First Rule of Music Extortion Club is… NEVER to talk about Music Extortion Club!!
We start in by repeating the last 2.5 minutes of Episode 7, so I will just gloss over with the highlights here. Ji-ho suddenly gets a few tiny clues. Ji-ho runs off to put pieces together of tiny clues. Ji-ho wonders how his mom is involved with tiny clues. Ji-ho becomes rude to other diners at a restaurant looking for more Tiny Clues. Blatant Tiny Clue shows up as Bad Delivery Guy arrives at same place and time with Other Blatant Tiny Clue. I’m surprised Ji-ho’s head hasn’t exploded by now… or he is just a poor dumb dope with a bunch of tiny clues.
What we didn’t see from the end of Episode 7 is Ji-ho’s eyes shifting over to a pair of strange shoes next to the pair of designer heels. Repeating the shaky hand slowly opening the shoji, Ji-ho sees his mom with another person — Professor Ha! As they eyeball each other suspiciously, the Bad Delivery Guy sneaks out the back door with his suitcase full of loot. The ruse works, as Yeong-rang is pleading with the Professor to save Ji-ho and at least drop the charges. The Professor gets up in a snit and tells her he didn’t come here to talk about Ji-ho, remember? Asking how Ji-ho even knew she was there, she blames Secretary Oh for leaking the word of her ‘secret meeting’ with the Professor. Ji-ho suddenly remembers the delivery scooter and scoots out himself, as Yeong-rang tells Secretary Oh to tail him.
When Ji-ho runs out of the restaurant, of course the scooter is no more… which frustrates Ji-ho to no end that he must ruffle his hands through his hair. Secretary Oh comes out and asks Ji-ho if there’s a problem, and Ji-ho flat-out asks what sort of reason would he have to withdraw $200M won all of a sudden? Secretary Oh explains that it was the return of the deposit for the Professor’s failed contract with the Golden Record Corporation; Madame Choi insisted on paying it herself. Ji-ho snerks that off and asks for more clarification on the call Secretary Oh received from a deliveryman on the same day the sheet music disappeared. Looking quite confused, Secretary Oh has no (tiny) clue, until Ji-ho rattles off the eleven numbers the Bad Delivery Guy called was to Secretary Oh’s phone. So who is he… and Ji-ho ain’t taking I Don’t Know for an answer this time!!
Secretary Oh tells him that he received a threatening call to turn over money for the missing sheet music, but Ji-ho didn’t just fall off the Kimchi Truck and calls him out on his lies. Secretary Oh spurts out that oh yes it’s true, as there are several distractors in Boosung that are plotting to remove Ji-ho from his Chairman position. Yeong-rang is trying to do all she can to protect him, but she may be losing her management rights if she goes too far. Ji-ho softens a little, as Secretary Oh goes in for the kill — if Ji-ho found out what is transpiring, would he even imagine how she would feel? Returning to the restaurant, Yeong-rang’s pumps are still at the entrance, but a little too noticeable is the absence of the casual shoes right alongside.
Ji-ho apologizes to Yeong-rang for making her kneel in front of the Professor, but she doesn’t think it’s a big deal. The Professor has to resolve his misunderstanding somehow, and she’s just the person to accomplish that. She also called the Hanguk Dean for a favor, because it’s certain that Ji-ho’s situation is a trap, but the discipline goes beyond the pale. Ji-ho sighs heavily and tells her it’s probably time for him to give up now, to which she’s (fake) stunned he would even make such a suggestion! Doesn’t he want to catch the real criminal and clear his name? Ji-ho tells her that she’s more important than finding out the truth. (WTF?!?) He’d rather give up now than see her kneel in front of anyone else ever again. Saying that she’s sad to have not been any help to him in his wounded state, she apologizes but continues her Cheshire Cat Smile.
In-ha asks for confirmation about Ji-ho confessing everything, but Yeong-rang clarifies that he did not admit to the theft of the sheet music; just that he’s leaving Hanguk University. EvilStep calls him out for being such a weakling to capitulate from such an stupid incident. Saying that at least they found out quickly that Ji-ho obviously doesn’t have the guts to run a company, EvilStep stomps from the room, leaving In-ha and Yeong-rang to further plot evil deeds. In-ha asks that if Ji-ho does leave the school, that he’s also giving up the successor position as well? He must not have been as much of an Alpha Male as In-ha thought. Yeong-rang tells him that apparently Ji-ho wants a big enough fish to want him as his successor; the Professor would have fought tooth-and-nail if that was the case. In-ha wonders what it is that Yoo Ji Ho really does want? Yeong-rang says that it’s obvious, Lacking Second Son — he wants to be the best composer not under anyone’s shadow, and to lead the Boosung Group in order to help him become the best. He wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Back in his room, Ji-ho stares at the picture of the delivery company scooter and flashes back to the run-in with the delivery guy, the ill-gotten gains money delivery, and the unrecognizable set of shoes at the restaurant… and apologizes to his mom, saying it’s not that he doesn’t trust her, but he needs to know the truth. Who is the world hates him so much to go through all this against him? Reaching for his mouse, he pulls up the homepage of the Seoul Delivery Service…
No slouch in the Hottie Department himself, Woo-jin is buttoning up his best dress shirt while flashing back to the day before, where he found out he was one of the winners of the Geumdan Construction Employee Lottery. With a shy smile on his face, he goes over to his dresser to pick up the picture of his Dead Deaf Dad (say that fast five times!). Woo-jin tells him to trust him and hang on just a little bit longer for his rightful revenge. A knock on the door, and Nam-joo comes in bearing a shopping bag wondering why Woo-jin is dressed so uncomfortably for the hot weather outside. Saying that she got it on sale, why doesn’t he put it on right now? Pulling it out of the bag, Woo-jin is a bit stunned to see that it’s a knockoff designer brand polo shirt. (I just now noticed the height difference between them — either Jeon Mi Seon is really short, or Jung Eun Woo is another freakishly tall actor in this production!)
