Episode 2 of Live On backtracks a few steps with Eun-Taek calling Ho-rang to the booth, followed by a memory that serves as a quick recap of the previous episode. He begins to furiously clean and organize; his response to stress. Skip forward to the moment when Ho-Rang rushes into the studio, confronting her bully live on air.
In the hallway, Eun-Taek is scolded for the mishap. The intensity increases as the Head walks by, nodding in approval. Eun-Taek isn’t taking it seriously, but plays his part as the repentant, eyes on the floor.
In the studio, Ho-Rang confronts So-Hyun about the story read on-air, asking who chooses them. So-Hyun admits she does, saying that Ho-Rang must have something to hide if she’s so scared of them. She’s about to say more, but Eun-Taek returns.
Eun-Taek reprimands Ho-Rang but she haughtily reminds him that he recruited her. In frustration, he delivers some home truths about her attitude. Ho-Rang serves it right back, so Eun-Taek relieves her of duty.
On school grounds, fanciful Jae-Yi and practical Woo-Jae arrange a date, but Woo-Jae suddenly remembers he has other plans in place. Jae-Yi sulks off with some guys from her class. Is Woo-Jae jealous?
In the classroom, Yoo-Sin asks Ho-Rang about her on-air outburst. He’s excited to hear she quit the studio, so he can snag her place and get closer to So-Hyun. Ho-Rang claims she can figure out who’s behind the story on her own but soon after realizes that’s not quite true.
At the bus stop Yoo-Sin points out a social media story about a bully confessing her sins. This gives Ho-Rang ideas. The next day she confronts Hye-Rim who claims she doesn’t know who contacted her with the dirt on Ho-Rang.
The next day, in an attempt to re-join the station, Ho-Rang awkwardly apologises to Eun-Taek, but of course makes it all about her. It turns into an argument and Eun-Taek walks away.
At a gaming room, Eun-Taek and Woo-Jae blow off steam in a cyber battle. Woo-Jae is fueled by jealousy over Jae-Yi and Eun-Taek by his argument with Ho-Rang. Woo-Jae asks about it, noting that Ho-Rang is getting a hard time in the class chatroom.
At cram school, So-Hyun overhears some girls bad-mouthing her, saying she ignores the girls and only speak to the guys. She sweetly bids them good evening but it continues after she exits. Perhaps she’s got a history with female BFFs?
Eun-Taek can’t fall asleep at his scheduled time. He looks up Ho-Rang’s social media account and spots all the hate comments, recalling her on-air outburst.
On her way to school, Ho-Rang gets a call from her mother by mistake. As she’s on the line, she checks with Ho-Rang about money, meals and quickly rings off.
At home, Jae-Yi texts Woo-Sol to find out if Woo-Jae is at home. Sis senses trouble, as Woo-Jae is cleaning. I wish I had this response to annoyance.
On her way home that evening, Ho-Rang and Eun-Taek run into each other. Eun-Taek shows some sympathy for Ho-Rang’s situation and she admits there’s a line of people waiting to give her a hard time. As they chat, she carelessly breaks his record album.
At the next day’s broadcast meeting, Ho-Rang shows up late and accepts cleaning duty without a fuss. After the meeting Eun-Taek gives Ho-Rang access to the broadcast email account. She immediately starts investigating, finding clues that point to So-Hyun.
In gym, two classes are put together for a giant dodgeball match (oh dear). Woo-Jae and Jae-Yi are last standing and straight-faced, he lets her win. Their standoff continues.
At the station, Eun-Taek asks Ho-rang to train as an anchor with So-Hyun. They read announcements about school violence. Yoo-Sin lets the girls nearby know they can tell him if they experience any violence.
Ho-Rang asks Eun-Taek to train her instead. She offers to go to the record store together to replace the album she broke.
At cram school, Woo-Jae arranges to sit next to Jae-Yi as a peace offering. They make plans for a date.
At the record store, Eun-Taek and Ho-Rang bond a little over music. To avoid his father, Eun-Taek suggests more hanging out. He reveals more self-imposed scheduling and talks about hating people who don’t keep promises.
The next day, Ho-Rang gets a reply from a mystery account – the person knows her full name. Just then So-Hyun shows up and Ho-Rang fires at her, ‘It’s not you, right?’
The Episode Review
The bullying and efforts to get to the bottom of the story submissions continue. So far, So-Hyun seems to be the only real suspect or possibly Hye-Rim’s been playing dumb. In the next couple of episodes, I’m sure we’ll see some new suspects come out of the woodwork.
There’s certainly a story around So-Hyun’s past and cautiousness with her classmates. She seems standoffish with all except Eun-Taek. There’s a very slight indication – and I may be seeing this incorrectly – that she was infatuated with Ho-Rang in middle school, and that’s part of the mystery. Or was it the other way around? Possibly a red herring, we’ll have to wait to see on that score.
The relationships between friends and couples are becoming a bit clearer as well. The two lead characters are carrying most of the story and starting to reveal themselves, but neither are completely likeable yet, remaining fairly self-contained. I’m not to the point of wanting to cheer for either, but it typically takes a few episodes for things to warm up.
Still, the most seemingly at ease character is Yoo-Sin – but he doesn’t have nearly enough screen time to indicate that his character is anything more than a comedic break in the otherwise straight-faced storyline.
Even though there’s a mystery here, I’m not really feeling the urgency. Neither that piece nor any of the romance angles are clicking for me – yet. Perhaps it’s just a slow start. Let’s see what they bring us next week. Until then, fellow viewers…