It’s amazing to see how humans can be so observant, yet so obstinate at times. We can spend our entire lives meeting the same people, doing the same things, following the same patterns until one day, the light falls just a little differently and leaves us with a new perspective. Crazy, really.
The second episode of Soundtrack #1 plops us right in the middle of this personal reformation. Sun-woo (Park Hyung-sik) wakes up from a night of drinking with Eun-soo (Han So-hee) in his arms. He takes a moment to indulge in her features, and the weight of his feelings bears down on him. “This is crazy,” he mutters to himself, and the magic dispels as Eun-soo opens her eyes. Awkwardness ensues, with both making a quick escape to get on with the day. As is the norm with them, however, it doesn’t last long.
While stepping out to refresh their minds later in the day, Eun-soo gets a call from Kang Woo-il (Kim Joo-hun), the composer with whom she’s collaborating. He calls her down to the studio to brief her on an updated demo for their song. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity, she rushes to the studio with Sun-woo in tow.
Funnily, despite his promises to keep his feelings under wraps, Sun-woo’s words and actions belie his feelings. While out on a walk with Eun-soo, he confesses that he wants to do everything for “Jennifer” (who is, in fact, Eun-soo herself). While stopping at a convenience store to satisfy Eun-soo’s craving for chocolate, he confesses that he only claimed liking chocolates because she had a sweet tooth. Similarly, at the studio, he’s childishly jealous, making faces at the producer’s descriptions and outing Eun-soo’s disdain for mandarins when the producer hands her a drink.
Sun-woo’s behavior grates on Eun-soo’s nerves, with her frustration becoming a full-blown argument between the two on the way back. She calls out Sun-woo for being overly critical of the guys in her life, but before he can explain himself, he removes himself from the situation and heads to his own studio to cool off.
At the studio, he tells his friend and business partner Dong-hyeon (Yoon Byung-hee) that he plans to confess to Eun-soo before he leaves the country. Dong-hyeon – part of the entourage who can clearly see Sun-woo’s feelings for Eun-soo – is just relieved that Sun-woo isn’t retiring.
Just like the awkwardness of the morning, the fight between Sun-woo and Eun-soo dissipates just as quickly. There is, however, another hurdle waiting for them back at home – Eun-soo’s mother (Lee Jung-eun), who seems to be as eccentric as she is dead against the idea of her daughter sharing a space with a man (even if the man is her best friend of 19 years).
She subjects Sun-woo to an impromptu tarot card reading. Ironically, his cards reveal what we’ve known all this while, and then some more: he loves someone endlessly, but she’s impossibly far away – perhaps a nod to the fact that Eun-soo seems to be oblivious to Sun-woo’s feelings. As her mother leaves, she gives Sun-woo the last card as a lucky charm.
Later on, over dinner, Eun-soo asks Sun-woo whether he understood what Producer Kang had said about unrequited love earlier in the day – that it felt like being alone on a chilly winter night at 4:40am in the morning. Sun-woo muses he was referring to the loneliness of the hour, and Eun-soo – in her quest to understand unrequited love – suggests they experience it for themselves.
When they finally step out in the morning, it’s clear we’re watching two different stories play out. For Eun-soo – wrapped up in Sun-woo’s scarf – the hour is warm and effusive as the two walk down a silent street. She’s experiencing being alone, but with someone else, as if hiding away in a tender bubble. On the other hand, Sun-woo – who slowly keeps giving away parts of himself – stands in the midst of that loneliness. Eun-soo may be by his side, but he can only reach her with “the tips of his fingertips”.
There is, however, an imminent break in the pattern. As we reach the end of the second chapter, Eun-soo happens upon Sun-woo’s laptop. On it, she finds pictures of a trip she’d taken with Sun-woo some time ago, the very ones Sun-woo claimed he’d deleted. That’s not all – by the time Sun-woo walks in, Eun-soo’s already discovered his trove: folders upon folders of pictures of Eun-soo dating back to the early days of their friendship.
- There may be more to the tarot reading after all: the last card that Sun-woo pulled out had the picture of a couple with their hands intertwined, with a compass in the foreground. It could possibly point to Sun-woo and Eun-soo’s current situation – right beside each other, but distanced due to their hidden feelings. Eun-soo’s mother seems to have picked up on the same thing, which is why she left Sun-woo with the card.
‘Soundtrack #1’ is available on Disney+