One step forward and two steps back. You make some progress and then you go back to square one. Things seem to be bright and great one moment and then everything falls the next. Song-Ah has been holding onto her dreams and her passion for so long, but she’s not so sure how much longer she can hold on. When everything and everyone around her is telling her otherwise, how can she not falter?
Do You Like Brahms? Episode 12: Da Capo, From the Beginning
After arriving back in Seoul, Joon-young walks Song-Ah home. It’s a good night for the couple and they end it by holding hands and bidding farewell in front of Song-Ah’s house. Song-Ah quickly runs into her house and back outside to gift Joon-young with an umbrella. Since he doesn’t have one, she thought he might need it. Before Song-Ah could walk back inside the house, she and Joon-young are greeted by Mom and Song-Ah’s sister, Song-hee. An awkward and uncomfortable silence follows and Song-Ah hurries inside the house. Mom’s at a loss for words at the family restaurant when she receives a mail notifying her about her registration as a delinquent borrower. She’s worried as to what to do. She’s afraid of asking Joon-young for more money and having to shut down the restaurant. Joon-young and Song-Ah process the sweet night. Joon-young checks out the umbrella Song-Ah got him while Song-Ah keeps her two bus tickets as a memorabilia.
The next day, Song-Ah stops by the practice room where Joon-young is practicing the piano. She learns from him on how he’s planning on entering the Tchaikovsky competition which comes as a surprise to her. Song-Ah is reminded of Joon-young’s comment about how he despised playing in competitions. She declines Joon-young’s offer to do her homework in the same practice room as him and leaves him alone so he can resume with his practice. Things aren’t going so well with Song-Ah who learns that her piano accompanist for her graduate school entrance exam has decided to drop out on her. She’s no longer playing with Song-Ah so Song-Ah panics on what to do next. Who exactly will play with her for her critical moment?
Jung-kyung holds a violin practice session with Ji-won. After the session concludes, Jung-kyung encourages Ji-won to inform her mother about their lesson together. Ji-won shouldn’t keep anything a secret from her mother. While walking out of the practice room, Jung-kyung and Ji-won encounter Ji-won’s mom who’s not so happy at the sight of the two violinists together. Thankfully, Hyun-ho steps in to prevent the situation from getting bigger and worse. Ji-won and her mother exit the building and Hyun-ho talks things out with Jung-kyung. It’s not so great that Jung-kyung is tutoring Ji-won without Professor Song’s knowledge or permission. If she keeps this up, there’s no way she’ll be able to become a professor at Seoryeong University. Jung-kyung vows to take care of the situation on her own. Ji-won’s mother is still disappointed in Jung-kyung for tutoring her daughter.
Song-Ah’s search for a new piano accompanist is much more challenging than she thought. Although she reaches out to multiple folks, there’s no success and Song-Ah can’t seem to find anybody. While visiting Joon-young in the practice room, Song-Ah overhears a few students talking about pianist Kim Kyu-hee’s entrance into the Tchaikovsky competition. Song-Ah quickly shuts the door so as to prevent Joon-young from hearing the conversation. Joon-young himself learns a few new things about Song-Ah’s situation when her friend follows up with her on the person she recommended as a possible piano accompanist for Song-Ah. It’s then that Joon-young learns about Song-Ah’s situation with her former piano accompanist and offers to play with Song-Ah. Song-Ah’s piece for her graduate school entrance exam is the same one that he’s playing with Jung-kyung for her recital so it shouldn’t be too hard. Song-Ah’s not a big fan of Joon-young’s comment and she grows a bit upset. Although Joon-young attempts to explain himself, Song-Ah isn’t having it. She excuses herself both from the room and the dinner plans they made just a few minutes earlier.
