So I complimented Heirs/The Inheritors for actually having some compelling forward momentum in yesterday’s episode 9, and then episode 10 promptly returned to form and was lackluster all around again. What gives? I am so confused and not in a good way where there is too much to sort there. Everything is so linear in this drama, where people talk about high stakes and big egos but all I see is a whole lotta nothing. Other than Chan Young and Bo Na, who sparkle like normal kids in love and going to school, everyone else fairly tromps around as if the world is on the verge of falling down. Young Do is abused by his dad and passes it on to others, though maybe he is genuinely falling for Eun Sang and has a chance of redeeming himself. Who knows and who cares, so far his character is a major fail in creating interest or empathy from me. Tan is wallowing in the cesspool of being born illegitimately into a too rich family and itching to break out and run off into the sunset with Eun Sang. At least I think that is what he’s supposed to be feeling, but he’s just there is so many of scenes without any fire in him. After the big fight with Young Do he retreats back into his withdrawn shell, and even backtracks from Eun Sang a bit.
Whenever the drama has a glimmer of something interesting, it promptly moves right on past it. I enjoyed bits and pieces from this episode mostly for the kids being student scenes. The midterm results were funny in that we all know who the smart ones are while the stupid bottom three were amusingly enough Young Do, Myung Soo, and Tan. I wish the drama would stick to them being in class, learning something, doing projects together, putting on a performance, I don’t know but do something other than staring and bickering. After the midterms, the class schleps off to the leadership camp (sans Tan) and that was a nice break as well. Too bad Young Do had to keep on hounding Eun Sang like he doesn’t understand the basic niceties of how to pursue a girl. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is pursuing her, but sometimes his intensity whenever Tan shows up makes me think he’s pissed because Tan isn’t gay and can love him back that way. The issue with Heirs continues to be too much of everything and not enough deep diving into anything. Without any joie de vivre around to buoy the drama’s mood, then it falls right back into being rather tiresome to watch waiting for the good bits between lots of boring stuff.
Episode 10 recap:
Young Do comes to Tan’s house to continue to goad his nemesis and manages to rile Tan up yet again because he chances upon Tan’s real mom Ki Ae. Tan stands up for Ki Ae and introduces her as his mom, and then drags Young Do outside to have it out. Too bad its after school hours because Eun Sang comes wandering home obliviously texting and Young Do lights up to see her.
All three pause for a staredown and Tan quickly makes up the excuse that he made plans to meet Eun Sang at his house so they could go watch a performance together. He apologizes and says next time since he has to deal with Young Do. Eun Sang quickly books it.
Young Do probes why Eun Sang can wander in the house so casually, going the full makjang route and asking if they are siblings? Tan scoffs at that and decides to tell Young Do he and Eun Sang are dating. He says even Rachel knows. Tan tells Young Do he’s going to take his revenge this time.
Tan goes to see Young Do’s dad and introduces himself respectfully. Young Do rushes in to stop Tan but he apologizes to Young Do’s dad for beating up Young Do twice at school. Dad tells Tan it’s okay and Tan leaves, pausing to smirk outside in the hallway fully knowing what is going to happen to Young Do now.
Young Do’s dad then backhands his son and takes off his jacket to beat Young Do up even more for losing a fight to Tan not once but twice. How dare his son lose to Tan, winning is everything.
The beat down ends when a noise comes from another room where Young Do discovers his dad’s ex-girlfriend hiding in there. Clearly his dad is an abusive jerk and a cheating asshole.
Young Do leaves and remembers when he and teenage Tan were hanging out one day and also came across his dad cheating with a woman while they hid in the closet.
Young Do gets in the elevator and Tan joins him. Tan tells Young Do to leave their families out of their fight. Young Do points out that would leave only Cha Eun Sang and Tan warns him to leave her alone as well.
Esther goes to the hotel kitchen to check on Young Do to make sure he’s doing better after the fight with Tan. Young Do isn’t interested in her mothering him suggest she get on the more advantageous side to back up her future son-in-law Kim Tan.
On her way out, Esther sees the ex-girlfriend walking through the lobby and clearly understands her fiancee is cheating on her. She calls up Secretary Yoon to hang out and he happens to be at the hotel.
