Page Turner Episode 3 / Series Finale
Page Turner Ep 3 Synopsis : Cha Shik receives surprising news the day of the competition.
Recap – Summary :
Hyun Myung Sae receives fan-mail happily, and his assistant asks him who is it that puts a smile on his face among all those letters; he replies that it’s “his son” and reads the latest developments of Cha Shik’s progress.
Yoo Seul accepts Cha Shik’s proposal on playing together in the competition- she doesn’t think they have much of a chance (0,000001%!) but if they manage to pull through, then maybe she can also believe that she has a chance of becoming a pianist despite her disability. Cha Shik is excited, and they soon start lessons together but finds that Yoo Seul is very strict.
After a few yelling-incidents, Cha Shik angrily leaves while Yoo Seul is mad at herself for trusting him in the first place. She tries to get back home on her own, but before she stumbles somewhere, Cha Shik helps her; he promises her that he will listen to her from now on and won’t back to their promise. He then starts singing to her in helium voice from the inflated balloons he bought earlier, and Yoo Seul can’t stop laughing at his antics; Cha Shik thinks that he wants to keep on making Yoo Seul laugh, and wonders if she will have the same expression when they play together in the competition.
Hyun Myung Sae is curious about Cha Shik and clears his schedule to travel to Korea and meet him while Cha Shik and Yoo Seul keep on practicing in harmony together while Yoo Seul’s mother is watching them.
The deadline for the competition sign up is approaching, and Yoo Seul is surprised to find out that Jin Mok won’t apply at all.
As she waits for Cha Shik outside, Jin Mok finds the chance to talk to her and asks her if she’s really gonna help Cha Shik to win the bet- he thinks it’s impossible for him to learn all the things the competition requires, but Yoo Seul replies that Cha Shik might really be Hyun Myung Sae’s son afterall, as he is actually learning way too fast for someone that hasn’t played piano before. She warns him that he will be the one to lose the bet in the end, while Cha Shik overhears their conversation and is happy that Yoo Seul is standing up for him.
On their way back though, Yoo Seul reveals to him that they’re actually progressing slow and “threatens” Cha Shik that they are not to be embarrassed in front of Jin Mok. Cha Shik assures her he won’t allow this as he doesn’t want to lose face in front of Jin Mok either, and they agree to practice more adding late night sessions.
Cha Shik goes to pick up Yoo Seul at night, but is being found out from her mother- to his surprise, Yoo Seul’s mother is not angry at him or anything but wants to know his secret of making Yoo Seul smile while playing the piano, something she never did before. At that time, Yoo Seul gets outside unaware that her mother is there already; Cha Shik asks her if they should reveal to her mother she started playing piano again, but Yoo Seul doesn’t want to do that, as that will put pressure on her. Yoo Seul’s mother nods to Cha Shik not to tell Yoo Seul that is there, and Cha Shik complies, as both him and Yoo Seul head to the school to practice.
Jin Mok is in the practice room, but doesn’t seem to enjoy playing at all- Yoo Seul and Cha Shik shortly arrive and he hides and watches them behind a couch. Cha Shik tells Yoo Seul that there’s a specific part on the track that he can’t connect with, and Yoo Seul parallels that segment to the moment before he and after he jumps over the bar. Cha Shik understands the feelings now but is unsure whether he has the time to learn to play it as correctly as she does.
He practices on his own but can’t seem to get it right when Jin Mok appears and tells him he should give it up- Cha Shik is not fazed and asks him to insult him more, as that will motivate him even more. Jin Mok says that everybody starts with some sort of talent, but eventually they get confused on whether that talent is enough to realize their dreams. Cha Shik still thinks that is not good enough and they end up arguing about irrelevant things, such as calling each other names.
Cha Shik’s mother pays a visit to Yoo Seul’s place when she sees a flyer about a used piano being sold- she tells Yoo Seul’s mother that she wants to invest to her son that started playing piano recently and is giving it his all. Yoo Seul’s mother monologues about how sometimes parents invest to their children wanting the best for them, but the pressure makes them crumble. She tells Cha Shik’s mother that she will give her the piano for free.
