“Rumors of Rumors of a Rumor’
Episode 12 of Shooting Stars starts with Oh Han-byeol rushing towards an unconscious Gong Tae-sung as Lawyer Do Soo-hyuk exits the building and pushes the reporters out of the way. Manager Byeong Jung-yeol arrives just in time.
On the other hand, at the DS Actors office, Manager Kang Yu-sung is confronting Manager Ming-kyu for spreading false rumors about Tae-sung. Ming-kyu asks what his mistake was as hating on a celebrity is not illegal in South Korea.
At the hospital, Jung-yeol and Han-byeol talk to Tae-sung’s doctor who reveals that Tae-sung is under stress which led him to collapse. Jung-yeol notices that Han-byeol holds an unconscious Tae-sung’s hand on her way out of the hospital room.
At the Starforce Entertainment headquarters, PR Team 1 is handling all calls the calls about the Tae-sung rumored to be dating, actress Eun Si-woo, who in reality is his mother. The team tells Han-byeol that fans have started turning on Gong Tae-sung because of the recent revelation.
Han-byeol starts by typing out an ambiguous announcement trying to shut down the rumor just as Manager Kang Yu-sung enters their cabin. Meanwhile, Tae-sung wakes up hoping to find Han-byeol beside him but spots Jung-yeol who is resting on his bed.
Tae-sung thinks he was unconscious for three days when Jung-yeol clarifies that it had only been three hours since he fell unconscious. Tae-sung asks about Han-byeol and sighs in relief hearing that she is okay.
Manager Yu-sung and PR Head, Han-byeol meet Lawyer Do at the Starforce Entertainment headquarters. Lawyer Do inform them that the police were investigating Ming-kyu. Manager Choi Ji-hoon enters the meeting room wearing a hanbok. He states that he left his mother’s 80th birthday celebration upon hearing the news of Tae-sung being unwell.
Han-byeol informs Ji-hoon that the statement they have released about Tae-sung’s relationship with Si-woo does not do much to pacify the public outrage about him which is why it is crucial to state the true nature of their relationship to clean the mess up.
Since this is something Tae-sung would not prefer, the team decides to take care of his ongoing projects like the K-drama, ‘World of Stars’ as well as his ongoing brand deals. Lawyer Do states that since Tae-sung is not guilty of the rumors, he would not have to pay any contract termination penalties for his brands.
Ji-hoon and Han-byeol arrive at the hospital as Tae-sung gets a consultation from his doctor. Manager Yu-sung is with Si-woo as she seems worried for Tae-sung. She tells Yu-sung that she wants to tell her son the truth.
Yu-sung asks her to be patient and see how things pan out for Tae-sung’s reputation. Yu-sung tells Si-woo that since it is the company’s duty to protect Tae-sung’s image, she needs to leave it in their hands and be patient.
Ji-hoon asks Tae-sung to rest upon his request to get discharged from the hospital and rushes to his mother’s birthday celebration. With Jung-yeol left alone with Han-byeol and Tae-sung in his hospital room, the manager walks out to give the couple some time with each other.
Han-byeol tries to hide her tears on seeing Tae-sung and asks if he was okay. Tae-sung informs her that he is better and shows her the photos that were sent to him by the anonymous number.
Han-byeol asks if he trusted Manager Yu-sung now that he was seen meeting Si-woo in secret. Tae-sung states that he knows Yu-sung “hyung” had his reasons. Just then, Yu-sung enters the room to greet Tae-sung. The actor throws a tantrum and gets cheered up by the manager.
On his drive back, Ji-yoon recollects his conversation with Si-woo who had said that she wanted to reconcile with Tae-sung before it was too late. Ji-hoon calls her up to clarify the issue and Si-woo confuses him by stating he was late for their dinner together.
Ji-hoon rushes to the restaurant Si-woo is at to confront her when she reveals that she was actually suffering from an illness that is making her forgetful. Si-woo mentions that since she is losing her memories now, she wanted to make the most of what is left with his son.
Knowing that Ji-hoon is worried for her Si-woo tells him that she has enough money and resources to get better. She informs him that she was already getting treatment abroad. Si-woo states that she only returned to apologize to Tae-sung for not being a good mother to him.
A flashback shows a time when a younger Si-woo was traveling abroad with Ji-hoon who was her manager at the time. Minutes before her flight was to take off, Tae-sung, whose hands have blood on them calls her seeking help. Si-woo tries to get off the flight but Ji-hoon stops her since the flight was all ready to take off.
At Lawyer Do’s office, he and Manager Yu-sung discuss what could be done about Ming-kyu since his punishment would be too light considering he did not do much wrong other than cause chaos.
PR Team 1 is working overnight to research Tae-sung’s scandals as they analyse every article written about him and Si-woo based on the dating rumour. They discover that the public sentiment for Tae-sung has further soured. Manager Ho-young brings them dinner.