Morning dawns at Geumdan Construction, as Woo-jin arrives for his first day at work looking rather uncomfortable in his brand-new polo shirt. Scouting around for something, Jung-wook and his minions also arrive for the day to see Woo-jin disappear around the corner. Must have been a really short work day, as Jung-wook leaves again with his toadies in tow to see Woo-jin emerge from the restroom all suited up and ready to go. Minion #1 whispers into Assistant Guy’s ear that Attorney Choi from Boosung Group is waiting again in the reception area. Jung-wook says that Boosung must be chomping at the bit to make a deal… give him the documents he’s prepared and tell Attorney Choi that he’ll only meet him if Boosung will accept his conditions.
Ji-ho finally makes a call to Seoul Delivery Service with the ruse that his package delivery was switched, but he doesn’t know the delivery man’s number. Oh golly gee, but he does have his scooter’s license plate number; would they be able to provide Ji-ho with his contact number now? *rubbing hands* As he writes down a phone number, So-yeol ambles into the room and asks if Ji-ho might have found the sheet music stealer? He says nothing’s final yet, but he’ll make sure he tells her when it’s figured out. And by the way, what the hell is Se-yeol doing at their house so early in the morning? She says that Yeong-rang invited her over for breakfast and a chat, and he’s joining then, right? Making his excuses, Ji-ho bolts for the door as So-yeol wonders with all the running around Ji-ho is doing trying to prove his innocence, why won’t the Professor believe him?
Louis Kang has rallied the troops at the restaurant to announce the final employee hirings, so no kvetching allowed as to his decisions. Turning to Nam-joo, he names her the Assistant Server at Restaurant Louie. Of course Bitchy Manager Girl protests, saying that makes no sense since Nam-joo has no experience! Louis pulls out the directive from Headquarters, and there it is in black and white. Apparently an elderly group that dined there last month that was so touched by the special care that Nam-joo proferred, they had to call the Corporate HQ to extol her virtues, so it’s all guuud guuud guuud!! Nam-joo thanks him for the opportunity and says she’ll do her best.
Louis says that the only way he’ll let Da-mi back in the restaurant is to continue her piano lessons and then come back to serve in the afternoons. Be a good daughter and help your mother out with the tuition fees, arraso? Sounds like we’re done, and he claps the rest of the staff back to work as Bitchy Manager Girl looks like she just ate a huge piece of durian. Do-ri is beside herself with glee that both mom and daughter will be working alongside her now. Bitchy Manager Girl yelps that no one asked for HER input on the hiring issues; what is she, chopped liver? She runs off, with Louis in hot pursuit. Do-ri asks Da-mi what the deal is with those two — are they dating or does Bitchy Manager Girl have some blackmail on Louis for her to treat him that way? Da-mi couldn’t give a rat’s ass who’s dating and who isn’t… she’s just happy as heck to be able to work alongside her mom!! Nam-joo reminds Da-mi of Louis’s mandate — she needs to go to her piano lessons, remember? Da-mi tells her not to worry because she’s found a really good piano teacher now. Tee hee!!
Nam-joo takes a break to call the Investigator via the number on the business card he gave her. Finding that the number is no longer in service, she calls the Police Station instead and asks for him there. She is told that there is no one by that name working at that station… and it slooooowly dawns on her that she’s been had. Flashing back to when she turned over the delivery invoice to the Fake Cop, Nam-joo looks like she’s about to pass out. But channeling that anger into something productive lands her instead at the Boosung Company, where she confronts Yeong-rang and her lackeys entering the building. Secretary Oh tries to push Nam-joo out of the way, but she brushes them off and spits at Yeong-rang that she must have committed an extremely heinous crime if she has the time to send a fake police officer after her. Yeong-rang asks why she’s there to cause such a commotion, as Nam-joo has a more different definition of commotion — what she’s done to the Hong Family is worse than some little ‘commotion.’ The real crime here is Yeong-rang is still living the high life with a nice house and food in her belly. DOES SHE NOT FEAR GOD’S RETRIBUTION?!?
Yeong-rang moves closer and says, hell no she doesn’t. She has no fear. If anything, what did Nam-joo do to CrazyGran? Her children cry bitter tears over losing their father themselves, so basically just get the hell out of her face NOW. Every time she sees Nam-joo is like losing her loving [snerk] husband all over again; if she doesn’t believe her, then she can go see Ji-ho herself. And then she orders Nam-joo to be forcibly removed from the premises. (And for once, I actually feel a tiny bit of pity for that woman.)
Ji-ho is in his car telling the Seoul Delivery Company to meet him at a playground; the package that was switched is very important and he’ll pay an extra fee to receive it. Right on cue, the guy pulls up on his scooter, with the same license plate and boot carrier as seen outside the restaurant. Dude takes off his helmet and looks around to try and find Ji-ho… but that’s not him! It’s another delivery guy using the same scooter, and after not seeing the caller, takes off with Ji-ho in hot pursuit behind him.
