How do you bounce back when life gets hard and out of control? Who do you go to in times of hardships and difficulties? Song-Ah and Joon-young’s relationship will be put to the test when they ask themselves these questions, but as they will find out, the answer doesn’t always present itself. Nothing is ever like how it seems.
Note: Wow, I totally didn’t realize that we’re already nearing the end of the drama! For some reason, I thought we were still barely on episode 11 or 12, but we’re already in the second to last week for the drama. With that being said, please read my commentary later on after the recap at your own discretion. You’ve been warned, LOL.
Do You Like Brahms? Episode 13: Arpeggio, A Broken Chord
It’s the day of Professor Lee’s chamber orchestra dinner gathering. She attends her usual meeting for the Korea Association of Violin Professors and with Professor Song there, the two don’t hesitate to take jabs at each other. Professor Song alludes to how most of the tickets to her chamber orchestra concerts are usually bought by the public and not the orchestra members which is proves to be the opposite for Professor Lee’s orchestra. Professor Lee takes a jab back at Professor Song for revealing how Jung-kyung teaches Ji-won who is also Professor Song’s student. The rest of their colleagues are surprised at the news, but Professor Lee is feeling good. On the drive to her dinner gathering, she recalls the moment when she discovered Jung-kyung and Ji-won entering a music academy together or when she overheard Ji-won calling Jung-kyung after the violinist had placed first in her competition.
When Professor Lee arrives at the dinner gathering, she breaks the devastating news to Song-Ah. She had no plans to recruit Song-Ah as a member of her chamber orchestra for she only hired Song-Ah as her assistant. Jung-kyung and Joon-young are busy practicing for her recital when she receives an unexpected phone call from an upset Professor Song. Jung-kyung’s mentor isn’t so happy with the violinist for tutoring Ji-won so Jung-kyung panics and rushes to visit Professor Song. Joon-young heads out with Jung-kyung and he accompanies her to Professor Song’s house. On the drive there, the two are spotted together in a taxi cab by Song-Ah and Song-Ah is heart-broken by the sight.
When Joon-young and Jung-kyung arrive at Professor Song’s house, Joon-young waits patiently outside without his cell phone since he had forgotten it back at Jung-kyung’s house. Jung-kyung enters the house by herself and she talks things out with Professor Song. Even though Jung-kyung attempts to explain herself and her reasons for tutoring Ji-won, Professor Song doesn’t want to hear any of it. Ji-won is her student, not Jung-kyung’s. It was wrong of Jung-kyung to tutor Ji-won even if she saw bits of herself in the young violinist. Professor Song makes sure to note that the two are different from each other. Ji-won is nothing like Jung-kyung.
Jung-kyung leaves the house after the meeting with a hint of emptiness. She and Joon-young head back to her house together while Song-Ah also heads home after a long and rough day. Jung-kyung can’t seem to fathom what happened to her. She wanted to help Ji-won because she was reminded of her childhood and the difficulties she went through, but she shouldn’t have done it. Jung-kyung shouldn’t have tutored Ji-won as much as she wanted to. But wait, what about Joon-young? Did he really not have any feelings for Jung-kyung at all? Did he really shut himself down and not act upon anything for Hyun-ho’s sake?
Joon-young reasons that Jung-kyung and her family gave him the ability to play the piano as well as provide him with money so he had all that he needed. He didn’t want Jung-kyung because of how much he received. He pleads for her to let him go. To Jung-kyung, she’s aware of how much he needs her as much as she needs him. Joon-young’s father called her earlier that day for some money which she gave him. Joon-young is in disbelief and utter shock upon hearing the confession and he packs his belongings up to exit the house. Standing not too far away is Director Na who overhears the conversation between the two. With Joon-young gone, Director Na and Jung-kyung continue the honest conversation. Director Na only helped Joon-young out so he could continue to play the piano, but little did she and Jung-kyung know that it was actually all too much of a burden and pressure. He only played the piano for them. Jung-kyung eventually got used to Joon-young playing the piano and she can’t afford to lose him after losing both her talent as well as Hyun-ho.
