(Recap) “Five Fingers” Episode 15

I still think they should have thrown a parade when the Butt-Ugly Piano was unable to be reassembled.  I would have volunteered in a heartbeat to be the Grand Marshal!

Where were we before Real Life interrupted?  Oh yeah… the Butt-Ugly Piano is having trouble being put back together, Yeong-rang still wants to kill Ji-ho for breaking it, and In-ha comes in and calmly says he’s joining the Company because he’s going to produce the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II before Ji-ho can.  And by the way, skip any grandiose welcoming ceremony… he doesn’t need one.  (Wow, there’s a news flash — In-ha not throwing a tantrum for once?  ALERT THE MEDIA!!!)

Yeong-rang follows In-ha upstairs and demands to know what’s in that little pea-sized brain of his.  He’s asking to work under Ji-ho now, but In-ha is more concerned that a good fight requires more than two people to watch.  She’s trying to read his little pea-sized brain by telling him it’s not going to be an easy task; all these experts on the Boosung retainer have tried and failed, so how does he… In-ha stops her by saying there’s this huge warehouse in Gapyeong where the Alaskan Spruce is being housed and dried.  His father passed it down with express instructions that this stock only be given to In-ha.  Yeong-rang is confused, but In-ha says he finally realized that his father didn’t love Ji-ho exclusively; he must have cared for In-ha as well to gift him with something so precious.

Finally having Dead Burnt-Up Dad on his side for a change, In-ha says that he can go on to fight Ji-ho properly and above-board.  (No piano pun intended.)  Yeong-rang states that all they need to do is find the construction notes, and they can RULE THE WORLD!!  (*cough*)  Taking his hands, she says they can keep the company in their control now, but In-ha ain’t having any of that by flinching away, still not trusting Mommie Dearest completely yet.

Ji-ho returns to his bedroom not believing what he just heard, as he gets a text from Da-mi asking if everything’s okay because she hasn’t heard from him all day.  He texts her back, only saying that he really misses her.  Da-mi starts to ask what happened, but thinks twice of it and texts him back that she really misses him too.  A small, kinda-creepy vignette of them both fondling their cell phones follows.

Meanwhile, In-ha is still living in his own personal hell, as he tosses and turns trying to sleep.  Waking up drenched in sweat, he is stunned to find his Mini Me standing at the side of his bed.  Dream In-ha rails on him to stop living like a fool, even now that the playing field has been levelled between the boys.  Dream In-ha reminds him that he has endured it until now, but Sleepy In-ha tells him to stop pitying him; he’s doing just fine these days.  Dream In-ha tells him to forgive his father now; don’t continue living such a screwed-up life anymore… because that’s the only way he can beat Yoo Ji Ho.

Dream In-ha takes Sleepy In-ha’s hand, as Sleepy In-ha finally wakes up enough to see there’s no one there.  In-ha apologizes to himself (hunh?) and promises himself that he will become stronger and will channel all that pain he’s felt over the years into something concrete.  (And probably decides to swear off those kimchi and anchovy pizzas before bed as well.)

The next day, both Our Boys catch each other in the hallway before leaving for Boosung HQ.  Ji-ho wants to know why In-ha has suddenly done a 180 in finally joining the Company — is it because he wants to inflict more pain on Ji-ho?  Weren’t the plagiarism charges enough to satisfy his greed?  In-ha counters with wondering what would have happened if their dad didn’t die.  He would have surely come up with a ‘final mission’ to decide the heir to Boosung; that’s why Dead Burnt-Up Dad left enough clues out there to reproduce the Butt-Ugly Piano.  Ji-ho spits back that is why he will never give up because his goal in life is to make the best pianos EVAH!  In-ha reminds Ji-ho that it’s funny talk coming from someone who just turned the Butt-Ugly Piano into a pile of scrap metal.  And oh, look at the time… In-ha tells him they’re going to be late getting to the office.

Da-mi meets up with In-ha outside her house, as she reminds him she never wanted to see his face ever again.  (Damn girl, you ARE delusional.  Your loss.)  In-ha tells her that she’s off the hook in his request to play his Daesang Composing piece; even though it is difficult to play with nine fingers, he’ll figure out a way somehow.  Da-mi asks if he’s telling the truth, as In-ha apologizes for harassing her all this time.  He should have never approached her like that when he likes her so much, so at his upcoming recital, can she make the time to attend… as a friend instead?  Taking his leave, In-ha voices over that until the day he dies, she will be the woman whom he loves the most.

 A meeting of the minds ensues at Boosung, where Young-rang tells Ji-ho he’s not responsible anymore for his promise to give up 50% of his shares and his ownership.  Attorney Choi is besides himself, saying a promise is a promise… why is she not following through?  Young-rang reminds him that when a company is in trouble, a sudden change in management is the death knell for it.  So instead, she’s taking Ji-ho off the manufacturing part of his job and giving it to In-ha, making Ji-ho focus on sales and marketing instead.  Ji-ho doesn’t accept those terms, as Attorney Choi reminds him he shouldn’t have made such a promise in the first place!

Ji-ho reminds them that taking apart the Butt-Ugly Piano was not all in vain; that was the only way to find out that they need to find a substitute for the soundboard wood.  In-ha leans over and asks what Ji-ho has in mind to replace the Alaskan Spruce used in the beast.  Young-rang asks Ji-ho if he still isn’t catching a clue — no one trusts him anymore so hand over all his work product to In-ha going forward.  In-ha says nope, let Ji-ho stay in Denial Land a little bit longer; it’s no fun fighting with the thin air.  But he needs to remember his promise to hand over the Boosung Onwership position if In-ha makes the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II before Ji-ho does.

