Page Turner 3: The sucker-punch ending

One of the persistent criticisms I have been reading/hearing about this show is that it’s unrealistic for Cha Sik to get proficient at playing the piano so quickly. I’d have to agree to a certain extent. Three (or possibly five) months until a competition of this caliber is nowhere near enough time to prepare a novice like Cha Sik. However, he’s done a lot in a short time, and that can’t be dismissed. Even after he spends the day with Yoo Seul at school, he’s probably got from 3pm to 10pm to do whatever he wants–which these days means practicing the piano. He’s probably spending at least a couple hours learning the musical terminology for her classes, and 4 hours at the piano. 

Weekends are probably close to that or a little more. I don’t believe it’s unusual for a pro to spend 4 hours a day at the piano. If Cha Sik has a bit of natural talent along with that sky-high drive and determination he possesses, he could accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time.

**All screencaps from Dramacool.to except where noted**

Episode 3 starts with a nice shot of Hyeong Myeong Se at the piano. The piece he is playing is Schubert’s Impromptu No. 4 in A flat major, D.899 (full performance by Park Jong Hoon here)

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His secretary brings him a pile of mail, but PJH is so into the music, he doesn’t hear the knock on the door. Hey, dude– why didn’t you wait until he was finished playing that piece to knock? Totally rude.

One of the letters is from Cha Sik. I couldn’t get a clear read on the envelope which Hochschule it was addressed to. Darnit. This time the piano is a blacked-out version of a Yamaha “amah”! He opens the letter from Cha Sik as his secretary asks who is this letter writer that makes him so happy, and Hyeong Myeong Se says it’s from his son! The secretary didn’t know he had a son, and HMS said he didn’t know either. Cha Sik tells his dad that he’s going to compete in the 2 piano concours (competition). Dad says it’s impossible–and Cha Sik acknowledges that every one says it’s impossible, but he’s gonna make it possible! Shamrockmom’s prayer for today: Please Lord, can I have the amount of self confidence that Cha Sik possesses in his little finger? That would last me a lifetime.

Back to Cha Sik and Yoo Seul at the tunnel piano, where she has accepted his invitation to play together at the competition. It’s magical to see him so happy, but then he asks what their chances are to win this thing:

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His face crumples, as Yoo Seul explains that those are also her odds to become a pro now that she’s blind. So why not take a gamble? If they win, then she will take up the piano again. That statement really fires up Cha Sik, and he promises to do everything within his power to make it happen! But then Yoo Seul says she’s just gonna teach him the basics without putting much effort into it. It’s gonna be a waste of time anyways. I wonder…does this girl have bipolar issues? Yoo Seul is not the most patient of teachers either, barking at Cha Sik to not turn his wrists and break up the sound. Even the homeless ahjussi can hardly take her screaming and sarcastic remarks.

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I find it strange that she’s so tough with him. Did she not learn anything from her mom constantly screaming at her, or is this how she thinks people should communicate? Cha Sik believes she has turned into a monster (she mighta already been one) and he loses his temper. He walks outside, and curses his hands for not doing what they should at the piano. Heh, I know how he feels!

Then he does something every teenage boy does at one point: punches an inanimate object in frustration–in this case, a metal street sign. Dang…he could have broken his hand doing that. He’s plenty exasperated. I don’t blame him. His expectations for himself are stratospheric. As an athlete, he should know that you need to take breaks, and not get down on yourself because you hit a plateau. Yoo Seul stomps off, calling him a jerk and worse if I hear her correctly (I think the subbers did some clean up here) as she accidentally gets her walking stick caught in a manhole cover.

Just before she takes a huge fall, Cha Sik is there to grab her arm….and tells her it’s him–in a voice like a chipmunk because he’s been inhaling the helium from the balloons he is carrying! How funny is that?! It’s so juvenile–and 100% effective. He gets on his knees (he courteously announces that too) and apologizes to Yoo Seul who can hardly keep a straight face. I wonder how many takes they had to do for this scene?! She can’t fully suppress her smile even though she tries, and Cha Sik is absolutely delighted to see that she’s smiling again.

