Live Recap: Trot Lovers Episode 12
I read the word “engagement” in the preview article…..
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
JH arrives at the jewelry store. Salesperson says the medal necklace he ordered to use to propose is ready but he hadn’t picked it up. JH can’t remember anything about this. The pendant says “MJ” and he asks, “MJ?” Woman asks, “Is MJ the initial s of SI’s real name?”
At home, JH wonders why Soo In is MJ, shouldn’t it be the initials SI? TS has come with JH’s suitcase, and JH wonders why his suitcase was at TS’s house. TS gives a lame explanation involving JH’s hospital stay. He excuses himself to go to the bathroom in a hurry.
JH opens his suitcase. He finds the “love contract” he signed with CH and sees the initials MJ and JH. This confirms for him that Soo In is MJ.
In his practice room, JH looks over contract again before SI comes into the room. He offers her cake and says he did something worth complimenting today. He offers his head. Confused, SI gives his a peck on the cheek and JH corrects her- she should be softly patting his head. SI draws back as he shows her and explains she doesn’t like to be touched on the head. He asks if he had a nickname for her, like call her by initials. SI can’t answer. She tells him instead that someone is looking for him. With JH gone, and he is worried that he might have cheated on SI, SI digs around the drawers and find the contract. She figures out CH is MJ. Worried that JH’s memory might come back, she runs to tell her mom but Yang tells her not to overreact, she is taking care of everything.
At home, JH dreams. Someone is patting his head, saying, “Wake up, let’s go home.” He dreams of singing in the field while a woman sits with him. In his sleep he reaches out for her and this wakes him up.
JH has dinner with Yang and SI. Yang casually says that “our MJ” received a message for her vocal training teacher in Cornel. Yang explains to a surprised JH that SI’s English name was Mary Jane. JH looks relieve to have finally figured out the mystery. Yang asks JH to eat like this often, since he is going to be family. SI and JH are surprised by her words. Yang asks if JH forgot he is engaged to SI.
In the bathroom, SI calls her mom crazy for going this far, but Yang explains SI has to make JH family in order to live. If he is married to her when his memory returns, he won’t be able to do anything.
SI returns to the table without her mom. SI tells JH that she and mom will take care of all the engagement arrangements. When JH shows hesitation, SI quotes the contract, saying he has to obey her.
JH drinks alone at the bar. Confused, he calls TS and asks if he had a woman on the side. TS stutters, saying there was only SI for JH, and asks JH if something is wrong with him. JH says forget it and hangs up.
In his drunkenness, JH has taken the taxi to CH’s house. He collapses on the table outside. He mutters, “I need to sleep at home,” and walks up the stairs to CH’s house. He inputs the key code and opens the door. He sees the fan, grabs it, and goes into what was once his room.
Byul and CH come home. Byul sees his shoes and looks happy. CH looks expectant.They both run into JH’s room. CH and Byul look happy to see JH, who is passed out drunk, until they smell him. He reeks of alcohol.
Later, CH comes into his room. She sits besides him and takes off his sunglasses. She gently brushes his hair and heartbreakingly asks, “Is your memory back?” She gently tucks him in.
Outside his door, CH sings her favorite- Shim Soo Bong’s “I Only Know Love.” She remembers all the happy times she had with JH.
Morning, JH wakes up and walks out into the kitchen to get water, thirsty. He sees CH, who cautiously walks toward him. JH jumps in surprise, yelling that CH kidnapped him. CH says he came here on his own two feet. JH asks how could he? He demands to know if she called reporters?
TS quickly calls TS, asking him to pick him up. JH gives him the neighborhood and TS immediately recognizes it as CH’s house. JH asks how TS knows that. TS say he will be there soon.
CH calmly proceeds to prepare soup and as she begins top open the cupboard to pull out something, JH instinctively tries to keep the door from falling off. JH wonders if he and CH were in a similar situation before. Before CH can answer, the door bell rings. CH quickly says that wasn’t him. (GW was the person she was in this position with before.)