Yeong-rang reviews the contract that Geumdan Construction sent back with Attorney Choi. He tells her the land price mentioned is twice the market price according to their experts. He thought about it, but there is not enough money in the company fund to pay for such an acquisition. Yeong-rang glares at him and asks if he’s asking her to give up? The Board already has their claws ready to shit-can her because of the whole Butt-Ugly Piano fiasco; this will just give them more ammunition to fire with. Attorney Choi says that even if they did have the funds, it’s too risky to speculate in this real estate at such a grossly-high number. (Sheesh dude… I bet you’d faint dead over the rental market prices in the Bay Area these days!) Yeong-rang says that they have no choice now but to invoke Plan B — move Ji-ho’s stocks to the Cultural Foundation in order to raise the capital needed.
Attorney Choi ain’t too sure that Ji-ho will agree to that, but Yeong-rang says she has no choice because that’s the only way she’s going to survive. So-yeol interrupts their little clandestine meeting by saying she’s found an important production clue for the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II. (Wearing hot pants? Yeah, that’s real professional.) With wide eyes, Yeong-rang asks if she’s not having her leg pulled…
Following the Seoul Delivery Scooter back to their warehouse, Ji-ho lies (lays?) in wait for the Bad Delivery Guy to show up. You may be asking yourself, how is he going to recognize him since pretty much everyone there looks the same… until one guy shows up not in uniform and wearing those ridiculous glow-in-the-dark yellow Converse Uni-Star high-top shoes. The same shoes Ji-ho saw underneath the entrance to the restaurant dining room!
Yeong-rang asks if that’s all they need to do to recreate the piano’s sound — change the wood in the hammers? So-yeol says that it’s a first step in the process, but much more needs to be done. (NO DUH.) So-yeol will take care of things personally, so just turn her loose to do her thing. Yeong-rang thanks So-yeol for being her ‘army of one’ but they’ve got to hustle butt — the recreation needs to be completed in less than six months. No matter how much it costs, she needs to get ‘r done! So-yeol says that she wouldn’t have accepted the position if she didn’t think she could come through in the clutch. And in exchange for So-yeol sweating bloody tears over the piano work, Ahjumma needs to get with the program and help Ji-ho be cleared of the false sheet music theft charges. Her dad is still not believing Ji-ho wasn’t the one leaking the composition. Yeong-rang says that it looks like they haven’t talked yet… Ji-ho plans on leaving Hanguk, but not because the charges are patently false. So-yeol says that’s not what HE said… Ji-ho was going to find the Bad Delivery Guy just a few hours ago; he’s got the license plate and everything.
Bad Delivery Guy walks towards a building, with Ji-ho right behind him. Distracted by playing ‘Words With Friends’ on his phone, Bad Delivery Guy is easily taken down by wiry Ji-ho, who throws him up against a wall and orders Bad Delivery Guy to tell him who ordered the theft! Secretary Oh tells Yeong-rang that Ji-ho has found the Bad Delivery Guy, which allows her to just shoot more Evil Death Stares into the distance. Ji-ho gives the Bad Delivery Guy a concrete facial in trying to get more information out of him. Bad Delivery Guy says he’ll tell him who ordered the slander… in fact, it’s someone very close to Ji-ho. Yeong-rang continues her Evil Death Stare at something across the room. Ji-ho demands Bad Delivery Guy tell him NOW who it is!! But Bad Delivery Guy spills his guts and tells Ji-ho that it was PROFESSOR HA who ordered the hit — all he had to do was swap out the sheet music, that evil old man!
Throwing Ji-ho off him, Bad Delivery Guy continues to lay it on thick, saying that he should at least get some payback money from her to protect the Professor, since Yeong-rang was gonna chop the old man up into pieces if he hurt any of her children. Bad Delivery Guy gets all philosophical and tells Ji-ho to get over it; go set his life straight over this wrongdoing. And with a shoulder bump, Bad Delivery Guy lets Ji-ho stumble away, saying that everything was just a set-up? Secretary Oh hangs up the phone and tells Yeong-rang that Bad Delivery Guy did exactly what he was told; they have nothing to worry about now. Yeong-rang is obviously pleased, and tells Secretary Oh to send Bad Delivery Guy his extra fee for being such an asshole.
Woo-jin attends New Employee Orientation Day at Geumdan Construction, as Jung-wook rallies the troops around him and says they should prepare for battle now. He outlines a special mission for each of the new recruits, as Assistant Guy hands out shiny aluminum briefcases all containing $100M won in cash. Using that money, they each must find a piece of real estate and make the best contract possible without spending more than what they’ve been given… but they can use any means possible to get the land under contract. There’s a van waiting in front of the building, so hop in and let’s get this Purchasing Party started! The van drives them out to the edge of Incheon, where Assistant Guy tells the five recruits that they’re on their own now so head off to wherever they wish. Woo-jin looks around aimlessly…
Back at Hanguk University, In-ha and Professor Ha walk and talk about In-ha’s idea to have a charity concert for cancer patients. Explaining how he spent most of his childhood recovering from his burns in a hospital, he knows first-hand how lonely patients are shuttered up like that. Hopefully the Professor can help In-ha make that happen? The Professor tells him he’s not very fond of performing at charitable events, but In-ha buts in and reminds the Professor that he is also a disabled pianist. He still has scars all over his body, so how could he fake something like that in front of an audience? If his nine fingers could give them hope, maybe the audience could give him the courage to go on as well. The Professor tells In-ha that he is a more admirable person than he originally figured, so okay fine. He’ll try to help as best as he can, so they should go see the Dean right now for permission.
