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The Liar and His Lover: Episode 5

Actions may speak louder than words – and Han-gyul may perform those actions with gusto – but at the end of the day, it’s the words we share that maintain a healthy relationship. Without even realizing it, Han-gyul has found himself in a new friendship that he wants to maintain. But the more he comes to cherish this friendship, the more he wants to keep certain words to himself. And with each passing day, his secret only deepens the threat of pushing his beloved singer away.

 
EPISODE 5 RECAP

Chan-young promises to dedicate the next three years to So-rim and her band, and he urges her to promise the same as he holds out his hand. So-rim hesitates at his intense eagerness, but takes his hand in the end.

And at that very moment, Han-gyul bursts out onto the roof, searching for So-rim. He finally spots her up on the main roof, grasping Chan-young’s hand and smiling. Han-gyul can only stand there and watch, the disappointment hitting him as he realizes that he’s too late.

In the studio, Jin-woo and Gyu-sun are still in awe at the fact that Han-gyul is the one and only K. To Jin-woo’s surprise, Gyu-sun isn’t at all upset like he is – in fact, Gyu-sun finds it amazing that So-rim’s crush just so happens to be the producer of her favorite band: “It’s just like a movie!” Haha.

Jin-woo persists in saying that Han-gyul deceived them all, but Gyu-sun figures it’s not that much of a big deal. So when So-rim returns, Gyu-sun immediately tells her he has news about Han-gyul… but realizing this could make her like Han-gyul even more, Jin-woo jumps Gyu-sun and covers his mouth. So-rim pays them no attention, but hearing Han-gyul’s name makes her remember something, and she’s out the door again.

She calls Han-gyul and asks if they can meet. Once they’re settled in a coffee shop, she cautiously reveals that she’s been signed to Sole Music. She apologizes for just telling him now, but she couldn’t find the right opportunity before. Han-gyul feigns surprise and congratulates her, saying there’s no need for her to feel sorry.

Han-gyul’s the one who feels sorry for asking her to sing his song when he didn’t know about her being scouted. However, that’s not why she turned down his song, So-rim says. She explains that it was because he’d mentioned hating girls who sing.

Han-gyul blinks in surprise and asks how she could refuse music over something he said. “If there’s a good song or a good opportunity right in front of you, you shouldn’t let someone like me get in your way.” So-rim interrupts him, asking, “Why do I have to choose one? Why do I have to choose between music and you?” She’d rather work hard at both then sacrifice one without trying.

Oh, ouch. She doesn’t realize it, but that seems to hit a nerve in Han-gyul. He shakes his head, saying she can’t handle being a real singer with that attitude. According to him, it’s a tough job, even if you are willing to sacrifice everything.

He grows more agitated and yells that if only she’d told her about being casted sooner, he could’ve—… He suddenly gets choked up and makes a quick exit, leaving So-rim completely stunned.

As Yoo-na is being driven home, she notices Han-gyul standing under a bus stop as it rains. She tells her chauffeur to stop the car and steps out to approach Han-gyul. She asks if he’s standing there because of the rain and offers to drive him to the subway. Though he resists at first, she eventually convinces him to accept.

So-rim is on her way home too, stuck in a daze, when she suddenly runs into Jin-woo. He came to ask why she ran out earlier and assumes it was because of Han-gyul. Instead of answering, So-rim wonders how he’d feel if someone told him something important a little too late. Jin-woo immediately thinks she’s talking about Han-gyul’s secret identity and says that that would be the worst.

Jin-woo stops when he sees that So-rim is tearing up and asks her what’s wrong. She cries that Han-gyul must be angry with her for keeping her casting a secret, and then she breaks down into full-on sobs at the thought of never seeing him again. Jin-woo helplessly watches her cry, furious determination setting in his eyes.

In Yoo-na’s car, Han-gyul contemplates deleting the new song he’d written for So-rim from his phone. Yoo-na sees this and asks about it, though he just says it’s something he’d consider giving to someone with a good voice. This makes Yoo-na pause, and then she tells her chauffeur to take Han-gyul all the way home.

