I breathed a sigh of relief that the fantastic episode 13 of Heirs/The Inheritors did not result in one step forward and two steps back in episode 14. It wasn’t nearly as light and funny as episode 13 felt like a reprieve and time to savor the moment a bit, but all the characters took giant definitive steps forward and I couldn’t be happier. Finally Cha Eun Sang becomes a heroine I can respect and like. She’s not the easiest girl to root for, what with her contradictory attitudes and bits of whining coupled with a general aura of self-pity. The fact that she’s being pulled around by all the more powerful figures around her since episode 1 really undercuts her stance that she can take care of herself and make her own decisions. This was the episode where she stood up and said enough is enough. She is not going to let fear dictate her every action, even if she can remain wary and aware of the consequences of her actions. Wherever her guts has been hiding, it has slowly been coming out since episode 11 and finally it’s arrived on the scene. Please stay and never go away. If Tan is going to change his life, including so that he can be with Eun Sang, then she needs to also make the same choice otherwise they haven’t a chance in the world.
By the end of episode 14, I got the sense that not only do these two finally understand, respect, and admire each other, they are also now in it together no matter what. Brava to that because I haven’t the patience for any more running away plot drag. Young Do let down his guard, his hair, and his entire fighting aura in today’s episode, having conversations with Tan, Eun Sang, and Rachel that truly show us there is a wounded boy inside the bully. It doesn’t negate any of his own misconduct, but there is hope that he can rise above it like Tan is trying and then make amends. I’m glad the drama isn’t selling the love triangle anymore but allowing Young Do’s feelings for Eun Sang to exist as something he finds solace in. He doesn’t know how to deal with it since she doesn’t like it back, but if his decision is to protect her then at least he’s backing away from the rocks fall down cliff. That cliff is where Rachel is currently standing, except she doesn’t realize that people can and will fight back especially when pushed to the edge. When that happens, the fall out will ricochet on her and I hope that happens soon because she truly elevated her own pettiness in this episode. Young Do being mad at Tan was over something really big in his life, Rachel is over something minor that hurt her pride. It feels satisfying to watch all the characters unleash their weight of their full personalities and weapons in this drama because finally things are happening and I’m fully enjoying the ride at last.
Episode 14 recap:
Young Do holds Eun Sang hostage in the broadcast room until Tan arrives and kicks down the door. Tan rushes in with a punch ready and this time even I think Young Do deserves to be slugged. Young Do pulls Eun Sang behind him to shield her and takes the punch from Tan.
Tan goes to grab a folding chair to continue beating Young Do but Eun Sang grabs him by the waist to beg him to stop and calm down. Tan holds the folding chair over his head while Young Do stares. He puts the chair down and pushes Eun Sang out so that he can talk with Young Do.
Tan demands Young Do stop but he won’t stop until Tan gives up on Eun Sang. Tan doesn’t know why Young Do wants to go all the way but Young Do has no choice because he’s already come so far. In his battle with Tan he lost his last chance to have a meal with his mom. This is all he has left because every time he sees Tan he wants to kill himself. Tan tells Young Do to grow up because he’s given Young Do so many chances. Tan says he tried, in all his battles with Young Do he tried to walk away and be the bigger man. That is exactly what pisses Young Do off, that Tan is always pretending to be an adult and so mature
Tan has changed but why hasn’t Young Do? Young Do laughs at Tan being pleased that he’s changed and thinking he can fight a bigger fight. It’ll end with Tan begging his dad anyways, and maybe Cha Eun Sang will have to get on her knees along with him. This isn’t a bigger fight, this is a pointless fight. Tan retorts that Young Do hasn’t even fought a pointless fight, so even if Tan keeps on kneeling he will just keep on getting up. The day will come when he won’t fall down anymore. Until then, Young Do can continue staying right there in the same place because Tan is no longer there.
Rachel arrives and asks the crying Eun Sang if the two boys are fighting over her again? Tan comes out and takes Eun Sang away without a backward glance at Rachel. She goes inside and asks why Young Do tried to reveal Tan’s secret? Did he change his mind? Young Do didn’t, it was all to bring someone that he wanted to see.
