Waiting for someone isn’t the funnest or greatest. It can often times be stressful and frustrating not knowing what awaits or what the future looks like. It’s scary and fearful not knowing if things will turn out well or if things will go to ruins. As Song-Ah waits for Joon-young, she experiences many conflicting feelings and thoughts. She waits and she waits, but is Joon-young too waiting for her? Is he waiting on the other side in hopes that she too will be there?
Do You Like Brahms? Episode 8: Con Fermezza, Firmly, Clearly
Song-Ah attends Jung-kyung’s master class and watches as other music students take turns practicing on stage in front of Jung-kyung. Professor Lee and Song are also present as they watch Jung-kyung teach the students on how to play better. It’s Song-Ah’s turn and she makes her way to the stage. The two remain professional with each other and Song-Ah gathers the courage to practice her senior recital piece in front of Jung-kyung. Just like Jung-kyung did with the other music students, she gives Song-Ah some pieces of advice on how to better play her piece before having Song-Ah start all over again. Time eventually runs out for Song-Ah’s lesson and the master class ends. Before bidding farewell, Song-Ah follows up with Jung-kyung on one of the tips that Jung-kyung had given her. She was told to play the violin with more conviction, how exactly can she do that? Jung-kyung isn’t so sure of the answer either and asks for Song-Ah to tell her the answer once she finds out.
When Song-Ah exits the room, she discovers Joon-young waiting outside in the lobby for her (EEEEK!). He walks up to her and admits that he had been waiting for her. Joon-young gives her an update on her confession and adds that he too feels concerned by everything that she does and feels. He’s going to eventually get back to Song-Ah, but he just needs her to wait for him a little bit longer. Song-Ah agrees; she’ll wait for Joon-young for just a tad bit longer. OMGEEEE. Sung-jae turns in his resignation letter to Team Leader Cha and informs her of his next steps after Kyunghoo: he plans on opening the office to Joon-young’s entertainment company in Korea. Talks with Chris (the CEO) has been going well and Sung-jae was the one who had complained about Joon-young’s talk concert at his middle school. Sung-jae feels as if Kyunghoo hasn’t been able to properly manage Joon-young and take advantage of his talents as a pianist. Team Leader Cha isn’t so happy with Sung-jae’s decision and Da-woon calls Yoo-jin (who was on maternity leave) to update her on the news.
Professor Song doesn’t hesitate to criticize Professor Lee’s choice in sending Song-Ah to Jung-kyung’s master class. She’s unsure as to why she sent Song-Ah over to the master class, but she isn’t impressed. Jung-kyung doesn’t say much other than that she learned a lot during the session. Song-Ah gives Jung-kyung’s feedback on her practice another thought that night while studying. Joon-young is informed by Chris about the new Korean branch that Sung-jae will be in charge of opening up soon. He expresses reluctance and uncertainty with the decision and receives a visit by none other than Team Leader Cha herself seconds later. Joon-young and Team Leader Cha sit down to discuss the situation. Joon-young will try talking to Chris again in an effort to change his mind.
Joon-young meets with a reporter and Professor Yoo in Professor Yoo’s office. The reporter asks about Joon-young’s connection with Professor Yoo and addresses questions about their distant relationship after the Chopin competition. Professor Yoo shrugs it off as just rumors and blames it on other people being jealous. The reporter also doesn’t shy away from bringing up the rumors surrounding Professor Yoo’s discovery of Joon-young and how he was lucky to have found Joon-young, but Professor Yoo attempts to remain calm. He cuts the interview short so the reporter wraps up the interview by asking one last question to Joon-young about the upcoming Tchaikovsky Competition and who he thinks the winner will be. Joon-young gives the question a thought, but he doesn’t explicitly name anyone. Instead, he simply answers that whoever gains the highest average score will win. With that, the interview ends and Joon-young stays behind with Professor Yoo. Professor Yoo acknowledges Joon-young’s growth in interviews, but points out that he didn’t necessarily mention about his participation in the competition. Is it possibly because he’s afraid he won’t win?