Back at Restaurant Louis, Bitchy Manager Girl is meeting and greeting customers, all the time wondering where Louis has gone off to.  Cornerning Do-ri and asking the same thing, she tells her that she hasn’t seen him since early in the morning.  At that time, Bitchy Manager Girl’s mobile goes off with him calling for a request… in the Men’s Toilet?  Apparently Louis has been stuck in there without toilet paper for awhile and needs her help in getting some.  Bitchy Manager Girl tells him he’s off his rocker for calling her in like that and stomps off without heeding this request.  He sits there and complains for a bit longer, until a roll comes flying over the top of the stall and lands BONK on his head.

Outside the restrooms, Bitchy Manager Girl yells at Louis for making her do such an unpleasant thing (really?), but Louis reminds her that was one of the reasons he hired her for the restaurant.  What else good is an ex-wife anyway?!?  (HAH.  Called that one weeks ago!)  Why else was it that she begged and pleaded with him for a job after their divorce?  Now that she has some pocket change, Bitchy Manager Girl is entitled to belittle him even more?

Louis walks away, only to run into Da-mi and Do-ri standing there eavesdropping, which startles him so much that he drops the roll of toilet paper.  Da-mi tries to soft-pedal things by saying they came to get some tissues, but Do-ri is daebak that those two were actually a couple in real life!!!  Da-mi pulls Do-ri away to ensure she doesn’t stick her foot in her mouth any longer, as Bitchy Manager Girl starts beating on Louis saying that both of them need to die now!!  (And… end scene.  Thankfully.)

Returning to Boosung, Yeong-rang tells In-ha she was planning on appointing him in Ji-ho’s position until In-ha piped up to disapprove.  In-has says not to worry, since he won’t be working under Ji-ho for very long anyway — the fight begins now.  Yeong-rang is looking forward to what type of piano In-ha has the plans to produce, as he says it’s going to be MUCH better than the Butt-Ugly Piano for sure.  Young-rang tells him to get started, but he will need this Samsung Galaxy Note tablet to help him pay attention to the other parts of the piano outside of the soundboard.  In-ha starts scrolling through the pictures taken during the disassembly, with his eyes suddenly fixated on one of the pictures.  Expanding the shot shows Ji-ho holding the key he found stuck in between the soundboard and the keyboard!

In-ha does not believe what he sees, as he walks out to the Balcony of Regrets to contemplate what this all means.  Pulling out the key to the Alaskan Spruce warehouse given to him in Gapseong, he compares it to the key that Ji-ho holds in the picture.  Sherlock Yoo determines that it is different and that must mean there is another key containing the secret to making the Butt-Ugly Piano.  In-ha decides he needs to stand out on the balcony a bit longer to process this information, while giving us all a nice long look at his contemplating face.  (No complaints there!)

Ji-ho calls Da-mi to tell her of his key discovery and wonders why his father decided to hide it there, as Da-mi says that he must have wanted someone to take apart the Butt-Ugly Piano in order to find out its secrets.  She determines it was a “present” that his father wanted Ji-ho to find, thinking that he would be the one to want a recreation first.  At that moment, In-ha knocks and enters and Ji-ho puts away the key in his desk drawer.  In-ha has come by to borrow the manufacturing notes on Boosung’s Not Butt-Ugly Pianos for comparison, and then sees the wooden ginkgo leaf sitting on top.  Asking to take a look at it (and picking it up not waiting for an answer), In-ha wonders why appa would make that talisman from a lesser quality wood than the soundboard they’ve both seen.

But In-ha comes to the determination that since their father lived to see his boys compete, maybe his wish was to give Ji-ho Boosung and then see In-ha wrest it away from him.  Ji-ho acknowledges  that fact, but that it’s not going to be an easy fight for In-ha since Ji-ho is not going to roll over… and their father knew that as well.  Saying he’ll be back after reviewing the manufacturing notes, In-ha stomps off as Ji-ho calls down to the Research & Development Department to let them know he’s sending down a wood sample that he wants examined ASAP.  Pulling out the strange key again, Ji-ho stares at it as if expecting the damn thing to speak up and tell him where it belongs…

EvilStep complains to Jung-wook that she was upset he left in such a huff prior to his and Yeong-rang’s wedding.  (WHAT?)  EvilStep says that Yeong-rang should have shown some mercy instead of acting like a cold-hearted bitch… erm, I mean, not-so-soft ladylike lady.  Jung-wook tells her that’s what endeared him to Yeong-rang in the first place, but EvilStep wants to know instead how Jung-wook came to be such a rich guy after all — did he hit the jackpot in Las Vegas or something?  Jung-wook claims he’s not that lucky and dodges answering the question altogether, but instead pulls out a jewelry box and hands it to EvilStep, saying that it was her mother-in-law gift to be presented prior to the wedding that never happened.

EvilStep grabby-hands the box away from Jung-wook and opens it to find a spectacular 10-carat sapphire ring residing therein.  She almost falls on the floor gushing over the present, until she wises up and asks why he’s now giving this to her.  Is this a bribe or something — asking EvilStep to get him back together with Young-rang now that she’s a widow?  Jung-wook disagrees with her assessment; even though he still has feelings for Young-rang, he’s in no position to start up their relationship again… especially since Jung-wook plans on getting married again soon.  That sets EvilStep back a bit, as he explains he’s found an ‘appropriate’ woman and wants to live a comfortable life from now on.

Jung-wook said that he only went to see Young-rang before he remarried to put her mind (and his) at ease, so he gets up to leave EvilStep sputtering for Jung-wook to explain himself further.  Saying that yeah right, he may be getting “remarried,” but there’s only going to be one Young-rang in his heart for eternity.  It is time for EvilStep to put her plan into motion, as Jung-wook looks back over his shoulder to confirm that since the hook has been baited, all he has to do is fish them in now.

