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The Liar and His Lover: Episode 6

The price of a lie is high, especially when the one you want to protect is the one it hurts the most. As Han-gyul realizes the harm his deception has done, it’s his turn to hold on as So-rim pulls away from him. Now that the one real thing between them — his music — has become the source of So-rim’s torment, Han-gyul has to find a way to show her that he’s still the guy who promised to always be her champion.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

So-rim asks Han-gyul why he lied when he’s really Crude Play’s K. His song plays behind them, emphasizing his lie.

Han-gyul begins to apologize, but So-rim says that she’s always loved K’s music and it’s a dream come true to meet him. But tears stream down her face as she wonders why she’s so sad when she should be feeling happy.

Han-gyul asks for a moment to explain himself, but So-rim refuses to listen. As he presses, Chan-young steps between them and pushes Han-gyul back. “Stop playing with her,” he growls at Han-gyul before offering So-rim a ride back home.

Once they are in the car, Chan-young tells So-rim that if she goes home right away, Han-gyul will find her. Instead, he drives her to an empty music bar to give So-rim time to collect herself. He apologizes for springing the news on her without considering her feelings and admits that he was afraid she would choose Han-gyul over him.

To distract her, he tells her about discovering his love for the bass guitar here, and how his classically trained parents disapproved. So-rim knows the story and adds that he used to play the violin. Chan-young is sweetly pleased to find that So-rim is a fan of his playing.

He picks up a guitar and offers to do a duet with her. As they sing “Flying Duck” together, So-rim’s happy smile makes a comeback. Later, Chan-young drops her off at her house, and Han-gyul — who had been waiting for her — watches So-rim bid Chan-young a smiling goodnight.

Once So-rim goes into the house, Chan-young turns and notices Han-gyul, having known he’d be there. He offers him a ride home, but Han-gyul just wants to know if So-rim is all right. Chan-young admits that though she’s smiling now, he doesn’t know how she’s feeling inside.

Then with his friendliest smile on, Chan-young tells Han-gyul to stop confusing So-rim unless he reciprocates her feelings. Han-gyul tells him to stay out of it, but Chan-young simply points out how his behavior can only end up hurting So-rim, especially at such a crucial point in her career.

He drives away, leaving a thoughtful Han-gyul looking up at So-rim’s house. Inside, So-rim listens to Crude Play’s version of “It’s Okay” again, as the newly released song begins to top the charts.

The next day, Shi-hyun corners Soo-yeon in a corridor and asks why she’s avoiding him. She bluntly tells him to delete his “Real Crude Play” account, pointing out how much trouble they can get into. Shi-hyun tells her the punishment for cyber bullying, which makes Soo-yeon scoff that she’s not the one posting the mean comments.

Shi-hyun defends the band’s decision to put their own music out there, but Soo-yeon just asks if Han-gyul knows. When he asks her not to tell Han-gyul, she nods to herself and walks away.

On the bus ride to their “level testing,” So-rim asks her friends if they knew about Han-gyul’s identity. Their overdone reaction gives them away, and So-rim calls herself a fool for not knowing. Jin-woo asks her if she’s stopped liking Han-gyul now, hope in his voice. Much to his disappointment, she just says that Han-gyul must have had a reason for lying, and she’ll give him a chance to explain.

Before the “level testing” begins, Jin-hyuk wishes the trio luck, but he also tells So-rim not to do too good a job. The other trainees waiting for their turn pass a few snide remarks about So-rim and the boys. Overhearing them, So-rim’s stress begins to rise, and she gets up to find the washroom.

CEO Yoo meets Han-gyul in the hallway and asks about Yoo-na. He tells her that they aren’t together anymore. So, when Yoo-na finds them walking towards her and greets CEO Yoo, the older woman doesn’t pass up the chance to make a barbed comment about it.

As CEO Yoo leaves, Yoo-na holds Han-gyul back to ask what he told the woman. So-rim turns a corner and nearly runs into them. She backs up quickly, but can’t help overhearing Yoo-na ask about the song he wrote for her. Han-gyul points out that they lyrics aren’t about her, but Yoo-na counters that he wrote the song while thinking about her.

Yoo-na tells Han-gyul that she may have wronged him, but every time he loses something, he gains music. So, she can’t feel too apologetic. So-rim clasps her hand over her mouth as tears drip down her face.