Tan apologizes for the fight but he didn’t start it. Eun Sang confronts Tan about the constant fighting with Young Do, and scoffs at his assertion that this is a love triangle fight. Tan concedes its not, he and Young Do are fighting because he has regrets and Young Do is filled anger at himself.
Young Do and Rachel have a calm and mature discussion as well, with Young Do confessing that he is angry at himself for everything that happened. But he can’t fight with himself, so he can only take it out on Tan. He knows Rachel is doing the same thing as well since Tan did not wrong her. Young Do can see that Tan never gave Rachel any false hope. Theirs was an arranged engagement and she wasn’t supposed to become attached to it and cling on to Tan. Young Do says both he and Rachel know they are wrong but they cannot accept the blame so they can only lay the blame on Tan. She is doing it now, he’s done it in the past. it is just their stubbornness.
Tan and Eun Sang continue talking and she teases that Tan and Young Do seem like the couple that are dating. Eun Sang notices Tan has put on the jacket and turns out Eun Sang washed Tan’s uniform jacket and hung it in the locker. They tease each other and Tan offers to take it off right there.
Bo Na passes Chan Young in the hallway aand he breezes right past her. She pretends to fall down but he doesn’t turn around to help, but he does smile to see that she’s so earnest.
Yi Seul comes to Eun Sang to ask her to bring her an audition script that she left in Myung Soo’s playroom, thinking she can’t go there anymore. Eun Sang wonders if she’s doing alright but Yi Seul takes it as Eun Sang’s mocking her. Eun Sang sighs that all the kids at school think they know what others are thinking and lack the ability to apologize and change. As Eun Sang walks away, Yi Seul apologizes.
Eun Sang runs into Young Do at the playroom and offers him a bandaid but he just leaves. She finds the audition page for Yi Seul and Bo Na comes in to do the same thing, Awwww. Bo Na tells Eun Sang to give it Yi Seul and leaves.
When Eun Sang walks out, she sees Young Do on his bike waiting for her. Young Do takes the bandaid from her at this time.
While doing laundry, Eun Sang continues to be the peacemaker and is on the phone with Chan Young urging him to quickly kiss and make up with Bo Na, lest another guy scoops her up. Chan Young is putty in Bo Na’s hands and he finds everything she does so cute.
Ki Ae is in a snit because Eun Sang’s mom is so organized she’s already making a list of the do’s-and-don’ts of this household for the next housekeeper. This makes Ki Ae think Eun Sang’s mom wants to leave as soon as possible. Suddenly Rachel arrives and Ki Se sends Eun Sang to her room to avoid escalating the problem were Rachel to learn Eun Sang lives here. If Rachel found out Eun Sang lived here, Tan would be toast.
Rachel is here to play nice and brings flowers all while calling Ki Ae “mom” like a dutiful future daughter-in-law. Ki Ae says the Chairman and Tan are not home but Rachel says she’s here to see “mom” specifically. Rachel says she approves of what Tan did because he must really care about his mom. She assures Ki Ae that her mom is fine with the truth and was more shocked about Ki Ae pretending to be Eun Sang’s mom at the PTA meeting. She asks why and Ki Ae fibs that Eun Sang’s mom was busy that day so she stepped in. When Rachel asks about Tan’s relationship with Eun Sang, Ki Ae assure Rachel they are just friends since their mother are friends. Rachel ends the chat by telling Ki Ae that she won’t end the engagement with Tan.
As Rachel leaves with her fake smile gone and her bitch face back, she spots Eun Sang’s school uniform hanging on the laundry line. She makes a call and asks why Cha Eun Sang is living at Kim Tan’s house. When Eun Sang is heading out of the house, she notices her uniform is missing.
Eun Sang misses her morning date with Tan and he tries calling but gets her voicemail. She’s at school confronting Rachel about where she took her school uniform? Rachel tossed in the school trash and Eun Sang races out to retrieve it. Eun Sang digs through the trash until she finds the uniform her mom bought for her. Did we need to see another redux of Eun Sang digging through trash for something Rachel threw out? C’mon drama.
Rachel comes by and Eun Sang asks if she’s happy now that she forced Eun Sang to dig through trash. Rachel hasn’t even gotten started, that is how upsetting it was for her to find out her fiancee was dating the daughter of the maid who has been lying that she is nouveau riche.
