School 2017: Episode 2 recap

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Honestly, I think the hardest part about recapping is not so much summarizing each scene or the entire episode or writing how I feel about each episode or finding a good screencap for each scene that can be used to illustrate what’s going in with that scene. Through this episode, I’ve come to realizing that often the most difficult aspect about recapping for me is finding the perfect screenshot to use as the primary screencap of each recap post (you know, the very first one of the post). There were so many great shots in today’s episode that I was screenshotting everything and then had a difficult time choosing one. But I’m content with the one that I chose above because I think it captures the emotions of our characters and the optimistic outlook they have in life despite everything that they might be facing and going through in life. Sometimes in life you go through challenges and obstacles and it seems like these problems are never-ending, but at the end of the day, no matter what you’re going through you’re not alone.

School 2017 episode 2: The Innocent Delinquent

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Eunho’s in the teacher’s office room looking for her drawing sketchbook that was taken away from her by her teacher. Once there, she discovers someone else also in the room dressed in a black hoodie burning pieces of paper. They face each other, but before Eunho can get a word out of her mouth, the person breaks the window and escapes just in time. Eunho is left alone in the room and is also about to also escape when teachers and police officers come barging into the room just in time to witness Eunho near the broken window ready to jump. Eunho is caught and unable to escape.

Rumors start to spread that Eunho is the culprit behind the incidents. Students praise her for her boldness and audacity, but Tae-woon and Dae-hwi aren’t buying it and have a hard time believing that she’s the culprit behind the incidents.

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Eunho is brought in for an interrogation with the principal, teachers, and staff. No matter what she says or explains to the staff about being in the room just to retrieve her sketchbook and that the actual culprit who committed the incident had escaped, none of the staff but Teacher Shim believe her. They refute her arguments and put her down, warning her that her two options are to either come clean or lay low before she gets dropped out of school. Poor Eunho 😦

Seeing how distraught and stressed Eunho is about the situation, Teacher Shim talks to her and tries to cheer her up. He even goes as far as to talking to Teacher Koo who had witnessed Eunho in the teacher’s office room that night to persuade him to reconsider the situation. However, it’s of no use as Teacher Koo still believes that Eunho is the culprit and that maybe – just maybe there was even an accomplice who worked alongside Eunho to commit the incident.

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Tae-woon also goes out of his own way to cheer Eunho up. They bicker back and forth before Tae-woon gifts her with some lemonade knowing fully well that that’s her favorite drink (omg I’m squealing! Tae-woon, how did you know that?!). They’re tooo cute.

Dae-hwi and his group of friends are sitting around talking about the Eunho incident. While his friends compliment her for doing something so brave, Dae-hwi comments that the culprit might not be her as you never know what a person is like just by looking at their physical appearance. Kyung-woo who’s sitting not too far from them halts his guitar playing and encourages Dae-hwi to do the same: to be in tune with his feelings and emotions and be truer to himself. Hmm, what could this possibly mean? (but omg, he finally spoke his first lines! hehe).

Despite everything that’s going on, Eunho still doesn’t stop drawing (yaaaas, I love that passion girl!). She doesn’t have the time or patience to stop focusing and doing what she loves best. She is still determined to do good in the competition so that she can get an award and therefore get accepted into Hanguk University.

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Teacher Shim, Teacher Koo, and Officer Soo-ji return to the classroom. They instruct the students to wait outside in the hallway so that they can conduct searches of the students’ belongings. After the search, some students who were found with prohibited items are punished and their items are confiscated by the teachers. This frustrates the punished students who lash out at Eunho because they believe she’s the reason behind all of this. One student in particular continues to yell at Eunho, but Dae-hwi stops her before a fight between them both erupts, warning the student attacking her to stop once and for all. Angry and bewildered, Eunho marches out of the classroom.