CEO Yoo enters the auditorium as the performers get ready. She asks Jin-hyuk if he’s hiding away all his talented trainees, and he promises that his newest recruits will be performing as well. She also mentions a rumor and asks if Jin-hyuk was careful about keeping the fired guitar player quiet (the one Han-gyul clashed with).

So-rim arrives a little late, but she gets up on the stage and smiles at her grandmother’s encouraging face. It begins well, with So-rim singing confidently and the boys playing well. The other trainees begin to look worried as they listen to her clear voice, and CEO Yoo watches her intently.

Han-gyul comes into to hear her too, and Jin-hyuk smiles to himself when he sees him. Unfortunately, So-rim catches sight of Han-gyul too, and she stutters to a stop. The boys bring the song to an end, and So-rim leaves the stage. As Han-gyul follows her out, Jin-hyuk realizes that they might know each other.

Han-gyul catches up to So-rim and asks if she’s all right. She shrugs him off and tells him that she’s not any of his concern. Hurt and angry, she points out that he never wanted to have anything to do with her and that she was the one to hold on to him.

Then, her face crumples as she admits that she knows that he’d written “It’s Okay” for another woman, and now she feels ashamed that she liked him because of that song. Before Han-gyul can say anything, she runs away.

The second group of trainee girls is performing on stage, and CEO Yoo admits that they’re pretty good. She offers to take So-rim and the boys off his hands since they are pretty terrible. Jin-hyuk can’t even claim that they were the ones he wanted to protect after their dismal performance.

Back at home, So-rim vengefully draws a bubble on K’s Crude Play poster and writes “I’m a jerk” in it with white marker. She laughs hysterically over it until her eyes fall on the dress Yoo-na had lent her. She puts it in a bag, then decides to practice singing. But she starts crying when she realizes that Han-gyul’s song is still stuck in her head.

As he travels back home that night, Han-gyul keeps thinking about So-rim saying that his song had been for another woman.

The next day, So-rim takes the dress back to Yoo-na, still dressed in her school uniform. She thanks her solemnly, then says, “I feel so small in front of you.” Yoo-na looks at her in confusion, but So-rim leaves quickly. It’s then that Yoo-na remembers the schoolgirl Han-gyul had met outside Sole Music.

Jin-hyuk talks to Chan-young about So-rim’s performance issues. Chan-young lies that she doesn’t have stage fright and must have been nervous, but Jin-hyuk isn’t reassured. He tells Chan-young to give up producing the band right now and focus on Crude Play. Chan-young looks crushed. Poor guy.

The Crude Play boys are over-straining themselves with practice. Yoon and In-ho wonder when they’ll be good enough to play their music live, while Shi-hyun scrolls down the negative comments on their videos. He turns to them with a smile though, and they decide to practice one more time before calling it quits for the day.

The showcase for Crude Play’s next album goes well, and everyone in Sole Music goes out for a celebratory dinner. So-rim and the boys sit one table away from Han-gyul and the gang. Jin-woo grumbles that Han-gyul is following them everywhere, until Gyu-sun points out that it’s the other way around. Heh.

Yoo-na arrives to much applause from the crew, but as soon as she approaches their table, Han-gyul gets up to leave. Shi-hyun follows him out and finds a slightly tipsy Han-gyul sitting outside, playing a game on his phone.

He figures out that Han-gyul is upset about So-rim and asks if it’s about the song. Han-gyul whines that it’s unfair that she’s holding it against him, since the song was the result of past feelings. “It’s just a song, not a documentary!” he complains to Shi-hyun. But then he defeats his argument by admitting that the song is also his story.

Inside the restaurant, So-rim’s friends press her to go talk to Yoo-na. She looks over and her eyes meet Yoo-na’s. They nod politely at each other, and Jin-hyuk marks the strain between them.

Shi-hyun laughs at Han-gyul’s conundrum and tells him to just tell So-rim what she wants to hear. But Han-gyul is determined not to lie any more — not even about the smallest things. He swears he won’t give up on So-rim now. Shi-hyun pats his head, saying that he’s impressed. Pfft.

In-woo arrives at Sole Music, and CEO Yoo meets him in the lobby. She’s frustrated that he doesn’t seem remotely angry at his song-stealing bandmate, and In-woo laughs that she’s uncharacteristically informal around him. She claims that there’s no point in being polite to him.

CEO Yoo asks if Han-gyul knows that he’s come back, and In-woo admits that he doesn’t. Then he tells her that his son terrifies him more than anyone else. She asks him to decide if he’s going to be Yoo-seok’s session musician and to inform her soon, since his indecision is hurting his son’s career.

