NOOOOOOO. We’re onto the final and last week of School 2017. It’s been such an interesting and fun ride watching and recapping this drama from the start I don’t want it to end. How am I supposed to live when there’s no more Tae-swoon being cute and lovey dovey with Eunho? Or what about the victorious moments when the X squad exposes the principal through ridiculous and hilarious stunts? How am I going to live onnnn? (Okay, I’ll stop being dramatic now lol. Sorry about that).
School 2017 episode 5: How to Protect You
Episode 15 begins with Tae-woon’s dad yelling at him having discovered that Tae-woon is X. The drama then takes us back to how he found out, showing us hints that others provided to him as well as a private investigation done at Tae-woon’s old hideaway spot. Tae-woon’s dad is willing to save his son, but he’s going to expel Eunho who he also found out was Tae-woon’s accomplice. Regardless of the reason, he’s going to expel Eunho somehow someway.
The next morning at school, Tae-woon and Eunho meet up on campus, but unlike before Tae-woon is a lot more cautious and careful about how they present themselves. Tae-woon witnesses his father walking around campus and hides Eunho to prevent his father from seeing them together. They skip away arm in arm once Tae-woon’s father is out of sight.
Tae-woon shares with Dae-hwi the news about his father’s discovery and therefore the consequences that Eunho is to face as a result. Later on that day the squad are in the warehouse to have a meeting. While Eunho, Bo-ra, and Sarang rejoice over their most recent accomplishments, Tae-woon and Dae-hwi worry. They suggest that they should stop working together as X and just end things once and for all. Of course this is all done to protect one another, especially Eunho.
Eunho and Sarang worry about Tae-woon. Will he be alright? He won’t get caught right? Sarang also reveals that she approves of Tae-woon as Eunho’s boyfriend. Eunho smiles in response and confidently states that she’ll find a way to protect both her boyfriend and her best friend.
Tae-woon and Eunho meet up on the rooftop of a school building. She’s concerned that he’ll get caught as X and what will happen to him if he does, but Tae-woon reassures her that everything be fine. He’ll be held responsible if caught as X.
Principal continues his investigation on who X is. Meanwhile, Hee-chan complains to his mother about how his studying has been affected by the whole X investigation case which prompts his mother to say something about it in a meeting with Tae-woon’s dad/Director. She demands that he do something about it before she does. Director yells at Principal to hurry up and finish the investigation.
Wow, can Tae-swoon be any more perfect? After fixing Eunho’s bike for her, he boasts about himself and how great and talented of a person he is. Eunho jokes that one day she should learn to do all these things by herself because she won’t be able to rely on him which causes him to grow sad. They’ll last together even when they’re 108 years old. Haha. Gotta love Tae-woon. They make a promise to each other that they’ll remain together for a long time. OMGGGGG I KNOW WHERE THE DRAMA IS TRYING TO TAKE US. STAAAAHP.
The squad worry over how quiet Principal has been in regards to the X investigation case. Nothing’s happened the past few days which is unusual and unlike the Principal. Meanwhile, the Principal comes across Hee-chan on campus who wishes to speak to him about Eunho’s webtoon series. While Principal browses through the webtoon series, Hee-chan comments about how similar the webtoon series is to all the actual incidents that happened with X. There are too many specific details that Eunho could not have drawn in her webtoon series out of coincidence leading the principal to believe that either Eunho drew the webtoon series in coincidence or is actually close to X and knows who X is.
Officer Soo-ji is doing a private investigation on Eunho’s high school and looking into the corruption of the school. While digging through documents and information in an office, she gets a visit from Teacher Shim. He wants to know what she’s doing and when she refuses to answer him, Teacher Shim shyly states that he would like Officer Soo-ji to be honest with him since you know… they’re a couple. OMGGGG. Haha. They’re interrupted by Teacher Jung who awkwardly discovers that the two are dating. Poor guy.
Tae-woon and Dae-hwi have another meeting about upcoming plans. Tae-woon’s father might act sooner than later since he’s been getting pressured by the steering committee to do something about X, meaning Tae-woon will have no choice but to turn himself in if he wants to save Eunho.
Later on that day after school, Tae-woon and Eunho have a talk. Tae-woon tries his best to be as discreet as possible about his sacrifice and voices that no matter what happens, Eunho has to blame Tae-woon for being X if she is falsely accused. Of course Eunho admits that she will, but her face says otherwise. OMGGGGG. Don’t tell me they’re going to try to save each other…
Dae-hwi continues his daily routine of following Nam-joo home every night to make sure she gets home safely. But this night is different as her father discovers him outside of their apartment complex and volunteers to take him home. During the car ride, Nam-joo’s dad shares with Dae-hwi a few more details about Nam-joo like how they used to live comfortably until his business failed or like how because of that situation Nam-joo had to quit playing the cello. Dae-hwi grows sad and disappointed in himself for being upset with Nam-joo over lying. She only did it to protect her father.