Later at home, Cha Shik tells his mom that he finds it difficult to play to the tempo required; his mother tells him that she doesn’t need a building of her own as she had told him once and Cha Shik proposes he will get her a barbecue place. His mother turns that down, and tells him that she’s happy the way she is, and she only wants to enter a writing competition.
The next morning, Cha Shik and Yoo Seul practice together, as their classmates are watching, wondering if Cha Shik is indeed Hyun Myung Sae’s son.
Cha Shik however finds it difficult to keep up with Yoo Seul’s rhythm, and pretends he receives a text from his mom and has to leave; Yoo Seul says she will meet him later then, while Cha Shik asks Jin Mok to help him- if he wins the competition, Yoo Seul won’t stop playing the piano afterall. Jin Mok pretends that he doesn’t care about that, but Cha Shik replies that he knows he hurt his hand by beating someone who tried to photograph Yoo Seul while she was changing clothes and that has to mean something.
Yoo Seul is looking for Cha Shik who is nowhere to be found and sends him texts (that go from nice to neutral to “you’re dead!”) while he tries to practice on his own.
After a few days of radio silence, Yoo Seul asks a classmate for help to send an ultimatum text to Cha Shik warning him that if he doesn’t make it to the night practice, she will assume he ran away and won’t apply for the competition as Jin Mok is watching. Cha Shik is anxious by that text, thinking he won’t make it and “asking” his father to help him.
Jin Mok tells his father that he will give the college entrance exam and his father replies that he made the right decision, as becoming a piano instructor is not suited for him.
Yoo Seul waits for Cha Shik in the practice room and despite being past 10 pm she “announces” loudly that he’s the worst but she will wait a few more minutes as a token for their friendship; upon hearing that, Cha Shik enters the practice room and is happy that Yoo Seul called him her friend. She tries to brush that off, but asks him if he was absent because he was practicing hard on his own. Before Cha Shik is able to reply, Jin Mok enters the room, and nods at him not to say a word, insinuating he will play at his place.
Cha Shik follows his words, and replies to Yoo Seul that he did practice and he thinks he got the part right- Yoo Seul asks him to play, as Jin Mok takes the seat in the piano instead. He takes a deep breath, and starts playing the orchestra piano perfectly.
Yoo Seul is moved by the performance, and tells “Cha Shik” that he was brilliant. Jin Mok is shocked at her words as Cha Shik says that he was doubting himself and even thought about abandoning the piano. Yoo Seul says encourages him to not abandon his dream, and gives “him” her approval, citing him as a great piano player- Jin Mok sheds tears at her words, while Cha Shik pats him on the shoulder.
Later, Cha Shik thanks Jin Mok who urges him to do his best and win the competition.
The competition day arrives, and Cha Shik’s mother bumps into Yoo Seul’s mother, and introduces herself properly this time- Yoo Seul’s mother wonders if they had met before and Cha Shik’s mother reminds her of the night she was drinking soju, and everything she said but Yoo Seul’s mother denies all that, saying that there’s no way that had to been her and before she runs away she asks her not to say to Yoo Seul that she’s attending the competition because that might scare her and run away.
The guest judge for the competition is revealed to be none other than Hyun Myung Sae, and everyone is shocked at the news- Cha Shik immediately goes to meet him, but Hyun Myung Sae reveals that he’s not his father.
Cha Shik’s mother learns that Hyun Myung Sae is the judge and searches frantically for her son, before she spots him wandering around dejected; she apologizes for lying to him, while Cha Shik thinks that he was really dumb to believe all of it just because of a photo, and he no longer knows what to do now.
Yoo Seul gets ready for the competition and when she’s having small troubles putting on her lipstick Cha Shik volunteers to help her- she chuckles and turns down his offer as that would be weird and then asks him if he is nervous that his father is the guest judge. Cha Shik is surprised that she believed in his words, and she replies that after his latest performance there’s no doubt. Cha Shik tells her that he will play as he did yesterday so they can win, and asks her to keep her promise of not abandoning the piano.
He then finds Hyun Myung Sae and asks him for a favor as Jin Mok makes his way to the audience near the spot where Yoo Seul’s mother is sitting.
