Just when things seem to be going well, it doesn’t take too long or too much for things to break apart. Just when it seems as if things are working out for Song-Ah, there are also other aspects in her life that aren’t panning out too well. How does one hold it together when it seems as if everything is falling apart all at the same time?
Do You Like Brahms? Episode 10 Recap: Sotto Voce, In a Whisper
While waiting at a bus stop, Min-sung comes across Joon-young so she requests for Joon-young to tag along with her somewhere. She wants to head to her friend’s birthday party where both Song-Ah and Dong-yoon are, but she doesn’t want to make it too obvious so she asks Joon-young to join her. The pianist agrees and the two head to the restaurant in a taxi together. On the ride there, Min-sung brings up Song-Ah and her relationship with Joon-young. Song-Ah usually doesn’t like anything more than the violin, but Joon-young is an exception. That just goes to show how much Song-Ah likes Joon-young. Eventually, they make it to the restaurant and at first things seem to be going well. However, the situation quickly turns sour when Song-Ah unveils the secret that she had kept in the past: her feelings for Dong-yoon that she used to harbor.
Song-Ah and Joon-young arrive just in time for this confession and Min-sung isn’t the happiest. She storms out of the restaurant and is chased by Song-Ah, but she doesn’t want to hear Song-Ah out. Min-sung isn’t having any of it. Feeling betrayed by her best friend, Min-sung walks away and Joon-young comforts his girlfriend. The couple talk things out afterwards outside of a convenience store. Song-Ah feels bad for what she did and shares that she had no intentions of hurting Min-sung at all. However, now that their friendship has reached this point, she cries over how difficult everything is. Instead of using words, Joon-young just simply rubs Song-Ah’s back so as to let her know that he’s there for her. He hands Song-Ah her handkerchief so she can wipe her tears.
Professor Lee assigns Song-Ah to inform the rest of the chamber orchestra members to purchase 5 more tickets for their upcoming performance. Since it’s their first show, she wants all the seats to be sold out. Song-Ah isn’t so certain about the request as some members have already purchased up to 20 seats. Professor Lee changes her mind upon listening to Song-Ah’s feedback and is willing to decrease the amount of additional tickets to 3. Each member must purchase 3 more tickets on top of what they’ve already bought. Sung-jae steps up in his leadership position and wants Joon-young to go on a TV show to talk about his family. He argues that people aren’t interested in the pianist’s music any longer especially with popular and rising musicians like Seung Ji-min. Joon-young isn’t willing to do anything beyond music. He also refuses to acknowledge Sung-jae as the person in charge of his management in Korea. Joon-young has yet to talk to his CEO, Chris, about the contract situation.
Hae-na blames Song-Ah for the situation with Professor Lee’s chamber orchestra. She assumes Song-Ah is trying to impress Professor Lee by taking things out on the members and making them do things like buying additional tickets. She assumes it must be because Song-Ah is desperate to attend graduate school. While on campus, Min-sung encounters Song-Ah and confronts her about her feelings for Dong-yoon. Min-sung had no control over Dong-yoon’s feelings for Song-Ah, but she expected better from her best friend. Song-Ah should have known better than to develop feelings for Dong-yoon. Song-Ah attempts to explain herself to Min-sung, but Min-sung merely walks away. Jung-kyung spends some time shopping with Professor Song and tries on a dress that Professor Song plans to buy for her. While wearing the dress, Professor Song follows up with Jung-kyung on her recital. Jung-kyung shares that she’s gotten Joon-young to play as her piano accompanist, but what she was not expecting was Professor Song’s question about money. How much is Joon-young charging Jung-kyung to play at her recital?
Song-Ah talks things out with Joon-young at the practice room on campus. Joon-young suggests Song-Ah wait a bit longer to give Min-sung more time to think. Maybe then, Min-sung will have thought things through and Song-Ah can try talking to her again. Min-sung will eventually come around (yaaaas, we love a supportive and attentive partner!!). Professor Lee and Song-Ah attend an event later on that day. Professor Song and Jung-kyung are there as well, but it’s obvious that Professor Song is the more popular person. She’s complimented for being a great music teacher which doesn’t thrill Professor Lee so much. Joon-young catches up with Team Leader Cha and the two chat about the topic of habits. While Team Leader Cha finds it difficult to quit smoking, Joon-young shares how he used to have a habit of playing the same song as a warm-up every time he played the piano. Of course, things have changed, but Team Leader Cha also argues that habits are habits for a reason. Maybe they shouldn’t be changed or stopped if it’s too difficult to get rid of them.