TS has come to pick JH up. He leaves and in the car, JH questions TS, confused on how he could end up at CH’s house. TS pretends he doesn’t know.
At Shine Star, CH and JH get into the same crowded elevator. Leaving it elevator, CH’s hairpin drops. JH picks it up and stares at it. CH, noticing she lost it, comes back to grab it from him. He asks if it was a present from her boyfriend since she is clasping it so preciously and CH angrily replies yes. JH thinks it is GW.
GW runs into CH and says she has to join the agency’s group outing since he made her the general manager of the event.
JH sits in his van as TS is driving. He asks TS if his heart can beat rapidly for someone he doesn’t like. TS explains the heart beats faster when you hate someone because your blood pressure rises. JH’s song comes out on the radio and JH wonders why he wrote in the lyrics that SI’s eyes and nose are not pretty. SI is pretty everywhere. JH also wonders why his heart hurts when he hears this song. SI is next to him and he wrote this song but his heart hurts whenever he hears this song.
JH runs into HY at the TV station. JH tries to comfort HY on his scandal but HY is annoyed. He scowls, “How could someone like you who fell so low that you had to be CH’s manager try to comfort me?”
JH grabs CH in front of her house and demands to know why he was her manager. Did she threaten him? CH explains GW’s dad told him to and JH wonders why. CH tells him to ask the Chairman himself. Byul arrives, happy to see JH, asks him to teach him ukulele. JH doesn’t know what she is talking about and CH hurriedly takes Byul inside.
JH wonders where he can find GW’s dad. He gets a feeling and suddenly runs back to the lettuce garden to stop a strange man from taking the lettuce. He yells, “What are you doing to our lettuce?” The strange man is GW’s dad, however, and he asks JH, “How is this your lettuce?”
JH asks GW’s dad if it is true what CH said. Chairman tells him yes, he told JH to be her manager to make her number one in return for a chance to release his own album. But he quit in the middle. JH asks if CH is the Chairman’s hidden daughter. GW’s dad explains she is daughter of someone he is indebted too. JH tells the Chairman to return to the agency soon. His son is ruining it!
Inside the house, Byul wants to play a game- story relay game. Byul starts- “Once a upon a time, a man worked hard to sell rice cakes to support his two daughters. Byul asks CH to continue the story. CH jokes around so Byul continues. “The two daughters waited faithfully for the dad to return, who was off selling the rice cakes.” CH continues- “One day the dad came home after selling all the rice cakes!” Byul continues- “And mom, who went far away, came home.” CH asks if Byul misses mom. Byul adds that ahjusshi (JH) came home too. CH ends the story- “Everyone returned home and lived happily ever after.”
At coach’s restaurant, CM (older loan shark) and TS have a stare down, fighting over coach’s affections. It looks like TS is winning when PN arrives and the coach puts the two together. TS and PN sit another table and as TS looks on anxiously at coach and CM, PN asks if TS is going on a summer vacation. TS says he needs to go to the agency team outing.
At JH’s place, TS tells JH that he has to go to the agency outing because he is the planner along with CH. JH, who has never gone to these types of outings before, decides to go. TS is worried because he didn’t book another VIP room for JH; he thought JH wouldn’t go.
At the hotel where the agency outing is taking place, GW has booked a VIP room. JH wants it too so they end up sharing but they fight over everything.
CH and SI end up sharing a room too, since no one else wanted to share a room with CH.
TS goes into his room, and PN knocks on the window, surprising him.
At the dinner BBQ, the other agency staff want GW to sing but JH offers to sing instead, playing “Remember Me” to SI. Argh it is the wrong person, JH! CH listens sadly. GW looks at her, worried, and SI looks far from wooed.
PN runs into Wang. Wang informs her that not anyone can join this event. PN says he is cruel, especially when she left Shine Star because of him. Wang tells her to watch her mouth. TS overhears.
PN is about to leave when TS enters her room, bringing beer to drink.
