“Back Then, if I…”
We are on the last leg of the drama, with episode 14 of Shooting Stars beginning with Tae-sung recalling his friendship with Lee Yoon-woo and Managers Yoo Ki-nong and Choi Ji-hoon before Yoon-woo’s death. Manger Ki-nong is at his ‘Organic’ bar, drinking in silence.
Lawyer Do Soo-hyuk hears Tae-sung talking about Yoon-woo fondly as he describes the deceased actor as a breath of fresh air into his dull life. Tae-sung states that Yoon-woo often hid the issues in his personal life claiming that the two bonded over their messed-up family lives.
Tae-sung hands the red envelope to Lawyer Do and states that he started getting the letters when he was in Africa. The actor states that the letters were from Yoon-woo’s former manager Ki-nong. Meanwhile, at the Organic, Ki-nong and Ji-hoon drink alcohol when the manager-turned-bar owner claims things are going well for him. But Lawyer Do’s worries for Tae-sung’s safety.
The next day, everyone at Starforce Entertainment dresses in black to honor the death of former actor Lee Yoon-woo. The entire country mourns the death of the actor as Reporter Cho Ki-ppeum drives to work.
At the office, Oh Han-byeol recalls reaching the hospital in anguish after learning about Yoon-woo’s death. The PR Head has no time to mourn the death of her friend when she starts getting calls as his PR manager.
Even at his funeral, as Manager Ki-nong is too heartbroken, Han-byeol puts on her work face and hands a picture of Yoon-woo to the organizers. The photo is one that the deceased actor loved most of himself.
Rookie reporter Ki-ppeum arrives at the funeral site to cover the event for work. She receives a call from work with her boss yelling at her for not dressing appropriately for the event. Ki-ppeum notices her friend Han-byeol rushing around and the two exchange a glance of understanding Han-byeol’s feelings when the PR Head tries to get a hold of her emotions.
Ki-ppeum returns after dressing appropriately for the event and offers her condolences to Yoon-woo’s family. Back at Tae-sung’s house, the actor and his manager Byeon Jung-yeol open his fan mail as Tae-sung reads a letter from Africa. He reads about Luca and his friends finally attending school, all thanks to Tae-sung’s contribution.
Tae-sung opens a letter from Luca where the child writes to him in Hangul (Korean). Later that evening, the girlfriend-gang visits Organic bar when Manager Park Ho-young is worried about Bar owner Ki-nong alongside Reporter Ki-ppeum and Han-byeol.
At the bar, Manager Yu-sung as well as most of Starforce Entertainment staff are already enjoying drinks. Yu-sung is part-timing as a waiter and Ho-young flirts with her new boyfriend making it awkward for Ki-ppeum and Han-byeol as BTS’ ‘Boy With Luv’ plays in the background.
Former Starforce employee and now, CEO of DS Actors, Han Dae-soo is also waiting tables at Organic. Meanwhile, Lawyer Do shows up at Tae-sung’s door with a bottle of fresh decaf latte that he prepared for his friend.
Tae-sung states that he too was going to Organic but Lawyer Do somehow finds himself joining Tae-sung at the bar. The actor is worried to confront Ki-nong and almost backs out when Actress Da-hye shows up at the entrance, leading him inside the bar with her.
Ki-nong greets Da-hye warmly and shakes Tae-sung’s hand casually. Tae-sung and Lawyer Do take the empty seats beside Han-byeol and Ki-ppeum respectively as the four exchange pleasantries. Jung-yeol shows up at the table as a waiter and Tae-sung suspects that he was at the bar only to see his secret girlfriend.
Starforce Entertainment Chairman Choi Ji-hoon shows up at the bar and is shocked to see his staff and some of his actors. He decides to make the gathering a team dinner sponsored by himself, but jokes that since Dae-soo is richer than him, he should pay. The two CEOs bicker but the Team dinner is successful.
Since Ki-ppeum is the only non-employee, she sneaks out after bidding farewell to Han-byeol. Lawyer Do follows her and, noticing how worried she is, asks her out for drinks. The two chat about his brother’s wedding when Lawyer Do asks about Ki-ppeum’s long face.
