Time waits for nobody. Song-Ah is constantly pressured and reminded of how she’s running out of time or how she won’t amount to much in her life. Just what will it take for Song-Ah to realize that she is enough and that she is where she is meant to be?
Do You Like Brahms? Episode 11: Fermata, Hold, Pause
Song-Ah watches as Joon-young and Jung-kyung play in harmony during their practice for Jung-kyung’s recital. Song-Ah can’t help but ponder over whether there’s any space for her in Joon-young’s life considering his complicated history with Jung-kyung. She grows discouraged and walks back to her practice room in a dejected mood. She notices that even the piece that they were practicing is the same exact one that she will be playing for her graduate school entrance exam. When Joon-young discovers Song-Ah sitting outside in the hallway after his practice, he approaches her and strikes up a conversation. Song-Ah doesn’t say much while Joon-young is clueless as to why Song-Ah is so quiet. An awkward silence follows.
After practice, Jung-kyung invites Joon-young out to drink with her. He declines as she can grab drinks with some of her friends instead, but to Jung-kyung, she doesn’t have any friends. She really only had two friends which were Joon-young and Hyun-ho. So while at the bar that she frequently visits, Jung-kyung is unexpectedly joined by Hyun-ho who heard about the drinking invitation from Joon-young. She’s had too much to drink and Hyun-ho ends up taking her to a hotel to rest. When Jung-kyung wakes up, she questions where she is and why Hyun-ho can’t just hate her. To Hyun-ho, it’s just not possible and he leaves her in the hotel room alone. Jung-kyung breaks down into tears afterwards.
Joon-young and Song-Ah spend some time together and Song-Ah brings up her concern. She’s not so sure she wants to continue the piece that she originally planned on performing for her entrance exam. She’s lost her confidence in playing it. However, Joon-young reassures her that she will be fine. He describes his experience with playing songs that he once disliked or wanted to ignore, but he eventually came back around to missing those songs the less he played them. It’s up to Song-Ah as to what she wants to do, but she should think and choose wisely. It’s not an easy decision.
After her violin practice with Professor Lee, Song-Ah is asked about the chamber orchestra and whether or not she removed Hyun-ho from the group. Song-Ah advocates for Hyun-ho and feels as if he should stay in the orchestra as he has lots of talent, but Professor Lee still wants him out since he’s dating Jung-kyung. Even when Song-Ah corrects her by informing her that Jung-kyung and Hyun-ho are no longer dating, Professor Lee doesn’t change her mind. In fact, she gets upset at Song-Ah for knowing about the break-up and hiding the information from Professor Lee. Hyun-ho needs to go. So Song-Ah garners the courage to contact Hyun-ho to inform him of the decision. Prior to Song-Ah’s phone call, Hyun-ho discovers his music sheets and is reminded of a moment when Jung-kyung scribbled on one of the pages while he was dozing off. Hyun-ho then receives a phone call from Song-Ah about his exit from the chamber orchestra. Although Song-Ah doesn’t disclose the reason as to why he’s removed, Hyun-ho has a feeling it was because of his relationship with Jung-kyung.
The rivalry between Professor Song and Professor Lee continues. While in the elevator together with one of their colleagues, Professor Song points out how one of Professor Lee’s students who won a small competition was also receiving lessons from another teacher. That was probably the reason as to why her student won the competition. Professor Song leaves the elevator after taking a jab at Professor Lee. Hae-na too takes a jab at Song-Ah after class. When Song-Ah’s classmate brings up Jung-kyung and Joon-young’s practice from the other day, Hae-na chimes in on how talented and beautiful Jung-kyung is. Song-Ah has nothing to say and she merely leaves. However, Song-Ah is still bothered by what she saw between Jung-kyung and Joon-young during their practice session. She can’t deny that they both looked great together as they were playing and that’s what breaks her heart.