When Song-Ah steps outside, she finds that it’s pouring and she doesn’t have an umbrella with her. Rest assured, Joon-young catches up to her and he has an umbrella with him. He’s always had one that he carries with him everyday. He also apologizes for his comment and asks to play as the piano accompanist for Song-Ah once again. Song-Ah too apologizes for her behavior and she accepts Joon-young’s request. With the umbrella in his hand and Song-Ah’s hand in the other, Joon-young reassures Song-Ah never to worry about rain again. He’ll always have his umbrella with him. Ji-won has another violin lesson with Professor Song and utilizes the techniques that Jung-kyung gave her earlier during their practice together. Professor Song notices the difference and reminds Ji-won to play the way that she tells her to. Professor Song also notices something else: Jung-kyung’s piano songbook that she gifted to Ji-won laying out in the open.
Jung-kyung finds her dad sitting at her mom’s piano in the living room so she sparks up a conversation with him. The two chat a bit about Jung-kyung’s Mom and it’s obvious that the two miss her a lot. Director Na listens in on their conversation from the other room and she’s close to tears upon hearing them express their emotions and thoughts. She’s reminded of the argument that she, Jung-kyung, and Dad had the other day. Jung-kyung was frustrated over Director Na’s comments about taking over the foundation and she takes her anger out on both Director Na and Dad. Jung-kyung accuses Director Na of being obsessed with the foundation due to her guilt of not being close with Mom before she died. Director Na feels as if the foundation is the only way for her to make up for her past behavior. Dad wasn’t even close with Mom and yet he’s living in the house and he too can’t get rid of the foundation. Jung-kyung feels as if both Dad and Director Na are obsessed and regretful over Mom’s passing so they’re coping with the death through the foundation. Jung-kyung’s not a fan of it and that’s why she doesn’t want to inherit the position as director.
Joon-young learns from Mom about their unfortunate financial situation. Dad’s put up the restaurant as collateral so there’s a huge chance that Mom might lose the restaurant. She needs $30,000 as soon as possible or else. Joon-young is upset, outraged, and frustrated at the news, but there’s nothing he can do. He encounters Team Leader Cha not too long afterwards and the two sit down to have a talk about it. Joon-young regrets having taken a sabbatical year; he should have just kept on playing abroad so that he could make money to send to his mom. Team Leader Cha throws out Director Na’s name as a last resort for Joon-young in the case that he can’t generate the amount of money needed, but he refuses. Director Na’s already done enough for him, he can’t go to her for more.
Min-sung and Dong-yoon attend a dinner party with their group of friends. Two of their friends are dating so they congratulate the new couple on their relationship. However, Min-sung feels conflicted on the relationship. After drinking a bit too much, she rambles to Dong-yoon who walks her home. If their two friends break up, that’s the end of their group. They’re done for. What’s also done for is Min-sung’s friendship with Song-Ah. Dong-yoon squats to be at Min-sung’s eye level and he apologizes. He was wrong. He did something he shouldn’t have done, but if there’s anything he wants, it’s for Song-Ah and Min-sung to become friends again. Min-sung gives it a thought as tears well up in her eyes. That night in bed, Song-Ah ponders over whether asking Joon-young to play as her piano accompanist was the right thing to do. Joon-young himself is still stressed out over his family’s financial situation. He’s unsure as to what to do.
Song-Ah informs Professor Lee about her piano accompanist: Joon-young has agreed to play with her for her graduate school entrance exam. Professor Lee’s shocked upon hearing the information, but it also sort of makes sense when she thinks about it for a second. The rumors of Joon-young and Song-Ah dating must have been true then. Joon-young and Sung-jae meet up and Sung-jae goes at it again with the reality show. When Joon-young turns that down, Sung-jae brings up another opportunity for Joon-young: a private concert with the VIP’s of Kyunghoo Card. It’s a private event so the public won’t know about the concert and they’ll pay Joon-young $30,000 for the concert. Joon-young is willing to participate only under one condition: if he can receive the payment in advance.
Hae-na learns from Professor Lee that Joon-young will be playing with Song-Ah for her graduate school entrance exam. Hae-na isn’t so happy with the news nor the comparison that Professor Lee made between her and Song-Ah. She grabs her cell phone to send a text. Song-Ah grows doubtful once again about her violin career. Based off of Professor Lee’s reaction to Joon-young as her piano accompanist or even just thinking about Sung-jae’s comments, Song-Ah stares at her violin. Is this what Song-Ah is really meant for? She holds her violin close to her heart and mutters the words ‘I love you’ to it. Hae-na watches Song-Ah through the crack of the door while passing by.
