Dribs and Drabs
Episode 11 of True Beauty begins with Hee-Kyung risking her job to get Soo-Ho’s Father, Joo-Ho, to drop Se-Yeon’s song. As Soo-Ho rushes out the building, he and Seo-Joon are hit by a car and lie motionless on the floor. Both boys are rushed into hospital as we see more of the past play out.
Soo-Ho, Se-Yeon and Seo-Joon were best friends and practiced music together all the time. When the scandal about violence surrounding Se-Yeon broke, Soo-Ho was nowhere to be found. In fact, he ignored calls from Se-Yeon when he tried ringing. Unfortunately Se-Yeon went online and saw some pretty nasty comments about him. This seems to have been the catalyst that caused Se-Yeon to commit suicide. When Soo-Ho eventually rushed to the scene that evening, his friend was already dead.
Back in the present, Ju-Kyung heads up to see Soo-Jin. She breaks the news to her that she’s currently dating Soo-Ho and apologizes. She doesn’t want to deceive the girl any more but also doesn’t want to lose Soo-Jin as a friend. Soo-Jin seems to forgive her, allowing Ju-Kyung to hug her, but as the camera lingers on her face, she’s a blank slate.
When Ju-Kyung heads home, her sister breaks the news that Soo-Ho was involved in a car accident. Shocked and worried, Ju-Kyung rushes up to the hospital. There, she happens upon both Soo-Ho and Seo-Joon sharing a hospital room.
It turns out Lee Joo-Hun is already there and now we see the truth surrounding what happened in the past. It turns out Joo-Hun was unaware of the scandal surrounding Se-Yeon to an extent. The incriminating pictures of him with the young lady in a parking lot caused Director Oh to take his initiative without consulting Joo-Ho first.
He used Se-Yeon as a scapegoat and broke the news about the scandal. At that time, bullies were circulating hate comments online and accused Se-Yeon of being kept in a juvenile detention center. Director Oh simply used that knowledge and gave it a nudge, essentially destroying Se-Yeon’s life.
Joo-Ho is furious, grabbing the Director by the scruff of his shirt and accusing him of stealing a song from a dead boy. Tensions continue to simmer, especially as Seo-Joon and Soo-Ho discuss the musical instruments and issues from the past.
When Joo-Ho shows up the next day, Soo-Ho refuses to engage with his Father. In fact, he turns away after overhearing Hee-Kyung’s accusations the previous day and lets a single tear fall down his face. When he leaves, defeated, Seo-Joon’s Mother shows up and talks about their past. She mentions how close the pair used to be and comments how Seo-Joon’s nickname used to be Dribs and Drabs.
Back at school, Soo-Jin learns about the accident from Ju-Kyung and tries in vain to hide her annoyance that she didn’t tell her earlier. However, Soo-Jin is called into the office as there’s a new transfer student called Hye-Min. The same Hye-Min who used to be Ju-Kyung’s best friend at the previous school.
Unfortunately the bullies catch up and force Hye-Min to do her bidding. Specifically, they want to find out if Ju-Kyung is dating Seo-Joon.
While Hee-Kyung and Joon-Woo discuss whether to keep their relationship a secret from Ju-Kyung, our girl heads up to hospital to give some books to Soo-Ho. Only, when he opens the door he finds Soo-Ho and Seo-Joon in bed together. Soo-Ho is actually helping Seo-Joon get dressed but it definitely looks a little awkward!
When Seo-Joon leaves, Ju-Kyung’s hair gets caught in Soo-Ho’s button. Ju-Young shows up to drop off soup and feigns an injury when he sees Ga-Woon out in the hallway. Eventually he finds out that Seo-Joon is actually Ga-Woon’s brother and immediately perks up with enthusiasm, determined to try and win the girl over.
On his way home, Ju-Young almost sees Hee-Kyung and Joon-Woo together but the latter manages to bolt from the scene before being spotted. Hee-Kyung however, speaks to her sister about the make-up course and agrees to keep it a secret for now from their Mother. When they say goodbye to each another, Lee Ye-Rim spies Ju-Kyung leaving the car and realizes the family connection.
Back at the hospital, Seo-Joon and Soo-Ho’s bromance is cut short by Joo-Hun returning and deciding they should talk. Soo-Ho is irate, smashing a glass on the floor as he echoes what we heard earlier from the Director.
Together, Soo-Ho mentions the missed call and how heartbroken he’s been over it all this time. In fact, his bad blood with Joo-Hun goes back further than that given his Father actually cheated on his Mother on the day she passed away. As a child, Soo-Ho saw this take place so him cheating is not an isolated incident.
As Soo-Ho takes a turn for the worse, overcome with stress from the whole ordeal, Seo-Joon speaks to Soo-Ho’s Father and breaks the news that Leo is actually Soo-Ho and not him. Joo-Hun is determined to find out the truth and shows up at Soo-Ho’s place. There, he sees the musical instruments himself and finally starts to understand.
Speaking of understanding, back in the hospital Seo-Joon and Soo-Ho work through their differences. Soo-Ho still regrets not picking the phone up which is what’s driven most of his heartache all this time. While they talk, news breaks on TV that Joo-Hun is retiring as CEO and has outright admitted about the plagiary.
When Soo-Jin finds out, she rushes to hospital to see Soo-Ho. Only, Ju-Kyung is already there and she hugs Soo-Ho tightly after the news. The pair eventually kiss just as Soo-Jin shows up and sees them both together. Blinded by rage, she walks away purposefully.
The Episode Review
True Beauty returns this week with a really compelling and dramatic episode. We finally learn the truth about Se-Yeon and this entire music situation, specifically surrounding how out of hand this has become over the years. Seo-Joon and Soo-Ho’s chemistry is great too, as the pair finally patch up their differences and heal – both physically and mentally.
The much awaited confrontation between Joo-Ho and Soo-Ho was certainly one of the dramatic highlights of the episode while Ju-Kyung’s old bullies continue to lurk in the background. Based on the preview for tomorrow’s episode, it seems like Ju-Kyung’s true identity is about to be revealed. Will all the students just accept her as she is or begin bullying her?
In fact, bullying has been one of the big themes this season and behind all the silly slapstick and hilarious comedic mishaps is a much deeper and thought provoking show touching on this and how it ties into physical beauty. In a country gripped by a high suicide rate, True Beauty shows the darker side of hateful comments and how far it can push an individual.
Even in the more lighthearted segments we see this, like with the school students twisting the reason Soo-Ho and Seo-Joon are in hospital together. It’s a subtle but well worked example of this in action and how damaging these rumours can be.
The ending with Soo-Jin certainly hints that things are going to take a turn for the worst for Ju-Kyung going forward. While the show is pretty cliched and leans heavily on the usual tropes you’d expect from this genre, it’s still a light, fluffy, enjoyable romcom that’s worth watching.