Once outside, Joon-young receives an update from Mom about their financial situation. Dad’s gotten things taken care of and they’re set now. However, Joon-young knows the truth and he confronts Mom about it when he gets home that night. He’s not happy at all. He’s not happy that they accepted money from Jung-kyung nor is he happy playing the piano. Joon-young sheds some tears as he expresses his honest thoughts to his mom. That night, Song-Ah re-watches the video that was taken on the day she celebrated her acceptance into Seoryeong University with her friends. Times were much better and happier back then.
Song-Ah doesn’t have time for excuses and she confronts Joon-young the next day in the rehearsal room on campus. She points out how she saw both Jung-kyung and Joon-young together the night before in a taxi and although Joon-young reveals the truth to her, he doesn’t reveal everything to her. He leaves out the part about Jung-kyung sending money to his father, but he apologizes for everything else. Song-Ah’s worried about Joon-young playing for Jung-kyung, but Joon-young reassures his girlfriend that she won’t have to worry any longer. He’s not playing for Jung-kyung anymore.
The Department of Music hosts a special talk with Director Na and Team Leader Cha. Director Na is directed by Professor Song to the classroom the talk will be held in and the two chat a bit about Jung-kyung. Director Na is aware about what happened with Jung-kyung and Ji-won, but she doesn’t find it too big of a problem. Jung-kyung usually does whatever it is that she likes and sets her heart to. When Song-Ah arrives for class, she’s asked by her housemates about the dinner gathering from the night before. Song-Ah reluctantly agrees that she had a great time (even though she really didn’t) and she heads to attend the special talk by Director Na and Team Leader Cha after class.
Joon-young attends another piano lesson with Professor Yoo. Like usual, Professor Yoo is frustrated with Joon-young, but Joon-young too lets out his frustration on the professor. Can’t he play the piano however he wants? Why is it that he must play a certain way if he wants to win? Can’t he just play the piano the way that he wants to? Professor Yoo nags at Joon-young to at least have talent like his rivals if he wants to play however he likes. After the talk, Hae-na and Song-Ah greet their former supervisors. Professor Lee is there as well and she pitches the idea of how Song-Ah would be the perfect wife to a professional musician like Joon-young. Joon-young tours and travels often so he would need someone who can take care of him, pack for him, and basically do everything for him so that he can focus on playing the piano.
Director Na stands up for Joon-young and Song-Ah and comments that Joon-young wouldn’t do such a thing when it comes to dating. Professor Lee apologizes for her demeaning comments and the conversation concludes. When Joon-young leaves Professor Yoo’s office, he comes across our group of women. Director Na and Joon-young briefly meet privately for a talk about the foundation as well as Jung-kyung. Director Na apologizes for hurting Joon-young; she was too focused on finding a person to inherit the foundation that she failed to understand Joon-young and his pain. She moves on to ask Joon-young to consider staying by Jung-kyung’s side. Director Na realizes just how much Joon-young means to Jung-kyung and it’d be nice if he would stay with her. However, it’s too late and Joon-young politely declines. He’s already gotten over all his feelings for her.
Team Leader Cha and Song-Ah chat outside. Song-Ah envies those who can say whatever they want and speak whatever it is that is on their mind. Even though the things those people might say is hurtful, those people can at least protect themselves and stop others from hurting them easily. Director Na and Joon-young bid farewell with each other. Director Na hopes to one day hear Joon-young play pieces by Brahms once again before smiling and walking away. Joon-young meets up with Song-Ah afterwards and he clarifies things with her. He’s going to meet Jung-kyung for the last time to return her sheet music back to her.
Hyun-ho and Dong-yoon hang out at his workshop. After chatting a bit about instruments, Dong-yoon updates Hyun-ho on Jung-kyung’s situation and how she’s been disowned by Professor Song. Professor Song isn’t the only person who cuts ties with Jung-kyung. Joon-young returns Jung-kyung’s sheet music back to her and shares his decision to not play for her recital anymore. Jung-kyung assumes it’s because of her situation with Professor Song and how her chances of becoming a professor has lowered anyways, but Joon-young begs to differ. Although he doesn’t explicitly reveal the reason why, he asks for them not to see each other anymore. After the confrontation, Joon-young heads to Professor Yoo’s office to practice the piano. The piano in the rehearsal room on campus is still not working so he really doesn’t have any other options. Inside the office he finds photos of him and Professor Yoo together.