Nothing seems to be going well for Eunho at all. Her bike is broken and she has no way of getting home. But Tae-woon offers to give her a ride and together they get on his motorcycle. Sitting hip by hip on the rooftop of a building while staring out at the beautiful view of the city in front of them, they reveal to each other their dreams and the things most important to them – to Eunho, it’s her sketchbook and to Tae-woon, it’s his motorcycle. They stay there for a little bit longer in silence before Tae-woon drives Eunho home in the evening. She gives him a coupon to her family’s chicken restaurant as a gift of gratitude and appreciation to Tae-woon, but he just quietly puts it away before commenting “I don’t like chicken” and drives away. Oh Tae-woon, you never fail to make me laugh (and squeal).

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After dropping Eunho off, Tae-woon returns home to find his dad and the principal of his school talking to each other in the living room. He overhears their conversation and discovers that the principal is willing to take care of the Eunho situation by using Eunho as a scapegoat and expelling her so that the other students are aware of the consequences they could possibly face if they were to rebel as well. Tae-woon, furious after hearing this, leaves home but doesn’t hesitate to break the side mirror of the principal’s car before doing so (this is why I love you Tae-woon!).

Back at home, Eunho’s mother expresses interest in the webtoon drawing class that Eunho had talked to her about before. She suggests visiting the principal of Eunho’s school to check in on that and if the webtoon drawing class will actually help increase Eunho’s chances of getting into Hanguk University, but Eunho then becomes hesitant. After all that she’s been going through at school, the last thing she wants is her family to find out that she’s in trouble. So she kindly rejects her parent’s suggestion to visit the principal and lies that she’s not in trouble at school or anything (I’m already dreading to see what their reactions are when they find out what she’s been up to at school).

Eunho can always depend on her drawing skills to help her with anything. After some intense thinking, she draws a replica of the person that she saw the night of the incident in an effort to catch the culprit and clear her name once and for all.

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Along with best friend Sarang, they stop their male classmates the next day to try to find the culprit. Using the drawings that Eunho drew, they compare it to the faces of the classmates specifically focusing on the lips. Eunho finds her drawing similar to the lips of Dae-hwi, but Dae-hwi refutes any possibility of the culprit being him. Of course it’s not Dae-hwi. He’s the #1 ranked student in the school. He would never do anything like that. So Eunho moves on to the next person who coincidentally happens to be Tae-woon. She once again compares her drawing to Tae-woon’s face, focusing on his lips. As if they weren’t close enough, Tae-woon leans in closer towards her lips as if he’s going in for a kiss. But he stops and asks if she’s nervous that they’re that close to each other (UM TAE-WOON I THINK I’M THE NERVOUS ONE HERE) and then shoves her out of his face before walking away. Phew, that was a close one.

Outside of the principal’s office, Teacher Shim rehearses his speech that he plans on saying to the principal in regards to Eunho’s situation. He’s nervous as he clearly knows he’s the only one on Eunho’s side regarding the incident, but he has to do this. However, he finds Sarang’s mom (who’s a janitor at the school) inside the principal’s office instead and the principal outside out of his office speaking to a school official about Eunho’s situation. It turns out that the principal wants to expel Eunho but can’t do so because he’s not in the position or authority to do so. Teacher Shim overhears this and panics.

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Wow, it’s a Subway PPL! I knew there would be one sooner or later (throwback to the Subway PPL in ‘Goblin’. Yeah… I’ll never forget that). While at Subway, Teacher Shim tries to get his class to sign a petition in support of Eunho. The petition would help support prove that Eunho isn’t the culprit and prove to Eunho that there’s an army of people supporting her behind everything she’s going through. But the classmates aren’t interested and Teacher Shim only succeeds in getting a few petition with signatures back from the class. Even his co-workers aren’t supportive of the petition.

Three female classmates (I’ll just call them the ‘bullies’) are outside threatening and attacking another female classmate for her resistance in not complying with the demands of the bullies. They’re about to punch her when Officer Soo-ji comes in saving the poor girl and beats the 3 bullies up. Teacher Shim witnesses all of this and advocates for the 3 bullies without knowing exactly the full story behind why Officer Soo-ji is beating them up. But Officer Soo-ji doesn’t give up and stands with what she did. She’s even able to make Teacher Shim’s heart flutter through a quick move she pulls on the teacher. Ooh, yeah. I think he’s sold.

