Moorim School: Saga of the Brave
My wishes came true! Bromance! Sacrifice! Thank yous! Longings! Goodbyes! Decisions! Siblings! Love triangle! The kdrama-ness kicked in! This episode began to reveal the connections between the man in a coma, the fire and Shi Woo, his dead mother, Dean Hwang and the little girl, and the hidden jewels.
Here’s what I think: 18 years ago, someone evil found the man (who is now in a coma) and his wife as they bundled up their children to escape and set the mountain house on fire. The children were Sun Ah and Shi Woo. Their mother died in the fire, and the father must have been unconscious and presumed dead. Shi Woo was crying but hid to escape the fire. Dean Hwang went to the mountain hideout where he knew his friend might be and came upon the awful scene. He found the mother dead, and seeing only the girl (Sun Ah), he took her to safety and has been like a father to her ever since. (That was the opening scene in episode 1.) Shi Woo has a jewel around his neck – perhaps one of the hidden jewels. Shi Woo has been under the impression that he has no family, thinking they all died in the fire. Dean Hwang, who never knew what happened to his friend (in a coma) or the little boy, begins to wonder about Shi Woo: it seems that Moorim is calling to him, he appears to have powers even if he doesn’t know how to use them, and has a psychological hearing loss due to a trauma. Could he be his friend’s son and Sun Ah’s brother? Meanwhile, Chi Ang’s father is keeping close tabs on the man in the coma, but we don’t know his connection, yet. However, he has sent his son, Chi Ang, to Moorim School. Is it to find those jewels that were hidden on the mountain? That’s why I say I got my wish because this kdrama packs a high kick this round and makes it worth my time to keep on watching! So, without further adieu, I now present episode 4 recap.
[It was a failure by both, not a success by one.]
Shi Woo and Chi Ang have been separated in the woods. Shi Woo comes upon a wolf and with the glimmer of his medallion shining in the wolf’s eyes, it lunges and knocks him over. He regains his footing, but the wolf corners him. Just then, Chi Ang appears and fights off the wolf with a stick. He tells Shi Woo to hurry and climb a tree and a moment later has the chance to scurry up the trunk himself. They’ve escaped danger as the wolf runs off. Shi Woo offers a “thank you;” Chi Ang says they’re even since he saved him from falling off the cliff. Even Steven. What’s that, a smile. Shi Woo?
Our boys on a quest have endured a couple of dangerous encounters together which seems to have chipped away at some of that pride. They rough house in the stream like buddies. Shi Woo and Chi Ang rest on the rocks; the danger is at bay for now.
In order to reach Moorim Peak before sunset, they need to get going. When Chi Ang’s makeshift shoe falls apart, Shi Woo nonchalantly tosses him his wallet to make another one.
Monk asks where Soon Deok and Sun Ah are, as they’re missing from class. The students tell him that they went after Shi Woo and Chi Ang. All of Moorim School is uneasy over the quest challenge and no one can focus.
It’s time to test those scout skills by making a fire. Chi Ang’s attempt fails, but Shi Woo is resourceful and uses the lens of his phone to start an ember. Chi Woo stokes the fire with bills – after all, there’s plenty more where that came from and right now, they need a warm fire. They agree that their efforts have worked together for a solution and become more comfortable with one another.
Little by little, they talk about why they’ve come to Moorim. For Chi Ang, it’s because his father has sent him and he doesn’t have a choice. For Shi Woo, it’s because doctors can’t help with his hearing loss and pain, and he thinks Dean Kwang can help. “If I can’t make music…” he begins, but Chi Ang offers encouragement and replies, “Don’t worry, you’ll make a huge comeback.”
Back the school everyone notices “Come Back” tweets and posts from fans of Shi Woo. Before she left with Sun Ah, Soon Doek recorded and posted an interview explaining the scene where Yoon Shi Woo and Jung Da Rim were attacked by thugs. Unlike what was reported, she clears up that he didn’t run away, but chased after the paparazzi to avoid a scandal with Da Rim. Her interview has hit the web and gone viral. The students rally in support; even Sam tweets “come back.” But they’re all worried that they won’t return from Mt. Moorim. Unbeknownst to Shi Woo, his reputation has been cleared and his fans are clamoring for him to return.
Chi Ang’s foot is giving him a lot of trouble. They stop to rest and Shi Woo picks up some nuts to eat and shares them. He supports Chi Ang with his shoulder as they continue onward. When they stop to rest, Chi Ang tells Shi Woo to go on ahead – he can’t continue any longer. Shi Woo sticks by his buddy and says that he’s tired, too. They find a place to rest for the night.
