There are too many characters in this drama and not enough time for all of them, so in episode 5 of Heirs/The Inheritors all of that filler material involving less important (and meaningful) story lines really begins to bog down the narrative. As previews indicated and everyone wished for, the main cast finally got back to being high school students at Empire High, but that didn’t happen until the last 10 minutes of episode 5. Almost everything before that was filler, I don’t need more Tan and Eun Sang hide and seek, another Eun Sang and Rachel confrontation doesn’t help develop either of their characters more or resolve their mutual antipathy, and frankly all Bo Na does is hang around Chan Young or worry that her previous junior high relationship with Tan will get revealed. The adult scenes are even more painful, and I want Esther and Dong Wook (Rachel and Young Do’s respective parents) to fall into a ditch somewhere and never show up again. Other than Tan and Eun Sang, this episode was a major snoozefest, all the more surprising because I expected this episode to really amp up the pace and tension. My affection for Tan’s character and the times he gets to act like a teenage boy around Eun Sang keeps me watching along, but when most of the supporting characters and their stories doesn’t connect with me, then the watch becomes a stone skipping exercise in picking out the nuggets of goodness and forwarding through the weeds. I hope the ending of episode 5 isn’t a fake out and for realz this time everyone is back in that richie rich of a school and we can finally get down to business of seeing Tan and Young Do resolve their past conflict, Eun Sang holding her own, and the OTP getting in some quality school yard romance cute scenes.
Tan sees Eun Sang drinking water in the kitchen and makes all the connections about why she lives here but not going in to see her. Afterwards he goes to his room upset at the reality that Eun Sang is the housekeeper’s daughter and lives at the same house. After Eun Sang leaves for school the next day, he goes to her small maid’s room and sees how she lives with her mom. Tan later asks his mom where hyung went and Ki Ae lies that Won went on a business trip. These people, just tell him hyung refuses to come home if he’s in the house, like a petulant 6 year old. Tan goes to see legal wife Ji Sook who works at Empire Group. She’s the one who tells Tan that Won left the house because of him, so in reality Tan coming back really did kick his brother out.
Won meets with Hyun Joo and she keeps up her distance and reserve with him. He bought her a wishbone necklace in the US and wants her to have it but she declines, refusing to keep accepting charity from his family. Now that she’s graduated school and working, she’s taking care of herself. He gets her to take the necklace as a gift by threatening to throw it away. Won gets up and puts it on Hyun Joo personally. Won goes back to his hotel and hears Tan is waiting for him in the room (with Chairman Daddy’s consent) and Won leaves the hotel rather than see Tan. Won is so annoying, ugh. Tan waits and waits for the hyung who never arrives.
Tan has dinner with his mom and asks about Eun Sang, finding out that her mom has worked as the housekeeper for the past 3 years and only recently did they move in due to circumstances. When Ki Ae asks Eun Sang to grab a bottle of wine, Tan books it rather than be revealed. Later he turns on all the lights (and fountain) in the yard for Eun Sang as she was walking in the dark with her cell phone as a light. Secretary Yoon is having mopey drinks (flashbacks involving Esther) when Won joins him. They make wry jokes about Won avoiding Tan, and then Esther and Dong Wook arrive hand in hand. Those two are nasty and cold together. They greet Won, who introduces Secretary Yoon, who Dong Wook immediately sizes up as inferior to him and dismisses. They four sit down for drinks. Secretary Yoon excuses himself and shortly Esther follows, They talk elsewhere and sudden Secretary Yoon swoops in for a totally random kiss, which Esther reciprocates. Ooookay.
Eun Sang is at school and mention of the US gets her deep in thought again. After class, all the kids are gathered outside and Eun Sang walks up to see Tan standing there outside his fancy car waiting for her. His outfits keep getting more bizarre, this one a flower print sweatshirt. He teases Eun Sang about her healthy kidneys and then claims he’s here to ask for Chan Young’s number. All of Eun Sang’s classmates are tittering over hot Tan. Eun Sang says Chan Young has a girlfriend, Tan’s ex Lee Bo Na, so Tan needs to give up. Eun Sang walks off to her part time job, leaving Tan calling for her to stop. At the cafe, Eun Sang gets a call from Chan Young to check her SNS and on her page Tan has posted his selca with the caption “Kim Tan is handsome”. Ha, okay, that is way cute but a total invasion of privacy. Eun Sang sees Tan in the same cafe and has no choice but to give him Chan Young’s number. All Tan does is call Chan Young for Eun Sang’s number. He doesn’t get it so pretty much works his Tan persuasion and ultimately gets it from Eun Sang by saying might be a reason he needs to contact her in Korea. She asks how long he’s back and wants to treat him to a meal. Tan says she needs to keep him here then and walks away, telling her that he’ll call later but he needs to go see someone now.