And they go do that very thing, only to be interrupted in their stroll by Ji-ho. Ji-ho asks the Professor why he hated him so much that he had him thrown out of the school? What did he do that was so wrong for him to act like that? Ji-ho had such high admiration for him, but the Professor just had to push him away like the coward that he obviously has turned out to be. Calling him out like a gangster, the Professor demands that Ji-ho just disappear from his eyes immediately. Ji-ho is happy to oblige, saying that he’s quitting the school and today is the last day he will ever call him ‘teacher.’ And with a nod-bow, Ji-ho turns his back and leaves… as the Professor calls him an ungrateful bastard for still not admitting his guilt. In-ha tries to calm down the Professor, as Ji-ho walks away wiping tears from his cheeks.
Trying to climb up an extremely rocky hillside, Woo-jin gets to the top and surveys the land spread out before him. Back at the realtor’s office, they go over prior contract paperwork and he learns that the original price of the land was $300M won, but quickly dropped to $80M won after seven separate auctions failed to bring in their asking price. Woo-jin asks why the price was cut so drastically, as the Realtor Guy says that even though it has a great view, no one wants to buy such barren soil filled with rocks. Woo-jin does the quick calculations in his head: 2.9 million pyong (about 2,866 acres) of land worth $80 million won… *dingding*
Back at the McMansion, Ji-ho arrives home in a snit, but Yeong-rang is there to (allegedly) cheer him up. Instead, Ji-ho drops to his knees to apologize for ever suspecting that his mother was the one who stole the unfinished composition from the Professor’s safe. (*facepalm*) Ji-ho goes on to tell her it was all a set-up by Professor Ha… as Yeong-rang puts on her best fake-surprised face and asks if Professor Ha was somehow paid off by the Boosung Board? (Um… wait a second here… ) Yeong-rang pulls him to his feet and tells him to not hate the Professor; he must have feared his talent to pull such a stunt. Ji-ho is STILL apologizing, as Yeong-rang promises him that she’s still lacking as a mother; from now on, she’ll do a better job of protecting Ji-ho because it’s obvious his opponents on the Board are not stopping in their quest to remove him from the Company. Poor dumb dope Ji-ho says that he will follow whatever Mommie Dearest says from now on… she’s been after him to sell his stocks and set up a cultural foundation, so it’s time to do that now in order to keep his mother out of danger. Yeong-rang has a better (at least to her) idea — Ji-ho needs to join the Company instead. Your father left you the Company, dammit… now it’s time to join up and rule the world! BWAHAHAHA!!! But first, it’s been too long since she’s had a date with her son. How about it? *gag*
Ji-ho and Yeong-rang walk around the grounds, as Ji-ho mentally thanks his mother for forgiving him. He had sworn to not hurt her ever again, but she has to trust him one more time. And they wander down the path tralalalala… while Da-mi waits back at Hanguk wondering what happened to her piano lessons. Is that jerk going to miss another day; it’s been three already… is she ever going to learn? Out of thin air a Hong Da Mi is uttered, as In-ha sees Da-mi and asks her if she came there to see His Hotness? She attempts an explanation, but In-ha tells her there’s someplace that she has to go with him first. Grabbing her arm (*drink*), he drags her off to one of the practice rooms at the University. (All right everyone… get your heads out of the gutter.)
Da-mi asks why they’re in one of the practice rooms, as In-ha says he wants to play the piano and reminds her that he started liking here when she played the piano at the Snooty Restaurant. Da-mi tells him to stop joking around at her beginner status; she’s not all that and a bag of chips yet. In-ha tells her yet again that he is more than interested in her, and then drags her over to the baby grand (elephant) in the room. Sitting her down at the bench, he proclaims there’s something he’s always wanted to play with her. In-ha plinks out the first notes to “Heart and Soul,” as the realization slowly dawns on Da-mi.
In-ha asks why she’s just sitting there; doesn’t she know this piece? Both smiling like goons, Da-mi begins the bass line and In-ha takes off again with the melody. The orchestra swells with a richer version of the tune, as In-ha flashes back to their younger time playing at the school music room. In voiceover, Da-mi asks if that was really you? Why didn’t you tell me that we’ve met before? In-ha’s own voiceover tells her that he’s disappointed she didn’t recognize him right away, because he recognized her… he never forgot his first-ever piano student. (And THE TONGUE makes a surprise appearance!! *swoon*)
A very well-dressed woman power-walks her way through Incheon Airport. She wears her sunglasses at night, and purposelly strides through like she owns the place. But… Attorney Choi comes down the escalator and suddenly goes pale with a ‘wait, do I think that is who I think it is?’ look on his face. Pushing his way down the escalator being all rude, he gets out to the curbside to just miss the woman getting into a cab and driving away. He yells after her Dong-yi… LEE DONG YI!! The Maid is back in town, boys. Oh poopie.