Joon-young finds Song-Ah looking at an announcement on the bulletin board out in the hallway after the interview so they talk to each other. She tries to distract Joon-young by inviting him to grab some lunch with her, but Joon-young politely declines. He has a meeting to go to with someone he knows and they bid farewell with each other shortly afterwards. Once Song-Ah is gone, Joon-young glances at the announcement that Song-Ah was trying to hide from him. It’s the seating arrangement for the 2nd semester orchestra and Song-Ah’s made it. However, just like last time, she’s placed last on the list. Joon-young heads to his meeting with Sung-jae at a cafe. Sung-jae cuts to the chase and updates Joon-young on the branch in Korea that will center around solidifying Joon-young’s career as a pianist. He also pushes for Joon-young to quit playing with Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung. He needs to start playing with other people who are on his level before his career really hits rock bottom. Joon-young isn’t so happy with the news and the harsh words by Sung-jae, but Sung-jae stands with his opinion.
Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung encounter each other once again on the way to a music bookstore. Jung-kyung offers to come back another time so as to avoid Hyun-ho, but Hyun-ho holds her back from leaving. It’s not like she can avoid him every time they see each other so they should just get accustomed to things as they are now. With that, the two former lovers enter the bookstore together, but they refrain from interacting with each other. It’s not until Hyun-ho leaves that Jung-kyung reminisces all the times back in the U.S. when Hyun-ho was there for her. Maybe she took him for granted and didn’t appreciate him enough while he was around. Hyun-ho too thinks about Jung-kyung’s comment about how he didn’t hold her back or fight for their relationship when she was having second thoughts about everything. He recalls the night she admitted to him about her conflicting feelings and reassured her as she cried. Is it too late to turn things around?
While working the next day, Song-Ah receives a text from Min-sung so the two friends meet up. Min-sung once again brings up Dong-yoon and how he cancelled his blind date. Could it possibly be because of her? Min-sung’s comment reminds Song-Ah of the phone call she received from Dong-yoon the other night asking for a meet-up, but Song-Ah remains quiet about it. Instead, she’s asked to talk about Joon-young and how things are going with the pianist. Song-Ah doesn’t have too much of an update; she’s busy practicing for her entrance exam with her new piano accompanist which isn’t going too well for her. Min-sung pitches forth the idea of Song-Ah asking Joon-young to play with her. Song-Ah gives a bunch of excuses as to why Joon-young wouldn’t play with her, but anything is possible. It won’t hurt to ask, especially if Joon-young has feelings for Song-Ah.
Joon-young attends another piano lesson with Professor Yoo. Professor Yoo isn’t so impressed with Joon-young’s piano skills and is even more unimpressed with Joon-young’s mentality towards being a piano accompanist. He warns Joon-young not to play with the girl he’s seeing (aka Song-Ah) for it’ll only becoming a burden and nuisance to her. If she plays well and succeeds, people will say it was all thanks to Joon-young which will only hurt Song-Ah in the end. Although Joon-young doesn’t mind playing as a piano accompanist, Professor Yoo thinks otherwise. It’s important to consider class and level when doing such a thing.
And so Song-Ah indirectly brings it up during her lunch date with Joon-young. Her new piano accompanist is sort of scary and she’s not so sure they’ll get along well with each other. Joon-young recalls Professor Yoo’s words and reassures Song-Ah that everything will be fine. It was their first session together so hopefully things will get better as they keep practicing together. Song-Ah is internally disappointed with Joon-young’s decision, but she doesn’t say anything. Before bidding farewell, Joon-young proposes to grab lunch again the next day. Song-Ah isn’t entirely sure about her availability, but Joon-young is keen on meeting with Song-Ah again. If she is able to grab lunch with him, he wants her to call him and let him know. Joon-young and Song-Ah give things a second thought that night as they wrap up. Song-Ah is sad and disappointed over the decision and questions why things seem so hard for her.
While practicing the cello, Hyun-ho receives a phone call from Da-woon about payment. She asks for him to send her the appropriate documents so that she can pay him and also informs him about Director Na’s condition in the hospital. Da-woon then greets Yoo-jin who’s returned to the office with the conclusion of her maternity leave. Hyun-ho worries for Jung-kyung and is tempted to send her a text message to ask about Director Na. But he can’t find the right words and he ends up not sending anything at all. After class, Hae-na checks her group chat only to hear about the dating rumors swirling Song-Ah and Joon-young. Song-Ah’s two friends also want to confirm things with Song-Ah to which Song-Ah strongly denies the accusations. Hae-na makes sure to
be a jerk take a jab at Song-Ah and adds that Joon-young would never date an ordinary student like Song-Ah. Ugh. While passing by in the hallway, Joon-young takes another glance at the announcement of the orchestra seating arrangement for the second semester. He grabs the piece of paper and hides it in his pockets before being greeted by a dejected Song-Ah.