Jin-woo reaches Han-gyul’s place at the same time that Yoo-na’s car does, and he fumes to see Han-gyul with another woman. As soon as Han-gyul exits the car and heads for his door, Jin-woo comes barreling toward him and shoves him against the wall. However, Han-gyul gets the upper hand and kicks Jin-woo to the ground. In the midst of all the struggle, Jin-woo curses Han-gyul for making So-rim cry, making him freeze.

The Crude Play boys pull up and immediately come to Han-gyul’s aid, separating him from Jin-woo. The sight of the boys throws Jin-woo off: “I guess you really are K.” The boys try to figure out what Jin-woo’s deal is, but all Han-gyul can think about is what Jin-woo said about So-rim. He slowly walks away from everyone before breaking into a run.

He runs all the way to So-rim’s house, just in time to catch her closing the shop. He’s relieved to see her, though once they venture out to talk, the air is awkward between them. Han-gyul finally stands to speak, but So-rim beats him to it: “I like you.” She says that even if he never wants to see her again, she can’t give him up.

Han-gyul glances down guiltily. “I came to tell you that I’ll wait,” he says. He’ll wait until she debuts and becomes a singer, until she can sing his song.

Han-gyul continues that she was right – that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice one thing in favor for another. But he’d blown up earlier because he knows that that’s his problem. He failed at balancing both things, and as a result, he ended up hurting others because of his music.

He gives So-rim a small smile and sighs, glad to have gotten all of that off his chest. Now that he’s done, he tells her that he’ll do whatever she asks to make it up to her. When she looks at him in confusion, he explains, “I heard you cried because of me.” D’aww, you’re killing me here.

So-rim’s back to her old smiley self as she requests to hear him sing his song “I’m Okay” again.

Han-gyul takes her to the boys’ now empty bar hangout and sits her down for her own private concert. He settles behind the keyboard on stage and firmly states that he’s only doing this once. So-rim nods, clapping her hands with delight.

He smiles and begins playing the song, the rendition soft and sweet. And as he sings, he gazes at her with these eyes that kill me all over again. So-rim happily sways to the music and mouths the words, only to stop when he goes into the next verse – he’s singing the lyrics she’d written for him.

So-rim is moved to tears, looking as if she’s falling for Han-gyul a second time. The two watch each other with smiles throughout the rest of the song.

The next day, So-rim stops by the teacher’s office to greet Teacher Bong before heading to Sole Music. Se-jung, the classmate who secretly likes Crude Play, is just leaving the office, though when she overhears So-rim talking about the company, she pretends to drop something to listen further.

So-rim is practically glowing as she tells Teacher Bong how happy she is, and he flatly replies that that’s great. Then when she starts to turn away, he calls her back and gives her a quiet but enthusiastic “Fighting!” like the awesome guy he is.

Just outside of Sole Music, So-rim stops by a street vendor to admire some phone cases. Han-gyul is heading into work himself when he notices So-rim and freaks out, immediately taking cover before she sees him.

Inside, Chan-young eagerly asks Jin-hyuk if he’s listened to the song he sent him. Jin-hyuk says that while a newbie’s title track is important for their debut, he wants to discuss all of that once Chan-young is done with his commitments to Crude Play. Chan-young starts to protest when So-rim pops in, ready for practice.

She asks if she’ll be recording Chan-young’s song today, but he’s quick to respond that it’s not ready yet. Jin-hyuk gives him a stern look before leaving them alone. So-rim turns to Chan-young and tells him how excited she is for his song, which relieves him from some of his uneasiness.

Elsewhere, Han-gyul runs into Jin-hyuk and hesitantly asks about the new group. Jin-hyuk tells him that they’ll be sure to debut soon, especially since Chan-young seems so impatient. Then we cut to Chan-young as he watches So-rim practice with what looks like hope all over his face.

So-rim joins Chan-young and Sole Music employee Soo-yeon (the girl who seems to like Shi-hyun) in the back. Soo-yeon notices two phone cases in So-rim’s bag – a matching couple set – and So-rim asks if a guy would like it. Chan-young looks up at that and wonders if she’s talking about the guy she’s crushing on. He gives her a weak smile when she answers yes, though after thinking for a moment, he asks if she wants to grab some food.