Da-mi and In-ha have tea at a nearby cafe, where Da-mi is incredulous over meeting someone again after 14 years. In-ha tells her that people will surely meet again if it is their destiny. Da-mi apologizes for forgetting his name was Yoo In Ha, and In-ha playfully asks if she wondered why he didn’t show up for their next piano lesson? Something bad happened at their home, so he’s sorry he couldn’t keep his promise. Da-mi tells him that her family had to suddenly move, so she couldn’t keep her promise either. By the way, remember that keychain she gave In-ha? Did he ever give it to his friend? Flashing back to when she proferred it to Past In-ha to give to Past Ji-ho, Present In-ha stammers that he did, but his chingu left it in the practice room and he never saw that boy again. Da-mi sighs and brushes the keychain off as insignificant… but then asks if In-ha has possibly heard from his old friend? She’s always wondered how he would be doing all growed up too.
In-ha’s sunny demeanor slowly fades, as he asks her why she would wonder something like that — were the two of them close back then? Da-mi confesses that person was the first one to ever teach her piano… she would like to find him, but cannot remember his name. In-ha looks like he’s been hit with a brick to the face. Da-mi rubs it in further by asking if by any chance, In-ha remembered his name? Trying to remain composed, In-ha says that he doesn’t because he only saw him at the practice room. All of a sudden, the Chopin “Grande Valse” Waltz comes over the cafe speakers. Da-mi pipes up and says she recognizes the piece because it’s played by Yoo Ji Ho. In-ha looks like he could throw up at any moment, as he voices over that the first person who taught Da-mi piano was not him, but Yoo Ji Ho? (Someone want to hand him a broom and a dustpan so he can sweep up the pieces of his broken heart?)
Ji-ho produces two gifts boxes; one for his mother, and one for EvilStep (deferred to her wishes to be called ‘Madame Na’ instead). It’s Scarf-Giving Day at the Yoo residence, as each of the women get their own gifties. Yeong-rang asks Ji-ho if that’s the reason he left so early in the morning when she was looking for him. (Early? Must be lots of 24-hour Scarf Stores in Gangnam-gu.) EvilStep tells Ji-ho he’s acting exactly like his father used to; he may have been brusque all the time, but that boy did bring around some good presents. Of course he must have kept tons of presents handy in order to keep so many women happy, as Yeong-rang interrupts to be aghast at her saying something so crude in front of her son! EvilStep snorts that he’s not a kid anymore; why shouldn’t he know that his father was a horndog all his life? Besides, Ji-ho wouldn’t be with them now if it wasn’t for his sleeping around. (AWKWARD.)
Clearly not getting the hint, EvilStep continues on to say that she didn’t know who Ji-ho’s mother was, but she obviously was more warm-hearted than his stepmother. Ji-ho has the same demeanor, because why else would he take such good care of his own stepmother and step-grandmother? EvilStep winds up the conversation by saying she wants to have a memorial service for his real mother; does Ji-ho know the date she died? Yeong-rang yells at her to stop, but EvilStep says Ji-ho’s real mother isn’t a stranger — she may be Yeong-rang’s stepmother, but she still prepared the memorial altar for her mother when she passed away. And on that note, EvilStep slips away, leaving Yeong-rang in a quivering rage. Ji-ho pulls her to him and says to not take anything seriously that comes out of EvilStep’s mouth; she knows that Ji-ho has only one mother…
They hug away, just as In-ha comes down the stairs to observe such a little happy family scene. Clearly not pleased to witness such an exchange, In-ha heads back into his room to take out his anger on his bath towel (no other lamps were harmed in the making of this scene). Flashing back to his conversation with Da-mi the night before in the cafe, and summoning up his best Indiana Jones voice. In-ha mutters “Ji-ho… WHY did it have to be Ji-ho?” He asks the air if there is still more for Ji-ho to take from In-ha… as perfection reigns in his own Evil Death Glare From Hell.
Da-mi checks her DayPlanner to see that it’s Piano Lesson Time again, but there’s been no word from Ji-ho one way or the other. She muses that he needs to get out of the house when times are bad, so she pulls out her phone to text him a reminder of their lesson at 10:00 AM… she’ll be waiting outside the practice room for his arrival. Ji-ho has other ideas, as we see him dorky-jogging (all arms and legs!) down the trail with a newscaster’s voiceover telling us of the deepening rift between Professor Ha and Yoo Ji Ho. The announcer goes on to talk about the leaked unfinished composition and how Ji-ho was mentioned as his successor, but Ji-ho’s heard enough and yanks the buds out of his ears. His phone goes off to show him the text from Da-mi, and with a resigned sigh, he wanders off.
Back at Geumdan Construction, Jung-wook is going over the results of the land grab… uh, purchases the recruits were able to acquire with their shiny suitcases full of gold. So it’s Presentation Time, and he has the utmost confidence in each of them to bring his the best results purchased with their $100M won… and their thought processes in choosing such a site. The five recruits all get up and make their pitches to Jung-wook until it’s Woo-jin’s turn. With amazement, Jung-wook asks him to explain his purchase, as Woo-jin says he was fortunate enough to buy his land for only $80M won because of the difficulty in selling it because it was so stony and steep. Jung-wook looks confused, until Woo-jin explained that he spoke with a landscape architect to sell all the stones on the site for $600M won. Once the land is cleared, it should have no problem accommodating a high-priced resort because of its beautiful scenery. Jung-wook lets that all sink in…
… before sitting down with Assistant Guy to discuss Woo-jin’s progress, saying he’s going to have a great future at Geumdan if he continues like that. Asking Assistant Guy how much more he’s found out on Woo-jin, he tells Jung-wook that it’s true Woo-jin dropped out of medical school, and his father died in an accident several years ago. He has a mother and a younger sister, and they’ve gone through some great financial difficulties since his father’s death. Jung-wook asks what type of accident did Woo-jin’s father die in, as Assistant Guy says all he knows is that it was a fire… should he find out more? Jung-wook poo-poohs that idea, because he’s sure they’ll find out more soon enough. But go play Fashion Police with Woo-jin, because his image needs to be upgraded if he’s gonna play with the Big Boys at Geumdan Construction.
