Korean tvN Drama Misaeng Episode 10 Recap and Screenshots

Korean tvN Drama Misaeng Episode 10 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

During his coffee break, Chief Park decides that he’d prefer his coffee made by a woman, and requests one of the female staff members also taking a break to make a cup of coffee for him. She politely obliges, but she and the other women silently tense up when he makes them uncomfortable with his lewd remarks (which he excuses by pretending he’s actually referring to a car in the magazine he’s reading, ugh).

They report the situation to Deputy Director Sun, and she immediately tracks down Chief Oh to tell him to keep a better handle on his employee. Chief Oh wastes no time in confronting Chief Park (in full view of the department), warning him that he’ll put up with negligence in his work, but he won’t tolerate Chief Park’s verbal abuse to the weak (aka Geu-rae) and sexual harassment of the female employees.

Chief Oh is in no mood to pretend Chief Park is a good team player, so everyone will focus on their own projects instead of trying to work together. Chief Park decides to start working on the Jordan used-car project since it’s highly profitable, and is surprised when Chief Oh tells him to expand the project to include not just passenger cars, but construction vehicles and accessories as well.

As Chief Oh makes a cup of coffee in the break room, Manager Kim is happy to hear about the Jordan used-car project, reminding Chief Oh how useful Chief Park is to the team. The fake laugh from Chief Oh signaling his agreement seems to convince Manager Kim.

In the resource department, Assistant Manager Ha silently watches as Young-yi tirelessly cleans the workspace, jumping to fulfill the petty demands of the other department employees — even if it means struggling to replace the heavy water bottle in the break room so she can make them coffee.

Korean tvN Drama Misaeng Episode 10 Recap 

Geu-rae finishes putting together the halal project that had been reassigned to him from Chief Park, and Chief Oh notes the look on his face, asking him if it seems strange to him. In his cryptic-Yoda way, he tells Geu-rae the reason it seems strange is because there’s no trace of a big company’s selfishness.

On the rooftop for a smoke break, he’s surprised by a visit from Young-yi who’s trying to dry her trousers after the mishap with the water bottle. He waves her over (offering to trip Assistant Manager Ha again, pffft), and she apologies for interrupting him while he was lost in thought. When he finds out she once saw the proposal for the Jordan used-car project, he asks her what she thought about it.

Korean tvN Drama Misaeng Episode 10 Screenshots

When she hesitates to answer, he nods knowingly: “You thought it was strange, too.” Just as Young-yi is about to leave, Chief Oh asks about the guy from before, the one who so spooked her in the lobby that she excused herself from dinner. He recognized him as Team Leader Shim from Samjung Trading. She denies it, but Chief Oh says it would explain why she’s such an experienced newbie.

In a place far enough away from prying eyes and ears, Chief Oh discusses his concerns about the Jordan used-car project with Dong-shik and Geu-rae. Everything looks good on paper, and it’s already been approved by the legal and finance departments, but the subcontractor’s profit margin seems too high.

Dong-shik confirms that it looks like Chief Park is getting a kickback from the subcontractor, but they don’t know for certain. Chief Oh sighs as he says they’ll now have to find out if the new addition to their team is just a lazy pig or a troublesome mutt.

Back in the office, Chief Park is busy playing day-trader, checking on his stocks — but not too busy to be unaware of the new, weird atmosphere in the department. The rest of Sales Team 3 pointedly ignore him as they go about their business, but Chief Park isn’t fooled.

Baek-ki and his teammate are busy checking a delivery of steel samples in the storage room when Assistant Manager Kang arrives. He chides them for not having the samples delivered pre-sorted, and when his teammate (who was also the one who was prepared to report Chief Park for sexual harassment) immediately offers to organize it, Baek-ki insists on doing it instead.

Misaeng Episode 10 Recap 

Young-yi enters the storage room, teasingly telling him that she could hear him being scolded from down the hall. She notes that he seems to be following her method of acting like a servant instead of sticking to his previous method. In a flashback, we see him call the head-hunter to let her know that he’s changed his mind and has decided to stay at One International. Yay!

She helps him with his samples, and he asks her to dinner, his treat. But when she suggests he invite the rest of the newbies, he tells her that he doesn’t want it known that he was planning to quit. He jokingly adds that he regrets telling her in the first place, and it’s cute how they genuinely give each other a little smile.

Assistant Manager Sung confronts Seok-yul’s rudeness due to not greeting him like a sunbae — he can tolerate incompetence, but not someone who doesn’t know his “place.” He adds that if there’s any problem, Seok-yul can tell him anything. When Seok-yul asks him if he really doesn’t know why he’s acting like this, Assistant Manager Sung brushes him off, saying Seok-yul should just leave his personal life at home and not bother him with it.

Frustrated, Seok-yul claims he has a severe migraine and is unable to work, so he’ll be leaving early. Which means he won’t be able to work on the projects Assistant Manager Sung was about to hand off to him.

Assistant Manager Ha is annoyed to see that his coworkers have left a mess in their department, and gets a little huffy when he’s told that he shouldn’t worry because Young-yi will take care of it. When they send her off to do some personal errands for them, he confronts them about abusing her good nature — she had agreed to take care of odd jobs for him, not for the entire department.

Misaeng Episode 10 Screenshots

He leaves to track Young-yi down, ordering her to immediately go to one of the factories to make sure shipments are delivered by the morning. His snotty attitude is made bearable by Seok-yul’s delightfully mocking faces behind Assistant Manager Ha’s back.

Chief Park is impatient for Chief Oh to make a decision on the Jordan used-car project, but Chief Oh calmly tells him he’s still reviewing it. The atmosphere is pretty tense, made even more so when Chief Park asks to see Geu-rae in private.

In an empty stairwell, Chief Park says he knows that everyone is working together to stop his project. He accuses Geu-rae of just being Chief Oh’s kiss-ass, and warns him that the last person who followed him so faithfully ended up getting killed.

Baek-ki must be taking cues from Seok-yul, because he happens to enter the stairwell above just in time to overhear Chief Park warn that Geu-rae is making the wrong decision siding with a loser like Chief Oh — he needs to side with either the Executive Director or the CEO, someone who will actually help him in his career. He roughly grabs Geu-rae’s chin as he tells him he needs to get a clue and to make sure the Jordan project gets approved.

Seok-yul has invited himself along as Young-yi drives down to the chemical company. But when they arrive, they learn that the workers have just gone on strike so the product won’t be delivered in time. Worried, she calls the office, but Assistant Manager Ha isn’t around. She calls her other douchebag team member, and he just sighs in exasperation as he orders her to return to the office. If she was a man, he’d tell her to find a way to get the items delivered to the port by any means possible, but since she’s a woman…

Without even stopping to think, Young-yi asks the foreman if there’s a truck available. Seok-yul doesn’t have a drivers license, so it means she’s the one who gets to drive the truck. She nervously crawls along at 25 mph, reiterating to an annoyed Seok-yul (who just wants to go back to the city) that she was ordered to make sure the product was delivered by the morning.

Chief Oh finally makes his decision, and as he hands back the Jordan used-car project, he mentions the weirdness about the subcontractor profit margin. Chief Park insists that, based on his expertise, it’s not really that big of a margin margin. As Chief Oh just stands and listens to his explanations, Chief Park gets increasingly pissy and finally tells him to just forget it. Acting personally affronted, he dramatically leaves the office.

After Chief Park’s sudden departure, Chief Oh quietly orders Dong-shik and Geu-rae to meet with the subcontractors, making sure they record everything in preparation of an internal audit.

Geu-rae’s worried about the potential of an audit, not to mention arriving unannounced at the subcontracting office, but Dong-shik explains that all they’re doing right now is getting the facts to determine whether or not correct procedures were followed. They’re not there to judge Chief Park’s actions — it’s up to the company to decide what to do once they figure out the facts.

As they’re leaving the building, they run into Assistant Manager Ha and the resource team chief, who genially tells them to take good care of Chief Park since he was in their team. Oh, that explains so much.

When Assistant Manager Ha returns to the office, he’s surprised to see that Young-yi hasn’t returned yet. That’s because she’s still busy making her deliveries as she continues drives along at a snail’s pace. Seok-yul tries to talk her into going back to Seoul, arguing that they’ll never finish in time, but she’s a woman on a mission.

Chief Oh reports to Manager Kim, telling him his suspicions about the Jordan used-car project. Manager Kim knows that this sort of situation doesn’t just implicate one person, but everyone who’s approved the project — which includes himself. Chief Oh tries to reassure him that nothing’s been proven yet. But Manager Kim knows that where there’s smoke, there’s usually a fire.

As they prepare to enter the subcontractor’s office, Dong-shik gives Geu-rae tips on how to remain neutral and just focused on ascertaining the facts instead of judging the person. But they’re surprised to discover Chief Park is already there, and the manager of the subcontracting company greets them cheerfully.

Chief Park is ready to escort them out, smoothly telling them that he can answer any questions they have about the project. But Dong-shik stands his ground, telling him that they’re here to double-check that correct procedures were followed.

Chief Oh wrestles long and hard with what to do next, knowing that his decision to proceed with the audit could mean his manager would be fired. But just as he’s telling Dong-shik to withdraw from the investigation, his office phone rings — it’s Manager Kim. Chief Oh quickly tells Dong-shik he’ll call him back before hanging up.

Gloating, Chief Park tells Dong-shik that of course Chief Oh would drop the investigation. And Chief Oh is definitely about to, as he stands humbly before Manager Kim. For the benefit of Manager Kim and the company, he promises to stop the audit and instead take care of matters quietly within his own department. He only requests that Chief Park be reassigned to another team.

But Manager Kim surprises him by ordering him to continue with the investigation — the correct procedures must be followed.

As Chief Park cheerfully discusses personal plans with the subcontracting manager, Dong-shik’s phone rings. Chief Park and the manager are confident that they’re in the clear, so it’s a shocking blow when Dong-shik calmly tells them that the audit team will be arriving soon.

Furious, Chief Park takes Dong-shik outside to talk to him privately, and Dong-shik orders Geu-rae to stay behind, and for the subcontracting manager to not touch any documents. But as soon as Dong-shik leaves, the manager is on the phone, filling the executive director of the subcontracting company in on everything. Geu-rae quietly pulls out his phone and starts recording the conversation.

Chief Park tries to bully Dong-shik into stopping the investigation by threatening to call Manager Kim and the executive director, warning him that they’ll be on his side, not Chief Oh’s. But Dong-shik tells him that Chief Oh will be meeting with the executive director at that minute, so his call is in vain. Furious, he grabs Dong-shik by the collar, demanding to know why he’s doing this to him.

The subcontracting manager gets a phone call that makes him suspiciously happy, and Geu-rae keeps a close eye on him as he sends a fax. In a baduk game-theory voice over, Geu-rae says that it’s time to retaliate against their opponent. They’re putting their lives on the line as they navigate enemy territory, and whichever side makes the first mistake will lose.

As the audit team arrives (along with Chief Oh), Geu-rae’s voiceover continues, pointing out that in such an important situation as this, one must not be too rash or hasty. As they proceed, they must not make any mistakes, and it’s clear that if their opponent doesn’t die, then they’ll be the ones to die.

The audit team carefully combs through all the documents, but the subcontracting manager explains that their high profit margin is justifiable with a fax he just received from Jordan. That’s enough to satisfy the auditors, and Chief Park gloats once more while Geu-rae tries to figure out why (in baduk speak) it feels like he wants to make a “move,” even though he’s not confident what that move should be.

He suddenly realizes that the manager was speaking Korean when he called the Jordan company, and suddenly asks if someone in the company is Korean. This stops the auditors in their tracks, because their research shows the company is solely staffed by Jordan locals.

They discover a common name on the documents — a Muhammed Indira — and Chief Oh asks if he’s an executive. Suspiciously, the subcontractor manager says he’s the marketing director at the same time that Chief Oh says he’s the general manager. This Muhammed Indira turns out to be Korean, his real name Park Sang-joon, and is also confused about his job title.

The auditors get the investigation officially rolling again, but Geu-rae is doing his own investigation to find out the answer to something that’s been bugging him. He tries calling Young-yi for help, but she’s too busy driving to answer. His next option is Baek-ki, and, yay! Baek-ki agrees to look into it for him.

Meanwhile, Chief Park is totally losing it. As the audit team tries to figure out why Park Sang-joon lied to them, he interrupts, passionately claiming that since approving the high profit margin was his mistake, he’ll take responsibility.

Chief Park continues to bluster, and Geu-rae once again uses his baduk knowledge to point out that in order to understand the current move, one must understand the previous moves. Baek-ki texts him with the information he was looking for, and he realizes that what might have looked like a small problem (whether or not Chief Park was getting a kickback) might not have been so small after all.

It turns out that the executive director of the subcontracting company is actually Chief Park himself, just using his English name, and the rest of the employees (including the one who was assumed to be in Jordan) are Chief Oh’s extended family.

As they watch Chief Park being escorted away, Chief Oh says he probably thought his actions were just compensation for his hard work. He explains that in 2008, Chief Park had played a major role in getting a big contract, and after only being awarded a celebratory dinner, had returned to the office, disenchanted that everyone went back to their normal roles.

The lure of money as compensation was too strong, and he willingly accepted any bribes subcontracting companies would offer (if he didn’t outright ask for a bribe), until he was clued into the possibility of making his own dummy corporation that could be awarded the contracts, so he would automatically get the extra money.

Dong-shik wonders how it will end for Chief Park. To those outside the company, it looks like a triumph of good over evil. But the corporate world has its own rules.

Assistant Manager Ha is working late at the office, and only wraps up his project after midnight. He’s a little concerned that Young-yi never returned to the office, and calls her up to yell at her for going straight home instead of to the office. But when he finds out she’s still driving to make sure everything is delivered to the port by the morning, he curses her out, demanding she return immediately. The deliveries don’t actually have to be done by tomorrow, and he’ll call someone else to take care of it.

Seok-yul is irate on Young-yi’s behalf, but she just silently drives on as she wearily fights back tears. They finally return to One International where Assistant Manager Ha impatiently paces, waiting for them. Once again, he curses her out for being so crazy, warning her that if she got into an accident, the company would be liable. Pfft, his astonished expression at finding Seok-yul hiding in the truck’s cab is hilarious.

The next morning, Manager Kim and Chief Oh silently wait in his office. Dong-shik explains to Geu-rae that lower-ranked employees like themselves don’t have to worry so much — most of the blame will be placed on those in higher positions, like Manager Kim. Depending on what the auditors find out, there’s a strong chance that Manager Kim will be demoted or lose his job.

Dong-shik adds that even though he’s just a worker bee and it seems like his actions have no impact, it’s still his work and his life right now. Geu-rae adds that “it’s just baduk.” No matter if you win or lose a game, it’s still just a game — not the end of the world.

In a voice-over, Geu-rae adds: “Regardless of the world, it’s still baduk, which is everything to me.” He thinks back to all the “games” his fellow coworkers have had to play as they navigate office life, and as he watches the lights go out on the One International building, he smiles. This “game” of baduk may seem pathetic, but it’s still baduk, it’s still his work, and it’s still the world to him.


One of the difficulties in recapping a show like Misaeng is that there is so much subtle nuance that’s hard to capture on the page, and sometimes it’s a struggle to accurately convey each little gaze or expression. The show relies on an undercurrent of emotion, expertly conveyed by the actor’s mannerisms (however slight), editing, backing soundtrack, camera angles, and even just the way they let the camera linger for an extra beat.

There’s not enough space to accurately describe and give weight to the minor ways in which each actor seems to inhabit their character — the micro-expressions, the exchanged glances, or even just to explain that since we’ve spent ten episodes in such close emotional proximity with everyone, we can understand what they’re thinking just by the way they’re sitting.

Which is why it may seem foolish if you’re just reading the recap, but I’m impressed at the small way the show is managing to humanize Assistant Manager Ha. Yes, it seems impossible, especially since his words and actions are still rough and cruel. But the character, in those impossible-to-define ways, is managing to convey a sense of discomfort with how Young-yi is being treated by his department, and even possibly feeling some twinges of regret at how he’s treated her as well.

That’s not to say I like him — nope, he’s still got a long way to go. But I can see that he’s starting to appreciate (and even respect) Young-yi’s skills and work-ethic. Even though the trip to the chemical factory didn’t end as well as she hoped, I’m fairly certain he sent her away just so she could stop being the department’s glorified maid. He may not have handled it smoothly, but from the small ways he reacts to his surroundings, I do believe he feels some shame for the way he’s treated her, even if he’s too proud to admit it. I’m still waiting for him to really apologize and work hard to make amends — but I’m not going to hold my breath. After all, this show can definitely change our minds about certain characters, but it still doesn’t pretend anyone will suddenly become a saint overnight.

It definitely seems easier to slip down the “darker” path, as evidenced by Chief Park. In the flashback, he seemed like your standard salaryman, but his pride and ego at winning a huge contract — and then not getting the recognition (or reward) that he thought he deserved — meant he was willing to go down that slippery slope of making his own compensation. I’m not sure if the sexual harassment is a by-product of his new-found “forget you, I’m going to get mine” attitude, but it definitely cements him as one of those crush-anyone-to-remain-on-top employees. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well for him in the end.

I have to wonder if he would have gotten away with it if he had been assigned to any team but Sales Team 3. The show keeps pointing out that Chief Oh can’t move up the ladder because he cares too much about doing a job correctly than getting it done in a snazzy manner that will attract the attention of the higher ups. It almost seems like Manager Kim was asking Chief Park to get caught, except that doesn’t make sense since it looks like Manager Kim will be facing his own punishment as the one who originally signed off on the Jordan used-car project. (A project that makes me wonder if that’s the reason for the opening scene in the first episode.)

Another problem (that isn’t exactly a “problem”) with recapping Misaeng is this show is chock-full of goodies that could easily have me discussing them for ten pages, so I’ll just end with how delighted I am to see the newbies not just working together, but inspiring each other. Young-yi’s determination to find a “whatever it takes” solution to make sure the chemical resources were delivered was influenced by Geu-rae’s effort to do all he could, even if he wasn’t qualified. Geu-rae realized that Baek-ki was correct in his method of sticking to the procedures. Baek-ki’s accepted that perhaps Young-yi’s method of humbly working the crap jobs is perhaps the best way.

I’m looking forward to seeing how they can continue to encourage and motivate each other further, especially in an office environment that still does all it can to destroy an idealistic soul.


Korean Drama

Korean Drama "Pinocchio" Episode 3 Recap

Korean Drama "Pinocchio" Episode 3 Recap by joonni


The sun is streaming into Dal Po’s room, who is still sleeping. A woman’s voice calls him, calling him Ha Myung and telling him to get up and come eat. Dal Po first whines for a few minutes more of sleep but then jumps up in his bed- “Mom?” He rushes out and he can’t believe his eyes. It’s his mom and dad in the kitchen- his dad telling tales of his latest heroic deed and his mom listening faithfully. His brother in the house, too, putting on his suit. His face is hidden to Dal Po, however, just at an angle away from a full facial view.

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Ha Myung (Dal Po) pinches his dad’s cheek, wanting to know if this is a dream? His family asks him what is he talking about- did he dream, what about? Ha Myung replies, “A bad dream,” and describes briefly what happened. His family calls him crazy and his mom hits his father for doing something bad in Ha Myung’s dream. He is just about to believe all those horrible memories of his father running away and his mother dying was just a bad dream whe he felt his mother’s warm hand on his face, but then he sees In Ha, calling him uncle. His family asks like nothing is wrong and his brother is calling In Ha his niece too. Ha Myung realizes it is a dream, but he doesn’t want to wake up. But wait! The tablecloth feels so real. This has to be real!


But it is not. It is October 2013 and the Choi family has moved to Seoul since the last time we saw them. Dal Po is definitely dreaming and he is rubbing the cloth of In Ha’s skirt that feels very similar to the tablecloth in his dream. He rubs her skirt a little too hard and a little too close, earning him a punch in the face and an exclamation of “pervert!”

Dal Po has a nice bruise on his face now that he is nursing at the breakfast table. In Ha is making fun of his style and looks, when her father reminds her to have some shame; she is in no position to make fun of her uncle who is contributing money to the family working as a taxi driver while In Ha tries for three years after graduating college to become a tv news reporter.

In Ha grinds her teeth. She’s having the final interview tomorrow to earn a spot as a reporter at a tv station so if she passes this, her father can’t say anything anymore. Dad bursts her ego and tells her this is nothing to be proud of after trying for three years already! If she fails this time too, she will have to do as it states in their contract.

We see the contract on the wall. Signed in 2010, In Ha promised to try to become a reporter only for three years. If she fails after that, she will follow her dad’s lead and go on blind dates for marriage.

Dal Po and In Ha bicker about her chances of passing. In Ha is quite positive she will be able to since ten people are being interviewed and only one or two fail to pass. All this bickering is done as the two swap the yellow and white parts of their fried eggs. Dal Po gives her the white while she gives him the yellow.


Kim Gong Joo and Lee Il Joo, both from MSC network’s local news department, are at the airport waiting for Song Cha Ok (In Ha’s mom) coming back from Washington, D.C. They talk about the ten candidates being interviewed and how one of them has the Pinocchio syndrome. She is likely to be hired, despite that disability, since she is Song Cha Ok’s daughter. This leads to them talking about Song Cha Ok, well, Kim Gong Joo talks about how her reputation is a bubble and describes how Cha Ok got to her status by intercepting someone’s foreign correspondent position, etc. Yet, since she is his superior and senior, he puts on a fake smile on his face to greet her enthusiastically.


Back at the Choi house, grandpa shows Dal Po a picture of a pretty young woman (lol, it’s actress Kim Min Jung). He wants to introduce Dal Po to her since he broke up with his old girlfriend. Dal Po shifts his eyes as he says he already found a new girlfriend. He starts describing her but In Ha’s dad points out his description of his new girlfriend sounds exactly like his old.

In Ha advises Dal Po to buy some new clothes, as she grooms his messy hair, since his awful style is what keeps him getting dumped.

Grandpa asks In Ha in secret if Dal Po’s fashion is really that bad. In Ha replies, “Not just bad, but rotten.” HA!

Later, In Ha reveals to Dal Po that she is taking the final interview for MSC. Dal Po is not pleased, but he just asks if she texted her mom about it. In Ha has. She wants his opinion on what to wear tomorrow since she might see her mother but he is in a bad mood and he leaves her room without a proper response.

In Ha has come out of the apartment and starts to help Dal Po move other people’s cars blocking his. She wants to know if she looks okay, but he replies that she looks stupid in that suit. In Ha asks why he is in such a bad mood, but he just asks her if she really thinks that the number she is texting to is really her mom’s number. In Ha believes it is so since she never got a text saying it wasn’t. Dal Po points out the opposite- that she should have received a text saying yes it is if it really was.


In Ha excuses her mother, saying she is very busy. Dal Po asks how busy her mother could have been to ignore her daughter’s texts for ten years. Either her number changed or she doesn’t care. The latter possibility jabs In Ha a little in the heart. She stops helping Dal Po.

In Ha firmly believes her mother was just too busy to reply since she was in Tokyo and Washington, D.C. as a foreign correspondent. Why is Dal Po and her dad so hell bent on making her mom out to be a bad person. Dal Po replies that he just doesn’t want her to get her hopes up so high. In Ha says don’t worry- she believes in the mom that she saw no matter what other people say. In Ha asks if Dal Po ever met her mom. Dal Po can’t answer truthfully. In Ha continues to say she only believes what she saw, just like she believed him eight years ago. So don’t slander her mother without evidence!

