Live Recap: Trot Lovers Episode 8
There’s no one there anymore.
Written before live recap
Joon Hyun versus Geun Woo- who will win?
Live streaming link –
Character Key for live recap shorthand
Choi Choon Hee (CH)- loves the unsophisticated trot music
Shine Star staff
Other minor characters
Bang Ji Sook (JS)- Choi Choon Hee’s marathon coach and mentor
Shin Ho Yeol (HY)- Jang Joon Hyun’s rival
GW walks back to CH’s house to give her back her cellphone but he sees JH and CH walk up the stairs to their house. He is shocked.
JH and Byul set the dinner table. CH can’t find her phone so she calls it. GW is outside her house. He hesitates picking it up, but in the end, does. Over the phone, he can hear Byul and JH. CH asks GW has gone far already, she left her phone in his car and she can go get it now. GW lies he is already too far away so he’ll give it to her tomorrow.
JH tells CH to eat dinner but she informs him that she ate already. JH gets upset so she sits down to eat to appease him. She tastes the soup JH made and finds it delicious. She asks for a bowl and JH is pleased.
GW is home and smiles to himself as he thinks about CH and the time they spent in the car overnight playing the games. His smile fades as he holds his hand over his chest and says, “‘This time, it hurts.”
JH and Byul check the lettuce they planted for her school project yesterday. They are very happy with the progress since Byul can win a prize if her lettuce grows well. CH looks happily on at the two.
At Shine Star’s practice room, JH and CH are stretching together and JH screams in pain. GW comes in to give CH back her phone, but won’t give let it go until CH offers to make him dinner at her house. CH agrees to and and GW leaves.
JH asks why GW has her phone. He deduces that she was with GW yesterday. CH avoids his gaze. JH asks, “You’re not really going to allow him to come to the house, right?”
Back at home, CH is trying to clean up the mess. JH complains but CH makes him go buy groceries and pick the lettuce that he and Byul planted so they can have it for dinner. JH calls her crazy and calls the lettuce off limits.
JW comes back with the groceries and wants to rest but CH chases him out. JH is outside and has to hide when he sees GW’s car.
In a hazy, dreamlike scene, GW hits on CH in the kitchen and starts leaning in for a kiss. Thankfully or not, this is only JH’s imagination and he screams, “NO!!!” He has to go back into the house.
Inside the house, GW is happily eating dinner and Byul tells him to come everyday. GW says CH said no and confesses to Byul that he asked her sister out but she rejected him. Can she help him? Byul agrees to and asks if CH doesn’t like GW. CH can’t answer and tries to keep her sister silent. GW winks at Byul and she smiles.
The bell rings; it is JH. CH tries to keep him from coming in, but he forces his way in. JH sits down at the dinner table, and GW can barely keep get himself to greet JH courteously.
GW picks up a cup to drink water. It is the cup JH has claimed for his own so JH grabs it. GW and JH play a little tug of war over the cup. CH offers GW a new cup so JH gets the one he likes. JH also prevents GW from eating the lettuce, forcing GW to just eat the meat without the lettuce wrap.
GW washes his hands inside the bathroom and he notices the three toothbrushes. He comes outside, thanks CH for the food, and gets ready to leave. He glares at JH- isn’t he going to leave to?
GW leaves the house and JH has to follow. JH advices GW, “I’m saying this because I am worried but don’t come here often. It doesn’t look good for the agency CEO to come to his star’s house. GW replies he will come often. He enjoys CH’s homemade food. And he didn’t come here today as her agency’s CEO. JH asks what that means and GW snaps back that JH understood what he meant- he likes CH. JH is speechless. GW’s dad is eavesdropping on this conversation. He is worried over this love triangle.
JH storms into the house. CH tries to talk to him but JH just goes into his room. He says to himself, “He likes her?” He looks at his reflection in the mirror- “What about you?”