The next morning at school Dae-hwi encounters a female student who abruptly makes a confession to him. But it’s obvious where Dae-hwi’s mind and heart is. He’s still in love with Nam-joo. He goes to visit her at her workplace and asks for a second chance with her. He misses her especially when he’s at school and sees her empty desk where she should be but isn’t. He vows to protect her from any hate or mistreatment she gets at school if she was to return. Nam-joo gives it a thought.
Principal and Vice Principal follow up on a lead that Hee-chan gave them. They head to Tae-woon’s warehouse together where the squad is. After doing a quick search, they find print-outs of Eunho’s webtoon series lying around the table. Oh no. They bring Eunho in for an interrogation and question how it could have been possible for her to draw her webtoon series which is strikingly similar to all the events that actually happened with X. Her excuse of it all just being a coincidence doesn’t fly with the faculty and they grow even more impatient and upset. Tae-woon marches over to the Principal’s office ready to save Eunho by giving in, but he’s stopped his squad. He shouldn’t act so abruptly; they need to come up with another plan by thinking things through.
Eunho updates Tae-woon on the interrogation once she leaves the principal’s office. Contrary to what she had told Tae-woon she would do, she doesn’t sell him out in order to save herself. In fact, she was aware that that was what Tae-woon wanted her to do, but she’s not going to let Tae-woon turn himself in to save her. She threatens that the moment he does that she’ll quit school so he shouldn’t even think about sacrificing himself to save her. Eunho walks away in anger and fury.
News about Eunho’s hearing on the X investigation case spreads throughout the school. Hee-chan shares with Bit-na and his two other classmates that Eunho couldn’t have done everything on her own, but that in order to make the X investigation case end as simple and quick as possible the staff and faculty are just going to resort to blaming Eunho for everything – an idea she herself would be willing to accept.
Hee-chan blames Tae-woon for being irresponsible as X. Now Eunho and the rest of the squad are at risk of getting caught. Tae-woon reveals that regardless of Hee-chan’s threats or what anyone else thinks, he will turn himself in as X eventually. After he walks away, Hee-chan stops the record button on his cell phone. NOOOOOOO. He was recording the entire conversation the entire timeeeeeee.
Of course Hee-chan shares the recording with the principal who then presents it to the Director (and threatens him with it). He uses the recording to his own advantage and benefits, forcing the Director to do things for him such as sign an employment extension document or else he will expose to everyone the contents of the recording.
Principal and Eunho come across each other on campus. Principal warns Eunho to stop her actions as X, but she advises him to stop all the bad things he’s been doing at school as well. Seems like Eunho won this one this time. Haha.
Eunho and Sarang have a heart-felt conversation about Tae-woon while sitting outside on a bench. Eunho expresses that all she wants for her boyfriend is for him to enjoy his life as an average 18-year old teenager. She just wants the best for him and now that he finally has friends and is getting used to the school life, she hopes things can stay this way for him for a long time. Aww. She’s so sweet.
Eunho and Tae-woon head out for a small date. He gets all giddy and happy when she calls him “Oppa” and even at the coffee shop he’s just happy sitting across from her watching her draw. Tae-woon’s going to do whatever he can to protect her dream of drawing no matter what.
But it’s unknown for how much longer he can protect Eunho’s dreams. His father threatens him to stop causing trouble or else he’ll have no choice but to study abroad. Tae-woon will oblige and listen to anything his father says as long as his father stops harassing Eunho. That’s all he wants personally.
Tae-woon spends that night reflecting over his father’s words. He folds the black sweater that he used to wear as X and places it away in a box. Meanwhile, Eunho stares at her school uniform before informing her family about her situation. She plans on dropping out of school since she’ll get caught as X anyways and have to drop out eventually. Her parents refuse to let her drop out of school, but Eunho knows that that’s the only option left in store for her if she wants to save Tae-woon.
Tae-woon and Eunho talk on the phone that night. He serenades her by singing a sweet love song to her to help her be able to sleep. She ends the phone call by telling her boyfriend she misses him. Omg this is making me cry.
The next day at school Eunho receives news that her family is at the school visiting the principal. She heads over to the office as quickly as possible with Teacher Shim but unlike what she had expected, her family isn’t there to beg the principal to let Eunho stay. They’re actually there to accept Eunho’s withdrawal request from the principal. It’s not like the school was great anyways, having done everything in favor of all the smart and wealthy students and establishing itself as an unjust and corrupt school. Tae-woon watches this all unfold in front of his eyes and he walks away hurt.