In Ha walks away angry and Dal Po gets into his taxi. In an obvious bit of product placement, he turns on the car’s GPS system called Hye Sung and starts talking to it- “What should I do?” Hye Sung’s reply? “Drive safely.” Yes, you crazy Korean drivers. Please drive safely.


In Ha’s dad is also on his way out for work when he spots a wallet in the doorway. It’s Dal Po’s, but dad’s smile face when he sees In Ha’s picture in his wallet. He goes to the balcony to call out to Dal Po and tell him about the wallet, but he spots Dal Po looking at someone. It’s his daughter, In Ha, walking away. He looks at the picture inside Dal Po’s wallet again.


Dal Po drives up to the bus stop where In Ha is waiting and she agrees to let him drive her to the tv station only when he promises not to charge her like he always does.

In Ha is silent in the back seat, so to start up conversation, Dal Po asks if she wants to buy his awesome dream from last night. He saw people he wanted to see in his dream. In Ha buys it after some haggling and hearing Dal Po’s suggestion that if it is indeed a good dream, she might meet her mom today.

Dal Po rips off a small gold button from his shirt and gives it to In Ha, sort of like a receipt. She calls it childish, but proceeds to put it as a pendant on her gold chain necklace. She asks whom Dal Po met in his dream. He tells her she doesn’t need to know.

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Kim Gong Joo (from MSC) is at the Seoul Metropolitan Policy Agency since he is the reporter in charge of affairs there and the captain of the breaking local news team) Hwang Gyo Dong (Lee Pil Mo) is also there, since he is the same position and rank as Kim Gong Joo, except he is from YGN.  I guess Gyo Dong returned to being a reporter after meeting Dal Po at the quiz show. He is looking at an ad in the newspaper about MSC’s news team, which shows Song Cha Ok representing the channel. She has returned from Washington to head the local news department head and also be MSC’s 9 o’clock news anchor (the most prestigious position for a news anchor in Korea).


Kim Gong Joo tells Gyo Dong that her appointment is a gamble on part of the tv station since the ratings for their news show is so low compared to YGN’s. Gyo Dong describes the gamble as an all or nothing situation and Gong Joo agrees. Song Cha Ok is pretty legendary with her resume (first female reporter to be captain of the breaking local news team and two-time foreign correspondent). Gyo Dong adds that Song Cha Ok finished a marathon and also won a beer-drinking contest. She’s also pretty and has showmanship skills.


Song Cha Ok’s reputation, resume, and showmanship might be the float for MSC but her showmanship might also be the rock that sinks it, Gyo Dong suggests. Gong Joo agrees- Song Cha Ok bought children’s shoes from the department store to pose with them in tears in front of an accident and also reported on her knees during a flood story  so it looked like the water was waist deep when really the water was only knee high. Gyo Dong calls that fraud, not just exaggeration. Gong Joo agrees again- that is why MSC is called the MSG network.


The other guy there chides Gong Joo for speaking so ill of his superior but Gong Joo says that shouldn’t matter for a reporter in order for them to tell the truth. Gyo Dong looks at Gong Joo strangely. He points out that Gong Joo has been typing in the phrase “Kim Gong Joo handsome reporter” this whole time into the search engine so he can manipulate the related search terms that come up with his name. Not a very truthful act, is it? Gong Joo replies that what he is doing is nothing compared to what Song Cha Ok does.

In Ha is at the beauty salon, getting her make-up done for the interview. She points to the newspaper with her mom’s picture in it- she wants the same look.

She gets a text. It’s from her mom. It is short- one word of “hwaiting.” In Ha is so happy to receive this text, a first in thirteen years, that she looks and sounds crazy. In Ha also calls Dal Po to tell him the good news. He considers bursting her bubble again but decides he better not. He congratulates her instead. In Ha thinks it might be because of the dream he sold her.

Dal Po hangs up and talks to Hye Sung again, asking if In Ha is just innocent or stupid. The foreign guy riding in his taxi thinks Dal Po is crazy, but we and he learn Dal Po also understands English when Dal Po replies that he is quite alright. Smart kid.

After dropping his customer off, Dal Po spots a grandpa looking very worried in front of a truck. Dal Po gets out to help and learns the grandpa was pushing his cart downhill, lost control, hit the truck, and dented the bumper. He was looking for his phone to call the truck driver and was worried how much this will cost. Dal Po offers to contact the driver in the grandpa’s stead and sends him off. Dal Po leaves a note on the truck’s windshield with his number, letting the driver know it was his fault. Good kid!

In Ha’s dad calls to tell him about his wallet. JUST AT THAT MOMENT, Jae Myung comes out of the house. He is the truck driver BUT HA MYUNG NEVER SEES HIM BECAUSE OF THE CALL. Gah!


In Ha’s dad sits at his office (he is a real estate agent) and looks at In Ha’s picture inside Dal Po’s wallet again. He reflects back to what he saw that night when In Ha and Dal Po came home in the rain after she picked him up at the bus station on the day of the quiz show. He saw the way Dal Po looked at In Ha. He also knows Dal Po gave up going to college so that In Ha could, since he couldn’t afford to send both. Dal Po had just said he had no interest and was going to the military anyway.

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Dal Po arrives at the office and sees In Ha’s dad looking at her picture inside his wallet. Dal Po says her dad that he just had that picture because he had to bring her photos for her application once and that picture is just a left over. He tells her dad not to misunderstand. Dad asks what is there to misunderstand. Dal Po’s gaze falters as he replies, “If you didn’t, it’s fine.” Dal Po gets back his wallet, but not the picture. Dad explains it is because his girlfriend might misunderstand the picture.

In Ha is at the MSC station and stands in front of her mother’s picture with her arms spread wide- “Do you feel me mom?” Yoon Yoo Rae (Lee Yoo Bi) spots her and calls her crazy.

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Later, Yoo Rae comes out of her interview and In Ha asks her if reporter Song Cha Ok is also an interviewer. She is and In Ha is so happy to hear this, despite hearing Yoo Rae describe her as an Ice Witch. Yoo Rae thinks In Ha is even crazier than before.


In Ha steps into the interview room and her mom doesn’t even look at her. The other interviewers ask In Ha immediately about her Pinocchio Syndrome, pointing out there is no reporter in the country with that disability. In Ha replies that she doesn’t understand why, when reporters are people who relay the truth and she is confident viewers will trust her more if they know she can only tell the truth.

In Ha’s mom finally speaks and looks at her. She describes In Ha as innocent, believing a reporter only tells the truth. She says she was also like that when she was a rookie. The other guys say In Ha and Cha Ok are alike and In Ha is so happy to hear she is like her mother.

Song Cha Ok says she will give In Ha a test and if In Ha passes, she will accept that In Ha can be a reporter. In Ha has to call a restaurant which people have tipped off about allowing people to smoke inside illegally. In Ha must not hiccup during the phone call. Song Cha Ok calls one as an example and lies that she is a customer trying to make a reservation and wants to know if her party can smoke. She gets a yes. In Ha calls but she knows she can’t lie without hiccuping so she tells the truth about receiving a tip. The restaurant hangs up on her. In Ha fails her test.


Song Cha Ok asks In Ha how she can become a reporter if she can’t even do a simple investigation like this. In order to report, a reporter sometimes has to lie. Truth floats through the lies like oil rising in water. “This is why a Pinocchio can’t become a reporter.”

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In Ha waits outside in the hallway in a state of shock and disappointment. Her mom and the other interviewers finally come out after the interviews are done. Song Cha Ok sees her and excuses herself to talk to In Ha. She asks what In Ha is still doing here (in formal Korean), and In Ha asks to see her phone.

In Ha calls the person she has saved as mom on her phone and has texted for the past decade, but Song Cha Ok’s phone does not ring. In Ha finally believes what Dal Po has told her for years- “Dal Po was right.” Song Cha Ok is about to leave when In Ha calls out to her in a shaky voice, “Mom, I missed you a lot.”


Song Cha Ok hugs In Ha, aware her colleagues are watching. Her colleagues nod in approval, “Still, she is a mother.” In Ha is touched and is about to hug back when her mom whispers in her ear, “Sorry. I was too busy to miss you.” Ouch. Song Cha Ok leaves, her daughter frozen in place, trying to keep back the tears flooding her eyes.

Seo Beom Jo (Kim Young Kwang) gets a text. He has been the number that In Ha has texted all these years. In Ha has written, “You are worse than a thief.” He calls the number, realizing the person who has texted him all these years knows the truth now.

In Ha picks up and starts yelling, demanding to know why he did this, making her into a fool. In Ha breaks down and weeps. “I hoped and waited for ten years!”

Seo Beom Joo hears the phone line go dead and it is only then he is able to say, “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Really.”


Dal Po has come to pick In Ha up, unbeknownst to her, and he spots her walking out of the building crying. He tries to rush to her but the cars and lights are in his way. He calls her but she hangs up, at which point she starts to hiccup. She texts him instead, lying that she can’t talk because she is with her mom. She lies that her mom hugged her and said, “Sorry I didn’t call. I missed you.” Dal Po asks if In Ha is lying as he watches her from across the street crying and hiccuping. In Ha replies she is telling the truth and that his dream was fortunate. She is sure he will be able to meet the people in his dream too, like how she met her mom. He offers to pick her up and she refuses so Dal Po decides to leave.

Dal Po drives away, trying to convince himself that In Ha can take of herself and thinking about what her dad said about misunderstanding. But in the end, Dal Po turns back and returns to the station. In Ha is no longer there, however, but her mom is trying to get a taxi. Dal Po picks Song Cha Ok up, the woman who ruined his life.

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Driving her, Dal Po starts up a conversation. He tells her he knows someone who took the interview today- can she tell him the result? She asks who and he tells her it is Choi In Ha. Without batting an eye but looking firmly into Dal Po’s through the rearview mirror, she says In Ha failed. She failed because of her Pinocchio syndrome. Dal Po asks if Cha Ok failed her because In Ha is her daughter. Song Cha Ok wants to know who he is. He replies he is In Ha’s uncle. Cha Ok wants him to stop the car.

In Ha comes home and starts packing up all her books she studied with to become a reporter. She flips through one book that has a picture of a girl floating up holding onto balloons. On the screen, we see the balloons pop but the girl has wings and is able to float instead of plummeting down.

Dal Po has dropped off Cha Ok near the end of a bridge.  She learns that Dal Po is In Ha’s uncle because her grandfather adopted him. She argues that an uncle should have stopped his niece from dreaming a hopeless dream. In Ha’s dream is futile ambition because there is no reporter in this country with Pinocchio Syndrome.


Cha Ok emphasizes how there is no reporter in this country with the Pinocchio Syndrome. Dal Po responds that it is just a numerical figure and Cha Ok argues that a numerical figure is also a reason, demonstrating that there must be a reason why there is none, zero, zilch.

Jae Myung sits at a restaurant with an older friend who seems to know about his father. But the friend has just recently found out through a picture that Jae Myung also has a mother and brother. Jae Myung tells him that they are dead. He also describes how he has searched the whole country through and through looking for his father but was unable to find him.

Jae Myung also texts the person who left him the note on his windshield (Dal Po) to tell him it is okay, no need to pay him to fix it. Jae Myung also asks his friend for a bit of work. He heard that he is being contracted to demolish a factory.



The men at a nearby table are fighting over some contract and they start bringing up an old story of a fire and a cover up. Jae Myung’s ears perk up since it sounds like his family’s story. As he hears more of what they are saying, Jae Myung grows more and more certain. One of the men gets injured while fighting so all the guys rush out to go to the hospital. Jae Myung chases after them but misses them. He repeats to himself, “They said it was a lie,” as he grips the balled up contract that rolled over to him while the guys were fighting.

While Jae Myung is outside, his phone gets a text from Ha Myung, thanking him and telling him his name- Choi Dal Po.

Dal Po comes home to find grandpa worried that In Ha ran away from home. Her dad  is out looking for her. Dal Po also goes to search and in the process, he sees fireworks. This brings back memories of the night his mom committed suicide and fear grips Dal Po. He searches for In Ha frantically, worried that she might be considering the same thing as her mom.


Dal Po is back around their apartment complex and spots pieces of paper on the floor. One of the pieces has In Ha’s picture on it- it is her exam name tag. He sees that the pieces are coming from the roof and he runs up, thinking In Ha might be there, preparing to jump off.

Dal Po reaches the top to find the door locked. He starts kicking it and yelling so In Ha knows he is there. She panics. She has been trying to burn her books and doesn’t want Dal Po to find her here like this. She hides just in time as Dal Po bursts through the door. He looks frantically for her until he hears hiccups. It is In Ha hiccuping while hiding under a large banner. He is completey relieved.

Dal Po approaches her, saying he knows she failed the interview and found out her mother wasn’t the person she expected her to be. In Ha asks for him to just pretend, then, that he doesn’t so she can lie and pretend she is okay like any other normal person can. Dal Po assures that that she doesn’t have to pretend since he knows how upset she is. He is saying, “In front of me…” as he pulls off the banner off of In Ha and discovers her crying. He kneels in front of her and apologizes, saying his dream must have not been that good.

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Seo Beom Joo sits in his car reading through the messages that In Ha has sent him over the years. He walks into his house determinedly and declares to his doting mother that he wants to meet her. His mom knows who he is talking about- “That Pinocchio?”


Dal Po is packing up her books again but In Ha tells him to leave it. He asks if she is giving up being a reporter and her mom. She replies yes but hiccups. She promised her dad and she can’t keep wasting her twenties unemployed while Dal Po earns money for the family. She knows he gave up college because of her and she can’t face him anymore. She feels good having giving up and knowing this is the end now! Of course In Ha hiccups after yelling that last part.

In Ha is angrily throwing her books back into the trash can she was trying to burn them in when Dal Po stops her. He remembers back to his conversation with Song Cha Ok on the bridge.


He has asked how easily she can say “absolutely” when declaring In Ha has no chance of becoming a reporter. How many lives has she so easily judged with that kind of thinking, especially when she is reporter! Cha Ok smirks and tells him that wolves don’t bark when they see a tiger, only stupid puppies do. She asks if he is barking at her with any knowledge of what a reporter is. Dal Po admits he doesn’t know anything and apologizes. But he swears to find out and seek her out again after he has become a wolf and properly bark at her.

Goodness, actress Jin Kyung is so good as Song Cha Ok!

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To In Ha, Dal Po says, “I need those books.” He declares he will be a reporter. “Let’s become a reporter together, In Ha.”

Beom Joo’s mom asks her son, “You want to see her now after thirteen years?” She asks if she should find her for him. Beom Joo says he will go see her on his own.


As fireworks burst in the air, Dal Po smiles at In Ha. “They stopped. Your hiccups.”

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Korean Drama "Pinocchio" Episode 3 Live Recap, What "Pinocchio" Episode 3, Korean Drama "Pinocchio" Episode 3 Screenshot


Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 9 Recap and Screenshots

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 9 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

Chief Oh and Dong-shik freeze and stare at their unwelcome new team member, who smirks at their reaction and notes Geu-rae’s impressive luck in his position, considering his lacking credentials. He chooses to settle in at Dong-shik’s desk while the rest of Sales Team 3 remain stone-faced.

Chief Oh requests a new team member, but Manager Kim refuses to comply. He says that Chief Park is a great addition to his team, since he’s had a great record in the company. He tells Chief Oh to compromise and just prioritize work.

In the break room, Chief Oh confronts Resource Team Chief Jung about him recommending this new team member. He knows that Chief Jung has had problems with him, but Chief Jung feigns oblivion and says that he simply didn’t have the leadership to control this guy.

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 9 Recap and Screenshots

Back at Sales Team 3, Chief Park (Kim Hee-won) calls Geu-rae over and asks him how he passed the intern presentation test and landed his position with only a high school equivalency exam. He condescendingly notes how Geu-rae must have no skills but is pretty enough to be the face of the team. Chief Oh swoops in just in time to take authority and put Chief Park in his place.

Dong-shik and Geu-rae go to the roof for a coffee break. Dong-shik tells him that they’re in for some rough times ahead, and Geu-rae agrees in silence, already having gotten a taste of this horrible new team member.

As instructed by Chief Oh, Geu-rae places a stack of current business proposals on Chief Park’s desk. Chief Oh tells Chief Park to look through the files and figure out if there’s anything worth pursuing. Chief Park obnoxiously reads the business ideas out loud, criticizing and laughing at the practicality of some. He whines and complains that he’s been thrown so much work when he’s yet to adjust and figure out the team’s dynamic. He gets up and leaves, but not before he gives Geu-rae another patronizing compliment.

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 9 Recap 

Baek-ki returns to his desk but stops in his tracks when he sees Assistant Manager Kang. He’d gotten a glimpse of his superior on the day he was in talks with another company, so he knows that he’s been caught. But Assistant Manager Kang doesn’t show any animosity towards Baek-ki. As he leaves for his business trip, he tells Baek-ki to call if anything comes up. Baek-ki can’t seem to look at him straight, and even after he calls to confirm his interview, he’s frozen with guilt.

Overhearing Assistant Manager Ha’s complaint, Baek-ki peeks around the corner to see how Young-yi is doing. She’s taking care of all the minute inconveniences for Assistant Manager Ha — getting coffee, picking up the printed papers, getting the extra stapler — but he’s irked by her behavior. She points out that he’d agreed to let her take over his everyday duties while he takes on the new project alone. Not one to lose in the assholery race, he agrees and orders Young-yi to clean out all the trash bins.

Young-yi does as told, but even Chief Jung thinks that Assistant Manager Ha is going overboard, saying that he can’t order her to do such menial tasks. Angry at Young-yi’s subordination, Baek-ki grabs the bins from her and asks if this is how she plans on being a part of her team. He empties and washes the bins in the men’s restroom, and Young-yi barges in the restroom, flustering Dong-shik. Heh.

When Baek-ki comes out, Young-yi takes back the trash bins and leads him outside to talk. Geu-rae and the surrounding office workers watch this scene unfold, and Dong-shik watches with suspicious eyes, asking Geu-rae if they’re dating.

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 9 Screenshots

But it’s nothing close to his suspicions, as Young-yi angrily tells Baek-ki not to interfere in her business in the future. He argues that this isn’t the method to become part of the team and that they — especially the two of them — deserve better treatment. She presses him to answer with a different solution: “Even if I work hard, it doesn’t work. If I don’t work hard, it’s even worse. What am I supposed to do? How to express my commitment to people who are ready to reject me — that’s not something I learned in school. So I’m just doing all the insignificant work because that’s all I can do.”

She tells him to follow his own method and she’ll follow hers. She begins to walk away from a speechless Baek-ki, but then he speaks up and admits his method: quitting his job. It’s Young-yi’s turn to stop speechless, as he walks past her into the office.

Seok-yul runs into his superior by the elevators, and he’s praised for the good work he’s been doing. As a reward, Assistant Manager Sung gives him his credit card to purchase coffee for the team. But the credit card has reached its limit, forcing Seok-yul to use his own card.

When he returns and tells his boss about the credit card situation, he conveniently doesn’t have cash on him to refund the purchase. Seok-yul plays it cool and says he’ll cover the cost, which makes for a very happy boss. But he’s immediately ordered to a list of tasks that would have him up until midnight and back at work for an early morning meeting preparation. To make matters worse, Assistant Manager Sung has a business trip the next day, so all this work is on Seok-yul’s shoulders.

In the break room, Seok-yul reflects on his situation. He has a weird feeling about it, like he’s working a part-time job but not getting paid. To confirm these cheated feelings, he calls Geu-rae and starts to describe the weird situation in which his benevolent boss gives him piles of work, but Geu-rae already understands what’s going on. He ignores Seok-yul as he picks up a call from an unknown caller and immediately tenses up when he realizes it’s Chief Park.

Chief Oh returns to his desk and notices that Chief Park and Geu-rae are both gone. Chief Park finishes off his billiards game while Geu-rae waits outside with a pair of shoes. After winning his game, he tells his billiard buddies that he’s going to a sauna. But he’s not going in his slippers, and that’s why Geu-rae is waiting outside with his shoes. Ugh, this shameless man.

When Geu-rae returns to the office, he tries to slyly throw Chief Park’s slippers under his desk, but his absence doesn’t go unnoticed. They demand to know where Chief Park is and order Geu-rae to call him right away. Chief Park sits in his fancy hotel sauna, brewing with anger. He thinks back to Chief Oh’s authoritative commands and sneers, “He’s a mere salaryman. Who is he to take command?”

Chief Oh comes looking for Assistant Manager Kang, but Baek-ki is the only one there. Baek-ki just stands there as he lets the phone ring, so Chief Oh steps in to take their call. He gives Baek-ki the caller info and extra files for his boss to look over when he returns. Just as he’s about to leave, Chief Oh turns back around to ask Baek-ki (who flinches) if his mind and heart are in the same place. This catches Baek-ki off-guard, and Chief Oh smiles and walks off.

Chief Park is back in the office, and although he tries to lie about his whereabouts, Chief Oh already knows his habits and tells him that going to a sauna during work hours is unacceptable. When Chief Park tries to get friendly by calling him “hyung,” Chief Oh demands that he use proper honorifics in the workplace.

Chief Park finds a business proposal on Halal that he wants to take up and asks Chief Oh for Geu-rae to be his support. Dong-shik tries to step in, but Chief Park uses this opportunity to throw more insults at Geu-rae about his incompetence.

The tense power struggle between the three veterans is interrupted by Manager Kim, who finds the team dynamic lively at first glance. Chief Park immediately puts on a sycophantic façade to greet Manager Kim, who tells him to do his best to boost Sales Team 3. He agrees to do so, but after the manager leaves, he mutters under his breath about his misfortune.

The original Sales Team 3 trio goes out for drinks after work to discuss their situation. Chief Oh and Dong-shik describe Chief Park as a great worker who’s an expert in the Middle East and who once scored the best contracts. They don’t discuss any specifics about his change of work ethic, and Chief Oh decides that they should accept him into the team. “As long as he’s on Sales Team 3, he’s a part of us. Even if we lose work, let’s not lose a person — that’s our team’s principle.”

Accepting defeat, Dong-shik sighs that it’s just Chief Oh’s principle. Chief Oh tells Geu-rae to support Chief Park well with the Halal deal and be patient, which is something he’s a little too good at. Dong-shik tells Geu-rae to stop being patient and stand up for himself against personal attacks, because it seems like he has no pride. But Geu-rae doesn’t seem too convinced.

Back home, Geu-rae broods with a beer in hand as he thinks about Dong-shik’s criticisms. He references his baduk notes, which is basically a manual for life, and he tells us its contents as we get a montage of the newbies.

Geu-rae: Courage is not only characterized by readily jumping into risky situations. Avoiding these situations and silently going on your own path is also considered courageous. It is foolish to be swayed and immediately respond to a counter current. Sticking to your path despite the adversity will be your counter response. Therefore, following your own path is your best defensive and offensive measure.

The next morning, Geu-rae and Baek-ki encounter each other in the elevator. Geu-rae remembers seeing Baek-ki looking into another company and tries to bring it up, but he changes his mind and asks about Chief Park, since he was previously on the resource team. Baek-ki refuses to speak on the matter, saying that Geu-rae is asking him to talk trash behind a superior’s back.

But when they get off the elevator, Baek-ki turns around to give Geu-rae a warning about Chief Park, saying that he can get overwhelming. He advises Geu-rae not to take his words to heart; in fact, he should just ignore them.