Da-woon checks out news about the Tchaikovsky competition. There’s going to be plenty of competition at the competition as a grand pianist, Kim Kyu-hee, who recently won another competition also plans on entering. Guesses about whether Joon-young will also enter spreads in the office. Speaking of Joon-young, he receives a phone call from Team Leader Cha who asks about a TV show that his mom had told her about. Joon-young quickly contacts Mom afterwards to clarify her about the TV show and his situation. It’s not something that he committed himself to. He also pleads for Mom not to call Kyunghoo any longer.
After visiting Dong-yoon’s shop, Jung-kyung learns that Hyun-ho’s been removed from Professor Lee’s chamber orchestra. He assumes it must be because of his relationship with Jung-kyung that he was the only one kicked out amongst their group of friends. Upon walking outside, Jung-kyung comes across young violinist Ji-won getting yelled at by her mother. Jung-kyung makes her presence known and the three head to a cafe to talk. Mom isn’t so happy with Ji-won’s performance and personality. She steps outside to answer a phone call so it’s just Ji-won and Jung-kyung at the cafe. Jung-kyung takes the chance to converse with Ji-won about her performance: is she nervous because she knew she didn’t practice enough? Is she nervous on stage because there’s an audience? Or is she nervous when she plays because of her mom? Instead of answering Jung-kyung’s question, Ji-won simply asks Jung-kyung what it was like for her.
This prompts Jung-kyung to reflect on her childhood as a violinist and the moment she saw her mom slap her dad in the face for arguing against her. Her mom was determined to make Jung-kyung a successful violinist no matter what it took and that’s what caused Jung-kyung to be afraid of her mother growing up. Joon-young receives another piano lesson from Professor Yoo, but just like all the other times, Professor Yoo is unimpressed. He warns Joon-young to get it together before the Tchaikovsky competition. It’ll be embarrassing if pianist Kyu-hee who perceives Joon-young as her role model beats him in the competition.
Song-Ah receives another scolding from her piano accompanist during practice. She’s reminded that she needs to try and work harder since she decided to pursue music much later than others, but Song-Ah argues that she does work hard. She works harder than anyone else. And so the piano accompanist’s comments get to Song-Ah all day and she has trouble concentrating. Even eating with Joon-young doesn’t excite Song-Ah as much. At one point, Min-sung catches Song-Ah dragging her feet across campus to the bus stop. She doesn’t stop Song-Ah or flag her down, but she can tell that something is off. Song-Ah doesn’t catch a break and she meets up with Sung-jae who offers her a position at his workplace. She can take on the job once she graduates. It’s not like she plans on playing the violin forever, right? When Song-Ah declines the opportunity, Sung-jae expresses his honest thoughts about Song-Ah’s violin career with her. He doesn’t think she’ll get very far. She started too late and she just won’t be able to catch up to all the other amazing and talented violinists out there. Therefore, she should just quit.
Sung-jae quickly calls Joon-young after the meeting for a date to meet. He has plenty of information he wants to share with the violinist such as the TV show that he’ll be doing or his meeting with Song-Ah. Joon-young once again refuses to participate in the TV show and is taken aback by Sung-jae’s meeting with Song-Ah. Sung-jae won’t back down so easily; he believes he’s established his position as Joon-young’s manager so he is persistent in meeting up. While standing across the street from the Seoul Arts Center, Song-Ah is reminded of the very first time she set foot on that stage. Of course, she didn’t get to perform since she was removed at the last minute, but it’s still a memory that pains her to think about. Combine that with other incidents and Sung-jae’s harsh comments and Song-Ah’s confidence diminishes. Song-Ah talks about it with Joon-young when they meet up that night. There was so much going on for Song-Ah on that day, she was even close to crying at one point. Joon-young silently grabs Song-Ah’s hand and holds it tightly on their laps. He silently shows his support for his girlfriend.