An Upgrade-The-Image Montage follows, as Woo-jin gets all prettied up accordingly. Assistant Guy and Woo-jin then leave the clothing store to a waiting VW Passat, where Assistant Guy hands him the keys and says this will be your ride from now on. Woo-jin doth protesteth that he doesn’t need a car, but Assistant Guy tells him oh yes you do. He is no longer medical student Hong Woo Jin, but the new face and brain of Geumdan Construction… and don’t you forget it, mister!
Obviously in a much better mood, In-ha is explaining to Yeong-rang his idea of giving a charity concert — Professor Ha and the Dean are all in favor of it, and this just helps In-ha get further into the Professor’s good graces because they both mentioned he has the possibility of become the Professor’s successor now. Yeong-rang is besides herself with happiness, and of course if it’s a charity concert, Boosung Instruments will provide as much support as possible; she’ll pull out all the stops to make it happen. In-ha says hang on a second, lady – he wants to arrange interviews with the magazines first before proceeding, if only to let the world know that he is the next heir apparant. If In-ha is named the successor, he’ll become instantly famous and will be able to RULE THE WORLD!!! *cough*
Later that afternoon, Ji-ho arrives at the practice room to find Da-mi there, asleep on her knees. He is amazed that she actually showed up, and nudges her awake. Da-mi jumps up and looks genuinely happy to see him. Ji-ho is as usual peeved, and crabs that she must not have anything better to do except wait around. Once inside, Da-mi coos over the pictures of Ji-ho and his little underprivileged students, as Ji-ho tells her he uses this practice room to teach them gratis when he can. Da-mi is envious they’re being taught for free, but impressed that he also finds the time to fit in some charity work — all she thought he was good at was yelling. Ji-ho reminds her that he just doesn’t teach any Joe Schmoe off the street, so she should be honored that she is her piano teacher. Da-mi snickers that he’s so full of it, and Ji-ho snorts that HE HEARD THAT!!!
So for their first lesson, he suggests a ‘mirror canon’ (more on that below). Ji-ho starts in on the Arabesque No. 1 by Debussy, and they play off each other for awhile. Ji-ho segues into the first of the Deux Arabesques by Mawe, but we don’t see Da-mi’s answer to that piece, as Ji-ho goes off and launches into one of the Schubert Piano Sonatas. Da-mi has just finished the first bars of the theme, when Ji-ho suddenly pulls the piano lid over the keys. Da-mi jumps back and yells that he almost broke her fingers, as Ji-ho tells her the lesson is done for the day… if he teaches too much, he gets exhausted. But she’s not leaving without her homework — she needs to sit outside and listen to the sound of the wind, the birds, and water. And on that note, Ji-ho stomps off. Da-mi asks what the hell that was all about — what a gyp; today’s class was only ten minutes long!
Attorney Choi goes to see Yeong-rang, as he’s been missing all day and out of contact. He apologizes and said an urgent personal matter came up, so what’s the deal, lady? Yeong-rang crabs that apparently Attorney Choi is not cognizant of the trouble Boosung is in, so he needs to get a grip quickly. Yeong-rang tells him that the funds for the cultural foundation should be provided soon; Ji-ho has made the commitment and he will be joining Boosung full-time soon. Attorney Choi reminds her that once Ji-ho joins the Board, her management position will be at risk. She realizes that she’ll need to lose some to win some, and for him not to worry and go over to visit Geumdan Construction immediately to purchase the land they own in Incheon. Then go look for a reputable construction company to start the works.
Attorney Choi doesn’t feel too good about her rash decision to go forward, and suggests they find out more on Alvin Kim first. Yeong-rang says they’ve found out enough about Geumdan, and the rumours are flying that they’ve already established their reputation in the States with their construction expertise. So that’s good enough in her book! Anyway, she’s gotta boogie to an appointment; just go ahead and get that damn contract signed! She stomps out, and Attorney Choi gets a phone call from someone who finally found Lee Dong Yi has checked in at the Seoul Hotel.
Yeong-rang and In-ha arrive at Restaurant Louie for dinner. As Bitchy Manager Girl shows them to a table, In-ha looks around for Da-mi. Yeong-rang tells In-ha that the place is nice and clean; does he come there often? He says yup, especially today because he wanted to have their pasta. He signals for a waitperson, and who else would come over but Nam-joo. But she stops short when she sees Yeong-rang’s profile, and when turns to run away, plows into Do-ri instead. Food goes flying, as Bitchy Manager Girl comes over to give them a piece (or what’s left) of her mind for being so careless. Louis comes over and helps them clean up, all the time apologizing profusely.