Ji-won enters a daily music competition where Professor Lee is one of the judges. Since Ji-won is Professor Song’s student, Professor Lee doesn’t hesitate to give Ji-won a low score. Song-Ah’s classmates check up on her on whether Joon-young will be playing for her as the piano accompanist. Song-Ah confirms the news, but what she learns next isn’t so great. Students from the music department at the school has been belittling Song-Ah in a group chat they have together. Comments like how Joon-young is too good for Song-Ah or how he should be worrying about his own career instead pop up in the group chat and Song-Ah is clearly hurt. The piano at the practice room Joon-young frequents is still not working and he brings it up to the staff at the school. They can’t do much about it so Joon-young will have to find other ways to practice the piano in the meantime. Song-Ah overhears Joon-young arguing with the staff about this from far away and she learns about Joon-young’s struggle with the broken piano.
News and gossip about Joon-young and Song-Ah spreads even at the Kyunghoo office. Yoo-jin informs Da-woon about the relationship and Team Leader Cha joins in on the conversation shortly afterwards. There aren’t too many nice things being said about Joon-young and Song-Ah’s relationship though. There’s a huge talent gap between the two and everyone is going even crazier now that Joon-young is playing for Song-Ah’s graduate school entrance exam. All the harsh, brutal, and demeaning comments is getting to Song-Ah and she shows it while eating lunch with Joon-young at school. Joon-young brings up practice for her graduate school entrance exam and when they can start practicing. Song-Ah wants to wait a bit longer as she wants to practice a bit more before they start rehearsing together. It’s clear that Song-Ah is conscious of how others view her and her relationship with Joon-young and she’s not feeling so confident about everything.
Ji-won places first in the music competition so her mother shares the great news with Professor Song. They treat the professor out to some dinner that night, but Professor Song is well aware of what the truth is. She knows that Jung-kyung was tutoring Ji-won and gives things a thought after the dinner. Instead of speaking out about it, she actually keeps it a secret. Maybe Jung-kyung can keep tutoring Ji-won and Professor Song will just get all the credit for Ji-won’s success. Sung-jae meets with Mr. Joo from Kyunghoo Cards and learns that the private concert with Joon-young has been scrapped. Joon-young’s image isn’t so appealing at the moment with all the rumors going around about him dating Song-Ah and playing the piano for her. After practice with Professor Lee, Song-Ah is asked to bring in Joon-young for their next lesson. Song-Ah also gives Professor Lee some updates about the chamber orchestra which Professor Lee is impressed by. Song-Ah meets with Sung-jae afterwards to discuss about Joon-young.
He’s blunt with Song-Ah and emphasizes on the fact that Joon-young is a celebrity so dating rumors surrounding him affects his image. Concerts that Sung-jae planned for him have been cancelled and it’s mainly due to his relationship with Song-Ah. He pushes Song-ah to end things with Joon-young. She wouldn’t want to ruin Joon-young’s career, right? Sung-jae calls Joon-young afterwards to inform him about the cancellation of the private concert. He also warns Joon-young to be a bit more quiet when it comes to dating and relationships. Professor Lee takes a look at the list of the chamber orchestra members and how many tickets each member have purchased for their upcoming concert. She notices Song-Ah’s name on the list.
Song-Ah and Joon-young meet up that day at school in the rehearsal room. Song-Ah plans on attending the dinner gathering with Professor Lee’s chamber orchestra later on that evening. Joon-young himself will also be around in the same area since he has practice with Jung-kyung. Upon hearing Jung-kyung’s name, Song-Ah is reminded of Sung-jae’s comment. It’s okay if someone like Jung-kyung were to ask Joon-young to play for her, but it’s unacceptable if Song-Ah did the same. Joon-young wishes to meet up later on that night once everything is over if possible. Song-Ah worries that he’ll be too exhausted to meet, but Joon-young is inclined on meeting. He wants to spend some time with his girlfriend so Song-Ah gives in and agrees.