Esther and Secretary Yoon catch up but its interrupted by Young Do’s dad who proceeds to snipe at Secretary Yoon. After he leaves, Young Do’s dad roughly jerks Esther towards him and whispers that she ought to be mindful of people seeing. Esther hints that maybe she should meet Secretary Yoon in her office instead of in public, but Young Do’s dad doesn’t catch the hint that she knows about his cheating ways. He’s so gross, what woman would want him other than nasty golddiggers.
Ki Ae sits and worries about Tan while Eun Sang’s tries to reassure her. Tan goes home to find Ki Ae worrying about him all this time. She doesn’t know why he introduced her as his mom but Tan says they did nothing wrong and he doesn’t want to hide her.
Tan hears Eun Sang isn’t back yet and texts her that its safe to return. When Eun Sang comes home, Tan pulls her into the wine cellar to talk. He reveals that his story to Young Do is that he’s dating Eun Sang. She doesn’t know why he said that since it’ll just cause more problems. Tan wants to date for real and Eun Sang calls him crazy.
Tan may be crazy but he knows he wants to be with her and make the effort. Eun Sang points out that he’s so sheltered he has no clue what the cruel real world is like once he’s kicked out for dating her. Tan insists that he is trying his best but Eun Sang says he needs to get a grip on reality. Eun Sang says they can date but it’ll end with her getting hurt no matter what.
Tan gets upset and accepts Eun Sang’s refusal to get involved with him. If she thinks she doesn’t match up to him, it’s not because of their wealth difference but because Tan is making the effort for her but she’s doing nothing for him. He calls her a bad dream he had and then leaves her crying in the cellar.
Tan is driven to school the next morning and when the driver asks if he should stop to pick up Eun Sang, Tan says she and him don’t belong in the same car. Eun Sang is suddenly popular at school with news that her mom is daebak wealthy. She rebuffs all attempts from girls to befriend her.
In class, Young Do finds Rachel and asks if she’s ever been to Tan’s house and how much she knows about Tan’s family. Tan is sitting right there and knows what Young Do is doing and tells him to stop.
Tan and Young Do are being supervised in their punishment of cleaning the school and both do it reluctantly. Eun Sang looks out the window in class and sees them.
Chan Young passes her note asking what’s the deal with her mom? Eun Sang writes back that someone went as her mom. Chan Young notices that Eun Sang is starting to have secrets from him. He wonders if she and Tan are fighting and Eun Sang candidly admits she’s in the process of running away from him.
Both Eun Sang and Tan are on the roof and think about one another. Turns out they are on separate roofs and they spot each other, which leads to Eun Sang scurrying away.
Eun Sang is napping in the library and wakes up to find Young Do sitting across from her. He wants to know about her performance date with Tan and who her mom is, but Eun Sang tells him to stop annoying her since she has to study for midterms.
It’s midterm exam time and all the students sit down to take the test. While Chan Young is clearly on top of his game, Bo Na and Myung Soo struggle while Young Do appears to doodle over his test and randomly mark down answers.
The test results are posted and Chan Young is first place followed by smarty pants Rachel. Chan Young pats Bo Na for doing well. Tan wonders if Chan Young was born smart like he was born so handsome. Myung Soo keeps going down down down the list and bursts out laughing because he’s not last place anymore. The last three are Young Do, Myung Soo, and Tan. Ahahaha, everyone laughs at Tan for being dead last at 100.
Eun Sang goes to check but Tan waylays her to say she is 52nd place so she doesn’t see how badly he did.
The students are sitting around listening to the details for the upcoming Student Leadership Conference (camp) and turns out only Young Do and Tan aren’t going, though Young Do changes his mind and decides to go all while staring at the back of Eun Sang’s head.
Rachel and Tan talk outside about and upcoming meal with the parents. Rachel doesn’t care who Tan likes or is dating, their engagement stands. Though she is perceptive enough to notice things are frosty between Tan and Eun Sang. Tan confesses he’s laying low trying to figure out how best to protect himself and Eun Sang together. Rachel probes a bit about what Young Do said about Tan’s family but he tells her to not ask questions and leaves.
Hyo Shin randomly wanders into the scene and notes that Rachel seems to be the one clinging onto Kim Tan. She doesn’t take kindly to hearing that.
Secretary Yoon sees Chairman Daddy’s spy guy again and this time reports to Won that he may want to stop seeing Hyun Joo for the time being because his dad is likely keeping tabs on him. Won wonders again which side Secretary Yoon works for, but he says he’s just an employee of the company. Won texts Hyun Joo not to expect him tonight.