Eun Sang is still trying to be nice and asks what Rachel wants her to do if that will make Rachel feel better. Rachel is on a tear and tells Eun Sang to pick up all the trash since that’s what her mom is good at and Eun Sang must’ve learned watching her mom. That earns Rachel a well-deserved resounding slap from Eun Sang. FINALLY! Eun Sang snarls that no one can mock her hardworking mother. Rachel is incensed at being slapped for once and tries to slap Eun Sang back but Eun Sang’s new backbone comes with even faster reflexes and she grabs Rachel’s arm. Eun Sang asks what kind of person Rachel’s mom is to have raised a daughter like her!
Rachel takes out the only threats she has left and says she’ll out Eun Sang, but that doesn’t scare Eun Sang, so she switches tactics and threatens to reveal Tan’s big secret. Rachel knows Young Do will never reveal it since he never planned to, but she has no such qualms. Eun Sang asks why she is bringing Tan into their fight but Rachel rages that if she can’t get Tan then she’ll destroy both of them together. Ugh, this girl needs to see a shrink STAT. Maybe shrinks have two-for-one step-sibling specials so mercenary Esther can save money on medical bills. That gets Eun Sang to agree to consider transferring schools. Tan arrives right then having heard the tail end of the conversation. He asks Eun Sang to leave and she asks how long he had been listening. He yells at her to leave and she complies. Darn it girl, where’d that backbone go. Tell your boyfriend not to order you to move wherever he wants.
Rachel tries to play the victim about how hurt she is but Tan isn’t interested anymore. He learns that she went to his house to see his mom and thus learned Eun Sang’s real background. Tan points out that Rachel looked at his mom like she was beneath her that day, so why bother going back now. He thought they could at least be friends but today that’s not even possible for them anymore. He tells her to leave now. Just because he can’t hit a girl doesn’t mean that in his heart he hasn’t already smacked her.
Tan finds Eun Sang on the roof and takes her to task for not telling him Rachel was at the house yesterday. Her excuse was not adding to his litany of woes but Tan yells that his problems are not because of her. He was born into a hornet’s nest of problems – illegitimate, a brother who hates him, a mom he can’t acknowledge, a mean other mom, his dad who created this mess, being sent away to the US all alone, his best friend hating him. Tan’s problems having nothing to do with Eun Sang and she can’t possibly add more to what is already a mess.
Eun Sang comforts Tan again by saying he’s not the problem, these problems are not because he was born and exist in this world. Tan asks if they should run away back to the US? That’s not an option since it means both of them abandoning their beloved mothers. They stand there in hurting silence.
Tan and Young Do are dragged before Ji Sook again for their damage to the broadcasting room. This time she wants to speak with their parental figures, Young Do to bring his dad while Tan is to bring Won.
The two boys are sitting before Hyun Joo who asks them to write down what each did wrong. Both say it was the other person who is in the wrong. Hyun Joo asks them to write that down then.
Tan and Young Do sit and think about what the other did wrong. Tan flashbacks to Young Do’s mom carrying a travel bag asking him to bring Young Do to the restaurant and saying she doesn’t have much time. Tan goes to get Young Do who brushes him off.
Now both boys are thinking about what each did wrong to the other. Tan thinks he should have persisted to bring Young Do with him, if only he knew it was the last time he could see her. Young Do thinks that he should have gone with Tan if he has known that it was a chance he couldn’t have missed. Hyun Joo comes over and sees they haven’t written anything still.
Eun Sang walks through the hallway and worries about Rachel’s threat to out Tan. Bo Na is in the broadcast booth talking with Eun Sang thinking the radio isn’t on. Hyo Shin turns it on so the entire school hears about her whining that she’s dying because she can’t live without her Chan Young because he is like her oxygen.
Everyone hears it and teases Chan Young. He goes to find her as she comes out of the broadcast booth and she runs away so he chases her. She thinks he wants to break up with her but he says that’s not it.
Eun Sang and Hyo Shin laugh to see this cute couple run by. Eun Sang greets her new teacher Hyun Joo and this is when Hyo Shin sees that she’s a new teacher at school. He’s not happy because this means his first love is now one step further away from him.