The two spend some time together to talk things out. Joon-young proposes to grab dinner with Song-Ah, but there’s something more pressing on Song-Ah’s mind. Can a world-class artist and a music student who’s last in her class ever be on the same level? To Joon-young, none of that matters to her. If that’s the case, why did Joon-young rip off the orchestra seating arrangement paper? Joon-young only wanted to protect Song-Ah from being hurt or obsessed with something so meaningless.. or so Joon-young thinks. The seating arrangement is a meaningful thing to Song-Ah. It would mean the world to her if she could just sit in the seat next over or in the row in front of her. Speaking of class and level, there’s been so many talks about it lately she doesn’t think she can be with Joon-young. The pressure is too much for her and she’s been losing confidence.
Joon-young has a difficult time understanding Song-Ah. If she’s pushing him away now, why did she confess to him then? Why did she say she would wait for him? He had just asked her for some dinner and now she says she doesn’t want to be with him? If all Song-Ah is going to talk about is also class and level then Joon-young doesn’t want to hear any of that either. With that, he leaves Song-Ah behind and the two give things a thought that night. After getting off the bus, Song-Ah receives a phone call from Dong-yoon who checks up on her. It turns out she had completely forgotten about their meet-up earlier that evening, but it’s not too late just yet. Dong-yoon shows up right in front of Song-Ah as she’s talking to him on the phone and they head to his workshop. Joon-young calls Director Na after learning that she’s been discharged from the hospital. Although the phone call is short and brief, Joon-young is relieved to know that Director Na is feeling better. Director Na herself takes a good look at Jung-kyung’s Mom’s piano stationed in the living room and it seems as if she has a better understanding of the experiences that Joon-young’s gone through while playing the piano.
Song-Ah and Dong-yoon sit down in his workshop to talk, but Song-Ah isn’t really feeling it. She’s had a long day and she wants to head home to rest. With that, Dong-yoon garners some courage and expresses his honest thoughts for Song-Ah. He likes her. He has feelings for her. It started back when they first met and ever since then he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He was afraid their friendship would be ruined if he confessed so he never said anything until now. Although no words are spoken from Song-Ah, the tears in her eyes says everything. Dong-yoon is shocked to find Song-Ah in tears and he’s uncertain as to how to react. Song-Ah sits in her bedroom that night with a whole lot on her mind.
Song-Ah meets up with Team Leader Cha the next day who has a request for the violinist. Team Leader Cha would like for Song-Ah to help them out as she finishes up her last semester. Joon-young exits his apartment only to find Jung-kyung waiting outside for him. He doesn’t have much to say to her upon seeing her, but Jung-kyung attempts to hold him back. She wants him to hear her out. The lies she told or the kiss on the night of the New York recital was wrong of her. She shouldn’t have done such things. But she’s in desperate times and she wants to become a music professor at Seoryeong University. It’s the only way people will take her seriously. She’s jealous of his success and maybe they would be on the same level with each other if she had never encouraged him to participate in the Chopin competition. Now that it’s all said and done, Jung-kyung pleads for Joon-young to play with her for her recital.
After her meeting with Team Leader Cha, Song-Ah receives a phone call from Joon-young. He wants to meet up with her as he has something he wants to tell her. And as Song-Ah waits for Joon-young in the rehearsal room, she’s reminded of the conversation she had with Team Leader Cha earlier that day. Upon consulting Team Leader Cha about Joon-young, Team Leader Cha gave Song-Ah great advice about Joon-young. First, she believes in Song-Ah and advises that she too trusts in herself. Song-Ah will be fine while waiting for Joon-young because he will eventually come around. Second, Joon-young sometimes says things he doesn’t think because he always places himself second. However, once he does come around and starts to care about someone, he will never give up. Team Leader Cha’s words gives Song-Ah some hope and she sits at the piano while waiting for him in the rehearsal room.