As the two head toward the exit, a passing Han-gyul sees them coming his way and makes a run for the stairs. Once he knows he’s out of sight, he watches them leave, noting So-rim’s smiling face. The rest of the Crude Play boys come up the stairs and smack Han-gyul back to his senses. The boys eye him suspiciously and then drag him off for an explanation.

Yoon and In-ho crack up upon learning Han-gyul has been seeing a high school girl, now understanding why he’d left in a hurry the previous night. The boys give him a hard time about it, so Han-gyul insists that it’s not that kind of relationship. But when In-ho and Shi-hyun jokingly ask if they’ve done anything illegal, Han-gyul yells at them to stop and gets up to leave. He turns around with one last thing to say, his tone serious: “She isn’t someone you should be talking about so carelessly!”

Chan-young treats So-rim to a fancy lunch, making sure to reiterate that he wants them to become close. She nods and jumps at the chance to ask about K and what the producer is like. “He’s reeeally,” – So-rim leans in with anticipation – “ugly,” Chan-young finishes. (Pfffft.) So-rim deflates as he continues that K is totally fat, and on top of that, an annoying jerk.

So-rim covers her ears and says that she doesn’t want to hear things like that. Chan-young asks if she’s worried that her fantasy of K will shatter, but she clarifies that she wanted to hear about the person behind the great songwriting. Chan-young coolly tells her that there’s no need getting to know K: “When there’s a songwriter like him by your side, you only feel inferior.”

Back at Sole Music, Yoon and In-ho show Shi-hyun the negative comments that have been crowding up their anonymous videos and suggest they quit uploading before they attract any attention. Shi-hyun sighs in agreement, disheartened, when he notices Soo-yeon peeking by the door. She hurries off before he can react.

After admiring her cute couple phone cases, So-rim sends Han-gyul multiple texts, asking to meet and promising a special gift. Han-gyul sends back a simple “Okay,” and then adds a smiley face for good measure.

Han-gyul’s eyes fall on the download Jin-hyuk sent him: Chan-young’s unfinished song. He frowns as he thinks back to earlier, and we see that Jin-hyuk had asked Han-gyul to give it a listen. Han-gyul had refused, saying it’d be wrong since it wasn’t Chan-young who sent it.

The next day, CEO Yoo, Jin-hyuk, and Yoo-na finish up an interview with a reporter. When the reporter asks if Yoo-na is dating anyone, even bringing up Jin-hyuk’s name, the air is thick with tension. Jin-hyuk promptly changes the subject and offers a tour of the company.

Meanwhile, Chan-young is giving a tour of his own, showing So-rim and her friends where Crude Play will hold their comeback showcase. Someone calls out, “Seo Chan-young!” from the back, and So-rim gasps to find herself face to face with the other Crude Play members.

The boys flock over to So-rim, who can barely hold in her fangirling as they greet her by name. Annoyed, Chan-young shoos the boys away, so they head back up to where Jin-woo and Gyu-sun are. Shi-hyun throws an arm around Jin-woo and teases him about his fight with Han-gyul. Jin-woo ignores his jokes and pouts that Han-gyul wouldn’t deceive So-rim like this if he knew just how much she liked him.

Chan-young urges So-rim to sing as long as she’s here. She excitedly steps up to the mic when she notices a girl watching from afar. It’s Yoo-na, passing by as she escorts the reporter. So-rim can’t recognize her from where she stands, but when Yoo-na turns to leave, the image of the woman she’d seen the day Han-gyul was upset resurfaces.

The resemblance shakes So-rim so badly that she nearly faints. Chan-young rushes over to make sure she’s okay, but even she doesn’t know why she’s feeling this way. However, she does admit that whenever she’s in an audition-like atmosphere, she’s consumed by fear – a fear that something bad might happen. She feels bad for withholding this information from him, but Chan-young assures her that she probably just needs to get used to it. He also advises her to keep this a secret from Jin-hyuk.

