Two words. Milli. Vanilli.
EPISODE 13: “Bisang”
The title for episode 13 is “비상” (“Bisang”). “Bisang” has multiple meanings, but the two main ones include “emergency” and “flying high.”* Two very different definitions, but interestingly, both definitions can apply for this episode.
(*Note: Although I translated it as “flying high,” the word “bisang” is actually a noun. So perhaps it’s closer to “flight” than “flying high.” However, the English word “flight” has other connotations not implied in the Korean word “bisang,” so they’re not identical.)
At least during the first half, the musical team is faced with a major “emergency” at the sudden cancellation of their musical. But as the students come together to make the musical (and their dreams) come true, they learn to spread their wings and “fly high.” (Corny, I know.)
Song by Yim Jae Bum
Lyrics translated by Blue1004
At least once in their lives, everyone experiences the moment
When they become engrossed in their own world
But I couldn’t return to my original place
Cause I didn’t know the way back
With too many thoughts and too many concerns
I locked myself in
Even I look uneasy to myself now
Cause I don’t know from where to start
I want to go out into the world too
I need to proudly show my dreams
My wings that have been shrunk back for so long
I want to spread them wide and fly in the sky
All the things abandoned because I could not handle
They left without waiting for me
Though I lost many things, I do not regret
If I could go farther because of these things
Rather than be hurt, I chose to be alone
Solitude is not necessarily bad
Loneliness taught me a precious lesson
That no one else told me
Now I can go out into the world
I will proudly show my dreams
My wings that have been shrunk back for so long
I will spread them wide in the sky
I will start afresh
I will no longer shirk from anything
They will give me the strength to bear this world
My difficult past struggles
Kyu-won worries that the cancellation may be because of her, but Shin reassures her that she did nothing wrong for that to happen.
Meanwhile, Suk-hyun runs to see the university president, then Hee-joo’s mom, and finally Tae-joon to find out what the heck is going on. And from his meetings, he guesses that the president was voiceless in the decision, there must be a problem with Hee-joo for her mom to do this, and Tae-joon is somehow behind it all. But his investigation and pleas don’t change the outcome – the school’s 100th year anniversary show is indeed cancelled.
The musical team members try to contact Hee-joo but to no avail. The only thing left is to wait for Suk-hyun to return. But when he finally does, he merely confirms the cancellation news to be true. Everyone weeps, and even Suk-hyun tries to hide his own tears.
Shin tries to comfort Kyu-won as best as he can, and even suggests that they go to watch a sad movie or go on a roller coaster ride so that she can freely cry and scream to her heart’s content. But Kyu-won continues to share with him how upset she feels. Even if the show is to happen again next year, she doesn’t know if she will be able to do it again. And besides, Suk-hyun won’t be around then. Shin reminds Kyu-won that she still gained something from this whole ordeal – him. Can’t she be satisfied at having claimed the hottest man on campus? Well, he isn’t “Prince of Conceit” for nothing.
Yoon-soo brings coffee over to Suk-hyun at his office, and suggests that they go out to eat some spicy noodles – it will make him feel better. But Suk-hyun wishes to be alone. He feels embarrassed and wonders if this is all he amounts to. Yoon-soo reminds him that it’s not his fault. She also apologizes for not taking his side from the start. Trusting that he’ll be okay, she gives him some time alone as requested.
But as soon as she leaves, Suk-hyun receives a call from a producer offering him a job directing a successful Korean musical in Broadway.
Madame Gu eavesdrops on their conversation, and when Yoon-soo stops by Catharsis later that evening for some drinks, he spills the beans. “Oops, you didn’t know that Suk-hyun got an offer to work on Broadway?” He is surprised that Suk-hyun didn’t discuss it with Yoon-soo right away, but she just guesses that he must have needed some time to think over it first.
Shin has been busy trying to console Kyu-won all day, but now it’s time for him to receive some as well. When Shin returns home, his mom comforts him that there will be other opportunities for him to perform in the future. She laughs as she recalls how she got in trouble for performing at the school entrance after a show got cancelled when she was in college. *clink* A light bulb goes off in Shin’s head.
Shin immediately heads over to Kyu-won’s and shares his idea with her that they should just put on the show themselves. They should be able to do it, as long as Suk-hyun helps them. Who needs Hee-joo, when they have Kyu-won. It would be a shame to let everything they practiced go to waste. And at least The Stupid and the Windflowers members would be down with it, right?
After some thought, Kyu-won agrees to it. But Grandpa, who overhears their entire conversation, mutters to himself that for students of the arts, it took them quite a long time to realize that they don’t always need an audience in order to perform.
