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Heartstrings (2011) Episode 02 Recap
Our You’re Beautiful angels have turned (slightly!) into devils. Not only her Shin Woo hyeong (Jeong Yong Hwa / Lee Sin) has turned into an arrogant and strong headed young man, Go Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye / Lee Gyu Won) herself has also gotten rid of her innocent, soft-hearted character and has changed into a quick-tempered, easily irritated young lady. Excluding the one at Jeju Island (which could never be classified as a real encounter), their encounters have never been pleasant. Will this ‘couple’ continue to argue and end up in a more serious ‘battle’, or will they reconcile and develop a less hostile relationship?
Episode 02: That’s My World
Lee Gyu Won is so angry at Lee Sin. She thinks he deliberately disregards the importance of the charity event because he looks down on her. And, because when he comes to see her the next day, he throws the money to her instead of delivering them in a polite manner, Gyu Won feels insulted. Therefore, she ‘bashes’ him with her words, not even giving him a chance to explain himself. Lee Sin is equally annoyed when Gyu Won criticises his music. But when she throws the envelope back to him, right to his feet, and starts criticising him as a person, Lee Sin could not hold his anger any longer. He wants to prove to Gyu Won that his songs are more than just noises and he himself is not just a pretty face, as slammed by Gyu Won. Therefore, he proposes a bet. If she loses, Gyu Won has to be his slave for a month. And if he loses, he will be her slave, instead. Upon hearing that, out of rage, Gyu Won immediately agrees to the condition and says that she does not even mind being his slave forever if she loses! (Wow! Our Gyu Won is extremely upset!)
The competition will be in 3 days time and Lee Sin seems irritated as he starts to feel the real pressure behind this ‘lousy’ fight. The other Stupid boys meanwhile, find it funny when they know Gyu Won is the real reason behind this fight. This is because the usually nonchalant Lee Sin is beyond his typical behaviour when he agrees to compete with Gyu Won. And, just like Lee Sin, Gyu Won herself is also starting to taste the bitterness of her impulsive behaviour, once her anger sets aside.
We are seeing another ‘hungry monster’ moment here. Yun Hui is eating uncooked ramyeon at his band’s practice room when his Natasha suddenly appears. 'Natasha' seems to be surprised to see him there and she does not believe his words when he tells her that he is The Stupid’s drummer. (Believe him, girl! He is really our ‘charming’ drummer, in his ‘real skin’!)
The news about the competition spreads quickly, out of control. The fight begins, not only between Gyu Won and Lee Sin, but also between the two readily rivaling ‘enemies’, i.e. the students from the Department of Traditional Music and the students from the Department of Applied Music. For them, this is not just a simple competition but a matter of dignity. The Windflower (Gyu Won’s quartet) and The Stupid (Lee Sin’s band) will be competing on behalf of their respective departments.
As the competition day draws closer, Gyu Won could not hide her edginess as she seems jumpy and restless, although she has received some emotional support from her father. The night before the competition, Gyu Won tells her grandfather about it. As expected, her grandfather is more disturbed than her when he hears someone dares to look down on traditional music. (Note that the grandfather is even more furious when she tells him about the condition of the bet. “He dares to take my slave away,” he frets, unintentionally making Gyu Won thinks that her grandfather has been treating her like a slave all these times. LOL!)
Since the competition will be held on the following day, this overly excited grandfather of hers decides that they should spend the whole night practicing. It’s a war, declares the grandfather! Poor Gyu Won. She has to stay awake all night and even gets hit by a stick for not being able to focus on his teachings. (How can she keeps her focus on when she is sleep deprived, Harabeoji?!) So, the next morning, Gyu Won ends up being sleepy and exhausted, but she is still determined. (Blooper: Can you see Bo Un’s shoulders are shaking when Gyu Won ‘faints’? It must have been hard for her not to laugh to this cute act, kekeke!)