GW and CH sit alone by the fire. He wants to play a game so CH offers the game she and Byul played- the story relay game. GW starts- There lived these creatures in the see. CH- A mermaid lived there too. GW- that mermaid sang very well. JH and CH walks into this scene and JH butts in- that mermaid fell in love with a prince. The prince was handsome, sexy, and sang very well. CH- the mermaid and prince loved each other but due to an accident, the prince couldn’t remember. GW- a neighboring country’s prince love the mermaid who only had eyes for her prince. JH- the mermaid abandoned her family because she was crazy over men. JH asks SI to continue. SI- in the end, the prince couldn’t remember the mermaid and married another country’s princess. CH- the mermaid decided to disappear like bubble. Upset by the sad turn of events, JH asks, “What kind of ending is this?” He saw the animation and it didn’t end like that. GW flicks JH on the head since he couldn’t continue the story. GW continues it instead- the neighboring country’s prince didn’t let the mermaid disappear like that. The End. GW smiles at CH, CH looks at JH, JH looks at CH, and SI looks at GW. Oh, the love square.
TS and PN are drinking in his room, completely drunk and comforting each other in their inability to become singers. Suddenly, PN kisses TS.
Back in their rooms, JH runs into the bathroom before GW. He brushes his teeth, thinking over what CH said about the mermaid disappearing like bubbles. He really doesn’t like this.
CH talks to Byul on the phone outside. Byul can’t sleep so CH offers to sing.
In his room, JH can’t sleep. He starts counting sheep.
CH starts singing another one of her favorites, “With You” by Nam Jin. JH has fallen asleep and he dreams that same dream about him and a girl in a field. He sees the girl’s face this time. It is CH. He smiles in his sleep.
JH comes to SI’s room. He notices CH isn’t there and wonders where CH is. SI says CH didn’t come in all night. SI asks if GW didn’t either. SI goes outside onto the patio and sees GW and CH walking together. SI says the rumors about CH must be true.
JH sees CH’s hairpin on the patio table. He remembers what CH said about it being from her boyfriend. He angrily throws it into the yard. SI sees him doing this.
JH goes to see GW and CH and picks a fight with GW but GW just laughs it off. GW thanks CH for the stroll before going in. JH doesn’t know what to make of this- just a stroll or a euphemism?
TS wakes up in his bed, shocked to find PN next to him. He hurriedly tries to put on his pants when PN wakes up. She is initially shocked, but as TS wails, “’It’s not me,” PN corrects him- “It is you. The End.”
On the boat to go home, CH asks SI if she saw her hairpin. SI tells her that JH threw the pin out. CH rushes to find JH on the boat. JH has been thinking about his dream about CH when CH comes and yells at him for throwing out the hairpin. JH says he did because he was annoyed. He asks if it is precious to her because GW gave it to her. CH, having nothing to say to JH, starts to walk away. JH stops her to ask if she is going to find it right now. CH says yes, since the pin is precious to her even though it might be just a cheap thing to him. JH chases after her.
GW looks for CH and asks SI where she is. SI lies that CH is in her room, sleeping. TS comes looking for CH too, saying she is not in her room. GW calls CH.
CH is looking for the pin with JH when she receives GW’s call. CH tells GW that she is searching for something important. GW asks if JH is with her. She replies yes.
JH and CH proceed to look for the pin. It is caught in the branches of a tree and JH holds up CH as she tries to grab it. As she grabs a hold of it, they lose balance and fall, JH on top of CH. CH gets up to break the awkward silence and asks if JH is okay.
CH smiles, holding the pin. JH looks at her smiling and thinks back to his dream. JH asks if she is that happy. CH says yes and thanks him. She starts to pat/scratch him on his head but she stops, opting to pat him on his knee instead.
At the pier, CH and JH find out that they have to wait three hours for the next boat. JH demands CH to buy him lunch. CH sees some kids (older boy and young girl) selling some raw seafood. The kids are selling it because their grandma is sick. The little girl wants to go home, but they have to sell all the food first. CH offers to help them sell it.