Denny Hong/Woo-jin makes a return visit to Boosung and meets with Yong-rang and Attorney Choi, where she demands again to have Geumdan Construction turn over the Butt-Ugly Piano manufacturing notes they have in their possession.  Denny reiterates the terms of their agreement, with one new wrinkle in the plans — President Alvin Kim wants Geumdan removed as co-signatory on the Incheon apartment complex construction contract, to make Geumdan the sole owner of the project going forward.  In return, Denny will hand over the manufacturing notes right away.  Attorney Choi says that what he’s saying makes no sense, until Denny reminds him that even though it was not Geumdan’s idea but Boosung who wanted the joint venture in the first place, Geumdan agreed to it due to the inevitable tax problems setting up shop in Korea.

Young-rang tells him that removing Boosung as co-signatory may be a problem, because what if something goes wrong in the process?  Denny says that Boosung will not be cut out completely and will receive 80% of the profits once all the units are completed and have been sold.  Young-rang is amazed to hear that Geumdan will take on the construction for a mere 20% of the end profits, as Denny explains that it was more important for their company to find a good partner instead.  Attorney Choi says hold the phone… let him do a bit more research and find out if this contract was set up only for Geumdan to avoid the tax liability first.  Denny tells him to do that very thing since they have nothing to hide… oh and by the way, Denny has heard that Attorney Choi just bought a building in Yeoksam-dong.  That makes Young-rang’s ears perk up and Attorney Choi to backpedal for a second, until Denny tells him Geumdan is also looking into buying some buildings in Yeoksam as well.

Denny goes on to ask how funny is it that Boosung Group is not listed on the purchase papers –Attorney Choi’s name is the true owner of the building in question instead!  Young-rang demands an explanation from Attorney Choi, since that is the very same building that she signed over to Dong-yi in order for her to keep her mouth shut.  Attorney Choi says it is not true he’s the owner at Yeoksam; when she was transferring the deed to Dong-yi, he thinks that false rumours were started at that time.  Attorney Choi glares across the table at Denny, as Denny sits there with the proverbial Cheshire Cat smile spreading across his face.

Out on the Balcony of Regrets, Attorney Choi slams Woo-jin up against the wall and demands an explanation on why he’s going rogue all of a sudden — were they not on the same side here?  Woo-jin says that he needed to take drastic action since Attorney Choi has yet to turn over the tape recorder containing Dong-yi’s confession.  Attorney Choi says fine and dandy; if Woo-jin is gonna play these games, then he has no choice but to tell Yeong-rang who exactly Alvin Kim is (as he pulls out the evidentiary picture So-yeol brought him earlier).  Not hearing a peep out of Woo-jin, Attorney Choi tells him it’s quite strange that he saw this same person outside of Young-rang’s house awhile back… so Woo-jin shouldn’t mind handing the picture over to her, right?

Woo-jin grabs Attorney Choi to keep him from leaving, but Attorney Choi puts a neck hold to Woo-jin as he says he never promised to be in cahoots with Attorney Choi unless he turned over the tape recorder first.  Releasing him, Attorney Choi says that if Woo-jin continues down this path, then he has no choice but to bring everything out into the open.  Woo-jin also reminds him that Attorney Choi’s revenge is also contingent on Young-rang signing off on the new Geumdan MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) first… because without that, then Woo-jin has no recourse but to expose Dong-yi to the press.

Attorney Choi yells back that Woo-jin shouldn’t threaten him like that… as Ji-ho walks up and asks what the hell is going on (ahem) right outside his office window and who is this guy that Attorney Choi is threatening?  Introductions are made, as Ji-ho looks warily at Woo-jin but not letting on that he knows he’s actually Da-mi’s brother.  As Ji-ho walks off, both Woo-jin and Attorney Choi breathe a small sigh of relief… AT FIRST.

Back inside, Attorney Choi hands an envelope to Young-rang and says it contains the picture of Alvin Kim and So-yeol’s sunbaenim taken in Italy that she promised to bring them.  Pulling out the picture, we see the ABSOLUTELY WORST PHOTOSHOP ATTEMPT EVER, replacing Jung-wook’s face with a gray-haired older version of him.  (Excuse me for a minute while I roll around on the floor clutching my sides from laughing so hard…)  Young-rang asks for confirmation, as Attorney Choi says this is the rich man from the States who was the largest investor for the Butt-Ugly Piano construction.  Young-rang then asks what is the result of Attorney Choi’s research on Geumdan, as he tells her what Denny Hong said is apparently the truth and there should be no problem for Boosung to sign off on the MOU presented by him.

Young-rang seems satisfied with that news, and tells him that she will invite Denny to her house tonight and finalized the contract then, since getting those manufacturing notes is of the utmost importance right now.  Young-rang dismisses Attorney Choi, but then picks up her phone to call Secretary Oh.  She orders him to find out all he can on the Yeoksam-dong Building — who the real owner is, and if Attorney Choi has anything to do with the rumour that the deed is in his name and not Dong-yi’s instead.  She wants a report ASAP, since her Super Spidey Sense is tingling that something went south with that transaction.

Ji-ho has learned that the sample wood presented to R&D for analysis came from a native spruce tree grown in heavily-forested Cheorwon-gan (Gangwon Province north of Seoul, next to the border with North Korea).  Analyst Guy states he believes that wood is not strong enough to build suitable soundboards — as we see In-ha and his hand-picked production team walking through the Alaskan Spruce warehouse.  In-ha tells them to just remove the top row of wood to the factory for now… and try not to get caught by anyone, arraso?

Several minutes of piano-making scenes unfold, as we see Ji-ho hand-stringing his own prototype.  The needle-nose pliers slip and dig a gash into Ji-ho’s left ring finger, as his phone rings with EvilStep’s number coming up.