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Teacher Shim solves the issue between the 3 bullies and the female classmate by having them apologize to each other. It seems like everything is okay until a fight erupts in his very own classroom. It turns out that the notes that Bit Na (Z. Hera) claimed was stolen by her classmates were actually stolen by the 3 bullies so in order to return the notes back to her, they pressured the female classmate into doing it. Furious and enraged, Bit Na yells at the female classmate for stealing her notes and is about to fight her when Eunho tries to interrupt them. This concludes in a fight between Eunho and Bit Na which Teacher Shim is responsible for. Called into a meeting with Bit Na’s mom, the principal, and a few others, they demand for Eunho’s expulsion from school despite Teacher Shim’s words in defense of her.

Eunho and the female classmate Bora are punished and sent to detention. They have a heart-felt conversation about being labeled delinquents just because they’re not the richest and have poor grades. But Eunho doesn’t care about what others think about her and refuses to give in to being disciplined (that’s the spirit!).

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Officer Soo-ji and Teacher Shim look at the CCTV clips from the night of the incident. Although they don’t reach a definite conclusion on who the culprit is, Soo-ji does conclude that the culprit has got to be someone from the school. They then both go out to get noodles with each other.

We return to the test preparation school where the 4 students in episode one were. Here they are again, texting one another in their group chat and worried about being affected by the incident (I would like to note that the drama doesn’t show us the faces of the students so we don’t know who they are, but the drama is trying to make us suspect these 4 students could be the ones behind the incidents). But one of the group member reassures them that they just need to lay low and they’ll be fine (Hmm, I’m definitely having my guesses on who these 4 students are).

There’s a new hint and update on the investigation of the incident! After breaking the window and using the window to jump out of the room, the culprit accidentally slit the side of their body on a piece of the window, leaving behind blood on that window piece. If they can determine whose blood this belongs to, they’ll find who the culprit is.

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Determined to clear her name, Eunho keeps her eyes out on potential culprits. She watches Tae-woon, Dae-hwi, Kyung-woo, and their friends play basketball while eyeing the sides of their body for any scars or scratches. After failing to find any scars on the body of her male classmates including Dae-hwi (she even lifts his shirt up it was so funny), she moves on to Tae-woon (yaaaay!). But he is also innocent as his (very sexy and fit) body is spotless.

Eunho’s mom is informed about Eunho’s incident and hurries to the school to try to talk Teacher Koo out of it. As he explains to her that Eunho’s only option left is to drop out of high school, she begs for him to please reconsider Eunho’s future and give her another chance. Fed up and exhausted from everything, Eunho cries for her mother to stop begging him when she wasn’t even the one who committed the incident in the first place. Oof, the pain. This is so heart-breaking. The day ends with Eunho’s mother walking out of the office dejected and in tears and Eunho trailing behind her concerned and also in tears. Mom scolds at Eunho to return to class before walking away.

In a meeting with the principal, Teacher Koo brings up the fact that they don’t have concrete evidence that Eunho was the one who committed the incident. But the principal is stubborn and wants to do whatever he can to kick Eunho out of the school. Even Sarang feels hopeless as neither Dae-hwi or Tae-woon step up to do anything about the poor situation.

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Eunho admits to her mother that she wants to drop out of the school. The teachers there are too mean and harsh and discriminatory against the students, especially to those who are seen as delinquents. But that’s exactly what happens when you have a low rank in school Eunho’s mother comments. You get no respect from people if they don’t see you as someone worthy of being respected.