She suddenly reveals that she was not having a great day as she regretted her last interview with the late actor, Lee Yoon-woo. She reveals to Lawyer Do Soo-hyuk that she had written an exclusive interview featuring the late actor a day before he took his life.
Soo-hyuk comforts her, saying that she did not write anything negative about him but Ki-ppeum worries if her words pushed him over the edge even in the slightest possible way. Soo-hyuk clarifies that she must not think that way because she was just doing her job. Ki-ppeum is comforted by the lawyer and starts crying.
Tae-sung offers to drive Han-byeol home and the two grab a drink, remembering their late friend. Han-byeol talks about regretting not answering Yoon-woo’s last call to her before he had taken his life. Tae-sung regrets not learning his final signals despite being Yoon-woo’s best friend.
Han-byeol talks about how the tragedy of Yoon-woo’s suicide changed them so much that Tae-sung has become more emotional since his trip to Africa and Han-byeol, now never misses a call from anyone. She recalls their friend being a happy light in the lives of those around him and the couple promise to remember Yoon-woo as a happy person.
After everyone has left, Tae-sung arrives at Organic and confronts Ki-nong. The former manager seems nonchalant as he interacts with Tae-sung but the actor hands the red envelope to the former manager.
At the same time, PR Team 1 is analyzing the blurred-out identity card posted by Tae-sung’s anti-fan when they find the identity card to be Ki-nong’s rather than Kang Ming-kyu’s as they were initially led to believe.
As both Ki-nong and Ming-kyu were managers of late Yoon-woo, both were seeking revenge for his death from Tae-sung. Ki-nong clarifies how he had started hating Tae-sung for stealing the limelight away from Yoon-woo even when he was alive.
Tae-sung clarifies he understood Ki-nong’s feelings and let the former manager use the actor as someone he could vent his hurt and anger on. Tae-sung clarifies that everyone who remembered Yoon-woo was remembering the late actor in a negative light and states that this was probably hurting Yoon-woo at present, wherever he was.
Ki-nong seems to finally understand Tae-sung when the actor asks the former manager to stop blaming himself for Yoon-woo’s death. Ki-nong recalls seeing Yoon-woo first as a part-timer at a local fast-food outlet. The episode moves back to the day when Tae-sung and Yoon-woo were at the beach with their respective managers Ji-hoon and Ki-nong.
Tae-sung recalls Yoon-woo stating that Ki-nong was like his family as the late actor’s real family was not good to him at all. Yoon-woo claims that Ki-nong gave him the energy to live and smile. Present day Tae-sung reveals this to Ki-nong who is further heartbroken.
Han-byeol who has just learned that Ki-nong is the anti-fan that had been posting rumors about Tae-sung rushes to Organic bar to confront him but sees that the bar has been temporarily closed down. At the same time, Han-byeol receives a text from Ki-nong who is apologetic to her and reveals that he will be away for a while.
Lawyer Do calls Han-byeol from his office and reveals that Ki-nong has turned himself in with the police for threatening Tae-sung. Since the actor who was already aware of this, Tae-sung decided to ask the cops to let Ki-nong go without any punishment.
The next week, PR Team 1 members arrive to work and are tired on a Monday but Manager Kang Yu-sung’s greeting lifts their mood. Ho-young overhears the Team 1 members being excited over her boyfriend but tries to contain herself.
Hoyoung tries to enter the same lift as Yu-sung but since there already are many people on it, she is forced to let the lift go and the couple is sad to be apart from each other.
Meanwhile, the managers gather for a team meeting with Ji-hoon and talk about work. Yu-sung talks about new projects for Actor Jae-hyun with DS Actors’ Yu-na as well as a new role for Da-hye but claims that Tae-sung wants to take a break. Ho-young informs the CEO that Actor Kang Yu-sung was selected for the drama with Da-hye and that his “panty (underwear) commercial” contract was renewed.
She keeps saying “Kang Yu-sung’s panties” while talking about the actor, embarrassing her boyfriend, Manager Kang Yu-sung, who has the same name. Later that evening, Manager Yu-sung is with Jae-hyun cheering him up before the shoot. The actor states that his character is reconciling with Yu-na’s character giving the on-screen couple a happy ending.
