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Heartstrings (2011) Episode 03 Recap
After losing in the competition due to an unforeseen circumstance, Lee Gyu Won is now officially, Lee Sin’s slave. At first, she has thought that Lee Sin would back out of the bet, but he does not. At the end of the last episode, we have seen how Gyu Won is touched by Lee Sin’s out-of-ordinary performance when he sings a ballad in such a moving. Does this signify the beginning of her starting to develop a feeling for him? Would she embrace this new-found feeling or would she try to refuse it since almost everything about him still annoys her?
Episode 03: Champion
After meeting his father during the day, Lee Sin is having a tough time, especially since he is already not in a good mood after what has happened between him and Yun Su. Therefore, he decides to sing a ballad song during his part-time work at Catharsis to reflect his gloomy mood. He is still feeling down when Gyu Won approaches him and tells him about her failing her very first task as his slave. Therefore, he calls her a useless slave, after she refuses to do the report for him.
Gyu Won who initially thinks that Lee Sin has become a better person, immediately changes her softer approach towards him when she hears that harsh words. As he cycles away, she angrily yells at him, completely forgets that just a few moments ago, she is so touched by his performance.
Instead of going home, Lee Sin decides to go and see Yun Su. As expected, she gives him a cold shoulder. Lee Sin actually wants to share his news (and joy) with her, after finally being able to meet his father. Upon hearing that, Yun Su feels sorry for treating him in that way (she thinks Lee Sin waits for her because he refuses to give up on her). At last, Yun Su gives him a smile, which makes this young man’s heart even happier.
The next day, the news about the centennial performance’s audition is out. While Seok Hyeon is having a meeting with the rest of the organisers to voice out his decision to redo the whole plan, Gyu Won and Lee Sin are meeting the lecturer to submit their reflection reports. The lecturer asks whether they are a campus couple since Gyu Won is so willing to sit in for him (he does not know that she is Lee Sin’s slave). Lee Sin annoys her when he says he has high standards (implying that she does not meet his standards!). “Is that a one-sided love?” the lecturer asks Gyu Won, which annoys her even more.
When they are asked to read each other’s report, Gyu Won becomes more and more irritated when Lee Sin writes in his report that he regrets for not telling the lecturer that he will send a useless person to be his substitute (he is calling her useless, again!). When she asks him why her calls her that, Lee Sin really gets under her skin when he blatantly asks her back, “do you really, really don’t know why?” He intentionally repeats the word ‘really’ for six consecutive times, to make fun of her for writing repetitive words in her reflection report. Not sparing any moment, she lets out her anger by yelling at him, right in front of the lecturer’s face.
As a result, both Gyu Won and Lee Sin are being punished again! This time is, to clean up the drama props storage room. However, since Gyu Won is his slave, Gyu Won ends up doing the clean up by herself while Lee Sin just sits and watches her work. When he sees her trying out a witch’s hat, Lee Sin instructs her to wear all those hideous, shiny costumes and to pose for him.
While trying on one of the costumes, Gyu Won trips on her dress and falls (again!). Lee Sin immediately turns to her and asks whether she is okay. At that very moment, all the lights in the storage room suddenly go out. Gyu Won gets nervous in the dark, so she calls out for him. Lee Sin says not to worry because he is there with her. (Wow! Our Lee Sin is being gentle to her. Phew!) When the lights are back, Lee Sin finds himself just a few centimetres away from Gyu Won’s face. Both of them are crouching on the floor, staring at each other. Gyu Won is so glad to see him, so she calls out his name. Lee Sin looks startled, loses his balance and drops on the floor! (I really like his reaction here. It is really good to see him ‘shocked’ like that, kekeke!)
After they are done with the task, Lee Sin asks Gyu Won to help fix his bike because one of the tyres blew out – he says it happens because she has ‘cursed’ him the other day (Remember that gloomy performance’s night when he first called her a useless slave? That was the night she made a ‘wish’ that his bike will break down, as he cycled away, and it really did! LOL!). Gyu Won thinks that this little incident is really funny, so she laughs at him (I’m laughing, too! Kekeke!).
While Gyu Won is on her way to fix the bike’s tyre, she meets Hui Ju. Hui Ju tells her not to stalk Lee Sin when she sees Gyu Won with Lee Sin’s bike. Hui Ju really pisses her off when she also warns Gyu Won not to try and seduce the Broadway Director. (I love the scene at the bike repair shop when Gyu Won uses her whole strength to pump up the tyre – in order to release her anger. So, don’t underestimate her small figure, everyone!)
When she arrives at the Catharsis after fixing the bike, Gyu Won finds that her Broadway ajeossi is talking to Lee Sin. Seok Hyeon is inviting him to participate in the audition, but Lee Sin coldly ignores him. When Seok Hyeon asks Gyu Won to audition as well because he believes she has the potential to be casted as the lead female role, Lee Sin gives her a smirk, mocking her.