Myung Soo and Young Do are in the playroom with Myung Soo counseling him to get over his first love. He teases that Young Do’s first love is Tan and not Eun Sang. Myung Soo tells Young Do to find another girl and asks how much Young Do likes Eun Sang? Myung Soo asks who Young Do will save if he fell in the water with Eun Sang. Young Do will save Eun Sang and let himself drown so that he is imprinted in her heart as her lifesaver. Then she will be too guilt-ridden to go to Tan. Myung Soo correctly points out that Young Do keeps picking these self-destructive endings. Myung Soo asks what Young Do will do about his dad, really bring him to school to see Ji Sook?
Tan and Eun Sang walk home together and she tries to get him to go home but he says now is not the time. When he goes home, he will go home with his hyung. His first step is go having hyung drive him to school every day. Eun Sang points out she can’t see what his second step is.
Tan is sitting in the hotel lobby deep in thought. Won walks by and is about to pass but then stops and goes over to ask if Tan doesn’t have a key to his room. Tan does but he was just thinking here. Won sits down and the two bros sit in quiet silence. Tan breaks the silence by pointing out the hilarity of two brothers leaving a home and going to live in a hotel. Tan asks why Won doesn’t like him? Won says he doesn’t have a reason to like Tan.
Bo Na passes out party invitations for her make up party with Chan Young. Bo Na sees Yi Seul walking away and hands her an invitation. The two girls tearfully make up with apologies to each other. Tan walks by and grabs an invitation.
Tan goes to the broadcast room to talk with Hyo Shin and reveals he’s worried about hyung’s upcoming college admission exams. If he misses more than 5 questions, his parents will make him re-take the school year. Isn’t Hyo Shin worried that he’ll end up in the same grade as Tan? Hyo Shin is dropped off by his mom outside the test site. Hyo Shin tells his mom to go and she leaves before he goes inside.
The maid comes to clean Won’s room and Tan tells her to go ahead and he sits down at hyung’s desk. He peeks at the documents and then finds the list of all the shares being transferred to his name.
All of Empire Group is in an uproar when a list is posted of all the personnel changes being made by Won. Secretary Yoon goes to ask Won what he is doing? Won tells Secretary Yoon to choose a side otherwise his name will be on the list. Chairman Daddy gets a call from his brother-in-law about the personnel changes.
Tan arrives at lunch with Eun Sang and finds him mom sitting there using Eun Sang’s phone to lure Tan here. Mom grouses about why he doesn’t answer her calls and he doesn’t want to hear her cry. Tan sits down and wants his clothes which Ki Ae brought but complains about why she isn’t bringing him more, like money. Mom says he needs to experience some hardship first. Ki Ae reveals Rachel came by the house and is suspecting something with Eun Sang. Tan says he and Eun Sang will be happy together and drags Eun Sang out. Ki Ae yells at him to never come home then.
Tan and Eun Sang walk on the street and he asks what she is thinking? Eun Sang thinks this is all so magical. Tan asks where she wants to go and Tan has to say it out loud that its just a delay tactic since he just wants to hold her hand for longer. He teases that she’s the happiest girl in 100 km. Eun Sang holds out her hand for Tan but he grabs her by the shoulder instead. Tan asks if Eun Sang is his mom’s hostage but Eun Sang says Ki Ae is her hostage since she misses Tan so much.
Eun Sang darts out of Tan’s arm to head to work. Tan walks forward and envelopes her in a back hug using his coat and says he won’t let her go to work. She did the same to him in the broadcast room to stop him from hitting Young Do. Eun Sang darts out of his arms and turns around. Tan goes forward and hugs her properly face first to show her how to stop him in the future from doing something. They find money in his coat which makes Tan so happy.
Tan gets a call from Secretary Yoon and goes to meet him. He learns that Chairman Daddy was transferring shares to Tan for his 18th birthday. It has been halted for now because Daddy is pissed but will resume shortly. Secretary Yoon says Daddy is doing this so Tan has the same shares as Won, who has started warring with Daddy and kicked out the people who would stand by Tan. Tan realizes he’s being thrown into this fight whether he wants to or not. Secretary Yoon says that Tan needs to give up some things as the second son of the Empire Group. Tan asks if Won will fight with him next if Won wins the battle with Daddy. Secretary Yoon says that is likely.