The next morning, Shin and Kyu-won tell their idea to others. The Stupid, Windflowers, and even the Three Mean Girls are already in. Their next target: Ki-young!
Ki-young sighs ominously, but he quickly breaks into a smile and wonders who thought of such a brilliant idea. Shin clears his throat, acknowledging that it was indeed him. Ki-young agrees to do it if Shin drops out, alarming Shin. But Kyu-won picks up on the joke, and just retorts back, “You’re going to do it, right?” And of course he agrees to it – he can’t run away again now, can he?
But in walks Soo-myung as the bearer of bad news. Suk-hyun is leaving for Broadway! Everyone races out to chase after Suk-hyun, and finds him as he’s leaving school.
Kyu-won: You can’t do this without telling us.
Shin: You’re really cowardly.
But Suk-hyun points out that he can’t stay when there is no 100th year anniversary show.
Ki-young: We will put on the show.
Soo-myung: The kids say they will give it a try. Director, help them.
Sa-rang: (crying) I told all my relatives that I was doing this. If I don’t, I’ll bring shame onto my family!
Yoon-soo chimes in. She thought this kind of thing only happens in movies, but if she were Suk-hyun, she would agree to do it.
With that, Suk-hyun puts down the boxes he is holding and announces that as they just prevented him from going to Broadway, he’ll sue every one of them for compensation if they don’t do a good job. Everyone cheers. The show is back on!
Meanwhile, Joon-hee waits outside Hee-joo’s house everyday trying to persuade her to return, not knowing anything about her vocal condition and that she can no longer sing. He even sends a love letter to his dear Natasha. Hee-joo reads the letter, and smiles as she takes a bite of the chocolate bar he gave her as a gift.
Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo inform the university president and Tae-joon that they will go ahead and put on the show. As long as they don’t call it the 100th year anniversary show, there shouldn’t be any problems. And of course, if the school volunteers to give support, they won’t decline.
The entire musical team is back in full force as they gather to make plans. Kyu-won suggests accepting donations for the show. The Windflowers girls say they should also host another Coffee House as a fundraising event. Shin offers up his one month’s earnings from his part-time job at Catharsis. Sa-rang even offers the $520 that she has saved up for a nose job.
As Soo-myung accepts her money, he tells her that her nose is already beautiful as is. Sa-rang coos, “Really?” And she runs to hug him as everyone applauds for this new couple.
Shin and the Windflowers girls make posters and flyers for their fundraising event. Two girls leave to grabs some snacks, leaving behind Shin, Kyu-won, and Bo-woon. Uh oh, this cannot be good for poor Bo-woon!
Bo-woon looks up to make a comment, only to find Shin throwing her a glance and his eyes, I kid you not, directing her towards the door. Bo-woon shoots up and announces she needs to go to the restroom. Kyu-won calls after her – where is she going when they have so much left to do! But Shin tells her to leave her alone. She actually has enough sense to give them some privacy for a change.
Kyu-won and Shin talk about the fundraising Coffee House, the upcoming one and the last. He apologizes for not showing up at the last one, and he tells her not to worry about this one. He will raise a lot of money this time – just wait and see! Their conversation is cut short as Bo-woon peeks back in asking Shin’s permission to come back in. Once she left the room, she realized that she had nowhere to go.
Suk-hyun officially rejects his offer, and is met with a shocked response that he would give up on Broadway for a school performance – and for one not even officially school-sponsored, at that! But Suk-hyun explains that most actors at Broadway also got their start in back alleys and moved their way up.
Madame Gu eavesdrops once again. He runs over to hug and kiss Suk-hyun, proud to have him as a friend. Suk-hyun accuses him of telling Yoon-soo earlier, and advises him that instead of gossiping about such a thing, he help spread the word about what an awesome person Suk-hyun is, rejecting a Broadway offer and all.
Madame Gu gets right to work, and by the time Suk-hyun returns to school, Yoon-soo is already aware that Suk-hyun has declined Broadway. She wonders if he won’t regret it, but he boasts that he has many other offers. And he shyly asks her to go with him next time another opportunity to go to Broadway presents itself. She smiles, “Well, I’ll think about it.”
Suk-hyun requests that Yoon-soo give Kyu-won extra dancing lessons, and she agrees to do it. He explains:
“[Kyu-won] doesn’t know what she is capable of. I can see it clearly and wish she would just let it out. There have also been many people trying to block her path. I found it unfortunate and thought it to be a waste. That’s why I found myself giving her even more attention, and it resulted in senseless misunderstanding.”