Geu-rae delivers the requested documents to Chief Park, and he seems impressed at his thorough research of Halal-related businesses. Chief Oh and Dong-shik nervously eavesdrop, but they quickly get back to work when they realize Chief Park is significantly underestimating their newbie.

Chief Park tries to stump Geu-rae with some basic jargon, but Geu-rae nails all of the terms. Then he speaks in English, and unfortunately, that exceeds the limit of Geu-rae’s knowledge. With that, Chief Park pats him on the shoulder and walks away, but the damage has already been done. Chief Oh and Dong-shik laugh at his childish methods as Chief Park walks away infuriated, calling Geu-rae impudent. Geu-rae: 1; Chief Park: 0.

When Baek-ki returns to his desk, he’s told that Assistant Manager Kang won’t be in today. A member of the resource team rushes over asking for a revised contract that’s due today. He asks Baek-ki to step up and submit an estimated budget and timetable, but he replies that his boss probably won’t approve of him taking care of these matters.

The resource team member contacts Assistant Manager Kang, and Baek-ki nervously awaits the call from his boss. When he receives the call, he lets it ring a couple of times and braces himself before he picks up. Assistant Manager Park asks him to take care of the contract and adds that he doesn’t assume Baek-ki will ruin the contract just because he plans on quitting.

Baek-ki can’t seem to believe the approval and hesitates before grabbing the files for revision. Having found purpose in his position, Baek-ki navigates the company files and finalizes the contract.

Geu-rae hands more Halal research reports to Chief Park, who doesn’t miss a chance to pick on the new kid. This time, he asks Geu-rae to massage his shoulders, claiming they hurt so much. He compliments Geu-rae’s massage skills, and then asks if he can apply those skills for his feet as well. Geu-rae hesitates but swallows his pride to do so. Luckily he’s saved by a call to Chief Park, and he leaves the office to address the caller.

Dong-shik takes Geu-rae to the roof and asks why he’s so passive, wondering if maybe it’s because of his name (Geu rae for “yes”). He tells Geu-rae that it’s strange how he never shows signs of reluctance: “You almost seem like a discharged convict. It seems like you’re doing anything and everything to adjust to society. I don’t know much about your history, but where did you have to come from to be so cooperative and sacrificial? Sometimes, I wish I could know more about you.”

After working through an all-nighter, Seok-yul can barely keep his eyes open to finish his tasks. His department chief drops by and tells him to get some rest. He also mentions that the business trip that his boss went on was not necessary, which gets on Seok-yul’s nerves. Speaking of the devil, his boss arrives from the trip, and as soon as he sits down, he scolds Seok-yul and relays the work he did to the chief without giving Seok-yul any praise or credit.

His boss orders him to continue finalizing the reports, but Seok-yul refuses to follow orders. He admits that he’s got too much on his plate and doesn’t have the time to do his boss’s work as well. His boss takes offense to this, yelling at Seok-yul for not being able to take the workload for the team, claiming to have given the work to him as a learning experience.

Baek-ki is dejected to find out that his drafted contract was rejected by the finance manager. He calls a resource team senior to ask for help troubleshooting, but he’s told pretty much the same thing he’s been told by Assistant Manager Kang: There’s either a critical error or there’s something wrong with the basics. He’s frustrated at the repeated mention of his lack of knowledge of the basics.

Young-yi continues to take care of all the menial tasks and cleans desks at the requests of her superiors. One of her coworkers accidentally knocks over a mug, and of course, she’s the one ordered to clean it up as they leave for a meeting. Geu-rae and Seok-yul step in to help, and Baek-ki also joins in this small gathering.

Seok-yul laments their current situations and advises Young-yi to take a stand in her team. Geu-rae disagrees and starts reciting his baduk life wisdom about how sticking to your path is your defense and offense, which earns him some strange looks from his fellow newbies.

Baek-ki receives a call about his interview the next day, and he confirms that he will be there. Chief Oh passes by Baek-ki but backtracks to help him out, as he’s just coming from the finance manager’s office. Looking over his work, he lightly mocks him for slipping up on the basics and using style that isn’t standard for the company. Chief Oh wishes him luck and teases Baek-ki that even Geu-rae doesn’t use the fresh style he’s come up with.

Dong-shik leaves for the day, and Chief Oh tells Geu-rae to go home too. Young-yi catches up to Geu-rae as he leaves the building and notes that today was another hardworking day. Their interaction is cut short by Chief Park, and Young-yi quickly departs. As she leaves, Chief Park tells Geu-rae that Young-yi will become the next Deputy Chief Sun if she gets married or the next Finance Manager Kim if she doesn’t.

Geu-rae lingers in front of the company and thinks back to Dong-shik’s words about him being a released convict. Somewhat bothered, he calls up Dong-shik and asks him to accompany him home.

When they arrive, Dong-shik meets Geu-rae’s mother, who’s gathering the hanging laundry. Dong-shik tells her that Geu-rae wanted to show him something, maybe like a hidden newlywed wife. She reacts by hitting Geu-rae and scolding him for acting irresponsibly to create such rumors. Dong-shik thinks she’s actually upset, but she clarifies that she’s joking. Her sense of humor completely throws him off.

Dong-shik wonders why the house is so empty. When Geu-rae replies that a discharged convict doesn’t need much, Dong-shik makes it clear that he apologizes for those harsh words. Geu-rae says that he threw a lot of his things away and tells Dong-shik that he used to be a baduk player. He finally reveals his past, describing his life’s commitment to becoming a professional baduk player, until he failed. He threw everything away except for his notes.

He shows Dong-shik his baduk research and notes, and Dong-shik seems impressed. Beside them is another stack of papers with similar notes, and Geu-rae explains that he’s been recording his days at the company in the form of baduk notes, almost like a diary. “In baduk, there’s a method of play in which an expert plays multiple people at once, and the expert usually wins. It’s similar in society, though it’s a little different in that the lower-ranked players need to play multiple games as well.”

Geu-rae has had to play multiple games against multiple experts in society, and he further explains that he’s at a significant disadvantage. While the experts get a head start with multiple stones already set up on the table, he has little chance of finding a way to fit his stones. As newbies, they have an obligation to leave their mark, but it’s fundamentally difficult to do so. Dong-shik listens and nods in understanding.

As Dong-shik leaves, he asks how Geu-rae got into One International. He clarifies that he has a benefactor, who has a connection with the executive director. Chief Oh’s initial repulsion towards Geu-rae now makes sense, since he was brought in through the executive director. Dong-shik asks why the sponsor didn’t get him a job sooner, and Geu-rae says that he did, but he quit. He didn’t hide his baduk past in that job, so all the criticisms were aimed at his history with baduk. After a year of torture, he left the job and went to military.

Dong-shik now understands why Geu-rae was so adamant about hiding his past. Dong-shik shares his struggles, coming from the country. Even after getting hired at the company, he didn’t feel like he succeeded; he felt like he opened a mere door. “It could be that success and failure don’t exist in our world. We may just be opening doors for the rest of our careers.”

We get a montage of Baek-ki pulling an all-nighter at work and Young-yi finding her past company ID card, as Dong-shik answers Geu-rae’s question about success: “Sometimes, even if the contract is broken, you feel like you matured and feel proud.” Of course, Geu-rae compares that to feeling good even after a lost baduk game.

Before Dong-shik leaves, he asks if Geu-rae has a Twitter account, wanting to add him. Geu-rae says that he heard the advice once that being social media buddies with your boss isn’t a good idea, and smiles contentedly as he watches Dong-shik leave.

After his all-nighter of work, Baek-ki goes to the roof for fresh air. He thinks back to his interactions with Assistant Manager Kang, their arguments over his basics, and his misunderstanding that his boss just hated him. His thoughts are interrupted by Seok-yul, who’s also brooding on the roof. He tells Baek-ki to ignore the hierarchy and just butt heads, but that doesn’t seem to be working for him either.

When Baek-ki returns to his desk, he reluctantly calls Assistant Manager Kang for help in revising the contract draft. He seems to know all the parts that Baek-ki didn’t catch and gives him detailed instructions on how to fix them, and then tells Baek-ki that he’ll see him tomorrow. Baek-ki looks at the notes that he took from the call and tries to hide a smile before getting back to real business.

Geu-rae creates a Twitter account (hilariously, @jangokokok) and follows Dong-shik. As soon as Dong-shik gets the notification, he follows him back. We get a look at the newbies as Geu-rae narrates his baduk analogy: “We don’t know what we reveal, but we want to reveal so much about ourselves. Why do people want to confess to others? Baduk defines its world with horizontal and vertical lines. If a baduk board were infinite, if the world were a limitless canvas, would winning and losing be possible? We find a part of that world that’s ours. We reveal ourselves to find comfort and understanding.”

Geu-rae returns to the office with good vibes, but Chief Oh seems to have had enough of Chief Park. He gets up and confronts Chief Park, telling him that he can’t work like this with him anymore.


Aw man, I knew this episode was too good to end on a good note. But maybe confrontation is for the better. I know my patience was running thin with Chief Park — his constant references to Geu-rae’s high school equivalency exam were enough to irk me. I don’t even think we saw the full wrath of Chief Park in this episode, though the small bits of him we did see were a bit frightening. He seems to have an ego problem, especially when it comes to power and authority, so I wonder what his backstory is. I’m hoping some context will reconcile the misunderstandings about the person he is today and smooth out some of his very sharp and harsh edges.

But having an antagonistic figure in Sales Team 3 definitely showed how close the trio has become. I love how Chief Oh and Dong-shik look over Geu-rae when he has to deal with Chief Park. They’ve got one eye on their work and the other on Geu-rae, ready to pounce if Chief Park attempts to take advantage of their kid. But Geu-rae seems to know what he’s doing. Better than the other newbies, he understands where he stands strategically. Since he’s already been at a disadvantage from the very beginning, he fundamentally understands the concept of pulling back in order to move forward. As much as eagerness is needed, patience is the name of the newbie game.

I love that baduk is that one constant that guides Geu-rae throughout his experiences in the “real world,” and I especially loved Geu-rae’s connection with Dong-shik in this episode. Dong-shik hit the nail on the head with his analysis of Geu-rae. He’ll do anything and everything to adjust to society because he blames himself for everything that’s ever happened to him. He walks the fine line of self-deprecation and self-pity, making him the ultimate underdog. But a quick glance into his baduk-strategy mind shows us that he’s no underdog. He finds significant parallels between work and baduk that sets him way ahead of the game. It’s his mindset and extreme patience that allow him to advance, even if he lacks the skills and savvy of his peers. His life is dictated by his baduk manual, and I appreciate how the concepts of baduk don’t exclusively apply to Geu-rae. The baduk analogy about finding a place for yourself applies to all of them, no matter what skill level they’re at. If baduk really makes you this good at life, I’d better learn how to play.

I want to commend Baek-ki for finally coming to the realization about his skill level and accepting it. I could imagine how crushing it would be to realize that you really don’t know what you’re doing. He had to swallow his pride and put away his stubborn self, and that requires a certain level of maturity, which Seok-yul may still be lacking. Baek-ki’s ambition and confidence got to his head, so I’m glad he got a good reminder that basics precede any desire to succeed. Instant gratification is not a characteristic of salaryman life, and Baek-ki finally drilled this into his head. Good thing Newbie Guardian Angel and Super Salaryman was around to guide him through his crisis. As much as I loved the different focuses on our newbies, we were missing out on some Chief Oh action. But from that ending, we’ve got a lot of Chief Oh coming up. Huzzah!


Korean OCN Drama Bad Guy Episode 7 Recap and Screenshots

Korean OCN Drama Bad Guy Episode 7 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

Back in the van, Goo-tak assures Tae-soo that they’ll find the guy that killed the pawnshop owner since they’ve found the weapon. But Tae-soo recognizes a fellow assassin’s work when he sees one—an expertly-placed stab wound caused Pawnbroker Im to die from massive blood loss within seconds.

The professional they’re dealing with is among the best of the best: a completely emotionless assassin, whose work leaves no trace of evidence, no unnecessary wounds, and lastly, no sense of guilt.

Team Crazy Dogs heads back to HQ where Prosecutor Oh is already waiting for them. He’s delighted to meet everyone in person—Jung-moon in particular, to whom he says it’s been three years since they’ve last seen one another. A quick flashback reveals that Prosecutor Oh had chuckled at Jung-moon’s high psychopathy score in the interrogation room years ago.

Korean OCN Drama Bad Guy Episode 7 Recap and Screenshots

Prosecutor Oh is all, So how’ve you been? and cheerily brings up the Hwayeondong murders (the ones Jung-moon was prosecuted for), semi-apologetic about the consequences of that case. His mention that everything that happened is in the past now elicits a reaction out of Goo-tak, so Prosecutor Oh drops the subject… for now, anyway.

He changes the topic to relay that forensics called while the crew was away: fingerprints were found on the murder weapon, presumably the murderer’s.

Those prints belong to Hyun-woo, but Tae-soo and the crew arrive at Hyun-woo’s place to find his body being hauled away in a body bag. Aw man, I’d hoped he’d stay around for longer. It was nice knowin’ ya, kid.

Korean OCN Drama Bad Guy Episode 7 Recap 

Something about how Hyun-woo could have killed Pawnbroker Im, and then hung himself out of guilt sounds too convenient to Goo-tak’s ears. Hyun-woo’s fiancee doesn’t believe that story either, insisting to Tae-soo that Hyun-woo was looking forward to their upcoming marriage.

It was Hyun-woo who wanted to build a happy life together, yet felt sorry to her about the possible shame of marrying a man with a limp. Tae-soo is careful with his words, but he tells her that if there’s a chance that someone murdered Hyun-woo, then he’ll do anything in his power to hunt down the culprit.

In regards to Hyun-woo’s leg brace, she’d been told that there was a firearm accident at the shooting range not too long ago, but Hyun-woo wouldn’t disclose any further details. We know that Hyun-woo had warned Tae-soo about the mysterious “Jong-seok” before, which presumably must be the man in the pin-striped suit and goatee in the next flashback.

Korean OCN Drama Bad Guy Episode 7 Screenshots

Good god—Jong-seok had stuck a target onto Hyun-woo’s leg with a knife, then admonished him for leaving the assassin biz in such an dishonorable manner. Hyun-woo’s one good leg will always remind him of that decision, Jong-seok had told him, before firing the gun at his target.

Tae-soo is certain that Hyun-woo is innocent—Hyun-woo’s weapon of choice was a firearm, since he was too clumsy with a knife. I always appreciate that Goo-tak always hears his crew members out, and repeats Tae-soo’s theory that someone else murdered Pawnbroker Im, framed Hyun-woo, and made his death look like a suicide.

In that case, Tae-soo must have some idea of who’s behind it all, and Tae-soo admits that he’s familiar with the flawless killing method because he used to kill in the same manner. He warns Goo-tak against getting involved in this case, because Goo-tak will be in way over his head when it comes to this brand of killers.

Tae-soo seeks out an elderly baduk player to ask about Jong-seok’s whereabouts. He’s told that it’s been some time since Jong-seok started working for another courier: Kim Do-shik.

Korean OCN Drama Bad Guy Episode 7 Reviews

Meanwhile, Goo-tak and Mi-young scour Hyun-woo’s apartment for any possible evidence left behind. Unfortunately for them, Hyun-woo had already taken it upon himself remove any trace of him living here, which leads Goo-tak to the conclusion that Hyun-woo knew that someone was coming for him.

Goo-tak decides to perform a more thorough search via UV light, and from there the scene intercuts between the present (Goo-tak) and the recent past (Hyun-woo) in the apartment. Hyun-woo hadn’t caught onto the sneak attack from behind until it was too late; the tie around his neck, Hyun-woo head-butted his attacker and drops of blood fell to the floor.

These are the same drops Goo-tak sees in the present, while in the recent-past, Hyun-woo struggles against the ever-tightening hold on his neck. Hyun-woo desperately tries to reach for a photo that’s fallen under a stand, and Goo-tak follows the bloodied trail until his eyes fall upon the photo.

It’s unclear from whose pocket the photo fell out of, but the subject is all too familiar: Jung-moon. Er, does everyone have a copy of Jung-moon’s picture ’round these parts? Despite his initial shock, Goo-tak stuffs the photo into his jacket before Mi-young sees, and confirms that Tae-soo’s theory was true.

An unidentifiable car was caught on video leaving the apartment complex around the time of Hyun-woo’s death, but the faces of the three people in the car couldn’t be made out. So there’s a possibility that two different people could have killed Pawnbroker Im and Hyun-woo, Goo-tak guesses.

Elsewhere, Woong-chul wonders why they’re going through all this trouble just to prove Tae-soo’s theory when the story of Pawnbroker Im’s murder and Hyun-woo’s suicide could be true. Jung-moon agrees, though he notably adds, “because a knife always stabs from behind.”

Those are the same words Boss Lee spoke to Woong-chul, who asks Jung-moon what the hell he means by mentioning that. “That somebody could be killed by someone they trust,” Jung-moon answers, then tells Woong-chul to go ask Boss Lee who wants him dead.

Woong-chul murmurs in frustration as he steps out, and Jung-moon turns back to the CCTV recordings he’d been poring over. His ears pick up on a presence outside and several gangsters wielding pipes let themselves inside. “Did [Boss Lee] send you?”

Just then, Woong-chul sees the men standing outside and knocks out each and every one of them. That show of loyalty isn’t enough to convince Jung-moon, who decides that he’ll go ask Boss Lee himself. Woong-chul places a hand on his shoulder to stop him with the request to let him take care of it.

Tae-soo tracks down Kim Do-shik at a nightclub and shows up at his hotel room later. It turns out that Do-shik is none other than the gangster who approached Tae-soo about killing Jung-moon, and tying him up in the bathtub is an easy peasy job for Tae-soo.

Spraying Do-shik with scalding hot water, Tae-soo says that’s a sneak preview if he doesn’t answer truthfully. A mysterious man—the same one who spoke with Boss Lee—had approached him a few days ago about offing Jung-moon’s head, Do-shik says, coughing.

The hitman that man had recommended was none other than Tae-soo, but since he had refused, Do-shik was put in contact with another skilled assassin: Park Jong-seok.

Do-shik is sure that Jong-seok is behind the recent deaths—moreover, he also received an angry call from Pawnbroker Im on the night of his death. There’s no need for any other people to die apart from Jung-moon, so they may as well wait until Jong-seok finishes the job.

Tae-soo finds the idea utterly ridiculous, but Do-shik believes Jung-moon will eventually end up dead anyway. But if Tae-soo insists on saving his life, then “don’t ever leave Jung-moon by himself.”

Little does Tae-soo know then that Jung-moon has been left outside while Woong-chul speaks with Boss Lee in person. He asks how Boss Lee could try and kill the man who saved his life, demanding to know who gave the order. But Boss Lee says he never sent his men tonight because he’s walked away from the job.

That means that Jong-seok sent those pipe-wielding thugs to Jung-moon tonight, as Do-shik whispers that Jong-seok will do anything to create an opportune moment to attack Jung-moon alone, and then kill him without a trace.

And just outside the entrance, a man stabs Jung-moon from behind while bumping shoulders with him. Jung-moon staggers.

Thank goodness this stab wound is treated promptly, as Jung-moon is wheeled into the ER and is prepped for emergency treatment. Goo-tak is already at the hospital when Tae-soo arrives, explaining that the stab wound was three inches from Jung-moon’s lung.

Goo-tak has heard the whole story from Woong-chul already, and recognizes that this was a master hitman at work. However, the perpetrator dropped the knife that had Woong-chul’s fingerprints on them, which means that Woong-chul could have faced murder charges if Jung-moon had died.

Goo-tak can’t dismiss the similarities in these attacks, and he confronts Tae-soo about who’s responsible for the attacks on Jung-moon’s life. Tae-soo admits that he also received a request to take out Jung-moon, but he doesn’t know who was behind it yet. He might know someone who does, though.

Too bad Do-shik is dead by the time Goo-tak and Tae-soo head back to the hotel room. It appears Do-shik overdosed on sleeping pills (though he was handcuffed in the bathroom when Tae-soo saw him last) and his phone holds one outgoing call. Hmm.

Tae-soo repeats what Goo-tak said earlier: that if Jung-moon had died, Woong-chul would have been blamed for his murder, and those who valued Jung-moon would have resented the wrong person for the rest of their lives. It’s time for Tae-soo to go and face Jong-seok (though he doesn’t say his name outright), and Tae-soo tells Goo-tak to take good care of Jung-moon.

And now it’s time for us to get a look at Jong-seok himself, as he carefully wraps a tie around a lackey’s neck to show him the proper method of strangling someone to death. Doing it incorrectly leads to a struggle, Jong-seok says patiently, tightening the grip until the lackey falls.

Tae-soo buys a lottery ticket using the string of numbers left on Do-shik’s phone, and a few quick calculations leads him to the dock, where he meets Jong-seok himself. Tae-soo wastes no time to ask who called the hit on Jung-moon’s head, but Jong-seok says he doesn’t know either—he only received the order from Do-shik.

Jong-seok supposes that he won’t be able to carry out the hit with Tae-soo hanging around, but then chuckles that Tae-soo’s with him right now. So Jung-moon’s going to die soon—no, he’s probably dead by now. Oh crap, you called Tae-soo out here on purpose.

And sure enough, we see someone enter Jung-moon’s hospital room and take out a syringe. Back at the docks, Jong-seok can barely bring himself to laugh at the detectives Tae-soo’s working with: an aging cop and a female inspector.

But there’s something Jong-seok doesn’t know, Tae-soo says: how strong Woong-chul’s fist is. We see Woong-chul stop Jong-seok’s lackey from inserting the syringe, and the two go fist-for-fist until our strong man finally takes him down.

At the question of why Pawnbroker Im and Hyun-woo had to die, Jong-seok discloses that there was an added condition to the order in the event that Tae-soo refused: that Tae-soo also be eliminated. And now that job is up to him, Jong-seok finishes.

Aha, so it turns out that I’d been wrong about the subject of Pawnbroker Im’s conversation with Hyun-woo that they need to strike “him” before “he” does (curse you, mysterious pronouns!). They’d been talking about attacking Jong-seok, and were unable to get ahold of Tae-soo. Were you trying to warn him?

So when Jong-seok had stabbed Pawnbroker Im, he warned Hyun-woo against attacking him out of retaliation, because really, who’s the faster hitman between them? Hyun-woo had no choice but to run out of fear, but we know what happened to him next.

Jong-seok is sort-of-but-not-really sorry to Hyun-woo’s fiancee, but killing is a part of his work. Tae-soo points out that they all worked together once—him, Jong-seok, Hyun-woo, and Pawnbroker Im, but that hardly fazes Jong-seok, who remembers what Pawnbroker Im always told them: “Although committing murder might be easy, it’s the sense of guilt that’s difficult.”

Jong-seok would rather like this job (read: Tae-soo’s death) be an easy one, but Tae-soo reminds him of the last promise they made together: that one of them would die the next time they meet. And that promise is going to be fulfilled today.

Putting on his gloves, Tae-soo comes at him and Jong-seok blocks the incoming punches and kicks, then gets in a few kicks himself. After tumbling to the ground, Jong-seok unsheathes a curved knife to use against Tae-soo, who blocks it.

Jong-seok then draws first blood after pinning Tae-soo to the wall, slicing him across the arm. Tae-soo uses a box as defense, then uses a shard as his own weapon to slice Jong-seok’s leg. Using the momentum, Tae-soo whips Jong-seok and his knife around so that the knife stabs Jong-seok instead. THAT was a freakin’ awesome fight scene.