On his drive back, Manager Yu-sung calls Tae-sung and enquires about his health when Tae-sung informs him that he would be resuming his shoot from the following day stating that he is much better.
A stranger knocks on Tae-sung’s hospital door and leaves a red envelope for him. At his apartment, Lawyer Do looks up news articles about Tae-sung. He notices a well-written, unbiased and positive piece about the actor and is glad to see that Reporter Cho Ki-ppeum was its writer.
Actress Baek Da-hye, a worried fan-girl, and co-star of Tae-sung worries that the rumors about the actor could be true as she has been noticing new changes in the actor. She starts dropping positive comments in support of the actor on the multiple news pieces bashing his haters.
The next morning, Tae-sung is all dressed up in his hospital room as he skims through the news articles about him. Han-byeol enters the room to pay him a visit before he rejoins his shoot. Han-byeol reassures him that Tae-sung should not worry about the negative articles and states that the PR Team will handle the rumour.
The couple embraces but Jung-yeol who had been sleeping on the floor wakes up and is shocked to see the two hugging. Han-byeol exits the room awkwardly and Tae-sung asks Jung-yeol to wake up.
Upon arriving at the shoot location, the crew is not really as happy to see him. Jung-yeol informs Tae-sung that the filming for the day is cancelled. A dismayed Tae-sung leaves to go home. The crew starts talking negatively about the actor as soon as he leaves.
On his ride home, Tae-sung recalls a time when his mother, Si-woo asked him to pretend that she was his aunt and not his mother in order to keep him a secret from the media. On set, Manager Yu-sung is angry at the producers of the drama for cancelling the shoot based on a rumour.
Actress Da-hye states that if Tae-sung was to be removed from the show, she would have to be replaced too. Da-hye offers a solution and asks for scenes without Tae-sung to be shot in order to avoid any setbacks with the broadcast of the show.
At the Starforce headquarters, Han-byeol notices that Tae-sung’s relationship with Luca, a young boy he got close with during his trip to Africa was being scrutinized as malicious commenters claimed that Luca was Tae-sung’s illegitimate child.
At Reporter Ki-ppeum’s office, her boss instructs all the reporters to write up news pieces with different angles about Tae-sung’s relationship with Luca. Ki-ppeum calls up Lawyer Do who clarifies to her boss and the entire team that any false report would face the company a lawsuit which makes her boss immediately back off.
Manager Yu-sung and Han-byeol are discussing the new rumor about Luca and realize the only way to end the scandal is by revealing the true nature of Tae-sung and Si-woo’s relationship.
Tae-sung is at his house looking up the articles about the rumour. He recalls a time when he was young and had caused an accident when he was younger and called for his mother’s help. Tae-sung, recalls the funeral of his grandparents.
Back then, Tae-sung asked his mother why she had him. Si-woo had said it was never her dream to become a mother. This caused Tae-sung to want to become a bigger actor than she ever could be.
An already upset Tae-sung meets with Manager Yu-sung. He asks the manager why it was his responsibility to clear out the rumor and reveal the true nature of his relationship with Si-woo when she never accepted him publicly.
Yu-sung tells Tae-sung that he needs to think about his reputation and his future. Tae-sung is heartbroken as he thought Yu-sung would understand him. The actor ends up revealing that he was aware of Yu-sung’s interaction with Si-woo back when she returned to Korea.
Yu-sung tries to explain himself but Tae-sung is not willing to listen to him. The actor lashes out at Yu-sung and mentions that he feels betrayed by the manager. He leaves Yu-sung alone without hearing his side of the explanation.
Actor Kang Yu-sung is in the Starforce Entertainment rehearsal room when Ho-young drops by with the script for his upcoming drama which is a bigger role than his present one. Ho-young accidentally calls him by his real name, Si-deok which makes the actor happy.
He asks Ho-young if she can call him by his real name when the two are alone but the manager refuses by saying that would cause a confusion. Ho-young then informs him that the show is about a love triangle where he is the second lead who loves a girl that loves someone else.
Actor Yu-sung states that the story hits too close to home for him and mentions that he will be able to act well as he already had a one-sided crush on someone who liked another person. On her way out, Ho-young finds an upset Manager Yu-sung at his desk.
Manager Yu-sung recalls the time when Tae-sung first called him “hyung” when he was in the hospital all beaten up by the drunk men. Upon seeing Yu-sung crying, Ho-young hugs him in order to comfort him. Ho-young states that he should lean on her.
Reporter Ki-ppeum is alone at their usual hangout spot when the bar owner Ki-nong informs her that he would be closing soon. Reporter Ki-ppeum mentions that Ki-nong too had quit his job as the chief director of Starforce Entertainment.