At Restaurant Louis, EvilStep asks Ji-ho how long it has been since they’ve been able to eat a meal in peace lately.  He responds by saying it would be easier to steal food from a tiger’s den than all four of his family members sitting down at the same table.  But Ji-ho promises to take out EvilStep more often when the Butt-Ugly Piano recreation finally finishes, so hold your horses a bit longer.  EvilStep wants to know how he can even think of such things when Young-rang and In-ha are out to steal his wealth right out from underneath his very eyes.  Ji-ho says that he’s not worried about losing the money; he’s more worried about losing his family instead.  Not the answer that EvilStep wanted to hear, she demands to know why he hasn’t tossed his mother aside since she hates him so openly.  Ji-ho says that may be so, but she’s the first person to actually hug him since he was born.  And even though she wasn’t sincere at that time, it’s not something that Ji-ho can just toss aside in a day.

EvilStep is amazed and wishes she had 10 carbon copies of Yoo Ji Ho to raise instead of her own children, and then calls for some more wine to be served at their table.  And of course, who else would bring it over but Da-mi!  EvilStep starts to complain that she’s being stingy with the pour, when she looks up and kinda recognizes Da-mi from some other place?  Da-mi introduces herself (again) and reminds EvilStep that she was the one that came over to the Yoo Mansion that one time to examine the Butt-Ugly Piano with So-yeol.  Finally EvilStep remembers she was the one who brought over the cheap drinks, as Da-mi says in return that EvilStep looks much better in person outside in natural light.  (Flattery will get you everything, girlie…)

Ji-ho asks Da-mi when she gets off work so they can eat together, as EvilStep looks aghast at the two of them.  Pulling Da-mi’s hand to his, he finally introduces her as his extremely pretty girlfriend to EvilStep… who looks like someone just kicked her in the gut over that news flash and Da-mi just bites her lip in embarrassment.

Jung-wook hands over the Butt-Ugly Piano’s manufacturing notes to Woo-jin and tells him to wait until the new Geumdan/Boosung MOU is finalized before handing them over.  He says it’s just a matter of time before Young-rang gets caught in her own trap, as Woo-jin says there’s always an ‘out’ by starting a dispute between the companies as well.  But Jung-wook is greatly concerned that Attorney Choi found out Denny Hong’s true identity, but it won’t be easy for Attorney Choi to come clean holding all the trump cards he claims he holds.  Jung-wook determines right then and there that he needs to meet with Attorney Choi himself.

In-ha asks when Manager Hong will be arriving at their house for dinner, as Young-rang gleefully tells him to simmer down and he’ll be there shortly… but why isn’t In-ha excited at all?  He responds that he wants to see the manufacturing notes first and then he will do handstands for everyone over dessert.  He asks one last time if Young-rang is sure that Ji-ho doesn’t already possess the manufacturing notes, to which she responds there is no way he could or the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II would have been built by now.  In-ha then pulls out his own trump card and tells Young-rang that Ji-ho found a key when disassembling the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark I; he’s convinced it was placed there by his father and it must be to the construction notes as well.  You can’t reproduce the beast without holding both keys.

Young-rang orders In-ha to find the other key at all costs, because that will ensure Ji-ho doesn’t have a leg to stand on.  They win, In-ha gets Boosung, and Ji-ho gets tossed out on his ear!  In-ha backtracks though, and tells her he keeps getting the feeling that CrazyGran is somehow involved in part of this scheme.  Young-rang did find it a bit strange that Ji-ho kept visiting her at the nursing home, and would take her out on long drives together, and… the light bulb suddenly goes off over Young-rang’s head as she remembers that CrazyGran told her before the fire that Man-se has hidden a treasure in Gapyeong.  Convinced that since CrazyGran already knew about the secret warehouse location in Gapyeong, she must also hold the secret to the other key.  In-ha tells her not to worry since he will take care of it.

Later over dinner, EvilStep and Da-mi are conversing about her family status.  Da-mi explains about living with her mom and brother, but that her dad died in an accident when she was much younger.  EvilStep asks what type of accident, as Da-mi finally spills that he died in a fire while trying to save someone.  EvilStep is appalled — after everything, fire accidents make her nervous… but what type of fire was it?  Just as those words left her lips, Ji-ho returns to the table and asks what his two girls were chatting about.  EvilStep goes all white and says they weren’t talking about anything serious — does Ji-ho think she was going to throw an envelope of money at Da-mi and order her never to meet him again?  (BWAHAHAHA I just love that woman!!)

At least that breaks the ice, as Ji-ho and Da-mi have a little giggle over her words and Da-mi praises EvilStep for being the most pretty and sophisticated halmeoni she has ever met with.  Ji-ho adds to that, saying it’s rather unfair to call EvilStep a grandmother at least.  EvilStep concurs with their assessments, and says that even though Da-mi looks like she’s not from a wealthy family, just as long as EvilStep keeps getting pocket money from her, she won’t complain in the least.  (Smooth.  Totally smooth there, EvilStep…)

Yeong-rang and In-ha sign off on the new Geumdan MOU, as Denny Hong hands over the manufacturing notes to her in exchange.  Young-rang stares at the book for the longest time, finally letting it sink in that these are officially the notes she just signed over a chunk of Boosung work for.  In-ha just stares at Denny instead.  Standing up to leave, Denny thanks them for dinner, as Young-rang thanks Denny for not letting these notes get into the hands of Saerin Piano instead… it is thanks to him that the notes have finally found their rightful owner and hopefully Boosung will be able to help Geumdan Construction in the future.

Sticking out his hand, In-ha says that hopefully that future is not too far away. (Donghae-ya, noooo!!  Seongu wants Bongi!!  You can’t be friends!!)  Telling In-ha that they should go play a round of golf sometime (how random), Woo-jin voices over to his Dead Deaf Dad that he finally entered Choi Young Rang’s home to ensure that Boosung could be brought down with one small contract.  He cannot wait for the day when Young-rang will bow down to Dead Deaf Dad in forgiveness soon.