Hyun Joo is outside her apartment and disappointed to get the text. Who shows up but random scene Hyo Shin, driving a shiny new car and acting all grown up in front of Hyun Joo. He boldly steals a forehead kiss from her before driving away.
At the lunch with the moms and engaged kids, Esther is curious and asks the kids who Cha Eun Sang is since her mom claimed that her daughter talks about Tan a lot. Rachel says Eun Sang is close with Tan, and then drops the major bomb that she wants to end the engagement. She asks how she can end it, is returning the engagement ring enough? The moms send the kids aside so they can discuss this.
Tan confronts Rachel about her wanting the end the engagement. She’s doing this to see what Tan does, whether he’ll really give up everything to be with Cha Eun Sang. Tan is shocked and asks when she became so horrible? Rachel says it was all Tan’s doing that caused her love to turn into hate.
Chairman Daddy finds out immediately and summons Tan, who goes with flow and says he doesn’t love Rachel. Dad doesn’t care and says Tan needs Rachel. He now thinks Won is right and Tan shouldn’t have come back to Korea.
Ki Ae hears that Rachel wants to end the engagement and goes to probe Eun Sang for information as to what is happening at school. Eun Sang finds out Rachel wants to end the engagement. Tan comes and yells at Ki Ae for sending Eun Sang to report on him. She wants him to go to that camp and make up with Rachel but Tan refuses and storms upstairs to his room.
Eun Sang follows, but she initially hesitates going up the stairs, and finally does go to Tan’s room but once again hesitates before entering. Eun Sang finally enters and tells Tan to go to the camp because his mom is paying for it. Tan doesn’t want to and makes the excuse that he doesn’t want to see her.
Ki Ae comes and Tan keeps her outside the door. After she leaves, Tan admits he doesn’t want to go to camp because he’d be tempted to throttle Young Do. When Eun Sang tries to leave, he back hugs her to make her stay as an excuse that she might be seen by Ki Ae. He admits that he is looking for a way for Eun Sang to cross the barrier that divides them. He tells Eun Sang to have fun at camp and he’ll miss her.
The kids are all getting ready for camp, with Bo Na and Chan Young making plans. Camp starts and everyone marches towards the camp site, all the better to show off their sponsored camping clothes and equipment.
At the camp site, Bo Na and Rachel both refuse to lift a finger to put up their tent so Chan Young does it for them.
Eun Sang is doing it alone while Yi Seul snarks to the side, which is when Young Do comes by to help her. Myung Soo walks by with his trusty camera and snaps a few pictures of them. He then remembers why Eun Sang looks so familiar, he saw her coming out of Tan’s house early one morning. The morning that Young Do dropped him off near his house.
Eun Sang tries to say Myung Soo is wrong but Young Do hears this and looks very serious.
Tan and Hyo Shin have a conversation in the school gym where Tan reveals he’s missing the camping trip so that Eun Sang will miss him. Talk turns to why Tan and Hyo Shin are close and turns out he was in the US last year as well. But he tried to kill himself and was brought back to Korea where his mom now keeps a close eye on him. Hyo Shin reveals he’s planning something else now.
The camp splits into black and blue teams for paintball. Bo Na gets kudos from me for shooting Rachel right then and there, which leads to Rachel making a “how dare you” face but Bo Na’s like “what?”
What follows is an extended paintball parody sequences of famous movies, otherwise shoved into the drama maybe because paintball is a sponsor? I dunno but its harmless enough. Adorable Chan Young and Bo Na play lovers from opposite sides who have to decide who dies. Chan Young dies for Bo Na, but she’s immediately taken out by Yi Seul.
Eun Sang sits on a stump in a daze and Young Do finds her. But he doesn’t shoot her and instead asks what she was doing coming out of Tan’s house early in the morning? She says that wasn’t her. Young Do’s mind goes places and he asks if she’s adopted by Tan’s family. LOL. Eun Sang shoots him point blank with the paintball and takes him out, leaving Young Do stunned.
The class gathers for dinner. Bo Na and Chan Young wander off after the meal, while Young Do sits and watches Eun Sang eat. Afterwards he offers her services to wash the dishes and says he’ll help.
