This show is killing me! In the best possible way! Every single time I think I know what’s coming, it throws a curve ball. Not in a gimmicky way, though. Instead the show insists on portraying its characters as actual people living in the world, not as archetypes marching through a drama. Spoilers for episodes 5 and 6 below…
I know I said I thought Hye-won was going to cheat like a boss and that I admired her efficiency in bringing Sun-jae into her home. And at that time (end of ep. 4) I totally felt that way. But seeing Hye-won founder when she’s in complete control over every other aspect of her life, seeing her stumble her way into a relationship with Sun-jae — I love it!! I wince at her getting caught — but I really do love that she’s bad at this.
Because of course Hye-won isn’t a smooth cheater — this isn’t how she operates at all. Despite the chilliness of her marriage and her indifference (at best) for her husband, Hye-won never took a lover because that would be crazy. It’d open her up to all kinds of trouble and it be hard to manage. It just wasn’t worth it. Until Sun-jae.
And everything she’s done with Sun-jae — everything she’s done beyond her recruiter/teacher role — has been despite her training and discipline. But she can’t force herself to stop. It is so obvious that she is getting swept up by her emotions here. I’d say she was in love. (I feel she’s in love.) And I think it’s a good thing — their joy when they’re together, it’s hard for me to say that’s bad — but it’s obviously a very dangerous road for Hye-won to take.
And now her husband knows. Which is so frustrating! They barely got started and he already knows?!? I have no idea what he’s going to do now. Nothing good, I’m sure. He’s obviously unhappy. I suspect teacher-jealousy is tangled up with sexual-jealousy — maybe even outweighing it — but his pride has been stung. And Professor Kang doesn’t deal well with blows to his pride. So that he hasn’t come out swinging immediately is interesting. And it’s got me thinking…
There’s a strange sort of battle going on over Hye-won’s loyalties. Madam Han and Young-woo are fighting over her. (Young-woo is going about it all wrong — but that’s Young-woo for you.) Professor Kang is constantly accusing Hye-won of putting Professor Jo above him. So I’m halfway wondering if Professor Kang might not use what he knows to get Hye-won working fully for him (and also Young-woo). Which isn’t the usual way cuckolded husbands respond but… they’re not in a usual marriage. I think it’s always been about power for them.
There is that cello professor though. I believe she’s Professor Kang’s sister. (I think? I’m not sure but they are connected somehow.) And it seems like she’s involved in some kind of shady instrument selling scam if I followed all that correctly. So, maybe she’ll be a way Hye-won can fight back? (I am clinging to the possibility of a happy ending here. I am not ashamed! Also, I’m trying to figure out why we keep having scenes with the cello professor. I’m sure there are reasons.)
Hye-won loves Sun-jae and the way he plays the piano, his interpretation and emotion and skill. But she was also totally checking out his body while he scrubbed the floor for her. And her imagination went into overdrive while wondering how Da-mi gave him those scratches.
(Da-mi is an interesting character. I love that she didn’t let Mrs. Baek’s daughter walk all over her. I hate rude customers and that was pretty badass. I’m not that thrilled with how she beats up Sun-jae. It’s teetering on, if not tipping right into, abuse.)
And… I might be overdriving my own imagination but… Sun-jae was aroused when he went in for the hug after the Liszt piece, wasn’t he? I mean, why else would Hye-won glance down and then sort of freeze in shock?
Anyone else notice? Just me?
There is such an interesting balancing act going on with the two of them. Hye-won keeps trying to maintain her distance by keeping to the teacher role. But when they play together, they play as equals. And, in some ways, they’re reacting to their emotions in similar ways. Sun-jae, overwhelmed by his feelings, expressed them with his forced-kiss. A couple of episodes later, overwhelmed by her feelings (triggered, I think, by Sun-jae saying her name — which he managed to do quite cleverly, I thought), Hye-won expresses them by giving him a forced kiss.
(Which gets followed up by the most epic back hug ever. After that all attempts by Hye-won to deny her feelings… no. And then they play piano together and the sheer joy they’re having… so much love. And after all that, Hye-won finally breaks out of her monochromatic color scheme and wears some rich red.)
And Sun-jae is fascinating character. Endearingly guileless but not stupid, quiet but no pushover, he’s devoted to Hye-won but he’s not blindly devoted. He insists on being heard — even if it takes him time to figure out the words he wants to use. Even if he has to use music to get it across. It’s pretty awesome because Hye-won is smart enough and clever enough to get her way when she wants it. But Sun-jae won’t be maneuvered. He won’t let her lie. (Though, I think he’s not yet aware of how deeply she cares for him. I don’t think he fully realizes how dangerous her world is.)
He’s going to add an interesting twist to the school’s power plays. Right now everyone’s seeing him as a pawn. But his talent is huge enough I suspect he’ll have more pull than anyone realizes. And… I feel like he won’t be afraid to use it, but in his own way. Which is where my prediction brain fizzles. Which is awesome!
I am aching for the next episode. What will Sun-jae say when he sees Hye-won’s head wound? Where are they driving off to for the two hours Hye-won asked for? Will there be kissing? And when will Sun-jae’s audition finally happen and get him to the damn school already?!? (I seriously want to see him interacting with some of the other characters.) In the meantime… I wait.