After the event, Professor Lee leaves Song-Ah hanging and heads home by herself. Thankfully, Song-Ah is able to catch a ride with Jung-kyung, but the car ride home isn’t so peaceful. Jung-kyung admits that things are going to keep being uncomfortable for Song-Ah. She’s not necessarily going to do anything or put forth any effort, but she does plan to keep waiting for Joon-young. Similar to like how Joon-young waited for her this entire time, she’s going to do the same to him. Joon-young receives a phone call from Song-Ah so the two meet-up later on that night. While walking to Joon-young’s place, Song-Ah points out Joon-young’s apartment and asks if she can visit his place. Joon-young’s taken aback by Song-Ah’s request and knowledge and although the violinist doesn’t reveal how exactly she knew where Joon-young lived, she’s invited inside nonetheless (Song-Ah knew that one time she saw Jung-kyung leaving Joon-young’s apartment complex).
Joon-young heads inside to “clean” his place up first (it wasn’t even really dirty or messy in the first place hahaha). Song-Ah enters shortly afterwards and she takes a good look around his small but cozy apartment. It’s neat and clean and she’s impressed. She also takes a second to glance at the scenery and is in awe by how beautiful everything looks. She can even see the Kyunghoo building from where Joon-young lives! Haha. While making Song-Ah a cup of hot tea, Joon-young accidentally drops and shatters one of his mugs. Song-Ah pulls Joon-young’s top desk drawer to grab some wet wipes to help him clean up the mess, but she also finds something else in the drawer other than the wet wipes. It’s the black handkerchief that Jung-kyung gifted Joon-young to wipe his piano keys (NOOOOOOO. I can feel my heart breaking right now.. this is why I leave my wipes out on my desk!).
Song-Ah pretends as if she didn’t see anything and she assists Joon-young in picking up the shattered pieces using the wet wipes. However, Joon-young worries for Song-Ah so he volunteers to clean up the mess. The two sit down afterwards to have their cup of tea, but Song-Ah doesn’t want to stay for long. Just as she brings up her plans to go home, it begins to rain. That night, Song-Ah has trouble sleeping. Her mind is occupied with thoughts about the comment that Jung-kyung made earlier on the drive home that evening. Joon-young himself finally realizes what Song-Ah saw while putting away the wet wipes in his desk drawer. He realizes that it was Jung-kyung’s handkerchief that threw Song-Ah off and he grows upset at himself. He throws the handkerchief in his black suitcase that also has his old cell phone as well as the piano songbook that once belonged to Jung-kyung. He goes through his old cellphone to view old photos of him with Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung. These memories might be in the past, but they aren’t so easily forgotten for Joon-young.
Joon-young attends a master class with Hyun-ho as the teacher to watch his old friend coach cellists. After the class ends, Professor Song catches up with Professor Lee and grows surprised at how Professor Lee accepted Hyun-ho into her chamber orchestra when he’s dating Jung-kyung. Joon-young also utilizes the opportunity to catch up with Hyun-ho after the class concludes. Joon-young also comes clean to Hyun-ho about his feelings for Jung-kyung. He apologizes for once having harbored feelings for Jung-kyung, but Hyun-ho isn’t having any of it. Joon-young knew better than to develop feelings for her. Plus, if he did, he shouldn’t have let her know or he should have at least informed Hyun-ho who could have then done something about it. It’s too late for Joon-young now and he’s lost Hyun-ho forever. Hyun-ho has no plans on returning into Joon-young’s life as a friend.
While visiting a violin shop, Song-Ah comes across Dong-yoon who also happens to stop at the shop at the same time as her. The two stroll together and it’s then that Song-Ah addresses things with Dong-yoon. She was friends with Min-sung for a decade, but it’s all ruined now. How can Song-Ah not be uncomfortable around Dong-yoon? She admits that she’s trying her best not to blame Dong-yoon for what happened between her and Min-sung and walks away. When Song-Ah gets home that night, she opens up her violin case to find a photo of her, Min-sung, and Dong-yoon together. While eating dinner at home, Director Na briefly chats with Jung-kyung about her recital. After learning that Joon-young is playing as the piano accompanist for the recital, she shares that she paid the pianist $20,000 for the house concert he did at her house. Jung-kyung is surprised at the amount of money, but Director Na finds it reasonable. He has been playing the piano all his life to support his family financially. That’s something Jung-kyung needs to take into consideration.
Joon-young stops by Professor Yoo’s office for his piano lessons, but Professor Yoo is out of it. He’s distracted and stressed by all the articles and reviews written about the summer album he released. Joon-young catches his teacher drinking outside at a street vendor later on that night so he joins Professor Yoo at his table. Professor Yoo starts off by asking Joon-young what he thinks of his rival, Seung Ji-min. Joon-young doesn’t think too much about the pianist and doesn’t wish for him to fail or mess up just so that he could succeed. He wants the best for the both of them. While Professor Yoo points this out as Joon-young’s weakness, Joon-young thinks otherwise. Just because he wants more doesn’t necessarily mean he will. Professor Yoo argues that if you don’t want more, then you get nowhere. Joon-young admits that this is the reason as to why he returned to Professor Yoo for lessons in preparation for the competition. Professor Yoo adds that if Joon-young wins first place, no one will belittle him any longer.