Per Suk-hyun’s request, Yoon-soo gives Kyu-won private dancing lessons. During a break, Kyu-won carefully asks whether Yoon-soo is really okay with the musical being based on her and Suk-hyun’s story.
Yoon-soo explains that she wouldn’t have done it if she wasn’t okay with it. She was able to leave Suk-hyun back then because she was young and thought she could do anything she puts her mind to. She was scared of nothing. She asks what Kyu-won would do if she were to receive an offer to stand on Broadway.
Kyu-won: I would turn it down.
Yoon-soo: You would turn it down?
Kyu-won: Honestly, this musical will be my first and my last. It was hard to receive Grandpa’s permission. After it ends, I have to go back to gayageum.
Yoon-soo: I didn’t ask you what your grandfather thought. I asked you about what you thought. Even though I broke up with Suk-hyun back then, I still don’t regret my decision. That’s what being young means.
That evening, Kyu-won is worn out and tired from her dancing practice. During their walk home, Shin has her sit on a bench and massages her legs. She protests, but he continues, saying it’ll make her legs feel much better the next day. Caught in the moment, Kyu-won leans in to kiss him on his forehead. But when he looks up at her, she changes the subject by talking about the stars in the sky and the weather.
Meanwhile, Kyu-won’s dad has apologized to Grandpa and has received permission to return home. He and Shin’s mom walk home together, and while offering to help carry his suitcase, she accidentally sprains her ankle. Kyu-won’s dad offers her his hand and helps support her on their walk home.
So when Kyu-won spots her dad, she sees him holding hands with Shin’s mom. Upon seeing their kids, the parents quickly let go of each other’s hands. But it doesn’t escape the notice of Kyu-won, and Shin quickly turns to see them as well.
Everyone needs to have a talk!
Back home, Kyu-won’s dad explains to his daughter that Shin’s mom was his first love. And Shin’s mom tells her son that Kyu-won’s dad was her former lover she had told him about earlier. But she reassures him that it’s too late for them to start again. Their kids are more important to them, and so Shin has nothing to worry.
That night, Shin and Kyu-won talk on the phone about what each of them have heard. They suppose that was why they were so concerned about each other from the start. (As in, their parents’ love was passed down to the kids.)
Kyu-won: If it wasn’t for us, they probably would have gotten back together, huh?
Shin: I would have gained a younger sibling named Lee Kyu-won.
Kyu-won: I told you I was your noona by 3 months!
Gahh, I find this “I’m your noona” and “No, you’re not” argument between them so adorable!
As Kyu-won can’t fall asleep, Shin sings her to sleep.
The next day, The Stupid and Windflowers perform at Catharsis for their fundraiser, playing “Carmen” and “You’ve Fallen for Me.”
The event is a huge success, and the audience cheers enthusiastically. After the performance, Kyu-won watches disapprovingly as Shin takes pictures with his female fans. And when a male classmate advises her to take a break from serving food, she uses this opportunity to make Shin jealous as well. She sits at their table and flirts with him. “Oh, you keep getting better looking every time I see you!”
And this time, Shin notes with disapproval. Kyu-won and Shin throw jealous glances at each other across the room. Shin decides to one up her as he offers to take pictures and videos with any girl who wishes.
On their walk home, the cold war is still ongoing, for Shin and Kyu-won are actually not holding each other’s hands for a change. In an accusatory tone, Kyu-won points out that they raised a lot of money thanks to “someone.”
Shin: As long as you know.
Kyu-won: But you still went too far.
Shin: You told me to raise a lot of money.
Kyu-won: Who told you to do it like that?
Shin: What did I do?
Kyu-won: Putting your arms around other girls’ shoulders and taking photos, you sure were having a lot of fun!
Shin: Lee Kyu-won!
Shin: I am letting it go this time because you look pretty even when you’re angry, but don’t laugh like that with other guys from now on.
Kyu-won: Are you jealous?
Shin: Yes! So don’t do that from now on.
Kyu-won: You can’t do that either. I got jealous earlier.
Shin: Aish, Lee Kyu-won! I can’t hide you from others.
Kyu-won: Just cause you hide me doesn’t mean my charm is going anywhere.
But Shin suddenly starts to walks off. Kyu-won calls after him to ask if he’s mad. He turns back and leans towards her as he says, “I think I’m about to become lascivious right now, but someone always shows up at a time like this.” Rawr!
Kyu-won goes home and gives her father and grandfather tickets to the show. Dad won’t ever miss it, but Grandpa refuses to go. Since a newbie actress like Kyu-won will be standing on stage, he doesn’t need to see it to know it’ll be bad. So Kyu-won threatens him with what matters to him – if he doesn’t come, she’ll tell her friends not to come over to listen to his gukak life story. And well, this immediately gets his attention!