Secretary Yoon and Tan go grocery shopping and Tan apologizes for always getting Secretary Yoon stuck between Tan and a Won hard place. Tan likes his hyung but doesn’t know what to do to solve their impasse. Secretary Yoon says its not his fault, and teases that it’s really Chairman Daddy’s fault. Tan is envious Chan Young has Secretary Yoon for a dad, but Secretary Yoon says Chan Young will envy Tan having a Chairman for a father. Back at the house of dysfunction, Chairman Daddy gets an envelope with pictures of Won meeting with Hyun Joo as well as Tan meeting with Eun Sang. Ewwww, he’s spying on his kids? The Chairman hears Eun Sang did not approach Tan purposefully and didn’t know who he was, they met by chance in the US. The Chairman takes in that his two sons like poor girls and jokes in a benign tone that it’s an embarrassment to him. Eun Sang’s mom sees that she’s fallen asleep and cries to read that Eun Sang has no college dreams and only wants to find a job after graduating.
Tan runs into Myung Soo outside the house, and then has to quickly hide when Eun Sang comes out. She sees him and drags him away before the second son of the house walks out. She tries to explain why she lives in that house but Tan isn’t curious about that, instead Tan asks about his meal and when it’s going to happen. Eun Sang says he was supposed to call. Tan is pleased that Eun Sang was waiting for his call and she quickly leaves for school in embarrassment. Myung Soo goes to school and photo bombs Bo Na with the news that Tan is back, which Chan Young also hears. Bo Na quickly leaves, with Chan Young smiling after her insistence that she doesn’t know Kim Tan. Bo Na goes to confront Rachel in her golf class at school about Tan coming back, which Rachel didn’t know but pretends she does. Bo Na warns her that Tan better not come between her and Chan Young. Young Do also goes to ask Rachel if Tan is back and guesses Rachel didn’t know either. She counters that he’s just worried about losing his high school head of the hierarchy. Rachel calls Tan and then he calls back to inform her that he’s back in Korea and then hangs up, leaving Rachel to save face in front of Young Do. He tells Rachel to ask Tan if his mom is well lately?
The Chairman speaks with Eun Sang’s mother and offers to send Eun Sang to Empire High as a scholarship student. Ki Ae objects but to no avail. Eun Sang’s mom gratefully accepts and Eun Sang is told by her school she’s been transferred. Eun Sang doesn’t want to go and live off charity but her mom says this is a great chance to get a good job after she graduates with the credentials. The Chairman speaks with Eun Sang and tells her to aspire to more, and convinces her by saying Empire High provides students study abroad opportunities. Eun Sang agrees to go. Young Do and Rachel have another uncomfortable dinner with their parents, and can we cut off all their scenes? Young Do continues to be an ass to Esther and gets himself and Rachel excused from the dinner. He takes her to buy a new school uniform as thanks and runs into Eun Sang outside. Turns out those uniforms are a thousand bucks a pop. Rachel finds out Eun Sang knew Tan was back but Eun Sang doesn’t back down, instead taking Rachel’s name tag and tells Rachel to call her to get it back.
Eun Sang walks away and Young Do chases after her, impressed and pleased that there is someone else who can piss Rachel off that quickly. He asks her relationship with Tan but Eun Sang’s doesn’t answer. Young Do’s threats don’t work on her, and he’s actually impressed and thinks they are on the same side. He wants her number but doesn’t get it, so he plans to get it from Rachel. Eun Sang goes to see Chan Young the next day and reveals she’s transferring to Empire High. He’s not happy about it but welcomes her. Back at home, Tan is down in the wine cellar looking through his old boxes of stuff and ducks when Eun Sang comes down. She is on the phone with Chan Young about having paid him all back, which for her is the end of her US trip dream. Chan Young suggests she could visit again but Eun Sang realizes the US is too great a distance for girl who lives in the servant quarters. Tan hears all of this.
After Eun Sang walks up to the garden, suddenly all the lights turn on again and Tan calls her to reveal himself. He tells her to look up and she sees the dreamcatcher in his window and then he appears before her. Eun Sang asks tearfully if he’s the second son, if he knew she lived here, if he knew she lived in the servant quarters? Tan just murmurs a yes to each question. Eun Sang turns and leaves so Tan can only wonder out loud if he missed Cha Eun Sang? Tan goes back to his room and Ki Ae hands him a school uniform and tells him to study hard because Eun Sang is transferring to Empire High soon and she always tests in the top-5 of her old high school.
Eun Sang arrives at Empire High wearing casual clothes and marvels at the rich kids getting out of their chauffeured cars, talking about the stock market, speaking in laughable English about their new cars. Rachel spots Eun Sang and goes over at the same time Bo Na walks up. They are both stunned to hear she’s transferring to Empire High. Myung Soo comes and introduces himself with a smile. Suddenly all the students rush outside saying “he’s back” and “from the US”. Bo Na and Rachel walk out to see Tan standing at the front door and a crowd of students already gathered around him. Tan greets both girls sarcastically, and then asks Chan Young if he’s attends this school as an employee benefit. Hyo Shin sees them from the rooftop and grins that Lucifer has arrived to make Satan’s schoolyard a more interesting place. Young Do saunters up and everyone parts to let him through. He and Tan have a stare down and then greet each other with all this underlying tension. Tan tells Young Do to relax, he’s not going to do anything to him right away. Young Do laughs and says Tan is going to scare all the other kids. Eun Sang is texting Chan Young that she’s here when she unwittingly walks into the middle of the face off between Tan and Young Do. She looks up between the two boys and looks very anxious.