Annoyed, Gyu Won glares at him and in her cynical tone, she ‘advises’ Lee Sin to cycle carefully, otherwise the tyre might explode again. To her surprise, Lee Sin does not respond in his usual, brusque manner. Instead, he calmly replies by saying that he would like to hear her play the gayageum again (implying that she should go for the audition). Gyu Won suddenly feels ‘enlightened’, and when Seok Hyeon says that there will be scholarships for those who are selected, she feels even more interested to participate.
Gyu Won tells her father that Lee Sin has ‘ignited’ her motivation to audition because he has mocked her. In fact, it is Lee Sin’s last words that really make her wants to do that. She even smiles when she thinks about those words and eagerly begins her practice. The next day, she excitedly announces to the other Windflower girls that she wants to participate in the audition, as a group.
Everyone is busy preparing for the audition, except for Lee Sin, sleeping in the library, as usual. Seok Hyeon meanwhile, is looking for his favourite student, Hyeon Gi Yeong (Lee Hyeon Jin) because he wants him to play the lead male role. Gi Yeong, however, has dropped out of college. Therefore Seok Hyeon and his junior, Lee Su Myeong (Jang Seo Won) goes to Gi Yeong’s cram school to convince him to audition for the role but Gi Yeong is not interested, simply because he has zero confidence in himself.
Everyone has had a bad experience with Gi Yeong last year, during a musical performance named “Gift”, especially Hui Ju. He has ruined hers as well because he ran away during the performance, due to a stage fright. (A new interesting character has popped up! What out for him, everyone!)
Another ‘Jun-Hui-Ju’ moment has popped up as well! Just the night before the audition, Jun Hui comes with a scooter to give Hui Ju a ride home. Because he is wearing his ‘stage costume’, not his usual shabby clothes, she agrees to go with him. Unfortunately, it rains heavily as they are riding the scooter and both get soaked in the rain. Hui Ju is furious, worrying that she might catch a cold. She says that she will kill him if she catches a cold, but the ever cool drummer offers her a bar of chocolate to cool her down (so cute!). He knows she is hungry, after that long and tiresome dance practice she has had earlier. But, she gets even angrier as this weight-conscious girl finds the chocolate too hard to resist. And, here he goes, becoming poetic again in his dreamy eyes and starts to recite a poem to reflect on this little incident, after she has left.
Finally, the audition day has come! Many talented and not-so-talented students are trying their luck. Gi Yeong, the stage-fright student is also there, after being tricked by Su Myeong, who had to lie just to get him to the venue. At first, he hesitates and is about to leave when the Windflowers enter the hall. (It’s their turn to audition!) Because Prof. Im is against Seok Hyeon’s idea of bringing Gi Yeong back into a play he organises, he asks the Windflower girls to start performing. (Prof Im was the first who introduced Gi Yeong to Seok Hyeon, but because of the “Gift” nightmare, Prof. Im now sees him as a big failure!) Seok Hyeon meanwhile does not give up and keeps pestering Gi Yeong, trying his hardest to convince him to audition.
Although the Windflowers seem to be puzzled by the whole situation, they have to begin their performance since Prof. Im keeps insisting them to do so. Surprisingly, as the girls start to play their instruments, Gi Yeong spontaneously starts to sing. He follows the rhythm as if the Windflowers are his background musicians. (Omo! His voice is so beautiful!) This stunning performance manages to silent Prof. Im down and forces him to acknowledge the fact that this student has an admirable singing talent. Seok Hyeon and the other judges are equally impressed. Even the Windflower girls are captivated by his amazing voice. (Suddenly, I feel like Gi Yeong’s character is slightly more interesting than our lead male who, at this very moment, is having another father-and-son moment at a separate place. Sorry, Lee Sin!)
When the audition ends, the only person who misses this golden opportunity is Hui Ju. This overly committed girl is down with flu and has been admitted to the hospital. Prof. Im wants her to bypass the audition since she is the Chairman’s daughter anyway, but Seok Hyeon says no. Therefore, Hui Ju is extremely upset. Jun Hui meanwhile, only finds out about her condition when he is having a meal with Bo Un and her two friends. Actually, he has been looking everywhere for her during the audition. Jun Hui even manages to get himself ‘auditioned’ when he instantaneously jumps on the stage and joins the other group’s performance (I really love his crazy-but-cute acts. Kekeke!)
Because Hui Ju blames him for the failure to participate in the audition, Jun Hui feels responsible. Therefore, he confronts Seok Hyeon, demanding him to give her another chance because he loves her. (Yes! Our drummer admits to Seok Hyeon that he loves his Natasha!) He is so determined to help Hui Ju achieves her dream, so he chases Seok Hyeon down with his scooter when the director takes off with his car.
