Today’s episode starts out with Yoo Jin being bailed out of jail by Principal Joo. Of course, like all things in life, it’s not free. Principal Joo has some conditions for getting back into good credit with him…the first of which is to pass his classes for the semester. If he doesn’t, Principal Joo is going after his parents. This apparently preceded the scenes in which the previous episode ended: Rian proposing to team up with Hye Sung, and Yoo Jin angrily confronting JB. Where did Principal Joo get the money? From his old friend President Lee, of course.
Hye Sung heads to the office to tell the teachers about her reluctant pairing with Rian. It is there that it is confirmed that JB and Yoo Jin are officially partners as well, following an earlier scene in which President Lee runs across the two fighting and first suggested the pairing. Upon hearing this, Teacher Ahn rushes over and volunteers to be in charge of the girls. JYP’s character also volunteers to coach JB and Yoo Jin. Teacher Ahn questions why an english teacher would want to help the students prepare this, and before he can reveal how long he’s been at the school which would more than likely contradict the flimsy excuse for why the school fell into disrepute so quickly, Kahi’s character Ji Soo interrupts him assigns Teacher Ahn to the boys as well. And because they were an afterthought, Ailee gets randomly assigned to Hye Sung’s roommate Soon Dong, played by former After School member Yoo Sooyoung.
Later that night, Yoo Jin is stressing by himself about the upcoming performance exam and why President Joo lent him the money. His first theory is that he’s just a nice guy, but after a rather amusing short dream sequence, he quickly dismisses that idea. But as he thinks again, he can’t completely dismiss it. Meanwhile, in the girls’ room, Hye Sung wakes up an annoyed Rian, angry at her for not distributing the parts before sleeping. To get her off her back, Rian quickly does it and tries to go back to bed. Predictably, Hye Sung takes offense at Rian’s distribution since she took all the good parts. Rian says that supporting her is also part of singing together, to which Hye Sung retorts that that is what Rian does in Hershee. Of course, Hye Sung realizes what she says too late and tries to cover it up. Rian is not pleased by the comparison and tells her to do whatever she wants before going back to sleep.
The next morning, we see Kahi’s character use JYP’s character as an example of how a good dancer can cover a bad dancer. Finally Kahi gets to do what she was recruited to this drama to do: look good dancing. That she can get in a few joking shots at JYP’s dancing ability is a bonus. Next up, we have JB and Hye Sung doing the same thing to Taeyang’s “I Need a Girl”. Afterwards, while Hye Sung is fan-girling it up about it, here comes Rian to rain on her parade. She’s convinced that Hye Sung won’t be able to both sing and dance at the same time since she was already out of breath from the simple dance she did before. At one point, she jokingly suggests that Hye Sung blow up balloons to try to increase lung capacity. The ever-trusting Hye Sung believes her, which leads to the above screenshot.
Rian, hiding her cellphone with a hands free headset, then receives a call from her dad informing her that her mom, like a true asian parent, is meddling again in her affairs and is meeting with a different agency. As Rian storms off to deal with the situation, Teacher Ahn sees Rian’s reaction and misinterprets it as Hye Sung, who just happened to be standing there, doing something to annoy Rian. Hye Sung realizes she can do nothing in this situation without looking petty and can only take it silently. Rian catches her mom at the agency and drags her out, making sure to do as much damage control for her image as possible. When they’re in the taxi going back, they argue about what to do with Rian accusing her mom of doing all this just for the money. Her Mom shoots back saying she’s only doing it because she knows Rian is having a hard time with singing. The two eventually reconcile when Rian realizes the fancy new coat that her mom bought is actually a knockoff.
Back at the school, JB randomly challenges Yoo Jin to a game of basketball. Why there’s a hoop in the middle of a gym of an arts school, we’ll never know. Like every argument they seem to have, the whole school hears about it and decides to come for the show. Inexplicably, JB starts dancing while guarding Yoo Jin, which scores him points with the fangirls, but not with the basket. Of course JB loses, as was always his intent, and mockingly congratulates Yoo Jin about his “win”. Yoo Jin, in anger, hurls the ball at the retreating JB, who senses it and ducks so that it hits Principal Joo straight in the face. Meanwhile, Rian runs into President Lee as she returns to school. She tries to cover up why she left in the first place, but in the end her excuse led to the discovery of her hidden cellphone. As punishment, she is banned from using the practice rooms at school until the day of the semester exam.
Cut to later that night when it’s apparently teachers’ night out, curtesy of the President. A, I’m assuming from the number of bottles on the table, very drunk Teacher Ahn is singing, and I use the term loosely, her rendition of Baek Ji Young’s “That Woman” from the extremely popular drama Secret Garden. Apparently our resident vocal trainer is completely tone deaf, but is a very good teacher, if that makes any sense in the real world. At this point, President Lee insists that Principal Joo sing a song. Uncomfortable with the idea, he suggests that JYP sing a song. President Lee agrees to the idea and even offers to to debut JYP as a singer if he does well. Admittedly, the irony of how mistreated JYP is in the drama is a tad overdone, but I’m amused by it still so it’s fine by me. He actually impresses both President Lee and Ji Soo with his dance, which then leads to Ji Soo/JYP dance performance #2. This leads Teacher Ahn feeling jealous and sets up a possible love triangle with the three, which I really hope they don’t pursue because they already have enough story lines to fail at fully fleshing out before the series ends. We also get a hint of President Lee and Principal Joo relationship before the start of the series.