Yu-sung praises Jae-hyun for being open to kissing Yu-na for the sake of the role, whereas Yu-na is annoyed because she has to kiss Jae-hyun for the role. As Manager Dae-soo offers to change the kiss scene to a hug, she yells at him and states she’s a pro and will do it.
While in scene, Yu-na’s and Jae-hyun’s character make up with a perfect take that seems too realistic and the shoot ends with them kissing even after the director says cut. Managers Yu-sung and Dae-soo are still unsuspecting of the two when they share their relief of Jae-hyun and Yu-na would never see each other again.
Later that night, Jae-hyun is at Yu-na’s house when she opens the door as soon as he sends a text to her. The two reconcile when Jae-hyun states that he would die if he wasn’t allowed to date Yu-na. She invites him over, stating her parents went abroad and that she was home alone.
Actor Kang Yu-sung is with his dialect coach who praises his improvement and compares his improvement with that of Da-hye. Back at the dorm, Yu-sung is watching a video from Da-hye’s cringy acting in Theist when Jae-hyun enters the dorm.
Jae-hyun jokes about Da-hye’s acting but Yu-sung claims that she was his new role model aiming to make it big as she has. Meanwhile, Tae-sung and Da-hye finish filming the final scene for ‘World of Stars’ and are congratulated by the team.
Back at Starforce Entertainment, Manager Yu-sung asks Ho-young out on a date as her boyfriend and not her senior which causes her to blush. Yu-sung claims that it is not right for Ho-young to be this cute. She then is at a work meeting when someone asks her if Yu-sung was single. Ho-young feigns ignorance and leaves only to see Yu-sung waiting for her in the lobby of the building.
Ho-young and Yu-sung walk out together when she asks him why he liked her. She rambles on as she makes guesses about his reasons when Yu-sung reveals that she is the first woman to make him want to sacrifice a script he had been pursuing on behalf of his actor.
Yu-sung claims that it was the first time he realized that finding a way to talk to Ho-young seemed more important to him than securing the role for his actor. This made him realize that Ho-young was far more important to him than his job. He pats Ho-young’s head and the two leave hand in hand.
The following day, Han-byeol and Ki-ppeum discuss how two of the three girlfriend gang members were already dating with Ki-ppeum being the only one that was not actively dating Lawyer Do. Ki-ppeum tells Han-byeol that she has feelings for the lawyer but can’t seem to hell him about it.
At work, Han-byeol is with Ji-hoon as they discuss the notice about Tae-sung wanting to go on a break. Ji-hoon asks the PR Head if she knows who Tae-sung is dating but Han-byeol acts ignorant and says she is not that close with the actor. Ji-hoon claims that since Tae-sung is a simple person, he would surely make it obvious in the days to come.
Han-byeol leaves his cabin all worried as she drops a text to Tae-sung asking him to stay away from the Starforce Headquarters because Ji-hoon had grown suspicious of them. The actor who is already at the office sneaks up on her and hugs Han-byeol from behind only for Ji-hoon to catch the two together as the episode comes to an end.
The Episode Review
When a person dies, they leave behind many people in regret and this episode of Shooting Stars shows fans of K-drama that it is okay to be happy after someone close to us ends up leaving this world. Had Lee Yoon-woo’s death been due to natural causes, the people close to him would not have regretted losing him like this.
Moments from the episode where Tae-sung tries to help Ki-nong see how his actions were hurting Yoon-woo, show how the actor has matured through the episodes. Tae-sung and Han-byeol are finally getting over the fact that they ended up losing their friend.
Ho-young and Manager Yu-sung have started dating but it is his reason to be dating her that makes viewers blush. We can finally see what Ho-young sees in Manager Yu-sung. Now that two out of the three main couples on the show are going steadily.
It seems like Ki-ppeum will finally be hitting on Lawyer Do and it will be her who asks him out to turn tables. Han-byeol and Tae-sung will finally have more time together now that he will be taking a break from work.
Jae-hyun and Yu-na are back to dating. Let’s wait to see how long that lasts because this couple is adamant about causing trouble for their managers!
There is still a lot that fans are not aware of about Yoon-woo. I wish the makers added more about his life and his suicide, which could shed light on why the hate from anti-fans possibly leads actors to end their lives.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|