Song-Ah and Joon-young bid farewell with each other on campus to resume with their respective schedules. Song-Ah has practice for her graduate entrance exam while Joon-young also has practice with Jung-kyung for her recital. They agree to call each other later on in the day. Professor Lee is bothered by Professor Song’s comment about Jung-kyung and Hyun-ho’s relationship. She grows suspicious as to why Hyun-ho is a member of her chamber orchestra if he’s dating Jung-kyung so she calls Song-Ah to remove him from the orchestra. He’s eliminated. No questions whatsoever. Jung-kyung and Joon-young’s plans to practice in the rehearsal room at Kyunghoo is cancelled since someone else has reserved the room first. They’re left with no choice but to practice at Seoryeong University to Joon-young’s reluctance.
So the two musicians head to Seoryeong for practice. On top of the piano lay Song-Ah’s handkerchief as well as a bunch of other piano songbooks. It’s then that Jung-kyung learns that Joon-young plans on entering the Tchaikovsky competition. Song-Ah’s practice with her piano accompanist isn’t so great. She continues to receive criticism for her violin skills and her piano accompanist isn’t so impressed with her. During practice, Song-Ah receives a text from Joon-young, but the violinist doesn’t see the text for she’s busy with practice. It’s not until practice ends that Song-Ah discovers what Joon-young is up to. She exits her practice room to find a crowd gathered around of the practice room near hers.
Inside the room is Jung-kyung and Joon-young practicing for Jung-kyung’s recital and everyone watches in awe of how well the two are playing together. Song-Ah stares at the two musicians and can’t help but feel excluded and lonely. She’s reminded of the question that she specifically asked Joon-young after confessing to him: is there any room for her in between all the years of history that he and Jung-kyung has shared with each other? Song-Ah once again feels the pressure, doubts, and loneliness weighing in on her. Maybe things weren’t meant to be between her and Joon-young after all.
Blah, I wished Song-Ah wouldn’t feel so insecure and doubtful. In fact, I’m sort of getting a bit exhausted with this arc. It’s not Song-Ah’s character per se that I’m frustrated about as I totally understand where her doubts and uncertainty is coming from; I’m just more tired of how redundant it all seems. One moment she believes in Joon-young and she falls in love with him all over again and it seems as if everything is fine and then the next, she has her doubts and she second guesses herself and her relationship with Joon-young and it seems as if her world is falling apart. It’s not even that I want Joon-young to be jealous of Dong-yoon or to be jealous of anyone really. I just wished he fought for his relationship with Song-Ah more or fought for Song-Ah more in general. Sure, maybe a part of it stems from the fact that Song-Ah seems too worried at times, but this concern also starts from somewhere. In this case, Jung-kyung’s handkerchief that Song-Ah saw kept hidden in Joon-young’s desk drawer just threw her (and her relationship with Joon-young) back to square one despite all the progress that the two might have made. Song-Ah deserves her spot in Joon-young’s life as his love interest as she fought her way into his life and earned his trust. She waited for him despite the push and pull game he was playing with her and I think we can all agree that she’s been doing the majority of the work in their relationship. For Joon-young, he’s going to have to work much harder to earn Song-Ah’s trust back.
In fact, I hope Song-Ah doesn’t trust Joon-young so easily again. The past few times was deemed acceptable as Joon-young was sort of in this grey area and had asked Song-Ah to wait for him. He wasn’t necessarily fully committed to Song-Ah just yet because he was trying to clear things up with Jung-kyung first. But things are different now that Joon-young’s 1) confessed to her and 2) has set expectations and boundaries with Jung-kyung. He needs to be more transparent and honest with Song-Ah about things. Him keeping Jung-kyung’s handkerchief hidden in his desk drawer wasn’t the greatest decision and move on his part and it’s little details like these that continues to hurt Song-Ah. Song-Ah fully trusted Joon-young who claimed that things were over between him and Jung-kyung by acknowledging his feelings for Song-Ah, but yet, he still had things like Jung-kyung’s handkerchief at his place for Song-Ah to find. The back and forth and all the confusion isn’t fun to watch and I wish there was something that would make Joon-young realize just how close he is to losing Song-Ah to make him fight for her and their relationship even more. I mean, how many more sleepless nights is Song-Ah going to suffer over Joon-young (and let me tell you, there were plenty of those)?