Cha Shik finds Jin Mok and pleads with him to take his position- it’s Yoo Seul’s big chance of shining again and since he can’t play the piece as good as he does, he should help her. Jin Mok says that even if he wanted to help his name is not on the signup list, but Cha Shik reveals that he changed it last-minute. Jin Mok still hesitates as he hasn’t memorised the piece, but Yoo Seul’s mother tells him that she will provide the sheets and help him.
Cha Shik’s mother apologizes again to him for lying while Cha Shik feels like an idiot for all the things he did while chasing a lie- his mother understands his frustration but says that she was scared he would do something like he attempted to do when he heard of the news that he won’t be able to compete as a pole vaulter anymore. She knows that he was up in the roof contemplating to jump and she had to find someone great to look up to, since she, herself, wouldn’t provide a role model for him. Cha Shik is angry at her words and takes her somewhere.
Meanwhile, Yoo Seul’s mother warns Jin Mok to give it his best, otherwise he will pull his hair out if he intentionally messes up Yoo Seul’s program like the last time he was her page turner. Jin Mok is amused at hr words and asks her what she will do if he makes no mistakes, and she says that she will receive a compliment.
Cha Shik takes his mother to the underpass where the used piano sits and tells her that she will play simply as her son.
Cha Shik starts playing as do both Yoo Seul and Jin Mok, and they are all in perfect harmony with each other. Everyone both in the competition hall and the underpass are in awe from the beauty of their performance, while all three of them enjoy their own play, smiling all the way through. Jin Mok recalls the moment he told his father that he will keep on playing the piano, since it’s the only thing that makes him glad.
When the last note hits, everyone claps at the brilliant performance, as the pianists are all happy they executed it perfectly.
Cha Shik’s mother starts writing a new story about a pianist, while Yoo Seul’s piano is revealed to be in the house; Yoo Seul’s mother is putting her daughter’s happy photo of winning the competition along with her other ones.
Reflection Corner :
What a warm, beautiful, short drama series that one was!
I can’t think of a better title other than “Page Turner” because it’s just so fitting; just like the pianists need their confidant in the performance, we all need someone to rely on- especially in our difficult moments, our own page-turner buddie.
I loved the ending, as I felt that Jin Mok needed that double performance much more than Cha Shik did; he finally stood equal opposite Yoo Seul and realized that his talent was always there, and just needed a few kind words to push him to believe in it. Yoo Seul recognizing him (even, indirectly) was the catalyst of his decision to keep playing piano, and help her perform as well, in order to not abandon her dream.
“It’s like spraying water on a kid dragging a cotton blanket. I was worried that my kid might be having a hard time, so I saved up the water I’d drink and sprayed it on her. But when the cotton blanket drank up the water, it must have been really heavy. It must have been so hard for her to carry that weight on her small shoulders. I didn’t know this and continued to spray more water on her. The cotton blanket that was so nice and soft, probably became disgusting. While the mother suffers from being thirsty, the child is suffering from the weight.”
A few encouraging words can go a long way, and they’re much better than pressuring someone to do their best even if you believe in them; it’s the way you carry that belief in others that will allow one person to either make it or break it.
Cha Shik was a genius afterall; not for the fact that he was (or wasn’t) a prodigy or anything, but because he worked so hard to achieve his dream, which might have started as a facade one, but ended up being very much real. There’s some real brilliance to constantly practice and push yourself to do the best you can do, while staying true to yourself and have fun.
And oh boy, did Yoo Seul needed Cha Shik’s carefree attitude and remind herself how great it is to simply be, and smile at shenanigans (lool at him singing I and Up and Down) instead of constantly holding in her thoughts.
Despite being only three episodes, it left a cosy and relaxing impression on me; just like when you listen to Ode of Joy and truly feel the joy, Page Turner hammered its message home – enjoy having a dream, and everything else will fall into place.
Your music in the world won’t go unnoticed, as long as you keep doing what you like!
Overall Grade – 8,87 / 10
disclaimer – this post was written by kipzizz for dramajjang.co only