Han-gyul arrives during So-rim’s practice session with the boys. He’s greeted coldly by Jin-woo and So-rim, with only Gyu-sun willing to accept the box of ice cream he brought as a gift. He offers to help the band practice in Chan-young’s absence, but So-rim refuses to sing in front of “K.”

Soo-yeon follows Han-gyul out and asks about the tension between him and So-rim. He admits that they argued, but then asks why Soo-yeon is being so formal with him. He teases her about being formal with Shi-hyun too, and Soo-yeon thinks back to Shi-hyun’s plea to not tell Han-gyul about the videos.

Han-gyul changes subjects and asks how the band’s debut is coming along. Soo-yeon tells him that things are uncertain since they’re preparing for a TV show now.

This propels Han-gyul to go confront Jin-hyuk about sending the band off on a survival show on TV. He points out that Jin-hyuk had recruited the Bong Trio to debut them, not throw them away on a show where the winners and losers have already been decided.

Jin-hyuk stops pretending that this was part of the plan and admits that it was CEO Yoo’s decision. As Han-gyul gets more worked up, Jin-hyuk points out that it’s not his place to take up the band’s cause, when even Chan-young isn’t here to defend them.

The trio get their intros recorded for the TV show in their school’s classroom. Snooty classmate SE-JUNG smugly shows pictures from Crude Play’s showcase to her classmates, insinuating that Gyu-sun had told her about Bong Trio’s debut long before the rest of the class knew.

Han-gyul arrives during yet another session, and Jin-woo wonders how he knows their schedule so well. Jin-hyuk is recording So-rim for the show, and his directions to her make it pretty clear that he’s trying to diminish the power of her voice. Han-gyul can only listen to it for a bit before asking Jin-hyuk what he’s doing.

Jin-hyuk sends Soo-yeon and the technician out of the room and turns the mic off. So-rim and the boys can only see Jin-hyuk and Han-gyul arguing without knowing why their practice is being interrupted. Han-gyul asks to arrange the song for them, but Jin-hyuk wants to know what’s going on between So-rim and him.

Han-gyul says that he doesn’t want So-rim hurt and reminds Jin-hyuk that he’d promised to help this band grow. Jin-hyuk says that he hasn’t given up, but Han-gyul asks for proof. He pleads with Jin-hyuk not to let the young band become a laughingstock by making them lip sync to a bad song on live TV.

He leaves, and So-rim goes after him. Not knowing what the discussion had been about, she grabs his arm and asks him why he keeps trying to get involved in her life. He reminds her that he’d always been honest to her with his music and just wants to be close to her again.

So-rim says that she doesn’t know if anything between them was real. Realizing how much his song was tormenting her, he promises to write her a different song, just for her. But So-rim cries that she can’t push his song away, just as she can’t push her feelings for him away.

Jin-hyuk listens to So-rim’s recording for the show and sighs. The plan is to have the band lip sync to it on stage, since they’re assuming they’ll be cut in the first round. But Han-gyul’s words bother Jin-hyuk, and he calls up Chan-young to ask if the band should sing the song live tomorrow.

Chan-young is against it, and Jin-hyuk asks if he’s worried about So-rim’s stage fright. Chan-young doesn’t deny it, and instead, says that it’s better to have them do a forgettable lip sync than be remembered for a terrible stage performance.

He’s sitting in a car with the other Crude Play members as he says this, and his words seem to strike each bandmate where it hurts. Their expressions tighten, but none of them say a word. Ouch.

That night, Han-gyul thinks of So-rim and pulls up his guitar to rework the song allotted to them by CEO Yoo. They can’t change the song, but he can make it sound better.

The next day, Jin-hyuk and CEO Yoo arrive at the TV station at the same time. She asks why he’s bothering to be present for a band that’ll get eliminated immediately and advises him not to care so deeply for everyone in his company.

Chan-young finds time from his own performance to visit So-rim and the boys before their show. So-rim smiles to see him but her eyes keep scanning the crowded dressing room for someone else.

Han-gyul is running late, but he reaches the TV station and bursts in on the group with pen drive in hand. As Jin-hyuk takes him aside, Han-gyul offers him the rearranged song. He asks the band to listen to the song, confident that So-rim will pick up the new arrangement quickly. He asks that he be allowed to play the keyboard and turns to ask Chan-young to take up the bass.