Chan Young comes back later in the evening to see Eun Sang washing dishes by herself while Young Do sits there and watches. He offers to help and then Bo Na wanders over because Chan Young likely draws her close like a magnet. Young Do is in a snit and asks if both Bo Na and Chan Young knew already Eun Sang is a charity case. When Myung Soo comes up, Young Do is about to ask him as well when Eun Sang pulls him away.
Eun Sang asks why he is continuing to bother her but Young Do says that she only pays him attention when he’s misbehaving around her. Eun Sang tells him to do whatever he intends because she’s not scared anymore of what he can do to her.
Eun Sang walks away and calls Tan, but no one answers. She locks eyes with Rachel who is also calling someone. Rachel storms over and grabs Eun Sang’s phone and sees that she was calling Tan. Rachel slaps Eun Sang and asks why she hasn’t stopped like Rachel warned her. Eun Sang wants her phone back since if she got slapped already, she might as well do what she got slapped for. Rachel is about to slap Eun Sang again when Young Do grabs her hand and tells Rachel to stop because only he can bother Eun Sang. Young Do takes Eun Sang away leaving Rachel seething.
Eun Sang asks why he stepped in back there, this isn’t like him. Young Do claims she’s only seen a part of him. Young Do looks up and sees Tan walking into camp while on the phone.
Young Do grabs Eun Sang for a hug and tells her that he’ll show her the rest. Tan and Young Do have yet another staredown while Young Do hugs a shocked Eun Sang.
Thoughts of Mine:
Heirs is halfway done airing as of today, and I still haven’t a clue as to what I’m watching. Is the end game healing for the hurt, redemption for the rascals, or salvation for the suffering? Will Ki Ae get her legal status and leave the walls of her comfortable hidden prison? Will Won get to run Empire Group and marry his Hyun Joo? Will Hyo Shin graduate without having another crisis situation? Will Young Do stand up to his dad and break the chains of abuse towards him and that he dishes out? Will Tan and Eun Sang get together and will both of them figure out their future? So many questions, but the drama hasn’t done anything to actually focus on what it put forth. All we have are students and adults all behaving badly or living under the cloud of worry. This is exhausting and I’m having no fun watching Heirs. I want to love it, but it makes it so hard for me to. Chan Young and Bo Na are the sole positive light in this drama, showing us that Bo Na can be elitist and bitchy at times and condescending and not terribly bright, but at the end of the day she’s a person with the capacity to show multiple feelings and beliefs. She can flaunt her wealth yet be fully capable of dating, loving, and respecting a boyfriend that is a good person but doesn’t have her background. Why can’t this drama write more characters like her, layered and reacts to situations with nuance rather than a full blown one-note attack. At this point I can predict how so many characters will react: Tan just stares, Eun Sang always looks like a mack truck is coming at her with her wide-eyed look of fear, Rachel has perfected her bitchy laser vision and lip pinch, Young Do does the crazy-eyed menacing look more suited for a gangster movie than in a school drama, and on and on I can go.
I’m still on the OTP wagon because there is literally no other viable ship to be on, unless the drama breaks up Chan Young and Bo Na and lets those two end up with Eun Sang and Tan respectively. That would work since I like all four of them and this pairing would be less likely to agitate real world elders. But that’s not gonna happen, so if this drama insists on romance being important despite me not feeling it, then Eun Sang and Tan it is. I can’t believe I’m missing the US portions of this drama, but it was in LA that Eun Sang and Tan actually seemed to have fun together. She was less cowed and mopey and he still stared a lot but was generally more quippy with her. Now we get big confessions about dating and finding a way, when really Eun Sang is right that she needs to just graduate from high school first. What’s the rush, Tan? It’s not like she’s going anywhere, and she’s already said she likes you. If the drama let these kids be kids and go to school, then none of these issues require immediate resolution. The more pressing matter is Won and Tan’s estrangement because that clearly hurts Tan so much. Plus Chairman Daddy needs to stop being a shadow puppet master and step up to the plate for having fathered two sons with different women. He did it, now he needs to solve the impasse. Tell the world Won is the heir and that’s it. Tan doesn’t care, Ki Ae can’t do anything, and that would resolve Won’s insecurity about his place in the family. There is so much going on that are more interesting than Choi Young Do being a relentless nuisance but the drama focuses so much on him to the detriment of every other plot line. I’ve had it up to here with his antics and someone needs to tell him “no means NO”.