Song-Ah encounters Hyun-ho as she’s leaving the convenience store he works at. They end up chatting and catching up at the store and Hyun-ho expresses gratitude to Song-Ah. He’s grateful that Joon-young has someone like Song-Ah by his side. Hyun-ho once had grand plans for Korea when he graduated, but things aren’t really going the way that he wants it to at the moment. He wanted to make a living by playing the cello and eventually marry the woman he loved, but both haven’t been working out so well. Sometimes, reality hits you hard when you least expect it and things feel unfamiliar for Hyun-ho. The two end up finishing dinner and bidding farewell. After wishing Hyun-ho a goodbye, Song-Ah reflects on her life. There were only two moments in her life when she was truly courageous: her decision to play the piano and her decision to love. She loved the two so much she kept on going even when she got hurt over and over again. Maybe it wasn’t love so much, but her arrogance that kept her going.
Professor Lee and Professor Song walk past each other in the hallway at school. Professor Lee points out how Jung-kyung technically hasn’t pulled out her application to be a music professor at the school so she plans on backing Jung-kyung up to get that position. Professor Song is in shock upon hearing Professor Lee’s idea. Joon-young meets with Sung-jae and wishes to have more events and recitals. He wants to be paid a bit more for the performances as well, especially since he plans on paying Jung-kyung back her money. Song-Ah takes another step of courage and she resigns as Professor Lee’s assistant.
Professor Lee is shocked and taken aback by the decision, but Song-Ah has no plans to stay. She’s thought about it a lot and this is what she wants. Professor Lee even gives Song-Ah a second chance to think things through, but Song-Ah remains adamant on her decision. She walks out of Professor Lee’s office and into the practice room at school, but she’s not feeling so great. She’s nervous and anxious with everything and pleads to meet with Joon-young that day. The couple make plans to meet at a cafe later on that night.
Joon-young checks with a realtor for potential places to move to and as he will discover, the prices are a bit out of his budget. Min-sung waits on campus for Song-Ah and contemplate texting her to meet up. However, she can’t get herself to send the text as she’s too nervous. Joon-young waits patiently for Song-Ah at the cafe as she wraps up with her class. While waiting, he receives a text from Jung-kyung who shows him a video of a recording that Professor Yoo uploaded. The recording is a rendition of Schumann’s ‘Träumerei’ that Professor Yoo claims was played by him when really it was Joon-young who played the piano piece the other day in Professor Yoo’s office. Joon-young panics upon hearing the recording and he heads back to his apartment without meeting Song-Ah. As Song-Ah would find out, Joon-young is no where to be found at the cafe and she reads his text message a tad bit too late.
Upon leaving the cafe, Song-Ah decides to walk by Joon-young’s apartment and she’s close to giving him a call upon standing outside the apartment complex. She finds his apartment lights on, but that’s not the only thing that Song-Ah notices. Out walks Jung-kyung who Song-Ah assumes was with Joon-young inside of his apartment. Song-Ah confronts Jung-kyung upon seeing her and pleads for her to never come by Joon-young’s place again.
Wow, just wow. I take back what I said when I said that there wasn’t a bad episode in this drama because this episode definitely had to take the cake. I mean.. everything was just all over the place and nothing was coherent or made any sense. The part that breaks my heart the most is knowing that this episode was everything that I wanted, but the pacing of it all was just horrendous.