Joon-hee continues to wait outside Hee-joo’s house everyday to convince her to come back. He finally manages to see her the day before the show as she is leaving her house to go for her surgery. At the hospital, Hee-joo thinks back to all her times with Joon-hee and his final parting words that he’ll wait for her until she comes back. And when her mom steps away to fill out the paperworks, she texts Joon-hee to come pick her up.
And so in walks Hee-joo in the middle of musical practice. She wants to come back… as the lead actress. Shin walks up to her and yells at her. Who does she think she is coming and going as she pleases? Kyu-won is now the show’s lead.
Unfazed, Hee-joo directly asks Kyu-won for her opinion. If Kyu-won insists on doing it herself, she’ll stay out. Suk-hyun tells Kyu-won to decide as well. Everyone looks at her, waiting for her answer.
Kyu-won looks conflicted, but she eventually welcomes back Hee-joo and wishes her well. Kyu-won herself walks out, despite the protests by others on how wrong is this scenario.
Shin follows after Kyu-won, knowing how upset she must be. But Kyu-won insists she is okay. Of course she wants to go up on stage too. But for the good of the show, Hee-joo should do it. Everyone had to make sacrifices along the way – Ki-young had to overcome his stage fright and Sa-rang gave up her nose job. In such a situation, she can’t think of just her desire, when she believes Hee-joo will do a greater justice to the show than she.
Shin is proud of Kyu-won and embraces her.
Suk-hyun is upfront about how he’s not liking Hee-joo’s behavior right now, but she feels likewise. And also, how does he expect Kyu-won to go up on stage like that when she keeps dancing one step off beat. Well, she, Han Hee-joo, will teach her, just like how Suk-hyun said the lead should take care of the understudy until the actual performance.
So at the dance studio, Hee-joo works Kyu-won hard as promised. Kyu-won protests, for she doesn’t understand why Hee-joo is doing this when Hee-joo will be the one performing. Hee-joo wonders if Kyu-won is able to say she did her best – that point when you’ve put in all your effort that you don’t have to be embarrassed to yourself – because she has never once been able to say that to herself.
Kyu-won responds that she’ll try once more. Even if she can’t tell herself that she did her best, she needs to at least be acknowledged by Hee-joo.
Hee-joo’s mom barges into Suk-hyun’s office, accusing him of calling out her daughter and demanding to know where she is. And so Suk-hyun learns about Hee-joo’s condition and that she can no longer sing.
Suk-hyun immediately comes to find Kyu-won and Hee-joo at the dance studio. He wants to know why Hee-joo didn’t tell him the truth about her voice. Why would she risk losing her voice forever and skip out on surgery for just a mere show? Kyu-won also demands to know what is this about losing her voice. But this is exactly why Hee-joo returned. Look at how slow Kyu-won is at figuring out what is going on. Hee-joo needed to come back to prepare Kyu-won for the performance.
Suk-hyun reminds his musical team to take it slow today the day before the show. Hee-joo repeats Suk-hyun’s words to Kyu-won, telling her to go home early today instead of going on dates with Shin.
On their walk home, Shin and Kyu-won both agree that it was the right decision to do this musical. Kyu-won says she’ll do a good job so she won’t have to feel guilty towards Hee-joo or Suk-hyun.
Shin: Of course, you must. You’re my girlfriend after all.
Kyu-won: Be more serious at a time like this.
Shin: I am being serious. I don’t like just any girl. The most special, the coolest, the one of a kind girl in this world… is you.
(Okay, I just puked a little there.)
It’s finally the day of the big show!
University president warns Suk-hyun to not mess this up. Suk-hyun and Yoon-soo think he would better serve by providing Suk-hyun with a bonus money to encourage him to do well.
In a surprising move, Tae-joon admits defeat. He forgot that this was the kind of character Suk-hyun was when he challenged him. He even hands over some money so that Suk-hyun can take everyone out to eat after the show ends. Suk-hyun: “This is why I like you.” (Umm, really? You’re going to let him off hook that easily after all he’s done?!?)
In the backstage room, Sa-rang does Kyu-won’s makeup. At least when they first auditioned, she thought she would be doing the makeup for Hee-joo as the lead actress. Who knew it would turn out this way? How upset must Hee-joo be! Suddenly, Kyu-won comes up with an idea. She runs off to call Hee-joo.
While the musical team members are lined up in the hall, Suk-hyun gives them their final pep talk.
“The time has finally come. This is the moment when the promises you made to each other and to yourself during practice will be fulfilled. I believe in you guys!”