CEO Yoo chats with Jin-hyuk about the new survival show her company, Who Entertainment, plans to create with her trainees. Wanting more experienced contestants, she asks that Jin-hyuk hand over a few of his trainees as well. Without much of a choice, he agrees to have his trainees prepared.

So-rim leaves to meet up with Han-gyul, but when she nears the elevator, she accidentally crashes into none other than Yoo-na. Their collision causes Yoo-na’s coffee to drench So-rim, though So-rim can hardly register Yoo-na’s apologies as she realizes who she’s staring at. She’s still dazed as Yoo-na leads them to a dressing room to give her a change of clothes.

As Han-gyul waits in a coffee shop, he glances toward the entrance, only to make a double take. His eyes widen at the sight of So-rim wearing a short, form-fitting dress, though he quickly recomposes himself as she joins him at the table. He asks what she wanted to give him, so she casually hands over the blue phone case, insisting her only intentions are to protect his phone, lol.

Han-gyul looks at the case and then back at her. “Take out yours,” he orders, his voice dripping with suspicion. So-rim reluctantly shows him the matching case on her phone, making Han-gyul laugh: “What are we, a couple?” So-rim nods enthusiastically. So cute.

He tells her that she’s moving a bit fast to even go so far as to change her style. So-rim glances down at her dress and explains that Yoo-na lent it to her. Figuring the dress doesn’t suit her, she squirms and says that only someone as pretty as Yoo-na can pull it off. Han-gyul tells her not to compare herself to Yoo-na: “Because you’re pretty too.”

Meanwhile, Yoo-na dines with Jin-hyuk and thinks back to So-rim, wondering why she looked so familiar. Jin-hyuk informs her that So-rim is his newest trainee – a trainee that Han-gyul and Chan-young fought over. Yoo-na thinks about this and declares that she wants Han-gyul to work on her next album after all.

As Han-gyul walks So-rim home, she can’t stop blushing over the fact that he called her pretty. Han-gyul notes that she looks out of it and leans in to check her forehead for a fever, but So-rim keeps giggling and flinching away. When he finally gets her to hold still, they hear someone yell, “What do you think you’re doing?!” They turn to see Grandma, who’s glaring right at Han-gyul.

Grandma brings Han-gyul home to hammer him with questions, all of which he answers (almost) truthfully. He tells her that he’s an aspiring musician, so Grandma puts him to the test by making him play the piano. Soon, Grandma is dancing along to the music with So-rim, and she begins to warm up a bit.

Grandma puts Han-gyul to work on dinner too, and she’s impressed with what she sees. Han-gyul smiles and reveals that he was raised by his grandmother and that he’d often cook with her when his parents weren’t around. Grandma sends him away to wash up and then turns to a grinning So-rim, admitting that she picked up quite a skilled and handsome fella.

After dinner, Han-gyul takes a look around So-rim’s bedroom, admiring the pictures of young So-rim. When So-rim joins him, he reminds her to keep the door open so as not to worry Grandma. Having noticed him checking out the family pictures, So-rim reveals that both her mom and dad passed away when she was six years old.

So-rim doesn’t remember them much, but she could never forget her mom’s singing. She recalls the way her mom sang with her whole body and how that image defined So-rim’s love for music. Han-gyul lets this sink in and says that he understands now why he found So-rim’s voice so warm. He gives her a small smile, though it falters when his eyes land on the poster of K behind her.

On the bus ride home, Han-gyul puts his blue phone case aside (he kept it!) and contemplates Chan-young’s song file again. Giving in to the temptation, he presses play.

At the same time, Chan-young and Jin-hyuk are discussing the song at the company. Chan-young demands that Jin-hyuk stop avoiding the subject and just give him an answer. To his surprise, Jin-hyuk tells him it’s a good song. And from the bus, Han-gyul narrates that he thinks it’s a good song too, thinking it’ll emphasize So-rim’s voice nicely. But…

“It’s too plain,” Jin-hyuk states. Chan-young insists that he was simply keeping the public appeal in mind. Besides, he says, all songs start off with similar chords. Jin-hyuk lectures right back that if the chords are similar, it shows the difference between one with talent and one without talent. He says that handing a new group a song with this little individuality and identity will only hurt them in the long run.