The biggest thing about this episode that stood out to me was Song-Ah’s courage and honesty and her ‘IDGAF’ attitude. I loved it when she stood up to Joon-young about how she saw him and Jung-kyung together in the taxi. I loved how she quit her assistant position job with Professor Lee. I loved how she confronted Jung-kyung at the end and set her in her place. All of these things were great, but I dislike how it all happened in one episode. We didn’t really see anything before from Song-Ah to indicate this sudden change in attitude and personality; we witnessed Song-Ah go through these frustrating and painful phases in her life, but we never actually saw little changes in her mood that made her want to do otherwise. Then out of no where, she confronts not one, not two, but three people in one episode (all within a span of a few days I might add too)! I mean, I get it. She was going through a lot and just wanted to clear everything off her mind and get all the weight off her chest, but what I don’t appreciate was the writer forcing this side of Song-Ah down our throats in this episode. The drama has usually been so good at being subtle and mellow and detailed, but I didn’t see any of that the past episodes. So although I enjoyed a careless, badass, and courageous Song-Ah, I’m also a bit clueless as to where all of this boldness and confidence came from especially after seeing just how much confidence she was losing the past few episodes. Song-Ah (as well as this episode) went from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye and I’m having a hard time accepting everything that was thrown at us in this episode.
It’s such a shame with all the content we were given in this episode because everything just felt so rushed. All of a sudden, you had Song-Ah telling everyone off and then you had Joon-young going through another round of ending things with Jung-kyung because apparently the first time wasn’t successful enough so he needed to do it again. Then there was Joon-young dealing with his parents again and then Joon-young also telling Professor Yoo off (finally). Why did we have to watch Song-Ah and Joon-young go through weeks and weeks of hell and torture with their respective professors? What was it that prompted them to suddenly and finally say what was on their mind the entire time in this episode?
The only explanation and rationale I can come up with as to why so many things happened in this episode is simply because it’s near the ending and the drama needs a way to wrap everything up. If this episode had been split into 4 different parts and spread out pretty evenly throughout the last two episodes, I would have been content with things. If some of the things in this episode was reshuffled and mixed in with the last few episodes, the pacing would have been fine. But everything (and I mean everything) happened in this one episode and it all came out of no where. I feel like sometimes this drama does a thing where it creates a big issue out of nothing just so it has something going on. This was pretty evident to me with the ending scene where Professor Yoo pretended to play the piece that was actually by Joon-young. It’s not a cool thing for Professor Yoo to do and Joon-young shouldn’t let something like that go, but it was also an issue that sort of came out of no where. It’s as if the drama just pulled it from thin air, shoved it into the drama, and called it a day because it had a dramatic way to wrap up the episode.
I can’t even really describe or pinpoint how this episode irked me, but I think it started from the moment when Jung-kyung and Joon-young confronted each other at her house. That scene felt so out of place for me. I found it a little odd for the two to talk things out with each other at that moment given just how stressful Jung-kyung was with the situation with Professor Song (guess she wasn’t stressed enough because she could bare to talk to Joon-young about their relationship), but it also felt so unlike Joon-young to just suddenly tell her the truth about everything. I’m assuming (and I hope) Joon-young went with Jung-kyung to Professor Song’s house as a friend, but I thought he would know better than to do something like that. And this is the confusing part about Joon-young’s character that I still have a hard time comprehending (maybe this comes down to the writing). I thought Joon-young was over Jung-kyung enough to set boundaries and expectations with her and not partake in activities with her, but for him to go with over to Professor Song’s house? I thought Joon-young would know better than to do such a thing because he wanted to respect Song-Ah and her wishes, but he ended up accompanying Jung-kyung anyways which just seemed so out of character to me. Is he or is he not over Jung-kyung yet? Even though Joon-young tried to end things with Jung-kyung again in this episode, are things really over between the both of them? Are things ever really going to be over between Jung-kyung and Joon-young?
The conversation between Joon-young and Jung-kyung would have been perfect the first time around when Joon-young tried to end things with Jung-kyung. It would have been the perfect conversation for Jung-kyung to realize that Joon-young truly and really didn’t care about her like that anymore. It would have been a great conversation for an earlier episode to prove to Jung-kyung that maybe Joon-young really didn’t have feelings for her anymore, but instead what we got out of this episode was some empty words mixed with some more confusing actions from Joon-young which didn’t help at all. And maybe the writer was trying to illustrate how connected the two are to each other with that conversation, but it didn’t do much for me. I get what the writer was trying to do by having Joon-young and Jung-kyung talk about their complicated relationship again, but the impact simply wasn’t there. I didn’t feel anything.