Eating a meal the next day with CH and Byul, JH stares at CH’s eye, nose, and lips- those aren’t pretty. But he likes her smile. He stares at her with a stupid smile on his face and CH notices. She leans in and asks him what he is doing. JH can’t answer properly. CH thinks JH is still upset about yesterday.
Byul announces that CH is third! She has hit third place on music charts.
CH is being interviewed. The reporter asks if CH has any romantic experience since she needs it to sing love songs. CH responds she has none, which JH is pleased to hear. CH explains she used to run marathons and had no time. Reporter wants to know what are some of her good points and CH answer she is strong. JH groans at her answer because female celebrities should try to appear delicate.
GW hands JH and CH a car key. It is for CH to use. CH is really happy and JH jealously points out that it is nothing special; the agency just wants its star to move faster and earn more money. GW doesn’t deny it. Still, CH is grateful.
Inside the car, JH ties a scarf around CH’s neck, knowing she needs to protect her throat against the A/C air. CH tries to drink icedd coffee but JH doesn’t let her, worried about her throat. But CH complains she gets sleepy while driving and JH decides on something. He starts learning how to drive from TS, but he is pretty terrible at it, terrifying TS.
CH is shooting an fashion endorsement for sportswear with another male and as JH looks on, he gets angry at the male model who has his arms around CH’s waist. Photographer asks CH if she never dated because CH looks scared and nervous. He starts acting out on JH how CH should act to and JH storms away, growling it is strange to be so touchy-feely for a sportswear pictorial.
CH is eating lunch with the sportswear people, and JH tries to join but he is told to eat at another place with other managers. JH takes this into stride and tells CH to eat well. She looks at him a little sorry.
SI sees her picture being taken down at Shine Star and being replaced with CH’s picture. CH is also going to do the first pitch ceremony instead of SI.
SI gets burned by her mom, who yells at her for letting a trot singer like CH take away her music ranking, her endorsement, and her first pitch. (Supposedly, only popular stars do ceremonial first pitches at baseball games in Korea.)
Wang asks if SI is okay because she is looking down and SI confesses that she gets scared before going on stage because of the pressure of the responsibly of filling the three minutes on stage by herself. But what is harder to bear is the loneliness after she comes off the stage. Wang looks genuinely concerned.
Wang goes into his office to call someone and order him to dig up dirt on CH.
At coach’s restaurant, JH and CH are eating but JH doesn’t have an appetite. He is tired from CH’s tough schedule. CH gives him a present to “give him energy.” It is a jacket, and it cheers him up immediately after CH clarifies that it wasn’t worn by the model; it was bought by her. TS wants to try it on but JH holds onto the jacket tightly, slapping away TS’s hand.
At the house, JH tries the jacket it on and says to himself that he should have been the male model. He also thanks CH with a big smile on his face.
In front of the house, JH sees a strange man near his lettuce. It is GW’s dad. He finds out GW’s dad is living in the same apartment. JH tells GW’s dad about CH placing third- “Remember you promised to help me release a comeback album if CH places first.”
PN goes to see the person she chatted online in yesterday’s ep and ends up at coach’s restaurant. There she see TS and he pretends he doesn’t recognize her. PN calls her online friend to say she has just ran into her ideal type. TS and PN talk to each other without realizing there are talking to each other until TS comes with PN’s food. They realize they’ve been chatting with each other online all this time.; he was the “Trot God” and she was the “Ballad Goddess.”
SI’s mom gives SI opera tickets saying there were hard to obtain- “Go with GW.”
At the house, JH, Byul, and CH end up sleeping in the the living room together since it is hot and they have only one fan. A photo is secretly taken of this scene.
At Shine Star, SI nervously asks GW to go the opera with her but he says sorry, he has somewhere to go right now. Alone, SI looks disappointed.
Outside, GW and CH meet up. He is taking her to meet a friend who wanted to see her.