Eunho meets with the disciplinary committee consisting of hella rich mothers and makes her fill out a withdrawal form for school. As she sits inside the empty classroom staring at the form, she overhears Kyung-woo and his fangirls singing to Roy Kim’s ‘Bom Bom Bom’ outside. She shifts her focus back onto the form and expresses dislike over how in school you always have to write for everything. Where are the options for drawing? Why do schools make you write for everything? She eventually fills out the form and hands it in to Teacher Koo, but after giving it a glimpse gives it to Teacher Shim. Upon reading the first few words, Teacher Shim chases after Eunho who’s already outside in the hallway walking away disheartened and broken.

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“Getting bad grades,” she speaks, “meant you had no right to go to school. The most devastating thing amidst that discrimination was that I didn’t meet a single adult that said that this isn’t what a school is about and that it was wrong. Not a single one.” In between this voice over are scenes of the 3 bullies still bullying Bora and a mother from the disciplinary committee coming into contact with them but not saying any word to them but instead walking away. The scene ends with Teacher Koo reminding Teacher Shim how cruel the world can be and Teacher Shim adding that that’s exactly what they’re doing – they’re sending these students out to the harsh cruel world.

Teacher Shim has a drink with Eunho’s father and together they blame themselves for the regretful situation that Eunho is caught in. It’s a bittersweet moment between the two who obviously yearn to do something about the situation that Eunho is in but is unable to because of how powerless even adults like them are in society.

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A school assembly is held to discuss the updates concerning Eunho’s circumstance with the incident. While the principal is talking, a drone with a trashbag marked with an X on it as well as a picture of the principal’s face taped onto it appears into the gym where the assembly is being held. This drives the staff and teachers crazy, but the students are excited and entertained by the drone. Eunho is relieved and cries in tears as this proves then that she’s not the culprit behind the incidents! While the students chase after the drone, Teacher Koo spies the person controlling the drone and chases after the person.

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The chase for the drone comes to an end as it flies away. Meanwhile, Eunho places her focus on the person behind the drone and chases after them, ending up on the rooftop of the school building. Once on the rooftop, she meets Kyung-woo who had come to the rooftop to grab his guitar. She questions whether he’s the culprit to which he continually denies it. With the CCTV clips, it turns out that he isn’t the culprit as he was with everyone when they were out chasing after the drone. So who the culprit be?

A clue placed in Eunho’s classroom locker could provide her and everyone with the answer to the burning question that’s been on everyone’s mind. Just as she’s finished reading the note, both Dae-hwi and Tae-woon enter the classroom at the same time and walk towards her. As the note indicates, both Tae-woon and Dae-hwi were no where to be seen during the assembly or outside when everyone else was chasing after the drone. So where were they and could one of them possibly be the culprit behind the incidents?

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They both gaze intensely at Eunho as she crunches the note in her hands behind her back and stares back at both the boys, close to crying as tears form in her eyes.

My Thoughts:

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I knew the drama was going to go this route and bring us to this point, but why am I so torn? Upon seeing Kyung-woo on the rooftop, I for a second thought just how exhilarating and a thousand times more interesting the drama would have been had it actually been Kyung-woo who was the culprit. I mean, that would just shock and confuse the hell out of people because he would be the last person anyone would expect to be the culprit behind the incidents. And then when it was revealed that he wasn’t the culprit, a part of me broke inside (okay I admit, I was very excited at first when I saw him on the rooftop and then became disappointed when we found out he wasn’t). Just because I so wanted him to and because it would have been so freaking awesome had he been the culprit. He’s definitely an interesting character so far because the drama hasn’t shown us much of him within the 2 episodes aired so far except for clips of him playing his guitar. It makes me wonder whether there’s something more to him that we’ll see later especially because it seems like he’s hiding something or knows things about certain people (like Dae-hwi for example) that he’s just not telling anyone. Even if he isn’t necessarily the culprit, I can see Kyung-woo playing a much bigger role in the future episodes and I’m so intrigued by him because he’s so damn mysterious. The drama’s making him out to be this popular and talented musician-student, but I have a feeling he’s so much more than that. That maybe he has a dark and evil side to him that others don’t know about or he’s hiding something so crucial and important that it could potentially expose everything. I don’t know. Maybe I’m overthinking this or because Seo Ji-hoon’s character in ‘Signal’ is bringing back memories, but oh I was so excited when I saw him on the rooftop. Are the chances of him being the culprit totally eliminated? Because I would still love to see him as the culprit because it would make for a much more great and interesting drama. Maybe it’s just because I’m biased towards the actor, but Kyung-woo is definitely one of those characters that I’m keeping my eye out for just because he’s so damn mysterious and intriguing.