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What a great boyfriend he is! She tries to be grouchy again, but there’s no way. Cha Sik takes another hit off the helium balloon and sings her a song, and she giggles and laughs. He narrates that seeing her beautiful smile and hearing her laugh was wonderful…so why was she so stern all the time? Uhhh…because that witchy mom of hers is hovering around all the time, sucking the happiness outta her daughter’s life? He wonders what her expression will be like after they play together at the competition. If her mom is not there, I can guarantee it will be pure joy.

Back to Germany, and Hyeong Myeong Se. He asks his secretary if his schedule will allow him to go to the competition in February. BTW, the peanut gallery on Viki’s running comments cringe at the German being spoken, but it seems passable to me. HMS says he’s curious about his son, as we see a stack of letters from Cha Sik on his desk.

Uh, oh…Yoo Seul’s momma is now in the tunnel, watching her daughter play the piano with Cha Sik. I wish I could tell the homeless ahjussi to duck and cover! I am sure she’s about to put the brakes on this deal. The piece they are playing changes to an epic version of “Chopsticks”, and Yoo Seul is smiling from ear to ear. Heh, her mom should hate that! Mom looks like she hasn’t combed her hair or changed her clothes in a few days either. But that’s it…and we are left hanging. No knock-down-drag-out fight, no screaming match, nothing. Hmmm. Well, at least now Yoo Seul’s mom knows that she can smile and play the piano at the same time.

Back at the Arts High School, the teacher is surprised that Jin Mok has not registered for the two-piano competition. He meets Yoo Seul waiting outside of school in a light snow flurrie–he’s got an umbrella, but she’s balancing a book on her head. Why? The snow is acidic, and she doesn’t want to go bald! Ohhhkay. Jin Mok wants to know if Cha Sik is ‘forcing’ her to be in the competition. What if he embarrasses them? Yoo Seul says since she can’t see, she can’t get embarrassed. Cha Sik pulls up behind them, and hears Yoo Seul dish up some praise for his piano skills. He might just be Hyeong Myeong Se’s son after all! Cha Sik comes ‘a-running, and she bids a terse farewell to Jin Mok as the book slides off her head and is smoothly caught by Cha Sik. Great reflexes!

Hearing her praise inflates Cha Sik’s head by at least a factor of two. He thinks that’s why people call him a genius! They stop walking as Yoo Seul asks if anyone is around….and then she touches his jacket and chest very gently. Uh, oh! Cha Sik is getting mighty hot and bothered about this as she grabs his jacket and yanks him down close to her face. Is the Ice Princess gonna give her Prince his first kiss? Ahhhgh no! Instead she scolds him!

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She doesn’t want to be humiliated on stage, and he needs to improve a lot more. She wants to look good, especially in front of Jin Mok! Geez! Does this girl only care about one-upping Jin Mok? Cha Sik asks if knows she is threatening him, but she pleads with him and he says he won’t humiliate her. He doesn’t want Jin Mok to look down on him either. They attempt a fist-bump, but Cha Sik gets a small punch to the ribs instead! I admit I was hoping she was gonna kiss him in this scene….or scold him a little, and then kiss him! Darnit. They are so cute together.