Bo Na and Rachel are at the same hairstylist. Rachel asks if Eun Sang is coming to the party tonight and Bo Na says Eun Sang is at her part time job. Rachel wants to know where it is but Bo Na says she doesn’t know. Bo Na sticks with the new money story and says Eun Sang’s family is newly rich so they are always afraid of going broke so she still works a part time job. Rachel wants to know where the party is tonight but Bo Na doesn’t want her there and tells her not to come.
Young Do gets out of the shower to see a text from Rachel that she is outside Eun Sang’s part time job right now. Young Do rushes out on his bike and rides to the cafe. Rachel is in a car and has the driver follow him. Young Do arrives at the cafe and calls Rachel only to find out she set him up.
Young Do grabs Rachel by the cuff of her jacket for following him. Man, Rachel is really pissing everyone off these days. Young Do says he’s not afraid of hitting someone to protect Eun Sang. Rachel realizes Young Do really likes Eun Sang and snarks that its amazing to see someone change so much because she can see that Young Do is actually scared.
The make up party starts and all the kids are there playing games and listening to music as Myung Soo DJs. Chan Young and Bo Na are great hosts and even take a selca with Chan Young kissing Bo Na on the cheek. Rachel arrives and Bo Na isn’t happy to see her. Rachel says she ordered extra coffee for the party.
Young Do sits outside the cafe waiting for Eun Sang. When she arrives at her job, he apologizes for letting Rachel find out where she works. Eun Sang says she’ll be fine. She tells him not to worry because she has a lot of knights protecting her. Young Do flashes back to when he bullied her and realized she had a lot of people looking out for her. He says sadly that is the moment he started to like her. Even if she has a lot of protectors, he wants her to call him if she needs anything.
Eun Sang goes inside and her manager tells her to make a delivery. She looks at the address and calls Chan Young to confirm that its the same address as the make up party. Eun Sang knows Rachel is setting her up.
She texts Tan and asks if he’s going to the party. She tells him that she is going and for him not to be shocked. Tan knows she’s at her part time job right now and asks what is going on? She doesn’t answer his text and his call goes to voicemail. Tan heads out and walks right past Young Do as he returns to the hotel.
Chan Young and Bo Na address their party guests and get ready to cut the cake. Eun Sang arrives with the drink delivery and everyone stops to stare at her. The classmates asks if she’s at a part time job? Eun Sang says yes and asks if the party is fun? She congratulates Chan Young and Bo Na for making up. Chan Young walks over and asks if Rachel ordered this? Eun Sang says yes and she came knowing it. She tells everyone to enjoy the drinks.
Myung Soo pipes up and asks why she is working a part time job? Eun Sang is about to confess when Tan walks in. He goes up to Eun Sang and asks her to come out with him. Eun Sang says she can’t leave now because she’s working a catering event. Tan asks when she can leave and Eun Sang says when she finishes serving the drinks. Tan upends the table of drinks and drags Eun Sang out. Eun Sang calls out to Rachel that she will bring more drinks.
Bo Na is pissed that her party is ruined and goes to attack Rachel, yelling that only one of them will walk out alive today. LOL. Myung Soo calls Young Do to quickly come to this party because it’s about to go down.
Tan drags Eun Sang out and is upset she’s outing herself. Eun Sang doesn’t see anything shameful about working a part time job. Even Young Do can work part time at his family hotel why can’t she to earn money? Eun Sang says its harder for her to live the lie. She hasn’t slept well since the lie started, always worried if tomorrow someone will find out. Isn’t that how Tan used to feel? She wants to take a page from the Kim Tan playbook and out her own secret so she can live freely. Tan doesn’t want her to do it because the consequences are so hard to bear. He doesn’t want to see her hurt! Eun Sang doesn’t mind because she will bravely continue forward.
Eun Sang walks off to get more drinks while Tan just stands there. Rachel comes out and snarks that it would have been better if Eun Sang was new money. Tan doesn’t even spare her a side glance and tells her to not talk with him. Tan waits while Eun Sang comes back with new drinks. When she arrives, Tan apologizes to her for being the one to create the lie that she was new money. If this makes her life easier, he’ll support her. They go in together.
Eun Sang delivers the replacement drinks and tells everyone that she is not new money. She is a school charity case. Young Do arrives at the party to hear this. The other students are upset and Chan Young wants to step in but Tan stops him. The kids ask how a charity case would dare to touch the engaged Kim Tan.