They stand there like that for a few moments until Jong-seok finally says in a strained voice: “Turn the knife. Kill me already!” But Tae-soo softly shakes his head: “I don’t kill people anymore. No, I can’t.”

“The sadness of taking someone precious away from them, the agony… the sense of guilt of taking a life of someone dear to them. I… I found out what those emotions felt like, so I just can’t kill anymore.”

As he speaks those words, we see Tae-soo and the others relish in happier times by the very same docks, even taking a family portrait together. “If those who remember me all depart [from this world] and die… and if I have to send you away too, Jong-seok, then… I’m truly alone. Don’t leave me alone. I beg you.”

Jong-seok asks if Tae-soo’s prepared to be the first person on his hitlist if he doesn’t kill him now. He wonders how the rest of them could have changed so much, why they tried to leave this underground assassin network behind them.

Another flashback takes us back to the moments after Hyun-woo was shot in the leg. As Hyun-woo cries in agony, Jong-seok chuckles that Hyun-woo changed too much after meeting his soon-to-be-wife. “I… didn’t change because I met her, but I had the chance to meet her because I changed,” Hyun-woo had replied.

Hyun-woo had desperately asked Jong-seok to stop things here, and Pawnbroker Im had more words of advice for Jong-seok: “In life, you can wash off the blood on your hands, but you can’t wash off the blood on your mind—the guilt.”

And now Jong-seok tells Tae-soo to turn back and run (from this line of work), but it’s too late for him now. With that, we hear the knife penetrate deeper. Oh shoot—did Jong-seok do that?

Jong-seok collapses to the ground. Tae-soo lets out a cry of despair, then bends down over his fallen friend.

Saying that Tae-soo looks like hell afterwards is an understatement, as he heads towards Sun-jung’s place with their previous conversations echoing in his head. Sun-jung smiles to see him standing there, and is slightly alarmed by his bloodstained clothes and face.

But they carry on conversation, and Sun-jung brings up how he questioned why she wasn’t receiving any money every month. It happens that a social worker came by to inform her about a bank account with monthly deposits made for the past two years—the reason she never got it was because it was listed under her previous address.

Tae-soo is glad to hear that the money (and Pawnbroker Im) came through after all, and when he can’t bring himself to say what he’d like to say, he takes a different approach by admitting that he now knows what it feels like to lose someone precious and to be truly alone. “I’m so sorry,” he says sincerely.

Tae-soo turns to leave at that, but then slumps on the staircase and lets the tears finally consume him.

Meanwhile, Jung-moon finally comes to at the hospital and checks his voicemail. Remember when Jung-moon visited the errand center? They’ve found the Scarred Man Jung-moon’s been looking for.

Jung-moon immediately gets dressed and tracks down the address, which leads him to a shabby, darkened house. When the Scarred Man approaches from behind, asking if he’s a debt collector, Jung-moon slowly turns around, his hands raised. “You remember me, don’t you?”

The Scarred Man does, and says Jung-moon’s rather late—by two years, in fact. He’s probably the one person who knows the answer to Jung-moon’s murderous activities, probably better than Jung-moon himself.

He definitely recorded something, and gives Jung-moon the short answer: “You are a killer.” A quick flashback shows Jung-moon following a pair of girls, before we cut back to the present. “You killed them, and you’re the culprit behind the Hwayeondong murders.”

Now Jung-moon finally has his answer, but he isn’t the only one to hear it… because Goo-tak is standing just outside the door, having overheard the same words.


Be still, my beating heart—what a fantastic hour of television. I’d nearly forgotten about how Jung-moon had sought out services to find out whether he truly was a psychopathic serial killer or not, if he really is the person the world believes him to be or if there lies another truth. I, for one, am more inclined to see the photo and video evidence before any drawing any substantial conclusions, but I’d also say that fearful and shocked expression on the Scarred Man’s face to be telling that whatever he did see, it was pretty frightening.

So while knowing the validity of the Scarred Man’s answers to be true is important, the other issue is that Goo-tak has overheard this conversation, too—how will he react to this revelation? We know that the Hwayeondong murders is a sore spot for both Jung-moon and Goo-tak alike, so it’s safe to say that’s where their main beef with each other lies. Could Goo-tak’s daughter have been one of the victims? And if figuring that out wasn’t complicated enough, we now have Prosecutor Oh to deal with, because he knows of Goo-tak’s past and also encountered Jung-moon before. His smarmy behavior and words could easily be grating, but right now he holds a lot of answers in his hand, so his character tips towards intriguing.

I had no idea that the show would go this in-depth with Tae-soo’s character arc in this hour, but I’m so very glad that it did. For the past few episodes, we’d been set up to suspect and doubt a few characters in Tae-soo’s circle—Pawnbroker Im, in particular. Granted, he had a lot of evidence stacked up against him—the alleged attempts on Tae-soo’s life, the missing bank account, and what looked like preparations to off Tae-soo. I almost feel silly for falling for the untruths because of the show’s plot execution, but perhaps it’s also a testament to the show’s writing to interweave an individual character’s arc in the midst of a case of the week and build it up to a grand payoff. That isn’t to say that the writing has always been tight throughout the series, but I can’t help but be impressed by this turn of events.

At the same time, I thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of Jong-seok, a name that could have easily been mentioned (and dropped) in passing. Keeping his face masked for half the episode had me wondering if he could have been our Big Bad who was too lazy to kill on his own. As it turns out, even he, as a skilled assassin, was too low-ranked on the evil-o-meter. Jong-seok wasn’t the first to go after Jung-moon’s head, nor will he be the last, I’m sure.

I’m of the belief that a good story should (and would) be able to introduce and inject enough life into its characters and establish their relationships with each other within minutes or an hour. And for what it’s worth Tae-soo and Jong-seok certainly falls into this category. We’d heard about Jong-seok either in passing or with sparse glimpses, but when you put Tae-soo and Jong-seok in the same scene, you could feel the acrimonious relationship burning within and between them. The fight scene at the docks spoke volumes about who they were and who they are now, and Tae-soo’s speech about why he can’t bring himself to kill anymore speaks to how he can wash off the blood from his hands, but not the blood that haunts him in his mind. Pair that with the brief glimpses into their past together, and the sorrow that Tae-soo feels is palpable and heart-wrenching. You never know how precious someone is to you until you lose him.


Korean tvN Drama Liar Game Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

Korean tvN Drama Liar Game Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

Everyone seems to think Woo-jin is preparing to use physical force to break up the human shield blocking the voting booth, but all he does is raise his hand…

…So that Actor Gu can high-five him. That’s right, Woo-jin already secured his allegiance by having Sung-joon sneak a letter to Actor Gu during the Bulldog/Dal-goo kerfuffle.

And without a fourth person to block the voting booth, Assemblyman Kang’s plan fails. Dal-goo gets elected president, and fulfills his promise to distribute the funds from the treasury to his supporters.

Korean tvN Drama Liar Game Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

But there’s a reason Do-young doesn’t look at all worried, which is likely because Dal-goo opens the safe to find it empty. Oh no. This is baaad.

Naturally, Actor Gu and Bulldog turn on Team Dal-goo thinking they’ve been betrayed. Da-jung begins to fret when they mention that Dal-goo will be eliminated for failing to fulfill his promise, which is when Woo-jin finally loses his cool with the group.

While they’d initially believed Do-young’s first promise to be false, Woo-jin now sees the loophole Do-young made for himself: He promised to give money to his supporters without promising to spread it equally.

Korean tvN Drama Liar Game Episode 8 Recap

In that way, Do-young was able to hide the entire sum by giving it to one supporter. Woo-jin and Dal-goo check Bulldog and Actor Gu’s safes to see if they’re hiding the treasury fund but find nothing.

Then Woo-jin reveals to the group that Dal-goo won’t be eliminated for his false promise, because he’d instructed Dal-goo to press the “True” button when he made his bogus promise to give everyone nine hundred thousand dollars.

He was counting on the others to think that Dal-goo had already used up his false promise by making the promise so outlandish, and had planned for Dal-goo to save his real false promise for last. But Do-young hiding the treasury funds has thrown a wrench into his plans.

Da-jung forgives Woo-jin for deceiving her about Dal-goo’s first promise, since they’ve got more important things to worry about at the moment. Woo-jin adds that the only way for them to subvert Do-young’s plan is to find the contestant he entrusted with all the funds and eliminate them so the money is returned to the treasury before the all-important third and final election.

He’s narrowed down the possibilities to two people: Jaime and Lawyer Go. In order to find out which of the two has the funds, he first goes to Jaime and instructs her to spell out her innocence or guilt on the floor with her fingertips, so that it’ll look like she’s opening the safe to the adjacent Lawyer Go.

It does, so Woo-jin then tells Lawyer Go that Jaime proved her safe was empty in order to figure out whether he’s the one holding the money by his reaction. As he expected, Lawyer Go proves his guilt by begging for Woo-jin to spare him from elimination, since he assumes he’s been found out.

Korean tvN Drama Liar Game Episode 8 Screenshots

His pleas prove worthless when he’s eliminated before the third round as Woo-jin promised, but as the contents of his safe are returned to the treasury, Do-young tries (and fails) to suppress a smile.

When Woo-jin asks Da-jung if she’s just feeling that sorry for Lawyer Go, she evenly replies that she isn’t—after all, Woo-jin is the one who told her that betrayal must be punished. Something about this doesn’t feel right.

Since they had to use up their one false promise to account for Dal-goo being unable to keep his second round promise, Dal-goo’s final promise has to be true. In contrast, Do-young’s made two true promises, so his final promise has to be false.

Liar Game Episode 8 Recap 

PD Lee, watching with Director Jang, assumes that Woo-jin’s got this one in the bag—at this rate, Jaime and Do-young will be eliminated. Director Jang isn’t so sure that Do-young would lose that easily.

Jaime confronts Do-young over trusting Lawyer Go with the funds instead of her, though she’s mollified when Do-young says he chose Lawyer Go because he knew Woo-jin would find out who had the money, meaning that Do-young sacrificed him to keep Jaime.

Still, she doesn’t know how he plans to win when the funds have been returned to the safe. “Is that so?” Do-young asks. Even Jaime wonders if Do-young’s taking this one too easy, at least until he gives her a cheshire grin along with the assurance that the game isn’t as cut and dry as she thinks it is.

Assemblyman Kang knows a losing battle when he sees one and uses his final speech to announce that he’s stepping down. Buuut, for an undisclosed and open-ended fee, he can instruct his supporter Bong-geun to vote for one of the two remaining candidates.

After Dal-goo promises to split the treasury money equally among his supporters during his speech, Do-young takes to the podium to promise that if he’s elected, he’ll do whatever his supporters want.

The question remains: was Do-young’s promise the truth or a lie? Da-jung and Woo-jin declare themselves Dal-goo’s supporters, while Actor Gu and Bulldog keep themselves unaffiliated so their votes can be bought for more money regardless of candidate.

Liar Game Episode 8 Screencaps

Bong-geun has no faith in Assemblyman Kang now, and worries about the debt he’ll be in if he’s eliminated. But Kang thinks he’s got it all figured out, and orders Bong-geun to act like he’s on Do-young’s side so that Dal-goo’s side will pay him more for his vote. He won’t be eliminated that way, and he’ll earn a little money.

Woo-jin keeps a sharp eye on Do-young as he pulls Bulldog into one of the soundproof booths for a one-to-one campaign. Bulldog attempts to stay firmly in Woo-jin’s camp, but begins to doubt who’s telling the truth when Do-young claims that it was Woo-jin who thought of hiding the funds, not him.

Which would mean that Dal-goo’s second promise was actually true, giving Woo-jin the perfect opportunity to hide the funds then and claim that it was Do-young who did it the first round. Do-young plays totally innocent, all aghast that Woo-jin could even think up such a trick—but what he wants Bulldog to consider is that he’s not the one who still has an unused false promise. That person is Dal-goo.

Liar Game Episode 8 Screenshots

To further instill doubt, Do-young asks Bulldog if he ever got to see Woo-jin’s safe when he had to show his own. Do-young cites this as proof that Woo-jin hid the money in his own safe or Da-jung’s, and asks Bulldog to trust him enough to give him his vote.

Jaime works the same sort of voodoo magic on Actor Gu, and I have to commend her for making it so that Gu believes he’s coming up with his own ideas when she’s the one who planted them.

Do-young moves onto Bong-geun and asks him if he remembers the reason he created Liar Game—to strip down people’s facades by putting them face-to-face with a huge pile of cash. He wants Bong-geun to see through what Assemblyman Kang is doing and to realize he’s better than that.

“I’m not asking for your vote,” Do-young clarifies. “I’m telling you to make your own decision.” Bong-geun refuses to do so unless Do-young tells him whether his third promise was true or false, causing Do-young to ask, “Why is it important whether it’s true or false? Were elections ever about promises?”

Winning is important, Do-young argues, but so is the big picture—this round is just a precursor to the next, and if Bong-geun wants to make it to the final round with the biggest prize, he’s got to think about surviving this round first.

Da-jung tells Woo-jin that she heard Actor Gu telling the others he’d vote for Do-young, but Woo-jin knows that’s just his way of thinning out the herd voting for Dal-goo. After all, Dal-goo promised to split the money equally among his supporters, so it’s in Actor Gu’s best interests to have fewer supporters to share the winnings with.

Regardless, Woo-jin knows Actor Gu will still vote for Dal-goo and tells Da-jung to relax. But something’s been eating her this whole round, and when he finally asks her about it, she replies that the idea of punishing betrayal and rewarding trust has been eating at her ever since he said it.

“People aren’t test subjects,” she continues. “Is fearing betrayal and trusting people to earn a guarantee real trust? Can’t we truly trust each other? If we show them what real trust is—…“

“…It doesn’t exist,” Woo-jin cuts her off. The truth she’s talking about only exists among fools or charlatans with something to hide. It’s up to them to make the others realize what’s true or false, and which choice is better for them.

From their vantage point, PD Lee comments that the game is becoming disorganized. Director Jang just shakes his head that Do-young isn’t trying to uphold his reputation as an MC like he thought—instead, he’s using any means necessary to survive the game.

Do-young’s individual talks achieve their cumulative effect when Bulldog, Bong-geun, and Actor Gu discuss the possibility that Woo-jin may have been fooling them this whole time, and that Do-young is telling the truth.

Woo-jin can’t hear what’s going on but knows it isn’t good, so the only surefire way he can think of to earn everyone’s trust is to hold a group campaign where he can show them his safe…

…But no sooner does he raise his hand to call for a meeting that Do-young raises his first, knowing exactly what Woo-jin had planned. He’ll take up all the time remaining before voting so that Woo-jin won’t get a chance to prove himself.

“We’re one step behind,” Woo-jin says, half-stunned that he’s been outmaneuvered by Do-young.

Do-young uses his silver tongue to tell the remaining contestants that he can’t decide the truth for them—instead, he’ll let them decide the truth for themselves. “Because the truth is simple.”

Woo-jin raises his hand to challenge Do-young on his high-flown but ultimately empty words, because if he’s claiming that authenticity isn’t all that important, he’s acknowledging that his last promise was false, isn’t he?

“If that’s so, do you have any way to prove the truth?” Do-young returns coolly. Woo-jin says that he does by opening his safe and proving to everyone that he didn’t take the treasury money. If none of them have the funds, then Do-young will be proven to be the liar.

Do-young sounds like a practiced attorney when he gives Woo-jin a roundabout answer about how it wouldn’t make any difference without making it sound like a roundabout answer, all while giving him an option to make his case through Da-jung.

Because she can’t lie and everyone knows it, Do-young is willing to give her the opportunity to try and convince the other contestants. Da-jung looks nervous, but Woo-jin doesn’t flinch as he chooses to hear the truth over making Da-jung grandstand.

Of course, it can’t be that easy, which is why Do-young wagers a bet. Woo-jin can only hear the truth from him if he wins.

It all comes down to calling a coin toss with one of the golden, ten-thousand-dollars-a-piece game tokens. Whoever tosses the coin can either tell the truth or a lie, and it’s up to the other to discern which it is. Ooooh. Is Do-young going to succeed in lying to the human lie detector?

The rules are as follows: If the person guessing the truth guesses incorrectly, the coin tosser gains a point. Conversely, if the guesser guesses correctly, they become the coin tosser. The only person who can win points is the one who tosses the coin, and the first one to seven points wins.

Woo-jin lets Do-young toss first, but when Do-young claims it’s heads, Woo-jin manages to catch him in a lie by studying his every facial tic when he asks what the heads side of the coin even looks like. When Do-young hesitates just a little, Woo-jin knows it’s tails.

When it’s Woo-jin’s toss, Do-young incorrectly calls the coin, resulting in the first point for Woo-jin. Then another point. And another. There’s no way Do-young is letting this happen purposefully, right?

Do-young does get it right once, resulting in the coin being returned to him… but then Woo-jin guesses correctly and gets it right back. Woo-jin thinks it’s his superior ability to tell a truth from a lie, but Do-young turns the tables when he claims he’s just been going easy on Woo-jin thus far.

Woo-jin scoffs, but Do-young looks him dead in the eye as he asks, “Do I look like I’m lying?” Woo-jin says nothing, so the game continues. I wonder if he could actually tell if Do-young was lying or not.

Now the game takes a turn in Do-young’s favor, since Woo-jin starts reading him wrong and guessing incorrectly. The points quickly add up so that the two are tied at six, and for the first time, Woo-jin starts to look just a wee bit unsettled as he struggles to read Do-young’s every move for a tell.

Do-young only has to win one more point to win the bet, leaving Woo-jin thinking fast once he calls the coin. Only now does he begin to wonder if Do-young is deliberately manipulating his facial tics to make it look like he’s lying, but he can’t be sure of that either.

Left with no other option, Woo-jin decides to close his eyes and rely on luck as he calls Do-young’s claim true.

“False,” Do-young replies. Which means… Woo-jin lost.

Do-young leans in to all but whisper his next gloating words to Woo-jin: “You’re obsessing over the game. You’ve lost your touch. People don’t care about the truth, they believe what they want.” He even drops to banmal(!!) to add, “Then that becomes their truth.”

Woo-jin can do nothing as Do-young addresses the remaining contestants before the vote, and while he gets in a dig about how they’ve overestimated Woo-jin’s abilities, he makes it clear that discerning truth from lies isn’t what matters.

What matters is that they join the team most likely to win. “Become citizens of the winning nation,” he challenges.

By a one-vote lead, Do-young is elected president during the final round. It’s time for him to pony up to his promise to follow the whims of his supporters, except for the tiny part where Do-young admits his final promise was a lie.

However, he still rewards his supporters by giving them hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece. But when it comes to Jaime, who Do-young admits played the biggest part in his win, he gives her… nothing. Her briefcase of money will be going to the eliminated Lawyer Go.

Jaime’s jaw drops as she furiously gestures to all the money Do-young still has left over, which he claims he needs for other purposes. She is NOT satisfied when he promises to give her a bigger reward if she stays loyal to him through the next game. “You can’t do this to me!” she screams.

“Why not?” Do-young asks simply. Hahaha. This man is brutal.

Since winning entitles Do-young to two eliminations of his choice, he first picks Assemblyman Kang, and then calls Woo-jin’s name—not to eliminate him, but to tell him that life’s not so bad just because he lost once.

The contestant he actually eliminates is Bong-geun, but it’s hardly an elimination when he gives him the nine hundred thousand dollars from the treasury. He claims he’s following Da-jung’s example from the last game by giving the contestants he eliminated the means to follow their dreams.

Director Jang throws a fit over the publicity stunt Do-young just pulled, and doesn’t take kindly to PD Lee’s prodding questions about him having backed Do-young’s entry into the game in the first place.

But it’s not because she thinks Director Jang pulled the strings—rather, her concern is that Director Jang and Jaime are being manipulated by Do-young. “I don’t know what Do-young is up to with this game,” she adds. “But I’m not going to let him do as he likes from now on. Because this… is my show.”

Do-young approaches Woo-jin after the game and extends his hand: “Didn’t I tell you? I’ve never lost a battle. This was fun.” Woo-jin declines to shake his hand.

A few bottles of soju later, Dal-goo is in a mood to blame an already-downtrodden Woo-jin for losing: “You said you’d protect Da-jung. You said you were confident that you’d win!”

Woo-jin stops him with a hand over his mouth before he can drunkenly reveal exactly why Do-young is so frightening (since she doesn’t know about Do-young’s hand in the L Company connection), leaving Da-jung to try and cheer him up.

“Don’t blame yourself too much,” she says. “You can’t win every time. We still survived, so we’ll have another chance.” Woo-jin doesn’t look as certain as he replies in a low voice, “Don’t trust me too much.”

The two men walk home, leaving Dal-goo free to voice his slurred opinions: Is Woo-jin doing this for Da-jung, or Do-young? “If you’re using our Da-jung-ie for your revenge, I’ll kill you.”

When Woo-jin is finally curious enough to ask why Dal-goo cares for Da-jung so much, Dal-goo reveals that he found a commonality with Da-jung in their uncanny ability to be duped.

The only reason he went to prison at all was for a woman he loved, but after she betrayed him, he made a vow never to trust anyone again. But then he met the kind and gullible, who reminded him of himself.

“I want her to live well,” Dal-goo ekes out while choking back tears. “In this shitty world, I want that dummy… I want her to be happy.” Lest we dissolve into puddles of Awwww, the moment is broken when Dal-goo vomits.

But he suddenly remembers what it was President Bae told him about Do-young before he almost got sliced open: “Kang Do-young, that bastard, isn’t even human. He’s completely empty inside.”

Reporter Gu tells Woo-jin about the suspicious circumstances surrounding Guru Pippi and Lawyer Go’s sudden disappearances, which wouldn’t arouse suspicion at first glance. But she knows better.

Woo-jin is more interested in the background info she’s fished up on Do-young, before he asks her whether she’s ever met someone who could control their microexpressions—so named because they’re supposed to be brief and involuntary.

She claims that it’s impossible to control them, which is why Woo-jin is so good at detecting lies through people’s microexpressions. “Kang Do-young can do it,” Woo-jin admits. “I’ve never seen it before either.” Reporter Gu wonders if this means Woo-jin has found his first natural enemy—his true nemesis.

Woo-jin stumbles across a damning piece of info on the first page of Do-young’s dossier: his supposed U.S. address, “Walden Two,” is made up. It’s from a novel of the same name by psychologist B.F. Skinner about creating a utopia through behavioral engineering.

And according to Woo-jin, communities formed to carry out these macabre experiments based off the book’s idea of controlling people’s thoughts by shaping their environment—basically, everything creepy about cult psychology and group think, mixed with a little bit of “Big brother is watching you” paranoia.

PD Lee meets with Da-jung’s father in an attempt to convince him to see his daughter, and when Do-young is informed of it, he declines to show the footage on the show.

Then, while facing a mirror, Do-young covers the top half of his face with his hand as he manipulates his mouth to mimic a range of different emotions…

…While Woo-jin creates a wall of evidence by tacking up a chilling photo of a doctor and a group of boys wearing identical masks right next to a photo of Do-young.


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes to this twist. I really didn’t think I could love this show much more than I already did, but it’s almost eerie how this show manages to be everything I love about good fiction. The last show that stole my heart this way was End of the World, which I recognized as being a niche show for a niche audience that I was just weird enough to be a part of.