Cha Sik is waiting up the street from Yoo Seul’s house one evening before their late-night practice session, and her mom comes out and sees him. So….he tries to be sneaky:

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Ha! Might as well get a trumpet and announce your arrival! He formally greets Yoo Seul’s mom and says that he’s here to pick her daughter up at this late hour so they can do something healthy together! Ha! I can see his halo from here. Yoo Seul’s mom says she didn’t ask (yeah, right) and Cha Sik strikes a pose and asks her how he looks tonight:

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#not a gangster

I have no idea how Yoo Seul’s mom keeps a straight face as she says he looks like a burglar about to jump a fence. Oh, I forgot–she has no sense of humor. Okay, he is dressed in all black with a stocking cap, but it’s freezing cold outside. The fangs are out again tonight as she calls him cheap and indecent. #whattabitch

Then she asks him a question: What is his secret? Yoo Seul never smiled when she played the piano before, but she sure is now. Cha Sik is surprised that she knows this, but she says it’s because she’s Yoo Seul’s (helicopter) Momma that she would know. Meanwhile, Yoo Seul is doing a botch job of sneaking out of the house as she tips over a picture and it crashes to the floor. She opens the door and whispers for Cha Sik; when he answers she says to be quiet, and not wake her momma….who is standing next to Cha Sik. Ha! He floats the idea of telling her mom she’s playing the piano again, but Yoo Seul shoots that down quickly–the pressure and expectations will ruin the deal. Yeah, take that you evil witch mom! Yoo Seul must’ve been looking forward to another bike ride with Cha Sik, because she asks if he brought his bike, but he says it’s too dangerous at night to ride it. Witchy mom watches her daughter leave with Cha Sik the hooligan gangster burglar caring and close friend of her daughter. The poster Mom was putting up–Used upright piano for sale. Hmmm. What’s she gonna do if she quits teaching piano? I’m not sure Professional Witch is an employment option these days!

Jin Mok is hanging out with the piano again, as he plays Chopin’s waltz Op. 64 no 2. Not much has changed….it’s technically sound, maybe a little too fast, and played with zero emotion. He’s not a happy camper:

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Jin Mok hides when he hears Yoo Seul and Cha Sik open the door to the practice room, and eavesdrops on their conversation. When Cha Sik is confused about the emotion behind a piece, Yoo Seul smartly frames it in the context of a pole vault jump: looking at the goal, having your mind quiet as you concentrate, the heartbeat accelerating…and the crescendo as he jumps. Wow. She didn’t learn that from her mom, that’s for sure! Cha Sik knows he can do it….the question is how fast can he play it. 135 on the metronome is almost impossibly fast.

Cha Sik is very frustrated trying to play at that speed. Interestingly, my piano teacher at the college hates metronomes and says that they make you nervous and antsy. She says it’s better if you count in your head. I’d have to agree. Jin Mok decides he’s gonna take his rival Cha Sik down a few notches today, and shows up in the tunnel to tell Cha Sik to give it up. He’s never gonna make it to the level he needs for the competition. Cha Sik calls him Sam Shik again, and tells him to keep the disses coming–it fires him up and motivates him to do his best. Jin Mok does not understand the concept of reverse psychology as he goes for the throat here; telling Cha Sik that everyone starts out thinking they are talented, but reality sets in, and they are just mediocre. That’s when you start to wonder if you should continue. Cha Sik is tougher than that, and says Jin Mok needs to try harder to make him madder! Yeah, Sam Shik, you gotta get up early in the morning. This guy is no pushover. They bicker-fight over Cha Sik’s word usage and it’s pretty funny, even if it does reveal that Cha Sik has missed a few things in his HS classes. I’m not worried. Facts can be taught, but common sense and compassion can’t. Cha Sik’s academic deficits are fixable; Jin Mok’s emotional deficits are far more problematic.

Cha Sik’s mom walks by the Yoo Seul Piano School one evening, and puts two and two together as she peeks in the window. She pops in for a visit-

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As Yoo Seul’s mom drinks soju from a wine glass. The Viki peanut gallery goes bananas over this, calling her “ratchet” which drives me nuts–the word is “wretched”! Ratchet is a wrench you use to repair a car! I have my own word usage issues! I am sure the Peanut Gallery wants to call her low-class or trashy, but the word usage is messed up. ‘Wretched’ is an excellent word choice in this scene to describe Yoo Seul’s mom.