Whilst the Stupids and the Windflowers are busy with their last-minute preparations, Seok Hyeon is having a meeting with Professor Im. After confronting Yun Su the other night and questioning her ability to choreograph, Seok Hyeon is now set to challenge the musical play Prof. Im has selected for the anniversary performance. Disregarding Prof. Im’s feelings, Seok Hyeon blatantly critiques the play and requests Prof. Im to scrap everything, including the whole storyline. On top of that, Seok Hyeon is planning to hold an audition to select the performers. It means, Han Hui Ju, the college president’s daughter whom Prof. Im has hand-picked to play the lead role, will also have to undergo the same process if she wants to be on the performance.
Han Hui Ju is actually our Natasha! (We are seeing another Jun Hui – ‘Natasha’ moment, again. Jun Hui is secretly watching her dance and admits to ‘Natasha’ that he has seen her farted while she was dancing earlier. LOL!) Back to the conversation between Seok Hyeon and Professor Im, Hui Ju actually happens to overhear the conversation. Therefore, she starts to feel threatened when she learns that Gyu Won is Seok Hyeon’s preferred student for the anniversary performance. As she has already heard about the ‘battle’ between Gyu Won and Lee Sin, she is anxious to see how good this girl is during the competition.
The clock is ticking. Gyu Won and Lee Sin are trying their best to stay composed. Although they are in the midst of regretting their impetuosity as a result of being in a heated argument previously, both Gyu Won and Lee Sin pretend to be cool and confident about winning the competition. The rest of the Windflower girls and the Stupid boys (except Jun Hui, the always-happy-and-always-hungry drummer!) are equally nervous as they are afraid of the negative effects that may arise from the competition, if they happen to lose.
When the groups finally meet on stage, Lee Sin suddenly apologises for his the past actions and harsh words. Actually, Lee Sin has just learned about the lecturer’s death, right before the competition, and he understands now why Gyu Won was so upset about the money. Therefore, he wants to apologise, but Gyu Won has mistaken it as act of cowardice. “What? Are you suddenly afraid to lose?” She retorts. So, this temporarily soft-hearted Lee Sin turns back into being harsh and cold. (Note: I really like the ‘country’ music chosen as the background song when the Stupids and the Windflowers are about to go head-to-head, as if they are a bunch of cowboys going to have a gunfight. Yeeha!)
Everyone has gathered and the competition begins. The Stupid wins a draw and will be performing first. As predicted, The Stupid gives a stunning performance, even by just playing the instruments, without doing any singing. Everyone is cheering on them and the Windflowers start to shake as they have to acknowledge their opponents’ strengths. However, when their time to perform finally arrives, it is now the Stupid boys’ turn to be nervous as these girls are doing exceptionally well, too. In fact, they manage to capture the audience’s attention with their traditional yet sassy performance (they have an extra member playing janggu, an hourglass-shaped drum, who really stands out with her unique way of hitting the instrument). Gyu Won’s grandfather, who manages to find his way there, seems to be impressed with these girls’ performance. Even Lee Sin seems nervous!
The competition gets stiffer as they are neck and neck, when suddenly… one of the gayageum’s strings snaps (probably because Gyu Won is too nervous)! The girls are not able to continue their performance. Because of that, The Windflower (sadly!) loses. Although Gyu Won keeps apologising to her friends for disappointing them, the truth is, she is more disappointed than them because of the incident. Luckily, her dictator-like grandfather is there to console her. He assures her that she could have won the competition if the string did not break. Gyu Won seems happy with this indirect compliment of his. (So, attention everyone! Our harabeoji is not that heartless after all. I really love his smile in here!)
That night, Gyu Won is out to help her friend, Bo Un who is ‘trapped’ in Jun Hui’s yet another ‘eating rendezvous’. Bo Un initially wants to treat him for a meal because Jun Hui says he was hungry but this gluttonous ‘monster’ ends up ordering more than just a meal (therefore she is having trouble settling the bill!). When Gyu Won comes and ‘saves’ them, Jun Hui is so happy, so he calls her an angel. That is when Lee Sin appears (Lee Sin has received a message from Jun Hui earlier, saying that he is in trouble).