Sitting on that same bench near the Han River where every freakin’ drama films the same freakin’ scene, Da-mi is amazed to hear that Ji-ho admits failure in trying to recreate the Butt-Ugly Piano; he says he was overconfident in thinking it would have been an easy task with his skills.  Da-mi tries to comfort him by telling him her eomma says that’s the only way a person can grow is by having failures every now and again.  (Yeah, thanks for that, Socrates.)  Ji-ho asks her if she’s disappointed in his failure, while she tells him he’s better at being a piano genius instead of a piano maker.  So what are his plans now?   Ji-ho says he’s still interested in making an affordable piano which sounds good so that everyone has a chance to play one at least once in their lives.  Taking his hand in hers, Da-mi tells him that’s such a great plan and to let her know if he needs her help.  Ji-ho has other ideas and wants to go see Da-mi’s mother for tea instead.

And they go do that very thing, being served tea and fruits by Nam-joo.  She is over the moon seeing him eat so well, it’s almost like having a second son in the house.  Ji-ho says that’s a problem, since he wants to come by as often as possible himself.  Da-mi apologizes for not being able to introduce Ji-ho to her brother since it looks like he’s still at work tonight.  Nam-joo works up the courage to ask Ji-ho what his parents do for a living, and he explains that his father died in an accident when he was very young but his mother owns a business.  Feeling relieved at hearing that, Nam-joo hopes that when they are introduced, that his mother ends up liking Da-mi.

Young-rang comes down to the living room to see a new bouquet of flowers from Jung-wook, which she promptly pitches into the garbage can.  EvilStep calls her out on treating his present like trash, as Young-rang demands that he never be invited back to their house or have his name uttered around her ever again.  EvilStep mutters that it’s not good for Jung-wook to have a one-sided love affair like that, and Young-rang tells her to shut her mouth just in case In-ha overhears.  EvilStep says so what if he hears — Young-rang must be really stupid if she’s scared to date because of what In-ha might have to say about it.  But once the Kim Jung Wook Cruise Ship has sailed off, don’t be waiting at the dock waving goodbye!  Young-rang stomps off to her room, as EvilStep wonders what luck Young-rang has in life where every man she meets is a Chairman… or Prince?

Just at that moment, lightning flashes outside as another fake thunderstorm starts up.  EvilStep wonders why since there was no mention of rain on the news, as we see In-ha poring over the Butt-Ugly Piano notes making his own notes as well.  He thinks back to what Young-rang had said earlier about how strange it was that Ji-ho would be spending so much time with CrazyGran these days.  (And it’s here where I can see Changwook’s scar patch peeling off his forehead.  OUCH.)  Young-rang comes in and asks how it’s going, and In-ha confirms that these are definitely the notes and everything is spelled out in great detail.  But In-ha still isn’t convinced that this is the only set of manufacturing notes, and Young-rang tells him they have to block Ji-ho from finding an alternate wood for the soundboard at all costs.  Suddenly she remembers The Will…

Yeong-rang sneaks into Ji-ho’s bedroom and rifles through his desk drawers looking for the box containing The Will.  (Wait a second — wasn’t that just in Ji-ho’s office at Boosung?  Does he carry it around with him every place he goes?!?)  She finds it and with shaking hands reads the note that says “Daddy is sorry and Boosung Instruments is yours.  You must guard the company and not trust your mother.”   Ji-ho suddenly appears and asks why Young-rang is in his room, as she asks if this is The Will that everyone keeps talking about?  Ji-ho flashes back to that time at the hospital when he was praying for his appa to not die and was handed the note by the policeman.

Young-rang shakes the note in Ji-ho’s face, accusing him of living in her house clinging to words written on a scrap of paper telling him not to trust her?  CHINCHA?!?  Ji-ho doth protesteth, saying that he never took to heart what was written… but now he can see why his appa wrote it in his last moments.  Hauling off and slapping Ji-ho, then calling him an arrogant bastard, Ji-ho asks how Young-rang could pull off living with him for 14 years when she hated his guts every day and night.  Young-rang does not disagree with his assessment, because she ended up cursed having to raise his son out of wedlock.  Ji-ho is just a leech that continues to stick to her life, no matter how hard she tries to pull him off.

Ji-ho asks if the spirit of his father entered her body and wants to know why she hates him so much — is it because he’s not HER flesh and blood?  Because he’s blocking In-ha’s future?  Young-rang calms herself and tells Ji-ho there are two people she hates the most in the world — his father… and his birth mother.  No matter how hard she practiced or prayed, she could not keep pace with his real mother’s greatness.  Why should she and In-ha continue to suffer because of Ji-ho’s mother?  WAE?!?  Tearing The Will into tiny pieces, Young-rang tells Ji-ho to bring it on.  No piece of paper will ever allow him to take over Boosung, to which Ji-ho begs to differ — now that he realizes what a bitch she is, he will block any and all attempts to wrest control away from him.

Young-rang leaves him with the parting words that he will never know her demeanor… even if he was to be born again.  Since things have finally come out into the open, do not blame her for what happens next.  Ji-ho bends down to pick up the ripped-up Will while doing a slow burn between falling apart and extreme anger.  (But notice that even though a thunderstorm is passing through, Ji-ho doesn’t collapse into hysterics as he’s done in the past.  Hmmm…)

Young-rang is followed into her room by EvilStep, and is told she shouldn’t open her mouth unless EvilStep wants to be thrown out of the house.  EvilStep tells her that she’s not saying so because she feels sorry towards Young-rang, but instead of pouring her entire life into In-ha, take a look in the mirror first.  Jung-wook has done very well for himself, and…. Young-rang cuts her off to remind her that EvilStep was the one that tore their relationship apart.  SHE was the one that turned Young-rang into a monster; if she had just married Yoo Man Se, that would have been the end of it.  But nooooooo, EvilStep sold her off to the highest bidder just so she could start a jewelry business?  EvilStep reminds her what she did best before marrying into her family was marrying off Young-rang just so her father could die in peace.  Her sisters all became educated, and now all Young-rang can do is sit and spin in her precious President’s Chair?