JH calls CH. He thinks CH is still practicing at Shine Star and she lies that she is. JH says he will pick her up; he practiced driving and can drive her around now. CH has to lie that she has an appointment. JH asks what it is, she didn’t mention it before. CH hangs up quickly. JH is disappointed since this is the first time he is driving alone.
The friend GW introduces her to is a horse- Dalbong his best friend. CH is a little scared riding the horse but GW says he will be there next to her. Later on, walking together with the horse, CH points out that Dalbong is really gently. GW explains the the horse went through a lot to become like this and open up to him after being hurt. He continues to explain that the best way to heal a broken heart is to wait. “At first, I was fascinated, but as time passed, it was fun being with him and I wanted to become his friend. So I paid special attention to him and stayed by his side. And he opened up his heart finally. That is when I realized that if I wait patiently, the heart will open up to me.” He looks at CH significantly. At this moment, CH’s stomach growls; she is hungry. GW laughs.
GW and CH are eating what looks like steak and GW lies that it is horse meat and says it is Dalbong. CH doesn’t know what to do and tries to spit it out. GW laughs at CH’s gullibility. It was a joke.
GW says he asked for some more to packed so CH can take some back to Byul but CH asks for more- she wants to eat more with Byul. GW realizes who it is really for, JH, and his face falls.
CH brings home the steak and tells JH that a friend gave it to her. JH wonders if CH has a friend who can give her this expensive steak. CH just smiles.
SI’s mom asks SI if she went to the opera. SI just kind of mumbles she was tired. Later at the hair salon, two female customers who know SI and her mom sit in front of them. One friend points out that GW and SI looked good together at SI’s mom’s party but the other one says she thinks GW has a girlfriend. Her son saw GW at the equestrian center yesterday with a girl.
SI’s mom calls Wang to find out if GW has a girlfriend.
At Shine Star, SI confronts CH- asks if CH is here to sing or date. She is playing with both GW and JH. CH tries to explain that SI is mistaken but CH can’t deny that she went to the equestrian center with GW. SI warns her that Shine Star doesn’t need people like her, who try to succeed by using men, nor should CH call her sunbae.
SI starts ripping off the posters of CH. JH stops her and SI gets mad that JH is also protecting CH. SI yells at him- does he know what CH is doing? There are rumors about CH. JH defends CH. saying she is not that kind of person SI continues- does JH know that CH went with GW to the equestrian center yesterday?
Wang shows SI’s mom the pictures of JH sleeping at CH’s house.
A man approaches GW and offers him an envelope. It has pictures of JH sleeping at CH’s house in the same room as her.
JH drives CH home, a little cold and silent, and a little nervous driving, and he almost gets into an accident.
In front of the house, GW approaches JH and tells him to leave CH’s house. He knows JH is living here and he understands that a manager can be living with his artist. But the problem is not him; a reporter approached him to ask for double the price SI’s mom offered to give him for the photos. JH looks at the photos. GW says he has blocked it for now, but this won’t be the last time something like this happens.
JH says he won’t leave because as GW said, he is CH’s manager. People can talk but he won’t pay any attention. GW warns him that for a singer, one scandal can be the end- doesn’t JH know this the best? JH will leave the house, right, since he likes CH? JH says he will take care of his own problems and walks inside.
JH gives Byul and CH the ice cream he had gone to buy and is happy to see them happy. He doesn’t say anything about the photos.
Next day, GW goes into SI’s mom’s office and shows her the photos. He asks how same agency people can do this to one another. SI’s mom retorts that the same goes for him; how can CH take away SI’s endorsements and such? She wonders why GW only protects CH and GW responds it is because he likes CH. He warns SI’s mom, “Don’t bother CH anymore, because it bothers me.”
JH and CH are at the TV(?) station. JH goes outside to grab some warm water for CH. CH’s dad approaches JH and hands him a bag to give to CH, saying he is CH’s fan. JH doesn’t recognize CH’s dad as her dad, though. CH’s dad watches CH from afar as she gets ready for her show.