Cha Sik’s mom politely asks to look around at the pianos. She needs one for her son who recently started playing, but is improving quickly. When Yoo Seul’s mom says it might be expensive, Cha Sik’s mom says she will break open her piggy bank–investing in her son is the best thing. But then the scene turns quickly as Yoo Seul’s mom says “Don’t do that to your son”. She has already been down that path. Whoa…is she finally getting the picture that she’s been a massively overbearing parent to her daughter? She compares it to giving her child all the water…but the water is soaked up by a blanket and becomes a burden to the child. She tells Cha Sik’s mom she will give her the piano for free–just don’t put pressure on your son. It will become a nightmare to him. Ooooh, is this some character growth I’m seeing here?!?

Prior to this scene, I never felt like Cha Sik’s mom pressured her son. Even seeing her getting the piano for him didn’t feel like she had out-of-control expectations. She only repeated what he said, and I didn’t think she took it 100% seriously. I always felt that he put the pressure on himself. While Yoo Seul’s mom is confessing her sins to Cha Sik’s mom, we see Cha Sik struggling at the piano, and he takes out his phone to look at the pic of his mom and dad.

Cha Sik’s mom immediately takes Yoo Seul’s mom’s words to heart, and tells her son over breakfast the next day that she doesn’t want to own a building. She’s used to being a renter, not a landlord. What she really wants is to be a writer, and maybe enter a literary competition of some kind. Cha Sik says that he’ll throw a big gala for her when she publishes a book! He can’t stop thinking big. There are worse sins IMHO.

Back at school, the students crowd around the door to the practice room where Cha Sik and Yoo Seul are practicing with a week left before the competition. They are mighty impressed he’s learned so much in a short time. Jealous and deposed Prince Jin Mok rolls up and gets to overhear his classmates diss him this time–he’s gonna lose to Cha Sik and he’s even looked into changing majors. Jin Mok watches helplessly as his arch-rival and his Princess roar through the Liszt Transcription of Beethoven’s 9th. My goodness-they sound fantastic!

When they get to the part that Cha Sik has been having trouble with…the same part she verbally framed for him with his pole-vaulting skills, he stops, and I can see his confidence evaporate. Oh no. He concocts the flimsy excuse that he’s gotta run–his mom sent him a text. Cha Sik says he will pick her up tomorrow, and he goes outside the practice room and sits down heavily while Jin Mok woefully attempts to look like he hasn’t been eavesdropping. Cha Sik doesn’t even bother to give a poke to his frenemy Sam Shik. He needs his help to win the competition. Jin Mok says No Way–did you forget our bet? Cha Sik says that if he and Yoo Seul can’t win the competition, she will give up the piano. Sam Shik wouldn’t want that, right? Ehhh….I’m not so sure about that:

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Cha Sik uses another superpower–detailed observation–as he takes Jin Mok’s injured hand and says he knows how it happened:

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What kind of crazy guy would risk injuring his hand for his enemy? Especially a pianist. Jin Mok yanks his hand back and leaves in a huff.

Yoo Seul can’t get Cha Sik to answer the phone, as she stands outside her house waiting for him. Why do I get the feeling I am watching this show go off the rails? This is not like Cha Sik at all. He’s been an ultra-reliable guy. He cares about Yoo Seul. Why would he do this? We see him practicing late at night in the tunnel (I note he has ditched the forehead flashlight for a incandescent light bulb rig over the music–great idea, btw) and he reads a slew of messages from Yoo Seul. The messages start with concern…and escalate to anger and frustration. I feel ya, Yoo Seul. I’m starting to wonder what the deal is here too. He doesn’t show up at her school either, and she replays the scene in her head where he told her she would miss him one day. I think that day is today. Yoo Seul has her classmate dictate a text to Cha Sik: He better be there for their last practice or she will consider him a coward and drop out of the competition. Jin Mok gets to witness this as Cha Sik looks at the message–and then begs his father to help him. There’s just so much pressure on this kid; too much to learn in too short a time. I just wish he’d stop being a jerk to Yoo Seul and be honest with her.