Young-rang counters back, screaming that all she wanted to do was live quietly as Man-se’s wife and play the piano in between spitting out children.  If EvilStep knows her place, she will never bring up Jung-wook’s name ever again.  EvilStep ponders (out loud) that even though the two of them had a child together, would Young-rang be able to break that bond so easily?  *thunderclap*  Young-rang wheels around and demands to know how much EvilStep has told Jung-wook during their meet-ups — if EvilStep plans to use their dead child to bring them back together, she can just forget it!!!  EvilStep stands her ground and asks wouldn’t things be different if the child was not dead, but alive? *another thunderclap*  Young-rang looks like she’s bit punched in the stomach, and asks what EvilStep knows, but EvilStep is just throwing out what-if hypotheticals.

Young-rang runs over and grabs EvilStep, trying to shake the answers out of her.  Saying that even if EvilStep needed the money that badly, she wouldn’t have taken their child away, ne?  EvilStep truly turns evil and tells her that she had to do what she had to do back then in order to get her married off to Man-se.  EvilStep never even considered telling Young-rang, but she’s forced her into finally partially spilling the beans about her supposedly dead child: He’s living well since she requested an especially good place to have him reared.  And with that statement hanging in the air, EvilStep leaves Young-rang pondering what exactly the hell EvilStep just told her!

Meanwhile, Ji-ho has pulled out his suitcase and is throwing clothing into it willy-nilly. *even more thunder*  Then in a scene that makes no sense whatsoever, Young-rang drags EvilStep back into her room for clarification on that bombshell just dropped.  EvilStep reminds her that one must be extra careful in this world; she had to do that to keep Young-rang deceived.  Young-rang pleads for more information, saying she’s done everything that EvilStep demanded from her so far — why is she telling her this news now?  EvilStep could have taken it to her grave instead!  EvilStep asks her what if she suddenly dies like Yoo Man Se?  There’s no freakin’ way she’s going to heaven with that burden hanging over her head — now that she’s confessed, EvilStep can now sleep well at night.

Leaving the room, Young-rang decides it’s as good a time as any to go completely mental.  Screaming at the top of her lungs, she hoists a vase of roses at the bedroom door, saying to herself it’s not true… she knows nothing… she doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether her child is alive or not… *another round of thunder*  Downstairs, EvilStep is seen pouring herself a big glug of B&B to calm her nerves.  Flashing back to the night when Jung-wook and Young-rang’s child was born, the nurse arrives with the bundle and tells EvilStep she will be leaving with the child now, but she stops the nurse to take one last look at the baby.  Telling the wee tyke that he looks like a darling boy (CUTE!!!), the baby should not take offense to what she’s doing for him.  The nurse heads down the hall, and EvilStep jumps back into the present day.

The next day (and nothing looks drenched at all), EvilStep greets Young-rang asking if she slept well.  She responds that she did, thankyouverymuch.  It was nice of EvilStep to confess to her, but it doesn’t change a thing — In-ha will remain her one and only child and heads off to the kitchen.  To her back, EvilStep responds that we’ll see about that…

Must be In-ha’s turn for a Graveside Chat with his father, as he tells the mound that he’s going to stop living so recklessly and will succeed in reproducing the Butt-Ugly Piano.  If his appa trusts In-ha, he will proudly premiere the piano under his father’s name for all to hear.  And Dead Burnt-Up Dad?  By the way, In-ha misses you.  *sniff*

At that moment, Ji-ho arrives with Da-mi and altar offerings in tow.  Expecting a scene out of In-ha, they are surprised to hear him greet them both warmly and ask if Ji-ho is there to introduce Da-mi to their father.  Nodding in the affirmative, In-ha wishes them a nice visit and leaves… but his expression contorts as soon as he leaves the gravesite.

Rituals all completed, Ji-ho and Da-mi sit on the grass so Da-mi can ask what his father was like.  Ji-ho responds that he was strong but warm; never hugged him but still thinks of him warmly.  Da-mi thanks him for introducing her to such a great father, as Ji-ho says it’s now time for her to introduce him to her father.  He’s even been learning sign language in order to communicate better, as Ji-ho goes off and signs that he’s thankful Da-mi’s appa gave birth to such a beautiful daughter and he will make sure Da-mi is loved a lot by Ji-ho.  Saying they have a lot to do today, they take their leave from the cemetery.

In-ha is at Boosung to rally the workers on their first day to construct the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II, and he has the highest hopes for the project.  So AJA AJA AJA FIGHTING!!!  (Whoops, wrong drama there.  Mianhae.)  With some poignant incidental music being played underneath (that didn’t make it onto the Official OST either!), we see several scenes of the piano-making process, with In-ha supervising over all.  Ji-ho and Da-mi are visiting Analyst Guy, who confirms that the Cheorwon Spruce can be used to manufacture soundboards after all.  Da-mi asks for confirmation that the cheap tree will suffice after all, but Ji-ho throws some cold water on that thought, saying more research is needed before they can go forward.  (Thank you, Captain Bringdown!)

Analyst Guy is told to keep everything a secret for now until Ji-ho makes the decision to say something himself.  He and Da-mi head off to the factory, as (of course) Analyst Guy gets a phone call from In-ha.  It’s not heard what is discussed, but Analyst Guy tells him that Ji-ho says it’s a secret.  In-ha hangs up and thinks to himself that maybe… just maybe… there is a possibility that Ji-ho got his grabby hands on the other copy of the manufacturing notes?