Back at home, CH, BYul, and JH go through the stuff CH receives from fans. From among the gifts, CH finds a note, it is from her dad saying he is listening to CH everyday while working and feels like she is always with him that way. He is sending her the tea he used to make her mom everyday when she was a singer. Byul sees the note and is happy that CH has gone on TV so her dad saw her. JH sees the note and runs to CH’s family picture hanging in the living room. He kicks himself not recognizing CH’s dad.
Later, CH sits in the living room crying while staring at the picture and JH comes out. CH says she will work harder from now on and live happily with her dad and Byul soon. To JH- “You’ll help, too, right?”
In his room, JH thinks about what GW said about scandals ruining a singer’s career. JH thinks hard after searching his name on Naver and seeing the negative terms associated with his name.
Next day, JH is telling GW’s dad that he is giving up on the deal he had with him. GW’s dad wonders why- CH is so close to becoming first and JH can get his album soon. But JH just yells he wants to quit. He apologizes and leaves.
In a parody of the famous scene from the film “My Sassy Girl,” JH instructs the loan sharks on how to take care of CH, like give her warm drinks and put a scarf around her neck. “And the most important thing. She is rock head so once she starts practicing, she won’t stop, so you have to take care to stop her once in a while.” The loan sharks wonder if JH is sick, is he going somewhere? Why ask them to be CH’s manager? JH explains that he is getting offers to release an album and CH has grown famous already. He’s already lost a lot of time because of CH.
JH takes CH somewhere, to learn more about music, he says. They go to an instrument experience exhibition and play around, happy. JH, through a weird tin can telephone type of contraption, thanks CH and says sorry. His eyes are shining with tears. CH asks for what but he doesn’t tell her.
CH is writing something on a cardboard guitar-shaped note. CH hides it when JH comes near.
JH and CH hang out in the streets, and CH sees a vendor with hairpins. She tries one on and JH makes fun of her for her taste. She pouts and puts it down, chasing after JH.
JH and CH rest under a tree and JH tells her that she is the first person that he has brought here. JH says there are days when you are frustrated, sad, angry, and need comfort. He tells her to close her eyes and feel. They listen to the wind together and JH says see, you become more peaceful as you sit here alone like this. CH agrees. JH suddenly calls her name and says, “You will be a shining star no matter where you are.” CH is pleased and a little embarrassed.
JH starts playing a song, and CH recognizes it. JH teases her that she knows a song that is not trot. JH and CH start singing the song together.
Acoustic Collabo’s “The Fluttering Hearts of You and Me”
Going home, inside the car CH continues humming the song. JH asks what CH wants to eat and she wants to eat fried onigiri, the non-expired one. She asks why and JH replies to make it for you. CH asks why. JH replies, “Because I want to make it for you.” CH checks his head to see if he is feverish.
Back home, JH cooks the fried onigiri. Byul and CH happily eat it, offering some to JH too.
JH calls CH outside to talk. JH tells her that he is leaving her house and is going to quit being her manager. CH thinks this is sudden but JH asks how long did she think he was going to follow her around. JH reminds her that he is a singer too. He tells her about the deal he made with GW’s dad, but leaves out the part about her having to be number one. He tells her he made her an artist for that reason, not because he liked her. CH worries- now what is going she going to do by herself? JH casually pats her on the back and says they are going to go their separate ways now.
CH and JH both can’t fall asleep lying in their respective bedrooms.
Morning, JH packs the lettuce for Byul to take to her school. He also hands her her notebook, warning her not to forget again. Byul, unaware of him leaving, says he can remind her from now on. JH doesn’t say anything to that. He just packs her bag and she gives him a kiss goodbye before she goes off to school. He gives her the double hand point move.
JH and CH have arrived at the TV station for CH to record her radio broadcast. He cheers her on and she asks a little anxiously, “You’ll be here, right? Stay right here.” JH reassures her that he will. He gives her the double hand point move too. CH tells him once again to stay here.