The ONLY good thing that came out of this episode for me was Hyun-ho and Song-Ah’s little dinner date. There’s nothing romantic between them and in fact, the drama has never really focused on the two before. Watching them spend some time together in this episode actually made me wish we could have gotten to see them together more (I know Song-Ah is meant for Joon-young, but she and Hyun-ho make a cute looking couple and I also feel like they can relate to each other a lot better). Other than that, the episode felt so rushed and forced to me. The writer spent way too long not knowing and doing enough in the middle of the drama and is now rushing to get everything together with the finale approaching. It’s just poor timing, pacing, and effort all around from the writer.
How many times did we see Joon-young try to end things with Jung-kyung? How many times did we see Song-Ah get heartbroken and sad over some kind of misunderstanding between Joon-young and Jung-kyung? How many more times are we going to see that? Look, it felt nice seeing Song-Ah confront Jung-kyung at the end of this episode, but why did it take however many episodes in for her to finally say something? I was literally rooting for Song-Ah when she spoke up about how she doesn’t feel comfortable Joon-young being around Jung-kyung and playing for her and it was nice when Joon-young responded to Song-Ah’s concerns. But then again, why did it take us 13 episodes for this conversation and confrontation to finally happen? Things could have been so easily avoided had this talk just happened earlier. And then for Jung-kyung to be there at Joon-young’s place later on at the end of the episode? What ever happened to never ever seeing each other again? From what it seemed like based off of this episode, the two met up again so that implies that Joon-young simply couldn’t keep his promise (of course, things could be different in the next episode and maybe they never met. I’m just going off of what we saw at the end of this episode). I like that Song-Ah’s reached her limits and she wants to set things straight with Jung-kyung, but I dislike how nothing really happened. Joon-young said some things, but couldn’t follow through with it. Actions speak louder than words and why is it that Song-Ah has to take care of his mess and has to clean up after him? Why can’t he be responsible for his own words and actions? Why is it always Song-Ah who’s carrying their relationship?
And I get it, Joon-young doesn’t want to burden Song-Ah with his family problems and issues, but he should also take Team Leader Cha’s advice and trust in Song-Ah enough to be able to lean on her and go to her for help or support. That’s why they’re together; that’s why they’re a couple and that’s why they’re in a relationship with each other. It was frustrating watching Joon-young purposely exclude certain details to Song-Ah because he was afraid that he was going to worry her if he shared information with her, but like it doesn’t really matter at this point because 1) he’s already worrying her with his actions and 2) it’s okay if he opens up to her about his family. In fact, that’s what I would love to see from Joon-young. That’s what I would love to see Song-Ah and Joon-young do with each other. I wish they would feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable and honest with each other on what they’re going through and how they’re feeling with everything going on in their lives. And just when I thought we might have reached that level, Joon-young pulls back again and we’re back to square one. And honestly, I don’t really know if we had ever moved on from square one. Fast forward 13 episodes later and we’re still back to where we were in the beginning.
It seemed like we were going somewhere with this drama and then the sluggish and dreadful middle half of the drama happened and then the awful finale is now happening and things aren’t looking so pretty for the drama. What originally started as a beautiful and subtle drama turned out to be something much more disappointing which is so surprising given that it seemed like the drama knew what it was doing in the first half of the show. I don’t know what happened or if the writer just simply ran out of ideas, but the first half of the show was so great. It was so beautiful and made for such a pleasant watch, it’s baffling to think that such a drama that started out so nice and mellow could turn into something unrecognizable. This is not the same ‘Do You Like Brahms?’ that I watched from the beginning and I don’t even know how we got to this point. The last few episodes hasn’t been the best and the greatest for me, but I didn’t really think too much about it because I could still bare to watch it. Episode 13 was just something else and it actually makes me sort of glad that we only have 3 more episodes to go. I don’t have too many expectations for ‘Do You Like Brahms’ at this point (I really hate how the drama is rushing the ending ESPECIALLY when there was nothing was going on for like 5 episodes), but please – I’m just hoping for something better. If we can return to like how we were in the beginning of the drama, that’d be great, but given the pace that we’ve been going at for the past few episodes, I don’t hold out too much hope. I just want to watch something decent and be able to get through the rest of this drama without rolling my eyes (too much) or pulling out all my hair.