Jin Mok is about to leave his house when his dad comes in and asks him where he’s going. Jin Mok says he’s going to the SAT academy, and his dad congratulates him on making the right decision. Uh…right for who? You? Check out the cinematography here–ya think Jin Mok lives in a prison?

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Like that’s a bad thing. SMH.

Cha Sik is watching Yoo Seul have a meltdown in the practice room waiting for him. She says that this will make it easier for her to give up the piano–and then adds that she will wait five more minutes because of their enduring friendship! Yeah, I’m betting the Ice Princess misses her Prince. When he finally shows up at the practice room, her voice is pure relief….followed quickly by anger. He didn’t answer any of her messages, and he’d promised to protect her. Cha Sik strangely blows it off, and asks if she missed him. She sounded pretty desperate in her messages. Arrrgh! Did he get a personality transplant? What is going on here? When she asks if he finished practicing the piece, he stammers around until Jin Mok shows up and puts his finger to his lips. Cha Sik says he finished practicing, and she demands that he play it for her. And that’s when Jin Mok sits down at the piano. Oh my gosh. They are gonna try to pull one over on her…what are they thinking?

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Jin Mok uses his considerable piano1 skills to play the ‘orchestra’ part, and I hope that Yoo Seul catches that it’s straight-up Jin Mok style; technically perfect without a shred of emotion. When he’s finished, Cha Sik asks how was it, and Yoo Seul says it was perfect–even she wouldn’t be able to play like that. Jin Mok looks like he’s about to start crying. For once in his life, he has received a compliment from the Princess. He’s so starved for affection, and her praise means the world to him–even if it was really meant for his rival Cha Sik. This is effed up on so many levels.

She continues on, saying that it’s a great thing that he decided to become a pianist, and that he should never give up the piano. Ummm…can she not hear the difference between these two guys or did she suddenly get stupid? Maybe she knows they are deceiving her, and she’s going along with the program. That’s gotta be it. She will bust them later, I’m sure. The entire scene reeks of deceit.

Cha Sik asks her to repeat her words–he was thinking of giving up. He’d overestimated his ability. He puts his hand on Jin Mok’s shoulder–the pain on Jin Mok’s face is so clear (great acting BTW) and the Princess tells him he should never give up and he’s a talented pianist. She’d repeat it a thousand times. Unbelievably, Cha Sik looks at peace with what he’s just done. I think I need to start praying for the real Cha Sik to come back and for this impostor to leave ASAP. The boys leave and Cha Sik thanks him. Jin Mok tells his rival to do whatever it takes to win at the competition tomorrow–and to quit calling him “Sam Shik”!

At the competition the next day, Cha Sik’s mom meets up with a poorly disguised Yoo Seul’s mom. She brightly says hello, introduces herself again and Yoo Seul’s mom says isn’t this the first time they’ve met? WTH? Maybe she was drunk. Cha Sik’s mom says no, I was there the night you drank soju from a wine glass, and you were so drunk you offered me a free piano! (Sock it to her, Cha Sik’s mom!) Yoo Seul’s momma channels all her inner demons as she denies everything, saying she’d never get drunk like that and she’s being mistaken for someone else! OMG. I swear this woman is on my last nerve. At least Cha Sik’s mom calls it as she sees it:

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And adds that she was dumb enough to pity her! At that, the witch turns around and asks her not to let her daughter know that she’s there! Ummm….your daughter is blind, and who’s stupid enough to tell her you are there?

