“Whether you’re Lee Eun-bi or Go Eun-byul, it doesn’t matter to me. So, in front of me, just be anyone. However you want.”
Secondly: FINALLY, someone said it. Finally, he said it. I expected him to say it episodes ago, but now is still not too late; Eun-bi is clearly touched. So is my heart.
Admittedly, he has the luxury to be able to say so freely, openly, and confidently since he has no attachment to Eun-byul, unlike Yi-an, still it is something Eun-bi needs to hear, since she is so apprehensive that her current circle of friends won’t accept her as herself, especially after seeing how hurt and betrayed Yi-an feels of her lies. But, even if the world turns its back on her yet again, she can be sure that she at least has the full support and loyal friend in Tae-kwang.
This week is palpably slower in terms of pace and plot development as we give much room for Yi-an to sort his feelings out and properly mourn for Eun-byul. And by that i mean lots of it, mellow and silent anguished stares to the max. Eun-bi fesses up that she isn’t Eun-byul, but the other details are filled in by Mom. I am sooo relieved that the ultimate bad news is delivered off-screen as the following scene at the columbarium is already painful to watch.
(And, that putting a band-aid over his heart though. It was such a sweet gesture albeit the bittersweet effect it creates. Who else thinks of similar scene in You’re All Surrounded? Not sure if it is a recurring trope, but i first saw it there and boy, was that a memorable one.)
[Seeing the gold medal ultimately reaches the intended recipient teared me up…]
As if his mood isn’t somber enough, the drama adds more pain for him to deal with by getting him into an accident which tears his already injured right shoulder and forces him to stay out of water for one full year. Why bad things always happen when he’s about to compete? He said swimming wasn’t his everything, when compared to dad and this girl friend of 10 years, but now that she’s gone, i can imagine how devastated he must be to lose the third most important thing in life.
If there’s one good thing to take out from it is that he gets his shoulder treated. The condition obviously worsens, but at least he can focus on recovering and hopefully doesn’t have to forgo swimming altogether. On the downside, he has lots of time to wallow in anger toward Eun-bi whom he repeatedly pushes away and yells at. Girl, give him space for the time being, will ya? He even meanly states neither wanting to see her face nor knowing what to call her, a huge contrast to the leeway she received from Tae-kwang to be whomever or go by whatever name she prefers. Man, if this and that scene were played close to each other, the impact would have been at least twofold deeper.
I understand his rage and pain but still i didn’t expect it to be this angsty. So much so that in certain scenes the emotions fall flat. The minutes go by excruciatingly slow that i totally appreciate Tae-kwang’s special ability to lighten the mood up (and bring smile to Eun-bi’s face) regardless of the context or method. He isn’t always blithe though; he spends half his screentime this week watching over Eun-bi with sad eyes and simply being there for her, even giving her a literal shoulder to cry on, whether or not she asks for it.
My only gripe is that all of his solace and encouragement feels pretty much a one-way street. He the giver, Eun-bi the receiver. I miss the moments when she gives back by understanding and keeping him company; only then the relationship is balanced and meaningful. That boy is a wounded puppy no one cares of too after all. For that solitary soul to man up and protect others unconditionally really show his growth as a character. Nothing makes his day better than knowing his sincerity gets through to her. His reaction upon hearing that he contributes to the happy times she has in this school just says it all.
Again, the animosity between Eun-bi and So-young as well as the big question mark surrounding Soo-in’s departure take a back seat this week although not without any development. So-young can no longer rebut that Miss K who’s forced to transfer out post harassing a classmate isn’t her the second time the rumor surfaces. It is darn satisfying to see her cower and look legitimately scared of being the outcast herself. I didn’t even pity her when she becomes the prime suspect of the laptop incident when she’s in clear; she deserves to taste her own medicine: misunderstood yet nobody’s on her side.
So-young isn’t the malice So-young sans attempts to get even with Eun-bi. Amidst all sneers, she still has the guts to stand in front of the class to fess up to the rumor and flash her ‘dead’ victim’s face, who oh by the way looks exactly like Go Eun-byul. But before she can fully rat Eun-bi out, two of the latter’s guardians rush forward to cover for her. (How come the last scene from episode 9 is glaringly different from the opening scene of the tenth? That’s not cool.) I hate that she still cannot stand up for herself during critical moments, but okay, stumped So-young makes up for it. I’m so evil.
If anything, we get to see how loyal her friends are, that friendship prevails over dream, ambition, or even ego. Song-joo for example. She finally gets her big break but decides to turn down the offer to be a trainee under So-young’s uncle’s agency after overhearing her hidden agenda. Admittedly, i didn’t expect her audition to go well; yet with such talents, it shouldn’t be hard for her to get signed up with a different agency.
Another character that continues to pinch my heart is Min-joon. Gawdd, can someone give that poor boy a hug? He surely isn’t evil; he just cracks under pressure. This friendless fellow doesn’t seem to love studying that much yet it is the one thing he’s good at. It’s sad to see him lost with nowhere to go or nothing to do in his free time besides library and studying. With no one to turn to, i do hope Teacher Kim can reach out to him and save him. You can tell he is a genuinely caring teacher with a way with words. That he’s that dependable and observant makes me even more curious as to his involvement in Soo-in case and why he’s so guilty about it.
As for Soo-in, we get a twist that’s not really a twist since it’s been highly discussed: the new teacher is her sister and she’s determined to either reveal the truth behind Soo-in’s death or retaliate. One thing for sure, she’s aiming for Eun-bi. Two-faced people are the scariest indeed. An intriguing bit behind this case is that Eun-byul was one of the witnesses. Hmm… she might have known what actually happened to Soo-in and whether she’s dead or alive.
Oh, Eun-byul. When i start to accept that she is gone, School 2015 decides to
troll us mess up with our minds with that final scene:
I’m done speculating. I’ll simply look forward to what the writers have in store for us next Monday.