Han-gyul’s just finished jotting down some notes for Chan-young’s song when he gets a text from Shi-hyun. He joins the Crude Play boys at their bar, where he’s horrified to learn that they’ve met So-rim. They tell him what Jin-woo said earlier and wonder why he won’t just tell her who he is – Han-gyul will be unmasked for Crude Play’s comeback, so she’ll find out anyway.

The very thought makes Han-gyul grab a beer, and as usual, one sip is all it takes to bring him under. “Who I am isn’t important,” he says. “The problem is that I lied to So-rim. Honestly, I’m scared. I’m scared that if she finds out I lied again, her feelings will get hurt and she won’t want to see me again.” He slurs that even so, he’s definitely going to tell So-rim the truth… and then passes out. But you meant what you said, right? You are going to tell her, right?

Chan-young is brooding in the studio alone, remembering when he’d spoken to Jin-hyuk after being asked to join Crude Play. He’d asked Jin-hyuk why he gave up on Han-gyul, and Jin-hyuk had answered in typical business fashion that he simply encouraged Han-gyul to do what he’s better at. Chan-young falls to the ground in tears as the memory fades, narrating that because he was just a replacement, no one had even asked how he’d felt.

The next day, Chan-young watches So-rim practice from afar. Han-gyul comes around the corner too and starts to open the door, but stops when he sees Chan-young leaving. He looks back to So-rim, conflicted, but decides to follow Chan-young out instead.

When Chan-young sees that Han-gyul has followed him out onto the roof, he immediately tries to leave, but Han-gyul stops him to confess that he listened to his song. Han-gyul offers to help with the arrangement, not realizing he’s only rubbing salt into a wound. Chan-young grows frustrated and asks why Han-gyul is trying to butt into something that’s his.

Han-gyul apologizes, saying Chan-young has the wrong idea. However, Chan-young is tired of his apologies. He firmly states that he’ll never let Han-gyul take this one opportunity away from him. Chan-young reverts back to a forced smile and says he should go – he has to practice with So-rim.

Chan-young finds So-rim downstairs as she’s reaching for her ringing phone, and he tells her to ignore it since she promised to keep music as her top priority.

Sensing something is off, So-rim asks Chan-young what’s wrong. He turns to her, his expression grave, and answers with his own questions: Does she really want to sing his song? What if K were to write her a song? So-rim assures him that she’d still sing his. But he’s still unsatisfied – he asks what she would do if the guy she likes wrote her a song.

So-rim doesn’t know how to answer that, and her hesitation seems to be the final straw for Chan-young. So-rim’s phone rings again, but he still doesn’t let her answer. Instead, he asks, “Want to hear the new single? Crude Play’s title track?” WHAT. Chan-young, don’t you dare!

Ugh, but he does. Back on the roof, Han-gyul realizes what Chan-young meant behind his words and runs back inside to find So-rim. But it’s too late. So-rim jumps at the chance to hear the new song, so Chan-young goes ahead and plays it for her, watching her expectantly.

The beginning of the song is new to her, but the second she hears Shi-hyun’s voice sing those familiar words, she pales. Confused, she asks how this could be their title track when it belongs to Han-gyul.

“The Kang Han-gyul you like,” Chan-young says, “is K of Crude Play.” Unable to process this, So-rim reminds him of how he described K before. He admits that he lied, but he coldly states that his lies couldn’t possibly be as bad as Han-gyul’s. Her voice shaking, So-rim says that Han-gyul probably didn’t mean to deceive her; he probably just couldn’t find the right timing. Right? Overwhelmed, she quickly excuses herself.

Han-gyul is still going crazy trying to reach So-rim. He tries calling again, and this time, she answers. He asks where she is and she numbly responds that she’s right behind him. He whirls around, and the first thing he notices is that she’s been crying. He asks what’s wrong, but she doesn’t need to answer. The giant screen behind them answers for him as it starts blaring Han-gyul’s song. With a wounded look, So-rim asks, “Why did you lie?”