Cha Sik’s mom and I shake our heads; then she picks up a concert flyer and looks at it strangely. We find out why–Hyeong Myeong Se is going to be one of the judges. Oh goody–he said before he was gonna try and make it. How cool is that? He’s gonna get to see his son play. The classmates are blown away that he would show up to be a judge; Cha Sik’s old pole-vaulting coach compares it to having soccer star Ronaldo being the referee for one of the neighborhood soccer games! Everyone wonders why he would come all the way from Austria for this competition. Oops. I thought he was in Germany. My mistake–but they have great music schools in Austria too. Yoo Seul’s teacher thinks Hyeong Myeong Se has either lost his marbles–or he’s here to see his son Cha Sik. Now I see Cha Sik’s mom running around frantically in the background. I’m sure she wants to talk to her son before he meets his dad. She might not know they’ve been writing each other. Maybe we will find out the reason why she never told him about his dad before now.

Cha Sik sees his dad’s name on the poster too, and sprints down the hall to see him. He’s super excited. I am too. This might give him the boost he needs to pull this competition out and win it. Please, please, please Professor Jo HMS, give Cha Sik your blessing as a father and as a pianist. Cha Sik stops momentarily in front of the door to the guest room where his dad is waiting, and tries to compose himself. The moment he goes to knock on the door, HMS opens the door and Cha Sik falls in!

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His dad barely catches him because Cha Sik is so big and tall–and dad asks if he is Jeong Cha Sik. Cha Sik is thrilled, and asks if his dad came all the way here to see him. And then Hyeong Myeong Se lowers the boom–He wonders why Cha Sik has mistaken him for his father.

My jaw hits the ground. Is this guy gonna be an a-hole to Cha Sik and deny that he’s his father? Professor Jo, how could you do this? Or….what if Cha Sik’s mom lied? OMG. Either way, it’s all bad. No, there’s no way his mom woulda lied. Cha Sik’s face registers shock and total disbelief. I’m right there with him. Now I know this show is headed for a crash landing. Cha Sik and I are both in big, big trouble.

Cha Sik’s mom is still frantically searching for her son.He’s nowhere to be found, and then she turns around to see her son–utterly defeated:

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In an eerily calm voice he asks his mom–It was all a lie, right? He’s not really a genius…so what does he do now? Believing that he was Hyeong Myeong Se’s son was the only thing keeping him going. He says he was too naive; it was just a photo after all. Omo. So she did lie to him. I’m blown away. How could she do that to her son? Did she lose her mind? Mom tries to tell him that she’s sorry, but he gently pushes her away, and walks off. Holy Crap. Now what is he gonna do about the concert with Yoo Seul? Is he gonna head for the rooftop again? I could punch Cha Sik’s mom right now. She’s really blown it with him. A lifetime of accumulated trust evaporates in one second. I have zero sympathy for her.

Yoo Seul is in her elegant gown, waiting in her dressing room. Cha Sik watches her try to put on lip tint without the benefit of sight, and he wonders what he should do. The practical side of him takes over, and he offers to help her with the lip tint. She calls him ‘perverted’, but there’s no malice or anger in it as she smiles. Gosh, she is so beautiful with her makeup, her hair and that dazzling dress. She does let him put a little bit of tint on her lips–so cute! Yoo Seul asks if he’s nervous–yunno, since his dad’s there and everything. Cha Sik goes with the flow, and says that she didn’t believe HMS was his dad anyways. Yoo Seul says nope–she was mistaken. Based on what she heard Cha Sik play yesterday, he is definitely Hyeong Myeong Se’s son! Oh, the tangled web of a lie…

It suddenly occurs to me…How could Hyeong Myeong Se be a judge at a competition where his son was one of the kids competing? He would have to recuse himself. So HMS knew. Did he feel like he had to tell Cha Sik in person that this was a big ‘ol lie or did he just want a tax write off vacay to get some R&R?

Yoo Seul hasn’t lost all her brains, as she immediately picks up that Cha Sik doesn’t sound confident. She grabs him by the lapels and says that if he plays like he did yesterday, his dad will accept him for sure! Yoo Seul says she’s gonna play her best today, and Cha Sik counters that his performance will be beyond her imagination. Uh, he’s not even dressed yet. He just took a huge shock. How in the world can he pull this off? Cha Sik takes her hands in his and makes her repeat her promise to not give up the piano if they win. She’s gonna smile so beautifully…now if I could only stop crying!