After Jun Hui leaves to take Bo Un home, Gyu Won and Lee Sin are left ‘alone’. Because this is their first meeting after the competition, Gyu Won feels awkward. To break the ice, Gyu Won tells him to do whatever he wants (since apparently, she is now his slave!). Lee Sin however, surprises her when for the first time, he is saying nice words to her, complementing her by saying that she could have won if the string did not snap. Although his expression is still as cold as ice, Lee Sin even apologises for the second time for not keeping his promise. He tells her that his sister was sick (Wow! He finally gives out an excuse). Gyu Won believes him. In fact, she acknowledges the fact that Lee Sin has nothing to do with the lecturer’s death.
Even though Lee Sin looks relieved upon hearing her words, but, one thing for sure, he still wants to keep the promise/deal intact, i.e. she is still his slave! He asks where she lives. Thinking that he might want to send her home, she politely says he does not have to do that for her. But then, Lee Sin gives her a smirk! (Oh, no! He is back to being an evil, again!) Lee Sin actually asks her that question because he wants to know which direction she will choose to head home, simply because he wants to go on the opposite direction. They later walk/cycle home, in opposite directions. (Huh?! What a 'gentleman'!)
The next day, Gyu Won tries her best to avoid him but Lee Sin manages to see her. He asks for her mobile phone number. (No, he's not doing that in order to find an opportunity to chat with her, my friend, but he's doing that in order to order her around!) When she hesitates, he grabs her phone and gets himself the numbers. (This is the beginning of the ‘slavery’. Poor Gyu Won!)
Gyu Won’s first task as Lee Sin’s slave is to attend his class on his behalf. However, she fails her task when she gets caught while trying to pretend as him. The punishment is, she has to write a two-page self reflection report. Lee Shin is not excluded from this task. He has to submit his report, too. (Yes! But, I get a feeling that somehow Gyu Won will end up writing the report for him. Oh, no!)
At the mean time, Lee Sin is off with his mother to meet someone at a hospital. That person will be teaching him on how to master his guitar. Although she does not say so, Lee Sin knows that the man he will be seeing is not just simply a teacher, but his ‘long-lost’ father. Although he is a bit nervous, Lee Sin tries to gather his courage. The father looks happy to see him. When the father asks him to show him his guitar skills, Lee Sin chooses to play the song which he has composed himself. They later have a beautiful father-and-son moment when the father joins him, playing his own guitar. Sadly, Lee Sin is having a hard time after the meeting when he thinks about his father’s words - how his guitar means the world to him, and when he remembers his shaking hands (indicating that he, the father, is having trouble with his hands).
That night, Bo Un drags Gyu Won to Lee Sin’s yet another performance when she finds out that Gyu Won is planning to do both ‘homeworks’ by herself (as expected, she’s not telling Lee Sin about the punishment!). When Gyu Won gets there, instead of the usual loud music, Lee Sin is singing a ballad while playing an acoustic guitar, not his usual electric guitar! (Correct me if I’m wrong about the guitars!) To her surprise, he looks so gloomy (Lee Sin is feeling down after meeting his father). And, for the first time, this easy listening type of music suddenly sounds so heavy to her. She is seeing a different part of him that she never sees before. Lee Sin is indeed not as heartless person as she has thought he is! She lets out a sigh, unsure of her own feelings... (I think she is touched by his singing, and she’ll probably treat him a lot ‘softer’ starting from here! Please, don't do that, Gyu Won! Let Lee Sin to fall for you first, kekeke!)
- End of Episode 02 –
After a series of misunderstandings and continuous bickering, Gyu Won and Lee Sin are finally going head-to-head, making a bet in a music competition. However, Gyu Won fails to prove that her music is better than his, due to an unexpected mishap. Therefore, the last quarter of this episode marks the beginning of Gyu Won as Lee Sin’s slave. And, this ‘slavery’ is expected to continue until the next few episodes.
The ‘steamy’ competition between the Stupids and the Windflowers is the most appealing part of this episode. This second episode, however, gives out a pretty unsteady performance which makes the storyline looks slightly (just slightly!) dull. Despite that, I have not given up on this drama as I still believe it has a lot of potentials to attract and impress us, the viewers. Since I am a big fan of the two lead actors, I would definitely give this drama another go as I think it deserves another chance. Heartstringers, hwaiting!
Episode Rating: 6/10
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