Shelter among rocks and a shallow cave seems like a good idea until they realize it’s the wolves’ den. Things look grim as a pack of five wolves surround Shi Woo and Chi Ang. The boys arm themselves with fire sticks but the wolves are aggressive. Chi Ang gets knocked down and attacked when out of the blue it’s girls to the rescue! Soon Deok is a sharp shooter and hits a wolf right between the eyes – bingo!
“Watch out! NO!” shouts Shi Woo, as another wolf leaps for Chi Ang. The force of his yell suspends the wolf for a moment in time and Shi Woo pushes Chi Ang away and out of danger and wrestles with the wolf. Sun Ah takes note of Shi Woo’s ability and power to suspend time just like at the concert.
Far away, a vase crashes at Chi Ang’s mother’s feet – an ominous sign that something is amiss concerning her son. She is shaken. On a quick trip to town to replace the vase, she runs into Bang Duk. Chi Ang’s mother expresses her worry over Chi Ang. A fortuitous opportunity arises: Mother is looking for a new maid and Bang Duk assesses the benefits of working for her and offers a three-in-one deal – cleaning, updating her about her son, and keeping her company. Mother seems interested.
Both boys have sustained injuries from the wolf attack. Soon Deok gently tends to their wounds. Chi Ang is starry-eyed as “Ariel” wraps his arm. She even brought along his other shoe and puts it on his foot. He calls her a female warrior and a nightingale. She tells him to shush. Shi Woo watches, trying to sort out his own feelings. Next, she treats Shi Woo’s scratch on his face. When he fusses, she tells him that his fans will die if his face is ruined and not to worry, things will return to the way they were soon. This time it’s Chi Ang who looks on. A love triangle is forming.
The four friends decide to tackle the last leg of the journey to Mt. Moorim together. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that Chi Ang’s injuries are too bad for him to continue. “Ariel” Soon Deok suggests they turn back, but Chi Ang insists he can keep going. After debating, it is decided that Soon Deok will accompany Chi Ang back to Moorim and Sun Ah will go with Shi Woo to the peak.
In the discussion and fussing, the tables turn and Sun Ah, who is stronger, ends up helping Chi Ang limp back to Moorim, while Shi Woo and Soon Deok prepare to finish the quest. On their way back, Chi Ang complains and threatens to give “old man Kwang” a good dose of privileged family punishment, only to find out that the Dean is Sun Ah’s father. It’s a growth moment for Shi Woo – in fact one of several lately – as he decides that scaling Mt. Moorim without Chi Ang isn’t worth it, nor is it what he wants. He and Soon Deok catch up with the other two. Chi Ang asks, “Where is the marking?” Shi Woo answers, “Let’s go. I thought about it. You wouldn’t have gone without me, either.” Chi Ang is taken aback and wonders if he really would have done the same.
They are given a warm welcome by the students and faculty as they return safely to Moorim. Dean Hwang hides a smile as Chi Ang credits Shi Woo for saving his life and Shi Woo credits Chi Ang for making it as far as they did. Even though they didn’t return with the marking, the Dean decides to let them stay, secretly pleased that the two students have made strides in maturity and integrity.
The students cheer when the news gets out that they are staying. Except for Yub Jung. Even the teachers are impressed that the two returned from Mt. Moorim. Sun Ah is the happiest of all that her father has allowed her favorite idol, Shi Woo, to stay.
Instead of grumbling about dorm life, Chi Ang is grateful to stretch out on his bed. Shi Woo offers to clean the bathrooms until Chi Ang’s arm heals. Their perspectives have broadened beyond their own little worlds. Still, they wonder what the real reason is behind Dean Hwang’s decision to let them stay. Shi Woo sees the interview by Soon Deok for the first time and it dawns on him that, as she mentioned in the woods, things are back to the way they were because of her. His fans clamor for the return of popular idol Shi Woo and scream, “Please come back, Yoon Shi Woo!”
“It was a failure by both, not a success by one.” Dean Hwang sums up the Mt. Morrim mission with Monk. He is pleased that in their failure, they seemed to have learned lessons – integrity, sacrifice, teamwork, decision-making – things that Moorim promotes. Monk isn’t sure if Yoon Shi Woo will stay and as he speaks, our idol has already packed and heads back to his former life. His reason for following Soon Deok to Moorim in the first place was to get her to give that interview and that’s been taken care of. With his reputation restored, Shi Woo looks to return to the life of an idol.
The man in a coma is agitated by dream-like thoughts: a fire, a struggle with someone. Chairman Hao is notified that there is some improvement in the man’s condition. They expect him to gain consciousness.
