Drama Festival (Let’s go, Baby)
Sol-I reviews a list of dramas at the start of episode 5 of A Love So Beautiful. She chats with her father about which main role she’d be best to play, trying out the Song Hye-Kyo role in Full House. Her father competes with his own acting abilities. Eventually her mother sends her off to study.
In the classroom, Jin-Hwan sings to his fans, but Sol-I shuts him up with a sticky note. He volunteers for a role in Director Sol-I’s production, aiming to play opposite Ha-Young. Sol-I says the romantic lead has already been cast and she and Ha-Young point out, of course it’s Heon.
Ms Moon asks how the teams are doing preparing for the drama festival competition. She says they’ll choose the team who’ll represent their class on Saturday. Saturday? School is no joke in Korea. She says everyone must participate.
Hui-Ji invites Heon to join their group performing Romeo and Juliet. Sol-I hopes he’ll refuse but he says he’ll think about it. Later Sol-I tries to entice him to join her group by vigorously reciting lines from their piece. Her pitch closes with ‘Let’s go, Baby,’ but he doesn’t get it.
Throughout the day she sends him notes with quotes from her drama. He tries to ignore her, but the force is strong in Sol-I – she won’t be defeated and slips notes into his books. The script is also tucked into his bike but he drops it into her bike basket.
Cleaning the school, Sol-I and Jin-Hwan sing to him from outside the window, but he continues to stone-face. In an empty classroom, Sol-I falls asleep on her desk. Heon approaches, noting her script. She gets excited thinking he’s finally given in, but he points out that she’s drooled on it. He smiles as he walks past – maybe he is about to give in.
Ms Moon checks the class to be sure everyone is in a group. Hui-Ji notes that Heon isn’t in one yet, but that they have space in her group. Ms Moon assigns Heon to Hui-Ji’s team and crushes Sol-I.
Outside Mr Lee’s office, Ha-Young psyches herself up. Jin-Hwan spies as he needs to know everything she does. Ha-Young returns the cardigan from last episode and is thrilled to see him reading Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Bells ring for Ha-Young. Mr Lee asks after her foot and she giddily shows him she’s fine.
Jin-Hwan is still eavesdropping outside when Se-Hyeong sneaks past and gives him a shove. He falls through the door and then tries to make excuses, talking about a heart condition. Ha-Young drags him out, not believing a word. Mr Lee just smiles at them.
Ha-Young confesses her crush to Sol-I but it’s a secret. Dae-Sung asks Sol-I to rehearse lines for their play and Ha-Young happens to be busy but Sol-I agrees.
At Dae-Sung’s house, Sol-I notices notes plastered along the walls. Dae-Sung says he’s placed them for his forgetful grandmother. Sol-I meets his grandmother and asks about his parents. Dae-Sung says its just the three of them, including his father, who must be running late today.
Dae-Sung walks Sol-I home and he thanks her for being friends, saying he hadn’t had many since he started swimming. Outside her house, he pats her on the head and Heon clocks the affectionate gesture.
Kids are fooling around in class and Se-Hyeong knocks Jin-Hwan’s bag over. Ha-Young gathers his stuff, noting a bottle of medication in his name. So maybe it he does have a heart condition.
During the class performances, Dae-Sung grabs Sol-I’s hand to ooo’s from the audience. Not to be outdone, Jin-Hwan changes his role and grabs Ha-Young’s hand, dramatically pouring out his heart. His classmates cheer, thinking he’s funny and his team go along with it. Even with all that, they lose the competition. Jin-Hwan gives Sol-I a hard time but Ha-Young drags him away.
Just before the stage performance, Sol-I brings an audio file to Mi-Nyeo for the show. Heon and Hui-Ji play Romeo and Juliet on stage. Tension fills the room as Heon leans in to kiss Hui-Ji and Mi-Nyeo misses the audio queue. She hurriedly slaps the button without checking and the audio is Sol-I complaining about Hui-Ji and acting the Juliet role herself.
Sol-I gets flustered back stage, knocking into Se-Hyeong who splashes her with the poison chalice prop just as Mi-Nyeo cuts the audio. As she does, she bumps the lights, darkening everything except for a spotlight on the chalice as it rolls onto the stage. Jin-Hwan and the gang cheer for their classmates but everyone else looks befuddled.
Backstage, Sol-I is holding her head. Back in the auditorium, kids are cleaning up and talking about Sol-I. Se-Hyeong helpfully adds that she’s always the problem. Heon looks for Sol-I, jacket in hand, and Se-Hyeong send him backstage.
He opens the door to find Sol-I wearing Dae-Sung’s jacket as he consoles her. Dae-Sung spots the jacket in Heon’s hand. Heon tells her she’s a loser and exits as Sol-I cries.
Rewind: Heon finds Sol-I’s script on his bike and reads through it, trying a few lines. He hears her coming and drops the script in her basket, making his escape.
The Episode Review
‘The Drama of the Drama Festival’ should be the name of this episode. Poor Shin Sol-I. Some days she just can’t get it right. And with that absolute crush by Heon, you can’t help but feel for her. But Dae-Sung and I both see right through you, Heon – it’s not that Sol-I messed up the play, is it? It’s that she’s accepted Dae-Sung’s jacket to cover her wet shirt. You’re annoyed because he got there first.
However, I had to watch it more than once to be sure that’s what was happening. Recalling the same palaver in the Chinese version of A Love So Beautiful (2017, Netflix), I went back to check it for you – there Xiaoxi (Sol-I’s character) actually falls onto the stage in her frenzy over the audio mess-up. And whilst I typically see Heon as having a bit more emotion than his counterpart Jiang Chen, in the Chinese version that curl of jealousy is a bit more potent.
There are plenty of other revelations in this impactful episode as well, such as the reality of Dae Sung’s family situation with his memory-challenged grandmother and the delicate relationship with his father. Ha-Young admits her crush on Mr Lee to Sol-I. And Jin-Hwan reveals his illness. Ha-Young thinks he’s messing around but then discovers that perhaps he does have a heart deficiency. She’s already treating him a little more sweetly. With Jin-Hwan as he is, he won’t care why she’s being nicer, just that there’s more attention. Bask, Jin-Hwan, while you can!
Now that Sol-I has managed to humiliate her class and the whole school is talking about her, what will happen next? And does any of that matter in the face of Heon’s anger? From her perspective, can she make up for humiliating him? I’m sure she’ll try – as hard as she possibly can.