However, plans change when Joon-young’s mom makes a trip to Seoul to visit Joon-young. She wishes to spend the night over at his place so he agrees and updates Song-Ah about the change of plans. Song-Ah takes some time to respond back to Joon-young and is okay with it. She checks in the chamber orchestra members as they make their way to the restaurant. Joon-young’s phone dies after texting Song-Ah so he makes sure to charge his phone upon arriving and setting up at Jung-kyung’s house. Jung-kyung grows curious as to why Joon-young cancelled their practice last time in which he simply answers that he went on a trip to Daejeon. With that, he gets straight to business and focuses in on practice. After checking in the chamber orchestra members for dinner, Song-Ah greets Professor Lee who’s the last one to arrive. Professor Lee breaks the bad news to Song-Ah and clarifies with her her position as an assistant, not as a member of the chamber orchestra. Professor Lee gathered only talented musicians to be a part of the orchestra and Song-Ah is not included.
This ruins Song-Ah’s mood the entire night and she’s heartbroken and devastated over the news. Even when she introduces herself to the rest of the orchestra, Professor Lee makes sure to chime in and point out Song-Ah as her assistant and not as a member of the orchestra. When the gathering ends, everyone goes about their own way and leaves to go back home. While waiting at a traffic light, Song-Ah catches sight of something she never imagined she would see that night: a taxi with both Jung-kyung and Joon-young inside together. She’s reminded of Joon-young’s comment about his mom’s visit and how he changed plans with her that night because of his mom. She can’t seem to make any sense of why he’s in the taxi with Jung-kyung and ponders about it long after the taxi disappears from her sight. Song-Ah’s eyes well up in tears as she attempts to process everything. The musical term ‘da capo’ — the moment when you repeat a song from the beginning. That’s what Song-Ah thought of at that moment.
*sigh* I feel so conflicted.. I really do. This episode is basically something that we’ve seen many times before and yet the drama manages to execute and mask things in such a beautiful way that I can’t be mad. I mentioned in my recap for episode 11 that I was afraid something bad was going to happen in this episode; I said how I was skeptical and doubtful that there would be a repeating cycle where one moment everything seemed good and then everything falls apart in the next. This basically happened in this episode and yet, I can’t even be completely mad because it was executed in such an effortless and seamless manner.
With that being said, I am still very much tired over the ‘okay-nevermind-I-think-we’re-good-now-wait-jk-I-think-you-still-like-Jung-kyung-phase.’ It’s basically the same issue that’s been happening the past few episodes, but just presented differently in each episode. In this episode, we saw that it was Jung-kyung and Joon-young in the same taxi together. In the last episode, we saw that it was Jung-kyung and Joon-young in the practice room together. In another episode, it was Jung-kyung telling Song-Ah that she was going to wait for Joon-young or it was Jung-kyung’s handkerchief that Song-Ah saw hidden in Joon-young’s drawer. I mean, come on. At this point, this whole misunderstanding with Jung-kyung has got to go. I would very much like to focus on Joon-young and Song-Ah’s progress and evolution as a couple; they have aspects to their relationship that they very much need to work on, but the drama keeps on giving us misunderstanding after misunderstanding involving Jung-kyung. Again, the drama masks its issue of nearly not having any new and good content by giving us pretty cinematography as well as small details and progress on other parts. We’re on episode 12 and yet, I felt like we haven’t gotten very far. If we did get progress between Song-Ah and Joon-young, we took one step forward and two steps back. In one episode, they’re getting along and they’re acting super lovey dovey and they’re super adorable. And then in the next episode, some misunderstanding ensues between the couple and we’re back to square one. It’s this never-ending cycle between Song-Ah and Joon-young and instead of exploring this aspect in their relationship and showing the couple improve on their communication skills with each other, we have to suffer and watch the two go somewhere and then nowhere.