CH starts singing to bring in customers. Customers crowd in. JH, instinctively, grabs a box lid and plays the beat on it. He can’t keep his eyes of CH, though, all the while he plays.
GW texts CH- did you get on a boat? SI comes to him and apologizes for mistaking that CH was in her room. He responds with cold silence. SI asks why everything is so hard for her. GW replies SI got everything she wanted because of that accident. She asks, “Do you really think so?” GW replies- “Either way, you chose this on your own.” He walks away. Alone, SI agrees.
CH and JH have sold all the seafood.
GW and SI have taken the boat back to the island. They see JH and CH at the pier.
CH and JH wait for the boat. CH complains about the pin being broken so JH offers to put in on for her. As he does, he ends up cupping her face and meets her eye. He coughs in embarrassment. He asks about yesterday’s story. He doesn’t remember the little mermaid story ending that way. CH replies, “What can you do when the prince can’t remember?” How does he want it to end. JH says, “Me?” and starts to lean in toward CH. Just when he is about to kiss her, people yell out the boat is coming.
CH and JH get up to go and as JH tries to help CH up, she falls into his arms. JH says he remembers how the story ended. She asks how. As GW and SI walk toward them, JH says to CH- at the moment the mermaid was about to disappear, the prince’s memory came back.
End of episode, no video preview for the next episode.
Written preview for episode 13:
Soo In, who is scared that Joon Hyun’s memory will return, reveals in front of Geun Woo and Choo Hee the news about her engagement to Joon Hyun.
“Geun Woo, Joon Hyun and I are getting engaged. I thought you should know ahead of everyone else.”
Choon Hee falls into shock. Joon Hyun, who is shaken by his feelings for Choon Hee, goes to the site of his accident. He finds the phone that he lost and brings it to the service center to get it fixed. Finding out about this, Soo In once again shakes in fear. Director Yang calls Joon Hyun’s mom to tell her about Joon Hyun and Soo In’s engagement.
As the engagement date approaches, Choon Hee asks Joon Hyun,
“Are you happy?”
“Is there a reason for me not to be?”
Choon Hee decides to let Joon Hyun go and on the day of the engagement, Choon Hee goes to return his guitar.
This drama is completely trolling us. I had hoped so hard that Joon Hyun’s memory was back by the end of this episode, but the preview reveals it isn’t.
Yet, I can’t hate this drama. Because when Joon Hyun keeps staring at Choon Hee as she sings to sell the seafood, I, the sentimental sap that I am, see the love and admiration in his eyes for her. When he cups her face like it is the most natural thing in the world, I see how much Choon Hee is part of his existence now, memory loss be damned.
This is what the drama was trying to portray throughout this episode and last. Choon Hee is someone that can’t be erased from Joon Hyun. He may not remember the specific events, days, moments, and time he spent with her, but she is part of who he is now- his preference for fans, laundry at home, his heart hurting when he hears his song, and his feelings of anger when he sees her with Geun Woo are all imprints that Choon Hee left in his life.
It’s a beautiful message if the writer didn’t contrive the story in such a way to make sure Joon Hee remembered Choon Hee on his own. The frustration lies with the other characters’ silence and powerlessness under Soo In and her mom’s threats and maneuverings. Why are they letting Joon Hyun hurt Choon Hee? Why are they letting Soo In reap the rewards she doesn’t deserve? The biggest question is why amnesia in the first place? Wasn’t there another way to tell a beautiful love story? Why employ such an overused, unrealistic, and annoying plot device? Why so cliché, drama, why?
Speaking of cliché, the Little Mermaid story appears in drama, the original Andersen version, not the Disney one. If we think about it, most K-dramas function long the storyline of the Little Mermaid, except the writer of this one shoves the obvious parallels into our face in the form of a story relay game, lest we don’t make the connection. That game was meant to amplify the sadness of CH’s decision but it only served to annoy as her decision, as well as everyone else’s, looked dumb. What are you all doing, in that miserable love square???