But Liar Game is its own beast, because it’s managed the rare feat of harnessing bizarre and fantastical elements into a package with mass appeal, and handles all those elements with a technical mastery that never fails to impress each and every episode. Not only was this hour yet another well-executed foray into the depths of human depravity and the small band of people with the huevos rancheros to challenge the status quo, it was also a focused character study that hit all the right buttons—which all goes to say that this was a pretty flawless hour of television.

I hesitate to call this the first real face-off between Woo-jin and Do-young when they’ve been pitted against each other from day one, but watching them go head to head (and literally brain to brain) so directly was everything I’d ever hoped for and more. And the fact that Do-young actually won in a fair fight against Woo-jin? A-mazing. It’s exactly what needed to happen to keep us—and our good guys—on their toes, especially since Woo-jin doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who hears “You can’t win ‘em all” ever, if at all.

And that’s the sort of thing you don’t want to hear when your archenemy is literally an evil mastermind who knows more about how people work than you do. We’d had our suspicions about how Do-young could fool Woo-jin’s internal and unfailing (at least until now) lie detector, and while we knew Do-young’s motivations were sinister and strange, this latest reveal just took things to a whole new level. Because now we know that the greatest villain dramaland has ever seen is conducting a sinister social experiment based (possibly) on a childhood spent wearing a mask as part of someone else’s sinister social experiment. Best origin story ever, or greatest origin story ever? I can’t decide.


Korean SBS Drama Pinocchio Episode 2 Recap and Screencaps

Korean SBS Drama Pinocchio Episode 2 Recap and Screencaps

by Dramabean:

Agh, they’re so cuuuuute. Now that our backstory is in place, the second episode actually brings our leads together onscreen, and I’m happy to say that their dynamic is adorable—their bickering relationship is funny and heartfelt, and I really like both characters. It was impossible to tell from the first episode alone if the show would reel me in, but by the end of this hour, they’ve got me.

Last-place student Dal-po wins his first round of the TV quiz show, wiping the smirk off of the first-place champion and surprising everyone in their class. As the audience claps and the cameras turn to him, he narrates in voiceover that after suffering those cruel events with his family, he vowed to never set foot in a broadcast station or exchange words with anyone even remotely associated with a network.

He says he was so resolute that he thought he’d never break his own rule. “The reason I broke that vow and am standing here now… was for a secret I wanted to protect more than that vow.”

Rewind two weeks. It’s an average morning at Grandpa’s house, as Dal-po and In-ha get ready for school. They try not to roll their eyes TOO hard when Grandpa makes Dal-po promise to look after his niece and for In-ha to listen to her uncle.

Pinocchio Episode2 Screenshots

In-ha bursts into a bout of aegyo to ask Grandpa for allowance money to buy a bike of her own, but Grandpa just counters that she doesn’t need one when her uncle gives her rides every day. The silent look they exchange would say otherwise, but Dal-po snaps her mouth shut before she can tattle on him.

In-ha gets into the cart on the back of Dal-po’s bike—the same one he was too little to pull her in as kids, which is not the case anymore. They wave to Grandpa as they leave, the very picture of sweet country charm… until they’re out of sight and In-ha demands to be let out, and Dal-po complies readily.

He doesn’t even hesitate before riding off without her, and she stomps in frustration. Ha, is this what they do every morning? Dal-po does stop eventually and looks like he might turn back to pick her up, but then he spots Dad watching them from a distance, and keeps going without her.

Pinocchio Episode2 Recap

Dad looks on as In-ha runs to make the boat to school, and she barely makes it before takeoff as always, earning another complaint from the captain about making the entire group late for school again.

She just glares at Dal-po who’s sitting on the boat leisurely, and asks why he hates her so much—what is she, some blood feud enemy of his or something? What a thing to ask. He deadpans that of course she is, and she gets even huffier, if that’s possible.

Dal-po’s quiz show opponent Chan-soo seems to have a little crush on In-ha, and when she arrives at school in a funk over her lack of a bicycle, he offers to give her an extra one from his house. He warns her that it’s old, but she’s so excited that she just clasps his hands in delight and says she’ll take it.

Pinocchio Episode2 Screencaps

She’s over the moon when he brings her the bike, and when she sees Dal-po approaching and a puddle of water between them calling her name, she takes off with an evil glint in her eye. She runs right through the puddle to splash him… only he sees her coming and dodges out of the way, shielding the mud splash with her school forms that he was about to deliver. Foiled again.

In-ha looks over the form that asks what her dream job is, and when she sees that the counselor has suggested lawyer, prosecutor, and judge for her, she chooses lawyer and starts to write it down. But her friend asks how a person who can’t lie can be a lawyer, and Dal-po asks her to consider what would happen if a Pinocchio like her had to defend a murderer.

She doesn’t see what would be so hard about that, and imagines herself in a courtroom, defending serial killer Min Joon-gook (cameo by Jung Woong-in). She starts by saying that if there’s even a shred of doubt, he should be found not guilty… except he also told her he committed murder and wasn’t sorry about it. HA.

Suddenly Min Joon-gook roaaaarrrrs, and familiar music cues his outburst, as he leaps over the witness stand to attack In-ha. He strangles her neck, swearing that he’ll kill her and the bastard who gave her a lawyer’s badge too. Is it wrong that I miss Min Joon-gook a little?

In-ha shakes herself out of the waking nightmare and immediately erases “lawyer” from her page. Dal-po snarks that she’d be the kind of lawyer to get stabbed by the clients she defends, and when Chan-soo suggests she’s pretty enough to be an actress, Dal-po chimes in again to ask how she’d get through scenes where she has to play dead.

In-ha imagines herself as the heroine in a melodrama, where the hero carries her lifeless body through a field. But of course she hiccups through every single take, until the director has a total meltdown. She sighs and erases “actress” too. Chan-soo encourages her that there will be lots of future careers for her to choose from, while Dal-po tells her she’ll basically be unemployable.

Their teacher tells the class that their school will be sending a student to a TV quiz show, and they’ll all be taking a trivia test to find the contestant. After school, Chan-soo shows In-ha the bike bell he installed for her, and hems and haws before blurting out that if he goes on that quiz show, he’s going to confess that he likes her.

She’s startled and starts to answer him, but Chan-soo covers his ears and tells her he hasn’t said it yet, so she can’t answer yet. Ha, that’s adorable. He scurries away, and she’s so floored that she doesn’t notice Dal-po watching from a distance.

In-ha talks to her mother in voiceover (we don’t know if this is something she actually says to Mom or just thinks to herself), and says that she received her first confession from a boy today. But she thought it would feel different—fluttery—not strange like this.

That night, Dal-po finds her upside-down against the wall, which is her thinking pose whenever she has a problem.

Elsewhere, Hyung takes a moment’s pause along his water delivery route when he sees Dad’s wanted poster pinned up on a bulletin board. He asks what the date is today (it’s nearing five years to the date of the fire), and rips the wanted poster down.

Everyone in the class takes the trivia quiz, and Chan-soo beats In-ha by just a few points. But the real surprise is Dal-po, who decided at the last minute to break his All-Bbang streak, and scores 100. The whole class reels to find out the results, and Chan-soo is doubly deflated since he’s just lost his big confession moment.

Feeling vindictive, Chan-soo starts to spread the rumor that Dal-po cheated on his test, and even stole the original to do so. He doesn’t have to do much to fan the flames either, since the others are quick to jump to the worst conclusions about Dal-po.

He takes the scorn in stride, not caring much when they whisper about him being a cheater or a gangster or a psychopath. That is, he’s fine until one guy says he heard that Dal-po’s father was a criminal too. It strikes a nerve and Dal-po snaps.

He slams the other kid against the wall and growls at him to go ahead and say it again, and he’ll rip him to shreds. That only confirms the kids’ worst suspicions about him, and even the teacher refuses to believe Dal-po, having already decided that he’s a liar and a cheater.

He locks eyes with In-ha while the teacher scolds him out in the hall, and the minute she averts his gaze, she starts to hiccup uncontrollably. It lasts for days, and by the time Chan-soo is on the TV quiz show winning the first round to become the new champion, In-ha is still hiccupping.

The MC asks Chan-soo how it feels to win, and that’s when he points at the camera and says, “Choi In-ha, I like you a lot!” The whole class chants at her to accept his confession, but In-ha just sighs and looks over at Dal-po’s empty desk with a long face.

She hangs upside-down in her room again that night, and tells her mom (via text message) that she’s been hiccupping for days and it’s a new record. She knows what she has to do to stop, but doesn’t have the courage to do it, and wonders if anyone’s ever died from hiccups before. She decides to hell with it, and chooses survival over pride.

At school the next day, Dal-po gets called into the office to write an apology for cheating, and he asks why he should apologize for a thing he didn’t do when they’re just rumors. The teacher tells him to prove the rumors false then, and Dal-po flashes back to being surrounded by reporters demanding the same, and Hyung’s response then: “Why do I have to be the one to prove it?”

Dal-po repeats the words now, and the teacher responds exactly as the reporters did: “Because you’re the subject of the rumors.” Dal-po looks around the room and sees a female teacher standing nearby, and tells them he’s going to walk out of here and spread the rumor that he saw the two of them having an affair.

The teacher starts to stammer, and Dal-po tells him to go ahead and prove the rumor false. Teacher immediately asks defensively why he should be the one to prove it, and Dal-po makes his point beautifully: “Because you’re the subject of the rumor.” He slides the letter of apology over and tells him to write one too, and walks out. Of course, once outside, Dal-po starts to worry that he went overboard and yells in frustration.

Meanwhile, In-ha has been working up the nerve to do “it,” whatever it is that’ll stop her incessant hiccupping. Dal-po arrives in the hallway outside their classroom just in time to see her fill her cheeks with water, and spray it all over Chan-soo’s congratulatory cake.

The whole class comes to a dead stop, and In-ha beams to discover that her hiccups have stopped. She tells Chan-soo that she’s sorry but she can’t accept his confession, and tells all the kids to apologize to Dal-po for accusing him when all they have to go on is a rumor. Aw, were you hiccupping the whole time because you didn’t jump to his defense? That’s so cute.

Chan-soo tells her to prove it, so she counters that if she does, he has to split his quiz show winnings in half with Dal-po. Chan-soo agrees, but wants to add a condition if she can’t prove it. He searches for an idea, and comes up with the thing that Dal-po always says: “If I’m right, I get to slap you ten times.” (It’s the thing Dad always used to say, and the thing Dal-po in turn says to Chan-soo on the quiz show.)

Dal-po snarls and In-ha starts to get flustered, but before he can intervene, she declares that the bet is on. Chan-soo warns her that he’s not going to play nice just because she’s a girl, and when he throws a basketball past her, she lies that she’s not scared at all, and hiccups to a round of laughter from her classmates.

She stalks off, mortified, and Dal-po finds her on the stairs wondering to herself if she’ll really get slapped. She decides she’ll just take the hits then, and Dal-po watches her with a smile, not letting his presence known.

After school, Dal-po sees Chan-soo give In-ha’s bike a petty kick, and notices the creaky old bike’s brakes fall apart. He stops In-ha on her way out, but she launches into a defensive explanation about how she didn’t defend him because she wanted to—she had to do it to stop her hiccups.

She doesn’t let him get a word in edgewise, and tells him not to misunderstand, and she really really had no other choice. He asks what he would misunderstand about the situation, and she just says, “Do I have to say it out loud?”

He gives up and just sends her on her way, figuring that if she has eyeballs, she’ll see that her brakes are broken. Naturally, she gets on the bike and rides away without a second thought, and Dal-po is left to run after her.

It’s not until she’s riding down the road at a fairly high speed that she discovers her brakes are out, and she starts to panic. Dal-po rides as fast as he can to chase her down, and manages to cut her off before a bridge and yanks her off the bike before it goes crashing down into the ravine.

He breaks her fall, and In-ha yelps to see that her ankle is bleeding, only to turn around and realize that he’s bleeding from his head, and unconscious too. She shakes him repeatedly but he doesn’t wake up, and by the time he stirs awake, he’s riding in an ambulance with a bandage on his head.

He opens his eyes to see In-ha crying, asking the paramedic if her uncle is going to die. The paramedic says wryly that it’s really just a minor scratch, but she won’t be consoled, and wails that it’s likely brain damage: “He can’t become an idiot! He’s already the outsider—if he becomes a dummy too, he’ll be too pitiful!” LOL, her melodramatics are hysterical.

He finally mutters at her to be quiet, and she asks who she is and how many fingers she’s holding up. When he ignores her, she decides he has amnesia, and he finally has to squeeze her lips shut so he can apologize to the paramedic and ask to be let out.

They walk home in silence, and Dal-po finally notices In-ha hobbling behind him because of her ankle. He turns around and stoops down to offer a piggyback ride, and carries her the rest of the way.

On the boat ride back to their island, Dal-po takes his head bandage off because he doesn’t want to scare Grandpa, and tells In-ha to only tell Dad that she hurt her ankle riding her bike, and nothing more.

He asks her for a bandaid for his forehead, and when she helps him put it on, he tries not to look at her. In-ha confirms that Dal-po’s test score was really due to his skill, and realizes that it means he’s been playing dumb all this time. She asks why, and he says that her real uncle was dumb.

She can’t believe he pretended to be stupid just to keep Grandpa from collapsing, and then wonders why now—what made him break the act? He doesn’t answer, but tells her not to worry about getting slapped, because there’s no way that’s happening. She steals a little glance at him and smiles.

The next day, Dal-po kneels before his piggybank to say that regrettably it’s her lot in life to have her stomach split by the master who feeds her, and winces before taking a knife to cut it open. Hee.

He tells Dad that he’s spending the night at a friend’s house tonight, and In-ha wonders what he’s up to since he doesn’t have any friends. She snoops in his room and doesn’t find anything amiss (ha, his report card really is all zeroes), until she finds one academic book among the stash of comics that catches her eye.

She wonders what he’s doing reading something like this, and goes to the library where he borrowed it. She flips through book after book in the library, only to find that Dal-po has checked out every single one of them at one point or another.

She starts to collect the library cards (I’m cringing for the librarian who has to replace those), amazed that he’s read every volume in there. She begins the laborious process of photocopying all the library cards and making a poster to prove that Dal-po earned his perfect score legitimately.

Dal-po, meanwhile, has gone to Seoul—to broadcast station YGN, where he takes the trivia test to try out for the TV quiz show. We already know he gets chosen to be Chan-soo’s challenger, and he leads their speed-quiz round. All the kids in their class are amazed, and even In-ha’s dad sees the program on TV while shopping at the market.

It comes time for the final question, where either of the boys could win. Chan-soo leaps to answer first but only knows one of a four-part answer, and when Dal-po takes his turn, he purposely names the other three and pretends not to know the last. Everyone watching can tell that he’s doing it to mess with Chan-soo, who has no choice but to get the question right and win, but feel defeated all the same.

Everyone in the class is quick to jump ship and believe in Dal-po now, and In-ha looks around at her classmates with a smile, as it sinks in that Dal-po found the best way to prove the rumors false after all, and to save her from getting slapped.

She beams and declares it the coolest thing ever, and when her friend asks if she’s talking about Dal-po, she clarifies that she means the power of broadcast TV—in one fell swoop, Dal-po proved to anyone watching what the truth really was. Uh-oh, I’m pretty sure this is the last thing Dal-po wanted to have come out of this. She takes out her form and fills in the future career goal in ink, declaring that she’ll never ever change her mind about this one.

Dad calls Grandpa to make sure that he didn’t watch TV today, only now realizing why Dal-po had asked him to keep Grandpa busy that day. But what they don’t know is that Grandpa has discovered In-ha’s poster detailing why Dal-po is smart and earned that perfect score all on his own merit. Oh no. Gramps can’t die too! Don’t do it, Show.

The PDs of the quiz show program complete the final paperwork with Dal-po and Chan-soo, and Dal-po doesn’t seem to recognize reporter Gyo-dong, who’s now a PD. Gyo-dong asks why Dal-po threw the match when he could’ve won, and Dal-po tries to play dumb but Gyo-dong tells him that broadcast television isn’t some joke.

Dal-po holds the elevator door open long enough to answer, and his tone turns dark as he says that he doesn’t consider it a joke: “Broadcast television is the thing that can kill a person with just one word. So how could I dare think of it as a joke?”

He says he didn’t answer the last question because if he had, it would mean he has to step foot in this station again—a place where people arm themselves with microphones and cameras and repeat rumors based on hunches. He screams that it’s disgusting to be breathing the same air as those people, and that’s why he’d rather die than have to return to this place. He lets go of the door and the elevator heads down without him.

Dal-po’s outburst leaves Gyo-dong in a daze, and his thoughts naturally drift back to that cliff on the day they discovered Mom’s suicide note and Little Dal-po’s shoe. Hyung had railed at them, blaming every last one of the reporters: “You killed them! You killed my brother and my mother!” Chan-soo starts to apologize for Dal-po, but Gyo-dong says he’s right.

In-ha gasps when she comes home to find her Dal-po Is a Smartypants poster laid out on her desk, and hurries to check on Grandpa. He seems totally fine though, and accepts her lie that Dal-po is coming home from his friend’s house tonight, even though she has to suppress her hiccups. Grandpa says it looks like rain, and worries that Dal-po didn’t take an umbrella.

The bus ride home from Seoul is an awkward one for the boys, and finally Dal-po tells Chan-soo to say what’s on his mind instead of stealing glances like a boy with a crush. Chan-soo says he’ll just ask him three things then: Did he pretend to be stupid all this time? Yes. Why did he break his All-Bbang streak all of a sudden? To go on the quiz show.

Chan-soo doesn’t get it, and asks if he really hates going to the station that much. Dal-po confirms that he does. So when Chan-soo asks why he had to do the quiz show then, Dal-po says he already asked his three questions and doesn’t answer.

The clouds roll in as Grandpa predicted, and In-ha sees Dal-po’s umbrella still hanging on its hook. She shakes the idea out of her head and says that he deserves to be rained on, only to hiccup. I love that she can’t even lie to herself with this condition.

Dal-po gets to the bus stop in the pouring rain, wondering if he’ll freeze to death trying to get home. But then when the cars and buses clear out, he sees In-ha asleep, waiting for him. A smile creeps across his face, and we go back to the two weeks when all of this began…

When Chan-soo first offered his bike and In-ha held his hands in gratitude, Dal-po bristled, but pretended to be asleep. And then he overheard Chan-soo’s not-a-confession, and when it came time to take the test, he couldn’t help himself.

He thinks back to In-ha’s question on the boat: Why did he show his brains now, all of a sudden? Back in the present, he says it out loud though no one is around to hear it: “Because I like you.” Awwww.

In-ha wakes up and waves at him, and comes running out into the rain, only to find her umbrella broken. He chuckles and disappears, then suddenly reappears with two giant traffic cones that he sticks on her head.

He takes the other one and they wear them as hats, which is pretty impractical but so cute. She tells him not to misunderstand, because Grandpa forced her to come. He points out that she’s hiccupping, and she lies again that it’s because she’s cold.

She stops to ask what it is he meant to say, back on the quiz show when he addressed her directly but got cut off. He searches for something to say, and comes up with: “If I win, don’t get off my bike from now on.” She wonders what he means by that: “You’re not… possibly…”

They stand there in the rain staring at each other, and Dal-po narrates: “When I look back on it now, that’s the moment I should’ve left. It was a feeling I shouldn’t have kept in my heart, and a person I shouldn’t have met.” An insert to the form on In-ha’s desk reveals what she wrote down as her dream job: “Broadcast reporter. Reason: Because I can’t tell a lie.”

Back in the city, we see Hyung skulking outside their ex-neighbor’s house—the man with Pinocchio syndrome who reported that he saw Dad after the fire. He narrates addressing their father, that today the statute of limitations on his case runs out.

He hates the people who did this to them, but even if it were to make everything they said about him true, he’d prefer that because it would mean Dad were alive and could come back to him. He clutches Dad’s wanted poster in the rain and cries, “I miss you, Father.”

And now, five years after the fire, the rain washes away a mound of dirt to reveal the skeletal remains of one last firefighter. (I don’t know what Dad’s doing all the way out here when he was clearly at the center of the blast, but the point is that he died that day, without a doubt.)

Dal-po (voiceover): “Before those feelings grew bigger, when I could still turn things around, I should have left.”

Back at the bus station, when In-ha hesitates, Dal-po asks if she’s jumping to conclusions of her own. He says in any case, he didn’t win so she can just keep not riding his bicycle, and tells her not to misunderstand. She gets all huffy and insists she did nothing of the kind! *hiccup*

She hides in her cone out of embarrassment, and he just smiles as he watches her flail about. He narrates: “I thought that this thumping in my heart would quiet after time, and that once it did, I could leave. But that was childish misconception, and an excuse to linger by her side.”


Lee Jong-seok is never better than when he’s working with this production team, and I’m so happy to erase Dr. Whozit from my memory. The downside is that when he’s doing his voiceovers, I hear Park Su-ha (his I Hear Your Voice character), and that’s a connection that’s hard to shake. It’s a positive association, but it’s also very familiar, and I think the writer is going to have to stretch a little to differentiate Dal-po. I don’t find his character to be confusingly similar, but when he’s narrating, there’s something inherently Su-ha-esque about the internal monologue. Maybe it’s just a thing that’ll fade with time?

The high school story is where I’m feeling the first sense of attachment to the characters, and I’m loving In-ha’s begrudging sense of honor. I find it cute that she blames her Pinocchio syndrome for forcing her to stand up for Dal-po when he’s been wronged, when really, it’s her internal barometer of right and wrong that determines whether or not she hiccups. Because it’s not a condition that relies on absolutes—if she believes a thing down to her bones, it is truth, and if she doesn’t, it’s a lie. So the fact that she withstands ridicule by her classmates to defend Dal-po is a sign of her good character in two ways—that she finds it wrong in the first place, and that she then bravely speaks up for what she believes in. While I agree that she’d probably end up stabbed by a client, being a public defender might not be such a terrible career choice for her after all.

The one thing that made me look forward to their young adult years after high school was Dal-po’s scene with former reporter Gyo-dong. We all suspected that Gyo-dong would be our principled reporter based on his trajectory in the first episode, but I’m glad to know it’s true. He wasn’t very different from Cha-ok five years ago, when he was arguing for the same things that she was, and only had a more principled boss to stop him. But what’s important is how that event with Dal-po’s family changed him, and what he learned about his profession and the power of his voice. I’m curious to learn why he’s the PD of a quiz show now instead of a news reporter, and overall the Dal-po/Gyo-dong matchup is the one thing that doesn’t make me sad about leaving the high school years eventually. Well that and the possibility of Dal-po reuniting with Hyung, but I feel like they’re going to tease that for close to an eternity.

What got me about the central romance was how their feelings grew out of a genuine bond, because no matter how much they pretend outwardly to hate each other, they’re family and they look out for each other. I can’t believe Dal-po got such horrific grades all this time just to keep Grandpa in good health, but then it’s just as cute that after all that, he can’t let it go when the other kid might win In-ha’s heart. I do want to see him be more conflicted about his feelings, but I’m sure that angst is well on its way. For now their mutual feelings (and inability to confess, of course) is enough to get me onboard, especially when he looks at her like she’s the cutest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.


Korean KBS Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Recap and Screencaps

Korean KBS Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Recap and Screencaps

by Dramabeans:

Audition hall. After arriving to an empty auditorium, the judges receive word that there are students prepared to audition after all. Teacher Ahn is pleased at this sign that the boycott issue was resolved, while Teacher Do sniffs that an S Orchestra student is still going to fail, considering that judging will purely be based on ability.