While CH does her radio show, JH leaves.
CH sings on the radio show Shim Soo Bong’s “I Only Know Love.”
JH is back at CH’s house, packed to leave. Tears fill his eyes as he tries to keep it together while looking around at the house.
JH walks out of the house with his suitcase and gives it one final look back.
CH is done with the radio show and she runs out into the hallway. Hard as she looks, she doesn’t see JH waiting for her.
End of episode, no preview for episode 9
It’s characteristic of K-dramas to start of light and comedic and descend into utter melodrama so I’m not surprised by this episode’s turn of events. Fortunately or unfortunately, we haven’t reach the bottom of the dark well of depression yet with this drama, yet; I’m sure there is more to come with Choon Hee’s mother’s story. Be prepared, people.
Admittedly, I was extremely frustrated by the end of this episode because there we have it again- the hero leaving the heroine for her own good, unbeknownst to her and without any of her input. If I do push aside this issue I have with K-dramas in general, I understand, within the scope of the story and the circumstances, why JH not only had to leave Choon Hee’s house, but also walk out of her life. He can’t continue living with her no matter what and he needs to stay away from her since eyes will now be watching their every move. Scandals like that do really ruin a celebrity’s career in Korea so the threat can’t be taken lightly, especially for someone like Choon Hee who really needs to be a singer. I even understand why he didn’t tell her about the photos, since he didn’t want her to worry over something she can’t do anything about. But it still made me mad to see CH looks so anxious and scared when JH was gone because he didn’t have to leave her so suddenly and painfully. He had already told her he was leaving so she is prepared for that, but she isn’t prepared for this abruptness and the way he is going to avoid her and hide from her from now one. He doesn’t realize that it will cause her more pain and worry to have him leave like that then to know about those photos. Stupid, Joon Hyun! You should have told her about the photos.
And why is Choon Hee’s dad so frustratingly pathetic?! He didn’t have to leave this two daughters like that in the first place, and now I am sure he can come back with the loan sharks basically on Choon Hee’s side. I guess he doesn’t know about their change but he won’t give Choon Hee the chance to explain the new situation. He can come back home, no? Why must he be separated from his daughters just to create situations to make viewers cry? Why?!
I am starting to feel really bad for the actress and actor who play Pil Nyeo and Tae Song, respectively. Shin Bora and Son Ho Joon are cute and should get more scenes but their story lies so outside of the central plot of the drama, it has become hard for the writer to give them even one or two scenes to appear in except to act out a comedic break from the drama. To much focus is on the love triangle right now for those side characters to have any substantial role.
Geun Woo is a pretty exemplary second lead who doesn’t force his feelings onto the heroine, nor does he create trouble for her or his rival. He is honest about his feelings and readily faces Choon Hee’s and Joon Hee’s feelings towards him and each other. So far, he hasn’t let his jealousy affect the way he interacts with Choon Hee. He understand his feelings are his own responsibility and doesn’t act out in jealousy like the way Soo In does.
Joon Hyun acts out on his jealousy but rather harmlessly, unlike Soo In and her mom. He’s less level-headed than Geun Woo because he is all instinct and heart. Nothing about how Joon Hyun feels is kept hidden, and that is why he seemed like such a spoiled, boisterous, conceited brat in the beginning. Now it is heart-breaking to see him work so hard to keep so much inside- his feelings of hurt, disappointment, and sadness as he tries to be supportive and cheerful for Choon Hee. He’s a kid trying to act like an adult, and it’s those growing pains that always strikes at the heart.
Perhaps it is his child-like heart that helps him connect with Byul so well. There are no two smiles more bright when those two are smiling at each other. The greater loss is not that there is no more Joon Hyun for Choon Hee, but no more Joon Hyun for Byul. Who will be her her brother, her father, and her friend now?