Ji-ho has decided to take the ‘tactile route’ in teaching Da-mi how to put together a piano.  Picking up one of the felt hammers, he tells her to feel them up for awhile and then write down her thoughts.  Afterwards, they end up walking through the warehouse where the finished student pianos are being housed, but Ji-ho goes all butterfingers and drops his files on the floor.  Calling him clumsy, Da-mi helps him pick up the paperwork and stands up to leave, but Ji-ho stays kneeling on the floor.  Da-mi sticks out her hand to help him up, but Ji-ho reaches for it to put a ring on her finger instead.  Looking dumbfounded, Ji-ho explains he made it earlier with the piano wire… so it’s kinda lame, no?  She begs to differ, as it is a one-of-a-kind creation and the first ring given to Hong Da Mi by Yoo Ji Ho.  She’s never going to take it off especially for that reason!

Ji-ho gets a phone call from CrazyGran’s nursing home that makes him rush over there in a tizzy.  Apparently she’s gone missing after her last treatment and the nurse cannot find her.  Ji-ho rips her a new one, yelling that he left explicit instructions to not let her out of their sights for even a second!  The nurse tells Ji-ho that CrazyGran always keeps telling her that she wants to go back to ‘the place’ again with her grandson, so maybe she went there?  Ji-ho drives off to a local department store and hops out of his car to search for CrazyGran, just as In-ha pulls up in a cab to watch his tracks.  So the place CrazyGran liked to visit with Ji-ho was a department store?  Does. Not. Compute.

Telling the cabdriver to leave, they start driving off until In-ha catches the name of a bank on the corner — Shinil Bank.  The bank where Boosung Instruments has its main banking accounts?  In-ha finally puts two and two together, and we see him enter the Shinil Bank safe deposit box area with the keeper.  Checking the number on the key that Ji-ho found hidden in the Butt-Ugly Piano against the numbers on the boxes, In-ha opens the corresponding one to find candy squirreled away, crayon drawings and other trinkets… and the second copy of the manufacturing notes!

Leaving the bank with a smirk on his face, In-ha looks over to see that Ji-ho is still searching up and down the street for any sign of CrazyGran.  Pulling out his phone, he calls someone to tell them to call Ji-ho with the news that CrazyGran has been located.  And that very thing is done, as a relieved Ji-ho hops in his car and takes off.  In-ha flashes back to rummaging around in Ji-ho’s office to find the other key, and takes it to a locksmith to have a duplicate made.  Of course the White Bribe Envelopes comes out as well at the nursing home, making the nursing staff lie on In-ha’s behalf to use CrazyGran as a diversion.  In-ha looks mighty happy with himself there, doesn’t he?

Young-rang finishes up her own phone call from the nursing home telling her that CrazyGran has been located, and praises the staff for doing a good job.  Picking up the envelope containing the philharmonic tickets that Jung-wook had given her at their last meeting, Young-rang calls for her car to be readied… but she’s not heading to the concert hall.  Arriving instead at a maternity hospital, she meets with the chief of staff to review her medical records for when she gave birth.  The papers clearly state that a baby born had died on 20 June 1987, but that doesn’t satisfy Young-rang and she asks to see the doctor and nurse that were on duty that day.  Chief Guy says that the doctor left town to open up his own practice years ago, and the nurse herself left not shortly after that.  She demands that some sort of contact information for them be found STAT!

In-ha conducts a book-to-book comparison of the manufacturing notes to find that they are not completely the same.  Pulling some random pages out of one of the books, he sends them through the shredder to further cover up his evilicious plot.  (But why, if he has both sets of the only notes known of?  Wouldn’t that be redundant?  Hunh?)

Now we finally get to the concert hall, where Young-rang meets up with Jung-wook outside and he chides her for being so late that they’ve missed the first part of the performance.  She complains back that she isn’t there to see the orchestra — she’s there to tell Jung-wook to back off and go away.  She doesn’t want to keep running into him like this, because their relationship is over.  Turning to leave, he grabs her arm (*drink*) and confesses to her that he’s not confident enough to send her away like that because he still hasn’t gotten over her.  She yells at him to stop getting his hopes up, because it ain’t gonna happen twice, buddy!  Young-rang peels out of the parking lot, leaving Jung-wook there telling himself he loves it when a plan comes together!

Back at the Boosung factory, Ji-ho and Da-mi test out the latest prototype but it still lacks the good sound of the Butt-Ugly Piano.  Da-mi surmises it’s from the soundboard; try as they might, there’s just no substitute for the Alaska Spruce wood after all.  Ji-ho tells her it can’t be helped, and it’s time to get back to the drawing board again.  Ji-ho gets a call from Young-rang summoning him to the Boosung HQ immediately — there’s something she wants him to see right away.  He begs off by saying he’s busy and he’ll swing by the offices tomorrow instead, but Young-rang cryptically tells him that this is his last chance to see this while Ji-ho is still holds his Executive Manager position.

Arriving at Boosung, Ji-ho is amazed to find a press conference already in full swing with In-ha and Young-rang standing at the front to introduce… the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II!  The wraps are pulled off an even more Butt-Ugly Piano (if that can even be said), as Young-rang congratulates In-ha for getting to this point so quickly after joining Boosung full-time.  In-ha has only one request right now, and that is for Young-rang to be the very first performer on the latest Butt-Ugly Piano.  The room applauds their approval, and she sits down at the bench to start in on the opening notes to Schubert’s Ständchen.