Yoo-jin and Nae-il arrive just in time for the first solo, recognizing Il-lac immediately. While he plays, Il-lac’s mind is full of Nae-il’s earlier reminder of everything Yoo-jin had done for them. In this case, Yoo-jin’s actions speak louder than his words (in that he offered no words). As Yoo-jin watches anxiously, Nae-il reaches out and takes his hand in a reassuring gesture.

Korean KBS Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Recap and Screencaps

The A Orchestra members are also alerted to the end of the boycott, but Shi-won is confused to see that many are skipping auditions anyway. The others say that they got what they needed out of the orchestra—namely, the ability to put it on their credentials—and now they’re all going to focus on their soloist ambitions.

It’s kind of sweet to think that Shi-won naively gave them more credit than that, but now she realizes that Yoo-jin had a point about the orchestra just being boxes to tick off on their resumés. Well, it won’t stop her from going to the auditions.

Teacher Do wrestles with conflicting thoughts as he listens to the auditions. He clearly recognizes who’s playing, which makes me wonder what the point is of making this “blind” when the blindness is ineffectual. Ah, well, let’s go with it.

Korean KBS Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Recap 

In any case, Teacher Do doesn’t understand the difference between his expectations and the reality sitting in front of him (psst, the word you’re looking for is prejudice), while Teacher Ahn notes that they’ve all undergone tremendous improvement. Having performed twice now, he says, their skills have grown by leaps and bounds.

Teacher Do may be prejudiced and haughty, but I’m relieved to see that when confronted with the actual music, he can give due credit. For instance, A Orchestra trumpeter Jae-yong puts in a competent audition, but Teacher Do hears that he’s mimicking his teacher’s style to a tee: “There’s no growth, and no future hope. He’ll probably perform his whole life the way he plays in his lessons.”

Yoo-jin joins a pensive Teacher Do afterward, who asks whether Yoo-jin’s purpose in creating the new orchestra was to chase away A Orchestra applicants who’d be too prideful to stay. Yoo-jin says no—his motive was to get Teacher Do to actually listen to the S Orchestra players. He adds that Dean Mina had been the one to suggest him as a judge, having full faith in his judgment in scoring. So Yoo-jin in turn trusted that Teacher Do would be fair once he listened.

The members of both orchestras line up and eye each other tensely as they await the results. Okay, now the RomeoJuliet music cracks me up, given Il-lac’s dramatics about being star-crossed across orchestra lines. When the list is posted, students rush to check for their names, and our S Orchestra members squeal wildly to find that they’ve all made it.

Korean KBS Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Screencaps

Il-lac is immediately humbled to recall Yoo-jin’s words about believing in them, and he’s moved to tears.

The list includes a fair number of former A Orchestra members, although making the cut doesn’t make them much happier. Trumpet player Jae-yong sniffs that he’ll just “half-ass” things till he goes abroad… until he registers that he’s second chair. His jaw drops. Muahaha, that feels good.

The school board chairwoman is furious that several prominent students were cut, and expresses her disappointment in Teacher Do. He replies that he was fair, however, and that he would have cut S Orchestra members if they’d performed poorly. He declares, “I am a teacher. I don’t play around with scores.” It doesn’t endear him to the chairwoman, and he sighs that his hopes of being made university dean just went poof. But at least you have your soul!

Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Recap 

Yoo-jin smiles at a text from Nae-il asking if she can join him to eat, although his response is a customarily gruff “Don’t bug me” text. But never say he doesn’t learn from past mistakes, because he catches himself and reconsiders, changing his response to a simple okay. Nae-il lights up to read it.

Il-lac joins him in the lounge, a little tentative as he speaks up: “Tell me. Say that this time and last time, you were acting for our sake. That you weren’t ditching us for being bottom-rate. Then I’ll believe you.”

Yoo-jin says, “I’m sorry. Back then, I should have had faith in you guys and gone with you. I tried to solve it on my own.”

Well, that’s all it takes, and Il-lac scoots close and throws an arm around Yoo-jin’s shoulder, declaring, “Let’s never be apart again.” I love him so much. And even that’s not fervent enough for him, because he thinks of a stronger way to prove his friendship and suggests a blood pledge. While Il-lac looks around for a needle or sharp stabby object, Yoo-jin hurriedly packs up his things and escapes, telling Il-lac to get bloody on his own.

Nae-il arrives outside Yoo-jin’s door and has to calm herself down from the excitement, telling herself that it’s “only food.” There’s no answer and she can’t let herself in because he changed his door code, which makes her wistful for the days when they had the same code and it felt like they were spouses living in the same space. But wouldn’tcha know, the old number she punches in idly actually opens the door, because Yoo-jin the huge marshmallow (in armadillo disguise) changed it back.

Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10 Screencaps

Inside, Nae-il finds all her old things back where she’d left them, and we see that Yoo-jin had gone around putting her belongings back in their places. Ah, so that’s what he meant last time when he tried to explain what he’d done with her things and she assumed he’d thrown them out. Of course Yoo-jin downplays this now, but Nae-il knows what’s up, and that’s what I care about.

Yoo-jin’s mother gets a call that first makes her scoff, and then raises her hackles in alarm. So now the absentee father wants to come back and roleplay Dad? Getting very serious, Mom tells him strongly not to do “that.”

Filling in the blank spots for us is a flashback to Yoo-jin’s childhood, when he’d excitedly told his father about a competition he was going out for. Icy Dad (Jung Bo-seok) had barely spared him a glance, saying that there was no value in him watching his son play anywhere but the best stage. This turns out to be a memory that Yoo-jin dreams, and he awakens wondering at the sudden thoughts of his father, with whom he’s been estranged for years.

He arrives at the rehearsal room to a happier surprise, with the new members assembled and ready to work. Il-lac presents the name they’ve dubbed themselves, the Rising Star Orchestra, and the ex-S Orchestra members are particularly happy to be back, suggesting a celebratory party afterward.

The A members are a bit sour, but at least they’re here. For now, at least, because they have lessons and other commitments that require them to cut out early. Yoo-jin explains that it’s a little early to be naming themselves anything since they are still awaiting official school approval, but agrees that they’ll have to pick a piece for their first performance, which Dean Mina will be lining up.

Nae-il is drags Yoo-jin to the restaurant afterward, insisting that Yoo-jin come to a welcome-back party and telling him that Il-lac has gifted him with a lifetime coupon to eat for free. Things get immediately awkward when he sees that Yoon-hoo is there with his friends, however, and it makes him stiff(er than usual).

Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 10  Screenshots

It’s amusing because Yoon-hoo knows it’s awkward but he feigns complete ignorance to Yoo-jin’s grumpiness, saying cheerfully that he’s got a lifetime coupon too. Yoo-jin gripes that Il-lac must be giving those away like candy. Su-min starts to chime in, but gets shut down by Il-lac, who insists that only two people in the world have them: his bestest bestie Yoo-jin, and his good friend Yoon-hoo.

I actually love this interchange because Yoon-hoo is totally aware, and his friendliness only makes Yoo-jin crankier. So Yoo-jin excuses himself from the party, which causes Nae-il to hurry after him, and of course Yoon-hoo follows suit.

And so, the trio walks home too—ha, Yoo-jin can’t even storm off in peace. Yoon-hoo keeps up his cheerful face until he gets home, where he sighs, “I thought I was almost there, but now things are back to the beginning.” Then he grips his injured hand tightly, his face crumpling in pain.

Nae-il encourages Yoo-jin to be nicer to Yoon-hoo, who was really good to their crew while he was apart from the orchestra. Miffed, Yoo-jin asks jealously whose side she’d take in a fight, and immediately realizes how petty that sounds and cancels the question. But Nae-il answers anyway, “I’d take your side,” and he smiles.

Yoo-jin picks out a song to show her, and they sit there listening to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. (Aieeeeee, they’re doing it after all!) Yoo-jin muses on what it would be like to have Nae-il perform it, liking the idea of them performing it together. (Aieeeee!)

She likes the idea, and he says that if she gets more serious about her playing, they could do it sometime. They sit there smiling at each other for a few moments, until the intimacy spooks her and she hurriedly takes her leave. But she pauses outside his door, hand to fluttering heart, thrilling at the moment.

Streseman calls again to remind Yoo-jin of his promise to talk to Mina for him, put out that it’s taking so long. He’s glad that his contract is coming to an end soon, after which he can come back and work his way into her good graces.

Streseman hears the Rachmaninoff playing in the background and asks if it’s his selection, and whether he’s got a pianist yet. He tells Yoo-jin to go ahead with this concerto and offers up a pianist for the part—one who’ll be equally difficult for the chairwoman to accept or reject.

Which explains the new character we next meet, a sharply dressed and scary-looking young lady heading to the Haneum campus in taxi. She’s reading a classical music magazine and takes particular note of the story on Yoo-jin, highlighting his distinction as Streseman’s sole pupil.

Busy in study mode, Yoo-jin reviews the score and muses to Nae-il that it’ll be difficult getting the A and S members to work together, because their styles are so different. Nae-il offers up advice from a book she’s reading, saying that first they have to define the relationships, and Yoo-jin agrees. HA. The book is You Can Date Too, and she’s having a different conversation.

Nae-il explains that they’ve passed through Steps 1 and 2 (green light, flirting) and are now ready for Step 3: Dating. Yoo-jin snatches the book away and tosses it, telling her to study music instead of books like this. But then Nae-il orders him to retrieve the book for her and he does, which pretty much tells you all about their relationship, doesn’t it?

Nae-il is insistent on doing as the book tells her, and directs Yoo-jin to change her name in his phone from Flutterfeet to Fluttering ♥. (Both are puns on her name, since Seol Nae-il sounds like seol-le-im.) First of all, I love that he’s actually trying instead of shutting her down, and secondly, that they’re following an advice book that’s meant to help a single person start dating, not a couple who can just bypass the book entirely and just, you know, date.

Yoo-jin cringes at the Fluttering ♥, but she wheedles until he complies. You’d think she’d asked him to cut off a finger from the way he struggles to type in the letters, and he can’t bring himself to add the heart. So Nae-il snatches the phone away to add the hearts herself and requests twice-daily calls, “to build up affection.” So saith the book.

The scary new girl arrives on campus, and Nae-il recognizes her as a famous pianist, Sohn Su-ji (Bebop idol Ahyeon). She interrupts a meeting between Dean Mina and the angry chairwoman (who’s refusing to approve the new orchestra), and Su-ji has enough name recognition that the chairwoman is immediately deferential.

Su-ji announces that she was brought here by Streseman’s personal request and has a reporter in tow, who asks for a photograph with Su-jin and the maestro. But Su-ji realizes that Streseman brought her here under false assurances, and just as quickly storms out.

The chairwoman envisions the possibilities flashing before her with such a famous musician in their midst and scrambles to prevent her departure. So she blurts out the promise to bring Streseman right away, placating Su-ji.

Thus Streseman returns to campus, and the green light is given to the orchestra to perform with Su-ji. Yoo-jin makes the announcement to his orchestra, who greet the news with excitement. (Is that a flicker of jealousy from Shi-won when Il-lac fanboys over Su-ji’s arrival?) He reminds them that they’ll have to prepare well because Su-ji’s presence will bring media attention.

Nae-il dodges more lessons with Teacher Do, who is still valiantly trying to get her back into the practice studio. She manages to run away yet again, and Teacher Do sighs that at this rate she’ll miss all the competitions this year. Which is her intention, I’m sure.

Nae-il meets Yoon-hoo for their practice, and he asks her to sign a form—he wants them to play their duet along with the orchestra in the next performance. Nae-il immediately declines, falling back on her defense of playing only for fun in practices, to which he says disappointedly that he wants to play for other people. What’s the point in a performance without an audience?

He hides his painkiller prescription from Nae-il, but afterward in the bathroom he fights back cries of agony, clutching his hand.

Su-ji meets with Streseman and makes it clear that she agreed to the performance only because it was his request. She has her eye on someone else to conduct, however, and asks about Yoo-jin.

Yoo-jin is called to join them, and Su-ji gives him the once-over and says haughtily that he’s a square—a type she dislikes. He returns simply, “You’re not a type I like either.”

Streseman suggests that they do a preliminary run-through, so Su-ji plays while Yoo-jin studies her performance. That’s how Nae-il finds them, the sight of their collaboration making her heart sink. She recalls Yoo-jin wanting to perform this piece with her—and how “if you get more serious about your playing,” it might happen in the future. “That’s my spot,” she thinks, watching Su-ji play.

It also makes her think back to Streseman’s warning that neither time nor Yoo-jin would wait for her, and Nae-il feels that keenly now. So she agrees to perform with Yoon-hoo after all, promising to work hard and thinking hopefully that she won’t tremble onstage the way she did as a child. Yoon-hoo says encouragingly, “Of course, you’re an adult now.”

In orchestra rehearsal, Yoo-jin goes over notes with Shi-won, and the disgruntled A Orchestra guys use that to pick a fight with Yoo-jin, complaining that he’s wasting their rehearsal time on private coaching. Jae-yong takes a swipe at the bottom-rate S Orchestra, firing up Il-lac, who argues right back.

Yoo-jin has no patience for the quibbling and tells them all that they can practice once the fighting is done. Until then, there will be no orchestra practices.

The chairwoman, who is frankly getting a whole lotta screentime for someone who doesn’t even have a name, is still intent on bringing down the orchestra, though she’s employing a different strategy this time. She smirks that hothouse plants will feel the bite of the wind once they lose their hothouse, and says, “We’ll wait… until they fall on their own.”

Thus comes the decision not to give the Rising Stars any school funding, which means they’ll be forced to cancel the performance. This is a big deal to Shi-won and her friends, who can’t fathom how to function without support, while the S Orchestra kids just shrug that it’s not like they ever got any money. Il-lac suggests handling things themselves, and his buddies cheerily agree to figure out costumes, food, and performance details on their own.

Shi-won and her A Orchestra friends hesitantly go along with the plan, but they’re thrown by every obstacle that crops up. For instance, because the Rising Stars haven’t gotten official approval yet, their performance won’t get them excused from classes or exams, so they’re still on the hook for full coursework. And that cuts into all their time, leaving no time to practice.

I love that the S Orchestra’s response is basically, “Uh, you can just do it, you know.” The A Orchestra is lost without the coddling they used to get, but the S kids didn’t even know that those exemptions existed. They shrug that they can juggle their responsibilities as before and just sleep in classes. Ha. Once again, Shi-wonCo. find themselves agreeing, more because of the S crew’s confidence than anything. And Yoo-jin observes with a smile as they work things out together.

Nae-il and Yoon-hoo work hard on their duet as well, although Yoon-hoo starts getting pretty intense in practices. Nae-il remains cheerful and is happy about their fast progress, but Yoon-hoo curtly asks them to focus on their playing and doesn’t even realize that they’ve been at it for hours.

It’s Yoo-jin who interrupts, pointing out that he’s been overworking Nae-il

duet work. It’s a reversal of their dynamic, where now it’s Yoo-jin reminding Yoon-hoo to treat her thoughtfully instead of the other way around.

When Yoo-jin asks why she went along with Yoon-hoo’s demanding practices, she answers that she wants to work hard and perform properly—without a mask or costume this time. She says, “If I just don’t tremble, I can do a good job.”

He looks encouraged, but I’m unsettled at Nae-il’s need to assure herself repeatedly that she’ll be fine. “It’ll be okay. Because it’s not a competition. It’s just a festival, so I can enjoy myself.”

Everyone pours in the hours into their practices, Yoo-jin and the orchestra on the Rachmaninoff concerto, and Nae-il on her duet. Finally, performance day arrives, and Yoo-jin and Nae-il meet outside their doors to head out together.

He notes that she looks confident, and she jokes that he’s blindingly beautiful. Then she grabs his hand and asks, “We’re standing together on the same stage today, aren’t we?” He replies, “Yes, even if it’s separately.”

She says, “Next time, we’ll be able to stand together.” He agrees that if she does well, people will remember her name.

But it’s not looking good for poor Yoon-hoo, who finds an empty room to duck into, clutching his hand in pain. “Hang in there, just for today,” he tells himself. “For today. No, just half the day. I only need four hours.”

As Nae-il gets ready, Min-hee encourages her to crush Su-ji’s performance. They cheer each other on, and then Nae-il’s excitement turns into anxiousness. No, don’t get nervous now! I’m getting a sinking feeling about this…

Dean Mina is more nervous about the Rising Stars than Yoo-jin, alternately trying not to pressure him while also impressing upon him how important this performance is in getting the group approved. Thank goodness Yoo-jin is calmer, and he assures Mina that they’ll do a good job.

He transfers that sense of calm to his excited orchestra, who note how extra-confident he seems today. “Of course,” he replies. “I’m confident in my instruments.” Pause to awww.

His words give everyone an extra surge of positive vibes, and they declare that they don’t need to worry as long as they follow Yoo-jin.

The nerves are mounting for Nae-il, who tells herself in her mirror, “It’s okay, that was when you were young—now, it’ll be okay.” She’s working too hard to work to convince herself that this isn’t terrifying for her, and it doesn’t look like the pep talks are doing their job.

And then, one more wrench gets thrown into the works. Mom receives word that her husband is coming to see Yoo-jin perform, but rather than being cause for optimism, this is a Very Bad Thing for him. She explains to Mina that Dad bears the blame for making Yoo-jin’s plane and sea phobias worse, damn him and his exacting perfectionism.

His presence could really do a number on Yoo-jin’s state of mind, so Mom heads out determined to block him. But Dad is already on the way, as Yoo-jin prepares to take the stage…


Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

It’s Sunday, the day of rest, and in the early morning, Geu-rae goes for a run, remembering how his old baduk teacher counseled that physical health is important for mental health, especially when it comes to will power and stamina.

At a coffee shop, Baek-ki tries to appear politely interested in his blind date, but she’s more focused on his salary and how he would be able to provide for her. He bails early and heads to the movies, where he runs into Young-yi (and he lies that he’s dressed up for a friend’s wedding, not a blind date).

They end up watching a horror-film double-feature together, and afterwards Young-yi is amused at Baek-ki’s glassy-eyed expression. Ha! Apparently he can’t handle scary movies. She leans in to tell him one more scary thing: “Tomorrow’s Monday.”

Chief Oh snoozes on the sofa as his wife cleans, and when she ruthlessly vacuums the sofa with him still on it, he ends up on the floor, much to the delight of his sons.

Monday arrives (as predicted) and everyone’s back at work, and Chief Oh is in his boss’s office, expecting a new big project after the rare resources one was taken from him. But when he sees what it’s for — and more importantly, who he’ll have to persuade to sign a contract — he immediately refuses.

The department head offers Chief Oh a bribe that’s hard to ignore: if they get this deal, then he’ll assign an another person to the overworked Sales Team 3. Chief Oh’s reticence to start a new project baffles Geu-rae, though, and he wonders what his boss could be so worried about.

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

Committing a crime, apparently. During a rooftop smoke break, he bursts out that this assignment is worse than embezzlement, and besides, he doesn’t want to look bad in front of his kids. Which is why he didn’t accept the assignment after all, much to Dong-shik’s exasperation.

But when they return to the office, the documents for the Mecca Phone deal have already been delivered. It looks like they’ll have no choice but to work on it, then, because Chief Oh’s last-ditch effort to avoid it due to lack of funds only ends up with him being presented with his boss’s company credit card.

As Chief Oh returns to his lost-in-thought catatonic state, Dong-shik tries explains to the bewildered Geu-rae why Chief Oh is so against this project. He struggles to explain the issue Chief Oh has with the “quirky” CEO Moon of Mecca Phone, but finally states that it all comes down to Chief Oh’s “principles.”

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 8 Recap 

Those “principles” apparently have given him the grand idea of getting the three of them to drink spoiled milk, since the department head can’t possibly expect them to work when they’re sick with food poisoning.

Dong-shik protests, but Geu-rae downs his in one shot while the other two stare in astonishment. They attempt gag down the rest of the spoiled milk, and it’s as gross as you can imagine. But as the men sit on the toilet, expecting the worst, they gradually realize that their microflora is heartier than expected. The taste of sour milk never seemed so bitter.

Back to square one as everyone returns whole and healthy to their desks. Geu-rae wonders what principle of Chief Oh’s could possibly be stronger than his work ethic. But he’s not given much time to think about it as the phones start to ring off the hook from various owners of gentlemen’s clubs, offering Chief Oh special deals.

Korean tvN drama Misaeng Episode 8 Screenshots

Annoyed, he hangs up on them all, yelling at them to never call him again, but one enterprising owner arrives in person, official business plan in hand. She gives her sales pitch, reminding Chief Oh that they were the ones who helped Sales Team 1 seal the deal last year with CEO Moon, and assures him that with their VIP services, satisfaction is guaranteed. Especially for the “second round.”

As Chief Oh mopes outside with Sales Team 2’s department chief (who tells him to suck it up and just accept the assignment for the sake of his team), Dong-shik and Geu-rae happily snack on the sweet treats the gentlemen’s club owner brought as a bribe.

But once Geu-rae finds out that the reason Chief Oh is so dead-set against entertaining CEO Moon is because the CEO always demands a second round (aka sexual favors) he sets aside the candy in distaste. A second round is illegal, of course, but Dong-shik attempts to explain that Chief Oh isn’t just against it because of legal reasons, but also because of his principles regarding basic human dignity.

Misaeng Episode 8 Recap and Screenshots

Geu-rae: “So he puts people above work?” As noble as it sounds, it’s also frustrating — Dong-shik points out that for an assignment that affects the whole team, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, principles be damned.

Seok-yul to the rescue! Of course he knows exactly the dilemma Sales Team 3 is going through, and he suggests that Chief Oh just get CEO Moon so drunk in the first round he’ll sign the contract without going to the second. He adds that he would offer his vast drinking knowledge to help out, but he’s just too busy right now. Both Chief Oh and I laugh at the thought of Seok-yul being “too busy.”

Baek-ki returns to his desk after his smoke break, noting the corrections Assistant Manager Kang made on the list he gave him earlier. In a huff, he sets about updating them in the spreadsheet, remembering that Assistant Manager Kang had told him he could go work at another company if he wanted to. His phone buzzes, and it’s a message from a head hunter, asking if he’s thinking about switching jobs any time soon. Perfect timing!

The resource department’s chief gives the carbon emissions case to Young-yi, since she was the one who convinced the finance department to approve it, and he also assigns douchey Assistant Manager Ha to work on it with her. Young-yi is thrilled that she’ll get to work on her own project, but Assistant Manager Ha is pissed that he’s forced to work with her. He pulls her aside to tell her to find an excuse — any excuse at all — to not work on the case.

As Chief Oh returns to his desk, he sees that poor over-worked Dong-shik’s fallen asleep in his chair, only jolted awake by the phone ringing. Remembering the promise that the department head would give him another employee, which would lessen the workload for his team, he makes his decision: “Let’s do it!”

Geu-rae provides a hilariously detailed powerpoint presentation of all the research he’s done regarding their “entertainment strategy” for CEO Moon. There’s even a flowchart! But it doesn’t get them any further in figuring out how to get CEO Moon (with his ridiculously high alcohol tolerance) drunk before the second round.

Misaeng Episode 8 Recap 

Enter Seok-yul, with his simple whiteboard and a basic seating chart (ha, it looks like he spent more time on his drawing of CEO Moon’s face than anything else). Young-yi gets roped into their shenanigans, too, and is assigned the role of CEO Moon in their imagined role-play. Aw, she looks super cute with her mustache!