At this point in the drama, the drama needs to just let our two couples do their own thing. Hyun-ho and Jung-kyung need to sort out their intense feelings and separation with each other. Song-Ah and Joon-young need to learn how to properly communicate with each other. It’s not easy and they’re still in the process of getting to know each other, but all of this misunderstanding and passive-aggressiveness has got to stop. Song-Ah, if you don’t want Joon-young to play for you, then tell him please. Song-Ah, if you’re hurt by all the harsh and demeaning comments about you and your relationship with Joon-young, then tell him please. Joon-young, if you know that Song-Ah is sensitive about Jung-kyung and the role she plays in your life, then be transparent and honest with Song-Ah about things. It’s something that he improved on in this episode when he apologized to Song-Ah for bringing up Jung-kyung, but the taxi ride with her at the end of this episode didn’t help. I assume it had something to do with maybe either Director Na or Hyun-ho (I mean, why else would they be seen together), but still, communicate with Song-Ah about these things.
It’s frustrating watching this happen over and over again and I’m compelled to think that it’s simply because the writer has run out of things to write about. It seems as if the drama doesn’t have enough content, doesn’t know where it wants to take Joon-young and Song-Ah’s relationship, or needs to buy more time with their relationship so it keeps bringing up the same issue over and over again. And I say this because the drama made a huge deal about Joon-young dating Song-Ah in this episode which I thought was a bit odd. I can see where the drama was trying to go with this (and is potentially setting us up for some noble idiocy by Song-Ah), but why is it such a huge deal now? Why is it an issue that Joon-young is dating Song-Ah? Why do people care who he’s dating? I get that the drama threw out some reasons for us in this episode as to why it’s a big deal for them, but like, why is it a big deal? Lol.
And maybe this is what is going to test Joon-young’s love for Song-Ah. I really hope the drama doesn’t go this route, but when placed in a situation where he has to choose between his career to fund his family or his relationship with Song-Ah, who is Joon-young going to choose? And this is me assuming that Song-Ah hasn’t distanced herself from Joon-young just yet, but if she doesn’t, what is the choice that Joon-young is going to make in the end? Is he going to have to make this choice? If he does, is there a way where he can balance both? Look, I love the great romantic interactions between Song-Ah and Joon-young. It’s great and I would definitely love more ice cream dates and kisses and all of that sweet stuff. But the misunderstandings, passive aggressiveness, unspoken words, and sleepless nights? These scenes are getting too repetitive and redundant and I want to see something different.
It pains me to speak of ‘Do You Like Brahms?’ so critically because I still do enjoy the drama and I absolutely loved the drama during the beginning of its run. Like I mentioned earlier, this drama is so easy, pleasing, and beautiful to watch and even when some components to it are faulty, it still manages to pull things off. Recapping this episode wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be as I progressed more and more into the episode. Park Eun-bin is especially excelling and killing it with her portrayal of Song-Ah. She’s SO good. Still, with that being said, it was also one of the faster episodes that I’ve recapped because of how redundant and predictable things were. Practice lessons with Professor Yoo and Professor Lee, Ji-won’s mom getting upset with Ji-won again, Sung-jae trying to throw himself onto Joon-young, Joon-young’s dad getting him and his family into deep trouble again.. I mean, there weren’t that many new developments in this episode.
While it wasn’t the worst episode (there are no bad episodes in this drama.. yet), there also wasn’t anything that blew my mind away. Everything was there and that was just kind of it. I don’t want to say that I’ve lost hope in this drama or that I’m highly disappointed with it. I still enjoy it and I’m going to finish it. I’ve finished or recapped way more dramas that were not even on half the level that ‘Do You Like Brahms?’ was. I just wish the drama would do more and give us more and give us something different. We’re nearing the end of the drama and we need to see something different. We need progress on all parts of the drama. I would hate for the drama to rush everything until the very end. I trust the drama enough that it won’t pull such a play on us, but I also want to remain cautious and keep my expectations stable. ‘Do You Like Brahms?’, please don’t disappoint.