Fans everywhere recognize Shi Woo and show their love. He meets with a new agent from DS Entertainment who promises to make him a solo artist if he signs with them. The agent tells him that CEO Choi is all about money so why not come over this company? He offers to support Shi Woo’s music and even take of the problem with his ears – CEO Choi has spread that info, too. The plan would be to send him to America for about a year to write music and get treatment for his ears. It sounds like a deal that Shi Woo can’t refuse. The agent wants to move fast and has a car ready to take Shi Woo to Seoul. “Get in. Let’s have a new start,” he tells him.
Just then, his phone rings. It’s Chi Ang; he woke up to Shi Woo’s empty bed and is tracking down his friend. He tries and tries, but Shi Woo isn’t picking up. What’s more, Soon Deok passes by on her way to deliver chicken and sees Shi Woo and the agent. She calls out his name and surprises him. It is as if he stands at a crossroads between the two worlds in life. Shi Woo asks for a minute to talk with Soon Deok and thanks her for the video she posted on the web. She was only trying to set things right, she says, that’s all. He tells her that he is ready to go back to work. “Already? It’s like we just met and now it’s time to say goodbye. I’m sad to see you leave, but you’re leaving because everything worked out for you. Congratulations!” she tells him. They shake hands. As she leaves to make a delivery, it’s as if he regrets seeing her go.
Not able to reach Shi Woo by phone, Chi Ang texts: How dare you ignore my calls, huh? Did you take off use you didn’t want to clean the bathrooms? Fine. We will split and clean the bathrooms. So get here now. He really does miss his friend and is scared that he may be gone for good.
Shi Woo is having second thoughts. Before he left Moorim School, he stopped by Dean Kwang’s to sort things out. Dean Kwang told him about a friend without whom he wouldn’t be here today. That conversation sounds in his mind as he reads the texts from Chi Ang. But he is already on his way to Seoul with the new agent who talks a mile a minute about Shi Woo’s schedule and future.
Soon Deok is having a hard time. She neglected to treat her wolf scratch wound properly and is feeling tired. She asks for the rest of the night off which surprises her employer. Who should be waiting for her outside the restaurant but Shi Woo. “You’re not delivering chicken, are you?” he asks and she turns around, shocked to see him standing there. To her delight, he’s decided to stay and asks to ride to Moorim together. When she cries out in pain from her scratched wrist he scolds her for not taking care of herself.
He wraps her arm and takes the driver’s seat so that she can rest. Before she knows it, she has fallen asleep with her arms wrapped around his waist and her head on his shoulder. Nothing disrupts bromance like a love triangle.
- I’m sort of bipolar in my comments from last week to this week. That probably means I wasn’t patient enough to let the themes develop, but it’s my off-the-cuff commentary as I go along, for good or bad.
- Lessons learned, that’s what Dean Hwang thinks about the perilous mission he sent Shi Woo and Chi Ang on. They left enemies and came back comrades. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but the growth is measurable and I’m satisfied with how it occurred.
- I like how Shi Woo stands at the brink of two worlds as a vulnerable young adult who has been burned by the entertainment industry, not to mention that he has no family and has to go it alone. This dilemma is portrayed in a believable way, especially when not one but two people ask him, “Have you been deceived all your life?” While the deal with the SD Entertainment agent sounded good, Shi Woo was able to weigh the importance of things other than money and fame, thanks to his experience at Moorim School.
- I’m also glad that he talked to Dean Hwang before he decided to leave; we’re not privy to that entire conversation yet, but Dean Hwang surely has plenty of life experiences through trial and error, and seems willing to let Shi Woo – all the students at Moorim – make decisions as long as they own up to the consequences. He makes a good mentor.
- Chi Ang learns the value of friendship for friendship’s sake and honestly misses the one friend he’s made. He and Shi Woo have been through a lot together in the past couple of days and have overcome adversity together. He’s a bit slower on the humility uptake, but I’ll give him some time on that one. The fact that he readily credited Shi Woo for a heroic decision to return with him to Moorim despite the fact that he could have conquered Moorim Peak on his own shows his growth and willingness to set aside his pride.
- As always, the bromance is thrilling and one of those things that kdramas do so well, but it’s up against a love triangle and by definition, they both can’t survive.
- Sun Ah holds her own as an important character and I am looking forward to her role in the bromance/love triangle tangle.
- The backstory is gaining momentum and promises secrets and make-or-break relationship reveals. I think Dean Hwang, Chi Ang’s father Chairman Hao, Soon Deok’s father, and the man in the coma know each other from Moorim School days.
- Thanks for sticking with my recaps – what are your thoughts on where the story is headed?
(*Especially for Yoya) I mentioned in a post that I thought Im Siwan resembles Hongbin of VIXX
Siwan (Left) Hongbin (right)