Seok-yul launches into his convoluted plan, but is swiftly interrupted by Young-yi, who explains why his advice isn’t totally helpful. Then she rattles off a list of ways the guys can pretend to keep drinking but still stay sober. They all stare at her in astonishment. Chief Oh: “See? This is why I said we need her!”

Later, when Geu-rae tells her that Chief Oh is going through all this to uphold his principles, she marvels at the old-fashioned concept, charmed to discover that such idealism still exists in this cynical and jaded world. Despite Dong-shik’s worry about not having the second round as a backup, Chief Oh is convinced they’ll find a way to get CEO Moon to sign in the first round, no matter what.

Baek-ki’s getting ready to leave for the day when Assistant Manager Kang returns. He glances at the corrections made to the list, approving them, and then hands Baek-ki a new document to review for typos. But Baek-ki’s reached his breaking point, and tells him that he won’t do it.

He’s done enough tedious clerical tasks as an intern — he’s here to do business, to start working on projects like the other newbies (he stops just short of fully naming Geu-rae). Baek-ki wants to know why his assistant manager hates him so much, but Assistant Manager Kang wants to know what Baek-ki has learned so far. All Baek-ki can come up with is “patience,” and he adds that this is not the time for learning, but to put his already-learned knowledge to use.

Young-yi watches in concern as he stomps off, giving her the cold shoulder when they meet at the elevator. She’s tagging along with Sales Team 3 for dinner (on the boss’s dime, since Chief Oh still has his credit card, ha!). But when an unfamiliar man steps into the lobby and quietly calls her name, she freezes in shock.

Excusing herself from dinner, she hurries to the bus stop to go home. She’s so preoccupied with her thoughts about this mysterious man, she doesn’t realize she left some paperwork on the bench. Geu-rae, who’s been keeping a careful eye on her, runs to get on the bus so he can return them to her.

He watches in quiet concern as she stares out the window, ignoring him. Fighting back tears, she remembers a previous time when she confronted that mysterious man from the lobby, referring to him as “Team Leader” as she angrily called him a hypocrite. Crying, she demanded to know if he thought she would be grateful or think of him as her savior, before turning on her heel and walking away.

Misaeng Episode 8 Screencaps

In the present, her phone rings — it’s the mysterious unknown number from before. This time she answers it, but only to say “Please stop, Father.” Innnnnteresting. She’s so shaken by everything, she doesn’t even notice when Geu-rae gets off the bus.

The next morning, Baek-ki sighs defeatedly as he enters the office. But the document awaiting his review is back on his desk, and he slams it down in frustration. He reads the message from the head-hunter one last time before deciding to give her a call.

The men of Sales Team 3 prepare themselves to entertain CEO Moon as though they’re going to war, and they arrive at the gentlemen’s club to double-check that all their carefully planned efforts to avoid getting drunk have been set up.

The fabulously mustachioed CEO Moon arrives, and Geu-rae wonders if Chief Oh will be able to stick to his principles. It will be a lot harder than originally planned, since CEO Moon casually walks by the room that the guys have pre-selected. They stare in worried astonishment as Geu-rae narrates that the battle was over before it was even begun.

Between flashes of the drunken aftermath as the guys, in crazy costumes, belt-out karaoke while CEO Moon cozies up to the ladies, we see how each and every meticulous detail they worked on was easily foiled.

Even though they never really stand a chance, Chief Oh tries to persevere with his intent to get CEO Moon to sign the contract, all the way up to the point when they’re stumbling drunk by the time early morning rolls around.

CEO Moon’s got an arm around one of the club girls as they stagger to the hotel, and Chief Oh manages to shove the copy of the contract into the pocket of CEO Moon’s suit coat. Dong-shik can barely even stand, and as he and Geu-rae watch Chief Oh attempt to walk down the street, Geu-rae at least consoles himself with the fact that, even though Chief Oh failed in getting CEO Moon to sign before the second round, at least their team will still survive.

But the next morning, the team sits dazed and hungover as Dong-shik moans that they’re ruined. Ruined! It turns out that CEO Moon woke up to find not a club girl in bed with him, but his own wife. Chief Oh is the only pleased by that news as he informs the guys that it was his plan all along.

He’d found out that CEO Moon’s anniversary was the same night they were going to be entertaining him, and the fact that CEO Moon was planning to cheat on his wife on their anniversary got Chief Oh’s blood boiling. So he came up with the idea to send her to the hotel, too, as an anniversary present. He’s happy that everything went to plan, but Dong-shik is freaking out because they’ve lost the contract.

The department head is furious that Chief Oh would let his principles stand in the way of an important business deal, and doles out his heavy-handed punishment of threatening that they’ll receive the worst assignments from now on. Chief Oh escapes to the roof for a break, and as he gulps down his beer, his son calls to ask him to buy fried chicken on the way home. Aw, his spirit is slightly restored when talking to his son.

He falls asleep for awhile, reviving only to a text message from his son about the chicken. Geu-rae arrives, concerned that his boss hadn’t been answering his phone, as Chief Oh warns him to not tell anyone that he had dozed off — or passed out — with a nose bleed. Yikes.

Assistant Manager Ha is furious that Young-yi hasn’t dropped the project yet, and says that she can work on it all by herself. He storms off, taking his anger out on a trashcan as he passes Seok-yul, who stepped out for a smoke break (and, of course, overheard everything).

Seok-yul tries to cheer up Young-yi, telling her that Assistant Manager Ha is just jealous of Young-yi’s talent and abilities. He encourages Young-yi to return to the confident intern he once knew.

Head held high, she returns to the office, informing Assistant Manager Ha that she’ll do just as he’s requested: she’ll let him take the lead on that case, and instead will take over his mundane day-to-day tasks so he can focus on it.

Baek-ki is revising his resumé in preparation to send it off to the head hunter when Assistant Manager Kang returns. At first he’s as dismissive as ever, but then he tells Baek-ki that he won’t stop him if he decides to quit. Steel is a conservative business — small changes are made gradually over a long period of time. Which is why someone on the steel team needs to be less focused on eloquence and instant results, and more focused on the basics and long-term goals.

But Baek-ki believes he’s spent enough time building up the basics during his schooling and internships. Finally dropping his calm facade, he angrily demands Assistant Manager Kang explain why he hates him.

The assistant manager points out that it has nothing to do with feelings It all goes back to the first day that Baek-ki was here, when he had tried to submit his own plan without even bothering to study what the steel team had previously submitted. Baek-ki was too hasty to be acknowledged.

If that kind of basic research was so important, why didn’t he tell Baek-ki right away? Assistant Manager Kang says he gave him many opportunities to figure it out himself, but obviously Baek-ki still has a long ways to go.

After the assistant manager leaves, Baek-ki returns to his desk and immediately emails his resumé. Young-yi again runs into Baek-ki at the elevator, and tells him that she’s taken his advice: she’s going to give in to her team. Baek-ki cryptically answers that she’s found her way now, and “I guess I’ve found mine.”

Chief Oh is still feeling the effects of his hangover, and decides to go out for some fresh air. Dong-shik and Geu-rae worriedly watch him go, and when Chief Go mentions that a same-aged collogue recently had a stroke with similar symptoms as Chief Oh, they rush out to find him, panicking when he doesn’t answer his phone.

A flashback to Geu-rae’s father’s funeral makes him stress even more frantic as hits redial over and over. Soon the entire sales department is on the hunt for Chief Oh, everyone assuming the worst.

But he’s at the hospital, snoring away while he’s hooked to an IV machine. He wakes up, surprised to see so many missed calls.

He returns to work, apologizing for his absence while the department head yells at him for skipping his annual medical check-up. His boss chides him for not taking care of his health when he has a family to support. Then he gives Chief Oh a big box of dried eels for health, claiming he bought it for for a vendor that never showed. Aw, the department head may be a jerk sometimes, but he still cares about his staff.

Chief Oh clutches the box of dried eel to his chest, practically daring his staff to take him up on his offer of sharing it with them. When he hears the department head scream out his name, he quickly hides it underneath the desk, lest it be taken back.

The department head isn’t yelling in anger, though — he just received a phone call that CEO Moon approved the deal, and actually asked to double the agreement. Dong-shik is amazed, surprised to learn that CEO Moon is such a romantic, assuming he was swayed by the opportunity to spend his anniversary with his wife. But as Geu-rae cleans up the research on CEO Moon that was left on Chief Oh’s desk, he finds out the truth: Chief Oh had discovered that it’s the CEO’s wife who’s actually in charge of the company.

The next day, Geu-rae — and Assistant Manger Kang — see Baek-ki in the middle of a meeting with his head-hunter. Chief Oh is just excited to get to the office because, as promised, a new employee has been assigned to their team. Aw, he’s still hoping for Young-yi.

When they arrive at their desks, the new guy is already there. He greets Chief Oh by name, but Chief Oh stands stone-faced, his previous good cheer completely gone.


Korean SBS Drama Secret Door Episode 15 Recap and Screenshots

Korean SBS Drama Secret Door Episode 15 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

Yeongjo gives Sun a chance to be reinstated as prince-regent—all he has to do is meet the Qing envoys who are on their way and ready to declare war (over a naval skirmish with a Joseon fishing boat), and stop a war from happening. Oh, is that all?

He makes it clear that taking on the task is a double-edged sword because if Sun succeeds, he does get to be regent again, but if he fails, he will forever be stripped of his rights to the regency. That means he’ll never practice politics ever again. Yeongjo makes sure to add that he won’t be lenient on him just because he’s his only son. I’m pretty sure no one here thought you would. But his point stings nonetheless—he’s happy to find a successor elsewhere.

The extreme terms of the deal don’t dissuade Sun, and he agrees to take on the challenge to convince the Qing envoys without caving to their demands. His father-in-law flails to hear that he agreed to do it, but Sun maintains his sunny composure and assures him he’ll be fine. A run-in with Advisor Chae does darken Sun’s mood, but he walks past without a word.

Korean SBS Drama Secret Door Episode 15 Recap and Screenshots

The Norons wonder why on earth Sun agreed to such a crazy deal when it’s obvious to them that it’s Yeongjo’s attempt to knock down the prince and the Norons in one fell swoop. Where the Qing are concerned, the Norons have no sway and no hidden cards, and Kim Taek decides that they’re better off cutting ties with Sun on this one.

Advisor Chae sneaks a meeting with Sun’s head court lady, and asks the same burning question on everyone’s mind—what is Sun thinking, taking a deal like that? He asks what kind of person she thinks Sun is, because the prince he knew was not that rash. He’s clearly concerned, but Court Lady Choi is wary of his motives since he betrayed them to go stand next to the king.

But this time Advisor Chae says honestly that he wants to help Sun: “If he loses his position as crown prince, then my leaving has no meaning.” Whoo, are we getting the band back together?

Korean SBS Drama Secret Door Episode 15 Recap 

That convinces her to show Advisor Chae the prince’s secret library, where she says he’s spent the most of his time in the last three years. Now Chae sees that Sun has spent his time amassing a wealth of knowledge about the world—other nations’ politics, cultures, and military strategies.

Sun’s archery skills have also become more exacting in the intervening years, and he hits his target with precision now. Princess Hyegyeong comes out to see him, and he knows right away that word of his Qing mission has traveled to her palace.

But their interactions don’t have the same defensive edge that they used to, and she says pleasantly that she’s thinking of taking up archery as a hobby, since he told her to find something of interest. She notes that it must help to clear the mind and relieve stress, since he’s here almost daily.

He readily agrees to let her try, and hands her his bow. She takes an arrow but hasn’t the strength to pull it back with any force, so Sun wraps his arms around her to pull with her and steady her aim. Oh my. He takes his sweet time doing it, too—their faces are pressed together and Hyegyeong gets flustered, keenly aware of how close they are.

But Sun never takes his eyes off the target and shoots with equal precision, congratulating her on the good shot. He’s surprised when she turns to him with tears brimming in her eyes, as she asks if it’s already like an arrow that’s left the bow—is there no going back on this mission to face the Qing envoys?

She asks with genuine concern if he couldn’t just wait it out instead, for another chance to be reinstated. But Sun says that he’s seen too much of the world to sit back and wait leisurely. He says that if it’s something he can help change, then he has to stand up and try, and asks for her understanding.

Korean SBS Drama Secret Door Episode 15 Screenshots

When Sun returns to his library, Advisor Chae is still there, poring over the books and maps. He starts to explain, but Sun has already been informed that he’d be here, and we see outside that Court Lady Choi is smiling to herself at the successful reunion. Aw.

Advisor Chae is impressed that Sun has been studying Qing so extensively, and notes that he’s even learning their martial arts. Sun says that it’s a necessary step in military defense—to learn how the enemy fights and to train your army to do the same—and says that the time of kings packing a bag and running during times of war must come to an end. He intends to be the kind of king who fights on the front lines.

Their more immediate concern is stopping a war, though, and Sun says that the key will be in convincing the Qing envoys that Joseon’s desire for peace is trustworthy. He worries what price they’ll ask for that show of trust, and Advisor Chae says they have to find a way to appear as a friend, and not an enemy to be wary of.

Advisor Chae suggests that he enlist the help of the Norons to wine and dine the envoys, since that’s the kind of politicking they do best, and he should use that to his advantage. Sun smiles at him warmly and admits that he regrets not having Advisor Chae by his side. Advisor Chae in turn says that he hopes to serve him in the great palace, as king.

Yeongjo brings the two surviving Soron ministers back to the palace and offers them a drink. He says he’s come to appreciate their open disapproval over Noron-style backstabbing, though he makes it clear that he doesn’t need an ounce of loyalty from them. What he wants is people who will serve the country and do their jobs (and oppose the Noron—let’s be real here), and tells them to come back to court.

The king’s eunuch asks him later if he brought the Soron ministers back to help Sun, but Yeongjo says he brought them back because he knows Sun will fail. The mission was designed to fail, and Yeongjo knows better than anyone that once the going gets rough, the Norons will turn their backs on Sun. That’s when he’ll swoop in with the Sorons and fix the problem himself, squashing two enemies with one blow. But he leaves his eunuch’s last question dangling in the air: “And what happens to the crown prince?”

Secret Door Episode 15 Recap and Screenshots

As expected, the sight of the Soron ministers returning to court gets Kim Taek’s wheels spinning, and he declares that the Norons will have to back the prince after all—with the king clearly holding hands with Sorons, it leaves them without a side to take. They realize they have to help Sun succeed, and Kim Taek says their future now rides on how well they can tame the prince.

They bring Sun to the gibang to do just that, and he plays the part of the fearful rookie politician beautifully. They’re convinced he’s scared out of his mind about the Qing envoy, and they puff up with assurances that they’ll handle everything and he need only rely on them. Sun readily agrees to do so, and lets them convince him to relax instead of worrying his pretty little head over important matters of state.

Outside, Bingae (Ji-dam) and Woon-shim eavesdrop with scornful looks on their faces. At the same time, former police officer Byun meets his old officer friends and asks how much the bounty on a traitor is these days. Uh-oh, we see that he’s the man who was following Bingae around the other night, and he says now that he’s found Seo Ji-dam.

Thankfully, word reaches Woon-shim of the impending breach, and she quickly passes a note to Sun that Bingae has been found out and officers are on their way to arrest her now. He quickly ends his party and sends the Noron ministers home, but just as they’re about to leave, the officers arrive and explain their purpose. Damn.

Secret Door Episode 15 Recap 

They eye Woon-shim warily and send the officers inside to search for the supposed traitor. Inside, Bingae refuses to take Sun’s help, insisting stubbornly that she’d rather die. But when officers come storming in, he doesn’t give her a chance to argue and sneaks her out. Woo-sub is ready in the back with a horse, and they ride off to safety.

They’re far from in the clear though, since they’ve only raised suspicions all around. Kim Taek calls his grandson in to ask if Sun has a regular gisaeng that he sees, and the grandson repeats the conversation he overheard between Sun and Woon-shim, implying that he knew the new gisaeng.

Woon-shim gets tortured for information but doesn’t say a word, so Kim Taek sends Minister Min to make sure that Sun really went back to the palace like he said he would.

At the same time, Hyegyeong learns that Sun ran off with Bingae to hide her, and goes to find out if it’s true from Court Lady Choi. As she arrives, Woo-sub is just about to ask Court Lady Choi for her help with something urgent, and Hyegyeong interrupts to ask where Sun is.

By the time Minister Min gets there, both the prince and princess’s servants are lined up outside, and Sun and Hyegyeong’s shoes are on the front stoop, side by side. Court Lady Choi says that Hyegyeong hasn’t been feeling well, so Sun returned to comfort her upon his arrival. Minister Min sees his son Woo-sub standing guard as well, and decides that everything looks normal.

But he conveys these things to Kim Taek, whose mind immediately jumps to other scenario that Minister Min didn’t consider: that Sun only sent Woo-sub back alone.

War Minister Hong seeks out Officer Byun to confirm Ji-dam’s identity, and asks how he can be sure that it was her. Officer Byun says bitterly that it’s because of her that he was stripped of his status and lost everything—hers is the one face he’ll never forget.

Sun has taken Ji-dam to a temple, and covers her shoulders with a monk’s robe to keep her warm. She’s still emotionless and cold towards him, but this time Sun lets his sincerity show through, as he reminisces about the things she used to write.

She says she doesn’t remember those things anymore since too much time has passed, but Sun says that the Ji-dam he knew was a brave girl who would put herself on the line to clear someone else’s name. He recalls with clarity the things she said to him while he was imprisoned, and she finally turns to look him in the eye.

He asks if she won’t find the courage one more time—to survive and give him one more chance to right wrongs and clear her father’s name. She goes to her room and mulls over his question and her conviction to give her life to destroy the royal family.

The Norons gather to share what they’ve found out, and Kim Taek says he’s got a bad feeling about this. One of them asks what it means if Sun has really helped Ji-dam escape—what is the face he’s been showing them lately? Minister Hong replies, “A mask.” They deduce that if this recent turn is true, Sun hasn’t changed at all from the person he was three years ago, and he could’ve spent his time sharpening his knife to stab the Norons in the back.

Woo-sub and Court Lady Choi arrive at the temple to escort Sun back to the palace, and warn him that there’s been a hiccup—Hyegyeong knows everything. They bring Ji-dam back to the palace with them, and from the shadows, Officer Byun watches them leave the temple together.

They bring her in dressed as a court lady, and when they find that Hyegyeong still hasn’t returned to her palace, Sun braces himself before going in to see her. She says that throughout her years of palace life, she’s always had expectations of Sun, but he’s always gone outside those expectations. Today is no exception, since she hoped he’d return safely… but alone.

She asks if it’s because he missed Ji-dam that much, to risk all this for her. But Sun’s response is that he felt regret and anguish because she’s one of his people, and he failed to protect her. He says that he felt like a sinner for not protecting the person who said her dream was to live one day as a citizen of a king who would serve his people as the heavens.

Sun admits, “More than the danger I face because of her, the thing I fear more is coming face-to-face with myself—the me who hasn’t the power to protect his own people.” Hyegyeong counters that she doesn’t want to understand a man who risks his own family to save others. “But… a heart for your people—the desire to protect them even if you have to trade your safety to do so—if that’s the heart of the crown prince, no, the future king… then that’s a heart I want to lose to.”

And with that, Hyegyeong takes Ji-dam in as a court lady in her palace. One of her court maidens has fallen ill, so Ji-dam will take her place, and Hyegyeong asks what she wants to be called since she can no longer live by her real name. Bingae is the name she chooses, and Hyegyeong gives her the last name Park because that’s the name of the girl she’s replacing.

So now the transformation is complete, and Ji-dam has officially become Bingae, the court maiden (and future Royal Consort Park, history tells us). Hyegyeong reminds her that her very presence puts the prince at risk, and warns Bingae to live as if she’s dead.

And then in a surprise twist, Officer Byun reports to Chul-joo, of all people. What in the what? Why would you report Bingae to the police if you’re on the same side? It turns out that this is all part of Chul-joo’s plan to get Bingae inside the palace, and to turn the Norons against Sun. Aaaaack, you guys, you’re fighting the wrong enemy!

Chul-joo asks Officer Byun if he doesn’t regret leaving the Norons—they have the power to reinstate him, after all. But Officer Byun knows from experience that there he’s just a tail to be cut off at any moment, and he’d prefer to live as a person under Chul-joo’s command.

We see that Chul-joo has amassed quite a group of rebels, and he leads a meeting with the declaration that they will become myung for cry and sa for sand—alone they dissipate like grains of sand, but together their powerful cries will be heard, and change the world.

Woo-sub returns home that night to a suspicious father, who asks where the prince really went today. Woo-sub insists that Sun returned to the palace, and that he’s just guarding the prince because that’s his job. But Dad reminds him that his job is to watch the prince and report his actions to the Norons, and that if he strays from that, their entire family will see ruin.

Once she’s shown to her room, Bingae immediately gets to work on her first mission given by Chul-joo: to record anything she can find out about the prince or the king, and their current status.

The Qing envoys arrive, and the Norons argue once again over whether or not they should help the prince. War Minister Hong yells at his colleagues that this is a matter of national security first—they have to help Sun reach a peaceful agreement for the sake of their country, and then deal with him later. At least you have one logical person here.

The meeting begins, and the Qing envoys come out strong with demands for free reign in Joseon waters for Qing fishing vessels and new ports built expressly for their use. When Sun counters, they offer Door Number 2: the dispatch of 50,000 Joseon soldiers to support the Qing army. What. They add the suggestion that the crown prince can command the army himself, and in that case, their emperor will believe in his loyalty completely. And of course, they remind him that there’s always Door Number 3: war.

Sun asks for time to consult his ministers, and they give him three days. When Sun meets with the Norons, War Minister Hong argues vehemently against the dispatch of soldiers, which would leave them defenseless. Sun wants to try and persuade the envoys one more time, and Kim Taek offers to go out and procure the best ginseng available for Sun to present as a gift. Minister Hong accuses Sun of thinking of his regency above the good of the nation, and Sun asks what’s wrong with that.

Advisor Chae asks Yeongjo what he plans to do about the regency if Sun succeeds, but Yeongjo scoffs that there’s no chance he will—there’s absolutely no way out of this without giving into one of their demands in some way, and he’s known all along that Sun would fail.

Woo-sub warns Sun that the Norons are suspicious of him, so he tasks Woo-sub to watch Kim Taek carefully. Kim Taek goes out to procure the rare ginseng but curiously, he goes to Chul-joo to do so. Chul-joo remains hidden behind a door and refuses to show his face, but makes a deal to help Kim Taek, who returns to the palace with ginseng and a suspicious smile on his face.

Officer Byun asks Chul-joo why they’re helping Kim Taek of all people, but Chul-joo says that they’re simply holding hands with the enemy of their enemy. What they need is time to amass public sentiment on their side, if they’re going to change the world.

Sun puts Woo-sub on guard over the ginseng, expecting foul play. But there’s no disturbance overnight, and Sun heads to meet the envoys with gifts at the ready. Chul-joo watches the procession and takes note of Bingae, and says that today the prince will be stripped of the regency for good.

And in turn, Kim Taek says that he’s a little sad about having to cut down such a young man’s life. Uh-huh, I’m sure you cry about it in your sleep.

The Qing envoys are impressed by the lavish gifts and they’re ready to compromise. That is, until they get to the grand finale—the best and rarest of ginsengs—and find them all rotting and infested with maggots. The envoys are offended, Sun is shocked, and the negotiations are off.