The students ask Tan if he feels deceived? Tan says yes, she lied. He walks over to Eun Sang and stares at her. How could he have believed her when she lied that she would be strong but she’s shaking right now. Rachel storms out and Young Do looks very sad. Tan tells Myung Soo to start the music and tells everyone to self-serve the coffee since Eun Sang is off the clock from her job.
Myung Soo dims the lights and starts the music. A beam of light shines on Eun Sang and Tan. Eun Sang breathes a sigh that she revealed it. Tan says she did it – she is charity case Cha Eun Sang while he is the illegitimate Kim Tan. Young Do sees this and quietly walks out. Tan says let the party start now.
Tan steps forward and reaches behind Eun Sang to untie her apron and pull it off her. He pulls off her hairband and then ties a corsage around her waist. They stare at each other and then Tan steps even closer and kiss her gently on the forehead.
All the kids stare, with Chan Young, Bo Na, and Myung Soo smiling. Eun Sang closes her eyes to sink into the kiss.
Thoughts of Mine:
Watching episode 14 made me wonder if Heirs would have been better as a 16-episode drama, tightening the meandering bits so that everyone starts off at a jog heading into a sprint. I’ve enjoyed the last 2 episodes immensely and only wished this is how the drama began rather than the extended overseas section in the US. I suppose arriving here now is well and good enough even if this drama is still by-the-books in everything it does. It’s violent propensity is also a major flaw that is never going to be explained away as necessary. I can only hope the viewers don’t get some sort of perverse thrill out of seeing all that slapping, punching, pulling, shoving, tossing, upending, and whatever else needs captions that read “this is wrong, do not enjoy watching it even in a dramatic context”. I take the actions for as devoid of reality as the lives of these rich kids and the inclusion of the poorest Candy girl ever into their midst. I don’t give Tan a pass for being so domineering or for being a past bully, but I see maturity and improvement on his part. None moreso than at the end of episode 14 when he listened to Eun Sang tell him that she wants to come clean for her own sake. He let that sink in, and afterwards apologized to her for creating the new money lie and accompanied her inside so that she could do it on her own. This doesn’t make up for all the times he orders her around, but the gradual progression from Tan dictating the terms of their growing relationship to one where she calls her own shots gives me hope for this pair. I know Tan is emotionally wounded and Eun Sang is his safe harbor and happiness, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of her identity and choices in life. Finally I see the drama allowing the OTP to interact in ways that make me less aggravated, whereby I can enjoy all these sweet moments together. The final forehead kiss at the end of this episode was very sweet and less posed than I expected it come across. It’s still overly dramatic, but I felt like Eun Sang and Tan have earned the right to show their love to the world.
I think the drama will ramp up the battle for Empire Group in the next episodes, and the solution to the problem may just be the two estranged brothers teaming up and finding a way to co-exist AND give a giant middle finger to Chairman Daddy and his ilk. Won appears to be softening towards Tan, and I wonder if sending Tan away was so that Won wouldn’t be tempted to like his brother as he grew up. That way Won could continue to hate the existence of Tan without being confronted with the reality that Tan is just a big puppy wanting a pet from hyung. I hope Won wises up and realizes there is more in life than being President of Empire Group. He seems to have given up on Hyun Joo easily and if I were her I’d be moved on by now since who has time to pine over a boyfriend that has never placed her first. Bo Na is a character that this drama really needs because she shows is that being rich doesn’t mean she needs to be a broken, angry, and oppressive person. She is spoiled and bratty but also decent and loyal. Her and Chan Young are almost putting on a show for the entire drama denizens on how to easily break down class barriers and enjoy doing it. I’m glad Young Do seems to have taken Eun Sang’s rejection to heart and is not pushing his attentions on her anymore. In that way he becomes someone I can feel sorry for because he’s doing the right thing when it hurts. I don’t know if Tan’s words finally got to him as well because he also seems to have backed down from antagonizing him. I hope the drama can repair their friendship sooner rather than later because I think the tandem of Young Do-Tan would be amusing to watch and they can actually have a chance of fighting back against their oppressive fathers. One can hope, because Heirs has just begun to crawl out of its static quagmire in the first half of the drama and I think there are lots of ways to shake up the action for the final arc of the drama.
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