We begin episode 5 of True Beauty with Soo-Ho telling Ju-Kyung not to go with Seo-Joon as he has something to say. Only, he can’t think of anything romantic and stalls, asking her about their studies instead.
In class, Ju-Kyung remains standoffish with Seo-Joon who continues to try and win her over. However, Soo-Ho does the same, encouraging Ju-Kyung to sit next to him during science class. He even buys her favourite strawberry drink too!
At lunch Seo-Joon decides to sit next to Ju-Kyung but she tells him to get lost. Instead, he tries to win her over with a whole stack of side dishes. Instead, she spits her food all over his face by accident. In the hallway, Seo-Joon then catches her before she falls on the floor… until she headbutts him for getting too close.
In music class, a girl called Go-Woon shines but her classmates lament her talents and slap the girl across the face. As Ju-Kyung watches from the doorway, this scene is eerily reminisce of her own issues. This is only exacerbated when Ju-Kyung recognizes her old bully when she gets on the bus later that day. As she steps off, she breathes heavily and struggles to compose herself.
While Ju-Kyung heads home, she sees her brother re-enacting a scene from Crash Landing until she slaps him on the back and calls him a punk. As the two fight, Soo-Ho rings and she tries her best to compose herself. She eventually shows up to see Soo-Ho where they both wind up playing basketball together. When she stumbles, Soo-Ho grabs Ju-Kyung and pulls her close as the two try in vain to hide their feelings for one another.
At school the next day, Ju-Kyung and Soo-Ho get involved in gym class while Seo-Joon tries in vain to win Ju-Kyung over. Instead, he receives a ball to the back of the head for his troubles.
Afterwards, Go-Woon continues to experiencing bullying until Ju-Kyung shows up with a bucket of water and soaks the trio of girls. Yes! Go on Ju-Kyung!
Thinking quickly, she claims Go-Woon is her sister and hurries after the girl. She heads up to rhe rooftop where Ju-Kyung talks to her about what she’s going through. She decides to try and help Go-Woon fix up her make-up. Soo-Ho approaches her though and calls her a busybody. However, he also tells her she’s pretty without make-up.
On the way home, Ju-Kyung invites Soo-Ho out to go to the movies…and he accepts! They decide to watch a horror together and both of them head home with a big smile on their faces. That is, until Seo-Joon phones Soo-Ho of course. Soo-Ho openly admits that he likes Ju-Kyung and wants Seo-Joon to lay off. However, he scoffs at the notion and claims that he too may be interested.
Meanwhile, Hee-Kyung waits for Joon-Woo outside school and asks for her money back. When he’s not able to do that, she instead invites him out for dinner. It’s an awkward affair, to say the least, but eventually leads to Hee-Kyung admitting she’s fallen for him.
As the school celebrate a festival, Ju-Kyung takes Go-Woon aside and decides to help apply her make-up. Go-Woon shows to do her solo part and immediately draws the attention of everyone. She absolutely nails her solo and even brings a standing ovation too. As everyone comments how pretty she is, it turns out Seo-Joon is actually Go-Woon’s sister. What a twist!
At school the next day, Soo-Ho is completely standoffish and tells her to leave and stop bugging him. As she walks out, dressed in her pig outfit, Seo-Joon happens to be waiting outside the room and hears everything. As it turns out, Seo-Joon is using what happened to Se-Yeon as blackmail against him. Seo-Joon even calls Soo-Ho a murderer.
On the basketball court, Soo-Ho and Seo-Joon find themselves on opposite sides of the court, dividing opinion while Ju-Kyung watches from behind her mask. Soo-Ho eventually confronts Seo-Joon and tells his frustrations out of Ju-Kyung, walking away from the match-up.
That evening, Se-Yeon’s song is played during the night-time antics and it immediately causes Soo-Ho’s eyes to water. As we cut back in time, we see more flashbacks where Soo-Ho ignored calls from Se-Yeon when he needed his friend. Unfortunately this failed call eventually lead to Se-Yeon committing suicide.
Back in the present, Ju-Kyung notices Soo-Ho doubled over and weeping. He tells Ju-Kyung to go as Seo-Joon watches from afar. Realizing that Ju-Kyung is caught in the middle of all this, he begins to doubt what’s happening.
Back home, Ju-Kyung realizes that the guy who helped her off the rooftop happens to be Soo-Ho. Now his words to her earlier in the season have a lot more meaning.
She heads up to the rooftop with his jacket in hand and finds Soo-Ho there. She immediately kneels opposite him and learns that this spot – up on the rooftop – is where Se-Yeon committed suicide originally. She leans forward and throws her arms around Soo-Ho, comforting him.
The Episode Review
How about that for an episode! True Beauty is the perfect k-drama-themed gift before Christmas, delivering its best episode to date and doing so with enough flair, comedy and romance to make it a wholesome treat.
Yes, the show is a little tropey and still includes all the usual moments you’d expect (fake fainting, clumsy fallings and repeated montages) but to be honest, it works really well here. The love triangle serves a specific purpose and the changed roles between Hee-Kyung and Joon-Woo is actually quire refreshing to see.
The comedy in this episode is fantastic though and throughout there’s a consistent tone that remains lighthearted with just the right amount of melodrama toward the end. Seeing-Soo-Ho start to open up and thaw away some of that icy hostility is great to see and really helps his character grow.
The ending leaves the door open for what may come next and I for one can’t wait to watch the next episode!