Ji-ho still cannot believe what he sees and slowly walks toward the front of the conference room, asking In-ha how this all came about.  In-ha asks him didn’t he know that their appa passed down a warehouse-load of Alaskan Spruce wood to In-ha and it’s all his BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  Ji-ho tries to process that information, as In-ha reminds him of his earlier promise — whomever constructs the next Butt-Ugly Piano will be the owner of Boosung Instruments.  Looks like that’s gonna be In-ha now, right?  Summoning his inner Donald Trump, In-ha tells Ji-ho that HE’S FIRED, ending this episode with yet another stare-off between Our Boys!

Air Date:  6 October 2012

Ratings:   AGB Nielsen Nationwide 10.2% (8th) / Seoul 10.5% (9th); TmNS Nationwide 10.1% (13th) / Seoul 11.3% (8th)

Flowers and Brickbats

I’m baaaaaack!!  Did you guys miss me?  It was impossible to be in two (or three) places at once over the past three weeks to keep up with recapping.  Add to that an injured ankle from tripping over a raised manhole cover walking up 6th Avenue, and you have the recipe for pain and suffering as soon as I returned to NorCal.  So if you all wish for me to get down on my knees and rub my hands together begging for forgiveness, consider it done… just as long as someone helps me back up on my feet.  My NYC/Big Bang Travelogue will be posted in a few days after I gather together all the pictures and notes and other epherma.  Good thing there’s a Holiday Weekend coming up so I can get organized again.  Yay!

But saying all that, having quite a few weeks’ worth of episodes in front of these older ones does make me look at them with a more critical eye.  During the first third of this show, I was wondering whether or not the Writer-nim was on crack and not sharing any with the viewing public to make those episodes seem more believable.  We are halfway into the second third now, and I’ve just basically parked my brain to let the nonsense flow over me like good (fake) wine.  This is pure, unadulterated crack, baby!!!  Especially this Episode 15, where Ji-ho FINALLY found what was left of his spine and figured out his family was too dysfunctional that even Jerry Springer disqualified them as guests on his talk show.

But I’m still laughing over that picture-doctoring effort of “Alvin Kim.”  Really PD-nim?  You expect us to believe that shot was not tampered with in any way?  I’m not a Photoshop expert by any stretch of the imagination, but even *I* could do a better job than that!  Did you even take perspective into consideration when you stuck that big head onto that normal body?  Dammit, I was laughing for days after that reveal, and I’m gonna be laughing my butt off after seeing it again.  BWAHAHAHAHA!!!  And I just realized that the ahjumma playing the nurse at the maternity hospital is also the ahjumma maid in “Nice Guy.”  Drama World, you be small!

And I must take umbrage over the whole Handwritten Note and how it’s supposed to tie into the plot line.  I have talked to my friends over in Korea, and also done a bit of research myself on the subject, and that note allegedly written by Man-se in the ambulance after the fire is not considered a valid Last Will and Testament whatsoever.  The document is not notarized and ‘deathbed confessions’ are only considered valid when it comes to criminal matters.  I think the confusion comes in the subbers’ take on this being a “Will” (in the Western sense of the word) and not “a will” (meaning a missive made by someone to carry out a last request).  A more understandable phrase such as “it was what [the party] wanted to have happen” could have been used here instead.

I guess there are readers out on the Interwebs who still do not know what I’m talking about when I mention Ji Chang Wook’s ‘scar patch.’  Back on 26 February 2012 at 5:30 AM, My Precious was involved in a collision at an intersection in Gangnam.  Reports state that his manager/handler (who was driving the SUV at that time) allegedly fell asleep, and going about 20 mph, rear-ended a dump truck already stopped for the light to change.  This is when “Bachelor’s Vegetable Store” was filming all hours of the day and night, and JCW was on his way to the set earlier that morning after only a few hours’ rest.  He was in the front passenger seat — not wearing a seatbelt because he was sleeping!!! — and hit the windshield with his head and chest.  Several lacerations to his forehead and a fracture to his left leg occurred, and after getting checked out at the hospital, went back to the set for another four hours to finish the shoot for that day!  It’s really a miracle that both he and his handler escaped with such minor injuries after looking at the aftermath:

So since this incident, JCW always appears in public with a thin flesh-colored ‘scar patch’ covering the one visible scar left that will take several more surgeries to clear up.  I’m not going to go into one of my patented rants about the Korean Drama Live-Shoot System in this post; since I have some very strong opinions, I’ll save that for another day.  But he lost his contract with Lab Series shortly after the accident due to his forehead scarring; I guess one cannot be a cosmetics spokesman with a few flaws now, can he?  Fickle bastards.  Although I still think that his forehead scar should have been written into the script because of his fire injuries; it would have seen more believable for In-ha to have scars on his face as well as other parts of his body.  But I digress…

Music Nerd Ramblings:  Other than the uncredited snippet of incidental music talked about above, the only piece of note in this episode was the Schubert piece played by Young-rang while debuting the newest Butt-Ugly Piano:  Franz Schubert’s Ständchen (“Serenade”) in D Major.  Composed by Schubert as he was near death in 1828, the Ständchen is No. 4 in a collection of 14 lied (songs) entitled Schwanengesang (“Swan Song”), based on works written by the poets Ludwig Rellstab, Heinrich Heine and Johann Gabriel Seidl.   Posthumously, Franz Lizst turned these lied into solo piano pieces and published them himself prior to their first performance in 1829, just three short months after Schubert’s passing.  Again, this is one of those pieces that should be included in every concert pianist’s repertoire if anyone is going to take you seriously as an performer.  Unfortunately, I give Chae Si Ra an EPIC FAIL in her attempt to fake-play the Ständchen in that two-second scene — you could tell that she just didn’t care if she was even close to the right keys or not.  Hmpf.

Now if I remember correctly, Episode 16 was awesome with a side of awesomesauce.  Time to start in on that one pali pali!

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