 
COMMENTS

I must say that The Liar and His Lover continues to surprise me with how fast it’s moving in plot – I was fully expecting Han-gyul’s secret identity antics to stretch out far longer than necessary. And while I did enjoy his constant flailing in this episode, I’m pleased to have the Big Secret out in the open now rather than later. After spending all this time warming up to our characters and understanding their inner turmoil, I find the arrival of this conflict to be near-perfect timing. At this point, we’ve developed a strong attachment for just about everyone – all the way from Han-gyul and So-rim to Shi-hyun and Jin-woo – so it feels right to dive into the angst now.

But, urgh, why did Chan-young have to be the one to reveal the secret? Why, Chan-young? Han-gyul was this close to doing it! I am so incredibly mad at Chan-young for stealing Han-gyul’s chance of telling So-rim the truth himself, but I can’t exactly hate him for it. To me, it didn’t seem like some petty second-lead move in order to win the girl; it seemed like a desperate act made in order to keep his hope alive. He wants to separate himself from Crude Play and pursue his own goals so badly that, unfortunately, he’s willing to hurt Han-gyul for it. What he didn’t foresee, however, was how his attempts would hurt So-rim just the same. He seemed genuinely shocked to see how shaken she was in that final scene, so I don’t think he’s a bad person in the slightest. If anything, I find him pitiful for being so alone in this industry while having to watch Han-gyul claim all the glory.

But there is an interesting coldness in the way Lee Seo-won portrays this character that suggests his determination to step out from Han-gyul’s shadow is making him oblivious to So-rim’s own pain. I just can’t get over Chan-young’s reaction when So-rim confided in him about her stage fright. I was waiting for some sort of comfort or compassion in his response, but he just said she had to get used to it? Seriously? I was questioning his intentions before, but now I see that Chan-young only views So-rim as his opportunity out of the band. Perhaps that mindset of his will change as time goes on – and I sincerely hope it does – but for now, I am not happy with him.

True, Han-gyul had behaved in a similar fashion by viewing So-rim as a beautiful voice instead of a person, but this episode made it pretty clear that he’s seeing things differently now. First, she was a silly high schooler with crush, then she was a lovable dongsaeng, and now, at long last, she’s just So-rim – a girl he genuinely cares about. My favorite part, by far, was when he’d heard he’d made her cry and instinctively ran all the way to her house to see her. Han-gyul makes so many mistakes, but the second he’s made aware of them, he’ll own up to them, especially when it comes to So-rim.

I’m not sure if he knows it yet, but there’s something about So-rim that gives him the need to immediately set things right, and as a result, to lay his heart out on his sleeve and relay the truth. But at the same time, he’s beginning to care for her so much that it’s only made his guilt for lying about his identity worse. So though his feelings are finally in the right place, he’s probably thinking it’s too late to actually do anything with those feelings.

But now that So-rim knows the truth, he better put away that thinking and do it quick. So-rim has been doing all the work in this relationship and she can’t keep doing that forever. And Han-gyul saw that in her eyes – she’s been able to forgive him and get past all his little white lies, but this is different. He can see that she can’t just smile and move past this one.

After discovering he’d been keeping something this big from her, she’s going to start questioning every single thing he’s ever told her, even the seemingly heartfelt confessions. Han-gyul has been doing a great job of showing he cares for her, but in a situation like this, simply showing her just isn’t going to cut it. He has to take it one step further and tell her loud and clear where he stands if he’s going to prove he wants to be in this relationship just as much as she does. It’ll be tough on him, but after everything So-rim’s been through, I think it’s about time Han-gyul stop running in place and catch up to her.

I’m pretty nervous for what’s to come, so let’s end things on a happy note. I must reiterate how much I love the music and how it’s used within the story to differentiate our characters. For instance, So-rim’s version of “I’m Okay” is upbeat and cheery while Crude Play’s version is slow and wistful. And then Han-gyul’s version in the bar was a totally different feel, like it was its own separate piece. Though the song was originally written with Yoo-na in mind, Han-gyul turned it around and used So-rim’s lyrics to make it specifically for her. And that’s just precious. It’s also a genius tactic on the drama’s part because I haven’t been able to get the damn song out of my head for days. Well played, Show. Well played.

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