So that night, Song-Ah reflects on not only her violin career but her relationship with Joon-young as well. Just like how she’s unsure if she can catch up as a violin player, she’s not so sure if she can catch up to Joon-young considering his history with Jung-kyung. Is there any space for her in his life when he spent years with Jung-kyung? The next day, Professor Lee sends Song-Ah off on a task. She wants Song-Ah to go to Daejeon to pick something up for her. Although Song-Ah is hesitant in going as Daejeon requires a lengthy trip, she has no choice but to go. So Song-Ah quickly meets up with Joon-young at the bus stop before going about her way. She also learns that Joon-young will be practicing with Jung-kyung at her house that day. Jung-kyung preps herself up before her practice with Joon-young, but unlike what she expected, it’s not Joon-young who walks in through the door at her house. It’s Ji-won.
Joon-young instead is with Song-Ah to accompany her on her trip to Daejeon (OMG I AM SMILING LIKE A FOOL RIGHT NOW). He barely makes it onto the bus on time and seats himself next to her (I LOVE OUR COUPLE!!). Jung-kyung sits down with Ji-won to talk to her about her situation. Ji-won admits that she’s nervous whenever she plays because of both her mom and her professor. They both scare her. Jung-kyung can empathize with the young violinist and encourages her to keep playing. It’s a good thing that Ji-won still enjoys playing the violin though. She shouldn’t give up and Jung-kyung can surely relate to Ji-won. Director Na spends some time at Jung-kyung’s Mom burial site. She misses her daughter on a beautiful day like this.
Jung-kyung is bothered by how her practice with Joon-young was cancelled. She receives a phone call from Professor Song who reminds her about her sponsorship for their first chamber orchestra concert. She also expresses her wishes for Jung-kyung to consider joining her orchestra. The request causes Jung-kyung to be reminded of Dong-yoon’s comment about how Hyun-ho got removed from Professor Lee’s orchestra. After picking up the item for Professor Lee, Song-Ah is given a quick tour by Joon-young to the piano school he used to attend as a young child. Since he’s visiting his hometown, he shows her around and reveals small little details about his experiences at the piano school. The couple holds hands and shares some smiles and giggles, but it doesn’t last for too long. They suddenly encounter someone unexpected. It’s Joon-young’s Mom (AHHHH). Joon-young introduces Song-Ah as his girlfriend to Mom so Mom invites Song-Ah to their restaurant for some food. Although Joon-young rejects the offer at first, Song-Ah happily accepts. She would love to eat at Mom’s restaurant.
And so she does. Mom apologizes for making Song-Ah feel uncomfortable, but Song-Ah is completely fine. She doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all and she enjoys the dishes that Mom’s cooked for both her and Joon-young. It’s a pretty big deal for Mom since Joon-young’s never brought home a friend before. Song-Ah is special. Hehe. Jung-kyung meets up with Professor Lee to clarify the rumors surrounding her and Hyun-ho. They’ve broken up so Hyun-ho should be given the opportunity to be in Professor Lee’s chamber orchestra. Professor Lee utilizes the opportunity to play some politics and she attempts to make a bargain with Jung-kyung. She’s willing to re-admit Hyun-ho into her orchestra if Jung-kyung agrees to be a sponsor. Jung-kyung declines the offer and refuses to let Professor Lee play around with Hyun-ho like that. He’s not someone Professor Lee can use for her own benefit.
Song-Ah and Joon-young finish eating dinner and they bid farewell with Mom. Joon-young hasn’t had enough and he wants to grab some tea with his girlfriend. There, he opens up to Song-Ah about his family’s financial situation and how even Director Na and Jung-kyung has been helping them out. He remains honest with Song-Ah about their financial struggles and surely was not expecting to share such intimate details with Song-Ah on the trip. In return, Song-Ah also comes clean about the trip to Daejeon. She only went on the trip because Professor Lee wanted her to; the trip had nothing to do with the chamber orchestra like Song-Ah originally claimed. Still, she’s glad that she ultimately did. Thanks to Joon-young, the trip was actually enjoyable and fun and she’s grateful that he tagged along. So with that, our two lovebirds take the bus ride back home to Seoul. Hand in hand, side by side, they have each other to lean on (figuratively and literally). It’s a beautiful night for the couple.