Chan-young scoffs at him and says that this last-minute change will only shake the band’s confidence. The trio looks uncertainly between them, but then Jin-hyuk speaks up. He agrees with Han-gyul that the band is in a bad shape and will only be a laughingstock if they lip sync to the pre-recorded song. He asks the three if they want to try showing these people what they’re really capable of. So-rim looks up at Han-gyul as everyone waits for her decision.

Jin-hyuk visits the TV station producers in their control room to exchange small talk as he runs a quick eye over the devices in the room. What are you up to?

As the band from CEO Yoo’s own company begins to perform, Han-gyul pulls So-rim away from her friends. He tells her that she’s wrong if she thinks everything between them was a lie. He says that he’s changed since he met her and won’t give up trying to get close to her again. “I’ll prove to you that you and I were not a lie,” he promises. Awwww.

She tries to pull away, but he catches her arms and tells her that she’ll do well today. They stare at each other for a long beat, then Han-gyul notices the noise-canceling earphone in So-rim’s ears. He smiles self-deprecatingly and walks away to get ready for their turn. So-rim stares after him. I think she heard you, anyway.

On the other side of the stage, Han-gyul takes of his jacket and starts to put in his earphones when Chan-young comes out with a bass guitar. He calls Han-gyul a “stuck up jerk,” but Han-gyul cheerfully puts an arm around his shoulder, pleased that he’s given in.

Han-young assures Chan-young that So-rim won’t fail — he knows her, and she knows his music. Chan-young says that he will never go against So-rim’s decision, but he adds that this is a one-off: Eventually, So-rim will sing his music, not Han-gyul’s.

As the performance winds down, Jin-hyuk quietly disengages a plug in the control room. So, when the Bong Trio are announced and take their place, the technicians switch the pre-recorded music on, but nothing comes out.

As everyone panics and tries to figure out what’s going on, Han-gyul whispers, “Sing. Sing, Yoon So-rim.” Surrounded by chaos, So-rim’s world falls silent, and she takes a deep breath.

 
COMMENTS

I knew there was good in Jin-hyuk, I knew it! It might only be a good that wants to profit from So-rim’s talent, but he’s putting his neck out to help a rookie band when he knows that CEO Yoo won’t forgive the interference with her plans. I’m convinced that he really does care about helping So-rim’s band grow, and that his business sense hasn’t yet killed off his love of music.

What a beautiful way to end an episode. It’s frustratingly tantalizing, especially after So-rim’s earlier debacle on stage, but finally, a really good cliffhanger. If there was one complaint I had about this show, it was the choppy editing that kept interfering with the flow of the story. That seems to have smoothed out a lot this week, and I really enjoyed being able to watch the story move without absurd cuts confusing me.

The good thing is, the show has us properly invested in all the story lines now. Even the ones that had started on wobbly legs initially have found firm footing. The shakiest of the subplots was Han-gyul’s relationship with his bandmates, which seemed too hostile to be have any friendly feelings left. Yet it soon became apparent that the anger between the friends was an old thing by now, and it was rooted in the truth of Han-gyul’s words. As musicians, Shi-hyun, In-ho, and Yoon lacked the talent that Chan-young had. And though it was hard for them to face it, they had been working hard to improve themselves. Without support or encouragement, they keep practicing so that they can play their own songs live on stage one day, as every musicians dreams of doing. Their earnestness and hope is touching, and I badly want them to get their day on the stage — as they rightfully should have, long ago.

Joy keeps surprising me. She sold me on So-rim’s heartbreak, even when I didn’t understand why she was so upset. Like Han-gyul, I kept thinking that the song was written before Han-gyul knew So-rim, so why does it matter that it was created with Yoo-na in mind? But by the end of the episode, So-rim had convinced me that it mattered. It may not make sense to me, but to a teenaged girl who’d just realized that her first love had loved another woman, it’s a heartbreaking discovery.

And that’s what I love about this show. It hasn’t tried to make us forget how young So-rim is. As Chan-young (correctly) pointed out to Han-gyul, she’s too young to be her crush’s object of attention and not feel hope that he’ll return her feelings. So, when he asked Han-gyul to stop, I was on-board with his argument. Han-gyul isn’t someone who needs the blind adoration of a fan to boost his ego. He spent time with So-rim because he liked her. He may have valued her for her voice at first, but he clearly cares about her emotions by now. So while I didn’t want Han-gyul to back off, I did think he needed his behavior pointed out to him so he could analyze his own feelings. They were apparent to everyone but him, but isn’t that always the case?

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