Joon-young eventually makes his way into the room and Song-Ah is nervous at the sight of the pianist. What could he possibly have to say to her that he wanted her to wait? Joon-young updates her right away about Jung-kyung’s recital. He’ll play as the piano accompanist for Jung-kyung’s recital as her friend. It’s something she desperately wants and needs and he’s going to play with her. Song-Ah is disappointed and devastated at the news. This is all Joon-young had to say to her? Joon-young reasons that he addressed this topic first so that Song-Ah wouldn’t misunderstand. But what could Song-Ah possibly misunderstand? The two argue with each other and the room feels heavy and intense. Just as Song-Ah is done with Joon-young and begins to pack up, Joon-young finally gives her his answer to her confession. He likes her. He too has feelings for her (AHHHHHHH. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I’M SCREAMING INSIDE RIGHT NOW). Song-Ah freezes upon hearing Joon-young’s confession and it takes her a while to register everything. Joon-young repeats the words “I like you” four times before adding that this was what he wanted to tell her. This was why he asked her to wait for him.
Joon-young then leans in towards Song-Ah to kiss her on the lips (OMGEEEEEEE). Song-Ah is taken aback by the kiss that she even slightly falls back on the piano, but Joon-young continues to kiss her. She gently tugs at his shirt while they kiss and the heaviness in the room suddenly dissipates. Song-Ah’s finally received Joon-young’s answer that she had been waiting for all along. The wait was well worth it.
YOOOOO OMG, I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY OR HOW TO REACT. Ok ok ok ok ok ok. I’m trying not to freak out and I’m trying not to watch the kissing scene for the 500th time, but I just can’t help it! Somebody help me!
Okay no but seriously, in all seriousness, I was not expecting a kiss scene this early into the drama so I’m definitely grateful that the drama gave it to us in this episode. ‘Do You Like Brahms?’ has primarily been so mellow, subtle, beautiful, and calm this entire time so I just assumed it was going to be one of those dramas where the lead couple only shares one kiss and that kiss isn’t until episode 16. Therefore, I’m super happy and satisfied with this first kiss between our two leads and found it as a perfect way to wrap up the confusing and complicated push and pull game that had been ensuing between the two. Sure, the process and journey to getting here might not have been the prettiest or smoothest, but hey, it’s only the beginning from here and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Song-Ah and Joon-young. I mean, if they were already so adorable and cute together in the process of becoming friends, I can’t even imagine how much cuter they’re going to be as a couple!
I’m relieved that Joon-young’s story line with Jung-kyung didn’t necessarily pan out the way that I thought it was going to. I was afraid that Jung-kyung’s break-up with Hyun-ho would serve as the catalyst to a romantic relationship between Joon-young and Jung-kyung. It’s obvious that the two have very complicated history with each other and have had difficulty in denying their feelings for each other that they knew existed but was just too afraid to acknowledge. I was afraid that Joon-young was going to turn Song-Ah down for Jung-kyung who he’s had hidden feelings for that he suppressed for Hyun-ho’s sake. I’m glad that the drama didn’t go that route and instead continued to establish Joon-young as a respectful character.
Instead of doing his best friend wrong and going for Jung-kyung who he has lots of complicated history with, Joon-young abandoned his own Brahms-like situation by staying true to his feelings and listening to his guts. I think his mind was occupied with conflicting thoughts about Jung-kyung, but he knew in his heart that his heart was reserved for Song-Ah. Sure, maybe tugging Song-Ah along and playing a push and pull game with her wasn’t the greatest and might have been frustrating at times, but I’m glad he ultimately chose her because it was what he wanted. He didn’t feel pressured to reciprocate Song-Ah’s feelings simply for Song-Ah’s sake nor reject Jung-kyung for Hyun-ho’s sake. Joon-young went to Song-Ah in the end because it was what he wanted and it was purely a decision by him and for him.
I thought this episode was so interesting with the conversations that were brought up around the topic of class and level. It was already a topic that the drama had mentioned and alluded to throughout the run so far, but it was especially emphasized on in this episode. I think it’s so interesting and compelling how everyone sees Joon-young as this top notch, world-class level with all the competitions he participated in and won and yet, he doesn’t necessarily feel that way. He himself doesn’t feel like the world-class musician that everyone paints him out to be because he’s constantly reminded of how his career is on a decline or how he’s a has-been or how he’s no where as good or popular as he used to be. Even Jung-kyung’s revelation about how she was jealous of Joon-young and the success he was earning in his career came as a shock to me. I just assumed she had feelings for him because they knew each other since young and developed that type of bond with each other, but to learn that she was also jealous of him and didn’t necessarily feel as if she was on the same level as him was new to me.