You know you’re scarred when a good episode with progress and productivity makes you think that something bad is going to happen in the next. Look, this episode was great. It was fantastic! And yet, I’m still afraid that something bad is going to happen in the next episode. Lol. I’m afraid that we’re going to take one step ahead and two steps back in regards to Joon-young and Song-Ah’s relationship. I loved their Daejeon trip and I absolutely loved how the two opened up to each other during their tea date. I mean, for Joon-young to be so vulnerable and opened and honest with Song-Ah about his family’s financial situation? For Joon-young to introduce Song-Ah to his mom as his girlfriend? I love it! And yet, I’m afraid that history is going to repeat itself and Song-Ah might feel as if she’s not worthy enough of Joon-young’s love once again because of some misunderstanding that involves Jung-kyung. It’s happened way too many times and call me a pessimistic, but I wouldn’t rule it out at a possibility in the next episode.
With that being said, I really hope Song-Ah will eventually gather enough courage to stand up to Professor Lee and say enough is enough. I know it’s a lot easier said than done and she might come around to doing it much later on, but I hope it eventually happens. Professor Lee clearly only cares about herself at this point and even sent Song-Ah on a trip for her own personal gain. She’s so selfish, cruel, and irresponsible as a professor, it’s frustrating watching her pretend to be a violin teacher and mentor to Song-Ah. Like I mentioned in my last recap, Professor Lee doesn’t deserve Song-Ah and Song-Ah deserves so much more. I’m convinced that Professor Yoo is just taking his jealousy and anger out on Joon-young during their piano lessons. I think deep down, Professor Yoo knows that Joon-young is a great piano player with so much potential to succeed, but he has too much pride to admit anything so he continues to scold Joon-young to make himself feel better. Combine that with all the negative reviews about his latest summer album and I can see why Professor Yoo is not in the best mood. Sure, Joon-young can use some improvement (like everyone else can), but that doesn’t mean Professor Yoo can humiliate him and talk down to him every time. Not cool, dude.
I’m curious as to what is going to come about with all the chamber orchestras. The drama has been sort of hyping it up so I expect something big and grand and dramatic to come out of it (or at least I hope it does). I want to see Song-Ah succeed with or without Professor Lee’s help and I also want Hyun-ho to have an opportunity to hit it big as well. It was heartbreaking for Song-Ah who couldn’t catch a break in this episode. She was being attacked over and over again by multiple people about her reality and their perception of her. It’s not as if Song-Ah doesn’t know. She does know how people view her, but it never feels great to hear it directly yourself. I’m not completely sure where the drama plans on taking Song-Ah’s arc and storyline, but I hope she will persevere and get something out of her journey in pursuing music and playing the violin. Maybe she is a little older than most students and she’s not as talented as others, but hard work never betrays you. To Song-Ah, she’s not one to give up and her efforts will amount to something.
I thought the comparison between Song-Ah’s violin career with her feelings towards Joon-young’s relationship with Jung-kyung was such a wonderful connection. It was sort of mind-blowing in a way. Song-Ah is reminded that time is quickly running out for her and she won’t be able to catch up with all the amount of hours that other violinists have poured into their careers, but it hits the same with Joon-young’s relationship with Jung-kyung. Song-Ah met Joon-young so much later than Jung-kyung did and in between all those years of knowing each other, Joon-young and Jung-kyung developed a deep and complicated relationship. As much as Song-Ah wants to deny these thoughts and wants to feel as if there is no competition, she knows deep down inside that there will always be those doubts, those second guesses, those thoughts that roam in the back of her head that she is second to Jung-kyung for Joon-young because Jung-kyung met Joon-young first. Oof, it’s heartbreaking when you think about it that way, but that’s also what makes Song-Ah’s relationship with Joon-young so much more special in the end. People come and go and things change. People change. Joon-young and Jung-kyung’s relationship is certainly not like how it once used to be and Joon-young is obviously much more in love with Song-Ah at this point. Things are different around her and Song-Ah (hopefully) knows it. Let’s hope things stay this way.
Extra screenshots from the episode~