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If episode one was Eunho’s spotlight time (along with the rest of the drama), I would argue that episode two was Teacher Shim’s episode. Here we get a better idea of the struggles that he faces as a normal teacher at the school and the obstacles he faces as someone who cares for his students but someone with so little power and courage to do much for them. Even for adults like him there is a hierarchy that’s even harder to break because there are a lot more things that are on the line if one was to break that hierarchy and rebel against it. It was painful watching him want to advocate for and support Eunho, but not being able to do all that he could do because his position as a teacher prevents and limits him from doing so. You want just at least one person to stand up for Eunho alongside her and help her out and the closest person to doing that was Teacher Shim, but he too was met with obstacles along the way. I think that’s a challenge that the drama did a good job in shedding light on in this episode which is that teachers are met with the dilemma of caring for their students and wanting to help them as much as they can but also being puppets to a corrupt and unfair school system whose priorities are not their students. It’s a difficult situation and decision for Teacher Shim and as a teacher, there’s only so much he could do to support Eunho which was why he felt so regretful and guilty towards Eunho’s father. I would argue that the other teachers also probably wanted to do something for Eunho (like Teacher Koo), but couldn’t because they’re not in the position or power to do so. It was heart-breaking watching Teacher Shim struggle, but I also commend him as well for trying and being that one person who stood behind Eunho the entire time. He stood his ground from the very beginning and never changed his opinion about how Eunho was innocent because there was no concrete evidence that proved she was the culprit. He’s a smart, logical, naive, and kind man, but at the same time it’s those exact traits that are also his weaknesses. He knows that he can’t be that type of person in a school setting where there’s bound to be corruption, power, and wealth involve in almost every aspect of the school. But he still fights regardless and does what he believes is right even if it doesn’t necessarily get him anywhere. That’s a characteristic of his that is admirable and I think this determination for justice is what will eventually help propel Eunho to be proven innocent to everyone.

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Speaking of Eunho, please give our little girl a break! Give her some time to breathe and just draw. She’s going through so much and everyone either doesn’t care about her or they believe she’s the culprit. The scene where she cried for her mom to stop begging to her teachers because she wasn’t even the one who committed the incident in the first place broke my heart. Because it’s true. Why apologize for something that you know you didn’t do? And it makes it even more heart-breaking because no one believes in Eunho even though only she knows the truth. It truly is suffocating that she’s the only one who actually knows what happened that night, but everyone else stays close-minded and refuses to listen to her. Eunho’s comment to her mom about how she’s seen as the culprit because she’s viewed as a delinquent was also so painful because it’s so true. If she had been within the top tier and ranked high up, maybe the most she would have gotten as a punishment was some sort of discipline and that’s it. Not any talks of expulsion or drop-outs and definitely not a crying mother begging the school teachers to let her daughter stay in school. Once again this just goes back to the whole notion of how your rank literally determines everything for you at school and I like how the drama is using this idea as an underlying reason for everything that’s been happening. It’s weaved well into the drama and the first episode did a good job in creating that foundation that now that it’s so apparent in episode two, it all makes sense.