Cha Sik goes back to confront his not-dad in the auditorium, but we don’t get to see/hear what they talk about. Darnit. I wanna see/hear this–and I wanted to see the actual scene where Hyeong Myeong Se told Cha Sik the details about why he was not his father.

Oh, looky who’s here now! Evil Witch mom and Jin Mok run into each other in the auditorium. He sits down right in front of her–all those empty seats and he picks that one. That’s some fine passive+-aggressive behavior right there. Cha Sik finds Jin Mok, and begs him to play with Yoo Seul in the competition. Oh no! Cha Sik says that Jin Mok was right. He’s not HMS’s son, nor is he a genius. He can’t play the piece fast enough to match Yoo Seul. Meanwhile, Evil Witch mom opens and closes her mouth like a Sam Shik fish gasping for air.

Jin Mok knows Cha Sik has lost his marbles. These competitions are no joke. Cha Sik’s name is already on the list. He can’t play in his place. Yes, that would be correct. But this is DramaLand, and we can play fast and loose with the rules. Cha Sik says he entered Jin Mok’s name instead–and it’s okey-dokey since it’s the preliminary round. Uh…no. The judges would never let that happen in RL. But whatever. This show is going down in flames anyways.

Jin Mok appropriates the twin superpowers of logic and reason–he can’t play because he hasn’t memorized the piece. For a second, I think: This is good. Now Cha Sik will have to play. But noooo….Yoo Seul’s mom butts in to their conversation and asks if he could play it if he had the music in front of him. She yanks off her scarf and declares:

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Is this some kind of epic revenge plot by Yoo Seul’s mom on Jin Mok, since he messed up turning the pages for her daughter? Does she want to deliberately sabotage her daughter and get her to quit playing the piano in penance for being an overbearing parent? Has everyone gone crazy here? Evil Witch mom says this piece will be a great piece to show off Jin Mok’s strength as a pianist, and she’s gonna help him (and her daughter). Ummm, Evil Mommy…you heard Cha Sik playing this same piece with your daughter. Of all people, you know that Cha Sik has a boatload of talent.

At first, Jin Mok looks like he can’t believe her, but then his feelings for frenemy Yoo Seul must win out–and he agrees. He asks Cha Sik if he’s gonna be okay with all this, and Cha Sik sadly nods yes. **headdesk** Why does he get to be the martyr here? Did someone remove his cojones? Is he gonna give up his Princess to his arch-rival?

At one point, I thought this show couldn’t get any better. Now I fear it can’t get worse…

Cha Sik’s mom finds him again and grabs his hand, but he asks to be alone now…for sure, he’s heading to the roof. She calls his name and says again that she’s sorry. She blathers that she understands what he’s going through (I want to punch her again for saying this) and Cha Sik gives her a wakeup call–how could she know:

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He says she has no clue how excited he was to play the piano with Yoo Seul, while dreaming of being a professional pianist. (I note he doesn’t talk to her about his dream of them playing together) Didn’t she know how miserable he’d be once he found out the truth? Yeah, you tell her Cha Sik–she’s an idiot. He bottom lines it–why did she lie? Yeah, I wanna know too! She counters with her own question: Why did he go to the rooftop at the hospital? He was thinking about doing something terrible like Yoo Seul, right? Cha Sik’s face says it all–he had no idea his mom knew about this.

The next scene is disturbing, and I won’t screencap it. Cha Sik is on the hospital rooftop about 4 stories up–not the parking structure–looking anxious and distraught as he contemplates jumping. He looks like he’s about to jump–but then we see him sitting on the rooftop sobbing. Something made him back down from the ledge. (I have to say that Ji Soo is just amazing in this scene.) Cha Sik cries that he’s scared, and the show cuts back to the auditorium. His mom asks–Did you think I wouldn’t find out?  She wanted to make him feel better, and tell him he was the best. He shouldn’t take after her, a lowly ghostwriter. She is so pathetic; would the truth have worked?