Eunho tries to act like she’s okay with withdrawing from the school but she’s not. She’s not okay. She cries to Sarang and expresses sorrow and pain in having to leave the one school that she found happiness in. Tae-woon hears Eunho crying from not too far away and listens in on all the things she has to say about leaving the school. Sarang suggests that they can beg Tae-woon’s dad to do something about the situation, but Eunho refuses. She doesn’t want to get Tae-woon involved anymore.
That night, Tae-woon returns home only to receive a short lecture from his father. There’s nothing he can do to save Eunho so he should just stop and not even try.
The next day at school the school holds Eunho’s hearing in regards to the X investigation case. But before they can decide on what punishment is to await Eunho, another prank by X starts. This time, clips of the principal and vice principal committing corrupted acts while at school is shown to everybody. They find X standing on the second floor and unlike before X doesn’t run away. He walks down to the main floor where everyone is and takes off his hoodie, revealing to everyone that X is indeed Tae-woon.
He approaches Eunho and the staff and faculty towards the front of the gym. Tae-woon dressed in his black hoodie sweater stands across from Eunho while everyone’s eyes are glued onto him.
Now everyone knows that Tae-woon is X.
AHHHHHHHHH. Noble idiocy. The great great noble idiocy that we can never seem to escape from in dramaland.
I appreciated how the drama was taking us down that route of noble idiocy where Eunho and Tae-woon were wiling to sacrifice themselves in order to save the other but eventually didn’t take us all the way there. While Tae-woon did reveal his identity as X to everyone to protect Eunho, he was X all along in the first place so he’s only doing what he should do to be held accountable and responsible for all the trouble he’s caused as X. I’m glad that he was honest and truthful in this entire process and that his last act as X was a straight-forward and forthright one: if he’s going to unveil his identity as X to everyone he might as well also unveil all the corruption that is prevalent at the school like how he had been doing all along.
This entire episode was setting us up for the noble idiocy that was bound to take place which made Eunho and Tae-woon’s relationship even more heart-breaking to watch. Even though I was happy and giddy to see them spend time together at the coffee shop or be more bold and confident with displaying their relationship publicly or have late night conversations with each other on the phone, each moment was so bittersweet because you knew that things weren’t going to stay like this forever. While watching their sweet moments, you knew that on the inside Tae-woon and Eunho were struggling to accept their difficult situation and the fact that one person was going to have to take the fall in order to save the other. It was so heart-breaking watching this and it made me want to cry when they were together. This episode did a great job in demonstrating the lengths that they will go for each other and like I had mentioned in my last recap, Tae-woon’s dad was really the testament to prove how strong the couple’s love for each other was and as exemplified in this episode, nothing can break Tae-woon and Eunho apart.
I admit that I was a bit sad during the part when Tae-woon folded his black sweater neatly and placed it away into a box. I’ve said this before but I really enjoyed all the pranks and stunts he pulled off as X and would have liked it if the drama had given us a few more. Tae-woon’s characterization this entire drama revolved around being X that to see him delete that aspect of him this episode was so hard to accept and understand. I’m going to miss him being X as well as those funny and ridiculous moments that came out of the stunts and pranks. Most of all I’m going to miss watching him and his squad ridicule the Principal for his wrondoings and expose him to everyone. I’m glad we were left with one big last laugh at the end of this episode.
Aside from the X sub-plot, I liked the small details we were given with Nam-joo and her father. The conversation between her father and Dae-hwi gave us a little bit more insight on why she acts so cold and distant from her father which helps me understand her a little bit better. Before I wasn’t so opened towards her but after learning about her living situation after what happened with her dad’s business and the aftermath of that, I think I have an easier time understanding her character even though I might not necessarily agree with her behavior towards her father. I’m just glad that the conversation helped open up Dae-hwi’s mind and heart as well even further than it already was. We had some hints that he still had unrequited feelings for Nam-joo despite feeling conflicted on her lies. He only needed some kind of confirmation to prove his love for her and as we witnessed in this episode he does still love her. It’s a nice closure to their relationship that I felt was dragging earlier in the series. Maybe a new and honest start to their relationship is what they need especially all that they’ve gone through in the past.
I can only hope that Eunho and Tae-woon will remain together as we head into our finale episode, but I’m not so sure how Eunho is going to react to Tae-woon’s action. She was in that gym along with the rest of the students fully accepting the fact that she was going to be punished for “being X” and as a result have to withdraw from the school. She didn’t want Tae-woon to be involved or to step in to save her so now that he did what she didn’t, I wonder if she’ll be more angry at him or if she’s willing to forgive him. I hope she’ll come to understanding that what he did was the right decision all along and that she’ll find a way to still accept and love him even after what he did. Just like how she wants the best for Tae-woon, we all know that he wants the best for her too.