a perfectionist… Hee-joo wants Kyu-won to be able to say she did her best; she herself never felt like she could say that, and never gave herself enough credit for her work. Understandable – as she’s always been surrounded by people who make her feel insecure about her talent.

Hee-joo’s mother comes rushing to Seok-hyun, wondering where in the world her daughter is. That’s when Seok-hyun finds out the true reason why the mother canceled the performance in the first place: Hee-joo can no longer sing.

Seok-hyun finds the girls, and angrily asks why Hee-joo never admitted to losing her voice. Hee-joo’s eyes well up in tears. This is why she’s back at the performance. This is why she’s helping Kyu-won with her dancing – she may not be able to perform, but she can at least make her understudy give a performance worthy of Hee-joo’s approval.

All of a sudden, Hee-joo is like an unni to Kyu-won, telling her to make sure to sleep early and do well. After all, she had to come all the way over just to make sure Kyu-won was doing it right. She tells Shin to take Kyu-won home, and Jun-hee excitedly offers to take Hee-joo home.

The day of the performance! Chancellor comes around to make sure Seok-hyun won’t embarrass him, while Tae-joon literally admits defeat. He hands over some money so that Seok-hyun can take everyone out to eat. (Well, that was a quick turnaround.)

Back in the make-up room, Sa-rang muses about how funny life turned out. She thought she was going to do the make-up for Hee-joo, but it ended up being Kyu-won. Suddenly, Kyu-won gets an idea…

It’s just minutes to the performance, and Shin seeks Kyu-won out. He’s got a bad case of nerves, worried that no one is going to like his . She cups his face in her hands and says not to worry – “Just tell the audience, ‘You’ve fallen for me’.”

The performance begins, and everyone is there. Grandpa even made it out. The Stupid and Windflowers open up the musical, and then we get the opening dance sequence of everyone pretending they’re in school. And then… they uncover the lead. It’s Hee-joo. Everyone in the crowd gasps in shock – including Hee-joo’s mother. Since when was Hee-joo in the play? Only Seok-hyun looks least surprised.

Grandpa complains loudly about Kyu-won not being onstage, and Jung-hyun insolently adds that she knew Kyu-won couldn’t possibly be talented enough for the lead.

The play follows as Hee-joo and Ki-young act as lovers, and then part with a quick kiss. Ki-young broods, and has a scene where he wears a mask – and then strips off his shirt. (O_O) He lets the ensemble cast (all donning white Phantom of the Opera masks) caress his abs and dance around him. I’m going to interpret this scene as Ki-young/Seok-hyun masking his heart, and transforming into another person who cares no longer for others but focuses on his own success.

Then we get a scene of (presumably) New York where Hee-joo is now a star dancer. A bunch of boys try to win her affections with their breakdancing moves, but she shuns all of them. She relishes in the attention – until she is (metaphorically) hit by a car. Hee-joo returns to Korea, defeated, a lost dancer.

And then – it’s Act 4. The act where Hee-joo and Ki-young sing their duet. Shin starts off with his guitar solo, and then the Windflowers join in. It’s the ending song. Ki-young comes out first. (download)

Go ahead and smile, happiness will come.

Go ahead and smile, so that love can also be in my arms.

Countless dreams like stars up in heaven.

Go ahead and stand up, don’t stand down.

Go ahead and stand up, even if you’ll regret it.

It will be alright.

The female lead sings. It’s Hee-joo…but a look backstage shows that it’s really Kyu-won singing, and Hee-joo lip-syncing.

When my eyes are filled with tears, when your cheers run with tears.

Just yell aloud. It will all be OK.

When my heart breaks down.

When your heartache brings you down.

Just smile big and find hope.


Wow. This episode felt like we had reached the end of the drama already.

I can see why it’s so maddening to have Hee-joo show up in the end as the lead actress and take the spotlight away from Kyu-won. However, I’m really happy with the way this turned out. This scenario was truly a reflection of how the performance team came together and became one. After all the jealousies, the in-fighting, the rumors, and the scandals, everyone finally had one goal: to perform the musical. In the end, everyone wanted to give their best and to be part of something special – big stage or not.

You could say Hee-joo was being greedy to the end, but I think her tutoring Kyu-won was pretty magnanimous. If anything, that’s probably as generous as snobby Hee-joo could ever get. While I wish Kyu-won could have been more assertive in wanting to preserve her place as the lead, I’m glad she didn’t. She’s said before that all she wants is to be part of something different from gayageum. To have been able to dance and sing is enough for her. While we (and Seok-hyun) want her to dream big and realize her other potentials, she’s happy to explore them without having to be in the limelight. By singing for Hee-joo, she gets her chance in the spotlight too – it’s her voice everyone is going to be talking about.

The nice thing about Shin and Kyu-won is that both are characters who believe that they’re good and don’t crave for that affirmation over and over again. They know how to deliver their best and say it was their best. I think Hee-joo needs this performance more than anyone else – to prove that even with a handicap, she can do her best. And that’s why I’m glad she performed.

Tae-joon has been such a weird character for me. His turning point was when Yoon-su threw her support behind Seok-hyun to hold a performance with no funding. When he admitted defeat to Seok-hyun, I wondered: was it 1) Yoon-su choosing Seok-hyun that convinced him he lost (since he has/had a crush on her)? 2) the idea of not spending a single cent for Seok-hyun’s musical that allowed him to admit defeat? or 3) was he inspired by the idea of performing for the sake of art, not audience?

I’d like to hope that it was option 3 for Tae-joon. Clearly, this episode is all about performance for the sake of performing for oneself, and not for the audience.

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