Minutes before the show starts, Shin comes to find Kyu-won in the backstage room to check she’s not feeling too nervous. But in fact, it’s Shin who is a bundle of nerves.
“What if the ending song is received poorly?”
“The others won’t make a mistake playing it, right?”
“I shouldn’t have said I would do the song arrangement!”
Seeing how nervous he is, Kyu-won repeats the chant that Shin taught her earlier. Covering his cheeks with both hands, she advises him to look straight at the audience and say, “You’ve fallen for me.” Kyu-won pinches his cheek and cheers him up. “Lee Shin, fighting!”
And as the audience watches, the musical begins!
At a lively college setting…
…there once was a popular girl adored by many men.
But wait! That’s not Kyu-won as the leading actress. That’s… *gulp*… Hee-joo?!
Grandpa: What’s going on? You said Kyu-won was the lead. Why is another girl coming out?
Jung-hyun: I knew it! How could Kyu-won unni be the lead?!
Soo-myung: Han Hee-joo! She didn’t let go of her greed up until the end! What is she doing up on stage when she can’t even sing!
And the show continues.
The girl kisses her man goodbye and leaves him.
The boy who is left behind suffers in pain, putting on a facade to hide his heartbreak.
Oh, the anguish!
(*whispers* Man, look at Ki-young’s pecs!)
(*Gulps* And his abs… Wait, is this how Suk-hyun sees himself?)
Meanwhile, the girl has the time of her life in New York, the city of break dancers and skyscrapers. Many men make advances on her, but she coolly rejects them all.
That is until a tragedy strikes the girl, the screeching halt of a car pulling the plug early on her dream.
The girl collapses, her dream shattered.
Shin plays his guitar solo of the ending song…
(*whispers* OMG, is it me or does he look like he’s having an orgasm with that guitar?)
…and is later joined by the two bands.
The boy sings:
Yes, smile so that happiness will come
Yes, smile so that even love comes into my embrace
The many dreams, like the stars in the sky
Yes, get up – don’t collapse
Yes, get up – even if it’s one step per day
Even a slow walk will be okay
And the girl sings…
Except it’s not Hee-joo’s voice…
But Kyu-won’s! And she sings:
When tears well in my eyes
When tears flow down my cheeks
Shout aloud, even sadness will get shocked and run away
When my heart crumbles
When my heart aches in pain
Laugh aloud, so hope can find me
It’s okay now, I can smile
It’s okay now, if I can be with you
When it gets tiring, I can take a break
Even if it’s a little high, I can climb over it,
Even if my road is blocked, I can go around it,
Don’t ever stop in that place
Spread out your arms wide
I may fall, but it’s not failure
Just brush it off, I’m not crying
Because I can just get up and run again
Sometimes I smile because of love
Sometimes I cry because of love
All these things will make me stronger
Sometimes I risk it all for love
Sometimes I may regret because of love
I’m okay, I will dream again today
And set out on the road
Every time Kyu-won sings, Shin turns to look towards the backstage as if to sing along with Kyu-won.
And a teardrop rolls down Kyu-won’s cheek.
I think it’s pretty apparent that Hee-joo had good intentions when she returned the day before the show. For the first time, she was taking her responsibility as the lead actress to put the good of the show before her own ambitions, just as Kyu-won did when she deferred to Hee-joo.
Further, Kyu-won also had good intentions when she decided to let Hee-joo perform at the actual show and she just merely lent her voice. She knew this show was much more important to Hee-joo than it ever was for Kyu-won, or so she believed.
But the end result of what happened, I found so very dissatisfactory. Not because I thought it was Kyu-won’s time to shine or because I don’t like Hee-joo, but what they pulled was simply cheating the audience. Perhaps it won’t have any great consequences in the drama or at a college setting, but I can’t imagine it flying in a professional setting.
Well, the title of this episode was “Bisang.” And it made me wonder who really spread their wings in this episode. Ki-young for overcoming his stage fright? Hee-joo for setting aside her pride by returning to train Kyu-won and then also for lip-syncing the song? (For it must have taken some swallowing of her pride to accept Kyu-won’s proposal.) The students for putting this thing together despite all the odds against them?
That may be true, but our protagonist, Kyu-won, is still trapped and taking refuge under cover. Like Suk-hyun’s frustration that Kyu-won doesn’t realize her own great talent or Yoon-soo’s observation that Kyu-won doesn’t know what she wants for her future but for the road that has been laid out for her, I suspect that the next upcoming episodes is finally time for Kyu-won to be set free and go out after her own dream. And perhaps her tears behind the stage will be the start of this self-realization.