I know some viewers had been complaining about the use of the ranks in this drama so far and how it seems a bit over exaggerating to use people’s ranks to determine something as mundane as getting lunch. Maybe it’s because I went to schools that didn’t focus on ranks that I don’t see this being an issue, but I’m also viewing the rank system as more of a factor for drama progress than for its realistic use. I know that in real life, schools don’t use student ranks to determine whether they’re gonna eat or not, but in this drama they have it built into the narrative to emphasize a point. They do it to get some kind of message across and they work this concept into their narrative so that then it makes sense as to why some characters are treated in certain ways or why even low-ranked student Tae-woon gets a pass for everything. So to me, I’m not bothered that the writer would do something like write about the use of ranks for access to services even if schools in actuality don’t necessarily do that (and they shouldn’t). There’s only so much reality that is portrayed in this drama to some extent, but my response to that is that this is still a drama in the end and if these certain aspects drive the drama and makes sense to me then I’ll buy it. And the drama is doing a good job so far in using the concepts of ranks to push the drama forth with progress and movement.

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I can see why the drama is setting up either Tae-woon or Dae-hwi to be the culprit. They’re our two male leads, but they also have that status and power from either their ranks or connections that they can use to protect Eunho from being expelled. If either of the boys were to either claim themselves as the culprit or actually be discovered as the culprit, I’m not expecting them either to be heavily punished for it because they are in a strong enough position to not be which once again just goes back to the whole idea of how your rank determines what your life will be like as a student. But I wonder what will happen to Eunho now that it’s been shown that she’s not the culprit behind the incidents. Will they still go through with the plan and expel her even though she didn’t commit the pranks or will they release her and let her go?

The last ten minutes of this episode was the most fascinating, intriguing, and gripping yet out of the 2 episodes so far. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see who the possible culprit could be and then actually fell off my chair when Eunho was on the rooftop with Kyung-woo (I’m so bummed out he’s not the culprit. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that, especially because the drama did such a great job in setting it up to make him look like he was the culprit). The drama did a good job in maintaining the suspense and momentum until the very last second and unlike what I had originally thought, I guess Eunho didn’t actually see the face of the culprit so now I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next. The cast members are still a little green, but the director is working around their weaknesses and flaws so no one is too jarring for me right now. I’m especially enjoying Kim Jung-hyun as Tae-woon because he’s… kind of swoonworthy. This is my first drama that I’m watching him in and I like the way he’s portraying Tae-woon. He’s kind of like your bad boy type of guy who’s also lowkey a sweetheart on the inside because he cares about Eunho enough to do things for her. And their scenes together in episode 2 were just absolutely gold! From the rooftop scene to the almost kiss scene, I was squealing and squeaking so much. But I loved it! Give me more drama, give me more!

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A part of me likes how Tae-woon is trying to cheer Eunho up by giving her rides to places on his motorcycle or giving her lemonade to drink. It’s those kind of small gestures and thoughts that makes a really big difference. However, I wonder if he’s going to play a bigger role with the whole Eunho incident and a big part of me would love to see him advocate for Eunho and maybe even actually save her by standing in for her. Like episode one emphasized, he has the connections and the status whereas she doesn’t and because she doesn’t, nothing she says will persuade anyone to believe she’s not the culprit. She tried that this whole episode in multiple ways but still failed in the end. It’d be nice to see Tae-woon do more and be more involved. Knowing how he is so far, he probably won’t, but also having seen the small little things he’s done for Eunho in the midst of all this chaos makes me optimistic that he has the potential to do something even bigger and better for her.

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(they dared to even include this in the drama so you know I just HAD to screencap it and place it in this post for…purposes)

Maybe I’m just being hopeful, but I think he could put some good use to his status as the son of the Director by stepping in for Eunho and helping her, whether to support her or to even claim that he was the culprit. Maybe this might be too far-fetched and the drama won’t even go this direction, but it’d be a perfect example of what the drama has been heavily emphasizing on so far: your ranks and connections determine everything. Obviously if claimed to be the culprit, Tae-woon wouldn’t get into too much trouble because well.. he’s the Director’s son and he has all the power that is associated with that. And I doubt the teachers and principal would even dare to expel or kick Tae-woon out of their school because that’s just something they wouldn’t even think about doing. So I’d like to see our Tae-woon do something bigger and braver for once and help Eunho from the bad situation she’s stuck in right now. Please Tae-woon, put some good use to your status as the Director’s son. Be a hero.

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