Hamster and Sociopath
Episode 1 of A Shoulder To Cry On starts with Da-yeol at an archery match where Tae-hyun spots him for the first time. Now, Da-yeol is at the practice where he adds the fletches from the day to his collection. At his house, Da-yeol’s father is very supportive of his interest in the sport and forces him to eat protein-rich chicken soup before school.
His father asks Da-yeol to fiercely compete but the latter argues that it was only a friendly match that he was practising for. Da-yeol leaves to go to school early that day in order to practise but is shocked to see Min-jung practise before him. As Da-yeol begins practising, he shrieks in pain. Min-jung asks him to take a break before causing more trauma to his pain.
The former archer goes to the school infirmary and is resting on the bed when he hears two boys from the bed beside his. Da-yeol is sure he heard the two boys doing something fishy on the bed and moves the curtain to find Tae-hyun on the bed with a senior. He is shocked at what he sees and gets up to leave when he trips and falls onto Tae-hyun’s bed.
Da-yeol realises he had lost his fletch keychain and starts looking for it on the bed. He loses his balance and falls on top of Tae-hyun while the senior drops off the bed. Upon hearing the commotion, the nurse rushes in to find Da-yeol in Tae-hyun’s arms. She takes the boys to the principal without hearing Da-yeol out when Tae-hyun claims that the former came on to him.
Da-yeol is about to be suspended from school when Tae-hyun blames him for attacking him when he was ill and the senior claims that the hickey on his neck was from Da-yeol. Da-yeol is shocked by the comment but is saved from further embarrassment when the coach takes him away.
The coach warns Da-yeol against ruining his career because of some lame distraction and the student apologises to her. Just then, Tae-hyun arrives, trying to reconcile with Da-yeol despite having claimed that he was the victim of assault perpetrated by Da-yeol. The archer shakes Tae-hyun’s hand and unwillingly apologises for something he hadn’t done.
After the coach leaves, Da-yeol promises to expose Tae-hyun’s truth to everyone and calls him a sociopath. The two boys argue but Da-yeol rushes back to the infirmary to look for his keychain. When he does not find it there, the nurse makes him apologise for what he did to Tae-hyun and the archer is further embarrassed.
Since he is running late for practice, the coach also berates Da-yeol and asks him to be like Min-jung. Da-yeol goes back home late that night and finds his father sleeping out on the couch after waiting for him. He recalls being trained to become an archer by his father when he was young.
Da-yeol also recalls collecting fletches after his father explained the importance of the item for archers. At the same time, Tae-hyun looks at Da-yeol’s keychain and thinks about the warning the archer gave him earlier that day. The next day, Da-yeol is late to class on the first day and is shocked to learn that Tae-hyun was not only in the same class as him but was also the class president.
Tae-hyun and his friends slowly start picking on Da-yeol by either spiking his drink or messing with his practice arrows for archery. Things get worse when Tae-hyun has Da-yeol be a part of the same group as himself for a presentation. Da-yeol puts all of his rage for Tae-hyun into practice and aces all of his shots.
The next day, when his group meets to discuss the upcoming presentation, Da-yeol is chosen as the presenter alongside Tae-hyun while the other members of the group would work on data collection. He is displeased about the ordeal but has to agree as Da-yeol did not have much time to spare given that he had regular practice sessions.
When Da-yeol leaves the restroom, Tae-hyun coaxes him into sharing his phone number with him. Tae-hyun saves Da-yeol’s number as a ‘hamster’ while ignoring the senior, his friend. Da-yeol is back at home when he thinks about Tae-hyun and gets a message from him – whose number he has saved as ‘sociopath’.
Tae-hyun lures Da-yeol to go to his apartment to practice the script for the presentation but when Da-yeol refuses to do so, the class president tries to lure the archer in by sharing a photo of his keychain. Da-yeol rushes to Tae-hyun’s house and starts looking for it frantically. During his search, the archer trips and lands on the sofa with Tae-hyun straddling him as the episode comes to an end.
The Episode Review
I really have mixed feelings about this episode and I hope that the show gives Tae-hyun some redemption after his actions in the first episode. The gaslighting and manipulation were one thing but Tae-hyun is clearly bullying Da-yeol here and it is not romantic.
One can only wish that Tae-hyun has a character shift and apologises for lying about Da-yeol assaulting him. If he does not, one would really assume that he is a sociopath and would call Da-yeol a fool for falling in love with Tae-hyun. While I don’t have many thoughts about this episode, I really hope the makers navigate the story better for Tae-hyun’s sake.
Expect a full-season review when the season concludes!