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Cha Sik and I are not buying this. He asks her if that meant lying was okay. My answer would be No. Looks like we are on the same page here:

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Only Kdramas will do this to a person…

Back at the competition, Yoo Seul is being escorted onto the stage, while Jin Mok and Witchy Mom sit down at the piano. To Jin Mok’s credit, he asks Mom if she is gonna tell her daughter that she’s there. Yoo Seul’s mom declines, saying No–then it wouldn’t be her daughter’s choice to be here today. I think she doesn’t want to tell her daughter so that her daughter will keep playing the piano–mom’s ultimate wish. Then in true witch mode, she threatens Jin Mok; if he screws up, he will never perform again! Yeah, no pressure there! Jin Mok must have grown a spine overnight because he turns it around and asks her what he’s gonna get out of this (besides a continuing relationship with the Princess). Yoo Seul’s mom says he will get a compliment from her! (heh, perhaps a Top Compliment?)

top_compliment

Sorry, couldn’t resist!

(Pic courtesy of Pianoconversations.wordpress.com)

Go ahead Jin Mok, and sell your soul for a compliment from the witch. Let’s see how this will work long-term for you. I note that all of this is whispered within earshot of Yoo Seul. Did she lose her hearing? How did she not figure this out?

Cha Sik and his mom are at the piano in the tunnel. He’s another level of angry as he sits down in front of the piano. He grits his teeth and lets his mom know he is playing as her son and not the son of Hyeong Myeong Se. He launches into the piece, and the show cuts back and forth between Jin Mok/Yoo Seul/Witchy Mom playing in the auditorium, and Cha Sik playing for his mom and the homeless ahjussi in the tunnel.

(There was a lot of conjecture among the Viki Peanut Gallery that the homeless ahjussi was actually Cha Sik’s father, but I never bought into that idea.)

We see a flashback where Jin Mok informs his dad that he’s gonna keep playing the piano. Even if he’s just an average piano instructor after 10 years, he’s fine with that. Dad asks if he’s gonna waste his life to be an average instructor, and Jin Mok says that’s the plan. Playing the piano makes every day a good day, so it won’t be a waste. Sure, he’d like to be successful, but the next 10 years are going to be the best because he’s doing something he absolutely loves. Jin Mok is practically begging for his father’s blessing and acceptance, but he’s never going to get it. Now that he has a spine, he won’t need it.

pt3-21

Put down that newspaper and look at your son! He’s a man now.

Cha Sik is attracting a small audience in the tunnel, as he gets to the passage that gave him so much trouble. Of course, this time he plays it perfectly. What a shame HMS didn’t get to hear it. But a whole bunch of other people did:

pt3-22

Yoo Seul’s mom has tears in her eyes as she watches her daughter smile. Yeah, Yoo Seul still thinks that it was Cha Sik and not her arch-nemesis playing. How pretty is that smile when you know deceit was the reason for it? Yoo Seul’s mom compliments Jin Mok, saying it was the best he’d ever played.

Show then decides to drive a stake through my heart: Yoo Seul has the trophy in her hand, and a big smile on her face as her mom shines the picture frame. Whose name is on that trophy? Why it’s Seo Jin Mok!

pt3-23

 

(욘요슬 is Yoon Yoo Seul, 서 진목 is Seo Jin Mok)

I never thought I would say this…good thing Yoo Seul is blind and can’t see the names engraved, or that trophy would be on the ground in a million pieces!

As the credits roll, I realize I’m going to have to go through all the depression, anger, and grief stages that happen when I get emotionally invested in a show. I know it often (but not always) starts with high expectations of a show. I have this eternal hope that this time, somehow, everything will be different. And it never is. What happened here? I have a separate post for discussing what caused this show to detonate after a fantastic 2 1/2 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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