I can now slowly see and realize where the drama is taking us in terms of Professor Yoo and Professor Lee’s involvement in this drama and it’s unfortunately not looking too well for either Joon-young or Song-Ah. The more obvious is with Professor Lee who’s only using Song-Ah for her own benefit and good. I don’t think she actually cares about helping and supporting Song-Ah at all which is unfortunate given just how hardworking Song-Ah is, but also how far she’s come in her pursuit to be a successful violinist. She’s a passionate player who could use a bit more support and improvement and just when she thinks that someone like Professor Lee might be that catalyst in helping her, Song-Ah only continues to be failed and disappointed in the end. It hurts to watch Song-Ah not be taken seriously by Professor Lee because we’ve seen just how far she’s come and how much she’s had to go through just to keep playing the violin. I want the absolute best for Song-Ah and it’s unfortunate and hurtful that she’s working under Professor Lee without really gaining anything from it yet so far. Professor Yoo continues to be brutally honest with Joon-young until the very end and isn’t afraid to put Joon-young in his place or to wake the young pianist up to his harsh reality. Joon-young was already well aware of his decline (hence his return to Professor Yoo and his plans to enter the competition), but I can also see why he despised and disliked practicing with Professor Yoo in the past. Joon-young does need the push, but it’s Professor Yoo’s approach that seems to be problematic.
With the brief bromance that the drama showcased between Hyun-ho and Joon-young, I was surprised at how pained I was watching them break up in this episode (they already broke up but it was sort of really confirmed in this episode). I’m glad that Joon-young came clean to Hyun-ho (but then again, he sort of had to and it’s not like Hyun-ho didn’t know about Joon-young’s history with Jung-kyung either) and was able to get some weight off his chest. Joon-young’s honesty sort of mimicked Song-Ah’s situation with Min-sung which I thought was super interesting but also intriguing. I get where Hyun-ho is coming from and why he doesn’t plan on forgiving Joon-young anytime soon. Although I do think (or at least certainly hope) he will come around to making up with Joon-young, the betrayal was hurtful and it’s not something that he can forget about easily. To learn that your ex-girlfriend of ten years broke up with you because of your best friend? Of course that’s going to hurt and there’s nothing Joon-young can really do to make things up to Hyun-ho. Just like he advised Song-Ah, Joon-young should also just wait and give Hyun-ho some time to think things through and to get his mind off of things. The break and the distance is necessary at this point and there’s no point in pushing limits or rushing things. Hopefully, by then, Hyun-ho will come back around and be prepared to open up to Joon-young again.
I don’t even think it’s that Joon-young still has feelings for Jung-kyung that he kept her handkerchief. I think Joon-young seems to have a yearning for the past and the memories that he shared with both Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung. Despite the complicated mess, the three had it so good at one point and were all so close as a team. I think Joon-young misses that and wishes that things could return to those better times. That’s why he still has his old cellphone with old photos of him, Jung-kyung, and Hyun-ho or why he still has some items that once belonged to Jung-kyung. More than wanting to still be with Jung-kyung, I think Joon-young is just nostalgic and reflective of how close the three were in the past. The yearning and urge to return to those times is even stronger because of how challenging and shattered everything is between them in the present. Their friendship has broken into pieces that he’s not so sure can be fixed or replaced or put back together. Joon-young doesn’t like the way things are at the moment so he looks back to old times to reminisce when things were brighter and better between the three of them. Traveling back down memory lane is what fuels Joon-young’s hope for change and better times, but it’s also what reminds him of his harsh reality and the fact that things are broken and will probably never go back to being the way they once used to be.
With that being said, I do wish Joon-young would empty his baggage (both figuratively and literally). And maybe that’s something that’s going to take a while for him to do and this growth will be something we witness over the course of this show. Regardless of when it happens, I just hope that it does happen eventually. I get that Joon-young cherishes the small moments and the little details and he’s such a reserved, quiet, and caring guy. It’s hard for him to let go of things or to turn people down because that’s not who he is and that’s just not within him to do so. Even if people has betrayed him or has done him bad, he still sees the good in them and wishes to be on good terms with everyone. I do feel though that this baggage is also what is holding him back as well as is what is making him emotionally unavailable to Song-Ah. He’s not completely there for Song-Ah all the way just yet and maybe his personality plays a part in that. Maybe him still getting to know Song-Ah better also has something to do with it. But I feel like more so than anything, it’s Joon-young’s inability and fear to let go of his past that is holding him back from achieving and reaching his true potential. It’s holding him back from going to even greater lengths. If he can garner the courage to just trust himself and trust the process, then things might turn out different and result in even bigger and better outcomes for him. Joon-young won’t know until he tries and it’s the effort to change old habits and try something new that will test him in this phase of his life.
Extra screenshots from the episode~