This was a plot-heavy episode with all setup and no payoff, so it wasn’t particularly exciting to watch. I suppose the outcome in tomorrow’s episode could ramp up the tension, but despite the stakes being high, I don’t feel the same level of interest when the conflict is external rather than a direct confrontation between father and son. Granted, Yeongjo is still using the external conflict as a means to further control Sun and put him in his place, but I still find the machinations less interesting overall.

I like the court politics that’s a battle of wits, when Sun and Yeongjo are maneuvering to gain ground against the ministers, or against each other, in order to enact policy. Politics via bribes is not only less appealing, but also really simplistic dramatically. When they opened the boxes of ginseng and found them rotting, I just went, Well, duh. What else did you think was going to happen when you entrusted such an important task to Kim Taek? I was frankly disappointed to see a flash of the naïve Sun again, because he seemed to have learned his lesson about being too trusting, only to become the unsuspecting victim yet again. I really hope there’s another twist down the line, because the best part of skipping a few years ahead in the story is that now we get to anticipate countermoves from Sun that rival his enemies. At least that’s the hope, anyway.

Advisor Chae seemed to be genuinely moved to discover that Sun hadn’t been spending his years becoming a wastrel, and impressed with the level of studying he’s been doing—that makes me want to see that scholarship put to good use in a situation like this, where he might be able to meet foreign emissaries on common ground, share his knowledge of their country with respect, and in turn gain their favor. It just seems more difficult, and thus more satisfying, than presenting them with bundles of loot. And more than anything, I want Sun to succeed where Yeongjo is certain he’ll fail.

The only scenes that really moved me in this episode were Sun’s moments with Hyegyeong (which are still too few, but I’ll take what I can get). I love how their dynamic has shifted in the three years that we’ve skipped—it’s subtle and neither has changed at the core, but there’s more genuine concern that they allow themselves to show on the surface. Now Sun shares his thoughts with Hyegyeong and asks for her understanding, which he never used to do. And Hyegyeong reciprocates by showing him how angry she is at his rash behavior, how it worries her, and how she just plain doesn’t want to be understanding sometimes.

It’s too bad that I don’t feel the same level of emotional investment in Sun’s relationship with Ji-dam/Bingae, because I still see her the way Sun describes in this episode—as one of his people, whom he failed to protect. She holds significant meaning in that regard, but their relationship doesn’t stir my heart, at least not yet. There’s potential for that to change, but by now I’m so invested in Hyegyeong that it might hurt too much. I was so impressed by Hyegyeong’s response to Sun that she disapproves of basically everything he’s doing as a man; but as a future king, she respects him. It’s her sacrifice to give up her disappointment as a wife in order to support him as a queen, and I’m SO glad that this time Sun sees it clearly, and that she isn’t hiding behind her pride. It’s all the more reason I don’t want to see him break her heart. I know it seems inevitable, but hey, aren’t we rewriting history here?


Korean KBS2 Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Recap and Screenshots

Korean KBS2 Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Recap and Screenshots

by Dramabeans:

Nae-il comes to Yoo-jin for comfort after running out on her lesson, where she was told Teacher Do would be her new instructor. She calms at the touch of his hand, but the effect is short-lived because Yoo-jin tells her that she needs a stern teacher to help her grow as a musician, and that she shouldn’t waste her talent. He takes a call from Teacher Do and says he’ll bring Nae-il in to her lesson, and, feeling betrayed, she withdraws her hand from his grasp.

Nae-il cries that he’s just like everyone else for forcing her when that leads to tears and pain, but Yoo-jin replies that if everyone’s saying the same thing, then she’s the one who’s wrong. He’s not mean about it, but ouch, that seems a little tone-deaf to Nae-il’s stricken reaction. She sobs, “Not being able to do as I want—you don’t know what that’s like. It’s not that I’m not doing it, it’s that I can’t. I can’t help it, and that makes it scarier. People like you don’t understand.”

But those words strike a chord and Yoo-jin thinks of his immobilizing fear of water. He tries to calm Nae-il down and suggests talking it out, but she’s too upset and tries to shake him off, thinking he’s just going to drag her off to her lesson. She drops her rag doll in the process, which gets picked up by Yoon-hoo, he of the uncanny ability to pop up to see Yoo-jin in the worst light.

Yoon-hoo calls Yoo-jin out for his continued rudeness, and Yoo-jin tells him to mind his own business. But when he reaches for Nae-il’s arm, she jerks it out of reach and shrinks back, huddling behind Yoon-hoo instead. Is it mean of me to find Yoo-jin’s hurt satisfying?

So Nae-il follows Yoon-hoo as he walks away, holding on to his arm as a lifeline, and Yoo-jin watches, feeling very discomfited.

Yoon-hoo tries to draw Nae-il out of her gloom by making small talk, and when she worries about Yoo-jin being angry with her, he tells her it’s okay to express her feelings and yell and get angry. She gets teary-eyed thinking that he won’t see her anymore, since he returned all her things and changed his door code. Yoon-hoo brushes a tear away and repeats her own words back to her: “Now it’s over, Cha Yoo-jin and you.”

Her words ring in Yoo-jin’s ears, and he surprises Teacher Do by asking him for a favor, because he’d only thought of Nae-il’s talent and not the fact that she’s a scared child who runs from things she’s afraid of: “She needs some time.”

While sitting at her piano, Nae-il envisions her childhood self sitting nearby, wishing she had no piano talent at all. Little Nae-il adds that she doesn’t like Yoo-jin for trying to send her off to Teacher Do, but Grown-up Nae-il says she can’t hide from things forever.

Korean KBS2 Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Recap

Little Nae-il reminds her grown-up self that she’d wanted to stay childlike, but has now changed. Nae-il says she doesn’t want Yoo-jin to see only the child in her, only to have the child point out that Yoo-jin already does, and that he never even says sorry when he’s wrong. Nae-il frets, “Does he really see me as you?” The Traumerei (Dreaming) song choice, one of Nae-il’s themes along with Liszt’s Liebestraume (Dreams of Love), is particularly poignant today, coming as it does from Schumann’s “Scenes from Childhood.”

Next door, Yoo-jin scrolls through his phone and pauses on Il-lac’s name before scoffing at himself: “Since when did you need friends?” But he watches the door restlessly, expecting Nae-il to come bursting in at any moment before remembering that he changed the code.

So when the doorbell rings, he opens with a smile to see Nae-il standing there, though all she does is ask for the rest of her things. He says he doesn’t have them, which she assumes means he threw them away, and says that Yoon-hoo was right in pegging him as a meanie. And that name makes Yoo-jin bristle.

She guesses that he doesn’t even think he did anything wrong, and he admits to being rash but starts to explain his rationale. Nae-il cuts him off to ask why he can’t just say sorry, without needing to make her understand. “I apologize every day,” she says, “even when I don’t know what’s what. Why don’t you? Am I not even worth an apology?”

She heads back to her apartment, leaving him confused and bothered.

Korean KBS2 Drama Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Screenshots

Our core group of S Orchestra members sit around feeling increasingly dejected the longer they go without hearing about the fate of their group. They’d hoped for a positive response after the concert, but now the protracted wait has them on edge and they start sniping at each other about who has it the worst without the orchestra.

As the leader, Il-lac tries to smooth things over and cancels his violin duet practice with Shi-won to handle the spat. She’s disappointed, though she scowls at her A Orchestra friend who asks if she’s got something going with Il-lac.

She doesn’t see that Il-lac watches from afar as she leaves practice, mournfully calling them Romeo and Juliet now that their orchestra strife has torn them apart. That’s adorable. Dim, but cute. Shoulders slumped and heart aching, he stares up at the sky and wonders why it’s so black. (Dad: “It’s nighttime.”)

Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Recap and Screenshots

Dean Mina shares the decision with Yoo-jin first, wanting to give him time to prepare and possibly head off misunderstandings with the other orchestra members. Yoo-jin tells her that he’s been thinking it over, and has decided that the easiest answer is to just accept the misunderstanding. Okay, now if they’re playing “Eroica” intentionally in this scene to make him seem extra-heroic about it, I’m gonna have to roll my eyes a bit because noble idiocy drives me bonkers. Still, it’s nice of Yoo-jin to recognize that things he takes for granted are things that the S Orchestra family has to work and fight for.

Yoo-jin must know something of Mina’s past, because he says that she must understand their feelings, which is why she began this project in the first place. He says that the S Orchestra is what gave these students—people who will likely give up music once they graduate and not pursue professional careers in it—hope to continue living with music.

Dean Mina’s hopes were to help grow the hopes of those students, he guesses. “And so, let’s give it a try,” he says. “There’s no other path anyway.”

Mina gives the instruction to announce S Orchestra’s disbandment. But Yoo-jin smiles. What is your new plan?

The notice is posted and S Orchestra’s rehearsal hall is closed. Yoo-jin thinks back to the question Streseman posed, of which orchestra he would choose between the traditional and talented A Orchestra or the free-spirited and emotional S. “I’m going to find the answer to that question now,” he says. “Not alone, but together.”

Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Recap 

The S Orchestra members slump together in front of the announcement board, crushed at this news. But then… a second notice is posted next to it—which disbands A Orchestra, too. Omo. That’s unexpected.

To explain the meaning of this, Mina gets on the loudspeaker to clarify that a new orchestra will be created in place of the disbanded ones, and Yoo-jin will be conducting.

To say this is an unpopular decision is an understatement, and Mina has to fend off faculty complaints too. But she shuts them up by putting her job on the line, saying that is this orchestra fails, she will step down from her position as dean.

Yoo-jin joins her in the staff meeting to present their case: They want to put together an orchestra that will be a brand representing the school, which possesses both the individuality characteristic of the S Orchestra as well as the technical skills of the A Orchestra. If the more skilled A Orchestra has a flaw, it’s that it’s constructed to appeal to the judges, all cold precision and lacking connection to the listener.

To keep things fair, they propose a blind audition, to be judged by both Teacher Do and Ahn. To be selected, both teachers must approve.

Neither Teacher Do nor the faculty chairwoman are on Mina’s side, but they figure that these provisions favor their side. Blind audition or not, it should be easy enough to pick out the A Orchestra members they prefer.

We get inside Yoo-jin’s head to see the orchestra he envisions as he fills the empty seats in his mind’s eye. Shi-won gets the concertmaster position, with Il-lac leading the second violins. Our main S Orchestra members all have spots, and Yoo-jin even gives first cello to Yoon-hoo… though he’d rather not look at him in his fantasy and waves him out of the vision, heh.

Yoo-jin wants to talk to his friends about the news, but they eye him distrustfully and accuse him of a process designed to drop them. He asks if they have no confidence, and Il-lac readily retorts that of course they don’t, knowing that the judging is against them from the start. Aw, it’s sweet that Yoo-jin has more confidence in them than they do, though perhaps he’s lacking the social graces to convey that in a way they understand; he just tells them to practice until they gain confidence, frustrated with the response.

Cantabile Tomorrow Episode 9 Screenshots

Brooding to himself, Yoo-jin sighs that normally Nae-il would be running to him yelling “Sunbae!” She’s been keeping her distance, though, and he asks himself, “Is she really not going to follow me around?” He wonders what’s keeping her so busy these days.

Nae-il wraps up another part-time shift at the cafe and shares a snack with Min-hee, until Mom pops by to greet them. Suddenly uncomfortable, Nae-il excuses herself and quickly leaves, leaving Mom confused. Min-hee explains that Yoo-jin’s the cause of a lot of hurt feelings, and Mom realizes that everyone knows about their mother-son connection after the last concert.

She goes to Mina to get filled in on the situation, not thrilled that her friend has put her son into a tough situation. Mina recognizes that Yoo-jin’s stuck in a the middle of a lot of hard feelings, and almost goes too far by bringing up Yoo-jin’s father, though she stops herself short, knowing it’s a sore subject. Mom concedes that nothing compares to the hurt that Dad has given Yoo-jin, with his uber-exacting standards and disdain for anything below first place.

Yoon-hoo moves into an apartment in the same building as Yoo-jin and Nae-il, much to Yoo-jin’s disgruntlement. He ignores Yoon-hoo’s outstretched hand and grumpily heads off, grumbling to himself about Yoon-hoo’s motives in hanging around Nae-il all the time. The prospect of Yoon-hoo being interesting in Nae-il vaguely niggles at him, but he scoffs at that idea as impossible.

Yoon-hoo invites the S Orchestra crew over for a housewarming party, which Yoo-jin can hear from his lonely place upstairs. His presence isn’t entirely unnoticed—Su-min comments on it timidly—but the animosity is too strong to fathom inviting him to join in. Poor Yoo-jin and his sad, sponsored almonds.

Yoo-jin peers out over the upstairs railing when his friends leave, overhearing as they comment about Nae-il seeming “like a girl” with Yoon-hoo. Min-hee says that’s what happens when a guy treats a girl like she’s a princess.

Yoon-hoo broaches the topic of a duet with Nae-il, asking her to seriously consider it. She fidgets at the idea, asking if it’s important and smiling in relief when he says no. But then he finishes his thought that he’s not merely serious, he’s downright desperate to do it. He explains being gripped with the thought ever since he heard her playing at the music festival, and wants to play with her even more than she wants with Yoo-jin. And that’s a feeling she can relate to, her mind flashing back to how she practiced herself sick wanting to re-create his Grieg performance.

Yoo-jin is surprised by an unexpected call from Streseman, whose calls to Mina have gone unanswered. She’s still angry for the way he left, but Streseman insists that he wasn’t running away this time, and that he was dragged off against his will (…for running awaylast time, mind you).

Yoo-jin agrees to pass the message along to Mina, and then finds himself sharing his recent woes when Streseman clues in that something’s troubling him. Yoo-jin explains the trouble with Nae-il and her lessons, saying that it would be a waste to let her talents go undeveloped, when he wants to boast and show them off.

Streseman asks, “Why would you? Why do you want to boast?” The question literally stops Yoo-jin in his tracks.

Yoo-jin heads to the piano practice rooms, where he sees Nae-il playing. I love the beat where she smiles, and he smiles almost in involuntary response. That is, until she turns to talk to someone and he sees that there’s someone else in the room with her—Yoon-hoo.

Nae-il suggests the song she just played as their duet piece, and the look on Yoon-hoo’s face when he realizes she’s just agreed to play with him kills me a little. It’s so touched and teary.

The scene brings to mind some of the maestro’s advice: “Don’t be too late—not in expressing your emotions, or in acknowledging them.” Sometimes the kooky manchild is pretty sharp.

Shi-won tracks down Il-lac, having noticed that he’s been avoiding her. She pays little heed to his disjointed “But we’re Romeo and Juliet” argument and suggests a chat, concertmaster to concertmaster. Neither orchestra is happy about the blind audition situation, and she presents Yoo-jin as their common enemy. The S Orchestra feels belittled by the procedure like they’re being set up for failure, while the A Orchestra feels insulted to be knocked down a peg when they know they’re the elites. She makes her proposal: What if both orchestras boycott the auditions?

For what it’s worth Il-lac doesn’t look entirely at ease with the idea, but nevertheless he presents it to his teammates. Still feeling stung by his former BFF, he says that Yoo-jin ought to experience failure once in his life.

Dean Mina worries for Yoo-jin’s sake, since she knows it can’t be easy for him to be under fire from all sides. He looks to the audition as the turning point, assuring her that once they’re done, the misunderstanding will be resolved.

Unfortunately, the boycott idea catches on and pretty soon the teachers are wondering why nobody’s applied to audition. When Yoo-jin catches wind, he confronts Shi-won directly, asking why her members would avoid a process that is favorable to them. Shi-won argues that the A Orchestra was more important to her than Yoo-jin gave credit for, and blames him and Mina for wrecking that. Yoo-jin points out, however, that while she may have treated the A Orchestra as something special, she can’t speak for the others, most of whom are headed abroad after graduation and are using the orchestra as merely resumé padding. It’s all cold calculation and no heart. She can’t really argue his point, not that it makes her any less upset.

Next, Yoo-jin waits at the restaurant to talk to Il-lac, not deterred when Il-lac tries to push past with the cold shoulder. He hands over an audition application, which Il-lac regards with scorn, and in exasperation Yoo-jin asks why he has so little faith.

Il-lac spits back that Yoo-jin’s the one who ditched them first, but Yoo-jin corrects him: “Not faith in me—in yourselves. I believe that you’ll make it, but why don’t you?”

The words catch Il-lac off-guard, and his father finds him conflicted over the form. Il-lac sighs that he’s all mixed up about Yoo-jin, wondering at his reasons while also hating him too. Dad just says wisely that he must’ve really liked Yoo-jin a lot to feel such depth of emotion.

Yoo-jin does a bit of drinking at a bar, then waits in front of Nae-il’s door until she arrives home. He asks why she doesn’t follow him around anymore, given how it never used to matter to her that he found it annoying. Quietly, she just says, “Because you don’t like it, I won’t do it anymore.” Gah, it’s not even true anymore, but Yoo-jin’s just not quite able yet to say what he really means, so he has no counter to that.

So Nae-il leaves him outside her door, where he crouches down holding his head, thinking back to the other time he’d been drunk in this spot, on their first meeting.

Nae-il listens at her door for a moment, worried that he’s drunk. But when she opens the door to check on him, he’s gone.

Audition day arrives, and true to their promise, none of the members from either orchestra arrive. Nae-il comes by to check on things and is surprised to find Yoo-jin sitting alone in an empty auditorium, because her friends had kept her out of the loop, lest she tell Yoo-jin ahead of time.

She confronts her friends about it, but they’re not in the mood to be persuaded, pointing out that Yoo-jin was the first to do any abandoning. Nae-il reminds them that it was Yoo-jin who came to their aid when Streseman ditched them, and then again when their conductor fell ill—and well, they hadn’t known that till now. Min-hee, Il-lac, and Su-min all look discomfited by the realization, though it’s not enough to turn them around completely.

Unable to change their minds, Nae-il returns to the still-empty audition hall and joins Yoo-jin, who says wistfully that he’d thought his friends would have more faith in him.

To which Nae-il says simply, “If you don’t talk, how will they know? You always think on your own, and decide on your own. You’ve never asked what we think.”

She gets up to go, but he grabs her arm to hold onto her. “About Teacher Do,” he says, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I knew you were scared but sent you anyway. I shouldn’t have done that. I should have asked you first, but I thought only of me. Because it was for you, I thought it was okay. I’m sorry.”

Aw, look who’s growing up right before our eyes. I’m warmed by Yoo-jin’s step forward, though I can’t help but also feel a pang of sympathy for Yoon-hoo, who has heard this from down the hallway.

The judges wait in the empty hall, with Teacher Do ready to angrily call it quits while Teacher Ahn encourages them to wait just a little longer. And it’s a good thing, since Il-lac has been spurred to action and sends out a text blast to everyone, asking, “Wanna try having faith in Cha Yoo-jin? He says he believes in us.”

So the S Orchestra friends race through the building to make it to the audition, a little sheepish to see each other after vowing to boycott, but they also feel spurred to do as Il-lac suggests.

They run to the hall and so do Nae-il and Yoo-jin, who arrive in time to see the first student take his place behind a screen. We can’t see faces but it’s pretty clear that it’s Il-lac, and as he begins to play, Yoo-jin finds himself tensing up and holding his breath, just willing Il-lac to do well.

Nae-il, standing next to him, reads his nerves and reaches out to take his hand.


Oh, I love this. The first part of the episode felt a little slow (or maybe just sad, because Yoo-jin without his chipper crew is such a downer), but I can see the necessity in making Yoo-jin feel the effect of the loneliness he’d wrought, so that it could then spur him to take steps forward. Noble idiocy can be done well but even in such cases I’ll often find it frustrating, so I’m happy that the growth Yoo-jin undergoes propels him beyond the silent sacrifice to actually expressing his feelings.

It’s also a nice (if depressing) turnaround to have Yoo-jin pushing his friends away, so that the onus is on him to set things aright. I never felt he was taking advantage of everyone’s goodwill, but I do think he was taking their puppy-dog adoration for granted, and hiding behind his faux disgruntlement at their clinginess. Mind you, I love watching him feign grumpiness while enjoying their presence, but it feels honest to show that the friends aren’t mindless followers, and that they have sensitive feelings, and that if he likes them, he’s going to have to actually step it up and show them.

His new orchestra was a step in the right direction, but not enough of a move because he wasn’t explaining any of it; you couldn’t blame the students for misinterpreting his motives when he actively decided to let them. How were they to know he was rooting for them when he’s never said as much? We have the privilege of being inside his mind, but the others can only make sense of what they see—and he’s never been one to show much.

It feels right to have Il-lac be the hinge, because he was Yoo-jin’s biggest cheerleader (aside from Nae-il) and then the biggest opposition, stemming from his hurt. Plus I’m glad that the drama is showing Il-lac to have innate leadership qualities, because morale-building and emotional leadership are just as key in keeping an orchestra functioning as it is to have a conductor leading them in the technical aspects.

I feel like the drama perhaps spent too much time building up the politics behind the orchestra deathmatch, but now that we’re here I do like where it’s taking us. (I’d argue that the drama could have kept the episodes structured with the same key plot beats but cut down on the faculty and Teacher Do scenes, which would have made it just as effective and more fun.) I can see where it feels a little dramatic to have such big drama devoted to the question of which orchestra remains, but I also think the angst makes sense to me from the students’ perspective. An orchestra is a complicated enough organization that you can’t just whip one up out of nowhere, and if a school only allows for one, there’s little motivation to pour yourself into a renegade orchestra that gives you no credits (or performance opportunities or recognition).

So the S Orchestra feels particularly lost because these are musicians who wouldn’t have gotten into an orchestra the conventional way, who’ve discovered this new joy, and now are having it snatched away because of politics. The A Orchestra kids have earned their spots, but Yoo-jin has a point in saying that there’s a difference when your membership is primarily doing it for the resumé boost. He wants skill and musicality and passion, not just one or the other; hence the new orchestra, which embodies his and Streseman’s vision of taking the best of both worlds.

I’m happy that this episode marked a turning point for me, where now I feel that both sides of the Nae-il/Yoo-jin dynamic are on equal footing, developing simultaneously and hand in hand. First off, I absolutely love the silent hand-hold at the end of the episode, which is a great way to hark back to the top of the episode when Nae-il needed to hold his hand for emotional comfort, and now is the one extending it to him. It’s the first time she’s been in a position to support him—or, to be perhaps more accurate, the first time he’s allowed himself to be open enough to need supporting.

This episode also made me realize just how much I dislike when Nae-il and Yoo-jin are apart. At first, I thought this drama was presenting their relationship too much from his side, because he got all the pensive insights and she got the comical physical gags. They clearly shared a bond, but it felt like that bond didn’t mean the same thing to both parties. Now, however, I’m finally getting the sense that they’re growing together as well as independently, and that’s an exciting feeling. When Yoo-jin actually missteps and misreads Nae-il, it sets him up for such a moment of growth because he’s forced to examine what exactly he wants, and figure out how to get there. He no longer has her throwing herself at him to smooth the way, so it’s all on him.

I love that Nae-il challenged Yoo-jin to apologize without rationalizing his behavior, and that he came to understand that and offered it to her without strings—at that point, it’s maybe the only thing he could say to earn back some of her trust. And while he may not be comfortable opening himself up and leaning on people, he’s felt firsthand how it feels to suffer while protecting himself and remaining closed off. Turns out, vulnerability isn’t so bad when you’ve got company.