Just as she is about to leave, Lawyer Do texts Ki-ppeum that her interview with him fared well for Tae-sung and he was getting off early from work all thanks to her. Reporter Ki-ppeum invites the lawyer over for drinks. The two chat up about their jobs and start getting to know each other.
The other secret couple on the show, Jae-hyun and Yu-na are at a shoot when her manager Dae-soo is happy that the two are getting along for a change. Both actors are sitting together as they make plans to hang out after. Just as they are about to kiss, Dae-soo barges into the room.
Yu-na pretends to pull Jae-hyun’s hair as her manager rushes to save the male actor. Dae-soo mentions that even dogs do not fight as much as the two actors did. He then urges them to fight even more by stating that it would be better for them to fight than it was for them to date each other.
As Dae-soo leaves the room, Yu-na worries about her relationship with Jae-hyun as it is making causing him trouble in fear of the dating rumors. Yu-na states that she too does not want her relationship with Jae-hyun to end her acting career and tells him that she was breaking up with him to avoid any rumors.
Jae-hyun seems upset but Yu-na leaves the room and bursts into tears in her car. Manager Dae-soo thinks that Jae-hyun is troubling her again which made her cry. He threatens to beat him up but she warns the manager from hurting her now ex-boyfriend.
At the Starforce headquarters, PR Team 1 is discussing the ongoing controversy about Tae-sung. They wonder why the label is not confronting the controversy head-on rather than skirting around it by just denying the rumors.
Han-byeol overhears the discussion and leaves in her car. The PR head had organized a press interview with actress Eun Si-woo who talks to the reporters for the first time after coming back to Korea.
In the epilogue, Han-byeol asks the user “smileboy” who actually is Ming-kyu to meet up with her. Unbeknownst to her identity, he is shocked to see Han-byeol. Ming-kyu asks why he was invited over since he was already being investigated by the police.
The former manager states that it was too easy for him to malign Tae-sung’s reputation as he left the rumor ambiguous by adding a simple question to a photograph. He points out that there are many people in the world who hate Tae-sung which is why new stories keep popping up based on one rumour.
Han-byeol asks him why he spread a rumor about Tae-sung when the actor was best friends with late actor Lee Yoon-woo. Lee Yoon-woo is the same actor that Ming-kyu has pledged to avenge.
Ming-kyu states that he hated Tae-sung because the actor did not show up to the funeral of his former best friend. Ming-kyu, who was Yoon-woo’s manager at the time recalls how on the day of Yoon-woo’s funeral, Tae-sung “smiled” for an interview while he mourned the loss of the actor.
Han-byeol asks Ming-kyu if he knew what kind of a person Yoon-woo was and if he would be proud of Ming-kyu’s present actions. Ming-kyu states that he does not care about Yoon-woo’s feelings. He reveals his satisfaction with Tae-sung being in trouble.
Han-byeol warns Ming-kyu to refrain from attempting anything worse against Tae-sung stating that Yoon-woo would not like it. Ming-kyu shocks her by asking why the Starforce team did not protect Yoon-woo.
After Ming-kyu walks off, Han-byeol says that they suffered because she was not able to protect Yoon-woo.
The Episode Review
The latest episode of Shooting Stars was as loaded as it could get and it was all thanks to the rumors Ming-kyu started. This goes on to show how haters do not require any motive or reason and only hate to satisfy their narrow minds.
One after the other more and more revelations are made. On the one hand, Si-woo is remorseful for treating Tae-sung poorly as a child. We also learn that she is losing all her memories due to dementia. The relationship between Tae-sung and Yu-sung sours while the actor wants nothing to do with his mother and refuses to accept her publicly.
While it’s true that Si-woo deserves the trouble she is in, it is the true nature of Tae-sung and his real heart that will shine in the next episode when he finally accepts her as his mother and attempts to forgive her. Han-byeol seems to be trying her level best to protect Tae-sung after what happened with his former best friend, Yoon-woo, who also was an actor at Starforce.
It is quite possible that Yoon-woo may have died by suicide and that is what caused Chief Director Ki-nong to leave the company in the hands of Ji-hoon, who was a mere manager, and start a bar of his own.
The side couples seem to be doing well in this episode where on one hand, Lawyer Do and Reporter Ki-ppeum seem to be enjoying each other’s company and Manager Ho-young seems to be giving Manager Yu-sung unconditional love and support.
It is so refreshing to see Yu-na cry after half-heartedly breaking up with Jae-hyun only because he had been of being exposed. It is evident that she really loves and wants to be with him and it is quite likely that they will get back together only to cause more chaos for Manager Dae-soo.
With Si-woo holding a press conference for reporters it is we can only hope that she finally accepts Tae-sung as her son to the public and calms to situation down for him. This will mean that she actually was willing to be there for him when he was in trouble unlike in the past.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!