When he fails to grab hold of him, Jun Hui gives Lee Sin a call. (Lee Sin seems to always be his life saviour!) Lee Sin has just received compliments from his bandmates saying that his guitar skill has improved, and he seems happy. Therefore, when he receives a call from Jun Hui saying that he has been captured by the king of demons (LOL!) and needs his help, Lee Sin does not say no, even though Jun Hui’s requests seem a bit ridiculous. Jun Hui wants them to shift the venue of their tonight’s performance from Catharsis to the Music Square, an open-space area. And, he wants them to prepare a heart shape out of candles, too. (Wow! When he gives out his plan, Jun Hui looks so cool, even in his shabby clothes and messy hair! I also have a good laugh here when Lee Sin agrees to one of the Stupid boys opinion that Jun Hui might be wanting those candles as his meal since he loves to eat so much, and since he is a fool. LOL! Ah, regarding the candles, the boys are not going to face any difficulties since Lee Sin has Gyu Won to do it for them, since she is his slave!)
That night, our romantic drummer is able to make his Natasha smiles again. Because of him being so persistent, Jun Hui is able to bring Seok Hyeon to the venue, besides bringing his whole group to perform as background musicians. And, because of this opportunity he creates, she is able to show her singing and dancing talents to the public, and still looks amazing even in her hospital pyjama. Hui Ju is indeed so happy and so grateful for what he has done for her. But, because of her personality, she still keeps her icy cold composure in front of him. However, she manages to make Jun Hui feels ecstatic when she asks for a bar of chocolate from him. (Jun Hui sees this as a good sign that she is being nice to him!)
The list of students who have passed the audition is out! The Windflowers are in. Gi Yeong, too. Even Hui Ju’s name is listed as well. All those selected talents are being asked to gather at a lecture hall. Coincidentally, the Stupids are also being asked to meet Prof. Hong there, a lecturer who is in charge of selecting the music for the performance. (I like the scene here when Bo Un sees her Jun Hui trying to ‘hit on’ Hui Ju but this jealous girl states that it is Hui Ju who is ‘seducing’ him, not the other way around!)
When Prof. Hong appears with Seok Hyeon and tells him that his group has been selected to be part of the performing team, as music accompanists, Lee Sin is clearly unimpressed. He tells them that he is not interested to join the performing team. However, as he is about to leave the hall, Yun Su suddenly makes an appearance. The fact that she is one of the coordinators makes him freeze. He just stands there, unable to move, and undecided.
At the mean time, Seok Hyeon is giving an instruction for the group to split into two. Hui Ju is not happy when Seok Hyeon announces that Gyu Won will be part of the Acting Team, not the Music Team, like her other friends. Gyu Won seems a bit uncertain since she thinks she will be playing her instrument during the Centennial Performance. As she looks around, she sees Lee Sin on her left side, standing idly, staring intently at one point.
When she looks at the same direction, Gyu Won realises that it is Yun Su who Lee Sin is looking at! (Note that at this time, Yun Su steals a glance at Seok Hyeon while Seok Hyeon is looking at Gyu Won, because he is talking to her. Wow! Don’t tell me that it’s going to be a ‘love square’ instead of a love triangle!) Somehow, as she looks at them, Gyu Won starts to experience another new feeling. This kind of atmosphere, this kind of feeling is so very new to her. While Lee Sin maintains his fixed focus on Yun Su, she maintains hers on him!
- End of Episode 03 –
During the first quarter of this episode, we are seeing a slow but steady improvement in Lee Sin – Lee Gyu Won’s relationship. Although he may seem to enjoy bullying her at all times, Lee Sin, however, has shown a bit of signs that he is now starting to care for Gyu Won. As this episode focuses more on the Centennial Performance’s audition, which Lee Sin does not actively participate, we are not seeing much direct interactions between this odd couple. Nevertheless, the final scene of this third episode marks the beginning of a new ‘challenge’ for Gyu Won. As her feelings for Lee Sin grow and as she begins to explore these newfound feelings bit by bit, she now has to learn to accept the fact that there is a huge obstacle blocking her path to Lee Sin’s heart. And, that obstacle is none other than Jeong Yun Su, since he has already set his eyes on this woman.
By focusing on the Centennial Performance’s audition, this episode has diverted viewers’ attention towards some of the supporting characters in this drama. We are able to get a better insight on some of these beautiful and interesting characters. And, with the injection of a few new characters, notably Hyeon Gi Yeong, the stage-fright-yet-super-talented singer, it seems that he and the other new characters will be able to bring a lot of story (and history) into Heartstrings. It is going to be interesting to see how these new characters will interact with the other existing characters and brighten up this whole drama.
Episode Rating: 7/10
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