Back at the school, Soon Dong is performing a ceremony of sorts. She claims that the spirits tell her that the two of them will win first place if she dances while Ailee sings. They also tell her that something is wrong with the semester exams, dun dun dun… The next day, Hye Sung is practicing singing, but she’s clearly not up to par. She tries to sing the main parts of the song, but Teacher Ahn stops her and quickly assigns her the supporting parts that Rian had initially given her. In need of some guidance, Hye Sung seeks out Soon Dong and asks her to for help in calling forth a spirit of some kind to help her with the exam, because that’s clearly worked out well for her thus far. One of the items she needs for this ceremony is a a childhood photo of an idol, which of course means she’s sneaking into JB’s room. This leads to her inadvertent discovery of an old photo of Rian and JB looking very much like a couple.
Speaking of our fake idol couple, JB runs across Rian practicing her singing in the laundry room since she’s banned from practice room. He scolds her for not practicing with Hye Sung, to which Rian retorts that he didn’t even care about Si Woo so why does he care so much about her. JB fights back with the low blows of her just being the face of Hershee and that she’s a terrible actress. Rian is, shall we say, not please with this and gives him probably the weakest slap in the history of dramas before storming off.
Of course Hye Sung is still in JB’s room when he finishes putting in his laundry and she’s forced to hide and watch him angrily play with his Rubix cube. Cue the flashback which shows that Hye Sung is apparently the one who gave him it at some point while he’s being emo on some stairs. At this point, Yoo Jin barges in and demands that JB give him his CD so he can practice their choreography without having to be in the same room as him. As usual, Hye Sung is useless and can’t even hide herself properly because Yoo Jin sees her legs. When she is revealed, Hye Sung stutters an excuse and rushes out of the room, leaving a dumb-founded JB and a very confused Yoo Jin. They just assume she’s a stalker and move on.
Seems like there’s a problem with our resident main singer’s voice. I guess it was about time that they got around to addressing what her main conflict is. It’ll probably be something like what happened to Lee Ji Ah’s character in Beethoven Virus. She goes to the hospital and is not pleased to see Si Woo chatting up the nurses. Since she’s trying to conserve her voice, she nags him about trying to get back into the company by writing it all down on her notepad. Si Woo just jokes around about the whole situation leading Nana to kick him and storm off with his scarf.
Back at the school, Hye Sung is pleading with Rian to practice with her, even going so far as to saying she’ll do the supporting parts like Rian wanted. Since she’s too proud to admit she’s banned from practice rooms, Rian simply belittles her talent and walks away.
I still don’t understand this whole dance basketball thing, but we’ll just roll with it. Yoo Jin is practicing this when he loses the ball and it rolls over to Hye Sung, who apparently took Rian’s balloon blowing exercise to heart. However, this does allow Hye Sung to discover that Yoo Jin is apparently easily startled by popped balloons and seizes the opportunity to strike at his weak spot. After she has her fun, Hye Sung tries to continue on her way while blowing up another balloon but suddenly feels faint. Yoo Jin shows genuine concern for her, but it was just because she hadn’t eaten. And off we go to visit our favorite figurehead school principal to bum some fried chicken. Of course, Yoo Jin skips out on the bill saying he already owe the principal so much, a little bit more won’t hurt.
As they walk back to the dorms, Yoo Jin has an idea. In exchange for the chicken he just “treated” her to, he hires her to do what she does best: keep tabs on JB and record him practicing. This way Yoo Jin can practice the choreography without having to rely on JB. Several scenes of them practicing later, and it’s already time for the semester exams. The school decides to make a show out of it and gives all the students a chance at a red carpet event, reporters and all. They are supposed to walk down with their partners but Rian is nowhere to be found and so Hye Sung is left to stand by herself.
At this point, President Lee gives an inspiring speech about crushing dreams and fantasies and announces his decision to pit the partners against each other. Understandably, the students are not happy with the decision, and Hye Sung is especially worried now. While she’s panicking in the back room, in strolls Rian without a care in the world. Hye Sung confronts Rian about why she didn’t want to practice with her and then realizes why Rian wanted to partner up in the first place. Despite the difference in their talent, Hye Sung is determined to win since she practiced while Rian was resting. The episode ends with Rian reminding Hye Sung that she’s the pro on stage and Hye Sung is nothing compared to her.
I still don’t care about any of the characters other than Yoo Jin and Rian, but at least they added some dimension their characters this episode. It’s also amusing to see fellow T-ara members Jiyeon and Eunjung play essentially the same role for their respective dramas. I really hope they clean up the various storylines though sooner rather than later. The beauty of the original Dream High was that the characters were all interwoven with each other, minus the little side story of IU and Wooyoung’s characters. JB and Yoo Jin’s rivalry hasn’t moved forward at all since we discovered that JB hates Yoo Jin for being better than him at their Kirin High audition.
I am curious to see though what they do about the semester exams. Obviously, JB isn’t going to be cut, and I highly doubt Hye Sung beats Rian unless she pays someone to kidnap Rian and make her a no show. I guess they can rehash the remedial group from the original series, but that would be a series killing move if I ever saw one. Last thing they should want to do now is draw more comparisons to it’s far superior predecessor at this point. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.