Ji-ho gives Da-mi a ride home, but Da-mi has fallen asleep. Ji-ho snorts that she would probably sleep through her own kidnapping; how un-ladylike of her! Who told her to wait… all the time Ji-ho goes into Denial Land by saying she’s just not pretty at all. But he just happens to have a blanket in the back seat, and he covers Da-mi ever-so-gently to keep from waking her up. Just right after, he gets a text from the reporter who was interviewing the Professor at the time the sheet music was leaked. They meet in a cafe, where she tells Ji-ho that she also found out about the China IP address plus a complete confession from the Security Staff, so Ji-ho should be able to fight the charges with no problem, but…
Ji-ho asks but what, as Reporter Gal asks why his mother did nothing to block all the negative media that came out after the leak was revealed. Someone of her stature seeing that bad guys were going after her son like that should have turned her into a Tiger Mom; instead, she did nothing of the sort. In fact, it was Madame Choi who requested that Ji-ho be expelled from Hanguk. Would all this be coming out because he is not her biological son? Ji-ho gets all up in her grill for talking such nonsense, but Reporter Gal wants to get to the truth and pulls out her notepad and pen saying she has even more evidence against Ji-ho. He’s indignant now, asking why a reporter digs into a private family matter like that for fun? He bolts from the table with Reporter Gal’s mouth hanging open…
In-ha pays for dinner while still looking around for Da-mi. He asks a passing Do-ri if she was around tonight, but she tells him she’s already gone for the day and scurries off. At that time, Yeong-rang appears and they leave the building… but not before we see our Eavesdropper behind a corner either hiding or listening in. Nam-joo goes over to clear off the table where they sat, and lo and behold, Yeong-rang left her phone behind. Nam-joo starts shaking as she holds it in her hands.
Attorney Choi is at the Seoul Hotel, demanding that the Front Desk tell him which room she’s checked into. Of course the desk clerk isn’t gonna give up that sort of information, so Attorney Chot stomps off in search of her himself. Dong-yi comes out of the elevators — still wearing her sunglasses? Nam-joo hides in the shadows still holding Yeong-rang’s phone, as she gets the idea to turn it on. She grimaces at the sight of the screensaver, when all of a sudden it rings. Picking up the call, it’s Yeong-rang wondering who’s holding on to it; upon hearing that she left it at the restaurant she dined at earlier with In-ha, she’s sending someone by to pick it up so keep it safe, okay? Nam-joo hangs up and then sees a text come through from Dong-yi telling Yeong-rang that she’s back in Korea and must meet with her about the night of the fire. Apparently she witnessed the fight between her and Man-se and wants to discuss it at the bar in the Seoul Hotel lobby. Seeya there! Nam-joo shudders that there’s a witness from the night of the fire?
And there’s Dong-yi sitting down at the hotel bar, allegedly waiting for Yeong-rang to arrive. Nam-joo goes off and deletes Dong-yi’s text to Yeong-rang, and then dips her cell phone in a sink full of water. (HUNH?) Rushing out the door, Nam-joo hands the phone off to Bitchy Manager Girl and says she’s leaving early tonight. Bitchy Manager Girl yells after Nam-joo that she can’t leave — it’s Rush Hour at the restaurant!! Nam-joo speeds towards the Seoul Hotel in a cab, all the while hearing Dong-yi’s voiceover about her witnessing the fight the night of the fire. Of course, Captain Bringdown… erm, I mean Attorney Choi is hot on the trail of Dong-yi as well, searching high and low through the hotel for any sign of her.
In the meantime, Yeong-rang reads the headlines of the latest newspaper trumpeting In-ha’s recent composing triumph and smiles her little self-satisfied smile, when Ji-ho knocks at the door to announce he’s home. Yeong-rang turns from Schemer to Redeemer, as she welcomes him home and even offers to draw a bath for Ji-ho because her widdle boy looks all tired and stuff. The ahjumma then knocks at the door and announces she has a call from Lee Dong Yi holding. Saying Dong-yi is back in town, she scurries off to take the call, which Ji-ho asks himself is it the same Dong-yi? Tchtching himself, Ji-ho sits down and picks up the newspaper that Yeong-rang was reading right before he showed up… but right underneath them are several other papers with not so flattering articles about the debacle at the Alumni Concert. Ji-ho sits there and ponders… what if Reporter Gal was right?
The taxi carrying Nam-joo arrives at the front of the hotel and she rushes inside, at the same time that Attorney Choi is wandering the halls. Dong-yi’s patience has apparently expired, and as she thinks about getting up to leave, Attorney Choi gets to her first. Dong-yi stands up in horror and attempts to run away, but Attorney Choi has a death grip on her arm (*drink*) and drags her out of the lobby… as Nam-joo overhears their entire conversation. (Yay! Finally her eavesdropping skills come to good use!)
Dragging her all the way out the front door and around the corner, Attorney Choi epic fails for the Gentleman of the Year Award, as he throws Dong-yi up against the side of the building. Demanding why Dong-yi picked now of all times to come back to Korea, she says it’s been 14 years already; she’s waited long enough to come back. All this time, Nam-joo hones her mad eavesdropping skillz by listening in from behind another corner. Attorney Choi tells her if she came back to extort more money out of Yeong-rang, then fine, do your worst… but before you do, she should probably return the $200M won that he gave her to flee the country back then. Dong-yi tells him he knows that the person who killed President Yoo was Yeong-rang herself; Attorney Choi served as his right-hand man, so why does he want to continue the cover-up? (Nam-joo still listening away… ) Attorney Choi spits back that Dong-yi has a short memory — the real people that killed Man-se were Yeong-rang… and Dong-yi!! (DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!)