It all makes sense now though and I can see why Jung-kyung was so desperate to have Joon-young play with her. She wants to feel validated and approved by others and the only way to make that happen would be through her recital and what’s a more impactful way than having Joon-young perform with her? I’ll admit that I was also just as disappointed and confused as Song-Ah was when Joon-young brought up Jung-kyung’s recital in the ending scene as I felt like he was in this limbo between the two ladies for too long. But then again, it’s not easy for him to just suppress or eliminate all his feelings for Jung-kyung who he’s shared so many memories with over the years. Plus, his pianist career is directly linked to Jung-kyung’s mom’s death and that’s something he thinks about every time he plays the piano. I can see why Joon-young brought up the recital first before transitioning to his confession to Song-Ah. He wanted to get the more difficult part out of the way first before investing more time for the more serious and nerve-wracking things.
‘Do You Like Brahms?’ has always been an easy and effortless watch, but I’m even really enjoying the progress with Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung’s relationship. I just assumed that Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung were going to go into this whole ‘we-are-no-longer-together-let’s-not-talk-to-each-other-anymore’ fiasco and although they are sort of doing that to an extent, I like how they still feel for each other in between all of the mess. Their break-up with each other wasn’t the prettiest and Jung-kyung and Hyun-ho definitely had many difficult conversations with each other since then, but it’s these difficult conversations that exposes everything and might even be what makes them consider the possibilities of getting back together. Of course, it’s not going to happen right away and they’re going to need some time away from each other, but the more that they have these difficult conversations where hidden feelings and unspoken words are said and the more they spend time away from each other, the more they’re going to miss each other as well. The drama has done a wonderful job in showcasing all of this and the conflicted feelings that Jung-kyung and Hyun-ho have about their break-up. With the way that Jung-kyung initiated the break-up, I thought she was going to completely ignore Hyun-ho and not even talk to him at all. However, she too has been struggling with their break-up and has been reflecting on their shared moments. It’s not all black and white for Jung-kyung either even if she was the one who brought up the idea of separating first which only highlights both the beauty and pain of relationships. Break-ups are never easy no matter the fallout.
Can we also take a minute to talk about Dong-yoon’s confession to Song-Ah in this episode?! I knew from the moment he said the words “I love you” in episode 2 to Song-Ah that something was up (it was also the way he said it that got me thinking). The drama had slowly and very subtly been hinting about something between Dong-yoon and Song-Ah the past few episodes, but we finally got a confirmation in this episode. I’m not surprised at the confession and I’ll admit that I’m curious as to how Song-Ah would have responded had Dong-yoon just maybe confessed a tad bit earlier. I wonder if she would have given things a more serious thought and maybe consider Dong-yoon’s feeling if he confessed at a time where she was interacting with Joon-young more often but still had feelings for Dong-yoon. I’m sure she did give Dong-yoon’s confession some thought, but his confession came at a time where her feelings for Joon-young was strong enough so she was willing to wait for Joon-young and not for Dong-yoon. Her feelings for Joon-young were already so strong at that point and I wanna think Song-Ah cried because she went through so much because of Dong-yoon only to find out in the end that he too felt the same way about her. Song-Ah went through so much pain because of her unrequited love for Dong-yoon only to learn that it was never really one-sided all along. Song-Ah waited and waited for Dong-yoon and the one moment she finally stopped waiting, he’s now waiting for her. Timing truly is everything.
Song-Ah might have originally waited for Dong-yoon first, but it’s Joon-young who she chose and who ultimately chose her. They chose each other despite all the pressures, expectations, and difficult conversations about level and class. Even when the world is against Joon-young and Song-Ah and they feel as if they have no one or as if nothing is going right for them, they always have each other. They’ve always had each other since the beginning, but now it’s grown to something even more. Their relationship is even bigger and better and more meaningful because of all the bumps and happiness in between. Although we primarily saw Song-Ah as the one waiting for Joon-young, I wanna argue that Joon-young too was waiting for Song-Ah. He wanted to clarify things with Jung-kyung first to make sure they were on the same page before he fully solidified his relationship with Song-Ah. Joon-young’s friendship with Jung-kyung hasn’t completely ended because he feels this obligation and want to still be there for her as her friend, but their chapter of any romantic possibilities is now over. It’s all because Joon-young waited for Song-Ah and she waited for him. Sometimes, good things come to those who wait and both Song-Ah and Joon-young learned this first-hand.
Extra screenshots from episodes 7 & 8~