Dong-yi must have apparently forgot the real events of that night, how Yeong-rang did push him so he struck his head, but Dong-yi was the one who knocked over the cake that set the house on fire!! If all that didn’t happen, then Man-se would still be with us, capiche? (Nam-joo still listening in…) Dong-yi regains her composure and asks how he knows she was there the night of the fire; does he have hard evidence against her? Attorney Choi pulls out a tape recorder and says everything from 14 years ago is on that tape, so if she wants the police to come down on her like a sack of bricks, then do whatever she wants.
Flashbacking again to when Man-se was smacking around Yeong-rang in the study… yada yada yada. What we didn’t see the first gazillion times around was Dong-yi witnessing the whole thing, but being too scared to utter a peep, backed up in fright and knocked over CrazyGran’s inferno birthday cake. In voiceover, Attorney Choi tells Dong-yi he heard the whole thing… a young woman’s voice calling 911 to report the fire. Dong-yi tries to not believe his words, but again pins her up against the building to remind her that CrazyGran took all the blame for the fire and in the process, lost her mind that she killed her own son! (Nam-joo still listening intently… )
At that time, Yeong-rang pulls up at the front of the hotel. Breaking away from Attorney Choi, Dong-yi yells for her but is pulled back and muffled by Attorney Choi. Thinking she heard her name being called, Yeong-rang looks over in the direction of the sound… Nam-joo standing there too stunned to move… and Episode 8 ends right there!
Air Date: 9 September 2012
Ratings: AGB Nielsen Nationwide 10.5% (11th) / Seoul 11.3% (9th); TmNs Nationwide 10.1% (15th) / Seoul 10.7% (15th)
Flowers and Brickbats
Mercy! PD-nim, leave us again with another sweaty cliffhanger, whydontcha? This episode turned out to be In-ha’s turn for character exposition, as the Changwook-O-Meter joyfully clicked away counting up his screentime in Episode 8. (Not like I’m minding all that much.) That crestfallen look on his face when he realized out he was NOT Da-mi’s first piano teacher ever will be the watershed for when he jumped with both feet into the Evil Pool. And Ji-ho looked like he was dangerously coasting into Noble Idiocy City (Population: Him) until he put his fledgling street-smarts to work. He’ll learn soon enough that always running to Mommy’s arms isn’t going to be in his best interests.
This was also an episode for exposition of what I like to call the third-tier characters: Secretary Oh; Dong-yi; Bitchy Manager Girl (character name is Kim Eun Woo, but for the life of me, I cannot find the actress’s real name) and Restaurant Louis. Lee Seung Hyeong (Secretary Oh) seems to be like the Jeon No Min (J.W.) of tertiary actors; they’re both in every flippin’ drama this year!
Outside of the Real Cake-Dropper Revelations, no new breaking ground covered in this episode, though… there were times I thought the screenwriters were just spinning their wheels trying to get from Point A to Ending B. But the production is just so lushly filmed and they have spared no expenses in richly appointing the sets (although I take some exception to the interior designer’s fashion sense, but that’s a long rambling post for another time).
Music Nerd Ramblings: It looked like we weren’t getting any new classical offerings to discuss, but finally during Da-mi’s piano lesson, the Music Director pulled out the big guns and the selections were good ones nonetheless. I have a scorebook at home called “The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Piano,” and these three scores were included: the Chopin Grande Valse Brillante (E-flat, Opus 18); the first of the Henrik Mawe Deux Arabesques (L. 66, No. 1); and one of my all-time favorites, one of the Schubert Impromptu Piano Sonatas (No. 3 in G-flat major, D 899). All three are definitive portfolio pieces for any pianist worth their weight in black-and-white keys, so for Ji-ho to insist that Da-mi join him in a “circle canon” was mostly for puffery to see if she could keep up with the Great Pianist Yoo Ji Ho. She did and then some, so kudos to the writers for not keeping the Da-mi character as a brainless piece of fluff. *clapclapclap*
The subbers have written this process as a “circle canon,” but a better definition would be as a “mirror canon.” A teacher will play a few bars of a melody, and then student is supposed to play it back not exactly as heard, but with an inversion of the notes or a variation of the tone (soft, loud, fast, slow, etc.). What Ji-ho did in Episode 2 when he went into the music room at school was a version of a mirror canon. Also, Bach was famous for putting his pupils through mirror canons of his Preludes and Fugues; the Art of Fugue is his best-known teaching piece even to this day. Using such a technique truly did show how advanced Da-mi was in her self-study, because I don’t even put MY students through a canon unless I feel sadistic.
I’ve said this on other forums before, but I’m a conniseur of what the music world calls ‘incidential music’ — the little snippets of music played underneath the dialogue or a definitive theme associated with a specific character. Several of the incidental cuts from “Warrior Baek Dong Soo” have been stuck in my endless-loop playlist for awhile now. But the underlying theme using the acoustic guitar and solo piano that plays when Da-mi meets with Ji-ho is one of my favorites so far from this Show. I can’t wait for the full OST to be released for this show, because I’m sure the classical pieces plus the ballads and incidental tunes are going to make for an amazing release that will transcend listeners of every genre of music, since there’s a little something of everything for everyone!
Time for a small nap and it’s on to Episode 9. Things are really heating up now. SQUEEEEE!!!